In the August of 1792 the East Indiaman Winterton, with her precious cargo of 300,000 silver dollars, was wrecked on a reef off Madagascar. As the ship broke up, the 300 crew and passengers clung to pieces of wreckage, eventually to be washed up, exhausted, on the beach. More than 40 of them perished in the surf. John Dale, the second senior surviving officer, rigged up the ship's yawl and set off with six officers to fetch help. But his efforts were marred by tragedy and misfortune. By the time he returned, alone, seven months later malaria had wiped out almost half the original survivors. And their ill luck did not stop there. War had since broken out between England and France, and on route to Madras the group was captured and imprisoned on Mauritius before finally gaining passage to India, while Dale himself was impressed into service on a French privateer, liberated by the Dutch and then taken prisoner again by the French, before reaching English shores more than two years after he had first set sail. Jean Hood has chronicled a fascinating episode in maritime history, which has all the more resonance for being rooted in the quiet heroism, the dignity, the suffering and courage of the sailors and passengers, men, women and children whose fate it was to board the 'doomed' Winterton.Biografía del autor:
Jean Hood has chronicled a fascinating episode in maritime history, rooted in the quiet heroism, dignity, suffering and courage of the sailors and passengers on the Winterton. She came across the episode while researching into the East India Company.
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