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A Fifth Memoir with reference to the Theory of the Law of Storms in India, being researches about the Madras Storm of May 16th, 1841, and an account of a Whirlwind experienced by the French Ship "Paquebot des Mers du Sud," Capt. P. Saliz, off the Cape. By Henrv Piddington, Esq.

On the 16th May 1841, a storm was experienced at Madras, severe enough to cause all the ships to put to sea, and one or two vessels were lost along the coast, with several native craft. I am indebted to the very zealous exertions of Capt. Biden, Master Attendant of Madras, for almost all the logs from which I have been able to trace it; and it proves, like those I have hitherto investigated, to have been a true circular storm coming from the E. S. E. the centre passing over Madras, or a little to the northward. My own collection indeed amounts but to one of the logs, that of the Petite Suzanne, French ship, which however enables us to estimate the centre for the 15th.*

As before, I give first the documents in the order in which I hare used them, and then a statement of the various authorities for the centres marked for the track of the storm at noon each day.

Capt. Biden s Letter says,

Madras, June 2nd, 1841. "You will have heard of our gale on the 16th ; it was partial, and did not blow very hard here; it seems that the vessels which slipped from the roads experienced more severe weather outside. All the 15th, the weather looked suspicious, cloudy, gloomy, and the atmosphere very close. On that evening I despatched a circular through the fleet, advising a good look-out, and due preparation in cases of emergency. The Barometer continued nearly stationary until noon on Sunday; when the surf rose, the breeze increased, and the Barometer fell. I made signals first to prepare, and in an hour afterwards to cut or slip. It blew fresh fromN. N. E. at this time, 1 p. M. and at 4 P.m., there was much thunder and lightning with rain; at 7 the gale increased; and about 8, amid torrents of rain, and with a short lull, the gale flew round to the S. S. W.

* I am also indebted to Government for the report from Captain Campbell, Assistant Surveyor General, which enables us to trace the storm in land to Royacottah and Bangalore,

blowing furiously for an hour ; at this time the report from the Observatory, stated 'we expect a perfect hurricane; be prepared.' I was on the beach all night, and at 11 the Barometer had risen considerably; the wind abated, and towards day-light we had a strong Southerly wind, with fair weather. You will have observed by the Madras papers, how materially the Barometers differed, but I think the best instrument we have here, is that kept by Lieut. Ludlow, which the scrap of a newspaper states, fell to 29-069. Several ships experienced quite a gale on the 3d of May close to the Line. There has been much bad weather all along the Coromandel Coast."

Madras Gale; from the Newspaper account.

"On Saturday evening the sun set with every appearance of rain. Accordingly, about seven p. M. the rain commenced, and continued, with but little intermission till early yesterday morning. Between five and eleven P. M. on Saturday, the wind, which had been gradually increasing in violence throughout the day, blew a strong gale, first from the North and then from the South, and for a few minutes, from all points of the compass. At ten A. M. the Master Attendant signalized the vessels in the roads to slip and make sail, which was seconded by guns fired from the ramparts; in consequence of which, all the English vessels in the roads immediately put to sea. Their Commanders and Chief Officers were mostly on shore at the time, one of whom offered two hundred rupees for a boat to convey him on board, but without effect, as the sea was running too high for any boat to make the attempt. The Catharine was the last that left the roads. Soon after the gale commenced on Sunday evening, two Native Brigs and two Dhonies were driven on shore. One of the former was completely shattered to pieces. A third Dhoney foundered a short distance outside the surf, but the crew had fortunately got into a boat, and were picked up by another Dhoney. The greatest praise is due to the Master Attendant and his Assistant for the judgment, activity, and zeal, displayed by them prior to and during the gale, by which, in all probability, great loss of life was prevented.

*' We have not heard of any damage having been done on shore, beyond the blowing down of a tree here and there, and the loss of a few tiles from off sundry old houses.

*' We have received several accounts of the effects of the gale, one of which we herewith append.

"The gale commenced at about two o'clock on Sunday morning from the North Westward (was not this about the hour of moon rising ?) attended with violent squalls and rain, which it was feared, would part the Shipping: however, at day-light, all appeared to be holding on well. At this time, the weather seemed broken, and the Barometer high and steady, though the surf was so high that no boats could go off. From nine till noon, the weather was murky, and unsettled. The Scud was flying, sometimes in a South and South Easterly direction, and so long as the wind hung off the land, no danger to the Shipping was apprehended. At one r. M. indications of bad weather became apparent by the falling of Barometers, and the Surf and Sea rising to an alarming degree, and merging into one, nearly a mile out. The Commanders of Vessels (nearly all of whom were on shore, with some of the Chief Officers) now felt very anxious for the safety of their vessels, especially when it was impossible for them to get off to their ships; which were signalized from the Master Attendant's Flag-staff to prepare for sea, and afterwards to cut or slip, simultaneous with which, guns were fired every five minutes for one hour from the Ramparts of the Fort, which latter excellent warning we do not recollect having been adopted for many a year. At this moment, the deepest anxietywas depicted in the countenance of every Commander whilst watching his vessel in the operation of cutting or slipping, which we understand was all done in the quickest and most seaman-like manner, and every vessel safely under-weigh endeavouring to make an offing by two o'clock. Until six p. M. the Barometers continued gradually falling, and the weather assumed a most threatening appearance. Every body who had the shipping interest at heart highly approved of the prompt and judicious steps taken by the Master Attendant, in advising the vessels to go to sea, and felt glad that they were all well outside and clear of the roads. Not so with the Dhonies, which, after observing that all the vessels had been warned and had proceeded to sea, remained, preferring trusting to their fragile ground tackling rather than venture to sea in such tempestuous weather. The consequence was, that two Brigs and one Dhoney came on shore at the Fort after dusk, and one Brig during the night at the Adyar. We also learn that one Dhoney

foundered in the roads, though the crew happily reached another Dhoney in a jolly boat. As far we can learn, we are glad to state, that no lives were lest throughout this catastrophe, though it wag difficult to advise the poor creatures (fearful of their safety whilst clinging to the wrecks) not to attempt to leave their vessels until ordered, lest they might be carried under the vessels' bottoms and be crushed by the under-tow of the water; however, fortunately, Mr. McKennie succeeded in this respect.

"We are informed that the conduct of most of the Officers of H. M. 57th Regiment, with many others, namely Doctor Rogers, the Town Major, Captain Noble, Fort Adjutant, Mr. Maclean, the Captains whose vessels had gone to sea, Captain Phillips, Mr. Dallas, and many other gentlemen, was most praiseworthy, for their unwearied exertions and at some risk of their lives, (as it was, we understand, several persons were hurt by the pieces of the wreck, Captain Tapley of the Tenasserim being one) to rescue the poor unfortunate creatures from their perilous situation.

"At eight P. M., the weather moderated, and yesterday morning boats were able to go off to the Dhonies, which are now in the Roads, with tie anchors and cables which were wanting. Of course the commanders are anxiously watching and waiting the return of their vessels, and the Master Attendant must have enough to do to recover the anchors and cables from which the shipping have parted and slipped. The wind being southerly, it was yesterday favourable for the vessels to run back again."—Athenteum.

From the Madras Herald of the 19th instant, we gather a few more items of news, but they are of no great moment:—

'Of the ships which put to sea on Sunday, the Fortescue only has returned to the roads. She has, we believe, sustained little or no damage. The John William Dare, Captain Shepherd, from Bombay the 24th of April, and Colombo the 11th of May, the Helen Mary, Captain Palmer, from Colombo the 10th of May, and the Champion, Captain Bentley, from Moulmein the 27th of April, came in yesterday. The first of these three vessels lost her top-masts on the 15th, in a heavy squall, but the second, though she encountered the same storm, sustained no mjury. The Champion too is all right and tight.

c

Extract from the Log of the French Ship, Petite Suzanne, Capt. Gabbbt, reduced to Civil Time.

The French ship Petite Suzanne was at noon on the 14th May in lat. 1(T 21' N., longitude hy Chr. (from Paris) 81° 14' E. or 83° 34' E. from Greenwich, wind WNW. 5 knot breeze, which became variable and calm towards midnight with squalls.

15th. Midnight to noon, winds variable from North to NNW. in puffs, increasing to heavy squalls and rain, sea rising. No observation. Lat. by accounts0 25' N., longitude 81° 40' Paris, or 84° London. Noon hove to under close reefed main topsail, P.m. gale from N. to NNW. and NW.—at 5 to 8 NE. to East—at 9, South, and at 11 SSW. blowing a heavy gale. At 11 P.m. almost a hurricane, ship hove to again since 9 P.m. when she bore up for an hour.

16th. To noon wind SSW. At 6 A.m. gale moderating. At £ past 7 bore up. Noon no observation, lat. account 10" 38' N., longitude account 84° 3' Paris, or 86° 23' London: to midnight winds SSW. and S. and fine.

The Hydroose. News from Madras received to-day mentions that the Hydroose. (Linton,) from Calcutta, bound to the Mauritius, had put into Coringa for repairs, having experienced much squally weather in her passage hence, in which she received much damage. On the 15th ultimo, when in lat. 12° 8' N. and long. 84° 47' E. the bad weather began ; and on the following morning it increased with heavy gales from E. to N. E., wind shifting to the Westward during the day, with a high sea on—they were then in lat. 11° 37' N. and long. 84° E.—the vessel labouring much. At this time she began leaking, and the pumps were kept constantly going; the leak being in no way lessened, and all her sails having been split in a heavy gust, besides a portion (800 bags) of her cargo having been thrown overboard to lighten her, she was obliged to put into Coringa for repairs.—Calcutta Courier, June 11.

Master Attendant's Office, Madras.

"State of the Barometer, from the Surveyor's Observatory.—In our notice of the storm which visited Madras on the 16th and 17th inst. in

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