« 이전계속 »
friendly feeling you bear to the service, will prompt you to render your powerful aid in so good a cause.
Were the case an ordinary one, I might have hesitated to intrude it upon public attention, however deeply I might have been interested in the parties; for I hold that appeals of this nature should never be made on light grounds. Unhappily, there is nothing uncommon in the widow of a gallant and highly meritorious naval officer being left with eight children, almost entirely unprovided for; but it is seldom that an instance occurs which has such strong claims on the public favour as the present.
That an officer who has devoted his whole life to the execution of his professional duties, and has at last perished in their actual performance, is well entitled to our respect no one will deny, nor that his destitute widow and orphans are objects of our compassion. Still, unless he shall have performed either some brilliant, or some useful public service, his family can claim little more than our sympathy, and must be left to the care of those to whom they are nearest and dearest, aided by the casual assistance of others, whose generous natures judge of such matters by their own intrinsic distress.
The case of Mrs. Hewett, however, and her eight delicate children, (three of whom are at this trying moment very ill), stands on such very different grounds, that I cannot doubt, when the services of her late husband become generally known, she will be promptly and effectually relieved by the public.
When an officer distinguishes himself' in battle, the country are never slow to acknowledge their sense of obligation to him, and to reward him for augmenting the national renown. Or, if he should fall in action, sound policy inclines them to provide for his family. But there are other services fully as beneficial to the country, and as essential to the advancement of its true glory, as those which figure in the gazette; and which, therefore, are no less justly entitled to the public favor. Of these, the silent, unseen, protracted, often perilous, and always arduous labours, of the maritime surveyor are entitled, on many grounds, to a high place in our esteem. There are perhaps no exertions of any of her Majesty's servants, which produce more decidedly practical benefits to the community—none, of which the good is more substantial at the moment, or more permanently useful in its character— none of which the results are more readily available in practice—nor any labours which require, at every stage of their progress, more skill, knowledge, patience, perseverance, and, above all, good faith and genuine public spirit, than the works of the hydrographer. This will be understood, when it is recollected that in the course of almost every other branch of public service, occasional inaccuracies or neglects may occur, without essentially vitiating the result. "Success," said Lord Nelson speaking of war, " hides a multitude of blunders." But this will not apply to surveying—for no eventual gloss or pretension, no elegance of execution of the maps, will make up for the smallest antecedent blunder in the details. Accordingly, a conscientious surveyor, like Hewett, makes it a sacred duty to superintend every cast of the lead, to verify every compass bearing by his own eye, to regulate, and employ his chronometers with his own hands, and to observe the celeslia\ bodies with instruments, the merits of which he has himself proved, finally—out of an immense mass of carefully accumulated materials, scientifically reduced, he has to lay down his charts, that is, to adapt his work to the common use, not only of his own trading countrymen, hut of the maritime world at large.
It will scarcely be asked, what is the use of all this minute care? or in what way are the public concerned in it? or why should they owe so large a measure of gratitude to this particular officer, as to Incalled upon to assist his widow and orphans'. I shall, however, now show what have been the extent and the nature of his public services, of which their very great utility depends entirely upon the Zealand fidelity with which they were carried on. The character of the surveyor, indeed, is the only guarantee we can have for the correctness of such a work, and it is upon this well established reputation that any claims of his family can rest.
I pass over Captain Hewett's surveys of Rio de Janeiro, Pernambuco, and other distant places, because, though admirable in their way, and very useful to those who trade with those nations, they are less calculated to make an impression on your readers, and in point of fact, are less extensively useful than his labours nearer home. In all the wide circuit of waters navigated by British ships, there is, I believe, no region more sailed over than what is called the North Sea, lying between the East Coasts of Great Britain, and the continent, nor any with which it is of more importance to the mariner to be well acquainted. It is thickly strewed over with dangerous shoals, many of them out of sight of land; some lying directly in the fair-way of navigation, and others far to the right and left of it, but not the less dangerous on that account to vessels driven out of their course by stress of weather.
In 1818, Captain Hewett* commenced the gigantic task of surveying this immense net-work of shoals, and he followed it up with a minuteness and exactness heretofore unequalled in this or any other country. In the process of this most useful undertaking, numerous dangerous banks were for the first time examined, and their places correctly ascertained; others, which had no existence but in the fears of fishermen and traders, were swept off our charts. All the passages among the shoals were carefully sounded, and rendered available by means of intelligible sailing directions,—innumerable buoys were laid down, and lighthouses erected along the coast, to guide the mariner by day and by night; and I have just learned that the Trinity-house have borne honourable and substantial testimony to the value of Captain Hewett's suggestions on these points, and to the singular clearness and seamanlike precision of all his operations, by awarding 2002. to his widow.
In the midst of this career of public usefulness, Capt. Hewett was suddenly cut off, and the great work which he had almost completed, most unfortunately interrupted. And here it may be interesting to
• Captain Hall is here alluding to the commencement of Captain Hewett's survey of the thore* of the North Sea, that of the sea itself having been undertaken as we hare stated afterwards, and for which, unhappily, no sailing directions were ever compiled by him.—Eo.
pause a moment, to consider how different the positions are in which an officer in command of a ship may be placed. There is not in the world a more glorious situation, or one upon which the country at large looks with greater admiration than that of a captain leading his ship into action—it may be to death—it must be to honor! On the other hand, what stretch of imagination can reach, or sympathy embrace the anguish and horror of a commanding officer in the situation of Capt. Hewett in the gale when the poor Fairy foundered! All the skill and fortitude which had availed him so often in rescuing his crew from perils, he now sees to be utterly useless: wave after wave beats over the devoted ship, tearing the masts away, and washing all his gallant companions overboard: finally, the swamped vessel, completely overwhelmed, sinks under his feet I
May we not well suppose that along with his last mortal agonies, and the deep sorrow at being thus wrenched away from the world, in the prime of life, he might yet feel supported by the reflection—that, as he had always done his duty by his country, and contributed materially, by his individual exertion, to its interests,—his country would not now desert those whom he could no longer assist—and that, though no human hand could dry his widow's tears, it might still make " her heart to sing for joy," by rendering the office of "a father to the fatherless."'
As, however, it forms, comparatively, an inconsiderable part of my present object to work on the feelings of your readers, I shall not pursue this subject further, nor intrude unnecessarily on the sacred privacy of the desolate widow's grief, except to state, that her eldest son, a midshipman, and her brother, the master of the ship, perished along with her husband in the Fairy.
It is enough, I hope, for me to state in conclusion, which I do upon the best authority, that her means, even with the highest pension which the rules of the state allow, must prove totally inadequate to maintain her in the position which, as an officer's wife, she has hitherto been accustomed to enjoy. Neither can Mrs. Hewett, unless assisted by the public, hope to bring up her children as they would have been brought up had their father's life been preserved to them and to his country. Let it be recollected also, that although this appeal is made in part to the generous sympathies of the public, it is not less directed to their sense of justice. For, if it be true, as I pledge myself it is, that Capt. Hewett has rendered very important and permanently useful professional services to the nation, without his ever having bad either time or the means of laying up any provision for his family, they are certainly well entitled to protection, and to the heartiest assistance we can render them. It is gratifying to be able to communicate, that two gentlemen have already come forward to assist Mrs. Hewett, one with the offer of a cadetship, and the other with a presentation to Christ's Hospital, for her sons.
Subscriptions for Mrs. Hewett will be received by Captain Beaufort, Hydrographer's Office, Admiralty; by Captain Drew, of the Trinity House; Thomas Lawrence, Esq., Post Office; and the London and Westminster Bank, Waterloo-place, and Lothbury, London.—Also, by Lieutenant Cook, R.m., AdJiscombe; and I shall he happy to receive and transmit to the Committee of Gentlemen acting on behalf of the widow, any subscription which may be forwarded to me at Portsmouth.
I have the honor to be,
Basil Hall, Captain, R.N.
P.S.—9th Jan. I copy the following paragraph from a Circular which has not been published:—Subscriptions will be thankfully received at the bank of Messrs. Drummond, Charing Cross; of Messrs. Williams, Deacon, and Labouchere, Birchin Lane; of Messrs. Martin, Stone, and Stone, 68, Lombard Street; also by Robert Miller, Esq. Blackheath Park; Thomas Lawrence, Esq., General Post Office; Captain Drew, Trinity House; John Walker, Esq., Hydrographer, India House; Major Robe, R.e., Tower: Thomas Chapman, Esq., Lloyd's; George Babb, Esq., Great Grimsby, Line lnshire; Captain Basil Hall, R.n., Portsmouth; and Lieutenant Cook, R.n. of Addiscombe College, or at 32, Sackville Street; from whom any further information may be obtained.
The Earl of Galloway, Colonel Connelly, Commander R.m., Woolwich, and Charles Brodrick, Esq., have very kindly consented to their names being given as trustees, for payment into the Bank of England, on account of Messrs. Hewett, of such sums as shall be reported to them by the above Bankers, on or before the 1st of May next, to be payable on her account. Remittances before the 1st of May, to the said Bankers, should be made "To the Trustees, in behalf of the Widow of the late Capt. Hewett, R.n."
At Woolwich the following Memorial was circulated by Captain Hornby, the naval commander-in-chief.
It being ascertained beyond a doubt that Her Majesty's ship Fairy, was lost off the coast of Suffolk, on the morning of the 13th of November last, and that every person on board perished.
This Memorial is presented to a generous public, to draw their attention to the unfortunate circumstances in which this awful calamity has placed the poor widows and orphans of the seamen and marines composing her crew.
It appears from the Ship's Books, that out of a crew of forty-five then on board, eighteen have left wives and children, who being now deprived of their natural support, this appeal is made in their liehalf.
Any contribution, however small, will be of importance, when there are so many who need relief, and will be received by Mr. Breaks, at the Senior Officer's Office, in the Dock-yard, who has kindly consented to take the office of Treasurer, on this occasion.
The following are the names of persons lost in the Fairy, in behalf of whose widows and orphans the above was circulated.
William Hewett, captain, widow and eight children*
• All hare been placed on the Compassionate Fund with an allowance of 16f. per annum, and Mrs. Hewett has been awarded a pension of 1001.
Richard Stevens, acting-master, single.
Frederick Chappie, assistant-surgeon, single.
Henry Johnson, clerk, (purser on half-pay,) leaves a widow and nine
William Hewett, vol. 1st class, son of Captain Hewett.
widow and one child.+
Henry Johnson, William Lambert, and William Ekins. Single,—Thomas Westwood, Q.m., George Harwood, C.m.t., Thomas
Fleming, Cf.t., William Johnson, A.b., Henry Davies, David
Bowen, John Thomas, James Partington, private marines, Thomas
Gottes. and Samuel Rich. William Nixon, Edmund Whitehead, R. I. Arnold, Joseph Hartley,
John Westwood, John Worthy, Matthew Muir, George Granger,
Isaac Britt, George Bloomfield, Edward Munday, and John
Names of the Tenders crew, in company with the Fairy the evening before she was lost. Frederick A. Cudlip, lieutenant. Moses Hunt, gunner's-mate.
George Sladden, Henry J. Connelly, George Cochrane, Edward Webb, William Crone, Amos Cole, and James Greenwood.
[We must now exert our humble efforts, in an appeal to our own readers in behalf of the widows with their orphan children, enumerated in the foregoing list. It has been the lot of the Editor of this Journal to serve very lately on board the Fairy, and he can testify from personal knowledge, as to the many well-behaved, deserving, and excellent men, who have unhappily perished with their worthy leader, and have left their wives and children to the care of the nation at large. Those who know any thing of the Naval service, are fully
• Five have been placed on the Compassionate Fund with an allowance of 101. per annum, leaving/our unprovided for in any way; the widow has been granted a pension of 451.—it is a case of great distress.
f This is a case of peculiar hardship. Mr. Gregory was following the business of an artist, and residing with his wife and only son at Plymouth, realizing about 2001: a year, which he left to join the Fairy. Having the rating of Clerk's-assistant only in that vessel, his widow is not only not entitled to a pension, but is excluded from the benefit of the Compassionate Fund, which is applicable to the children of commissioned and warrant gunroom officers. Thus she is left entirely unprovided fm! Admiral Sir Charles Adam has most kindly given her a presentation to Greenwich for her son, and she would gladly take any situation adapted to her condition in life.