Shop  •   Avatar  •   FAQ  •   Search  •   Memberlist  •   Usergroups  •   Profile  •   Log in to check private messages  •   Log in  •  Register 

THE TERRIBLE LADRONES
Post new topic   Reply to topic     Forum Index -> Tavern Goto page 1, 2, 3  Next
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Salty Dog
Helmsman
Posts: 6774



134732 Gold -

PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2019 7:59 pm    Post subject: THE TERRIBLE LADRONES Reply with quote

by RICHARD GLASSPOOLE

ON the 17th of September, 1809, the Honorable Company's ship Marquis of
Ely anchored under the Island of Sam Chow, in China, about twelve English
miles from Macao, where I was ordered to proceed in one of our cutters to
procure a pilot, and also to land the purser with the packet. I left the ship at 5 P.M.
with seven men under my command, well armed. It blew a fresh gale from the
N. E. We arrived at Macao at 9 P.M., where I delivered the packet to Mr. Roberts,
and sent the men with the boat's sails to sleep under the Company's Factory, and
left the boat in charge of one of the Compradore's men; during the night the gale
increased. At half-past three in the morning I went to the beach, and found the
boat on shore half-filled with water, in consequence of the man having left her. I
called the people, and baled her out; found she was considerably damaged, and
very leaky. At half-past 5 A.M., the ebb-tide making, we left Macao with
vegetables for the ship.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Salty Dog
Helmsman
Posts: 6774



134732 Gold -

PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2019 8:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One of the Compradore's men who spoke English went with us for the purpose
of piloting the ship to Lintin, as the Mandarines, in consequence of a late
disturbance at Macao, would not grant permission for regular pilots. I had every
reason to expect the ship in the roads, as she was preparing to get under weigh
when we left her; but on our rounding Cabaretta-Point, we saw her five or six
miles to leeward, under weigh, standing on the starboard tack: it was then
blowing fresh at N. E. Bore up, and stood towards her; when about a cable's
length to windward of her, she tacked; we hauled our wind and stood after her. A
hard squall then coming on, with a strong tide and heavy swell against us, we
drifted fast to leeward, and the weather being hazy, we soon lost sight of the
ship. Struck our masts, and endeavored to pull; finding our efforts useless, set a
reefed foresail and mizzen, and stood towards a country-ship at anchor under the
land to leeward of Cabaretta-Point. When within a quarter of a mile of her she
weighed and made sail, leaving us in a very critical situation, having no anchor,
and drifting bodily on the rocks to leeward. Struck the masts: after four or five
hours hard pulling, succeeded in clearing them.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Salty Dog
Helmsman
Posts: 6774



134732 Gold -

PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2019 8:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

At this time not a ship in sight; the weather clearing up, we saw a ship to
leeward, hull down, shipped our masts, and made sail towards her; she proved to
be the Honourable Company's ship Glatton. We made signals to her with our
handkerchiefs at the mast-head, she unfortunately took no notice of them, but
tacked and stood from us. Our situation was now truly distressing, night closing
fast, with a threatening appearance, blowing fresh, with hard rain and a heavy
sea; our boat very leaky, without a compass, anchor or provisions, and drifting
fast on a lee-shore, surrounded with dangerous rocks, and inhabited by the most
barbarous pirates. I close-reefed my sails, and kept tack and tack 'till daylight,
when we were happy to find we had drifted very little to leeward of our situation
in the evening. The night was very dark, with constant hard squalls and heavy
rain.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Salty Dog
Helmsman
Posts: 6774



134732 Gold -

PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2019 8:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tuesday, the 19th, no ships in sight. About ten o'clock in the morning it fell
calm, with very hard rain and a heavy swell;—struck our masts and pulled, not
being able to see the land, steered by the swell. When the weather broke up,
found we had drifted several miles to leeward. During the calm a fresh breeze
springing up, made sail, and endeavored to reach the weather-shore, and anchor
with six muskets we had lashed together for that purpose. Finding the boat made
no way against the swell and tide, bore up for a bay to leeward, and anchored
about one A.M. close under the land in five or six fathoms water, blowing fresh,
with hard rain.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Salty Dog
Helmsman
Posts: 6774



134732 Gold -

PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2019 8:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wednesday, the 20th, at daylight, supposing the flood-tide making, weighed and
stood over to the weather-land, but found we were drifting fast to leeward. About
ten o'clock perceived two Chinese boats steering for us. Bore up, and stood
towards them, and made signals to induce them to come within hail; on nearing
them, they bore up, and passed to leeward of the islands. The Chinese we had in
the boat advised me to follow them, and he would take us to Macao by the
leeward passage. I expressed my fears of being taken by the Ladrones. Our
ammunition being wet, and the muskets rendered useless, we had nothing to
defend ourselves with but cutlasses, and in too distressed a situation to make
much resistance with them, having been constantly wet, and eaten nothing but a
few green oranges for three days.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Salty Dog
Helmsman
Posts: 6774



134732 Gold -

PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2019 8:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As our present situation was a hopeless one, and the man assured me there was
no fear of encountering any Ladrones, I complied with his request, and stood in
to leeward of the islands, where we found the water much smoother, and
apparently a direct passage to Macao. We continued pulling and sailing all day.
At six o'clock in the evening I discovered three large boats at anchor in a bay to
leeward. On seeing us they weighed and made sail towards us. The Chinese said
they were Ladrones, and that if they captured us they would most certainly put
us all to death! Finding they gained fast on us, struck the masts, and pulled head
to wind for five or six hours. The tide turning against us, anchored close under
the land to avoid being seen. Soon after we saw the boats pass us to leeward.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Salty Dog
Helmsman
Posts: 6774



134732 Gold -

PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2019 8:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thursday, the 21st, at daylight, the flood making, weighed and pulled along
shore in great spirits, expecting to be at Macao in two or three hours, as by the
Chinese account it was not above six or seven miles distant. After pulling a mile
or two perceived several people on shore, standing close to the beach; they were
armed with pikes and lances. I ordered the interpreter to hail them, and ask the
most direct passage to Macao. They said if we came on shore they would inform
us; not liking their hostile appearance, I did not think proper to comply with the
request. Saw a large fleet of boats at anchor close under the opposite shore. Our
interpreter said they were fishing-boats, and that by going there we should not
only get provisions, but a pilot also to take us to Macao.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Salty Dog
Helmsman
Posts: 6774



134732 Gold -

PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2019 8:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I bore up, and on nearing them perceived there were some large vessels, very full
of men, and mounted with several guns. I hesitated to approach nearer; but the
Chinese assuring me they were Mandarine junks[18] and salt-boats, we stood
close to one of them, and asked the way to Macao. They gave no answer, but
made some signs to us to go in shore. We passed on, and a large rowboat pulled
after us; she soon came alongside, when about twenty savage-looking villains,
who were stowed at the bottom of the boat, leaped on board us. They were
armed with a short sword in each hand, one of which they laid on our necks, and
the other pointed to our breasts, keeping their eyes fixed on their officer, waiting
his signal to cut or desist. Seeing we were incapable of making any resistance, he
sheathed his sword, and the others immediately followed his example. They then
dragged us into their boat, and carried us on board one of their junks, with the
most savage demonstrations of joy, and as we supposed, to torture and put us to
a cruel death. When on board the junk, they searched all our pockets, took the
handkerchiefs from our necks, and brought heavy chains to chain us to the guns.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Salty Dog
Helmsman
Posts: 6774



134732 Gold -

PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2019 8:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

At this time a boat came, and took me, with one of my men and the interpreter,
on board the chief's vessel. I was then taken before the chief. He was seated on
deck, in a large chair, dressed in purple silk, with a black turban on. He appeared
to be about thirty years of age, a stout commanding-looking man. He took me by
the coat, and drew me close to him; then questioned the interpreter very strictly,
asking who we were, and what was our business in that part of the country. I told
him to say we were Englishmen in distress, having been four days at sea without
provisions. This he would not credit, but said we were bad men, and that he
would put us all to death; and then ordered some men to put the interpreter to the
torture until he confessed the truth.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Salty Dog
Helmsman
Posts: 6774



134732 Gold -

PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2019 8:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Upon this occasion, a Ladrone, who had been once to England and spoke a few
words of English, came to the chief, and told him we were really Englishmen,
and that we had plenty of money, adding, that the buttons on my coat were gold.
The chief then ordered us some coarse brown rice, of which we made a tolerable
meal, having eat nothing for nearly four days, except a few green oranges.
During our repast, a number of Ladrones crowded round us, examining our
clothes and hair, and giving us every possible annoyance. Several of them
brought swords, and laid them on our necks, making signs that they would soon
take us on shore, and cut us in pieces, which I am sorry to say was the fate of
some hundreds during my captivity.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Salty Dog
Helmsman
Posts: 6774



134732 Gold -

PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2019 8:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was now summoned before the chief, who had been conversing with the
interpreter; he said I must write to my captain, and tell him, if he did not send a
hundred thousand dollars for our ransom, in ten days he would put us all to
death. In vain did I assure him it was useless writing unless he would agree to
take a much smaller sum; saying we were all poor men, and the most we could
possibly raise would not exceed two thousand dollars. Finding that he was much
exasperated at my expostulations, I embraced the offer of writing to inform my
commander of our unfortunate situation, though there appeared not the least
probability of relieving us. They said the letter should be conveyed to Macao in
a fishing-boat, which would bring an answer in the morning. A small boat
accordingly came alongside, and took the letter.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Salty Dog
Helmsman
Posts: 6774



134732 Gold -

PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2019 8:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

About six o'clock in the evening they gave us some rice and a little salt fish,
which we ate, and they made signs for us to lay down on the deck to sleep; but
such numbers of Ladrones were constantly coming from different vessels to see
us, and examine our clothes and hair, they would not allow us a moment's quiet.
They were particularly anxious for the buttons of my coat, which were new, and
as they supposed gold. I took it off, and laid it on the deck to avoid being
disturbed by them; it was taken away in the night, and I saw it on the next day
stripped of its buttons.

About nine o'clock a boat came and hailed the chief's vessel; he immediately
hoisted his mainsail, and the fleet weighed apparently in great confusion. They
worked to windward all night and part of the next day, and anchored about one
o'clock in a bay under the island of Lantow, where the head admiral of Ladrones
was lying at anchor, with about two hundred vessels and a Portuguese brig they
had captured a few days before, and murdered the captain and part of the crew.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Salty Dog
Helmsman
Posts: 6774



134732 Gold -

PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2019 8:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Saturday, the 23d, early in the morning, a fishing-boat came to the fleet to
inquire if they had captured an European boat; being answered in the affirmative,
they came to the vessel I was in. One of them spoke a few words of English, and
told me he had a Ladrone-pass, and was sent by Captain Kay in search of us; I
was rather surprised to find he had no letter. He appeared to be well acquainted
with the chief, and remained in his cabin smoking opium, and playing cards all
the day.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Salty Dog
Helmsman
Posts: 6774



134732 Gold -

PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2019 8:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In the evening I was summoned with the interpreter before the chief. He
questioned us in a much milder tone, saying, he now believed we were
Englishmen, a people he wished to be friendly with; and that if our captain
would lend him seventy thousand dollars 'till he returned from his cruise up the
river, he would repay him, and send us all to Macao. I assured him it was useless
writing on those terms, and unless our ransom was speedily settled, the English
fleet would sail, and render our enlargement altogether ineffectual. He remained
determined, and said if it were not sent, he would keep us, and make us fight, or
put us to death. I accordingly wrote, and gave my letter to the man belonging to
the boat before mentioned. He said he could not return with an answer in less
than five days.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Salty Dog
Helmsman
Posts: 6774



134732 Gold -

PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2019 8:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The chief now gave me the letter I wrote when first taken. I have never been able
to ascertain his reasons for detaining it, but suppose he dare not negotiate for our
ransom without orders from the head admiral, who I understood was sorry at our
being captured. He said the English ships would join the mandarines and attack
them.[20] He told the chief that captured us, to dispose of us as he pleased.

Monday, the 24th, it blew a strong gale, with constant hard rain; we suffered
much from the cold and wet, being obliged to remain on deck with no covering
but an old mat, which was frequently taken from us in the night by the Ladrones
who were on watch. During the night the Portuguese who were left in the brig
murdered the Ladrones that were on board of her, cut the cables, and fortunately
escaped through the darkness of the night. I have since been informed they ran
her on shore near Macao.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic     Forum Index -> Tavern All times are GMT
Goto page 1, 2, 3  Next
Page 1 of 3

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group