Thursday, August 25

Roast Beef of Old England

Written by Richard Leveridge in 1735

When Mighty Roast Beef was the Englishman's Food
It ennobl'd our veins and enriched our Blood:
Our Soldiers were Brave and our Courtiers were Good.
Oh! The Roast Beef of Old England, And Old English Roast Beef!

But since we have learned from all vapouring France,
To eat their Ragouts, as well as to Dance.
We are fed up with nothing but vain Complaisance,
Oh! The Roast Beef, etc.

Our Fathers, of old, were Robust, Stout and Strong,
And kept open House, with good cheer all day long.
Which made their plump Tenants rejoice in this Song,
Oh! The Roast Beef, etc.

When good Queen Elizabeth sat on the throne
E'er Coffee and Tea and such slip-slops were known;
The World was in Terror if e'er she did frown.
Oh! The Roast Beef, etc.

In those days, if Fleets did presume on the Main,
They seldom, or never, return'd back again,
As witness, the Vaunting Armada of Spain.
Oh! The Roast Beef, etc.

Britannia’s high trident, still waving on high,
Bid her tars all be true, and their foes all defy,
To avenge all her wrongs they will conquer or die,
Like brave jolly tars of old England, The conquering brave British tars!

Now fill up a glass, while a bumper we have,
To Howe, Jervis, Duncan and Nelson the Brave,
To the bold British tars, who now rule on the wave,
Huzzah for the bulwarks of England, And health to each bold British tar!

Wednesday, August 24

Acasta encounters the Poictiers

Came into the company today of HMS Poictiers under the command of Captain Sir John P. Beresford as part of our continuing blockade of the port of Baltimore. We laid along side so that Capts. Freymann and Beresford could converse across the expanse betwixt the two ships. The weather, being fairly still, allowed them to use near conversational tones from one quarterdeck to the other. A fairly comical scene ensued, wherein, the Poictiers being a rather large 74 gun third rate saw that Capt. Beresford was obliged to talk down from on high whilst Capt. Freymann was obliged to talk up. 

There was some discussion in regards to the weather and the state of their respective barometers, as well as some of the recent movements of His Majesty's other ships belonging to the blockade. Toward the end of their conversation, Beresford extended an invitation to the Captain and other Acasta officers to dine that evening aboard the Poictiers and Freymann was pleased to accept his invitation.
A replica of the HMS Poictiers' figurehead at the Royal Museum in Portsmouth.
Later that evening at supper, Captain Beresford and his officers related tales of their recent travels up and down the coast, and the vessels they had recently captured. With names like "Little William", "Logan", "Rebecca", it sounded for all the world like the muster roll for a family gathering rather than a list of captured enemy ships. The lieutenants in attendance all lamented the relative small size of their captures thus far, and it occurred to me that when you are aboard a 74 gun third rate, every ship you encounter must seem quite diminutive in comparison.

Friday, August 12

HMS Victory, a Virtual Tour

 Special thanks to JASNA -GL member Janet Abell for allowing us to make use of the pictures she took aboard HMS Victory during her most recent visit to England, September 2013.

Tuesday, August 9

The Roberts Girls

I can hear it clearly now as if I were there in the Parlour of Birdsall Cottage this moment. The routine of the girls upstairs getting ready for bed.

Lucy reading aloud from a book while reclining in the comfort of the 'ugly chair' in her room. Renowned for its comfort, but not its beauty, my sentimental eldest daughter would never give it up for something more fashionable out of pure loyalty.

Molly begging me for enough time to finish just one more story from her little red storybook.

Rose sitting with legs crossed in the middle of the bed she shares with Molly and works at drawing and writing in her little journal, humming loudly, the cat at her side. I am unable to make out exactly what the song is that she's about, but she seems very sure of the tune and increases in volume as she goes. 

Sophia playing with her dolls, their little doll lives filled with drama and intrigue. There is a great deal of gasping and hushed conversation between them. 

Silhouettes of the Roberts girls by Mrs. Anne Leslie of Shadow Portraits.

Monday, August 8

A Mystery

The most peculiar object arrived with the most recent post for our Capt. Freymann. I cannot make heads nor tails of it!