Hide Articles List

7 articles on this Page



ATTEMPT TO FIRE SHEERNESS DOCKYARD. (From a correspondent of the Shipping Gazette.) SI-IEERNESS, OCT. 2, 11. 30. P.Ai.-At ten minutes before six o'clock this evening, the inspectors of ship- wrights went the usual rounds on board the different ships in docks and basin, to see all the lights extin- guished. Mr. J. Duff visited H. M.'s ship Camper- down, a first-rate, and reported all lights out. The Camperdown lay in the fitting basin, close to the stern of the north and middle docks, in which were the Amazon frigate and Aehille, second-rate. The carpenter of the Camperdown, Mr. Henty, whose du- ty it was to visit and report, followed Mr. Duff, and he also reported all lights out. Mr. Henty, having shortly afterwards recollected he had left his umbrella, returned to the ship, and on going down on the lower deck he saw a dense smoke arising from the after cockpit; he ran down below, and found it proceeded from the Midshipmen's berth, on the larboard side. He saw the fire proceeding from the lockers. He immediately gave the alarm, and with the assistance of Mr. Banes, one of the foremen of the dockyard, they succeeded in getting the fire under. The fire cask and buckets in the after cockpit were fortunate- ly close to the cabin door, and they soon put the fire out. The alarm being given, the gates were closed, with strict orders to prevent any person passing out. Captain Superintendent Sir John Hill, and all the respective officers, were shortly on the spot, and all the engines surrounded the docks and basin, and got ready to work. A strict search was made throughout all the ships. Mr. Henty declares that on his pro- ceeding down into the after cockpit, on discovering the smoke he heard a heavy footstep running across the cockpit, as though the person had nailed shoes; but being dark, he could not see any person. Upon examination of the Camperdown, the locker in which the fire broke out was found to contain a large quan- tity of tarred oakum, picked loose, and mixed up with fir shavings and new birch brooms cut open; and im- mediately over the lockers a quantity of hay and oakum was stowed between the shelf-piece and beams, leading into the openings between the timbers. On further examination, in the fore part of the ship, they found stowed in the carpenter's storeroom, in one of the lockers, a large quantity of tarred oakum, pitch, tallow, resin, brooms cut loose, and a number of lucifer-matches, one of which had been lighted, evidently for the purpose of setting fire to the mass of combustible matter laid in the locker. Every precaution has been takenânone of the workmen were permitted to leave the dockyard until half-past seven o'clock. One half of the shipwrights were re- tained, with their respective officers, and all the mi- litary who were off guard were called into the yard, and stationed at every part to prevent persons leav- ing. Every precaution was taken to prevent further outbreak, and a strict inquiry made to endeavour to find out the perpetrator of this base deed. An ex- press was sent off to the Admiralty at eight p. m. it was conveyed to Mr. Luson, clerk to the Captain Superintendent, and will arrive in town at about four o'clock to-morrow morning with the intelligence. There is no doubt the perpetrator of this foul deed was surprised by the unexpected return of Mr. Henty. The following ships were in the docks and basin, close to the Camperdown In docks-The Aehille and Amazon. In the basin âThe Monarch and Cornwall. At the time the fire was discovered it was blowing a fresh breeze from N. W., taking the range of the three docks and roofs. If the Camperdown had taken fire, it must have communicated to the other ships, and all must have been destroyed. Fortunately for the public interest the design of the incendiary has been frustrated had he succeeded, the whole of Blue Town would most likely have been burnt down, as they would not have been able to procure engines from any other source than the dockyard They would have been fully engaged for the protection of public property, and unavailable to the town. "A man has this moment, [half-past eight o'clock this morning,] been taken by order of the Captain Superintendent, on suspicion of being concerned in the above act." The Camperdown is a very fine ship, and has not seen much service; she has just been put into com- mission as the flag ship of Admiral Sir Henry Digby, C.B. One hundred and twenty marines, command- ed by Captain Corriton, R.M., embarked on board her Majesty's steam-ship Salamander, Captain Henry, yesterday afternoon, and will steam down to Sheer- ness at four o'clock this morning, for the purpose of doing duty on board the Camperdown. Great pre- parations have been making in the various yards, in fitting the ships for sea. Her Majesty's steam-ship Lightning, Captain Waugh, R.N., left Woolwich yesterday evening, for the purpose of towing her Majesty's ship the Howe, 120 guns, Captain Baker, over the flats on her way to Plymouth, and from thence she proceeds, with as little delay as possible to join the Mediterranean squadron.

(From the Devonport Independent.)




fFrom the Morning Post.)

(From the Devonport Independent.)