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Drake Letters Index 31. Drake to Louisa 13 November 1854 ◄ ● ► 33. Drake to Louisa 22 November 1854
The Drake Letters
 
William Henry Drake (Balaklava) № 22 - Louisa Drake (London), 17 - 18 November 1854
№ 22 Balaklava 17 Nov 1854 1
 
My dear Lu,
 
        Since my last we have had a most awful hurricane attended with the most disastrous results my last was dated the 13th it left on the afternoon of that day – on the morning of the 14 I woke about ½ past 6 & found a fresh Gale blowing   I began getting up & the Gale increased   When half dressed my front window blew in off the hinges & smashed & the two back windows blew out the other way   I got with my clothes into my sitting room & finished dressing
 
The Ships even in this harbor were driving about fearfully and rubbing & smashing each other the Sea making a clean sweep over the Wharves & the heavy spray going clear of the roofs of the Houses tiles blowing about   at 9 the Gale became a perfect hurricane – The Verandah in front of my house was carried away – a post smacking a Window which I was trying to hold together & then off came the roof from one end altogether & the tiles and beams gradually followed towards the other end – I had intended moving into the house in which I now write & consequently was all ready for a start   I, with my Interpreter’s Assistance, (my Servant bolted) got all my traps into what I used as an Office which though joined to formed no part of the original building & being only on the ground floor, stood fast – I got my breakfast   My people (Clerks) &c. came in one by one all thinking I was gone with my house & all in danger from beams of wood, tiles, & other things – Booth 2 made much fuss as the Gale went over, it poured with rain – in the afternoon I got into this house which is very comfortable as things go here, stood the hurricane without damage, & is one of the best Houses in Balaklava though Small
 
I of course caught cold on the 14th as I was wet to the Skin all day & felt for two days the pleasures of back ache & a pain quite round my body especially when I drew a long breath it has gradually lessened & I am nearly all right again today
 
So much for myself – now for the public Disasters   The following losses have occurred amongst the Shipping
 
a    Resolute 3 - 25 Steamer Prince 4   140 men
full of Winter Clothing & many things –
All these are totally gone
x   Kenilworth - 20
x   Wild Wave - 25
x   Rip Van Winkle - 57 Mercia – Lady Valiant
x   Wanderer - 140 15 Caduceus   – Medora
x   Pettona - all saved Pride of the Ocean – Melbourne Steamer
x   Progress - 15 Sir R Sale –
very much damaged – all dismasted
x   Il Malti - 13
x   Commt. supplies   H.M. Steamer Ardent do.
a   Powder Ship    

13 Ships names unknown went on Shore at the Katska – Crews Prisoners of War Ships all burnt to Water’s Edge   Several also went ashore at Eupatoria but the numbers are unknown –
 
While writing, I have received all yours of 30 Oct: for which thanks, I much feared the Vessel had gone down in the Gale. – Dr. Marshall 5 lost some £30 or £40 worth of things, by the loss of the St: Prince – He has gone up to join the 2nd Division   He does not like this work & will try & get back to England as soon as he can – The Seige draws on this is the 32nd day – They wait for reinforcements –   18th. This morning Mr. Filder sent for me early I had dined & slept on board the Hope in the course of conversation he said “If they don’t promote you this year Smith 6 will get out of your way & I shall give you the”
 
2
 
“local rank & send you to Pera to take his place there”   This was very satisfactory at all events but fancy it being followed up by this – My dear Sir, “Can you lend me 8 Sovereigns for a few days   I am buying an Araba & a pair of Horses which I did not count upon doing when I last remitted to England.
 

A.C.G. Drake
Yours truly”
William Filder

If you can be so good as to deliver them to the Bearer –
 
I put them into an envelope with Mr. Drake’s best respects – I suppose I may consider this a Special Mark of favor – Now taking all this into consideration together with the great wretchedness consequent on our wintering at Balaklava I think you had better Stay quietly & comfortably in London until we see how things may turn out with the promotion
 
I scarcely expect my Step this year it would be too just of my Lords to reward hard work & too liberal to take into the Gazette one so low down the list as myself – but if I do get it, or if Smith goes home & he says he will & must do so as his Sight is failing I shall then get Pera which wd. Suit us tolerably well – I was sorry to hear of poor Augustus’ 7 death though I have long been in expectation of it – With best love to all believe me ever
 
Your affectionate Hub
W. H. Drake

My room crowded with people while I write – Officers Comdrs. Soldiers Ship Captains Turks all waiting for replies &c.
 




SIMPSON The_Gale_off_the_Port_of_Balaklava_14th_Nov_1854

The Gale off the Port of Balaklava, 14th Nov. 1854, by William Simpson.
from Central University Libraries, Southern Methodist University
 
http://digitalcollections.smu.edu/cdm/ref/collection/eaa/id/1349, accessed 6 May 2015.



 
 
© COPYRIGHT MEGAN STEVENS 2015 —
Footnotes
 
1. Private family manuscript (Judith Hall and Sally Mac, Auckland, New Zealand).
 
2. DACG Robert Booth.
 
3. Resolute (British transport ship).
 
4. Prince (British transport ship).
 
5. Dr. John Marshall.
 
6. ACG John William Smith.
 
7. I don’t know who Augustus might be. I do not have any record of an Augustus as a relative of either Henry or Louisa. Could it be Augustus Kramer of Hobart? – “DEATH. On Wednesday, the 23rd instant, at Patrick-street, after an illness of nearly six years, Mr. AUGUSTUS KRAMER, aged 49 years.” [The Courier (Hobart, Tas.), Monday 28 March 1853, p. 2.]
 
 
 

 
© COPYRIGHT MEGAN STEVENS 2015 —
Drake Letters Index 31. Drake to Louisa 13 November 1854 ◄ ● ► 33. Drake to Louisa 22 November 1854