A Christmas party gets out of hand!
Volunteers working on the digitisation of Eileen Stage’s Coastguard Index which will shortly be published on SoG Data On-Line were delighted to note this festive story of Christmas misrule within the extensive entry on the card relating to Edward TUTTE:
“An incident on the Nymph which Mr Tutte remembers was Christmas Day 1870 which fell on a Sunday and Captain Adams gave the order that a bottle of beer was to be served to each man and dancing would be permitted proving there would be no singing. It was not long before the whole ship resounded with shouts of the crew enjoying itself. The two policemen on board, a corporal and a marine were sent forward but were roughly told to mind their own business but, with a lack of discretion reported to the Captain that the crew had mutinied. They were armed and sent forward again. The policemen were pelted with everything that came to hand. Soon the spirit store was broken open and for three days the ship was in the hands of the frenzied mob. Men were thrown overboard. Wholesale floggings were the general order. After the first stroke the sufferer could say would he liked. One named GODDARD exercised his privilege to the full. He called the Captain by every name he could in his extensive glossary of naval adjectives and concluded that he hoped he would die in a state of raving madness. By a morbid coincidence, this was the terrible end of the officer, who died shortly afterwards at Aden hospital.”
24 June 1875 Edward TUTTE, able-seaman RN of Cork Ireland married Miss E WHITING, slightly his junior -
Gravesend Reporter 27 6 1925
He signed on for a further ten years 25 June 1880 ADM 13/798
Further fun stories about Christmas Holiday misrule at sea in the Golden age of Piracy can be found on the Pirate Surgeon's Journals website where we found this excellent picture from Harper's Weekly July 1861