Portsmouth Harbour, Hampshire, England
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"At four in the morning we were rather roughly aroused by the schooner’s striking heavily. We were on the NE corner of Van Diemen’s Land. The boat lowered with difficulty, Captain Carter, his wife & child, Mr. Campbell and 3 hands went in her". The Caroline is the correct name of the vessel in the official list of wrecks. Mr. Robert Forsyth of Chicago writing in 'Notes and Queries' in 1936 suggests Elwes changed the name of both Ship and Captain as he alludes to possible intentional scuppering of the ship in his book.
This is a page from a unique leather-bound volume of Robert Elwes’ travelogue 'A Sketcher's Tour Round the World', first published 1854, (see page 246 for corresponding passage).
The book contains the printed text of the manuscript but remarkably, the monochrome wash illustrations are hand painted by Elwes. The book bears a handwritten inscription ‘Mary F Elwes from her affect. husband Robert Elwes Jan 25 1878’, dated after Robert Elwes became ill at Congham, his Norfolk home. On 28th January 1878 , their youngest daughter Violet noted in her diary: “Papa much worse”. Less than three months later, Robert Elwes died on 17th April aged 58.