Nash, M. D. (Ed.).


Van Riebeeck Society, Cape Town, 1st.ed., 1990. Xxxix + 252 pp., cold. tipped-in frontis., + 10 other plates & facsimile e.p's. D.j., 23 x 16cm. FINE. Bookplate. His Majesty's Ship GUARDIAN set sail from Spithead in September 1789 laden with stores and provisions for Britain's new penal colony in New South Wales. In command was young Edward Riou who had already sailed with Cook and was destined to serve under Nelson with great distinction at the Battle of Copenhagen in 1801, but where, tragically, he was cut in two by a cannonball. The GUARDIAN made her way south to the Cape of Good Hope and from there sailed for Australia on a voyage she would never complete. Thirteen days out from the Cape, GUARDIAN struck an iceberg that tore away her rudder and most of her keel. Half of her crew took to the boats but only one boat survived the stormy seas on the 1,300-mile haul back to the Cape. On board the crippled GUARDIAN, Riou displayed the exemplary courage and seamanship that Nelson came to admire a decade later. Against all odds he brought his ship back into Table Bay - but the Admiralty kept him kicking his heels for a year before ordering him to dispose of the ship and return home to England. Cook, Bligh, Sir Joseph Banks and the BOUNTY mutiny all have a part to play in this story. The illustrations include a fine tipped-in coloured plate showing the GUARDIAN limping into Table Bay on the 22nd February 1790, from a watercolour sketch by Lt. Riou. FINE copy.

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