DEAN (John). A True and Genuine Narrative of the Whole Affair relating to the Ship Sussex, as sent to the Directors of the Honourable East India Company; from the Time she was deserted by the Officers, and greatest Part of the Crew, till she was unfortunately wreck'd on the Bassas de India. Also a particular Account of the many Hardships and Distresses of the Sixteen Brave Sailors who staid on Board. With a List of their Names. By John Dean, the only surviving Person of them all.



8vo. [2], 22pp. Upper blank corer of the last leaf torn-away; title and last leaf dusty. A single dark-blue stiff paper upper wrapper preserved. Bound in late 19th-century brown half morocco, marbled endleaves (joints rubbed)


London: for C. Corbett, 

ESTC records 8 copies in the UK; Cornell, Harvard, Universities of North Carolina & Virginia in USA; McMaster University in Canada; Pretoria University in South Africa. Another (rarer) edition, published by T. Cooper in 1740, has the title A Genuine Account of the Ship S----x [...] by J-n D-n.


The London Evening Post for 16 September 1740 announced that Dean's deposition had arrived on an East India Company ship. Both editions were advertised in the London Daily Post and General Advertiser as "This Day is published" on 26 September 1740. 


"In March 1738 the ship Sussex, homeward bound from Canton, met with a severe storm off the Cape of Good Hope, and sustained damages so extensive that the captain, officers and the greater part of the crew resolved to abandon her. Sixteen men, however, John Dean amongst them, refused to desert the vessel, insisting that she was still sea-worthy. They succeeded in reaching St. Augustine's Bay, Madagascar, where they refitted her, and made sail for Mozambique. On the way, however, the ship struck on a shoal and went to pieces. Five of the crew escaped in the pinnace, and after a seventeen days' voyage regained the coast of Madagascar. There they were kindly treated; but while awaiting a European vessel, fell sick, all dying except Dean. Dean was taken off in July 1739 by the 'Prince William,' which carried him to Bombay; and it was not until two years later that he reached London. His account of his adventures 'Narrative of John Dean' (Mss Eur B2) was published in 1740. He was received with much distinction by the Court, who had already taken measures to punish the captain and officers of the 'Sussex' for their abandonment of the vessel. A pension of one hundred pounds a year was settled upon him, with the promise of an annuity of half this amount to his wife should she survive him, and the three portraits were commissioned. In February 1745, Dean was appointed an Elder Porter at the Drug Warehouse." - British Library - India Office select materials website (F19).


Bound with two other shipwreck narratives:


WRIGHT  (John). A Narrative of the Loss of His Majesty's Ship The Proserpine, James Wallace, Esq. Captain. Compiled by John Wright, First Lieutenant.


8vo. 24pp. pp. London: by J. Bateson, for J. Hatchard, 1799


ESTC records 9 copies in the UK (inc. 3 at the British Library & 2 at Cambridge UL); Huntington, Indiana University and University of Kansas in the USA.


 In 1799 the Hon. Thomas Grenville, MP (1755-1846) was sent as ambassador to Berlin to propose an alliance against France. The ship carrying him to Cuxhaven was driven back by ice, and HMS Proserpine, a 28-gun sixth-rate frigate, to which he transferred, ran aground and was trapped in ice and wrecked off Newerke Island in the mouth of the River Elbe on 1 February. Of the 187 on board 11 men, a boy and a woman and child perished." Grenville escaped with difficulty, losing everything but his dispatches." (ODNB).

"A Faithfull and affecting narrative of the loss of the ship, which carried Mr. Grenville to Germany on an important political mission, and of the sufferings of that gentleman and those who escaped. He and the greater part of the crew were providentially preserved, and only 15 persons lost. Although it cannot with any propriety be said, that this very affecting narrative is written in the style of Xenophon, yet ..." Gentleman's Magazine (Vol. 69, 1799, p. 505).


FELLOWES (William Dorset).  A Narrative of the loss of His Majesty's Packet The Lady Hobart, on an island of ice in the Atlantic Ocean, 28th of June 1803: with a particular account of the Providential Escape of the Crew in Two open Boats. By William Dorset Fellowes, Esq, Commander. Dedicated, by permission,to the Right Hon. the Postmaster General [Francis Freeling].


First Edition. 8vo. 46, [2 (advertisement, verso blank). Lightly foxed.


London: for John Stockdale, 1803


The first of at least seven editions.


The Post Office packet, The Lady Hobart, commanded by William Dorset Fellowes "was bound for England from Halifax, Nova Scotia, when, on 26 June 1803, she was first attacked by a French privateering schooner which mistook her as defenceless: Fellowes opened fire and instead took the schooner. He sent her to England under a prize crew commanded by two Royal Naval lieutenants who happened to be on board the packet as passengers, and sent off most of his prisoners, other than the French captain, in Newfoundland fishing schooners which happened to be nearby. On 28th, in fog, The Lady Hobart hit an iceberg at speed and rapidly sank: all those on board, including women passengers and Fellowes's wife, took to the cutter and jolly boat and survived eight days adrift before being picked up by another schooner that took them to Newfoundland. The only casualty was the French captain prisoner, who under the influence of rum, was reported as killing himself by jumping overboard from the boat. Fellowes and his company later left Newfoundland in a ship taking salt fish to Oporto but in mid-ocean transferred to an American vessel they encountered which carried them into Bristol. Having sent a report of the loss, written in Newfoundland, to the Postmaster General he subsequently expanded it into a more public account published as a book." - National Maritime Museum website.


Stock Code: 217980

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