925Re: Moss family on St Helena
- May 4, 2008
Andrew Moss wrote:
. Solomons and Moss families related
- In the Brown Family Papers: in about 1822 Henry and Saul Solomon (then ca. 6 and 5 years old) left St. Helena for England under the care of an efficient soldier's wife travelling by troop ship to spend several years with their grandmother.
Andrew you may be interested in these two extract from my book, The Bennett Letters where George Brooks Bennett mentions Henry Solomon. The date the ship left St Helena was end of May 1821 – a week after Napoleon’s funeral.
I’ve not come across the Brown family papers – can you let me have details. Thanks
Incidentally, Saul Solomon was a staunch Anglican – see the late Trevor Hearl’s article in http://www.archeion.talktalk.net/sthelena/saulsolomon.htm
few weeks after Napoleon's funeral, two of the Company's ships called at the island to take some of the British army garrison back to England. The Winchelsea and the Dorsetshire were both large ships, well over 1000 tons, and both were getting towards the end of their commission. The Winchelsea was 16 years old and would stay at sea for another 4 years; the Dorsetshire had been built in 1799 and was so leaky that she had been ordered to stay in company of the other ship in case she foundered. This was to be her last voyage.
The Winchelsea took on board part of the 66th Regiment and also some younger passengers, sons and daughters of the islanders who were being sent to England to complete their education. Among them were Henry Solomon, nephew of Saul Solomon (of whom more later) and George Brooks Bennett, the four and a half year old who had sat on the grassy slopes of Sane valley above Napoleon's grave.
‘It will be thought that I was very young indeed to go such a long voyage, but what influenced my parents in sending me was the knowledge that the ship’s doctor, Dr. Stewart, was a personal friend and had undertaken to look after me. We also had a soldier’s wife to attend to me and to my cabin and berth mate Mr Henry Solomon,[i] who was but 6 months older than me. I lately here [i.e. in 1886 at Cape Town - Ed.] fell in with an aged widow Mrs Doveton[ii] who, as a little lassie, shared the cabin with us and other children. Regarding this voyage my memory has played me some strange tricks; it has retained the impression of the veriest trifles - I can remember crossing the line and, rather dimly, the orgies consequent thereof and my being dipped; I can recall the misery of the matutinal bath in a tub of salt water and how I disliked the process which was ruthlessly performed; the construction of many little ships by the sailors for me; the being treated by Dr. Stewart with China preserves in his cabin; the fishing up of seaweed when traversing (as we did) the Sargasso Sea; the arrival in the Channel and the partaking of English, or rather French, summer fruits - for the boat came from the French coast and brought among other things blackcurrants; these, and their peculiar taste, my memory and my palette still retaining. Strangely, the memory of a body of troops, a Regimental Mess, and a Band all have fled and left not a trace behind. Mr Henry Solomon reminded me of this and Mrs Doveton confirmed it. The troops on board were, as well as I can recollect, the Head Guards of the 66th and some few of the 20th and 52nd. All these Regiments were quartered at St. Helena during Napoleon’s captivity and his death had now set them free either to return to England, or as did the 20th, go on to India. I have retained no recollection either of ever seeing our companion ship, the Dorsetshire during the voyage.
[i] Henry Solomon was the eldest son of Joseph and Hannah (nee Moss), b 18/04/1816. His brother Saul, crippled by rheumatic fever, later became a leading S.African businessman (quoted in Hearl).
[ii] Dovetons - see Carter. The ‘aged widow’ may have been Anne Wilson Doveton (neé Greentree) b1815 who married John Richard Doveton, grandson of Sir William Webber Doveton.