Extract of a letter from the agent to at the Cape of Good Hope, dated 15th Nov. 1817: –

“The following most daring instance of piracy was committed in our harbour on the 11th inst. viz.– The Elizabeth, White, lying at anchor off Robin Island, with about 120 tons of oil on board, was boarded at about one a. m. by a party of armed deserters from his Majesty’s 10th regiment, and convicts, about 12 in number, i. e. five soldiers and seven convicts, who, after securing the hatches, &c. obtained possession of the ship, and in the same instant cut the cables, loosed the sails, and favoured by a strong S. E. wind, succeeded in carrying her off, at six a.m. The captain and crew having refused to listen to their invitation to join them in their piratical undertaking, with the exception of the mate, were permitted to leave the ship in the boat, which reached Robin Island in safety about four o’clock the same day.

“By a letter received to-day we learn that the Admiral Gambier, Brash, laden with Government stores for Ceylon, was totally lost on the morning of the 20th of June last, having struck on the reef Roan de Nova, in the Mozambique Channel ; crew saved.”

A letter from Halifax, dated the 27th Nonember, says – ” Colonel Bouchette, Surveyor – General of Lower Canada, with Captain Campbell, of the 60th regiment, and Mr Bouchette, jun. arrived here on the 19th inst. The only information I can yet give you is, that the exploring survey has been extended from the source of the St Croix river to the river Restigouche, in line about 100 miles ; in this short distance both parties experienced difficulties and sufferings of the severest nature. The Americans employed on the same line with our English Commissioners are represented as men of great ability, and acting with that spirit of liberality that infuses confidence on each side, rendering their arduous task less severe and gloomy than was to have been expected in thie untrodden wilds of this quarter. Our trade continues dull, and money scarce. Government bills are 3 per cent advance, but expected to be lower, in consequence of the Commissary-General having refused to take the provincial notes.”

Fire in Sheerness Dock-Yard –On Friday night, about half-past nine o’clock, this place was thrown into the greatest consternation, by the ringing of the alarm bells in the dock-yard, the beating of drums, and the firing of the men of war’s guns. It was occasioned by a fire having broken out in the house belonging to the steam engine erected for carrying on the new works situated in the southern part of the dock – yard, near the kilns used for burning cement stone. The most serious apprehensions were entertained for the safety of the arsenal ; and what was more distressing to the feelings of the spectators, was its coniguity to the workhouse, which, from the pressure of the times and want of employment, is crowded with many unfortunate individuals. Providence, however, averted the impending danger, and about twelve o’clock we had the pleasure of seeing the raging flames subdued, with only the loss of the engine-house. No lives, it is understood, have been lost, but one poor man is severely hurt. Captain Walker of the Northumberland, and the officers of that ship, Liutenant Griffin of the Swan cutter, and Captain Brown and the officers of the Ordinary, with the military officers and soldiers of the garrison, assembled on the first alarm. The latter were under arms the whole time, and were of great service in keeping off the spectators. The inhabitants of the twon were at one time under serious apprehensions, as the fire was not far from the Fountain tavern, and the residence of Mr Miller, in High Street. At the former, the landlady of the house had but recently lain in, and was removed on the first alarm being given. Sir Robert Barlow, from Chatham, who superintends during the absence of Commissioner Boyle, was here yesterday to investiage into the cause, which it is suspected arose from carlessness – The damage, however, has not been so great as was at first expected, and which it might have been but for the prompt and effectual assistance that was given – Sheerness, January 11

Citation: Caledonian Mercury (Edinburgh, United Kingdom), 19 January 1818, available at the Scissors and Paste Database, http://www.scissorsandpaste.net/123.