Gazette of Saturday, Nov. 3, 1804.

The following article is an account of the loss of the schooner H.M.S. Speedy, Published in the Gazette, Saturday, November 3, 1804.

The Speedy, Capt. Paxton, left this port (York) on Sunday evening, the 7th of October last, with a moderate breeze from the north-west, for Presqu'isle, and was descried off that island on the Monday following before dark, where preparations were made for the reception of the passengers, but the wind coming round from the north-east, blew with such violence as to render it impossible for her to enter the harbour; and very shortly after she disappeared.

A large fire was then kindled on shore as a guide to the vessel during the night; but she has not since been seen or heard of; and it is with the most painful sensations we have to say, we fear is totally lost. Inquiry, we understand, has been made at almost every port of the Lake, but without effect; and no intelligence respecting the fate of this unfortunate vessel could be obtained. It is, therefore, generally concluded that she has either upset or foundered. It is also reported by respectable authority that several articles, such as the compass-box, hencoop and mast, known to have belonged to this vessel, have been picked up on the opposite side of the Lake.

The passengers on board the ill-fated Speedy, as near as we can recollect," the narrative goes on to say, "were Mr. Justice Cochrane;Robert J. D. Gray, Esq., Solicitor-General, and Member of the House of Assembly; Angus Macdonell, Esq., Advocate, Member of the House of Assembly; Mr. Jacob Herchmer, Merchant; Mr. John Stegman, Surveyor; Mr. George Cowan, Indian Interpreter; James Ruggles, Esq.;Mr. Anderson, Student in the Law; Mr. John Fisk, High Constable, all of this place.

The above named gentlemen were proceeding to the District of Newcastle, in order to hold the Circuit, and for the trial of an Indian (also on board the Speedy) indicted for the murder of John Sharp, late of the Queen's Rangers.

It is also reported, but we cannot vouch for its authenticity, that exclusive of the above passengers, there were on board two other persons, one in the service of Mr. Justice Cochrane, and the other in that of the Solicitor-General; as also two children of parents whose indigent circumstances necessitated them to travel by land.

The crew of the Speedy, it is said, consisted of five seamen (three of whom have left large families) exclusive of Captain Paxton, who also had a very large family.

The total number of souls on board the Speedy is computed to be about twenty.

A more distressing and melancholy event has not occurred to this place for many years; nor does it often happen that such a number of persons of respectability are collected in the same vessel. Not less than nine widows, and we know not how many children, have to lament the loss of their husbands and fathers, who, alas, have, perhaps in the course of a few minutes, met with a watery gave. It is somewhat remarkable that this is the third or fourth accident of a similar nature within these few years, the cause of which appears worthy the attention and investigation of persons conversant in the art of ship-building."


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