TM/1/1/37-Letter from Thomas Manning, on board the ‘Thames’, 29 May-9 August 1806

Letter from Thomas Manning to William Manning from on board the Thames. On 29th May 1806 he writes that the Commodore has signalled that Madeira is in sight but they will not stop there which is disappointing in terms of fresh provisions and of sending letters. The sea agrees with him and after much reflection approves of the decision that he has made despite having to ‘run away’ from many friends who care much about him. He is growing his beard after asking permission from the ladies; is getting on well with the other passengers despite the greater part being “decidedly below par in point of education & information”. The Thames is part of a convoy of about 30 ships which make a fine sight but means they sometimes have to wait for those lagging behind. The letter continues on 11th June, 1806 when they had sighted some ships which seemed to be bearing the French colours and so preparations were being made to fight. However they turned out to be English and therefore Thomas hoped they might take letters. Letter continues again on 24 July Lat 32 south, Longitude 11 West – a week off the Cape, and though they will not stop some of their convoy will. The weather has been good and he has seen flying fish in abundance along with sharks, dolphins, sword fish and other caught. Seen whales spouting. The Captain and his wife have changed cabins and Manning has their old one. He writes on 28th July that letters are called for but recovered from the post on August 9th to say they had landed at False Bay (South Africa) 3 days previously. Handwritten, 1 piece, 4 sides. dated 29 May – 9 August, 1806