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The Last Voyage of His Majesty's Transport Phyllis, 1795
       
by Henry K. Gibbons

2006






The Beginning of the Voyage

    The Phyllis left Cowes on August 25, 1795 for the voyage to Quebec with a full compliment of crew and passengers on board . The passengers were either dependents of the soldiers or immigrants to Quebec. Included in the army personal were seven officers and Lieutenant Howard Douglas Officer in Charge of army personal. Lieut. Douglas was the son of Sir Charles Douglas who served  at  Quebec in 1776.

    The ship was sailing at a slow speed as the wind in the North Atlantic at that time of the year is usually blowing from a north, or northwest direction. The better time to have made the voyage  would have been in the spring of the year when the wind  usually blows from the east or northeast. The many tacks necessary to sail into the wind would have slowed the vessel considerably. However the sailing was necessary to reinforce the army and in this case it could not be delayed.

    On October 7, 1795 the ship was in high southwest winds and heavy seas southeast of Newfoundland Island. Under these conditions it was  found necessary to man the pumps every two hours to keep the ship from sinking. This work was a common occurrence during rough weather on the crossing of the North Atlantic. The heavy weather continued, and forty- six days after leaving the Isle of Wight, Capt. Passmore sighted the Island of St. Pierre off the south coast of Newfoundland at 7 a m, Sunday, October 11, 1795.

The Phyllis goes Ashore



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