The Mutiny at Falmouth

For some years My Lords the Postmaster General had found an ever growing source of satisfaction in the conduct of their Packets in face of the enemy. There was abundant credit to be had out of controlling a body of officers who went into action with the spirit of Captain Anthony, Captain Rogers, or Mr. James. The navy itself could have produced no better seamen or more gallant officers yet, just as the navy was tainted here and there with mutiny, so the sailors of the Post-Office Service broke out occasionally in revolt, which was the more difficult to quell since the men were not subject to the provisions of the Mutiny Act.

The source of the disturbances, which occurred at Falmouth in the year 1810, is to be found in the suppression of the private trade, of which a description was given in a former chapter of this work. From that suppression the Lisbon Packets had been exempted ; and this preferential treatment of that section of the Service which in other ways enjoyed the greatest opportunities of profit, naturally increased the feeling of injustice which rankled in the minds of the men employed on the West India boats.

It was long before the sailors could believe that their little opportunities of making profit were at an end. “The Government has been obliged to prohibit trade” they argued among themselves, “but they will wink at it all the same”. And so the men laid our their savings on boots and cheeses just as before, fancying that the “searcher” the newly appointed officer who was to examine every Packet before she proceeded to sea, would be conveniently blind, that the whole search was to be a farce, and that all they were asked to do was not to fourish their cheeses in the searcher’s face, but bring them up the side disguised as bedding, or hidden in their sea-chests.

At first this answered well enough, for the searcher had to gain his experience, and some time elapsed before he was a match for the seamen in wiliness. At last, however, he gained ground upon them, and the following list of goods turned out of the “Townshend” will be read with admiration of the cunning which could bring so many and such bulky articles on board and secrete them in the face of the officers and in defiance of their commands: eleven loose cheeses ; two baskets of cheese ; three large bundles of dried ling ; four hogsheads of potatoes ; six bales of dry goods three boxes of the same ; three bags of shoes; a large quantity of shoes secreted loose in different places. The major part of these articles was turned out of the sailor’s hammocks, some few came out of the boatswain’s cabin ; but with one consent all the men professed the greatest astonishment on seeing them. The boatswain was confident that the sailors must have put them in his cabin ; the sailors themselves could offer no explanation at all, but were indignant at the mere suspicion of having had any hand in the affair. The searcher was perplexed. The Inspector of Packets wanted to make each man declare on oath whether he had or had not brought the goods on board but Lord Auckland, with his usual good sense, declined to “place a whole ship’s company in the alternative between worldly ruin and a perjury,” and so the affair remained one of those insoluble mysteries which occur in the experience of every public department.

The goods which were nobody’s property were sent on shore before the “Townshend” sailed, and doubtless were reclaimed by their original owners, so that, though the seamen lost their chance of profit, they incurred no actual loss. Possibly this is the reason why the seizure made so small an impression on the Service. If the goods had been confiscated, the searcher’ s duties might have been less arduous ; but, as it was, he found it necessary to report a few months later, that only four Packets out of the entire number employed on the Falmouth Station had not been detected in breaking the rule. It seemed impossible to teach the men that the new rule was intended seriously ; and many a brave fellow, who had fancied foolishly enough that he would be exempted, or that he could evade the searcher, had the mortification of seeing the boots and cheeses which he had bought out of his scanty savings swimming in the harbour, or tossed unceremoniously into the first boat which came alongside, to be landed on the quay, where they would be at the mercy of any chance Autolycus.

These things were hard to bear and not easily forgiven ; while the blow was driven home on the arrival of the Packet at her destination, when the merchants’ clerks would come down offering Jack famine prices for the very goods he had been robbed of – so he would naturally put it to himself – and the price of many a spree on shore, to say nothing of pretty things for the wife at home, would go back into the merchant’s pocket instead of jingling in Jack’s.

The wages were raised on the boats which were no longer allowed to trade, but the increase by no means compensated for the profits lost, and the seamen maintained that they were still lower than the current rate in the Merchant Service. If they were reminded that merchant sailors were exposed to the danger of the pressgang, while Packetsmen carried protections, they retorted that the protections were not always respected.

This was true enough. For when the pressgangs were sweeping the streets of Falmouth, bursting forcibly into sailors’ drinking shops, and, half drunk themselves, giving chase to any sturdy fellow whom they met, it often happened that a Packetsman was seized and only laughed at, or knocked down and soundly cursed, when he claimed exemption. Sometimes his protection was torn in the scuffle. Sometimes it was fraudulently taken from him and if then he lost his temper and became violent, he was told that his mutinous conduct had deprived him of any right to protection ; and not even the intervention of the agent, or of the Postmaster General, could restore him to the Packet Service.

So the irritation at Falmouth went on, sometimes seeming to die away, but ever reasserting itself, and often threatening serious trouble. There needed but some natural occasion for an outbreak and such an occasion was found in 1810.

In that year, for some unrecorded reason, the Lisbon Packets were brought into line with the West India boats, and private trade was henceforth forbidden on both. The Lisbon sailors resented the new rule fiercely; and the long-threatened tumult broke out at last in resentment over the somewhat excessive zeal with which the searchers and the Custom-House officers enforced it.

Before entering on the details of the curious events which accompanied this outbreak, it will be well to refer to two actions fought about this time, not only because both were skilfully conducted and very gallantly fought ; but even more because the crew of the “Duke of Marlborough” which was the Packet engaged, were ringleaders in the coming revolt, and the circumstances show that their discontent in no way affected the spirit in which they fought.

The first of these actions occurred on July 26th, 1810, when the “Duke of Marlborough”, was on her homeward voyage from Lisbon, under the command of Mr. James, who had defended her so bravely in 1807. Her adversary was a French brig Privateer, carrying no less than eight guns (believed to be 18-pounders) on her broadside, in addition to one on the forecastle, with a very large complement of men ; and the action was conducted at such close quarters that one of the French sailors, having fired his musket at Mr. James, and missed him, threw the weapon at him. It was well for the Falmouth men, outnumbered as they were, that this was so ; for if the Privateer had chosen a more distant position, her heavy guns must in the end have given her the victory ; whereas in meeting boarders the British sailor is in his element, and time after time as the French came on the Falmouth men met them cheerfully, and always drove them back.

For an hour and fifty minutes of almost ceaseless fighting Mr. James and his brave crew maintained their dogged and obstinate resistance, until at last a well aimed shot brought down the Privateer’s foretopmast, and she sheered off, leaving the “Duke of Marlborough” to pursue her voyage. It was not too soon, for there were several feet of water in the Packet’s hold, and she would probably have sunk if the fight had lasted much longer. Mr. James had three men wounded, but fortunately none killed.

The second action was remarkable in this respect, that it occurred in full sight of home.

It was on October 1st, in the same year 1810. The “Duke of Marlborough” was once more homeward bound from Lisbon, and was approaching the coast of Cornwall on a thick, hazy morning, when she sighted a strange schooner, but almost at once lost her again in the mist. At 9 A.M. the Packet was within three leagues of the Lizard, and Pendennis Castle, which crowns the entrance to Falmouth Harbour was in sight, when the strange vessel reappeared suddenly, standing towards the Packet under a press of sail. Captain Bull made the private signal, but it remained unanswered and though the English coast was so close that it appeared the height of audacity for an enemy to venture an attack, he judged it prudent to order the ship to be cleared for action. His orders were obeyed with alacrity; and having seen the boarding nettings triced up, the mail brought on deck and shotted, and every other preparation made, he spoke a few encouraging words to his crew. He was a man of brief and pithy speech, and knew his crew too well to suppose that any but the plainest eloquence was needed. Therefore, pointing to the shore, which was then clearly visible, he simply said, “Now, my lads, there is Pendennis, there are your homes” and felt content, as well he might, that no man on board would forget that he was about to fight under the eyes of his friends, and in sight of his own cottage door.

The wind had almost dropped, and the sea was perfectly smooth, so that the vessels neared each other slowly, and in silence. There was a period of waiting. The schooner had hoisted no colours, and her nationality was still uncertain, when Mr. James, perhaps losing patience, fired a musket at her, whereon she ran up the French ensign, with a bloody flag, in token that she would give no quarter. This was quite enough for Captain Bull He gave the word to his gunners, and a broadside of canister and musket balls roared out across the bay, doing great execution at the short distance which separated the vessels.

This was at 10 A.M., and the engagement at once became general. At I0.30 A.M. the Privateer ran down with the evident intention of boarding and as the enemy were seen to be in great numbers it was judged prudent to sink the mail. It was unfortunate that this decision was not delayed a few minutes longer ; for just as the two ships were grazing each other, and the boarding party were grouped together on the forecastle of the Privateer, they were discouraged by a gun crammed with canister which Captain Bull fired into their midst. In the confusion following this slaughter, the Privateer fell away, and the opportunity of boarding was lost. The cannonade was then resumed, but without much spirit, and in half an hour more the Privateer got out her sweeps, and placed herself beyond the reach of her adversary’s guns. It was indeed high time for her to be off : for Lieutenant James Cock, R.N., who was stationed at the signal post at Falmouth, put off from land with two boats full of men as soon as he heard the firing, and was now close at hand. The action was over however before he came on board, and there was nothing left but for him to congratulate the victors. Such was the conduct of the crew of the “Duke of Marlborough” in face of the enemy ; and it will be only fair to set this conduct to their credit as against the part they took in the events now to be related.

In August, 1810, Mr. Saverland, the Post-Office agent at Falmouth, reported to his chiefs in London that there was some “uneasiness” among the sailors of the Lisbon Packets. This restless and dissatisfied feeling originated of course in the sailors’ standing grievance, namely the suppression of the private trade. But it had another basis also ; and they were certainly on stronger ground when they pointed out that since the rate of their wages was fixed, a rate intended to include some compensation for the loss of trading profits, the prices of all commodities had risen so enormously as to render it a sheer impossibility for the men to support their families on their pay.

There seems little doubt that the rate of wages was too low. The agent certainly was of that opinion ; and he stated that the seamen urged their complaint with great moderation and propriety. They assembled in great numbers outside the agent’s on August 15th, and selected two men from the crew of each Packet, whom they charged with the presentation of their memorial. This document contained a temperate statement of their case, and was in due course forwarded to London for consideration.

The Post-Office took the not unnatural view that the question of increasing the wages of the seamen was one for the consideration solely of the captains, who received a fixed yearly payment from the office, and might distribute it, within certain limits, as they pleased. There was, moreover, some intention of re-opening the question of the private trade, and of seeking legal sanction for it, on the condition that a certain portion of the profits should be appropriated by the Department. Both these considerations led to some delay in dealing with the memorial.

On August 24th the seamen returned in a large body to the agent’s office, and inquired whether there were any answer to their memorial. On being told that none had been received they dispersed quietly, and Mr. Saverland, in reporting the matter to London, stated that he did not apprehend any disturbance, but thought that if the position of the men was not in some way improved, many of them would leave the Service. It was finally resolved to obtain the materials for a full comparison between the wages paid to the seamen serving on the Packets and those employed in the navy and the Revenue Service. With some care the comparison was made, and it resulted that the seamen on the Packets were somewhat better paid than those in the navy. It did not of course follow necessarily from this that the wages were fully adequate, but none could expect that a public department would pay more than the current rate.

It was early in October when this conclusion was reached ; and though it was of course not acceptable to the sailors, it seems possible that a contented feeling might have sprung up again. At this  moment, however, the smouldering discontent was blown up into a fierce fire by the action of the Customs officers.

The “Prince Adolphus” Captain Boulderson, was announced to sail on October 24th, for the Mediterranean, and at noon on that day her crew was mustered, the mails and passengers were on board, and the Packet was ready to slip her moorings. The “Duke of Marlborough” was to sail in company with her for Lisbon. At the last moment the Customs officer came on board; and, not content with satisfying himself that no large quantity of goods was stored in either Packet, he caused the sailors’ chests to be broken open, and confiscated the little private ventures which the men considered themselves entitled to retain. The crew of the “Prince Adolphus” at once refused to take the ship to sea ; and after trying in vain to induce them to return to their duty, Captain Boulderson made the signal for the agent to come on board.

Mr. Saverland lost no time in boarding the Packet, and reasoned with the crew, pointing out that by refusing to obey orders they forfeited their claim to protection against the Impress. He failed, however, to produce any effect ; and was returning on shore to consult with Captain Slade, the senior naval officer then at Falmouth, when he was hailed by Captain Bull. On pulling alongside the “Duke of Marlborough” Mr. Saverland learned that the Customs officer was then on board that Packet, acting with the same violence which had provoked the sailors of the “Prince Adolphus” and that Captain Bull feared the same results would follow.

Mr. Saverland was, however, powerless to interfere and returned on shore where he held a consultation with Captain Slade. They were quickly joined by Captain Bull, who stated that his crew had, as he feared, refused to proceed to sea. He thought, however, that the personal influence of the agent might have a good effect, and it was noticed that the “Duke of Marlborough’s” men did not return the cheers with which the crew of the “Prince Adolphus”, announced what they probably considered a moral victory. Having arranged therefore that Captain Slade should forthwith board the “Prince Adolphus” and impress the mutineers, Mr. Saverland returned to the “Duke of Marlborough” , where he remained for two hours, using every kind of argument, but in vain. Captain Bull therefore ordered the sails to be furled : and the mutinous seamen from his ship also were pressed. This was not done without some difficulty. Several of the older men resisted stoutly ; and one drew his knife on Captain Slade, fortunately, however, without injuring him.

On the following morning a very large number of seamen assembled in the court-yard before the agent’s office, loudly demanding the release of the men who had been pressed ; and asserting that they would not return to their duty until this demand was complied with. It was unanimously resolved that no concessions could be made to the men while they remained mutinous ; and the so great that the disturbance shortly became magistrates were sent for and the Riot Act read. The seamen thereupon retired, cheering as they went, but the aspect of affairs was so threatening that the garrison was got under arms, and Mr. Saverland thought it prudent to acquaint Sir Robert Calder, who was then in command at Plymouth, with the facts of the case.

On the following day there was no improvement. The sailors assembled on the bowling green, on an eminence above the town. They had been joined by practically all the Packetsmen who were in Falmouth at the time; and Mr. Saverland, visiting each Packet in succession, found only the officers and a few boys on board. The mutineers had now added to their demand for the release of the pressed men, a claim for additional pay. The next day the public crier went round the streets of Flushing calling on all Packetsmen, lumpers, and riggers, to assemble that evening at the “Seven Stars” , Tavern. The object of the meeting was to select two delegates who were to proceed to London, and lay the complaints of the men before the Postmaster General. Accordingly two men, Richard Pascoe and John Parker, were chosen ; and started by the mail coach for London on the morning of the 28th.

The naval officers, who were acting in concert with Mr. Saverland, were strongly of opinion that the mutiny was the work of a few men, and would collapse if the ringleaders could be secured. They determined, therefore, to surround the “Seven Stars” while the meeting was in progress, and with this view a boat’s crew entered Mylor Creek; and was marched over the hill down into the town of Flushing. The mutineers kept good watch however, if, indeed, the suspicion entertained by the naval officers, that there was bad faith on the part of some of the magistrates acquainted with the scheme, was groundless, and the attacking party found the tavern empty.

By this time a certain friction was manifest between the mayor (Mr. Angove) and magistrates of Falmouth, and the naval officers with whom the the agent acted. Mr. Saverland complained that the magistrates had shown no proper anxiety to secure the ringleaders ; and there is little room for doubting that not only the magistrates, but the whole town of Falmouth, sympathized with the seamen ; and, if they did not openly help them, were yet unwilling to take side against them. On the morning of the 28th Captain Slade urged the mayor to call in military aid, and to forcibly enter the houses of the ringleaders to secure their persons. At noon he left the mayor in the belief that both his proposals had been accepted ; but the suggestion of search warrants was quietly dropped ; and though a body of the West Essex Militia, then quartered in the neighbourhood, were summoned, they did not enter the town till six o’clock, while at four o’clock the sailors had marched in large parties, quite unmolested, into the open country.

In the meantime two cutters sent by Sir Robert Calder had arrived in the harbour, and were placed under the command of Captain Slade. The West Essex Militia were quartered in the town, and a sergeant’s guard was located in Flushing.

It is now necessary to return to the delegates chosen by the seamen to represent their grievances at the General Post-Office. Mr. Saverland had been careful to acquaint his chiefs with the fact of their departure ; and had despatched an express for this purpose, which, out-stripping the coach, reached London on the morning of October 29th. A consultation was at once held as to how Pascoe and Parker should be received. It seemed to the strict disciplinarians of that day impossible to countenance an act of mutiny by parleying with these men. Whatever foundations of justice there might be in their complaints, it was essential that the sailors should return to their duty before any discussion could take place. It was therefore suggested to the Admiralty that Pascoe and Parker should be impressed as soon as they arrived ; and having obtained the necessary instructions to the Regulating Officer at the Tower, and had the warrant backed by the Lord Mayor, whose authority was required before the men could be pressed within the limits of the city, the chiefs of the General Post-Office awaited the coming of the delegates with confidence. The men arrived late on the afternoon of the 29th, and were ushered into the room where the Secretary sat expecting them in company with the City Marshall. Their explanations were cut short they were told that they had no claim to be heard ; and they were handed over without more ado to the City Marshall, who forthwith lodged them in the Poultry Compter.

It must be remembered, if this proceeding seems harsh, that Pascoe and Parker came to London as representatives of men who were in open and riotous mutiny, and whose conduct, by impeding the mails, was inflicting serious loss on the mercantile community, and possibly even hampering the movements of the commanders of our troops and feets then engaged in active operations. Had these men come to London to present a memorial temperately urged by persons who were at the same time performing their duty, they would have been very differently received.

It appears, moreover, that the delegates had not been discreetly chosen. Pascoe, who was known in Falmouth by the nickname of “Sir Francis Burdett” had served as steward of the “Prince William Henry” Packet, and had afterwards been in the Excise, whence he was discharged for “seditious and treasonable expressions”. Parker was an American. There is no doubt that both men were noisy demagogues.

It had been the intention to bring the men up for examination at the Mansion House on October 30th, but on the morning of that day it was discovered that the Lord Mayor had doubts about his powers of impressing, within the city, men whose offence, if any, had been committed at Falmouth. A remand was accordingly granted in order that the matter might be reconsidered.

By this time the situation at Falmouth had materially changed. That firmness and zeal against the seamen which no entreaties or arguments used by the naval officers could arouse in the mayor and magistrates, was inspired in a moment by a happy thought of Mr. Saverland’s. He commenced to throw out hints of an important decision which would be taken very shortly if the mutiny did not subside, and which would be regretted by the town for many a day. The seed thus sown sprang up in a few hours into a very promising crop of rumours and reports. People went about with an uncomfortable suspicion that something was about to happen, and Mr. Saverland’s office was besieged by persons anxiously inquiring whether it was true that the Government had decided to remove the Packets to Plymouth. Mr. Saverland had received no hint of any such intention, but, seeing how great an effect the mere suggestion had produced, he dilated on the extreme probability of such a step, and protested that the conduct of the Falmouth seamen, and the almost avowed sympathy shown them by the constituted authorities of the town, had brought him, and his chiefs also, to the extreme limit of their patience.

The situation thus created was, as the mayor immediately felt, too serious to be ignored. The loss of the Packets would bring ruin on the town ; and on October 30th, a meeting of the citizens was hastily convened, and the whole situation was fully discussed.

There is perhaps some room for doubt whether the naval officers and the agent, on whom the chief burden of responsibility fell throughout these anxious days, did not overrate the extent to which the mayor and magistrates supported and encouraged the mutineers. It is certain, however, that on the very day on which the town’s meeting was held the aspect of affairs began to improve, and that evening Mr. Saverland was able to report to London that some men were already returning to their duty. On the following day the upward tendency was more marked, and it was intimated to the agent that the greater part of the men would return if they could be assured that they would be well received, and would not be abandoned to the pressgang. Mr. Saverland at once caused a notice to be printed and distributed, promising protection to all men who would return except four or five who were specially named, and who had distinguished them- selves by particularly riotous conduct. This notice had an excellent effect, and on the evening of the day on which it was issued there was a full muster of men on board all the Packets.

The mischief was, however, done. The threatening aspect of the mutiny, and the impossibility of despatching the mails, had caused an amount of anxiety and alarm which was not to be allayed by the simple announcement that the men had returned to their ships. It was felt necessary to mark the occasion in some signal way, and the idea of removing the Packets to Plymouth, which had entered Mr. Saverland’s mind on October 30th, occurred quite independently to the Secretary of the Treasury on the same day. It thus happened that the Secretary of the Post-Office, on repairing to Whitehall on October 31st, to suggest the adoption of this plan, found that it was already being favourably considered, and that very day instructions were sent to Sir Robert Calder to despatch forthwith to Falmouth a force sufficient to navigate the Packets round to Plymouth.

The news fell like a thunderbolt on Falmouth. It was received on November 2nd, and even Mr. Saverland was not prepared for it. The sailors had, as already stated, returned to their ships, and the step appeared so little necessary that the agent thought that his chiefs in London must have failed to comprehend how much the situation had improved, and he consequently sent off an express with a full report. The measure was, however, dictated by a strong feeling that it was necessary, once for all, to show the seamen and the inhabitants of Falmouth that they were not masters of the position. It was felt, not unjustly, that the danger and inconvenience of any interruption of the Postal Service was great enough to warrant the Department in giving a severe lesson, and the decision to remove the Packets ,was consequently persisted in.

On November 6th “H.M.S. North Star”, accompanied by a frigate and two sloops of war, entered Falmouth Harbour, and set sail again for Plymouth in company with six Packets. On first reaching Plymouth the Packets lay in Hamoaze, while a temporary office was secured for the agent and his staff at the “Fountain Inn”.

It was not long before agent, officers, and men, wished themselves heartily back at Falmouth. Writing to the Secretary of the Post-Office on November 13th Mr. Saverland says:

“I hope the Packets will not remain here as a fixed station. If they do, the establishment must be greatly increased and the correspondence delayed. Both the West India and American Mails were ready yesterday by about noon, but what with the passengers in different and distant inns, the Packets in different places, the cartage of the mails, the purchasing of their anchors in very deep water – pilotage not one man-of-war ever goes to sea without, so dangerous is the passage – that I see very clearly we shall not gain anything in getting to sea, though the mail arrives here in the morning. In the late gale the “Diana”  parted her cable and was nearly on shore, and the “Stately” a 74, nearly ran on board the “Despatch” and would have sunk her if she had, but fortunately she ran on board a hulk, and just saved the Packet. In Hamoaze and the Sound the water is so deep that if it blows a little the Packets cannot weigh their anchors, and anchors are so distributed about by ships cutting and slipping their cables that cables are worn out in a few hours. The “Elizabeth” cut a new cable which cost £140 nearly through last night, getting foul of some anchor or wreck”.

Again a few days later he wrote:

“The Packets lie very badly here. Unless moorings are laid down, and a separate place assigned, some of them will be lost before the winter is over. The seamen are obliged to be victualled constantly on board, and stock of all kinds is dearer than at Falmouth, together with greater wear and tear, exclusive of risk….”.

These representations were of course not withouteffect, and were pressed home by the fact that on more than one occasion Packets which set sail from Plymouth in stormy weather were obliged to run for Falmouth for shelter. The Post-Office, moreover, was exposed at this time to strong pressure exerted by prominent persons in Cornwall, who used all their influence to secure the return of the Packets to Falmouth.

At that time forty-four members were returned to the House of Commons from Cornwall, and it was rightly foreseen that these members would act unanimously in the matter. A deputation of the inhabitants of Falmouth had, moreover, reached London early in November. It consisted of the mayor, Mr. James Bull, Mr. John Carne, and Mr. Robert W. Fox. These gentlemen had an interview with the Secretary of the Post-Office on November 10th, but received what was to them an unsatisfactory answer to their representations. The unyielding disposition shown to them was due not only to a conviction that it was much too soon to give way, but also to the difficulties arising from the case of Pascoe and Parker.

These two men were in a high state of exultation. The consultations held upon their case had led to the conclusion that they could not legally be punished, and there was no alternative but to set them at liberty. It was not to be expected that under the circumstances they would let slip the opportunity of making capital out of their arrest, and they promptly commenced an action for false imprisonment against the Secretary of the Post- Office, laying the damages at the modest sum of £5000 each. In order to obtain the funds necessary for the preliminary steps in the matter they issued an appeal at Falmouth. It was headed, “To the Friends and Advocates of Justice” and described in feeling terms the sufferings endured by the delegates during their confinement of three days “in a dreadful gaol, having nothing to make use of, not even straw to lie on”. It does not appear what response this appeal met with.

The mayor and his companions passed many days in London, and at last returned to Cornwall without having obtained any pledge concerning the return of the Packets to Falmouth. In fact, a strong effort was made at this time by persons interested in the port of Fowey to persuade the Post-Office that that harbour was better suited for a Packet station than Falmouth. There was never any great prospect that this contention would prevail, but it deserved consideration, and it was thought desirable to have a full report upon Fowey made by a competent engineer.

That report when received was unfavourable, and by the end of the year there was no longer any doubt in the minds of the Government that no harbour existed which combined so many advantages for the purposes of a Packet station as Falmouth. It was not thought, however, that the town had been sufficiently punished, and only at the end of January, 1811, did the Treasury sanction the return of the Packets. Long before that time the action threatened by Pascoe and Parker had been dropped. Pressure was applied to them by the townspeople, who rightly judged that it was their interest to conciliate the Post-Office rather than to fight it.

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