Escape from the 'Luxborough Galley' RMG BHC2387
Escape from the 'Luxborough Galley'
The captain and twenty-one men and boys escaped in the ship’s boat, called a yawl. They sewed together seamen’s frocks to make a sail which they set on the oars. Some of the crew suffered from exposure and thirst while others keep watch or bale out as they sailed for land. They were adrift for two weeks, during which time some of the crew died.
The ‘Luxborough’ galley, captained by William Kellaway, carried slaves for the South Sea Company. She was lost between the Caribbean and England on the third part of the infamous Triangular Trade. She left England in October 1725 for Cabinda in West Africa, on the first leg of the triangular route. Here the captain exchanged his cargo of Indian cottons and trade goods for 600 slaves. During the second leg of the triangle, between Africa and the Caribbean, eight crew and 203 Africans died of smallpox before arriving in Jamaica in October 1726. After selling the surviving slaves, the ‘Luxborough’ galley left Jamaica in May 1727 for England, loaded with rum and sugar. On 25 June 1727 she was accidentally set on fire when a keg of rum in the spirit room burst and the ship caught fire and sank. Kelloway and his crew were then set adrift in the mid-Atlantic. After a fortnight the yawl arrived on the coast of Newfoundland 7 July 1727 and was rescued by fishermen. The loss of the ‘Luxborough’ galley by fire was notorious because the survivors in the ship's boat had to resort to cannibalism to stay alive. This is one of a set of six scenes, The Loss of the ‘Luxborough’ Galley in 1727 and the Escape of Some of her Crew.
Signed and dated ‘I.C. 1760’.
Escape from the Luxborough Galley