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TRAGEDY ON BOARD THE HANNAH NICHOLSON.

The barque Hannah Nicholson, Liske, master, from Mauritius bound for Adelaido, put into Portlaud Bay on the 7th May, short of provisions. The first mate, Mr. Anderson, reported that on Fiiday, the 2nd, the captain said that the crew had a design on his life. He complained of his head and locked himself in the cabin. In the afternoon he wenfc to the second mate and threatened to kill any person that would come in his way. Shortly after the captain, armed with a revolver, made his way on deck, and commenced firing at the man at the wheel, who narrowly escaped, as one of the balls struck and dinted the brass surroundings of the compass. After firing a number of shots he dived into the cabin, and as all the firearms and ammunition were stored below, as well as the provisions, the captain took command of the -whole, thus cutting off the crew ; and when any attempt was made to get afc the provisions, Liske, who was evidently iusane, kept firing away all round, at the same time keeping his own person

so concealed that it was impossible to come to close quarters with him. From Friday to Tuesday he kept stowed away in the cabin ; and when one oi the saiiors, called Robert Reeve, went down with the steward on Saturday to secure soino provisions, they were fired at by the captain through the cabin door. On Monday night ho made a great disturbance, battering at the bottom of the companion-ladder, and said he wanted water. A full bucket was lowered through the window which lights tho cabin. Shortly after he called for more, when Reeve, already mentioned, agreed to lot him have some more water provided a compass was given in return, and the exchange was made. At the time the exchange was made, the captain spoke so sensibly that Reeve volunteered to go into his cabin, but was persuaded by some of the crew not to venture, and the advice was good, as after-events proved. When the negotiation for the water and compass had been completed, the captain asked for coffee, and wns informed that he could have it if he sent up a chart ; but this he refused, and Reeve on venturing to go near the cabin-door was fired at, the bullet from a revolver lodging in the cheek-bone not more than two inches from the right eye. The mate subsequently extracted the bullet, and the wound will not be attended with great danger. After tho vessel had anchored, a warrant was issued for the apprehension of tho captain by the Portland bench, and put into the hands of the police. Constables Emerson aud Sault proceeded on board to execute the warrant ; the cabin-door was forced open, when the unfortunate man was found at tho table, in a sitting posture, dead, but not cold. The body was removed to Mac's Hotel. A number of loaded guns were found in the cabin — one of them ready cocked — and a paper was found in deceased's pocket, under date May 2nd, charging the crew of the barque with his murder. Ab the inquest, a lengthy investigation was held into the cause of tho death of Captain Liske. The jury returned the following verdict : — " We ftud thufc Captain William Lisko, of the barque Hannah Nicholson, was insano and violent. He was found dead, and there are no grounds of suspicion against the mate or crew ; also, there are no marks of external violence on the body."

Weeck oe the Seeica. — The Hong Kong Daily Press reports as follows :—": — " We have been favoured with the following particulars of the loss of the above vessel, whicli have been received from Captain Hugeman, of tlie Johnnn Smidt, arrived at Saigon froni Touron : — ' Two days beforo my departure from Touron, I was told by an Aniinite that there was a European on Bhoro in the house of the first mandarin. I went there and found a man who said that he was a sailor, and gave his name. He had been a boatswain on board the British ship Serica. The Serica had left Hong Kong on a Saturdny morning, bound to Monte Video, and on the following evening, between seven and eight o'clock, she struck on a reef, whicli, as the captain afterwards said, was the north shore of tho Paracels. It being very stormy, ma9ts, boats, and deck-houses wei*e swept away by the sea ; the crew made a raft, provided tliemselrea with some provisions, and left the ship. The crew consisted of twenty-eight hands. The captain died after four days, and eight men died a fow days later. On the eighth day, water and all provisions were finished. On the ninth dsiy the raft was smashed on a rock, whereby tho remaining crew, except ono of them, were drowned. The surviving man found some rain water, and lived on ehelld found on this rock. On the sixth day ho was saved by a fisherman, and brought ashore to a French missionary, who provided him with food, and with whom he stayed for cix days. Ho was then handed over to a mandarin, and was sent to Tovvim in a palanquin, where he arrived on the evening of the 20th of January, after a journey of three weeks. He speaks very favourably of the treatment he received on the journey and in Touron. He lived there wilh a mandarin, received clothing, food, and was provided with everything. Ho told me that the Government intended to send him to Hong Kong in a native craft or steamer, which was to leave shortly. He, however, showed me a letter written by a French missionary, and addressed to a brother in Saigon. The letter was dated Khanhoa, and stated the bearer was a wrecked sailor, who had suffered a great deal.' "

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TRAGEDY ON BOARD THE HANNAH NICHOLSON. Nelson Examiner and New Zealand Chronicle, Volume XXXII, Issue 47, 11 June 1873

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