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26 These weary years of toil and peril were also years of great professional responsibility for the Engineer, and of constant anxiety for the safety of his devoted band of associates, including shipmasters, landing-masters, foremen, and workmen, in all of whom Mr. Stevenson took a cordial and ever friendly interest, and in whom he invariably placed implicit confidence when he found that their several duties were faithfully discharged. To form strong attachments to trustworthy fellow-workmen was ever a marked feature in my fatherâ€™s character, and after a lapse of nearly half a century many who joined in his labours at the Bell Rock were still associated with him in the business of his office, or as Inspectors of works.
I have read with great interest your fatherâ€™s notes upon the fisheries of Scotland. They bear distinctly the impress of that practical and accurate mind with which he is described as having been endowed. It is also pleasant to see that his mind went a great deal further, and grasped the application of science to solve the mystery of fishings.
Captain Smith then despatched officers and men in three boats to endeavour to save as much as possible, but a report having gone abroad that she had gunpowder on board no person ventured near the vessel on fire till it was too late to be of any service, and in the morning when Captain Smith and I went on shore nothing remained but the keel and a few of the â€˜futtocksâ€™ half burned, and the mast over by the deck, the lower part having been consumed by the171 flames. The vessel was just getting under weigh when the accident occurred, through the carelessness of a boy, who set a lighted candle into a crate of straw in which bottles were packed. The crew soon afterwards appear to have carelessly deserted the vessel and landed at Mounts Bay, three miles from Mousehole, and appear not to have been very active in doing what was in their power. The loss of ship and cargo was estimated at ï¿¡14,000.
In the time of the Romans the Ribble seems to have been the chief port of this district, and Ribchester is said to have been a city as great as any out of Rome; the port was Poulton below Preston, at the Neb of the Naze, so vastly inferior at the present time to various situations on the Mersey and the Dee that it is impossible not to admit that some extraordinary change has taken place in their physical condition since that period. Tradition says that the port of the Ribble was destroyed by an earthquake, and also that there were tremendous inundations in Cheshire and Lancashire about the termination of the Roman sway in Britain; and various phenomena we have seen seem to point to some such catastrophe.