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Folklore: Brave Benbow

DigiTrad:
ADMIRAL BENBOW
ADMIRAL BENBOW (2)


Related threads:
(origins) Origins: Admiral Benbow (74)
happy? - Aug 14 (Death of Benbow) (2)
Lyr Req: Admiral Benbow (7)


Forsh 20 Mar 08 - 04:48 PM
GUEST,Arnie at work 20 Mar 08 - 05:19 PM
Waddon Pete 20 Mar 08 - 05:22 PM
The Mole Catcher's Apprentice (inactive) 20 Mar 08 - 05:24 PM
Doc John 20 Mar 08 - 05:33 PM
michaelr 20 Mar 08 - 09:06 PM
GUEST,doc.tom 21 Mar 08 - 09:50 AM
Cats 21 Mar 08 - 12:05 PM
GUEST,Chicken Charlie 21 Mar 08 - 12:32 PM
the lemonade lady 21 Mar 08 - 07:28 PM
Reiver 2 21 Mar 08 - 08:36 PM
Reiver 2 21 Mar 08 - 08:41 PM
Reiver 2 21 Mar 08 - 09:24 PM
Doc John 22 Mar 08 - 07:48 AM
Cats 22 Mar 08 - 08:20 AM
Doc John 22 Mar 08 - 10:18 AM
Forsh 07 Apr 08 - 03:37 PM
GUEST,Jon Dudley 08 Apr 08 - 09:08 AM
The Walrus 08 Apr 08 - 11:10 AM
Schantieman 08 Apr 08 - 04:06 PM
Gurney 09 Apr 08 - 03:36 AM
GUEST,Mr Grumpy 09 Apr 08 - 03:44 AM
GUEST,PMB 09 Apr 08 - 04:20 AM
GUEST,kevin benbow 01 Dec 11 - 05:01 PM
MGM·Lion 02 Dec 11 - 12:18 AM
MGM·Lion 02 Dec 11 - 12:26 AM
MGM·Lion 02 Dec 11 - 12:50 AM
r.padgett 02 Dec 11 - 03:42 AM
Richard Bridge 02 Dec 11 - 05:25 AM
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Subject: Folklore: Brave Benbow
From: Forsh
Date: 20 Mar 08 - 04:48 PM

Brave Benbow he set sail, etc ... any folklore behind this song? Any basis for it? Is it about a 'real' person?
Ta!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Brave Benbow
From: GUEST,Arnie at work
Date: 20 Mar 08 - 05:19 PM

Forsh,

A quick look on google reveals the following;-

Nearly 300 years ago, when the British Royal Navy was in its infancy, four Captains mutinied and left their Admiral to be destroyed by the enemy.BRAVE BENBOW is the story of this mutiny and the mystery that surrounds it.In this biography the author, William A. Benbow, traces the life of the Vice-Admiral from his origins as a waterman along the Severn River in Shropshire to the ignominious mutiny.His career in the Navy begins in 1678 fighting pirates in the Mediterranean. Before long he is driven out by his temper and harsh tongue, court martialled for insulting a fellow officer. He returns to the sea in command of his own merchantman and establishes his bloodthirsty reputation by delivering the heads of several pirates to the authorities in Cadiz.

Arnie


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Brave Benbow
From: Waddon Pete
Date: 20 Mar 08 - 05:22 PM

Have a look here!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Brave Benbow
From: The Mole Catcher's Apprentice (inactive)
Date: 20 Mar 08 - 05:24 PM

This probably the gentleman you seek.
John Benbow

One version of the song

Another version of the song

Charlotte (enquiries made)


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Brave Benbow
From: Doc John
Date: 20 Mar 08 - 05:33 PM

Thanks for finding the links: Benbow seems to be one of those people who's remembered better in song than in the history books - John Franklin is another. An idea for another thread? Cyril Tawney does a good version of the song.
Doc John


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Brave Benbow
From: michaelr
Date: 20 Mar 08 - 09:06 PM

See also this thread.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Brave Benbow
From: GUEST,doc.tom
Date: 21 Mar 08 - 09:50 AM

In addition to the two broadsides about the 'mutiny' engagement, there's also 'The Siege of St. Malo' - collected in Cornwall, from when he was a mere captain, and another about the episode where he delivered spanish heads at Cadiz (to the tune of High Barbary)! So definitely remembered better in song.

Tom


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Brave Benbow
From: Cats
Date: 21 Mar 08 - 12:05 PM

Both the captains are said to be buried near the altar of Charles Church in Plymouth. Their coffins were found in about 1816 when renovations were being done.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Brave Benbow
From: GUEST,Chicken Charlie
Date: 21 Mar 08 - 12:32 PM

In Stevenson's "Treasure Island," the name of the inn where the characters of Blind Pew and Long John Silver are introduced is the "Admiral Benbow."

The Royal Navy named two successive battleships "HMS Benbow."

The first was an 'Admiral' class proto-battleship, in service in 1888 and scrapped in 1909, by which time she was long obsolete. This Benbow was a sister-ship (same blueprints) of HMS Camperdown, which was involved in the famous Victoria-Camperdown collision in 1893. Naval historians are still trying to figure that one out.

The second was an 'Iron Duke'-class--state of the art for World War I. It was in service 1914 to 1931. In 1915, it was the flagship of Adm. Doveton Sturdee, a fairly well-known British admiral of the day. This Benbow fought at Jutland and in the Russian Civil War, where Britain backed the 'Whites' against those dastardly Bolsheviks.

There may be more ....

CC


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Brave Benbow
From: the lemonade lady
Date: 21 Mar 08 - 07:28 PM

Shrewsbury's greatest navel commander Admiral John Benbow, the son of a local tanner, who was born in a house on Coton Hill around 1650. Part of the house remained in Furrows Garage until the building was demolished in 2004. In a glass fronted case on the side of the house was a section of a sycamore tree with a key hanging from a rusty old nail. It was supposed to have been put there by Benbow on the day he ran away to sea as a boy. William III called him "Honest Benbow" and he has become known as the Nelson of the 17th century.

He fought the French off Beachy Head in 1690 and at La Hague in 1692. His greatest battle was off the coast of Jamaica where he drove off a much larger French fleet after some of his captains refused to fight. During the battle he was mortally wounded but his gallantry is recorded in a ballad that tells us that after having his legs removed by chain-shot, he remained in control of the battle by having his bed brought up onto the quarterdeck. His remains lie in St. Andrew's Church in Kingston Jamaica and in 1841 a beautiful marble monument was erected to his memory in St. Mary's Church after £60 was raised by a number of Shrewsbury residents.

Just thought it was interesting...

Sal


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Brave Benbow
From: Reiver 2
Date: 21 Mar 08 - 08:36 PM

There is a LONG entry in Wikipedia on John Benbow - worth reading for anyone who is interested in learning about the real man. He had an up and down career in the British Navy, leaving it in 1861, with the rank of Master, for the merchant service after a court martial found him guilty of repeating another crew member's complaint against a ship's Captain over a question of the allocation of prize money.

He returned to the Navy in 1688 as a Third Lieutenant, and rose rapidly in rank reaching the rank of admiral by 1695. He has not been entirely forgotton by historians. Arthur Herman, in his fine book "To Rule the Waves: How the British Navy Shaped the Modern World" describes Benbow, as a Vice-Admiral, leading a squadron of British ships to the West Indies in 1701, referring to him as one of the last of the "tarpaulin admirals" in the British Navy at that time. (These were men who, not being born into the aristocracy, had worked their way up through the ranks.)

Herman says (p.245) the "Benbow was one of the last tarpaulin captains of the old school, an 'honest, rough, seaman' who served under Admiral Herbert in scouring out corsair's nests along the Algerian coast.... He seemed the perfect man to deal with the French marauders along the Spanish Main." On 19, Aug. his flagship, Breda (70 guns) and five other ships of his squadron caught up with a flotilla of 9 French ships and Herman continues, "What followed would make Benbow the first popular hero of the 18th-century navy."

He pursued the French ships for three days, virtually single-handed as most of the other ships in his squadron hung back.Benbow engaged the French flagship and during the battle a chain shot shattered his left leg. He was ready to go on fighting but the captains of the other ships pleaded with him to break off the battle, even signing a letter to this effect. With his leg gone (it was amputated on board ship) and his ship "a shambles" he had no choice to break off.

When they returned to port Benbow brought charges of cowardice against the other ships captains. A court martial found two of them guilty and they were shot, and three others had their careers ruined. Shortly afterwards Benbow died of his wound. Herman quotes a popular song of the day that made Benbow "immortal."

Brave Benbow he set sail
For to fight, for to fight
Brave Benbow he set sail for to fight
Brave Benbow he set sail
with a fine and pleasant gale
But his captains they turn'd tail
In a fright, in a fright.

I wonder if that song is in the DT? I'm not sure what it was called -"Brave Benbow" would be a likely place to start. The Admiral Benbow Inn of Treasure Island fame was fictitious.

Reiver 2


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Brave Benbow
From: Reiver 2
Date: 21 Mar 08 - 08:41 PM

Whoops! I should have looked first. It's in the DT and there's a previous thread listed at the beginning of this thread. The words to the entire song are there (thanks, June Tabor) and the words quoted in Herman's book appear to be the chorus of the song.

Reiver 2


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Brave Benbow
From: Reiver 2
Date: 21 Mar 08 - 09:24 PM

More clarification of comments in the previous thread: Two of the other 7 ship in Benbow's squadron stayed with him in the battle. Both were smaller ships apparently, (frigates?) the "Falmouth" and the "Ruby." Richard Kirkby's ship was the "Defiant." Wade's ship was the "Greenwich". Kirkby and Wade were executed - by shooting, not by hanging. (Herman, "To Rule the Waves", p 246)

Reiver 2


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Brave Benbow
From: Doc John
Date: 22 Mar 08 - 07:48 AM

Does anyone know if there is a monument in St Snadrew's Church in Kingston, Jamaca?
Doc John


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Brave Benbow
From: Cats
Date: 22 Mar 08 - 08:20 AM

There is a photo of Benbows memorial plaque in Kingston, Jamiaca on this site.   http://bravebenbow.tripod.com/id1.html


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Brave Benbow
From: Doc John
Date: 22 Mar 08 - 10:18 AM

Thanks Cats, I'll put the information on the Church Monuments Society web page shortly.
Doc John


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Brave Benbow
From: Forsh
Date: 07 Apr 08 - 03:37 PM

Thanks, to all who responded, I have been away, so sorry my thanks are so late! No reply required!
Cheers!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Brave Benbow
From: GUEST,Jon Dudley
Date: 08 Apr 08 - 09:08 AM

A great song! And only in The Copper Family could it have been sung as a lullaby to a very young Bob by his grandfather Brasser. As Bob later recalled, the images of the poor unfortunate admiral skidding about the blood-stained deck upon his recently amputated legs, was enough to prevent his blowing the candle out when he went to bed.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Brave Benbow
From: The Walrus
Date: 08 Apr 08 - 11:10 AM

"This Benbow was a sister-ship (same blueprints) of HMS Camperdown, which was involved in the famous Victoria-Camperdown collision in 1893. Naval historians are still trying to figure that one out."
I Thought the whole matter was resovled years ago (I seem to remember reading about it some twenty odd years ago).
I seem to recall reading that they found the wreck of Victoria a few years back.

W


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Brave Benbow
From: Schantieman
Date: 08 Apr 08 - 04:06 PM

The Victoria - Camperdown disaster was, if I remember correctly (unlikely) a collision between two HM ships of that name in the early days of steam battleships - probably about 189something or other. The admiral had given an order for a fleet manoeuvre which involved two columns of ships turning towards each other - but they were too close and the leading ships collided - with the loss of all hands.

or maybe that was another two ships....?

Steve


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Brave Benbow
From: Gurney
Date: 09 Apr 08 - 03:36 AM

One of my favourite pubs was the Admiral Benbow, when I lived in Plymouth. Is it still there?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Brave Benbow
From: GUEST,Mr Grumpy
Date: 09 Apr 08 - 03:44 AM

I have slightly different words.

In particular

"Ruby and Noah's Ark fought the French"

And a different final verse

"And there bold Benbow lay
In great pain in great pain
And there bold Benbow lay
In great pain
Let us tack about once more
I will drive them on the shore
I reck not half a score
We shall gain, we shall gain"


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Brave Benbow
From: GUEST,PMB
Date: 09 Apr 08 - 04:20 AM

Wiki article on the Victoria/ Camperdown collision - it seems to have been naval idiocy on a Cloudesley Shovell scale. No one dared to contradict the commander- in- chief, even when he ordered the two colums of the fleet to turn directly into each other, and it's almost a miracle that only one ship went down.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Brave Benbow
From: GUEST,kevin benbow
Date: 01 Dec 11 - 05:01 PM

great reading


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Brave Benbow
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 02 Dec 11 - 12:18 AM

There is also the other Admiral Benbow song: other that is than the two with the "Sam Hall, chimney-sweep"-type chorus which are in DT, which begins "We sailed from Virginia & thence to Fayal, Where we watered our shipping and the we weighed all"; not another version, but a different song about the same man (Roud 227). It is in the Copper Family songbook, it appears, according to one note on the Google index:
"Admiral Benbow Song
bravebenbow.tripod.com/id19.html
Printed in The Copper Family Songbook - A Living Tradition. ADMIRAL BENBOW (4). We sailed from Virginia and thence to Fayall Where we watered our ships ..."

~Michael~


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Brave Benbow
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 02 Dec 11 - 12:26 AM

There's another thread ongoing dedicated largely to that one.

~M~


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Brave Benbow
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 02 Dec 11 - 12:50 AM

Subject: RE: Folklore: Brave Benbow
From: GUEST,Chicken Charlie - PM
Date: 21 Mar 08 - 12:32 PM
In Stevenson's "Treasure Island," the name of the inn where the characters of Blind Pew and Long John Silver are introduced is the "Admiral Benbow."


,..,

In interests of accuracy: in TI, Blind Pew does indeed visit the Admiral Benbow, where he tips the Black Spot to 'The Captain' Billy Bones, & later meets his death looking for the map after Bones has died.

Long John Silver, however, never comes to the Benbow: we [and Jim Hawkins] first meet him later, as landlord of the Spy Glass Inn in Bristol, whom Squire Trelawney had signed on as ship's cook to the Hispaniola; tho the Captain had previously warned Jim to beware of "a seafaring man with one leg", who turns out indeed to be Silver.

~M~


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Brave Benbow
From: r.padgett
Date: 02 Dec 11 - 03:42 AM

I found quite a lot on Benbow. There is a wiki I think on this and two songs

Speaking from memory, The Ruby and Benbow fought the French ~ the Ruby was one ship and Benbow captained the other here!

Was during War of Spanish Succession when Louis 14 (I think) of France had a certain right to the Spanish throne, and WE English and Dutch among others were totally against. circa 1702 Queen Anne on the Throne (a big girl)in England

Story got lost a bit in the songs and he lived to give evidence against the two captains who had had him sign a memo of disengagement egged on by the French Admiral!! One leg only not two! gangrene got him in the end
Frankly I get the impression he was gallant as he is made out!!
From memory honest based on prior research and an intro to the songs

Ray


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Brave Benbow
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 02 Dec 11 - 05:25 AM

I have previously seen a theory about the Camperdown disaster that the intention was to execute "the Gridiron manoeuvre" - but there were two different versions of that manoeuvre and one column tried to do one but the other column the other.


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