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LOST SHIPS AND LONELY SEAS
 

This being, as I conceived, at no great distance from the spot where the Grosvenor was lost in 1782, I inquired whether any of the natives remembered such a catastrophe. Most of them answered in the affirmative and, ascending one of the sand hills, pointed to the place where the Grosvenor had suffered. I then desired to know whether they had received any certain accounts respecting the fate of Captain Coxon who was proceeding on his way to the Cape with a large party of people, including several men and women passengers that were saved from the wreck.

They answered that Captain Coxon and the men were slain. One of the chiefs having insisted on taking two of the white ladies to his kraal, the captain and his officers resisted and not being armed were immediately destroyed. The natives at the same time gave me to understand that at the period when the Grosvenor was wrecked their nation was at war with the colonists, and as Captain Coxon and his crew were whites they could not tell but they would assist the colonists.

The fate of the unfortunate English ladies gave me so much uneasiness that I most earnestly requested the natives to tell me all they knew of the situation, whether they were alive or dead, and if living what part of the country they inhabited. They replied with much apparent concern that one of the ladies had died a short time after her arrival at the kraal, but they understood that the other was living and had several children by the chief. "Where she is now, we know not," said they.

 

There was evidence of an earlier mystery of this mournful kind when the Doddington was wrecked on a rock in the Indian Ocean in 1755. Her crew