Christmas Day 1833

Port Desire
After dining in the Gun-room, the officers & almost every man in the ship went on shore. The Captain distributed prizes to the best runners, leapers, wrestlers. These Olympic games were very amusing; it was quite delightful to see with what school-boy eagerness the seamen enjoyed them: old men with long beards & young men without any were playing like so many children. Certainly a much better way of passing Christmas day than the usual one, of every seaman getting as drunk as he possibly can.
Captain Fitzroy’s Journal:
His (Corporal Williams – see previous post) body was found, about three miles down the river, at sun-set the next evening (Christmas day). The governor (though a Roman catholic) allowed the burial to take place in the consecrated ground of the church, and the curate himself was present.
Syms Covington’s Journal:
Here we spent our Christmas; THE ships company went on shore. The Captain put prizes up for wrestling, jumping in sacks, running,etc.

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