, an eminent English officer in the East India service, was born
, an eminent English officer in the East India service, was born at Milford Haven about 1721, and embarked in a sea life at twelve years of age. He was not more than twenty when he obtained the command of a ship. He was with sir Edward Hawke in the West Indies in 1738, as a junior officer. Some years after he commanded a ship in the Virginia trade but in her he wsa taken by the Spaniards in the gulph of Florida, and carried a prisoner to the Havannah. After he and his crew, consisting of fifteen persons, were released from the Spanish prison, they embarked in a small brig for Carolina. The second day after putting to sea, a very hard gale of wind came on, the vessel strained, and soon became so leaky that the pumps and the people baling could not keep her free; and at length, being worn out with labour, seven of them, with Mr. James, got into the only boat they had, with a small bag of biscuit and a keg of water: the vessel soon after disappeared, and went down. They were twenty days in this boat without a compass; their biscuit soon got wet with the sea, which for two days made a breach over the boat; a snuff-box sir William had with him served to distribute their daily allowance of water: and after encountering every difficulty of famine and severe labour, on the twentieth day they found themselves on the islam) of Cuba, not ten miles from whence they had been embarked out of a Spanish prison: but a prison had no horrors to them. The Spaniards received them once more into captivity; and it is remarkable, that only one out of the seven perished, though after they got on shore few of them had the use of their limbs for many days.