RepositoryCheshire Record Office
ReferenceDDS 21/13
TitleDraft of a (inscription?) memorial to commemorate Peter Downes son of Peter Downes Esq., of Butley, dead of wounds suffered in naval action
Datec 1798

To the Memory of a brave young Midshipman/And for an Example to British Youth.

"Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall/not fear".

Peter Downes, Son of Peter Downes Esqr. & Elizabeth Anne/his Wife; was born at Butley in this County on the/9th of September 1778; & died near the Island/of Candia in the mediterranean Sea/on the 19th of August 1798 in the 20th/year of his Age./

From the impulse of his own mind,/propelling Him irresistibly to the/Pursuit of Glory, He entered into the/Naval Service of his Country in the/Beginning of the Year 1793 and in the/14th Year of his Age./

Providence had bestowed on Him a/quick & happy Genius, a manly & en-/terprising Spirit, & at the same time/a mild & amiable Heart: By such Qualifications He acquired from his/first Outset, the Esteem of all his/Comrades, & the particular Friendship/of all his Superiors./

With the highest Credit to Himself,/ He shared for four Years in a Variety/ of active & honourable Services on Board/ several Vessels, and on different Seas, un-/der the Care of a brave & excellent Officer/Sir Charles Hamilton, Bart. his worthy Com/mander & his anxious Patron./

In the Beginning of 1797, He sailed/ with Captain Thompson in the Leander/of 50 Guns. In the memorable Des-/cent at Teneriffe the same/Year He volunteered amon the foremost/with his Captain./

On the glorious 1st & 2nd of August 1798/when the Leander bore so conspicuous &/useful a part in the Victory of the Nile/ his Ardour & Exertions were greatly/noticed; & on the 18th of the same Month/He fought most intrepidly & fell most/heroically in an Action that will never/be forgotten in the Annals of our/Naval History: in reward of/which His Majesty was graciously/pleased to confer the Honour of Knight/hood on Captain. now Sir Thomas Bould/-en Thompson Knight; & concerning which/ a British Court-Martial deliver'd their/Opinion, "That the gallant & almost/unprecedented Defence of Captain/Thompson of the Leander against so/superior a Force as that of the Gene/reux is deserving of every Praise/his Country and this Court can give:/that his Conduct with that of the/Officers & Men under his Command/reflects not only the highest Honour/on Himself & them, but to their Country at large."

Having performed his very utmost/Duty ("most fully indeed" as his Captain/was pleased to express) in this bloody &/desperate Conflict through several Hours/close fighting, He at last received a/mortal Wound, and the following Day/after much severe Suffering which He/bore with the Resignation of a Christian/confiding in the Promises of/his Redeemer He quitted a Life,/early & cheerfully devoted to his/Country, in the Hopes of a blessed/Resurrection./

"Be thou faithful unto Death, & I/will give thee a Crown of Life".

Mark: None.
Physical DescriptionPaper: 1 sheet folded, 4 pp. 9" wide by 13", written pp. 1, 2, 3. Watermark.
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