Publisher: London: Printed for Captain Inglefield, the Author: And Sold by J. Murray, 1787.
Edition: First edition.
Bibliographical References: ESTC T111008, which records five copies: BL (2), Oxford, Cornell and UCB.
Condition: Some light foxing; fine copy.
Book ID: 27838
Description8vo, disbound, 68 pages. Half-title present.
CommentsCaptain John Nicholson Inglefield (1748-1828) was the skipper of the Centaur, which encountered a massive hurricane when returning to England from the West Indies in 1782. Only a few of the seamen and Inglefield survived, an account of which he published in 1783 as the Narrative Concerning the Loss of His Majesty's Ship the Centaur. The harrowing story became a sensation and James Boswell, among others, sought meetings with the legendary Captain. See Boswell, The Applause of the Jury, pages 130-34; Huntress, A Checklist of Naratives of Shipwrecks and Disasters at Sea, 97C; and Seymour, Boswell's Books, 1735, for Boswell's copy of Inglefield's Narrative. Three years later Inglefield and his wife Ann got into a nasty martial dispute which went public. He accused her of having an improper relationship with their black manservant. She denied the accusation; he demanded a separation; she sued him for desertion and won her case in Ecclesiastical court, after which she wrote Mrs. Inglefield's Justification, Containing the Proceedings in the Ecclesiastical Court. The Captain responded with this point-by-point refutation and additional evidence that she had in fact had an affair with the servant. On the half-title is the contemporary ownership signature of James Bonnell, which is tantalizing similar to that of James Boswell, but there were numerous James Bonnells in late 18th century Britain, and a search for their signatures on marriage certificates and other documents in Ancestory.com turns up several of them that could be confused with the signature of James Boswell.