Day 2. Flying fish and salt horse: seafaring tales
Here’s Hobson’s entry for 31st July:
Sunday. Captain, William and others came on board. at work all morning on the anchors, also wrote home. sweeping a little and reading the rest of afternoon, lying at anchor blowing very hard, raining occasionally, 2 Pigs on board came grunting at our cabin door. Slept clothes on.
They were still in port in Liverpool, gathering the crew and preparing for the great adventure that Hobson was anticipating. So who was he? His father, also Richard, was a butcher and farmed 45 acres of land at Bolingbroke, Lincolnshire. His mother was Elizabeth and he had an elder brother Thomas, a younger brother James and a sister, Caroline. It won’t be giving away too much to say Hobson survived his journey through both Altantic and Pacific Oceans, but that obviously put him off life at sea. He stayed firmly on dry land to become a farmer himself, first on the family land in Bolingbroke, and later at Arborfield in Berkshire. But perhaps he hadn’t completely lost his taste for the exotic; after retiring from farming he worked as an agent for a colonial meat importer, based in Southampton.