The case of the tricky captain: part one

Edward Swinney, an Irishman serving on the British Navy frigate HMS Gorgon, jumped ship with his friend James Rawlings, a boatswains mate on the Gorgon, in Portsmouth, England on 15 September 1790.

A year after Swinney and Rawlings left her, the Gorgon was a part of the Third Fleet that relieved the starving British penal colony in Australia.  On the voyage back from Australia, that same Gorgon picked up the captured portion of the mutinous crew of the HMS Bounty and brought them back to England.  Later still, the Gorgon would participate in the Battle of New Orleans.

But Swinney and Rawlings left her before all that happened — for the lure of the whaling ship Kent, docked nearby.  Kent was owned by Samuel Enderby & Sons, a famous and wealthy whaling firm based in Greenwich, England. Continue reading

Top Ten Westerns

Based on a Daring Fireball piece, which in turn cites Coudal and Mike Royko, here’s my list of top ten Westerns, unordered. I have very conventional tastes in Westerns.

Rio Bravo
The Searchers
True Grit
Fort Apache
The Magnificent Seven
The Wild Bunch
A Fistful of Dollars
For a Few Dollars More
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly


[25 July 11 update:

another list, by Gary Huswit.  As John Gruber notes, The Searchers is on everyone’s list.

Troy Smith compares Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and The Wild Bunch and makes the case for the forgotten Warlock.]