Ship Lord Wolseley, The
DESCRIPTION: The ship leaves Belfast for Philadelphia on the 18th of January under Cap'n James Dunn. Song describes several ports and storms and constantly makes references to the bravery and steadfastness of the crew and officers.
AUTHOR: Wm. R.B. Dawson
EARLIEST DATE: 1945 (Harlow)
KEYWORDS: ship foc's'le sailor
FOUND IN: US
REFERENCES (1 citation):
Harlow, pp. 181-183, "The Ship Lord Wolseley" (1 text, sung to "Yankee Man-of-War")
cf. "Yankee Man-of-War" [probably the song indexed as "The British Man-of-War"] (tune)
NOTES [314 words]: Harlow says that the author Dawson was bo'sun on the Lord Wolseley when he wrote this.
Lord Wolseley was a four masted ship built in 1883 by Harland & Wolff, Belfast. She was sold and renamed several times, as Columbia, Everett G. Griggs, Wolseley (again) before being broken up and used for parts in 1928. - SL
I have to admit I find the name of the ship pretty ironic. Garnet Wolseley (1833-1913) was not a navy man but a soldier all his life, fighting in the Crimean War and thirty years of colonial wars before becoming army Commander in Chief in 1895. He was made a viscount in 1883 after winning the battle of Tel-el-Kebir in Egypt (1882). His most famous moment, perhaps, came two years later, when he tried and failed to rescue Gordon from Khartoum -- a rescue that might have succeeded had he understood river transport better.
For a summary of his career, see David Chandler, general editor; Ian Beckett, associate editor, The Oxford History of the British Army, 1994 (I use the 1996 Oxford paperback edition), pp. 191-193. For the Gordon affair, see Byron Farwell, Queen Victoria's Little Wars (1972; I used the 1985 Norton edition), pp. 281-294, or the notes to "Andy McElroe."
Odds are, however, that if you have met Wolseley, it was in another guise. He was the model for Major General Stanley (the Modern Major General) in Gilbert and Sullivan's "The Pirates of Penzance." At least, in the first British production, the character playing Stanley was costumed to look like Wolseley. Of course, the creation was very unlike the model for the Model -- they were almost inverses, with Wolseley's competence being almost solely military. Nonetheless, Wolseley supposedly enjoyed singing the Modern Major General's patter song (see Ian Bradley, editor, The Annotated Gilbert and Sullivan 1, Penguin, 1982 (I use the slightly revised 1985 edition), p. 118). - RBW
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