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Some account of the

and of the rise and progress of the
commercial Navy of Great Britain. 1834

SOURCE: The Saturday Magazine, No. 117. Supplement, April, 1834

A short distance above the unrivalled national Hospital, at Greenwich, are moored two large ships, respectively appropriated to the purposes of a nursery and a floating hospital for seamen, viz., the "Marine Society*," on board the Iphigenia frigate, and the "Seamen's Hospital, for sailors of all nations*," on board the Dreadnought 104 a relic of Trafalgar. Both these national institutions are chiefly supported by voluntary contributions. On the. opposite side of the river, is the low ground, called the Isle of Dogs, anciently, the Isle of Ducks, from the great numbers of wild fowl which formerly resorted to it, which is considered one of the richest spots of ground in England. Immediately below this point of land, is situated Blackwall, which in consequence of the winding of the river, is nearly eight miles from the city, although less than half that distance by land. Here the business of the Port of London virtually ends, and the Thames after a further course of about forty miles, falls into the ocean at the Nore.

* MARINE Society. This admirable and patriotic institution has now become of national importance. It rears up the children of the poor, and destitute orphans, in habits of virtue and active industry, and thousands, who, if they had not thus been rescued from destitution, ignorance and vice, would probably have followed the paths of idleness and infamy, have by its means been made useful and worthy members of society. Since the Society originated in 1756, it has trained up 78,595 individuals for the sea-service, some of whom we are told, "have risen to rank and considerable estimation." A certain number of widows of captains and lieutenants in the navy, whose indigent circumstances justify an application to the Committee, are also annually relieved.

* SEAMEN'S Hospital. This institution, since its establishment in 1821, has afforded medical and surgical relief to 21,000 mariners, besides 6000 out-patients. Sick seamen, of every nation, on presenting themselves alongside the Dreadnought, are immediately received, without the necessity of any recommendatory letters; their own apparent condition being sufficient to obtain their admission. It may be interesting to subjoin a statement of the number of patients relieved by the institution to the 31st of January last, as it affords an illustration of the fact, that almost all the varieties of the human race may be seen in the Port of London; Englishmen 11,878; Scotchmen 2551; Irishmen 2220; Frenchmen 88; Germans 304; Russians 182; Prussians 409; Dutchmen 83; Danes 359; Swedes and Norwegians 582; Italians 127; Portuguese 182; Spaniards 72; East Indians 148; West Indians 402; British Americans 253; United States 405; South Americans 55; Africans 130; Turks 7; Greeks 13; New Zealanders 18; New South Wales 9; South Sea Islanders 79; Chinese 12; born at Sea 50; total, including 171 relieved previously to the ship being ready, 20,789.

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