HMS Sovereignty

The HMS Sovereignty was a British ship of the line. She had two cannon decks and sixty four cannons with twelve long nines’ on the weather deck. She had three masts that extended fifty one feet above the deck. When fully loaded she stood seventy four feet from waterline to crows nest. She as commanded by James Murkwood for five years prior to running aground in the Tograta River. The HMS Sovereignty was christened in July of 1710 and her first captain was Randolf Whitewater. Whitewater was known as a cruel taskmaster and reported an attempted mutiny on three separate occasions. In each case, upon thwarting the attempt he reported to the crown that he carried out a sentence of keelhauling on ten crewman in each of the three attempts. Whitewater held the dubious mark of the most such punishments ordered of any captain in the British Navy. In 1712 on August the 5th, Whitewater wrote in his log… “Another attempt to mutiny was made this day. The righteousness of the crown prevailed but upon completion of sentencing a second sun appeared in the mid-day sky and all were blinded by it’s brilliance. Clearly a confusing sign from God as my sight was the only to never return.” Several crew reported seeing the second brightness in the sky that blinded the captain for life. But as the vessel sailed home for England, crew took advantage of the blind captain and in a final successful mutiny the crew lashed him to a cannon barrel and continued to fire powder shot till he died of massive burns and then pushed the cannon overboard. Ten crewman were executed for the crime when the Sovereignty reached port. The next Captain was Donald Carpenter. Like may English names, Carpenters’ namesake came from a long family history of men in the profession. Donald was the first to hear the call of the Sea. But his namesake held another gruesome distinction. Disobedience under Captain Carpenter resulted in the nailing of a sailors hand to the mast for forty eight hours. Carpenter also refused to respond to orders from the crown to make port in the assigned route. Instead he ran the ship with an apparent personal agenda. In only a few months at sea his blood-lust began to show through. After many questionable commands eventually leading to a revolt. The Executive Officer staged a coup and Carpenter was nailed to the keel of a life boat, lowered into the water and set adrift in the middle of the North Atlantic. The Sovereignty was building a dubious reputation of a cursed vessel. The death of Captain Carpenter occurred in early January of 1717. The ship sat idol in London harbor until late July. The ship was believed to be cursed. The vessel endured two exorcisms and a cleansing with holy water and oil before it was put back in service under Captain James Murkwood who commanded her for five years till she run around near the settlement site later to be known as Murkwood Hallow.
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HMS Sovereignty

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