I can’t remember now what brought this into my mind this week!
Back in the spring I was in Grasmere for a couple of days, and took myself off to Dove Cottage on a very soggy morning when the weather really wasn’t fit for heading for the hills. It was interesting – apart from the house itself, there was an exhibition on at the time on the Napoleonic wars, and I got to try writing with a quill pen and ink.
But of course I had to find a naval connection somewhere, and it was on the wall of one of the rooms upstairs, which Dorothy Wordsworth famously papered with newspapers. It was actually the name of Captain Bertie – of Mauritius Command fame – which jumped out at me, before I noticed another friend.
The Wordworths’ brother John, as well, was the captain of an East India Company ship, the Earl of Abergavenny, and was killed when it sank in 1805. The place where they last parted, at Grisedale Hause between Grasmere and Patterdale, is marked with a memorial.