EAST INDIA CONVOY. HMS Leda, Madeira, 1805. 18554



Autograph Letter Signed by William Steuart (the content implies he is a Midshipman), to his cousin in Edinburgh, about their arrival in Funchal Roads “with a large Convoy of Transports and East Indiamen”, joined now by the West India Convoy and a number of named warships. 2 pp. 9 x 7 inches, in good condition, with the address leaf bearing Ship Letter London circle, mileage marks, etc. HM Ship Leda, Funchal Roads, Madeira, 3 October 1805. “… we have been joined here by the West India Convoy & HM Ships Raisonable, Malabar, Dart, Chichester, Dolphin & three Brigs, we are just getting underway with the Convoy but where we are bound God knows …” HMS Leda, launched in 1800, was the lead ship of a successful class of forty-seven British Royal Navy 38-gun sailing frigates. Leda was one of the escorts to a convoy of transports and EIC vessels that were part of the expedition under General Sir David Baird and Admiral Sir Home Riggs Popham that would in 1806 capture the Dutch Cape Colony.They would carry supplies and troops to the Cape, and then continue on their voyages. The British fleet, including Leda, arrived in Table Bay on 5 January 1806 and anchored off Robben Island. Leda supported the landing of the troops.