Ellis K. Meacham

Ellis Kirby Meacham (1913-1998) graduated from the University of Chattanooga in 1935 and from Vanderbilt Law School in 1937. During the Second World War he was a Commander in the US Naval Reserve serving as a gunnery officer in the Pacific. He went on to practice law as an attorney in Chattanooga and became a judge. He wrote three Napoleonic era nautical adventures about about Percival Merewether.

The series starts in 1806. It is based on the little known naval service of the Honourable East India Company also known as the "Bombay Marine" or the "Bombay Buccaneers" .This was the only private navy in the world and defended the interests of the Company in the Indian Ocean and the Far East. Whilst it mainly had small vessels and fought pirates it also had some frigates and in time of war would engage ships from the navies of other countries. In this short series we therefore get a completely different angle to this type of book 

Series: Percival Merewether
Year  Book  Comment
1778   Born, the illegitimate son of a kitchen maid and a peer
1794   Goes to sea in the Honourable East India Companies merchant ships as a scullery boy. Eventually transferred to deck crew
1797   Promoted to Boatswain's Mate
1798   Commissioned 2nd Lieutenant in the companies Naval Service
1805   1st Lieutenant HEICS Sir John Shore
1806 The East Indiaman Merewether is promoted to captain & is given command of the sloop HEICS Rapid. Sails for India to rescue the Governor General designate being held by a pirate, investigates an uprising at Vellore, sails to China where "Grand Chop" is being withheld, and finally to Bombay to face a court of enquiry..
1807 On the Company's Service Merewether is appointed Commodore of the Bengal Squadron which catches 4 French ships. Then left behind & has to escape during a mission to Mauritius. Then sent on a mission to Persia
1808 For King & Company Given command of the flag ship frigate Pitt. After surviving a mutiny sails as senior marine officer in a combined operation against Joasmi pirates. Then leads squadron protecting the Mecca pilgrimage fleet & defeats a French Squadron of 3 Frigates. Whilst Pitt is repaired he is sent to the occupation of Macao as the Governor Generals personal representative (spending some time with the Chinese fleet of junks). On his return sails for England on 3 years leave


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