Murder of Capt BROWNRIGG

Liverpool Journal, 7th January 1882

Desperate Encounter

The Admiralty have issued a copy of the official report of the attack on the boatís crew by the slave dhow, and death of Capt BROWNRIGG and some crew of H.M.S LONDON.

Report was made by Acting Com GOODRIDGE, H.M.S LONDON, dated Zanzibar, Dec 7th.


Capt BROWNRIGG left the ship on Nov 27th, on a steam pinnace with 7 men, besides his steward, an interpreter, and a writer to inspect the boat engaged in the suppression of the slave trade at Penibu Island.

Sat 3rd Dec, passing through Kokota Gap, a dhow was sighted ahead flying French colours.

Capt BROWNRIGG went alongside intending to inspect the ships papers . He had sent the Coxswain forward with the boat-hook to make fast, and took the tiller. When close alongside the Coxswain saw 8-10 men crouched in the boat with levelled guns. He shouted to the Capt when the men rose and fired. The Coxswain closed with one of the enemy and they both fell overboard.

15-20 Arabs boarded the pinnace, their first fire having killed one man and injured three others, they had little difficulty driving the rest unarmed into the sea.

Capt BROWNRIGG and the Steward were left in the after part of the of the boat. The survivors in the water said he fought like a lion for 20 mins, till being shot in the heart, with 20 other wounds he fell down dead.

Samuel MASSEY, AB was severely wounded and was supported to shore by Alfred YATES, Leading seaman and William COLLISTON Ordinary seaman. The remaining Stoker and Interpreter swam ashore, writer John G. AESS was mortally wounded at the first fire, then only remained the Steward who was lying aft feigning death.

The Arabs sailed away and the leading Stoker got on board the pinnace, got up steam, and picked the men up on the beach. They then proceeded to find Lieut Henry W. TARGET, Senior Officer in charge of the boat at Pemba, being 20 miles distant he could not get up in time to capture the dhow

Dec 9th, dhow reported captured with 8 Arabs, one shot.


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