Thursday 16 June 2016

A Report of a Kraken

From the news of 1786, a Kraken wakes...

Morning Post and Daily Advertiser, 24th August 1786

A young gentleman in Edinburgh has favoured us with the following extract of a letter sent him from Dundee, dated Aug. 17, 1786.

Colossal octopus by Pierre Denys de Montfort"Very little credit has been given to what Poutoppidan, Bishop of Bergen, in his Natural History of Norway, says of a certain aniinal called Kraken; but if the declaration made by the master and mate of a Norway ship now here, whereof the inclosed is a copy, may he depended on, it will afford some reason to believe, there is in nature such a creature as he describes.

It is proposed further to examine them, and the whole crew upon oath, and if any thing material occurs, I shall acquaint you."

"At Dundee, the 16th August, 1786. Before J. R. Lamy, one of his Majesty's Justices of the Peace for the County of Forfar, and Mr. John Guild, one of the present Magistrates of Dundee, appeared Jens Anderson and Mads Jenson, master and mate of the Margaretta of Easterezer, in Norway, who declare, and it is further confirmed by their several journals produced, That, on Saturday, the 5th day of this present month of August, between the hours of nine and ten in the forenoon of that day, being on their voyage to Dundee, and in latitude 56 16 N. about 15 or 16 leagues to the Eastward of the Island of May, they, as well as the whole crew of the said ship, perceived, within less than one mile's distance of the southward of them, what they conceived to be an animal, called in Norway a Sea Worm, a creature of an huge size, emerging from the sea: That, from its appearance, it seemed to Form three low islands, or sand banks, of a greyish colour.

ClippingThat they conceive the length of it to have been at least three English miles: That it lay stretched from S.W. to N.E.: That its breadth appeared to be about 20 or 30 fathoms: That it was in sight fifty minutes, and went down gradually, without any remarkable agitation of the water. From the time of its ascending, and during its appearance on the water, the weather was perfectly calm, and it went down again as soon as a breeze came on. The waves broke on those parts of it which were above water as on a bank. The greatest apparent height it hore above water seemed to be from two to three fathoms. 

Declared and signed before us,
J.R. Lamy, J.P.
John Guild, Magistrate.
Jens Anderson,
Mads. Jenson."


Regencyresearcher said...

They saw something, but what? A fathom of water is 6 feet-- a sailor's measurement.

Catherine Curzon said...

A wonderful mystery!

Icy Sedgwick said...

This is fascinating! Thanks for sharing :)

Catherine Curzon said...

It's a pleasure, I love finding and sharing these snippets!