Irving, John to Catherine Irving (née Caddell) (1843/10/20)
H.M.S. “Volage,” Cove of Cork,
20th October 1843.
We are still employed in receiving and shipping off provisions for the different garrisons, which are being rendered independent of the neighbouring country for their victuals. More men-of-war have come, so that with three man-of-war steamers we make quite a fleet, and are ready at a moment’s notice to send a thousand men by steam to any place where they may be wanted.
I think that so much preparation being made will be the means of preventing any outbreak at all, as they, the Repealers, seem quite crestfallen at the cautious but firm demeanour of the Government.
One cannot help admiring the fine old Duke, who, in this Irish business, has followed out his old plan of providing in the first place for provisioning his forces before sending them into the field. For the last four months, while every one was crying out against the do-nothing policy of the Government, they were quickly sending over cargoes of provisions for all the barracks in Ireland; and then, when all is ready, they whip over ten or twelve thousand troops, and assume the attitude of men armed at all points, and ready for everything. There are now thirty thousand troops in Ireland and having plenty of steamers and ships, we could attack any popular force on both sides at once. But though every preparation has been made, still it is not thought that it will come to anything. All this makes a little bustle, and keeps us from being wearied so much, lying such a terrible long time in harbour at one spell. We are likely to remain here all winter. The people are very hospitable. I could be at parties every day if I liked, but we are a good deal confined to the ship, being deficient in officers.
Since writing the above, I have had a letter from my father. He mentions that it was to be decided the following day at Glasgow whether Lewie was to go to Falkirk or not, so by this time you will know all about it.
I wonder if Captain Hope has any chance of getting a ship soon. I should much like to sail with him. If I had such a place as Carriden, I would never trouble their Lordships for a ship. I am anxious if some good captain was commissioning a ship to join her. I hope you will con tinue to correspond regularly with me. Remember me to all your circle of friends, and remember me ever your affectionate brother,