The Last Launch at Deptford. Loyally and Lovingly Dedicated by Mr. Punch to H. R. H. Princess Louise
Industry, Manufactories, Engineering, Steamships, Military Technology
A response to Princess Louise's christening of HMS Druid, the last wooden warship to be launched from Deptford Dockyard. Proceeds to describe the passing of this dockyard, suggesting that the 'old yard has had its day; / Time change and war-ships with them; oak yields to iron's sway: / There are wider slips and statlier sheds, and broader quays elsewhere'. After describing the grim state into which the dockyard has now sunk, emphasises that it was where the Great Harry lay, where King Henry VIII 'among his shipwrights showed broad breast and face of cheer', and where the Golden Hind returned with Francis Drake and 'spices of New Spain' and the 'spoils of Ind'. Adds that this was also the site of the famous family of shipwrights, the Petts (the first of whom appears to have been Peter Pett). Concludes by relishing the rich memories evoked by the dockyards and hopes that the Druid will not 'disgrace the parentage she owns'.
© Science in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical Project, Universities of Leeds and Sheffield, 2005 - 2020
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