John Dean. The only survivor of the sixteen men which remained on board the Ship Sussex, in the Honble East-India Company's Service.

FABER Johan ([c. 1743].)


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Mezzotint measuring 395 by 290mm. Slightly dust-soiled, top left corner stained, otherwise very good. N.p., N.d.,

A mezzotint engraving by Johan Faber after a painting by Willem Verelst. If the engraved text to the left of the image is to be trusted, the painting was made in 1741.

“In March 1738 the ship ‘Sussex’, homeward bound from Canton, met with a severe storm off the Cape of Good Hope, and sustained damages so extensive that the captain, officers and the greater part of the crew resolved to abandon her. Sixteen men, however, John Dean amongst them, refused to desert the vessel, insisting that she was still sea-worthy. They succeeded in reaching St. Augustine’s Bay, Madagascar, where they refitted her, and made sail for Mozambique. On the way, however, the ship struck on a shoal and went to pieces. Five of the crew escaped in the pinnace, and after a seventeen days’ voyage regained the coast of Madagascar. There they were kindly treated; but while awaiting a European vessel, fell sick, all dying except Dean. Dean was taken off in July 1739 by the ’Prince William,’ which carried him to Bombay; and it was not until two years later that he reached London. His account of his adventures ’Narrative of John Dean’ (Mss Eur B2) was published in 1740. He was received with much distinction by the Court, who had already taken measures to punish the captain and officers of the ’Sussex’ for their abandonment of the vessel. A pension of one hundred pounds a year was settled upon him, with the promise of an annuity of half this amount to his wife should she survive him, and the three portraits were commissioned. In February 1745, Dean was appointed an Elder Porter at the Drug Warehouse.” - British Library - India Office select materials website (F19).

Dean's account arrived in England on an East India Company Ship and was promptly published in two editions: A True and Genuine Narrative of the whole affair relating to the Ship Sussex... (London: for C. Corbett, 1740) and A Genuine Account of the Ship S----x [...] by J-n D-n (London: T. Cooper, 1740). 


Stock Code: 189335

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