Roche Family Genealogy Blog

My ramblings and sites while on the quest to trace the Roche family history. If you're on the same quest, join the Roche Genealogy mailing list.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Captain David Roche, 1770s

I recently read a book/narrative written by Capt. David Roche. The narrative was about the duel he had with Lieut. Ferguson on his way to India in 1771 at the Cape of Good Hope.

The book is titled
A Plain And Circumstantial Account of the Transactions Between
Capt. Roche and Lieut. Ferguson,
From their First Meeting to the Death of Lieut. Ferguson.
To which is added, The Trial and Depositions at the Cape of Good Hope,
Where Capt. Roche was Acquitted; Also His Second Apprehension;
And the Judicial Proceedings of the Governor and Council of Bombay.
With His Speech to the Privy Council When under Examination Here.
With every other circunstance Attending this remarkable Case.
Duly Authenticated.
Sold by G. Allen, No. 59, in Pater noster Row.

David Roche, Esq. obtained a Captain's command in the service of the HEIC (Honourable East India Company) in May 1772. He & Mrs Roche embarked on board the Vansittart bound for Bombay.

Others on board the ship were Serjeant Frazer, Serjeant Brown, Lieut. Ferguson, Mr. Grant (a writer), Grant's mother-in-law and her two daughters amongst others.

Lieut. Ferguson and Mr. Grant, the "co-conspirators" were bound for Bombay, but their destination was Bengal. Mr Grant was originally servant to Mr. Beecher, formerly in Council at Bengal, who afterwards promoted him to a desk in his office. Serjeant Frazer was first-cousin to Mrs. Frazer - Grant's mother-in-law.

On the ship Lieut Ferguson repeatedly tried to provoke Capt Roche and once even asked him on duel. Ashore at the Cape of Good Hope, on September 4th 1773, Capt. Roche was walking by the Dutch gardens at around 5 pm when he was attacked by Lieut. Ferguson. In the fight that ensued, Lieut. Ferguson lost his life.

Capt. Roche later took a French ship for passage to Bombay. This was provided by the Dutch Governor and Fiscal at the Cape of Good Hope. He was imprisoned in Bombay and was later acquitted. In 1775 he was in England.

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