Preservation by Shipwreck: the Memory of William Mackay
In 1795 an English East India Company country ship, the Juno, was wrecked in the Bay of Bengal. The buoyancy of her teak cargo arrested her sinking, and her 72 crew and passengers sought refuge in the rigging that protruded above the waves. Three years later her second mate, William Mackay, published his Narrative of the Shipwreck of the Juno, on the Coast of Aracan, describing 23 days aloft and, after a treacherous disembarkation, their arduous trek to a Company station on the Coromandel coast. This article considers the content and legacy of this narrative, contrasting its longevity with less enduring memorials.