Captain Brisbane's Frolic

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X:1 T:Captain Brisbane's Frolic M:2/4 L:1/8 B:Goulding & Co. - Twenty Four Country Dances for the Year 1808 (London) N:"With proper Tune & Directions to each Dance (as they may be N:performed at Court, Bath, and all Public Assemblys." Z:Transcribed and edited by Fynn Titford-Mock Z:abcs's:AK/Fiddler's Companion K:F A/B/|cA/B/ cf/a/|c3 A/B/|cc/B/ AA/G/|AF FA/B/| cA/B/ cf/a/|c3 A/B/|cc {d}cB/A/|A2 A:| |:BGG e/f/|g[ce] [ce]z|c[FA][FA] f/g/|a[Af] [A2f2]| dbca|BgAf|c/B/A/B/ c/B/A/G/|FAF:||



CAPTAIN BRISBANE'S FROLIC. English, Country Dance Tune (2/4 time). F Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. Captain Sir Charles Brisbane (d. 1829) was a career Royal Naval officer during the wars with Napoleon (as was his brother James, who became an admiral). This excerpt, which describes an incident in 1807 that is perhaps Charles's 'frolic', appears in Burke's genealogy of high-ranked commoners (1835).

Sir CHARLES BRISBANE entered the naval service about the year 1779, on board the Alcide, of 74 guns, under the auspices of his father, whom he afterwards accompanied into the Hercules, another third rate. This ship formed part of Sir George Rodney's fleet, in the memorable engagement of the 12th April, 1782, wherein Mr. Charles Brisbane was wounded. In 1790, he was promoted to the rank of lieutenant; in 1793, proceeded with Captain Tyler in the Meleager frigate to the Mediterranean, and during the two following years served with distinction under Hood and Nelson. In 1795, he was made commander, and in the following year obtained a post captain's commission. In 1815, he was nominated a Knight of the Bath, and advanced to the rank of rear admiral, 12th August, 1819. The following exploit of the gallant admiral cannot be omitted even in the limited space to which we are confined. Towards the end of the year 1806, Captain Brisbane was dispatched from Jamaica, with a squadron of frigates, consisting of the Arethusa, Latona, and Anson, to reconnoiter the island of Curacoa, and to ascertain whether the inhabitants were disposed to an alliance with Great Britain. And on the 1st January, 1807, the little squadron, reinforced by the Figgard frigate, arrived off Curacoa. No orders, whatever, had been given to attack the island, but having by means of the pilots taken on board at Aruba, perfectly ascertained the situation of the place, Captain Brisbane determined to capture it by a coup de main; and imparting his intention to the respective captains under him, and taking the sole responsibility on himself, he led his ships into the harbour. It is well deserving of remark, that previously to this, and unknown to their officer, the men, participating in the spirit of their gallant leader, had arranged themselves for attack, and when called to quarters, they were found with the words "Victory or Death," chalked upon their hats. Under cover of a severe and destructive cannonade, Captain Brisbane landed with his boat's crew, when fort Amsterdam was instantly captured, the commodore himself being the first to scale the walls ; and by ten o'clock the same night the British flag, hoisted on fort Republique, announced the surrender of the entire island. For this gallant exploit, Captains Brisbane and Wood received the gold medal, and were knighted.


Additional notes

Source for notated version: -

Printed sources : - Goulding (Twenty Four Country Dances for the Year 1808), 1808; No. 10.

Recorded sources: -



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