Having eventually dropped off Amherst and his staff, the Celeste continued on to explore Corea and the Islands before returning to pick up the Embassy from Macao following their abortive mission with the Emperor. Their travels around Lew Choo (Okinawa) and Corea together with the people and their culture are well documented as is their later arrival at Manila. From here they departed for England but ran aground on a reef and were forced to split their party, with Lord Amherst taking part to Batavia for assistance whilst the rest remained on a small island by the reef that had caused the demise of the Alceste. Their struggle to find water, attack by Malay pirates and eventual rescue provide exciting reading, with an interesting historical footnote provided when they met Bonaparte on St Helena on the return voyage.
VOYAGE OF HIS MAJESTY’S SHIP ALCESTE, to China, Corea, and the Island of Lewchew, with an account of her shipwreck
Rather aptly summed up by the title, this book was written by the ship’s surgeon on the ‘Alceste’ which was charged with delivering the British Embassy of Lord Amherst to China in 1816. Passing through Rio de Janeiro, the Cape of Good Hope and Batavia en-route, they arrived in the China Sea in the summer and their first meetings with the Chinese together with some of the politics of the time are described here.