Saturday, October 25, 2008


ShipStamps (Auke)

The story of the role of the ship Oroolong in bringing Price Lee Boo to Rotherhithe is told on this page. Prince Lee Boo was the son of Chief Abba Thulle, head of an island tribe who helped to return the crew of a wrecked East Indiaman back to the UK.

When on 9 August 1783 the East Indiaman ANTELOPE, under command of Capt. Henry Wilson a fast sailing dispatch vessel of the East India Company underway from Macao from which she sailed on 20 July 1783 on a surveying voyage was lost on the western reef of one of the Pelew Islands (now Palau Islands), the crew of 51 persons including 16 Chinese saved themselves to a nearby island, which she named Oroolong (Ulong)
The wreck of the ANTELOPE did not break up quickly, so the crew was able by constructing a raft and using the ships boats to ferry much needed provision, arms, stores and working tools on shore.
One day after landing they met some natives which came to them in two canoes, one of this men was from Malay, and by good luck Capt. Wilson had a man from Macao on board who could speak the same language.

A friendly relationship with the natives began. The natives high ranking Chief Abba Thulle agreed that the shipwrecked men could stay on the island and were allowed to use the trees on the island to build a small ship. It was agreed that in return of the hospitality the British would help him to subduing rival islands villagers, who where causing problems for Abba Thulle.

See the above page for the full story.

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