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[Note 050.2] The Kentish Weekly Post or Canterbury Journal of Friday 15 June 1821 reported that “Rob Roy of Greenock arrived [in Dover on June 11th] with the intention of carrying passengers between this and France. She sailed this morning for Calais but with very few passengers, as those in the town preferred the regular packets.” The picture below shows Rob Roy at Dover. While the song does not specifically mention steam, the lines "Charming and very like Twickenham ferry, Crossing over to Calais now" imply a change of some sort and that the voyage would be calmer than previously. Paddle steamers did not have to tack thus avoiding a manouver that caused the deck to slope to a degree likley to disconcert.the passengers. The specific mention of a six hour passage ("Full six hours after sailing from Dover, Safely anchored at Calais at last") agrees with the advertised crossing times. In this etching by Thomas M'Lean dating from about 1828 shows the advertising bill to the left of the harp advertises 'Calais in five hours'. Sailing packets took much longer than five or six hours. Later in the same month it reported that "The 'Rob Roy' on her passage to Calais met the 'Lord Duncan' (Post Office sailing packet), Capt. Hamilton, and the 'Prince Leopold', Capt. Rogers, and after landing her freight at Calais, and taking on board passengers, she came out again, and passed those vessels and reached Dover long before them."


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