Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Davy Jones' Locker

Davy Jones' Locker - Illustration of Davy Jones sitting on his locker while viewing a 1789 chart of Ferrol Harbor, Spain, belonging to the HMS Howe. The ship had run aground at the mouth of the harbor on 2 November 1892, allegedly after using a poorly prepared naval chart to navigate its waters.

A Royal Navy court-martial opened an inquiry into the conduct of Vice Admiral Henry Fairfax, who was charged with negligence for ordering a hazardous course when the ship entered harbor. On 7 January 1893 the court found that the charge against Fairfax was not proven.

Date: 10 December 1892. Source: Punch, vol. 103. Author: John Tenniel (1820–1914)

This expression of what may be called nautical slang has now become classic. At all events, everybody knows it; and most people may be presumed to know that to 'go to Davy Jones's Locker' is equivalent to 'losing the number of your mess,' or, as the Californian miners say, ' passing in your checks.' Being especially a sea-phrase, it means, of course, to be drowned. But how did the phrase originate? And who was Davy Jones? These questions must have frequently occurred to many, and it is worth while seeking an answer to them. There is an explanation for everything, if one only knows how to look for it. FULL TEXT

Davy Jones' Locker

This image (or other media file) is in the public domain because it's copyright has expired. This applies to the United States, where Works published prior to 1978 were copyright protected for a maximum of 75 years. See Circular 1 "COPYRIGHT BASICS" PDF. Works published before 1923 are now in the public domain.

This image is also in the public domain in countries that figure copyright from the date of death of the artist (post mortem auctoris), in this case, John Tenniel (1820–1914), and that most commonly runs for a period of 50 to 70 years from the last day of that year. +sookie tex

Text credit: Storyology: essays in folk-lore, sea-lore, and plant-lore

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