HUXLEY SAILED ON 1 December 1846, leaving the Lancet campaigning for better conditions. Education demands rank: it was a cry dear to his heart. He was even being cited himself:
Some of the best educated young men in the profession are at present acting as naval assistant-surgeons, and 'denizens of the midshipmen's berth' ... On looking over the navy list, we find, that such men as the younger HOOKER, the botanist, and HARRY D. GOODSIR, are assistant-surgeons; and also several graduates and undergraduates of the University of London. Among these, we may mention, T. H. HUXLEY, a medallist of I845 ... 1
But in an odd way Huxley preferred the middies' mess. Like MacGillivray, he was deep in debt and scrounging. Living was cheaper in the gun-room. He would only have to fork out 30s a month, barring drink. That would save a pound on the extravagances of the ward-room. 2
The bishop's entourage accompanied the ship along the south coast, past Dorset's blue lias cliffs and Devon's smugglers' bays. The Rattlesnake put in at Plymouth, where the £65,000 treasure trove was brought aboard. Knowing the captain's commission, cocky Midshipman Sharpe calculated his 'nice little share' and reckoned it 'paid for his outfit'. The middies' impecunious minder, who had begged, borrowed and begrudged £46 for his, could only wonder at the corruption.
The bishop's farewell sermon was preached against the backdrop