London Times, 17 December 1853, p. 5: THE RUSSIAN SHIPS AND THEIR DESERTERS

To the Editor of the Times.

Sir, -- It has been reported here that the Russian corvette Navarin sailed from this port under the pretense of stretching her rigging, and that while absent several of her men were hung on board. Now, Sir, I piloted the ship from here and back, and was on board from the time she left till her return to this port, and I can positively state that such report was entirely false.

It was also reported on Monday last that six men had been hung on board the Russian frigate Aurora, after her departure from this port. I also piloted the frigate from here to the Lizard, and I solemnly declare that there was no kind of punishment whatever inflicted on board the ship while I was there.

I am, Sir, your most obedient servant, James Cook, Pilot. @4 Penny Street, Portsmouth,

Provided by Stephen McLaughlin