|Date of Birth:|
|Billets:||Loch Laggan covert, member of Temeraire's ground crew|
Blythe was the armorer's mate for Temeraire. He was best-known for an incident that took place on the HMS Allegiance during the voyage to China in late 1805.
Reynolds, one of the older midshipmen on the Allegiance, had been goading the aviators for some time. He exchanged words with Ezekiah Martin and was on the point of challenging him to a duel. At the time, duelling was a customary way for gentlemen to settle disputes, and to refuse a duel was to brand oneself a coward. However, officers in the Aerial Corps were forbidden to duel, probably because of the high risk that the dragons they were assigned to might decide to participate in the fight.
The Corps' ban on duelling was not known outside the Corps, so if Reynolds had challenged Martin, Martin would either have had to disobey the ban or have both himself and the other aviators known as cowards. Realizing Martin's dilemma, Blythe struck Reynolds before he could issue a challenge. (Since Blythe was not an officer, he did not count as a "gentleman.")
For a non-officer to strike an officer was and is a serious offense in any military organization. Lord Purbeck, the Allegiance's first lieutenant, ordered his master-at-arms to arrest Blythe. Laurence intervened and ordered Ferris to confine Blythe instead, knowing even then that he would forced to allow Blythe to be flogged. To make matters worse, Captain Riley resented having Purbeck corrected on deck and would not accept the dozen lashes that Laurence proposed. Furthermore, the flogging was carried out by a member of the Allegiance's crew, the bosun's mate Hingley, who was unusually energetic about it.
Blythe was taken severely ill from the flogging. Martin, set to tanning hides with the harness-master for punishment, was wracked with guilt and, when Blythe was finally released from sick bay, almost over-solicitious for Blythe's comfort, which in turn got the sailors' backs up again.
Temeraire was angry and unhappy about having one of his crew punished, especially so brutally, and began having long conversations with Prince Yongxing in Chinese, not troubling to translate into English for Laurence.
All in all, it was a very unhappy time for all involved.
After the Allegiance reached China, Blythe was one of the ten crew members chosen to accompany Temeraire and Laurence to Peking, along with Granby, Keynes, Riggs, Therrows, Hackley, Dunne, Martin, Willoughby and Digby. (Emily Roland and Peter Dyer also went, on George Staunton's advice. As they were children, they were not counted against the limit of ten set by Prince Yongxing.)
In 1807, as the Allegiance was returning with Temeraire and the rest of Lily's formation from Cape Town, they stopped at Cape Coast, only to discover that this port had been attacked by the draconic and human warriors of the Tswana Kingdom. Laurence and Temeraire discovered two slavers, George Case of Liverpool and his partner David Miles, who were hiding out in the bush with their assistants and some two hundred six slaves they meant to ship out and sell. Temeraire tore down the gate of the slaves' pen with his foreclaws, and Blythe, on Laurence's orders, struck the slaves' irons to free them.
As a result of this action, Laurence was sued for the value of the slaves, 10,300 British pounds. As he was under arrest for treason at the time the case went to court, he could not defend himself against it and lost most of his capital.
When Laurence was convicted of treason in late 1807, all of Temeraire's crew members were reassigned. When Laurence - technically still under a death sentence - and Temeraire rejoined the Aerial Corps during Napoleon's occupation of Britain, Blythe was one of the few former crew members who returned.