Scilly Naval Disaster – 2000 Drown


History on 22nd October

George Blake Escapes from Wormwood Scrubs

Crippen convicted at Old Bailey

Scilly Naval Disaster – 2000 Drown

Isles of Scilly The 22nd of October 1707 AD

Most of the naval disasters in our history not down to enemy action concern individual ships – the loss of The White Ship ; the sinking of The Mary Rose ; and the wrecking of HMS Minotaur for example. In the first decade of the 18th century two multiple-ship disasters occurred: the first when a great storm hit the Channel in 1703 ; and the second on October 22 1707 when navigational error was at fault.
In the latter event, a fleet of 21 vessels returning from action in the Mediterranean was under the command of the wonderfully-named Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell. Its navigators believed they were rounding Ushant. The imprecision of navigation techniques at that time meant that determining longitude (east-west position) had to be effected by dead reckoning, i.e. calculating according to speeds and direction from previous findings. Shovell’s fleet had been buffeted by bad weather, rendering such calculations even more inaccurate than normal. They were in fact about to hit rocks off the Scilly Isles.
Four of the ships under Shovell’s command were sunk in the disaster, including his flagship HMS Association. The Admiral’s drowned body was washed ashore at Porthellick Cove; it is thought perhaps 2000 others died with him. After the huge losses in the great storm four years previously this was another bitter blow for national pride.

More famous dates here

8256 views since 11th October 2010

Brit Quote:
For all right judgment of any man or things it is useful, nay, essential, to see his good qualities before pronouncing on his bad. - Thomas Carlyle
More Quotes

On this day:
The Battle of Myton-on-Swale - 1319, Vegetarian Society Formed - 1847, Jack the Ripper Kills twice in one Day - 1888, The discovery of penicillin - 1928, BBC begins TV Transmissions - 1929, Chamberlain Proclaims Peace for our Time, - 1938, Bourne End Rail Crash - 1945, Thunderbirds Are Go! - 1965, Radio 1 goes on air - 1967
More dates from British history

click here to view all the British counties

County Pages