Wreckers stripping dead body Admiral of the Fleet Sir Cloudesley Shovell 1707 English naval officer British hero disastrous ship
Contributor:SOTK2011 / Alamy Stock Photo
File size:38.5 MB (3.6 MB Compressed download)
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Dimensions:2990 x 4502 px | 25.3 x 38.1 cm | 10 x 15 inches | 300dpi
Date taken:18 October 2010
Admiral of the Fleet Sir Cloudesley Shovell (c. November 1650 – 22 October or 23 October 1707), was an English naval officer. Rising through the ranks and fighting in many of the important battles of the late 17th and early 18th centuries, he became a popular British hero, whose celebrated career was brought to an end in a disastrous shipwreck in the Isles of Scilly. He also served as MP for Rochester from 1695 until his death. When returning with the fleet to England after the campaign to Toulon, Shovell's ship, HMS Association, at 8 pm on 22 October (November 2, by the modern calendar) 1707, struck on the rocks near the Isles of Scilly along with several other ships, and was seen by those on board HMS St George to go down in three or four minutes' time, not a soul being saved of 800 men that were on board. With four large ships (HMS Association, HMS Eagle, HMS Romney and HMS Firebrand) and nearly 2, 000 sailors lost that night, the Scilly naval disaster was one of the greatest maritime disasters in British history. It was later determined that the main cause of the disaster was the navigators' inability to accurately calculate their longitude. What exactly happened to Sir Cloudesley Shovell has never been discovered. The most likely outcome, considering that his body was found almost seven miles from where his ship was wrecked, suggests that Shovell left his ship in one of its boats, along with his two Narborough stepsons, the captain of the Association, Loades, and a pet dog and that they were drowned while trying to get to shore. Shovell's body, along with the bodies of his two stepsons and that of Captain Loades, washed up on Porthellick Cove on St Mary's the following day. A small memorial was later erected at this site. Shovell's body was identified by the Purser of HMS Arundel who knew the admiral well. It was identified by "a black mole under his left ear, also by the first joint of one of his forefingers being broken inwards.