VShis major discovery promises to “fundamentally” change the understanding of the political and maritime history of the 17e century. The University of East Anglia has formalized the identification of the wreckage of the HMS Gloucester, a British Royal Navy warship sunk in May 1683 off Norfolk. On board the frigate were more than 300 passengers, including the Duke of York, James Stuart (James II), future King of England who survived the sinking. As CNN reports, Saturday June 18, objects have already been recovered: clothes, shoes, naval equipment, but also still sealed wine bottles dating back more than three centuries.
These famous bottles of wine hold great historical value. On one of them is a glass seal with the coat of arms of the Legge family, the ancestors of George Washington. The wreckage of the boat was discovered in 2007, but it took many years of analyzes to formally attribute it to the HMS Gloucester. Discretion was also required to preserve the site. “Because of the circumstances of its sinking, it is rightfully the most significant historical maritime discovery since the ascent of the Mary Rose in 1982,” Claire Jowitt, professor of English and history at the University of East Anglia in the UK, said in a statement.
More than 200 victims
Small point of history: when the HMS GloucesteIt sank, carrying on board Jacques Stuart. The Duke of York was to travel to Scotland, to Edinburgh, to find his wife Mary of Modena, then pregnant. Objective: to return to London for the birth of the child. But the ship hit a sandbar, the terrible sinking resulting in the death of 250 passengers. As reminded by Guardian, the future sovereign of England postponed the final abandonment of the boat until the last minute. A delay that cost the lives of many victims, the passengers of the boat not being authorized to abandon the boat before the members of the royal family. For the time being, there are no plans to bring the wreckage back to dry land. This does not prevent research work from continuing to analyze and study the precious remains, a rich source of education for archaeologists and historians.