THIS OBJECT IS PART OF THE PROJECT 'A HISTORY OF CORNWALL IN 100 OBJECTS'.
CHARLESTOWN SHIPWRECK MUSEUM. The wreck of HMS 'Anson' is internationally important because it led to a new law. Drowned sailors had previously been buried where they washed up now they had the right to a decent grave. Parson Hawker later buried many drowned sailors at Morwenstow (see display at Bude). HMS 'Anson' also inspired Trengrouse's Rocket (see object).
Launched at Plymouth in 1781, 'Anson', with 62 guns, saw much war service from Ireland to the Mediterranean, particularly in the Napoleonic War period. Towed out of Falmouth on Christmas Eve 1807 to join the Brest blockade fleet, 'Anson, ran into gales. When forced back to Falmouth, she failed to clear land and her captain took the decision to run her aground. On Loe Bar in sight of would-be rescuers, 120 lives were lost on 29 December 1807.
This beam support has been stripped of later paint and re-gilded with gold leaf. The work took two years.
Photo: Bernie Pettersen