Skip to main content

Sailors pay tribute to great admiral

Tuesday, 16th October 2007

Sailors pay tribute to great admiral

Sailors marked the 300th anniversary of the death of the Royal Navy hero Sir Cloudesley Shovell with a wreathlaying ceremony conducted by Canon Nicholas Sagovsky at Admiral Shovell’s grave in the Abbey’s south choir aisle this week.

Cloudesley Shovell was born in Norfolk in 1650 and went to sea as a cabin boy. His reputation grew quickly and he rose through the ranks to become a rear-admiral in 1690. By 1704 he was commander-in-chief of the entire British fleet but three years later after taking part in the unsuccessful attempt to capture Toulon, Shovell’s ship HMS Association and its sister ships Eagle, Romney and Firebrand, struck rocks near the Scilly Isles and sank within four minutes. Eight hundred men, including Shovell, were drowned.

Because the principal cause of the shipwreck was inaccurate navigation, the Admiralty was prompted to ask Parliament to approve the Longitude Act which offered a prize to anyone who could find an accurate method of determining longitude.

The prize was later claimed by the Lincolnshire clockmaker John Harrison and though the Admiralty prevaricated his claim was recognised in 1773. A memorial to Harrison was unveiled in the Nave last year.

Related News

Abbey Marks Shakespeare Anniversary

Abbey Marks Shakespeare Anniversary

Monday, 8th August 2016

Wreath laid for Anthony Trollope

Wreath laid for Anthony Trollope

Monday, 7th December 2015

Wreath Laid for Oscar Romero

Wreath Laid for Oscar Romero

Wednesday, 8th July 2015

The biggest challenge we face is maintaining such a large physical collection of material within a historic building – believe it or not, there’s just not enough space for it all.

spacer

Matthew - Keeper of the Muniments

Twitter logo Tweet this