Islands Maritime Archaeological Group - Todd Stevens

An Interesting Chart of the  Isles of Scilly Chart - Courtesy of the Greenwich Maritime Museum

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Royal Oak - 1665 

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Shaftsbury - 1678


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- 1680


Shipwrecks of the Simon Bayly Chart of 1680

Whilst researching another shipwreck entirely, (the John, 1645) I came upon this old chart which, to my knowledge, was previously unseen at Scilly. The chart was drawn by Simon Bayly who was the surveyor, and possible architect; who with the help of the local Scillonian steward, Thomas Ekins, and a gentleman by the name of Captain Hugh Hill, built the St Agnes Lighthouse in 1680. A structure which was completed later that same year, having taken only 6 months to construct.  Whilst on Scilly, performing the survey work for the lighthouse, Simon Bayly produced this chart.

Not only is the chart really quite evocative, it also shows how some of the names of rocks etc at Scilly have since changed; some only in spelling, others swapped entirely with others.  For instance: current day Gweal is Guitiall; White Island of Samson is Madenboure; Tešn is Tecan and  Nornour is called Gunhille and so on.  However, if one looks more closely at the chart, one will also find that Mr. Bayly has also given the rough positions of three contemporary shipwrecks. Two of these are East India Company ships Royal Oak, Captain Locke, lost in January 1665, &  Phoenix, Captain Wildy, lost in January 1680. The other wreck is Hudsonís Bay Company ship Shaftesbury, Captain Thompson, lost in the autumn of 1678. Therefore, not only has Simon Baylyís chart thrown up new evidence as to the previously unknown positions of two recorded shipwrecks at Scilly, it also sheds light on a totally unrecorded one. Researching the wrecks on this chart also shows how one of the early land stewards of Scilly was quite the salvaging entrepreneur. Each of the three wreck on the chart is dealt with in chronological order as that is how this story naturally develops.

Other projects:

Wreck of the Colossus - 1798

Wreck of the Princess Maria - 1686


The Saga of the Wheel Wreck - Plenty 2020 New Wreck Site - Spanish Ledges


Search for the Nancy Packet - 1784  Wrecksite - West of the Crim Reef


The Merchant Royal - Sunk near Scilly

 Wreck of the Zeelelye (Sea Lily)


The Story of the Golden Lion, 1680 by Todd Stevens The 'Uprising' of 1648 by Todd Stevens


The Latest Project - LIZZY The Story of the Flying Joan
The Wreck of the London by Todd Stevens The Story Ending in the Wreck of the 'Lion' (TS)


The Wreck of the Mercurious


Chart: © National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London.
Note: Simon Bayly was despatched by Trinity House in a royal yacht to conduct a survey in Scilly and then, with the assistance of Captains Hugh Hill and Thomas Ekins, erect the lighthouse at St Agnes during the summer of 1680.  It is presumed the material for this chart was collected at this time. Captains Hugh Hill and Simon Bayly, also built the first lighthouse at Lowestoft, England in 1676.



Page Update 1/9/2020