An Interesting Chart of the Isles of
Scilly Chart - Courtesy of the Greenwich
Shaftsbury - 1678
Phoenix - 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.
|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 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