The sinking of the The Royal George - 1782 by Denise Bennett
The sinking of the The Royal George - 1782
A creative response in poetry and images
by Denise Bennett.
Wednesday 19th February 2020 7.30 pm
The Royal George sank at Spithead on the 29th August 1782 with the loss of around 1,000 lives including 60 children. It was being ‘heeled’ for repairs to the water cock and also loaded with provisions when it began to take in water. The carpenter raised the alarm and spoke to the Lieutenant on duty twice but was ignored. If his warning had been heeded, the tragedy might have been averted.
The Royal George was formerly the Queen Anne but was renamed the Royal George in honour of the then king when she was relaunched in 1756. She had served with distinction in both the Seven Years War and the American Revolutionary War but was an old ship. She was in Spithead to be repaired and refitted before sailing with the fleet to relieve Gibraltar. The wives and children of many of the crew were on board when the ship sunk. The wreck remained in Portsmouth Harbour as a danger to shipping until it was blown up in 1839.
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