Wrecking history of the Bahamas

Smithbrown

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The gun with the Z was cast by George Mathews of Calcuts in Shropshire 1770s- 1780s. He supplied guns to the British government and the merchant market, including the East India Company. You might have the word SOLID on the other trunnion, or another Z and a number.
 

Magoopeter

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The gun with the Z was cast by George Mathews of Calcuts in Shropshire 1770s- 1780s. He supplied guns to the British government and the merchant market, including the East India Company. You might have the word SOLID on the other trunnion, or another Z and a number.

Fascinating, found reference to, Matthews, George Gun-founder at Woolwich, active 1782-1786, Z On left trunnion of an iron gun. (Rotunda, Woolwich, Class III, entry 29) 18th c. British.

Similar cannon,

LTZ 2.jpg

LTZ.jpg
 

Smithbrown

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The cannon was at Woolwich, not the gunfounder. However now, the guns have all left the old Rotunda collection- that one is either in Wiltshire or Fort Amherst in Kent. Of course at Woolwich there was only a brass foundry. Mathews went bankrupt at the American Wars as the government couldn't pay his bills.
 

TRG

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bart, perhaps if they were installed in a fortification only 1 or 2 were functional, given the variation in state of preservation, and the rest provided psychological support - or threat as the case may be. Just a thought.

A more general question - were the cast rings/ridges on the barrels functional? or decorative?
 

Magoopeter

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The cannon was at Woolwich, not the gunfounder. However now, the guns have all left the old Rotunda collection- that one is either in Wiltshire or Fort Amherst in Kent. Of course at Woolwich there was only a brass foundry. Mathews went bankrupt at the American Wars as the government couldn't pay his bills.

You need to write the book, then we might have a better referance

Gun Maker.jpg
 
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Blak bart

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The gun with the Z was cast by George Mathews of Calcuts in Shropshire 1770s- 1780s. He supplied guns to the British government and the merchant market, including the East India Company. You might have the word SOLID on the other trunnion, or another Z and a number.

That would be very good evidence to support the theory that these guns were brought along with the first loyalist migration in 1783. I believe this earth works fort was built by the loyalist community to protect the community against a navel attack by pirates or other foreign powers of the time. I believe they mounted every gun they could muster from around the island. Some of the other guns are quite a bit older than the ones with the z on the trunions. This seems much more plausible than a pirate camp....the golden age of piracy was gone, and these guns seem to have a loyalist connection. I did find examples of these guns mounted in a fort that I believe was in nova scotia...these are beautiful pieces that should be stood up and preserved and displayed. I think with some minimal funding I could get some heavy equipment in there and get them up and out of the dirt. They would be tourist attractions if this could be done and would add to the islands ambiance !! Would be nice to get the community motivated for this and I believe all the heavy lifting and transport could happen pretty quickly. So much languishing history in the bahamas !!
 

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Blak bart, give me a text. I am really having a problem messaging on here. And I don’t think I can send a picture. I need to talk to you about something. Steve, 941-809-3554. Thanks!
 
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That would be very good evidence to support the theory that these guns were brought along with the first loyalist migration in 1783. I believe this earth works fort was built by the loyalist community to protect the community against a navel attack by pirates or other foreign powers of the time. I believe they mounted every gun they could muster from around the island. Some of the other guns are quite a bit older than the ones with the z on the trunions. This seems much more plausible than a pirate camp....the golden age of piracy was gone, and these guns seem to have a loyalist connection. I did find examples of these guns mounted in a fort that I believe was in nova scotia...these are beautiful pieces that should be stood up and preserved and displayed. I think with some minimal funding I could get some heavy equipment in there and get them up and out of the dirt. They would be tourist attractions if this could be done and would add to the islands ambiance !! Would be nice to get the community motivated for this and I believe all the heavy lifting and transport could happen pretty quickly. So much languishing history in the bahamas !!

Where is that?
 
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When the weather was calm, sometimes Jack and I watched the sun setting over the Gulf Stream. Sitting in the beach chairs, under the palm trees, relaxing after a hard day’s work. Between the beach chairs he had a coffee table. A very special coffee table, one of Jack’s pride.
I would trade a few of my secrets for such a table.
Jack built it himself out of recycled parts of shipwrecks. The four legs were made out of deadeye straps. The top was a heavy slab of slate. The slate was of a greyish, purplish color, a bit worn from the sea.
“Got this one from the Slate Wreck from up there”, pointing to the North. “The deadeye straps from right off the beach, down there. Welded it myself. The cleaning was the biggest job. After knocking off the concretion, I stuck it in a plastic barrel full of fresh water and some drain cleaner, and hooked a battery to it. Once a week I changed the water and brushed the iron with a soft steel brush. Always lengthwise to bring out the layers of wrought iron. You see here, how the blacksmith folded the iron layer on layer, hammered it and then melded it again in the furnace with sand over it. Looks like fibers. Well, the brushing brought that out. Then I dipped it in tannic acid to make it black. Brushed over the top again. More tannic acid and then clear varnish to protect it from the sea air.
The top is a slab of slate that was destined to become a part of a billiard table. There are a lot of these things scattered over a mile towards the East South East, from where the ship went over the shoal. “
As I said, Jack was proud of his table.
 
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Going back to the earliest times of shipwrecks in the Bahamas.

At what date did the first European ship sail through the Florida Strait?
Generally we think of a Spanish ship. Could it have been a ship from a different nation?
Maybe Portuguese?
What does it mean when you find 3 very early anchors, obviously from the same ship, dropped one after the other, on the edge of the Bahama Bank? What does it mean when all 3 anchors are roughly of the same size, but different shape?

In a different region of the Bahamas, much later we have information about the fleet of Pedro Menendez of 1563 wrecking. Many salvage expeditions and no results.
 
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Magoopeter

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The vessel, could have lost anchors in the past and replaced then with odd anchors, but all early ships anchors were not of one uniform design or use, the earliest ship I’ve worked on sunk in 1545, the vessel had a large number of anchors not all the same size. From memory 12 in total?

Picture 239.jpg
 

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Magoopeter

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Florida straits, in legend, could have been Vikings or Templers, but the Spanish are the first to record and map the journey through the straits of Florida?
But did Americans discover Europe before Columbus discovered America?
One of the most dramatic pieces of evidence for a pre-Columbian crossing of the Atlantic is to be found in a single Latin marginalia, that is some words scribbled into the margin of a book. The sentence in question appears in a copy of the Historia rerum ubique gestarum by Aeneas Sylvius Piccolomini which was published in Venice in 1477. In that work Piccolomini discusses the arrival of Indians in Europe blown from across the Atlantic at a date when America was unknown to Europeans (another post another day). Next to this passage a reader has written in Latin the following extraordinary words:
Homines de catayo versus oriens venierunt. Nos vidimus multa notabilia et specialiter in galuei ibernie virum et uxorem in duabus lignis areptis ex mirabili persona.
This passage presents several challenges. The first two sections are easily translated. The difficulty is in the third part.
1) Homines de catayo versus oriens venierunt = ?Men from Cathay [China] came towards the west?
2) Nos vidimus multa notabilia et specialiter in galuei ibernie virum et uxorem = ?We saw many remarkable things and particularly in Galway in Ireland a man and a woman??
3) in duabus lignis areptis ex mirabili persona = ?[a man and a woman] on two pieces of wood (tied together?? Drift wood??), of the most extraordinary appearance [the boat is of the most extraordinary appearance?].?
The most important information is in the first two clauses. However, let us risk a translation of the whole with the understanding that there are some uncertainties in the final part:
Men from Cathay [China] come towards the west. We saw many remarkable things and particularly in Galway in Ireland a man and a woman on two pieces of drift wood of the most extraordinary appearance.
Now our author was in Ireland sometime in the 1470s or perhaps the very early 1480s. He then inserted this sentence in his copy of Piccolomini sometime after 1477 and probably in the early 1480s: he certainly wrote in the book in 1481. He had clearly, while in Ireland, seen a man and a woman who he believed had been blown across the Atlantic from China and who had arrived on a strange looking boat (at least if the last part of the sentence is translated well).
We know Atlantic geography better. If this man and woman came from anywhere then they came from America. The Gulf Stream washes up American plants, American animals and American driftwood on the shore of south-western Ireland. Why couldn?t the Gulf Stream wash up an Amerindian vessel? This is not the only instance when Amerindians seem to have ended up on the coasts of Europe: there may even be some Amerindian archaeological finds on the wrong side of the Atlantic. The possibility that these are European Arctic people: namely the Finns or Lapps seem far less likely. For a start the currents are all wrong?
If this man and woman were Amerindian we might ask ourselves about the design of that remarkable boat. Were these two canoes that had been tied together, perhaps after the pair were lost at sea? Or a raft that had fallen apart? Where had the boat come from? The Caribbean or the US or the Canadian coast? Then were the man and woman still alive when they arrived in Ireland? They would have been travelling for anything from twenty days plus: presumably they had accidentally strayed or been driven into the Gulf Stream.
This is the only first-hand account of the Galway landfall, all others stem from this passage. It is extraordinary that no writer in Ireland found this remarkable enough, even out in the Pale, to record in the 1470s. A warning about gaps in our historical record.
Second, the author of the marginalia is remembered by history as Christopher Columbus. He was most likely in Ireland in 1476-1477 on a sailing trip to the north. This accidental encounter with a Amerindians (or Chinese as he believed) was to prove an important moment in his life. And years later his son recalled the episode in his father?s autobiography. It very likely demonstrated to Christopher that under the right circumstances it was possible for a vessel to cross the Great Ocean between the Indies and Europe. Much was to follow from this?
 

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Thank you, Magoopeter, very interesting.
Attached is a picture of 2 of the 3 anchors mentioned above. You can guess the size by the measuring stick that is calibrated in 10 cm divisions. I also had precise measurements of the anchors, but need to look for them.
You can see that one fluke is missing from one of the anchors. The fluke did not break from strain. It was right there next to the anchor shaft. I have often found this manufacturing defect on anchors of this style. I am looking for a picture to show the style of anchor that had this manufacturing design defect, to post.
These are very, very early anchors (for the new world).
The intact anchor is of a different design. Still not a good design, but slightly better. Eldorado-anchors.jpg
 
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Magoopeter

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Well, you have got plenty to put on the table, but how to Feck do you know so much about shipwrecks coming from Switzerland?
Do not see photos?
 
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Well, you have got plenty to put on the table, but how to Feck do you know so much about shipwrecks coming from Switzerland?
Do not see photos?

Sorry about the picture, just forgot to add it.
The articles about the slave ship Henrietta Marie give part of resume about my life up to 1984.
 

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