Diving on Scilly
Other books by the Author

Being in the western aproaches, the Isles of Scilly are littered with shipwrecks from throughout maritime history. Although there are many steel and iron wrecks to be found in the sea around these islands, especially interesting are the, so called, old time wrecks. These, old time, or historic shipwrecks are in abundance, with many new ones coming to light almost every year. The most recent important discoveries being made in the area being the stern of HMS Colossus, sank in 1798, discovered in 1999 by shipwreck hunter and author Todd Stevens; and the Nancy Packet, sank in 1784, discovered in 2007 by Todd Stevens & Edward Cumming.

The Nancy Packet
On a stormy night In February 1784, the mail packet Nancy foundered on ledges a short distance west of Rosevear Island. She was on route home to England from India under the command of Captain John Haldane “of Gleneagles”; known by his friends as- “the child of misfortune”

Of those who took to the ships Jolly boat to escape the wreck; one was the lover of Captain Haldane; infamous actress and opera singer Ann Cargill. All but one person drowned in this disaster, including Ann who was cradling her illigitimate child in her arms at the time.

One of the Nancy's 6 anchors

The bodies of Ann and her child were found floating in teir night clothes with Ann still clutching the baby tightly to her bosom. It was written at the time that: “The maternal instinct had not yet yielded even unto death itself”. The story goes that Ann sang to her child until the moment their boat turned over drowning them both.

One of the Nancy's 6 pound guns

Ann Cargill was an extremely famous figure in her time, as a result, the tale of this melancholy tragedy struck a nerve with the public and the press.

Only seventeen of fourty nine bodies recovered from the wreck and these were immediately buried on the uninhabited island of Rosevear. However, as it was later found that Ann was such a high profile figure, her body was exhumed to be re-interred on St Mary’s Island. Her remains currently lie in an unknown position in Old Town Churchyard.

Ever since the wreck occurred, Rosevear Island is said to have been haunted by a woman singing a lullaby; bore out by records of the experiences of the workmen who built the Bishop Rock Lighthouse.

Site under construction; more shipwreck tales will follow.