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The Earl of Abergavenny
The Avalanche
HMS Formidable
The Halsewell
The Halsewell
The Royal Adelaide

The Halsewell

The Halsewell was a grand East Indiaman merchant ship. It had a rich cargo and the passengers included the Captain's two daughters and nieces. Thomas Burston, the First Mate, was also related to the Captain. It was to have been Captain Pierce's final voyage before he retired.

The ship was sailing to India to trade. In January 1786, as it headed west down the Channel, a terrible storm developed.

For several days the ship fought against blizzards and hurricane force winds until finally it was driven onto the rocks at Seacombe, near Worth Matravers.

More than 160 people lost their lives including the Captain's daughters and nieces. Captain Pierce and his nephew, Thomas Burston, could have saved themselves but chose instead to comfort the young women as best they could and drowned with them.

Which object do you think came from this ship?

The Photograph
The Lead Seal
The Silver Button
The Shoe
The Stained Glass


Click on the objects below to find out more

Thumbnail image of photograph linking to larger image and more information which will open in a pop-up window