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HER Number:MDV14591
Name:Wreck of HMS Weazle off Baggy Point

Summary

HMS Weazle waswrecked off Baggy Point in February 1799, on passage to Falmouth, with the loss of all crew. Thirteen of its fourteen guns have been recovered.

Location

Grid Reference:SS 413 411
Map Sheet:SS44SW
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishGeorgeham
DistrictNorth Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishGEORGEHAM

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SS44SW/16
  • Pastscape: 832383
  • Tide Project: 07/08/2020

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • WRECK (Wrecked, XVIII - 1799 AD to 1799 AD)

Full description

Balfour, H. S., 1970, The Wreck of the HMS Weazle, 105-119, Pl. 1 (Article in Serial). SDV73905.

HMS Weazle, a 14 gun sloop, 22 metres long by 7.5 metres wide, was wrecked off Baggy Leap. The literature associated with the wreck is examined, and details of the crew and the salvage operations discussed. Eleven of the fourteen cannon from the ship have been recovered.

Moorhouse, S., 1971, Untitled Source, 202 (Article in Serial). SDV73904.

Preliminary survey made of HMS Weazle by Ilfracombe and North Devon Sub Aqua Club. The ship was lost on passage to Falmouth off Baggy Point in 1799. A cannon and iron and lead objects were recovered.

Brock, A., 1992, The wreck of the Weazle, 8-10 (Article in Serial). SDV73908.

Brock, B. + Brock, A., 1998, HMS Weazle 1782-1799 (Monograph). SDV73906.

The Weazle, variously referred to as a brig or sloop, was built in 1782 with its sister ship HMS Ferret at the Andrew Hills yard, Sandwich, Kent and armed with 14 x 4 pound guns and 12 x half pound swivel guns.
Weazle's first captain was Samuel Hood, who later became a Vice Admiral.
Full details of the ship's service record are given. She was stationed at Halifax, Nova Scotia from 1785-1789 and then returned to England on escort duty to protect merchant shipping and also on anti-smuggling duties. She was in action in 1793, including the capture of several ships and in 1798 is recorded as transporting troops to Ireland, taking part in the blockade of Wexford harbour.
The ship was wrecked on the morning of 11th February 1799. It is thought to have struck Baggy Leap, rocks off the north-west side of Baggy Point, during a gale and was lost with all hands. Records of the time, including contact with local pilot boat, indicate that the Weazle was inbound to Appledore after having repairs in Falmouth.
Nine men and one woman, said to be from the wreck, were buried in the south side of Georgeham churchyard later that year. William Kidman, of the Weazle, has a gravestone against the wall of the church tower. William Grey, the ship’s surgeon, is buried in Braunton Churchyard.
In 1867 the North Devon Journal recorded the finding of human remains at Croyde Bay which were presumed to be from the Weazle, although there were no artefacts to date or identify the individuals.
The North Devon Journal also recorded the discovery of a cannon at Baggy Point in 1852 and also of five guns being seen in low water near Bideford Bar off Northam Burrows in 1858, two of which were retrieved. These cannon may be the ones now [1998] in the grounds of Buckland House [the type of cannon, however, and their find location, so far to the south of the wreck may suggest that they are not from the Weazle].
Since 1970 the wreck has been in the ownership of the Ilfracombe Sub-Aqua Club. They have recovered various artefacts and two cannon – one found in 1969 was sold and the other sent to a museum in Rotherham, its place of manufacture. The maker’s mark is said to be the same as on HMS Victory’s guns.

Green, T. + Blaylock, S., 1999, The Morte Estate: Properties between Ilfracombe and Croyde Part I: Baggy Point, 21, 22 (Report - Survey). SDV339619.

Two cannon were raised in 1972 and 1973, presumably additional to the eleven recovered prior to 1970. One cannon now sits outside the Cart Linhay Heritage Centre in Mortehoe.

Collings, A. G. + Manning, P. T. + Valentin, J., 2007, The North Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Phase 1. Archaeological Survey. Summary Report, No. 1148 (Report - Assessment). SDV339712.

HMS Weazle. Lost on passage to Falmouth off Baggy Point in 1799. 14 gun sloop, 22 metres long by 7.5 metres wide. Preliminary survey made by Ilfracombe and north Devon Sub Aqua Club. A cannon and iron and lead objects were recovered.

University of Southampton, 2018, North Devon Rapid Coastal Zone Assessment Survey Desk-Based Assessment, No. 340 (Interpretation). SDV361978.

HMS Weazle. Lost on passage to Falmouth off Baggy Point in 1799.

National Monuments Record, 2019, Pastscape, 832383 (Website). SDV362732.

Remains of 1799 wreck of British sloop of war, located approximately 0.5 mile northwest of Baggy Point, identified by the concurrence of her place of loss with the retrieval of cannon with a broad arrow mark, marking them as of naval origin. HMS WEAZLE stranded at Baggy Point after striking the Morte Rocks during a gale from the north-northwest. Her voyage details are somewhat obscure. It is traditionally believed that she had just left Barnstaple for a cruise on anti-privateer duties off the north Cornish coast; however, there is evidence for her loss as taking place while inbound for Appledore from Falmouth, having just escorted a West Indiaman from Ilfracombe to Falmouth. Constructed of wood in 1783, she was a sailing vessel.

Timms, S. C., Undated, Cannon (Worksheet). SDV358845.

Two iron cannon recovered from HMS Weazle by Ilfracombe and North Devon Sub Aqua Club.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV339619Report - Survey: Green, T. + Blaylock, S.. 1999. The Morte Estate: Properties between Ilfracombe and Croyde Part I: Baggy Point. National Trust Archaeological Survey Report. A4 Stapled + Digital. 21, 22.
SDV339712Report - Assessment: Collings, A. G. + Manning, P. T. + Valentin, J.. 2007. The North Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Phase 1. Archaeological Survey. Summary Report. Exeter Archaeology Report. 06.22 (rev.1). A4 Stapled + Digital. No. 1148.
SDV358845Worksheet: Timms, S. C.. Undated. Cannon. Worksheet + Digital.
SDV361978Interpretation: University of Southampton. 2018. North Devon Rapid Coastal Zone Assessment Survey Desk-Based Assessment. RCZAS. Digital. No. 340. [Mapped feature: #5938 ]
SDV362732Website: National Monuments Record. 2019. Pastscape. https://www.pastscape.org.uk/. Website. 832383.
SDV73904Article in Serial: Moorhouse, S.. 1971. Post-Medieval Archaeology. 5. Unknown. 202.
SDV73905Article in Serial: Balfour, H. S.. 1970. The Wreck of the HMS Weazle. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 102. Hardback Volume + Digital. 105-119, Pl. 1.
SDV73906Monograph: Brock, B. + Brock, A.. 1998. HMS Weazle 1782-1799. HMS Weazle 1782-1799. Unknown.
SDV73908Article in Serial: Brock, A.. 1992. The wreck of the Weazle. North Devon Heritage Journal. 4. Unknown. 8-10.

Associated Monuments

MDV11904Parent of: Cannon from HMS Weazle (Monument)
MDV128832Related to: Five cannon at Bideford Bar (Find Spot)
MDV128836Related to: Grave of Wiliam Grey in St Brannock's Churchyard, Braunton (Monument)
MDV128834Related to: Graves of the crew of HMS Weazle in St George's Churchyard, Georgeham. (Monument)
MDV218Related to: Parish Church of St. Mary Magdalene, Mortehoe (Building)
MDV128833Related to: Shipwreck burials at Freshwell House, Georgeham (Monument)
MDV128838Related to: Shipwreck burials at Morthoe (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded


Date Last Edited:Aug 19 2020 3:32PM