Eastbourne Memories - A Victorian Perspective

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84                   Old Memories of East-Bourne. [Chap. VI.
appears in the Illustrated London News of October 29, 1853, of which I have preserved a copy.
There have of course been many other wrecks along the coast during my time, but the only one calling for any notice was that of the steamer Gannet, which went ashore at Seaford in April 1882, and broke up. It was a very queer comical sight, for we were able to walk up to the ship lying almost upright upon the beach with an enormous rent in her side ; and merchandise, boxes, and bales of goods of every description floating about in the water, or high and dry on the beach.
I may here mention 2 wrecks which though of somewhat ancient date are still kept alive amongst the traditions of East-Bourne by engravings which now and again come under the notice of the public at auction sales.
The first of these wrecks was that of a Spanish j\lan-of-War, the Nympha Americana of 60 guns, and carrying a valuable cargo, which was captured near Cadiz in 1747 by the English, and was being brought as a prize to London but went ashore at Beachy Head. Some extracts from the notes attached to the picture will be given in Chapter XIX. (post.)
The second of the two wrecks to which I have alluded was that of the Thames, which went ashore near Langney Point in 1822. From a memorandum which I suppose was supplied at the time to purchasers of the picture, I borrow the following details, copying the memorandum verbatim:
" A view of the Thames, East Indiaman, William Haviside, Esq., Commander. Burthen, 1350 tons. This fine ship was out-ward bound from London for China, and was driven on shore by a heavy gale, near Eastbourne, Sussex, on Sunday morning,, the 3d of February, 1822; her extensive Cargo was taken out without loss (excepting damage by water) under the direction and management of Mr. J. B. Stone, of New-haven, Agent to Lloyds. She lay in this situation from the 3d of February to the 22d, when she was got off, to the great gratification of many thousands of Spectators; she was then conducted away for Deptford, by two steam vessels, which were in attendance for that purpose. She arrived safe at Deptford, on the 24th of February, with a prospect of being speedily repaired to proceed on her original destination."
I think the "thousands of Spectators" must be a figure of speech, for there were no excursion trains in those days !
In the days before what is ridiculously known as-" Free Trade" one often saw at East-Bourne small
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