In April 1753, a British frigate called the Assurance sank on the Needles, off the coast of the Isle of Wight. Its remains were rediscovered in 1969, complete with cannon, silver coins, and many other artefacts. Designated the sixth protected wreck in Britain, the site became the subject of years of underwater exploration throughout the 1970s and 1980s. During these investigations several other shipwrecks were also discovered, including the Pomone, which was wrecked in the same spot in October 1811. The Pomone, in particular, proved to be a valuable source of maritime equipment, providing important information about naval technology at the time.
Research into the wrecks and life onboard these wooden warships is presented in detail in the first part of this book, while the second part gives an engaging account of the life and naval career of Admiral Sir Robert Barrie, who was captain of the Pomone at the time it sank.
This well-illustrated and carefully researched account will be of relevance to anyone interested in the UK’s maritime history and underwater heritage.
Review by AB.
The Wrecks of HM Frigates Assurance (1753) & Pomone (1811), John Bingeman, Paul Simpson, and David Tomalin, Oxbow, £48, ISBN 978-1789256376.