Marine Heritage Database

HMS Feversham - 1711

Ship Type

Typical Profile

Tonnage

372

Length(ft)

107

Breadth(ft)

28

Depth(ft)

10.67

Masts

three

Decks

Hull

Shipwreck Details

Description

HMS FEVERSHAM was a 32 gun Fifth Rate warship. This type of vessel, sometimes called a one and a half decker, is representative of the growing numbers of smaller warships (later called frigates) being developed by the Royal Navy to escort supply ships in response to the new strategic emphasis by the French on commerce raiding instead of fleet battles. These smaller warships were ideal for colonial waters and would play important roles in battles between the French, English and Americans in North America. Note: The name is spelled in some sources as FAVERSHAM.

Story

FEVERSHAM was escorting three supply ships joining a British invasion fleet attacking Quebec when she lost her way in a gale and sailed too close to the rocks off Scaterie Island. All four ships foundered and sank. Of FEVERSHAM's crew of 150, only 48 survived. The invasion fleet itself was also destroyed by storms and Quebec was safe for another generation. The British made unsuccessful attempts to salvage FEVERSHAM immediately after the sinking. Treasure hunters began searching for FEVERSHAM in the 1960s. However not until 1996 was the wreck positively identified when a fork belonging to her captain was recovered and identified. FEVERSHAM carried money to pay for invasion supplies and wages. Her coins are a rare and important example of what archaeologists call a merchant's hoard, a snapshot of the rough everyday coins used to buy supplies. Although a British ship she carried coin from many nations, including many crude stamped Spanish coins called cobs. FEVERSHAM is also a rare and important source of the earliest American coinage. Massachusetts began minting its own coins in 1652 because of a shortage of reliable currency. This defied orders from Britain that no coins were to be minted in the colonies. Feversham represents one of the rare large discoveries of this coinage - over 120 Massachusetts coins were recovered.

Vessel Type

Ship, 5th Rate

Type of Event

Loss

Nature of Event

Wrecked

Cause of Event

Judgement error

Date of Wreck

1711-10-07

Location

Scaterie Island 20 miles from Louisbourg

Cargo

Invasion supplies

Lives Lost

102

Voyage from

New York, New York

Voyage to

Quebec, Quebec , Canada

Remarks

Ship Construction

Built at

Shoreham, United Kingdom

Date

1696/10/01

Registered at

United Kingdom

Date

Propulsion

Sail

Rig

Ship

Details

Fifth Rate

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Comments to: Maritime Museum of the Atlanic      / Last updated on 2007-10-05

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