29th August 1782 - the Royal George sinks

Loss_of_the_Royal_George,_at_Spithead_(1871).jpg On 29th August 1782 the Royal George sank[1], while being repaired at Portsmouth.

I don’t know of any significant connection between the Royal George and Salisbury, except that the pub in Bedwin Street was named to commemorate the ship.

William Cowper wrote the poem ‘Toll for the Brave’ in honour of the 800 who lost their lives.

Toll for the Brave! Brave that are no more, All sunk beneath the wave; Fast by their native shore! Eight hundred of the Brave, Whose courage well was tried, Had made the vessel heel, And laid her on her side, A land breeze shook the shrouds, And she was overset, Down went the Royal George With all her crew complete. Toll for the Brave! The Brave that are no more, All sunk beneath the wave Fast by their native shore! Toll for the Brave! Brave Kempenfelt is gone; His last sea fight is fought; His work of glory done. It was not in the battle, No tempest gave the shock, She sprang no fatal leak, She ran upon no rock. His sword was in his sheath, His fingers held the pen, When Kempenfelt went down, With twice four hundred men. Toll for the Brave! The Brave that are no more, All sunk beneath the wave Fast by their native shore! Weigh the vessel up, Once dreaded by our foes, And mingle with our cup The tears that England owes. Her timbers yet are sound, And she may float again, Full charg'd with England's thunder, And plough the distant main. But Kempenfelt is gone, His victories are o'er, And he and his eight hundred Must plough the wave no more. Toll for the Brave! The Brave that are no more, All sunk beneath the wave Fast by their native shore![2]

Pic: By Not stated; book in which the illustration appeared by Edwin John Brett (1827–1895). [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Footnotes

[1] I read this on the notice outside the pub in Bedwyn Street, but there’s more detail here: HMS Royal George (1756) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

[2] Toll for the Brave, William Cowper, URL: http://www.contemplator.com/sea/tollbrave.html

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