About | Volunteer | Support
History Project Facebook
History Project Youtube
History Project on Instagram
sponsors
sponsors

On This Day… A Famous Maritime Mystery!

Written by: George Chittenden : 10 Jun 2019

It was on this day, 7th Nov, back in 1872 when the 282-ton sailing ship ‘Mary Celeste’ set sail from New York Harbour on route to Genoa, Italy. On board were the ship’s captain, Benjamin S. Briggs, his wife, Sarah, and their 2-year-old daughter, Sophia, along with eight crewmembers. Less than a month later, on December 5th, a passing British ship spotted ‘Mary Celeste’ at full sail and adrift about 400 miles east of the Azores. The captain, his family and all the crew had vanished! It’s one of the most famous maritime mysteries in history.

The Mary Celeste

The Mary Celeste

She was found by the Canadian brigantine Dei Gratia in a dishevelled but seaworthy condition. Aside from several feet of water in the hold and a missing lifeboat, the ship was undamaged and loaded with six months’ worth of food and water. Her cargo of denatured alcohol was intact, and the captain's and crew's personal belongings were undisturbed. None of those who had been on board were ever seen or heard from again. Why would an experienced captain and his sailors, abandon a perfectly sound ship?

At the salvage hearings in Gibraltar, following her recovery, the court's officers considered several theories including mutiny by Mary Celeste's crew, piracy by the Dei Gratia crew or others, and conspiracy to carry out insurance or salvage fraud. However, no convincing evidence supported these theories. Over the year’s other theories have been suggested, such as alcohol fumes rising from the cargo and effecting the crew, waterspouts, giant squid and of course the supernatural. The Mary Celeste was eventually deliberately wrecked off the coast of Haiti, as part of an attempted insurance fraud in 1885.

Search

By Era

To 5000 BCE 5000 - 2000 BCE 2000 BCE - 0 0 - 400 CE 400 - 800 CE 800 - 1100 CE 1100 - 1500 CE 1500 - 1700 CE 18th Century 19th Century 1900's 1910's 1920's 1930's 1940's 1950's 1960's 1970's 1980's 1990's 2000's 2010's

By Topic

Royal British Roman North American Egyptian Nautical European Social WW1 Military Viking Asian African Australian South American Political Celebrity WW2 Religion

We promote history by...

offering free articles and videos, providing free history experiences for children in schools and on weekends. Next year we will be visiting hospitals and providing unforgettable experiences to children who really need it and give them a chance to forget their condition, their treatment and their reality. Please join others who support our free projects by giving a small donation. We can only continue our great work with your help.

appealimage

Support The History Project


Visiting Deal? Take a Pitt Stop at The Seagull  Support the History Project - Your face hereAspen Waite helps ambitious companies achieve their goals with quality advice and support, whatever the challenge.Waterfront Hotel - A Beautiful hotel and restaurant with views overlooking Deal`s historic `Downs Anchorage` and award  - winning Pier. 9 Beach Street, Deal, Kent, CT14 6HYWe are a family owned and operated Removal and International Overseas Shipping company based in DealGo back in time and explore DealTop quality plumbing, and heating services at a very competitive price click here to find out more.Local Lads that cover the Kent area, boasting a 9.9/ 10 on checkatrade.com these lads really give their very best for a very very fair price. ( image attached) phone number could be good under construction - 07791101946TCleaning and Support Services, Kents premier eco-friendly, green office cleaning and Facilities Management companyAspen Waite helps ambitious companies achieve their goals with quality advice and support, whatever the challenge.Farsim BoutiqueACAS The Decorating Company - 07759075930Coming to Deal, Receive a Warm welcome and some of the best organic coffee in town, also great Gluten free and Vegan options hereACAS The Decorating Company - 07759075930Coming to Deal, Receive a Warm welcome and some of the best organic coffee in town, also great Gluten free and Vegan options hereLocal Lads that cover the Kent area, boasting a 9.9/ 10 on checkatrade.com these lads really give their very best for a very very fair price. ( image attached) phone number could be good under construction - 07791101946Cleaning and Support Services, Kents premier eco-friendly, green office cleaning and Facilities Management companyDeals best-kept secret, nestled in DealGo back in time and explore DealHave a spare room or property you would like to make some money from? Contact Ally now  Clock in the old fashioned way and roam DealHeritage WindSea Cafe Coffee Shop Walmer Green, StrandVisiting Deal? Take a Pitt Stop at The Seagull  Local Lads that cover the Kent area, boasting a 9.9/ 10 on checkatrade.com these lads really give their very best for a very very fair price. ( image attached) phone number cwould be good under construction - 07791101946ACAS The Decorating Company - 07759075930Local Lads that cover the Kent area, boasting a 9.9/ 10 on checkatrade.com these lads really give their very best for a very very fair price. ( image attached) phone number could be good under construction - 0779110194610952342566435125824674439153145545122353161623743