The Mystery Wreck of the L'Aimable Sara(h)

Times: Monday, 2 January, 1786, Issue 319

Extracts of a letter from Penzance, Dec 22.

"On Saturday last, about seven o'clock in the morning, a large ship was seen about two leagues west of Lands End, in apparent great difficulties; the wind then very hard and east. Thirty people from a small village called Sunning, [Sennen], went out in two boats to their assistance. between the ship and the shore, they were met by two boats from the vessel, who told them they were from Port au Prince, bound for Dunkirk, that they had been out fifty six days, and had met very hard weather. the Ship was very leaky and when they quitted her, she had six feet of water in the hold, and they supposed she would go down in less than a quarter of an hour; this did not stop the Cornish men; they boarded her, and found very foul play had been used, and great pains taken to sink the ship. Three augers were found with which they had bored holes under the cabin and also the rigging was cut away, the more to disable her, and the principal pump gear hid away. They stopped the holes as soon as possible, and in a few hours got her safe into St. Mary's, in Scilly, where they are now discharging her cargo, which is coffee, sugar and indigo; and I am just now informed by a letter (from home) that it is worth ten thousand pounds. The person who calls himself the Captain, says his name is Francis Cardon, the ship called the Sarah; and that they left the real Captain sick in the West Indies, but that story gains very little credit here. They brought a great quantity of specie on shore with them which is safely lodged in town; I understand fifty chests of dollars.

Judgement in Salvage Claim dated 8th day of February 1786.  Cornish Record Office

Cornwall to wit, whereas, The good brigantine or vessel called L’Aimable Sara, from & belonging to Dunkirk in the Kingdom of France, where of Francois Cardon was master, laden with sugar, coffee and Indigo with other articles, whilst on a voyage from Port au Prince to Dunkirk on the sixteenth day of December past; quitted by the said Master Francois Cardon and all the rest of the crew on account of the vast quantity of water then in the holds of the vessel; and their vessel or brigantine soon after her being so quitted by her master and crew was boarded and taken possession of near the Lands End of England by John Vingoe the younger, Nicholas Pascoe, John George, the younger, Jonathan Humphreys and several other persons of and belonging to the Parish of Sennen in the County aforesaid and by them carried in the afternoon of the same  day into Saint Mary’s on the Scilly Isles when the cargo of the said vessel has been landed and cellared in the wharehouses of Thomas Phillips lying in Saint Mary’s aforesaid. And Whereas it has been represented unto us (whose hands are here under subscribed and seals offered three of His Majesty’s Justices of the Peace for the said County and inhabiting near the place where the vessel has been salved and the cargoe landed and wharehoused.) by Messers George Croker Fox & Sons of Falmouth in the same County, Merchants, on behalf of themselves and the Proprietors of the said Brigantine or vessel and cargoe and that the several persons so concerned in salving the said vessel, and preserving the cargo demanding an extravagant salvage they could not agree with them concerning the several sums of money they respectively recorded to be paid for their deeds and assistance in salving and preserving the said vessel and landing and warehousing her cargo, and therefore prayed on the said Justices to ajudge and settle the same in such manner as to us should s---- and reasonable according to the laws in such case made and provided.

Now we the said Justices having duly weighed and considered the premises and having examined the several matters and things and heard what could be alleged and proved concerning the same, Do therefore order, adjudge, adjust, settlement and allot the several charges, expences and gratuities to the several persons who acted and were concerned in the salvage and preservation of the vessel and cargo to be paid and allotted to them respectively in manner and form, and in such proportions we hereinafter mentioned and charged, that is to say:

To hire of the sloop & boat  sundry times over, the Capt. & crew Mr Jon Batten to & from Scilly with the mariners, expenses included.  

£133 13 11

To George Shervey & others for assisting in discharge of cargo.

£  5  15  0

To cash paid with an express to  Scilly with a letter to Mr Jon. Batten

£  5  15  6

William Edwards, the innkeepers Bill for sundries at their house in Scilly for the board, lodging & expenses of the crew of the vessel & Persons attending to value the cargo.

£ 69  16  0

To John Bvich for new casks & coopering the casks in the hold  of The vessel and landing the same.

£ 20   5  0

To three persons for their trouble in surveying the vessel. 

£ 3    3  0

To William Thomas for his trouble to attending at Scilly on board the vessel 24 days & night to prevent the cargo being plundered.

£ 25   4  0

To Neremiah Batten for his attendance on the same business, five weeks.

£ 10 10   0

To Charles Francis for his attending three weeks.

£  3  3   0

To William Edwards on his attending on salving the cargo.

£  2  2   0

To William Thomas for drawing affidavits made by several of the Crew and paid the Govenor for swearing them.                           

£  5  5   0

To William Treludder for expenses of several of the crew whilst in Penzance.

£  6  7   6

To John Hampton for the like.

£ 0  18  11

To William Rescarla for the like.

£ 2   5   6

To cash paid for expenses to & from London & Exeter.

£ 11 11   6

To lock & staples to put on the warehouses.

£ 1  19   6

To postage of letters paid be Jos Batten.

£ 0   7   6

To cash paid to Alex Gardener for bringing crew & their baggage from Sennen to Penzance.

£ 1  18   0

To cash paid to the crew to purchase provisions.

£ 13  16  6

To be paid for Chaise service & Horse Service to the Lands End and for provisions for the crew & summary of furbishment of the Bill

£ 20  13  6

Copies therefore to be sent to the several owners, insurers, and those concerned and several attendances on the business.

£ 10  16  4

To cash paid interpreter for attendance made at Sennen when prot made.

£ 1   1   0

To Mr Jos Batten & Thos Halse for their attendance at Scilly Salving ship & Cargo.

£ 50  0   0

To Mr John Medbury, Governor of the Islands of Scilly for his Services.

£ 5   5   0

To Alex Gendallans for assisting the Sennen mariners in piloting the vessel into St Mary’s

£ 10  4   0

To Sundry labourers for unloading vessel and carrying the goods to the warehouse & stowing same. 

£ 47 18  11

Expenses for Capt. Carson & crew when they left the ship and landed at Sennen. 

£ 27  4  11

To Thomas Phillips for the rent of 5 wharehouses for five months.

£ 11  0   0

Sundry labourers for taking the cargo out of the wharehouses in order to appraise and value the same. 

£ 12 12   0

To Emmanuel Trevithick & Son Coopers,  for coopering the cargo when warehoused, appraised & -------?

£ 23 16   0

To dunnage put under the cargo in the wharehouse,3 planks.

£ 3  11   6

To hire of several sloops to carry letters to and from Scilly for Mr Croker, Fox & Sons & bringing over several persons to attend the Justices.

£ 40  4   0

To the hire of two wharehouses & two Malt Kilnes for drying the Coffee.

£ 5   5   0

To Coals used in the Kilns.

£ 3   3   0

To Thomas Nicholls & Partners for their labour in attending to the Coffee for 4 days & nights, including candles.

£ 10  10  0

To several persons for washing the damaged coffee in fresh water.

£ 3   19  6

To Thomas Graham for his several attendances.

£ 3   3   0

To Tavern expenses on land for drying overhaul & weighing the Cargo for labourers & sundry persons.

£ 32  18  5

To Thomas Phillips for candles & Sundries.

£ 3   13  3

For George Reynolds for his attendance at Scilly for 2 months taking care of ship & cargo.

£ 31  10  0

To Mr Cuppee for board & lodging at Scilly. 

£ 12   8  6

To Shipwrights Bill for their attendance when the vessel was Stranded.

£ 7   13 11

To sumory persons ----  at various times the ships and cargo appraising and valuing them.

£ 12  12  0

 Paid for drawing & survey.

£ 2   2   0

Paid for notural instruments at Scilly.

£ 3   3   0

To Quay services & on land services shipping the cargo.

£ 4   0   0

To Lazarus Solomon for attending the Governor of Scilly as Interpreter when several of the crew were examined.

£ 4   0   0

To cash paid for light money for the vessel.

£ 20  0   0

To money paid for boxes & bags for samples of the coffee.

£  1 10   0

The cost of wine for sea stock for several people to take with them to Scilly.

£  5  5   0

To postage of letters to and from London for Messurs Fox & Sons.

£ 10  0   0

To Mr Cuppee for his attendance at Scilly taking care of Ship and Cargo.

£ 21 10   6

To Thomas Phillips for his care and trouble of same.

£ 10  6   0

To Dionysius Williams for same & expenses.

£ 12  12  0

To sundry expenses Chaise hire etc for Mess. Fox & Sons and their attendance on this business.

£ 16  0   0

To drawing the cargo from the warehouses to the waterside.

£ 9   9   0

To Tavern expenses at Scilly for selling the goods for payment Of salvage.

£ 7   0   0

Advertise the sales in several papers & print advertisments.

£ 10  0   0

To Francois Marjauning for his trouble attending the sale at Scilly to preserve the ship & cargo.

£ 10  0   0

To Tavern expenses for agents on lotting and valuing the cargo.

£ 10  0   0

Three Justices for attending the adjudication two days.

£  9  9   0

To the solicitor drawing Petitions, Notices & Justices adjudication and attending for two days.

£  6  6   0

To summary expenses attending to meetings of the Justices at two different times.

£ 20  0   0

To the Collector of the Customs at Scilly for his trouble and attendance on this business.

£ 15 15   0

To the Excise Officer for same.

£ 10 10   0

To Thomas Hall comptroller surveyor and land waiter for same.

£  8  8   0

To Customs Boatmen for same.

£ 12  0   0

To Special Sufferences.

£  2  2   0

To Fox & Sons for their summory attendance a trouble about the Ship and cargo.

£ 50   0   0

To John Vingoe and 19 men for the salvage of the ship and cargo having taken possession of the same off  the Lands End when forsaken by the Captain and Crew and sailing her into St Mary’s one of the Scilly Islands and their expenses included.

£500  0   0

To Brokerage of the sale etc.

£ 51  2   0


£1,459 13 7

For payment and satisfaction of which said sum of one thousand four hundred and fifty nine pounds thirteen shillings and nine pence. We the said Justices do hereby order and ------ that so much of the cargo of the Brigantine or vessel so salved as aforesaid and shall be sufficient for that purpose be forthwith sold to the highest bidder for ready money by the Mess George Croker Fox & Sons and after such much money shall be thereby raised as will be sufficient to pay and satisfy the said sum of One thousand four hundred and fifty nine pounds thirteen shillings and nine pence. That they Mess. George Croker Fox & Sons shall may well and truly retain, reimburse and pay to and for themselves and the other persons initialled to receive the same by  virtue of this our order and judgement that the sums and proportions of the money so to them respectively allowed and allotted according to the true intent and means of these Prevents and the laws in such cases cited.

Given under our Hands & Seals at Penzance in the County of Cornwall the 8th day of February 1786.

John Tonkin                          John Price                    William Veale



The sale appears to have taken place three years later, see Advertisement in ISSUE 1348.  There is no mention of the specie i.e. the fifty chests of dollars?

On Thursday the 30th day of April next, by Ten O'Clock in the Forenoon,

at the House of WILLIAM EDWARDS, St. Mary's, one of the Islands of Scilly.


of about 260 Tons Burthen, with all her Materials,

the said Vessel is well calculated for the Foreign and Coasting Trade,

and may be sent to sea for a small Expense.

Immediately after the sale of the above Brig will be sold at Public Auction,

the said Vessels Cargo consisting of about

25 Tons of Coffee (Great part of which damaged).

50 Tons of Sugar.

4 cwt of Indigo

1 Bag of Cotton Wool

The Goods may be viewed fourteen days before the sale,

on applying to the Collector of Comptroller of the Customs at Scilly,

and further particulars known and Samples viewed by applying to George C. Fox and Sons,

A Falmouth Agent for the Concerned.

Dated at Falmouth, March 23rd 1789.