One of the worst maritime disasters in British history happened off the Isles of Scilly on this day in history, 22 October 1707. (O.S.) In the summer or 1707, Commander-in-Chief of the British Fleets, Sir Cloudesley Shovell, had led a fleet of 21 British ships in their Mediterranean campaign against the French as part of the War of the Spanish Succession. At summers end, the fleet, led by Shovell’s flagship HMS¬†Association, departed Gibraltar on 29 September, bound for England. The entire return voyage was plagued by bad weather and strong gales. The portion of their journey that traversed the Atlantic...

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