Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Lovely Piratey story from the Daily Mail

 The REAL pirates of the Caribbean: Divers recover 17th Century cannons belonging to bloodthirsty buccaneer Henry Morgan

  • Six guns possibly from The Satisfaction found off in river in Panama
  • Notorious Welshman's flagship sunk in 1671 by the Spanish
Archaeologists have revealed that six cannons that belonged to the bloodthirsty British pirate Henry Morgan have been recovered from a river in Panama.
Swashbuckling adventurer Morgan sent three ships and a crew of 470 men to capture the Castillo de San Lorenzo el Real de Chagres, a fort that guarded the approach to Panama City, the capital, in 1671.
But the notorious buccaneer and his men were sailing up the Chagres River to join them when his flagship, The Satisfaction, and at least three other vessels crashed on Lajas Reef, sinking in shallow water.
In this undated photo released on Monday Feb. 28, 2011 by Panamaís Institute of Culture
Fire power: Archaeologists examine the decayed cannons that are believed to have come from fearsome bucaneer Henry Morgan's ship, the Satisfaction, which sank in Panama in 1671
Members of Morgan's force paddled upriver and walked overland to reach Panama City, leaving theire wrecked ships to looters.
Now a group of Panamanian and foreign archaeologists say that cannons  found at the mouth of Panama's Chagres River, the site where Morgan's flagship was wrecked, may have belonged to the pirate.
'Every school kid learns about Morgan's activities, but we have never seen any of his materials,' archaeologist Tomas Mendizibal told the Los Angeles Times.
Notorious pirate Henry Morgan. Weird fact of the day: Notorious pirate Henry Morgan was so offended by a book that described him as 'bloodthirsty' and, much worse, a former servant, he sued the publisher for libel.
Swashbuckling: Morgan was born in a small Welsh village and went on to become a notorious pirate
'If these are indeed his cannons, it would be a first.'
Henry Morgan was born in the small village of Llanrumney in south Wales and went on to become legendary buccaneer who battled the Spanish for control of the Caribbean.
Although he is said to be a pirate he was actually working for the English Commonwealth to secure trade routes to the New World.
The wreckage in Panama in 1671 proved a personal setback as the city was later burned down and looted in violation of a peace treaty between England and Spain.
Morgan was forgiven by King Charles II was later sent to Jamaica where he became a planter and respected member of the ruling class before he fell ill and died in 1688.
But in Panama, the legend of the swashbuckling buccaneer has lived on and he has become one of the best known pirates in the region.
Divers led by top archaeologists have mapped the site of the wreckage on the  the banks  of the Rio Chagres since 2008.
The cannons were measured and photographed in 2008 and studied by Dr. Ruth Brown, formerly with the Royal Armouries in the UK and an internationally renowned early cannon expert.
Divers recover cannons belonging to pirate Henry Morgan
two archaeologists recovering a cannon that scientists believe may have belonged to British pirate, Captain Henry Morgan, at the mouth of the Rio Chagres off Colon, Panama.
Weapons: Experts said the size and shape of the cannons appear to be a close match with the characteristics of small iron cannon of the Seventeenth Century
The size and shape of the cannons appear to be a close match with the characteristics of small iron cannon of the Seventeenth Century. A more detailed identification of the cannons will take place after they are treated and years of encrustation and corrosion are removed in the laboratory.
Last week they finally confirmed that they had recovered the cannons from a shallow reef damaged by treasure hunters, whose blasting and dredging had exposed the fragile iron cannons to possible damage and loss.  This led to the decision to recover the cannons.
Henry Morgan pirate
Mission: Henry Morgan sent three ships and a crew of 470 men along the Chagres River to capture a fort guarding the approach to Panama City
The archaeological survey was coordinated by the Waitt Institute with collaboration with Panama's National Culture Institute.
Mr. Raul Castro Zachrisson, Secretary General of Panama's Instituto Nacional de Cultura said: 'Panama's National Institute of Culture (INAC) is committed to the preservation of our cultural heritage. We strive to maintain it in the present and bestowed for the benefit of future generations.
'I am honored to be a part of this important historical find and look forward to a continuous working relationship with all the institutions and professionals involved in the conservation of our sub aquatic cultural and natural resource

We have been to Panama, anchored under some of the old forts, read the tales of pirates, and privateers so a lovely story to bring home the history of the place.Not too sure of the accuracy of the map of where these were found though! Still damn the facts lets go with the romance...


SV Dragonheart said...

Welsh???? I wonder if he and Roger are related.

Gerry said...

All I can say is Baa!