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Topic (1 Response)Posted
Jamaica Inn
Did the "wreckers" actually exist somewhere in that area,or was this story completely a work of fiction.
Mon 11/04/16 08:58 AM


Time to consult the experts. Dr Helen Doe has a Masters degree in maritime history and followed up with a learned doctorate. Her view on wrecking briefly covered in her book The Maritime History of Cornwall an introduction (2006) is that the 'luring of vessels to their doom by using false lights is not yet proven' But read also Cathryn Pearce's book Cornish Wrecking 1700-1860 (2010) Reality and Popular Myth examines the 1753 wrecking statute containing the contentious 'dead wreck clause'.Popular writers argue that the clause is confirmation that wrecking existed after all when was a law ever passed against a nonexistent crime? She then counters the argument by the manner in which this last minute clause was introduced in Parliament. It could be speculated that since local magistrates and lords of the manor, controlled salvage activities, is it likely that any evidence exists if indeed such citizens were remotely complicit? However the fact remains that wrecking must be distinguished from smuggling and taking goods washed up on beaches,which practice is alive and thriving today. So far there appears no reliable evidence of wrecking although as a fan of Daphne's Jamaica Inn, I'd love to say otherwise.

Posted on Mon 25/04/16 05:29 PM

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