Drawing on his recent prize-winning book, ‘The Unfortunate Captain Peirce and the Wreck of the Halsewell’, Philip Browne will describe the terrible events that shocked the nation when a huge East India Company ship was wrecked on the Purbeck coast.
On board were the Captain’s teenaged daughters, his nieces and several other young ladies, bound for India in search of rich husbands. Despite the dramatic rescue of some of the crew, Captain Peirce and all the young ladies were drowned. In 1786, the peculiar circumstances of this disaster caught the public imagination and filled the newspapers for weeks. More than two centuries later, the story of the Halsewell still has the power to move us.
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