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British Industrial History

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HMS Lutine

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1779 Launched in 1779 by the French, HMS Lutine was a frigate which served in both the French Navy and the Royal Navy. She was built as a French Magicienne-class frigate with 32 guns.

1793 The ship passed to British control and was taken into service as "HMS Lutine" and was rebuilt by the British as a fifth-rate frigate with 38 guns. She was one of sixteen ships handed over to a British fleet at the end of the Siege of Toulon, to prevent her being captured by the French Republicans.

1799 Lutine sank during a storm at Vlieland in the West Frisian Islands on 9 October 1799, whilst carrying a large shipment of gold. Shifting sandbanks disrupted salvage attempts, and the majority of the cargo has never been recovered. Lloyd's of London has preserved her salvaged bell - the Lutine Bell - which is now used for ceremonial purposes at their headquarters in London.[1][2]

Between 1799 and 1821 over £55,000 in gold and silver bullion was recovered from the wreck by boatmen and fishermen, half of which sum was paid to the Dutch Government.

1821 In 1821 Mr. Pierre Eschanzier obtained exclusive rights of salvage, but little success attended the operations, and the Dutch Government subsequently agreed to cede to Lloyd's that Government's moiety of any recovered treasure.

1924 A contract was signed between Lloyd's and two Dutch engineers of Delft, whereby salvage operations on the wreck were undertaken for a specified period with the hope of recovering cargo and other objects.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Wikipedia
  2. The Engineer 1924/08/22