Book Review-‘Catastrophe at Spithead: The sinking of the ‘Royal George’’ by H. L. Rubinstein

By John M. Bingeman, published January 2021


Hilary Rubinstein’s in-depth research has successfully collated all the relevant information to explain why the 100-gun Royal George should have foundered on 29 August 1782 while at anchor between Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight. Certainly, to the many witnesses it was beyond belief that she could just disappear with only her mast visible in near calm conditions. It will never be known how many lives were lost; some say as many as 1,200, including mothers and children besides Rear-Admiral Richard Kempenfelt. At the time families, traders, dockyard artisans and workmen were all onboard, some of whom were rescued. As she rapidly foundered, those below deck, including the aged admiral in his great cabin, were trapped and perished; a more conservative figure on the fatalities was still a staggering 800 lives. All the many information sources are highly referenced; Hilary can be commended for going to great lengths to cover all known possible sources. Her love of poetry is apparent as poems appear regularly throughout the book to enhance her prose…

Join Today To Read The Full Article

Filed under: English Channel | Shipwrecks
Subjects include: Miscellaneous

Join Today To Read The Full Article

Join Now

If you are already a member please login here.