On October 20th, 1619, en route to Jamestown Virginia, the merchant ship “Warwick” belonging to Sir Robert Rich, the Earl of Warwick made a scheduled stop in Bermuda. The Warwick’s arrival was an important event for the island. On that voyage, the ship was charged with delivering Captain Nathaniel Butler, the new Governor of the nascent colony. Apart from delivering Butler, the Warwick was to carry supplies and settlers to the struggling colony at Jamestown, Virginia, and collect colonial products, mostly tobacco, for return to England.
While the Warwick was in port, a devastating hurricane wreaked havoc on the islands of Bermuda. Amongst the victims of the tempest, was the Warwick which sank at its anchorage in Castle Harbour. (P. Bojakowski)
The Warwick was a 16th century English Merchantman which sank in Castle Harbour, Bermuda in 1619
“The Warwick entering Castle Harbour”. Painting by Stephen Card circa 1980 ( Private Bermudian collection)
Almost 400 years later, the National Museum of Bermuda, Texas A&M and the University of Southampton are undertaking a three year project lead by Piotr Bojakowski, in a joint educational initiative with the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences and students from the BIOS Ocean Academy to scientifically excavate the sunken remains of the Warwick.
The Warwick Project (full report)
- inadiscover.com – Institute of Nautical Archaeology
- post-gazette.com – interview with Piotr Bojakowski
- royalgazette.com – Uncovering the ‘good ship’ Warwick
|“A shipwreck afforded settlers an opportunity to better their lives with salvaged goods. And most Bermuda settlers were involved in wrecking-no matter what their station in life. Even Nathaniel Butler (Governor of Bermuda 1619–1622) got into the act.Butler began his career in Bermuda, ironically, with a shipwreck. In 1619, the Bermuda Company sent him to the island aboard the Warwick. The ship, owned by the Earl of Warwick, went down in Castle Harbour.”- Teddy Tucker|