A manuscript of historical importance, containing a number of poems written by Captain Richard Pierce, commander of the ill-fated ship ‘The Halsewell’, features in next week’s Oxford Library Sale (lot 546). In 1786, The Halsewell encountered a violent storm which drove her onto rocks below a cliff on the Isle of Purbeck, Dorset. Only 74 out of 240 passengers and crew survived. Pierce, two of his daughters and two nieces were amongst those that lost their lives.
The wreck of the Halsewell inspired, amongst others, a William Turner painting, a short story by Charles Dickens and even a visit from King George III who visited the scene shortly after the tragedy.
The 38 page manuscript has a handwritten note to the front which says 'These poems were composed and written by my dear lamented grandfather Captain Pierce who lost his life with two of his daughters and two nieces on board his Ship as well as several Passengers and Crew in the Halswell'.
This significant lot is expected to be highly contested and has an estimate of £1000-£2000.
All prices are subject to a 30% buyers' premium (VAT inclusive).