Wrecks, Raids and Ambuscades

Around and About Looe, Cornwall

by Carrick White

People say that, historically, nothing much has happened in Looe, Cornwall. I beg to differ. I moved to Looe, Cornwall in 2001 and have an interest in its local history and had some involvement with Looe Museum when it was under the stewardship of Barbara Birchwood Harper. During this time I came across many intriguing historical incidents concerning this part of Cornwall and thought them a good basis for fictionalised versions. Why fiction? Because this allows me to use imagination and speculation applied to the historical record to create vivid tales and to provide possible answers to the questions and mysteries therein. What happened to the diamonds from the shipwreck of the East Indianman, The Albermarle, near Polperro in 1708? Why was Lord Glyn of Morval travelling to Tavistock on the day that he was ambushed and murdered in 1471? Why was the Danish national hero Moritz Hartman so keen to avoid going home from Denmark’s first Indian colony that he must have blessed the shipwreck of The Flying Wulf, at Looe, in 1692? What happened when the Spanish Knight Pedro el Nino raided Looe in 1405? Does the Ship’s bell of the Looe ship, The George, which sailed against the Spanish Armada in 1588 now lie in the backyard of a Frank Lloyd Wright designed house overlooking the Potomac River, in Maclean, Virginia, USA? Why do the winners and losers accounts of the 1643 Battle of Braddock Down differ so much and were the latter led into a fatal ambush? What I am attempting to write is “faction” – think Conn Iggulden and Bernard Cornwell rather than Schama and Starkey. Thus history is rendered engaging and exciting and it is to be hoped will lead the curious to delve further into the facts. So please take it for what it is and enjoy it. I doubt that there is any ten miles of Cornish coastline and its hinterlands that would not provide similar stories.