New ‘Definitive’ Guide To Scilly’s Shipwrecks Is Launched

Todd Stevens with the new book

Todd Stevens with the new book

A new ‘definitive’ record of Scilly’s shipwrecks has been launched by two local divers.

Shipwrecks and Maritime History In And Around The Isles Of Scilly by Ed Cumming and Todd Stevens has taken almost eleven years to research and covers all known major incidents from the year 994 to the present day.

Todd says they verified every wreck by going back to original source material, then added further research to confirm whether or not the incident occurred around Scilly.

That was necessary because there’s often confusion over the name. There are three places named ‘Scilly’ around the world and two ‘Bishop Rocks.’

Ed and Todd found some previous reports didn’t even happen here but elsewhere – including Sicily!

The book includes many new previously unrecorded wrecks.

But Todd says the guide is more than just a list of shipwrecks – it also covers smuggling, piracy and the role of Scilly’s pilots.

Todd thinks people will be surprised what has gone on here in the distant past – from a Viking mutiny to troublesome Welsh archers returning from the 100 years war.

There’s also information on the famous Dutch conflict, a group beheading of pirates and a ‘mass dog suicide’ in 1823.

Even the cover is of an old chart of Scilly from 1680, says Todd, which wasn’t previously known about before he dug it out of an archive. It shows the possible positions of four important 17th century shipwrecks.

Todd says they’ve only printed 50 copies, the first 40 of which will be numbered and signed. The hardback costs £25 and is available from Mumford’s papershop or directly from Todd by contacting

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