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1795 - Loss of BOYNE

1st May“. The Boyne” (98 guns) blew up and sank at Spithead. Towards noon it was learnt in Portsmouth that the Boyne commanded by the Hon. George Grey was on fire at Spithead. The fire was supposed to have started by some burning cartridge paper being blown into the captain’s cabin that spread with alarming rapidity. And within half an hour the rigging was ablaze. It was apparent that nothing could be done to save the ship from destruction and other vessels in the vicinity made haste to give her a wide berth. Crowds gathered on Southsea sea front, her guns being loaded started to go off as the fire reached them and for over two hours the cannonade continued. At about two o’clock her cables burnt through and she began to drift with the tide grounding on the Spit, immediately facing Southsea Castle. At five o’clock

her after magazine blew up with tremendous violence showering the Castle and surrounding district with cannon and pieces of the ship, and all that remained was a mushroom of smoke shaped like a palm tree. 13 people died in the blaze and the ships final resting place was marked by a bell and to-day is still known as the Boyne bell.