Object Details

Monument to HMS Brazen

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Author: Anthony McIntosh
Copyright for Photograph:

Creative Commons

Location

Street:Meeching Rise/Church Hill
Town:Newhaven
Parish:Newhaven
Council:Lewes District Council
County:East Sussex
Postcode:BN9
Location on Google Map
Object setting:Outside building
and in:Religious
Access is:Public
Location note:NE corner of the churchyard of St. Michael's Church
In the AZ book:East Sussex
Page:149
Grid reference:J5
The A-Z books used are A-Z East Sussex and A-Z West Sussex (Editions 1A 2005). Geographers' A-Z Map Company Ltd. Sevenoaks.
OS Reference:TQ4401

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Makers


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General Information

Commissioned by: The friends of Captain Hanson.
Work is:Extant
Owner custodian:Church of St. Michael. Newhaven.
Object listing:Grade II: of special interest warranting every effort to preserve them
Description:Obelisk with railings. Ashlar stone with slate panels and cast-iron railings. Obelisk on plinth, design of seaweed and shells above, with dolphins below the slate panels one each face of the plinth; these are inscribed with the details of the wreck of HMS Brazen
Inscription:South east face, inscribed slate panel:

THE FRIENDS OF
CAPTN. HANSON
CAUSED THIS MONUMENT
TO BE ERECTED
AS A MARK OF THEIR ESTEEM
FOR A DESERVING OFFICER
AND A VALUABLE FRIEND.
IT WAS THE WILL OF HEAVEN
TO PRESERVE HIM
DURING FOUR YEARS VOYAGE
OF DANGER AND DIFFICULTY
ROUND THE WORLD,
ON DISCOVERIES,
WITH CAPTN. VANCOUVER
IN THE YEARS 1791. 1792. 1793. 1794.
BUT TO TAKE HIM FROM US
WHEN MOST HE THOUGHT HIMSELF
SECURE.
“The Voice of the Lord is upon the Waters”

South west face, inscribed slate panel:

NAMES OF
THE OFFICERS LOST,
JAMES HANSON ESQR.
COMMANDER
JAMES COOK
LIEUTS
JOHN DENBRY
PATRICK VENABLES
MIDSHIPMEN
JAMES HANWELL
JOHN BRAUGH PURSER
ROBERT HILL SURGEON
THOMAS WHITFIELD BOATSWAIN
ROBERT AALDER YAWRLE GUNNER
JOHN TEAGUE CAPENTER.

North west face, inscribed slate panel:

SACRED
TO THE MEMORY
OF
CAPTN. JAMES HANSON
THE
OFFICERS, AND COMPANY
OF HIS MAJESTY’S SHIP
BRAZEN;
WHO WERE WRECKED
IN A VIOLENT STORM
UNDER THE CLIFF
BEARING FROM THIS PLACE S.W.
AT 5 O’CLOCK A.M. JANRY. 20TH. A.D.1800.
ONE OF THE CREW ONLY SURVIVING
TO TELL THE MELANCHOLY TALE,
BY THIS FATAL EVENT,
THE COUNTRY, ALAS! WAS DEPRIVED,
OF 105 BRAVE DEFENDERS
AT A TIME, WHEN IT,
MOST REQUIRED THEIR ASSISTANCE.
THE REMAINS OF MANY OF THEM
WERE INTERRED NEAR TO THIS SPOT
BY THE DIRECTION OF
THE LORDS COMMISSIONERS OF
THE ADMIRALTY.
“The Waters saw thee O God”.

North east face, inscribed slate panel:

THE BRAZEN,
HAD BEEN ORDERED
TO PROTECT
THIS PART OF THE COAST,
FROM THE INSOLENT ATTACKS
OF THE ENEMY;
AND ON THE EVENING
PRECEEDING
THE
SAD CATASTROPHE,
HAD DETAINED A FOREIGN VESSEL,
WHICH
WAS PUT UNDER THE CARE OF
THE MASTER’S MATE,
A MIDSHIPMAN,
8 SEAMEN, AND 2 MARINES;
WHO WERE THEREBY SAVED
FROM THE FATE OF THEIR
COMPANIONS.

On the top step of the base, facing south east, inlaid lead letters:

THIS MONUMENT WAS RESTORED
BY LOUISA, WIDOW OF THE ABOVE CAPTN. JAMES HANSON. R.N.
OCTOBER 1878

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Classification

Categories:Funerary, Free Standing, Commemorative, Religious
Object type1:Shaft
     Object subtype1:Obelisk
Subject type1:Non-figurative

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Object Parts

Part 1:Perimeter railings
     Material:Cast iron
     Height (cm):145
     Width (cm):300
     Depth (cm):300
Part 2:Top section of obelisk
     Material:Ashlar stone
     Height (cm):500
     Width (cm):75
     Depth (cm):75
Part 3:Lower section of obelisk
     Material:Ashlar stone
     Height (cm):250
     Width (cm):125
     Depth (cm):125
Part 4:Stepped (2) base
     Material:Ashlar stone
     Height (cm):100
     Width (cm):310
     Depth (cm):310

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Object Condition

Overall condition:Good
Risk assessment:No known risk
Condition 1 of type:Surface
     Condition 1: Corrosion, deterioration
     Condition 2: Abrasions, cracks, splits
     Condition 3: Biological growth
     More details:Railings rusting through the paint. Base cracked and crumbling. Biological growth all over. Weather wearing to the detailed carving of the obelisk. Restored in 1878. Parts of the old inscription still faintly visible underneath the newer slate panels.
Date of on-site inspection:11/02/2008

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History

History:HMS Brazen foundered off the cliffs of Newhaven on the night of January 20th, 1800, with the loss of all lives save one. The bodies of Captain Hanson and 75 of the 104 men lost are interred in the graveyard. Hanson had served under Captain Vancouver on his celebrated voyage of 1791-4, when he curcumnavigated the world and charted part of North America.

The ship, an 18 gun sloop-of-war, foundered on rocks on 26 January 1800 a few hundred yards off the coast of Newhaven. Captain Andrew Sproule R.N. was the commander of the Sussex coastal defences during the French Revolutionary War. Sproule was called to the wreck. Civilians were already trying to save the crewmen using cliff-top cranes that had been given by the Royal Humane Society but they could not reach survivors unless they were at the foot of the cliff. The nightwatch reported that the ship had been proceeding eastwards towards Newhaven when just after 5am. it had hit rocks. The combination of the storm and the freezing water temperature made survivors unlikely and in the end only one man survived, Jeremiah Hill, who had been carried to the shore clinging to wreckage. The ship was originally the warship, ‘L’Invincible General Bonaparte’ that had been captured from the French in December 1798. Captain James Hanson had departed Portsmouth on 16 January with 117 men to protect the waters between St. helen’s on the Isle of Wight and Beachy Head. The dead were buried at various nearby churchyards but ten bodies were never recovered. The disaster prompted Newhaven to have a lifeboat built that was installed in the harbour in 1803.
(Thornton, Nicholas. (1988). ‘Sussex Shipwrecks’. Countryside Books. Newbury.)

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References

Source 1 :
     Title:'Sussex Shipwrecks'
     Type:Book
     Author:Thornton, Nicholas.
     Publisher:Countryside Books. Newbury.


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Photographs





Author: Anthony McIntosh
Copyright: Creative Commons




Author: Anthony McIntosh
Copyright: Creative Commons




Author: Anthony McIntosh
Copyright: Creative Commons




Author: Anthony McIntosh
Copyright: Creative Commons

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