King's treasure ship `found in Forth'
The archaeologists say that they are now poised to confirm publicly that the vessel is the Blessing of Burntisland, a royal ferry which sank during a storm in 1633 while carrying Charles I's possessions across the Firth of Forth after he had been crowned King of Scotland. Only two of the 35 people on board survived as the king watched in consternation from his own ship, the Dreadnought.
Alex Kilgour, spokesman for the Burntisland Heritage Trust, said that he was confident a positive announcement on the identity of the 60ft long, 15ft wide and 5ft deep ship could be made within two months. His colleague, Ian Archibald, said the historical significance of the ship was enormous. "What you have here is a fully intact royal kitchen that went down. Elsewhere, we have bits and pieces but we have never found the whole thing intact. We believe that everything is there right down to the soup ladels."
The find, if confirmed, will be the most important since the recovery of the Mary Rose. The importance of the vessel was appreciated equally well when it went down. So upset was Charles I that he rounded up 19 witches in Lancashire, blaming them for invoking the squall that swamped the vessel. In fact, it is more likely that it sank simply because it was overloaded with treasure - said to be worth pounds 100,000, or one fifth of the entire Scottish exchequer.
The site of the wreck remains controversial. This week, a San Diego- based diver, Bill Warren, claimed that the trust had merely located an 18th-century junk ship and that an American psychic had discovered the true location of the Blessing of Burntisland. The site identified by the psychic apparently confirmed coordinates pinpointed scientifically by Professor William Wallace at San Diego University.
Yesterday, Mr Archibald, a cartographer, rejected the San Diego claims, but confirmed that his group's identification of the site was made by Jim Longton, who had used a dowsing twig over a map. When Mr Longton tested his conclusions in the Forth, his rod began quivering madly just 50m from the spot he had identified on the map, right over where the wreck was found. "It was almost as if I was on the Blessing," he said.
Revealed: Stunning new images show gold-plated, ultra-luxurious Riyadh metro station that Saudi king has ordered to be built
World news in pictures
Far-right French historian, 78-year-old Dominique Venner, commits suicide in Notre Dame in protest against gay marriage
Oklahoma tornado latest: Rescue effort nears an end after President Obama pledges support for 'as long as it takes' to rebuild the suburb of Moore
Video emerges of Pope Francis reportedly performing an exorcism
- 1 Gay couple beaten in park urge MPs to moderate language on gay marriage
- 2 Swedes set up 'ultimate Viking movie'
- 3 After woman sells virginity for $780,000, here are the results of our prostitution survey
- 4 China agrees to impose carbon targets by 2016
- 5 Far-right French historian, 78-year-old Dominique Venner, commits suicide in Notre Dame in protest against gay marriage
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.
Negotiable: Randstad Education Reading: We are seeking to recruit enthusiastic...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Reading: Secondary supply teaching jobs in Read...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Reading: Secondary supply teaching jobs in Slou...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Reading: Randstad Education are looking for a e...