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    Clowdisley Shovell and the Isles of Scilly
    From: Frank Reed CT
    Date: 2006 May 1, 23:00 EDT

    From a short article on the history of the  longitude problem in the Journal
    of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada --  after outlining the early
    stages of the quest for longitude, the author  writes:
    "Meanwhile, more and more ships ploughed the seas in dismal  ignorance of
    their positions. Not only were valuable cargoes forever being lost  in
    shipwrecks, but the toll in lives was appalling. There was Sir Cloudsley  Shovel, for
    instance, returning to England from Gibraltar in 1707 and running  into heavy
    weather. His navigators all agreed the fleet was off Ushant, although  an
    ordinary seaman had the temerity to advise his superiors that he reckoned
    otherwise. While he was being sentenced to swing from the yardarm for his  mutinous
    attitude, the fleet sailed in accordance with the navigator's decree,  ran
    head-on into the Scilly Isles and lost four ships and two thousand lives,  Sir
    Cloudsley's among them. Some solution had to be found."
    And from  there, the author describes how this tragedy influenced Parliament
    to offer the  Longitude Prize. I am posting this because it was written in
    1974  --TWO  DECADES before Sobel's "Longitude". Just a little documentation to
    support my  comment that I had heard the story, told in much the same way, over
    25 years  ago. Note that this was not my source from back then. It's yet
    another  re-telling.
    The rest of the article is interesting. You can find it on  ADSABS by using
    "Cloudsley" as a search  term.
    And if  you use the more common spelling "Clowdisley", you will find two very
    nice  articles "Navigation and Astronomy - II: The Last Three Hundred Years"
    from 1981  by Derek Howse, which I've read before, and "The Board of Longitude
    1714-1828"  from 1989 by Peter Johnson, which I haven't seen before.
    42.0N  87.7W, or 41.4N 72.1W.

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