Warren Riess

Story of 1710 wreck of the Nottingham Galley

From Sun Journal

Nautical archaeologist Warren Riess and conservator Molly Carlson will kick off the Maine State Museum's annual series of talks and programs on Wednesday, Feb. 9.

The “Highlights at the Maine State Museum” presentation is free of charge and will begin at 6:30 p.m. at the museum in the State House Complex off State Street.

Riess will begin the presentation, “The Incredible Story of the 1710 Wreck of the Nottingham Galley and the Recovery and Conservation of its Artifacts,” with his research about the shipwreck and experience diving at the wreck site off Boon Island near York’s Cape Neddick.

During that time, Riess and his crew retrieved nine of the Nottingham Galley’s cannons. Carlson will then pick up the story to tell about the Nottingham Galley artifacts that came to her conservation lab. There, she worked on the challenging project to conserve the ship’s cannon-firing supplies, including wadding and a powder bag that remarkably had survived underwater for nearly 300 years.

Riess and Carlson’s presentation will also cover the more grisly aspects of the Nottingham Galley’s story. The 15-man crew survived the wreck but the ship and supplies were lost. Marooned on tiny Boon Island for 24 days during the thick of winter and faced with starvation, cold and extreme privation, the survivors cannibalized one of their fellow crew members who had died of exposure.

The museum is currently exhibiting one cannon, along with wadding, a powder bag, tampion, cannonball, grenade, and wooden fuse from the Nottingham Galley. The exhibit will be available for viewing at the conclusion of the evening’s presentation.