Finds recovered from a ship off the Faroe Islands


A research team has opened for the first time five sealed packages from a Faroe Islands ship that was hijacked more than 200 years ago. The parcels and approximately 200 sealed letters were sent on a voyage in 1807 by the merchant ship “Anne Marie”, but the cargo never arrived. Clothing, coins and grain were found, many of which are surprisingly well preserved.

“This is very special because very little material from the islands has been preserved,” says Lucas Haasis of the University of Oldenburg, historian and research coordinator of the “Prize Papers” project.

The packages discovered in London were transported on the merchant ship ‘Anne Marie’, which, according to researchers, sailed under the Danish flag in the early 19th century. On September 2, 1807, the ship was hijacked by the British on its way from the Faroe Islands to Copenhagen; part of the seized cargo is still stored in London.

“It felt like Christmas!”
This also includes the sealed packages that the research team from Oldenburg, Great Britain and the Faroe Islands opened for the first time on Wednesday. “It was like Christmas, because you don’t really know in advance what’s in it,” says Haasis. A red and blue knitted sweater was found in one package. “It still looks like it was shipped yesterday,” says the 39-year-old (pictured above).

The scientists also found four pairs of white stockings, grain, coins and personal letters to family members in the packages. The team is now photographing and cataloging the finds, restoring them and putting the data online.

The historical documents all come from ships that the British captured between 1652 and 1815. During this time, capturing ships in war was allowed. “All you had to do was prove in court that the hijacked ship was actually an enemy ship,” said the Oldenburg scientist.

Documents from all over the world
Therefore, the British took flags, ship passports and other documents during their raids, some of which have been preserved to this day. “What is special is that there are documents from very different corners of the world – from colonial powers, but also from smaller states or Hanseatic cities.”

Source: Krone


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