On the stormy 21st October 1707, Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell, in command of a squadron of twenty one British men o' war approached the soundings of the Isles of Scilly. On his voyage from the Mediterranean, currents and foul weather had taken him off course and he was hopelessly lost. He though the British Channel 'was open and clear before him', but he was a hundred miles out in his reckoning. At eight bells on that dark and tempestuous night, the squadron 'became entangled on the treacherous rocks off the Islands of Scilly'. Four ships were lost and another so badly damaged she had to be beached. Many other vessels had hair's breadth escapes. Many officers were lost including the Admiral who although he had got safely away from his sinking flagship was murdered on reaching the shore.
The lost ships -
1. HMS Eagle lost on the Crim Rocks.
2. HMS Romney foundered in the region of the Crebinicks.
3. HMS Associationstruck the Gilstone Rock and was lost.
The crest from the 'Association' was given by the Isles of Scilly to Penzance Town, in return for a shipload of potatoes in a time of famine.
4. HMS Firebrand, a fireship, was badly damaged while making her way to the safety of St Agnes Island, and foundered in Smith Sound