The French Smack ‘Le Jean Bart’ with a cargo of hides wrecked at the base of the cliffs at Burton Bradstock. Five of the nine crew were saved by local villagers hauling them to safety up the cliffs. (Fleming: p23) Victim of the 1838 Gale. Ref. Dor. Mag: 1975 No. 49 p23.

From the registers of Burton Bradstock Church of St. Mary the Virgin in 1838:

“Dec 3. 1 St Malo man of 50 years. 1 Spanish boy of 13. These two, with seven others, were washed on this shore 29th Nov., 1838. The vessel was a French Smack Le Jean Bert, of St. Maloes, from Oran, near Algiers, with a cargo of Hides, bound to Havre de Grace. The captain, two men, and a Spanish boy were drowned. The vessel was a total wreck and a very little of the cargo was saved. The above was the Captain and the Spanish cabin boy. No. of hands on board 9. 5 saved. 4 drowned. 2 never found. The five lives that were saved were entirely through the Praiseworthy exertions of the Persons present who hauled them from the wreck to the top of the cliff by ropes a height of at least 215 feet. A Coroner’s Inquest was held on the Bodies by Mr. John. Frampton.”

From Larn:

“Entered only as ‘Jean Bart’; Algiers to Le Harve; Smack; Port of Registry – St Malo; Crew 8; Passengers 1; Lives lost 4. The passenger was a Spanish Boy, aged 13 years. Among the dead in the crew was Fredrick Gilbert. Having failed to run the vessel on the beach, she finished up driven under 200 foot high cliffs, where she was pounded by heavy seas. Ropes were lowered from the cliff top and five men hauled to safety before the vessel went to pieces, drowning the rest of the crew.”


Dorset Magazine: 1975 No. 49 p23.

Day of Loss: 29

Month of Loss: 11

Year of Loss: 1838



Approximate Depth: