Lying Off The Needles


Jacques Francis, a 20-year-old slave from Guinea, worked as a diver for Pietro Paulo Corso in his salvage operations both on the sunken St Mary and St Edward of Southampton and other ships. When Corso was accused of stealing, Francis made this deposition, through an interpreter, in support of his master's innocence and claim for compensation.

In his statement, Francis describes how the tin allegedly stolen was in fact salvaged from another vessel sunk off The Needles, where '200 blocks [of] tin, a bell and certain lead' had been found 'under water being there perished and forsaken'.

HCA 13/93, ff. 203-4 (8 Feb 1547/8)

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