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The History of, and Search for, the Seventeenth Century Bristol Merchantman Angel Gabriel

Warren Riess
Thesis: December 1980
Chair: Bass
Nautical Archaeology Program

On August 15, 1635 the Bristol merchantman Angel Gabriel, conveying settlers and supplies to the New World, wrecked near the Pemaquid (Maine, U.S.A.) settlement. Before this study little was known of her, except her tonnage, approximate ordnance, and the names of a few of the passengers on her last voyage. Sport divers had looked for her remains, but had found nothing.

Research was conducted in both New England and English archives to discover the history of the ship, or possible references to the location of her wreckage. The ship's history is presented from her early days on an adventure to South America in 1618 to her last voyage and wreckage in 1635. Evidence suggests her wreckage to be in, or near, Pemaquid Harbor. Short biographies of people associated with the ship are presented as these people appear in her history.

A field search for the remains of the Angel Gabriel was conducted in two short sessions in 1977 and 1978. The ship was not located, but information valuable to the search effort was collected and analyzed. Methods and data from the field search are discussed.

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