Category Archives: Privateering

Bangor Abbey, Bangor, County Down, Northern Ireland

Memorial at Bangor Abbey, Bangor, County Down, Northern Ireland commemorating Captain George Colvill, d. 1780 in the loss of the ‘Amazon’

Location

Bangor Abbey, Bangor, County Down, Northern Ireland

Transcript

'Born to a course of manly Action free, / I dauntless trod ye fluctuating sea, / In [p]ompous war, or happier peace to bring / Joy to my Sire, and honour to my King; / And much by favour to the God was done; / E'e half the term of human life was run. / One fatal night returning from the bay, / whence British fl[eets] ye Gallic lands survey, / Whilst with war[m ho]pe my trembling heart beat high, / My friends, my kindred, and my country nigh / Lasht by the wind, the waves arose & bore; / Our ship in shattered fragments to the shore; / There ye flak'd surge opprest my darkening sight, / And there my eyes for ever lost the light. / Capt. George Colvill, of the private ship of war 'Amazon' & only son / of Robert Colvill of Bangor, was wrec'd near this ground 25th Feb. / 1780, in ye 29th year of his Age'

Details

Description: A very fine example of carving, the top section of this headstone depicts two cannons, an anchor, log and line, sextant and an hour glass. These decorative motifs are carved in relief, while the inscription below is incised.
Type: Gravestone
Position: Churchyard
Materials: Slate
Vessel: Amazon

People

Colvill, George
Age: 28
Date of Death: 25/2/1780
Cause of Death: Vessel Loss
Rank / Occupation: Master
Organisation: Unknown

Extra

Notes: This headstone is lying flat, and broken into four main and three small pieces, with a small section of the slate missing in the centre, where the top layer of the slate has flaked off. This headstone was originally screwed onto a wooden board, which has mostly rotted away at time of recording (2004). There are patches of lichen on the surface of the slate. Headstone lies beside two other slate Colvill(e) headstones, which are also lying flat. These three gravestones are surrounded by a low (76cm high) wall, constructed of brick but plastered. Pebbles fill in the spaces between the gravestones and the low wall. A cannon (measuring 150 cms in length) belonging to the ship the 'Amazon', which was salvaged from Bangor bay, now sits just outside the Abbey walls, with a brass plaque detailing its history.
Recorder: Charles D. Flintham