Category Archives: Cannibalism

Jesus Church, Peartree Green, Hampshire, England

Memorial in Jesus Church, Peartree Green, Hampshire commemorating Richard Parker d. 1884


Jesus Church, Peartree Green, Hampshire, England


'Richard Parker, aged 17, who died at sea July 25th 1884 after nineteen days dreadful suffering in an open boat in the tropics, having been wrecked in the yacht 'Mignonette' "Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him" Job XIII 15 "Lay not this sin to their charge" Acts VII 6'


Position: Churchyard
Vessel: Mignonette


Parker, Richard
Age: 17
Date of Death: 25/7/1884
Cause of Death: Murder
Rank / Occupation: Cabin boy


Notes: The yacht 'Mignonette' was owned by Australian lawyer John Henry Want. The vessel foundered whilst being sailed from Southampton to Sydney by a paid crew. Parker was murdered and eaten by three other survivors whilst cast adrift in a lifeboat. After their rescue about a week later, the incident became the subject of a famous court case.
Bibliography: 'Readers Digest' (August 1986) p. 86; A.W. Brian Simpson 'Cannibalism and the Common Law; the story of the tragic last voyage of the Mignonette and the strange legal proceedings to which it gave rise' (Chicago, 1984).