1641 The Golden Grape on from Cadiz to Dover went down. She was forced onto the shore at East Fleet by foul weather and seven men and boys drowned. She was carrying Spanish port, sherry, 2000 barrels of raisins, 400 jars of oil, silver plate, silk, pistols and bullion.
Despite the violent sea villagers lost no time in plundering the wreck, stuffing raisins into every available pocket, carrying off barrels of oil, port and sherry.
The authorities searched many homes to try and recover the cargo and more than 400 locals were brought in for questioning.
Extract from Rene Gerryts' article called 'Country Life' in the Dorset Evening Echo dated Friday, November, 6th 1987.
Other interesting items are from the registers of Burton Bradstock Church of St. Mary the Virgin and are as follows:-
1763. Feb 23. Was buried a Lad of abt. 4 or 5 years old who was thrown ashore in the Parish and supposed to be a Passenger in a vessel bound from the Bay of Honduras as a Quantity of Logwood etc. came ashore at the same time. N.B. The Boy genteely dress'd and deem'd to be the son of a Lady richly dress'd who was taken up a few miles from the Parish.
1837. Nov 24. Olloff Bjorkholm of Stockholm supposed to be 20. Olloff Bjorkholm was steward of a Brig. named Systrarne of Stockholm which was driven on this shore on the 23rd Nov., at noon. This man with three others, attempted to swim on shore after the vessel struck on the rocks. He was unfortunately drowned, but the others were saved through the praiseworthy exertions of the Inhabitants of the Parish. The vessel had been run foul of by another Brig in the course of the night by which her Bulwarks were stove in, her masts carried away, and she became waterlogged and a perfect wreck, drifting at the mercy of the waves. She was Bound to Batavia, laden with timber, iron and tar. Verdict-'Found dead'
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 holden on the Bodies by Mr. Jno. Frampton.
Look also at http://www.weymouth.gov.uk/wreck.htm for Shipwrecks & Collisions around the coast of Weymouth and Portland
Other books of interest in the library.
In the Discover Dorset Series ' Shipwrecks' by Maureen Attwool
Hampshire and Dorset Shipwrecks by Graham Smith