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Sir Cloudesley Shovell’s Silver Plate

Sir Cloudesley’s personal silver plate. Recovered in the 1960s by divers from the Channel off the Isles of Scilly. The plate was recovered from the wreck of HMS Association, Sir Cloudesley’s Flagship.


MP for the City of Rochester, serving in 1695, 1698, 1701 and 1705. MPs in those days didn’t hold surgeries, or even visit their constituency often. Shovell was no exception — although he had an excuse: he was away being a naval hero. Nevertheless, he made his presence felt. He paid for the magnificent decorated ceiling in the court hall at the new Guildhall and for building the Corn Exchange, an act of generosity recorded on a tablet outside.

Guildhall Museum, Rochester

Guildhall Museum,
17 High St,
ME1 1PY,
United Kingdom


This silver plate was recovered by divers from the wreck of Sir Cloudesley’s ship, the Association during the 1960’s. The engraved arms are a combination of Sir Cloudesley’s and those of his wife, Elizabeth Hill, the widow of Sir John Narbrough.

Silver plate; shallow plate, slightly thickened rim; this item has been partly conserved and still shows some dents & considerable buckling from its time on the seabed. When recovered, it was almost rolled into a ball after nearly three centuries in a marine environment. Recovered from the wreck site of the ‘Association’, Sir Cloudesley’s flagship (probably in the late 1960’s), sunk in 1707, Gilstone Reef, Scilly Isles. This item is the single diagnostic piece recovered from the wreck site that identifies it as that of the Association. Purchased at auction at Penzance 23/11/1973.

Curriculum Links

  • KS1: Local History, Everyday Materials
  • KS2: Local History, Materials and their Properties
  • KS3: Local History, Britain 1509- 1745

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