This vessel's difficulties
started at about 5am on Friday 23rd April 1802, when she
was driven ashore at Beachy Head by the prevailing weather.
However, the crew worked tirelessly and managed to re-float
the Princess at about 3pm that afternoon. The vessel
had not been afloat that long when the vessel unshipped
its redder. The inevitable result was that the Princess
was driven back on the shore at Beachy Head. The cargo was
of such great value, about £80,000, that the local
Collector of Customs at Newhaven took over the supervision
of cargo and crew who were kept in quarantine on the vessel.
He sent a party of local dragoons to patrol the beach not
only to keep an eye on the crew but also to prevent people
plundering the cargo.
Over the following
week a great part of the cargo was saved by removing it
to smaller local boats which in turn ferried it to six brigs
and four sloops that were at anchor off the wreck. This
itself was not without dangers because on Thursday, 29th
April 1802, two of the small ferrying boats foundered in
a sudden squall, laden with part of the rescued cargo. The
two crews were saved but the owners of these two smaller
boats had to repay the value of the lost cargo which amounted
to thousands of pounds. Shipbroker Mr St. Barb, is said
to be the main owner of the cargo that was on board the
was a captured Spanish privateer which had been later sold
as a merchantman.
Ref: SIBI; SWA
26.4.1802 & 3.5.1802