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Tales of the Cornish Wreckers

The term wrecking covers a wide range of misdemeanours, ranging from inshore piracy to the relatively innocuous gathering of flotsam and jetsam cast up by the sea after a storm. The wrecker of legend, who lured ships to destruction by exhibiting false lights on the coast, and murdered the hapless sailors as they struggled ashore, has happily, been quite extinct for a very long time now; but the stripping of wrecked vessels still sometimes occurs; so that one can say that this ancient craft, unlike others far worthier which are now extinct, still flourishes in a restricted way. If the wreckers of Cornwall obtained more notoriety than those elsewhere, this was partly owing to the high incidence of wrecks on its dangerous coastline, and the inability of the civil authorities to act with sufficient promptitude in preventing plunder, largely as a result of poor communications.

Important places

Cornwall and Isles of Scilly (408)


Cornwall (1,679)


United Kingdom (21,421)

Other geographical areas

South West (2,602)