Lord Willoughby (sunken ship)

Francis Willoughby, born in approximately 1605, was the 5th Baron Willoughby of Parham in England. Catapulted into a position of authority early in life due to the deaths of his father and his elder brother, who would have been next in line, he inherited a seat in the House of Lords and the peerage.




An apparent radical, who by all accounts did not fear coming into conflict with the rulers of the day, including Charles 1, Lord Willoughby appeared to have made quite a few enemies in England, before being appointed as Governor to Barbados circa 1649. He assumed the role officially in 1650.


Mismanagement of a raid on the island by one of his countrymen led to Lord Willoughby's governorship to Barbados being revoked and his return to England to his properties in 1652. That sojourn however was not to be his last in Barbados. In 1660, he was awarded another appointment to the Caribbean. On this occasion, he organized a number of expeditions which were successful. His last, out of Barbados in July 1666 did not reap the same fortune as the ship in which he was travelling, indeed the entire fleet experienced a massive hurricane and Lord Willoughby was never to be seen again.


On the island of Barbados, there is a sunken ship off the Silver Bank reef, entitled the Lord Willoughby. Background details are sketchy and it is unclear whether there is any association with the Englishman Lord Willoughby, however scuba divers sunk the ship, with its cargo on board and it sits in approximately forty (40) feet of water. Due to its depth of its resting place, the ship is not as attractive a dive site as others around the coast of the island of Barbados. It is said that scuba divers who try the Lord Willoughby site can stay only a very short time before they start to decompress.




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