Merchant Royal

Merchant Royal

September 23, 1641 - One of the richest sunken treasures of all time found its way to the bottom of the Atlantic on this day.

The Merchant Royal was making its way back to England with a heavy load of Spanish treasure, including 100,000 pounds of gold. Conservative estimates place the value at around one billion in today's dollars.

The ship was leaking badly and the overworked pumps eventually broke down. It sank quickly and claimed 18 lives. At least 40 men were rescued by the Dover Merchant, but almost all the treasure was lost.

The survivors placed the location of the sinking at about 30 miles from Land's End off the southern tip of England.

Treasure hunters have been trying to find the Merchant Royal ever since, but it remains lost.

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Oliver Sipple

Oliver Sipple