hand drawing of shipwrecked sailors
Griset's Grotesques; or, jokes drawn on wood, with rhymes by Tom Hood. One hundred quaint designs by E. Griset. Engraved by the Brothers Dalziel. British Library. 
  • Lecture theatre, Roland Levinsky Building, University of Plymouth, PL4 8AA

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An Historical Association Talk with Dr Cathryn Pearce, University of Portsmouth
Whether inhabiting the coastal regions and port cities, or even further inland, a certain class of beggars self-fashioned themselves as shipwreck victims to exploit the sympathy of the compassionate. It was a ‘dodge’ with a long history, reaching its height in the nineteenth century. Maritime philanthropic societies such as the Shipwrecked Fishermen and Mariners’ Royal Benevolent Society were concerned about shipwreck impostors, whom they saw as dangerous to benevolence and charity.  Who were these individuals, how did they operate, and how did shipwreck societies seek to solve what was actually a wider societal problem?
Cathryn Pearce is senior lecturer in naval, maritime and coastal history at the University of Portsmouth. This paper is being developed from a larger project on shipwreck, lifesaving and coastal communities in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. 
This talk examines how beggars fashioned themselves as shipwreck victims to exploit the sympathy of the compassionate 
Date: Tuesday 23 April 2024
Time: 19:00 – 20:30
Venue: Lecture Theatre, Roland Levinsky Building
Ticket information: £6, £4 Concession, free to UoP students via SPiA and Historical Association Members 
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