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Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Mary Celeste

Mary Celeste was built in Spencer's Island, Nova Scotia and launched under British registration as Amazon on May 18, 1861.

Mary Celeste as Amazon in 1861

The American merchant brigantine transferred to American ownership and registration in 1868, when she acquired her new name, and thereafter sailed uneventfully until her 1872 voyage.

Why the ship was renamed Mary Celeste is unknown. One theory is that she was named after an illegitimate daughter of Galileo, Maria Celeste.

On November 7, 1872 Mary Celeste left the New York City harbor and went out into the Atlantic bound for Genoa with a cargo.

Her captain was a 37-year-old devout Christian named Benjamin Briggs.

The Mary Celeste was found by the Canadian brig Dei Gratia on December 4, 1872 in good condition but abandoned drifting in the Atlantic. The mystery has never been solved.

Mutiny, piracy and insurance fraud have all been suggested as explanations of the mystery.

An anagram of Mary Celeste: Met scary eel.

The last entry in the ship’s log was made 10 days before she was found. The lifeboat was missing.

Nothing was heard again of Captain Briggs or his wife and daughter who were with him, or the ship’s crew.

The crew of the Marie Celeste left 1,700 barrels of alcohol behind them.

When Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote a book about the ship in 1894, he called the Mary Celeste the "Marie Celeste." That misspelling has been common ever since.

In 1885 the ship’s new captain deliberately wrecked her in an attempted insurance fraud. He was taken to court but the jury could not agree on a verdict.

Source Daily Express

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