Bilboena 1817

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The earliest known cover which bears an official inscription identifying it with a wreck is an entire letter of 5 June 1817 addressed to London office of Frederico Huth with the endorsement:

Bilboena, stranded at Rottingdean 5 June 1817

J.B. Stone Agent to Lloyds.

This letter, written in Spanish, bears the post marks of BRIGHTON JU 5 1817 and BRIGHTON / Penny Post, and in red the London arrival of 6 JU 1817.  The Bilboena was a sailing vessel bound for Bilbao. She was driven ashore near Rottingdean with the loss of masts and rigging. The crew was saved, the cargo taken off and the ship re-floated and taken into Newhaven Harbour. The Master was Laureano de Arrarte and he wrote this letter to the ship’s owners, Messrs Huth & Co. of London.