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Captain George Manby

Introduction

 

Captain George Manby (1765-1854) was Master of the Great Yarmouth artillery barracks during the early 19th century and during his time there he designed many inventions for saving lives at sea.

He invented a system that used a mortar to fire a line onto stranded vessels. People were put into slings or breeches buoys and winched to safety along this line. This was the best known of Manby’s inventions and saved thousands of lives.

 

Manby was desperate for fame and recognition and toured Britain and Europe promoting himself and his inventions.

The following exhibition brings together objects in the Great Yarmouth collection which tell the story of his life and work.

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Captain George Manby

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Inscription from Manby Monument

This slate plaque formed part of the monument erected in the garden of Captain Manby's house in Southtown Great Yarmouth.

It commemorates the first life saved from drowning by use of Manby's mortar. Inscribed with gold block letters it reads:

 'In commemoration of the 12th of February 1808 on which day directly eastward of this spot the first life was saved from shipwreck, by means of a rope attached to a shot propelled by the force of gunpowder over the stranded vessel a method now universally adopted and to which at least 1000 sailors different nations owe their preservation 1842'

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