Map showing wreck incidents listed in my 1625-1642 wreck survey: Dutch wrecks are marked in red, and many positions are approximate only, e.g.ships identified as wrecked ‘on the Isle of Wight’.The year 1642 was chosen as the end-date for the survey because the English Civil War started then, and a lot of central government record-keeping went to pieces until the 1650s.

This means that it has been designated by the government under the Protection of Wrecks Act 1973 on account of the historical, archaeological or artistic importance of the vessel, or of its contents or former contents.

The wreck of this 17 century armed merchant ship was first discovered by accident in 1990 and then rediscovered in 2004 by Wessex Archaeology.

So, the ship was probably Dutch and operated between c 16, or a bit later. For one thing, there was no systematic government recording of shipwrecks in Britain until the Victorian era.

With this sort of timeframe, you might think that finding the right ‘candidate’ for the wreck should have been easy. For another, the period 1620-50 predates the first English newspapers by a long way.

Judging by the number of surviving gunports, the ship carried 26 or more carriage-mounted guns, though most of the weapons themselves are no longer there.

No cargo was found in the hull, but some Dutch domestic pottery was discovered which dated to the years 1625-1650 (1).

The single most common reason for reporting these wrecks (in 74 of 142 cases) was that they were lost property, not that they were disasters that endangered life and limb.

The loss of a ship could be a huge financial blow for the owner and for anyone who had goods aboard. The fuss was frequently caused by illegal salvage operations.

The Swash Channel Wreck is at a depth of between 7 and 9 metres on the edge of the Hook Sands.