Perlen sank at Munkholmen under a storm outside Trondheim city 16. March 1781. The ship was taken as a prize by the Irish buccaneer Luke Ryan that operated under a doubtful "letter of marque" given by Benjamin Franklin in America. This means an authorized document to perform pirate operations against the enemies shipping. During his career Luke Ryan hijacked a total of 114 British ships before he was taken prisoner and sentenced to death. Originally the ship was named Delamere and was from Liverpool in England, but was given the name Perlen after being sold in Bergen ( Norway ) for 3200 riksdaler. The ship was a frigate ship and laid in March 1781 at anchor in Trondheim loaded with tiling. At night of 16. March it blew up to a storm and to rescue the ship they dropped the anchor, but ended up being grounded at Munkholmen. Four men of the crew perished in the accident. The wreck debris of Perlen was found approx 200 years later, and in 1975 the site was excavated by Norwegian Maritime Museum. The excavation is described in detail in the book "Fregattskipet Perlen 16.Mars 1971: Utgraving 1975" ( Norwegian language only ). Items from the excavation can be seen at the NTNU museum in Trondheim. What little remains that's left of her rest on a depth of approx 15 to 20 meter near Kjerringberget.

Former names:
Tons: Built: Home Port:
Liverpool ? ( UK )
Bergen ( N )

63° 27' 18" N, 10° 26' 20" E

 Illustration (left): Luke Ryan from the "Hibernian Magazine" in 1782
Illustration (right): The frigate Randolph, frigate class of the era
Courtesy of Naval History

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