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HMS Plumper Shipwreck

Musquash, New Brunswick, E5J, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1975/03/04

View of Dipper Harbour, the final resting place of HMS Plumper; Province of New Brunswick
HMS Plumper
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Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2007/07/25

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

HMS Plumper Shipwreck consists of the wreck and partial cargo of an early 19th century brig which are partly buried and partly strewn over the seafloor on the coast of the Bay of Fundy between Pt. Lepreau and Dipper Harbour in St. John County, NB.

Heritage Value

HMS Plumper Shipwreck is designated a Protected Historic Site for the cargo it was carrying when it sank during a storm and the historical context of the ship’s arrival in New Brunswick waters.

The principal cargo was payroll for the British Garrison fighting against the United States. Some of the 36,000 pounds sterling was salvaged by the British but a good part of its cargo was lost. Because of this, the ship received considerable attention from parties interested in salvaging the cargo in the late 20th century. Strong tidal currents have strewn the wreck over a wide area of seafloor and have buried artefacts, seriously compromising salvage efforts. However, there still exists potential for future research and recovery relating to the in situ vestiges of the ship and its cargo.

HMS Plumper was a 12-gun brig, a small class of warship. On her final voyage, she left London commanded by Lt. Bray with seventy-five aboard. The trip ended when she ran into the cliffs near Dipper Harbour during an early-December blizzard in 1812. About thirty survived by scaling the cliffs and huddling together through the storm. The site serves as a reminder of the role New Brunswick’s treacherous coastal waters played in the naval history of the War of 1812.

Source: Department of Wellness, Culture and Sport - Heritage Branch, Site File: Vol.I-12840-1,3

Character-Defining Elements

The character-defining elements of the HMS Plumper Shipwreck relating to location and context of the site include:
- location of the site adjacent to looming cliffs;
- location of the site in waters near the American border;
- its function as a reminder of New Brunswick’s role in the War of 1812.

The character-defining elements of the HMS Plumper Shipwreck relating to the ship and its cargo include:
- specie, coins minted for paying military troops;
- potential resources relating to the research and recovery of vestiges of the ship and its cargo.



New Brunswick

Recognition Authority

Province of New Brunswick

Recognition Statute

Historic Sites Protection Act, s. 2(2)

Recognition Type

Historic Sites Protection Act – Protected

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

1812/01/01 to 1812/01/01

Theme - Category and Type

Governing Canada
Military and Defence

Function - Category and Type


Undetermined (archaeological site)
Underwater Site



Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Heritage Branch - Site File

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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