'Wreck of the Royal George', 1845.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Lithograph printed by W Kolder showing the exploration of the wrecks of the 'Royal George' and 'Edgar', which lay 60 feet underwater in the Solent off Spithead, near Portsmouth, Hampshire. Work was carried out from August 1839 to the summer of 1844 by the divers of the East India company, under the direction of General Pasley. They used improved diving apparatus made by August Siebe, who by 1837 had devised equipment that would be used for the next 100 years. The Royal George carried 108 guns and was one of the Royal Navy's largest warships when she sank while at anchor in 1782, with the los of some 900 lives. The Edgar was a 70-gun warship which blew up and sank in 1711.