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Ann Chamberlyne was a female tar (sailor) who joined her brother's ship's crew in 1690 and fought the French at Beachy Head. A plaque in her memory at All Saints Church Cheyne Walk in London used to exist, but it was destroyed in World War II during a bombing raid.
The plaque stated:
- In an adjoining vault lies Anne, the only Daughter of Edward Chamberlyne, Doctor of Law’s, born in London, the 20th January, 1667, who having declined marriage at 23, and aspiring to great achievements unusual to her sex, and age, on the 30th of June 1690, on board a fire ship in man’s clothing, as second Pallas, chaste and fearless, fought valiantly six hours against the French, under the command of her Brother.
- Returned from the engagement and after some few months married John Spragg, Esq., with whom, for sixteen more months, she lived most amiably happy. At length, in childbed of a daughter, she encountered death 30th October 1691. This monument, for consort most virtuous and dearly loved, was erected by her husband.
- Snatched, alas, how soon by sudden death, unhonoured by progeny like herself, worthy to rule the Main!”
She is the first known female tar in British history.
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