LETTER: Somers the most worthy of Lyme’s historic personages

george somers statue
A statue is already in place to commemorate former Mayor of Lyme Regis, Sir George Somers, who colonised Bermuda

IF Geoff Baker takes his information from Wikipedia it is not surprising that all the statements he made about Somers are complete rubbish.

He was not involved in the slave trade, it started some 40 years after he died. He was not a pirate, he was a privateer operating under Letters of Reprisal issued by the crown.

He was born in Lyme, the family lived in Coombe Street, his childhood was spent in the town. He was a captain in the Queen’s navy and served with distinction. He was a founder member of the Virginia Company and played a major role in establishing the first English colony in America and in fact died on Bermuda  while attempting to resupply the colony.

He was also an effective MP for the Borough and held in high regard.  The full facts reveal that he was without doubt the most worthy of Lyme’s historic personages.

He was however a ‘man of his times’, Elizabethan England was not the England of today, judgements need to take this into account.

I would be happy to give Geoff a free tutorial on Somers, after all I did spend five years of intense research before my biography of his life was published last November.

As to Mary Anning, when I was coastguard I was frequently asked the best place to find fossils, when I mentioned her grave there was a complete lack of interest. Instead of  statues (including Somers) we should celebrate Lyme’s history from ‘Port to Resort’ with a pictorial display in the Marine shelters.

Peter Lacey,
Fairfield Park, Lyme Regis

Woodmead Halls

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