List of disasters in Great Britain and Ireland by death toll

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The following list of disasters in Great Britain and Ireland is a list of major disasters (excluding acts of war but including acts of terrorism) which relate to the United Kingdom since 1801, or the states that preceded it (England and Wales and Scotland before 1707, Ireland and Great Britain from 1707 to 1800), or involved their citizens, in a definable incident or accident such as a shipwreck, where the loss of life was forty or more.

Over 200 fatalities[edit]

Deaths
Italics indicate an
estimated figure
Event Year Notes
3,500,000 Black Death pandemic 1347–1350 See discussion of death toll estimates at Black_Death_in_England#Death_toll.
1,000,000[1] to 1,500,000 Great Irish Famine 1845–1849 See discussion of death toll estimates at Great Famine (Ireland)#Death toll.
225,000 Spanish flu pandemic 1918 (Sep–Nov)
100,000 Great Irish Famine (18th century) 1740–1741
65,000 Year Without a Summer 1816 Famine and typhoid fever in Ireland[2] and food riots in England and France.
60,000 Great Plague of London 1665
20,000 [3] Laki volcano fissure eruption 1783–1784 (Jun–Feb)
8,000 Great Storm of 1703 1703 (26 November)
5,000+ Great Famine (14th century) 1315–1317
4,000 to 12,000 "The Great Smog", London 1952
4,000+ Blockade of Porto Bello 1726–1727 Deaths resulting from yellow fever.
3,500+ 1782 Central Atlantic hurricane 1782 (16–17 Sep) Loss of HMS Ramillies, HMS Centaur; storeships Dutton and British Queen; captured French prize ships Ville de Paris, Glorieux, Hector and Caton; plus other merchantmen.
3,000 Early fires of London 1212 (July) Source for fatalities is the Guinness Book of Records,[4] but historical evidence unclear.
2,139 [5] 2003 European heat wave 2003 (4–13 August)
2,000 Bristol Channel floods 1607 (30 January)[6]
2,000 Sweating sickness (sudor anglicus) 1485 ff.
2,000 Darien scheme 1690s An unsuccessful attempt to establish a Scottish colony in present-day Panama.
1,900+ Christmas Eve storm 1811 (24 December) Wrecks HMS St George, HMS Defence and HMS Fancy off Thorsminde, Jutland; and HMS Hero and HMS Archimedes off Texel, Netherlands.
1,550+ Scilly naval disaster 1707 (22 October) HMS Association, HMS Eagle, HMS Romney and HMS Firebrand.
1,490 RMS Titanic 1912 (15 April) US Senate inquiry gave 1,517 fatalities.[7]
1,200 Strait of Gibraltar storm 1694 (1 March)[6] Wrecks HMS Sussex and accompanying ships.
1,012 RMS Empress of Ireland 1914 (29 May) Ship registered in London, crew almost entirely from Merseyside.
1,000 1867 Barbados hurricane 1867 RMS Rhone, RMS Wye and up to 50 other vessels driven ashore.[8]
1,000 Great Hurricane of 1780 1780 (10 October) Royal Navy ships lost included HMS Cornwall, HMS Experiment and HMS Ontario
900+ Plymouth Sound storm 1691 (3 September) Wrecks HMS Coronation and HMS Harwich.
900 HMS Victory 1744 (3 October) Wrecked on the Casquets in the Channel Islands.
890+ Walker Expedition disaster 1711 (22 August) Seven transport ships and one storeship wrecked in thick fog on the Saint Lawrence River, Canada.
843 HMS Vanguard explosion 1917 (9 July) Magazine explosion.
800 HMS Royal George capsizes 1782 (29 August)
748+ Royal Charter Storm 1859 (26 October) The Royal Charter and other ships wrecked in Lligwy Bay, Anglesey.
738 HMS Bulwark explosion 1914 (26 November) Magazine explosion.
699 HMS Ramillies [9] 1760 (15 February) Runs aground off Bolt Head, Devon.
690 HMS Queen Charlotte fire 1800 (17 March)
646 SS Mendi 1917 (21 February) Rammed by SS Darro off the Isle of Wight.
640 Princess Alice disaster 1878 (3 September) Collision with the Bywell Castle in the River Thames near Woolwich.
635 SS Norge shipwreck 1904 (28 June)
612 Tramore Bay storm 1816 (30 January) Wrecks the Seahorse, Lord Melville and Boadicea.[10]
600+ an unidentified troop ship 1796 (23 January) shipwreck possibly one of Admiral Christian's West Indies convoy wrecked on Loe Bar, Cornwall.[11]
600 HMS Coronation (1685) 1691 (3 September) 2nd rate ship foundered off Rame Head, Cornwall.[12]
564 SS Utopia disaster 1891 (17 March) Collision with HMS Anson off Gibraltar.[13]
546 RMS Atlantic 1873 (1 April)
531[14] 1953 North Sea storm and flood 1953 (31 Jan – 1 Feb) Included the ferry MV Princess Victoria.
520 HMS Namur 1749 (14 April) Wrecked in a storm near Fort St David.
500+ 1854 Broad Street cholera outbreak 1854 (Aug–Sep) Cholera epidemic in London.
500 HMS Minotaur 1810 (22 December) Wrecked on Haak Bank near Texel, Netherlands.
500 "Black Monday" 1209 Massacre of English settlers by Irish clans, near Ranelagh, Dublin, on Easter Monday.
491 HMS York 1804 (Jan) Struck the Bell Rock and sank with the loss of her entire crew.
481 HMS Captain 1870 (6 September) Sank off Cape Finisterre, Spain.
480 SS City of Glasgow 1854 (March) Disappeared after leaving Liverpool for Philadelphia.
473 Cospatrick 1874 (18 November) Caught fire in the South Atlantic.
470 HMS Courageux 1796 (18 December) Shipwrecked at Apes' Hill, Barbary Coast (now Monte Hacho, Ceuta, Africa)[15]
454 Vryheid 1802 (23 November) Formerly the Melville Castle, shipwrecked in a gale off the Kent coast between Hythe and Dymchurch. 18 of 472 on board survived.
450 HMS Birkenhead 1852 (25 February) Shipwrecked near Cape Town.
439 Senghenydd Colliery Disaster 1913 (14 October) Gas explosion at the Universal Colliery, Senghenydd, Caerphilly, Glamorganshire. Britain's worst mining accident.
431 HMS Otranto 1918 (6 October) Shipwrecked off Islay. 351 United States troops and 80 crew perished.
421 HMS Natal 1915 (30 December) Magazine explosion. Precise number of deaths disputed; 421 is highest estimate.
421 Dumfries cholera epidemic 1832 (15 Sep – 27 Nov)
406 Cataraqui 1845 (4 August) Shipwrecked off King Island, Tasmania.
400+ Rochdale and Prince of Wales 1807 (19 November) Carried troops leaving Dublin for the Napoleonic Wars.
400+ HMS Invincible 1801 (16 March) Sank off Norfolk while en route to the Battle of Copenhagen.
400 HMS Winchester 1695 (1 September) Shipwrecked on a reef off Key Largo, Florida.
400 Pomona 1859 (30 April) carrying, mainly Irish, emigrants from Liverpool to New York. Shipwrecked on a sandbank at Ballyconigar, off Wexford, Ireland.
388 The Oaks explosion 1866 (12 December) Colliery disaster, Barnsley, Yorkshire.
384 Annie Jane 1853 (28 September) Emigrant ship out of Liverpool, wrecked Vatersay.
380 Mary Rose 1545 (18 July) Sank off Portsmouth.
379 HMS Dasher (D37) 1943 (27 March) Accidental fuel explosion, Firth of Clyde.
374 Driver 1856 (February) Clipper ship out of Liverpool, disappeared while crossing the Atlantic Ocean.
372 Arniston 1815 (30 May) Wrecked at Waenhuiskrans, South Africa.
369[16] Queen 1814 (14 Jan) Wrecked in Carrick Roads, Cornwall.
360+ Elizabeth 1810 (18 December) Chartered East Indiaman wrecked off Dunkirk.
358 HMS Victoria 1893 (22 June) Rammed by HMS Camperdown in the Mediterranean Sea.
352 HMS Princess Irene 1915 (27 May) Explosion while on the River Medway, Sheerness.
347 HMS Athenienne 1806 (20 October) Wrecked off Tunisia. 100 survivors crammed into the ship's launch.
344 Pretoria Pit Disaster 1910 (21 December) Underground explosion at the Hulton Bank Colliery, Westhoughton, Lancashire.
340 Aeneas 1805 (23 October) Troopship wrecked on the Îles aux Mortes along the Canadian coastline while carrying troops to Quebec.
338 HMS Curaçao 1942 (2 October) Light cruiser run down and split in two by RMS Queen Mary.
335 SS Schiller 1875 (7 May) Shipwrecked off the Isles of Scilly.
317[17] HMS Eurydice 1878 (22 March) Sank off the Isle of Wight. Commemorated by Gerard Manley Hopkins in the poem "The Loss of the Eurydice".
300 White Ship 1120 (25 November) Shipwrecked off Barfleur, Normandy, taking the only legitimate son of King Henry I of England.
300 Sibylle 1834 (11 September) Emigrant ship out of Cromarty wrecked off St. Paul Island, Nova Scotia.
300+ HMS Amphion 1796 (22 September) Magazine explosion while at Plymouth, Devon.
300 HMS London 1665 Accidental explosion while in the Thames Estuary.
299 Kapunda 1887 (20 January) Emigrant ship out of London, collided with the barque Ada Melmore off Brazil.
297 RMS Tayleur 1854 (21 January) Shipwrecked off Lambay Island, Dublin Bay during its maiden voyage after its iron hull deflected its compass.
293 Northfleet 1873 (22 January) Rammed at night by a Spanish steamboat while anchored off Dungeness.
290 HMS Sceptre 1799 (5 December) Wrecked during a storm in Table Bay, near the Cape of Good Hope.
290 Albion Colliery explosion 1894 (23 June) Firedamp explosion.[18][19]
285 Gordon Riots 1780 (2–13 June) Rioters shot by troops.
281 HMS Atalanta 1880 (31 January) HMS Eurydice's sister ship, disappeared after leaving Bermuda bound for Falmouth, Cornwall.
276 VOC Hollandia 1743 (13 June) Shipwrecked off Annet, Isles of Scilly.
270 Great Sheffield Flood 1864 Caused by collapse of Dale Dike Reservoir during its first filling.
270[20] Pan Am Flight 103 1988 (21 December) Blown apart at 31,000 ft over Lockerbie, Scotland, by terrorist bomb in forward hold.
268 Abercarn mining disaster 1878 (11 September) Mining disaster at Abercarn, Monmouthshire.[citation needed]
266 Gresford Disaster 1934 (22 September) Mining accident near Wrexham, North Wales.
260 Earl of Abergavenny 1805 (5 February) Shipwrecked off Portland Bill.
253 HMS Saldanha 1811 (4 December) Shipwrecked during gale off Lough Swilly, Donegal, Ireland.
250+ Night of the Big Wind 1839 (6–7 January)
250 RMS Royal Adelaide 1849 Shipwrecked on a sandbank off Margate, Kent.
247 Doddington 1755 Shipwrecked in Algoa Bay, South Africa.
246 HMS Avenger 1847 (20 December) Wrecked off the Galite Islands, Tunisia.
241 Exmouth of Newcastle 1847 (28 April) Shipwrecked off Islay.[21]
240 HMS Lutine 1799 (9 October) Shipwrecked off Vlieland.
238[22] MV Dara 1961 (8 April) British-India Steam Navigation Company passenger liner evacuated in the Persian Gulf off Dubai following explosion and fire.
238 HMS Tribune 1797 (16 November) Wrecked during a storm off Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.
237 SS Anglo Saxon 1863 (27 April) Wrecked in dense fog off Cape Race, Newfoundland, Canada.
226 Quintinshill rail crash 1915 (22 May) Three-train collision in Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland.
224 Neva 1835 (13 May) Convict ship out of Cork wrecked on reefs off King Island, Tasmania.
220 SS London 1866 (11 January) Sank during gale in the Bay of Biscay.[23]
220 Great Blizzard of 1891 1891 (9–13 March) [24]
220 Hartley Colliery Disaster 1862 (16 January) Caused by steam engine metal fatigue.
215 Lady of the Lake 1833 (11 May) Struck iceberg in the North Atlantic and sank.
212 Sovereign 1814 (18 OCtober) Wrecked off St. Paul Island (Nova Scotia).
210 Rinaldo 1878 (18 December) Collision with French steamship Byzantin in the Dardanelles.[8]
208 Harpooner 1818 (November) Military transport ship shipwrecked off Newfoundland.
207 Blantyre mining disaster 1877 (22 October) Gas explosion.
205 HMS Iolaire 1919 (1 January) Admiralty yacht returning soldiers to Scotland after World War I. Sank off Stornoway in the Outer Hebrides.
205 SS Hungarian 1860 (20 February) An Allan Line Royal Mail Steamer out of Liverpool and Queenstown (Cobh) wrecked off Cape Sable Island (Nova Scotia).[25]

100–199 fatalities[edit]

Fewer than 100 fatalities[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Irish Famine". BBC. 2011. Retrieved 2013-02-02. 
  2. ^ Bill Bryson; A Short History...;p 372; ISBN 0-385-40818-8
  3. ^ Estimate of mortality in England.
  4. ^ "In July 1212, 3,000 were killed in the crush, burned or drowned when London Bridge caught fire at both ends". (p.184) Norris McWhirter and Ross McWhirter (1971). Guinness Book of Records. Guinness Superlatives Limited. ISBN 900424052. 
  5. ^ Difference between the number of deaths in that period and the average number in other years.
  6. ^ a b New style dating.
  7. ^ "Passenger List and Survivors of Steamship Titanic". United States Senate Inquiry. 30 July 1912. Retrieved 5 June 2011. 
  8. ^ a b Marshall, Logan, Sinking of the Titanic and Great Disasters of the Sea, 1912.
  9. ^ Formerly HMS Royal Katherine.
  10. ^ Grocott, Terence (1999). Shipwrecks of the Revolutionary & Napoleonic Eras. Journal of Navigation: Cambridge University Press 52 p.149–162. 
  11. ^ Treglown, Tony (2011). Porthleven in years gone by Local Shipwrecks. Ashton: Tony Treglown. ISBN 978-0-9539019-7-5. 
  12. ^ Eekelers, Dirk; Lettens, Jan. "HMS Coronation (north part) [+1691]". wrecksite. Retrieved 7 May 2012. 
  13. ^ 562 passengers and crewmembers of Utopia and two rescuers from HMS Immortalité. "The Dead of the Utopia", The New York Times, 20 March 1891.
  14. ^ British victims only.
  15. ^ Grocott, p41.
  16. ^ Allen, Tony. "Queen [+1814]". wrecksite. Retrieved 7 May 2012. 
  17. ^ 317 named fatalities (Memorials & Monuments in St Ann's Church – HMS Eurydice).
  18. ^ "Albion Colliery". BBC Wales. 2008. Retrieved 2010-10-15. 
  19. ^ "Albion Colliery Cilfynydd". Welsh Coal Mines. Retrieved 2010-10-15. 
  20. ^ All victims, regardless of nationality.
  21. ^ Islay Info
  22. ^ Mostly non-British nationals.
  23. ^ http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~nzbound/london.htm
  24. ^ Woodward, Antony and Penn, Robert (2007). The Wrong Kind of Snow. ISBN 978-0-340-93787-7
  25. ^ http://museum.gov.ns.ca/mma/wrecks/wrecks/shipwrecks.asp?ID=2197
  26. ^ "The Manacles". Retrieved 3 November 2011. 
  27. ^ Ian Winstanley, Those Who Died
  28. ^ – Photograph of William Pit
  29. ^ "Naval Colliery disasters". Welsh Coal Mines. Retrieved 2010-10-14. 
  30. ^ Larn, Richard (1992). The Shipwrecks of the Isles of Scilly. Nairn: Thomas & Lochar. ISBN 0 946537 84 4. 
  31. ^ Lettens, Jan. "HMS Jasper (+1817)". wrecksite. Retrieved 13 May 2012. 
  32. ^ Nitshill 15th March 1851 scottishmining.co.uk, accessed 5 April 2009
  33. ^ Noall, Cyril (1968). Cornish Lights and Ship-Wrecks. Truro: D Bradford Barton. 
  34. ^ Larn, Richard; Larn, Bridget (1997). Shipwreck Index of the British Isles. London: Lloyd's Register of Shipping. 
  35. ^ "The Catastrophe in the Regent's Park", The Times, 22 January 1867, p.12

External links[edit]