The Filey Bay Bonhomme Richard Group  (formerly the Filey Bay Research Group)   - 'knowledge through perseverance'

Filey Bay - a heritage coast with the Battle of Flamborough Head,  John Paul Jones and the Bonhomme Richard.

These pages are dedicated to Timothy Akers of Merlin Burrows, without whose brilliant technical ability and dedicated research, the Bonhomme Richard would probably have never been found.


John Paul Jones   

 The Timothy Akers Memorial Film

Richard Pearson   

" Filey Bay – a stunning location on Yorkshire’s beautiful coastline. Rugged cliffs dashed by relentless seas, brimming with stories and legends with breath-taking views, fresh breezes and exhilarating walks, make this historic and romantic coast a must -  Filey Bay  is where Commodore John Paul Jones and Captain Richard Pearson made history."

  Filey and Filey Bay are irrevocably woven into a pivotal historical event in World History. The battle of Flamborough Head in September 1779 was a classic sea battle of epic proportions. It was fought in the environs of Filey Bay with courage and self-sacrifice, all played out on a magnificent stage and irrevocably woven within the fabric of our own rich heritage and history that transcends generations.

 "These people were the astronauts of the 18th Century; they traversed long distances over great oceans…”

    Filey Bay is the location of this sea battle where, Commodore John Paul Jones of the American Continental Navy fought Captain Richard Pearson of the British Royal Navy for the possession of a vital supply convoy, and became the graveyard of the American flagship, the Bonhomme Richard.

   It was a tragic battle that has enhanced the romance and mystery of the Yorkshire coast, fought by a British Captain and an American Commodore who were both Freemasons, and in their own way contributed to the international standing of their respective countries.

    Fought at the time of the American War for Independence from Britain, it gave the fledgling American State much prestige, and an experience in the projection of power by sea.

 “When challenged on the high seas – they answered with lead and iron.”

  Such is the resonance of The Battle of Flamborough Head, that it has reverberated down the passage of time and is a by-word for daring action of magnificent proportions that is embedded into the fabric of the maritime history of Filey Bay.

 “History was made here . . .”

  The battle and its importance has inspired a Nation, artists, storytellers and filmmakers to this day, and our Heritage Coast celebrates the brave action of Commodore John Paul Jones of the American Continental Navy and Captain Pearson of HMS Serapis and who fought a brilliant, but tragic action within the environs of Filey Bay.  

“We who seek their footprints and relics are humbled to be in the presence of those whose example and philosophies have built great nations, and whose teachings are as relevant to today as they were when first concieved - their spirit must never die.”

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Why a Heritage Coast and where is it?

What is the Filey Bay Bonhomme Richard Group?

  With thanks to Timothy Akers of Merlin Burrows, Donald G Shomette and James Hodgson. This page is currently being developed. 

The Filey's  John Paul Jones Heritage Coast  is being progressed with the assistance of, or links with some of the following organisations and groups.

                        Filey’s Cultural Link with Calvert County, USA
                        Welcome to Yorkshire
                        Scarborough Borough Council Tourism Department
                        The Filey Chamber of Trade
                        The Filey Museum
                        The Crimlisk Fisher Archives

The Filey Bay Bonhomme Richard Group has a partnership with, or links to:

                        Merlin Burrows
                        The Filey Town Council
                        Welcome to Yorkshire
                        Discover Yorkshire Coast
                        Donald G Shomette of Cultural Resources, Maryland
                        Natural England
                        Pritchard Diving Services (Consultancy)
                        John Paul Jones Birthplace Museum Trust, Kirkbean, Dumfries
                        Elite Truck Bodies
                        Lee Norgate’s Shoreline Wreck Survey Group
                        The Filey Brigg (Spittals) Group                       
                        Filey’s Jurassic Coast



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©  All the  content in this site is copyright of Anthony Green August 2005 and February 2020.  This Heritage Coast has been continuously published  online since 2005

          What and where is it?        The Battle        Heritage Features         Geology            Air Archaeology         Marine Archaeology
Filey Bay Bonhomme Richard Group         John Paul Jones at Filey         
Filey's Link to Calvert County       

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