August 27th Henry Winstanley (Birth)
Henry Winstanley (1644 – 1703) was a wealthy painter, engineer and merchant who constructed the first Eddystone lighthouse after losing two of his five ships on the Eddystone Rocks.

He demanded to know why nothing had been done about the hazard and, when told they were too dangerous to mark, he told the Admiralty that he would build a lighthouse himself.

Construction began on July 14th, 1696 with an octagonal tower, anchored to the rock, constructed from Cornish granite and wood, with ornamental features and a glass lantern room in which candles would burn, providing the light.  The first Eddystone Lighthouse was completed in November 1698 but almost immediately was obscured by spray breaking over the top of the tower. This inspired Winstanley to re-design the lighthouse making it taller and even more decorative.  The second lighthouse survived five years and during that time not a single ship was wrecked on the rocks.

The second lighthouse was destroyed on the night of November 27th, 1703, during an enormous storm.  Winstanley was at the lighthouse that night to make repairs, and was tragically killed in the storm.

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