The Treasure of the Golden Grape book was nominated for the biennial Dorset Archaeological Awards 2013 - more details



Treasure of the Golden Grape” Connection

In the salvage of the wreck of the Golden Grape in 1641 a youthful James Bond is mentioned as one of those salvaging what treasure they could. When researching his details I found two possible burial entries for a James Bond at Wyke Church but as one of his later namesake’s enemies might have said “you only die once Mr. Bond”

A Walter Bond, possibly his father is a fisherman from Ope (now the in filled Cove Row/Hope Square) a cove in Weymouth harbour and he is chief henchman for powerful local merchant Fabian Hodder who takes over the salvage operation. Walter Bond is then used 4 years later in the Civil War by Hodder to lead and guide the Royalist attack by boat from Portland to take the port of Weymouth for the exiled King Charles so he can bring his French Army into England. While that attack is successful they lose the battle and the main conspirators are taken to the Nothe to be hanged, exactly where people recently watched Ben Ainslie win his Olympic sailing gold medal.  Bond successfully pleads for his life, while Hodder has escaped to Poole.

In the late 1580s Weymouth and Southampton were the largest privateering ports against the Spanish. One such promoter of privateering mentioned in the book is John Bond. His family estate was at Lutton on the Isle of Purbeck, where nearby Studland was notorious for piracy. Bond held extensive property in Melcombe Regis because of his trade and became Mayor of Weymouth for 5 periods. He is said to have sailed with Drake on his raid on Cadiz and with him at St Domingo in the Caribbean where Bond found a stone globe of the world inscribed with “Non sufficit orbis”. This was the Latin motto adopted by the Spanish after the Pope had given them the World upon Columbus discovering the New World.  John Bond decided he would use it as his own family motto so hence “Non sufficit orbis” adorned his own property.

The translation from the Latin is “THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH” the same family motto used by Ian Fleming in the Bond books and films “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” and the eponymous “The World Is Not Enough”.

Fleming apparently used the local Drax family name for arch villain Hugo Drax in Moonraker and of course John Strangways is the MI6 agent killed at the beginning in Dr No.

William Bond, John’s descendant believes that John Bond was indeed a spy during his escapades with Drake and on many other occasions, something I maintain in the book regarding the infamous Portland pirate Henry Stranguish (Strangways) who was imprisoned 3 times as a pirate and let out each time and finally posthumously pardoned by Queen Elizabeth. Who better than pirates such as Stranguish or privateer John Bond to glean information about foreign ports, shipping and invasion force mobilisation. Pirates certainly tortured crews to find any hidden treasure and would have wanted information from Spaniards and others they could use for bargaining when caught by the authorities.


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