" 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.
Filey Bay is the location of this sea battle where Captain Richard Pearson of the British Royal Navy fought Commodore John Paul Jones of the American Continental Navy for the possession of a vital supply convoy, and became the graveyard of the American flagship, the Bonhomme Richard.
It was a bloody and 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. Captain Pearson distinguished himself by turning to fight a battle in which he was outnumbered, an action for which he received a Knighthood.
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.
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 Captain Pearson of HMS Serapis in the highest traditions of the Royal Navy, and Commodore John Paul Jones of the American Continental Navy 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 conceived - their spirit must never die.”
This is a Coast rich in Heritage and Maritime Culture, and where is it?
What is the Filey Bay 1779 Research Group, and why is it so important to Filey and the communities of the Bay?
With thanks to Timothy Akers of Merlin Burrows, Donald G Shomette and James Hodgson. This page is currently being developed.