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On this page ... William Pile, City of Adelaide, page bottom (advertising on a German truck).

Copyright? (31 = 31) Test.

Corrections in any of the material which follows, however tiny, would be most welcome. And additions, of course!

To search for specific text on this page, just press 'CTRL + F' & then enter your search term.



First a few images. Hover your mouse over each thumbnail to read the subject matter.

In time, it may very well be that we have multiple sections re William Pile. Why? Because I have seen references to his (or the Pile family) being in business as a) William Pile, b) William Pile, Hay & Co., c) Pile Hay & Co., d) William Pile, Jr., e) W. Pile & Co. f) Pile Spence & Company (of West Hartlepool, it would seem) and there was a John Pile also. There surely are more name variations.

William Pile (1823-1873), the man? The City of Sunderland used to advise us that he was described as 'the greatest ship designer of his age'. A talented draughtsman, he started his own company, I read, in 1846, and took over the family yard in 1848. So the true 'Pile' history commences rather before 1846. He was renowned for his tea clippers and 'built more than 100 ships in wood and almost as many in iron'.

I was aware that there is a marble bust of William Pile (by William Borrowdale) on display at the Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens. Now, thanks to David Crosby, I can provide, at left, a fine image indeed of that bust. A larger version is here. The following is the text of the descriptive words that accompany the bust.

'William Pile (1823-1873), born into a Sunderland shipbuilding family, established his own yard in 1848 and for 25 years was one of the North East's leading shipbuilders. In the 1850s he built a notable series of tea-clippers, and in 1861 he launched his first iron ship. This bust, which also shows one of Pile's steam vessels, was subscribed for by his friends, and placed in the entrance hall of the Museum and Library building when it opened in 1879.'

An image of an oil painting in the 'Imagine' collection of Tyne and Wear Museums, used to be available at but the site seems to be no longer operative. You used to be able to even zoom in on sections of the painting, which is entitled 'William Pile's Shipyard, North Sands, about 1830' and would appear to be by an unknown artist. I presume that William Pile was the son of William Pile! An oil on canvas almost 4 feet wide (112.4 x 76.8 cm). The descriptive words were stated to be as follows:

Small trading sailing ships are shown in various stages of construction at William Pile's yard on the north bank of the River Wear, towards the river mouth. This later became one of the best known of the many shipbuilding yards on the Wear. Horses are shown pulling timber ashore for use in the yard. Rafts of timber are being floated down the river. Another shipbuilding yard is visible near the river mouth in the distance. The view shows the river's appearance before Sunderland North Dock was built in 1837 near Pile's shipyard.

Go here to see an image of the work today without the related text.

North Sands? The webmaster has never visited Sunderland and reading the name 'North Sands' and seeing the images next below, which surely look like a beach, he assumed that North Sands would have been located right on the North Sea. Not so, he learns. North Sands was located on the north bank of the River Wear about 1/2 mile from the mouth of the river. As you can read above, 'Sunderland North Dock' was built nearby in 1837. The 'Pile' yard was on a site now occupied, I understand, by the National Glass Centre. There was a wonderful page on the history of North Sands shipbuilding from 1823 through 1891. The page used to be available here (the website of '' now '') thanks to today's Michael Thompson. But that site/page seems now to be long gone. Another long gone site used to summarise the North Sands history, & referred in its 'sources' to Michael Thompson having transcribed a November 1891 book: John Thompson, The Past and Present History of the North Sands Shipyards and Their Surroundings from 1823 To 1891, November 1891, Printer William Duncan, York Street, Sunderland. It would be good to be able to present the text from that volume on site.

I show you at left the image provided by the City of Sunderland, clearly the middle left portion of the very same work that is in the Tyne and Wear collection, (visible below & available here in a slightly larger size) but dated by the City as being c. 1850 - which date may prove to be in error as per the above text. It contains excellent detail!

I trust that the use of those two images on this non-profit and information site is in order.

William Pile (1823-1873), perhaps I might best refer to him in these pages as William Pile #2, was born on Oct. 10, 1823 at Monkwearmouth. He served as a shipwright at his father's Monkwearmouth yard & after completing his apprenticeship & obtaining practical experience he became foreman for Thomas Lightfoot, wooden shipbuilder of Hylton Dene. He later left Thomas Lightfoot & rejoined his father who had by then moved his business to Southwick, but then moved it back to Monkwearmouth. He acted as foreman for his father until at or about 1853 when he went into business for his own account. I have not read exactly where each of those businesses were located, (can you tell us?) but his own business must have been at North Sands as per the images above. In 1861 he 'converted his yard into a composite and iron yard'. In 1865 he started building his 'own engines and boilers and all machinery required for' the vessels that he built. He must have owned Bridge Dock, & when that land was needed for the proposed construction of the railway bridge (built in 1879), he purchased 12 acres of land, near the North Quay, from Sir H. Williamson intending to move his engine works there. It would seem that move never happened, however, since he died in 1873 at about 50 years of age. His shipbuilding yard was sold to pay his creditors. He died in London on Jun. 5, 1873 a few hours after being 'suddenly seized with contractions of the bowels'. He seemed to be in good health though he had complained to some friends that 'he did not feel altogether well'.

We thank David Crosby, of Sunderland for the above detail which originate from an announcement of William Pile's death in the 'Sunderland & Durham County Herald' of Jun. 6, 1873. That announcement described him as a benevolent man, who gave largely to the poor, & was much beloved by his workers. He left a wife & seven children & was buried in Monkwearmouth cemetery. 'He had not an enemy in the world' were the words that concluded the announcement - but he did, like us all, have creditors!

I was interested to read that George B. (Burton) Hunter (1845/1937) was for two years an apprentice at the Pile shipyard in or about 1860 - when he was 15 years of age. Many years later, he was the manager of the Pile shipyard when it was sold following William Pile's death in 1873. George Hunter lost his job, of course, but went on to great triumphs at 'Swan, Hunter, and Wigham Richardson, Ltd.' at Wallsend-on-Tyne. Most particularly with Mauretania, built for Cunard in 1907. In 1917 George Hunter became Sir George Hunter. You can read the 1935/36 article here.

I hope, in due course, that we may be able to include here details about William Pile #2's successes as a shipbuilder, the design innovations that he introduced & the famous vessels that he built. In that regard, 'Where Ships Are Born' extensively refers to the shipbuilder & refers to three famous tea clippers constructed by Pile: Kelso, Maitland & Undine, but with no data as to the year they were built. They are now all listed below (1861, 1865 & 1867).

His father, also William Pile, herein William Pile #1, was a shipbuilder who had his yard at Monkwearmouth, then moved to Southwick & then moved back to Monkwearmouth. Perhaps, in the future, we will be able to provide more detail about him.

There was also a John Edward Pile, who was born on Mar. 4, 1886 & died about 1976. A grandson of William Pile #2, perhaps?

A listing of the vessels built by 'Pile' is advancing on site - on site page 148 - but is far from being complete. Miramar lists (highest hull number on page). It used to be that you could click on the links that follow & get to the relevant Miramar page. But no longer! The new procedure must be to go to Miramar (here) & log in (you must be registered to view any page). And once you are logged in, return to this page & all the following links should work for you:- 135, 163, 196, 224, 241, (134)

Names of just a few of the vessels constructed by William Pile of North Sands, Sunderland - until I can subdivide them by exact building company as may be appropriate. Added as I happen to spot references to them. In a table in build date sequence.

1 Lizzie Webber
280 & 213 (or 206) tons


The text below was written many years ago now. In Jun. 2017, Bill Swift, marine historian, has compiled an extensive 'pdf' about the vessel & has permitted the webmaster to make it available via this site. The study addresses the question of who built the vessel, lists her known voyages & includes many contemporary newspaper reports, images etc. You are invited to read Bill's fine 28 page study here. Any site visitor who wishes to contact Bill Swift respecting such study, is invited to contact Bill via the webmaster.
A wooden snow, a type of brig. A passenger/cargo ship. Per 1 (image of a Fred Garling painting), 2 & 3 (Illustrated London News, 'ILN', print), 4 ('ILN', Aug. 14, 1852 text), 5 (Thomas S. Rowntree). Lots of WWW references to Lizzie Webber but there are, all said & done, very few facts about her. 5 states that Thomas S. (Stephenson) Rowntree ('Rowntree') of Sunderland along with John Webber commissioned the ship for the Australian coastal trade. Many references to the ship being the first to take emigrants from Sunderland to Australia, leaving Sunderland on Jul. 31, 1852, Rowntree in command, & arriving in Melbourne, Australia, on Dec. 4, 1852. A notable event with 30,000 people assembled to watch her departure with 75 emigrants. A passenger list re the voyage is here, while the ILN descriptive departure text can be read here (ex 'Trove'). The vessel made other voyages to Australia & passenger lists are WWW available. In late May 1853, leaving Sydney for Melbourne, the vessel was in collision with Augusta, a barque leaving for Adelaide. While the collision was minor, Augusta had to return to port to get her damage repaired. In Jul. 1853, the vessel was sold, by Rowntree, then of Balmain, New South Wales, for £3,150 to Henry Fisher, of 'Southern Cross Line' or 'Launceston Packet Line' of Sydney, Australia, & the vessel traded between Sydney & Launceston, Tasmania. The actual ownership of the vessel was apparently 50% each by Henry Fisher & his brother George Fisher, of Launceston. An Oct. 1857 voyage from Launceston to Sydney is detailed here. On Dec. 12, 1857, Henry bought his brother's 50% share in the vessel for £1,250, such transaction being later said, (relative to Henry Fisher's insolvency in 1859), to be at George Fisher's suggestion to facilitate the sale of the vessel to Singapore. The last reference I have spotted to the vessel is to its arriving on Aug. 30, 1862 at Labuan, presumably Labuan Island, East Malaysia, noted for its coal deposits. Lizzie Webber was involved in the coal trade there it would appear. Can you tell us what finally happened to the vessel?

2 Faerie Queene
398, later 373 tons


A wooden barque. Built by William Pile jun. at North Shore, Monkwearmouth. 135.0 ft. long, signal letters KQNT. The webmaster may prove to be quite incorrect but he thinks that this launch announcement, stated to be for a 'clipper barque' named Enoch, built by James Pyle, may prove to be either re i) Faerie Queene or ii) re Aspirant. He can trace no vessels named Enoch or Aspirant & by a process of elimination concludes that one of the two likely became Faerie Queene. Does anybody have thoughts about that? The vessel is Lloyd's Register ('LR') listed from 1854/55 thru 1869/70 - many of the entries are visible at left. The vessel was initially, per LR, owned by 'J. Kelson' of North Shields. For service from Sunderland to the Mediterranean thru 1856/57 & ex Bristol in 1857/58 & 1858/59. In 1856, Turnbull's Register advises that J. R. Kelso & J. Wheatley of North Shields were the vessel's owners, with the vessel listed as 'Faerie Queen', i.e. without the 'e' at the end. The vessel seems not to be listed in Christie's Shipping Register of 1858 - not registered anywhere in the North East, such as at Shields, Sunderland, Newcastle or Hartlepool. In 1859/60, per LR,  'Watson & Co.' of Glasgow, became the owner of the vessel now of 373 tons & Glasgow registered, for service from the Clyde to South America, thru 1861/62 & ex the Clyde thereafter. It would not surprise me to find out that 'Watson' actually became the vessel's owner earlier than 1859 & that that is the reason why 'Christie's' of 1858 does not refer to the vessel - because it was by then registered at Glasgow. All guesswork, however! Watson & Co. continued to own the vessel thru 1863/64, per LR, & after that date LR lists no owners names. The Mercantile Navy List of 1867 (page 132, image soon) lists the 373 ton vessel as owned by Matthew Horsley of Hartlepool, which data is confirmed by the equivalent registers of 1868 & 1870 - though it should be noted that the 1870 entry lists the vessel as Faerie Queen i.e. without the 'e' on the end. The vessel is not listed in the 1870/71 edition of Lloyd's Register. I do not yet know what finally happened to the vessel. Can you possibly help in that regard or otherwise add additional data? #1804

3 Flying Dragon
673 tons

A 3-masted barque. Per 1 ('pdf' p 13), 2 (towards bottom, 95% down), 3 (Jan. 1854 text ex Trove) 4 (Dec. 1854 text ex Trove), 5 (Feb. 1855 text ex Trove) 6 (Jul. 1855 text ex Trove). What would we do without 'Trove'! 190 ft. or 199 ft. long overall, on a keel 165 ft. long. The vessel was built, of East India teak, in 1853, at Monkwearmouth for Robert Smith of Manchester but registered at London. 2 states that the builder was John Pyle & that the 'Clipper Barque' was lost due to fire en route from Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) to London. But that data is, I believe, inaccurate. I think that John Pyle means John Pile, brother to the famous William Pile. I have seen a reference to the vessel being (later?) owned by Jardine, Matheson & Co. - can that be correct? Anyway, on Oct. 14, 1853, the ship left the Downs for Melbourne, Australia, & arrived there safely after a voyage of 76 days. The vessel then left Hobart, Tasmania, for England, via Bombay, India, in late Feb. 1854. On Jul. 31, 1854, while en route from Ceylon to London with a general cargo, the vessel caught fire at midnight when 200 miles off the Cape of Good Hope. The vessel ran into Simon's Bay, near Cape Town, South Africa, in Aug. 1854, 'burnt to the water's edge where she was scuttled'. It would seem that that was not the end. The vessel's hull was sold for £2,200, in Oct. 1854, to Messrs. H. & E. Suffert, presumably of Cape Town. 'She was a new vessel, and when the necessary repairs above deck are completed it is expected that she will repay her enterprising owners.' The repaired vessel, still named Flying Dragon, was later expected to put to sea on Jul. 24, 1855. But on Jul. 10, 1855, the vessel was consumed by a fire in which a youth, the son of Captain Caithness, the ship's captain, lost his life. A print of the vessel appeared in the Nov. 4, 1854 issue of Illustrated London News. Can you add to and/or correct the above. Another image?

4 Windsor Castle
1074 (later 1075) tons


A fully rigged ship. Per 1 (report of the 1884 Inquiry into the vessel's loss, 'pdf' available), 2 (1872 trip to Melbourne, Australia). 195.5 ft. long, signal letters LTVQ, a ‘comfortable passenger ship’ & 'a very fast little ship'. Maybe not the fastest. A data 'snippet' advises that Windsor Castle left Sydney, Australia, on Nov. 10, 1881 & on Jan. 5, 1882 was overtaken by Samuel Plimsoll, which left Sydney 10 days later, on Nov. 17, 1881. The vessel is not listed at Miramar. The webmaster has a number of editions of Lloyd's Register available to him ex 'Google' books, thru 1883/84 - see left. Built for R. Green, of London, (Blackwall shipbuilding yard, London, & major ship owners, 'Blackwall Line', 'Blackwall frigates'), later (1873/74), R. & H. Green, noted for their service on the London to India & China runs. Indeed, 'a favourite ship in the Bombay trade'. The vessel was 'made almost a new ship', in 1876, when she became of 1075 tons. In 1882, Richard Green died, his partnership had to be dissolved, & all ships had to be sold. In Jul. 1882, the vessel was sold for £3,000 (considered a bargain) to Elias Cox ('Cox'), of Bridport Harbour, Dorset, and others, Cox being the managing owner. Cox had the vessel thoroughly & extensively overhauled in Green's yard. The vessel was engaged by the Government for the transport of troops to Zanzibar, then chartered by the Admiralty to take marines to Monte Video & a man-of-war's relief crew to Sydney. On May 22, 1874, the vessel left Cochin, (now Kochi, Kerala State, SW India) for London, with a crew of 22 & a general cargo. I have not read the name of the Captain, however the Captain is recorded as C. D. Raymond, in the 1883/84 edition of Lloyd's register. On Jun. 27/28 1884, the vessel ran into a cyclone, & while sails were being changed to ease the ship, a heavy sea broke over the vessel carrying away 3rd officer Morant, whose loss was only discovered half an hour later. Several crew were injured, two lifeboats were smashed & there was other damage. The weather continued to be unsettled, & on Jul. 11, 1884, the Master determined to make for Algoa Bay (E. coast of S. Africa, about 425 miles E. of Cape of Good Hope). The vessel came in sight of the anchorage but could not enter it. They ran out to sea again & on Jul. 13, 1884, high seas carried away the rudder. Attempts were made to jury rig a replacement. The ship continued to struggle for many days - City of Benares, an unnamed Danish vessel & then Ophir all offered to take the crew off, the last on Jul. 25, 1884. Another gale was approaching. The one remaining lifeboat was eventually used, with great difficulty, to get the crew to Ophir in more than one trip. The chief officer of Ophir returned to Windsor Castle & gave his opinion that the ship should be abandoned. It was, in fact, abandoned, 30/40 miles off the E. coast of Africa, between Port Alfred & East London. A danger to passing vessels, the vessel was set on fire & was never seen again. Ophir landed the crew at St. Helena on Aug. 20, 1884. The vessel, considered to be worth £5,600 was under-insured, insured for £3,600 only. Most of the above data is derived from the most informative report of the Inquiry, which I encourage you to read. Nobody was held at blame for the vessel's loss. Do you have anything to add? Another image?

5 Alfred Hawley
420 tons
Hull 67


A 3 masted wooden barque. Per 1 (data), 2 (data), 3 (painting by G. Dell (c. 1836/1888), 4 (vessel at Port Adelaide in 1894). 5 (coal hulk reference but no image), 6 (Ref. to Hobart to Sydney voyage in 1877, 7 (1861 reference - or there used to be!), 8 (1869 & 1873 to Brisbane). 134 (or 135.5) ft. long, signal letters QCVH. A number of links but little hard data. Would seem to have been engaged in (immigrant) trade to Australia & Tasmania. To Launceston, Tasmania, in 1861. 'Some repairs in 1870' &  'Sheathed in felt and yellow metal in 1873'. But metalled a great number of times. Initially owned by T. B. Walker & Co. (or Walkers & Co.), registered at London. (T. B. Walker was a prominent ship owner in London, & for many years was Chairman of Lloyd's Register). The Mercantile Navy List of 1870 states Walker & Fowler of London to be the vessel's owner. That of 1880 (go left to p#157) Samuel C. Love of London. That of 1890 states William Llewellin of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. That of 1900 states Charles Geo. Smith of Durban, Natal, S. Africa. And that of 1910 states Union Steam Ship Co. of New Zealand Ltd., of Dunedin, New Zealand, to be the vessel's owner. I had previously recorded - sold to S. C. Love. Later owners seem to have been 'W. Llewellin & 2 other parties' & also 'Union Steamship Co. of New Zealand'. Ended up as a coal hulk, it would seem? 2 prints in Maritime Museum but no images available. Can you help any?

6 Ganges
839 tons (later 1161 tons)
Hull 1


A fast, iron hulled sailing ship. Per 1 (Wikipedia), 2 [Ganges (1)], 3 (Inquiry into the loss of Ganges), 4 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). 192 ft. long, later 230 ft., signal letters QHFV. The webmaster believes that this newspaper cutting reports the launch of the vessel early in Jul. 1861. With a figurehead representing 'Mother Ganges', a symbol of fertility. Initially owned 48/64 (75%) by James Nourse (1828/1897) & 16/64 (25%) by A. Sword ('Sword'). For about four years, I don't know exactly when, James Nourse was the captain of the vessel, which was registered at Greenock, Scotland. It commenced trading between Calcutta (now Kolkata), India, & Australia. 'Sword' relinquished his shareholding in 1864, but I have not read who acquired it. Hired out to Tinne & Company, transporters of many commodities between Calcutta & Australia & also slaves! A now long dead website mentioned rather Sandbach, Tinne & Company & did not refer to charter arrangements. The vessel gained contracts for service India/Mauritius/West Indies & Fiji. 4 voyages from Calcutta to Trinidad with Indian indentured labourers. Travelled from British Guiana to Cape Town, South Africa, in 42 days. The Mercantile Navy Lists of 1867 (page 151) & 1870 both list James Nourse, of London, as her then owner - as does the 1880 edition of such list. In 1876, the vessel was lengthened by 38 feet & became of 1161 tons. On Oct. 14, 1881, the vessel, (James Nourse then the managing owner), was wrecked on the Goodwin Sands (English Channel 6 miles east of Deal, Kent). Ganges had left Middlesbrough on Oct. 11, 1881, for Calcutta, with a cargo of iron products, with a crew of 35 all told & a pilot aboard. The cargo included 141 tons of iron tiebars & bolts, but principally consisted of 1147 tons of iron chairs or sleepers, for use by the Indian railways. Those iron chairs or sleepers were of an unusual design, a combination of a sleeper & a 'chair', most difficult to stow & made of iron rather than wood since wood would be attacked by white ants in India. You can read the report of the Official Inquiry into the vessel's loss via the link above. What exactly happened?  The vessel encountered a strong gale when about midway between Beachy Head & the Royal Sovereign Lightship (Royal Sovereign shoals, about 7 miles from Bexhill & 11 miles from Eastbourne), at about 5 or 6 a.m. on Oct. 14, 1881. About two hours later, a portion of the cargo, stored in the 'tween decks, shifted. The captain entered the hold & cut certain cargo lashings that later permitted that cargo to further shift. Rather than returning to the Downs to have the cargo re-stowed, the vessel continued down the Channel. Soon the cargo shifted again in the course of the violent gale, causing a major list to starboard (water half-way across the vessel's decks) which forced the return of the vessel to the Downs. The vessel anchored, the anchor chain parted, & the ship drifted towards the Goodwin Sands. Hibernia, a powerful paddle steam tug, came to the vessel's rescue, got a line aboard, but was unable to hold Ganges in the sea conditions. Both vessels drifted closer to the Sands, Hibernia had to cut herself free to save herself, & Ganges struck the Sands at about 5:30 p.m. on Oct. 14, 1881. A lifeboat was launched, with just 2 hands aboard, but 3/4 hour later everyone got aboard the boat with the exception of the chief mate & some ten lascars. The boat soon was swamped & all but three of her occupants scrambled back aboard Ganges. Alas that boat's painter broke, the three were carried out to sea & drowned, the boat itself coming eventually to rest on the coast of France. Enter the lifesavers from Deal (the Mary Somerville) & a boat (its name?) from Ramsgate. (Noel Clark has kindly come to our rescue re the name of the Ramsgate lifeboat. Noel tells us that the London Evening Standard of Oct. 18, 1881 gave the name of that lifeboat as bring the 'Bradford') The Ramsgate boat took 15 & eventually the Deal lifeboat took the rest. The Inquiry Report, so far as I can see, does not name the Ganges captain. It was critical of his conduct, however, re his cutting the cargo lashings that permitted the cargo to further shift, for not ensuring that the anchor chains could run freely & for getting aboard the ship's lifeboat leaving the chief officer & the 10 lascars aboard Ganges with no means of escape. Lloyd's Register of 1881/82 lists 'Gordon' as her then master. 'The Goodwin Sands' by George G. Carter, published in 1953, devotes 7 pages to the loss of Ganges & the rescue of many of its crew by Mary Somerville, the Deal lifeboat. It does not refer to the Ramsgate lifeboat at all, records the events rather differently, but does report of 'Tom', the bowman of Mary Somerville, who dived overboard & swam in the awful seas to the wrecked Ganges. He successfully got a line aboard, & then the hawser through which the Ganges crew, in ones and twos, were dragged aboard the Mary Somerville. Tom was the last to be pulled aboard. He is not, alas, named for his act of amazing bravery. The book's pages can be read here. The entire book can be accessed here, thanks to ''. A model of the ship is, I understand, in the model collection of Sunderland Museum. 'Nourse' later owned another vessel of the identical name, also built (1882) in Sunderland. Anything you can add?

7 Kelso
557 tons
Hull 69



A full rigged wooden clipper ship. And a most famous one. Per 1 (data). 150.0 ft. long perpendicular to perpendicular, signal letters QBFJ. Built for J. R. Kelso, of North Shields. Engaged in the China tea trade. A number of voyages to London are listed at the link (thanks!) - from Far East ports of Canton, Hong Kong, Macao, Shanghai & Whampoa (outer port of Guangzhou, China), all with tea as the cargo. One trip from Macao to London in 1869 was completed in 101 days. An 1870 voyage, with tea, from Amoy (Xiamen, China) to New York, was completed in 124 days. The vessel was reduced to a barque before 1870. The Mercantile Navy List ('MNL') of 1865 lists the vessel as still owned by J. R. Kelso of North Shields. The 1867 & 1870 MNL registers both advise that Chas. A. Belyea of N. Shields was the vessel's then owner. The vessel's keelson was replaced in 1871. In 1880, the vessel was sold to W. H. Ross & Co. of Liverpool. However the MNL of 1880 advises Alexander Cassels instead (also of Liverpool) was then the owner. The vessel is not listed in MNL of 1882. And in 1886 the vessel was sold to A. D. Westergaard, of Mandal, Norway, & renamed Bayard. Now MNL no longer recorded vessels once they were sold to foreign owners - could the sale to 'Westergaard' have been earlier than 1886? (I did find a reference to 'Westergaard & Co.', of Oslo, Norway, (L. Hannevig) but it may not relate to A. D. Westergaard.) In Sep. 1892, the vessel went missing in the N. Atlantic while en route from Wilmington, Delaware to Antwerp, Belgium. WWW data is most limited. Can you add anything? (built by William)

8 Tientsin
242 (or 254) tons
Hull 72


Tien Tsin

A wooden barque. Per 1 (Board of Trade inquiry into the vessel's 1875 foundering, ex 'Accounts and Papers', published 1876, a 'Google' book). 121.5 ft. long, signal letters QHDM. WWW data re this vessel is most limited. It would seem, from the Lloyd's Register ('LR') of 1862/63, that the vessel was built for J. Hay, of London & likely used in the China trade. The Mercantile Navy List ('MNL') of 1865 lists John Hay of Sunderland as the vessel's then owner. In the 1866/67 LR, the owner had become B. Jarman, of London, though MNL of 1867 & 1868 lists Stephen Jarman of Ramsgate, Kent, as the owner of the London registered vessel. And the vessel, now of 254 tons (net tonnage), became Tien Tsin (i.e. 2 words). (a tiny puzzle is that MNL always referred to the vessel as Tientsin. By 1870/71, Jarman Bros. seem to be the vessel's owners & are so LR recorded thru 1874/75. In late 1875, the vessel was surely owned, however, by George Fisher, merchant, of Launceston, Tasmania, Australia. As is confirmed by MNLs of 1870, 1872, 1874 & 1875. The vessel would seem to have been registered at Sydney, New South Wales ('NSW'), Australia, thru 1872 & at Launceston from 1874. On Nov. 17, 1875, the vessel, James Taylor in command, left Newcastle, NSW, for Launceston with a cargo of 360 tons of small coal & a crew of 9 all told. On Nov. 22, 1875, when off Cape Howe (SE Australia), the vessel ran into heavy gales & started to leak. The gales lasted many days & intensified. On Dec. 1, 1875, the vessel was struck by a particularly heavy sea which did considerable damage, & as a result the ship's pumps had to be used every two hours in an attempt to keep the leak under control. The vessel ran through Banks Strait to obtain shelter on the lea side of the island of Tasmania. She may or may not have touched a rock then not marked on the charts. The vessel stood in for the Bay of Fires (on NE coast of Tasmania), where Victoria, a Victoria Government steamer, was moored. Staff Commander Stanley assisted Tien Tsin by bringing a party of men to man the pumps & Victoria took Tien Tsin in tow in an attempt to reach Hobart. Soon, however, both pumps had failed, & while a sail was put around the hull to control the leak, the water continued to rise & the ship soon had to be abandoned. It sank in deep water. I seem to be unable to tell you, from the Inquiry report, on which day she actually sank. Line 483 on this page tells us that it was lost on Nov. 22, 1875, which clearly is incorrect. That report states that the vessel was lost 3 miles E. of Black Reef, Tasmania. The Court attributed no blame to the Master who acted with judgment & energy throughout. And the crew were commended also. It would appear however i) that the vessel was overloaded for the conditions that were later encountered & ii) that the ship's sails, which could have held the ship in a safe position in the near hurricane conditions were old & worn & tore apart under the strain - putting the wallowing hull that resulted in great stress. Can you add anything? (built by William)

9 Charente
842 (later 1061?) tons

Hull 6

An iron cargo ship which became a undersea cable laying ship. Per 1 (Atlantic Cable, Charente 50% down), 2 (para 5 re soundings), 3 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). 213.5 ft. long. Built for His Imperial Majesty Napoleon III of France. The vessel was sold or transferred, in 1874, to the 'French PTT' which, Dr. Gilles Barnichon advises (thanks!) meant the 'Poste, Télégraphe et Téléphone', i.e. the French Government department which administered telephone & telecommunications services in France. Anyway, the vessel was fitted to lay submarine cable by 'La Compagnie des Forges et Chantiers de la Seyne', of La Seyne-du-Mer, near Toulon, France. And in 1879 the vessel laid a 2nd cable from Marseille, France, to Algiers, Algeria. The vessel's gear improved & expanded in 1893. In 1919, the vessel provided 4,000 metre echo soundings in the Bay of Biscay. Have spotted no other words about her 57 years of service thru 1931, when she was, I read, sold for scrap. There was another Sunderland built ship, also built in 1862, & also named Charente, built by 'Laing'. It also was involved with submarine cables, repairing them rather than laying them. Which makes one wonder if my data is confused. Can you tell us more?

10 Arab Steed
635 (later 664) tons
Hull 75


A composite, fully rigged, 3 masted ship, later a barque. Per 1 (Lloyds Register listings of 1865/6, 1869/70 & 1883/4), 2 (image). 158.5 ft. long. Built 'by Pile, Junior' for 'Walker & Co.', of London, which became 'Thos B. Walker & Co.', from 1876 to 1878. However the Mercantile Navy List of 1870 states the then owner to be Messrs Hawley of London. Reduced to a barque in the mid 1870s. From 1878 thru 1890, the vessel was owned by A. Liljequist, of Gothenburg, Sweden, & registered there. I have previously referenced A. Skantyl, of Gothenburg, maybe the vessel's then manager? From 1890 to 1896, the vessel was owned by Johan Bengtsson ('Bengstsson') of Hälleviksstrand, outside Gothenburg, who purchased the vessel for SEK 36,000 - indeed Johan Bengstsson is at the helm of the ship in the fine 'Eugene Grandin' painting visible at left. From 1896 to 1898, the vessel was owned by K. Dalman, also of Gothenburg. In 1898, the vessel was sold to P. Pedersen, of Fredrikstad, Norway. A speedy vessel indeed a speed record holder. The vessel voyaged all over the world, in its lifetime, including the carriage of immigrants to Australia. On Dec. 9, 1901, the vessel left London for Kristiania (i.e. Oslo) with a cargo of coal & a crew of 12 all told. P. Pedersen was in command of the U.K. registered but Norwegian flagged barque. Arab Steed foundered, in the North Sea, but exactly where she foundered is not known. Nor is the exact date that she foundered though likely at of about New Year's Eve. There were no survivors. Per-Ragnar Karlström, great grandson of Bengstsson, has provided much of the above data - and this also - (thanks so much!). He states that most of the lost crew were from Hvaler, Norway, but with Swedish crew members also. I am grateful to 'scott-base', eBay vendor of Gloucestershire, U.K., for a portion of the above data. Miramar, so far at least, does not list the vessel. Is it possible that you can add anything?

11 Himalaya
1008 tons
Hull 20 - the numbering of 'Pile' vessels is a confusing scene.


Star of Peru

A 3 masted fully rigged iron ship, later a barque, that had a very long life indeed. Per 1 (extensive data, Himalaya), 2 (summary data, Himalaya, 50% down), 3 (White Wings, text re Himalaya), 4 (the item seems to have vanished - vessel's history, 2 images, Star of Peru, at page #11 of a giant 3.3 MB 'pdf' file, ex 'The Maritime Museum of San Diego'), 5 (1926 voyage, Bougainville, ex Vancouver), 6 (Donald H. Dyal, history article re vessel), 7 (image, Star of Peru), 8 ('', Lloyd's Register data, Bougainville, for years 1930/31 thru 1938/39 but the site seems, in early Jan. 2019, to have gone AWOL), 9 (history data, Star of Peru), 10 (Miramar, limited data, you now must be registered to access). The webmaster has a number of editions of Lloyd's Register, thru 1889/90, available to him ex 'Google' books - see left. 201.2 ft. long, later 201.6 ft, signal letters VTKM, with a male figurehead (which is now in the San Francisco Maritime Museum). Not a particularly fast vessel but apparently a safe & well respected one. Immensely strongly built. Built by Pile, Hay & Co.' for 'G. D. Tyser', of London (later 'Tyser & Haveside' & in 1873, 'G. D. Tyser & Co.' but the registration of this vessel was 'G. D. Tyser' only). For service to India it would seem. In or about 1865, the vessel was sold to 'Shaw, Savill & Co.', of London. For whom, & for 'Shaw, Savill & Albion Co.', the vessel made 24 voyages with immigrants & cargo to the ports of Auckland, Wellington, Lyttelton & Port Chalmers, New Zealand ('NZ'), in the 30 or so years thru mid 1896. I wonder how many passengers it could carry? The vessel must have been sturdily built indeed with all of the references there are to storms, icebergs & vessel damages, & delays due to appalling weather. In 1877, the vessel suffered a fire at Wellington, NZ, when having nearly discharged all of her cargo. The vessel was reduced to a barque in 1880. The Mercantile Navy List of 1880 states the then owner to be 'Savill & Temple' of London. In 1882/3, the vessel was transferred to 'The Shaw, Savill & Albion Co. Ltd.', the result of a combination of 'Shaw, Savill & Co.' & the 'Albion Shipping Company, Limited', of Southampton. On Aug. 20, 1886, the vessel's ballast, which ballast was coal, caught fire - at 33S/25W in the South Atlantic - but the ship safely completed its voyage to Port Chalmers, NZ. Now most references state that the vessel was sold to Alaska Packers Co., who renamed the vessel Star of Peru. Without access to Lloyd's Registers of the period, I cannot confirm what exactly happened. However it would seem that in 1898 the vessel was owned by J. J. Moore & Co. ('Moore') of San Francisco, but registered initially at Valparaiso, Chile & then at Hawaii. Engaged, per Donald H. Dyal, 'in the so-called triangular Pacific trade, taking lumber out to Australia, coal from Newcastle NSW to Hawaii, and sugar to the west coast.' I had previously indicated that Moore was from Valparaiso, as per that 1898/99 Lloyd's registration, but Donald Dyal has been in touch (thanks!) to explain that Moore was, in fact, from San Francisco - 'By law, foreign flag vessels cannot engage in coastal trade (i.e. one U.S. port to another). It is still the law, which is why cruise ships to Hawaii always stop somewhere in Mexico to interrupt the voyage. Himalaya did not have U.S. registry. So Moore registered the ship in Chile, until he hit upon the idea of Hawaiian registry. When Hawaii became a  territory, rather than a more-or-less independent kingdom, the Hawaiian vessels could apply for U.S. registry & most got it.' On Mar. 26, 1902, the vessel was sold at auction, for $18,000, to 'Alaska Packers' Association' ('APA'), of San Francisco, noted for its 'Star Fleet' of sailing ships, 'which company controlled about two-thirds of all salmon canning operations on the United States west coast'. They renamed her Star of Peru at a date after Aug. 28, 1906. The Association must not only have been involved with salmon. I read that during the winter of 1906/07, the vessel was towed (why towed?) to Eureka, California, to carry lumber to San Francisco, devastated by its 1906 earthquake. 'For roughly 30 years, she continued as one of the APA's trusted workhorses making the voyages to Bristol Bay (SW Alaska) and back to San Francisco'. Out in late spring with cargoes of sheet tin, printed labels, & other cannery equipment, & back in the fall. Crewed by seamen who were also fishermen throughout the summer. Returning with cargoes of canned salmon, canned at the many Alaska fish canneries. On Mar. 24, 1926, the vessel was sold to French owners of Noumea, New Caledonia - specifically to 'Comptoirs Français des Nouvelles Hébrides', & was renamed Bougainville. Sold without its male figurehead which became a decoration on one of the Alaska Packers' Association buildings in Alameda, California. (It would be good to find an image of that figurehead which apparently is now in the San Francisco Maritime Museum.) The vessel left Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada for Fiji, on Sep. 19, 1926 or maybe on or about Sep. 26, 1926, under the command of Leon Chateauvieux, with a cargo of lumber ex British Columbia. At Fiji, she became a coal or copra hulk, but I have also read she stored nickel ore. But ... I do not know when that happened - a Google 'snippet' suggests that it may have been later rather than sooner & that she continued to be in service under her own power. I have read that the vessel was later broken up, however Donald Dyal advises that she was still afloat in 1948, which is an amazing 85 years after she was built. It is for sure, that Bougainville was Lloyd's Register listed in the years from 1930/31 thru 1938/39, though the data would seem to have been static. I have also read that she ended up as part of a breakwater there. 'Windjamming to Fiji', published in 1929, an account of the vessel's 1926 voyage from Vancouver to Fiji written by Viola I. (Irene) Cooper, one of two young American women who were aboard - contains images of Bougainville. Is it possible that you can add anything or correct the above text? #1868

12 City of Adelaide
791 (or 860) tons
Hull 123


A composite-built passenger & cargo sailing clipper. Perhaps the most famous vessel built by William Pile. A subject in itself, however, with loads of data available. I have added a brief section on site - here. Per 1 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access).

13 Howrah
1098 (or 1097, later 1106) tons
Hull 124


Agostino M.

An iron hulled sailing ship, later a barque. Per 1 (Wikipedia), 2 (1874 voyage to New Zealand), 3 (data), 4 (tapestry commenced 1876), 5 (Tyser history & flag), 6 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). 207.7 ft. long, later 211.9 ft., signal letters WGLM, later NBQT. Lloyd's Register of 1864/65 records Tyser of London as being the vessel's initial owner. Link 6 however indicates that at that time George D. (Dorman) Tyser's company was named Tyser & Haviside (company later (1873) became G. D. Tyser & Co.) for the India trade (hence vessel name, I trust). Mercantile Navy List ('MNL') of 1870. A London based company, it would seem. First chartered voyage London to Wellington, New Zealand, commenced Aug. 26, 1874. 96 day trip, 380 immigrants, bad weather encountered, 10 died on trip (9 of them infants). Later voyages to Wellington in 1875 (92 days, 260 immigrants, incident with a cat stabbed) & in 1876 to Nelson & Wellington (total of 286 immigrants, 2 infants died). The MNL of 1880 records William H. Tyser of London as the vessel's owner - as does the 1890 list. Voyage to Fiji in 1884 with 575 passengers. Also carried indentured labourers to West Indies in 1869, 1873 & 1874 (respectively British Guiana, Trinidad & Suriname). 449 carried on Trinidad trip - 13 died en route. Company imported meat into U.K. & later fleet vessels were refrigerated. I presume not Howrah in that regard. Owned (in 1887?) by Tyser & Co. (presumably G. D. Tyser & Co.) & registered London. I read (in LR of 1908/09) that Howrah had later (when?) been renamed Tourny & later still (when?) Agostino M., a barque, owned by L. Mortola fu A. of Genoa, Italy. Is there anything you can add?

14 Maitland
799 tons
Hull 138


A ship, a tea clipper. Per 1 (data). 183 ft. long. Built for John R. Kelso of North Shields. Employed principally on the China run, to Foochow, Shanghai & Hong Kong. In 1866 sailed from Sunderland to Hong Kong in 87 days. It would seem (Septimus about 25% down), per Sunderland Echo in 1949, that Maitland was designed by William Pile for speed, but proved in performance to be a grave disappointment. But it is also stated (source web site gone) that Maitland 'was regarded as the best clipper built by Pile'. And Pile was noted for building fine ships, indeed. On May 25, 1874, the vessel was wrecked on a coral reef in the Huon Islands, New Caledonia, on a voyage from Brisbane, Australia to Foochow, China. I read that a longitudinal section, deck plan & sail plan are preserved in the Science Museum, in London. (Built W. Pile Hay & Co.)

15   Tongoy
484 tons
Hull 144


A wooden barque with an iron frame. Tongoy is a coastal town in Chile, located N. of Valparaiso. The vessel is Lloyd's Register ('LR') listed from 1865/66 thru 1869/70, owned for most of that period by Madge & Co. of Swansea. For service initially from Sunderland to Valparaiso, Chile, and then ex Swansea for South America. 153.6 ft. long, signal letters HJCF. The Mercantile Navy List of 1870, however, records the vessel as then owned by Thomas Hall, of Swansea. LR of 1869/70 notes 'wrecked'. On Mar. 3, 1870, per line 93 here, the 484 ton barque was stranded (& lost) at Berhead. While en route from Liverpool to Iquique, Chile, with a cargo of coal. Crew of 16 - none lost. The vessel had left Liverpool on Mar. 2, 1870 & 13 hours later, under conditions of fog, rain & darkness, ran aground. Then owned by Henry James Bath, a name not noted in LR. It would seem that Henry James Bath, his father Henry Bath before him, & generations of the Bath family were involved in the world wide copper trade & in the smelting of copper in Swansea. Over the years the business owned an extensive fleet of some 60 vessels that travelled overseas with coal bringing back copper ore, most particularly from Chile. Do read Mike Jackson's truly extensive 'pdf' about the family's history & businesses here. Berhead (a name I cannot track) is apparently located on the Irish coast close to Balbriggan Harbour maybe between Craytown & Irishtown. A Board of Trade Inquiry held that the loss was caused by the navigational errors of William Pemberthy her captain - his licence was suspended for a year. End of story? Certainly not. In Apl. 1870 the vessel, clearly thought to have been a total loss, was got off and taken to Ardrossan, Scotland, where I presume it was repaired. The vessel is not LR listed in 1870/71 but it is listed again from 1871/72, now owned by McCormick of Dublin for service ex the Clyde. The Mercantile Navy Lists of 1880 & 1890 clarify that the new owner's name was William Ormsby McCormick of Kingstown, Co. Dublin. The Merchant Navy List advises that the register for the vessel was closed in 1897. It would appear that artist John Fannen painted the vessel in 1897 - in full sail off a coastline - but, alas, no image of the painting is WWW available. (Built W. Pile Hay & Co.) #1917

16 Carnatic
871 tons
Hull 151


A fully rigged clipper ship, carrying passengers & cargo, later a barque. Was launched on Jan. 22, 1867. Per 1 (extensive data), 2 (text from 'White Wings'), 3 (arrival at Picton, New Zealand, on Jan. 10, 1875), 4 & 5 (ex 6) (both re 1883 Alumbagh rescue), 7 (Miramar, limited data, you now must be registered to access). 177.3 ft. long perpendicular to perpendicular, signal letters HNDG. The webmaster has a number of editions of Lloyd's Register ('LR') available to him ex 'Google' books - see left. The vessel was built for J. & J. Wait, or J. & J. Wait & Co., of North Shields ('NS'). The Mercantile Navy Lists ('MNL') of both 1870 & 1880 however, James Wait of NS as the vessel's owner. Intended, it would seem, for trade with India, hence, presumably, the name Carnatic (a coastal region in southern India). References to India continue until 1873/74. A fine clipper, but perhaps not the fastest. The vessel made five voyages to New Zealand ('NZ'), the first, under the command of Captain Edward M. Moon, being with 250 passengers, from Plymouth (left Dec. 6 or 8, 1873) to Port Chalmers (Dunedin, SE coast of S. Island) arriving on Feb. 27, 1874. The ship made its return journey to U.K. in a creditable 69 1/2 days. In 1874/5, the ship left Plymouth on Sep. 28, 1874 with 298 passengers for Picton, NZ, (N. tip of S. Island), where she arrived on Jan. 10, 1875, then onwards, across the Cook Strait to Wellington, (S. tip of N. Island), arriving on Jan. 16, 1875. A passenger list for such voyage. James W. (William) Nichols, a 22 year old fitter, a passenger on that voyage, wrote an account of his experiences, which account  was published in 1975, edited by Joyce Neill, his granddaughter, with the title 'Plum Duff and Cake - The Journal of James Nichols 1874-5' (1 & 2). The next voyage, under the command of Captain William Chapman, was from Gravesend (left Sep. 24, 1875) to Auckland, NZ, (arrived Jan. 21, 1876) where she stayed 6 months awaiting a return cargo. During that trip, on Oct. 9, 1875, when the ship was NZ bound & NE of the Falkland Islands, two crewmen unfortunately fell from the upper rigging & died from their injuries. After returning to London, she sailed for San Francisco, &, while I have read no detail, had a narrow escape of being totally wrecked before reaching her destination. In 1876/77, & again in 1877/78, the vessel sailed to Lyttelton (Christchurch, S. Island) & onwards to Wellington. During some (or maybe all) of the above voyages, the vessel was under charter to 'New Zealand Shipping Company Limited', of London. The next year, the vessel, stated to be a barque, sailed from London (left Gravesend on Oct. 24, 1878) under the command of Captain J. Rhind, to Rockhampton, Queensland, Australia, & arrived there on Feb. 7, 1879 after a voyage of 96 days. The last Lloyd's Register edition I have available which lists the vessel was re 1882/83 & in that register the ship is recorded as being re-rigged as a barque, registered at Aberdeen & owned by J. F. Gibb. Such ownership is confirmed by MNL of 1882 which lists Jas. F. Gibb, of London, as her then owner. But it would seem to have been a barque much earlier than that (see 2nd prior link). In 'Plum Duff and Cake', Joyce Neill advises us that Lloyds records state that on Aug. 2, 1883, Carnatic, under the command of A. McPhail, foundered off the Cape of Good Hope, South Africa. During a heavy gale. en route from Tayanfoo (Formosa) to New York with a cargo of sugar. At 35.34S/21.51E. It would seem, however, that Aug. 2, 1883 was when she encountered the storm, not when she foundered (see link 5). The vessel encountered the hard gale when off Port Elizabeth, South Africa, At 35S/25E or 35.34S/25E. On Aug. 4, 1883, the vessel was in the process of sinking, with 3 ft. of water in her holds & failed pumps. Alumbagh, (a 1137 ton ship built in 1863 by James Laing of Sunderland), under the command of Dugald McDonald, saw Carnatic's distress signals. Effecting an immediate rescue proved to be impossible due to the weather conditions & Alumbagh stood by. At 8 a.m. on Aug. 5, 1883, an Alumbagh ship's lifeboat was launched, commanded by J. Gunning, Alumbagh's Chief Officer with a crew of 5. In 3 trips the boat saved all persons aboard Carnatic - 19 lives in all including the captain's wife. Carnatic sank soon thereafter; her survivors were landed 21 days later at St. Helena in the South Atlantic. A further word:- LR of 1883/84, as it is WWW available, omits the page which would contain any listing for Carnatic. So I cannot tell you what it says. Joyce Neill, however, tells us that at the time of her loss the vessel was owned by F. R. Fisher of London. The 'Shipwrecked Fishermen and Mariners Royal Benevolent Society' granted awards to, it would seem, all members of Alumbagh's boat's crew. The Board of Trade awarded a piece of plate to Alumbagh's captain, Captain McDonald. I understand that a photograph of the ship does exist, held in a private U.S. collection. I understand also that a model of the vessel is in the Sunderland Museum's model collection. Can you add to or correct the above? (Built W. Pile Hay & Co.)

17 Poonah
1199 tons
Hull 157


Lief. Drammen

A fully rigged, 3 masted, passenger/cargo vessel. Per 1 (data), 2, 3 & 4 (all Tyser), 5 (image, Lief. Drammen), 6 (Miramar, link, limited data, you now must be registered to access). Built for George D. Tyser's 'Tyser & Haviside' (company later (1873) became G. D. Tyser & Co.) ('Tyser') for the India trade (hence vessel name, I trust. Poonah (now Pune) is a large city near Bombay (now Mumbai), India.) Tyser certainly traded to India, Australia & New Zealand. 223.5 ft. long, signal letters JQRW, registered at London. The following repeats data stated on many WWW sites but I cannot locate good original data sources. She carried Indian immigrants to the West Indies - 387 passengers to Trinidad where she arrived on Feb. 22, 1869 & 306 passengers  to St. Lucia in 1885. The ship also made 2 voyages with indentured immigrants from India to Suva, Fiji. The 1st arrived at Fiji on Sep. 17, 1882 with 476 passengers. During that voyage it would seem that the vessel encountered a severe storm & the lascar crew refused to go on deck, with the result that the ship was almost lost (surely there is a contemporary account about that happening). The 2nd voyage arrived at Fiji on Jun. 19, 1883 with 515 passengers (cholera aboard during that trip). The Register for the ship is said to be closed in 1895. She would appear to have been sold & renamed Lief. Drammen. Now an expired eBay item referred to what seems to be the Poonah being i) sold in 1902 to 'Th. Nordaas', of Norway, & renamed Leif & ii) stranded in 1905 while en route from Bridgewater, Nova Scotia, Canada, to Buenos Aires, Argentina. And condemned in 1905. But is it the same ship? There was indeed, I find, a Norwegian ship owner named 'Th. Nordaas' of Egersund, Norway. Can you add anything? (Built W. Pile Hay & Co.)

18 Undine
796 (later 818) tons
Hull 152


A composite ship, a clipper. Per 1 (an image ex eBay, Undine. Does it possibly relate? These words were used - 'Schiffsjungen-Segelbrigg-Undine'), 2 (an 1874 voyage, London to Dunedin, New Zealand, 50% down), 3 (an Undine image, a watercolour by D. M. Little, the image can be seen at left), 4 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). 182 ft. 6 in. long, 796 tons, of composite construction, signal letters HSCW later HSVF. Per Dr. György Ákos (thanks!) the vessel carried double topsails, topgallant sails, royals, “sky scrapers” and “moonrakers” on all three masts! Launched by 'W. Pile Hay & Co.' at Sunderland on Sep. 28, 1867 for John R. Kelso of North Shields (though 2, in 1874, states Kelso was of Glasgow). Likely, initially at least, employed on the China run, i.e. Foochow, Shanghai & Hong Kong to London. The ship is referred to as being famous, but that said, there seems to be very little data WWW available about her, especially where you might expect references in contemporary newspapers & books, particularly from Australia & New Zealand. And there were many vessels of the name which makes identification of the particular vessel of the name most difficult. The name would seem to be derived from the Latin 'unda' meaning 'wave'. But ... i) the vessel left Foochow on Jul. 16, 1873, 131 days to the Downs. ii) on Jan. 31, 1874, the vessel left Gravesend, River Thames, for Dunedin, New Zealand, Michael Vowell in command. It arrived at Dunedin on Apl. 23, 1874. After a voyage of 87 or so days. 'She is a China clipper and this is her first trip in any other trade.' iii) in 1877, the vessel left Sydney, New South Wales, for Yokohama, Japan, Captain Fawckner in command. iv) in 1882, ex v, Undine 'had her second mate and several sailors swept over the side, whilst her Captain (per Lubbock, Captain Bristow) was killed by a toppling sea.' By 1883/84 at least, the vessel was barque rigged. Dr. György Ákos of Budapest, who has researched the vessel extensively, believes that it became barque rigged in or about 1887. Soon after the 1882 tragedy, referred to both above & here in 'The China Clippers' by Basil Lubbock), the vessel was sold to M. (Michele) Ivetta ('Ivetta'), of Ragusa - not the Ragusa in Sicily, Italy, but rather Ragusa i.e. Dubrovnik, then in the Austro-Hungarian Empire (or Monarchy) now in Croatia. The larger area was the Republic of Ragusa. That ownership change was Lloyd's Register reported in 1883/84. By 1887/88 the vessel was of 818 tons, & 183 ft. 7 in. in length, & owned by Ivetta. In 1889/90 it was reported as being of 774 tons only, still Ivetta owned. Dr. Ákos advises that Ivetta was in fact a ship-owner from Trappano, (Trpanj), on the Sabioncello peninsula, then Austro-Hungarian Empire, now Croatia, & that he held 20 of the 24 shares in Undine. The other 4 shares being held by Matteo Coboevich, the vessel's Captain. The vessel's homeport became Trappano. A Google 'snippet' suggested that on Nov. 14, 1890, Undine left Valparaiso, Chile, loaded with manganese ore for the U.K. The vessel's final disposition? The vessel was lost on Feb. 26, 1893 in the harbour at Savannah, Georgia, U.S.A. Stephen James, of Panamerican Consultants, Inc. of Memphis, Tennessee, kindly forwarded a splendid report about the vessel's loss, prepared by Judy Wood, a report that includes many articles from the Savannah newspapers, most especially the Savannah Morning News. The report is extensive - I offer but a brief summary of the events. On Feb. 13, 1893, Undine arrived at Tybee, near the mouth of the Savannah River. She had come from Port of Spain, Trinidad, in ballast, under the command of Bartolomee Sincovich, with a crew all told of 14. Now all vessels arriving at Savannah were required to dump their ballast at the Tybee quarantine station. The vessel accordingly moored there, discharged her ballast, & on Feb. 26, 1893 Jacob Paulsen, a tug, commenced to tow Undine upriver, with ballast logs secured alongside the vessel to maintain her stability. All went well initially but in a stiff breeze the vessel took a list. It soon righted herself. The second time she listed she went over on her beam ends. Her rigging was cut away & tugs Jacob Paulsen & Cynthia attempted to right the vessel which was filling with water & settling. The vessel had to be temporarily abandoned, the crew being taken by Jacob Paulsen to Savannah where they stayed aboard Zora, (Note), a barque also owned by Ivetta. Undine lay in the middle of the channel just abreast of the upper end of Long Island, completely submerged at high tide except for her three iron masts - a major continuing danger to navigation. Plans to raise the ship soon commenced & on Mar. 10, 1893 Martin Cooley & Diver Brown were awarded the contract. After 10 or 12 days of effort, they had to admit failure. On Apl. 22, 1893 the vessel was auctioned off for $280 only (another $158 was realised from parts of the wreckage), a puny value considering that the vessel was insured for £4,000 - in the range of $12,000 to $15,000. F. M. Jones, Ship Carpenter, was the successful bidder. He too tried to raise the vessel but also failed. The vessel, a danger to shipping, had however to be removed. On Jun. 17, 1893 Johnston & Townsend, of Somers Point, New Jersey, were awarded the contract to remove her for their bid of $3,645. They sealed off all of the vessel's ports & companion ways, pumped out both water & accumulated mud & after 2 weeks Undine was afloat again to be soon towed about 2 miles to lie off Venus Point. Still on her side however, & still partially filled with mud. She eventually was not sold, nor blown up nor dismembered rather she was moved again & permanently sunk in a hole in the river bed near Fig Island - at 32.08.58N/81.02.37W. I understand that she is still there today. A major vote of thanks goes to Judy Wood for her fine research & comprehensive report from which the above account was derived. 3 refers to the vessel 'Capsized and sank [illegible] 1893'. The meaning of those words now has become clearer. John Harding, a site visitor, is searching for data & particularly for an image. Can you add anything? (Built W. Pile Hay & Co.)

19 Chacma
568 (or 608) tons
Hull 168


An iron barque. Per 1 (Norwegian page, extensive data, image), 2 (link 1, 'Google' translated), 3 (Norwegian, data & image, low on page), 4 ('', 1917 sinking), 5 ('', 1917 sinking), 6 (Miramar, limited data, you now must be registered to access). 174.0 ft. long (have also read 174.7 ft.), signal letters HGNB, presumably later JGHF. A vessel which had quite a few owners in its lifetime (a confusing scene), but just a single name. The webmaster has a number of editions of Lloyd's Register available to him ex 'Google' books - see left. The vessel was initially owned by John Hay ('Hay'), of Sunderland. Now I hesitate in saying it was built for him since he was William Pile's partner. I suspect that the vessel was rather built on speculation & Hay held it until a buyer could be found. It would seem that the vessel was engaged in the India trade (India & Ceylon). I have read that in 1871, C. F. Ellis ('Ellis'), of Sunderland, became the owner, but it would seem that that sale was a little later. Hay is still the recorded owner in the 1872/73 edition of Lloyd's Register while Ellis becomes the listed owner in the 1873/74 edition. I read that in 1874, the vessel was sold to W. (William) Turner ('Turner'), of Slate Quay, Carnarvon, Wales, & of London, (my first available Lloyd's Register shows him the owner in 1874/75), & I read also that in 1878, the vessel was sold to Robert Jones, of London. However, in 1880/81, Turner was still the recorded owner - my first available register recording Jones the owner is re 1882/83. I read that in 1888 or 1889, the vessel was sold to W. Ross, also of London, the owner being re-styled as W. Ross & Co. in 1890. The name of Ross is not in my available registers, but in the 1889/90 edition, W. G. (Wm. Griffith) Roberts is shown following Jones as the owner. As I say, all of this is most confusing. In 1894, the vessel was sold to Jacobsen & Co. ('Jacobsen'), of Flekkefjord, SW Norway, but soon thereafter, in Jan. 1895, the vessel became owned by 'A/S Chacma Rederi', also of Flekkefjord, with Jacobsen the managers. In Apl. 1902, A/S Chacma of Horten, (N. of Tønsberg), became the owners, with A. Jørgensen the manager. In May 1910, the vessel was sold to A/S Chacma of Kristiansand, Norway, 'Langfeldt & Co.' or 'K. F. Langfeldt', the managers. All of the above with no change of vessel name. On Aug. 26, 1917, while en route from Savannah-la-Mar, Jamaica, to Le Havre, France, with a cargo of logwood, the vessel was sunk by UC-62, Oberleutnant zur See Max Schmitz in command, 50 miles W. of the Casquets (a group of rocks 13 miles NW of Alderney, Channel Islands, off the coast of France). No exact location is available. I am grateful for the data at links 1 & 2 for what happened. It would seem that the submarine surfaced & shelled Chacma. The entire Chacma crew took to the one undamaged lifeboat & 27 hours later they reached Barhou, an uninhabited island, where the lifeboat was smashed, presumably in effecting a landing. The crew was picked up 2 days later by pilot boats from Alderney. Chacma? It continued sailing with nobody aboard. U-62 took the ship's papers & then sank the ship. So there were no casualties. Can you add anything?

20 Decapolis
632 tons
Hull 167


Nostra Madre

An iron barque. Per 1 (data), 2 (data & image at Launceston, Tasmania), 3 & 4 (arrivals Australia), 5 (T. B. Walker & Co. 'Blue Peter' article, Col# 2, ex 6), 7 (sunk in 1917), 8 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). An immigrant ship it would seem. Owned by T. B. Walker, later (1870 thru 1890) Thomas B. Walker, later (1900) Fredk. A. Edelsten, all of London. 187.5 ft. long, signal letters JVCL, registered at London. Used on the England/Australia run - 14 voyages to Brisbane, Australia, are recorded above between 1868 & 1877. The vessel was later sold to Italian owners & renamed Nostra Madre. I read that Andrea Corrado, of Genoa, owned the vessel in 1917. On Jun. 17, 1917 while en route from Buenos Aires, Argentina, to Swansea, Wales, with a cargo of maize, the vessel was stopped & sunk by gunnery 70 miles E. of Fastnet - by U-60, Kapitänleutnant Karlgeorg Schuster in command. It would seem that there were no casualties. Can you add anything?

21 South Australian
1040 (or 1039) tons
Hull 160


A composite clipper ship. Carrying passengers & cargo. Per 1 (data & image), 2 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). 201 ft. long, signal letters HFJC. Built for Devitt & Moore, of London. (Devitt & Co., & per the Mercantile Navy Lists of 1870 Joseph Moore, 1880 Thomas Lane Devitt) Of iron frame & wooden planking. Used on England/Australia run. 1 advises 'In 1887 she was sold to William Woodside of Belfast and operated principally as a cargo vessel, making voyages to India and New Brunswick under the command of Captain James Arthurs.' Sank on Feb. 14, 1889 near Lundy, in the Bristol Channel. Circumstances not stated. But now see this Inquiry Report re her loss. A dive site today, perhaps.

22 Syria
1010 tons
Hull 165


An iron sailing ship. Per 1 (extensive 'wikipedia' page), 2 (page re wreck, image), 3 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). 207.7 ft. long, signal letters JSNR. Built for J. Nourse, later (1880 & 1890) James Nourse, both of London, i.e. the Nourse Line. Primarily used for the transportation of Indian indentured labourers to the Caribbean (Trinidad & Nevis) & to Fiji. On Mar. 13, 1884, the vessel left Calcutta, India, for Fiji with 497 labourers & a crew of 43 aboard. After a very fast voyage of 58 days, (the normal was 72 days), the vessel ran aground on the Nasilai Reef, Fiji, on May 11, 1884. 59 died as a result but another 11 died later from related complications. I understand that a model of the ship is in the Sunderland Museum model collection. Anything to add?

23 Berean
526 (or 514 or 537 or 542) tons
Hull 186


A composite 3-masted barque. Per 1 (image, Gravesend 1910), 2 ('The Colonial Clippers', extensive data, many pages, 182/191), 3, 4 & 5 (paintings, Berean), 5 (data & images, Berean, in Norwegian & English), 6 & 7 (data in Norwegian, the latter ex a Word document at 'Skipet'), 8 & 9 (a couple of 'Trove' articles, there are many), 10 (T. B. Walker & Co. 'Blue Peter' article, Cols# 2 & 3, ex 11), 12 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). Bonhams are to be applauded for making available the magnificent Berean artwork of Derek G. M. Gardner - other sites offer but tiny thumbnails. The vessel was built for Thomas Boss Walker ('Walker), of London (Walker was a prominent ship owner in London, & for many years was Chairman of Lloyd's Register), & managed by Devitt & Moore. 160.5 ft. long perpendicular to perpendicular, have also read 160.9 ft. maybe later?, registered at London, signal letters JHFK, later HQVK. Used on the England (generally London) to Tasmania run & a frequent visitor to Australian ports. Carried every conceivable form of general merchandise outwards & wool or wheat on the return voyage to London, & occasionally other cargoes also including tin. A speedy vessel, the fastest of the 'Walker' barques. Amazingly quality built. Extensive use of teak, a raised quarter deck 43 ft. long planked with New Zealand kauri pine with no butts & no knots. Kauri pine comes from the northern peninsula of the New Zealand North Island. Never ever had to be re-caulked. Originally carried skysails. Its captain, until the vessel was sold in 1896, was John Wyrill, of Scarborough, who circled the globe 36 times in his career. Berean itself circled the globe once in 76 days but more typically 80 to 85 days. On its maiden voyage to Launceston, Tasmania, the voyage was 79 days out & back in 88 days. Fastest voyage land to land, London to Launceston, in 68 days. Once ran 315 miles in 24 hours. The barque was damaged at Hobart, Tasmania, in early Oct. 1884 as you can read here ex Trove, Australia. Walker died in 1894. Berean was sold in 1896 to H. Skougaard, of Langesund, Norway, & (transferred?) in 1897 to 'A/S Berean (H. Skougaard)', also of Langesund. The vessel was used to carry ice from Norway to Regent's Canal Dock, London. And was poorly maintained, it would seem. On Apl. 8, 1910, when at anchor off Tilbury/Gravesend in the Thames estuary, loaded with a cargo of ice (but 3 links above say coal, I wonder why) ex Langesund, the vessel was run into by Julia, (probably this Julia of 1228 tons built 1890), a German steamer. Berean was towed ashore in a sinking condition, full of water, however the image at 1 shows the vessel actually sunk. The damage to the vessel was so great that she was condemned. Patched up, she was towed to ship breakers at Falmouth & was used there as a hulk. Certainly until 'a few years' before WW1. Can anybody confirm when she ceased to be a hulk? Or add anything?

24 British Empire
1499 (or 1550) tons
Hull 183


An iron clipper, a 3-masted, fully rigged ship. Later a barque. An immigrant ship. Per 1 (New Zealand 1875 immigrant data), 2 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). Built for 'Empire Line', owned by George Duncan (maybe by George Duncan & Co.), of London. The Mercantile Navy List records (1870 thru 1890) George Duncan as the owner, later (1900) James Duncan, both of London. 1 records an Oct. 7, 1875 arrival in Auckland, New Zealand with approx. 300 immigrants, after a voyage of 87 days from Gravesend. Per an eBay item, (thanks 'scott-base'), the vessel 'was considered to be a fast ship under her master, Captain Kidd. Built for the East Indies trade. Fitted out for 'tween deck' passengers. Her figurehead, representing 'Britannia', glittered with gilt scrollwork. Saloon fitted out in bird's eye maple. Late in her life was converted to a barque.' Broken up at Rotterdam in 1906. Eleanor Wares, a site visitor, kindly advises that her husband's GG grandfather was James Mather, Captain of British Empire in 1875, & that he had earlier (in 1869) captained Roman Empire, another Empire Line vessel. Elle seeks data about Roman Empire, a vessel built by Pile Spence & Co. in 1866, not at Sunderland but rather at West Hartlepool. Anything to add? About either vessel.

25 Corisande
768/1022 tons

Hull 194



An iron steamship, which was launched on May 2, 1870 & completed in Jun. 1870. Per 1 (data & Corisande image at Newport, Wales), 2 ('', vessel history data), 3 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). 218.5 ft. (66.6 metres) long, signal letters LFCG, speed of 8 1/2 knots, 98 HP engines by George Clark Limited of Sunderland. There is a possibility that the vessel was intended to be named 'Dotterel', but the entry may have been just a clerical mistake in the Mercantile Navy List ('MNL') register (scroll down to 62591). The vessel is first listed in Lloyd's Register ('LR') in 1874/75 & would seem to have been LR listed thru 1892/93 at least & probably in later years also thru to about 1900. It was initially listed at 734/989 tons, soon amended to 768/1022 tons (both net/gross). In 1874/75 & thru 1886/87, the vessel was registered at Sunderland & owned by G. J. Hay, specifically Geo. Jackson Hay, of West Bolden, County Durham, later of Sunderland. With, per LR, W. Harman serving as the vessel's captain during Hay's period of ownership. In late 1874, Lady Head of Hull, a barque that may well have been built at Sunderland in 1865, suffered considerable damage in storms off Cape Finisterre, (NW Spain). Corisande came to her assistance & towed her into Gibraltar, arriving there on Dec. 21, 1874, In late Dec. 1885, the vessel, lying at Newport, Wales, was offered for sale. In 1886/87, the vessel became owned by 'The Corisande Steamship Co. Limited' of Middlesbrough, with C. A. Jervelund & T. R. Clephan serving as her managers, as is confirmed by this 1890 MNL listing. During such ownership, it would seem that M. A. Fisher served as the vessel's captain, thru 1892/93. (An aside - in Apl. 1896, Carl Anders Jervelund was appointed the liquidator of The Corisande Steamship Co. Limited, then in bankruptcy, as per the London Gazette). Some noteworthy events in the vessel's history. i) In the evening of Nov. 27, 1875, Corisande, exiting a lock at East Bute Dock, Cardiff, collided with Rhoda, a ship, which was attempting to enter that lock. Rhoda suffered hull damage on her port side & sued for the cost of repair. Corisande kept going en route to Barcelona, & soon thereafter, would appear to have put into Plymouth 'with machinery disabled'. The Court was advised that Corisande had had all required running lights on & clearly visible. The court found in favour of the owners of Corisande. ii) On May 23, 1883, the vessel was reported in Welsh newspapers as being stranded on Kertch Breakwater but floated off without assistance. Kertch or Kerch is at the eastern end of the Kertch peninsular, Crimea, Black Sea, at the entrance to the Sea of Azov. iii) In Mar. 1885, the vessel, en route from Odessa (Black Sea, Ukraine) to Gibraltar, was at Malta, leaky. iv) On Feb. 14, 1887, the vessel, en route from Bilbao to Middlesbrough with a cargo of iron ore, went ashore at Lenmarch. Link 2 records what would seem to be the same incident & describes the vessel as being ashore at Karek Hir in Brittany, France, on Feb. 18, 1887. It would seem that assistance was provided to the vessel. The vessel was not listed in MNL of 1896. Apparently because, per Miramar (thanks!), the vessel in 1895 became owned by A/S Corisande of Oslo, Norway. On Sep. 18, 1896, Corisande, en route, in ballast, from Veile (where is it?) to Middlesbrough, was abandoned in a sinking condition 25 miles NW of Lindesnaes, Norway. The 18 man crew were landed at Copenhagen, Denmark, by the Imperial Russian yacht Standart. Corisande was towed into Christiansand, Norway, with her after hold & engine room full of water. I have not read what damage resulted or where she was repaired as required. In 1899 the vessel became owned by U. de Macho, of Bilbao, Spain, who renamed it Primero. The vessel's end came on Jan. 28, 1900, while en route from Bilbao to Newport, Wales, with a cargo of iron ore. The vessel, reported as being leaky & requiring assistance, passed Razsun, near Brest, France, headed north. It was run ashore, I read, at Bec du Raz de Sein (a rugged coast (1 & 2) near Plogoff, Brittany, France), & while the crew were all saved, the vessel became a total loss. If you agree, the vessel would seem to have been considerably off course on its route from Bilbao to Newport. Can you help with other data? #1954

26 Laira
492 tons

Hull 189


Connie Craig

A 3 masted iron barque, 'carrying royals over single topgallant sails and double topsails'. A cargo ship. Per 1 (data & image), 2 (data & fine image), 3 (data & image), 4 (brief ref. halfway down), 5 (Wakatipu at page bottom), 6 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). 156.10 ft. (47.6 metres) long, signal letters KLHD. Built for Richard Hill, of Cattedown, Plymouth, & registered at Plymouth. The Mercantile Navy List ('MNL') of 1880 records Fredk. N. Hill, of London, as her then owner. Chartered by the Shaw Savill & Co. The vessel was, I read, sold (Oct. 26, 1882 perhaps) to Stone Brothers of Auckland, New Zealand ('NZ'), however the MNLs of 1890 & 1900 record Henry Guthrie & 'The Union Steam Ship Co. of New Zealand Ltd.' ('Union'), both of Dunedin, NZ, as the respective owners. Was later chartered by the New Zealand Shipping Company. On Apl. 2, 1898, while alongside Victoria Wharf at Dunedin, the vessel was run into by Union’s steamer Wakatipu, 1796 tons, which refused to answer her helm. Laira sank in 6 minutes, was afterwards re-floated & repaired & 'again entered the inter colonial trade'. Became Connie Craig in 1908 or 1909 - Joseph T. Craig of Auckland, was the owner per the 1910 MNL. The name reverted to Laira. From 1915 to 1940, Laira was owned by 'Huddart Parker, Lim.' of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. The vessel would appear to have become a hulk at Melbourne, late in her life (1910?). Broken up there in 1958. A portion of the above data is thanks to Mori Flapan of Sydney, Australia. Can you help with other data?

27 Great Western
1541 (or 1542) tons
Hull 214


An iron single screw passenger ship. Per 1 (data, Great Western 1872), 2 (same data), 3 (Great Western Steamship (II), Great Western), 4 (Board of Trade inquiry into Mar. 1876 wreck, ex 'Accounts and Papers', published 1876, a 'Google' book), 5 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). 276.0 ft. long, 979 net tons, speed of 10 knots, signal letters LDBT. The webmaster has a number of editions of Lloyd's Register available to him ex 'Google' books - see left. I read that the vessel was built for the Great Western Steamship Line ('Steamship'). That would seem to be the business name under which 'Mark Whitwell & Son' ('Whitwell') of Bristol, operated, certainly the vessel was not registered in the name of Steamship, rather in the name of Whitwell. Accommodation for 24 1st class & 252 3rd class passengers. Placed on the Bristol to New York service - the vessel's maiden & last runs on that service were Jun. 5, 1872 & Sep. 14, 1875, respectively. The vessel was then placed on the Valencia, Spain, to New York service. On her 2nd such voyage the vessel was wrecked, on Mar. 25, 1876, on Long Island, New York. No lives were lost. The Board of Trade inquiry indicates that at that time the vessel was owned by 'Mark Whitwell, Joseph H. Nash and Philip J. Worsley', of Bristol, & that Samuel Windham was her captain. On Mar. 2, 1876, the vessel had left Palermo, Sicily, for New York. No passengers, a crew of 37 men & one stewardess aboard. She re-coaled at Gibraltar & on Mar. 24, 1876, was in a 'slight' collision with Daphne, a Norwegian barque. No damage to Great Western. 3 men from Daphne jumped aboard Great Western. The weather rose to a gale as the vessel approached Long Island. At about 7 p.m. on Mar. 25, 1876, the vessel ran aground on Long Island, 5 miles to the E. of Fire Island Light. The ship's engines could not free her, the rudder carried away, her hull came broadside to the breakers & the seas washed completely over her. The vessel ended up breaking her back - a total loss. One of the ship's boats was lowered with difficulty & everyone aboard was in due course safely landed. The ship's log was lost. While the Court found that the Captain had committed an error of judgement, it also found that he had taken every precaution for the safe navigation of the vessel & returned to him his certificate of competency. Anything that you can add?

28   Newbiggin
1366 tons
Hull 223


A cargo ship. Per 1 (wreck data & site), 2 (ref. to Newbiggen, wrecked in 1879 at Atherfield Point, Isle of Wight), 3 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). 229.0 ft. (69.80 metres) long, signal letters LKSW, 120 HP engines by W. Pile & Co. of Sunderland. Built for 'Geoffrey Robinson Dawson', of Blyth, Northumberland, but registered at North Shields. Thanks to 'White Spirit Diving Charters' & other sources too, I can advise that in Apl. 1880, (Apl. 3, 1880, I understand), while en route from Odessa, Ukraine, to Dunkirk, France, with a cargo of grain, rape seed & wool, Newbiggin ran aground in thick fog at Atherfield Ledge, Isle of Wight. The vessel became a total loss. Wreck lies in 6/8 metres of water at 50.36.4N/01.22.1W. Atherfield Ledge? A treacherous reef that has claimed many vessels over the years, located close off the S. coast of the Isle of Wight (near Brighstone). Can you add anything? An image?

29 Pedro J. Pidal
1843 tons
Hull 227



A wooden single screw passenger ship, barque rigged. Per 1 (extensive data in French re the loss of Gijon, image Gijon), 2 (extensive data in Spanish re the loss of Gijon), 3 (English translation of link 2), 4 (text in Spanish & image) & 5 (2 pages of same Spanish site), 6 (Compañía Trasatlántica Española), 7 (New York Times, sinking report), 8 (an extensive article at Trove Australia - there are 14 more articles there re the sinkings), 9 (Miramar, you now must be registered to access). 279.5 ft. long (90.6 metres). Capacity for 114 passengers in three classes, crew of 80. Notable, apparently, because it featured a bathroom. So far I have spotted only a few references to the vessel in Lloyd's Registers. Miramar refers to Pedro J. Pidal becoming Gijon in 1875, but that change was advised in Lloyds Register of 1879/80 (& also in 82/83). 4 refers to Pedro F. Pidal, Gijón & Coruña. Built for 'Oscar de Olavarria & Cia', (or 'Olavarría y Lozano', perhaps?), of Gijon, Spain.  In 1875, the vessel was owned by 'Antonio López and Cia', of Cadiz & Barcelona, Spain. In 1879/80, possibly earlier, the vessel was renamed Gijon. In 1881, the vessel was owned by 'Delegation de la Cia Trasatlántica', i.e. 'Compañía Trasatlántica' of Barcelona, ('CTE'), which became 'Compañía Trasatlántica Española' very much later, in 1953. However, the vessel is not included in the partial lists of CTE vessels at 3, or here or here. Maybe later renamed Coruña but I think not. I earlier stated in this listing that the vessel would seem to have ceased to be a CTE vessel in 1885. Used as a troopship, maybe in 1898, returning Spanish troops from Santiago, Cuba, to Spain (Spanish-American War). But that data clearly could not have been correct - read on. In Jul. 1884, Gijon was en route from Corunna (La Coruña, Galicia, Spain) to Havana, Cuba, with 113 passengers & a crew of 78 (Hocking states a crew of 100). At or about 7 p.m. on Jul. 21, 1884, when about 35 miles off Cape Finisterre & in dense fog, Gijon was in collision with Laxham, a 1295 ton cargo ship en route from Taganrog, Crimea, to Rotterdam with a cargo of wheat. Both ships were sounding their whistles. Laxham was under the command of Captain Lothian or Lethman with a crew of 20 - the captain's wife & 11 month old child were also aboard as were two passengers. Laxham was cut in two by the force of the collision & all of her boats were destroyed. All aboard Laxham, excepting 3 crewmen who could not make it in time, scrambled aboard Gijon in the few moments the ships were entangled while the captain & his family were towed through the water to Gijon. I read that the Captain of Gijon, the name eludes me, shot himself immediately after the collision (He reports that immediately after the collision the captain of the Gijon shot himself). Meanwhile a boat left Gijon to try & find Laxham. They found her, almost under water, rescued the 3 remaining Laxham crew & soon thereafter, within 20 minutes of the collision, Laxham sank. Returning to Gijon, they found that it had also sunk - sunk bow first. They found only two boatloads of people (three boats were apparently launched). 7 advises that there were only enough boats on Gijon for half of the people who needed them - those who found a spot in one of the boats fought off others with knives. Per Hocking, 45 Gijon passengers & 11 Laxham crew, the only survivors, were picked up by Spanish steamship Santo Domingo. However Hocking also advises, re Laxham, that Nelson Hevertson, a schooner, picked up 15 crew & passengers of Gijon & 1 Laxham passenger. And that another 15 crew & passengers from both ships landed in boats at Muros, Galicia, Spain. Later City of Valencia arrived at London with 'eight of the crew of the steamer Gijon and that of Laxham'. Zoe & Vespertina Wilson were also involved in the rescue of survivors. About 127 in total from the two vessels would seem to have lost their lives. But links 2 & 3 state that the correct number was 116. The above text may well contain unintentional errors. I would welcome corrections to the above, or additional data.

30 Olive
885 (or 847 or 878 or 886) tons
Hull 235


A 3-masted steel barque. Per 1 (data in Norwegian, ex a Word document at 'Skipet'), 2 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). 197.6 ft. (60.23 metres) long, signal letters NFRT later KDBP. Built for H. (Henry) Ellis, & registered at Sunderland. Per the Mercantile Navy List ('MNL') of 1875, H. Ellis was of Leamington, Warwickshire. MNL of 1880 states that the vessel's then owner was Edward Davies of Plymouth. In 1884 the vessel was sold to C. M. Matzen (or Christian M. Matzen & Co.) of Hamburg, Germany. It was sold again, in 1902, to 'J. Jeremiassen in Porsgrund' & 'could still be verified in 1910' (means still registered then?). It would seem that the words mean that the vessel was sold to A/S Olive of Porsgrund (now Porsgrunn), Norway with H. Jeremiassen the manager. Miramar indicate that the vessel was wrecked 'on Runo, Gulf of Riga' on Nov. 10, 1908. 'Skipet' indicates 'Grunnstøtte på Runö i Rigabukta på reise Riga – Kristiania med tømmer' which in a webmaster modified Yandex translation from the Norwegian means that on that day 'The ship ran aground on the Runö in Rigabukta travelling from Riga to Oslo with timber'. Anything that you can add?

31 Rodney
1519 (or 1447) tons
Hull 234



An iron hulled clipper (full-rigged), with a lion figurehead. Per 1 (extensive data, they state Gypsy), 2 & 3 (images), 4 (extensive data, also states Gypsy), 5 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). 235 ft. 6 in. long. Accommodation for 60 1st class passengers plus about 500 in steerage. A popular ship. Had a piano aboard. And a smoking room (then unusual). Signal letters JLSV. Launched for Devitt & Moore, of London. I have read that the ship sailed out of Newcastle but the many voyages at 1 are all ex London. Engaged in the Australian immigration trade (mainly Melbourne thru 1887 & then Sydney thru 1897, but also a trip to Adelaide). And also to New Zealand. In one voyage in 1887, the vessel reached Sydney ex London in 71 days. Have read described, at 6, as the 'most successful, fastest and most famous iron ship he (Pile) built. Devitt and Moore always spoke of her as the fastest ship in their fleet'. In Nov. 1895, Rodney lost her figurehead in a gale in the English Channel, while en route from Gravesend to Sydney. The figurehead washed ashore at Whitesand Bay, Cornwall, 6 months later. In 1897, (Miramar states 1896), the ship was sold to F. Boissière, of Nantes, France, & renamed Gipsy (the cross-over year, per Lloyd's, is 1896/97). Re-rigged then as a barque. On Dec. 7, 1901, the vessel was wrecked, a total loss, at Downderry, Looe, on the coast of Cornwall, on voyage from Iquique (Chile) to France with a cargo of nitrate. Most of my earlier links have had to be removed since they no longer work. Can you add anything?

More when we have more! There would seem to be lots to cover.


In creating these pages, I see little purpose in reinventing the wheel. There is lots of fine data available on the WWW about the City of Adelaide & its long and distinguished history. So I will give a quick summation, hopefully in a few paragraphs, & then direct you elsewhere for a selection of sites with more data and/or more complete data.

Do drop by the links below, the top four being links current in May. 2010, as efforts intensify to have the vessel preserved in the City where she was built - at Sunderland in 1864.

Where do matters now sit? This is how I understand it to be, as this is revised on July 2, 2010:-

But ... forgive me. The data below is now, in Oct. 2012, way out of date. But I cannot describe, even in summary form, the many events of the intervening months. My apologies for that. I am just too distant from the scene. Should some kind visitor chose to summarise those developments, do be in touch & I will be happy to modify the page accordingly. I have left the earlier content below, intact, since it may be of asssiatnce to vistors.

The ship was some years ago acquired by the Scottish Maritime Museum ('SMM'), who raised her from her then sunk position, towed her to Irvine, Scotland, & put her on public display. SMM are unable to support the cost of her maintenance & restoration & applied for permission to break up the vessel. Permission was denied, related I believe to the vessel being a 'Grade A Listed Building', a category of the very greatest importance. SMM plan a 'scientific deconstruction' but funds are not available for that either. They would need financial support to do it, which support seems at present not likely. Ayrshire Metal Products, the owner of the land upon which the ship lies, wanted vacant possession of the land in order to redevelop it. They wanted the land vacant by Mar. 31, 2010 though that date must have had some flexibility left in it - since the ship is still at Irvine today.

It is not clear what will happen if the vessel is not moved soon. A court case may well be needed. To chart a way forward. Probably it would be bad news for the ship.

To move the ship to Sunderland will currently cost an estimated £400,000, a lower than previous price due to the recession. Sunderland City of Adelaide Recovery Foundation ('SCARF') has £200,000 pledged towards the project. A deepwater protected dock area is ready in Sunderland, I am advised, where the clipper, resting on a barge, could be stored, pending further restoration plans. Once in Sunderland, however, the vessel would be an attraction in its own right.

To move the ship to Sunderland would be a first step only, though a major step. To restore the ship once it were moved to Sunderland would be a GIANT project. SCARF at the link just provided indicate that £2,000,000 is sought. Some funds towards the restoration might be provided by 'Heritage Lottery Fund' but the road ahead is long & hard. National Heritage Memorial Fund might help also. 'National Historic Ships' is deeply involved in the whole matter. Any restoration project will be MOST expensive.

The Preservation Trust in Australia also wants the ship to be preserved. At Adelaide in South Australia. An incredibly large portion of the present population of Australia traces their ancestry to immigration via this single ship. So Australia has a giant interest in having the ship preserved. And being returned 'down-under'.

While the support of individual contributors is probably critical to get the ship on the first step towards preservation, i.e. physically to Sunderland, it may be that the later restoration of the ship will only be possible should someone with very deep pockets 'step up to bat'. Government support or support by a strong commercial organisation may well be necessary to ensure that the vessel is preserved for future generations.

Peter Maddison, previously Councillor for Millfield Ward in the City of Sunderland, is spearheading Sunderland's efforts in this most important matter.

On Apl. 28, 2010, by Fiona Hyslop, the Scottish Minister of Culture and External Affairs, made an announcement. She announced that 'Historic Scotland', an executive agency of the Scottish Government charged with safeguarding the nation’s historic environment, has commissioned 'DTZ', a private firm, to appraise the current options for the ship, including its possible relocation to Sunderland, South Australia or indeed elsewhere in Scotland. I think that this is the website of DTZ, a global firm of real estate advisers, though I can find no references on their website to this 'City of Adelaide' commission. DTZ appointed Sir Neil Cossons, the former Director of the Maritime Museum in Greenwich & a former Chair of English Heritage, to provide technical expertise for the project. This site indicated that, per Fiona Hyslop, the report was to be delivered to 'Historic Scotland' on May 31, 2010.

I now know a little more!

The DTZ draft report was indeed delivered on May 31, 2010, and is under review, which will lead to a final report very soon. Advice will be provided to Minister Hyslop & it is hoped that the Minister will then be in a position to make a further announcement, expected later in the month of July 2010.

Living in Canada, as I do, I was particularly interested to learn that Nova Scotia, Canada, may play a giant role in the future of the ship at Sunderland. Timber from a vast forested area in the Province of Nova Scotia is to be made available, free of charge, to permit the replacement of 'City of Adelaide' decks & planking. Thanks go to Alan S. Platt of Isle of Wight TV and Media for that most wonderful offer of assistance.

Leading the efforts to have 'Carrick / City of Adelaide' preserved at Sunderland is Councillor Peter Maddison. Shown here, 'waving the flag', at Irvine, Scotland, in Jun. 2009. The fine image appears here thanks to Alistair Neil, of the 'Cumnock Chronicle' newspaper & previously of the  'Irvine Times'.

A passenger & cargo clipper ship, the City of Adelaide was launched on May 7, 1864 at the North Sands, Sunderland yard of 'William Pile, Hay & Co.' Of composite construction, I read, which means that it was built with iron frames & wooden hull, at a period when ship designs were in transit from wood to iron. Teak planking I have read. There are only 2 composite ships left in the world, I read (City of Adelaide is 5 years older & a bit smaller than the Cutty Sark, also of composite construction). She (City of Adelaide) was built for Devitt & Moore, of London, (Lloyd's Register of 1864/65 states Devitt & Co.) for the Australia trade & for 23 years travelled the seas with cargoes & passengers. 176 ft. 8 in. long, signal letters WGLQ. The Mercantile Navy List of 1870 & 1880 records Joseph Moore of Surrey as the vessel's owner while the 1890 list records Thomas S. Dixon of Belfast. For a long time she held the record of 65 days for the passage from London to Adelaide. But was beaten out by Torrens, a Laing vessel built in Sunderland, that did the voyage in just 64 days. I read that it is estimated that more than 60 per cent of the current population of the state of South Australia can trace their families' arrival to the City of Adelaide. For a while she worked as a collier & in the lumber trade with North America. In 1893 she was purchased by Southampton Corporation for use as a sanatorium & floating isolation hospital - until 1923. Then she was bought by the Admiralty, towed to Irvine, Ayrshire, Scotland, (SW of Glasgow) renamed HMS Carrick, & used as a Drill Ship for the Clyde Division of the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve ('RNVR'). She served as an administration centre during WW2 and, scheduled to be broken up, became instead a clubhouse for RNVR. She would seem to have had an unfortunate history in Glasgow, & was flooded twice. Glasgow City Council applied for 'Listed Building' status for the ship to facilitate preservation of the ship, & she was listed as Category A (i.e. of the highest importance). Later she was acquired by the Scottish Maritime Museum ('SMM'), who raised her from her sunk position, towed her to Irvine, & put her on display. Alas, that is not the end of the story. SMM were unable to support the costs of maintenance & restoration & applied for permission to break up the vessel, which request was denied. Major efforts were made to have the vessel returned to Sunderland & put on display - at a very high cost alas - & that effort, it would seem, has also, so far at least, failed. A further proposal was made to break up the ship. In the late summer of 2006, Somerset commercial property developer, Tim Roper, of Isle Abbots, near Taunton, stepped in to save the ship - hoping to transform her into a floating visitor attraction at Falmouth, Cornwall. He was reported to have reached agreement with SMM to buy the vessel for only £1, 'subject to him pouring in millions to secure her restoration on the River Fal.' There the matter stood in late 2006. The vessel was then in very poor condition indeed. And restoration costs will surely be astronomical. Sunderland is sad that the vessel may not ultimately return to the river from which she was launched 145 years ago. But glad, I am sure, to see her preserved somewhere since she is a most famous vessel indeed not only in the history of Sunderland shipbuilding but in the very history of shipbuilding itself. And in the history of Australia.

Sorry! That is rather a big summary paragraph! But is by no means the end of the story.

In late Jul. 2007, I received a kind message from Peter J. Roberts of the 'Save the City of Adelaide Clipper Ship Action Group' of Kent Town (a suburb of Adelaide), South Australia. Which indicates that efforts were in progress to have the City of Adelaide moved from Scotland to South Australia & put on display there. Particularly the group's mission is 'Protecting and securing the ship under cover, and on land, in Port Adelaide' The website is here & I encourage you to drop by. I have tried, upon receipt of Peter's message, to find, on the WWW, an update re the status of Tim Roper's plans as stated above. But I have had no success in that regard. It does not, however, seem to have succeeded.

Corrections? Do advise me. Even re small detail.

This page used to contain a reference that there were very few images available of such a very famous ship! And I was grateful for what I was able to find. But now, in late 2009, a series of 59 images of the ship in its location at Irvine, Scotland, are available. Some very fine images indeed. That show her current condition in a way I have not seen before. My first image below, a composite image, shows just 3 of those images - to show where she lies on the river bank, a fine bow image so you might see her exterior condition & a brilliant interior shot. I did intend to make my image into an image map so you might click each portion of the image to go to the original complete image. But that would not do justice to all of the other 56 images which have been made available, accessible here. Do visit that site & view the whole sequence of images which are very fine indeed.

But first, a most interesting photograph of 'Carrick' arriving at Irvine in 1949. Presumably when owned by the Admiralty & soon to be used as a Drill Ship for the Clyde Division of the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve. The fine image, courtesy of Robert Jeffrey & Ian Watson, appears in their volume, 'The Herald Book Of the Clyde', published by Black and White Publishing in 2000 - ISBN 1902927141. Robert & Ian, we thank you both!

I trust that the use of such images (and the images which follow) on this non-profit & informational site is in order & I thank all the sources.

Keeping this site up to date is not a particularly easy task. An article in 'London Times on Line' on Dec. 15, 2009 brought us almost up to date. But also raised new questions. (You can find the article still, I think, but at a fee, since, I can only presume, Rupert Murdoch's wallet needs to be topped up.) Such as what was decided that day. If anyone can bring me 'up to date' on all of these situations (Peter Maddison's Sunderland efforts, Tim Roper's efforts from Falmouth & 'Kent Town' of Adelaide, Australia), I would love to hear from you.

The composite 'before & after' image that next follows shows an image ex the then website of the 'Ilfracombe and North Devon Sub-Aqua Club'. And at right are two images of the vessel as it was relatively recently. One, I believe was from iExplore, & the other from here.  I should add that a recent artwork of the vessel by E. D. Walker is here. And this page has, low on the page, an image of the City of Adelaide, flooded & on its side in Glasgow in 1978.

Also, below, with the kind permission of Peter Roberts of the South Australian website I referred to above, I can present, below, a splendid large image of the vessel, believed to be of a 'Thomas Dutton' print. I have not seen a reference to a date of publication of the print but did see another 'Dutton' print stated to date from c. 1870. I wonder if anybody can advise me of its original publication date?

Some City of Adelaide links. A selection. A great many WWW pages are available.

The top four links below are current, i.e. Mar. 2010 links, as efforts intensify to have the vessel moved to Sunderland & preserved for all time. And avoid the vessel's sad destruction.

1 'Peter Maddison & the preservation of 'City of Adelaide' - on 'YouTube'.

Videos featuring Sunderland Councillor Peter Maddison, of 'SCARF', who is trying to have the 'City of Adelaide' return to Sunderland, where she was built in 1864.

2 'City of Adelaide set sail for home' - Pete Dodds & Paul Jackson

The inspiring 'City of Adelaide' song, written & performed by Pete Dodds & Paul Jackson.

3 'Save our Ship' - Sunderland City of Adealide Recovery Foundation

Access to all the things you should know about activities to have the 'City of Adelaide' preserved at Sunderland.

4 'YouTube' & the campaign to preserve the 'City of Adelaide'

More about the 'City of Adelaide' from 'YouTube'.

5 'A Sunderland City of Adelaide Recovery Foundation Page'

It says most things you would wish to know.

6 The Sunderland proposal

The Sunderland application, which alas, failed. And the link is now gone.

7 'The SMM application to demolish'

A .doc file. The demolition application of The Scottish Maritime Museum of May 2006.

8 News article re Tim Roper's plans.

Some limited words about Tim Roper's proposals. But the site is long gone.

9 'The Wikipedia page via'

The Wikipedia page about City of Adelaide.

10 'The 'Adelaide, S.A., 'City of Adelaide' website'

The 'Save the City of Adelaide Clipper Ship Action Group' website.


For your pleasure and amusement.

An extraordinary image of a German truck advertising what would appear to be a bookseller. Actually is is not a bookseller but rather a marketing academy in Frankfurt, Germany. Which I tracked via the telephone number. The academy is entitled 'Akademie für Marketing-Kommunikation E. V.' & their website is here' How brilliant!

A similar & most dramatic item features a non-alcoholic drink. Here

May I suggest that you navigate the site via the index on page 001.PRIOR PAGE / NEXT PAGE

To Thomas M. M. Hemy Data Page 41. All of the other Thomas Hemy pages, including image pages, are accessible though the index on Thomas Hemy page 05. [ ] £ è

To the Special Pages Index.

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