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On this page ... John Watson, Wear Concrete, Wear Dockyard, T. H. Woods, Wheatley/Wreatley, George Worthy

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My data about John Watson is virtually non-existent. All I have read is that he was a shipbuilder from Pallion. That snippet of data came from within a biographical article here. But we have a little more data, thanks to 'Where Ships are Born', from which I quote.

Several Watsons have built ships on the Wear. There was a partnership between James and Peter, another yard run by Roger, but the two best-known were William, a wood shipbuilder, and John, of Pallion, who built the Ballochmyle and several other clipper ships in the eighteen seventies. His designs were not unlike those of William Pile.

Does anybody have the knowledge to expand upon the above & provide names, dates and locations of each of the shipbuilders named Watson? In a page now long gone, Terry (Whalebone?) used to advise that the W. Watson yard only built 40 ships from 1865 to 1874. Thanks Terry! 13 vessels still to be listed. Additional info probably will not come from the WWW because data from that source seems to be most limited.

Does the last name in the heading relate? I saw in that regard that Stan Mapstone, at a site now long gone, advised us that there were nine 'Robson' Shipyards on the Wear, as follows, placed in time sequence. One of them may relate to the Watson family. But maybe all of the names should be moved to a new 'Robson' section? The T. Robson may be 'Thomas Robson'.

W. Robson 1797-1801
R. P. Robson 1800-1826
T. Robson 1802-1865
M. Robson 1816-1816
J. Robson & Mills 1817-1817
J. Robson, J. Watson & Mills 1817- ?
M. Robson Jr. 1828-1828
J. H. Robson 1837-1850
C. Robson 1846-1846

Miramar list (highest hull number on page). It used to be that you could click on the link that follows & 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 & the following link should work for you:- 429. (28)

Names of vessels constructed by 'Watson'. As I find them. In a table in build date sequence. It would seem, for some reason, the first hull number was No. 400.  Maybe, in the fullness of time, it may be possible to split the list by specific 'Watson's'! A Miramar list of 'Watson' vessels is here, but that link will only work if you are registered as in the previous paragraph - maybe 29 of them from Oct. 1869 to Aug. 1874. But see the reference to 40 vessels above. Was the yard perhaps taken over by a builder named 'Hardcastle'? A list of vessels built by William Watson is now on site, with 31 vessels listed as this page is updated.

Vessels built by John Watson

1   Irene
472/447, later 398 tons


A wooden barque, which was launched or completed on Jun. 21, 1853. Built by J. (John) Watson, of Pallion. Per 1 (1st listed of 2), The vessel is Lloyd's Register ('LR') listed from 1854/55 thru 1873/74. It was initially owned, thru 1858/59 per LR, by 'Mounsey' of Newcastle, with D. Bruce serving as the vessel's captain. Such names are both clarified to mean, in Apl. 1854 per Marwood's North of England Maritime Directory, Edward Mounsey of Newcastle, the vessel's then owner & David Bruce her then captain. As is confirmed by Turnbull's Register ('TR') of 1855. TR of 1856, however, advises that the vessel was then owned by E. (Edward) Mounsey of Newcastle, J. Riley & P. Tindall, both of London, & D. Bruce, of Middlesex. While Christie's Shipping Register of 1858 lists just A. Riley & D. Bruce as her then owners. For consistent service, under 'Mounsey' ownership, from London to Australia. In 1859/60, per LR, the vessel became owned by J. Riley of London - John Riley per the Mercantile Navy Lists ('MNL') of 1865, 1867 & 1868. For continued service from London to Australia thru 1863/64, ex London in 1864/65 & 1865/66, & from London to Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania) from 1866/67. David Bruce was her Captain for many years until he assumed command of City of Adelaide. From part way thru 1864/65, A. Walsh (maybe A. J. Walsh) served as the vessel's captain.
Some 'best efforts ' detail re the vessel's many voyages to Australia - much more detail is available at Trove. i) the vessel left London on Aug. 29, 1853 for Adelaide, South Australia, where she arrived on Dec. 6, 1853 with 26 plus passengers & a varied cargo. She left for London on or about Feb. 5, 1854 with about 42 passengers & a cargo that included 800 or so bales of wool, 150 tons of copper ore & 5,000 oz. of gold dust. ii) the vessel arrived at Adelaide on Oct. 29, 1854 (left London Jul. 20, 1854) with about 24 passengers. It was cleared for departure to London on Jan. 5, 1855, with a cargo that included 1000 bales of wool & 150 tons of copper ore. iii) the vessel arrived at Adelaide on Nov. 5, 1855 ex London (left Jul. 20, 1855) with 19 passengers. It was cleared for departure to London on Jan. 8, 1856 with 60 + passengers, likely via Cape Town (S. Africa). iv) She arrived again at Adelaide on Nov. 5, 1856 ex London (left Jul. 13, 1856) after a tedious voyage with poor winds all the way, carrying at least 24 passengers & a large cargo of gunpowder which had to be unloaded outside the harbour. The vessel left for London, via Cape Town, on Jan. 6, 1857, with 29 passengers & a cargo of wool & copper ore. Earlier, on Jan. 2, 1857, a ball, complete with a saxhorn band, was given onboard the vessel by Captain Bruce, for both passengers & invited guests, about 100 in all. The vessel was reported off Plymouth on May 13, 1857. v) The vessel arrived at Adelaide on Nov. 4, 1857 ex London (left Jul. 20, 1857). It left Adelaide on Dec, 29, 1857 for its return voyage to London. vi) On Nov. 6, 1858 the vessel arrived again at Adelaide ex London (left July 14, 1858) & Plymouth & on Jan. 20, 1859 left for London via Cape Town. vii) Its next voyage was most similar. It arrived at Adelaide on Nov. 6, 1859 & left for London via the Cape on Jan. 17, 1860, with 21 passengers & a general cargo. viii) The vessel arrived at Adelaide on Oct. 23, 1860 ex London (left Jul. 11, 1860) & sailed for London on Dec. 20, 1860. ix) On Oct. 21, 1861 the vessel arrived at Adelaide ex the Downs on Jul. 12, 1861. I did not spot when she departed to return to London. x)  On Oct. 26, 1862 the vessel arrived at Adelaide ex London (left Jul. 10, 1862). And sailed for London on Dec. 30, 1862. xi) Her final voyage to Adelaide under Captain Bruce was in 1863/64. The vessel arrived at Adelaide on Nov. 16, 1863 having left London on Aug. 9, 1863.  She left Adelaide for London on Jan. 10, 1864 with 1429 bales of wool, copper ore & 29 passengers. xii) On May 6, 1865 Irene arrived at Hobart, Tasmania, ex London with A. J. Walsh in command. It went on to Sydney, New South Wales ('NSW') in ballast & on Jul. 14, 1865 left Sydney for Ningpo, (now Ningbo, S. of Shanghai, China). xiii) On Apl. 17, 1867 the vessel arrived at Launceston, Tasmania, ex London, Gravesend. It left for Newcastle, NSW, on May 16, 1867 & on Jun. 19, 1867 left Newcastle for San Francisco with 475 tons of coal.
The vessel was first LR recorded at 398 tons in 1861/62. 143.0 ft. long, signal letters HFRD. Some crew lists thru 1868 are available here.
Note that while the vessel was LR recorded thru 1873/74, LR listed no owner's name from 1868/69 while MNL of 1870 does not record the vessel at all. I presume that something happened to the vessel in or about 1869, but I cannot tell you what it was. Can you possibly provide more data?

2   Lady Hodgkinson
946/925 tons


A ship. The ship, an East Indiaman, was launched on Oct. 4, 1853 for Sir George E. Hodgkinson of London. Of an extreme length of 186 ft. 10 in., intended for the East India trade. I have read that the ship was considered to be of very great beauty. The vessel is Lloyd's Register ('LR') listed from 1854/55 thru 1861/62 only, owned thru 1858/59, by Hodgkinson of London, initially, per LR, for service from Sunderland to London & from 1855/56 simply ex London. Though LR does not refer to Australia, it is clear that the vessel made a number of visits to Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. In particular i) The vessel left the Downs on Feb. 13, 1854 for Sydney & arrived there on May 5, 1854 after a passage of 81 days. On Jun 29, 1854 it left for Singapore (arrived Aug. 9, 1865). ii) It left the Downs again on Jul. 13, 1855 & arrived at Sydney on Oct. 19, 1855 with 30 or so passengers & a cargo which included a large quantity of ale. On Dec. 19, 1855 the vessel left for Shanghai, China, & there loaded tea for London. iii) On Dec. 26, 1856 the vessel left London for Sydney with Surprise, a yacht, on board & also a novel locomotive engine. It arrived  at Sydney on Mar. 30, 1857 & later left for Hong Kong (on Jun. 16, 1857) & arrived there on Jul. 31, 1857. In 1859/60, Teighe & Co., also of London, acquired the vessel for service from London to India. Signal letters NQDH.
LR of 1861/62 notes that the vessel had been 'LOST'. Data as to what happened to the ship is not yet to hand. In that regard it is a puzzle that the ship was not only listed in the Mercantile Navy List of 1861, it was still listed in the equivalent list of 1864. Can you tell us what happened to her & when? #2045

Vessels built by William Watson

1 City of Halifax
later 523
later 681/462 tons
Hull # unknown


Mic Mac

A wooden steamer with iron beams. From 1 (Inman Line, City of Halifax), 2 (brief data), 3 (William Inman, with image), 4 (Wikipedia, Inman Line, 'Google' translated from the French), 5 (ref. to wreck of Mic Mac, ex this 'Google' book), 6 (a most extensive 'pdf' file about the history of Inman Steamship Company Limited - related data on pages 9 & 13). The vessel is Lloyd's Register ('LR') listed from 1868/69 thru 1878/79, initially owned by W. Inman of Liverpool, for service from Sunderland to Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. The Mercantile Navy List of 1870 records the vessel as then registered at Halifax & owned by William Inman of Liverpool. In a practical sense that means 'Liverpool, New York and Philadelphia Steamship Company', known as the Inman Line, after its founder William Inman (1825/1881). LR of 1872/73 advises that the vessel, now  of 681/462 tons, became owned by W. B. Grieve of St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada, for service from the Clyde to St. John's. In the next LR edition, i.e. that of 1873/74, it is advised that the vessel had been renamed Mic Mac. (Presumably named after the 'Mi'kmaq', often in English referred to as 'MicMac', a First Nations Band indigenous to Canada's Atlantic Provinces, & parts of Quebec, Newfoundland, & the State of Maine.) LR of 1876/77 lists Baines Johnson of Greenock, River Clyde, Scotland, as her owner for service ex the Clyde. 204.3 ft. long, signal letters HNKS, 120 HP engines (later) by Kincaid, Donald & Co. of Greenock. Now this listing exists solely as a result of the receipt of detailed data about the vessel's career, kindly provided by Mark Tripp. Mark's words are as follows:-
When Inman took the Royal Mail contract for Halifax away from Cunard, beginning in Jan. 1868, Inman was also made responsible for a feeder service that would take mail & passengers from Halifax to St. John's, Newfoundland. City of Durham was taken off Inman's European feeder service in Jun. 1868 & sent to Halifax to take on this new route while a new ship (City of Halifax) was purpose-built for the route. William Watson built the ship, which was launched on Nov. 16, 1868, its engines being built by The North Eastern Marine Engineering Company, in South Docks, Sunderland. It was the only wooden-hulled ship Inman ever owned, with iron plating around the bow as protection against seasonal ice off St. John's. The ship could accommodate 100 passengers (60 in 1st class, & 20 each in 2nd & Steerage). The ship's maiden voyage from Liverpool to St. John's took place on Jan. 2, 1869, under Captain George Lochead. Upon arrival in St. John's, Captain William Jamieson transferred from the City of Durham to take command & remained with the ship until 1871, when his 1st officer John Herd took command. Phillips assumed command of the City of Durham & brought it back to Liverpool. City of Halifax remained on the Halifax-St. John's route until Inman's mail contract expired, & it returned to Liverpool in Mar. 1872.  It operated on Inman's Liverpool - Havre - Antwerp feeder service until Nov. 1872, when it was sold to Baine, Johnston & Company of St. John's, Newfoundland, who had it converted into a sealing ship at Greenock by Robert Steele & Co. & re-registered the ship in St. John's. City of Halifax left Greenock under Captain William Jackman on it's first sealing voyage in Jan. 1873 but it returned to Greenock in May 1873 at  which point it was re-engined by Kincaid, Donald & Co., & at the end of the year the ship was renamed Mic Mac. The Mic Mac went through a couple of masters as a sealer, but it was under the command of Samuel Bartlett when it was (per the Northern Shipwreck Database at Memorial University)  crushed in the ice & foundered 8 miles NNE of the Horse Islands, Newfoundland, on Apl. 17, 1878. No lives were lost.
Mark comments additionally about the references above to W. B. Grieve. Walter Baine Grieve was the manager of the St. John's office of Baine, Johnston & Company. It seems that there was a preference at the time to registering ownership in the name of a company official rather than in the name of the company itself. I have seen this with several Inman line ships. That said, when you see W. B. Grieve identified as the owner, that signifies the ship was with Baine, Johnston.
Both Mark Tripp & the webmaster would welcome additional data. And an image! #1922

2 Lady Turner
430 tons


A wooden barque, likely of 3 masts. Per 1 (burnt at sea in 1877, at column bottom), 2 (House of Commons papers, volume 66, published in 1880). 140 ft. 8 in. long, signal letters HWKL. The vessel is not Miramar listed. The webmaster has a number of editions of Lloyd's Register available to him from 'Google' books, see left. The vessel was built for B. Balkwill & Co. ('Balkwill') of Salcombe, Devon, U.K., who remained the vessel's recorded owners thru the 1876/77 register, the last that I have available that references the vessel. The Mercantile Navy List of 1870, however, records Robert Hancock Balkwill of West Alvington, Devon, as the then owner of the Salcombe registered vessel. It would seem that the vessel was acquired to serve the Indian Ocean - Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) & India etc. - & had only one captain in its lifetime, S. (Sherrick) Vincent. On May 12, 1877, the 'Hawke's Bay Herald', a New Zealand newspaper, advised that the barque, owned by Balkwill & valued at about £3,500, had burned at sea, while en route from Melbourne, Australia, to Colombo, Ceylon. They further advised that the crew was rescued by Arratoon Apcar, a steamer, & landed at Galle, (SW tip of Sri Lanka). I have found no additional data which might set out the detailed circumstances, though the loss occurred at 6N/85E in the Indian Ocean & the vessel's captain stated that the vessel burned due to spontaneous combustion. I learn that the loss actually occurred on Mar. 9, 1877, & that the vessel was then owned by E. (Edward) Jarvis ('Jarvis'), of Kingsbridge, Devon (near Salcombe). I presume that Balkwill must have sold the vessel to Jarvis in or prior to 1875 - since the Mercantile Navy Lists of both 1875 & 1876 list Edward Jarvis, of Kingsbridge, as the vessel's then owner. There is very little data WWW available about the vessel. Can you provide any additional data, and/or correct the above?

3   Glance
887/912 (N/G)
later 881/911
later 861/890 tons

Hull 402


An iron barque, later a ship & a barque again. This vessel, which was completed in Oct. 1869, seems to be Lloyd's Register ('LR') listed from 1869/70 thru 1899/1900 at least. I say 'seems to be' because the webmaster does not have LRs available for every year in such period & particularly none into the early 1900s. The vessel, a barque generally but a ship per LR from 1872/73 thru 1876/77, was registered at London thru 1888/89 & owned by W. (William) Pellier of St. Helier, Jersey, as is confirmed by the Mercantile Navy Lists ('MNL') of 1870, 1880 & 1888. LR lists proposed service only thru 1873/74. It lists her initial service as being to Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) ex Sunderland (in 1869/70), from London to China (from 1870/71 thru 1872/73) & from Cardiff, Wales, to Australia in 1873/74. With, per LR, a number of captains during such period - A. Messrvy thru 1872/73, E. Lusby thru 1875/76, Barrett thru 1879/80, Le Bas thru 1880/81, T. Howard in 1881/82, W. P. Le Bas for part of 1882/83, Le Boeuf (a number of spellings) thru 1885/86, & J. C. Le Masurier thru 1888/89. Something unusual must have happened to the vessel in or about 1882/83. LR of that edition noted that the vessel had foundered but then deleted the reference, while MNL of 1883 did not list the vessel at all.
It would seem a single voyage to Australia. On Nov. 9, 1874, the vessel left London for Adelaide, South Australia, with a general cargo which included 500 barrels of gunpowder. It arrived at Adelaide on Jan. 29, 1875 & later left on Mar. 13, 1875 to return to London. The vessel was then under the command of J. C. Barrette, previously the vessel's chief officer. He was granted command when the vessel's previous captain (Lusby?) died as a result of a gun accident just before the vessel's departure from London.
LRs from 1889/90 thru 1899/1900 list the vessel as now registered at Swansea, Wales, & owned by G. (George) H. Meager, her managing owner, of Swansea (maybe of Villiers Dry Dock). As is confirmed by MNLs of 1889, 1890, 1900 & also in 1902 then listed at 842 tons (net) only. 197.7 ft. long, signal letters LCGK, later, per MNL only, PLTR. I spotted a reference in Jun. 1896 to the vessel being involved in the grain trade, unloading 1,334 tons of wheat at Swansea ex Talcahuano (coast of central Chile). And a Feb. 13, 1900 reference to the vessel at Swansea ex Cape Town, South Africa. The vessel is not listed in MNL of 1904. It had been lost? Apparently not. On Apl. 3, 1903, the 'Cambrian' Welsh newspaper reported that the vessel had been sold by 'Meager' to unnamed Norwegian owners for £2,000. The webmaster is in possession of no later data re the vessel now Norwegian owned. Is there anything you can add? #2039

4   Beethoven
1393 (or 1390) tons
Hull 403



An iron steamship. Per 1 (Columbia), 2 (''), 3 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). I cannot see that the vessel was listed in Lloyd's Register. Nor is it referenced in the Mercantile Navy List. Miramar (thanks!) advise that the vessel was built for G. Swainston, of Sunderland. And advise also that the vessel was sold in 1873 to 'Societa Rocco Piaggio & Figli' of Genoa, Italy & renamed Columbia. Was engaged in the Genoa to Montevideo & Buenos Aires service with return via Santos & Rio de Janeiro. On Jul. 5, 1880, the vessel sank in a collision near Bahia, Brazil. I cannot yet tell you more about what happened & with which vessel Columbia was in collision. I have read that the vessel was 241.3 ft. long & had 175 HP engines. Some crew lists seem to be available here. Can you help any?

5   Houghton
(N/G) tons
Hull 405


A 'schooner-rigged' iron steamship, which would seem to have been launched on Sep. 27, 1870 - it was first registered on Oct. 26, 1870. Per 1 ('', wreck data), 2 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). It is surely Lloyd's Register ('LR') listed from 1874/75 thru 1886/87. And thru such entire period was, per LR, owned by H. T. (Thomas) Morton of Sunderland. The Mercantile Navy Lists ('MNL') from 1871 thru 1885 all list 'Morton' as the vessel's owner - Henry Thos. Morton thru 1880 & Henry T. Morton thereafter, always of Biddick Hall, County Durham. 'Morton' was a long time associate of Lord Durham. Turnbull's Register of 1874 just lists H. T. Morton. MNL's of 1880 & 1885 are here & here. LRs of 1885/86 & 1886/87 indicate that H. (Henry) Swinson was then the vessel's captain. It seems likely that the vessel would have carried coal from ports in the north east to southern England & to the continent. LR of 1886/87 also notes that the vessel had been in a 'Collision'. 196.4 ft. (59.86 metres) long, signal letters JTBS, 90 HP engines by North Eastern Marine Engineering Co. Ltd., of Sunderland.
At midnight on Aug. 18, 1886, Houghton was in collision with J. M. Strachan, a 780 gross ton steamship built at Howden in 1865, when about 5 miles off Scarborough, Yorkshire. Houghton sank while J. M. Strachan, which suffered severe damage to her starboard bow, survived the encounter, & went on to Jarrow for necessary repairs. Houghton was, I read, en route from Sunderland to Dieppe, France, with a cargo of coal. The most extensive data at '' tells us (thanks!) that Houghton had a crew of 13 all told & also had three passengers aboard her. Further that the bow of J. M. Strachan penetrated deeply into Houghton just to the rear of the bridge & additionally that no lives were lost in the collision. Henry Swinson was indeed Houghton's captain at the time. Everyone aboard scrambled onto the deck of J. M. Strachan & were later transferred to Grenadier & landed at the Tyne. The weather conditions would seem to have been good, but one reference does say 'thick'. J. M. Strachan was stated in the newspaper article I provide to be Newcastle registered. It would seem that it had, however, been registered at London since 1865 & was at the time of the collision owned by 'Stephenson Clarke'. Is there anything additional you can add? #2044

6   Nina
783 tons
Hull 404


This vessel, an iron steamship, was launched in Jul. 1870 & first registered on Sep. 24, 1870. Per 1 (data, Nina), 2 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). The vessel is surely Lloyd's Register ('LR') listed from 1874/75 thru 1892/93 at least (LRs of a later date are not available to the webmaster). Thru 1889/90, per LR, the vessel was owned by 'Fenwick' of London - by C. R. Fenwick in 1874/75 & 1875/76 & by Fenwick & Co. from 1876/77. The Mercantile Navy Lists ('MNL') from 1871 thru 1875 all list Chas. Richard Fenwick of Abchurch Chambers ('Abchurch'), City of London, as the vessel's then owner.  A modest puzzle, perhaps, is that MNLs of 1876 thru 1890 do not list 'Fenwick' as the vessel's owner, rather John Burn, albeit of the same Abchurch address. MNL of 1880 is here. MNLs of 1889 & 1890 additionally list E. W. Rowland as her then manager. It seems likely that Fenwick & Burn were partners. If such ownership data is 'curious', her following ownership is further 'curious'.  The vessel would seem, for a short time, in 1891 for sure, to have become owned by a 3rd party, but from 1892/93 (per LR) reverts to William France & Co. as the owner with Fenwick & Co. her managers. LR of 1890/91 (1891/92  is not available to the webmaster) records 'H. Gilliat', of London, as her then owner. While MNL of 1891 records Howard Gilliat as her then owner with Douglas W. Stobart (of Abchurch) her then manager. The above ownership history suggests, perhaps, that the vessel was always effectively owned by Fenwick?
200.5 ft. long (61.11 metres) perpendicular to perpendicular, signal letters JDTQ or JTDQ, not sure which. MNL always has JTDQ, which looks likely to be correct, 90 HP engines by George Clark of Sunderland.
In late Aug. 1894, the vessel sailed from Sunderland to London with a cargo of coal. Miramar advises (thanks!) that on Aug. 27, 1894 the vessel was in collision with City of Brussels in the River Thames at Lower Hope (NE of Tilbury/Gravesend). And that Nina was then broken up. A little more detail is provided by these newspaper articles. Nina was raised by the Thames Conservancy on Sep. 6, 1894 & on Sep. 18, 1894 passed Woolwich under tow to a dry-dock. Kent County Council used to offer a page re the collision. But no longer does so. This was what the page said, per a Google cache. Such page advises that W. Young was Nina's master at the time & that no Nina lives were lost. It also advises that City of Brussels, arriving from Brussels, was London registered. MNL of 1894 reports only one vessel of the name, ON 82793, built at Dumbarton in 1880 & registered at London since 1880. Many Nina crew lists, thru 1894, available via here. Can you add anything?

7 Ulpiano
348 tons
Hull 407

An iron barque. Per 1 (fine Ulpiano wreck image by Wolfgang Stemme), 2 (''), 3 (data), 4 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). For many years now, data re this vessel has been on site but not particularly visible - in large part recorded in this 2014 guestbook message from Joachim Kaiser, of Hamburg, Germany. Joachim essentially advised that the wreck of Ulpiano had in 2013 emerged from sands in the North Sea after being buried for 143 years. The vessel was launched on Sep. 7, 1870, built for Ulpiano de Ondarza (or Ondaza), of Bilbao, Spain. On Sep. 9, 1870, the vessel left South Dock, Sunderland, for La Corunna, Spain, under the command of C. Prieto & with a crew of 12 all told. After unloading, the vessel proceeded, in ballast, from Cádiz, Spain, to Hamburg, Germany, but never arrived there. On Dec. 24, 1870, late at night I have read, the vessel was driven onto Süderoogsand, a sandbank on the North Frisian coast, during a hurricane. All of the vessel's crew were saved but had to stay on Süderoog island for 10 weeks, trapped by the surrounding ice floes. Some references I have read state that the vessel was en route rather to Southampton, which certainly conflicts with the few words in the London Times on Jan. 2, 1871. The vessel's owner, it would seem, moved from Spain to Germany, married a German lady & lived at Blankenese on the Elbe. The wreck was buried in the shifting sands but became exposed in early 2013, essentially out of water at low tide. In time, the remains will probable be again hidden by the shifting sands. 130.0 ft. long. The vessel's figurehead was salvaged & has been in the local maritime museum (Wyker Friesen) for over 100 years. A modest puzzle. Lloyd's Register listed the vessel in 1870/71 & 1871/72 (as at left) but even though it had been lost, continued to list it thru 1881/82. Can you provide anything additional? An image of the vessel's figurehead, perhaps? #2035

8   Yarra
463/482 (N/G), later 444 (N) tons


An iron barque. Per 1 (wreck data), 2 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). The vessel, which was launched on Mar. 8, 1870, is Lloyd's Register ('LR') listed from 1870/71 thru 1883/84 only. It was owned, per LR, thru 1875/76, by R. Cresswell of London, which owner name is clarified by Mercantile Navy Lists ('MNL') of 1871 thru 1875 to mean Richd. Wm. Cresswell. F. Orfeur, per LR, served as the vessel's captain under 'Cresswell' ownership indeed continued to so serve for the duration (thru 1880/81) of ownership of the vessel's next owner - i.e. J. Hall, jr. & Co. of London. MNL's of 1876 thru 1882 list John Hall, jun. thru 1876 & just John Hall from 1878. MNL of 1880. In 1881/82, per LR, the vessel became both registered & owned at Melbourne, Australia, owned by D. Blair, per MNL of 1883 David Blair. 'Schutt', per LR, became the vessel's captain. LR lists 'Blair' as her owner thru 1883/84. However, MNL of 1884 lists the vessel at now 444 tons (net) & owned by Mrs. Violet M. Christian, of Queensland, Australia. 148.2 ft. long, signal letters JNTM.
Link 1 states that the vessel was en route from Lakes Island to Northwest with a cargo of guano, struck Scott Reef during a gale & was lost on Jan. 15, 1884. And further states the loss location to have been 14.04S/121.77E. Miramar has a slightly different location - 14.03S/121.48E. A Google 'data snippet' ex 'Unfinished Voyages, 1881-1900', Lynne Cairns & Graeme Henderson, published in 1995, tells us that the vessel carried a crew of 11 all told under the command of Lewis Schutt & that the captain's wife & 2 children were aboard also. The ship's boats had carried away & via a makeshift raft everyone managed to make it to Browse Island, about 160 km. distant, where they arrived on Jan. 28, 1884.
So far as I can see the vessel at the date of loss did NOT carry the captain's wife & two children as above indicated - the couple's second child was born 2 days after the raft arrived at Browse Island. So throughout the hurricane, wreck & raft ordeal, the captain's wife was in an advanced state of pregnancy.
A 'best efforts' summary of events, thanks to Trove. Yarra, then operated out of Brisbane, was under charter to Messrs. Grice, Sumner & Co. of Melbourne & owned by Captain Schutt (Lewis John Daley Schutt) & 3 others incl. Thomas Christian of Charters Towers, Queensland. It was not insured. Aboard the vessel were a crew of 11 all told, plus the captain's wife & their 3 year old daughter. The vessel left Lake's Island, in the Gulf of Carpentaria, on Dec. 2, 1883 bound for Falmouth, Cornwall, for orders, with a cargo of guano. Hurricane conditions were encountered when in the Arafura Sea, most of the vessel's sails were carried away & at 11 p.m. on Jan. 15, 1884, at a time of high water, the vessel was driven broadside onto Scott Reef. The vessel became a total wreck with its bilge knocked out, & only one ship's boat barely serviceable. Everybody made it ashore - the wreck was high & dry in the morning. They started to dismantle the vessel & on Jan. 18, 1884 started to build a raft from the ship's masts, spars, etc. It took about 5 days to complete & then, stocked with sufficient provisions from the ship to last 50 days, they set out to try to reach Browse Island, about 90 miles distant. They safely arrived near Browse island at 6 a.m. on Jan. 28, 1884 & hoisted a distress signal. Though the signal was quickly seen by the two vessels anchored there, only at 3 p.m. did 2 boats arrive, one each from Alert, a Swedish schooner, Sundqvist in command & Rizoe (name not for certain) a Norwegian brig, Ellingsen in command. Alert was under charter to load guano for Browse Island Guano Company of Adelaide. At 6 p.m. a portion of the survivors with the more valuable of the provisions went in Yarra's boat to Alert. Two more boats arrived at the anchored vessels thru the night. The captains of Alert & Rizoe both agreed that the survivors would help load their vessels with guano (maybe for Levi & Co. of Adelaide) & in return the survivors would be landed at an Australian port. The raft was effectively abandoned & drifted away. A daughter was safely born to Mrs. Schutt on Feb. 2, 1884. During all the days thru to Feb. 9, 1884, Yarra's crew lived up to their agreement, helping load guano onto Alert & Rizoe. Now Karnan, a Helsingbourg schooner, had been also loading guano at Browes Island but had left the scene to get needed supplies. When it returned on Feb. 10, 1884, Captain Nordfelth, its captain, offered little charity - he only offered to take Mrs. Schutt (presumably with her now 2 children) to Cape of Good Hope. Alert now wanted to land the survivors at Mauritius. The Alert/Rizoe deal was changed. All 3 vessels were to go to Yarra's wreck & split whatever they could recover. Schutt had little choice but to accept Sundqvist's (of Alert) new agreement - to land Schutt at Port Darwin for a £10 fee for himself & £5 for each of the others, Sundqvist to be given the Yarra's thermometers/chronometers & additionally would be given the allowance that the British Government routinely provided to shipwrecked sailors. Alert made it to the wreck site but Rizoe & Karnan never did. On Feb 27, 1884, Alert landed the Schutt family & 5 Yarra crew members at Port Darwin. They all went on to Sydney for Melbourne via Tannadice, a steamer. Not sure yet when Rizoe with its 5 Yarra survivors made it to Darwin but it would seem that it did so. Key newspaper articles A, B. Names of Yarra crew. An Inquiry was held into the vessel's loss, but this brief ref. to its findings adds little to the story. A distressingly uncharitable treatment for survivors of a shipwreck, all said & done. Can you add anything additional? #2036

9   Cleadon
489/760 (N/G) tons
Hull 406


An iron steamship, a collier. Per 1 (data), 2 ('' wreck data), 3 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). The vessel, which was launched on Jan. 7, 1871, would seem to have been Lloyd's Register ('LR') listed from 1873/74 thru 1892/93 at least - later editions of LR are not available to the webmaster. It was owned, per LR, thru 1892/93, by 'H. Morton & Co.', of Biddick Hall, County Durham. The Mercantile Navy Lists ('MNL') of many years thru 1894 (incl. 1880) list 'Hy. Thos. Morton' as her owner, with, in 1889 & 1890, Thos. J. Reay, & from 1891 thru 1894, Thos. Nicholson, as her managers. The vessel was later 'transferred', in 1895, per MNL, to The Earl of Durham & in 1897 to The Lambton Collieries Ltd. ('Lambton') of Newcastle, with Nicholson her manager thru 1902 (MNL of 1900 is here). In 1904 per MNL, still owned by Lambton, Edward T. Nisbet is recorded as her then manager. LR lists few captain's names - just A. Smith from 1885/86 thru 1888/89 & 'Mohrke' thereafter thru 1892/93. 196.8 ft. (59.98 metres) long perpendicular to perpendicular (other dimensions at MNL links), signal letters JWDK, speed of 8 knots, 90 HP engines by George Clark of Sunderland. On Aug. 31, 1904, still owned by Lambton, the vessel, en route from Aberdeen to Sunderland in ballast, was struck on her starboard side by Dagne, a Norwegian steamer (owned by A/S Dagny of Kristiania), which vessel had left Tyne for the Baltic with a cargo of coal. When off the mouth of the Tyne near the Mary Island Light. Cleadon sank within 15 minutes. '' tells us that 14 Cleadon crew members & passengers, incl. the master, scrambled across to Dagne, while the chief engineer (Lawrence) & the chief mate (Monser) went into the water & were picked up, 15 minutes later, in an exhausted condition. Dagne, with a seriously damaged bow, landed the rescued at South Shields. So no loss of life. 2 newspaper reports of the collision. Were there, in fact, any passengers aboard her? Many Cleadon crew lists are available here. Is there anything you can add?

10   Commander
746/1160 (net/gross) tons
Hull 408


The vessel, which had a very short life, is not recorded in Lloyd's Register. 240.0 ft. long, signal letters KFJB, 130 HP (but have also read 110 HP) engines by North Eastern Marine Engineering Co. of Sunderland. The Mercantile Navy List of 1872 indicates that the vessel was then registered at Newcastle & owned by Wm. Shevill Lishman, of Newcastle-upon-Tyne.
On Nov. 5, 1872, per line 3270 here, the steamship went missing while en route from Montreal, Quebec, Canada, to the U.K. with a cargo of maize (corn). The voyage may well have originated in Baltimore, U.S.A., & have been bound for London. Crew of 27 - all lost. Then stated to be owned by Wm. S. Lishman. Miramar advise that the vessel went missing after passing Bic Island (S. shore of the St. Lawrence river, SW of Rimouski) & that only 26 lives were lost.
Note that this page states that Commander was a vessel in the fleet of Hall Bros. Steamship Co., of Newcastle. Presuming that that was indeed so, it seems likely that there was a relationship between Hall Bros. Steamship Co. & 'Lishman'. Can you tell us about it or otherwise add anything? #2037

11   Firenze
1014 tons
Hull 412

An iron steamship. The vessel, which had a very short life, was launched on Sep. 30, 1871 & is not recorded in Lloyd's Register. 227.7 ft. (69.40 metres) long. Per Miramar (link, you now must be registered to access), the vessel was owned by Lloyd Italiano, of Genoa, Italy. Miramar advise (thanks!) that the vessel was wrecked on Feb. 12, 1874 at Ras Sherateeb, Red Sea, while en route from Genoa to Bombay, India. Can you tell us anything more about the vessel? #2038

12   Fop Smit (or Fop Smidt), later Success
957, maybe 1003 gross tons, later 733/1136 (N/G) tons
Hull 410

68266 (later)

A schooner rigged iron steamship, which was launched on Jul. 17, 1871 & recorded in 2 master lists of Sunderland built ships at an initial 1003 tons. Per Miramar (link, you now must be registered to access), the vessel was initially owned by Wm. Ruys & Zonan of Rotterdam, but was sold in 1873 to J. Machan of Dundee & renamed Success. The circumstances of such sale are of interest. The vessel is stated (Question 15 on page 2 of this report) to have been a wreck when Machan purchased her. Further, Miramar advise that the vessel, initially 67.5 metres (221.46 ft.) long perpendicular to perpendicular, was lengthened to 76.2 metres (250.0 ft.) long in 1873. Can anybody tell us what happened to the vessel that caused the vessel to have been termed a wreck & precipitated the 1873 sale. The vessel is Lloyd's Register ('LR') listed, as Success, from 1874/75 thru 1885/86, always owned by J. Machan of Dundee, Scotland. With 'Hunter' her captain from 1877/78 thru 1881/82 & 'W. Ogilvie' thereafter. Success is listed in Mercantile Navy Lists ('MNL') from 1874 thru 1885, always owned by John Machan of Dundee. Who purchased her for between £16,000 & £17,000. Was first registered at Dundee on Jun. 12, 1873. Two typical MNL's - 1882 & 1885. MNL consistently states, incidentally, that the vessel was initially Fop Smidt rather than Fop Smit. LR of 1885/86 notes that the vessel had 'Foundered'. 221.46 ft. long, from 1873 250.00 ft. long, signal letters MSPL (per MNL) or NSPL (per LR), 98 HP engines by North Eastern Marine Engineering Co. of Sunderland. Re the signal letters, NSPL would seem to have been issued to Marie Brandt (Danish) in 1883.
On Jul. 10, 1885, the vessel left Cronstadt (St. Petersburg, Russia) for London with a cargo of wheat & oats, but additionally with lathwood loaded upon her decks. Under the command of Alexander Glass & with a crew of 19 all told. At midnight on Jul. 10, 1885 the vessel was 1 1/2 miles off Rodskar Light, Gulf of Finland. A course was set for the Reval Stone Lightship, about 60 miles distant, & the captain retired to the chart house. At 3.23 a.m. on Jul. 11, 1885 a lightship was sighted. Such light, believed to have been Reval Stone lightship was in fact the Kalbaden lightship. The 2nd mate twice changed course without consulting the captain. At 3.50 a.m., proceeding at full speed, the vessel struck Kalbaden shoal indeed passed right over it. It was initially thought there was little damage but soon the pumps could not control the inflow of water. At 7.30 a.m. they had to abandon ship which sank 15 minutes later. The ship's boats safely arrived at Reval (today Tallinn, the capital of Estonia), at 9.00 p.m. later that day. The crew later were returned to the U.K. via Delta. The loss was the subject of an Inquiry held at Dundee & the resulting Report can be read here. The Court concluded that the vessel's loss was due to the grave default of Thomas Alexander Dykes, the vessel's 2nd mate, & they suspended his certificate for a year. The court reprimanded the captain also for trusting the 2nd mate & for not giving adequate instructions. The story is strange. The helmsman at the time (Louis Hansen) knew where they were but, as I read the report, did nothing to avoid the disaster. The vessel was insured. Many crew lists are here. Is there anything you can add? #2040

13 Hesperus
878 (later 941) tons
Hull 413


A cargo steam ship. Per 1 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). 206.6 ft. long, signal letters KQVM. The webmaster has a number of editions of Lloyd's Registers, ex Google Books, available to him (see left). The vessel is not recorded in the 1870/71, 1872/73 & 1873/74 editions, so its initial owner, likely 'Good, Flodman & Co.' maybe, ex Kelly's Directory 1885, 'Good, Flodman & Duncan' ('Good'), of Hull, is not confirmed. Miramar indicate, however, the initial owner to have been Wm. Easton Duncan, of Hull. From 1874/75 thru 1883/84 the vessel was owned by Good. The tonnage increased by the time of the 1880/81 edition, & became 941 tons gross. On Apl. 27, 1884, while en route from Iggesund Bottima, Sweden, to Hull with a cargo of iron & deals, the ship was lost on Market Rocks, Aland Sea. The Aland Islands are Russian, & are located at the entrance to the Gulf of Bothnia, between Sweden & Finland. Iggesund is to the north, on the E. coast of Sweden, on the Gulf of Bothnia. The master was found 'in default in underestimating the distance run and in taking no steps to verify his position'. And the mate was held also to be at blame. That basic data is ex 'The Nautical Magazine' of 1884 (see left) - 'F. Good & others' being the then owners - re Inquiry #2194. Miramar indicates that the loss was rather on Apl. 29, 1884 - 'leaked & ashore Alandshof Rocks, near Market LH.' It would be good to read the full Inquiry Report #2194, but I have not yet been able to WWW find it. Crew lists are available here. Can you add anything?

14 Maria Ysasi
392 tons
Hull 411

69299 (later)

An iron barque which was launched in Aug. 1871. Per 1 (image, Maria Ysasi, thanks to State Library of Queensland) 2 (brief ref. to Maria Ysasi's loss), 3 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). The vessel is Lloyd's Register ('LR') listed from 1871/72 thru 1876/77 only. It was built for 'A. de Ysasi' of Bilbao, Spain, was registered there in 1871/72 & 1872/73, for service from Sunderland to Bilbao, with 'de Echev'na' serving as her captain. In 1873/74, per LR, the vessel became registered at Liverpool (first registered there on Sep. 24, 1873), owned by S. Lindsay of Liverpool, for service from Liverpool to Australia, with 'Madge' serving as her new captain. LR of 1876/77 advises that the vessel had become Australian owned & registered, owned by S. J. Lindsay, of Melbourne, Australia, with W. Dow her then captain. Now Miramar advise (thanks!) that the vessel was wrecked on Jul. 20, 1876 at W. Tres Reyes (Three Kings) Island in the Philippines. It is unusual, accordingly, to see that the vessel was listed in the Mercantile Navy List thru to 1880 (from 1874), owned by Saml. Jas. Lindsay of Melbourne. 132.6 ft. (40.42 metres) long, signal letters MHQL.
Some 'best efforts' details re her Australian related voyages, thanks to Trove. a) On Oct. 17, 1873, the vessel left London for Maryborough, Queensland, under the command of Captain Madge, with a cargo mainly of various sorts of iron, also hardware for Walker & Co. of Maryborough. Was described as being one of James Baines & Co.'s Black Ball Line vessels. The voyage was not speedy - it arrived only on Apl. 18, 1874, 175 days out, the vessel encountering light winds throughout the entire voyage. b) The vessel loaded with timber for Sydney, New South Wales ('NSW'), arriving there on Jun. 20, 1874. c) A couple of voyages between Newcastle, NSW, & Melbourne with coal, one with J. W. Carless serving as her captain. d) On Oct. 12, 1874, the vessel left Newcastle for Java, Richard Wills in command, with 600 tons of coal. It went on to Tegal, Java, & on Apl. 11, 1875 arrived at Melbourne ex Tegal (left Feb. 4, 1875) with a cargo of sugar. e) The vessel went into dry dock for cleaning & painting with 'Japan Paint' etc. f) to Newcastle again, to leave that port on May 24, 1875 for Manila with 600 tons of coal under the command of William Dow. g) Back to Melbourne with sugar ex the Philippine Islands. h) On Jan. 11, 1876, the vessel arrived at Melbourne ex Zebu (today's Cebu) with 9,982 bags of sugar & 1,600 bales of hemp. i) Again to Newcastle whence it departed on May 5 or 6, 1876 for Manilla, Dow in command, again with 600 tons of coal, intending to continue on to Hong Kong. The vessel's voyage (details here) was normal  until, when 2 or 3 miles off Three Kings Islands (SW of Marinduque island), the wind suddenly dropped. Anchors did not stop the vessel being driven by sea currents onto the rocks. She ended up, on Jul. 20, 1876, on a ledge, 'bilged', & full of water. The crew took to the ship's boats & safely were able to reach Kalapan (Calapan), eventually to be transported onwards to Manilla. The linked article tells us that at the time, the vessel was owned not by 'Lindsay' but rather by Captain Smith of Sandridge (Melbourne). Link 2 tells us that the vessel was lost on Marinduque (island).
I note that from 1877/78 per LR, A. de Ysasi owned another vessel of identical name, an iron steamship previously named Warkworth, built by Richardson at Newcastle in 1871. It later was renamed Palmira. Can you add anything? #2041

15   Sunniside
637/990 (N/G) tons
Hull 409



An iron steamship. Per 1 [Vreede (1)], 2 (Stamfordham, sunk by gunfire. '4 August 1916'), 3 (Vreede, 1901 collision detail, in English here), 4 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). The vessel, which was launched on Jun. 3, 1871 & 1st registered on Jul. 20, 1871, is Lloyd's Register ('LR') listed, it would seem, from 1874/75 (not prior) thru 1892/93 at least. With J. Wilson her captain from 1886/87 thru 1890/91 at least & T. Edgecombe in 1892/93 at least. Later editions of LR, thru to 1901, are not available to the webmaster. LR records that the vessel was initially owned by R. T. Nicholson, of Sunderland, which owner name is clarified by Mercantile Navy Lists ('MNL') of 1872 thru 1894 to mean Robert Todd Nicholson of West Sunniside, Sunderland. Now LRs from 1876/77 thru 1892/93 rather list Lumsden, Byers & Co. of Sunderland as the vessel's owners. MNL of 1895 lists J. Y. Short of Sunderland as the vessel's then managing owner, in 1896 Thos. Speeding, & in 1897 MNL reports that 'The Standard Steam Shipping Co. Ltd.' of Sunderland owned the vessel with Thos. Speeding her manager (maybe 'Speeding, Marshall & Co.'). MNL of 1899 is here.
The webmaster suspects that all of the above 'ownership' changes were essentially changes within the large ownership group that owned the vessel & their choice re managing owners from time to time. Which ownership group in 1895 likely formed a limited liability company to take over ownership of the vessel. Turnbull's Register of 1874 (image hopefully soon) is of interest in that regard. It advises that there were then 21 individual shareholders in the vessel, including 3 investors named 'Nicholson' with a total of 8 (of 64) shares, 2 members of the 'Ord' family also owning a total of 8 shares,  'W. L. Byers' owning 4 shares, etc. etc.
Miramar advise (thanks!) that in 1900, the vessel became owned by 'Hollandsche Stoomboot Maatschappij', of Amsterdam, (bought for £5,500), & renamed Vreede. 220.6 ft. long, signal letters KLCP later QBCK, 110 HP engines by George Clark of Sunderland.
Per Miramar, on Jun. 26, 1901, while en route from Amsterdam to London in ballast, Vreede was in collision with Stamfordham in the North Sea, 7 miles S. of the Kentish Knock & foundered. I read that the collision took place at 51.3106N/01.4036E, about midnight Jun. 26, 1901 during good weather & a calm sea. Vreede sank immediately. Its entire crew (Captain Schol & 17), were rescued by Stamfordham & landed at Yarmouth. Note: Stamfordham, of 921 tons, built by Wood Skinner in 1898, was later captured by a submarine on Aug. 4, 1916, & sunk by gunfire, 8 miles S. from Longstone. Almost certainly the correct one. Can you add anything additional?

16   Baron Selborne
608/953 (N/G) tons, later 700/987, 530/881 & 545/882 tons
Hull 421


Baron Selborne
Francesco O.


An iron steamship, whose date of build is confusing with both 1872 & 1873 being referenced in the records. Per 1 ('', wreck data), 2 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). So far as the webmaster can see, the vessel, which was launched on Dec. 12, 1872 & first registered on Feb. 17, 1873, was Lloyd's Register ('LR') listed from 1873/74 thru 1911/12 & surely would have been listed in later editions also.
216.0 ft. long (65.84 metres) perpendicular to perpendicular, later 217.2 ft. (66.20 metres), maybe 217.0 ft. long, signal letters LPKB, later HTJD, 99 HP engines by North Eastern Marine Engineering Co. Ltd. of Sunderland, later 107 HP (certainly in 1897/98) of the same manufacturer.
A complicated ownership history. Built for J. (James) MacCunn, of Greenock, Scotland, 'Baronial Line', who owned the vessel only thru 1875/76, with 'C. W. Lmplgh', (Lamplough) per LR, serving as the vessel's captain. Per the Mercantile Navy List ('MNL'), McCunn, correctly James MacCunn, owned the vessel in 1874 & 1875. From 1875/76 thru 1882/83, the vessel became registered at London & owned by H. Collings & Co., (MNL of 1880) ('H' means Henry) of London with W. Masters serving as her captain. In 1882/83, per LR, Mersey Steam Shipping Co. Ltd. ('Mersey'), of Liverpool, became the vessel's owner & they owned it thru 1889/90 with T. Hay serving thru such period as the vessel's captain. In 1883/84, Mersey renamed their vessel Saffi (so far as I can see after a port in Morocco). Strangely perhaps, the vessel seems not to be MNL listed from 1884 thru 1887 - in either name. Per Miramar, in 1888 the vessel, (now of 700/987 tons) & renamed Erato, became owned by Angfartygs Aktiebolaget "Erato" of Gothenberg, Sweden, with K. O. F. Dalman & A. N. Grunden serving, respectively, as her manager & her captain. Miramar advises (thanks!) that in 1894 the vessel became owned by Angfartygs "Viking" & in 1899 by Angfartygs "Ella", both of Gothenberg, with no changes in vessel name. In the 1897/98 edition of LR, the vessel is listed at 217.2 ft. long, her engines are listed at 107 HP & J. H. Söderlund was listed as the vessel's then captain. Again per Miramar:- i) in 1900, the vessel became Baron Selborne again, owned by J. Ridley, Son & Tully ('Ridley'), of Newcastle & ii) in 1906 became owned by The Screw Collier Co. Ltd., also of Newcastle, (with Ridley now her manager, but instead James E. Tully per MNLs) and, I learn, in the period thru 1911/12 J. T. Dawson (1908/09), J. Stewart (1910/11) & N. W. Ashworth (1911/12) serving as her captains. In 1910/11 & 1911/12, the vessel is LR listed at 545/882 tons. MNL records such data from 1901. Three later ownership changes, thanks to Miramar. In 1912, the vessel became registered at Trieste, owned by 'O. Olivetti Fu F.' & renamed Francesco O. In 1913 the vessel became registered at Piraeus, Greece, owned by 'P. Charamis & J. Stringos' & renamed Ermioni & in 1916 became owned by 'Pandeli Bros.', also of Piraeus & renamed Alexandros.
Some operational details, for Baron Selborne at least. Baron Selborne, was engaged, for a significant part of its life, in the carriage of coal from Welsh ports, most frequently from Swansea. To such ports as Civita Vecchia, Corfu, Dunkirk, Madeira, Marseilles, Messina, Valencia. The vessel also traded into Malta & Egypt. In the vessel's 2nd incarnation as Baron Selborne, the carriage of pig-iron is referenced (Grimsby) & coal to Rouen, France. Some specific matters of interest. i)  On May 29, 1880, P. Cameron, Chief Engineer of Baron Selborne, jumped into Swansea's North Dock to save James Owens, a 9 year old boy. His actions were commended by the Royal Humane Society. ii) On Mar. 18, 1903, Baron Selborne was in collision with Florence, of Stockton, in the Northfleet Hope, near Gravesend, River Thames. Florence sank within 3 minutes while Baron Selborne had to be beached. One serious injury but no loss of life. iii) on Jun. 18, 1903, Baron Selborne, arriving from the Tyne with coal, was in collision with the outbound Jargoon, in the Northfleet, just W. of Gravesend. Both vessels were damaged. iv) On Sep. 24, 1903, Baron Selborne was in collision with Pellegrini, a dredger, in the River Thames near the entrance to the Regent's Canal (Limehouse Basin, E. London). Both vessels were significantly damaged. 
Miramar advises that on Oct. 28, 1917, Alexandros, en route from Caen, France, to Cardiff in ballast, was lost as a result of a collision off the Longships (near Land's End, Cornwall). Have not discovered the name of the vessel with which it collided nor read about the circumstances. Is there anything you can add? #2066

17   Björn
763/1005 (N/G) tons
Hull 414

An iron steamship. Per 1 ('', wreck data), 2 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). So far as the webmaster can see, the vessel, which was launched in May 1872, was Lloyd's Register ('LR') listed only in 1890/91 & 1892/93. It most likely was listed in a few later LR editions not available to the webmaster. The above two LR editions record her then owners as being 'Angf. Aktie-Bolaget "Thule" (O. Melin)' (hereinafter 'Company') of Gothenburg, Sweden, with F. W. Larsson (72-79) her then captain. 'Angf.' means Angfartygs in full. Company, per Miramar, would seem to have owned the vessel from her delivery in 1872. 218.5 ft. (66.60 metres) long, signal letters HJDV, 100 HP engines by Thompson, Boyd & Co. of Newcastle. Miramar also tells us (thanks!) that on May 25, 1895 the vessel, en route from Gothenburg to Sunderland in ballast, was in collision with Vanland & was wrecked. The collision took place between the Skaw & Hirthals, both northern Jutland, Denmark, almost due W. of Gothenburg. Vanland, 1270 gross tons, also Swedish owned, had been built in 1893 by Campbeltown Shipbuilding Co. Ltd., of Argyll, Scotland, & stayed in service thru 1917. Now '' (link 1) tells us (thank you) that Björn was rather en route in the other direction, i.e. from Sunderland to Gothenburg & that there was no loss of life. I have not so far spotted any details as to the circumstances or causes of the collision. Is there anything you can add? #2043

18 Bylgia
592/934 tons
Hull 420

An iron steamship. Per 1 (painting, Bylgia), 2 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). The vessel, which was launched on Sep. 7, 1872 was not, so far as I can see, ever listed in Lloyd's Register (I checked thru 1889/90). It would seem that it had a short life & per Miramar (thanks!) was owned throughout by 'Lastangare A/B Aegir' of Malmo, Sweden. 212.8 ft. (64.86 metres) long, signal letters HJLT, 96 HP engines, of manufacturer unknown. The vessel was a frequent visitor to Cardiff, Wales, & carried Welsh coal to such ports as Sulina (Black Sea, Romania) & Constantinople (now Istanbul, Turkey). 'Sellman' may have been an early captain, later 'Loftgren' or a name very close to that. However 'American Lloyd's Register of American & Foreign Shipping', of 1876 & 1877, both indicate that J. Sellman was then the vessel's captain & that Aegir S.S. Co. were the vessel's then owners. The 'Record of American & Foreign Shipping' ('Record') of 1876 & 1877 both name C. Holm as the vessel's then captain & 'Aegir & O.' her then owners.
The webmaster has zero knowledge of Swedish. A text in Swedish accompanies an image of the vessel which you can see here ex link 1. The key words I would bring to your attention are the following, '1877 redades hon av F. Malmros for Last-Ång-Aktiebolaget Agir, Trelleborg, Befalhavare J. E. Löfgren.' which words, assuming I have transcribed them properly, translate (Google) into English as follows:- 'In 1877 she was rescued by F. Malmros for the Last-Ang-Aktiebolaget Agir, Trelleborg, Commander J. E. Löfgren.' Which seems to mean that the vessel was not lost in 1877 as is advised below but continued in service, maybe repaired, which seems to be confirmed by this 1885 Record listing where A. Appelgren is stated to be her captain. F. Malmros, likely Frans Malmros, would seem to have been a ship manager, based in Trelleborg, the southernmost town in Sweden, just 32 km S. of Malmo. Almost certainly he would have been then Bylgia's manager. Can anybody i) explain the meaning of the text, particularly of the word rescued? And ii) does the data agree with or contradict the following?
Miramar advise that on Jul. 27, 1877 the vessel, while en route from Archangel, Russia, to the U.K. with a cargo of grain, was wrecked 15 miles NE of Fogloy, NE of Tromso. Can anybody help with where exactly that is. Fogloy seems to be the easternmost island of the Faroe Islands. Tromso is on the coast of Norway. Another web site references 'Finnmark' which is the most northerly part of Norway. Have not been able to spot a newspaper article etc. which might help identify the wreck location. I surely need help to clarify this rather confusing overall 'history'. #2042

19   Corinth
610/959 (N/G) tons
Hull 416


An iron steamship. Per 1 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). We also thank a) a web site that specialises in Irish Shipwrecks but wishes not to be recognised & b) an extensive article re her loss freely available, I read, thanks to the New York Times. The vessel was launched for the Corinthian Steamship Company Limited of Liverpool - on Feb. 12, 1872 & first registered on May 8, 1872. It had a very short life indeed, less than 2 1/2 years. The vessel is Lloyd's Register ('LR') listed only in 1874/75, with 'W. H. Nichlsn' of Liverpool LR stated to be her then owner. It is also listed in the Mercantile Navy List of 1874 which states Wm. Hy. Nicholson, of Liverpool, as (presumably), her manager. I say 'presumably' in view of the launch notice above & Miramar's stating that the vessel's initial & sole owner was Corinthian SS Co. Ltd. of Liverpool. 217.2 ft. long (66.20 metres) perpendicular to perpendicular, speed of about 8 1/2 knots, signal letters LDQM, schooner rigged, 98 HP engines by North Eastern Marine Co. of Sunderland. It would seem that for a significant part of its life the vessel was under charter to the Atlas Steamship Company Limited ('Atlas'), of Liverpool, to provide service to the West Indies while their new steamer Andes was under construction.
A modest event - on May 15, 1874, the vessel left New York for Curaçoa (Curaçao) with a package, placed in the care of the purser, to be ultimately be delivered at Maracaibo, Venezuela, containing U.S. gold coins valued at $10,000. Upon arrival at Curaçoa, the package was light & half the gold coin was missing. You can read about the resulting New York Supreme Court case by Google searching for 'Atlas Steamship' & 'Corinth'.
On Jul. 15, 1874, Corinth, under charter to Atlas but on her final voyage under such charter, left New York for Liverpool with a cargo of 22,000 bushels of corn & 7,500 bushels of grain. Under the command of Captain Eden, & with a crew of 22 (have also read 31) & two passengers. On Aug. 2, 1874, the vessel was off the S. coast of Ireland, at Galley Head, County Cork, located midway between Queenstown & Cape Clear. At 51.31N/08.57W, I read. In dense fog, the vessel ran aground, when under the control of the 2nd officer. Efforts were made to save the vessel by reversing the engines but she was stuck fast, soon filled with water &, with fires extinguished, turned over 'on the front side'. Two ship's boats were launched & with the help of local coastguards all aboard were saved. I read that efforts were made to save the cargo. Crew lists are available here & are a bit of a puzzle - in that while crew lists thru 1874 are listed so also is one in 1877. Is there anything additional you can add? #2053

20   Fidela
715/1106 (N/G) tons
Hull 418


An iron steamship that, I read, was launched on Jul. 25, 1872. It was first registered (68874) rather later, at Sunderland, on Jan. 13, 1873. The vessel, which was not listed in Lloyd's Register, had a very short life - about 4 months only. Per 1 (, wreck data), 2 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). There are also a number of WWW references to the Fidela wreck incl. at South African ('SA') sites. Collectively the sites seem to state that the vessel, commissioned as a 'mail ship' to serve between Australia & New Zealand ('NZ'), was on its maiden voyage when, en route from either Mossel Bay (Western Cape Province, SA) or Cape Town (SA) to either Port Elizabeth (Algoa Bay, Eastern Cape Province, SA), or Mauritius, in thick fog, it hit a reef & was wrecked on Apl. 7, 1873, about a mile N. of the Cape Recife (Port Elizabeth) lighthouse. No lives were lost. Interestingly, the wreck was used as target practice during WW2 by the South African Air Force, when bombs made of concrete were dropped on her. A dive site today with modest remains (an engine block) & concrete blocks, still there. Wreck lies about 400 metres offshore at 34.00.60S/25.42.00E. Miramar advises (thanks!) that the vessel, which was registered at London, was owned by Francis C. Fulton. The wreck is referred to in Colin Urquhart's 'Algoa Bay in the Age of Sail ...' & per this data snippet, Fidela 'put into the Bay to offload 1143 tons of Welsh' coal. Further that her 'sickly master, William Swainstone, had his certificate suspended for 6 months by the court'.
Per this U.K. Government page, 233.2 ft. long (71.08 metres) perpendicular to perpendicular, 140 HP engines of unknown (to the webmaster) manufacture.
May I give you a different version of the vessel's history? I believe that the vessel was, in fact, a collier, intended to carry coal from Newcastle, New South Wales ('NSW'), Australia to Dunedin (E. coast of S. Island), NZ. Owned by Francis C. (Crossley) Fulton, (1836/1901) of Dunedin, the vessel was named after his wife Fidela. (Fulton's obituary). Vessel likely owned by 'Webb & Fulton', of Dunedin. Fidela's maiden voyage would seem to have been from Sunderland to Penarth Docks, Cardiff, Wales, where it arrived on Jan. 31, 1873, under the command of 'Swainston'. H. Swainston was, per many sites, her captain. On Feb. 7, 1873 the vessel was cleared for passage to Cape Town, SA, with, as I read an article at Welsh Newspapers Online, 743 tons of coal ref. Ocean Steam Coal Co. It arrived at Table Bay (Cape Town) on Mar. 25, 1873 & on Apl. 4, 1873 left there for Melbourne, Australia, via Algoa Bay, East London, Natal & Mauritius. Her ultimate destination would seem to have been Dunedin. I have not read what cargo she then had but she would seem to have still had (see Colin Urquhart reference above) coal to be unloaded at Port Elizabeth. It seems likely that she carried mails, as so many ships did in such times. She carried many passengers also (don't know how many) including one Lieutenant Coghlan, en route from Cape Town to Melbourne, & Harry Stanley a theatrical manager. The vessel proceeded slowly along the coast & late on Apl. 7, 1873 was in sight of the Cape Recife lighthouse. Readers should be aware of a most important factor in the vessel's loss. The vessel's after compass was mounted about 2 ft. away from the vessel's rudder head, made of iron. Such iron dramatically effected the compass to the extent that it pointed S. when it should have pointed N. The ship's other compasses also had similar issues, due to the general abundance of iron throughout the ship. The captain steered a course that should have taken him well clear of Cape Recife. Suddenly & unexpectedly, at about 9.30 p.m. on Apl. 7, 1873, the vessel hit the reef. A boat was launched to seek assistance but did not return. Distress signals were fired, but help did not arrive until the next morning. Waves crashed continuously on the vessel throughout the night. Some of the webmaster's data sources:- A, B, C, D.
The webmaster knows little about compasses. But it would seem that the ship's compasses would have worked well i) when first installed at Sunderland & ii) in the northern hemisphere. Iron vessels were then relatively new. And the problems with compasses in an iron ship, particularly when in the southern hemisphere & indeed compass deviation generally were not taught to captains until 1872. Anyway, Lieutenant Coghlan gave some most compelling evidence at the Colonial Court  of Inquiry held at Port Elizabeth, into the vessel's loss. At that hearing the captain's licence was suspended for 6 months for negligence & lack of care, mainly that the captain, knowing the compasses were erratic, did not have a temporary standard compass installed at Cape Town. See this most extensive 1874 article re compasses & the loss of Fidela. Which article refers to the captain as 'Swainston'. The ship's loss was first reported as being Gidelia & then as Videlia. Francis Fulton was at Sydney, NSW, when he heard of the vessel's loss. Fidela was insured in the total amount of £28,000. Upon learning of the wreck, Fulton returned to the U.K. & bought Easby at a price of £24,589 as Fidela's replacement. That vessel was later wrecked in 1907. I wonder why Captain Swainstone (or Swainston) was above referred to as being 'sickly'? Is there anything you can add or correct? A contemporary African newspaper report that reported the wreck & named the survivors? The full report of the Court of Inquiry, perhaps? #2058

21 Pachino
1003 or 1049 gross tons, later 684/1049 (N/G) tons
Hull 423

Eugenia Segre
Lido G

An iron steamship, which was launched on Nov. 13, 1872. Now two master lists of Sunderland built vessels list the vessel as 1st registered in 1873. I have accepted 1872 as correct as advised by Lloyd's Register ('LR') of later years (see below). Per 1 (Pachino), 2 (Florio Line), 3 (NGI), 4 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). The vessel seems to be LR listed from 1886/87 (not before I think) thru 1892/93. Later editions of LR are not available to the webmaster. Built for Triancria Steamship Company ('La Triancria Societa di Nav. a Vapeur'), of Palermo, Italy. Or maybe 'Trinacria'. On Oct. 24, 1876, the vessel was purchased as part of the 'Triancria' fleet in liquidation by 'Societa in Accomandita Piroscafi Postali - Ignazio & Vicenzo Florio', known as 'Florio Line', also of Palermo? In 1881, the vessel was taken over by 'Navigazione Generale Italiana' ('NGI'), which was formed, in that year, by the amalgamation of Florio Line & R. Rubattino of Genoa. LR of 1886/87 indicates that the vessel was then owned by NGI of Palermo, Sicily, which became of Venice, Italy, in 1889/90. With 'Cullotta' the vessel's captain from 1887/88 thru 1888/89, 'Vecchini' in 1889/90 & 1890/91 at least & G. Lagana in 1892/93. It would seem, per LR, that G. Lagana has earlier served as the vessel's captain from 1880 thru 1887. In 1910, the vessel was transferred to 'Societa Nationale del Servizi Marittimi'. And maybe sold in 1913 - to whom, I wonder? Miramar rather records a sale in 1911 to SA di Nav. "La Sicania" of Trapani, Italy. And sold again in 1914, to A. Tedeschi, & renamed Eugenia Segre. And sold yet again, in 1915, to N. Gavagnin, & renamed Lido G.
225.7 ft. (68.79 metres) long, 2 masts, 1 funnel. LR of 1886/87 thru 1892/93 indicates that the vessel was then brigantine rigged, with 265 HP engines by North Eastern Marine Engineering Co. of Sunderland. It seem likely that those were replacement engines, installed in 1881, replacing its initial 140 HP engines of the same manufacturer. Signal letters RGQL (1886/87 thru 1892/93).
The vessel was sunk, on Oct. 14, 1917, by gunfire from German submarine UC-73, off Cape Misurata, NW Libya.
At left is an image of a table fork, identified as being ex Pachino, offered by eBay vendor 'miamimikeh'. It did not sell on Aug. 14, 2011. You were then invited to contact the vendor re its availability, but that was almost 8 years ago. The vendor provided this most interesting history of the companies concerned, which history surely merits retention for those interested in such matters. Anything to add?

22 Segesta
1768, later 1157/1782 (N/G) tons
Hull 415

An iron steamship, brigantine rigged, launched on Jan. 25, 1872. Per 1 (Florio Line, Segesta), 2 (NGI), 3 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). Segesta? A truly ancient Sicilian city, with many ruins, located 75 km. from Palermo. So far as the webmaster can see, the vessel was Lloyd's Register ('LR') listed from 1886/87 thru likely 1892/93. And surely in later years also whose editions of LR are not available to the webmaster. Built for Trinacria Steamship Company ('Trinacria Societa di Nav. a Vapeur' but the name may be 'Triancria' - but I think not), of Palermo, Sicily, Italy. On Oct. 24, 1876, the vessel was purchased as part of the 'Trinacria' fleet in liquidation by 'Societa in Accomandita Piroscafi Postali - Ignazio & Vicenzo Florio', known as 'Florio Line' (also of Palermo?). In 1881, the vessel was taken over by 'Navigazione Generale Italiana' ('NGI'), which was formed, in that year, by the amalgamation of Florio Line & R. Rubattino of Genoa. LRs of 1886/87 thru 1892/93 list NGI, of Palermo, as the vessel's owner with 'Bruno' her captain in 1887/88, 'Paratore' then her captain thru 1890/91 at least & 'C. Cafiero' in 1892/93. In 1897/78, per LR, G. B. Dodero served as the vessel's captain. On Dec. 9, 1906, Segesta was in collision with Lula (a Greek vessel owned by J. Diakakis), when leaving Leghorn (Livorno, Tuscany, Italy). This newspaper article tells us that Segesta had many emigrants on board at the time & that all of such emigrants & the entire crew were saved. Where were the emigrants bound for, I wonder? I read that the vessel was later re-floated but, being considered to be beyond repair, was sold to L. Donegali (of ?) to be scrapped. There would seem to have been an Italian court case re the Segesta/Lula collision but details of the case have so far eluded me. 261.8 ft. (79.80 metres) long, signal letters SGVH, with, per LR thru 1892/93, 298 HP engines by North Eastern Marine Engineering Co. Ltd. ('NEM') of Sunderland, but per LR of 1897/98 161 HP engines by NEM. Have also read initially engines of 130 HP only by NEM. Can all of those last HP statements be correct? Can you add anything?

23   Solunto
1242/1908 (N/G) tons,
later 1150/1692,
later 1242/1908 again.
Or 1314/1933 per U.S. registers
Hull 419


An iron cargo ship, brigantine rigged, launched on Aug. 20, 1872 & first registered on Dec. 13, 1872 (see #62670, 1859 tons). Per 1 (Florio Line, Solunto), 2 (NGI, Solunto 1), 3 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). Solunto? An ancient Sicilian city, with many ruins, located 16 km E. of Palermo. Piero Casiglia, who researched the vessel in 2005 re building a model of the vessel, was advised, by Tyne & Wear Archives I believe, that the vessel was originally named Lagana. A coincidence? A 1902 Italian Register lists Domenico Lagana as Solunto's then captain. Also see re Piero Casiglia's research A & B.
The data record for this vessel is quite confusing. 280.1 ft. (85.37 metres) long perpendicular to perpendicular, signal letters SJHW, two masts brigantine rigged. Her tonnage? When built she would seem to have been recorded at 1933 tons gross. Have also read 1859 tons. The 'American Lloyd's Register of American & Foreign Shipping', available via Mystic Seaport's fine site, lists the vessel, from 1878 thru 1883 at 1314/1933 tons (N/G). Lloyd's Register ('LR') of 1886/87 lists the vessel at 1242/1908 tons, in the next 4 years at least lists her at 1150/1692 tons, reverting to 1242/1908 again from 1892/93 it would seem. Her engines? I have read 220 HP engines when built. For many years (1886/87 thru 1892/93) LR listed the vessel's engines at 427 HP, built by North Eastern Marine Engineering Co. Ltd. of Sunderland. LR of 1897/98, however, lists the engines at 277 HP only by the same manufacturer. 201 HP in 1902 (Italy).
So far as the webmaster can see, the vessel was Lloyd's Register ('LR') listed from 1886/87 thru likely 1892/93. And surely in later years also whose editions of LR are not available to the webmaster. Built, I read, for Trinacria Steamship Company ('Trinacria Societa di Nav. a Vapeur' of Palermo, Sicily, Italy. On Oct. 24, 1876, the vessel was purchased as part of the 'Trinacria' fleet in liquidation by 'Societa in Accomandita Piroscafi Postali - Ignazio & Vicenzo Florio', known as 'Florio Line' (also of Palermo). In 1881, the vessel was taken over by 'Navigazione Generale Italiana' ('NGI'), which was formed, in that year, by the amalgamation of Florio Line & R. Rubattino of Genoa. LRs of 1886/87 thru 1892/93 list NGI, of Palermo, as the vessel's owner with 'Cardillo' her captain from 1887/88 thru 1890/91, 'Compagno' her captain in 1892/93 & 'P. Stabile' in 1897/98. Some other captains, as per American registers include 'P. Pirandello' (or 'Pirrandello'), 'Bartelo' & 'Ignatio'. The 'captains' data from the different sources is often in conflict. I note in passing that 'Trinacria' is recorded in the 'Record of American & Foreign Shipping' as the vessel's owner from 1878 thru 1900. American Lloyd's from 1878 thru 1883 always says 'Florio'. 'Tis confusing!
What I have found as to the vessel's operational history, thanks to many sources. i) On Feb. 8, 1887, 'following the Dogali incident' (i.e. the Battle of Dogali), Solunto sailed from Naples for Eritrea (Red Sea), having been requisitioned, together with about another ten ships, by the Italian Government, used to transport troops & materials. ii) On Aug. 3, 1877, the vessel was cleared for departure from Cardiff for Palermo with 985 tons of Welsh coal, with 'Pirandello' in command. iii) On Jun. 8, 1877, Solunto made its first, described as 'experimental', voyage from Palermo to New York, arriving there on Jun. 29, 1877. it would seem the first of many such voyages. On that voyage, 'Pirandello' in command, the vessel carried 23 emigrants & cargo. A list of the emigrants is, I read, available at the Immigration Office in New York. iv) On Jul. 14, 1877 the vessel left New York for Bremen, Germany. v) On May 9, 1879 the vessel arrived at New York with a cargo of fruit ex Italy. vi) On Apl. 5, 1880, Solunto would seem to have observed a steamship in difficulties in the N. Atlantic. I have not read the New York Times article re the matter (see link), which refers to a disabled steamer, floating spars & icebergs (can anybody provide me with such article). After some research I think that the vessel that they saw was likely the abandoned Fernville, which had been en route from West Hartlepool to Boston with a cargo of pig iron. It hit an iceberg on Mar. 27, 1880. If I am correct, this article which refers to Fernside should correctly refer to Fernville. vii) On Oct. 20, 1881 the vessel arrived at Genoa ex New York with Guiseppe Randazzo aboard. Randazzo was a wanted man, a 'brigand' who has been captured in Sicily some years earlier, had escaped, & made his way to New York. viii) In the summer of 1885, Solunto was seized by France but soon was released since it was a privileged vessel being a mail packet. ix) On Jul. 18/19, 1886 Solunto was present at Genoa, Italy, at a 'sailing competition' in honour of King Umberto I & Queen Margherita of Savoia. x) It was reported on Feb. 26, 1894 that Solunto, 'a mail steamer', was towed into Piraeus, Greece, by Dingwall, with its tail shaft broken.
Miramar advises (thanks!) that in Jun. 1906, the vessel was broken up at the Genoa ship breaking facilities of 'Fratelli Bruzzo'. Two of the above links rather advise that the vessel was scrapped in 1908. It seems that Miramar has the timing correctly. Centro America, built in 1897, was in 1907 renamed Solunto. Shown here at Tunis in 1912. No image of 'our' Solunto has yet emerged. Can you add to or correct anything written above? #2060

24 Susan
559/876 (N/G) tons
Hull 417


An iron steamship that was launched on Mar. 26, 1872 & first registered on Jul. 13, 1872. Per 1 (Board of Trade inquiry into 1875 wreck, ex 'Accounts and Papers', published 1876, a 'Google' book), 2 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). So far as I can see, the vessel is Lloyd's Register ('LR') listed only in 1874/5 & 1875/76. Owned by 'H. Collings & Co.', of London. i.e. 'Hy. Collings' per the Merchant Navy Lists of both 1874 & 1875. 205.6 ft. (62.67 metres) long perpendicular to perpendicular, signal letters LGFW, 99 HP engines by North Eastern Marine Co. Ltd. of Sunderland.
On Jun. 15, 1875, Susan, a vessel owned by 'Henry Collings and others, Captain Masters in command, & a crew of 21 all told, left Oran, Algeria, for Dunkirk, France, with a cargo of 'mineral' & wool. Per Miramar a) ex Bône, now Annaba, Algeria, & b) a cargo which included iron ore. Approaching the straits of Gibraltar, the vessel safely passed Ceuta (a tiny Spanish city & territory, on the African coast, claimed by Morocco) early on Jun. 17, 1875. At 11:00 a.m. that morning, the vessel struck a small submerged rock, 800 yards from the shore, initially believed to be 'Benzus Shoal'. Even though there was 14 fathoms (84 ft.) of water under her stern, it became apparent that vessel had been badly damaged & any hope of saving her was abandoned. The crew took to the boats & safely landed at nearby Ceuta. The vessel was attended to by HMS Coquette from Gibraltar & a tug boat, to no avail. An Inquiry into the vessel's loss was later conducted. It was proven that the vessel did not hit 'Benzus Shoal' but rather hit a nearby & almost parallel rock that was not recorded on the Admiralty or Spanish charts & accordingly was not recorded on the chart carried by Susan. The court could not find that the master was at fault & Captain Master's certificate of competency was returned to him. Miramar describe the wreck location as being '1.5nm ExS half S Cape Leona, W Ceuta'. A few crew lists are available here. Can you add anything?

25 Ballochmyle
1438/1511 (N/G) tons
Hull 428




An iron 3-masted ship, a clipper, which was launched on Dec. 5, 1873 & first registered (#67930) on Jan. 26, 1874. Per 1 (brief ref.), 2 (image), 3 & 4 (1874, 502 passengers), 5 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). 245.0 ft. (74.68 metres) long perpendicular to perpendicular, signal letters MLRT later HBKL, crew of 19 (have also read 21). The vessel would seem to have been listed in Lloyd's Register ('LR') from 1873/74 thru 1899/1900 & probably later than that in editions not available to the webmaster. You can see some of those LR entries, in the image at left. W. London is LR listed as the vessel's captain from 1873/74 thru 1889/90 at least. Some confusion as to his name. Referred to by Basil Lubbock ('Last of the Windjammers' Vol. #1) & in other places as  W. G. Loudon, i.e. with a 'u', & also as 'Lunden'. Correctly, I believe, the captain's name was W. G. London, as per a great many NZ advertisements re the ship incl. this one dated Jun. 4, 1874. T. (Thomas) Tait is her LR reported captain from 1891/92 thru 1896/97, with S. (Sven) Nielsen her captain (vessel now named Hebe) from 1897/98 thru 1901/02, I read. This site, however tells us that Thomas Tait (1848/1899) became her captain in 1888.
Engaged in New Zealand trade, under charter to New Zealand Shipping Company. An immigrant ship. Built for McKeelar & Co., of Greenock, Scotland, which ownership name seems soon to be corrected (LR of 1875/76) to McKellar &  Co. Have read that Ballochmyle was the first vessel to berth at Gladstone Pier, Lyttelton, Canterbury, New Zealand ('NZ'). Carried 502 passengers on a London to Lyttelton voyage, said to be under the command of Captain Lunden, that commenced Feb. 25, 1874 & arrived at Lyttelton on Jun. 1, 1874. She also carried cargo which included 700 tons of railway iron. On Aug. 1, 1874 it was reported that Tararua, a steamer, had collided with Ballochmyle upon Tararua's arrival at Lyttelton. Tararua was severely damaged while Ballochmyle's port bulwarks were stove in. When being moved into the stream at Lyttelton, on Aug. 5, 1874, Ballochmyle was towed by Beautiful Star, a steamer. The tow line unfortunately parted & kicked back viciously, its end striking Captain Hart of Beautiful Star. Both his legs were broken & one was immediately amputated. Captain Hart was carried on to Dunedin, where Beautiful Star was bound, but he died before reaching port. (Per 'White Wings', Vol. 2, Sir Henry Brett, 1928 & this extensive newspaper article). Ballochmyle left Lytteleton on Aug. 21, 1874 bound for San Francisco where it arrived on Oct. 27, 1874, then to proceed to Cork, Ireland, with sleepers. En route to San Francisco, the ship's surgeon, Dr. Edward Smythe, who apparently was unable to swim, fell overboard & was drowned.
The above voyage seems to be Ballochmyle's only voyage to NZ.
The vessel was sold, in 1875, to R. Cuthbert & Co. ('Cuthbert'), also of Greenock, i.e. Robert Cuthbert per Mercantile Navy Lists ('MNL') of 1875 thru 1883 - 1880 is here. On Jul. 26, 1880, the vessel was reported to have arrived at Bombay (now Mumbai), India, ex Dundee with only its fore & main masts & bowsprit left. All other yards, sails & boats had been lost & the vessel had suffered considerable hull damage. 100 tons of its cargo of coal had had to be jettisoned. Presumably weather related. The vessel was sold again, in 1883, to D. Bruce & Co, of Dundee, Scotland, which ref. shows in the 1882/83 edition of LR at left. D. Bruce would seem to mean David Bruce per MNLs of 1884 thru 1895 (MNL of 1890 is here). LR however has the vessel reverting, per LR of 1883/84, to Cuthbert ownership & then back to D. Bruce & Co. It would seem that they were likely related? In LR of 1894/95 the vessel was sold or transferred to 'The Dundee Clipper Line Ltd.', with D. Bruce & Co. the vessel's managers, both of Dundee (per MNL of 1896 & 1897). On Oct. 31, 1892 the vessel arrived at East Bute Dock, Cardiff, with wheat ex Talcahuano, Chile. In late Nov. 1892, it left Cardiff for San Francisco, presumably with a cargo of Welsh coal. Not the first time it had traded into Cardiff. The vessel's best passage was, I read, from Sharpness, Gloucestershire, (left Nov. 8, 1893) to Melbourne, Australia, (arrived Jan. 24, 1894) in 77 days, with a cargo of salt. Tait was in command for such voyage. On Apl. 25, 1895 the vessel arrived at London, 99 days ex Kingston (150 miles SE of Adelaide) with a cargo of wool. On Oct. 27, 1895, two vessels arrived at Melbourne from Quebec, Canada, both with cargoes of timber, i.e. Ballochmyle & Sigurd, a Norwegian barque. They had left Quebec respectively on Jul. 24 & Jul. 25, 1895. In Apl. 1896, the vessel arrived at Portland Oregon, Captain Tait in command, 76 days out of Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia, probably with a cargo of coal. Severe weather had been encountered en route - on Jan. 8, 1896 - when the vessel was near New Zealand. The main topmast had carried away & crashed both on the deck & partly overboard resulting in a severely damaged ship. To save the ship, the debris was cut away, repairs were effected, & the vessel proceeded on its journey under jury rig. The actions by Tait were considered to be most 'plucky'. You can read all about it here.
The vessel was sold, in 1897, to B. Hansen of Stavanger, Norway, renamed Hebe & it would seem re-rigged as a barque.  Such sale, at a value of under £3 per ton, was noted in a Sydney, NSW, newspaper published on Jul. 15, 1897. Have read that the owner was 'A/S Jernskib Hebe'. On Oct. 7, 1897 Hebe arrived at Melbourne, 76 days out of Hamburg, Germany, with a general cargo, S. Neilsen in command. It later went on to Boston, U.S.A., with 7,041 bales of wool. The vessel was sold again, in 1901, to F. (Francesco) G. Leva ('Leva'), of Austria, & renamed Alba. Owned by 'Ship Alba Co. Ltd.' of Lussingrande, I read. György Ákos of Budapest advises (thanks George!) that Leva, who lived in Lussingrande (Mali Losinj on the island of Lussino/Losinj, today Croatia) was the managing owner of Alba, which had 57 owners, all Austrian citizens, & was based at Trieste. Felice B. Cosulich became the vessel's master. Alba was converted to a hulk at Lussingrande in Mar. 1908. The second to last image at left was published in 'Amerre szél visz, s hullám utat ád', a 1907 book, written in Hungarian by György Ákos & József Horváth - re Hungarian seamen in the era of sailing ships. A portion of the above data was also from a long expired eBay item. Many crew lists are available here. Can you add anything? Your contribution would be most welcome.

26   Baron Blantyre
1623/1700 (N/G)
later 1585/1704 tons
Hull 426



An iron ship, which was launched on Aug. 22, 1873 & first registered on Oct. 13, 1873 (scroll to #67924). Per 1 (vessel's 1874/75 voyage to Sydney, Australia), 2 (crew & passenger list re above voyage), 3 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). 257.0 ft. long (78.94 metres) perpendicular to perpendicular, signal letters MJGQ. So far as the webmaster can see, the vessel was Lloyd's Register ('LR') listed from 1873/74 thru 1889/1890. Built for J. McCunn, correctly James MacCunn, of Greenock, Scotland, as per many editions of The Mercantile Navy List ('MNL') from 1875 thru 1885 at least including that of 1880. 'J. McCunn & Co.' per LRs of 1878/79 thru 1883/84 at least, always registered at Greenock. Rosemary Wilson advises (thanks Rosemary!) that the company was founded by John MacCunn (1803/1873) & later run by John MacCunn's son James. Known as Baronial Line. During the period of 'MacCunn' ownership, 'Maclachln' is listed as her captain thru 1875/76, J. Mitchell thereafter thru 1880/81 at least. Her later captain, thru 1883/1884 at least was, per LR, F. Wilson.
At an unknown date in 1885/86, the vessel was sold. LR reports the new owner to be 'Baine & Johnston (per J. Grieve Jr.)' which I think means that J. Grieve Jr. was the appointed nominee for Baine & Johnston. MNL of 1887 lists 'Jas. Grieve, jun.' of Greenock, as her then owner. Ownership changed one more time. LR of 1887/88 lists J. Neill, also of Greenock, as the new owner of the vessel, now of 1585/1704 (N/G) tons, John Neill per MNLs of 1888 & 1887. John Neill was a Greenock sugar refiner, I read. Per LRs, E. S. Burns served as the vessel's captain from 1885/86 at least thru 1888/89, & 'Taylor' was in command in 1889/90.
Some operational events. i) On Nov. 11, 1874 the vessel left Gravesend, London, & under the command of Captain Francis J. (known as Frank) McLachlan, for Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, with 31 passengers & a general cargo (which included iron rails) stated to be valued at £90,900. It arrived at Sydney on Feb. 9, 1875, 88 days out of the Lizard, in a damaged condition having met a heavy gale on Feb. 6, 1875, a gale which carried away her maintopmast & mizzen-top-gallant yard & caused other significant damage. On Apl. 22, 1875, the vessel left Sydney for San Francisco with 5 passengers & 2,300 tons of coal.  ii) In Apl. 1876 the vessel was spotted en route from Liverpool to Calcutta (now Kolkata), India. iii) The vessel left Deal, Kent, for Otago, New Zealand, on Jan. 15, 1877. It went on to Calcutta, arriving there in Oct. 1877. You can read an extensive article re her arrival at Otago here. iv) On Aug. 1, 1879, the vessel arrived at Penarth Docks, Cardiff, in ballast. It loaded a cargo of coal for Calcutta & ready to depart, moored in the stream at East Bute Dock. On Aug. 26, 1879, while moored, the vessel was struck by Somorrosto, a small, 398 gross ton steamship, causing damage to Baron Blantyre including damage to her bulwarks. v) In Jun. 1881, the vessel past the Lizard ex Calcutta, bound for Dundee. On Jul. 19, 1881 the vessel arrived at Cardiff, ex Dundee, in ballast. vi) On May 4, 1885, the vessel, under the command of F. C. Wilson, arrived at Melbourne, Australia ex London (dep. Jan. 21, 1885). It later sailed, on Jun. 8, 1885, for Sourabaya, Java. vii) In early 1887, the vessel, Burns in command, was en route from Java to Greenock with a cargo of sugar. On Feb. 23, 1887, when 500 miles W. of Fastnet (SW tip of Ireland), the vessel encountered a major gale which carried away all of her sails & spars & all the available food & water except for 2 casks of salt beef. The crew were left starving & in desperate need of drinking water. Baltimore, a British steamship, came to her assistance & in raging seas sent 2 lifeboats to Baron Blantyre with needed supplies. The voyage to Greenock was safely completed without assistance. A newspaper article about the matter can be read here. A second more extensive article, quite difficult to read, can be read at Trove, Australia, here. viii) At Liverpool Assizes, in May 1888, Edward Burns, Baron Blantyre's captain & Gavin Coghill, her mate, were found guilty of manslaughter in the Aug. 30, 1887 death of Charles Barnes, a seaman, during the ship's 1887 voyage from Cardiff (arr. from Liverpool on May 13, 1877, dep. Jun. 2, 1877 with crew of 27) to Singapore. To say that Barnes was mistreated is a giant understatement. You can read what, it is reported, that Burns & Coghill did or permitted to be done to Barnes. But be warned. It is not easy reading. Burns' own words read rather differently. The pair were found guilty. Burns was sentenced to 18 months in prison with hard labour & Coghill to 15 months with hard labour. Their certificates were also cancelled.
LR of 1889/90 notes that the vessel had been 'Wrecked'. On Aug. 28, 1889, the vessel, en route from Cardiff (dep. May 25, 1889) to Singapore with a cargo of Welsh coal, James Taylor in command, grounded 1 1/2 miles NW of Timbaga Rocks, in the Banka Straits, which lie between Sumatra & Bangka Island in the Java Sea. 3 days later, on Aug. 31, 1889, the vessel was abandoned with, it would seem, no loss of life. In the opinion of the Court of Inquiry held into her loss, this all happened due to the gross neglect of both Taylor & the ship's mate, for their significant navigational errors. Taylor's master's licence was suspended for 12 months & Edward Williams, the ship's mate, was censored by the Court. As you can read here (ex here) in the brief Report of the Court of Inquiry. In an extensive Singapore 'Straits Times' article I read i) that efforts were made to free the vessel, without success, & ii) that Captain Taylor went to Muntok aboard Penang & returned to the scene aboard Gier, a Government steamer. Upon arrival all they could then do was save some of the gear. The crew went on to Rhio via Ternaie & ended up at Singapore. Many crew lists are available here Can you tell us more? #2064

27   Drepano
1026/1558 (or 1572 or 1499) tons
Hull 424


A passenger/cargo steamship which was launched on Mar. 15, 1873 & first registered, at Sunderland, on Apl. 16, 1873 (scroll to 68883). Per 1 (Florio Line, Drepano), 2 (NGI), 3 (''), 3 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access).
278.8 ft. (84.98 metres) long perpendicular to perpendicular, 230 HP engines by George Clark of Sunderland.
Its first owner would seem to be Trinacria Steamship Company ('La Trinacria Societa di Nav. a Vapeur' but the name may be 'Triancria' - but I think not), of Palermo, Italy. On Oct. 24, 1876, the vessel was purchased as part of the 'Trinacria' fleet in liquidation by 'Societa in Accomandita Piroscafi Postali - Ignazio & Vicenzo Florio', known as 'Florio Line', also of Palermo? In 1881, the vessel was taken over by 'Navigazione Generale Italiana', 'NGI', which was formed, in that year, by the amalgamation of Florio Line & R. Rubattino of Genoa.
A couple of operational matters. The vessel was reported to be ashore at the quarantine ground at Nisidia (Nisida, an islet located just N. of Naples, Italy) as a result of a hurricane which hit the Bay of Naples area on Feb. 24, 1879. And in Jun. 1890, Drepano was slightly damaged after a collision with a lighter - at Sulina (Romania, Black Sea).
In 1906, Drepano was wrecked at Cyrenaica, eastern coastal region of Libya. Lloyd's Telegrams in a shipping casualties list published on Jun. 20, 1906, tells us that Drepano was aground at Takura, said to be located 42 miles E. of Benghazi, Libya, & that her passengers crew & post had been saved by Flavio Givia, an Italian steamer. The vessel later broke up. I have read that such grounding took place on Jun. 17, 1906, & that the vessel had been en route from Canea (Chania, Crete) to Tripoli, Libya. Can you provide more data and perhaps an image?

28 Norval
1431 became 1427/1503 (N/G) tons
Hull 427


An iron, fully rigged 'half-poop' ship. Per 1 (An extensive account of the 1882 Norval fire ex 2), 3 ('', data), 4 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). The webmaster has a number of editions of Lloyd's Registers, thru 1882/83, ex Google Books, available (see left). 243.0 ft. long (74.07 metres) perpendicular to perpendicular, signal letters WSGT. Built for Baine & Johnston of Greenock for trade to the East Indies. The 1876/77 edition of Lloyd's Register shows the vessel ownership as being R. Grieve. That does not mean that the vessel had been sold, Grieve being a nominee of Baine & Johnston. The Mercantile Navy Lists ('MNL') of 1875 & 1876 both refer to Jas. J. Grieve, of Greenock. The Baine & Johnston effective ownership would seem to have been brief - the 1878/79 edition shows the then owner to be 'T. O. Hunter & Hendry', of Greenock. Per LR, no later ownership changes. However, MNL of 1878 lists Thomas O. Hunter, of Greenock, as the vessel's then owner while MNLs of 1879, 1880 & 1882 all list William H. Hunter, again of Greenock. David Roberts advises (thanks David!) that the ship was dismasted in the Indian Ocean on her first voyage, to Bombay, India, with a cargo of coal. She made for Mauritius under jury-rig where she was re-fitted, loaded with sugar & returned to Britain. The second voyage was to Calcutta & back (also India), & the third to Port Chalmers, New Zealand, leaving Gravesend on May 2, 1876, loaded with barrels of gunpowder & paraffin oil, reaching port in early August. David also advises that his great great grandfather James Limbrick, later a tug captain, was an ordinary seaman aboard Norval on a voyage ex London that arrived at Sydney, Australia, in Mar. 1880. Miramar advises that the vessel suffered a fire on Mar. 4, 1882 at  13.30N/126W, in the Pacific Ocean, 1700/1800 miles W. of the coast of Guatemala, a bit N. of the Equator. I now learn that the ship left Hull on Oct. 26, 1881 bound for San Francisco, U.S.A., with a cargo of 1865 tons of 'Wheldale Hartley' steam coal, under the command of George Halliday, with a total complement of 29. The ship rounded Cape Horn & sailed northwards. On Feb. 28, 1882, when at 8N/115.4W, a smoky steam began issuing from the fore-hatch. Extensive efforts were made to extinguish the fire - water was pumped into the holds for 2 days or more resulting in 6 ft. of water in the holds. It was thought that such efforts had been successful in extinguishing the fire. However on Mar. 3, 1882, a giant explosion occurred, an explosion which caused great damage to the ship & some modest crew injuries but no loss of life. Two 26 ft. lifeboats were put into the water. Soon the mainmast went over the side, the mizzen mast followed & the ship became enveloped in flames. Where was the ship? W. of 10.34N/117.33W it would seem. The crew set sail for the Sandwich Islands, i.e. the Hawaiian Islands, in 4 boats, The lifeboats were commanded by Captain Halliday & First Mate Frank Anderson, respectively, while the 2nd mate & the boatswain commanded  the two smaller boats. After a journey of 2,000 miles & 20 days, the Captain & 20 of the crew arrived safely at Honolulu, aboard steamer Likelike which had picked them up near Mahukona on the NW tip of the Big Island of Hawaii. Anderson & 7 crew members did not arrive at Honolulu, at least by the time of the extensive article referenced above. David Roberts believes, in fact, that they never did arrive. The names of all crew members are at 1. The cause of the fire? It would seem that the spontaneous combustion of the ship's cargo may have been caused by the coal being loaded in a damp condition. Not a rare occurrence, it would seem. Can you provide more data & perhaps an image? #1906

29   Sleipner
543/854 (N/G) tons later 623/916, 626/987, 723/986 (in 1887/88) & later again 566/933 tons
Hull 425

An iron steamship which was launched in Aug. 1873. Per 1 ('', data & wreck), 2 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). The vessel is Lloyd's Register ('LR') listed from 1873/74 thru 1893/94 at least & also in 1897/98. And presumably some intervening years. Sleipner? A fine name for a ship - in Norse mythology 'Sleipner' was warrior God Odin's (or Oden's) horse, swift, gray, muscular, able to fly & equipped, I read, with eight rather than four legs.
210.1 ft. (64.04 metres) long perpendicular to perpendicular, later 214.4 ft., signal letters HLCS, 100 HP engines by North Eastern Marine Engineering Co. Ltd. of Sunderland. The vessel may well have been rebuilt in or about 1887/88. In LR of that year, the vessel's length is reported at 214.4 ft. & her engines of the same manufacturer at 110 HP. Just maybe in error, LR of 1897/98 records her engines at 96 HP only.
The vessel's first owner, thru 1885/86, was, per LR, 'Swedish Steam Navigation Co.' of Gothenburg, Sweden. With 'L. Pal'nder', G. Gadda, V. Carlson, & Jansson serving as the vessel's captains. A WWW search for such owner name produces truly nothing at all. Miramar rather refers to 'Sverige Angbatsbolag', presumably such name in Swedish, however '' rather refers to her initial owner being 'Oxelösunds RederiAktiebolag - Percy Tham - RederiAktiebolag Sverige' of Stockholm, Sweden. Both such sites also refer to the period of such ownership ending in 1876 rather than in 1886. LR of 1886/87 reports SS Co. "Svithiod" as the vessel's new owner & in or about 1892/93 they modified such name to read 'Angfartygs Aktieb "Svithiod". Such company was founded, I read, in 1870 by a Gothenburg wholesaler & fleet owner named August Carlson - A. Carlson is listed as the vessel's manager in LR of 1897/98. Jansson, per LR, served as the vessel's captain thru 1890/91 then Bruhn, C. J. Jansson, & finally A. G. Wessberg, who was her captain when she was lost in 1897.
A few operational matters. It is clear that the vessel frequently carried Welsh coal to Gothenburg, generally ex Prince of Wales Dock at Swansea, returning to Liverpool likely with cargoes of timber. In Apl. 1885, the vessel was towed into Liverpool with her engines disabled. In mid Jul. 1885, the vessel was in modest collision in the Mersey River with City of Berlin. In Dec. 1885, the vessel, while docking at Liverpool struck rocks outside Garston Dock. In Mar. 1894, the vessel arrived at Gothenburg ex Blyth, with hull damage the result of going ashore. The place she went ashore is not stated. 
On Nov. 6, 1897, Sleipner, Wessberg in command, arrived at Prince of Wales Dock, Swansea, ex Liverpool in ballast. 3 days later, the vessel left Swansea for Gothenburg with a cargo of coal, though I have also read tinplate also. On Nov. 13, 1897, the vessel was wrecked at Lemvig (NW coast of Denmark). With, I read, no loss of life. I cannot tell you about the circumstances of her loss. Can you provide more detail re such loss or otherwise add to or correct the above text. An image? #2069

30 Baron Aberdare
1630/1708 (N/G) tons
later 1604/1679 & 1567/1695 tons
Hull 429




A 3 masted fully rigged iron ship, later a barque, which was launched in Aug. 1874 & first registered on Oct. 19, 1874 (scroll to #67944). Per 1 (Wikipedia, Baron Aberdare), 2 (image), 3 (extensive description of Baron Aberdare, half-way down page), 4 (source of data at link 3), 5 (Norwegian page, data, Akershus), 6 & 7 (data re arrival of Baron Aberdare at Auckland, NZ, on Mar. 19, 1875), 8 (half-model, Baron Aberdare), 9 (1883 capsized image, do click on full screen), 10 (same image, click at top right to see in giant size), 11 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). 259.0 ft. long (78.94 metres) perpendicular to perpendicular, signal letters NPBR, later QDWF & HFGV. So far as the webmaster can see, the vessel was Lloyd's Register ('LR') listed from 1874/75 thru 1899/1900 & probably in later editions also. You can see some of those LR entries at left. Built for J. McCunn, correctly James MacCunn, of Greenock, Scotland, as per many editions of The Mercantile Navy List from 1875 thru 1885 including that of 1880. 'J. McCunn & Co.' per LRs of 1876/77 thru 1883/84 at least, always registered at Greenock. Rosemary Wilson advises (thanks Rosemary!) that the company was founded by John MacCunn (1803/1873) & later run by John MacCunn's son James. Known as Baronial Line. During the period of 'MacCunn' ownership, R. (Richard) Edmonds is listed as her captain thru 1876/77 at least, 'Blomfield' from 1878/79 thru 1881 or thereabouts. Her captain thereafter thru 1884 seems to have been W. Parkes, but LR has 3 variations of his name.
At an unknown date in 1885, the vessel was sold to 'Reck & Boyes' (per Log-Chips), certainly to 'Boyes & Ruyter', of Bremen, Germany, & renamed Katharine (not Katherine). With B. (Bernard) Spille her captain. It was sold again, in Mar. 1896, to, per LR, 'C. Zernichow & O. Gotaas' ('Zerichow'), of Kristiania (Oslo), Norway, & renamed Akershus. Was re-rigged as a barque. Link 5 indicates that 'A/S Akershus' was the owner with Zerichow the managers. A. Marcussen, maybe A. E. Marcussen, was the vessel's captain, I read, from 1896 thru 1899, then A. Agerholt or Agerholdt thru 1901. Akershus? An Oslo medieval fortress, a tourist attraction today, built commencing in about 1299, to protect the capital & the kings of Norway.
Some operational events. i) On Dec. 8, 1874 the vessel left Gravesend, London, under the command of Captain Edmonds, for Auckland, New Zealand ('NZ') via Plymouth on her first commercial voyage. With 164 immigrants, 15 or so cabin passengers & about 1,800 tons of general cargo. Which cargo included railway rolling stock including 5 1st & 2nd class railway carriages. And also a lifeboat, valued at £450, built by Forest & Son of London, for use at the NZ port of Napier. On Mar. 19, 1875 the vessel safely arrived at Auckland 95 or 96 days out of Plymouth, went on to Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia on Apl. 18 or 20, 1875 (arr. May 2, dep. Jul. 10, 1875) where she loaded 2200 tons of New Lambton coal for San Francisco (arrived on Nov. 4, 1875). ii) On Dec. 2, 1878 the vessel left London for Melbourne, Australia, with a general cargo & 14 passengers, under the command of Harry Bloomfield (maybe Blomfield or Bromfield), arriving there on Feb. 19, 1878, 74 days out from the Lizard. On Apl. 5, 1878, the vessel went on to Calcutta, in ballast. iii) The vessel traded from Greenock to San Francisco in 1881. iv) In Dec. 1883 (A & B) the vessel was in the London docks. The dock master moved the ship to moorings from which the vessel broke loose & collided with other vessels, during an extreme storm/hurricane that effected most of the U.K. She ended up, on Dec. 14, 1883, capsized on her side in the entrance between the Royal Albert & Royal Victoria Docks, London. A dramatic scene indeed (image at left). Her masts & rigging had to be cut away before she could be raised. All traffic in the area had to be stopped for a week as a result. Her 'owners claimed in full from the dock company,' ('London & St. Katharine Docks Co.) 'because ship was moved berth by the dockmaster without consent of the master who claimed the vessel was not sufficiently stiffened.' The vessel's owners were successful in their claim & awarded the sum of £7,500 as damages. The vessel was raised & repaired at Victoria Graving Dock. Then owned by 'J. MacCunn & Co.' of Greenock & said to have been registered at Glasgow. v) On Jul. 27, 1885, the vessel now named Katharine & under charter to the Shaw, Savill & Albion Steamship Co., arrived at Auckland, 99 days out of London. With Captain Bernard Spille in command, about 20 passengers & with a full general cargo. On Sep. 11, 1885 it was cleared for departure to Chittagong (then Burmah now Bangladesh).
On Jan. 8, 1901, the vessel was stranded & wrecked at Sunbawa (or Sourabaya) Island, Sapel Strait, Indonesia, on a passage from Philadelphia, U.S.A., to Yokohama, Japan, with 'case oil' (kerosene contained in 5-gallon tin cans packed by twos in wooden cases). The crew were all saved. Can you tell us more?


Tony Frost advises me (thanks!) that Wear Concrete Building Co., Ltd. ("Wear Concrete"), a subsidiary company of 'Swan Hunter, & Wigham Richardson, Ltd.' ("Swan Hunter") was, during WW1, commissioned to built 12 concrete tugs for the British Admiralty. At a time of steel shortage. Beside what was, for a few years, the Sunderland facility of Swan Hunter. Wear Concrete operated for a very short period & built only 3 concrete tugs, all built in 1919. Specifically Cretehawser, Creterope & Cretecable, all concrete hulled tugs of 262 tons.

1 Cretehawser
262 tons



A concrete hulled tug. Per 1 (extensive data), 2 (aerial image of hulk), 3 (data with a fine large image), 4 (data, early image), 5 (data & image), 6 (night image of hulk), 7 ('plimsollshipdata. org', Lloyd's Register data, 1931/32 thru 1935/36), 8 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). 38.1 or 38.25 metres long, signal letters JWSR. Built for the Shipping Controller, of London. And intended to tow barges loaded with iron-ore from northern Spain to foundries in Britain. In 1921, the vessel was transferred to the Board of Trade, London. In 1922, the vessel was sold to Crete Shipping Co. Ltd., of London, owned by Stelp & Leighton Ltd. perhaps, who also were the managers, & used by them to tow barges laden with coal to Continental destinations. The vessel soon became uneconomical to operate & it was mothballed on the River Wear. I have read that the vessel served in the Sunderland docks. Yes? In 1935, the vessel became owned by Samuel Levy of South Shields, who sold it, it would seem, to South Stockton Shipbuilding Co. Ltd., of Stockton, for scrap. Lloyd's Register, of 1935/36 states that the vessel was broken up. In 1936, the hull of the gutted & dismantled vessel was beached in the River Wear intended for use as an emergency breakwater. The vessel was later damaged by bombing in WW2, towed upriver but sank en route. It was, I read, deliberately beached in 1942, on the S. bank of the river near Claxheugh Rock. This listing advised that that is opposite to it's building berth on the N. bank beside the then Wearmouth Colliery. But I now think that data is incorrect & that Claxheugh Rock (image) is rather up-river at South Hylton. Maybe 'Wearmouth Colliery' should have read 'Hylton Colliery'? Can you tell us anything more?


This listing should not be confused with the 'Austin' facility, which went, for many many years, by the name of 'Wear Dockyard'. The name came to the webmaster's attention through an eBay listing, now long gone, for a battery operated clock with a most distinctive face - a face that features a copper engraving of a ship called Harbury, which ship has absolutely nothing practical to do with 'Wear Dockyard Ltd.' since Harbury was built by 'Austin' back in 1896 & was sunk in 1943.

Have I confused you sufficiently?

I am advised that 'Wear Dockyard Ltd.' was a ship repair facility located at South Dock, between where Greenwell's used to be & the entrance to South Dock. The business was run by Albert le Blonde, for many years a sea going engineer, who in the 1970s, against all odds, started up a ship repair business, leasing a small dry dock owned by the River Wear Commissioners. A dry dock that surely had been operated by Greenwell's for many years. The 'Albert le Blonde' business was in operation for 20/30 years & it expanded into Tyneside for a while. Until about year 2000, when Albert retired. A correspondent has described his business as small (which it probably was) but described Albert, none-the-less, as one of the leading lights in the ship repair business on both rivers for a great many years. He used to live at Westoe Village, South Shields, I am advised, but has since moved away from the area.

We do not have an image of Albert. But we do have an image of his clock. At left.
It was a gift item that Albert gave to his clients, produced in small quantities accordingly. And doubtless, Harbury was used because of the 'Wear Dockyard' name by which 'Austin' had been known. With 'Wear Dockyard Ltd' inscribed under the most attractive original copper engraving of Harbury.

As you can next see.


The name of 'Wood' as a Sunderland shipbuilder, is new to the webmaster. The reference to the name comes from the 1869/70 edition of 'Lloyd's Register' - re a vessel long in these pages as being Sunderland built - but of builder unknown. But now known to have been built by 'Wood'. Can anybody help with the name? Which is not an easy WWW search term for obvious reasons. There was, it would seem, a 'Thomas Henry Woods', a timber merchant, shipbuilder & ship repairer, of Strand Slipway, Monkwearmouth, in 1858, as is confirmed by the following advertisement from the Post Office Directory of Cumberland (presumably found within this 1858 volume), published by Kelly & Co. of London. The name would seem to have been shortened by Lloyd's from 'Woods' to 'Wood', for a number of years, when there was ample space in the register column for the extra letter in the name.

Thomas Henry Woods was in partnership with Alfred Simey, thru 1865 when the partnership ended, as you can read here - 'The London Gazette dated Dec. 05, 1865 gave Notice of the dissolution by mutual consent of Alfred's partnership with his brother-in-law, Thomas Henry Woods, in the shipbuilding and ship repairing business at Strand Slipway, Monkwearmouth Shore.'

Perhaps, as time passes, more data will emerge. In the meantime, I have moved to this location, Sjomanden, a vessel built at Sunderland, in 1866, by 'Wood'.

1 Sjomanden
349 tons

A 3-masted barque. Per 1 & 2 (Norwegian 'pdf', p#34, Sjomanden), 3 (image). Most of what I can tell you about the vessel is from a long expired eBay item. Also data contained in Lloyd's Register editions thru 1880/81. The webmaster has a few such editions after that date but Sjomanden seems not to be mentioned - possibly because of a change of vessel name? 117 ft. 8 in. long. Built for Monsen & Co. of Stavanger, Norway. Owned from 1868 by 'Monsen', which would seem to mean 'M. G. and E. S. Monsen', of Stavanger. The first 2 links refer, I believe, to the vessel's being involved, in 1873, in the guano trade from the W. coast of S. America, specifically from Peru. Such trade would seem to have typically been outbound with coal, returning to Europe with guano for use as a fertilizer. It would seem that the vessel was sold in 1892. A number of later owners but still Norwegian owned, it would appear. Out of register in about 1908. Now 'Monsen', owned a later vessel of the same name, built in 1913. Owned by 'D/S Sjomanden (Monsen)', of Stavanger, per Miramar. Which may or may not relate in some way. WWW data about the 1867 vessel is modest. I surely need help!

WORTHY GEORGE of Southwick

At this moment, the webmaster has no knowledge about George Worthy a shipbuilder based at Southwick. Hopefully in the future such situation will be rectified.

This section has been added to include one vessel that George Worthy built, i.e. Sultan built in 1853. I have read that George Worthy built ships from 1836 thru 1857 - maybe 32 vessels in total.

1   Sultan
400/453, later 440 tons


A barque. The launch of the vessel on Oct. 4, 1853 for Lawson of South Shields. Of an extreme length of 116 ft, intended for the East India trade. The vessel is Lloyd's Register ('LR') listed from 1854/55 thru 1865/66. Was always registered at Shields (though the Mercantile Navy List of 1864 lists South Shields) & owned by Lawson of Shields. Turnbull's Register of 1856 lists her then owner as being H. Lawson, jun. of South Shields which owner name Christie's Shipping Register of 1858 clarifies as meaning Henry Lawson. The vessel became of 440 tons in 1860/61. 115.0 ft. long. LR of 1865/66 notes that the vessel had been 'Wrecked'. The circumstances of the vessel's loss are not yet to hand, however a site visitor has advised me that he has read elsewhere that the vessel sank on Mar. 17, 1866 at Alexandria, Egypt, after having arrived there from Troon, South Ayrshire, Scotland. It was probably lost without any loss of life. Can you tell us about the circumstances of her loss, or otherwise add anything? #1928.


As I have indicated re Columbine below, the builder names above are added to the site as a result of data received from Rod Gain (thank you Rod!). Who advises that a ledger at the Tyne & Wear Archives in Newcastle contains a page for 'Wreathly' of, per Rod, just downriver from North Hylton. We need your help to learn if 'Wreathly', indeed the above three names, are correct. And, if not, what is, in fact, correct.

That said, my inclination, having seen the Lloyd's Register entries that I have available re Columbine (below), is that the Archives data must be incorrect. An early typo perhaps? Lloyd's lists the builder of Columbine as 'Wheatly' no less than 7 times & for the first listing, that of 1869/70, they list 'Wheatl'y' i.e. with the apostrophe. I can find no WWW references for 'Wreathly' but there are a few references to Lawrence Wheatley, who built wooden ships on the north bank of the Wear at North Hylton - and would seem to have gone bankrupt in 1869. Per 1 (near page bottom, Lawrence Wheatley re 1863 thru 1869), 2 (shipbuilder reference), 3 (bankruptcy, 1869), 4 (maybe unrelated, a Lawrence Wheatley born in 1826, in panel 9, & indeed many others named Wheatley). And there are a few more references to Lawrence Wheatley also. Wheatley Blanch & Chilton Sidgwick? Here 1.

Your input would be welcomed.

1 Columbine
56 (later 78) tons


A 2 masted wooden schooner. Per 1 (1876 aground). 65 ft. 4 in. long, later 81 ft. 1 in. Per the Lloyd's Registers I have available, (at left), the vessel was built for Storey & Co. of Sunderland, for the coastal trade. By 1873/74 the vessel was owned by W. L. Gammie ('Gammie'), her port of registration being Banff, Moray, Scotland. On the night of May 23, 1876, the vessel, then said to be of Cullen (Moray, NE Scotland), en route from Methil (Firth of Forth) to Port Gordon or Portgordon (also Moray) with a cargo of coal, ran aground 'at the back of Port Gordon'. Part of the cargo & materials were saved & the vessel was considered likely to be a total loss. But clearly not! In the 1878/79 register, the vessel must have been rebuilt, in 1877, & her length & tonnage was increased to 81 ft. 1 in. & 78 tons respectively - then owned by 'A. (Alexander) Scott' of Byres, Banffshire, & registered at Banff. And still at that port in 1887/88 when J. (James) Storm, of Findhorn, Moray, became the owner. The vessel is not listed in the 1889/90 Lloyd's Register, but what happened to her & when is unknown to the webmaster. This listing comes about as a result of the family research data of Rod Gair. Who advises i) that the vessel was built at Wreathly's yard at North Hylton & ii) that Charles Gair of Invergordon, Scotland, Rod's great grandfather, was her Captain in 1871 & later a part owner of the vessel & iii) Gammie was of Aberdeen, Scotland. Ian Whittaker has advised (thanks Ian!) that the vessel was indeed rebuilt after the 1876 stranding. And that on Nov. 21, 1898, the vessel, under the command of Captain Storm, was stranded 'at the back of East Pier, Banff.' Can you add anything additional?

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