THE SUNDERLAND SITE - PAGE 095
SHIPBUILDERS - PAGE 29
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On this page ... John Watson, Wear Concrete, Wear Dockyard, William Pile, City of Adelaide, T. H. Woods, Wheatley/Wreatley
Copyright? (15 + 1 + 29 + 1 + 1 = 47) Test.
Corrections in any of the material which follows, however tiny, would be most welcome. And additions, of course!
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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 this page, Terry (Whalebone?) advises that the W. Watson yard only built 40 ships from 1865 to 1874. Thanks Terry! 25 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 see in that regard that Stan Mapstone advises 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. (29)
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'! The 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'?
472/447, later 398 tons
A wooden barque. Built by a shipbuilder named Watson, I now learn (Lloyd's Register from 1861/62). John Watson, of Pallion. Per 1 (1st listed of 2), 2 (David Bruce, para 3), 3 (1853 voyage to Adelaide). The vessel was initially owned by Mounsey of Newcastle for service from London to Australia. David Watts advises that Marwood's Directory of 1854/55 lists Edward Mounsey of Newcastle, as the vessel's then owner. With David Bruce the vessel's captain. The vessel left London on Aug. 29, 1853 for Adelaide, South Australia, where she arrived on Dec. 6, 1853 with 25/30 passengers & a varied cargo. She left for London on or about Feb. 5, 1853 with about 50 passengers. A similar voyage to Adelaide in 1854/55 and another in the following year. She arrived again at Adelaide on Nov. 5, 1856 after a tedious voyage with poor winds all the way, carrying a large cargo of gunpowder which had to be unloaded outside the harbour. Turnbull's Register of 1856 advises that the vessel was then owned by E. (Edward) Mounsey of Newcastle, J. Riley & P. Tindall, both of London, & D. Bruce, of Middlesex. Christie's Shipping Register of 1858 lists just A. Riley & D. Bruce as her then owners. David Bruce was her Captain for her first 11 years until he assumed command of City of Adelaide. Her final voyage under Captain Bruce left Adelaide for London on Jan. 9, 1864 with 1429 bales of wool and a full complement of passengers. The vessel would seem to have later served Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania) for many years - she appears to be last recorded in Lloyd's Register in 1873/74. Have not spotted what happened to her. Can you possibly provide more data?
2 City of Halifax
later 681/462 tons
Hull # unknown
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. 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
3 Lady Turner
A wooden barque, likely of 3 masts. Per 1 (burnt at sea in 1877, at column bottom), 2 (House of Commons papers, volume 66). 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 & 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 ship, owned by Balkwill & valued at about £3,500, had burned at sea, while en route from Melbourne, Australia to Colombo, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka). 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. I learn that the loss actually occurred on Mar. 9, 1877, & that the vessel, when lost, was owned by E. (probably Edward) Jarvis ('Jarvis'), of Kingsbridge, Devon (near Salcombe). I presume that Balkwill must have sold the vessel to Jarvis late in 1876 or very early in 1877. It would be good, in that regard, to know if the vessel was listed in the 1877/78 Lloyd's register, and if so, who was recorded as the owner. There is very little data WWW available about the vessel. Can you provide any additional data, and/or correct the above?
1393 (or 1390) tons
An iron steamer. Per 1 (Columbia), 2 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). I cannot see that the vessel was listed in Lloyd's Register. Miramar advise that the vessel was built for G. Swainston, of Sunderland. The vessel was sold in 1874 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. Can you help any?
An iron, single screw steamer. Per 1 (data, Nina), 2 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). 200.5 ft. long, 61.1 metres perpendicular to perpendicular, signal letters JDTQ. Owned by C. R. Fenwick or Fenwick & Co. of London thru 1890 & then sold to 'H. Gilliat', also of London. In 1891, 'Wm. France & Co. Ltd.', of London, became the vessel's owners. Miramar advise that on Aug. 27, 1894 the vessel was in collision with City of Brussels (which one, I wonder?), in the River Thames at Lower Hope. And that Nina was then broken up. That's all I have. Can you add anything?
A cargo ship, maybe a collier. Per 1 (data), 2 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). Speed of 8 knots. Most limited WWW data available. On Aug. 31, 1904, when owned by Lambton Collieries Ltd., of Sunderland, & en route from Aberdeen to Sunderland, was in collision with Dagne, a Norwegian steamer. And was lost. Loss of life? That's all I (& Ron) have. Can you help any?
878 (later 941) tons
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. Can you add anything?
914 (or 956) tons
A cargo ship. Per 1 [Vreede (1)], 2 (Stamfordham, but the correct one? '4 August 1916'), 3 (Sunniside), 4 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). Built for 'Lumsden, Byers & Co.', of Sunderland. Must have been later sold (1895 it would seem) to 'Standard Steam Shipping Co.' ('Standard') (Speeding, Marshall & Co. manager?), also of Sunderland. Since in 1900 vessel was acquired from Standard by 'Hollandsche Stoomboot Maatschappij', of Amsterdam & renamed Vreede. On Jun. 26, 1901, was in collision with Stamfordham in the North Sea & foundered. (A vessel named Stamfordham, of 921 tons, built 1898, was later captured by a submarine, on Aug. 4, 1916, & sunk by gunfire, 8 miles S from Longstone. The correct one? There was another built in 1878, I see.) A further little mystery. 3 seems to reference the vessel being additionally owned by 'Nicholson R. T.' (of Sunderland it would appear), & by 'Short J. Y.', & says became a British vessel in each of 1871, 1875, 1894 & 1895. Can you help any?
1003 (or 1049) tons
A steamship. Per 1 (Pachino), 2 (Florio Line), 3 (NGI), 4 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). 233.4 ft. long, 2 masts, 1 funnel. 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. In 1910, the vessel was transferred to 'Societa Nationale del Servizi Marittimi'. And sold in 1913 - to whom, I wonder? And sold again in 1914 & renamed Eugenia Segre. And sold yet again, in 1915, & renamed Lido G. The purchasers' names are not known to webmaster. But the final owner may well be 'N. Gavagnin'. The vessel was sunk, in Oct. 1917 (the exact date?), 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 invited to contact the vendor re its availability, but that was over 2 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?
1782 (or 1768) tons
A steamship. Per 1 (Florio Line, Segesta), 2 (NGI), 3 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). Built for Trinacria Steamship Company ('Trinacria Societa di Nav. a Vapeur' but the name may be 'Triancria' - but I think not), of Palermo, Italy. On Oct. 24, 1876, 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, taken over by 'Navigazione Generale Italiana', 'NGI', which was formed, in that year, by the amalgamation of Florio Line & R. Rubattino of Genoa. On Dec. 9, 1906 collided with Lula (Greek vessel maybe owned by J. Diakakis) at Leghorn (Livorno, Tuscany, Italy) & scrapped. Can you add anything?
An iron steamship. 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). Built for 'Collings & Co.', of London. 62.7 metres long, perpendicular to perpendicular, 205 ft. 6 in. 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. Approaching the straits of Gibraltar, the vessel safely passed Ceuta (a tiny Spanish city & territory, 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'. 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 Ceuta. The vessel was attended to by HMS Coquette from Gibraltar & a tug boat, to no avail. 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 not recorded on the chart carried by Susan. The certificate of competency was returned to Captain Masters. Miramar describe the wreck location as being '1.5nm ExS half S Cape Leona, W Ceuta'. Can you add anything?
An iron 3-masted clipper. Per 1 (Ballochmyle, last date ref. 1896), 2 (brief ref.), 3 (image), 4 & 5 (1874, 502 passengers), 6 (ref.), 7 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). 245 ft. (about 80 metres) long, signal letters MLRT later HBKL, crew of 19. The webmaster has a number of editions of Lloyd's Registers, thru 1889/90, ex Google Books, available to him (see left). Engaged in New Zealand trade, under charter to New Zealand Shipping Company. An immigrant ship. Built for McKeelar & McKeelar & Co., of Greenock, Scotland. 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, under the command of Captain Lunden, that commenced Feb. 25, 1874 & arrived at Lyttelton on Jun. 1, 1874. When leaving Lyttelton, Ballochmyle was towed out to sea 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. The Captain was carried on to Dunedin, where the steamer was bound, but he died before reaching port. That seems, however, to be the only passenger voyage to NZ? The vessel was sold, in 1876, to R. Cuthbert & Co. ('Cuthbert'), also of Greenock. The vessel was sold again, in 1880 or 1881, to D. Bruce & Co, of Dundee, Scotland, which ref. shows in the 1882/83 edition of Lloyd's, at left. The vessel then reverted to Cuthbert ownership & then back to D. Bruce & Co. It would seem that they were likely related? In 1894 or 1895 the vessel was sold/transferred to Dundee Clipper Line Ltd., (David Bruce the owner), also of Dundee. Best passage was, I also read, Sharpness to Melbourne, Australia, in 77 days. The year? The vessel was sold, in 1897, to B. Hansen of Stavanger, Norway, & renamed Hebe. It would seem, as György Ákos draws to my attention, that W. G. London was the vessel's captain for a quite amazing number of years. The vessel was sold in 1901 to F. (Francesco) G. Leva ('Leva'), of Austria, & renamed Alba. 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 in 1908. The 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. Can you add anything? Your contribution would be most welcome.
1572 (or 1499 or 1558) tons
A passenger/cargo steamship. Per 1 (Florio Line, Drepano), 2 (NGI), 3 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). Built for 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. In 1906, Drepano was wrecked at Cyrenaica, eastern coastal region of Libya. Can you provide more data and perhaps an image?
1431 became 1427 tons
An iron, fully rigged 'half-poop' ship. Per 1 (An extensive account of the 1882 Norval fire ex 2), 3 ('wrecksite.eu', 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 perpendicular to perpendicular (74.1 metres), 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 changing to R. Grieve (?spelling). Their ownership would seem to be brief - the 1878/79 edition shows the then owner to be 'T. O. Hunter & Hendry', of Greenock. No later ownership changes. 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
15 Baron Aberdare
1708 (or 1630) tons
A 3 masted fully rigged iron immigrant ship. Per 1 (Wikipedia, Baron Aberdare), 2 (1883 capsized image), 3 (same image, do click at top right to see in giant size), 4 (image at anchor), 5 (extensive data paragraph re Baron Aberdare, half-way down page), 6 (Norwegian page, data, Akershus), 7, 8 & 9 (data re arrival of Baron Aberdare at Auckland, NZ, on Mar. 19, 1875), 10 (half-model, Baron Aberdare), 11 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). 259.0 ft. long, 78.9 metres long perpendicular to perpendicular, signal letters NPBR & HFGV. The webmaster has a number of editions of Lloyd's Registers, thru 1889/90, ex Google Books, available to him (see left). Built for McCunn, which is correctly I think 'MacCunn' of Greenock, Scotland. A voyage from London to Auckland, New Zealand, in 1874/75, with immigrants & cargo. The first image, at left, is of the vessel on its side, capsized during a gale in the entrance between the Royal Albert & Royal Victoria Docks, London, on Dec. 14, 1883. The ship broke loose from her moorings, sweeping away hydraulic cranes and all.... Her masts and rigging had to be cut away before she could be raised. It stopped all traffic in the area for a week, I read. Then owned by 'J. MacCunn & Co.' of Greenock & registered at Glasgow. The 'J' means James. Rosemary Wilson advises (thanks Rosemary!) that the company was founded by John MacCunn (1803/1873) & later run by John MacCunn's son James. 'Owners claimed in full from the dock company, because ship was moved berth by the dockmaster without consent of the master who claimed the vessel was not sufficiently stiffened.' The vessel was raised & repaired at Victoria Graving Dock. In 1885, the vessel was sold to 'Reck & Boyes' & then sold or transferred to 'Boyes & Reuter', of Bremen, Germany, & renamed Katharine (confirmed by Lloyd's registry data). It was sold again, in 1896, to 'C. Zernichow & O. Gotaas' ('Zerichow'), of Kristiania, Norway, & renamed Akershus. However link 7 seems to indicate that 'A/S Akershus' was the owner with Zerichow the managers. On Jan. 8, 1901, the vessel was stranded & wrecked at Sunbawa 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). It is strange, however, that the vessel would seem to still have been listed in the 1906 edition of 'Record of American & Foreign Shipping', per a Google data 'snippet'. Can you tell us more? image
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.
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.
First a few images. Hover your mouse over each thumbnail to read the subject matter.
In time, it may very well be that we have multiple sections re William Pile. Why? Because I have seen references to his (or the Pile family) being in business as a) William Pile, b) William Pile, Hay & Co., c) Pile Hay & Co., d) William Pile, Jr., e) W. Pile & Co. f) Pile Spence & Company (of West Hartlepool, it would seem) and there was a John Pile also. There surely are more name variations.
William Pile (1823-1873), the man? The City of Sunderland advises us that he was described as 'the greatest ship designer of his age'. A talented draughtsman, he started his own company, I read, in 1846, and took over the family yard in 1848. So the true 'Pile' history commences rather before 1846. He was renowned for his tea clippers and 'built more than 100 ships in wood and almost as many in iron'.
I was aware that there is a marble bust of William Pile (by William Borrowdale) on display at the Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens. Now, thanks to David Crosby, I can provide, at left, a fine image indeed of that bust. A larger version is here. The following is the text of the descriptive words that accompany the bust.
'William Pile (1823-1873), born into a Sunderland shipbuilding family, established his own yard in 1848 and for 25 years was one of the North East's leading shipbuilders. In the 1850s he built a notable series of tea-clippers, and in 1861 he launched his first iron ship. This bust, which also shows one of Pile's steam vessels, was subscribed for by his friends, and placed in the entrance hall of the Museum and Library building when it opened in 1879.'
An image of an oil painting in the 'Imagine' collection of Tyne and Wear Museums, is visible here and you can even zoom in on sections of the painting, which is entitled 'William Pile's Shipyard, North Sands, about 1830' and would appear to be by an unknown artist. I presume that William Pile was the son of William Pile! An oil on canvas almost 4 feet wide (112.4 x 76.8 cm). The descriptive words there are as follows:
Small trading sailing ships are shown in various stages of construction at William Pile's yard on the north bank of the River Wear, towards the river mouth. This later became one of the best known of the many shipbuilding yards on the Wear. Horses are shown pulling timber ashore for use in the yard. Rafts of timber are being floated down the river. Another shipbuilding yard is visible near the river mouth in the distance. The view shows the river's appearance before Sunderland North Dock was built in 1837 near Pile's shipyard.
North Sands? The webmaster has never visited Sunderland and reading the name 'North Sands' and seeing the images next below, which surely look like a beach, he assumed that North Sands would have been located right on the North Sea. Not so, he learns. North Sands was located on the north bank of the River Wear about 1/2 mile from the mouth of the river. As you can read above, 'Sunderland North Dock' was built nearby in 1837. The 'Pile' yard was on a site now occupied, I understand, by the National Glass Centre. There was a wonderful page on the history of North Sands shipbuilding from 1823 through 1891. The page used to be available here (the website of 'www.thompsononename.org' now 'ghgraham.org') thanks to today's Michael Thompson. But that site/page seems now to be long gone. What we can now provide is this page, which summarises the North Sands history, & refers in its 'sources' to Michael Thompson having transcribed a November 1891 book: John Thompson, The Past and Present History of the North Sands Shipyards and Their Surroundings from 1823 To 1891, November 1891, Printer William Duncan, York Street, Sunderland. It would be good to be able to present the text from that volume on site.
I show you at left the image provided by the City of Sunderland, clearly the middle left portion of the very same work that is in the Tyne and Wear collection, (visible below & available here in a slightly larger size) but dated by the City as being c. 1850 - which date may prove to be in error as per the above text. It contains excellent detail!
I trust that the use of those two images on this non-profit and information site is in order.
William Pile (1823-1873), perhaps I might best refer to him in these pages as William Pile #2, was born on Oct. 10, 1823 at Monkwearmouth. He served as a shipwright at his father's Monkwearmouth yard & after completing his apprenticeship & obtaining practical experience he became foreman for Thomas Lightfoot, wooden shipbuilder of Hylton Dene. He later left Thomas Lightfoot & rejoined his father who had by then moved his business to Southwick, but then moved it back to Monkwearmouth. He acted as foreman for his father until at or about 1853 when he went into business for his own account. I have not read exactly where each of those businesses were located, (can you tell us?) but his own business must have been at North Sands as per the images above. In 1861 he 'converted his yard into a composite and iron yard'. In 1865 he started building his 'own engines and boilers and all machinery required for' the vessels that he built. He must have owned Bridge Dock, & when that land was needed for the proposed construction of the railway bridge (built in 1879), he purchased 12 acres of land, near the North Quay, from Sir H. Williamson intending to move his engine works there. It would seem that move never happened, however, since he died in 1873 at about 50 years of age. His shipbuilding yard was sold to pay his creditors. He died in London on Jun. 5, 1873 a few hours after being 'suddenly seized with contractions of the bowels'. He seemed to be in good health though he had complained to some friends that 'he did not feel altogether well'.
We thank David Crosby, of Sunderland for the above detail which originate from an announcement of William Pile's death in the 'Sunderland & Durham County Herald' of Jun. 6, 1873. That announcement described him as a benevolent man, who gave largely to the poor, & was much beloved by his workers. He left a wife & seven children & was buried in Monkwearmouth cemetery. 'He had not an enemy in the world' were the words that concluded the announcement - but he did, like us all, have creditors!
I was interested to read that George B. (Burton) Hunter (1845/1937) was for two years an apprentice at the Pile shipyard in or about 1860 - when he was 15 years of age. Many years later, he was the manager of the Pile shipyard when it was sold following William Pile's death in 1873. George Hunter lost his job, of course, but went on to great triumphs at 'Swan, Hunter, and Wigham Richardson, Ltd.' at Wallsend-on-Tyne. Most particularly with Mauretania, built for Cunard in 1907. In 1917 George Hunter became Sir George Hunter. You can read the 1935/36 article here.
I hope, in due course, that we may be able to include here details about William Pile #2's successes as a shipbuilder, the design innovations that he introduced & the famous vessels that he built. In that regard, 'Where Ships Are Born' (A, B, C) refers (at the 3rd of those links) to three famous tea clippers constructed by Pile: Kelso, Maitland & Undine, but with no data as to the year they were built. They are now all listed below (1861, 1865 & 1867). The 'Where Ships Are Born' interesting text re 'Pile' can be read here - so the text is searchable.
His father, also William Pile, herein William Pile #1, was a shipbuilder who had his yard at Monkwearmouth, then moved to Southwick & then moved back to Monkwearmouth. Perhaps, in the future, we will be able to provide more detail about him.
There was also a John Edward Pile, who was born on Mar. 4, 1886 & died about 1976. A grandson of William Pile #2, perhaps?
A listing of the vessels built by 'Pile' is advancing on site - on site page 148 - but is far from being complete. Miramar lists (highest hull number on page). It used to be that you could click on the links that follow & get to the relevant Miramar page. But no longer! The new procedure must be to go to Miramar (here) & log in (you must be registered to view any page). And once you are logged in, return to this page & all the following links should work for you:- 135, 163, 196, 224, 241. (134)
Names of just a few of the vessels constructed by William Pile of North Sands, Sunderland - until I can subdivide them by exact building company as may be appropriate. Added as I happen to spot references to them. In a table in build date sequence.
1 Lizzie Webber
280 & 213 (or 206) tons
A wooden snow, a type of brig. A passenger/cargo ship. Per 1 (image of a Fred Garling painting), 2 & 3 (Illustrated London News, 'ILN', print), 4 ('ILN', Aug. 14, 1852 text), 5 (Thomas S. Rowntree). Lots of WWW references to Lizzie Webber but there are, all said & done, very few facts about her. 5 states that Thomas S. (Stephenson) Rowntree ('Rowntree') of Sunderland along with John Webber commissioned the ship for the Australian coastal trade. Many references to the ship being the first to take emigrants from Sunderland to Australia, leaving Sunderland on Jul. 31, 1852, Rowntree in command, & arriving in Melbourne, Australia, on Dec. 4, 1852. A notable event with 30,000 people assembled to watch her departure with 75 emigrants. A passenger list re the voyage is here, while the ILN descriptive departure text can be read here (ex 'Trove'). The vessel made other voyages to Australia & passenger lists are WWW available. In late May 1853, leaving Sydney for Melbourne, the vessel was in collision with Augusta, a barque leaving for Adelaide. While the collision was minor, Augusta had to return to port to get her damage repaired. In Jul. 1853, the vessel was sold, by Rowntree, then of Balmain, New South Wales, for £3,150 to Henry Fisher, of 'Southern Cross Line' or 'Launceston Packet Line' of Sydney, Australia, & the vessel traded between Sydney & Launceston, Tasmania. The actual ownership of the vessel was apparently 50% each by Henry Fisher & his brother George Fisher, of Launceston. An Oct. 1857 voyage from Launceston to Sydney is detailed here. On Dec. 12, 1857, Henry bought his brother's 50% share in the vessel for £1,250, such transaction being later said, (relative to Henry Fisher's insolvency in 1859), to be at George Fisher's suggestion to facilitate the sale of the vessel to Singapore. The last reference I have spotted to the vessel is to its arriving on Aug. 30, 1862 at Labuan, presumably Labuan Island, East Malaysia, noted for its coal deposits. Lizzie Webber was involved in the coal trade there it would appear. Can you tell us what finally happened to the vessel?
2 Flying Dragon
A 3-masted barque. Per 1 ('pdf' p 13), 2 (towards bottom, 95% down), 3 (Jan. 1854 text ex Trove) 4 (Dec. 1854 text ex Trove), 5 (Feb. 1855 text ex Trove) 6 (Jul. 1855 text ex Trove). What would we do without 'Trove'! 190 ft. or 199 ft. long overall, on a keel 165 ft. long. The vessel was built, of East India teak, in 1853, at Monkwearmouth for Robert Smith of Manchester but registered at London. 2 states that the builder was John Pyle & that the 'Clipper Barque' was lost due to fire en route from Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) to London. But that data is, I believe, inaccurate. I think that John Pyle means John Pile, brother to the famous William Pile. I have seen a reference to the vessel being (later?) owned by Jardine, Matheson & Co. - can that be correct? Anyway, on Oct. 14, 1853, the ship left the Downs for Melbourne, Australia, & arrived there safely after a voyage of 76 days. The vessel then left Hobart, Tasmania, for England, via Bombay, India, in late Feb. 1854. On Jul. 31, 1854, while en route from Ceylon to London with a general cargo, the vessel caught fire at midnight when 200 miles off the Cape of Good Hope. The vessel ran into Simon's Bay, near Cape Town, South Africa, in Aug. 1854, 'burnt to the water's edge where she was scuttled'. It would seem that that was not the end. The vessel's hull was sold for £2,200, in Oct. 1854, to Messrs. H. & E. Suffert, presumably of Cape Town. 'She was a new vessel, and when the necessary repairs above deck are completed it is expected that she will repay her enterprising owners.' The repaired vessel, still named Flying Dragon, was later expected to put to sea on Jul. 24, 1855. But on Jul. 10, 1855, the vessel was consumed by a fire in which a youth, the son of Captain Caithness, the ship's captain, lost his life. A print of the vessel appeared in the Nov. 4, 1854 issue of Illustrated London News. Can you add to and/or correct the above. Another image?
3 Windsor Castle
1074 (later 1075) tons
A fully rigged ship. Per 1 (report of the 1884 Inquiry into the vessel's loss, 'pdf' available), 2 (1872 trip to Melbourne, Australia). 195.5 ft. long, signal letters LTVQ, a ‘comfortable passenger ship’ & 'a very fast little ship'. Maybe not the fastest. A data 'snippet' advises that Windsor Castle left Sydney, Australia, on Nov. 10, 1881 & on Jan. 5, 1882 was overtaken by Samuel Plimsoll, which left Sydney 10 days later, on Nov. 17, 1881. The vessel is not listed at Miramar. The webmaster has a number of editions of Lloyd's Register available to him ex 'Google' books, thru 1883/84 - see left. Built for R. Green, of London, (Blackwall shipbuilding yard, London, & major ship owners, 'Blackwall Line', 'Blackwall frigates'), later (1873/74), R. & H. Green, noted for their service on the London to India & China runs. Indeed, 'a favourite ship in the Bombay trade'. The vessel was 'made almost a new ship', in 1876, when she became of 1075 tons. In 1882, Richard Green died, his partnership had to be dissolved, & all ships had to be sold. In Jul. 1882, the vessel was sold for £3,000 (considered a bargain) to Elias Cox ('Cox'), of Bridport Harbour, Dorset, and others, Cox being the managing owner. Cox had the vessel thoroughly & extensively overhauled in Green's yard. The vessel was engaged by the Government for the transport of troops to Zanzibar, then chartered by the Admiralty to take marines to Monte Video & a man-of-war's relief crew to Sydney. On May 22, 1874, the vessel left Cochin, (now Kochi, Kerala State, SW India) for London, with a crew of 22 & a general cargo. I have not read the name of the Captain, however the Captain is recorded as C. D. Raymond, in the 1883/84 edition of Lloyd's register. On Jun. 27/28 1884, the vessel ran into a cyclone, & while sails were being changed to ease the ship, a heavy sea broke over the vessel carrying away 3rd officer Morant, whose loss was only discovered half an hour later. Several crew were injured, two lifeboats were smashed & there was other damage. The weather continued to be unsettled, & on Jul. 11, 1884, the Master determined to make for Algoa Bay (E. coast of S. Africa, about 425 miles E. of Cape of Good Hope). The vessel came in sight of the anchorage but could not enter it. They ran out to sea again & on Jul. 13, 1884, high seas carried away the rudder. Attempts were made to jury rig a replacement. The ship continued to struggle for many days - City of Benares, an unnamed Danish vessel & then Ophir all offered to take the crew off, the last on Jul. 25, 1884. Another gale was approaching. The one remaining lifeboat was eventually used, with great difficulty, to get the crew to Ophir in more than one trip. The chief officer of Ophir returned to Windsor Castle & gave his opinion that the ship should be abandoned. It was, in fact, abandoned, 30/40 miles off the E. coast of Africa, between Port Alfred & East London. A danger to passing vessels, the vessel was set on fire & was never seen again. Ophir landed the crew at St. Helena on Aug. 20, 1884. The vessel, considered to be worth £5,600 was under-insured, insured for £3,600 only. Most of the above data is derived from the most informative report of the Inquiry, which I encourage you to read. Nobody was held at blame for the vessel's loss. Do you have anything to add? Another image?
4 Alfred Hawley
A 3 masted wooden barque. Per 1 (data), 2 (data), 3 (painting by G. Dell (c. 1836/1888), 4 (vessel at Port Adelaide in 1894). 5 (coal hulk reference but no image), 6 (Ref. to Hobart to Sydney voyage in 1877, 7 (1861 reference - or there used to be!), 8 (1869 & 1873 to Brisbane). 134 (or 135.5) ft. long, signal letters QCVH. A number of links but little hard data. Would seem to have been engaged in (immigrant) trade to Australia & Tasmania. To Launceston, Tasmania, in 1861. 'Some repairs in 1870' & 'Sheathed in felt and yellow metal in 1873'. But metalled a great number of times. Initially owned by T. B. Walker & Co. (or Walkers & Co.), registered at London. (T. B. Walker was a prominent ship owner in London, & for many years was Chairman of Lloyd's Register). The Mercantile Navy List of 1870 states Walker & Fowler of London to be the vessel's owner. That of 1880 (go left to p#157) Samuel C. Love of London. That of 1890 states William Llewellin of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. That of 1900 states Charles Geo. Smith of Durban, Natal, S. Africa. And that of 1910 states Union Steam Ship Co. of New Zealand Ltd., of Dunedin, New Zealand, to be the vessel's owner. I had previously recorded - sold to S. C. Love. Later owners seem to have been 'W. Llewellin & 2 other parties' & also 'Union Steamship Co. of New Zealand'. Ended up as a coal hulk, it would seem? 2 prints in Maritime Museum but no images available. Can you help any?
839 tons (later 1161 tons)
A fast, iron hulled sailing ship. Per 1 (Wikipedia), 2 [Ganges (1)], 3 (Inquiry into the loss of Ganges), 4 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). 192 ft. long, later 230 ft., signal letters QHFV. With a figurehead representing 'Mother Ganges', a symbol of fertility. Initially owned 48/64 (75%) by James Nourse (1828/1897) & 16/64 (25%) by A. Sword ('Sword'). For about four years, I don't know exactly when, James Nourse was the captain of the vessel, which was registered at Greenock, Scotland. It commenced trading between Calcutta (now Kolkata), India, & Australia. 'Sword' relinquished his shareholding in 1864, but I have not read who acquired it. Hired out to Tinne & Company, transporters of many commodities between Calcutta & Australia & also slaves! A now long dead website mentioned rather Sandbach, Tinne & Company & did not refer to charter arrangements. The vessel gained contracts for service India/Mauritius/West Indies & Fiji. 4 voyages from Calcutta to Trinidad with Indian indentured labourers. Travelled from British Guiana to Cape Town, South Africa, in 42 days. The Mercantile Navy Lists of 1867 (page 151) & 1870 both list James Nourse, of London, as her then owner - as does the 1880 edition of such list. In 1876, the vessel was lengthened by 38 feet & became of 1161 tons. On Oct. 14, 1881, the vessel, (James Nourse then the managing owner), was wrecked on the Goodwin Sands (English Channel 6 miles east of Deal, Kent). Ganges had left Middlesbrough on Oct. 11, 1881, for Calcutta, with a cargo of iron products, with a crew of 35 all told & a pilot aboard. The cargo included 141 tons of iron tiebars & bolts, but principally consisted of 1147 tons of iron chairs or sleepers, for use by the Indian railways. Those iron chairs or sleepers were of an unusual design, a combination of a sleeper & a 'chair', most difficult to stow & made of iron rather than wood since wood would be attacked by white ants in India. You can read the report of the Official Inquiry into the vessel's loss via the link above. What exactly happened? The vessel encountered a strong gale when about midway between Beachy Head & the Royal Sovereign Lightship (Royal Sovereign shoals, about 7 miles from Bexhill & 11 miles from Eastbourne), at about 5 or 6 a.m. on Oct. 14, 1881. About two hours later, a portion of the cargo, stored in the 'tween decks, shifted. The captain entered the hold & cut certain cargo lashings that later permitted that cargo to further shift. Rather than returning to the Downs to have the cargo re-stowed, the vessel continued down the Channel. Soon the cargo shifted again in the course of the violent gale, causing a major list to starboard (water half-way across the vessel's decks) which forced the return of the vessel to the Downs. The vessel anchored, the anchor chain parted, & the ship drifted towards the Goodwin Sands. Hibernia, a powerful paddle steam tug, came to the vessel's rescue, got a line aboard, but was unable to hold Ganges in the sea conditions. Both vessels drifted closer to the Sands, Hibernia had to cut herself free to save herself, & Ganges struck the Sands at about 5:30 p.m. on Oct. 14, 1881. A lifeboat was launched, with just 2 hands aboard, but 3/4 hour later everyone got aboard the boat with the exception of the chief mate & some ten lascars. The boat soon was swamped & all but three of her occupants scrambled back aboard Ganges. Alas that boat's painter broke, the three were carried out to sea & drowned, the boat itself coming eventually to rest on the coast of France. Enter the lifesavers from Deal (the Mary Somerville) & a boat (its name?) from Ramsgate. The Ramsgate boat took 15 & eventually the Deal lifeboat took the rest. The Inquiry Report, so far as I can see, does not name the Ganges captain. It was critical of his conduct, however, re his cutting the cargo lashings that permitted the cargo to further shift, for not ensuring that the anchor chains could run freely & for getting aboard the ship's lifeboat leaving the chief officer & the 10 lascars aboard Ganges with no means of escape. Lloyd's Register of 1881/82 lists 'Gordon' as her then master. 'The Goodwin Sands' by George G. Carter, published in 1953, devotes 7 pages to the loss of Ganges & the rescue of many of its crew by Mary Somerville, the Deal lifeboat. It does not refer to the Ramsgate lifeboat at all, records the events rather differently, but does report of 'Tom', the bowman of Mary Somerville, who dived overboard & swam in the awful seas to the wrecked Ganges. He successfully got a line aboard, & then the hawser through which the Ganges crew, in ones and twos, were dragged aboard the Mary Somerville. Tom was the last to be pulled aboard. He is not, alas, named for his act of amazing bravery. The book's pages can be read here. The entire book can be accessed here, thanks to 'archive.org'. A model of the ship is, I understand, in the model collection of Sunderland Museum. 'Nourse' later owned another vessel of the identical name, also built (1882) in Sunderland. Anything you can add?
A full rigged wooden clipper. And a most famous one. Per 1 (data). 150.0 ft. long perpendicular to perpendicular, signal letters QBFJ. Built for J. R. Kelso, of North Shields. Engaged in the China tea trade. A number of voyages to London are listed at the link (thanks!) - from Far East ports of Canton, Hong Kong, Macao, Shanghai & Whampoa (outer port of Guangzhou, China), all with tea as the cargo. One trip from Macao to London in 1869 was completed in 101 days. An 1870 voyage (tea) from Amoy (Xiamen, China) to New York, was completed in 124 days. The vessel was reduced to a barque before 1870. The Mercantile Navy List of 1870 advises that Chas. A. Belyea of N. Shields was the vessel's then owner. Keelson replaced in 1871. In 1880, the vessel was sold to W. H. Ross & Co. of Liverpool. However the Mercantile Navy list of 1880 advises Alexander Cassels instead (also of Liverpool) was then the owner. And in 1886 the vessel was sold to A. D. Westergaard, of Mandal, Norway, & renamed Bayard. (I did find a reference to 'Westergaard & Co.', of Oslo, Norway, (L. Hannevig) but it may not relate to A. D. Westergaard.) In Sep. 1892, the vessel went missing in the N. Atlantic while en route from Wilmington, Delaware to Antwerp, Belgium. WWW data is most limited. Can you add anything? (built by William)
242 (or 254) tons
A wooden barque. Per 1 (Board of Trade inquiry into the vessel's 1875 foundering, ex 'Accounts and Papers', published 1876, a 'Google' book). 121.5 ft. long. WWW data re this vessel is most limited. It would seem, from the Lloyd's Register of 1862/3, that the vessel was built for J. Hay, of London & likely used in the China trade. In the 1966/67 Lloyd's Register, the owner had become B. Jarman, of London, & the vessel, now of 254 tons, became Tien Tsin (i.e. 2 words). By 1870/71, Jarman Bros. seem to be the vessel's owners & are so recorded thru 1874/75. In late 1875, the vessel was surely owned, however, by George Fisher, merchant, of Launceston, Tasmania. On Nov. 17, 1875, the vessel, James Taylor in command, left Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia, for Launceston with a cargo of 360 tons of small coal & a crew of 9 all told. On Nov. 22, 1875, when off Cape Howe (SE Australia), the vessel ran into heavy gales & started to leak. The gales lasted many days & intensified. On Dec. 1, 1875, the vessel was struck by a particularly heavy sea which did considerable damage, & as a result the ship's pumps had to be used every two hours in an attempt to keep the leak under control. The vessel ran through Banks Strait to obtain shelter on the lea side of the island of Tasmania. She may or may not have touched a rock then not marked on the charts. The vessel stood in for the Bay of Fires (on NE coast of Tasmania), where Victoria, a Victoria Government steamer, was moored. Staff Commander Stanley assisted Tien Tsin by bringing a party of men to man the pumps & Victoria took Tien Tsin in tow in an attempt to reach Hobart. Soon, however, both pumps had failed, & while a sail was put around the hull to control the leak, the water continued to rise & the ship soon had to be abandoned. It sank in deep water. I seem to be unable to tell you, from the Inquiry report, on which day she actually sank. The Court attributed no blame to the Master who acted with judgement & energy throughout. And the crew were commended also. It would appear however i) that the vessel was overloaded for the conditions that were later encountered & ii) that the ship's sails, which could have held the ship in a safe position in the near hurricane conditions were old & worn & tore apart under the strain - putting the wallowing hull that resulted in great stress. Can you add anything? (built by William)
842 (later 1061?) tons
An iron cargo ship which became a undersea cable laying ship. Per 1 (Atlantic Cable, Charente 50% down), 2 (para 5 re soundings), 3 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). 213.5 ft. long. Built for His Imperial Majesty Napoleon III of France. The vessel was sold or transferred, in 1874, to the 'French PTT' which, Dr. Gilles Barnichon advises (thanks!) meant the 'Poste, Télégraphe et Téléphone', i.e. the French Government department which administered telephone & telecommunications services in France. Anyway, the vessel was fitted to lay submarine cable by 'La Compagnie des Forges et Chantiers de la Seyne', of La Seyne-du-Mer, near Toulon, France. And in 1879 the vessel laid a 2nd cable from Marseille, France, to Algiers, Algeria. The vessel's gear improved & expanded in 1893. In 1919, the vessel provided 4,000 metre echo soundings in the Bay of Biscay. Have spotted no other words about her 57 years of service thru 1931, when she was, I read, sold for scrap. There was another Sunderland built ship, also built in 1862, & also named Charente, built by 'Laing'. It also was involved with submarine cables, repairing them rather than laying them. Which makes one wonder if my data is confused. Can you tell us more?
9 Arab Steed
635 (later 664) tons
A composite, fully rigged, 3 masted ship. later a barque. Per 1 (Lloyds Register listings of 1865/6, 1869/70 & 1883/4), 2 (image). 158.5 ft. long. Built 'by Pile, Junior' for 'Walker & Co.', of London, which became 'Thos B. Walker & Co.', from 1876 to 1878. However the Mercantile Navy List of 1870 states the then owner to be Messrs Hawley of London. Reduced to a barque in the mid 1870s. From 1878 thru 1890, the vessel was owned by A. Liljequist, of Gothenburg, Sweden, & registered there. I have previously referenced A. Skantyl, of Gothenburg, maybe the vessel's then manager? From 1890 to 1896, the vessel was owned by Johan Bengtsson ('Bengstsson') of Hälleviksstrand, outside Gothenburg, who purchased the vessel for SEK 36,000 - indeed Johan Bengstsson is at the helm of the ship in the fine 'Eugene Grandin' painting visible at left. From 1896 to 1898, the vessel was owned by K. Dalman, also of Gothenburg. In 1898, the vessel was sold to P. Pedersen, of Fredrikstad, Norway. A speedy vessel indeed a speed record holder. The vessel voyaged all over the world, in its lifetime, including the carriage of immigrants to Australia. On Dec. 9, 1901, the vessel left London for Kristiania (i.e. Oslo) with a cargo of coal & a crew of 12 all told. P. Pedersen was in command of the U.K. registered but Norwegian flagged barque. Arab Steed foundered, in the North Sea, but exactly where she foundered is not known. Nor is the exact date that she foundered though likely at of about New Year's Eve. There were no survivors. Per-Ragnar Karlström, great grandson of Bengstsson, has provided much of the above data - and this also - (thanks so much!). He states that most of the lost crew were from Hvaler, Norway, but with Swedish crew members also. I am grateful to 'scott-base', eBay vendor of Gloucestershire, U.K., for a portion of the above data. Miramar, so far at least, does not list the vessel. Is it possible that you can add anything?
Hull 20 - the numbering of 'Pile' vessels is a confusing scene.
Star of Peru
A 3 masted fully rigged iron ship, later a barque, that had a very long life indeed. Per 1 (extensive data, Himalaya), 2 (summary data, Himalaya, 50% down), 3 (White Wings, text re Himalaya), 4 (vessel's history, 2 images, Star of Peru, at page #11 of a giant 3.3 MB 'pdf' file, ex 'The Maritime Museum of San Diego'), 5 & 6 (1926 voyage, Bougainville, ex Vancouver), 7 (Donald H. Dyal, history article re vessel), 8 (image, Himalaya), 9 (image, Star of Peru), 10 ('plimsollshipdata.org', Lloyd's Register data, Bougainville, for years 1930/31 thru 1938/39), 11 (history data, Star of Peru), 12 (Miramar, limited data, you now must be registered to access). The webmaster has a number of editions of Lloyd's Register, thru 1889/90, available to him ex 'Google' books - see left. 201.2 ft. long, later 201.6 ft, signal letters VTKM, with a male figurehead (which is now in the San Francisco Maritime Museum). Not a particularly fast vessel but apparently a safe & well respected one. Immensely strongly built. Built by Pile, Hay & Co.' for 'G. D. Tyser', of London (later 'Tyser & Haveside' & in 1873, 'G. D. Tyser & Co.' but the registration of this vessel was 'G. D. Tyser' only). For service to India it would seem. In or about 1865, the vessel was sold to 'Shaw, Savill & Co.', of London. For whom, & for 'Shaw, Savill & Albion Co.', the vessel made 24 voyages with immigrants & cargo to the ports of Auckland, Wellington, Lyttelton & Port Chalmers, New Zealand ('NZ'), in the 30 or so years thru mid 1896. I wonder how many passengers it could carry? The vessel must have been sturdily built indeed with all of the references there are to storms, icebergs & vessel damages, & delays due to appalling weather. In 1877, the vessel suffered a fire at Wellington, NZ, when having nearly discharged all of her cargo. The vessel was reduced to a barque in 1880. The Mercantile Navy List of 1880 states the then owner to be 'Savill & Temple' of London. In 1882/3, the vessel was transferred to 'The Shaw, Savill & Albion Co. Ltd.', the result of a combination of 'Shaw, Savill & Co.' & the 'Albion Shipping Company, Limited', of Southampton. On Aug. 20, 1886, the vessel's ballast, which ballast was coal, caught fire - at 33S/25W in the South Atlantic - but the ship safely completed its voyage to Port Chalmers, NZ. Now most references state that the vessel was sold to Alaska Packers Co., who renamed the vessel Star of Peru. Without access to Lloyd's Registers of the period, I cannot confirm what exactly happened. However it would seem that in 1898 the vessel was owned by J. J. Moore & Co. ('Moore') of San Francisco, but registered initially at Valparaiso, Chile & then at Hawaii. Engaged, per Donald H. Dyal, 'in the so-called triangular Pacific trade, taking lumber out to Australia, coal from Newcastle NSW to Hawaii, and sugar to the west coast.' I had previously indicated that Moore was from Valparaiso, as per that 1898/99 Lloyd's registration, but Donald Dyal has been in touch (thanks!) to explain that Moore was, in fact, from San Francisco - 'By law, foreign flag vessels cannot engage in coastal trade (i.e. one U.S. port to another). It is still the law, which is why cruise ships to Hawaii always stop somewhere in Mexico to interrupt the voyage. Himalaya did not have U.S. registry. So Moore registered the ship in Chile, until he hit upon the idea of Hawaiian registry. When Hawaii became a territory, rather than a more-or-less independent kingdom, the Hawaiian vessels could apply for U.S. registry & most got it.' On Mar. 26, 1902, the vessel was sold at auction, for $18,000, to 'Alaska Packers' Association' ('APA'), of San Francisco, noted for its 'Star Fleet' of sailing ships, 'which company controlled about two-thirds of all salmon canning operations on the United States west coast'. They renamed her Star of Peru at a date after Aug. 28, 1906. The Association must not only have been involved with salmon. I read that during the winter of 1906/07, the vessel was towed (why towed?) to Eureka, California, to carry lumber to San Francisco, devastated by its 1906 earthquake. 'For roughly 30 years, she continued as one of the APA's trusted workhorses making the voyages to Bristol Bay (SW Alaska) and back to San Francisco'. Out in late spring with cargoes of sheet tin, printed labels, & other cannery equipment, & back in the fall. Crewed by seamen who were also fishermen throughout the summer. Returning with cargoes of canned salmon, canned at the many Alaska fish canneries. On Mar. 24, 1926, the vessel was sold to French owners of Noumea, New Caledonia - specifically to 'Comptoirs Français des Nouvelles Hébrides', & was renamed Bougainville. Sold without its male figurehead which became a decoration on one of the Alaska Packers' Association buildings in Alameda, California. (It would be good to find an image of that figurehead which apparently is now in the San Francisco Maritime Museum.) The vessel left Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada for Fiji, on Sep. 19, 1926 or maybe on or about Sep. 26, 1926, under the command of Leon Chateauvieux, with a cargo of lumber ex British Columbia. At Fiji, she became a coal or copra hulk, but I have also read she stored nickel ore. But ... I do not know when that happened - a Google 'snippet' suggests that it may have been later rather than sooner & that she continued to be in service under her own power. I have read that the vessel was later broken up, however Donald Dyal advises that she was still afloat in 1948, which is an amazing 85 years after she was built. It is for sure, that Bougainville was Lloyd's Register listed in the years from 1930/31 thru 1938/39, though the data would seem to have been static. I have also read that she ended up as part of a breakwater there. 'Windjamming to Fiji', published in 1929, an account of the vessel's 1926 voyage from Vancouver to Fiji written by Viola I. (Irene) Cooper, one of two young American women who were aboard - contains images of Bougainville. Is it possible that you can add anything or correct the above text? #1868
11 City of Adelaide
791 (or 860) tons
A composite-built passenger & cargo sailing clipper. Perhaps the most famous vessel built by William Pile. A subject in itself, however, with loads of data available. I have added a brief section on site - here. Per 1 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access).
1098 (or 1097) tons
An iron hulled sailing ship. Per 1 (Wikipedia), 2 (Lloyd's Register data), 3 (1874 voyage to New Zealand), 4 (data), 5 (tapestry commenced 1876), 6 (Tyser history & flag), 7 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). 207.7 ft. long, signal letters WGLM. Lloyd's Register of 1864/65 records Tyser of London as being the vessel's initial owner. Link 6 however indicates that at that time George D. (Dorman) Tyser's company was named Tyser & Haviside (company later (1873) became G. D. Tyser & Co.) for the India trade (hence vessel name, I trust). A London based company, it would seem. First chartered voyage London to Wellington, New Zealand, commenced Aug. 26, 1874. 96 day trip, 380 immigrants, bad weather encountered, 10 died on trip (9 of them infants). Later voyages to Wellington in 1875 (92 days, 260 immigrants, incident with a cat stabbed) & in 1876 to Nelson & Wellington (total of 286 immigrants, 2 infants died). The Mercantile Navy List of 1880 records William H. Tyser of London as the vessel's owner - as does the 1890 list. Voyage to Fiji in 1884 with 575 passengers. Also carried indentured labourers to West Indies in 1869, 1873 & 1874 (respectively British Guiana, Trinidad & Suriname). 449 carried on Trinidad trip - 13 died en route. Company imported meat into U.K. & later fleet vessels were refrigerated. I presume not Howrah in that regard. Owned (in 1887?) by Tyser & Co. (presumably G. D. Tyser & Co.) & registered London.
A ship, a tea clipper. Per 1 (data). 183 ft. long. Built for John R. Kelso of North Shields. Employed principally on the China run, to Foochow, Shanghai & Hong Kong. In 1866 sailed from Sunderland to Hong Kong in 87 days. It would seem (Septimus about 25% down), per Sunderland Echo in 1949, that Maitland was designed by William Pile for speed, but proved in performance to be a grave disappointment. But it is also stated that Maitland 'was regarded as the best clipper built by Pile'. And Pile was noted for building fine ships, indeed. On May 25, 1874, was wrecked on a coral reef in the Huon Islands, New Caledonia, on a voyage from Brisbane, Australia to Foochow, China. I read that a longitudinal section, deck plan & sail plan are preserved in the Science Museum, in London. (Built W. Pile Hay & Co.)
A wooden barque with an iron frame. Tongoy is a coastal town in Chile, located N. of Valparaiso. The vessel is Lloyd's Register ('LR') listed from 1865/66 thru 1869/70, owned for most of that period by Madge & Co. of Swansea. For service initially from Sunderland to Valparaiso, Chile, and then ex Swansea for South America. 153.6 ft. long, signal letters HJCF. The Mercantile Navy List of 1870, however, records the vessel as then owned by Thomas Hall, of Swansea. LR of 1869/70 notes 'wrecked'. On Mar. 3, 1870, per line 93 here, the 484 ton barque was stranded at Berhead. While en route from Liverpool to Iquique, Chile, with a cargo of coal. Crew of 16 - none lost. The vessel had left Liverpool on Mar. 2, 1870 & 13 hours later, under conditions of fog, rain & darkness, ran aground. Then owned by Henry James Bath, a name not noted in LR. It would seem that Henry James Bath, his father Henry Bath before him, & generations of the Bath family were involved in the world wide copper trade & in the smelting of copper in Swansea. Over the years the business owned an extensive fleet of some 60 vessels that travelled overseas with coal bringing back copper ore, most particularly from Chile. Do read Mike Jackson's truly extensive 'pdf' about the family's history & businesses here. Berhead (a name I cannot track) is apparently located on the Irish coast close to Balbriggan Harbour maybe between Craytown & Irishtown. A Board of Trade Inquiry held that the loss was caused by the navigational errors of William Pemberthy her captain - his licence was suspended for a year. End of story? Certainly not. In Apl. 1870 the vessel, clearly thought to have been a total loss, was got off and taken to Ardrossan, Scotland, where I presume it was repaired. The vessel is not LR listed in 1870/71 but it is listed again from 1871/72, now owned by McCormick of Dublin for service ex the Clyde. The Mercantile Navy Lists of 1880 & 1890 clarify that the new owner's name was William Ormsby McCormick of Kingstown, Co. Dublin. The Merchant Navy List advises that the register for the vessel was closed in 1897. It would appear that artist John Fannen painted the vessel in 1897 - in full sail off a coastline - but, alas, no image of the painting is WWW available. (Built W. Pile Hay & Co.) #1917
A fully rigged clipper ship, carrying passengers & cargo. Per 1 (extensive data), 2 (text from 'White Wings'), 3 (arrival at Picton, New Zealand, on Jan. 10, 1875), 4 & 5 (1883 Alumbagh rescue), 6 (Miramar, limited data, you now must be registered to access). 177.3 ft. long perpendicular to perpendicular, signal letters HNDG. The webmaster has a number of editions of Lloyd's Register available to him ex 'Google' books - see left. The vessel was built for J. & J. Wait, or J. & J. Wait & Co., of North Shields ('NS'). The Mercantile Navy List of both 1870 & 1880 records, however, James Wait of NS as the vessel's owner. Intended, it would seem, for trade with India, hence, presumably, the name Carnatic (a coastal region in southern India). References to India continue until 1873/74. A fine clipper, but perhaps not the fastest. The vessel made five voyages to New Zealand ('NZ'), the first, under the command of Captain Edward M. Moon, being with 250 passengers, from Plymouth to Port Chalmers (Dunedin, SE coast of S. Island) arriving on Feb. 27, 1874. The ship made its return journey to U.K. in a creditable 69 1/2 days. In 1874/5, the ship sailed with 298 passengers to Picton, NZ, (N. tip of S. Island), then onwards, across the Cook Strait to Wellington, (S. tip of N. Island). The next voyage, under the command of Captain William Chapman, was from Gravesend to Auckland, NZ, where she stayed 6 months awaiting a return cargo. During that trip, on Oct. 9, 1875, when the ship was NZ bound & NE of the Falkland Islands, two crewmen unfortunately fell from the upper rigging & died from their injuries. After returning to London, she sailed for San Francisco, &, while I have read no detail, had a narrow escape of being totally wrecked before reaching her destination. In 1876/77, & again in 1877/78, the vessel sailed to Lyttelton (Christchurch, S. Island) & onwards to Wellington. During some (or maybe all) of the above voyages, the vessel was under charter to 'New Zealand Shipping Company Limited', of London. The next year, the vessel sailed from London to Rockhampton, Queensland, Australia, & arrived there on Christmas Eve, 1878. I understand that a photograph of the ship does exist, held in a private U.S. collection. The last Lloyd's Register edition I have available which lists the vessel was re 1882/83 & in that register the ship is recorded as being re-rigged as a barque & owned by J. F. Gibb, of Aberdeen. Her destiny? In 'Plum Duff & Cake', James W. (William) Nichols references his 1874/75 voyage to Picton aboard Carnatic, & states (via a 'Google snippet') that on Aug. 2, 1883, Carnatic foundered during a heavy gale. The book clearly gives the exact location but I can only provide a part of the coordinates - 35.34S/? The book may provide additional detail as to the circumstances. But ... detail has now been located. In early Aug. 1883 the vessel encountered a hard gale when off Port Elizabeth, South Africa, at 35S or 35.34S/25E. On Aug. 4, 1883, the vessel was in the process of sinking, with 3 ft. of water in her holds & failed pumps. Alumbagh, (a 1137 ton ship built in 1863 by James Laing of Sunderland), under the command of Dugald McDonald, saw Carnatic's distress signals. Effecting an immediate rescue proved to be impossible due to the weather conditions & Alumbagh stood by. At 8 a.m. on Aug. 5, 1883, an Alumbagh ship's lifeboat was launched, commanded by J. Gunning, Alumbagh's Chief Officer with a crew of 5. In 3 trips the boat saved all persons aboard Carnatic - 19 lives in all including the captain's wife. Carnatic sank soon thereafter; her survivors were landed 21 days later at St. Helena in the South Atlantic. The 'Shipwrecked Fishermen and Mariners Royal Benevolent Society' granted awards to, it would seem, all members of Alumbagh's boat's crew. The Board of Trade awarded a piece of plate to Alumbagh's captain, Captain McDonald. I understand that a model of the vessel is in the Sunderland Museum's model collection. Can you add to or correct the above? (Built W. Pile Hay & Co.)
A fully rigged, 3 masted, passenger/cargo vessel. Per 1 (data), 2, 3 & 4 (all Tyser), 5 (image, Lief. Drammen), 6 (Miramar, link, limited data, you now must be registered to access). Built for George D. Tyser's 'Tyser & Haviside' (company later (1873) became G. D. Tyser & Co.) ('Tyser') for the India trade (hence vessel name, I trust. Poonah (now Pune) is a large city near Bombay (now Mumbai), India.) Tyser certainly traded to India, Australia & New Zealand. 223.5 ft. long, signal letters JQRW, registered at London. The following repeats data stated on many WWW sites but I cannot locate good original data sources. She carried Indian immigrants to the West Indies - 387 passengers to Trinidad where she arrived on Feb. 22, 1869 & 306 passengers to St. Lucia in 1885. The ship also made 2 voyages with indentured immigrants from India to Suva, Fiji. The 1st arrived at Fiji on Sep. 17, 1882 with 476 passengers. During that voyage it would seem that the vessel encountered a severe storm & the lascar crew refused to go on deck, with the result that the ship was almost lost (surely there is a contemporary account about that happening). The 2nd voyage arrived at Fiji on Jun. 19, 1883 with 515 passengers (cholera aboard during that trip). The Register for the ship is said to be closed in 1895. She would appear to have been sold & renamed Lief. Drammen. Now an expired eBay item referred to what seems to be the Poonah being i) sold in 1902 to 'Th. Nordaas', of Norway, & renamed Leif & ii) stranded in 1905 while en route from Bridgewater, Nova Scotia, Canada, to Buenos Aires, Argentina. And condemned in 1905. But is it the same ship? There was indeed, I find, a Norwegian ship owner named 'Th. Nordaas' of Egersund, Norway. Can you add anything? (Built W. Pile Hay & Co.)
796 (later 818) tons
A composite ship, a clipper. Per 1 (an image ex eBay, Undine. Does it possibly relate? These words were used - 'Schiffsjungen-Segelbrigg-Undine'), 2 (an 1874 voyage, London to Dunedin, New Zealand, 50% down), 3 (an Undine image, a watercolour by D. M. Little, the image can be seen at left), 4 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). 182 ft. 6 in. long, 796 tons, of composite construction, signal letters HSCW later HSVF. Per Dr. György Ákos (thanks!) the vessel carried double topsails, topgallant sails, royals, “sky scrapers” and “moonrakers” on all three masts! Launched by 'W. Pile Hay & Co.' at Sunderland on Sep. 28, 1867 for John R. Kelso of North Shields (though 2, in 1874, states Kelso was of Glasgow). Likely, initially at least, employed on the China run, i.e. Foochow, Shanghai & Hong Kong to London. The ship is referred to as being famous, but that said, there seems to be very little data WWW available about her, especially where you might expect references in contemporary newspapers & books, particularly from Australia & New Zealand. And there were many vessels of the name which makes identification of the particular vessel of the name most difficult. The name would seem to be derived from the Latin 'unda' meaning 'wave'. But ... i) the vessel left Foochow on Jul. 16, 1873, 131 days to the Downs. ii) on Jan. 31, 1874, the vessel left Gravesend, River Thames, for Dunedin, New Zealand, Michael Vowell in command. It arrived at Dunedin on Apl. 23, 1874. After a voyage of 87 or so days. 'She is a China clipper and this is her first trip in any other trade.' iii) in 1877, the vessel left Sydney, New South Wales, for Yokohama, Japan, Captain Fawckner in command. iv) in 1882, ex v, Undine 'had her second mate and several sailors swept over the side, whilst her Captain (per Lubbock, Captain Bristow) was killed by a toppling sea.' By 1883/84 at least, the vessel was barque rigged. Dr. György Ákos of Budapest, who has researched the vessel extensively, believes that it became barque rigged in or about 1887. Soon after the 1882 tragedy, referred to both above & here in 'The China Clippers' by Basil Lubbock), the vessel was sold to M. (Michele) Ivetta ('Ivetta'), of Ragusa - not the Ragusa in Sicily, Italy, but rather Ragusa i.e. Dubrovnik, then in the Austro-Hungarian Empire (or Monarchy) now in Croatia. The larger area was the Republic of Ragusa. That ownership change was Lloyd's Register reported in 1883/84. By 1887/88 the vessel was of 818 tons, & 183 ft. 7 in. in length, & owned by Ivetta. In 1889/90 it was reported as being of 774 tons only, still Ivetta owned. Dr. Ákos advises that Ivetta was in fact a ship-owner from Trappano, (Trpanj), on the Sabioncello peninsula, then Austro-Hungarian Empire, now Croatia, & that he held 20 of the 24 shares in Undine. The other 4 shares being held by Matteo Coboevich, the vessel's Captain. The vessel's homeport became Trappano. A Google 'snippet' suggested that on Nov. 14, 1890, Undine left Valparaiso, Chile, loaded with manganese ore for the U.K. The vessel's final disposition? The vessel was lost on Feb. 26, 1893 in the harbour at Savannah, Georgia, U.S.A. Stephen James, of Panamerican Consultants, Inc. of Memphis, Tennessee, kindly forwarded a splendid report about the vessel's loss, prepared by Judy Wood, a report that includes many articles from the Savannah newspapers, most especially the Savannah Morning News. The report is extensive - I offer but a brief summary of the events. On Feb. 13, 1893, Undine arrived at Tybee, near the mouth of the Savannah River. She had come from Port of Spain, Trinidad, in ballast, under the command of Bartolomee Sincovich, with a crew all told of 14. Now all vessels arriving at Savannah were required to dump their ballast at the Tybee quarantine station. The vessel accordingly moored there, discharged her ballast, & on Feb. 26, 1893 Jacob Paulsen, a tug, commenced to tow Undine upriver, with ballast logs secured alongside the vessel to maintain her stability. All went well initially but in a stiff breeze the vessel took a list. It soon righted herself. The second time she listed she went over on her beam ends. Her rigging was cut away & tugs Jacob Paulsen & Cynthia attempted to right the vessel which was filling with water & settling. The vessel had to be temporarily abandoned, the crew being taken by Jacob Paulsen to Savannah where they stayed aboard Zora, (Note), a barque also owned by Ivetta. Undine lay in the middle of the channel just abreast of the upper end of Long Island, completely submerged at high tide except for her three iron masts - a major continuing danger to navigation. Plans to raise the ship soon commenced & on Mar. 10, 1893 Martin Cooley & Diver Brown were awarded the contract. After 10 or 12 days of effort, they had to admit failure. On Apl. 22, 1893 the vessel was auctioned off for $280 only (another $158 was realised from parts of the wreckage), a puny value considering that the vessel was insured for £4,000 - in the range of $12,000 to $15,000. F. M. Jones, Ship Carpenter, was the successful bidder. He too tried to raise the vessel but also failed. The vessel, a danger to shipping, had however to be removed. On Jun. 17, 1893 Johnston & Townsend, of Somers Point, New Jersey, were awarded the contract to remove her for their bid of $3,645. They sealed off all of the vessel's ports & companion ways, pumped out both water & accumulated mud & after 2 weeks Undine was afloat again to be soon towed about 2 miles to lie off Venus Point. Still on her side however, & still partially filled with mud. She eventually was not sold, nor blown up nor dismembered rather she was moved again & permanently sunk in a hole in the river bed near Fig Island - at 32.08.58N/81.02.37W. I understand that she is still there today. A major vote of thanks goes to Judy Wood for her fine research & comprehensive report from which the above account was derived. 3 refers to the vessel 'Capsized and sank [illegible] 1893'. The meaning of those words now has become clearer. John Harding, a site visitor, is searching for data & particularly for an image. Can you add anything? (Built W. Pile Hay & Co.)
568 (or 608) tons
An iron barque. Per 1 (Norwegian page, extensive data, image), 2 (link 1, 'Google' translated), 3 (Norwegian, data & image, low on page), 4 ('uboat.net', 1917 sinking), 5 ('wrecksite.eu', 1917 sinking), 6 (Miramar, limited data, you now must be registered to access). 174.0 ft. long (have also read 174.7 ft.), signal letters HGNB, presumably later JGHF. A vessel which had quite a few owners in its lifetime (a confusing scene), but just a single name. The webmaster has a number of editions of Lloyd's Register available to him ex 'Google' books - see left. The vessel was initially owned by John Hay ('Hay'), of Sunderland. Now I hesitate in saying it was built for him since he was William Pile's partner. I suspect that the vessel was rather built on speculation & Hay held it until a buyer could be found. It would seem that the vessel was engaged in the India trade (India & Ceylon). I have read that in 1871, C. F. Ellis ('Ellis'), of Sunderland, became the owner, but it would seem that that sale was a little later. Hay is still the recorded owner in the 1872/73 edition of Lloyd's Register while Ellis becomes the listed owner in the 1873/74 edition. I read that in 1874, the vessel was sold to W. (William) Turner ('Turner'), of Slate Quay, Carnarvon, Wales, & of London, (my first available Lloyd's Register shows him the owner in 1874/75), & I read also that in 1878, the vessel was sold to Robert Jones, of London. However, in 1880/81, Turner was still the recorded owner - my first available register recording Jones the owner is re 1882/83. I read that in 1888 or 1889, the vessel was sold to W. Ross, also of London, the owner being re-styled as W. Ross & Co. in 1890. The name of Ross is not in my available registers, but in the 1889/90 edition, W. G. (Wm. Griffith) Roberts is shown following Jones as the owner. As I say, all of this is most confusing. In 1894, the vessel was sold to Jacobsen & Co. ('Jacobsen'), of Flekkefjord, SW Norway, but soon thereafter, in Jan. 1895, the vessel became owned by 'A/S Chacma Rederi', also of Flekkefjord, with Jacobsen the managers. In Apl. 1902, A/S Chacma of Horten, (N. of Tønsberg), became the owners, with A. Jørgensen the manager. In May 1910, the vessel was sold to A/S Chacma of Kristiansand, Norway, 'Langfeldt & Co.' or 'K. F. Langfeldt', the managers. All of the above with no change of vessel name. On Aug. 26, 1917, while en route from Savannah-la-Mar, Jamaica, to Le Havre, France, with a cargo of logwood, the vessel was sunk by UC-62, Oberleutnant zur See Max Schmitz in command, 50 miles W. of the Casquets (a group of rocks 13 miles NW of Alderney, Channel Islands, off the coast of France). No exact location is available. I am grateful for the data at links 1 & 2 for what happened. It would seem that the submarine surfaced & shelled Chacma. The entire Chacma crew took to the one undamaged lifeboat & 27 hours later they reached Barhou, an uninhabited island, where the lifeboat was smashed, presumably in effecting a landing. The crew was picked up 2 days later by pilot boats from Alderney. Chacma? It continued sailing with nobody aboard. U-62 took the ship's papers & then sank the ship. So there were no casualties. Can you add anything?
An iron barque. Per 1 (data), 2 (data & image at Launceston, Tasmania), 3 & 4 (arrivals Australia), 5 (T. B. Walker & Co. 'Blue Peter' article, Col# 2, ex 6), 7 (sunk in 1917), 8 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). An immigrant ship it would seem. Owned by T. B. Walker, later (1870 thru 1890) Thomas B. Walker, later (1900) Fredk. A. Edelsten, all of London. 187.5 ft. long, signal letters JVCL, registered at London. Used on the England/Australia run - 14 voyages to Brisbane, Australia, are recorded above between 1868 & 1877. The vessel was later sold to Italian owners & renamed Nostra Madre. I read that Andrea Corrado, of Genoa, owned the vessel in 1917. On Jun. 17, 1917 while en route from Buenos Aires, Argentina, to Swansea, Wales, with a cargo of maize, the vessel was stopped & sunk by gunnery 70 miles E. of Fastnet - by U-60, Kapitänleutnant Karlgeorg Schuster in command. It would seem that there were no casualties. Can you add anything?
20 South Australian
1040 (or 1039) tons
A composite clipper ship. Carrying passengers & cargo. Per 1 (data & image), 2 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). 201 ft. long, signal letters HFJC. Built for Devitt & Moore, of London. (Devitt & Co., & per the Mercantile Navy Lists of 1870 Joseph Moore, 1880 Thomas Lane Devitt) Of iron frame & wooden planking. Used on England/Australia run. 1 advises 'In 1887 she was sold to William Woodside of Belfast and operated principally as a cargo vessel, making voyages to India and New Brunswick under the command of Captain James Arthurs.' Sank on Feb. 14, 1889 near Lundy, in the Bristol Channel. Circumstances not stated. A dive site today, perhaps.
An iron sailing ship. Per 1 (extensive 'wikipedia' page), 2 (page re wreck, image), 3 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). 207.7 ft. long, signal letters JSNR. Built for J. Nourse, later (1880 & 1890) James Nourse, both of London, i.e. the Nourse Line. Primarily used for the transportation of Indian indentured labourers to the Caribbean (Trinidad & Nevis) & to Fiji. On Mar. 13, 1884, the vessel left Calcutta, India, for Fiji with 497 labourers & a crew of 43 aboard. After a very fast voyage of 58 days, (the normal was 72 days), the vessel ran aground on the Nasilai Reef, Fiji, on May 11, 1884. 59 died as a result but another 11 died later from related complications. I understand that a model of the ship is in the Sunderland Museum model collection. Anything to add?
526 (or 514 or 537 or 542) tons
A composite 3-masted barque. Per 1 (image, Gravesend 1910), 2 ('The Colonial Clippers', extensive data, many pages, 182/191), 3, 4 & 5 (paintings, Berean), 5 (data & images, Berean, in Norwegian & English), 6 & 7 (data in Norwegian, the latter ex a Word document at 'Skipet'), 8 & 9 (a couple of 'Trove' articles, there are many), 10 (T. B. Walker & Co. 'Blue Peter' article, Cols# 2 & 3, ex 11), 12 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). Bonhams are to be applauded for making available the magnificent Berean artwork of Derek G. M. Gardner - other sites offer but tiny thumbnails. The vessel was built for Thomas Boss Walker ('Walker), of London (Walker was a prominent ship owner in London, & for many years was Chairman of Lloyd's Register), & managed by Devitt & Moore. 160.5 ft. long perpendicular to perpendicular, have also read 160.9 ft. maybe later?, registered at London, signal letters JHFK, later HQVK. Used on the England (generally London) to Tasmania run & a frequent visitor to Australian ports. Carried every conceivable form of general merchandise outwards & wool or wheat on the return voyage to London, & occasionally other cargoes also including tin. A speedy vessel, the fastest of the 'Walker' barques. Amazingly quality built. Extensive use of teak, a raised quarter deck 43 ft. long planked with New Zealand kauri pine with no butts & no knots. Kauri pine comes from the northern peninsula of the New Zealand North Island. Never ever had to be re-caulked. Originally carried skysails. Its captain, until the vessel was sold in 1896, was John Wyrill, of Scarborough, who circled the globe 36 times in his career. Berean itself circled the globe once in 76 days but more typically 80 to 85 days. On its maiden voyage to Launceston, Tasmania, the voyage was 79 days out & back in 88 days. Fastest voyage land to land, London to Launceston, in 68 days. Once ran 315 miles in 24 hours. The barque was damaged at Hobart, Tasmania, in early Oct. 1884 as you can read here ex Trove, Australia. Walker died in 1894. Berean was sold in 1896 to H. Skougaard, of Langesund, Norway, & (transferred?) in 1897 to 'A/S Berean (H. Skougaard)', also of Langesund. The vessel was used to carry ice from Norway to Regent's Canal Dock, London. And was poorly maintained, it would seem. On Apl. 8, 1910, when at anchor off Tilbury/Gravesend in the Thames estuary, loaded with a cargo of ice (but 3 links above say coal, I wonder why) ex Langesund, the vessel was run into by Julia, (probably this Julia of 1228 tons built 1890), a German steamer. Berean was towed ashore in a sinking condition, full of water, however the image at 1 shows the vessel actually sunk. The damage to the vessel was so great that she was condemned. Patched up, she was towed to ship breakers at Falmouth & was used there as a hulk. Certainly until 'a few years' before WW1. Can anybody confirm when she ceased to be a hulk? Or add anything?
23 British Empire
1499 (or 1550) tons
An iron clipper, a 3-masted, fully rigged ship. Later a barque. An immigrant ship. Per 1 (New Zealand 1875 immigrant data), 2 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). Built for 'Empire Line', owned by George Duncan (maybe by George Duncan & Co.), of London. The Mercantile Navy List records (1870 thru 1890) George Duncan as the owner, later (1900) James Duncan, both of London. 1 records an Oct. 7, 1875 arrival in Auckland, New Zealand with approx. 300 immigrants, after a voyage of 87 days from Gravesend. Per an eBay item, (thanks 'scott-base'), the vessel 'was considered to be a fast ship under her master, Captain Kidd. Built for the East Indies trade. Fitted out for 'tween deck' passengers. Her figurehead, representing 'Britannia', glittered with gilt scrollwork. Saloon fitted out in bird's eye maple. Late in her life was converted to a barque.' Broken up at Rotterdam in 1906. Eleanor Wares, a site visitor, kindly advises that her husband's GG grandfather was James Mather, Captain of British Empire in 1875, & that he had earlier (in 1869) captained Roman Empire, another Empire Line vessel. Elle seeks data about Roman Empire, a vessel built by Pile Spence & Co. in 1866, not at Sunderland but rather at West Hartlepool. Anything to add? About either vessel.
A 3 masted iron barque, 'carrying royals over single topgallant sails and double topsails'. A cargo ship. Per 1 (data & image), 2 (data & fine image), 3 (data & image), 4 (brief ref. halfway down), 5 (Wakatipu at page bottom), 6 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). 156.10 ft. (47.6 metres) long, signal letters KLHD. Built for Richard Hill, of Cattedown, Plymouth, & registered at Plymouth. The Mercantile Navy List ('MNL') of 1880 records Fredk. N. Hill, of London, as her then owner. Chartered by the Shaw Savill & Co. The vessel was, I read, sold (Oct. 26, 1882 perhaps) to Stone Brothers of Auckland, New Zealand ('NZ'), however the MNLs of 1890 & 1900 record Henry Guthrie & 'The Union Steam Ship Co. of New Zealand Ltd.' ('Union'), both of Dunedin, NZ, as the respective owners. Was later chartered by the New Zealand Shipping Company. On Apl. 2, 1898, while alongside Victoria Wharf at Dunedin, the vessel was run into by Union’s steamer Wakatipu, 1796 tons, which refused to answer her helm. Laira sank in 6 minutes, was afterwards re-floated & repaired & 'again entered the inter colonial trade'. Became Connie Craig in 1908 or 1909 - Joseph T. Craig of Auckland, was the owner per the 1910 MNL. The name reverted to Laira. From 1915 to 1940, Laira was owned by 'Huddart Parker, Lim.' of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. The vessel would appear to have become a hulk at Melbourne, late in her life (1910?). Broken up there in 1958. A portion of the above data is thanks to Mori Flapan of Sydney, Australia. Can you help with other data?
25 Great Western
1541 (or 1542) tons
An iron single screw passenger ship. Per 1 (data, Great Western 1872), 2 (same data), 3 (Great Western Steamship (II), Great Western), 4 (Board of Trade inquiry into Mar. 1876 wreck, ex 'Accounts and Papers', published 1876, a 'Google' book), 5 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). 276.0 ft. long, 979 net tons, speed of 10 knots, signal letters LDBT. The webmaster has a number of editions of Lloyd's Register available to him ex 'Google' books - see left. I read that the vessel was built for the Great Western Steamship Line ('Steamship'). That would seem to be the business name under which 'Mark Whitwell & Son' ('Whitwell') of Bristol, operated, certainly the vessel was not registered in the name of Steamship, rather in the name of Whitwell. Accommodation for 24 1st class & 252 3rd class passengers. Placed on the Bristol to New York service - the vessel's maiden & last runs on that service were Jun. 5, 1872 & Sep. 14, 1875, respectively. The vessel was then placed on the Valencia, Spain, to New York service. On her 2nd such voyage the vessel was wrecked, on Mar. 25, 1876, on Long Island, New York. No lives were lost. The Board of Trade inquiry indicates that at that time the vessel was owned by 'Mark Whitwell, Joseph H. Nash and Philip J. Worsley', of Bristol, & that Samuel Windham was her captain. On Mar. 2, 1876, the vessel had left Palermo, Sicily, for New York. No passengers, a crew of 37 men & one stewardess aboard. She re-coaled at Gibraltar & on Mar. 24, 1876, was in a 'slight' collision with Daphne, a Norwegian barque. No damage to Great Western. 3 men from Daphne jumped aboard Great Western. The weather rose to a gale as the vessel approached Long Island. At about 7 p.m. on Mar. 25, 1876, the vessel ran aground on Long Island, 5 miles to the E. of Fire Island Light. The ship's engines could not free her, the rudder carried away, her hull came broadside to the breakers & the seas washed completely over her. The vessel ended up breaking her back - a total loss. One of the ship's boats was lowered with difficulty & everyone aboard was in due course safely landed. The ship's log was lost. While the Court found that the Captain had committed an error of judgement, it also found that he had taken every precaution for the safe navigation of the vessel & returned to him his certificate of competency. Anything that you can add?
A cargo ship. Per 1 (wreck data & site), 2 (ref. to Newbiggen, wrecked in 1879 at Atherfield Point, a related matter?), 3 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). 69.8 metres long. Built for 'Geoffrey Robinson Dawson', of Blyth, Northumberland. Thanks to David Wendes, I can advise that on Apl. 3, 1880, while en route from Odessa, Ukraine, to Dunkirk, France, with a cargo of grain, rape seed & wool, Newbiggin ran aground in thick fog at Atherfield Ledge, Isle of Wight. Vessel became a total loss. Wreck lies in 6/8 metres of water at 50.36.4N/01.22.1W. Atherfield Ledge? A treacherous reef that has claimed many vessels over the years, located close off the S coast of the Isle of Wight (near Brighstone). Can you add anything? An image?
27 Pedro J. Pidal
A wooden single screw passenger ship, barque rigged. Per 1 (extensive data in French re the loss of Gijon, image Gijon), 2 (extensive data in Spanish re the loss of Gijon), 3 (English translation of link 2), 4 (text in Spanish & image) & 5 (2 pages of same Spanish site), 6 (Compañía Trasatlántica Española), 7 (New York Times, sinking report), 8 (an extensive article at Trove Australia - there are 14 more articles there re the sinkings), 9 (Miramar, you now must be registered to access). 279.5 ft. long (90.6 metres). Capacity for 114 passengers in three classes, crew of 80. Notable, apparently, because it featured a bathroom. So far I have spotted only a few references to the vessel in Lloyd's Registers. Miramar refers to Pedro J. Pidal becoming Gijon in 1875, but that change was advised in Lloyds Register of 1879/80 (& also in 82/83). 4 refers to Pedro F. Pidal, Gijón & Coruña. Built for 'Oscar de Olavarria & Cia', or 'Olavarría y Lozano', perhaps? In 1875, the vessel was owned by 'Antonio López and Cia', of Cadiz & Barcelona, Spain. In 1879/80, possibly earlier, the vessel was renamed Gijon. In 1881, the vessel was owned by 'Delegation de la Cia Trasatlántica', i.e. 'Compañía Trasatlántica' of Barcelona, ('CTE'), which became 'Compañía Trasatlántica Española' very much later, in 1953. However, the vessel is not included in the partial lists of CTE vessels at 3, or here or here. Maybe later renamed Coruña but I think not. I earlier stated in this listing that the vessel would seem to have ceased to be a CTE vessel in 1885. Used as a troopship, maybe in 1898, returning Spanish troops from Santiago, Cuba, to Spain (Spanish-American War). But that data clearly could not have been correct - read on. In Jul. 1884, Gijon was en route from Corunna (La Coruña, Galicia, Spain) to Havana, Cuba, with 113 passengers & a crew of 78 (Hocking states a crew of 100). At or about 7 p.m. on Jul. 21, 1884, when about 35 miles off Cape Finisterre & in dense fog, Gijon was in collision with Laxham, a 1295 ton cargo ship en route from Taganrog, Crimea, to Rotterdam with a cargo of wheat. Both ships were sounding their whistles. Laxham was under the command of Captain Lothian or Lethman with a crew of 20 - the captain's wife & 11 month old child were also aboard as were two passengers. Laxham was cut in two by the force of the collision & all of her boats were destroyed. All aboard Laxham, excepting 3 crewmen who could not make it in time, scrambled aboard Gijon in the few moments the ships were entangled while the captain & his family were towed through the water to Gijon. I read that the Captain of Gijon, the name eludes me, shot himself immediately after the collision (He reports that immediately after the collision the captain of the Gijon shot himself). Meanwhile a boat left Gijon to try & find Laxham. They found her, almost under water, rescued the 3 remaining Laxham crew & soon thereafter, within 20 minutes of the collision, Laxham sank. Returning to Gijon, they found that it had also sunk - sunk bow first. They found only two boatloads of people (three boats were apparently launched). 7 advises that there were only enough boats on Gijon for half of the people who needed them - those who found a spot in one of the boats fought off others with knives. Per Hocking, 45 Gijon passengers & 11 Laxham crew, the only survivors, were picked up by Spanish steamship Santo Domingo. However Hocking also advises, re Laxham, that Nelson Hevertson, a schooner, picked up 15 crew & passengers of Gijon & 1 Laxham passenger. And that another 15 crew & passengers from both ships landed in boats at Muros, Galicia, Spain. Later City of Valencia arrived at London with 'eight of the crew of the steamer Gijon and that of Laxham'. Zoe & Vespertina Wilson were also involved in the rescue of survivors. About 127 in total from the two vessels would seem to have lost their lives. But links 2 & 3 state that the correct number was 116. The above text may well contain unintentional errors. I would welcome corrections to the above, or additional data.
885 (or 847 or 878 or 886) tons
A 3-masted steel barque. Per 1 (data in Norwegian, ex a Word document at 'Skipet'), 2 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). 60.2 metres (197.6 ft.) long, signal letters NFRT later KDBP. Built for H. Ellis, of London. The Mercantile Navy List of 1880 states that the vessel's then owner was Edward Davies of Plymouth. In 1884 the vessel was sold to C. M. Matzen (or Christian M. Matzen & Co.) of Hamburg, Germany. It was sold again, in 1902, to 'J. Jeremiassen in Porsgrund' & 'could still be verified in 1910' (means still registered then?). It would seem that the words mean that the vessel was sold to A/S Olive of Porsgrund (now Porsgrunn), Norway with H. Jeremiassen the manager. Miramar indicate that the vessel was wrecked 'on Runo, Gulf of Riga' on Nov. 10, 1908. 'Skipet' indicates 'Grunnstøtte på Runö i Rigabukta på reise Riga – Kristiania med tømmer' which in a webmaster modified Yandex translation from the Norwegian means that on that day 'The ship ran aground on the Runö in Rigabukta travelling from Riga to Oslo with timber'. Anything that you can add?
1519 (or 1447) tons
An iron hulled clipper (full-rigged), with a lion figurehead. Per 1 (extensive data, they state Gypsy), 2, 3 & 4 (images), 5 (1874 wood engraving), 6 (extensive data, also states Gypsy), 7 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). 235 ft. 6 in. long. Accommodation for 60 1st class passengers plus about 500 in steerage. A popular ship. Had a piano aboard. And a smoking room (then unusual). Signal letters JLSV. Launched for Devitt & Moore, of London. I have read that the ship sailed out of Newcastle but the many voyages at 1 are all ex London. Engaged in the Australian immigration trade (mainly Melbourne thru 1887 & then Sydney thru 1897, but also a trip to Adelaide). And also to New Zealand. In one voyage in 1887, the vessel reached Sydney ex London in 71 days. Have read described, at 6, as the 'most successful, fastest and most famous iron ship he (Pile) built. Devitt and Moore always spoke of her as the fastest ship in their fleet'. In Nov. 1895, Rodney lost her figurehead in a gale in the English Channel, while en route from Gravesend to Sydney. The figurehead washed ashore at Whitesand Bay, Cornwall, 6 months later. In 1897, (Miramar states 1896), the ship was sold to F. Boissière, of Nantes, France, & renamed Gipsy (the cross-over year, per Lloyd's, is 1896/97). Re-rigged then as a barque. On Dec. 7, 1901, the vessel was wrecked, a total loss, at Downderry, Looe, on the coast of Cornwall, on voyage from Iquique (Chile) to France with a cargo of nitrate. Most of my earlier links have had to be removed since they no longer work. Can you add anything?
More when we have more! There would seem to be lots to cover.
In creating these pages, I see little purpose in reinventing the wheel. There is lots of fine data available on the WWW about the City of Adelaide & its long and distinguished history. So I will give a quick summation, hopefully in a few paragraphs, & then direct you elsewhere for a selection of sites with more data and/or more complete data.
Do drop by the links below, the top four being links current in May. 2010, as efforts intensify to have the vessel preserved in the City where she was built - at Sunderland in 1864.
Where do matters now sit? This is how I understand it to be, as this is revised on July 2, 2010:-
But ... forgive me. The data below is now, in Oct. 2012, way out of date. But I cannot describe, even in summary form, the many events of the intervening months. My apologies for that. I am just too distant from the scene. Should some kind visitor chose to summarise those developments, do be in touch & I will be happy to modify the page accordingly. I have left the earlier content below, intact, since it may be of asssiatnce to vistors.
The ship was some years ago acquired by the Scottish Maritime Museum ('SMM'), who raised her from her then sunk position, towed her to Irvine, Scotland, & put her on public display. SMM are unable to support the cost of her maintenance & restoration & applied for permission to break up the vessel. Permission was denied, related I believe to the vessel being a 'Grade A Listed Building', a category of the very greatest importance. SMM plan a 'scientific deconstruction' but funds are not available for that either. They would need financial support to do it, which support seems at present not likely. Ayrshire Metal Products, the owner of the land upon which the ship lies, wanted vacant possession of the land in order to redevelop it. They wanted the land vacant by Mar. 31, 2010 though that date must have had some flexibility left in it - since the ship is still at Irvine today.
It is not clear what will happen if the vessel is not moved soon. A court case may well be needed. To chart a way forward. Probably it would be bad news for the ship.
To move the ship to Sunderland will currently cost an estimated £400,000, a lower than previous price due to the recession. Sunderland City of Adelaide Recovery Foundation ('SCARF') has £200,000 pledged towards the project. A deepwater protected dock area is ready in Sunderland, I am advised, where the clipper, resting on a barge, could be stored, pending further restoration plans. Once in Sunderland, however, the vessel would be an attraction in its own right.
To move the ship to Sunderland would be a first step only, though a major step. To restore the ship once it were moved to Sunderland would be a GIANT project. SCARF at the link just provided indicate that £2,000,000 is sought. Some funds towards the restoration might be provided by 'Heritage Lottery Fund' but the road ahead is long & hard. National Heritage Memorial Fund might help also. 'National Historic Ships' is deeply involved in the whole matter. Any restoration project will be MOST expensive.
The Preservation Trust in Australia also wants the ship to be preserved. At Adelaide in South Australia. An incredibly large portion of the present population of Australia traces their ancestry to immigration via this single ship. So Australia has a giant interest in having the ship preserved. And being returned 'down-under'.
While the support of individual contributors is probably critical to get the ship on the first step towards preservation, i.e. physically to Sunderland, it may be that the later restoration of the ship will only be possible should someone with very deep pockets 'step up to bat'. Government support or support by a strong commercial organisation may well be necessary to ensure that the vessel is preserved for future generations.
Peter Maddison, previously Councillor for Millfield Ward in the City of Sunderland, is spearheading Sunderland's efforts in this most important matter.
On Apl. 28, 2010, by Fiona Hyslop, the Scottish Minister of Culture and External Affairs, made an announcement. She announced that 'Historic Scotland', an executive agency of the Scottish Government charged with safeguarding the nation’s historic environment, has commissioned 'DTZ', a private firm, to appraise the current options for the ship, including its possible relocation to Sunderland, South Australia or indeed elsewhere in Scotland. I think that this is the website of DTZ, a global firm of real estate advisers, though I can find no references on their website to this 'City of Adelaide' commission. DTZ appointed Sir Neil Cossons, the former Director of the Maritime Museum in Greenwich & a former Chair of English Heritage, to provide technical expertise for the project. This site indicated that, per Fiona Hyslop, the report was to be delivered to 'Historic Scotland' on May 31, 2010.
I now know a little more!
The DTZ draft report was indeed delivered on May 31, 2010, and is under review, which will lead to a final report very soon. Advice will be provided to Minister Hyslop & it is hoped that the Minister will then be in a position to make a further announcement, expected later in the month of July 2010.
Living in Canada, as I do, I was particularly interested to learn that Nova Scotia, Canada, may play a giant role in the future of the ship at Sunderland. Timber from a vast forested area in the Province of Nova Scotia is to be made available, free of charge, to permit the replacement of 'City of Adelaide' decks & planking. Thanks go to Alan S. Platt of Isle of Wight TV and Media for that most wonderful offer of assistance.
Leading the efforts to have 'Carrick / City of Adelaide' preserved at Sunderland is Councillor Peter Maddison. Shown here, 'waving the flag', at Irvine, Scotland, in Jun. 2009. The fine image appears here thanks to Alistair Neil, of the 'Cumnock Chronicle' newspaper & previously of the 'Irvine Times'.
A passenger & cargo clipper ship, the City of Adelaide was launched on May 7, 1864 at the North Sands, Sunderland yard of 'William Pile, Hay & Co.' Of composite construction, I read, which means that it was built with iron frames & wooden hull, at a period when ship designs were in transit from wood to iron. Teak planking I have read. There are only 2 composite ships left in the world, I read (City of Adelaide is 5 years older & a bit smaller than the Cutty Sark, also of composite construction). She (City of Adelaide) was built for Devitt & Moore, of London, (Lloyd's Register of 1864/65 states Devitt & Co.) for the Australia trade & for 23 years travelled the seas with cargoes & passengers. 176 ft. 8 in. long, signal letters WGLQ. The Mercantile Navy List of 1870 & 1880 records Joseph Moore of Surrey as the vessel's owner while the 1890 list records Thomas S. Dixon of Belfast. For a long time she held the record of 65 days for the passage from London to Adelaide. But was beaten out by Torrens, a Laing vessel built in Sunderland, that did the voyage in just 64 days. I read that it is estimated that more than 60 per cent of the current population of the state of South Australia can trace their families' arrival to the City of Adelaide. For a while she worked as a collier & in the lumber trade with North America. In 1893 she was purchased by Southampton Corporation for use as a sanatorium & floating isolation hospital - until 1923. Then she was bought by the Admiralty, towed to Irvine, Ayrshire, Scotland, (SW of Glasgow) renamed HMS Carrick, & used as a Drill Ship for the Clyde Division of the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve ('RNVR'). She served as an administration centre during WW2 and, scheduled to be broken up, became instead a clubhouse for RNVR. She would seem to have had an unfortunate history in Glasgow, & was flooded twice. Glasgow City Council applied for 'Listed Building' status for the ship to facilitate preservation of the ship, & she was listed as Category A (i.e. of the highest importance). Later she was acquired by the Scottish Maritime Museum ('SMM'), who raised her from her sunk position, towed her to Irvine, & put her on display. Alas, that is not the end of the story. SMM were unable to support the costs of maintenance & restoration & applied for permission to break up the vessel, which request was denied. Major efforts were made to have the vessel returned to Sunderland & put on display - at a very high cost alas - & that effort, it would seem, has also, so far at least, failed. A further proposal was made to break up the ship. In the late summer of 2006, Somerset commercial property developer, Tim Roper, of Isle Abbots, near Taunton, stepped in to save the ship - hoping to transform her into a floating visitor attraction at Falmouth, Cornwall. He was reported to have reached agreement with SMM to buy the vessel for only £1, 'subject to him pouring in millions to secure her restoration on the River Fal.' There the matter stood in late 2006. The vessel was then in very poor condition indeed. And restoration costs will surely be astronomical. Sunderland is sad that the vessel may not ultimately return to the river from which she was launched 145 years ago. But glad, I am sure, to see her preserved somewhere since she is a most famous vessel indeed not only in the history of Sunderland shipbuilding but in the very history of shipbuilding itself. And in the history of Australia.
Sorry! That is rather a big summary paragraph! But is by no means the end of the story.
In late Jul. 2007, I received a kind message from Peter J. Roberts of the 'Save the City of Adelaide Clipper Ship Action Group' of Kent Town (a suburb of Adelaide), South Australia. Which indicates that efforts were in progress to have the City of Adelaide moved from Scotland to South Australia & put on display there. Particularly the group's mission is 'Protecting and securing the ship under cover, and on land, in Port Adelaide' The website is here & I encourage you to drop by. I have tried, upon receipt of Peter's message, to find, on the WWW, an update re the status of Tim Roper's plans as stated above. But I have had no success in that regard. It does not, however, seem to have succeeded.
Corrections? Do advise me. Even re small detail.
This page used to contain a reference that there were very few images available of such a very famous ship! And I was grateful for what I was able to find. But now, in late 2009, a series of 59 images of the ship in its location at Irvine, Scotland, are available. Some very fine images indeed. That show her current condition in a way I have not seen before. My first image below, a composite image, shows just 3 of those images - to show where she lies on the river bank, a fine bow image so you might see her exterior condition & a brilliant interior shot. I did intend to make my image into an image map so you might click each portion of the image to go to the original complete image. But that would not do justice to all of the other 56 images which have been made available, accessible here. Do visit that site & view the whole sequence of images which are very fine indeed.
But first, a most interesting photograph of 'Carrick' arriving at Irvine in 1949. Presumably when owned by the Admiralty & soon to be used as a Drill Ship for the Clyde Division of the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve. The fine image, courtesy of Robert Jeffrey & Ian Watson, appears in their volume, 'The Herald Book Of the Clyde', published by Black and White Publishing in 2000 - ISBN 1902927141. Robert & Ian, we thank you both!
I trust that the use of such images (and the images which follow) on this non-profit & informational site is in order & I thank all the sources.
Keeping this site up to date is not a particularly easy task. An article in 'London Times on Line' on Dec. 15, 2009 brought us almost up to date. But also raised new questions. (You can find the article still, I think, but at a fee, since, I can only presume, Rupert Murdoch's wallet needs to be topped up.) Such as what was decided that day. If anyone can bring me 'up to date' on all of these situations (Peter Maddison's Sunderland efforts, Tim Roper's efforts from Falmouth & 'Kent Town' of Adelaide, Australia), I would love to hear from you.
The composite 'before & after' image that next follows shows an image ex the then website of the 'Ilfracombe and North Devon Sub-Aqua Club'. And at right are two images of the vessel as it was relatively recently. One, I believe was from iExplore, & the other from here. I should add that a recent artwork of the vessel by E. D. Walker is here. And this page has, low on the page, an image of the City of Adelaide, flooded & on its side in Glasgow in 1978.
Also, below, with the kind permission of Peter Roberts of the South Australian website I referred to above, I can present, below, a splendid large image of the vessel, believed to be of a 'Thomas Dutton' print. I have not seen a reference to a date of publication of the print but did see another 'Dutton' print stated to date from c. 1870. I wonder if anybody can advise me of its original publication date?
Some City of Adelaide links. A selection. A great many WWW pages are available.
The top four links below are current, i.e. Mar. 2010 links, as efforts intensify to have the vessel moved to Sunderland & preserved for all time. And avoid the vessel's sad destruction.
1 'Peter Maddison & the preservation of 'City of Adelaide' - on 'YouTube'.
Videos featuring Sunderland Councillor Peter Maddison, of 'SCARF', who is trying to have the 'City of Adelaide' return to Sunderland, where she was built in 1864.
2 'City of Adelaide set sail for home' - Pete Dodds & Paul Jackson
The inspiring 'City of Adelaide' song, written & performed by Pete Dodds & Paul Jackson.
3 'Save our Ship' - Sunderland City of Adealide Recovery Foundation
Access to all the things you should know about activities to have the 'City of Adelaide' preserved at Sunderland.
4 'YouTube' & the campaign to preserve the 'City of Adelaide'
More about the 'City of Adelaide' from 'YouTube'.
5 'A Sunderland City of Adelaide Recovery Foundation Page'
It says most things you would wish to know.
6 The Sunderland proposal
The Sunderland application, which alas, failed. And the link is now gone.
7 'The SMM application to demolish'
A .doc file. The demolition application of The Scottish Maritime Museum of May 2006.
8 News article re Tim Roper's plans.
Some limited words about Tim Roper's proposals. But the site is long gone.
9 'The Wikipedia page via Answers.com'
The Wikipedia page about City of Adelaide.
10 'The 'Adelaide, S.A., 'City of Adelaide' website'
The 'Save the City of Adelaide Clipper Ship Action Group' website.
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 'T. H. Woods', a shipbuilder, of Strand Slip, Monkwearmouth, in 1858, but would 'Lloyd's' have shortened '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'.
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!
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.
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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