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

Copyright? (21 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 = 25) Test.

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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'! A Miramar list of 'Watson' vessels is here, but that link will only work if you are registered as in the previous paragraph - maybe 29 of them from Oct. 1869 to Aug. 1874. But see the reference to 40 vessels above. Was the yard perhaps taken over by a builder named 'Hardcastle'?

1   Irene
472/447, later 398 tons


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

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


Mic Mac

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

3 Lady Turner
430 tons


A wooden barque, likely of 3 masts. Per 1 (burnt at sea in 1877, at column bottom), 2 (House of Commons papers, volume 66, published in 1880). 140 ft. 8 in. long, signal letters HWKL. The vessel is not Miramar listed. The webmaster has a number of editions of Lloyd's Register available to him from 'Google' books, see left. The vessel was built for B. Balkwill & Co. ('Balkwill') of Salcombe, Devon, U.K., who remained the vessel's recorded owners thru the 1876/77 register, the last that I have available that references the vessel. The Mercantile Navy List of 1870, however, records Robert Hancock Balkwill of West Alvington, Devon, as the then owner of the Salcombe registered vessel. It would seem that the vessel was acquired to serve the Indian Ocean - Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) & India etc. - & had only one captain in its lifetime, S. (Sherrick) Vincent. On May 12, 1877, the 'Hawke's Bay Herald', a New Zealand newspaper, advised that the barque, owned by Balkwill & valued at about Ł3,500, had burned at sea, while en route from Melbourne, Australia, to Colombo, Ceylon. They further advised that the crew was rescued by Arratoon Apcar, a steamer, & landed at Galle, (SW tip of Sri Lanka). I have found no additional data which might set out the detailed circumstances, though the loss occurred at 6N/85E in the Indian Ocean & the vessel's captain stated that the vessel burned due to spontaneous combustion. I learn that the loss actually occurred on Mar. 9, 1877, & that the vessel was then owned by E. (Edward) Jarvis ('Jarvis'), of Kingsbridge, Devon (near Salcombe). I presume that Balkwill must have sold the vessel to Jarvis in or prior to 1875 - since the Mercantile Navy Lists of both 1875 & 1876 list Edward Jarvis, of Kingsbridge, as the vessel's then owner. There is very little data WWW available about the vessel. Can you provide any additional data, and/or correct the above?

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

Hull 402


An iron barque, later a ship & a barque again. This vessel, which was completed in Oct. 1869, seems to be Lloyd's Register ('LR') listed from 1869/70 thru 1899/1900 at least. I say 'seems to be' because the webmaster does not have LRs available for every year in such period & particularly none into the early 1900s. The vessel, a barque generally but a ship per LR from 1872/73 thru 1876/77, was registered at London thru 1888/89 & owned by W. (William) Pellier of St. Helier, Jersey, as is confirmed by the Mercantile Navy Lists ('MNL') of 1870, 1880 & 1888. LR lists proposed service only thru 1873/74. It lists her initial service as being to Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) ex Sunderland (in 1869/70), from London to China (from 1870/71 thru 1872/73) & from Cardiff, Wales, to Australia in 1873/74. With, per LR, a number of captains during such period - A. Messrvy thru 1872/73, E. Lusby thru 1875/76, Barrett thru 1879/80, Le Bas thru 1880/81, T. Howard in 1881/82, W. P. Le Bas for part of 1882/83, Le Boeuf (a number of spellings) thru 1885/86, & J. C. Le Masurier thru 1888/89. Something unusual must have happened to the vessel in or about 1882/83. LR of that edition noted that the vessel had foundered but then deleted the reference, while MNL of 1883 did not list the vessel at all.
It would seem a single voyage to Australia. On Nov. 9, 1874, the vessel left London for Adelaide, South Australia, with a general cargo which included 500 barrels of gunpowder. It arrived at Adelaide on Jan. 29, 1875 & later left on Mar. 13, 1875 to return to London. The vessel was then under the command of J. C. Barrette, previously the vessel's chief officer. He was granted command when the vessel's previous captain (Lusby?) died as a result of a gun accident just before the vessel's departure from London.
LRs from 1889/90 thru 1899/1900 list the vessel as now registered at Swansea, Wales, & owned by G. (George) H. Meager, her managing owner, of Swansea (maybe of Villiers Dry Dock). As is confirmed by MNLs of 1889, 1890, 1900 & also in 1902 then listed at 842 tons (net) only. 197.7 ft. long, signal letters LCGK, later, per MNL only, PLTR. I spotted a reference in Jun. 1896 to the vessel being involved in the grain trade, unloading 1,334 tons of wheat at Swansea ex Talcahuano (coast of central Chile). And a Feb. 13, 1900 reference to the vessel at Swansea ex Cape Town, South Africa. The vessel is not listed in MNL of 1904. It had been lost? Apparently not. On Apl. 3, 1903, the 'Cambrian' Welsh newspaper reported that the vessel had been sold by 'Meager' to unnamed Norwegian owners for Ł2,000. The webmaster is in possession of no later data re the vessel now Norwegian owned. Is there anything you can add? #2039

5   Beethoven
1393 (or 1390) tons
Hull 403



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

6   Nina
783 tons
Hull 404


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

7 Ulpiano
348 tons
Hull 407

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

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


An iron barque. Per 1 (wreck data), 2 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). The vessel, which was launched on Mar. 8, 1870, is Lloyd's Register ('LR') listed from 1870/71 thru 1883/84 only. It was owned, per LR, thru 1875/76, by R. Cresswell of London, which owner name is clarified by Mercantile Navy Lists ('MNL') of 1871 thru 1875 to mean Richd. Wm. Cresswell. F. Orfeur, per LR, served as the vessel's captain under 'Cresswell' ownership indeed continued to so serve for the duration (thru 1880/81) of ownership of the vessel's next owner - i.e. J. Hall, jr. & Co. of London. MNL's of 1876 thru 1882 list John Hall, jun. thru 1876 & just John Hall from 1878. MNL of 1880. In 1881/82, per LR, the vessel became both registered & owned at Melbourne, Australia, owned by D. Blair, per MNL of 1883 David Blair. 'Schutt', per LR, became the vessel's captain. LR lists 'Blair' as her owner thru 1883/84. However, MNL of 1884 lists the vessel at now 444 tons (net) & owned by Mrs. Violet M. Christian, of Queensland, Australia. 148.2 ft. long, signal letters JNTM.
Link 1 states that the vessel was en route from Lakes Island to Northwest with a cargo of guano, struck Scott Reef during a gale & was lost on Jan. 15, 1884. And further states the loss location to have been 14.04S/121.77E. Miramar has a slightly different location - 14.03S/121.48E. A Google 'data snippet' ex 'Unfinished Voyages, 1881-1900', Lynne Cairns & Graeme Henderson, published in 1995, tells us that the vessel carried a crew of 11 all told under the command of Lewis Schutt & that the captain's wife & 2 children were aboard also. The ship's boats had carried away & via a makeshift raft everyone managed to make it to Browse Island, about 160 km. distant, where they arrived on Jan. 28, 1884.
So far as I can see the vessel at the date of loss did NOT carry the captain's wife & two children as above indicated - the couple's second child was born 2 days after the raft arrived at Browse Island. So throughout the hurricane, wreck & raft ordeal, the captain's wife was in an advanced state of pregnancy.
A 'best efforts' summary of events, thanks to Trove. Yarra, then operated out of Brisbane, was under charter to Messrs. Grice, Sumner & Co. of Melbourne & owned by Captain Schutt (Lewis John Daley Schutt) & 3 others incl. Thomas Christian of Charters Towers, Queensland. It was not insured. Aboard the vessel were a crew of 11 all told, plus the captain's wife & their 3 year old daughter. The vessel left Lake's Island, in the Gulf of Carpentaria, on Dec. 2, 1883 bound for Falmouth, Cornwall, for orders, with a cargo of guano. Hurricane conditions were encountered when in the Arafura Sea, most of the vessel's sails were carried away & at 11 p.m. on Jan. 15, 1884, at a time of high water, the vessel was driven broadside onto Scott Reef. The vessel became a total wreck with its bilge knocked out, & only one ship's boat barely serviceable. Everybody made it ashore - the wreck was high & dry in the morning. They started to dismantle the vessel & on Jan. 18, 1884 started to build a raft from the ship's masts, spars, etc. It took about 5 days to complete & then, stocked with sufficient provisions from the ship to last 50 days, they set out to try to reach Browse Island, about 90 miles distant. They safely arrived near Browse island at 6 a.m. on Jan. 28, 1884 & hoisted a distress signal. Though the signal was quickly seen by the two vessels anchored there, only at 3 p.m. did 2 boats arrive, one each from Alert, a Swedish schooner, Sundqvist in command & Rizoe (name not for certain) a Norwegian brig, Ellingsen in command. Alert was under charter to load guano for Browse Island Guano Company of Adelaide. At 6 p.m. a portion of the survivors with the more valuable of the provisions went in Yarra's boat to Alert. Two more boats arrived at the anchored vessels thru the night. The captains of Alert & Rizoe both agreed that the survivors would help load their vessels with guano (maybe for Levi & Co. of Adelaide) & in return the survivors would be landed at an Australian port. The raft was effectively abandoned & drifted away. A daughter was safely born to Mrs. Schutt on Feb. 2, 1884. During all the days thru to Feb. 9, 1884, Yarra's crew lived up to their agreement, helping load guano onto Alert & Rizoe. Now Karnan, a Helsingbourg schooner, had been also loading guano at Browes Island but had left the scene to get needed supplies. When it returned on Feb. 10, 1884, Captain Nordfelth, its captain, offered little charity - he only offered to take Mrs. Schutt (presumably with her now 2 children) to Cape of Good Hope. Alert now wanted to land the survivors at Mauritius. The Alert/Rizoe deal was changed. All 3 vessels were to go to Yarra's wreck & split whatever they could recover. Schutt had little choice but to accept Sundqvist's (of Alert) new agreement - to land Schutt at Port Darwin for a Ł10 fee for himself & Ł5 for each of the others, Sundqvist to be given the Yarra's thermometers/chronometers & additionally would be given the allowance that the British Government routinely provided to shipwrecked sailors. Alert made it to the wreck site but Rizoe & Karnan never did. On Feb 27, 1884, Alert landed the Schutt family & 5 Yarra crew members at Port Darwin. They all went on to Sydney for Melbourne via Tannadice, a steamer. Not sure yet when Rizoe with its 5 Yarra survivors made it to Darwin but it would seem that it did so. Key newspaper articles A, B. Names of Yarra crew. An Inquiry was held into the vessel's loss, but this brief ref. to its findings adds little to the story. A distressingly uncharitable treatment for survivors of a shipwreck, all said & done. Can you add anything additional? #2036

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


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

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


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

11   Firenze
1014 tons
Hull 412

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

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

68266 (later)

A schooner rigged iron steamship, which was launched on Jul. 17, 1871 & recorded in 2 master lists of Sunderland built ships at an initial 1003 tons. Per Miramar (link, you now must be registered to access), the vessel was initially owned by Wm. Ruys & Zonan of Rotterdam, but was sold in 1873 to J. Machan of Dundee & renamed Success. The circumstances of such sale are of interest. The vessel is stated (Question 15 on page 2 of this report) to have been a wreck when Machan purchased her. Further, Miramar advise that the vessel, initially 67.5 metres (221.46 ft.) long perpendicular to perpendicular, was lengthened to 76.2 metres (250.0 ft.) long in 1873. Can anybody tell us what happened to the vessel that caused the vessel to have been termed a wreck & precipitated the 1873 sale. The vessel is Lloyd's Register ('LR') listed, as Success, from 1874/75 thru 1885/86, always owned by J. Machan of Dundee, Scotland. With 'Hunter' her captain from 1877/78 thru 1881/82 & 'W. Ogilvie' thereafter. Success is listed in Mercantile Navy Lists ('MNL') from 1874 thru 1885, always owned by John Machan of Dundee. Who purchased her for between Ł16,000 & Ł17,000. Was first registered at Dundee on Jun. 12, 1873. Two typical MNL's - 1882 & 1885. MNL consistently states, incidentally, that the vessel was initially Fop Smidt rather than Fop Smit. LR of 1885/86 notes that the vessel had 'Foundered'. 221.46 ft. long, from 1873 250.00 ft. long, signal letters MSPL (per MNL) or NSPL (per LR), 98 HP engines by North Eastern Marine Engineering Co. of Sunderland.
On Jul. 10, 1885, the vessel left Cronstadt (St. Petersburg, Russia) for London with a cargo of wheat & oats, but additionally with lathwood loaded upon her decks. Under the command of Alexander Glass & with a crew of 19 all told. At midnight on Jul. 10, 1885 the vessel was 1 1/2 miles off Rodskar Light, Gulf of Finland. A course was set for the Reval Stone Lightship, about 60 miles distant, & the captain retired to the chart house. At 3.23 a.m. on Jul. 11, 1885 a lightship was sighted. Such light, believed to have been Reval Stone lightship was in fact the Kalbaden lightship. The 2nd mate twice changed course without consulting the captain. At 3.50 a.m., proceeding at full speed, the vessel struck Kalbaden shoal indeed passed right over it. It was initially thought there was little damage but soon the pumps could not control the inflow of water. At 7.30 a.m. they had to abandon ship which sank 15 minutes later. The ship's boats safely arrived at Reval (today Tallinn, the capital of Estonia), at 9.00 p.m. later that day. The crew later were returned to the U.K. via Delta. The loss was the subject of an Inquiry held at Dundee & the resulting Report can be read here. The Court concluded that the vessel's loss was due to the grave default of Thomas Alexander Dykes, the vessel's 2nd mate, & they suspended his certificate for a year. The court reprimanded the captain also for trusting the 2nd mate & for not giving adequate instructions. The story is strange. The helmsman at the time (Louis Hansen) knew where they were but, as I read the report, did nothing to avoid the disaster. The vessel was insured. Many crew lists are here. Is there anything you can add? #2040

13 Hesperus
878 (later 941) tons
Hull 413


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

14   Sunniside
914 (or 956) tons
Hull 409



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?

15 Pachino
1003 (or 1049) tons
Hull 423

Eugenia Segre
Lido G

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?

16   Segesta
1782 (or 1768) tons
Hull 415

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?

17 Susan
876 tons
Hull 417


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?

18 Ballochmyle
1511 tons
Hull 428



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.

19   Drepano
1572 (or 1499 or 1558) tons
Hull 424


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?

20 Norval
1431 became 1427 tons
Hull 427


An iron, fully rigged 'half-poop' ship. Per 1 (An extensive account of the 1882 Norval fire ex 2), 3 ('', data), 4 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). The webmaster has a number of editions of Lloyd's Registers, thru 1882/83, ex Google Books, available (see left). 243.0 ft. long 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

21 Baron Aberdare
1708 (or 1630) tons
Hull 429



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.

1 Cretehawser
262 tons



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


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

Have I confused you sufficiently?

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

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

As you can next see.


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

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

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

1 Sjomanden
349 tons

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

WORTHY GEORGE of Southwick

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

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

1   Sultan
400/453, later 440 tons


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


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

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

Your input would be welcomed.

1 Columbine
56 (later 78) tons


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

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