My brother inherited, from our Grandmother on the Box side, a ship’s bell, inscribed “Kishon” 1872 Amble. It used to sit on a window ledge in the hall at Little Cucknells, looking out over the drive.
He has done some research into the ship, which I have supplemented.
- The Kishon, built in Amble in 1872
- Voyages of the Kishon
- Wrecked in Cornwall in November 1890
- Sale of the Wreck
Kishon was presumably named after the river in Israel, where the prophets of Baal were executed, and the Canaanite army was washed away. Fortunately this is a rare name for a ship, which has made it easier to find references in the internet.
The Kishon, built in Amble in 1872
Amble, a small town on the coast of Northumberland, did have a small shipbuilders – the Amble Shipbuilding Company, but according to the information I can find on them they were taken over by Palmers Shipbuilding and Iron Company Limited of Jarrow during WW1 and, according to another source, were incorporated in 1918, and dissolved in 1948. Alternatively it may be that the ship was built in Sunderland, for an owner in Amble.
According to http://www.fusilier.co.uk/amble_and_district_mcandrews/amble_northumberland_history.htm
SHIPBUILDING Shipbuilding in a small way was at one time carried on at Amble, and a small fleet of useful merchant ships was built and owned by people in Amble and district in the early ‘Fifties. The rapid progress of steamships in the middle of the last century, however, nipped in the bud this infant industry.
The first ship recorded to have been built at Amble dates back to the end of the eighteenth century. About this time enormous quantities of oak trees were cut down in Chevington Wood, with the evident intention of replanting, which was never done, and from this timber a vessel was constructed on the Coquet banks near the old ” granary ” on the Warkworth road, and was named the Chevington Oak.
After the passing of the Harbour Act, 1837, shipbuilding was commenced on the Braid by a Mr Douglas of Sunderland. The first vessels built were the Breeze, Aid and Landscape.
With Mr Douglas came the late respected postmaster, Mr Thomas Leighton, and, in 1851, Messrs Leighton & Sanderson commenced shipbuilding on the river-bank, now occupied by the brickworks. In all this firm built seven ships, i.e. the Perseverence, Providence, Isabella and Mary, Sunrise, Amble, Glorianna and the Agenora, the last named being built in 1861. In 1868, another ship was built on the north side of the Coquet. A floating dock, which was of no practical use, was also built, and it ultimately went to pieces on the Braid.
The following is a list of ships which were owned by residents, some of which were regular traders to Amble till about twenty-five years ago….MESSRS RICHARDSON BROS.—
Cedar, Green Olive, Galilee, Kishon, Kedron, Radiant, Landscape, Star of Peace, Jane Brown, Chatteranga, Savannah-le-mer, Serepta.
According to “The Sunderland Site“, page 125, for ships built in Sunderland in 1872, Kishon is number 65 on his list and this reference now contains plenty of information and is well worth a read.
A. Richardson & Co.
However there were a limited number of Surveying Ports, although it may also be that the above site has a Sunderland focus, as according to the website of the Mariners mailing list
|Off. No.||Name Current||Date Adopted||Port of Registry||GRT||NRT|
Kishon was Registered at North Shields.
For comparison, the Cutty Sark, was probably 971 NRT, about double the capacity, but a visit to her gives a good impression of life aboard a sailing vessel of about this era.
The owner – A. Richardson & Co.
The owner was possibly Andrew Richardson – merchant and shipowner of Amble, who – together with Robert and George Richardson, also shipowners of Amble, and some others – founded Warkworth Baptist Church on 21st September 1866. (It only lasted until 1888 !). The company still owned the Kishon until it was wrecked in 1890, although it looks as if he may have sold a part share to T.S. Howett of Reading shortly before the wreck. This was probably T.S. Howitt – the captain of the ship for most of its history.
Andrew Richardson’s address, on the Crew List of 1881, is given as Castle Crescent, Reading (OSM), so he may have lived there, but still retained an Amble connection.
The builder – James Gardner.
There is not very much information about him on the internet. The best reference I have found is the Sunderland Site. From Sunderland Ships it appears that he built the similar barque, the Helen S. at North Hylton in 1872, as well as other ships. The South Hylton Local History Society, which also covers North Hylton has a page about shipbuilding in the area.
Voyages of the Kishon
A voyage from Britain to Australia could take four months, and sailors must have been hardy. Presumably recipients would know the ship was on her way as the Electric Telegraph connected Australia in October 1877, but there would be no way to communicate from the ship.
October 1873 – From Liverpool to Brisbane
http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/169482822 (The Telegraph, Brisbane 19th November 1873)
Kishon, from Liverpool, for Brisbane, to sail first week in October. Bright Brothers and Co. Agents
This is the first mention I can find of Kishon on the Trove website. There are then several other references which add no extra information, although one has the destination as Maryborough. Another has the departure date as September 4th.
On 7th January 1874 as the Brisbane Courier has an advertisement for
Per Kishon - 6 Hogsheads Holloware
There is a more complete list of the cargo from Friday 23rd January 1874
Kishon, barque, 472 tons, cleared at Liver- pool, for Brisbane, November 1, with blankets and flannels, £72 j cotton goods, £126; gene- ral drapery, £93; haberdashery and hosiery, £20; canvas, £450; sacks, No. 5100; paints and varnish, £170 ; brushware, £30 ; hardware and ironmongery, £610; machinery, £100; oilman's stores and provisions, £70; corks, 2910 lbs ; salt, 480 tons ; chemicals,* £200 ; beer, in bulk, 71 barrels ; beer, in glass, 342 barrels ; brandy, 34 gallons ; British spirits, 309 gallons; red and white wine, 241 gallons; galvanised iron, 11 tons ; steel, 2 tons,
Apparently, despite being due to depart in the first week in October, and being cleared on November 1st, she actually sailed on November 3rd. About January 29th reports start being printed that the Kishon has been spoken to 51 days out, and that all is well. Presumably she encountered a ship bound for England around December 24th, and when that ship docked, a month later, a telegram was sent.
Finally, at midnight on February 14th 1874 she arrives at Cape Moreton and on February 15th is anchored at the bar at Lytton. On the 16th she is towed by the Francis Cadell to the wharf of Messrs. Bright Brothers.
The Francis Cadell was a tug boat, commanded by Captain Davies, and owned by Bright Brothers. (Possibly named after the Scottish Colourist)
The Brisbane Telegraph of 17th February has a more complete list of the cargo.
Kishon, barque, from Liverpool: 1 cask, P. Barnett; 15 bales canvas, 16 bales corks, 150 cases beer, 10 hogsheads stout, 18 casks paint, 2 cases copper tubes, 1 keg rivets, 8 sheets copper, .5 sheets brass, 200 cases beer, Order ; ' 100 cases bottled ale, 100 cases stout, XL; 20 drums caustic soda, 125 drums oil, -8 barrels paint, 20 barrels resin, 20 bales sacks, 8 boxes, 30 cases, 20 half-barrels fish, HW&Co B ; 12 drums caustic, 1,089 cases, PCB ; 3 cases 3 casks hardware, 5 cases, 3 bundles steel, Warde Brothers; 100 cases 5 quarter-casks whisky, 50 boxes bath bricks, 50 boxes salt, 20 cases galvanised iron; 19 barrels ink , 10 cases blacking, 1 case haberdashery, 1 case tools, 4 cuses safes, 2,200 bags salt, Z 20 barrels whiting, Bright Brothers and Co.- ; 2 dogs, 1 kennel, 20 tons rock salt, Order ; 1 ease, Berkley and Taylor; 1 p. sugar machinery, RNS&Co. ; 150 cases beer, M&GoL ; .550 sacks flour, BC; 200 sacks flour, BT; 4 quarter casks wine, 20 cases brandy, 550 sacks salt,- 5 quarter-casks wine, W. and A. B. Webster and Co. ; 6 casks holloware, G. Love an d Co. ; 6 casks holloware, Perry Brothers; 350 barrels 150 cases beer, 4 boxes, 5 bales blankets, 2 boxes D. L. Brown and Co. ; 2 cases, R. R. Smellie and Co. ; - 50 barrels stout, 'G. H. Wilson and Co. ; 1 p. 1 case machinery, .Birley Brothers; 250 cases beer, J. and G. Harris; 1 case cloth, Cribb and Foote ; 30 hogsheads bulk ale, ,G. Raff and Co. ; 750 bags salt, 20 tons rock salt, Barker and Co. ; 141 barrels 35 cases ale, 59 cases stout, Clarke, Hodgson, and. Co.; 1,089 .sacks salt, 20 eases ling fish, 30 casks herrings, 10 bales sacks, 10 bales woolpacks, 20 drums caustic soda, 100 drums oil, 25 drums turpentine, 4 tons white lead, 8 casks varnish, 20 barrels resin, Hutching, Weedon, and Co.
On 18th February 1874 Bright Brothers advertise their cargo in the Brisbane Courier.
BARQUE KISHON From Liverpool NOTICE TO CONSIGNEES This Vessel having REPORTED at the Customs, Consignees are re- quested to Pass Entries, Present Bills of Lading, and Pay Freight to the undersigned. BRIGHT BROTHERS & CO., 1930 _ Agents.
The Queenland Times, Ipswich Herald and General Advertiser carries an account if the voyage on 19th February
Captain Howitt reports that the barque Kishon left Liverpool on the 3rd November, and had variable winds and weather, often calm and southerly, until reaching 18 degrees N. latitude, when light trades were met with, lasting to the Equator, which was crossed in 26 degrees W., on the 6th December; light S.E. trades and variables succeeded to 80 degrees E., 48 degrees S. The easting was run down chiefly in 47 degrees S., with moderate N.W. winds; on reach- ing 140 degrees east met with a heavy gale from W.N.W., veering to the southward ; rounded Tas mania on January 29, and from thence to Cape More ton encountered N.N.E. winds and chopping sea; rounded Cape Moretonn at 10 p.m. on the 13th instant, and came to anchor at the bar the following day at 9 p.m. On February 13,at 2 p.m., Moreton light-house bearing N.W. thirty miles, Benjamin Spencer, appren tice, aged nineteen years, fell overboard while drawing water, but was not missed until 4.30 p.m., when he could not to found, but two pieces of a bucket at tached to a line-end were towing overboard. It is supposed he had slipped over the side-ship going nine knots at the time.
Note that Captain Howitt appears to still be the captain in 1886.
On the 24th February an advertisement was placed in the Telegraph (Brisbane)
TO INTENDING PASSENGERS FOR THE PALMER RIVER. GOLD FIELDS TAKING PASSENGERS, HORSES. AND CARGO. The undersigned will Dispatch the following Vessels for Cooktown as Under : — The Clipper Brig MINORA, 450 .' tons, on or about March 2. . The A1 New Clipper Barque KISHON, 800- ' tons, on or about March 10, The Favourite Clipper Schooner LUCY and ADELAIDE, 150 tons, on or about March 10. Intending Passengers are requested to IN- SPECT the above Vessels. Substantial Stalls will be fitted up, and every attention paid to ensure the safety of Passen gers' horses. - Passengers will go in order of booking. For Freight or Passage apply to - , CLARKE, HODGSON, & CO., ... . Agents.
Notice that the Kishon is now 800 tons ! In some advertisements it is 700, and sometimes 500 tons.
This explains why the next trip was to Cooktown – and why 150 people wanted to join the Palmer River Gold Rush. By the 13th March it was due to sail on the 20th March, and had room for passengers without horses, and space for Cargo.
March 1874 – From Brisbane to Cooktown
From http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/169518985 (The Telegraph, Brisbane March 20th)
March 20.— Kishon, barque, 472 tons, for Cooktown. Passengers: Mrs. Ishman, Messrs. McKinley, Loewe, and 130 in the steerage, also 90 horses.
It must have been extremely crowded in steerage, especially sharing with 90 horses. Cooktown is about 2000 kilometres north of Brisbane. She also took the piles for the wharves about to be erected at Cooktown. Note that the African and the Boomerang also sailed on March 20th, with a total of 350 passengers and 150 horses – a real gold rush !
May 1875 – From Glasgow to Brisbane
From http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/1398900 (Brisbane Courier May 18th)
Ex Kishon, barque, from Glasgow : 13 bales flannel, 1 bale scarlet flannel, 1 bale navy can- vas, 1. bale hessian, 9 cases towels, 1 case glass cloth, 3 cases cotton ticks, 1 case linen ticks, 1 Case loom huckaback, 1 case toilet covers, 2 cases quilts, 1 case colored wool damask, 1 case Victoria table covers, 1 case velvet pile table covers, 1 case damask tabling, 1 ease damask tablecloths and napkins, 1 case linen diapers, 2 cases fronting linens, 4 bales bordered brush mats, 1 bale hearthrugs, 1 bale colored sheep- skin mats, 2 cases shirtings and domestics, 4 cases white sheetings, 1 case white and buff window holland, 1 case plain green and venetian window holland, 1 bale printed felt squares, 5 bales paper, 1 bale twine, 1 case regatta and Oxford shirting, 2 cases wove Crimean shirting, 8 cases white shirts, 2 cases regatta shirts, 13 cases wove Crimean shirts, 3 cases white ground printed shirts;? 10 cases Oxford, zephyr, Madras, and Cambridge shirts, 2 cases twist regatta shirts, 1 bale blue serge trousers, 5 cases West of England and Scotch tweeds, 3 cases coatings, 16 cases winceys, 1 case Derry, 1 case fancy dress stuff, 1 case cos- tume tweeds, 1 case Cheviot tweeds, 1 case wincey skirting, 2 cases wool plaids, 1 case madder handkerchiefs, 1 case cambric handker- chiefs, 8 cases hosiery, 2 cases children's striped socks, 1 case portmanteaus, 1 case shawls and longs, 2 cases underclothing-, 2 cases stays total 154 packages, Scott, Dawson, and Stewart. Ex Kishon, barque, from Glasgow : 409 packages gunpowder, 1 box samples, 2 boxes galvanised nails, 10 casks limejuice, 25 cases limejuice, 40 cases preserved juice, 1 case strychnine, 1 box cutlery, 1 cask shot, Messrs. B. D. Morehead and Co. Ex Kishon, barque, from Glasgow : 286 boxes tobacco pipes ; W. S. Mackie.
Huckaback is “a strong linen or cotton fabric with a rough surface, used for towelling and glass cloths.”
Winceys are “A strong, lightweight twilled fabric, typically made of a mixture of wool with cotton or linen.“
From http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/1399032 (Brisbane Courier May 22nd)
Ex Kishon, barque, from Glasgow 286 boxes tobacco pipes (clay) ), W. S Mackie Ex Kishon barque, from Glasgow 50 boxes clay pipes, S Hoffnung and Co
September 1875 – from Samarang to Sydney
OF NORTH SHIELDS, THOMAS S. HEWITT MASTER, BURTHEN 472 TONS
|Surname||Given name||Station||Age||Of what Nation||Status||Comments|
|HERBERT||WILLIAM||COOK & STEWARD||24||ST VINCENT||CREW||MADE MARK|
|MCBRIDE||CHARLES||A. B.||25||LONDON||CREW||MADE MARK|
|PAIREY||JAMES||A. B.||29||CAPE BRETON||CREW|
|BALDWIN||ROBERT A||NOT ON BOARD|
October 1875 – from Sydney to Newcastle
From http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/13365331 (Sydney Morning Herald October 7th)
Departures - October 6th Kishon, for Newcastle
October 1877 – From Mauritius to Hobart
The Mercury (Hobart, Tasmania) of 7th November 1877 carries the information that the Kishon, described as a very smart looking barque, having departed Mauritius on October 1st arrived in Hobart on 6th November. The cargo being imported included 6,148 bags sugar and 5,000 gunny bags. The two passengers were Mr and Mrs Kesh. Captain McDonald gave the following particulars of the voyage
The Kishon left Mauritius on October 1, at 4 p.m., and had light variable winds to 35º S, then the usual westerly winds till November 1, when, in lat. 43.51S, long. 133.37E, the barometer fell to 28.52, and in increasing breeze from the N.W. set in, terminating in a terrific gale; at 4 p.m. rounded to and prepared for the worst, and until 2 o’clock on the morning of the 2nd inst. it blew a perfect hurricane from the W.S.W. during which the ship lay with her lee rail under water, and scarcely moving otherwise; at 6 a.m. on the following day the gale abated, and the ship was wore round and sail made. Up to November 5 it was a continuation of hard gales with snow and sleet. Sighted South Cape N.N.E. five miles on the 5th inst. at noon and took the pilot on board at 8 p.m. the same night, arriving in the Cove at 11 o’clock on the 6th inst. The barque has come into port in excellent order, and looking none the worse for the very stormy weather which she has encountered.
The Mercury article continues
The passengers speak in the highest terms of the captain, and desire us to express their thanks for his kindness towards them during the voyage.
December 1877 to January 1878 – Newcastle, NSW to Adelaide
The captain was James McDonald, departing from Newcastle on December 20th, and arriving on January 2nd.
July 1879 – Mauritius to Freemantle
From the Western Australian Times, of 8th July 1879
ARRIVALS – FREEMANTLE
July 3 KISHON, barque, McDonald, from Mauritius. Passengers – Louis Asa and Louis Danton
1879 – Carrying horses from Freemantle to Mauritius
1879 20 on the Kishon + 64 on Bessie + 20 on Iris all from Fremantle.
i.e. carrying 20 horses.
February 1879 –Mauritius and Bourbon to Australia
From http://www.parliament.vic.gov.au/papers/govpub/VPARL1880No2.pdf (Health Officer : report for the year ending 31st December 1879)
Return of vessels from Mauritius and Bourbon Name of vessel Class Tonnage Duration of Voyage Number of Crew Kishon Barque 472 31 Days 13
It also shows that there were no passengers on this voyage and no deaths amongst passengers or crew.
December 1879 – Stabbing in Lyttelton
The Kishon arrived in Lyttelton, probably on 5th December 1879.
From https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/CHP18791188.8.131.52 (The Press, 6th December 1879)
IMPORTS Per Kishon - 9720 bags sugar. Consignees - Dalgetty and Co.
From https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/TS18791184.108.40.206 (The Press, 12th December 1879)
STABBING - Peter B. Hanson, a sailor on board the barque Kishon, was summoned for stabbing John Soder, another seaman on board the vessel. The summons was served on the previous day, but accused had deserted from the vessel since. A warrant was issued for his apprehension.
From https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/CHP18791215.2.23 (The Press, 15th December 1879)
Magisterial Lyttleton Friday, December 12, STABBING - Peter Bernard Hansen, for stabbing Thomas Soder, on board the barque Kishon, was called. Mr Nalder appeared for prosecutor. The accused did not appear, and a warrant was issued.
From https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/CHP18791220.127.116.11 (The Press, 18th December 1879)
The Kishon was towed into the stream yesterday. Her destination is Adelaide.
From https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/CHP1879118.104.22.168 (The press, 19th December 1879)
CLEARED - December 18 Kishon, barque 473 tons, McDonald, for Adelaide. Royse, Stead and Co. agents.
So the Kishon left for Adelaide, presumably without Peter Hansen on board.
From https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/CHP18800401.2.9 (The Press, 1st April 1890)
There was also in the Lyttelton lock-up last night a man named Peter Bernard Hansen, charged with stabbing his mate on board the barque Kishon. The prisoner failed to appear when the vessel was in port, and the prose - cutor having left he will probably be charged with disobeying a summons.
It looks as if justice finally caught up with him – presumably he had been hiding in Lyttelton all this time
It is interesting to note that the newspapers reported the routine arrival and departure of the Kishon, and that this appears to have been the first, and last, visit of the Kishon to New Zealand.
The Adelaide Evening Journal records the arrival of the Kishon, with Master J. McDonald on Friday January 16th 1890, with departure from Lyttleton on December 24th.
This journey also shows up on the Passsengers in History web site run by the South Australia Maritime Museum.
September 1881 – New York to Dublin
From Dublin Daily Express of 23rd September 1881
REFINED PETROLEUM SAMUEL BOYD is now landing ex Barque Kishon, from New York, 2,750 Barrels Royal Daylight Petroleum. Also a quantity of Deodorised Naptha or Benzonline, which he offers to the trade on reasonable terms. Dublin: 46 Mary Street.
In those days petroleum was used as lamp oil. The Anglo-American Oil Company later became Esso.
The Maritime History Archive has a crew list for the Kishon, but only the lists for 1881 are available. They show an amazing amount of detail about each crew member, such as where they embarked, how much they were paid and a report of their character ! From these lists it looks as if the voyage was probably from New York to Cardiff, or Penarth, and then on to Dublin.
April 1882 – Melbourne to Sydney
This gives the crew – as of 30th April 1882.
|Surname||Given name||Station||Age||Of what Nation||Status||Comments|
|BRODIE||DANIEL||COOK & STEWARD||33||ENGLAND||CREW|
|LUNDGROVE||F. W.||A. B.||27||SWEDEN||CREW|
April 1886 – Port of New York to Sydney
This gives the crew as of 25th April 1886
|Surname||Given name||Station||Age||Of what Nation||Status||Comments|
|ELLIOTT||J.||COOK & STEWARD||42||BOSTON||CREW|
|BOWEN||G.||CARPENTER & A. B.||53||RHODE ISLAND||CREW|
February 1889 – Mauritius to Sydney, New South Wales
This gives the crew as of 19th February 1889
|Surname||Given name||Station||Age||Of what Nation||Status||Comments|
|RAMELING||J.||COOK & STEWARD||48||ROTTERDAM||CREW|
|EVANS||JOHN D.||O. S.||19||C’GAN||CREW|
Note that the captain is now John May, but he is unlike to be part of the May family I am related to.
April 1889 – Port of Newcastle to Mauritius
From the Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners’ Advocate, Newcastle, NSW, 3 April 1889
Departure April 2
Kishon, barque, for Mauritius.
July 1889 – Mauritius to New York – Storm damaged
From the Shields Daily Gazette, Tyne and Wear, 28th July 1889
The British barque Kishon, Mauritius for New York, has put into Port Elizabeth with loss of some sails and boats, and damage to bulwarks.
Wrecked in Cornwall in November 1890
The barque parted her tow off Trevose Head from the steam tug Australia, and was driven ashore near Bude breakwater. Her crew of eight was saved by the rocket lifesaving crew.
According to the Bideford Gazette of 11th November 1890 (from http://www.northam-devon.co.uk/DETAILS%20OF%20SHIPWRECKS.doc)
The smack “KISHON” on its way from London to Appledore for repairs came adrift. It was wrecked at BUDE – the crew were saved.
Note that although they refer to it as a smack, all other references would suggest it was a barque.
Appledore would be a sensible destination as it was “For centuries an important shipbuilding centre“, even before the setup of Appledore Shipbuilders in 1855.
One of the most dramatic, and complete descriptions of the wreck comes from the Otago Daily Times of 3rd January 1891.
The overall article is about the gale of 6th November 1880.
The barque Kishon, bound from London to Appledore, became parted from her tug through the breaking of a hawser off Lundy, and was driven share at Bude Break- water at 7 in the morning. All hands were saved by the rocket apparatus. The cap- tains dog jumped overboard and was saved by one of the men. The vessel became a total wreck in a few hours. A sailor named John Harris, of Brixham, in a freak attempted to reach the wreck, not withstanding the endea- vour made by a few bystanders to restrain him. He succeeded in breaking away from them, ran down the slopes of the breakwater, and perished in the sea. He was one of those actively engaged in the early morning in helping to save the crew of the Kishon.
The article then continues to describe other wrecks of that storm.
From North Devon Gazette of 11th November 1890
APPLEDORE VESSEL, WITH THREE HANDS, MISSING. For the last fortnight we have had a contua- tioh of gales and scarce a single vessel has dared cross the Bar.On Thursday evening, after a lull, the wind freshened and at ten o'clock it was blow -ing a perfect hurricane. During the day several of the little vessels, tempted by a fair wind and a brighter appearance of the weather, got under weigh, with the result that they were out in the whole gale, and a fearful night the poor fellows must have experienced. Grave fears were entertained of their safety, and the place was in a state of utmost excitement and suspense. As soon as telegraphic communication was opened on Friday morning the excitement became more intense. The first news was that of the barque Kishon, of Amble, from London bound to Appledore for repairs at Mr Robert Cock's Richmond Dry Dock, Appledore.Men had been sent from London by Mr Cock to bring the vessel round to Appledore, therefore the whole crew, except the captain, con- sisted of Appledore men. Although experiencing bad weather all went with the Kishon until she rounded Land's End, whe she had to stand the full fury of the hurricane. She was in tow of a powerful tug boat, but nothing could keep her from drifting towards a lee-shore. When off Bude the tow rope parted, and the Kishon was left to battle with the hurricane as best she could, her crew know only too well nothing could save her from going on shore. Fortunately being on a neighbouring, but rock-bound coast, they knew the best place to let the vessel drift, in order to get a better chance of saving their lives. This they succeeded in doing, and all were saved by the life-saving apparatus. This was indeed good news for many a poor anxious wife and mother, but up to one o'clock nothing had been heard of our own little vessels.
From the Historic England website
Vessel was first sighted labouring in the bay off Bude, but such was
the force of the wind that it was impossible for any craft to remain
offshore, and she drove ashore on the ridge of rocks reaching out
from the end of Bude breakwater. Distress rockets were fired and
after the rocket lifesaving crew had mustered and collected their
equipment, the apparatus was used to save all the crew. Her captain
advised those onshore that they had been in tow of the steam tug
AUSTRALIA, but that off Trevose Head the hawser had parted leaving
the KISHON to the mercy of the NW gale. ‘Never was there a more
complete wreck which has gone all to pieces, her timbers and spars
being all mixed up in inextricable confusion from one end of the
breakwater to the other. The masts went overboard soon after noon on
Friday, and complete destruction followed. On Monday the wreckage was
sold and realised about 100.’
(2) gives owners as T S Howett of Reading and the master as Duthie.
Year Built: 1862
Builder: J Gardner
Where Built: Sunderland
Owner: A Richardson and Son
Master: J Duthrie
Date of Loss Qualifier: A
I assume the 100′ was 100 pounds, which would be £11,200 in today’s money.
Sale of the Wreck
There was a sale by auction, by Mr Crutchett, on Monday 17th November, of about 100 lots of broken firewood, as well as the beams, spars etc listed below.
There was an auction, by Mr Crutchett, on Thursday 18th December 1890 of the wreck. Consisting of pitchpine masts and bowsprits, oak, pitchpine and elm beans and plankings of great length, oak floors, fitted for shed and gate posts, various other useful building material, iron pillars, several tons of knees, and various old iron, large quantity of metal bolts and sheathing, wire rigging, coils of new wire, sails, bolts of new canvas, ropes, blocks, paints in airtight tins, junk lumber &c. Also the ships anchor and chains, which are nearly new.
It looks as if there were some items left, and probably some extra salvaging, as there was another auction, on Monday May 18th (presumably 1891), of wreckage material recovered from the DEEP BLUE SEA, consisting of 1,000 feet runs of Oak, Pitch Pine, and Elm planking 9 to 12 inches broad by 4 inches thick; 30 squared Oak Posts; long new Hemp Rope; Wire Rigging; Chains; Blocks; Bolts of New Canvas; Wrought and Cast Iron; Junk, &c.
Another Box auction
The same auctioneer sold Meadow Farm, which had been owned by Mr John Box, in 1901, about ten years after the Kishon auction.
This is from the Cornish and Devon Post, 28th September 1901. This John Box was born in 1823 in South Petherwin.
Who bought the bell ?
It seems likely that the connection between the Box family and the bell is that it was bought after the wreck was salvaged, by some member of the family who was living in the area in 1890. It is unlikely to be William Braund Box, as he was living in Clerkenwell, and died in 1891, however his son, Arthur Williams Box – my Great Great Uncle, had returned from London to run the Iron Foundry at Marhamchurch around 1886. His wife, Elwina (nee Joyce) predeceased him and they did not have children of their own. His nephew, Leonard Arthur Box (my Grandfather), was one of his inheritors, which is probably how the bell ended up at Little Cucknells.
Dirty British coaster with a salt-caked smoke stack, Butting through the Channel in the mad March days, With a cargo of Tyne coal, Road-rails, pig-lead, Firewood, iron-ware, and cheap tin trays.
Although John Masefield wrote Cargoes (published 1903) some time after the Kishon sailed the job she did was similar, carrying anything which needed to be moved, mostly from Britain, then a key manufacturing nation, to the rapidly growing, but not yet industrialised antipodes.
I am not quite sure why the Vital Spark comes to mind, except that the stories of a small steam puffer (again considerably later) were favourite reading when I was young, with the crew taking all manner of cargoes (and getting in and out of trouble) around an area I knew quite well, and we once saw The Vital Spark in Tarbert.
From Glasgow and Liverpool the Kishon cargo included bales of raw cloth of all sorts, as well as sacks and haberdashery and finished dresses.
Passengers from Britain to Australia would have travelled in the larger vessels which were being built around this time, although the journey, would not have been pleasant, particularly in steerage.
The Kishon took 90 horses from Brisbane to Cooktown, as the gold mines were some distance from the town and potential gold seekers were advised not to join in the gold rush without a horse.
While the Captain seems to have stayed the same over many voyages the crew were probably paid per voyage, and might sign on again, or join another ship if they had a better offer. Where lists of the crew members exist they seem to have come from many nations.
Thomas Howitt, Captain from 1873
He would also appear to have become, at least a part, owner by 1890.
James McDonald, Captain from 1876 to 1880
James McDonald was born in Orkney, about 1850 and the Kishon was his first command,having been Mate in 1875 under Thomas Howitt. He later settled in Melbourne, Australia and had his own shipping company. He returned to Orkney to live with his family in the 1890’s
One of his sons, George, born in Orkney after the family returned, also went to sea and gained his masters ticket in the Australian and African coastal shipping industry.
John May, Captain in 1889
John Duthie, Captain in 1890
I have found your blog while searching for information on a photograph from my family archive. It is annotated as the Kishon of Amble. My great-grandfather Captain James McDonald was master of the Kishon from 1876 to 1880. If you check the information above you will see him listed in “Cleared December 18 1879”