The Bell of the Kishon

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.

Inscription on Kishon Bell
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.

# Name

Gross

Builder

Built for

Official No.

65 Kishon

497

J. Gardner

A. Richardson & Co.

65446

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
65446 KISHON 1872 North Shields   473

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 nay 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

 
 This map shows the first known major voyage of the Kishon.
 

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

From http://marinersandships.com.au/1875/09/043kis.htm

OF NORTH SHIELDS, THOMAS S. HEWITT MASTER, BURTHEN 472 TONS
FROM THE PORT OF SAMARANG TO SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES, 14TH SEPTEMBER, 1875.

Surname Given name Station Age Of what Nation Status Comments
HEWITT THOMAS MASTER     CREW  
MCDONALD JAMES MATE 25 ORKNEY CREW  
DUTHIE ROBERT BOATSWAIN 42 EDINBURGH CREW  
HERBERT WILLIAM COOK & STEWARD 24 ST VINCENT CREW MADE MARK
MCBRIDE CHARLES A. B. 25 LONDON CREW MADE MARK
MUNRO WILLIAM A. B. 23 STORNAWAY CREW  
BRYDON FRANCIS A. B. 21 WORKWORTH CREW  
HOLEY MARK A. B. 30 DUNDEE CREW  
MACDONALD WILLIAM O. S. 19 ORKNEY CREW  
THOMPSON WILLIAM A. B. 24 SOUTHHAMPTON CREW  
PAIREY JAMES A. B. 29 CAPE BRETON CREW  
BALDWIN ROBERT A       NOT ON BOARD  
MCDONALD PETER APPRENTICE 18 SUNDERLAND CREW  
MUTSIE JOSEPH APPRENTICE 17 GLASGOW CREW  
 

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 1878Newcastle, 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

From https://walers.blogspot.co.uk/2016_07_01_archive.html

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/CHP18791206.2.3.1 (The Press, 6th December 1879)

IMPORTS
Per Kishon - 9720 bags sugar. Consignees -
Dalgetty and Co.

From https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/TS18791212.2.16.2 (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/CHP18791218.2.3.1 (The Press, 18th December 1879)

The Kishon was towed into the stream yesterday.
Her destination is Adelaide.

From https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/CHP18791219.2.3.1 (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

From http://marinersandships.com.au/1882/04/126kis.htm
This gives the crew – as of  30th April 1882.

Surname Given name Station Age Of what Nation Status Comments
HOWITT THOMAS J CAPTAIN     CREW  
ALEXANDER JOHN MATE 40 ENGLAND CREW  
DUTHIE ROBT BOATSWAIN 37 ENGLAND CREW  
BENNETT WM CARPENTER 39 NEW BRUNSWICK CREW  
BRODIE DANIEL COOK & STEWARD 33 ENGLAND CREW  
FELNER A A. B. 29 STOCKHOLM CREW  
PANLGIN A A. B. 41 SWEDEN CREW  
LUNDGROVE F. W. A. B. 27 SWEDEN CREW  
ABRAHANSEN JOHN A. B. 23 NORWAY CREW  
BARTH FRED O. S. 19 GERMANY CREW  
MURPHY JOHN O. S. 19 IRELAND CREW  
MONAHAN FRANCES O. S. 18 SCOTLAND CREW  
 

April 1886 – Port of New York to Sydney

From http://marinersandships.com.au/1886/04/119kis.htm
This gives the crew as of 25th April 1886

Surname Given name Station Age Of what Nation Status Comments
HOWITT THOMAS S. MASTER     CREW  
BREACHIN ANGUS MATE 58 ABERDEEN CREW  
PRICE WILLIAM BOATSWAIN 29 BRISTOL CREW  
ELLIOTT J. COOK & STEWARD 42 BOSTON CREW  
BOWEN G. CARPENTER & A. B. 53 RHODE ISLAND CREW  
ANDERSON JOHN A. B. 22 SWEDEN CREW  
TAGER MAX A. B. 23 NORWAY CREW  
OLSEN FRED A. B. 21 NORWAY CREW  
FARSSEN JOHN A. B. 22 NORWAY CREW  
BRUN JACOB A. B. 24 NORWAY CREW  
LARSON MARTIN A. B. 35 NORWAY CREW  
DINGWALL JAS. O. S. 17 Q’TOWN CREW  
 

February 1889 – Mauritius to Sydney, New South Wales

From http://marinersandships.com.au/1889/02/103kis.htm
This gives the crew as of 19th February 1889

Surname Given name Station Age Of what Nation Status Comments
MAY JOHN MASTER     CREW  
KORSEY GEORGE MATE 37 APPLEDORE CREW  
DUTHIE HERBERT BOASTSWAIN 55 FRASERBURG CREW  
RAMELING J. COOK & STEWARD 48 ROTTERDAM CREW  
MORGAN WILLIAM A. B. 24 CARDIFF CREW  
ERDER M. A. B. 21 CARRICKFERGUS CREW  
POTTS HUGH A. B. 21 CARRICKFERGUS CREW  
DUMMETT F. A. B. 26 APPLEDORE CREW  
DAY WM. A. B. 24 APPLEDORE CREW  
GRIFFITHS WM. O. S. 21 PEMBROKE CREW  
EVANS JOHN D. O. S. 19 C’GAN CREW  
? JAMES A. B. 22 SCOTLAND CREW  
SINCLAIR JAMES A. B. 29 SCOTLAND CREW  
 

Note that the captain is now John May, but he is unlike to be part of the May family I am related to.

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

 


 
On 6th-7th 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)

date

card details

heading

11/11/1890

The smack “KISHON” on its way from London to Appledore for repairs came adrift. It was wrecked at BUDE – the crew were saved.

APPLEDORE

Note that although they refer to it as a smack, all other references would suggest it was a barque.

Wreck of the Kisson from Cornishmemory.com, clearly showing it as a barque.

 

photo of Kishon of North Shields, 7.11.1890 - Bude Breakwater. Note windmill on deck - fitted according to Scandanavian law to pump water out of holds when carrying loose timber.
photo of Kishon of North Shields, 7.11.1890 – Bude Breakwater. Note windmill on deck – fitted according to Scandanavian law to pump water out of holds when carrying loose timber. “Onker” barque after “onk” of windmill

 

Kishon at Middle Beach in 1890
Kishon at Middle Beach in 1890 – from http://bude-past-and-present.org.uk/kishon/


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
Crew: 8
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.

Cargoes

Textiles

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

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.

Horses

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.

Crew

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

 

One thought on “The Bell of the Kishon”

  1. 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”

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