TAMH: Source Material
Arbroath: Shipping: mid-late 19th Century - 1| 2| 3



SIR,-I have followed all the 'Old Stager's letters closely, and found some of them about correct, but have missed some of the most prominent ships. I can go as far back as nearly 60 years. Messrs Adam Roy & Sons were the most prominent shipowners in my young days. They owned the Maid of Allan, Ythan, Emma Colley, Lady of the Lake Jules, Vigillance, Brothers Pride, and the barque Elizabeth Roy. Mr James Smith owned the two Isabels and the two Surprises, and he launched the Parkoonnon. This vessel made one voyage to Sunderland for a cargo of lime. On her second voyage she went to the Mediterranean, and was never heard of again.

Mr Smith also owned the Bee, Barclay, Swift, and the Ernest, a three-masted schooner.

The sawmill of Messrs Thompson, woodmerchants, was situated at the West Shore. They also carried on a coal and grain export trade. They owned the Anna Brown, a shop; the Mary More, and the Eliza (Peak Rattray). Messrs David Peacock & Son owned the Eliza (Thompson) and the Charm (Baird). They also owned the small steamer Pavo, the schooner Thomas, the Levina (Captain Mill), and the Peter Brown, schooner. Messrs William Salmond & Sons owned the Mersey (Humber) and the Jane Edwards (Captain Petrie). These two schooners were steadily employed carrying lime and coal from Sunderland. Mr William Sievwright, grocer, owned the Water Lily (Keith), Lotus (Nairn), Rio Grande, a brigantine, and the barque Bar Lochon.

Many ships of this port have not been mentioned by the Old Stagers, such as the Meanie (Captain Sim), a vessel which was better known as the Runch. The Brothers Menmuir owned the Gottenburg (Spark). These two vessels ran regularly in the flax trade as well as the schooner George (Scott), which belonged to Mr George McMullen, butcher. There were also the Rover (Marshall), Alpha (Livingstone), Fair Maid (Wallace), Bessie (Petrie), Isabella (Scott), and Improvement (Petrie). The two latter belonged to George Towns, coalmerchant. In addition there were the Elizabeth (Skinner), Elizabeth (Johnson), Hawk (Chalmers), Hawk (Stewart), vigilant (Dargie), Vigilant (Anderson), Ocean (Caird), Ocean (Anderson), Favourite (Finlay), Favourite (Raitt), Wave (Davidson), Wave (Spalding), and the Princess (Jamieson), the latter of which was lost with all hands at the mouth of the Tay one stormy night.

I might also mention the Princess (Cartwright), Mary (Stewart), Mary (Burns), Catherine McIver (James) Coryumbus (Petrie), rosebud (Lowe), Dart (Kydd), Volunteer (McNab), Hanna (George), Elizabeth Brown (Wallace), Elsie (Maxwell), Eraden (a three-masted schooner), Mystery, and the Annie.

The Baltic brigs were worth looking at in those days when discharging flax. The brigs were the Tar, Hardie Danube, Abieonie, Ann Peat, Pauline, Neptune, Elliot, Lavonia, Britannia, Weardale, Staffa, Crimes Cherub Ann Mitchell Iris, Clare, Assa, Dauntless,

Elizabeth, Olinda, Advina, Bonafide, Shepherdess, Madge, and Evening Star.

The sloops were the Anna, Betty (Crawford) Lawton, Cochrane, Henry, Latonia Curlew, Agnes, Brothers, Friends, Malay, Margaret, and Touch Not.

Mr Samuel Renny has owned the Mary, Lunna, Renner, Radiant, Estramadura, Enterprise, Village Belle, Matilda, and the Surprise.

It was not the Estramadura that was wrecked at the bar, but the Enterprise. the Estramadura was run down in collision off Sunderland. The Rover and the Village Belle were wrecked at the back of the west breakwater.

The barques were the Asia, Woodville, Vanguard, Jolaba, Jean Cargill, Clansmen, Randolph, Annie Maria, Crane, Izer, Valdarno, Harrington, Yanwate, Gazelle, Elliot, Seafield, Industrious (Barrie).

I can remember two or three barques being launched at the east yard, and Robert Davidson went into the harbour with men with their clats and shovels to clear away the mud. I presume that the Varioon was towed to Aberdeen to be fitted up. It was the Water Kelpy that was shoved over the quay, not the Water Lily. The Water Kelpy was lost with all hands with a cargo of Carmyllie stone. It would be interesting to know of the majority of boys who left Gordon's machines, Inch machines, Corsa's machines, and went to sea, are yet alive. - Yours, &c,


Arbroath September 17, 1917.