Liverpool-built Blockade Runners

Information from book Lelia by Chris Michael (with permission) - see here .

Shipyards in Liverpool (Jones Quiggin, WC Miller and Sons and WH Potter) and on the other side of the Mersey in Birkenhead (Laird Bros.) and Seacombe (Bowdler Chaffer) built blockade runners. Vessels for use of the Confederate Navy were also built by Millers and Lairds. Mersey shipyards were responsible for repairing blockade runners (such as Georgia and Gibraltar, both ex CSN-vessels) and completing blockade runners that had been launched elsewhere, such as Let her Rip/ Wando from the Clyde and Agnes Louisa/ Grapeshot from Jarrow. In the early years of blockade running, locally built paddle steamers were converted into blockade runners. One conversion, Denbigh (built in 1860 by Lairds as an iron paddle steamer for North Wales excursion trips, 182,22,8.7, 250gt) , had a trial in the Mersey on 23 August 1863, and was very successful, running 26 times through the blockade to Gulf ports from 10 January 1864, before being lost on 23 May 1865. Her wreck has been located and is explored by divers.

Here I list the blockade runners built, as such, on the Mersey. They are listed in date order of their registration. The size is given in feet (length, breadth, depth), the tonnage as gross (gt), register (rt) or burden (bt), and the engine power is nominal horse power. Since many of these ships were built partly of iron and partly of steel, the register entries describing the material of construction appear rather unreliable.

Registered at Liverpool in 1863:

Banshee, registered 14 February, ran 14 times from 13 May, captured 21 November. Built Jones Quiggin, steel paddle steamer 120hp, 214,20,8, 325gt, 217rt, 533bt. Owned John Lawrence for the Anglo Confederate Trading Co. Ran under Captain Jonathon Steele.

Phantom, registered 21 May, ran 4 times from 15 July, lost 23 September. Built William C Miller and Son, steel screw steamship, engines Fawcett and Preston 170hp, 192.9,22,12.2, 322gt, 266rt. Delivered from Liverpool by Capt. Tessier. Ran under Capt. S. G. Porter. Owned William Thompson Mann of Liverpool for Fraser Trentholm, bought by the Confederate Ordnance Bureau July 63.

Lucy, registered 15 October, ran 21 times from 21 November, captured 3 November 1864. Built Jones Quiggin, iron paddle steamer, engines Fawcett's 140hp, 215,20,10.75, 300gt. Capt. J A Duguid until 26-6-64 at Nassau then Captain John Beaton. Owned Edward James Lomnitz of Liverpool for Fraser Trentholm.

Wild Dayrell, registered 12 November, ran 4 times from 5 January 1864, lost 1 February 1864. Built Jones Quiggin, iron paddle steamer 140hp, 215,20,10.75, 320gt. Delivered Capt. T Cubbins. Owned Edward Lawrence of Liverpool for the Anglo Confederate Trading Co.

Registered at Liverpool in 1864:

Mary, registered 27 January, ran 7 times in Gulf from March 1864, eventually trapped in Mobile. Built Lairds, iron paddle steamer, 120hp, 198,30,9.3, 389gt, 279rt. Ran under Captain Pete. Owned Arthur Forwood for Leech, Harrison and Forwood.

Let her B, registered 26 March, trial 23 March, ran 14 times from 30 May, renamed Chicora, survived. Built WC Miller (subcontract from Jones Quiggin), iron paddle steamer, engines Fawcett's 180hp, 221,26,10, 365gt, 930bt. Delivered Capt. James Raison, ran under Capt. H. Holgate. Owned Chicora Importing Exporting Co.

Badger, trial 19 and 23 March, ran once 31 May, lost 10 September. Built Jones Quiggin, iron paddle steamer 150hp, 218,24.3,11.6, 375gt, 623bt. Delivered Capt. Henry Wilson Priestly. Ran under Capt Hammer. Owned Josiah Jones for Fraser Trentholm.

Lynx, registered 6 April, ran 9 times from 28 May, lost 25 September. Built Jones Quiggin, steel paddle steamer, 150hp, 218,24,11.5, 372gt, 233rt. Delivered and ran under Capt. Edward C Reid. Owned Richard Wright for Fraser Trentholm.

Fox, registered 22 April, ran 18 times from 8 June, survived. Built Jones Quiggin, iron paddle steamer, 120hp, 219,22,10.2, 325gt, 230rt. Delivered Capt. William Raisbeck, ran under Capt. Simpson Adkins. Owned Josiah Jones for Fraser Trentholm.

Mary Celestia, registered at London 25 April, ran 8 times from 27 May, sank 26 September. Built William C Miller and Son, iron paddle steamer, engines Fawcett and Preston 140hp, 221,22.1,10.4, 314gt, 207rt. Ran under Captain Michael Ursina then Commander Arthur Sinclair. Owned James Cameron for Crenshaw and Co.

Hope, registered 7 July, launched 25 Nov 1863, ran twice from 27 August 1864, captured 22 October. Built Jones Quiggin, steel paddle steamer, engines Jack and Co, Victoria Foundry, 350hp, 281,35,15, 1046 gt. Delivered Capt. William Bell, ran under Capt. Hammer. Owned William Quiggin for Fraser Trenholm.

Owl, registered 25 July, launched 21 June 1864, ran 4 times from 24 August, survived. Built Jones Quiggin, steel paddle steamer, engines Lairds 180hp, 230,26,10.5, 466gt, 330rt. Owned William Quiggin for Fraser Trentholm, then to Confederacy December 1864. Delivery Capt. Mathew Butcher, ran under Lieutenant Donnington, then Commander John Maffitt, CSN.

Bat, registered 18 August, launched 21 June 1864, captured 8 October 1864 on first run. Built Jones Quiggin steel paddle steamer, engines from Watt and Co. of London 180hp, 230,26,9.5, 466gt, 770 bt. Ran under Captain A Hora. Owned William Quiggin for Fraser Trenholm, intended to Confederacy.

Colonel Lamb, registered 16 September, launched 25 May, trial 13 October, ran twice from 29 November, survived. Built Jones Quiggin , steel paddle steamer 350hp, 279,36,15.5, 1132gt, 800rt, 1788bt. Captain Thomas J Lockwood. Owned William Quiggin for Fraser Trenholm, intended to Confederacy.

Stag, registered 19 October, launched 8 August, trial 15 October, ran twice from 4 December, captured 19 January 1865. Built Bowdler Chaffer (subcontract from Jones Quiggin), steel paddle steamer, engines Messrs Stephenson of Newcastle on Tyne 180hp, 230,26,12, 465gt, 299rt. Delivered Capt. William Pinchon. Owned Josiah Jones for Fraser Trentholm, for Confederacy.

Deer, registered 12 November, captured 18 February 1865 on first run. Built WH Potter (subcontract from Jones Quiggin) iron and steel paddle steamer 180hp, 230,26.2,10.5, 465gt, 330rt, 857bt. Delivered Capt. James B Butler. Owned Richard Philips for Fraser Trentholm, for Confederacy.

Secret, registered 18 November, launched about 22 August, arrived Nassau 19 Jan 1865, did not run. Built Bowdler Chaffer (subcontract from Jones Quiggin), steel paddle steamer 180hp, 232,26,11, 467gt, 800bt. Delivered Capt. Richard Brickby. Owned John Newton Beech.

Dream, registered 3 December, arrived Nassau Jan 1865, did not run. Built WH Potter (subcontract from Jones Quiggin) steel paddle steamer 180hp, 231,26,11.2, 466gt, 296rt, 800bt. Ordered Fraser Trenholm, then sold to Beech, Root and Co.

Lark, registered 3 December, ran 8 times in Gulf from 20 January 1865, survived. Built Lairds, steel paddle steamer 120hp, 210,23,10, 388gt, 267rt, 800bt. Delivered Capt. Thomas Griffiths. Owned John Laird for Fraser Trentholm.

Georgia Belle, registered 16 December, launched 1 Oct, left Liverpool but did not run. Built Jones Quiggin, iron and steel paddle steamer, engines James Watt 220hp, 250,28,10.9, 972gt, 452rt.

Wren , registered 24 December, ran 6 times in Gulf from 7 February 1865, crew took her to Key West June 1865. Built Lairds, steel paddle steamer 120hp, 211,23,10, 389gt, 296rt, 800bt. Owned John Laird for Fraser Trentholm.

Registered at Liverpool in 1865 (none ran blockade):

Lelia, trial 5 January, registered 11 January, lost 14 January. Built WC Miller, steel paddle steamer, engines Fawcett's, 300hp, 252,30,12.6, 640gt, 430rt, 1100bt. Owned Henry Elias Moss for Crenshaws.

Widgeon and Snipe, launched 25 February 1865. Built Jones Quiggin, steel paddle steamers, engines G. Forrester, Vauxhall Foundry 180hp, 225,24,11, 409gt, 645 bt. Ordered J. K. Gilliat for the Confederacy.

Abigail, registered 17 March 1865, launched 15 October 1864. Built WC Miller, steel paddle steamer, engines James Watt, 300hp, 250,30,13, 644gt, 1100bt. Owned WC Miller (ordered Fraser Trentholm)

Ray, registered 17 March 1865. Built WC Miller, steel paddle steamer, engines James Watt, 300hp, 252,29,12.5, 644gt, 430rt, 1100bt. Owned WC Miller (ordered Fraser Trentholm)

Rosine, launched 15 October. Built Jones Quiggin, steel paddle steamer, engines James Watt 300hp 270,33,15, 900gt, 500rt, 1391bt. Ordered J. K. Gilliat for the Confederacy.

Hornet, launched 15 December. Built Jones Quiggin, steel paddle steamer, 250,28,10.9, 573gt, 290rt, 770bt. Ordered Charles Prioleau for Fraser Trentholm.

Ruby. Built Jones Quiggin, steel paddle steamer, 261.1,33,15.6, 900gt, 500rt, 1391bt. Ordered J. K. Gilliat for the Confederacy.

Plover and Curlew, launched 25 February 1865. Built Jones Quiggin, steel paddle steamers, engines James Watt 180hp, 225,24,11, 409gt, 645bt. Ordered J. K. Gilliat for the Confederacy.

Penguin. Built Lairds, steel paddle steamer, 240,30,13.2, 659gt, 1063bt. Ordered Fraser Trentholm for the Confederacy.

Swan. Built Bowdler Chaffer (subcontract from Jones Quiggin), steel paddle steamer, 216,26,10.9, 470gt, 296rt.

Albatross, similar to Penguin but not registered.

Wasp, not registered. Ordered from Jones Quiggin, steel paddle steamer, 250,28,10.75, 280rt, 800 bt.

Some additional, incomplete, information.

John Robinson built several ships at his yard near Dukes Dock in Liverpool for the Dixie Line (owners Robinson, Philpott and Broadbent). The Richmond was built December 1862 (100,22.6,12.2, 164rt), the Virginia (117.5,23.2,11.6, 231bt) was launched on 10 July 1863, the Jeff Davies (144,23.6,12.2, 237 rt) was built in September 1863. They were Liverpool registered wooden barques of an usual construction, patented by Robinson, with 3 keels, a flat bottom and only straight timbers needed in their construction. This suggests that they were designed to visit unfrequented parts of the Confederacy, taking the ground to load and unload. There is no record of them running the blockade and all three survived.

Bagdad Packet, registered 29 January 1864. Built at Liverpool, iron paddle steamer, engines 60hp, 124.6,22,6.1, 130gt, 106rt. Owned Edward McDowell. Three different captains assigned up to 5 October 1864. Vessel cleared Liverpool for Matamoros and was re-registered at Galveston Texas in January 1866. Bagdad was the name of a beach at Matamoros in Mexico, just across the Rio Grande from Texas, which was used by ships to import/export to the confederacy via Mexico, so avoiding the blockade.