Liverpool-built Blockade Runners

Information from book Lelia by Chris Michael (with permission) - see here . Plus some additional (later) information in [].

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.
[See more of the story]

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.
[Sold to Spanish Navy as Churruca in 1866, served to 1880]

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.
[Bought by Greek interests and named Enosis (or Enosi or Union or Unification), for use to break the Turkish blockade of Crete, after the Arkadi (Dream) had been lost. The Enosis was itself blockaded at Syros in 1868 by the Turkish Navy which resulted in the end of the Cretan Revolt. Enosis was then incorporated in the Greek Navy and served until 1880.]

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.
[Commissioned as USS Bat]

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.
[Sold to the Greek Government as a warship, re-named as Bouboulina, which sank after an explosion in the Mersey on 29 Nov 1867.]

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.
[Sold to Argentina 1867]

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.
[Sold to Argentina 1869]

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.
[A Mersey-built blockade runner, image, was sold to Greek interests (Greek Steam Navigation Company) and re-named Arkadi, or Arkadion, being then armed and used to support the Cretan rebellion (against Turkish Rule) of 1866. Lost in action - ran aground on the shore of Crete and intentionally burned - August 1867. The half-wrecked Arkadi was later towed to Turkey by the Turkish Navy (described by Illustrated London News as 260 ft long with 350 hp engines from 4 boilers). She was refitted and served in the Turkish Navy as Arkadi (257x26ft) until 1896 and was scrapped in 1905.
Greeks based in England arranged for a replacement - the Owl- named Enosis (or Enosi or Union or Unification) - see above.]

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.
[Used to take a cargo to Brazil in 1867]

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.
[See book Lelia for more details .]

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)
[The Brazilian Navy acquired Isabella in 1867 and since she was of similar dimensions to Leopoldina/Ray, it is probable that this was the Abigail]

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)
[Sold to the Brazilian Navy as a troop transport in 1865 and named Leopoldina]

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.
[Bought by the Turkish Navy and named Eser-i Nusret in 1869, decommissioned 1890]

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.
[Bought by the Turkish Navy and named Medar-i Zafer in 1869, decommissioned 1890]

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.
[Sold to the Greek Government as a warship and re-named Amphitrite, was still moored in the Mersey on 29 Nov 1867 when Bouboulina exploded]

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 Davis (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.

[Flat-bottomed wooden vessels built in a few weeks (35 days for the Jeff Davis).
Despite their Confederate names, the Richmond and Virginia were reported in September 1863 to be trading to Spain - Barcelona and Seville.
A fourth vessel Inanda, of similar construction, 124x24ft, was launched in March 1864 by John Robinson for Liverpool general merchants. Inanda subsequently went aground near Wexford on 25 November 1868 while returning from Lagos with a cargo of palm oil and palm-nuts. The crew of 8, some of whom were suffering from fever, were rescued but the wreck was recovered to be sold for its parts.
  The barque Virginia of Liverpool was found abandoned at 50°N 32°W on 9 April 1867 by the Clydesdale on her outward voyage from the Clyde to Quebec. The Virginia had only 8 ft of her foremast standing, mainmast broken at deck level and mizzen mast part only standing (below trestletrees). The Clydedale put the mate and 3 men aboard with material to work the vessel. The Virginia was later reported, on 9 May, off SW Ireland under jury masts and the steamer Royal Saxon was sent to tow her back to Liverpool.
  The barque Jeff Davis was advertised for sale at Cardiff in July 1867. She was described as having a flat bottom and being well adapted to shoal water trades.
On 15 February 1869, the barque Jeff Davis of and for Liverpool, rescued the 12 members of the crew of the barque Albert from Savannah to Dundee.
A vessel Jeff Davis, described as a British schooner, was captured by a Spanish frigate off Cuba in March 1869, since she had 5 Cubans aboard who were fleeing Cuba. The Captain and crew were put in prison at Caibarien and two of the passengers on board, described as supporters of the Cuban revolt, were shot.]

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.

[ From contemporary newspaper reports:
  On 6th February 1864, the new paddle steamer Bagdad Packet of Liverpool (Captain Shaw) left Liverpool for Havana. She arrived at Holyhead on 8th February. She then (on 20th March 1864) called at Queenstown[Cobh], en route to Matamoras, for some repairs to machinery and to take on coal. She was described as a remarkable vessel, being long and wide with a tall schooner-rigged mast and seeming rather fragile. She had a very shallow draught (said to be 18 inches) with small paddles and rudder and a relatively low-powered engine (34 hp). She was described as intended for a perilous trade, in which fortunes could be made in one or two voyages. She left Queenstown in early April with master named as Snooks, bound for Matamoras.
  On 3rd November 1864, en route from Liverpool to Matamoras (also cited as destination: Savannah or Havana), she was reported as lying damaged (leaky or wrecked) at Madeira, and condemned after a survey, her crew then returning to Liverpool. On 7th January 1865, she was reported as leaving Madeira (after 82 days there) with a Portuguese crew for Savannah.]