Early Mersey Steam Ferries and Tugs


Chris Michael.

The Mersey is tidal up to Warrington, where, historically, the first bridge was located. The first lower crossings were at Runcorn, (railway bridge (1868) and Transporter Bridge (1905)), and the Mersey Railway Tunnel (1886) from Liverpool to Birkenhead. Before these were built, ferries were essential.

Ferries with sails and/or oars had plied across the Mersey for centuries. The crossing from Woodside (near Birkenhead priory) to Liverpool was the best known. The Mersey has tidal currents of up to 5 knots, and can be quite rough in a N or NW gale. The upper Mersey is littered with sandbanks at low tide, and channels shift frequently.

Early steam vessels were wooden with paddle engines. Because of the extra cost and reduced space, they were initially used for passenger transport - where time and reliability of arrival were paramount.

Because so few people lived on the Wirral (west bank of the Mersey) in the early 1800s, most demand was from passengers wanting to travel on further - so links to coaches were emphasised. A lock-free canal allowed a packet-boat [a light boat carrying passengers pulled by a horse] to travel more comfortably than a coach over the, then poor, road network. The Ellesmere & Chester Canal had a lock-free connection between Ellesmere Port and Chester - so Ellesmere Port [called Whitby previously] was an early option. Runcorn, then a schooner port in its own right, allowed a connection to the lock-free [from the top of the lock flight at Runcorn] Bridgewater Canal to Manchester, so was another important early destination. Other links were Weston Point to the Weaver Navigation (from 1810); the Sankey Navigation (St Helens Canal) from Fidler's Ferry by 1762, and extended to Widnes in 1833; the Mersey and Irwell Navigation to Manchester from Runcorn in 1804.

It was soon discovered that steam vessels could provide a very useful service by towing sailing vessels in and out of port. Until the 1830s, dedicated tugs were not used - so ferry boats were multi-tasked: ferrying passengers, towing and occasionally visiting nearby coastal destinations. The first dedicated Towing company at Liverpool was in 1836.

The arrival of railways (at Liverpool in 1830, at Birkenhead from 1840) changed the travel options for passengers.

For a review of Mersey Steam Vessels up to 1820, including ferries, see Wardle 1940. Also Mersey Ferry list, Wallasey Ferries. Other input comes from Newspapers, Directories, Shipping registers [not all vessels were registered - since not "sea-going" - also only then compulsory from 1854; Runcorn was only a register port from 1862], Mercantile Navy List (also Early MNL), Ship Builders Site, West Coast Steamers (1966),

Since there were so many ferries, and often replacements were needed for repairs, etc, the newspapers of the time often refer to an "Eastham steam boat", or similar, rather than name the vessel. This causes some uncertainty in establishing when vessels first served.

As well as ferries transporting passengers, there were also "luggage boats" and steam tugs (the latter towing vessels in and out of port, or towing barges within the Mersey).

A sketch of the Mersey estuary with ferry destinations - on the Cheshire shore from inland: Runcorn, Weston Point, Ince, Ellesmere Port, Eastham, New Ferry, Rock Ferry, Birkenhead (Tranmere Ferry, Birkenhead Ferry, Monks Ferry, Woodside), Seacombe, Egremont, New Brighton (Magazines):

Enlarged section showing the 4 different ferry terminals in use at Birkenhead at different times.

Index: Wooden paddle steamers used as Mersey ferries (Etna and Mersey had twin hulls with a single central wheel) with date of build, and location and date of first ferry service (only comprehensive up to 1840, but most included up to 1853 - post 1840 mainly hulls of iron.):

Elizabeth, b 1812, Runcorn 1816, [horse powered by 1818]
Duke of Wellington, b 1816, Runcorn 1816
Prince Regent, b 1816, Runcorn 1816, lost 1822
Countess of Bridgewater, b 1815 (ex-Greenock), Ellesmere 1816
Princess Charlotte, b 1816, Eastham 1816
Etna, b 1817, Tranmere 1817
Regulator, b 1817, Tranmere 1817, lost 1818
Union, b 1817 (ex-Ancient Briton), Runcorn 1818
Mersey, b 1819, Tranmere 1819

Lady Stanley, b 1821, Eastham 1821/2
Britannia, b 1821, Tranmere 1821, Birkenhead 1827
Abbey, b 1822, Tranmere 1822, wrecked 1839
Royal Mail, b 1822, Woodside 1823
Seacombe, b 1822, Seacombe 1822/3
Duke of Bridgewater, b 1822, Runcorn 1822, sank 1839
Earl of Bridgewater, b 1823, Ellesmere 1824, explosion 1824
Eclipse, b 1823, Runcorn 1823, sank 1839
Duke of Lancaster, b 1822, Hoylake 1825
Vesuvius, b 1823, Birkenhead 1823, Ince c1829
Alice, b 1824, Seacombe 1824
Francis, b 1825, Woodside 1825
Hercules, b 1825, Woodside 1825
Steam ferries 1825
James, b 1825, Birkenhead 1826
Maria, b 1824, Eastham 1824
Maria, b 1826, Ellesmere 1826
Harriet, b 1826, Eastham? 1826
Birkenhead Ferry 1827-
Hero, b 1826, Magazines 1828, Egremont 1830, sank 1835
St David, b 1824, Woodside 1828
William Fawcett, b 1829, Birkenhead 1829
Paul Pry, b 1827, Magazines 1829
Steam ferries 1829

Liverpool, b 1830, Seacombe 1830
King Fisher, b 1830, Woodside 1830
Ribble, b 1829, Woodside 1830/2
Loch Eck, b 1829, Egremont 1830/1
John Rigby, b 1831, Egremont 1831
Egremont (also Jenny Lind), b 1836, Egremont 1836, iron
Ennishowen, b 1834, Egremont 1836
Thomas Royden, b 1837, Egremont 1837
Aimwell, b 1825, Rock Ferry 1832
Lady Bulkeley, b 1833?, Ellesmere 1834?
Martha, b 1834, Tranmere 1834
George, b 1834, Tranmere 1834, sank 1836
Sir Thomas Stanley, b 1834, Eastham 1834
Sir John Moore(ex-Jonathan Hulls), b 1827, New Brighton, 1834
Ann, b 1834, Woodside 1834
Helensburgh, b 1825, Woodside 1835
Cleveland, b 1836, Woodside 1836, iron
Eliza Price, b 1836, Woodside 1836, iron
Enterprize, b 1834, Woodside 1837
Admiral, b 1835, Seacombe 1835, sunk 1839
Alexander, b 1835, Rock Ferry 1835
Cheshire Witch, b 1837, Rock Ferry 1837
William Stanley, b 1837, Eastham 1837
History of Monk's Ferry, 1838-
Monk, b 1837, Monks 1837, wrecked 1843
Abbey, b 1838, Monks 1838
Dolphin, b 1834, Monks 1838, wrecked 1855
Duke, b 1839, Egremont 1839

From 1840, almost all ferries built were iron paddle steamers. Some had rudders fore and aft to speed up coming alongside - Queen, (and probably Prince, Wirral), James Atherton, Vernon, Fairy and Nymph.

Elizabeth, b 1840, New Brighton 1840, iron
Nun, b 1840, Monks 1841, iron
Bebington, b ?, Rock Ferry c1841
Prince of Wales, rebuilt 1843, Rock Ferry 1843
Star, b 1845, Rock Ferry 1845, iron
Sylph, b 1849, Rock Ferry 1849, iron
Potential gun-boats 1845
Queen, b 1844, Woodside 1844, iron
Prince, b 1844, Woodside 1844, iron
Wirral, b 1846, Woodside 1846, iron
Lord Morpeth, b 1847, Woodside 1847, iron
Tobermory, b 1837, Woodside 1846
Launch of Liverpool Landing Stage, 1847
Birkenhead, Tranmere Ferries 1848 changes.
Mersey, b 1842, Birkenhead 1842, Tranmere 1848, iron
Birkenhead, b 1846, Birkenhead 1846, Tranmere 1848, iron
Britannia, b 1847, Birkenhead 1847, Tranmere 1848, iron
Vale of Leven, b 1836, Birkenhead 1846, wrecked 1846, iron
Royal Victoria, b 1838, Birkenhead 1846, iron
Fanny, b 1846, Egremont 1846, Birkenhead 1848, iron
Prince Albert, b 1840, Egremont 1846, iron
Thomas Wilson, b 1845, Seacombe 1845, iron
Queen of Beauty, b 1845, New Brighton 1845, iron
James Atherton, b 1846, New Brighton, 1846, iron
Wallasey, b 1847, Egremont 1847
Fairy, b 1849, New Brighton 1849, iron
Royal Tar, b 1836, Eastham 1846, iron
Clarence, b 1827, Eastham 1847
Cato, b 1849, Birkenhead 1849, iron
Vernon, b 1849, Birkenhead 1849, iron
James Dennistoun, b 1835, Monks 1848?


Report of Ferry Services, 1850
Britannia, b 1823, Seacombe 1850
Invincible, b 1852, Seacombe 1853, iron
Nymph, b 1851, Rock Ferry 1851, iron
Countess of Ellesmere, b 1852, Runcorn 1852, iron
Tiger, b 1853, Liverpool; Towing, then Seacombe ferry 1857, iron
Woodside, b 1853, Woodside 1853, iron
Ramsgate Packet, b 1834, Seacombe 1853
Seacombe Ferry, boats for sale, 1853
Eastham Fairy (ex-Lochlomond), b 1845, Eastham 1854, iron
Ant, b 1855, Rock Ferry 1855, iron
Bee, b 1855, Rock Ferry 1855, iron
Liverpool, b 1855, Woodside 1855, iron


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Vessels used primarily for towing, or with only partial information. There were two types of tugs required on the Mersey: those that towed barges and flats from Liverpool to inland canal links (Sankey, Runcorn, Weaver, Ellesmere Port); and those that towed ocean-going sailing vessels from Liverpool Docks to the open sea. The former are poorly documented, and the latter often doubled up as passenger ferries or excursion boats. Also tenders were required - to take passengers and provisions to and from vessels moored in the Mersey. Passenger carrying vessels were required to be surveyed and certified by the Board of Trade (by 1850), whereas towing was unregulated - so some quite ancient vessels were in use as tugs. Some history of Liverpool Tugs.
  Index here (to about 1853):

Duke of Bridgewater 1736-1803, Canal and Boat owner.

Canal steam vessels

Canal craft, 1797-9, Sankey and Bridgewater canals.
Canal steam boats, b 1828, 1831, 1833, 1838
Jack Sharp, built 1837, St. Helens; trial 1838 [iron, stern-wheel paddle]
Experiment, tested 1840 and 1841, [iron, twin screw].
Ellesmere Canal Tugs, 1843

Sea going vessels.

Unknown Iron, b 1815, Runcorn
Eagle, b 1822, Manchester; Runcorn
Manchester, b 1825, Runcorn; Runcorn
Egremont, b 1823?, Liverpool?
Sovereign b 1824, Dumbarton; Towing 1833
Rival, b 1834, Runcorn; Runcorn
Tower, b 1836, Runcorn; Runcorn
Sultan, b 1828, Dumbarton; Runcorn 1838
Egerton, b 1834, Birkenhead; Runcorn 1840
Ayrshire Lassie, b 1839, Greenock; Towing 1841
Alice, b 1839, Liverpool; Runcorn, iron
Blanche, b 1841, Liverpool; Runcorn, iron
Cupid, b 1828, Glasgow; Mersey towing
Liverpool Steam Towing Company 1836
Eleanor, b 1833, Liverpool; Towing 1835, sank 1838
Hero, b 1821, Medway; Towing 1836
Druid, b 1823, Liverpool; Towing 1836
Ormrod, b 1826, Chester; Towing 1836
Victoria, b 1837, Birkenhead; Towing 1837
President, b 1839, Birkenhead; Towing 1839
Mona, b 1831, Glasgow; Towing 1839


Albert, b 1840, Birkenhead; Towing 1840
Queen, b 1837?, Towing 1837?
Dreadnought, b 1844, Liverpool; Towing 1844
Liver, b 1846, Birkenhead; Towing 1846, iron
Express, b 1846, Tyne; Towing 1847
Skerryvore, b 1838, Leith; Towing 1844
Powerful, b 1842, Tyne; Towing 1844
Hero, b 1832, Dumbarton; Towing 1846
Flambeau, b 1840, Greenock; Towing 1847, sunk 1847
Conqueror, b 1845, Glasgow; Towing 1845-6
Covenanter, b 1846, Tees; Towing 1846-
Colchester, b 1840, Tyne; Towing 1844-
Prince Arthur(ex-Dumbarton Castle, also Sam Slick), b 1840, Dumbarton; Towing 1849, wreck 1850, iron
New Steam Tug Company 1849-
Defiance, b 1841, Glasgow; Towing 1849, (iron)
Countess of Lonsdale, b 1827, Whitehaven; Towing 1849
Champion, b 1835, Glasgow; Towing 1849
Samson, b 1848, Tyne; Towing 1849, iron
Tartar, b 1849, Birkenhead; Towing
Uncle Sam, b 1848, Thames; Towing 1849
Queen, b 1840, Dundee; Towing 1849, iron
John Bull, b 1849, Thames; Towing 1849
Wallace, b 1849, Tyne; Towing 1849, iron
Albion (ex-Richmond, ex-Redwing), b 1834, Glasgow; excursion and Towing 1849
Duke of Sussex, b 1840, Tyne; Towing
Pilot, b before 1847, ?; Runcorn towing and passengers.


Victory, b 1849, Tyne; Towing 1850
Hercules, b 1837, Gravesend, Towing 1851
Mary Agnes, b 1848, Tyne; Towing 1851
Gleaner, b 1843, Tyne; Towing 1850s
Zephyr, b 1832, Chester; Towing 1850
Promise, b 1851, Tyne; Towing 1852, iron
Lioness, b 1850, Tyne; Towing 1851-2
Independence, b 1850, Tyne; Towing 1850, iron, sank 1860
Washington (ex-Burntisland), b 1844, Leith; Towing 1851-3, iron
Helen Fawcett, b 1849, Tees; Towing
Avenger, b 1848, Tyne; Towing
British Queen, b 1840, Gateshead; Towing circa 1853-
Pelham, b 1837, Gainsborough; Towing circa 1853-
Reaper, b 1837, Tyne; Towing
Modern Athens, b 1836, Dundee; Towing, iron
Constitution, b 1853 Tyne; Towing
Conqueror, b 1848 Tyne; Towing 1853-
Conqueror, b 1856 Tranmere; Towing
Voltiguer, b 1851 Tees; Towing circa 1853
Enterprize, b 1826 Dumbarton; Towing 1853
Robert Burns, b 1837 Tyne; Towing 1853
Iron King, b 1854, Tyne; Towing, iron
British Dominion, b 1839, Tyne; Towing, wrecked 1855
Lioness, b 1854, Lairds, towing, iron
United States, b 1855, Tyne; Towing 1856
Resolute, b 1857, Renfrew; Towing 1857
Blazer, b 1856, Clyde; Towing 1857
Universe, b 1855, Tyne; Towing
Enterprise, b 1855, Tyne; Towing
Fury, b 1856, Liverpool; Towing
Chieftain, b 1856, Tranmere; Towing


Mars, b ??, Tender, Towing
Satellite, b 1848, Glasgow; Tender 1848-1900, iron
Jackal, b 1852, Glasgow, Tender 1852-1893, iron
Richmond, b 1834, Glasgow; HMPO (after 1837 HM Redwing) Tender, Towing, 1834-48
Warrington, b 1840, Warrington; Coasting, iron
Earl of Powis, Lord Clive, b 1838, Ellesmere Dock tugs 1843 on.
Liverpool Screw, b 1842, Liverpool; Towing, [iron, screw].
Weaver, b 1852, Lairds; upper Mersey towing, [iron, screw]

Some steam vessels, registered or owned at Liverpool, of similar size to ferries and tugs, but which seem to have been engaged in coastal or foreign trade, as ferries/tugs at other ports, or as private yachts.


Unknown, b 1844, Warrington, private steam yacht [iron]
Daedalus, b 1843, Liverpool; private steam yacht. [screw]
Lucifer, b 1846, Liverpool; private steam yacht.[iron, screw]
Prince of Wales, b 1842, Thames; reg Liverpool 1849, Humber ferry, iron
Queen, b 1842, Thames; reg Liverpool 1849, Humber ferry, iron
Prince Albert, b 1849, Tyne; reg Liverpool 1850, steam tug at Troon.
Iron Prince, b 1845, Liverpool; Coasting, [iron, screw]
Maid of Islay, b 1824, Clyde; coasting and Africa.
Henry Southan, b 1845 Neath; Coasting [iron, screw]
Glow Worm, b Liverpool 1853; steam yacht [iron, screw]


Liverpool steamships register 1851.
List of vessels with passenger certificate, 1850-3.
Report of Royal Visit by Queen Victoria to the Mersey in 1851.
Report of Mersey Ship-building 1852.
Liverpool steam ships 1854.
Report of Royal Excursion by Duke of Cambridge in the Mersey in 1855.


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Mersey Ferries to 1850. Details:



Elizabeth, b 1812, Runcorn 1816, [horse powered by 1818]

Wooden paddle steamer Duke of Wellington, built William Wright, Runcorn 1816. Registered Liverpool, 68.8 x 13.9 ft, 59 9/94 tons, owned John Davies of Runcorn, victualler, James Radley of Liverpool, John Askey of Halton, victualler, William Wright of Runcorn, shipbuilder, and Richard Edwards. Sometimes just called Wellington in Liverpool Newspapers.
Seems to have been one of the first steam boats used successfully for towing sailing vessels in and out of port.
In 1825 and 1827 [Gore's Directory] was providing a service from Ince to Liverpool.

[from Northampton Mercury - Saturday 27 July 1816]:
Steam Packet. The Duke of Wellington steam packet sailed from Runcorn at five o'clock on Sunday morning the 30th ult. and arrived at this port [Liverpool] at seven; about eleven she sailed from hence with passengers, and landed them at Runcorn; she then departed from the latter place for Warrington, whither she arrived at two; she left it again at half past two for Runcorn, she landed her passengers, and having taken in a fresh cargo, sailed for Liverpool, and arrived there at half past seven. The whole distance which she sailed in the course of the day was upwards of 80 miles, a distance, we imagine, which no vessel ever performed in the same time in this intricate river.

 [from Chester Courant - Tuesday 29 October 1816]:
Tuesday evening week, an instance of the ability and power of Steam Packets, was witnessed by several inhabitants of Liverpool. The Duke of Wellington steam-packet, towed a vessel, belonging to John M'Dowall, Esq., about 300 tons burthen, from Woodside to the north-west buoy, and came back to Liverpool, before the flood made.

 [from Chester Chronicle - Friday 09 May 1817]: Saturday, the Duke of Wellington Steam Packet, towed the Elizabeth, Morris Ellis, master, from Connah's Quay to Bagillt, in this port [Dee estuary], a distance of eight miles, against a gale of wind and strong tide, in less than two hours.

 [from Lancaster Gazette - Saturday 31 May 1817]: The Hannah, Capt. Heathorn, arrived off the port of Liverpool on Saturday evening, from Bombay, which she left on the 9th Jan. She has brought home eight companies of the 56th regiment, under the command of Lieut. - Col. Kingscote. The remainder of the regiment was to sail by the first opportunity. The regiment has been ten years in India. Messrs. Gladstone and Co. to whom the Hannah is consigned, sent down the Duke of Wellington Steam Packet on Saturday evening for the purpose of bringing the troops on shore; and on Sunday morning the whole were on board the packet at an early hour, and by eight o'clock were landed in safety. The portion of the regiment which has arrived are a fine body of men, and the whole in perfect health. They will remain at Liverpool till further orders of Government are received. The Hannah was towed round the Rock on Tuesday evening last, by one of the Runcorn steam packets. In coming up the river, she got on the wall now building to the southward of the Fort. Another steam vessel was brought to her assistance when she was fortunately rescued from her perilous situation, without receiving any Material damage.

 [from Liverpool Mercury - Friday 16 August 1822]: On Saturday last, the Duke of Wellington, new[sic] steam-packet was advertised by placard to take passengers to Runcorn for nothing! and forward them on to Manchester for 2s. 3d. The other packets, we observe, have followed the liberal example.



Wooden paddle steamer Greenock, built James Munn, Greenock, 1814, engines by Boulton & Watt.
After a brief period serving Runcorn, in 1816 registered Liverpool, as Countess of Bridgewater, to Thomas Santon, secretary of Ellesmere and Chester Canal Company. Service Ellesmere Port - Liverpool. 1822 briefly used on Woodside service.
She registered 67 7/94 tons, was 85.3 feet in length, and 16.9 feet breadth, with square stern, and a woman figure-head.
More history.

[from Liverpool Mercury - Friday 10 May 1816]:
STEAM BOATS. ARRIVED here last night, the GREENOCK STEAM PACKET, from Greenock, which place she left for Campbelton, from thence for Belfast, and came here via Douglas, Isle of Man, having made her passage from the latter place in 14 hours. As she is a very large, commodious and safe vessel, in every respect calculated for the accommodation of passengers, we have to congratulate the inhabitants of this town, on receiving such an improved conveyance for carrying passengers between here and Runcorn. THE GREENOCK STEAM PACKET, Now lying at George's Dock, Pier-head, Sailed this morning, at half past seven o'clock, and will sail to-morrow at half past eight o'clock, for Runcorn.

 [from Billinge Liverpool Advertiser 31 May 1816]:
NEW AND ELEGANT STEAM PACKET FROM LIVERPOOL AND CHESTER. Thomas Crimes respectfully informs the Public that the Steam Packet Countess of Bridgewater, late the Greenock, has been purchased by the proprietors of the Ellesmere and Chester Canal, and will sail daily from the Parade Slip for the conveyance of Passengers to and from Liverpool and Chester.

 [from Chester Chronicle - Friday 25 October 1816]:
STEAM BOAT. Tuesday morning last, the Countess of Bridgewater Steam Boat, having been supplied with a boiler made Mr. Rigby, of Hawarden, near Chester on an improved and secure principle, was tried out in the River, to the gratification of hundreds on the banks. It has been splendidly fitted up, and beautifully painted(?) externally and internally. Its power of progress was tried with, and against, the tide, then running at least 5 miles an hour; against this strong current, the boat made its way at the rate of upwards of five miles an hour, completing a mile and nearly two hundred yards under thirteen minutes; with the stream, its rapidity of movement was measured at seven miles in the hour. This stupendous display of mechanical force, instances the wondrous effects of steam(?). On Wednesday, about noon, with nearly 100 passengers on board, the Steam Packet left this port [Chester] for Liverpool where it arrived at 5 o'clock in the evening. Yesterday, it commenced sailing between that town and Ellesmere Canal; by this conveyance, passengers are conveyed to Liverpool in three hours.

  [from Chester Courant - Tuesday 09 September 1817]:
ELLESMERE AND CHESTER CANAL. TO BE LET BY AUCTION, At the Canal Tavern, at Chester, on Thursday, the instant, at five o'clock in the afternoon, in the following lots, and subject to such conditions as shall there be produced:
Lot 1. the Right of Navigating Passage Boats along the Wirral Branch of the Canal. N. B. The taker of this lot, will be required to purchase the present Canal packet Boats, at a fair valuation.
Lot 2. The Ferry from Ellesmere Port to Liverpool.
Lot 3. The Canal Tavern at Chester.
Lot 4. The Canal Tavern at Ellesmere Port.
AND TO BE SOLD BY AUCTION, THE SAME TIME AND PLACE, The COUNTESS OF BRIDGEWATER Steam Packet, and the Telford and Luggage SAILING BOATS. For further particulars, apply to Mr. Cross, the Canal Office, in Chester. Possession will be delivered on the first of October next.

  [from Chester Courant - Tuesday 30 March 1819]; For sale
The Countess of Bridgewater Steam Packet now lying at Wallasey Pool in the River Mersey. The above vessel is of 80 feet Keel and 17 feet Beam worked by an Engine of 32 horse power of the best construction and draws four feet of water. She was fitted up with a new wrought Iron Boiler made by Messrs. Rigby and Company, of Hawarden, during the last summer, when the whole of her main timbers were planked all round. She has not worked since, and is in every respect in the most perfect state of repair.

 [from Liverpool Mercury 19th April 1822]
STEAM BOAT. On Tuesday next, the 23d instant, at the George Inn, Dale-street, Liverpool, THE COUNTESS of BRIDGWATER STEAM PACKET, now lying at Ellesmere Port, on the River Mersey. The above Vessel is of 80 feet Keel, and 17 feet Beam, worked by an Engine of 32-Horse power; of the best construction; and draws four feet of water. She was fitted up with a new wrought-iron boiler, made by Messrs. Rigby and Co. of Hawarden, during the summer of 1819, when the whole of her main timbers were renewed and strengthened, and she was new planked all round; she has not been worked since, and is now in every respect in the most perfect state of repair. For particulars and to view the Vessel apply to Mr. CRIMES, Canal Office, Tower Wharf, Chester; or to Mr. STANTON, Canal Office, Ellesmere, Salop.

 Was bought to provide the Woodside steam-ferry service until the Royal Mail was built. See here.



Wooden paddle steamer Princess Charlotte, built Mottershead, Liverpool, 1816, 19 nrt, 28 hp engines. Provided Eastham - Liverpool service. This connected with coach services to Chester, etc.

[from Courier 24 July 1816]: The launch of the Princess Charlotte Steam Packet will take place from Mottershead's yard tomorrow, Thursday, at eleven o'clock. The packet is intended to sail twice every day between this port and Eastham,

 [from Chester Courant - Tuesday 06 August 1816]: EASTHAM STEAM PACKET. THE PUBLIC are most respectfully informed, that a new and elegant STEAM PACKET, has commenced sailing to and from Eastham and Liverpool, twice every day.

  [from Chester Chronicle - Friday 27 July 1821]:
During the celebrations of the King's coronation in Liverpool, a very handsome treat was given on board the Princess Charlotte Steam-boat, to a great number of ladies and gentlemen.

  See also advertisement for Eastham Ferry 1822.

Prince Regent, b 1816, Runcorn 1816, lost 1822

Etna, b 1817, Tranmere 1817

Regulator, b 1817, Tranmere 1817, lost 1818

Mersey, b 1819, Tranmere 1819



Wooden paddle steamer Union (ex-Ancient Briton). 70 x 14.5 ft, engine [14 or 16 hp] by Sherratt, Manchester.
First reported service Chester-Bagillt (within Dee estuary, where she was named True Briton) in mid 1817. See advert for Regulator when she was plying from Parkgate to Bagillt. In 1818 sold and used on Runcorn service (renamed Union).

The Ancient Briton was taken from the Dee estuary service and advertised for sale in 1818, and on 25th May, 1819, one Cornelius Baynes announced the opening of the Weaver and Weston Point Hotel, one mile from Runcorn, for Families and Company. A new Steam Boat Ancient Briton or Union Steam Packet will sail daily from Liverpool to Weston Point and Runcorn and return the same day; also a daily packet from Weston Point to Northwich [on the Weaver Navigation]

 [from Chester Chronicle - Friday 25 April 1817]: STEAM PACKET. The Public are respectfully informed that on Sunday, the 27th of April, there will be a STEAM PACKET to sail from Bagillt, Flint, &c. to Thomas Green's, Old Crane Wharf, Chester, daily, and twice a day as often as the tide will serve, until after the Races.

 [from Chester Chronicle - Friday 16 October 1818]: ON SALE, THAT EXCELLENT, NEW, & COMMODIOUS Steam Packet, CALLED THE ANCIENT BRITON, WHICH now sails (daily) between Bagillt and Chester. For swiftness in sailing, and safety from explosion, the Proprietors challenge any on the river Mersey. For particulars, apply to Mr. J. Hunt, Bagillt; Mr. D. Brundit, Runcorn; Mr. James Wright, at Powell & Browne's, Liverpool; and the Master on board. Chester 13th 1818.

 [from Gore's Liverpool General Advertiser - Thursday 20 February 1823]: On Thursday next, the 27th instant, at two o'clock in the afternoon, at Mr. P. Johnson's Hotel, Runcorn, subject to conditions to be then Produced, The STEAM-PACKET, called the UNION, lying at Runcorn with Masts, Sails, Rigging, Anchors, Cables, Hawsers, Boat, Shafts, Oars, Copper Pump, etc. Extreme Length 70 ft, Breadth, 14.5 feet. Is propelled by an Engine of sixteen horsepower, (made by I. and T. Sherratts, of Manchester) which is now in good repair, and considered an excellent Engine for the purpose. - For further particulars or inspection, apply to Mr.THOMAS WRIGHT, Shipwright.
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Wooden paddle steamer Lady Stanley, built 1821, Mottershead & Hayes, Liverpool, 61 nrt, 77 x 15.7 x 7 ft, 20 hp engine by Brunton, registered Liverpool, Eastham ferry service. A coach service, called also Lady Stanley, met the ferry at Eastham.

[from Liverpool Mercury - Friday 06 July 1821]:
Eastham Packet. - On Friday last, a steam vessel was launched for Mr. Smith, of Eastham. She is called the Lady Stanley, and is to ply alternatively with the Princess Charlotte between Liverpool and Eastham. This greatly increases the facilities of travelling to Chester upon that line, the vessel leaving each place four times a day; and it should be particularly noted that the hours in the advertisement will be punctually observed. The steam engine of the new vessel is of twenty five horse power: her deck is flush, and her accommodations are excellent.

 [from Liverpool Mercury - Friday 19 April 1822]:
Eastham Ferry, Samuel Smith. ...
The new elegant Steam-packet LADY STANLEY will be in constant readiness at the above hours, at the Steps, Parade Wharf, west side George's Dock, and, as she will start punctually, the Public may rely on this being the most expeditious, cheap, and pleasant conveyance on the road.
The Steam-packet PRINCESS CHARLOTTE will be continually plying all hours of the day, for the conveyance of Carriages, Cattle, &c. Eastham ferry, March 18 1822.

 [from Chester Chronicle - Friday 05 December 1823]:
During the storm on Wednesday night, two of the Eastham Steam Packets run afoul of each other and were very much damaged.

 Storm [from Liverpool Mercury - Friday 05 December 1823]:
The Lady Stanley steam-packet was considerably damaged by being driven against the pier.

 [from Chester Chronicle - Friday 28 January 1825]:
The Passengers on board the Eastham Steam Packet, for Liverpool, were on Tuesday last thrown into some alarm, part of the frame work, adjoining the boiler, taking fire. The vessel, however, was run ashore, the passengers landed, the fire was extinguished and the Packet and its cargo arrived safely at Liverpool.

 [from Chester Courant - Tuesday 07 June 1825]:
THE LADY STANLEY PACKET (which is confessedly the finest and most secure that sails on the Mersey) leaves Liverpool with passengers for Eastham ferry Hotel, three times every day, namely, at Eight in the morning, Eleven in the forenoon, and Three in the afternoon, where the Packet is met the above Coaches.

 [from Chester Courant - Tuesday 03 November 1829]:
Coroner's Inquest. On Thursday an Inquest was held at Liverpool on the body of Richard Taylor. The deceased was engineer of the Lady Stanley, Eastham steam-packet, and on Sunday the 4th inst. while the packet was lying off Eastham, he was seen struggling in the water. The boat was got out, but before it pushed off from the vessel, he disappeared under water and was seen no more until his body was found yesterday morning at the South end of the Prince's dock pier. It is supposed that he was leaning over the gangway of the packet, and that it fell with him, as it was picked up by the boat got out to assist him. He has left a widow and three or four children. Verdict: Found drowned.

  The Lady Stanley, Eastham Packet is reported as coming to the assistance of Thetis when that vessel was on fire in the Mersey in 1834.

Image of Eastham Ferry (from unsigned water colour painting, 48 x 36 cm, courtesy of Richard Mearns) with a paddle steamer. The Inn shown at the right seems to be what is now called "The Tap" - said to have been built in 1745, while the larger Eastham Ferry Hotel, built 1846, is not shown. This dates the image to pre-1846. Coach services from Eastham to Chester declined from 1834 when the Chester - Birkenhead road was improved, since travelling via Birkenhead then became competitive. Eastham coaches were still advertised in 1837, however. The paddle steamer shown is quite small (looks less than the 60-80 ft length of known Eastham ferries) so could possibly be a private gentleman's launch.




Wooden paddle steamer Britannia, built Mottershead & Hayes, Liverpool, 1821, 100 grt, 46 nrt, 76.4 x 16.5 x 5.4 ft, engines 20hp by Dove & Co., for the Tranmere service. Later transferred to the Birkenhead service (around 1827)

 [from Chester Chronicle - Friday 31 August 1821]:
Cheap, Safe and certain Conveyance to Liverpool.
J. Ball, Tranmere Ferry (opposite Liverpool) RETURNS his best thanks to the public, for the kind partiality they continue to evince to his establishment; and informs them that, anxious for their accommodation, he has just launched the new and elegant Steam Packet called the Britannia, built on the most approved plan with improved boilers, and worked by a powerful engine, so as to render it the swiftest sailer on the river.
The packet leaves Tranmere immediately on the arrival of the Holyhead Mail, and meets all the coaches; the Quay has been put in thorough repair, so that carriages of every description and horses, can be carried across the channel throughout the day.

 [from Manchester Mercury - Tuesday 04 September 1821]:
On Friday morning the 24th ult. a fire took place board of the Britannia, Tranmere steam-packet owing to the boiler being without water when the fire was laid on. The fire was soon extinguished, yet not before considerable injury was done to the boat. It is said, that the boiler had been filled with water the preceding evening, and that some ill-disposed person had let it out during the night.
The Britannia steam packet, which plies between Liverpool and Tranmere, transported to the latter place, on Sunday week, the astonishing number of four thousand persons.

  [from Liverpool Standard and General Commercial Advertiser - Tuesday 27 May 1834]:
On the same day another body was picked up in the river by James Glover, one of the hands employed on board the steam-boat Britannia, which plies with passengers between Liverpool and Birkenhead. The body was dressed in sailors' attire, but it has not transpired who the unfortunate deceased was. The body was conveyed to the Deadhouse.



Abbey, b 1822, Tranmere 1822, wrecked 1839

Wooden paddle steamer Royal Mail, built 1822, Bland & Chaloner, Liverpool, length 72ft, engines 18 hp by Fawcett & Preston, for Woodside ferry service, commencing 1823.

  [from Chester Chronicle - Friday 05 April 1822]:
To be let with immediate possession. The well established inn called Woodside Ferry. The Superior Eligibility of this Ferry-House, being immediately opposite the centre of Liverpool, and consequently from which is the shortest and safest passage across the Mersey, gives it an eminent advantage over every other Ferry upon the River and the establishment of a suitable Steam Boat at it, must indisputably soon become the most preferable and frequented line of communication between Lancashire, Cheshire and North Wales and by which the Mails between those Counties are already daily conveyed. To an active and respectable tenant, possessing a tolerable capital, this Establishment presents advantages which seldom occur, so much so that by proper management and attention to the Public's comfort and accommodation, no doubt could be entertained of a handsome fortune, in a few years, being realised at it.

 [from Chester Chronicle - Friday 19 July 1822]:
Woodside steam packet to Liverpool. MARY BOOTH AVAILS of this medium of expressing her thanks to the public for the continued support she still receives. As it is her determination to oppose herself to all MONOPOLY on the road, and being also determined to render her Coaches and means of conveyance at least equal to any other, she has the gratification of announcing the STEAM PACKET the Countess of Bridgewater. It is engaged to facilitate the carriage of passengers across the Mersey at all hours of the day. In a few days, a LIGHT POST COACH called THE INDEPENDENT carrying only four inside will leave her house every morning at seven o'clock to Liverpool by way of Woodside, the Royal Mail Ferry, and return from there every evening.

  [from Chester Chronicle - Friday 02 May 1823]:
Woodside Royal Mail Ferry, opposite Liverpool. HUGH WILLIAMS BEGS leave to inform the Public that he has entered on the above Inn which he has considerably enlarged and improved and on the First day of May, his new steam vessel Royal Mail Packet (built expressly for the purpose of carrying the Mail with Passengers and their luggage &c across the Mersey) will commence plying and will be punctually dispatched from his House on arrival of the Mail each Morning at Seven o'Clock and will continue to leave his House at the commencement of every hour throughout the day; she will leave Liverpool precisely at Half-past Eight with the True Blue Coach Passengers for Chester, Wrexham, Oswestry, Shrewsbury and all intermediate and adjacent places. The ROYAL MAIL PACKET will continue to leave Liverpool at Half-past every Hour throughout the day.



Duke of Bridgewater, b 1822, Runcorn 1822, sank 1839

Eclipse, b 1823, Runcorn 1823

Wooden paddle steamer Seacombe, built Mottershead & Hayes, Liverpool, 1822, for Seacombe Ferry service, owner J & R Parry, 44 nrt, 70 x 26.5 x 7 ft, 28 hp engine. Possibly rebuilt 1836. Offered for sale 1853.

 [from Gore's Liverpool General Advertiser, Thursday 24 April 1823]
On Sunday last, the packet-ship Amity, Maxwell, for New York, was towed out of this port, by the Seacombe steam-boat.

  Mersey river trip aboard Emerald Isle by Mr. Canning, etc [from Gore's Liverpool General Advertiser - Thursday 28 August 1823]:
She anchored opposite to the south end of the Parade; and, the Seacombe steam-boat having again come alongside, Mr. Canning and his son, Mr. Huskisson, and Lord George Bentinck left the Emerald Isle amidst the cheers of the company, and, with a number of the party, were conveyed to the stairs, where they were greeted with the warm huzzas of the assembled populace.

 [from Chester Courant - Tuesday 29 March 1825]:
The Seacombe steam packet has been got on shore at Woodside, but with the loss of the boilers and much injury done to the hull of the vessel.

  [from Liverpool Albion - Monday 05 August 1833]:
STEAM-BOAT ACCIDENT. - On Monday last, Captain Burley of the Nora Creina steam-packet of Waterford, was summoned before Mr Thomas Brancker of the Public-office, by Mr Parry, the owner of the Seacombe steam-boat, in consequence of a serious injury which the latter received while passing over the river with a large party...

[from Liverpool Standard and General Commercial Advertiser - Tuesday 27 August 1844]:
On Friday, Mr. Wardle, attorney, appeared before Mr. Rushton, on behalf of C. T. Hatherton, proprietor of the "Sir John Moore," New Brighton steam-boat, against Messrs. Parry, proprietors of the Seacombe steam-boat, for damages sustained by the former vessel on the 8th of this month, owing to the alleged carelessness and neglect of the captain and crew of the latter. A number of witnesses were heard on both sides. Mr. Edwd. Parry, (brother of Mr. John Parry, and part owner of the Seacombe boat,) conducted his own defence with great ability, and in his cross-examination of the plaintiff's witnesses, as well as by those he called on his own behalf, succeeded in showing that no blame whatever attached to the Seacombe boat; but, on the contrary, that the New Brighton boat was the aggressor. The collision took place close by the Egremont landing stage, the New Brighton boat being in the rear of the Seacombe, and it was only by the latter putting on all steam and going right a head, and turning into the basin, that she avoid being run into violently by the New Brighton boat, which had her full power on when coming close to the stage, contrary to the usages prevalent among the river steamers plying between the Cheshire and Lancashire shores. The complaint was dismissed,

Listed in MNL passenger-certified steam vessels as 40 nrt, 28 hp, at Liverpool, 1851-2.

[from Liverpool Shipping Telegraph and Daily Commercial Advertiser - Monday 17 October 1853]:
By order of the Assignees [of J & R Parry]. On FRIDAY, the 21st instant, at one o'clock, at the Brokers' Sale-room, Derby-buildings, Fenwick-street, Now lying in the Great Float, Birkenhead: ... Also, the Ferry Steam-boat SEACOMBE. 30 horse-power, built at Liverpool, and copper-fastened. Dimensions:- Length, 77 feet; breadth extreme, 26 feet 5 inches; depth, about 7 feet.



Wooden paddle steamer Earl of Bridgewater
Possibly vessel launched for Duke of Bridgewater by James and Seddon, Liverpool, June 1823.
Owned Runcorn Steam Packet Co.
Advertised as providing a Liverpool to Ellesmere Port service daily, in conjunction with the canal packet to Chester, during Chester Races in early May 1824.
2 August 1824, boiler explosion at Liverpool (en route to Ellesmere Port), 3 people died.
Last newspaper mention in 1841 - when involved in a collision in the Mersey with HM Mail Steamer Merlin.

Possible launch [from Gore's Liverpool General Advertiser - Thursday 12 June 1823]: A beautiful new steam-packet was launched yesterday, at twelve o'clock, from the building-yard of Messrs. James and Seddon, South Shore, built for the proprietors of the Duke of Bridgewater steam-packet, to render more expeditious the recently established line of conveyance (on the river Mersey and the trustees of the late Duke of Bridgewater's canal) between Manchester and Liverpool.

  Initial service: [from Liverpool Mercury - Friday 30 April 1824]:
CHESTER RACES, THREE HOURS PASSAGE. The public are respectfully informed that the CANAL STEAM PACKET EARL OF BRIDGEWATER will leave Liverpool every day during the races, for Ellesmere Port where the new canal packet George IV (which will commence sailing on 1st May) and two others will be in attendance to convey passengers direct to Chester.

From Liverpool newspapers:
  LATE ACCIDENT OF THE STEAM PACKET ON THE MERSEY.
  Sunday afternoon last [2 August 1824], about ha'past three o'clock, while the Earl of Bridgewater, Ellesmere steam-packet, was about to start from George's Quay, her boiler unfortunately burst, with explosion. There were, at the time, a considerable number of passengers on the deck of the vessel; and such was the force of the steam that several of them, including a young woman, were, according to the most correct account we can procure from eyewitnesses, blown a considerable height into the air, and fell in the river. They were fortunately picked up by the boats belonging to the floating-bath, and others from the shore. The female, who was picked up, was dreadfully scalded, as was also a boy. Three men also, named Bickerstaffe, Jones, and Gould, suffered severely. The young woman and the boy, who were instantly conveyed the Infirmary, we regret to say, both died, the former on Monday night, the other on Tuesday. Hopes are entertained of the recovery of the men, though their situation is precarious. Several others were less injured, and not a few stupified by the alarm and force of the explosion. Some of the individuals injured, were, in the first instance, carried to the house of Mrs. Slater, the receiving-house appointed by the Humane Society [set up to aid recovery of drowning victims], and experienced every possible attention from Mrs. Slater and the other inmates the house, as well as from the two men of the floating-bath.
  The name of the unfortunate young woman, who lost her life by this accident was Mary Artingstall. She was going spend with her parents, at Waverham Cheshire, the happy season of the wakes. We have to state, too, that another unknown individual has been lost to society: a boat, in which was Mr. Richard Lea, a tide-surveyor, was a short distance from the vessel at the time of explosion, and, seeing a man in the water, rowed to the spot, and endeavoured save him; but, unfortunately, missing a secure hold of him with a boat-hook, brought up only his hat; the body unhappily sank. The same boat picked up the female.
  A coroner's inquest was held on the bodies on Tuesday, and several witnesses were examined to the circumstances and cause of the accident. The investigation was adjourned Wednesday, and thence, for some important evidence not at hand, for some days longer.
  In the absence, therefore, of official information, we supply the following statement by a scientific gentleman of Manchester, who, we believe, has had considerable experience in the construction of steam-engines. It seems to throw light on the true cause of the accident. Being on board the Lady Stanley steam-packet [which sailed to Eastham], with some friends from Manchester, they had the opportunity of witnessing the accident which occurred on board the Earl of Bridgewater steam-packet Sunday last: The packet was just in the act of starting when the explosion took place. We thus observed that the report was not so loud as we should have, lying close, expected from the bursting of a steam-boiler; and on that account my friends, who were scientific gentlemen, were very desirous to ascertain the cause, examined the safety-valve, and found it in very excellent condition, and not weighing more than four or five pounds upon the square inch [about 0.3 of atmospheric pressure], and we were informed, that no extra load had that day been put on. We examined the boiler, and found that the accident had been occasioned by a defect in the angle-iron, (which is a piece of iron placed inside the boiler, and riveted to the tops and side plates) it being improperly welded in the manufacture, which was clearly shown by a coat of rust in the seam. The boiler was 10 feet long, and the angle-iron was unsound nearly the whole length. We were much surprised the accident had not occurred before; and, therefore, do not consider that any blame can be attached to the persons who had the management of the engine.
  This the first accident of the kind which has taken place on our river since the introduction of steam-navigation. The engines, indeed, which are employed are the very first quality, faithfully manufactured on the most recent and approved principle, at establishments of the highest respectability; and, though we have here one lamentable instance of failure or neglect, as much is it in the interest of the owners of these useful vessels, to render them secure from all such casualties, that we trust every engine will, in future, be frequently and carefully inspected by scientific men, and any defects immediately supplied. The appointment of an inspector, expressly to examine the packet engines in the port generally, is devoutly to be wished, and it is also suggested, that engine machinery of complicated and fearful power should not be placed under the care of lads or incompetent individuals. In the present case, it is said that the boy, who unfortunately lost his life, was in the act of exhibiting some parts of the engine to strangers, when the catastrophe took place. He was, we learn, ignorant of the nature of the engine; and a boy (aged only 17), who, it appears, was the only engineer of the ship was, at the time, onshore. If such youths are to be trusted with the engines, of which they can have but little experience, we know not how the proprietors can expect the encouragement or confidence of the public.

Later, in 1841, the Earl of Bridgewater was involved in a collision in the Mersey with HM Mail Steamer Merlin.



Wooden paddle steamer Alice
Built 1824 Mottershead & Hayes, 50 tons, 50 hp engines
Seacombe Ferry (on Mersey); owned J & R Parry.
Caught fire and sank: 7th March 1825.
Vessel still operating until 1846 at least.

  [from Liverpool Mercury - Friday 04 June 1824]:
Launches - on Saturday last ... from Messrs Hurry's yard the steam boat St David for the Bangor station; and from Messrs Mottershead & Hayes's yard the steam boats Maria for Eastham, and the Alice, Seacombe.

 [from Liverpool Mercury Friday, 11th March, 1825]:
Steam Boat Incident
On Monday morning [7th March 1825] the steam boat Alice, property of Mr. Parry, of Seacombe Ferry, took fire by some accident, whilst at anchor off that place. As soon as the fire was discovered, the men endeavoured to extinguish the flames; but, finding their efforts unavailing, they determined to scuttle the vessel, as the only chance of saving her from total destruction. She was immediately scuttled, and sank opposite the hotel. As she lay on the edge of the bank, the ebb tide (which was remarkably strong) forced her over into the deep water, where she now lies, and is likely to prove a complete wreck. The Alice was one of the finest steam boats on the river, and sailed very fast. Mr. Parry, we understand, was only half insured: his loss by the accident will, therefore, we regret to state, be very great.

  [from Macclesfield Courier and Herald - Saturday 30 June 1838]: Suicide reported of young lady overboard from Seacombe steamer Alice.

  [from Liverpool Mail - Saturday 29 January 1842]:
COLLISIONS ON THE RIVER. The captain of the Seacombe steamer, Alice, was summoned by the owners of the Ennishowen, Egremont boat, for damage done to that vessel by the former, on the 4th of the present month. Mr. John Martin, master of the Ennishowen. stated that was coming up the river on the afternoon in question, when the Alice attempted to cross the bows of his vessel....

  [from Liverpool Albion - Monday 23 February 1846]:
COLLISION ON THE RIVER: CLAIM FOR DAMAGE AGAINST A SEACOMBE -STEAMBOAT. On Saturday Charles Burt, the master of the Alice, Seacombe steamboat, was summoned before Mr. Rushton, to answer the complaint of the owners of the schooner Achilles, for having struck against that vessel, and thereby considerably damaged her at the bow....



Wooden paddle steamer Duke of Lancaster, built 1822 by Mottershead & Hayes, Liverpool. 91 grt, 103 x 17 x 9.5 ft, engines 50hp by Fawcett & Littledale. Initial service Liverpool - Morecambe Bay - Whitehaven - Dumfries. 1823 serving Bristol - Ilfracombe - Tenby, war-office steam packet . In 1825 on Liverpool - Hoylake - Bagillt (Dee estuary) service, owned War Office Steam Packet. By 1827 on Campbeltown - Glasgow service. More history.

[from Lancaster Gazette - Saturday 16 March 1822]:
On Saturday last was launched, from the building-yard of Messrs Mottershead and Hayes, Liverpool, a beautiful steam-packet, called the Duke of Lancaster, which is intended to commence plying, in a few days, between that Port, Hest-Bank, near Lancaster, and Ulverston. [Hest Bank is NE of Morecambe; also called Poulton Ring]

  [from Lancaster Gazette - Saturday 30 March 1822]:
The Duke of Lancaster new Steam-packet sailed from Hest Bank, near this town, on Saturday last, about two hours before high water, and made way against wind and tide, at the rate of six knots an hour, until she arrived at Rossal Perch [sic, now Rossall, and perch no longer present], when she put about for Peel. She sailed thence the following day about eleven o'clock, and arrived safely at Liverpool between five and six the same evening. On Tuesday morning, about three o'clock, the crew were alarmed by the vessel being on fire, but it was speedily subdued by the safety-pump on board, with only a trifling damage to the ceiling over one part of the boiler. From what has since transpired, it is supposed to have been the diabolical attempt of an incendiary, who will, we hope, be shortly discovered and punished.

  [from Lancaster Gazette - Saturday 06 July 1822]:
The steam packet Duke of Lancaster, which plied between Liverpool and Dumfries, calling at Whitehaven, has been disposed of. She called at the latter place on Wednesday evening the 26th ult. with the Marquis of Stafford and suite on board, on her way to Dumfries, and again on Friday evening on her way to Liverpool, we are told for the last time.

Advert for sailing from Bristol to Cork 1822.

  [from Chester Chronicle - Friday 04 February 1825]:
COMMUNICATION Between Liverpool and Bagillt. THE LIVERPOOL and NORTH WALES STEAM-PACKET COMPANY beg to announce that, to provide suitable accommodation for Passengers between Liverpool and Bagillt, they have purchased the beautiful and Fast-sailing Steam-Packet, DUKE OF LANCASTER, which will commence sailing Friday, the 11th February, leaving Liverpool every Morning at Eight o'clock, and returning from Bagillt in the Afternoon. The Duke of Lancaster is of the Burthen of one hundred and fifty tons; her Engines of the well-known manufacture Messrs. Fawcett & Co. exceed 55 horses' power, and her accommodations for Passengers are the very first order. The Proprietors, therefore, confidently anticipate the public support.. Apply John Watson, jun. War-office Steam-Packet Office, Water-street, Liverpool.

  [from Liverpool Mercury - Friday 13 May 1825, and up to 22 July 1825]:
The War-office Steam-packets,... HOYLAKE AND BAGILLT. The Steam-packet DUKE OF LANCASTER sails every Morning for Hoylake and Bagillt, and returns in the afternoon.



Wooden paddle steamer Vesuvius, built 1823 by Gladstone & Foster, Liverpool, for Birkenhead service, 43 grt, 22 hp engine, owned Batman & French. Reported in 1829 as serving Ince. Note that Gladstone & Foster were primarily engine builders - so they may have contracted out the construction of the wooden hull to another yard. Abbey was built at a similar date, for the same owners, by Grayson & Leadley.

[from Chester Chronicle - Friday 29 August 1823]:
On Saturday last, Mr. Mears, of Birkenhead Hotel, started a new Steam Packet called the Vesuvius which is supposed to the handsomest and fastest sailing Packet on the River.

 [from Gore's Liverpool General Advertiser - Thursday 15 May 1828]:
The Steam-packet VESUVIUS, About four years old, built at Liverpool for the river trade; engine 22 horse power, made Gladstone and Foster. The Vessel, Engine and Boilers had complete repair about eighteen months ago, and are now in good condition.

 [from Gore's Liverpool General Advertiser - Thursday 11 June 1829]:
STEAM PACKET TO INCE FERRY. The public are respectfully informed that the Steam Packet VESUVIUS has commenced PLYING between LIVERPOOL & INCE FERRY, leaving Liverpool from the Seacombe Slip every day at Three Hours before High Water, and from Ince Ferry Half-an-Hour after High Water, thus allowing visitors sufficient time to go by the Railway to Helsby Hills, a distance of two miles from the River, and from whence and the immediate neighbourhood, there is the most delightful scenery.
Mrs Makin, Ince Ferry House.



Wooden paddle steamer Francis, built Lomax & Wilson, Tranmere, 1825, 54 nrt, 22 hp engines, for Woodside service.

[from Liverpool Mercury - Friday 08 April 1825]:
Woodside Ferry. On Wednesday last, a fine new steam-packet, called the Francis, or Frances, was launched from the building-yard of Messrs. Lomax and Wilson, at Tranmere, for Mr. Williams, of Woodside Ferry.

 [from Chester Chronicle - Friday 05 August 1825]
The Steam Packets known by the names of the Francis and Hercules, leave the Parade Pier-head, George's Dock, every evening, precisely at five o'clock, per Woodside Royal Mail Ferry, where the above Coach is in readiness to convey Passengers to Chester, from whence there are Coaches to all parts of the Kingdom.



Wooden paddle steamer Hercules, 46 nrt. On Woodside service 1825. Engines 60 hp. From 1829, used for other routes and for towing (owned Mersey & Irwell Navigation Company).
Note another Hercules was acquired at Liverpool as a steam tug in 1848. Also a larger Hercules [265nrt] was built by Mottershead & Hayes at Liverpool in 1835, ON 27002.

[from Gore's Liverpool General Advertiser - Thursday 16 November 1826]:
IMPORTANT TO OWNERS OF STEAM VESSELS. An appeal came on to be heard against the conviction of John Bennett, of the Hercules Steam boat, plying between Woodside and Liverpool. The appellant, John Bennett, had been convicted by the Dock Police Office under the Dock Act, ... for not having a row boat attached to the said vessel agreeable to that statute.

 [from Chester Chronicle - Friday 11 September 1829]:
FROM RHYL AND RHYDDLAN FOR LIVERPOOL. THE STEAM PACKET HERCULES, of equal power with the Gulliver, and drawing less water, will continue plying between Rhyl, and Liverpool, until the new Packet that is building for a Constant Trader, is ready. She will sail during the month of September, on the days and hours as annexed. JOHN RICHARDSON. Rhyl, 5th Sept. 1829.
... The Hercules is a superior vessel for towing, having two engines of thirty-horse power each, on the double motion; and the terms are no higher than those of the small river steam-boats.

[from Liverpool Standard and General Commercial Advertiser - Friday 28 June 1833]:
Wednesday morning, about five o'clock, as the steam boat Hercules was towing some flats up the river, when she had arrived opposite the Garston Salt Works, the people on board observed something floating on the water; they immediately made towards it, when it was discovered to be the body of a man. They forthwith hauled it on board. ...

[from Liverpool Standard and General Commercial Advertiser - Friday 30 March 1838]:
The plaintiffs in this case [Hibbert and others], who were operators of a steam boat named the Egremont, plying across the Mersey from the ferry of that name to Liverpool, brought this action to recover from the defendants, the Mersey and Irwell Navigation Company, damages for injury sustained by the Egremont, in consequence of the defendants' steam-boat Hercules having run into her on the evening of the 22nd of January last, when within forty yards of the quay at Liverpool, and about 150 yards off her place of destination. The case occupied all day, and was very uninteresting. ...



 Gore's Directory 1825 Mersey Steam packets:
RUNCORN (& WESTON POINT) Duke of Bridgewater, Eclipse;
INCE Duke of Wellington;
ELLESMERE Earl of Bridgewater;
EASTHAM Lady Stanley;
TRANMERE Britannia;
BIRKENHEAD Etna, Vesuvius;
WOODSIDE Frances, Hercules;
SEACOMBE Alice, Seacombe;
HOYLAKE (& BAGILLT) Duke of Lancaster.
Steam Packet Abbey is solely used for towing.

Steam boats on the Mersey [from Hereford Journal - Wednesday 08 November 1826]:
Eleven years ago, a single steam-boat upon the river Mersey was deemed a novelty, and considered, at the best but a doubtful speculation. At the present period, not less than 47 are employed on various stations, namely 15 to Dublin, 5 to Greenock and Isle of Man; 3 to Belfast; 1 to Waterford; 1 to Cork; 1 to Carlisle; 2 to Beaumaris and Bangor; 1 to Bagillt; 1 to Lancaster; 17 in various parts of the river and for towing vessels.



Wooden paddle steamer James, built Liverpool 1825, 100grt, 46 nrt, 76.4 x 16.5 x 5.4ft, engines of 33 hp, for Birkenhead service

  [from Gore's Liverpool General Advertiser - Thursday 13 July 1826]:
Another inquest was held the same day on the body of Margaret Walker, a poor widow, residing in Vernon-street, and who obtained a livelihood by selling oranges. The deceased was standing with her oranges on the lower steps of St. George's Pier, on Friday afternoon, when the Belhouse Steam-packet was clearing the steps. The Francis Steam-packet then made towards the steps when the James Steam-packet pressed upon her and forced her with violence against the steps, the consequence of which was, that the concussion broke the rope which fastened the fender over the side of the vessel and the fender flew upwards with such force, that it struck the deceased on the stomach, knocked her down, and materially injured her...



Wooden paddle steamer Maria, built Mottershead & Hayes, Liverpool, 1824, for the Eastham ferry service (Samuel Smith). Reported as sold 1826. From 1824 - 1826, advertisements quote the steamer Lady Stanley as providing the service from Liverpool to Eastham, with no mention of Maria.

  [from Liverpool Mercury - Friday 04 June 1824]:
Launches - on Saturday last ... from Messrs Hurry's yard the steam boat St David for the Bangor station; and from Messrs Mottershead & Hayes's yard the steam boats Maria for Eastham, and the Alice, Seacombe.
[from Chester Chronicle - Friday 28 January 1825]:
The Passengers on board the Eastham Steam Packet, for Liverpool, were on Tuesday last thrown into some alarm, part of the frame work, adjoining the boiler, taking fire. The vessel, however, was run ashore, the passengers landed, the fire was extinguished and the Packet and its cargo arrived safely at Liverpool.

[from Liverpool Albion - Tuesday 29 June 1830]:
The melancholy tidings of the lamented death of our late beloved Sovereign were communicated to the Lazarettos [quarantine hospital ships moored near New Ferry at that date] and other vessels on the river, by Captain Smith, of the Maria, Eastham packet, who, having received intimation of the sad event from Mr. Slater, who went with him as passenger, made his first trip to Eastham with his flag half-mast, and sailed near enough to one of the Lazarettos to state the mournful cause, when the whole of the Lazarettos, as if by one impulse, displayed the signal of mourning. [could also have been Maria built 1826]



Wooden paddle steamer Maria, built Wilson, Chester, 1826, 92 tons, engines 30 hp, Ellesmere Port service from April 1826, in conjunction with a packet on the Ellesmere and Chester Canal. It is surprising that two steamers, both called Maria, were launched for the Eastham service only two years apart. Gore's Directory for 1829 lists Maria as still on the Ellesmere Port Service.

[from Chester Chronicle - Friday 21 April 1826]:
Launch. A steam vessel was launched on Monday se'nnight, from the yard of Mr. Wilson, of this city, which is to ply between Eastham Ferry and Liverpool. By advertisement it will seen that Mr. Smith, of Eastham, has engaged this packet to meet the Chester one at Ellesmere Port, and we may now confidently hope for a revived intercourse between Chester and Liverpool, by the old line.

 [from Chester Chronicle - Friday 21 April 1826]:
CHESTER TO LIVERPOOL, BY WAY OF ELLESMERE PORT. SAMUEL SMITH, of the Eastham Ferry-House, having taken the CHESTER PACKET-BOAT plying to ELLESMERE PORT, he respectfully informs the public, that he has engaged the New and Elegant STEAM PACKET, MARIA, of about 92 tons burthen, and 30 horse power, to meet her at that Port, for the purpose of conveying Passengers and Luggage down the Mersey to Liverpool. The Maria which has but just been launched from the ship-yard of Mr. Wilson, of Chester, is a handsome vessel, and one of the stoutest and best of her class on the Mersey, will commence sailing to Ellesmere Port, on MONDAY NEXT, and continue every successive day, until further notice. April 20. 1826.



Hero, b 1826, Magazines 1828, Egremont 1830, sank 1835

Wooden paddle steamer Harriet, built Humble & Hurry, Liverpool, 1826, 91grt, 26nrt, 89 x 15 x 8 x 7ft, engines 45hp, Eastham (or New Ferry) service 1826 on [from WCS], owned Humble & Milcrest. 1827 some voyages Douglas - Liverpool. 1828-33 reported voyaging mainly Liverpool - Wexford (captain Jones). For sale 1838. Owned at Llanelli by 1841. Listed 1845 at Llanelli as a potential gun-boat, 26tons, 45hp. Still registered at Llanelli in 1851: owned R. J. Nevill, 89 x 14.8 ft, 26nrt, 91grt. Not in MNL.

Possibly advert for this vessel [from Liverpool Mercury - Friday 16 June 1826]:
A fine new STEAM VESSEL, Launched in December last, built under particular inspection, of the best materials and copper-fastened: of the following dimensions: length 98 feet; breadth 19 feet; depth 9 feet, and admeasures 171 tons, carpenters measurement, and posesses a large capaacity for stowage. Has two steam engines, just completed, of 20 horses' power each, got up in the very best style of workmanship, and possesses a speed not to be excelled, she draws a very light draught of water, and is particularly adapted for river navigation, and is now in complete order for any service. For further particulars, inquire of Captain ROBERTS, on board, in the Brunswick Basin, or of Messrs. William and James Brown & Co.

  [from Lancaster Gazette - Saturday 29 July 1826]:
There have been two steam vessels at Ulverston the last week, the Harriet and the Bridgewater. The Harriet arrived on Sunday and immediately proceeded to Peel with passengers; she returned again on the next tide, and afterwards sailed for Liverpool. The Bridgewater arrived on Wednesday with passengers from Liverpool.

  [from Public Ledger and Daily Advertiser - Monday 12 May 1828]:
The Harriet steamer, in coming into this port [Wexford], from Dublin, the 4th inst., grounded on the bar, a vessel was brought alongside, into which she discharged, and floated off without damage on the rise of the tide.

  [from Kilkenny Moderator - Wednesday 21 January 1829]:
Wexford. Wednesday morning a dreadful accident occurred on board the Harriet steam-packet. A part of the dress of the assistant engineer having got entangled in one of the cocks of the boiler, turned it, and the boiling water spouted upon him. The unfortunate man was struck in the breast, and the shock threw him down. He rose, and in attempting to re-turn the cock, the water ran up his arm and down his side. In a very suffering state he was temporarily relieved in the shop of Messrs. Richards and Thompson, Apothecaries. We understand that the crew were extremely apathetic in assisting their comrade, some of our own townsmen having been the most active on the occasion. The man has been scalded in a very shocking and dangerous manner.

  [from Gore's Liverpool General Advertiser - Thursday 15 March 1838]:
ON SALE. The Steamer HARRIET, with engines made by first-rate makers. Length, 89 feet; breadth, 16 feet 8 inches; depth, 7 feet 9 inches; diameter of cylinder 36 inches; tonnage 41 4-10ths. Apply to JOHN BIBBY and Co.



Wooden paddle steamer St. David, built Mulvey, Chester, 1824, 45 nrt, 72 x 15 x 7ft, engines 20 hp by Rigby, Hawarden. Service in Dee estuary, then on Woodside service 1827-32
[Note that other St. David steamers were launched: in 1824 - of 200 grt/100nrt by Humble & Hurry of Liverpool; and in 1822 by Mottershead & Hayes of Liverpool - of 58nrt for use in the Severn Estuary]

  [from Chester Courant - Tuesday 02 March 1824]:
Launch. The launch of the New Subscription Packet, took place yesterday at three quarters past eleven o'clock, in a very superior style, attended by thousands of spectators, a procession of decorated mail coaches, band of music, etc. She was named the St. David, by Griffith Rowland, Esq. who performed the usual ceremony with dignity worthy of the occasion and the name. Not the slightest accident occurred, and plenty of roast and boiled decorated the tables on board, with copious libations of cwrw da[Welsh for good beer]. This beautiful Steam Packet is of 75 tons burthen; her length aloft, 72 feet 4 inches; her breadth, 14 feet 10 inches, and is to be handsomely fitted up with three cabins. She is to ply between Chester, Flint, Bagillt, Rhyddland, &c. She does infinite credit to the builder, Mr. Mulvey, and notwithstanding there were at least 200 persons on board, when launched, she did not draw two feet of water. Her steam engine, of twenty horse power, on the most approved construction, is in great forwardness at the Hawarden Foundry; she is engaged to be fully completed for sailing early in April. We sincerely hope the St. David will prove the messenger and bearer of good will, and uninterrupted friendship to both sides of the Dee, and that the association of her name, with the city of Chester, will ever be the pledge of mutual attachment and profitable intercourse.

  [from Chester Courant - Tuesday 28 February 1826]:
The St. David Steam Packet. BE SOLD BY AUCTION, the St. DAVID STEAM-PACKET, now plying between Chester and Bagillt. The above Packet is nearly new, registers 45 tons, and is worked by very superior Steam Engine of thirty-one inch cylinder, made by Messrs. Rigby's & Co. with machinery complete. The Sale will take place on the 7th of March next, at Mr. Robert Robert's, the Red Lion, Chester, at six o'clock in the evening. Further particulars may be had on application to Mr. Moss, Chester.

  [from Chester Courant - Tuesday 17 July 1827]:
St David Steam Packet. This steamer, which lately sailed between this city and Bagillt, is now plying between Woodside and Liverpool.



Birkenhead Ferry, established 1827:

 [from Chester Chronicle - Friday 11 May 1827]:
BIRKENHEAD HOTEL, OPPOSITE THE TOWN OF LIVERPOOL. FERRY, BATHS, BOWLING GREEN, &c, JAMES BALL takes this opportunity of giving his sincere thanks to his numerous friends, for their kind support during fifteen years he has kept the Tranmere House and Ferry, and begs to inform the Nobility, Gentry, and Public in general, that he has entered on Birkenhead Hotel, which, from its salubrious situation, and extensive and delightful prospects, &c. cannot be surpassed in the kingdom. The House contains several private sitting-rooms, with bed-rooms attached, has private hot and cold, salt and fresh water and shower Baths, with proper attendants at all times.
The Ferry from this Hotel is the best on the river, having a commodious quay and basin for the accommodation of the House and Ferry, and is most convenient for carriages, passengers, and cattle, as they can embark or land at any state of the tide close to the Hotel. The House is furnished in the most complete manner, and stocked with Wines and Liquors of the first quality.
Neat Post Chaise, and other Carriages, with careful drivers. A Coach at eight o'clock in the morning, through Chester, Wrexham, and Ellesmere, to the Lion Inn, Shrewsbury, where it meets Coaches for Holyhead, Birmingham, Oxford, London, Worcester, Gloucester, and South Wales. Passengers and parcels booked at the Saracen's Head, Dale-street; Mr. Morgan's, Fenwick-street, and Mr. E. Hughes's, Mann's Island, Liverpool. A Coach at eleven o'clock, through Whitchurch, and Wem, and arrives at Shrewsbury the same evening. Passengers and parcels booked at the Golden Lion, Dale-street; Mr. Morgan's, Fenwick-street, and Mr. Hughes's, Mann's Island. A Coach at four o'clock to Chester, in time for the Hereford Mail, Passengers and parcels booked at the Crown Inn, Redcross-street; Mr. Morgan's, Fenwick-street. and Mr. E. Hughes's, Mann's Island. A Coach to Parkgate at two hours flood tide, to Flint, Bagillt, and Holywell, where a coach meets, and proceeds to Denbigh. Passengers and parcels booked Mr. Clayton's, No. 12, Nova Scotia.
Two Steam Boats, with a number of Sailing Boats, are constantly plying for the accommodation of passengers, &c. between the Hotel and the Parade Pier, west side George's Dock, and the South Slip, bottom of Stanhope-street, south end of the Queen's Dock, Liverpool. For the former boats, enquire of Mr. Hughes, Mann's Island, and for the latter, of Mr. Turner, Birkenhead Boat-house, lower end of Stanhope-street.

  [from Liverpool Mercury - Friday 21 August 1829]:
BIRKENHEAD HOTEL. OPPOSITE THE TOWN OF LIVERPOOL, FERRY, BATHS, BOWLING-GREEN, &C., JAMES BALL and SON beg to inform the Nobility and Gentry, and Public in general, that the BIRKENHEAD HOTEL, from its salubrious situation and extensive and delightful prospects, &c. cannot be surpassed in the kingdom. The JAMES, BRITANNIA. and WILLIAM FAWCETT, elegant and fast-sailing Steam-packets. with a number of Sailing Boats, are constantly plying for the accommodation of Passengers, &c., between the Hotel and the Parade Pier, west side of George's Dock.
Same 3 boats mentioned in 1832 advert.[Liverpool Albion - Monday 25 June 1832]



Wooden paddle steamer William Fawcett, built Mottershead & Hayes, Liverpool, 1829, 48 tons burthen, 76.4 x 15.1 x 8.4 ft, engines 26hp by Fawcett & Preston, for the Birkenhead service.
Collision with a schooner December 23 1835.
[note: a wooden paddle steamer, also named William Fawcett, was launched by Caleb & James Smith, Liverpool, in 1828 for the City of Dublin Steam Packet Company - that was a much larger vessel]

 [from Gore's Liverpool General Advertiser - Thursday 31 December 1835]:
Accident on the river. On Wednesday evening week, about five o'clock, as the William Fawcett, Birkenhead steamer, was coming down the river, she ran foul of a large outward bound schooner, then lying at anchor, and did considerable damage. The shock was tremendous, carrying away the chimney of the steam-boat, which fell aft the vessel, and a passenger belonging to the Dolphin Government boat had his thigh broken. The steamer had on board about 40 passengers, who scrambled on board the schooner; and the confusion which look place cannot be described. The two vessels were extricated in about twenty minutes; but considerable time elapsed after this before any communication was made with the shore, although the accident took place within hail. In about an hour a boat, with four men, came alongside the schooner, into which the man who had his thigh broken, his wife, and two gentlemen, were lowered, and ultimately landed at the Prince's Pier, when the police very promptly procured the usual apparatus in cases of accident, and conveyed him to the Northern Hospital, where Mr. Gill and two other medical gentlemen were in attendance. The accident was occasional by the density of the fog.

[from Liverpool Mercury - Friday 03 January 1845]:
DENSE FOGS. - COLLISIONS ON THE RIVER.
On Monday, the Birkenhead steamer, Wm. Fawcett, struck the Victoria steam-tug, which was lying at anchor in the river, abaft the paddle box, but no serious injury resulted, although the passengers were much alarmed at the time.

Listed in MNL passenger-certified steam vessels as 47nrt, 28 hp, at Liverpool, 1852-3.



Wooden paddle steamer Paul Pry, built William Radford, Hereford, 1827, 31 tons, 60.7 x 13.1 ft, engines of 14hp by Fawcett & Preston. Built at Hereford (inland on river Wye) for towing barges on the Wye and Severn. After some trials [return trip from Hereford to Chepstow and a voyage to Gloucester] this was judged not a sufficient success and she was sent to Liverpool. Served Magazines & Hoylake during 1829, then sold for service in Menai Straits, where she was involved in a legal dispute in 1833 about Ferry rights near Caernarfon. The latest newspaper voyage was in May 1839, when she was listed as, of Liverpool, calling Caernarfon, from Porthdinllaen for Liverpool, master Evans.
[The unusual name, Paul Pry, is a character in a comedy that was popular at that date].
  The Magazines is the name of the gun-powder store, near where New Brighton was later developed. Many ships were armed and they were required to off-load gunpowder before coming into Liverpool, then collect it on leaving. Note that Hero had also made a similar journeys to Hoylake, stopping at the Magazines, in 1828.
Listed in 1845 as registered Chepstow, built Hereford 1827, 31 tons, 12hp, 60.7 x 13.1 x 3.6 ft, not suitable for use as a gun-boat. Not listed in 1851 as registered at Chepstow. Not in MNL.

  Launch [from Hereford Journal - Wednesday 14 November 1827]:
Launch of the "Paul Pry" Steam Vessel. - This interesting spectacle afforded a truly gratifying treat yesterday, to an immense concourse of persons who assembled to witness an event equally novel and important. The enterprise of Mr. Easton first exemplified the practicability of building large ships on the banks of our river and within the liberties of our city, and the persevering skill and scientific judgment of Capt. Radford, assisted by the liberality and public spirit of a few respectable individuals, projected and successfully executed the still greater novelty of placing on the bosom of the Wye a steam Vessel, whose machinery will combine all the late wonderful improvements in this extraordinary effort of human ingenuity, and which will probably change the system of navigation that for ages has been practised on the river. Long before the period fixed for the launch, at least 6 to 7000 persons had assembled in the building yard, in the Castle Green, and other spots where a view could be obtained on the banks opposite the place where the fine boat rested on the cradled destined to carry her to the elements on which she was so shortly to float. At twelve precisely, a beautiful barge, built on nearly the same spot by Mr. Easton was sent as an "avant courier" to her more majestic sister, and glided into the Wye amidst the shouts of those present the moment she touched the water; the Paul Pry received the baptismal rights with the usual formalities, and the impediments which retained her were removed, and as if by magic, she swept along the planks specially prepared for the purpose, majestically plunging into the water with all the grace and ease of the swan seeking the element nature intends it to adorn, without even a momentary delay or hindrance. A more successful launch it is impossible to imagine, and the whole arrangement was highly creditable to Captain Radford, and all the workmen employed. A general shout greeted her safe arrival on her future domain and she was taken above the bridge where her machinery will be immediately placed; in about 14 days, it is almost certain she will be ready to work. She is a beautiful boat, about 60 tons admeasurement and the engine is fourteen-horse power. When the machinery and equipments are fixed, her draught will be about two feet. The whole of her structure is most creditable to the abilities of Mr Joseph Kelly, of Liverpool, the master shipwright employed in building her. To Captain Radford's polite attentions, his precautions to prevent the possibility of accident, and his anxiety that every one should enjoy the gratifying spectacle, too much praise cannot be given, and his exertions received the deserved thanks of all who witnessed them.

  [from Liverpool Mercury - 23 May 1828 up to Friday 21 August 1829]:
ON SALE. The beautiful new Steam-packet PAUL PRY, Propelled by a 14-horse-power Engine, made by Messrs. FAWCETT. PRESTON and Co. This well-built and compact little vessel draws less than three feet with her Fuel on board, and is a most desirable steam Boat for a situation where a light draught of water is an object. Now lying in the Brunswick Dock Basin. Apply to MOTTERSHEAD, HAYES, and SON. [Also advertised for sale at Liverpool 7 October 1830]

[from Chester Chronicle - Friday 03 August 1832]:
Paul Pry Steamer. This was an action of trespass on the case brought by the lessees of the Tal-y-foel Ferry, to recover damages from the proprietors the Paul Pry steam-boat, for infringement of the alleged rights and privileges of the plaintiffs. In the month of April last a new communication was opened between Carnarvon and a place called Barras, on the opposite coast of Anglesey and the Paul Pry commenced plying thereon. The lessees of the Tal-y-foel ferry asserted that the proceedings of the defendants were an infringement of the priviledges granted by their lease, and brought this action accordingly.

  [from North Wales Chronicle - Tuesday 30 April 1833]:
CARNARVON, MENAI BRIDGE, BANGOR AND BEAUMARIS. THE NEW STEAM PACKET, PAUL PRY, of 20 Horse Power, LEAVES CARNARVON EVERY MORNING (except Sundays,) commencing on 1st of May, for the above places, taking Passengers to the Liverpool and Dublin Steamers; and will meet them at the Menai Bridge, on their return from Liverpool, to take Passengers to Carnarvon.

[excerpt from Public Ledger and Daily Advertiser - Thursday 07 February 1839]: Portinllaen. Feb 1. Arrived. The Paul Pry (s) Evans from Cork. Sailed. The Paul Pry (s) Evans for Port Madoc.



Gore's Directory 1829 [and 1827] Mersey Steam packets:
RUNCORN Duke of Bridgewater (T Wright); Eclipse (I Irlam);
INCE Vesuvius [1827 Duke of Wellington];
ELLESMERE Maria [1827 Earl of Bridgewater];
EASTHAM 2 Steam-packets [1827 Lady Stanley];
TRANMERE several [1827 Britannia];
BIRKENHEAD James, Britannia, William Fawcett [1827 Etna + 1 steam-packet];
WOODSIDE Frances, Hercules;
SEACOMBE Alice, Seacombe [1827 also Abbey: towing].
Steam Packets for towing vessels into and out of Port, Ferry Boats for supplying vessels with anchors and chains - George Daney.
The Mars and Venus, steam lighters and tow boats, for attending merchant vessels - Samuel Perry.



Wooden paddle steamer Ribble built Mottershead, Liverpool, 1829
50 grt, 78 x 16 x 6.6 ft, engines 26hp
Owned at Preston then sold to act as a Birkenhead (Woodside) Ferry from 1832.
13 February 1836, on fire, scuttled to put fire out, refloated.
Also damaged in hurricane of January 1839.

[from Lancaster Gazette - Saturday 09 May 1829]:
Ribble Steamer. The steam vessel which has been built at Liverpool for the trade of Preston, was launched on Thursday last.

  Initial service[from Lancaster Gazette - Saturday 11 & 18 July 1829]:
The proprietors of the new steam vessel [Ribble], belonging to Preston, met with a great disappointment on Wednesday week. The steamer arrived safe in the morning, from Liverpool, off Lytham, and in proceeding up the river Ribble, got on the sands, called Lea Banks, about three miles from the Marsh End Quays, where she remained till the night tide, when she was got off, and had not proceeded more than about 200 yards, when, having missed the channel, she again got on a high sand-bank, where she was likely to remain till the next spring tides.

  More mishaps [from Westmorland Gazette - Saturday 05 September 1829]:
The Ribble Steamer. A fatality seems to hang about the progress of our hitherto unfortunate steam boat. When she left the marsh-end last week, she ran foul of a flat, and was obliged to come to anchor, and yesterday se'nnight whilst lying in dock at Liverpool, she caught fire in consequence of the boiler having been suffered to empty itself - an act of incaution by which the metal became red hot, and soon ignited the neighbouring wood-work. Luckily the accident was discovered in good time, or it is probable that the mishaps of the "Ribble" would have been concluded by her total destruction.

  [from Westmorland Gazette - Saturday 02 January 1830]:
The Ribble Steamer. The attempt to work a steam vessel in the river Ribble has proved a total failure. A meeting of the shareholders in the vessel built for a trial of the experiment, was held Tuesday week, at the Castle Inn, Preston, when it appeared from the accounts produced by the committee, that a considerable loss has been sustained during the time the vessel was worked, it was therefore resolved that she should be offered for sale immediately, and the affairs of the company of proprietors be brought to a close.

  [from Liverpool Albion - Monday 08 March 1830]:
THE RIBBLE STEAMER. On THURSDAY, the 25th instant, at one o'clock, at Mr. Ben. Smith's, the Castle Inn, Preston, unless previously disposed of by Private Contract, of which due notice will be given, The remarkably fine Schooner-rigged Steam-boat built by Messrs. Mottershead, Hayes, and Son, Liverpool, in the spring of 1829; Upwards of 54 tons per register; She has a Single Deck.
Length from stem to stern 77 feet 9 inches.
Breadth 16 feet 0 inches.
Depth of hold 6 feet 7.5 inches.
The Steam-engine, which is on the latest and most improved construction, is 26-horse power, and works remarkably well. Apply to EDW. ROTHWELL, 2, Castle Inn Yard, Preston, or to HENRY JENKINSON. Duke's Dock, Liverpool. NB. The above steam boat is lying at Lytham pool.

  [from Liverpool Standard and General Commercial Advertiser - Friday 19 February 1836]:
  FIRE ON BOARD THE RIBBLE STEAMER. On Saturday last, early in the morning, the Ribble, steamer, belonging to the Woodside establishment, caught fire by some means not yet accounted for. Happily she was near the slip on the Cheshire side, and prompt measures were resorted to by scuttling the vessel, and the flames were thereby subdued. She is, we understand, seriously injured by this untoward event.

[from Gore's Liverpool General Advertiser - Thursday 14 June 1838]:
ON SALE, The Steam-boats KING FISHER, 28 horse power; RIBBLE, 25 hose power; Both boats are in excellent condition, and are now lying at the Woodside Ferry. For particulars, apply D. TONGE, Broker, Castle-street.



Wooden paddle steamer Liverpool, built Mottershead & Hayes, Liverpool, 1830, 40 hp engines, for Seacombe service. Offered for sale 1853, aground.

 [Liverpool Albion - Tuesday 18 May 1830]:
On Thursday next will be launched, from yard of Messrs. Mottershead & Heyes, Seacombe, a fine new Packet, to be called the Liverpool, intended for the Seacombe Ferry. She will be a particularly fine vessel, of superior power, and the third steamer plying at this ferry.

 [from Liverpool Mail - Tuesday 12 September 1837]:
Caution to Captains of Steam Packets. William Hamilton appeared before Mr. Halt, to answer a charge against him, at the instance of Mr. Coglan, the proprietor of the Floating Bath, for having, on the 27th August last, wilfully and negligently ran foul of a boat belonging to the said bath. The case had been before Mr. Hall on the preceding day, the summonses having, in the first instance, been against Thomas Smith and William Corlett, the former belonging to the Seacombe steam-boat Liverpool, the latter belonging to the steam-boat King Fisher, which plies between this place and Birkenhead. It was proved, by the evidence of one of the boatmen, named Cunningham (who with some difficulty made his escape from the boat when the accident occurred,) that Hamilton, who, it appears, is a superintendent of the New Brighton packets, had taken the helm of the King Fisher on her departure from the steps of the pier. The latter vessel and the Liverpool departed together. The boat of the Floating Bath was waiting in her usual place, at the steps of the Prince's Pier. The King Fisher, it appears, being outside, steered across the bows of the Liverpool, and forced her to the wall, where she (the Liverpool) came in contact with the boat and broke her to pieces. Thomas Barton, ship carpenter, proved, that the boat was worth £16 before the accident, and that it was almost completely destroyed. It would take £10 to repair it. Mr. Hall ordered, that Hamilton should pay the sum of £10 and costs.

Seacombe steamer Liverpool reported as taking sightseers to watch the dispersal of a wreck in the Rock Channel by gunpowder set by divers in 1839.

[from Liverpool Shipping Telegraph and Daily Commercial Advertiser - Monday 17 October 1853]:
By order of the Assignees. On FRIDAY, the 21st instant, at one o'clock, at the Brokers' Sale-room, Derby-buildings, Fenwick-street,...
Also, on account of whom it may concern. The HULL of the Steam-boat LIVERPOOL, As she now lies on the beach near Seacombe Ferry, with engine of about 45 horse-power. She is copper-fastened. Also, the BOILER belonging to the above vessel, now lying on the beach at North End of Seacombe Slip. The above-mentioned vessels are well known, having lately belonged to the Seacombe Ferry, and are offered for sale by the assignees of Messrs. J. and R. Parry. For further particulars apply to TONGE, CURRY & CO., Brokers.


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Wooden paddle steamer King Fisher, built J & R Fisher, Liverpool, 1830, 90grt, 57nrt, 77 x 17 x 7.7 x 5 ft., engines 30 hp by Rigby, Hawarden, for Woodside service. Listed in Liverpool 1851 Register, as first regsitered at Liverpool in 1830, owmed Hugh Williams, 77 x 16.2 ft, 57nrt.

[from Westmorland Gazette - Saturday 03 April 1830]:
Launch of a Steam-vessel. On Saturday noon was launched, in beautiful style, from Messrs. Fishers' yard, an elegant steam-packet, with all her machinery on board, intended for the Woodside Mail Ferry. We have seldom seen a finer mould, nor a vessel that sat better in the water. She measures 100 tons burthen, and carries an engine of 30-horse power, made the Rigbys, of Hawarden, whose engines have been famous. Altogether she is a model, and adorns the character of even the Fishers, who have long been known as first-rate shipcarpenters. Master Williams, the proprietor's eldest son, christened her the King Fisher, and we heartily wish the spirited owner every success in this addition to his steam-packets. Upwards of 200 persons received refreshments on board, and several ladies remained deck during the launch. - Liverpool Albion.

  [from Gore's Liverpool General Advertiser - Thursday 18 October 1838]:
Case of Running Foul in the River. The information laid under the statute charged the defendant with having, on the 10th instant, "wilfully, negligently, and carelessly run the Woodside Ferry steamer Kingfisher against the Monk's Ferry steamer Dolphin, and damaged her: and further, that he had refused to pay the amount of the injury."

[from Gore's Liverpool General Advertiser - Thursday 14 June 1838]:
ON SALE, The Steam-boats KING FISHER, 28 horse power; RIBBLE, 25 hose power; Both boats are in excellent condition, and are now lying at the Woodside Ferry. For particulars, apply D. TONGE, Broker, Castle-street.

Listed in MNL passenger-certified steam vessels as 59nrt, 40 hp, at Liverpool, 1850, 51, 53.



Wooden paddle steamer Loch Eck, built Wood & Ritchie, Port Glasgow, 1829, 38nrt, 82 x 12.3 x 7ft, engines 30hp by Napier, owned Askew and registered Liverpool 1831 for Egremont service. For sale 1834. Often called Loch Ech in Liverpool newspapers. More history.

Investigation by Liverpool Corporation [from Liverpool Albion - Monday 11 November 1833]:
Mr Askew, harbour master, had been involved in steam navigation of the river, but he stated that he had, as requested, disposed of all his vessels between 1st April 1831 and some time in 1832. He had sold 2 vessels to Mr Stanley Gardner: Loch Eck for £1600 and John Rigby for £2000, on which he held a mortgage for nearly the whole amount; he had also sold 2 steam vessels to his nephew - the Hero for £2000 [it having cost him £3000] on which had a full mortgage and another for £1600, on which he had a mortgage for £1500.

  [from Liverpool Standard and General Commercial Advertiser - Tuesday 20 May 1834]:
By order of the Mortgagee - Free of auction duty. By Messrs. T. and J. TROTTER, on WEDNESDAY, the 21st instant, at Two o'clock in the Afternoon, at the Clarendon-rooms, South John-street, Liverpool.
All that fast-sailing Steam-boat called the LOCH ECH, lately employed in the conveyance of passengers between Egremont Ferry and Liverpool; burthen per register 37 tons. The Vessel is now lying in the Clarence Basin, where she may be viewed previous to the day of sale; and as her Engine has lately undergone considerable repairs, she may be considered as well worth the attention of purchasers.

  Involved in minor collision with Martha on 23 July 1834.

[from Gore's Liverpool General Advertiser - Thursday 15 May 1834]:
All that fast sailing Steam-boat called the LOCH ECH, lately employed in the conveyance of passengers between Egremont Ferry and Liverpool, burthen per register 87 tons. The vessel is now lying in the Clarence Basin, where she may be viewed previous to the day of sale and as her Engine has lately undergone considerable repairs, she may considered well worth the attention of purchasers. Further particulars may obtained on application to Mr. George Dodd, Solicitor, Swift court, Castle-street, Liverpool.



Wooden paddle steamer John Rigby, built Humble & Hurry, Liverpool, 1831, 81 grt, 36 nrt, 88 x 15 x 8.3 x 5.0ft, engines 40hp by John Rigby, Hawarden, for Egremont service. In 1835-6 service Liverpool - Amlwch.

[from Chester Chronicle - Friday 15 July 1831]:
New Steam Packet. "The natives" in this city were "astonished" on Sunday last, to see a fine vessel steaming up our river at the rate of 14 knots an hour. She proved to be the John Rigby, intended to ply between Liverpool and Mr. Askew's Egremont Hotel, and is called after Mr. Rigby of Hawarden, by whom her steam apparatus was constructed upon an improved principle. The passengers consisted of a party of Friends, who made an excursion to our ancient city and returned in the evening.

[from The North Wales Chronicle and Advertiser for the Principality, 18th August 1835]:
Steam communication between Amlwch and Liverpool. The public are respectfully informed, that the fast-sailing Steam Packet, John Rigby, Charles Roose, Commander, sails from Amlwch port for Liverpool on the mornings of Tuesdays and Fridays, and from Liverpool for Amlwch Port every Monday and Thursday, with Goods and Passengers. Fares: best cabin 7s., fore cabin 3s.

[from The North Wales Chronicle and Advertiser for the Principality 29th December 1835]:
Amlwch. Arrived: the John Rigby (steamer) Roose; ... Sailed: ...and John Rigby (steamer) Roose, for Liverpool, passengers and pigs;... [also up to Sept. 1836]

  [from Liverpool Standard and General Commercial Advertiser - Tuesday 16 August 1836]:
Sunday, Aug 14. A boat belonging to the John Rigby, (steamer) has been picked up near Hilbre Island, at 1 p.m.

Listed in Liverpool Register of 1851, first registered at Liverpool 1837, 83.0 x 13.2 ft, 36nrt, 81grt, owned John Southan. Not in MNL.



Iron paddle steamer Egremont, built John Neilson, Oakbank Foundry, Glasgow, 1836, 130 grt, 68 nrt, 88 x 17 x 8.2ft, engines 70hp, for Egremont service. ON 16846. A surprisingly early date for an iron vessel, but John Neilson had built the first iron sea-going steam boat on the Clyde, the Fairy Queen in 1831.
May 1842 saved 2 lives from 4 men in a boat that overturned near Prince's basin.
Sold about 1849 - to be used for towing and Seacombe service, renamed Jenny Lind (though not re-registered with that name), presumably since the name "Egremont" would not suit Seacombe service.
Advertised for sale 1850 as steam tug Jenny Lind. Reported abandoned 1852, but still in service until 1854, towing. Listed in Liverpool Register of 1851 as iron, first registered at Liverpool in 1849, owned J. Prestopino. More hstory

  For sale [from Gore's Liverpool General Advertiser - Thursday 19 April 1849]:
On Monday next, the 23rd instant, at half past twelve o'clock, at No. 9 Oldhall-street, The Iron Steamer EGREMONT; 68 63-100ths tons; length 87 feet, breadth 17 feet, depth of hold 8 feet, 70 horsepower, a remarkably fast boat. She was thoroughly repaired inside and out. viz: new bottoms to the boilers, ditto bed plate, ditto condenser, slide valve, ditto cylinder bored out, metallic pestle, all new brass work that was required, new air pumps lined with brass, ditto brass buckets, etc. Her bunkers will contain ten tons of coals, the consumption about three and a half tons from 6 a.m. to 10 p m; draft water 4 feet 6 inches forward, and 5 feet aft; she is extremely pliable, and comes round almost upon her heel, and is considered by the pilots as one of the handiest Tug-boats on the river. Also, the ENNISHOWN[sic] Steamer, built of Wood, an excellent Engine, etc. - For particulars inquire of JOHN BAMBER, No. 9 Oldhall-street.

[from Liverpool Albion - Monday 11 February 1850]:
On Friday the steam-tug Jenny Lind accidentally ran upon the Tranmere Slip a little before low water and sustained considerable damage.

[from Liverpool Mail - Saturday 13 April 1850]: SALE. The Iron Steam-tug JENNY LIND. Now ferrying from the Landing Stage to Seacombe, where she has been inspected; she is 68 tons register, and 70-horse power; her dimensions are length, 87 feet, 7-10ths; breadth, 17 feet 4-10ths; depth in hold, 8 feet 8-10ths; draught of water: 5 feet aft and 4 feet 6 inches forward; has had £900 laid out on her within the last nine months for repairs: she is in good working order, and a very strong vessel; tows well, and carries from 500 to 600 passengers. For further particulars, apply to SAMUEL HOWES and Co. 6, Castle-street.

Reported as running excursions to the North-West Lightship, as Jenny Lind, in May 1850.

[from Liverpool Mercury - Friday 24 September 1852]:
CAUTION TO OWNERS OF STEAM TUGS. - Thos. Prestopino, the owner of the steamer Egremont, was summoned for permitting that vessel to sail with passengers, on the 22nd August, without exhibiting a certificate, as required by act of parliament. The captain of the Egremont had been previously fined for the same offence. The defendant admitted the charge, and a penalty of £10 and costs was imposed.

[from Liverpool Albion - Monday 13 December 1852]: The steam-tug Jenny Lind was fallen in with yesterday morning, off Bootle, a derelict, and towed into the Birkenhead Dock by steam tug Hercules.

[except from court case: Northern Daily Times - Friday 10 March 1854]:
On 25th January 1854 ..... It happened that a vessel called the Chasca, in tow of steam-tug Jenny Lind, was on her way up the north docks for anchorage in the Sloyne. There was the length of the steamer, a tow-rope of some forty or fifty fathoms, and the length of the vessel, which was one of about 900 tons.



Wooden paddle steamer Lady Bulkeley, reported in Gore's Directory as providing the Ellesmere service from 1832 to 1835 (see below). Not found in any newspaper reports and not listed in West Coast Steamers. The Bulkeley family were prominent land owners on Anglesey - the Baron Hill estate near Beaumaris being their chief holding.
  [a Beaumaris smack of 37 tons, ON 10624, built Beaumaris 1837, was also named Lady Bulkeley and survived to 1872]



Wooden paddle steamer Martha, built Lomax & Wilson, Liverpool, 1834, 90grt, 59nrt, 76 x 17ft, engines 32 hp, for Tranmere service. Seems to have been used on New Brighton service. Listed in 1845 as laid up. Listed in Liverpol Register of 1851 as first registered Liverpool 1834, owned Phillip Lawrence, 75.7 x 17 ft, 59nrt. Listed in 1845 as built at Tranmere.

[from Liverpool Mercury - Friday 01 August 1834]:
Dock-office - On Saturday last, Samuel Lloyd, master of the steam-packet Martha, plying for hire from Liverpool to New Brighton, was summoned before the magistrates, and fined in the full penalty of forty shillings and costs, for having, on the 23rd instant, run against the Loch Ech[sic], and thereby greatly alarmed the passengers. Philip Lawrence, the owner of the Martha, was also convicted in the mitigated penalty of 10s. and costs, for not having his vessel properly registered in the Town Clerk's-office.



Wooden paddle steamer George, built Thomas Mulvey, Chester, 1834, 90grt, 55nrt, 85.3 x 16.3 x 8.4ft, engines 31 hp by Rigby, Hawarden, for Tranmere service. Listed in 1845 as laid up, listed in Liverpol Register of 1851 as first registered Liverpool 1834, owned Phillip Lawrence, 85.4 x 16.3 ft, 55nrt, and shown in 1854 list of Liverpool registered steamers.
  George was chartered to provide a replacement service from Liverpool to Rhyl after the Countess of Glasgow sank in December 1835. On the morning of Friday 29 January 1836, on approaching Rhyl, she hit a buoy which damaged her rudder. Early paddle steamers had both paddles fixed to the cross-shaft, so could not steer using the engines. She was driven on shore near Rhyl and damaged - but later put back in service.

  [from Liverpool Mercury - Friday 02 May 1834]:
Launch of a Steamer.- A beautiful little steam-boat, of 35 horse power, called "The George," was launched from Mr. Mulvey's yard, in this city, yesterday afternoon. She is to to ply from Tranmere Ferry, on the Cheshire shore, to Liverpool, and will afford most comfortable accommodations to the Passengers, her cabin being more than seven feet in height. The engine was built by Messrs Rigby and Hancock, of Hawarden, and is considered a very capital piece of machinery.

 [from Liverpool Mercury - Friday 02 May 1834]:
LIVERPOOL, FRIDAY, MAY 2, 1834. Tranmere Ferry. - This delightful ferry, formerly occupied by Mr. Ball, will be re-opened tomorrow, (Saturday) by Mr. Philip Lawrence. Two new steam-boats, one the Martha, of 32-horse power, built by Messrs. Lomax and Wilson, the other the George, of 31 horse power, built by Mr. Thos. Mulvey, of Chester, have been procured for the ferry. They are both vessels of a very superior description, and they will no doubt be a great accommodation to the public.



Wooden paddle steamer Sir Thomas Stanley, b 1834, W & T Wilson, Liverpool, 74tons, for Eastham service. Offered for sale 1853: 100 46-94 tons bm, 85.3 x 15.9 x 7 ft, 45 hp engine by Fawcett & Preston. In MNL: appropriation Liverpool 1857 as "Sir Thomas Hanley", 45 tons, then as "Sir Thomas", 1858, ON 14460, not in 1859, broken up 1858.

 [from Liverpool Standard and General Commercial Advertiser - Tuesday 27 May 1834]:
A fine steam vessel, called the Sir Thomas Stanley, was launched, on Saturday last, from the building-yard of Messrs. Wilson and Son, and will be immediately finished, to be employed as a regular conveyance to Eastham.

  See account of race between steam packets Thomas Stanley and William Stanley when the latter was launched in 1837.

  [excerpts from Liverpool Mercury - Friday 01 October 1847]:
The smoke nuisance. Informations against owners of steam packets. ...smoke preventing apparatus applied to 8 Woodside packets; ...vessels charged: Queen of Beauty, New Brighton ferry; Dreadnought, steam tug; Windsor; Commodore; Thomas Wilson, Seacombe ferry;....
John Gordon, captain of the Sir Thomas Stanley, was charged with allowing, on the 21st of August, a dense mass of smoke to escape from the vessel's chimney. Mr. Grantham had tried several experiments with the Sir Thomas Stanley's apparatus, and found that he could consume the smoke. Mr. Parry said it was physically impossible, from the make of the boilers. Mr. Rushton requested Mr. Grantham to make further experiments in the presence of Mr. Parry, and to report the result, until which time the case was adjourned.

Listed in MNL passenger-certified steam vessels as 50nrt, 40 hp, at Liverpool, 1850-2.

[from Liverpool Shipping Telegraph and Daily Commercial Advertiser - Monday 17 October 1853]:
By order of the Assignees. On FRIDAY, the 21st instant, at one o'clock, at the Brokers' Sale-room, Derby-buildings, Fenwick-street, Now lying in the Great Float, Birkenhead: The well known Ferry Steamboat SIR THOMAS STANLEY, 100 46-94 tons builders' measurement. Built at Liverpool by Mr. Wilson, and propelled by a single side-lever engine, by Fawcett, Preston and Co., of 45 horse-power. She is copper-fastened. Length, 85ft. 3 inches; breadth 15 feet 9.5 inches; depth, 7 feet.
Also, the Ferry Steam-boat SEACOMBE. 30 horse-power, built at Liverpool, and copper-fastened. Dimensions:- Length, 77 feet; breadth extreme, 26 feet 5 inches; depth, about 7 feet.
Also, the IRON LANDING BOAT, Built at Liverpool, of the best materials, about 1847, and will stow 25 tons.
Also, on account of whom it may concern. The HULL of the Steam-boat LIVERPOOL, As she now lies on the beach near Seacombe Ferry, with engine of about 45 horse-power. She is copper-fastened. Also, the BOILER belonging to the above vessel, now lying on the beach at North End of Seacombe Slip. The above-mentioned vessels are well known, having lately belonged to the Seacombe Ferry, and are offered for sale by the assignees of Messrs. J. and R. Parry. For further particulars apply to TONGE, CURRY & CO., Brokers.

[from Northern Daily Times - Thursday 21 June 1855]:
The Paddle-steamer SIR THOMAS STANLEY, built at Liverpool, 1835, by Mr. Wilson, entirely of English oak, and copper fastened; has one engine of 35-horse power, by Fawcett, with wrought iron frame; now lying in the Great Float, Birkenhead. For further particulars apply to TONGE & Co. Brokers.

[from Liverpool Daily Post - Saturday 08 August 1857]:
Without reserve. Friday next, the 14th instant; at one o'clock, at the Brokers's sale-room, Middleton-buildings, 1 Rumford-street,
The well-known Steam Tug SIR THOMAS STANLEY; 45 tons per register; built by Mr. J. Wilson, at Liverpool; has one engine 40-horse power, by Fawcett & Preston. Dimensions: Length 85 feet 5-10ths; breadth 15 feet 2-10ths, depth 7 feet 5-10ths. In good working order. Lying in the Brunswick Dock.



Wooden paddle steamer William Stanley, built 1837 by Wilson, Liverpool.
Engines 50 hp by Fawcett & Preston.
Liverpool - Eastham ferry, boiler explosion 20-8-1838; collision 24-6-1839.
In the 1830's the steamer Lady Stanley provided the Eastham service, being later replaced by the William Stanley and Sir Thomas Stanley.
Eastham Ferry was reported to be upgraded in 1844, with new steamers. The William Stanley was reported as sold to City of Dublin Steam Packet Co. in 1845 and was used in North Wales in 1846 and then on the Shannon until at least 1850. Listed in 1851 as registered at Dublin, owned City of Dublin SPC, first registered at Dublin 1845, 90.1 x 14.1 ft, 42 nrt, 86grt. Not in MNL.

Print "Eastham Ferry near Liverpool on the Cheshire Shore of the Mersey" showing a paddle steamer alongside the jetty and Eastham Ferry Hotel (built 1846) beyond.

Another illustration (image 3, of poor quality) shows the Ferry Hotel with the William Stanley alongside.

Maiden voyage [from North Wales Chronicle - Tuesday 02 May 1837]:
STEAM PACKET &c. AT EASTHAM. Saturday last was a high day at Eastham, Hooton, &c. in consequence of the starting of a new steam packet and new coach, both named after the eldest son of the worthy Baronet of Hooton, "The William Stanley." All the coaches leaving the Royal Hotel, Chester, drove out during the day in "full fig", new harness, horses splendidly decorated with ribbons, artificial flowers, &c. and each Coachee, set out in his bit of best - but among the number none shone more conspicuously than the very gentlemanly "Town Whip," James Frewin, driver of the eight o'clock coach; all his trappings and decorations evinced a taste which has not been witnessed in this neighbourhood for some time. Early in the morning Eastham was all alive; flags were hoisted on the ferry-house, &c., and guns were fired from the shore. The new packet, which may fairly be said to be the most splendid connected with any of the ferries, was built by Messrs. Wilson, first-rate ship builders in Liverpool, and cost upwards of £3000. Her cabin and every part of the vessel combines elegance with simple neatness; and great credit is also due to Messrs. Fawcett and Prescott[sic], Engineers, the gentlemen who constructed the engine, which is fifty horse power.
At half-past ten o'clock The William Stanley left the Clarence Dock amid the huzzas of the multitude, the firing of canon and the band on board playing the beautiful air, "Lady Stanley for ever." She sailed about the shore until the Sir Thomas Stanley steamer came in sight from Eastham, when guns were fired from the vessels each looking quite gay, being dressed with various flags and crowded with passengers. As soon as the boats came along-side each other, Capt. Smith gave orders for a trial of the sailing qualities of the new vessel. Captain Gellispie[sic] of the William Stanley speedily got his "steam up," as also did the Sir Thomas Stanley; it was a fair start, and off they cut through the swelling wave. Though the latter vessel has long been allowed to be one of the best sailers on the Mersey, it was evident she could not outrun her new competitor. The William Stanley kept a little way a-head throughout the passage; and would have gained much sea ground, as the Hiberians called it, if the eccentric had not got off the revolving wheel, and more especially if the machinery had been worked for a few days; as it was, in defiance of these oppositions, she reached Eastham before the Sir Thomas, completing the passage from Liverpool to the Ferry in twenty-eight minutes. When opposite the House, the vessels fired a salute, which was answered from the shore. The William Stanley passed along the shore beyond Hooton Hall, the band playing, &c.

  [from Liverpool Standard and General Commercial Advertiser, Tuesday 21 August 1838]:
  ACCIDENT ON THE RIVER. - The William Stanley, plying between this place and Eastham, had one of her lower boiler-plates burst yesterday [20th August 1838]. No damage was done by the explosion, further than the inconvenience which was experienced by the passengers in having their persons covered with smoke and ashes.
  The explosion was reported to have occurred at the Pier at Liverpool.

  [from Liverpool Albion - Monday 02 September 1839]:
CHARGE OF MANSLAUGHTER: COLLISION OF STEAM PACKETS ON THE MERSEY. John Gillespie, master-mariner, was charged, in two indictments, with having, on the 24th of June last, killed and slain Duncan Dallas and Henry Kachan, by forcing a certain packet or vessel, called the William Stanley, against another vessel, called the Monk. The charge was varied in different counts of the indictments. The prisoner pleaded not guilty.
  After much detailed evidence, about the small boat with 4 aboard that was crushed between the Monk and William Stanley, the Jury returned a verdict of Not Guilty.

  Article about shipbuilding [from Liverpool Mercury - Friday 14 February 1845]:
Built: 1839, William Stanley, length: 93 6, breadth: 15 8



Gore's directory 1834: STEAM PACKETS ON THE RIVER MERSEY.
RUNCORN, WESTON POINT, PRESTON BROOK and the POTTERIES : The Duke of Bridgewater sails every day from the Pierhead west side of George's Dock about 2.4 hours before high water and returns the same tide where she meets boats for Manchester. A Coach meets the Packet daily at Runcorn to convey passengers to Northwich in 1.5 hours. Packet office 19 Nova Scotia where Steam packets may also be hired for towing vessels &c.
RUNCORN and WESTON POINT: The Eclipse sails every day from the Pierhead west side of George's Dock about 2.5 hours before high water and returns the same tide where she meets boats for Manchester. A Coach meets the Packet daily at Runcorn to convey passengers to Northwich in 1.5 hours. Packet office Israel Irlam's Mann's Island.
NORTHWICH: The Eagle Steam packet sails from George's Pierhead about two hours before high water by the River Weaver during Summer average passage about four hours and a half. Packet offices Mr James's Mann's Island and Northwich Tavern Cleveland square.
INCE BOAT: from Wm Williams's New Quay sails daily about 2.5 hours before high water and returns daily.
ELLESMERE PORT and CHESTER CANAL near STANLOW HOUSE: The Lady Bulkeley Steam packet sails every day about three hours before high water from the Parade Slip west side George's Dock. At the Canal a passage boat conveys the passengers in three hours. The Packet returns to Liverpool the same tide with passengers &c from Chester and other places. Packethouse Mr Dod's James street.
EASTHAM: Two Steam packets sail to Eastham five times a day, viz. at a quarter before six eight and eleven o'clock in the morning and three and five in the afternoon from the Parade west side of George's Dock. By these Packets passengers are forwarded to Chester in two hours and a half from the time of starting. Places taken at Mr Dod's Chester and Eastham Packethouse James street.
ROCK FERRY: A Steam packet and Sail boats are constantly plying from George's pierhead every hour in the day.
BIRKENHEAD: The James, Britannia and William Fawcett are regularly in attendance at George's parade for the conveyance of passengers, carriages, horses &c at all hours of the day.
WOODSIDE: The Steam packets Francis, King Fisher and Ribble are constantly plying from George's parade slip to Williams's Woodside Ferry.
SEACOMBE: The Steam boats Alice and Seacombe are plying from the Marine parade west side Prince's Dock every hour in the day to Parry's Seacombe Ferry.
EGREMONT: Steam and Sail boats are plying from the North pier George's Basin every hour in the day.
NEW BRIGHTON: Steam boats are plying from the Prince's pier every hour in the day during the summer season.
To the different Ferries viz. New Brighton, Magazines, Egremont, Seacombe, Woodside, Birkenhead, Rock house, New Ferry, Eastham, and Ince good Sail boats are constantly plying with passengers &c, &c.



Wooden paddle steamer Sir John Moore (ex-Jonathan Hulls), built James Lang, Dumbarton, 1826, 75 tons, engines 50 hp by Murdoch & Cross, Glasgow. Owned by Post Office from 1827, used as a mail tender at Liverpool until 1833, when Richmond took over this rôle. Used from 1834 as a ferry to New Brighton. [Jonathan Hulls was a pioneer designer of steam engines] Not in MNL. More history.

Image of her as New Brighton Ferry, Sir John Moore, (after 1834) by Samuel Walters, 3 views, with New Brighton in the background.

  [from Gore's Liverpool General Advertiser - Thursday 26 July 1827]:
SHIP-LETTERS. The delays and irregularities so often complained of with respect to bringing ship-letters to the Post office will now be completely obviated, as his Majesty's Postmaster-General has appointed a person duly authorised to collect letters on board vessels on their arrival off this port, according to the recent Act of Parliament, and his Majesty's steam-packet, the Jonathan Hulls, is now employed in that service. This small steamer, from her light draught of water and with the aid of her boats, will be able to convey letters to the Post office without any delay, and an important saving of time will be experienced by our merchants in letters from ships which are waiting for water in the Channel. Ship-letters also to be forwarded by the mail will frequently save a day's post.

  Earlier New Brighton steam ferries.[from Gore's Liverpool General Advertiser - Thursday 31 May 1832]:
... James Atherton, New Brighton, Cheshire, ..... N.B. A Steam Boat leaves the Pierhead every Morning at Eleven o'clock, and Three and Six in the afternoon; lands Passengers near the Battery, and returns each time in half an hour for Sixpence each way.

 [from Liverpool Albion - Monday 11 March 1833]:
GOVERNMENT STORES. Peremptorily. On Friday next, the 15th inst., at twelve o'clock, at Messrs. Richard Bateson and Son's Office, Water-street. THE JONATHAN HULLS, Steam-packet, Used as a Tender to the Post office Packets; lying in the Brunswick Dock, and may be inspected there. For particulars apply to JOHN RICHARDSON, Agent. Packet-office, March 4, 1833.

  [from Liverpool Standard and General Commercial Advertiser - Friday 21 June 1833]:
NEW BRIGHTON, ROCK POINT, CHESHIRE. ... the Hotel is now opened, and has capital accommodations for Families, and a Steam-boat runs daily every hour.

  [from Liverpool Albion - Monday 05 May 1834]:
NEW BRIGHTON. A COMMODIOUS STEAM-PACKET now plies daily between LIVERPOOL and NEW BRIGHTON, at the following Hours, viz. New Brighton 9 a.m; Prince's Pierhead [Liverpool] 10 a.m.; New Brighton 11 a.m.; Prince's Pierhead 12 a.m.; and so on, leaving each place every alternate Hour during the Day.

Involved in collision with ferry Seacombe at Egremont landing stage, 1844.



Wooden paddle steamer Ann, built R & W Russell, Birkenhead, 1834, engines 34hp, for Woodside service.

  [from Gore's Liverpool General Advertiser - Thursday 19 June 1834]:
Mr. Baker, a gentleman from Southampton, has taken the commodious New Hotel at Woodside.
We understand, that a beautiful new steamer, to be called, the Ann, will be launched at Woodside, on Saturday next. She is intended ply between Liverpool and Woodside Ferry.



Wooden paddle steamer Helensburgh, built William Denny, Dumbarton, 1825. 82 tons burthen, 100 x 16 x 9 ft, engines 52 hp by Napier. Clyde service, sold 1835 for Woodside service. More history.

  [from Liverpool Mercury - Friday 27 November 1835]:
A New Steamer to Woodside. An additional steamer-vessel, of 46 horse power, has been placed on the Woodside station, intended for the conveyance of passengers only. The name of the vessel is the Helensburgh, and we understand that her trips are performed in less than five minutes. The services of this steamer, by facilitating the communication with the opposite shore, will be highly beneficial to the Cheshire residents.

  [from Liverpool Albion - Monday 08 September 1845]:
THE COMMISSIONERS OF BIRKENHEAD. ...The proceedings of the Finance Committee, including the completion of a contract with Messrs. Hodgson and Co. for a new boat; and recommending that the pier at Monk's Ferry be repaired; that the hull of the Helensburgh and the embankment on which she now lies, near the Woodside Ferry, be removed, and that the north steps be completed, were also confirmed.



Wooden paddle steamer Ennishowen, built William Denny, Dumbarton 1834, 70 tons om. 91.5 x 15.5 x 8.2ft, engines 32hp, initially used in Loch Foyle, then transferred to Egremont service around 1837. Listed in 1845 as laid up. Listed in Liverpool Register of 1851 as first registered Liverpool in 1838, owned Egremont SPC, 90.6 x 15.6 ft, 70nrt. Not in MNL. More history.

[from Liverpool Telegraph - Wednesday 04 October 1837]:
COLLISION OF TWO STEAMERS. - Yesterday, a complaint was heard before the magistrates at the Police Court; relative to certain damages which the Innisowen [sic: Ennishowen] steamer had sustained in consequence of having been run against by the Duke of Bridgewater steam-packet, while plying on the river on Monday. It was stated by a person from the Innisowen, that the collision took place from the carelessness of the Duke of Bridgewater's hands, which ran against the former vessel, by which six planks of the former were stove in, and part of the outside railing broken. The vessel had since been examined by a carpenter, who estimated the damage done at £5. The engineer of the Duke of Bridgewater, and another person who was on board at the time, stated that the accident was solely owing to a haze which prevailed at the time, and which prevented them from seeing many yards before them. This statement, however, was contradicted by the witnesses on the other side. The magistrates ordered the owners of the Duke of Bridgewater to pay £5 for the damage done; deducting the usual allowance of one-third of the amount.

  Another minor collision - with the Seacombe steamer Alice - took place on 4 January 1842.



Wooden paddle steamer Thomas Royden, built Thomas Royden & Sons, Liverpool, 1837, 108grt, 64nrt, 91 x 15 x 7.4 x 6ft, engines 45 hp, Egremont service 1837. Listed in Liverpool Register of 1851 as first registered Liverpool in 1838, owned Egremont SPC, 90.7 x 15.3 ft, 64nrt, 106 grt.

 [excerpts from Liverpool Standard and General Commercial Advertiser - Friday 15 April 1842]:
The plaintiffs in this case are Mr. John Page and Mr. John Grantham, of this town, boiler makers; the defendants are George Vincent, solicitor, London, A. Joseph, James Kilshaw, and John Claypole, alleged proprietors in the Egremont Ferry Company.
Mr. Alfred Newell, clerk to Mr. Fisher, attorney, in this town, produced the deed, and proved that the defendants were parties to it; that since the execution of the deed the ferry had been going on, and that the steamers Egremont, Ennishowen, and Thomas Royden, had been plying ever since.

Listed in MNL passenger-certified steam vessels as 65nrt, 45 hp, at Liverpool, 1852, then to Runcorn 1853.



Iron paddle steamer Cleveland, built Page & Grantham 1836, Liverpool, 95 grt, 43 nrt, 86.3 x 18.1 x 7.9 x 5.0ft, 50 hp engines by Mather & Dixon. For Woodside service.
  The first iron steam Mersey ferry, Cleveland, for the Woodside service, was launched by Page and Grantham in May 1836. Her designer, John Grantham, was Liverpool-based and wrote a definitive article (later book) "Iron as a material for ship construction" in 1842.

 [from Liverpool Albion - Tuesday 17 May 1836]:
LAUNCH - A beautiful iron steam-vessel, intended for the Woodside Ferry Company, was launched on Saturday, by Messrs. Page and Graham, from the Corporation-ground at the north end of the town. She was afterwards towed into the Clarence Basin to receive her machinery, making by Messrs. Mather, Dixon, and Co. The greatest exertions are being made by the builders to complete her as soon as possible. [Cleveland]

 [from Liverpool Mail - Saturday 16 September 1843]:
Samuel Smith, Liverpool chimney sweep, who laid, a short time ago, information against George Blakeley, sweep, of Birkenhead, for employing a youth under twenty-one years of age, to cleanse a flue on board the Cleveland steam-packet, appeared again to-day, cleanly "brushed up" and marched before the court with all the dignity of a gentleman learned in the law, bearing in his hand the act of parliament, 58th of Victoria, relating to sweeping chimneys. ...

  [from Liverpool Albion - Monday 05 July 1847]:
A collision between the Cheshire Witch, Rock Ferry steamer, and the Monk's Ferry boat Cleveland occurred late on Tuesday night last, and the paddle-box and wheel of the former were considerably damaged.

Listed in Liverpool 1851 Register as first registered at Liverpool in 1836, owned Liverpool Steam Ferry Co, 86.4 x 18.1 ft, 43nrt, 95 grt.
Listed in MNL passenger-certified steam vessels as 43nrt, 50 hp, at Liverpool, 1850-3.



Iron paddle steamer Eliza Price, built Lairds, Birkenhead, 1836, yard no.7, 136 grt, 43 nrt, 87.6 x 32.8 x 5.0ft, 50 hp engines. For Woodside service, though initially advertised to North Wales.

[from Gore's Liverpool General Advertiser - Thursday 09 June 1836]:
Launch of an Iron Steam Vessel. Yesterday week an iron steam vessel, christened the Eliza Price, (so named after the lady of Francis Richard Price, Esq. Lord of the manor of Birkenhead) was launched from the building-yard of Messrs. Laird, North Birkenhead, for the Woodside Ferry Company.

 [from Liverpool Standard and General Commercial Advertiser - Friday 22 July 1836]:
THE CLWYD AND LIVERPOOL NEW STEAM PACKET COMPANY.
.. is to ensure a permanent and certain conveyance, at all seasons, for Passengers at Goods to and from Liverpool, Rhyl, the Port of Rhyddlan , and all the adjacent Market Towns in North Wales...
N.B. The Company's Steam-vessel, Eliza Price; will commence plying on THURSDAY, the 28th instant. Denbigh, July 20,

 [from Liverpool Standard and General Commercial Advertiser - Tuesday 13 December 1836]:
LIVERPOOL POLICE. CHAPLIN v. LLOYD. This case, which came on before the magistrates on Wednesday, was deferred till Thursday, in order that the Harbour Master might be present at the hearing. Captain Chaplin then stated that on Saturday week, the Eliza Price steamer, belonging to the Woodside Ferry Company, was crossing the river, and in passing the Aimwell steamer, belonging to the Rock Ferry Company, the helm of the latter was put a-starboard, thereby causing her to run into the Eliza Price and to do some damage to her gunwale and quarter stanchions, a bill of which, amounting to £5 5s., had been presented, and was refused payment.

[from Liverpool Albion - Monday 17 December 1849]:
A dense fog prevailed on the river and throughout the town yesterday evening week; and the Britannia ferry steamer was run into and considerably injured by the Monk's Ferry steamer Eliza Price.

[from Liverpool Mail - Saturday 05 January 1850]:
Collision, On Saturday evening, the Birkenhead steamer Vernon came in collision with the Eliza Price, one the Monks' Ferry boats. The latter had a portion of her bulwarks near the stern carried away, but did not receive any other material damage. We understand the Vernon received little or no injury.

Listed in MNL passenger-certified steam vessels as 45 nrt, 50 hp, at Liverpool, 1850-3.

[excerpt from Liverpool Mail - Saturday 05 May 1855]:
Woodside Ferry Affairs. .. for on lately examining the hull of the Eliza Price, which they had had nearly twenty years, (much to the credit of her builder, Mr. Laird,) they found her iron plates as strong as the first day they were put together.

[excerpt from Liverpool Mercury - Monday 25 May 1857]:
As regarded the durability of the ship [Edyth Byrne just launched], if she met with no accident he believed that 30 or 40 years hence she would be in as a good condition as today. As proof of the durability of iron ships, he might allude to an old steamer called the Eliza Price. She was condemned, and taken to the graving dock. For his own curiosity he had 30 or 40 holes driven into her, and all who saw her could observe no difference in her plates, and she was now lying in the Birkenhead docks as firm as on the day on which she was launched.



Wooden paddle steamer Aimwell, built Denny, Dumbarton, 1825, 69 tons burthen, 81 x 17.3 x 15.0 x 8.3ft, 30 hp engines by Napier. Sold for Rock Ferry service 1832, Royal Rock Ferry Company service 1836. Minor collision with Eliza Price 1836.

[from Liverpool Mercury - Friday 23 August 1833]:
Rock Ferry steam-boat Aimwell has fitted life-buoys to save lives.

  [from Liverpool Standard and General Commercial Advertiser - Friday 01 April 1836]:
Prospectus of Royal Rock Ferry Company... Application for shares .. includes stone built pier, hotel, ferry lounge and an excellent steam boat [Aimwell], now ready, which has undergone a thorough repair in hull and machinery, fitted with new boiler.



Wooden paddle steamer Alexander, built 1835 Humble & Milcrest, Liverpool, 83 tons, 84.6 x 13.6 ft, 40 hp engines by Rigby, Hawarden, for Rock Ferry service. Some sources quote the name as Alexandra, but Liverpool newspapers and steam vessel lists name her as Alexander. The survey in 1845 of potential gun boats names Alexander, built Liverpool 1835, 40 nrt, 30hp, 84.6 x 13.6 x 6, assigned to Chester. However, she seems to have been on Rock Ferry service until offered for sale in 1850.

[from Liverpool Albion - Monday 22 June 1835]:
The Royal Rock Ferry. Now that the new road is completed, the Rock Ferry bids fair to be the favourite point of communication between Liverpool and the Cheshire coast of the Mersey. The house is delightfully situate, the accommodations first rate, and the civility and attentions of Mr. and Mrs. Lee worthy of the highest praise. The traffic to this ferry has so much increased, within the last 12 months, that one steamer [Aimwell] was found quite inadequate to gratify the wishes of the crowds who resorted thither from Liverpool; and, to supply this defect, a very beautiful boat, the Alexander, was built by Messrs. Hurry, of this town. The engine was supplied by Messrs. Rigby, of Hawarden. It is of 40 horses' power, and is a beautiful specimen of workmanship, combining lightness, elegance, and ornament, with strength and durability in the frame-work. The steamer was brought round from Hawarden on Friday week, having, on board a select party, including G. Chamberlayne, Esq., the liberal owner of the Tranmere Ferry. Arrived at the Rock, the party were joined by Mr. Morecroft; the owner of the property, "honest Jo Monk", and some other choice spirits, of the neighbourhood, and they all enjoyed an excellent dinner prepared by Mrs. Lee, to which the worthy host added abundance of champagne and some of the choicest contents of his cellar.

  [from Liverpool Standard and General Commercial Advertiser - Friday 15 January 1836]:
STEAM-PACKET ON SALE. BE SOLD BY PRIVATE TREATY, The fast-sailing and compact steamer ALEXANDER [sic], With an engine of 40 horse-power capable of carrying from 40 to 50 tons. She is only six months old, and is built by Humble and Milcrest, and her machinery, which is of the very best description, by Wm. Rigby and Co. For further particulars apply at the Standard-office.

  [from Gore's Liverpool General Advertiser - Thursday 07 April 1836]:
ON SALE. The fine fast Steam Packet Alexander, only 6 months old, 84 tons register, built by Humble and Milcrest; engine 40 horse power, by Rigby, Hawarden, where she now lies.

  [from Liverpool Standard and General Commercial Advertiser - Tuesday 03 August 1847]:
SMOKE NUISANCE. Several informations were, on Tuesday, heard at the Police-court, against parties for not, in conformity with a clause in the Sanatory Act[sic], consuming the smoke from their steam-engine, furnaces, &c. The first case was that of the steamer Alexander[sic], plying to the Rock Ferry and Egremont, the funnel of which emitted volumes of black smoke. Mr. Grantham, engineer, said a smoke-consumer had been put in, and must have been negligently used, otherwise the smoke complained of would not have arisen.

[from Liverpool Mail - Saturday 18 September 1847]:

Yesterday the captain of the Alexander, Rock Ferry steam boat, appeared before Mr. Booth, at the Police court, upon the charge of having damaged a boat belonging to man named Williams, on the 28th August. The case having been clearly proved, the defendant was ordered to pay amount of damage. - Mr, Hodgson to survey the boat.

[from Liverpool Mercantile Gazette and Myers's Weekly Advertiser - Monday 16 December 1850]:
For Sale: The following STEAMERS, The property of the Rock Ferry Steam Packet Company.
PRINCE OF WALES; About 38 tons register, rebuilt at Liverpool, in 1843. She is propelled by a single engine of forty horse power, by Rigby, of Hawarden; only six years old, and in excellent order; diameter of cylinder 36 inches, length of stroke 3.5 feet. She is constructed of good materials, and well suited for ferry purposes.
Also, the ALEXANDER; 40 61-3500ths tons per register; built at Liverpool; copper fastened, and of the following dimensions: length 84 feet 6-10ths; breadth 13 feet 8-10ths; depth 7 feet 6-10ths. Is propelled by an engine of forty horse power, which is in good order.
Both vessels are found in necessary stores, and may be inspected any time prior to the sale, off the Rock Ferry Slip. Apply to TONGE, CURRY & CO. Brokers.



Admiral, b 1835, Seacombe 1835, sunk 1839



Wooden paddle steamer Enterprize, built 1834 John Jones, Preston, 22nrt, 39 om, 61.5 x 15.0 x 5.7 ft, as Enterprise. First use on Ribble, sold to Woodside Ferry 1837, as Enterprize.

  [from Preston Chronicle Saturday 24 May 1834]:
LAUNCH OF THE NEW STEAM VESSEL - Yesterday, according to public announcement, the vessel intended to navigate, by steam between Preston, Lytham, and Southport, was launched at the yard directly at the bottom of Fishergate Lane. The day was extremely fine, and the curiosity excited was naturally great, partly from the circumstance that a vessel intended for the same purpose, some few years ago, and built in Liverpool, unfortunately failed to such a degree, (owing to her drawing greatly too much water for the river [this was Ribble],) that the scheme was by some persons considered to be impracticable, and those who had engaged in it, more than prudently adventurous; and partly from the novelty of a launch, enhanced by the fact that this was the first steamer, and, indeed, the first vessel of any considerable size, built on the banks of the Ribble, for the conveyance of passengers. The wind being from the east, it was not expected that the tide (indicated in the Almanack at 19ft.5in.) would rise within some inches of what it would reach with a westerly or southerly breeze; and a considerably quantity of sand and silt was previously removed from the gut branching from the river, and parallel with the yard, into which she was to be launched. The ship-builders and others, were busy from a very early hour in the morning of the day, which may be said to have been "Big with the fate of Ribble and of Steam;" and towards the time of high water, a continuous crowd of persons of all ages, sexes and conditions, hurried down Fishergate - that beautiful entrance of our truly "beautiful town" to witness the spectacle. Our worthy Mayor, and his amiable lady and daughters, had kindly consented not only to grace the occasion by their presence but "to give the vessel her name," - a ceremony that became the more interesting by its performance being participated in by the female branches of the family. A military band was engaged, and continued to play favourite airs, while the head carpenter (Jones) and his men were busied in preparing for the launch. The vessel was decorated with flags, and considering that she was necessarily in an unfinished state, and without decoration, looked well, and as sailors say "loomed large" on the stocks; and the company, amongst whom were a large number of the first families and individuals in the town, soon became immense, filling the yards on each side of the gut. A small temporary platform, covered with a carpet was erected at the bow of the vessel for the accommodation of the Mayor's family and friends, and all being prepared, the word was given at about noon, and without the slightest impediment the vessel glided sidelong from her position; was duly named by the mayor and his daughter "THE ENTERPRISE," and, gathering velocity as she descended the inclined-plain, plunged into her destined element in truly gallant style, dashing the water to a considerable height against the crowd of persons assembled along the opposite wall of the yard on the north. Though the vessel, comparatively, belongs to the class of "small craft," her length (about 70 feet aloft) and her fullness and bulk of build rendered her a conspicuous object, and the rapid and almost silent transit of so large a body from land to water, over a considerable distance, formed a spectacle bordering on the sublime, and excited much admiration. It was intended, we believe, that Miss Woodburn should herself heave the bottle at the bow (or as it is called "christen" the vessel) on the name being given, but the unexpected velocity with which she started, prevented this, and our worthy Mayor, lest any part of the ceremony should be omitted, seized it from the basket, and flung it himself with unerring aim, at the same time repeating after Miss W., in a loud and welcome voice "The Enterprise, of Preston." Repeated cheers followed the launch, and every one present seemed to be highly gratified. The Mayor and his family appeared to be truly delighted, and to impart their delight to others. The moment she was fairly afloat, many anxious eyes were turned to mark the depth of water which she drew, a point on which her success mainly depended. Those who had lost by the last steamer, and were not acquainted with vessels, generally anticipated a similar failure in this respect; those who were embarked in the present undertaking hoped for, indeed trusted in, a contrary result. Nor were the latter disappointed. Notwithstanding the quantity of hard English oak, and the heavy beams in the "Enterprise," she drew, with 100 persons on board only 18 inches a-stern and 15 at the bow - being an average of 16.5 inches on an even keel; or, as we calculate, about 15 inches when light. After being hauled out into the river and alongside the quay, 347 persons of average weight went on board (calculated at 84lbs each, or 13 tons weight in all,) and she then drew about 19 inches. The engines and water will not, it is expected, sink her above five inches, allowing, too, for additional beams, deck timber, paddle boxes, &c., and if the widening of the vessel when so sunk be taken into account, it may be fairly be estimated that she will not, with three hundred passengers, or their weight, be set down above four inches more, or in all two feet, to two feet four inches. Length of keel: 61ft 7in; breadth: 15ft; Tonnage: exclusive of the legal allowance for engine rooms, about 63 tons. Tonnage, deducting the above, about 42 tons.



Wooden paddle steamer Cheshire Witch, built K. Wood & sons, Maryport, 1837, 88 grt, 43 nrt, 84.5 x 15.0 x 8.4 ft, 50 hp engines. For Rock Ferry service.

[from Carlisle Journal - Saturday 11 March 1837]:
Maryport. A steam-boat was launched here on the 7th inst., from the old ship-building establishment of Messrs. K. Wood and Sons. The novelty of the scene (being the first steam-vessel built in that town) attracted an immense assemblage of persons, and the day being remarkably fine, the quays were literally clad with spectators. At half-past eleven the stocks were struck down, and the "Cheshire Witch" entered the briny element, amidst the cheers of the multitude. She registers 113 tons, old measurement, and was built for a company in Liverpool [Royal Rock Ferry Company]. The firm of Messrs. Wood and Sons have long been celebrated for producing first-rate specimens of sailing vessels, and from the combination of strength and symmetry displayed by this their first steam-vessel, they promise equally to excel in this description of marine architecture.

  June 1847: a minor collision between Cheshire Witch and Cleveland.

Listed in MNL passenger-certified steam vessels as 43nrt, 45 hp, at Liverpool, 1850.
Listed in Liverpool 1851 Register as first registeed at Liverpool 1837, owned Royal Rock Ferry SPC, 84.5 x 15.0 ft, 43nrt, 88grt.



Monk's Ferry Company

From Liverpool Standard and General Commercial Advertiser - Friday 06 May 1836
  THE MONK'S FERRY COMPANY, A GENERAL MEETING of the SHAREHOLDERS will be held on MONDAY next, the 9th instant, at the Clarendon-rooms at One o'clock in the Afternoon; for purpose of appointing the Directors of the Company, pursuant to the terms of the Prospectus.

This company started in 1837 when wooden paddle steamer MONK was built for them. However, in 1838, a court case was brought by the owners of the ferry service from Woodside to Liverpool, in which they claimed to have the exclusive rights to a ferry service between Birkenhead and Liverpool. Monk's Ferry used a terminal about 500 metres south of Woodside.
  This legal battle involved several court cases, over several years, but the eventual ruling was that the Monk's Ferry service was not lawful.

Start [from Liverpool Albion - Monday 16 April 1838]:
Monks Ferry between Woodside and Birkenhead. THE Directors beg leave most respectfully to inform the Public, that arrangements for the permanent and efficient working of this FERRY being now completed, it is their intention to OPEN the same on Friday next, the 20th Instant, on and after which day, Boats will leave the Ferry and George's Pier every half hour, from Half past Five in the Morning until Ten in the Evening.
Three Steam-boats, the Monk, Abbey, and Dolphin will be constantly employed on the Ferry, the two former of which have been built expressly for the purpose, and every attention will be paid to their punctual departure, as well as to the general convenience and accommodation of the Public. Monk's Ferry, April 9, 1838.

  Further developments were that the Birkenhead and Chester Railway Company (which reached Birkenhead in 1840) bought in 1841 both the Woodside and Monk's Ferries - and used the Monk's Ferry to connect with their rail service from Chester. Somewhat later, in 1842, the Corporation of Birkenhead bought the Woodside Ferry service from the Railway Company. The Railway company built a line to a station at Monk's Ferry, via a tunnel opened in October 1844, which continued in operation until circa 1880.

The Monk's Ferry steamers were offered for sale from April 1840. They seem to have been bought by the Birkenhead and Chester Railway Company. The Monk went on to provide a service to North Wales, and was lost on Caernarfon Bar in 1843. The Dolphin served in N Wales from March 1843 [presumably replacing the Monk] and then from Sligo from 1848 to her loss in 1855. The Abbey remained on the Mersey; note an earlier Mersey ferry called Abbey was lost off Islay in 1839.

Railway connection [excerpt from Liverpool Albion - Monday 21 September 1840]:
Travelling by the Birkenhead & Chester Railway, on and after Wednesday next, 23rd inst.
The Steam-boat will depart from St. George's Pierhead, Liverpool, to Monk's Ferry, with Railway Passengers, twenty minutes before the time appointed for Trains to start from Grange-lane, and from Monk's Ferry to Liverpool on the arrival of the Trains from Chester.

From Gore's Liverpool General Advertiser - Advert appearing from April 1840 until May 1842.
  ON SALE Now lying in the Trafalgar Dock
  The following well-known Monk's Ferry Steamers
  MONK, built by W. Seddon, Liverpool, in 1837; engine by Messrs. Johnson and Co. Liverpool, equal to 45 horsepower; 71 tons, old measurement; draft of water 4 feet 9 inches.
  ABBEY, built by Messrs. Humble and Co., Liverpool, in 1838; engine equal to 50 horses, by Vernon and Co. Liverpool; 68 tons, old measurement; draft of water 4 feet 9 inches
  DOLPHIN, built at Dumbarton, in 1834; boilers made by Messrs. Johnson and Co. Liverpool; engine equal to 40 horses; 68 tons, old measurement; draft of water 4 feet 9 inches.
  The above Boats are in excellent condition, and ready for immediate use. For other particulars apply to Mr, H. F. PENNY, Royal Bank-building or to: D. TONGE(Broker)
  N.B. Persons having any claims against the above Company are requested to send in their accounts as above.

Wooden paddle steamer Monk.

Wooden paddle steamer Dolphin.

Wooden paddle steamer Abbey, built Humble & Milcrest 1838, 87.8 x 15.3 x 7 ft, 53 nrt, engines 60 hp by Vernon. Built for use on Monks Ferry from 1838; later used by Willoughby's as a Birkenhead Ferry for a few years. Confusingly another ferry Abbey was built in 1822 and used initially as a Tranmere ferry, then for towing and later was used on Wexford and Newcastle voyages.

Minor collision [from Liverpool Mail - Saturday 07 December 1844]:
ANOTHER COLLISION ON THE RIVER, It is a matter of surprise, that crowded as the River Mersey ever is with vessels of all descriptions, accidents do not more frequently happen, and their comparative rarity is the best praise that can be awarded to the regulations by which so much order is preserved. There have of late, however, been several serious collisions, and of these mischances it has so happened, from what cause we know not, that the boats of the Birkenhead Ferry have had an unusual share. On Monday night last, the Abbey steamer left the Birkenhead slip about ten o'clock, and it being ebb-tide, she proceeded down the west side of the river until she had passed the Woodside slip, and then turned her bows towards the other side. When near the middle, she ran with tremendous force into the larboard bow of her Majesty's tender, the Redwing, which had just left one of the mail packets then in the river. Fortunately there were few, if any, passengers on board the Abbey, and no person of either crew was injured. The Abbey also escaped without any material damage, the tide being in her favour, but the Redwing was cut down to the water's edge in such a manner as to make a tremendous opening. She was, however, heeled over, and was taken the next morning into the Graving Dock to be repaired. The night was very dark, but the atmosphere was quite clear, and nothing to prevent lights being seen. We have been informed that the Redwing showed no light, but that the Abbey had one hoisted upon her mast.

[from Liverpool Mail - Saturday 01 November 1845]:
On Friday next, the 7th instant, at Six o'clock in the Evening, at Willoughby's Hotel, Birkenhead Ferry. The Hull of the Steamer ABBEY, Laying alongside the Quay, near Tranmere Slip. Length 87ft; Beam 15.5ft; Hold 8ft. Built by Messrs. Humble and Milcrest, 1838, of the very best materials, under particular inspection, and could be converted into an excellent Sailing Vessel, at very slight expense. For further particulars apply to J. T. GREGSON. Broker, 4, North end Queen's Dock.



Wooden paddle steamer Duke, built John Sothern, Runcorn, 1839, engines 30 hp, for Egremont service. [John Sothern later had a shipyard at Egremont and built there the ferry Wallasey in 1847]. Note advert for sale in 1847 quotes her as "rebuilt" in 1839; so possibly the wreck of the Duke of Bridgewater (which sank in the January 1839 hurricane and was lifted and taken to Runcorn) was used to create Duke. This also fits with the name. The engine cylinder diameter, 31.5 inches, also matches this identification. However, a steamer called Bridgewater was in operation in 1843 and was put up for sale in 1844.

  [Gore's Liverpool General Advertiser - Thursday 03 June 1847]:
By order of the Executors of the late Lee Watson of St. Helens. On Thursday, the 17th Instant, at two o'clock, at D. Tonge & Sons, office, 7 Castle-street.
The fine River Steamer DUKE; About 70 tons register, and the following dimensions, viz: Length between perpendiculars 76 feet, beam outside paddle boxes 27 feet, beam inside 16 feet, draft water 4.5 feet, and now lying at the Tranmere slip, where she may be inspected. Her hull is in excellent order, she having been rebuilt in 1839, by Southern [sic] and Co.; she has one condensing engine in good repair, of 30 horse power, with cylinder of 31.5 inches diameter, and had new boilers in 1842; has good fore and aft cabins, and is found in stores ready for immediate employment. For further particulars apply to Mr. William Evans, St. Helens, or here D. TONGE and SONS. Brokers.

Listed in MNL passenger-certified steam vessels as 40nrt, 40 hp, at Liverpool, 1850. Note this list also contains Bridgewater (as 37nrt, 35hp), suggesting that these are different vessels.

  [from Gore's Liverpool General Advertiser - Thursday 21 March 1850]:
Vessels by Auction. Without reserve, On Wednesday next, the 27th instant, at one o'clock, at the Brokers' sale-room, Derby-building, Fenwick-street. The Steamer DUKE; About 86 tons per register, built at Runcorn by Messrs. Sothern and Co. for private use; length 76 feet, breadth 16 ft; draft of water 4 feet 3 inches. She is propelled by engines of 36 horse power collectively, which, together with boilers, are in good order, having recently been entirely refitted and overhauled by Sanderson and Tayleur, of Warrington; may be inspected in Wallasey Pool. Apply to TONGE, CURRY and Co., Brokers.



Iron paddle steamer Elizabeth, built Robert Russell, Birkenhead, 1840, for New Brighton ferry service. 89 x 15 x 7.8 ft, 97grt, 45 hp engines. ON 6010. First registered at Liverpool 1845, 50 tons, 36hp.

[from General Commercial Advertiser - Friday 15 April 1842]:
New Brighton. The steam boats commence running between New Brighton and Liverpool on Thursday 14th inst., leaving New Brighton at 9, 11, 1, 3, 5, 7.

[from Liverpool Mail - Saturday 12 April 1845]:
Collision in the River. Yesterday, at the Police-court, Hamilton Pearson, captain of the Queen, steamer, was summoned by Hugh Leach, the captain of Elizabeth, New Brighton steamer, for £7 10s., damage done to his boat by the former running into her. The captain stated that, on the 7th of February, he was lying outside the buoy, at anchor, opposite the Bath clock, when the half-past five Woodside boat ran into her, and carried away the rail, bulwarks, and stanchions. The captain of the Woodside boat put his hand up to his steersman, for him to put the helm a-port, which would enable him clear the Elizabeth. In defence, it was that the Brighton boat was a cable's length within the buoy; but it was shown that, had that been the case, she would have been ashore, the buoy being only half a cable's length from the river wall. Captain Pearson was ordered to pay the damage.

[from Liverpool Mail - Saturday 21 March 1846]: [from Liverpool Albion - Monday 01 June 1846]:
Collision Sea Nymph and Rambler - Shrieks of the unfortunate sufferers were heard aboard New Brighton steamer Elizabeth, and immediately all hands got to work in weighing anchor and getting up steam, which was accomplished in about 5 minutes, and in 10 minutes they got alongside the Rambler, which was burning blue lights, and took from her about 200 passengers, the whole of whom they brought to Liverpool. The Elizabeth remained by the vessel, which was on her beam ends, until the captain said there were no more people to leave. The small lifeboat was, in the meantime, looking after the five or six men who were floating in the water. The Elizabeth received some damages, and has had to lay up for repairs.

Listed in MNL passenger-certified steam vessels as 50nrt, 36 hp, at Liverpool, 1850 and 1853.



Iron paddle steamer Nun, built Lairds, 1840, yard no.37, for Monks Ferry. 187grt, 127nrt, 101 x 20 x 5 ft, engines of 60 hp by G Forrester, Liverpool. Registered Liverpool 1864, ON 48762. Owned Birkenhead Commissioners when registered until 1869. Grounded on Woodside slip, 1842, but survived. Broken up 1869.

  [from Gore's Liverpool General Advertiser - Thursday 24 December 1840]:
Launch of an iron steam-vessel. On Monday week, an iron steam-vessel was launched from Mr. John Lairds works, North Birkenhead. She is intended to ply between Monk's Ferry and Liverpool, in connection with the Chester and Birkenhead Railway, and from her size, power, and superior accommodation for passengers - both below and on deck - will be a great improvement on the present class of ferry boats. She is now, we understand, receiving her machinery on board, and will, it is expected, be ready for work early in the ensuing year.

  [from Liverpool Standard and General Commercial Advertiser - Tuesday 15 February 1842]:
STRENGTH OF IRON VESSELS. A remarkable instance of the great strength of iron vessels was recently exemplified at this port. The iron steamer Nun, built by Mr. John Laird of North Birkenhead, and plying as a ferry-boat between this town and Woodside, for which she is especially adapted, accidentally grounded at the latter place on the 12th ult., her stern taking the slip, so that when the tide retired she was left in an extraordinary and apparently most perilous position. Her keel plate, about eleven feet from the stern-post, rested on the north edge of the quay, as on a point or pivot, and her fore foot only touched the beach, leaving an unsupported length of hull between these extremes of upwards of eighty one feet, in the centre of which were the machinery and boilers, weighing 65 tons, besides coals, a great weight of hull, the heavy iron chimney, and other materials on the deck. She remained in this situation for ten hours, her keel forming the hypothenuse of a right-angled triangle, of which the face of the wall of the slip was the perpendicular, and the surface of the beach underneath her the extended base, yet strange to say without being strained, or in the slightest degree injured either in her hull or otherwise; thus proving beyond a doubt the applicability of iron, when faithfully wrought, for the purposes of ship building. Few vessels would have stood so severe a trial of strength, and the result cannot fail to give additional confidence in vessels constructed of a material of comparatively recent introduction for such purposes, and which promises to become an admirable substitute for good old English oak, of which we have but a scanty supply for our constantly increasing mercantile marine, as well as our navy. Our talented townsmen, Messrs. Maclure, Macdonald, and Magregor, have executed a fine lithographic representation of the Nun as she appeared in the position described, and a copy of which may be seen at the office of this paper.

[from Liverpool Mercury - Friday 03 January 1845]:
DENSE FOGS. - COLLISIONS ON THE RIVER.
On the same evening, the Nun, Woodside steamer, ran into the Prince, also a Woodside boat. The outside binding of the Prince, which is skirted with iron, was cut through to the extent of two feet, part of the bulwarks stove, and a deck plank forced from its place. No injury, however, to any of the passengers occurred.

Listed in MNL passenger-certified steam vessels as 85nrt, 60 hp, at Liverpool, 1850-3.



Paddle steamer Bebington, reported [in WCS] as on Rock Ferry service 1841. Also reported as spelled Bevington.



Wooden paddle steamer Prince of Wales, re-built John Rigby, Sandycroft, Dee, 1843, 38 tons, 40hp engines. For Rock Ferry service. [there were also larger vessels of this name, one belonging to the City of Dublin Steam Packet Co., built 1846, and a vessel based at Fleetwood, built 1842]. For sale 1850. Registered Carlisle March 1853.

[from Liverpool Mercury - Friday 08 January 1847]:
Claim for Damage. On Wednesday, Hamilton Mason, master of the flat Prince, appeared in support of an information preferred against Jonathan Robinson, Captain of the Prince of Wales, Rock Ferry steamer, for damage to the amount of £4, which, he alleged, had been done to a boat, in consequence of the defendant's negligence. The complainant stated that, on the 24th ult., the flat was lying off the Canning Dock, when the steamer ran foul of them and stove in their boat. The damage was admitted by the defendant; but it was alleged that the flat was lying inside the buoy, and, being out of her place, had been the cause of the collision. It appeared, however, from the evidence, that the allegation of the defendant was not supported, and he was ordered to pay the amount of damage, subject to a survey by Mr. Askew.

[from Liverpool Albion - Monday 13 December 1847]:
MORE SMOKE NUISANCE INFORMATIONS. On Saturday Messrs. Tyson and Richmond, soap-manufacturers, of Blackstock-street, were fined £5 for having to one of their furnaces no smoke-consuming apparatus.
Joseph Kay, alias Joseph Duke, master of the Britannia, Birkenhead boat, was summoned for negligently using his furnace on the 10th December, but, owing to a disparity as to dates between the information and evidence, was acquitted.
Jonathan Robinson, master of the Rock Ferry boat, Prince of Wales, was summoned for a like negligence, alleged to have been perpetrated on the 14th October. The charge was admitted, a gentleman who appeared in answer stating it was perfectly impossible to remember anything about what had been done at so distant a date. Mr. Rushton considered the offence remote, and inflicted the mitigated penalty of 40s. and costs.

[excerpt from Liverpool Mercantile Gazette and Myers's Weekly Advertiser - Monday 16 December 1850]:
For Sale: The following STEAMERS, The property of the Rock Ferry Steam Packet Company.
PRINCE OF WALES; About 38 tons register, rebuilt at Liverpool, in 1843. She is propelled by a single engine of forty horse power, by Rigby, of Hawarden; only six years old, and in excellent order; diameter of cylinder 36 inches, length of stroke 3.5 feet. She is constructed of good materials, and well suited for ferry purposes.
Both vessels are found in necessary stores, and may be inspected any time prior to the sale, off the Rock Ferry Slip. Apply to TONGE, CURRY & CO. Brokers.

Listed in MNL passenger-certified steam vessels as 40 hp, at Liverpool, 1850, 1851.



Iron paddle steamer Star, built John Rigby, Sandycroft, Dee, 1845, 90 x 15.4 x 8.6, 92 grt, 45hp engines. ON24265. For Rock Ferry service.

[from Chester Courant - Wednesday 19 February 1845]:
Royal Rock Ferry. On Thursday last, we observed a beautiful little iron steamer running up and down the Mersey and contending with the steamers belonging to the different ferries all of which she left far behind. She is the most decided improvement, as regards speed, of any ferry boat yet on the river. On inquiry, we found that she was built by Mr. John Rigby, of Hawarden, Flintshire, and was launched from the new works, Sandicroft, on the Dee, about a month ago, with engine, boilers, rigging and other fittings complete, and ready for firing on reaching her proper element. She was built for the Royal Rock Ferry Company, and is called the "Star," an appropriate name, the distinguishing mark of the company's boats being a star at the mast head. She is 92 feet long, and 16 feet beam; has a capacious deck with two cabins neatly fitted up. Her engine is of great power, contains all the new improvements, (with a whistle, which, in such foggy weather as we have recently had, is a great security against collision) manufactured principally of wrought iron and copper, combining great strength in a very small space, with a considerable reduction in weight, as compared with engines having cast iron framing. The boilers are tubular, occupying less than nine feet in length, the tubes and tube plates are of brass, upon an entirely new construction, and appear, as well is every other part of the boat and engine, to be of admirable design and workmanship.

[from Liverpool Mail - Saturday 05 December 1846]:
Collision on the River. At the Birkenhead Police-court, Saturday, before J. W. Harden, and J. S. Jackson, Esq , James Perry, captain of the Star, Rock Ferry steamer, was summoned for having negligently and carelessly run down a rowing gig, belonging to Captain Coulthard of the brig Rowena, a Scotch coasting vessel. It appeared from the evidence adduced, that on the previous Tuesday, the complainant purchased the boat in question at the Rock Ferry, and paid for its being towed across the river to Liverpool. The defendant told the complainant to make the boat fast to the aft timber head, and to get into her to take the helm. He had scarcely got into the boat, when it was swamped by the steamer, and the complainant had a narrow escape from drowning. The defendant attempted to show that the swamping of the boat arose from its not being properly fastened to the steamer; but Mr. Jackson said that would not excuse him, as it was his duty to see that all was right before he put the vessel in motion. The bench, therefore, ordered the loss of the boat £5; Mr. Harden remarking, that he thought the proprietors of the Ferry ought to bear a portion of the loss.

[from Liverpool Mail - Saturday 18 September 1847]:
Collisions on the River. On Monday evening the Queen, steamer, in turning round a schooner and flat, lying off the new landing stage, run against the larboard paddle-box of the Star, Rock Ferry boat, and smashed the wheel and paddle-box, and of course frightening the passengers. The disabled steamer was taken in tow to Woodside, where she remains, and the passengers were sent by another conveyance to their destination.

Listed in MNL passenger-certified steam vessels as 53nhp, 40 hp, at Liverpool, 1850, 1851, 1853.

[from Liverpool Albion - Monday 14 November 1853]:
The Woodside Ferry steamer Queen was in contact this morning with the coasting schooner Lady Mostyn, for Runcorn, which lost bowsprit, &c. The steamer's paddle-box was slightly damaged.

[from Liverpool Daily Post - Thursday 02 August 1855]:
Also the River Ferry Iron-built Steamer STAR. 92 20-100ths tons, builders' measurement, 53 87-100ths tons register, and 45 horse-power, built at Sandicroft, the River Dee in 1845, sloop-rigged and square sterned. Length: 90 feet 3-10ths; breadth: 15 feet 4-10ths; depth: 8 feet 6-10ths. Now plying between Liverpool and Rock Ferry. For particulars apply CURRY and Co.



Iron paddle steamer Sylph, built Thomas Vernon, Liverpool, 1849, 127grt, 70nrt, 113 x 17 x 9 ft, 60 hp engines by Crippin, Runcorn, owned John Crippen and William Foster, Runcorn. ON 10506. On Rock ferry service from 1849 until offered for sale in 1855.

Rock Ferry PS Sylph from a painting by H McLeod in Merseyside Maritime Museum.

[excerpt from Liverpool Standard and General Commercial Advertiser - Tuesday 01 May 1849]:
In Mr Vernon's yard there is a handsome iron steam-boat nearly finished, of 115 feet in length, 17.5 in beam, and of 162 tons measurement for Mr John Crippin of Runcorn, and built under the supervision of Mr Grindrod.

[from Liverpool Mail - Saturday 30 June 1849]:
Launch of an Iron Steamer. On Saturday last, at the ship building yard of Mr, Thomas Vernon, Brunswick Dock, an iron steamer, called The Sylph, was launched. The following are the dimensions of the vessel: 110 feet in length of keel and fore rake, 17 feet 6 inches in breadth of beam, and 8 feet 9 inches in depth of hold. She is about 162 tons old measurement, and will be worked with a pair of side lever engines of about sixty horse-power, preparing in the yard of the spirited proprietor of the vessel, Mr. Crippin, of Runcorn. The vessel is expected to be put on the station between Liverpool and Runcorn, and is admirably adapted either for towing or for carrying passengers. The name of the vessel was given to her by the lady of Mr. Crippin, and a select party were present to witness the proceeding. After the launch had taken place, the company were conducted to the mould-room, where an elegant dejeuner was provided. Mr. Vernon presided with his accustomed tact, and the meeting, which was graced by the presence of the ladies, passed off in the best possible manner. This is the third iron vessel that Mr. Vernon has built within the short space of four months.

Report of Sylph towing (with tug Alice) brig Empress from Runcorn, August 1849.

[from Liverpool Mercury - Tuesday 09 July 1850]:
EXCURSION TO THE BRITANNIA RAILWAY TUBE. The splendid new steamer, SYLPH, with other first-class steamers, has been chartered for an EXCURSION TRIP to the MENAI STRAITS, and will leave George's Pier on SUNDAY next, the 14th instant, at Half-past Six, a.m., returning the same night. Fares there and back, Fore Cabin, 2s.; Saloon, 3s. For Tickets, &c., apply to Mr. M. AYLWARD, General News Agent, 62, Lord-street.

Listed in MNL passenger-certified steam vessels as 70nrt, 70 hp, at Liverpool, 1850, 1852-3.

[from Liverpool Daily Post - Thursday 02 August 1855]:
Peremptorily. By order of the Mortgagees and Trustees. On Thursday next, the 9th Instant, at One o'clock, at the Brokers Sale-room, Walmer-buildlngs, Water-Street.
The well-known Iron-built River Ferry Steamer SYLPH, 127 86-100ths tons, builders' measurement, 70 43-100ths tons register. and 60 horse-power, was clincher-built, in Liverpool, in 1849 of the best plates; is schooner-rigged and round sterned, Length: 112 feet 8-10ths; breadth: 16feet 8-10ths; depth 8 feet 8-10ths; is now plying between Liverpool and Rock Ferry.



List of Mersey vessels (tugs, ferries, &c) that could be used as gunboats (the two-ended Mersey ferries are dismissed as too small):
[from Morning Herald (London) - Thursday 12 June 1845]:
[built Liverpool unless shown otherwise, length and breadth also given in the newspaper]

 Tugs: Victoria (b Birkenhead 1837, 93t, 100hp); President (b Birkenhead 1839, 83t, 100hp); Mona (b Port Glasgow 1831, 68t, 70hp); Hero (b Findsbury 1821, 133t, 90hp); Albert (b Birkenhead 1840, 82t, 100hp); Egerton (b Woodside 18??, 37t, 40hp); Tower (b Runcorn 1836, 47t, 45hp); Rival (b Runcorn 1834, 50t, 40hp); Blanche (b 1841, 156t, 60hp);
 Ferry: Egremont & New Brighton: Egremont (b Glasgow 1836, 69t, 60hp); Thomas Royden (b 1837, 64t, 45); John Rigby (b 1831, 36t, 40hp); Sir J Moore (b Dumbarton 1826, 76t, 50hp); Elizabeth (b Birkenhead 18??, 51t, 40hp);
  Ferry: Woodside: Cleveland (b 1836, 43t, 50hp); Kingfisher (b 1830, 57t, 40hp);
  Ferry: Birkenhead/Monks: James (b 1826, 46t, 33hp); William Fawcett (b 1839, 43t, 32hp); Mersey (b 18??, 74t, 45hp); Abbey (b 1833, 53t, 60hp);
 Rock Ferry: Cheshire Witch (b Maryport 1837, 43t, 50hp). [also Alexander (b 1835, 40t, 30hp) listed under Chester]
 Considered unsuitable: Manchester (b Runcorn 1835, 43t) - worn out; George (b Chester 1834, 55t) - laid up; Martha (b Tranmere 18??, 59t) - laid up; Bridgewater (b 1823, 37t) - worn out; Ennishowen (b Dumbarton 1834, 70t) - laid up.

Also mentioned:
  Coastal steamers: Windermere (b 1835, 71t, 50hp); St. David (b 1824, 110t, 70hp); Hercules (b 1835, 265t, 40hp); Troubadour (b 1841, 409t, 240hp); Union (b Greenock 1833, 100t, 80hp); Eclipse (b Dumbarton 1826, 93t) - left port [see here]; Satellite (b 1825, 55t) - left port [see here]; Snowden (b Glasgow 1836, 94t) - laid up.
  Foreign service: Emerald (b 1835, 271t) - Cork-Dublin service; Warrington (b Warrington 1840, 100t) - gone foreign; Earl of Elgin (b Birkenhead 1844, 43t, 105 x 14ft) - cannot be traced [sent to Jamaica 1844]; Nemesis (b Birkenhead 1839, 281t) - in China; Phlegethon (b Birkenhead 1840, 180t) - in China; Phlox (b Birkenhead 1844, 95t) - in India; Royal Sovereign (b Glasgow 1839, 309t) - in India; Ethiope (b 1839, 81t) - in Africa.

For vessels listed in neighbouring ports see here



Iron paddle steamer Queen, built Laird's, 1844, yard no.53, 109 x 21 x 9.7ft, 173 grt, 60 hp oscillating engines by G. Forrester. ON20758. For Woodside Ferry. Described as having fore and aft rudders. Registered Liverpool 1850. Owned Birkenhead Corporation until 1881, then William Redhead, Lowood Rd, Birkenhead until 1894, re-registered Liverpool 1884. Described as serving Menai Straits in 1885. Register closed 1894. From 1872-83, MNL gives her as 126nrt, 173grt, 60hp screw which seems in error since all reports give her as paddle. From 1885 MNL gives 43nrt, 139grt, 64hp, paddle.

Image of Queen here.

[from Liverpool Mail - Saturday 17 February 1844]:
Launch of the Queen, New Woodside Ferry Steamer. On Saturday afternoon, a fine iron steam-boat, the property of the Woodside Ferry Company, and intended to ply between Woodside Ferry and the George's Pier, was launched from the yard of Mr. John Laird, the builder, North Birkenhead, amidst a large concourse of spectators. She is somewhat larger than the Nun (the largest boat now on the station), being 110 feet long by 22 in beam, and is very strongly built. She may be propelled with either end foremost, so that the delay of backing out, and then running a-head from the shore, especially from the Woodside slip, and which occupies on an average from four to five minutes each trip (or nearly half the time of crossing), will be altogether avoided. This is accomplished by a rudder at each end, contrived that it may be fixed firmly amidships, forming a cutwater, when that end (which was before the stern) is required to become the bow. The Queen will be propelled by engines of sixty-horse power, with oscillating cylinders, by Messrs. George Forrester and Co. The engines and boilers will occupy a space of only 21 feet, leaving a large space forward and aft for cabin accommodations. Her name - the Queen - was given to her by the lady of Mr. John Jackson, the chairman of the Woodside Ferry Company. Another steamer of precisely the same size and construction, and for the same proprietary, is in a forward state in Mr. Laird's yard.

[from Liverpool Albion - Monday 08 April 1844]:
WOODSIDE FERRY. A new iron boat commenced plying, yesterday week, between this ferry and Liverpool, built by Mr. J. Laird, on the new patent principle of a rudder at each end, so as to obviate the necessity of turning round. She attracted much attention, and many hundreds crossed the Mersey in her. She is said to be the fastest ferry boat on the river, and has brought Liverpool and Birkenhead two or three minutes nearer to each other than they were.

Collision with New Brighton ferry Elizabeth in 1845.

Collision with Rock Ferry boat Star in 1847

[from Liverpool Shipping Telegraph and Daily Commercial Advertiser - Monday 14 November 1853]:
The Woodside ferry steamer Queen, was in contact on Saturday with the schooner, Lady Mostyn, for Runcorn, which lost bowsprit, &c. The steamer's paddle box was slightly damaged.

Listed in MNL passenger-certified steam vessels as 60 hp, at Liverpool, 1850-3.

[from Rhyl Record and Advertiser - Saturday 10 June 1882]:
SEA EXCURSIONS. Messrs. Redhead have again this year decided to bring their steamer Queen to Rhyl to ply for the season. The season will be opened on Monday with a trip to Llandudno, Beaumaris, Bangor, and Menai Bridge. On Wednesday and Friday excursions will be made to Liverpool and back.



Iron paddle steamer Prince, built Laird's, 1844, yard no.54, 108 x 22 x 9.3ft, 182 grt, 60 hp oscillating engines by G. Forrester. ON48764. For Woodside Ferry.

[excerpt from Liverpool Albion - Monday 20 July 1846]:
ROYAL MERSEY YACHT CLUB. On Saturday the sailing-match for the grand challenge cup, value one hundred guineas, with the ladies' purse of fifty guineas added, took place. The Prince steamer attended for the members and friends and left the Prince's Pier about ten in the morning, a select party of ladies and gentlemen and steamed down the river to New Brighton.

[from Liverpool Mercury - Friday 03 January 1845]:
DENSE FOGS. - COLLISIONS ON THE RIVER.
On the same evening, the Nun, Woodside steamer, ran into the Prince, also a Woodside boat. The outside binding of the Prince, which is skirted with iron, was cut through to the extent of two feet, part of the bulwarks stove, and a deck plank forced from its place. No injury, however, to any of the passengers occurred.

Listed in MNL passenger-certified steam vessels as 60 hp, at Liverpool, 1850-3.



Iron paddle steamer Wirral, built Laird's, 1846, yard no.60, 109 x 21 x 1ft, 192 grt, 60 hp oscillating engines by G. Forrester. ON20759. For Woodside Ferry. Liverpool newspapers name her Wirrall.

Involved in collision, in 1847, which sank wooden paddle steamer Flambeau. Wirral was held responsible for the loss - so had to be sold to generate the income.

Listed in MNL passenger-certified steam vessels as 111nrt, 60 hp, at Liverpool, 1850-3.

[from Liverpool Albion - Monday 04 May 1846]:
On Tuesday last, at noon, a beautiful little iron steamer, for the Woodside ferry, to be called the Wirrall, was launched from the shipbuilding-yard of Mr. John Laird, Birkenhead.

[from Liverpool Mail - Saturday 31 December 1853]:
During a thick fog this morning on the river, several casualties occurred, though there were none of a serious nature. The Wirral (s) was in contact with the steam-tug British Queen, in the river, and damaged her stern. The British Queen did not sustain any damage.



Iron paddle steamer Lord Morpeth, built Hodgson, Liverpool, 1847, 116 x 22 x 1ft, 193 grt, 117nrt, 70 hp engines by Fawcett & Preston. ON48765. For Woodside Ferry.

[from Liverpool Mercury - Friday 08 October 1847]:
THE BIRKENHEAD COMMISSIONERS. The usual monthly meeting of this body was held on Tuesday evening last. ... The proceedings of the Ferry Committee were read. It appeared that the new steamer, Lord Morpeth, could only be accepted as an inferior boat to the Prince, and, in consequence, an examination was to take place, by Messrs. Grantham and Baines. ...

[from Liverpool Mail - Saturday 20 October 1849]:
Woodside Ferry. ... Also, for Raising the Paddle-shaft, Increasing the Circumference of the Paddle-wheels, and doing other Work on board their steamer Lord Morpeth, specification of which lies with the Manager, Woodside Ferry. Sealed Tenders, addressed to the Chairman of the Ferry Committee.

[from Liverpool Albion - Monday 03 December 1849]:
DENSE FOG OVER THE TOWN. The Woodside steamer Lord Morpeth, after leaving the ferry, on the nine o'clock trip, ran into the ship Rienzi, which was lying in the river. The passengers were much alarmed, but none of them sustained any injury. The Rienzi had her figure-head carried away besides receiving some other trifling damage. The steamer did not escape without injury: her bows were shattered and her stanchions bent by the shock. We have not heard of any other accident beyond some trifling damage to one or two of the steamers caused by coming into contact with the landing-slips.

Listed in MNL passenger-certified steam vessels as 100nrt, 70 hp, at Liverpool, 1850-3.



Wooden paddle steamer Tobermory, built Scott & Sons Greenock 1837, 47nt, 88 x 11.7 x 8.2 ft, engines 40hp by Scott, Sinclair & Co., Greenock. Owned Fleetwood 1840, for sale 1841, listed at Preston in 1845. A Woodside ferry, as a luggage boat, by 1846. Listed in 1851 as registered Preston since 1840 but owned Birkenhead Commissioners. For sale 1848 and reported as broken up in 1849. More detail

  [from Gore's Liverpool General Advertiser - Thursday 24 January 1839]:
ON SALE, lying at Glasgow, A STEAMER. Very suitable for a Mersey ferry boat. Length 81 feet; breadth 11 7-10th feet; depth 8 2-10ths, 55 tons and about 40 horses power. The Hull of the TOBERMORY is only 2.5 years old; the Boiler, Engines, &c. put into her lately, and every thing in perfect working order; draft of water about six feet. Apply to DAVID M'IVER and Co. Water-street.

  [from Preston Chronicle - Saturday 29 June 1839]:
FLEETWOOD-ON-WYRE. Arrived ... and the Tobermory, steamer, from Glasgow, for the purpose of towing barges laden with stone between Bazel [Bazil - opposite Glasson in Lune] and the Wyre, for Mr. Tompkinson.

[from Shipping and Mercantile Gazette - Thursday 16 January 1840]:
Fleetwood on Wyre. Sailed (Jan 14) Tobermory (s) Lancaster.

[from Shipping and Mercantile Gazette - Monday 29 June 1840]:
Fleetwood. Arrived (to June 26): Express(s) Bennett, from Glasgow; Tobermory (s) Edwards, from Lancaster. Sailed Cupid(s) Wells, Glasson Dock.

[from Shipping and Mercantile Gazette - Wednesday 24 February 1841]:
Fleetwood. Arrived (to 23 Feb) Tobermory (s) Edwards, from Glasgow.

[from Gore's Liverpool General Advertiser - Thursday 22 April 1841]:
ON SALE, The Steam-boat TOBERMORY. Now lying in the Herculaneum Docks; she has excellent beam engines of 40 horse power, by Scott, Sinclair and Co. of Greenock. The boat, engines, and boiler have recently had a thorough repair; has very good accommodation for passengers with handsome after cabin, captain's room, &c, &c. and a hold for carrying goods; is in a most complete state, and ready for immediate work; and suitable for river, or short coasting trips. For terms, apply to JOHN TOMKINSON, Kent-street, Liverpool. [advert until September 1842]

[from Liverpool Mercury - Friday 23 January 1846]:
Rather CooL - Yesterday morning, as the Egreont steamer Tobermory was coming to at the pier, and having too much way on her, orders were given by the captain to reverse the motion of the engine, which, however, the engineer found it difficult to execute, and on the order being reiterated with some sharpness, he very gravely replied, "Her'll not turn pack [sic]."

  The proceedings of the Ferry Committee stated, that the steamer Tobermory had been purchased for the use of the Woodside Ferry. [from Liverpool Albion, Monday 13 April 1846]

[from Liverpool Mercury - Tuesday 12 September 1848]:
CLAIM FOR DAMAGE. Charles Burt, captain of the Thomas Wilson, Seacombe boat, appeared in answer to a summons against him for having cut a hawser belonging to one of the Woodside steamers. The alleged offence was, that, on Thursday last, the luggage boat Tobermory made fast to the Prince's Pier, near the Seacombe stairs, where the Thomas Wilson was lying. The defendant, when he was about to leave the slip to proceed to Seacombe, could not get out, as the Tobermory was in his way, and immediately cut the hawser by which she was held to the pier. ...

  [from Gore's Liverpool General Advertiser - Thursday 16 November 1848]:
On Thursday next, the 23rd instant, at one o'clock, at the Brokers' sale-room, Derby-buildings, Fenwick-street, The Ferry Steamer TOBERMORY; 79 tons builder's measurement; 47 tons per register; built Greenock, in 1836, principally of oak, and is propelled by one engine of thirty-five horse power, which, together with the boilers, are in good working order. Dimensions: Length 80 feet 2-10ths, breadth 11 feet 8-10th, depth 8 feet 4-10ths. Lying in Morpeth Dock, Birkenhead. Apply to Mr. Rudd, Ferry Manager, Woodside, or to TONGE, CURRY and Co. Brokers. [same advert appears until July 1849]

  The steamer Tobermory was ordered to be sold for £1500. [from Liverpool Albion, Monday 13 August 1849]



Iron paddle steamer Mersey, built Grantham & Page 1842, 107grt, 74nrt, 87.5 x 16.4 x 7.9 x5 ft, engines 45hp by Page & Grantham. ON 16859. For Birkenhead ferry - after 1848 Tranmere Ferry - owner Willoughby.

[from Gore's Liverpool General Advertiser - Thursday 18 July 1844]:
Visit of King of Saxony: They arrived at shortly after seven o'clock, and immediately embarked on board the [Birkenhead] ferry steamer Mersey, Capt. Harrison; which, at the time, was crowded with passengers, very few of whom appeared aware that royalty was on board.

[from Liverpool Albion - Monday 06 November 1848]:
A BRAVE MAN. William Cain, one of the hands on board the Tranmere ferry steamer Mersey, has by his bravery and presence of mind rescued no less than twelve persons from drowning. His acts of this description have been frequently before the public. On Monday night he had the good fortune to rescue another fellow-creature from death. A man fell into the river at Tranmere and would inevitably have been drowned but for Cain, who plunged into the water, and with great difficulty and at imminent risk, saved him. We are sorry to hear that Cain met with a severe accident on Saturday, which will incapacitate him for some time from pursuing his avocations. Under these circumstances a subscription, on his behalf, has been commenced.

[from Liverpool Albion - Monday 01 January 1849]:
NARROW ESCAPE FROM DROWNING. - On Thursday, as the Tranmere boat Mersey, which left the Tranmere-slip for Liverpool at half-past one, was putting some of the crew of the Iron Duke on board that vessel, one of them slipped, fell into the water, and sank, being apparently quite unable to swim. Joseph Kane, one of the crew of the Mersey, the gallant fellow who has already rescued thirteen or fourteen persons from drowning, immediately jumped into the water with the end of a rope in his hand, but, finding that this impeded him, he let go the rope, swam towards the spot, and, getting hold of the drowning man, held him above water till a rope was thrown him, and both were drawn safely on board.

Listed in MNL passenger-certified steam vessels as 74nrt, 45 hp, at Liverpool, 1850-3.



Iron paddle steamer Birkenhead, built Sandycroft 1846, 133grt, 62nrt, 100.7 x 17.1 x 10 ft, engines 65hp by Vernon. ON 16856. For Birkenhead Ferry - from 1848 Tranmere Ferry - owner Willoughby. Rescued crew of barque Cato on 9 March 1849.

[from Liverpool Mercury - Tuesday 20 March 1849]:
GALLANT CONDUCT. - A noble and daring act, which resulted in the rescue of fifteen persons, was performed, on the 9th instant, by the crew of the ferry-boat Birkenhead, which plies to Tranmere. The Birkenhead was towing out an Austrian barque, the Cato, when the latter struck the bar in the Victoria Channel, and the sea made a complete breach over her. So high was the sea, that the Birkenhead could not get near, but still she remained about, as she had to take off an interpreter who was on board, and also the pilot. The crew of the barque, finding the danger of their situation, then launched one of the ship's boats, and the interpreter jumped in but, finding the boat would not float, he endeavoured to regain the ship, when he fell overboard. The crew then threw him a rope, which, fortunately, he caught hold of, and they hauled him on board; they then launched the jolly-boat, when she was immediately stove in and sank. The men on board the Birkenhead, seeing the hapless condition of the barque's crew, who were crying to them to endeavour to save them, determined to make the attempt at all hazards, and they directed the head of their boat towards the ship, and, to use the expression of one of them, "jumped at her," and fortunately got so near to her that the captain, pilot, and one of the crew managed to jump on board; but before any of the others could make the attempt, a sea struck the Birkenhead, the force of which carried her a long way from the barque. Nothing daunted at this, although their boat was nearly lost, they again made the attempt, and succeeded in taking off the remainder of the crew, thus saving the lives of fifteen human beings. At the request of the captain they dodged about, hoping the sea would abate, and by that means enable them to get something from on board, but in vain, and shortly after the barque, drifted on the West Hoyle, and went to pieces. The following are the names of the gallant fellows belonging to the Birkenhead:- John Matthers, mate; Joseph Matthers, boatman; William Peers, engineer; Edward Jones, fireman. The captain of the Birkenhead, Henry Harrison, was severely injured while his vessel was assisting the barque out of the dock, a hawser having slipped and struck him on the head. He was removed to the Northern Hospital, and was consequently obliged to leave the mate in charge. We understand the attention of the Marine Humane Society, has been called to the praiseworthy conduct of these brave and deserving men, who, at the peril of their lives, were instrumental in rescuing so many human beings from what appeared at the time almost inevitable destruction.
Another account [from Glasgow Chronicle - Wednesday 14 March 1849] adds - Cato for Trieste, driven on shore near East Hoyle, complete wreck.

[from Liverpool Albion - Monday 26 March 1849]:
DENSE FOGS: ACCIDENTS. During the past week fogs have prevailed in this neighbourhood, more especially seaward, and that on Wednesday afternoon and evening was so impenetrable as to cause serious inconvenience in crossing the river. Indeed, after half-past seven o'clock, all the boats ceased running from the landing-stage, with the exception of those belonging to Woodside, and they, in order to obviate the risk of collision, only ran hourly from each side. The William Fawcett, Birkenhead boat, ran foul of a brig anchored off the landing-stage, and had her mast carried away. On Thursday the Dublin mail boat, which generally reaches this port at four o'clock in the morning, did not arrive till after twelve o'clock at noon; and the Isle of Man and other coasting steamers were delayed from the same cause. The Cleveland, Woodside steam-boat, ran into a vessel and knocked off her figure-head. The steamer Royal Victoria, from Carlisle, in coming up the river, came in contact with the Loodianah. The steamer lost her cutwater, and the ship was slightly damaged. We understand that the atmosphere inland has been bright and clear. Amongst the other incidents we may mention that the Tranmere steamer, Birkenhead, after towing out the Rossendale, bound for Pernambuco, got lost in a fog, and the captain was compelled to come to anchor off the Great Ormeshead. With little water or provisions, and a crew augmented by a number of merchants' clerks and others, it may be supposed the situation of those on board was not the most comfortable. The steamer got up on Thursday morning - all as well as could be expected.

Listed in MNL passenger-certified steam vessels as 61nrt, 60 hp, at Liverpool, 1850-3



Iron paddle steamer Britannia, built Hodgson & Son, Liverpool, 1847, 124grt, 81nrt, 111.6 x 17.0 x 8.5 ft, engines 100hp by Vernon. ON 16857. For Birkenhead ferry - after 1848 Tranmere Ferry - owner Willoughby. [Note the earlier Britannia, built 1821, was still in service, and yet another Britannia, built 1823 at Dover, was in use as a Liverpool tug, and for Seacombe service, owned T Prestopino, from 1853]

[from Liverpool Mail - Saturday 15 May 1847]:
The New Birkenhead Ferry Steamer, Britannia. On Saturday afternoon, the new Birkenhead ferry boat, Britannia, belonging to Messrs. Edward and Seymour Willoughby, of the Birkenhead Hotel, was tried on the river, and proved herself superior in speed to any of the river boats afloat. She is an iron vessel, built by Messrs. J. Hodgson and Co., from a model by Mr. John Grantham. Her length is 114 feet, and her breadth of hull 17.5 feet. She is propelled by a capital engine of sixty-horse power. Mr. S. Willoughby, and several of his friends, including Mr. Grantham and Mr, T. Baker, the manager at Messrs. Fawcett and Co's works, who erected the engines, were amongst the company on board at the time. She steamed up and down the river for about four hours, and went away with amazing speed, beating every vessel that she neared. In a run with The Queen of Beauty, from opposite the pier to New Brighton, she was the winner by half a mile. She afterwards equally surpassed in speed the James Atherton. She also beat the Ayrshire Lassie, a very powerful vessel. Both boats run to and from New Brighton, and were hitherto considered the fastest of the ferry boats. She made thirty-four strokes per minute, with pistons moving three feet. She has tubular boilers, and all modern improvements are introduced. The vessel is divided into compartments by water-tight bulkheads, which ensure safety in case collision, or other accident. Her cabins are very roomy, and when finished will command admiration from the elegance of the whole arrangements. This is the fifth boat which the enterprise of Messrs. Willoughby have added to their fleet.

[from Liverpool Mercury - Friday 03 October 1845]:
....Messrs. James Hodgson and Co's yard, ...an iron steamer for Woodside Ferry [Britannia], constructed upon the same principle as the two new boats now plying, with rudder fore and aft, but with ten feet more keel. The engine will be fitted by Fawcett and Co.

Damaged by collision with Eliza Price, Monks Ferry Steamer, in 1849.

Listed in MNL passenger-certified steam vessels as 80nhp, 50 hp, at Liverpool, 1850-3



Iron paddle steamer Vale of Leven, built 1836, Tod MacGregor, Glasgow, 112 grt, 69nrt, 93 x 16.5 x 3.8 ft, 50 hp engines. Initial service from Dumbarton, Clyde. Listed on Clyde in report, 1845. Used by Willoughby on Birkenhead service - aground and wrecked 1846. More history.

Image of PS Vale of Leven

[from Liverpool Mail - Saturday 11 April 1846]:
Birkenhead Ferry. We regret to state that the respectable proprietors of this ferry, Messrs. Willoughby, have sustained loss by the wreck of their steamer, the Vale of Leven. A short time ago the vessel drove her anchor and went end on the Tranmere slip, her stern resting on the shore at low water, by which means her back was broken, and she has since been condemned and broken up. We understand, however, her engines, which are of a superior construction, will be saved. We regret this circumstance the more, as the steamer was one of the most superior and fastest boats on the river. Her fitting up and accommodation were also of very neat and commodious description, and reflected credit on Messrs. Willoughby as an earnest of their desire to meet the requirements of the public.



Iron paddle steamer Royal Victoria, built Bar & MacNab, Paisley, 1838, 96grt, 58nrt, 107 x 13 x 7 ft, engines 60hp. ON 24205. Services from Glasgow, then 1846 for Birkenhead ferry - owner Willoughby. Possibly bought as a temporary replacement, as Vale of Leven was wrecked in April 1846. Subsequently on Dundee-Perth service from 1 January 1847. 1854 owned John Tarleton, Rhyl, then James Johnson, Liverpool (registered Chester 1855). More history.
Note that a different (wooden) paddle steamer, Royal Victoria, ON 14737, built Thomas Wilson & Co., Liverpool 1837, 147 ft long, 315 nrt, served on the Annan - Liverpool route for many years from new to around 1851 when offered for sale.

Sale [from Gore's Liverpool General Advertiser - Thursday 16 May 1839]:
The Steamer ROYAL VICTORIA, Of the following dimensions, &c.
Extreme length 108 feet,
Length of keel 102 ",
Breadth of beam 14 ",
Depth of hold 7.5 ",
Engine (very superior) 70 horses,
Diameter of cylinder 4 ft. 3.5 in,
Length of stroke 3 ft. 4 in,
Draft of water on even keel 3 ft. 6 in,
Tonnage 100 tons.
She has raised quarterdeck; saloon, and two small cabins under; dining cabin, butler's pantry, and commodious steerage in fore part. The cabins are superbly fitted up. She was most faithfully built, last summer, for a private gentleman, and is as good as new, and a perfect clipper, sailing thirteen knots an hour. For further particulars, apply to Bold and Starkey, or to T. and H. LITTLEDALE and Co. Brokers.

[from Dublin Evening Post - Tuesday 17 February 1846]:
ROYAL VICTORIA STEAMER. TO BE SOLD by PUBLIC SALE, within the MONTEITH AUCTION ROOMS, BUCHANAN-STREET, GLASGOW, on WEDNESDAY, 25th FEBRUARY next, at Two o'clock, the Iron Steamer ROYAL VICTORIA, of 56 tons register, in good order, as she ceased plying at the end of last Season, October, 1845; built Messrs. Barr and M'Nab, in 1838; Engines about 65 Horse Power, a fast sailer at a small expense. Will be put up at £350 to induce competition. BARCLAY and SKIRVING, Auctioneers.

[from Caernarvon & Denbigh Herald - Saturday 03 June 1854]:
STEAM COMMUNICATION BETWEEN RHYL, RHUDDLAN, St. Asaph, Denbigh, Ruthin, Abergele, Llandulas, Conway, Llanfair, Llansanffraid, Llangernyw, Llysfaen, Trefnant, Mochdre, Colwyn, and all parts of North Wales, to and from LIVERPOOL. The New, Powerful, and Fast Sailing Steam-Ship, ROYAL VICTORIA, JOHN LEWIS, Commander, Will sail from the SEACOMBE SLIP, LIVERPOOL, and from RHYL, punctually as follows: ...Wm Chambers, New Wall, Manchester Basin, Liverpool

[from Liverpool Shipping Telegraph and Daily Commercial Advertiser - Friday 29 February 1856]:
For SALE, The well-known iron paddle Steamer ROYAL VICTORIA; 54 tons register; built at Paisley in 1838; has steeple engine of 75 horse power, in good working order; diameter of cylinder 49 inches; length of stroke 4 feet; consumption of coal 7 cwt. per hour; average speed 12 to 13 miles per hour; is well adapted for towing or pleasure excursions, having good accommodation for the latter. Length 106 feet 8-10ths; breadth 14 feet 1-10th, depth 7 feet 3-10ths; lying near Birkenhead Dock wall. Apply to TONGE & CO., Brokers.



Summary of Ferry changes around 1848: Birkenhead Ferry (bought by Liverpool Corporation in 1840) reverted to Liverpool Corporation and their tenants, Willoughby, moved to the, revitalised, Tranmere Ferry.

Purchase of Birkenhead Ferry by Liverpool Corporation [from Liverpool Standard and General Commercial Advertiser - Friday 10 January 1840]:
PURCHASE OF BIRKENHEAD FERRY. The corporation [of Liverpool] are now in treaty for the purchase; which we hope there will not be a moment's hesitation to complete, of the valuable estate constituted of Birkenhead Ferry and Hotel, and about nine acres of the adjacent land, with all the shore down to the low water mark. The price, £63,000, though large, does not seem an extravagant one, even without reference to prospective improvement.
The old corporation showed much less than its usual judgment in purchases, in not securing the whole of the Birkenhead estate belonging to Mr. Price, which a very few years back might, we have been informed, been had for £100,000, and which, even under the ferry monopoly, which has tended greatly to check improvement, has immensely increased in value - possibly to six or seven times that amount. The advantages of such a purchase, not merely to the corporate estate, but to the general interests of the people of Liverpool, would have been incalculable.
The advantages of the present purchase are great and obvious. If merely sold off, or let on lease, it would afford a fair investment for money. It gives the corporation, in conjunction with the Wallasey estate, the monopoly of the only sites on that side of the water suitable, either in respect of convenience or economy, for the construction of docks; and, more than all, it affords them the means of securing the public the free navigation of the river, by affording a landing place for competition in the conveyance of passengers at the lowest possible cost. To say nothing of the steamers, the corporation could not do a more useful or popular thing than to afford a free slip, at which the poor boatmen on the river might earn a living in fine weather, by plying, which they do now under great disadvantage, being compelled to land passengers on the open beach, since they were driven from the ancient highway at Woodside.
Under the acts constituting the Liverpool dock trust, the bond debt contracted in their construction, amounting to nearly a million and a half, is secured on dock duties payable equally by all vessels which enter the Mersey, whether they discharge in the docks or at Runcorn, or any other point on its shores. This guarantee, to which the public faith is pledged, at least so long as the debt remains unpaid, has been frequently assailed by parties having an interest on points of debarkation higher up the river, backed by the representatives of Manchester and the inland towns and counties; and at this moment the Harrington dock company have a bill before parliament for effecting that object. It was the stumbling-block in the last conservancy bill, and stands in the way of every attempt to improve the navigation, and will stand equally in the way of the proposed warehouse bill; for we do not believe that the legislature will ever consent to mortgage the whole commerce of the Mersey, to the extent of six or eight hundred thousand pounds, to build warehouses in Liverpool; or that the money can possibly be borrowed on the particular security of the docks and warehouses to be constructed.
Such being the case, the Liverpool corporation and the dock committee have looked with great and well-founded jealousy on the formation of any docks by other parties on the opposite shore, which might not only compete with their own, even under the disadvantage of double dues, from the cheapness of the site and natural facilities of construction, but might add new and formidable opponents to a list already sufficiently formidable of the enemies of their claim to tax the commerce of the river; and their purchases on the shore of Wallasey Pool were dictated by the same judicious motives as now prompt the one proposed on the creek of Tranmere. No such objections, however, apply to the construction of docks there, to a certain extent, by themselves. Whether it would be politic to construct docks for the purpose of discharging, and warehousing on the spot, the cargoes of inward bound vessels, is certainly a doubtful matter, and will continue doubtful so long as there are the means of further dock accommodation within the present line of quays; and when those are exhausted, the question will be, whether it is more politic to contend with the sea on the exposed north shore, or to go to the natural shelter on the other side of the river. But we think there can be no question that it would greatly facilitate the commerce of the port to have at a dock for the reception of flats employed in transferring the merchandise shipped at Liverpool, like the basins at Ellesmere port, Runcorn, and Weston Point, at which the different great canals, the feeders of our commerce, debouch. The necessity of such a port will be the more decided, when the Birkenhead and Chester Railway is completed, as a means of transferring to this shore, or from it, the heavy goods, cattle, and bulky articles of different kinds which that railway will most certainly convey. The finance committee deserve great credit for their foresight in this matter; and we again repeat our hope that there will be not a moment's hesitation in ratifying a contract every way desirable.

Court case for loss from Tranmere Ferry owner [Liverpool Standard and General Commercial Advertiser - Tuesday 07 April 1846]
CHESTER ASSIZES. CHAMBERLAINE V. THE CHESTER AND BIRKENHEAD RAILWAY COMPANY. This was an action to recover compensation in damages, under the following circumstances: The plaintiff is a gentleman who owns considerable property at Tranmere, near Birkenhead, together with a ferry, called the Tranmere Ferry, on the Cheshire shore of the river Mersey. When the promoters of the bill for making a railway from Chester to Birkenhead were before parliament, they were opposed by the plaintiff, who proposed to carry a line to Tranmere Ferry. In order to get rid of the opposition, it was proposed to carry the railway no nearer to the shores of the Mersey than Grange-lane, in Birkenhead, and the promoters submitted to the insertion of a clause, enacting that the company should not carry on their line to Woodside Ferry without, at the same time, carrying branch lines to Tranmere and Birkenhead Ferries. ...
It was proved that the plaintiff had expended about £12,000 on improvements at Tranmere Ferry; that he had two steam-boats which cost about £5,000, now lying idle, and that the hotel near the ferry had been unprofitable to the plaintiff, having been for some time unoccupied.

[from Liverpool Standard and General Commercial Advertiser - Tuesday 02 May 1848]:
OPENING OF TRANMERE FERRY. The report of a disagreement between the Corporation and Messrs. Willoughby, the late lessees of the Birkenhead Ferry, and the announcement of the transfer by these gentlemen of their most efficient packet establishment to Tranmere, have created in the minds of a great portion of the inhabitants on both sides of the water equal surprise and sincere regret. During the past few years, and indeed from the commencement of their management of the Birkenhead ferry, Messrs. Willoughby have displayed an amount of liberality, enterprise, and regard for the convenience of both communities, which cannot be sufficiently praised. With powerful opponents to compete with in the Birkenhead Commissioners - the owners of the Woodside and the Monks' ferries - they have not only stood their ground, but even gone in advance in the race; and, up to the last day of their connexion with the Birkenhead property, it has not been in the power of the most cynical to point to any establishment upon the river more perfect in all its arrangements, conducted with more unvarying urbanity to the public, or more actively useful to the increasing traffic of the locality, than this ferry. We regard, therefore, with regret, in connexion with hundreds of their friends, the step taken, both on private - so far as the interests of Liverpool are concerned - on public grounds; for we cannot anticipate that the Corporation will be enabled to provide themselves readily with lessees of the property, whose management will be so advantageous to all parties.
We shall not here enter into the question as to the grounds of the unfortunate disagreement which has taken place. These will, most likely, be elicited in the Council. Our object was only to convey to the late lessees of Birkenhead the tribute of approval of their past exertions, which they have so fully earned; and, at the same time, to congratulate the sister locality of Tranmere upon the acquisition which they have gained in the reopening, under such management, of their long disused ferry. We are not quite so full of Liverpool sympathies as to be warped by the fact, that the benefit now extended towards Tranmere and the neighbourhood must be attended with some depreciation of the property of our Corporate estate. The time must inevitably have come, in a year or two, when the Tranmere Ferry must have been reopened. It is urgently required for the accommodation of the population, which is fast extending from the south of Birkenhead towards Limekiln-lane, Rock Ferry, and Bebington; and we doubt not it will be found after a while that there will be traffic sufficient for all the ferries. In the meantime, we look for a considerable increase in the value of property in the locality now to be supplied with increased facilities of communication with Liverpool.
The present Tranmere slip has been greatly improved recently; and will now be found to be one of the most commodious upon the river. A spacious waiting-room for ladies has been erected, and is well fitted up. Of the boats which will in future ply to it we need say nothing in praise, inasmuch as they are known to be unsurpassed for speed, comfort, and safety. The charges for contracting, &c. will be upon the same low scale as those made by Messrs. Willoughby at Birkenhead.
Yesterday morning, Messrs. Willoughby commenced running their boats from Tranmere, and, throughout the day, all was life and bustle on the slip, which for so many years has been entirely deserted. Up to twelve o'clock, they also had boats plying to Birkenhead, but at that hour the Corporation entered into possession of that ferry, and three steamers engaged by them will continue to ply, we presume, until other arrangements are entered into. We have no doubt that the ferry will be worked by the Council with energy and punctuality, but they will now find very formidable competitors, both north and south, and great economy must be exercised to make the property at all remunerative. We believe every one of the contractors at Birkenhead have followed Mr. Willoughby to Tranmere.

[from Liverpool Mail, Saturday 06 May 1848]:
The Proceedings of the Finance Committee announced that the Corporation had taken possession of the Birkenhead Ferry, and had accepted an offer by the Rock Ferry Company, who were prepared to contract to run two boats for the Corporation between Birkenhead and Liverpool at the same time as Mr Willoughby's boats had formerly run.

A rather flowery resumé of Mersey Ferries [from Liverpool Mail - Saturday 06 May 1848]:
THE CHESHIRE FERRIES. At the Tranmere - the re-opening of which has been "the event of the week" in the ferry line - Messrs. Willoughbys have shown that they carry alike with them and attract an unprecedented amount of traffic. Passengers, horses, cattle, furniture, everything combined to give them a "splendiferous start". Their unsurpassed "individual enterprise" in providing a fleet of steamers, all excellent, and some very swift; and their own uniform obligingness, have seemingly made the Willoughbys as popular in Liverpool as in Cheshire. The public feeling in their favour swells almost to a furor, it has amazed the railway officials, eg, the crowded trains of visitors returning from Chester races, waited while a pilot engine went down the tunnel, it was not at all uncommon for numbers to jump out of the carriages, and, with some such shout as "Hurrah for Willoughby", to scamper off, steeple-chase fashion, over walls, hedges, and ditches, down to Tranmere Ferry. At Birkenhead Ferry, boats hired by the Corporation [of Liverpool] from the Rock Ferry Company, are regularly, but not very profitably, plying. Whether profitable or not, the Corporation have obviously no prudent alternative, but to keep open the ferry, until they can meet with a tenant. Neither is it without precedent for a corporate body to run boats - Birkenhead township has long done the same. We believe the Corporation ferry is, or is to be, managed by Mr. Hazleden, formerly an able manager at Woodside. At Woodside Ferry, the laying up of that old tub Tobermory and the quicker crossings of more and better steamers, have gone far to reconcile the remonstrants to "irregular" departures, whilst the option of crossing, both much more frequently than heretofore, and at "fixed" intervals, via Monk's Ferry, has still further satisfied people; they begin to say "now is the winter of our discontent, made glorious summer". But, to go on with the ferries; the reduced and extremely moderate ferry to Eastham, the far-famed Richmond of these parts, has, in spite of the attractions of Chester Races, attracted a goodly and growing number of Holiday crowds; nor is Rock Ferry without some share of the general increase. As the dog days draw nearer, the seaward ferries of Seacombe, Egremont, and particularly New Brighton, with its politic reduction to cheap rate of ferry, are all being visited with a flood tide of public favour. In this magnificent weather, we know of few greater boons to the masses, than the liberality of ferry proprietors enabling hundreds and thousands of our pent-up townsmen to enjoy a cheap and healthful sail on our noble river - and at the same time to enjoy the increasing and unrivalled beauties of Birkenhead Park - or the refreshing breezes on the Esplanade extending almost from Tranmere to New Ferry, with the lovely valley of Brombro' at hand - or the shady woods of Eastham - or the saline atmosphere and splendid marine scenery of New Brighton.



Fanny, b 1846, Egremont, then 1848 Birkenhead service - collision 1856 with Manx Fairy - sunk but raised.

[from Liverpool Standard and General Commercial Advertiser - Tuesday 04 November 1851]:
THE UNFORTUNATE FANNY. The Tranmere steamer Fanny, of "running down notoriety," had another encounter of this kind on Sunday evening. She left the landing stage at half-past six, and when about half way across the river came into collision with the steamer Vernon, also one of Messrs. Willoughby's boats. The Vernon's starboard sponsors were cut through as if with a knife, and several feet of her bulwarks and seating smashed, but happily no one was injured. There was a strong ebb tide running at the time, and several flats beating down the river, which prevented the steamers getting out of each other's way in time to avoid the accident. This is the third collision in less than as many months in which the "unfortunate Fanny" has generally come off "second best," though in this instance the only damage she received was the partial indention of her stem plating.



Iron paddle steamer Prince Albert, built Thomas Wingate, Glasgow, 1840, 122 grt, 108 x 16.5 x 8.1 ft, 60 hp engines by Wingate, initial service from Dumbarton, then owned Liverpool and used as Egremont ferry from 1846, also for excursions to Menai Bridge. Owned J Sothern.
In April 1845, Captain James Lang of the Prince Albert steam boat, belonging to the Old Steamboat Company of Dumbarton, was presented with a gold watch, etc for his 25 years of service. Service Glasgow to Arrochar continued to autumn 1845.
Sunk after colliding with steam ferry Queen in the Mersey, 27 September 1848, while on charter to Liverpool Corporation as a Birkenhead Ferry [before Cato and Vernon were built].
For sale, as she lies, in 1849.
More history.
[Note a wooden paddle steamer named Prince Albert was built at Whitehaven in 1840, ON 9377, and used in that area]

[from Liverpool Mail - Saturday 21 March 1846]:
EGREMONT FERRY. THE Public are respectfully informed that on and after March 25th, 1846, the splendid and fast-sailing Iron Steamer PRINCE ALBERT, and the MARY, in conjunction with the new and powerful Iron Steamer FANNY, now on the Stocks, which will be completed and ready for the Station early in April,
WILL LEAVE PRINCE'S PIER FOR EGREMONT, At half-past 6, half-past 7, and half-past 8 a.m., and every half hour until 9 p.m., and at 10 p.m. On Saturdays, the last boat will leave at 11 p.m.
WILL LEAVE EGREMONT FOR LIVERPOOL, At 6, 7, and 8 clock, a.m., and every half hour until half-past 8 p.m., and at half-past 9 p.m. On Saturdays, the last boat will leave at half-past 10 p.m.
The NEW PIER is rapidly progressing, and, when completed, every convenience will be afforded for landing Passengers and Vehicles at all times of tide.

[from Liverpool Mercury - Friday 29 September 1848]:
SERIOUS COLLISION ON THE RIVER. A serious collision, but unattended with loss of life, took place on Wednesday evening last, between the Prince Albert, Birkenhead direct ferry steamer and the Queen, belonging to the Birkenhead Commissioners. About ten o'clock, the Queen, with four hands on board, was about to be moored off the Monks Ferry, having finished for the night, when the man ahead, who was looking out for the buoy, saw the Prince Albert making hard upon them. He had scarcely time to call out to the man who stood at the helm before the Prince struck them. At the time the engines of the Queen were reversed, and the vessel was backing, but owing to the flood tide, she made little way. She received, however, little injury from the stroke. The Prince Albert was going at full speed, and the blow being a tremendous one, she was much injured. Had the Queen been fastened, the other vessel would have been right into her; as it was, she passed between her and the buoy. The effects of the collision would have been considerably less, had not the Prince Albert ran on some rocks close to the Birkenhead Ferry, where she sank. She was severely injured on the larboard side, about two yards abaft the paddle-box, and a clear breach was made through her hull to the cabin. The Prince Albert continued her course till one of the hands called out "We are sinking," and then she was run ashore. Fortunately there was only one passenger on board, a female, and in consequence of the vessel soon filling, the poor woman was up to her neck in water before assistance arrived. The moorings of the Queen are a little distance inshore of those of the Redwing. The Prince Albert, by resting upon some irregular rocks, has broken her back, and will have to undergo a thorough repair, and the whole of her machinery will be taken out. The Prince Albert is chartered by the Corporation, and if it is proved she was in the wrong, the loss will, in all probability, fall upon the burgesses of Liverpool, whose representatives have thought fit to speculate as carriers of passengers across the river.

[from Liverpool Mercantile Gazette and Myers's Weekly Advertiser - Monday 26 February 1849]:
To-morrow, the 27th instant, at one. At the Sale Room, Derby Buildings, Fenwick-street. If not previously disposed of, the well known Iron steamer PRINCE ALBERT; With engine and boiler, sixty horse power; as she now lies, near the Seacombe Slip.



Iron paddle steamer Thomas Wilson, built W & T Wilson , Liverpool 1845, 87 x 17 x 78ft, 89grt, 49nrt, 50hp engines by Fawcett & Preston, for Seacombe Ferry. ON24085.

[excerpt from Liverpool Mercury - Friday 04 July 1845]:
A number of steam-packets, including the Prince, city of Dublin Company's boat, the Ayrshire Lassie, the Thomas Wilson, the Blanche, an Eastham boat, and others proceeded to sea, crowded with passengers, for the purpose of meeting the Great Britain.

Collision of Thomas Wilson with Queen of Beauty 1845.

Collision of Thomas Wilson with Wallasey 1849.

[from Liverpool Standard and General Commercial Advertiser - Tuesday 19 March 1850]:
INJURY TO THE THOMAS WILSON STEAM-BOAT. An accident happened on Wednesday evening to the Thomas Wilson, Seacombe boat. The Thomas Wilson and the Fairy Egremont steamer, on the evening in question, had been moored alongside of each other as usual at the Landing Stage; and on the bell ringing at nine o'clock both prepared for getting under way. The Thomas Wilson, being a boat which steers only from her stern, whilst the Fairy steers at both ends, did not, it is said, get ahead sufficiently quickly for the Fairy, which came into collision with her, and carried away her paddle-box, and seriously damaged her machinery.

Listed in MNL passenger-certified steam vessels as 50nhp, 40 hp, at Liverpool, 1850-3..

Offered for sale in 1853.



Iron paddle steamer Queen of Beauty, built Robert Napier, Govan, 1845, 87 x 17 x 78ft, 68.3grt, 64nrt, 30hp engines by Robert Napier, for New Brighton Ferry. ON6011. Later used on Egremont Ferry. [note another paddle steamer of this name was built by Thomas Wingate in 1844, ON 19728, for Clyde service, using the engines of Leven, built 1823]. More history.

Image of Queen of Beauty [from History of Wallasey Ferries]

[from Liverpool Mail - Saturday 19 April 1845]:
NEW BRIGHTON. This very attractive place has just been made more accessible by a new iron steamer, called The Queen of Beauty, now plying in conjunction with other boats, is mentioned in the advertisement. But we allude to the fact, not more for the purpose of directing the attention of our readers to the means of enjoying delightful aquatic trip, in a vessel every way worthy of her name, than of offering some remarks on her construction, which by its apparent great superiority in every requisite for river navigation, seems to do our builders some discredit. The Queen of Beauty was launched a few days ago, by Mr. Robert Napier, of Glasgow. Her speed is probably double that of almost every other Ferryboat on the Mersey; while from her light draft of water, her consumption of coal is about one half less; and what is still more remarkable, considering her form and size, she has been proved to be an admirable sea boat, by a rapid passage from Greenock, in very heavy gale, a fact of no slight interest to her passengers. She is fitted also with water-tight bulkheads, so that a serious accident is impossible, burns her own smoke, is wholly without tremulous motion, and the style of her cabin and other accommodations is quite new here, affording a really enviable mode of conveyance, not only to residents and visitors at New Brighton, but to all who are at any time disposed to change, for an hour or two, the smoke and noise of the town, for fresh air and unequalled marine scenery. To these last indeed great temptation is offered by the terms, the payment of a single fare each way freeing a passenger for the whole day, one of many instances of liberality on the part of the spirited proprietor, which, we trust, will be justly appreciated by the public, in whose name we heartily wish him success.

[from Liverpool Albion - Monday 21 April 1845]:
NEW BRIGHTON FERRY. THE Public is respectfully informed, that the NEW BRIGHTON FERRY is opened, under new management, and with increased accommodation. The splendid new Steamer, QUEEN OF BEAUTY, is NOW plying in conjunction with the SIR JOHN MOORE.

[from Liverpool Mail - Saturday 25 October 1845]:
Collision of Ferry Packets. On Thursday, the captain of the Queen of Beauty, New Brighton steamer, appeared before the magistrates, at the Liverpool Police-court, to prefer charge against the proprietors of the Seacombe Ferry packet, Thos. Wilson, for running foul of the Queen of Beauty while proceeding on her course, on Tuesday last, from Prince's pier to New Brighton. From the statement of the various witnesses, it appeared that the Thomas Wilson left the floating bridge, and proceeded direct across the river; in a few seconds afterwards the Queen of Beauty followed and maintained a similar course southward of the first-named vessel. A spirit of rivalry existing between the parties, the Queen of Beauty still kept her course till she arrived close to the opposite side of the river, and in endeavouring to cross the bows of the Thomas Wilson, the bowsprit of the latter vessel came in contact with the Queen of Beauty, and stove in part of her bulwarks, although the Seacombe boat had given way considerably, and her engines had been reversed. After considerable inquiry, Mr. Rushton said it was a case in which great recklessness had been manifested by the crew of the Queen of Beauty, and it was one which would show the necessity of some rule or regulation being made by the municipal authorities of the town for the safety of the lives of her Majesty's subjects. Had any life been lost by this act, he should have held both commanders guilty of manslaughter. It was the duty of the commander of the Thomas Wilson, to leave[sic] given way, and altered her course; and afterwards to have memorialised the Council on the matter. Mr. Rushton then dismissed the case.

[from Liverpool Mail - Saturday 21 March 1846]:
NEW BRIGHTON FERRY will be RE-OPENED for the SEASON 25th March. The Steamers QUEEN OF BEAUTY and ELIZABETH will Sail every Hour, and the low charge of Twopence each Passenger will be continued. Another new Steam-packet is building, and will soon be on the Station.

[from Gore's Liverpool General Advertiser - Thursday 22 February 1849}:
Collision on the River. On Thursday last the owners of the sloop Mary Ann Craig appeared at the Police-court to claim damages in consequence of a collision, arising from an alleged neglect on the part the owners of the Queen of Beauty. ( Egremont Ferry steamer.) On the 8th of this month, the sloop was lying off the Egremont Ferry, to the great obstruction of the ferry boats. About four o'clock the steamer Queen of Beauty caught the stern of the sloop and carried away all before her. At the time the tide was running strong to ebb. After a patient hearing, Mr. Rushton dismissed the case, saying that accident would not have happened had moderate caution been used by the captain of the sloop.

Listed in MNL passenger-certified steam vessels as 64nrt, 30 hp, at Liverpool, 1850-3.



Iron paddle steamer James Atherton, built Thomas Pearson, Liverpool, 1846, 116 x 16.3 x 7.6ft, 108grt, 67nrt, 50hp engines by Rigby, Hawarden, for New Brighton Ferry. ON6012. James Atherton is the name of the developer of New Brighton.

[from Gore's Liverpool General Advertiser - Thursday 13 August 1846]:
On Tuesday, a fine new steamer, called the James Atherton, and intended to ply between New Brighton Ferry and the George's Pierhead, was launched from the Messrs. Pearson's building yard, Baffin-street [called Liver Foundry, their first vessel], amid the rejoicings of assembled hundreds. She is 120 feet in length, and 18.5 in breadth, and was built by Thomas Pearson and Co. for the proprietors of New Brighton Ferry. She has two bows - that is, in other words, she can be steered like the Woodside steamers, both fore and aft, as occasion may require; and we have no doubt that she will be found a rapid and excellent sea-boat.

[from Liverpool Standard and General Commercial Advertiser - Tuesday 01 March 1853]:
STEAM-BOAT CASES. Messrs. Colborn and Pritchard, owners of the New Brighton steamers, were charged, at the Police-office, on Thursday, with allowing the steamer James Atherton to carry passengers, not having the license on board at the time. Fined 1s., and 1s. costs.

Listed in MNL passenger-certified steam vessels as 67nrt, 50 hp, at Liverpool, 1850-3



Iron paddle steamer Fairy, built Thomas Vernon, Liverpool, 1849, 119 x 16 x 7.5ft, 112grt, 75nrt, 58hp engines by Rigby, Hawarden, for New Brighton & Egremont Ferry. ON6013. Vessel with rudders at each end.

[from Liverpool Standard and General Commercial Advertiser - Tuesday 01 May 1849]:
EGREMONT FERRY. - LAUNCH OF A FINE ADDITIONAL STEAMER FOR THE EGREMONT AND NEW BRIGHTON STATIONS. There was launched, on Saturday afternoon, from the new building-yard, in Baffin-street, of Mr. Thomas Vernon, a beautiful iron steam-boat, called "the Fairy," built for Mr. Rushton Colebourn, proprietor of the Egremont and New Brighton Ferries, and destined to ply between those places and the Great Liverpool Landing-stage. This vessel is of the bow form at both ends, with two rudders, so that she may be propelled either way, as may be desired, without the necessity of turning, or backing out. She is uncommonly fine in model, with great sharpness at the extremities, and her lines are so harmoniously blended, that with the extraordinary steam power which will be employed, she will, beyond a doubt, realise the expectations of the enterprising proprietor, by proving herself to be by far the fastest ferry-boat on the Mersey. The following are her dimensions, tonnage, etc: Water-line length 130ft; Beam 16ft. 6in; Depth of hull 8ft. 6in; burthen, old measurement, 159 85-94ths; Engines, two of 30 horse power each. She is most faithfully put together in continuous breadths of lap-jointed plates, as smooth as a japanned tea-tray; and as a specimen of naval architecture is equally creditable to the builder and the owner. The extremities are but slightly raised, without figure-head projection, and as sharp as a wedge. Her name is elegantly inscribed in gold at each side on the ends, within chaste ornamental foliated carved work, and though without other decoration, she may be pronounced to be the most beautiful and skipper-like craft on our river. In length she exceeds the James Atherton, belonging to the same party, by about ten feet, but is a little less in breadth. It is expected that from her fine form and extraordinary steam power for her size that she will make good her average trips between the Landing-stage and New Brighton in little more, if not within, five minutes. She has a clear flush deck, and is sponsoned from end to end. Her cabins will be finished with every regard for neatness and accommodation. ..
It is worthy of remark that she was built entirely within the space of five weeks, and is the 53rd iron vessel built by Mr Vernon. ..

[from Liverpool Albion - Monday 13 August 1849]:
On Wednesday night the schooner Sarah, of Bridgewater, was run down by the New Brighton steamer Fairy, off the south end of the Prince's Pier, and sank almost immediately. The crew were saved.

[excerpt from Liverpool Mail - Saturday 06 October 1849]:
Smoke Informations. Yesterday several captains belonging to the river steamers appeared before the magistrates to answer informations laid against them for the negligent use of furnaces, by which smoke was emitted so as to become a nuisance. ... The first information was against Hugh Hughes, captain of the Egremont and New Brighton steamer, Fairy. Evidence was to show that a volume of dense black smoke had been allowed to issue from the chimney of the steamer in question. Mr. M'Connichie deposed that the Fairy had a proper apparatus for the consumption of smoke, but that the nuisance complained of had arisen from the negligence of the man in charge of the fires.

Collision of Fairy and Thomas Wilson in 1850.

Listed in MNL passenger-certified steam vessels as 75nrt, 60 hp, at Liverpool, 1850-3

[from Liverpool Mail - Saturday 20 May 1854]:
At the Court of Passage, on Wednesday, Mr. Colbourne, the owner of the Egremont steamer Fairy, recovered £55 from the owner of the steam-tug Ayrshire Lassie, for damage done to the former vessel by the latter on the 6th January, when they came into collision.



Iron paddle steamer Royal Tar, built Tod & McGregor, 1836, 126 x 16.6 x 8.8ft, 79nrt, engines 70hp, for Eastham Ferry service from 1846. Eastham service collapsed late 1848.
Collision near Port Glasgow with steamer City of Glasgow in 1839 and damaged.
Service on Forth before sale to Liverpool.
More history.

[from Liverpool Standard and General Commercial Advertiser - Tuesday 09 June 1846]:
The new steamer "Royal Tar" has commenced plying to Eastham. On Friday she ran from George's Pier to Eastham and back within an hour.

[from Liverpool Albion - Monday 29 June 1846]:
EASTHAM FERRY, AT REDUCED FARES. THE Public are informed, that the commodious and fast-sailing Steamer ROYAL TAR plies between LIVERPOOL and EASTHAM, at the low charge of THREEPENCE. The Boat sails, From George's Pier. From Eastham. 8, 11, 1, 3, 5, 7 o'clock. Picnic Parties will find every accommodation at the Cottage, as well as in the new Gardens attached to the Hotel and Grounds adjoining. N.B. In consequence of the inconvenience and uncertainty of calling at the Brunswick Dock, the Boat will discontinue doing so.

[from Liverpool Standard and General Commercial Advertiser - Tuesday 04 April 1848]:
On Saturday a flat, belonging to the Corporation, laden with mortar, ran foul of the steamer Royal Tar, near the landing-stage and immediately went down. Two men who were on board, saved themselves by jumping on the steamer.

[from Gore's Liverpool General Advertiser - Thursday 02 November 1848, and until 1850]:
By order of the mortgagees. FOR SALE, The well-known Iron Steamer ROYAL TAR; 147 tons, builder's measurement; 78 99-100ths tons per register, and the following dimensions: Length 125 feet 5-10ths; width 16 feet 6-10ths; depth 8 feet 8-10ths, length of engine-room 39 feet 7-10ths. This fine vessel was built at Glasgow in 1836 for private use, regardless of expense, and is now, together with her boilers and machinery, (which was built by R Napier), in excellent order. She is about 80 horses power, a handsome model, steams very fast, having spacious cabins, is well suited for a steam-tug or for ferrying or coasting purposes. Lying in the Morpeth Dock, Birkenhead.

Listed in MNL passenger-certified steam vessels as 72nrt, 75 hp, at Liverpool, 1850 and 1853.

[from Liverpool Mercury - Friday 17 February 1854]:
TOWING A FERRY-BOAT. - GALLINDO AND ANOTHER V. PRESTOPINO. - In this case the plaintiffs, Antonio Gallindo and and Jose Romero, freighters, Drury-lane, sought to recover the sum of £50 from the defendant, Thomas Prestopino, shipowner, Belle-view, Derby-road, Bootle, for services rendered. Mr. Grocott, who appeared on behalf of the plaintiff, said that the defendant was the owner of the steam-boat Britannia, plying between Seacombe and this port, and the plaintiffs were the owners of the steam-tug Royal Tar. About half-past six o'clock on the morning of the 28th of December, the ferry-boat belonging to the defendant broke adrift from her moorings at Seacombe, having on board a number of passengers for Liverpool. The wind was blowing freshly from the northward and the tide was flowing rather strongly; the boat lost her anchor and having broke one of her engines, she was entirely at the mercy of the wind and tide. The plaintiffs' steamer had been engaged to tow a Dutch vessel out of one of the north docks. She was proceeding down the river, and when opposite New Ferry she was hailed by the persons on board the defendant's boat. The captain of the tug-boat immediately bore down to the distressed steamer and was requested to take off the passengers; but as there was no certificate for carrying passengers on board the tug, the captain refused to take them. The morning was very dark and the passengers became very much alarmed. The captain of the tug-boat was then requested to take them in tow, which he did, and he took the vessel back to her moorings at the Seacombe new wall. In consequence of being detained by this engagement, the tug-boat was not employed to tow out the Dutch vessel, for which she had been previously engaged. The defendant contended that the captain of the tug-boat was only requested to take the passengers off the steamer, as there was one engine working, and she was quite manageable. He also said that the tug-boat was not detained more than an hour, and he had offered to give the plaintiff £5 for the services rendered, which he thought would have been ample payment. The judge said he took it that the vessel was unmanageable, and they had sufficient evidence of the fact in seeing that she was a Seacombe boat and had drifted down the river till she got opposite New Ferry. That was quite sufficient proof that she was not in such a position that she could have been left with safety; he did not care whether her engines were working or not; and it was the duty of everybody near to assist in saving the lives of all on board. The Defendant: There was no danger, your honour, and it was only the passengers who cried out.-
His Honour: Very likely; and if I had been a passenger I should have done the same. There had been danger, and it was quite clear that the plaintiffs' boat had rendered the defendant's assistance, and he did not see why they should not be paid liberally for their trouble. Defendant. I offered to leave the matter to arbitration, sir, for I considered that £50 was a very exorbitant charge indeed; and I don't think anybody else in the river would have taken such an advantage. His honour thought he ought to give the plaintiffs such a verdict as would encourage boatmen to render assistance in such cases whenever it might be required; but at the same time he thought £50 was too much for what appeared to be about an hour and a half's work, and he thought they ought not to press too heavily upon their fellow-seamen. He would give the plaintiff a verdict for £10 10s., with costs upon a larger scale than usual. If it had been proved to him that the the plaintiffs lost a further sum of £10 10s., by not fulfilling to their engagements to tow out the Dutch vessel, in consequence of their detention by assisting the defendant's vessel, he should have added that amount to the sum for which he had given the verdict; but that had not been proven.



Wooden paddle steamer Clarence, built Lang & Denny, Dumbarton, 1827, 92 x 16 x 6ft, 60nrt, engines 45hp by Napier, for Eastham Ferry service from 1847.
Clyde service, then 1839 service in Solway, on fire 1846, repaired, reboilered by Jack, Liverpool, and sold for Eastham service. Eastham service collapsed late 1848.
More history.

[from Cumberland Pacquet, and Ware's Whitehaven Advertiser - Tuesday 20 January 1846]:
On this day week, whilst the Carlisle Canal Company's steam boat, the Clarence, was lying at Annan Water-foot, fire broke out in the forecastle, during the temporary absence of the person in charge of her, which communicated itself to the bulk-head, and the vessel was presently in flames. She was immediately scuttled to prevent her being totally destroyed, but not until her decks and beams, from the funnel forward, had been rendered completely useless.

[from Carlisle Patriot - Friday 11 September 1846, and until Feb 1847]:
Steam Tug Boat for Sale. TO BE SOLD, Wednesday, the 16th day of September, at the Bush Hotel, Carlisle, THE STEAM TUG Clarence of 60 Tons Register, having a 45 horse-power, low pressure Engine, made by R. Napier. The Vessel's Hull had, last month, a very extensive repair, is in good condition, and is now lying at Annan Water-foot for inspection. The above Vessel is well worth the attention of persons wanting a Tug, as it will no doubt be sold cheap. Sale to commence at 6 o'clock in the Evening. Further particulars may be known by application to Mr. Thompson, at the Canal Office, Carlisle. September 1st. 1846.

[excerpt from Liverpool Mail - Saturday 09 December 1848]:
Bankruptcy Court: Nicholas and Hilliar, formerly joint proprietors of the Eastham Hotel and Ferry. Steam boats Royal Tar and Clarence were purchased (for £1600 and £1200). Business was profitable for a few months in 1844 [sic], but not thereafter.

[from Gore's Liverpool General Advertiser - Thursday 31 May 1849]:
This Day, (Thursday) the 31st inst, at one o'clock, at the Brokers' sale-room, Derby-buildings, Fenwick-street. The well-known Steamer CLARENCE; 61 tons per register, about 108 tons builders' measurement; built at Dumbarton, of the best materials; length 96 feet 9-10ths, breadth 15 feet 1-10th;, depth 8 feet: now in the Clarence Graving Dock, is propelled by an engine of forty-five horse power, has a commodious fore and after cabin, is well found in stores, and suited for towing or ferrying purposes. For further particulars apply to TONGE, CURRY and Co. Brokers.



Wooden paddle steamer Wallasey, built J. Sothern, Egremont, Wallasey, 1847 for Egremont Ferry service. 180 tons, 105 x 18 x 9 ft, engines of 45 hp. One of the last wooden paddle steamers to be built for Mersey Ferry service. Sank 1867 and scrapped.

[from Liverpool Standard and General Commercial Advertiser - Tuesday 28 September 1847]:
LAUNCH OF A FERRY STEAMER. On Saturday forenoon, a fine wooden ferry steamer, called "The Wallasey," intended to ply between Egremont and this town, was launched from the building-yard opposite the Egremont Hotel. She is the property of Messrs. Sothern, of the ferry, was moulded from a design by Mr. John Grantham, and gives promise of peculiar adaptation for a river boat, combining lightness of draft and swiftness under steam. Her dimensions are 105 feet in length of keel, 111 feet overall, 18 feet beam of hull, beam over all 31 feet 6 inches, 9 feet in depth and admeasures about 180 tons. She is built of the best materials, and much care and expense were bestowed upon her construction and fastenings, imparting extraordinary strength for a vessel of her size. She will be propelled by engines 45 horsepower (capable of working to 50) and will be handsomely and commodiously fitted up. She has a round stern, and her sponsoning being carried from stem to stern, will afford ample deck-room. Being the first steamer built on the Wirral peninsula north of Wallasey Pool, many of the inhabitants of the locality (and not a few from Liverpool) assembled to witness the launch in the yard, and on the balconies in front of the hotel, which last especially afforded a fine view. Her name was spiritedly given by Mrs. Richardson, wife of the manager the ferry, and she rushed from the spot of her construction into the bosom of old Mersey in a rapid and a gratifying manner, the incline being considerable. Her average draught of water was only about two feet eleven inches and she looked remarkably well when afloat. The event was hailed by loud cheers and the firing of guns. A number of ladies and gentlemen, friends of the owners, afterwards partook of a substantial lunch and wines in the office adjoining the yard; and the usual toasts on such occasions were given in complimentary terms, and eloquently and feelingly responded to.

[from Liverpool Mail - Saturday 23 June 1849]:
Claim for Damages. On Tuesday, Charles Burt, master of the Thomas Wilson, Seacombe steamer, appeared at the Police-office, to claim damages from Dennis Smith, of the steamer Wallasey, for damage caused by a collision on the 17th May last. The complainant stated that he left the Prince's Pier on the morning of the day named at half past seven o'clock, and immediately after saw the Wallasey coming by the new landing stage at full speed. He stopped the engines of his vessel, and immediately after the engines of the Wallasey were stopped, but not soon enough to prevent a collision; the tide was ebbing, and several vessels were in the locality, preventing the steamer taking any other course than the one up the river. The harbour-master, who sat with Mr. Rushton, gave his opinion that the Wallasey was to blame, and the magistrate decided accordingly, with such damages as the harbour-master might assess.

Listed in MNL passenger-certified steam vessels as 48nrt, 40 hp, at Liverpool, 1850-3.

[from Liverpool Mail - Saturday 31 December 1853]:
During a thick fog this morning on the river, several casualties occurred, though there were none of a serious nature. The Wallasey (s) ran into the Henry Grinnell, from Philadelphia, this morning, in the river, and damaged one of her paddle-boxes, &c. The ship has not sustained any damage.

[from Liverpool Daily Post - Wednesday 28 January 1857]:
SINKING OF THE RIVER BOAT WALLASEY, LAST NIGHT. An extraordinary accident occurred yesterday evening to the river boat Wallasey which plies between the Landing-stage and the Egremont ferry, in which the lives of the passengers and crew were saved almost miraculously. The Wallasey, it appears from the inquiries which we made, left the Egremont stage as usual, about seven o'clock last night. The steam boat Fairy was anchored a short distance off the stage and as the Wallasey passed her, it is presumed that her bottom must been considerably damaged by the Fairy's anchor. The extent and danger of the accident were soon made alarmingly evident, for the boat was found to be filling rapidly with water. The captain, seeing the perilous situation in which they were all placed, lost no time in giving the necessary orders to steer the boat full speed direct across the river to the Prince's Basin. In the meantime, the captain of the Tiger, which runs between the Landing-stage and Seacombe, hearing of the accident, with exemplary promptitude made off immediately to the sinking vessel. She succeeded in taking on board nearly the whole of the passengers with whom she proceeded to the Egremont Ferry, returning shortly afterwards in direction of the Wallasey. In a short time the Wallasey arrived at the mouth of the Prince's Basin, where she almost immediately sank. The two remaining passengers were landed in a boat at the north end of the Prince's Pier. We were not able to ascertain the exact number passengers who were on board the Wallasey at the time of the accident; but understand it was an average number of about thirty. The passengers and crew were all safely landed; and we have heard of no casualty beyond the sinking of the boat. At a late hour last night, a considerable number of men were employed in pumping the vessel, and hauling her further into the basin.

[from Liverpool Daily Post - Tuesday 03 December 1867]:
SINKING OF A FERRY STEAMER. Yesterday morning about eight o'clock, when the gale was blowing with unabated force, the luggage steamer Wallasey, belonging to the Wallasey Commissioners, when lying at anchor under the Seacombe wall, was so severely damaged by the buffetting she sustained that she sank. The crew fortunately were ashore the time, and no lives were lost. This steamer, during her service on the river, has met with quite chapter of accidents, and her submergence on this occasion is not the first she has been subjected to. Some years ago, when crossing from Egremont to Liverpool, she got foul of the anchor of a sunken wreck near the shore, and had to be run into the Prince's Basin, where she sank. No lives were lost when she met with that mishap. She is wooden steamer, and was built at Egremont by the former proprietors of the Wallasey Ferry.

[from Liverpool Daily Post - Tuesday 11 February 1868]:
Mr. Liversage said £57 was charged in the accounts for the lifting of the wreck of the steamer Wallasey, and he objected to that as being an overcharge. After the vessel was lifted, they sold for her £30. The cost of this business would be altogether about £250, but all the charges were not brought in in the accounts of 1867. The fact was the board had been making experiments in the raising of the wreck.



Iron paddle steamer Cato built Cato, Miller & Co, Liverpool, 1849, 128grt, 80nrt, 115 x 18 x 7.7 ft, engines Fawcett & Preston of 56hp. ON 16850. First owner Liverpool Corporation for Birkenhead ferry.

[from General Commercial Advertiser - Tuesday 21 August 1849]:
LAUNCHING OF TWO FINE STEAM-VESSELS FOR THE MERSEY. On Saturday, two beautiful iron steam-boats, built for the Corporation, to ply between Liverpool and Birkenhead Ferry, were launched, almost simultaneously, from the respective building-yards of Messrs. Vernon and Co. and Messrs. P. Cato and Co., in Baffin-street. The building of these vessels was offered by contract, creditable to our "local governors" that they not always accept of the lowest contract, but endeavour to obtain the best article at a fair and paying price. Under these circumstances, the two firms named were selected to be the builders of the boats, and it appears to us that, in a generous rivalry to excel, they have each of them produced very fine specimens of river steamers. Most appropriately, the vessels bear the respective names of the builders: "The Vernon" and "The Cato."
The Cato. The steamer bearing this name was launched shortly before the Vernon, and under similarly happy circumstances, the sight being most gratifying. The dimensions of the vessel are: length for tonnage 120 feet; beam, 18 feet; depth, 8 feet. She is shorter in proportion, and of greater beam, or bearing, than the Vernon - built, in fact, not so much for speed as for safety in heavy weather, and the carrying of a good cargo, or even for towing. She is, nevertheless, a very handsome and beautifully moulded vessel, and will, we have no doubt, sail, or rather steam, very fast. Her draught of water, when launched, appeared to be about 3 feet 6 inches; and it is calculated that with her engines, also of 60 horse-power, by the same makers, and a full load, she will not draw more than 4 feet 2 inches. She is painted black, with yellow metal coloured bottom, and appeared to us to be a strong powerful boat, suitable for winter service or other work as occasion may require. After the launch, the company present partook of slight refreshment, in the builders' office, and the customary toasts were eloquently proposed and replied to.

Report of collision between Champion and Cato in 1849.

Listed in MNL passenger-certified steam vessels as 85nrt, 60 hp, at Liverpool, 1850-3.



Iron paddle steamer Vernon built Thomas Vernon, Liverpool, 1849, 122grt, 88nrt, 122 x 16 x 8 ft, oscillating engines Fawcett & Preston of 60hp. ON 16849. First owner Liverpool Corporation for Birkenhead ferry. Rudders at both ends.

[from Liverpool Mail - Saturday 25 August 1849]:
Launch of a Ferry Steamer. On Saturday morning, an iron steamer, called the Vernon, was launched from the building yard of Mr. T. Vernon, south shore. She has been built for the Liverpool Corporation, and is intended to ply to the Birkenhead Ferry, for which purpose she is particularly adapted. She has a large area on deck for passengers, and commodious cabins, and is made so as to steer at both ends. Her dimensions are about 135 feet long, 16 feet 9 inches in beam, and 8 feet depth of hold, and she is to be fitted with a pair of oscillating engines of sixty horse-power, which are being constructed by Messrs. Fawcett, Preston, and Co. The name of the vessel was given to her in good style the lady of Mr. John Vernon, and after the launch a highly-respectable company of ladies and gentlemen sat down to a sumptuous dejeune, which was prepared in the mould loft of the establishment.

Listed in MNL passenger-certified steam vessels as 88nrt, 60 hp, at Liverpool, 1850-3.



Wooden paddle steamer James Dennistoun, built Hunter & Dow, Glasgow,1835, 108 x 16 x 9 ft, 127grt, 77nrt, engine 75hp by Napier. ON6953. Initial service on Clyde, 1840 on Fleetwood - Bardsea, Barrow, Piel service, with other excursions. Listed 1845 as at Preston. Listed in 1851 as registered at Preston since June 1847, owned Preston & Wyre Railway, Harbour & Dock. WCS reports in 1848 on Monks Ferry, then owned Chester & Birkenhead Railway, but no supporting newspaper evidence. Listed as registered at Liverpool in 1854, owned Sampson Moore. MNL states registered Liverpool from 1854, broken up 1863.
More history.

[from Preston Chronicle - Saturday 08 August 1840]:
The best route to the Isle of Man by the Preston and Wyre Railway, and Fleetwood-on-Wyre. The fine STEAMER "THE JAMES DENNISTOUN", C. EDWARDS, Master, containing superior accommodation of every description, will leave FLEETWOOD for DOUGLAS, (the distance between which is about 20 miles less than between Liverpool and Douglas), on SATURDAY, the [?] AUGUST, and every following SATURDAY, at 10 o'clock, after the arrival of the train that quits Preston at a quarter before 8; and will return from Douglas every MONDAY Morning, at 9 o'clock; arriving at Fleetwood in full time for, and usually two hours previous to, the train to Preston, Manchester, Liverpool, and London, at a quarter before 5.

[from Soulby's Ulverston Advertiser and General Intelligencer - Thursday 22 November 1849]:
Fleetwood to Barrow. Steamer "Helvellyn" or "James Dennistoun," November 23rd, 2 p.m.; 24th, 3 p.m.; 28th, 3 a.m.; 27th, & 28th, 8 a.m.; 29tb, 7 a.m.; 30th, 8 45 a.m.
Similar newspaper reports to 1851



Report of Ferry Services in May 1850.

[excerpt from Liverpool Standard and General Commercial Advertiser - Tuesday 28 May 1850]
The Holiday Week.
The numbers who crossed the Mersey to the several ferries during the week were immense, as were also the numbers who went out by steamers to the North-west Light-ship, and to places in Wales, as well as to the Isle of Man.
On Monday and Tuesday together, Messrs. Willoughby, of Tranmere ferry, took about 60,000 pence, in penny fares. There was a slight falling off in this amount on Wednesday and Thursday, but the numbers again rallied on Friday and Saturday.
All the other ferries enjoyed their proportion, according to their popularity. Birkenhead ferry was not very successful, though Monk's Ferry was fair, through parties going to Chester. At Woodside the number that passed and repassed during the week is stated at about 150,000.
At the Royal Rock Ferry, about 15,500 passed during the week. There the pleasure grounds and gardens of the hotel, which are kept in beautiful order by Mr. Huntriss, the landlord, were visited by delighted hundreds. The park, the esplanade along the shore to New Ferry, the beautiful villas, and the fine views obtained of the Mersey and the Lancashire shore, are peculiarly attractive.
At Seacombe not far from 100,000 passed to and fro during the week. Mr. Parry's pleasure grounds, with the bowling-green, alcoves, American bowling-alleys, (within the large building on the green,) and other objects of interest, including a fine and direct view of Liverpool and the river, docks, &c., renders this peculiar spot most agreeable to those in search of rural or marine scenery. On Monday, 7300 persons passed over to this ferry, Messrs. Parry, as usual, at this season, kindly throwing open their ferry for a penny fare. A great number of the visitors appeared to be from the country; and to bring with them plenty of eatables, &c., if we might judge from the baskets they carried. On Tuesday, 6800 crossed; and the neighbourhood was busy throughout the day. On the afternoon of Tuesday it was announced that wakes would be held on the following afternoon, when a series of old English sports would take place in a field behind Messrs. Parry's bowling green. On the afternoon named, the numbers crossing were swelled to 15,400; on Thursday to 17,100! and on Friday they exceeded a little 20,000. The sports, including sack and other racing, climbing poles, drinking tea, &c., for small prizes, were managed by a committee of gentlemen of the neighbourhood, and went off well, and creditably to the locality.
At Eastham Ferry, notwithstanding the beauty of the locality, the fine woods, &c., and the reduction of the fare, the steam-boats were not so fortunate in obtaining stranger passengers as was expected, probably from the distance, and the place not being so well known and so readily accessible as the ferries nearer Liverpool.
Egremont had some accession of passengers, but not to any great amount, the most having passed on by the boats (which belong to the same party) to New Brighton, many of them having received tickets from the railway companies to take them on to that part of Wirrall without additional charge. One boat took 480 at one time. The fare to Egremont is 2d., and that to New Brighton (about a mile further) is 3d. The boats ran every quarter of an hour.
Immense numbers went by steamers to the North West Light-ship during the whole week. On this service, and running as constantly as possible each day, were employed the Ayrshire Lassie, Sam Slick, Jenny Lind, the Albion, and one or two others.
Vast crowds proceeded to the Isle of Man, by the fine steamers running to Douglas.



Iron paddle steamer Invincible, built Tayleur, Sanderson, Warrington, 1852, 111grt, 66 nrt, 105 x 16.6 x 8.9ft, 70 hp engines, on Seacombe service 1853. ON 7014. Sold 1854, possibly for use as a passenger tender and/or tug. In 1854, owned John Rigby, who is listed in MNL as owner until 1871. For sale 1860-64. After 1872 in MNL owned Wm. Downham, until 1880. Reported broken up 1872, which seems unlikely given MNL listing.

[from Liverpool Mercury - Friday 07 October 1853]:
CAUTION TO CAPTAINS AND OWNERS OF FERRY-BOATS. - Mr. John Rigby, merchant, of Fenwick-street, the owner of the ferry steamer Invincible, plying between Seacombe and Liverpool, was charged by Mr. Tyndall, solicitor for the board of trade, with allowing that vessel to sail from Seacombe to Liverpool and back with passengers without having the requisite certificate on board. The penalty for this neglect was a fine not exceeding £100. Elisha Wilcockson, an officer in the customs; was on duty at the great landing stage, on Thursday, the 22nd of September. At tea minutes past three in the afternoon, the Invincible came from Seacombe, and had 41 passengers on board, whom a she landed at the north end of the stage. He went on board, and asked for certificate, but found none. The vessel then left for Seacombe, and had 45 passengers on board. He mentioned the matter to the captain, who said that he had spoken to the owners about it on the Sunday previous. Another officer, named M'Loughlin, corroborated this statement. Mr. Presto Pino appeared for Mr. Rigby, who was out of town, and said that he had put a copy of the certificate up in the cabin, but some disorderly characters had taken it away on the Saturday night previous. They had been unable to find out the parties, although they had offered a reward of £5. A fine of 20s. and costs was imposed - John Mitchell, master of the above vessel, was also summoned, but the magistrate being of opinion that no blame attached to him, he was discharged on payment of 1s. fine and 1s. costs.

Listed in MNL passenger-certified steam vessels as 68nrt, 60 hp, at Liverpool, 1853.

[from Liverpool Shipping Telegraph and Daily Commercial Advertiser - Monday 05 December 1853]:
The sloop Susan was run into and sunk, last night, near the Landing-stage, by the Invincible, Seacombe ferry steamer, crew saved.

[from Liverpool Mercury - Friday 26 May 1854]:
TO BE SOLD, by Private Treaty, The Iron Paddle-steamer INVINCIBLE, lying in the Birkenhead Float, at the Seacombe side, 18 months old, 66 tons register, and 130 tons builder's measurement, 70-horse power, steeple engine, 42.25-inch cylinder, 3 feet 9 inch stroke, length 105 feet, breadth 16 feet 6-10, depth 8 feet 9-10, draught of water 5 feet, she has good fore and after cabins, large fore and after holds, one of the swiftest boats on the river, in perfect order, and would suit the Australian rivers.

Reported as a steam tug during a royal visit in 1855.

River Dee Excursion June 1860.

[from Liverpool Mercantile Gazette and Myers's Weekly Advertiser - Monday 02 July 1860]:
For SALE, the superior iron paddle steamer INVINCIBLE; 130 tons builder's measurement; 68 tons register. Dimensions - Length 105 feet, breadth 16 feet 6-10ths; depth 7 feet; engine 60 horse power nominal, by M'Nab [Bar & McNab of Paisley, presumably]; 42 inches diameter of cylinder; 3 feet 9 inches stroke; speed nine knots; draft 5 feet 6 inches; consumption 8 cwt per hour; has two state rooms; Board of Trade certificate for hull and machinery for 410 river or 214 seagoing passengers; is a favourite and powerful tug or passenger boat. This vessel has just been thoroughly overhauled; had her boilers out; new tubes, bottom. &c., and is a most efficient and serviceable vessel; now working on the Mersey. For inventories, price, &c. apply to H. E. MOSS & CO. 2, Rumford-place. [advert continues until April 1864, then again in 1869]

[from Gore's Liverpool General Advertiser - Thursday 15 October 1863]:
Holyhead, (15th) The Gorilla, Stoker, hence for New Orleans, was left at 4 p.m. on the 14th off the Bar Sand. Also the Look Out, was left same time and place; the former by the tug Rover, the latter by the tug Invincible.



Iron paddle steamer Nymph, built Thomas Vernon, Liverpool, 1851, 105 grt, 53 nrt, 100.5 x 17.4 x 8.0 ft, 45 hp engines by builder, ON 24181. Owned J Crippin & W R Forster - with rudders at each end - on Rock Ferry service. For sale 1855.More history.

[from Liverpool Mail - Saturday 24 May 1851]:
The Water Nymph [sic], a beautiful little iron steamer, intended to ply between Rock Ferry and the Landing-stage, was launched on Saturday, from the yard of Messrs. Vernon and Son. The new boat is owned by Messrs. Crippin and Foster, is 110 feet in length, 18 feet beam, 8 feet deep, and measures 160 tons. She has side-lever engine of 50 horse power; her model is handsome, and she is well and substantially built.

[from Liverpool Albion - Monday 08 December 1851]:
VICE-CHANCELLOR'S COURT, TUESDAY. LAIRD v CRIPPEN. The plaintiff, a shipbuilder, resident at Birkenhead, as the Inventor, on the 10th of July, 1843, obtained letters patent for certain inventions for protecting the rudders of vessels by an guard, a rudder being at each end of the vessel. The defendants, Messrs. Crippin and Forster, the lessees of the Rock Ferry, plying between Liverpool and Birkenhead, in May, 1851, inquired of the plaintiff the terms on which he would grant a license for the use of his patent, and some correspondence ensued. The defendants, however, did not obtain a license, and shortly after the month of May, 1851, they completed the building of a vessel, called the Nymph, which the Plaintiff contended was fitted up with two rudders and iron knees, exactly in accordance with the plaintiffs invention, they plied with the vessel so built between Liverpool and Rock Ferry. The plaintiff thereupon remonstrated with the defendants, who cut off a portion from the upper part of each of the guards; but, as the plaintiff contended, the upper part of the guard continued to extend much below the watermark, and afforded protection to the rudder at the point where it was most liable to injury, and the keel was left projecting in place of, and as the lower part of, each guard, and so protecting it at that point; and the plaintiff contended that the vessel with its rudders and its guards, though a mutilated, was a substantial adoption of the invention. [defendants later paid a sum to Laird's]

Listed in MNL passenger-certified steam vessels as 55nrt, 50 hp, at Liverpool, 1852-3.

[excerpt from Manchester Times - Saturday 28 April 1855]:
ON SALE, THREE Iron Paddle STEAMERS, of the following dimensions:- Nymph, about 130 tons, om.; length, 105ft.; breadth, 17ft. 6in.; depth, 8ft.; built at Liverpool in 1852; has a single beam engine of 50 horses' power, and draws 4ft. water; steams 11 knots per hour....



Iron paddle steamer Countess of Ellesmere, built Lairds 1852, 185 grt, 100 nrt, 172 x 20 x 7.9 ft, 100hp engines by Fawcett, ON 10569, owned Bridgewater Steam packet Company. Registered at Liverpool 1856, sold to Russia 1856 for use as Imperial steam yacht, named Onega. More history.

Image of launch [from Illustrated London News, 13 March 1852] at Birkenhead:

[from Liverpool Standard and General Commercial Advertiser - Tuesday 09 March 1852]:
LAUNCH OF A RIVER STEAMER. - Yesterday a beautiful steamer, called the Countess of Ellesmere, built by Mr. Laird for the Trustees of the Duke of Bridgewater, and intended to ply between Liverpool and Runcorn, was launched from the building-yard of Mr. Laird. She plunged into her native element in gallant style, amidst the loud applause of a large concourse of spectators. She is of beautiful model, and, with passengers on board, will not exceed a draft of four feet. Her engines, on the oscillating principle. with all the latest improvements, are in course of erection by Messrs. Fawcett, Preston and Co., and are expected to be completed (on board) in April. The Countess of Ellesmere is 170 feet long, and 20 feet beam, and 80 horse power with feathering floats.

[from Liverpool Albion - Monday 31 May 1852]:
TRIAL OF THE COUNTESS OF ELLESMERE STEAMER. On Saturday Mr. John Laird, the eminent iron shipbuilder, of Birkenhead, made a public trial of a newly-constructed river steamer, built expressly for the trustees of the late Duke of Bridgewater, and which has been named the Countess of Ellesmere. The vessel is one of the most beautiful specimens of naval architecture. She is about 170 feet in length by 20 feet beam, and is of exceedingly light draught of water; only four feet aft and three feet six inches forward. The engines are of Messrs. Fawcett's construction, and of forty-eight horse-power each. The paddle-wheels, fifteen feet in diameter, with revolving floats, are what are technically termed the "feathering wheels." It is expected that, when the roughness of the machinery has been worn off, a speed of eighteen miles per hour will be attained. The vessel is intended to be placed on the line between Liverpool and Runcorn, in connexion with the Duke of Bridgewater's swift packets. On Saturday she made a very satisfactory run to Bangor and back, her engines at one time making thirty-six or thirty-seven revolutions in a minute. In the trip out she beat the Prince of Wales, which started about the same time from the Mersey, by an hour and a-half. During the afternoon the ladies and gentlemen on board partook of a substantial repast, provided by Mr. Hillier, of the Monks' Ferry Hotel. We understand that the boat commences her trips to-day.

Used in 1855 to convey members of the royal visit to Liverpool.



Iron paddle steamer Tiger, built Cato, Miller & co., Liverpool, 1853, 107 grt, 54 nrt, 91.6 x 16.0 x 9.3 ft, 80 hp engines, later re-engined 1867 by Fawcett & Preston 50hp. ON 15046. Owned Liverpool Steam Tug Co. In 1857, a Seacombe ferry, owned Wallasey Local Board; to New Brighton service 1859.

Listed in MNL passenger-certified steam vessels as 83nrt, 40 hp, at Liverpool, 1853.

[from Liverpool Standard and General Commercial Advertiser - Tuesday 14 June 1853]:
On Tuesday afternoon, the United States Mail Steam-ship Baltic, Capt. Comstock, arrived off the Bell Buoy, but, owing to the state of the tide, was unable to cross the bar, but landed her mails at 7 p.m., by the steam tug Tiger.

Assisted passengers from the ferry steamer Wallasey which sank in the Prince's Basin January 1857. Named as a Seacombe ferry at that date.



Wooden paddle steamer Ramsgate Packet, built Harwich 1834, 109 grt, 53 nrt, 94 x 14 x 6.7ft, 50 hp engines. ON 55019. Owned Thomas Prestopino 1853, registered Liverpool, on Seacombe service to 1866.

Listed in MNL passenger-certified steam vessels as 53nhp, 60 hp, at Liverpool, 1853.

[from Liverpool Mail - Saturday 25 March 1854]:
Prestopino v. Rudd. - The plaintiff in this action was Mr. Thomas Prestopino, the owner of the Ramsgate ferry boat, running between Liverpool and Seacombe, and the defendant the manager and registered owner of the Woodside steamer Wirral. The plaintiff sought to recover £32 12s 11d for damage done to the Ramsgate in a collision between the two vessels on the 13th August last [1853], and an additional sum of £36 for loss of ten day's ferryage, at £6 a day, making the total sum claimed £68 12s. 11d.



Iron Paddle steamer Woodside, built Jordan & Getty, Liverpool, 1853, 115 grt, 79 nrt, 108.2 x 19.7 x 7.0 ft, Engines 70hp, ON 44186. For Monk's and or Woodside ferry service. Owned Birkenhead Commissioners.

Image of Woodside in service here.

[from Liverpool Mail - Saturday 30 April 1853]:
Launch of a Ferry Steamer; On Monday last, a new ferry steamer for the commissioners of Birkenhead was launched from the shipbuilding yard of Jordan & Co., Sefton-street. The vessel was named Woodside by Mrs. Rudd, the wife of Mr. Rudd, the manager of the Woodside Ferry. A number and ladies and gentlemen assembled on the occasion. The new steamer (which is built ot iron) is about the average size of the Woodside and Monk's ferry boats, being 110 feet in length, 20 feet beam, 8 feet 6 inches in depth. The engines (70 hp) will be supplied by Messrs. Forrester and Co., and, what is a new feature in ferry steamers on the Mersey, will be constructed on the disconnecting principle, so that each engine may be worked separately. A great desideratum for passengers and which will be quite a novelty in our river boats, will be the erection of a spacious glass saloon on deck at the stern of the vessel, in addition to the usual cabins. The Woodside is intended by the commissioners to be placed on the Monk's Ferry station. After the launch, the company were entertained by Messrs. Jordan and Co, the builders, to a banquet at their yard, when several toasts and compliments were proposed and responded to. The Woodside will be on her station in about six weeks, but before that the commissioners will give their friends a trial trip on the river. The commissioners contemplate building another steamer of greater length and beam, and larger power, so that their stock may be materially improved and the public served in the best manner.

[from Liverpool Mail - Saturday 19 November 1853]: FERRY STEAMER PRIZE MODEL. THE COMMISSIONERS of BIRKENHEAD are desirous to obtain MODELS of an IRON STEAM-BOAT adapted for the Passenger Traffic of the Woodside Ferry, and are prepared award a PREMIUM OF ONE HUNDRED POUNDS for the MODEL which shall be declared the best.
The Steamer to be constructed to Steer from both ends; she must not exceed 130 feet in length over all; and her extreme draft of water with Engines, &c., on board, must not exceed 5 feet 6 inches. The points chiefly to be regarded by the Modellers will be the strength and speed of the vessel; the convenience of the Passengers, as far as it can be secured, in all weathers; the carrying capacity of the Boat, which must not be less than 600 Passengers, according to the measurement laid down by the Board of Trade, viz., three square feet clear deck space to each.
The Models, accompanied by Specifications, stating the Power and Weight of Engines and Boilers, and other such descriptive particulars as may be necessary, to be deposited with the Manager of Woodside Ferry, on or before the 1st of February next; and the Premium will be awarded immediately thereafter by competent Judges to be appointed by the Commissioners. The successful Model will become the Property of the Commissioners. The other Models will be the disposal of their respective Owners.
Each Modeller is requested to send his Name in a Sealed Envelope, addressed to the Chairman of the Woodside Ferry Committee, with Number or Motto on the Outside corresponding with the Number or Motto of the Model to which it refers.
By Order of the Committee, W. RUDD, Manager. Woodside Perry, Birkenhead, November 5,1853.

Collision 1872 with steam tug Samson.



[from Liverpool Shipping Telegraph and Daily Commercial Advertiser - Tuesday 15 February 1853]:
SEACOMBE FERRY AND LIVERPOOL DOCK BOATS. TO BE SOLD, by private Treaty, the following STEAM BOATS. The Britannia, 50 horse power, viz., a pair of engines of 25-horse power each; the Thomas Wilson, an iron steam-boat, of 45-horse power; the Sir Thomas Stanley, of 45-horse power; the Seacombe of 30-horse power, now lying in the Birkenhead docks. The above mentioned steam boats are well known, and they lately belonged to the Seacombe Ferry, and were employed under contract with the Liverpool dock trust, and are offered for Sale by the assignees of Messrs Parry. For particulars and treating apply to Mr. Thomas Wilson, Birkenhead-house, Birkenhead.

Account of sale in October 1853 of two of these boats plus the Liverpool.

Britannia was an wooden paddle steamer, built Dover 1823, 105grt, 52nrt, 90.4 x 14.3 x 9.8ft, 50hp engines, bought for use as a Seacombe Ferry around 1850, for sale 1853 [see above], and then owned by Thomas Prestopino (see 1854 steamer list).

Listed in MNL passenger-certified steam vessels as 50nrt, 50 hp, at Liverpool, 1852-3.



Iron paddle steamer Eastham Fairy, (ex-Lochlomond), built Denny, Dumbarton, 1845, 106 grt, 68 nrt, 126 x 16.3 x 6.7 ft, ON 16853, 70 hp engines. First service on Clyde, then owned Henry Nicholls, Liverpool, from 1854, and used as an Eastham ferry. Known as "Eastham Fairy" but still registered as Lochlomond. 1862 owned Preston.
More history, with images.

[from Liverpool Mercury - Friday 31 March 1854]:
EASTHAM FERRY AND THE "EASTHAM FAIRY." - We find that, tempted by the fine weather, Mr. H. Nicholls intends to open this romantic ferry for the summer season to-morrow (Saturday). The new landing stage, built by Messrs. A. and G. Holme, has been completed during the winter months, and passengers can now land and embark at all states of the tide with ease and comfort. The name of the new boat, built on the Clyde, and to be placed on the station, is changed to that of "The Eastham Fairy," and her capabilities as to speed and accommodation are first-rate. She can steam to Eastham against a strong tide in less than half an hour, and running with the tide she has accomplished the distance in less than fifteen minutes!

[excerpt from Liverpool Mercury - Friday 29 June 1855] Excessive Smoke. Mr. Henry Nicholls proprietor of the Eastham Fairy, was summoned for two offences. He admitted the charge, and said that the boilers of the boat were quite new, and very large, so that it could only be negligence on the part of his engineers. A mitigated penalty of 40s. with costs was inflicted, Mr. Mansfield cautioning Mr. Nicholls that he had better adopt measures to stop his men, for he (Mr. Mansfield) had heard repeatedly of this boat transgressing, when others were not; and it was quite clear that the fault did not lie in the machinery of the boat.

[from Liverpool Daily Post - Saturday 01 September 1855]:
Dangerous Freak on the River. Last evening, the Bee, one of the new Rock Ferry boats, and the Eastham Fairy, left the Landing-stage together, the former being on the Liverpool side of the river. Before the boats got opposite to Tranmere, the Eastham Fairy twice came within a couple of yards of the Bee as though purposely to compel her to stop - there being some little rivalry in regard to speed, we believe, between these boats. Half way between Tranmere and Rock Ferry, however, the Fairy ran into the Bee, and heeled her slightly over. A more disgraceful proceeding than that to which we have alluded never took place, and some step ought to be taken to prevent a recurrence of it.

[from Liverpool Mail - Saturday 19 April 1856]:
Overcrowding of the Eastham Steamers. - Mr. H. Nicholls, of Eastham, appeared at the Liverpool Police-court, on Wednesday, to answer an information charging him with carrying an excess of 144 passengers in the steamer Eastham Fairy (Loch Lomond), on Good Friday last, from the landing-stage to Eastham. Mr. Tyndall, solicitor for the Board of Trade, appeared on behalf of the prosecution, and drew the attention of the bench to an alteration which had recently been made in the act of parliament. Formerly there was a fixed penalty of £20 and 5s. a-head for each passenger in excess, now the penalty was any sum not exceeding £20, and any amount not above 5s. a-head. Mr. Messiter, solicitor, who appeared for the defence, pleaded guilty to the information; but argued, in mitigation of the penalty, that the defendant had found it impossible to keep the people back, and that he was not aware that he had power to call for the special intervention of the police. The landing-stage constables were thrown down by the rush of the people, and it was quite impossible to prevent the crushing that took place. Indeed, so great was the crush, that some people who came from Eastham could not get ashore, and they had to be carried back. Mr. Mansfield said the case showed the necessity of there being some powerful machinery to check this great mischief of overcrowding, for loss of life might ensue. If people would not take precautions for their own safety, it was quite right that the Board of Trade should interfere. Last Good Friday was such a beautiful day that everybody who could get out of town went out, and the result was that the people being engaged by innocent and rational amusement, there was a great decrease in the number of cases of drunkenness, which, in this vast population, was a remarkable thing. His own feeling was that on Sundays and holidays every encouragement should be given to steamboat excursions and amusements of that kind for the advantage of those people who were obliged to work all the week, and he would not do anything to interfere with trips to Eastham or elsewhere; but Mr. Nicholls should do nothing to set public opinion against him. Something, he held, must be done to prevent the overcrowding of boats. The magistrates then inflicted a fine of 40s., and 1s. a head for the 144 passengers in excess of the number allowed.



Iron paddle steamer Ant, built Blackwood & Gordon, Paisley, 1855, 102 grt, 64 nrt, 122.6 x 18.1 x7.5 ft, engines 60hp, ON 22818. Built for Messers Hetherington, for Rock Ferry service. One report states that Ant and Bee were double-ended, to facilitate embarking and disembarking. More history.

Iron paddle steamer Bee, built Blackwood & Gordon, Paisley, 1855, 104 grt, 65 nrt, 122.4 x 18.1 x7.4 ft, engines 60hp, ON 22827. Built for Messers Hetherington, for Rock Ferry service. More history.

[from Liverpool Mail - Saturday 04 August 1855]:
Rock Ferry. On Saturday last, the Messrs. Hetherington, proprietors of the Rock Ferry boats, afforded the contractors and other friends a trip of rare enjoyment, to test the power and speed of their first new vessel, the Ant - built, by Messrs. Blackwood and Gordon, of Paisley, from plans by, and under the superintendence of, Mr. George Sanderson, engineer, and to celebrate befittingly the occasion, a pleasure excursion was arranged. Over two hundred ladies and gentlemen availed themselves of the invitation; and a delightful day, a dejeuner on board, and an excellent brass band, afforded a few hours of very pleasurable enjoyment. The Ant started from Rock Ferry at 11:15 a.m., rounded the Himalaya troop-ship in the river, and then proceeded by the Rock Channel to the Bell Buoy, and returned home by the Victoria Channel. She made the N.W. Light-ship from the Landing-stage in an hour and ten minutes, a good proof of her speed; and so free was she from any of that disagreeable vibratory motion so common in most steamers, that at times it could scarcely be imagined she was moving, notwithstanding a good stiff breeze was blowing at the time. After partaking of the excellent repast provided by the worthy owners, the party arranged sets for dancing on deck. This was kept up with much heartiness until nearing the pierhead, when T Woodburn, Esq., in a brief and appropriate manner; proposed the thanks of the company to the Messrs. Hetherington for the treat they had so handsomely provided. The suggestion was warmly responded to by loud and continued demonstrations of applause. Mr Hetherington, senior, on returning thanks, said that their best recompense was in the gratification of their friends; and he promised a repetition of the enjoyment on the occasion of the arrival of the Bee, companion vessel of the Ant, now nearly ready. During the excursion, the Messrs. Hetherington and Mr. Sanderson were unremitting in their polite attentions to the party.

Report of unseemly racing between Bee and Eastham Fairy in September 1855.

[from Chester Chronicle - Saturday 26 December 1857]:
Collision in the River Mersey. As the ferry steamer Ant was returning from Rock Ferry, at seven o'clock Tuesday evening, the weather being hazy, she struck against a ship at anchor off Birkenhead, running athwart her bows. The ship sustained no injury, but the steamer had her funnel knocked down, and it is supposed she sustained some other small injury. Fortunately no one was hurt, although one gentleman had his coat torn by the falling funnel. It was considered prudent to put back Rock Ferry.




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Vessels used mainly as tugs, some oddities and loose ends.



The Duke of Bridgewater
Francis Egerton, 3rd Duke of Bridgewater, 6th Earl of Bridgewater, 1736-1803, made a big impact on the Liverpool - Mersey - Manchester area. He inherited the title at age 12 and, from his estate at Worsley, he developed a coalmine and a canal from it to Manchester and later to the sea - running level to Manchester and also to near Runcorn and then with a lock flight to a dock at Runcorn (and a second flight built in 1828). He also owned craft to take coal from this dock down the tidal Mersey to another dock, the Duke's Dock, at Liverpool. He did not marry, so on his death the Dukedom became extinct although the Earldom passed to a cousin, John William Egerton.
He was one of the richest men in England and he left his very valuable canals and estate to a trust - which continued to exist up to 1903. One member of this trust was James Sothern, a trusted employee, and he was principal agent from 1832 and superintendent from 1834, retiring in 1837. By 1837 the trust employed around 3000 people.
Note that James Sothern's brother, John Sothern, born 1791 Worsley, became a ship owner and builder, settling in Liverpool, in Toxteth and then at the Priory in St Michaels, and died there in 1846. He owned steam-packets Egerton (built 1834), Duke (rebuilt 1839) and Wallasey (built 1847) among others. His son Edward Askew Sothern, born 1827, became a well-known actor.
The first beneficiary of the trust was the Duke's nephew, the 2nd Marquis of Stafford, and then his son, Lord Francis Levson-Gower, who was required to changed his name to Egerton, and his issue. Francis Leveson Egerton became beneficiary of the trust in 1833. His son George attained majority (age 21) in 1844, which was celebrated widely in the area. Eventually, in 1903, the whole passed to Francis Egerton, 3rd Earl of Ellesmere.
Many of the vessels plying in the Mersey had names related to The Duke and his successors: Duke of Bridgewater, Earl of Bridgewater, Countess of Bridgewater, Francis, Egerton, Alice, Blanche.
There was a rival navigation from Runcorn to Manchester - the Mersey and Irwell Navigation - that used weirs and locks to make the rivers navigable. The Runcorn and Latchford canal, built 1804, provided a link from a dock at Runcorn, known as Old Quay, to this navigation. This canal was purchased by the Bridgewater Canal Company in 1844.



Weaver steam boat [from Manchester Courier - Saturday 03 May 1828]:
A fine vessel, to be propelled by steam, shortly to be launched at Northwich, for the purpose of conveying passengers down the river Weaver, to Weston Point, for Liverpool. This will be great accommodation to the public.

Iron canal steam boat built Manchester [from Preston Chronicle - Saturday 05 March 1831]:
... the proprietors of the Forth and Clyde canal resolved to try the effect of steam navigation on their canal, and, with this view, ordered two steam boats to be constructed by Messrs Fairbairn and Lillie, of Manchester, one intended as a packet-boat and the other for the conveyance of merchandise. The former of these was launched on the river Irwell the week before last, and some trials were made of her powers on Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, - of which trials the following particulars have been communicated to us by one of the parties interested in their result:
The twin passage boat, Lord Dundas, built for the Forth and Clyde Canal Company by Messrs. Fairbairn and Lillie, of this town, was launched last week on the Irwell for a trial, previous to being sent to Scotland. The dimensions of this boat are as follows :- whole length, 68 feet; breadth, 11 feet six inches; depth, four feet six inches; width of tunnel or wheel trough, three feet ten inches; diameter of paddle wheel, eight feet six inches; and propelled by an engine, on the locomotive principle, of ten horses' power. The entire weight of the hull of the boat is under two tons fifteen hundred weight, while the weight of the boiler, (which, for security, was made nearly double the strength of those used in similar engines on the railway), with the engine, wheel, fittings, water in boiler, &c., is upwards of six tons; making a total weight of from nine to ten tons. When floating without the engine and machinery, the average draught of water was eight and a half inches; with the boiler filled, and her engine, coals, and machinery, the average draught was increased to nineteen inches and a half; but, unluckily, from the machinery being placed a little too far forward, she hung about five inches by the head. Notwithstanding this great disadvantage, the Lord Dundas was propelled at the rate of six miles and a quarter through the water. To remedy, in part, this defect, the float plates of the paddle wheel were drawn in nearer the centre, thereby reducing the diameter from eight feet six inches to seven feet six inches; two tons of coal and coke were placed near the stern for the purpose of trimming: her speed was then increased upwards of a mile and a half; or within a fraction of eight miles per hour. During no part of these trials was the engine of the Lord Dundas working at one half her power, from a deficient supply of steam, occasioned by a want of draft under the boiler, which, however, can be easily rectified. When this is done, and the paddle wheel increased to its original diameter, and some slight alterations effected so as to give her engine full power, there is no doubt but the Lord Dundas will realise the intentions of the builders, and fully answer the purpose for which she was intended by the Forth and Clyde canal company. All new undertakings of this description are surrounded with difficulties, and many unforeseen obstacles will present themselves which can only be demonstrated by experiment. The first trial with the Lord Dundas, however, gave every satisfaction, as she sailed through the narrowest parts of the cuts, on the line of the Mersey and Irwell navigation, at a rate of seven miles an hour, without any sensible surge, or the least wash on the banks; in fact, the Lord Dundas is admirably calculated for navigating canals, as the whole action of her paddle wheel is in the middle or deep part of the canal, and the water is perfectly free from agitation at the banks on either side. In one particular, and that of the greatest importance, the Lord Dundas exceeds all expectation: she has little or none of that tremulous motion so common to all other steam boats; and there is not the least noise except what is occasioned by the discharge of the steam into the chimney, and this, it is expected, will not be heard by the passengers in the cabins, when her fittings are completed. Another remarkable feature in this boat is the great economy in the consumption of fuel; during a period of six hours and upwards constant work on Saturday, the whole quantity of coal and coke consumed by the Lord Dundas did not amount to eight cwts.; and coal was found to answer better that coke. In the course of eight or ten days, when the proposed alterations are effected, the Lord Dundas will again make a few experimental voyages on the Irwell and the canal; when it is expected she will perform the full amount of her required speed, and fully realise the expectations of the projectors, by a force that will send her through the water at a rate of nine to ten miles an hour.
Plan of iron passenger steam boat Lord Dundas.

The Lord Dundas was capable of 8 mph and arrived on the Forth and Clyde Canal in April 1831. It was only a limited success on the canal - horse drawn "swift packets" being used mostly.



  Bellhouse still active in boat building [from Gore's Liverpool General Advertiser - Thursday 21 March 1833]:
Iron Steam Boat. Today was launched from the premises of Mr. Fairbairn, engineer, of this town [Manchester], a beautiful iron steam boat, built with plates 3-16ths of an inch thick, 74 feet long and 14 feet wide, intended for the canal betwixt Ostend and Bruges, in Belgium; named La Reine des Belges. A company having been formed in that country for the purpose of navigating its rivers and canals, considerable improvements are contemplated, and this is the first boat which has been built for the purpose, and she is intended to steam the voyage round the Land's End to Ostend, from thence she will proceed to Brussels to be exhibited and her powers shown on the canal betwixt that city and Vilverde [Vilvoorde]. She has been sent, by the Rochdale canal, to the premises of Mr. David Belhouse, jun., where her decks and cabins will be fitted up in superior style. The boat is to be propelled by a steam engine of 20 horses' power, on the locomotive principle, and a paddle wheel is fixed in the centre of the stern for the purpose of preventing injury to the banks of the canals. The extent of the accommodation, the lightness of the engine, and the great buoyancy of this vessel, are worthy of the attention of canal proprietors, and all persons interested in inland navigation.
Also: Vessel arrived Ostend 12th September 1833. Fairbairn said to have built similar vessels for use on Scottish canals [see above].



Iron centre-paddle steamer for canal towing. [from Gore's Liverpool General Advertiser - Thursday 26 April 1838]:
Launch - Yesterday was launched from the yard Messrs. Joseph Rigby and Co. Stanhope-street, south end Queen's Dock, a beautiful iron steam vessel of a perfectly novel construction, being the first of the kind ever made. We understand it is intended for the inland navigation on the Duke's canal, and will be propelled by two suitable engines, the paddle wheel working in the centre on an improved principle, which will prevent any injury being done to the bank sides of the canal from the swell.



Iron stern-wheel steamer Jack Sharp, built Jones, St Helens, 1837, 65 x 13.5 feet, 12 hp engine. Reported as in use taking passengers and towing along the Mersey and Irwell canal to Runcorn until 1848.

Seems to be the same vessel [from Liverpool Standard and General Commercial Advertiser - Tuesday 25 April 1837]:
LAUNCH OF AN IRON STEAM-VESSEL AT NEWTON. A numerous and highly respectable assemblage of ladies and gentlemen witnessed a novel and pleasing sight at Newton-le-Willows, on Tuesday last, in the launching of an iron vessel, of 70 tons burthen, from the Viaduct Foundry, belonging to Mr. Jones. This beautiful modelled vessel was raised on lorrys, and conveyed across the Railway from the stocks on which she was built to the incline leading to Sankey Canal and from thence launched in beautiful style, to the gratification of the beholders. The steamer is to be propelled by a 14 horsepower engine, and is built for the Old Quay Company, intended to ply between Runcorn and Manchester. We congratulate Mr. Jones on his being the first to build in the once ancient borough of Newton.

[from Liverpool Albion - Tuesday 12 June 1838]:
STEAM NAVIGATION ON THE IRWELL AT MANCHESTER. On Monday last the Mersey and Irwell Navigation Company placed on the river a small iron steam-boat, about 65 feet long, and 13 or 14 feet broad, named the Jack Sharp, which has since plied daily, making five trips each way, leaving the New steps at the hours six, a.m., nine, twelve, three, and six, P.M., for Eccles, Barton, and Davyhulme, (the last, probably, seven and a quarter miles by water,) and returning immediately after her arrival at Davyhulme. The boat and engine were constructed by Mr. Jones, of St. Helens; the engine is stated to be a common marine steam-engine, of twelve horses' power; the paddles are also of the common kind, but placed at the stern of the vessel, one on each side of the rudder; the chimney is far forward, and the engine above the paddles, which are connected with it by spur wheels. The boat draws about two feet eleven inches water, without passengers, and, when full, (and she carried 120 persons on Thursday afternoon,) she draws about four feet water. The fuel used is coal; and it is stated to us, that, although her power is twelve horses', she does not work more than seven. One thing, which seems somewhat strange, is, that, during her trip, steam issues continually from a vent near the water's edge, in her starboard bow, probably from both bows. Captain Thomas Hindley made his first trip on Monday Morning last, at six o'clock, from the New Bailey steps, and arrived there again, on his return, in two hours and a quarter. Indeed, on one trip, notwithstanding the three locks at Throstlenest, Mode Wheel, and Barton, he steamed to Barton, a distance of six miles, in fifty minutes. The vessel has no mast or sail, so that her performance is all steaming. She has a cabin, but most persons remain on deck. The engine projecting above the level of the main deck, its cover forms a sort of quarter deck for the captain and the man at the helm. We understand her average performance, during the week, has been at the rate of seven miles per hour. Captain Hindley assures us, that she does not cause the washing away of the banks, even to the same degree as the packets now plying on the river drawn by two horses. We are informed, that the Jack Sharp, when completed, (and she is at present only temporarily fitted up,) is intended to ply between Manchester and Warrington, stopping at Barton, Irlam, Hollins Green, &c. At noon yesterday, as she passed under the railway bridge, a railway train was rushing over it, so that the rival locomotives were presented to the eye of the spectator at the same moment in a singular and, here at least, novel point of view.

[excerpt from Liverpool Standard and General Commercial Advertiser - Tuesday 09 November 1841]:
The little steamer Jack Sharp towed two laden flats (Lingard, belonging to the Old Quay Company and Mary, belonging to the New Quay Company) to Victoria Bridge in Manchester from Throstle Nest, via the Mersey and Irwell canal.

[excerpt from Manchester Courier - Saturday 29 June 1844]:
LORD FRANCIS EGERTON'S AQUATIC EXCURSION. On Monday last, Lord Francis Egerton, attended by several members of his family, and by Mr. Loch, M.P., made an excursion down the river as far as Runcorn, in token of his having taken formal possession of the Old Quay Company's navigation; and the occasion was one of much rejoicing at every place along the line. The vessel appointed for his Lordship's use on this occasion was the Jack Sharp steamer, which was neatly fitted up, and gaily decorated. She left the New Bailey Bridge at a few minutes after eight o'clock in the morning, Mr. Loch, M.P., Mr. George Egerton, (Lord Francis's eldest son) and Mr. Algernon Egerton, having, with their accustomed punctuality, arrived on board at the appointed hour, eight o'clock. On passing the Old Quay Company's wharf, they were saluted with a discharge of four guns, from the packet Eclipse, which was lying there.

[excerpt from Manchester Times - Saturday 28 August 1847]:
MANCHESTER AND SALFORD REGATTA. ... During Sunday great crowds of persons visited the length of the river, extending from the Regent Bridge to the bend of the river at Throstle Nest, which has formed what is called "The Regatta Course" since the establishment of these annual aquatic races in 1843. ... Three small steamers plied between the New Bailey or Albert Bridge and the grand stand; the Jack Sharp, the well-known passenger boat to Runcorn, which was loaded every trip; the President, a miniature steamer, which was in the procession of Saturday; and the Perseverance, another small steam-boat, also plied with passengers.

Listed in MNL passenger-certified steam vessels as 30nrt, 12 hp, at Runcorn, 1850.



Iron twin screw steamer Experiment of Hollinwood. 55 x 7 ft. Engines 5hp. Trialled 1840 with counter-rotating twin screws, designed by Peter Taylor. Tested on Mersey and Irwell canal and ran as far as Liverpool. Second trial in 1841 with iron vessel 75 x 10 ft.

[from Liverpool Standard and General Commercial Advertiser - Friday 29 May 1840]:
NEW ENGINE AND PROPELLERS FOR CANAL NAVIGATION. Mr. Peter Taylor, of Hollinwood, has recently taken out patents for two inventions - one for a rotatory high-pressure marine steam engine on a new principle; and the other, that which chiefly calls for notice, for paddles or propellers, also of an entirely new construction. His principal object was to attain that desideratum in steam navigation on canals, sufficient motive power for considerable speed, without injury to the canal banks, caused by the action of the ordinary paddles. The apparatus consists of a series of vanes or curved blades, placed obliquely, like the sails of a windmill, or like portions of a continuous screw. The apparatus is placed at the stern of the vessel in a small enclosure of water, the sides of the boat being continued beyond the stern, and the rudder being fixed beyond the propellers. They occupy a space of about a yard and a half in length, and, in the instance under notice, seven feet in breadth. There are two parallel axes or shafts, which project from the stern, each shaft having four pairs of vanes or blades, at short distances, and so placed as to strike the water in quick succession, and obliquely like the scull of a boat. The oars or blades on one shaft have an action like that of a right-hand screw, and those of the other like that of a left-hand one; and the vanes of each shaft work nearly up to the other shaft, and thus their joint action has the effect of propelling the boat forward, or when reversed by altering the motion of the driving-wheel in a direction stern first. They are said to differ (amongst other respects) from all propellers previously invented, both in their screw-like action, and in the axle being wholly under water. By way of trying experiments with these propellers Mr. Taylor has had a set of them fitted to an old iron boat, about 52 feet in length and seven feet in width, formerly worked on the canals by Messrs. Buckley, Kershaw, and Co. One of Mr. Taylor's new rotatory engines of only five horses' power has been fitted into the boat, which has been named "The Experiment, of Hollinwood." After several private trials, this boat made its first experimental trip on the river Irwell, yesterday week. Mr. Taylor and a few friends proceeded from the Old Quay, Manchester, as far as Barton-on-Irwell, and on the whole they state that the action of the engine and propellers was satisfactory; though in returning there was a deficiency of steam, from the filling up of the fire-tubes with coke; a casualty which was remedied as soon as discovered. The speed was regarded as in a high degree satisfactory; being, it is stated, generally at the rate of six, and occasionally seven, miles an hour. The motive power was deemed inadequate to accomplish all that the inventor had a right to anticipate; but it is mentioned as one proof of the superiority of his inventions, that the Jack Sharp, a passage-boat belonging to the Old Quay Company (whose first trip, after being fitted with engine and stern-paddles, we noticed some time ago), was not at all able to keep up with the Experiment, though the engine of the former is twelve horses', and that of the latter only five horses' power.
On Wednesday the Experiment steamed down to Runcorn, by river and canal, and the whole distance was accomplished in about five hours' working; including the delays and stoppages at the locks, and those caused by the parties on the boat having themselves to open the bridges, on the Runcorn Canal. The boat stopped a short time at Barton, and also several hours at Warrington, which place it did not leave till dark, and performed the distance between Warrington and Runcorn (which, it is said, is about seven miles and three quarters) in about an hour, including delays from the cause just noticed. This increased rate was attributed to having obtained a better description of coke at Warrington.
The boat remained at Runcorn for some hours, and, having so far performed her work to the satisfaction of the voyagers, they determined to proceed in her to Liverpool. They started from Runcorn at half-past three o'clock on Thursday morning, with the tide, and reached the Rock Ferry, opposite Liverpool, by five o'clock, performing the distance in about an hour and a half. The Experiment is considered to be by no means well adapted for the purposes of canal steam navigation. She is described as in form more like a box than a boat, and as drawing two feet nine inches water; a manifest disadvantage with so small an engine. We are informed, that all who have seen the boat's performance, including several engineers who took a trip in her, have expressed themselves much pleased with her speed and general action. We understand there is some probability of the Old Quay Company making a trial of the propellers and engine in one of their twin quick passage boats on the Runcorn Canal. The Experiment, in these trips, was placed under the care of Isaac Taylor, an experienced captain in the Old Quay Company's employ, the aid of whose services, as pilot and steersman, was afforded for the occasion by Mr. T. O. Lingard. Taylor says that the boat answers her helm readily, turns well, and is very manageable. When at her greatest speed, it was found that the agitation and swell caused by her passing through the water, and by the propellers, had very little effect on the canal boats, the stream from the propellers being thrown off in the centre of the canal, leaving a considerable wake there.
There will probably be some further experiments tried before long; and we may have an opportunity of noticing their results, from personal observation.

[from Manchester Times - Saturday 15 May 1841]:
ANOTHER CANAL STEAMER FITTED WITH MR. P. TAYLOR'S REVOLVING SCREW SCULLERS. On Wednesday, the fifth instant, we had the pleasure of inspecting a new steam-boat on the river Irwell, fitted by Messrs Peter Taylor and Co., of Hollinwood, near Manchester, with steam engines and propellers of an entirely new construction, both inventions of Mr. Peter Taylor, and for which he has obtained patents. The vessel is 75 feet long and 10 feet wide, and built (with the exception of the gunwale and paddle box,) entirely of iron. She appeared to perform very satisfactorily; at a speed, varying according to the depth of water from about eight to nine miles per hour, which upon a confined water we believe has never been attained by any steam vessel. In noticing a trial some months ago of another vessel of belonging to Messrs. Taylor and Co., which had then been newly fitted with similar propellers, we gave a description of the apparatus, which consists of a number of continuous curved vanes or segments of screws, or wings on two axes. In the instance now under notice, five pairs are affixed upon one axis, and five pairs upon the other; the number being regulated by, and varied according to, the power of the steam engines and the extent of the surface of vanes or blades, which have the appearance of small windmill sails and have been very appropriately named revolving screw scullers: each set consisting of five pairs are six feet in diameter. The vanes of one set work betwixt the vanes of the other in the same manner as the teeth of cog wheels; by this arrangement the two sets, although six feet in diameter, are together contained in a paddle box (there being only one): it is 9 feet 8 inches in width, and placed at the stern of the vessel; the smallness of the space occupied offering great convenience for passing locks - The scullers are well protected from the banks or sides and bottom of the canal, with which it is almost impossible they can ever come in contact. The paddle-box occupies seven feet in length, and has the effect of extending the boat so much. The width or breadth is regulated by the width or breadth of the boat, which in the present instance is ten feet outside. The two shafts or axes are placed at an equal distance from each other, as well as at an equal distance from the sides of the boat or box containing them, and with which they are parallel; and as we have before observed, the shafts or axes are so arranged in respect to each other, that the vanes or oblique surfaces of the one can enter between the vanes on the other shaft or axis; thus containing a great extent of propelling surface within a confined space. The axes are placed considerably above the water line, and the curved oblique vanes or scullers are affixed upon the shafts or axes in opposite directions, that is, they are affixed upon any one shaft or axis in such a manner that they may be said to form parts of a right-handed screw, and upon the other shaft or axis, so that they may be said in the form of a left-handed screw. This novel propelling apparatus is worked by a pair of semi-rotatory steam engines, also Mr. Taylor's invention, and for which, as well as the propelling apparatus, he has obtained patents. The steam boiler is of the same description as those used upon the railways. It is placed towards the stem of the vessel and the steam engines close up to it. To one axis of the propelling apparatus is coupled a shaft, which runs lengthwise to the steam engines. The starting, reversing, and stopping apparatus is connected with the regulator of the steam engines, and affixed at the stern of the boat, within reach of the steerer, who manages the whole when necessary. This is a most, simple and beautiful arrangement, the helmsman being altogether independent of the engineer. He can start, stop, or reverse the engines at his pleasure. The helm or rudder is placed in the usual position, and is immediately behind the propellers.
On Thursday, the 6th instant, we understand this new steamer made her first appearance upon the Bridgewater canal, taking in tow and tugging a timber float from Manchester to Preston Brook, distant about 25 miles, which she performed, including all stoppages and interruptions from other boats, in about six hours. She returned the same day to Manchester with three fly boats belonging to the Bridgewater trust, viz., the Harriet, the Frank, and the Granville, all deeply laden, and containing 60 tons of merchandise. The first and second six miles were each respectively performed in one hour and twenty three minutes. She was accompanied for a considerable distance by several gentlemen connected with the Bridgewater Trust, who kindly afforded every assistance in conducting both that and the subsequent trials. At Lymm she was inspected by Trafford Trafford, Esq., who got on board, to whom the machinery was shown and explained. He expressed himself much pleased with the contrivance and arrangement of the machinery, and there seemed to be but one opinion as to the successful performance. The little agitation produced by the propellers is confined to the middle of the canal, and consequently does not wash the banks so as at all to injure them.
On Tuesday the 11th, the steamer again left Manchester at six a. m., and arrived at Preston Brook at a quarter-past eleven - say 25 miles in five hours and a quarter. She proceeded to Runcorn at twelve o'clock precisely taking in tow and tugging five large flats, viz. - the Manchester, the Diligent, the Surprise, the Busy, and the Mersey; a sixth, belonging to Messrs. W. Jackson and Sons, was added on the way. The weight of the hulls and loading of these vessels was stated to amount together to nearly 400 tons: the time occupied in tugging, which was one hour and fifty nine minutes, being at the rate of about three miles per hour. Immense crowds of persons assembled on the banks of the canal at Runcorn, attracted by the novelty of the scene. The long train of huge vessels, the smallness of the steamer, the speed, and the almost entire absence of commotion in the water, were alike matters of surprise and astonishment. The steamer immediately returned to Preston Brook, taking in tow a packet-boat laden with about sixty passengers. The last three miles of the distance was performed in twenty two minutes at the rate of about eight miles per hour.
TUNNEL EXPERIMENT. It was next proposed to try to pass the steamer through the Preston Brook tunnel (which is three-quarters of a mile in extent [width 13 ft]) with the boats waiting the five o'clock turn. It is well known that considerable delay is experienced in passing the tunnels of canals, and the attention of scientific men and gentlemen connected with canal navigation has long been directed to the subject of contriving a remedy: that remedy is now provided. Mr. Taylor's steamer, as a tunnel boat, is signally successful. It was at first feared that the absence of flues or perpendicular ventilating shafts would occasion an almost suffocating sensation to the engine-drivers, steersman, and boatmen, owing to want of vent for the steam and heat, and therefore in the first attempt the steam and fire were kept down as low as possible. This occasioned the boats to be a much longer time in passing through than would otherwise have been the case; the time occupied in the first attempt, with two boats in tow, being 26 minutes. A considerable number of persons were in the steamer, little inconvenience was experienced, the steam and vapour being weak, and impending from the roof of the tunnel. On returning, however, with three narrow boats in tow, and the steam a little stronger, the helmsman of the steamer was a good deal affected by inhaling the steam, and it was feared at first, that he would not soon recover from the effects which it appeared to have produced upon his lungs: he soon came round, however, and it is gratifying to be able to state that out of twenty other individuals who passed through at the same time (Mr. Taylor himself being one of the number), no other felt any inconvenience, and the helmsman's indisposition is entirely attributable to his not taking a lower position in the boat. He was requested to change his position, but having felt little inconvenience on the first trip, he persisted in remaining. We understand that Mr. Taylor recommends the reopening of several shafts which are at present closed and this, it is expected, will thoroughly ventilate the tunnel and obviate every difficulty. Otherwise he has a plan for passing the trains of boats through the tunnel without any attendants, and as quickly as upon any other portion of the canal. The time occupied in passing a train, is frequently three-quarters of an hour. On the second attempt the steamer passed through, with three boats, in about sixteen minutes.
On Wednesday the 12th, the steamer returned towards Manchester at 6:44., taking in tow and tugging four fly-boats, all laden, belonging to the Bridgewater Trust, viz.:- the Granville, James Lunn, master; Countess of Grosevenor, Thomas West, master; Countess of Surrey, W. Woods, master; Blanche, Isaac Speed, master; united cargoes, 60 tons. The steamer arrived at Stockton Quay, say six miles, in one hour and sixteen minutes; at Lymm, a similar distance, in about the same period of time. Owing to one of the boats getting aground, and to some interruption from a laden timber float, the time was not afterwards particularly noted. On arriving at the junction of the Worsley canal, the steamer disengaged her train of boats, taking one fly-boat only to Worsley; she there took in a fresh supply of fuel, returning to Manchester the same day, where she now remains.
Notwithstanding the signal success of this canal steamer, Mr. Taylor is of opinion that he shall be able to attain a much greater speed with a boat of lighter draught of water, the present boat, owing to her build, being in the opinion of boat-builders, fully one foot deeper than would be the case with a hull of the same dimensions but proper shape.



Canal tugs. [from Liverpool Mail - Saturday 11 November 1843]:
Steam Tugs on Canals. The Birmingham and Ellesmere Junction Canal Company, which has recently established steam vessels for tugging loaded boats upon their line, in lieu of horse power, on Saturday evening despatched to Liverpool, from the junction of their canal at Autherley, near Wolverhampton, a train of sixteen laden boats, containing an aggregate weight of 380 tons. One small vessel, with an engine of sixteen horse power, tugged the immense train steadily and safely from its starting place, and other engines were stationed at different parts of the voyage, which was performed in good style.



Wooden paddle steamer Eagle mentioned in an 1824 illustrated advert as towing vessels laden with timber from Liverpool to Runcorn, for onward passage by canal to Manchester, by David Bellhouse, timber merchants at Eagle Quay, Manchester. Towing from Chester advertised in 1826. Reported built 1822. Image in 1824 newspaper shows the vessel with two paddles on each side and a square sail - like the pioneering steam boat Comet on the Clyde - although Comet was soon converted to single paddles each side.
Bellhouse was a builder, timber merchant, steam saw mill operator and had an iron foundry.

 [from Manchester Guardian - Saturday 07 September 1822]:
STEAM NAVIGATION. A steam vessel has recently been built, at the yard of Messrs. D. Bellhouse and Son, of this town, for the purpose, we understand, of towing flats and other vessels of burthen between Runcorn and Liverpool. There is, we believe, considerable novelty in the construction of this vessel, but having merely seen it, and had no opportunity of minutely examining it, we are unable to state in what respects it differs from others.

  [from Manchester Guardian - Saturday 31 January 1824]:
New Method of Carrying Timber.
EAGLE QUAY, OXFORD ROAD, MANCHESTER, AND QUEEN'S DOCK, LIVERPOOL.
DAVID BELLHOUSE and SONS, beg leave most respectfully to inform the Public, that they commenced CARRIERS OF TIMBER, by Water, betwixt LIVERPOOL and MANCHESTER. Their means consist of a Steam Boat, THE EAGLE, and a number of Vessels, built upon a new construction, for the express purpose of carrying Timber. These vessels, after reaching Runcorn, by the Steam Boat, are forwarded upon the Duke's Canal, to Manchester, where they arrive the day after they are shipped at Liverpool.
The Timber Merchants need not to be informed, that an additional conveyance for that article has long been wanted, the Proprietors, therefore, look up to them with confidence for support; they most respectfully and earnestly solicit, not only the Dealers, but Tradesmen in general, and Gentlemen, to favour this concern, with a part, at least, of their carriage. Timber brought up by this conveyance, may be sawn into boards, at the Saw Mill, which adjoins the Quay, at 2s. 6d. per hundred feet, after which it will be carted to any part of Manchester, free of expense. D. B. and Sons, cannot conclude this Address, without expressing their sincere thanks to their numerous Friends, who have so strenuously encouraged and supported this establishment, and assure them, that every exertion will be made to merit the patronage of the Timber trade, and of the public in general.
Image from that newspaper, showing the towing operation:

  [from Chester Chronicle - Friday 08 December 1826]:
CARRIAGE OF TIMBER, IRON, &c. To and from LIVERPOOL, and to MANCHESTER.
DAVID BELLHOUSE & SONS, BEG leave most respectfully to inform the GENTLEMEN, TIMBER MERCHANTS, IRON MASTERS, &c. OF CHESTER, and the adjacent towns, that in addition to their carrying betwixt LIVERPOOL and Manchester, they have commenced with their STEAM BOATS, AND FLOATS, to carry TIMBER, IRON, &c. betwixt CHESTER and LIVERPOOL, and from CHESTER to MANCHESTER. Their Wharf in Liverpool, the EAGLE QUAY, is situated in the centre of the Foreign Timber Market near the QUEEN'S DOCK, by which a considerable saving will be effected in carting. The FLOATS are particularly well adapted for carrying HEAVY LONG and CROOKED ENGLISH TIMBER, as the Trees can be laid upon them, without cross cutting, which is generally necessary in getting them into the hold of a Vessel. The PROPRIETORS respectfully solicit the patronage of GENTLEMEN interested as above-mentioned and assure them, that the greatest care and attention will be paid to their commands. Cow Lane Wharf, Chester. Eagle Quay, Liverpool. And Eagle Quay, Manchester.

 See here for a 1826 report of "Belhouse steam packet at St George's Pier".



Note: Gore's directory for 1831-2-4 has: NORTHWICH. The Eagle Steam packet sails from George's Pierhead about two hours before high water by the River Weaver during Summer; average passage about four hours and a half. Packet offices: Mr James's Mann's Island and Northwich Tavern Cleveland square.
No further details known.

 [from Liverpool Standard and General Commercial Advertiser - Tuesday 29 April 1834]:
... Samuel Jones, the master of the Eagle steam-packet, employed in towing vessels between Liverpool and Runcorn, stated that he picked up the body on Saturday afternoon, opposite Otterspool, and he towed it to Liverpool.



Wooden paddle steamer Manchester, built Runcorn 1825, 70 grt, 43nrt, 72.4 x 16.5 x 8.2 ft, 24 hp engines. Owned Runcorn Steam Packet Company. Registered Liverpool 1826, ON 16174.
There are several steamers called Manchester - which makes it difficult to track this vessel. However, Marwoods 1854 Directory lists Manchester, built Runcorn 1825, registered Liverpool, owned David Bellhouse, 43 tons.
The 1844 list of steam vessels on the Mersey that might be used as gun boats includes Manchester built 1825, 43nrt, with comment "worn out"
[from Northwich Guardian - Saturday 23 July 1864]:
Old Steamships. The oldest steam vessel registered in the port of Liverpool is the Manchester. She was built in the year 1825, is 72 feet 6 inches long, 16 feet 6 inches breadth, and 8 feet 2 inches deep. Her tonnage is 43, exclusive of engine room, and her horse-power is 24. Her registered owner is Mr. David Bellhouse. The next oldest vessels are Eclipse, built in 1826; Enterprise, also built in 1826, and the William Fawcett, built, in 1829.



Wooden paddle steamer Egremont, reported (WCS) as built 1823, owned John Sothern, John Askew and others. Askew was appointed Liverpool harbour master in 1821. John Sothern was a shipping agent, based at Duke's Dock, Liverpool. No further details - so might be a misprint for a later vessel. The name Egremont was given to the coastal area north of Seacombe by John Askew, a native of Egremont, Cumberland, about 1829. So an earlier vessel would not have served as an Egremont Ferry, but, rather, as a tug between Runcorn and Liverpool.
Lloyds Register of 1835 has Egremont: built Liverpool 1823, schooner of 89 tons, owned Hamilton, Liverpool, trading to Africa.



Wooden paddle steamer Sovereign, built James Lang, Dumbarton, 1824, 69 tons. 93 x 16 x 8.8ft, 36 hp engine by Claud Girdwood, Glasgow, sold to J Sothern, Mersey 1833, reported broken up 1834.



Wooden paddle steamer Sultan, built James Lang, Dumbarton, 1828, 69 tons (om), 97.5 x 16.5 x 8.4 ft, engines 42 nhp by Napier. Service in Clyde, then sold 1838 for Liverpool-Runcorn service until 1839.
More history.

[from Gore's Liverpool General Advertiser - Thursday 20 July 1837]:
The well-known Steamer SULTAN, 42-horse power, 116 tons, carpenter's measurement; engine, boiler, and hull having just undergone a thorough repair at a cost of £1000, she is fit for immediate use; is well adapted for the river, being a very fast boat, and draws a light draft of water; has excellent accommodation for passengers. This vessel is solely offered for sale as not exactly suiting the present owner's purposes.



Wooden paddle steamer Egerton built Hugh Williams, Woodside, Birkenhead 1834, 60 grt, 37 nrt, 78.5 x 13.8 x 5 ft, engines 40 hp by Joseph[sic] Rigby, Hawarden. [information from Ship-builders website]. Also 1845 list states Egerton to have been built at Woodside.
Note Hugh Williams seems to have been the manager of the Woodside ferry - so he may have been the contractor for the building. Also Joseph Rigby was a boiler-maker at Liverpool, whereas the Rigby company of Hawarden was named after William, later John. When sold in 1847, the engine was described as of 40 hp by Fawcett & Preston.
Owned John Sothern 1835, transferred to Liverpool - Runcorn service 1840.
West Coast Steamers also lists a Runcorn Steam Packet Company owned steamer called Egerton, built 1824 [sic], in fleet before 1841; this vessel is listed as built Woodside, 37 nrt, 40hp, 178[sic] x 13.8 ft. This seems most likely to be the same vessel.

An early excursion [from Liverpool Standard and General Commercial Advertiser - Friday 31 July 1835]:
To a Charity Bazaar in aid of the fund for erecting and supplying a national school at Frodsham:
For the convenience of those Friends of Education, resident in Liverpool, who may be disposed to patronise this undertaking, the Egerton Steam-packet has been kindly granted by Mr. J. Sothern, and will start from the George's Pier-head precisely at Half-past Seven on the morning of the 6th August, and will return from Frodsham the same evening.

[from Liverpool Standard and General Commercial Advertiser - Tuesday 21 January 1840]:
STEAM COMMUNICATION BETWEEN LIVERPOOL AND RUNCORN. We are glad to find that a very superior steamer, to be called the "Egerton," has been taking in new boilers, and undergoing considerable alterations, for the purpose of conveying passengers between Liverpool and the Bridgewater Canal Station, Runcorn. She will commence plying early next month, and the owner, Mr. John Sothern, is fitting her up in a style of elegance and comfort not to be excelled. She has a commodious cabin for ladies, with every requisite convenience, and will be decidedly superior to any packet that has hitherto been on that station. Particular care will be taken that the master and crew are men of experience and character. The Bridgewater tide-boats will run daily, in connexion with the Egerton, to and from Liverpool and Manchester, and intermediate places, commencing early in the spring, due notice of which will be given; in the meantime, passengers can be conveyed, as usual, between the above places, when the tides serve, particulars of which may be known at the Egerton packet-office, Nova Scotia, Liverpool; and the Bridgewater Canal packet-office, Manchester.

 [from Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser - Saturday 22 January 1842]:
Fog at Liverpool - Collision, Loss of Life, on the River - During the greater part of Tuesday the town and river were enveloped in thick fog. The barometer stood unusually high throughout the entire day, the wind being about half point westward of south. As the shades of evening advanced the mist became almost impenetrable, especially the water, where it was impossible to see to any great distance. The ferry steamers were provided with lights and bells, in order to guard as much as possible against accidents, and on the slips at the opposite side bells were kept ringing or horns blowing during the time the boats were plying. Similar precautions were adopted at the landing-slip on this side the river. We regret to state, that an accident occurred which was the means of depriving at least one individual of life. About five o'clock the Egerton steamer, which was on her way from Runcorn with a crowd of passengers, ran foul of a schooner, which was lying at anchor opposite George's Pierhead. The concussion was so great that the steamer had one of her paddle-boxes and mast swept away, and, before she got clear, lost all her bulwarks. The passengers were filled with alarm, and many of them jumped on board the schooner, and were left there. In the confusion one woman was seen struggling in the water, and as no effort could be made to save her, she, no doubt, perished. It is hoped that this is the only life that has fallen a sacrifice to the disaster. The steamer landed such passengers as remained on board at George's Pier, when finding that she was not so much crippled as had been anticipated, she returned and brought off the others from the schooner. It is stated that she had previously, in her passage down the river, run foul of one of the Glasgow steamers, and of a brig.

 [from Liverpool Mercury - Friday 30 April 1841]:
Advert much as below - but using Steamer Egerton - owned by John Sothern.

  [from Liverpool Standard and General Commercial Advertiser - Tuesday 17 May 1842]:
CHEAP & EXPEDITIOUS TRAVELLING, DAILY, BETWEEN LIVERPOOL AND MANCHESTER, On the BRIDGEWATER CANAL, via Runcorn. FARES BETWEEN LIVERPOOL AND RUNCORN...; FARES BETWEEN MANCHESTER ND LIVERPOOL...; BETWEEN LIVERPOOL AND NORTHWICH...
The Trustees of the late Duke of Bridgewater hereby give notice, that the new and powerful Steam-packet BLANCHE, PETER JOHNSON, Master, Will sail from GEORGE'S PIER, DAILY, for MANCHESTER. by way of RUNCORN, PRESTON BROOK, LONDON BRIDGE, near Warrington, LYMM, ALTRINGHAM, STRETFORD, &c. Passengers are conveyed from Preston Brook, by Boats, to the principal Manufacturing Towns of Cheshire, Stafford, Warwick, Derby, Nottingham, Gloucester, Northampton, and through to London, &c.
The Trustees of the late Duke of Bridgewater having engaged Mr. John Sothern's Steamer EGERTON, for the purpose of Towing Vessels on the River Mersey, the Steamer BLANCHE commenced running in April last. Considerable pains have been taken to fit out this Steamer with superior and spacious Cabins, with separate accommodation for Ladies. ...
The Bridgewater Trust Tide Boats will convey Passengers daily between Liverpool and Manchester, and intermediate places on the line of Canal, in conjunction with the BLANCHE, as above. The NORTHWICH COACH meets the BLANCHE Packet daily at Runcorn. ... Luggage is removed from one Packet to the other free of expense...

 [from Liverpool Mail - Saturday 13 January 1844]:
STEAMERS for SALE or HIRE.
STEAMER BRIDGEWATER. 37-horse engine, boilers nearly new. and drawing 4 ft. 10 in. water. Length 74 feet. Extreme breadth 28 feet. Depth 7 feet. Admeasurement 33 54-100 tons new measurement;
or the STEAMER EGERTON, 41-horse engine, in first-rate order every respect, and drawing 5 feet water. Length 83 feet. Extreme breadth 28.5feet. Depth 8 feet. Admeasurement 36 22-100 tons new measurement. Both Packets are well adapted for Towing or Ferry purposes. The Bridgewater is now at liberty, and the Egerton will be so on the 20th inst. - Apply to JOHN SOTHERN, 41, Castle-street.

 [from Liverpool Albion - Monday 29 November 1847]:
For SALE, as they now lie, in the Trafalgar Dock, The HULL and MACHINERY of the Steamer EGERTON, either together or separately. Has a very strong Hull, and could be converted into a Coasting Vessel at a very light expense. Beam Engine of Forty Horse-power, by Fawcett, of Liverpool. Apply to JOHN SOTHERN, No. 6, Castle street.



Wooden paddle steamer Ayrshire Lassie, built Robert Duncan, Greenock, 1839, 168 grt, 77 nrt, 124 x 18 x9 ft, engines 95 hp by Thomas Wingate. ON 6042. Owned J Sothern, Liverpool, 1841, and used at Liverpool as a tug and for excursions. More history.

[from Liverpool Albion - Monday 07 October 1844]:
FOR SALE. The powerful and fast Steamer AYRSHIRE LASSIE - now plying between Liverpool and the Menai Bridge, is offered for SALE, in consequence of a larger vessel having been contracted for. This vessel has a solid floor, and is copper-fastened; her cabins are good; has an after-hold, and a forehold could easily be made. She has Two Engines, together about 100 horse power, and, as is well known, has made her passages with great despatch and regularity. If not sold, she will resume her station next Spring. In a few days she will discontinue plying till further notice.

[from Liverpool Mercury - Friday 23 June 1848]:
CHEAP TRIP TO CONWAY, NORTH WALES. The favourite fast sailing Steamer AYRSHIRE LASSIE, 100 horse power, Samuel Webster, Commander, Will leave George's Pier, Liverpool, (weather permitting) for the above delightful place, on SUNDAY next, the 25th inst, at nine o'clock in the Morning, returning to Liverpool by ten o'clock in the evening, thus allowing parties three or four hours at their disposal to view the splendid new and magnificent Tubular Bridge, which is now complete, the stupendous Tube of which weighs 1300 tons.

Reported as running excursions to the North-West Lightship, as Ayrshire Lassie, in May 1850.

[from Liverpool Mercantile Gazette and Myers's Weekly Advertiser - Monday 01 December 1851]:
For SALE. The well known powerful Steamer AYRSHIRE LASSIE; 84 19-100th tons per register; built at Greenock in 1839, and propelled by two excellent engines of fifty horse power each, which with the boilers, are now in good order; she is fitted with commodious cabins, handsomely furnished; has very recently undergone extensive repairs both in hull and machinery, and is considered here a very fast and desirable tug boat. Length 123 feet 3-10ths; breadth 18 feet 1-10th; depth 8 feet 7-10ths; lying in Wellington Dock.

Listed in MNL passenger-certified steam vessels as 84nrt, 90 hp, at Liverpool, 1850, 52, 53.

Collision with Egremont steamer Fairy on 7 January 1854.



Wooden paddle steamer Rival, built Mersey & Irwell Nav Co., Runcorn 1834, 100grt, 50 nrt, 81 x 16 x 8 x 4.5ft, ON 7062, engines 40 hp by Sherratt, Salford, Manchester. Service: towing and passengers between Liverpool and Runcorn.

 [from Westmorland Gazette - Saturday 09 August 1834]:
Mersey and Irwell Navigation Company. About five o'clock on Monday afternoon week the "Rival," a newly built steam tug, went out of dock for the first time. She is intended to run between Liverpool and Runcorn. She belongs to the Mersey and Irwell Navigation Company and was built in the company yard, at Runcorn under the superintendence of Mr. Joseph Forbes, their shipwright. She has two engines of twenty horses' power each, made at the iron-works of Messrs J. and T. Sherratt, Salford, and placed in the boat under the immediate superintendence of the talented engineer to the company, of Mr. Richard Phillips. Her start was a peculiar happy one; the word was given and off she went, without any of the drawbacks occasioned by loose screws and badly "set" valves; indeed, without any of those blunders which betoken ignorance upon the part of the engineer. We have no doubt she will prove rather a formidable "Rival."
Also reported as outrunning the steam packet Duke of Bridgewater on a trial run on 3 August 1834.

 [from Westmorland Gazette - Saturday 18 October 1834]:
Fire aboard Government steam packet Thetis. ... Accordingly, the Richmond, while the flames were bursting through the cabin windows, proceeded to tow her to Woodside, where she was run upon the bank about eighty yards from the shore, being as near as it was possible to bring her to. She arrived in this burning state at Woodside between four and five o'clock, when the Sir Thomas Stanley, Eastham packet, and the Rival of Runcorn, came to her assistance and by their force pumps commenced playing upon the flames.

  [from Gore's Liverpool General Advertiser - Thursday 22 September 1836]:
Accident on the River. On Saturday last, James Lankshire, the master of the Rival steam-tug, appeared before Mr. Hall, at the Police-office, to answer a summons charging him with damaging the smack Lizzie. The smack was lying at anchor off the Prince's Dock, when the steam-tug, in the act of towing a flat up the river to the Clarence Dock, ran foul of it and carried away its bowsprit. The captain of the steam-tug said the accident was by the steamer having been fouled by a flat moored near the smack, which forced the steam-boat against the latter vessel. Mr. Hall ordered the captain to pay the amount of the damage done to the smack, to be assessed by the harbour-master.

  Earlier vessel or Rival? [Excerpt from Manchester Mercury - Tuesday 15 June 1830]:
Between Runcorn and Liverpool, larger steam boats, constructed on the common plan, will be employed for the same purpose. With that view a steam boat is now building, in the yard of the Old Quay Company, which, when completed, will be constantly employed in dragging the company's flats between the two last mentioned ports.



  A Runcorn-built tug? - possibly Rival? [from Liverpool Standard and General Commercial Advertiser - Friday 01 August 1834]:
A beautiful New STEAM-VESSEL, just launched at an outport, and is ready for delivery, length 80 feet, breadth over all 23 feet, and from her light draft of water, which, with a thirty horse engine on board ready for working, will not exceed 2 feet 6 inches, and peculiar construction, is admirably adapted for river purposes. She has a sliding keel to take off and on, and she is perfectly safe for a foreign voyage. For further particulars apply to D. BUCHANAN and SON.



Wooden paddle steamer Tower, built John Rawlinson, Runcorn 1836, 97grt, 47 nrt, 81.6 x 16.1 x 8.5 x 5.5ft, ON 7061, engines 40 hp. Owned Mersey and Irwell Navigation Company. Service: towing between Liverpool and Runcorn. Described in some reports as a barge flat, propelled by 1 screw - though dimensions and build are similar to those of Rival. Moreover, screw propulsion was not used until 1840. Tower was described in MNL 1850-4 as having 50 hp engines, not screw, with passenger certificate. Last MNL entry 1870, marked as broken up.

  [from Manchester Courier - Saturday 24 April 1841]:
RUNCORN. Steam Packet Travelling between Runcorn and Liverpool. The Mersey and Irwell Company having, last year, completed their line of packets between Liverpool and Manchester, by introducing their swift and elegant steamer, the Tower, upon the river station between Runcorn and Liverpool, we are glad to find that this public accommodation will be continued, affording, especially during the summer months, an easy, safe, and pleasant mode of travelling. At present, we observe, the Tower steamer is in the company's graving dock, at Runcorn, undergoing some important improvements, and fitting out in a superior style, for the ensuing summer. This packet, which last year was the admiration of all who travelled by her, being a beautifully modelled vessel and of unusual speed, besides her cabins being commodious, and her master and crew respectable, attentive and obliging, will this year possess advantages which are highly appreciated now-a-days by travellers. She will be supplied with new and larger boilers, besides undergoing improvements in her two powerful engines which will so considerably increase her velocity, that from being one of the quickest, she will stand in the unrivalled position of the quickest steamer upon the river. She is the vessel that had lately the honour of conveying to Liverpool the scientific party from Manchester, on their voyage of inquiry and investigation, as to the practicability of making the rivers Mersey and Irwell navigable for sea-going vessels, and we hope she will have the greater honour, ere long, of towing up the first merchantman of 300 tons to the port of Manchester, and take her station at the New Bailey Bridge for passengers to Liverpool, or the coast of Wales, the Isle of Man, or Ireland.

  [from Manchester Courier - Saturday 11 June 1842]:
..steamers Blanche and Tower make no charge for parties visiting Runcorn...

  [from Liverpool Standard and General Commercial Advertiser - Tuesday 09 May 1843]:
OLD QUAY COMPANY'S PACKETS between LIVERPOOL and MANCHESTER. ... The well tried steamer Tower, John Kirkham, master, is one of the swiftest and strongest Packets on the river....

  [from Liverpool Albion - Monday 27 May 1844]:
BRIDGEWATER CANAL SWIFT TIDE PACKET. THIS DAY, the 27th instant, the new swift tide Packet EAGLE will commence sailing daily, (Sundays excepted) from the BRIDGEWATER PACKET STATION, CASTLE-QUAY, MANCHESTER, between MANCHESTER, RUNCORN, and LIVERPOOL, in conjunction with the Steamer TOWER. The voyage throughout performed in about four hours.



Iron paddle steamer Alice, built Page & Grantham, Liverpool, 1839, 170 tons burthen, 55nrt, 95 x 20 x 4.5 ft, 2 engines of 30 hp each by Davenport & Grindrod, for Bridgewater Canal Company, towing and passengers between Runcorn and Liverpool.

 [from Gore's Liverpool General Advertiser - Thursday 15 August 1839]:
On Monday last was launched, from the pierhead of the Duke's Dock, an iron steam-boat, built by Messrs. Page and Grantham, for Lord Francis Egerton, intended to tow goods to and from Runcorn. She will be supplied with two engines of sixty-horse power, now making by Messrs. Davenport and Grindrod, of the Caledonian Foundry. Naylor-street. She is called the Alice, we believe, after Lord Egerton's eldest daughter.

  [from Gore's Liverpool General Advertiser - Thursday 12 December 1839]:
A fine new iron steam boat, the property of Lord Francis Egerton, (or in other words of the Bridgewater Trust) was recently launched from the yard of Messrs. Page and Grantham, who have become celebrated in the building of iron vessels, and they have lately taken large premises at the south end of the town for the building of ships of large burthen in that material. She was named the Alice, after Lord Francis Egerton's eldest daughter, is about 170 tons burthen, old measurement, is neatly fitted up, and is a handsome and lively-looking boat on the water. With the whole of her machinery, fuel etc on board, her draft of water is only four feet six inches. She has two engines of thirty horse-power each, made by Messrs. Davenport and Grindrod, of the Caledonian Foundry in this town, upon a novel and improved construction. Their peculiarity consists in the fixing of the cylinders on an angle of 45 degrees in the form of a rectangle with the hypothenuse at the base, so that they act as a stay and support each other. No side levers or counterbalances are required; and the working parts being fewer than in ordinary engines, they are less liable to derangement, and not much exposed to wear and tear. The strokes of the engines averaged 32 per minute, but when at her full power, they will make 35. We doubt not but that, when the vessel is finally trimmed, and every thing put in working order, the Alice will be one the swiftest boats on the Mersey. She is intended for the towing of the vessels employed in the inland navigation of the Bridgewater Trust, and also of coasting vessels to and from Runcorn, of a larger size than have generally visited that port - for which purpose, from her superior power, is she peculiarly well adapted.

 [from Liverpool Standard and General Commercial Advertiser - Tuesday 18 June 1844]: FESTIVITIES IN CELEBRATION OF THE COMING OF AGE OF GEO. EGERTON, ESQ., SON OF LORD F. EGERTON, M.P.
Saturday last being the day on which George Egerton, Esq., eldest son of Lord Francis Egerton, attained his majority, the noble Lord, the proprietor of the Bridgewater canal and extensive estates, and the Board of Trustees of the late Duke of Bridgewater, celebrated the occasion by giving to their agents, clerks, tenants, workpeople, and other dependents, and their families of every grade at Worsley, and also at Runcorn, a grand entertainment...
AT RUNCORN. Eight o'clock in the forenoon was fixed for the parties proceeding to Runcorn to embark at Liverpool, and at that hour, the steamers Alice, Blanche, and Tower, belonging to the trustees of the Bridgewater estate, were in attendance off the Duke's Dock and Old Quay wharfs, gaily decorated with flags and ensigns, ready to receive their expected freights....

  [from Liverpool Mail - Saturday 29 March 1845]:
The Port of Runcorn: Some few years ago a vessel of 200 tons burthen could with difficulty navigate the estuary of the Mersey up to Runcorn. The improvement in the navigation, together with the facilities afforded to merchant craft by the introduction of steam-tugs, is evinced by the following interesting fact. On Monday, the brig Pomona, of 300 tons, loaded with meal from Ireland, and drawing thirteen feet of water, was towed up to Runcorn by the steamer Alice, and safely placed in the Duke's Dock there - which is a considerable height above the high-water level of the river - locks giving the means of exit and entrance, The vessel, which is larger by one-third than any that has before entered the dock, had nearly two feet of water to spare before she would have touched the bottom.

  [from Liverpool Standard and General Commercial Advertiser - Tuesday 08 April 1845]:
STEAMER SUNK. The steamer Alice, belonging to the Bridgewater trust, was sunk during a violent gale between Weston Point and Runcorn, about twelve p.m. on Wednesday se'nnight. She had no passengers on hoard, but was tugging, and one of the vessels in tow ran foul of her with such violence as to cause her to go down immediately. Fortunately no lives were lost, another steamer being at hand. The Alice has since been raised, and floated into the Duke's Dock, at Runcorn.

  [from Liverpool Mail - Saturday 25 August 1849]:
Runcorn - The Port. On Saturday last, the brig Empress, of Stockton, 288 tons register, Thomas Dymond master, sailed from this port for Acapulca, with a cargo consisting of 200 tons coals, and about 200 tons of Manchester manufactured goods, earthenware, and glass. Her draught was 14 feet 4 inches. The vessel was towed by the steamer Alice, belonging to the Bridgewater trustees, and the new steamer Sylph [ON 10506], belonging to Mr. John Crippin, and under the efficient management of Mr. James Foulkes, superintendent of the Bridgewater Trustees and Old Quay Company's steam squadron, and was safely anchored in the Sloyne [off Tranmere], the wind blowing freshly from the N W., in two hours after her departure from the Old Quay Dock. This is the first vessel that has sailed from Runcorn with goods for a foreign port.



Iron paddle steamer Blanche, built Davenport, Grindrod & Patrick, Liverpool, 1841, 204 grt, 156 nrt, 105.4 x 17.1 x 8 x 2 ft, engines 60hp. For Runcorn service, towing and passengers, owned Bridgewater Trust. Possibly ON 44190 - which was converted into a schooner called Nautilus (registered Liverpool) by 1869.

  [from Liverpool Mail - Saturday 18 September 1841]:
On Thursday, a fine iron steam-vessel was launched from the building and boiler-yard of Messrs. Davenport, Grindrod & Patrick, North side of the Brunswick-dock. She is of about 175 tons, builder's measurement; is of a fine model, put together on the most recent and approved principles of iron shipbuilding, and combining all the apparent requisites for speed and safely. She was named, in the usual form, by Miss Grindrod, the Blanche, after the second daughter of Lord Francis Egerton, and is, we believe, intended for the Runcorn trade. She will be fitted with two engines equal to 65 horse power, on the principle introduced by the same builders in those of the Alice, running between this port and Runcorn - the cylinders lying on angle of 45 degrees, and the piston-rods working from below. This plan, admitting of greater length of connecting-rod, is found to be highly efficient, as exemplified in the Alice, one of the fastest and most beautiful of our river steamers. Considerable improvements are introduced in the construction of the engines for the Blanche by the builders of them as well as the vessel, and we doubt not she will turn out to be a clipper. She looked very handsome in the water, and floated very steadily and evenly on very light draught, apparently of not more than two feet.

  Advert 1842 for steamer Blanche carrying passengers between Runcorn and Liverpool.

Probably the same vessel[from Preston Chronicle - Saturday 29 July 1843]:
THE Preston and Liverpool Navigation and Shipping Company's new, splendid, and swift-sailing Steamer, "BLANCHE," CAPT. FRYERS, Will Sail with Goods and Passengers from PRESTON QUAY, This Day, (SATURDAY) The 29th inst., at 1 o'clock in the Afternoon.
Cabin, (having splendid accommodation,) 6s.
Deck, 3s
Wind and Weather permitting, the Steamer will Land Passengers at Lytham and Southport. Apply to WILLIAM DAVIS, Agent and Manager, Preston; or ROBERTSON, ALEXANDER, and Co., Redcross-street, Liverpool. Preston, July 29th, 1843.
This Steamer arrived at the Old Quay yesterday's tide. Passengers may depend on punctuality; and to prevent disappointment, Shippers are requested to order their Goods to and from Liverpool by the "BLANCHE STEAMER."

[from Liverpool Mercury - Friday 03 January 1845]:
DENSE FOGS. - COLLISIONS ON THE RIVER.
On Friday evening, the Eliza Price came into collision with and seriously damaged the Blanche, Runcorn steamer.

In July 1846 a list of "steam communication from Liverpool" quotes Blanche as voyaging to Runcorn daily, owned J Pendlebury.

The Bridgewater Canal Company took over the Mersey and Irwell Navigation Company in 1844, and acquired from them 4 more steam tugs - presumably Rival, Tower, and two more (possibles Manchester, Egerton or Bridgewater). These four were reported as much inferior to Blanche and Alice.



Wooden paddle steamer Cupid, built Wood & Ritchie, Port Glasgow 1828; 58.3 x 11 x 7.3 ft, engines 10hp by Napier. Owned Glasgow, then in 1836 owned William Quin/Quinn, Mersey, until 1839 when owned and served at Fleetwood. Listed as registered at Preston in 1845, 19nrt, 20hp; and listed in 1851 as 19nrt, 35grt, owned Preston & Wyre Railway Harbour & Dock Co. More details. No details of Mersey service known.

[from Preston Chronicle - Saturday 22 June 1839]:
FLEETWOOD-ON-WYRE. Arrived - ... and the steamer Cupid, from Heysham and Ulverston, with coals, stone, and slates, for J. Seed, and others.



[from Liverpool Standard and General Commercial Advertiser - Friday 22 July 1836]:
LIVERPOOL STEAM TOWING COMPANY.
HERO. 100 horse-power.[not the vessel sunk 1835]
ELEANOR. 50 Ditto.
ORMROD. 40 Ditto.
DRUID. 40 Ditto.
The DIRECTORS of the LIVERPOOL STEAM TOWING COMPANY beg to call the attention of Merchants and Shipowners to this useful undertaking, and to solicit their patronage. They have now the four above-named Tugs in operation, all with Double Engines. The strictest attention will be paid to the wants and requisitions of the Public. Applications to be made to Captain BIBBY, the Superintendent, at the Company's Office, No. 8, Chapel-street.

[extracted from Liverpool Mail - Thursday 13 April 1837]:
In a law case to recover compensation, a surveyor stated that he had been engaged by the Steam Tug Company to survey 8 steam vessels: Druid, Ellen[sic Erin?], Prince Llewellyn, St. David, Kingston[sic Kingstown?], Ayr [sic Air?], Ormerod[sic Ormrod?], and Innishowen[sic Ennishowen?].

From history of the LIVERPOOL STEAM Tug COMPANY, formed in 1836. To commence operations, they bought three wooden paddle tugs, Druid, Ormrod and Hero, and at their own shipbuilding yard at Birkenhead they built the wooden paddle tugs Queen and Victoria in 1837, President in 1839, and Albert in 1840, and others, all about 200 tons gross, and 120 h.p.; later they constructed iron paddlers. [from Liverpool Tugs and their owners, LNRS Transactions 1944]


[extract from Liverpool Shipping Telegraph and Daily Commercial Advertiser - 21 June 1847 to 17 Jan 1848]:
STEAM TUG RATES OF TOWING. [tug name; number; engine hp]
Dreadnought 1 120hp; Albert 2 100; President 3 100; Victoria 4 100; Liver 5 100; Express 6 100; Mona 7 70; Skerryvore 8 60.

Report of 7 Steam tug company tugs helping to launch the new Landing Stage in 1847.



Wooden paddle steamer Eleanor, built Mottershead & Hayes, Liverpool, 1833, 50 nrt, 59 tons burthen, 90.3 x 16.7 x 9.1 ft, engines 50 hp by Rigby, Hawarden. 1835 registered Liverpool, owned John Sothern; 1836 owned by Liverpool Steam Tug Co.
Early example of rescue of shipwreck by a steam tug, 1837.
Leaky and sank off Crosby 29 December 1838.

[from Chester Chronicle - Friday 31 January 1834]:
Steam Vessel. A beautiful new steam boat, called the Eleanor, intended to ply between Liverpool and Runcorn, arrived off Sandycroft a few days ago, to receive a pair of engines of twenty-five horse power each, manufactured by Messrs. Rigby, at their works in Hawarden, Flintshire. On Friday last, the fittings being completed, the Eleanor took a trip from Sandycroft to Chester, which she performed in fine style; and on her return she look in tow several vessels which were wind-bound in this port. From this steamer's powerful working for the first time trial, she does great credit to the engine manufacturer, and also to the builders of the vessel, Messrs. Mottershead and Hayes, of Liverpool. It is but justice to say, that the fame of Messrs. Rigby's manufactory has been well known and justly appreciated, for nearly half a century; and it was considered by scientific men that engines of a better construction, or a more excellent finish, were never seen than those made for this vessel.

[from Liverpool Mail - Tuesday 19 September 1837]:
WRECK of GENERAL GASCOYNE. On the morning of Thursday last, the 14th instant, three of the Steam-tug Company's boats were lying at anchor in Hilbre Swash, the wind blowing a gale from N.W. At 5 am., the steam-tug Eleanor, No. 3, Wm. Roberts master, got under weigh and was returning to Liverpool, when she descried a ship and brig at anchor in a dangerous situation on the N.W. side of Burbo Bank, about half-a-mile apart, both with signals flying for a pilot. The master of the Eleanor, concluding that they were in want of assistance, immediately proceeded towards them, (the first proved to be the brig Rosanne, from Gothenburg.) hailed them to lower their boat down and drop her astern. The master of the Eleanor then jumped into her, and was, with imminent risk and danger, hauled over the stern of the brig. The sea at that time was running very heavy, and the vessel riding bows under. She then slipped her cable and was conducted by him across the flats, through the Rock Channel, safe into port.
The other vessel proved to be the ship General Gascoyne, of this port, and when the Eleanor reached her, she was waterlogged and in a sinking state. The master hailed her repeatedly, begging the crew and passengers (who were clinging to the poop and mizen rigging, with a heavy sea breaking over them) to get into the longboat, which was riding astern in comparatively smooth water. Four or five persons succeeded in doing so, when she broke adrift. The Eleanor then attempted to board the ship several times, saving a few of the people each time. There were still a male and female remaining on the deck, when it was found impossible again to get sufficiently near to take them off, the storm increasing very much. Ropes were then thrown to them, which, grasping in their hands, they jumped overboard and were hauled on board the steamer. She then hastened after the longboat, which was drifting, and had some difficulty in picking her up before she got on the bank. The whole of the crew and passengers, thirty in number, were then brought safe to Liverpool with the exception of one elderly female who was washed off the deck.
Too much praise cannot be given to the master and crew of the Eleanor, who, at the imminent risk of their lives, rescued from a watery grave the crew and passengers of the General Gascoyne; and this, also, affords another instance of the importance of the Steam-tug Establishment, the boats of which have, on several occasions, rendered valuable service to vessels wrecked on the coast.
[Wooden ship General Gascoyne, built Workington 1831, 320 tons, owned Fisher & Son, Liverpool, registered Liverpool. Inbound to Liverpool from Montreal on 14 September 1837, driven aground on Burbo Bank. 30 crew and passengers saved by steam tug Eleanor, one woman lost.]

  [from Gore's Liverpool General Advertiser - Thursday 03 January 1839]:
Sunday Dec 30: The Eleanor tug steamer sprung a leak yesterday and sunk near Crosby Point.

[from Liverpool Standard and General Commercial Advertiser - Friday 11 January 1839]:
ADDITIONAL PARTICULARS OF THE DISASTERS AT SEA AND IN THE RIVER, &c. A portion of the steam tug that sunk last week near the Rock Point, was thrown up on Monday on the shore near Crosbie.



Wooden paddle steamer Hero, built J. Bankham, Medway, 1821, 247grt, 133nrt, 115.4 x 20.1 x 8.3 x 8.0 ft., 90 hp engines by Murray & Fenton, initially used London, owned as tug at Liverpool from 1836. ON 24046. Converted to sail 1850. Reported as in use as a coal hulk in 1846.

  [from Liverpool Standard and General Commercial Advertiser, Friday 04 November 1842]:
Couna Baba, from Senegal, that was on shore on Burbo bank, was got off last night, and brought into the river by the steam tugs Hero and Victoria.

  [from Liverpool Mercantile Gazette and Myers's Weekly Advertiser - Monday 02 February 1846]:
TO SHIPWRIGHTS AND OTHERS, ON SALE, The HULL of the well-known river built Steamer HERO; of about 300 tons, o.m., This beautiful vessel was built by one of the most eminent draughtsmen, regardless of expense, and would make a first rate merchantman, and also one of the fastest vessels out of the port. She is now lying, and open for inspection at the Steam Company's yard, Woodside.
  Another Hero was bought in 1846 as a steam tug for use at Liverpool [built Denny, Dumbarton, 1832, 69grt, 43nrt, 98.5 x 15.1 x 8.3 ft, engines 40 hp by Napier. ON 16175. Initially used on Clyde.]



Wooden paddle steamer Druid, built Clarke & Nickson, Liverpool, 1823, 64 nrt, 84.5 x 16.8 x 8.5 ft, 36 hp engines by Fawcett & Co., North Wales service initially. On North Wales service until 1825, then voyage to South America and service there. Is reported in Newspapers as back on Mersey by 1831.
In 1845, Druid is listed as registered London, built Liverpool 1823, 64 tons, 30hp, 84.5 x 16.8 ft, employed at Monte Video. This is at variance with the advertised sale of Druid at Liverpool in 1845 - so there were two vessels, or she had returned from South America to Liverpool, while still registered at London.

[from Gore's Liverpool General Advertiser - Thursday 03 April 1823]:
A new beautiful Steam Packet, the Druid, was launched on Thursday last, from the building yard of Messrs Clarke & Nickson and she is intended for the North Wales station with the Cambria and Albion. The latter arrived from Beaumaris yesterday, Wednesday before two o'clock, the shortest time ever made.

[from Chester Courant - Tuesday 16 March 1824]:
THE ALBION, CAMBRIA, AND DRUID STEAM PACKETS, Sail as usual between Liverpool and North Wales. ONE of those well-known Vessels will leave LIVERPOOL for BANGOR and BEAUMARIS, EVERY Wednesday and Saturday morning, at 8 o'clock, to return from Bangor Ferry every Monday and Thursday, till further notice. The PACKET for BAGILLT, near Holywell, leaves Liverpool at the above-mentioned hour, every morning except Sunday, and returns from Bagillt, immediately on her arrival there at noon.

Cambria and Albion advertised for sale October 1824.

[from Lloyd's List - Friday 08 April 1825]:
6 April. Carnarvon: The Druid steam-boat, Bell, for Brazil.

[from Lloyd's List - Friday 03 March 1826]:
Buenos Ayres, Dec. 20th. The Upton, Orchard, anchored in the Outer Roads, received such damage in a Gale of Wind the 18th Inst, that it has been found necessary to send the Druid Steam Boat, to tow her into the Inner Roads.

[from Liverpool Albion - Monday 22 August 1831]:
THE STEAM-PACKET DRUID WILL COMMENCE RUNNING BETWEEN THIS PORT AND BEAUMARIS On WEDNESDAY next, the 24th instant, at eight o'clock in the Morning, and will continue to ply on MONDAYS, WEDNESDAYS, and FRIDAYS. The above Vessel is Liverpool-built; coppered and copper-fastened; the Engines made by Messrs. Fawcett and Littledale: Her accommodations are excellent, and she is in every aspect a most superior Packet. The Master, a man of great assiduity, and every attention will be paid to the comfort of the Passengers.

In 1833 Liverpool Harbour master Askew is described as owner of steam-boat Druid. [from Liverpool Albion - Monday 04 February 1833]

May 1835, rescued crew of Hero off Liverpool - details here..

  [from Liverpool Mercantile Gazette and Myers's Weekly Advertiser - Monday 16 July 1838]
FOR SALE, The Steam Tug Company's Steam Boat Druid, - This vessel at present employed towing out of the River Mersey has two Engines of 20-horse power each, in good repair, and is in all other respects a desirable vessel for any party requiring a small Tug. The Company is induced to offer her for sale intending to substitute Packets of much greater power. Apply to ROBERT BIBBY, Manager of the Steam Tug Company, 8 Chapel Street.

[from English Chronicle and Whitehall Evening Post - Saturday 06 June 1840]:
LIVERPOOL, Friday, 12 o'clock. To Mariners entering or leaving the Port of Liverpool. The wreck of the Sylphide bears N. by W., 0.5 W. 3.25 miles from the Bell Buoy, in 8.5 fathoms at low water. The Druid steam-tug is made fast to the wreck, to act as a beacon to vessels entering or leaving the port, and will remain as long as wind and weather permit.

[from Liverpool Albion - Monday 08 June 1840]:
Sylphide, for St. Petersburgh, that was run down, 28th ult., near the Bell Buoy, has been raised by the Steam-tug Company's vessels, and put on the beach, near the Magazines.

[excerpt from Caledonian Mercury - Monday 09 May 1842]:
A suit by the owner of a Danish vessel, the Sophie, which, on the 12th of October last, was proceeding out of Liverpool, on her return voyage home, when the steam tug Druid, the vessel arrested in the cause, belonging to the Steam Tug Company at Liverpool, ran several times violently into her, and Newton, the captain of the Druid, demanded the payment of five guineas, alleged to be due to the Company, for towing the Sophie into Liverpool. The master of the Sophie refused to pay the sum demanded, denying that any towage was due; whereupon Newton declared he would detain her, though warned that he would be held responsible for the consequences, secured the two vessels together, and in a most wanton and outrageous manner dragged her about, from which treatment and detention, the Sophie received very great loss and injury, to obtain a redress for which the owner had recourse to the process of this Court.



Wooden paddle steamer Ormrod built J. Wilson, Chester, 1826, 77 grt, 92 x 17.6 ft, engines 40hp, initially for North Wales service, registered Liverpool 1839, first owner J Sothern et al.
1830, taken over by St George Steam packet Co. Service Liverpool - North Wales
1834, used Liverpool for towing, with some excursions.
1838, sold to Liverpool Steam Tug Co.

  Ormrod? [from Chester Courant - Tuesday 01 November 1825]:
Launch. On Saturday, a fine steam-vessel of about 109 tons was launched from the yard of Messrs. Wilson & Co. of this city.

  [from Liverpool Mercury - Friday 07 April 1826]:
The new Steam-packet ORMROD will commence sailing between Liverpool, Beaumaris, and Bangor, on Tuesday next, the 11th instant, and continue to sail every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, from George's Dock Pier, Liverpool, at Nine o'clock each morning; and from Bangor Ferry on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. The above vessel sails remarkably fast, being propelled by engines, on an improved construction, of 48 horses power, and has superior accommodation for passengers.
Apply to Mr Sothern, Dukes Dock or to Geo Dany, Dry Dock.

[from North Wales Chronicle - Thursday 11 November 1830]:
Steam Communication BETWEEN CARNARVON, BANGOR, BEAUMARIS, AND LlVERPOOL, FOR PASSENGERS AND GOODS. The Public are respectfully informed, that the fine STEAM PACKET ORMROD, Lieutenant John Atkinson R. N. Commander, Has commenced plying with Goods and Passengers between the above Ports, and will sail regularly THROUGOUT THE WINTER, leaving Carnarvon every Thursday evening, or Friday morning, as the tide may suit; Bangor and Beaumaris every Fridav morning, at nine o'clock, and Liverpool every Tuesday, one hour before high water. ... JOHN WATSON, Agent.

[from Caernarvon & Denbigh Herald - Saturday 01 January 1831]:
THE WAR-OFFICE STEAM-PACKETS
ROTHSAY CASTLE, D Davies, Master, Of 160 tons burthen, and 70 horses' power Engines;
ORMROD, J Hughes, Master, Of 120 tons burthen and 50 horses' power Engines,
Sail regularly from George's Dock Pierhead to the above places, with Goods and Passengers. viz FROM LIVERPOOL: ORMROD every Tuesday one hour before High Water. ROTHSAY CASTLE every Friday, ditto. FROM CARNARVON: ORMROD every Thursday evening; Rothsay every Monday evening. FROM BEAUMARIS: ORMROD Friday Morning at eight o'clock precisely; Rothsay Castle every Tuesday, ditto. ...

  [from Liverpool Mail - Saturday 10 June 1843]:
On Monday next, the instant, Twelve o'clock, at the Steam Tug Company's Yard, Woodside, near the Patent Slip, The Steamboat DRUID; in good working condition, with Two Engines of 18-horse power.
Also, the Steamer ORMROD, partially burned; with or without the Engines (two of 20-horse power) and Boilers; with a quantity Beams, Planks, Timber, old Iron, &c., now lying in the Yard. Apply to the Steam-tug Company; or to JOHN HURRY, Broker, 8, India-buildings.

  [from Liverpool Mercantile Gazette and Myers's Weekly Advertiser - Monday 18 August 1845]:
At the Steam Company's Wharf and Yard, Woodside; The HULLS of the Steamers DRUID and ORMROD; one pair marine boilers, forty horse power, made by Vernon & Co., ...



Wooden paddle steamer Victoria, built 1837, Thomas Raffield, Birkenhead, 220grt, 93nrt, 111.5 x 19.7 x 12.2 ft, engines 100 nhp by Rigby, Hawarden. ON 2371. Owned Liverpool Steam Tug Company. Later owned Andrews, Belfast, but registered Liverpool. Last MNL listing 1879 (118nrt, 188grt, 100hp, 114.3 x 21.3 ft).

[from Gore's Liverpool General Advertiser - Thursday 19 October 1837]:
On Tuesday last, a steam boat, about 130 feet length, was launched from Woodside, Cheshire, and graced with the name our youthful Queen. She is built for the Steam Tug Company, on an improved principle, admirably adapted for towing, and pronounced by all competent judges, not only to be a credit the skilful inspector, Mr. Thos. Raffield, of this town, but is also expected to prove an expeditious, as well as a safe and powerful vessel to the enterprising company, in whose service she will soon be ready run.

 Captain Eccles of PS Victoria rendered great assistance to stranded vessels during the January 1839 hurricane - saving 33 lives. The steam tug Hero was unable to help since her engines had a fault that needed to be repaired.
Image of PS Victoria rendering assistance during the hurricane [print after painting by Samuel Walters] in January 1839.

[from Liverpool Standard and General Commercial Advertiser - Friday 29 May 1840]:
The SECRETARY read a report from the Marine Surveyor, stating that the New York, packet-ship, outward bound, whilst being towed by the Victoria Steam-tug, about seven o'clock on the evening of Saturday last, ran foul of the Queen, the new light-ship recently placed near Formby. The light-ship was not dragged from her station, nor so much injured as to prevent the usual exhibition of lights, or to require her to be brought into port, but the damage was estimated £18 5s. 7d.
The MARINE SURVEYOR was called in, and he said he understood that the New York, whilst endeavouring to keep to windward, the wind blowing very strong at the time, met a vessel inward bound, and in the attempt to avoid a collision, the Queen received the damage.
Jennings, master of the tug Victoria, was next called in, and he stated that it was blowing very fresh at the time. The channel was very narrow there, and another ship coming down the Victoria was obliged to bear away. In so doing he called out to the pilot of the ship, but he either did not hear and would not attend, and the vessel struck the light-ship. Had the pilot attended to the call the damage would not have occurred.
Jennings said the New York was taken out of her course by the other ship; the pilot, however, had told him that part of the crew of the New York were drunk, as they frequently were when on the point of sailing.

[from Liverpool Mercury - Friday 03 January 1845]:
DENSE FOGS. - COLLISIONS ON THE RIVER.
On Monday, the Birkenhead steamer, Wm. Fawcett, struck the Victoria steam-tug, which was lying at anchor in the river, abaft the paddle box, but no serious injury resulted, although the passengers were much alarmed at the time.

Listed in 1851 Liverpool Register.

Listed in MNL passenger-certified steam vessels as 92nrt, 100 hp, at Liverpool, 1853.

Listed in 1854 Liverpool Register.

[from Liverpool Daily Post - Saturday 08 August 1857]:
Without reserve. Friday next, the 14th instant; at one o'clock, at the Brokers's sale-room, Middleton-buildings, 1 Rumford-street,
Also, well-known Steam Tug VICTORIA; 98 tons per register; built at Liverpool in 1837, for the owners use of the very best materials, and has always been kept in first-rate working order, has two beam engines of together 100 horse power, and tubular boilers, diameter of cylinder 40.5 inches. Length 115 feet 6-10ths, breadth 19 feet 7-10ths, depth 12 2-10ths. Now plying on the river and ready for immediate employment.



Wooden paddle steam tug President, built Thomas Raffield, Birkenhead 1839, ON 2373, 134 grt, 83 nrt, 109 x 19.4 x 11 x 8.5 ft, 100 hp engines by Thomas Vernon, owned Liverpool steam tug company. Registered Llanelli 1860, Bristol 1864, in MNL until 1867. Broken up 1867.

[from Gore's Liverpool General Advertiser - Thursday 03 January 1839]:
Yesterday, at noon, was launched from the building-yard of Liverpool Steam-Tug Company, on Wallasey Pool, a very fine steamer, admirably adapted for the purpose of towing; and, from her construction, promising a very fast vessel, and much credit to the company's master builder. Her engines are of 100 horse-power; constructed by Messrs. Vernon and Co. of Regent-street Foundry, whose known celebrity, as marine steam-engine builders, requires no comment from us. Her engines being ready for erection, it is expected she will be prepared to enter her duties within a month of the present time.

  [from Liverpool Standard and General Commercial Advertiser - Tuesday 04 February 1840]:
Steam tug President towed out the Liverpool lifeboat to assist in rescue of barque Corsair on Jordan Flats on 27 January 1839.

Listed in 1851 Liverpool Register.

Listed in MNL passenger-certified steam vessels as 82nrt, 100 hp, at Liverpool, 1853.

Listed in 1854 Liverpool Register.

[from Liverpool Daily Post - Saturday 08 August 1857]:
Without reserve. Friday next, the 14th instant; at one o'clock, at the Brokers's sale-room, Middleton-buildings, 1 Rumford-street,
Also, at the same time. The substantial steam Tug PRESIDENT; 112 tons register: built at Liverpool: she has two engines of 100 horse power collectively (by T. Vernon), new boilers, and has just had a heavy repair at an expense of £1500. Dimensions: Length 114 feet 4-10ths; Beam 21 feet 4-10ths; Depth 11 feet 4-10ths.



Wooden paddle steamer Albert, reported as built by Liverpool Steam Tug Company, 1840, 82 nrt, engines 100hp. ON 2367.

[from Gore's Liverpool General Advertiser - Thursday 06 August 1840]:
On Monday week, The Dock Committee made the annual survey of the port. Early in the forenoon, the Committee and a large party of invited friends embarked on board the Albert, steam-tug, and proceeded on the survey. The day was fine, and by the assistance of Mr. Horne, of the Mersey Hotel, the excursion was made must pleasant. The party returned early in the evening.

[from Liverpool Albion, Monday 09 November 1840]:
.. on Friday, the master of the flat Old England, named Crabb, preferred a complaint against Captain Eccles, of the steam-tug Albert, for running into his vessel on the Mersey, and for which damages were claimed. The complainant said, that, about eight o'clock on the morning of the 20th October, he sailed from Seacombe, and proceeded down the river. When opposite Egremont, and beating down against a north wind, he was called to by the master of the tug-boat to tack about. The tug had, at the time, made fast her tow-ropes to the American ship Naragansett, for the purpose of taking her out to sea. The complainant, in continuation, said, the engine of the tug was immediately put in motion, and the consequence was, that the ship came in contact with the rigging of the flat, and carried away a part of it, the value of which was estimated £14 14s. ... the master of the steam-tug was under the imperative direction of the pilot; and that the complainant might have got his flat out of the way by putting her before the wind, but that be neglected the opportunity; and, as it appeared that the collision took place from his own negligence, the case was dismissed.

[from Liverpool Standard and General Commercial Advertiser - Friday 19 February 1841]:
Albert (steam tug) from the Skerries at this port, with about 600 packages of tea and silk, saved from the Mary Elizabeth. The ship lies on the south side of the Skerries, in a small creek, and fills with the tide. The President (steam tug) is at the wreck saving cargo and materials.

  [from Liverpool Albion, Monday 14 June 1841]
Atlas, Michaelson, for Antwerp, struck on Burbo Bank, yesterday afternoon, was towed off by the steam-tug Albert, and afterwards sunk in five fathoms water.

Listed in 1851 Liverpool Register and in 1854 Liverpool Register.

Listed in MNL passenger-certified steam vessels as 81nrt, 100 hp, at Liverpool, 1853.



Wooden paddle steamer Queen, reported [in LNRS article] as built Birkenhead 1837 by Liverpool Steam Tug Company.
[Queen not mentioned in newspapers, 1845 list of Liverpool steamships, or 1847 list of tugs; an iron paddle steamer Queen was built by Laird's, 1844, for Birkenhead Ferry service]



Wooden paddle steamer Mona, built John Wood, Glasgow, 1831, 68 nrt, 150grt, 103 x 16 x 9 ft, 70 nhp engines by R Napier. ON 13398. First owned Isle of Man (Douglas- Whitehaven service). 1839 registered at Liverpool, used as a tug. Owned by Liverpool Steam Tug Co from 1841. Damaged by collision with Steamer Arctic, 20 Dec. 1851.
More history.

Image of Mona while serving the Isle of Man route:

  [extract from Gore's Liverpool General Advertiser - Thursday 30 May 1839]:
On Monday last, a second exhibition took place of the applicability of the rockets invented by Mr. Dennett, for the throwing of lines on board vessels stranded or otherwise in distress on a lee shore, and the result was on the whole highly gratifying. The spot selected was at entrance the Mersey, and immediately opposite to the Fort at the Black Rock. Two steamers belonging to the Steam Tug Company - the Victoria and the Mona, - were engaged for the occasion, and a considerable number of ladies and gentlemen were on board to witness the operation.

Listed in 1851 Liverpool Register.

  [from Liverpool Standard and General Commercial Advertiser - Tuesday 06 January 1852]:
The Arctic (s.), Luce, from New York at this port; sailed on 20th Dec. She has brought 371,440 dollars in gold, on freight. In coming up the river, was in contact with the steam tug Mona, which was towing out the Earl Grey, for Valparaiso. The Mona was cut down to the water's edge, and was beached near Egremont to prevent her sinking, and the Earl Grey came to anchor with loss of cutwater.

  [from Gore's Liverpool General Advertiser - Thursday 19 February 1852]:
The well known steam tug Mona 140-67 tons built at Port Glasgow in 1831 by Mr Wood and in 1848 had a complete overhaul and general repair, when she had new boilers; is seventy horse power. Length 108 ft; breadth 17 feet 6-10ths; depth 9 feet 8-10ths. To be sold as she now lies in Coburg Dock, partially damaged, having been in collision with the steam-ship Arctic. Apply Liverpool Steam Tug Company...



Salvage: [from Liverpool Mail - Saturday 19 October 1844]
On Tuesday the beautiful and costly diving apparatus, which has been provided by the public spirited directors of the Steam-tug Company, was put into requisition for the recovery of a large piece of copper, weighing between two and three hundred weight, which fell into the Prince's Dock while being conveyed on board Messrs. Royden and Kendal's ship The Duke, about to sail for Calcutta. Every effort to recover the copper by means of the ordinary grappling irons had been tried in vain. The first man who descended by means of the apparatus ascertained its situation, but could not succeed in making it fast to the rope lowered for the purpose. The second, having had more experience, quickly effected the object, and the prize was hauled up, greatly to the admiration of a large crowd of persons who had been attracted to the spot the novelty of the operation. The apparatus was worked on board the vessel, under the skilful superintendence of Mr. Arthur, the manager of the Steam-tug Company.

See also report of salvage of wreck of Ocean Monarch by a diver from steam-tug Skerryvore in 1848.



Wooden paddle steamer Dreadnought, built Thomas Royden, Liverpool, 1844, 222 grt, 98 nrt, 113.6 x 20.3 x 11.8ft, engines 140 hp by Rigby, Hawarden. ON 2366 Owned by Liverpool Steam Tug Company and other tug companies at Liverpool. Chartered 1850 for use cable-laying between Donaghadee and Portpatrick.

[from Liverpool Mail - Saturday 28 September 1844]:
Launch. On Thursday, a fine boat, built for the Steam Tug Company, almost for the express purpose of saving the crews of vessels that may be wrecked on our sands in rough weather, was launched from the building yard of Mr. Thos. Royden, in Baffin-street. She is very strongly built, and is 284 tons register, with a steam-engine of 130-horse power. The directors entertained a party of their friends on board the Albert steam-tug, after the launch, and proceeded with them to Eastham and back, the sharp breeze giving the visitors an excellent appetite for the good things that had been provided. The usual loyal toasts, and Success to the new boat and the Company, were drank with enthusiasm.
Additional information[from Chester Chronicle - Friday 04 October 1844]:
.. is to be fitted up, by Mr Rigby of Hawarden, with two engines of 70 horse power each.

[from Liverpool Albion - Monday 05 October 1846]:
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 30. Wind N.N.W. Moderate, Dreadnought, (steam-tug,) from Dundrum Bay, at this port, with cargo from the steam-ship Great Britain.

Listed in MNL passenger-certified steam vessels as 81nrt, 120 hp, at Liverpool, 1853.

Listed in 1854 Liverpool Register.

[from Northern Daily Times - Thursday 13 April 1854]:
The Dreadnought steam-tug is aground alongside the Prince's dock.



Iron paddle steamer Liver built by Lairds (and/or the Steam Tug Co) for Liverpool Steam Tug Co, 1846, 140 tons, 112 x 20 x 11ft, ON 2368, 2 engines of 50 hp each by Boulton & Watt. Bought by Liver Tug Co in 1861, and later in 1864 named Warrior, - image below in their funnel markings (from painting by G W Stevens).
Not listed by Lairds, so presumably built by the Steam Tug Company, who had a yard alongside, on the south side of Wallasey Pool.

  [from Liverpool Shipping Telegraph and Daily Commercial Advertiser - Wednesday 17 June 1846]:
Launch. On Saturday last, a fine new steamer, intended for the Steam-tug Company, was launched from Mr. J. Laird's yard [sic], at Birkenhead, She is named the "Liver," and is constructed of iron. Her dimensions are as follows: Length from stem-head to taffrail 112 feet ; ditto betwixt perpendiculars 104 feet 6 inches; breadth of beam 20 feet 2 inches; depth of hold 11 feet; tonnage by old measurement 200 tons; and she will be propelled by a pair of disconnecting engines of fifty horse-power each. After the launch, the large company assembled to witness it partook of a splendid collation. The company's fleet now numbers seven fine, fast, and powerful vessels, namely, the Dreadnought, Victoria, Liver, President, Albert, Mona, and Skerryvore, and within a very brief period we shall have to record the launch of an eighth. We may mention, as a proof of the anxiety of the company to meet every want within their power, that to meet the difficulties of obtaining coals in stormy weather, when it would be impossible for the river flats to remain alongside the steam-tugs, the hull of the old Hero will be anchored in the Sloyne as a depot for that necessary commodity.

  A different record of the builder [from Liverpool Mercury - Friday 19 June 1846]:
LAUNCH of a Tug Boat. - Yesterday se'nnight, a new iron boat for the Steam Tug Company, was launched from their yard in Wallasey Pool. She is named the Liver.

Listed in 1851 Liverpool Register.

Listed in MNL passenger-certified steam vessels as 90nrt, 100 hp, at Liverpool, 1853.

Listed in 1854 Liverpool Register.



Wooden paddle steam tug Express, built Andrew Woodhouse, South Shields, 1846, 178grt, 100nrt, 106 x 20 x 11ft, 100 hp engines by T D Marshall, South Shields. Arrived Liverpool January 1847, owned Liverpool Steam Tug Company. Transferred to Admiralty, renamed Mullet, in 1855 for use in Crimea - as a gun-boat (not recorded in RN list with that name; but listed as paddle steam tug-vessel).

Listed in 1851 Liverpool Register.

Listed in MNL passenger-certified steam vessels as 99nrt, 100 hp, at Liverpool, 1853.

Listed in 1854 Liverpool Register.

[from Liverpool Albion - Monday 15 January 1849]:
Wednesday January 10. Christina, [master Galloway, of Lancaster] from Newry, supposed to have been wrecked yesterday on West Hoyle, was fallen in with, a derelict, by the steam tug Express, which took her in tow, and, when off New Brighton, the Christina sank.

[from Gore's Liverpool General Advertiser - Thursday 03 June 1847]:
LAUNCH OF THE NEW LANDING STAGE. On Tuesday morning that stupendous construction was launched from the dock in which it had been built, and took its station for permanent use opposite the George's Pierhead. The embankment which kept the water from the stage was removed, and the dock allowed to fill with the rising tide. At eleven o'clock she was floated from her moorings and taken in tow by the steam-tug Express. On leaving the dock she was loudly cheered by the men on the dock works.
As soon as the stage had cleared the wall, seven steamers belonging to the Steam-tug Company were fastened to her - three on each side and one a-head to tow her to her moorings. The steamers selected were the Dreadnought, 120; the Albert, 100; the President, 100; the Victory, 100; the Liver 100, the Express 100, and the Mona, 80; in all 700 horse power. The stage on leaving the dock proceeded up the river, and when off Seacombe, a salute of guns was fired. She arrived at the moorings at one o'clock, and was immediately attached to the mooring chains. A temporary bridge will be affixed. The permanent bridges, now being built by Mr. Fairbairn, of Manchester, will be ready in about two months, and as soon they are completed, carriages will able to go on the stage. It is also in contemplation to make a bridge from the centre of the stage to the pierhead for the exclusive use of foot passengers.
No person was allowed on board during the removal of the stage except the dock committee, and those engaged in the working of the vessel. Mr. Cubitt, engineer, the designer of the stage, was on board, and interested himself much in the operations. The general management was deputed to Mr. Jones, marine surveyor, and the steam-tugs were under the direction of Mr. Arthur, the manager of the boats. John Bramley-Moore, Esq the chairman, together with the dock committee, Mr. Hartley, the dock surveyor, Mr. Mason, secretary to the dock trustees, and Mr. Grantham, engineer, with one or two others, were the only gentlemen on board, except those connected with the works.
The launch of this great public convenience must have excited the people of Liverpool very much, as the piers were crowded with spectators from the Clarence to the Albert Dock. This was especially the case on the Prince's and George's piers, at the latter of which, barriers had been wisely been placed to check the pressure of the crowd.
The figure or the upper surface of the landing-stage is as near possible that of ship's deck, with a bow at each end, as some of our river steamers are constructed. The length of the stage is 508 feet, and its width over all 82 feet. The edges of the stage are not protected by any bulwarks or chains. It has been thought that this would interfere with the facility of landing or embarking. Massive oaken stanchions, a foot square at the base, and secured on the inside by strong iron knees, encircle the deck at intervals of ten feet, with low mooring posts in the intermediate spaces, well strapped to the deck. Near each bow are four longitudinal timbers, 35 feet in length, to serve as mooring bits, and bearing evidence of a capacity for sustaining the utmost strain to which the mooring chains may be subjected.
The area of the deck is 4467 square yards, or nearly an acre. The tonnage, by carpenters measurement, is 16,000 tons, and upon the entire area of the deck 40,000 persons could find standing room. There are 40,000 cubic feet of timber in the stage, and in the construction of the pontoons from six to seven hundred tons of iron have been used. The draught of water is two feet ten inches, but will be over three feet when at its proper bearings, a draught which will require a superincumbent weight of 2500 tons. The entire depth is eleven feet, namely, pontoons six feet, and deck five feet. The cost of the stage will be more than £50,000, and the working of it £1500 per annum, irrespective of repairs, which will necessarily be very considerable. A lighthouse is erected at each end of the stage, with powerful reflectors, from which suitable lights will be displayed.
We congratulate the Dock Committee on the success of their labours so far. The landing-stage is a great experiment, the test of which will remain for a future day, leaving the dock committee the honour not only doing what they could, but producing a marine structure such as has no parallel in the world for its colossal proportions, and also for the cheapness of the work - considering its strength and magnitude.

[from Sheffield Independent - Saturday 23 December 1854]:
Liverpool: The steam-tugs Express and Ellen Fawcett, bought here by government for service in the Black Sea, and which sailed at the beginning of last week, have put into Holyhead owing to the boisterous weather.

Part of navy list [from John Bull - Saturday 05 January 1856]:
The Mullet paddle wheel steam tug-vessel.



Wooden paddle steamer Skerryvore, built Robert Menzies, Leith in 1838, 129 grt, 48 nrt, 87 x 17.5 x 9.5 ft, engines 60 hp by James Maxton, Leith. ON23499. First use as tender for construction of Skerryvore Lighthouse. For sale at Greenock 1842. Bought 1847 by Liverpool Steam Tug Company. For sale 1849. In 1852 engine removed and converted to a sailing brigantine.

[from Liverpool Mail - Saturday 12 October 1844]:
Accident. On Saturday afternoon last, a seaman on board the steam tug Skerryvore, named Green, while disentangling a rope from the paddle wheel, was thrown with great force into the water in consequence the engine being suddenly started. He was rescued by the crew of the steamer, and when taken out of the water it was found that the only injury he had sustained was a small cut on the forehead.

[from Gore's Liverpool General Advertiser - Thursday 26 November 1846]:
DREADFUL STORM AT LIVERPOOL. On Friday, this port was visited one of the heaviest gales experienced for many years. ... The Skerrivore steam-tug, which had been undergoing repairs on the Cheshire shore, filled as she was being brought across the river; and soon after being made fast to the Ellesmere Wharf, sunk. She was raised on Saturday.

[from Manchester Courier - Wednesday 27 September 1848]:
Thursday: The Ocean Monarch. The steam-tug Skerryvore proceeded last week to the spot where this ill-fated vessel sunk, for the purpose of recovering, if possible, some portion of the wreck. The steam tug had on board a skilful diver, with the necessary dress or apparatus; but his efforts so far have met with but little success. On Thursday some chains and other iron materials that had been recovered were brought to this port, and on Saturday, the Skerryvore arrived in the Mersey with the following articles raised since: One anchor, fourteen cwt. chains, and a quantity of steel and merino. Although up to the latest accounts these are the only proceeds, sanguine hopes are entertained, and the operations are still proceeding. On Friday the Skerryvore picked up the body of a respectably-dressed man, about one hundred yards from where the ill-fated ship sank. He was dressed in a fine black frock coat, plaid trousers and vest, and had on Wellington boots. His body was in an advanced state of decomposition. There is no doubt that he was a passenger in the unfortunate ship.

[from Liverpool Mercantile Gazette and Myers's Weekly Advertiser - Monday 10 December 1849]:
On Monday, the 7th January at one, at the Broker's Sale Room, Derby Buildings (unless disposed of by private treaty) - The HULL of the Liverpool Steam Tug Company's Boat SKERRYVORE; About 140tons per register. This vessel was built in 1839 for the Trinity Board, without regard to expense, is all of English or African oak, with a solid frame and thoroughly copper fastened throughout. Length 87 feet 3-10ths; breadth 17 feet 3-10ths; depth 9 feet 5-10ths: lying alongside the Steam Tug Company's Yard, Queen's Dock Basin. Apply to Mr. E. P. Arthur, Agent to the Company, or to TONGE, CURRY & CO. Brokers.

Listed in 1851 Liverpool Register.



Wooden paddle steamer Powerful, built Daniel Bider, E Jarrow, 1842, 144grt, 37nrt, 102.5 x 19.1 x 10.5ft; engines 120hp, owned London and then, from 1844, William Forster & Samuel Howes (Sr & Jr), Liverpool. They traded as the Powerful Steam Tug Co. by 1849 (Forster, Abbinett & Newton). Broken up 1868.

[from Liverpool Mercury - Tuesday 08 June 1847]:
INQUESTS. On Friday night, Michael Welsh, a coal trimmer on board the steam-tug boat Powerful, fell into the river from the Albert Pier, and was drowned. It appeared the deceased and another man went to the Albert Pier, for the purpose of getting on board the boat which was lying near the wall. There was a stern rope by which the boat was attached to the pier, and there being some difficulty in getting on board, the deceased attempted to gain access to the vessel by passing along the rope, and while doing so he fell into the river. He swam to one of the paddle wheels, and called out for assistance, when one of his companions swam towards him, but was unable to render any aid. The deceased sank almost immediately, and was drowned. His body was recovered the following morning. Verdict accidental.

[from Liverpool Albion, Monday 17 September 1849]:
On Monday week Richard Hughes Wild, in employ on board the steam-tug Powerful, fell overboard. The body was picked up last week by some boatmen near Garston.

[from Gore's Liverpool General Advertiser - Thursday 20 January 1848]: SALE: The well-known Steam-tug POWERFUL, About One Hundred Horse-power, as and where she now lies, with everything now on board. Also a Pair of New Boilers, lately made for the boat, but not yet shipped, and now in Mr. Jones's Yard.

Listed in 1851 Liverpool Register.

Listed in MNL passenger-certified steam vessels as 132nrt, 110 hp, at Liverpool, 1853.

Listed in 1854 Liverpool Register.

Some of crew of Powerful rescued from overturned boat, 1854.



Wooden paddle steamer Hero, built William Denny, Dumbarton, 1832, ON 16175, 102grt, 62nrt, 95.4 x 14.2 x 6.7 ft, 40 hp engines by Napier. Service on Clyde, then bought for Liverpool tug use 1846 (owned Howes & Forster).
More history.

[excerpt from Liverpool Mail - Saturday 03 July 1847]:
steamer Hero in boozy excursion to Warrington, aground.

Listed in 1851 Liverpool Register.

Listed in 1854 Liverpool Register.

  [from Liverpool Shipping Telegraph and Daily Commercial Advertiser - Saturday 17 November 1860]:
On THURSDAY next, the 22 inst., at one o'clock, at the Brokers' Sale-room, Walmer buildings, Water-street. The well-known Steam Tug HERO; 43 tons per regulation of late act: built at Dumbarton in 1832, 40 horse-power, diameter of cylinder 35 inches. This vessel is well adapted for a steam-tug, having been constantly employed in towing on the Mersey. Length 91 feet 5-10ths; breadth 14 feet 6-10ths depth 8 feet 6-10ths; now lying on the beach at Tranmere. Apply to CURRY, KELLOCK Co.. Brokers.



Flambeau, b 1840, Towing 1847, sunk collision 1847 with ferry Wirral.
More history.



Iron paddle steamer Conqueror, built 1845, Wingate, Glasgow, 118grt, 49nrt, 85.5 x 17.2 x 6.2 ft, ON 35155, owned Spinks & Harden, Liverpool, employed as a tug. Sold to St John (Canada) - owned there 1851.
More history.

[from The North Wales Chronicle and Advertiser for the Principality, 31st March 1846]:
The iron steam tug, Conqueror, in passing the Swilly Rocks at an improper time of tide, on Thursday last, struck on a rock, the paddles were immediately reversed, and by the time they were able to propel her under the arch of the Menai Bridge, she sank on the muddy bank opposite Mr. Humphrey's, jun. Cambria Inn, on the Anglesey side. With the assistance of a sloop, they raised her the next morning, and the damages having been repaired, she proceeded on her way to Ireland.



Wooden paddle steamer Covenanter, built William Turnbull, Thornaby-on-Tees, 1846. 154grt, 71nrt, 110.4 x 17.1 x 10.6 ft. Engines 90hp. ON 25874. Owned and registered Liverpool, 1846, by James & Alexander Bremner and John R. Bell. For towing.

[from Liverpool Mail - Saturday 25 March 1848]:
A quantity of railway sleepers were picked up off the Bell Buoy yesterday, and several more were seen floating about, by the steam-tug Covenanter.

[Liverpool Mail - Saturday 27 January 1849]:
Ten guineas were ordered to be paid to the owners of the steamer Covenanter, for towing the Liverpool life boat to a vessel ashore outside.

Listed in 1851 Liverpool Register.

Listed in 1854 Liverpool Register.



Wooden paddle steamer Colchester, built North Shields, 1840, 35 nrt, 98.2 x 16.7 ft, 20hp, ON 16899, in service on the Mersey from 1844, registered Liverpool 1848, owned E Forster, for towing. Broken up 1870.

[from Essex Standard - Friday 18 September 1840]:
STEAM TO AND FROM LONDON. SAFETY, EXPEDITION ANO REGULARITY COMBINED. THE COLCHESTER STEAM COMPANY RESPECTFULLY announce to the Public that its Entirely New and splendidly rapid boat, the "COLCHESTER," will start for LONDON, every TUESDAY and FRIDAY, from New Quay, returning to COLCHESTER every WEDNESDAY and SATURDAY, from the East India and China Wharf, Lower Thames Street, for the conveyance of Passengers and Goods. In presenting itself for a share of the public patronage, tbe Colchester Steam Company do so with confidence its Boat being perfectly constructed upon the most scientific and improved principles; and being particularly adapted for the navigating the Colne River, by her small draught of water, will secure the desiderata, so importint to all commercial transactions, as also to passengers, SAFETY, EXPEDITION, and REGULARITY which it doubts not will be duly appreciated. The Company begs to state that every exertion will be used, and no expense spared, to render each trip one of Pleasure to passengers, and of the quickest possible to freight; the COLCHESTER performing the distance in the short space of SEVEN HOURS.

Also reports of a steamer Colchester providing a Newcastle-Edinburgh service from December 1841 and then rescuing people from a small boat off Berwick in April 1842.

[from Liverpool Mail - Saturday 28 September 1844]:
WOODEND TUG BOAT. The Public are informed that on and after the 1st of October next, the Steamer, COLCHESTER, will tow vessels between LIVERPOOL and WOODEND, the entrance of the Sankey Canal and St. Helen's Railway Dock, leaving the Liverpool Docks, at each Tide, about Two Hours before High Water. For information apply to Mr. Sinclair, Railway Office, St. Helen's; or to Messrs. William COLLINS and Co., Canton-buildings, 13, Water-street, Liverpool.

[excerpt from Liverpool Mercury - Tuesday 27 July 1852]:
SATURDAY, July 24. CLAIM FOR DAMAGE. - Thomas Rowlands, the master of the steam-tug Colchester, was summoned for the payment of £20 being the amount of damages sustained by the barque Eliza, on the 3rd June last, in consequence of an alleged collision.

Reported in 1855 as a steam tug causing smoke pollution.



Prince Arthur(ex-Dumbarton Castle), b 1840, Towing 1849, iron, wrecked Southport 1850, 2 lost.



[from Liverpool Albion - Monday 01 January 1849, and later]:
NEW STEAM-TUG COMPANY. OFFICE, 31, WATER-STREET, The following powerful and superior Steam-tugs:
No. 1. DEFIANCE, (Two Engines,) 120 horse-power.
No. 2. COUNTESS LONSDALE, (Two Engines,) 120 horse-power.
No. 3. CHAMPION, (Two Engines,) 80 horse-power.
The Defiance is now at work, and the others will be ready in the course of eight or ten days. The strength, power, and efficiency of these Vessels, which have been fitted expressly for towing on the Mersey, render them peculiarly adapted for that purpose. Liverpool. M'KEAN, M'LARTY, and CO., Agents.



Iron paddle steamer Defiance, built 1841, Tod & MacGregor, Glasgow, 220grt, 80nrt, 112.3 x 20.3 x 11.7ft, ON 1885, engines 150 hp by Tod & MacGregor. Service Clyde then owned by New Steam Tug Co (M'Kean, M'Larty & Co, Liverpool) 1849. For sale 1850, owned Liverpool Steam Tug Company 1854.
More history.

[excerpt from Liverpool Mercury - Friday 01 March 1844]:
The following STEAM TUGS, LUGGAGE STEAMERS and LIGHTERS, belonging to the New Clyde Shipping Company, viz STEAMERS.
DEFIANCE, (Tug Boat) 120 Horse Power.
CHAMPION, do. 80 do.
JAMES EWING, do. 30 do.
ALERT, (Luggage boat) 16 do.
The whole of the Vessels are at present in operation on the Clyde, and are in good working order. The capabilities of the two principal Tugs are well known on the Clyde. The largest is an iron vessel, and just over two years old; the other, having got a New Boiler and extensive repairs in hull and machinery of late, is in first-rate order. They are both very superior Towing Vessels.

[from Liverpool Shipping Telegraph and Daily Commercial Advertiser - Wednesday 31 January 1849]:
The Defiance steam-tug. (120 horse power) No. 1 of the new steam-tug Company's vessels, which got aground on Saturday forenoon while rendering assistance to the barque Dicky Sam, in Bootle bay, steamed off the bank, on Monday afternoon, about half past one o'clock, not having sustained the slightest injury either in hull or machinery. Notwithstanding she was exposed to the full force of the gales of Sunday, and Sunday night, she immediately resumed her work by towing a large ship to sea a few hours after the time she got off.

Sale [from Gore's Liverpool General Advertiser - Thursday 21 November 1850]:
The powerful and well known steam tug DEFIANCE. 80 tons per register, built of iron in the Clyde in 1841. Dimensions: length 112 feet; breadth 20 feet; depth 11 feet. She is propelled by two engines, of sixty horse power each, which together with the boilers are in most perfect working order, upwards of £1000 having been spent on them in repairs in the last ix months. Diameter of cylinders 41 inches; length of stroke 54 inches; diameter of wheel 5 feet 6 inches; darft for towing, with coals, 7.5 feet.

Listed in MNL passenger-certified steam vessels as 81nrt, 120 hp, at Liverpool, 1853.

Listed in 1854 Liverpool Register.

Court case in 1853 to recover damages from collision while at anchor.



Wooden paddle steamer Countess of Lonsdale, built 1827, Brocklebank, Whitehaven, 250grt, 150nrt, 127 x 20.2 x 10.0ft, engines Tod & MacGregor. Service Whitehaven (in 1845: 150 tons, 160 hp) and in 1851 still registered Whitehaven. See more detail. Then owned by New Steam Tug Co (M'Kean, M'Larty & Co, Liverpool) 1849. Reports in 1850 of voyages to Dublin and Cork. For sale 1850, but still owned M'Kean et al 1854. Not in MNL. Reported broken up 1854. Image of Countess of Lonsdale at Whitehaven.

[from Cumberland Pacquet, and Ware's Whitehaven Advertiser - Tuesday 16 September 1845]:
.. our regatta takes place on Friday next, when the Whitehaven Steam Navigation Company, with a desire to accommodate the public, will place their steamer, the Countess of Lonsdale, outside the harbour, when she will cruise about during the boat racing, ..

[from Gore's Liverpool General Advertiser - Thursday 08 April 1847]:
ON SALE. The Steamer COUNTESS Of LONSDALE, of Whitehaven; 150 tons register, now on the station between Liverpool and Whitehaven. Apply to Messrs. Fisher and Stewart, Whitehaven; to Mr. Robert Henderson, Belfast, or WILLIAM DOWSON and SON. Liverpool.

[from Liverpool Standard and General Commercial Advertiser - Tuesday 07 March 1848]:
STEAM BETWEEN LIVERPOOL AND YOUGHAL, WITH GOODS AND PASSENGERS, The well-known and substantial Steam-packet COUNTESS OF LONSDALE, is intended to ply regularly, with or without a Pilot, as under: From CLARENCE DOCK, LIVERPOOL, MONDAY, March 13, at 4 o'clock, Afternoon. MONDAY, March 20, at 12 o'clock, Noon. MONDAY, March 27, at 2 o'clock, Afternoon. From YOUGHAL on THURSDAYS. Fares: Cabin, 22s. 6d.; Steerage, 7s. 6d. The COUNTESS OF LONSDALE has just undergone a complete overhaul in hull and machinery, including new boilers; has excellent cabin accommodations, and is in fine order.

[from Liverpool Shipping Telegraph and Daily Commercial Advertiser - Saturday 17 February 1849]:
STEAMER ON FIRE. The steam-tug Countess of Lonsdale is now (7 a.m.) on fire in the river with, it is supposed, wrecked goods on board, from Cookson, on shore at the entrance of the Victoria channel. The fire originated in the coals in the bunkers having ignited by some means or other, but as the fire is as yet confined to the bunkers, and streams of water are being poured upon the burning mass from the different fire engines now alongside, it is thought the flames will be got under. The fire was first discovered shortly after five o'clock. The Countess of Lonsdale is a powerful boat and owned by M'Lean, M'Larty, and Co. of this port. [later report: she suffered no injury from the fire in her bunkers]

Sale [from Gore's Liverpool General Advertiser - Thursday 21 November 1850]:
Also the well known Cumberland-built steamer Countess of Lonsdale. About 98 tons register, 209 40-100ths o.m. built Brocklebank, at Whitehaven, in 1827, but opened at Liverpool in 1849, when she underwent a thorough repair, at a cost of upwards of £1200, having received new topsides, binding strakes, &c. and entirely refastened. Dimensions: length 121 feet; breadth 8 feet; depth 12 feet. She is copper fastened and propelled by two engines of about 110 horse power collectively, which, together with the boilers, are in excellent order; she is quite ready for immediate employment, and is well found in stores; lying in the Bramley-Moore Dock. For further details apply Messrs M'Kean, M'Larty and co.

Listed in 1854 Liverpool Register.



Wooden paddle steamer Champion, built 1835, Hunter & Dow, Glasgow, 148grt, 46nrt, 95.7 x 16.5 x 10.7ft, engines Tod & MacGregor. Service Clyde then owned by New Steam Tug Co (M'Kean, M'Larty & Co, Liverpool) 1849. For sale 1850. Scrapped by 1855.
More history.

For sale on the Clyde 1844.

[from Liverpool Shipping Telegraph and Daily Commercial Advertiser - Saturday 17 February 1849]:
Champion (steam-tug), from the wreck of the Cookson, at Liverpool with bale goods, copper, &c.

[from Liverpool Mail - Saturday 05 January 1850]:
Claim for Damages. Collision in the River. At the Police-court, yesterday morning, John Bibby, captain of the Birkenhead boat, Cato, was summoned for injury done to the Champion, a boat belonging to the New Steam Tug Company. Mr. Woodburn appeared for the Steam Tug Company, and Mr. Venn on behalf of the Corporation, the owners of the Birkenhead boat. James Hassen, the captain of the Champion, stated that the damage was done on the 15th December, about half past nine o'clock. It appeared that the boats were just leaving the landing stage, at the half hour; that the Champion was coming down the river at the time, and that the Cato ran into her. The captain of the Champion stated that, seeing the danger, he hailed the Cato to stop, asking two or three times if they were going to run into them. The Cato did not stop, and if she had done so only for a second he thought the accident would have been avoided. The Champion was outside the buoys, about sixty yards from the landing stage, and they were going about half speed when the collision took place. Several witnesses were called who corroborated this statement; for the defence, Mr Venn called the captain of the Cato; but Mr. Rushton gave a decision in favour of the complainant, the amount of compensation to be left to the harbour-master. The damage was estimated at £15 10s.

Sale [from Gore's Liverpool General Advertiser - Thursday 21 November 1850]:
The Steam-Tug CHAMPION; 147 tons o. m. 145 tons per register N. M.; built of wood, in the Clyde, in 1835, but lengthened and nearly re-built in 1848. Dimensions Length 95 feet, breadth 16 feet, depth 10 feet. Propelled by two engines by Tod and MacGregor, of about 35 horse power each; cylinders 33 inches diameter, and four feet stroke; is well found in stores, and an excellent tugboat.



Iron paddle steam tug Samson, built T D Marshall, South Shields, 1848, 185grt, 72nrt, 114.7 x 21.0 x 10.5 ft, 100 hp engines by builder. ON 26044. Owned Mark Melville, Liverpool and others. For sale in Liverpool 1850. Later owned Liverpool Steam Tug Company. Advertised as a tender to take passengers to liners moored in the Mersey, 1850 on.

Listed in MNL passenger-certified steam vessels as 71nrt, at Liverpool, 1853.

Listed in 1854 Liverpool Register.
Sank after collision with ferry Woodside 3rd December 1872.

[from Liverpool Standard and General Commercial Advertiser - Tuesday 05 March 1850]:
By order of the Trustees. This day (Tuesday), the 5th instant, at One o'clock, at the Brokers' Sale Room, Derby Buildings, Fenwick-street, The powerful and well-known A 1 at Lloyd's Iron Steam Tug SAMSON; 71 8-10ths tons per register, exclusive of engine-room; built at Shields, in 1848, expressly for towing purposes, every care having been taken in construction; length 104 feet 7-10ths; breadth 21 feet 3-10ths; depth 10 feet 5-10ths. She is propelled by two splendid disconnecting engines, by Marshall, of 110 horses power collectively; diameter of cylinders 40 inches, with metallic pistons and 4 feet stroke; they are supported by wrought iron beams and columns, and together with the boilers, (working pressure of which is 12 lb. to the square inch,) are very strong and good. She is now in good order, and is allowed to be one of the finest tug-boats at present plying on the Mersey. May be inspected north-east corner of Collingwood Dock. For inventories and further particulars apply to Messrs. CLINT and Co. or to TONGE, CURRY and Co., Brokers.

[from Liverpool Mail - Saturday 10 August 1850]:
United States Mail Steamers between Liverpool and New York. ..... The Steam Tug Company's Boat SAMSON will leave the landing-stage, George's Pier, at nine o'clock, Morning, on Wednesday, the 21st, with Passengers for the ATLANTIC.
[from Liverpool Albion - Monday 17 October 1853]:
THE MARCO POLO. An action was brought by Messrs. J. Aitken and others, the trustees of the Steam-tug Company, against Mr. James Baines, as one of the proprietors of the celebrated emigrant-ship Marco Polo, to recover the sum of £50, on account of damages sustained by the steam-tug Defiance, while docking the former. It appears that, on the 26th December, 1852, during very boisterous weather, the Marco Polo was being taken into the Albert Dock, under the towage of the Sampson[sic], and in care of Mr John Jones, licensed pilot. The anchor of the Marco Polo was left dredging, in consequence of which she ran foul, first of the tug Zephyr, and afterwards of the tug Defiance, which she dragged, causing her to strike so that her bows were stove in, and other damage sustained to the extent of the amount claimed. Mr. Aspinall, on behalf of the plaintiffs, opened the case. Mr. Forshaw appeared for the defendant, and contended that the vessel was under the charge of a licensed pilot, who, consequently, was alone responsible. Again, Captain Forbes was not on board at the time. In opposition to this defence, however, the captain of the tug Sampson said that Captain Forbes was on board the Marco Polo; and the act provided that the chief officers were supposed to see that the pilot did not place the vessel in any dangerous position. In the examination Captain Forbes said he was not on board at the time; but his chief mate, Macdonnell, said, that although he considered it imprudent to leave the anchor dredging, yet, as the pilot ordered it, he did not think it requisite to interfere. The pilot being now at sea, his testimony could not be had. His honour elaborately reviewed the positions of the contending lawyers; and, from the evidence, he considered that the pilot had charge of the vessel, and was alone responsible for the accident. He should give a verdict for the defendant; though he would, at his leisure, read over some parallel cases, and see if any point in exception could be raised.

[from Liverpool Shipping Telegraph and Daily Commercial Advertiser - Tuesday 03 December 1872]:
Samson (tug): A very serious collision recurred on the river this morning a few minutes after midnight between the Woodside Ferry Co.'s steamer Woodside and the Old Tug Co.'s steamer Samson, by which the latter immediately sank, carrying with her the engineer and one firemen, who were both lost. Part of the crew were picked up by the Woodside, and some were saved in their own boat. The Woodside sustained no damage. She had left Birkenhead at 12 o'clock, and it was very hazy at the time of the collision, which took place in mid-river.



Wooden paddle steamer Tartar, built by Liverpool Steam Tug Company, Birkenhead, 1849, 244grt, 112nrt, 113.9 x 20.2 x 11.3 ft, 110 hp engines. ON 2372. Owned Liverpool Steam Tug Co. More history.

[from Liverpool Mail - Saturday 04 May 1850]:
THURSDAY, May 2. Liverpool. Arrived. - Tartar (steam tug), with a lump in tow, arrived here this morning, with about 300 bales and cases of goods from the John B. Skiddy.

Listed in MNL passenger-certified steam vessels as 112nrt, 110 hp, at Liverpool, 1853.

Listed in 1854 Liverpool Register.

[from Northern Daily Times - Thursday 12 April 1855]:
SHIP'S REPORT. The wreck of a vessel was seen yesterday morning, on West Hoyle; crew not heard of; there have been picked up a chart, a small case of brandy, and a card, with captain's name upon it (James Marshall, Greenock). Memorandum: The above is supposed to be the Brailsford, Marshall, which left this port for Africa, April 7. The steam-tug Tartar has gone out to the wreck. The Point of Ayr, life-boat, has returned from the wreck on West Hoyle, with two dead bodies, and reports the wreck to be that of the three-masted schooner Brailsford.

[from Liverpool Mercury - Monday 15 September 1856]:
The Dorchester, from Mobile, in attempting to dock last night, got foul of the Steam Tug Company's boats Tartar and PowerfuL. The latter lost an anchor and ten fathoms of chain. She also fouled the United States and Queen steam-tugs.



Wooden Paddle steamer Uncle Sam, built Mare & co., Blackwall, 1840, 136 grt, 63 nrt, 101.6 x 18.2 x 11.0 ft, engines 80 hp, ON 22037, owned Watkins, Birkenhead as a steam tug.

Image of Uncle Sam

Delivery [from Liverpool Shipping Telegraph and Daily Commercial Advertiser, Saturday 22 September 1849]:
PENZANCE Sept. 18. Put in, The steam-tug Uncle Sam, Watkins, from London for Liverpool, and proceeded this morning.

[from Liverpool Mail - Saturday 30 March 1850]:
Liverpool Tug Boats. - At the Admiralty Court on Monday the court gave judgment in the suit instituted by the steam-tugs Uncle Sam and the Countess of Lonsdale of this port. The steamers, on the 26th of September, took in tow and brought to this port the ship Tigris, then outward bound from Liverpool to Calcutta, which they represented was lying off Point Lynas in a dangerous position. They were assisted by the Victoria steamer, which had accepted £52 10s, for her services, but the other two tugs claimed £2500[sic]. The learned judge considered the tender (£157 10s) insufficient; he therefore overruled it, and decreed £350. He thought the underwriters were extremely well off to get the ship back to Liverpool at so small an expense.

Reported as present, as a steam tug, during Queen Victoria's visit in 1851.

Listed in 1854 Liverpool Register.

[from Liverpool Albion - Monday 07 March 1853]:
THE WRECK OF THE IRENE. The inquest on the bodies of Richard Whitburn, a native of Truro, Cornwall, a passenger, and William Reece, seaman, of Drury-lane, Liverpool, who were drowned by the capsizing of the barque Irene, yesterday morning week, on a bank off the Coburg Dock, opened on Monday, before the Borough Coroner. Nine others, including the captain (M`Donald) and the mate, were drowned, but their bodies have not yet been found. The witnesses examined were Captain Hugh Reid, who was on board the Irene at the time; Griffith Hughes, Pilot of the first-class, who had charge of her; William Jones, second-mate; William Madren carpenter; and James Williams, seaman on board of the Irene. The evidence was to the effect that, while the Irene was in tow of Uncle Sam, sufficient care was not taken by the master of the steam-tug to keep far enough out in the stream, as ordered by the pilot and that, after the barque struck on the Pluckington Bank, no sufficient means were taken by the crew of the Uncle Sam to rescue the vessel's crew; and consequently, several lives were lost, and that others saved, after clinging to the rigging upwards of an hour, by a boat put off from the steam-tug Powerful. The Inquiry was adjourned until Thursday, to give an opportunity for the captains and mates of the Uncle Sam and the Queen to make statements to the jury. At the adjourned inquiry, the owner of the Uncle Sam was represented by George Stephen. The witnesses examined were Mark Meville, master of the steam-tug Uncle Sam; Charles Melville, engineer. William Shore and Thomas Kelly, seamen on board the Uncle Sam; John Newton, captain, and John Lancaster Dowd, mate, of the steam-tug Queen. They deposed that the pilot was asked repeatedly to dock in one of the north docks, where the barque could have been placed in safety, but that he persisted in being towed to the Brunswick Dock; that the tide was so strong that it was with the greatest difficulty they made way up the river; that the barque sheered more than once; that the barque's striking on the bank was quite accidental; and that it was impossible for them to have rendered more aid to the wrecked vessel than they did. As there were still a number of witnesses to examine, the inquiry was further adjourned until this day, (Monday,) at half-past eleven o'clock. The Irene belonged to Messrs. Ironsides and Co., Liverpool, and was bound to Valparaiso, with a cargo of coals when compelled to return by the severe N.N.W. gale of the Wednesday previous. During the storm of Saturday she lost her best anchor and chain cables, and the pilot got the assistance of a steamer to prevent the vessel driving ashore. A reward of £10 has been offered by her owners for the recovery of the body of Captain M'Donald.

[from Lancaster Gazette - Saturday 19 March 1853]:
In the case of the Irene, wrecked with so large a loss of life at Liverpool, the week before last, the coroner's jury have accompanied their verdict with the expression of an opinion that the steam-tugs Uncle Sam and Queen, did not render the assistance they might.
[possible data on Irene, from Lloyd's Register 1853: Barque Irene b Bideford 1850, 266 tons, owned Miller & Co, Liverpool, to R. Grande; or b New Brunswick 1852, 823 tons, owned Kirk & Co., Liverpool, trading to Sydney]



Iron paddle steamer Queen, built Carmichael, Dundee, 1840, 182 grt, 92 nrt, 106.5 x 20.2 x 10.2ft, 80 hp engines by builder, ON 7054. First owned at Kirkaldy, for east coast service, then sold to Nicholson, Currie and Ogden, Liverpool 1849, registered Liverpool, for use as a tug. Listed in 1851 Liverpool Register as first registered at Liverpool 1849, owned J Nicholson, 91 nrt, 181 grt, 106.5 x 20.2 ft; and in 1854 Liverpool Register as owned William Currie, 91 nrt. Last MNL listing 1859, described as broken up 1859.
More history. [there were many vessels called Queen, so there is some uncertainty in allocating reports]

[from Gore's Liverpool General Advertiser - Thursday 15 March 1849]:
STEAMERS FOR SALE. On Friday, the 23rd instant, at one o'clock pm. within the Town-hall, Kirkaldy, Fifeshire, unless previously disposed of by Private Bargain. First: The Iron Steamer QUEEN, of Kirkaldy, 91.5, or, including engine room, 181.5, tons burthen, with stores per inventory, she stands A 1 at Lloyd's, and is propelled by two splendid engines, by Carmichael, Dundee, of 40 horse-power each..... James Jamieson, Esq, Kirkaldy, of the Ferry Company.

[from Liverpool Albion - Monday 26 November 1849]:
FATAL ACCIDENT ON THE RIVER. On Thursday night Theophilus Deshasey, second-mate of the ship Rienzi, fell from the paddle-box of the steam-tug Queen and was drowned before any assistance could be rendered to him. The Rienzi was lying in the river, and the steamer came alongside with stores, which the deceased was delivering on board his ship. Whilst standing on the paddle-box with a light, he fell overboard, in consequence of the lurching of the vessel, and got jammed in the paddle-wheel. With some difficulty, by cutting a part of the paddle-box, he was extricated, but quite dead. At the inquest held on Saturday a verdict of accidental death was returned.

[from Liverpool Mail - Saturday 06 July 1850]:
DISASTROUS ACCOUNT OF AN EMIGRANT SHIP. On Thursday much excitement was occasioned in the town by the appearance of the New York ship Hemisphere, which sailed hence last Saturday with 450 emigrants and a large cargo. The whole of her three masts had disappeared and her battered condition gave evidence that she had met with one of those accidents which at times render the skill and science of nautical men useless. The Hemisphere, a fine New York ship, left this port on Sunday last. On Tuesday evening, when off Holyhead, and nearly half-way across the channel, it began to blow a heavy gale. The captain then sent a portion of the crew aloft to reef the topsails, and, while they were busily engaged in this arduous duty, the ship fetched very heavy, the motion of the ship precipitating the greater portion of the three masts over board, eighteen men being at the time engaged aloft. Two of the crew were pitched into the sea, and drowned, the rest falling with great violence on the deck; and two of them, named Wm. Gibbs and George Bethell, were killed, many others being severely injured. The passengers fortunately were all below, so that no accident happened to any of them. Some time after the accident, they fell in with the steamer Queen, by which they were towed with safety into the Mersey, and afterwards into the Nelson dock. On the arrival of the Hemisphere in the dock, the passengers wants were taken care of by the consignees and emigrant brokers, who will send them on to York by the Boadicea, Princeton, or Washington, which sail immediately. Yesterday, an inquest was held at the sessions-house, on the bodies of the two deceased seamen, and after a searching investigation, a verdict of accidental death was returned. The brother of the seaman Gibbs was in court during the progress of the inquiry. [4 crew lost 2nd July 1850]

[from Liverpool Albion - Monday 14 October 1850]:
The schooner that was on shore on the North Bank has been towed in, a derelict, by the tug steamer Queen. Her name is the Holyhead Trader, Davies, from Pentowan for this port, with a cargo of china clay. She does not make much water.

Listed in MNL passenger-certified steam vessels as 95nrt, 100 hp, at Liverpool, 1850, 1853.

[from Liverpool Mail - Saturday 31 December 1853]:
During a thick fog this morning on the river, several casualties occurred, though there were none of a serious nature. The steam-tug Queen and a flat were in collision with the Renfrewshire. The steamer lost funnel and bulwarks, and the flat had her mast carried away. The Renfrewshire sustained only trifling damage.



Wooden paddle steamer Victory, built George Brown, Tyne, 1848, 100grt, 24nrt, 95,5 x 16.7 x 10.1 ft, 100hp engines, ON 2371, first owner John Strong, Middlesborough, used as tug on Mersey. The Strong family had members in several ports. Used to tow Tayleur (on her fateful maiden voyage) out in January 1854. Reported as lost 21-08-1854 at Varna (Black Sea).

Listed in 1851 Liverpool Register.

Listed in MNL passenger-certified steam vessels as 53nrt, 50 hp, at Liverpool, 1852.

Listed in 1854 Liverpool Register.

[from Liverpool Mail - Saturday 08 April 1854]:
Strong and Another V. Malcomson and Others. In this action the plaintiffs. John and William Strong, proprietors of the Victory and Gleaner, steam-tugs, sought to recover compensation for service rendered in saving the screw steam-ship Kangaroo, belonging to the defendants, Messrs. Malcomson (the Waterford Steam Navigation Company). On the evening of the 28th November last, the Kangaroo being on her return from Liverpool to Bordeaux, with a valuable cargo, consisting chiefly of fruits and wines, in coming up the Victoria Channel, during a fog, struck the ground with great violence, and stuck fast upon the rocks and sand. To get her off, the steam-tugs Victory and Gleaner were both employed, and by great exertions they succeeded in getting her afloat. For this service the plaintiffs made a charge of £150 for services rendered; this was refused, and after some demurring the defendants offered £10; but subsequently, and prior to the present action being tried, they paid the sum of £27 6s. into court. Mr. Sergeant Wilkins and Mr. Millward appeared for the plaintiffs; and Mr. Watson, with whom were Mr. Aspland and Mr. A. Peel, appeared for the defence. Mr. Francis, agent for the plaintiff's steam-tugs, was the first witness called. He remembered being called to aid in getting off the screw-steamer Kangaroo, which was lying on the rocks and sand near the fort, in such a position as to be high and dry at low water. That was on the morning of the 29th of November. He was called by the agent for the Waterford Steam Company, and both the Victory and Gleaner steam-tugs were employed. There was great difficulty experienced in getting the Kangaroo off, and if she had remained for another tide there would have been considerable risk of her being entirely lost. The two tug-boats passed hawsers round the stranded ship, nearly amidships, and, by their united efforts and a sudden jerk, the Kangaroo was got off and towed up the river. From an inspection of the spot made afterwards, witness saw that the Kangaroo had gone ashore with great violence, and had in fact knocked a piece clean out of the rock eight or ten inches in depth, and about five or six feet long. When witness went to her assistance with the two steam-tugs she was lying with her head and bilge upon the rock, and her after-part upon the sand. She would be about 500 yards from the fort. He considered £150 a fair remuneration for the services rendered; and if it had been a regular salvage case the charge must have been a great deal more. The usual charge for taking a vessel from the dock to the Bell Buoy, or from the Bell Buoy, would be £10 or £12. This witness was cross-examined at great length by Mr. Watson in the course of which he admitted that period of five or six weeks might have elapsed from the time the vessel was got off till the time he had examined the spot at which she had been run ashore. He could not say how much force was employed in getting her off, but the two tugs were of about 140 horse-power between them, and all their force was exerted. He could not say whether she might not have been got off by the crew with the use of a kedge-anchor and capstan, but should think they could not have get her off by any such means. At the conclusion of this evidence, which was about five minutes before seven o'clock, the court adjourned till the next morning.
THURSDAY. Strong and Another v. Malcomson and others. This case was proceeded with at considerable length, evidence of a very conflicting character being given on both sides. The jury ultimately returned a verdict for the plaintiff of £72 14s., in addition to the sum paid into court, making £100.



Wooden paddle steamer Hercules, built Gravesend 1837, 136 grt, 64 nrt, 94.2 x 16.5 x 9.7 ft, 70 hp engine. Owned Stockton on Tees, then bought at Liverpool in late 1848. ON 6957. Used as a steam tug, owned W. Downham. Listed 1854 as Liverpool registered steamer of 36 nrt, owned Downham. Hull for sale by Downham 1858, converted to sail 1860.
  Note that the list of passenger-certified steam vessels at Liverpool for 1853 gives two vessels called Hercules, one of 36nrt and 40 hp (presumably that above), and another, associated with Runcorn, of 50nrt and 40 hp, for river use (presumably ex-Woodside ferry).

[Liverpool Shipping Telegraph and Daily Commercial Advertiser - Saturday 02 December 1848]:
This-day, (SATURDAY), the 2nd Dec, 1848, at One o'clock, at the Brokers' Sale-room, Derby-buildings, Fenwick-street, THIRTY-TWO 64th SHARES of the well known Steam Boat, HERCULES, of Stockton, 64 Tons register; about 100 Tons Carpenters' measurement, 60 horse power, engine built by MARSHALL; had new boilers 18 months since. May be seen at the Albert Dock wall. Apply to TONGE, CURRY, and CO., Brokers.

[from Liverpool Mail - Saturday 01 February 1851]:
Collision on the River. - On Tuesday, John Hughes, master of the trader Hope, appeared at the Police-court to claim forty shillings from Mark Melville for running into his vessel with the steam-tug boat Hercules, thereby carrying away her bowsprit. The complainant stated that his vessel was lying off Birkenhead on Sunday, the 19th of January. At half-past nine in the morning, the Hercules ran into them and did the damage. The defendent alleged that he saw the complainant's vessel in distress, and that he went alongside to take her in tow when the damage complained of occurred. This the complainant denied, stating that his vessel was lying at anchor, with thirty fathoms of chain out. The magistrates held the defendant liable, and ordered the claim to be paid.

[from Liverpool Albion - Monday 13 December 1852]:
The steam-tug Jenny Lind was fallen in with yesterday morning, off Bootle, a derelict, and towed into the Birkenhead Dock by steam tug Hercules.

[from General Commercial Advertiser - Tuesday 11 January 1853]:
COLLISION ON THE RIVER. On Thursday morning, a Birkenhead Ferry steamer was run into by the steam-tug Hercules, just as she was coming to the landing-stage, and disabled her by injuring the starboard paddle-wheel.

[from Liverpool Mail - Saturday 30 April 1853]:
The steam-tug Pelham struck, this morning, on the Bell Buoy which is sunk [sic located?] near the bar of the Victoria Channel, and made so much water that she went down in the Zebra Swash before she could be run ashore on the main. Crew saved by the steam-tug Hercules.

[from Liverpool Mercury - Friday 04 November 1853]:
TO BE SOLD, a great bargain, a pair of MARINE ENGINES, 35-horse power each, eligible for a paddle or screw boat, or for a pumping engine. May be seen at 8, Chapel-street, North Birkenhead. - For further particulars apply at the Hercules Steam-tug Company, 2, New-quay, Liverpool.

[from Liverpool Shipping Telegraph and Daily Commercial Advertiser - Thursday 20 May 1858]:
ON SALE. The HULL of the steam-tug HERCULES, lying on the Bank near Woodside Ferry. Is well adapted for being made into a sailing vessel. Apply to W. Downham, 8, Chapel-street, Birkenhead.



Paddle steamer Gleaner, owned Strong, intially active in North East, then at Liverpool as a tug (see also Victory). Possibly the vessel reported as built by G. Brown of Gateshead in 1843. Not listed in 1854 as a Liverpool registered steam vessel.

[from Darlington & Stockton Times, Ripon & Richmond Chronicle - Saturday 20 November 1847]:
DEATH BY DROWNING. We have this week to record the lamentable death of William MacAlston, which happened at Middlesborough, on Friday the 12th instant, under the following circumstances. Deceased was engine-man to the "Gleaner," steam-tug, belonging to Mr. John Strong, of this place, and commanded by Mr. R. Strong. The tug was laying on the river Tees, near the old staiths, and Mr. R. Strong and deceased were putting across in a small boat for the purpose of going on board. Having reached the tug, R. Strong got on board, and left the deceased in the small boat, who put round to the other side for the purpose of securing it. After reaching the other side, deceased threw the boat oar on the tug deck, and almost immediately a splash was heard in the water, accompanied with the words "Oh Dear". Mr. Strong knew it to be MacAlston's voice, and looking overboard saw him struggling in the water. Mr. Strong tried to reach him with a boat-hook and failed, the tide running in strong. He then threw the boat oar to him, but it also failed, and he sank in about three minutes after the splash. The deceased could not swim, and was taken out of the water quite dead. A coroner's inquest was held the day following, before the deputy-coroner, J. P. Sowerby, Esq., when the jury returned a verdict of "Accidentally Drowned."

[from Liverpool Shipping Telegraph and Daily Commercial Advertiser - Friday 06 September 1850]:
WHITBY. Sept. 3. Three of the crew of the brig Urania, of Shields, were landed here yesterday morning from the Steamer Gleaner, of Stockton, having been taken from on board the schooner Vanguard, Lambton, from Hamburg. The latter vessel fell in with her in a sinking state, 26th ult., at 11 p.m., and took the whole of the crew off during a heavy gale from the N. W., in lat. 55 30 N., long 3 18 E.

[from Liverpool Standard and General Commercial Advertiser - Tuesday 22 November 1853]:
Collision at Sea. Judgement in an action to recover damages for a collision, sustained by the brig Oceana, in the Channel. The plaintiff (Juan de Echevarria), was the owner of the brig in question, and the defendants (Messrs. John and William Strong) owners of the steam-tug Gleaner, which, at the time of the collision, had the Oceana in tow; and it was alleged that, in consequence of those on board the steamer not obeying the commands of the pilot on board the Oceana, that brig was run into by a schooner, named the Elise.

[from Chester Chronicle - Saturday 22 October 1853]:
Sudden Death: Captain Samuel Webster, aged 35, of the Gleaner steam-tug, who resided at 18, Edmund-street, Liverpool, after docking a ship in the Prince's Dock, went home, where he partook breakfast, and a small portion of brandy, partially undressed himself, and went into bed. Afterwards he got up to get little more brandy, when he sat upon chair; and, being suddenly seized with fit, fell off onto the bedroom floor. Dr. Osborne, from Earle-street, was immediately sent for, was soon in attendance; but, before he arrived, life had become extinct. He was strong powerful man, generally healthy, attending to his vessel every day; never complaining of anything except soreness in his stomach. He was one of twins, and the other brother, John, died in a somewhat similar way, about eight months ago.

[excerpt of Court Case from Northern Daily Times - Wednesday 11 January 1854]:
The inducement of his investing his money was contained in the following advertisement, which appeared in one of the local papers:
"Delightful excursion to the Vale of Clwyd. The new splendid steamer Gleaner will start from the Prince's Pierhead on Sunday morning next, the 21st instant, at eight o'clock, for Rhyl, returning by nine o'clock in the evening, punctually, allowing seven hours to view the most picturesque scenery in North Wales. Fares for the round, 2s. 6d. Refreshments of superior quality on board."
The plaintiff accordingly paid the fees for himself, his wife, and his friends, and went on board the Gleaner on Sunday morning, the 21st of August, and in due course arrived at Rhyl. A most delightful day passed amid the scenic charms of the valley, but even this enjoyment should have an end; accordingly, at six o'clock, the hour when the steamer was to return, they went rather fatigued to the boat. Arrived there, they found that the charterers were absent, and the boat could not go without them. Having waited in vain until nine o'clock, the plaintiff went by train to Chester, and thence posted to Birkenhead, arriving at Liverpool about two o'clock in the morning.



Wooden paddle steamer Zephyr, built Mulvey, Chester, 1832, 177grt, 103nrt, 113.6 x 17.4, engines of 80hp by Fawcett & Co, ON 4241. Owned St George Steam Packet Company, then registered London, then later on Liverpool - Barrow service, owned Furness Railway. For sale 1850 and used as a tug on the Mersey. Also for sale 1856.

John Watson was a manager with the St. George's Steam Packet Co - vessel possibly renamed after launch [from Liverpool Mercury - Friday 06 July 1832]:
Steam-boat Launch - On Saturday morning last a steam boat, 170 tons burthen, called the John Watson, was launched from Mr. Mulvey's yard, in this city. A party of ladies and gentlemen came from Liverpool in a steamer to witness the launch; and then they took her in tow, and conveyed her home the same evening.

[from London Courier and Evening Gazette - Saturday 25 May 1833]:
STEAM to Exeter, Plymouth, Cork, and Liverpool, calling at Cowes, for Passengers. The St. George Steam Packet Company's splendid steamer ZEPHYR, C. R. HADAWAY, R. N. Commander, will sail from off the Custom-house for Exeter (calling at Cowes) on Saturday next the 25th instant, at Eight o'clock in the Morning, and again on Wednesday the 4th of June, at the same hour, after which she will continue to sail regularly every Wednesday morning, at eight o'clock.

[from Liverpool Albion - Monday 11 September 1837]:
For BEAUMARIS, BANGOR, and MENAI BRIDGE, WITH PASSENGERS ONLY, The St. George Steam-packet Company's fine new Steam Yacht ZEPHYR, E. GOFF. Commander, having been placed on the above station, will sail from George's Pierhead every TURSDAY, THURSDAY, and SATURDAY Mornings at half-past Nine o'Clock, returning from Menai Bridge the alternate days, at the same hour. Cabin Fare (including Steward's Fee) 5s 0d. Deck Fare 2s 6d. Refreshments supplied on board. A Stewardess attends the Ladies' Cabin. Apply at the St. George Steam-packet Company's Offices, 22, Water-street and Clarence Dock.

In 1845 listed as registered at London, built Chester 1832, 103nrt, 80hp.

[from Liverpool Shipping Telegraph and Daily Commercial Advertiser - Monday 20 December 1847]:
FOR SALE BY PRIVATE CONTRACT; The substantial Steam Vessel "ZEPHYR," 103 TONS per register, Built by Mulvey, of Chester, coppered and copper-fastened. fitted with a pair of 40 horse engines, by Fawcett and Co., which are in excellent order, with new Metallic Pistons, and Tubular Boilers, in thorough repair. Has capital accommodation for about thirty Cabin Passengers, and will carry 100 tons cargo, at a light draught of water. Has an abundant Inventory of useful Stores, in good order; is fit for immediate employment, and will be very desirable vessel for any trade her size may suit, or would make an excellent Tug. For further particulars apply to GEORGE JOBLING, Jun. 10, Oil Street, Liverpool,

[from Carlisle Journal - Friday 31 March 1848]:
The Liverpool Fleetwood, and Furness Steam Packet Company's First Class STEAMERS Ply as under:- From Piel.
To FLEETWOOD. The fine Steamers Helvellyn or James Dennistoun, (Sundays excepted, and weather premitting) leaving Fleetwood at 11 am, and Piel 3pm.
To LIVERPOOL. The fine Steamer Zephyr every Tuesday and Friday. For hours of sailing see Company's Time Bills.

[from Liverpool Mercantile Gazette and Myers's Weekly Advertiser - Monday 04 March 1850]:
For SALE, The substantial Steam Vessel ZEPHYR; 97 tons per register; lately plying between Liverpool and Barrow; built by Mulvey, of Chester. The hull is in excellent order, having been thoroughly overhauled within the last six months, and is copper fastened throughout. She is fitted with a pair of engines, eighty horse power collectively, by the well known maker, Fawcett and Co. of Liverpool, which are in the best working order, with new metallic pistons, and tubular boilers in good repair. Has capital accommodation for about twenty cabin passengers, and will carry 120 tons of cargo at a light draft of water. Has an abundant inventory of useful stores, in good order, is fit for immediate employment, and will be found a very desirable vessel for towing, or any trade her size may suit. Dimensions: Length over all 113 feet 6 inches; Breadth 17 feet 4 inches; Depth 10 feet 8.5 inches; Draws for towing 7 feet 9 inches. Now lying in the Bramley-Moore Dock, For further particulars apply to JAMES RAMSDEN, Esq. Barrow, Ulverstone, or here to TONGE, CURRY & CO., Brokers.

[from Soulby's Ulverston Advertiser and General Intelligencer - Thursday 28 February 1850]:
Furness Railway. ...
The Directors have not been able to obtain such an offer for the Zephyr Steamer as they should feel justified in recommending the shareholders to accept. An arrangement has been entered into between the Furness Company and the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company under which the communication with Fleetwood is carried on by means of the Helvellyn and James Dennistoun Steamers. This communication has been carried on without any loss during the past half-year, and by means of it a certain amount of traffic is brought upon the Railway which must necessarily be lost should this communication be discontinued. ...

[summary from Manchester Times - Wednesday 28 July 1852]:
Emigrant ship Ottilla[sic: Ottillia] owned Mr Claus of Kirkdale to Port Philip - left without 23 passengers who had gone ashore - Witness Chalk of steam-tug Zephyr said that he heard master ask for the tug to be in attendance to bring passengers aboard.

Listed in 1851 Liverpool Register.

Listed in MNL passenger-certified steam vessels as 104nrt, 90 hp, at Liverpool, 1852-3.

Listed in 1854 Liverpool Register.

[from Liverpool Mercury - Friday 21 October 1853]:
A COLLISION CASE. AIKEN AND OTHERS V. BAINES. - This was an action brought by the owners of the Steam-tug Defiance, to recover £50, for damages sustained by that vessel from coming in contact with the ship Marco Polo, through the alleged negligence of her officers. Mr. Aspinall conducted the case for the plaintiffs, and Mr. Forshaw for the defendant. The Marco Polo, commanded by Captain Forbes, arrived in the Mersey on the morning of the 26th December, 1852, and in the evening the vessel was attempted to be docked in the Albert dock. For that purpose the anchor was weighed, but in consequence of its having been left "dredging," it caught the chain of the Defiance, then lying at anchor, and that vessel was turned round and had her bowsprit stove in by the collision. Witnesses were called on behalf of the plaintiffs, one of whom, William Thomas, the captain of the steam-tug Samson, swore that Captain Forbes gave the orders to heave the anchor of the Marco Polo. The weather was exceedingly boisterous, and in consequence of the collision, the Marco Polo was not enabled to dock that night. It was admitted that John Jones, a licensed pi!ot, was on board the Marco Polo at the time of the accident. For the defence it was contended that the defendant was not liable, inasmuch as the Marco Polo was under the complete control of the pilot, and that the anchor was weighed by his orders. In support of this statement Captain M'Donald, the then mate of the Marco Polo, was called, who deposed that he gave the orders to heave the anchor, having first received them from the pilot. In the first place, the anchor of the larger vessel became entangled with the steam-tug Zephyr, which steamer continued attached to the Marco Polo until the occurrence of the accident. Captain Forbes, he said, was not on board. The witness, in reply to the judge, said that if he had been left in charge of the vessel he would not have left the anchor dredging, nor would he have docked that night, in consequence of the weather. ...
[from Liverpool Daily Post - Tuesday 06 May 1856]:
On Saturday next, the 10th Instant. at one o'clock at the Broker's Sale-room, Derby-buildings. The wood paddle steamer Zephyr, 104 tons nm, built at Chester in 1832; has two side-lever engines, by Fawcett, of about 90 horse power, and will carry about 100 tons of cargo; both hull and engines are in good order; lying in Brunswick Dock. Apply to Tonge & Co. Brolers.



Iron paddle steamer Wallace, built John Robson, Blackwall, Gateshead, 1849, 178grt, 49nrt, 112.6 x 19.8 x 10.1ft, engines of 100nhp by builder, ON 24180. Owned James and Alexander Bremmer, Liverpool as a tug. For sale 1854, eventually bought by Admiralty at Constantinople 1855.

Listed in 1854 Liverpool Register.

[from Northern Daily Times - Tuesday 14 February 1854]:
BETTELEY V BREMNER. This was an action brought by Mr. Bremner as one of the owners of the steam-tug Wallace, to recover the expenses of towing out the vessel John Woodall, of which, in April, 1850, Mr. Joseph Betteley was one of the owners belonging to the firm of Roberts and Betteley. Mr. Roby appeared for the plaintiff, and Mr. Hime for the defence. It appeared that on the 18th of April, 1850, the vessel was towed to sea by the steam-tug, when by an accident the tug struck the vessel, and caused her some slight damage. It was agreed that the expense of the repair should be set against the cost of towing, and that no charge should be made on either side. Subsequent to the vessel being repaired she was again towed out by the tug; and it was to recover the amount of this work that the action was brought. Mr. Hime, on behalf of the defence, alleged that the agreement was, that all the towing work should be set against the damage done to the vessel, and produced receipts signed by the plaintiff to that effect. Mr. Roby stated that his client admitted the signature, but had no recollection whatever of having given the receipts. A nonsuit was accordingly entered.

[from Northern Daily Times - Thursday 07 September 1854]:
On THURSDAY, the 21st instant, at Three o'clock, at the Brokers' saleroom, 3, York-buildings, Dale-street: The powerful steam-tug, WALLACE, tonnage per O.M., 128 tons: N.M. 80 tons. Length 112 feet 6-10ths, breadth 19 feet 8-10ths, draught when coaled 5 feet. Built of iron at Blackwall, propelled by two disconnecting condensing engines of 100 horse-power; length of stroke 4 feet; diameter of cylinder 36 inches; is fitted with expansive gear; has just had new boilers, made on a principle of burning little fuel; also, new engine-framing, new cylinders, and brasses, and is equal to any new boat afloat; She will be in the Liverpool Docks a week previous to the day of sale, when she will be open for inspection. For further particulars apply to CUNARD, NUNN & CO., Brokers.



Wooden paddle steamer Albion, ex-Richmond, ex-Redwing. Bought from Admiralty in 1849, owned John Sothern and others, for excursion and towing. See Richmond for full details.

Reported as running excursions to the North-West Lightship, as Albion, in May 1850.

Listed in 1851 Liverpool Register.

Listed in MNL passenger-certified steam vessels as 86nrt, 62 hp, at Liverpool, 1850-1.



Wooden paddle steamer Duke of Sussex, built Andrew Woodhouse, South Shields, 1840, 82 grt, 25 nrt, 78.2 x 16.0 x 5.0 ft, 37 hp, ON 16176. Owned Middlesborough Steam tug Company. Bought William Foster, Liverpool, 1849, registered at Liverpool 1850. Listed 1854 as registered at Liverpool, 31 nrt.

[from Cheshire Observer - Saturday 12 May 1855]:
Smuggling at Birkenhead. At the Birkenhead police court, on Monday, before J. S. Jackson, Esq., Thomas Shaw, engineer of the steam tug Duke of Sussex, was brought up on a charge of smuggling 13.5 lbs of foreign manufactured tobacco. Mr. Brooke, solicitor to the customs, appeared for the prosecution, and stated that the charge might be brought under the 16th and 17th vic. of the Customs Consolidation Act, which inflicted a penalty upon the offender of £100; or supposing that the person charged was imposed upon by another party, and the tobacco did not exceed 10 lbs., then there was another clause in the' act empowering the magistrates to deal summarily with the case, by imposing a fine of treble the value of the goods, including costs. Mr. Brooke then called Richard Williams, an officer in the customs, who stated that on Saturday last he stopped the prisoner as he was landing from the steamer Duke of Sussex, which was lying alongside the Morpeth Dock wall. The prisoner, who was in company with another person, carried a bag under his arm, and on being questioned he denied knowing what it contained, adding that a Mr. Greaves, overlooker to Messrs. Baines and Co., had requested him to take it to Mr. Copeland, druggist, at the top of Redcross-street, Liverpool. The officer then examined the bag, and found that it contained 5lbs. of foreign manufactured tobacco, and 5.5lbs. of cigars. The prisoner was next searched, when there were found in his possession three large plugs of tobacco, weighing altogether 3lbs., and corresponding in quality and size to that found in the bag. The prisoner, it was stated, had been out in the steam-tug which had towed the ship Oliver Lang (bound to Australia) to sea on Saturday. Mr. Roby, solicitor, appeared for the prisoner, and submitted to the bench that the evidence did not show that the prisoner was aware of the contents of the bag, and that his mouth was shut from giving evidence; but the fact was, that he had improperly excused himself by stating that he had done it for another person, when, in fact, it was merely a present from the sailors out of the stock intended for the benefit of the crew of the steamer alone. He therefore urged that his client, if found guilty at all, should be convicted under the clause which empowered a summary conviction, as there was a doubt whether he had not been imposed upon, and did no know that he was carrying tobacco and cigars in the bag. Mr. Brooke, remarked that he had no alternative but to press for the case to be remanded, in order that it might be brought under the notice of the commissioners of customs, unless, indeed the bench was of opinion that the prisoner did not know what was in the bag. The magistrate said it was possible that some person might have given the prisoner the bag to carry ashore, and make him the victim; he would, therefore, give him the benefit of doubt. The prisoner was then mulcted in a penalty of £2 9s. 3d. including costs, which was immediately paid by Mr. Roby, and the man was liberated.



Paddle steamer Pilot, listed from 1850-3 in MNL as based Runcorn, with passenger certificate and 60nrt, 70 hp engines. ON 2370. Built by 1844. Mentioned in newspaper in 1847 as belonging to the Bridgewater Trust, captain Peter Johnson. Registered Liverpool, 1854, as 63 tons, 60 hp, until 1865, when registered at London, 79 tons, 60hp, owned W H Thompson, then 1866 owned Joseph Suche. Not in MNL after that - reported as sold foreign 30-7-1866.
[several steam tugs were named Pilot; ON 11576 was registered at Cork]

[from Liverpool Mercury - Friday 20 September 1844]:
ACCIDENTS. ... On Monday, Wm. Robinson, fireman, fell between the steam tug "Pilot" and a vessel being towed, and was severely crushed.

[from Liverpool Mail - Saturday 24 July 1847]:
RUNCORN. Dispatch at the Port. We have great pleasure in recording the following instance of dispatch at this port. The brig Alexander, Captain Prusso, from Libau, with 300 tons of railway sleepers, was towed into the Old Quay Dock, on Tuesday, the 13th instant, by the Bridgewater Trust steamers Pilot, Peter Johnson, and Blanche, James Streets. The admirable manner in which this vessel (drawing 13 feet of water, with only 13 feet 6 inches over the dock sill) was docked, reflects great credit on the excellent management of Mr. James Foulkes, the superintendent of the Bridgewater Trust and Old Quay Company's steamers, and his able assistants.

[from Liverpool Mercury - Tuesday 14 August 1849]:
SMUGGLING. - Two seamen, named M'Keller and M'Farlane, were brought up to answer the complaint of Mr. Michell Marin, for having secreted a quantity of tobacco on board the Pilot steam-boat. It appeared that, yesterday morning, the prisoners went on board the steamer, and proceed to the engine-room; they afterwards obtained a light, and went into a room adjoining the engine-house, and made a noise, which raised the suspicion of the officer on board, who instantly proceeded to the spot, and having questioned the prisoners, and made a strict search, discovered, at different places, 3lbs. of cigars, besides a large quantity of tobacco stowed away. The prisoners were remanded.

Listed in MNL passenger-certified steam vessels as 60nrt, 70 hp, at Runcorn, 1850-3.



Wooden paddle steamer John Bull, built William Watkins, Blackwall, 1849, 103 grt, 45 nrt, 93.5 x 16.9 x 9.7ft, engines 60hp by J Stewart & Sons, ON 22036. Used as a steam tug at Liverpool, owned John Watkins

[from Liverpool Shipping Telegraph and Daily Commercial Advertiser - Saturday 23 June 1849]:
HOLYHEAD. June 20. Put in, The John Bull steam-tug from London, for a supply of coals; got supplied, and sailed for Liverpool.

[excerpt from Liverpool Mail - Saturday 09 February 1850]:
About three o'clock on Wednesday afternoon, the American transit ship, John F. Whitney, Captain Gladden, ran aground on a sand bank near the entrance to the Victoria Channel, and almost immediately afterwards began to break up. She struck three different times on various banks, near Formby, before she went down. Notwithstanding the gale, the weather was so thick at the time that it was impossible to get a pilot on board. The crew endeavoured to save themselves by launching their life-boat, but, on account of the heavy sea running at the time, she was swamped before anybody got on board of her. The men, (about twenty-four in number), together with eight passengers, then betook themselves to the ship's two boats, and were afterwards picked up by Captain Webster, of the John Bull tug steamer, and landed at this port in safely at seven o'clock on Wednesday evening.

[from Liverpool Mercury - Tuesday 10 February 1852]:
A SERIOUS ACCIDENT AT GEORGE'S PIER - The ship Anne Handerson, Captain Coull, from Calcutta, whilst being towed into the Albert dock yesterday afternoon by the steam-tugs John Bull and Queen, when nearing the landing-stage at George's-pier, broke loose from the hawser which connected her with the steam-tugs, and the high wind and strong current drove her with great violence so against the south end of the pier, her bows carrying away two of the lamp-posts, and dislodging several of the large stones. So powerful was the action of the current that it required the united force of four powerful steam-boats to remove her. The second mate, John Whinyates, who was at the capstan at the time of the accident, got entangled in the chain, by which he had both his thighs broken. He was conveyed to the Southern Hospital, in a very precarious state. The vessel, which is but slightly damaged, is the property of Messrs. Steele, shipbuilders, of this town.

[from Liverpool Albion - Monday 15 August 1853]:
THE AFRICAN STEAM-SHIP CHARITY. This vessel was surveyed by Mr. Hughes, the Admiralty engineer, on Saturday, and, we understand, gave the greatest satisfaction. Her speed, as ascertained by measured distance, without reference to tides, and by Massey's patent log, was 9.75 knots, having on board at the time 800 tons of coal, besides water, provisions, and stores. Considering the tonnage of the vessel (1,200 tons N.M.) and her nominal power, no such result has before been obtained in screw-steaming. The Charity proceeded from the Northwest Lightship direct for London, at 5 p.m., on Saturday, and the party who were out on the trial returned by the steam-tug John Bull.

In 1854 reported as a steam tug owned by John Watkins which helped to rescue his passenger steamer Satellite.

Listed in 1854 Liverpool Register.



Wooden paddle steamer Mary Agnes, built William Cooper, North Shields, 1848, 82grt, 27nrt, 84.2 x 15.4 x 8.7 ft, engines 40 hp, ON 6040. Owned Anthony Strong, Middlesborough; then in 1851 Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Co. [who owned several steamers]. She was present at the visit of Queen Victoria to Liverpool in October 1851, as a steam tug.

[from Liverpool Mercury - Friday 27 August 1852, p16]:
CLAIM FOR DAMAGE. - The captain of the steam-tug Mary Agnes, was summoned for the payment of £20, being the amount of damage alleged to be sustained by the schooner Eliza on the 20th instant. Mr. Aspinall, barrister, appeared for the plaintiff, and Mr. Owen for the defendant. From the evidence for the plaintiff, it be appeared that the tug-boat had been employed to tow the schooner from the King's dock to the Stanley dock. On getting below the landing-stage, the rope which was attached to the schooner from the steamer broke. The crew of the Mary Agnes then threw off the three ropes belonging to the Eliza, the result of which was that the vessel struck against the Prince's pierhead, carrying away her martingale and cat's-head. The steamer then pulled the schooner astern, and the latter vessel was afterwards driven with violence against the landing-stage, and had three of her planks stove in. After getting clear of the landing-stage, the anchor of the Eliza was lowered; but the steamer again came up, and the crew made her fast to the vessel. The crew of the schooner then heaved the anchor, when the steamer again let go the rope, and the Eliza was consequently driven against a ship lying in the river, and sustained considerable damage. Mr. Owen, for the defendant, contended that the crew of the schooner were alone to blame, and that they should have provided sufficiently strong ropes to prevent any accident. A good deal of evidence was then gone into, after which the magistrates, after a little deliberation, dismissed the case.

Listed in MNL passenger-certified steam vessels as 26nrt, 40 hp, at Liverpool, 1853.

Listed in 1854 Liverpool Register.

[from Liverpool Daily Post, Saturday 13 June 1868]:
The Mary Agnes (tug), sunk in the Mersey on Thursday night, part of her machinery having gone through her bottom.



Iron paddle steamer Promise, built Thomas Potts, Newcastle, 1851, 20nrt, 78 x 15.1 x 8 ft, 35 hp engine, ON 10585. Owned Redhead Liverpool from 1852, used as a steam tug and for excursions. Sold to Lancaster 1856.

Listed in 1854 Liverpool Register.

[from Liverpool Mercury - Tuesday 08 June 1852]:
STEAM COMMUNICATION. RHYL, RHYDDLLAN, ST, ASAPH, DENBIGH, RUTHIN, ABERGELE, LLANRWST, COLWYN, and all parts of North wales, to and from Liverpool. The New, Powerful, and fast-sailing Steam Ships, PROMISE, & EARL SPENCER, Will sail from the Seacombe Slip, Liverpool, and from Rhyl, punctually as under....

[from Chester Chronicle - Saturday 26 June 1852]:
Cheap Steamboat Excursion. THE New, Fast sailing, Iron Steamer, PROMISE, John Lewis, Commander, will SAIL from the CHEESE STAGE, Chester, at 7 a.m. on SUNDAY, the 27th inst., for HILBRE ISLAND and the LIGHT SHIP, returning the same Evening, about o'clock, to Chester. The Boat will reach Hilbre Island at about 10 a.m. Parties wishing to land will thus be enabled to spend a few hours on the Island, and view the splendid scenery. Charges for the Trip, 3s. 6d. each. For further particulars apply the Captain, on board the Earl Spencer, now lying near the Canal Locks; or Mr. J. S. Lomax, Cheese Stage, Chester. N.B. Refreshments may be had on Board

[from Liverpool Mail - Saturday 06 November 1852]:
Birkenhead Commissioners: ...
The Lord Morpeth had been twice in collision during the month, first with a flat, and then with the steam-tug Promise.

Reported as in the Mersey as a steam tug during Royal Visit 1855.

[from Liverpool Shipping Telegraph and Daily Commercial Advertiser - Monday 27 June 1859]:
FOR SALE. The Iron Paddle Tug Steamer PROMISE 38 51-100ths tons N.M., built at Newcastle on Tyne in 1851. Has one condensing engine 30 horse power, and two fine boilers; diameter of cylinder 29.5 inches; length of stroke 3 feet 9 inches. Length 79 feet 1 inch; breadth 15 feet 6 inches; depth 8 feet. Draught of water, 4 feet 9 inches. Has always been kept in good repair, both in hull and engine, and is now in good order. For further particulars apply to TONGE & CO.. Brokers for the Sale of Ships, 1, Rumford-street.

[from Preston Chronicle - Saturday 19 November 1859]:
SHIPPING NEWS. PRESTON. - ARRIVED: steam-tug Promise, from Barrow.



Wooden paddle steamer Lioness, built Tyne circa 1849, 95grt, 31nrt, 81.6 x 17.3 x 9.5ft, owned William Jolliffe, of Liverpool, May 1849, registered Shields. ON 1901. Registered Londonderry 1853. This is a likely identity of the steam tug Lioness active in the Mersey area from 1851-2. More history

Reported as present in the Mersey as a steam tug in October 1851, during the visit of Queen Victoria.

Listed in MNL passenger-certified steam vessels as 60nrt, at Liverpool, 1852.

[from Liverpool Shipping Telegraph and Daily Commercial Advertiser - Saturday 18 June 1853]:
LONDONDERRY. June 14. The barque Great Britain, Johnston, of Belfast, from Grangemouth for Boston. U.S., (with pig iron), experienced severe gales of wind on the 7th inst. off Rockhall[sic], where she sprang a leak and was obliged to bear up for Lough Foyle, where she arrived and anchored off Moville this this morning. The steam-tug Lioness has gone to tow her up, and she will have to discharge to find the leak. [this is likely to be Londonderry steam tug Lioness, ON 1901, 31nt]

Iron paddle steamer Lioness, built Lairds, Birkenhead, 1854, yard no.103, 95grt, 88.5 x 15.0 ft, owned Joliffe, Liverpool. Advertised for sale 1857, built Laird, 92grt, 58nrt, 98.8 x 18.4 ft, 60 hp engines.
More history [reports sold 1858 and later renamed Swan].
To add confusion, another Lioness was built on the Tyne in 1858 and owned Jolliffe, Liverpool, but quoted as sold to Gothenburg 1862.
The appropriation record for ON 2374, quotes first registered at Liverpool, 1855, 58 tons, and listed alongside Liverpool based steam tugs. First owner is listed as G. K. Dixon et al. [so not included in list of steamers registered at Liverpool in 1854]. Later MNL listings give iron, 58nrt, 93grt, 90.8 x 18.4 x 7.9 ft, 50 hp, paddles with owner John Pemberton, Seacombe from 1865 on. In MNL until 1880s. The MNL quotes built Birkenhead 1836. This is a problem: iron vessels were very rare in 1836, so would be well documented; there is no record on the West Coast of a steamer called Lioness until 1851. The most likely explanation is that the MNL record of date of build is in error,

[from Liverpool Albion - Monday 02 December 1861]:
THE SMOKE NUISANCE. ... Messrs. JOLLIFFE, owners of the stearntug LIONESS, for a similar offence, committed on the 8th ult., were fined 20s. and costs.

[excerpt from Northern Daily Times - Tuesday 29 July 1856]:
Witness in case of collision of Mail and Excelsior.
William Morris, master of the steam tug Lioness, stated that on the morning in question, he was lying at anchor off the magazines on the Cheshire shore. Came on deck about half-past one o'clock. Saw two steamers one coming up and the other going down. The one coming up was north east by east from him, and about 300 or 400 yards away. Could see her three lights, white, red, and green. They were pretty good lights. That vessel was the Mail.

[excerpt from Northern Daily Times - Saturday 20 December 1856]:
COUNTY COURT, BEFORE JOSEPH POLLOCK. ESQ., JUDGE. DIXON AND OTHERS V. GORHAM AND OTHERS. - This was an action in which the plaintiffs were, George Kendal Dixon, James Robertson, John Williams, Septimus Dixon, James Higgins, and John Pemberton, owners of the Lioness steam tug. The plaintiffs sought to recover the sum of £10 from John Gorham, the master, and from the owners of the schooner Cheshire Lass, as compensation for assistance rendered to the latter, and for damages sustained while assisting.

[from Northern Daily Times - Thursday 25 June 1857]:
FOR SALE BY AUCTION, This day, the 25th inst, at one o'clock, at the Brokers' Saleroom, Walmer-buildings, Water-street, the well-known steam Tug LIONESS; 92 tons gross tonnage, 58 tons per register; built of iron, at Birkenhead, by Mr. Laird; has one side lever engine of sixty horse-power; diameter of cylinder 43 inches; length of stroke 4 feet 2.5 inches; consumption of coal about seven tons per twenty-four hours. Dimensions: Length, 90 feet 8-10ths; breadth, 18 feet 4-10ths; depth, 7 feet 9-10ths. Lying in Birkenhead Dock. Apply to CURRY, KELLOCK and CO., brokers for the Purchase and Sale of Ships, Walmer-building, Water-street.

[from Gore's Liverpool General Advertiser, Thursday 16 June 1870]:
Lioness (tug), sank this morning near New Brighton.

[from Liverpool Shipping Telegraph and Daily Commercial Advertiser - Tuesday 21 June 1870]: Lioness (tug) reported 15th June sunk off New Brighton, has been raised and placed on the beach.

[from Liverpool Mail - Saturday 04 January 1873]:
The Shipwreck and Humane Society....
To Robert Gordon, master, and crew of the tug Lioness, for going close into Taylor's Bank on the 23rd November in a heavy sea, and rescuing two men in a river gig who were in great peril near the breakers - £3.



Iron paddle steamer Independence, built Thomas Toward, St. Peter's Quay, Newcastle 1850, 254grt, 110nrt. 124.2 x 22.9 x 11.1ft, 2cyl engines, 150hp, ON 6018. Built for Powerful Steam Tug Co. [Abbinett & Co] of Liverpool for use on Mersey. Listed in 1851 Liverpool Register as owned H. N. Abbinett, first registered Liverpool June 1850, and in 1854 Liverpool register as owned Henry Nicholas Abbinett.

Reported as present in the Mersey as a steam tug in 1851, during the visit of Queen Victoria.

[from Westmorland Gazette - Saturday 06 December 1851]:
Fatal Accidents from fog in Liverpool. On Friday last Liverpool was visited by one of the densest fogs that has been experienced for some time. The streets, in the morning, were almost impassible by vehicles, and on the river navigation was rendered extremely hazardous. The fog continued over Saturday and Sunday, but was not so intense. On Friday, the Rock Ferry and Tranmere boats did not run at all, and the Woodside boats only crossed at intervals, crowded with passengers. The river providentially, was almost bare of shipping. The Seacombe boats only ran till mid-day, and the Egremont ones ceased running at three p.m. The steam tender Satellite came into collision with the Helen, bound with emigrants to Australia, but she experienced no considerable damage. The Rock Ferry steamer got ashore at Seacombe, but without injury. One of the Seacombe boats ventured with 250 passengers on board, and was struck by the Independence steam tug, which had just left the City of Pittsburg off Seacombe; and she was so much damaged that the Independence had to tow her to the landing stage, where she remained.

Listed in MNL passenger-certified steam vessels as 110nrt, 50 hp, at Liverpool, 1853.

In 1860 involved in collision with Brigantine Arthur Gordon and sank.



Iron paddle steamer Washington, built James Maxton, Leith 1844, 196grt, 107nrt, 126 x 25 x 10ft, engines 70nhp (second hand). Built as a ferry for Granton-Burntisland service in the Forth of Firth, named Burntisland. For sale 1850 since a steamer (Leviathan) carrying railway carriages then connected Granton and Burntisland. Owned James Bemner, Liverpool in 1851, though owner in 1854 described as Alexander Bremner. Used as a tug at Liverpool, then in 1853 voyaged to Australia. Advertised as available for towing at Sydney in 1854. ON 43220.
More history.

[from Caledonian Mercury - Monday 08 April 1844]:
LAUNCH OF AN IRON STEAMER. - The second of two iron steam boats for the Granton and Burntisland ferries was launched on Thursday afternoon, from the yard of Messrs Maxton & Co. at the upper bridge, Great Junction Street, [Leith]. These boats, named respectively the "Granton" and "Burntisland", are the joint concern of his Grace the Duke of Buccleuch and John Gladstone, Esq. of Fasque, and are constructed upon the newest principle of iron build. They measure 120 feet in length, 20 feet over the beam, and the keels are formed of the Oak-Farm Iron Company's patent keel plates, a marked improvement upon the old plan of iron building. The weight of iron contained in each is about 70 tons, and the power is that of 80 horse. For elegance of structure they are perfect models of ship build, and their appearance in the water is graceful and light. Exactly at three p.m. the "Burntisland" was raised from her dock bed and glided smoothly into the stream, to the admiration of an immense crowd of spectators. The twin-boat, the "Granton," was launched a few weeks ago.

[from Dundee, Perth, and Cupar Advertiser - Tuesday 12 March 1850]:
STEAM VESSEL FOR SALE. That superior Iron Steam Vessel - the BURNTISLAND, belonging to the Edinburgh, Perth, and Dundee Railway Company, and used by them in plying the Burntisland and Granton Ferry on the Forth. Her length is 136 feet, tonnage 180 tons, engines 65 horse-power, with a length of stroke of 3 feet 6 inches. She is in a good state of repair, and well adapted for the conveyance of goods and passengers. Terms of sale, and all other particulars may be learned on application to the Secretary of the Railway Company, No. 130 George Street. Edinburgh, March, 1850. [also advertised March 1851 in Liverpool Albion]

[from Liverpool Standard and General Commercial Advertiser - Tuesday 22 March 1853]:
JAMES BREMNER, owner of the paddle steamer Washington, has been fined 40s. and costs for conveying passengers on the 15th ult., without having the requisite certificate on board.

Listed in MNL passenger-certified steam vessels as 85nrt, 120 hp, at Liverpool, 1853.

[from Liverpool Shipping Telegraph and Daily Commercial Advertiser - Saturday 23 July 1853]:
Entered for Loading. MELBOURNE Washington 70 Todd, A Bremner - July 21 Cbg

From painting "Steam Tug Washington belonging to Messrs Mitchell & Co. of Sydney towing the ship Ellenborough" by F. Garling, sketched 1854-62, in NSW Mitchell Library.

[from Empire, Sydney, Friday 1 December 1854]:
THE WASHINGTON, STEAM TUG, Is now ready to remove vessels of any tonnage, to any part of the harbour, or to or from sea, Terms, moderate. Apply to MITCHELL AND CO. October 27th, 1B54.

[from Liverpool Mercantile Gazette and Myers's Weekly Advertiser - Monday 23 April 1855]:
SYDNEY STEAM TUG. Captains of ships bound to Sydney, Australia, are hearby informed, that, on making the Heads, the steam tug WASHINGTON of 120 horse power, will be sent to tow them in, on their making the signal to that effect (Marryatt's code). Charges very moderate. MITCHELL & CO., Ship Chandlers, Queen's Wharf, Sydney.



Wooden Paddle steamer Helen Fawcett, built James Jackson, Middlesborough, 1849, 137 grt, 42 nrt, 107.9 x 17.5 x 10.3. Owned Thomas Redhead [or Readhead], Glasgow and then Liverpool. Reported voyage to Constantinople 1854. [name Helen Fawcett seems to be of a well known actress at that date]

Listed in MNL passenger-certified steam vessels as 40nrt, 80 hp, at Liverpool, 1852-3.

Listed in 1854 Liverpool Register.

[from Liverpool Standard and General Commercial Advertiser - Tuesday 30 August 1853]:
THORNTON V. REDHEAD. This was an action to recover a sum £58 8s. 7d., being the balance remaining due of an account originally amounting £124 8s. 7d. The defendant had paid £15 into court, The plaintiff is a shipowner and shipwright, and the action arose upon an agreement to execute certain repairs to the steam-boat, Helen Fawcett, of which the defendant is the owner. The question was one involving an examination of matters of account and charges for work done, and whether such work had been executed by the defendant's authority. After the plaintiff's case had been partially gone into, the court adjourned at half-past six.
Resumed: After some additional witnesses had been examined, it was agreed that three of the jury should go down to the vessel and examine the work. They were to be accompanied by two surveyors, one acting for the plaintiff and the other for the defendant. After an absence of two or three hours they returned, and gave a verdict for the plaintiff of £28 16s., in addition to the sum of £66, which the defendant had already paid.

[from Liverpool Albion - Monday 01 May 1854]:
On Wednesday the steam-tug Rendall[sic], while towing a schooner in the Channel, came into collision with a ship near the Bell Buoy, and had her funnel carried away by the shock. With the assistance of the steamer Helen Fawcett, she was enabled to reach the Mersey, and was taken into the Egerton Dock, at Birkenhead, during the evening.

[from Liverpool Albion - Monday 18 December 1854]:
Wednesday Dec 13. Helen Fawcett (s) hence for Constantinople, at Holyhead, with loss of bulwarks and leaky.



Wooden paddle steamer Avenger, built East Jarrow (Daniel Bider?), 1848, 88grt, 22nrt, 75.9 x 1.9 x 8.8ft, 22hp, ON 10174. Owned A. N. Coe, Shields. Registered Shields 1851, owned Marshall. Chartered to provide a service at Liverpool. Legal dispute late 1852.

Listed in MNL passenger-certified steam vessels as 22nrt, at Liverpool, 1852.

[from Newcastle Courant - Friday 17 December 1852]:
COURT OF EXCHEQUER. - MONDAY. - FORCIBLE POSSESSION OF A STEAM TUG AND ASSAULT. - KILBY v. COE. - (Before Baron Martin.) - The plaintiff, who is a resident of Birkenhead, visited Shields in the course of last April, and made arrangements with the defendant who is a publican in that neighbourhood, to take the Avenger steam-tug at £30 per month, for 12 months, the charter-party requiring three months notice for any alteration. The Avenger was taken round to Liverpool and was engaged by the plaintiff in towing ships and carrying passengers on excursion trips. On the 15th of June, she had been engaged to tow the Lady Flora Hastings ship out to the Bell Buoy, and, as she was lying near the Birkenhead Pier, the plaintiff gave orders to keep her fires up and not let her get aground, as she had to take a ship out after six o'clock. On returning to the vessel, he found the safety-valve off and the tug aground. Four additional hands were engaged to get her off, and eventually she was floated, and when about 200 yards from the Birkenhead shore, Wheatley, the engineer, promised the four men, whom he had taken on board, a sovereign a head if they would go on his side. They did so. Wheatley threw the anchor overboard and called out to the defendant, who had previously arrived, and was standing on Birkenhead Pier, that he required more assistance, and 20 men, armed with knives and bludgeons, came off and took her back to Birkenhead. Plaintiff further added, that he was assaulted by the defendant and Wheatley on the 23rd of the month, in being ejected from the Avenger. In cross-examination, the plaintiff stated that some months rent for the vessel had not been paid on the day it was due, in consequence of a desire to see the defendant about some repairs and deductions. It was also stated that the defendant had written to the plaintiff not to pay the amount, as he was coming over to Liverpool. Mr Baron Martin thought it would be as well for some arrangement to be made. It was not a question of law, but of damages. After some consultation on the part of the counsel, Mr Temple, who appeared for the defendant, said they preferred his lordship to fix the amount. Baron Martin: Then I think he is entitled £120. This (the charter-party) gave the plaintiff possession of the ship, and it also gave the defendant the legal means of obtaining his vessel. A verdict by consent was then taken for the plaintiff - damages £120, and all further proceedings whatever to be stayed.



Wooden paddle steamer British Queen, built Gateshead 1840, 90grt, 39nrt, 82.7 x 16.0 x 8.9ft, 50 hp engines. ON 10484. Registered Stockton in 1851, owned J Strong, but later owned by Hannah Strong, Birkenhead. First newspaper mention on Merseyside is 1853. Sank 1872 in Mersey. Last MNL listing in 1872.

[from Liverpool Mail - Saturday 31 December 1853]:
During a thick fog this morning on the river, several casualties occurred, though there were none of a serious nature. The Wirral (s) was in contact with the steam-tug British Queen, in the river, and damaged her stern. The British Queen did not sustain any damage.

[from Liverpool Albion - Saturday 05 October 1872]:
SINKING OF A STEAMER IN THE RIVER. The tug British Queen, on Tuesday morning, while at anchor in the river, off Tranmere, sunk, from some cause at present unexplained. It is conjectured that the vessel must have sustained damage from contact with some sunken wreck. Those on board the vessel at the time of the occurrence succeeded in landing in safety.



Wooden paddle steamer Pelham, built H. Smith & Son, Gainsborough, 1837, 133 grt, 81 nrt, 97 x 17.1 x 8.4 ft, initially owned Gainsborough, registered Hull 1838, ON 15047, last MNL entry 1860, broken up 1859. Owned Joliffe, Liverpool by 1853. For sale at Liverpool 1857.
Another wooden paddle steamer Pelham (ON 17757, 60 tons, 40hp, 77.9 x 17.9 ft) was built earlier (1828) by the same yard and was used on the Hull - Grimsby service. Both were owned by the Gainsborough United Steam Packet Co in 1851, registered Hull. She was offered for sale in 1855. A new steamer, Sir Colin Campbell, was obtained in 1855 but the Pelham was advertised as continuing to 1858. MNL entry to 1861.
MNL list of steam vessels certified for passengers has for 1852: Pelham Grimsby 81t - r; Pelham(new) Hull(Grimsby) 60t 60hp r.

Listed in MNL passenger-certified steam vessels as 81nrt, 80 hp, at Liverpool, 1853.

[from Liverpool Mail - Saturday 30 April 1853]:
The steam-tug Pelham struck, this morning, on the Bell Buoy which is sunk near the bar of the Victoria Channel, and made so much water that she went down in the Zebra Swash before she could be run ashore on the main. Crew saved by the steam-tug Hercules.

[from Liverpool Albion - Monday 31 October 1853]:
A letter was read from Mr. Wm. Jolliffe, owner of the steamer Pelham, stating that a sum £328 8s., been expended upon that vessel in repairing the damage she had sustained in consequence of striking against the Bell Buoy. The applicant alleged that at the time the vessel struck the buoy was not observable, there being only a ripple on the water where it was stationed. He would agree to settle the matter by arbitration.

[from Liverpool Shipping Telegraph and Daily Commercial Advertiser - Tuesday 18 August 1857]:
Also, The Steam Tug PELHAM; tons per register; built at Gainsbro', and now in good working order, and ready for employment, has two side lever engines of 40 horse power respectively - cylinders 32.5 inches, stroke four feet. Length 97 feet, breadth 17 feet 1-10th. depth 8 feet 4-10ths.



Wooden paddle steamer Reaper, Built S Wood, Tyne, 1837, 63grt, 22nrt, 74.2 x 14.1 x 8.0 ft, 30 hp engines by W. Hawks, gateshead, ON 7064. Registered Stockton, and active there until 1852, but then used at Liverpool, later owned by Edward Forster, Birkenhead.

Listed in MNL passenger-certified steam vessels as 22nrt, 30 hp, at Liverpool, 1853.

[from Liverpool Daily Post - Monday 17 November 1856]: A Boat Upset on the Mersey. On Saturday, a gig, containing two boatmen, capsized on the Mersey, but both lives were saved. It seems that the gig was returning to Liverpool when it came in contact with the fender of the Monk's Ferry-boat Woodside, and capsized. The ferry-boat immediately put about and rescued the two men who were put on board the Tranmere boat William Fawcett, and taken to Tranmere. The gig was picked up by the steam-tug Reaper.



Wooden paddle steamer Modern Athens, built Thomas Adamson, Dundee, 1836, 1080m, 119.7 x 17.7 x 7.8 ft, 130 hp engines by Peter Borrie, Tay Foundry, Dundee. ON 24187. In service Dundee to Edinburgh, owned J Bremner, Liverpool, 1852, registered Liverpool, listed in 1854 as 76nrt.
More history.

[from Gore's Liverpool General Advertiser - Thursday 16 January 1840]:
On Thursday, the 6th February next, twelve o'clock, within the Royal Hotel, Dundee, The splendid and powerful Steam Ships The BONNIE DUNDEE, MODERN ATHENS, and ROTHESAY, belonging to the Dundee and Leith Steam-Packet Company.
2nd: THE MODERN ATHENS, 120 horses power. As she at present lies in the East Dock at Dundee. Her old boilers having been taken out for the purpose of repair, but circumstances having called for the present sale, they will be sold with the vessel, or separately as offers may incline. She was built and furnished by the above-named gentlemen, and put to sea in the autumn of 1836. Her length of keel is 115 feet; length on deck over all 134 feet; breadth of beam 19.5 feet; is 122 5-10ths tons register for goods; is propelled by two engines of sixty horse power each; diameter of cylinder 43 inches; length of stroke 4 feet; is coppered and copper-fastened, and draws about 7 feet water.
The character of these Steam-Ships is so universally known, that it would be superfluous to say more than that there are no vessels on the East Coast that excel them either in point of speed or superiority as sea boats. They were built expressly for this Company, under the superintendence of Captain Crichton, the Agent for Lloyd's at this port. ... Regarding the Modern Athens, her engines are in excellent order. Both the Steam-Ships are completely found - their saloons and cabins commodious and splendidly fitted-up, and conveniently arranged for air, &c.

[from Liverpool Standard and General Commercial Advertiser - Tuesday 01 March 1853]:
STEAM-BOAT CASES. James and Alex. Bremner, owners of the steam-tug, Modern Athens, were charged with allowing her to carry passengers, she not being licensed for the same. Fined 40s., and 4s. 6d. costs; and John Hughes, master of the vessel at the time, 1s., and 1s. costs.

Listed in MNL passenger-certified steam vessels as 76nrt, 120 hp, at Liverpool, 1853.

Listed in 1854 Liverpool Register.



Iron paddle steamer Constitution, built Thomas Toward, Newcastle, 1853, 262grt, 49nrt, 132.9 x 22.3 x 11.9 ft, 120 hp engines, ON 6033. Owned P Maddox, Liverpool.

Listed in MNL passenger-certified steam vessels as 49nrt, 160 hp, at Liverpool, 1853.

Listed in 1854 Liverpool Register.

[from Liverpool Mail - Saturday 28 January 1854]:
The Constitution (steam-tug) left at 12:45pm, for the Olinda [wreck off Anglesey] with Captain D Green, late of the Braziliera, and Captain Tongel and 30 lumpers.

[excerpt from Westmorland Gazette - Saturday 13 May 1854]:
Sailing of the famed clipper ship Red Jacket for Melbourne. ... At about half-past one o'clock p.m., yesterday, the anchor was raised, and the ship, towed by the Constitution steam tug, proceeded down the river, taking her course close alongside the Prince's parade. Although her departure had not been anticipated, a large number of spectators were present to witness her departure; and when she fired her parting guns, which were of large calibre, showing that she is quite sufficiently armed to protect herself against any ordinary opponent, the cheering from on board, heartily responded to from ashore, was most enlivening. At the Rock the Independence tug was expected to join the Constitution, and, if requisite, the ship will be thus taken out as far as Cork.



Wooden paddle steamer Conqueror, built Thornburn & Grant, North Shields, 1848. Owned at Chester 1851. More detail.

Listed in MNL passenger-certified steam vessels as 21nrt, 30 hp, at Liverpool, 1853. But not listed in 1854 Liverpool registered steam vessels since registered Liverpool 1855. Not found in MNL after 1853.
Note possible confusion with steam tugs of the same name (built 1856 at Liverpool; active on the Clyde, built 1840; as well as built 1845 Clyde for Liverpool)

[from Northern Daily Times - Saturday 12 August 1854]:
On THURSDAY, the 31st instant, at One o'clock, at the Brokers' saleroom, Walmer-buildings, Water-street, if not previously disposed of by private treaty, The Steam-tug CONQUEROR, 45 horse-power, as she now is, plying on the Mersey. She has just undergone thorough and extensive repairs in hull, engine and boilers, the engine having had all new brasses and valves; boilers new, with the exception of the upper part of the shell and ends; her hull has been thoroughly overhauled and has had new clamps, beams and decks, and on inspection will be found equal to a new boat; for particulars apply to ARTHUR HUNT, Esq., Fenwick-court, or to TONGE, CURRY & CO., Brokers.



Wooden paddle steamer Conqueror, built Redhead, Harland & Brown, Tranmere, 1856, 82grt, 51nrt, 90.8 x 16.7 x 9.1ft, 60 hp engine, ON16167, owned Cruse & Downham, Liverpool as a steam tug. More history.
Some newspaper reports may confuse this vessel with the one above.

[from Liverpool Albion - Monday 10 March 1856]:
The launch at Tranmere Pool was a great novelty, for no event of the kind has taken place there for seventeen years past, when Mr. Lomax gave up his tenancy of the building-slip and graving-dock attached to Tramnere Ferry. About six months ago, Messrs. Redhead, Harland, and Brown became tenants of the building premises, and at once laid two vessels down, the first of which was launched on Saturday. She is a finely-modelled wooden vessel, 100 feet in length, 18 feet beam, 9.5 feet depth of hold, and measuring about 140 tons. She is intended for a tug-steamer, and will be fitted with two steeple engines, of 60 horse-power, with disconnecting gear. Her owners are Messrs. Cruise and Downham. A little after twelve, the vessel was sent off the stocks, after being christened "The Conqueror," by Miss Cruise, amidst the cheers of the spectators, and a salute of fifteen guns fired from Messrs. Scott's foundry, immediately adjoining.

[from Northern Daily Times - Monday 01 December 1856]:
SALVAGE TRIAL. The case of the steam tug Conqueror against the Sphynx, from Liverpool to Trieste, towed into Dublin from Blackwater Bank, on the 24th October, has been disposed of, in the Admiralty Court, Dublin, by the award of £300 (£200 to the owners of the tug, £100 to the crew.) The claim set up on behalf of the Glasgow Underwriters was dismissed, with Costs. The admitted value of the ship and cargo was £6,000.

[from Liverpool Shipping Telegraph and Daily Commercial Advertiser - Monday 05 July 1858]:
LATEST SHIPPING. The brig Emily, from Liverpool for Dublin, with coals, is on shore near West Hoyle; crew landed here at 8:30 p.m. yesterday, by the steam-tug Conqueror.



Wooden paddle steamer Voltiguer, built James Jackson, Middlesborough, 1851, 73grt, 27nrt, 76.0 x 15.6 x 8.0 ft, 40 hp engines by Richardson, Hartlepool, ON 3712. Owned and registered at Shields, then on service at Liverpool in 1853. Registered Dublin 1855; registered Liverpool 1858. Described as a steam tug when sold in 1858. Broken up 1870.

Listed in MNL passenger-certified steam vessels as 28nrt, 60 hp, at Liverpool, 1853.
[from Liverpool Shipping Telegraph and Daily Commercial Advertiser - Wednesday 24 September 1856]:
DUBLIN. Sept. 20. The Hope, of Wexford, in proceeding to sea last night, came in contact with the Voltigeur (steam-tug), which lost bowsprit and had part of paddle-box carried away; the Hope sustained no damage.
[from Liverpool Mercury - Friday 11 June 1858]:
NEW BROKERS' SALEROOMS.- Messrs. Cunard, Wilson, and Co., the well-known ship brokers, inaugurated business yesterday, at the new brokers' saleroons, the Liverpool and London Chambers, Exchange, by offering for sale several steam and other vessels. The following were the results: the ship Fancis Ridley, 635 tons register, sold for £3250; the ship John M'Kenzie, 904 38-100 tons, sold for £1910; the Liffey, steam tug, brought £1700; and the Voltigeur, steam tug £750. The Elizabeth Jane (screw) had been disposed of by private treaty, and for the new ship Black Eagle, and new brigantine Jane, there were no offers.



Wooden paddle steamer Enterprise (also Enterprize), b William Denny, Dumbarton, 1826, 125grt, 109.3 x 20.3 x 10.9 ft, 90 hp engines. Owned Stockton, then Hull, then Boston, then Yarmouth. Owned Thomas Holderness, Liverpool, from 1853 - registered Liverpool, ON 38995. Used for towing. Listed as 131 nt in 1854.
More history.

[from Liverpool Shipping Telegraph and Daily Commercial Advertiser, Tuesday 11 November 1856]:
Ships spoken: Sunshine, from Liverpool to Melbourne, Nov 7, off Tuskar, by the steam tug Enterprise.

[from Liverpool Shipping Telegraph and Daily Commercial Advertiser, Thursday 11 February 1858]:
The sloop Pennington, from Conway, was towed from near Blaney Bewy[sic] by the Enterprise steam-tug, and put into Prince's Basin yesterday morning, with loss of topmast and cross-tree.



Wooden paddle steamer Robert Burns, built Gateshead, 1837, 95grt, 41nrt, 84.6 x 15.8 x 9.4ft, 60 hp engines by W. Hawks, Gateshead, ON 20772. Owned at London, then registered at Liverpool in late 1853, owner John Watkins.

[excerpt from Liverpool Daily Post - Thursday 19 July 1855]:
MORE SMOKE INFORMATIONS.
RIVER CASES. The Robert Burns, tug-boat, John Walker[sic]; Colchester, tug-boat, Edward Foster and Co.; Powerful, ditto, ditto; Dreadnought and President, tugs belonging to the Liverpool Steam-tug Company; Sampson, tug, Wm. Jolliff; and Anglesea, Messrs. Price and Co.; The Vanguard, steamer, Messrs. Wilson and others, was similarly charged.

[from Northern Daily Times - Monday 31 October 1859]:
By order of the mortgagee. - On. Thursday next, the 3rd November, at Three o'clock, at Cunard, Wilson, and Co.'s Saleroom, Exchange, Liverpool, The well-known steam-tug ROBERT BURNS; 95 tons gross measurement. Length, 84 feet 6-10ths; breadth, 15 feet , 8-10ths; depth, 9 feet 4-10ths. Built of wood at Gateshead in 1837, and has been well taken care of. Her engines and stores are in good order, and she may be inspected at Tranmere, where she now lies. Apply to CUNARD, WILSON, and Co., Brokers.



Iron paddle steamer Iron King, built Thomas Potts, Newcastle, 1854, 172grt, 79nrt, 123.0 x 18.3 x 10.8ft, engines 100hp by W. Scott, North Shields, ON 7030. Owned St. George's Steam Tug Co., Liverpool, Henry J. Ward, John R. Murphy & John Griffiths. Registered Liverpool 1854.
Boiler explosion in 1856 caused one fatality.

Listed in 1854 Liverpool Register.

[from Liverpool Mercury - Tuesday 13 September 1853]:
Last week there was launched from the building yard of Mr. Potts, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, a fine steamer, named the Iron King, intended for an excursion and tug steamer on the Mersey. She is owned by Captain John Murphy and Co., and from her model, it is believed she will be a match for any excursion boat on the river.

[from Bolton Chronicle - Saturday 22 November 1856]:
Fatal Boiler Explosion on the Mersey. About ten o'clock on Saturday morning, a fatal accident occurred on board the steam-tug Iron King, belonging to the St. George's Steam-tug Company, whilst lying in the Mersey. It appears that the Iron King had been engaged to tow out the ship Douro for Bombay, and was lying alongside the Albert Dock wall, having just given a hawser to the Douro. One of the hands on board the latter vessel called out that they could not raise the anchor, and immediately afterwards the steam-pipe of the boiler of the tug-boat exploded. One man, named Joseph Pearson, a fireman, was killed on the spot; James Foulkes, the engineer, and another fireman named Robert Hewett, were seriously scalded about the head, face, and neck. The deceased was a married man with three children, and resided at Runcorn; Foulkes, also a married man with two children, resides in Wood-street, Birkenhead; Hewett is likewise a married man, and resides at Oak Tree-place, Limekiln-lane, Rock Ferry. Immediately after the accident, Foulkes and Hewett were conveyed to the office of the owners of the tug, and were afterwards taken to the Northern Hospital where they yet remain. Every attention is paid to them, and hopes are entertained that they will soon recover. The Iron King was built on the Tyne, near Newcastle, about three years ago, when she was fitted with patent tubular boilers by Messrs. Galloway, of Manchester. The cause of the accident, is supposed to have arisen from encrustation of the boilers, though the vessel was in dock on the 25th of the last month, and the boilers are understood to have been cleaned then. After the accident the tug was towed into the Birkenhead docks by the Fire King. Externally, the Iron King bears no marks of injury.

[from Liverpool Albion - Monday 24 November 1856]:
The inquest on the body of Joseph Pearson, who was killed by the boiler explosion on board the Iron King, on Saturday, the 15th instant, was resumed before the Borough-coroner on Tuesday, when the following verdict was returned: "We find a verdict of accidental death, but we consider the boilers unsafe as at present constructed." The Coroner said the jury would be glad to hear that already orders had been given for having the interior of the boilers altered, so as to remove the existing objections.



Wooden paddle steamer British Dominion, builder [probably] S. Wood, Gateshead 1839, ON 6319 Steam tug, lost 3rd December 1855. Previous owner reported as Strong, a bankrupt.
There were two steam tugs called British Dominion built in the north-east, ON 6319 and ON 26139. They were registered at Stockton and Newcastle and one was reported as in service after late 1855, when this vessel was lost. ON 26139 is reported as for sale at N Shields in March 1856 and as lost on the NE coast on 4 September 1856. The most likely candidate for the Liverpool tug is thus ON 6319: built Wood, Gateshead, 1839, 70grt, 23nrt, 77.4 x 14.4 x 8.7ft, 38 hp, ON 6319, owned Strong family. Registered 1851 at Stockton 33nrt, 70grt, owned J & A Strong, first registered 1839. This vessel is in MNL until 1862 when reported as "lost".

Reported as present in October 1855 at a royal visit.

[from Morning Post - Wednesday 05 December 1855]:
Liverpool. Dec. 4. The steam-tug British Dominion got ashore on Taylor's Bank yesterday, but came off by the evening flood tide, and sank on Crosby Beach. The crew were, however, saved. [later reported as "gone to pieces"]

[from Northern Daily Times - Monday 10 December 1855]:
In the Courts of the Lords Justices on Friday last, there was brought on an appeal parte Dobson Re Strong, a bankrupt. This was the appeal of the petitioning creditor against the decision of the commissioner of bankrupts at Liverpool, whereby he had granted to the bankrupt a certificate of the third class, with suspension for six months. It appeared that the bankrupt was the owner of the British Dominion, steam tug, of the port of Liverpool, and the allegations of the petition of appeal were that the bankrupt had made false representations as to the state of his property in order to deceive his creditors; that, having sold his ship for only £700, her value being £1400, he had paid off a mortgage of £400, out of the proceeds; but for the disposition of the residue thereof he could only account by a statement that having carried it about in his pocket, and having become on several occasions intoxicated, he had lost it. ...

[from Liverpool Shipping Telegraph and Daily Commercial Advertiser - Wednesday 09 January 1856]:
Postponed from Tuesday the 8th inst. THIS DAY, the 9th inst., at two o'clock in the afternoon, on the beach, WRECK OF THE STEAM TUG BRITISH DOMINION, as it now lies on the beach at Formby, near Hightown Station, consisting of BOILER, ENGINE, and all articles saved from her. For further particulars apply to CURRY & CO,, Brokers, Walmer-buildings, Water-street.



Iron paddle steamer United States, built Jackson Toward, Newcastle, 1855, 235grt, 75nrt, 137.1 x 23.1 x 11.4ft, ON 10551, 130hp engines by Almond, N. Shields, owned United Steam Tug Co, Liverpool. 1894 owned Alexandra Towing Co, Liverpool, renamed Brocklebank. 1897 broken up.

Reported in use towing 1856



Iron paddle steamer Resolute, built Hoby, Renfrew, 1857, 375grt, 85nrt, 161 x 24.8 x 13.5 ft, 200hp engines by builder, ON 19972, owned New Steam Tug Co, Liverpool [mgr Baines], registered Liverpool. Registered at Calcutta 1863, posted missing 1870. Last MNL listing 1871. This New Steam Tug Company was different from that of 1849 owned by M'Kean et al.
More history.
Note another tug Resolute (ON 51410, b Bristol 1864) was owned by the same company and registered at Liverpool from 1865. The company had many iron paddle tugs with similar names: - Reliance (ON 20765, b Renfrew 1857), Rover (ON 20452, b Paisley 1857), Retriever (ON 20453, b Renfrew 1857), Phoenix (ON 45373, b Hull 1862), Relief (ON 45374, b Hull 1862, sold, then ON 50266, b Bristol 1864).

[from Sun (London) - Tuesday 04 August 1857]:
RAPID TOWAGE. LIVERPOOL, SATURDAY. A telegraphic despatch was received here this morning announcing that the James Baines, Captain M'Donnell, had arrived at Portsmouth, for the conveyance of troops to the East Indies. She was towed to Portsmouth by the steam tug Resolute, Captain Jevons, belonging to the new steam tug company, in 82 hours, although encountering a head gale in channel. It may be stated that the Resolute, when she took the James Baines in tow, had been only one week off the stocks.

[from Illustrated London News - Saturday 12 March 1859]:

STEAM-TUG RESOLUTE. Our engraving of this vessel, one of the fleet of steam-tugs owned by the new Steam-Tug Company of Liverpool (from a drawing by Thomas Daniels, of Lawton-street, Liverpool), represents her as she appeared at sea when proceeding in search of the derelict ship Marianne, abandoned in the Atlantic. After cruising four days she succeeded in finding the above ship, in lat. 48° 30' North, long. 16° West, waterlogged, having lost her rudder, and otherwise completely disabled. The steamer's large towing hawser was attached to the ship's chain cable, and, after five days and nights buffeting with the heavy swell of the Atlantic, the steamtug succeeded in bringing her into Queenstown harbour. The Resolute is the most powerful of this company's fleet, which comprises the largest tugs in Europe.

[from Liverpool Shipping Telegraph and Daily Commercial Advertiser - Saturday 24 October 1863]:
LIVERPOOL STEAM TUGS FOR THE EAST INDIES. Yesterday the fine steam-tug Resolute, recently purchased from the Liverpool New Steam-tug Co., sailed from the Mersey for Calcutta. She is one of the latest additions to the fleet of the Hooghly Steam-tug Company. The Resolute was the most powerful steam-tug in the United Kingdom, and was for a considerable time engaged in laying down the telegraph cables between England and the North of Europe, the Channel Islands, &c. &c, a service which she was quite successful in executing. Some recent improvements in her machinery has increased her speed fully two knots per hour, while her consumption of coal is lessened from thirty to eighteen tons per day. She will make the voyage under sail and steam, and is likely to complete it in seventy or eighty days. Two other Liverpool tugs, (the Columbus and Victoria), both very large, will follow in a few days, having been purchased by the same firm.



Iron Paddle steamer Blazer, built Alexander Stephen, Kelvinhaugh, 1856, 337 grt, 212 nrt, 150.4 x 23.1 x 13.1 ft, 180hp, ON 16166. Owned Liverpool Steam Tug Co. Sold 1882 and broken up 1883.
More history.

Involved in towing Liverpool Lifeboat, which overturned with the loss of 7 men, to rescue survivors of wreck of PS Lelia in 1865. Image from ILN:




Iron paddle steamer Universe, built T Toward, Newcastle, 1855, 311grt, 143nrt, 135.3 x 23.4 x 11.2ft; ON 25315, 120 hp engines by Almond, owned Independence Steam Tug co [Maddox, Edwards et al], Liverpool, sold 1891 to Bristol, broken up 1893. This company seems to have acquired the tug Independence, hitherto owned by the Powerful Steam Tug Co.



Iron paddle steamer Enterprise, built T Toward, Newcastle, 1855, 319grt, 150nrt, 136.0 x 23.1 x 11.4ft; ON 26081, 120 hp engines by Almond, owned Independence Steam Tug Co [Maddox, Edwards et al], Liverpool, broken up 1889.



City of Dublin Steam Packet Company's steam tender Mars - used for towing [Gore's], salvage and as a cattle tender [built on or before 1826, served to 1843]:

[from Liverpool Mercantile Gazette and Myers's Weekly Advertiser - Monday 25 December 1826]:
DAILY CONVEYANCE TO DUBLIN. THE CITY OF DUBLIN UNITED STEAM PACKET COMPANY, Sail a vessel daily, with Passengers and Goods, and one also with Passengers only, according to the state of the tides.
The Company's STEAM TOW BOAT, the MARS, is constantly in readiness to tow vessels either in the River or to Sea, Application to be made to Capt. Pemberton on board, in the Brunswick Dock, or to SAMUEL PERRY, Agent, 24, Water-street. [later adverts mention George Daney]

1828 steam boat Mars arrived from Dublin to help salvage at Waterford (of Town of Liverpool)

By 1829 Gore's directory: The Mars and Venus, steam lighters and tow boats, for attending merchant vessels - Samuel Perry.

Described in 1835-43 adverts by City of Dublin SP Co as a cattle tender, at Liverpool.

 [from Public Ledger and Daily Advertiser - Tuesday 18 April 1837]:
HOLYHEAD: Put in, the steam-boat Mars, Hughes, for Dublin, left Liverpool yesterday evening about 6 P.M., having in tow two large tanks for floating sunken vessels; when about eight miles N. South Stack one of the tanks broke loose, and the sea at that time running high, she was obliged to come to harbour, being calm at 5 p. m., the boat went out in search of the one lost; should they be able to secure it, their intention is to proceed forthwith to Dublin, leaving the other behind.

Note that two other paddle steamers called Mars were trading on the east coast of Ireland: an iron screw steamer , ON 14209, built 1849, wrecked 1862; and an iron paddle steamer, ON 9062, built 1853, latterly a blockade runner.



The wooden steam tender HMPO Richmond, was based at Liverpool from 1834 and there were complaints in the Liverpool press that she was engaged in towing - unfair competition since the HM Post Office steam service was supported by the Government.
See Albion which was her name, given after 1849 when in private ownership.



Iron paddle steamer Satellite, built Robert Napier, Glasgow, 1848, 157 grt, 82 nrt, 108.5 x 18.8 x 9.7 ft, 80 hp engines by Napier, ON 23924. Registered Glasgow but used as a passenger tender at Liverpool from 1848, 1878 owned Cunard, broken up 1902.
More history.
Note that another (wooden) paddle steamer called Satellite was built at Liverpool in 1825 and used mainly on North Wales routes.
Note that yet another (iron) paddle steamer called Satellite built on the Thames in 1841, used from Mostyn 1854-63.

Detail from image of ship Lord Raglan embarking soldiers in the Mersey from a steam tender, most probably Cunard tender Satellite, [from Illustrated London News 14 July 1854]:

Image of Steam Tender Satellite (b 1848)

[excerpt from Liverpool Albion - Monday 09 October 1848]:
BRITISH AND NORTH AMERICAN ROYAL MAIL STEAM-SHIPS: ... The Steam Tender SATELLITE will leave the Egremont Slip, south end of the Prince's Dock, at Half-past Nine o'Clock (Forenoon) of that day with the Passengers for the EUROPA.

[from Liverpool Daily Post - Monday 06 January 1879]:
FOG IN THE RIVER. WOODSIDE STEAMER IN COLLISION. Another collision sufficiently alarming in its nature though unattended with serious results took place early this morning between the Woodside steamer Cheshire and the Cunard steam tender Satellite. About half-past eleven last night remarkably dense fog settled on the side of the Mersey, and made it impossible to distinguish lights at a distance of a few yards. In consequence this, the Cheshire, which should have left at midnight, was delayed in her departure waiting the arrival of the steamer from Liverpool, the density of fog having suggested the wise precaution of allowing only one ferry steamer to track at the same time. Very soon after the vessel had left the Woodside, the whistle of some steamer, which afterwards turned out to be the Satellite, was heard. The sound, however, was so indistinct that it was thought that the must be a much greater distance off than it turned out that she was. Soon afterwards her lights were made out and it was found that, proceeding to South-end, she was bearing directly down upon the Woodside steamer. Both steamers reversed engines, but collision was then inevitable. The port bow of the Cheshire came into collision with the Satellite about midships, and for a few moments there was loud crashing of timbers as the vessels tore past each other, neither apparently sustaining serious damage. There were not a very large number of passengers on board the Cheshire but there were several ladies among whom the greatest alarm prevailed for a few minutes. The alarm was, by no means, however, confined to the ladies though they were naturally the most demonstrative in manifesting it. Several of the male passengers had evidently serious misgivings which the recollection of the recent calamitous collision was calculated to stimulate. The Cheshire however finding that no serious damage appeared to have been done on either side, proceeded on her course and as she got near the Liverpool side, the river seemed in great part clear of fog. The Satellite did not appear to have many persons on board beside her crew.



Iron paddle steamer Jackal, built James & George Thomson, Govan, 1852, 181nrt, 125.4 x 19.5 x 9.8 ft, engines 80hp by Fawcett & Preston, Liverpool, ON 1334, registered Glasgow 1853. Owned McIver [Cunard agent] as a double-ended steam tender at Liverpool. First reported service at Liverpool December 1852. Also used as a tender at Queenstown [Cobh]. Registered Liverpool 1887, register closed 1893.
More history.

[from Liverpool Albion - Monday 02 January 1854]:
About seven o'clock on Saturday evening, two men, belonging to the steam tug Powerful, were leaving the great Landing Stage in a boat, when the boat capsized, and they were immersed in the river. The men were rescued, after considerable exertions, by Captain Brewster and Wm Brown of the steam tender Jackall. This makes the seventh person whom Captain Brewster has saved from drowning within the last two years.

Reported as used to embark soldiers onto ship Lord Raglan [from Illustrated London News 14 July 1854]

Image of "double-ender" steam tender Jackal [name just visible]:

Image of tender Jackal approaching an American vessel off Roches Point. [from Illustrated London News 2 July 1864].




Iron paddle steamer Warrington, built Bridge Foundry, Warrington, 1840, 100nrt, 108 x 18.5 x 9.5 ft, 3ft draught, two engines of 35 hp each, by builders. Owned Bridge Foundry Co., presumably as a tug, although there are some reports of passenger service. [Ownership from Schooner Port by H F Starkey]. Sold 1844 to Joseph Coyne of Liverpool [described as a Runcorn ship-owner, of flat Susan, 47 tons, built 1838, and house owner who was selling all his property and moving abroad in 1844] and in 1846 reported as sold foreign.

[from Liverpool Mercury - Friday 10 January 1840]:
NEW IRON STEAMER. - There is now building, in the yard connected with the Bridge Foundry Company, Warrington, a splendid iron steam-boat, about 119 feet long, and about 19 feet beam, to be propelled by two engines, of about thirty-five horse power each, manufactured on the same premises. Several of the nobility and scientific gentlemen of the neighbourhood having inspected the various parts of the vessel and machinery during its progress, have expressed themselves highly delighted with the firmness and strength of the materials, and the excellence and skill of the workmanship. The launch is expected to take place about the 18th instant.

[from Manchester Courier - Saturday 25 January 1840]:
WARRINGTON, Launch of an Iron Steam-boat. On Monday last, a large and beautiful steam vessel, 119 feet long and 19 feet beam, was launched in fine style from the yard belonging to the Bridge Foundry, Warrington, the first vessel of the kind built in that town. She is a splendid craft, and is to be propelled by two engines of 35-horse power each, manufactured on the same premises. Much praise is due to the spirited proprietors of this for the manner in which she is got up. The machinery and other parts of the boat are said, by competent judges, to be of the most superior kind; and it is gratifying to hear that such is the excelleney of the design and workmanship, (which has been minutely inspected during every period of its progress by persons of considerable judgment and experience in such matters), that the company have already received orders for several other vessels. The inhabitants of Warrington may well be proud of this new branch of trade which is now introduced amongst them, and which will, no doubt, greatly tend to increase its importance and prosperity.

[from Manchester Times - Saturday 21 November 1840]:
NAVIGATION OF THE MERSEY. - The Warrington, a new iron steamer of 200tons burthen, builders' measurement, built entirely (engines and hull) by the Warrington Bridge Foundry Company, made her first experimental trip down the Mersey to Liverpool and back on Wednesday week. On her downward voyage, she sailed remarkably sell, and took in tow several flats bound for Liverpool. On her return home she steamed from the Old Quay Pier, Liverpool, to the Old Quay at Runcorn, in one hour and twenty-two minutes, towing one of Messrs. John Hodson and Company's flats. From Runcorn to Warrington, a distance of 10 miles, her speed was put to the test. In spite of a heavy fresh, and the disadvantage of getting up her speed after stopping at Runcorn, sbe completed the distance in forty-seven minutes. As far as the navigation of the Mersey is concerned, all difficulties thrown in the way of Warrington one day becoming a bonded port have now been made to disappear.

Possibly the above vessel - used as a stop gap [from Preston Chronicle - Saturday 25 February 1843]:
NORTH LANCASHIRE STEAM NAVIGATION COMPANY. THE Public are respectfully informed that the new Iron Steamer, "WARRINGTON," will be on the Berth, in Newry, on the First of March, to take in Goods for Fleetwood. The fine Steamer, "ECLIPSE," will commence plying between Liverpool and Fleetwood, and Kirkcudbright and Fleetwood, the first week in March, and continue a regular Steamer between these Ports. The Company have concluded the purchase of one of the most superior and powerful Steam Ships afloat, which will take up the line between Belfast and Fleetwood, on the 12th of March. Arrangements are in progress to ensure daily communication between Glasgow and Fleetwood, and Ardrossan. For particulars apply to HENRY SMITH, acting partner and, manager, the Wharf, Fleetwood; or No. 6, Chapel Walks, Preston. 18th February, 1843.

[from Liverpool Mail - Saturday 04 November 1843]:
Warrington (steamer) from Kircudbright, at this port. This vessel was erroneously reported on shore near Southport yesterday; she was riding at anchor in Marshside Bay[sic], near Lytham.

[from Liverpool Albion - Monday 25 November 1844]:
For MADEIRA, BARBADOS, TRINIDAD, and LA GUAYRA [sic now La Guaira]. The A1 Iron Steam schooner WARRINGTON, Engines of Eighty Horse-power, is intended to sail, with Passengers, from Liverpool, on or about the 5th December, for the above places. Should any offer from Cork, she will call at that port to receive them and take in coal. For particulars apply GLOVER and THORP, 1, India-buildings, Water-street or Captain COBB, 10, Cazneau-street, Liverpool. N.B. The above is an excellent opportunity for Ladies crossing the Atlantic, as the Captain takes out his Wife and Family.

[from Liverpool Mail - Saturday 02 November 1844]:
Vessels entered for loading: Warrington, Cobb, 99, Barbadoes, etc... P.P. Brownrigg.

[from Liverpool Albion - Monday 24 February 1845]:
Warrington (steamer) Cobb hence at Madeira. [arrived 5 Jan]

[from Lloyd's List - Tuesday 06 May 1845]:
La Guayra. [Venezuela] Mar 23. Warrington (s) Cobb, arr. from PortoCabello [Venezuela] and sailed 29th for Callao.

[from Evening Mail - Friday 19 September 1845]:
WEST INDIA SHIPPING. Aug, 21, ... The iron steamer Warrington was lying at St. Jago de Cuba [sic, Santiago de Cuba] unsold.



Steam tugs belonging to the Birmingham and Liverpool Canal Company: Earl of Powis and Lord Clive.
Clive built 1838 by Mulvey, Chester, 117 tons burthen, engines of 2 x 20hp by Fawcett & Preston, for the Chester & Ellesmere Canal Company.
Mulvey also built another steamer in 1838, launched as Victoria, it is possible that this vessel was registered as Earl Powis.
Note: A barque of 279 tons called Earl Powis, built Liverpool 1836, 99.6 x 21.3 x 15.5 ft, was later registered at Dundee and traded widely, ON 17524. This was a different vessel - listed as sailing in Lloyds Register from 1836.
Both tugs were present during the opening of Ellesmere Port Dock in 1843. Also listing of vessels with passenger certificates issued at Runcorn, gives paddle steamers Earl Powis, 33nrt, 40 hp from 1850-2 and Clive [sic], 29 nrt, 30 hp from 1850-1. Earl Powis is also listed in MNL 1857 as certified for passengers, 33nrt, 40hp.
Also 3 screw vessels for towing on the canal reported in 1843.

Request for plans for steam tugs [from Chester Courant - Tuesday 12 September 1837]:
To Ship Builders. WANTED, a VESSEL, constructed on the improved principle, and adapted for the reception of a 45 horse power Engine, to be employed solely as a STEAM TUG for TOWING FLATS across the River Mersey, betwixt Ellesmere Port and Liverpool.
Persons desirous of Contracting for the BUILDING of such a VESSEL, are requested to send a draft of the same, with a specification and estimate, and stating the time by which it can be completed, sealed up and endorsed "Proposal for Building Steam Tug" to Mr. STANTON, Canal Office, Ellesmere, on or before Saturday the 23rd instant. 1st Sept 1837.

[from Chester Chronicle - Friday 27 July 1838]:
LAUNCH OF A STEAMER. On Wednesday last, a large party of our citizens congregated at Mr. Mulvey's ship-yard to witness the launch of a beautiful steamer, built as a tow boat for the Chester & Ellesmere Canal Company, to ply on the Mersey. She is called "The Clive," is 117 tons burthen, and intended to be fitted up with two engines of twenty horse power each, from the manufactory of Messrs. Fawcett and Preston, Liverpool. She glided into the water most beautifully. The vessels in the port were decorated with flags, &c. on the occasion. A select party sat down to an excellent dinner at the White Lion Hotel, Edward Tilston, Esq. in the chair, and spent a convivial evening. The operatives, &c. were entertained with great liberality, at Mrs. Hickson's, the Canal Tavern House. We understand that the vessel is a very neat specimen of naval architecture.

Image of Ellesmere Port Dock when opened in 1843. The steam vessels shown are most probably the Earl of Powis and the Lord Clive.[ILN 23 Sept 1843]

[excerpt from Liverpool Mail - Saturday 16 September 1843]:
OPENING OF THE NEW DOCK AT ELLESMERE PORT.
Soon after eleven clock the Earl Powis steamer, gaily and profusely decorated with flags and banners,..
...for towing the vessels up, two powerful steamers leave Liverpool, two hours and a quarter before every tide, and remain there an hour, returning at the top of the ebb.
The Earl Powis steamer should have had the honour of precedence in the new basin, but, to the disappointment of all present, it was discovered on trial that, in consequence of her paddle wheel bulwarks having been enlarged whilst she was recently on the stocks, she was several inches too large for admission into the gut.
We should have mentioned before that the Lord Clive, the second of the company's fine steamers, came up the river and into the outer basin at high water covered with flags and exhibiting a very neat model steamer. She brought with her several of the Company's luggage boats, which were also dressed out with colours, and attempted to enter the new dock, but the same cause prevented her entry that excluded the Earl Powis.
... by the arrival of the party from Chester, in three of the canal barges, drawn by boats furnished with the screw propeller. [Archimedean]

The Earl Powis is mentioned as a tug joining the fleet welcoming the Duke of Cambridge in 1855.



Iron screw steamer Liverpool Screw, built J Grantham (of Mather & Dixon), Liverpool, 1842, as an experiment. More details.



Iron screw steamer Weaver, built Lairds 1852 (yard number 83), 66 x 14 ft, 20 hp engines by Fawcett & Preston, draft 3 ft. For use on the river Weaver, owned Trustees of Duke of Bridgewater.
Listed in MNL as certified at Runcorn, with passenger certificate and 55nrt, in 1852.

Image, shown towing Countess of Ellesmere, of a screw tug at Lairds - so most likely to be the Weaver. [from Illustrated London News, 13 March 1852]

[from Liverpool Albion - Monday 08 March 1852]:
SCREW-STEAMERS ON THE RIVERS MERSEY AND WEAVER. The Trustees of the late Duke of Bridgewater, being anxious to improve the passenger accommodation between Liverpool, Runcorn, Manchester, and Northwich, ordered two vessels, some time ago, from Mr. Laird; one, a paddlewheel steamer, of 170 feet long, 20 feet beam, and 80 horsepower, with patent feathering floats, to run from Liverpool to Runcorn. This vessel, the Countess of Ellesmere, is to be launched to-day, (Monday.) She is of beautiful model, and, with passengers on board, will not exceed a draft of four feet. Her engines, on the oscillating principle, with all the latest improvements are in course of erection by Messrs. Fawcett, Preston, and Co., and are expected to be completed (on board) in April.
  The other vessel, for the river Weaver, is 66 feet long, 14 feet beam, and 20 horsepower. Her draft of water, with engines, coal, and all fittings, is 3 feet 3 inches aft, and 2 feet 6 inches forward. She has been fitted with engines and screw propeller by Messrs. Fawcett and Co., was tried last week, and attained a speed of fully nine knots, or 10.5 statute miles per hour: excelling in speed most of the ferry-boats, the Blanche, (the steamer now running on the Runcorn station,) and other vessels. This result was highly satisfactory, and we believe that, considering the limited dimensions required to be adhered to in the construction of the Weaver, in order to admit of her passing through the locks, the speed is the greatest that has yet been attained with condensing engines, the pressure on the boilers at no time exceeding ten to twelve pounds per square inch. A considerable draft of water has generally been thought essential to obtaining speed and economical results from vessels fitted with the screw, but the successful trial of the Weaver may induce a rapid extension of screw-steam navigation on coasts where shallow rivers and harbours prevent the use of vessels with a heavy draft of water.

[from Liverpool Albion - Monday 12 July 1852]:
SCREW-STEAMERS: GRIFFITH'S PROPELLER. We noticed some time ago the trial of the Weaver, a small screw-steamer, built by Mr. Laird for the Bridgewater Trust, fitted by Fawcett and Co. with a pair of 10-horse engines and pointed out, at the same time, the change it might effect in river navigation by means of screw-vessels, the difficulty hitherto having been to obtain speed with a light draught.
The dimensions of the Weaver were limited to 66 feet long, 14 feet beam, and 3 feet 6 inches draught of water, in order to pass the locks of the Weaver; a great disadvantage, as it prevented the builder giving as fine lines as were desirable to ensure speed. The Weaver has since been fitted with Griffith's patent propeller, and the following table gives the comparative performances with it and with her first screw. The increased speed of the vessel, with twenty-five per cent less speed of engine, is a most important point, and must lead to the general introduction of Griffith's plan, more particularly for long voyages, where saving of fuel is so essential:
June 11. June 18.
No. of trials 1 ... 2
Revolutions of engine 83 ... 65
Revolutions of screw 332 ... 260
Steam in lbs. above atmosphere 11 ... 11
Vacuum in inches 28 ... 28
Statute miles per hour 11.40 ... 12.28
Diameter of screw 3ft. 3in. ... 3ft. 3in.
Pitch of screw 4ft. 6in. ... 4ft. 6in.
Difference in statute miles between speed of screw and speed of vessel per hour 5.40 ... 1.01
Percentage the ship bears to the whole speed of screw 32 ... 8
Percentage of saving in revolutions of engine, and, therefore, of power. - ... 27
Gain per cent. in speed - ... 7.6
Trial (1) 11th June, 1852. Average of a pair of runs with common propeller, from Woodside Pier to Eastham Pier, 5.65 statute miles.
Trial (2) 18th June, 1852. Average of a pair of runs, with patent propeller, from Woodside Pier to Eastham Pier, same state of tide as trial with common screw in the preceding week, but the wind strong and unfavourable, and heavy sea running.
19th June, 1852. A run, with the patent propeller set at 5ft. 2in. pitch, was made in the Mersey, from the Duke's Dock, at Liverpool, up to Weston Point, the distance by the direct course, which can only be taken at high-water, is fourteen miles, but, by the navigable channel, followed by the Weaver, is sixteen miles. Left Liverpool at 10, a.m., (high-water at 12:30,) had a tide in favour estimated at about three miles per hour, arrived at 10:55 - 55 minutes. Average pressure of steam, 10lbs.; vacuum, 28in.; revolutions of engines, 62.



Iron steam yacht Unknown, built Warrington 1844, 45 ft long, unknown owner.

[from Manchester Courier - Saturday 11 May 1844]:
WARRINGTON. Launch of an Iron Steamer. An iron boat, about 45 feet long, was launched on Saturday last, from the yard of the Bridge Foundry Company. When finished, the vessel is intended as a steam pleasure yacht for short sea excursions. She is the private property of some gentleman in the neighbourhood.

The Bridge Foundry Company was advertised for sale in July 1844 [and later - to 1848].



Screw steam yacht Daedalus, built M'Ardle, Liverpool, 1843, 15.5 tons burthen, 8hp engines, to test screw propulsion. Reported as 45 ft overall length, wooden. Owned James M'Ardle, Liverpool.
By 1846 owned John Malam, Hull, named Firefly with some engine modifications.

[from Liverpool Standard and General Commercial Advertiser - Tuesday 21 March 1843]:
NEW PLAN FOR THE PROPULSION OF STEAM VESSELS. On Saturday last, the first trial, on a small scale, was made on our river, of a new principle in the propelling apparatus of steam-vessels, in lieu of paddle wheels; which, though generally adopted, are liable to some objections. The vessel in which the experiment was made was the Daedalus, a small yacht of 15.5 tons burthen, built by and belonging to Mr. M'Ardle, the foreman carpenter of the City of Dublin Steam Company, under. Mr. J. C. Shaw, marine superintendent of that extensive concern. Mr. M'Ardle is also the inventor of the plan, which consists, we believe, of an iron axle, provided with fanners or blades, placed in a peculiar position, and revolving in an aperture in the dead wood of the stern. This propeller is turned, in the Daedalus, by two four-horse engines, also on a new principle - the cylinders moving from side to side, on joints below, so that the piston rods pursue, and act upon the cranks, without the necessity for the parallel gear required in upright fixed cylinders. The little vessel is schooner rigged, and looked remarkably well. She started from the Clarence Dock basin about high water, and went up the river, passing the Prince's and George's Dock piers at a rapid rate, to the no little astonishment of the numerous spectators congregated on the sea walls to witness the highest tide of the year, many of whom, seeing no paddle wheels, or other propelling apparatus, or sails (the whole being under water,) were at a loss to account for her speedy progress. She took a few turns up and down the river, and notwithstanding the stiffness of the new engine, made good way even in running up against the unusually strong tide. The precise rate of her going, exclusive of the effect of tideway, was not on this occasion ascertained, but it is probable, that when everything is put in complete order, (which was not then accomplished,) and when her proper trim is found, she will not be exceeded in fastness by any boat on the river; and it is certainly a great desideratum to be enabled to dispense with the unsightly paddle boxes, and to have the propeller under water; the vessel at the same time being capable of carrying sail without detriment to the working of the engine, to the same extent as a vessel solely using sail. The principle seems to be well adapted for canal boats, inasmuch as there is no surge made in the wake, or at the sides, as with the paddle wheel, to wash against and break down the banks. The propeller, too, may, we learn, be altered and modified, so as to be more peculiarly suitable either for canal craft, or sea-going vessels. A considerable period has elapsed since the inventor conceived the idea of his propeller, but it was not until the present trial that he was enabled, after repeated experiments and anxious study, to bring it to its present gratifying practical result. He now entertains little doubt of its being pronounced to be entirely successful by competent judges, in which case he will take out a patent.

[from Liverpool Standard and General Commercial Advertiser - Tuesday 17 June 1845]:
ROYAL MERSEY YACHT CLUB SAILING MATCH, YESTERDAY. ....
Much rain fell at an early hour in the morning, and up to nearly nine o'clock, and though it afterwards subsided for a time, the sky and the temperature still continued threatening, to the discouragement of parties, especially the ladies, intending to join the Princess steam-ship, at the service of the club for the day, for members and their friends. ...
The Ayrshire Lassie steamer, loaded to the "brim" with passengers, came up; also an Egremont Ferry-boat, with a like party. One of the Royal Rock Ferry-boats that afterwards brought a number of persons on board the Princess had, between her paddle-boxes, a moving device of a circle, with four little yachts, self-moving (or chasing each other) around. The little screw-steam-yacht, belonging to Mr. M'Ardle, (of the City of Dublin Cornpany,) was in attendance, and was of great service throughout the day.

[from Liverpool Standard and General Commercial Advertiser - Tuesday 23 September 1845]:
In an article in our last paper relative to the conservancy of the port of Liverpool, we noticed the recent discovery of a dangerous sunken rock near the Skerries, (North East of Holyhead point, and laid down in no chart,) which, after an unsuccessful search, as we were informed, by the surveyor of the Admiralty, had, (as we understood) been found by Mr. McArdle, chief carpenter of the City of Dublin Steam Ship Company. We were mistaken as to Mr. McArdle finding it, but it was discovered by parties sent to search for it, in his little screw steam schooner, the Daedalus, one of the vessels of that company having previously struck upon it.

[from Chester Courant - Wednesday 10 September 1845]:
Sir, I have to inform you that, agreeably to the wishes of the directors of the Dublin Steam Packet Company, I sent a small steamer to search for the rock on which the Queen Victoria struck on the 4th of May, off the coast of Anglesey, between the Coal Rock and Harry Furlong Rock, as none such is laid down in any of the charts, and I have now to state that it was found a little to the N.E. of the 'Gravel Bank' of the charts, on which is laid 3.5 fathoms; but this rock, which is small and conical, had only 10.5 feet on it at low water on the 21st instant - 19 feet springs [over old dock sill] - while all around it the depth was 9 or 10 fathoms. As it is situated in a track much used by coasters and steamers, it is very dangerous. The master of the steamer was told by the people on shore that not long ago they saw a sloop strike on it, capsize, and all hands perished - I have communicated the above to Captain Beaufort, at the Admiralty, who I have no doubt will take the proper steps to have it surveyed, D Sarsfield Lt RN.
[Modern chart: Victoria Bank 2.4m depth at LAT, 53 25.43N, 4 31.50W, has NCM]

[from Hull Advertiser - Friday 24 July 1846]:
STEAM YACHT. A tiny steamer was in the Humber Dock, in the beginning of this week, whose measurement, according to the old system, is only fifteen tons, and according to the new about twenty. She has, however, made the voyage twice from Liverpool to London, and once, in stormy weather, in winter, from Liverpool to Bristol. She is a perfect model in appearance, schooner-rigged, and everything in proportion. Her entire length is 45 feet. Her name is the Fire Fly, the property of John Malam, Esq., of this town [Hull], C.E. She was formerly called the Daedalus, and under that title made her longest voyages. Since she came into the possession of her present owner, she has been in Messrs. Gibson's dock, and undergone some improvements in her hull. Her machinery has also received several alterations; she retains, however, the principle and power of the screw, wrought by two engines of the united power of eight horses, originally with oscillating cylinders. She accomplished the distance between this port and Spurn, (22 miles) a few days ago, in two hours and a half. One of the principal alterations which Mr. M. has effected, is the placing of condensing pipes outside her timbers and planking, near to the keel. Grooves have been made for the insertion of those condensers, which, so far as the engines are concerned, are a decided improvement. The necessity for the injection of cold water is thus entirely obviated. The projection of the pipes, however, near to the rudder, interferes with her speed.

Iron screw steamer Lucifer, built William Jones, Liverpool 1846, 53 grt, 27nrt, 68.3 x 12.3 x 7.7 ft, engines 24 hp, registered Liverpool 1848, owned James McArdle as a yacht (he retired in 1852 as master shipwright to the City of Dublin Steam Packet Company in Liverpool). In 1853, owned George Samuel Sanderson (possibly engineer and designer associated with Rock Ferry), 27nrt. Not in MNL. Reported in 1855 as voyaging to the Black Sea, owned Pollock, Liverpool, to act as a supply vessel.

[from Liverpool Standard and General Commercial Advertiser - Tuesday 24 March 1846]:
LAUNCH OF A STEAM SCREW YACHT. - On Tuesday evening last was launched from the iron boat building and boiler-yard of Messrs. William Jones and Co., Burlington-bridge [near Leeds and Liverpool Canal], one of the most beautifully-modelled and finished vessels we have seen for some time. She is 67 feet long and 13 feet beam, has a neatly-carved head of "Lucifer," carved stern and quarter galleries. She has direct action engines, on an improved principle, which take up, from the peculiarity of their arrangement, a very small space indeed. Her boiler will be on an improved plan, on the tubular principle. She will have a screw propeller, and is expected to sail fast. Her tonnage is about 45 tons. She has been built under the superintendence of Mr. Jas. M'Ardle (we believe for the use, as a pleasure yacht, of an honourable and gallant member of Parliament.) She is exceedingly strong, and is divided into compartments by water-tight bulkheads. She is now in the Trafalgar Dock. When her interior arrangements are complete, we may perhaps notice her again, as she reflects the very greatest credit on the builders, as well as Mr. M'Ardle. She sits beautifully on the water.

[from Liverpool Standard and General Commercial Advertiser - Tuesday 25 April 1848:
EXPLOSION OF THE BOILER OF THE LUCIFER PLEASURE YACHT. The Lucifer left here about half-past nine on Sunday morning, for a trial trip to Mostyn, with a party of eight ladies and eight gentlemen, and on her return, through Hoylake, from three to a quarter past three in the afternoon, touching the bank as she came through, the sand got into the feed pipe, and before the fires could be drawn, or other precautions taken, an explosion took place, by which the boiler and middle part of the vessel were torn to atoms. There were five females on the bow of the vessel when the accident took place; these fell into the water, but were saved by the boat belonging to the vessel by the exertions of Mr. M'Ardle and one or two more, who kept the ladies up till another boat came to their assistance. The other females and the rest of the crew were all aft, clear of the boiler, and by this means were safe, as this part of the vessel touched the ground, and consequently was above the water. The ladies were taken to the hotel at Hoylake, where they were immediately put to bed, and received every attention. Greater hospitality could not, in fact, have been shown by the landlady and her daughter. We are happy to add that not one of the party received the slightest injury. The Lucifer is about 27 tons register burthen, and is a very fast and beautiful vessel. She will, no doubt, be immediately repaired and refitted. The accident was one of those which we must place in the category of events which are often beyond the control or preconception of the most talented of even those who are conversant with steam. Mr. M'Ardle, who had command of the boat, and is, we may add, proprietor, has had a practical experience, as a mechanic and engineer of steamers, for nearly a quarter of a century, and but for the casualty of the sand getting into the feed-pipe, all would have been as safe as in any steamer afloat. He deeply laments the occurrence, as it necessarily produced great alarm on board, and is thankful to Providence that no loss of life, or injury beyond that above, accrued from the casualty.

[from Liverpool Standard and General Commercial Advertiser - Tuesday 22 August 1848]:
SPLENDID STEAM-YACHT ON SALE. The beautiful new iron Screw Steam Yacht LUCIFER, Thirty-three Tons Register; Built on the most approved principles, and of the very best materials; well found in stores and appurtenances; steams and sails very fast; has commodious and elegant cabins six feet in height, with six sleeping berths, and all the requisite accommodations. She has a fine engine of 24 horse power, and is in every respect a most suitable and safe vessel for a gentleman who takes pleasure in aquatic excursions. If used for commercial purposes, she will be found highly advantageous, especially in towing, in which her powers are very remarkable. If not Sold, she is offered on HIRE, on moderate terms. For particulars or view apply on board, in the Trafalgar Dock, or of Mr. M'ARDLE, City of Dublin Co.

[from Liverpool Standard and General Commercial Advertiser - Tuesday 19 June 1849]:
THE ROYAL MERSEY YACHT CLUB. SAILING MATCH.
Mr. M'Ardle's beautiful little screw steamer, "Lucifer," with a small party on board, followed the race, and, without sails, did wonders in locomotion.

[from Liverpool Shipping Telegraph and Daily Commercial Advertiser - Friday 29 December 1854]:
A Pair of Marine side-lever ENGINES, Sixty-horse power. Apply to GEORGE S. SANDERSON, Royal Insurance-buildings, Dale-street.
The Small Iron Screw Steamer LUCIFER, 53 Tons and 24 horse power. Apply to GEORGE S. SANDERSON, Royal Insurance buildings, Dale-street

[from Liverpool Mercury - Friday 26 January 1855]:
SMALL STEAMER FOR THE BLACK SEA. - On Saturday last, a small iron screw steamer, called the Lucifer, which has frequently attracted attention on our river by its diminutive proportions, sailed hence for Balaclava. The Lucifer, originally built as a plessure yacht, was recently purchased by Mr. Joseph Pollock, of this town, for trading purposes between Constantinope and other ports in the Black Sea. She registers only 53 tons, and her dimensions are: Length between perpendiculars 68 feet; beam, 12 feet; depth, about 8 feet; yet, in this tiny craft, a crew of eight persons, including captain, engineers, &c., have set out on a perilous ocean voyage of upwards of 3000 miles. [schooner rigged with two masts]. The Lucifer had on board a quantity of packages and parcels, five weeks' provisions, and 12 days' coal, which it was expected would carry her to Gibraltar, the first port of call. She is schooner-rigged, and propelled by a 24-horse high-pressure engine which drives one of Scott's Spiral Screws. By electric telegraph, it appears that the Lucifer put into Queenstown at one o'clock on Wednesday, having in tow a water-logged vessel, the Huron, Captain Steele, bound from St. John, N. B., for this port. Two steamers had previously, without success, been in search of the Huron. The owner intends joining the craft at Constantinople.



Iron paddle steamer Prince of Wales, listed in 1854 as registered at Liverpool, owned Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway, built Tyne 1842 [sic: no matching build found - see Thames build information below]. First registered Liverpool in 1849, owned J. H. Humfrey, Manchester (same owner and date of registry as sister vessel Queen, below), 55 nrt, 84 grt, 99 x 13.7 ft.
The Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire railway [John Hambly Humfrey listed as company secretary] gained access to the Mersey at Widnes and to the newly built (1853) port of Garston via the St Helens Railway. So it is possible that these Liverpool registered vessels were intended to connect with these railway lines. There is only evidence for their presence on the East coast, however. So, most probably, they were registered at Liverpool since the owner was based at Manchester.
There were many steam vessels called Prince of Wales, a ferry, a Fleetwood steamer, and a Carlisle tug, etc, so newspaper reports are of limited help. Not found in MNL.

Queen and Prince of Wales are reported in Duckworth, Railway Steamers, to have been built by Ditchburn & Mare, on the Thames in 1842. They were advertised as providing a service by the Greenwich Steam Packet Company. When that company ceased operations, they were bought, in 1848, by the Manchester, Sheffield, and Lincolnshire Railway Company. That company operated a ferry service across the Humber: from Hull to New Holland. This service was upgraded in 1848. They ordered new steamers (Manchester, [ON 7563, built Robinson & Russell, Millwall, registered Hull 1849, used 1859 on Liverpool excursion service] and Sheffield [ON 7564, registered Hull 1850, Old Sheffield from 1855] were newly built for them in 1849). The Prince of Wales is still reported as serving on the Humber in 1852. So the Liverpool registry seems to have been formal only. Prince of Wales is reported as disposed in 1855. A new Humber steam ferry, named at launch as Lord Worsley, [later named Sheffield, 160ft long, iron, 80hp paddle, not in MNL] was built for them by Samuelson in March 1855, with a twin [Manchester, 160ft, 90hp, not in MNL] built in June 1855.

[from West Kent Guardian - Saturday 05 November 1842]:
GREENWICH STEAM PACKET COMPANY. Those fast Packets, the "QUEEN," and "PRINCE OF WALES," leave the Greenwich Pier every hour for London Bridge Wharf and Hungerford Market, returning at the Hours from London Bridge Wharf, and 20 minutes before the hour from Hungerford Market. Annual Tickets, £5 5s., on application to Mr. HENRY MATHEW. Secretary, 3, King-street, Greenwich.
[excerpts from Herapath's Railway Journal - Saturday 29 January 1848]:
The new pier at New Holland, we are informed, will give facility for landing at all times of tide; and that improved steamers are purchased by the Manchester, Sheffield, and Lincolnshire Company to work the ferry until the larger boats, which the Company will build, can be got ready. ...
The line from New Holland, opposite Hull, as far as Grimsby, 16 miles, is the property of the Manchester, Sheffield, and Lincolnshire Railway Company; and the steam ferry, from Hull, across the Humber, three miles to New Holland, is the property of this Company, as is likewise the station at Grimsby. ... J. H. HUMFREY, Secretary. Sheffield, 22nd Jan. 1848.
[from Hull Advertiser - Friday 30 January 1852]:
The New Holland ferry steamer Prince of Wales, while lying near the East Pier, had her funnel and steam-pipe blown down; whilst vessels anchored in the roads, a brig in particular, had their hulls occasionally completely buried in the waves.

Iron paddle steamer Manchester built Robinson & Russell, Millwall, [also described as by Scott Russell] 1849 and registered Hull 1849, 174nrt, 165 x 22.4 ft, 150hp, ON 7563, owned Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway, as a Humber ferry until 1859 when used on Liverpool excursion service. Chartered to St Helens Railway until 1864, linking Garston and Liverpool. In MNL, as registered Hull, with same owner, until 1877.
[from Northern Daily Times - Monday 09 May 1859]: TO EXCURSION MANAGERS AND AGENTS. The splendid iron-built steamer MANCHESTER, 150-horse power, Captain Joseph Ward, May be engaged for Excursions upon the River, round the Light Ships, and to places upon the Welsh Coast; also, to the Isle of Man and Fleetwood. The Manchester is newly refitted, and will afford every comfort and convenience. For further particulars apply to M. SMITH, 47, South John-street, Liverpool, May 4, 1859 [described in another advert as built by Mr Scott Russell, the builder of the Great Eastern]



Iron paddle steamer Queen, listed in 1854 directory of Liverpool registered vessels as 52 tons, as built Tyne 1842 [no matching build found - see above], owned T. H. Humphrey[sic], Manchester. Also listed in 1851 register, 52 nrt, 78grt, 99.4 x 13.7 ft, owned J. H.Humfrey, first registered at Liverpool 1849.
A steam vessel Queen, ON 5589, of 52 tons with 32 hp engines, is listed in MNL as Liverpool registered up to 1863; possibly broken up 1864. Since there were two other Liverpool vessels called Queen; a ferry and a tug, also a Whitehaven steamer (ON 9235), it is hard to find newspaper evidence. However, as in the case of her sister vessel, Prince of Wales, she may have continued to serve on the Humber.
[from Hull Advertiser - Friday 06 April 1849]:
OPENING OF THE RAILWAY FROM BRIGG TO GAINSBOROUGH. On various occasions have we noticed in our columns the progress of the works connected with the Manchester, Sheffield. and Lincolnshire Railway Company, and we have this week to record a further extension of the line. It being opened on the morning of Monday last, from Brigg to Gainsborough, for the purpose of public traffic. The passengers for the first train left Hull at 6-45a.m., by the company's steam-packet Queen, which crossed the expansive and the then placid waters of the Humber, a distance of between three and four miles, in the space of twenty three minutes, and landed her passengers at the Jetty, New Holland, which we may here state is in length 1700 feet, being composed of stout beams, 15 feet apart from each other. The rails are laid over its complete length, and at the extremity nearest the water is a covered wooden building at which passengers and goods are incidentally landed. The passengers were speedily seated in their respective carriages, and conveyed to the New Holland Station, nearly a quarter of mile distant.



Wooden paddle steamer Prince Albert, built North Shields, 1849, 75 grt, 24 nrt, 78 x 15.4 x 8.8 ft, engines 45 hp, ON 12110. Registered Liverpool from 1850 until 1876. First owner J MacKay. In 1854 owned Marquis of Titchfield, Welbeck, later owned Duke of Portland (see below).
John Bentick, the Marquess of Titchfield, who became 5th Duke of Portland in 1854 when his father (who had a keen interest in sailing and developing the port of Troon) died, was a rich eccentric who lived at Welbeck Abbey, Notts.
Note that several other small steam vessels were called Prince Albert: the steam tug at Whitehaven (ON 9377, 37nrt, built 1840 Whitehaven, 1845, 1851); the Egremont Ferry (iron, built Wingate, Glasgow, 1840, 122 grt, for sale 1849)

[from Glasgow Herald - Monday 28 February 1853]:
... George Broadbelt, engineer, and Francis O'Neill, fireman of the steam-tug Prince Albert, also lying in Troon harbour. The first three men were charged with using illegal or trawl nets at or near Troon on the 10th Dec. last, and thereby incurring the penalty of £50, in terms of the Fishery Act. The last two men named were charged with neglect of duty in not assisting her Majesty's officers in the discharge of their duty, and when they called in the Queen's name for aid at the time they attempted to seize the said trawl nets.

[from Glasgow Herald - Friday 28 July 1854]:
NARROW ESCAPE OF A FISHING PARTY AT MILLPORT. EXTRAORDINARY CONDUCT OF A STEAMER. ... The steamer which perpetrated this extraordinary conduct, was reported to be the Prince Albert tug-boat of Troon, which was returning from Glasgow after getting in new boilers. Negligence, or we should say recklessness, of this kind, which might have resulted so disastrously, is happily almost unheard of on the Clyde, and we trust that, in this case, a searching inquiry will be made into the whole circumstances.



Iron screw steamer Iron Prince, built James Hodgson & Co., Liverpool, 1845, 132grt, 95nrt, 112.6 x 16.9 ft, engines 55hp (later 48, then 28 hp), ON 41172. Registered Liverpool. First service coasting Liverpool - Newport. For sale 1848, then service Liverpool - Newry. For sale again 1851. Service Liverpool - Waterford 1851. In 1853 proceeded to Melbourne. More history. Registered Sydney 1859. Registered Hong Kong 1872.

[from Liverpool Albion - Monday 13 January 1845]:
LAUNCH OF AN IRON STEAMER. On Saturday last a new iron steamer, of beautiful model, was launched from the iron shipbuilding yard of Messrs. James Hodgson and Co. This, we believe, is the first steamer that ever was launched with her machinery, masts, and rigging in their places. She is, we understand, intended to ply between Liverpool and Newport, South Wales, under the command of Captain Hughes. The christening was performed, in admirable style, by Miss Crosfield, of Warrington, and at ten minutes past one o'clock, the words "down daggers" were given, and the vessel glided beautifully into her native element, amidst the cheers of the assembled spectators. The name of this handsome vessel is the Iron Prince. She is rigged as a three-masted schooner, and is propelled by the screw, her two engines being of fifty-five horse-power. Her length is one hundred and eight feet, beam eighteen feet, and depth of hold nine feet six inches. She is very strong, being double lapped and double rivetted throughout, with six longitudinal stringers. She possesses, also, the novelty of an iron deck, iron bulwarks, and iron rigging; she has a spacious hold, capable of containing full 200 tons, at 40 feet to the ton, and will carry 200 tons dead weight. She is expected to be ready for sea in about fourteen days.

[from Liverpool Albion, Monday 15 September 1845]:
STEAM COMMUNICATION WITH NEWPORT. A new steamer, the Iron Prince, now runs between the Mersey and Newport.

[from Liverpool Albion - Monday 31 January 1848]:
On THURSDAY, the 10th February next, at one o'clock, at the Brokers' Office, The very superior Iron Screw Steamer, IRON PRINCE, 94 87-100 tons per register, and of the following dimensions: namely, length, 112 feet 6-10ths, breadth, 16 feet 7-10ths; depth, 9 feet 5-10ths; built at Liverpool, under particular inspection, in 1844; she is round-sterned, schooner-rigged, and propelled by an engine of forty-eight horse-power; constructed on the latest and most improved principles: is abundantly found in stores of every description; steams and sails fast; carries 130 tons dead weight. with 12 tons of coal, at a very light draft of water, namely, 7 feet 6 inches, which will render her invaluable if employed for the conveyance of passengers or otherwise on any shallow river; and, as both hull and machinery are now in first-rate order, she may be sent to sea at a trifling outlay. Lying in Trafalgar Dock. For Inventories and other particulars apply to Messrs. SPOONER, SANDS and CO., Merchants, or to TONGE, CURRY, and CO., Brokers.

[from Liverpool Mail - Saturday 11 November 1848]:
Claim for Damage. On Wednesday, the magistrates were occupied a considerable time with an inquiry arising out of a collision which took place on the 25th October last, between the Iron Prince (screw steamer) and the packetship Montezuma. The owners of the Montezuma alleged that damage had been caused by the neglect of the officers on board the steamer, and claimed a sum £9 10s. as compensation. The occurrence took place near the Burbo Bank. Mr. Rushton decided in favour of the Montezuma.

[from Liverpool Shipping Telegraph and Daily Commercial Advertiser - Tuesday 09 January 1849]:
Newry. The screw steamer Iron Prince, every Wednesday.

[from Manchester Courier - Saturday 22 December 1849]:
Accident to a Steamer. On Sunday afternoon last, the Iron Prince, screw steamer, bound to Liverpool with a cargo of meal and butter from Newry, having lost part of her rudder, was obliged to run up the Ribble, and in so doing, the hands having no command of the vessel, got fast on the Horse Bank, near Lytham, but she subsequently got off and proceeded to Lytham, waiting repairs to proceed to her destination.

[from Gore's Liverpool General Advertiser - Thursday 18 December 1851]:
Friday, the 2nd January next, at one o'clock, at the Brokers' sale-room. Derby-buildlings, Fenwick-street. The iron Screw Steamer IRON PRINCE; 95 tons register, classed A 1 at Lloyd's, built in Liverpool in 1844, for private use, propelled by an engine of 28 horsepower. In August, 1849, she had an entire overhaul in hull and machinery, under the superintendence of Mr. Hebson, Engineer, when she had new brass tubular boilers, and watertight bulkheads, and was otherwise placed in excellent order. Carries 130 tons dead weight at 8 feet water, steams and sails fast, and is well found in stores. Dimensions Length 112 feet 6-10ths, Breadth 16 feet 7-10ths, Depth 9 5-10ths. Lying in Trafalgar Dock. For further particulars apply to Messrs. Holderness and Chilton, or to TONGE, CURRY and Co. Brokers.

[from Gore's Liverpool General Advertiser - Thursday 03 March 1853]:
For MELBOURNE direct. (calling at St Vincent for coals.) The first-class fast-sailing Screw Steam-ship IRON PRINCE, Captain Sullivan; for several years commanding screw steamers, and well known in the foreign trade. One of the Owners will proceed by this steamer, and only a few cabin passengers can be taken. She has disengaged room for a few tons of fine goods, delivered at the quay, Melbourne. Apply to HENRY FOX, 2, King-street, Liverpool. [she was reported at St Vincent in May 1853, having taken 22 days from Liverpool]



Wooden paddle steamer Maid of Islay, built John Wood, Port Glasgow, 1824, 87grt, 94.2 x 18.5 x 11.4 ft, 50 (later 60) hp engines. Lengthened to 140grt at some date - she is listed as 86nrt in 1854. First registered at Campbeltown. Owned William Cunningham Townley of Liverpool 1846, registered Liverpool. Voyage to west coast of Africa 1846 and again in 1848. In May 1848, she was attacked by HM Alert, who wrongly thought she was engaged in the slave trade. Vessel damaged and brought into Sierra Leone. No evidence of use after that, although the Liverpool registry remained until at least 1858, when she was mentioned as the oldest steamer on the register.
More history.

[from Liverpool Standard and General Commercial Advertiser, Tuesday 24 November 1846]:
Maid of Islay. (steamer,) 86, Townley, Sierra Leone

[from Liverpool Mail - Saturday 28 October 1848]:
The Slave Trade. - The steamer Maid of Islay sailed from Liverpool in the month of December last, on a trading voyage to Africa (where she had been on a former occasion) and continued actively engaged on the coast until the 12th of May, occasionally exchanging civilities with the men-of-war, and, when able, furnishing them with fresh provisions. It appears, however, that on the night of the 12th May, while on her return to Sierra Leone, she was suddenly hailed from her Majesty's sloop Alert, and ordered to heave to; but before the captain could even give any orders to that effect, a 32 pound shot from the sloop struck her sternpost, entered the cabin and wounded the captain with the splinters. This was soon followed by a couple of volleys of grape. A boat from the Alert then pulled alongside, and the officer in charge said that she had been mistaken for a Spanish steamer known to be on the coast slaving. In the meantime the captain of the Maid of Islay had brought his vessel to an anchor, but the shot causing her to leak considerably, the crew abandoned her. The Alert sent a full complement of hands on board, and by dint of hard labour at the pumps, kept her afloat till they got her into Sierra Leone. The owner of the vessel, who was fortunately on board at the time, finding he could obtain no redress from the government authorities at Sierra Leone, returned home to seek it at head quarters. The captain and crew also came home at the same time. Thus all evidence on the part of the steamer having left Sierra Leone, the commander of the Alert sought to have her condemned; but notwithstanding the absence of all opposing witnesses, so clear was the case against her Majesty's ship, that the judge decided that the steamer was not engaged in the slave trade, nor otherwise aiding or abetting that traffic, and decreed her with her cargo, &c., to be restored to the owners, and condemned the seizure in the costs. The case now rests with the government and courts of the country; but we have said enough to show the great injury the fair and honest trader is exposed to on the coast of Africa, from the very parties who should be his protectors. The peaceful mission of the Maid of Islay is thus rendered nugatory, while her owner and crew have been subjected to serious injury from the too ready use of the guns of her Majesty's ship Alert.

[from Morning Advertiser - Monday 12 November 1849]:
In the course of the year just ended, two cases of a rather unusual occurrence have been adjudicated in the Vice-Admiralty Court of this place. The first was that of the British steamer, Maid of Islay, William Cunningham Townley, master, which vessel was seized on the 25th of May, in this harbour, by Commander Dunlop, of her Majesty's sloop Alert, for being engaged in the slave trade, or otherwise aiding and abetting that traffic. The Maid of Islay was adjudicated on the 19th day of July last, when Mr. Heddle, the acting Judge, decreed that the aforesaid vessel, Maid of Islay, her tackle, apparel, and furniture, be restored to William Cunningham Townley, the master and owner thereof; and the goods, wares, and merchandize on board the same be restored to Messrs. Hartung and Co., the owners and proprietors of the said cargo; and further decreed the seizor in costs, and condemned the said parties in such costs accordingly. Against this decree an appeal to a higher Court at home has been made by the seizor.



Iron screw steamer Henry Southan, built Neath Abbey, 1845, 129grt, 91nrt, 103.6 x 17.5 x 8.6 ft, ON 26036, engine 35 hp by builder. First owner Henry Southam of Gloucester, used for passengers and goods between Gloucester and Swansea. For sale 1853 - in 1853, owned James Haddock, Liverpool, registered Liverpool, as 78nrt, built 1845. She seems to have been used as a coasting steamer. Around 1854-5, she was lengthened and repaired [most probably at Liverpool].
MNL 1872: ON 26036, gives Henry Southan built 1849 Neath, 139ft 6 in length, 35sc,... However, the vessels reported as built in 1845 and 1849 seem to be the same.
Around 1856 owned Southern Railway Company, registered London, and used as a cross-Channel trader, then to the Mediterranean, then on sale in May 1858 at London - later owned Pockett, Swansea.

[from Monmouthshire Merlin 2nd August 1845]:
An iron steam-boat, measuring about 160 tons, o.m., to be propelled by screw, and called "Henry Southan," was launched from the building yards of the Neath Abbey Iron Company, Neath, on Monday week, is now fitting up with her engine, and is intended for the carriage of both goods and passengers between Gloucester and Swansea. This vessel will be ready for sea in about five weeks time, the cabins will have every convenience and be fitted in first-rate style. The proprietors are Messrs. Southan and Evans, of Neath, and the draughtsman Mr. A. Sturge, son of Mr. Thomas Sturge, merchant, to whom is due great credit for the very handsome model he has produced, pronounced by good judges to be the handsomest trading vessel in the Bristol Channel.

[from Blackburn Standard - Wednesday 25 March 1846]:
Adroit Swindling. A person of respectable, not to say gentlemanly address, a few days since presented himself at the counting-house of Messrs. Southan and Evans, merchants, of Gloucester, and, stating that he was about to commence business as a dealer in guano, at Cardiff, requested to see samples of the articles which the above firm could supply to him. Accordingly the request was gratified; and the usual preliminaries of business having been settled to mutual satisfaction, a sale of 80 tons was effected. As it happened, the Henry Southan steamer, which was on the point of starting for Swansea, had room for 10 tons of goods, and it was arranged that that quantity of guano should be put into her hold for conveyance to Cardiff. The customer got on board the steamer, and after she had started on her voyage, got "unco cosy" with the steward. He eat, drank, and smoked to the top of his bent, and altogether enjoyed a pleasant voyage to Cardiff. Arrived there, he unshipped the bags of precious stuff, which he was about to convert into gold; and the weather being cold and wet, the steward lent his top coat to the gentleman who was so good a customer to the vessel, and the merchants, her owners. As for the freight, he intimated that he had made it all right at Gloucester, and for the charges of the voyage he would settle on his return. No sooner was the gentleman with the guano ashore than he sought out an auctioneer, employed the crier to announce its sale, and in the course of a very short period it was knocked down to the best bidder, the purchaser getting for £47 goods which had been valued at, and ought to have cost, £80, a few hours before in the Gloucester docks. The gentleman, still in hurry, next contrived to cajole the purchaser out of a cheque for the purchase money, forestalling the customary demand of the auctioneer; immediately after which he disappeared, having diddled merchants, steamer, steward, crier, all his employees in fact; and he is, no doubt, rejoicing in some choice obscurity, with many golden reasons, in having successfully subdued "that worst of all earthly ills, the inflammation of his weekly bills".

[from The Cardiff and Merthyr Guardian Glamorgan Monmouth and Brecon Gazette, 30th July 1853]:
TO STEAM-PACKET COMPANIES AND SHIP-OWNERS. MESSRS. BARNARD, THOMAS, AND CO. have received directions from the Trustees to SELL by AUCTION, at the ALBION TAVERN, near the Docks, GLOUCESTER, on WEDNESDAY, August 10th, 1853.
The Iron Screw Steamer, "HENRY SOUTHAN," Burthen 130 Tons, in good condition and ready for sea.
The Screw Steamer "CLARA," Burthen 70 Tons. Both Vessels steam fast, are fitted with excellent Engines and Boilers, equal to a pressure of 60lbs. to the inch. [note Clara is ex-Liverpool Screw]
Also, a tubular STEAM BOILER, of the following dimensions: Length 12 feet 6 inches, breadth 7 feet, depth 10 feet; has been worked at a pressure of 20lbs. to the inch plates 1/2-inch thick, tubes 3/4-inch thick, and 3 in diameter; was constructed rather more than twelve months since, at a cost of £500. The Sale will commence punctually at Three o'clock. The Vessels may be viewed in the Canal, and the Boiler at Messrs. Danks, Venn, and Sanders's, the Docks, Gloucester. For all further particulars apply to Mr. HENRY SOUTHAN, Jun., Docks, Gloucester; Messrs. J. and H. LIVETT, Solicitors, Bristol; or the Auctioneers, Albion-Chambers. Bristol, July 26, 1853

[from Liverpool Standard and General Commercial Advertiser - Tuesday 17 January 1854]:
Dublin. Jan 9. The Henry Southan (s) arrived here this morning from Liverpool, with coal, under canvas, her machinery having broken down.

[from Liverpool Shipping Telegraph and Daily Commercial Advertiser - Saturday 10 June 1854]:
Garston: Henry Southan (s) 78 Ellis, J. Haddock [later in Sandon Dock]

[from Liverpool Mail - Saturday 03 June 1854]:
On Thursday next, the 8th instant, at One o'clock, at the Brokers' Sale-room, Walmer-buildings, Water-street. The Iron Screw Steamer HENRY SOUTHAN: 78 tons o.m; 39 tons n.m.; built at Neath Abbey 1845; is propelled by an oscillating engine of 35 horse power, with tubular boiler, which was new in 1852, and is now in excellent working order. She stows 130 tons cargo at nine feet water, steams and sails well, and is ready for immediate work. Length, 103 feet 6-10ths; breadth, 17 feet 8-10ths: depth, 8 feet 6-10ths. She will be lying in Sandon Dock on Monday next, the 5th instant, for inspection. For further particulars apply to TONGE, CURRY, and Co., Brokers.

[from Liverpool Shipping Telegraph and Daily Commercial Advertiser - Wednesday 16 August 1854]:
Sailed August 15. Henry Southan (s) 78 Ellis - Whitehaven.

[from Gore's Liverpool General Advertiser - Thursday 29 November 1855]:
For Sale. The Iron Screw Steamer HENRY SOUTHAN; 200 tons builders' measurement; built at Neath Abbey in 1849[sic], has just now been lengthened 25 feet, and almost rebuilt; at the same time, the engines and boilers were thoroughly overhauled; 35-horse power. Diameter of cylinder 29 inches, length of stroke 20 inches. Dimensions: Length 136 feet, breadth 17 feet 10-12ths, depth 9 feet 6-12ths. Apply to CURRY and Co. brokers.



Iron screw steamer Glow Worm, built Liverpool 1853, 17nrt, 26grt, 65.3 x 9.1 x 5.2 ft, 20hp screw, registered Liverpool 1853, then Penzance 1871 on. ON 25721. Last MNL listing 1880. Various owners, see Liverpool 1854, where described as sloop rigged. When first registered was sail - but steam by 1854. In use as a Mission to Seamen yacht in the Bristol Channel 1862-3. MNL 1867 has 26 tons, owned Cates, Bristol. MNL 1872 has owned Matthews, Penzance, registered Penzance from 1871, 20hp screw.
Initial owner and master, Adolphus de Ferrieres, is described as living at Curzon Park, an up-market residential area in Chester, in 1855. He used the Glow worm as a pleasure yacht. He then donated her to the Mission to Seamen, and she was in use in the Bristol Channel, before being replaced, there, by a larger vessel. In 1863 she was sold at Bristol.
[from Western Daily Press - Saturday 07 June 1862]: THE CHANNEL MISSION SHIP. Under this heading "Inquirer" wrote in your paper of the 3rd inst. Will you allow me space for a simple statement of facts bearing on his letter? From the middle of March to the beginning of May the society's chaplain lived on board the Glow-worm, and was zealously at work, principally at Penarth, sometimes in Kingroad.
[from Western Daily Press - Tuesday 03 November 1863]:
MISSIONS TO SEAMEN. We yesterday yesterday visited, by invitation, the mission vessel Alfred, which has just been purchased to replace the Glow-worm in the work of the mission in this Channel, more especially between Kingroad and Penarth Roads. The Glow-worm, which was presented to the society by the kindness of Mr De Ferrieres, is a beautiful pleasure yacht, suited to summer skies and breezes, but decidedly dangerous and unfit for winter gales and storms.
The Alfred was built at Bideford, of solid English osk, grown on an estate in that neighbourhood, and has been used by Mr. H. Cunningham, the patentee of the well-known reef-topsail; she has been up the Mediterranean, and on board her have dined the Prince of Wales, Prince Alfred, and a great number of the nobility and large shipowners of England and other countries.







Liverpool steam ships registered 1st January 1851, from Accounts and Papers, Volume 22, Great Britain House of Commons, 1851. [with extra information from "ships navigated by steam", port Liverpool, Lloyds Register 1851]
For neighbouring ports see here.
Name, date first registered, owner, length (ft in), breadth (ft in), nrt, grt
Manchester 24 Aug. 1826 D. Bellhouse 72 5, 16 6, 43 -
King Fisher 6 Apr. 1830 Hugh Williams 77 0, 16 2, 57 -
Satellite 13 Dec. 1831 North Wales Steam Packet Co 74 8, 16 0, 57 -
Martha 21 Nov. 1834 Phillip Lawrence 75 7, 17 0, 59 -
George 21 Nov 1834 Phillip Lawrence 85 4, 16 3, 55 -
Egerton 10 Aug. 1836 John Southan 78 6, 13 10, 37 -
Cleveland 6 Aug. 1836 Liverpool Steam Ferry Co 86 4, 18 1, 43 95
Cheshire Witch 18 Nov. 1837 Royal Rock Ferry Steam Packet Co 84 5, 15 0, 43 88
John Rigby 27 Dec. 1837 John Southan 83 0, 13 2, 36 81
James 13 Feb. 1838 W Willoughby & Son 76 5, 16 6, 46 -
William Fawcett 19 Feb. 1838 W Willoughby & Son 74 3, 15 1, 48, 90
Britannia 2 Mar. 1838 W Willoughby & Son 67 7, 14 8, 26 58
Ennishowen 16 Oct. 1838 Egremont Steam Packet Co 91 6, 15 6, 70 -
Thomas Royden 16 Oct. 1838 Egremont Steam Packet Co 90 7, 15 1, 64 108
President 3 May 1839 Liverpool Steam Tug Co 109 3, 19 4, 83 201
Victoria 3 May 1839 Liverpool Steam Tug Co 111 5, 19 7, 93 220
Ormrod 3 May 1839 Liverpool Steam Tug Co 87 6, 15 4, 58 111
Mona 3 May 1839 Liverpool Steam Tug Co 103 2, 15 8, 68 125
Ethiope 23 July 1839 Robert Jamieson 95 5, 16 9, 81 126
Nemesis 13 Jan. 1840 John Laird 162 8, 28 3, 281 439
Albert 30 Apr. 1840 Liverpool Steam Tug Co 111 5, 20 2, 82 209
Tower 30 Jun. 1840 Mersey and Irwell Navigation Co 81 6, 16 1, 47 97
Phlegethon 14 Aug. 1840 John Laird 156 2, 25 3, 180 322
Rival 6 July 1841 Mersey and Irwell Navigation Co 81 1, 16 2, 50 100
Eclipse 26 July 1841 T M'Tear 104 0, 16 9, 98 174
Troubadour 26 Oct. 1841 J E Redmond 172 6, 24 2, 409 616 [b Liverpool 1841.8, 240hp]
Mersey 6 Dec. 1841 E Willoughby & Son 87 5, 16 4, 74 107
Blanche 3 May 1842 Trustees of the Duke of Bridgwater 105 4, 17 1, 156 204
Windermere 2 May. 1842 Elizabeth Winder 97 4, 14 2, 71 109
John M'Adam 23 Nov. 1843 George Highton 120 5, 17 9, 129 225 [b Liverpool 1836, 100hp]
St. David 24 Apr. 1844 George Evans 119 10, 17 4, 110 -
Hercules 16 May 1844 James Hutchinson 147 6, 24 10, 265 -
Emerald Isle 26 Mar. 1845 James Hutchinson 135 8, 21 6, 270 409
Cambria 7 May 1845 Hugh Price 136 0, 18 4, 98 197
Queen of Beauty 27 Aug. 1845 Lodge, Prichard & Co. 120 0, 15 9, 64 103
Elizabeth 27 Aug. 1845 Lodge, Prichard & Co. 88 6, 15 3, 51 97
Finn Mac Connell 29 Jun. 1846 Glover & Thorp 140 6, 21 3, 259 450
Covenanter 20 Jun. 1846 J R Bell 110 4, 17 1, 71 154
Hero 4 Aug. 1846 Samuel Howes 95 4, 14 2, 62 102
Birkenhead 14 Aug. 1846 E Willoughby & Son 100 7, 17 1, 62 133
James Atherton 5 Oct. 1846 Lodge, Prichard & Co. 116 0, 16 3, 67 106
Maid of Islay 2 Nov. 1846 W C Townley 94 2, 18 5, 87 -
Ecuador 12 Dec. 1846 Pacific Steam Navigation Co 170 7, 21 5, 271 323
Sarah Sands 19 Dec. 1846 Thomas Sands and others 207 6, 30 5, 931 1300
New Granada 4 Jan. 1847 Pacific Steam Navgation Co 177 4, 24 6, 429 649
Express 12 Feb. 1847 Liverpool Steam Tug Co 108 5, 19 8, 100 178
Liver 12 Feb. 1847 Liverpool Steam Tug Co 104 0, 19 1, 90 197
Skerryvore 12 Feb. 1847 Liverpool Steam Tug Co 87 3, 17 5, 57 128
Flambeau 1 Mar. 1847 Samuel Howes jun 139 2, 19 2, 81 180
Edinburgh Castle 16 May 1847 T Harden 117 6, 16 8, 104 -
Edward 4 Jun. 1847 E Finch 60 0, 11 5, 27 48
Bridgewater 23 Jul. 1847 Williams & Price 74 3, 14 3, 37 71
Britannia 26 Jul. 1847 E Willoughby & Son 111 6, 17 0, 81 124
Lucifer 19 Jan. 1848 J M'Ardrie[sic] 68 3, 12 3, 27 53
Ayrshire Lass 29 Jan. 1848 J Spinks and others 123 8, 18 1, 84 166
Sea Gull 8 Feb. 1848 J Hutchinson 171 6, 23 2, 322 504 [b Belfast 1848, 240hp]
Engineer 29 July 1848 J H Greenstreet and others 168 0, 17 6, 69 202
Iron Prince 8 Aug. 1848 W M'Neill 112 6, 16 9, 95 132
Fanny 14 0ct. 1848 W Shuttleworth 110 0, 16 6, 73 105, iron
Colchester 26 Oct. 1848 E Forster and others 98 2, 16 9, 35 119
Clarence 13 Dec. 1848 E Clark 96 9, 15 1, 60 107
Prince of Wales 4 Jan. 1849 J H Humfrey 99 0, 13 8, 55 84, iron
Queen 4 Jan. 1849 J H Humfrey 99 5, 13 8, 52 78, iron
Snowdon 7 Jan. 1849 T Gibbs 106 4, 16 5, 94 160
Dolphin 27 Feb 1849 J. Delaney 93 2, 15 4, 67 115
Powerful 14 Mar, 1849 G Forster 102 5, 19 1, 32 143
Albion 5 May 1849 J Taylor 111 8, 14 7, 86 147
Wallace 26 May 1849 J Bremmer 112 6, 19 8, 49 178
Queen 30 May 1849 J Nicholson 106 5, 20 2, 91 181
Egremont 8 June 1849 J Prestopino 87 7, 17 4, 69 130, iron
Sylph 17 Aug. 1849 J Crippin 112 8, 16 8, 70 127, iron
Bolivia 12 Oct. 1849 Pacific Steam Navigation Co 197 5, 26 0, 509 773, iron
Wallasey 29 Jan. 1850 W R Coulborn 100 8, 16 6, 49 110
Fairy 29 Jan. 1850 W R Coulborn 118 0, 16 0, 75 112, iron
Duke of Sussex 6 April 1850 W Forster 682 0, 15 8, 31 91
Queen 27 May 1850 W J Rudd 109 4, 21 2, 126 174, iron
Wirrall 27 May 1850 W J Rudd 109 1, 20 9, 111 192, iron
Osmanli 20 May 1850 F. Chapple 127 1, 23 3, 210 304, iron
Star 4 June 1850 Rock Ferry Steam Packet Co 90 3, 15 4, 54 92, iron
Independence 21 June 1850 H N Abbinett 124 2, 22 9, 110 234, iron
Prince Albert 27 June 1850 J Mackay 78 0, 15 4, 24 75
Royal Tar 2 July 1850 J Crippin 125 7, 16 6, 72 142, iron
Dumbarton Castle 30 July 1850 A Rigby 114 7, 16 7, 83 135
Victory 2 Sep. 1850 W Ford 95 5, 16 7, 41 101
Rattler 26 Oct. 1850 J J Bibby 127 0, 22 1, 209 276, iron sc
Zephyr 5 Nov. 1850 G S Sanderson 113 5, 17 3, 104 176
Nile 13 Nov. 1850 W M Moss 164 2, 25 3, 348 525, iron sc
Reeves 19 Nov. 1850 J W Browne 90 7, 13 6, 38 66, iron
Hercules 27 Nov. 1850 W Downham 94 2, 16 5, 37 138
City of Glasgow 6 Dec. 1850 Tod & M'Gregor 227 5, 32 7, 1087 1609, iron, sc
Thomas Wilson 11 Dec. 1850 J & R Parry 92 7, 14 8, 49 89, iron
Dumbarton Youth 21 Dec. 1850 T B Horsfall 122 6, 20 8, 187 239, iron sc [b Dumbarton 1847]


[Pirate 131nrt, 60hp, b Glasgow 1848, ow Dixon, screw, iron; wrecked 1861]
[Samson 72nrt, 100hp, b S Shields 1848, ow Melville, iron]



The Mercantile Navy List contains a list of steam vessels with Board of Trade passenger certificates.
  Dated June 1850, with Runcorn named as port [with registered tonnage and engine hp]: Alice 56 80; Blanche 156 64; Clive 29 30; Earl Powis 33 40; Hercules 38 40; Jack Sharp 30 12; Pilot 60 70; Rival 50 48; Tower 49 50.
These vessels would be used as tugs, but also licensed to take passengers.
By 1853, Countess of Ellesmere 145 80; Hercules 50 40; Thomas Royden 65 45; Weaver(screw) 57 -; had been added, but Clive, Earl Powis and Jack Sharp, were not listed.

From Mercantile Navy List - of steam vessels certified to take passengers. Abbreviations: sc: screw; r: river; re: river and excursions; s: sea-going. Returns are annual at about mid-year. Here Liverpool vessels are tabulated - name, registered tonnage, hp of engines [- if not known]. Those linked to Runcorn are presented above.

Name 1850 1851 1852 1853
Albert 81 100 r
Albion 86 6286 62
Antelope(sc) 549 120 s
Argentine 213 120 s
Arno(sc) 467 - s 467 140 s
Avenger 22 - re
Ayrshire Lassie84 100 84 90 s 84 90 s
Birkenhead61 60 61 60 61 50 re 62 50 s
Bridgewater 37 35
Brigand(sc) 217 60
Britannia 80 50 80 50 80 50 re 80 50 s
Britannia 80 50 r 50 50 r
Braziliera 758 200 s
Calpe(sc) 470 155 s
Cambria 97 130 97 130 97 130 s
Cato 85 60 85 60 85 - r 85 60 r
Cheshire Witch 43 45
City of Manchester(sc) 1309 - s 1309 350 s
Cleveland 43 50 43 50 43 50 r 43 50 r
Conqueror 21 30 r
Constitution 49 160 s
Danube 499 160 s
Defiance 81 120 r
Doris(sc) 325 50
Douro 185 50 s
Dreadnought 81 120 s
Duke 40 40
Earl of Lonsdale 150 120 s
Eliza Price 45 50 45 50 45 50 r 45 50 r
Elizabeth 50 36 50 36 r
Emerald Isle 409 140 409 140
Express 99 100 r
Fairy 76 60 76 60 75 60 r 75 60 r
Fanny 73 45 73 45 72 45 r 72 45 r
Frankfort 413 - s 413 100 s
Helen Fawcett 40 - s 40 80 s
Hercules 265 180 265 180
Hercules(Chester) 265 180 s
Hercules 38 40 r 36 40 r
Hercules(Runcorn) 38 40 38 40 50 40 r
Independence 110 50 r
Invincible 68 60 r
Iron Prince(sc) 135 30 s
James Atherton 67 50 67 50 67 50 s 67 50 r
Kingfisher 59 40 59 40 r 59 40 r
Lioness 60 - re
Liver 90 100 r
Lord Morpeth 100 70 100 70 111 70 r 100 70 r
Mary Agnes 26 - re 26 40 r
Menai 140 - s 140 140 s
Mersey 74 45 74 45 74 45 r 74 45 r
Modern Athens 76 120 s
Mountaineer 196 150
Nile(sc) 347 140 347 140 s
Nun 85 69 85 69 85 60 r 85 60 r
Nymph 55 - re 55 50 r
Olinda 485 200 s
Orontes(sc) 538 -s 538 140 s
Osmanli 210 60 210 60 210 60 s 403 60 s
Pelham 81 80 s
Phoebe(sc) 397 - s 397 130 s
Powerful 132 110 r
President 82 100 r
Prince 85 60 85 60 125 60 r 125 60 r
Prince of Wales(Ferry)- 40 - 40
Queen 95 100 91 80 r
Queen 85 60 85 60 125 60 r 125 60 r
Queen of Beauty 64 30 64 30 64 30 r 64 30 r
Ramsgate Packet 53 60 r
Rattler(sc) 313 40 s
Reaper 22 30 r
Royal Tar 78 80 72 75 r
San Carlo(sc) 135 60 s
Samson 71 - r
Sarah Sands(sc) 930 180 s 930 180 s
St George 14 16 r
St Winifred 8 6 r
Seacombe 40 28 40 28 r
Seagull 322 240 322 240 321 240 s
Sir Thomas Stanley 50 40 50 40 50 40 r
Star 40 50 53 40 r 53 40 r
Sylph 70 60 64 70 s 70 70 s
Tartar 112 110 r
Tamanlipas 321 - s
Thomas Royden 65 45 r (runc)
Thomas Wilson 50 40 50 40 50 40 re 48 40 s
Tiber(sc) 626 - 626 150
Tiger 83 40 r
Troubadour 409 220 409 220 409 220 s
Vernon 88 60 88 60 347? - s 88 60 r
Victoria 92 100 s
Victory 53 50 s
Voltigeur 28 60 r
Wallasey 48 40 48 40 48 40 r 48 40 r
Washington 85 120 s
William Fawcett 47 28 r 47 28 r
Windermere 71 50 71 50 71 50 s 71 50 s
Wirrall 100 60 100 60 111 60 r 111 60 r
Zephyr 104 90 s 104 90 s




Report of the Mersey during a royal visit in 1851.[from Manchester Courier - Saturday 11 October 1851]:
THE RIVER EXCURSION. This, which under favourable auspices, would have been the most imposing spectacle connected with the progress, was necessarily diminished in effect from the merciless rain. A haze spread over the whole of the river, and the wind blew steadily from the south, with an occasional veering to the west. The cordon of steamers and vessels did not extend so far as had been anticipated, but the show of craft was exceedingly good, and the display of flags brilliant and enlivening even amid the great humidity. Along the whole line of docks, flags had been placed at intervals, and the vessels in dock were streaming with colours. The landing-stage from the water presented one complete maze of flags, with the royal standard, which was hoisted on the arrival of her Majesty, floating proudly over all. The Fairy, which was under the command of Lord Adolphus Fitzclarence, having received her Majesty, the Prince, and the royal suite on board, steamed off gallantly up the river, keeping as near the line of docks as possible, the Eblana and Commodore sailing abreast in her wake. The Trafalgar brought up the rear, and the Fairy, of Dublin, the boat selected to precede the royal yacht, steamed at a considerable distance in front. As the royal yacht proceeded, cheer after cheer arose along the line of docks, and from the vessels forming the flotilla; while at intervals salutes were fired from the large steamers and from the pilot boats, which, gaily decorated, had taken their position opposite the Prince's Basin. The six Liverpool lifeboats, each with a union-jack flying at the bow, were anchored in between the steamers and the landing-stage. The Albert Warehouses were surmounted with lines of flags, and upon the roofs of the buildings, great numbers of spectators had posted themselves to witness the gala. The Fairy steamed ahead in glorious style, the Dublin steamers, laden as they were with passengers, straining hard to keep up with her. The Eblana, we may remark, maintained the lead of her commanding steamers throughout the entire progress. The pilot Steamer was unable to preserve her precedence of the Fairy, and fell astern altogether, shortly after the Brunswick Dock was passed. At the Toxteth Docks, large and enthusiastic crowds of people collected, several vessels in process of building being covered, every timber of them, with eager and excited gazers. At a quarter to 12, the royal yacht made a graceful sweep to the W., in the direction of the Cheshire shore, passing at no great distance from the ocean steamers lying in the Sloyne, and which were bedecked most gaily with flags of all nations, and the decks with ladies and gentlemen. Opposite Birkenhead the pretty craft belonging to the Royal Mersey Yacht Club were moored; and further down, opposite Woodside, were stationed a number of the Birkenhead and Woodside ferry boats, which, as the Queen passed them, heeled over nearly to the water's edge from the crowding of the passengers to the side nearest the royal yacht. The cheering was most enthusiastic, and though the rain still poured down even with increased steadiness and force, the multitudes assembled on the piers and steamers continued waving their hats and handkerchiefs in a demonstration of their loyally to their Sovereign. A salute was fired from New Brighton, at which point the Fairy took an easterly course in the direction of Bootle. When the Fairy stood opposite the sea-wall at Bootle she swept close to the shore, and on the return to the landing stage, maintained about the same distance from the line of docks as had been observed in the commencement of the excursion. Opposite the Collingwood Dock some little confusion occurred, in consequence of several steam-tugs: the Independence, the Uncle Sam, the Lioness, and others, violating the regulations, and endeavouring, as it appeared to us, to sail close in the wake of the Fairy. The Uncle Sam crossed the bows of the Eblana, and narrowly escaped being run down. The Mary Agnes, another tug-boat, had previously approached almost close to the royal yacht, her crew cheering lustily when within a very few feet even of the Fairy. It was half-past twelve o'clock when the Fairy returned to the landing-stage. The salutes were repeated as her Majesty and suite disembarked, accompanied by prolonged cheering from those assembled on the stage and the piers. Throughout the excursion, her Majesty did not appear on the deck of the Fairy, the weather rendering it impossible, but, with the Prince, the royal children, and suite, sat in the house erected on the deck.



Survey of Mersey shipbuilding. [from Liverpool Albion - Monday 04 October 1852]:
SHIPBUILDING ON THE MERSEY. Proceeding to the extreme end of the South Docks we find, in the neighbourhood of the Potteries, the building-yard of Messrs. Jordan and Getty, where the workmen are still at work on the large iron ship, of 1,000 tons burthen, which is being built for the firm of Messrs. Clint and Co., of this town, and intended for the New Orleans trade. She will be a swift vessel; and the improvements introduced into her construction will enable her to carry a large cargo of cotton at a light draught of water. This will be an important feature in her favour when crossing the bar of the Mississippi. Judging from her appearance, and the progress which is being made towards her completion, we should imagine she will be ready for launching by the beginning of the new year. In the same yard the keel of a sailing vessel, of 500 tons burthen, is laid. She will be constructed on Jordan's patent, with an iron frame and wooden planking. The Tubal Cain, the second vessel which was built on this principle, has proved herself to be a fast vessel, with extensive carrying powers. It will be recollected that she was one of the ships appointed by Government to carry troops to Burmah. We believe the new vessel is intended for the China trade.
  The next yard is that of Messrs. Thomas Vernon and Son, where the hammers of the workmen are seldom silent. Though there is nothing new to report, a general statement of the business done and what remains to be finished may be interesting, as showing the revolution which is taking place in the construction of ships, as seen in the decline of wooden-shipbuilding, and the development of a trade in which iron usurps the place of timber. Within the last few months they have launched two iron screw-colliers, each of 500 tons burthen and 80 horse-power, for the Hartlepool trade; and one of them is now making her first passage. A new iron screw-boat, named the Eagle, of 500 tons and 120 horse-power, has recently been launched, and is now, waiting for her machinery. She has been built for Mr. W. Dargan, of Dublin. for passenger traffic between this port and Newry. She will be schooner rigged; and, judging from her appearance on the water, we have no hesitation in saying that she will be one of the swiftest boats of her class afloat. Messrs. Vernon and Son have also just completed the delivery of five flat-bottomed iron barges, for navigating the shallow waters of the Danube. They were sent to their places of destination in sections. Five more are in hand, and will be finished before the expiration of the present year. We can readily imagine into what forcible arguments some of our grandfather tars would have entered for the purpose of proving the impossibility of the thing, had they been told that the day was near at hand when vessels would not only be constructed of iron, but would be sent out in sections to the places where they were intended for service, no matter how many hundred miles distant, and there rivetted together and made complete. The old tars of the present day think it equally absurd to imagine that a vessel can be constructed to make a transatlantic passage in a tythe of the time which is now required. In the same yard the workmen are in progress with three iron yachts, with screw-propellers, which are being built for the Austrian Lloyd's. They are for passenger traffic on the Mediterranean, and will be 250 tons burthen, 60 horsepower, and schooner-rigged, with flushed decks.
  In the yard of Messrs. Cato, Miller, and Co., the large wooden ship, which has at various times engaged the attention of the public, is nearly completed, and will be launched in the course of a week or ten days. She has already been announced for the Australian trade, for which she has been specially built; and a more desirable ship for a voyage to the El Dorado of the Antipodes could not be desired. She is 1,003 tons burthen, is described as the largest wooden ship ever built in Liverpool, and bears the name of Marian Moore. We hope to see other vessels of her class built at Liverpool, so that our merchants may not have to seek for them beyond the Atlantic. Messrs. Cato and Co. are also building a steam-tug for a private company, and a brig, of 260 tons, for the Newfoundland trade. She is a smart-looking craft, aid will, no doubt, prove "a clipper" in every sense of the word. Her owners are Messrs. Ridley, Sons, and Co., of this town. When the Marian Moore is launched they will commence building a ship for the Brazilian trade, for Captain Green, of the Swordfish. She will, of course, be a clipper; for, in that trade, to which we owe many modern improvements in naval architecture, a slow sailer would scarcely be successful. She will be built after the lines of the Bella, which, it will be remembered, was launched from this yard. A large sailing vessel, of 1,000 tons burthen, will be commenced in the course of a week or two.
  In the building-yard of Mr. Jones a beautifully-modelled pilot-boat, to replace No. 3, is nearly finished. She will be schooner-rigged, and, besides a round stern, will possess other improvements, both as regards speed and comfort.
  From the yard of Mr. Steel a new ship, the Tinto has recently been launched, and is on the berth for China. Having been especially built for that trade, we have no doubt she will not be surpassed by any of the clippers trading between the Celestial Empire and Great Britain.
  But it is in the building-yard of Mr. John Laird, at Birkenhead, where the greatest activity is apparent, and where the fact that iron is fast taking the place of timber as a material for the construction of ships is most perceptible. During the present year the Clarence, now engaged in the Australian trade; the Countess of Ellesmere, acknowledged to be one of the best paddle-steamers afloat, both as regards model and construction; and the screw-steamers Weaver, Fosforo, and Forerunner have been launched. The Forerunner was the first of three iron screw-vessels, she being 400, and the others 900 tons each, for the new African line of mail steamers, under the contract of Mr. Macgregor Laird, of London. She was launched a short time ago, and, in our last week's impression, we noticed the satisfactory result obtained on her official trial at the measured mile on the Thames, she having attained a speed of 11.5 miles an hour, with steam-power of only 50 horse, being at the time fully loaded and every way ready for sea. During the trip from London to Plymouth she fully sustained her character as a fast vessel, and the weather she had to contend with was sufficient to try the seaworthiness of any boat. Mr. Laird is building two screw steam-vessels, upon the same beautiful model as the Forerunner, which are also intended for the African mail service. The Faith is nearly ready for the reception of her machinery, and will be launched this month. The Hope is in an advanced state, and before the expiration of November she will be floating upon the water. The keels and framings for two splendid iron screw-vessels, of 1,300 tons each, for the South American and General Steam Navigation Company, are in a forward state, and other parts of the work are in progress. These two ships, we understand, are to be placed on the line from Liverpool to Rio de Janeiro, with others now being built, for the purpose of maintaining a monthly communication between the two ports. Two other iron vessels, of about 1,100 tons burthen, for the African Company, are being constructed; and another, of about 2,000 tons, is commenced, which is reported to be for the Peninsular and Oriental Steam-ship Company. One important point in connexion with the ships built at Birkenhead should not be overlooked, inasmuch as it sets forth an example we should rejoice to see extensively followed. The order for constructing the machinery, instead of being sent to strangers, is divided between two well-known Liverpool houses, who, in every instance, have proved themselves worthy of such confidence. The engines of the Clarence, the Countess of Ellesmere, the Weaver, and the Forerunner were made by Messrs. Fawcett and Co., who have also received orders for those of the Faith and of the two vessels which are being built for the South American and General Steam Navigation Company. Messrs. Forrester and Co., of Liverpool, are building the engines for the Hope, and the engines and machinery of the two other vessels for the African Company will be supplied conjointly by that firm and Messrs. Fawcett and Co. A large amount of capital thus finds its way into the money-drawers of the tradesmen and shopkeepers of Liverpool which would otherwise have been carried to the banks of the Clyde.
  Not only are some of the building-yards thus busily engaged in the construction of iron ships, but all the graving docks are filled with wooden vessels undergoing repairs or alterations. Such an abundance of work is there that the men, feeling that their labour cannot very well be dispensed with, show a spirit of independence never evinced when a dearth of business gives them plenty of time for calm reflection.
  We have frequently impressed upon the consideration of the Liverpool Dock Trust and Corporation the importance of affording every facility for the prosecution of shipbuilding on the Mersey. If they properly fostered and encouraged the trade we see no reason why this port should not distinguish itself above all others for the number of its home-built ships, as well as for their beauty of model and a faithfulness of construction. By extending the trade we should find an increased amount of prosperity amongst the working portion of the population and, as a natural sequence, an impetus would be given to the kindred trades of sailmakers, ropemakers, &c. The same remarks apply with equal force to Birkenhead. Such an establishment as the one from which so many splendid specimens of naval architecture are being sent forth should receive every encouragement from the authorities. Any of our readers walking through the building yard of Mr. Laird could not fail to understand why we say this, and why, on previous occasions, we have devoted considerable space to a subject of such vital importance as affecting the prosperity of the two ports. Upwards of 400 men are busily engaged in this establishment, and the continual clatter of many hammers, upon different-sized and variously tempered pieces of iron, produces a sound resembling, in the distance, the harmonious discord of loud music. The men are variously occupied. They are either beating the red-hot bars into the required shapes, or drilling holes into the plates, or riveting them on the iron ribs of the vessels. Each man knows his duty, and performs it; the work progresses rapidly; and the ship is completed and launched in a marvellously short space of time. The Forerunner, for instance, was built and made ready for sea in six months; and, doubtless, an equal celerity will be observable in the construction of the vessels which will follow her.
  Before quitting this subject we cannot refrain from touching upon another point with respect to which a reformation is required on the part of the Liverpool shipowners. Why do they not patronise their neighbours when they give their orders for new ships, instead of going to the Clyde or elsewhere? It is not as though shipbuilding was a trade but newly introduced on the Mersey, or as if the vessels that first floated on our river had not gained a local reputation for being true and fast-sailing boats. The busy appearance of Mr. Laird's establishments is not owing to any of our merchants giving their orders there; all the new vessels being for companies at a distance, a fact which certainly speaks well for the estimation in which our builders are held in other districts.



Liverpool steam-ship Register 1854. From Marwood's Directory.
Ships. Rig. Captains. Built. Where. Tons. Registered Owners.
Albert, sl...........John Eccles 1840 Birkenhead.... 81 Liverpool Steam Tug Co.
Amelia, sch.........John Aitken 1853 Chester ...... 212 G. Cram, F. H. Powell, & others
Antelope, sch... Henry C. Keen 1846 Liverpool... 778 Edmund Thompson
Arabian, sch.....Joseph Graves 1851 Govan...... 394 Wm. S. Dixon & Wm. H. Dixon
Argentina, sch.....T. Johnston 1853 Liverpool... 213 South American General Steam Navigation Co.
Arno, sch.......David Evans 1850 P. Glasgow... 463 James Jenkinson Bibly
Astrologer, sch.....John Miller 1850 Govan...... 306 Wm. S. Dixon & Wm. H. Dixon
Ayrshire Lassie, sl.....H. Cruse 1839 Greenock... 76 Wm. Downham & Henry Cruse
Birkenhead, sl.,.. H. Harrison 1846 Sandycroft... 61 Edward Gardner and Seymour Willoughby, Birkenhead
Blanche, sch..... Peter Johnston 1841 Liverpool... 156 Trs. of Duke of Bridgewater
Bogota, br.,...... Alexander Hall 1852 Govan..... 658 Pacific Steam Navigation Co.
Bolivia, sch........James Brown 1849 Glasgow..... 509 Pacific Steam Navigation Co.
Brazileira, sch.....Daniel Green 1853 Birkenhead... 758 South American General Steam Navigation Co.
Britannia, sl.......Joseph Kayle 1847 Liverpool... 80 Messrs Willoughby, Birkenhead
Britannia, sl......T. Prestopino 1823 Dover......52 Thomas Prestopino
Britannia, sl.........John Jones 1821 Liverpool... 25 William Willoughby and Son, Birkenhead
British Queen, sch.... H. Dubbins 1849 Dumbarton.... 565 Burns and Iver
Calpe, bq........ William Birch 1852 Glasgow.... 470 Geo. Louthean, J. Bibly & Sons
Cato,.......John Clure 1849 Liverpool... 85 E. & S. Willoughby, Tranmere
Charity, sch....... Walter Paton 1849 Liverpool... 1007 Canadian Steam Navigation Co.
Cheshire Witch, sl.,.. J. Bennett 1837 Maryport... 43 The Royal Rock Ferry Steam Packet Co.
City of Glasgow, bq.... W. Wylie 1850 Partick Glasgow ..... 1087 Richardson Brothers & Co.
City of Manchester, bq.... Robert Leitch 1851 Glasgow.... 1309 Richardson Brothers & Co.
Cleopatra, sh.... H. R. Cumming 1852 Dumbarton...893 M'Kean, M'Larty, & Co.
Cleveland, sl....Joseph Bennett 1836 Liverpool... 43 Woodside, North Birkenhead,& Liverpool Steam Ferry Co.
Collaroy, sch...Jno. Galbraith 1853 Liverpool... 201 John Laird, Birkenhead
Constitution, sl....John Harvey 1853 The Tyne... 49 Peter Maddox, Hugh Edwards, Thomas Lyon, and others
Countess of Lonsdale, sch., Jas.Walker 1827 Whitehaven... 105 M'Kean, M'Larty, & Co.
Covenanter, sl.....John R. Bell 1846 Stockton.... 70 James Bremner
Danube, bq.... Daniel L. Reed 1853 Glasgow.... 499 Gustav Christian Schwabe, John Bibly, G. Louthean, & others
Defiance, sl.. ......James Aikin 1841 Glasgow.... 76 Liverpool Steam Tug Co.
Die Schaene Mainzern, Nicholas Murphy 1845 Warrington... 108 Edward Tayleur, Warrington
Dolphin, sch... ......John Burke 1834 Dumbarton.. 67 William C. Tute, Sligo
Douro, sch.... Wm. Wales Benson 1853 Paisley...... 185 John Bibby, James Jenkinson Bibby, George Louthean, and Cotesworth, Wynne, & Lyne
Duke of Sussex, sl.... W. Forster 1840 S. Shields... 31 William Forster, Runcorn
Dumbarton Youth, sch.... Isaac Middleton 1847 Dumbarton... 183 George Holt, William Durning Holt, and others
Dreadnought, sl......Js. Aikin 1844 Liverpool... 97 Liverpool Steam Tug Company
Earl of Lonsdale, sch... Geo. St Leger Grenfell 1834 Whitehaven.. 159 Geo. Mackintosh Neilson of Glasgow, Geo. St Leger Grenfell, and William Tredgold
Eclipse, sch.... Michael Bolzer 1826 Dumbarton... 98 Thomas M'Tear
Edward, sl..... George Watson 1847 Preston .... 24 Geo. Samuel Sanderson
Egerton, sl....James Foulks 1834 Woodside... 37 John Southern
Egremont, sl... Thos. Prestopino 1836 Glasgow.... 68 Thomas Prestopino
Elizabeth, sl......Wm. Garnett 1840 Birkenhead... 50 William Rusholm Coulborn
Ennishowen, sl.... W. Stockaday 1834 Dumbarton... 70 The Egremont Sm. Packet Co.
Enterprise, sch..... Thos. Hunter Holderness 1826 Dumbarton... 131 Thomas Hunter Holderness
Ethiope, sch...Samuel Walker 1839 Liverpool... 80 Robert Jameson Lee
Express, sl. ....Joseph Newton 1846 S. Shields... 99 Liverpool Steam Tug Co.
Fairy,...Wm. Rushton Coulborne 1849 Liverpool... 75 Wm. Rushton Colbourne & Co.
Frankfort, br.... Geo. H. Corbett 1851 P. Glasgow... 413 Frederick Chapple
George, sl....Joseph Hay 1834 Chester..... 55 G. John Chamberlain, Oxford
Glow Worm, sl... Adolphus De Ferrieres 1853 Liverpool... 11 Adolphus De Ferriers
Helen Fawcett, sl.....John Redhead 1849 Middlesbro'... 44 Thomas Redhead
Henry Southan, sch...Evan Evans 1845 Neath Abbey, C. Glamorgan...78 James Haddock
Hercules, sch... Robt. Lancaster 1835 Liverpool...265 James Hutchinson
Hercules, sl..... Thos. Rowling 1837 Gravesend... 36 Wm. Downham, Birkenhead
Hero, sl....... William Forster 1832 Dumbarton... 43 Edward and William Forster
Independence, sl... J. Newton 1850 Newcastle... 110 Henry Nicholas Abbinett
Invincible, sch...John Mitchell 1852 Warrington... 66 John Rigby
Iron King, sch... Joseph Newton 1854 The Tyne... 78 Henry John Ward, John Reed Murphy, and John Griffith
Iron Prince, sch... Ds. Sullivan 1844 Liverpool... 134 John Grantham and others
James, sl....... Thomas Cox 1826 Liverpool... 46 William Willoughby and Son, Birkenhead
James Atherton, sl...H. Hughes 1846 Liverpool... 67 Messrs Couthorne and Pritchard
James Dennistoun, sl... G. Coyle 1835 Glasgow.... 76 Sampson Moore
John Bull, sl....Geo. Mowll 1849 Millwall.... 45 John Watkins, Birkenhead
John Rigby, sl...Thos. Clough 1831 Liverpool... 36 John Sothern
King Fisher, sch...Hugh Williams 1830 Liverpool... 56 Hugh Williams, Woodside
La Perlita, sch...R. Maughan 1853 Warrington... 84 Pacific Steam Navigation Co.
La Plata, sch....G. H. Haram 1854 Liverpool... 303 South American General Steam Navigation Company
Lima, br...John Williams 1851 Govan...... 661 Pacific Steam Navigation Co.
Liver, sl.... William Roberts 1846 Woodside... 90 Liverpool Steam Tug Co.
Lochlomond, sl... Joseph Kaysir 1845 Dumbarton... 67 Henry Nicholls, Eastham
Lusitania, sch....James Brown 1853 Birkenhead... 673 South American General Steam Navigation Company
Lucifer, sch....Cas. W. Kellock 1846 Liverpool... 27 Geo. Samuel Sanderson
Maid of Islay, sch... William C. Townley 1824 P. Glasgow... 86 William Cunningham Townley
Manchester, sch... Thos. Barnet Harrison 1851 Aberdeen... 157 Robert Gardner, Manchester
Manchester, sl...Thos. Fordsham 1825 Runcorn.... 43 David Bellhouse, Manchester
Martha, sl...Samuel Lloyd 1834 Tranmere... 58 Geo. J. Chamberlain, Oxford
Mary Agnes, sl....J. Crof Reid 1848 N. Shields... 26 Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Co.
Menai, sch....John Hunter 1851 Dumbarton... 140 Price and Case
Mersey, sl..... Henry Harrison 1841 Liverpool... 74 Edwd. & Seymour Willoughby, Birkenhead
Modern Athens, sl.,..J. Hughes 1836 Dundee...... 76 James and Alexander Bremner
Nemesis, sch..... Wm. H. Halle 1839 Birkenhead 280 John Laird, Birkenhead
New Granada, sch...J. Williams 1846 Govan...... 429 Pacific Steam Navigation Co.
Nile, sch... John Olive 1850 Dumbarton... 347 Wm. Miles Moss
Nymph,....Wm. Bennett 1851 Liverpool... 53 John Crippin, Rock Ferry
Ottawa, sch.....Jas. B. Atkins 1853 Liverpool... 814 John Carmichael, E. Johnston, Wm. L. Bailey, and others
Ormrod, sch....Henry Miller 1826 Chester...... 58 Liverpool Steam Tug Co.
Orontes, sch........John Olive 1861 Dumbarton... 538 Fred. Chapple, Mm. Miles Moss, Lampart and Holt, & others
Osmanli,sch....G. Pearce Lock 1846 Dumbarton... 403 Frederick Chapple
Osprey, sch.... William Askew 1852 Glasgow... 109 Pacific Steam Navigation Co.
Persian, sch...John Milburn 1852 Govan...... 599 William Swan Dixon, Liverpl.; and Lewis Potter, Glasgow
Phlegethon, sch... R. F. Cleaveland 1840 Birkenhead... 180 John Laird, Birkenhead
Phoebe, bq......,P. H. Brenau 1851 Dumbarton... 397 Preston and Watson
Powerful, sl...Joseph Newton 1842 East Jarrow... 32 Edward Forster
President, sl...John Eccles 1839 Birkenhead... 82 Liverpool Steam Tug Co.
Prince Albert, sl... R. Wilkinson 1849 No. Shields 24 Marquis of Tichfield, Welbeck
Prince of Wales, sl....Geo. Bee 1842 The Tyne... 55 The Manchester Sheffield, and Lincolnshire Railway Co.
Promise, sl...William Morris 1851 Newcastle... 201 Thomas Redhead, Birkenhead
Queen,...Charles White 1844 Birkenhead... 125 William T. Rudd, Birkenhead
Queen, sl.,..John Newton 1840 Dundee...... 91 William Currie
Queen,....Charles Bailey 1842 The Tyne... 52 T. H. Humphrey, Manchester
Queen of Beauty, sl... H. Hughes 1845 Govan... 64 Lodge, Richard, & Co.
Quito, sch, ......W. B. Wells 1852 Govan... 664 Pacific Steam Navigation Co.
Ramsgate Packet, sl... Thos.Prestopino 1834 Harwich... 57 Thomas Prestopino
Rattler, sch....W. W. Benson 1846 Cork ...... 313 Frederick Chapple
Rattle Snake, sch........J. W. Witherwick 1853 Dumbarton... 61 George Booker
Rhone, bq.....G. L. Wakeham 1853 Glasgow... 501 John Bibby, James J. Bibby, George Loathean, and others
Rival, sl......John Longshaw 1834 Runcorn... 50 Mersey and Irwell Naviga. Co.
Robert Burns, sl...J. Watkins 1837 Newcastle... 41 John Watkins
Royal Tar, sl.... Robert Gorlin 1836 Glasgow... 72 John Crippin, Rock Ferry
St David, sch... Andrew Jones 1824 Liverpool... 110 George Evans
Samson, sl...James Aikin 1848 So. Shields... 71 Liverpool Steam Tug Co.
San Carlo, sch......John Vernon 1853 Liverpool...135 Thomas Vernon and Son
Santiago, sch........John Hind 1851 Girvan...549 Pacific Steam Navigation Co.
Sarah Sands, sch...W. C. Thompson 1846 Liverpool... 931 Charles Oddie
Satellite, sch..... Richard Parry 1825 Liverpool... 57 North Wales Steam Packet Co.
Snowden, sch.... Thomas Gibbs 1836 Glasgow 94 Thomas Gibbs
Star, sl.......William Bennett 1845 Sandscroft... 53 The Royal Rock Ferry Steam Packet Co.
Sylph, sch.........John Crippin 1849 Liverpool... 70 John Crippen, Rock Ferry
Tamanlipas, sch.....R. Ewing 1852 P. Glasgow... 321 James Burt jun.
Tartar, sl..... William Thomas 1849 Liverpool... 112 Liverpool Steam Tug Co.
Thomas Royden, sl... J. Harvey 1837 Liverpool... 64 The Egremont Steam Packet Co.
Thomas Wilson, sl... W. Griffith 1845 Liverpool... 48 Richard Smith
Tiber, sch... Daniel Litton Reed 1851 P. Glasgow.. 626 John Bibby
Tiger, sl.....James Aikin 1853 Liverpool... 53 Liverpool Steam Tug Co.
Tower, sl......John Kirkham 1836 Runcorn....47 Mersey & Irwell Navigation Co.
Tuin M'Comall, sch.... R.Gillatby 1837 Dumbarton... 258 Glover & Thorp, Kirkcudbright
Troubadour, sch... J. Anderson 1841 Liverpool... 409 John Edward Redmond
Uncle Sam, sl... John Newton 1849 Westham.... 62 John Watkins, Birkenhead
Valdivia, br.,.. J. Herrard Kolt 1853 Cartsdyke... 555 Pacific Steam Navigation Co.
Vernon,.....Joseph Hay 1849 Liverpool... 88 E. & S. Willoughby, Tranmere
Victoria, sl... William Roberts 1837 Birkenhead... 92 Liverpool Steam Tug Co.
Victory, sch.....John Pearson 1848 The Tyne... 41 William Ford jun.
Wallace, sl.....John Harvey 1849 The Tyne... 48 James Bremner
Wallasey, sl....E.W. Coulbom 1847 Egremont... 48 Wm. Rushton, Colbourne,& Co.
Washington, brigan.....D. Tod 1844 Leith.... 85 Alexander Bremner
William Fawcett, sl....Henry Harrison 1829 Liverpool... 47 W. Willoughby & Son, Birkenhead
Windermere, sch...John Lamb 1835 Liverpool... 71 Elizabeth Winder
Wirrall,....Hamilton Pearson 1846 Birkenhead.... 111 Wm. Thos. Rudd, Birkenhead
Woodside,...J. Hetherington 1853 Liverpool... 79 Wm. Thos. Rudd, Birkenhead
Zephyr, sch..... Wm. Edwards 1828 Chester...... 104 Samuel Harden


A royal visit in 1855. [from Liverpool Mail - Saturday 13 October 1855]:
THE EXCURSION ON THE RIVER. The excursion on the river took place on Wednesday morning, the steamer placed at the service of the mayor being the well-known Countess of Ellesmere. The embarkation was originally fixed to take place at half-past ten o'clock, and at that hour the landing-stage, and all the approaches to it, were completely covered by a densely-packed multitude, the liveliness of the scene being heightened by the presence, at the stage and adjacent piers, of some dozen or twenty river steamers, dressed in their gayest bunting, including the steam-ship Trafalgar, belonging to the City of Dublin Royal Mail Steam-packet Company. To the stern of this vessel, in a line about ten yards apart, connected by ropes, were moored five of the Liverpool life-boats, the crews of which manned oars as the Countess of Ellesmere passed them. A little to seaward were stationed, 20 yards apart, seven of the pilot-boats, viz., the Teaser, the Mersey, the Pioneer, the Duke, the Albert Edward, the Prince of Wales, and the Auspicious, all profusely decorated with flags.
The embarkation did not in reality take place until half-past eleven; but the vast crowd, who were collected near the north end of the landing-stage, where the Countess of Ellesmere was moored, appeared quite contented with gazing on the busy scene, though the wind blew keenly, and in icy gusts, from the north-west, the sky overhead being also gloomy and rain-threatening. A space for the more privileged guests was kept by a detachment of police and dockgatemen, who performed their somewhat disagreeable duties with commendable good humour, though their efforts to keep the crowd within bounds more than once excited groans and booings.
Shortly after eleven o'clock, two carriages arrived at the Town-hall from Knowsley, containing the Duke of Cambridge, Earl Hardwicke, Right Hon. S. Walpole, M.P., Colonel Tyrwhitt, Lord Stanley, &c. After staying a few minutes at the Town-hall, the distinguished party left for the landing-stage, the Duke of Cambridge, Earl Hardwicke, Colonel Tyrwhitt, and the Mayor riding in Lord Derby's carriage. Mr. T. B. Horsfall, M.P., and Mrs. Tobin rode in one of the mayor's carriages; and Major-General Sir Harry Smith and two ladies followed in a private carriage. The carriages proceeded to the landing-stage along Castle-street and James-street, and past the Baths to the north bridge of the stage. On arriving at the stage, the cortege was received with most vociferous cheering, which the duke acknowledged by bowing repeatedly. At the same moment the band of the Blue-Coat School, which had been stationed on the stage for more than an hour previously, struck up God save the Queen. The whole of the invited (as well as the above-mentioned band) then embarked, and, amidst the cheers of the multitude, and salutes from the pilot-boats, the Countess of Ellesmere left the stage.
The Countess of Ellesmere was navigated by her careful commander, Mr. Samuel Street, under the superintendence of Captain Evans, the conservator of the river. It was just high water when the Countess left the stage, and the appearance of the river is always at that time most animated. After taking a cruise across towards Seacombe, the Countess turned and went up the river along the Cheshire side, a rapid discharge of large guns saluting her from the piers of the Woodside basin. Her great speed soon placed her a considerable distance ahead of the attendant steamers. After steaming to Eastham, she was steered across to Garston, and the engines stopped for a short time, giving those on board an opportunity of a leisurely viewing of the exterior arrangements of the docks there. Steam was again put on, and she proceeded still further southward, skirting the Lancashire shore past Dungeon Point, nearly far as Hale Head. The river at this part is nearly six miles across, so that its ample proportions were seen to the utmost advantage. Leaving Hale Head, the Countess struck across to the Frodsham shore, on the Cheshire bank of the Mersey, and proceeding for some time in a westerly direction, turned her bow once more towards Liverpool. At this time only two of the attendant steamers - the Sea King and Iron King - were at all near the Countess, and they were nearly two miles off, the others being grouped below Garston, awaiting the return of the steamer down the river. The course now taken by the Countess of Ellesmere was the usual one in coming down with the ebb tide from Runcorn, passing close in to Garston and across Aigburth Bay to the Dingle Point. About this period, the Countess passed through the centre of the steam fleet, the spectators on each vessel cheering enthusiastically, and the bands playing the most complimentary airs that suggested themselves. The scene was now exciting in the extreme, from the racing between the various steamers to keep nearest the Countess. Small boats, yachts, sloops, pilot-boats, and river flats, tacked in and ran out amongst the steamers, which rushed along with the strong current at a great speed, but, although collisions were continually imminent, fortunately none occurred. The progress along the margin of the dock quays was a complete ovation. The pier-heads were everywhere lined with spectators, and while thousands of dock artisans raised their voices in vigorous cheers, the louder-mouthed batteries of cannon stationed at intervals thundered forth salutes of a more startling character. The vessels lying in the stream, American, we are glad to say, included, were decorated with flags, and on board one of the latter, called the New Orleans, hundreds of emigrants crowded the deck, and clustered in the rigging, to give more effect to their demonstrations of delight. This occurred just off the landing-stage, which, with the ferry steamers lying alongside, was still crowded to excess, and as the Countess and steamers following passed between the emigrant ship and the City Dublin Company's steamer Trafalgar, and the stage, they were within few feet of the vessels on either side. His royal highness all this time stood upon one the paddle-boxes of the Countess, with head uncovered, acknowledging the plaudits offered to him. At this time we noticed among the attendant steamers, the Sea King, the Constitution, the Iron King, the Cunard tender Satellite, the Pilot, Ayrshire Lassie, Lioness, Independence, John Bull, Uncle Sam, Robert Burns, British Dominion, Royal Victoria, Promise, Invisible [sic Invincible?], Earl Powis, and a number of other Tug Company's boats, &c. The Birkenhead commissioners and a number of their friends were on board of their new and fast steamers Liverpool and Woodside.
Among the land decorations at this point, the St. George's Baths, and the high tower of the Semaphore Telegraph, (adorned with immense royal standards), were conspicuous. Lower down the river, over the summit of the Victoria Tower, floated the white ensign of St. George; while a large new ship, lying in the Collingwood Basin below, displayed on her burgee the appropriate name of Inkerman. The Cunard steamers in the Huskisson Dock were particularly noticeable for their profuse display of flags.
At ten minutes past one, the Countess was abreast the Bootle Fort, from the embrasures of which a royal salute blazed forth. A detachment of the Royal Lancashire Artillery, with their field pieces, were stationed on the quay, to the north of the fort, and joined in the military display. After proceeding to nearly abreast the Bootle landmark, the heavy swell of the water induced those in charge of the Countess to show a discreet regard for the comfort of the distinguished party by not venturing down the channel. Accordingly, her head was turned towards the Cheshire shore, and at a quarter-past one the loud boom of a 32-pounder, carried along distinctly on the high wind, told that the guns of the Rock Buttery were paying due honour to the illustrious visitors, borne past them on the waters of the Mersey. Again the Countess passed through the fleet of steamers, yachts, pilot-boats, and fishing-smacks, and again the fervid demonstrations of those on board were repeated.
A line of flags stretched along the Birkenhead Dock river wall, and also along the Woodside ferry and promenade, which, like every other available point of view, was crowded, especially with the fair sex, who outrivalled the gentlemen in their enthusiasm. From Egremont Ferry to the Sloyne, the Countess proceeded at very reduced speed, thus allowing each boat to come up and pass alongside her, in turn, to the great satisfaction of those on board, who were in this manner gratified by very excellent view of his royal highness.
In the Sloyne the Countess stopped, and an inspection was made of the extra lightship, which is moored there, in case of casualty to any of the lightships anchored outside the port. The Glasgow steamer Princess Royal, which had been cruising about the river with large party on board, was moored close to and added salutes to those of other vessels.




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