Early North Wales Steam Vessels

Chris Michael.

•Passenger steamers, based North Wales [mainly up to 1850]

Note that historic place names have moved to Welsh spellings: Portinllaen - Porthdinllaen; Lleyn - Llŷn; Anglesea - Anglesey - Ynys Môn; Carnarvon - Caernarfon; Moelfra - Moelfre; Conway - Conwy; Voryd - Foryd; Rhydland - Rhuddlan; Flint - Fflint.

Vessels serving Liverpool - Menai Straits (Beaumaris, Bangor, Menai Bridge).
Wooden paddle steamer Albion, built 1822 Liverpool, service 1822-24
Wooden paddle steamer Prince Llewellyn, built 1822 Liverpool, service 1822-36
Wooden paddle steamer Ormrod, built Chester 1826, service 1826-32
Wooden paddle steamer Satellite, built Liverpool 1825, service 1830
Wooden paddle steamer Air, built Port Glasgow 1825, service 1831-3
Wooden paddle steamer Rothsay Castle, built Dumbarton 1817, service 1831
Wooden paddle steamer Vale of Clwyd, built Glasgow 1829, service Rhyl, then Menai 1837
Wooden paddle steamer Eclipse, built Dumbarton 1826, service 1837
Wooden paddle steamer Zephyr, built 1832 Chester, service 1837-42
Wooden paddle steamer St. Mungo, built 1835 Greenock, Rhyl service, Menai 1838
Wooden paddle steamer Skimmer, built Dee, 1839, service 1842-4
Wooden paddle steamer Town of Wexford, built Wexford 1837, service 1842
Wooden paddle steamer Ayrshire Lassie, built Greenock 1839, service 1843-4
Wooden paddle steamer John M'Adam, built Liverpool 1836, service 1840-44
Iron paddle steamer Erin-go-bragh, built Liverpool 1840, service 1843-47
Wooden paddle steamer Flambeau, built Greenock 1840, service 1843-47
Wooden paddle steamer Monk, built Birkenhead 1837, service 1843
Wooden paddle steamer Dolphin, built Dumbarton 1834, service 1843
Wooden paddle steamer Snowdon, built Glasgow 1836, service Rhyl, then Menai 1843
Iron paddle steamer Albert, built Liverpool 1845, service 1845
Iron paddle steamer Cambria, built 1845 Renfrew, service 1846-51.
Iron paddle steamer Engineer, built 1844 Glasgow, service 1845-6.
Iron paddle steamer Prince of Wales, built 1846 Glasgow, service 1847-
Iron paddle steamer Prince Arthur, built 1840 Port Glasgow, service 1850 - wrecked.
Iron paddle steamer Prince Arthur, built London 1851, service 1862
Iron paddle steamer Menai, built 1851 Dumbarton, service 1851-3

Liverpool - Rhyl services (plus some included above: Vale of Clwyd, St Mungo, Snowdon):
Wooden paddle steamer Gulliver, built Greenock 1826, service 1829
Wooden paddle steamer Hercules, built by 1825, service 1829
Wooden paddle steamer St. Wenefrede, built Dumbarton 1830, service 1830-2
Wooden paddle steamer Countess of Glasgow, built Greenock 1826, service 1834-5
Wooden paddle steamer George, built 1834 Chester, service 1836 [replacing Countess of Glasgow]
Wooden paddle steamer Benledi, built Glasgow 1834, service 1839-46.
Wooden paddle steamer Taliesin, built Mostyn 1842, service circa 1848
Wooden paddle steamer Earl Spencer, built Ryde 1833, service 1852-3.
Iron paddle steamer Promise, built Newcastle 1851, service 1852
Iron paddle steamer Royal Victoria, built Paisley, 1838, service 1854
Iron paddle steamer Queen, built Birkenhead 1844, service 1882 etc
Iron screw steamer Fawn, built Kiel 1869, service 1890-1

Liverpool - Amlwch service:
Wooden paddle steamer Windermere, built Liverpool 1835, service 1842-4

Vessels serving primarily within the Menai Straits
Wooden paddle steamer Paul Pry, built Hereford 1827; 1830s.
Iron paddle steamer Menai, built 1849, service to 1867
Iron paddle steamer Fairy, built Glasgow 1849, service to 1881.
Iron paddle steamer May Flower, built Seacombe 1867, service to 1895
Wooden screw steamer Menai, built Bangor 1878, service to 1901
Wooden screw steam launch Pioneer, built circa 1872, service circa 1883
Iron screw steamer Satanella, built Liverpool, 1881, service 1884.
Steel paddle steamer Arvon, built Rutherglen 1896, service 1896-1924.

Conwy services.

For later passenger vessels on the Liverpool - North Wales routes, 1881 on, see LNRS Bulletin Vol26 No2

More to follow. See Steamers in Dee estuary; Rhyl steamers,
wrecks Rothsay Castle 1831, Eclipse 1839, Mountaineer 1841, Monk 1843.

Steam yachts, based or owned in North Wales or the North West of England [mainly up to 1899]

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Wooden paddle steamer Prince Llewellyn, built Wilson & Gladstone, Liverpool, 1822, 94nrt, 111.5 x 18.1 ft, 70hp engines by Fawcett, Liverpool. Owned initially by J. Jones, at Beaumaris, then from 1826 by Liverpool & North Wales Steam Packet Company. 1828 operated by Saint George Steam Packet Company. 1835 registered Dublin. 1842 engines removed, for sale as a schooner. Lost 26th October 1847 in Mediterranean, crew saved.

[from Liverpool Mercury - Friday 17 May 1822]:
We understand that there will be launched from the building-yard of Messrs. Wilson and Gladstone, on Monday morning next, at half-past nine o'clock, a beautiful steam packet, to be called the Prince Llewellyn. She is intended to sail regularly between Bangor, Beaumaris, Carnarvon, and this port.

[from Manchester Guardian - Saturday 20 July 1822]:
LIVERPOOL AND NORTH WALES STEAM PACKET COMPANY. THE proprietors in the above establishment have the pleasure to announce to the Public, that their new Steam-packet, the PRINCE LLEWELLYN, will commence sailing between Liverpool, Beaumaris, Bangor and Carnarvon, during the ensuing week. Particulars may be known upon application to their Agents, JOHN WATSON, Jun, 27, Water-street, Liverpool. WILLIAM CRITCHLOW, Beaumaris.

[from Bury and Norwich Post - Wednesday 25 February 1835]:
Steam Navigation. A splendid steam vessel, named the Hercules [ON 27002], built by Messrs. Mottershead and Hayes for the St. George Steam Packet Company, was launched on Saturday last. She measures 148 feet in length, is 24 feet 10 inches wide, and 15 feet deep, and will be propelled by two engines of 90-horse power each, constructed by Messrs. Fawcett and Preston, and especially arranged for applying, in the most convenient and efficient manner, the system of condensation and other improvements invented and patented by Mr. Samuel Hall, of Basford, whereby the injection of sea or other impure water into the engines is avoided, and the distilled water resulting from the condensation of the steam, is returned (without any admixture) again and again to the boilers. The importance of this invention to steam vessels, especially to those engaged in long voyages, is obvious; great delays, and a rapid destruction of boilers, being, it is well known, occasioned by the large deposits of salt and other impurities with which the boilers of steam vessels become charged when the condensation is effected by the injection of sea or other impure water. Mr. Hall's improvements have now been in successful operation nearly twelve months on board the Prince Llewellyn steam packet, and about nine months on board the Air, both belonging to the St. George Steam Packet Company, and will be adopted in succession on board the remainder of the Company's vessels. They are also being applied to vessels belonging to other parties, and now in a forward state of preparation.

[from Shipping and Mercantile Gazette - Wednesday 19 July 1843]:
Now In the port of LIVERPOOL. THE remarkably beautiful three-masted Schooner PRINCE LLEWELLYN. A 1, about 209 tons length. 111 feet; breadth 20 feet; depth, 13 feet 6 inches. This vessel, on Inspection, will found to be peculiarly modelled for sailing purposes, and at the same time her capabilities for stowing and carrying cargo very great. She is strongly built, essentially copper-fastened, and supplied plentifully with stores of the first quality; merely requiring provisions to send her to sea. Her sailing qualities being unexceptionable, a more suitable vessel could not be purchased for the West Coast, Brazilian, or China Sea trades. For further particulars apply to PARNALL and GIBBS, 30, Water-street, Liverpool.

[from Lloyd's List - Friday 12 November 1847]: MALTA. The Prince Llewellyn, Gibbs, of Liverpool, from Ibraila to Cork or Falmouth, sprung a leak 26th ult., in lat. 34, lon. 17 30' E., & her pumps being choked, she was abandoned; crew saved, and brought here 1st inst., by the Lady of the Lake, Ollivier, from Constantinople. [Ibraila is now called Braila - a port in Romania on the lower Danube.]

[from Shipping and Mercantile Gazette - Thursday 25 November 1847]:
Malta. Nov. 9 - Captain Ollivier, of the English schooner Lady of the Lake, who saved the crew of the Prince Llewellyn, which vessel foundered at sea, deserves the highest praise, having rescued them from a watery grave, particularly as the sea was very rough at the time, and blowing hard; we hope Lloyd's will remunerate him for this act of humanity and that the Humane Society will present him with gold medal on the occasion. Such acts as these merit the highest reward. Malta Times.

Wooden paddle steamer Air (also Ayr), built John Wood, Port Glasgow, 1825, 71grt, 59nrt, 95.10 x 17.6 x 9 ft, engines 60hp by John Neilson, Glasgow. In 1825 collided with and sank the steamer Comet in the Clyde with 70 lives lost. Owned Liverpool from 1831 and operated by St George Steam Packet Company. Service Caernarfon to Liverpool 1831-3. Registered Dublin from 1835. Owned Cork 1837, registered Bristol 1840.
Converted to sail (ketch) by 1856, 60 tons, ON 14361. Reported [from The Saint George Steam Packet Company, by Greenwood & Hawks] as wrecked off Lavernock Point on May 3 1862. [MNL listing until 1864] More history.

Image from 1825, when she was involved in a collision with PS Comet, PS Ayr is on the right.

[from London Packet and New Lloyd's Evening Post - Monday 24 October 1825]:
LOSS OF THE COMET STEAM-BOAT. We can scarcely know how to approach the details of this dreadful accident, which happened on the river about three miles below the town [Greenock] this morning. The Comet steam-packet, on her passage from Inverness to this port, had reached the point of Kimpoch [sic Kempock] at nearly two' o'clock, when she was met by the steam-packet Ayr, M'Clelland, of Ayr, which was on her way to that port, from Greenock, when they came in contact with such violence as to stave the starboard-bow of the Comet, which vessel in a few minutes went down, and, melancholy to relate, with the exception of nine, including the master and pilot of the vessel, the whole of the passengers were drowned.
Three o'clock. We have just learned that the Captain of the Comet, corroborated by one of the other survivors, states it as his opinion, that there were not more than sixty individuals on board when she went down. Four English gentlemen had been landed at Rothsay last night. There were twenty-six cabin passengers; at two o'clock twelve bodies only had been recovered.
[More details of collision and loss]

[from North Wales Chronicle - Tuesday 01 November 1831]:
THE FINE STEAM PACKET AIR WITH TWO ENGINES, SEVENTY HORSE POWER, Lieut. John Tudor, R. N. Commander, NEWLY fitted up in the best manner, and well adapted for the Station, will sail, regularly every Thursday from Carnarvon to Liverpool; and every TUESDAY from Liverpool to Carnarvon, with Goods and Passengers. She will stop at Bangor Ferry and Beaumaris to land and receive Passengers, and at the St. Georges Pier, Bangor Ferry, where Goods may be landed and stored for any part of Wales. .....

Wooden paddle steamer St Mungo, built Robert Duncan, Greenock, 1835, 108 grt, 108om, 116.6 x 17 x 10.2 ft, engines 75hp by Murdoch, Aitken, Glasgow. Initially owned Glasgow, then 1837 owned and registered at Liverpool. Service Liverpool - Rhyl for Clwyd & Liverpool Steam Packet Company. Also some service to Menai. In 1839 owned and registered at Belfast, used as a tug. Sank 09/12/1847 off Green Island, near Carrickfergus while attempting to refloat brig Parrsboro' of Belfast.
More history.

[from Gore's Liverpool General Advertiser - Thursday 29 September 1836]:
We yesterday visited the St. Mungo steam packet, lately purchased by Captain Edwards, for the Clwyd and Liverpool Steam Packet Company, and now plying with goods and passengers between this place and Rhyl. She is without exception the best boat upon any station on the Welsh coast; her engine, which is the first class, is 80 horse power. Her extensive cabin is admirably fitted up, both for the convenience and comfort of passengers. Since the commencement of her sailing, she has carried an average of 180 passengers daily. The Company consists of 1,500 shareholders of £5 each; and we have no doubt she will realise an excellent percentage on the capital invested in her. At the public meeting held at Rhyl for the appointment of directors, we could not but remark the feeling of unanimity which prevailed, and the determined spirit of enterprise which characterised their proceedings.

[from Liverpool Standard and General Commercial Advertiser - Tuesday 05 June 1838]:
REDUCED FARES TO BEAUMARIS, BANGOR AND CARNARVON. Liverpool and North Wales new Steampacket Company's Packet, the ST. MUNGO, until the CO.'s new Packet is placed on the Station, Will leave George's Pierbead, on MONDAY, WEDNESDAY and FRIDAY; at Two o'clock in the Afternoon, with Goods and Passengers; and return on TUESDAY, THURSDAY, and SATURDAY mornings; from Carnarvon at Six o'clock, Menai Bridge Halfpast Seven, Bangor Eight and Beaumaris at half-past Eight. F. F. GIBBS and Co., 15, Goree-piazzas.

[from Liverpool Shipping Telegraph and Daily Commercial Advertiser - Wednesday 15 December 1847]:
BELFAST Dec. 10. On the night of the 8th inst., off Copeland Islands, the steamer Tynwald got in contact with the brig Parrsboro', of and for Belfast, from Maryport, and did considerable damage; the master of the brig thought it advisable to run his vessel on shore, and accordingly put her ashore on a safe place near Carrickfergus. The St. Mungo steamtug, from Belfast, was sent to the brig yesterday morning to tow her off. The tow-boat having to go too close to the shore, struck on a rock, and immediately filled and went down; it is feared will not be able to be lifted, The Parrsboro' was towed up here to-day by the Ranger, steam-tug.

Wooden paddle steamer John McAdam, built, John Gordon, Liverpool 1836, 225grt, 125 nrt, 120.5 x 17.9 ft, engines 100hp, first registered at Liverpool 1843. Advertised as serving Cork from Liverpool in 1837; then Menai Bridge in 1839. Described in late 1842 as returning from America [Sydney, Newfoundland] and then resuming service to Menai, until 1844. Not included in list of Liverpool vessels suitable for use as a gunboat, 1845. Included in list of Liverpool registered vessels 1851.

[from Gore's Liverpool General Advertiser - Thursday 29 September 1836]:
Launch of a Steam Vessel. On Monday last, at twelve o'clock, there was launched from the Herculaneum building-yard, a very handsome steam vessel of about two hundred and fifty tons register, measuring one hundred and twenty feet in length, twenty feet beam, and propelled by two engines of sixty horse power each. This vessel was built by Mr James Gordon for Duncan Gibb, Esq. who in compliance [sic] to the memory of a gentleman, his early friend, lately deceased, and who has been a munificent benefactor to the charities of Liverpool, has been named the John Macadam. - to which we wish success.

[from Liverpool Mail - Saturday 07 October 1837]:
The new and powerful steam packet, JOHN M'ADAM, Capt. Jones. Sails on Tuesday next, the 10th inst, at eight o'clock in the morning from Clarence Dock. The John M'Adam is intended to sail regularly from here every Tuesday, and from Cork every Friday. For freight or passage apply to the Agents, NICHOLAS CUMMINS, Lower Merchants' Quay. Cork. J. A. and R. FORSHAW, 6, Goree-piazzas, Liverpool.

[from Liverpool Mail - Thursday 25 July 1839]:
REDUCED FARES TO AND FROM LIVERPOOL, MENAI BRIDGE, BANGOR, AND BEAUMARIS. CABIN, 2s. 6d; DECK 1s.. The fast-sailing Steamer JOHN M'ADAM, Captain Forrest, Having been fixed upon by a Company as a Steamer well calculated to ply on the above Stations, and having New Boilers, and Improved Machinery of 120 horse power, (by which she is enabled to make the passage in four Hours and Half,) it has been determined to sail her Summer and Winter, taking in Goods at Liverpool every Tuesday Evening. DAYS OF SAILING. From Liverpool. Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday Morning, at half-past Ten. From Menai Bridge, Every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday Morning, at Nine o'clock.

[from Liverpool Standard and General Commercial Advertiser - Friday 12 June 1840]:
To the MENAI BRIDGE for ONE SHILLING! The Public is respectfully informed that the fast-sailing Steamer JOHN M'ADAM, with two engines of 120 horse power, Has resumed her Station, during the Summer Months, leaving the George's Pierhead every MONDAY, WEDNESDAY, and FRIDAY MORNINGS, at Eleven o'clock, and the Menai Bridge, Bangor, or Beaumaris, every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday Mornings, at Nine o'clock. A Steward and Stewardess attend the Cabins. Fares during the Season: ... Deck 1s; Cabin 2s 6d.

[from Liverpool Mail - Saturday 09 January 1841]:
DUNCAN GIBB. Who has for SALE, The Steamer JOHN M'ADAM, Liverpool-built; 250 tons, and coppered. Dimensions: Length 120 feet; Breadth 22 feet; Depth 12 feet; and has engines of about 100 horse power. [also advertised until 3 April 1841]

[from Liverpool Albion - Monday 30 May 1842]:
FLOATING-LIGHT. By particular desire of several Ladies and Gentlemen, on account of the unfavourable state of the weather last Thursday, The splendid Steam-ship JOHN M'ADAM, of 100 horse-power, THOMAS JORDAN, commander, will make an EXCURSION TO THE LIGHTSHIP AND BACK, prior to leaving England, TO-MORROW, the 31st instant, starting from George's Pierhead at One o'Clock. Mr. PARKER'S ROYAL CHELTENHAM BAND will be in attendance during the day. Fare: Two Shillings each. Refreshments to be had on board.

[from Southern Reporter and Cork Commercial Courier - Saturday 11 June 1842]:
CHEAP STEAM CONVEYANCE TO BRITISH AMERICA. The First Class Coppered and Cooper-fastened Steamer JOHN M'ADAM, of 100hp, T. R. Cobb, Commander, (late of the Steamer City of Dublin), will start from the Coburg Dock, Liverpool, SATURDAY, the 18th Inst., TOUCHING AT CORK to receive Passengers, and also at St, John's, Newfoundland, to Land Passengers, whence she will proceed to Pictou, Charlotte Town, Prince Edward's Island, and Miramichi. This Vessel will be unavoidably detained until the 18th to complete the alterations suggested by the new Captain to ensure the comfort and convenience of the Passengers, but she will positively take her departure (wind and weather permitting) on that day, otherwise a Free Passage will be given to all who may have previously engaged their Passage by her. The Fare, exclusive of Provisions, is Twelve Guineas in the Best Cabin, and Six Guineas in the Fore Cabin. Provisions and all kinds of Refreshments may procured on board at very moderate prices; or Passengers may provide themselves. No Cargo will taken, and no Steward's Fees will charged. For further particulars, Apply Captain Cobb or to his Agents, J. & W. Robinson, Trans-Atlantic Packet Office, 16, Sun Piazza and 1, Neptune-street, Liverpool; or MR. A. MURRAY, Mail Coach Office, Pembroke-Street, Cork.

[from Morning Advertiser - Saturday 17 September 1842]: [from Liverpool Standard and General Commercial Advertiser - Tuesday 28 May 1844]:
STEAM TO THE ROMANTIC SCENERY OF NORTH WALES. The safe, substantial, and swift Steam-ship JOHN M'ADAM, N. J. KEMPE, Commander, Plies regularly between LIVERPOOL, BEAUMARIS, BANGOR, and MENAI BRIDGE, with occasional Trips to CARNARVON, on TUESDAYS, THURSDAYS, and SATURDAYS, leaving George's Pierhead at Eleven o'clock in the Forenoon, and returns to LIVERPOOL on MONDAYS, WEDNESDAYS, and FRIDAYS, taking her departure from the BRIDGE in the Morning, at Nine o'clock. The Summer Fares On the Quarter Deck and Saloon .. 5s. On the Main Deck and Fore Cabin .. 2s. REFRESHMENTS of the first quality provided on board, at moderate rates, and a Stewardess will be in attendance upon the Ladies.

[excerpt from Gore's Liverpool General Advertiser - Thursday 09 March 1848]:
Sale: The steam boat John M'Adam, as she now lies, 128 tons new, 151 tons old measurement, in Brunswick Dock,...

Iron paddle steamer Erin-go-bragh, built Page & Gratham, Liverpool, 1840, 324grt, 222nrt, 126.4 x 22.4 x 10.9 x 5.5ft, 100hp engine by Mather & Dixon, ON 12225, first owner City of Dublin Steam Packet Company. Intended for use in the Shannon estuary - and served there until early 1843. Then on Liverpool - Menai service from 1843 until July 1847. Registered Dublin 1851-1867. Then registered Liverpool 1867-1871, owned Stuart & Douglas, Liverpool, sail, 288 tons. Sailed 1867 to New Calabar (West Africa) to act as a hulk for palm oil. Later moved, as a hulk to Opobo River, circa 1871, still there 1878. History of Stuart & Douglas, palm oil merchants.

[from Liverpool Albion - Monday 28 December 1840]:
LAUNCH OF AN IRON STEAMER. Another beautiful iron steam-vessel was, on Thursday, launched from the building-yard of Messrs. Grantham, Page, and Co., Brunswick Dock, and was towed thence to the Trafalgar Dock, to receive her engines, making by Messrs. Mather, Dixon, and Co. This vessel is built for the City of Dublin Company, and is intended to ply on the lower Shannon, in concert with the Garryowen, also of iron.

[from Liverpool Mail - Saturday 01 May 1841]:
The Erin-go-Bragh is 131 feet in length, and 26 feet in breadth. She measures 330 tons, and her engines are of 100 horse power. She is built of iron, on the most improved principles, by Messrs. Page and Grantham, Liverpool. The engines are by Messrs. Mather, Dixon, and Co., of the same place, and whether, as regards her hull or her power of propulsion, she has proved herself equally creditable to both parties in fidelity of workmanship and adaptation to the purpose for which she is intended. She is of very handsome model, having a beautiful sharp entrance and a fine run, with fullness above that renders her exceedingly buoyant and safe, even as it appears by her behaviour on her first voyage in open sea, in the heaviest weather. Her figure-head is a female bust with helmet, representing Erin. There are five large windows in her stern, which are ornamented with floriated carved work, and the "harp" of Ireland forming an appropriate centrepiece. Her quarter-galleries, to correspond, bear a full length female figure, reclining, with the harp and other embellishments. The vessel is rigged as a schooner, with a fine topsail, and looks remarkably well in the water. She has raised quarter-deck, sufficiently spacious to form an ample promenade, and fitted on each side with seats. A light draft of water for a vessel intended for inland navigation is always a great desideratum; and, regards the Erin, this is fully attained. With her complement of coals in her bunkers, and water in her boilers, she draws only five feet six inches. The compasses of the ship (she being of iron) are corrected by three magnets - two on the deck and one in the cabin.

[from Liverpool Standard and General Commercial Advertiser - Tuesday 04 April 1843]:
STEAM COMMUNICATION BETWEEN LIVERPOOL AND NORTH WALES. On SATURDAY, the 15th April instant, will be placed on the Station between LIVERPOOL and the MENAI BRIDGE. one of the vessels belonging to the City of Dublin Steam Packet Company. Their new Iron Steamer ERIN-GO-BRAGH, of 120 Horse-power, will leave the George's Pierhead, during the Summer Months, every TUESDAY, THURSDAY, and SATURDAY, at 10 45 A.M., and from the Menai Bridge the alternate days, at 10 A.M., calling off BEAUMARIS and BANGOR both going from and returning to Liverpool, to land and receive Passengers. It is intended that the Erin-go-Bragh shall continue on the station during the entire of the Winter Months. The days and hours of departure from each place will be given in future advertisements. The Cabin Fare will be 6s. for Adults, and 3s. for Children under ten years of age. The Deck will be 2s., and 1s. for Children. For further particulars apply at the Offices of the City of Dublin Steam Packet Company, Water-street, Liverpool. Agent at the Menai Bridge, Mr. E. W. TIMOTHY. N.B. The Passengers, Deck as well as Cabin, will be put on board and landed Free of Boatage in Liverpool.

Voyages Erin-go-bragh:
6 August 1867, Coburg Dock, 222, - , Stuart & Douglas. 0.
Thurs 28 Aug 1867, 222, sailed, Chamberlain, New Calabar [also Africa]

A letter to North Wales Chronicle, on 14th November 1843, complains of erratic service (both passengers and goods) by steamers between Menai and Liverpool. Previous steamers mentioned are Town of Wexford and John M'Adam; current steamers mentioned are Erin-go-bragh, Snowden, Flambeau, Dolphin and Skimmer, of which only Dolphin was owned in North Wales.

Wooden paddle steamer Snowden (also Snowdon), built Hunter & Dow, Glasgow, 1836, 160grt, 94nrt, 106.4 x 16.5 x 10.0 ft, 70 hp engines by Caird, Greenock, First owner Liverpool & Rhyl Steamship Company, originally Liverpool - Rhyl, but later Liverpool - Beaumaris. By 1849 in service on Ribble. Broken up 1852.
More history.

[from Liverpool Mercury - Friday 21 June 1839]:
REDUCED FARES TO MENAI BRIDGE, BANGOR, BEAUMARIS, AND LIVERPOOL. The fast-sailing Steam Packet SNOWDEN, Captain THOMAS, Will sail from George's Pierhead every MONDAY, WEDNESDAY, and FRIDAY, at Ten o'clock in the Morning; from Menai Bridge every TUESDAY, THURSDAY and SATURDAY, at Nine o'clock in the Morning, and will land and take in Passengers at Beaumaris and Garth Point.

[from Chester Chronicle - Friday 28 May 1841]:
LIVERPOOL and RHYL STEAM PACKET COMPANY. NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN, that the partnership heretofore subsisting between the undersigned Proprietors of the Snowden Steam Packet, trading between Liverpool and Rhyl, under the style of the Liverpool and Rhyl Steam Packet company, was this day dissolved by mutual consent. ... John Goodier, James Kerfoot, jun., Joseph Goodier, John Tarleton, John Walsh Fairclough, George Littlewood, Thomas Blackburne, James Barrett.

[from North Wales Chronicle - Tuesday 18 July 1843]:
THE SNOWDON STEAM PACKET Will leave the Menai Bridge every Morning at 8 o'clock, for Liverpool, and will return for Menai Bridge every afternoon at 4 o'clock. For further particulars apply to RICHARD ROBERTS, Canton Buildings, 13, Water-street, Liverpool, HENRY HUMPHREYS, Menai Bridge, or WM. PAYNTER, Carnarvon.

Iron paddle steamer Albert, built Thomas Wilson, Liverpool, 1845, 493grt, 353 nrt, 146.5 x 23.0 x 13.6 ft, 160 hp engines by Maudsley, ON 8783, registered Dublin, owned City of Dublin Steam Packet Company. Menai service 1845-6. Later Holyhead - Dublin service, with some excursions Liverpool - Menai. MNL 1880 gives 210nrt, 350 grt. In MNL to 1887, when reported as scrapped.

[from Preston Chronicle - Saturday 05 July 1845]:
CHEAP TRIP TO THE MENAI BRIDGE. The City of Dublin Company's Splendid New Steamship, ALBERT, Captain W, H. Geary, 500 Tons Burthen, will leave the George's Pier, Liverpool on Saturday, the 5th inst., for BANGOR, BEAUMARIS, and MENAI BRIDGE, at Three o'clock in the Afternoon, and return from thence on Monday Morning, at Six o'clock. Fare for the round, 7s. 6d. Cabin 4s, Deck 2s. For further particulars apply at the Company's Office, 24, Water Street, Liverpool. JOHN K. ROUNTHWAITE, Agent. The Albert will leave George's Pier for the MENAI BRIDGE every Saturday afternoon during the Summer, at Three o'clock, and return on Monday Morning following, at Six o'clock. Any Passengers going by the Albert will have the option of returning by the Erin Go Bragh (another of the Company's Vessels) which leaves the Menai Bridge at Nine o'clock on Monday Morning. Liverpool, July 4th, 1845.

[from Liverpool Mercury - Tuesday 01 January 1850]:
THE ALBERT, DUBLIN STEAMER. - For several days back, very painful apprehensions have been entertained as to the state of this vessel. These, however, we are happy to say, are now allayed, from information received yesterday at the City of Dablin Company's Offices, in Water-street. The Albert sailed on Wednesday last from Dublin, having on board a large number of passengers. She was seen the same night off the Hill of Howth. A heavy gale prevailed during Weduesdsay night and Thursday, and as the vessel did not arrive long after her usual time, considerable anxiety existed, and various speculations were afloat, some of them of a very gloomy character. From the information which reached here yesterday, it appears that the Albert, after being driven about by the violence of the gale, was run into Milford Haven for shelter. All her passengers are safe. It is not yet known what damage the vessel has sustained.

[from Liverpool Mail - Saturday 24 July 1852]:
FOR BANGOR, BEAUMARIS, AND CARNARVON. ... THIS DAY (Saturday), the 24th instant, and on every alternate Saturday during the summer, the Steamer ALBERT is intended to leave Prince's Pier, at Four o'clock, p.m. Passengers to return [from Menai Bridge] per PRINCE OF WALES on the following Monday, at Ten, a.m.

Iron paddle steamer Cambria, built Barr & M'Nab, Renfrew, 1845, 197grt, 115nrt, 136 x 18.4 x 9.0ft, engines 100hp, ON 8146, owned Price & Case, Liverpool, for Liverpool - Menai service until 1851. Owned Fleetwood 1852, service to Isle of Man; owned Belfast 1854, serving Isle of Man and then Ardrossan. Broken up 1864. More detail.

[from Liverpool Standard and General Commercial Advertiser - Tuesday 13 May 1845]:
BEAUMARIS, BANGOR, AND MENAI BRIDGE. The powerful new iron Steamer CAMBRIA, (Built expressly for this station.) has commenced plying, and, until further notice, will leave George's Pier every MONDAY, WEDNESDAY, and FRIDAY MORNINGS, at ELEVEN PRECISELY, returning every TUESDAY, THURSDAY, and SATURDAY MORNINGS, at Nine o'clock. From the superior model of this vessel and the power of her engines, it is expected that she will make the passage within four hours. PRICE and CASE. 10, Exchange buildings, Liverpool, 6th May, 1845.

[from Liverpool Mercury - Friday 12 October 1849]:
BEAUMARIS, BANGOR, & MENAI BRIDGE. The powerful and fast-sailing Steamer, CAMBRIA, Captain J. HUUTER, will sail from the Prince's Pier, Liverpool, THIS DAY, and also MONDAY NEXT at Eleven Morning; and will leave the Menai Bridge on SATURDAY and TUESDAY next, at Ten Morning, after which she will discontinue plying till further notlee. Liverpool, Oct. 10, 1849.

[from Liverpool Mercury - Friday 31 October 1851]:
BEAUMARIS, BANGOR, AND MENAI BRIDGE. After 1st November, - The powerful and fast-sailing steam vessels - MENAI (or CAMBRIA), Captain HUNTER, Will sail from PRINCE'S PIER, Liverpool, on Tusedays and Fridays at Ten o'clock in the Morning; and from MENAI BRIDGE on Thursdays and Saturdays at Ten o'clock in the Morning.

Iron steamer Engineer, built 1843 by William Napier, Glasgow, 202grt, 68nrt, 150 x 17.6 ft, 104nhp. Lengthened to 168 ft in 1844. Initial service Clyde [Glasgow - Rothesay, Ayr] in 1844. Owned Henry Smith Liverpool from 1845, for sale 1845, 1846 and when he died in 1847. Excursions to Menai Bridge from Liverpool 1846. Registered Liverpool 1848, owned F H Greenstreet. Hull only for sale at Liverpool 1850. Listed at Liverpool in 1851. By 1851 registered Goole, service Goole - Antwerp, for sale 1852. More details.

[from Glasgow Herald - Friday 27 December 1844]:
FOR SALE, BY PRIVATE BARGAIN. THE Swift and Powerful New Iron Steamer ENGINEER, elegantly fitted up in all her departments, of the following dimensions:- Length of Keel, 160 feet; Do. on Deck, 168 feet; Breadth of Beam, 18 feet; Do. over Paddle-box, 34 feet; Depth, 8 feet. Register Tonnage 68 62-100ths tons; Carpenters' Measurement 201 34-100ths tons. The Boat has been plying, for the past season, on the River Clyde, between Glasgow and Rothesay and intermediate ports, and is the fastest and most favoured on the station, her speed averaging from 15 to 16 miles per hour; she is fitted up with an upright engine, having a cylinder of 54.5 inches diameter, with 4.5 feet stroke, and 4 patent tubular boilers. There is a spare space of 13.5 feet at the ends of each of the boilers capable of being converted into holds. The Engine and Boilers are as good as new, having only been used nine months. ... [for sale to April 1845]

[from Shipping and Mercantile Gazette - Wednesday 24 September 1845]:
BEAUMARIS Sept. 22: The engine of the Engineer (s), from Liverpool for Beaumaris, broke down about ten miles from this place, but the Cambria, Hunter, likewise on her passage from Liverpool, took the disabled boat in tow, and brought her safe into this port.

[from Liverpool Mercury - Friday 26 September 1845]:
The WELSH STEAMER CAMBRIA. - The passengers on board this vessel have presented a written compliment to Captain Hunter, for his promptitude in putting back to the steamer Engineer, and taking her in tow, in consequence of her hoisting a signal of distress, off the Welsh coast, on Monday last.

For sale at Liverpool; Jan - April 1846.

[from Liverpool Standard and General Commercial Advertiser - Tuesday 30 June 1846]:
CHEAP AND DELIGHTFUL TRIP TO MENAI BRIDGE AND BACK, SUNDAY NEXT, (WEATHER PERMITTING.) The new Iron Steamer ENGINEER Will leave GEORGE'S PIER HEAD on SUNDAY next, July 5, at Nine o'clock, Morning, for BEAUMARIS, BANGOR, and MENAI BRIDGE; and leave the Bridge at Four, Afternoon, arriving in Liverpool at 9 o'clock. Cabin, 5s.; Fore Ditto, 3s.; for the Trip. The ENGINEER is the fastest Steamer sailing from Liverpool and is excellently fitted up for the accommodation of Passengers. She will make the passage under Four Hours. Office, 13, Water-street.

[from Liverpool Mercury - Tuesday 21 September 1847]:
On Tuesday, the 28th instant, at One o'clock pm, at the Brokers' Office, 7, Castle-street, by order of the Executors the late Henry Smith, Esq. The Iron Steamer, ENGINEER, 120-horse power, as she now lies in the Trafalgar Dock, Liverpool. For further particulars apply to Henry Smith and Co., 13, Water-street; or to D. TONGE and SON, Brokers.

[from Liverpool Standard and General Commercial Advertiser - Tuesday 02 April 1850]:
On Monday next, at the Bramley-Moore Dock, immediately after the Hull of the Fair Trader, (unless previously disposed of by Private Treaty.) The HULL of the steamer ENGINEER. Her Cabins are handsomely fitted, and the Hull is in good order. This boat was, when running, noted as the fastest boat afloat. Apply to Mr. G. S. Sanderson, Prince's-buildings, North John-street; or to TONGE, CURRY, and Co., Brokers.

[from Gore's Liverpool General Advertiser - Thursday 18 July 1850]:
The HULL of the Iron Steamer ENGINEER; 201 31-100ths tons O.M. and 168 59-100ths N.M., built at Glasgow in 1843, by Messrs J. and W. Napier. Dimenions; Length on deck, 168 feet; breadth on deck and amidships, 17 feet 6-10ths; depth of hold 8feet; The hull is in excellent order, with fore and after cabins for passengers; she has attached a great speed with the machinery with which she has hitherto been propelled, and does not draw more than five feet water with engine and coals. Now lying Bramley Moore Dock.

Iron paddle steamer Prince of Wales, built Tod & M'Gregor, Glasgow, 1846, 328grt, 210nrt, 174.1 x 21.6 x 11.4 ft, engine 200hp by builder, ON 8790, owned City of Dublin Steam Packet Co. Service Liverpool - North Wales. Broken up 1883.
More history. Note several other paddle steamers with the same name in operation.

[from Liverpool Mail - Saturday 18 April 1846]:
Trial Trip of the New Steamer Prince or Wales. A splendid new steam-ship, called the Prince of Wales, and intended to ply, in conjunction with the Erin go Bragh, between this port and Bangor, arrived in the Mersey on Tuesday morning. The Prince of Wales is what may be termed a clipper, and has, in detail of fitting, all that is characteristic of Clyde-built vessel - durability, excellence, and beauty. Her length (over all) is 190 feet, and her keel 160 feet. She has 22 feet beam, and her depth of hold is about 11 feet. She is propelled by a one-beam engine of 200 horse-power, and with wheel of 22 feet in diameter, makes about 25 revolutions per minute. The cabins of this fine vessel are all fitted with solid rosewood, and embellished with papier machée drawings, illustrating the principal scenery of Wales, in neat gold mouldings, which form a pleasing contrast with the dark cabinet work, and the rich crimson upholstery. She has been constructed by Messrs. Tod. Macgregor, and Co., of Glasgow, expressly for the City of Dublin Company; and, a proof of the despatch with which she has been completed, we may state that the order was not given to build her until the 15th of November last, and that engines, vessel, and all fittings are the work of the enterprising builder. Shortly after her arrival here, she was boarded by Mr. John Grantham, the superintendent engineer of the company, Mr. Rounthwaite, and a few friends, who had determined to try her speed with that of the Cambria, one of the fastest vessels on the river. At about quarter-past eleven both vessels started, the latter having the lead about two cables length, and keeping out of the strong tide then running up, maintained her advantage until crossing to the Rock Channel, when, having the same tideway to contend with, the Prince of Wales shot gradually ahead, beating the Cambria until she passed Leasowe light, when she rounded to and returned to Liverpool. The Prince of Wales was by no means in trim, drawing more forward than aft; yet, with this, and the allowed disadvantages of stiff engines, she walked through the water, scarcely leaving a ripple in her wake. We wish her every success.

Image of Prince of Wales, alongside, at Menai Bridge [from Steamers of North Wales by F C Thornley]:

Princes Pier (built circa 1850) in 2023:

Iron paddle steamer Prince Arthur, built Miller, Ravenhill, London, 1851, 427grt, 253nrt, 198.8 x 26.5 x 11.8 ft, engines 220hp by builder, ON 8811. Owned City of Dublin Steam Packet Co., registered Dublin. Initially on Holyhead - Dun Laoghaire service. In 1862 advertised as running Liverpool - Menai. Taken over by Liverpool, Llandudno and Welsh Coast Steam Boat Co in 1881, registered Liverpool 1881, serving until 1893.
Another Prince Arthur was built in 1851, by Tod M'Gregor at Glasgow, ON 8437, registered Cork 1861.

From a painting of Prince Arthur while on the Holyhead - Kingstown service [courtesy of book by J Wilson Hyde]:

Another image of Prince Arthur [from Steamers of North Wales - F C Thornley]:

[from North Wales Chronicle - Saturday 12 July 1862]:
CITY OF DUBLIN STEAM PACKET COMPANY. SUMMER SAILINGS. - On and after May 2, 1862, the "PRINCE ARTHUR" will leave the PRINCE'S LANDING STAGE, LIVERPOOL, for LLANDUDNO, BEAUMARIS, BANGOR, and MENAI BRIDGE, every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, at Eleven o'Clock am., and from MENAI BRIDGE for LIVERPOOL every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, at Ten o'Clock a.m.,..

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Iron paddle steamer Menai, built Alexander Denny, Dumbarton, 1851, 258grt, 165 x 19,9 x9.0 ft, 150hp engine by Campbell & Co, Greenock, not in MNL. First owner Price & Case, Liverpool, for Menai - Liverpool service 1851-3. Reported as passenger certified at Liverpool in 1852-3, 140nrt, 140hp, sea-going.
There was strong competition on the Liverpool - Menai Bridge service from the City of Dublin Steam Packet Company's Prince of Wales [ON 8790, 328grt, 200hp] (with steam yacht Fairy [ON 8088] providing the link to Caernarfon). Menai was sold and taken in 1854 for service in the River Plate.
More detail of later history.

[from Liverpool Mail - Saturday 05 July 1851]:
EXCURSION TRIPS. BEAUMARIS, BANGOR, AND MENAI-BRIDGE. The new fast-sailing Steamer MENAI, (Built expressly for the station,) John Hunter, Commander, Will commence on Monday, July, and continue SAILING EVERY MORNING. (Sundays excepted.) From the Prince's Pier. Liverpool, Ten o'clock in the Morning, returning from Menai-bridge Three o'clock in the Afternoon. ... Apply at Liverpool to Price & Case.

[from Liverpool Standard and General Commercial Advertiser - Tuesday 21 June 1853]:
THE WELSH STEAMERS. There is no more pleasant trip in the present fine weather, than that to the Menai Straits by these fine vessels; and by means of the Prince of Wales and Menai steamers a daily communication is kept up from our good town.

[from North Wales Chronicle - Saturday 01 October 1853]:
Beaumaris, Bangor, and Menai Bridge. The Steamer MENAI will sail from the PRINCE'S PiER, Liverpool, on MONDAYS, WEDNESDAYS, and FRIDAYS, at Eleven, Morning, and the MENAI BRIDGE on TUESDAYS, THURSDAYS, and SATURDAYS, at Ten, Morning; PRICE & CASE.

[from Liverpool Albion - Monday 10 April 1854]:
COMMUNICATIONS WITH BRAZIL AND THE RIVER PLATE. We lately noticed the purchase, by the South American and General Steam Navigation Company, of the steamer Menai, which had been running the last two or three seasons to the Menai Straits. She has had a light deckhouse built over her, on a plan that would be admirably suited to our Channel steamers carrying passengers; has a new and elegant fore cabin in addition to her after one, and is otherwise so metamorphosed, that the good folks at Bangor scarcely knew her on a trial trip she made there last week. The Menai sails today for the River Plate, under the command of Captain Blow, and will immediately on arrival there resume the traffic between Monte Video and Buenos Ayres, so unfortunately interfered with by the loss of the Argentina. We understand the company have also contracted with Mr. John Laird for a splendid river boat, to join the Menai on that important station.

[from London Evening Standard - Saturday 14 October 1854]:
DREADFUL ACCIDENT TO THE CREW OF H.M.S. VIXEN. TEN MEN DROWNED. The British Packet, in its journal bearing date Sept. 1, publishes the following account (a brief summary of which we gave in yesterday's Standard) of a deplorable and fatal accident which happened to a portion of the crew of her Majesty's ship Vixen, lying at Buenos Ayres.
On Saturday last, the 26th ult., a large number of the company of her Majesty's ship Vixen, who had been on shore on leave, embarked about three p.m. in a paddle-box boat, under the charge of Mr. Abercrombie, acting mate, for the purpose of returning to their ship in the outer roads. The wind being foul, with an ebb-tide, Mr. Abercrombie requested the captain of the Menai steamer, which was on the point of starting for Monte Video, to tow the boat out. The second mate of the Menai was close by the painter, and the carpenter's mate of the Vixen stationed in the boat's bow, with his axe ready to cut, in the event of any apparent danger.
About five p.m. the Menai steamed up the inner roads, towing the boat without any apprehension of risk, until making a sharp turn to cross the bank, the back water from the wheels of the steamer burst into the boat with overwhelming force, and before the painter could be either slipped or cut, 40 poor fellows were left struggling in the river, without support of any kind, the boat being dragged from under them.
Most providentially, the calamity took place near the shipping, and every assistance was instantly afforded by the boats of the Menai, of the merchant ships of all nations, and of her Majesty's steamer Sharpshooter; otherwise very few could have been saved. The Menai also backed in amongst the sufferers, and picked up many, remaining at the spot till it was supposed by every one present that all hands had been saved; when she steamed out as fast as possible to the Vixen, in order to place under medical treatment one of the men who had been badly jammed with her rudder, leaving the sunken boat in tow of the Sharpshooter's boats, that with many other boats remained at the spot for more than half an hour, searching and inquiring of the merchant vessels near.
Among the noble efforts made on this occasion, the conduct of a seaman, whose name we yet hope to report, is much spoken of, who courageously dived three successive times, and each time re-appeared with a drowning man! We know that Captain Barnard, of the Vixen, is very anxious to find out this individual, that his devoted and successful efforts may be duly acknowledged; and we are certain the British residents generally will cordially join in suitably rewarding this humane and heroic sailor, of whatever colour he may be, or to whatever flag he may belong.
The commanding officer of the Vixen, on being informed by the captain of the Menai that the remainder of the men were on board the Sharpshooter, immediately dispatched a lieutenant for them; and it was not till his arrival at 9 p.m. that the result of this mournful accident was known. Ten fine fellows were missing, viz: Richard Davy, caulker. Edward Davidson, carpenter's mate. Jacob Roberts, captain of the forecastle. Joseph Hutchins, stoker. James Crocker, A.B. Joseph Puckey, stoker. Nicholas George, A. B. John Lainbell, butcher. William Norcott, ordinary. William Edwards, boy of 1st class.
Most of the above were remarkable for their invariably sober and steady conduct, and were universally respected both on shore and on board; and to enhance the misfortune, several of them have left wives and families to lament their irreparable loss.
On Sunday morning all the boats of the Vixen and Sharpshooter commenced creeping for the bodies, and during the day recovered those of Puckey, George, Norcott, and Hutchins, who were accompanied to their graves on Monday afternoon by the captain, officers, messmates, and a numerous accompaniment of sympathising friends. On the Monday all the remaining bodies were recovered, and conveyed to their "last resting place" on Tuesday afternoon, with the same impressive and chastened solemnity. In compliance with Captain Barnard's request, it affords us much pleasure to give expression to the following sentiments.
Captain Barnard, in his own name, and on behalf of the officers and ship's company of the Vixen, begs to offer their most sincere and heartfelt thanks to the masters and crews of the merchant vessels, both British and foreign, who assisted them so promptly on the appalling accident of Saturday last; as also to the officers of the Capitania del Puerto, who came forward with offers of every assistance in their power; and lastly, to the proprietors and boatmen in front of the Alameda, who vied with each other in eagerness to render assistance, both on this and a former occasion, when another boat of the Vixen was in danger on the rocks.
The Vixen remained at Monte Video, Sept. 4.

Wooden paddle steamer Countess of Glasgow, built Scott, Greenock, 1826, 97tons om, 100 x 17.6 x 8.4 ft, engine by James Cook, Glasgow. Initially owned Glasgow for Glasgow - Largs/Millport/Irvine service. Service Liverpool - Rhyl from 1834. Wrecked 02/12/1835 while alongside at Woodside, Mersey.
More history.

Wooden paddle steamer Benledi, built Robert Barclay, Glasgow, 1834, 116grt, 112 x 18.2 x 9.10 ft, engine by Tod & M'Gregor of about 100hp. Served in Clyde, at Bristol 1835-7, then sold for Liverpool - Rhyl service from 1839. Aground on Hoyle Bank May 1 1845, but refloated. Broken up 1852.
More history.

[excerpt from Liverpool Mercury - Friday 24 May 1839]:
TO AND FROM RHYL, RHUDDLAN, FORYD, ABERGELE, AND ADJACENT PARTS OF NORTH WALES, The new, powerful, and fast-sailing Steamers BENLEDI & VALE of CLWVYD, Fitted up with every comfort and accommodation for passengers. Will sail punctually from George's Pierhead at the times hereunder specified. Cars and other vehicles for all Parts of the Vale of Clwyd, Abergele, &c, &c, start from Rhyl and Foryd, immediately after the arrival of the Packet. Refreshments may be had on board.

[from Liverpool Standard and General Commercial Advertiser - Tuesday 11 August 1840]:
THE BENLEDI STEAM BOAT. - This vessel was extensively advertised on Saturday last, as intending to proceed on Sunday morning at seven o'clock to the Menai Bridge, to allow visitors to stay five hours there, and start on her return home at six o'clock. This being a very favourite and convenient excursion, the vessel was crowded with between two and three hundred passengers, and about half-past seven she started on the voyage. About the middle of the river, two gentlemen hailed her, and the captain returned to take them on board. Having started a second time, the captain retired into the cabin to take breakfast with some of the passengers, the vessel being steered by one of the hands. When she arrived opposite the Magazines, the steersman, whether from carelessness or intention, we cannot say which, caused the vessel to take the ground, and no efforts could bring her off. The scene that ensued was quite laughable, and what mainly contributed to it was the conduct of the captain. He seemed perfectly bewildered. Eventually some of the passengers went on shore in open boats, others by a large flat, and some returned to Liverpool by the William Stanley, Eastham steamer, which fortunately came up. The owners of the Benledi ought to inquire into the cause of the unwarrantable disappointment caused to the passengers by their servants.

[from Liverpool Standard and General Commercial Advertiser - Tuesday 06 May 1845]:
THE STEAMER BENLEDI. Our contemporary, the Albion, records the loss of this fine vessel on the East Hoyle Bank, on Thursday last. We are happy to contradict this piece of intelligence, which we believe was caused by an error of the telegraph. The Benledi sustained a trifling damage of her machinery, but is safe at present at Hoylake.

[from Liverpool Standard and General Commercial Advertiser - Tuesday 03 March 1846]:
FATAL ACCIDENT. On Friday last, as John Roberts, a fireman on board the Benledi steamer, which trades between this port and Rhyl, was cleaning the side the engine, a strong flood tide running against the paddles, set the engine in motion, by which the poor man was so severely crushed that he died in about an hour. He lived in Key-street, in this town.

Iron paddle steamer Menai, built by Greenstreet & Paton, at Liverpool in 1849, for service as ferry Caernarfon to Tan y Foel, 66.5 x 12 x 6.5 ft. Listed as passenger certified in 1850-53 for river use, registered Carnarvon, 30 nrt, 16hp. Owned Menai steam navigation company. Not in MNL. Described as having a rudder at each end - like some of the Mersey ferries.
Some possible confusion with Menai built Liverpool 1851, which served Liverpool - Menai and was sold to S America in 1854, whereas this service was still active in 1867.
Confusingly another steam ferry Menai (ON 79102) was bought in 1878 to serve the Bangor (Garth) to Beaumaris route; and yet another Menai (ex- Ark of Safety, ON 65940) was owned by W H Owen, Plas Penrhyn, Dwyran, Anglesey from 1873-82 [this house is on the banks of the Menai, with a small dock, west of Tal y Foel].

[from Carnarvon and Denbigh Herald and North and South Wales Independent - 15th January 1848]:
Improved Means of Communication between Carnarvon and Anglesey. On Wednesday morning a meeting of the inhabitants of Carnarvon took place in the Guild hall, in pursuance of a resolution agreed to at a previous meeting, to take into consideration the best means of improving the traffic and general intercourse between Carnarvon and Anglesey.... the chairman said that several offers had been made of iron boats, of a draught of water that would be likely to suit, the prices of which varied from £500 to £1000. Mr. Jones asked if a steamer could not be built at Carnarvon, and what was likely to be the cost. The Chairman then put the question to Mr. William Jones, ship builder, who was present, and who in reply said he could build one for £400 exclusive of engine. ... Shares in Menai Steam Navigation Company subscribed.

[from Liverpool Albion - Monday 01 January 1849]:
NOVEL LAUNCH. On Thursday, at half-past one o'clock, the iron steamer Menai, built by Messrs. Greenstreet and Paton, engineers and iron shipbuilders, was launched into the Queen's Dock. She is intended for a ferry boat to ply between Carnarvon and Anglesey. Her dimensions are, length, sixty-six feet six inches; beam, twelve feet; depth six feet six inches: engine sixteen horse-power. The novelty of the launch created considerable interest. The vessel required to be drawn out of the yard in Stanhope-street, in which she was built, and launched on rollers, which critical and difficult job was ably performed without the slightest mishap, and was executed in the course of Wednesday night and the forenoon of the following day.

[from Carnarvon and Denbigh Herald and North and South Wales Independent - 6th January 1849]:
It will be seen by the report of a meeting of the Menai Steam Navigation Company, held on Wednesday, that the steam boat which is intended to ply between Anglesey and this town, is now afloat; and we learn that the machinery which is to propel her, is in a very forward state, so that in the course of the month we may fairly expect she will be ready for the station.

[from North Wales Chronicle and Advertiser for the Principality - 8th May 1849]:
CARNARVON HARBOUR TRUST: T. Jones suggested that buoys be placed along the channel for the use of the Menai steamer, plying between this town and the opposite shore. He thought that the trustees ought to render every facility to the undertaking of the Menai Navigation Company, as it tended to improve the trade of the Port. Mr. Poole thought it would be unfair and unjust to squander the funds of the Trust for the benefit of any private company; and submitted a motion to the effect that, the Trustees would have no objection to the Menai Navigation Company laying down buoys in the channel - at the company's own expense, provided that, the situations, number, &c., was made known to the Trust, through their surveyor previous to placing them, in order to guard against any interference with the present buoys. The motion was not seconded, and consequently not put. Mr. Hughes then moved the following proposition, which was seconded by Mr. T. Jones, and unanimously affirmed, "That a sufficient number of buoys be placed in the Foel Channel to indicate the course for the steamer plying between this Port and the Anglesey shore - the Surveyor to take especial care that the intended buoys shall not interfere with the general navigation of the Menai Straits." He prefaced the resolution by observing that, in consideration of the advantages the establishment of the present communication between Carnarvon and Anglesey was calculated to bestow upon the trade of the town, they (the Trustees) ought to encourage the undertaking, and do all that was in their power to favour it.

[from Carnarvon and Denbigh Herald and North and South Wales Independent - 13th October 1849]:
THE MENAI STEAMER. This little boat is fast rising in public estimation, and appears to be placed under able superintendence. We are glad to state that our active fellow-townsmen, Mr. William Jones, ship-builder, and Mr. Owen Thomas, iron-founder, have been appointed as Directors, in lieu of those whose year of office has transpired.

[from Caernarvon & Denbigh Herald - Saturday 01 January 1853]:
The MENAI steamer will leave Carnarvon Pier, at Nine o'clock, for Abermenai, and will return at Six.

[from Cambria Daily Leader - Friday 26 July 1861]:
CARNARVON: The boat was afterwards towed in by the Menai steam-boat, with no other injury than the loss of two oars.

[from Caernarvon & Denbigh Herald - Saturday 04 January 1862]:
THE MENAI STEAMER. This important and well appointed ferry steamer, to the captain and mate of which, a few months ago, a well-earned public tribute was awarded, is as our readers generally are aware, examined twice during every year by the Board of Trade authorities, in order that the safety of passengers and goods may be adequately guaranteed. But in addition to these biennial inspections the vessel was on Saturday last made the subject of a special report, at the wish of her enterprising and liberal owner, Mr. Boult, in order to remove or alleviate those fears, which, whether well or ill founded, have of late been excited in the public mind by the vessel striking occasionally on the sands in her transit between this town and Anglesey.
We trust the report, thus specially sought, of which we append a verbatim copy, will thoroughly satisfy the public mind; and that the promised renewal of the surveyor's inspection ere the steamer again plies on the ferriage, will restore that confidence in the seaworthy character of the boat, to which we feel assured she has been and will again be entitled.
Copy of Surveyor's Report to the Board of Trade. In obedience to the accompanying minute, I immediately wrote to the owner (Henry Boult Esq., Maes y Porth, Anglesey) to place the Menai steamer on the Patent Slip for any special inspection. This was accordingly done, and on Friday, the 27th instant, I went down to Carnarvon and minutely examined the hull of the vessel. I found a crank had got loose on the engine shaft (which often happens in larger vessels), the rattling of which, no doubt, frightened the passengers. I also found a small leak in the keel plate, worn out by the bottom rubbing the ground, which had been temporarily patched up. This I ordered to be thoroughly and permanently repaired, the crank properly tightened and the vessel's hull and bottom generally overhauled while on the slip. With those exceptions, I found the hull in a good condition, and no part of the vessel in a decayed state. When the above repairs are completed, I will inspect the vessel before she begins to ply on the ferry. HUGH ROBERTS, Surveyor. Holyhead, 29th Dec., 1861.

[from Caernarvon & Denbigh Herald - Saturday 23 June 1866]:
On Saturday last, inquest was held at the Menai Hotel, Anglesey, before William Jones, Esq., Coroner for the county, on the body of Thomas Hughes, aged 13 years, son of Mr. Robert Hughes, sawyer, North Penrallt, Carnarvon, who was drowned on the 17th day of May last, by falling from the Menai steamer, whilst it was crossing from Carnarvon to Anglesey.

Iron Paddle steamer Fairy, built Tod & M'Gregor, Glasgow, 1849, 166 grt, 81 nrt, 129 x 16.3 x 8.3ft, engines 65hp, ON 8808, owned City of Dublin Steam Packet Co., registered Dublin. 1881 transferred to Liverpool, Llandudno & Welsh Coast Steam Boat Co. Broken up 1881.
Mainly used to take passengers between Menai Bridge and Caernarfon.
More history.

[from The North Wales Chronicle and Advertiser for 12th June 1849]: PLEASURE TRIP AROUND THE ISLAND OF ANGLESEY. THE NEW AND ELEGANT IRON STEAMER, FAIRY is intended to make a PLEASURE EXCURSION ROUND the ISLAND of ANGLESEY, on WEDNESDAY, the 13th of JUNE, leaving BEAUMARIS at 9 o'clock, MENAI BRIDGE at half-past 9, and CARNARVON at 10 o'clock in the Morning, proceeding over Carnarvon Bar round the South Stack, Holyhead, Skerries, Point Lynas, Amlwch, Red Wharf Bay and Puffin Island, returning to Carnarvon the same evening.

[from North Wales Chronicle - Saturday 07 July 1877]:
AN EXCURSION BY SEA. - From our advertising column, it will be seen that the City of Dublin Company's steamer "Fairy" will run a trip to Bardsey Island on Tuesday next, leaving Beaumaris at 8.15 a.m., and picking up passengers at Bangor, Menai Bridge, and Carnarvon. We would recommend, as many of our readers as can, to take advantage of this opportunity of enjoying a delightful sea excursion.

Iron paddle steamer May Flower, built Bowdler, Chaffer, Seacombe, Wirral, 1867, 53grt, 25 nrt, 88 x 15.1 x 6.4ft, 25hp, owned Thomas Butler, Maes-y-Porth, Anglesey, registered Liverpool, ON 60001. For the Caernarfon - Anglesey ferry service. Register closed 1898, when engine was listed as 5hp. [Maes y Porth is a house at Dwyran, close to the Anglesey shore opposite Caernarfon]

[from Liverpool Journal of Commerce - Monday 02 September 1867]:
There was launched on Saturday from the building-yard of Messrs. Bowdler, Chaffer, and Co. a small iron paddle-wheel steamer for Mr. T. Butler, of Maes y Porth, Dwyran, Bangor[sic], named the May Flower. This steamer is intended for the ferry traffic between Carnarvon and the opposite shore on the Anglesea side, and to replace the steamer Menai which has been found too small for the purpose.

[from Caernarvon & Denbigh Herald - Saturday 07 August 1875]:
The Mayflower has been repaired, refitted, and a new condensed[sic] boiler has been added, which will render her a very strong and fast-going ferry boat. Very shortly arrangements will be completed, so that the present inconveniences by crossing in small boats will be remedied, and Anglesey and Carnarvonshire brought within fifteen minutes distance. We believe Messrs Morton, the lessees, intend running the steamer every half hour. These new arrangements will be the means of re-establishing trade between the south-western portion of Anglesey and Carnarvon, which is daily gaining ground as the chief entrepot of all kinds of merchandise for all classes of the community in North Wales.

[from North Wales Chronicle - Saturday 22 June 1895]:
STEAM FERRY TO LET. CARNARVON AND ANGLESEY. This well Known FERRY to be let for a term of 21 years. The Tenant will have to provide a light draft Steamer (a good sea boat), capable of carrying Passengers, Animals, Conveyances, and Goods. For particulars apply to TOWN CLERK, Town Hall Office, Carnarvon. 18th June, 1895.

Wooden screw steamer Menai, built T. Parry, Bangor, 1878, 17 nrt, 43 grt, 81.5 x 13.4 x 6.1 ft, engines 20 hp by De Winton, Caernarvon, ON 79102. For Garth Ferry service, owned Thomas Morgan [Bangor - Beaumaris], later William Morgan. Registered Beaumaris 1878, owned Milford Haven from 1903, register closed 1922.

[from North Wales Chronicle - Saturday 23 February 1878]:
GARTH FERRY. - IMPORTANT PROJECTS. - We have no need to say that the inhabitants of Bangor, the borders of Anglesey, as well as the general public, are greatly indebted to Mr Thomas Morgan, the worthy and enterprising lessee of the above ferry, for the great improvements that he has from time to time effected in the landing pier on both sides of the straits for the comfort and convenience of travellers, &c. The fine substantial boats that are always kept and manned with steady, sober, careful and obliging crews; with all the accommodations that have been of late added to the landing places speaks highly creditable of Mr Morgan. But we are happy to say that he is not satisfied with those improvements which have been done - although they are numerous and great - greater things are yet to come; a new steamer is now in course of building, which it is expected will be ready on its station, plying between Beaumaris, Bangor, and Menai Bridge on the first day of July next. Messrs De Winton and Co., of Carnarvon, have the contract for the pair of engines - ninety-horse power; and Mr T. T. Parry, shipbuilder, of Bangor, builds the hull. This enterprising and speculative scheme will undoubtedly be a great boon to visitors and travellers during the summer months. We are also informed that it is the intention of Mr Morgan to construct a large wooden or iron jetty from the Bangor side, which would form a splendid promenade very beneficial to the town, as the Liverpool steamers would be able to land passengers thereupon at all tides. Plans of this structure have been prepared by Mr Richard Parry, of Mill Bank, Llandegfan, and it is to be hoped that both these highly-respected gentlemen will be spared to effect this, as well as many other, improvements for the benefit and welfare of their neighbours, and the public generally. A correspondent wishes to suggest that the new steamer above referred to should be called Harry Morgan, after the name of the late respected father of the proprietor, Mr Thomas Morgan, Garth Ferry, and the well-known reformer, Mr John Morgan, Cadnant.

[from North Wales Chronicle - Saturday 07 June 1879]:
Throughout the day the steamer Menai (Captain Edwards), which now daily plies between Garth Ferry and Beaumaris, conveyed a large number of passengers to and from that pleasant sea-side resort and proved a very useful means of communication between the two places.

[from North Wales Chronicle - Saturday 16 October 1880]:
The steamer Menai will cease plying between Beaumaris and Bangor after today (Saturday)

[from Globe - Saturday 27 October 1883]:
The medallion has also been awarded to Mr. J. Roberts, piermaster at Beaumaris, for saving the life of W. Williams, who fell into the sea from the steamer Menai on the 15th August, this being about the twentieth occasion in which Roberts has been instrumental in saving life.

[excerpt from North Wales Chronicle - Saturday 26 May 1888]:
The volunteers embarked in the steamer "Menai," which started from Garth Point at eight a.m. The neatness and smartness of the men's equipments clearly showed the estimation in which these outings are held. The little steamer, with its brightly attired occupants, military and civilian, must have presented an attractive and animated appearance to the eyes of the numerous spectators assembled to witness its departure.

[excerpt from Liverpool Journal of Commerce - Friday 18 September 1891]:
..the day trips by the St. Tudno, have thoughtfully arranged that this popular steamer shall turn round at Beaumaris and arrive back in Liverpool about 6 o'clock in the evening, and passengers between Menai Bridge, Bangor, and Beaumaris will be carried by the well-known straits steamer Menai, and there is no doubt that many people will find it a great advantage to be able to have such a delightful sea excursion, and yet arrive back in Liverpool before dark.

Wooden screw steam launch Pioneer, built circa 1872, 40 x 8.6 x 5 ft, not in MNL. Advertised at Liverpool 1873, by 1883, owned Thomas Morgan, ferry proprietor, Garth ferry, Bangor. Possibly the Fleetwood Pioneer [see below] and the Menai Pioneer were different vessels.

[from Gore's Liverpool General Advertiser - Thursday 24 April 1873]:
For SALE, The nearly new Screw Steam Launch PIONEER; Built last year of red pine, ash and elm, has 7-inch cylinder, and boiler is tested to 120lbs pressure. This boat is fitted with Tyrer's patent propellor; is a most powerful tug, and has space for cargo, &c. Speed 5 miles an hour while towing in the Canal two boats, containing 100 tons cargo. Dimensions: Length, 40 feet; breadth, 8.6 feet; depth, 5 feet.- For all further particulars apply TONGE and CO. Brokers. Commercial-court. 17, Water-street

[from Blackpool Gazette & Herald - Friday 18 November 1881]:
Yesterday week one of the oldest and most respected of the Fleetwood captains Thomas Roskell, was conveyed to his last resting place at Hambleton, the funeral cortege being conveyed as far as Wardleys in the steam ferry "Pioneer." ...

[from Blackpool Gazette & Herald - Friday 03 March 1882]:
THE ROW ON THE FLEETWOOD FERRYSLIP. THE OLD VERSUS THE NEW FERRY. ... The complainant Richard Newsham, he said, is employed by the Fleetwood Steam Ferry and Pleasure Launch Company, which has lately been established here. He daresay it did interfere with the business carried on by the old ferrymen, and no doubt was provocative of some little feeling. They probably laboured under some sense of injury. This, however, was no excuse for any breaches of the law. .... William Roskell, master of the steam ferry Pioneer, said he was present at the Ferryslip on the 26th January, when the disturbance took place. ...

[from Liverpool Daily Post - Thursday 13 September 1883]:
A Collision in the Menai Straits. At the Bangor County Court, yesterday, before Mr. Horatio Lloyd, judge, and a jury. Captain F. Dugmore, owner of the yacht Rosalind, sued Mr. Thomas Morgan, proprietor of Garth Ferry, Bangor, for damage done to a gig the property of the plaintiff. Mr. J. Eldon Bankes (instructed by Messrs. C. A. Jones and Roberts) appeared for the plaintiff, Mr. John Roberts, Bangor, was for the defendant. Mr. Bankes stated that in July last Mr. Dugmore's yacht was moored in the Straits, at a point near the Clio training ship. On the 11th of July the prize distribution took place on board Clio, and the ceremony was attended by large number people. Mrs. Dugmore went to the Clio in a gig, which was manned by four men. The gig was made fast alongside the training ship. At the time, the tide ran towards Menai Bridge, the wind blew in the direction of Beaumaris. Whilst the gig remained alongside, the defendant's steam launch Pioneer steamed towards the gig. One of the crew hollered out to the man steering the launch to starboard, but instead of doing so, he ported his helm, thereby smashing the sides of the smaller boat in. The gig was made of American elm. A carpenter on board the Clio roughly repaired the damage, at the cost of about £3, the requisite wood not being procurable in the neighbourhood. Mr. Bankes called one witness, who supported his statement. For the defence, the evidence went to show that the Pioneer and a cutter belonging to the Clio were both making for the ship from opposite directions. The tide was running at the rate of four knots an hour. The cutter drifted across the Pioneer's bows. The latter's steersman immediately ordered the engines to be stopped, and, in avoiding collision with a cutter, which had a score of people on board, the launch drifted to the gig, and an unavoidable collision ensued. Several witnesses testified that the steersman of the launch could not have acted otherwise; had he ported his helm he would have collided with the Clio, smashed his boat, and endangered the lives of fifty passengers. The jury found a verdict for the defendant.

[from Blackpool Gazette & Herald - Friday 03 April 1885]:
The steam-launch "Pioneer," which has been chartered for the ferry traffic, met with a slight accident on Sunday morning last. She was on a trial trip at the time, and in attempting to approach the slip, in a rough sea, got foul of the piles adjoining. The damage sustained was very trifling, and the vessel returned to the dock channel, where she has since been examined by the Board of Trade Inspector, and passed as satisfactory for passenger traffic.

Iron screw steamer Satanella, built T. Turton, Liverpool, 1881, 106 grt, 41 nrt, 117 x 13.6 x 8.8ft, engine 38hp by John Taylor, Birkenhead, 1 screw, ON 84115, owned Ernest Latham, Oxton, Birkenhead, registered Liverpool in 1881 [in MNL from 1882-5]. Advertised as serving in the Menai Straits in 1884. Described as a steam yacht. Owned London 1885 renamed Goldsworthy, later owned at Belize in 1890, Liverpool registry closed 1896. [MNL gives Goldsworthy, owned Gordon D Peters, Moorgate Works, Moorfields, London 1887-9; then John Hunter, Belize, 1890-6]
Sir Roger Tuckfield Goldsworthy was Governor of Belize 1884-91.

Some info about builder T Turton [from Liverpool Daily Post - Monday 31 January 1881]:
Local patent applied for...
283. Thomas Turton, iron and steel manufacturer, and Robert Roberts, foreman smith and shipbuilder, both of Liverpool, Improvements in and applicable to apparatus for shaping plates and sheets of metal.

[excerpt from North Wales Chronicle - Saturday 16 July 1881]:
To those wishing to have nice sea trips I would recommend firstly the City of Dublin Company's steamer "Fairy," which has commenced to run between here and the Menai Straits daily, and secondly to Mr Latham's steamer "Satanella," which runs to Moelfra Bay, the scene of the wreck of the 'Royal Charter,' and other places on the romantic coast of Anglesey.

[from Shipping and Mercantile Gazette - Thursday 22 May 1884]:
SHIPS FOR SALE. For SALE or CHARTER. THE Screw Steamer SATANELLA, 106 tons gross and 40 tons nett register built at Liverpool 1881; has diagonal surface-condensing engines of 38 horse power, by Taylor, of Birkenhead; new boiler 60 lbs. pressure, by Campbell, of Glasgow, last year; speed, 10 knots per hour; consumption, 5 tons per day; has No. 3 Board of Trade certificate for 151 passengers; specially adapted as a tender or for coasting excursions. Dimensions:- 117 X 13.5 X 7.2 feet. Lying at Carnarvon. For price and further particulars, apply to CROSBY, KER. and Co., Halton-buildings, 44. Chapel-street, Liverpool.

[from Herald Cymraeg - Wednesday 09 July 1884]:

[from North Wales Chronicle - Saturday 13 December 1884]:
CLAIM FOR SALVAGE BY A CARNARVON CREW. - In the Court of Admiralty, London, on Monday, before Mr Justice Butt with Trinity masters, the case was heard of the owner (Mr E. Latham [owner]), master, and crew of the Satanella [106 tons register] against the owners of the s.s. Fenella. The plaintiffs in this case, who are the master, owner and crew of the tug Satanella, brought this action to recover a salvage award from the defendants for services rendered to their steam ship, the Fenella, of Douglas, Isle of Man, in the straits of Menai, on the 9th and 10th September last. The plaintiffs' vessel, seeing the Fenella stranded on the half-tide rock [in the Swillies], proceeded to her, and tendered assistance, which at first was declined, but ultimately the master of the Fenella, as his vessel was filling with water and as he could not get up steam, agreed to be towed by the Satanella to a place of safety. At first this could not be done, in consequence of the Fenella being lost [sic caught] in an eddy of the tide, but at half past one o'clock on the morning of the 10th of September, the Satanella towed her safely on to Bangor fiats, thus, as the plaintiffs alleged, saving her from becoming a total loss. .. £300 was awarded to the plaintiffs, with costs.
[]info from Isle of Man Times - Saturday 13 December 1884.

[from North Wales Chronicle - Saturday 28 March 1885]:
Beaumaris Town Council: ... the pier tolls, with the exception of the water rates, be let from the 1st May next subject to such conditions as the Council might decide upon, and provided that no more be charged the Liverpool, Llanduduo, and Welsh Coast Steamboat Company and the owners of the Satanella, Queen, Menai and King Ja Ja.

[from London Evening Standard - Friday 18 September 1885]:
LIVERPOOL. Steamer Satanella, for Belize, has left.

[from Colonial Guardian (Belize) - Saturday 07 November 1885]:
The contract steamer "Goldsworthy" started for Corozal and Orange Walk on Tuesday morning, but having attempted to cut out a new road for herself, quite independent of the ordinary channel, she stuck the whole day and remained stuck until Wednesday morning when she got off with the high tide. The most impatient of her passengers were take off by the Alabama. She afterwards started for Corozal to which she made a successful trip, and returned this morning.

Excerpt about extending mail contract [from Colonial Guardian (Belize) - Saturday 14 November 1885]:
With respect to the two steamers, little comparison can be made, as the first is purely a passenger steamer and the other a tug boat adapted to carry a few passengers. The "Goldsworthy" has undoubtedly the advantage of being more commodious, but against that may be set the fact that the "Poncho", being a tug boat, can tow fruit lighters to the fruit steamers as well as lighters loaded with produce to Belize, and can, from her shortness, go up rivers, the navigation of which the "Goldsworthy" could not attempt. So far, therefore, we may say there is not much to choose between them.

[from Colonial Guardian (Belize) - Saturday 01 March 1890]:
On Thursday afternoon some alarm was caused by the arrival of the S.S. Goldsworthy from the South, with all her flags at half mast. The cause of this was the death of a passenger on board, who was on his way to Belize to seek relief from a chronic malady.

Steel paddle steamer Arvon, built Seath, Rutherglen, 1896, 106grt, 35nrt, 90.5 x 21.3 x 5.7ft, engines 31 hp by Shanks Morrice, owned Port of Carnarvon, registered Carnarvon 1896, ON 92219. Register closed 1924. For Caernarfon - Anglesey ferry service.
More history.

[from Liverpool Mercury - Wednesday 06 October 1897]:
THE NAVIGATION OF THE MENAI STRAITS. THE SHIFTING OF SANDBANKS. A matter of importance came up for discussion at the monthly meeting of the Carnarvon Harbour Trustees yesterday, in the shape of a letter from the Carnarvon Corporation suggesting a joint committee of the corporation and trust for the discussion of questions dealing with the navigation of the Menai Straits. The corporation desired to dredge the channel, but the trust objected to this course unless they first of all obtained the views of an expert who could prove that such dredging would not interfere with the navigation of the Straits. In the course of the discussion which ensued, several members spoke of the urgent necessity of doing something to remove the sandbanks which were rapidly forming opposite the town of Carnarvon. - Mr. T G. Roberts, J.P., stated that on the previous Saturday the steamer Arvon, plying between Carnarvon and Anglesey, went aground on a sandbank which had been gradually rising and a delay of three hours resulted. The channel had changed so much lately that at high tide there was not sufficient water to land passengers at the high-water pier and too much to land them at the low-water pier.

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River Conwy (then written Conway) services. From 1837-39 Conway Castle provided a service from Conwy town Quay to Liverpool.
  For an excursion from Liverpool by Ayrshire Lass in 1848 to view the new tubular railway bridge at Conwy, see here.

Wooden paddle steamer Conway Castle, built Conway 1836, 86 grt, 102.3 x 18.8 x 6.5 ft, 70 hp engines by W Rigby (Dee), owned Liverpool & Conway Steam packet Company, registered Beaumaris. First service May 1837 Liverpool - Conwy. Sold for use in Northern Ireland 1839. Listed 1845 as at Belfast, built Conway 1836, 86 tons, 70hp. More details

Wooden screw steamer Temple, built Roberts, Trefriw, 1874, 77grt, 44nrt, 73.4 x 18.4 x 9.0 ft, engine 26 hp by Gaulton, Manchester, ON 63361. Registered Beaumaris, owned Roberts, Trefriw. Intended to trade from Trefriw to Liverpool. Later sold and registered Liverpool 1891, then owned Mostyn from 1894. Register closed 1932, since lying abandoned on the mud at Mostyn. More details

Iron screw steamer W S Caine, built Thomas, Amlwch, 1883, 155grt, 74nrt, 122.2 x 21.1 x 7.9ft, engines 35 hp by De Winton, Caernarfon, ON 87232. Owned William Thomas of Amlwch, registered Beaumaris. 1885 registered Liverpool. 1895 owned Manchester, Liverpool and North Wales SS Co. 1911 sold to Neyland; 1919 to Lerwick. Broken up Birkenhead 1922.

She was the first iron steamer built at Amlwch. She traded initially around North Wales ports, including Conway.

Image of WS Caine alongside in Milford Haven circa 1910 (Trevor is outside of her).

She was named after [the Liberal MP] W.S. Caine who with his brother had interests in iron ore workings at Millom in Cumberland and was also involved with William Thomas in a branch of the Thomas shipyard which was opened at Millom.

[from Liverpool Journal of Commerce - Saturday 08 January 1887]:
Rescue s. The tug Rescue, lying at anchor in the river, abreast of the Queen's Dock, was run into and sunk about nine o'clock last night during a sudden fog, by the coasting steamer W. S. Caine, which was crossing from Birkenhead to the Coburg Dock. The W. S. Caine stood by the tug and rescued the whole of the crew. The Rescue is a well-known Liverpool tug boat belonging to the Old Steamtug Company.
[More detail of wreck of Rescue].

[from Freeman's Journal - Tuesday 01 May 1888]:
Dublin Arrived: steam colliers, W S Caine ...

[from Herald Cymraeg - Tuesday 02 April 1895]:
MANCHESTER, LIVERPOOL, AND NORTH WALES STEAMSHIP CO. The: SS. "W. S. CAINE" will run from MANCHESTER weekly, carrying Goods for MENAI STRAITS, PORTHDINLLAEN. and PWLLHELI, if sufficient inducement offer, Liverpool Goods For Porthdinlleyn will be conveyed to Carnarvon by ss. "Prince Ja Ja," until other arrangements are made. For particulars apply to Messrs Clark and Grounds, 58 South John Street. Liverpool, and at Runcorn: Mr Pritchard, Manager, ss. "Prince Ja Ja", Carnarvon: Mr R. Jones, Accountant, Nevin; Mr Thomas Evans, Auctioneer, Pwllheli; or The Managing Director, Rear-Admiral Jones-Parry, Thelwall Hall, Warrington.

Obituary of George Griffiths, Conway, October 1905: His chief interest, however, was soon transferred to shipping matters, and it is to him, in the first instance, that the advent of the S.S. "W. S. Caine" into Conway water is attributed. Acting as a general stores agent, he did business for the proprietors of the "W. S. Caine" for many years.

[from North Wales Weekly News - Friday 05 March 1897]:
The "W. S. Caine." Messrs. Roberts & Co., of Conway, have been appointed brokers (at Conway and Liverpool) to the W. S. Caine steamship, and are taking over the management to local agency.

Conwy river services by steamer

MNL lists a vessel St Winifred (7tons, 3hp, river service) as passenger certified at Conway for 1851-2. In 1857 MNL lists, under Liverpool, steam vessels, with passenger certificate for river, smooth water: St Winnifred 8tons, 6hp; St George 14tons, 16hp.

Steam vessel travel between Conwy and the riverside quay at Trefriw began around 1847 when the paddle steamer St Winifred entered service with the St George Steamship Company (owned Roberts, Conwy). The tubular railway bridge at Conwy was constructed in 1847 - and reports, of spectators viewing the construction from boats, do not mention the St Winifred.
From then, river steamers provided an important transport service until the railway opened between Llanrwst and Llandudno Junction in 1863. The larger steamer St George, ON 120789, iron, 72.3 x 10.2 x 4.0 ft, 21grt, 10nrt, 7hp paddles, owned William Roberts, Conway, joined the service in 1852. Register closed 1910.

Image of paddle steamer St George at Trefriw Quay, around 1875, [from People's Collection Wales]

Another image of paddle steamer St George - looking rather crowded.

  She was joined in service in 1891 by New St George [later called Prince George when registered 1907 at Beaumaris], ON 120788, built Amlwch 1891, steel, 72.2 x 12.1 x 3.7 ft, 24grt, 11nrt, 17 hp paddles, owned William Roberts, Conway, and later still by King George, [ON 120787, 17 tons, steel, built Northwich 1907, 20hp engine, paddles, registered Beaumaris] in 1907. The first St George was broken up by 1910, and was replaced by a wooden motor boat, St George, [ON 120796, built John Crossfield, Conwy, 1910, 19grt, 11 nrt, 55.6 x 11.1 x 4.1 ft, 6hp engine, screw; engine details]

New St George at Deganwy landing stage (rightmost steamer)[postcard courtesy of Duncan Mirylees]

King George (b 1907), and other boats (motor launch is most probably St George, built 1910, and paddle steamers could be Prince George and Queen of the Conway), at Trefriw quay. [postcard courtesy of Duncan Mirylees]

A rival service was provided from 1899 by Queen of the Conway (ex Queen of the Tees), ON 98774, built Rennoldson, South Shields, 1891, steel, 85.0 x 14.1 x 5.7 ft, 77grt, 37 nrt, 20 hp, paddles, registered Beaumaris 1898-1908, owned Thomas Lewis, Bangor.
Another service, Trefriw Belle, a twin screw steamer [not in MNL], was added around 1903 and Jubilee [ON 85275, b Cochran, Birkenhead 1896, wood, 16t, 8hp, screw, previously served Mawddach] in 1908.
From 1863 only a tourist service was provided, later from Deganwy via Conwy to Trefriw.
A tourist service from Conwy up the river for a few miles still exists today (2023)

[from Chester Courant - Wednesday 08 September 1852]:
Aquatic Excursions. A pretty little steamer, the St. George, is intended to ply between Conway and Trefriw, Llanwrst. Trefriw is famed for its mineral springs, and is annually resorted to by numbers of invalids who are greatly benefited by the medicinal properties of the water. The village is very romantically situated in the most delightful Vale of North Wales, and is within easy distances of Bettws-y-coed, Capel Curig, Snowdon, Conway, Llanwrst, &c. There are several beautiful waterfalls in the neighbourhood. The river Conway is a small but very picturesque stream, and abounds with sport for anglers. The St. George has been partially fitted up at Chester [reported as lying at Crane wharf, Chester a week previous]. She is of iron and was built in Staffordshire for the Inland Steam Navigation Company. By a novel and ingenious contrivance, the invention of Mr. Gray, the designer, he who has the direction of the engine also guides the boat; a wire passing through the cabin from the rudder enables a man standing at the paddle boxes to accomplish this. The St. George is 20 horse power and draws only one foot of water. She is 60 feet long, has a covered and a open cabin, and will carry 120 passengers.

[from Rhyl Record and Advertiser - Saturday 24 June 1893]:
THE STEAMERS ST. GEORGE & NEW ST. GEORGE (Weather and other causes permitting), are intended to run on one of the most beautiful rivers in Wales, between DEGANWY, CONWAY, & TREFRIW, And the Mineral Springs in the Vale of Llanrwst, as under: JUNE, 1893 ... Service Deganwy - Conway - Trefriw - Conway - Deganwy.

[from Northern Weekly Gazette - Saturday 30 January 1892]:
TRIAL OF THE QUEEN OF TEES. The passenger steamboat Queen of the Tees made her first trip from Middlesbrough Ferry landing to Stockton on Wednesday under the personal superintendence of Mr B. Delahunty, manager of the Imperial Tramways Company, Stockton and Middlesbrough, by whom she is owned, and who run passenger steamboats between Middlesbrough and Newport. She was built by Messrs R. T. Rennoldson and Son, South Shields, and is from stem to stern 85 feet, the main breadth being 14.15 feet, and the depth 5.7 feet. The saloon cabins, two in number, are handsomely fitted up for the comfort of passengers, and heated with steam pipes from the boiler of 40 lb. pressure. She is of "clincher" build, one engine - side lever and surface condensing - 105 i.h.p., and 20 n.h.p., with a 22 inch cylinder and 40 inch stroke. Her speed is 9.5 miles an hour, and she is capable of carrying 200 passengers. Garden seats are arranged across the deck in order that passengers may sit with their backs to the wind, and there are also twelve life-saving seats - four persons each seat - to meet the requirements of the Board of Trade, in addition to the lifebuoys. Wednesday's return journey from Stockton to Middlesbrough was completed in 29 minutes.

[from North Wales Chronicle - Saturday 10 June 1899]:
DEVELOPMENT OF THE CONWAY RIVER TRAFFIC. The Llandudno and Trefriw Steamship Company, of which Alderman Thomas Lewis, Bangor, is chairman, the other directors being Mr Stephen Dunphy, Mr Shaw Thewlis, and Mr W. Ellis-Jones, of Llandudno, have erected a wooden pier running out into the sea about a hundred yards at West Llandudno. The object of the company is to give additional facilities for visitors and residents to enjoy the picturesque river trip up the Conway to Trefriw. For this purpose they have purchased a steamer which is to be known as the "Queen of the Conway," certified by the Board of Trade to carry 257 passengers. The steamer is a more commodious one than has hitherto been provided for this trip, having fore and aft saloons, from which the lovely scenery on either side of the river can be viewed when the weather is unfavourable to be on deck. The contractors for the pier were Messrs Gradwell and Co., Barrow-in-Furness, Mr Webster, of London, being the engineer.
  Last week, at the invitation of Mr and Mrs Lewis, a large number of residents were invited to take a trip on the "Queen of the Conway." ... The steamer left the pier at West Llandudno at about two o'clock, and proceeded past Deganwy and Conway up the river as far as Tal-y-cafn, where about three quarters of an hour was spent. During the sail light refreshments were served, the catering being in the capable hands of Mr Allan Sumner, of the Grosvenor Restaurant, Mostyn-street. Having returned to the estuary, the boat steamed almost as far as Puffin Island, returning at about six o'clock, and the company were landed at the Pier Company's landing-stage in Llandudno Bay.

Image of paddle steamer at Deganwy - most probably the Queen of the Conway. [postcard courtesy of Duncan Mirylees]:

[from Manchester Courier - Friday 20 July 1900]:
A new landing stage has been built at Deganwy for the Queen of the Conway.

[from The weekly news for Colwyn, Conway, Deganwy and Llandudno - 15th Sept. 1905]:
THE RIVER STEAMERS. There are four steamers on the Conway, rejoicing in the names of "St. George," "New St. George," "Queen of the Conway," and "Trefriw Belle." The "New St. George" is a paddle boat, 75 feet long, 20 feet broad at the paddle boxes, drawing three feet of water, steaming ten miles an hour, and carrying 180 passengers. The "St. George" draws only 2.5 feet of water; the "Queen of the Conway", constructed like the Tay Ferry steamers, to go either end, is a larger boat with two saloons; the "Trefriw Belle" is a twin-screw. All are of light draught, for at high tide the river - which varies in breadth from half-a-mile to about the length of the steamer - affords only six or seven feet of water, while at low tide it is almost possible to walk across at some places. The channel alters, too, with flood or drought, so that it has to be studied, as Mark Twain tells us is the case with the Mississippi. The deepest part seems to be always close to the one shore or the other - seldom in the middle. At Deganwy and at Conway the steamers have piers constructed on the floating pontoon principle.

[North Wales Weekly News - Friday 03 March 1905]:
[concerning Sunday opening of the Ferry Hotel at Tal y Cafn; half way up the Conwy river to Trefriw]: Capt. Griffith, of the pleasure boat Trefriw Belle said that in 1903, his boat plied regularly on Sundays during the summer between Conway and Talycafn, and it was his intention to ply the boat again during the coming summer, he produced an abstract from his books showing the number of passengers he used to convey to Talycafn. From that the justices would see that on the first trip he took 47. The boat remained at Talycafn for two or three hours and returned to Conway. The passengers disembarked on a pier adjoined to the Hotel grounds.

[from Weekly News Jan 4 1907]:
Motor Vessel proposed to run West Llandudno to Trefriw [seems not to have come into effect]: ...
  The jetty [at West Llandudno] was erected in 1889 for the purpose of embarking passengers upon a steamer called "The Queen of the Conway," which during the later part of the season of 1889 plied direct from West Shore up to Trefriw, and did very well, but it afterwards turned out that her certificate from the Board of Trade did not permit of her proceeding outside the "smooth water" area, which was nearer Deganwy than the site of the new pier. Since then, therefore, she has only plied within the river, and her draught being too great, she could not reach Trefriw when there were low tides. The proposed new vessel, however, will be sufficiently seaworthy to permit her to proceed into the open sea, and will, at the same time, be shallow enough in draught to navigate the river even during neap tides. Her appearance will, therefore, probably be heartily welcomed by the sightseer wishing to be speedily transported to the Trefriw Spa.

[from North Wales Weekly News - Friday 03 April 1908]:
THE PROPOSED NEW LANDING STAGE. In his report to the Corporation, on Wednesday, the Borough Surveyor stated that there existed at present two stages at Deganwy, and there were also two at Conway, one belonging to the "St. Georges" and the other to the "Queen of the Conway." After careful consideration, he was of opinion that at present no useful public service would be caused by the erection of a so-called public landing stage, as the present arrangement, he considered, worked with very little friction to the Companies concerned. As far as he could ascertain. the "Queen of the Conway" stage was out of use for the present, as the boat itself had been broken up. The Corporation decided to take no action.

[from North Wales Weekly News - Friday 01 July 1910]:
The St. George's Steamship Company. ANOTHER NEW VESSEL. This enterprising Steamship Company, who provide the most beautiful river trips in the United Kingdom, have added yet another new boat to the service which ply on the river between Deganwy, Conway, Talycafn and Trefriw. The trips have become so popular with the thousands of visitors who come to North Wales, that the Company felt bound to increase their fleet, and this has been done by the provision of a most convenient and comfortable motor launch capable of accommodating 140 persons. The launch was designed and built by Mr. John Crossfield, yacht and boat builder, Conway; and Mr. Hugh Pritchard, M.I.Mech.E., Port Dinorwig, the consulting Engineer, and Captain W. Roberts, the manager, superintended the building.
The length over all of the boat is 60 feet. with 11 feet beam and a depth of 4 ft. 6 inches. The question of the draft of the steamers has been a source of trouble to the Company, owing to their not being able to go the full trip to Trefriw on a small tide, but in the new boat the draught is only 21 inches, and this difficulty will easily be overcome, so that passengers can rely on being taken right up to Trefriw on almost any tide. The vessel is fitted with two 30-horsepower [sic] paraffin motor engines, supplied by Fairbanks, London, and the estimated speed is nine miles per hour. [Fairbanks - Morse of Beloit, Wisconsin were early leaders in paraffin (kerosene) engines; MNL quotes power as 6hp, and 3 hp marine engines were available in 1910]
For weeks, the builders have been busy preparing her for the season's trips, and on Thursday, in the presence of a large gathering of friends, she was launched by Master Bertie Dunkerley, nephew of Mr. J. A. Pollitt, the genial Chairman of the Company. When the vessel found found her way into salt water, there was a loud cheer for the Company.
THE CHRISTENING CEREMONY. The christening ceremony took place on Saturday. There was again a large gathering of directors, shareholders and friends, amongst the invited guests being.... Mrs. Lees, who was very heartily received, then cracked a bottle of champagne on the deck, and in a neat little speech said she had the greatest pleasure in christening the new launch "St. George," and she wished every success to the Company. .... With Mr. John Crossfield at the wheel, the new boat made a rapid voyage up river to Talycafn, where the passengers landed and made a abort stay. The journey was performed in very smart time, and when both engines were kept going, the speed increased considerably. Although there are two powerful engines, a most pleasing fact is that the vibration is hardly discernible. On the return journey there were again congratulatory speeches, and salutes were given to the new boat by the "King George " and "Prince George," both of which had full complements of passengers from Trefriw. The return journey was accomplished in a very short space of time, and the skipper took her as far as Deganwy and back to the Company's stage at Conway, where she was again met by an enthusiastic crowd.
The present Company was formed about 58[? print barely readable] years ago, and at that time the only vessel they had was the "St. George", a small paddle steamer, but as time went on, the popularity of the trips increased, and another steamer, "Prince George," had to be added. Three years ago, there was still room for an extension of the fleet; and the Company procured the spacious "King George." The first steamer, "St. George" having become somewhat out of date, it was this year decided to break her up, and to place an order for a motor launch. A curious fact is that whilst the "St. George " was being broken up in the shed of the Company, the new launch was being constructed in the next yard, belonging to Mr. Crossfield. The Company now occupy a formidable position, and with Captain Wm. Roberts as the manager, the new vessel is practically certain to be a successful venture. The Company are to be congratulated upon their enterprise, for the "St. George " will be the means of filling up a long felt want, enabling the Company to compete with any boat plying on the river Conway.

Summary and history[from North Wales Weekly News - Thursday 18 January 1940]:
EXIT THE PRINCE GEORGE. A link with the days when the summer passenger service between Deganwy, Conway and Trefriw was at its height, is severed by the dismantling for scrap purposes of the paddle steamer Prince George, one of the two shallow-draught Paddle steamers owned by the St. George Steamship Company. The Prince George, which has carried thousands of passengers up the river, was built in Amlwch by Messrs. Thomas and Son, and was commissioned in 1891. Her sister ship, King George, which is being retained with the motor launch, Princess Mary, for service this summer, was built in 1907 at Northwich. This week a Rhyl firm of metal merchants, who have purchased the Prince George for £80, are completing the work of dismantling the vessel on the foreshore below the Conway end of the Marine Walk. Mr. Vincent Crossfield, a director of the St. George Steamship Company, stated that the Prince George, which had given good service, had not been used for the past few years and it would cost too much to put her into commission again. Moreover, there would not now be any use for the vessel. In 1924 the company spent about £700 on repairing the steamer. Mr. Crossfield said that when he came to Conway about 30 years ago, six boats were engaged on river trips. They were: St. George, Prince George, Queen of the Conway, King George, Trefriw Belle and the Jubilee (now used as a storage hulk for the yacht Llys Helig).

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