Early North West Steam Vessels

Chris Michael.

This covers steam communication and towing, up to 1850, to and from the ports of Lancashire and Cumbria: Southport, Preston, Lytham, Blackpool, Fleetwood, Lancaster/Glasson, Morecambe, Ulverston/Bardsea, Barrow/Piel, Duddon/Millom, Whitehaven, Workington, Maryport, Port Carlisle. Also Dumfries and Galloway and the Isle of Man are briefly covered.
Liverpool and the Mersey; Dee Estuary; North Wales are covered separately.

Ports in the North West developed later than Liverpool: Southport Pier was built 1860; Preston Dock was built 1892; Lytham Pier in 1865; St Annes Pier 1885; Blackpool North Pier was open around 1865; Fleetwood Dock was built 1877; Glasson Dock (for Lancaster) was built 1791; Heysham Dock in 1904; Morecambe Pier 1869; Ulverston ship canal was built 1795; Bardsea Pier about 1841; Piel Pier (on Roa Island) from 1846; Barrow Devonshire Dock was built by 1867; Whitehaven Queens Dock was built 1876; Workington Lonsdale Dock was built 1865; Elizabeth Dock at Maryport was built in 1857; Carlisle ship canal was built 1823.

So pre 1850, only Glasson, and the Ulverston and Carlisle ship canals, provided fully sheltered berths that did not dry at low tide, and all three had limited access except at high tide. Early steam vessels needed to be able to take the ground, and to be able to navigate in shallow water.

When the railway network reached Fleetwood in 1840, it was developed as a port using a quay alongside, with enough depth for vessels to lie afloat at low tide, near the railway station. For a while a Fleetwood - Ardrossan steamboat service provided the fastest route from London to Glasgow, before the railway had crossed the mountains around the early 1850s. Services from Fleetwood to Northern Ireland (Belfast, Newry and Londonderry) were also initiated.

As well as inter-town trade, there were also local ferry services: Fleetwood to Knott End across the Wyre; Fleetwood to Bardsea (2 miles SSE of Ulverston, for Barrow and/or Ulverston),..

All vessels were side-wheel paddle steamers, earlier ones had wooden hulls, later ones often were of iron.

Ribble shipwrecks.

Wooden steamer Ribble, built Liverpool 1826 for service at Preston, but was moved to the Mersey by 1830.
Wooden steamer Enterprize, built Preston 1834, served there until 1837.
Iron steamer Lily, built 1839, owned Preston to 1872.
Iron steamer Experiment, built Preston 1842, service in Ribble
Steam transport of goods from Liverpool to Preston, 1843-5 [Nelson's vessels]
Steam transport of goods from Liverpool to Preston 1843- [PS Blanche]
Wooden steamer Colchester, built 1840, Preston-Liverpool 1846.
Steam dredging vessel, built Preston 1839, used to improve the Ribble navigation.
Iron steam tug Prince Arthur built 1840 made a disastrous excursion from Preston to Menai in 1850.

Morecambe Bay
Morecambe Bay shipwrecks.

Wooden steamer Duke of Lancaster, built Liverpool 1822, service to Morecambe Bay 1822.
Wooden steamer John O'Gaunt, built Liverpool 1825, Lancaster - Liverpool service 1826-39.
Iron steamer Duchess of Lancaster, built Birkenhead 1839, Lancaster services 1839-57.
Wooden steamer Windermere, built Liverpool 1835, service to Morecambe Bay, Ulverston etc to 1856.
Wooden steamer Zephyr built Chester 1832, Liverpool - Piel/Barrow service 1848 to 1850.

Fleetwood steamer services:
Wooden steam bucket dredger, built Fleetwood, 1840, Fleetwood service.
Wooden steamer Cupid, built 1828, owned Fleetwood 1840-
Wooden steamer Express, built 1836, Fleetwood - Bardsea service 1840-6.
Wooden steamer Nile, built 1842, owned Fleetwood 1847-
Wooden steamer James Dennistoun, built 1835, Fleetwood - Bardsea - Barrow - Piel 1840-51.
Wooden steamer Fire King, built 1839, Served Fleetwood - Ardrossan 1841 - 6.
Wooden steamer Prince Albert, built Whitehaven 1840, service Fleetwood - Whitehaven 1841.
Wooden steamer Tobermory, built 1837, owned Fleetwood 1839-45.
Wooden steamer Helvellyn, built 1842, service from Fleetwood 1849-67?
Wooden steamer Victoria, built Belfast 1837, Fleetwood - Belfast 1842, wrecked
Iron steamer Warrington, built Warrington 1840, served Fleetwood - Newry 1843.
Wooden steamer Eclipse, built 1829, Fleetwood - Liverpool service 1843.
Wooden steamer Scotia, built 1828, Fleetwood - Belfast 1842.
Wooden steamer Robert Napier, built 1832, Fleetwood services 1843.
Wooden steamer Isabella Napier, built 1835, Fleetwood services 1844-5
Iron steamer Prince of Wales, built 1842, service Fleetwood - Belfast from 1843
Iron steamer Princess Alice, built 1843, service Fleetwood - Belfast from 1843
Wooden steamer Hibernia, built Liverpool 1825, Fleetwood - Dublin service 1844/5.
Iron steamer Her Majesty, built 1844, services from Fleetwood from 1844, wrecked 1849.
Iron steamer Royal Consort, built 1844, Fleetwood - Ardrossan service.
Iron steamer Orion, built 1840, Fleetwood - Isle of Man, 1845-7
Iron steamer Fenella, built Liverpool 1846, service Fleetwood - Douglas & Ramsey, 1846-53
Wooden steamer Londonderry, built 1841, service to Fleetwood - Londonderry 1849.
Iron steamer Thistle, built 1848, service to Fleetwood - Londonderry 1849.

Wooden steamer St Andrew, built 1826, Dumbarton, service 1828-36
Wooden steamer Countess of Lonsdale, built Whitehaven 1827, Whitehaven services to 1849.
Wooden steamer Earl of Lonsdale, built Whitehaven 1834, Whitehaven services to 1853.
Wooden steamer Prince Albert, built Whitehaven 1840, service at Whitehaven to 1868
Iron steamer Queen, built Liverpool 1844, Whitehaven services to 1873.
Iron steam bucket dredger, built 1848, for Whitehaven harbour.
Iron steamer Whitehaven, built Liverpool 1848, services from Whitehaven to 1860.

Wooden steam packet Union, built 1833, service Workington & Maryport to Liverpool until 1841.
Wooden steam tug Derwent, built 1849, service at Workington to 1877.

Wooden steam tug Rambler, built 1846, service Maryport to 1883.

Wooden steamer Elizabeth, built ?, service from Carlisle 1832.
Wooden steam tug Clarence, built 1827, owned Carlisle 1839-46
Wooden steamer Alice, built 1843, tug/tender service from Port Carlisle 1846-50.
Steam tug Engineer, Port Carlisle 1849 on.
Wooden steamer Solway, built Holyhead 1826, services from Port Carlisle, wrecked 1841.
Wooden steamer Cumberland, built Holyhead 1826, services from Port Carlisle to 1835.
Wooden steamer Newcastle, built Birkenhead 1834, services from Port Carlisle to 1854.
Wooden steamer City of Carlisle, built Birkenhead 1834, services from Port Carlisle to 1840.
Wooden steamer Royal Victoria, built Liverpool 1837, service from Port Carlisle to 1850
Wooden steamer Hibernia, built Liverpool 1825, Carlisle - Dublin service 1844.
Iron steamer Cumberland, built 1847, service from Annan 1848-51

Dumfries and Galloway steamers (pre 1850). Other reported callers at these ports are the St Andrew, Eclipse and Warrington.
Wooden steamer Countess of Galloway, built 1835, Clyde, 1835-46
Iron steamer Countess of Galloway, built 1847, Clyde, 1847-

Isle of Man steamers (pre 1850) - just a list since they are widely discussed elsewhere. Here owned Isle of Man Steam Packet Company:
Wooden steamer Mona's Isle, built Wood, Port Glasgow 1830, to 1851.
Wooden steamer Mona, built Wood, Port Gasgow, 1832, to 1841
Wooden steamer Queen of the Isle, built Wood, Port Glasgow, 1834, to 1845
Wooden steamer King Orry, built Winram, Douglas, 1842, to 1858
Iron steamer Ben-my-Chree, built Napier, Govan, 1845, to 1860
Iron steamer Tynwald , built Napier, Govan, 1846, to 1866

A rival company, Isle of Man & Liverpool SN Co, ran from 1836 to 1837:
Wooden steamer Clyde , built McMillan, Greenock, 1831, (chartered from Glasgow & Liverpool SS Co)
Wooden steamer Monarch , built Steele, Greenock, 1836

Preston: Ribble improvements:

[from Lancaster Gazette - Saturday 27 February 1841]:
RIBBLE NAVIGATION. TO QUARRY OWNERS, &c. WANTED TWENTY THOUSAND TONS of RUBBLE STONES, to be laid alongside the River, on Preston Marsh. Tenders for any quantity, from 1,000 Tons upwards, may be sent to the Ribble Navigation Office; to Mr. Pilkington, the Secretary; or to Mr. P. Park, Surveyor, from whom, respectively, any further information may be obtained. Preston, 19th February, 1841.

1845 list of potential steam gun-boats.

1851 register: Preston (Cupid, Tobermory, Prince of Wales, Experiment, Nile, James Dennistoun); Fleetwood (Fenella, Royal Consort, Princess Alice); Lancaster (Duchess of Lancaster, Lily of Preston); Whitehaven (Countess of Lonsdale, Earl of Lonsdale, Prince Albert, Queen, Whitehaven); Workington (Derwent); Maryport (Rambler); Carlisle (Newcastle, Royal Victoria, Alice, Cumberland)

Main Index

Iron steamer Lily, built John Ronald, Aberdeen, 1839, 76grt, 50 nrt, 82.6 x 13.2 x 8.0ft, 20hp, paddles, ON 19448. Also known as Lily of Preston. In 1845 described as at Preston, though reported as registered at Lancaster, since October 1839. Owned Ribble Navigation Company 1839-48. Used as a steam tug and for excursions. Listed as passenger certified at Preston, 1852-3, 50 nrt, 24hp. Still at Preston 1854, owned Bond. Also offering excursions from Preston in 1866, owned Alsupp. In MNL to 1872 [as wooden]. More details(also stated as iron).

[from Newcastle Journal - Saturday 04 May 1839]:
ABERDEEN. April 22, A fine iron steamer was launched here last week, by Messrs. John Ronald & Co. named the Lily. She is 85 feet keel, 20 horse power, and draws 18 inches water, she is intended for a passage boat on the Tyne.

[from Preston Chronicle - Saturday 05 October 1839]:
THE STEAMER "LILY," of Preston, will sail with Passengers and Parcels, as follows: From LYTHAM. ...[daily] From Preston, ... Ribble Navigation Company.

[from Kendal Mercury - Saturday 10 April 1841]:
Port of Lancaster: Arrived ... Duchess of Lancaster (steamer), Kennedy, Liverpool, cargo; ... Lily (steamer), Ashburn, Preston, Barley; ... Sailed ... Duchess of Lancaster (steamer), Kennedy, Liverpool, gen. cargo; ... Lily (steamer), Ashburn, Fleetwood, timber....

[from Preston Chronicle - Saturday 01 February 1845]:
ACCIDENT TO THE "LILY" STEAMER. - During the snow storm on Monday night last, as the "Lily" steamer was towing one or more vessels down the river Ribble, to Lytham, the captain unfortunately got out of his course and made too near the land, being deceived by the snow lying on each side of the river. In consequence of this deviation the steamer grounded on the walls, and sustained some damage, but to what extent we have not been able to learn. Active exertions are at present being made to lift her off.

[from Preston Chronicle - Saturday 15 September 1849]:
TO BE SOLD BY AUCTION, WITHOUT RESERVE, BY MR. BURTON, At the house of Mr. Glade, the Castle Inn, Preston, on Monday the 24th of September instant, at three o'clock in the afternoon, subject to conditions to be then produced.
LOT 1. ALL that STEAM VESSEL called "THE LILY," with the Tackle and Appurtenances thereto belonging, for some time employed on the River Ribble as a Steam Tug and Passenger Boat. She has two good Engines of Twelve Horse Power each, and is fitted up as a Passenger Boat, and also as a Tug and will be sold with the privilege of plying on the River without payment of Toll.
LOT 2. The PADDLE WHEELS and SHAFTING thereto belonging to the Ribble Navigation Company's Steam Dredge, together with Cog and Level Wheels, and other miscellaneous articles.
The Steamer will be brought up to the New Quay, Preston, on Saturday the 22nd September inst., and remain there until the sale; and further particulars may be obtained on application at the Ribble Navigation Company's Office, Chapel Walks, Preston, or to Mr. EDWARD HAYDOCK, Secretary to the Company. Preston, 14th Sept., 1849.

[from Preston Chronicle - Saturday 22 July 1854]:
Preston Regatta. ... Two bands will be in attendance, one near the stands, and the other on board the steamer Lily, which had been placed at the service of the Committee by Mr Bond.

[from Preston Chronicle - Saturday 28 November 1857]:
BLACKPOOL. Wreck at Southshore.. - On Sunday afternoon, a small schooner, named the Pride, of Liverpool, [sic, Pryde ON 1006 b PEI 1848, later repaired] struck on the Salthouse Bank, off Southshore, Blackpool, while making a voyage from one of the Irish ports to Liverpool. The steamer Lily, of Preston, went to her assistance soon after she struck, but could not succeed in taking her off the bank. At night, a brisk wind sprang up, and drove the unfortunate vessel over the bank towards the beach, into a hole called "Jones's Hollow." The crew had quitted her immediately she struck and succeeded in gaining the shore in safety. The Pride was freighted with 126 tons of meal in bulk, part of which was saved on Monday, but, as a gale sprung up during that night, the vessel was filled with water, and the remainder was lost. She has become a total wreck.

Excursion from New Quay, Preston, to Lytham and back, on Lily, advertised 1858 and 1859.

Excursion from Preston to Lytham [from Preston Chronicle - Saturday 16 June 1866] on Lily, owned Mr Allsup, with passengers complaining that they were not taken to Lytham Pier but to a "dock" 1.5 miles away from Lytham. [Pier built 1865, dock at Lodge Pool, Nancy's Bay, was an alongside quay]

Iron steamer Experiment, built Patterson, Preston, Described 1845 as 19nrt, 30hp, and as registered at Preston May 1843, owned William Read, 60.0 x 10.9ft, 19nrt, 34 grt. More details [where described as screw].

[from Preston Chronicle - Saturday 30 April 1842]:
Launch. On Wednesday last, the new iron steamer built by Mr. Patterson, of Marsh Lane, was launched from Mr. Speakman's yard, on the Marsh. The vessel was named "The Experiment". She is fitted up with high pressure engines of fifteen horse power, and will only draw 2 feet of water. It is expected she will be able to reach Ashton Quays at any time of tide. As this will establish a regular steam communication between Preston and Lytham, we hope "The Experiment" will succeed.

[from Preston Chronicle - Saturday 10 October 1846]:
LAUNCH. - On Saturday last, an iron steamer called "The Experiment", which for some time past has been in the hands of Mr. Kelsall, for the purpose of enlarging and repairing, was launched in the Ribble, near to the bottom of Fishergate.

Wooden steam dredger Robert Stevenson, built Samuel Speakman, Preston, 1839, 80 tons burthen, 80 x 24 ft, 12hp, 1 screw. Referred to locally as the "steam dredge". Robert Stevenson was the consulting engineer for the Ribble Navigation work. More detail. See also evidence that parts of the dredge were for sale in 1849.

[from Liverpool Mercury - Friday 03 August 1838]:
TO be LET by PROPOSAL, to be left at the Ribble Navigation Company's Office, Chapel Walks, Preston, in the county of Lancaster, on or before the 9th of August next, the BUILDING and completing of a STEAM DREDGE and ENGINE of Twelve Horse Power, according to Plans, Specifications, and Descriptions which may be seen at the Company's Office, until the 23d instant, from which day to the 30th instant, the same will be deposited with Mr. EDMUNDSON COOBAN, Timber Merchant, Park-lane, Liverpool, and from the last-mentioned day to the 6th August next, with ROBERT KNOCKS Esq. Writer, Glasgow. Plans, Sections, and Specifications of the intended Excavations of the Rock in the River Ribble in the Townships of Preston, Ashton, and Penwortham, in the said county, are nearly complete, and the letting of the work by Proposal will be advertised early in the month of August next. RICHARD PILKINGTON, Clerk to the Ribble Navigation Company, Preston, Ribble Navigation Office, July 18, 1838.

[from Preston Chronicle - Saturday 08 December 1838]:
River Ribble Navigation. We were much gratified in the course of our perambulations the other day along the quays, to observe the rapid progress Mr Speakman is making in the building of the new steam dredging vessel.

[from Liverpool Mercury - Friday 05 April 1839]:
The Ribble Dredging Vessel - A dredging vessel for the River Ribble, was launched on Monday se'nnight on that river, in the presence of seven or eight thousand persons. The vessel, which is of excellent workmanship and the best materials, is eighty feet in length, and twenty-four feet across her decks. She draws nineteen inches of water. The longitudinal shaft is fifty feet long, the well, or aperture down the middle of the vessel, from the engine-house to the head, in which the buckets are to work, is fifty feet long and two and a half feet wide. The depth of the well below the decks is seven feet three inches at mid-way, eight feet eight inches at the fore-part, and seven feet seven inches aft. When completely fitted with her engine, &c., her burthen will be about eighty tons. The steam-engine will be of twelve horse power, and with the leverage obtained by the machinery, will be equal to lifting eighty tons. The vessel will ordinarily require about thirteen men for her ship's company, and will be able to dredge and remove from 120 to 160 tons per hour from the bed of the river, the quantity varying of course, according to the nature of the material.

[from Preston Chronicle - Saturday 25 January 1840]:
Meeting of the Ribble Navigation Committee. ... The Directors are glad to report that the dredge is working very efficiently - 30,510 tons of gravel and sand have been raised from the bed of the river, giving an extra depth of water in that part of the river in which she has been working of about 5 feet. From soundings, which the Directors have recently had made in the dredged channel, they have much pleasure in reporting that this extra depth is still maintained, and that there appeared to be no tendency to silt up in any part of the new excavations. ...

[from Liverpool Standard and General Commercial Advertiser - Tuesday 01 September 1840]:
RIBBLE NAVIGATION. Our readers will be glad to be informed that the late storm has done so little damage to the third and last length of the coffer dam, that the removal of this last remaining portion of the rock will be commenced in a week or two, and that nearly all the timber which was washed away from this part of the works has been recovered by the contractors. It is also gratifying to learn that the long length of stone walling which is now being made on the right bank of the river, from the late chain caul [jetty just west of where Dock entrance is now] to the river Savick, has not been in the least displaced or injured, and that the new channel now forming along the line of it has been considerably benefitted by the late flood, so much so that it is confidently expected the course of the tidal stream, with the aid of the powerful steam dredge, will very soon flow entirely in that direction, and thereby enable the company very shortly to gain some hundreds of acres of fine pasture land, especially on the southern side of the Ribble. Our spirited and highly esteemed neighbour T. Clifton, Esq., of Lytham Hall, is now in treaty with the directors to make and lease to them, for a term of years, a spacious wet dock, at Lodge Pool, near Lytham, which will be of very great advantage to the merchant vessels trading to the Ribble, as it will enable them to lie safely in port, in all sorts of weather, when waiting for favourable winds, either to come up to Preston or to put out to sea, We hope one of the next projects will be the erection of a light house, at the mouth of the river, to guide the numerous strangers we hope, ere long, to see at our quays. -

Back to index

Steam vessels taking goods from Liverpool to Preston regularly, 1843-45. Manager James Marks Nelson, trading as Liverpool and Preston Steam Navigation Company, declared insolvent in November 1844. Possibly towing barges?

[from Preston Chronicle - Saturday 20 April 1844]:
CHEAP FREIGHTS BETWEEN LIVERPOOL and PRESTON by NELSON'S VESSELS. THE Liverpool and Preston Steam Navigation Company's Boats sail regularly on their appointed days, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, (with Vessels on intermediate days, to suit convenience of purchasers,) from George's Dock Basin, Liverpool. For particulars of Freight, &c., apply to Mr. Samuel Smith, Friargate; and at the Office, New Quay, Fishergate, Preston; or to Mr. James Nelson, 4 George's Dock Gates, Liverpool. [advert from February 1843 to May 1845]

Back to index

Transport from Liverpool to Preston: a rival to "Nelson's Vessels" called "Preston & Liverpool Navigation and Shipping Company", advertised their steamer Blanche for this service. This is probably the Liverpool - Runcorn steamer Blanche, built 1841.

[from Preston Chronicle - Saturday 15 July 1843]:
STEAM TO LIVERPOOL, AND VICE VERSA. The first Class Steamer, "BLANCHE," is now plying regularly as above. Manufacturers, Merchants, and others may depend on punctuality. Apply in Preston to WILLIAM DAVIS, 14, Fishergate Hill; and In Liverpool, to ROBERTSON, ALEXANDER & CO., Redcross Street, Liverpool. Preston, 13th July, 1848.
N.B. - The Cargo of Cotton and other Goods, landed at Preston Quay at 12 o'clock this day, per "Blanche," was shipped at Liverpool LAST NIGHT.

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

[from Preston Chronicle - Saturday 15 July 1843]:
Preston. Arrived. Blanche (steamer) Fryer, from Liverpool, 26 bales cotton, 1 hgsd British spirits, and sundry goods.

[from Preston Chronicle - Saturday 22 July 1843]:
Preston. Arrived. Blanche (steamer), Fryer, from Liverpool, general cargo. [only above two reports]

Back to index

Wooden steamer Colchester, built Tyne 1840, 119grt, 35 nrt, 98.2 x 16.9 ft, 20hp, paddles, ON 16899, in service on the Mersey from 1844, registered Liverpool 1848, owned E Forster, for towing. Used as a tug at Liverpool, to tow vessels to Widnes from 1844, and then to trade to Preston in 1846. See more details and more history.

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

[from Preston Chronicle - Saturday 06 June 1846]:
Liverpool and Preston STEAMERS. THE MERSEY AND RIBBLE CARRYING COMPANY, beg to inform the Merchants, Manufacturers, Tradesmen, and inhabitants of Preston and: Liverpool generally, that they have engaged the powerful first-class Steamer COLCHESTER, 70 horse-power, which will, on the 6th of June, commence plying between LIVERPOOL, and PRESTON three times a week, in conjunction with the Company's present vessels.

[from Preston Chronicle - Saturday 13 June 1846]:
LIVERPOOL. - The fine steamer, the Colchester, belonging to the Mersey and Ribble Carrying Company, made her first trip between Preston and Liverpool on Sunday last. She departed from the New Quay, Preston, about ten o'clock in the morning, and arrived from Liverpool about eleven at night, after allowing the passengers (upwards of 200 in number) several hours to spend in Liverpool. The weather was extremely fine, which rendered the trip a very pleasant one. As will be seen by an advertisement in another column, the Colchester intends making an excursion to Fleetwood and back on Sunday next.

September 1846 - last mention of company.

Back to index

History of Morecambe Bay docks, piers and quays.

Port of Lancaster, etc :

[from Lancaster Gazette - Saturday 29 December 1838]:
LUNE NAVIGATION REPORT, TO THE COMMISSIONERS OF ST. GEORGE'S QUAY, LANCASTER. The Report of Robert Stevenson and Sons, Civil Engineers, Edinburgh, Dec. 14, 1838. In the month of March last, the reporters received instructions from the Commissioners of St. George's Quay to make a survey of the River Lune, from Glasson Dock to Lancaster, and to report on the best means of improving its navigation. [Currently only 12 feet depth at HW ordinary springs in some places. .. Plan for channel having 16 feet depth at high water, ordinary spring tides. Dredging requirements specified. ]

[from Lancaster Gazette - Saturday 18 October 1845]:
Image of Morecambe Bay showing Sea at Low Water (though reach from Grange Channel towards Lancaster is a proposed Ship Canal - never built):

[from Fleetwood Chronicle - Saturday 24 May 1845]:
PIEL PIER AND HARBOUR. Since the visit of the esteemed owner of Roe[sic now Roa] Island, John Abel Smith, Esq., M.P., which we noticed in a recent number, no time has been lost in proceeding with the new pier at Roe Island, and railway embankment to Rampside; the embankment having been let to a respectable contractor, and about 70 men already employed in making it; the whole of the timber work, about 30,000 feet, will be executed under the direction of the engineer; and Mr. Dunderdale, of Poulton, been selected to supply all the iron work. Piel Harbour has long been known as a place of security for wind-bound vessels, and when these facilities for landing and embarkation are afforded, as well as a direct communication from the intended pier by railway to join the Whitehaven and Furness line cannot fail to prove a valuable auxiliary to Fleetwood. It is in contemplation to build a steamer to ply between this port and Roe twice a-day, and no doubt is entertained that Her Majesty's mails will be carried this way, as the steam-packets will be able to sail from both harbours at any hour of the tide. It must also prove the most direct and agreeable route to the lakes, bringing the very heart of that district within four hours journey of Manchester.

Wooden steamer John O'Gaunt, built Caleb & James Smith, Liverpool, 1825, 159 tons, engines of 50 hp, paddles, built Fawcett & Preston. Owned Lancaster Steam Navigation Company. Plied Liverpool - Lancaster 1826 - 1839. For sale 1840, and 1842, converted into a sailing barque, 85 x 20ft, 218 tons, nm. In Lloyd's Register 1842 as barque, 218 tons, built Liverpool 1825, owned G Castle, London, plying Liverpool - London. Not in Lloyd's after 1844. Blown up intentionally, as a demonstration, off Brighton 20 July 1844.

[from Cumberland Pacquet, and Ware's Whitehaven Advertiser - Tuesday 26 July 1825]:
On Tuesday a new steam-packet of 159 tons register, called the John o' Gaunt, was launched from the building yard of Messrs. C. and J. Smith, Liverpool, intended for a regular trader between that port and Lancaster. She has two cabins for the accommodation of passengers, one of which contains comfortable bed places; her engines are of 60 horse power, and from her construction she is calculated to carry upwards of 90 tons of goods at a very easy draught of water.

[from Gore's Liverpool General Advertiser - Thursday 19 January 1826]:
SUNDAY NEXT, at TWO o'clock. LANCASTER STEAM NAVIGATION COMPANY. The public are respectfully informed, that the JOHN O'GAUNT, STEAM-PACKET, is intended to commence plying with goods and passengers, between this port and Lancaster, on the above day. The John o'Gaunt is intended to sail regularly between the before mentioned ports, she has good accommodation for passengers, and is in every respect a very superior vessel, she is now lying in the Brunswick Dock. For further particulars apply ALEX BARTON, Agent, Russell-place, Dale-street.

[from Liverpool Standard and General Commercial Advertiser - Friday 21 February 1840]:
On SALE, The Steam-packet JOHN O'GAUNT, (Now in Trafalgar Dock.) 82 tons register, old measurement; with two Engines of 25 horse power each, (Fawcett, Preston, and Co.) The hull is well worthy the attention of buyers from the great strength and present excellent condition of her timbers, either for converting into a coasting vessel, or for any purpose where strength and durability are required. For further particulars, apply to JOHN RIGG, St. George's Quay, Lancaster, or here to D. M'ARTHUR & CO., 17, Goree, Brunswick-street.

[from Shipping and Mercantile Gazette - Friday 19 August 1842]:
THE fine Barque JOHN O'GAUNT, 218 74-100 tons N.M., and 204 17-94 tons O.M.; built at Liverpool in 1825, classed * AE 1 (in red) in Lloyd's Books. Dimensions: Length, 85 feet; breadth, 20 3-10 feet; depth of hold, 14 7-10 feet. Now lying in the Commercial Dock. For further particulars apply to LACHLANS and MACLEOD, Sworn Brokers, 62. Cornhill.

[from Shipping and Mercantile Gazette - Tuesday 07 May 1844]:
THE good copper-fastened Barque JOHN O'GAUNT, 218 tons O.M.; built Liverpool, in 1825, is in excellent condition, and wants nothing but provisions to be sent to sea. Now lying at Deptford. For further particulars apply to THOMAS ASHTON, Sworn Broker, 9, George-yard, Lombard-street.

Excerpt [from Liverpool Standard and General Commercial Advertiser - Tuesday 23 July 1844]:
CAPTAIN WARNER'S EXPERIMENT. The great interest which has been excited, not only amongst naval men but amongst the public at large, by the declaration of Capt. Warner that he was prepared to prove by experiment his discovery of a new power which would instantaneously destroy the largest vessel afloat, naturally caused an enormous attendance in Brighton on Saturday. After several delays it had finally been determined that the great event should come off that afternoon. Mr. Somes, the eminent shipbuilder, having generously made a present of the barque John o'Gaunt, a vessel of between 300 and 400 tons, for the purpose of testing the new power, the devoted vessel was brought to Shoreham on Wednesday last, and remained moored off that town, within sight of the promenaders on the Brighton Chain Pier. ...was blown up that day. [claimed to have been sunk by "invisible" shells - though an underwater mine could have been used]

[from Illustrated London News - Saturday 27 July 1844]: John O'Gaunt settling down after the explosion.

Back to index

Iron steamer Duchess of Lancaster, built Laird, Birkenhead 1839, yard no.20, 221 grt, 134 nrt, 119.9 x 19.4 x 10.0 ft, engines 90hp, ON 18201, registered Lancaster 1839. Owned Lancaster & Liverpool Steam Navigation Co., Lancaster. Registered Dublin 1863. More detail.

[from Liverpool Mercury - Friday 11 October 1839]:
IMPROVED STEAM CONVEYANCE BETWEEN LANCASTER AND LIVERPOOL. The Lancaster and Liverpool Steam Navigation and Shipping Company's splendid new Steam-packet DUCHESS OF LANCASTER, 100-horse power, ALEXANDER KENNEDY, Commander, sails as under, (with or without a Pilot,) twice a week, With Goods and Passengers. FROM LIVERPOOL, Seacombe Slip, Prince's Pierhead. To-morrow, (Saturday,) the 12th inst., at 6 o'clock Morning. REFRESHMENTS PROVIDED ON BOARD. Cabin 6s, Fore cabin. 3s. 6d. N.B. - Shippers will please to take notice, that Goods for the above vessel must be sent down to the Clarence Dock Basin every Tuesday and Friday. The Lancaster and Liverpool Steam Navigation and Shipping Company, having made arrangements with Mr. Machell, goods for Kendal will be delivered at his Wharf, and forwarded by him the same day, thereby ensuing despatch and avoiding the inconvenience and delay of transhipment at Glasson Dock. For freight or passage apply to the Agents, JOHN RIGG, St. George's Quay, Lancaster; D. M'ARTHUR and Co., 17, Goree, Brunswick-street, Liverpool.

[from Westmorland Gazette - Saturday 09 April 1842]:
Emigration. The timber-ship Charlotte, Captain Farrie, sailed from Glasson Dock on Thursday with about fifty people, all from the neighbourhood of Lancaster, emigrating to Canada. On the vessel being towed out of Glasson Dock by the Duchess of Lancaster steamer, she was greeted with the cheers and loud farewells of the friends of the emigrants assembled to bid them adieu and a happy home in their newly-adopted country.

[from Preston Chronicle - Saturday 15 July 1848]:
TRIPS TO FURNESS ABBEY. On Thursday last the steamers James Dennistoun and Duchess of Lancaster sailed [from Old Quay, Lancaster] for Piel Pier on a pleasure excursion. There were about 300 passengers; but the "Duchess" had by far the largest share, owing to her remaining longer. At night tide the excursionists arrived safely, having spent a very pleasant day.

[from Morning Chronicle - Saturday 18 January 1851]:
ADMIRALTY COURT. [Before Dr. Lushington.] TIHE LOOCHRISTIE-DAMAGE. In this case, the owner of the steamer Duchess of Lancashire, of 133 tons, proceeds against the Loochristie, a Dutch vessel of 242 tons, for damage occasioned by a collision about 12 o'clock on the night of the 5th of October last, between Black Rock Light and Crosby light-ship in the Mersey. Each vessel was injured, and there are cross suits pending. For the steamer, it was stated that she was deep in the water, and was bound from Liverpool to Lancaster,....

[from Lancaster Gazette - Saturday 03 October 1857]:
The Duchess of Lancaster. The Quay side at Lancaster is now deserted by all except Mosquito fleet which each spring tides bring a supply of shell and other fish. The Duchess of Lancaster has made her final trip as a Liverpool and Lancaster trader, and ere this has been delivered to her new owners. She arrived on Thursday morning, and at half-past 9 o'clock the same evening she finally left the Quay side, and fired two guns as a parting salute. We understand that it will be the middle of December, at the soonest, before the new steamer is ready, and in the meantime all sea communication between Liverpool and Lancaster will be suspended during the intervening period, unless some other parties put on a vessel to fill up the vacancy.

Fleetwood passenger services (overview of early services: details of steamers below).

[from Liverpool Mail - Thursday 22 April 1841]:
Steam Navigation. RAPID STEAM COMMUNICATION BETWEEN GLASGOW and MANCHESTER, BIRMINGHAM. LONDON. &c. in connexion the Glasgow and Ardrossan, and the Preston and Wyre Railways. The celebrated Steam-Ship FIRE KING. Robert Ewing, Commander; is intended to commence running, early in the mouth of May, from the PORT of FLEETWOOD for ARDROSSAN, on the of evening of every TUESDAY AND THURSDAY as early as possible after the arrival of the Railway Trains from London &c.; and leaving ARDROSSAN for PORT OF FLEETWOOD the Afternoon of every WEDNESDAY AND FRIDAY, to meet the Railway Trains which start from Fleetwood for the various places every Morning.

[from Cumberland Pacquet, and Ware's Whitehaven Advertiser - Tuesday 13 July 1841]:
STEAM COMMUNICATION BETWEEN WHITEHAVEN, DUMFRIES, AND FLEETWOOD. THE NEW AND RAPID STEAMER, PRINCE ALBERT, MATTHEW BANKS, Commander, WILL ply between Whitehaven, Dumfries, and Fleetwood, and sail to and from each Port at the Times following: JULY. [weekly Whitehaven - Dumfries and weekly Fleetwood - Whitehaven.

[from Preston Chronicle - Saturday 20 November 1841]:
CHEAP AND EXPEDITIOUS STEAM COMMUNICATION WITH BELFAST AND ULVERSTON. The Powerful STEAM SHIP, VICTORIA, Capt. McKibbin will ply regularly, during the Winter Months, from FLEETWOOD to BELFAST and back, once each week, leaving Fleetwood every TUESDAY Evening, ... and returning from Belfast every Friday.
The fine steamer James Dennistoun, Capt Edwards, plies weekly between Ulverston and Fleetwood, leaving Fleetwood on Thursday, and returning from Bardsea the next day.

[from Westmorland Gazette - Saturday 09 April 1842]:
Ulverston: The steam packet the James Dennistoun, which plies between Fleetwood and Bardsea, has during the late winter been extremely well encouraged, and we understand it intends to ply twice a week for the future, no doubt proving a most advantageous project for this district.

[from Liverpool Standard and General Commercial Advertiser - Tuesday 17 May 1842]:
The MONA'S ISLE is intended to leave DOUGLAS for FLEETWOOD every Monday Morning, at Nine o'clock, returning from FLEETWOOD every Tuesday Afternoon, at Ten o'clock, commencing on the 30th of May. Cabin Fare 6s 6d ...

[from Preston Chronicle - Saturday 25 February 1843]:
NORTH LANCASHIRE STEAM NAVIGATION COMPANY. THE Public are respectfully informed that the new Iron Steamer, "WARRINGTON," will be on the Berth, in Newry, on the First of March, to take in Goods for Fleetwood. The fine Steamer, "ECLIPSE," will commence plying between Liverpool and Fleetwood, and Kirkcudbright and Fleetwood, the first week in March, and continue a regular Steamer between these Ports. The Company have concluded the purchase of one of the most superior and powerful Steam Ships afloat, which will take up the line between Belfast and Fleetwood, on the 12th of March. Arrangements are in progress to ensure daily communication between Glasgow and Fleetwood, and Ardrossan. For particulars apply to HENRY SMITH, acting partner and, manager, the Wharf, Fleetwood; or No. 6, Chapel Walks, Preston. 18th February, 1843.

[from Preston Chronicle - Saturday 25 November 1843]:
BEST ROUTE TO BELFAST FOR PASSENGERS & GOODS, VIA FLEETWOOD. THE NORTH LANCASHIRE COMPANY'S New Iron Steamer, "PRINCE OF WALES," Alexander McNeilege, Commander, 550-tons burthen, 260 horse power, sails regularly between FLEETWOOD and BELFAST. From FLEETWOOD Every Wednesday and Saturday evening, after the arrival of the Trains which leave London at a quarter before ten in the morning, Birmingham quarter before three in the afternoon, Manchester at half-past five in the evening, Liverpool at a quarter-past five in the evening, and Preston at half past seven in the evening. From BELFAST. Every Monday and Friday Evening, arriving at Fleetwood in time for the Morning Trains to London, Liverpool, Manchester, &c. FARES - Saloon, 15s.; Fore Cabin, 10s.; Deck, 5s. No Fees to Stewards. This Vessel is fitted up with superior accommodation for Passengers, and those who have travelled this route declare it to be the best mode of crossing the Channel. The Railway Carriages go along side the Steamer. The whole journey has frequently been performed IN 21 HOURS FROM LONDON TO BELFAST, The passage by the the Steamer being made in NINE Hours and a HALF.
FLEETWOOD AND LONDONDERRY. The powerful Steamer, "ROBERT NAPIER," 450 tons, and 220 horse power, will sail from Fleetwood every Friday morning, at ten o'clock, till further notice, and From LONDONDERRY, every Tuesday.
The superior Steamer "ECLIPSE," late of London, J. R. Bell, commander, sails regularly between LIVERPOOL and FLEETWOOD, calling off BLACKPOOL (weather permitting) with Goods and Passengers, for PRESTON, ULVERSTON, &c., &c., usually making the passage in 4 hours. The "ECLIPSE" leaves Liverpool every Tuesday and Friday. Goods for Shipment must be sent to the Trafalgar Dock, and passengers will he taken on Board at the George's Pier Head. From Fleetwood every Wednesday and Saturday.
For particulars of Freight, &c., apply to Mr HENRY SMITH, Agent and Manager, Fleetwood; and 6, Chapel Walks, Preston; Mr. ROBERT HENDERSON, Donegall Quay, Belfast; Messrs. Wm. DOYLE and Co., 11, Goree Piazza, and at the Trafalgar Dock, Liverpool; Mr. JOHN MEW, Londonderry; Mr. J. J. BIRCHALL, Exchange Buildings, Manchester; or at the COMPANY'S OFFICE, 8, St. Swithin's Lane, London. Fleetwood, Sept., 1843.

[from Preston Chronicle - Saturday 06 January 1844]:
PRINCE OF WALES, 530 tons, 260 horse power, A. M'Neilage, Commander, PRINCESS ALICE, 500 tons, 220 horse power, J. M. Wilson, Commander; ROYAL MAIL STEAM SHIPS. FLEETWOOD AND BELFAST. FROM FLEETWOOD, every MONDAY, WEDNESDAY, and SATURDAY, carrying Letters from the Manchester and Preston Post Offices, and sailing shortly after the arrival of the Trains that leave London at Ten, Birmingham Three o'clock, Manchester Five via Parkside, or twenty minutes to Six by Bolton, and Liverpool at a quarter past Five, arriving about Nine in Fleetwood. These Steamers leave BELFAST every MONDAY, WEDNESDAY, and FRIDAY. ... FLEETWOOD AND LONDONDERRY. From Fleetwood, every Friday, calling at Port Rush, the powerful Steamer, ROBERT NAPIER, returning from Londonderry every Tuesday.

[from Liverpool Mercury - Friday 14 February 1845]:
FOR GLASGOW, The new Iron Steamships HER MAJESTY, Captain J. WILSON, ROYAL CONSORT, Captain EWING, 700 tons, and 350-horse power, Every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday Evenings, from FLEETWOOD and ARDROSSAN.
FOR LONDONDERRY, The Iron Steam-ship PRINCESS ALICE, L. Humphreys, Commander. From FLEETWOOD, every Thursday Evening. From LONDONDERRY, every Saturday
FOR BELFAST, The Iron Steam-ships PRINCE OF WALES, Captain M'Neilage, PRINCESS ALICE, Captain L Humphreys. 500 tons 250 hp. From FLEETWOOD every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday Evenings. From BELFAST every Moday, Wednesday and Friday.

Port of Fleetwood:

Wooden steam dredge Success for Fleetwood, built Speakman, Fleetwood, 1840. Length 100 ft, engine 20hp. Described as the same design as the Preston dredge. Described as a wooden screw steamer, bucket dredger.

[from Preston Chronicle - Saturday 25 January 1840]:
LAUNCH OF A STEAM DREDGE, AT FLEETWOOD. On Tuesday last, about half-past twelve o'clock, the steam dredge, built for the Wyre Harbour Company by Mr. Speakman, of this town, was launched in the harbour at Fleetwood. The dredge is exactly in the same plan as that built by Mr. Speakman for the Ribble Navigation Company. Notwithstanding the unfavourable state of the weather, there was a very large concourse of spectators to witness the launch. Mrs. Denham, the lady of Captain Denham RN, performed the office of sponsor, and gave the name of "Success" to the new vessel. A band of music from this town was in attendance, which, together with the hoisting of flags in all convenient places, and the great influx of visitors, created great cheerfulness and bustle in the embryo town. After the launch, a dinner took place at Mr. Horsby's, the Fleetwood Arms Hotel, at which most of the persons connected with the works at Fleetwood, and about one hundred workmen were present. ...

[from John Bull - Monday 03 February 1840]:
On Tuesday last, a first class steam-dredge, of upwards of 100 feet in length, and adapted to lift 300 tons of submarine matter per hour from 17 feet below the water line, was launched at Port Fleetwood amidst the huzzas of the vast crowds assembled on both shores of the harbour, the firing of gnns, and the performances of a band of music. This substantial vessel has been built at Fleetwood-upon-Wyre, by Mr. Speakman, under the directions of Capt. Denham. F.R.S., consulting marine surveyor for the Wyre Harbour improvements. A party of 80 were regaled, and toasted this rapidly increasing undertaking. The day was most boisterous, a strong gale north west, but it proved the well adapted site for ship building, for this rather ponderous fabric was launched, at the height of the gale, in perfect safely, into tidal water, which permits a vessel of 20 feet draugbt to be afloat at half-springs at merely half her length from the ways. This vessel will afford a powerful auxiliary to the operations which Captain Denham is conducting. His rate of progress may now be conceived, when it is stated that during her preparation 30,000 cubic yards of protruding matter has been removed, and a tide-deserting dam of 40,000 yards for concentrating the reflux of the Wyre estuary has been effected. We are enabled to state also, that the Foot of Wyre Lighthoose, reared upon screw-piles within pistolshot of 20 fathom water, and intended to be lighted by dioptree[sic] order of light in March, has, to the immortalising of Mitchell's patent screw-piles and to the marine surveyor's proposition, unflinchingly braved the unnsual trial of a gale from open sea at the height of a springtide. The two other lighthonses (on shore) are in course of erection, so that a leading line right in may be anticipated for dead half-neaps by July next, thus rendering it as easy and "as safe as Wyre-water".

[Herapath's Railway Journal - Saturday 06 June 1840]:
The steam dredge built for the Company is entirely completed, and about to commence operations, which, from her great power and improved machinery, will certainly proceed with great rapidity and effect. A steamer of sixty-five horse power has been purchased by the Company, and arrived at Fleetwood on Saturday. It is intended for the double of acting as a tug steamer in assisting vessels to go in and out of the harbour during adverse winds, and also for the purpose of assisting in the harbour works. A recent letter from Captain Denham stated that the steamer being now purchased, and which is intended to run between Fleetwood and Ulverstone, is one of the fastest and best on the Clyde, and would also be most convenient for landing passengers at Ulverstone, from her very small draft of water.

[from Fleetwood Chronicle - Saturday 25 October 1845]:
From inquiry into port of Fleetwood:
Capt. Head [Fleetwood harbour master] The dredge is 20 horses power, length of ladder 47 feet, and will work in 12 feet water. The dredge brings up in 6 days 2,380 tons, and in fine weather will lift 400 tons per day. Generally work 14 pontoons but have 30, all of which are sometimes used.
... Have two steamers adapted as tugs.
... Capt M'Neilage [master of Prince of Wales, steamer]: draws 9 feet and can come up to the quays at low water neap and sail at 5 hours ebb.

[from Preston Chronicle - Saturday 12 May 1849]:
DEEPENING OF THE RIVER WYRE. - The steam-dredge, which has been laid up all winter, was brought out and put into operation on Monday morning last, to the gratification of a great number of labouring men, who will thereby obtain employment, and to the manifest advantage of different portions of the river.

[from Morning Herald (London) - Wednesday 22 September 1847]:
The Royal squadron made Fleetwood in safety at seven o'clock on Monday night, and as the Royal yacht led the way up the river, she was welcomed by the most hearty cheers of thousands, and a Royal salute fired from the shore. As soon as the Royal yacht was moored to the pier, the high sheriff, accompanied by General Sir Thomas Arbuthnot, General Sir William Warren, Sir Hesketh Fleetwood, Bart., Henry Houldsworth, Esq., W. Marshall, Esq., and Captain Huish, went on board to pay their respects to her Majesty, and receive her Royal commands. They were at once admitted to Lord Palmerston, and Sir Hesketh Fleetwood, through Lord Palmerston, presented to the Queen an address from the inhabitants of the town of Fleetwood. Afterwards the Mayor of Preston presented a similar address. ...

Back to index

Wooden steamer Cupid, built Wood & Richie, Port Glasgow 1828, 19nrt, 20hp. Owned Sir Peter Hesketh, Fleetwood, 1840, then 1843 by Preston & Wyre Railway Harbour & Dock. Also listed 1851 as registered Preston June 1840, owned Preston & Wyre Railway Harbour & Dock, 55.5 x 10.0ft, 19nrt, 35grt. More detail

[from Preston Chronicle - Saturday 22 June 1839]:
Fleetwood-on-Wyre. Arrived. steamer Cupid from Heysham and Ulverston, with coals, stone and slates for J. Seed, and others.

[from Kendal Mercury - Saturday 25 July 1840]:
Ulverston. Arrived. 19 (Steamer) Cupid, Dennison, Fleetwood, passengers. 20 (Steamer) Express, Bennett, Fleetwood, passengers. 20 (Steamer) Windermere, Lamb, Liverpool, passengers.

Wooden paddle steamer Express, built Robert Barclay, Glasgow, 1836, 151 grt, 90 nrt, 70hp engines. Initially on Glasgow - Helensburgh service. In 1840 owned Sir Peter Hesketh, Fleetwood, and registered there. Broken up 1847. More detail.

[from Kendal Mercury - Saturday 11 July 1840]:
Port of Ulverston. Arrivals. ..(steamer) Express Bennett Fleetwood ballast [later dates: passengers]; (steamer) Windermere Lamb Liverpool Passengers.

[from Cumberland Pacquet, and Ware's Whitehaven Advertiser - Tuesday 04 August 1840]:
We are glad to learn, from our Ulverston correspondent, that there is now a cheap, pleasant, and expeditious transit across Morecambe Bay, and that the communication is daily and regular between Bardsea and Fleetwood. The new piers at Bardsea, erected by Sir H. Fleetwood & Co., along with other facilities provided by this spirited company, are such as to induce an amazing number of passengers to avail themselves of the opportunity thus afforded of passing across the Bay and afterwards of taking their route by railway to different parts of the kingdom.

[from Preston Chronicle - Saturday 26 September 1840]:
"THE EXPRESS," Lieutenant EDWD. ROBINSON, R,N., plies between FLEETWOOD and BARDSEA, near ULVERSTON in connexion with the Railway, as undermentioned, weather permitting the landing at Bardsea. ... [tide not serving some days]

[from Westmorland Gazette - Saturday 08 May 1841]:
Steamers. The steam packet Windermere is announced to ply between Liverpool and Bardsea during this summer; and we see by the bills posted in our good little town that the Express, from Fleetwood, intends to ply between that place and Bardsea during the summer, which will be a great advantage to tourists.

[from Gore's Liverpool General Advertiser - Thursday 22 July 1841]:
To ULVERSTON and the LAKES DISTRICT. The fine Steamer EXPRESS plies daily from PORT FLEETWOOD, at the undermentioned hours. ...

[from Preston Chronicle - Saturday 02 September 1843]:
Fleetwood Regatta. ... The whole of the esplanade from the Wharf to beyond the North Euston Hotel, was crowded with spectators and the various boats on the river, the steamers of the Preston and Wyre Railway Company, the Prince of Wales, the James Dennistoun, the Express, and the Nile, as well as Her Majesty's surveying steam ship the Lucifer, were thronged with ladies and gentlemen, who appeared to take the greatest interest in the race.

[from Preston Chronicle - Saturday 03 August 1844]:
The Fine Steamer, EXPRESS, will make an Excursion, in the Afternoon, from Fleetwood to SUNDERLAND and GLASSON DOCK, leaving Fleetwood at One o'clock, and returning back before Four. Fare for the out, One Shilling. Fleetwood, 29th July 1844

Wooden steamer Nile, listed at Preston 1845 as built Blackwall 1842, 67nrt, 40hp. Also listed 1851 as registered Preston June 1847, owned Preston & Wyre Railway Harbour & Dock, 106.3 x 14.7ft, 67nrt, 101grt. [same owner as Cupid and James Dennistoun] Summer excursion to/from Fleetwood, Preston, Blackpool, Piel, Glasson, Menai,.. 1843-53. For sale at Fleetwood 1854, at Liverpool 1855. More details. Note SS Nile wrecked 30 November 1854 is an iron screw steamer - not this vessel.

[from Preston Chronicle - Saturday 27 May 1843]:
WHITSUNTIDE HOLIDAYS. PLEASURE EXCURSION TO FURNESS ABBEY, PIEL CASTLE, &c; THE First-class Steamer, "NILE," 70 tons burthen, 50 horse power, will leave Fleetwood on Sunday, the 4th, Monday, the 5th; and Tuesday, the 6th of June next, immediately after the arrival of the first Morning Trains from Preston, on Pleasure Trips to Piel Harbour, where she will remain full six hours, returning in time for Special Trains to Preston the same evening. Fare there and back, 3s. Passengers can be booked from Maudland Station, Preston, for the trip, there and back for 5s. Passengers may either be put on shore on Piel Island, under the walls of the Castle; or they can be landed on the Main, ample time being allowed to visit Furness Abbey, &c. Parties may return on the same day, or any subsequent trip, with the same ticket, thus giving them an opportunity of taking an Excursion into the Lake District. Refreshments provided on board, on moderate terms; and a Band will be engaged on Monday and Tuesday. Railway Office, Fleetwood, May 24th, 1843.

[from Preston Chronicle - Saturday 01 July 1843]:
NILE STEAMER. - On Saturday last, the steamer, Nile, which was announced to make a trip, on Sunday, to Lytham, Blackpool, and Fleetwood, came up the Ribble, from Fleetwood, but in consequence of the very low tides of last week,- retarded by the easterly winds, she could not be brought nearer Preston than the "Chain." Owing to this circumstance, many persons who anticipated the pleasure of a sail were disappointed, not being able to reach the packet before her departure. About 120 arrived in time, and, we learn, they returned in the evening highly gratified with the excursion, which is likely to become a favourite one with our townsmen. We perceive the Nile is advertised to repeat the trip, tomorrow, and we believe there is no probability of a similar disaster, the tide being one of the highest springs. The Nile is, we understand, intended solely for pleasure excursions during the summer, and we trust the speculation will repay the spirited owner. She is a remarkably fine vessel, and is highly spoken of by such as have had the pleasure of a voyage in her, as a very fast and steady boat.

[from Liverpool Mercury - Friday 19 May 1854]:
SALE. At the Crown Hotel, Fleetwood, The Steamer Nile, 67 tons register, 50 horse power, with all her masts, sails, boats, guns, cabin furniture, stores, &c,

[from Gore's Liverpool General Advertiser - Thursday 27 December 1855]:
By order of the Mortgagees. On Friday, the 11th January next, at one o'clock, at the Broker's sale-room. Derby-buildings, Fenwick-street, The Wood Paddle Steamer NILE; 67 tons N.M., 50 horse power. Length 106 feet 3-10ths, breadth 14 feet 7-10ths. depth 7 feet 6-10ths. Built Blackwall, in 1837, fitted with two side lever engines and flue boilers; diameter of cylinder 30 inches, length of stroke 3 feet, draft of water 3.5 feet, consumption of coal six cwt. per hour. For further particulars apply to TONGE and Co. Brokers.

Iron paddle steamer Helvellyn (ex - Lochlong), built Craig, Glasgow, 1842, 153 grt, 87 nrt, 131.1 x 16.5 x 8.3 ft, 75 hp engine, ON 17244. Initially on Glasgow - Helensburgh service. In 1848 renamed Helvellyn and owned Furness Railway Co. 1850-2 listed as passenger certified, based Barrow. Registered Lancaster 1851. By 1868 registered and owned Liverpool. To Brazil 1870. More details.

Advert for 1848 service Fleetwood - Piel.

Advert for 1849 service Fleetwood - Barrow.

Back to index

Wooden paddle steamer Eclipse, built Blackwall, Thames, 1829, 128 tons, 125 x 19 x 7ft, engines 70hp by Boulton & Watt. Served on London - Dartmouth route, then refurbished by Rigby, Hawarden, 1841, and used Fleetwood - Liverpool and Fleetwood - Kirkcudbright during 1843. For sale at Tranmere 1845. Note: there were many steamers called Eclipse [that built Lang & Denny, Dumbarton 1826 was in use from Wexford until 1846 - details]

[from Liverpool Standard and General Commercial Advertiser - Tuesday 13 April 1841]:
For SALE, by PRIVATE CONTRACT, Well worthy of the attention of Steam Proprietors, The fine river-built Steamer ECLIPSE, (Formerly employed between London and Dartmouth;) Has two of Bolton and Watt's engines of thirty-five horse power each; now lying at Hawarden, near Chester, where she is receiving a thorough repair of engines, new boilers, &c. &c. by Mr. John Rigby, and may be inspected there until Tuesday next, the 20th instant, when she will be removed into the Clarence Dock, Liverpool, where she will remain until the 30th instant, and if not sold on or before that day she will be placed on a station forthwith.
Length between the perpendiculars 125 feet.
Ditto of keel 110 feet.
Extreme breadth 19 feet.
Draft of water in ballast, about 5.5 feet.
Loaded 7 feet.
Builders' measurement 211 tons.
New ditto 128 tons
For further particulars apply to JOHN RIGBY, Esq., Hawarden, or WILLIAM PEMBERTON, 52, Harrington-street.

[from Preston Chronicle - Saturday 27 May 1843]:
CHEAP PLEASURE TRIP TO THE ISLE OF MAN. In consequence of the desire expressed by many Lancashire Families, for a trip to the Isle of Man during the Whitsuntide Holidays, the North Lancashire Steam Navigation Company will sail their superior and favourite Steamer, "ECLIPSE," J. R. Bell, commander, from Fleetwood, on Monday morning, the 5th June, at ten o'clock, for Douglas, The "Eclipse" will leave Douglas on Tuesday, the sixth of June, at Twelve o'clock at Noon precisely, on her return to Fleetwood.
The superior Steamer ECLIPSE, late of London, J. R. Bell, commander; will ply regularly between LIVERPOOL and FLEETWOOD, with Goods and Passengers, calling at BLACKPOOL to land and receive Passengers (weather permitting) as under: ...

[from Gore's Liverpool General Advertiser - Thursday 11 December 1845]:
To SHIPBREAKERS and OTHERS. On Wednesday next, the 17th instant, at two o'clock, at D. Tonge's office, 7, Castle-street, The well-known Steamer ECLIPSE; As she now lies on the beach at Tranmere with all her equipments; 108 tons per register; engines 80-horse power, by Bolton and Watt; built at Blackwall, in length 123 feet, breadth 16 feet. For inventory and further particulars, Apply to Mr Roberts, Fleetwood Steam packet Office, Water-street or to D Tonge, broker.

Reported in 1845 list of potential steam gun-boats as at Preston; built Blackwall 1829, 106 tons, 70hp. Not included in 1851 list of Preston registered vessels.

Back to index

Wooden steamer Scotia, built Robert Steele, Greenock 1828, 185grt, 166 tb, 127.3 x 20.0, engines 400ihp, paddles. First owner Dublin & Glasgow Sailing & Steam Packet Co, Dublin, Then 1834 St George Steam Packet Co, Dublin. Served Belfast - Fleetwood in 1842. By 1844 in Malta. Broken up and beached after collision near Tunis 13 January 1848. More history with image.

[from Preston Pilot - Saturday 14 May 1842]:
REDUCED RATES OF FREIGHT FROM LIVERPOOL TO PRESTON, KIRKHAM, ULTON, &c., via FLEETWOOD. THE undersigned beg to inform the Public in general, they have Vessels constantly plying between Liverpool and Fleetwood, which bring Goods for Preston, Kirkham, Poulton, Blackpool, Preesal, Stalmine, Garstang, &c. &c.. STEPHEN BURRIDGE, Jun., Steam Packet Office, Fleetwood. J.F. HAYWARD, 7, Goree Piazzas, Liverpool.
The "SCOTIA" Steamer, Robert Fairburn, Master, sails from Fleetwood for Belfast every Wednesday and Saturday Evenings; and on and after 31st May instant, the MONA'S ISLE Steamer will leave Fleetwood every Tuesday, at 1 p.m., for Douglas, Isle of Man, with Goods and Passengers. STEPHEN BURRIDGE, Jun., Agent. Parties sending Goods to any of the above places, will find the above routes cheaper and more expeditious than any other. Fleetwood, May 12, 1842.

[from Preston Chronicle - Saturday 28 May 1842]:
FLEETWOOD AND BELFAST, CALLING (WEATHER PERMITTING) AT RAMSEY, Isle of Man. THE ST. GEORGE COMPANY'S STEAMER, SCOTIA, ROBERT FAIRBAIRN, COMMANDER, WILL ply regularly between the above Ports as follows, during the month of June,...

[from Saint James's Chronicle - Tuesday 01 February 1848]:
LOSS OF THE STEAMER SCOTlA. Intelligence has been received of a terrible hurricane off the African coast between Bona and Tunis, which continued from the 11th to the 16th. Several vessels were damaged, and the British steamer Scotia, Capt. Pereira, 120 horse-power, totally lost, officers and crew saved. The Scotia plied between Malta and Tunis.

[from Patriot - Thursday 03 February 1848]:
LOSS OF A STEAMER. News had reached Malta of the loss of the Anglo-Maltese steamer Scotia at Stora. A French ship ran foul of her. She was laden with barley, of which sixty quarters had been saved, as had eighteen out of twenty barrels of oil. No lives were lost, and a great portion of the wreck will be saved. The boat was fully insured; not so her cargo. She was the first steamer that ever belonged to a Maltese owner, and was a strong-built substantial vessel. In the same gale the Maltese brig Margarita and two French vessels were lost.

[from Hull Advertiser - Friday 04 February 1848]:
Loss or the Steamer Scotia. Respecting the loss of this vessel, the Malta Times of Jan. 25 contains the following: On the morning of the 15th, the Scotia was observed lying in the Bay of Stora, much deeper in the water than customary, consequently, as there was no one on board, Capt. Williams, of the schooner Rhoda, lying at anchor close by, lowered his boat, and went on board, accompanied by a portion of his crew, when to his surprise, he found that the water had risen as to cover the machinery, and that it was fast increasing, which he imagined must have been occasioned by a material damage from a French brig, which parted from her anchors and went foul of her on the night of the 13th inst. Captain Williams did not leave the Scotia until the arrival of Captain Pereira, which took place shortly, when a consultation was held as to the expediency of running her on shore, in order, if possible, to save a wreck of the ill-fated ship, which was done by the sole exertions of the Rhoda's crew, and three or four of the Scotia's men. She was speedily run on the sandy beach, and immediately parted asunder. On the following day, a large portion of her wood work was sold by auction on the spot. The boilers and part of her engines were observed peering over the troubled waves, and will no doubt ultimately be recovered.
[Bay of Stora seems to be west of Skikda, in Algeria, the port of Constantine; Bona, now called Annaba, is east of Skikda]

Back to index

Wooden paddle steamer Robert Napier, built John Wood, Port Glasgow, 1832, 206 tons om, 138.9 x 2.7 x 14.11 ft, 180hp engines by Robert Napier. Initial service Liverpool - Londonderry (NW of Ireland SP Co). On fire 24 July 1844 and beached at Ballycastle. Sold to Mr Coppin and repaired. For sale 1845 - sold foreign. More details.

Reported 1843 as calling at Fleetwood for Londonderry.

[from Liverpool Mail - Saturday 27 July 1844] The Robert Napier (steamer) left Londonderry for this port, 24th instant, and took fire between Port Rush and Ballycastle. She was burnt from the quarter-deck aft, and was run ashore at Ballycastle. Engines and boilers saved, also part of cargo; no lives lost.

Back to index

Wooden steamer Isabella Napier, built John Wood, Port Glasgow, 1835, 424grt, 242nrt, 150 x 23.1 x 5.9ft, engines 220hp by Robert Napier, ON 17946. Initially Londonderry - Liverpool service. In 1844-5 services from Fleetwood. More detail, and image

[from Bolton Chronicle - Saturday 13 July 1844]:
CHEAP TRIP TO THE ISLE OF MAN AND DUBLIN, Preston to Dublin and back for 6s. THE splendid and powerful Steam Ship "Isabella Napier." 500 tons burthen, 350 horse power, will leave FLEETWOOD for DUBLIN, calling at Douglas, Isle of Man.

[From Preston Chronicle - Saturday 05 July 1845]: PORT OF PRESTON. - The following is a list of the steamers of this port: all, excepting the two first, however, belong to the "creek" of Fleetwood:- the "Lily," 42 tons, one gun; "Experiment," one gun; "Tobermory," 47 tons, capable of bearing two guns; "James Dennistoun," 76 tons, three guns; "Prince of Wales," 313 tons, eight guns; "Eclipse," 108 tons, four guns; "Nile," 67 tons, two guns; "Express," 20 tons, four guns; "Princess Alice," 257 tons, eight guns; "Isabella Napier," 237 tons, ten guns; "Her Majesty," 296 tons, ten guns; "Royal Consort," 296 tons, ten guns; and the "Orion."

Back to index

Iron paddle steamer Prince of Wales, built Tod, M'Gregor, 1842, 500 tons, 313nrt, 159.6 x 24.6 x 13.5 ft, engines 250 hp by builder. ON 17230. Initially on Liverpool - Cork service. Collided with Royal Victoria in Mersey on 31 November 1842. Served Fleetwood - Belfast - Ardrossan from May 1843. Collided with sloop Jane & Jenny off Point of Ayr on 26th August 1848, 3 lost, refloated. More detail. In 1869 converted to sail - named Rose Brae - as a barque. Sunk by collision with an iceberg on voyage Galveston - Liverpool, 20 April 1875.

[from Preston Chronicle - Saturday 02 September 1848]:
COLLISION & LOSS OF LIFE AT SEA. We have this week the painful duty to record the particulars of a catastrophe connected with the loss of life, on board the royal mail steam-ship, Prince of Wales, Captain M'Neilage, of the port of Fleetwood, on the morning of Saturday last, near the Point of Ayr Lighthouse, whilst on her homeward voyage from Belfast.
The Prince of Wales left Belfast, on Friday evening about seven o'clock, and proceeded safely as far as the Point of Ayr, and had rounded the Lighthouse about half a mile, when she was struck, on the larboard bow, by the sloop, Jane and Jenny, [some papers quote Jane & Jessey/Jessy/Jessie, or Jane & Agnes] of Liverpool, which was running before the wind at a great rate. The wind, at the time, was blowing a complete hurricane, and the night was very dark; and being the time to change the watch, the captain, mate, and crew, were all on deck. Immediately the steamer was struck with such tremendous force, she began to fill in her forward compartment, and the engines were reversed to run her ashore. The water rushing with such a force into the vessel, and the circumstance of striking the shore, broke down the first bulkhead, and rapidly filled the engine room; the engineers, Messrs. Thompson and Carmichael, however, courageously stood to their post, although up to their armpits in water, throwing coal into the furnaces, as it was of importance that the steam should be kept up while practicable, for the purpose of backing the vessel as high on the beach as possible, as the tide rose. The crew, meanwhile, were rendering all possible assistance in landing the passengers and we cannot here refrain from noting the heroic exertions of Mr. J. Dale, the chief mate, who, at the imminent peril of his life, divested himself of his clothing, and, with very great difficulty, swam ashore with a rope, by means of which all were saved. The life-boat was then launched, and the second mate, and a portion of the crew, endeavoured to land some of the passengers; but the surf was raging so furiously, that she filled and upset, and the persons in her were with great difficulty rescued from a watery grave, by the zealous and praiseworthy exertions of Mr. Dale and others of the crew in the boat. The boat was afterwards hauled ashore, and filled with stones and gravel, to make it as heavy as possible, and a hawser was attached to it from the vessel, upon which a basket, belonging to one of the passengers; was so contrived, as, by means of lines, to travel between the vessel and the shore; by which means the passengers were safely conveyed to the beach.
At the time of the accident, three men, who were cattle dealers, were sleeping in the fore cabin, near where the vessel was struck, and the water came into her with such force, that they were unable to make their escape and were drowned. The body of one was washed into the interior of the vessel, and was interred on Sunday last; the other two have not yet been found. There were on board about ninety-five head of cattle, which where thrown overboard when the vessel neared the shore, five of them were lost, but the others all regained the land in safety.
Information was afterwards conveyed to Douglas, for the Fleetwood steamer, Fenella, to repair to the scene of the disaster, to render such assistance as she was able, whence she brought forward the passengers to Fleetwood, on Sunday evening, about six o'clock, and returned again, with such men and materials as could be collected, suitable to endeavour to rescue the unfortunate vessel from her perilous position. Mr, J. Gibson, of the firm of Gibson and Butcher, shipwrights, accompanied the Fenella, with a number of his men, and several of the steam-packet porters; and, on arrival at the scene of the disaster, about half-past five on Monday morning, they immediately commenced taking such steps as were deemed best for covering the hole which had been caused by the collision, and which was found to be ten feet deep by about twelve feet wide. At high water, nearly the whole of the vessel was immersed, consequently, they were unable to work at the damaged part, which was furthermost in the water; except about two hours at low water. Two-inch planks were however prepared, and in about four tides were secured by screws to the vessel's sides; and on Wednesday they had the gratification to find their efforts crowned with success, for the vessel was floated off the beach, steam was got up, and she was conveyed into Ramsay[sic, Ramsey] Harbour, where she is now lying for the purpose of being made more secure, when she will be conveyed to Glasgow, to undergo a thorough repair. The sloop went ashore directly after the collision, greatly damaged, but the crew were all saved. She was laden with flour, and bound [from Liverpool] for Westport. The cargo was taken out of her, and she has received some temporary repairs and towed into Ramsay on Wednesday evening. [said to be captain, mate and 2 youths - who were saved by floating shore on the sloop's mast]
The two unfortunate passengers on the Prince of Wales, whose bodies have not been found, are supposed to have been washed through the hole in the vessel's side; several large bales of lace, and other goods, were washed out and lost, and many of the sailors lost all their clothes, except such as they chanced to have on at the time of the occurrence. The mate, through whose daring exertions such efficient aid was rendered to save life, has lost all he possessed, and was for several hours almost in a state of nudity, at the time when he left the vessel to swim ashore with the rope. We have been unable to ascertain correctly the names of the three who were drowned; and therefore refrain from giving any upon conjecture.

[from Preston Chronicle - Saturday 16 December 1848]:
PRINCE OF WALES STEAM SHIP. - This vessel which was run into near the Point of Ayr, a few months ago, made her appearance again at Fleetwood on Sunday last, and is again on her station between that place and Belfast, having undergone a thorough repair in both hull and machinery. The vessel being a great favourite at Fleetwood, her arrival was hailed with demonstrations of great joy.

Involved in saving lives from PS Lyra wrecked in 1861: the rescuing vessel, PS Prince of Wales, was built 1842 by Tod MacGregor, was owned by the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company and provided a Fleetwood-Belfast service. She was anchored, with steam up, near the Wyre light, waiting for the tide to rise before heading in to Fleetwood. She was alerted to the demise of the Lyra by Fleetwood Pilot John Hesketh who was a lookout on the Wyre light.
  Image of Prince of Wales:

[from Liverpool Daily Post - Tuesday 04 May 1875]:
THE WRECK OF THE ROSEBRAE. The Thor arrived at Queenstown [Cobh] yesterday. She took off the captain and crew of the Rosebrae (barque), Galveston to Liverpool, which was struck by an iceberg, and went down head foremost on the 20th April, immediately after the crew were rescued. The Rose Brae was an iron ship, and belonged to Mr. W. H. Jones, of Messrs. W. H. and G. Jones, and had cargo 1,607 bales of cotton. [Location 44N 48W; master Wilcox]

Iron paddle steamer Princess Alice, built Tod, M'Gregor, 1843, 500 tons, 195 x 27.3 x 13.8ft, engines 212 hp by builder. ON 17233, Served Fleetwood - Belfast from November 1843. More detail

[from Preston Chronicle - Saturday 28 October 1843]:
NEW IRON STEAM-SHIP. We have had the pleasure of inspecting a new steam-vessel, built and fitted up with engines, &c. by our enterprizing fellow citizens, Messrs. Todd and M'Gregor. She is called the Princess Alice - forming another member of the celebrated Royal family of steamers built by the same firm, namely, the Royal Sovereign, Royal George, Princess Royal, Prince of Wales. She is 170 feet in length, and divided into five water-tight compartments; her engines are of 100 horse-power each; and she can put up, and dine comfortably, 50 passengers. In mould she is quite a model; and her cabins are fitted up with great elegance and taste. Every preparation has been made for the comfort of passengers. She is intended to ply between Fleetwood and Belfast, in conjunction with the Prince of Wales, at present on that station, and is to be commanded by Captain Wilson, a gentleman of nautical skill and experience. Messrs. Tod and M'Gregor have great credit by this fine vessel; and we pay them this compliment the more willingly, on account of their having been the first engineers who introduced iron steam-vessels in deep sea navigation. The Princess Alice was tried yesterday, and made 13 knots an hour, with ease. She leaves our harbour on Tuesday, for Fleetwood calling at Ardrossan, we believe, for the Earl and Countess of Eglinton.- Glasgow Citizen, of Saturday, [The Princess Alice arrived at Fleetwood on Wednesday morning last, and will make her first trip to Belfast this evening.-Ed. P. C.]

Iron paddle steamer Her Majesty, built Tod, M'Gregor, 1844, 521 tons, 292 nrt, 160 x 25 x 13 ft, engines 300 hp by builder. Served Fleetwood - Belfast from 1844.
More details with image. Wrecked December 4 1849 on Rathlin Island.

[from Manchester Times - Saturday 21 September 1844]:
The Fleetwood Steamers. - We understand that these beautiful iron steamers "Her Majesty," and "Royal Consort," the launch of which we announced a few weeks since, have now been completed, and will be placed on the Ardrossan and Fleetwood station. They realise, we learn, all the expectations that have been formed of them. On Monday least the "Royal Consort" made a short trial trip, and when her full steam was up, she performed the distance between the Cloch and Greenock, being six miles, in 22 minutes 35 seconds. The twin steamers reflect no small credit on the engineering skill of Messrs. Tod and M'Gregor, the builders.

Her Majesty in 1844 by J Livingstone (Fleetwood Museum):

Iron paddle steamer Royal Consort, built Tod, M'Gregor, 1844, 522grt 297nrt, 177.9 x 25.2 x 15.2 ft, engines by builder, ON 17252. Service from Fleetwood 1844 on. Wreck 30 April 1845 at Dunmore, later refloated and repaired. More details with image

Back to index

Iron steamer Orion, built Halifax shipyard, Ipswich 1840, 226grt, 133nrt, 161 x 21.5 x 9.6 ft, engines 120hp, ON 950. Served Fleetwood - Isle of Man from 1845-7. Registered Preston 1846, included in list of steam vessels at Fleetwood 1845. Registered Goole 1850. MNL reports registered London 1854, last MNL entry 1863. More detail. Note this is a diferent vessel than that lost near Portpatrick in 1850.

[from Suffolk Chronicle - Saturday 24 October 1840]:
Launch of the New Iron Steamer. Our readers will notice advertisement that this vessel will be launched from the Halifax ship-yard, on Tuesday next. It being the first iron vessel built at this port, no doubt thousands will be attracted thither. We have seen a proof of an excellent representation of her as she appears on the stocks, drawn by Mr. J. Hare and beautifully engraved on wood by Mr. Gooding. Her dimensions are as follows; length, 162 ft.; beam, 22 ft. 3 in.; depth of hold, 10 ft. 2 in.; tonnage, 346 48-99ths. From the sharpness of her build, and the beauty of her model, it is expected that she will prove a remarkably fast boat; indeed the builders anticipate that she will even outstrip the far-famed Orwell. She is to be named the Orion.

[from Suffolk Chronicle - Saturday 22 May 1841]:
LONDON AND IPSWICH "ORION" STEAM NAVIGATION COMPANY. THAT Splendid Vessel, the orion, (excelling in speed the Fastest Vessel hitherto on this Station), CAPTAIN JOHN WHITE. COMMANDER, Will leave Mr. SEEKAMP'S QUAY, IPSWICH, every WEDNESDAY & FRIDAY MORNINGS, AT 9 O'CLOCK, With Passengers and Goods, for the OLD SWAN PIER WHARF, UPPER SIDE LONDON BRIDGE; returning from thence to Ipswich, every MONDAY & THURSDAY MORNINGS, AT 8 O'CLOCK,..

[from Lancaster Gazette - Saturday 21 June 1845]:
TO THE ISLE OF MAN, DAILY. THE FIRST-CLASS fast-sailing IRON STEAMER, "ORION," will ply on and after Monday, 23rd June, between FLEETWOOD and the ISLE OF MAN, as FROM FLEETWOOD TO DOUGLAS EVERY MONDAY, WEDNESDAY, THURSDAY, AND SATURDAY, at 2 30 p.m. FROM FLEETWOOD TO RAMSEY EVERY TUESDAY AND FRIDAY, at 2 p.m.. ... [Repairs winter 1845/6 then restart June 1846; until April 1847]

Back to index

Iron steamer Fenella, built Vernon, Liverpool, 1846, 304 tons(om), 150 x 20/24 x 8.5 ft, engines 100hp, owned Kemp & Laidley of Fleetwood, for service to Isle of Man. Registered at Fleetwood March 1850, as 177.9 x 25.2, 303nrt, 522grt. Also service Fleetwood - Bardsea and to Londonderry. In 1854 refitted to sail to Australia.

[from London Evening Standard - Thursday 25 June 1846]:
Launch of the Fenella, Iron Steamer, at Liverpool, Yesterday, about half-past ten o'clock, a beautiful iron steamer, called the Fenella (the cognomen of the interesting dumb girl, characterised in Sir Walter Scott's novel of "Peveril of the Peak,") was launched from the building yard of Messrs. Thomas Vernon and Son, south shore. The day was unpropitious for the occasion, as the rain fell fast, but it was cheerfully borne, from the impression of the good which the downfall would effect on the crops. The Fenella was constructed from a model by our townsman, Mr. John Grantham, and is truly a fine specimen of naval architecture, of very fine lines, and light floatation, her depth being comparatively small in proportion to her beam. She was built for Messrs. Kemp and Laidley, the enterprising promoters of the trade and general prosperity of the new, and now thriving, town of Fleetwood; and she is intended to run, chiefly with passengers, between that port and the Isle of Man. Her dimensions are: keel 150 feet; beam (within paddle-boxes) 20 feet, and over the sponsons 24 feet; depth of hold 8.5 feet, and burden (old measurement) about 304 tons. She has a fine figure-head of "Fenella," as described by the great novelist, and a carved stern and quarter galleries. She is clencher-built throughout, and has finely moulded topsides. There were present at the launch a considerable party, notwithstanding the state of the weather, of gentlemen, principally nautical, and ladies, as well as a very large concourse of the men employed in the yard. The launch was extremely gratifying, and the vessel was afterwards hauled to the south quay of the yard, where she will be completed.

[from Preston Chronicle - Saturday 06 June 1846]:
...[service of Orion Fleetwood - Douglas alternate days].. As soon as the new Iron Steamer "FENELLA," building specially for the FLEETWOOD and DOUGLAS STATION, and now nearly ready, is completed, a Daily Communication will be kept up, of which due notice will be given. For further particulars apply to Mr. CLARKE, Douglas; or to KEMP and Co., Fleetwood. June 4th, 1846.

[from Birmingham Journal - Saturday 01 May 1847]:
The fast sailing steamers Orion or Fenella leave Fleetwood every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at noon, ...

[from Soulby's Ulverston Advertiser and General Intelligencer - Thursday 08 November 1849]:
STEAM COMMUNICATION. From Ulverston to Fleetwood, Blackpool, Lytham, Preston, Manchester, Liverpool, &c, via Bardsea. ... The fast-sailing Iron Steamers "Fenella " or "Orion," (120 Horse Power,) sails regularly, Three Times Weekly, between Fleetwood and Liverpool, and Once Weekly between Ulverston and Liverpool. ...

[from Fleetwood Chronicle - Friday 21 July 1848]:
For DOUGLAS, ISLE OF MAN. The STEAMER FENELLA, J.J. Wheeler, Commander, leaves Fleetwood every Tuesday, Thursday at noon, and every Saturday at Two p.m., and returns from Douglas every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings at half-past eight.

[from Preston Chronicle - Saturday 09 June 1849]:
NEW ROUTE TO ULVERSTON AND THE LAKES, via BARDSEA. NOTICE. On and after Monday, the 18th June next, the splendid and fast-sailing new iron Steamer, "FENELLA," is intended to sail regularly from FLEETWOOD to BARDSEA, Every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday; and From BARDSEA TO FLEETWOOD Every Monday, Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday. For hours of sailing, and all particulars, see small bills; or apply to KEMP & Co., Fleetwood. The "FENELLA" also sails from Bardsea for Liverpool every Wednesday, returning from Liverpool every Friday.

[from Shipping and Mercantile Gazette - Tuesday 03 January 1854]:
FLEETWOOD. FOR SALE or CHARTER, the iron Paddle Steamer FENELLA, 180 tons register, 100-horse power, draught of water, 7 feet 6 inches. Ready for sea. KEMP and Co., Fleetwood.

[from Lancaster Gazette - Saturday 01 April 1854]:
The steam boat Fenella, of Fleetwood, belonging to Mr. Kemp, is now being fitted out for Australia. There are many persons in the town anxious to go out with her. Fresh masts are being put in her, and her paddle wheels are taken off. She is intended to trade there.

Steamer Fenella, Cox, from Fleetwood at Rio, Oct 14 1854.

Arrivals at Melbourne, February 20 1855, Fenella, Cox, from Fleetwood.

Back to index

Wooden steamer Londonderry, built Steele, Greenock, 1841, 511grt, 277nrt, 157.1 x 22.9 x 15.7 ft, engines by Napier, registered Londonderry. Was involved in a serious accident in 1848. More history.

Iron steamer Thistle, built Napier, Govan, 1848, 653grt, 377nrt, 198.4 x 26.3 x 6 ft, engines 350 hp - ex-Rambler. Registered Londonderry. Thistle wrecked near Sligo in 1858. More history.

[from Preston Chronicle - Saturday 12 May 1849]:
LONDONDERRY AND FLEETWOOD. - On Tuesday last, the splendid steam ship Londonderry made her first trip from Fleetwood to Londonderry, and took out a fair cargo, considering the break which has been allowed to take place in the station, since the loss of the steamer Her Majesty upon Rathlin Island. Arrangements have been made whereby the Londonderry, and the new and splendid steamer Thistle, will ply regularly each week alternately between Fleetwood and Londonderry; thus securing, by means of first-class steamers, the traffic between the two ports, which, judging from the short experience of the past, promises to be of an important character. The placing of the above two boats upon the station will, for the present at least, render nugatory the scheme mentioned a few weeks since in the Chronicle of the establishment of a new Screw Steam Shipping Company at Fleetwood.

Back to index

Ferry boat accident: Knott End to Fleetwood, 13 November 1863, 1 lost.

[from Fleetwood Chronicle - Friday 20 November 1863]:
DISTRESSING FATAL ACCIDENT AT FLEETWOOD. CAPSIZING OF A FERRY-BOAT CONTAINING TEN PERSONS. On Friday last, one of the most melancholy accidents, which it has for some time been our province to record, took place in connexion with one of the small ferryboats plying between our pier and Knott End, on the east side of the river Wyre. For the information of distant readers, we may state that the town and port of Fleetwood is situated upon a low narrow peninsula, bounded on the S.E. by the river Wyre, and N.W. and N. by Morecambe bay. Domestic, farm, and garden produce raised or produced in the neighbourhoods of Flakefleet, Thornton, &c., villages lying to the S.W. and W. of Fleetwood, meets with a ready sale in the town or market of the latter place, but, inasmuch as these places do not produce enough to supply the inhabitants of Fleetwood, large quantities are every Friday brought from the farming district lying over Wyre. For many years it has been a pleasant sight on the summer's morn to see the female passengers and small farmer's wives and daughters, trudging along the bye-paths, and picturesque lanes, each bearing their little burden of home produce, in the shape of butter, eggs, poultry, choice vegetables, and fruit, &c. As these little companies came nearer to the river Wyre, they were often joined by market goers arriving from other places, as Eccleston, Hambleton, Preesall, Stalmine, Pilling, &c, and were the hedge rows vocal, they could tell many a tale of village gossip detailed by various companies as they passed along. On arriving at Knott End, the market goers and their produce were embarked in small boats, which, wafted by a light sail, or propelled by oars of some sturdy boatman, soon landed them on the Fleetwood side of the river. The market-house was then soon gained, the produce speedily sold, and having purchased other articles in the town, of which they stood in need at home, they re-crossed the ferry, and in the course of the afternoon each one generally arrived at home. These weekly market excursions were regarded by all with interest and pleasure, and our ferry has been for a generation so free from accidents, that danger in that quarter was seldom feared. In cases where a large quantity of produce had to be brought to market, rendering the employment of a cart necessary, it was obliged to perform a circuitous route by the Shard Ford, making a difference of from 10 to 16 miles in the journey to be accomplished.
  On Friday morning, the 13th instant, a number of the class of persons described above, crossed the ferry in safety at low water, and others continued to do so at flood-tide. The morning was cold, rather windy, with occasional showers of rain. About ten o'clock, William Fairclough, one of the boatmen, then lying in his boat at Knott End, on the east side of Wyre, received into his boat the following persons: Mary Lawrenson, of Stalmine; Mary Orr, daughter of the above; Mary Parkinson, Hambleton ; Andrew Clarkson, Preesall; Agnes Robinson, Stalmine; Mrs. Eastham, and infant child 14 weeks old, of Pilling; Mrs. Kay, Pilling; and Isabella Myerscough, of Preesall. These persons had with them a variety of articles, butter, eggs, fruit, poultry, potatoes, &c., all of which was deposited with themselves in the boat, while the boatman William Fairclough, a strongly built and powerful man vigorously plied his pair of oars to reach the Fleetwood side. It was now half-flood tide, and the current had set in strongly up-stream, and to avoid being carried among the fishing and other boats anchored to the river, as well as to avoid drifting against an American ship the Brazils, and a Danish brig the Prudente, which were moored in the deep water channel ahead of each other, opposite the ferry stage, the unfortunate boatman pulled up stream, with the object of rounding the mooring buoy at the bow of the Brazils, and then floating with the tide to the ferry stage. He was seen by several persons from the shore taking this course, which was quite usual, in the state of the tide, with vessels moored as the Prudente and Brazils were. When passing behind the Brazils, the boat was hid from sight, but in a few moments was seen attempting to round the buoy. In another moment, one, nay ten, wild shrieks of agony rose from the spot where the boat was last seen; the violence of the tide had driven her against the buoy; she had capsized, and all her hapless occupants, except the unfortunate boatman, were seen struggling for life. For an instant one of the oars was seen athwart the chain of the Brazils and then every vestige disappeared. Scarcely had the wall of water reached the shore, ere half-a-dozen boats with their owners shot out from the ferry stage to rescue as many as possible of the sufferers. Among those who first put off, was Matthew Fairclough, brother of the deceased boatman. The coolness and unselfishness of Matthew Fairclough cannot be too much admired on this trying occasion; although he knew that his brother was among the sufferers, he did not idly ask and seek for him, but made off to the first he saw struggling with the waves, and as we shall see, was instrumental in saving two persons from a watery grave. The force with which the tide was rushing up the river, and the slight eddy towards the east side, carried the shrieking mortals rapidly away; but each boat bent on its noble mission followed wherever traces of a human being were seen, until, as will appear from the subjoined list, all except the boatman had been picked up. The excitement on shore and among the shipping was painfully intense, while loud lamentations were uttered by many of the market-women who were passing along the front of Queen's Terrace, and who knew that some of their companions and neighbours were in the unfortunate boat. Immediately on picking up the sufferers, the boatmen conveyed them to the side of the river, where every kindness was shown, and restorative means successfully employed. One incident in connexion with this event was of the most painfully thrilling character; in the confusion and struggling which took place, Mrs. Eastham became separated from her baby, and terribly convulsive were her struggles to reach the helpless child; at length she was picked up by Thomas Croft, and her child by William Croft in another boat; and if it were but possible to paint the heart's deep feelings as well as the expression of the face, there was a subject worthy the most gifted pencil, when the sobbing child was restored to its mother's embrace. The list of boats which put of to the rescue, together with the persons picked up by each is as follows: William Croft and Thomas Woods, picked up Isabella Myerscough, and the baby of Mrs. Eastham; Thomas and John Croft rescued Mrs. Eastham and Mrs. Kay; George Cowell, James Cowell, James Anyon, picked up Miss Agnes Robinson in a very exhausted state: Matthew Fairclough, (brother of deceased) succeeded in rescuing Mary Parkinson and Andrew Clarkson; a boat belonging to, and lying alongside, the Danish brig Prudente, rescued Mrs. Mary Orr; whilst a boat belonging to and lying alongside the Brazils, succeeded in rescuing Mrs. Mary Lawrenson, mother of Mrs. Orr. Mrs. Lawrenson and Miss Robinson were immediately placed under the care of Drs. Daniels and Hall, of Fleetwood, whilst others, having drifted more to the east side of the river, were taken to the cottages near, and to the Bourne's Arms Inn.

Information about Knott End steam ferries (1892 on).

Back to index

Wooden steamer Saint Andrew, built, Lang, Dumbarton 1826, 84 tons (om), 99.5 x 16.11 x 9.7ft, 50hp engine by Napier, owned and registered Glasgow. By 1828 owned Whitehaven Steam Navigation Company: service Glasgow - Whitehaven - Liverpool, etc. Sold to Barcelona 1836 - renamed Delfin. Reported as first steamer to call at Creetown, in the 1820s. More history

[from Cumberland Pacquet, and Ware's Whitehaven Advertiser - Tuesday 17 June 1828]:
THE WHITEHAVEN STEAM NAVIGATION COMPNY'S Line of Steamers will sail as below stated:
COUNTESS OF LONSDALE. From Whitehaven for Liverpool. Thursday the 19th June, at Midnight. Monday the 23rd at 6 Evening. Thursday the 26th, at 9 Do. From Liverpool for Whitehaven. Wednesday the 18th 1 Afternoon, Sunday the 22nd at 7 Morning. Wednesday the 25th at 10 Do.
ST. ANDREW. From Whitehaven for Dumfries. Thursday the 19th June, at 11 Morning. Monday the 23d, at 3 Do. Thursday the 26th, at 6 Do. Returns the same Days. From Whitehaven for Garliestown. Wednesday the 18th at 1/2 past 8 Morning. Do. the 25th, at 1/2 past 3 Do. Do. the 2nd July, at 8 Evening. Returns same Days. FOR DOUGLAS AND DUBLIN. The St. Andrew will Sail from Whitehaven for Dublin, at One o'clock every Friday Morning, and from Dublin for this Port every Saturday morning's Tide, calling at Douglas, Isle of Man, on her passage out and home. The time of leaving Dublin may be known at the office of the Agent, J. R. Pim, 11, Eden Quay. N.B. Both the Countess of Lonsdale and St. Andrew carry Female Stewards, to wait upon Ladies. For further information apply to G. DOWSON, 8, Goree Piazza, Liverpool, or ...

[from Gore's Liverpool General Advertiser - Thursday 14 April 1836]:
SALE, The Steam-packet SAINT ANDREW, Burthen per register 83 tons, with an engine of 50-horse power. This vessel is now plying between Whitehaven, Scotland, and Liverpool; it is in excellent order; has most comfortable accommodation for passengers; draws little water, and is in every respect a most desirable steam-packet for any trade suitable to her burthen. Further particulars may known on application to Fisher and Stewart, Whitehaven, or to WILLIAM DOWSON, 8. Goree-piazzas.

[from Liverpool Standard and General Commercial Advertiser - Friday 16 September 1836]:
The St Andrew, (steamer) hence and Gibraltar, at Barcelona.

Wooden steamer Earl of Lonsdale, built T & J Brocklebank, Whitehaven, 1834, 250 grt, 150 nrt, 125.4 x 20.1 x 13.4 ft, 160 hp engines, paddles, owned Whitehaven Navigation Co., registered Whitehaven May 1835. Sold 1853 for use in Mediterranean. She is listed as passenger certified at Liverpool in 1853, and registered there in 1855. More Details

[from Liverpool Albion - Tuesday 01 November 1836]:
Friday. Oct 28. ... Coastwise: Earl of Lonsdale, Marshall, Whitehaven. .... Countess of Cassillis, Harrison, [81 tons, reg Whitehaven] for Belfast, was brought into this port by the steamer Earl of Lonsdale, with her ballast shifted and six feet of water in the hold
Wednesday Oct 26. .. Coastwise. ...Countess of Lonsdale, Richards, Whitehaven.

[from Liverpool Standard and General Commercial Advertiser - Tuesday 04 January 1853]:
THE STEAMER EARL OF LONSDALE commenced plying betwixt this port and the Bay of Luce on Saturday. It is intended to call at Portwilliam, Stairhaven, and Drummore periodically during the season.

[from Cumberland Pacquet, and Ware's Whitehaven Advertiser - Tuesday 01 March 1853]:
The Whitehaven Steam Navigation Company have within the past week disposed of their strong and faithfully-built steamer, the Earl of Lonsdale. We understand the Earl is intended to ply between ports in the Mediterranean, and that she will forthwith leave for the scene of her future labours.

Earl of Lonsdale, master Grenfell, reported at Gibraltar, 17th September 1853, having called into Hayle for coal 3rd September, en route. In 1854 left Gibraltar towing the Cornwall Transport - as part of the Crimean war effort. Mentioned in newspapers up until 1859.

Back to index

Iron steamer Queen, built Vernon, Liverpool, 1844, 434grt, 304nrt, 158.5 x 23.5 x 13.4, 180hp engine, paddles, ON 9235, owned Whitehaven Steam Navigation Co., registered Whitehaven 1835, remained on Whitehaven - Liverpool service until 1873. Launched as Ocean Queen. 14 December 1866, collision between Whitehaven and tug Retriever towing ship Hannibal off Liverpool. Queen is reported as resuming excursions by mid 1867, still owned Whitehaven Steam Packet Company, last newspaper mention on Liverpool - Whitehaven route seems to be August 1873. MNL gives owned J & I Hodgson, Whitehaven, to 1872, then registered Ardrossan, owned Robert Henderson, Belfast. More detail.

[from Liverpool Albion - Monday 16 December 1844]:
LAUNCH OF AN IRON STEAM-SHIP. - On Saturday a splendid iron steam-ship, built by Messrs. Vernon for the Whitehaven Steam Navigation Company, was launched from their building yard, Barrack-street. She is a fine built vessel, of 450 tons burthen and 200 horse-power, and in model is a perfect beauty, having a particularly fine entrance and a clear run aft. Her engines are the first pair which have yet been made on the direct action system for actual service. Her joints are all over-lapt and double rivetted, and are considered best calculated for heavy service. Her figure-head is a beautiful carving of her Majesty the Queen, and is an exceedingly correct representation of the royal personage. From the figure there is a scroll running down to the hawse-holes. The vessel has splendidly carved quarter galleries and an elegantly-decorated square stern. Her cabins are most superb, and will be fitted-up with papier maché, the pictorial portion being by Messrs. Jennins and Betterage, of Birmingham and London, and the ornamental by our townsman, Mr. Keys, of Bold-street. The cabins are calculated to accommodate fifty passengers, and her berths are of the first order. She is built with Kennedy and Vernon's patent iron, for sides, frames, and deck-beams, which combine great strength with small weight. She is, we suppose, nearly double the size of the Whitehaven craft, and, no doubt, when she arrives in that port will create no little surprise. Her commander is Captain Thompson, late of the steamer Earl of Lonsdale. At the hour appointed for the launch, two o clock, a numerous assemblage had congregated in the building-yard to witness the interesting spectacle. Amongst the spectators were many of the fair sex and some of the principal commercial men of Liverpool. An Indian prince, named Mohan Lal, from the neighbourhood of Afghanistan, was introduced by the Mayor to the company present. The Indian was exceedingly interested and inquisitive about the mode of launching, which was fully explained to him by Mr. John Vernon, one of the firm. Precisely at ten minutes after two the words "down dagger" were given, and, the bottle being broken by Miss Dowson, the fair daughter of the agent of the company in this port, the gallant ship, as if "a thing of life", obeyed the command and glided gracefully from her cradle into the watery element, amid the cheers and plaudits of the assembled multitude who had met to witness the "Ocean Queen" wedded to the waves. We understand that the vessel has been built under the immediate inspection of Mr. Grantham, author of "Iron as a material for Ship-building", who is the mechanical consulting engineer for the company.

[from Cumberland Pacquet, and Ware's Whitehaven Advertiser - Tuesday 17 March 1846]:
WHITEHAVEN STEAM NAVIGATION COMPANY'S STEAMERS. QUEEN. S V. Thompson, Commander, and EARL OF LONSDALE, James Kennedy. Commander, will, during March, perform the following Voyages between Whitehaven and Liverpool, with or without Pilot,...

[from Whitehaven News - Thursday 22 March 1860]:
The sale of the steamer Whitehaven was announced by us a few weeks ago; and Monday last, at a special meeting of the shareholders of the company [Whitehaven Steam Navigation], it was unanimously resolved to offer for sale the steamer Queen also. Since the sale of the Whitehaven, the Queen has been regularly trading between this port and Liverpool, Belfast, and Dublin. Yet, withal, it would appear that the vessel does not promise to be a paying concern. Assuredly, it is not the good price which the company obtained for the Whitehaven that induced them to offer for sale her sister vessel.

[from Liverpool Shipping Telegraph and Daily Commercial Advertiser - Saturday 15 December 1866]:
FRIGHTFUL COLLISION IN THE CHANNEL. REPORTED LOSS OF LIFE. A shocking occurrence took place last evening near the Queen's Channel Bar, resulting in the almost complete wreck of the Whitehaven steamer Queen, together with the death one of her crew, and, it is also feared, the loss of some of the passengers.
It appears that the Queen left the Clarence Dock with the afternoon tide for Whitehaven, having on board an ordinary cargo and between 50 and 60 passengers, including several women and children [Captain John Metcalf]. She continued her voyage in safety until she reached the Queen's Channel Bar about 20 minutes past six, when the officers in charge observed a large ship approaching in tow of a tug. This vessel proved to be the Hannibal, bound from this port for Calcutta, which left the Mersey, a few days since in charge of the steamtug Retriever, but in consequence of the severity of the weather had been compelled to return, after reaching almost as far as Holyhead. Both vessels were burning their signal lights at the time, but, as they were in the act of crossing the bar, they came into collision with a frightful crash. The port paddle-box of the steamer was smashed to atoms, and the starboard paddle was also injured. The bows of the ship extended almost across the steamer's deck, and, with the exception of the funnel, the whole of the gear of the Queen was destroyed, the deck having the appearance of a complete wreck. As might be imagined, the consternation was terrible, the panic being increased by the fearful screams of the women and children who expected every moment that the steamer would founder, but fortunately the Retriever succeeded in bringing her up to the landing-stage, and disembarking the injured and affrighted passengers. Fears, however, are entertained that in the anxiety to escape from the steamer, some of the passengers have perished. On reaching the stage, one of the crew of the steamer, who was frightfully crushed, died [Andrew Jessop].

Back to index

Iron steam dredge for Whitehaven, built Neath Abbey 1848, 16 hp, length 90ft, 33 buckets. [a vessel named Charlotte of 88grt is listed as built by Neath Abbey in 1848 - possibly this vessel]

[from Whitehaven Advertiser - Tuesday 27 June 1848]:
Chairman said a letter had been received from the Neath Abbey Company, stating that the steam dredge would be ready in six weeks. After some conversation the new mud-boats were ordered to be used for taking out the mud from the North Harbour, the steam-tug to be employed towing them out. The Chairman said there was a hopper that wanted repairing.

[from Carlisle Journal - Friday 01 December 1848]:
New Steam Dredge for Whitehaven. The new iron steam dredge for cleaning out and deepening the harbour, arrived at Whitehaven on Monday afternoon last, in tow by the Liverpool steam tug, Defiance. She has been built at Neath, is a fine looking vessel, being ninety feet long, has thirty-three large iron buckets, attached, is worked by an engine of sixteen horse power, and is expected, when in good working order, to lift about one hundred tons. Her first work will be to deepen the north harbour eight feet, which is to be commenced with forthwith, and which, when done, will afford a great deal of additional berths for shipping.

Back to index

Iron steamer Whitehaven, built Vernon, Liverpool, 1848, 84nrt, 181 x 24ft, engines by Butterly, Derby, owned Whitehaven Steam Navigation Co., registered Whitehaven 1848, 333 tons, ON 9221, latest MNL listing 1860. In 1860 rebuilt by Jack, Victoria Engine works, Liverpool: lengthened to 225ft, breadth 25.4ft, now 687 grt. also new boilers. Probably sold foreign 1861.

[from Liverpool Mail - Saturday 10 June 1848]:
THE NEW IRON STEAMER WHITEHAVEN. This splendid ship, which was built for the Whitehaven Steam Navigation Company, to run to Whitehaven in conjunction with the Queen, was launched from the building-yard of Thos. Vernon and Company, in the month of December last, made a short trial trip on Wednesday last down the North Channel and back. Several nautical and scientific gentlemen interested in her success were on board. The boat trip was most agreeable, and the speed attained, under some adverse circumstances, was such that there can be no doubt that she will take her place among the fastest and most beautiful of our mercantile fleet as she in reality does amongst the most beautiful in appearance. She was modelled by Mr. Grantham, C.E., and built by Messrs. Vernon and Co. The engines, on the oscillating principle, were constructed by the Butterly Company, Derbyshire, and the whole vessel, whether in hull, machinery, fittings, and decorations, reflects the highest credit upon the respective artists. She is neatly rigged as a three masted schooner, and her dimensions are as follow: Length of keel, 170 feet; over all, 200 feet; breadth of beam, 25 feet ; depth of hold, 13 feet; measurement, (old), 520 tons; engines, with tubular boilers, 280 horsepower.
The cabins are richly and elaborately adorned, and finished in the Flemish style of decoration; and the chasteness of the designs, as well as the finish, reflect the highest credit upon Mr. White, of Duke-street, by whom they were executed. The companion, or entrance to the cabins, is roomy, and chastely decorated in the style which is adopted in the cabins themselves. It is lighted at either end by a stained glass window, enriched. On one of these windows is a female figure of Commerce, and on the other a similar figurative representation of Peace. The square pillars terminating the balustrades of the stair are rich carvings from the solid oak. We have seen the splendour of many cabins in this port, but anything to equal the rich and luxuriant decorations of the Whitehaven we have never beheld. The ground work of the walls - or, as they are technically termed, the bulkheads, is veneered work in mahogany and rosewood, the upper paneling being enriched by beautiful enamelled paintings on papier maché, enclosed within boldly projecting golden framework, supported by pilasters which are surrounded with trusses, carved in the first style of art. The doors to the respective private cabins are perforated panels, backed by silk drapery. The ceiling is also finely carved in cones, graining, &c., and the cornices are carved and gilded. This gorgeous apartment is lighted by two large and elegant skylights, six stern windows, and four side ports. The skylights are fitted up with beautiful stained glass, containing emblazoned coats of arms of the various towns and ports which the vessel will visit in her course; emblematical and appropriate female figures representing Britannia, Caledonia, Hibernia, and Columbia; heads of celebrated navigators, &c. The paintings on the panels comprise two large paintings: The parting of Hector and Andromache at the Gates of Troy, from Homer's Illiad; The hostile meeting between the Romans and Sabines, between the Capitoline and the Quirinal Hills, from Gibbon's Rome; both subjects as well as others chosen by the captain of the ship; in addition to these there is a view of Liverpool, by Barrow, and various scenes from the lake district of Cumberland. The furniture, which is of massive mahogany, is unique, and in perfect harmony with the style of the decorations.
The Whitehaven made but a short trip on Wednesday, round the Formby Light Ship and back, as she had to proceed to Whitehaven next morning. The engines made about twenty strokes per minute, but when all the arrangements are completed they will make about twenty-two, which will produce a great speed. As it was, she rapidly passed several steamers, which are considered to be fast goers. The vessel is commanded by Capt Thompson, formerly of the Queen, belonging to the same company, a gentleman of long experience on that particular coast. She has already made an excellent journey to Whitehaven and back. We wish her every success.

[from Cumberland Pacquet, and Ware's Whitehaven Advertiser - Tuesday 06 June 1848]:
GREAT REDUCTION FARES BY THE WHITEHAVEN STEAM NAVIGATION COMPANY. Steam Communication from Whitehaven to Liverpool and Belfast. THE Fares by the Whitehaven Steam Navigation Company's Steamers, WHITEHAVEN, (New Ship), S. V. Thompson, Commander, which splendid Steamer will shortly be placed on the Station, QUEEN, James Kennedy, Commander, and EARL of LONSDALE, John Richards, Commander, are greatly reduced, being now only: Between Whitehaven and Liverpool, Cabin, 8s, Fore Ditto, 3s 6d. Between Whitehaven and Belfast, Cabin, 8s, Fore Ditto, 3s. Children under Fourteen Years of Age to pay Half Fare. ... Three voyages weekly to Liverpool, one to Belfast.

[from Gore's Liverpool General Advertiser - Thursday 01 July 1858]:
For SALE by Private Treaty, The first class iron paddle-wheel Steamer WHITEHAVEN. Dimensions:- Length 181 feet, breadth 24 feet, depth 13 feet 6 inches; 84 tons register; has accommodation for about forty cabin and 200 steerage passengers, and is well adapted for carrying live stock and merchandise; having been built for the cattle and coasting trade. This vessel has just undergone a thorough overhaul by Messrs. Fawcett, Preston and Co. Liverpool, at great expense, and is in every respect in find-rate order. Apply to Robert Henderson, Belfast, Fisher & Steward, Whitehaven, or WM. DOWSON and SON, 39, Oldhall-street, Liverpool. [also for sale January 1860]

[from Carlisle Journal - Friday 17 February 1860]:
The steamer Whitehaven was sold in Liverpool on Thursday, and will not again ply between Whitehaven and Liverpool.

[from Liverpool Daily Post - Wednesday 07 November 1860]:
TRIAL TRIP OF THE STEAMER WHITEHAVEN. Yesterday, the magnificent iron paddle wheel steamship, Whitehaven, went on her trial trip, and the most sanguine expectations of her owner, Mr. James Jack, were then realised. It would seem that Mr. James Jack, of the Victoria Engine Works, Sandon Lock, purchased this splendid vessel at auction; and, from her appearance, inferred that he could make her one of the very best steamers afloat. She was brought to Liverpool, and lengthened 45 feet - 15 feet abaft, and 30 feet before the paddle boxes, her length being now 225 feet, beam 25 feet 4 inches, and depth 15 feet. She has spacious 'tween decks 7 feet 9 inches in height; her gross register tonnage is 687 tons, and she is estimated to carry 800 head of cattle, for which her accommodation is of very superior nature. The main deck has been raised 18 inches, her draught of water lightened 14.5 inches, and she is fitted with very powerful engines. Her boilers are increased in size, so that she may steam more fully, and thus her engines are possessed of an effective power of 800 horses, with a pressure of 20 lbs. All the upper works have been renewed, and the 'tween decks and ceilings thoroughly renovated. Indeed, so thoroughly is she altered, that we scarcely knew her again yesterday. The saloon was always a pretty specimen of the decorator's art, but it has now transcended its former excellence. In a word, it is a gem of art, and reflects infinite credit upon the artist. The Whitehaven went upon her trial trip yesterday, and had on board a large party of gentlemen from Liverpool, Manchester, and various towns in Ireland. She glided away from the Great Landing stage in a majestic style shortly before twelve o'clock, having been detained nearly two hours by the dense fog which overspread the river. She steamed down the channel cautiously, but when abreast the Rock Lighthouse, although the dense fog remained behind, seaward it was as clear as one could desire. The noble vessel soon gained way, and instead of a speed of about nine knots hour, which was her rate previous to lengthening, she attained eleven knots against the tide. At the Bell-buoy, the Whitehaven was timed, and we found that she ran the measured mile in 4 minutes 7 seconds; on the return she accomplished the feat in 4 minutes 4 seconds; and in the third run it was exceedingly gratifying to find that the distance had been run in precisely 4 minutes, with the tide against her. The pressure was 15 lbs., and the number of revolutions 23. ...

Back to index

Wooden steamer Prince Albert, built Kennedy, Lumley & Co, Whitehaven 1840, 87grt, 37 nrt, 82.1 x 15.0 x 8.4 ft, engines 65hp by Tulk & Ley, ON 9377, owned by Trustees of the Harbour & Town of Whitehaven to 1868. Excursions to Dumfries and Fleetwood 1841. Cumbria register states broken up at Liverpool 1870. More detail.

[from Cumberland Pacquet, and Ware's Whitehaven Advertiser - Tuesday 30 April 1839]:
The keel of the new steam tug, intended for our harbour, has been laid down in the building yard of Messrs. Lumley, Kennedy and Co., and will be proceeded with rapidly as circumstances will permit.

[from Carlisle Patriot - Saturday 29 August 1840]:
The new steam tug belonging to Whitehaven returned from her first trip to Dumfries on Tuesday week, having performed the voyage in admirable style.

[from Cumberland Pacquet, and Ware's Whitehaven Advertiser - Tuesday 09 November 1841]:
Yesterday was the first day fixed upon for the sale of the Prince Albert steam tug belonging to this port. Though her owners have had several offers to treat in private, there were no public bidders and consequently the vessel is still the property of the original company.

[from Cumberland Pacquet, and Ware's Whitehaven Advertiser - Tuesday 25 January 1842]:
STEAM TUG, PRINCE ALBERT. ALL Persons having any Demands against the Steam Tug, PRINCE ALBERT, are requested send in an Account of the same on or before the 1st Day of February, to Mr. John Cowman, No. 2, West Strand, or 35, Senhouse Street, in order that the same may be examined and Paid. Whitehaven, January 20th, 1842
  CHANGE OF ROUTE. THE WHITEHAVEN STEAM NAVIGATION COMPANY Packets will perform the undermentioned Voyages: Two Voyages Weekly between Liverpool and Whitehaven, a Voyage once a Fortnight between Whitehaven and Belfast, and a Voyage once a Fortnight between Liverpool and Workington or Maryport, alternately, landing Passengers at Whitehaven in passing from Liverpool. ...

Note: Chester built steam tug Dairy Maid, was hired to serve as a tug at Maryport, while Rambler was under repair, in 1851, but had to be rescued by the Prince Albert.

Note: the Dublin based steam tug Lady Charlotte was chartered in 1854 to provide a service while Prince Albert was under repair. She sank 29th April 1854 en route.

[from Cumberland Pacquet, and Ware's Whitehaven Advertiser - Tuesday 30 June 1868]:
STEAM TUG FOR SALE. To be SOLD by AUCTION, on TUESDAY, the 1 July, 1868, at the Albion Hotel, King Street, Whitehaven, at Seven o'Clock in the Evening, by order of the Trustees of the Town and Harbour, All that good VESSEL or STEAM TUG "PRINCE ALBERT," of Whitehaven, 64 Horse Power, nett Register Tonnage 37, and at present in Working Order. Further particulars may obtained from Mr. JOHN COLLINS, the Secretary to the Trustees or from Mr NICHOLSON, the Harbour Master.

Back to index

Wooden paddle steamer Union, built Scott, Greenock, 1833, 100 tons(om), 111 x 17.6 x 11.6 ft, owned Workington & Maryport SN Co., Service Liverpool - Workington - Maryport. Advertized until November 1841. Reboilered by Fawcett & Preston in 1837/8. More details.

[from Cumberland Pacquet, and Ware's Whitehaven Advertiser - Tuesday 23 April 1833]:
The new steam-packet, Union, arrived Workington from Glasgow on the 15th instant.

[from Cumberland Pacquet, and Ware's Whitehaven Advertiser - Tuesday 08 July 1834]:
STEWARD WANTED. WANTED, immediately, board of the Steam Packet UNION, a STEWARD, who will have the Benefit of supplying the Cabin. He must produce Recommendations from his last Employers. Apply (if Letter, to be post-paid) to Mr. GEO. IRVIN, Agent, Workington. Workington, 7th July, 1834.

[from Cumberland Pacquet, and Ware's Whitehaven Advertiser - Tuesday 03 October 1837]:
STEAM COMMUNICATION BETWEEN WORKINGTON, MARYPORT, AND LIVERPOOL. THE Steam Packet UNION, S. T. Mills, Master, will sail between WORKINGTON, MARYPORT, and LIVERPOOL, at the undermentioned periods. The Union is known to be a remarkably safe and swift boat (generally performing her passage in ten hours and a half); she is fitted up in a superior manner, with every attention to the comfort and convenience of Passengers. Shippers will find this a most desirable conveyance, there being no dues at either Workington or Maryport; ...

[from Liverpool Albion - Tuesday 14 November 1837]:
THE UNION STEAMER. TO THE EDITOR OF THE ALBION. Permit me, through the medium of your paper, to correct the erroneous statements which have appeared in various journals relating the steam-packet Union, of which vessel I am master, on her late voyage from this port to Maryport. We sailed from the George's Pier, at a little before ten on the morning of the 25 th ulto., with a strong wind about W.N.W., and a heavy sea, which increased as we proceeded. When about fifteen miles north of the Floating Light, the vessel was struck by a tremendous sea, which caused her to leak very much and put out the fires. Night was coming on, and, as the gale continued to increase, our situation became most alarming; it required all our exertions to keep the vessel free, and, having only our canvas to trust to, we set as much sail as she could carry, and bore away for Pile of Foudrey [sic Piel]. About eleven o'clock we discovered Pile Light, which was hailed with gladness by all on board. Aided by Divine Providence, we reached the harbour, and about half-past one in the morning I ran the vessel on the ground. Finding that we were able to gain upon the leak and keep her afloat, we swung her off into deep water again as the tide flowed, and engaged men from the shore to relieve our own crew, which by this time was much fatigued with pumping and bailing. As the steam-boat Windermere was lying in the harbour, at a short distance from us, I hailed the master, and requested that he would tow us on a bank to windward: he consented, and we took up our anchor; but, owing to the strong wind that prevailed, the attempt did not succeed, for the Windermere was obliged to let go of us, and we again came to anchor. In about half an hour, I weighed anchor a second time and ran my vessel on a bank to leeward, without any further assistance, and succeeded in finding out the leak when the tide ebbed. On the following morning, we backed the vessel off again, and were prepared to proceed on our voyage. By publishing these facts in your journal, you will greatly oblige, sir, your very humble Servant, SAMPSON MILLS, Steam-boat Union, Liverpool, 9th Nov., 1837.

[from Gore's Liverpool General Advertiser - Thursday 01 February 1838]:
STEAM COMMUNICATION Between LIVERPOOL, WORKINGTON & MARYPORT. The powerful Steam-packet UNION. S. T. Mills. Master, Having been refitted with new boilers by Messrs. Fawcett and Co., and completely equipped. will resume her station on Tuesday next, and sail from the Brunswick Basin, calling at George's Pier, WORKINGTON and MARYPORT, and return the following appointed times. ...
[later adverts: Edward Robinson, master, continue to Nov 1841 when removed from station]

Wooden steam tug Derwent, built Woodhouse, South Shields, 1849, 51grt, 18nrt, 73.8 x 15.7 x 8.7ft, 35hp, paddles, ON 14609, owned Port & Harbour of Workington. Broken up 1887. On fire 1849, but repaired. More details, with photo

[from Morning Herald (London) - Thursday 01 November 1849]:
DESTRUCTION OF WORKINGTON STEAMTUG BY FIRE. We recently announced the arrival at Workington of a new steam-tug, the Derwent, for the use of the harbour, in assisting to tow vessels in and out of port. On Tuesday night last, at about eleven o'clock, the vessel was discovered by a young man residing in the immediate vicinity to be on fire, and an alarm was instantly given. The flames, however, rapidly gained upon her timbers, so that the fire had made considerable head, before assistance could be procured to extinguish it. Fortunately, the tide was beginning to flow and there was an unusually heavy fresh from the river, so that while the inhabitants of the vicinity who hastened to the spot were discharging buckets of water from above, a number of carpenters and other parties in boats succeeded in scuttling the tug, and thereby sinking her and putting a stop to the conflagration.
The damage sustained by the vessel is considerable. Her decks and beams have been completely destroyed by the flames, and it is believed that many of her timbers will have to be replaced. The present estimate is, that as it has not been found possible effectively to repair her without removing her boiler and machinery, the cost will be about £400.
On an investigation into the circumstances of the fire, instituted by the trustees of the harbour, it has been ascertained that the master, engineman, and a youth employed on board the tug, left her between six and seven o'clock on Tuesday evening, then lying in the dock, between the harbour-house and Messrs. Lambfort's shipbuilding yard, having seen that everything was safe on board. At a quarter to ten the same night, the harbour master walked along the quay, within two or three yards of the vessel, when she appeared perfectly safe, and there was not the slightest smell or other indication of any mischief being about to happen. From these and other circumstances, the trustees have come to the conclusion that the occurrence has originated in the diabolical act of an incendiary; and they have, accordingly, offered a reward of £50 for the apprehension of the culprit.
The fire commenced between the forecastle bulkhead and the grate, so that it could not have been occasioned by the handful of fire, covered with a few shovels of small coals, slacked with water, left in the engine room; and, in further corroboration of this fact, the grate with the coals in the engine-room was afterwards found in precisely the same state as it had been left on the preceding evening. It is supposed that the incendiary obtained access between the decks by forcing himself through an opening which was found to exist near the funnel, whence he could easily enter the engine-room, and proceed from thence to the place where the fire appears to have broken out.
We regret to say that no clue has been as yet discovered likely to lead to the detection of the perpetrator of this abominable outrage; and it is probable that the real origin of the fire will remain a mystery.
The tug has been taken on Messrs. Peile, Scott, and Co.'s patent slip, to undergo the necessary repairs as speedily as possible.

[from Carlisle Patriot - Saturday 02 February 1850]:
The Workington Steam Tug. That useful appendage of the harbour, the Steam Tug Derwent, ever since her arrival his been subject to an unfortunate series of mishaps. First she was noted for the frequency of her thumps against the quays, then she was burned to the water's edge, a few hundreds expended on repairs, and a reward of £50 offered for the apprehension of the "incendiary". Nothing further worthy of special notice occurred until Thursday, the 24th ult, when about seven o'clock, a.m, her steam being up, the skipper proceeded to sea to heave the accumulated ashes overboard. The Cherub, Ditchburn master, was approaching the port with a fine breeze at the rate of six knots an hour, exhibiting the usual signal for the harbour boat to assist in berthing. By some unexplained means the steamer got across the vessel's bow and was struck, almost capsized, and narrowly escaped going to the bottom. Her engines being incapacitated by the shock, she was towed into the harbour to rest for a season and undergo the needful repairs.

Back to index

Wooden steam tug Rambler, built William Cooper, North Shields, 1846, 55grt, 15nrt, 69.9 x 14.0 x 8.0ft, 28 hp engines, paddle, ON 12603, Owned Ismay, Maryport, registered Maryport from December 1846. Later owned Maryport Steam Shipping Co. Broken up 1883. Damaged by fire 22 Nov 1849. In MNL to 1883. More details.

[from Carlisle Journal - Friday 06 October 1848]:
The large and powerful steam-tug, named "The Hercules," [possibly this] has arrived at Maryport, from Liverpool, to supply the place of the tug belonging to the former port, which is now undergoing repair.

[from Northern Star and Leeds General Advertiser - Saturday 24 November 1849]:
STEAM TUG BURNED AT MARYPORT. - About half-past two o'clock on Tuesday afternoon, a volume of dense smoke was observed to burst out from the decks of the steam-tug Rambler, then lying in the harbour. The tide was out at the time, the master and the engineers having completed their morning's work had gone to dinner. In a few minutes, several parties interested in the vessel were assembled, and soon ascertained that she was on fire; no time was lost in getting the town's engine down into the bed of the river, worked by an efficient body of carpenters; and, by the aid of ship-masters and other volunteers, in an hour the fire was entirely subdued. The damage done was not so great as might have been anticipated, being confined to the cabin and after-part of the vessel, and differing from the case at Workington, in being beyond any doubt entirely accidental, having arisen from a spark communicating to the patent felt surrounding the boiler.

[from Carlisle Patriot - Saturday 08 June 1850]:
Pleasure Trip to Annan. The owners of the steam-tug Rambler, of Maryport, gave a pleasure trip to Annan on Wednesday last. The hour fixed for sailing was 5 o'clock a.m., soon after which, the Rambler steamed out of the harbour, and arrived at Annan Waterfoot [a pier near the mouth of the River Annan] in little more than two hours. After visiting the town of Annan, the party proceeded to Dumfries by rail, and visited most of the principal places in and about that town, and returned in the evening, arriving at about 10. The day was remarkably fine, and the party, numbering about seventy, of the owners of the vessel and their friends, amongst whom were several ladies, were highly gratified with their excursion. The Maryport brass band was in attendance, and played several popular airs which contributed greatly to the pleasures of the day.

On 20 April 1851, paddle steamer, Dairymaid, of Chester, was voyaging from Liverpool to Maryport to cover for PS Rambler which needed repairs. She became leaky and was abandoned - with a subsequent dispute about salvage rights.

[from Maryport Advertiser - Friday 04 May 1883]:
STEAM TUG RAMBLER FOR SALE. be SOLD by AUCTION, at the ATHENEUM, MARYPORT, on FRIDAY, May 4th, 1883. The Steam-tug RAMBLER, of Maryport, with Hull, Boilers, and Machinery, as she now lies at Middleton's-yard. (Must be broken up on the spot). For further particulars apply to Mr. JOHN EDGAR, Shipbroker, or T. BOYD, Auctioneer. Sale at Three o'clock prompt.

Back to index

Carlisle Ship Canal.

A Ship canal was built in 1822/3 from a basin near Carlisle to the Solway Firth at Fisher's Cross, near Bowness. The seaward end became known as Port Carlisle.

The canal ran for 11.5 miles from its mouth at Port Carlisle (formerly Fishers Cross) to a city basin near the Carr's (presently McVitie's) biscuit factory. There were 8 locks and it was built 18 feet wide. Its opening was an appropriately grand event. Newspaper reports in 1823 estimated that around 20,000 people came out to watch a flotilla of 11 ships, bedecked with flags and wreathed with the smoke of cannon-fire, make a majestic progress along the canal and into the city. For many of these observers, the sight of masted sailing ships floating virtually beneath the city walls must have been a very exciting event. The important thing to note is that this was a ship canal, as in "Manchester Ship Canal" (though on perhaps a rather more modest scale). Though relatively small, the ships in the procession were ocean-going vessels, not mere barges, and ships from Carlisle were capable of trading into the Baltic and even across the Atlantic. They were hauled along the canal by horses.

Image of dock at Carlisle on opening ceremony in 1823

Few relics of the canal now remain. The curious may wonder how the Jovial Sailor pub came to stand in Port Road in Shaddongate. The old docks at Port Carlisle are still visible and may one day be suitable for restoration as a marina. A few strangely-featured bridges and buildings may still be observed in the fields between these two locations. But there is little now to show for such an enormous expenditure of effort. Nevertheless, the canal may be said to have left its mark in a much more substantial way, namely the modern city of Carlisle.

The Carlisle Canal was built to improve facilities for coastal craft from Liverpool, Ireland and Scottish ports already trading with the city via the Solway Firth and the River Eden. Various proposals were made, but the canal that opened in 1823 was eleven and a quarter miles long. From a wooden jetty at Fisher's Cross, renamed Port Carlisle, through the entrance lock and one other, the canal ran level for nearly six miles. Then followed six locks in one and a quarter miles, with a level stretch to Carlisle Basin. Packet boats and steamers ran to Liverpool from 1826. Despite plans for improvements to navigation along the estuary, and to the docks at the canal entrance, the canal succumbed to competition from the railways and suffered the ultimate fate of being drained, filled in and converted to railway use from 1852.

The Carlisle Canal closed around 1853, replaced by a railway in 1854; traffic from Liverpool mostly went to Whitehaven and then on to Carlisle by railway when that line opened in 1850.

The need of an "out-port" for Carlisle was then taken by Silloth, which had better tidal access, and is still in use today (2023).

A curiosity: wreck of Hannah 1824 from ice in the canal.

In 1826 two wooden paddle steamers, Solway and Cumberland were ordered to provide a service from Port Carlisle to other ports. They were built at Holyhead by Grayson & Howson, Grayson also having a shipyard at Liverpool. The vessels sailed to London to have their engines fitted by Boulton & Paul.

The arrival of Solway at Bowness [Port Carlisle] in July 1826 is described in the local papers with great enthusiasm.

When the Newcastle to Carlisle railway was completed around 1834, two new paddle steamers were bought, by different companies, anticipating an increase in trade: Newcastle for the Carlisle and Liverpool Steam Navigation Company, and City of Carlisle for Carlisle and Annan Steam Navigation Company. At that time the Solway was transferred to other duties - such as running to Belfast. And the Cumberland was sold to Liverpool owners.

Back to index

Wooden steamer Elizabeth, reported 1832 as trading from Carlisle. Later, Elizabeth, Wright, is reported as trading - but not as a steamer - so maybe her engines were removed.

[from Carlisle Patriot - Saturday 11 August 1832]:
NEW STEAM PACKET. THE CARLISLE and WHITEHAVEN STEAM COMPANY, beg to inform the Public in general, that their new STEAM-PACKET, THE ELIZABETH, D. WRIGHT, MASTER, continues to ply weekly with Goods and Passengers from Carlisle, to Whitehaven, and Isle of Man, and Vice Versa; taking in passengers at Annan, Skinburness, Allonby, and Maryport. .....

[from Carlisle Patriot - Saturday 01 September 1832]:
Steam Packet Elizabeth, which plies between Carlisle and the Isle of Man, has encountered a succession of mishaps during her short career. In addition to several disasters at sea, she this week had the misfortune to have her boiler burst, whilst passing through one of the Canal Locks. The explosion, fortunately, was not violent, and no one was injured by it. We understand that the requisite repairs will be finished in few days.

Wooden steam tug Clarence, built Lang & Denny, Dumbarton, 1827, 60nrt, 92 x 16.3 x 8 ft, 45 hp engine by Napier, owned Napier for Clyde service. Then 1839 owned Carlisle Canal Co., registered Carlisle. 1847 owned Birkenhead, as Eastham Ferry, registered Liverpool. More details

[from Carlisle Journal - Saturday 03 November 1838]:
Steam Tug in Port Carlisle. We are glad to hear that the Canal Company have come to the resolution of purchasing a small steam tug, to run between Port Carlisle and Annan Waterfoot. This is a plan which we have often recommended; and are sure it will be attended with the most beneficial effects to the trade of this city.

[from Carlisle Patriot - Saturday 12 January 1839]:
New Steam Tug and Ferry Boat at Port Carlisle. We learn that the Carlisle canal company, in conjunction with the two steam companies, have purchased from Robert Napier, Esq., of Glasgow, a small steam boat, which is now receiving a new boiler, and is expected shortly at Port Carlisle. This has been long been wanted, and will, we have no doubt, prove a great accommodation by taking passengers to and from the large steamers in low tides, towing the steam company's lighters to and from Annan Waterfoot with goods and, during the summer season, she will ply daily between Port Carlisle and Annan Water Foot with passengers, suiting the arrival and sailing of the canal passage boat.

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

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

Back to index

Wooden steam tug Alice, built W Cooper & J Gardner, North Shields, 1843, 10nrt, 34 grt, 56 x 13 ft, engines 16nhp, paddle, by Conley & Sons, North Shields, ON 14922. Initially registered and owned at Newcastle. Bought 1846 by Annan & Liverpool Steam Navigation Co, registered Carlisle. For sale 1850, owned and registered at Preston from 1852. More details.
Also described as owned Carlisle and Liverpool Steam Navigation Co. Passenger tender and tug. Excursion advertised 1849. Note another, larger, steamer called Alice was active in the Mersey.

[from Carlisle Journal - Friday 04 August 1848]:
Steam Navigation. The annual inspection of the vessels belonging to the Carlisle, Annan, and Liverpool Steam Navigation Company, took place on Tuesday last. A large body of the proprietary proceeded to Port Carlisle, by the Canal Company's boat the "Swallow," which left the Canal Basin at eleven o'clock. At "the Port" it was a gala day. The "Royal Victoria" and the " Cumberland" arrived at the Port within few minutes of each other, the former having all her colours spread in the gayest fashion. The steam-tug "Alice" was waiting, with her steam up, and having taken the party on board, proceeded to meet and tow into port the Helena, a timber-laden vessel from America. This feat was accomplished in gallant style by the little steamer, and the party soon afterwards sat down to an excellent dinner on board the "Royal Victoria". The chair was ably filled by R Cowen, Esq., and amongst the guests the company had the honour of enumerating Mr. Miller and Mr. Penny, the celebrated engineers of London. The usual loyal toasts were given and responded to with more than common enthusiasm, and the evening was spent in a spirit of cordiality truly characteristic of the inhabitants of the "merrie city."

[from Gore's Liverpool General Advertiser - Thursday 07 March 1850]:
The Steam Tug ALICE, now lying at Port Carlisle; 56 feet long, 13 feet beam, and 7 feet depth of hold; has two circular boilers, and one engine 20 horse power; built at Shields in 1843. had new boilers and funnel, and the engine and hull put in thorough repair in 1849; tows well, and is an excellent sea boat, having been brought from Leith, round the Highlands of Scotland to Port Carlisle, December 1846. For further particulars and inventories apply to Messrs. Stuart and Simpson. 9, Clements-lane. Lombard-street, London; Mr. Edward Jobling, Steam Navigation Office, Carlisle: Mr. J. D. Thomson, 35, Water-street, Liverpool, or to J. H. RAYNER and Co. Brokers,

[from Preston Chronicle - Saturday 23 February 1856]:
ON SALE, BY PRIVATE TREATY, THE Steam Tug "ALICE," at present plying between Lytham and Preston. - Apply to ROBERT PARKER, 3, Chapel Walks, Preston.

Back to index

Steam tender/tug Engineer, used Port Carlisle from about 1849, previously on Tyne, 40hp. Not listed in Cumbria shipping register. A possible listing [built S Shields 1848, 24nrt, 78.5 x 16.7 ft, 28 hp paddles, wood, ON 7317, registered Sunderland].
A larger vessel, called Engineer, was active at Liverpool at similar dates.

Possibly the same vessel, when on the Tyne. [from Magnet (London) - Monday 04 September 1848]:
The steam boat Engineer was engaged by a publican at Walker, named George Spence, to make a trip to Hartlepool, and that accordingly she set sail with a good number of passengers. On her return at night, she was preceded over the bar by the steamboat Great Contest, and was followed by the Wonder, and it is suspected that these boats were trying each other's speed. In addition to these boats, on arriving at above Hebburn, the steam-ship Vesta ran up the river, and another steam-boat was towing a vessel down the river to sea. The Engineer had arrived at Hebburn Staith, when a sculler boat, containing the deceased parties, pushed from the shore, and a ship, it is supposed, having obstructed their view, they were not aware that the Engineer was proceeding up the river, till, having got nearly into the Channel, they descried it at about the distance of thirty or forty yards. They immediately hailed the steamer, when the engines were stopped; but, in consequence of the great way that the steamer had on her at the time, together with the sculler boat having got into the wake of the Great Contest and a strong wind prevailing from the north east, in ebb tide, and the number of vessels on the river, it was unable to make headway, and the steamer coming upon it, cut it completely in two. The individuals who were in it were, of course, thrown into the water, and though exertions were made to save them, by lowering down a boat and searching for them, they were both drowned.

[from Carlisle Journal - Friday 15 June 1849]:
Steam Tug in the Solway. We lately had occasion to notice the arrival at Port Carlisle of a small steam tug, the Engineer, and we are now glad to learn that during the short time she has been there, the advantage of a steam tug in the Solway has been shown in the most striking manner. This small steamer, of about 40 horse power, was brought round from the Tyne to be used as a tender to the large new iron steamer, Cumberland, plying from Port Carlisle and Annan to Liverpool twice a week, but when not required for this purpose we find her busily at work towing other vessels. Last week she towed a large foreign brig and several other vessels laden with coal and alabaster from Port Carlisle and Annan out to sea, thus enabling them to make a passage when, without such assistance, they must have remained at Annan Waterfoot, wind-bound. We understand it is intended to have a pleasure trip with her to Kirkcudbright to afford the inhabitants of Carlisle and Annan a day's excursion by sea and an opportunity of visiting some of the most beautiful and romantic scenery in Scotland. Arrangements will be made to leave Carlisle by the canal boat early in the morning, to embark on board the steam tug at Port Carlisle, and at once proceed on the voyage, which may take about three hours, leaving ample time for a pleasant ramble on the Scottish shore, and to return by the same route in the evening.

[from Carlisle Journal - Friday 06 July 1849]:
Pleasure Trip. A pleasure party started early on Friday morning last, the 25th ultimo, from Port Carlisle and Annan Waterfoot by the steam-tug Engineer, for Kirkcudbright; intending to spend several hours in viewing that beautifully situated and ancient burgh, and the objects of natural and historical interest in the vicinity, unfortunately, on the arrival of the steamer at the Manxman's Lake, at the mouth the river Dee, the tide had so far receded that she could not get up to the quay at the town. The party, under these circumstances, landed at the Lake, and were conveyed up to town in omnibusses and other conveyances, which were there to meet them. At five o'clock, they embarked amidst the cheers of hundreds of inhabitants who assembled at the quay, for the steamer had by this time come up, to bid them farewell, and with a salute from the battery on the Moat-brae [small mount west of Kirkcudbright]. This is the first pleasure trip to Kirkcudbright from the ports of Carlisle and Annan.

[from Carlisle Journal - Friday 20 July 1849]:
Pleasure Trip. On Monday, the 16th instant, the lovers of the picturesque residing at Port Carlisle, Annan, and Skinburness, had ample opportunity afforded them of indulging their taste in a cheap pleasure-trip, afforded by the Liverpool and Carlisle Steam-Navigation Company, in their tug, The Engineer, to Southerness, a small village in the vicinity of Criffel, Dumfriesshire [a hill near the coast]. After landing, which they did at about half-past twelve, the passage having occupied little more than three hours, the party divided, some proceeding to the beautiful village of Kirkbean [inland of Carsethorn], to see the grounds in its vicinity, others to Preston Mill, &c. At five, p.m., they proceeded on their way home, where they arrived in due time, highly delighted with their expedition. The arrangement in the vessel was all that could be desired and reflected great credit to Mr. Baxter, (the company's agent, at Annan,) with whom the trip originated.

[from Liverpool Mercury - Friday 02 August 1850]:
Steamer Cumberland from Liverpool to Annan,...... A powerful Steam Tender will convey Passengers, Live Stock, &c, from Port Carlisle to the Cumberland free of charge. .... The Lighters leave the Canal Basin at Carlisle, with Goods intended for the Steamer, at 10 o'clock on the day previous to the sailing from Annan. [same advert to August 1853, with steamer Newcastle not Cumberland]

[from Carlisle Journal - Friday 30 August 1850]:
Port Carlisle Races. ... The Engineer Steamer, Captain Grant, will leave Annan at eight o'Clock in the morning and return at Seven o'clock in the evening.

[from Carlisle Patriot - Saturday 19 July 1851]:
Port Carlisle Races: ... The Canal Passage Boat will Leave Carlisle on the Morning of the Races, 8 o'clock, and leave Port Carlisle at 7 o'clock. The Engineer Steamer, Capt. Grant, will leave Annan at 8 o'clock in the Morning and return at 7 o'clock in the Evening.

Back to index

Wooden paddle steamer Cumberland built Grayson & Howson, Holyhead 1826
201nrt, 238grt, 134.4 x 21.5ft.
Engines by Boulton & Paul of London
First owner: Carlisle and Liverpool Steam Navigation Co.
Sold 1835 to St George SPC, Dublin. Traded Dundalk. Reported as "of Dublin" taking troops from Greenock to Santander 1835.
Registered Liverpool from 1839 as barque (no engine) of 464 tons burthen.
Owned London 1845 as a square-rigged vessel, 521 tons burthen; reported lost 1850 off Santiago.
More detail

[from Cumberland Pacquet, and Ware's Whitehaven Advertiser - 08 August 1826]:
Saturday last, a new steam vessel, built on the plan, and of the same dimensions as the Solway, and intended for the Carlisle and Liverpool trade, was launched from the building yard of Grayson and Co. Holyhead.

[from Carlisle Journal - Saturday 15 March 1834]:
Carlisle. Arrived. Solway, Little (steamer); Cumberland, Sewell (steamer), goods, &c from Liverpool. Sailed. Solway, Little (steamer); Cumberland, Sewell (steamer), goods, &c. for Liverpool.

[from Liverpool Albion - Tuesday 24 March 1835]:
Liverpool. Sunday 22 March. Arrived. Cumberland, Little, Dundalk

[from Liverpool Standard and General Commercial Advertiser - Friday 28 February 1840]:
THE "GEORGE THE FOURTH". It will be in the recollection of our readers that a steam-ship of this name was converted into a sailing vessel, and most successfully, under the superintendence of Mr. R. Talbot, shipbuilder, who has since also reconstructed the "Cumberland" in the same manner. Both ships have turned out to be "clippers".

[from London Evening Standard - Monday 21 January 1850]:
Manilla Nov 27. We also regret to announce the loss of the ship Cumberland, Lewis, of London, laden with a cargo of rice from Bally [sic, Bali?], bound to Hong Kong; the Cumberland foundered about 40 miles from the port of Santiago [sic, not located; possibly Santiago Fort on waterfront at Manilla?]; two passengers (one being Mr Dawson, the owner), and 28 men were saved, but the captain and 5 seamen perished.

Back to index

Wooden steamer Newcastle, built 1834 by Seddon & Leadley, Birkenhead, 390 tons, 145 x 24 ft, engines 150 hp, for the Carlisle and Liverpool Steam Navigation Company, ON 54. Later described as 160hp engines by Messrs. Bury, Curtis, and Kennedy [Liverpool builders of railway and marine steam engines]. For sale 1847 and seems to have been used for various temporary services and then Liverpool- Mediterranean, then back on services from the Solway until August 1854. Lloyd's register 1855 on gives her owner as North of Europe Steam Navigation Company, registered London. More detail.

[from Carlisle Patriot - Saturday 01 March 1834]:
New Steam Vessel. On Tuesday last was launched from the yard of Messrs. Seddon and Laidley[sic], Liverpool, a Steam-boat of 390 tons register, possessing a fine model, great length and capacity, and with an amazingly light draught of water, having a full-length male figure, in undress costume, and will be propelled by two engines of 75 horse-power. The day was uncommonly fine, and the vessel went from the stocks into the briny element, amid the shouts of the assembled multitude. She was named the Newcastle. She will be registered at Carlisle, and employed by the Carlisle and Liverpool Steam Company.

[from Liverpool Albion - Monday 24 February 1834]:
  On Tuesday next, at twelve o'clock, will be launched from the yard of Messrs. Seddon and Leadley, North Birkenhead, a beautiful steam packet for the Carlisle trade, and to be commanded by Captain Sewell.

[from Liverpool Standard and General Commercial Advertiser - Friday 28 February 1840]:
THE "GEORGE THE FOURTH". It will be in the recollection of our readers that a steam-ship of this name was converted into a sailing vessel, and most successfully, under the superintendence of Mr. R. Talbot, shipbuilder, who has since also reconstructed the "Cumberland" in the same manner. Both ships have turned out to be "clippers".

[from Carlisle Journal - Saturday 12 December 1846]:
The Newcastle Steamer. We understand that the steamer Newcastle, of this port, which was disabled on her voyage from Belfast in the late gale, is now in the Graving Dock, at Liverpool, receiving a thorough overhaul in her hull and machinery, under the superintendence of Lloyd's surveyor, and that the owners have engaged the new iron steamer Fire Fly, to ply between Port Carlisle and Liverpool and Belfast during the winter. The Fire Fly is an exceedingly handsome vessel, and considered one of the fastest afloat. She has large cabins, elegantly fitted up; also spacious room forward for the steerage passengers, and her draught of water being very light, she is well adapted for the navigation of the Solway.

[from Liverpool Mercantile Gazette and Myers's Weekly Advertiser - Monday 31 January 1848]:
For SALE or CHARTER, the well known Steamer NEWCASTLE; 231 tons register; with engines of 160 horse power, by Messrs Bury, Curtis and Kennedy; This vessel has just had a thorough overhaul in her hull and machinery, and stands A 1 at Lloyds for nine years;...

[Iron paddle steamer Fire Fly, ON 8070, built Tod M'Gregor, 1845 for Ardrossan - Belfast service. More detail]

[Carlisle Journal - Saturday 08 May 1847]:
FIRST-CLASS STEAMER FROM PORT CARLISLE TO LIVERPOOL AND BELFAST. Performing the passage in one tide. The Splendid and Fast-Sailing New Iron Steamers NEWCASTLE, Capt. Burton, FIRE FLY, Capt. Clarke, Plies between PORT CARLISLE and LIVERPOOL, calling at ANNAN and off WHITEHAVEN, (Weather permitting,) ... [from Jan 1847; latest June 1847 when Albert, Capt Dant, replaced Fire Fly]

[from Shipping and Mercantile Gazette - Tuesday 16 November 1847]:
CARLISLE. FOR SALE or CHARTER, the well-known Steamer NEWCASTLE, 231 tons register, with engines 160 horse-power, by Messrs. Bury, Curtis, and Kennedy. This vessel has just had a thorough overhaul in her hull and machinery, and now stands A 1 at Lloyd's for nine years; she sails fast, carries a very large cargo for her tonnage, and having roomy decks, is well adapted for carrying stock, for which she has a high character; her cabins are all new and handsome, and upon the whole she is a most useful boat. Further particulars may known on applying to JOHN CARRUTHERS, Steam Packet-office, Carlisle. Steam Packet-office, Carlisle, Oct. 4, 1847. [advert appeared until March 1848]

August 1849 advertised serving Warrenpoint - Liverpool, as temporary replacement for Hercules.

1850 on voyage to Palermo, advertised for sale again.

[from Carlisle Journal - Friday 13 August 1852]:
GREAT REDUCTION IN FARES, AND A QUICK PASSAGE from CARLISLE to LIVERPOOL Best Cabin 7s. Second Cabin 3s. Including Canal Boat Fare from Carlisle. The First-class New Iron Steamer, "ROSE," or "NEWCASTLE," plies between LIVERPOOL, ANNAN, and PORT CARLISLE, twice a week, as under, calling off WHITEHAVEN, weather permitting....

[from Carlisle Journal - Friday 21 July 1854]:
STEAM TO LIVERPOOL. THE First-Class Steamer, "NEWCASTLE," Captain Logan, in conjunction with the Port Carlisle Railway, will RESUME her STATION on Monday, the 24th inst., and ply between PORT CARLISLE & LIVERPOOL (calling at Annan and off Whitehaven) as follows ...

Back to index

Wooden steamer City of Carlisle, built 1834 by Seddon & Leadley, Birkenhead, 181 tons, 131 x 22 ft, engines 120 hp by Fawcett & Preston, Liverpool, for the Carlisle and Annan Steam Navigation Company. Served until 1840. Then used Liverpool - Wexford; for sale 1842, used later Goole - France. More detail. Voyage Goole to Honfleur, aground off Wainfleet on 27 February 1844, Captain Proudlove and crew of 13 saved in ship's boat. Vessel sank.

[from Cumberland Pacquet, and Ware's Whitehaven Advertiser - Tuesday 29 April 1834]:
On Wednesday morning last, a new steam vessel belonging to a company recently formed in Carlisle, (named the Carlisle and Annan Steam-navigation Company) and called the City of Carlisle, arrived at the mouth of the canal from Liverpool, and was much cheered by a party assembled to greet her with a welcome. In the afternoon a party of 130 dined together to commemorate the event, W. N. Hodgson, Esq., Mayor, in the chair; and Mr. George Cowen, of Dalston, Vice. Suitable toasts were given and replied to, and the evening spent very agreeably. The vessel is said to have been built on a fine model, and more adapted for speed than large stowage; her fittings up are good, and she is provided with very powerful engines. [launched 10th February]

[from Carlisle Patriot - Saturday 28 September 1839]:
Carlisle Annan & Liverpool Steam Navigation Company have placed their fine and powerful steamer, CITY OF CARLISLE, JAMES IRVING. Commander, On the CARLISLE and DUBLIN STATION, to Sail as undermentioned, calling off Whitehaven and Douglas, Isle of Man, in going and returning, to land and receive Passengers, (Weather permitting.) This will open a rapid Communication between Newcastle and Dublin, and the Company trust they will receive the support of the Public in the Undertaking. ...

[from Carlisle Journal - Saturday 14 November 1840]:
Steam Navigation. The proprietors ot the steam-ship, City of Carlisle, have conferred very considerable benefit upon this district by sending their powerful steamer to the Dumfries and Liverpool station. The vessel has for some months sailed between these places, and has been remarkably well supported, the proprietors (some of whom are merchants in Dumfries) are apparently determined to continue her on the station, they are now erecting a large double jetty at the Carse for the convenience of shippers of stock in Galloway. We know that this steamer has been always very fortunate, is strong and well built, and in general performs the voyage in one tide; from her light draft of water and large burden she is well adapted for our river. [from Dumfries Courier]

[from Liverpool Mercantile Gazette and Myers's Weekly Advertiser - Monday 31 January 1842]:
For SALE, The Steamer CITY of CARLISLE; lately employed between Wexford and Liverpool [from February 1841]. Length, 132 feet; depth of hold, 12 feet; breadth of beam, 21 feet; 283 tons builders' measurement; 186 tons per register; coppered and copper fastened; built at Liverpool, in 1834. of the very best materials; is well found in stores; has two engines made by Messrs. Fawcett, Preston and Co. of the aggregate power of 120 horses; may be seen in the Trafalgar Dock where she now is. Apply to Thos Naylor Esq Wexford, or to GLOVER & THORP, India Buildings, Water-street.

[from Lancaster Gazette - Saturday 09 March 1844]:
Distressing Shipwreck. The City of Carlisle steamer was completely lost on the morning of Wednesday last, on a dangerous shoal a few miles off Wainfleet Haven, on the coast of Lincolnshire, and the manner in which the crew escaped is truly miraculous. It appears that she was formerly employed on the Hull and, Carlisle station, and being considered a good sea-boat has latterly been running to and from Goole and Honfleur, under the command of Mr. Proudlove, a very experienced mariner, with a crew consisting of 13 persons. Soon after she had started from Honfleur, the wind commenced blowing very violently, heavy falls of snow now and then falling. She still, however, made progress notwithstanding the boisterous state of the weather, and at an early hour on the above morning, the Skegness light at the entrance of Wainfleet harbour was descried. Just as she had got abreast of Dogbank Sand [sic, Dog Head Bank], a dangerous shoal off that part of the coast, the snow began to fall so densely that it was with some difficulty her course could be noticed. At that moment the greatest alarm prevailed amongst the crew, fearing that she would be carried on to the shoal. Notwithstanding the wind and snow still kept increasing, the crew manfully attended to the helm and other duties. Their exertions, however, were fruitless, for in a very short period she was driven with great force on to the body of the sands. The captain, anticipating that she might not be so seriously damaged as to prevent her being got off, directed some of the crew to use every effort to lighten her, while others were engaged in sounding the pumps and hoisting signals of distress. These endeavours had the desired effect, so far as getting her off the shoal; but on her being once more afloat it was soon discovered that she had several feet of water in her hold, which clearly indicated that her keel had been carried away or her bottom most seriously stove in. All hands instantly went to work at the pumps, in the hopes of saving her by running on shore. Ere many minutes had elapsed, however, the water had gained the engine-room, and was fast extinguishing the fires; and it appeared very evident to the crew that if they did not immediately retreat into the ship's boat and shove off, they would inevitably perish with the ill-fated steamer, as she was then fast sinking. They accordingly did so, and had not gained more than 200 yards from her, before they perceived her gradually disappear. After buffeting about for several hours, the lifeboat, under the command of Samuel Moody, of Skegness, proceeded to their assistance, and conveyed them safely into harbour, although in a state of deplorable exhaustion. It is almost needless to state that the City of Carlisle is totally lost, together with the cargo, which was of a miscellaneous character.

Back to index

Wooden steamer Royal Victoria, built Wilson, Liverpool 1837, 350grt, 316nrt, 146.6 x 22.6 x 10.3 ft, engines by Fawcett & Preston, 200hp, paddles, ON 14737. Owned Carlisle and Liverpool Steam Navigation Co. By 1851 registered at Yarmouth. More details.

[from Liverpool Standard and General Commercial Advertiser - Friday 26 May 1837]:
LAUNCH OF A STEAM Ship. On Monday last was launched, from the building-yard of Messrs. W. and T. Wilson, near the Clarence Dock, a splendid new steam-ship called the Royal Victoria, in honour of that princess, who attained her majority on Wednesday. The Royal Victoria is the property of the Carlisle, Annan, and Liverpool Steam Navigation Company, and is intended, to ply between this port and Carlisle and Annan. She is a very beautiful vessel, and does great credit to our spirited townsmen Messrs. Wilson. She is a steamer of the largest class, measuring 450 tons; and a pair of very powerful engines, made by those eminent engineers Fawcett and Preston, are nearly ready for erection. A number of the directors of the company from Carlisle and a large assemblage of their friends took lunch on board their steam-packet City of Carlisle, and afterwards adjourned to the Royal Hotel, where the evening was spent with great conviviality.

[from Liverpool Mail - Saturday 03 December 1842]:
COLLISION ON THE RIVER. A collision took place on the river on Wednesday night last, nearly opposite the magazines, in consequence of which two fine steamboats were very seriously damaged, one life was lost, and other individuals were seriously injured. The following are the particulars of the accident observed by the parties on board the steamer Prince of Wales. The last named boat, which belongs to the Cork and Liverpool Steampacket Company, was putting out on her voyage to Cork. She had crossed the river, and got to the Cheshire shore, shortly before nine o'clock. A Dublin steamer was close astern, steering the same course. She had arrived within half a mile of the rock, the weather being rather thick. Captain M'Neilage, her commander, was on the paddle-box, when he discovered a light ahead, which he conceived to be steamer inward bound. He immediately called out to the man at the wheel to port the helm. This order was repeated by the mate, and promptly obeyed. The inward-bound vessel was the Royal Victoria, from Carlisle, and it appears that she put her helm to starboard, in consequence of which she passed athwart the bows of the Prince of Wales, and the latter ran into her just forward of the paddle-box. The concussion was, of course, extremely violent, and both vessels were cut down within a few feet of the water. The damage on board the Royal Victoria was much more serious than that on board the Prince of Wales, the latter drove into the engine room of the other. Only one person on board the Prince of Wales was injured; but we sorry to say that the concussion caused serious injury to several individuals in the Royal Victoria. Four or five individuals have been carried to the hospital, one of whom has already died of the injury which he suffered. Both vessels were got round and taken safely into dock.
John Brown died on his way to the hospital, apparently from some severe internal injury. William Savage has a fracture of the spine, and consequent paralysis of the lower half of his body. This poor man lies in most pitiable state. Ellen Savage, his wife, several severe contusions of body, is likely to do well. Margaret Dixon, a young woman, with severe injury to the lower part of the spine, with partial paralysis. Robert Unsworth, severe contusion of the side, badly injured. The three latter cases are doing as well as could be anticipated.

[from Carlisle Journal - Friday 06 July 1849]:
The Directors of the Carlisle, Annan, and Liverpool Steam Navigation Company have arranged that their STEAM SHIP, ROYAL VICTORIA, 450 Tons Burthen, and 200 horses power, Joseph Graves, Commander, shall Sail from MARYPORT TO BANGOR & MENAI BRIDGE, North Wales. ...
FROM ANNAN WATERFOOT, The Steamer Alice will sail on TUESDAY Morning, the 17th July, at 7 clock, taking Passengers direct to the Royal Victoria, in Maryport Harbour.

[from Gore's Liverpool General Advertiser - Thursday 12 December 1850]:
For SALE or CHARTER, The very superior sea-going Paddle Steamer ROYAL VICTORIA, Register tonnage, (exclusive of engine room), 315 tons. Tubular boilers and engines, 200 horse power. Has just received a thorough examination in graving dock; had all requisite repairs effected and can be sent to sea at a few hours notice. This fine steamer was built under particular inspection, and will be sold at great sacrifice to enable the Carlisle, Annan, and Liverpool Steam Navigation Company to wind up their affairs. She has just successfully completed two voyages to the Mediterranean; is well adapted for the cattle carrying trade, stows a very large cargo, and has excellent accommodations for passengers. If not sold shortly the Company are open to an offer for Charter. Now lying in Wellington Dock, Apply to Edward Jobling, Carlisle; or to J. D. THOMSON, 35, Water-street, Liverpool.

Back to index

Wooden steamer Hibernia, built Grayson & Leadley, Liverpool, 1825, 300grt, 210nrt, 133 x 22.7 x 14ft, 130hp engine, registered Liverpool, on Liverpool - Dublin service. Owned City of Dublin SP Co. Later registered Dublin. Advertised Carlisle - Fleetwood - Dublin in 1844, managed Carlisle & Annan SN Co., then Fleetwood - Dublin, managed North Lancs Railway, later in 1844. Broken up 1849. More history

[from Liverpool Mercury - Friday 17 June 1825]:
The TOWN of LIVERPOOL [later City of Dublin] Steam Packet Company, in order to render the communication between Liverpool and Dublin more frequent, and to give increased facilities to the trade of the two Ports, announce to the Public that they are proceeding with every possible despatch in completing their number of Vessels, so as to be enabled to sail one from each port daily. Their new Vessels are of such increased tonnage as, they trust, will shortly enable them to carry all descriptions of goods, both rough and fine, on terms equal to those of sailing Vessels; and they are determined that nothing shall be wanted in making their Establishment as useful and satisfactory to the Public as possible. Their Rates of Freights, - commenced on the 1st of May, will be found considerably reduced, and they are determined to continue this reduction as low as the expense of navigating their Vessls will permit. The Capital of the Company having been increased £100,000, the remaining Shares now unappropriated have been reserved exclusively for Shippers and Importers. Share holders alone are entitled to a free passage. Their Vessels, the CITY OF DUBLIN and TOWN OF LIVERPOOL, continue to ply, as usual. Their third and fourth Vessels, the HIBERNIA and BRITANNIA are nearly complete; their fifth and sixth will be ready by the end of the the year. ...

[from Dublin Mercantile Advertiser, and Weekly Price Current - Monday 25 July 1825]:
July 23. Arrived: Hibernia steam-packet, Liverpool, passengers......

[from Carlisle Patriot - Saturday 06 April 1844]:
STEAM COMMUNICATION FROM PORT CARLISLE TO LIVERPOOL AND DUBLIN. THE CARLISLE, ANNAN, & LIVERPOOL STEAM NAVIGATION COMPANY beg to inform the Public, that the under-mentioned STEAM SHIP, will Sail from PORT CARLISLE, ANNAN WATER-FOOT, and LIVERPOOL, as follows, calling off WHITEHAVEN (weather permitting) to land and receive passengers, ROYAL VICTORIA, 450 Tons, John Hudson, Commander;....
And between PORT CARLISLE and DUBLIN, calling at Annan Water-Foot and Fleetwood, to land and receive Passengers and Cargo; and calling off Whitehaven (weather permitting), to land and receive passengers, the Steam Ship, "Hibernia", Capt. Dani, is intended to Sail at the under-mentioned times FROM PORT CARLISLE..... [advert to July 1844]

[from Liverpool Albion - Monday 13 January 1845]:
For GLASGOW, the new Iron Steam ships HER MAJESTY, Captain J. WILSON; ROYAL CONSORT, Captain Ewing, 700 tons, and 350 horse-power; every MONDAY, TUESDAY, THURSDAY, and FRIDAY EVENINGS, from FLEETWOOD and ARDROSSAN. ...
For DUBLIN, the well-known Steamer HIBERNIA, Capt. Dani, From FLEETWOOD every WEDNESDAY, calling off DOUGLAS, ISLE OF MAN. From DUBLIN every TUESDAY, (weather permitting.) Apply to the CITY OF DUBLIN CO.'S OFFICE, Dublin...

Back to index

Iron paddle steamer Cumberland, built Tod, M'Gregor, 1847, 605grt, 407 nrt, 234.5 x 25.3 x 13.6 ft, oscillating engines of 298hp by builders, ON 5893. First owner Carlisle and Liverpool Steam Navigation Co.
Seems to have sailed to Annan and then steam tender Engineer was used to take passengers on to Port Carlisle. First reported in the Solway in 1848. By 1852 owned North of Europe Steam Navigation Company, registered Lowestoft. More detail.

[from Carlisle Journal - Friday 04 January 1850]:
The Splendid New Iron Steamer, CUMBERLAND, 600 Tons Burthen, 300 Horse Power, divided into Five Watertight Compartments with all other recent improvements for speed, safety and comfort, plies between LIVERPOOL, ANNAN, and PORT CARLISLE, as follows ... [advert mentioning Cumberland and Newcastle to July 1851]

Cumberland (steamer), Hart, is reported as arriving Lowestoft in May 1851.

[from Shipping and Mercantile Gazette - Thursday 30 December 1852]:
Lowestoft Infirmary. The managing committee of the Lowestoft Infirmary having received £2 15s, donation from the captain and crew of the Cumberland steamer, belonging to the North of Europe Steam Navigation Company, thankfully acknowledge the same, trusting the good feeling of the Cumberland's crew may stimulate others to follow their example, and lend their aid in support of an institution of such incalculable benefit, especially to seamen, either passing or in port.
Back to main index

Dumfries and Galloway steamers.

Wooden paddle steamer Countess of Galloway, built Wood & Mills, Bowling, Clyde, 1835, 146 tons burthen, 119.2 x 23.3 x 11.1ft, two 45hp engines, owned Galloway Navigation Co, Wigtown. More history

[from Liverpool Standard and General Commercial Advertiser - Friday 26 June 1835]:
COUNTESS OF GALLOWAY. On Saturday, there was launched from the building yard of Messrs. Wood and Mills, a beautiful steamer, called the Countess of Galloway, of three hundred tons burthen, she is intended for the trade between the coast of Galloway and this town, which will be a great desideratum, as at present there is no direct conveyance by means of steamers. The owners are highly pleased with the model and fabric of this superb vessel. We believe every exertion will be made to have the Countess early on the station, she is intended to ply between Wigtown, Kirkcudbright, Garliestown, Isle of Whithorn, Creetown, Gatehouse, and this port, as cargoes offer, and at regular intervals. If the people of Galloway do not support the Countess by every means in their power, we shall say, that they possess not the spirit of their forefathers. We are sure that nothing will be wanting on the Liverpool side of the channel, to make her completely successful.

[from Liverpool Albion - Monday 11 January 1836]:
LIVERPOOL AND GALLOWAY. The GALLOWAY STEAM NAVIGATION COMPANY'S New and fast-sailing Packet, COUNTESS OF GALLOWAY, Will sail from the Clarence Dock, with goods and passengers, for KIRKCUDBRIGHT, calling off ISLE OF WHITHORN and GARLIESTOWN, (weather permitting.) TO-MORROW, the 12th January, at Four o'Clock in the Afternoon. For particulars apply to A. LAURIE and CO., 11, King-street.

[from Liverpool Albion - Monday 20 February 1843]:
The COUNTESS of GALLOWAY, steamer, will sail for KIRKCUDBRIGHT, This Night, at Twelve o'Clock, and from Kirkcudbright for LIVERPOOL, on FRIDAY next, the 24th instant, at Six o'Clock, Morning. A. LAURIE and CO., Agents, 17, King-street.

[from Shipping and Mercantile Gazette - Monday 28 June 1847]:
WlGTON. Steamer for Sale. THE COUNTESS OF GALLOWAY, presently lying in Trafalgar Dock, Liverpool; 145 tons o.m., and 90 horse power; built 1835, by Messrs. Wood and Mill and Messrs. Tod and M'Gregor, of Glasgow, and presently in excellent working condition. Further information may be got on applying to Messrs. Tod and M'Gregor, Clyde Foundry, Glasgow; ...

Iron paddle steamer Countess of Galloway, built Tod, M'Gregor, Glasgow, 1847, 451grt, 316nrt, 168.6 x 25.25 x 14.5 ft, two 106hp engines, owned Galloway Steam Navigation Co. ON 1702. Broken up 1880. More history.

Image of Countess of Galloway, by William MacMurray.
Also ship model.

Back to main index