Storms of February 1835.


  More details are given for wrecks where there was loss of life:
 
Endeavour   11 lost,
  Norah   14 lost,
  Robert Peel   4 lost

Endeavour


Brig of Nevin [N Lleyn peninsula]
Captain Edwards and 10 crew; all lost.
Newport (Mon) to Liverpool via Porthdinllaen
Iron, pigs and passengers
Lost 5 February 1835 on Middle Patch [Chester Bar]

Newspaper report:
  WRECK. - We have the painful duty to perform of recording the total loss of the brig Endeavour, of Nevin, Edwards master, on the Middle Patch, near the West Hoyle Bank, on Thursday night se'nnight[5 February 1835]. She was freighted with iron from Newport to Liverpool and had taken passengers, and a few pigs, on board at Porthdinllaen. All hands perished. The master was well known in this port[Newport], and was deservedly respected. The following particulars are from the Chester Chronicle: -
  During the early part of last week, there were violent gales at W.N.W., and we regret to state that on Thursday morning, the brig Endeavour, Captain Edwards, was driven on the bank, called the Middle Patch [Chester Bar], below Voel Nant, not far from the entrance to the Dee. At daylight the crew were seen in the rigging, and the [Point of Ayr] life-boat put off to their assistance, but from the smallness of the boat, and the sea being running mountains high, no assistance could be afforded to the unfortunate crew (supposed to be ten in number), so that all hands perished.
  That excellent and humane gentleman, Mr. Dawson, of Gronant [Point of Ayr Lifeboat Station], was particularly active, he writes as follows: "I am extremely sorry to inform you, that our utmost exertions to save the poor sufferers on the wreck were unavailing. I was down on the shore until after midnight, in hope of the gale moderating, but as it continued increasing, it was impossible for the boat to attempt going. At day-break this morning, we were down again, and, to our great sorrow, found the vessel had gone to pieces, and all hands on board must have perished. Our lifeboat never was out in so heavy a sea before."

Norah


Brig, built 1827 New Brunswick, 264 tons, draught 15ft.
Captain Burnley and 14 crew (only 1 survivor)
Demerara to Liverpool with sugar, puncheons of rum, etc.
Lost on West Hoyle Bank 23 February 1835.
Part of wreck drifted near Hilbre Island then aground on East Hoyle Bank.

Wrecked ships exhibited on Tuesday the strong marks of the fury of the storm. The wreck of a large vessel was seen on East Hoyle and another on West Hoyle; in the neighbourhood of Hoylake not less than seven vessels were on shore, more or less damaged.
It was mentioned previously that a vessel, supposed to be a West Indiaman, lay a total wreck on the Hoyle Bank, and that it was feared all hands had perished. The news, we lament to say, is but too true, the vessel having proved to be the Norah, of Liverpool, Captain Burnley, from Demerara, laden with sugar, rum, and other articles of West India produce. The captain and the whole of the crew perished, excepting one man, named Kenneth MacFarlane who has furnished the following simple and affecting narrative the wreck, and sufferings of himself and companions:
  "The Norah sailed from Demerara on the 1st of January last and we had calms and light easterly winds until we reached lat. 44 [degrees N], after which we had strong westerly breezes. Our crew numbered fifteen, including the captain. We were off the Saltees on the Irish coast, on Saturday last, at four p.m., with a fresh breeze, W.N.W.; came up channel under reefed topsails; thirty minutes past eleven a.m. abreast Holyhead; thirty minutes past two, wind W.S.W, to the eastward of the Skerries, shortened sail and made a few tacks off and on to the westward, as the wind was variable, accompanied with sudden gusts, squalls, and rain; four p.m., close reefed topsails and foresail, and set the storm trysail and stood off ship's head N.N.W. to delay time for the purpose of getting a pilot in the morning; at thirty minutes past ten p.m., wore ship [tacked] and stood in, blowing a perfect hurricane; at about thirty minutes past three a.m., saw the land on the lee bow, wore ship, and stood off to the north; at about four a.m., the vessel first struck, which I think was on West Hoyle; after this, endeavoured to get both anchors clear; after thumping several times, a heavy sea struck her and swept the decks of the boats, etc., then all hands took to the main mast; when there about five minutes, the ship fell on her beam-ends, and the mast gave way about the deck, and all hands with it. I succeeded, swimming, in getting to the foremast, the captain followed, but could not reach it; he then got on the main yard, and there remained a few minutes, when a sea came and took him and one of the men (John Ball) away. I then saw no more of them. The last man I saw on the wreck of the mainmast was George Aston - who might have been there a quarter of an hour after the others were gone.
  After this, the vessel began to break up, the bottom separating from the top, which caused the foremast to fall forward with the head on the bowsprit. I remained there; the wreck floating with the flood; I could see Hilbre Island at daylight, and seemed close to it; I was on the wreck till 10 a.m. before I could see any one, although the top of the lee bank was then dry.
  Between the hours of 10 and 4, I understand from Mr. Ball, who keeps the Green Lodge Inn, some men were in the act of conveying the [Hoylake] life-boat from the boat-house to Hilbre Island, when one of the wheels made for the purpose of carrying the boat, broke down, and they were then unable to make use of it, and were obliged to man a boat which could not approach the wreck, and thus was the sufferer destined to remain on the wreck all night, which might have been prevented had the wheels been in a proper and efficient state.
  Shortly afterwards, I saw some men, and one of them approached the wreck, I hailed him, and he answered me; after that, and not till about 4 o'clock p.m., a boat came off, and anchored abreast of the wreck, apparently not being able to succeed in reaching it. Being so benumbed by cold, I was conscious I had not the power to swim to the boat, and had to remain on the wreck all this (the second) night. This night again the wreck floated in towards the lee bank, and about midnight it was high and dry; before daylight, the tide had made and the water round it. About 7 o'clock a.m. on Tuesday morning, I saw a smack nearing, with boat astern; about nine the boat, with seven hands, took me off the wreck, and carried me to the Green Lodge public-house, Hoylake."
  The remaining portion of the wreck now lies anchored, to prevent it drifting, on the East Hoyle Bank. It contains 140 puncheons of rum, which it is anticipated will be saved. The seamen who have perished were shipped from this port[Liverpool], and bore excellent characters. Most of them have left wives and families to deplore their loss, and it is hoped that the charitable community, who on such occasions are seldom appealed to in vain, will come forward with subscriptions for their relief. Books for this purpose lie the Exchange Newsroom and elsewhere. Wm. Sharp, Esq., the owner of the vessel, has already subscribed the sum of £20.
  The following are the names and residences of the 14 lost seamen: Captain Burnley; Mr. Johnson, chief mate; Jas. Smith, carpenter, of Nottingham; Thomas Watson, second mate; John Ball, Wm. Huntley, and George Holmes, Liverpool; George Anderson, Buckhaven, Fifeshire ; Joseph Thomas, Carnarvon; Geo. Watson, Greenock ; Wm. Ward, Manchester; John Gilbert, Falmouth; black cook, shipped in Demerara, and black boy, names unknown.

Postscript Part of the cargo of the Norah was washed upon the Cheshire coast, consisting of a number of puncheons of rum. In spite of the exertions of the police to save the property, several of the puncheons of rum were broached by the lower classes on both sides of the Mersey, and the melancholy consequence of their excesses has been the death of seven individuals. A later report states that only 2 persons died - the remaining 5 seemed dead but were able to recover.

Robert Peel


Barque built Prince Edward Island 1826, 304 tons, 97' x 27.3' x 16.6'
One deck (modified to 2 decks 1827), 3 masts, square stern
registered Bristol, owned James Lorymer, merchant, Bristol.
Captain Martin Murphy (from 16 Feb 1835) and 15 crew.
Voyage Liverpool to Maranham [Maranhao] Brazil.
Ashore on Hoyle bank, 23 February 1835, Captain and 3 crew lost.
Part of wreck later driven onto Hilbre Island.

Report from newspapers:
  WRECK OF THE ROBERT PEEL. We have been favoured with the following account of the loss of the Robert Peel: The barque, Robert Peel, of Bristol, which sailed from Liverpool on Tuesday the 17th inst [February 1835] after being a good deal between Bardsey Island and the Isle of Man, was wrecked on the evening of Monday [23 February 1835] at about four o'clock in the afternoon, on Hoyle Bank. The vessel went almost immediately to pieces, and the captain and crew, 16 in number, got to the quarter deck, the main deck being sunk. They continued in this perilous situation, the fragment of the ship drifting up the Dee, the whole of that night; and the unfortunate captain, who was seriously struck, and almost disabled from making any exertions, or indeed giving orders, by a blow from the maintack in going out of port, perished, and three of the hands, before morning.
  The stern section of the vessel was driven ashore close to Hilbre Island - with one dead body found aboard. The following is list of those who perished, and of those who were saved, by a boat that put out to them from the Flintshire shore on the morning of Tuesday. The lifeboat on the point of Ayr station had gone up the river to assist other vessels in distress; and from its insufficiency and bad construction could not stem the furious storm:
  LOST- The master Murphy, Thomas Farnham, cabin-boy, John Jones, and Edward Bryan, sailors.
  SAVED- Francis Pancotte, a Maltese, the mate, John Sloe, Henry Mankman, Robt. Likely, Wm. Goff, John Barns, John Freeman, Adam Cowen, J. Carson. John Reyman, Wm. Johnson.

Other vessels aground:

23 February 1835: Alexander (Captain Luckett, reg. Liverpool, built 1833, 481 tons): The barque was driven ashore in the Rock Channel around 4 pm after loss of her anchor, but mananged to get back into port. She was bound for Mobile.

25 February 1835: Eliza (Captain Grant), United Kingdom: The ship struck the West Hoyle Bank, in Liverpool Bay. Her crew were rescued by the Liverpool pilot boat 11. She was on a voyage from Saint John, New Brunswick to Liverpool. She was able to anchor near the floating light, with loss of rudder and water-logged. A steamer towed her into port.

25 February 1835: Ladies' Adventure, schooner 54 tons built 1816: The ship was wrecked on the West Hoyle Bank. Her crew were rescued. She was on a voyage from Mostyn, Flintshire to Dublin.

25 February 1835: Rescue, Torquay, The schooner was driven ashore and wrecked near the "Red Noses" [New Brighton]. She filled with water and cargo was discharged much damaged. She was on a voyage Ross to Runcorn with flour.

Note that the PSS Superb was driven onto Brazil Bank and broke up on 23 February.


Sloop Gleaner of Ayr wrecked on East Hoyle late on 7 March 1835. Captain M'Ewin [also written Ewen and Ewan], voyage Liverpool to Ayr [regular trader on that route], crew saved by Hoylake lifeboat.

From The Scotsman - Wednesday 18 March 1835

Loss of the Liverpool Packet Gleaner - The Gleaner sailed from Liverpool for Ayr on Saturday the 1st March, with a fresh breeze from the ENE, and anchored in Ramsay Bay on Monday afternoon. On Tuesday, at two AM, lost windlass, and rode out the gale with both chains round the mast. Again put to sea on Thursday, with other vessels. About six o'clock PM, the wind veered round to NW, and she was obliged to stand back for the bay, when she lost her forestay and main boom, the sea running very high. Having sustained considerable damage, steered for Liverpool, when the wind veered round to ENE, and blew a hurricane. Came in, a quarter of a mile to the east of the light-ship. In hauling up, the force of the sea and ebb tide against her caused her to settle down, when she struck near the NW Spit Buoy, a little before six PM. After remaining in this situation till half-past nine, the men were brought ashore by the crew of the Point of Ayre [sic] life-boat. A considerable part of the light goods have been landed.

Note: other reports quote the Hoylake lifeboat as saving the men - this is more likely since they would be closer to the location, also the records of the Point of Ayr lifeboat do not mention the Gleaner in 1835.
  The North West Spit was the northerly edge of the East Hoyle Bank.
  Captain M'Ewen is master of the Antelope of Ayr from June 1835, so presumably the Gleaner was not put back in service.

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