Loss of the Princess Clothilde, 1861

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Hibee
Posts: 216
Joined: Tue May 25, 2010 3:24 pm

Loss of the Princess Clothilde, 1861

Post by Hibee » Wed May 26, 2010 6:48 pm

Does anyone have any connection with this Leith registered vessel? It was outward bound from New York in October 1861, and ran into a violent storm off Newfoundland, whilst en route to Cork, Ireland. It was lost with all hands, including my gg-grandfather, Thomas Shirreff Bridges, first mate.

Hibee
www.adams-of-adamsrow.com
Adam(s): Newton, Midlothian
Brock: Orkney/Leith
Bridges: Leith
Sweeney: Ireland/Leith
Brown: Edinburgh/Hamilton

Currie
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Location: Australia

Re: Loss of the Princess Clothilde, 1861

Post by Currie » Thu May 27, 2010 4:14 am

Hello Hibee, and welcome to TalkingScot.

I can’t seem to find a mention of this loss in The Times or in any of the other UK or US newspapers I can access. There’s no shortage of reports on the various perambulations of the real life Princess Clothilde or Clothilde.

Parliamentary Papers, in an 1874 report of the Royal Commission on Unseaworthy Ships, “A return, prepared by Lloyds and the Registrar General of Shipping and Seamen of British Sailing Vessels engaged in the Foreign and Colonial Trade of the United Kingdom, and reported as missing during the year 1861” gives the following information:

Sailed 20 October; Princess Clotilde; Official Number 22,025; Barque; Tonnage 368; Built 1859 Sunderland, of wood; Classed A1 by Lloyds; Voyage New York to Cork; Cargo -----; Crew 16, Passengers 0; 16 lives lost; Owner Chas. Williams.

According to a brief mention in an October 5th report from New York in the Glasgow Herald, October 17th, the cargo was corn. [If it was in bulk, perhaps the cargo shifted?]

According to the NY Times 27 Sep 1861
Arrived New York Thursday Sept 26
Bark Princess Clothilde, (of Leith,) McCall, Bristol, 35 ds., in ballast to order.

And NY Times, 17 October, 1861.
Princess Clothilde, (Br.,) McCall, Cork, Funch, Meincke & Wendt.

Hope that’s useful,
Alan

Alan SHARP
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Location: Waikato, New Zealand

Re: Loss of the Princess Clothilde, 1861

Post by Alan SHARP » Thu May 27, 2010 11:56 am

Greetings.

Grain was a dangerous cargo, if the vessel carrying it took on water, or sprung a leak, the grain swelled literally splitting the vessel apart.

Alan SHARP.

Hibee
Posts: 216
Joined: Tue May 25, 2010 3:24 pm

Re: Loss of the Princess Clothilde, 1861

Post by Hibee » Thu May 27, 2010 2:00 pm

Thank you, Alan and Alan. I'd not seen mention of corn before.

According to Thomas Bridges' Mate's Certificate, the vessel sailed fom NY on 21 Oct, 1861, and is "not since heard of".

I managed to find accounts of a violent storm, in late October, including reports of Royal Navy vessels, westward bound, being forced to return to UK severely damaged.

Thomas' brothers, Alexander and James Gourlay Bridges went on to become steam tug owners in the Port of Leith.

Hibee

Currie
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Location: Australia

Re: Loss of the Princess Clothilde, 1861

Post by Currie » Sun May 30, 2010 11:41 am

Hibee,

Just to clarify the corn thing, it’s mentioned in the Glasgow Herald, Thursday, October 17, 1861, in a column headed Monetary and Commercial, New York, Oct.5, and includes:

“To Havre, 43,000 bushels wheat at 25c. in shipper’s bags, and 4600 bbls. flour at 90c. to 95c. To Bremen, 300 hhds. lard and tallow at 35s. A Norwegian bark was taken up for Cork and orders at 14d. in bulk for corn; the British barque Princess Clothilde with corn at 13d. if to Cork direct, 13½d. if for orders; the barque Mary to Cork and a market …......…..”

Alan

Hibee
Posts: 216
Joined: Tue May 25, 2010 3:24 pm

Re: Loss of the Princess Clothilde, 1861

Post by Hibee » Sun May 30, 2010 4:10 pm

Thanks, Alan.

To clarify the timescale....did these notices relate to future intended cargoes? I'm not sure how quickly news travelled across the Atlantic in 1861.

The vessel sailed on its final voyage, from NY, on 20 October, so for a notice to appear in a UK paper on 17 October, would it relate to that final voyage, or to a previous one?

Thanks.

Hibee
www.adams-of-adamsrow.com
Adam(s): Newton, Midlothian
Brock: Orkney/Leith
Bridges: Leith
Sweeney: Ireland/Leith
Brown: Edinburgh/Hamilton

Currie
Posts: 3781
Joined: Fri Jun 22, 2007 3:20 am
Location: Australia

Re: Loss of the Princess Clothilde, 1861

Post by Currie » Mon May 31, 2010 11:33 am

Hello Hibee,

That’s a very good question.

The first transatlantic telegraph cable was a very short-lived one in 1858 followed by something more permanent in 1866, so nothing in 1861. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transatlan ... raph_cable

Given that the report is headed New York, October 5, and was not published in the Glasgow Herald until 12 days later, that probably suggests the news was received via the fast 10 day, or whatever, steamship service then operating. Here’s a book from 1852 http://www.google.com.au/books?id=1XxBA ... &q&f=false

Travel by sail seems to have been at least double that, with a West-bound journey taking longer still. Then there’s the delay in port waiting for and loading cargo.

The NY Times item of 27 September has the ship arriving NY September 26. The NY Times item 17 October is under a heading “October 16 – Cleared”. I guess that means that the ship can officially leave and just has to wait for a favourable wind, or whatever, before it sails.

If I’ve figured it out properly, to try to fit in another voyage, back and forth, in the 20 days between 26 September and 16 October won’t work, at least not a transatlantic one. A previous voyage must have left NY at least a couple of months prior to 26 September and the freight rates for that would hardly be worth reporting on 5 October.

The newspaper report probably said a lot to those interested in shipping and cargoes at the time but appears a bit vague nowadays. The ship appears to have already been in NY for 9 days at the date of the October 5 report. The rates mentioned appear to be freight rates i.e. what is charged by the shipowner, or whoever, to transport the cargo to its destination. Similar to this http://books.google.com.au/books?id=Kpw ... ue&f=false

Here’s a very interesting book from 1858 about stowage of cargo, including passengers. http://books.google.com.au/books?id=W38 ... go&f=false

If you want a copy of those newspaper images just send me a PM with an email address and I’ll send them.

The pre 1922 NY Times Archive images used to be free, but I’m not sure what’s happening with that now as I’m only getting text rather than a pdf image. http://www.nytimes.com/1861/09/27/news/ ... ken-c.html

Hope that makes sense,
Alan

Hibee
Posts: 216
Joined: Tue May 25, 2010 3:24 pm

Re: Loss of the Princess Clothilde, 1861

Post by Hibee » Mon May 31, 2010 7:01 pm

Thanks, Alan. A lot of good stuff there.

I think I remember that the vessel sailed to NY "in ballast", which presumably means no cargo was available, or thought worthwhile.

Interesting that I've not been able to trace any mention of the vessel's loss in the local or national press. It would be a while before the barque was a definite casualty, and old news by then. Or perhaps such loss of small vessels was too commonplace to always rate a mention.

Hibee
www.adams-of-adamsrow.com
Adam(s): Newton, Midlothian
Brock: Orkney/Leith
Bridges: Leith
Sweeney: Ireland/Leith
Brown: Edinburgh/Hamilton

lizmccall
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Oct 20, 2013 8:25 pm
Location: Kilbirnie, Ayrshire, Scotland
Contact:

Re: Loss of the Princess Clothilde, 1861

Post by lizmccall » Tue Sep 01, 2015 5:57 pm

My 2x Grandfather was Master of this ship when it was lost, I cannot find any information that I need exept he was born around 1809, his wife was called Anne Brown, he had 2 daughters and a son whose names were Anne, Margaret and William. I think the most probable birth place was Dundonald Parish or Irvine, Scotland, I really am looking for his parents - I cannot find any details except his marriage in OPR and even then it was only that William McCall married Anne Brown on this day. I have got a copy of his will which I got from the Register office in Edinburgh.

StewL
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Location: Perth Western Australia

Re: Loss of the Princess Clothilde, 1861

Post by StewL » Wed Sep 02, 2015 3:47 am

Hello Liz
[TS_welcome]
I am sure your inclusion in this thread will be most welcome
Stewie

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