Loss of Prestonpans trawler "Queensland", 14 Feb, 1883

Fisherman, Merchant vessels, Emigrant ships etc.

Moderator: Global Moderators

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

Loss of Prestonpans trawler "Queensland", 14 Feb, 1883

Post by Hibee » Wed Jul 21, 2010 2:36 pm

Anyone have connections with the Queensland, which overturned and sank whilst hauling nets off the Isle of May, with the loss of all 7 aboard?

Willam Murray, owner and skipper, aged 48
Thomas Thomson, 46
John Ritchie, 57, boxmaster
James Anderson, 28
James McArthur, 20
James Mackie, 20
Alexander Bird, 19, my great-granduncle.

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

AndrewP
Site Admin
Posts: 6021
Joined: Sun Dec 12, 2004 1:36 am
Location: Edinburgh
Contact:

Re: Loss of Prestonpans trawler "Queensland", 14 Feb, 1883

Post by AndrewP » Wed Jul 21, 2010 7:47 pm

Hi Hibee,

The Scotsman of Friday 16 February 1883 reported the loss of the Queensland.
  • FOUNDERING OF A PRESTONPANS FISHING BOAT

    SEVEN MEN DROWNED

    A sad calamity has befallen the fishing population of Prestonpans. On Wednesday morning the large fishing boat Queensland, of Prestonpans, was swamped, and seven lives were lost, at the deep sea line fishing, about 20 miles east of the May Island. The Queensland left Prestonpans on Tuesday night, and between ten and eleven o'clock on Wednesday morning it was observed by other crews at a distance that she was struck by a heavy sea while the crew were hauling in the lines. The boat was thrown on her beam ends, the ballast having apparently shifted, and shortly afterwards she suddenly capsized and sank. As the other boats were making for home they were too far away to render assistance, and though both the crews of the Bluejacket an Daylight, of Prestonpans, saw the craft swamped, it was not known what the ill-fated boat was till the others had arrived safely in the haven except the Queensland. No doubt now exists to the fact of the the boat having been lost with her crew of seven men. Those on board were-

    William Murray, owner and skipper, 48 years of age, who leaves a widow and five children, only two of whom are grown up.
    Thomas Thomson, aged 40, married, and leaves three children, grown up.
    John Ritchie, 57 years, box-master of the Fishermens' Society, leaves a widow and four children, grown up.
    James Anderson, 28 years of age, leaves a widow and four young children.
    Alex Bird (19), James M'Arthur (20) and James Mackie (20), unmarried.

    The boat and fishing gear, valued at £350, were not insured. She was only built two years ago by Mr Weatherhead, Cockenzie. Great gloom has been cast over the district by the sad event, no such serious casualty having occurred at Prestonpans for a long period.
All the best,

AndrewP

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

Re: Loss of Prestonpans trawler "Queensland", 14 Feb, 1883

Post by Hibee » Wed Jul 21, 2010 7:54 pm

Thanks, Andrew.

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

hairydave
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Nov 14, 2010 1:15 pm

Re: Loss of Prestonpans trawler "Queensland", 14 Feb, 1883

Post by hairydave » Sun Nov 14, 2010 6:49 pm

Thomas Thompson is my 2xgreat grandfather, his daughter Jemima (born 1877) married Sidney Clarke Belmore Goodacre in 1899 and thus begat loads of Goodacres including my father's mother Georgina. I think John Ritchie was related also as one of my grandma's sisters was Maggie Ritchie Goodacre. I have a scan of an "In Remembrance" poem written for the crew of the boat.

HairyDave

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

Re: Loss of Prestonpans trawler "Queensland", 14 Feb, 1883

Post by Hibee » Sun Nov 14, 2010 8:56 pm

It would be good to have a copy of that, Dave.

Regards

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

Danaearis
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Jan 20, 2019 7:11 pm

Re: Loss of Prestonpans trawler "Queensland", 14 Feb, 1883

Post by Danaearis » Mon Jan 21, 2019 12:52 am

My great grandfather was James Anderson who perished on the Queensland. He was a son of my great great grandfather David Anderson, dob 1826 who was married to Susan Buchanan also dob 1826. One of James's children, also named James Anderson, born 1881, was my grandfather and one of his children David Anderson dob 1917 was my father. My name is David Anderson dob 1950 as is my eldest son born in 1976. He now lives but a stones throw from the harbours at Port Seton and Cockenzie and until a year ago he was unaware of this heritage.

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

Re: Loss of Prestonpans trawler "Queensland", 14 Feb, 1883

Post by Currie » Mon Jan 21, 2019 12:02 pm

Hello Danaearis, and Welcome to talkingScot.

A bit more of the story.

Edinburgh Evening News, Wednesday, April 18, 1883

BOARD OF TRADE INQUIRY AT LEITH.
A Board of Trade inquiry into the loss of the Prestonpans fishing boat Queensland, which was swamped off the May Island on February 14th, and the crew of seven hands drowned, was commenced in the Council Chambers, Leith, yesterday. Bailie Wilson presided. — William Weatherhead, boatbuilder, Cockenzie, said that he built the Queensland, owned by William Murray, the master, Prestonpans. She was built of larch plank, and was decked all over. She was 47 feet long, 7½ feet deep, and had three hatchways, and a skid hatch for the main-mast. The covering of the hatches were all loose. She had one pump. She was ballasted with small stones. The vessel was two years old, and in good condition — John Howden, fisherman, said he served on board the Queensland for about two years. The rest of his evidence corroborated that of Wetherhead, the builder of the vessel —Thomas Main, at one time fisherman on board the Queensland, said he thought the vessel was lost owing to her sail being filled with water when she was struck by the first sea, and before she could recover the second sea broke over her and swamped her. — David Cunningham said he was on board the fishing boat Delight and was the only one who saw the Queensland founder. He believed that the last sea which broke over her was as high as the mast, 40 feet —By the Court: He had been in heavy gales, but had never done anything to secure the hatches. In rough weather the hatches were easily washed away, and the sea got into the boat. The vessel might have been lost through the crew holding too long to their lines. —The Inquiry was then adjourned till to-morrow.


Aberdeen Weekly Journal, Friday, April 20, 1883

IMPORTANT DECISION AFFECTING FISHERMEN: —The Board of Trade inquiry into the loss of the fishing boat Queensland, of Prestonpans, off the May Island, on 14th February last, was concluded at Leith on Wednesday. Rear-Admiral Mcresby and Capt. Ward were the nautical assessors, and were assisted by Baillies M'Intosh and Wilson. The Court found that, as the master and crew of the vessel had been drowned, there was no direct evidence as to the cause of her loss, but, from the evidence adduced, the Court was of opinion that the loss was due to the boat being swamped by a heavy sea while the crew were engaged hauling in their fishing lines, there being at the time a hard gale blowing. The Court also found that the loose hatches and stone ballast formed an element of danger and annexed the following report to the Board of Trade:—"According to the evidence adduced, it appears that fishing vessels of the Queensland class are frequently exposed to heavy weather when they are unable to run to port for safety, and in those circumstances, having their hatchways covered with light hatches, resting on and projecting over the combings, without any means of securing them, they are liable to be, and, indeed, often are, washed away by the sea. They are thus exposed to the imminent danger of foundering, and this, not improbably, led to the loss of the vessel. It was stated by Mr Weatherhead, the builder of the Queensland, that the fishing boats now being built have their hatches made to slip inside the combings instead of projecting over. This, doubtless, is an improvement, but the Court think additional means should be provided for securing them. The custom prevailing of placing loose ballast of waterworn stones on the planks above the permanent ballast while at the deep-sea fishing was condemned by all the witnesses examined, and the Court is of opinion that such a system is most reprehensible."


All the best,
Alan

Danaearis
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Jan 20, 2019 7:11 pm

Re: Loss of Prestonpans trawler "Queensland", 14 Feb, 1883

Post by Danaearis » Mon Jan 21, 2019 12:27 pm

Alan,

Thanks very much for all that information about the post disaster investigation and the findings and recommendations. I really was surprised to hear from someone given the passage of time since anything had been posted, much obliged to you. I have a friend whose family were fishermen and whose fishing boat was built by Weatherheads though several decades later. He will be interested to hear about this.

Thanks,

David Anderson

Danaearis
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Jan 20, 2019 7:11 pm

Re: Loss of Prestonpans trawler "Queensland", 14 Feb, 1883

Post by Danaearis » Mon Jan 21, 2019 2:53 pm

Hibee,

You posted a long time ago (2009) kicking off this chat. I joined just yesterday. I am the great grandson of James Anderson who perished on the Queensland in February 1883. His grandfather and therefore my great, great, great grandfather David Anderson, born 1826 was married to Susan Buchanan whose father and mother are my great, great, great great grand parents. I believe the Buchanan family still have roots in East Lothian whereas I am far travelled and live in Edinburgh!!! (supporting the Hibs). My eldest son, David Anderson, unaware of his fishing links until recently moved to Port Seton a few years ago and no doubt on a daily basis walks by many cousins.

Dai Anderson

Post Reply