Death at Sea

Fisherman, Merchant vessels, Emigrant ships etc.

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cmacra28
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Jun 08, 2011 6:53 am

Re: Death at Sea

Post by cmacra28 » Wed Feb 20, 2013 11:10 pm

I am also seeking information on the Barque Cumbrae lost between Newcastle NSW and Valparaiso in 1895. Captain Peter Fisher was the brother of my G G Grandfather. I have a clipping believed to be from Sept 1899 which reads:

THE MISSING GREENOCK BARQUE CUMBRAE

A MESSAGE FROM THE SEA

Fecamp Sept 23 -- A bottle has been picked
up on the French coast, containing a paper on
which the following is written "Barque
Cumbrae of Greenock bound from Newcastle
N.S.W., March 3, '95. In a sinking condition,
no hope. -- J. B. Racken, Boatswain, Troon."
[The above vessel, which was commanded by
Captain Peter Fisher, was posted as missing, on
her voyage from Newcastle N.S.W., for
Valeparaiso on July 31, 1895.]

Unfortunately it is unclear which newspaper it was in and all searches have come up with nothing.

Currie
Posts: 3735
Joined: Fri Jun 22, 2007 3:20 am
Location: Australia

Re: Death at Sea

Post by Currie » Thu Feb 21, 2013 5:56 am

Hello There,

The Scotsman, Edinburgh, 26 July, 1895.
SUPPOSED LOSS OF A GREENOCK BARQUE.—The Greenock owned barque Cumbrae was yesterday posted at Lloyd's as very much overdue. She left Newcastle, N.S.W., on 23d February last for Valparaiso, and has not since been heard of. The usual passage is between fifty and sixty days, and as she is now 153 days out there seems but little doubt that she has been lost with all hands. The Cumbrae, which carried a crew of twenty-three all told, was built last year by Messrs Russell & Co., Greenock, for Messrs Wm. Walker & Co., Greenock. The following is a list of the crew:—P. B. Fisher, Greenock, master; Henry Lambert, London, first mate; Charles E. Mowat, Leith, second mate; George M’Lean, Dundee, steward; James Devlin, Greenock, cook; James B. Picken, Glasgow, boatswain and A.B.; Thomas Fleming, Glasgow, A.B.; George Noordgren, Gothenberg, A.B.; O. Bergland, A.B.; Robert F. Dunn, Aberdeen, A.B; John Cormie, Glasgow, A.B.; Andrew Olsen, A.B.; George Mair, Banff, A.B.; J. M’Naught, Greenock, A.B.; James Todd, Helensburgh. A.B.; Norman Todd, Glasgow, O.S.; William Murray, Greenock, O.S.; George Angus, Glasgow, O.S.; Johann Person, O.S., signed at Gourock; Chas. Ross, carpenter; T. Dunn, sailmaker; Walter Wallace, jun., apprentice; Thomas Ingram, jun., apprentice.



The Scotsman, Edinburgh, 16 August, 1895.
THE MISSING GREENOCK BARQUE CUMBRAE. —The report and decision of the Local Marine Board, Newcastle, New South Wales, on the investigation into the supposed loss of the missing barque Cumbrae, of Greenock, owned by Messrs William Walker & Co., Greenock, was issued last night from the Marine Department of the Board of Trade. The Cumbrae left Newcastle, N.S.W., on the 23d of February last, loaded with coal, shale, and tallow, for Valparaiso, and has not since been heard of. The decision is as follows.—The Board having carefully inquired into the circumstances attending the state in which the Cumbrae was in when she left this port, find that she was a new iron barque of 1356 tons register, and loaded with 1679 tons of coal, 505 tons of shale, and 152 tons of tallow (in casks), was fully and properly equipped, not over-laden, and manned by a crew of twenty-three all told. She was thoroughly seaworthy in every respect, and the weather was fine during her loading, and continued so for several days after leaving this port. No cause has been elicited that would account for her loss.



Glasgow Herald, Thursday, October 7, 1897. (P.7 Col.2)
TROON.—MESSAGE FROM THE SEA.—Information has been received in Troon that last month a bottle was washed ashore at Fecamp (France) containing a piece of paper, on which the following was written:—“Barque Cumbrae, of Greenock, bound from Newcastle, N.S.W., March 3d, 1895, in a sinking condition. No hope. —J. B. Picken, boatswain, Troon.” The Cumbrae was posted at Lloyd's as missing on her voyage from Newcastle. N.S.W., for Valparaiso on July 31, 1895. J. B. Picken, of Troon, was serving on board the Cumbrae as boatswain at the time she was lost. Mr Picken and his parents were natives of Troon. His father was a ship master, and died a few years ago. His mother is still alive, and resides in Liverpool. The bottle must have been floating about in the sea for over two and a half years.
http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=ll ... 7%2C557654

The finding of the bottle was also reported in some Australian newspapers but not in as much detail. The Official Number of the Cumbrae was 102391.

Hope that helps,
Alan

Currie
Posts: 3735
Joined: Fri Jun 22, 2007 3:20 am
Location: Australia

Re: Death at Sea

Post by Currie » Fri Feb 22, 2013 9:47 am

A bit more,

The “Mariners and Ships in Australian Waters” site has a transcription of the crew and passenger list when the ship arrived in Sydney on 10th January 1895, and a link to the original document. When compared to the Scotsman list it seems that seven or eight of the crew left the ship in Sydney or Newcastle and new crew were taken on to make up the 23. http://mariners.records.nsw.gov.au/1895/01/038cum.htm

The original enquiry in this thread was about a William Murray, born 1874 Greenock, and he is on the Scotsman list of crew lost as an Ordinary Seaman. On the Sydney arrival list he is probably the 20 year old Ordinary Seaman from Greenock, but mis-transcribed somewhere along the line as W. Mersey.

Here’s one of the Australian reports which gives September 23 as the date when the bottle was found, and that item has been copied from a UK newspaper. http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article ... -year=1897

The Watt Library in Greenock has “barque cumbrae” in a couple of their newspaper clipping pdfs. One is probably for the launch and the other probably a death notice for one of those lost. http://www.google.com.au/search?hl=en&a ... 80&bih=841

I was curious about the prospects of a bottle making it from somewhere between Australia and South America and the coast of France but it seems to be doable. http://www.lincolninteractive.org/html/ ... rrents.jpg

All the best,
Alan

cmacra28
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Jun 08, 2011 6:53 am

Re: Death at Sea

Post by cmacra28 » Sat Jul 13, 2013 4:33 am

Thanks for your research Alan. Sorry it took a while to respond I went on Holiday after the first post and have only just got back to genealogy projects.

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