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British Merchant Service 



from tbe Barltest Ulmes to tbe present S)a^ 






£t. SmUtan'ri KauA 

Fetter Lane, Flkbt Street, EC. 




In the preparation of this work I have to acknowledge the 
extreme oourteay that I have received from, and the mncli 
valuahle information that has been supplied by, among 
others, the Secretary of the Trinity House, the Secretary of 
Lloyd's, the Secretary of Lloyd's Eegiater, the Secretary of 
the Chamber of Commerce, Liverpool, and the ofiicials of the 
Board of Trade ; as also the great steamship companies, par- 
ticularly the P. and O., the Cunard Line, the Orient Com- 
pany, the Union Company, the Castle Line, the White Star, 
the Goyal Mail, and the Pacific Steam Navigation Company, 
to whom this work is indebted for the views of their several 





Vltirly history of British ghipping — The boila of tho BritoBl TC 'be ships 
of the Veneti — lavaBion of Cnsar, b.c. 55 — Sliippin^fcring the 
RumuD occupalinn — The Saxon vesaela^Tlie ships BTTjIb Danes — 
Ancient Danish ship recentiy discovered in Denmar^-Th^hips of 
Alfred the Great — Nnval action Iwtweeii tlie Britist>nii Diiiibh 
shipH in 837— Shipping under Etholrod— Tlie Kpflggljfedon in 
Ethelred's reign — Shipping under the Noi-manO-Ult ileit of the 
Conqueror — The Cinque Porta — Sliips furni5l*d*E^t^* Cinque 
Ports— Tho Crusades— The fioot of RicliarJ E-^3 4rt in the 
Mediterraneaa — The Shipping Code of Uglyml* W-Nniificfll 
ponishmeuts , . . ft- \ ."■ . 

O ,* w 

CHAPTER II. Ojjtt.' 

Britiah shipping under the Plantagonels — Tho action otfj6andwich in 
1217— Piratee in the Channel- Letters of Maf^u»i— The great fleet 
of Edward m., 1340— List of Uie ahipn— l^vcoa! trade of the 
north — Shipping under Riohard II. — NBvigatioif Art — Defence of 
the country by merchant ships, 1406 — Maritime affairs under 
Henry V. — The fleet for the inYasion of France — Important change 
in the Mercantile Marine during the reign of Richard III. 


bippjng in the fifleoDth ceutury — Maritime diacoveriea — Bartholomew 
Diaa — Vasco da Gama — Cbrislophet Columbus — Tho North- West 
Pflsaage — Cabot's eipedition— The maritime achievementa of Spain 
and Portugal — Tho discoveries of the English — Shipping under 



Henry VIL— Improvements in the art of shipbuilding — ^The 
Merchant Adventurers* Company— The expedition under Sir Hu^ 
Willon^by — Sir Hug^ Willou^y*8 own account of it 27 


Shipping in the time of Henry Yin.— The Henri OrAce h Dieu— The 
fleet for the siege of Boulogne m 154&— Will Hawkins— Voyages 
to the Gold Coast — Piracy in the English Channel — ^Voyages of 
discovery— The North-West Piunage— Frobisher— John Davis — 
Sir John Hawkins— Sir Francis Drake— His celebrated voyage 
round the world 42 


The intended Spanish invasion of Eng^d in 1588 — ^The Invincible 
Armada^-The squadron of the Duke of Medina Sidonia — ^The 
English armament — ^Particulars of the fleet — Chiefly merchant 
ships — ^The fate of the Armada — ^The general state of merchant 
shipping in Eng^d — ^The Government returns — ^A return for the 
year 1591— The fisheriee of Iceland and Newfoundland — ^Voyages 
to the coast of Quinea — ^Disastrous voyage of the Edtoard OoUon 
— ^The voyage of Sir Humphrey Gilbert to North America — Sir 
Walter Raleig^i— Voyage of Captains Amadas and Bsrlow— First 
English settlers in Virginia — ^Introduction of tobacco — ^The Dutch, 
and their enoroaohmenta— The Navigation Laws of Cromwell and 
Charles IL— Shipbuilding in the seventeenth and eighteenth 
centuries 51 


Outline of the History of the East India Company— Trade with the 
East— The Venetians and the Genoese— ^The Spaniards and the 
Portuguese— The Dutch— The English— -Attempts toreach the Indies 
by the North-West Passage— John Davi»— First charter of the 
English East India Company, 1600— The first East Indiamen 
—Disputes with the Dutch— Fresh charter from James I. — ^Tlie 
Tradf^ inerwuf— Value of the trade with the East — ^Losses of the 
English East India Company— The French East India Company — 
The charter granted to the English Company by Charles U. — 
Success of the Company— Opposition — A new company — ^Rival 
traders — Amalgamation of the two companies — ^The East India 
Company of 1708 — ^The ships— Heavy losses in the Company*s 
fleet — ^The Earl <^ Ba2carr»~'The officers of the ships — Life on 
board an East Indiaman — ^End of the Company — Sale of the 
ship^ 64 



■ discovery of Australia, TsHmania, and New Zealand in the 
seventeenth centnry — Pedro Fenmndo do Quiroa — Luia vos Torres 
—Jan Abel Tasman — Dampier — Dampier's voyage in the Boebuck — 
Anson's voyage in the Centurioa — Parnimony of the Government 
—John Byron — Pepy's Island and Falkland's Island — Captain 
*.'ook"8 tliree voyages— Discovery of islanda ill the Pacific — AnUrctic 
exploration— Death of Captaio Cook— Loss of the Betti/ Qaltey on 
the Comiflh coast — Loss of the Prince Exigent near Uilford Haven 
— L088 of the Dublin Packet on the lale of Man — Tlio press-gang 


M maritime commerce of England at the close of the reign of Qncen 
Elisabeth — Soleo Hovers — Charles I. — Ship-money — The shipping 
of LODdoti- Tlie other principal porta — State of iho port of Lou<lon 
in the seventeenth century— In the lost century — Serious robberies 
on the river— The liret docks— The " legal qunys "—The West 
India Docks— The London Docks— The East India Docks— The 
St. Eatherine's Docks — The Victoria Dooks— The Boyal Albert 
Docks — ^The Surrey CouimurciiU Docks— A few parliculars of the 
Porl of Liverpool ......... 


■ iqiplication of steam to the purposes of navigation — Mr. Patrick 
Miller — Symmgton — Lord Dundas— The ChtrlolUDuudta — Fulton 
—The C7fmo7i(— The Cornet— Tha first Mai^te steamer- The 
JfarjoiT/— The Bob ^oy— The first ocean steamer — The Savannah 
— The first attempt to reach India by steam — The EnUrpHit — The 
first steam warship — Transatlantic steam navigation^The Siritu 
—The Ormi JFcifmi— The Bridih ^ue™- The President— Tha 
Btrew ijropeller— The Archimi'dei—The Rattler and the Alecit>— 
The Qreal Britain 


in introduced for sliipbuilding — Oppositiun at first encountered — Iron 
ships — The advantages of iron over wood — Greater immunity from 
fire— The case of the Crfwnio— The earliest iron veseele— The 
FuZow— The flainioio— The Edipst—SAaoi taking the place of 
iron — Iron and steel passenger vesaels — Oceangoing steamers — 
Owge Maamani — %eed of steaniers — Mode of consti'uclioa of icou 



and steel vessels — ^Doable bottoms — ^Water ballastr— Gapnzing of 
the Oroiava — ^The sides and decks — Water-tight bnlkheads— Iron 
masts and yards — ^Iron riggmg 115 


The Transatlantic liners — ^The Canard Line — ^The first formation of the 
Company — ^The mafl contract — ^The first ships— American opposi- 
tion — ^The Collins Line — ^Loss of the ArcHo — ^Loss of the Pao(/So — 
Recision of the Gk>yomment rule as to wooden ships — ^The first iron 
Cunarder — ^The Penia — The first screw Canard steamer — The 
China — ^The RuMta — Compoand engines — ^The Baiavia — ^The first 
steel Canarder— The ^S^vto^ The Umbria and the Etrwria^The 
Campania and the Lucania — ^Ratcs of speed — Management of the 
Canard Company — Immanity from accidents . . . .133 


The Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company — Its origin — 
Messrs. WiUooz and Anderson — Messrs. Sourness line of steamers 
to Spain and Portugal — ^Messrs. Willcoz and Anderson*s contract 
for the Peninsular maib in 1837 — ^The Indian mail — ^The East India 
Company — ^The Peninsular Company — ^The starting of ^e P. and 0. 
in lSiO--The Bombay mafl— Opposition of the East India Company 
— ^Parliamentary Inqtdry in 1851 — ^Termination of the East India 
Corapany*s monopoly — ^The India and China mafls in the hands of 
the P. and 0. — ^The Overland Route— Coaling stations — Com- 
mencement of the P. and 0. line to Australia in 1853 — ^The 
European and Australian Steam Packet Company — ^Its final 
collapse — ^The opening of the Suez Canal — Opposition of the Post 
Office—The Suez Canal at last adopted by the Oovemment — ^The 
present mafl contract times — ^Rules and r^^ations of ^e P. and 
0. Company, as to their ships, etc. — Casualties — ^The loss of the 
Aden-^The loss of the China 14G 


The Royal Mafl Steam Packet Company — Commencement of the 
Company — ^The first subsidy— llie first yearns balance-sheet — llie 
first ships — The amount of the subsidy reduced — The Ihnnanian 
— Casualties among the fleet— The total loss of the Amazon — 
Further disasters—The recent mafl contracts — ^The present fleet— 
The Nile — Freights — Treasure and specie . . . .164 


The Orient Line— The earlier ships— The Ortent— The present fleet — 
The Op^tr— Tlie passage to Australia — Auxfliary steamships — The 
Union Steamship Company — ^llie first ship»— Their present fleet— 

[ The Seoi— The Soot cut id half, an<t lengthened— The Ntirmait— 

f Iba Briton — The Caatle Line—The Bleamers of the Castle Line— 

■ of the Drummotid CWtifl— The Allao Line— The White 

—The American Line — The Iiimui Lino — Other great 

p lines 


BteamshipH — Ocean traropa — The loss of the La Flata—ScTevr 
roiliere— The Q.E.D.—ne King Coal — Catlle-boaW— The ftosan- 
meot trade — The New Zoalaod ships — The Toa-ateamerB — The 
Stirling Cattle — Grwn-ateainora — Mode of loading grain — Oil-tank 
cteamerG — Loss of the Edmimoor — Well-decked ateamcra — 
Dangerous cargoes— Cotton steamere 


Transatlantic "Record"- 1838, the Sirina, the Gmil Wetlvrn— 
1840, the itrifonnKi— 1851, the /iaifio— 1883, the Sco(w— 1863. 
Ihe City of .Brwairfff— 1873, the Bi^tk (White Star)— 1879, the 
.Arizona— 1882, the Jlwia— 1884, the Onw/on— 1885, the Elruria 
—1889, the City of J'an"*— 1891, the Majatic, the TVutonie— 
1896, the Citmpania and l.ueania — The fnture . , . . 1 


Suling-dhipfi — The Baltimore cUppcre — Boston and New York clippera 
— The Sea IFifcA— The American " tea clippers " — British clippera 
—The China tea race in 1853— Donald McKay's ships— The White 
Star liners— The Blue Jacket— The loss of the Blae Jacket—tba 
Marco Folo — The Bed Jacket — The Lightning — TIio Jama Bainei 
— The AbetJeeu clipper* — The Maid i^Judah— The tea race in 
the " sixliee " and the " seTentieB " — The Arid and the Tatping — 
The Sir Lanctlot — The Thermopylce—Ihe old English frigate-buift 
ships of Green and Wigram and others , . . , . I 


Tonnage — Origin of Tonnage — Early Actn of Parliament relating to 
Tonnage — Builders' Old Measurement — -New Measurement — Gross 
Tonnage — Register Tonnage— Displacement Tonnage — Board of 
Trade deductions — Accommodation for the crew— Freight Tonnage 
— Horse-power — Nominal horse -power— Indicated, or effective 
horse-power — Speed in steamships — Paddle-wheel steamers — 
Paddle-wheeia — Screw propeller — Slip — Negative slip — Twin 
•aewi— Cntnk-ahafta — Speed . ' 






Present state of the British Mercantile Marine — ^Increase of shipping 
daring the reign of Queen Victoria — Shipping in 1837 — ^in 1897 — 
British tonnage— Time of Queen Elizabeth-— Time of Queen 
Victoria — ^Increase in tonnage — ^Decrease in number of ships — 
Steamers of the world — Sailing-vessels of the world — Additions 
and losses in 1897 252 


The Fenonnd — ^Number of mariners in the British Merchant Service — 
Masters and Mates — The men — Able seamen — Ordinary seamen — 
Undermanning— Better regulations needed — ^The Board of Trade 
scale of food — ^Fines for oflfenoes — Foreign seamen in British ships — 
Declme in the numbers of British seamen — ^Relative merits of the 
British seamen and foreigners — ^llie Quartermasters — ^The Boatsvrain 
—The Carpenter— The Safl-maker— The Cook— The Engineers 
and the Firemen 261 


The Apprentices — ^Their numbers, formerly and now — ** Sea-time " with 
the Board of Trade — ^The beet way for a boy to go to sea — Import- 
ance of being apprenticed to a good firm — ^Premium and expenses 
—Apprentices* indentures — A contract — Duties of the apprentices 
— Duties of the shipowner — Treatment of Apprentices — ^Training- 
ships— Suggestions — Apprentices sixty years ago . 276 


The Officers— The Second Mate — ^His duties and position — ^The Chief 
Mate — ^His duties and responsibilities — Officers on the great liners 
—The Master— His duties— The 1(^— The official 1(^ . . 285 


Work on board ship— The port and starboard watches — ^The nautical day 
— Watches and bells— The dog-watches— The Wheel— Steering- 
Work aloft— Observations — ^Dead reckoning — Heaving ^e log- 
Ordinary log— Patent logs— Heaving the lead— The lead-line— 
Hand-line — Deep-sea lead — Deep-sea soundings — Sounding- 
machines 295 


Kffect npon mercantile shipping of llie Suob Canal— Previous camilft— 
The Snez Canal — M. Ferdinand de Lesseps — Scheme for a canal- 
Formation of the Company — Tiie ConcesHion — OppoaitJoii of the 
Englinh GoTBTrnnenl — V)pening of the Cannl— Deecriplion of tlje 
Canal — Mode of working — The Canal dnes — At the opening — At 
the present time — The cost of the Canal— The takings— The 
diridends — Lonl Beacooficld'a purchase of shares — Their present 
value — Saving in distanL-efl by the Canal route — Official regulutions 


Ugh tfaoueea— Ancient HghtlioiiBes — The ColoBfflw of Rhodes- The 
I^aroa of Aleiandria— Roman Pharos at Dover— Tlie Pharos of 
Cafigulft at Boulogne — The Tour dc Cordnan— Bock lighthouses— 
The Eddyatone— The Bell Rook— The Skerryvore— The lighthouse 
on the Wolf Bock — The LongahipB — Force of the waves at ex- 

Ipoeed liglitbonsefl — The Bishop Rock. Scilly — Pile lighthouses — 
The Haplin— Shore lighthouses— The North Foreland— Coal fires 


of illumination — The Catoptric and the Dioptric ayBtema — 
The Catoptric syGtem — Primitive reBoetors — More rectnt improve- 
ments — Fixed lighte — Revolving lights — M, AaguBtin Frenel — llie 
Dioptric sy£t«m — The French lights — Mr. Stevenson'B improvemenla 
— The BpparatDS — The lenses— The lamp— Evidence na to the 
Dioptric systein given hcfore the Royal CommiBsion — DiBtanoes 
from which lights are visible — Experiments at the South Foreland 
— Electric light»— Mineral oil — Gas — Report of the Committee — 
Control of lights — The Trinity House — Other bodies — Lightships 
— Their lights — Revolving lights — Flashing lights — The moorings 
of lightships — Casnalties to lightships — Crew of a lightship — 
Relative visibility of lights — Gongs and Syrens — Beacons — Buoys 
— Bell-hnoys — Whistling buoj-s — Gas buoys — Communication 
between lightships and the shore — Light dues — The different rales 
—The present mode of collection — A thorough reform needed 


Flags— The oatJoDal colours — The Union Jack— The cnnign — The 
white ensign — The blue ensign — Tlie red ensign — Oilier legal 
colours — House flags — Private signals — Signals and Hignalling — The 
IntercationDl Code— BeiHjrt of the Committee— Tlie Signal Book— 
The flags — The ngnaJti — The New Code 






Ships* lights— Port and atarboard UghtB — ^Anchor lights — ^The case of 
H.M.S. Blenhstm^ and La France — ^The Norwegian steamer and 
the barqae — Sound-signals for fog — Signals of distress—Life-saying 
appliances— Draught of water and load-line — '* Plimsoll^s mark ** — 
Certain caigoes— Dangerous goods— The " Rule of the Road ** . 369 


Lloyd's — Lloyd*s Coffee-House in Tower Street ; in Lombard Street ; 
at Pope*s Head Alley; at the Royal Exchange — The Act of 
Incorporation — ^The objects of Lloyd^s — ^Underwriting — ^The great 
success of Lloyd's — ^Parliamentary inquiry in 1810 — ^The result — 
Lloyd's signal-stations — ^Lloyd's Register of British and foreign 
shipping — Classification of ships — Surveyors of Lloyd*s Register — 
The Classification Committee — ^Number of ships surveyed and 
classed by the society • . . . • • . 383 

Index ........... 397 


r DUMIBH Vbssei. ,.,.... 

Thb "SiK Gabriel," bdii/t is 1497 , . . . . 

A Gbnoesb "Oabrack" or 1512 ..... 

Tbe ■- HcHRi OhIce \ Died," (From a IS8. in the Pepyian Librart/.) 
Thb •■ Thamib," East Ihdiauan ...... 

The " Eabl of BiLOAanEs," Eabt Ikdiahah, H17 Toss 

A PbeE'Tkade Bahqde ....... 

Caftaik CooK'fl Old Vbhsel, the " DincovKmt " . 

The " THma," West Iitdiaiiiii ...... 

BrssH-irBEMi. Steaueb, vtso oh the Murray 

FcLTOv'a Steaueb, tbe "Clebhoht," oh the HtDsoH . 

The "Coj«t," 1812 ....... 

Tbb Ehqike of tbe "Coim" ...... 

Tai "EmapBUK," 1825. (From a print of Ihe time.} 

Tbe " UsiTED Kuiqdoii," 1S26 ...... 

Oh» of tb« Eablimt Screw Btbahers, the " Robert F. Stockton " 
The *■ Great Bbitaik," 1845 ...... 

Bablv Ibon Steamship, the " Citt op Masokbstbb " 

laon Bteameb op the Preseht Dat, "Ashtbias Mohabob" 

An Ibov Stbaxer op 1869, tbe "Batabian" 

Cltse-eutlt Ibom Foub-kabtkb, ''Loch Tobbidok," umiOBm a 1880 

The ■' Litbhpool," Iboh Fodb-kastbd Smp, built at Port Oi.asoow 

IS 1889 ........ 

Aji Ocfah Liner or 1878, thr Imuan Line Steaueb " Citt of 

CseaTEH" ........ 

Tbe FtBCT Ccsabd Steaukb, the ■■ Britannia," at Halifax 

The Cou-ika Line Steakbr "Atlantic" 

The Cokabd Comiahy's R.M.S. " Scotia " . 

CcNABD Cvnrun'a R.H.8. " Botrhia " . 

Tm "Campania" at tub Landino-staob, I.ttebpooi. 

AnBicAii Compaitv'b Acziuabt Schiw Stbameb "Masbacbtbitts" 




The •• BoTAL Tab," 1834 .... 
P. AND O. GkRAxn ''Khkditb'* . 


RoTAL Mail OoiiPAinr'f Stbambb '^Fobtr'* 
RoTAL Mail Oompavt'8 Stbambb '^Amaboh" 
BJ18. "Nob- 

OBmrT LiHEB, TSB **Ophib" 

Obibmt Linb Stbambb ''Orimbobazo" 

W. 8. LnrDSAyB Aitxiliabt Sobbw Stbambb, to tsb Oafb • 

The Umioh Compavt's R.M.8. ''Bbiton." (^Vom a dteUk by W. 

WyUie^AJLA.) ....... 

Oabtlb Lora R.M.S. "Duhtboan Oabilb" 

Cabtlb Lnra Stbambb **Tutaobl Oaitlb'* 

Tbe Whttb Stab R.M.8. ''Bbitanvio" 

Whitb Stab Linb RJkLS. ^^BiAJBsno** in thb Mbbsbt 

The *'Pabi8" (now thb U.S. Abmed Cbuisbb **Talb") 

Dominion Line R.M.S. "Canada" . . . . . 

Pacific Steam Natioation Oompany'h 8.8. *• Obopbsa *' 

A Ttfioal Ooean Tramp ...... 

A Stbam Collier .... 

Bbitisb India Company'8 Steamer ** €k>L00NDA ** 

The ''King Coal," Sobbw Colueb 

A Fbozbn-mbat Ship : New Zealand Shippino 

•*RUAPEHU" .... 

Whttb Stab Line Cattlb-stbambb ^'Geobgio" 
Ca China Tea Steamer, the ** Stirling Castlb" 
AfWTBALiAN Wool Stbambb, the ** Aberdeen" 
A Modern Frutt Stbambb, The ** Bayarun " 
A Grain Stbambb, 8.8. **Banda" 
Oiltahx Stbambb, 8a ''Bbab Orbbx" . 
a cotton-ladbn sxbambb .... 
A **Well-dbokbd" Stbambb 
A Spar-dbokxd Stbambb .... 
A Clan Linb Steamer 

A Bibbt Line Stbambb .... 
Anohob Line 8.8. "Viotobu" 
White Star Line B.11S. ** Teutonic" at Sftthead 
The American Cuffbr *'Gbbat Bepdbuc" 
Whttb Stab Line Cupper **Salami8" 
The Celebrated Whttb Star AmBALiAN Clipper •*Patruroh" 

Compant'8 83. 







Ameuoah Foub-xasted Cufpib ..... 228 

Hon. Bast India Compaht's Ship *' Punjaub,*' afterwards the ** Tweed" 228 

The Scotch Cluteb "Sib Lahcelot" . 282 

The Aberdeen Cliffer ''Thebmoftljb" .... 282 

The China Tea Clipper '*THEBXOPTLiB" .... 284 

The China Tea CuFPEB **CuTTT Sabx** .236 

The **Loch Gabbt/' Modebn Ibon Clipper 286 

Cbxw op a Liner, the Union Coxpant's R.M.S. ''Briton" 264 

Thb Eddtstonb Lighthouse ...... 820 

The Eddtstonb Lighthouse bt Night ..... 822 

The L0NG8HIP8 Lighthouse, Land's End .... 826 

St. Cathebine's Lighthouse, Isle op Wight .... 828 

Befleotobs fob the Loweb Light of the Eddtstonb . . 830 


Lighthouse ....... 8S2 

Thb Dioptbic Appabatus at the Eddtstonb .... 834 

Lamp of the Dioptbic Appabatus, Eddtstonb LiGBTHorsR . 886 

The Needles Lighthouse ...... aS8 

A Dutch Galuot ..... 840 

The Gull-Stream Lightship: the Lantern .... 342 

„ „ „ Hauling up the Lantern . 844 

The Gull-Stream Lightship ...... 346 

A Lightship's Gong ....... 348 

A Pile Lighthouse: Mucking Light, on the Thames 852 

The Gull-Stueam Lightship: On the Lookout . . 854 

Intebnational Code Flags ...... 360 

"La Fbance," one of the Largest Sailing-ships in the World . 870 

I>bck-line»— *' Fldcsoll's Mark" ..... 876 

Llotd's Flags ....... 890 





E«rly history of British shipping — The toata of the Britons— The ships of 
the Veneti — InTEsion of Ciesar, B.C. 55 — Slupping during the Roraao 
occnpatian — The Saxon vobsoIh — The ahips of the Danes — Ancient 
Danish ship recently diacovered in Denmark — The ahips of Alfred tho 
Gnat — Narol action between the British and Danish ahips in 697 — 
Shipping nuder Ethelred — Port of London in Ethelred's reign — Shipping 
nodor the Normans — The fleet of the Conqueror — The Cinque Ports — 
Ships furnished by the Cinque Porta — The Cniaadea — The fleet of 
Richard I.— The fleet in the Mediterranean— The Shipping Code of 
Richard I.— Nautical pnniahmenls. 

Fbo« the insulsr position of Britain the first rude outline of 
a Mercantile Marine must have heen, in this country, coin- 
cident with the dawn of ctrilization itself. The necessity for 
Bome kind of vessel to be employed for the purposes of fish- 
ing would doubtless be the first thing to make itself felt, 
whilst the next would be the want of some means of trans- 
porting commodities from one pleice to another ; and the land 
being to a large extent either dense and impenetrable forest, 
I boundless morass, the water would naturally suggest itself 
■ affording the readiest means of communication. In any 
, long before the Christian era the Britons appear to have 
Iderstood the arts both of building and of navigating 

f Cesar speaks of the vessels of the Britons as being of the 
ightest possible construction, having the keel and the ribs 
wood, and being covered over with skins; whilst Luean 


describes them as constraoted of osiersi twisted and interwoven 
with each other, the whole being then covered with strong 
hides. In these fragile craft the early British mariners not 
only constantly crossed from Britain to Ireland, and to France, 
but they even yentured into the Bay of Biscay, at least as 
far as the Biyer Gktronne. The Britons mnst, howeyer, haye 
possessed, eyen at that remote period, some yessels of more 
importance than these slight boats, because we know that 
one of the primary objects of the invasion of this country 
by Julins Caesar, in the year 55 B.C., was to punish the 
Britons for sending help in ships^ as well as in men, to one 
of the Gaelic tribes, the Yeneti, with whom he was then 
at war. 

CsBsar* thus describes the ships of the (Gaulish Yeneti, 
the probability being that some of the yessels he so describes 
were British ships which had been lent to the Yeneti: — 

*'Thoir bottoms were somewhat flatter than ^ose of oar yesaeb, tiieir 
prows were yeiy high and erect» as likewise their stems, to bear the hi^gmeas 
of the billows and the yiolcnoe of the tempests. The body of the vessel was 
bnilt entirely of oak. The benches of the rowers were made of strong beams 
abont a foot in breadth and fastened with iron spikes, the thickness of one^ 
thumb. Instead of cables they secured their anchors with chains of iron ; 
and made use of skins and a sort of thin pliant leather by way of sails, 
probably either because they had no canvas or because they imagined that 
canvas sails were not so proper to bear the violence of tempests, and the rags 
and fury of the winds, and to govern ships of that bulk and burden. The 
attack of our fleet with these vessels was of such a kind that it had the 
advantage in swiftness only, all other things were more advantageous and 
favourable for them than for us, for neither could our ships injure them with 
their beaks, so great was their strength and firmness, nor could we easily throw 
our darts, because of their height above us, which also was the reason that 
we found it extremely difficult to grapple the enemy, and briog him to a 
close fight" 

Caesar's ships, we know from a variety of sources, were 
large and powerful vessels, and we haye absolute record of 
one Boman galley, built more than two thousand years ago, 
which is said to have been propelled by three tiers of oars, 
and was 110 feet long, and 11 feet broad. After the fall 
of the Boman Empire little or no progress appears to haye 
been made in the building of ships for many centuries; 

* « CflBsar's Commentaries on the Gallic War,'* Book iil 13. 


yet in the teoth century galleys of from one to two 
thousand tons burthen were occasionally to be found in the 

Shipping must, however, have increased in Britain during 
the century immediately 8ucce«ding Cresar's first invasion, 
for in A.D. 43, when the Romans under Claudius ultimately 
sabdued Britain and made it a Boman colony, London is 
described by Tacitus as being a port of some considerable 
trade, aad a chief residence of merchants. Clausentum too, 
which was either Southampton, or the present village of 
Bitt«Tne, on the Itchen, near to Southampton, and Rutupi 
(Bichborough) near Sandwich, were even then commercial 
ports of some importance, and were occupied by traders who 
dealt largely with Granl, and even with Borne itself; British 
Teeaels laden among other things with British oysters, a 
delicacy mnch appreciated by the Bomans, occasionally find- 
ing their way to the Imperial City. 

Hitherto the ships of the Boman conquerors of Britain had 
merely crossed the Channel to and fro, and it was not nntil 
the time of the Governorship of Agricola, a.d. 78-85, that 
they first sailed entirely round the whole country — an under- 
taking, at that time, in the entire absence of lights, beacons, 
buoys, or charts, fraught with no inconsiderable amount of 
difficulty and of danger. 

Little is known of the actual state of Britain under the 
Boman rule until towards the close of the fourth century, 
when we find the Saxons invading the country on the east 
and on the south coasts, coming in their skin-coveted boats, 
called in Sason, Ceol or Ciol, from which has come the 
English word "keel," a description of barge which has been 
long in use in the north of England, and more especially on 
the TjTie, where to the present day the name survives in 

I vessels built to hold exactly twenty-one tons four hundred- 
weight, or a " keel," of coals. 
At this early period there probably would, in a country 
like Britain, be no very marked distinction between vessels 
employed for the peaceful purposes of commerce, and those 
med for the more serious operations of war, and under ordi- 
nary nircumstances the self-same vessels would douViVVees Xie 


employed for both pnrposeB ; being nsed for the most part in 
commeroe, and when fighting had to be done, instead of 
carrying merchandise^ being filled with soldiers. After the 
departure of the Romans from Britain, which Bede places at 
just before the siege of Borne by Attila, A.D. 409, the shipping 
interest in this conntry would appear to have materially 
declined, so that when the Jutes and Saxons first, and after 
them the Vikings and the Danes, came and made repeated 
incursions into the country, there was no adequate maritime 
force to oppose them. 

The Vikings and the Danes, who were the most formidable 
maritime enemies of Britain, were themselves thorough sea- 
men, and were the possessors of far larger and much more 
powerful ships than the Britons ; but the only Danish vessels 
of which any authentic accounts have come down to us, may 
probably be regarded more as fighting ships than as merchant- 
men, yet, as bearing to a certain extent on the vessels with 
which we are more immediately concerned, a brief notice of 
them will not be out of place. 

The principal vessels of the Danes were of two classes — ^the 
Drakers, and the Holkers ; the former, so named from their 
carrying a dragon on their bows, being the larger vessels. 
The Holkers were smaller, probably more in the nature of 
canoes, as they are said to have been, not built, but hollowed 
out of trees. From these latter the word ^hulk" has evi- 
dently been derived. The Danes, with most of the Scandi- 
navian nations, had also another kind of vessel which they 
called a Snekkar (Serpent), apparently shorter in proportion 
to her breadth than either of the former classes, and furnished 
with a mast, and therefore not unlike the ordinary Dutch 
galliot of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. 

In 1865 the remains of an ancient vessel were discovered 
in Denmark, which competent authorities have pronounced as 
probably a Draker of the fifth century ; and which may there- 
fore fairly be taken as a type of the kind of vessel used by 
the Danes against the British. The remains were sufficiently 
complete to permit of the entire re-construction of the vessel 
as it floated. 

It was evidently a row-boat, there being no arrangement 



Bt from stem I 

tot help ftom caxivaa, yet it was seventy-seven feet from stem 
to stem, and proportionately rather broad in the middle, 
rising considerably both at the bow and at the stem, which 
were precisely alike. The vessel was clinker-built, and the 
peculiarities of its structure testified to the abundance, both 
of material and of skilled labour. The timbers and the heavy 
planks, for instance, instead of being simply sawn into boards of 
equal thickness throughout, were cut thin where thinness was 
desirable; but where greater strength was required they were 
thicker, so that they could be mortised into the crossbeams 
and gunwale, instead of being merely nailed. She had thirty 
rowlocks —fifteen on either side — and these, as well as the 
helm, were reversible, so as to permit of the vessel being 
luwed with either end forward. 

The Danes appeared first in the north of Scotland, and 
gradually worked their way to the south ; and when Alfred the 
Great came to the throne in 871, he found the whole country 
entirely overmn by them. Coaviuced that their expulsion 
could never be effected by purely military operations, he at 
once turned his attention to the formation of a fleet, and caused 
a number of ships to be built, twice the size of the largest 
vessels that had hitherto beeu seen ; built on new principles, 
and in a new form, after models said to have been contrived 
l)T himself, so that they astonished the enemy as much by 
their appearance as by their strength. They were galleys, 
generally with forty oars, but some had even sixty oars, on 
each side ; and they were longer, deeper, and wider than the 
Danish ships, and did not roll in a sea-way as much as 
they did. 

The new ships first appeared in 897," and their first service 

was against six Danish vessels, ofl' the Isle of Wight, Nine 

of the new ships were seut out, with instructions to get between 

the enemy and the shore ; but on the first appearance of the 

LBritisb ships, three of the Danish ships, alarmed at their 

* This Bcaonnt ia taken trom that given in a Saxon chronicle among the 
, MSS. written durbg the lifetime of Alfred. It is especially 
iting aa giving at once a concise and an intelligible account of a nitval 
uit of very early times, being, as a matter of fact, a battle fought 
yathoiwand years ago. 


fonnidable proportions, in trying to get away, ran agronncL 
The remaining three, despite the superior swiftness of the 
British ships, desperately resolved to engage them, but were 
soon overpowered. Two of them were taken, and all the men 
in them killed; the third Danish ship with some difficulty 
escaping. In the meantime those ships that had run aground, 
the tide having now risen, got off; but they had previously 
been so much damaged by Alfred's ships, and by the hct of 
getting aground, that two of them became unmanageable, and 
again went ashore, and were lost. 

After the death of Alfred the Great, which occurred in 901, 
his son Edward followed his father's example in the care he 
bestowed upon his fleet ; and although he was continually in 
conflict with the ever-encroaching Danes, yet he was able, 
during his reign, to equip and keep up a hundred ships to 
protect British trade, and to guard the coasts: a line of 
policy which his successor, Athelstan, continued to carry out. 
Athelstan was a great encourager of maritime commerce, 
and was indeed the first English monarch who made commerce 
a road to honour; one of his laws enacting that if any 
merchant or mariner should successfully accomplish three 
voyages on the high seas, with a ship and cargo of his 
own, he should thenceforth be advanced to the dignity of 
a Thane, and be entitled to all the privileges attaching to 
that rank. 

Even during the desolations of the reign of Ethelred U., 
some attention was still paid to maritime commerce, and a 
law was passed ordaining that every owner of 810 hides of 
land should famish a ship for the protection of the realm, 
the result being a larger naval force than had ever been 
collected before ; but in spite of this greatly increased number 
of ships, the Danes were every year making further and 
further inroads into the country, one chronicle informing 
us that in the year 980, ^Southampton was ravaged by a 
ship-force, and that the most part of the townsmen were 
slain, and led captive;** and that in 981 ^ there was much 
havoc done everjrwhere by the Danes along the sea^coast, 
as well among the men of Devon as amongst the men of 



At this time many fresh regulations were made with 
reference to the coasting-trade, particularly with regard to the 
1 port of London. Pennant, in his " London," Bays — 

" Before the Custom HouBe was eatablished, Uic principal place for receiving 
1 dntiea was at Billing's Gate. Ah early as 979, or during t!io reign of 
id, a Bmall vessel was to pay nt Billing's Ghite one halfpenny, as a toll j 
nt«rTeaseI, bearing sails, one penny; a keel or hoik, fonrpence; a ship 
n with wood, one piece of the wood, for toll ; and a boat laden with fish, 
one halfpenny; or a larger boat with fish, one penny. There was, even at 
that time, aconadorable trade with France for ila wines, for moDtion is made 
of ships Iron) Boaen that came here and landed their wines, and freed them 
from toll, that is, paid their datios, bat what they amounted to, I cannot 

With the accession of Canute to the English throne the 
li 'ng-continued feud between England and Demnark came to 
an end, and maritime trade began again to flourish in Britain, 
whilst the number of ships required for the protection of the 
country was proportionately diminished, and from hencefor- 
ward the Saxon and the Danish immigrants may be regarded 
as forming part of the one great English or Anglo-Saxon 

When William, I>ake of Normandy, determined to invade 
igland, and to dispute the poBsession of the crown with 
Ei&iold, he collected a large army on the coast of Normandy, 
t August, 1066, sot sail for England. His fleet is said 
some chroniclers to have numbered as many as three 
lOnBaod vessels ; whilst others, the French authorities among 
, put the number at eight hundred, which is jirobably 
the more correct estimate. It was, however, in all probability 
a mere collection of coasting vessels, specially requisitioned 
for this particular service, no doubt supplemented by some 
ships presented by the great barons, but probably without 
one single ship of complete warlike appointment to convoy 
them. Even the largest ships engaged could not have beeu 
of any very great value, as the whole fleet were, by William's 
oideifl, burned and destroyed as soon as the army had dis- 
embarked, in order Erst to stimulate the valour of his men 
by the fact of cutting off all retreat, and also, as a second 

• Pennant's " London." 


reason, to save the cost of maintaining the vessels. A repre- 
sentation of these vessels is given in the fieunoiis Bayenx 

King William had no sooner thoroughly established his 
power in this country than important changes were intro- 
duced in maritime affairs, and over-sea commerce experienced 
greatly increased security and stability. The Danes, how- 
ever, still restless, were preparing another fleet for the 
purpose of another invasion, which obliged the Conqueror to 
summon to his aid the whole of the naval resources of 
the country, Dover, Sandwich, Bomney, Winchelsea, and 
Bye being specially called upon to furnish ships; these 
towns being then, probably for the first time, styled the 
Cinque Ports, by which distinctive title they have been 
known ever since. 

The Cinque Ports were incorporated and endowed with 
many and very substantial privileges, not only with the view 
of promoting the commerce of the country, but also of 
defending it. To this end a Warden of the Cinque Ports was 
appointed, who, upon any sudden invasion by the enemy, was 
to be ready, at a short summons, to oppose him with the 
united strength of these towns and of their dependencies; 
other smaller towns being now associated for this purpose 
with the five original ports. The force to be raised and kept 
in readiness for this service was "57 ships, each ship to be 
furnished with twenty-one men, able, fitly qualify'd, and 
well armed, and one boy. The Master of each Ship and 
the constables were to receive a salary of sixpence a day, 
and each vulgar mariner was to have threepence a day, and 
thus they were to attend the King." 

The fleet thus provided by the Conqueror was so fully 
maintained by William Bufus, his son and successor, that 
Selden dates England's maritime supremacy from that early 
period. But for all that, for more than a century after the 
Conquest British ships but seldom ventured beyond the Bay 
of Biscay on the one hand, and the entrance to the Baltic 
on the other ; and there is no record of any extended voyages 
by English ships until the time of the Crusades. 

The Holy City fell into the hands of the famous Sultan, 

Saiadin, in the year 1187, and at once a new Crusade was 
projected. Bichard Cceur de Lion, on ascending the throne, 
threw hia whule energies into the scheme, and with the aid of 
Philip U. of France, and other princes, succeeded in raising 
a large force for the purpose of rescuing the Holy Land 
■ .from the infidel. Towards the close of 1189, two fleets, to a 
^ Wge extent composed of merchant ships, had been collected ; 
one at Dover, Uj convey the king and his more immediate 
followers across' the Channel; and the other, which was the 
larger fleet, at Dartmouth, for the conveyance of the great 
balk of the Crusaders to Marseilles, where Kiug Bichard was 
to join them. 

The Dartmoutli fleet, under the command of liohert de 
Sabloil, and Bichard de Camville, sailed from Bngland 
towards the end of April, 1190, and after a disastrous voyage 
arrived at LisboQ, where they remained some time to refit. 
Leaving that port, the fleet reached Marseilles on the 22nd of 
Augost, only to find that the king bad gone on to IVIessiua. 
Following bim, the whole of Che ships assembled in the 
Straits of Messina on the 14th of September, the king being 
oo board a ship called the Trcnche-lc-Mer,' 

It was not, however, until the April of the fullowing year, 
1191, that the fleet actually got under way for the Holy 
Land, it then cousisting of one hundred large ships, and 
fourteen smaller vessels, called " busses." Each of the larger 
ships had a crew of fifteen sailors, and was able to carry 
forty soldiers, forty horses, and provisions fur a year. The 
commander of each of these ships was also assisted by fourteen 
other picked men, called " slaves," who acted as rowers. These 
numbers must, however, be received with caution, as in all 
early accounts of shipping and maritime matters but little 
ielianc« is to he placed in figures. 

The fleet left Messina in regular formation; three large 
ships forming the van, then tlie other ships in parallel 
lines, and the king with his galleys bringing up the rear; 
the whole forming the most imposing maritime spectacle that 
had ever yet been seen on any sea. The lines of ships were 


sufficiently close for signals by trampet49 to be heard from one 
to the other; and each ship was near enough to her consort 
on either side to communicate by hailing. This formation in 
close order did not, however, last long, as a gale springing 
up when off Etna, the fleet was immediately dispersed, the 
crews being "sea-sick, and frightened." Three of the ships 
were totally lost, and their crews drowned, together with the 
Vice-Chancellor of England, whose body was ultimately 
washed ashore, with the Great Seal of England tied round 
his neck. 

After the successful capture of Acre, and a truce haying 
been arranged with Saladin, Bichard set sail again for 
England; but meeting with bad weather in the Adriatic, his 
ship was wrecked off the coast of Istria, and the king was 
taken prisoner; he ultimately reaching this country in 1194, 
and landing at Sandwich on the 18th of March in that year. 
One of the effects of this expedition was the opening up 
of British trade with the Levant, resulting in a largely 
increased activity in English shipping, and the first forma- 
tion of a regular British Shipping Code. 

Sir Travers Twiss, in his edition of the "Black Book of 
the Admiralty," has examined very fully the real or supposed 
claims of Bichard to be the author, or the editor, of the 
Shipping Code known as "Les B61es d'Oleron." In doing 
so he quotes a memorandum of 12, Edward I. (a.d. 1284), 
stating that these laws ^ were made by Lord Bichard, formerly 
King of England, on his return from the Holy Land, corrected, 
interpreted, and declared, and were published in the Island 
of Oleron, and were named in the French tongue 'La Ley 

This Shipping Code, established by Bichard Coeur de Lion, 
is extremely interesting, as being the first attempt to place 
English maritime affairs upon a sound legal footing. Previous 
to the time of Bichard L, it had not been thought safe or 
prudent to entrust any one with the command of a ship, 
unless he were part owner of the vessel, or a freeman. These 
restrictions were now abolished, and the qualifications and 
the duties of the Master were, for the first time, defined by 
statute. This Shipping Code extended to about fifty clauses. 


and dealt with all matters relating tu Mercantile shipping. 
The following presents a brief outline of each successive 
clause: — 

By the First Article a Master had power, with the axivice 
of his mariners, to pledge the tackle of the ship for necessary 
proTisions, but he could not sell the hull without special 
anthority from the owuers. Everything on board was placed 
under the care of the Master, and he was held responsible for 
it. He was required to understand thoroughly the art of 
navigating his ship, in order that he might control the Pilot, 
who, on board a merchantman, was next in command to the 
Master; the third person of importance being the mate, and 
the fourth the factor, or supercargo. After these came the 
surgeon, the steward, the cook, the gunner, and the coxswain ; 
and last of all the crew. 

By the Second Article, if a vessel lay in port waiting 
for the weather, or for a wind, the Master was instmcted, 
when the time for departure had arrived, to call together 
the ship's company and to inquire what they thought of the 
wind and the weather; and should there be a difference of 
opinion, he was bound to be guided by the majority. It 
fact, a standing rule for the Master, in everything, 
to act with the advice of the majority of his ship's 
eompany, and of the merchants, if there were any merchants, 
I board. 

The Third Clause provided that, if the ship's crew should 
not, unless under compulsion, do everything in their power 
to save the vessel and the cargo from shipwreck, they should 
forfeit their wages. If the vessel were wrecked, but they 
did succeed in saving some part of the cargo, then they 
were to be sent home by raising money on the goods so 

The Fourth Clause related to Salvage ; an allowance of one- 
half, one-third, or one-tenth of the articles saved going to the 
salvors ; such share being regulated by the depth of the water 
out of which the articles were raised. 

The Fifth Article provided that, when in port, no sailors 
Bhould leave the ship without the consent of the Master. 
fte BailoM were carefully to look after everyXliKv^ X.W\, 


related to the preserration of the ship and of the cargo ; and 
if, by reason of their absence without leave, any damage 
accrued, they were to be punished with a year's imprisonment, 
and were to be kept on bread and water. If, through their 
absence, any accident happened so as to cause death, then 
they were to be flogged. They might also for desertion be 
branded in the face with a red-hot iron, so that they might be 
recognised as long as they lived. 

The Sixth Clause made drunkenness, fighting, and quarrel- 
ling, severally punishable ; and mutinous sailors were to forfeit 
their wages. 

The Seventh Clause provided that, in case any one of the 
crew was seized with illness, he was to be sent on shore, with 
a ship's boy to attend upon him. 

The Eighth Article prescribed the regulations affecting the 
throwing overboard of any of the cargo in order to save, or 
lighten the ship. 

The Ninth Article referred to the destruction of the masts 
or sails, with the same object. 

The Tenth Article relates to all damage to the cargo arising 
from imperfect dunnage, and bad stowing, for the which the 
Master and the mariners were to be held liable to the 
merchant in the event of any injury to his goods arising 
from this cause. 

Article Eleven also refers to the damage of goods, leakage 
of wines and similar commodities, arising from bad stowing. 

The Twelfth Article prescribes the mode in which good order 
was to be maintained on board the ship. The Master having 
hired his crew, was required to keep the peace among them. 
If any one called another a liar at table where there was win^ 
and bread, he was to be fined fourpence ; but if the Master 
himself so offended, he was to be fined double. If any sailor 
impudently contradicted the Master, he was to be fined 
eightpence. If the Master struck him, whether with his fist, or 
with his open hand, the sailor was required to bear the stroke ; 
but if the Master struck more than one blow, then the sailor 
might defend himself. But if the sailor struck the first blow, 
he was either to pay a hundred sot^^ or lose his hand. The 
Master might call the sailor opprobrious names; and in such 


esse the sailor waa advised to snbmit, and to hide himself 
from the Master's sight, in the ibrecastle ; but if the Master 
followed him there, then the sailor might stand on his defence, 
for the Master ought not to paws into the forecastle after him. 
The Thirteenth Clause provided that, if any differemes 
arose between the Master and a sailor, the Master ought to 
*• deny him bis mess " (that is, make him go without his 
meal), thrice, before he turned him out of the ship. 

The Fourteenth and Fifteenth Articles relate to the regula- 
tions for mooring the ship; and to injuries resulting from one 
ship fouling another. 

The Sixteenth Article required the Ma.ster, when the ship 
Kwas ready to load, to ask the crew, "Will you freight your 
IfiiBre yourselves, or be allowed for it in proportion with the 
Kjiup's general freight?" And the sailors were bound, then 
pod there, to answer, and to make their choice. 

By the Seventeenth Clause, the sailors from Brittany were 
to have only one meal a day from tlie kitchen ; but those 
Jiom Normandy were to have two meals ; and when a ship 

^lfrived in a wine country the Master was to provide the crew 
irith wine. 
I The Eighteenth Article related to the payment of the 
wages of the sailors ; and it was held that the whole of the 
wages was not due until the ship was safely brought back to 
her destination. 

The Nineteenth Article provided that, if the engagement 
between the Master and the sailors was broken off by war, 
pirates, or the command of the king, the seaman was entitled 
to have a quarter of hia wages for the whole time of his 

The Twentieth Clause enacted that, when in a foreign port, 
only two sailors from the ship might go on shore at one time ; 
and they might take with them one meal of victuals, " as much 
as they can eat at once," but no drink. They were bound to 
return to the ship so that she should not lose a tide ; and 
they were to be held responsible for any damage resulting 
.from their default in this respect. 
■ The Twenty-first Clause relatetl to detentions, and to the 
Iftyment of demurrage. 


The Twenty-second Clause relates to the selling of goods 
from on board to provide for the ship, in which the laws of 
bottomry (or borrowing money on the secnrity of the ship) 
were enforced. 

The Twenty-third Clanse enacted that if a pilot, or a ** lock- 
man " (a term applied to harbour pilots), undertook to take a 
vessel into port, and the vessel miscarried through his ignor- 
ance, and he had no money to make recompense for the damage, 
or otherwise to render full satisfaction, then he was to lose 
his head : and — 

The Twenty-fourth Clause gave to the Master, or any of the 
mariners, or to the merchants on board, full power to cut 
off the head of the offender, without being bound in law to 
answer for it. 

The Twenty-fifth Clause provided that all pilots, who in 
connivance with the Lords of the coast, or who, to ingratiate 
themselves with such Lords, ran a ship on shore, should be 
'' hung on high jibbets near the place where these accursed 
pilots brought the ship to ruin : and which said jibbets are 
to abide and remain to succeeding ages in that plaoe, as a 
visible caution to other vessels that sail thereby." 

The Twenty-sixth Clause provided that the Lord of the 
place who should permit such crimes, or who should assist 
others in such villainies, so that he may have a share in sooh 
wrecks, shall be apprehended, and all his goods confiscated 
and sold, in order to make restitution ; and "* he himself shall 
be fastened to a post or stake in the midst of his own 
mansion-house, which, being fired at all the four comen» all 
shall be burned together: and the walls of the house shall 
be demolished, the stones pulled down, and the plaoe made 
into a market-place for the sale of hogs and swine only, to 
all posterity." 

Article Twenty-seven relates to losses from any accident 
which might result from the ship being badly found. 

Articles Twenty-eight, Twenty-nine, and Thirty, adjust the 
respective shares in fishing-boats, when worked in partner- 
ship : and also relate to the salvage from shipwrecked vessels, 
in which the right of all shipwrecked persons to their own 
goods is fully maintained. 


The Tbirty-firat Article provides that any wrecketB who 
)>ltin(lered a ahip, and whoi to gain possession of the goods, 
" should murder and destroy poor shipwrecked seamen, should 
be plunged into the sea till they be half dead, and then 
drawn oat from the sea and stoned to death." 

The remaining Articles deal with such matters aa goods 
nashed ashore, wrecks, and so forth. The Forty-fifth Clause 
is quaint. It provides that a ship, having to cut her cables 
and proceed to sea through stress of weather, is still entitled 
to the cables and anchors; and "any person detaining them 
&om their lawful owners, shall be reputed a thief and a 

The Forty-sixth and Forty-seventh Articles apply to the 
timbers of wrecks, when the crews should be all lost, or 
perished. The pieces of the ship were declared still to belong 
to her original owners, notwithstanding any custom to the 
contrary, "and any participators of the said wrecks, whether 
they be bishops, prelates, or clerks, shall be deposed, and 
deprived of their benefices " — and if lay people, then they were 
to incur the penalties previously recited. 

Swearing and gambling would seem to have been, from 
quite early times, weaknesses to which seamen were particu- 
larly prone. In Richard L'a expedition to the Holy Land, 
he ordered that if any seaman on board any of the ships 
shonid be found playing at dice, or any similar game, he 
should be plunged into the sea, three mornings successively, 
as a punishment. 

Swearing, on board ship, in the middle ages had reached 
flDch a pitch that Pope Paul III. issued, in 1543, a decree 
prescribing the most severe penalties for " this most damnable 
custom," which penalties were renewed in another decree 
issued, in 1582, by Pope Gregory XIII. 

Moncenigo, in 1420, flogged every common sailor guilty of 
blasphemy, or even of swearing; and fined "every sailor of 
the poop, steersman, ofQcer, or gentleman, a hundred sous, who 
shonid be guilty of a like offence." Many offences of seamen 
were, in the middle ages, punished by the whip, or the cat- 
o'-nine-tails ; but receiving a ducking overboard three times 
gacceasively was, perhaps, one of the most common forms of 


punishment. This mode of punishment was first used by the 
English in the twelfth oentury ; the offender being, by means 
of ropes, lowered down on one side of the ship, passed under 
the bottom, and hauled up again on the other side. This was 
known as '' keel-hauling," a name which has suryived till the 
present day. 



Fping under the Plautageneta— The action off Sandwicli iu 1217 
' I the Channel— Lettera of Matquo— Tho Great Fleet of 
, 1340— List of die ships— Tbo coal Irado of the north— 
■li^ under Kichard II.— Navigation Act— Defence of the country by 
' mtahipa, 1406 — Maritime affairs under Henry V. — The fleet 
B of France — Important change in the Mercantile Uarine 
)i of Richard m. 

senth and foiirteeiith centuries the English 

Y engaged in continental ware, bad entirely 

nt ships for fighting purposes ; but as the 

> was siinply to convey the archers and the 

'ho were the real combatants, the particular 

[ employed was of no very great moment. It 

iiposed, for the most part, of ordinary 

—that engaged the Fieuch ships off Sandwich 

I the 24th of August ia that year a fleet of 

lels, nnder the command of a famous pirate, 

the Monk, put to sea from Calais with 

r Prince Louis, who then was in England. 

:gh, a resolute and able man, with an English 

t Dover, and met the enemy off Sandwich, 

inencing the attack by " a dreadful discbarge 

• cross bow-men and the archers." The 

jigaiuat the enemy's vessels with their 

miy of them; and the sailors, "availing 

IKjsition to windward, threw pulverised 

French ships, whereby their men were 

i action the ships contributed by the Cinque 
' Matthew Paris. 


Forts SO distingoislied themselves that, as a reoompense, these 
ports obtained still farther privileges, being accorded permission 
to " annoy the subjects of France, and all they met of what* 
ever nation," or in other words, to plonder any foreign 
merchant ship that they might come across. This, however, 
was a line of policy that very soon found imitators, and it was 
not long before the whole Channel swarmed with pirates — 
English, French, Scotch, and Irish — all endeavouring to prey 
upon each other, until the evil had grown to such an enormous 
extent that the most stringent measures were found necessary 
to sweep the seas of these marauders. In spite, however, of 
the trouble given by these pirates, English maritime commerce 
was steadily increasing, there being a large export trade in 
wool, chiefly to Flanders; the king obtaining a revenue of 
£80,000 a year from the export duty on this article alone. 

King Edward I. did much to encourage maritime commerce, 
among other things granting a fresh charter to the Cinque 
Ports. He still fixed the number of ships to be provided by these 
ports at fifty-seven, which number was afterwards increased 
to eighty, thus establishing the nucleus of a national Navy.^ 

It was during the reign of Edward I. that ^letters of 
marque " appear to have been granted for the first time. A 
merchant of Bayonne, at that time a port of the English 
dominions in Gascony, had shipped a cargo of fruit from Malaga, 
which, on its passage along the coast of Portugal, was seized 
and carried into Lisbon by an armed cruiser belonging to that 
country, although Portugal was then at peace with England. 
The King of Portugal, who had himself taken one-tenth 

* Hakluyt, yoL I p. 21, gives the following: **In the 22Qd year of 
Ekiward I. Uie particular charge of the Cinque Ports is set dovm in this 
manner : — The Port of HastingB ought to find three ships : the town of 
Pevenscy, one : Bulverhithe and Petit lahn, one : Bekesboume in Kent, seven : 
Grenche at Qillingham in Kent, two men in armour, to go with the ships of 
Hastmgs : the town of Bye, five (to it was Tenterden annexed in the time of 
Henry the Sixth) : the town of Winchelsea, tenne : the Port of Romney, 
four : Lydde, seven : the port of HithCi five : the Port of Dover, nineteen : 
the town of Folkestone, seven : the town of Feversham, seven : the Port 
of Sandwich, with Stonor, Fordwich, Deal, &c., five ships. These ships they 
ought to find upon forty days summons, armed and arrayed at their own 
charges: and in each of them twenty men, besides the Master of the 


part <if the property, refused either to restore the ship and 
•=«go or to make good the loss ; whereupon the owner of the 
ship, and his heirs, were granted license, by King Edward's 
Lieutenant in Gasccny, for five years to seize the property of 
the Portugnese, and more especially that of the inhabitants of 
Lisbon, until he had made good Lis loss to the estent of what 
had been taken from him. After this letters of marque 
were by no taeans nnconimon, and a species of legalized piracy 
was again established. \Vhen Edward III., in the summer of 
1338, comment-eft the war with Philip VI. of France, known 
since as the Hundred Years' War, and when be had deter- 
mined upon the siege of Calais, he ordered a roll to be prepared 
of all the ships that might be available for the blockade and 
for the siege ; and it is from this roll that we obtain the first 
reliable information with regard to the extent of the mercantile 
shipping of this country. 

Philip had collected a vast number of ships in the harbour 
of Slays, at the mouth of the Scheldt ; and to oppose this 
fleet, as well as for the projected operations against Calais, a 
large English fleet, composed for the most part of merchant 
ships, was got together, great numbers of soldiers and 
archers were embarked, and early iu June, 1340, the 
expedition sailed. 

\>'ben Edward arrived off Sluys, " he saw," as Froissart tells 
a«, **eo great a number of ships that their masts seemed to 
be lite a great wood." The naval battle that ensued was 
lijBg and fierce, the first English success being the recapture 
of a large ship named the Ckristophtr, which had been taken 
by the French in the preceding year. The fighting on both 
sides was very severe; but after the lapse of several hours 
victory declared itself for the English. Over two hundred 
French ships — that is to say, more than oue-half of Philip's 
lleet — were taken, and some two thousand men are said to 
have been slain. 

The following is a list of the ships and men as supplied by 
ibe various ports of the country, and not a few interesting 
facts may be adduced from its perusal. If the ships supplied 
liy the king be taken as representing the Royal Navy it will 
l« seen that the naval force formed but a very insignificant 



portion of the whole — ^not a twentieth part of the entire fleet 
— ^which thus almost exclusively oonsiBted of ships of the 
mercantile marine. 

The relative importance of the different ports, in the reign 
of Edward m., may be inferred &om the numbers of the ships 
that they supplied, and the results are not a little carious. 
Thus London would appear to have been at that time by no 
means the most important port of the realm, being largely 
exceeded in importance by Dartmouth, Plymouth, Fowey, 
and Yarmouth ; the latter port contributing many more ships, 
and nearly three times the number of men that London did. 
On the other hand, many ports that are now important 
maritime centres, were at that time but exceedingly insignifi- 
cant places, or, indeed, in some instances, did not exist at alL 
For instance, Cardiff and Swansea sent only one ship each; 
Portsmouth sent only five ships ; Hartlepool, five ; Grimsby, 
five; and York, which, however, could scarcely perhaps be 
considered as a port, was only represented by one ship and 
by nine men, whilst Liverpool is not even heard of at alL 

List of the Ships of the Great Fleet of King 

Edward IIL 

From the HarleianMSS, 

<* The Rolle of the huge ffleete of King Edward iii. before Callice to be seen 
in the Kinge's great Gardrobe in London : whereby appeareth the wondeifoil 
Btrengthe of England by Sea in those dayes.** 

The Soitih Fleete. 

















The King ... , 


... 419 





Ayleford ... , 




Hoo . 


• .• 










Margate ... . 




Nonehethe ... . 








FeverBham ... , 




Sandewich ... . 








Wighte ... . 















... 4 ... 


... 2 ... 

Sydmowthe ... 

... 3 ... 

Exmowthe ... 

... 10 ... 


... 7 ... 


... 32 ... 


... 5 ... 

Plymowthe ... 

... 26 ... 

Ajooe ... ... 

... 20 ... 


... 2 ... 



... 47 ... 

... 22 ... 

Tenmowthe ... 

... 2 ... 


... 5 ... 


... 4 ... 





1 ^^H 






The South Flecte — amlinited. 



Swsnaey .,. . 

"T .""r 

Hjthe ... 

... 6 ... 122 

Ilfrecombe ... . 

. 6 

.. 79 ] 

SLoram Z 

... 20 ... 329 


. 2 

.. 27 1 

Seforde ... 

... 5 ... 80 


.. 60 1 


... 2 ... 18 

Wadworthe... . 

.. « 1 

... 7 ... 117 

Kerdifie ... . 



... n ,.. 208 




... 21 ... 576 




... 9 ... 159 

Coleoheaworth . 

13 ^^1 


... 4 ... 94 

Mnlhroke ... . 

.. 12 ^^1 

E^^ ... 

... 3 ... 59 



Somme tolall of the Sowthe Fleete— 



Shippes ... 473 



MaryBcra ... 9307 



The Nobth Fleete. 


SUppc*. Hurnm. 

Shrppm. Mirmmi. 

... 1 ... 9 

Scarboron^he .. 

r , 


... 27 ... 314 

Yannowthe ,. 

43 . 


Wolridia ... 

... 1 ... li 


C . 


nertilpoole ... 

... 5 ... 145 


13 . 



... IG ... 4C6 



3 . 



... 1 ... 9 

13 . 


Ravetuer ... 

... I ... 27 

Brightelensey .. 

14 . 

. 283 . 

... 1 ... 12 


12 . 

. 239 

Sto^ehithe ... 

... 1 ... 10 


1 . 



... 3 ... 30 


5 . 

. 90 

Swynfleeto ... 

... 1 ... 11 


17 . 

. 361 

Siltfleete ... 

... 2 ... 49 


2 . 


... 5 ... 96 

2 . 


Blieknef ... 

... 19 ... 382 
... 2 ... 38 


5 .. 61 

Somme lolall of the Northe Fleete— 

Shippes ... 234 

Muryners ... 5624 

Sorame Ifltall of all tlie English Fleete^ 

Shippes ... 707 

Maryners ... U931 



i\ Tras Aide. 

StalppH. Ifirman. 

Bijoime ... 

... 15 ... 439 Flandere ... , 

. 14 ... 133 


... 7 ... 184 Geldertanil ... . 

. 1 ... 24 

IiSLide ... 

... 1 ... 184 

The fall 

nomber of the said strangers Bhippea and 


Shippes ... 38 


Marynere ... 964 



Yarioos monaichsy eTen preTions to the leign of Edwaid m. 
at the beginning of the foorteenth oentmy, did undoubtedly 
possess ships which appear to have been built and employed 
solely in the pnblic service ; but more generally when ships 
were required for the transport of troops, they were merchant 
ships, either provided by the principal ports, or hired for the 

Edward lY. had several ships of his own, which he employed 
sometimes in war, bat perhaps more often in trade, in which 
he was largely engaged; so that it is evident that down to 
that time the line between Naval ships and ships of the Mer- 
cantile Marine was exceedingly ill-defined — ^the same vessel 
being at one time a merchant ship, pure and simple, and at 
another time what we should now designate an armed 

Until the time of Edward IV., the general type of ship 
had remained pretty much the same for centuries ; the vessel 
rising considerably both at the stem and the stem, and being 
fitted with a single mast in the centre, which served to sustain 
a square sail, on which depended the only means then used 
of conveying the vessel across the ocean at times when it was 
considered inconvenient, or unadvisable, to make use of the 

During the reigns of the Plantagenet kings a new maritime 
industry was gradually springing up in the north of England. 
Although it is certain that the Bomans worked coal to some 
small extent in the north, it was not until the reign of 
Edward III. that the opening of the great coal-fields near 
Newcastle took place, and employment was found for a 
largely increased number of ships. The use of coal found 
favour, however, with foreigners much more rapidly than it 
did at home, and for some time after its discovery the con- 
sumption of coal was thought by the English to be so un- 
healthy, that a Boyal edict prohibited its use in the City of 
London, whilst the Queen resided there, in case it might 
prove "pernicious to her health.*' 

But while the use of coal was thus restricted in England, 
large quantities were shipped abroad, France sending her 
vessels laden with com to Newcastle, and taking in coal as 


their return cargoes— indeed, the French were the first to take 
Eogligh coal to foreign countries, the number of French and 
other foreign ressels attracted by this trade increasing every 

During the reigii of Kiohard II. the merchants, becoming 
alarmed at the large number of foreign ships entering Englisli 
ports, and fearing that sooner or later all the carrying-trade 
of the ciinntry would pass into the hands of foreigners, 
petitioned Parliament to restrict the privileges of foreign 
ships; and the First Navigation Act, passed in the fifth year 
of fiichard II., was the result. It, however, very soon became 
a dead letter, for in the October of the next year, 1382, per- 
mission was given to English merchants in foreign ports to 
ship their goods for England in foreign vessels as before, " if 
they could not find sufficient English ships." 

It was during the same king's reign that the English 
Government passed the first law on record whereby dues were 
levied on all merchant ships frequenting English ports; the 
amotmt of the dues so levied being used for the purpose of 
restoring and maintaining an efficient lloyal Navy. The only 
exceptions made were those in favour of ships bringing mer- 
chandise from Flanders to London, and of the traders from 
London to Calais with wool and hides ; whilst all other vessels 
leaving the Thames were required to pay a charge of sixpence 
a ton. 

The Navy, for whose benefit this tax was levied, was no 
sooner created, however, than the fleet, under the command 
of John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, instead of being 
employed in guarding the shores of England, was sent to 
besiege St. Malo; while the French ships, in the meanwhile, 
came and ravaged the coast of Cornwall ; an<l, in the absence 
of the English fleet, a combined squadron of French and 
Spanish ships sailed up the Thames as far as Gravesend, 
homing and destroying all the towns and villages as they 

Here, again, the merchant service came to the timely aid 
of the State. The ships of the Royal Navy being engagefl 
at St. Malo, a fleet of west-country merchantmen, who had 
muted for their own defence, boldly attacked the French 


and Spaniflh ships, and, although the English ships were 
much smaller than those of the enemy, yet by dint of 
superior seamanship they managed snooessfolly to lepnlse 

After the deposition of Richard II., Henry IV. exerted 
himself to get together, and to keep up, a regnlar Navy ; bat 
so fieir was he from being successfal that the entire guardian- 
ship of the sea, &om May, 1406, until September, 1407, was 
entrusted to merchant yessels, the law requiring ship-owners 
^ to maintain certain ships on the seas ; " and they were further 
empowered to select out of their body two fit persons, to whom 
the king should grant commissions to act as Admirals. In 
return for these services, certain privileges were conferred 
npDu the owners of the ships, such as dues on wines, and other 
merchandise imported ; and this system of the protection of 
the shores and of the maritime commerce of the country, by 
the merchant ships themselves, prevailed for very many 

The gallant, accomplished, and energetic Prince Henry of 
Monmouth came to the throne as Henry Y. in 1413, being 
then in his 26th year; and in 1414 he determined upon a 
war with France. A large army was raised for the purpose 
of the invasion, and for the transport of this army across the 
Channel every British vessel of 20 tons and upwards was 
pressed into the service, and ordered to assemble, either at 
London, Sandwich, Winchelsea, or Bristol, previous to pro- 
ceeding to Southampton to embark the troops. 

But all the ports of England put together were unable to 
supply the king's requirements, and consequently commis- 
sioners were appointed to hire ships in the Low Countries, 
whilst three large vessels, the Trinity, the Grace de Dieu^ and 
the Holy Ohostj were built for the king at Southampton, 
specially to compete with the large vessels that the French 
had hired from the Genoese and the Spaniards. Henry also 
built two royal yachts, the King's Chamber and the King's 
Hall, which were magnificently fitted up, and had sails of 
purple silk, emblazoned with the arms of England and of 

The fleet, when collected, assembled in the Southampton 


water and in the Solent, and consisted of no less than fifteen 

hnudred Tessels, for the most part merchant ships, both 

^ £iigiiah and foreign ; the ships being manned by crews, to 

B|ft very large extent obtained by the instrumentality of the 

On Saturday, Angnst 10, 1415, Henry embarlted on board 
Ids own vessel, the Trinity, then lying between Sonthampton 
and Portsmonth. The ships of this large fleet, varying in 
size &om 20 to 300 tons, on Sntiday, August 1, set sail, and 
Tneaday's noonday sun saw the royal ship entering the 
month of the Seine, the whole fleet coming to anchor 
aboat three miles from Harflenr. With the results nf the 
campaign itself, with the siege of Harfleur, and the great 
viotory of Agincourt, we are not concerned ; but after land- 
ing the troops the fleet was sent round to Calais, fo await 
the king's arrival, and ultimately it returned to England in 
the Kovember following. 

King Henry V. enjoyed but a brief reign, dying in 1422 ; 
bat before the close of hia reign, with a view to any future 
requisition of ships, an Act was passed requiring all vessels 
to be measured according to certain prescribed forms in 
order to ascertain their tonnage or capacity. By a clause of 
this Act, the barges, or "keels," then employed in the con- 
veyance of coals from the colliery- wharves to the ships in the 
Tyne, were also required to be measured, and marked by the 
Crown ; and from that day forth every keel contained exactly 
21 tons 4 cwt. of coals; and the capacity of a ship on the 
Tyne was better understood by the number of }M:h she could 
'•any than by ber tonnage. 

The short reign of Richard III. was marked by one very 
important change in a matter intimately connected with the 
mercantile marine of England. Until about this time 
f-Dglish merchant ships had but rarely ventured beyond the 
' ASt of Portugal, only a few of the more enterprising 
:;aving occasionally found their way into the Mediterranean ; 
III it was during the reign of Richard III. that there com- 
menced a regular trade with Italy, which steadily increased 
rear by year. It was from this period that dates a most 
important era in the annals of British shipping, the distinction 


being now made, for the fiist time, between the business 
of the shipowner and the business of the merchant, many 
ships being engaged in this trade with Italy as carriers alone, 
deriving their profits entirely from the amount of the freight 
they carried, apart from any consideration of the profits or 
otherwise as derived from their cargoes. 


in the fifteenth century— Maritirae disooveries — Bartholoraow 
Diaz— Vawo da Gama— Christopher Columbua— The North-West 
Passige — Cabot's expedition— The maritime achioTemeota of Spain and 
Portugal— The discoveries of the English- Shippiug nnder Jleiiry VIL— 
Jmprovemente in the art of shlp-building — The Mei'chant Adventurers 
Company— The expedition under Sir Hugh Willgiighby — Sir Hugh 
Willonghhy'fl own account of it. 

The fifteenth century was pre-eminently the age of maritime 
iliscorery. In lilS Madeira was discovered by the Portuguese, 
and was at once added to the poaaeeaions of Portugal ; in 1146 
the mariners of the same country discovered the Cape Verde 
Islands, and three years afterwards, the Azores, By 1463 
the full knowledge of the West African coast had been 
pushed southwards as far as the Efjuator; and the project of 
reaching the Indies by sailing round the continent of Africa, 
was seriously occupying tlie minds of the Portuguese. 

In 1487 Biirtholomew Diaz determined upon making the 
attempt, and actually succeeded in doubling the Cape of 
Gwd Hope, and in reaching the neighbourhood of Algoa 
Bay, near the mouth of the Great Fish River, where he found 
the coast-line trending away to the north-east. He did not 
continue his voyage farther, but returned home again by the 
Cape, which, from the constant succession of bad weather 
that he experienced whilst ronndiug it, he named the Cnpo 
of Storms. Upon his return, however, to Portugal, John II. 
bestowed on it the name of Cabo de Bona Esperanza, or the 
Cape of Good Hope, by which name it has ever since been 

Ten years later Yasco da Gama also sailed round the 
Mpe, and landed at what is now known as Natal, ultimately 


Rucceediug in reaching the East Indies at Calient, on the 
coast of Malabar. 

In the spring of 1497, three stately ships were built at 
Lisbon, called respectively the St, Baphaelf the St. Michadf 
and the St. Gabriel. These ships were to form the squadron of 
Yasco da Oama in his voyage to the East. Besides taking 
out with him numberless presents wherewith to propitiate 
such potentates as he might meet with, Ghuna shipped six 
great marble monuments, on which were engraved the arms 
of Spain and other devices, to set up in such countries as he 
could persuade their too credulous rulers to grant him per- 
mission, so that afterwards he might perhaps retnm and 
claim these countries as annexed. He also showed hia astute- 
ness by taking on board a number of convicts sentenoed to 
death, enfana j>^*^'^^9 who should be put forwaid on any 
dangerous or forloni service that might turn up. We know 
that they actually were so made use of on occasions^ and 
once or twice were left behind as incipient coloniflte; and it 
does not appear that they made any very serious objeotioiBS 
to these experimental uses. 

Yasco da Oama doubled the Cape without knowing it, by 
the simple expedient of beating out to sea for two whole 
months, when he fancied he was opposite to it. Here he had 
considerable difBculties with his crew, having to put the 
pilots in irons, and throwing their quadrants into the sea, to 
encourage the rest to trust wholly in him. Steering a 
northerly course again, he made the land, and ran into a 
timely harbour, which he called the " River of Mercy," to 
repair damages, where his crew suffered the first known out- 
break of scurvy. 

Having completed his repairs, Yasco da Gama sailed up the 
African eastern coast, and commenced negociationa with 
sundry potentates at Mozambique, Melinde, and elsewhere, 
always displaying considerable diplomacy, and setting up his 
landmarks where he could. At Mozambique he left ten of 
his cnfaiis perdics, " as," he naively remarked, ** if they lived 
they might be of advantage to him when he came again." 

In landing at any strange port. Grama invariably obtained 
hostages before entrusting any valuable personage on shore. 



A moorish pilot, or a convict or two, were sometimes risked 
to open ooQimuni cations, and negociations were encouraged 
by paying the people handaomely for the fruits and vegetables 
that they brought off, and by giving presents, such as red 
cloth and mirrors, the latter of which seem to Iiave been 
highly effective. Everywhere Vaseo proclaimed the greatness 
of the King of Portugal, what he would do to his enemies, 
and what advantages would accrue to bis allies. Then with 
a salvo of artillery and a great blowing of trumpets, he 
iiaed to impress his words, aud occasioually to enforce his 

The opening of the ocean route to India, by way of the 
Cape of trood Hope, as a result of these discoveries, and the 
discovery of the West India Islands by Christopher Columbus, 
io 1492, gave au immense impetus to English maritime aSairSi 
and as a consequence made the reign of the hrst Tudor king, 
perhaps, more important to English shipping than any reign 

It would seem, indeed, to have been, to a certain extent, 
the result of a mere accident that Christopher Columbus him- 
self did not make his great discoveries whilst sailing under 
the British Sag, rather than under that of iSpain; for 
being at drst but coldly received in that country, he had, 
B8 a matter of fact, approached King Henry VII. of 
England upon the subject, the particulars of which are tbus 
given by Hakluyt, who wrote during the reign of Henry VIII. 
He says — 

" ChriBl«plier Columbnsi, fearing lest if tbo King of CsEtQe in like mannur 
(m the KiDg of PortHgal had done) should not condescend unto hia enterpriae, 
he should be forced to offer the same agsin unto somo other prioce, and so 
tint mnch time shouJd be spent therein. Ue therefore sent into England a 
retVuD brother of hia, which he had with him, whose name was Bartholomew 
Colnmbue, who albeit he had not the Latin tongue, yet nevertheless was a 
man of experience, and skilful in eea causes, and could very well make sea 
carda, and globes, and other inslrumentB belonging to that profession, as he 
had been iDEtructed by tiis brother. Wfierefora aller that Bartholomew 
ColnmboB was departed for England his look was to fall into the hatidD of 
piialea, wfcich spoiled Iiim, as also the rest of them which wore in the ship ho 
ireot m. Upon which occoHon, and by reason of his poverty and sickness, 
which cmelly aasanlted him in a counti-y so far distant from hia friends, he 
1 hia embaaea^ for a long while, until such time as he bad gotten 


somewhat handsome abont him with the making of sea cards. At length he 
began to deal with King Henry the Seventh, the fiskther of Sng Heniy the 
Eighth, which reigneth at this present, unto whom he presented a map of the 
world. After the King had seen the map which Chrfatopher CohuDboB had 
sent unto him, he accepted the offer with a joyful conntenanoe, and sent to 
caU him into England. But because God had reserved the said oflfor for 
Castile, Columbus was gone in the mean space.** 

Christopher Columbus sailed on the 8rd of August, 149% 
with three small ships, from the harbour of Paloe, an insigni- 
ficant Atlantic port of Andalusia. On October 12 he set 
foot on one of the Bahamas, afterwards discovering the 
islands of Hayti and Cuba. On March 15, 1493, he was 
back again at Palos. In a subsequent voyage he visited the 
mainland of the new continent, but it ultimately took its 
name from that of the Florentine mariner Amerigo Vespucci, 
who first saw it in 1499, when he landed on the territory now 
called Surinam. Vespucci made two other voyages in the 
service of the King of Portugal, and then became ^ Chief 
Pilot and Hydrographer *' to the King of Spain, his duties 
being to prepare charts and to prescribe routes for voyagers 
to the New World. He was on friendly terms with Columbus, 
and is in no wise responsible for the injustice done to the 
great discoverer in the name bestowed on the Western Conti- 
nent. The error is said to have been due to a German 
geographer, who, writing in 1507 of the new continent, first 
termed it '^ America." The name was adopted by other writers, 
and so became popular, and in the end universal. 

The news of the discovery of America by Christopher 
Columbus in 1492 soon spread throughout the whole of Europe. 
It produced an immense excitement everywhere, and nowhere 
perhaps more than in England, where it gave rise to a long 
succession of voyages of discovery. 

As it was the project of Columbus to reach the Indies by 
sailing to the westward that resulted in the accidental 
discovery of the West India Islands, and ultimately in the 
discovery of America itself, so the idea still pursued the 
merchants and sailors of this country that there must certainly 
be a way to India and to China by sailing either to the north- 
west or to the north-east. Although parts of the coast of 
America had by this time been discovered, yet the general 

configuration of the new continent, and the fact that it extended 
to within the Arctic Circle, were utterly unknown to the 
civilized world ; and the probability, oi- at least the possibility, 
of a north-west passage to India occupied the minds of men 
for three whole centuries. 

The voyages of discovery initiated by England at the close 
of the fifteenth century all tended in this direction, and 
whilst they were all consequently unauccessl'ul in their 
immediate object — that of finding a north-west passage to 
India — yet, on the other hand, they were eminently successful 
in opening np many new branches of trade, and in greatly 
extending the knowledge of navigation. 

The first expedition that sailed from England was fitted 
ont at Bristol, under the authority of a charter from King 
Henry VII. dated the 5th of March, 1495. by John Cabot, a 
Venetian, and his three sons. They were by this charter 
authorized to subdue and occupy all such countries unknown 
to Christians as they might find, on condition of paying one- 
fifth of their gains to the king ; and, as a further inducement 
to the adventurers, it was agreed that any goods that they 
might import from such new countries should be exempt from 
customs ; and to encourage the merchants of Bristol the more 
freely to advance the money needed for the enterprise, it was 
specially stipnlated that Bristol should have the exclusive 
jffivilege of receiving all that was imported. 

Cabot sailed from Bristol in May. 1497, in a ship called the 
Uatt/icu; and crossed the Atlantic in a lugher latitude than 
ihat followed by Columbus, sighting Newfoundland about five 
o'clock in the morning of the 2-ith of June, 1497 — St. John's 
Day — hence the name, St. John's, Newfoun<lland. Instead, 
however, of finding the kind of land that had been described 
by Columbus, they found a c<.>l(l, bleak, and inliospi table 
country, bnt still one whose shores swarmed with fish of every 
kind, with seals, walruses, and -whales. After staying some 
tittle time to examine the coast of Newfoundland, they 
proceeded on their voyage, and landed on the shores of 
Labrador, somewhere between latitude 66° and 58°, on the Ist 
of Xttgast, 1497. 

After the discovery of Labrador, Cabot retraced his steps. 


and, passing again round Newfoundland, sailed down the coast 
of North America as far as Florida^ from whence he xetmned 
to Europe. 

Some years later — ^namely, in 1534 — ^the French sent oat 
an expedition under the command of Jacques Cartier, who 
explored the coast of New Brunswick, and sailed many hundred 
miles up the St. Lawrence. 

Spain and Portugal, the two great maritime powers of that 
time, were not slow to avail themselves of the new disooveries, 
and the former at once monopolized the West Indies, Mexico, 
and large tracts of South America, from whence an uninter- 
rupted stream of gold and treasure poured into Spain. The 
Portuguese, to whom had fallen other portions of the shores of 
South America, were perhaps less successful than the Spaniards 
in the search for gold and silver, but were far more successfiil 
in the raising of sugar and other tropical produce. 

In the reign of Queen Elizabeth, Pemambuco, which then 
belonged to the Portuguese, was the most flourishing place on 
the coast of Brazil. It contained three thousand houses, and 
around it were no less than seventy sugar fietctories all worked 
by slaves ; besides which it supplied a large amount of Brazil 
wood and cotton. Bahia, too, contained a thousand houses 
and forty sugar factories, and large quantities of cotton were 
grown in the neighbourhood. Eio de Janeiro at this time had 
not more than three hundred houses and only three sugar 
factories; whilst at Santos were some four hundred houses 
and three sugar factories. 

During the whole of the sixteenth century, therefore, the 
Portuguese and the Spaniards divided between them the 
entire trade of America. They possessed almost exclusively 
the commerce and the government of Africa, and they were 
absolute masters in the East Indies. Meanwhile, the English 
attempts to settle in North America were entirely unsuccessful. 
A moderately profitable trade in salt fish was about the only 
consequence to England of the discovery of Newfoundland; 
and the reports of the immense wealth that was accruing to 
Spain and Portugal from their rich and splendid settlements 
rendered the English dissatisfied with their barren discoveries, 
and were continually urging them to endeavour to reach the 


Spice islands and the rich countries of the East by voyages 
either to the north-west, round the northern shores of America, 
or to the north-east, along the coasts of Norway, Lapland, and 
Siberia, So long as they were deluded by this i^nis fatuus, 
they entirely neglected the fine regions of North America 
which were open to them ; and it was not until repeated 
failures had at length induced them to abandon the search 
for gold that they began to direct their energies to the 
great and practicable object of colonizing the coast of 

Henry VII., like some of his predecessors upon the English 
throne, was himself a great merchant, and he not only owned 
and fitted out many ships on his own account, simply for 
commercial purposes, but he endeavoured to promote in many 
ways the interests of maritime commerce. That the particular 
means that he adopted to this end were not always the best 
means in the long run, was to a great extent attributable to 
the spirit of the age, the principle not having then been 
recognised that it is impossible successfully to bolster up a 
declining commerce by any measure of protection. Thus, in 
Ilia first parliament a protectionist law was passed absolutely 
prohibiting the importation of Bordeaux wiaes in any but 
English, Irish, or Welsh Iwjttoms, and these ships were to be 
manned entirely by men of the countries owning them. This 
law was afterwards still further extended, so that no wines 
from Gascony or Guienne were allowed to be imported into 
England except in ships belonging to the king — that is to 
say, in his own merchant ships — or in ships belonging to his 
subjects, and any such wines imported in foreign ships were 
to be forfeited. 

With a greater use for ships came necessarily many im- 
provements in the construction of the vessels themselves,and by 
the year 1500, shipbuilding, particularly in the Mediterranean, 
had made an immense advance. The possessora of the moat 
important vessels afloat, either for warlike or for mercantile 
purposes, at that time were the Venetians and the Genoese, 
and their vessels, known as " carracks " and *' galleases," 
would even at the present day be considered of by no means 
coutemptible dimensions. Their magnitude occasionally 



extended to a thousand or fifteen hundred tons burden;* 
they carried three masts, with lower masts and topmasts, were 
square-rigged on the fore and main masts, and carried a lateen 
sail on the mizen ; and they had a bowsprit, raking at an 
angle of about 45 degrees, carrying a large square sptitsaiL 
The stem nas raised up to a great height above the waist erf 
the ship, with quarter-deck and poop, and was elaborately 
ornamented with carving and gilding. This artistic treat- 
ment of the stem and quarter galleries came down to much 
more recent times, excellent pencil designs for such work by 
eminent artists like Vandervelde and others being still extant* 

The Venetian galleys of this age are said to have carried, 
on an average, some 500 tons of cargo under hatches, besides 
a considerable deck load. Their crews often consisted of 
many as two hundred men, of whom a hundred and fifty were 
necessary to work the sails and the oars. Twelve of thfl 
smartest seamen were selected to steer the vessel — quarter* 
masters, in fact, under the direction of the pilots, of whom 
there were two to each vessel. These twelve men were re- 
quired to take the lead in all the duties of seamanship, espe- 
cially in going aloft to set or take in the sails. They bore thfl 
name of "gallants," whence doubtless the term "top-gallant 

Before the end of Henry VII. 's reign similar ships belong- 
ing to London, Bristol, and Southampton, were trading to 
Sicily, Candia, and sometimes even to Cyprus, Tripoli, and 
Beyrout ; as an outward cargo taking, for the most part, woollen 
and cotton goods, skins, and so forth ; and bringing bock 
silks, wine, oil, Turkey carpets, and spices. Hakluyt mention! 
one vessel employed in this trade, called the Holy Crott, 
which was of 160 tons burden. After her last voyage to the 
Mediterranean, which lasted a twelvemonth, he says — 

" She, with great danger returned home, where npon her arrival at B 
waD, her wine and oil casks were found to be so weak that they were not abh 
ti] hoist Uiem up out of the eblp, but were constrained to draw tbem oS as thtf 
laj, and to put the wine and oil into new vesaeU, and bo unload the alup, 

• It must be homo in mind.however, that the Venetian "ton" represented 
only about ten hundredweight, bo that practically the tonnage of these vi 
flhooJd be divided by two. 


i- 1SIL> iTofaefpagt34. 

LB BO sliaken in this voyage, and m weakened that she was laid np m 
fte dock, and never made voyage nfterwarda." 

Another vessel of the same period, of which Haklnyt gives 
some partienlars, was the Matthew Gonsoii, of 300 tons burden. 
Her crew consisted in all of one hundred men, and she seems 
to have been well found, carrying three boats, a pinnace, a 
long-boat, and a skifif. The pinnace was — 
"a great boat which was able to carry t»n lonit of water, the which at our 
retom homewards we towed all the way from Chio ontil we came through the 
Sirait of Qibraltar, into the main ocean." 

Furnished with better ships than heretofore, the spirit of 
adventure and of discovery took a still stronger hold on the 
minds of British mariners aud British merchants ; and Sebas- 
tian Cabot, who for some years had relinquished all maritime 
enterprises, and had left the country, now returned, and 
became the head of an associati'.>n known as the " Merchant 
Adventurers' Company," the object of which was to be "the 
search and discovery of the northern parts of the World, to 
open a way and passage to Cathay for our men to travel to 
new and unknown kingdoms." 

The first ships despatched by the Company consisted of a 
squadron of three vessels commanded by the gallant Sir Hugh 
Willooghby, with Richard Chancellor as his second in 
commaQd, which sailed from the Thames in the I^Iay of 1553, 
to seek for the North-East Passage through the Fular Seas. 
Separated by a storm off the Lofoden Islands, the consorts 
parted company, never to meet again. The fate of two of 
their number forms a fitting prologue to the long tragedy of 
the Arctic ice, for their crews, sixty-two all told, including 
the leader of the expedition, perished to a man of scurvy 
un the desolate shores of Bussian Lapland, where the ships, 
manned by the dead, were found by native fishermen in the 
following spring. 

This disaster was counterbalanced by the success which 
attended Chancellor's voyage. Entering the White Sea, he 
wintered near the spot which is now occupied by the port of 
Archangel, journeyed to the Court of Ivan the Terrible at 
Moscow, and obtained from him those commercial privileges 
for England which led to the formation of the Muscovy 


Company^ and laid the fonndationB of the trade between this 
country and Russia. 

Chancellor, however, did not live to reap the fruits of his 
labours, as upon his return, having the Ambassador to 
England from the Bussian Court on board, he was overtaken 
by a furious gale off the Scotch coast, and his ship was lost 
at Pitsligo, when in his praiseworthy and successful endeavours 
to save the life of the Bussian Ambassador, he most unfor- 
tunately lost his own. 

The expedition consisted of three ships, the Bona Speranzaf 
of 120 tons, which was the admiral's ship, and was commanded 
by Sir Hugh Willoughby; the Edward JBonaventure, of 160 
tons, commanded by Captain Bichard Chancellor; and the 
Bona Confidentia, of 90 tons, Cornelius Durfooth, master. 
Each ship had with it a pinnace and a smaller boat. 

In Hakluyt's " Voyages " the log of the Commodore's ship, 
written by Sir Hugh Willoughby himself, is given, and it is 
so interesting, and puts before us so vividly the mode of 
procedure on board ship three centuries and a half ago, that 
no apology is needed for transcribing it. Hakluyt says — 

^^ These foresaid ships being fully furnished with their pinnaces and boats, 
well appointed with ail manner of artillery, and other dungs neoeesaiy for 
their defence with all the men aforesaid departed from Batcliffs, and sailed 
unto Deptford the 10 day of May 1553. 

*^ ' 11 May. About two of the clock, we departed from Deptford, passing by 
Gbreenwich, saluted the Eing^s Majesty,* he then being there, shooting off oar 
ordnance, and so sailed onto BlackwaU and there remained until the 17 day 
of May : and that day in the morning we went from BlackwaU and came to 
Woolwich by nine of the clock ; and there remained one tide, and so the 
same night unto Herith. 

" * The 18 day from Herith unto Gravesend ; and there remained until the 
twentieth day, that day being Saturday : from Gk-aveeend unto Tilbury Hope, 
remaining there until the two and twentieth day. 

" * The 22 day from Tilbury Hope to HoUie Haven. 

<< * The 23 day from Hollie Haven till we came against Lee, and there 
remained that night by reason the wind was contrary to us.t 

*< < The 24 day the wind being in the South-west in the morning, we suled 
along the coast, over the Spits, until we came against St Osyth, about six of 
the clock at night, and there came to an anchor, and abode there all that 

• This was King Edward VI. 

t Thus being a fortnight getting down to the mouth of the Thames. 


" ■ The 25 doy, about ten of the clock, we departed from St Osydi, and 80 
MUed forward nnto the Nose, and there abode that night for wind and tide. 
" " ' The 26 day at five of the clock in the morning, we weighed our anchor, 
d eaJIed over Uie Nose, the wind bebg at the South-weBl, until we came to 
11 wands, and there came to an anchor, and abode there until the 28 day. 
' ' The same day, being Trinity Sunday, about 7 of the clock before noon wo 
■weighed our anchors, and sailed til] we came atliwart Walaurayo, and there 

ffic to an anchor. 

" ' The 29 day from thence to Uolmhead, where we stayed that day, where 
m coasnlled which way, and what caurses were best to be holdon for the 
Xtcojery of our voyage, and there agreed. 

'' ' The 30 day of May at five of the dock in the morning we set sail, and 
je against Yarmonth, about three loagnea into the sea, riding there at 
anchor all that night. 

" ' The last of May, into the sea six leagues North-east, and there tarried 

iftt night for the wind blew very sore. 

" ' The first of June the wind being at North, contrary to ns, we came back 

pin to Orwell, and remained there until the 16 day, tarrying for the wind, 

r aU this time the wind was contrary to our purpose. 

" ' The 15 day being at Orwell, in the Latitude of 52 degrees, in the morning 

■ weighed our anchors, and went forth into the wands, about two miles from 

le town, and ky there Iliat night. 

" ' The 16 day at eight of the clock we aet forward, and sayled until we came 
•tliWBTt Aldborough, and there stayed that night. 

" ■ The 17 day aboat five of the clock before noon we went back unto Otford- 
aem, and tliere remained until the 19 day. 

" ' TTie 19 day at eight of tlie clock in the morning we went back to Orwell, 
ud abode there three days tarrybg for the wind. 

"'The 23 day of June, the wind being fair in tlie Boutb-weat we hailed into 
■be Kaa to Orfordnese, and from thence into the seas ten leagues North-east : 
liwDtMiDgpast the sands, we changed our course six lei^ues North- north-east : 
about midnight we changed our course agTiin, and went duo North, continuiug 
m the some onto the 27 day. 

"'The 27 day about seven of the clock, North-north-west, 42 leagues, to 
the end to foil in with Shetland ; then Uie wind veered to the West, so that 
we could lie but North and by West, continuing in the same course 40 leagues, 
whereby we codd not fetch Shotland; then we sailed North 16 leagues by 
ettiinatjoii, after that North and by West, and North- north-west, then South- 
ewt, with divers other courses, traversing and tracing the seas, by reason of 
fundry and manifold contrary winds, until the 14 day of July: and then the 
Bon entering into Leo, wc discovered land Eastward of us, into the which we 
sailed that night as much as we might: and after we went on shore with our 
pnnaoe, and found little houses to the number of tlurty, whereby wc knew it 
was inhabited, but the people were fled away, as we judged, for fear of us. 

" ' The land was all taii of little talands, and that innumerable, which were 
called (as we learned afterwards) ^^eland, and Ilalgeland, which lycth from 
Or&rdness, North and by East, being in the Latitude of 66 degrees. The 
dirtance between Orfordness and ^geland 250 leagues. Then wo sailed from 


thence 12 leagues North-west, and found many other Islands Bud there o 
to anchor the 19 day, and manned our pinnace, and went on shore to Ox 
island.'', and found people mowing and making of hay, which cama to the ehere 
and welcomed utj. In which place were an innuroernble sort of Islands, which 
wore called the Isles of Roet being under the dominion of the King of 
Denmark : which pkce was in Lstitade 66 degreea and 30 minntea. The 
wind being contrary, we remained there three daya, and there was an 
innumerable sort of fowls of divers kinds, of which we took vary many. 

" ' The 22 day the wind coming fair, we departed from Bost, sailing North- 
north-east, keeping the sea until the 27 day. and then we drew near onto the 
land, nhich wa£ still East of iih : then vent forth onr pinnace to seek huboor, 
and found many good harbours, of the which we entered into one with our 
sliipg, which was called Stanfew, and the land being Islands, were called 
Lewtoot or Lofoot, which wore plentifully Inhabited, and very gentle people, 
being also under the King of Denma,rk: hut we conld not learn bow far it 
was from the main land : and wc remained there onlil the 30 day, being in 
Latitude 68 di^rees, and from the aioresaid Bost about 30 leagues Nortii- 

" ' The 30 day of July about noon, we weighed our anchors, aud went into 
the seas, and sailed along these lalaajds North -north-cast, keeping the land 
dtil] in sight until the second day of August: then hailing in oloso aboard the 
land, to the intent to knon what land it was, there came a skis' of the Island 
aboard of us, of whom we asked many questions, who showed unto us that the 
Isknd was called Seynani, which is the Latitude of seventy degrees, and &om 
Stanfew 30 Leagues, being also under the Kirig of Denma^, and that there wan 
no merchandise there, but only dried fiah and train-oil. 

'' ' Then we being puqiosed to go into Finmarite, inquired of him if w8 might 
have a pilot to bring us into Finmarke, and he said that if we could bear in, 
we should have a good harbour, am] the next day a pilot to bring ns into 
Finmarke, imto the Wardhouse, which is the strongest hold in Finmarke, aod 
much resorted to by report. 

" ' But when we would have entered into the harbour, the land being very 
high on every side, tlicre came such flaws of wind, and terrible whirlwinds, 
that we were not able to bear in ; but by violence were constrained to t&ke 
the sea again, our pinnace being unshipped. 

" ' We sailed North and by East, the wind increasing so BOte that we were 
not able to bear any sail, but took theni in, and lay adrift, to the end to let the 
Blorm pass over. And that night by violence of wind and tliicknesa of mists, 
we were not able to keep together within sight; and then about midnight wo 
lost our pinnace, which was a discomfort to us. 

" ' As soon as it was day, and the fog overpast, we looked about, and at the 
last descried one of our ghips to leeward of us : then we spread an hollock of 
our foresail, and bare room with her, which was the Confidence ; but the 

L Edward we could not see. Then tLe flaw something abating, we and the 
Confidence hoisted up our sails the fourth Day, sailing North-east and by 
North, to the end to foil in with the Wardhouse, as we did consult to do 
before, in case wo should part company. 


n Monded and had 160 lAthotne, whereby we Ihooght to be far froni kad, 
ud petceived that the knd lay cot as tbe Globe made meotion. Wherefore 
n ebuged our couise the sixth day, acd Bailed South-east and by South, 
eght and forty leagues, thinking thereby lo find the Wardhoiieo. 

" ■ The 8. day much wind rising at die Weet-north-weat, we not knowing 
htm the ooeat lay, struck our aaila, and lay adrift, where wo sounded, and 
bond 160 fathoms, as before. 

" ' The 9 day the wind veering to the Sonth-Bonth-eBet, we sailed North-eaat 

'■ ' The 10 day we sounded, and could get no ground, neither yet conld see 
<ny land, whereat we wondered : then the wind coming at the North-east, 
W9 raa South-east about 48 leagues. 

" ' The 11 day the wind being at South, we sounded, and Tound 40 fathoms, 
■nd fair sand, 

" ' The 12 day the wind being at South and by East, we lay with our sail 
East, and East and by North, 30 leagues. 

" ' Tbe 14 day, early in the morning we descried land, which land we bare 
with all, hoisting out our boat to discover what land it might be : but the 
boat conld not come to land, the water wat so shoal, there was very much 
ioe also, but there was no similitude of babitation, and this land lietli from 
Seynom, East and by North, 160 leagues, being in Latitade 72 degrees. 
"'Then we plyed to the Northward, the 15, 16, and 17 day. 
" ' The 18 day the wind coming at the North-east, and the Confidetice being 
troubled with bilge-walor and stocked, we thought it good to seek harbour 
for her redress : then we bate room the 18 day, South-south-east, about 70 

" ' The 21 day we sounded, and found ten fathom ; alter that we sounded 
agun, and found but 7 fathom, so shoalet and sboaler water, and yet coidd 
»ae no land, whereat we marvelled greatly: to avoid this danger we bare 
roomer into tbe eea all that night, North-west and by West. 

"'The next day we sounded, and had 20 fathoms, and then shaped our 
coarse, and ran West-south-west until the 23 day : thou we descried low 
land, into which we bare as nigh as we could, and it appeared to us 
uninhabited. Then we plied Westward along by that laod, which lieth Weat- 
eonth-west and Eost-north-eaat, and much wind blowing at the West we 
hailed into the sea. North and by East, 30 leagues. Then the wind coming 
about at the North-eaet we saiicd West-north- weal ; ofter that the wind bearing 
to the North-west, we lay with our saib West-south-west about 14 leagues, 
•Dd then descried land, and bare in with it, being the 28 day, and finding 
water bare in till we came to 3 fathom, then perceiving it to be shoal 
and aieo seeing dry sands, wo haled out again North-eaat along that 
"iaai untD we came to the point thereof. That laud turning to the Westward, 
an along 16 leagues North-west ; then coming into a fair bay, we went on 
with our boat, which place was uninbabited ; but yet it appeared unto 
that people had been there, by crosses and other signs: from thence we 
It sH along the coast Westward. 

'The 4 day of September we lost sight of land, by reason of contrary 
but the eighth day we descried land again. Within two days after, 


wc lost sight of it ; then runnmg West and by South about SO leagaas, w« got 
the sight of land again, and we bare in with it until nlg^t, then perodTiDg 
it to be a lee shore, we gat us into the sea, to the end to have sea room. 

" ' The 12 of September we haled to shoreward again, haTing then in- 
different wind and weather : then being near unto the shore, and the tide 
almost spent, we came to an anchor in 90 fathoms water. 

*^ * The 13 day we camo along the coast which lay North-west and by West, 
and South-east and by East 

" ^ The 14 day we came to an anchor within two leagues of the shore, having 
60 fS&thoms. 

" * There we went ashore with our boat, and found two or three good 
harbours, the land being rocky and high ; but as for people we could see 

** * The 15 day we ran still along the coast untfl the 17 day, then the wind 
being contrary unto us, we thought it best to return into the harbour which 
we had found before, and so we bare roomer with the same, howbeit we could 
not accomplish our desire that day. The next day being the 18 of September, 
wc entered into the Hayen, and there came to an anchor at 6 fiithoms. 

*^ * This haven runneth into the main about two leagues, and b in breadth 
half a league, wherein were very many seal fibshee, and other great fishes : and 
upon the main we saw bears, great deer, foxes, and divers strange beasts, as 
guloines, and such other as were to us unknown, and also wonderfuL 

<* < Thus remaining in this haven * the space of a week, seeing the year was 
far spent, and also very evil weather, as frost, snow, and hafl, as though it 
had been the deep of winter, we thought it best to winter there. Wherefore 
wo sent out three men. South-south-west, to search if they could find people, 
who went three days* journey, but could find none : after that we sent otlier 
three, Westward, fonr days* journey, which also returned without finding any 
people. Then we sent three men. South-cast, three days* journey, who in like 
sort returned without finding of people, or any similitude of habitation.' 

*' Here endeth Sir Hugh Willoughby his notes which were written with his 
own hand. 

'* These two following notes were written upon the outside : — 

'^ ' (1) The proceedings of Sir Hugh Willoughby aft^r he was separated 
from the Edward Banaventure, 

'^ ' (2) Our ship being at anchor in the harboxu* called Sterfier, in the Island 
of Lofootc.* 

** The river or haven wherem Sir Hugh Willoughby, with the Company of 
his two ships perished for cold, is called Arzina in Lapland, near unio Eegor. 
But it appeareth by a Will found in the Ship that Sir Hugh Willoug}iby and 
most of the company wore alive in January 1554.** f t 

* It was in this haven they died. 

t Hakluyt, " The Principal Navigations,*' etc., vol i. p. 262. London, 1599. 

X The polar passage by the north-eastern route from Europe to the 
Indies has since actually been made, and the voyage of the F(^, under 
Baron Nordonskiold, has fulfilled this secular dream of maritime adventure. 





ScuHng from Tromsoe, on Jnly 25, 1878, the Vega saccessftdly ran the ice 
blockade of the E[ara Sea, doabled, for the first tune in the annals of naviga- 
tion, Cape Cheljnsldn, the most northern promontory of Asia, and, after 
passing a winter imprisoned in the ice within a hundred and twenty miles of 
Behring's Straits, retomed home by way of the North Pacific, the Indian 
Ocean, and the Snez Canal early in 1880, after having circumnavigated the 
two continents of the Old World. Her name stands out as that of the only 
ship which has ever passed from the one great ocean to the other by the 
Arctic Seas. 




Shipping in the time of Henry VIH.— The Henri Grace a Dieu— The fleet 
for the siege of Boulogne in 1545— Will Hawkins — ^Voyages to the Gk)ld 
Coast — Piracy in the English Channel — Voyages of discovery — ^The 
North- West Passage — Frobisher — John Davis — Sir John Hawkins— Sir 
Francis Drake — ^His celebrated voyage round the world. 

In the year 1544, King Henry VIII., under a feeling of 
irritation caused by the French alliance with Scotland, 
resolved upon an invasion of France ; and a large and power- 
ful naval force was collected, the Mercantile Marine being 
again called upon to furnish ships towards the fleet to be 
used against the French. 

Previously to this Henry had caused to be constructed the 
largest ship yet built in England — the Henri Cfrdce A Dieu, 
or, as she was more popularly called, the Oreat Harry. She 
was of 1000 tons burden, had four masts, and carried 700 
men,* The Henri Grace a Dieu formed one of the ships of 

• The Benri Grace d Dieu was burnt at Woolwich on the 27th of August, 
The following is from the Pepysian Library, Cambridge : — 

Furniture of the " Harry Grdce a Dieu:' 

Oonnrs of Brass. 




oaKers ••• •>• ,,, 


• •• 


• ••• 


• ••• 


• • 




.. xmi. 


• ••• 




• • 





. k. 

Toppe peces 

Hayle-shotte peces 

• # 


Hand-gonnes complete .. 


In a list of the king's ships in the first year of King Edward VL, the Henri 
Grace a Dieu is stated to be at Woolwich. She is thus described : " The 
Harry Grace a Dieuj 1000 tons, soldiers 349, mariners 301, gunners 50, brass 


this fleet, which numbered altogether abont a hundred vesselB, 
including the king's own ships and the ships provided by the 
different mercantile ports. 

In a US. Kalendar of Bristol for the year 1545 occurs 
the following: — 

" This year several men went with the King to the siege and taking of 
Boulogne, which waa taken in September, 1M4. Twelve Ebipa went out of 
Bristol, with Matthew, E^rl of LeDno<(. And when the King came on board 
Bristol's fleet, he aaked the names of tlieir abtps, and they answcroi] the RJog, 
' It is thiiB : the hnKpe 77u/nt, of 600 tons ; the barqne Pratt, of 600 tona ; 
the barqae Ooumay, of 400 tons; the barqne Tounge, of 400 tons; the 
barqae Winter, of 300 tons ; the barque Shipmatt, of 250 tons ; the Elephant, 
of 120 tons; and the Dragon, of 120 tons.' The King answered that he 
wished he had many such Thomet, PratU, QottmayB, and the like in hie 

The Henri Oracc a Dim never took part in any other ex- 
pedition, bat was laid up at Woolwich, where soon afterwards 
she was accidentally burnt. 

In Henry VIII. 's reign voyages of discovery and distant 
voyages for the purposes of commerce, such as had rendered 
conspicnous the reign of his fatlier, were still continued. 
Will Eawkins, of Plymouth, was a name of note among the 
mariners of the time. Brought up on board the veasels 
bringing wine from ii^pain and Portugal, he was early imbued 
with the spirit of adventure. In 1530 he sailed in a ship of 
250 tons for the Gold Coast, and from thence crossed the 
Atlantic to the Brazils, where he opened up a trade, carried 
on for the most part by the merchants of Southampton, which 
continued for fifty years, and was only put a stop to by the 
conquest of the Portuguese by the Spaniards in 1580. In 
1532 Hawkins made another voyage, which, however, resulted 
in no additional discoveries. 

After the death of Edward VI. a regularly organized system 
of downright piracy obtained in ICnglish waters. A nimiber 
of young men of good families fitted out some small vessels, 
chiefly built in ports of the West of England, and cruised in 
the Cbaunel and in the Bay of Biscay, looking out for and 

pieces 19, iron pieces 103." This was the first ship fitted with port-holoe for 
the gana — said to have been the invention of a Freuchniaa, one Deschayes, a 


attacking any Spanish vessel, or ship from the Low Countries^ 
that they could lay their hands on. They were speedily 
joined by a few discontented Frenchmen of similar tastes, 
and were, for a time, a distinct menace to maritime com- 
merce. One of the principal leaders of this gang was Sir 
Thomas Seymour, who had formed the. project of seizing the 
Scilly Islands, which were to become the head-quarters of 
this piratical fraternity, who had gone so far as, besides attack- 
ing and robbing the ships, to actually murder the ciews. 
During the early part of the reign of Elizabeth, however, an 
end was promptly put to this business, and Seymour and his 
followers returned to their allegiance. 

After the accession of Elizabeth expeditions for the pur- 
poses of discovery became more frequent than they had been 
during the reigns of her predecessors, and many more voyages 
were made in the hopes of finding out a northern passage to 
the Moluccas and to the coast of China, before the attempt 
was finally abandoned as hopeless. Martin Frobisher, a 
native of Yorkshire, made three voyages, all directed to this 
end, in the years 1576, 1577, and 1578. In June, 1576, he 
sailed from the Thames with three small vessels manned with 
but thirty-four men, on " a voyage of discovery of a north- 
west passage." The coast of Labrador was reached, and some 
of the regions to the north were sighted, but he then 
abandoned the attempt and returned home. In 1578 
Frobisher sailed again, and discovered the channel afterwards 
known as Hudson's Straits, in lat. 62° N., but his efforts 
towards ** Cathay " ended in a vain endeavour to procure gold 
ore from the coast of North America. 

In 1585, 1586, and 1587, John Davis, a native of Sand- 
ridge in Devonshire, renewed the attempt, but still without 
success.* He afterwards, in 1592, made a voyage to the Pacific, 
in the course of which he discovered the Falkland Islands. His 
writings and achievements show him to have been one of the 
most scientific navigators of the time. 

Another great seaman of this period was John Hawkins 
(afterwards Sir John), who was bom at Plymouth. He made 
several voyages to Spain, Portugal, and the Canary Islands, 

* See p. 65. 



and in 1562, learning that "neg^roes were very good mer- 
cbsndise to Hispaniols, and that store of them might easily 
be had apoD the coaet of Guinea," started upon an expedition 
to the Gold Coast with three small ressels^the Solomon, of 
120 tons; the Swal-low, 100 tons; and the Jonas, of 40 tons; 
ud there embarked a cargo of three hundred slaves, which 
he carried to the West Indies ; thus having the honour of 
beginning the disgraceful traffic in negroes carried on by 
Briti^ merchant ships, which Usted until early in the pre- 
wnt century. He received from the Spaniards in exchange 
ior his three hundred slaves, pearls, ginger, sugar, and hides, 
enough not merely to freight his own vessels, but two other 
veaselB besides, and "thus with prosperous success, and much 
gun to himself, and the aforesaid adventurers, he come home, 
■nd arrived in September, 1563." 

Hawkins made a second voyage in 1564, and it is said that 
it was upon this voyage that he brought home that useful 
tegetable, the potato, a native of South America, which, 
iiowever, had long been known on the continent of Europe 
through the Spaniards, who brought it from Peru ; but which 
was for the first time planted iu Ireland by Hawkins, in 
1566. Sir Francis Brake is also said to have introduced the 
[duit into England; but it was undoubtedly Sir Walter 
Baleigh, who brought it from Virginia, who was the first to 
really make it popular in this country. 

In 1567. Sir John Hawkins started on his third voyage for 
ilaring purposes ; but this time on a much larger scale than 
nthei of his previous expeditions, having now six ships, two 
ptovided by the queen herself, and four fitted out by himself 
tnA his brother, one of these, the Judith, being under the 
eonuDand of one Francis Drake, a name destined to become 
hereafter one of the most famous of the Elizabethan age. 
He snccessfuUy reached the Gold Coast, and having obtained 
1 large number of slaves, sailed for the West Indies ; but 
meeting with a hurricane off the island of Cuba, three of his 
ships were wrecked. Falling foul of the Spaniards, another 
ihip was lost, only two of the original fleet, the Minion and 
the Judith, escaping. The same night, however, the Judith 
inerted ; and after protracted sufi'eringa from bad weather. 



aiokneas, aud famine, Hawkins, in the Minion, at length 
reached Vigo, where he obtained some provisions, and 
ultimately got back to England, having lost in this ventnie 
all that he had made in his previous voyages. The queen, 
howoYer, still continued to accord him her favour, and con- 
ferred upon him the post of Superintendent of the Royal 
Dockyards, where he introduced many important improve- 
ments in fihipbutliliog, some of the best ships afterwards 
used against the Spanish Armada having been designed by 

On the 24th of May, 1572, Francis Drake swled from 
Plymouth with two small vessels, the Pascha, of 70 tona^ 
and the Sican, of 25 tons, bound on a buccaneering expedition 
to the West In^lies, where he was joined by a certain 
Captain Eowse, with an Isle of Wight ship, having thirty- 
eight men on board. Hearing that there was a gtetit 
treasure at a town called Nombre de Dios, the small squadron 
determined to attack the place, but were not aucoesaful in 
securing the treasure. Drake, however, learned that the silver 
of which they were in search was transported from Paa 
on the backs of mules, and he determined to intercept it. 

While awaiting its arrival, Drake was taken to an eminence 
on the Isthmus of Darien, from whence the sea on either 
side could be seen ; and from here he saw the Pacific, being 
the first Englishman to gaze upon Us waters. 

Soon after this the long trains of mules came in sight, and 
as they were practically unguarded they fell an easy prey to 
Drake and his companions, who helped themselves to 
much silver as they would, the only difficulty being it* 
transport to the coast. They, notwithstanding, succeeded in 
securing a very large amount and getting it safely on board 
their ships, when they at once left for England, making the 
passage home to the Scilly Islands in the wonderfully short 
period of twenty-three days. Arriving at Plymouth on a 
Sunday, the news was carried into church during sermon tiin% 
"and there remained few or no people with the preacher, 
everybody hELsting to welcome home the great voyager." 

The most memorable voyage of the Elizabethan age, at 
once mercantile and piratical, was, undoubtedly, that of 


Drake whea he circnmnaTigated the world. Queen Eliza- 
beth gave her moat gracious sanction to the undertaking, and 
presented Brake with a aword, making use of these remark- 
able words: "We do account that he which strike that thee, 
Drake, striketh at us." The expedition, fitted out at his own 
cost, and that of various fellow adventurers, comprised five 
vessels, the largest of which, the Pdiean, being of only 100 
tons, whilst the smallest was of no more than 15 tons. The 
destination was given out as being Alexandria. 

On the loth of November, 1577,* Drake, with hia fleet, 
left Plymouth, ostensibly for the Mediterranean, but being 
overtaken by a heavy gale before they were clear of the 
Channel, the vessels narruwly escaped shipwreck, and all bad 
lo pat back to Plymouth to refit. When they started again 
ihe Alexandrian destination was given up, and an island off 
I the coast of Barbary was appointed as the rendezvous in case 
[ of the vessels being separated at sea. 

By the middle of January Drake was off the Cape Verde 
Islands, having edready committeil some daring acts of piracy, 
and having takeu several small prizes. Here he gave chase 
to and captured a Portuguese ship bound for Brazil with a 
cargo of wine, and having on board several passengers. The 
passengers and the ship's company Drake sent adrift in their 
own boats, and then took pfissession of the prize. For nine 
weeks after leaving the Cape Verde Islands they were out of 
sight of land, ultimately making the South American con- 
tinent somewhere between Bio de Janeiro and Monte Video; 
and they then coasted southwards, the different vessels of the 
squadron, which had been for some time separated, reassem- 
bling in the harbour of Port St. Julian. Here Drake 
remained for over two months; and here it was that one of 
his officers, a certain Master Donghtie, who had been put in 
command of the Portuguese prize, was tried for mutiny, and 
beheaded. The Portuguese vessel, which had become by this 
time very leaky and unseaworthy, was here broken up. 
Drake re-christened his own ship the Pelican, the Golden 
SiiuU ; and then he weighed anchor, and sailed for the Straits 
of Magellan. 

* Hakliiyt'B " Voyages." 


Seyentoen days were occupied in getting through the 
Straits, and the ships were again separated during a heavy 
gale from the north. One of them, the Marigold^ must haye 
foundered during the gale, as she was never seen or heard of 
again. Another of the squadron, under the oommand of 
Captain Winter, regained the Straits, and coming to an anchor, 
kept fires burning for some time on the shore, as a signal to 
Drake should he also succeed in re-entering the Straits. 
After waiting for many days and seeing nothing of her. 
Winter concluded that Drake's ship must also have foundered 
during the gale, and he therefore gave up the expedition 
altogether, and returned to England. 

Drake in the mean time had been driven considerably to 
the southward, eventually making the land again in the 
neighbourhood of Cape Horn, the gale having blofm con- 
tinuously, and with but little intermission, for over seven 
weeks. The weather now moderating somewhat, he managed 
to steer a northerly course, and the next land he made was 
Mocha Island, in 38^ 23' S., where, landing with the object 
of obtaining fresh provisions, he was attacked by the natives, 
and twelve of his men were wounded, Drake himself receiv- 
ing a shot under his right eye. Sheering off from Mocha, 
Drake missed Valparaiso, getting too far to the northward; 
but, lying at anchor off a small port, he came across a large 
ship laden with wine. This vessel was boarded and taken 
possession of; and Drake, not satisfied with acts of piracy on 
the high seas, now turned his attention to sacrilege, sending 
an expedition ashore, and stealing the silver candlestickc^ 
crucifixes, lamps, and altar plate from the church of the town, 
and whatever else of value he could lay his hands upon. 

Besuming his northerly course, Drake fell in with and 
captured a Portuguese vessel, the master of which agreed to 
pilot him safely to Callao, upon condition that his own cargo 
was spared. They arrived off Callao at nightfaU, '' sailing in 
between all the ships that lay there, seventeen in number/' 
Not meeting with any great opposition, most of the crews 
being ashore, they rifled many of the ships of their valuables, 
including large quantities of rich silks and linen, and one 
chest of silver reals. But they heard news here that made 


them at once relinquish these resBele, namely, that a Bhip, the 
Caxafutgo, laden with untold treasure, had sailed only a few 
days before for the neighbouring port of Payta. 

Drake cut the cables of the ships at anchor, and let them 
drift foul of each other, or where they would, so that their 
crews niight be too much occupied with their own affairs to 
think of following him, and set all sail iu pursuit of the 
Cttca/uego. The alarm had, however, been given, and the 
ADthorities at Lima despatched two vessels after him ; but 
these Drake managed to elude, and shortly afterwards he 
took three tolerable prizes, one of which yielded forty bars 
iif silver, eighty pounds weight of gold, and a gold crucifix 
"set with goodly great emeralds," One of Drake's men 
having secreted two plates of gold from this prize, and denying 
the theft, was hanged out of hand. 

I Finding that the Cacafucgo had left Payta, still continuing 
his pursuit of her, Drake crossed the line, hoping to cut her 
off before she should reach Panama, In a few days he fell 
in with her, and when they had approached sufficiently near, 
he hailed her to strike : but receiving a refusal, he at once 
opened fire upon her with sucii efl'ect as to bring down her 
mainmast and to wound the captain. She now hauled down 
her colours, and having taken possession of her, Drake fur 
some considerable time stood out to sea with his prize. When 
anfiSciently far from the land the two vessels brought up, 
uid the work of transferriug the cargo of the Cacafiicgo to 
the Golden Hiiuh was proceeded with. 

She proved to be fully as richly laden as had been reported ; 
gold and silver in coin and bars, jewels and precious stones, 
amounting to three hundred and sixty thousand pieces of 
gold, being taken from her, the silver alone representing a 
»alue in our money of £212,000. It is stated that Drake, 
with a cruel irony, called for the register of the treasure on 
board, and theu sat down and wrote a receipt for the amount 
that he had taken, having done which he put her own 
captain and crew on board again, and let the Cacafucgo depart. 

Drake's object was now to get home as speedily as possible ; 
bat as it would have been obviously unwise to have gone 
back the way he came, the whole coast of Chili and Peru 


being by this time Etroused, he determiued tD sail to the 
noi'thward, and try for a passage round the north of the con- 
tinent of America — ^the north-west passage reversed, in fact. 

Putting in at a small island off the coast of Costa Bica, he 
obtained a supply of fresh water, wood, and fish, and made 
another small capture, in the shape of a coaster laden with 
butter and honey. He now steered a northerly comse, and 
reached the Bay of San Francisfo ; but by this time his crew, 
coming so recently out of the tropics, began to complain 
bitterly of the cold, so that he entirely changed his plans, 
and decided upon the bold stroke of putting his ship about, 
and crossing the Pacific and Indian Oceans, ajid coming 
home by the Cape of Good Hope. 

For sixty-eight days after leaving the coast of California, 
Drake's ship, with as valuable a freight as ever vessel had, 
was out of sight of land, until ultimately the Pelew Islands 
were made, and then the Moluccas. After staying a short 
time at Temate, laying in a fresh stock of provisions, and 
adding to bis cargo a quantity of cloves and other Bpices, 
Drake commenced the intricate navigation of the Malay 
Archipelago. Off Celebes the Ooldcn Hvnde became entangled 
among the shoals, and while running under full sail, struck 
on a sunken rock, and stuck fast. The boats were got out 
with a view of laying out an anchor, and so warping her off, 
but deep water was found all around. Much of the recently 
acquired cargo, and some of the guns and spare stores were 
then thrown overboard, and the wind, soon afterwards freshen- 
ing, the ship came off the rocks almost uninjured. 

Passing through the Straits of Sunda on the way home, a 
short stay was made in Java, and the Cape was reached with- 
out further incident. They put into Sierra Leone, and 
arrived safely at Plymouth on September 26, 1580, having 
been away from England very nearly three years. 

Many gentlemen, for doing precisely what Drake had been 
doing during the past three years, have hod involuntarily to 
put in an appearance at Tyburn ; but instead of so dismal a 
termination to his adventures, Francis Drake received from 
Her Most Gracious Majesty, Queen Elizabeth, the honour of 
knighthood on the deck of his own ship at Deptford. 




Tbe inlended Spanish bvaaion of EufEland iii 1588— Tbo I uvbcible Armada— 
The squadron of the Duke of Medina Sidoiiia— The English armament 
— Particnlars of the fleet — Chiefly merchaut ehips — The fate of the 
Annada — The general Btate of Merchant Shipping in England — Tho 
Goremment rettntis — A return for the year 1591 — The fisheriea of 
Iceland and Newfoundland — Voyages to the coast of Ouineo — Disastroua 
voyage of the Edward Cotton. — The Tojage of Sir Humphrey Gilhevt lo 
North America— Sir Walter Raleigh — Voyage of CaplainB Amadaa and 
Bariow^Firet English settlers in Virginia — Introduction of tobacco — 
The Dutch, and their encroachments — The Navigation Laws of Cromwell. 
and Chailee II. — Shipbuilding in tlie Mventeenth and eighteenth centuries. 

HaNT reasons conduced to Philip II. of Spain's fitting out 
a fleet, known ea the "Invincible Armada," for the invasion 
(if England. The serious injury inflicted by English shipa 
upon Spanish commerce, the rejection of his hand by the 
fjneen, to whom after the death of Mary he bad made pro- 
posals of marriage, and the hope of furthering the Catholic 
raose, all combined to make the King of Spain desirous of 
attacking England. 

It was not long before the opportunity presented itself, for 
the conquest of Portugal, in 1580, put him in possession of a 
powerfnl nai'y, and when, in 1588, the preparations were 
completed, we find the first or commanding squadron of the 
Spanish Armada to have been composed entirely of Portuguese 
ships. This division appears to lave consisted of the follow- 
ing veesels: — 

-Tdc SgrADRON of Portcccebe Galleoks, vndeu thb paktictlak 
C0MKA>1) or THB Gesekaussijio, tiie Duke ot Meuika Siboma. 

Tddi. Odiu. Siflon. Uutoera. 

..a».r«. 'iy;if°J,'?|S) IKK) ... 50 ... 177 ... 3«, 
1 St. Joim Admiral-General 1060 ... 60 ... 170 ... 231 
3. ajfori 782 ... 10 ... 117 ... 292 




• • • • • • 

5. 8t. Louis 

6. &, McUthew ... 

7. 8t James 

8. OaUeon of Florenos 

9. St. Christopher 

10. St. Bernard ... 

11. Zckbra Augusta 

12. Zabra Julia ... 

... ... 

.a. ... ... ••. 

... ••■ ... .•. 

... ••■ ... 

.•• ... ... ... 

... ... ... 

.•• ... ... ... 

*•• .•• .•• ... 




















. 100 








. 100 




. 55 






In the whole fleet, which numbered not less than 132 stil, 
six ships were of 1000 tons and upwards ; 59 ranged between 
500 and 1000 tons ; and 67 were of less than 100 tons. 

The English armament that was to oppose the Armada 
consisted of 197 vessels, only 34 of which, however, could 
properly be said to be ships of the Boyal Navy ; one of these, 
the Triumph, being of 1100 tons, seven others ranging 
downwards to 600 tons, and the rest being quite small venela 
The remainder of the fleet were ships of the Mercantile Marine, 
either hired on the spur of the moment, or most patrioti- 
cally offered by their owners for the public service in this 
sudden emergency, or else were vessels provided by the great 
towns, of which vessels none exceeded 400 tons burden, nor 
were there more than two even of that magnitude. 

*^ The hundred and ninety-seven ships of the English fleet were made up 
thus; — 

The Queen's ships, under Admiral \ 

Lord Howara of Effingham / 

Serving with the Lord High Admiral . . . 

Sor\ing with Sir Francis Drake 

Fitted out by the City of London 
Coasters with the Lord High Admural 
Coasters with Lord Henry Seymour ... 
Volunteers with the Lord High Admiral 

Victuallers (? store ships) ... 

Sundry small vessels, of which no \ 

particulars are given / 




... 34 



... 10 



... 32 



... 38 



... 20 



... 23 



... 18 



... 15 



... 7 




... ... 


29,744 14,528 " 

Thus fully two-thirds of the fleet consisted simply of 
merchant vessels, many of them being quite insignificant 
coasters, merely armed for this special occasion. 

The history of the defeat of the Invincible Armada is an 
oft^told tale, and only concerns us in so far as it bears on 



the subject of the uses to which Merchant Ships were 
occasionally put during the Elizabethan era. 

It was on July 19, 1588, that the Spanish Armada, 
dispersed once by a storm iu May, entered the English 
Channel in formation of a crescent, said to have been seven 
miles in width from born to hora. Of the opposing English 
fleet, some of the Queen's ships were those that had been 
designed by Hawkins, and the improvements that he had 
effected became at once apparent. The stems and forecastles 
of these new ships had been made lower than had been here- 
tofore the fashion, and the ships tliemselves had a greater 
length in proportion to their beam, su that they were able 
to pass easily to windward of the Spanish ships, and to take 
up a position in the rear of the enemy, raking them with 
their gnns at a safe distance with deadly effect, so that ship 
after ahip was lost to the enemy, either by surrender or 
destruction. The only drawback experienced by the English 
as the iigbt went on was the failure of their ammunition ; 
but fresh vessels came out from the various Dorsetshire ports, 
bringing fresh supplies of powder and such other things as 
were required. 

On July 27 the Spanish fleet came to an anchor in Calais 
Roads, and soon afterwards the English ships brought up 
within a couple of miles of them. On the 29th the English 
commander assailed the enemy with a new device. Eight 
fire-ships, well alight, and filled with combustibles and 
explosives, were sent among the ships of the Armada, throw- 
ing them at once into the utmost confusion. On the next 
morning the English ships made a further fierce attack, in 
which many of the largest of the Spanish vessels were snnk 
or captured, and Medina Sidonia, with a hundred ships, fled 
to the North Sea, intent only on getting back to Spain by 
Buling round the north of our islands. Everything, however, 
seemed to be against the Spaniards, for no sooner had they got 
clear of the guns of Howard and of Drake, than liad weather 
get in, and the shores not only of England, bnt of Ireland 
and of Norway were strewed with Spanish wreckage and 
with Spanish corpses. Out of the vast and imposing fleet 
ibat had left Corunna, only fifty-three ships returned. Eighty- 


are said to have perished, with nearly 14,000 
soldiers, besides an immeiisQ number of the picked marineis 
of Spain. 

Previous to the sixteenth century, whenever ships were 
required by the sovereign for fighting purposes they were, 
to a large extent hired, either from the Venetians, the Genoese, 
the Hans Towns, or some other mercantile people, as the case 
might be ; and these vessels, together with some ships aupplied 
by the Cinque Ports, formed the main strength of the English 
National Navy ; and as soon as the particular service for 
which they were hired was accomplished they were returned 
to their original owners, and resumed their ordinary mercantile 
pursuits, lapsing again into merchantmen. 

After the absolute and crushing defeat of the Spanish Armada 
the necessity for keeping up a national fleet upon so extensive 
a scale, to a certain extent, ceased ; but still the nation did 
not at once revert to a state of torpidity and inaction, and 
the queen and her ministers prudently determined to prevent 
the possibility of a repetition of any such attempt as that 
recently made by Spain. To this end, by collecting accurate 
information of the general state of the English Mercantile 
Marine, together with that of such foreign countries with 
whom it was probable, or even possible, that disputes might 
arise, Elizabeth's advisers hoped to place themselves in the 
best position for knowing what was likely to be required in 
the future, and how that want might the more readily be met. 

To accomplish this great and necessary purpose, regular 
accounts began to be taken of all merchant vessels throughout 
the kingdom; and the returns were made, not of the ships 
and vessels belonging to each port, but of those vessels that 
were then actually in the porta at the time of making the 
return. These returns being frequently made, the Grovernment 
had the opportunity of knowing, with some considerable 
amount of precision, exactly what number of ships could he 
relied upon at any particular time. 

Owing to the constantly unsettled state of affairs in the Low 
Countries, the English counties that were nearest to Holland 
and Flanders — that is to say, Sussex, Kent, Essex, Suffolk, 
and Norfolk — appear to have been more particnlarly attende<1 


to than the other maritime counties ; and it is by uo means 
unworthy of remark that, althnugh the number of vesseb as 
given in the annexed certificate, amountiug to 471, may fairly 
be suppoaed to represent only one-half of what actually 
belonged to these five counties, the other half being absent 
on distant voyages, yet the 471 vessels so enumerated as 
being in these ports at one time, amounted to far more than 
half the entire shipping possessed by the whole kingdom 
thirteen years before, so rapidly had shipping advanced 
during the latter part of Elizabeth's reign. 

The following, taken from one of these returns for the year 
1591, preserved among the Cottonian MSS., gives us an exact 
picture of the state of the Mercantile Marine, as far as the 
home i-onuties were concerned, during the closing years of 
the reign of Queen Elizabeth ; — 

or Essex, Suffolk, Nokfolk, Eflvt, and Si'i^sex, v. 
Essex. ^^J£^H^:^ 






































King's Lynn 


L • This would pve over thirty raen to each vessel, which would Imve very 
'"gKatly exceeded [he average ; so that either there roast have been a krgo 
nnmbcr of unemployed milors in Ipswich at the time, or there must have 
been some error in the tetum in this instnnce. 



Fevenham ... 


EBiipt, Biiki, 





Sandwich ... 


• •• 

a .a 





• •• 






• .. 

a aa 





• .. 








• •• 

• . a 

a a. 




. • . 

a .. 

• •• 


Pevensey ... 

• . . 

• •» 


Newhaven ... 


. . • 

• »• 



Shoreham ... 


. • • 








• •• 


Chichester ... 


• . t 


• •» 


Total 471 2517" 

The mercantile navy of Great Britain was much improved 
in Elizabeth's reign, although in that of her immediate 
successor it was allowed to fietU again into a low condition, 
and much of our commerce was carried by foreign vesselsa 
During the whole of the Elizabethan age, however, a gradual 
development was taking place in the English Mercantile MarinCa 
A great nursery for seamen had been found in the fisheries of 
Iceland and of Newfoundland, and here it was that the sturdy 
mariners of the West Country, to whom was largely due the 
defeat of the Spanish fleet, had received their traininga 
Between 1570, and 1580, more than 300 ships went forth 
from Europe every year to the foggy banks of Newfound- 
land, but of this large number not one-tenth were English. 
After the latter date, however, the proportion of English 
vessels materially increased, and every year at least fifty 
vessels sailed from England for the Banks of Newfoundland, 
a large number hailing from the western ports; and from 
2500 to 3000 men were then regularly employed in this trade. 

Besides the fishing vessels themselves were a number of 
other larger vessels, considered fast sailers at the time, which 
were employed in carrying the fish between Newfoundland 
and the ports of Portugal and Spain; and most of these 
vessels were built at either Bridport, Dartmouth, Plymouth, 
or Bideford, which places remained celebrated for this 
particular type of vessel from that time until well into the 
present oenturya 



The more extended voyages of Hawkins and of Drake 
induced others speedily to follow in their steps, and trading 
Toyages to the Mediterranean, to the coast of Guinea, and 
to the Brazils were beginning to become frequent. 

The following account, taken from Hakluyt,' is given, as 
presenting some interesting particulars connected with a 
merchant ship so employed at about the middle of the reign 
of Queen Elizabeth. The number of the men on board in 
proportion to the tonnage will be particularly noted. 

" 1583 — Certain remembranceB of hq intended Voyogo to Brazil, and tlie 
river of Plate by tlie £dward Cullon, a ship of Mr. Edward Cotton's, of 
Bonthunpton, which perished tlirough extreme aegligenee, near Bio Grande, 
in Gimiie. 17 July, 1583. 

" Articlea of Covenant between EMward Cotton. Ka^uire, owner of the good 
ship called the Edward Colloa, of Southaaptou of the one part, and William 
Hnddie, Getitleman, Captain of tbe said Ship, John Hooper, liia Lieutenant, 
John rosier, Master, Hngb Sroitli, Pilot for the whole Voyage, and Waiian. 
Cbeeseman, Merchant, of the other pert. 

",1) Item. To observe and keep tlie daily order of Common Prayer 
aboard the same ship, and tlie Company to be called tbereunlo, 
at least once in the day, to be pronounced openly. 
"(2) Item. That tbey be ready witli the first fair wind to set sail and 
sails in the Toyage, and not to put into any port or harbour but 
being forcibly constrained by Weather, or other apparent or urgent 

[Hero follow some clauses aa to tlie cargo,] 
" [7) It«m. That if any man shall practise by any device or devices 
whatsoever to alter the Voyiige from the true Purpose and Intent of 
the owner, that ia to make tlieir first port at Santas and fit. 
Vincents, and there to re-victual and trafSck, and from thence to 
the lUver of Plate — -tben upon duo Proof made, shall lose their 
whole enteilainment due by shares or otherwise for this said 
Voyage, to be adjudged by the Captain, his Lieutenant, the Manter. 
Pilot, and Merchant, or Uiree of them at the least, whereof the 
Captain is to be one. 
"(8) Item. That the Pinnace be ready at all times to serve tbe 
Merchant's turn upon his Demand, to take in Wares and Com- 
modities, and to carry and re-carry to and from the Shore, when 
sad as oft as Need shall be, and to give due Attendance at the 
Merchant and at the Merchant's directions during the whole 
*'{9) Item. That no Head or Chief Officer being set down for such 
Officer mider the Hand of tlie Owner at the going to sea of the 

* Hakhiyt, " Tbe Principal Navi^atioDB, etc.," London, 1698. 


said Ship shall or may be displaced from his Mid Fkoe or OSee 
withoat great Cause, and his misdemeanor to be adjudged by the 
Captain, and his Lieutenant, the Master, the Pilot and the 
Merchant, or by the consent of three of them at the least 
*'(10) Item. That upon the retom of the Ship to the coast of England 
the Master and Pilot pat not into any Port or Harbour to tiie 
westward of Southampton, but forced by Weather, or such other 
ui^ent cause. 

" (Signed) William Huddib John Fostxb 

John Hooper Wiluam Chkeseican. 

Hugh SMirn 

" These things being thus ordered, and the Ship of the burden of 260 tons, 
with 83 men of all sorts furnished, and fully appointed for the Voyage, began 
to sail from Hurst Castle upon Friday, the 20th day of May, 1583 : and the 
17th day of July ensuing fell in widi the coast of Qinnie, to take in fraih 
Water, where through mere dissolute Negligence, she perished upon a Sand, 
with the most part of the Men in her, as appeareth by the confession of 
one that escaped, the substance and tenor whereof is this : — 

" The Confession of William Bends, Master^s Mate in the Edward ChUoR^ 
the 2l8t of October, 1684. 

" He saith that the 17th day of July, 1583, having some lack of fresh water, 
tlioy put room upon the Coast of Ginnie, where they were set npon a Sand, 
about eight Leagues from the Shore, and this Examinate with twenty-nine 
more, got into the Pinnace, who arrived in an Island, being desolate of People, 
and five Miles in compass, where they rested eighteen Days throng Force 
of Weather, not having else to eat but Grass. The rest of the Company, the 
Ship being splitted in two, and in quarters, got them into one of the after 
quarters, and by the help of Rafts, came also ashore into another Island near 
to Rio Grande, where they all died, as he supposeth. 

^* The other thirty in the Pinnace, at the end of eighteen Days departed that 
Inland and came to St. Domingo, where coming on Shore they were taken 
of the Moors and stripped naked. And they buried one Coxe, an old man, 
alive, notwithstanding liis pitiful lamentation, and shriekings ; the rest, having 
rice and water allowed them, lived there a certain time. This Examinate 
was at last sold to a Portingall,* with whom he dwelt for the Space of a 
quarter of a Year. And in the end a Portingall Carvell coming hither, his 
Master laded the same with Negroes, and he obtained Leave of his Master to 
go in the same Carvell, and by that means arrived at Lisbon, and frt>m thence 
came into England the 17th of October, 1584, leaving behmd him of his 
Company three Men and a Boy, with two others which were gone beyond St 
Domingo : all which, as he saith, were so sick and diseased that he judgeth 
them to be, long before this time, dead." 

The Spaniards and the Portuguese having practically 
absorbed the South American continent, it remained for 

* Portuguese. 

^ — ^^ 


Sngland, in order not to be entirely out of the race iu the 
way of colonization, to turn ita attention to the continent 
of North America ; and the first act towards colonizing that 
part of the New World by the Britislj was the granting of 
Letters Patent tu Sir Humphrey Gilbert, of Compton, Devon, 
by Queen Elizabeth, in 1578. 

The expedition fitted out for carrying this purpose into 
effect consisted of five ships, manned by about 260 men. 
The vessels were the Vtluj/U, of 120 tons; the Raleigh, 200 
tons ; the Golden Ilijide, 40 tons ; the Swallov:, 40 tong ; and 
the Si^uirrd, of 10 tons. The squadron sailed from Plymouth 
on Tuesday, the 11th of June, 1583, and arrived off the 
coast of Newfoundland ou the SOth of July, seven weeks after 
leaving England. Sir Humphrey Gilbert took formal possession 
of the island in the name of Queen Elizabeth, and then pro- 
ceeded towards the continent of America, passing the islands 
of Sable and Cape Breton, at the entrance of the Gulf of St. 
Lawrence. Here, unfortunately, he met with great calamities. 
The Ddu//U was totally lost during a heavy gale on the night 
of the 29th of August; and the other ships having suffered 
considerably, it was determined to abandon the expedition 
altogether, and to return to England. On the passage home 
the S'/ifirrel was lost, so that out of the five ships that left 
Plymouth in June three only returned. 

In the year 1584 Sir Walter Raleigh obtained Letters 
Patent from the Queen, " for the discovery and the planting 
of new lands and countries on the coaat of America ; " and in 
the year that the Letters Patent were granted Captain Philip 
Aoiadas and Captaiu Arthur Barlow were sent out by Sir 
Waiter Baleigh to explore the coast of America, and to 
report as to its culpabilities. The report that they made upon 
their return was so favourable that it tended greatly to 
increase the desire of many Englishmen to go out and 
nettle in the country. 

Captain Amadas and Captain Barlow sailed from England 
un the 27th of April, 1584, and instead of proceediug to the 
northward, as Sir Humphrey Gilbert bad done, they steered 
south, as far as the Canary Islands. From thence they 
arossed the Atlantic to the West Indies, and sailing past 


the Bahamas, proceeded up the coast, until on the 2nd of Jnly 
they landed on the American continent slightly to the north 
of Cape HatteraSy taking possession of the country in the 
name of the queen, who afterwards requested that it should 
be called Virginia. 

Inspired with a great desire to settle in Virginia, a party 
of Englbhmen, with Sir Bichard Grenyille at their head, 
proceeded there, and stayed a year ; but, unfortunately, a mis- 
understanding with the Indians caused them to give up all 
idea of settling, and they returned home again. Another 
attempt to colonize the country was made in the year 1590, 
but that also failed; and the settlement of Virginia was 
retarded for some years further by the rumour of the existence 
of the golden treasures of Guinea, in the yain pursuit of 
which the e£forts and the fortunes of Sir Walter Baleigh and 
his associates were utterly wasted in three unsuccessful voyages 
in 1595, 1596, and 1597. It was not until a few years after 
the death of Queen Elizabeth that the successful effort at last 
was made by a body of colonists who landed on the banks of 
James's Biyer, and laid the foundation of the old dominion 
of Virginia, the original seat of the Anglo-American race. 

Amongst many articles which were brought from Virginia 
by the early colonists, one took especial hold on the taste of 
the public, and had almost as much influence in peopling 
Virginia as the gold of Mexico, the silver of Peru, and the 
sugar of Brazil and the West Indies, had in peopling those 
vast regions. This was the much-admired, much-abused 
American plant, tobacco. Camden, in his history of Queen 
Elizabeth, after speaking of the early attempts to colonize 
Virginia, says — 

*^ And these men who were thus broaght back, were the first that I know 
of, that brought into England that Indian plant which they call Tabacca, 
Nicotia, or Tobacco, which they use against crudities, being taught it by the 
Indians. Certainly from that time forward it began to grow into great request, 
and to bo sold at a high rate, whilst in a short time men, everywhere, some 
for health*s sake, others from mere wantonness, with insatiable deaiie and 
greediness, sucked in the stinking smoak tliereof, through an earthen pipe, 
which presently they blow out again at their nostrils ; insomuch that tobacco 
shops are now as ordinary in most towns as tap-houses and taverns." 

By the early part of the next century the American colonies 


of Great Britain had iucreased to such an extent that a very 
important maritime trade existed between them and the 
mother country ; and the Diituh, ever ready to push their 
commerce, were largely employed in carrying the produce of 
the British colonies to home or t« foreign ports, to the obviouB 
disadvantage of the English shipowners. To remedy this 
evil, frequent applications were made to Parliament, but for 
many years, at all events from 1642 to 1650, the king on 
the one hand, and the Parliament on the other, had plenty 
else to think about, without troubling their heads very much 
about either ships or shipowners; but in the year 1651 the 
celebrated Navigation Act of Cromwell came into operation. 
By this act Dutch maritime commerce received a serious 
blow, the new Act prohibiting any goods or commodities 
whatever, of the growth, production, or mamifacture, of Asia, 
Africa, or America, including also our own plantations, from 
being imported into either England or Ireland or any of the 
plantations of Great Britain, in any but English-bnilt ships, 
belonging to English, or English plantation, subjects, navi- 
gated also by English commanders, and of which at least 
three-fourths of the crews should be Englishmen. 

The Act was still further distinctly aimed at the Dutch 
in another direction. During the early part of the century 
the Dutch bad seized upon all the fiahing-gtonnds adjacent 
to our coasta, and are said to have had no less than three 
thousand vessels, and between forty and fifty thousand men, 
engaged in this trade, from which they were attempting to 
drive out the English vessels by force ; but Cromwell's Act 
declared the presence of the Dutch vessels on our fishing- 
grounds to be absolutely illegal. 

At that time the Dutch were the only really serious rivals 
that British merchant ships had to fear; in order, therefore, 
still further to cripple the Dutch, and at the same time to 
promote the interests of the British Mercantile Marine, a 
further Act was passed, prohibiting any goods of the growth, 
production, or manufacture of ony country in Europe to be 
imported into Great Britain except in British ships, owned 
and navigated by British subjects, or in such ships as were the 

I [noperty of the people of the country or place in which 


the goods were produced, or from which they could only be, 
or most usually were, exported. 

Now, as the Dutch had little or nothing of their own to 
export, and as they were practically the only foreign nation 
engaged in the carrying trade, it was manifest that this Act 
was specially directed against them, and it was so undentood 
by them. Their irritation at it, together with the continual 
di£ferences occurring between the English and the Dutch in 
the East, at last culminated in the great naval war between 
the two countries, in whibh Blake on the one hand, and Van 
Tromp on the other, equally distinguished themselyes. 

Besides the disadyantages resulting from the long-protncted 
naval wars with the Dutch in the seventeenth century, English 
merchant ships had another constant source of danger and 
annoyance to contend with in the determined attacks of the 
Moorish pirates of the Barbary coast ; and the apathy, not to 
say the absolute cowardice, too frequently displayed by many 
masters of merchant ships, in quietly giving up their veoeb 
on condition that their lives should be spared by the pirates, 
conduced to the passing of an Act in the sixteenth year of 
Charles II., which enacted 

*' tlmt the master of any merchant vessel of not less than two hundred tODB 
burden, carrying sixteen guns, shall not yield to an enemy of any force with- 
out a resistance, on pain of incapacity to command any English vessel for 
ever afterwards." 

A ship of less burden than two hundred tons was 

'^ forbidden to yield to any enemy not having double her number of guns 
vrithout fighting ; " and " if any mariner or inferior officer shall refuse to fi^t 
.when commanded, or discourage other mariners from bo doing, they shall 
lose their wages and all their goods on board, and shall be liable to imprison- 
ment with hard labour for six kalendar months." 

Although during the reigns of the Stuarts our Mercantile 
Marine, including the art of shipbuilding, was gradually getting 
into an exceedingly depressed state, yet the latter part of the 
seventeenth century saw a fresh revival. Anthony Deane and 
Phineas Pett were entrusted by the Government of the country 
with the designing and the reconstruction of the Eoyal Navy 
of England, and they performed these duties in a very success- 
ful and notable manner. They have the credit given them of 


baring been the first men of this country who endeavoured 
to apply the principles of science to the designing and building 
' f ghipe, and the wooden vessels built by them served as models 
) T several succeeding generations to copy, without alterations 
' r attempts at improvement, until the early part of the present 
centory. Our naval commanders constantly complained of 
the inferior qualities of their vessels as compared with the 
wiling capabilities of the ships of the French Navy ; and 
vessels captured by our ships from the French often proved 
of service as models to imitate in the construction of vessels 
for our own Navy. 

" The almost entire absence of ajiy knowledge in this country 
of the very first principles of the art of shipbuilding, both in 
the seventeenth and the eighteenth centuries, has often been 
referred to, and it has been stated by a competent authority 
that there was scarcely a single person in the country who 
then knew correctly even the first element of the displace- 
ment of a ship. The French had been far more enterprising 
and sj-stematic with respect to their vessels, for they applied 
Bcieutific principles to practice with a large amount of success 
in the construction of their ships. Their fleet was largely 
developed in the seventeenth century under the able adminis- 
tration of Colbert, who encouraged men in the investigation 
of the principles of tlie strength and the construction of ships, 
and of their behaviour when at sea, Bouguer, a celebrated 
French writer, led the way in 1746, by publishing a treatise 
on the stability and the rolling of ships; and several other 
French writers contributed important researches on the science 
of naval architecture lung before the English had given any 
attention to such matters ; and to the French, therefore, must 
be given much of the credit due to the improvements in the 
building of British ships during the last century," • 

* George Stonbury, Esq., Surveyor to Lloyde' ItegiHtcr. 



Ontline of the history of the East India Company— Trade ^tb the East— The 
Venetians and the Crenoese — ^The Spaniards and the Portogaese— TIm 
Dutch— The English— Attempts to reach the Indies by the North-Weit 
Passage — John Davis — ^First Charter of the Ei^g^ish East India Company, 
1600— The first East Indiamen— Disputes with the Dutch— Fieah charter 
from James I. — ^The Trade$ Increase — ^Value of the trade with the EHk 
— Losses of the English East India Company — ^The French East Indk 
Company — ^The charter granted to the English Company by Charles IL 
— Success of the Company — Opposition — A new Company — Rival tradsn 
— Amalgamation of the two Companies— The East India Company of 
1708 — ^The ships — Heavy losses in the company^s fleet — ^The Emi of 
Balcarree — The officers of the ships — Life on board an East Indiaman— 
End of the Company — Sale of the ships. 

The history of the English Mercantile Marine during the 
seventeenth and eighteenth centuries is so intimately con- 
nected with the East India Company that it will be well to 
give a brief account, although it must necessarily be the 
merest outline, of the history of that vast commercial corpora- 
tion which at one time directed and controlled our present 
Indian Empire. 

Successively the Egyptians, the Romans, and later on the 
rich and enterprising merchants of the Adriatic, carried on 
an ever-increasing trade with the East. In the eighth and 
ninth centuries the commerce of Europe had centred itself 
at Constantinople; but later on, the trade with the East 
was the almost exclusive monopoly of the Venetians and the 
Genoese. The commercial centre of the world was again 
shifted when first, in 1487, Bartholomew Diaz, and afterwards, 
in 1498, Vasco da Gama, doubled the Cape of Grood Hope, 
and so reached by sea Calcutta and Malabar. To the astonish- 
ment and to the grief of the Italian maritime traders, they 



^■Hdiienly found themeelves eclipsed in their pursuits, and in 
^^» very short time totally excluded from all commerce, save 
that of the Mediterranean itaelf ; whilst the countries bordering 
the Atlantic began to occupy the place hitherto bo proudly 
held by the cities of Italy aud of the Adriatic, the shipa of 
Spain and Portugal rapidly spreading over the face of the 
Atlantic, and along the shores of India. 

When Pope Alexander the Sixth issued his famous Bull, 
dividing the whole undiscovered heathen world between Spain 
and Portugal, he awarded India to the latter power, and the 
Portaguese, who already possessed extensive settlements along 
the Western coasts of Africa, began immediately to cultivate 
the trade with India. As time passed on, by 1580, the power 
of Portugal in the East was already on the wane, and the 
Spaniards were rapidly taking het place. 

Commerce with India was, liowever, manifestly of far too 
profitable a nature to allow such an enterprising nation as 
the Ihitch for any great length of time quietly to acquiesce 
in a monopoly by Spain and Portugal, and by 1597, Dutch 
ships were rounding the Cape of Grood Hope, bent on acquiring 
a share of the spoil. These ships were fiercely handled by 
the Spanish, and at once stronger fleets, and more formidable, 
were equipped and sent out by the Dutcb, with the distinct 
object of expelling the Spanish-Portuguese from the Spice 
Islands and from the Indian coasts. 

At last so lucrative a trade engrossed the attention of 
England, and a numl>er of merchants in London, being of 
opinion that sooner or later a north-west passage to India 
would be discovered, so that both the Spanish and the Dutch 
might he circumvented, fitted out two small vessels — the 
Swnshine, of 50 tons, with twenty-three hands, and the Moon- 
shine, of 35 tons, and nineteen men. The command of the 
expedition was placed in the hands of John Davis, a mariner 
of considerable repute, who embarked in the Sujiskine ; and 
the two vessels sailed from Dartmouth on the 7th of June, 
1585, reaching as far nortli as 66° 40', and discovering the 
Btraits now known as Davis's Straits. 

The following year a second voyage was tried, but with no 
fntlier nnlt. In his third voyage Davis suied. u^ ^e Buma 


straits, with open water in Baffin's Bay as fieur as 73^ north 
latitude, attaining the point on the western coast of Greenland, 
which he named Sanderson's Hope, from a wealthy merdiant 
who had largely contribnted to the Amds of the expeditioit 
He tried a fourth yoyage, but it was equally unsuccessfnl, so 
that the owners of the ships gaye up all idea of the north- 
west passage, and determined to send Dayis, in 1589, to the 
East Indies by way of the Cape of G<x)d Hope ; the destnio- 
tion of the Spanish Armada, and the consequent weakening 
of the maritime power of Spain, haying made a passage to 
India by way of the Cape a less perilous undertaking than 
it had heretofore been. Dayis made flye yoyages to Indiai 
but on his fifth yoyage he was unfortunately killed by pirates 
off the coast of Malacca in December, 1605. 

In the year 1589 certain English merchants memorialiied 
Queen Elizabeth to grant them license and encouragement 
to open a trade with the East Indies, adducing as a reason 
for her granting their request that such a trade would by 
degrees add to the shipping, seamen, and nayal force of ibe 
kingdom, in the same manner that it had increased the 
Portuguese fleets ; but the project gaye great offence to the 
Spanish and the Portuguese Grovemments, and in order not 
to offend Spain, it was a long time before the queen would 
grant their request. In the year 1600, howeyer, and the 
forty-second year of Queen Elizabeth's reign, on the petition 
of Sir John Hart, Sir John Spencer, Sir Edward Miohebnm, 
William Cayendish, and more than two hundred merchants, 
shipowners, and citizens of London, a charter was granted 
to the London Company for fifteen years, and this Deed of 
Incorporation was the commencement of the English East 
India Company, and of British rule in India. 

The stipulated capital of £72,000 haying been raised, the 
Company despatched fiye ships to open the trade. They 
were the Dragon^ of 600 tons, her commander, according to 
the custom of the time, being styled ^'Admiral of the 
Squadron ; " the Hectare of 300 tons ; two ships of 200 tons 
each; and a store-ship of 130 tons. The men employed in 
the expedition were 480, all told ; and the cost of the yessels 
and their equipment £45,000. They had on board twenty 


merchants as super-cargoee, and the vessels were all well armed. 
The voyage proved a success, and the ships returned to 
England with valoable cargoes. 

At this time Spain claimed the exolnslTe right of trading 
with the East Indies ; — indeed, they claimed the whole of the 
Indian seas as their own exclusive property, and permitted 
no European nation whatever to obtain any footing on the 
coast of India, threatening with the severest penalties any 
but their own nation who should presume to trade in any 
way with that country — a line of conduct which resulted 
in the sharpest conflicts between the Spanish and the For- 
tngnese on the one side, and the English and the Dutch on 
the other, the earlier records of the English East India 
Company aboundiug in accounts of the fiercest contests 
l>etween the English ships and those of the Spanish and the 

AithoQgh the Dutch, when opposing Spain, strongly asserted 
that all nations had an equal right to trade with India, 
yet they had no sooner succeeded in partially ousting the 
Spaniards than they at once deliberately endeavoured to 
establish the strictest monopoly for themselves ; and although 
England and Holland were on terms of peace in Europe, yet 
in India they so seriously disagreed upon the question of the 
East India trade, that in 1611, the London merchants were 
praying for protection and redress, representing that the 
Hollanders were driving them out of all places of traffic in the 
East Indies, they having far better ships than the English. 

In 1603, Sir Walter Baleigh, in a report he made to King 
Jamea I., says that the merchant ships of England were not 
to be compared with those of the Dutch, and that while an 
English ship of one hundred tons required a crew of thirty 
men, the Dutch would sail a ship of the same size with one- 
third of that number. 

Upon obtaining a new Charter from James, in May, 1609. 
also for fifteen years, the Company set about constructing a 
better and a larger ship than they had ever had before, 
named the Trades Increase, of one thousand two hundred 
tons, the largest English merchant ship yet built, together 
with a pinnace of 250 tons, called the Peppercorn. These two 


vesselSy with a third, the Darling^ ci 90 tons, were deepAtehed 
in 1610; but the venture did not torn oat so well as the 
previous ones, the Trades Increase being totally lost off the 
coast of Bantam. 

The Company, however, not to be daunted, sent oat the 
next year a single ship called the Olohe^ followed by the 
Clove^ the Hector^ and the Thcmuis. In 1614, four ships were 
sent from London : the New Yearns Gift^ of 650 tons ; the 
Hector^ of 500 tons; the Merchant's Hope, of 300 tons; and 
the Solomon^ of 200 tons. During this voyage a serious 
engagement took place between the East India Company's ships 
and the Portuguese, upon the occasion of the latter attacking 
one of the ports belonging to the Moghul, thus materially 
strengthening the relations of the English Company with 
that monarch ; and, indeed, so prosperous had the affain of 
the Company now become that in the year 1617, its stock 
stood at two hundred and three. 

Some idea of the value of the trade contended for may be 
obtained from the fact that in 1615 the Dutch had over fifty 
ships engaged in the East Indies, whilst the English East 
India Company, the same year, paid no less a sum than 
£14,000 customs on two ships alone; and in 1616, one ship 
arrived in the Thames from the Indies with a cargo valued 
at £140,000. Owing to a very large extent to the East India 
Company, the number of ships hailing from London rapidly 
increased, and Sir William Monson states that 

<< tho shipping of the Port of London had so angmented during the first fifteen ; 

years of Uie reign of Charles I. that it was now able to supply a hundred sail | 

of stout vessels capable of being converted into men-of-war ; and that ten t 

largo ships had been added to the eflfective force of tho Royal Navy." j 

Continual quarrels and incessant hostilities went on 
between the English and the Dutch companies for twenty 
years, until a particularly atrocious outrage on the part of 
the Dutch brought matters to a climax. The massacre of 
almost the whole of the English settlers at Amboyna, in the 
Moluccas, in 1623, at once bred a long and fierce resentment 
against Holland amongst the English merchants and the 
English sailors of that age, that culminated, other sources of 


disagreement assisting, in the wars with HoUand during the 
time of the Commonwealth and the reign of Charles II. 

During all this time affairs were not so prosperous with 
the English Company. In a return preseuted to Parliament 
on the 29th of November, 1621, there is an account of the 
trade carried on by the East India Company during the 
whole time (hat they had held their charter ; and out of 86 
ships which had been despatched to the East during that 
time, 11 were surprised and seized by the Dutch, 9 bad been 
lost at sea, 6 had become woru out with long service, and 
only 36 had returned home with cargoes ; the remaining 25 
being reckoned as then in India, or on their way home. 

Gradually the Dutch trade was gravitating further and 
further to the East, and thus gradually the way was being 
payed for England's advancement in India itself. But a 
third rival was now about to enter the arena, although many 
years were still to pass before France could establish herself 
substantially upon the Indian eoast, the French East India 
Company not being fully established until 1664, aud it not 
being until 1665, that the first French squadron was despatched 
[o the East Indies. 

Meanwhile the English Company were ever seeking more 
extensive powers, and Charles II., willing to obliterate the 
name of Cromwell from their then existing charter, gave 
them a new charter authorizing them to make peace or was 
with any nation not Christian ; with license to coin money, 
to administer justice, and to punish interlopers. The English 
Company's establishments in the East Indies at the close of 
the seventeenth century consisted of the Presidency of 
Bantam, with Macassar, and other places in the Inilian 
Archipelago; Fort St. Greorge, and its dependent factories 
on the Coromandel coast and in the Bay of Bengal ; and on 
the west coast, Bombay, Surat, and other subordinate places 
un that side of India. 

Daring the twenty years succeeding the Restoration the 
ralne of the annual imports from Bengal alone rose from 
fSOOO to £300,000, and the gains of the Company from their 
monopoly of the import of East Indian produce had then 
almost incredible. 


In 1685, the head-quarters of the Compaiiy's buBinees on 
the western side of India were transferred firom Snrat to 
Bombay, whilst in 1687, the chief Bengal agency was 
removed from Hooghley to Calcutta, and Madras had become 
the central port on the eastern shores of the Indian 

Such success naturally excited jealousy, and energetic 
attempts were made to share profits so enormous. In Strype's 
" Stow's Survey of London " he says — 

*' A new East India Company was set on foot and managed against the 
[old] Company by those they called Interlopers : who traded Into the places 
of tlieir Privileges, and were not free of the said Company, whose ships and 
goods the Company stopped, and used other ways and means to hinder their 
Trade — in short the Trade to the East Indies lay open from the year 1653 to 
1657. Then tliis method of private trade proved so very destmctive to the 
several private traders thither, that the governing Power at that time fomid 
it necessary to unite them all into one joynt Company with a joynt Stock.** 

The charges of delinquency and mismanagement against 
the old Company induced the House of Commons, in 1692, to 
send up an address to the Crown, requesting the dissolution 
of the Company, and praying for the incorporation of a new 
association. But it was not until 1698, that the Govemment, 
being in want of money, resolved to throw the trade of India 
open to the highest bidder. The existing Company was out- 
bid by a new Company, whose tender to supply two millions 
sterling was accepted, and it was embodied as **The English 
Company trading to the East Indies," with the exclusive 
possession of the commerce of the East for ever. The old 
Company, however, was to have three years' grace, in which 
to wind up its affairs. 

The old Company, however, through its treasurer, subscribed 
for and obtained £315,000 of the loan, and thereby became 
the largest shareholder in the new Company. The greatest 
confusion of conflicting interests consequently ensued. The 
old Company was trading with its vessels for three years. 
The new Company was commencing to trade, but at the 
same time having no possessions whatever in India. There 
were some people who had subscribed to the loan, but who 
had not joined the new Company, and who were permitted to 

trade ou their own Bccount. And there were, fourthly, tbuse 
private traders whose vessels had cleared out of England 
previous to the 1st of July, 11)98, and who had the right to 
trade until they should return to England. 

No fewer than sixty ships were employed by all these rival 
traders, a number vastly in excess of the requirements of the 
trade, so that the competition was ruining everyhody, the 
£100 shares of the old Company, which had once stood at over 
£200, falling to £37. 

In 1708 this scandal was pat b stop to by an amalgama- 
tion of the new and the old Companies aa the " United 
Company of Merchants of England trading to the East 
Indies," and the East Indian Company from that date 
practically assumed the position that it occupied until the 
year 1858. 

The Company, as now constituted, was still frequently 
opposed, and in 1730 the merchants of Bristol tried very hard 
to prevent the Government from granting a renewal of the 
Company's charter, on the grounds that their profits were 
enormous. This, huiTever, appears to have been a perfectly 
groundless charge ; and although, no doubt, the Company at 
times did well, at other times matters were entirely the reverse, 
and in 1772, instead of being able to pay the Government 
the sum of £400,000 per anntim, as they had agreed to do, 
they were applying to the Treasury for a loan. 

In this year (1772) thirty-three ships were employed by 
the Company, of an aggregate tonnage of 23,159 tons, which 
would give an average of 700 tons to each ship. The 
Company were carrying on their business in an expensive 
manner, freight from India to London costing £32 10s. a 
ton ; and at a later period no less than £50 a ton freight 
was paid. In 1795 India-built ships were permitted to 
convey goods to London, and the cost by these vessels was 
only £16 per ton for rice, and £20 per ton for light goods 
to the Thames. 

The newspapers of the time give many interesting par- 
ticulars of ludiamen of the early part of last century, from 
which it will be seen that although they were vessels of but 
small tonnage, as we now reckon, yet they were always 



armed, and that not aolj for defensiTe, but veiy freqasBtly 
for offensire purposes. The following appeared in the ^ 
James's Evening Post, of Angust 31, 1734 : — 

" Yesterday the Court of Direetore of the Hut ludk Compan; todc At 
followiiig ships into their serrica, vie. — 






Q'leen Carolina 

' David Wilkie 







Thomas HuDt 







. Robert BooUe 







Richard Buhon 







, John Bnlchen 





1 FrsDcia Steward 






Abraham Ansehn 






Duke (/Cumber- 

! Benjamin Brauiide 





St Helena and 





1 Charles Hndson 







1 WiUiem Hutchinson 






Philip Worth 
' Charles Gough 












1 George Westcote 






In another number of the same newspaper, namely, on 
August 13, 1734, occure the following, which gives a good 
general idea of the trade carried on with the East, the five 
ships bringing about 500 tons of cargo each : — 

"The following is the cargo irf five boniewaTd-botnid India SUpa of the 
Datch Company, which sailed the 22nd of December, 1733, from Cejkni, 

and arrived at Amsterdam last week : — 

" 1,396,SG2 pounds of Brown Peppei-, 
y,747 Ditto of Ceylon Pepper. 
480,000 Ditto of Cinnamon, 

Ditto of Ponder Sugar. 
Ditto ofSaltPotra. 
Ditto of Sapan Wood. 
Ditto CoSee of Ceylon. 
Ditto Cardimum of Ceylon. 
IHtto of Cowries. 
Ditto of Tutucoryn Cotton Yam. 
Ditto of Pearls. 
Ditto of Spiritiis Hakmalla. 
Pieces of Gaatjes (divers sort*). 
Ditto Mouriea. 
Ditto Percallcs. 








From time to time the losaeB of the Company, from fhe 
muuber of their ships taken by the enemy, K>8t at sea, or 
tMmt, were exceedingly heavy. From the year 1702 to the 
jear 1818 no less than 169 ships of the Company were thus 
Ion ; furty-three being taken by the enemy, of which number 
seren, however, were afterwards retaken ; eighteen were burnt 
or blown np ; and one hundred and eight were lost at sea. 

Dnring the years 1808 and 1809 the Company were 
[wticularly unfortunate with their ahipe, having lost in those 
tirci years four outward-bound, and ten homeward-bound ships ; 
the value of one of these ships, which was not chartered, but 
which belonged to the Company, and her cargo amounting 
together to £1,048,077. 

The East India Company possessed some of the finest 
merchant ships afloat at the time, but they always paid 
heavily for them. It was said that for ships similar to those 
/or which private firms were paying £25 a ton, the Company 
was paying £40 a ton ; but it must be borne in mind that the 
Company's ships were practically armed cruisers, and were often 
obliged to be in action with the enemy, of whom they not 
mdrequently were able to give a very good account. The 
greater number of their ships during the latter part of the 
Ust century and the commencement of this, were handsome 
bigate-hoilt ships, whilst some of the larger ones, such as the 
Sari of Balcarres,' for instance, had a double row of ports, 
ind were precisely like two-decked line-of-battle 8hii)8. 

This Bhip, which may be taken as a type of the finest of 
the Company's ships, had a crew of 130 men, consisting of the 
Mttunander, six mates, surgeon and assistant-surgeon, six 
nidehipmen, purser, bo'sun, gunner, carpenter, master-at-arms, 
■rmoarer, butcher, baker, poulterer, caulker, cooper, two 
Newards, two cooks, eight bo'aim's, gunner's, carpenter's, 
cooper's, and caulker's mates, six quarter-masters, one sail- 
nuiker, seven officer's servants, and seventy-eight seamen. 
Every commander in the Company's service was required to 

* Tho £arl of Balcams wftfi buiJt at Bombay m 1815 ; she was of 1417 
tona biinlcii, curried 26 guns, aud was maimed by a crow of 130. She vas 
»H out of tho Company's eervice in 1831 for £10,700, She waa, however, 
still in eiistence in 1865, because I saw hor come up the Thoraes in tliat year. 



be at least twenty-five years of age, and to haye been one 
Yoyage in the regular service of the Company, either as chief 
or second officer, or to have commanded a ship in the extra 
service. Chief mates were required to be at least twenty-three 
years of age, and to have made one yoyage at least as second 
or third mate in the service to India or China. Second mates 
were obliged to be twenty-two years of age, and to have been 
a similar voyage. Third mates were required to be at least 
twenty-one years of age, and to have made at least two 
voyages as midshipmen in the Company's service. 

A commander's uniform, and that of the subordinate officers 
did not materially differ from it except that they had no 
swords, consisted when in full dress of a blue coat, velvet 
lappels, cuffs, and collar, with a bright gold embroidery, ^ as 
little expensive as may be," waistcoat and breeches of deep 
buff; the buttons of yellow gilt metal, with the Company's 
crest ; cocked hat, side-arms, '' to be worn under the coat," and 
black stocks or neck-cloths. The undress consisted of blue 
coat with lappels, black collar and cuffs, waistooat and 
breeches deep buff, and buttons similar to the full dress. 

In the Company's own ships promotion went strictly by 
rule of seniority, but in the ships of private firms merely 
chartered by the Company for a certain number of yeara» it 
a good deal depended upon the influence that could be 
brought to bear upon the owners, by whom all appointments 
and promotions were made. The command of these ships was 
almost invariably sold to the highest bidder competent to fill 
the post, the price averaging about £3000. 

The captain of an East Indiaman enjoyed so many privi- 
leges and perquisites that the amount of his pay, which was 
supposed to be £10 a month, was really but a very small part 
of his income ; indeed, it was always reckoned that, after being 
in command for five voyages to the East Indies, a man would 
have made sufficient to retire upon. Including the amount 
of cargo-space that was allowed him, all his perquisites, and 
his pay, it was supposed that he usually made from £3000 
to £5000 each voyage ; but the amount was often very much 
in excess of this, a good deal of illicit trade and smuggling 
being systematically carried on. Indeed, to so great an extent 


was this the case that the Company at last resolved to put u 
atop to it, and advertised large rewards to all such as would 
give information. 

The interual economy and the discipline on board the Com- 
pany's ships was far in advance of that of other merchant 
ships af the same time. The crew were divided into port and 
sUrboard watches, as usual, but the officers had three watches. 
At five bells in the morning watch the duties of the day com- 
menL-ed by the watch on deck washing down and cleaning the 
decks. At half-past seven hammocks were piped up, and 
•towed by the quarter-masters in the hammock-nettings in 
tha waist. At eight o'clock breakfast was served to all hands ; 
uid then commenced the ordinary day's work at sea, similar 
to that of the present time. Dinner was at noon, and then 
work was resumed until four o'clock, the men being allowed 
dnring the dog-watches to do as they liked, to mend their 
'lolhes, ro lo spend the time in games or other amusements. 

Twice every week, on Wednesdays and Saturdays, the 
iween-decks, where the men slept and had their meals, 
between the guns, man-of-war fashion, were cleaned and holy- 
stoned, and afterwards inspected by the commander and the 
mrgeon ; and the Company's ships being in reality to a great 
eiteut men-of-war, the men had very frequently to go through 
CQtUs and small-arms drill, and were exercised at the guns 
B opportunity offered. 

In the year 1831, the sale of the large ships of the East 
India Company commenced, but the greater part were not 
WW until 1834. The first ship to be sold in the former year 
*Mthe Atlas, which fetched £4100 to be broken up. This 
W8S speedily followed by the Aisa, which went for £6500 ; 
&6Gtneral Harris for £6600; the Minerva, £8400; and the 
hinatt CJiarlotte of Wales (to be broken up), £3000. In 1834 
twenty-four of the finest ships went to the hammer, the one 
fel<'hmg the highest price being the Scaiehij Castle, which 
realized £13,500; the Earl of Balcarrea and the Thames 
brought in £10,700 each; the Buckiwjkavishvv, £10,550; 
and the Lady Melville and the CasUe Suntle;/, £10,000 each. 

After the trade to the Elast Indies had been thrown open 
a number of vessels, ranging from 350 to 700 tons register, 


were built to be employed chiefly in the trade to the East, 
but they were free to seek employment wherever they coold 
obtain remnnerative freights, and were yery soon to be 
found in all parts of the world — in fact, they were the ^ooem 
tramps " of that day. 



Tit diseovery of Anstralia, Taamoaw, and New Zealand in the Beventeenth 
ceotnry — Pedro Fernando de Quiros — Lnia tm Torcea — Jan Abel Toeman 
— Dwnpier — Doropior's royago io the Roebuck — Anson's Voyage in the 
CetUurion — Parsimony of the Government — John Byron — Popys' Island 
ud Palklond'a IsIand^ — Captain Cooli'B three voyages — DiBcovery of 
Utnds in the Pacific— Antarctic exploration — Death of Captain Cook — 
Low of the BeUy OaHiy, on the Comiah coast — Lo«b of the Prinet 
Bugeat near Milford Haven — Lobs of the DaUin Packet on tlie Isle of 
Man — The press-gang. 

As r»(«ntly as the close of the sixteenth rentury but very 
little indeed was knowD of the South Indian Ocean, the 
Mntbem part of the Atlantic, or of that immense tract of 
Witer, the Pacific. It is true eiplorera had sailed along por- 
tioiis of the eastern shores of Africa ; traders had found their 
fsy round the Cape of Grood Hope to India; and the "Spice 
liUnds," the islands of the Malay Archipelago, were already 
Tisited by Europeans ; but, although it was considered probable 
bj scientific men that land of some considerable extent would 
be found in those regions, the great continent of Australia 
utd the vast islands of New Zealand and Tasmania were oa 
JBt entirely anheard of. 

During the time that the Spanish and the Portuguese were 
occupied in their East Indian trade, their naTigatiirs appear 
to have occasionally sighted isolated points on the western 
coast of Australia ; but nothing at all definite was known of 
it nntil the commencement of the seventeenth century, when, 
in 1606, one Pedro Fernando de Quiros sailed from Peru with 
two vessels, the smaller of the two being under the command 
of one Luis vas Torres, bound on a voyage of discovery to 
the westwfml. Having passed through a great part of the 


Southern Archipelago, the two yeflsels became parted during 
a violent stormy Pedro de Quiros discoyering some important 
islands, to which he gave the name of "'Australia del Espiritu 
Santo/' now believed to have been part of the New Hebrides 
group; whilst Torres, driven further to the north, reached 
New Guinea, sailing through the strait that has ever since 
borne his name. 

After the Spanish and the Portuguese, the Dutch visited 
nearly all the northern and western, with much of the 
southern, coast-line of Australia. In 1642 Jan Abel Tasman 
sailed from Batavia with an expedition which reached the 
island, now justly called by the name of its discoverer, but 
which he styled Van Dieman's Land, in honour of the then 
Grovemor of the Dutch East Indian colonies. Tasman saUed 
round its southern shores, but not round the north of the 
island, and for nearly a century and a half Van Dieman's 
Land was believed to form a part of the great southern 
continent of Australia. 

In his eastern course Tasman came upon New Zealand, and 
then returned to Batavia by the north of New Guinea. In 
1664 the States-General gave the name of New Holland to 
the western part of the region of which their countrymen 
had certainly seen more than any other navigators, and for 
many years after that, not only the western part, but the whole 
of the Australian continent was simply known as New Holland. 
The land then appears to have been almost forgotten in 
Europe until towards the close of the seventeenth century, 
when, in 1699, the British (Government sent out William 
Dampier upon a voyage of discovery, of which the primary 
object was to obtain accurate information as to this recently 
discovered coimtry of New Holland, and after that to visit 
the islands of the South Pacific. 

Dampier had originally been known as one of the most 
daring of the buccaneers in various piratical expeditions, 
and he had made voyages of his own to the Pacific, and also 
along the coast of New Holland itself; he was therefore looked 
upon as one eminently fitted for this duty, and an old ship 
called the Roebuck was placed at his disposal. 

The Boebuck that the (Government provided for Dampier 


w*a a. vessel utterly uufitted for the setvipe in which she was 
about to be engaged, and Dampier, with much justice, boaBted 
DpoQ his retnro — 

" that he hiid snccessfully CBrriad ont the object for which he was Bent, with 
thia old and worn-out vessel, which he was at last obliged to abandon at 
AsoenBion on his way homo, as he could no longer keep her afloat." 

He made the western coast of New Holland, in latitude 
26' S., neat the bay that he then named Shark's Bay, from 
the number of sharks that then, as now, infested it ; and 
from thence he sailed to the northward, making the island 
of Timor, at the southern extremity of the Malay Archipelago, 
and then coasted all round New Guinea, naming, and making 
careful surveys of its bays and harbours before he eventually 
returned to England. 

If the Government of 1699 treated Dampier with parsimony, 
a succeeding Government of George 11. 's, which sent out the 
expedition under Commodore Anson, carried the same kind 
of policy to a far greater length, Anson's expedition was 
not specially one of discovery, although it resulted in his 
celebrated voyage round the world, occupying altogether three 
years and nine mouths; but it was principally intended to 
chastise the Spaniards for their outrages upon British ships 
iu the West Indies. The squadron consisted of six ships, 
mounting Jn all two hundred and twenty-six guns, of which 
the largest, the Cetiturion, was commanded by Anson himself. 
The ships were badly found and wretchedly manned, and 
although Anson hoisted his pennant in November, 1739, it 
<ni3 September, 1740, before he could finally get away. Such 
was the difBculty experienced in manning the squadron that 
five hundred out-pensioners were sent from Chelsea Hospital, 
many of whom were sixty years old, and some were even 
seventy. Of these two hundred and forty deserted before the 
ships sailed, and their places were filled up with men to a 
large extent provided by the press-gang, who, if they were 
younger, were, if possible, still more useless. 

Sailing down the North and South Atlantic, and rounding 
Cape Horn, Anson proceeded to the coast of Peru, plundering 
Mboazd and destroying the towu of Paita. On his way 



home round the Gape of Qood Hope, he took a Spuush 
galleon richly laden with silyer; but when he returned to 
England the Centurion was the sole surviying ship at his 

Among those who served under Anson in this voyage was 
an officer named John Byron, who later on, as Commodore 
Byron, was himself sent out on an expedition purely of 
discovery. He sailed from England in 1764, with orders to 
find out 

''whether lands and islands of great extent, hitherto vnyinted by any 
European power, were to be found in the Atlantic Ocean, between the CStpe 
of G^ood Hope and the Straits of Magellan, within latitudes convenient fiir 
navigation, and in climates adapted for the produce of commodities useful to 
commerce ; also to seek for His Majesty*s Islands called Pepys* Idaod and 
Falkland's Island." 

These instructions to Byron throw a light on the state of 
geographical knowledge concerning the southern hemisphere 
prevailing scarcely more than a hundred years ago that is 
exceedingly curious, the whereabouts of these latter islands, 
or even whether they existed at all, being then quite unknown. 
It was to the clearing up of these points that Byron first 
directed his attention, with the result that he reported that 
Pepys' Island had no existence, but that the Falklands were 
two distinct islands of some considerable size near to the coast 
of South America. He then entered, and made careful surveys 
of the Straits of Magellan, returning to England in 1766. 

The next expedition despatched from England for scientific 
purposes, although not strictly as a voyage of discovery, was 
that fitted out in 1768, to olwerve the transit of Venus, the 
command of which was given to Captain James Cook. Cook 
was bom at Whitby in 1727, where he was apprenticed to a 
linen-draper ; but, disliking the business, he left it, and went 
to sea, serving for nine years on board a collier. In 1755 
he joined the Navy, where his ability soon put him on the 
quarter-deck,* and in 1759 he was employed upon a survey 

* It takes some time now for an ordinary man-of-war*s man to get on the 
qoarter-docL In a speech of Lord Charles Beresford^s in the Honse of 
Commons on the Navy Estimates, on the 18th of March, 1898, he stated that 
** at the present time, out of 50,000 seamen, only two have been promoted 


I the coast of Newfoundland, Labrador, and the mouth of 
'he St, Lawrence, a task which he achieved to the entire 
■I tisfaction of the Admiralty. 

The tranait of Venus was to take placo in June, 1769, and 
!i was at the requeat of the Royal Society that the Uovern- 
ment conseotod to send out an expedition to select a suitable 
sput for the observations. With a number of scientific men 
\.'h board, Captain Cook left England in the £iidfacou>- on 
ilie 26th of August, 1768. and oii the 29th of September, after 
unly thirty-four days — a marvellously short passage for that 
lime — he rounded the Horn, and theu sailed for the island 
of Tahiti. Here an observatory for the transit was established, 
and the main object of the expedition was successfully carried 
oat. Cook now visited and surveyed the group of islands of 
vfaich Tahiti is one, naming them the Society Islands, in 
boDoor of the Royal Society, who had been the chief insti- 
gBtors of the expedition. 

In October, 1769, Cook arrived at New Zealand, and spent 
six months in examining and siirvoyiug its shores, proving it 
to be two islands, the narrow strait separating them having 
since been named in his honour Cook's Straits. From New 
Zealand Cook went on to Australia, giving to that part of 
the Australian contuieut the name it still bears of New South 
Wales, an inlet on the south-east shore receiving the name of 
Botany Bay. from the number of new plants there observed 
by the savants of the expedition. Sailing aloug the coast of 
what is now called Qiteeiisland, Cook reached Papua, from 
whence he came home by the Cape of Good Hope, after an 
absence from England of three years all but a mouth. 

The next year after his arrival at home— namely, in 1772, 
— Cook was sent out again, this time being ordered to 
investigate the then still unsolved problem uf a great southern 
I'imlinent lying between the meridians of the Cape of 
Good Hope and Cape Horn, and which bad been only partly 

lo tho rank of officers. It would be beaeficUl if tliey could promoto 
wvnat-officere to commaod rank, just as certain clasaea of ofiBcers in the 
Annjr were promoted from the ranks. It was absolute nonaense to say that 
aai of sixty thousand Bluejacketa in the Navy there wm not one Gt to be 
1« •□ officer." 


set at rest by Byron's voyage to the Falkland Islands in 

The expedition consisted of two ships, both Whitby yessels 
— the Hesolutiofiy of 462 tons, of which Captain Cook took the 
command, and the Adventure, of 336 tons, which was commanded 
by Captain Fumeaux. Unlike the treatment at the hands of 
the Gk)Yemment experienced by Dampier and Anson, the 
anthorities under Lord Sandwich seem to haye done every- 
thing in their power to make the equipment of Cook's ships 
as complete as possible. 

The expedition left Plymouth on the 13th of July, 1772, 
and after calling at the Cape of Grood Hope, proceeded south- 
wards until they were stopped by the ice, in latitude 67^ 15' 
S., on the 17th of January, 1773. As far as the eye could 
reach appeared an impenetrable barrier of icebergSi of which 
Cook coimted no less than ninetyHseyen, towering aboye his 
ship like a range of moimtains. Finding it utterly impoaifale 
to get further to the south. Cook made his way to New Zealandf 
where he arriyed at Dusky Bay in the South Island on tha 
25th of March, having been the first British sailor to aom 
the Antarctic Circle. 

From New Zealand he went on to his old island, lUiitiy 
completing the surrey of the Society Islands upon which he 
had been engaged during the previous voyage. After this he 
returned to Queen Charlotte's Sound, New Zealand, to obtain 
a fresh supply of provisions and to refit the ship& Upon the 
return of summer Cook recommenced the investigations as to 
the supposed southern continent, and attained as high a 
latitude as 71^ S. without discerning any traces of land, and 
he therefore came to the conclusion that no such continent 
as had been supposed, existed. 

He now sailed northward, and examined Easter Island in 
the South Pacific, which had been discovered by Davis in 
1686. Thence he sailed to the group to which he had given 
the name of the Friendly Islands ; thence to a further group 
of islands which he named the New Hebrides ; and from there 
to New Caledonia and Norfolk Island, the latter of which he 
found to be iminhabited. From here he came back again to 
New Zealand, and then started for home. 



He made a clear run to Cape Horn, and then stayed on his 
way, and carried out a careful examination of Tierra del 
Fuego and Staaten Island, arriving at Portsmoutb on the 13th 
of July, 1775, having thus been away exactly three years, 
during which time he had only lost four of his men. 

Captain Cook was again only a year at home, as on the 12th 
of July, 1776, he started on his third and last voyage. This 
time his object was to explore the North Pacific, and to renew 
the search for a continuous waterway between the Pacific and 
the Atlantic Oceans along the northern coast of America. 
Cook had his old ship, the Bcsolution, the accompanying 
vessel being the Discova'i/, which was commanded by Captain 
Gierke. The expedition, after calling at the Cape of Good 
Hope, visited Kerguelen's Land, and reached Adventure Bay, 
Tasmania, on the 26th of January, 1777, 

From Tasmania Cook proceeded to New Zealand, and then 
sailing northwards, spent three months in examining the Fiji 
IslaDds. Still shaping his course in a uortherly direction, he 
discovered, in 21' N. and 158° W., a group of islands, hitherto 
unknovm, which he named the Sandwich Islands, after the 
noble earl, who was then head of the Admiralty. From here 
he sailed to Vancouver, and from thence to the Behring Sea, 
jiassing through Behring's Straits, nntil, in 70" 44' N., he was 
stopped by the ice, when he returned to Hawaii, the largest 
island of the Sandwich group, where, most unfortunately, he 
met his death at the hands of the natives. 

Some interesting glimpses may be obtained of matters 
connected with the British Mercantile Marine during the 
early part of the eighteenth century from the newspapers of 
the time. The absence of all coast-guard supervision, and 
the rough and lawless conduct of the poorer classes residing 
along the coast, are more than hinted at in the following 
paragraphs, taken from one of the principal London news- 
papers * of the year 1734 :— 

" Feb, 21 : — ^We liavG received the Following Letter from Edward Panroso 

Esq. at Penrose near Falmouth, in Cornwall, dated Feb. I6th : — Yesterday 

I , Ku lost St GuowoUoe, in Mounts Bay, a Ship called the Belly GalUy, C^pt. 

• The Bamt Jiunti't Evming Foat. 


Henry Day, of and for Lynn, from Malaga ; by the Violeiioe of the Sea, the 
Ship, after she stmck not standing whole more than the Space of two Minutes 
at most The Master and three Men were drowned, and five Men were sa^ed, 
but with great Difficulty, and almost naked* 

" I went to the Place, and with much ado preservM from the Comitry People 
about ten Pipes of Wine, some full, and some a third, and some a fourth Fivt 
out, and a large Anchor, which I have delivered over to the Officers of the 
Port of Penzance, for the Relief of the poor Men that were preserved, and fisr 
the Owners. The Officers of the Port of Penzance brought a laige Party of 
Soldiers with them, for the better Security of what I had preserved from the 
Country People, and the Soldiers are reaUy of great Use in such Miafoitmiei^ 
the Country People dreading the Sight of a Bayonet screwed on at the Sod 
of a Musket I ran much Hazard amongst these rude inhuman People, who 
are not to be govern^, when there is any Liquor in the Case. 

Having no Acquaintance at Lynn, or with any Merchants that deal that 
Way, 1 beg the favour you*ll make this known to the Owners the Speednst 
Way you can. The Boatswain, who is sav^d, says the Caigo was 197 Ca^ 
of Wine, and 5 Tons of Fruit, &c." 

The next paragraph points to a similar state of things on 
another part of the coast. 

" Sep. 7 : — On Saturday two Vessels from Dablin, loaded with Linnen 
Cloth, Glue, Ac, and bound for Liverpool, were entirely lost, near Poulton, iu 
LancaHliire. The same Day, the Prince Eugene^ Capt Robert Hays, a fine 
new Ship, of and from Liverpool, for Cork, and the Coast of Guinea, was 
forced on shore by the heavy Gale, near Milford Haven ; and great Numbers 
of the Country People came down with Axes and Hatchets, to break her up, 
and carry off all they could get. But several Merchants from Haverford- 
Wcst, getting as many Assistants as they possibly could, went to the PUce, 
and after a sharp Engagement succeeded in putting them to Flight ; and at 
the coming away of the Post tliey were using their utmost Endeavours to 
save what they could for the unfortunate Owners." 

In 1734, the only light at the mouth of the Thames was 
the Nore Lightship, which had been placed there two years 
previously. The number of vessels passing the Gunfleet, which 
lies between Harwich and the Nore, was rather different in 
1734, from what it is at the present day, as may be learned 
from the following : — 

** Nov. 21 : — The Mac^AIlisteVy Capt. Montgomery, bound from Gottenburg 
to Liverpool, was lost on the ISth Instant on the Gunfieet Sand : After the 
Ship struck the Crew took to the Rigging, and they continued for three Days 
in the Shrouds without any Sustenance : the Master and a Boy getting Light- 
Headed, flung themselves off into the Sea, and were drown'd only about three 
Hours before the rest were saved by Capt. Butcher, in the Exchange, from 


NorwBj, wbicb Ship amv'd id the Biver this Day. They saw five Ships 
piM by them, the three Days (hoy were ia the Higging, bat none came to 

t Holyhead lost Saturday, in 
!lie Sea Nymph aniT'd here 
Ora/ior, is totally lost on the 

The Iriah mail, in 1734, was somewhat different from the 
pteseat admirable aerrice between Holyhead and Dublin: — 

"Oct, 12:— They write from Dublin, Oct. G, that the Pacqoct-Boat which 
hisl oil board llio Matt Trocn London, of the 24tb past, was by the Violence 
of the Winils last Monday, drove to the Isle of Mau, and caHt away upon 
tint Coast ; bat all the People on board escaped, and they took the Mails on 
ihore with them. They hired a Veaael of that Island to brbg them horO) 
which Vtssel arriT'd in Dnblin Bay yesterday, about two Hoots after the 
Fieqnet which broDght in the next Mail." 

"The Sta Nymph, Robert Codd, Master, U 
Cantpaay with the Qrnfton, Pacqnet-Boat. 
uU Yeeterday, but she brings Account tliat th 
Me of Man, the Passengers and Crew bciiig sa 

Merchant ships at that time suffered much fiom the press- 
gang, as may be seen ifsm the following paragraphs, men 
who had been away for a couple of years being seized by the 
preas-gang just as they were arriving home again : — 

"Jane 8 : — On Thursday Morning, the Directors of the East India Company 
received the a^;reeable News of the safe Arrival of tlie Devonshire, Capt, 
PHooe, from Bengal, but last from St. Helena. Tlie Purser lefl the said Ship 
>afe ia the Dovus on Wednesday. She sail'd from the Downs, for the East 
Indjea, on the 27lh of Nov. 1732. Her Men have all been impross'd by the 
M«n of War ia the Dowas, and other Hands were put on board to bring her 
ap to her Moormgs in the River." 

"Jono 11 : — On Saturday last, the Devonekire, CapL Priace, belonging to 
the East India Company, came to her Moorings off Woolwich. She was 
manned up the Biver by G8 Hands, part of the Crew of the Ba'wiak, Man of 
War ; and tlie Berwick iropress'd a like Number out of tbe Devonihire, as 
she waa coming through the Downs." 

" July 23 ;— On Sunday Momiag the Purser of the WiUiam, Capt. Petre, 
arriv'd in Town, who brought Advice of the safe Arrival of the said Ship in 
the DowoB, richly ladea, oa Aceoant of the Turkey Company : The Ships of 
War in the Downs impreas'd all her aien, and put othen on board to bring 
her ap to her Moorings in the Rtver." 

■■QicL 24: — Notwithstanding the Report spread about 14 Days ago that no 
more Sailors would be impress'd out of tlie Home ward-Bound Ships, several 
IHfB thst Brriv'd last Week, had all their Men taken from them m the 




The maritime commerce of Eng^d at the doee of the rdgn of Elitibedi— 
Salee RoTem— Charles I. — Ship-money — Shipping of London — ^Tfae other 
principal ports — State of the port of London in the seventeenth oentmy 
— ^In the last centory — Serious robberies on the river — ^Tlie fint doda 
—The " legal quays "—The West India Docks— The London Doc^s— 
The East India Docks— The St. Katherine^s Docks— The Victoria Dodn 
— The Royal Albert Docks — ^The Surrey Commercial Docks — ^A few 
particulars of the Port of Liverpool. 

At the close of the reign of Queen Elizabeth the popu- 
lation of the whole of England did not greatly exceed five 
millions, and the population of London was about a hundred 
and fifty thousand. The greater part of the maritime 
commerce of the country, however, was centred in London^ 
the customs of the port of London being at that time seven 
times greater than those of all the rest of the kingdom put 

After London, the chief mercantile ports were Bristol, 
Newcastle, Hull, Yarmouth, Harwich, Boston, King's Lynn, 
Southampton, and Plymouth. Liverpool had then but a few 
hundred inhabitants, and those chiefly fishermen and persons 
engaged in a very small way in the coasting trade. Towards 
the end of the seventeenth century, however, Liverpool was 
gradually rising into prominence; but still the second 
mercantile port of this country was Bristol, which, with a 
population of about 30,000, had practically a monopoly of 
the West Indian trade. 

In 1634, the dominion of the English crown over the Channel 
and the adjacent seas was being vigorously disputed, and the 
inhabitants of the towns along the southern coasts not 
unfrequently suffered much from the depredations of the 


I French and of the Dutch, or the more formidable descenta of 

I (be Sales Rotqts, who not only captured English vessels 

Ktoally within sight of the English coasts, but carried away 

I the fishermen in large numbers into slavery. Charles I., 

finding himself in want of money for the purpose of fitting 

in adequate naval force to put a stop to this state of 

(limgs, had recourse to an old device for the provision of 

j maritime defence, and the port of London and the maritime 

I oonnties generally were called upon for this purpose to 

[ famish ships, or in lieu of ships, money. 

The first writ for levying the ship-mouey was issued by 
Charles in 1636, and the quotas required to be contributed 
by the several places therein mentioned aftord some means 
tS estimating the relative wealth and importance of these 
particular places : — 

M 1 ship of 400 tons, 160 r 

s 2 slupa of 600 tone. 

e Borough of Leeds 

„ Hull 

fn,£1000 in money. 


.. Lancaster £30. 

„ .. Liverpool £26. 

,. Clithero £7 10«. 

„ Newton £7 10s. 

Bristol was 1 ship of 100 tons, 40 men, £1000 in monej. 
London was 7 ships of 1000 tons, l&GOmen.nndBixinonthH' 

In 1702, 560 vessels belonged to the port of London. 
Daring the last three months of that year, 413 vessels were 
entered inwarda, at the Custons House, London, and 256 
venels cleared outwards;' but in addition to these foreign- 
going vessels there wbs a very considerable number of coasters. 
At the close of the seventeenth century coal was becoming 
largely used in London, and in the year 1700, no less than 
250,000 tons of coal were brought to London from the north 
by sea, the shipping employed in the coal-traile between the 

• The reason of the great disparity between the number of ships entered 
rawBids and of those cleared ontwards would probably be accounted for by 
the bet that a lat^ namber of the homeward-bound ships would be froo 
Norway, Sweden, and the Baltic porta, to which scarce any voasela would bo 
going oQt during the months of November and December. 


north of England and London being then regarded as especially 
the nnrsery for seamen* 

In the year 1702, the shipping and seamen belonging to 
the principal ports of the kingdom were as follows : — 


Average budea 




• • • 

• • • 


• •• 

• • • 




• • • 



• •• 

• •• 





• • • 

• •• 


• « • 

• • • 





• • • 

• •• 


• •• 

• •• 





• • • 

• • > 


• •• 






• « • 

• « • 


• • • 

• • • 





• • • 

• • • 


■ ■ • 

• • • 





• • • 

• • • 


• • • 






• • • 

• • • 


• • • 

■ • • 



In 1702, the total number of vessels belonging to all the 
ports of England put together was 3281, the total tonnage 
was 261,222 tons, the average burden being 80 tons. The 
total number of seamen was 27,196. This was exclusiye of 
the Boyal Navy, which consisted in the year 1695 of 200 
vessels, of the burden of 112,400 tons, or an average burden 
of 562 tons, and which were manned by 45,000 seamen. Thus 
London at that time possessed one-sixth of the entire shipping 
of the country, and rather more than one-third of the entire 
number of sailors. 

About the middle of the sixteenth century (in 1558) certain 
wharfs, afterwards known as " legal quays," were appointed to 
be the sole landing-places for goods in the port of London. 
They were situated along the river bank, between Billingsgate 
and the Tower, and had a frontage of 488 yards, or rather 
more than a quarter of a mile, to the river, of which frontage 
388 yards were appropriated to the ships employed in the 
foreign trade ; but this trade was so rapidly increasing that 
these quays soon became totally inadequate to the requirements 
of the port. 

The following figures show the rapid increase in the 
number of ships engaged in the foreign trade entering the 
port of London during the eighteenth century : — 

* Eighty of the Hull vessels were laid up at the time of this retarn, it being 
winter, and the trade of Hall lying chiefly with the Baltic, or in whaling in 
the northern seas. 




In the year 1702 . 
1751 . 
1794 . 


. 1498" 


CoMiing Trade 




In the yew 1760 . 
1795 . 

. 6,39C ... 
. 11,964} ... 


^' ^^' 

The greater part of the veaaels during the last century, 
i'>lh poastera and foreign-going ships, entering the port of 
London discharged their cargoes as they lay in the river, 
there being at that time no doeks to receive the steadily 
increasing amount of shipping. Property of the most valuable 
kind was always lying expoaed in open boats, and the robberies 
wre BO enormous that Mr. Colquhoun, in his work, has esti- 
mated that they exceeded half a million annually. Neither 
was this particular species of crime by any means of recent 
tirigin, for in Stow's " Surrey of London," published in 1633, 
we read — 

"Now ODe Note on llic North Side of the River, concerning Pyrates ; I 
rMd that in the year 1440, in the Lent Season, certain PeraotiB, with six 
Ships, brooghi from beyond the was Fish, to victual the City of London : the 
which Fish when they had delivered, and wore returning homeward, a Number 
of Sea Thieves in a Barge in tlie dnrk Night, came upon Ihem when they were 
•sleep in tlieir Vessels, riding nt Anchor in the River of Thamea, and slew 
them, cot their Throats, cast them overboard, took their Money, and drowned 
their Bhips, for that do Man slionld espy or accuse tlicm. Two of these 
Thieves were after taken, nnd hanged in Chains upon a Gnllowa Get upon a 
raisei] Hili, for the Parpoee made in the Fields beyond Eaat SmithSeld, so 
tbat they might be seen far into the River of Tliames." 

In 1792, the actual number of barges and other craft 
employed in the transit of goods between the ships loading 
and unloading in the river and the shore was as follows : 
500 for timber; 1180 for coal, each averaging 33 tons; 402 

* Of ttiese 203 were West Indian sugar 'Ships. 

t Oftheae 433 were West Indian sugar-ships. 

X Iq the year 1869 the tonnage entering the port of London amounted to 
10,100,000 tons ; 1890 (the year of the Dock Strike), 8,700,000 tuns ; 
I«91. 8.400,000 tons; 1893, 8,245.000 tons; 1893, 8,1-21,000 tons. 

% AatL cooBter would probably make half a dozen voyagoa iu the year, this 
~ ~ y fix would give about the actual oDmber of vessels. 


lighters of 39 tons each; 338 lighters of 20 tons each; 57 
luggers of 24 tons each ; 6 sloops of 27 tons ; 10 cntters of 
71 tons ; and 10 hoys of 58 tons, making a total of 2503 
craft of all descriptions. 

The temptation afforded by so many barges and other craft 
filled with valuable merchandize lying constantly exposed in 
the river naturally produced a liurge amount of crime, and 
hundreds of men lived entirely by robbery on the river. 
There were among these river thieves several quite distinct 
classes, each with its own special mode of operation, and each 
acting entirely independently of the others. The particular 
class known as ^ Light Horsemen " would look out for a lighter 
having valuable goods on board, and at night, stealing up 
quietly, would cut her adrift ; then following her as she floated 
down with the tide, would by-and-by rescue her, and bring 
her back, claiming salvage. It is needless to say that she 
had, in the meanwhile, been relieved of a very considerable 
portion of her cargo. The " Heavy Horsemen " did their work 
in the day-time, when they went on board as Lumpers to 
clear the ships. The " Coopers," " Batcatchers,'* and " Scuffle- 
Hunters," were all thieves in a greater or less degree, whilst 
the " Biver Pirates " were practically marine burglars, getting 
on board ships at night, by the stem-windows, open ports, or 
skylights, or down the companion, visiting the captain's cabin, 
and the after parts of the ship, not hesitating to cut a throat 
or two should occasion require. The "Mudlarkers" were, 
for the most part, old men — too old for most of the above 
professions, but still able, in their boats, to creep about among 
the tiers of shipping, and to collect bags of copper nails, 
sugar, coffee, or what not from the less scrupulous members 
of the crews of the homeward-bound ships. 

The waterside — Deptford, Greenwich, and the like — 
abounded with " fences " — receivers of stolen goods, where the 
commodities brought ashore could be disposed of, and no 
questions would be asked; and if, at any time, a particular 
neighbourhood became too warm, then there were always 
what were called " Jew-carts," ready to take the goods inland, 
where they would not be so minutely looked after. 

In 1798, the Thames police, then called the Marine police, 


was instituted to prevent theae depredations on the river, but 
tbe port of London (.'ontinued in nearly as bad a state until the 
formation of the docks, which took the ships out of the river. 
The first docka for the port of London were on the Surrey 
ude, and Pennant, in his book on London, publiahed in 1793, 

"Near the eitremily of this pariah (Rotberliitlie) are tlie docks for the 
Qteenland ahipa ; a profitable nuisaQce, very property removed to a distance 
froiD the Capit*!. The greater dock is supposed to have been the moath of 
& famona canal, cat in lOlli, by King Canute, in order to avoid the 
impediment of Eioodon Bridge, and to lay aiege to the capital by bringing his 
8e« to the west side." 

This dock, for a long time known as the Greenland Dock, 
ma not aliened to be ased by vessels discharging their 
cugoes, in consequence of objections on the part of the 
Commissionera of Customa. 
Pennant goea on to say — 

" Sl Saviour's Dock, or as it is colled, Savory, bonnds the east end of this 
pariili (St. Clave, Southwark). St. Saviour's Dock may be considered aa the 
port of Soathwark. It is in length about fonr hundred yards, but of most 
ili^roportiOQsble breadth, not exceeding thirty feeL It is at present solely 
.ippn^rtated to barges which discharge coals, copperas from Wittleeea, ie 
Kssex, pjpe-clay, com, and various other urMcles of commerce." 

With the exception of these two docks there was at that 
time no other dock, and the first wet dock for the port of 
London was the work of a private individual. In 1789, Mr. 
Perry, a shipbuilder, constructed a dock, called the Bruns- 
wick Dock, adjoining his ahipbiiildiug yard at Blackwall, 
capable of containing at one time 28 East-Indianien, and oU 
smaller vessels. 

The diflScolties of landing goods at the " legal quaya," the 
only other landing-place, waa so great that a large quantity 
of merchandise was often kept afloat in barges for tlie simple 
reason that there was no room to land it. The quays were 
covered with bales and packages, whilst the sugar hogsheads 
were often piled six and eight high. 

About 1793, the complaints of the merchants as to the 
existing state of things began to attract public attention, and 
in 179G, Parliament took up the subject, and inatituted a 


formal inquiry. After the war with France had commeBoad, 
in 1793, the OTiIa became immeasurably g:roater, as bafim 
that time ships had arrived or departed singly, but now tiaf 
came and departed in fleets, which were under the coDToy of 
the men-of-war. A Parliamentary Committee was appointed 
to consider the whole subject, and a number of schemes went 
proposed with a view of increasing the facilities for loading 
and unloading the ships. In 17^9, the West India merchant^ 
a very wealthy and influential body, at length attained their 
object of having wet docks, and the Bill was passed for the 
construction of the West India Docks, which were at once 
commenced, and the docks were opened for business on the 
2l8t of August, 1802, tlie opening ceremony being performed 
by William Pitt the younger. They were specially con- 
structed for the ships engaged in the West India trade, and 
a compulsory clause was introduced into the Act, requiring 
all ships coming to London laden with West Indian produM 
to make use of the West India Docks for the space of 21 
years frdm the date of opening. The northern, or import 
dock is 2600 feet long, by 510 feet broad, and covers a space 
of 30 acres ; the southern or export dock is 2600 feet long, 
and 400 feet broad, and covers an area of 24 acres ; and both 
are surrounded by a series of large warehouses, capable of 
Gontaiuiiig over 100,000 tons of gtMids. 

Accustomed as we are to consider the Docks, if not in the 
very heart of London, at least as being welt within the 
Metropolitan area, it is curious to read the criticisms of writeiB 
of tbe time when these West India Docks were first opened. 
One says— 

" Notwitlistandiug these Docks have occasioned a vorj important trade to be 
moved to a couaiderable, and eveu inconvenient, distance from the metropolis, 
yet tbe advantages to the Port of London are, upon the whole, incalcolable. 
Tlie West Indian trade general]; Brrivea in fleets, and occaaioned so much 
crowding, confusion, and damage, in the River, that these aLips lieing disposed 
of in theee doeka, tlie overgrown trade of the port \a now able to be carried on 
vrith pleaaure 


In 1800, an Act was obtained for the conatniction of the 
Loudon Djcks, and certain important privileges were accorded 1 
them ; all ships, at that time, entering the port of London laden 1 


■ith wine, brandy, tul)acco, ot rice, being required to enter 
these docks, wliitli were opened for public business on the 
30th of Jaauury. 1805. They cover an area of lUO acres, and 
cost four miUioua sterling. Tlie two docks accommudated 
500 sliipB, reckoning the kind of ships in vogue at the time ; 
iai the quays are lined with large warehouses with capaciouB 
TMilts for the reception of wine, spirits, and tobacco, 

The warehouses for tobacco are at the eastern end of the 
docks, and are two in number, the larger being 762 feet 
long, and 160 feet in width, divided into compartments by 
tioable iron doors; the smaller 250 feet long, and 200 wide. 
Both of them have extensive vaults, chiefly used for housing 
wines, of wliiuh they usu&Uy contain from five to six thousand 
pipes. They are solely under the control of the officers of 
tb Customs, 

In 1803, the Act of Parliament was obtained for the con- 
stnu'tion of the East India Docks, specially for ships in the 
E«gt India trade ; and the docks were opened to the public 
on the 4th of Augost, 1806, They were at oue time under 
the management of a certain number of East India Directors ; 
hut when the trade to the East Indies was thrown open they 
were purchased by the West India Dock Company. 

The import dock is 1410 feet long, 560 feet wide, and 
3<J feet deep, covering 18 acres; and the export dock is 780 
feet long, 520 feet wide, and of the same depth, covering 9J 
Bcres. From these docks all the goods of the Company were 
^'nreyed to their London warehouses along a tramway in 
covered waggons, locked up so as to prevent fraud and 

Alwut the year 1820, all the monopolies of the West ludia 
and the London Docks were about to expire, and every efl'ort 
was made by the Companies to obtain an extension of their 
[dvileges. This occasion seemed to offer a favourable oppor- 
tunity for further dock accommodation for the port of London, 
nad after the most strenuous opposition on the part of the old 
Companies, in 1825, an Act was obtained by a new Company 
for the construction of the St. Katherine's Docks. Upwards 
of eight hundred houses, mostly of a poor and dilapidated 
description, were pulled down to make way for the new docks. 


and among them was the Hospital of St Eatherine, foanded 
in 1148 by Matilda of Boulogne, the wife of Song Stephen, 
which Hospital was re-erected in the Begent's Park. The first 
stone of the St. Eatherine's Docks was laid on the 3rd d 
May, 1827 ; and they were opened for shipping on the 25ifa 
of October, 1828. The docks occupy an area of 28 acres, d 
which 11 acres are water. 

Previous to the construction of the docks, and when ships 
discharged in the river, it was reckoned that an East India- 
man of 800 tons took a month to unload, whilst one of 1200 
tons took six weeks. At the St. Eatherine's Docks, whicb 
were fitted with all the best appliances then known, the 
average time occupied in discharging a vessel of 250 torn 
was twelve hours; and a ship 500 tons two or three daya 
In 1841, over a thousand ships and upwards of ten thousaiid 
lighters and boats entered the St. Eatherine's Docks. Now, 
partly from the fact that the great steamers, three or foui 
hundred feet long, which have to a large extent superseded 
the old ships of a thousand or twelve hxmdred tons, cannot 
get in or out of these docks, and partly because by using the 
newer docks, such as the Albert and the Victoria Docks, the 
navigation of the narrower and more crowded part of the 
river is avoided, the St. Eatherine's and the London Docks 
are comparatively deserted, and at the present day wear a 
desolate and melancholy aspect. 

In 1855, the Victoria Docks, situated at a short distance 
to the east of Bow Creek, the entrance to the Biver Lea, 
were specially constructed to meet the requirements of these 
large ocean-going steamers. They occupy an area of 200 
acres, and contain over a mile of quays. 

In 1869, the accommodation of the West India Docks was 
increased by the addition of a large basin now known as the 
South- West India Dock; whilst south of this again are the 
Millwall Docks, occupying the greater part of the Isle oi 
Dogs. These last docks are now very largely used, particu- 
larly by the grain steamers from the Baltic and the Black 
Sea. Not far off is one more dock, the Regent's Canal Dock, 
chiefly used by Norwegian vessels and small craft generally. 

The latest addition to the docks of the port of London, not 


reckoniug the Tilbury Docks, which are twenty miles away, 
»re the Boyal Albert Docka, nearly opposite Woolwich, the 
heftd-({uarter8 of the P. aud 0., and other large lines of ocean 

At the present time the whole of the above docks, that is 
to my, the London Docks, the St. Katherine's, the West India, 
the Soath-West India, the East India Docks, the Boyal 
Albert, the Victoria and the Tilbury Docks, are under the 
maiugement of a joint conunittee known as " the London and 
India Docka Joint Committee." 

On the Surrey aide of the river are the Surrey Commercial 
Docks, with an area of 49 acres, of which 38 acres are water. 
These docks are almost exclusively used by vessels engaged 
in the timber trade of the port of London ; and perhaps 
nowhere can be seen such a collection of every kind of 
timber from every known country of the world as is to be met 
with in the Surrey Commercial Docks. 

The state of the East and West India Docks, the London 
Docks and the St. Katherine's, at the present time presents 
t lamentable contrast from what was to be seen some forty or 
even thirty years ago. At that time steam to Australia was 
practically unheard of, aud the sailing trade to the Australian 
ports, to Calcutta, Bombay, and the East, was perhaps at its 
)mL The East India Docks in the " fifties " and in the 
■aitiee" were absolutely full of the magnificent ships of 
Green, Money Wigram, Somes, VV. S. Lindsay, Thompson, 
Deritt and M<x)re, Dunbar, and the rest. Every one who went 
to Australia or to New Zealand, and, perhaps, the greater port 
of those going to India, took their passage in such splendid 
ailing ships as the Light of the Age, the La Hoyue, the Star of 
India, the Alfred, the Maid of JiiAaJi, the Soma-sctsJd)-e, the 
Patriarch and other similar ships, which all lay packed close 
together along the quays of these docks. Occasionally was 
to be seen the black hull and the tall tapering masts bearing 
the well-known red house-fiag with the black ball in it, of the 
Lyhtning,t\ie Red Jacket, the James Baines, or some other crai'k 
flipper of the Black Ball Line; or perhaps one of Bligh's 
bnff-coloored ships loading for the Cape, Ifothing was any- 
where to be seen but a forest of tall spars and a maze of 


rigging, whilst scarcely a funnel was to be found in the 

How is it to-day with the East India Docks? In the 
Export Dock, perhaps, two Donald Carrie boats ; in the BiOB, 
one more Castle Liner, and a stray ''tramp'* or two; in the 
Import Dock — nothing. Little wonder that the aurail 
meetings of the Docks Company are sometimes stonny, and 
exasperated shareholders ask why the Docks are not filled up 
again, and sold as building sites I 


A few of the barest particulars may be given as showing 
the recent and rapid rise of the second mercantile port of the 
kingdom. Its first charter was granted to Liverpool, then 
scarcely more than a village, by Henry II. in 1173; this 
was renewed by King John in 1207; and this charter was 
again renewed by his son and successor, Henry IIL, in 1227. 

In the fourteenth century Liverpool was still but a very 
small and obscure place; but it must have even then 
possessed a few small vessels, for Edward III., in 1333, 
previous to his invasion of Scotland, ordered the town **to 
provide six of the largest and strongest ships to be found in 
the port of Liverpool " for service against the Scots. 

During the two centuries that followed there was but little 
alteration, apparently, in the state of the town, for on the 
16th of February, 1557, in the fifth year of Queen Mary, 
when a war with France was imminent, the queen sent a 
letter to **the mayor, customs-comptroller, and searcher of 
the town and port of Liverpool, and to all other ofiScers to 
whom it shall appertain," requiring them to make ^'a return 
of all ships and other vessels within the port, and the creeks 
belonging to the same: of the tonnage thereof: and likewise 
the number of mariners and seafaring men." In answer to 
this order, the mayor reported that ** there were only two ships, 
one of 100 tons, and the other of 50 tons, and seven smaller 
ships, belonging to the town and the creeks, which were then 
in port ; and that there were four ships abroad ; and that the 
number of seamen belonging to the port was 200." 


In the year 1565, the seventh year of Queen Elizabeth, an 
order was again addressed to the Mayor of Liverpool, requiring 
information as to the then state of the place ; the number of 
vessels belonging to the port ; and alao the number of seamen 
bj whom they were worked. From the return made to this 
'irder it appears that there were in Liverpool at that time 
cnly 138 householders and cottagers; that the number of 
vessels belonging to the River Mersey was fifteen ; and the 
VDonnt of their tonnage 267 tons, no reesel being greater 
th&a 40 tons ; so that the two veseels given in the previous 
return, in Queen Mary's reign, must have been either lost, 
sold, or worn out. The number of seamen belonging to the 
port was returned as 80. The fifteen ships belonging to 
J in 1565 were described in detail thus : — 


■ Two 

H Two 

H ^ 
m '^ 

One ahi[i— tbo Eagle ... 40 ... 1-2 men and 1 boy. 

Two „ [12 tons each] 


ToUl 15 Bhipe. 

In 1571, the town having been ordered to provide certain 
Tessels for the use of the Crown, a petition was sent to the 
Queen, praying relief against the subsidy imposed upon them, 
in which they style themselves " your Majesty's poor, decayed 
tf'»n of Liverpool." 

An accurate and exceedingly interesting picture of the 
luaritime importance of the port of Liverpool during the latter 
[art of the reign of Queen Elizabeth may be obtained from 
a month's return of the movement of the port, selected at 
nndom &om the records of the time : — 

* 28Ui of Maich, 1566, two vsBselg only entered the port of Liverpool ; 
ud DDc aftiled from it. The two which eiiCcrod were tbo TriniiU, IS toni, 
iruB DnudAlk, and the SpeedwM, IG tous, from DublJu, 


" The vessel that left was tha above-named Trinitie, which went back to 

" No other Teasel entered the part until the 8th of April, when the Miduid, 
16 tons, arrived from Drogheda ; and the Marie, 6 tons, also from Drogfaeda. 

" On the 12th of April, entered the barque Strange, 18 tons, from Carling- 
ford; and the Tobie, 26 tons, from Dublin. 

" 13th of April :~Th6 Tobit left for l>ublin. 

" iSth of April:— The Etiioitlh, 10 tons, left for Dublin, with 10 tons 
of coal. 

■' ISth of April ;— The Hope, 34 tons, cleared out for Dublin, with 28 tens 
of coal ; and the Swallow, 12 tous, sailed for Drogheda. 

" 22nd of April :— The Speedwell, 16 tons, cleared out for Carrickfergus. 

" 30th of April : — The Golden Gray, 19 tons, arrived from Dublin." 

So that the total nnmber of vessels tbat entered the port of 
Liverpool in a month in 1586 was eeven vessels, with a total 
tonnage of 116 tons; and six vessels left the port, having a 
united tonnage of 113 tons. 

From that year until the troublous times of the reign of 
Charles I. the town appears still to have made but very little 
progress ; but in 1644, previous to the battle of Marston Moor, 
we read tbat 

" in that year the town was iu the heiuds of the Commonwealth, under the 
commftQd of Celonel Moore, who defended it for some time agaiasl Prince 
Rupert. It was then well fordSed with a high and strong mud-woll, and a 
ditch twelve yards wide, and uearly three yards deep." 

In 1662, the number of inhabitants was 775; and in 1700, 
the number is stated to have been 3100. From this time, i 
however, Liverpool began rapidly to increase, and Enfield . 
says that "in 1753 the number of houses was 3700, and the \ 
number of the inhabitants 20,000." Li the year 1722, Parliar J 
ment was first applied to for an Act to build a dock for 
Liverpool, since which time the docks have steadily increased 
in number, until at present the dock accommodation of Liver- 
pool is, perhaps, the finest in the world. 

The King's Dock was opened in 1788, and the first vessel 
that entered the new dock waa a brig called the Port-a-Ferry, 
which was then trading between Liverpool and Ireland. This 
vessel was one of three ships that carried troops from Liver- 
pool to Ireland, to raise the siege of Londonderry, iu 1689 ; 
she must, therefore, when she entered the Liverpool dock, 
have been at least a hundred years old. In 1792, the Queen's 


Dwk was completed. This dock was 270 yards loug, and 130 
ysrds wide, and attached to it was a graving dock; the cost 
o[ these docks being £25,000. The St, George's Dock waa 
the last constructed before the end of the centory. It was 
'^ yards long and 100 yards broad, with a length of quay 
uf 670 yards, and was chiefly iutended for ships in the West 
India trade. At the close of the century there were altogether 
ttirteen docks in Liverpool ; naniely, five wet docks, five 
gMving docks, and three dry docks, besides the Duke of 
Bridgwater's dock, occupying altogether a space of about 
Ihree miles in circumference. 

The number and tonnage of ships that paid dock rates 
ind town dues in Liverpool • is given thus :— 

1760 ... 

... 1,245 .., 



1770 ... 

... 2,073 ... 


1730 ... 

... 2,261 ... 


1790 ... 

... 4,226 ... 


1«00 ... 

... 4,746 ... 

.'.. 450,000 '.'.'. 


mi ... 

... 4,899 ... 

447,000 .-. 


1871 ... 

... 20,121 ... 

... 6,131,745 ... 


1880 ... 

... 20,070 ... 

... 7,524,533 ... 

... £706,449 

1690 ... 

... 23,633 ... 

... 9,654,006 ... 

... £1,110.057 

1897 ... 

... 23,640 ... 

... 11,473.421 ... 

... £1,108,097 

By the year 1772, Liverpool had become as important a 
port as Bristol ; and at that time the ships of these two ports 
iloce, engaged in the slave trade, carried annually 50,000 
i.-:3;ro slaves from the African coast to the British plantations 
': lie West Indies. It ivas iu this year that after a long 
i;^itation by the Society of Friends in favour of the total 
iUilJlion of slavery, the famous decision of Lord Mansfield 
'na obtained, "that a slave becomes free at the moment of 
hli setting his foot on British soil." Violent opposition to 
the abolition of the slave trade was offered by the merchants 
Kid the shipowners of Liverpool ; but with the ultimate passing 
of the measure for negro emancipation, in March, 1807, this 
lade at last came to an end. 

Liverpool at the present day, naturally from its position 
BtmmandB the bulk of the American trade, there being now 

I * Thie 

Thie iiiformEition has been kmdly supplied by thg 8«cr<itary of tha 
Chnmber of Uommerco. 


practically a daily service of the finest and best appointed 
steamers in the world between the Mersey and the United 
States. Although the entrance to the estuary of the Mersey 
is encumbered by sand-banks, yet there is even at low water 
spring tides a depth of 11 feet over the bar. The tide 
rises 21 feet at neaps, and 31 feet at springs, so that there is 
always for some time before and for some time after high 
water plenty of water for even the yery largest ships. 

Along the whole of the Liverpool bank of the river are 
now no less than six miles of continuous wet docks; the 
existing docks, with their basins, including wet, dry, graving 
docks, locks, etc., covering an area of 388 acres, and having 
upwards of twenty-five miles of quay space; whilst on the 
Birkenhead side of the Mersey there are other docks having 
an area of 164 acres of water space, with upwards of nine 
miles of quays ; and these docks are capable of taking in the 
largest steamers afloat. 

Even this large amoxmt of dock accommodation for the port 
of Liverpool is about to be still farther increased. At a recent 
meeting of the Mersey Docks and Harbour Board, it was 
decided to form additional docks on the Liverpool side of the 
river, including the construction of a graving-dock 1000 feet 
in length, and having an entrance 90 feet in width, the 
whole being at a total cost of between three and four millions 




lie i[f licatioa of steam to the purposea of navigation — Mr. Patrick Miller— 
SymiDgton— Lord Duodas— The Charlotte i)o7«i«*— Fulton— The C7er- 
noijC — Tiie Ctoine(— The first Margate Bteamer — The Marjory — The R<ih 
Boy — Tlie first ocean steamer, the Savannah — Tlie first attempt to 
re«ih India by steam — The Enterpriie — The iirat ateam waraMp — 
Trwwatlantjo sleam navigatioli — The Siriut — The Oreat IFettem- The 
British Queen Aad the Prtaidenl — Tha screw propeller— The jlrcAimfrfen 
— TTie Saltier and the Alecto—I'he ffrrat Tlritain. 

The application of steam to the pnrposea of narigatioD 
ha, during the present century, made such rapid strides, and 
hu to so large an extent superseded the use of sails, that 
there appears a probability that in the not far distant future 
— eicept, perhaps, in the case of small vessels and coasters- 
Ike sailing ship will have become entirely a thing of the 
past. All thia vast revolution has taken place during the 
ImI hundred years; for although here and there, towards 
llie close of the eighteenth century, the propulsion of vessels 
liy fltenm-pjwer was attempted, very little was actually done 
Itefore the year 1800. 

It must be remembered that the original object in intro- 
'iueing steam-engines into .ships was not one of either speed 
or economy, but it was rather to make them independent of 
the weather; yet after a comparatively short experience other 
(fSraatages of the new departure Lecame so manifest that it 
'as persevered in, at first only with passenger steamers, but 
when the screw propeller had been invented, allowing 
steamers to run etjually well on any draught, steam-ships 
were also designed to carry cargo. 

Long before steam was introduced the propulsion of vessels 
by means of paddle-wheels had frequently been attempted. 
The art of working puddles by means of oxen in a circular 


!~ *»,« ^ 

wheel was known to tlie ancients, and was used in the 
Middle Agea ; and even on the Thames, and on the Medway, 
there were boats propelled in this manner in the reign of 
Charles U. 

In the year 1543, a Spaniard, one Blasco de Garay, exhibited 
a vessel in the harbour of Bareelonft said to have been worked 
by steam ; hut the fact of steam having really been the 
motive-power of this vessel has always been doubted. A 
certain Solomon de Cans, of Frankfort, in 1615, is also said 
to have constructed a similar vessel propelled by steam ; but 
of this also nothing at all authentic is known. 

As early, however, as December, 1736, one .Tonathan Hulls 
uhtained a patent for "a machine for carrying ships and 
vessels out of or into any harbour or river, against wind and 
tide, or in a calm" — for a steamboat, in fact. His steamer 
was fitted with an engine fixed amidships, which by means of 
a band, or rather of a tope running in grooved wheels, worked 
a paddle-wheel at the stern of the boat. Nothing, however, 
appears to have come of his invention. In 1781 the Marquis 
de Jouffroi constructed a somewhat similar boat, also pro- 
pelled by steam, and he exhibited it on the Soone; but this 
also seems to have resulted in nothing. 

Boats very much after the fashion of Hull's steamer are 
even now to he seen in some parts of the world, as, for 
example, on the Murray, in South Australia. Such boats 
have also been used on the upper Thames, and the remor- 
queurs of the Seine are still constructed on not very dissimilar 

In the year 1787, Mr. Patrick Miller, a gentleman of con- 
siderable property, of Dalswinton, in Scotland, published a 
pamphlet on the subject of propelling boats by means of 
paddle-wheels turned by men. For the purposes of his 
experiments he built, from first to lost, eight boats of 
different kinds, aud is said to have spent no less than thirty 
thousand pounds upon his hobby. In most of his experiments 
he was assisted by a Mr. James Taylor, who was tutor in his 
family, and who had repeatedly urged upon Mr. Miller the 
application of steam-power rather than manual labour to his 
engines. At last Mr. Miller agreed to Mr, Taylor's proposal, 



and be employed s mechanical engineer immed Symington 
to carry ont Mr. Taylor's idea. 

Symington, who was employed at the lead mines at 
Waolockheod, had constructed a small steam-engine, urigin- 
*liy intended for propelling wheeled carriages, and this 
engine Mr. Taylor caused to be fixed on board one of Mr. 
Uilter's boats, on Lock Dalswinton. The boat was 25 feet 
long and 7 feet wide, and was furnished with two paddle- 
wheels; and on the 14th of November, 1788, the experiment 
ma made. The engine performed its work beyond their 
moat sanguine expectations, driving the vessel at the rate of 
5 miles an hour, although the cylinders were only four inches 
in diameter. 

Tbe occonnt of this experiment appearing in the Scotch 
newspapers, Mr. Miller was asked to repeat it on the Forth 
iad Clyde Canal. This being agreed to, a double engine 
titb cylinders IS inches in diameter wea ordered to be built 
U tlte Carron Ironworks, and in the following year it was 
fitted on board another of Mr. Miller's vessels. When it was 
fitBt tried the floats of the paddle-wheels gave way, and it 
»aa not until the December of that year that the experiment 
could be satisfactorily cai'ried out. The engine answered per- 
fectly, and the boat was propelled at a rate of from GJ to 7 
miles an hour. 

Mr. Miller seems, however, to have taken no further steps 
m the matter, and more than ten years elapsed before 
Symington could find any one else to take up the idea ; and 
it was not until 1801, that Thomas, first Lord Dundas, of 
Aske, employed him to fit up a steamboat to be used as a 
tog for the Forth and Clyde Canal Company, of which Lord 
Onndas was a large shareholder. 

The steamer produced was the Charlotte IhivAas, m named 
after his lordship's daughter, and in March, 1802, she made 
her trial trip on the Forth and Clyde Canal. A party of 
peEtlemen interested in the Canal, among whom was Lord 
Dnndas himself, assembled on board ; and taking in tow 
Iwo barges of 70 tons burden, the CItarloite Dinuias accom- 
plished the trip to Port Dundas, Glasgow, a distance of 
IStJ miles, in six hours, or at the rate of 3J miles an hour, 


although she had a strong gale in her teeth the whole 

In spite of the success of the experiment, the scheme was 
not looked upon very favourably, and the Charlotte Dwndas 
does not appear to have been again uaed. She was laid up 
in a creek of the canal near to Bramford Drawbridge, where 
she remained for many years, exposed to public view as a 
mere curiosity, 

When Symington's experiments were being conducted, a 
certain Mr. Eobert Fulton who had gone over to America, 
and was there practising as an engineer, happening to be 
again in Scotland on a visit, came to see the result; and 
being much interested, asked permission to take some notes 
and to make some sketches of the s'vze and construction of 
the boat and of the apparatus. The necessary permission 
was accorded, and Symington even offered to liave steam got 
up, and to take him a trip on the canal. Fulton going un 
board, the vessel went four miles down the canal and four 
back in one hour and twenty miniites, to the utter astonish- 
ment of Mr. Fulton and the other guests on board. 

Mr. Pulton soon after that went back to America, and in 
I80G, in conjunction with a Mr. Livingstone, commenced 
building a steamlwat in the yard of Charles Brown, on the 
Hudson. She was decked for a short distance only, at the 
bow and at the stem ; the engine was exposed to view, and 
a house like that of an ordinary canal-boat covered the boiler 
and the spaces for the passengers and the crew. She was 
launched in the spring of 1807, and was called the Cltnnon-t. 
Her engine, which had been ordered of Messrs. Boulton and 
Watt, had a cylinder 24 inches in diameter, and a piston with 
a 4-fout stroke. 

On her trial trip the speed of the Clermont was 5 miles an 
hour; but Fulton, perceiving that the floats of her paddles 
were too deep in the water, had them altered, with a highly 
beneficial result. He then went in her from New York to 
Clermont, Mr. Livingstone's residence, a distance of 110 miles, 
in twenty-four hours; and on the trip from Clermont to 
Albany, a further distance of 40 miles, the time was 8 hours, 
thus averaging a speed of very nearly 5 miles an hour. 




The Clcnnont was soon after thia lengthened and imptoved 
—practically rebuilt, she now being 130 feet in length, with 
16^ feet beam, her tonnage being 160 tons, with one engine 
of 18 horse-power. She continued for many years to ply with 
guods and passengers between New York and Albany. 

On the evening of Fulton's first voyage in this steamer on the 
flndaon he despatched a triumphant letter to his great friend. 
Sir Richard Philips, one of the sheriffs of the city of London, 
This letter was shown to Earl Stanhope, a nobleman distin- 
guished for his mechanical genius and scientific researches, 
iad to several eminent engineers, but it was laughed at, and 
be«te<l with scorn and derision, as describing impossibilities. 
Sir Richard Philips, however, was not to l>e daunted, and he 
endeavoured to form a company to repeat on the Thames 
what was being successfully done on the Hudson ; but, nn- 
lortonately, without success, and the project, therefore, for a 
time fell through, and the American accounts were treated 
u falsehoods. 

In 1811, the first British passenger steamer, the Comet, was 
being boilt for a Mr. Henry Bell, by Mr. John Wood of Port 
UUagow on the Clyde. In Jannary, 1812, Mr. Bell completed 
her; but it was six months later before she actually com- 
menced running. She was only of about 25 tons burden, 40 
fwi long, 104 feet beam, and she drew 4 feet of water. Her 
engine, which cost £192, was constructed by John Robertson ; 
il was a condensing engine of 3 horse-power, the diameter of 
the cylinder being 11 inches, and the stroke 16 inches, the 
crank working below the cylinder, and the engine-shaft was 
[rnnided with a fly-wheel. At first the Come/, was fitted with 
t*u pairs of paddle-wheels, 7 feet in diameter ; but soon after- 
wards she was lengthened to 60 feet, a new engine of 4 horse- 
puner was substituted for the old engine, and one pair ol' 
paddle-wheels was discarded, her speed being somewhat in- 
creased by the alteration. She was not, however, an entire 
raccess; her speed at the best was not more than 3 miles 
M hour, and occasionally she would break down altogether; 
»j that it was not at all an uncommon occurrence for the 
passengers, when the engine of the little steamer was getting 
exhausted, to take a turn at ttte fly-wheel to assist her into port. 



In 1813, a steamboat was built at Leeds, and was started to 
run between Norwich and Yarmouth in the August of that 
year. This was the second passenger steamer launched in 
British waters ; and in the December of the next year (1814) 
the first steamboat was seen on the Thames. 

In the spring of 1813, the SmfUure, a steamboat 140 feet 
long, and 24 feet beam, was launched on the St. Lawrence, 
and she was quickly followed by many others on that side of 
the Atlantic. 

In 1814, a vessel called the Marjory was built at Dumba^ 
ton by William Denny, Senior, and was fitted with a side- 
lever engine of 14 horse-power, constructed by Cook of Glas- 
gow. She made her way round from Dumbarton to the 
Thames, being taken south along the east coast, having come 
through the Forth and Clyde CanaL When she reached the 
mouth of the Thames the fleet were lying at anchor there, and 
she passed through the lines of ships, exciting great commo- 
tion among the officers and men, none of whom had ever seen 
a steamer before, many taking her for a novel species of fire- 
ship. She was hailed by the nearest man-of-war, and asked 
what she was, those on board replying that '^ she was a steamer^ 
and from Scotland." Soon after her arrival in the Thames 
she commenced running to Margate with passengers. On her 
first voyage to Margate only ten people were found adven- 
turous enough to trust themselves on board; but before the 
end of the summer she was running with a much larger 
number of passengers every trip; and this would appear to 
mark the real commencement of the passenger steamer in this 
country. The Marjory was 63 feet long, and 19 feet beam. 
She continued for many years to ply on the Thames, and was 
finally broken up in 1858. 

On the 28th of June, 1815, the first steamer arrived at 
Liverpool from the Clyde. She was built specially for the 
purpose of carrying on a passenger traffic between the Mersey 
and Buncom. On her passage round she called at Bamsay, 
in the Isle of Man. This vessel, the particular dimensions 
and details of which cannot now be traced, is remarkable as 
being practically the first steamboat built for making passages 
by sea, all her predecessors being essentially river-lxMts. 


III 1818, the Sob Rti}j was built at Dambarton by WUliam 
Denny. She was of 90 tons burthen, and was fitted with an 
engine of 30 iiorae-power by David Napier. Slie was the first 
steamer to ply between Glasg^ow a,n(l Bell'ast. After runuiug 
for some time on this service she was sent round to Dover, 
ber name being altered to the Renrl Qualrc, and she was the 
Gwt Channel steamer between Dover and Calais. 

In 1819, Mr. Napier built the Ta/bot, of 150 tons. The 
T-ilbiA was fitted with a pair of engines, each of 30 horse- 
puwer. and was the first steamer to be place<l on the Holyhead 
aad Dublin senice. 

In 1822, Messrs. Wood built a still larger steamer, iu the 
X-mrif U'ati, which was 146 feet long, and 25 feet beam. She 
wu fitted with a pair of engines by Boulton and Watt, each 
nf 50 horse*power, and her speed waa said to be 10 miles an 
hour. She was the first steamer to be enteretl in Lloyds' 
hook. By 1830, the number of steamers had increased to 81, 
■nd the number of steamers entered iu Lloyds' Book iu 1832, 

Steam navigation was not destined to be long confined to 
litime waters, and men began to ask why they should not 
cross the Atlantic by steam. Many people, however, in this 
coantry pronounced the proposal impracticable, chiefly because 
it was thought that the vessel could not carry suflicient coal 
fur steaming such a voyage. In these early steamers the 
Wftl consumed amounted frequently to as much as 9 lbs. per 
hoise-power per hoar, so that the objection would seem not 
to have been altogether unreasonable, especially when now 
viewed in the light of the fact that the high speeds of our 
ocean steamers at the present time are attained on a consump- 
tion in many cases of less than li lbs. of coal per horse- 
power per hour. Dr. Larduer, a well-known scientist, in the 
WSTse of a lecture that he was delivering in Liverpool in 
Dnember, 1835, spoke as follows : " As to the project, how- 
m, wUch has been announced in the newspapers lately" 
—that was the project of crossing the Atlantic by steam—" it 
"»s, he had no hesitation in saying, perfectly chimerical, and 
they might as well talk about making a voyage from New 

Tork or Liverpool to the moon." In spite, however, of Dr. 



Lardner and his theories, in 1817, a Mr. Scarlborough, of 
Savannab, Geurgia, United States, determined to make the 
attempt to cross from America to Europe by steam. He 
accordingly purchased a vessel of 300 tons, that was then 
building at New York, fitted her with engines, and named 
her the Savannah. She was fully rigged as a sailing vessel, 
but thus possessed auxiliary steam-power, and her paddlea 
were removable, so that she might either sail or steam. On 
the 19th of May, 1819, she left the port of Savannah for 
Liverpool, which was safely reached on the 20th of June. She 
did not steam the entire way across the Atlantic, as she ran 
short of fuel, so that the latter part of her voyage had to be 
accomplished under canvas only. 

Iji 1826, the first large steamer to trade between London 
and Scotland was constructed. She was called the United 
Kiiuidom-, was 160 feet long, and 2Ci feet beam, and had 
engines of 200 horse-power. She had three masts, and was 
rigged as a barqnentine, the paddle-boxes and the funnel being 
between the fore and the main masts. 

In 1825, the first attempt was made to reach India by steam, 
and a small steamer, the Enterprise, 122 feet long, and 27 
feet beam, left London for Oalcntte, which port she reached, 
partly under steam and partly under sail, in 113 days. 

In 1820, the Cura^-oa, an English-built steamer of 350 tons 
and 100 horse-power, made several voyages between Holland 
and the West Indies. 

In 1831, a Canadian-built steamer, the Roi/al William, of 
365 tons, 145 feet long, and 27 feet beam, fitted with 
engines of 240 horae-power, crossed the Atlantic from Quebec 
to Liverpool in 24 days, but not entirely under steam, she 
being for many days under canvas only. Upon her arrival 
in this country she was bought by the Portuguese Government 
to be used as a transport ; and after that she passed into the 
hands of the Spanish Government, who fitted her out as a 
man-of-war, under the name of the Isabella Segunda-, and in this 
capacity she is said to have been the first steam warship in 
the world. 

Little more was done in the way of TraDsatlantic ateam 
navigation until the year 1837, when the Siriiit, which was 




built at Leith for the Irish trade, was purchased and altered 
specially for tiiia purpose. She was a fairly large steamer, 
being of 703 tons. She was 178 feet in length, with a beam 
of 25 feet 8 inches, and a depth of 18 feet 3 inches, thus 
being in her proportions not very unlike the present type 
of ocean steamer — that is to say, having a length of about 7 
beams. She was fitted with two aide-lever engines of 270 
horse-power, constructed by T. Wingate of Glasgow, the 
diameter of the cylinders being 60 inches, with a stroke of 
6 feet. Her paddle-wheels were 24 feet in diameter, with 
22 floats to each. 

Kariy in 1838, an advertisement appeared in the public 
papers, announcing that the "Steamship Sirius, Lieutenant 
Roberta, R.N., Commander, would leave London for New 
York on Wednesday, the 28th of March, calling at Cork 
Harbour, and would start from thence on the 2nd of April, 
returning from New York on the lat of May." 

The Sirivs was, however, delayed until the morning of the 
4th of April, when, at ten o'clock, she started with 94 
passengers for New York, which she reached, after a run of 
18 days, on the 23rd of the same month. Three days after 
the Sirius left Cork, another steamer, the Great WesUm, 
built at Bristol, left that port alsu for New York, where she 
arrived only an hour or two after the Sirius, making the 
passage in 14i days. The Great Westoit was a much larger 
vessel than the Sirius, having a tonnage of 1340 tons. She 
was a wooden vessel 212 feet long between perpendiculars, 
35 feet 4 inches beam, with 23 feet depth of hold. She 
was exceedingly strongly built, her frame timbers being as 
heavy as those of a first-class liue-of-battle ship, and they 
were placed so close together that they were caulked both 
inside and out before the planking waa put on. Her engines 
were of 440 horse-power, constructed by Maudsley, Stiu, and 
Field, having cylinders 73i inches in diameter and 7 feet 
stroke, her paddle-wheels, which were 28 feet in diameter, 
making from 12 to 15 revolutions per minute. Her average 
speed during her first passage from Bristol to New York 
was 208 miles per day, or at the rate of 86 knots per hour, 
and she consumed on the passage 655 tons of coal. 



The Great Western ran regularly across the Atlantic from 
1838 to 1843, making in all 64 passages. Her fastest passage 
out, from Bristol to New York, was maJe in 12 days 18 
hours; and her fastest passage home in 12 days 8 hours. 
In 1847, she was sold to the West India Mail, and remained 
in their service for many years, being finally broken up at 
Vauxhall in 1857. 

The same company that owned the Sirius — the British and 
American Steam Navigation Company — at once commenced 
building two vessels larger than the Sirius, the British Queen 
and the President. They were each of 1863 tons, with a 
length of 275 feet, 37 feet 6 inches beam, and with engines 
of 500 horse-power. The cylinders were 77J inches in 
diameter, with a stroke of 7 feet ; the diameter of the paddle- 
wheels being 30 feet. The Sirins being considered too small 
for the Atlantic trade, was withdrawn from that service, and 
was used in the home coasting trade. She was wrecked in 

The British Queen left Portsmouth for New York on the 
12th of July, 1839; and made her first passage across in 14 
days 8 horns. She crossed the Atlantic six times in 1839, 
and the following year made five voyages out and home ; but 
financially she was a failure, and ultimately was withdrawn 
from the service, and in 1841 was sold to the Belgian 
Government. Her sister ship, the President, made only 
three passages. She left Now York for Liverpool with a 
large number of passengers and a valuable cargo on the 10th 
of March, 1841, and was never heard of again. 

The use of steam for marine purposes had scarcely been 
adopted when two further revolutions were to take place 
which were to entirely alter the existing state of things — 
the substitution of the screw-propeller for the paddle-wheels 
as the means of propulsion, and the substitution of iron for 
wood in the actual construction of the vessel itself. 

As to who was the real inventor of the screw-propeller, 
it is a disputed point. There are many claimants for the 
honour. The French claim it for their engineer, M. Frederick 
Sauvage, and a statue of him is erected in the Place Frederick 
Sauvage at Boulogne-sur-nier, upon the pedestal of which 


itstue is an inscription to the effect that he was the real 
inventor of the screw-propeller ; but, like most other important 
inventions, it was undoubtedly the (.■orabined result of the 
iabonrs of many inventors. In 1752, the screw waa suggested 
&9 a propeller by one Daniel Bernoulli, but nothing came 
of his suggestion. Since that time there have been several 
persons by whom similar proposals have been made, and many 
patents have been taken out for propellers of this nature ; but 
s small vessel fitted with a screw-propeller, patented by 
Ericsson, was the first actually brought into practical use. A 
mmll experimental vessel called the F. B. OgiUn was built in 
1837, and was fitted by Ericsson with one of his propellers, 
ind the Lords C'ommbsioners of the Admiralty, attended by 
their secretary. Sir William Symonds, took a trip in her that 
year. They, however, failed to see the advantage of such an 
invention to men-of-war, and refused to entertain any proposal 
for its introduction into the Navy. 

Sir. F. Pettit Smith also built a small experimental vesBel 
faring the same year (1837), she being exhibited on the 
Hythe Military Canal, and proving a complete success. 
Several patents for screw-propellers were taken out by a 
Mr, Woodcroft, his propeller being the first one to be ulti- 
oately adopted in the Ri>yal Navy, Ericsson, receiving 
Hi) encouragement from the British Government, took steps 
lo bring his invention before the Government of the United 
States, and a small vessel called the Robert F. Slocldon was 
liniJt by him in 1838, in this country with this view, and 
atie made the voyage safely across the Atlantic to America. 
I Mr. Pettit Smith in the mean time induced a number of 
I inflaential men to form a company to carry out his invention, 
I ind in 1839, the Arch imtdes was built by them to test and 
demonstrate the value of his system of propulsion. She was 
of 237 tons, and had a draught of water of U feet 4 inches. 
The diameter of the cylinder of her engine was 37 inches, 
Mid the length of the stroke 3 feet. Her screw-propeller 
ranaisted of two half-threads of an 8-feet pitch, 5 feet 9 
inches in diameter ; each waa 4 feet in length, and they were 
placed diametrically opposite to each other. The engines 
uide 26 strokes per minute, and the revolutions of the screw 


were 138 per minnte. The highest speed ever attained was 
9*25 knots. A number of trials were made between the 
ArchiTTiedes and the Widgeoriy a paddle-wheel steamer, then 
the fastest of the mailboats running between Dover and 
Calais ; but most of these trials were made under hoth steam 
and canvasi a condition not much to the point. Under steam 
alone, the Widgeon seems to have had the advantage. 

As the Widgeon differed, however, in many important 
respects from the Archimedes^ the results of these trials were 
not considered as altogether decisive, and the Government of 
the day ordered, in 1843, a screw-steamer, the JRattler, to be 
constructed of exactly the same size, and on exactly the 
same lines, as the paddle-wheel steamer Alecto. These two 
vessels were consequently of the same tonnage, and of the 
same size, each of them being 195 feet in length and 33 feet 
beam. The results of the trials between the BaMer and the 
Aledo showed that if the Battler were not actually superior 
to the Aleeto, she was not by any means her inferior. Wooden 
paddle-wheel steamers still continued, however, to be used in 
the Royal Navy for many years, the Government very reluc- 
tantly giving up wood in the construction of their ships, and 
substituting iron. But when they at last found that paddles 
for warships must be given up on account of their liability 
to destruction in time of war ; and when they found that it 
was perfectly impossible to construct a wooden ship with 
its stem-frame so strong as to be capable of withstanding 
the vibration from the screw, then paddles and wooden ships 
had to disappear together. 

At the present day, with the exception of the Boyal yachts, 
there are not haK a dozen paddle-wheel steamers altogether 
in the list of ships of the Boyal Navy, and these are only 
such steamers as the surveying vessels Research and Tritoiiy 
or the Cockatrice and the Sphinx. In the Merchant Service 
the screw propeller was not at first by any means popular, and 
for some time it made but little or no progress. A company 
trading to Botterdam, Messrs. Laming and Co., were amongst 
the first to abandon paddle-wheels and to adopt it, and the 
mercantile marine owes very much to their enterprise in 
this respect. Their vessels were always very successful, and 


they attracted much attention from the time of their first 
adopting the new means of propulsion. 

The Great Western Steam Navigation Company were the 

first to send a screw steamer across the Atlantic. In 1843, 

they bnilt the Gnat Britain, at that time not only by far the 

largest steamer engaged in the Transatlantic service, but the 

largest steamer afloat. She was an iron ship of 2984 tons, 

and was built by Mr. Patterson at Bristol. Her dimensions 

were — extreme length 322 feet, beam 51 feet, depth 32 feet 

fi inches, and draught of water 16 feet; and she was fitted 

with engines of 1000 horse-power. She had sis masts; of 

tiiese five carried only fore and aft canvas, tlie second mast 

fnm the bow being square-rigged. She left Liverpool for 

New York on her first voyage on the 26th of August, 1845, 

»Ti'i ahe reached New York on the lOth of September, thus 

muking the passage out in 15 days. On her third voyage she 

left Liverpool, outward bound, on the 22nd of September, 1846 ; 

I'Dt, the weather being exceedingly thick, she ran ashore in 

Dnndrum Bay, near Belfast. Here she remained all through 

tlie winter, having a temporary breakwater of hurdles and 

liggots constructed round her as a partial protection against 

L the winter storms. The neit summer she was got off, and 

proved to be but little injured ; it was, however, the final 

break-up of the Great Western Steam Navigation Company, 

the Great Britain, then passing into the hands of a Liverpool 

finn, who refitted her, taking out her six masts, and replacing 

them with three masts, and for many years she was employed 

ID the Australian trade. She was after this turned into a 

ttiling ship, and was in existence until 1890, when she was 

ultimately broken up at Barrow. 

In 1850 Messrs. Tod and Macgregor built a large iron 
Krew steamer called the City of Glasgow, of 1609 tons, to 
t»de between Glasgow and New York ; but she was soon 
after transferred to Liverpool, and was the first steamer of 
ibe Ionian Line, and an exceedingly fast ship. 

Since 1850, when Tod and Macgregor built the City of 
dlasgow, the introduction of compound engines, and more 
tecently that of triple and quadruple expansion engines, 
together with other important improvements in the steam 



propelling maohinerj, and the veiy materially decreased 
consumption of coal, have made it practicable to attain high 
speeds at costs which afford striking comparisons with die 
experience of that comparatively remote period. As before 
stated, in steamers at that time it was by no means infrequent 
that the coal consumed amounted to oyer 9 lbs. per horse-power 
per hour. Now the high speeds of ocean steamers can be 
attained on a consumption in some cases of lees than H lbs. of 
coal per horse-power per hour. The highest steam preamre in 
the boilers of the early steamers was 10 lbs. per tquare inch, 
and down to the year 1870 did not exceed SO Ifae. Then it 
was increased to 60 lbs., and at the present time ateam is 
used at 180 lbs., and in some cases at eren 216 Ifae. to the \ 
square inch. 

We have thus very briefly traced the gradual progress of 
steam navigation from the days of its earliest in&ncy at the 
beginning of the century down to the adrent of the existing 
great steam companies, and at no period of the world's 
history has a single hundred years marked so stupendous a 
change in matters affecting the well-being of mankind 
as has been effected by the application of steam-power to 
the purposes of locomotion both by land and by sea. 



Itdd introduced for ship-buildiDg — OppoBition at first encountered — Iron eliipa 
— Tbe advantages of iton over wood— Greater immunity trora fire — Case 
of the Colombo — The earliest iron veBsels — The Vulcan— The Bainboio 
—The Eelipte — Steel taking the place of iron— Iron end steel paBsenger 
Teasels — Ocean-going ateamerB— Cargo steomera — Speed of steamen — 
Mode of constructioD of hon and ateel veeeela- Double bottoms — Water 
lallast — Capsizing of the Orolaua — The aidea and decks — Water-tight 
liidkheads — Iron masts and jarde — Iron rigging. 

AfTEB the iatroduction of steam oa a motiTe-poner fur sliipB, 
ame, as a necessary sequence, the introductiou of iron, and 
more recently that of steel, fur tbe construction of the ships 
themselres; but even apart altogether from the question of 
sleam. as the necessity for increase in the length and the 
speed of vessels arose, experience showed that the requisite 
nrength of structure could not be efficiently maintained 
in wooden ships. The practical difficulties in the way of 
making the connections of the frames and tbe planking 
strong enough were insurmountable when tbe length reached 
»bout 300 feet. Vessels of this length, when built of wood, soon 
sbowed serious signs tif weakness, notwithstanding the ingenious 
introduction of diagonal trussing, thick ceiling planks, and 
ulber devices. The average height of trees must necessarily 
be always an important factor in the size of a wooden ship, 
uul so limit that size; but with an iron ship the simple 
connection of the iron plates and bars to each other by 
means of suitable straps of tbe same material, and by the 
nsi of rivets, would obviously so lend itself to the construction 
"i the iron vessel that there need be absolutely no limit as 
I ngMds her length or her size." The limited and the ever- 

I • The length of iron ateamera nppeoTB to be always steadily increasing. 
1 MGnt the length increased very gradually from about 3li0 feet, the masimnm 


decreasing supply of timber in this country, and at the same 
time the rapid development of the manufacture of iioB, 
were potent influences in effecting the change from wood to 
iron as the material for ships. The great alteration, how- 
ever, involved by the substitution of iron for wood in ship- 
building did not take place without very considerable oppo- 
sition, and no one more strenuously opposed it than did the 
Government of the day. It was a long time before the 
authorities of the Post Office would give their consent to 
iron ships being used instead of wooden ones for the oon- 
veyance of the ocean mail; and a still longer time elapsed 
before the Admiralty consented to the change of material 
for the ships of the Boyal Navy, it being alleged as one 
very serious objection to the use of iron in the construction 
of men-of-war, that whilst in action a shot-hole in the side 
- of a wooden vessel could be at once repaired, the hole caused 
by a shot in the iron plate could not. But even if this were 
so, there was a counterbalancing advantage on the side of the 
iron, inasmuch as there would be an entire absence of splinters, 
which very frequently, in the case of the old wooden ships, 
led to serious results among the men serving the guns. 

At first the proposal to use iron in ship-building was simply 
treated with derision and contempt. The thing was palpably 
absurd. It was unnatural. Wood would float. Every one 
knew that iron would sink. A wooden box, even if there 
were a hole in it, would still float. An iron tank with a 
hole in it must of necessity go to the bottom. The idea 
did not seem to strike people that if bricks, for instance, 
were placed in the wooden box — that is to say, cargo put in 
the ship — and a similar quantity of bricks placed idso in 
the iron tank, and then a hole knocked in each, one would 
go to the bottom as readily, as quickly, and as certainly as 
the other. And it is just here that the iron tank has the 
advantage. It is not so liable to have the hole knocked 

in the year 1861, to 400 feet in 1870 ; but since that time the progress has 
been much more rapid. The longest steamer in the world at the present 
time is the twin-screw steamer of the North German Lloyd^s, the KaUer 
Wilhelm der Orosae, which has a length of no less than 627 feet — not v^ far 
from being a furlong. 




in it as the vooden box is. If the woudeo ship strikes 
violently upon a sharp point it is fractured ; and not only 
is the actual part struck injured, but the attaining and the 
consequent leakage exteud to the adjacent parts. With the 
stronger material, iron, the probability is that the concussion 
will result in an indentation only, and not in an actual 
fracture ; but even if there be an actual fractnre, the injury 
will usually be confined to one locality, and the other parts, 
as a rule, will not be afifected. 

Here, then, in the greater strength of the material, lies 
one of its great advantages. No wooden ship could possibly 
be built sufficiently strong to resist the vibration of the 
powerful engines that are used in the larger ships of the 
present day ; and then, besides its strength, another advantage 
on the side of iron is its greater lightness. The iron vessel is 
far lighter than the wooden vessel of equal size, a strong iron 
sliip not weighing one half of the same-sized wooden ship. 
The average weight of iron steam-vessels is from six to eight 
hnndredweigbt per register ton; a wooden ship will weigh 
twenty hundredweight, and often more. The lighter ship 
is more easily propelled than the heavier ship; less engine- 
power is required ; therefore, besides being stronger and 
lighter, she is more economical. 

One advantage, however, nndoubtedly the wooden ships 
possessed over iron ones, and that was that their bottoms, 
when sheathed with metal, never became foul as quickly 
as the iron ships' bottoms do from marine growths. Many 
proposals have been made from time to time with the 
object of preventing fouling, for it is obvious that serioos 
loss of speed results from much fouling of the bottom ; but it 
cunnot yet be said that any of the paint compositions, or other 
plans to keep the bottoms of iron vessels clean, have been 
entirely successful, and this renders it necessary to place every 
iron or steel vessel in dry dock for cleaning and painting at 
iutervala of from six to twelve mentis. 

Soon after the building of ships with iron was commenced, 
tbe system of construction known as the composite system 
was adopted, and some fine and notable China tea-clippers 
"ere bo built. The iron framing and woo<l skin planking 


admitted of considerable strength being attained ; and tb 
possibility of sheathing the bottom with met«l to avoii 
fouling appeared to arrive at and attain the end that tba 
promoters of composite ship-bnilding had in view. This vt 
to produce a vessel that should have all the strength of a 
iron ship, whilst at the same time obtaining the &eedoi 
from fouling of a wooden one. Experience soon shewed) 
however, that the galvanic action set up between the cop] 
or the yellow metal sheathing and the iron frames of f 
ship tended rapidly to deteriorate the ironwork, and sooi 
or later to involve the deatniction of the ship. So mpidj 
indeed, was in some instances the wasting of the frami 
that composite ship-building has for some time past beea 
entirely given up for merchant ships, although a few yachts 
still Continue to be so built; and some ships of the Goyal 
Navy, particularly such as are intended for use at foreign 
stations, where there are no suitable dry docks conveuieutly 
available, are still built with steel frames, being then sheatbi 
with wood and afterwards covered with copper. 

The sides of an iron vessel, while much stronger 
the sides of the corresponding wooden ship, are very muck 
thinner, thns giving many more cubic feet of internal 8[ 
available for cargo. The sides of the iron ship, including 
iron frames, ofton do nut exceed four inches in thickness, whilsl 
the aides of the wooden ship will be some twelve inches 8 
the least. The iron sliip is also, as a matter of coursd, U 
less liable to destruction by fire than the wooden shi] 
which is an additional argument in favour of iron. Shif 
laden with wool, cotton, and similar articles are eztremetj 
liable to take fire from the heating of the cargo. Not ti 
sinoe a large iron ship, the Colmnbo, laden with cotton, 
and hemp, took fire in this way soon after leaving Calcut 
on her passage home to London, and the cargo contioaed 
smoulder and burn all the time she was crossing the Indi 
Ocean, rounding the Cape, coming up the South and Nortb 
Atlantic, passing np the Channel, until she actually arrited 
in the river. Once or twice the hatches were opened and 1 
some of the burning cargo got up and thrown overboard; 
but they were afraid to keep the batches open long lest the 


air, getting down, should cause the flames to burst out, so 
that they were speedily batteucd dowu again. At times the 
ship's sides were so hot that it was impossible to touch them, 
With a wooden ship the ultimate result would have been 
very difiereut, aud instead of getting hume, as the Coloiiiho 
did, she would have been burnt at sea. In face, then, of 
the indisputable facta adduced in favour of iron, there could 
be but one result; and now iron or steel are the recognized 
materials for the construction of ships of every description. 

The germ of iron ship-building was practically developed 
liefore the close of the last century, the first iron vessel having 
been built in 1787 by Mr, John Wilkinson, of Castlehead and 
Broseley, who was the owner of rarious extensive ironworks, 
Slid W8« known in his time as " the great ironmaster." In 
1 letter written by him on July 14, 1787, to a Mr. James 
Stockdale, of Carke, he says, " Yesterday week my iron Ixmt 
"»s launched ; it answers all my expectations, and has 
convinced the unbelievers, who were 999 in 1000." In 
mother part of his letter Wilkinson observes "that he 
Mpects his coinage will be out shortly (it was issued in 
1790), and that the iron ship was pictured on the field of 
the reverse." This iron vessel was built at Willey, in 
Shropshire, and traded for some years on the Severn. 
About the same time Wilkinson constructed another smaller 
iron vessel, which he used for conveying peat down a canal 
that he had cut in the peat-moss near Meathop. 

The next iron vessel of which there is any authentic record 
WSB bnilt by Sir John Eobinson, of Edinburgh, in 1818. This 
«S8el was caUed the Vulcan, and was built at Faskine, on 
tlie banks of the Monkland Canal, a few miles frfjm Glasgow. 
She was laid down on the 27th of October, 1818, and was 
lumohed on the 14th of May, 1819, being afterwards used for 
pusenger traffic on the Forth and Clyde CanaL 

The next iron vessel was the Aaron Manly, constructed 
in London in 1821 by a Mr. Manby and Mr., afterwards Sir 
Cbarles, Napier. It was sent to France, being followed shortly 
»fter by two other vessels, the A7ig!ia and the Pairij Queen. 
After this several small iron steamers were built at 
Jrpool, and they were found to be so successful that Mr., 


afterwards Sir William, Faitbnrn commenced bttilding inm 
vessels ou the Thames ; whilst Messia. I«iid, of Bitkenhetd, 
did the same ou the Heisey. In 1837 Messrs. Laiid built 
the Jiainhow for the Oeneial Steam Narigation Comptn;; 
and she is said at that time to have been the largest imi 
steamer afloat, having a length of 185 feet, 25 feet beam, and 
being of 180 horse-power. 

By this time iron ship-building was being largely carried 
on on the Clyde, at Bristol, and elsewhere. In 1889 ud 
1840, Messrs. Napier built three itcot paaeeinger steamen, 
fitted with high-preasnre engines, specially for the toaffie 
to Margate, Bamsgate, Deal, and Dover, called the £dipm, 
the laU of Tlumet, and the Fawn. They made a consideraUa 
stir at the time with the general public, as being considered 
highly dangerous boats ; the Eelipie, which, like the /<b ef 
Thanei, was a double-funnelled boat, being called "Spring- 
heeled-Jack," the "Death and Glory boat," and so forth. 
This was the steamer immortalised in the " Ingoldsby Legends," 
published in 1840— 

" — If in one of the trips 
or the ateombost Edipu 
You should go down to Margate to look at the ships." 

As then iron was quickly taking the place of wood at the 
middle of this century, so now at the close of the century 
steel IB steadily eupeiseding iron in the construction of 
ships ; and this is clearly shown by the subjoined table : — 


or Ve 


K I 



IiDi. 1 Wood. 





lu.. 1 




1 gro-- 








JuDODpUN it 


73 ' a(;30J 



lOO.Gu' ■ 




* That ia to say, for these eighteen wooden sailing vesaels, an avenge of 
113 tons each. These will, therefore, probably be small coasters, building id 
little out-of-the-way couDtiy ports. 



The demand for yessela of larger size than bad hitherto 
been built, and for greater speed, led to the rapid develop- 
ment of the manufacture of mild steel, accompanied Ity a great 
reduction in the cost of that material. It is recDrded that 
in 1859 as much as £40 a ton was paid for steel used in 
the construction of a vessel built on the Thames. At the 
present time mild steel of superior qualities for ship work 
can readily be obtained for £5 a ton. 

Mild steel has about fifty per cent, greater tensile strength 
than iron, considerably more ductile qualities, and, with 
proper treatment, much superior working qualities. These 
are importaut advantages in favour of steel for ship-building ; 
and, further, the increase in the tensile strength over that of 
iron admits of a considerable reduction in the thickness of 
the material without diminishing the strength of the ship, 
the saving on the weight of the hull obviously admitting of 
increased carrying capacity on the same displacement. 

The iron and the steel steamships of the Mercantile Marine 
may be considered generally as of three classes. The first 
cJass comprises those steamers which are built to carry a 
number of passengers and no cargo ; the second class includes 
those built to accommodate a large number of passengers, 
and yet with considerable capacity for cargo as well — as, for 
instance, the ordinary ocean liner ; and the third class takes 
■D those ships that are entirely devoted to cargo, as the screw 
collier, and the majority of ocean tramps. 

The boats of the first class, fur the most part paddle-wheel 
Bteaioers, are built chiefly for use on rivers, or for very short 
■ea voyages, as, for example, the boats used on the Channel 
p n ooa g e between Dover and Calais, or Dover and Ostend, 
Folkestone and Boulogne, and the like. These must attain 
a high rate of speed; their draught will he light; and 
tbeir midship section, if not quite flat, will be very nearly 
»o. The bow will be very sharp, with fine lines forward ; 
whilst the aft lines will also be fine, in order to allow the 
wave formed by the paddle-wheels to pass aft with the least 
reaistauce, and so to fill up the void left by the vessel herself 
I she moves ahead. Nearly all the more recent Channel 
I attaiu a speed of from sixteen to twenty knots ; 



and some, notably those of the Chatham aud Dover Company, 
have the stem aud stern nearly alike, the et't lines being as i 
fine as the forward. M 

The second class of steamships, invariably screw steameifl 
— onr ocean liners to wit — are constructed to carry a larg^| 
number of passengera as well aa a large cargo, and in additioffll 
to their cargo must also carry a large quantity of coal. Here 
also a higii rate of speed is an absolute necessity, the keen 
competition between rival companiea tending every day to 
accelerate it. The form of the ocean steamer will differ 
widely fnim that of the previous class, as a result of the 
different requirements; her beam will be greater, and hw 
draught much greater. The length of an ocean steamship 
is usually, between perpendiculars, from seven to nine times 
her beam ; but there are steamships afloat with a length of ae 
much as ten and a half times their beam, and when properly 
constructed, with the greatest strength where most required 
— that is to say, with the greatest strength amidships — they 
have shown no signs of weakness. The bow lines, although 
still fine, are made fuller to afiord greater buoyancy on the 
waves, and the after lines have a corresponding fulness. 
Were these ships to be as fine as those of the previous class, 
instead of rising to the waves in a sea-way, they would 
simply tend to bury themselves. Yet at the present day 
speed ill an ocean liner is nearly the first element to be 
considered, the public always running after the ship that 
can steam the fastest, so that in an ocean passenger ship the 
happy mean has to be sought, and her lines must not be 
so full as to sacrifice her speed, nor so fine as to endanger 
her safety. Many vessels of this class exceed in speed 
20 knots an hour; some of the more recent ships of the 
great companies^as, for instance, the Campania and the 
Lucania of the Cunard Line — attaining even 21 and 22 
knots, and yet being perfectly good sea boats. But this 
insane desire for high speed on the part of the travelling 
public seems to be for ever on the increase, people not 
appearing to realize the fact that an excessively high rate 
of speed involves very materially increased danger, to say 
nothing of very materially increased expense. Some have 


maintained that the greater the speed the greater the 
safety, because, in the ease of a collision, the ship that \a 
going the fastest is the one most likely to come off beat, 
jut in the same way that a ship that rams is more likely 
to remain uninjured than the ship that is rammed. This, 
however, is a selfish kind of policy, not unapt to recoil on 
those who adopt it. 

The third class of steamships includes those constructed to 
L'ive the greatest carrying- power in cargo, and in these 
vesjcls a high rate of speed is not such an important con- 
?i'ieration as it was in the two former classes. As capacity for 
'nr^'o is the chief point aimed at, the size of the hold becomes 
lue chief factor, and the depth of the hold will generally 
i»rj from one-tenth to one-twelfth of the length of the ship 
between perpendiculars. Most steamers devoted exclusively 
to cargo, as the generality of ocean tramps, are not engined 
ht any great speed, and rarely make much more than eight 
knots at their best. 

Cwgo-boats, and all ocean steamships, for the matter of that, 
OBght to be bnilt exceedingly strongly, the strains of tension, 
compression, and torsion to which a ship with a heavy cargo 
IB mbjected being very considerable. They require also to 
M built not only very strongly, but of a uniform degree 
'>ffltrength, having no parts excessively strong as compared 
with other part^, for if one part of a vessel is made very much 
itnnger than the rest, unequal strains will be set up, and a 
fiBctnre, if it does occur, will take place near to the stronger 

All vesaela must have a certain amount of elasticity, and 
■ tmifonn amount; for if not uniformly elastic there will 
be a great strain between the part having the greatest 
smomit of elasticity and those parts which are the more 
rigid. The elasticity of some of the fast ocean liners is 
Kich that, when pushed to their utmost speed, the vibra- 
tion is so great that it is impossible either to read or write 
in tiie forepart of the ship or towards the stem. 

Considering an iron or steel ship as a girder, which she 
practically is, the conditions to which she is subjected will 
■liffet materially from those of a girder ashore, as, for instance, 


the girder of an ordinary railway bridge, where the directions 
of the strains are always similar. In the ship they are in 
every direction, and the conditions of one minute are often 
entirely reversed the next. The girder of the railway bridge, 
once supported at both ends, is always so supported. The 
ship may be at one moment supported at both ends, if the 
crest of a wave be under the bow, and the crest of the next 
wave under the stem — she then resembles the girder of the 
railway bridge; but the next minute she may be simply 
supported in the centre, and not at either end. Thus ptrts 
that are in compression at one moment will be in tendon 
the next, to say nothing of the twisting strains to which die 
is constantly subjected by the waves. 

As an additional element of strength, therefore, in iron 
ships, and also as affording an additional security against 
the risk of damage to the bottom of the vessel, many ships 
are now built on the double-bottom principle; and as many 
cargo boats go out with cargo and come back in ballast, or 
vice versdy as a matter of economy, and as causing a great 
saving of time in the matter of taking in ballast, they are 
built to carry water ballast, and the double bottom is utilized 
for that purpose. This double bottom forms a spacious 
water-tank, or series of tanks, into which water is run to be 
used as ballast, and on the ship arriving at the port where 
she is to take in her cargo, these tanks are pumped out 
by means of a small pumping-engine fitted on board for 
that purpose. This is the quickest and cheapest method of 
ballasting ships, and it is perfectly safe when properly used, 
the tank or tanks being at the bottom of the vessel; but 
the tanks must be entirely filled with water, for unless this 
is done water-ballast is, of all cargoes, the most dangerous* 
By the adoption of this method of ballasting, a ship can 
discharge her cargo and take in her ballast, or get rid of 
her ballast and take in her cargo at one and the same time; 
and there are screw-colliers that by this means have made 
fifty-two voyages between the port of London and Hartlepool 
or Sunderland within the year. 

By thus utilizing the double bottom of the ship, the 
water ballast is in the most effective place; but as showing 


a certain amoant of danger attaching to this system of 
ballasting ships when improperly or when carelessly used may 
be cited the capsizing and sinking of the Orient liner Orolava 
iQ the Tilbury Docks on the 14th of December, 1896, upon 
which occasion five men were drowned. Some of the water- 
ballast tanks were entirely empty, and men were at work 
L'leauing them out, whilst others of the tanks were only 
partiaUy filled. The ship was at the time being coaled, 
when she suddenly gave a list to starboard, and ultimately 
sank, the great weight of water in the tanks on one side of 
the ship not l>eing counterbalanced by an equivalent weight 
on the other side. 

The permanent weights in a ship should always be kept 
down as low as possible, because the ship is naturally better 
ballasted when the weight is low down ; yet still, when a 
ahip is loaded with a heavy cargo, as, for instance, machinery, 
heavy guns, or railway iron, a portion of such cargo ought 
to be kept fairly high up, or stowed between-decks, other- 
viee there is a risk of making the ship too stiff, and of 
lier not preserving a proper equilibrium, and unless this 
be attended to the ship will roll violently in a sea-way, 
wid run the risk of springing a leak or carrying away her 

A few particulars of the actual construction of iron ships 
and of ships built of that material which is now fast taking 
(lie place of iron may not be altogether uninteresting. 

In 1882, Dr. Siemens, addressing the British Association 
at Southampton on the subject of iron and steel ships, 
Btid — 

" A Dew tnatetial was introduced for the building of ehipe bj the Admiralty 
in 1876-78, when the; constructed at Pembroke Dockyard the two at«am- 
nrrettea, the IHa aod the Mercury, of mild steel. The peculiar qnalitiea of 
this matetial are each us to have enabled ahip-bailders to save twentj per 
ecoL [one-fifth] of the weight of the atiip's hull, and to inoreaae to that 
ntatit ita carrying capacity. It combines with a strength thirty per cent. 
Gnperior to that of iron each extreme toughctess, that in the case of colliiiion 
tbg nde of the vessel has been found to yield or bnlge several feet without 
■howiog any ugns of rupture, a quality affecting the question of sea riak very 
EiToDiably. When to tiie use of this materiiO there are added the advantagea 
ieani from the doable bottom, and ftxjm tbe division of the ship's hold by 
msMuof bulkheads of solid construction, it is difficult to conceive how such 



a vessel conld perish by collision, either with another Teasel or wiHi i j 
sunken rocL** * j 

Besides the advantagee that iron and steel ships posBM 
over wooden vessels in the matter of strength, they possM 
the additional advantage of greater longevity. The Livexpool 
underwriters, when they had had an experience of iron ship 
for over thirty years said, ^Experience has shown that iron 
ships are much more durable than was at first supposed; t 
well-constructed iron ship can be reckoned upon to last ia 
first-class condition for a period of at least twenty yean." 
The greatest number of years originally allowed by ^ Lloyds 
Register " for the classification of any vessel boilt of wooi 
to remain in the first class was from four to sixteen jma, 
but seldom more than twelve; the classification might be 
renewed, but the original term never exceeded sixteen jetatB, 
and was generally considerably less. 

Comparing ships of the same size, whilst the iron or steel 
ship will carry more cargo than the wooden ship, so, other 
things being equal, the iron or steel ship will be faster than 
the wooden ship. To be exceedingly fast, however, any ship, 
whether of wood or iron, can have less carrying-power than 
would be the case if less speed were demanded of her. To 
be very swift, the amount of immersed body must be as small 
as possible, and she must have a deep keel to prevent her 
making leeway. She will then possess speed, but for carrying 
purposes will be practically useless. A ship that has to cany 
much cargo must inevitably have a very full midship section, 
with virtually a flat bottom amidships. Her midship section 
will somewhat, therefore, resemble the letter U, although the 
hull may assume a more V-like section forward and aft The 
midship section is the area that ultimately has to be forced 
through the water, and it is manifest, therefore, that the ship 
that has a very fuU midship section has a much larger area 
of resistance than the ship with the V-like section, and will 

* The Iris and the Mercury were, however, by no means the firat shipi 
for which steel was adopted as the material. Actually the first steel sldp 
was built in 1862, by Messrs. Jones, Quiggen, and Co., of Liverpool. She 
was a merchant ship of 1200 tons, and the steel plates for her were mana- 
factured at the Mersey Steel and Iron Works. 


require more power to attain the same speed. But even with 
ships of a full midehip section, an infinite variety of shape, 
and consequently of speed, can be attained according to the 
degree of fineness or otherwise that may be given to the lines 
forward and aft. 

In the midship section of the majority of ocean liners the 

bottom is very nearly flat, the sides rising vertically or very 

slightly falling inwards towards the top ; and to lessen the 

evils of rolling, such vessels are not unfrequently fitted with 

hilge-keels. The keels of iron vessels wore very frequently 

at first made hollow, thus forming a kind of gutter or trough 

the entire length of the ship, which took the bilge water, hut 

j a form open to many objections, and it was discarded 

in favour of the solid-bar keel. This, however, was not found 

I to be entirely satisfactory, as ships with this description of 

keel strained very much on being docked or when resting 

upon ihe keel, so that that type of keel was also discarded; 

lod now a much stronger form of keel is obtained by uniting 

b^ keel and the keelson, which is done in a variety of ways. 

I The frames, practically the ribs of the ship, are of L-iron, 

3s, of course, varying with the size of the ship, A 

rmasel with a length of 200 feet would have frames about 

I f X 4" X I". They are placed from 20 to 24 inches apart, 

I emtre to centre, and are fitted close on tn the upper edge 

r df the keel, and in all vessels extend upwards to the gunwale. 

The deck-beams are of the size prescribed by Lloyda, 

ud are spaced according to Lloyd's rules. In the vessel 

above, a ship 200 feet long, they would be of L-iron about 

5" X 4" X k". They are connected with and riveted to the 

frames, with bracket-ends or knee-plates, and act not merely 

u giider3 supporting the various decks, but as struts or ties 

lietween the sides; and as there ia great flexibility in the 

ndes of iron and steel ships, great care has to be taken that 

tkey shall be so arranged that the fastenings are not injured 

in the working of the ship. If there are several decks, the 

deck-beams are placed vertically over each other — not a 

deck-beam of the deck above over a space of the deck below, 

hit beam over beam. 

Manv ships are constructed, as before stated, with a double 



bottom, having an inner skin as well aa an outer, the space 
between the inner skin and the outer skin forming the tanks 
capable of being filled with water as ballast. In ships of 
1000 tons, or thereabouts, the depth of the tanks so formed 
will be from 3 feet to 3 feet 6 inches, and the surface of the 
frames and the plating of the bottom is usually rendered in 
Portland cement concrete, thoa forming a smooth oout^iefee 
floor to the ballast-tanks. ~ 

What is technically known as "the plating" is the smooth 
visible outside of the hull of an iron ship. The mode of 
plating usually adopted is that known as inside and outside 
Btrakes, the inside strakes being placed directly against the 
frames, whilst the outside plating overlaps the plates above 
and below, the space between the outside plates and the 
frames, which is, of course, the width of the thickness of the 
inside plates, being filled up with lining-pieces of the same 
thickness as the plates. The thickness of the plates of the 
floor and the sides is according to the rule laid down by 
Lloyd's, but will average from about half an inch to three- 
quarters of an inch, and will be from one-sixteenth to one- 
eighth thicker under the engines and boilers. The length 
of each plate is not less than from five to eight spaces of 
frames — that is to say, not less than from 10 to 15 feet. ( 
The butts of the plating in adjoining strakes are not pat 
nearer to each other than two spaces of frames, and the butta 
of the alternate strakes are not placed under each other, and 
all are double-riveted; and when so double-riveted the 
holes for the rivets are either arranged zigzag, or the chain 
method is employed. 

In the plating of ships this disposition of the butts is 
known as the diagonal system, thore being always two strakes 
of plates between two vertical butts in the space between 
any two frames. All the butts of the plating are planed and 
fitted close, and the edges of the plating are also planed, ao 
that all surfaces riveted together bear fairly against each 
other through their whole length and width, so that a knife^ 
the thickness of the blade of which does not exceed No. 26 
Birmingham wire-gauge, cannot be put between them at 
any part. 


Most ships are now fitted with water4ight bulkheads, which 
idd materially to the streogth and eaSety of the vessel, as 
Dnmherless ships that have been in collision can testify. In 
Duay ships the foremost or collision-bulkhead extends from 
the floor-plate to the upper deck, whilst the other bulkheads 
Bie pierced, and are fitted with water-tight doors — an un- 
Wisfactory arrangement, because should a collision suddenly 
occur, the doors at the moment will probably be open, and 
diere may be no time to close them; and even if there he 
time, the great and sudden strain t^au8ed by the collision will 
often 80 wrench the bulkhead that the doors jamb, and at 
the critical moment the whole thing ceases to be what it 
pK^eeses to be — a lealrr-tif/ht bulkhead. 

There ought to be at least one bulkhead for every breadth 
of the ship, in her length ; thus, a ship, say of 210 feet in 
length, and of 30 feet beam, should have a bulkhead at every 
30 feet of her length— that is to say, she should have sis 
*&tet-tight bulkheads. All bulkheads that are really intended 
to be of any use in the hour of need should be carried 
entirely up from the floor to the upper deck without any 
openings whatever, even although it may involve some extra 
trouble and cost in working the hold. Such additional trouble 
ud expense is more than compensated for by the additional 
KCDrity given to the ship. 

Many of our large liners have their decks plated as well 
18 their sides, as giving greater strength to the ship ; but 
u an iron deck would iu many respects be extremely 
Dnsoitable, this deck is usually covered over with wooden 

Some ships hare the bulwarks very high, and plated over 
OB the outside. When this is the case large openings are 
UQaUy left, the lower part of the openings being flush, or nearly 
fluh, with the upper deck, and fitted with hinged flaps opening 
ontwards, thus affording a ready means of egress for the 
luge body of water that may come on deck in heavy weather. 
In fact, a ship is far safer with merely open rails, and not 
with solid bulwarks at all ; heavy seas that are shipped 
being then able to get away at once. 

Iitm masts are now generally used, as being IxitU BUoii^'at 


and lighter than wooden masts. Some ships have only their 
lower mastSy or the lower masts and topmasts, of iron* the 
topgallant masts and royals being still of wood; bat many 
other ships are now fitted with iron masts £rom keel to tmcL 
Iron masts are constmcted like any other tabular form of 
iron. The plates, nsnally three in number to fonn the 
circumference, are bent in the rolling-machine to the required 
curve, the longitudinal joints having intemaUy T-inni 
running the entire length of the mast Sometimes the plateB 
are lap-jointed, with angle-iron at the joints ; but this method 
of construction, although perhaps stronger than the fbimer, 
does not make so good-looking a mast. Many iron masti 
are still further strengthened with internal diaphragm plata 
and angle-irons. The plates forming the mast axe asaallj 
about 10 feet in length, and are of | to f iron, aooording to the 
size of the mast. Occasionally iron lower masts are used ee 
ventilators to the hold or cabin space ; when this is the caseb 
they are then left open at the top, with a moveable oover, tobe 
put on in wet weather. The trestle-trees and all the fittings aie 
also of iron, and the shrouds are of wire rope. The latter aie 
not set up by dead-eyes, but have screw fastenings secured hj 
chain-plates riveted to the vessel's sheer-strake. The centre 
part has an eye formed in the middle, and screws at the ends^ 
one of which is right-handed, and the other left-handed. The 
screws work in nuts attached to the chain-plate and to the 
eye holding the shroud, which when seized has the pointi 
of the screws only just entered, leaving the greater part of 
the screw available for taking up the slack, as may be 
required. By this means by a turn or two of a marline-spike 
inserted in the eye in the centre of the screw-fastening, the 
shroud, or back-stay, or whatever it may be, is readily 
tautened up. 

In most iron and steel vessels not only are the masts d 
iron or steel, but the yards also, or, at all events, the larger 
yards, as the main and the fore yards, and very frequently 
the upper and lower topsail yards. The whole of the standing 
rigging is of wire rope, whilst a great part of the braoeSi 
lifts, and the like, are of chain and wire, so that not only has 
iron or steel gradually displaced wood for the hull and the 


spars, but wire rope and chain are now taking the pla^e of 
hemp in the rigging. Chain and wire rope are used thus : 
Take, for instance, the topsail braces : chain about two 
fathoms long is attached to the yard, and then shackled to a 
block — this chain being called "the tie;" wire rope is rove 
through the block, and hooked into the maintop, if it be 
the fore-topsail braces ; the other end of the wire rope is 
stropped round another block, the wire rope then being called 
" the runner." An ordinary rope is rove through this block, 
one end of which is hooked on to the bumpkin, or else to a 
bolt in the ship's side, while the other eud is roye through 
a leading block, and belayed to a pin on the rail, this rope 
being called "the whip," Precisely the same principle is 
adopted for the halliards, etc. 

In some modern ships chain has superseded certain ropes 
for their entire length, as, for instance, the lower topsail 
sheets. It is, howeyer, very awkward to pull on, and is not 
very easily made fast to a belaying-pin. The fore-tack, 
again, is now generally of chain. Modem sheets are very 
frequently made of wire, served over with spun yarn. When 
the ship gets doivn into fine latitudes, these wire ropes 
are usually changed for ordinary rope; and leaving the 
fine weather the wire is put on again. It is bad stuflf to 
make fast, as it is very springy, and the men have to be 
exceeding careful in slacking it away, or a man may very 
easily get badly hurt. If there be any strain on the sheet, 
the least easing on the bitts will start the whole wire, which 
will, somehow or other, spring up off the bitts, and run out 
before you " know where you are." 

Chain and wire, again, are mostly used now for mooring, 
as only a few lines (or lengths) of wire will take the place 
of several times that length of ordinary cable. Until the 
early years of the nineteenth century cables of hemp were 
in general use both in merchant vessels and in ships of war. 
In 1810, however, the making of iron-chain cables was 
commenced at Mill wall, and these cables gradually have 
superseded the use of hemp cables, because of the advantages 
the former have in strength, durability, and convenience in 
stowage over the cumbrous cables made of hemp. Iioa <»b\^ 


with stud-links soon proved superior in strength to the 
twisted link cables, and they were adopted in the Meccantile 
Marine of the United Eingdom for many years before the 
Gbyemment authorities considered it proper to discontinue 
the use of hemp, and to equip the ships of the Boyal Nayy 
with iron chain-cables. 

Nowadays everything is of iron — ^the mastSi the yards, 
the bowsprit, with its dolphin-striker, are all of iron, and 
the two inner guys of the latter are iron rods, the outer guys 
being of wire. No lanyards are used, but iron screws are 
used for everything. 

The above description of the spars and rigging of a modem 
ship will probably appear somewhat dry and uninteresting 
to the lay reader, but it will, at all events, raable him to 
form some idea as to the manner in which iron and steel 
have now almost entirely taken the place of wood and hemp 
in the majority of our larger ships. 


Tie l^Msatlantic linos— The Cunard Line — First formation of the Company 
—The mail contract— The first ships — American opposition — The 
Collins Line — Loss of the Arctic— Loan of the Pacific — KociBion of the 
Government rnla as to wooden ships — The first iron Cunarder— The 
Persia — The firet screw Cunard steamer — The China — The Buttia — 
Compound engines — The Batavia — The flist steo! Cunarder — The 
Servia — The JJmhrin and the Etruria — Tlie Campania and the 
&tainia— Rates of speed — Man^ment of the Cunard Company — 
Immnnity ^m accidents. 

The oldest of the Transatlantic lines of steamers existing at 
the present time is the Cunar*! Line, established in 1840, of 
wllieh we now propose to give some particulars. 

Mr. Samuel Ciinard, who had for some time been conducting 
1 mail serrice between Boston, Newfoundland, and Bermuda, 
abnnt the year 1836, conceived the idoa of establishing a 
tpjular steam mail service between this country and America ; 
I'ut, unfortunately, he was not possessed of sufficient capital to 
inaagurate so vast a scheme, nor could he induce his friends 
m the shipping world, or the merchants of Halifax, to join 
Wm in the enterprise. He, however, ultimately fell in with 
Mr, Robert Napier, the famous Clyde ship-builder and engineer, 
fbu introduced him to Mr, George Burns, one of the shrewdest 
men of the day, who in turn brought him into contact with 
Mr, David Maclver, of Liverpool. In the course of a very 
fat days Mr. George Bums, whose wealth, influence, and 
integrity were the strong foundations upon which the great 
enterprise was built, obtained the requisite subscribed capital 
«f £270,000 to float the Company, which was at first styled 
"The British and North American Royal Mail Steam Packet 
"JiBpany," but this cumbrous title soon gave way to the 
^witer and now well-known designation of " The Cunstfd Line." 


■ '34 


Id October, 1838, the English QoTemment advertised for 
tenders for the conveyance of the United States tuftils by 
Bteamers, instead of, as up to that time had been the 
by sailing ships, for the most part small ton-gnn brigs, whiell 
from the freqaency of their capsizing, were familiarly known 
" coffins," and the tender of Jlessre. Samuel Cunard, Greoi^ 
Bums, and David Maclver was accepted. They were to hai 
£55,000 per annum, and were to supply three 
steamers, and to perform two voyages a month from Liverpod 
to the United States. This arrangement was, howevi 
subsequently altered to four steamers, and the subsidy w 
increased to £81,000 per annum. The four steamers niUl 
which the Ounard Line was first started were — 

TiH». Lmcih' Baua. Hi 

The Britannia ' (paddle-wheel) 1150 207 ft. 34 ft. 4 ins. 

„ CUum&i'a „ 1130 20Tft. 34rt.2iiia. 

„ Acadia „ 1136 206ft. Mfteins. 

„ Caledonia „ 1138 SOGf). 34ft.6iiis. 

All these four steamers kept up an average speed of aboat 
8^ knots an hour. 

The line quickly became exceedingly popular, and, cnrioiisl^ 
enough, its popularity has never diminished to the present 
day. The original fortnightly service was soon increased to 
a weekly one, and since that time has been still fnrthei 
increased, so that now the Cunard boats run twice a week to 
the States — every Saturday to New York, and every Thursday 
to Boston, with occasionally an additional boat on a Tuesday. 
When the more frequent service was determined upon, two 
new steamers, the Cain^ia and the Wibernia, were put on. 
They were each of 1422 tons, and 1040 indicated horse-power, 
with an average speed of 9^ knots. By 1848, the expansion 
of international commerce caused still further demands on 
the Company, and the America, Niagara, Cixnaiht, and Europa, 
all paddle-wheel steamers of 1825 tons, and 2000 indicated 
horse-power, with an average speed of \Q\ knots, were added 
to the fleet. It will thus be noticed how, in the first ten 

* Tills was the steamer Charles Dickens crossed in, i[i Jouuary, 1812. 
An admirable deacription of the boat and of the passage across will be found 
in bis "American Notee." 


s 1 




-r jl 



^' "i 


^UPH^^^^B^'^^^^^^^BM|\,- ^^1 

tS 1 






yevs of the existence of the Company, both the size of the 
ahips and the power of the euginea had materially increased, 
"ith a corresponding increase of speed of Bomething like five 
ind twenty per cent. 

The success of the Cunard Line naturally excited the 
jwloQsy of the American shipowners, and various attempts 
»ere made to " run the Cuuarders off the Atlantic," but always 
without avail. The opposition was oonimenced by an American 
nrnpauy fitting one of their fastest sailing ships, the 
Kamchusetts, with a screw propeller, so that, while taking 
•dvaatage of her canvas under favourable circumstances, she 
might use her steam-power against a head wind. But she was 
nol a success, and in point of speed could in no way compete 
with the English vessels. In consequence it wag determined 
to start a regular American line of eteam-packets to run 
between New York and Bremen, calling at Southampton, 
uid their first ship, the Washington, left New York in June, 
1847, on the same day that the Britavnin, belonging to 
tile Cuuard Company, sailed frotti New York for Liverpool, 
This was the first race across the Atlantic between American 
ind British steamers, and it resulted in a decided victory 
for the Cunarder, which arrived two full days before the 

The most formidable opponent was the Collins Line, which 
ilsrted with four fine ships, the Atlantic, the Pacific, the Arctic, 
uA the Baltic, which, although all faster than the Cunard boats, 
for gome reason or other never commanded the confidence 
of the public secured by the English line. These four vessels 
Were all paddle-wheel steamers, averaging each 2856 tons, 
with engines of 800 horse-power. They were 282 feet long, 
46 feet beam, and had a draught of water of 20 feet. They 
were built chiefly of oak, and were planked with pitch-pine. 
Tliey had straight bows and rounded stems ; each had three 
masts, and they were square-rigged on the fore and main- 
iiuts. They were by far the handsomest vessels that had 
jet been built for the Transatlantic service. 

When the Collins Line was first estabHshed, having secured 
the United States contract for the conveyance of the American 
mails from New York to Liverpool, the directors of that 


Company determined to put on boats which, at any cost, should 
beat the Cunarders in point of speed, and this point they 
attained when, in 1S52, their Arctic made the pasaage across 
from New York to Liverpool in 9 days 17 hours and 12 
minutes, the fastest passage then on record. During the first 
half of 1852, the boats of the Collins Line used to make the 
paBsage from Liverpool to New York, on an average, in 11 
days and 22 hours, whilst the Asia and the Africa, the fastest 
boats of the Cunard Company, nsed to take, on an average, 
12 days 14 hours; the passage from New York to Liverpool 
being made by the Collins boats, on an average, in 10 days 
22 hours, the Cunarders taking, on an average, 11 days 1 hour. 

Thia slight additional speed was, however, costing the Collins 
Company a heavy expenditure, and in a statement laid before 
Congress, when the question of the subsidy by the United 
States Government was beiJig discussed, it was stated on 
behalf of the Collins Company " that to effect the saving of 
from a day to a day and a half in the run between New York 
and Liverpool was costing the Company nearly a million 
dollars a year." 

In 1850, to compete with the Collins Line, the Cunard 
Company built two larger and faster steamers, the Asia and 
the Africa (mentioned above). They were sister ships, each 
being of 2128 tons. They were 267 feet in length, 40 feet 
6 inches beam, and with a depth of hold of 27 feet 6 inches. 
They were fitted with side-lever engines, by Robert Napier, 
of 814 horse-power ; the cylinders being 96 inches in diameter, 
with a 9-feet stroke, and the paddle-wheels 37 feet 6 inches 
in diameter, the steam being supplied by four boilers, with 
twenty furnaces. Each ship employed 38 hands in the engine- 
room ; and the coal-bunkers held some 900 tons of coal. 
The vessels were built of oak, planked double, both outside 
and inside, the intervening space being filled up with rock 
salt, from keel to gunwale, to preserve the timbers from dry 
rot. There were berths for 180 passengers; and the ships 
were so built that, at very little expense, they could be 
transformed into war-ships. With these two new steamers the 
Cunard Line quite held its own as regarded passengers ; bat 
the establishment of the Collins Line had had a marked effect 


upon freights ; as before the Collins Company started, freights 
were £7 lOs. per ton between Liverpixtl and the States, whilst 
tTO years after the Collins boats had been running the price 

The opposition to the Cuuarders of this particular line did 
not, however, last long, the Collins Company being singularly 
unfortunate with their ships. Their misfortunes commenced 
in 1854, by their losing the Arctic. On Thursday, the 21st of 
September, 1854, the Arctic left Liverpool for New York, with 
233 passengers, of whom 150 were first class. At mid-day on 
Wednesday the 27th, when sixty miles south-east of Cape 
Race, during a dense fog, with a heavy sea running, the Arctic 
(sme into violent collision with the French steamer Vesta, 
bftving on board 147 passengers, and a crew of fifty. After 
the collision the VmIc appeared to be the more injured of the 
tno steamers, and her passengers and crew made the most 
desperate efforts to get on hoard the Arctic. The rough state 
of the sea, however, rendered this impossible, one boat, with 
ihirteen on board, being swamped immediately after leaving 
(he French ship, and all on board being drowned, whilst 
another boat was sunk as soon as she was lowered. 

The captain of the Vata, after a careful examination, 
fonnd that his ship, although badly stove in forward, was 
nut making water very rapidly; he therefore, thinking that 
the Arctic was quite safe, shaped a course for Cape Race, in 
the hopes of tteing able to beach his steamer before she 
sliould sink. Eventually he not only succeeded in reaching 
Cape Race, but be was able to take the Vesta safely into St. 
Johns. Those on board the Arctic very soon discovered the 
wry serious extent of her injuries. Three large holes had 
been made in her side, and the ship was seen to be rapidly 
filling. The captain had her head put about, and he also tried 
to nm for Cape Race, which was the nearest land. By this 
time a strong gale was blowing, with a heavy sea, and the 
ship was getting very low in the water. Seeing that matters 
were getting desperate, the boats were now lowered, but some 
were awamped in lowering, and others were capsized, two only, 
"itli thirty-one of the crew and fourteen passengers, out of 
iTer three hundred persons who were on board the Arctic, 


BQCceediiig in safely reaching 8t Johns, Newfoundland. Fonr 
hours after the collision the water reached the furnaces of the 
Arctic, and soon after that the ship went down. 

Sixteen months after the loaa of the Arctic the Collins Liae 
suffered another serious blow. On Wednesday, the 23rd of 
January, 1856, the Pacific left Liverpool for New York with 
a crew of 141, and with forty-five passengers, the mails, and 
a valuable cargo, which latter was insured for two millions of 
dollars. From the time the Padjic left the Mersey she ww 
never again beard of. Where, or how, she was lost was new 

The Collins Line, not to be daunted, huilt two mon 
steamers, the Adriatic and another ; but they never recoTCnd 
from the effect of the previous disasters, and the Company 
had to be wound up in 1858. 

Down to the year 1860, the English Grovemment had 
absolutely refused to allow the mails to be conveyed in any 
other than wooden ships; but in 1860, this requirement was 
at last withdrawn, and Messrs. Cunard commenced the snbstito- 
tion of iron as the material of their ships, and they bnilt the 
Persia, an iron paddle-wheel steamer of 3766 tons. She wag 
350 feet in length, 45 feet beam, with a depth of hold of 30 
feet. She was fitted with a pair of side-lever engines, of 917 
horse-power, nominal, but working at sea up to an indicated 
hi>rse-power of 3600. The Persia was the twenty-sixth vessel 
built for the Company since the Britannia. 

The last paddte-wheel steamer built for the Cunard Company 
— indeed, the last great ocean-going paddle-wheel vessel alto- 
gether — was the Scotia, also an iron vessel, built in 1862, of 
3871 tons, and 975 horse-power. She was 367 feet in length, 
and 47 feet 6 inches beam, and was fitted with a pair of side- 
lever engines, working up to an indicated horse-power of 
4200, the diameter of the cyliriders being 100 inches, with a 
BtP)ke of 12 feet. The diameter of the paddle-wheels was 
40 feet. The Scotia, which crossed from New York to Liver* 
pool in 8 days 22 hours, was undoubtedly the most magnifi- 
cent ocean steamer of that date. 

The Inman Line, which was now running in opposition to 
&e Cunard boats, had been for some time working screw 

hips, indeed, the Canard Company themselTes were employ- 
ug screw steiuiiera fur their Mediterraneaii trade — and the 
ime had now come when the Company determined to employ 
them in their transatlantic service ; and when they did come 
to the determination tinally to abandon paddle-wheel steam- 
ships in flavour of screw steamers, several of the former were 
at once transformed into sailing ships. The Scotia was con- 
Terted into a twin-screw, and was used as a cable steamer 
belooging to the Telegraph Maintenance Company. 

The first iron screw steamer built for the Cunard Company 
was the Ckina, launched in 1862, followed in 1864, by the 
Ctiha, and in 1865, by the Java. In 1867, a larger iron ecrew 
steamer was built, the Russia, of 2960 tons, with engines of 
432 horse-power, nominal, working up to an indicated horse- 
power of 3000. The Russia was probably the most beautiful 
▼essel that had, as yet, been put on the service. She was 
larque-rigged, with a single funnel between the fore and 
main masts. Her graceful outline and the symmetry of her 
proportions were considered by nautical men to be perfect ; 
whilst her interior decorations and general accommodation soon 
gained for her with the public a reputation for comfort and 
luxury. Her speed averaged 14'4 knots pet hour, she being 
then the fastest vessel in the fleet. She crossed from Queens- 
town to New York in 8 days 5 hours and 52 minutes ; and 
irom New York to Qneenstown in 8 days and 28 minutes.* 

In 1870, the Cunard Company turned their attention to 
the then new invention of compound engines, and finding 
that this new method utilized steam at a far higher pressure 
than had been the case heretofore, and produced increased 
^•eed at a smaller cost, they determined upon atlopting it. 
The Batavia, of 2553 tons, was the first of their steamers to 
be fitted with the new machinery ; and in the six subsequent 
years the Company increased their fleet by seven other 
steamers, all fitted with compound engines. These were the 

* It oiay be noted in passing that the commaDder of the Ruuia, Captmn 
Cook, navigated this vessel 6.W,000 miles [eqnaf to fivo-and -twenty timeB 
orld] on the Atlantic in ail weathers without a single accident 
B breakdown of any kind ; and safely carried to and fro npwards of 
I traiiy«x thoDwnd cabin pasAengere, 


Calabria^ Algeria^ and Abyssinia^ each of whioh was of 8900 
tons ; and these, again, were followed by still larger boatay m 
the Scythia and the Bothnia. These vessels were all of iio^ 
the two latter being each of 4535 tons, 455 feet in lengtki 
42 feet 6 inches beam, and 36 feet depth of hold. They had 
accommodation for 300 first class, and 800 third class paaBeng«& 
They were barque-rigged, and were fitted with oompoiinl 
engines of 500 horse-power, nominaL The high-pressaif 
cylinder was 60 inches in diameter, the low-pres8aie» lOi;; 
inches. The steam was supplied by eight tubular 
with twenty-four furnaces; and the coal-bunkers oould 
in twelve hundred tons of coal. The largest of these 
steamers was the Gallia^ of 4808 tons, and 5300 indi< 

Another advance was now being made in ship-building, 
iron, which had superseded wood, was itself to be su] 
by steel. The first of the Cunarders to be built of ihe 
material was the Servia^ of 3900 tons register. She 
5000 tons dead weight with a draught of 26 feet ; but 
have carried 10,000 with safety if the depth of harbours bad '. 
permitted. Her dimensions were: length over all, 530 feet; 
beam, 52 feet ; depth from top of keel to top of uppei^ledk 
beams, 42 feet. She had three complete decks and two 
partial decks, and was divided into twelve main water-tight 
compartments by transverse bulkheads. The Servia wai \ ' 
entirely constructed of steel, on the lattice double-bottom;. 
system, having capacity for 800 tons of water ballast. Her 
decks were formed of half-inch steel plates, covered with 4 ■ 
inches of teak. The upper deck had on it the forecastle for 
some of the crew, and the necessary wash-houses, etc., for 
emigrants; hospital, companions to main and lower decks;: 
winches for working cargo, ofiBcers' rooms, smoking-roonu^ j i 
galleys, baker's shop, music-room, ladies' rooms, entrance to, ■ 
the main saloon, and a wheel-house right aft. jL 

The main deck had accommodation for seamen, stewardl^«| 
and engineers ; also 86 state-rooms, capable of berthing SSI* 
passengers; also the main dining-saloon, with the necessary 
pantries and serving-rooms. The lower deck had 82 state- 
rooms, berthing 328 passengers ; and contained accommodation 


for 730 emigrants. The ship was lighted throughout by 

electric light. 

The engines of the Servia were of the three-cylinder 
compound direct-acting arrangement, having one high- 
pressore cylinder of 72 inches diameter, and two low-pressure 
cylinders of 100 inches diameter each, and 78-iuch stroke of 
piston. The crank-sbaft was in three pieces, of steel, aud 25 
inches iu diameter; and the propeller, the boss and blades 
of which were also of steel, was 24 feet iu diameter. 

Steam was supplied to the engines by seven boilers, six 
of which were double-ended, with six furnaces to each boiler, 
and owe was single-ended, with three furnaces; so that in 
all there were thirty-nine furnaces. Seven tons and a half 
of coal were consumed every hour, or between thirteen and 
fourteen hundred tons of coal in the passage across the 
Atlantic, the bunker accommodatiou being for 1800 tons. 
The engines on trial developed 10,500 indicated horse-power, 
and the average speed at sea of the Serv^ia was 17^ knots 
per hour. 

Magnificent in all respects as was the Servia, still the 
Cunard Company did not consider that perfection had been 
attained, and in 1884, the Umhria and the Etniria were 
launched, larger and more powerful in every respect than 
their immediate predecessor. They were sister ships, each 500 
feet in length, with a gross tonnage of 8127 tons, and each 
had ample accommodation for 550 first-class passengers and 
800 emigrants. Their engines were of 14,500 indicated 
horse-power, and their speed 19'5 knots per hour. The 
Uinhria's fastest run across from Queenstown to New York 
was 5 days 22 hours (this was her eighty-second trip across), 
her daily runs being, 461 knots, 502, 500, 427, 502, and 388, 
making a total of 2780 knots, giving an average speed of 
19'57 knots an hour. 

It was thought that the most perfect type of ocean liner 
had really at last been reached in these two vessels ; but their 
glories were soon to be eclipsed by those of the Campania 
and the Lmanta, which were ordered by the Cunard Company 
from the Fairfield Shipbtulding Company iu 1891. 

On the 8th of September, 1892, and on the 2nd of February, 



in the presence of many thousands of interested, and 
some ansiouB spectators, there were launched at (Jovan on 
the Clyde, from the yard of the Fairfield Shipbuilding 
Company, the Campania and the I/ucania respectively, tbe 
largest vessels— with the single exception of the Oreit 
Eastern — that had ever heen constructed in any shipbuilding 
establishment in the noild, either public or private. 

The length of the Campania' is 620 feet over all; her 
extreme breadth is 65 feet 3 inches, and her depth from 
the upper deck 43 feet. Her nett register tonnage is 4974 
tous, her gross tonnage being 12,950 tons. The vessel has a 
straight stem and elliptic stem, with top-gallant forecastle 
and poop, and there are two tiers of deck-houses with 
promenade decks. She has two large funnels, which, U^e 
those of all the other boats of the Cunard Company, ore red, 
with black tops ; and she has two pole masts. The ship has 
four decks — ujtper deck, main deck, lower, and orlop decks 
— and is divided into seventeen compartments by sixteen 
water-tight bulkheads, so that it is calculated that she would 
still float with any two compartments open to the sea. She 
has been built in conformity with the Admiralty requirements 
for armed cruisers, the decks being specially constructed witii 
a view to carrying heavy guns ; and she has steering-gear of 
a special type fitted below the water-line. There is a cellulac 
double bottom, with tanks arranged for water ballast. 

The Campania is fitted with twin screws driven by t«(> 
distinct sets of powerful triple-expansion engines of 50(tO 
horse-power, nominal, developing 30,000 indicated horse-power. 
The two sets of engines ore in two separate engine-rooms* 
divided from each other by a watertight bulkhead, througb- 
which, however, are water-tight doors, thus rather giving away 
the perfect duplication of the machinery. Each engine ha* 
five cylinders, two high-pressure, two low-pressure, and one 
intermediate. The water is circulated through the condensers 
by four large centrifugal pumps, each driven by an inde- 
pendent compound engine, these pumps being also available 
for pumping water from the hold in case of emergency. An 
elaborate system of piping is carried throughout the sliip, 
* Tho description appliea equally, ia all respects, to the Lunania. 





' ( 



And connected to various steam-pumps for emptyiDg tbe 
ballast tanks, pumping out bilges, supplying the decks with 
water for washing down, as well as hydrants in case of fire, 
and for other purposes. There are also four evaporators to 
produce the necessary fresh water from the sea water, and so 
to avoid using salt water in the boilers; and besides these 
there are numerous donkey-engines for tbe winches for 
working the holds, warping, and other uses. Steam for the 
main engines is generated in twelve large double-ended 
boilers; the boilers with their furnaces being arranged in 
two groups, having one of the great funnels for each group. 
These funnels from their lowest section are 120 feet high, 
nr jtut aboat the height of the Eddystone Lighthouse ; and 
ihcir diameter is 20 feet, which is rather more than the 
diameter of the Eddystone Lighthouse. 

Although the Campania is fitted with twin screws, there 
is an aperture in her stem precisely similar to that in a 
sliip fitted with a single screw, tlis being in order that the 
propellers may work the more freely, they being kept very 
ditse to the centre line of the vessel, in order to avoid 
damage to, or from, quay walls. 

The Campania has accommodation for 1400 passengers and 
lOO crew. The third-class passengers are berthed forward, 
lb second-class aft, and the saloon passengers amidships. 

It is somewhat curious that of the two sister ships, identically 
the same in size and shape, and fitted with engines the same 
in power, one ship, the Lucania-, should be slightly faster 
tian the other. Her fastest outward passage was accomplished 
in 5 days 7 hoars and 23 minutes, and her fastest passage 
bomeward in 5 days 8 hours and 38 minutes. The Campania's 
feteat westward passage was 5 days 9 hours and 6 minutes, 
ind her fastest passage eastwards 6 days 9 hours and 18 
DUDutes. The Lucania's fastest ocean steaming was at an 
irerage speed throughout the passage of 221 knots per hour, 
ind the highest day's running 560 knots. The Campania's 
&<test average speed throughout the passage was 21*82 knots 
in hour, and her highest day's running 584 knots. 

On the 7th of August, 1896, the Campania arrived at 
New York, having made the passage from Daiint's Itock, 



QueeoBtowB, in 5 days 9 hours and 35 minutes; hi 
steamed 2785 knots at an average rate of speed of 
knots per hour; and this rate, with very slight modiflcationa, 
is about the rate usually maintained by these two ships. 

The Cuuard Company up to the present time have been 
able to boast that, although they have occasionally lost a 
ship, they have never yet lost a passenger. One of the 
most remarkable disasters that ever did befall them was the 
total loss of their steamer Oregon. She was run into and sunk 
by some vessel, but what vessel it was, or what became of 
the vessel — whether she too went to the bottom, or whether 
she got quietly away — no one knows, and no one probably 
ever will know. 

Speaking generally, the Cunard Company have alirays 
enjoyed a peculiar immunity from accident, and it has very 
frequently been said that a special good luck must have 
attended them. As a matter of fact, it is no question at 
all of either good luck or bad luck. All ends are attained 
by means, and the Cunard Company have from the very 
first uniformly adopted the means calculated to ensure success, 
and sQCcesB has naturally followed. In the construction of 
the ships everything has always been of the very beat, no 
matter what the cost might be. In the personnel of the fleet 
the same thing is aimed at. The most absolute discipline ia 
enforced upon all the ships, from the chief ofBcer downwards. 
Neither the chief officer nor the subordinate officers, except 
so far as the dictates of ordinary courtesy demand, are 
allowed to hold any intercourse whatever with the passengers, 
thus devoting their entire attention to the navigation of the 

The most rigid punctuality is observed; ao admiiabla 
look-out is kept in fair weather as in foul ; in thick weather, 
when making the land, the lead is kept constantly going; 
the ofBcer of the watch is always at his post ; the engineers 
are always in the engine-room to stop or reverse the engines 
at a moment's notice; and an officer is always at the elbow 
of the quartermaster to see that the proper course is being 
kept. The captains have the most stringent orders never 
upon any occasion to sacrifice the slightest risk of the 




safety of the ahip to any question of Bpeed, or to leave the 
apparently smallest or mo8t insignificant matter to chance. 
The result has been simply what might have been expected, 
an absolute immunity from so-called accidents — accidents 
which in ninety-nine cases out of a hundred are not only 
preventable, but are merely the natural outcome of the 
particular line of conduct pursued. 

Among the written confidential instructions given to all 
csiitains employed in the service of the Cunard Company 
are the following orders : — 

'* It is to be borae in mind that every part of the coast-board of England 
md Ireland can ba rend off by the lead ; und on iiukking land you abould 
Mver omit to verify your poaitioD by Boundings i ratber loaa time In hearing 
the ship to, than run the risk of losing the vwael, nnJ all the lives on board. 

" Too ore to underetand that yon have a peremptory order, that in fog, or 
9]ov-storni, or in each state of the weather as appears attendant with risk in 
Bailing, you are on no account whatever to move the vessel under your com- 
nuuid out of port, or wherever she may be lying iu safety ; and at the same 
time you are particularly warned ogainat being influenced by the nctions of 
other captains who aioy venture to sail their vonsels iu such weather. 

" In any case when, in sailing, you are overtaken by thick weather, fog, 
or snowstorm, the most extreme caution is to be exercised, and you are not to 
be actuated by any desire to complete your voyage : your sole consideration 
being the safety of your ship, and those under your cliargc ; and we caution 
tad instruct you in snch circnmslaiices to make conalaat uu of tht lead, and 
bo enter in yoar log the fact of your having done so." 






The Peninsalar and Oriental Steam Navigation Company — ^Ito 

Willoox and Anderson — ^Messrs. Bourne's line of BteMiien to Spain 

Portugal — ^Messrs. Willoox and Anderson's contract for the 

mails, in 1837— The Indian mail— The East India Cknii|Miij— Ikt 


Peninsular Company— The starting of the P. and 0^ 1840— The BaaAtf 1 
mail — Opposition of the East India Company^— Fariiamenteiy fnqidiy k f 
1851— Termination of the East India Company's monopoly— TIm Ub i 
and China mails in the hands of the P. and Od — ^Ilie Overiand Boofte— ; 
Coaling-stations — Commenoement of the P. and 0. Hne to AniCnBa k 
1853 — ^The European and Australian Steam Pkcket Company— Its ftial 
collapse — ^The opening of the Sues Canal — Opposition to the Omal ly 
the Post Office — ^The Sues Canal at last adopted by the QoTenmuBt— 
The present mail contract times — Rules and reguktions of tiie P. and Ol 
Company as to their ships, etc. — Casualties — ^Loss of the Bokhara — ^Loes 
of the Aden — The loss of the China — Burning of the €h»nff6B, 

There can be but very few Englishmen who have never 
heard of what is certainly one of the most popular of the { 
great steamship lines, the Peninsular and Oriental Steam 
Navigation Company, or, as it is more familiarly known, the 
P. and O., and some details, therefore, of this great company 
will not be uninteresting. 

In the year 1815, a Mr. Brodie McGhee Willcox opened 
a small office in Lime Street, City, as a shipbroker and 
commission agent, and soon after starting the business he 
engaged a youth to assist him, one Arthur Anderson, from 
Kirkwall, in Orkney. Mr. Willcox had no capital other than 
a shrewd head and a large stock of perseverance. The 
business prospered, and in 1825, Mr. Anderson, the quondam j 
office boy, was taken into partnership, and the firm of Willoox 
and Anderson removed to new offices at No. 5, St. Mary Axe» 
At this time, besides the shipbroking business, the firm were 
part owners of a few small sailing vessels trading with Vigo 
and Lisbon. 

Gradually this small coasting trade developed into a regular 
line of sailing packets, and ultimately into a liue of steamers, 
one of the first of their steamers being the William Faweeti, 
a paddle-wheel vessel of 206 tons, and 60 horse-power, 74 | 
feet in length, and 16 feet beam ; whilst another was the 
Royal Tar* which waa rather larger. 

In 1834, the Dublin and London Steam Packet Company, 
of which the chief proprietors were Messrs. Bourne, of Dublin, 
chartered the Royal Tar to run to Spain ; and soon after this i 
the Spanish Minister in London induced Messrs. Bourne to pat 
on a regular line of steamers to Spain and Portugal, for which ' 
Messrs. Willcox and Anderson were appointed the London 
agents ; a Mr. Allen, who was in the office of the Dublin and 
London Steam Packet Company, being sent to London to 
assist Messrs. Willcox and Anderson in the management of the 
new line. This gentleman afterwards became the secretary, 
and ultimately the managing director of the great Company. 

Previous to the month of September, 1837, the Peninsular 
mails were conveyed between Falmouth and Lisbon by sailing 
vessels once a week, but the service was always extremely 
irregular, and with bad weather the passage from Falmouth 
Ui Lisbon, which under ordinary circumstances occupied a 
week, was frequently extended to three weeks. There was 
at this time, besides this Lisbon mail, a Government mail • 
to Cadiz and Gibraltar; but the vessels engaged in that 
service were also very slow, and this mail was nearly as 
irregular as the Lisbon one. 

Messrs. Willcox and Anderson approached the Government 
upon the subject of an acceleration of these mails, but their 
proposals were coldly received, and the old state of things 
was aUowed to continue, until lond and constant complaints 
from the public at last aroused the Government to action. 
The authorities then inquired officially whether Messrs. 
Willcox and Anderson had anything in particular to propose, 
and a detailed scheme for a weekly mail between Falmouth, 
Vigo, Oporto, Lisbon, Cadiz, and Gibraltar was drawn up by 
them, and submitted to the Government, who, after having 
thus obtained all the information and suggestions that they 
* The Boyai Tar was William IV. 


required, or that Messrs. Willoox and Anderson had to offei, | 
intimated, in accordance with the nsnal Gk)yemment piactiee, | 
that the matter would be thrown open to public competition. 1 

Of the tenders thus invited, that of the British and FoEmgn 
Steam Navigation Company was accepted, but when it actually 
came to the point the Company found out that they woe 
unable to carry out their proposals, and on the 29th of August, 
1887, a contract was concluded between the (Jovemmeiit 
and Messrs. Willcox and Anderson, by which the latter 
agreed to convey monthly the whole of tiie Peninsular mails 
for £26,000 per annum, a sum which was afterwards reduced 
to £20,500 per annum. This service, which commenced the 
same autumn, was performed with the utmost regularity, and 
may be considered as the actual commencement of the now 
weU-known P. and O. Company, the first steamer despatched 
under the contract being the Iberia, built by Messrs. Curling 
and Young, which left England in September, 1837. 

Down to the year 1840 the mails to and from India were 
conveyed by the East India Company in their own steameis 
between Bombay and Suez, and by steamers of the Imperial 
Qovemment between Alexandria and Gibraltar, where they 
were transferred to the boats of the Peninsular Company. 
Both the steamers of the East India Company and those of 
the Imperial Government were excessively slow, and were 
nearly always behind time, the mail from Alexandria to 
England invariably taking three weeks, and often a month, 
so that at last public opinion forced the Grovemment to 
take some steps towards bringing about a better state of 
things, and an arrangement was entered into with the French 
Gt)vemment for the transit of the Indian mail through 
France to Marseilles. This route turned out to be quite as 
uncertain and quite as much fraught with delay as was the 
former one, and the managers of the Peninsular Company 
were then applied to on the subject. 

They submitted a scheme for fast steamers to run direct 
from England to Alexandria, stopping only at Gibraltar 
and Malta. The plan was approved by the Grovemment, 
who, having again got gratuitously all the information they 
required, then publicly adveitvaed for tenders to carry out 

the scheme. Four competitors tendered for the contract, 
at sums ranging from £34,000 to £51,000 per annum, the 
PeninHular Company being the lowest ; and as they also 
offered to convey all military and naval officers travelling 
on the public service at reduced rates, and to convey all 
Admiralty packages gratuitously, their contract was accepted 
by the Government, not, however, without very considerable 
opposition on the part of many peraonn who wished to see 
the Indian mails conveyed round the Cape of Good Hope. 

In the Times of the 11th of November, 1838, appeared the 
following notice of a new steamer for that route : — 

" The Queen of the Eael, 2C18 tons burden, luid 600 horec-power, is the first 
of a line of stearaera to ply between England and Calcutta by way of the 
Cape of Good Hope. This magnificent vessel is designed by Mr. W. D. 
Holmes, the engineer to the Bengal Steam Committee, for communication 
between England and India ; and when these vessels are ready, wo understand 
the voyage between Falmouth and Calcutta will be made in thirty days." 

The Government, however, stood by their agreement with 
the i'eninsular Company, and the two first vessels put on by 
Messrs. Willcox and Anderson, under the terms of their 
contract, were the OrictUal, of 1600 tons, and 450 horse-power, 
and the Great Liverpool, a steamer originally built for the 
Transatlantic service, of 1540 tons, and 4ti4 horse-power. 
These vessels were despatched with the Peninsular and the 
Indian mails, thus constituting the Peninsular and Oriental 
Company, and in 1840, the business was made into a joint 
stuck company, with a charter of incorporation from the 
Crown, under the style of "The Peninsular and Oriental 
Steam Navigation Company." 

Down to this time, as before stated, the mails between 
Bombay and Suez were conveyed by steamers belonging to 
the East India Cmpany. They were small vessels of a very 
inferior description, but so reluctant were the directors of 
the East India Company to admit "interlopers" into their 
service that it was some time before any change in the 
Bombay mail could be effected. At last a contract was 
entered into by the Home Government with the P. and O, 
Company for a line of steamers between Calcutta, Madras, 
Ceyion, and Suez, this being the commencement of the P. 


and O.'s btisinesB on the farther side of the Isthmus of Siiei; 
and on the 24th of September, 184% the Hindo$tan, of 1800 
tons and 520 horse-power, was sent firom Southampton round 
the Cape to open the line. 

Early in 1844, the P. and O. CSompany again laid propoitli 
before the Home Goyemment to undertake a monthly line 
of steamers between Suez and Bombay at a saying to the 
Gh)yemment of £30,000 a year, as compared with the 
ascertained cost of the yery irregular seryice performed bj 
the steamers of the East India Company; but the directon 
of the East India Company were still most jealous of any 
interference with that particular line of oommunication, 
which they insisted upon keeping in their own hands, and 
which they did, in fiact, so retain, down to 1854. 

In 1845,* a farther contract with the Gbyemment wm 
entered into for the extension of the P. and O. line to 
Singapore and Hong-Eong, the subyention payable for the 
seryice being £160,000, which was at the rate of 17«. per 
mile oyer the whole line from Suez to Ceylon and Calcutta, 
and from Ceylon to Singapore and Hong-Eong. 

When it became known that the P. and O. Company 
were carrying the India and China mails at the rate of lis. 
a mile in steamers of 500 horse-power, whilst the East India 
Company, for yery inferior and much slower ships, were 
getting 30s. a mile between Suez and Bombay, the public 
naturally demanded that this Bombay line should be taken 
out of the hands of the East India Company. 

A Parlimentary Committee was appointed in 1851, to 
consider the whole matter, and it ultimately reported that 
''this seryice, in point of economy, the comfort of the pas- 
sengers, and the requirements of trade, could be performed 
to greater adyantage by priyate enterprise than by yessels 
of the Indian Nayy." The directors of the East India 
Company, eyen after this, howeyer, were yery ayerse to giying 
up the mails, and would probably haye continued their 

* In 1845 the fleet coDsisted of fourteen ships, with a united tonnage of 
14,600 tons, the Hindostan^ the Bmtincky and the Precurwrf of 1800 tons 
behig the largest ships, with the old JRoydl Tar and several yessels of as little 
as 500 tons. 


oppoettion mnch longer than they actually did, had not 
accidental circumstance at once brought the matter to a head, 

The Bombay maiU upon a certain occasion, owing to the 
breaking down of an East India Company's steamer, had to 
be transferred at Aden to a native sailing-Tessel, the Company 
not having another steamer ready at hand. The native 
sailing vessel was totally lost in the Be<l Sea, and with it 
tike whole of the Bombay mail. 

Communicationfl were then at once entered into with the P. 
and O. Company, and they offered to undertake the Bombay 
bnnch for £24,700 per annum, or at about the rate of 
ie. 2ii. a mile, for which the East India Company had been 
getting 30st thereby effecting a saving to the Post Office 
of over £80,000 a year. 

The whole of the vast ocean mail system to India, China, 
and the Straits Settlements was now practically in the hands 
ctf the P. and O. Company, and a moat extensive organization 
had to be completed before the new lines could be considered 
in working order. It mast be remembered that not a single 
coaling-station existed along the whole route from Suez to 
Calcutta and Hong-Kong, and that every ton of coal required 
for the steamers had to be sent out from this country in 
sailing ships by the Cape of G^jod Hope. There was 
practically no hotel accommodation for passengers on the 
tonte. At gome places, such as Suez and Aden, there was 
not even fresh water ; whilst docks for the repairs of the 
fleet hod also to be provided first at Calcntta, and then at 
Bombay, where the Company's China steamers bad their 
head-quarters. But perhaps the most arduous task of all 
was the organization of the transit across Egypt of the large 
trafiSc which naturally followed the extension of the Eastern 
linea, and which now began to be known as the "Overland 

The Overland Route, els it is called, between the Mediter- 
ranean and the Bed Sea, is as old as history ; but to Lieutenant 
Waghom belongs the credit of having revived it. Those who 
have only known the Overland Route by travelling rapidly 
across the Isthmus of Suez by railway, or in still more recent 
times by going ibrongh the Suez Canal on board ttie sVeBxaet. 

)t an i 

head. ' 


can form but little idea of the discomfortB of the jomney j 
before the days of either. } 

After landing from the steamer at Alexandria, the fint j 
part of the transit was by the Mahmondieh Canal, the gmt | 
work of Mahomet Ali for connecting Alexandria with the 
Nile. This journey of 48 miles was accomplished in a large 
canal boat, towed by a steam-tng at the rate of about 5 mfles 
an hour. From Atfeh, where the canal joins the Nile, steamen 
started for Cairo, a distance of 120 miles, and accomplished 
the journey in about 16 hours. Passengers then had to 
remain the night in Cairo, and sometimes even two or 
three days. From Cairo the route lay across the desert for 
90 miles, and the journey was performed in two-wheeled 
omnibuses, holding six persons, drawn by four mules (V horses, 
the road being merely a cutting in the sand, which in the 
night-time was not distinguishable from the desert itself 

A journey of some eighteen hours under these drcumstanoes 
could hardly be called enjoyable, still the experience was 
one which impressed the imagination in no ordinary d^fiee. 
A moonlight journey across the desert was most striking. 
The seemingly boundless expanse, the silence only broken 
by the voice of the driver and the muffled sound of the 
horses' feet, which seemed somehow to accentuate the sense 
of stillness, the caravans loaded with mails and baggage 
passing with silent and stealthy tread, the whitened bones 
of countless troops of camels which had died in harness 
glistening in the moonlight ; then the sudden daybreak, the 
solitary Bedouin family mounted aloft on their desert ship, 
the mirage, so wonderful when first seen, — ^these and other 
impressions remain indelible in the minds of people who 
knew the Overland Boute as it once was. 

The transport of cargo by these primitive methods was 
almost more difficult than that of passengers, more especially 
between Cairo and Suez, where every package had to be 
carried on camels' backs the distance of nearly a hundred 
miles. Many thousands of these animals were employed in 
connection with this work, which embraced not only the 
transport of mails and cargo, but of water from the Nile for 
the several desert stations, and for Suez; and what seems in 


I the present day even more etrenge, the coal for the steamers 

^^in the Bed Sea had actually to be carried across the Isthmua 

^Bh the same manner. It is a curious fact that it was cheaper 

^rto send coal from Alexandria across the desert in this way 

( ihan to send it round the Cape by sailing vessels to Suez. 

Indeed, not more than half a dozen vessels ever found their 

my up the Red Sea with coal during the whole time that 

the Company required to take fuel on board there. It is 

Deedless to say that the directors of the P. and O. Company 

were the first to urge upon the Pacha of Egypt the necessity 

uf constructing a railway across the Isthmus, and the final 

itccompliabment of this task in 1859, changed the character 

of the Egyptian transit to that with which the public has 

been familiar in later times. 

Coal was then, as it is now, one of the Company's heaviest 
it«ms of expenditure. The ac-counts from 1856, to 1865, 
inclosive, showed an expenditure for coal of no less than 
£5,250,000 sterling ; or on an average, £525,000 per annum. 

(During this time about 90,000 tons of coal were usually kept 
in stock at the different coaling-stations, distributed thus: — 

SonUuuiipton .,. 

... 2,000 tons. 


... 4,000 


... 5,000 „ 


... 6,000 


... 6,000 „ 


... 10,000 


... 20,000 „ 





Point (feOalle ... 

... 8,000 „ 

... 2.000 

... 12,000 „ 

King George's Sound 4,000 


... 500 „ 


... 1,500 

Id 1853, the P. and O. commenced running to Australia, 
but only in a small way as compared with the Australian 
service of the present time. A steamer, carrying the mail, 
was sent every other month to Sydney by way of Singapore, 
the arrangement with the Post Office being that the vessels 
on the main lines should keep up a speed of 12 knots an 
hour; upon the branch lines of not less than lOJ knots, and 
of not less than 8J knots between Singapore and Sydney, in 
each instance without the aid of sails. 

About this time there was a good deal of public complaint 
abont the Indian mails, and the mails to the East generally, 
it being said that the P. and O. Company were specially 
favoured, whilst their ships were not of the \)e8t oi iwaXe^X, 



The Compaoy, probably with the view of regaining its prestige, 
began then to put on some larger and finer ships, the first of 
these being the Himalaya, which was the largest steamer 
that, up to that time, the Company had owned ; she was 340 
feet in length, 44 feet 6 inches beam, and was fitted with 
engines of 2050 indicated horse-power. The Himalaya cost, 
when completed and ready for sea, £132,000. She wu 
speedily followed by the Caiidia, of 1898 tons, which cost 
£69,200. After this came the NuJna, the Pera, and the 
Cvlombo, of 1840 tons each ; then the Simla, of 2417 tons, 
the Vale-Ua, the Beju/al, and the Vaitia ; the cost of the whols 
of these Tossels being upwards of £650,OUO. 

In 1854, by the breaking out of the Crimean War, the mail 
service was much interrupted. Ships were wanted by the 
Government for the conveyance of troops to the Black Set 
and the Baltic, and many of the P. and O. steamers had to 
be withdrawn from the mail serriee ; the Bombay and China 
mail being made monthly instead of fortnightly, and the 
Australian mail discontinued altogether. 

The interruption of the Australian mail servioe by thii< 
Crimean War induced the Colonial Legislature to come forward 
in 1856, with liberal grants towards the establishment of a 
regular monthly independent communication with Australia, 
and in May, 1856, advertisements were issued inviting tenders 
for such a service. Four tenders were sent in, two of which 
were at once set aside as ineligible, and the choice lay between 
the P. and O. Company, at £140,000 per annum, and an 
entirely new company called the European and Australian 
Steam Packet Company, at £185,000 per annum. The 
Treasury showed marked favour towards the new company 
by accepting its tender in spite of the large difference (£45,000 
a year) between the two prices. 

The European and Australian Company at this time 
actually owned only two steamers, which had been employed 
in the Crimean War, and when its directors learned that their 
tender had been accepted, they offered to dispose of the 
contract to the P. and O. provided that that company would 
purchase their two steamers. This the P. and 0. declined to 
do, and the European and Australian Comiuny at once 


Bit«i!«d DpoD what proved to be a most diseatrous career. 
&6f opdned the line In 1867, by charteriog a Cunard ateamer, 
ihe Strut, to leave Southampton, and a P. and 0. steamer, the 
timla, to leave Sydney, simultaneously. A few months 
later the European and Australian Company invoked the 
nid of the Royal Mail Company, and the most strenuous 
tSoTts were made to carry out the contract, but without success, 
and in lees than two years the European and Australian 
Company was placed in liquidation, with a loss of over 
£700,000, according to a very ciicumstauttal statement made 
on the Buhject by Lord Overstone in the House of Lords on 
tbe 24th of March, 1859. After this, for a nomber of years, 
the mail service to Australia was exclusively in the hands of 
the P. and O. 

On tbe 17tb of November, 1S69, the Suez Canal was 
opened. It is strange to look back now to the incredulity 
which prevailed iu England as to the prospect of that under- 
taking ever reaching a BUccessful issue, and ever becoming, 
even in a minor degree, the channel of maritime communica- 
tion between the East and the West. Its success was 
generally disbelieved in up to the very day when a fleet of 
vessels steamed through its course from the Mediterranean to 
the Ked Sea. It would be impossible to keep the sand out; 
it wonld soon silt up; — all kinds of obstacles and difficulties 
were said to render tbe achievement impossible, and the 
very utmost that people ventured to admit was that it might 
perhaps become some day a channel for the transport of 
inerchandise, in barges, in competition with the Egyptian 
Uailway. The fallacy of these prognosticatious was very early 
made to appear, and the Suez Canal quickly revolutionized 
the entire maritime commerce of the East. 

The Post Ofliee utterly opposed the Canal, and Mr. Glad- 
stone's Government, in 1870, altogether declined to allow 
that route to be adopted for the mails unless the P. and 0. 
Company would consent to a very large reduction of the mail 

I subsidy. To this the P. and 0. very naturally objected, and 
the Post Office, therefore, on its part, objected to the mails 
being taken through the Canal. For nearly two years, there- 
fore, the mails were aotmlly landed at Aleiandiva, aui. ^eie 


■ totvi&i 

H throui 

P Suez, 



foTffBrded across Egypt Id the old way, the steamer going 
through the Canal, and re-embarking the identical mails at 
Suez, a proceeding which the Post 0£Bce had no power 
to prevent, but which was regarded with the utmost di^ 

The thing was so manifestly absurd that at last 
arrangement was come to bj which the Company was allowed! 
to take the mails through the Canal, but only in cousideratioB' 
of their relinquishing the sum of £20,000 a year out of the 
amount of the subsidy. The opposition of the £nglia]i 
GoTemment to the Canal was, however, not yet at an end: 
and in 1886, Mr. Crladstone being again iu power, fresh' 
tenders were invited for the whole of the India and Chink 
mails, it being made an essential part of the contract that^ 
the transit of the mails should be carried on exclusively by 
the Overland Boute from Alexandria, and not through the 
Suez Canal. \Vhile submitting tenders in accurdanoe wiUi 
these conditions of the Post Office, the Directors of the 
Peninsular and Oriental Company felt that the time had now 
really come when the 8uez Canal should be made the 
exclusive route for the mails, and that the transhipmeuts i 
and quarantine drawbacks involved by the land transpotti 
should be definitely abolished; and at last they induced the 
Government to acquiesce in this arrangement, and to witfa^ 
draw their condition that the mails should be sent overIand;i 
since which time the Suez Canal has been the regular mail< 
route to the East. 

Immediately after the opening of the Canal, the P. and O. 
put on some larger ships built specially for the tbrongh 
service. Perhaps the finest of these was the Khedive, boilt in 
1871, by Messrs. Caird and Company, of Greenock, by whom' 
her engines were also constcucted, at a total cost of £110,000, 
or a little more than £33 per ton, builder's measurement. 

The contract times for the transit of the Eastern mails 
from Loudon at present in operation are as follows: — 

IndiamatlB Bombay, 161 days. 

ChiD&maila Shanghai, 371 days. 

Australian maila Melbourne, 35^ ^ys. 

That we have not yet reached yetfectiou, and that the times 


of tmttsit of the Torious mails to the East may with advantage 
be Btill farther reduced, will be aeen from the following 

Atkeaqe or THE Last Tbreb Yeabs. 

iM betaa brr Hms. 




Brindisi (homewEinl) 




Thns ont of 468 mail deliveries during the lost three 
years, only eleven inatancefl occur in which the mails have 
been late ; whilst, on the other hand, 457 mails were delivered 
oonfiiderably in advance of the contract time. 

It will be interesting to note the following extracts taken 
from the official " Book of Regulations " and " Circulars " 
for " the safe and efficient navigation of the Peninsular and 
Oriental Steam Navigation Company's steamships:" — 

" The Coiamander is respOOHible for the aafe and efficient navigation of his 
stiip ; for internal diaciplino, and the comfort and satiafection of the pasaeugore ; 
br receiving and detivoring of cargo, and all questiona arisiog thereon. He 
«i!l tAke care that the several offioeni under hie command are acqaainted with 
Vane R^alationB, and will remember that although Uie Engineers and other 
Officere on board may have epecifio, and to some extent, independent dntioB 
«iitnuted to them, jet that ht will bo held respondblo by the Board for the 
mb'rc management of hiR ship, and for the proper and efficient diachai^ of 
tbeir duties by the Beveral Ofiicers of all departmoats. On the otlicr hand, 
iho Officera, En^neers, and all others bomo on the ship's books, must dis- 
lioctly nndentand that they are in all respects subject to the control and 
orders of the Commander, and that leave of absence, in all cases, can only be 
puit«d by the Commander, or the Commanding OfBccr for tbo time being, 
ud ihe retom to duty mnst bo reported in like manner. 

" The Chief Opxr^—hi Boa, the Directors hold the Chief Officer jointly 

'c^xmnble with the Commander for the safe navigation of the ship, as well 

M for any accident by stranding, or otherwise ; it is, therefore, hia dnty to be 

t* llw alert when the ship is making the land, or in narrow waters. 

"Navigation. — The ship is never to be left without an OfBcer in charge of 

* That is, once a fortnight; tlie alternative weekly mail being now taken by 
Hie ateaiaera of the Orient Line, who now share the moil contract with the 


the deck, ehher at xen nr in bftrbonr. At Hen the Officer In cha^e » to ietf 
his watch on ihc upper briilgs, and when oo dut; is not to convene wilk 
any person, or allow hia attention to bo diverted irom his work. In com ht 
betievoB tho ahip to be running into danger, it is kia duty to iict at onu 
bia ow:i judgment, and take the necessary precaationaiy measores; be will, 
however, immediately, pass the word to call the Commander. No Officer ia 
on any oocaaion to leave the deck during his watch, nor until be ia reUeTeil 
of hifl duty. 

" With a view of providing for greater security, and to lessen the risk of 
collision, when the Company's vessels are navigating the English Chumel, 
between a meridian lice drawn from UKhant to the Lixard, and Qrav«seDd, 
when crossing to any CoatJnentaJ Port, or using the Irish or North Su 
ChannelH, between any ports there Hitoated and the Thames, &» Offleera u 
to be divided into two watches for the purpose of look-out, etc., but only the 
Commander or Chief Officer will be recogniied as in charge of the ship, and 
one of those Officers is to be on the bridge, no matter whether there ia i 
pilot on board or not. 

" Whenever a ship is in the vicinity of land — as, for eiami^e, the Qnlf of 
Suez, Straits of Qlbraltar, or Malacca, or running along the coast, socb ai 
the coast of Spain and Portugal, Malabar Coast, and Ceylott — Uien oulj 
two watches shall be kept, or, in other words, the dnty shall be carried 
on watch and watch, the Chief Officer in chai^ of one, and the Seoocd 
Officer the otitor, as provided for in the Elnglish Channel by the preSMit 

" On approaching port, or when in narrower waters than the abovc~-at, for 
example, tlio Slxails of Perim, Bonifacio, or Mestna — then all haads sfasJl be on 
deck and at stations for the purpose of ensuring a proper and efficient 

" A most careful and vigilant look-out is to be kept at all times, both by 
day and night By day there must always bo one man on (he look-oot 
forward, under every circumetauce of time and place. At night an A.B. 
and one Lascar forward, and a Lascar on the bridge, who are to oall their 
stations when the bcU is struck. This latter r^ulatton is to be ooiried oat 
also by day when the weather is thick or foggy, or extra precaution ia 
desirable from the proximity of land, or shipping, or steaming in na 
waters. A look-out man is to be kept at the mast-head when in the vie 
of land, reefs, or shoals, and when any lights, or other leadiog marks oi 
line of route are expected to be made, either by day or night 

" A prudent bcrtli is to be giveu to all headlands, islands, shoals, and tlw ' 
coast generally, and the Commaaders are particularly enjoined, on neariog 
the land, or in places of intricate navigation, to take frequent croa-bearingp 
of any well-defmed landmarks that may be visible, and suitable for vending 
the ship's positiotL Should the weather be either so dark, or so thick, as to 
obscore the usual landmarks, and tbe exact place of the ship nut be accurately 
and unmistakably known, the engines must be eased, and, if necessary, ■ 
slopped, and the lead kept going. 

"The Directors desire to impress on the Commanders and Officers iha 
great Importance they attach to the use of the lead ; not only must it bo used * 
on entering or lenving port, but at night, and in thick weather ; whenever the 

land IB being approached, or the ahip ia in prozimitj of danger. The nee of 
the lead must not be confined to oocaaions where doubt aa to the position of 
the ship may exist, but must be employed to verify the supposed place, even 
Then there \a every reason to presame that tho same is correctJy kaowo." 

^' The total present fleet of the P. and 0. Company is 53 shipa, 
with a total register tonnage of 142,320 tons. 

The P. and 0. has not, any more than any of the other 
great steamship companies, been entirely exempt from 
casualties, although upon the whole they have been exceed- 
ingly fortunate. Of recent years, perliaps, one of their worst 
misfortunes was the total loss of their steamer Bolluira, a ship 
of 2944 tons, and 2500 horse-power, which in 1893, in the 
midst of a typhoon, struck on the dangerous rocks which 
surround the Pescadores, a group of islands near Formosa, in 
the China seas, and foundered with all on board, only seven 
Europeans and sixteen Lascars escaping alive. The survivors 
foimd shelter in a deserted hut on the island, where they 
managed to subaiat for a fow days. Evcntnally the Mandarin 
at Makung heard of the wreck, and of the fact that there 
were a few survivors, and he accordingly sent for them, re- 
ceiving them in splendid style, giving them champagne, 
excellent food, and new clothes. The whole party, in fact, 
lived for three days "like fighting cocks" at the Mandarin's 
expense. A steamer then took them to Faiwan Foo, and 
ultimately they got to Hong-Kong on board H.M.S. Porpoise. 

In recognition of the friendly ofScea of the Mandarin of 
the Pescadores, the English Government presented him with a 
valuable piece of plate, and the presentation was publicly 
made to him on the quarter-deck of the Porpoise, a large 
body of Chinese being invited to witness the ceremony. 

Their worst disaster of still more recent years was the 
total loss of the Aden, which occurred off the island of 
Socotra, at the mouth of the Gulf of Aden, in 1897. The 
yidev, Captain K. E. Hill, R.N.R, left Yokohama on the 
23rd of April, 1897, with a number of passengers and a 
valuable cargo, calling at Colombo, which port she left on 
the 1st of June. She was a steel ship, built at Middlesborough 
in 1892, 366 feet in length, with a net registered tonnage of 
2517 tons, her gross tonnage being 4200 tons; and she was 



fitted with triple-expansion engines wcxrking up to 3000 
horse-power. The Aden was not one of the first-dass msil- 
boatSy but was what is termed an ^ intermediate boat,** oanrying 
some passengers, but relying principally on carga She 
carried six ordinary boats and three lifeboatSy besides other 
life-saving appliances ; she had a crew of 83 all told, of whom 
23 were Europeans and 60 Lascars ; and upon this ocoasioii had 
84 passengers on board. 

The Aden had banker capacity for 470 tons of ooal, and as* 
great part of this had been bomt daring the passage ftom 
Yokohama, she filled ap with coal at Colombo, taking on 
board an extra 75 tons, which was for the most part phoad 
on deck. These extra coals were taken on board in order to 
avoid calling at Aden, vessels teaching at that port being at 
that time sabject to quarantine. Having finished ooaling at 
four o'clock in the afternoon of the 1st of Jane, the Adm left 
Colombo for Havre and London. 

Owing to very bad weather in crossing the Arabian Sea, on 
the 5th and 6th of June, there being a strong south-west 
monsoon and a very heavy sea, it became necessary to lower 
the coal on deck ; and in order to get the coal into the bunkers, 
the ship was brought head to sea at half speed on Monday 
morning, the 7th, so as to enable her to ride as easily as 
possible while the coal was being shifted. As soon as this 
work was completed, which was next day, full speed was 
resumed, the ship's course being altered more to tiie north, 
with the object of passing to the north of the island of Socotia. 

After leaving Colombo the weather had been so bad that no 
observations had been possible until Tuesday, the 8th, when 
the ship's position was ascertained. At about 2.30 aju. on 
Wednesday, June 9th, the weather being then very bad, and 
the night pitch dark, the ship struck heavily. The water at 
once began to pour into the engine-room and the stoke-hold, 
and in ten minutes the fires were extinguished and the electric 
light went out, the cabins and the saloon being filled with 
steam. Blue lights were burned and rockets discharged, and 
the boats were got ready for lowering as soon as daylight 
should appear. 

All the boats on the weather aide were destroyed by the 


heftvy seas breaking over the ship, and attention waa < 
trated on those to leeward. One of the starboard boats on 
being lowered was struck by a sea, and broke adrift with three 
lascars in her. The chief officer, seeing this, jumped overboard 
and swam to recover her. The second oflScer was then sent 
in the cutter to recover the chief officer and the boat; but 
the fury of the wind and the tremendous seas swept both 
boats away, end neither of them was ever seen again. 

Only one lifeboat, forward, on the starboard side, now 
remained, and this, with the third officer in it, was lowered to 
the rail, so as to embark the passengers, but continuous heavy 
seas pouring over the ship from windward carried away the 
after fall, and swept everybody out. The fourth officer let go 
the foremost fall, slid down and unhooked it, and so the boat 
righted. He then swam after the stewardess, who had been 
washed out of the boat, and got her on board again, the thin! 
officer saving two other non-swimmers. 

The boat was again manned by the third and fourth officers, 
the surgeon, three stewards, the carpenter, and some lascars; 
and seventeen of the passengers, all ladies and children, 
were then lowered down into her. The order was issued — " No 
husbands in that boat" — -so that some of the ladies absolutely 
refused to go, preferring to remain on the ship with their 
husbands rather than be separated from them at that terrible 

As the boat could not possibly remain alongside for a minute 
longer than was absolutely necessary, the captain ordered her 
to shove off at once, and to make for the laud, which by this 
time was visible through the mist and spray. All on board 
the wreck anxiously watched the boat as she rose on the crests 
of the great waves. Twelve were pulling, apparently with all 
their strength, but instead of nearing the land, she was gradu- 
ally being carried away from it by the tremendous force of the 
storm. She was visible until she was about a mile and a hall' 
off, and then was lost to sight in the gloom and haze. After 
this she was never seen or heard of again. 

The captain, the third and fourth engineers, and seventeen 
of the passengers, together with the greater part of the 
iascars, remained on board the ship, the former taking refuge 




omidabips, of whom eight were, one by one, washed amy; 
whilst the lascars crowded together in the fore part of tha 

After the boat left the ship the weather became, if possible, 
worse, and from early morning on the 9tb until four o'clock in 
the afternoon green seas kept coatinually pouring over tha 
ship. One of these seas caught the captain, dashing him over 
to leeward, and breaking his leg in two places ; and before 
any one could go to his assistance another great sea came and 
washed him away altogetheT. 

For seventeen days the survivors, Europeans and lascai^ 
remained upon the wreck, which was firmly Used on the rocks, 
a mile south-east of Bas fiadressa, at the eastern extremity of 
the island of Socotra, an island which is 70 miles long and 25 
broad. During this time several steamers were seen to pass, 
and the lascars did all they could to signal them ; but 
either the signals were not seen, or the weather was too bad 
for a vessel safely to approach the scene of the disaster; 
the consequence being that these people were left on the 
wreck until the 26th of .Tune, when they were ultimately 
rescued by the Mayo, a G^verament steamer, which, with two 
P. and O. steamers, the BoAilla, and the Ili/daspes, had been 
sent out to look for the Aden, and to render any EissistaQCS 
that might be required. 

The whole of the lied Sea, although the highway for in- 
numerable ships, is very insufficiently lighted, if it can be said 
to be lighted at all ; and the need of some kind of a light on 
Cape Guardefui, or ou Socotra, has long been urged upon tha 
authorities. A correspondent of the Tiiaes, writing shortly 
after the Adert disaster, quoted a remark of the captain of the 
Orient IJner Orizaba, who once said, "They never will put a 
light on Socotra until some F. and 0. boat has been lost there." 
This condition has now been fulfilled. 

Since the loss of the Adf^i the P. and O. have suffered 
another very heavy blow in the total loss of the China, one of 
their newest, largest, and finest boats, which was put ashore uff 
the island of Perim at the entrance of the Bed Sea. Fortn* 
nately upon this occasion no lives were lost, so that it was s 
matter which chiefly concerned the shareholders of the Company 


id the oaptain^ whose certificate was dealt with by the 
rart of Inquiry, held after the wreck.* More recently still 
-that is to say, on July 1, 1898, another of their large 
eamerSy the Cfanges, was bomt in the harbour at Bombay, so 
lat during the last year or two the P. and 0. would appear to 
aye had their full share of misfortunes. 

* See the Ck>mpany*8 Begnlation, page 158, '* On approaching port, etc.** 
in September, 1898, the Ohinaf which had been ashore, and full of water, for 
yver three months, was snccessfiilly got off the rocks, and taken into the 
laibonr of Perim, to be temporarily repaired, preparatory to sending her to 



The Royal Mail Steam Packet Company — Commencement of tlie Compaoy— 
The first subsidy — ^The first year's balance-eheet— The first shipe— TIm 
amomit of the subsidy reduced— The Toumanian — ^Disasters among tiis 
fleet— The loss of the Amazon — ^Further disasters— The recent mafl 
contracts — ^The present fleet— Freights— Treasure and qpecie. 

The Boyal Mail Steam Packet Oompany, perhaps moie 
generally known as the West India Maily was started in 1839, 
the Charter of Incorporation being dated September 26th of 
that year ; it is consequently one of the oldest of the existing 
steam-packet companies. It runs two lines of steamers firom 
Southampton, one fortnightly to the West Indies and Central 
America ; the other, once a fortnight, to Brazil and the River 

In March, 1841, the Royal Mail Steam Packet Company 
entered into a contract with the Government for the convey- 
ance of the mails between England and the West Indies ; and 
they commenced business upon a larger scale than any other 
company had ventured to do up to that time. They began 
with fourteen large steamships, representing a tonnage of 
25,000 tons, all of them being fitted with engines of not less 
than 400 horse-power. 

The conditions of the contrtu5t between the Company and 
the Government were for a fortnightly mail service to the 
island of Barbadoes, via Corunna and Madeira. After staying 
at Barbadoes not longer than six hours, the steamer was to 
proceed, viu St. Vincent, to Grenada, where the stoppage was 
not to exceed twelve hours ; and from thence the course was 
to be via St. Thomas, Hayti, Santiago-de-Cuba, to Port Royal, 
Jamaica. At Port Royal a longer stay was not to be made 
^ban twenty'four hours ; and ttie stoejxieit ^%a ^Jck^XL to proceed 


to Havana. For this mail service the Company was to receive 
£240,000 a year for ten years, from the lat of January, 1842. 

Large oa this subsidy appears, yet from the total inexperi- 
ence of the directors in the management of steamships, and 
from the fact that the commanders of the steamers were, for 
the most part, naval oEdcera, who knew but little of steam, 
and nothing whatever of the requirements of a merchant ship, 
the first year's balance-sheet showed a deficit uf no less than 
£79,790 ! 

The first steamer carrying the mail under this contract was 
the Iliames, which left Falmouth on the 3rd of January, 1842 ; 
and she was followed at intervals of a fortnight by the Dee, 
the Medway, the Tcviol, and the Trent. For eight years the 
Royal Mail ran only to the West Indies, but in 1850, upon 
the Company undertaking to provide a monthly mail service 
to Brazil, to accelerate the speed of the West Indian line from 
eight knots an hour to ten knots, and to add five new steamers 
to their fleet, each of 2250 tons, and 800 horse-power, the 
Government granted a renewal of the mail contract for another 
ten years, with the annual subsidy increased from £240,000 to 

After a time a public outcry was raised against such large 
sums being annually paid to the Royal Mail Company for the 
mail service, and several members of the House of Commons 
insisted upon the matter being thrown open to public compe- 
tition. The directors, seeing clearly that one of two things 
would happen ; either that they would have to do the work for 
less money, or that they would lose it altogether, adopted the 
former alternative, and in 1874, accepted an annual subsidy 
of £86,750, being considerably less than a third of what they 
were receiving in 1850. 

The Company at the some time resolved to maintain a higher 
state of efficiency in their fleet, and determined to build some 
new steamers which should attain a higher rate of speed than 
any of their existing ships ; and in the year 1871, the Tagus 
and the Moselle were launched from the yard of Messrs. John 
Elder and Co. The Tatjus, which was a vessel of 2789 tons, 
and 600 horse-power, attained a mean speed of 148 knots per 
hour on her trial trip; whibt the Moselle, a sister ship, of 32QQ 


tons, BOrpaseed her, Laviug made 14'9 knots per hour as the 
Bverage of four runs over the measured mile. 

About the same time the Company purchased the Tasm<mian, 
an iron screw-steamer, from the unfortunate European and 
Australian Steam Navigation Company.* This steamer, whicJi 
in 1871, was fitted by Messrs. John Elder and Co. with new 
compound engines, made her first voyage to St. Thomas in 338 
hours (14 days 2 hours) with a consumption of only 466 tons 
of coal, although before she was newly engined she consmned 
1088 tons of coal on a run of 349 hours, 

The steamers of the Eoyal Mail Steam Packet Company were 
all exceptionally strongly built, with a view to their carr3ring 
heavy guns, and that they might, should war arise, with very 
little cost be made serviceable for the purposes of the Royal 
Navy. In spite, however, of their being provided with fine ships, 
the Company was singularly unfortunate, losing in the first ten 
years of its existence no less than seven large steamers. The 
first catastrophe was the loss of the Ids, off Bermuda, on the 
8th of October, 1842. This was succeeded, on the 15th of 
April of the following year, by the loss of the Solway, twenty 
miles to the west of Corunna, when the captain, some of the 
officers, crew, and passengers, sixty in all, were lost. The 
third ship was the Medina, which was wrecked on the 12th of 
May, 1844, on a coral reef near Turk Island, in the Bahamas. 
The fimrth ship was the Ticeed-, which was lost on the 12th of 
February, 1847, on the Alicranes reef, off Yucatan, in the Gulf 
of Mexico. Her crew and passengers amounted upon that 
occasion to 151 persons, of whom 72 were drowned. On the 
1st of February, 1849, the Forth, which was one of the largest 
steamers of the Company, being of 1900 tons, and 450 horae- 
^lower, was totally lost on the same reef; and in 1850, the 
Actwon was wrecked off Carthagena. But perhaps the most 
terrible catastrophe of all that befell the Royal Mail Steam 
Packet Company was the loss of the Amazon, which occurred 
in 1852. 

The Amazon was built by Messrs. R. and H. Green Bt 

Blackwall in 1851. She was the largest wooden merchant 

ship that had been constrncted up to that time, being 300 

• Sec tlie reference to this Company iii the preceding chapter. 

feet long, 41 feet beam, and 32 feet in depth. She was 2256 
tons register, and was, like all her predecessors, a paddle- 
wheel steamer. Her engines, constructed by Seaward and 
Cape!, of Millwall, were of 800 horae-power, the diameter of 
the cylinders being 9tJ inches, and the stroke 9 feet. The 
paddle-wheels were 41 feet in diameter, and made fourteen 
rcTolutions per minute, giving a speed by log of 11 knots 
per hour on her trial trip. 

When Hurreyed by the Admiralty previous to her departure 
from Southampton, she was reported capable of carrying, in 
case of being wanted for warlike purposes, fourteen 32-poiinder8, 
and two 10-inch pivot-guns of 85 cwt. each, on her main deck. 
Her coal-bunkers were constructed to carry 1000 tons of coal ; 
and as she was reckoned to bum 60 tons a day in her 26 
furnaces, it was calculated that she would carry over sisteen 
and a half days' supply, if she were going at full speed. She 
Has magnificently fitted up, and had cost, when ready for sea, 
Bthet over £100,000. 

On Friday, the 2nd of January, 1852, the Amazon, under 
the command of Captain Symons, left Southampton for the i 

West Indies, with a crew of 110, together with 50 passengers, " 

and & large and valuable cargo. She was to go direct to St. j 

ThnniES, at which point branch packets were to meet her for J 

the Torious West India Islands, and for the Gnlf of Mexico. 1 

On the day after she left Southampton, while steaming at I 

the rate of nine knots in the teeth of a strong gale from the j 

Booth-west, some of the bearings of the engines showed signs 
of heating, and twice the engines had to be stopped in order 
io cool them, in one instance for over two hours and a half. 
After this the engines appeared to work better, and showed 
10 farther signs of heating. But the next day, at midnight, 
'then the ship was about 110 miles west-south-west of the 
Scilly Islands, the watch on deck discovered, to their dismay, 
that a fire had broken out suddenly, on the starboard side, 
forward, between the steam-chest and the galley, the flames 
at once rushing up the gangway in front of the forward 

The alarm-bell was at once sounded, and immediately 
Captain Symons and the officers were on deck, W\> oi^'^ Vs 


find that the flames were being spread by the gale in eTery 
direction, and that already the fire was far beyond anything 
that buckets of water or wet blankets could do to allay it. 
Unfortunately, it was some little time before the fire-pmnpa 
could be rigged, and meanwhile the fury of the fire re- 
mained entirely unchecked. 

The greatest terror and confusion ensued. Passengers 
and crew rushed on deck in the wildest dismay ; and to make 
matters worse, the fire and the smoke had driven the engineers 
from the engine-room, so that the engines conld not be 
stopped, and the Amazon waa dashing through the waves at 
full speed, which with the strong gale that was blowing, 
caused the fire to rage with additional fierceness. 

Recourse was now had to the boats, of which there were nine 
on boEird, five of them being lifeboats; but, as is too often 
the case, they were not clear, and could not easily he lowered. 
Two of the largest boats were stowed on the top of the 
eponsons, just where the fire was at its worst, and they could 
not even be got at. The mail-boat was lowered, and was 
instantly filled, five and twenty people crowding into her; 
but before ahe could get away from the ship she was swamped, 
and the whole of her occupants were drowned. The pinnace, 
when lowered, sheered across the sea before the people in her 
could unhook the fore-tackle, and they too, were all washed 
out and drowned, except two men who clung to the thwarts, 
and were able to scramble back to the ship. The boat itself, 
which hung by the single tackle, was soon afterwards dashed 
to pieces against the sides of the ship. 

At last, by great efforts, fomteen of the crew and two of 
the passengers sncceeded in lowering one of the starboard life- 
boats, and managed to get clear of the ship ; whilst nineteen 
of the crew and six of the passengers got away in another. 
A young midshipman named Vinceut, the chief steward, one 
young lady passenger, and two sailors, managed to lower the 
dinghy, and so escape. These forty-six persons were all that 
were saved out of a hundred and sixty-one who had left 
Southampton in the Amazon only two days previously. 

Between three and four o'clock in the morning the main-mast 
of the vessel fell over to starboard, and almost immediately 




Bl'terwards the fore-mast went over to port. The mizeu- 
maet and the two fuimels were still standing, but the ship 
WIS then simply one great furnace. Even then, at the 
extreme end of the jib-boom, was seen one poor fellow 
clinging on, but he, too, soon after perished. At five o'clock 
the gunpowder in her magazine exploded; and in about a 
(juarter of an hour later the mizeu-mast went over the side, 
and the Amazon weut down how foremost, the funnels still 
standing, but red hot. 

Besides the loss of the Amazon the Company received 
another heavy blow in the loss of the Demcrara, which was 
stranded at Bristol ; while still more recently, — in 1886 — one 
uf their steamers, the ffumber, left Southamptouon the 1st of 
December, for Brazil, with a crew of 56 hands and a number 
of passengers, and was never again heard of. 

The Company are their o\¥n underwriters, and even in 
«pite of all these disasters the insurance fund has proved a 
furly remunerative one for the shareholders, who have 
received nearly fifty per cent, of the amounts transferred to 
it; in other words, the Company have done fifty per cent. 
better than insuring outside. 

A new West Indian contract for five years was commenced 
on July 1, 1880, the subsidy being £80,000 per annum. 
Ill 16S5, it was renewed for £90,00U a year. In 1890, it was 
Bgain renewed for five years' at £85,000 ; whilst in 1895 another 
five years* contract was taken at £80,000 a year. 

At the present time the Royal Mail Steam Packet Company 
owns twenty-two fine steamers, representing a tonnage of 
nearly 80,000 tons; the most recent addition to the fleet 
being the Nile, an extremely handsome ship, of 5946 tons, 
and 7500 indicated horse-power. She is employed in the 
Brazilian service, to Rio de Janeiro and the river Plate, as 
also is her sister ship, the Barmbe. There are six arrivals and 
sii departures each month, four being mail steamers — the fort- 
nightly mail to the West Indies and the fortnightly mail to 
'te Brazils, and two what are called intermediate boats. 

The Company has a large passenger and freight trade from 
England, and there is a large emigration trade from, tk* 
Spanish and Portuguese peninsula to Brazil aud t^e ^vsei 


Plate. FieightB, however, as is the case with erevy othei 
line of steamen, axe very low now oompaied with what thej 
nsed to be. For what, in 1850, the Oompaay woce gettinj 
seren or eight pounds a ton, they aie now getting about thirt] 
shillings. The same remark applies equally to treasoxe sac 
to specie, the trade being cut intcs not oolj by other EngUd 
oompanies, bat also by foreign tobsoIs. About 1865^ a Franeli 
line of steamers was started to the West Indies, and later 
on a French line to Braiil, and the Biyer Plate, both heavily 
subsidised bythe French Govemment; so that as a role then 
is now, besides the Boyal Mail boats, a large steamer fin 
Europe arriving in Bio de Janeiro nearly every day. Mat 
of the treasure and specie came £rom the PaciAe ports norlk 
and south of Panama, and from the Oulf of Mezioo. Ihe 
greater part was silver, and the rate of freight was over oni 
per cent, so that it was exceedingly remunerative; now tlM 
rate is not half that, whilst at the same time the amoimt d 
silver coming to this country is nothing like what it ussd to 
be ; the great bulk of the silver going now to San FrandM^ 
and thence across the Pacific to China and Japan. 

In September, 1860, one of the West India boats arrived 
in Southampton with treasure to the value of £1,248,000. 
The weight was 156 tons 5 cwt., and the money and ban d 
silver were contained in 2124 packages, which filled thirty- 
six waggons, drawn by a hundred and thirteen horses fioiB 
Nine Elms to the Bank of England. 



The Orient Line— The early ahipa— The Orient— The present Ceet— The 
, Ophir — Aurilinry ateaniBhipa — The Union Steamship Company — The 

V firetsMps— Their present fleet — The Scot — The lengthening of the Seot — 
K The A'ot-nwji— The Brifoti— Tho Castle Lino— The BlearoerH of the 
" Castle Lbe— The loss of the Drummond CasUt — Tlio Allan Line— The 

White Star Line— The American Line— The Inraan Line — Other great 

sleamship lines. 

The trade to the Mediterraoeaa and to tlie AuBtralian 
Colonies by way of the Suez Caniil was clearly of far too 
valuable a nature to be left very long exclusively to tbe P. 
and O. ; and in 1877, the two well-known shipping firms of 
Anderson, Anderson and Co., and F. Gieen and Co., started 
a new line of steamers to Australia under the name of tbe 
Orient Line, and the first steamship to leave London under 
the new flag of tbe Orient Steam Navigation Company was 
the Garoimt. 

Besides the Garonne, the other original steamers of the new 
Company were the Lvsitania. the Cluinborazo, and tbe Cuzco, 
ships previoualy employed in the trade between Liverpool and 
the Pacific ports of South America. Tbe Ouzco waa built in 
1870, by the firm of John Elder and Co., and the Chimboraso, 
a sister ship, was launched from the same yard in 1871. The 
Gannnie waa also built in 1871, but by Eobert Napier and Sons. 
These ships were all very much alike, and although large for 
their time, yet look small now, when seen in proximity to tbe 
much larger ships of the present day. They were each 370 
feet in length between perpendiculars, 41 feet beam, end 
35 feet depth of hold, and were all of about 3850 tons, gross 
tonnage. They used to make tbe voyage from Liverpool to 
Valparaiso in forty-two days. 



These comparatively small veasela were very soon supple- 
mented, and afterwards entirely superseded, by mach larg«i 
and faster ebips, the first to be placed on the line being the 
Oj-ient. She was built aiid engined on the Clyde by Meois. 
Elder and Co. Her principal dimensions are : length between 
perpendiculars, 445 feet ; breadth, 46 feet ; depth, 36 feet 10 
inches; gross tonnage, 5385 tons; and displacement weight 
9500 tons. Her engines are of 550O indicated horse-power, 
and her average speed at sea is 14^ knots. 

The Orient has four masts, three iron decks, and is divided 
by bulkheads into thirteen water-tight compartments. She 
can carry, in addition to 3000 tons of Welsh coal for her own 
consumption, 3600 tons of measurement cargo. She has 
passenger accommodation for 120 first-class, 140 second-class, 
and 300 third-class passengers. If she were required as a 
transport, and was entirely devoted to troops, the Orienl could 
convey 3000 men and 400 horses, with all their proper stores, 
at one and the same time. 

The Orient is fitted with compound engines, having three 
cylinders — one high-pressure cylinder of 60 inches diameter, 
and two low-pressure cyliiLders, each of 85 inches diameter. 
The propeller is four-bladed, the diameter of the screw being 
22 feet, and the pitch 30 feet. The steam is supplied by four 
boilers, each 15 feet 6 inches in diameter by 17 feet 6 inches 
long. The vessel is fitted with steam steering-gear, steam 
windlass, five steam winches, and has in all sixteen separate 
steam-engines for different purposes on board. 

The present mail fieet of the Orient Line consists of nine 
ships, with an aggregate register tonnage of 28,066 tons ; some 
of the ships, however, sailing under the Orient flag — as, for 
example, the Oroya, the Oruba, and others — belong to the 
Pacific Steam Navigation Company, and simply sail in the 
Orient Line. 

The latest addition to the Orient fieet is the Ofhir, twin- 
screw, which, although a larger and much more powerful steamer 
than the earlier ship, the QrUiil, is hardly as handsome a 
vessel as that ship. She is 3223 tons register, 6900 tons gross, 
and her displacement at the load-line is 12,362 tons. 
length 18 482 feet ; beam, 5^ teetBmcVea-, «B44«?th,37 feet 



She is fitted with triple expaoBion engines, working up to 
9500 horse-power. Tiia two sets of engines for working the 
twin Bcrewa are placed aide by aide in the ship, with a water- 
tight bulkhead mnning fore and aft between them, so that if 
fmra collision or any other cause one set of engines were dis- 
abled, and one of the engine-rooms full of water, the ship could 
still steam ahead with the other set of engines. The high- 
pressure cylinder of each engine is 34 inches diameter, the 
intermediate cylinder 51i inches, and the low-pressure 85 
mches, the stroke being 54 inches. The two screws hare a 
pitch of 23 feet 4 inches, and at 102 revolutions made a knot 
on the measured mile in 3 minutes 12 seconds, or at the rate 
ot 18'75 knots per hour ; but with an average of 82 revolutions 
the Ophir steamed from the Cloch Light, in the Clyde, to 
Soathend, at the mouth of the Thames, in 48 hours. For 500 
milea of this trip she gave a speed of 16 knots, with a coal- 
consumption of 110 tons in 24 hours. 

The boilers are seven in number, and they work at a pressure 
of 160 lbs. to the square inch. They are divided into two 
groups, four of the boilers being placed in a compartment next 
the engines, while the other three are in a separate boiler-room 
thirty feet dbtant, with coal-bunkers between. This arrange- 
ment has necessitated the great distance, more than a hundred 
feet, between the two funnels. The Ophir has simply two pole- 
masts, as, being fitted with twin screws, she is not required by 
ihe Board of Trade to carry any canvas. This, of coarse, is 
> practical, common-sense arrangement, but not an arrange- 
meat at all conducive to the beauty of the ship. As a partial 
preventative against rolling, the Ophir is fitted with deep 

The Orient boats leave the Tilbury Docks for Australia 
every other Friday, working the weekly Australian mail alter- 
nately with the P. and 0. boats; and for this they receive 
from the Government en annual subsidy of £85,000. The 
st«amers call at Plymouth to embark the heavy portion of the 
mails the day after leaving Tilbury ; four days later the ships 
are due at Gibraltar ; and nine days after leaving Tilbury they 
UE at Naples, The ships go through the Canal, calling at 
L Cokmbc^ and arrire at Albany, Australia, in 33 d&'y& liom ^)&& 


Thames, and Sydney in 48 days. The mails, which tea^e 
London a week later than the steamer, and which traTel by 
Dover, Calais, and Paris into Italy, are taken on board at 
Naples, thus reaching Albany in 32 days from London, and 
Adelaide in 36 days ; from whence tbey are sent on by rail U 

The Orient Company, when first established, sent their 
ships, on the outward passage, round the Cape of Good Hope, 
and they came home by the canal ; now they go through the 
Canal both going out and coming home. 

Before steam had made such progress as it has done during 
the last forty years, a kind of compromise was proposed 
between steam and sails, resnlting in what were called 
auxiliary screws ; and in 1856, Mr. W. 8. Lindsay undertook to 
convey in seven steamers of this description the mails between 
London and the Cape of Good Hope. 

The vessels thus employed were built entirely of iron, and 
were ship-rigged ; and as their engines were only &om 80 tu 
120 horse-power, nominal, on a tonnage of trom 800 to 1500 
tons, gross, they were purely anxiliary steam vessels. Under 
sail their speed was from 10 to 11 knots with a favourable 
wind, and under steam alone from 6 to 7 knots in light 
breezes or calms; but with adverse winds they made little or 
no progress, a fact arising in great measure from their small 
steam-power, and from the resistance that their heavy spars 
presented to the wind, so thut after running for twelve months 
these vessels were taken off and the scheme was relinquished. 

At the present time two large companies practically divide 
the trade between England and the Cape of G^iod Hope, the 
Union Steamship Company and the Castle Line, the latter 
belonging to Blessrs Donald Currie and Co. 

The Union Steamship Company was the first in the field. It 
was started in 1853, under the title of the "Union Steam 
Collier Company," and commenced business with a fleet of five 
steamers, the Briton, the Sax*m, the Union, the Norinan, and the 
Dane. In 1857, a contract was obtained for a monthly mail 
service to the Cape of Good Hope, for five years, at a subsidy 
of £30,000 per annum. The charge made by the Post Office 
for canjiag letters at that time to t\iQ C«.^ wea a shilling 



per half-ouDce, and the contract time between England and 
Cape Town was thirty^even days. At the expiration of the 
first contract it was renewed, and for some years the Union 
Cumpany had a monopoly of the mail service to the Cape ; but 
i further extension of their contract in 1868, by Mr. Robert 
Lowe, then Chancellor of the Exchequer, met with bo mach 
opposition that the House of Commons refused to ratify it, and 
the Union Steamship Company's rights were allowed to expire 
b 1876. 

VVTien the postal contract was renewed in 1876, the mail 
aerrice was equally divided between the Union Company and 
the Castle Line, which had then been started some three 
or four years, an arrangement ever since adhered to, and 
rftiently confirmed for a period of seven years dating from 
October, 1893, the Post Office charge for letters being reduced 
to the uniform rate of 21^(1. the half-ounce, and the contract time 
to nineteen days. 

After obtaining the mail contract larger vessels were con- 
liQually being added to the fleet, eventually entirely super- 
seding the original email boats ; the Arab, of 1962 tons 
Twister, being in 1870, the largest of the Company's ships. 
This steamer was followed by still larger vessels, among them 
being the Moor, the Spartan, the Mexican, and others. The 
Mrxican, which may be taken as a representative of the rest, 
W88 of 2941 tons register, and 600 horse-power, nominal, work- 
ing np to 4600 horse-power. Her length was 378 feet, 
bread^ 47 feet, and depth 29 feet 3 inches. Her speed 
wally averaged 14 knots. Her fastest passage out from 
Southampton to Cape Town was 17 days; and her fastest 
pwage home from Cape Town to Southampton, 17 days 12 

Now a new departure was to be taken in the type of ship. 
Hitherto, in common with all the lines of ocean steamers, the 
vesBels were sailing-ships fitted with engines and ecrew-pro- 
pellers; and as a rule they had three masts, with yards on the 
Ibie and main masts, the sails being largely relied upon for 
the safety of the ship. A new pattern was now to come into 
vogne ; and nautical men all allow that it is by vessels of 
flffl new type that the greatest triumphs have been won, — the 


greatest Tiotoriee oTer time and epaoe. Instead of masli Ikfb 
new ships have merely poles, nseAd fbr ■jga^ling pmpiisM 
The yessel is not a modified sailing-ship^ bat a sIsnMt 
expressly built for going by steam alone^ and not by wind. . 

Of sach a type was the Sed, twinHKsrew, lannohed on tht 
30th of December, 1860, firom the yard of Meam Demiy,sf 
Dumbarton. She was the largest steamer iqp to that 
the Cape trade, being of 8169 tras register, fitted with 
of 1254 horse-power, nominal, working np to 12,000 
power. Her length oyer all was 600 feet, bceadtii 64 ftst 6 
inches, and depth 87 feet 6 inches. Her speed waa 17 knots; 
her fastest passage oat firom Soathampton being 14 days 11 
hoars; and her fiistest home, 18 days 26 hoars. 

The performances of the 8eoi were, howerer, not oonsidsnd 
entirely satisfiMStory, and in 1896, it was detennined to hais 
her cat in half and lengthened. Althongh the eatting ii 
half, and the lengthening of a great ship is not altogotkersi 
onosoal or by any means a rare oconrrenoe, yet it is not n 
eyeryday operation, and as it is one inyolying a oonsidflnfab 
amount of skill, care, and nicety, it may be well to describe 
the lengthening of the Scot somewhat in detaiL When the 
determination was come to that the Scot should be lengthened, 
it was decided to send the ship to Messrs. Harland and 
Wolff, of Belfietst, who had then just completed the Nomum 
for the Union Company, and to have her length incressed 
by 54 feet amidships. Messrs. Harland and Wolff engaged 
the Alexandra Graving Dock at Bel&st, one of the largest 
dry-docks in the world, in which to execute the somewhat 
delicate operation of cutting the Scot in two just forward of 
the foremost boiler-room bulkhead, hauling the two halTes 
asunder, and adding the required 54 feet. 

When the ship had been docked, the water was pumped oat 
of the dock, and time allowed for the settlement of the ship on 
the keel blocks, specially prepared, of hard wood capped with 
iron plates. The work was then commenced for moving the 
forward part of the hulL Begular launching-ways were laid 
underneath the vessel, supported at short intervals on blocks 
of timber and wedges extending from amidships to between 
Sfty and sixty feet beyond the stem. Thoroughly level and 

well'greased blocks of timber in pairs, 18 inches square, were 
laid as a base for the cradle, to support the ship and to steady 
the whole during the operation of moving. Meanwhile drillers 
were hard at work boring out all the rivets in the ahell-plnting, 
frames, stringers, etc., in line with the midship water-tight 
bulkhead. The stauciiioiis carrying the promenade deck 
were also removed »s far aft as the line of separation, 
strong shore-timbers being firmly fixed to the edge of this 
deck by angle-irons and chains, the lower ends resting on 
wedges. The lower edges of the various houses on the 
under-deck were then severed by all the rivets being bored 
out, chains and screws for tightening being attached at the 
bottom to short lengths of angle-iron bolted to a stringer, 
their ends being securely bolted to the outer edges of the 
framing of the promenade deck. 

A cradle was gradually erected under the vessel, and kept 
in place at the head by angle-irons at the top and sides 
where it touched the hull, rivetted to the skin of the ship ; 
and at bottom by stretchers of timber, and chains made fast 
to eye-bolls passing through the bottom binder. Strong 
chains were sluug from the top binder, passing under the 
keel to prevent lateral motion. To enable the hauling-gear 
to be attached to the hull a pair of heavy angle-iron bars 
were bolted near the keel almost amidships, to which massive 
chain cables were connected by shackles, and then led forward 
inside the launching ways with hea^-y blocks at the outer 
end, through which the hauliug-ropes were rove ; straps of 
bar-iron and double angles were bolted to the ship's sides — 
four on each side — to which chains and steel hawsers were 
attached, further to assist in the hauling. Two steam 
winches were placed on each side of the dock-gates bolted 
to great logs of timber, and secured to the ground by angle* 
bars, and further rendered immovable by some tons of pig- 
iron resting on the logs. The winches were supplied with 
steam from one of the harbour-commissioners' boilers, these 
winches being assisted by a couple of capstans. 

Everything being now ready, operations were begun shortly 
before ten in the morning, and in an incredibly short space 
of time the huge mass of the fore part of the ship, set va 



motion by hydraulic jacks placed inBide amideliips, commenced 
to move ahead. The winches and capstans coming into play 
kept it going, and in ten minutes the cradle-supports coming, 
in contact with the stop-blocks, 54 feet ahead, showed that] 
the great undertaking waa successfully completed. It waBi 
subsequently found that there had not been the slighteiti 
deviation— horizontal or vertical — in the parts moved, thm' 
showing how mathematically accurate had been the calculations, 
and how adequate the preparations for the operation. 

The work of filling in the new portion of the vessel was but 
a small matter in comparison with the difficulties attendant 
on the cutting asunder and moving the fore part of the ship, 
although even here, by means of frames and stringers, every 
endeavour was used to make the ship stronger than she 
originally was. 

On Saturday, July the 18th, 1896, the Scot, fifty-four feet 
longer than she was before, left Southampton again for the 

In November, 189-1, the steel twin-screw steamer Nvr^maji, 
the next addition to the Union Company's fleet, sailed on 
her first voyage from Southampton to the Cape. She was 
built by Messrs. Harland and Wolff, and was, until the 
advent of the Bi-iton, the largest ship in the Cape trade. 
Her length between perpendiculars is 490 feet; length over 
all, 502 feet; beam, 53 feet; depth, 37 feet 6 inches. Her 
gross tonnage is 7537 tons; register tonnage, 4005 tons; 
and her engines are of 1393 horse-power, nominal. She is built 
throughout of steel, and ia fitted with twin screws, each screw 
being driven by a separate set of triple expansion engines, 
the steam fur which is supplied by seven boilers. The main 
shafts are 17^ inches in diameter, and 149 feet in length. 
The amount of coal burnt in twenty-four hours when steaming 
full speed is 145 tons, the average speed of the ship being from 
16 to 17 knots. The Norman is very handsomely fitted np 
with all the luxury of the most up-to-date ocean liner ; she 
has accommodation for 420 first, second, and third-class 
passengers, and is capable of carrying in addition about 4000 
tons of cargo. She is painted white externally, and has two 
bufT'CoIoured funnels and two pole-masts. 




It may be mentioned, as affording another instance of the 
immense progress that has been made in ocean mail steamers 
(luring the last forty years, that in November, 1857, the iirst 
JV(»i7ian of this Company left Southampton ftir the Cape, 
being only of 460 tons burden, having accommodation for 
20 passengers, and carrying in addition 500 tons of cargo. 
Her average rate of steaming was 7 knots, and she usually 
made the passage to the Cape in 42 days. The present 
Noniian has made the passage from Southampton to the 
Cspe in 14 days 21 hours, thus keeping up an average speed 
during the whole passage of 16-75 knots per hour. 

The most recent ship of the Union Company is the Briton, 
a twin-screw of 10,248 tons. She is 530 feet long, and 60 
feet beam, and is the largest and finest vessel which has ever 
connected England with South Africa. She is entirely 
constructed of steel, of which no less than 5600 tons were 
used in her hall alone ; the frames number 214, whilst many 
of the plates are 29 feet long by 4 feet 6 inches in width, 
varying in thickness from JJ of an inch to l^Ly inches. 
There is a doable bottom extending the whole length of 
the ship capable of taking 1300 tons of water ballast, and 
she is fitted with nine water-tight steel bulkheads extending 
from the floor of the ship to the upper deck. 

The Briton has accommodation for 280 first-class passengers, 
182 second-class, and a large number of third-class passengers, 
whilst her officers and crew, including deck-hands, engineers, 
and firemen, stewards, cooks, waiters, and the like, number no 
less than 240. Her fitting-up is of the most luxorioos 
description, so that below deck she is really more like a large 
first-class hotel than a ship, all the marvels of the np- 
bobterer's and the decorator's arts having been called into 

The ship is lighted throughout by electricity. Her side and 
tuaathead lights are electric, and electric lights are fitted to all 
tte holds for working cargo by night, bo that in all respects 
tlw Briton may be considered as a vessel entirely up to date. 



The Caatle Line commenced operations iu 1812., ■w\\)tt I'wq 
»teafflan% the IceiaTid and the Gothlandy bot'h veasela o^ e^MsaX. 


1400 tons. In 1878, an anangement was oome to with the 
Gape Parliament for a mail aerrioe between Oape Town and 
England, and an allowanoe was made to the Oaatle Line Cor 
the oonTeyanoe of the mail% with an additional bonns of £100 
per diem for their deliTery within the etipolated period of 
87 days, a oonceadon whioh resulted in a net gain to the 
Company of abont a thooaand pounds a voyage. From 1872» 
to 1876, the Castle Company's fleet still eonaisted of ody 
the two Teasels, with a united tonnage of 2800 tons; at tiM 
present time it consists of no less than seventeen laxge shipe^ 
with an aggregate tonnage of 06,086 tona. One of the latest 
additions to Sir Donald Cnrrie's fleet is the ZTmieiyiaift CSuti^ 
boilt by the Fairfield Shipboilding Company, she being the 
eighth steamer for the Castle Line boilt at the FisMeld 
works. Her gross tonnage is 6068 tons; her length over all 
is 465 feet ; breadth, 61 feet ; and depth, 86 feet. TheTeHdis 
rigged with three masts, being sqnaie-iigged on the fotemast 
The hnU is of steel thronghont, bnilt under speoial sorrey 
to class 100 Al at Lloyds. She has a cellular double-bottom 
fore and aft arranged for carrying water ballast, and is subdivided 
into separate compartments by ten water-tight bulkheads 
carried np to the upper deck. There are three decks in all, 
two of which are steel-plated, and there is a very long fore- 
castle, which with the promenade bridge and the poop forms 
practically a fourth deck. 

Accommodation is proyided, in addition to that for the 
ship's complement numbering 187 persons, for 880 first and 
second-class passengers, and 130 third-class. The yessel is 
fitted with triple expansion engines, the steam for which is 
supplied by five boilers of the multitubular marine type, 
with, in all, twenty-six furnaces, and there is one large funneL 
The Dunvegan Castle, in common with all the boats of the 
Castle Line, is painted externally a delicate French grey, 
with a red funnel with black top. 

Among very many recent additions to the Castle Line is 
the Tint€igel GasUe, a particularly handsome single-ecrew 
steamer of 5531 tons. She is 440 feet in length, 50 feeU 
beam, and 33 feet depth of hold. She has a straight stem and. 
elliptical stem, and is rigged witb icmt maiXa, vogoAa^^^g^gi^^ 


on the foremast, and she carries fore and aft canvas on the other 
three. She is fitted with triple expansion engines, the steam 
for which is snpplied by fonr tubular steel boilers. Her 
average rale of speed kept up all the passage is 134 knots, 
not being, of course, at so high a rate as that of the mail boats, 
the Tintagel Castle being what is known as an "intermediate" 


At the present time the Costla boats cany the Cape mail 
of the Imperial Government every other week, the Union 
Company's boats taking the alternate weeks. 

The Castle Line fur many years enjoyed a singular immunity 
from losses at sea, the greatest calamity that ever befell them 
being the total loss of their ship, the Drumiiwinl Castle, off 
the island of Usbant on the 16th of June, 1896. 

The D-nimTno/id Castle was homeward bound from the Cape, 
having on board 2i5 persons — that is to say, a crew of 102, and 
143 passengers, of which large number only three persona 
were saved — two of the crew, and one of the passengers. The 
night of Tuesday the 16th of June, off the mouth of the 
Channel was dark but fairly clear, with some fog in patchea, 
and a drizzling rain. At seven o'clock in the evening the 
steamer Werfa left Brest for Cardiff, and about eleven at 
night, when well outside, and holding a course N.W. by N.^N., 
the mate of her saw the green and masthead lights of a 
large steamer on his port beam apparently steering N.N.E. 
When about a quarter of a mile off, the large steamer ported 
her helm, and showed her red light, passing under the 
Werfa's stem. The mate of the Werfa remarked to the man 
at the wheel of his ship, " She mustn't go far that way, or 
she'll soon be ashore." No human eye, outside tlie ship, ever 
saw the Drummund Castle after this. 

At the official inquiry subsequently held as to the loss of 
the ship, according to the evidence of the single passenger 
•ho was saved, " two soundings were taken at about half-past 
Beren o'clock in the evening of the fatal Tuesday, when the 
ilepth was given as 42 fathoma. The engines were then 
stopped, and a third cast of the lead was taken, with the 
feaiilt, 75 fathoms." From that time to the time the 
t^nmond Castle was lost no further aoundVuga oip^ftaT Xft 



have been taken. About eleren o'clock the ship suddenly 
Btruck, and heeled over slightly to starboard, afterwaids 
righting herself, but being then considerably down by the 
head. Orders were at once given to clear away the boats, the 
captain giving his orders from the bridga 

Charles Wood, one of the quartermasters, who was sared, 
CD hearing the order to clear away the boats, immediately 
went to his station, and had his boat ready to swing out, when, 
the Drummoiid Ciistle being by this time very low in the 
water, a heavy sea came and washed him away. 

William Godbolt, A.B., the other seaman saved, was slacking 
up the awning on the quarter-deck when the sliip struck. 
Hearing the boatswain's mate give the order to clear away 
the boats, he ran to his statiou, which was No. 2 boat on 
the port side ; but as he was clearing the falls of the boat, 
the same sea that washed the quartermaster away, caught him, 
and wEtshed bim overboard. He got hold of a spar, and 
ultimately of a grating, to which he held on until he was 
eventually picked up by a French fiahing-boat. The passenger 
who was saved, immediately on hearing the ship strike ran 
to his cabin and put on a life-belt, and then went and quietly 
aat on the rail until he found himself in the water ; only from 
seven to ten minutes having elapsed from the time the ship 
struck until she finally disappeared. When the ship had 
gone down he saw Mr. Ellis, the fourth ofScer, on a grating, 
and at once made for it, and they both kept on the grating 
until they were rescued by the fishing-boat, but Mr. Ellis 
was either then dead, ur he died soon after he was taken 
into the boat. 

There is but little doubt that Captain Pearce thought 
that he had run farther to the north tSian he really had, 
having been set in by a strong easterly current, and the 
probability is that those on board the Drumviond Caslk 
thought from the Weyfa'n lights that she was a vessel 
coming out of the Channel. Had soundings been taken, 
however, before shaping a Channel course, the dangerous 
position of the ship would have been immediately revealed, 
and there would have been ample time for her to have altered 
her course. The finding of the Court of Inquiry that was 



held as to the losa of the ship was, "that the casualty was 
primarily caused fay suEScieat allowance not having been 
Toade for the easterly current, the efleet of which would 
have been averted had the captain made sufficient uae of 
the lead." 

For Bome little time the exact site even of the disaster was 
not known, until the French Admiralty caused a search to 
be made for the wreck; and the result of the inquiry, which 
was instituted by Admiral Barrera, was telegraphed from 
Brest to Sir Donald Currie on the 1st of July, as follows: — 

" Juat returned from wreck. The powtion is SJ miles due south of StiS" 
Lighthoiue. Both tlie Government tugs, !e Laborieux and le Chamtau, 
grappled the ship. Le Ckamaau's grapple brought up, first, three pieces of 
pbe, evidently parts of a most, then portions of steel stays with metal ring 
bvm mast attached, also the gilded topmast ball, with the halliards. The 
hawaera of both tags were snieared with brownish paint. The following 
wimdinga were taken at low water :— 16 fBthoms, believed to be the rigging ; 
I 36 &thoms, behoved to be the side, or the deck of the ship ; 33 fathoms, 
fixnid close beside the last soundings." 

No shipwreck of recent times created a deeper sensation in 
England than did the wreck of the Drummoiul Castle, and 
the kind and charitable conduct of the islanders of Ouessant 
and Molene elicited the unqualified admiration of every one 
in this country, from her Majeaty the Queen downwards, 
whilst the deepest sympathy was felt tor Sir Donald Currie 
and the directors of the Company, who have always made 
the safety of their passengers their first consideration. 

The foregoing steamship companies, of which a very brief 
outline has been given, are simply one or two out of the 
many important lines of wean steamers regularly sailing 
from the various ports of Great Britain ; a mere enumeration 
of all the rest would fill pages, but a few bare notes as to 
some of them will not be out of place. 

After the Cunard Line the next oldest Transatlantic line 
of steamers is the Allan Line, which is of Canadian origin, 
h&ving been originally started with a line of sailing shijra in 
1820. In the year 1852 the Canadian Clovernment determined, 
in order to meet the growing requirements of the Colony, 
npon subsidizing a line of mail steamers between Canada and 
( the mother country, and in \8bG, Sir Hugh Allan, ut ^loMxe&X, 



obtained the mail contract for a weekly service of steamen 
between Quebec and Liverpool, and a fortnightly servieo 
between Liverpool and Halifax and St Johns. 

The ships of the Allan Company leave Liverpool for 
Quebec and Montreal every Thursday, and the following : 
steamers out of the Allan fleet are at present employed in 
this service: the Parisian, of 5365 tons; the Zoimmfim, 
4522 tons; the Mongolian and the Numidian, of 4900 tons 
each ; and the Sardinian, of 4384 tons. The Paririan, the 
commodore ship of the fleet, was built for the Company ly 
Messrs. R Napier and Sons, of Glasgow. She is 450 feet 
long, 46 feet beam, and has a depth of 36 feet 2 inches. For 
the special navigation of the river St. Lawrence, which m 
some places is extremely shallow, she has no keel, and in \ 
case this peculiarity should cause her unduly to roll in a 
sea-way, she is fitted with two bilge-keels. She is biult 
almost entirely of mild steel, and as an additional elemoit 
of strength has a double bottom, which is utilized for water 
ballast, being divided into many water-tight compartments. 
The hull is also sub-divided by ten water-tight bulkheads. 
She has four strong decks — the orlop deck, the lower deck, 
the main deck, and the upper deck, besides the promenade 

The Parisian is fitted with a set of compound vertical 
engines of the three-cylinder type, capable of developing 
6000 indicated horse-power, which propels the ship in favour^ 
able weather at a speed of from 15]^ to 16^ knots per hour. 
She has two low-pressure cylinders, each 85 inches in diameter, 
with a 5-feet stroke, and between the two low-pressure 
cylinders is a high-pressure cylinder 60 inches in diameter, 
also with a 5-feet stroke. The necessary steam is supplied by 
four double-ended tubular boilers, with twenty-four furnaces. 

The Parisian has made the passage from Moville, in the 
north of Ireland, to Bimouski, the mail station 160 miles 
below Quebec, a distance of 2300 knots, in 6 days and 20 
hours, being at a uniform speed of 14 knots per hour. The 
entire fleet of the Allan Company numbers now some 30 large 
steamers, with a united tonnage of 107,194 tons. The same 
Company also run a line of steamers fortnightly between 


Glasgow and New York, under the title of the "Allan and 
State Line," the service being performed by the State of 
Nebraska, 3986 tons, and the State of Cali/amia, of 4244 tons. 

Another important trang-Atlantie line is the White Star Line 
which was established in 1871, and their first steamer was the 
Oceanic, of 3807 tons. The Company was started by Messrs. 
Ismay, Imrie, and Co., of London and Liverpool, who adopted 
the name of a once celebrated line of sailing ships, a line that 
included in its fleet some of the fastest clippers of the day, 
among them being the Bine Jacket, the Champion of the Seas, 
the Uliite Star, the Slialinar, and others, sailing to Australia. 
After Messrs. Ismay, Imrie, and Co. had succeeded to the old 
original White Star Line, they carried on a White Star Line 
of sailing ships of their own, with the magnificent iron 
clippers the Belfast, the Knight Commander, the British 
Commerce, the Olengarry, the Kiiovjsley Rail, and others. 
Eventually these fast sailers all had to give way to steam, 
and the steam fleet of the White Star Line now contains 
some of the finest steamships in the trans-Atlantic service. 

Among the earlier boats of the Company were the Baltic, 
the Celtic, the Adriatic, the Germanic, the Britannic and 
others. The Germanic and the Britannic were built in 1874, 
by Messrs, Harland and Wolif, of Belfast, They were sister 
ships of 3174 net register tonnage, with a length between 
perpendiculars of 455 feet ; length over all, 488 feet ; beam, 
45 feet 3 inches ; and depth of hold, 34 feet. They have 
each accommodation for 1300 passengers, besides the crew 
of 150. 

At the end of the year 1897, the Britannic had completed 
exactly two hundred and fifty round tripe, which is a record 
of 1,750,000 miles, without a renewal of either the engines 
or the boilers. Since she was built, in 1874, up to the 
Christmas of 1897, she had carried in safety 57,400 cabin pas- 
sengers, and 165,500 steerage, which was an average of just 
over 400 passengers for each passage. During that time she 
had l>een under steam for 114,000 hours, and under way 
106,800 hours, consuming meanwhile 513,000 tons of coal, 
and her engines making no less than three hundred and 


fifty millions of revoliitioiis. When she was twenty-one yesra 
old she made her ovm best time of 7 days 7 hotira and 30 
minutes from Queenatown to New York. The Britannie is 
aaid to be still aa sound in every respect as when she mu 
first built in 1874. 

The Adriatic, which is a smaller ship than the two last- 
mentioned, was a fast sbip foT the time she was built, much 
faster thau the ahip of the same name built by the Collbs 
Company. In 1872, she made ten voyages between Liverpool 
and New York— that ia to say, ten passages ont and ten 
home — the quickest outward passage from Queenatown to 
New York being in May, when her time was 8 days 14 
hours and 30 minutes, and the quickest homeward passage 
from New York to Queenatown in April, in 8 days 3 honra 
and 50 minutes. 

In 1889, the Teutimic, twin-screw, of 4245 tons' regiater, and 
18,000 indicated horse-power, commenced running, leaving 
Liverpool for New York for the first time in the August of 
that year. This fine ship was followed in 1S91, by the Maje^, 
also a twin-screw of 4340 tons register, and 18,000 indicated 
horse-power. Both ships were built by Harland and Wolff, 
and they were the two first steamships specially constructed 
under arrangement with the Admiralty for employment as 
armed cruisers, and as such, th«y receive an annual subvention 
from the Grovemment. The Teuttnde waa present as an armed 
cruiser at the naval review in August, 1889, and she waa alao 
present in the same character at the Diamond Jubilee Naval 
Review at Spithead on the 26th of June, 1897. 

The Majestic, in July, 1891, made the passage from Queens- 
town to New York in 5 daya 18 hours and 8 rainntea, the 
fastest passage on record up to that date ; but in Aagaat of 
the same year the Teutonic beat ber, making the same passage 
in 5 days 10 hours and 30 minutes, being at an average rate 
of 20-35 miles an hour during the whole of the passage. The 
Germanic has been recently fitted with new engines and boilers, 
and runs now with the larger ships in the mail service. The 
mail boats of the White Star Line leave Liverpool every 
Wednesday for New York. 

/The White Star Company have an extensive businesa in 









"" i 













the importation of foreign cattle, and have a number of large 
eattte-boats employ^ed solely in that trade. They are the 
Oeorgic, the Cevic, the Boc-ic, the Nomadic, the Tauric, and the 
Cujic, ships ranging from 5000 to 10,000 tons gross. Besides 
these steamers there are two fine ships that also belong to 
this Company, but which mn in the Shaw, Saville, and Albion 
line to New Zealand ; they are the Gothic and the Ionic. 

Messrs. Harland and Wolff are now engaged in building a 
new Oceanic for the White Star Line. She will be the largest 
ateamship engaged in the Transatlantic trade, having a length 
over all of 704 feet, or 84 feet longer than the CamjKmia of 
the Cunard Line, and it is said that she will he the fastest 
liner afloat. 

The American Line runs its boats from Southampton to 
New York. Strictly speaking, this line ought not to be 
included in the annals of the British Mercantile Marine, as 
ita vessels sail under the stars and stripes ; but as the American 
Line is practically the old Inman Line, some particulars of 
it may not be altogether uninteresting. 

The Inman Line, which was at first called the Liverpool 
and Philadelphia Steamship Company, was established in 1850, 
but subsequently it took the name of its founder, Mr. William 
Inman. The first ship of the Company was the City of Olasgoiv, 
of 1600 tons, and 350 horse-power. She was the first trans- 
Atlantic steamship built on the Clyde, and also the first to 
carry emigrants across the Atlantic, sailing from Liverpool 
on the 17th of December, 1850, for PhiUidelphia. Many more 
ships were now rapidly added to the fleet. In 1851, the C'iti/ 
of MuTichester was built. She was of 2125 tons, and 400 horse- 
power; her length on deck was 274 feet, and her beam 38 
feet. She had four masts, the fore and main lower masts 
being of iron ; she was square-rigged on the fore and main- 
masts, and fore and aft rigged on the mizen and jigger-mast. 

Between 1851, and 1856, the Citi/ of Baltiiiwre., the Kangaroo, 
and the City of Washington were added to the line. In 
1857, the Inman boats began running to New York, at first 
fortnightly, and in 1863, weekly. Although Liverpo<jl was 
their port, the City of Glasgow made four successful voyages 



from Glasgow to New York at a time when there was no 
regular service between Scotland and America. 

In 1S73, the City of Chester, 2944 net tonnage, and the 
Oi(y of Biclunuyiid, 2977 net tons, were buUt for the Companj 
hy Caird, of G-reenock ; and after these still larger veasela 
were put ou the service, the largest being the City of Parii, 
5568 net tonnage, and the CUi/ of Xew York, 557S net Una ; 
these two ships, while sailing under the British flag, being 
subsidized by the English Admiralty as armed cruisers, the 
Oiti/ of Berlin being also held at the disposition of the 
Admiralty, but without subvention. 

The speed of the City of Paris, which is a twin-screw, has 
exceeded 20 knots. In May, 1892, she made the outward 
passage from Liverpool in H days 1 hour and 56 minutes, or 
at a uniform rate of 19-8 knots the entire passage; in tie 
same month she made the return passage in 6 days 8 honrs, 
and 30 minutes, or at the uniform rate of 19'2 knots. The 
City of Paris, however, has always had the reputation of rolUng 
badly in a heavy sea. 

In 1893, the Imnan Line became merged in the American 
Line, and in the March of that year the Citi/ of Paris anil 
the Citi/ of New York, as the Paris * and the New York, 
hoisted the United States Sag in lieu of the English colours, 
their port of departure and arrival being henceforth South- 
ampton instead of Liverpool. The other steamships of the 
American Line running between Southampton and New York 
are the twin-screws .S'(. Lou-is and St. Paul, built in the United 
States specially to " lick the Cunarders," the Campania and 
Lueania, a thing they have never yet succeeded in doing-t 

* Upon the outbreak of tho ww between the Uuiled SIaIbb aud Spain tie 
four largest Bteamere of thia Company — tlio Paris, the New York, the S. 
Paul and the St. Louii — were purchased by the United Statea to be usedu 
firmed cniiBerB, the name of the Parit being altered to the Tale, and thttof 
the New York to tlie Harvard. 

t Ah showing the EUpedority of the twia-ecrew eyatem over the ordinuy 
aiiigle ecrew, may be cited a recent experience of the Parit. The Parb 
left New York for Southampton on Wednesday, March 2. 1898, with 18S 
posaengers, tt valuable cargo, including 225,000 dollars in apeeie, and 114" 
aocks of raoilH. She was duo at Southampton on Wednesday, March ittb, 
aud much anxiety wea felt at her non-arrival, she not coming in unUl Sundayt 
the 13tb. The day alter leaving New York slie broke her aUrboord shaft, 

The Anchor Line began their trans- Atlantic business in 1856 
with a small vessel called the Tempest, originally a sailing- 
ship employed in the Eaat India trade, but altered for thia 
service into a screw steamer. Messrs. Handyside and Henderson, 
the projectors of the line, finding it to be a success, established 
a weekly line of Anchor boats between Glasgow and New 
York, The present fleet of the Anchor line now numbers 
some thirty-eight large steamers, of which some are employed 
in the trans- Atlantic trade ; some in a service between Glasgow 
and Liverpool and Kurrachee, Bombay, and Calcutta ; and 
others in the Mediterranean. 

The commodore ship is the City of Eomr, employed in the 
New York service, an iron vessel of 8453 tons, and 11,153 
horse-power. She is 600 feet in length, 52 feet 3 inches 
beam, and has a depth of 37 feet 6 inches. She is divided 
by 10 water-tight bulkheads into 11 water-tight compartments, 
end has tanks capable of taking in 380 tons of water ballast. 
There are four decks, and there are state-rooms for 290 saloon 
passengers, and accommodation for 1000 emigrants. The main 
saloon is the entire width of the ship by 72 feet 'u\ length, 
and can seat 250 people at dinner. The engines are of the 
compound inverted type ; and it may be noted that in the 
Bnriace-condensers the total length of tubes is no less than 
17 miles. The ship has three black funnels in line fore and aft 

The Dominion Line, whose steamers run between Liverpool 
and Quebec and Montreal, was established in 1872. The 
Dominion boats leave Liverpool every Thursday, and go round 
the north of Ireland, calling at Londonderry the day after 
iMving Liverpool. The fleet at the present time consists of 
•even magnificent steamers, four of which are twin-screws, 
tlw largest of these ships being the Nav Englarid, of 11,000 
tons, followed by the Canada, of 9000 tons; the Dominvm 

m tLe ship was stopped for three houra nihilst a thorough oxainiDatJott was 
■ude m order to ascertain the exact nature of the injury. It being then 
Cmmd impoBsible to repair the damage to the shaft at aea, Captain Watkina 
^Meimiaed to contiuue the voyage with the port engioes alone ; and although 
Willi only the port screw at work, on one day she made 312 knots, and on 
•Mher 314 knots, or at an areroge speed of rather over thirteen knots with 
cnly the single screw. 




and the Scotsman being each of 6000 tons. On Friday, the 
9th of August, 18t*5, the I^jhrador of this line ernbaried 
paBsengers and mailfl at Moville (Ireland) at 2.15 pjn. On 
Wednesday, the Hth, at five minutes past seven in tlie 
moniiug, the ship reached Belle Isle, Newfoundland, thos 
making the ruu across in 4 days IT hours — the fastest passage 
on record. 

The Pfl<?ific Steam Navigation Company. — This Company 
was incorporated by Royal Charter in 1840, and received a 
small subsidy for the conveyance of the British mails along 
the PaciSc shores of South America. The first two steamers 
despatched to commence operations at the close of 1840, were 
the Chili and the Peru, two wooden paddle-wheel vesseb of 
only 700 tons, and fitted with engines of 15U hor86-i>ower; 
but, being the first steamships ever seen in those waters, they 
were received at Valparaiso with great rejoicings and with 
salvos of artillery, the President of the Chilian Itepoblic with 
his ministers being the first to welcome the steamships to 
the shores of the Pacific. 

During the first five years the Company had m&ny diffi- 
culties to overcome, the difficulty of obtaining fuel being one 
of the greatest, and the steamers were worked at a loss. Not- 
withstanding this, however, the shareholders resolved 
persevere, and the fleet was gradually augmented. In 1852, 
four new steamers, also paddle-wheel boats, the Ztmo, tba' 
.S'rtjiftajo, the Quito, and the Bogota, each of 1100 tons, and 
450 horse-power, were added tn the line, to be emp|. 
in a fortnightly service between Panama and Valparaino : ml 
from that time the trade in the Pacific rapidly devc-l. |< I 
new and hitherto unthought-of branches of commerce !■ 
opened up, so that the success of the Company seemed 1 ■ . 

In 1865, the chartered powers of the Company were exit ;: . I 
to the establishment of a line between the west c<<ii- 
South America and the Kiver Plate, including the Faikiiu^i; 
Islands ; and in 1867, it was determined still further to extend 
operations by adding a monthly line of steamers from 
Liverpool to the west coast of South America, via the Straits 
of Magellan, and lu May, 1868, the paddle-wheel steamer Padjic, 



1630 tona, and 450 horse-power, was despatched fruia 
Valparaiso to Liyerpool as the pioneer of the new mail line. 

The project was so successful that in 1S70, it was deter- 
mined to extend the voyages beyond Valparaiso, making 
Callao the terminal port, and to increase the number of 
sailings from fortnightly to three in the month, which number 
was soon afterwards still further increased to a regular weekly 
mail service between Liverpool and Callao, the steamers calling 
in at Bordeaux, Lisbon, Rio de Janeiro, Monte Video, and 
Sendy Point in the Straits of Magellan. 

To carry out and to maintaiu this service efficiently the 
Company had no fewer than 54 steamers in commission, 
with an aggregate tonnage of 120,000 tons, these vessels 
being among the £nest and the best-appointed ships then to 
Ib found in the British Mercantile Marine. But the promises 
of a lucrative trafBc were eventually not fulfilled ; the trade 
nitb South America gradually fell off, and an extraordinary 
bcrease in the price of coal and of other necessaries added 
so much to the cost of working the line that the weekly 
Bailings had to be abandoned, and the fortnightly service 
("liich is still in force) had to be reverted to. 

Employment had then to be found for the steamers which 
"ere not required for the West Coast business, and an oppor- 
taiiity was soon afforded by the establisbmeut of the Orient 
line from Loudon to Australia, which was commenced with the 
ite&mship Lusitania early in 1677. In January, 1880, an 
arrangement was entered into with the Orient Company, and a 
fortnightly line to Australia was established, four of the finest 
vessels of the Pacific Steam Navigation Company, namely the 
Oroya, the Onzaba, the Ontla, and the Orolava being now 
engaged in that trade, and sailing as part of the Orient Line. 

The latest additions to the fleet are the (h-oinsa and the 
Orissa, twin screws, each of 5137 tons, and 5000 horse-power, 
built by Harlaud and Wolfl', and fitted up with all the 
most recent appliances of the best of our ocean liners. A still 
larger vessel is now building for the Company at Barrow-iu- 
Fumess, iu the twiu-screw Oriona, of 8000 tona, which 
will be fitted with engines of 8000 horse-power. The Ortona 
itj intended to run in the Orient Line to Australia, and will 



undoubtedly be one of their finest boate. The total tonnaga 
of the Pacific Company at the present day is 132,-161 tons. 

The Bibby Line.— This line, which was first established as 
a line of sailing ships in 1821, trades from Liverpool to 
Egypt, Colombo, and Rangoon, via Maraeittes. The steamers 
of the "Bibby" Line now carry the French and Egyptian 
mails between Marseilles and Egypt, and between Suez and 
Colombo; they also carry supplementary English mails 
between Rangoon, Colombo, and England. 

The steamers, named after English counties, as the 
Derbyshire, the Staffordsliirt, the Shropshire, and so forth, 
have all been built by Harland and Wol£F, and averaga 
from five to six thoofland tons each, many of them being- 
twin screws. One of the first of the steamers to Ieav» 
Liverpool for Rangoon was the Lancashire, and she mado 
the run out in 24 days 18 hours, the fastest time yet on. 
record ; but the average passage from Liverpool to Rangoon 
is 28 or 29 days, and from Marseilles 22 days. 

There are very many other great steamship linefl — mml 
lines and passenger lines — in fact, their name is legion. The 
New Zealand Shipping Company, the Shaw, Saville. and 
Albion Liue, and the Aberdeen Line, compete for the Australian 
and the New Zealand trade; the Clan Line, the City Line, 
the Hall Line, the Shire Liue, and many other companies, all 
try for a share of the trade with India, China, and the East ; 
the African steamship Company, Elder, Dempster, and Co., the 
Natal Line, and others, seek to divide the trade with Africa ; 
and the West India and Pacific Company, Lambert and Holts' 
boats, and many more, connect England with South iVmerica ; 
whilst the steamships of the Britiali India Company are to be 
met with in every port of every part of the world, many of the 
ships of this Company being remarkably handsome models. 

Among the many steamship companies, is one which 
although not of the importance of the great ocean liners, yet 
is one of the oldest ; and this is the General Steam Navigation 
Company, whose vessels, besides running to home ports, trade 
to Hamburg, Bordeaux, Opoito, Amsteidam, and the like. 

When the Queen went to Scotland for the first time in 







1842, she went in her own yacht, the Royal Gtonjc, attended 
by a considerable squadron of ships of the Royal Navy, 
among tbeni being the Pique, 36-guii frigate, the Daphne, 
the Salatnandcr, the BltadamaiithKs, and a number of other 
vessels. When off Flamborough there was a heavy aea on, 
and the royal yacht tolled so badly that the Queen wished 
\f> go on board the Pique, which was a much larger vessel 
iban the Royal yacht ; but Admiral, then Captain, Bullock 
would not undertake the responsibility of transferring her 
Xajesty in an open boat from the royal yacht to the frigate, 
and the Queen was necessitated to go on to Leith in the 
yacht. She would not, however, return in the Royal Gtorge, 
and one of the vessels of the General Steam Navigation 
(Wpany, the Tridenf, was specially engaged to bring her 
Utjesty back to London. 





Oug08tetmdiip»--Ooean tiam^ 

The first Borew odHer— Hie Q.S.D^TbB Kkig Owl— OrttibOwttK- 
The froMQ-meftft trade— The New Zeehiid M[ib The toe ehwimin^ 
The SHriing Oiftftf-^Ghrain-steiiiien-Oil-teiik itMnnew Low of te 
.fi![20iifiioor— Well-decked 8teaiiierB---Oottoii-Oin3riQg ifeMuiMn— Dui- 
gerouB cergoes. 

Hayxng seen something of some of the prinoijMd British mail 
and passenger lines, it will be well to glance at that still larger 
class of steamships included in the category of cargo-boats, a 
description of steamship taking more and more every year 
the place of the old sailing merchantman of the earlier part 
of the century. 

Numbers of these cargo steamships are very fine and exceed- 
ingly well-found vessels; perhaps not as sumptuously fitted 
up, but from a sailor's point of view, quite as good ships as 
many of the steamers that are running in the mail lines. As 
an example we give a portrait of a well-known regular Indian 
trader of the " Clan " line. 

The greater number, perhaps, of these vessels are specially 
built for some particular trade, but still a very large number 
have no speciality about them ; they are intended to pick up 
a living anywhere — to go " where cargo offers." These are the 
genuine Ocean Tramps. Many of them undoubtedly are good 
vessels enough ; very many more, unfortunately, are precisely 
the opposite. Every one knows the long lines of villa resi- 
dences in the suburbs of London and other great towns. These 
are, for the most part, the work of the jerry-builder. Far too 
many of the ocean tramps are the work of the marine jerry- 
builder. Bun up by contract at a cost of from seven to eight 
pounds a ton, engines thrown in, — blind rivet-holes filled up 






r 4 








with putty, cracked plates neatly painted over, frames and 
deck-beams of very insufRcient scantling, are peculiarities not 
altogether nuknomi among this class of ocean tramps. 

Perhaps our particular tramj* is chartered to take a general 
cargo to East London, or Algoa Bay ; to go from thence to 
Rangoon for rice to be taken to Rio de Janeiro, or Valpar 
and then she will have to look out for another job. As she lies 
in the West India Docks taking on board iron tanks, boxes of 
biscuits, cans of sheep-dip, glazed stoneware drain-pipes, cases 
of sewing-machines, and the thousand and one articles that 
make up b " general cargo," she does not look a bad-looking 
vessel, and to the eye of the uninitiated not very different from 
the really well-built steamer that is lying astern of her. But 
when she is making bad weather of it, crossing the Bay in a 
south-west gale, things are apt to look somewhat different. 
Perhaps when everything depends upon her jerry-built engines, 
they suddenly give out, or her steering-gear breaks down, and 
her name appearo about a week or so afterwards in that par- 
ticular portion of the Shipping Gazette devoted to Wrecks and 

Here is the experience of one such vessel. In the winter 
of 1874, a submarine cable was to be laid on the coaat of South 
America, and the contractors in London had chartered a 
steamer called Ln Pluta to take ont the cable, together with 
the staff of electricians who were to superintend the laying it. 
La Plata was an iron vessel, with the engines and boilers well 
aft, thus affording a good deal of room forward for the tanks in 
which the cable was to be stowed. 

Having then, the telegraph cable stowed in the tanks in tha j 
hold, and the winding engines to be used for paying it out on ' 
the deck forward, La Plata left Woolwich on Monday, the 23rd 
of November, 1874. She was fairly deep in the water, being 
pretty heavily laden, but at Gravesend she took in a quantity 
more stores, so that when she left the Thames she had, to say 
the least, quite as much on board as she ought to have had. 

On Thursday, the 26th of November, La Plata left Gravesend 
in charge of a pilot, with fine weather, and a light breeze from 
the south-west. On Friday, at six o'clock in the morning, 
the ship was off St. Catherine's, and the p^nt '««^ «;^<^t&. 


She then continaed to steun down Channel; bat towaidi 
evening the wind, which had been light all day, began to Uow 
strongly fiNun south to soath-we8t» and aa the ship was ntj 
deep in the water, she did not make more than foor, or fimr 
and a half knots, an hoar. 

All day on Satarday the weather continued giadaally to gat 
worse, and by night it was blowing a heavy gala fitom Om 
south-west About midnight La jnua shif^ied aorenl veijr 
heavy seas in suooession, and the chief officer gave oideis to 
set the fore and aft canvas. The gale continued rapidly to 
increase in fury, and in less than half an hoar after the csnfii 
was set, the sheets were carried away and the sails blown deaa 
out of the bolt-ropes. About one o'clock on Sonday moraing 
a heavy sea broke over the vessel and carried away one of the 
boats on the port side, started the deck-house, and smashed in 
some of the pens for the live stock, one sheep being actoally 
washed into the cabin, and two pigs into the stoke-hbld. Aboot 
five o'clock the other boat on the port aide was swept away, 
and the seas continued to pour over the ship in quicker 

At half-past eight the carpenter, having sounded the well, 
reported that the ship was making water, and it was found that 
although dry forward, there was a good deal of water coming 
in aft. The steam-pumps were at once started, but the water 
steadily gained on them. After breakfiAst it was decided to 
lighten the ship by throwing overboard some of the telegraph 
cable from the forward tank. The weather was so bad that it 
was utterly impossible to take the hatches off, so the tank was 
got at through the store-room, and a good deal of the cable was 
got up and thrown overboard. 

By this time the water was fast filling the lower hold, and 
by ten o'clock it had so much increased that the furnaces in 
the stoke-hold were extinguished, the engines brought to a 
stop, and the steam-pumps could no longer be worked. It 
became then necessary to get up steam in one of the donkey- 
engines on deck in order to keep the pumps going ; but it was 
very difficult to start the fire, as the heavy seas kept pouring 
over the deck, putting the fire out the moment it was lighted. 
At last all the spare hands, by dint of breaking up dry packing- 


cases in the store-room, and by steeping cotton waste in 
para£Gn, got the fire fairly alight, and at eleven o'clock steam 
was np in the donkey-engine, and the pnmps were started 

At noon the firemen found it ntterly impossible to keep the 
donkey-engine furnace going any longer, aa the sea was 
making a clean breach over the vessel. The citptain, who was 
then on the bridge, which he had not quitted since Friday 
morning, even to take his meals, managed, however, to get the 
ship before the wind, thus heading np Channel again, under 
fore and main topsails and fore staysail. The pumps having 
ceased work, the water now continued to rise rapidly, and it 
soon became evident that the ship must gu down. Orders were 
therefore given to get the boats ready. 

In the hold there were pontoona for two life-rafts, and these 
were now got up on deck ; and all hands worked hard at getting 
np stores and provisions for the Iwats and the rafts. Officer* 
and men alike worked well, and with the greatest coolness, 
assisted by the staff of electricians, and there was not the 
slightest confusion or panic. Most of the men seemed to prefer 
to take their chance on the rafta rather than in the boats, and 
when everything was ready, and there was nothing more to Ije 
done, they flocked round the rafts as they lay on the deck. 

There is no doubt but that a great mistake was made, and 
that the rafts ought, if possible, to have been lowered over the 
aide; but the impression seemed to be that when the ship 
went down they would float off the deck — a terrible error, as 
the event showed. 

At half-past twelve the ship was so low in the water that 
the deck was on a level with the sea, and in order to get to the 
, boats, which were on the starboard side, the men were up to 
f Jfceir middles. At twenty minutes to one a heavy sea struck 
) ship, which seemed to stagger for a moment, and then 
irent down stern first. As the stern sank the bows came up right 
out of the water, and the bridge, funnel, and a quantity of 
heavy machinery that there was forward, fetched away and fell 
npon the rafts, crushing the crowd of men upon them. 

The two quarter-boats fortunately floated out of the chocks, 
and by the greatest exertion were pulled clear of the wreck; 



but they liad liardly got clear when one of the boata, which mi 
under the coramanil of the chief officer, capsized, and ail is 
her, with the exception of one man and two boys, who nmiiBgtd 
to get on board the other boat, were drowned. The sea wu 
now running very high, and it aeemed hardly possible that ■ 
small boat could live in it; but by the most careful steeiii^ 
the boat's head was kept to the aea, and by watching the waves 
very little water was shipped. 

Soon after sunset, just as it was getting dusk, a steamer hove 
in sight, and a white handkerchief was hoiated on an oai to 
attract her attention, but she passed on withont seeing the 
tiignal. It now became dark, and with such a terrific 
niuDiiig there seemed every prospect that the boat must 
founder loug before the momiug. The men, however, kept 
steadily at the oars, and just as the day was beginning to 
break they sighted a large ship under close-reefed topsaih 

The weather was now moderating a little, bnt there was still 
a heavy sea on. Fortunately, as the boat rose on the oreat ot 
the large waves, their signal was seen from the ship, which 
now altered her course to bear down upon them. By ten 
o'clock she was close to the boat, and proved to be the Oarr 
Loch, from London to New Zealand, with emigrants. 

With a good deal of diiliculty all in the boat were got on 
board the Oare Loch, and in less than an hour a homeward- 
bound steamer, the Anlhony, from Hong Kong for London, 
hove in sight. She was signalled, and took the survivors on 
board, and landed them at Oravesend at half-past three on 
Wednesday afternoon. 

Besides those saved by the quarter-boat, the only other 
survivors from the wreck were the quarter-master and bo'sun. 
These two men succeeded in getting upon one of the rafts that 
was floating upside down ; ^nd although, of course, without 
either food or drink, and with the seas continually washing 
over them, they managed to hold ou fr<.>m midnlay on tSunday 
till four o'clock on Wednesday momiug. Their sufferings 
during the long, dark, cold November nights were terrible. 
On the Sunday night they did not either sleep or doze, 
keeping a sharp look-out fur a passing ship. On Monday they 
saw several vessels, but all a long distance off. On Tuesday au 



American three-masted scbooner actually came within half a 
mile of them. Tlie shipwrecked men could see what was 
passing on her deck — the maa at the wheel, and the hands 
going to and fro; but they failed to attract her attention, and 
she too passed on her course. 

Tuesday night came and went without any vessel coming in 
sight ; but about four o'clock on Wednesday morning a small 
schooner was seen bearing down on them from the northward. 
Tfaey hailed her, and she rounded to, as though she were 
waiting for them to come on board ; but they had no meana 
of steering their raft, and they gradually drifted away to 

The schooner lay to for about ten minutes, and then went off. 
Presently they saw her lights again as though she were about 
to return; but this time she did not come so near as before, 
and when the day had fully dawned she was not to be seen 
at all. In about half an hour, however, to their great joy, she 
hove in sight again, and this time bore down close to them. 
When she was about two hundred yards off she hove to, and 
the men left their raft and swam to her, when they were taken 
on board, and were most kindly treated by her crew. She 
proved to be a small Dutch schooner, the Wilkelm Seitklezoons, 
from Rotterdam for Valencia, for fruit. The men were taken 
til tjpain, and from thence found their way back to England. 

One numerous class of cargo steamers is that of the screw 
colliers, and wretched vessels some of them are, whilst, liowever, 
a very large number are fine, well-built, and well-found steam- 
ships. Forty years ago nearly the whole of the coal brought 
from the north of England to London was brought in the then 
regulation "Geordie," or coal-brig. Every ebb tide saw any 
amount of these craft, light, in ballast, drifting down the 
reaches of the Thames on their way north for a fresh cargo. 

Scientific navigation was n<it the strong point of the Geordie 
skippers, but somehow or other they usually managed to 
blunder along up to Sunderland, or to Hartlepool, and to get 
back again to the Thames with their two or three hundred tons 
of coal — that is to say, if the weather were fairly propitious ; if 
it were not, they were likely to he heard of on the Long Sand, 
or the Qunfleet. 



' There is a well-known sailor's yam of a Geordie coming oat 
at the Thames, going north in ballast. An autumn eveninf, 
jkat getting dusk, ha/y, light breeze from the westwani, i 
light-ship looms up on the starboard bow, "Lightship ahoy! 
What light is that ? " " The Mouse." Skipper continnoa his 
course. Ab the daivn is just beginning to break skipper jndges 
he must be well up for Loweattift, but sights a lightship that 
he doesn't remember. "Lightship, ahoy I What light \» 

ttiftt?" "The Mouse," "What the are you doing np 

here ? " The old Geordie hail just been cruising around. 
• < About forty years ago the first screw collier appeared in 
London river. She had come round from the Tyne with tl 
luindred t^nis of coal on board, and was called the Q.S.TK 
Bhe was what would be known now aa an auxiliary screw, being 
ftllly rigged as a barque, and sailing when there was a tur 
mnd, but steaming with the wind ahead. Her mizen-mast wh 
Ml iron tube, and served as a funnel, so that when under atoan 
tile smoke might be seen issuing from about her mizen croa»* 
toees. In 1870, the first screw collier of the present type cans 
np the Thames. This was the A'ln^ Coal, an iron vessel, built 
on the Tyne, and she had cost, when ready for sea, £15,000. 
Slie was rather a haadsome vessel, with a straight bow; she 
had three masts, being square-rigged on the foremast ; her 
fonnel, which was between the fore and main masts, having a 
white band with a black diamond. She carried 900 tons of 
coal as cargo, and had bunlvor-space for 100 tons more, and she 
was fitted with water-ballast tanks, enabling her to make the 
return passage with a^ little delay as possible. Against head 
wiudsi, with a full cargo of coal, her speed was eight and a half 
ktiot^ ail hour; when going back light, in fair weather, nine 
and a half to ten knots. Her engines were of 90 horse-power, 
nominal, working up to 600 horse-power, and the voyage from 
Newcastle to London and back usually occupied from six to 
«.ght days. 

Hoisting sails, lifting anchor, and other heavy work was 
done by steam-winches. She had an excellent cabin on der*" 
for the captain, with cabins for the chief nute aod the stewsid ; 
her crew couaisted of seventeen persona, all told, aooommodsted 
in a roomy, well-ventilated forecastle on a level wiA the main 






1 JMM 

^^MM ' 1 










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^Hi'' / ^^1 











deck, the seamen occupying one side of it, and the firemen the 
other, with a bulkhead between them. The engineers had 
citbins on derk, in the bridge-house, whilst on the bridge waa 
the wheel-bonse, m arranged that whilst the helmsman could 
Bee everything ahead, he was protected from the inclemency 
of the weather. From the above description it will be seen 
that the example set by the Kiriy Coal has been very closely 
adhered to until the present day. 

There are a few of these screw ctdliers that in recent years 
have made fifty-two voyages from London to the north and 
back in the year, the appliances for loading being now so 
excellent on the Tyne, at Cardiff, Barry, and other places, that 
with a vessel such as the Iiiru/ Coal, when she is once alongside, 
the actual loading of the ship is merely a question of a few 
hours. The coal comes on board in bulk, a railway-truckful 
at a time, so that it only requires to be trimmed. The chief 
detention ni)W is m getting alongside, as while one steamer is 
being loaded, half a dozen others are waiting to take their turn. 
But all this hurry in getting the coal aboard and in getting 
the ship away often leaves no time for trimming, and a cargo 
I'f coals loaded in this fashion is apt sometimes to be quite as 
tlangerons a cargo as grain in bulk would be if it were loaded in 
a similar way. During 1875, I87(j, and 1877, no leas than 200 
w-ial-laden British vessels foundered or were missing, entailing 
the loss of 991 lives ; whilst duruig the three years 1881, 1882, 
Hnd 1883, the number of coal-ships lost was even greater ; 314 
such vesseb being either lost or missing, involving the loss of 
no less than 1849 lives, being at the rate of two ships and 
nearly twelve lives last every week during the three years. 
.\dmiral De Horsey once tritely remarked, "With unskilled 
stevedores and /idly insured ships and cargoes, the Mifdy of 
tlie ship appears to be a matter of very secondury importance." 
Two kinds of steamers are engaged in the meat-carrying 
trude — the cattle-boats, specially fibted up for the conveyance 
iii live 8to<-k ai-ross the Atlantic, and the ships fitted up with 
refrigerating apparatus for bringing from the Colonies the 
(lead carcases of sheep and of oxen. 

Many of the great shipping firms do, in addition to their 
passenger trade, a large cattle-carrying business, the White 



Star Line, fut instance, having upwards of 40,000 tona engaged 
in this particular trade, their i;attle-steainer the Geortjic, u£ 
10,077 tenia, being the largest cattle-steamer adoat. Tte 
cattle are stowed in lines fore and aft, with their beads neit 
the gangways, a fair space being allowed to each beast, aiid 
they are of necessity well looicetl after ; bat as they suffer & 
go<xl deal during rough weather, the cattle-decks are not usually 
the i)leasantest placea in the world. The bellowing and the 
moaning of the poor beasts is painful to liear, whilst the per- 
j>etual trampling and scraping of their hooks on the decks ailds 
to the general discord. 

The New Zealand Shipping Company, and the Shaw, Saville, 
iind Albion Company, among others, do a very large business 
in the frozen-meat trade from New Zealand to this country. 
The hold of one of these frozen-meat ships presents a curions 
sight, the sides being line<l with the pipes of the refrigerating 
apparatus, covered, when the apparatus is at work, with snow; 
whilst the floor, and everything in the hold, is covered with 
hoar frost. In the height of a New Zealand summer, when 
the thermometer on deck is standing at 80° or 90", the men, 
when they go down to sweep out the hold, and get it ready fur 
taking in the meat, if the apparatus is " on," may be seen with 
thick pea-jackets and woollen comforters. Their breath falls 
as white hoar frost on the deck, the temperature being several 
degrees below zero, and so it continues from the time the ship 
leaves Wellington until her arrival in the Albert Docks, a 
pericxi of forty-three days. Tlie shortness of the time occupied 
in the passage, however, is only a question for the shipowner, 
because as far as the meat itself is concerned, when once in 
what the sailors call "' the freezer," it could just as well stay 
there a hundred and forty-three days as forty-three. Of couim, 
the refrigerating apparatus is worked at very conaiderabls 
expense, and a day more or less is a consideration, so that no 
sooner is the ship in the docks, and alongside and moored, 
than discharging at once commences ; indeed, before all the 
passengers have landed, a gangway will be got out forward, and 
a continuous stream of men may be seen bringing cargo ashore. 
By means of the powerful electric lights now used in the docks 
as mufh work is done after dark as during the day ; and the 


aext day after the great New Zealand litier is in, a great part 
of her cargo will he iu the London market. 

Some of the smartest and fastest cargo steamers afloat are 
those employed iu the tea trade. Previous to the opening of 
the Suez Canal the China tea trade was entirely in the hands 
of sailing vessels, and magnificent sailers they were. Even 
after the opening of the Canal it took some years for the 
steamers entirely to supersede these splendid clippers, par- 
ticalarly as the China meri'hants had an idea that the great 
heat of the passage of the Eed Sea and the transit through the 
Canal, would prove injurious to the delicate flavour of the leaf, 
and it was not until 1873, that the sailing ships had entirely 

It was in 1863, that the first steamer was' employed in the 
tea trade. She brought a cargo from Hankow to London, and 
the venture proved so successful that other steamers very soon 
followed. One of the most remarkable of these China tea- 
steamers was the Stirling Castle, ber history being sufficiently 
curious. She was built iu 1882, at the Fairfield Worky, 
Glasgow, and was specially designed to beat all other vessels 
employed in the Eastern trade, ber mean rate of speed being 
eighteen knots an liour, whii^h was faster than any other mer- 
chant steamer then afloat. -She was of 5000 tons burden, 421 feet 
in length, 40 feet beam, and 30 feet 6 inches deep, her horse- 
power being 1500 nominal ; she had two funnels and three 
masts, being aquare-rig^ied on the foremast. After a couple 
of years in the tea trade, during which she made some remark- 
ably fast passages, she was sold to a firm of Genoese merchants, 
and was by them employed in carrying Italian emigrants to 
Buenos Ayres. Before beuig put into this trade her name was 
altered to the Xord Amcricn. In 1885, upon the occasion of 
the Buaaiau war-8oa,re, the English Admiralty being anxii'us to 
retain the services of as many large mercantile steamers as 
possible, for service either as transports or as armed cruisers, 
Mr, AdamsoQ, a London shipowner, made an offer to the Genoese 
owners of the Nord AmerU'i, and repurchased her, altering her 
name back again to the fitirtinij Castle. She was at once taken 
up by the Admiralty, and was sent to Malta to refit. The war- 
scare passing over, the Stliiiiuj GaslU was re-sold to the Genoese, 



ftnd onoe more became the JVbni AmetM, aiid she fltill oon* 
tinues to be one of the finest and most powetfiil ships of Ae 
Italian mercantile marine. 

The wool trade of Australia gives employment to a veij 
large amount of shipping. During the year 1896, the falve 
of the wool exported to the United Kingdom alone, from New 
South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, and Western Ajistnlis 
was £9,810,716. With the great passenger liners of the P. 
and O., and of the Orient Company, it forms the chief item of 
their cargo, whilst numbers of flue ships are employed solely 
in the wool trade. 

Formerly the greater part of the fruit coming to this ooiontrj 
from Spain and Portugal, the Azores, and the ports of the 
Mediterranean, came in smart little schooners, tiers of which 
might generally be seen lying alongside the whacfs at Bil- 
lingsgate, discharging at one time of the year boxes of otangei, 
at other times grapes, and fruits of every possible desoriptioD. 
From the Spanish ports alone, in 1896, fruit to the value of 
£3,045,810 was brought to this country, and this was not a 
tithe of what was brought from other countries. The bulk of 
this now (*omes in steamers, and many such steamers are solely 
employed in the fruit trade. 

Grain, although often brought to this country by the ordinary 
** tramp," as an occasional cargo, is for the most part imported 
in regular grain steamers, specially built for this particular 
trade ; and as every additional quarter that can be crammed 
into the steamer is a consideration, her shape, when seen in dry 
dock, approaches to that of an elongated iron box. The follow- 
ing is extracted from the British Merchant Service Journal, and 
represents the views of the Chairman of the Shipmasters 
Society upon such vessels. He says — 

" The causes which make grain-cargo ships founder are very dear to those 
who take the trouble to search for the reasons. First of all, a man desires 
to make his sliip carry something like double the quantity of that of his 
neighbour. What does he do ? If you take one of their midship sections 
and look at it you wiU see. It is simply like a box, with the lower comers 
rounded off for bilges. He carries that midship section to a most enormous 
length forward and afr, and then closes in the ends of her as best he may, to 
get the best entrance and exit for the water that the length of the vessel wfll 
allow him. Gk) down to the docks where the steamers are lying. There is 
one in the South West India dock now, although, of course, I camiot mention 


umes. You never buw eucli a thiag in your life. If she were rigged as a 
•hip jou would find llie midsbip eectioD aoniewhere about the foremast and 
the mixen-mast, leaviDg very tittle for tlie entrance and exit. The buUdei' 
wys, ' I wj]] build to a certain cIbbb at Lloyd's." ' Yes,' says ihe other oon- 
tncting party, ' but do not put into Iier one pound of acanOing that you 
can p<«ejbly tecp ool, becaase every pound pat into her will rob me of a 
pound of freight.' Startiog with aucii a condition of things aa that, wliat aorl 
of Ttesels ate they likely to produce to carry heavy cargoea across the North 
AUanlic, with a proper and doe regard to the lives of those on board her, 
and the safety of the ship ? Why, uothiiig but a coffin I " 

These Bhijis, eac-li laden with perhajis two or three thousand 
tons of grain, huny bat^knards and forwards across the Atlantic 
as fast as possible, very little time being wasted in the loading 
and discharging. All the important American grain ports are 
fitted with " elevators," which enable a large ship to be loaded 
in a very few hoars. The following description of graiu-load- 
ing at Galveston, Gulf of Mexico, may be taken as a fair 
sample of what takes place at the other grain ports. On 
Monday, the 12th of October, 1896, six large steamers were 
waiting their turn to go alongside the elevator. The grain 
goes up the elevator in pockets ninuiug on an endless belt ; 
when it gets to the top it runs into large bins, where it is 
weighed, and then goes down shoots into the ship's hold. At 
eight o'clix'k in the morning the Dcraviorc, of Liverpool, a 
steamer of 3000 tons, went under the elevator, and 2160 tons 
of wheat and maize were put on board of her in three hours 
and five minutes. The grain comes down each spout in a con- 
tinuous stream about nine inches iu diameter, and there were 
right spouts continuously running into the ship. Obviously 
there is not much time for great nicety in trimming, and 
mdees grain is loaded close up, and kept close up, this kind of 
cargo has a very nasty habit of shifting in bad weather. 
Nearly all the grain, however, that comes to this country 
comes in bulk. To bring it in bags would be far too expen- 
fflve, and the grain in sacks would take up too much room in 
the ship's hold. A sack costs tenpence, so Is. 8il. a quarter 
would have to be added to the original cost of the grain. 
Seven quarters go to the ton,* so that if our Galveston 

* That is with wheat at 40 lbs. to the bushel, which is about a fair average 




steamer had brought her cargo of wheat in bags, (nippo6in| 
that she had had room to stow it, without reckoning the extra 
freight, the extra cost of the t-argo itaelf, delivered in London. 
would have been £1260. 

Haizo is alnayfl sold in London by weight, and is reckoned 
as 60 lbs. to the bushel, or 480 lbs. to the quarter, 30 that with 
maize the "quarter" ia merely a term, and simply 'ineaiiH 
480 Ihs. It, like wheat, is always brought to this country in 
bulk, except a small quantity brought from South Amerit-a. 
called "Plate maize,"* which is imjwrted in bags. 

Another class of cargo steamers specially constructed for 
carrying cargoes more dangerous than grain are the petroleum 
steamers, or, as they are more usually known, "oil-tank 
steamers." The first steamship built for this particular trade 
was launched in the Tyne in 1886. She was 300 feet in 
length, 37 feet beam, and had a depth of 23 feet ; and on her 
first voyage from New York to Bremen brought across the 
Atlantic 2880 tons of petroleum, which her pumps were able 
to discharge in twelve hours. 

At the present time petroleum only comes to England from 
America, and from Batoum, in the Black Sea. Formerly there 
were a number of oil companies in the United States, but they 
have nearly all now been absorbed by one great corporatimi, 
the Standard Oil (JompaTiy of North .Ymerioa, which has Urge 
works both at Philadeljihia and New York. This company 
principally supplies Great Britain and the northern ports of 
the continent of Europe, but they also send some oil to the 
Mediterranean, and some to South America. The Batoum 
wi)rk9 are to a large extent owned by the Rothschilds, and their 
oil goes mostly to Mediterranean ports ; but some goea through 
the Canal, to India, China, and Japan,Mes3r8. Samuels and Co., of 
London, running a line of petroleum steamers to the East, carry- 
ing oil out from Batoum, and bringing a general cargo home. 

The petroleum steamers carrying the American oil are for 
the most part owned by the Standard Oil Company themselves, 
they having bought up very many of the steamers specially 
built for the trade by private firms, so that now it is only if 
they are temporarily short of a ship that an outsider is ever 
* BocRnee it com«a tKnattie'&w«t^\8.xe. 

OBAIN BTK&MEB, tLi. "BINSA." [To /OCC pogt 21 



wante'l at all, and niiuibei's of the privately owneti oil-tank 
steamers aie at the present time out of employment, pincf ii-ally 
the whole of the trade from North America being <-arrie<l on 
by the Standard Oil Company, which is one of the wealthiest 
aud strongest monopolies iu the United States. 

The petroleum-tank steamer is divided longitu<li»aliy by a 
water-tight bnlkhead nuining fore and aft down the («ntre of 
the ship, and again by thwart-ship bnlkheads, so dividing her 
up into a series of separate tanks. These are nsnally numbered 
(rc'to fom ard, thus : No, 1 Port Tank, and No. 1 Htarboard 
Tank ; then No. 2 Port Tank, and No. 2 Starboard Tank, and 
BO on. Along the bottom of the ship, on each side of the 
longitadinal bulkhead, runs the *' pump-line." as it is called, or 
the filling-pipe, with a valve in each tank worked from the 
deck with a wheel which screwa the valve up or down, the 
valve being on the lower side of the pipe, close to the bottom 
of the ship, thus admitting of the tanks being pumped out 
perfectly dry. 

For taking in the oil the steamer ia provided with a circular 
Me with a flange to it, usually in the side of a ship. These 
inlets or oatlets are all made of a uniform size and pattern, so 
that when the ship goes alongside the refinery to load, a pipe 
is screwed on, and the pumping is at once commenced at the 
works. The ship also has a large pump-room aboard, with 
powerful pumps in it; but these are chiefly used for pumping 
ijot the oil ; the charter-party usually providing that the 
siiijjpers shall pump the oil in, and the ship pump it out when 

At the refinery, where the ships load, the oil is stored in large 
tanks not unlike the gas-holdera at a gas works. Before the 
loading commences the distance from the top of the tank to 
the oil ia carefully measured, and the same wlien the loading 
is completed ; the amount put on board is then calculated by 
Bwom gangers, end their decision is final. This is the only 
vray by which the quantity of oil put on board the ship is 
arrived at. 

The oil coming in, as we have seen, at the side of the ship, 
flows down pipes at once to the bottom of the tanks, when 
by an adjustment oi tbe valves any one tank Bia.^ ^ft ^e^ i J 


separately, or the whole series of tanks may be fiUed simiil- 
taneonsly, at option ; and the trim of flie ah^ may be 
regulated as required by turning the Talyes on or off to the 
different tanks. 

The ship usually has a 'tween-deek running the whole way 
fore and aft, but not extending entirely athwart the ship, a 
narrow space being left throughout the whxAe length along the 
centre Une, so that the oil tanks, now nanowed to about time 
feet in width, come right up to the deck line. This oentnl 
narrow space connected with the tanks is techninally called " the 
expansion;" and at the top of the expansion, at the dadbJerel, 
are screwed the tank-lids. The object of this contaTanoe k to 
enable the oil, which expands with heat, to rise or &11 acooid- 
ingly to the temperature; and consequently the main body of 
the tank is always entirely fidl of oil, and there is no wash i8 
the ship rolls. Without these narrow spaces for the expaoflon 
of the oil, if the tanks were filled entirely fiill, when the weathfir 
got warmer and the oil swelled it woidd burst the deck up; 
and if the tanks were not entirely fiill, there would be such a 
wash as would probably burst the bulkheads and wreck the 
ship. But, having these ^' expansions," the oil is filled up to 
within about eighteen inc*bes of the top, which allows space 
fur it to swell, but the space is not wide enough for much of a 
wash to get up. The oil as it expands loses its specific grayity; 
BO that in hot weather, althcmgh there would be more gallons 
of oil on board the ship thau were originally put on bocurd, yet 
the number of tons of oil remains the same. In coming from 
Philadelphia in the winter, as soon as the ship runs into the 
warm water of the Gulf Stream, up comes the oil. It will rise 
sometimes in ''the expansion'' as much as four inches in ^ 
single night.* 

On board an oil-tank steamer the men are never allowed 
to smoke on deck, and it is made a special stipulation whet^ 
they sign on that they are not to do so, under a penalty of ^ 
fine of one month's wages for every time they are caught 

* Although with heat the oil iucreases in volume, yet the ship also increase^ 
somewhat in size too. There is a difference in the length of an iron ship 
500 feet long of rather over 7 inches (to speak accoratelyy 0*60 feet) betweef 
320 and 212° Fahrenheit. 


I I 



smoking ; they, however, know the danger, and very seldom 
infringe the rule. All lamps used on board an oil-t&nk 
■teamer, including the mast-head and the side lights, are 
usoally electric ; and the engine-room and the atoke-hold, 
^hich are right aft, are separated from the aftermost tanks 
by a four-fuot space exiled the "coffer-dam," so that should 
there be any leakage from the tanks, the oil wonld run into 
the cotfer-dam, and could be easily pumped out. 

By meaus of these precautions, and by using ordinary care, 
mineral oil carried in bulk, is not necessarily more dangerous 
than many other cargi>es. An oil-tank steamer is more 
dangerous empty than full, and for tliia reason t — petroleum 
gives off esplusive vapour in proportion to the surface exposed. 
A full lAuk, where the top is narrowed by the "expansion," 
has but little exposed surface, and so gives off but a small 
quantity of vapour; but an empty tank, after carrying oil, 
and before it has been steamed out and washed, has a certain 
amount of oil still adhering to the sides, top, and bottom, and 
from nil these exposed surfaces a large amount of vapour is 
given off. The vapour is of greater specific gravity than 
atmospheric air, and consequently sinks to the t>ottoin of the 
tank ; the upper part of the tank may therefore be perfectly 
free from gas. whilst a lighted match inadvertently thrown to 
the bottom of an empty tank might cAuse an explosion fatal 
tu the ship. 

Not long ago an oil-tank steamer was discharging at 
Huueu, and when one of the tanks was pumped out all but a 
few feet, something went wrong with the valve, and the chief 
engineer, without thinking, went down the ladder into the 
Unk. When he got near to the bottom of the ladder the 
bmes of the oil, or the vapour, overcame him, and he fell off 
the ladder and was drowned in the oil. No one could go 
down to his assistance — indeed, it was night, and there 
were but few people about — ami before they could recover 
iiis body a diver had to be engaged, who went down in his 

Last December a Bussian oil-tank steamer went ashore on 
the Bolt Tail, between Plymouth and the Start; the oil got 
out of the tanks, and a/fiiough a stiff gale was VAo-wwi^ "to. Vtvfe 



Olumnel at the time, for miles ronnd the Btext the lee «w 
peifeotly amooih. 

The total dertmotion by fiie of a petroleom steamtt 
(although not a tank steamer), ooooned in Jfoffember, 1897, 
under rather onrions oirenmstanoes. The Ximiimaarf a steel- 
faoilt steamer, of Newoastle-on*Tyne^ left Batonm on the Oth 
of Norember, with a cargo of refined petroleom, for Kimaohee. 
The petroleum was in tin oases of four gsUom eaoh, whick 
were again packed in wooden cases. There were 11S;490 such 
cases, so that there were abont 450/)00 gsUom of petraleom 
on board. In addition to this there were 70 gallons of ths 
petroleom in a tank in the engine^xxmiy for ose in the engjae- 
room lamps. 

All seems to have gone well ontil Norember 2ii, cm which 
date the 3knmoor was in the Bed Sea, aboot six miles 8J3£ 
of the Island of Jabel Tir. On that day the chief engineer, 
on going into the engine-rooos, noticed that the cock of 
the petroleom tank was leaking; and as the part of the 
engine-room where the tank stood was dark, he took a naked 
lamp in his hand, and proceeded to tighten the cock to 
prevent the leakage. In doing this the cock broke, and 
the oil rushed out, and almost immediately the whole engine- 
room was in flames, the oil having caught the naked light 
which he had placed on the floor about three feet from the 

All that could be done was to stop the ship by shotting off 
the steam from the stoke-hold, and this they managed to da 
H.M.S. Edgar^ which happened to be passing, endeavoured to 
render assistance, but the sea was too high to enable her to 
get alongside in order to use her own pumps in checking the 
fire ; she therefore took the crew off, and took the Edenmoor in 
tow, with the intention of taking her to the nearest harbour. 
During the night, however, the fire spread, the Sdenmosr 
being then in flames from the bow to the stem, and t^ 
hawser soon after parted. Seeing that there was no possi- 
bility of saving the ship, and thinking it not unlikely 
that an explosion would occur. Admiral FitzGterald with- 
drew the Edgar to a little distance, and then opened fire on 
the Edenmoar to sink her. Seventy-two shots were fired st 



ber before she ultimately vent to the bottom, Bttll burning 

A dangerous type of cargo steamer is that technically 
known as the " well-decked " steamer. She has a long poop 
and a top-gallant forecastle, and the solid bulwarks being 
continuous between the forecastle and the poop, an open well 
is formed amidships ; or if she have a deck-houae under the 
bridge, then practically two such wells. So long as a steamer 
of this kind is freighted in moderation there ia, perhaps, no 
TCry particular danger; but should she be very deep in the 
water, so that the actual free-board is not more than a couple 
of feet or ao, then if she meet with bad weather and ships two 
or three heavy seas, it will prubably be all over with her. 
Supposing a ship of this kind to have a beam of 30 feet, and 
the " well " to extend fore and aft for a hundred feet, then 
with bulwarks six feet high it would be quite possible for her 
suddenly to take four or five hundred tons of water on board at 
an awkward moment, and in an exceedingly awkward place. 

Fifteen years ago a vesael of this type, called the Muriel, 
was lost under precbely these circumstances, and at the court 
of inquiry held at Middlesborougli a rider was attached to the 
finding of the court, to the effect that " well-decked steamers 
are not adapted for voyages across the Atlantic during tlie 
winter months." 

At a similar court of inquiry, held in the case of the loss of 
the Tyne-built iron screw steamer Bg^jpt, which occurred 
while crossing from New York to Lisbon in March, 1887, the 
court found 

" that tlie fihip va loFit because large bodies of wftter came ioto, and remained 
in the well, and that there was no other contributing cause to the loss ; the 
vessel herself bebg thoroogbly seaworthy, lier cargo properly stowed, and 
the navigalion in aU reepecta quite efficient" 

Mr. Herbert Kuasell, writing on cargo steamships, says — 
" Of qnile an opposite type, yet nearly as unpopular, too, in ber way amongst 
sailoia,i8 the 'spar-decked 'steamer. Sbe is a craft rendered already horribly 
cmak by the modem theories of ' waU-aides ' and ' boi-beam ; ' but when her 
slender hall ia addilionaHy built up with a long cumbrous deok-bonse, the 
top-weight reduces bar to a chronic condition of threatening tfl turn turtle ii.t 
a moment's notice. The chief danger of this type ot vesaeV Wea Kn Vw &t- 
istrons teadeacf to abifl her c^go, owing to excessive \a\io\ivmg "to o. «m.-w<s^ . 



Nomben of thflM nnateble ihi^ haTe been loifc rfnplj bj Ae dSa^ktmrnX 
of their froight throwiDg themoTor on to their boAin eodii fitMn wUflh pcMbm 
their iuutow proportionB and exoeanfe top-we^t effeetnaHy prarwit thor 
reoorering biM)jinoy.** 

Meroantile Jack has frequently to ehoose between dangeioiu 
ahips employed in oanrying pecfectly hannleoa caigoeB» and 
thoroughly good and well-fonnd ahipa laden with oaigoei 
wMoh in themselyea are highly dangeiona. Few things are, 
perhaps, more riaky to cany on board ahip than ootton, whidi 
has always been beUeyed to have a dangerons tendency to 
apontaneonsly ignite, althoogh now there are some experts 
who deny that it ever does ignite qpontaneondy ; they, how- 
oyer, go so £ar as to admit that it will frequently arrive at 
suoh a state as to ignite upon the very slightest provocation, 
a single spark being su£Boient to ignite a whole cargo: so 
that, which ever way it be, the ultimate result to Mercantile 
Jack ia pretty much the same. 

In August, 1887, the Inman Line steamer Cfiijf^ MatUreal 
was totally destroyed by fire, she having at the time on board, 
as part of her cargo, over two thousand bales of raw American 
cotton. At the Board of Trade inquiry as to the loss of this 
ship it was stated that no less than seventy-three vessels laden 
with cotton had recently been either wholly or partially burnt 
within the short space of five months. 

The Government then determined thoroughly to investigate 
the question of the spontaneous ignition of cargoes of cotton, 
and Dr. Dupr6, Chemical Adviser to the Explosives Department 
of the Home Office, was instructed to make certain experi- 
ments both with Indian and American cotton. As the result 
of these experiments, Dr. Dupr6 reported 

*' that it was not until a heat of 250° Fahrenheit had been attained that the 
cotton began to char, and not until it was subjected to the enormoos tempe- 
rature of 1000° Fahrenheit did it burst into flames. He believed spontaneous 
combustion in cotton cargoes to be almost impossible; but, on the other 
hand, the material was so easily ignited as to leave no difficulty in accounting 
for the extraordinary number of conflagrations among ootton-laden ships. A 
match accidentally dropped into a bale whilst packing, and ignited by friction, 
might set the stuff smouldering ; a live ember from the funnel might be wafted 
into a ventilating shaft, and so find its way down into the hold, to say nothing 
of the obvious danger from tobacco-smoking among the stevedores and 

rraAXtK. [To fate /mje 212. 



Thus far Dr. Duprc. Whether all will agree witli him 
is another question ; and until haystacks cease to beat and to 
take fire, ordinary folk will be disposed to suspect that the 
same kind of thing may possibly occur in the hold of a 

On board a cotton- lad en steamer great care has to be 
exercised in such matters even as the painting of the holds; 
and if the holds have been recently painted, before taking 
in the cotton it is most desirable fo see that the paint is 
thoroughly dry and hardened, as any contact of cotton with 
oily substances ia exceedingly dangerous, and likely to lead 
to lire breaking out if the temperature be at all high, 

Ships regularly employed in the cotton trade are usually 
fitt«<I with steam-pipea leading from the boilers to the holds, 
so that in the event of a fire breaking out, the hatches being 
battened down and all the ventilators and other apertures 
closed, the steam can be turned into the hold ; there being no 
doubt but that steam will hold the fire in check, and, indeed, 
hitherto, in numberless cases it has enabled vessels with 
serious fires on board to arrive safely at their port of destina- 
tion, both in the United Kingdom and the Continent. 

Coals, especially certain sorts of coal, are apt to be exceed- 
ingly dangerous, and many coal-carrying vessels are destroyed 
every year. Large quantities of gas are generated in the hold, 
and unless the hatches are fre<iueutly taken off. it so accumu- 
lates that a light inadvertently taken below may in a moment 
be the cause of an explosion and a fire. Gunpowder and 
dynamite are equally unpleasant companions to have on 
board, although gunpowder is so far safe that it does not 
spontaneously ignite. 

Perhaps, when one comes to consider the number of dangerous 
things that have of necessity to be carried about in ships, it is 
wonderful, not that there are so many vessels burnt every 
year, but that there are not more. Passenger steamers, even 
the great liners, are always subjected to the risk of what may 
be hidden away in the recesses of the ship's hold. Many 
passengers are singularly thoughtless and careless, and 
despite the special notices issued by the P. and O. and other 
well-known lines, doubtless many things get V^Vyw a'oiau^ 



bjfi passengers' baggage that ought not to be there. A fine '4 
I and costH was recently impoaed by the magistrate at 
w Street npon a porenn who hail sent fnr shipment on board 
a P. and 0- steaiuer a package of wefiring-apparel, etc, 
among which were two boxes of lucifer matchea, without 
dei'laring the SBine — a perfectly jnst decision, inasmuch as an 
act of cfljetessnesfl of this sort might jeopardize the lires of 
hundreds of hnman beings, to say nothing of the loss of a fine 
ship and a valnable cargo. 


r - 

- - (» — 



T!ie TraoMtlaatic "Record"— 1838, the ,Sr*r»M— tlie Grtat Western— ISiO, 
the £n'ta«nio— 1851, the Baltic (Collms Line)— 1863, the Scotia— 
1869, the City of Bmiieli—1813, iLo Baltic (White Star)— 1879, the 
Ariao7ia—lSi2, iho Alasha—l6Bi, the OrejKHi— 1885, tie Jilruria— 
1889, the Cili/ qf Poris— 1891, llie ifojwiie— 1891, the IVuftmK— 
1805, the Cawiiania— The future. 

It so frequently liftppeua that a paragraph appears iii the 
daily papers to the effect that siieh or such a steamship has 
broken the record in the matter of the trans-Atlantic passage, 
that it may be worth while, even at the expense of repeating 
one or two facts already stated elsewhere, to give in a concise 
form some account of what actually has lieen done since the 
tirst employment of steam in crossing the Atlantic Ocean, 

The year 1838, may be taken as the starting-point of the 
Atlantic " record," for on the 5th of April, 1838, the Sirhis left 
Cork, making the passage across from Cork to New York in 
18 days. On the 8th of April, in the same year, three days 
after the ifirius, the G^-eat ll^estcrii left Bristol, also for New 
York, which port she reached on the same day as the Sirius, 
and only about two hours after her, making the passage in 
14J days, thus being the first steamer to " break the record." 

In 1840, one of the first Cunarders, the paddle-wheel steamer 
Britannia, crossed from Liverpool to Halifax in fourteen days 
and eight hours. In the following year, 1841, a great improve- 
ment was made in the speed, the Britannia making the home- 
ward passage from Halifax to Liverpool in teu days; and this 
remained the actual record until the year 1851. 

In 1851, this record was reduced to nine days eighteen 
hoars, westward, by the Baltic, one of the now extinct Collins 
Line ; and to nine days twenty hours, eastward, by her sister 
ship, the Pacific. The Scotia, the last paddle-wheel ship 



of the Canard Line, was the first vessel to sncceed in making 
the passage in less than nine days, she crossing eastwards in 
1863, in eight days and three honrs; and in the following 
year, 1864, accomplishing the outward passage in eight days 
and sixteen hours. 

In 1869, the City of Brussels made the run between New 
York and Queenstown under eight days, making the passage 
in seven days twenty-two hours, thus beating the record up to 
that time, and accomplishing a feat which stood unrivalled for 
four years. 

In 1873, the Baltic, of the White Star Line, came across 
from New York to Queenstown in two hours less than the City 
of Brussels, namely in seven days twenty hours. In 1879, the 
Arizona, of the now extinct Guion Line, one of the first of the 
ships since known as the " greyhounds of the Atlantic," made 
the passage from Sandy Hook Lightship to Queenstown in 
seven days and eight hours, and in the November of the same 
year went back from Queenstown to New York in seven days 
and nine hours. At that time these two passages were the 
"fastest on record" — a record, however, to be broken three 
years later by the Alaska, of the same Company, which made 
the homeward passage from New York to Queenstown, in July, 
1882, in sis days twenty-two hours ; and in September of the 
same year in sis days nineteen hours, the Alaska thus being 
the first ship to cross the Atlantic in less than seven days. 

In 1884, the Oregon made the homeward passage in six days 
eleven hours; and in the following year, 1885, the Cunarder 
Etruria crossed from Queenstown to New York in six days 
two hours. In 1889, the City of Paris, of the then Inman 
Line, still further reduced the time, making the run from 
Queenstown to New York in five days twenty hours, and from 
New York to Queenstown in five days twenty-two hours. This 
was the " record " until it was broken by the magnificent 
ships of the White Star Line, the Majestic, and the Teutonic. 

In July, 1891, the Majestic crossed from Queenstown to New 
York in five days eighteen hours and eight minutes, the 
fastest passage on record up to that date ; and in the follow- 
ing month the Tmtonic still further lowered the record by 
making the passage in five days sixteen hoois sud thirty 

minutes. In 1S92, the CUy of Paris again came to the I'ront, 
making the outward passage from Queenstown to New York 
in five days fourteen hours and tbirty minutes. 

In 3893, the latest additiuns to the Giiiiard fleet appeared in 
the Campania and the Lvcania, which hold the record up to 
the present time, the Campania's fastest passage out being 
from Queenstown, on the 18th of August, 1895, to New 
York, a distance of 2898 knots, in five days nine huiirs and 
five minutes; and the ZMcania'o fastest being in October, 1894, 
in five days seven hours and twenty-three minutes. Up tt' 
the present, therefore, the Zucania is the fastest ship that ever 
crossed the Atlantic ; her average speed for a whole passage 
being 22-1 knots an hour; and her fastest fur a single hour 
23"3 knots, or very nearly twenty-seven miles in the hour. 

The above particulars of record passages are, for the most 
part, limited to the route between Queenstown and New York, 
but other fast passages have been made between other ports, 
B8 for instance that of the Lahradcr, of the Dominion Line, 
which left Moville (Ireland) at 2.15 p.m. on the 9th of 
Angust, 1895, and reached Belle Isle, Newfoundland, at 7.5 
•an. on August the 14th, thus making the run from land to 
land across the Atlantic (allowing fur the difference of 
longitude) in four days twenty hours, the fastest on record 
in that direction. 

Doring 1896, the highest average rate of speed throughout 
the whole of an Atlantic trip was made by the Campania, 
with 21-86 knots to her credit. But the Lvmnia was close 
behind her with 21-80 knots. The latter ship made the best 
d»y's run that year, viz. 562 knots. ^Vhen running to the 
westward her day would be equal to 24 hours 50 minutes, and 
oonaequently the average for the day was 2263 knots per 
Iionr. Coming home she made 623 knots, and the day being 
then only 23 hours 10 minutes long, the average would be 
22-57 knots. 

Of the White Star liners, the fastest average speed for a 
whole passage was in 1896, 20-17 knots per hour, by the 
Teutonic on her homeward passage in June; whilst the 
Majestic came very close in her outward passage in. Aa^[^t, 
her average speed then being 20-15 knots. 



The St. Paul aiid the St. Louis, the American-built steamers 
of the American Liue, which were designed to beat all previouB 
records, have so far failed to do this that their best average 
speed remains appreciably below that of either the Campania 
or the Lucania. The Si. Paul's best average for a whole trip 
was her westward jiaasage from Southampton to New York, 
3046 knots, in August, 1896, the time being six days and 
thirty minutes, or at the average speed of 21'08 knots per hour. 
The St. Louis' best whole trip was also her westward passage, 
30.55 knots, during the same month of August, 1896, her 
time being six days two hours thirty minutes, or an average 
speed of 20'87 knots per hour. 

It is curious to note that nearly all the record-breakers 
have been built in pairs. In 1875, the Britannic and the 
Germanic, of the White Star Line, were considered the swiftest 
steamers in the world, and at that time it was extremely 
difficult to say which of them was tlie faster. In 1881, the 
Sema, of the Cunard Company, and the City of Rome, of 
the Anchor Liue, made their appearance, and put the 
IJntaimic and the Oernianic into the shade. In 1884, the two 
Cunard boats, the Etruria and the Umhna, were built, and 
were then considered to be the beet-matched, as well as the 
Itistest pair of steamers afioat ; yet their brilliant performances 
were completely eclipsed by the Atlantic passages of the 
Inman ships, the City of Paris and the City of New Yorl; 
which were launched in 1888. These in turn had to give 
place to those maguiflcent steamships of the White Star 
Line, the Majestic and the Teutmiic, which are almost 
identical in appearance, tonnage, and speed ; and now these 
fine ships have had to yield the palm to the Cunardera, the 
Campania and the Lucania, which, like all the rest, will 
probably themselves be superseded before long by still faster 
ships, and one of their successors will doubtless be the White 
Star's new Oceanic ; although, unless some very striking^ 
revolution takes place either in shipbuilding or in the means 
of propulsion, it seems difficult to conceive that any very 
material advance still remains to be made. 

But although the Campania and the Lucania as yet hold 
the premier position for speed and size, it would be wrong 


to suppose that those interested in the transit of passengers 
and mails across the Atlantic have not been casting about 
with a view of surpassing the greyhounds of the Cunard 
Company. Expert opinion seems unanimous as to the 
direction which the most probable devekiimient of the North 
Atlantic passenger and mail traffic must take; end the future, 
and probably the near future, will see a still more decided line 
of demarcation between passenger and freight services than 
obtains at the present time. In all existing railway services 
passenger trafHc and goods traffic are relegated to totally 
distinct departments, each provided with its own special 
locomotives, and with its own particular rolling stock. It will 
not, probably, be long before a similarly sharp division will 
have to be made between the passenger and the goods trafBc 
on the Atlantic, and prompt action in this direction will 
probably result very favourably to the first company which 
has the courage to break through established traditions. 

A passenger boat, pure and simple, need not be of the 
same dimensiouH as the Campania and the Lnjcania. A 
vessel of from 400 to 420 feet in length would be amply large 
enough to give the requisite stability in a seaway, and as 
she would probably require less power to drive her, a material 
saving would be effected. Her decks, too, unobstructed by 
hatches and winches, would afford superior attractions to 
the ocean traveller, and passengers would soon learn to dis- 
criminate between the passenger eteamer, and the passenger 
and cargo boat. But one of the most material points in 
favour of these suggested vessels is the fact that they would 
be able to make considerably more trips in the course of a 
year than a eteamer that has a cargo to load and discharge. 
In the case of the Campania and the Lutania a month elapses 
between their sailing dates from Liverpool ; in other words, 
a return voyage occupies a month, these boats being in port 
for a week at Liverjjool and a week at New York on each trip. 
It' they were simply passenger boats much of this delay would 
be avoided. Assuming the cost of one of these vessels to be 
half a million sterlmg, every week that she is lying idle — 
TOiisidering the matter as one of interest on idle capital — 
means a loss of aoaethitig like £500. It sbe vieie ami'^'^ a 



paaaenger boat these twenty-four weeks of the year spent in 
port would certainly be lednced by one-half, which seems to 
point to a saying of something like £6000 a year. Bat then 
would be another effect — ^the twelve trips across in the yeir 
would probably be increased to eighteen, so that the gtin 
would be at both ends. 

With such a boat the point of departure would probably 
be Holyhead, and not Liverpool, and the induoemsnt to oaD 
in at Queenstown would then disappear, the record passige 
being for the future New Tork to Holyhead and Holyhesd 
to New York. 

Engineering experts are perhaps a little undecided as to 
how long a boat could keep up such a service without 
requiring overhauling ; but when the continuous runs of the 
large fast steamers engaged in the Australian and New 
Zealand trade are considered, it is evident that msiiiis 
engines are capable of running much more than six or sem 
days at a stretch. Thus there should be no real difficulty 
in a ship which crosses the Atlantic at a speed of £rom 22 to 
24 knots an hour being turned round in a couple of days, 
and making at least eighteen trips in the year as against the 
Campania 8 or the Lu<iania'8 twelve ; so that the passenger 
boat, as distinct from the cargo boat, will without doubt be 
soon as much recognized as an institution between Holyhead 
and New York as it now is between Dover and Calais, or 
between Folkestone and Boulogne. 



Sailing aliipa — The '' Baltimore clippore" — Boston and New Tork clippere — 
Tlio Sat WitcA — ^Tho Americftn tea clippers — Britiali clippers — The 
Cliiiift tea mce in 1953 — Donald McKay's ships— The FCi/ing Oload— 
The White Star Linera— The Oreal BepiMic— The Blue Jac/cel—Laaa 
o( the Blue Jimket— The Marco Polo — The Bed Jaektl—The Lightning 
— The James ftiinw— The Domld McKay — The Scotch clippers— The 
China tea race of 1866 — The Ariel and the Taeping — Bombny clippers — 
The Tmeed—Ths Sir iancdot— The tea race of 18G7— The Thermopylx 

* — The Gulty-Sark — British ahipB — Pour-masters, 

A 0UBI0U3 similarity mauifested itself towards the middle of 
this century between the way in which steam was gradually 
superseding horses on the land, and the way in which it was 
equally superseding sails upon the sea. Stage-coach travelling 
had never been brought to such a pitch of perfection as it 
attained just before its final extinction by the railroad. Such 
handsome, well-appointed, fast, and punctual coaches as 
then appeared had been entirely unknown until the railway 
engineer was slowly, but surely, throwing up his embankments, 
and boring his tunnels, for the new mode of locomotion that 
was so soon to take their place. In the same way on the 
water, although steam was making rapid progress, and was 
steadily threatening the sailing ship with extinction, yet 
never had the world seen such perfect specimens of sailing 
ships as api>eared between the years 1840 and 1870. or 
perhaps a little later. 

Like many other useful arts, that of building fast-sailing 
clipper ships came to this country from America, the shipbuilders 
of Baltimore claiming the honour of being the first to turn 
out these swift and handsome vessels. From the Potomac 
issued the particular kind of craft that soon became famous 


throughout the worlds under the name of ^Baltimore 
clippers/' not only for their astonishing speed, bat also for 
the exceeding beauty of their model. The vessels built at 
Baltimore^ however, were seldom larger than brigs, the 
number of barques and ships constructed there being bat 
small, owing to the want of water-room; two of the finl 
vessels of the larger type, however, were the Ortykowd 
and the Orey Eeigle, both of which proved to be exceedingly 
fast sailers. 

Soon after this New York and Boston turned their attention 
to the building of an improved type of ship, and it was not 
long before a fleet of handsome clippers hailed from these 
two ports also. The first of the famous American dippen 
built at New York was the Sea Witch, of 907 tons register, 
which was launched in 1844. The Sea WUck soon bectme 
famous, and although repeatedly beaten afterwards by the 
larger ships which succeeded her, she is believed to have 
had more influence on the form of deep-sea vessels than 
any other merchant ship ever built in the United StataL 
With her the full bow and the long sharp run aft went 
out of fashion, and the long sharp bow with a fuller stem 
came into permanent use the world over for fast ships of 
the mercantile marine. The Sea Witch was 170 feet 3 inches 
in length, 33 feet 11 inches beam, and 19 feet in depth. ^ 
Owing to the sharp rise of her floor (16°), she was, however, 
unstable without a good deal of ballast, and she rolled 
considerably in a seaway; but her speed was surprising, 
she being at that time undoubtedly the fastest sailing ship 

The Sea Witch was soon followed by larger and swifter 
clippers, many being specially built for the China tea trade, 
among them being the Oriental and the Celestial^ and after 
these the Clialleiuic and the Surprise, and many others. Among 
the many splendid trips made by these American clippers 
those of the Oriental and the Celestial, belonging to New York, 
perhaps stand pre-eminent. The Onental accomplished the 
dbtance from New York to Hong Kong— 14,521 miles by 
log, and 14,160 by observation — in less than 71 days, her 
average rate of sailing per day being 200 miles. The Celestial 



made a trip from New York to San Francisco in 95 days, 
which was two days quicker than the Sea Witch had done, 
which nntil that time had been the shortest passage on 

These American ships were now beginning to appear in 
the Thames and in the Mersey, and were already competing 
tor British trade against British ships. It was in the year 
1850, however, that Mr. Richa.rd Green, of the famous 
Blackwall Line, determined to construct some vessels that 
should heat the American clippers, and at a dinner given 
by one of the city companies he announced his intention as 
foIlowB: "We have heard," said he, "a great deal this night 
about the dismal prosi>ects of British shipping, and we have 
heard, too, from other quarters a great deal about the British 
liou and the American eagle, anJ the way in which the two 
are going to lie down together. Now, I don't know anything 
tbout all that, but this I do know — that we, the British 
ihipowners, have at last sat down to play at a fair and open 
game with the Americans, and, by Jove ! we'll trump them." 
8oon after this an English clipper ship was laid down by Mr. 
(rreeu, which when she was launched was called the Challenger, 
in answer to tho Baltimore clipper Challenge. 

By 1850, the annual race home from China of the tea ships 
was an established institution, and in 1852, was attracting so 
mnoh attention that the American Navigation Club of Boston 
offered £10,000 to the vessel which should win the next 
nee, an American clipper against a British one, of 120O 
Mob register, tiie ships to run from London to China and 
iieck, under certain regulations. After the offer had been 
published for a month in England, it was raised to £20,000, 
and the British ship was promised fourteen days' start. The 
challenge, however, was never accepted. 

By this time, however, other Brilish shipbuilders besides Mr. 
Otem were constructing vessels designed to equal, if not to 
•BTpaas, the American clippers, and in 1853, Messrs. Jardine, 
HstfaesoQ, and Co. sent out the CTtri/solitf and the Sfornoway 
'.0 take part in the race, which, however, still resulted in 
favour of the American clippers, as follows: — 


K bea 


A raerioao- built clipper .., Olmileitge ... Cnu ton to Deal, 105 days, 

„ ,, ... SurpriM ... „ „ !06 ., 

Aberdeen -hailt chpper ... SJurnoimiy ,,, „ „ 109 ., 

„ ,, ... CkryioliU ... Cauton to Liverpool, llWdkji, 

Amorican-bdlt ship ... Nightingale ... Shangh&i to De«l, llOdiyt, 

Britiah-built ship ... Challenger ... „ „ 113 „ 

the Americans thna wiunitig both nces. 

TKe years from 1850, to 1855, were noted for the atitnber < 
fast clippers turned out from the building-yards of the Unit«i 
States, and the demand for such vessels became so great tlu 
they were frequently very hastily constructed. As a case 
point, the John Bertram, 1100 tuns register, a clipper w( 
known for a few years, was launched in sixty days from tha 
laying down of her keel, and in thirty days more she 
speeding on her way from Boston to San Francisco with a full 
cargo of goods, at forty dollars per ton freight. This reckleu 
mode of construction soon told its tale, more particularly ia 
the case of the China tea-clippers of American build, which, in' 
spite of the fact that they were exceedingly beautiful vessel^ 
and admirable in point of speed, were notoriously so slightly 
built that on arrival their cargoes were frequently found to be 
very materially damaged. 

In 1851, the clipper Nightiiy/alc, mentioned above as in the 
race from Shanghai to Deal, was built at Portsmouth, New 
Hampshire. She was 178 feet long, 36 feet beam, and 20 feot 
deep, and was 1066 tons register. She was an exceedingly 
sharp ship. . lu the rai^e from Shanghai upon one occasion she 
ran 33t) nautical miles in the twenty-four hours, or at the rate 
of rather more than 16 statute miles an hour. The next year, 
1854, she ran from New York to Melbourne in 76 days. 

In 1851, Donald McKay, of East Boston, a name destined 
to become famous in connection with fast-sailing ships, built 
the Flying Cloud, a clipper, measuring 208 feet on keel, 41 
feet beam, and 21 feet 6 inches depth of hold, 1782 tons 
register. She made her first voyage from New York to San 
Francisco, doing the passage out in 90 days. On one day she 
ran 427 nautical miles, then the very fastest time on record. 

Mr. Donald McKay, in 1852, built the clipper Sovereign of the 
>%:as. She was 245 feet long on the keel, 44 feet 6 inches 
beam, and 25 feet 6 inches depth of hold, and was 2421 tona 




register. She waa the largest, sharpest, and longest saiUug- 
ressel in the wurld at the time of her t'onstriiction. Upun oue 
occftsion she ran 1367 miles in four (lays, thus keeping up a 
coDtiouous rate of oyer 14 miles an hour. Once she made 43(i 
miles in twenty-four hours, or over 18 miles au hour. This ship 
earned 200,000 dollars gross during the first eleven months of 
her existence. 

The original " White Star " Line was composed of a fleet of 
these fast-sailing A^merican clippers, and among their ships 
were the Champion of the Seas, 2470 tons ; the Blue Jacket, 1790 
tona;* the Sardinian, 1150 tons; the White Star,X\ie Shalinar, 

* Thia celeljrated clipper was, unfortiitifltely, ituriied at sea. The following 
account ia that given by the Master, Captain J. White, upon the arrival of 
thesiHTiTOTBatQneoiistown.oaMa}-17, 18C9:— "Theitiu* Jocfef, 1790 tons 
resister, left Lyttelton, New Zealand, on the 13th of February, 13G9, with n 
C^rgo of wool, flax, and colonial produce, and 15 boxes of gold, containing 
£48,000. She had 17 saloon passengers, IS^aecond-cIass, and a craw of 39, 
with a anrgcoQ and a Btewardeas. On the 6th of March, at 1 1 a.m., the Blue 
Jacket passed Cape Horn, and on the 7tb of March, the Falkland lalands. At 
1.30 p.ra. on that day, being in latitude &0-26 S. and longitude 47 W., a fine 
breeie blowing from W.N.W., amoko wna obaorved to issue from the fore 
hnich. Immediately the hatch waa removed to ascertain the cause, when a 
Tolume of smoke rushed up. Both fire-engines were immediately started to 
wodc by the crow and pasBSngorB, the Hre-buckcts being also put into 
Kquisition. After two hours' incessant labour by all hands the Gre seemed to 
decrease, and an attempt was made to break out the cargo, and to throw 
overboard the bales in the fore-batch so as to get at the fire, but tlie attempt 
was onsncceaaful, the flames rushing from the starboard wing. The hatch 
was immediately closed, and covered with larpauliJis, wet sails, etc., atid tlie 
engines were played into the holes where the deck-lights had been, and 
through which the flames could he diatunctly seen coming from the flax. 
The flames were put out as far a.i the hoee-pipoa would reach, when these 
holes were closed up and others opened, until it was discovered tliat the coals 
in the fore-peak were on 6re, when all hope of saving the ship was abandoned. 

" The boats were at once got ready, provisions, water, bICt being put into 
them. The heat now compelled those working tlie engines to dewst, the 
moat perfect order and discipline being maintained by the crew and poMengers. 
The &stboat lowered was the cutter, into which tlio ladies, children, and the 
rest of the passengers, and some of the crew were put. The remainder of the 
crew took to the lifeboats, of which there were two. At 10 p.m. the flames 
were observed to be breaking out of the top-gallant forecastle, rushing np the 
fore-sail and the fore-stays. At 10.30 p.m. the foremast went over the side, 
the flames having by this time reached the mainsail. Before leaving the 
ship she waa hovo-to on the starboard tack, driftmg to the 8,E. 

'■ I now regnlafed thg fjoafa, dividing- the crew eqvioliy ™ ftu>. \M^<im.\,%, 





the Salamis, the Patriarch, and niauy others, sailiag to Aostnlia. 
Of these, perhapa, the Patriarch was the fastest ship, making, in 
1868, the run home from Sydney to the West India Docks in 
sixty-eight days. To this line Messrs. Ismay, Imrie, and Co. 
succeeded, and they then supplemented the fleet with a niiniba 

putting Mr. R. ^. Boll, iho second officer, in ch&rge or one, and Mr. A. Webba^ 
the third officer, and the bo'sun, ia charge of the other. The cattet wH 
taken charge of by myself and the first officer, lU. F. Williama, there bebf 
in her the fourth officer, two seamen, three stewarda, one boy, and all thi 
passengen (thirty-oine in all), the two lifeboata having thirty-two pemud^ 
all the boats being in company. 

"On the Ilth of March smoke was still visible from the bumiog hull of the 
ship ; the boats were in company^ wind ftesh from the westward, and the kb 
rising. Both the lifeboats were lust sight of during the day, though they had 
strict orders to keep ia compauy. Before sunaet we nm down to see it the 
boala could be made out. I kept a man at ihe mast-head, sent up a rocket 
at 8 p.m., and kept on dodging about Ull midoight when another rocket was 
sent off witliont any response. We then proceeded on onr coarse for fiw 
days, experiencing strong westerly gales, the sea waahing over the boat con- 
tinually, drenching every one to the skin. 

"On the ICth of March, at 5.30 a.m^ lat. 50-65 8., long. 53-51 W., aU 
being in a very exhausted state from hunger, thirst, wot, and ctsmp, the 
rations iiaviug been reduced to a mouthful of water, and one table-spoonful of 
preserved meat every twecty-four hours (all the biscuit having been destroyed 
by the Bait water], a sail hovo in sight, ninning down towards the boat. Sbe 
proveil to be the barque Pyrmont, of [Umburg, from Iqoiqne, bound la 
Falmouth for orders, Capt. It. Neemeyer, master. Capt. Neemeyer at onoe 
took all OD board, the boat Uing abandoned. Uuremittuig attention wai 
paid to the rescued by all on board the barque, the weak being attended to 
first, their wet clothes being removed, and all supplied with fresh dry iMngL 
The captain being told that two more boats had left the burning ship, raa 
the Pyrmont an hour N. by W. and two hours E.N.E., but, on fortunately, 
nothing could be seen of them. Thomas Apsey, third steward, died im- 
mediately on being brought on hoard the Pyrmont, and Mr. Farrington, tha 
fourth officer, lost his reason and gradually sank, dying ou Uie 2l8t of March. 

" On the 28tb of March, Ul. 28 .5 S., and long. 29 W., one of the paasengeti 
died, and soon after the ship Garrtckt, from Liverpool to Calcutta, hove in 
Nght, and was boarded, her captain supplying the Pyrmont with what pro- 
visions he could spare. On April 1st, in lat. 25 S., long. 29 W., the clipper 
ship Yorkihire was spoken, bound for Melbourne. Her captain moat 
generously supplied the Pyrmaal freely with every necessary, and took off 
two of the passengers who were desirous of proceeding to Melbourne. 

•' On the ITtli of May the Pymionl landed the survivotB, comprising the 
whole of the passengera, with the exception of the one who had died and the 
two who had gone back to Melbourne, at Queeostown, there having been no 
fiiTtbeT casualty among those froia tlvt cutlet of the ill-fat«d Blue Juckd," 





of iron clippers sach aa the iWiwA Commerce, the Belfast, the 
Knight Commander, the Houghton Toicer, the Ghngarry, the 
Knowsley Hall, and other magnificent ships. 

In the same way that the stage-coach proprietors vainly tried 
their utmost still to beat the railways; so the Yankees tried 
their very hardest with these fast-sailing and handsome clippers 
to beat the steamers across the Atlantic. One of these American 
clippers, the Dreadnought, under the command of Captain 
Samuels, actually came across from New York to Queenatown 
in 9 days 17 hours, which is probably the fastest sailing time 
on reconi, being at the rate of at least twelve knots an hour 
the whole distance,* The Ashburton crossed from New York 
to Liverpool in 12 days; the Princeton in 16 days; and the 
Virginia, the Waterloo, and the Queen of the West in 17 days ; 
whilst the Waterloo, the Liverpool, and the Tornado crossed the 
other way, from Liverpool to New York, in 18 days. A little 
later the Ulcnijfer made four voyages to Quebec and back, thus 
crossing the Atlantic eight times during eight months, her 
fastest passage being from Quebec to Greenock in 15 days. 
Oue of the finest, as well as one of the largest of these famous 
vessels — indeed, at that time she was the largest sailing-vessel 
itt the world — was the Great Sejniblic, belonging to Messrs. A. 
A. Law and Co., of New York, When launched she was of 
4000 tons ; but having soon afterwards been partially destroyed 
by fire, her upper deck was removed, and her size was conse- 
quently reduced to 3400 tons. She was 305 feet long, 53 feet 
beam, and 30 feet depth of hold. She was fitted with double 
topsails, being one of the earliest ships to be so treated. On her 
firat trip she brought 3000 tons of Peruvian guano from New 
York to London as ballast. She made the passage from New 
Yurk to Scilly in thirteen days ; and beat up the Channel from 
thence to the Downs, in the teeth of a strong easterly gale, in 
three days more, making in all sixteen days from New York 
to the Downs. But the days of the Transatlantic passenger 
trade were over for sailing ships, and they had, at last, to haul 

• Thie famous American clipper — the Dreadnought — for flouio years waa 
Employed ill the CaliforiUBn trade, the steamers having driven sailing vcsacia 
like her off the Atlanlic. She waa lotalli- lost in 18G9. al Pourt Vnao,^, Tiwa 
B»n F 


down their colouis to the steamen; and Unas like the WhiU 
StaVf the Ouian, and others, had to giTe up 8ai]% and take 
to steam. 

Between the years 1850 and 1860, when the Anstnlian gold 
fever was at its height, every availaUe Teasel was put into the 
Australian tiade, and a keen oompetiti0n was waged between 
the English and the American ships. Large flxms like Deritt 
and Moore, after putting on the large ships pferiooaly used in 
the East Indian trade, ware sending out quite small Tessek as 
passenger ships to (}eebng, Adelaide, and Sydney, resaels rang- 
ing from 350 to 600 tons ; indeed, the great majocity of the skips 
leaving London at that time rarely exceeded six hundred tons. 

During the whole of the '^ sixties," the average Australian 
passage of the regular EngUah firigate-builtahipa— aQehahipsss 
Green's, or Money Wigram's, which were the very finest vessels 
out of the port of London, was usually from eighty-five to s 
hundred days. The following may he taken as fair examples: 
The EUukwaU^ 1000 tons^ belonging to Messrs. GreeOt arrived in 
the Downs on November 1, 1867, one hundred days from Mel- 
bourne. She left Melbourne on the 23rd of July, rounded the 
Horn on the 3rd of September, having experienced very heavy 
easterly and south-easterly gales all the way from New Zealand 
to the Horn. She crossed the Line on the 30tli of September, 
and anchored in Plymouth Sound on the 30th of October. 

The same day the ship Svssex, 1100 tons, belonging to Money, 
Wigram and Co., arrived at Plymouth, 85 days from Mel- 
bourne, which port she left on the 6th of August She rounded 
the Horn on the 13th of September, crossed the Equator on the 
6th of October, arriving at Plymouth on the 30th of October. 
This, then, was about the usual length of the passage in the best 
ships, so that no small sensation was created in Liverpool by 
the American-built clipper, the Marco Polo^ making the passage 
from Melbourne in the then unprecedentedly short time of 
75 days.* In 1854, Messrs Baines and Co., of the Black Ball 

* The Black Ball clipper Marco FcHo was not always so fortunate. Upon 
one occasion she Tras 183 days from Melbonrae. The Marco Polo sailed from 
Melbourne for Liverpool on the 19th of Febmary, 1861, passing Port Philip 
Heads on the 20th, with 242 passengers, and a general cargo indnding 
6570 oz. of gold. On the 4th of Maiohf in the Soath Padfio Ocean, ahe came 
into Yiolent collision with an icebefi^^. "CLet \^^r«^ ^«v& ^sofn^ vm.^^ ber 

I ■ 

1. 1 




Line, put on two splendid sbipa, the Lightning and tlie Bed 
Jacket, followed shortly after by the equally celebrated 
clipper, the James Baims. 

The famous (flipper, the Red Jachet, 2464 tons register, 
designed by Mr. S. M. Pook, was bnilt by Donald McKay 
spei-ially for the Australian trade. She came across from New 
York to Liverpool in 13 days 11 hours in an attempt to beat 
the Dreadnought ; but the Dreadnmight beat her by three hours. 
The Red Jacket made her first run out tn Melbourne from 
Liverpool in 69 days. Upon another occasion she made the 
passage from Liverpool to Melbourne iu COJ days, and the 
passes home in 734 ^^J^ '> ^^^ whole voyage, out and home, 
including the detention in Austtulia, occupying only 5 months 
and 10 days. 

The Lufhtning, also built by Donald McKay, in 18.')4, was 
one of his very smartest clippers. She was 227 feet 6 inches 
long on the load-line, 44 feet 6 inches beam, and drew 17 feet 
of water. Her register tonnage was 209U tons. She came 
across from Boston to Liverjiool in 13 days 20 hours. She 
'lid LiTerpooI to Melbourne in 77 days, 65 days, and once in 
63 days — the shortest passage on record — and made the return 
passage in 64 days. 

The James Bainea, another of the famous Black Ball liners, 
of 2515 tons, was equally celebrated for her uniformly rapid 
iwssages, so much so that upon one occasion when she and the 
Liijhtn-ing left Melbourne the same month, and when the former 
ship wa9 over a hundred days coming home, instead of her 
Qsnal time of from sixty to seventy days, there was something 
like a panic in Liverpool. The James Baines left Melbourne 
on the 7th of August, 185G, having on board 174,000 on. of 
gold dust, worth about £700,000, Not having arrived at 
Liverpool on the 14th of November, being then 99 days out, 
insurances were effected upon her at £8 per cent, (her usual 

hows atovG in, and the foremast sprung. Rucli was tlie extent of tlie ilamage 
that for a time all hopea of saving the vessel were given up ; but owing to 
Uie intrepidity of the captain, and the bmva conduct of all on board, the 
■4faroD PoloyaB Bucoessfully taken into Valparaiso on tlie 2nd of April. Hero 

1*he underwent a thorough overhaul, and was enabled to continue her voyage, 
•rriviog in Liverpool on the Zlst of August, being 183 daya oat from 


terms for specie being from 861. to 40i. per oeat) ; and bong 
still unheard of on the 20th of Norember, then 105 dsji 
out, £15 per cent was paid. On the next dmj, the 2l8t» she 
towed np the Mersey. 

The Lijfhining left Hobs(m*s Bay on the 27th of August, 
three weeks after the James Baines, with 140,000 os. of gbld- 
dnst on board. The following morning she passed the BmAk 
and on the 1st of September was off New Zealand. She 
ronnded the Horn on the 19th of September (21 days lOhoon 
bam the Heads) ; crossed the Line on the 8th of October ; on tha 
18th of NoTember was off Cork ; ronnded Holyhead on the 19th; 
and arrired in the Mersey on November 20, 1866 — one day 
before the Ja$ns$ Bainei. 

Another yery celebrated ^ Black Ball *' liner was the Dmidd 
M6Kdjf—2S04t tons register (the largest dipper in the world). 
She was boilt at Boston, her length being 266 teet, her beam 
46 feet, and her depth of hold 29 feet She was one of tbs 
Cutest sailers in the world ; npon one occasion taking a thovsuid 
troops from Portsmouth to Manritins in 70 days. Her ayemge 
time for six consecutive Toyages from Liverpool to Melbourne 
was 83 days ; and only once it exceeded 85 days. 

Another very fast clipper ship, belonging to the Liverpool 
White Star Line, was the Lillies, 1665 tons register. She took 
a number of troops from Dublin to Gibraltar in 4 days. She 
made the passage from Liverpool to Melbourne in 79 days, on 
which occasion she made 365 miles a day for several days in 

Some Aberdeen clippers, however, were by this time making 
their appearance, whose performances quite equalled those of the 
American ships. The Maid of Judahy 1200 tons register, made 
the passage from London to Sydney, in 1860, in 78 days ; whilst 
the Star of Peace^ of 2000 tons, made four consecutive passages 
from London to Sydney, respectively, in 77, 77, 79, 79 days. 
The British clipper ship Hurricane^ of the Thames and Mersey 
Line of Australian Packets, was also an exceedingly fast sailer. 
She came home from Melbourne in 74 days. Upon one occasion 
she ran 270 nautical miles in sixteen hours and a half, thus 
keeping up a speed exceeding sixteen knots an hour. 
The building of clipper shi^ hsd now reached the far East, 

■• THE CHINA TEA RACE OF 1866 231 

and ahipa on the lines of tlie American and tlie Aberdeen 
'•lippers were being tnmed out of the Hhipbuilding yards of 
Bombay. In 1857, such a vessel, named the Funjauh, was built 
for the East Indian Government as a steam war-ahip. She con- 
tinued in the Eaat Indian Navy until the Government of 
India was transferred to the Imperial Crown, when she was 
3old, converted into a sailing ship, and re-christened the Tweed. 
The East India Company always used to pay dearly for their 
ships, and a more costly ship of her class was probably never 
built than the Twetil, she being constructed entirely of the 
finest MaUbar teak. 

Under the red ensign of the JVIerchant Service she made 
some remarkable passages. Her first voyage was from London 
to Bumbay, with the Persian Gulf telegraj>h cable on board, 
which she was afterwards employed iu laying, when she made 
the run out to Bombay, of course by way of the Cape, iu 77 
days. She then went to Vingoria, at which place she took 
on board the Seaforth Highlanders, and brought them home 
in 78 days. And others of her trips were equally rapid. 

In 1856, Messrs. Scott and Co., of Greeno<'k, built the Lonl of 
t/ic Isles, to compete with the American tea clipjiers, and in the 
next race home from China she beat the Americans in point of 
speed, besides pos^aaing the additional quality of being better 
built than they were, and in consequence, bringing her cargo 
home uninjured. For some years the honours of this rare were 
divided, the palm of victory falling sometimes to the British 
ships, sometimes to the American; but before the " sixties " 
were out the blue ribbon of the China tea race was wrested 
from the Americans altogether, and carried off by British ships, 
some very smart sailing constantly taking place between the 
competitors. In the race of 1866, the Arid, the Taeping, and 
the Serica, with two other famous clippers, left Poo-chow-foo 
together, and at nightfall on the first day out lost sight of each 
other, and during the entire distance from China to England 
they never met again until off the mouth of the Channel. The 
Ariel and the Tacping then came up the Channel neck and neck ; 
but the Arid got in advance of the Taepiiig in coming up the 
river, and was the first to arrive off Blackwall. In consequence, 
however, of there not being sufficient depth of water at the 


dock entnnoe of the West India Doekg, ■he mold not be 
hanled into the docks that day, and had to let go her anchor 
and wait till the next tide; meanwhile the TatpUig paawd 
her, and soooeeded in getting into the London Bocks the 
moment she came np, and thns claimed the priie. Both ships 
were boilt at Oreenock in the same year. They were both 
built on the composite principle— that is to say, with iron 
frames and teak planking, the Arid being 760 tons register. 
She was 197 feet 4 inches in length, 88 feet 9 inches beam, 
and 21 feet depth of hold; the TdUEpiii^ being 188 feet 7 inches 
in length, 81 feet beam, and 19 feet 9 inches depth of hold. 

A yery characteristic anecdote of American 'cnteness is told 
in connection with one of these races home. The oelelnated 
Baltimore clipper &a jSb^flU sailed from Shanghai for London 
in company with the British clipper Cfrmt of tts Wmot. A 
premium tk thirty shillings a ton, orer and abore the amount 
of the freight, had been offered to the yessel first in, and this 
was sufldent inducement for both skippers to crack on. The 
two ships were fairly near to each other all the way home, and 
they actually hove to for pilots off the Isle of Wight within an 
hour of each other. The American captain determined that he 
would not be outdone by the Britisher, so he came ashore in 
the boat that brought out his pilot, took the steamer from 
Cowes to Southampton, and the train up to Waterloo. From 
here he took a cab to the Custom House, and reported the Sea 
Serpent as ''arrived," while each ship was carrying on in order 
to get into the Thames before the other. 

The depression of freights to the owners, and the flatness of 
the tea-market, led in the next year, 1867, to the withdrawal 
of the premium awarded to the first ship in. This, however, 
did not detract from the extreme interest manifested in the 
race of that year, there being no less than fourteen competitors 
as against nine in 1866, and all of them crack ships. All were 
built under special survey, and were constructed on the 
composite principle, similar to that adopted in the case of the 
Ariel and the Taepin{ji. Of the fourteen ships, one, the Taewany 
with 780,500 lbs. of tea for her cargo, was totally lost close 
to Foo-chow*foo on the very day of her sailing. Two new 
ships, the Titania and the Sir Laucclot, which had been built 



I ! 


■i; '; 

I .1 

i . • 


1 1 ; 







by Kobert Steele and Co., of Greeaock, expressly to take part 
in this race, and both of whom afterwards greatly distinguished 
themselves, got dismasted on the passage out to China, and 
could not be repaired in time for the race. 

The names of the fourteen ships that did actually start 
were aa follows : the Taaoan (lost, as above stated) ; the 
Mailland, 799 tons; the Serka, 708 tons (Greenoc^k); the 
Tacping, 767 tons (Glasgow) ; the Ficnj Cross, 880 tons (Liver- 
pool) ; the Yangtsze, 688 tons (Aberdeen) ; the WkUe, Adder, 
915 tons (London); the Ziha, 670 tons (Aberdeen); the 
Taitsing, 815 tons (Glasgow); the Bladz Prliicc, 750 tons 
(Aberdeen) ; the Arid, 750 tons (London) ; the Fhjing Spur, 
735 tons (London) ; the Chinaman, 688 tons (Greenock) ; and 
the Golden Spur, 657 tons (Guernsey). 

The following were the dates of sailing from Foo-chow-foo 
for Londou : — 


... May 30 

Flying Spur 


... .,31 

jWJw«tf .. 


... June 2 

Black rriiict 


... „ 4 

Yangtue ... 

Fiory Omt ... 

-. ,. 5 

Arid ... 

While Adder ... 

... ., 7 



Odden Spur 

„ 15 
., 13 

It was not the first ship in that was to be considered the 
winner, as the competitors for the most part started on different 
days; but the ship that made the passage in the shortest 
amount of time. The fastest ship up to Anjer was the Ariel, 
which had left Foo-chow-foo twelve days after the departure 
of the first ship, she having done the distance from Foo-chow- 
foo to Anjer in 21 days. The next was the Taeping, in 23 
days, these being the two ships that ran the dead-beat in the 
race of the previous year. 

The Taepiiig was the first ship to reach the Loudon Docks, 
which she did on the 14th of September, 1867 ; but she was 
not adjudged the winner, that honour being reserved for her 
old adversary, the Ariel, which had made the passage from Foo- 
chow-foo to London in five hours leas time, accomplishing the 
distance in 102 days, the Taeping being 102 days and 5 hours. 

Great aa was the excitement caused by the foregoing race, 
another arrival from China completely put the Ariel and the 


Taejnng in the shade as regaided speed, lliia sldp^ h owm, 
was not in the race. She sailed ftom ffliangliai on Ae IMitf^ 
Jane, 1867, after the departure of all the laoen bqt om^i' 
took what is termed the eastern paBsage» sjniriBfe 
less, in the Downs a few hoars prenrioos to the AritL %Ki 
eastern passage is considerably longer than the nmte t^JhsU 
the ships in the race ; yet she accomplished tide koger 
in 99 days. This ship was the Sir Lamed&tf mentknad 
belonging to Mr. John McGann, of Greenobk^ her fnnw^gi 
and measarements being precisely the same as thoM of tte 

She also was a composite-boilt ship; her ftamewoik bemg 
of iron, and her sheathing of wood. The one idea in tihe ecrn* 
straction of this yessel was speed, and every paina was takBR i 
to achiere that resalt Before the copper was pat on to hsr 1 
bottom her planks from the water-line downwards were planed ' 
off, and the hard teak rendered as smooth as a ball-room floor, j 
In order to give the vessel greater stability, and to ODaUe her ; 
to carry her immensely long masts, which exceeded two 
hundred feet in height, nearly one hundred tons of iron pigs 
were fitted into the open spaces along the keelson between her , 
frames. That she needed some such deadweight as this to 
keep her steady may well be supposed when it is stated that, 
in racing trim and under all sail, the Sir La/nedot spread 
upwards of 46,000 square feet of canvas — that is to say, rather 
over an acre, her mainmast being just over 200 feet in height 

This ship made some exceedingly fast passages, of which, 
jierhaps, the fastest was the run home from Foo-chow-foo, in 
1869. Upon that occasion she left Foo-chow-foo on the 17th of 
July ; on the 7th of August she made Anjer Light, on the 
28th of the same month she sighted the African coast near 
East London, on the 11th of September she passed St. Helena, 
on the 10th of October was signalled off the Lizard, and on the 
14th was berthed in the West Lidia Docks, making the 
passage of 14,000 miles in 89 days against the prevailing 
monsoon. Her best day's run was made whilst crossing the 
Indian Ocean, when on one occasion she did by observation 
354 statute miles in twenty-four hours ; whilst for one whole 
week she kept up an average dfiiVj tqxl q1 SOQ miles* 


In the race of 1869, the first ship home was the Thermopylte, 
a very handsome clipper, built by Hood, of Aberdeen, from the 
designs of Mr, Bernard Waymouth, the late seiTetary of 
Lloyd's Eegiater, for Messrs. George Thompson and Sons, which 
ship made the passage home in ninety-one days. She was 
followed by the Sir Lancelot, which, although she started a few 
days after the Thermopyla; came home in two days less time, 
namely in eighty-nine days. 

The Tiiermopijlce was of 948 tons burthen ; her dimensions 
were 210 feet long, 36 feet beam, and 21 feet deep. Her first 
voyage was from London to Melbourne, when she made one of 
the fastest, if not the very fastest, passage on record, accom- 
plishing the distance from port to port in 60 days. She left 
Gravesend on the 5th of November, 1868, and down to the date 
of crossing the Line, which she did on the 28th of November, 
ber average daily nms amounted to 178 miles. It was, how- 
ever, in running down her easting that she displayed her 
wonderful cBpabilities. On Jan^iary 3, 1870, with the wind 
strong abeam, she ran by the log, confirmed afterwards by 
observation, 330 knots, or 380 statute miles; that is to say, 
at the rata of 15*8 miles an hour. 

Another very fast clipper that came out in 1870, waa the 
Cutty-Sark ; but, somehow or other, she never was a particularly 
fortunate ship. In 1872, she left Shanghai with seven other 
clippers, among them beiug the Thermopyla:, which ship and 
and the Cutty-Sark sailed in consort down the whole length of 
the China Sea. When off Anjer, in the Strait of Sunda, the 
TJicrmopytcc was only leading by about four hours. Off the 
Cape, however, the Cutly-Sark lost her rudder, and with it all 
chance of making a rapid passage, she taking 122 days to get 
home, and having the honour of being the last ship in the race. 
She, however, made some very good passages afterwards to 
Australia, and for eight successive voyages made the trip 
between London and Sydney in an average of seventy-five days, 
her quickest passage being in 1885, when she made ber number 
off the Lizard exactly sixty-seven days after leaving the 

At the end of the year 18G9, the Suez Canal was opened, 
and this oltimately made great alterations as far as the 

* «» 


Ohiua tM tnide was cxHioemedt the steuMn mipemsdiiig ihe 
Miling-ships^ so that after a few more yeaft the days of die 
China tea-dippen were ended. For a time^ howeiver, the adl- 
ing-ehips did still continue to maintain their own in the tot 
trade, as the Ohina meichants had an idea that the delicate 
flayour of the tea might be iignied in the hold of a ateama, 
and, moreoTor, that the ezceesiye heat of the Bed See wooM 
proTo injurious to it; so that for a fow yeare^ eren after the 
opening of the Oanal, the annual race continued; but the 
number of ships was sensiUy £slling off^ and by 1878, it had 
piactically ended.* 

Perhaps the fittest passage on recoid between Engkdl and 
China was that made in 1857, by the odebiated 
dipper Pride of Ae Ocean^ which did the run oat 
Liaaxds to Hong-E[cmg in sixty-nine days. 

In 1875, a ship appeared, which, when she ixsk came out, 
was said by all seafaring men to be ''the finest aailing-ahip 
afloat" The Zoeh Oarr^ mey be accepted aa a fair lepie- 
sentatiTe examjde of the modem iron clipper, &r althouf^ a 
ship of more than twenty years ago, yet there are plenty 
like her at the present day. She was 1500 tons register, her 
length over all being 268 feet. 

In 1880, the four-masted iron clipper barque Loch Torridon 
was built on the Clyde. At that time there were but 
exceedingly few four-masted sailing-ships afloat, and not 
many sailing ships at all that exceeded 2000 tons, so that 

• The following were the results of the last races : — 

1870. 14 ships competed. The first three home were — 

1. Lahloo from Foo-chow-foo 

2. Windhovtr „ „ 

3. Sir Jjarwdvt „ „ 

Last ship in, 7UiW/i^ „ „ 

1871. 8 ships competed. 

1. Titania from Foo-chow-foo 

2. Thermopyloi „ Shanghai 

3. Cutty-tiark „ „ 

Last ship in, Forward Ho „ „ 

1872. 8 ships competed. 
\, Falcon from Whampoa 

2. Taitsing ,, Shanghai 

3. T1i/ermiopylij& 

I) I) 

97 < 






















La8tehipBin{2(;;^? » -.V. V.; 1 122 " „ 



the Lock Torridcm was looked apuu as quite exceptional. 
At the present day four-maaters are cominou enough, and the 
only wonder about them is that, irith so much canvas as they 
carrj% they can be handled by the very small crews that they go 
to sea with. As regards speed, these large ships cannot beat, 
nor, indeed, can they favourably compete with, the smaller 
clippers of the Ariel and the Taepiiv} type, a result, doubtless, 
due to the fact that the height of the masts of these large 
ships does not, and necessarily cannot, bear the same relation 
to the length of their hulls as was the case in the earlier 

Another large foup-maater, the Liverpool, was launched at 
Port Glasgow in 1889, specially for employment in the jute 
trade between this country and Calcutta. Her register tonnage 
ia 3330 tons, and she is capable of carrying 26,000 bales of 
jute, very nearly 6000 tons deadweight. Her extreme length 
is 330 feet, her beam 47 feet 3 inches, and the depth of 
her hold 26 feet 6 inches. 

That in many directions steam is taking, and, indeed, in 
many directions has already taken, the i>laoe of sails is, of 
cuUTse, an indisputable fact. That the days are jiractically 
over for the conveyance of passengers in sailing-ships is 
obvious, yet there would appear to be still some avenues of 

I trade where a tearing hurry is not an absolute necessity ; 
and in these days of South Wales coal strikes it is a pleasant 
thing to be able to contemplate the fact that it is some- 
times possible to do without coals altogether, and that there 
are still many branches of commerce in which sailing-ships 
may yet be more profitably employe<I than steamers. 



Tonnage— Origin of tonnage— Eariy Aota of Fhriiainont idatiqg to 
— BoiUan* (Hd Moaforomont— New MeamnnMnt— Cheaa 
Register tonnage— Diaplaeement tonnage— Board of TMe Jedadtoaa 
— ^Aocommodadon for the erew ^ -Fw ig lit tonnage— Ho we p owe i^ 
Nominal h o raep o w er I hdi c a t ad, or oflfbolife howe power fl^ad ia 
iteanwhipa PadMe^nHied ateamera— ftddle-whee l a fleie w pra|wBer— 
Slip— Negative aBp— Twin aorewa-^GFank-diafta— %kaed. 

From very early times in ike history of dkippbg • sode of 
some sort must hare been employed to determine the relntife 
capacity or carrying-power of different Yo s ool sy and in point 

of fact the term ** topnage " in this connection can be traced 
back for at least five hundred years. It appears to have 
originated from the tun cask of wine, the earliest system of 
measuring vessels being simply to count the number of casks, 
or tuns, of wine which could be carried, and thus obtaining 
a measure of the internal capacity of the ship. In Britain 
the first Act of Parliament dealing with the subject was 
passed in the reign of Henry V., in 1422. This Act required 
^' Keels that carry coals at Newcastle to be measured and 
marked," but it is not known how the measurement and the 
marking were at that time carried out. In the year 1679, 
an Act of Parliament extended the above regulation to the 
Wear, and prescribed that always in measuring these river 
craft '' should be used the Bowie Tub of Newcastle, containing 
22 J gallons Winchester measure," and "allowing twenty-one 
bowls of coals to be measured by such Bowie Tub by heap 
measure, and no more." The '' keels " were marked by naik 
upon the bulkheads at each end of the cargo-space, or by 
driving nails into the stem and stem post to indicate the 
corresponding load-draught. 


Anotlier Act was passed in the reign of William III. in 
1694, also for the measurement of "keels," and a veiijJU was 
then fixed upon as the standard instead of a measure. This 
Act required the " keela" to be measured by putting into them 
dead-weights of iron or lead, allowing 53 hundredweights to 
every chaldron of coals, and a maximum load of ten chaldrons. 
The load-line was then marked on the stem, stern, and each 
side amidshipB. 

By an Act passed in 1775, the foregoing regulations for 
the Tyne and Wear were extended to all vessels loading 
coal at all other ports of Great Britain, but the ton of twenty 
hundredweight avoirdupois was then made the standard 
weight instead of the chaldron weight. The application of all 
these earlier Acta, however, was thus limited to particular 
classes of vessels, or to those vessels employed in a particular 

Tonnage, as concerning ships, is the measure of capacity 
of the ship, the ton not being one of weight, but of cubic 
contents. The ton is now reckoned as 100 cubic feet, and 
it is the unit upon which is based the assessment of all 
dues and charges upon shipping. The first tonnage rule 
embodied in an Act of Parliament in England was that 
given in the Act of 1694, which levied certain duties upon 
sea-going and coasting ships, and was as follows : " The 
tonnage equals the length of the keel taken within board (so 
much as she treads the ground) multiplie{l by the breadth 
within hoard, by the midship beam from jilank to plauk, 
multiplied by the dejith of hold from plank below keelson 
to the under part of the upper deck jdank, divided by 94," 

In 1720, a rule for the measurement of vessels, which was 
ultimately known as Builders' Tonnage, was first legalized 
in an Act intended to prevent smuggling, by prohibiting 
small vessels of " thirty tons burden and under from carrying 
spirits." This rule differed from that given in the Act of 
1694, in half the breadth being substituted for the depth, 
thus making the rule the same as that which had for some 
bime obtained among shipbuilders on the Thames. The 
[tresent system, or at least a modification of the present 
lystem, dates from the year 1835, previous to which time the 



tfaiem obtaiura lAich, as has been state*], was first established 
in 1778, and iftiich haa since been called "Builders' OW 
HflumaBtent," bat it was a syetem that n-as clearly extremely 
Mtbneoii% and which had a most evil e&'ect upon iutbI 

Tlie ttamige Vas then obtained by measuring t(^thei 
tho loi^tli <rf t)i0 ship, the breadth, and a certain assTUsed 
dopth, and then by dividing the product by 94. The actuil 
dflplb of ^M 1^^ was not measured, but for the purposes 
tf the oklonUtion it was assumed that the depth was equal 
4b the beam. Aa harbour and other dues were regulated bf 
the tonnage it naturally followed that shipowners and ship- 
tanlden, witii the view of reducing these dues to a minimuinr 
BUlde Hail diipa as narrow as possible, and with as great a 
depth 88 poMiUe. The ships thus built were thoroughly 
vnsetworthy, and were highly dangerous in bad weather, 
idiillt every oorrect principle of shipbuilding was sacrificed 
in Older to prodnoe deep and narrow wooden vessels, capable 
of oartylng the maximum of cargo with the minimum of 
beam. The absurdity of a law by which, m ctnueqnenoe of 
an inch or so more beam, a two-decked vessel mi^t be 
reckoned as of greater capacity than a ship of like length 
with three decks, was so palpable that many efforta wan 
made to obtain some improvement of the system, althoo^ 
without success until the year 1835, when a " New Heamie- 
ment" law, embodied in the Act 5 and 6 William lY, was 
introduced to take its place. 

The Act of that year very properly established the depth 
of the hold as a necessary &ctor in the oalcnlstiou of the 
tonnage; but as the cross-section of a ship varies very 
considerably at different points of her lengUi, it was not 
often that more than a mere approximation of her cnUcal 
contents was attained. 

This "New Measomnent" system gave place in 185^ to 
"Begister Tonnage," a system to a certain extent resembling 
it in principle, but much more perfect in its detaila, and 
which, with certain minor modifications, is the system still 
in force as the legal basis of measurement upon which dook, 
Aarbonr, light, and oihet duw «ie asaeaaed ; tlus systean, aa 


far as register tomiage is concerned, being kuown as the 
" Sloorsom System." 

Tb ere are several terms iised in respect of the tonnage of ships 
— namely, gross tonnage ; tonnage under decks ; and register 
tonnage ; also displacement tonnage ; and freight tonnage. 

First, of "gross tonnage." As stated above, a ton ig a 
hnndred cubic feet of the internal capacity of the ship, and 
therefore a vessel having 50,000 cubic feet of internal space 
within the points of measurement prescribed by law ig reckoned 
to be of 500 tons gross. 

The Merchant Shipping Act, 1894, section 77, provides 
that the tonnage of every British, ship shall lie registered, and 
in the Schedule attached to the Act is laid down the mode 
by which such tonnage is to be computed. For the purposes 
of the computation of tonnage, the second deck from below 
in all vessels of more than two decks is called the "tonnage 
deck," and the upper deck is so called in all vessels which 
have less than three decks. 

I The Act minutely prescribes the mode of measurement, 
bat, without going into all the intricacies of the operation as 
there defined, the method to be adopted is broadly as follows: 
The length of the ship is to be measured in a straight line 
along the upper side of the tonnage-deck from the stem to 
the stem-post. The length so taken is then divided into a 
certain number of ec[ual parts. For ships of 50 feet long 
and under, it is divided into fonr equal parts ; for ships 
eieeeding 50 feet, and under 120 feet, into six equal parts; 
for ahipa exceeding 120 feet in length, but under ISO feet, 
into eight equal parts ; for ships over 180 feet in length, 
but under 225 feet, into ten equal parts ; and for all ships 

I over 225 feet in length, into twelve equal parts. At each 
point of division of the length-line, the breadth and the 
depth of the ship are to be taken ; but, as the section of a 
Aip is not a rectangle, each depth is subdivided into a certain 
number of equal parts, and the breadth is measured at each 
point of subdivision of the depth line. From all these 
measurements of breatUbs and depths the areas of the ship's 
section at all the points of division of the length-line are 
ascertained, and hy multiplying eacb. secti.oaa\ 0.T&0. X^*^ "C^b 



IflBgtU of the longitudinal division adjacent to that sedion, 
the cubic contenta of the whole ship is artired at. 
-';. if the ship have a third deck, commonly called a spar deck, 
Ab tonnage of the space between that deck and the "tonnage 
daek " is ascertained in a similar maimer, and also the space 
©ooniiied by the poop, if there be one, or of any enclosed 
Asok-bouses ; and when the sum-total of the cubic contents of 
•U tkese spaces is aacertaiiied, then that Bum*totaI divided by 
100, is reckoned to bo the gross tonnage of the ship. 

From this gross tonnage many deductions are allowed by 
lbs Board of Trade, and when all the legal deductions h^ve 
tMwn made, then the residue is the "register tonnage" of the 
«h9> Speaking broadly, and as a general rule, all the porta 
af a ship used for her ]»ropulsiou and navigation are exempt 
ftom being reckoned for tonnage, whilst ell the parts of the 
dup from which profit is derived — all the earning parts of 
Ae ship — are liable to be reckoned for tonnage. The first 
ioitauce of any such deduction made in the case of staamships, 
ma in the year 1819, when the Act, 59 George III., provided 
that in steam-vessels the length of the engine-room should 
be deducted from the length as previously described, in order 
to obtain "the just length of the keel for tonn^e." 

The deductions now allowed by the B4jftrd of Trade embrace 
the Bpaces respectively occupied by the master, the seamen,' 

• This Bpflce muflt be fit for llio pn>i)er occupation of the men who are to 
UN it, atid it must conforni to the roqiiremcittH of tbe Merchant Shipping Acl. 
to entitlo it to be bo dt-iiiu-lod. This enactment has led to a great improve- 
ment in tbe seamen's qnarten, aJchough somethiiig ■ stiil left to be dennd. 
The law is not partionlulr exacting, aad does not dtipiilste tot TVj huttriooi 
accommodation for Mercantile Jack. Section 210 of the Act preacribee that 
" evet; place in any British ship occnpied by seatnea and ai^rmtJoee, and 
appropriated to tlieir use, shall have for each of those seamen or i^jprenticei 
a ipaee of not lees than seventh-two cubic feet, and of not leae than twelre 
npeiflcial feet, meamred on the deck or floor of that place." 

As affotdii^ a means of iiutitatiiig a compariBoo between thia floor ana 
and cnbio space to which Jack Is thus legally entitled on board ddp, and 
^utt is considered to be neoessaiy for a soldier on shore, it may be noted 
that the War Office lajs it down as a mle for aB bernuAi, in temperate 
dimatee, that each man is to have 60 feet of rapeiflaal floor area, and 600 
cabic feet of q>ace. That is to eay, the soldier has five timea as much floor 
•pace as the eallor, and mora thui el^t tieiee as mneb co^ ^MOa. As 
uiotfter maana of oomparing ^ifbal ^a aQDi&«& v^oi^ ^4* wQat <>a the 


auJ the apprentices ; any space used exclusively Cur the 
working of the helm, the capstan, and the anchor-gear, 
inclnding the chain-Icrkers ; any space used for the keeping 
of the charts, signals, and other instruments of navigation, 
and the boatswain's stores ; the space occupied by the donkey- 
engine and boiler; and, iii the case of a ship wholly propelled 
by sails, any space set apart and used exclusively for the 
storage of sails. In the case of steamera, the engine-room, 
nnder certain conditions, is to be deducted, and the stoke- 
hold, the tunnel for the shaft of the propeller, aud the coal- 
bunkers; and in view of these very extensive deductions iu 
the case of steam-vessels, there are steamers — tugs, for the 
most part — which are actually registered aa beiug of no 
■ tonnage : that is to say, after deducting the spaces occupied 
W'hy the engines and boilers, the coal-bunkers, and the mens' 
wters, there is nothing left, and consequently there is no 
innage to be recorded. Indeed, the whole subject of registered 
onage, and the allowed deductions from gross tonnage to 
' oonstittite registered tonnage, can scarcely be regarded as 
in an entirely satisfactory condition even yet. On the 19th 
of February, 1S98, the screw steajner Puris, built for the trade 
between Cardiff and Continental ports, left the Tyne fully 
laden on her official trial trip. This vessel is of the following 
dimensions, viz. length, 230 feet ; breadth, 32 feet ; and 
depth, 16 feet 6 inches; — a special feature in connection with 
her being her very small register tonnage, compared with the 
dead weight carried. The register tonnage of the Paris is 
only 507 tons, and she carries _loOO tons, or nearly three 
times the amount of her registered tonnage. 

The above British system of tonnage has now come to be 
generally adopted by moat civilized countries, the following 
being the dates of its adoption by other nations : United 
States. 1865 ; Denmark, 1867 ; Austria-Hungary, 1871 ; 
Genaany, 1873; France, 1873; Italy, 1873; Spain, 1874; 

Ma, with similat rcquiremeate on land, lot na take a moderately Bm&ll 
bedroom m a snbnrban villa. Say tliat it is twelve feet by ten, and eight Teet 
high. It might possibly be considered large enough for a bachelor, or perhaps 
for one of the boys. Into this room the Merchant Shipping Aat, Iddi, pata 
,„ i^rtttn Hercaotile JacJcal 



Sweden, 1876; Norwayi 1876; NeJherlaadi, 1876; Finliiid, 
1877; Greece, 1878; Bassia, 1879; Hayti, 1882; Belginii, 
1884; Japan, 1885. The Brituh syBtem wm mainly aibptad 
by the Xntemational Oommianon aaaemUed at Oomfamtiiioplft 
in 1878, the rules of which Oommiwion Ibimed tha hans of 
the dues leried on the ddpa of all conntriea paauDg ihioagh 
theSnes OanaL 

*" Displacement tonnage" is the weight of tha water 
actually displaced by the ship as she floats^ and ia^ ai oomsBb 
the absolnte weight of the ship, as thoogh she were {daeed 
in a pair of scales, and weighed* The weight of any floating 
body is equal to the weight of the flnid displaeedy and in 
order, therefore, to ascertain the weight of a Teasal and her 
contents at any giren dnnght, it is only necessary to 
calculate the weight of the volume of fluid displaced. The 
displacement of a yessel is calculated from the drawing% nnd 
the method of calculation is similar in prindpla to that 
adopted for the measurement of the internal cqpadty; but 
the naval architect is not fettered by any definite number 
of sub-diyisions as laid down in the tonnage laws, and is 
free to determine the number of transverse sections and 
ordinates deemed necessary according to the sixe of the vessel 

Thirty-five cubic feet of salt water weigh a ton, and if^ 
therefore, the volume in cubic feet be divided by 85, the 
result will be the displacement of the vessel in tons. 
Displacement tonnage is by general consent regarded as the 
fairest measure of tonnage for naval ships, since they are 
designed to carry certain maximum weights, and to float at 
certain load-lines which are fixed with reference to the 
character of the service. It has for many years been the official 
tonnage for the warships of France and other European 
nations ; and since 1872 — ^prior to which date the system of 
1773, known as *' Builders' Old Measurement," was the only 
one employed — ^the tonnage of British naval diips has been 
based on the displacement system. 

** Freight tonnage " is a system of measurement commonly 
employed in connection with stowage by merchants and 
shipowners, although it has no legal authority. It is simply 
A measure of cubic capaciVf. k ix^V;^ Vs^ ot ^unit of 


cargo measurement," simply m.eanB 40 cubic feet of space 
BTBilable for cargo, and is therefore two-fifths of a register 
ton. Thus a packing-case measuring 5 feet by i feet, and 
2 feet high (40 cubic feet), sent on board for shipment, 
would be reckoned as a "freight ton." It b purely an 
arbitrary measure, based upon the assumption that 40 cubic 
feet of space are required in which to stow a ton weight. 

Horse-power is the name given to the unit, in terms of which 
engineers measure the power of steam-engines, etc. It is the 
development of 33,000 foot-pounds of work per minute, a foot- 
pound being the amount of work necessary to raise a pound 
weight a foot high. 

When the steam-engine was first invented it was chiefly used 
to drive mills, pumps, and other machinery, which had pre- 
viously been driven by horses, and it seemed natural to express 
the working power of the steam-engine in terms of the number 
of horses it had superseded. This led to experiments being 
made in order to obtain an estimate of what was the exact 
working power of a horse. Several such estimates have been 
given, all diflering considerably from each other, a resiilt which 
is not to be wondered at, considering that all horses are not of 
the same power. The estimate, however, ultimately adopted 
whereby to express horse-power was that obtained by Bonlton 
and Watt from observations made on the strong dray-horses at 
the London breweries, working eight hours a day. They 
found that such a horse was able to go at the rate of two and a 
half miles an hour, and at the same time to continuously raise 
a weight of 150 lbs. by means of a rope led over a pulley. 
This is easily seen to be equivalent to 33,000 pounds raised 
one foot per minute, and hence the number given above, whiiih 
has since been generally adopted as " horse-power." 

For calculating the power of marine engines a commercial 
unit was originally employed, termed "nominal horse-iwwcr." 
A certain number of square inches of cylinder area, and a 
velocity of )>iston in feet l>er minute were given, 7 lbs. per 
square inch being the recognized pressure, and, as stated 
above, to raise 33,000 lbs. one foot high was the duty of 
one horse-power pcT minute. 



Nominal hotse-power, however, mains very littk^ tlie tern 
being arUtmiy and varying. It is soaxoely ever used aft the 
present day by engineers for these leasons; bat althooi^ 
praotioally obsolete, it is still letained in Board of Trnds 
and other Government offioial dooomentsi fi»r the simple ro as na 
that it always has been so need, and in mattecs ai lefiom 
Govemment moves bat slowly ; yet^ in desoribing their own 
vessels of the Boyal Navy, even Govemment does not use 
the term ^nominal** hone-power, bat adopts the mote modam 
and the more ' intelligible designatiim of ** indicated/* or 
** effective," horse-power; the actoal or indicated hone-pom 
varying in marine engines from 8 or 4 times the nominal 
hone-power to sometimes as maoh as 6 or 7 times. As s 
matter of &ct, the ''indicated** hone-power of an engine has 
nothing whatever to do with the nominal hone-power, and 
can only be fonnd by means of an indicator diagram taken 
off the engine itself, from which the mean p r o s soie on the 
piston is fonnd, the indicated horse-power being sim^y the 
actual power given off by the piston. 

As examples of the uselessness of the term ^ nominal horse- 
power/' the following examples out of thousands may be cited : 
in the Board of Trade official description of the P. and 0. 
steamer Australia^ her horse-power (nominal) is given as 2500, 
her effective horse-power is really 10,000 ; the Union Company's 
steamer Moor is given as 470, her effective horse-power is 
2800 ; the Orient liner (h*iait is given by the Board of Trade 
as 1000, her effective horse-power is 8231; and this list 
might be increased to any length. It will thos be seen that 
the nominal horse-power, and consequently the official descrip- 
tion, affords no index whatever of the actual or the effective 
horse-power of the engines of any given vessel, and that no 
comparison whatever based on these figures can be instituted 
between one vessel and another. 

In the Mercantile Marine, for vessels of about 2000 tons and 
upwards, the proportion of horse-power of the engines to the 
tonnage of the ship varies according to the service for which 
she is intended; it usually ranges from one horse-power to 
every 6J tons to one horse-power to every 3J tons. This is 
onlj the '' nominal " horse-power, referred to above ; the actual? 


or indicated, horse-power will, of course, very greatly exceed 
this, and will depend upon the lines of the vessel, the draught 
of water, and a variety of other points. In the two great 
Cunarders, the Campania and Lacania, where the element of 
speed enters very largely into the question, there is one 
horse-power (indicated) to every 043 tons, or one horse- 
power to less than hali' a ton. 

liong vessels are the most economical in carrying-power, a 
higher rate of speed being attained in a long ship than in a 
short one, for the same indicated horse-power, while, of course, 
more cargo can be carried in the former than in the latter. 
For these reasons many steamships, after having been running 
for years, have been sent into doclt, and have been lengthened 
with a view to gaining these important advantages, whilst 
still retaining their original engines and boilers.* 

It has been proved, both theoretically and in practice, that 
a moderate rate of speed tor steamships is, under all circum- 
stances, the most economical. A high rate of speed is 
always expensive, not only as far as the engines themselves 
are concerned, end the greater wear and tear to the ship, 
but from the largely increased amount of coal consnmed, 
and which has to be carried, thus proportionately diminishing 
the space available for cargo. ^Vhen a ship is engined to 
Attain a certain speed, to only very moderately increase that 
«peed involves a large increase of horse-power, with a corre- 
Bpondingly large increase in the amount of coal burnt, the 
horse-power varying approximately as the cube of the speed. 
Thus a steamer of 500 horse-power has a speed, say of 12 
knots jjer hour. Now, if we wish to increase that speed to 
15 knots per hour, 976 horse-power will be required, or 
practically double the horse-power will be required to give 
the additional three knots; and although the time will be 
diminished, yet more coal must be burnt, and, what is worse, 
must be carried. For example, the steamer of 500 horse-power, 
steaming at the rate of \'l knots per hour, will do the passage 
from Plymouth to Gibraltar, lUoti miles, in 88 hours. At 
97(i horse-power, steaming at 15 knots per hour, she will do 
it in 70 hours; but although she will thus save eighteen 
• Tlie &ot, of tbo Vnioa Company, is a case in ^oiiA ■, sfte ^^li 'V'X^ ■ 


boon in time, jret she will hate to bum 87 tent mmt tmd 
to do it. 

Giyen equal siie of the ahipt and equal power ef tt» 
e n g inee, more work is to be obtenied firam tlie piopeilar Aia 
from paddle-wheda, and there is a aaying m bulk and in 
weight of the engines and boilen, hf whieh the lUp ii 
enabled to carry more cargo» while greater e oal a tof w ag e k 
poaaible in the caae of long voyagea. ISie pnipeller iit ^^bn 
the ship is in trim, always immeiaed, ao that ike whob 
propelling power of the eorew is eserted againat tba walor; 
whilat in the paddle-wheel, during a great part of tlie time^ 
the floats are exerting themselTsa simply againat the air-Hoe, 
in &ot» doing only oseless work. In rough weather^ alao^ if 
the ship be rolling mnch one paddle-wheel wiU be enkhely cot 
of water, whilst the other will be almost totally imimwadl, the 
entire paddle-box being foil of green water; ao that the power it 
exerted very unequally, and a great deal of it ia lost altogedisr. 

Paddle-wheels still hdd their oini, howsfer, far Aort- 
Toyaged passenger stesmers^ notaUy in oartain oi the boats 
employed in the Channel service, and in many pleasure 
steamers. This is partly from fashion, but partly also from 
the fact that the additional width obtained from tiie sponsons 
and the paddle-boxes renders the vessel steadier, and less 
liable to roll in a sea-way than a screw boat of a similar sise 
would be. Another reason is that for rapidly leaying or 
getting alongside piers and wharves the projecting sponson 
greatly facilitates the throwing off or the bringing in of the 
bow or the stern of the vessel. These reasons are of little 
account, however, in ocean-going steamships, whilst the 
advantages of the screw-propeller are so obvious that in all 
ocean-going steamers paddle-wheels are perfectly obsolete. 

At first all paddle-wheels were constructed with fixed floats, 
but these are now nearly universally superseded by feather- 
ing floats. In the case of the fixed floats, the float entered 
the water obliquely, depressing the water as it entered, and 
the full power was only exerted at the moment when the 
arms to which the float was bolted were vertical. The 
tendency of the float as it left the water was to lift it, so 
that much of the power was uselessly expended. With the 


featliering float, by means of a meclianiam, to a certain 
extent complicated, and so to a certain extent liable to 
get out of order, these evils are obviated, and the floats 
from the moment of entering the water until the moment of 
leaving it are practically vertical. Three floata immersed 
at the same time is iisnally considered by engineers as 
sufficient, becanse if the floats are closer together than that, 
so that more than three are in the water together, they only 
tend to disturb the water, and to clog the action of the 

In a paper recently read before the Institute of Naval 
Architects, it was pointed out that among other losses of 
power in paddle-wheel steamers, two sources of loss arise — 
one from the energy absorbed in creating and maintaining 
waves, and the other from the effect of this wave-formation 
upon the paddle-wheels. All vessels forced at a speed 
beyond what their size and form fit them for, tend to produce 
waves, commencing at the bow and passing aft ; and whether 
the hollow or the crest of the wave occurs at the precise spot 
occupied by the paddle-wheels makes a considerable diflerence 
in the pntpelling power of the wheels. Short bluff vessels 
exert power in raising a series of short waves — three or even 
four in the length of the vessel — whilst narrower and sharper 
vessels are more or less free from this defect, not raising 
more than two, or two and a half, waves in the length, so that 
iu their case the paddles will work at about their normal level. 

The above is a disadvantage from which, of course, the 
screw-propeller is free. For the benefit of the lay reader it 
may be well just to give a very rough uutline of the principle 
of the jiropeller. The form and constnietion of the screw- 
jiropeller is thus: the boss of the propeller may be said, as 
in an ordinary screw-bolt, to form the bottom of the thread, 
and the blade of the propeller forms the thread itself. The 
princijde of the propeller may be illustrated by applying a 
right-angled triangle of paper to an ordinary round ruler. 
Let the base of the paper triangle be made of the same 
length as the circumference of the round niler. The perpen- 
dicular of the triangle will be the pitch, and the hypothenuse 
will be the thread of the screw. If the p6\iex U\tttt^fe ^» 


round the reler (the pitch being placed par»Ilel to 

the Uagth of the ruler), and the ruler he turned once iwnnd, 

' Hkmai liny given point on the thread, when working in a nut 
«tth b corresponding thread, will move forward exactly the 
iKtfloA of the pitch. 

* In this way the acrew-propeller is practically an endless 
ssew, and the endless nut it works in is the water. Supposing 
the pitch of the screw to be 24 feet, then in 5» revolutions of 
tbe Btrew the reasel will move forward 1200 feet; in 100 
lOTolutions 2400 feet, and so on. The action of the screw- 
pnpdler is precisely that of the curkacrew. At each turn 

■ of aU corkscrew certain progress is made through the cork ; 
at e*eh revolution of the propeller the ship is advanced a 
•artltli space. jU to the exact shape that is best for Uie 
Uad* of the propeller, oiiinions and practice differ, but it wilt, 
lentting to the example given above, be some portion— 
psA^»< even a very small j)ortion — of the area of the paper 
WAOgle aa wound round the ruler. As the water in whieh 
ttw- propeller revolves, unlike the solid cork in which tlie 
oorkscrew works, is a yieldiug substance, sometimes the action 
oeases for a while, and the propeller revolves without import- 
ing any forward motion to the vessel. This is termed tlie 
"slip" of the screw, and it varies from 10 to 20 per ceut., 
BO that if the engines be of such a power as should give a 
speed of ten knot«, the actual speed of the ship may possiUy 
be not more than nine. 

There is in some ships what is called " negative slip," the 
aciew moving through less space than the speed of the vessel— 
the vessel, as it were, outstripping the screw, and dragging it 
through the water. Thus, it is sometimes found that in the 
case of a vessel engined to only 10 knots, her actual speed 
may soiaetiineB be aa much «s 11 knots. 

Screw-propellers are either right-handed or left-hooded, ixA 
althoogh one is practically aa good aa the other, yet • 
difference is usually experienced in the behavionr of the 
ship, more particularly when going aatem. When a steundup 
is fitted with twin screws, one of them is nsnally right-handed, 
and the other left-handed, and the two propellers are not osiuUy 
fixed aide by side, bat one ntlwt in adTftnce oi the otbv. 


When a pilot comes on botu'd an ordinary screw eteamer 
fitted with a single proiieller, one of his first queationa 
usually is, " Are you right or left-handed ? " 

There are some facts connected with the screw-proiieller 
that at the present time are not satisfactorily accounted for ; 
for instance, if a ship be fitted with a propeller that the 
engines work to a speed of, say eight knots, and this propeller 
be taken off and replaced with another cast in the very same 
mould, and so far as can be seen the exact counterpart of the 
former one, yet the speed of the ship may he altered by the 
change— either increased or diminished to a sensible degree. 

The propeller of s first-class ocean liner is of very con- 
siderable dimensions ; that of the Cunard steamer Servia, for 
instance, measures 24 feet across. The immense power of 
the engines in large ocean-going steamships necessitates 
correspondingly heavy and strong machinery. The crank- 
shaft of the Servia, as also that of the Anchor Line steamer 
Cit)/ of liortie, and the shaft of the Alaska, are each 25 inches 
in diameter, those of the Servia and the Alasl;a being of 
solid metal, whilst that of the City of Borne, which is of steel, 
is hollow. The crank-shaft of the Arizona is built np of five 
pieces. Of these four are of hammered and rolled scrap-iron, 
the fifth being of steel. The diameter is 22^ inches. 

Every year ships increase in size ; — every year engines 
increase in power ; and the speed of our ocean liners is corre- 
spondiugly incteased. Of course, the higher the rate of speed 
at which the vessel is driven, the greater must be the 
attendant risk in ease of anything going wrung ; but so long 
as the public insist upon going from port to port with the 
least possible delay, so long will the keenest competition 
prevail, each company vying with the others as to who shall 
perform the distance from port to \>axi in the shortest space 
of time. Whether any solid advantage results from this 
insane desire for travelling at the highest possible rate of 
speed, or whether the human race generally are permanently 
the happier because it is possible to go from Liverpool to 
New York in six days instead of in seven, are points which 
would seem to be open to a very considerable amount of 



PrcBcnt state of the British Mcrcnntile Marine — Merchant shipping owned bf 
every comitry of the world — Progress of Britiiih shipping daring the 
reign of tLe Queen — Increase in Britisli shipping aince the time ofQi 
Elizabetli— Shipping in 1897 and in 1898— Additions and loeei 
Merchant sliipa siibsidized ns " armed cruisers." 

ExcLiiDiNQ all vesBels of less tlian one hundred tons burden, 
the entire merchant shipping ow-ned by every country of the 
world, at the present time, numbers 2S,052 vessels, with an 
aggregate tonnage of 26,561,250 tons. The number of such 
merchant vessels belonging to the United Kingdom, and to 
the British Colonies, is 11,143, with a united tonnage of 
13,605.312 tons. Thus more than one-half of the merchant 
tonnage of the entire world sails under the British flag. 

In considering the present state of the British Mercantile 
Marine, it may be well to note the progress that has been made 
in British shipping during the long and happy reign of her 
Majesty, Queen Victoria. In the year 1837, when the Queen 
came to the throne, the shipping on the Register consisted of 
19,269 sailing-vessels, many being under a hundred tons, and 
654 steamships, with a total tonnage of 2,312,000 tons. During 
the first three years, even, of the Queen's reign considerable 
progress was being made, and the total tonnage of British 
merchant vessels registered in the year 1840, was 3,311,538 
tons. This included 28,138 sailing-vessels, and 824 steamers, 
of which 1&04 sailing-vessels and 77 steamers had been built 
during that year.* At the close of the Jubilee year, 1897, there 
were, of vessels of a hundred tons and upwards, and excluding 
all the vessels under a hundred tons, 2,452 sailing-ships, with 
• Lloyd's Calendar, 

^^^^^^^^^SHimN^i83^897y =S3 

a tonnage of 2,189,840 toua; aud 6655 steamships, with a 
gross toanage of 10,213,569 tons, or a total united ton- 
nage for both steamers and sailing-ships of 12,403,409 tons. 
In addition to this, 2130 steamers and sailing-ships, with 
a tonnage of 1,079,467 tons, are owned by the British 

Although, however, the amount of tonnage steadily 
increases with each successive year, the actual number of the 
vessels does not increase in anything like a corresponding 
ratio; this being, of course, due to the fact that every year 
ships increase in size. In 1837, the largest British sailing- 
ship — indeed, the largest British ship of any kind — was of 
1488 tons, the largest steamer being of only 1320 tons. At 
the present time we have many great steamers of four and five 
thousand tons ; and two steamships — the Campania and the 
Lucania — each of 13,000 tons, or ten times the size of the 
largest steamer of 1837. But, immense as these two 
steamships are, a far larger vessel than either of them — the 
Oceanic — now building ft<r the White Star Line — will shortly 
be added to the list of British merchant steamers. 

At the commencement of the Queen's reign the finest 
wooden vessels were practically similar iu design and 
construction to those in which our countrymen had sailed 
round the world in the middle of the last century, and 
they did not differ materially from the still earlier vessels of 
the Dutch navy. The vessels of the merchant navy were 
rarely larger than 500 tons, only a few ships of the Eost 
India Company exceeding 1000 tons, and these were practi- 
cally men-of-war ; while scarcely any ship exceeded 100 feet 
in length. 
. Sailing-vessels built within the lost few years are generally 
I of large size when compared with those built even as recently 
w twenty years ago. The Somali, a four-maated steel barque, is 
"f 3537 gross tons, and 330 feet long. This is the largest 
sftiling-ship owned in the United Kingdom ; but the G-ermans 
own a still larger sailing-vessel, named the Potosi. She is a 
I five-masted steel barque of 4027 tons gross, and is 366 feet 
I long- 

Of the 'aooden vessels o{ 100 tons and upwaiia "tiovi VaiOA y 



the United Kingdom, by far the greater number are imd«T 200 
tuUB, and are for the most part engaged in the ooasting litde. 
Of iron vessels, eighteen steamers are civei 5000 tons ead, 
and upwards of two thousand iron steamers and sailing-vessels 
are l)etween 1000 and 2000 tons. Of steel vessels, two 
hundred are over 5000 tons, and 1502 atee! steamers and 
sailing-vessels are between 2000 and 3000 tons. Thus the 
tondonry is distinctly to lessen the number of veesels, but 
at the same time vastly to increase their size. 

These facta, although, doubtless, sufficiently gratifying to 
the patriotic KngHshman, who sees in them an evidence of the 
groiring prosperity of his country, can only be contemplated 
with positive dismay by the officers of the Mercantile Marine, 
who, whilst they are being poured into the service by hnniiids 
evei-y year, find each successive year, in consequence of a fe* 
great ships taking the place of many little shipg, that only a 
eingle master and a couple or so of mates are now wanted, 
where the previous year half a dozen masters, and a dcaen 
or more mates were able to find emploTment, so that every 
year, while ships increase in siz^, employment for officers in Ihs 
Merchant Service seriously diminishes. The following tflllfl 
shiuvs the steady increase of Britbh Bhipping from the time 
of Queen Elizabeth to the present day : — 

British Tonnaui^. 

In tlieyeor 15BB ... 12,500 tons (exclunve of fisbing-boaU). 

1770 ... 682,811 „ (EngUnd and Scotland). 

1791 ... 1,511,401 „ (inclnding the Colonies). 

,. 1830 ... 2,1»D,959 „ (escluBive of the Colomei). 

., 1637 . . . 2,312,000 „ (inclading eailing-ships and gtevMR! 

1940 ... 3,311,538 ,. 

„ 1855 ... 5,250,553 „ „ „ 

, 1870 ... 5,690,789 „ „ „ 

„ 1880 ... 6,574,513 „ „ „ 

„ 1891 ... 10,685,747 „ „ „ 

1898 ... 12,687,904 „ 

uv 13,665,408 „ (inclDding the Coloniw). 

As to entrances and clearances in British and foreign 
shipping in the United Kingdom, the figures show tlist 
while in 1837 there were 42,700 vesaela, with « tonnage of 
7,000,000 tons,— that is, an average of 164 tons a vessel— in 1897 
tbe iiiunber of TeBsels ms V£i.fiS:fi, yta^ *. ^ssiiiA tomftge of 



80,500,000 tons, or au average of 6(Jl tons u vessel. In point 
of fact, the figures prove that since the Queen's Accession 
not only has the carrying-power of the country increased 
tenfold, but the entrances and clearancee have inoreased at 
a like rate. 

The vastness of the shipping business of this country will 
be appreciated when we consider that there are at the present 
time on the register, exclusive of the Colonies, no less than 
twelve and a half millions of tons of shipping, employing a 
qoarter of a million of men, and involving an investment of 
capital which it is quite impossible to estimate. 

During the five years ending in 1897, the tonnage of the 
United Kingdom had increased by two millions of tons, yet at 
the close of 1807, there were absolutely forty-two fewer ships 
belonging to the United Kingdom than there were in 1892, 
in consequence of the size of the ships every year increasing. 
In 1892, the total number of sailing'ships of a hundred tons 
and upwards belonging to the United Kingdom was 3342, 
with a united tonnage of 2,417,985 tons. The total number 
of such sailing-ships at the close of 1897 was 2452, with a 
united tonnage of 2,189,840 tons ; thus showing that whilst 
what sailing-ships there are are increasing in size, yet at the 
same time that the actual sailing tonnage has decreased during 
the past five years, and that the actual number of sailing-ships 
has very materially diminished during the same period. And 
as pointing to the same fact, namely, the rapid manner in which 
steam is superseding sails, it may be noted that whilst, during 
the year 1897, 462 steamers were built in the United Kingdom, 
with a gross tonnage of 670,201 tons, only 219 sailing-ships 
were built, with a tonnage of 37,030 tons ; that is to say, the 
steam tonnage built in the United Kingdom in 1897 was 
eighteen times the amount of the sailing tonnage. Of these 
462 steamers, 366 are of steel, 63 are of iron, and 33 were of 
wood and composite. 

The most recent authentic information as to the state of the 
British Mercantile Marine at the present time will be found in 
the following Return for the year 1898, kindly furnished for 
this work by Lloyd's Register, aa follows : — 







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The two preceding tableB, also kindly furnished by Lloyd's 
Bepatet, show the number of reeselB that were added to the 
Britieh Merchant Service during the year 1897 ; and also the 
nnmber of vessele that have to be deducted through loss and 
other causes daring the same year. 

List or Mebchamt SotAMiaa hkld at tot dibfosal op H JI. iitJOUUT 








\L^ia ... . 
Etrvria ... . 








TJmbria ... . 




Aurania ... . 




Senia ... . 




■\VietoTia ... . 

i Australia... . 

^Arcadia ... . 












OrienM ... . 
Vatelta ... . 
Matailia ... . 





Carthage ... . 
Ballarat ... . 




Parram<Uta . 
-tifa/Mtic ... . 
trewfonM ... . 

Wliite Star 













/ 5,905 
J 5,905 
\ 5,905 



• These vowels are pennitted to wear Hie bine enfflgn of Her MajeBty's 


t These shipa receive an annnal gnbudy. 



Perionnel — Number of 
Uaatera and Mates — The 
nantiing — Better regulati 
—Fines for ofTences — Fc 
numbers of Britinh seat 

foreignere — The QuartermastorB — The Boatawi 
maker — Cook — Tlio Engineers anil the Firemen. 

Merchanl Service — 
. — Able seamen — Ordinary seamen— Under- 
needed — The Board of Trade scale of food 
:n Beamen in British ships — Decline in the 
■HBJativo meriU of Britiah e 

— Carpenter— Bail - 

About 250,000 persona are at the present time employed in 
the service of the British Mercantile Marine. This very large 
number of mariners may broadly be dividetl into two classes — 
the officers, and the men — both of which classes it may be well 
to consider somewhat in detail. 

In the Royal Navy, as in the Army, between the officers and 
the men is drawn an absolute, and a perfectly defined line. 
The man-o'-wat's-man is one thing, the naval officer is quite 
another ; — but the Merchant Service is far more democratic. On 
board the merchant ship the line of demarcation is not nearly 
so strictly defined ; — the great gulf fixed ia not so impassable. 
Tom Smith, the foremast hand of to-day, may in the course of 
a year or two have a handle to his name, and blossom into Mr. 
Smith, the second ofBcer ; whilst a hard-up mate who cannot 
get a ship may make a voyage or so to Australia or to New 
Zealand " before the stick," as Jack has it, as an A.B. The 
two classes, the officers and the men, more overlap each other 
in the Merchant Service than could for a moment be thought 
of in the Royal Navy. 

With regard to the former class — the officers in the Merchant 
Service— the law does, however, lay down certain very definite 
conditions. All officers in the Merchant Service, for instance, 
must possess proper certificates of competency granted by 
the Board of Trade, after due examination had, both in sea- 
manship and in navigation, by the Examiners of the Bfiaril ; 


and no I'oreiga-going BritiBh ship can legally prot-eed to m 
from any port in the United Kingdom without being in chMp) 
of Buch a duly certificated master, who must he not less than 
twenty-one years of age, and must have served for six years at 
sea, one year of which must have been passed as mate in charge 
of a watch, whilst in possession of a first mate's certificate. In 
like manner no vessel employed in the home trade, if she atrrj 
passengers, can legally leave any British port without a simUwly 
comj)etent master ; ami if any person proceeds to sea as masta 
of a vessel withont a master's certiScate, both he, and tiif 
owner of the vessel, are each liable to a penalty of fifty potmiU. 
Then, besides the master, the law requires that every vessel 
of 100 tons or upwards, shall c&rry one or more mates, aim 
holding Board of Trade certificates of competency, A. foreign- 
going British ship of more than 100 tons, is therefore obUged 
by the law to have a master and one mate. If, however, she 
he a large vessel she will probably carry, instead of only (ins 
maf«, two or three ; and in the case of the lai^e ocean mail 
steamers, four, fire, or even sis mates are carried ; but the actual 
requirements of the law would appear to bo fulfilled if she had 
, dimply one master and one mate. 

With regard to the latter class — the men — the law has but 

' little to say, and what little it does say scarcely seems to be i 

enforced. The men are divided, or ere supposed to be 

divided, into two classes — A-B-'a (able-bodied seamen), and OS- ' 

(ordinary seamen). An able seaman should be able to "hand," 

ef," and " steer ; " that is to say, to set, take in, and secmB 

the sails, and to reef them ; and also should be able to steer. 

Besides these things, he should be capable of performing all the 

handicraft work connected with the ship's sails, and witt 

the Blanding and running rigging ; be should know how to tue 

the lead, and should understand every other part of the ordinary 

duty of a seaman. 

The HetcbaDt Shipping Act of 189^ enacts that « a namui 

I aball not be miitUd to the rating of A3., that ia to mj, to the 

. rating of an able-bodied seaman, nnlees be Has serred at sea 

I for four years before the mast" . . . "and the service may be 

I proved by certificates of discharge, or by a certificate of Berrioe 

I Irom the Begistrat-Gleaeral of Shipping and Seamen." This 


(■lauseoftheAct hsia always, however, been very mucli neglected, 
and has now become practically a dead letter, with the result 
that ininibers of men now call themselves A.B.'h, and ship as 
such, who are in every reapect totally unqualified. 

From figures supplied by the Chamber of Shipping, the total 
number of seamen employed at the present time in the British 
Merchant Service is, in round numbers, 235,000. Of this 
number 80,000 are, or are supposed to be, A.B.'a ; but no less 
than 27,000 of tliese A.B.'8 are loreigners, leaving the total 
number of British A.B,'s as 53,000, a very large proportion of 
whom are untrained, and more or less incompetent. Of A.B. 's 
with four years' service at sea there are at present certainly i 
not more than 26,000. 

An Ordinary Seaman is simply a man who earns his living 
on the sea. He may have been at sea for a year or two, or he 
may have been afloat merely for a month, or even less. Any- 
body, in fact, who takes a fancy to go to sea may call himself 
an " ordinary seHtnan." There is nothing, so far b.3 the law is 
concerned, to prevent any landsman — the gardener, say, or the 
milkman, if he can get any mate to take him — turning sailor 
and shipping as an ordinary seaman ; and after a voyage or so 
to the Colonies it is quite possible, the Merchant Shipping Act 
notwithstanding, that without further preliminaries, he may 
proceed to the degree of A.B. 

A man, however, who has shipped as A.B., and who is after- 
wards found to be thoroughly incompetent to perform the 
duties he contracted for, may be reduced at any time to the 
rating of " ordinary seaman " ; and in addition he would lay 
himself open to further punishment for fraud — and very justly 
«o, for supposing that a ship should be entitled to, say, six 
A.B.'s, and after she gets to sea finds herself one hand short, 
clearly more work will devolve upon the other five, and they 
will have just reason to complain. 

Competition is now so keen that owners send ships to sea 
with the very minimum of hands capable of carrying on the 
work ; many tramp steamers, even of as much as 4000 tons, at 
the present time cross tlie Atlantic with only half a dozen 
deck hands, three in a watch — not sufficient for a relief to the 
wheel and look-out. lu spite of all that is said by shipowners 


about Britigli ships not being under* inaniied, it la an nndoQE 
fact that large numbers of ships do go to sea exceedingly 
short-handed. No allowance whatever is made for CAsualtiei 
or for sickuess, and with matters cut as fine as they are at 
present, if a mau gets hurt, or becomes ill, the number of the 
crew at ouce falls below the proper factor of safety, or, in 
other words, the ship is distinctly uuder^mauned. A l&rge 
four-master of over 2000 toos will leave the port of London 
for the Colonies with a crew of only eighteen — nine in » 
watch. Here, of course it is "all hands" every time she goes 
about; and if that be not under-manning it is something very 
near akin to it.* 

la IS35, an Act was passed,! one of the main features of 
which was a declaration that a British ship should be 
considered duly navigated if she had one seaman for every 
twenty tons of her registered tonnage ; but since the rep«ial 
of the Navigation Laws, in 1849, it has been left entirely 
with the shipowner to say what number of hand^ shall he 
carrie<l, with only this oue restriction, that it shall be slateJ 
on the articles what number are to be carried upon the voyage 
about to be entered upon, and then that number must be 
maintained as a minimum during the entire voyage. 

A shipowner, like most other possessore of property, thinks 
that he has a perfect right to do as he likes with his own; but 

• In Fobninry, mss, the following official notjco wm israed by tho Bom! 
of Trado : " Foroign-goiog BtcamBhipa of over 200 feet in length, or not hs 
tliaa 700 tons gross, wlien proceeding to ten, ehould have, independeotlf of 
the master and two mates, a endicient numlier of deck-lianda availablo hi 
division into two watches, ao as to provide a tnintmura effective watch, r\i. 
a competent hand at the wheel, a look-out man, and an additional hand on 
deck availftble for any purpose." It will be remarked in the above " OIk'iii 
Notice " how exceedingly apologetic a public department tike the Boavd ol 
Trade can contrive to be. It does not lay down the law that such or sacii 
things mutl be done; but it mildly enggests that eertab vessels "lA/iuU h*«,' 
etc. Something stronger than tliio is wanted before under- maiming is pot a 
stop to. 

The charge of ander-manning in do wise appliea to the great lines of oc«an 
mail steamers, which, iinivt^rsally, are most efficiently manned, and admintbl; 
officered. The accompanying illiiatration will afford a good idea of the crew 
of a Grgt-clasB mail steamer. It is from a photograph of the crew of the 
R.M.S- Briton, of the Union Comp«uv. 

f 5andfiWiUi«mIV.,c.l9. 



I I 

I 1:.. 

I : • 


'. I 





that is iiot a view entirely ia accord with the fact, more 
realized every day, that the possesaion of property carries 
with it its own special responsibilities; nor is it at all in 
accordance with the whole tenor of modem legislation; and 
in these days of factory acts and measures affecting the well- 
being of workers ashore, it is high time that the law stepped 
in between the interests of the shipowner on the one hand, 
and the interests of the seaman on the other ; and the sooner 
Parliament takes steps by judicious legislation to remedy 
the evils attaching to, and the piesent decadent state of, our 
Mercantile Marine, the better. 

Apart from the vexed question of manning, there are many 
directions in which a little judicious legislation might very 
considerably benefit Mercantile Jack without injuring the 
shi[)owner, and so by rendering; the service more popular, 
induce a better class of men to ji.>in it. There is nothing to 
be more deprecated than grandmotherly legislation, yet 
leaving alone large questions, there are still many smaller 
matters that might with advantage, in some manner, be dealt 
with, and out of many points which will readily suggest them- 
selves to those interested in such things, the following are 
one or two : — 

On signing-onday at the Shipping Office — that is, upon the i 
day on which the crew for the foithcoming voyage are finally I 
selected, and when the absolute contract between the ship- i 
owner and the men is entered into — the men agreeing to \ 
serve un<ler certain conditions, and the shipowner agreeing, 
also subject to certain conditions, to pay, — there ought dis- 
tinctly to be a medical inspection. Men now sign oni 
apparently, oa far as can be seen, in good health ; but the 
ship may have scarcely got outside before certain diseases 
will manifest themselves ; some of the men go to their bunks 
for a time, and the ship, sparingly manned at the best, is 
short handed at once. It is true that under the Merchant 
Shipping Act a medical inspection is authorized " on applica- 
tion by the owner or master;" but it ought to be in every 
case eompidsory, whether applied for by the owner or master 
or not. 

When the men Kgn on the ship's articles ate TewiLO-set Vc 
them; but often, and more particularly sucV v*-'^^ ^'* "^^ 


mMter ii not epeoiBlly ■nxlou that the man ilumld hatr, in 
such ft mpid and indistinet manner aa to ba potfiBetly nam- 
telligible to them. At the time Jack does not oaie— he ii 
only too thankful to get a ship at all ; bat ha ia no aoonec at 
sea than petty dispntes begin. Of oontse, the ahip's aitidM 
are snppoaed to be pooted np in the fineeaatle; Imt 1^17 sot 
give every man when he aigna on a printed copy, with tha 
apecial Btipniattona aa to food, wo^ flnea, and so on, ]daiBly 
■et forth, that he may hare a better knowledge of lAat ha ii 
expected to do, and what he ought to reoeiTe, mthant either 
having to aak the maater or to remain in doubt. 

These artidea of ^freement are upon a proper |ainted tapn 
issned by the Ibrine Department of the Board of Trade^ sud 
ahonld, when properly filled up, be plaoed on board in radi » 
manner aa to be accessible to tiie orew, in default of whiok a 
penalty not exceeding five pounds may be enforced. Among 
other things, tiia articles preaoribe the amount and kind of 
food to be supplied to the crew daily during the voyage. 


RF.QiiKF.D Bv 30n( AXD 3l8T Vict. c. 124. 














lb. lb. 




Hnnday ... 



- ♦ 



UonAtj ... 




* - 




Tuesday ... 








2 - 3 
















Friday ... 
















Note.— In any caw an eqnal qoanli^ of fresh meat, or freah vegetiblM 
may, at the opUon of the nuHter, be eorvei oat in lien of the lalted or tinntd 
meats, or preserred or compressed vegetables named in the above scale. 

SuBSTTTUTES. — At the master's option. 

* This, it mnst be remembered, in for sH porpows, waehii^ as weU » 



The preceding is a copy of a recent agreement as concerns 
the food on board a Olasgow barqne bonnd from the London 
Docks to the Colonies ; and it may be taken as a fair sample 
of the amonnt of food supplied to the crew of an ordinary 
British sailing-ship at the present time ; and it is so far plain 
and intelligible; although the last line, ''Substitutes" etc., 
rather gives the whole of it away. 

Although a bill of fare may look well enough on paper, the 
actual articles of food will naturally differ much in quality on 
board different ships ; and while a liberal owner will send on 
board his ships good and wholesome beef and pork, and excel- 
lent biscuit, there are plenty of ships sent to sea with casks of 
salt horse, and the very vilest, and commonest of bread. 

The following is the bill of fare recommended by the 
Merchant Shipping Victualling Scale Committee, 1892. 

Bill of Fare. 




Stmday ... 

Dry hash, soft bread. 

Sea-pie and plnm 

Cold beef and 

Monday ... 

Irish stew. 

Pea - soup, pork, 

Dry hash. 

Taesday ... 

Rico and molasses. 

Salt beef, potatoes, 
plum duff. 

Cold meat and 


Porridge and mo- 


Potato stew. 


Bread scowse. 

Pea - soup, pork, 

Cold pork and 

Friday ... 

Dry hash. 

Preserved meat or 
salt fish and po- 

Twice laid of 


Porridge and mo- 

Salt beef, rice, and 

Cold meat and 

Coffee, biscuit, 
hotter, and marma- 
lade daily. 

Biscuits and 
switchell daily. 

Tea, biscuits, 
butter, and mar- 
malade daily. 

One would be inclined to think that if this Bill of Fare 
were really adhered to, Mercantile Jack need not absolutely 


The amount of fiaes for various offeaces is aleo set forth 
in the Articles of Agreement, as follows : — 

Stnkicg or BasaaltiDg &ay p«m>n on 

board, or bolooging to tba Bhip (if 

not otherwise prosecuted) 

Bringing or havuig on board epiritaons 

liquore I 

Dnmbeaticss. First ofibnce [ 

Ditto. Second a 

Taking on bo&rd and 1 

sion of any fire-*^m^ »l 

loaded cone, slung »hot, •. 

sword-Blick, dagger, or 

ofleneive weapon, or ofTenbi 

moot, without the concurre' 

master, for every day dur 

a seaman retains auoh ii 


Five shillings 
F^ve shiUiiigi 


Tlie fines are deducted from the amottnt <^ wages pud to 
the men at the Shipping Office when the ship is pud aS at 
the conclusion of the voyage. 

There ought to he distinct rules laid down as to the power of 
compelling men to work in exposed places when the tempen- 
tare is beyond a certain point. At present it is an everyday 
occurrence to see men in foreign ports, on stages over the 
ship's sidqi chipping rust or painting, with an almost vertical 
sun pouring down npon them, and the thermometer, if it were 
placed against the iron side of the ship, showing something 
considerably over a hundred. The same with the men at the 
wheel — totally unprotected, although the deck may be so hot 
that it would be painful to walk about upon it barefoot. 

It is a stipulation on some of the great liners that the men — 
that is to say, the deck<hands — are to assist during the passage 
in trimming the coal in the bunkers. As a case in point, this 
year on board one of the largest of the New Zealand liners the 
men were so engaged all through the tropics. The heat in the 
cool-bunkers was so insuffetable that the men used to get fiunt 
and giddy on goii^ down, sad. ■<jt^ iha^ haA the greatest 



possible difficulty in getting ftu extra ventilator rigged up. 
There was nn law compelling the ship to have it done, there- 
fore it was not done, until the men absolutely refused to go 
below until it was done. 

Then in cold wet weather there ought to be some definite 
rales as to the mode of carrying on the work during rain. No 
one advocates making feather-bed sailors, but why should a 
man who earns his bread upon the sea be placed in a worse 
position than a similar man on the land ? A man would not be 
likely to keep a worse helm if the wheel were placed under 
shelter than he now does, exposed for two hours at a stretch to 
a bitterly cold driving rain or drifting sleet, or with a vertical 
sun threatening him every moment with sunstroke. 

Then, again, there ought to be some fixed rule as to knocking 
off work on a Saturday afternoon. The men want a little time 
for washing and mending their clothes without having to do it 
after 6 p.m. ; and on some ships— for the practice varies very 
L-onsiderably on different shipB — work ia kept up on Saturdays 
nntil five, and frequently up to six o'clock, the mate often 
being at considerable pains to invent work merely in order to 
keep the men employed. 

Another point that requires looking to, is the keeping the 
forecastle, or the men's house, regularly cleaned out and tidy, a 
matter in some ships almost totally neglected, with the worst 
possible results from a sanitary point of view. 

These are merely one or two points out of many; but if 
some kind of legislation were directed to matters like these, 
small and insignificant as they may seem, ship-owners and 
ship-masters would find themselves none the worse, and the 
men would be considerably benefited ; work would be done 
more cheerfully than is often the case now, a good many 
sources of wTangling and grumbling would be removed, and 
life " before the stick " wonld i>e made considerably leas irksome 
lan it is at present. 

The very large extent to which foreign sailors are now 
ing the place of British sailors in the British Mercantile 
arine is becoming, year by year, a more and more serious 
tter, the iiercentoge of foreign seamen in our Mercaulile 
having incrpAsed front 4 per cent. \n \%^\,\»W \et 



188&; and it is atill inoreasiDg. The numtii 

Beaiuau, considered relatively to the lai^ely 
iiK-reasing ptipulatioQ of the country, is 
BU^Mibtedly iteadily declining. In 1855, the total United 
H^pl^wn mgirtTTful tonnage was 3,800,000, and the nomber of 
Britiabp<Min»*iuployed in the Merchant Service was 155,610. 
Inl88S — thai ii to say, after an interval of 40 years, the total 
•giTijAifc. registered tonnage was S,861,S48, and the 
of iftdtish subjects so employed (not counting lascais) 

, . . Of ooarae^ dn* allowance must be made for the more general 
fiiajftiiwi Tlf itw" as the motive-power, and for the suhelitu- 
tUn of lugp lllips for little ones, yet etill, taking as a basis 
•be popobtiOB of the United Kingdom in 1S55, we Sod that 
MM Britith ptt«oii was employed in the British Merchant 

j^4irrio» to trwj 17& .fWMai wlNn. tfm^ If «>-ld» «■• 

'^fmm to tmrj 176 of tiw pop«htioa «f tW UkM TfajrtM 

i» 188S, it iranU giTo w aboBt S2(MMM> M thB ■mkr «f 

Britiah MflrchantMilon that than oo^ to iMwbaM. Jkt 

actual number of British merchant eeamen wu, therefore, in 
1895, Tery considerably below what it shoold have been ; and 
this decrease is going on still. The Boyal Navy natonJly 
looks to the merchant navy for ita teBerres in time of mr. lo 
past times, when our Mercantile Marine waa manned solely by 
British seamen, they fought side by side with their breUuen 
in the Navy, and largely contributed to the naval supremacy 
of Great Britain ; but if the foreign element in oar Merchant 
Service continues to increase in the fntore in the same ratio 
that it has increased in the recent paat, the Navy will hare to 
look elsewhere for its reserves. 

There are many reasons that condnoe to this gradual decline 
in the numbers of British merchant seamen, and nnqoeation- 
ably one reason is the steadily falling rate of wages. The pay 
of an A3, on board ships out of the port of London is now 
exceedingly low, — £2 I&b. a month being about what Jack gets 
at the present time. This, to a great extent, is the result of 
this foreign competition. Scarcely a ship leaves London ot 
any of our great ports without a very considerable percentage 
of her crew being " Datohmen" — ti» vulot't tBcm. for foteignen, 


^Htf whatever nationality tliey may be. Swedes, Nurwegians, 
^^^ius, Danes, Freaolinien, Spauiardd, are all Dutehmeu to 
H Ja^li. England is a free-traJe country, and bo loug aa there 
^ are Dnt«.'hmen to be found who are willing to work for lower 
wages than English Stercantile Jack, so long mil shipowners 
employ them, with the inevitable result of still further lower- 
ing the wages of the Euglish A.B. 

Low as the present rate of pay is on board British ships, it 
is higher thaa the foreign sailor can get on board ships of his 
own country, and so he comes to us ; and besides that, most 

» British ships are better victualled than foreign ships, so that 
the foreign sailor gets a double advantage, from his point of 
Tiew, by shipping on board British vessels — -he gets better wages 
than he wouJd get on board his o«-n ships, and he is better 
fed into the bargain. There is a standing joke among English 
sailors, that if a Korwegian vessel is signalling, ten to one it is 
" two days out, and short of proviaious." 

There is one reason, however, that weighs considerably with 

I skippers and mates in favour of emjiloying Dutchmen in the 
place of Englishmen, and it is a reason that British sailors 
Would do well to boar in mind ; and that is, that without any 
doubt the foreign sailor does not get drunk to anything like 
the same extent that the British sailor does. It is not that 
the mate looks upon drunkenness from any particularly moral 
point of view ; but if a man who has signed on goes away and 
gets drunk he may very possibly not turn up when the ship is 
about to sail, and that would lead to difficulties, probably to 
delay ; — and even if he does come aboard, the chances are that 
he wonld be so drunk that he can't do his work. The Dutch- 
man is pretty sure to turn up on sailing day, and to turn up 
sober, so that he is certainly in this respect more to be depended 
upon than the Englishman. 

There is a good deal of nonsense talked and written about 
the " British Tar ; " but he is not the only seaman in the world ; 
and it is a fact that all the Si'andinavian nations produce very 
excellent seamen. The sailors of Norway, Sweden, and Den- 
mark, were famous in old times, as Britons found out to their 
cost ; and although Englishmen would naturally prefer to see 
English ships manned by English sailors, yet smcV & tft«\)\\. 



ie one of the tbings that can never l>e brought about by any 
amount of legislation ; it is simply a question of the BurviTal 
of the fittest ; and if British sailors want to hold their own on 
board British ships they must tate care to be not only equal 
to, but in all resi>ect3 superior to the foreigner. When thia 
is undoubtedly the case, we shall cease to hear of British ship- 
owners employing foreigners in the place of Englishmen," 

* At Iset the GoTemmeut appear to have recognised thia growing eyil, 
and have proposed as, ooe meana of incrca^g the number of British eeamea 
employed in the Britiali Mercantile Marine, to remit a certain proportion of 
the Light Diiee now paid by shipowners, to such ships as shall carry a certwa 
proportion of British boys ; and during the debate in the House of Commona, 
on July 27, 1898, on the Bill which the Government have brought in— iho 
Merchant Shippbg (Liglit Dues) Bill—Mr. Ritchie, Prealdeut of the Board of 
Trade, spoke as follows: — " The decline of British Sailors in the Mercantile 
Marine lias been a matter of considerablo aniiety to all tlioae who liave the 
interest of Iho country at heart, and many auggeations have from Ume to 
time been made with a view of endeavouring by some means or other to 
check that decline. In the year 1891, tbor« were 41,590 BritUh sailors on 
board British ships, and in 1896, the number had decreased to 35,020, show- 
ing a falling off of G570. 

" In 1891, there were 13,432 foreigner? on board British ships, and in 1896, 
the number bod increased to 14,469. He did not dispute that a great nuuif 
of these foreigners mado good seamen, but the country wonld prefer that ill 
ships wore manned by British Bailors. It was a disquieting fact that ^ 
decreaee in the number of British sailors was most marked among the 
younger men ; in 1896, there being of men under twenly-fi»e years of ag> 
3,981 fewer than there were in 1891. If at the present moment the Nant 
Iteserves were colled ont, it would leave our Mercantile Marine almort 
entirely in the hands of foreign sailors. This was a very real danger, and hfl 
thought that the House would support tlie Government in an endeavour ta 
remedy it. 

" The great difliculty in the matter is the reluctance of both shipownen 
and mastere to carry boys, as they find them, at any rate for the first year, of 
but very little service, while they cost as much for maintenance as fiill-grown 
sailors. It appeared to him that the Bill now before the House afforded as 
avenue by which at least something — and, he believed, a good deal — conU 
be done to remedy the existing state of things. 

" The Government proposed to give an allowance of twenty per cent OS 
the Light Dues in respect of any one vessel at the end of eadi year, duriHg 
which the vessel most have been not less than nbe months under articles of. 
agreement, provided the owner carried boy sailors under Qi« following scale >— 
Under 500 tons, one boy; between 600 lona and 1000 tons, two boys, iUii 
Iteingnet tonnage; between 1000 tons and 2000 tons, Ihree boj's; and 
■ddilioiwl boy for every 1000 tons, or portion of 1000 tons. 

" Each boy must be a British subject, not being a lascar ; lie nuist he a 


After the able and the ordinary searneu there are four 
other classes of personages with whom we must make acquaint- 
ance. They are the quartermasters, and the boatswain, the 
carpenter and the sail-maker, with their mates. On the larger 
ships, and on the great liners these rank as petty officers, 
but in the eye of the law they are all simply " seamen." 

The qoartermasters in aailing-ahipg are for the most part 
merely picked out from the A.B.'8, getting a slight increase of 
pay for the additional service rendered. For the Australian 
Toyage, for example, they would get, perhaps, an extra two 
pounds — a pound for the passage out, and another pound for 
the passage home; their special business being to attend 
to the steering. In the mail lines the quartermasters hold a 
more deGned position than is the case in the ordinary sailing 
ship. Here, as above stated, they rank as petty officers, and 
are frequently old AB.'s in the Company's service. They 
steer, and attend to all matters connected with the steering- 
gear; clean and brighten up the biunacles, telegraphs, and 
wheels, and keep the wheel-house clean and tidy, both aft and 
on the bridge. They hoiat, or superintend the hoisting of the 
flags and signals,* and keep the colours in order, mending 

deck- band ; be moBt bo medically examiited, and certified to be Round, and 
likal; to grow into an efficient valooteor for the seaman class of tbe Naval 
ReBervo. He raust be enrolled in the Roj-ai Naval Reserve, and ho must 
enler into an agreement to present hinjseli for service when called upon in 
accordance with the ndes issued by Itie Admiralty. He must bo over 15 
aod under 18 years wbon first enrolled, and under 19 years at the time of 
ttgning an agreement for any voyage in respect of wbicb the allowance wai 

This somewhat cnmbrons proposa! on the part of the Government met 
with but very qualified support at the hands of members interested in the 
shipping world, as clearly the remission of the percentage of the Light Dues 
wuuld in reality be paid for by the shipowner, who would, in order to obtain 
the remission, be compelled to carry a certain number of boys at a con- 
nderable pecnaiory loss to himself. The Bill, however, was, neverthBless, 
read ■ third time ; but that anything satisfaelory will eventiiall; result from 
it, se«mB to be extremely problematical, shipowners maintaining, and justly 
m«iDtwiung, that the Lights should be paid for altogether out of the National 
Exchequer, and not by the Bridsh shipowner. 

* I remember once seeing a lad incur the wrath of an old quartermaster 
for hoisting colours in an improper manner. Ordinary floga when hoisted are 
usually sent vp in a ball, aiul a jerk of tlie flag Lalliirds Bote V\iQ co\oM Vt*ft — 


374 THB 

tkflnmaadao&iik; Abj kMp Hm Momnft of As 
of tli0 air aad Hm wstar; *Ai ■wlptp^ hMf Aslq^Mi 
iiote domi tte ndUngi of tte piAnfe k^ vnli^g •Mtyttng 
dovnbofiiie tlisy gooff daty, for Ited^siMik; iHim|Ht 
tlioy wofllly ottODd at the g M gw aj, 

The bo'iiin ii^ or oii|^t to bo^ As mmutmt taumm 
tka ahipu Ha inpaffiiitonda iha aaft m tta daj^m 
boaid, aad thaw ii^ or o«^ to ba^ nolhipg m • aMloA mA 
that ha cannot Aaw thara how to doi Ha haa aknga of fla 
ba'ann's loekar, whiok inelodaa lopai^ ta^ pvBd^ '■^ *^' 
gtoiaa in gananL Ha ia anaMaabla^ vndar Iha diirf oflsSf 

wotldng parti of tha ahipu Ha naaaUy ia batthad ib • 
ondaoky tha oaipaatar aad ha oAn diaiiBgtta 
b«t in aoma niling^hipi^ although it ia a plan aoMik to he 
dapiacatad, ha oooopiaa Aa ama hova aa iha appianiirai 
In Logo Tenab ha hail nndar Uniy aarand matafc 

Thaoaipaatar (^'chipa^" on boaid ahipX aa hia nawa iwpKwi 
ia laqmnsUa for aU tha oaipentaring jol» that nMj ba iaq[^^ 
to be done on board, from putting a new lock on the cabin 
door to turning out a new spar in the case of an existing 
one being carried away. He looks after the pumps, and sounds 
the well every day, making his report to the officer (tf the 
watch ; so that what with one thing and another, the caipenter's 
time is always pretty fully occupied. 

The sail-maker has charge of all the canvas on board the 
ship, making new sails if required, and at other times repairing 
the old ones ; and in an ordinary ship he is always busy, as 
sails are not only always chafing and wearing out, but very 
frequently are carrying away altogether. 

These three last members of the crew usually keep no 
watches, but work all day, and sleep in all night, unless ^§11 
hands" are called, when they turn out with the rest The 
cook, as a rule, does the same. He is engaged in his galley 

'* breaks it/* as it is called. The lad had to hoist the bhie ensign at the peak 
(it was a naval reserve ship), and he hdsted it in this way. The quarter- 
master was fnrious with him— "< Sure, and don*t ye know better,** said he, 
« than to break the national flagof the coimtiy, just like yon would a common 


sU (lay, either preparing the meals for the cabin, or cooking 
the food for the men, or cleaning up hia saucepans and utenails. 
Of course this is on board the ordinary sailing-ship, or ocean 
tT8n]|>; on board the great liners the steward's and cook's 
department is simply the Hotel Metropole afloat, with its 
untold array of stewards, nnder-stewanls, waiters, chef, assistant 
cooks, pantrymen, vegetable- washers, butchers, bakers, and 
the rest. In the ordinary merchantman the cook is rather of 
the rough-and-ready description. He can turn out good plain 
food, but he does not profess to bo an artist. 

Ui>on steamers, and therefore on the majority of ships afloat, 
besides the navigating crew of seamen, there is another large 
body of men in the engineers, and flremen, or stokers, the duty 
of the former being to attend to tlie machinery, and the boilers, 
and that of the latter the furnaces. Until the year 1862, the 
position of the engineers was the same as that of any ordinary 
member of the crew, and their appointment and position was 
entirely dependent upon the will of the shipowner, who simply 
formed bis own judgment of their fitness for the duties required 
of them. Now they are obliged to pass a Board of Trade 
Examination, in precisely the same way as Masters and Mates, 
and certificates are given for First-class Engineer, or Second- 
class Engineer, as the case may be, no one being allowed to fill 
these posts without holding such certificates of competency 
nnder a similar penalty to that incurred by the deck oflicers. 

The stokers and the coal-trimmers are for the most jiart bred 
from shore labourers, and are usually drawn from a still lower 
class in the social scale than the deck hands ; there being but 
very little commimity of feeling between the two sets of men. 
In the great liners the forecastle is usually divided longitudi- 
nally, the starboard side being occupied by the seaman and the 
port side by the firemen, or vice versa, and neither class think 
of entering the others' berth uninvited. 


4p(ron(icce — Tbeir nambere ronnerl;^' ^'■■^ ^^ present — Sei^-time — Ths M^ 
wsy of a hay'6 goiog to Bee — Importnnce of being apprenticed to a ffxi 
firm— Premium and eiptnscB— Apprautice's indentares — A coDtnet— 
Dotiea of the apprentice, and daties of the Bhipowner— Treatmect of 
apprentices — Trwaiog-ships — Suggestions — Apprentices sUty years ago. 

Having seen something of the men, we now come to the 
^^rentices, and as from the apprentices of to-day will be 
Asmi the skippers of the s&iling-ehipa and of the crack ocean 
Umts of the future, their position ia one well worthy of careful 

"Pnfkm to the npaal of tha N«Vi#Mfam L«M fit 18« It 

was compolsory * for eTfiry Teesel to cairy a certain niunber of 
apprentices according to her tonnage, for instance — 

AH veBBsla of 80 tons and under 200 tonnrerebonnd toeairjoiMt 
„ 200 „ „ 400 „ „ two I 

400 „ „ 600 „ „ thiwi' 

„ 600 „ „ 700 „ „ torn „ 

„ 700 „ „ and opmrdB „ fire „ 

And for every apprentice deficient a fine of ten pounds wu 
to be imposed. Since the repeal of the Navigation Laws, when 
the cBiiying of apprentices ceased to be oompnlsory, the nambo' 
of apprentices has steadily diminished, as may be seen from 
the following table taken from the Board of Trade Betonu :— 



... 16,704 


... 6,056 


... 6^616 


... ?M1 


... Jsoi 


... ha 


... S.184 

* By Act (tf Parliamant, 5 and 6 WilliiiD IT. o. 19. 

f The first yew aftarteB«e*>>3>(<<aMk'««n^]dkn.lAw& 


When a father apprentioes his son to a trade, or articles liim 
k> a profeBsion, the presumption is tbat the father nisbes the 
ion to become, or the son himself iriabes to become, a master 
n that particular calling in life. The primary object, therefore, 
if the sea apprentice may reasonably bo assumed to be, that 
D due course of time he should become a master-mariner; and 
, necessary step towards this end is that he should be so trained 
luring his apprenticeship, as that he may be able to pass the 
}oard of Trade Examinations, first for Second Mate, after that 
or First Mate, and then for Master; and after that, if he 
booses, for Extra Master — a master in the Mercantile Marine 
laving to pass through the preliminary grades of Second Mate 
,n<l Mate befure he can obtain his Master's certificate. 

The Itoard of Trade requires that every candidate for Second 
late shall have served for fuur years at sea, out of which time 
welve months must have been passed in a foreign-going 
quare-rigged sailing-ship. So long, therefore, as the candidate 
an show bis four years at sea, including his year in the square- 
igged foreign-going sailing-ship, it does not matter one pin, 
o far as the Board of Trade is concerned, whether he has ever 
een apprenticed or not. If he can show his four years' service 
t sea by his discharges as A.B., or even as ordinary "boy," he 
ntirely fulfils the Board of Trade requirements, just as much 
a though he had been duly apprenticed. Therefore to be 
,pprentice<l is not an absolute necessity imposed by the Board ; 
'et, to encourage apprenticeship the Board of Trade agrees to 
«cept the whole of the time served under Indentures of 
^.pprenticeship as actual sea service, provided the applicant 
laa really served at sea, or at least out of the United Kingdom, 
our-fifths of the time claimed as apprentice (that is to say, that 
le has not spent more than one-fifth of the time claimed, in 
lome ports) ; in other words, if he has been actually at sea, or 
jut of the United Kingilom, with his ship for three years and 
^ree months, although he may have had in addition to this, 
line months holidays, the Board will reckon these three years 
ind three months, in the case of an apprentice, as four years' 
iea-serviee; but in the case of a hoy not apprenticed, or of 
an A~B„ he mu8t put in sufficient discharges to make up 
four entire years. Here, therefore, is a clear inducement to 


•fimmttOMhqi, md it is intended as such by tho Boud I 

. We may tnk* i^ tlioQ, that the boy la to be apprenticed. Tlio 
qaaitka now anies how should he, or bis father, set about it? 
it it imqiieiti()Mbly best that a boy should, if possible, be 
t^gj^natioti. to ft good firm owning maoy ships, rather than to 
AJDuU flna owning bat few ships, or to the owner of one single 
Aipk uid fbc thii reason — competition is now so keen, and hr 
mij berth in aaj occupation whatever, there are now su many 
^^IkeaA^ thet when the apprentice has served bis time, and 
hMpMMd til»3aard, and lias obtained liis certificate, he ex- 
■ thegrai.test pi>ssiUe difficulty in obtaluing employ- 
; aqd natnnlly the first people to whom be would look 
would te the flna with whom be bad served bis apprenticeship. 

All the heit flms select their oflicers, as far as possible, from 
tiwi fcCDBtt q^centices ; and here, then, is bis opportunity. 
Kthe 4nn own but one or two ships they will probably bavc 
■0 Teoeuey ; or tlieir ship will be on her way ont to Sydney. 
OP g<^Bg fiott Bio to Bangoon, or be otherwise equally in- 
aooeBsible, and the lad, not getting a berth under big old funi, 
will find it next to impossible to get a berth at all ; and if he 
has not inflnential friends to give him ui introduction to some 
other and better firm, he will have to do what a very large 
number of passed apprentices are now obliged to do, ship is 
A.B. until some better opportonity presents itael£. 

It is, of coarse, not ijways within the power of the bc^'a 
friends to apprentice him to one of the larger firms. A oon- 
giderable premium has to be paid, varying from £60 to £150; 
and nothing at all is coming in for the four years oi his 
apprenticeship, whilst the boy will have to be found in outfit 
and in pooket-money. 

Say that the apprentice's preminm is £100 ; his first year's 
outfit will certainly cost £20 at the least, and for each of the 
other three years £15 ; then for pocket-money and travelling 
expenses to and horn his ship, which, although she may have 
sailed from London, may possibly come home to Glasgow, 
or Caidif^ or Liverpool, or some other port, £10 a year will 
not leave a very large margin. This will bring the sum-total 
Op to £205, or, say, £50 a year fot tl^e fogr yesn^ To a graft 



number of parents — peiliBps profeBsional men, retired army 
men, or clergymen, with several sons to bring up — after all 
the expenses of the boy'a education to Lave to pay £50 a 
year for fonr more years is a very serious matter, and one 
which ought to carry with it some very distinct advantages. 

The small firms will often take an ap]trentice for £30 (some 
few for nothing), and will pay the amount back as wages — 
£6 the first year, £7 the second, £S the third, and £9 the last 
year ; which may be a present good, but which is often terribly 
at the expense of the boy's future, for the reasons pven alwve. 
Now, an apprenticeship indeature ts an absolute contract 
between two parties, each with his own special responsibilities : 
the boy undertakes, on his part, to properly serve bis master ; 
the ship-owner, on the other hand, undertakes to perform his 
part of the bargain, which in ninety-nine cases out of a 
hundred, he never does, and never even thinks of doing. He 
undertakes to teach the boy, or cause bim to be taught, the 
profession of a seaman. That is to say, he undertakes to teach 
the boy the art of navigation, bow be should take his ship 
from one port to another ; the rule of the road, as regards both 
steamers and sailing-vessels; their regulation lights, and fog 
and sound signals ; general ship's signals ; the mode of 
marking, and the use of the lead and log-lines; the use of 
the rocket apparatus ; stowing cargo ; and general seamanship. 
This, then, is what the ship-owner, or the ship-master, as the 
case may be, agrees to do. What does he do in reality ? 

In nine ca^s out of ten the apprentice, according to the 
advertisements, is "to be berthed apart from the crew ; " 
" will be taught navigation ; " and " have the same food as the 
oflScers." But what are the real bard facts of the case ? The 
confiding parent pays the requited premium, gets the outfit 
for his boy, who duly appears among hie friends, the admired 
possessor of brass buttons, and a cap with the badge of the 
firm upon it. He has in due time notice to join his ship, 
and n-ith his new uniform on, and with bis sea-chest and his 
other belongings, he reports himself on board; the ship sails, 
and if his friends could only see bim in a month's time they 
would scarcely recognise him. Instead of the smart youth 
they said good-bye to, they would see an extreniel*)' AvA^ W^ 

ste THE BRmsB MncBAirr sncncB 

wearing hi equally dirty ftamd shut, • gretey and taiT 
pair of dnngine trouei^ uaA- on hu bead a grimj' dA 
"TuBiny." He hai been pnbaUy all the morning cleaning 
bnaa-work, or tlie ah^^ lampi^ md is sitting in " the hona^' 
eating hia dinner of aatt hone and rice, with his cbest lor t 
taUei The dinner-hoar ora^ he hears an nnooBth voice 
yelling, " Now, then, Jaek, get on with yotv braat-wotk," «, 
"Oet an with that ohippang down in the fore-peaki" Ntt. 
a Tery appmaaUe part of (be tiauung of the fatnre offioerl 

The hot is that in all T c awh that take apprentices, taotfi 
thoaa of a few of ths iwat flimi, the apprentice is in erei; 
leepeot beated no batter, aad no worae, than the ordinsir 
foremaat hand. Urn the nn^ raaeon that he is looked apcm u 
exactly <m a lerd with Ae haads. Some ships take hait ■ 
dosen or eight ^ipniitioai aimpfy to save their equivalent uf , 
AM.'b, and until tbe ]maent lawi are altered will continue (e 

TbB TeaaeU-poaiUy a CHaigow barqae, for the canny Scot a 
perfaapa the wont oflbnder in thla respect — ought to oarry, nr, 
twelve A.B.'8. As a matter of faet, eight seamen onlj a« 
shipped, six A.B.'8, two ordinary seamea, and the balaa« ii 
made up with apprentices, who, having to work watch and 
watch with the men, get so much taken out of them dtuing 
their watch on deck that when it is their watoh below tbe^ 
are only too glad to torn in, and certainly are not mocii 
inclined to open a book, or to trouble their hcttds aboDt 
mathematics or navigation. 

In a few ships, skippers, when they get into the Trades, will 
have their apprentices aft for an hour or so in the dog-mtcb, 
and help them on with their oaTigation. It is doing ^e bon 
good, and it is an amusement for the Master; but wheie tiien 
is one skipper who does this there are twenty who would nem 
dreem of such a thing, and who, so long as the apprentiees d* 
their work aloft, or slung over the side, painting, or whatem 
else they may have to do, never trouble themselvee st (U 
about them, from the beginning of the voyage to the end. 

This miserable treatment of apprentices results in a numlia 
of high-spirited boys, who wonld undonbtedly have »d« 
excellent officers, and who would have helped to raise the tne 

trf the professioD, throwing it up in disgust. Numbers of 
boys, sons of well-to-do professional men, clergymen, and 
others, try one voyage, and have then had quite enough of the 
sea, and settle down to something on shore ; whilst numbers of 
apprentices make a run of it in the Colonies. Of course, very 
many remain, b large proportion of whom undoubtedly sink 
down in the social scale, and under the present wretched 
system inake coarse, foul-mouthed, bullying men ; the ulti- 
mate residuum that make good seamen and gentlemanly 
officers, being, unfortunately, but a very small percentage of 
the entire number of those who originally joined the service. 

On all hands it appears to be conceded that Merchant 
Servie* officers are considerably behindhand in educational 
attainments. Can it he wondered at, when a boy is taken, 
just at a critical age, perhaps from a good public school, where 
he has jjjgen treated as a gentleman's son, and put for four 
years to sweep decks, clean brass-work, tar and grease down, 
clean out bilges and pig-styes, shift ballast, and bag coal, in 
company with a number of men whose every other word is 
an oath, except when it is something considerably worse. 

Of course, there are the training -ships fur boys intended for 
the Mercantile Marine, the Conway in the Mersey, and the 
WoTcesUr in the Thames; but, then, these ate expensive, and 
consequently out of the reach of many gentlemen of only 
moderate means, who perhaps have several sons to provide for ; 
and opinions are a good deal divided among competent judges 
as to whether a boy who has had a couple of years on board 
one of these training-ships is really more likely to get on 
than one who goes straight to sea. 

The whole question of apprenticeship to the sea-service 
requires a thorough over-hauling and much alteration. Of 
course, there are pauper apprentices, boys apprenticed by the 
parish authorities, whose ultimate end and goal is to become 
A.B.'s, and nothing more ; but there are also, at the same time, 
the apprentices whose friends have paid premiums with them, 
with the intention that they should ultimately become the 
captains of our ocean liners ; and the two classes should not be 
mixed up, and most certainly the latter class should not be 
levelled down to the position of the former, as is too much the 




case at the present day. If the apprentice, on his part, does 
his duty cheerfully, and to the heat of his ability, the other 
party to the contract, the sbipon-ner, should undoubtedly be 
made to do hia, which, equally undoubtedly, at the present time, 
for the moat part, he doea not do. 

The apprenticea ahould be under the orders of the master 
and of the mates alone. They should, when the weather 
and the work of the ship permitted, be hud aft for an hour 
every day, and be taught navigation and other kindred 
subjects. They should be employed aloft, and in setting aad 
shortening sail, in setting up rigging, sending down spars, 
Bpliciug, and the thousand and one things that appertain to 
seamanahip; but they should not be employed in tarring 
or greasing down, and they should not be made to do 
painting on stages or in bowlines, nor to clean out pig-styea 
and closets, nor to clean brass-work or lamps. In port they 
should be sent into the hold to learn dunnaging and stowing 
cargo ; end they should, as far as practicable, be kept apart 
from the men before the mast. 

If these, or some such rules, were carried out, in the comae of 
a few years a very marked improvement would be observed in 
the officers of the Mercantile Marine to the benefit of every- 
body — to the benefit of the apprentice undoubtedly; and 
certainly to the benefit of the shipowner, as the more competent 
and the more intelligent the man is to whom a valuable ship, 
and a valuable cargo, is entrusted, the less the chance to the 
owners or to the underwriters would there be of loss anJ 
disaster. The following graphic description will show how 
very little the position of the apprentice in the Mercantile 
Marine has improved within the last sixty years. With very 
little alteration the picture |)resented in 1830, would on many 
ships do equally well for 1898. 

Mr. W. a. Lindsay, in his work on merchant shipping, thiu 
describes the accommodatiou provided for apprentices in the 
year 1830. He says— 

" I have the moat vivid recollectioa of tlie forecastle of the ship ia wluch 1 
served my apprenticcshi]), and a deBcription of it may serve to Qlastrate ta 
ordinary Hpecimcn of the bcb homBB of wilom at that time. 

" The voMel in which I served wns about four hundred and tvfenty tons 


T^giitor, and of North American LuUd, She wan sliip-rigged, uud Lad a fliiish 
deck, that is, there were do etectiona upon Uie deck escept the gnlloy or cook- 
house, which stood before the long'boat; on each eido of both wero lasbed, 
to riog-boltfl ia the deck, the spare Bpars, and to these wtre again lashed a 
row of puncheona or butts filled with fresh water, 

" This vesse] was employed in the trade between G-reat Britain and 
Demcrara, making occasionally a voyage to the Bay of Fundy, Nova Scotia, 
for lamber, a deecription of boards used for the heading of rum and molasses 
casks and sugar bugsbeads. Her crow, she had more tlmn the usual 
complement, consisted of twenty-one penions all told, comprising tlio master, 
or ' captain,' Ih'st and second mates, and steward, all of whom lived in the 
cabin. Besides these tliere were the carpenter, cooper, and cook — who with 
the steward were eipected to assist in soamea's duties— ten seamen, and four 
appr^tioes. One of the latter lived with the carpenter and cooper in a place 
called the 'eteeragc,' Ihat is, a small place temporarily separated by some 
rongh stanchions and boards from the cargo in ttie square of the aOer-hatch. 
Here their tools, with varioiia rope and sail stores, were also kept, 

'' The cook, ten seamen, and three apprentices had their abode in the 
forecastle. This place, which was in the ' 'tween decks ' at the extremity of 
the bow, may have been about twenty-one feet in width at the after, or widest, 
part, tapering gradnally away to a narrow point at the stem. The length 
in midshipa was somewhere about twenty feel, but much less as the sides of 
the veBBel were approached, The baight was five feot from deck to Iteani, or 
about five feet nine mclies from deck to deck at the greatest elevation between 
ibe beams ; the only approach to it bomg through a scuttle or hole m the 
main deck, about two and a half feet square. 

" Beyond this hole, there were no means of obtaining either light or 
ventilation, and in bad weather, when the sea washed over the deck, the 
crew had to do as best they could, without either, or else receive the air 
mixed with apray, and aoraetimes accompanied by the almost unbroken crest 
of a wave, which, in defiance of oil the tarpaulin guards, too frequently fomid 
its way through the scuttle. 

" Here fourteen persons slept in hammocks suspended from the beams, and 
had their daily food. There waa no room for tables, chairs, or Etools, so that 
Lbo tops of their sea-cbeeta, in wliicb they kept their clotlies, and all their 
poseeasiong, were substituted for those useful and necessary household 
articles. In fact, so closely were these choela packed, that it was difficult to 
sit astride them, the mode which the sailors found most convenient for taking 
their meals, especially in rongh weatlier. 

" But the whole of even this limited space was not appropriated to the use 
of the crew, for it contained a rough deal locker, in which the beef and soup- 
kids and other nteneils were kept; while the stont stanchions, or knight- 
heads which supported the windlass on the upper deck, came through the 
forecastle, and were bolted to the lower beams ; and too frequently, when 
the ship was very full of cargo, a row of water-casks and casks of provisions 
were stowed along the al\cr bulkhead, which was a temporary erection; 
whilst on the top of these, cables, odUb of rope, and numerous other articles 


!, nd bad ih«ir food, ««*pt b te* 
Wmk m 4Nk, tllrir rami conrifUng ■Imoit Mtirrfr of iofaior mlbsi fmk, 
bMf frUell VM Sometime ueaHf ■■ bird and uwftllilfc m ^ Ufa fa 
vtiU ft «■■ Mma, nad brown bbeuiu too eA« tsMldy Md fidi rf n^plL 
T4 BMk* BMttMt wone, tli« forecutle of ibe flii|) wu fid at nU. nl I 
hart &• iMMt TlTiJ rpcullvclian of oae of Umw anlnuh w nare Am «• 
OPIMilOD flndiDt hi wsij bio the hammcck wbere I lirfL 

" Is ti« "Wmi Iiidiun the i>kc« wu ao >iil&ntneij hot thu tbe «itn 
Imwfablj' dipt whorovor thoy conld flixl a cUu «(««• npoa da^ or k the 
topit nd h wtater, wkan aiiproaching (Iio Ei^Udi CliaiiBd, or arhn ao ta 
fatinBlifati TCjagD to the Ikf of Fnsdj, It wuu tAterif oold, aa rtmi 
«r Int of aof khd beiog allonod on l>c«<d, except in iIm Ksllq' a^ fa Oa 

n aUvM ever Nnftbred fto nmch froin tlte Entaantj of ifce aH 
m did Umm of ttfe aailon au4 apprentices of that stop wbo had not descili^ 
darfaf two maatiis ol a wint^ when she lay at anchor in one id ihe raid- 
•iMldt of tka Bay. Tlio Low ports wore tiien obligeJ to be open to receita 
At Mlip>, Mid OWihi only be Cfivrsrcl witli mailing during the nigbt. One ct 
Am poitt opWMd upon the r<<i<.'<.: 'I" ' > il^t it.'; cxrdipiinls m^ht ahsoct 
■i VW lym riapt upon •.U-.k. iV. .: ■' n ,|. ■■■■!■ • n-^ (hey hv tif^}!! ihe chests, 
or hung mspended tniai dia U»uib, ^lU); uixjimuii/ itvasu u> suUi a* ««t«bt 
that the ice had to he beaten tiom them before the; coold again be awd." 



The officers— The Bocond mate — The chief mate — Hia duties and reBponsi- 
bilities-— The mastDr — His dntice — Tlio official log-bool;. 

Having seen something of the men and of the apprentices, 
we must now oouskler the officers — the master and the mates, 
As previously stated, the law contemplates three grades only 
— the master, the first mate, and the second mate ; but the 
great liners usually carry four, five, or sometimes even six 
mates. The ordinary sailing-ship, however, and most of the 
ocean tramps, have as a nite the master, and a tirst and second 
mate only, with occasionally, in the larger vessels, a third 

The second mate's position varies considerably in diflerent 
ships. In the great mail lines it is one which carries with it 
a large amount of responsibility. Here the second officer, 
as he is called, rather than second mate, is usually a well- 
edncated gentleman, holding most probably a master's certifi- 
cate ; he is a good sailor, and one who in due course will be 
the master of a similar ship himself. The same thing holds 
good in the larger sailing-ships, and in most of the large 
steamers other than the mail and passenger liners ; — the second 
mate looking forward in a short time to become a chief mate, 
and after that to obtain a command. 

In the small three or four hundred ton bar(iue, and in the 
smaller steamers, the second mate, from a social point of view, 
is very often scarcely removed from the foremast hands ; having 
a handle to his name, certainly, being Mr. Brown, not Bill 
Brown, and having a certain amount of authority ; but in 
manners, speech, and dress scarcely distinguishable from the 
men. He goes aloft, reef's and takes in sails, and does, for 
the most part, pretty much what the men do. There is one 


point, however, in which he does differ from the men, and that 
is that he never takes a wheel. 

He lives aft, usually having a cabin to himself, and has Iii8 
meals in the main cabin, although generally, and necessarily, 
after the captain and the chief mate, as he must take charge of 
the watch on deck while the first mate is below. He is, how- 
ever, one step up the ladder towards being one day a skipper, 
although sailors have a saying ^^ that being second mate doesn't 
get your hand out of the tar-pot" A second mate must be at 
least seventeen years of age, and must have served four years 
at sea either as an apprentice, or as a seaman before the mast, 
and unless it be a steamer, one year of the four must have 
been served in a square-rigged foreign-going sailing-ship. 

The chief mate is a more experienced seaman and navigatof 
than the second mate ; he must be at least nineteen years of 
age, and must have served five years at sea, one year of which 
must have been as second mate, or as a junior mate holding a 
second mate's certificate, in charge of a watch. He occupies a 
very arduous and a very responsible post. He is the represent- 
ative in everything of the master, who intimates to him what 
he wishes to have done, and then leaves it to the mate to carry 
it out. He engages the crew, superintends the stowing, the 
safe-keeping, and the delivery of the cargo — seeing that the 
tallying out corresponds with the tallying in, and not in- 
frequently having to pay for any deficiency — and he is 
responsible for anything and everything about the ship, from 
a rope yarn to an anchor. He keeps account of everything that 
comes aboard, or that goes out of the ship; provisions only 
excei)ted, for which the steward, if there be one, is responsible. 

It is his duty to continually examine all parts of the rigging, 
and to report anything that is of importance to the master. 
If any one comes on board the ship, such as an agent, or a 
carrier with goods, or any other person, indeed, he is always 
referred to the mate or chief oflBcer. 

In going out of or coming into dock, in getting under way, 
or in coming to an anchor, it is the duty of the chief ofiicer to 
attend to the anchors and cables, and the warps and hawsers, 
and to see that everything is in readiness. If getting under 
way from an anchorage, Yie mWxiLSw^XV^ \»jKft\i\^%\».t\ou forward. 


where he can see the cable as it enters the hawse-hole, inform- 
ing the master when the anchor is " a peak," at the same time 
ordering the men aloft to loose the saih ; and when the ship is 
nnder way, the master being in command, and looking after 
the yards and sails, the chief ofdoer will see to the catting and 
fishing of the anchors. Similar dnties will devolve upon him 
in bringing up. 

On board a sailing-ship, if there be a third officer, that 
officer is in the first mate's (the port) watch. Tlien if anything 
has to be done, as setting the jib, or taking in a royal, the 
mate will whistle for his third mate, and he and the third mate 
ml] do it, the chief mate not, however, leaving the poop. But 
if a heavier job has to be done, as for instance setting a toj^aail, 
the chief mate will take hia stand on the main hatt'h, or where 
he is best able to see all that is going on. In tacking ship the 
chief mate's place is at the lee maiu braces, the second mate's 
at the CToJBck * braces, and the third mate's on the forecastle- 
head for the fore-tack, and the head-sheets. 

In stowing sails or shortening down, the chief mate's 
station is anywhere where he can get a good view of the soil 
that 18 being taken in. The second mate slacks away the 
halliards and sheets, and the third mate the braces. In 
atrtwing, the second and third mates, who are on the yard, 
take the bunt, the second to windward, and the (bird to 
leeward. When no officer is on the yard the A.B.'s take the 
bunt, and the ordinary seamen or boys are at the yard-arms. 

When at sea the chief officer is resiwnsible for everything 
that goes on on board, and, if it be possible, bis responsibility 
is even greater when in port, for then the captain will be 
ashore a great part of the time attending upon owners and 
merchants, and seeing after the business affairs of the ship. 
It is part of the duties of a chief mate to keep the ship's 
log-book, and when at sea he taltes the snn every day, and 
works ont the ship's position, comparing notes with the 
master, and entering it and all particulars of the weather, 
and all other special circumstances of the day in the log. 

By law he is the successor to the master — that is to say, 

" CroBs-jack yard, pronounced " crojaok," the lower yan! on the mizeu- 
mast, correepondii^ to the main yard on the maJn-mast. 



should the mastef die during the voyage, the oommftDd 
legally devolves upon the chief mate, and that he should be 
competent to fill that position is one of the objects of the 
Board of Trade examination and of the certificate. 

In sailing-ships and in ordinary cargo steamships, the chief 
mate takes his meals in the cabin with the captain, and is 
the only person on board occupying a position of anything 
like equality with him. In the large passenger lines there 
is considerable diversity of practice. In some lines the chief 
officer sits down to table in the saloon with the paasengen 
and the captain; in others, with the view of keeping the 
ship's officers as much apart as possible from the passengers, 
all the officers, the captain only excepted, have their own 
mess. In some of the great lines, when entertainments 
and dances are got up for the amusement of the passengerB, 
the chief officer and the other officers will join in them, 
even going so far as to discard the company's uniform, and 
to appear in ordinary evening dress; whilst in other lines 
no officer is ever permitted to take part in anything of the 
kind, but must devote the whole of his time to the duties 
of the ship. 

In some mail lines, where there are four officers — a chief, 
second, third, and fourth — three only keep watch at sea— 
tho chief, second, and third — and these for only two hours 
each, 80 that they have two hours on deck, and four hours 
below, the fourth officer being on all day, attending to the 
navigation, and looking after the passengers' games — cricket, 
deck-quoits, and so forth, he then sleeping in all night. But 
in home waters, coming up Channel and the like, the ordinary 
port and starboard watches of four hours each would still be 
kept — the chief and fourth in the port watch, and the second 
and third in the starboard. At such times extra precautions 
are always taken, tarpaulins being covered over all places from 
whence lights might be seen from the bridge, as they would 
tend to render it more difficult for the officers on the bridge 
to make out lights and buoys and other marks for which 
they may be on the look-out. 

It is the duty of the mates to assist the master in every- 
thing to the utmost of tlievt aliUity, and things go best 


where there is cordial co-operation between the master and 
bis sabordinate oCBcers. Some masters are exceedingly jealous 
of the mates knowing too much about the navigation of the 
ship, keeping them as muoh as possible iu the dark about 
it, not caring that they should even so much ss see the chart. 
Where this feeling exists on the one side there will not be 
mnch sympathy on the other. A steamer was once run 
ashore upon a well-known coast on a very fine night. The 
officer of the watch had seen the land for some time, the 
ship evidently closing iu with it, and yet he did nothing for 
her safety upon the plea that "if the captain set a course 
which put the ship on shore, it was no business of his." One 
can easily imagine the kind of relationship existing between 
that master and that officer.' 

The master — by courtesy the "captain," — with the sailors 
nniversally, whatever his age, "the old man," and familiarly 
"the skipper "t — is lord paramount, absolutely an autocrat 
on board his own ship. His word is law, which nobody must 
dispute, and which permits of no argument. He must be 
obeyed in everything without a question, even by his first 
officer. He stands no watcb, comes and goes when he pleases, 
and ia accountable to on one except to his owners. 

He has entire control of the discipline of the ship; so much 
so that none of the officers under him have any authority to 
pnnish a seaman, or to use any force without the master's 
order, except only in cases of urgent necessity that admit 
of no delay. He has to be informed of everything of 
importance that takes place on board ; and such things as 
descrying a sail, a light, or land, or the sudden shoaling 
of the water, or signs of any change iu the weather or in 
the direction of the wind must be instantly reported to the 

In a sailing-ship, when he is on deck, the weather side of 
the poop belongs of right to the captain, and as soon as he 
appears the officer of the watch usually leaves that side, 
and goes over to leeward, or else goes forward. 

• Blftckmore'e " British Mercantile Ma-rine." 

I This is a Borvival bom Danish times ; " skipper " ie Douiah for the mMteT 
ofa ship ; in Dutch it is "schipper." 


In carrying on the ordinary routine <^ the ship the 
master usually acts entirely through his officers. With 
regard to the sails, for instance, if only a slight alteratkm u 
required to be made, the master will tell the officer of the 
watch to take in or to set such or such a sail, and then will 
leave to him the particular orders as to the braces, sheets, 
and so forth. But as the principal manoeuvres of the ship- 
such, for instance, as getting under way — going about, 
reefing topsails, and the like — will often require all hands, 
it is usual for the master himself then to take the command, 
and to give his orders in person, standing usually at the 
break of the poop, the chief officer then superintending tke 
forward part of the vessel under the master, whilst the second 
mate assists in the waist. In the ordinary work on board, 
however, the captain does not superintend personally, but 
gives general instructions to his chief officer, whose duty 
it is to see that these instructions are carried out If the 
captain sees anything of which he disapproves, it is not 
etiquette for him to speak to the men about it, but he will 
convoy all his requirements through his chief officer ; indeed, 
the less a master interferes personally, the smoother the way 
in which the work goes on. 

There have been many instances in which the mate has 
been, j)orhaps, on the forecastle head, superintending some 
particular piece of work, and the captain has come forward 
and pnt in his spoke, upon which the mate has turned on 
his hoel and gone aft, leaving the captain to finish the job. 
Hero the latter could not reasonably complain, as by universal 
custom he had no right to have come and interfered. 

The captain takes the bearing and distance of the last point 
of departure from the land, and from that point the ship's 
reckoning begins, and is regularly entered day by day in 
the log-b(K)k, which is kept by the chief officer, the master 
examining, and, if necessary, correcting the reckoning. The 
master also attends to bis chronometers, azimuth compass, 
and other instruments on board, and takes the altitude of 
the sun at midday, or the lunar, and other observations, with 
the assistance of his officers. Every day a few minutes before 
n*M)n, if there be the slightest chance of getting the sun, the 


UBter oomea oa deck with hia sextant. As soon as the sun 
ia on the meridian " uoou is made," eight bells struck, und a 
new nautical day commences. 

On hoard the ordinary sailing-ship, or un hoard a steamship, 
if she he a tramp with no passengers, the master's position 
ia sufficiently lonely. He is on friendly terms with his 
officers, but it is the intimacy of men who are not equals; 
and should there unfortunately he, as is sometimes the case, 
rather strained relations between thera, then the captain is 
absohitely alone, and mast fall back upon himself and his 
books. When at sea he always has a good deal of spare 
time on his hands ; hut when in port the matter is very 
different, for he has to manage the entire business relations 
of the ship. He represents the owners, and very frequently 
haa to arrange for cargo, decide questions of freight, and 
sometimes, unless he be in telegraphic communication 
with the owners, to settle the future destination of the ship. 
He has to pogse^^s a knowledge of invoices, charter-party, 
bills of lading, bills of exchange, surveys, averages, and all 
matters of a kindred nature, and he is answerable for the 
"official log," which must he kept on board every ship, 
and which may, at the discretion of the master or owner, 
be kept distinct from, or united with, the ordinary ship's 
log, so that in all cases the spaces in the official log>book 
be duly filled up. 

With regard to this official log-book the Merchant Shipping 
Act prescribes that every entry is to be made as soon 03 
possible after the occurrence to which it relates, and if not 
mode on the same day as the occurrence recorded, it must 
then he made and dated so as to show the date of the occur- 
rence, and the date of the entry respecting it. 

Every entry in the official log-book must be signed by the 
master and by the mate, or some other of the crew, and if it 
be an entry of illness, injury, or death, it must be signed by 
the surgeon or medical practitioner on board, if there be one. 
If it be an entry of wages due to, or the sale of the effects 
of, a seaman or apprentice who has died, it must be signed 
by the mate and by some member of the crew besides the 
master. If it be an entry of wages due to a seaman who 


eis he esty'e Naval Serriofi, it must be signed bj the 
inan c< serned, or hj the officer aathurised to reoeiTe the 
jimu iiiu) that serrice. 

E)¥ery entry made in the official log-book Is admisaill* 
evideDoe iu a Court of Law. 

te mastei of every ship for which an official Ic^ is 

loired, must enter, or cause to be entered, the folluiting 

ttera: Every convictiou by a legal tribunal of a member 

bis crew, and the pnnishment infiicted by the emU; 

fry offence committed by a member of the crew for whiti 

is intended to prosecute ~ *" enforce a forfeiture, or to 

ot a fine. For inata loeing a ship to be in ■ 

eigQ port, and that one e men has been ou leare 

lore, and comes hi dr if the man goes tn his 

rth, and does d* re«e irbance, he will pr^tiably 

ir nothing more ol uld he become abufsiro or 

a fighting be will be told when sober thtt 

next time a sLmi! na.' things oecors he will be 

gged ; '* that is, the offeooe be recorded in the offiriil 

K^-book, and it will then be attended with a fine. Say thtt 

it does occnr again; he is then "logged" forthwith, with 

the effect that when the ship comes home, and is paid ofl^ 

•nd tbe man receives his wages, five shillings will be 

deducted as a fine. For a second offence the fine will ba 

increased to ten shillings, and so on; and when he obtains 

Ms official discharge, instead of having G, (good) or V.O. 

(yery good) stamped on the discharge, lie will have B. (bsd). 

It is by law, however, competent to the seaman who wonM 

have had B. stamped on his discharge to decline to have 

anything put upon it; but as nobody would object to G. ot 

V.G., the absence of any marking is perfectly intelligible; 

and aa all these disoharges wte reootded by the Begisbt^ 

General of Seamen, the character of any seaman can, if it 

be requisite, be recdily obtained. 

Every case of iUneas or injury happening to a member of 
the crew must be entered, t«^Uier with its nature uid the 
medical treatment adopted (if any). Every maniage taking 
place on board must be dnly recorded, with the namea and 
agei of the parties. The ide of the effects of any oosmtn ot 


aijprentice who dies during the voyage must also be entered 
ID the official log, including a statement of each article sold 
and the sum received for it ; and a variety of similar matters. 
If the official log-book be not kept in the manner required 
by the Act, or if an entry directed by the Act to be made 
is not made — a record of a marriage, for instance — the master 
is liable to a fine of five pounds. 

If the master or any person makes, or procures to be made, 
or assists in making, any entry in the official log-book, in 
respect of any occurrence happening previously to the arrival 
of the ship at her final port of discharge, mure than twenty- 
four hours after that arrival, he is liable to a fine of thirty 
pounds. Thus, say, for instance, that on board a ship bouud 
for the port of London there has been say, in coming up 
Chaunel, some serious disturbance, and at eight o'clock on 
Monday morning the ship enters the West India Docks; 
then it would be competent for the master at any time 
daring that Monday to make an entry in the official log- 
book of the particulars of the disturbance ; but to do so 
after eight o'clock on Tuesday morning would render him 
liable to the fine. 

If any person should wilfully destroy, or mutilate, or 
render illegible any entry in the official log-book, or should 
make any false or fraudulent entry therein, he is to be 
deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and is liable to a term of 
imprisonment. And within forty-eight hours after the ship's 
arrival in port the official log-book must be handed over to the 
Board of Trade superintendent, before whom the crew is 

An additional duty has within the last two years been 
imposed upon masters of vessels, and that is the duty of 
reporting derelicts. An Act of Parliament, known as " the 
Derelict Vessels (Report) Act," was passed in 1896, which 
enacts that 

" every master or other peraon for the time being in commaud of any BritJHh 
ship, after the pasaing of this Aot, who sliall become aware of the eiiatanoo 
on the high aoas of any floating derelict vessel, shall notify the same to the 
Lloyd's Agent at Lis next place of call or arrival, and fihall, together with Each 
notification, furnish 10 the Lloyd's Agent all BUcb Vnloiraiti.itt aa'uaTOa.'j '^'MaKis. 


ts to tlm supposed locaUiy or ideutity of sncb derelict veseel, snd tbe te 
when and tho pUce nliore this Gome may have boeo observed by, or repotted 
to biro, and the Lloyd's Agent alull fortliwiili on receipt of endi DotiGcatioi 
and infonnation transmit the same to the Secretary of Lloyd's, in London. 

" And if any such master fails to nuke aach a. report he Ehall be Ikble, on 
summary conviction, to a penally not exceodiog five ponnils. 

" Any iofortDstion received by tbe eociety of Lloyd's u aforesaid, b 
parsuBcce of this Act, aball bo published by the society forthmth in the saoe 
manner and te tlie same extent as its reports of shipping camaltics, and the 
society shall also forthnith commanicate such information to U)e Boai^ 
of Trade." 

As a consequonc© of this new Act, an official list of 
derelicts is published in each nnmber of the Shipping Ga^dU- 

Tbe above particulars are sufficient (o show some of the 
responsibilities of the master, who in every possible respeoi 
is absolute mler and head on board his own ship ; and, u 
being in charge of a community often thousands of miles from 
any other authority, this position is one of absolute ueccasity. 

" Upon the character and the course of conduct porsned by the Mpsin 
depend in great measnre tlie cbarncter t»d the snccess of tbe ship, nnd tht 
oondnct of the ofBoers tmd men. Ho bu a power and mi inftneDoe, botb 
direct and indirect, which may be tbe means of mocli good at of mndi ent 
If he lie profane, pasnonate, ^frannieat, bdeceat, or intempeiate, mon or hn 
of the same qnalitiea will isevitably show themselves among the offloan nA 
men, which would have been checked if the head of the ihip bad been a mn 
of high personal character. Be may make hit ih^ almoot attytting ba 
pleaaas, and may render the lives and datiee ti his otKoars and men {deaMot 
and profitable to them, or may introduce dingreemMits, dilMxnitent, tfiaooy, 
resistance ; in fact, be may make the sitnatioD of every one on boaid h 
imcomfortable aa can pos^ly be imagined. Every marter cf a venal vtu 
lays this to heart, and constderB the graatnese of hia reqxmnUlitiee, nay not 
only be a lienefactor to all thoee whom the comse of many yeai^ comnttid 
will bring under his anthority, but may render a service to that taiy 
important part of the commmiity to which he belongs, and do mndi to niK 
the character of the Englidi Mercantile Marine." * 

• W. & Und»y. 

The port and starboard watches 


a board ship — The port and Btarbcvard watches — The nautjcol day — 
Watches and bollfi — The dog- watches— Tlie wheel — Steering — Work 
aloft — Heavitig the log — Patent logs — Heaving the lead — The load-line 
— Hand-line — Deep-sea lead— Deep-soa eoundinp — Sounding-machines. 

On board all ships the crew are divided into two parte, or 
watches ; half the hands forming the larboard, or port watoh, 
under the chief mute, and the other half the starboard watch, 
under the second mate. The latter watch is sometimes called 
the captain's watch, doubtless from, the fact that in the earlier 
days of the Mercantile Marine, when vessels were smaller, 
there was often but one mate, and then the master stood 
his own watch, as is at present the case in coasters and 
similar craft. 

It is usual at the commencement of the voyage, as soon 
as the ship is fairly at seat to call up all the hands, and 
the first and second mates theu choose the men for their 
respective watches. The first naate baa first choice, and 
picks out a man; theu the second mate chooses one, and so 
on until all the hands are chosen ; and the men theu remain 
in whichever watch they may have been selected for until 
the entl of the voyage. 

Occasionally, in sailing- vessels, hut not very frequently, 
the master makes the division himself, after consultation with 
his officers, but the more usual course is for him to leave it 
to the mates. If the number of men be unequal, the larboard 
watch claims the odd " hand," since the chief mate does not 
go aloft, or do other parts of the men's duty on his watch, 
as the second mate does on his- If there be a carpenter, 
and the larboard watch, having the odd Wui, \ft fed W^ei 


' watch of the two, the carpeatei generally goes aloft when 
reijiiired with the starboard natch ; otherwise — that ia to 
say, if tlio watches are equal — he is expected to go aloft witk 
the larboard watch. As soon as the division is made, and 
the men apportioned between the two watches, if the day'i 
work be over, the watch is set, and the other watch is 80it 

Among many customs prevailing at sea, of which the 
origin is not easy to trace, is the one that on the first night 
of the passage out the stathoard watch fakea the first four 
hours on deck, and on the first r " "it of the homeward jiassage 
the larlxiard watch does '•"> «a The sailors explain this 

by the old saying that * er takes the ship out, and 

the mate brings her home. 

By this arrangem atches half the crew are at work 

whilst the other hall a and have either turned Jn, 

or are at their mea «, ag their clothes, smoking, 

reading, or what not. 

The nautical day is 11 1 in a somewhat difTerenl 
fashion from the day ashore, tad oonsists of a oertain nnmiwr 
of bells and watches, each portion of fonr hoars coDBtitatiDg 
a watch. Thus, from eight o'clock in the eTening until 
midnight ia the first watch ; ^m midnight until font o'clock 
in the morning is the middle watch ; from four in the moinins 
until eight is the morning watch ; from eight o'clock till 
noon is the forenoon watch ; and from noon until four o'clock 
is the afternoon watch. Now, if the next fooi hooza, ttoa 
four o'clock until eight, were also one watch, there would 
be an even number of watches, and the men who kept the 
morning watch on the first day would always keep the morning 
watch, and the men who kept the middle watch wonld 
always keep the middle watch. To obviate this, and to shift 
the watches, the four hours &4Hn fonr o'clock in the aftamoon 
until eight are sub-divided into two watches of two hoars 
each, called the dog-watches ; from four to six being the first 
dog-watch, and from six to eight the second dog-watch. 
This makes an uneven number of watches, fuid the men who 
to-night are on deck fiiom eight o'clock till midnight, and 
i^fun fhuu foQT in the motmns ^^ cn;^ vill to-morrow 



night only have from midnight till four iu the morning, and 
80 on, the watches getting thua alternated. 

Each watch is sub-divided into eight Ijells of hall' an hour 
each. Eight o'clock in the evening is eight bells; half-paat 
eight is one bell iu the first watch ; nine o'clock is two bells 
in the first watch ; half-past uine is three bells, and so on up 
to midnight, which is eight bells again. Half-past midnight 
is one bell i)i the middle watch ; one o'clock iu the morniug 
is two bells in the middle watch, and so on. The bells are 
struck ou the ship's bell, and, unlike the striking of a clock, 
the strokes are distinctly in pairs. Thus four bells is not 
struck as a clock would strike, one — two — three — four, but 
one two — one two; five bells, one two — one two — one, and 

B of the most irksome parts of a sailor's duty 
is taking his "trick at the wheel," as sailors call the duty 
of steering. To be at the wheel for two hours at a spell 
— and that is the time that each man usually baa to steer — 
becomes extremely monotonous at night whou perhaps it is 
as dark as pitch all round, possibly blowing hard &i\i raining 
or snowing, and the man's whole attention has to lie centred 
on the little compaaa-card, lighted up by the binnacle lamp. 
Then it is that he eagerly looks out for four bells or eight 
bells, as the case may be, which is the signal for him to be 

On some ships in very bad or cold weather the tricks at 
the wheel are reduced from two hours to one hour, and if it 
be blowing a gale, or there is a very heavy sea and the 
ship steers badly, two men are placed at the wheel at the 
same time. In this case the man who stands on the weather 
side of the wheel is the responsible helmsman, the mau at 
the lee side being supposed merely to assist him. Of course, 
all this simply relates to sailing-shipa, or to vessels where 
the old-fashioned mode of steering obtains. Upon most 
of the great ocean steamers steam steering-gear is now used, 
the engines doiug all the mechanical work ; so that in the 
heaviest weather one mau with bis little finger is able to 
steer the largest ship. Ou board the large Indian troopers, 
the Serapis, Crocodile, Jumna, and the rest, where they had 


double irikeeh» it wm not aa wammti tihing in Tety M 
weather to 886 eight man, fimr al «Mh viieel ; noiTy with rion 
ateering-gear one man ean do tha wok qwito aa dBc i ffly . 

When the wlieal ia idieved the letiriiig man giraa Aeian 
who lelieveB him the ooune to be ato e i ed, aay 8L& bj &|B, 
and the rolkving man aiiiat aiMmer'&Kbyaia'' Lifb 
aame way, wfcieiL the oAoer of the wataih givea • now eoan^ 
aay SJlbyE.,the helimman maat lepaat tiho orier, " RR hf 
E.,^ not merely giving the woal " Aye«ye»air''— dua in orfa 
that there may be no poBsiUe mistake as to the eonraa to be 
ataeied; and the man who ia fdioTed mast not lelinqiak 
the wheel nntO the raliering man has ibm hold of the wpAm, 

Thera ia a prevalent notion among land fidka that n tbmI 
onoe at sea, there can be little or nothing to do^ otfaar tka 
the actual sailing of the (diip. Nothing really ia &rthar tarn 
the tmth. Every day bringa witk it ita regolar daj^a mA 
pieoiaely as 18 the 0888 aahoaa ; 80 that» oonaderiBg the addiliaa 
of his night work. Jack woika aa hard or harder tiwn moik 
of his brothen aahore da The day eommenoea with the 
watch on deck tuming-to at daybreak, and washing down 
the decks, scmbbing, swabbing, and generally tidying up. 
This lasts until seven bells (half-past seven), when all 
hands get breakfast. At eight bells the day's work begins, 
and lasts, with the exception of an hour for dinner, until six 
o'clock in the evening. During all this time there is no 
such thing as idleness on board ship; everybody has his 
work to do, and the officer of the watch generally takes 
care to see that he does it. 

No conversation is allowed among the crew at their duties, 
and although when aloft, or when working in close proximity 
to each other, the men will talk, yet they always stop if an 
officer is at hand. On board there never is a time when 
nothing more remains to be done. All the running rigging 
has to be constantly overhauled, and that which is worn, or 
unfit for use, sent down and replaced with new rope, if the 
owners are sufficiently liberal as to have much on board; 
but as this is very often not the case, then the old ropes 
must be spliced, and made as reliable as is possible under 
the circumstances. Many dui^ asA ao ill-found in stores 


that something is everlftstrngly carrying away, and on their 
arrivfti in port after an average voyage, the entire rigging 
is nothing but knots and »p)i(^eH. 

Whenever any of the numberless ropea, or the yartls, or 
other spare are chafing, then "chafing-gear," as it is calM, 
most be put on. Taking off, putting on, and repairing the 
chafing-gear alone upon a moderate-sized vessel would provide 
constant employment for two or three hands, during working 
faonrs, for the entire voyage. 

Then all the standing rigging, sneh as stays, back-stays, 
and the like, is always working slack, and has to he set up, 
the seizings and coverings taken off, tackles got np, and after 
the rigging is bowsed well taut, the seizings and coverings 
must be replaced; and there is such a connection between 
one part of a ship and another, that it is scarcely possible 
to touch one rope without altering another one. It is 
impossible to stay a mast aft by the back-stays without 
slacking up the head-stays, and so forth. 

If a ship leaves the Thames with her best and stoutest 
canvas bent, as soon as she gets into warmer latitudes 
where there is not so much likelihood of gales of wind and 
dirty weather, all these sails are unbent and sent down, and 
older and more worn sails bent in their place. Then, before 
she gets to the Cape, preparatory to running down her easting, 
the process has to be reversed, and the stoiiter canvas rebent. 
And if to all this be added the tarring down, greasing, 
oiling, chipping rust, scraping, painting, and varnishing, 
to say nothing of cleaning brass-work, the ship's lam^xs and 
so forth, that is constantly required; and all this in addition 
to the look-ont at night, the steering, the work aloft in 
reefing, furling, setting, and taking in sails, pulling, hauling, 
and climbing in every jKtssible direction, the wonder is, not 
that there should be anything to do, but rather that there 
should be time in which to do it. But if it should ever so 
happen that, for the moment, there was nothing very particular 
or very urgent that waa required to be dune npon the rigging 
or elsewhere, then there ia always the standing job of making 
spun-yarn, sennit, and the like, to fall back upon. 

There is, of course, a great difference in officers and skippers ; 


numy, of ooiine^ aie good, judges of the weedier, end eie eoe* 
eideiftte and leesonaUe men. Some^ hofWBfm, oen eottedj 
be 80 consideied; they eie elwrnys tliinVing lihet it k 
going to Uow, Of if it is blowing, then that the WBethar 
is going to modemte; and so they will havo some of Urn 
lighter saUs aet, taken in, and set again onoe or twiee ia a 
watch, thna keeping the men constantly hazd st it tha lAob 
of the time that they aie on deck. Li most ahipa woik k 
knocked off on a Satniday afternoon, which the men an 
sappoeed to have to themselyeB; bat even here a good ntay 
officeis seem to find a special delight in oortailing even fka 
ahort period of leisnie, by being ertra particular in haTing 
such jobs as heaving the log done^ when peihapa the kig 
has not been hove once in the forenocm watch. Thia^ as smj 
be supposed, is not regarded with any very marked frvov h/ 
Jack, and logs are very frequently lod under theae euema- 
stances. A log^line is not a particularly stout line^ and a 
sailor's knife is always fiuriy sharps so that it is perhaps not 
remarkable that on a Saturday afternoon the line occasionally 
breaks, and the log is lost. 

On board a well-regulated ship the log is hove at freqnent 
regular intervals — usually every two hours — and it is an 
important operation ; for when, on account of thick or dirty 
weather no observation can be taken, the ship's position can 
be roughly ascertained by what is called **dead reckoning.** 
The particulars of the ship's rate of progress each time that 
the log is hove are entered in the ship's log-book, and at 
the end of the day, due allowance being made for the ship's 
leeway, and for the set of currents, and other matters, the 
distance run can be found; and the courses steered being 
known, the ship's actual iK)sition can be approximately 

The ordinary log is commonly a drogue or conical-shaped 
canvas bag, to the muuth of which the log-line is attached, 
and the log is hove or thrown out astern to ascertain the 
rate at which the ship is travelling. The log-line, which is 
wound on a reel, is divided into spaces called ** knots." At 
the first knot is a piece of leather ; at the second knot is a 
piece oi leather with two ta^, %2Si4 «1 the third knot an 

ordinftry knot is tied, and ao on. A glass like i 
hour-glass is used to mark the time that the knots take to 
mn otit, and the glass contains such a quantity of sand as 
will run throngh in exaetly 14 or 28 seconds. The Ing-line 
is measured to corresjrond with a glass running 28 seconds, 
the distance between each knot on the log-line hearing the 
same proportion to a real knot, or geographical mile (6080 
feet), that the 28 seconds of the log-glaas bear to the seconda 
in an hour. No calculation, therefore, is necessary; the 
□□mber of knots run out on the log-line in the 28 secomls is 
the number of real knots, or geographical miles, that wonid 
be run in an hour. 

One man attends to the log, while another man holds the 
glftsa. When everything is in readiness the log is thrown 
overboard. The first twenty or thirty fathoms of line that 
mn out are waste, and are not counted, as they simply allow 
the log to settle down quietly in the water. The commence- 
ment of the log-line that counts is marked by a piece of 
white rag. Directly ihe white rag goes over the ship's rail 
the glass is tumed. The man who is heaving the log sees 
that the line runs out clear, whilst the other man watches 
the glass. The moment the sand has all run out he calls 
" Stop," and the man checks the line, noting the exact distance 
nm out. The distance run in the 14 or 28 seconds, as the 
case may be, is thus ascertained, and the number of knots 
run out on the line is the number of actual knots that the 
ship is travelling in the hour. 

Very often, however, there is not in reality any very 
great amount of reliance to be [ilaced upon the rate thus 
ascertained, and for the following reason : In most ships 
there ia a certain amount of rivalry existing between the 
two watches; the mate does not care to hear that the ship 
is making leas progress during his watch than she was 
making during the second mate's watch, so that it is not 
unusual to hear a dialogue somewhat after this fashion. 
The man who is holding the glass will say, sutto voc-e, "Bill, 
what shall I make her go ? " To which the other man will 
reply, " Oh, make her go eight knots ; it'll please the mate." 
Then, by holding the glass not quite Mpiighl, \\, \% ■'iftt^ ^»!k^ 



|(t idMOk the sand in ninning out, and instead of 28 semrKU 
pnlu^ Hearer 5t! seconds have elapsed I>efi>re all the saai 
-liu ton out, nith, of course, an additional number of knoti 
to be MConled. When the log is bore in this manner the 
MDQiaoj of the dead reckoning in apt to suffer.* 

At the present time on board many sbij>3 brass put^nt li^ 
f^ used, wliich record automatiiwUy the exact distance run, 
Iwt Although usually accurate, they are somewhat expenaive, 
Uid, mtaeuxet, they easily get out of order ; bo that on bo&id 
the generality of sailing-ships the more simple and old- 
l above described is the ose most frequently 

\ instance of the danger of relying too implicitly npon 

I Hitoinatic logs occurred this year, in the case of s 

r that was lost on the coast of Portugal, where the 

^tometic log. being out of order, had reoorded a totally 

. flifibieDt distance from that actually nm, with the result that 

^e muter entirely mistook his position, and pat his ship 

There are also now electric logs which constantly reeorl 
on a dial on board the vesael the rate at which the ship ii 
ronning ; but these are more ezpensiTe still, and are ^rtiemely 
delicate in their mechanism. Both these logs aze, of ootme, 
when in use, towing astern, and cases have oocoired vhete a 
passing shark has taken a fancy to an aatomatic k^ which 
has thus been suddenly lost. 

Besides heaving the log, there is another important c^iemtum 
on board ship, particularly when making the land, and that 
is taking sotmdings, or heaving the lead, and the omiasioD 
of this very obvioiis duty has condoced to the loss oC many 
a fine ship. Frequently in thick weather, when near tlu 
laud, it is almost the only thing upon whidh the i«arin4>r 
can rely, and a master will often be able to form « very 
fair opinion of his position simply by the depth i^ watw 
and the nature of tiie bottom. Ships frequently feel th«r 
way up Channel with the lead, in thick fogs, without seeing 

* I knew one ship, where e very strughtfbrwud joni^ fellow, who mnld 
•hnyBkOt "iqnan" with the glasi, wm never allowed to hold tt; uiAn 
be held it the ah^ never went bet enough to pleese the ante. 


land or son for days, accuracy of survey and the peculiaiitiea 
of the bottom enabling them to do this. 

Soundings are tttkeu by means of the lead-line, and the 
process of taking aoimdiugs with the lead-line is called 
"heaving the lead." There are two kinda of lead-lines— one, 
the " hand-line," 20 fathoms long, and the other the " deep- 
sea lead," of 200 or more fathoms in length. Both aro 
divided into " marks " and " deeps." The deeps have nothing 
to distinguish them, but the mai'ks have pieces of rag or 
leather. The 20-fatbom hand-line has, at 2 fathoms, a piece 
of leather with two strips; at 3 fathoms a piece of leather 
with three strips; at 5 fathoms a piece of white rag; at 7 
fathoms a piece of red rag ; at 10 fathoms a piece of leather 
with a hole in it, and so on. At the end of the line is the 
lead itself, about 2 inches in diameter and 8 or 9 inches long, 
weighing from 7 to 14 pounds. At the bottom of the lead is 
ft hole filled up with tallow, and to properly fill up the lead 
with tallow is called " arming it." The object of this is, that 
when the lead strikes the bottom, some of the sand, or mud, 
or fine shells, or of whatever the bottom may be composed, 
will adhere to the tallow, and when the line is hauled in 
the nature of the bottom will be ascertained — a matter that 
is often extremely useful, as affording additional information 
as to the ship's position, the particular description of the 
bottom being invariably indicated on the chart. 

To properly heave the lead requires some considerable 
practice. The man who ie going to heave it, and who is 
called the "leadsmau," gets on to the rail, or some other 
convenient place, and, with the coil of line io his left hand, 
he with the other hand whirls the lead with a sufficient 
length of Hue just to clear the water, two or three times 
over his head, until it has acquired the necessary impetus, 
and then throws it forward as far as he can into the water; 
the object of throwing it forward being to give it time to 
sink to the bottom by the time that the ship, which is under 
way, shall have come up to the place where the lead sank, 
00 that the line, being perfectly vertical, the exact depth 
may be correctly taken. The leadsman can see at a glance, 
by the pieces of leather or coloured rag, what the depth of 


w»i ), and cttlla out, " Deep eight ; " "By the milk 

■van;" "And u quarter five;" "Quarter lees fax.;" "Audi 

niue;" and so forth, meRiiing respertirelj that he has 8 

nne, 7 fathoms, 5^ fathoms, &2 fathoms, srxi 9^ btboma. 

for Doundini^s ovor 20 fnthom§ a deep-se« learl is leqnirei 

t the ac'tuul process with a deop-aeit lead, for ordiiuv; 

•)th8, 16 pretty much the same at* that for the haod^litu 

cribed above, the speed of the ship being reduced to gin 

1 lead time to sink. When deep-sea soundings orerequtrod, 

Biirveyiiig or other purposes involving great accoracy, the 

must bring up, depths the sinker takn 

m6 time to tfiu-h t*"= A deeji-sea line wiili an 

sinker of 9i Ihn. take 27 minutes to naek 

t bottom in 1 is rather over a mite— « 

T>sidcnible d< depth that ia to be found 

uaar homo if the south-west comer ot 

e g of dee ngs w one of the most 

irtant operations i i, and it is, at the mih 

tone, one that is too frequently neglected, as is abundantly 
shuwu by the uumher of casualties every year brought aboat 
by " neglect of the lead." The old plan of taking d oop i o t 
■oundings involved much trouble and loss <^ time, beaidei 
seriously vitiating the reckoning for the ship's poeitioii, through 
lounding-to and stopping for a cast of the lead. The whole 
watch was required, and even then, with the ship drifting, an 
accurate cast eould not easily be obtained. In a ship mniung 
up Channel before a gale of wind, it wonld &eqaently be 
dangerous, or even impossible, to shorten sail and roond-to 
for a cast of the lead, and the only thing to be iaae nnder 
the system was to ran on, tmst to good lock, and chance it 
Under these circnmstances, it was not surprising to find that 
the master of a ship, although anxious to obtain a sounding, 
would run on as long as he poasibly oould, rather than stop 
his ship for a cast But now this tedious operation is no 
longer necessary, as Lord Kelvin (Sir William Thomson), has 
provided a machine by which it is easier to obtain accurate 
■oimdingB, in any depth up to 100 fathcons, than it is to take 
a cast with the hand-lead. With the fine steel wire nsad in 


this machine, verj little resistance is oETered to the sinker 
going to the bottom, and two men can easily take a truatworthy 
sounding every ten minutes or quarter of an hour, while the 
ship is going at any speed up to 16 knots, and in any depth 
of water up to 100 fathoms. In order, however, properly to 
make use of Lord Kelvin's sounding-machine for determining 
the ship's position, it must be used frequently and methoditially. 
A single cast, or indeed several easts, taken at random, are of 
comparatively little value ; but if the lead be used systema- 
tioally and frequently, it will be an absolutely sure guide 
for showing the course the ship is making. The taking of 
s mndings is very often put off till it is too late, and very 
frequently the ship is actually in a position of danger before 
the sounding-machine is brought into use. It ought to be 
a rule on board every ship, when out of sight of land and in 
less than a 100 fathoms, that the souuding-machine should 
be always kept going.' 

If the souniliiig-machiiie bu not always kept going, depend 
up.jn it Meriiautile Jack is. Mercantile Jack is always hard 
at it in the hardest of weathers, as he mostly is in all weathers, 
poor Jack ; as may be gathered from the foregoing very slight 
outline of a few of the multifarious duties of Jack afloat. Of 
course, in some vessels he is kept harder at it than he is in 
others. Some captains and officers are fairly considerate fcB 
their men ; whilst others take every possible oi)portunity of 
" hazing " thom, and if there should be nothing very important 
that actually requires to be done, take a pleasure in making 
work rather than that Jack should have any leisure, thus 


out the commaudmeut of the "Philadelphia 

Cathechism " — 

" Sis days slialt Uiou kbour, and do all tbot thou art nble, 
And on the aeventL — holystone the decks, and scrape the coble." 

' W. BottonJoy, on soauding-machines and patent logs. 




At LMMpe^Scherne for a, can*l— Tbi 
BDj— -Opposition of the EngWi 
-DMcription of the CmuU— Th( 
—At the opening — At th« praMl 
iogs — The dividends — Saei Cml 
-ceeiit value of the ehaies— -IMBt 

Pbobablt no single i t?' exercised so powerful u 

mflo«n« upon, or more • ceTolutioni«od, oor shipping 

ttatle with Uw But. thu opening of the Snex Gaotl, 

in 1SC9; imd there is no waterway ia the world so mucli 
fi«qu<?utixl by evory kind of British merchant ship bonail to 
•U tho jiurts of Inilik, of Chins, and vVnstralift, and indeed to 
ports scattered over half the entire globe, as the canal now 
joioiog th« Meditcmueiui an<i the Bed Sea. 

Tho id«a of a water oommuuication between these two eeu 
wu not a B«w oue, some antiquarians being of opinion that 
sach a means of commanicatiou did actually exist in fotmer 
ages. Eajstwanl uf the present canal are the ruins of Pelnsiiui], 
whence an ancient canal is said once to hare joined the 
Mediterranean to the Bed Sea, and by that waterway Cleopttn 
is supposed to have eonght a retreat, with her treaeores, after 
the defeat of Actitun. We know for certain that Pharaoh 
Necho" (610 B,c.) did commence a canal from the Kile to 

* TliiiiBtkePfcHa(i)iNedM<rftbaT««itr«zdtI>7D>sfy,«hoei 
hii nle orer Egypt in B£. 612, and who itigMd nit3 a.C. S96. b bx. 60B, 
he adranoed to the reconqneet of AnTiia, and drfeated aad slew Jwih, 
King of Jndah, who wai oppoait^ him, at Ife^ddo, a tittle to the aonth d 
Naaareth in GaElee (aee 2 Kings xxiii. S9). It ia pOMiblo Uiat be am- 
meooed the canal with a view to bdUtate bis inilitai7 opcfatkni agnat 
Iha King ol A 


the Red Sea, which, starting from the neighbourhood of Suez, 
passed through the Bitter Lakes to Lake Timsah, aud then 
tumeil westward to Babastis on the Nile. Herodotus describes 
this work with its water gates, and toils us that vessels sailed 
through it in four days. This cutting ultimately became 
choked up with sand, but was afterwards cleared and re-opened 
by Amr ibn el-Asi, the general of Caliph Omar in the seventh 
century, when Egypt was brought under the domination of 
the Arabs. 

For many centuries, however, nothing more was attempted 
in this way until, in 1798, Napoleon conceived the idea of 
Buoh a canal, and directed an engineer to survey the isthmus 
with a view to aseertaiuing whether such a scheme was really 
practicable. For some reason or other this engineer came 
to the conclusion, and so reported to Napoleon, that the waters 
of the Red Sea were very considerably higher than those 
of the Mediterranean; and as a consequence of this report 
Napoleon allowed the scheme to fall through. Yet it has 
been ultimately reserved for France and for M. Ferdinand 
de Lesseps, in spite of the strongest opposition by England, 
at length successfully to carry out this great and most 
important undertaking. 

From 1831, to 1838, M. de Lesseps was employed as consular 
agent for the French Govenunent in Egypt; and it was 
daring this period that he first started the project of a caual. 
After endless negotiations with the Ottoman Government, 
which all resulted in nothing, M. de Lesseps at last, in 1854, 
obtained from the then Viceroy of Egypt, Mohammed-Said- 
Pacha, the necessary concession for the work, and then he at 
once returned to France to raise the requisite funds for the 
undertaking. From France M. de Lesseps came to England, 
holding public meetings in all the great commercial centres ; 
but in this country, although many of the merchants and 
shipowners expressed themselves as entirely favourable to the 
scheme, it experienced the moat determined opposition from 
Lord Palmerston, and the English Government. 

The public subscription for the formation of the capital 
for the enterprise was opened ou the 5th of November, 
18o8, and closed the 30th of the same mouth; it extended 



to 400,000 shares of 500 francs each, being a capital of 200 
millions of francs. More than half the subscription was takeu 
op in France, and it is a curious thing that the great bulk 
of the subscribers came from among the peasantry. It has 
always been said in France that " the Suez Canal was made by 
the old women of France," and it is an undoubted fact that 
hundreds of the country people — small farmers, old market- 
women, aud the like^inv^ted the five-franc pieces that 
they had carefully stored away in the old stocking, in the 
shares of the Suez Canal. A charter, dated the I5tb of 
December, 1858, constituted the General Company for piercing 
the Isthmus of Suez and for working the Canal ; and ou the 
25th of April, 1859, the first stroke of the pick-axe was given 
at Port Said, in the trench that was hereafter to become the 
Suez Ship Canal. 

The English Government, in no way slackening its oppo- 
sition, now endeavoured to exert pressure upon the Viceroy 
and upon the Porte, with a view to putting a stop to the 
works ; and in October, 1859, at the instance of the English 
Ambassador at Constantinople, the Sultan sent to Egypt a 
high functionary, the bearer of a letter from the Grand 
Vizier enjoining the Viceroy at once to put a stop to all 
works in course of execution in the isthmus. The question 
thus clearly put had to be decided. The Ottoman Porte was 
compelled to pronounce one way or the other, in fact, offi- 
cially ; and, after much further delay, it somewhat reluctantly 
declared " that the piercing of the isthmus was not unfavoup- 
able to the interests of the Ottoman Empire." 

The works were now vigorously carried forward ; but in 1863, 
Ismail Pacha succeeded Mohammed-Said, and another Grand 
Vizier's letter was sent from Constantinople to the new 
Viceroy, intimating to him instructions to modify the basis 
of the agreements passed between the Egyptian Government 
and the Canal Company ; and if the Company did not accept 
these proposed changes within a period of six months, then 
the suspension of the works was to be at once imposed by force. 
These " new conditions " imposed upon the Company 
menaced ita very existence, and at the instance of M. tie 
Lesseps, the Viceroy appealed to the Emperor Napoleon 111-, 


asking him to decide the controrerBy, declaring beforehand 
his acceptance of the Emperor's decision aa arbitrator. This 
decision, which was announced on the 6th of July, 18ti4, 
ftmtcably settled all points of difference between the Egyptian 
Government and the Company, and the Porte was called 
upon to ratify it, which if, however, wonid not consent to do 
until eighteen months later. 

Agtun the works were pushed on, and by dint of the greatest 
irtions, and by the use of engines of extraordinary power, 
especially by extremely jjoweiful dredgers, M. de Lesseps 
and his workmen were enabled at last to complete their 
task; and on the 17th of November, 1869, the Suez Canal, 
available under the same terms for everybody, was opened 
for navigation. 

The Canai, extends from Port Said, on the Mediterranean, to 
Suez, at the top of the Red Sea, a distance of 80 geographical 
miles, or about 92 statute miles. The navigable channel of 
the Canal for deep vessels is a cutting 72 feet wide between 
sea and sea, intersected by lakes, which extend perhaps 
nearly 20 miles out of the total length of its course. The 
depth of the Canal is 26 feet, which admits of vessels drawing 
244 feet passing through. Every tenth kilometre (every six 
miles) ajaff, or siding, is provided, to enable ships to be moored 
out of the main channel, so that other vessels may pass; and 
it is by this means that the traffic is carried on, the width 
of 72 feet being, of course, insufficient to allow two vessels 
to pass each other when under way. Several deflections 
from the generally straight course of the Canal occur, and 
these have tended greatly to interfere with its otherwise 
easy navigation. But during the last few years over a 
millioQ sterling has been spent by the Canal Company in 
improving these curves ; so that at the present time a vessel 
gioanding and blocking the traffic is a comparatively rare 

A ship entering the Canal from the Mediterranean passes 
between two breakwaters, the western about two miles long, 
and the eastern about a mile. Although there is no perceptible 
tide, yet a slight current that there is from the westward 
would soiin eilt np the mouth of the haibout '«"A\i -vavA. Itom. 





tlie Nile, were it not for these breakvaters, and tut a consta&t 
sfstecQ <^ dredging. 

Gas bnop on either hand mark the channel, from outside tlw 
bteakwateis to Putt Said, those on the starboard band bang 
minted rad, and those on the p«^ band green, and this same 
sjstem of baoj-4 is eontiniied all the way through the Ca&*l 
itself. Pas»ng along ld front of the toini of Port Said, and 
through the Ismail Basin, the steamer enters the Caiul 
pioper, which runs at first through a wet. fiat, sandy plwn, 
Boaroely higher than the lerel of the water, on the eastern 
side, and a«taally below it on the western, where are the 
awsmpa and maizes of Lake Henzaleh, itaelf a vast half 
tnaiafay laeoou of brackish ahallow water, dotted with isleta, aod 
osaally eoveied with large flocka of wild fowl, inoluding 
hondreda of pelicans and fiamingoea. 

At twenty-six miles &oni Port Said, KjUitArah is reached. 
Here was a low hill of sandstone that bad to be cut thiongh tst 
the Ctuial, and it ina across this low ridge that every iut-ading 
anny moat in the olden time have entered Egypt. Between 
Al Kintarah and Luke TlnisaJi seventeen miles of narrow canal 
with high banks have to be tnveised. At tiie oommenoanflnt 
ue some difBcnlt correB, and this is one of the places wheie a 
steamer does Bometimes get asboie, and obetnict for a time the 
general traffic. The cntting tfarough this part waa the haideet 
piece of work on the whole of the Canal, the tidge of Al Gaiir 
rising from seventy to a hoadred feet above the deswt, so that 
it was an exceedingly costly work to cut it through. Along 
this strip b the ancient desert rente to Syria, and at the 
pontoon ferry fully equipped caravans may even now very 
frequently be seen, waiting their turn of croaaing. 

At Lake Timaah is situated the town of Tamailia, dnstefing 
round a summer palace of the Khedive. The town, which is 
modem, was admirably planned, with one solitary ezoeptifu 
— no provision whatever was made for the drainage, other than 
dischu-ging it into the fresh-water canal, which afforded the 
only drinking water for Ismailia. Drinking water polluted 
with sewage can have but one result, aod Twnailia was abso- 
lutely decimated with typhoid, &om which it has not yet 
entirely recovered, the place being still poKtically deserted. 



From Lake Titnsah, the Canal cutting goes throngh 
Toussoum to the northern entrance of the Bitter Lakes, a 
distance of about nine miles, on either band of the Canal being 
the desert The Bitter Lakes are the remains of a now 
dried-up arm of the Red Sea, on which once flourished the 
ancient port of Arsinoe. To the west is seen the veiduied 
line of the fresh-water canal that now runs from the Nile 
to Suez, whilst behind this rises the Geneffeh range, which 
affords extensive tuiarries of limestone and marble. The 
neighbourhood of the Bitter Lakes is generally supposed to 
have been the scene of the crossing of the Israelites, under 
Muses, and it was here that the host of Pharaoh perished 
through the sudden springing up of a south-westerly gale. 

From the Bitter Lakes to Suez the canal has continuous 
hard banks. At Chalouf the cutting is carried through 
sandstone ; after that to Madama it passes through sandhills, 
and increases in width ; at Madama the banks are of marl 
and clay; aud thence to the Suez enttauce it runs agaiu 
through sandhills, the tidal influence in the southern portion 
of the canal extending from Suez to about four miles north of 
the southern end of the Bitter Lakes. 

For some reason, said to have been political, M, de Lesaeps 
did not bring his Canal through the ancient channel, and 
past the old town of Suez; but when about five miles off he 
turned it eastward, avoiding altogether the head of the gulf, 
through which the direct course would seem to have led, and 
formed for it a port of its own, named Port Tewfik, about two 
miles from the town of Suez itself, at the end of the fresh- 
water canal, surrounded by land as yet only partially re- 
claimed from the sea. 

The working of the Canal is conducted upon a modification 
of the block system, and an ingenious but simple contrivance 
invented by M. Chartrey de Menotreus, the director of the 
transit department at Suez, is used for this purpose. At Port 
Said, Ismailia, and Suez, are principal offices of the Company, 
and at each of these offices a narniw trough about fifteen feet 
long represents the particular section of the canal worked 
from that office. Above the model of the canal is a shelf 
containing a number of small model ships, each bearing a 


op paMn the office to e»t«T Out 

«BB «f the ^ndl Btod«ls is placed in i 

ilM ia tfas hbU eatul ; and when a iliip 

t r«preseDted that ship a 

VL As the news b twreived 

• ifaip h&B passed sncb m 

A* aaifl Model b moved on to correspcoid, 

psrtieslair yar^, or sidiitg, 

An^ in cvder to allow vessels going 

Thus the exact position, 

«f ererr ship in the Canal ts knowB 

tdefnaphio messages relating to 

sent np and down the OauL 

and ixinstant tnffic thronglt 

in the moet methodical and 

At mA flf tka Btrtion^ fir fcrw, thefe are ngnal-pottib 
ftOB lAiek ih^ an direoted lo *'go into the siding," or 
*gD iato ^ eaaal.* m Mtf fae reqnind; a ftiU code of Uhn 
finals W daT and si^fat bein^ applied to all ships br tbe 
Canal aathirities. Vessels pr>Tided with the necessary 
•Keetrio Ugfat "projector" thnwiag a light 1300 ywda 
•lie»d, an pennitted to nangate tlie CSanal by ni^t, and at 
the pnamt time neariy as rnneh tiafiBo goes on by ni^t 
m by day. To anist the navigation by ni^t the winJe 
length of the Canal ia lifted with gas-booys, filled with 
oonpTOeBed gas, «hidi ia kept alwaya bnniing. Bi 1880, the 
average time oocnpied by a veaeel in f»i"g tbion^ the 
Canal was 55 hoorsL This was radnced by 1885, to 43 bonn, 
and it has since bem gradually still fnrthn reduced, until 
at tbe pieaent time 18 bonis is aboat tbe osiial time occoped 
in the transit. 

At the opening of the Canal in 1869, and for needy thne 
ye»rs Bnbeeqnently, tbe Canal does were levied at the nte of 
10 francs a ton (Uie iMTimnm tariff under the oonoeantm) oo 
tbe roistered set tonnage of steamers. Aboat the middle 
of 1872, the Board of the Company determined to levy the 
same toll, not on the net, bnt cm the groea ttmnage of sll 
; and this the^ ^^KKeodad forthwith to do, 


thereby an alteration in their charges which amounted to 
something like forty or fifty per cent, beyond the dues pr&- 
Tiously paid by shipping. 

The consequence of this change was a very serious com- 
motion, and appeals were made right and left by shipowners 
to Her Majesty's Government to protect British interests. 
The result of this agitation against the action of M. de 
LeseepB and his colleagues, was the appointment by the 
Ottoman Porte, of an International Commission to determine 
the basis upon which the dues should be levied. After much 
deliberation the Commission recommended the adoption of 
the net tonnage scale of charge, but gave a surtax of 3 
francs, thus raising the tariff to 13 francs a ton, the surtax 
to be subject to reduction as the traffic increased. 

As the charge then being made by the Canal Company 
rather exceeded 15 francs a ton, M. de Lesseps protested 
against this decision, and positively refused to allow it to 
be carried into effect, A display of force, however, being 
threatened by the Egyptian Government, the Canal Company 
accepted the inevitable, and with great reluctance proceeded 
to put the new tariff into operation. Since that time the 
Canal dues have been gradually still further reduced, and 
the present rate is 9 francs per register ton for the vessel, 
and 10 francs additional for every passenger above 12 years 
of age, and 5 francs fur each passenger under 12 years of age ; 
so that such a steamer, as for instance the F. and 0. steamer 
Himalaya, with a couple of hundred adult passengers on board, 
would pay from thirteen to fourteen hundred pounds for passing 
through the Canal. 

The total cost of constructing the Canal has been, from first 
to last, rather over twenty millions sterling. The original share 
capital of the Company amounted to £8,000,000 in 400,000 
shares of 500 francs. The borrowed capital amounted to 
another eight millions, and the amount of the indemnity paid 
by the Egyptian Government in accordance with the award 
of the Emperor of the French, in 1864, for the relinquishing 
by the Company of certain privileges under the original 
concession, amounted to £3,360,000 more, all of which has 
been expended in the work. 


' " Dmli^ the time of the construction of the Cuul the 

■hareholdora received dividends ec^uivaleQt to 5 pet cent., of 

OOurse paid out of capital; but these payments were to cose, 

and did cease, when the works were completed, and the Canal 

opened for traffic. Fur the first three years after the opening, 

/' the earning of the Oaual nere not such as to admit of anj 

■ dividend at all ; but in 1874, a dividend at the rate of ^5 

franca per 500 franc share was paid out of earnings, and 

aince that time the amount of dividend has steadily increased. 

In 187tJ, it was 28 fr. 55 c. ; in 1878, it was 31 fr. i3 o. ; in 

1880, 46 fir. 88 c; in 1882, 81 £r. 22 c; in 1884, 88 fr. 

25 c ; and so it has goue on increasiog. The receipts for 

the year 1893 were £2,826,692; fortheyear 1894,£2,9ol,072; 

* and for the year 1895, £3,124,148; and so on. 

The English Qovernment, under the administration of Lord 
Palmerstou, had always shown itself exceedingly hostile to 
, the Canal, Lord Beaconsfield adopted a more enlightened 
policy, and, taking advantage of the improvidence of the 
Khedive, Ismail Facha, in 1875, secured for England the 
Bhaies, to the yalue of £4,000,000, that had belonged to 
the Egyptian Gk>vemment. These shares are now wwth 
£22,627,000 ; thus, besides making an extremely good invaet- 
ment, Lord Beaoonsfleld secored for this country a la^^e voioe 
in the management of the Canal — a pcnnt in every respect most 
advisable when it is considered that the Canal is now oar 
high road to India, and that 80 per cent of the t(«inage 
passing through the Canal sails onder the English flag. 

The actual amount of tonnage passing throogh the Canal 
has been as follows, viz. : — 

436,609 toM 


2,009,984 „ 

3,067,421 „ 

6,335,753 „ 
6,783,187 „ 


7,659,068 „ 


8,039,175 „ 


8,448,383 „ 


The whole of the British steam traffic with the East is 
now conducted vi& the Sues Oanal. 8(eam has been «nployed, 
it is true by the Cape *, but it has never be«i ranonemtive, 



Uia Cui»U 

don to BombBy ... 

. 6,274 .. 

... 10,719 ... 

... 4,445 

„ Calcutta ... 

. 7,974 „ 

... 11,006 ... 

.. 3,632 

„ Hong Kong 

. 9,730 .. 

... 13,149 ... 

.. 3,419 

;: Itai 

. 10,466 ,. 

.., 13,805 ... 

... 3,339 

. 11,651 .. 

... 14,497 ... 

.,, 2,846 


because the distances between the coaling stations were 
such as to make it necessajy for steamers to carry coal with 
them, almost to the exclusion of cargo. The Capo route is, 
therefore, essentially the sailing xoute, tho Caual the steam. 
The distances, lq nautical miles, from Loudon to the 

I^incipal porta in India, China, and Japan, respectively, by 
ike Cape route and via the Canal, with the saving effected 
l>y the latter route, are thus : — 

By a convention, signed on October 29, 1888, the Suez 
Canal was exempted from blockade, and vessels of all nations, 
whether armed or not, are to be allowed to pass through it, 
both in peace and war. 

I" CompagnU Umveridle du Canal MarUim* de Suez. 
" The trariBit tJirougti the 8uez Cnnol is open lo ships of oil nationalities, 
.|nvided that their draught of water doea not exceed sevoa mStree nnd eighty 
MntimltreB (25 ft. 7 ins. English), and that tiiej conform to the following 
mtditians : — 
" Sailing veasels abovo 50 tons are boand to be towed through. 
" Steam- veHsela may posa through the caual by means of their own sLeam- 
poner, or may be towed, subject lo the conditions hcruinafter notilied. 

"Of course the towage of steamers through the C^inal ia not compulsory 
on tbe Company ; it will only be performed in so fnr as they Imvo disengaged 

" The maximnm speed of all ships passing tbroogh tlie Canal ia fixed at 
teo (10) IdtomStres, equal to 5^ nautical miles, per hour. 

" Every vesael of more than 100 tons gross must take on board a pilot of 
the Company, who will ftimish all particu.lar8 as to the course to be ateered. 

" Tlie captain ta held res)x>nBible for all grouudinga and accidents of what- 
soever kind, rcflulting from the monagemeot and manteuvring of his ship by 
day or by night. 

" PiJota place at the disposal of captaimi of vessels their experience and 
jiructicol knowledge of the Canal ; but as tlicy cannot be specially aoquainled 
with the defectB, or the pecaliaritlos of eacli steamer and her machinery, in 
etof^iDg, Hteering, etc, the responsibility a.s regardtt the management of the 
ship, devolves solely upon the oaptaio. 



'* When a ship intending to proceed throngh the Canal shall haye dropped 
anchor either at Port Said or Port Tewfik, the following written infonattioD 
most he handed in hy the Captain : — 

" Name and nationality of the ship, to he identified hy exhihitiiig tbe 

ship's papers relating thereto. 
" Name of the captain. 
'^ Names of the owners and charterers. 
" Port of sailing. 
" Port of destination. 
" Draught of water. 

*' Namher of paasengen, as shown hy the pasMnger list. 
** Statement of crew, as shown hy the mnster roll and its scheduke. 
" Capacity of the ship, according to the legal measorement ascertained 
hy producing the special Canal certificate, or the ship's offidil 
papers estahlished in conformity with the Boles of the IntematioDal 
Tonnage Commission assemhled at Constantinople in 1873. 
'^ The Company determine the hour of departure of each ship, and her 
snheeqnent stoppages at sidings, m sudi manner as to give fuU security for 
the navigation, as well as to ensure as much as poasihle the rapid passage of 
mail steamers. 

'* Therefore no ship can demand as a right an immediate passage through 
the Canal, neither wOl any claim he admitted in connection with any delay 
originating from the foregoing causes. 

"Mail steamers, viz. steamers performing a regular mail service under 
contract with Govenimont, at fixed dates appointed in advance, and having 
been duly vouched for as such, shall carry at the foremast head a blue signal 
with the letter P * cut out in blank in the centre. 

*' Until further orderK, navigation by night-time, by means of the electric 
light, is authorized for steamers, under the following conilitions : — 

'* Steamers intending to go through the Canal at night must first satisfy 
tlie agents of the Company in Port Said, or Port Tewfik, that they 
are provided — 
*' 1st, Forward, with an electric * projector * throwing a light 1200 
metres ahead. This projector must be placed as near as possible 
to the water-line ; 
" 2nd, With an electric lamp and shade suspended above the upper 
deck, and powerful enough to light up a circular area of about 200 
metres diameter. 
" Navigation by night-time for steamers unprovided with electric light is 
only authorized under exceptional circumstances, the captain accepting full 
responsibility in writing, for any delay, mishap, and damages that might 
happen to his own ship, as well as for any similar accidents he might cause 
to other ships in transit, or to the Company's craft and plant happening to be 
in the Canal 

*' Navigation by night is entirely forbidden to sailing-ships and boats. 
**The net tonnage resulting from the system of measurement laid down by 

* Poste. 


the International Ck>inmi88ion of Constantinople, and inscribed on the special 
certificates issued by the competent anthorities, or on the ship^s official 
papers, is the basis for levying the special navigation due, which is at present 
nine francs (9 fr.).* 

^ Until farther orders, ships in ballast will be allowed a reduction of 2 
francs 50 centimes per ton on the tariff for transit 

'' The charge of ten francs (10 fr.) per passenger above twelve years of 
age, or of five francs (5 fr.) per passenger from three to twelve years old, as 
well as the transit dues, must be prepaid on entering the Canal at Port Said, 
or Port Tewfik. 

<* The chaiges for towage in the Canal by the Company's tug service, are 
fixed as follows : — 

^ For sailing-vesselB of 400 tons and under, 1200 francs ; for sailing- 
vessels above 400 tons, 1200 francs for the first 400 tons, and 2 fr. 
50 centimes for eveiy ton above that amount 
" For steamers measuring above 400 tons, 2 francs per ton, without 
any distinction, upon their whole tonnage ; but on the condition 
that they use their propelling power, or keep it in readiness for 
assisting the tug. 
^ Steamers under 400 tons, and also steamers not intending to give 
the assistance of their propelling power, will pay the same as sailing- 

" {Signed) Febdikand de Lesseps, 

" Fresident'Director, 
«* Paris, September 6, 1882." 

* Thus the toll for passing through the Canal is 7s. 2d, per ton, with an 
additional charge of ten francs a passenger ; so that a two-thousand-ton 
steamer, with a hundred passengers on board, would pay rather over £750. 



IJlfUkomm Anriwil ^bHwawi Tlw CokMw of Rhode*— Tl;e rham 

«( flhiMiAli ITwii nsm at Dora — At Bcmlc^ne — ^Thc Tour An 

Cotdoan— Bod IJHIilliiw flir EddpAooe — The Beli Rcvk— Tht 

S kuiy ri m TV UgbtbooM on Ika Wolf Rock— Force of the warts at 

:, «x{M«ed lighHiiwnf Thfi Biibop Bock, Sdlly — ^TOe lightfaousee— The 

-.' Haplb— Sbore KgbtboMW— Tbe North ForeUnd— Coal 6ree. 

Jjrr Bccoont of the Mercantile Marine of England would be 
■ iBBDinplete iritbont some reference to the means taken to 
Ul^t oar coasts, and a short description of the lighthonse, and 
ue lightship, whose friendly rays iram the passing mariner 
of penl, or guide him on his way, cannot fail to be of mtenat 

But little is known of the lighthoosee of • remote antiquity, 
the probability being that, with possibly a rery few excep- 
tions, before the Christian era no Ughthon8es existed. At 
all events, of two only bare we any particnlars at all, and 
of these two our knowledge is extremely meagre. Three 
fanndred years before Christ, Chares, the disciple of Lysi^Ms, 
constructed the celebrated brazen statue known as the CoIosbu 
of Rhodes, which stood at the entrance of the harbour. Its 
height seems to hare exceeded a hundred feet, and it is said 
to bare borne a light ; but whether it could be considered as 
in any sense a lighthouse, would seem to be extremely 

Bather more, however, is known of the celebrated Pharos of 
Alexandria, which was regarded by the ancients as one of the 
wonders of the world. It was built by Ptolemy Pbiladelphus, 
about 300 B.C., and it is recorded by Strabo that the architect, 
Soetratus, baring first cut his own name on the solid walls of 
the building, covered the inscription over with plaster, and 
then, in obedience to the comi&KiA <£ 'CV)Vi3fi.-j, cuued the 


fbllowitig inscription to be made on the pluater: "King 
Ptolemy to the Gods, the Saviours, for the henefit of sailors." 

If this were so, it would seem to point clearly to the desti- 
nation of the tower, which is said to have been square on 
plan, consisting of many stories, diminishing upwards; and 
whose height has been given as five hundred feet. This latter 
statement, however, is open to great doubts, but the name of 
the building, taken from the island of Pharos, upon which it 
was boilt, has ever since been applied to buildings designed for 
lighthouse purposes.* A fire is eaid to have been kept 
perpetually burning upon the summit of the tower; and 
Josephus records that the light of this fire was visible to 
seamen from a distance of thirty miles. 

Upon the heights at Dover are the remains of a building 
sometimes known as Ctesar's Tower. It stands within the 
precincts of the Castle, adjoining the ancient church, and is 
octagonal in shape, the walls being constructed of flint and 
stone, with occasional courses of Roman tiles. The present 
upper story is of more recent date than the rest, but the lower 
and original part was undoubtedly built prior to the year 
53 A.D., and it is still known as the "Pharos." Upon the 
opposite coast, at Boulogne, the foundations still remain, 
in Roman brickwork, of the ancient Tour d'Odre, said to have 
been built by Caligula. Both this tower and the tower at 
Dover are conjectured, with a large amount of certainty, to 
have been erected as lighthouses, and the Tour d'Odre is 
believed to have been the earliest lighthouse in northern 
waters. It is said to have been of octagonal form, twenty-five 
feet in breadth, and, like the Pharos of Alexandria, to have 
possessed several stories, diminishing upwards, whilst upon 
the top a fire is said to have been kindled every evening at 
stmset, to serve as a beacon for the guidance of mariners. 
Pennant describes the remains of another Roman pharos 
near Holywell, in Flintshire ; and there are the remains of two 
others, one at Flamborough Head and the other on St. 
Catherine's down, at the southern extremity of the Isle of 
After the termination of the Roman occupation of Britain, 
• Aa, for einniplo, in hphare, tbo Frenck for Ughlhousa-, ^WtoV'i^'j , &t. 




^1 through the Uuldle Ages, the coasts, cerUinly of tha 
ooantry, and most probably of all other cmmtiles, were left in 
darknofls daring the long hours at tJie night ; the first light- 
faoose of more modem days being the Tunr de Cocdoaa. whid 
it* Rituate at the mouth of the river Ginnde, and which still 
aenes as a guide to the shipping of Bordeaux. This light- 
bouse was b^gun in the year 1584, but was not completed nnbl 
1610, at the close of the reign of Uenri IV.. the building, 
which was a haudsome strncture, being 197 feel in IwighL 
The light, as Srst shown, was obtained by burning biUeta d 
oak in an iron brazier on *■— ' — id the tower ; and the fiirt 
improvement 4 wa station r>f a «jal fiie tor tbe 

wood. Lat« inv i of melal was placed am 

I flie, in vm mj tb fa of light downwaida, bat 

ihont mx i), M. Lenoir was emplt^ 

'' I nbstitute 1 lamps and reflectors, whidi, 

their tt laced by the more moditn 

ptric a 

One of at iuglish lighthouses, and ooa 

of the oluoci., •■, iii^ Ejadyaioue, erected on a reef of nxi» 
about nine miles and a half from Ram Head, on the Comtjli 
coast. The Eddy stone rocks were extremely dangerous, 
lying, 08 they do, in the fair ivay of vessels, and porticulaiSy 
of vesaels going into or coming out of Plymouth ; and what 
rendered these rocks the more dangerous was the faot that 
deep water — thirty and thirty-one fathoms — is found right up 
to the reef itself. In consequence, then, of the many wteok* 
that had occurred on these rocks, it was determined, towarda 
the close of the seventeenth century, to erect a lighthouse un 
the Eddystone, and in 1696, a wooden tower was commenped 
by a Mr. Winstanley, and in November, 1698, the light nas 
exhibited for the first time. The design of the tower, althoug;h 
picturesque, was totally unfitted for a situation so exposed as the 
Eddystone, and it was soon found that the heavy seas that 
came rolling in from the Altantic under a westerly gale, were 
very much more formidable than had been anticipated, the 

* This liglitbouBO at the ptcsent day shows a Gsed dio])tric li^t, sbowiog 
a lirigbt light over a, certain ate, visible 21 milea; rod over snother arc, 
viflible 17 miles ; and green over a third arc, visible 16 mileif. 


lantern, which was sixty feet above the rock, being at such 
times entirely overwhelmed with the sea and spray. Mr. 
Winstantey, therefore, set to work to strengthen the structure, 
and to raise it to a height of 120 feet. In November, 1703, 
some farther repairs being needed, Mr. Winstanley, accom- 
panied by his workmen, went to the lighthouse to carry them 
out, but on the night of the 26th of November a furious storm 
raged in the Channel, and on the following morning not a 
vestige of the lighthouse remained, — Mr. Winstanley, his 
work-people, and the lightkeepei-a having all perished. 

The want of a light on the Eddystone soon made itself 
again felt in the total loss of the TVinckeUea, man-of-war, with 
the greater part of her crew, in 1704. Two years, however, 
elapsed after this event before the Trinity House could obtain 
a new Act of Parliament to so extend their powers as to enable 
them to commence the construction of another building, and, 
it was not until July, 1706, that the new lighthouse was 
begun, under the direction of Mr. John Rudyard. Unlike 
Winstanley's tower, it possessed no architectural embellish- 
ments whatever ; but was a solid, sensible, and business-like 
structure. It, like Winatanley's lighthouse, was built of wood, 
and was circular from the base to the lantern, which was placed 
at a height of 92 feet above the rock, the diameter of the 
tower being 23 feet at the base. On the 28th of July, 1708, 
the new light was shown for the first time, and it continued 
to be regularly exhibited until the year 1755, when, after 
standing for forty-seven years, the whole fabric was destroyed 
by fire ; otherwise there is no reason why it should not have 
I stood for a very much longer period. 

So valuable had a light upon the Eddystone proved to have 
been that it was determined at once to rebuild the lighthouse, 
and Mr. Smeaton was entrusted vnth the work. On the 5th 
of April, 1756, he first landed on the rock, and the preliminary 
works were commenced. The first stone was laid on the 12th 
of June, 1757, and the building wa,s completed in August, 1759. 
In order to secure the solidity of his structure, Smeaton dove- 
tailed the lower courses of the stone of which the lighthouse 
was built into the live rock itself; and then the stones of each 
succeeding course were dove-tailed, not only into the adjacent 


stoDOs on either side, but also into the atones above and beluw 
them, 80 that the whole tower vaa almost as though it lud 
heeu constructed out of one solid block. 

The masonry was 7ti feet 6 inches, and the top of the lantetit 
93 feet, above the foundation, and consequently the hgl 
was over 100 feet from the water. The tower was 26 feet in 
diameter at the level of the first entire course, and 15 feel 
just under the cornice. Although the lighthouse was Carrie! 
up to so great a height, yet during severe storms green wiler 
and spray would fly right over the top of the lantern. Tbe 
light was first exhibited on the 16th of October, 1759, the 
lanterD being then lighted with a chandelier of twenty-four 
wax candles, five of which candles weighed two pounds; int 
in 1807, when, upon the expiry of a long lease, (b[ 
property of this lighthouse again came into tbe hands of tlic 
Trinity House, oil lamps with argand burners, fitted witb 
paralK>]ic reflectors of silvered copper, were substituted for tLe 
original chandelier of cam lies. 

This lighthouse, which has always been considered as one 
of the finest examples of engineering skill of modern tiroes, 
stood uninjured through every storm for more than a 
hundred years ; and would probably have stood for a hnndrfil 
more, had not the roirk itself upon which it waa built, 
become gradually undermined by the sea, thus threatening 
the destruction of the building. Smeaton'a lighthouse ha-", 
in consequence, been recently taken down and rephtced by 
a new one in many respects the counterpart of its predecessor, 
but of greater height, whilst the lighting arrangements have 
been brought up to the requirements of modern times. The 
new Eddystone, instead of the old fixed light, is now fitted 
with a powerful dioptric apparatus showing two quick flashes 
every half-minute, visible for 17 miles ; whilst, from a chamber 
at a lower level in the lighthouse, a fixed bright light is 
shown over Hand Dee[)S. 

The new Eddystone lighthouse, like the old one, is built 
of grey granite; but many lighthouses are, at the present 
time, painted in various colours in order to render them the 
more conspicuous, and to distinguish one lighthouse from 
unother, A lighthouse V»\\\\\. cS ^Uivus, <Tom the natural 



effects of the weather, booh begins to look grey, and, if on a 
rocky coast, is not easily seen ; and as lighthouses, besides their 
use at night, are laigely used as marks by day, anything that 
tends to render them the more conspicuous is of valne ; the 
colour of the background against which the lighthouse is 
usually seen being taken into consideration in determining 
the particalar mode of painting to be adopted. 

Another very famous British lighthouse is that erected on 
the Bell Rock, oflf the coast of Fifeahire. This rock had 
always been a source of much danger to mariners, so that 
at last the Abbots of Aberlrothiek, from whose abbey it was 
distant some twelve miles, caused a float to be moored there, 
can7ing a bell, from whence came the name of the Bell 
Kock, so celebrated in poetry and in legend. 

Among the many bad wrecks that have occurred on the Bell 
Rock, one of the most disastrous was the total loss of the F(y>-k, 
74-gun Une-of-battle ship, with the whole of her crew ; part 
of the wreck being afterwards found on the rock, while frag- 
ments strewed the adjacent coasts. This terrible calamity 
induced a certain Captain Brodie, R.N., to set ou foot a small 
subscription, by means of which he erected a wooden beacon 
OD the rock; hut his beacnn was soon carried away by the 
sea. He again collected money, and placed a second beacon 
there, only, however, almost immediately to share the fate 
of its predecessor. 

In 1802, the Commissioners of Northern Lights determined 
upon the erection of a lighthouse on the rock, as it was 
extremely dangerous to shipping making the Firth of Forth 
or the Firth of Tay, and the more so as at spring-tides 
it was covered to a depth of two fathoms. They therefore 
applied to Parliament for the necessary [wwers, and iu 1806, 
obtained an Act authorizing the erection of the light. Various 
ingenious plans were suggested for overcoming the serious 
difflcalties attending the erection uf a lighthouse on an 
isolated rock twelve miles out at sea, and particularly on a 
rock that was covered twice a day with twelve feet of water. 

After much consideration the designs of Mr, Robert 
Stevenson, the Engineer to the Lighthouse Board, after being 
submitted to Mr., afterwanls Sir, John Renme, we^ft aXVea.^'Oa 



I k tower of masonry 
On the 17tti 

rf t % i H . Mlg. O >i U Mi» iMi I tfce »wfc. lid the fim 

fline MB Wi «B *e Mhfc of Jidr. 1606: bat lie e^ie«M«l 
^n ^Btf Mh^bM at fint fi«M th* Aort tinte dtnins whidi 
Ik ■» «BM dUe «• mak id Oe n«^ en tfaoae dajs wkn 
ttay ««M wok ^ ait «Utal m muv days nothing w)>■^ 
«Mr «hN W Abb. Xff^ cam caeuvat Sterenaoo and Lu 
wndqaiflt, ttk ^ — t iMOBBt IB bD, w«ce T«7 bmtIt 
^tawaad, At tile ^v™? iubb bmIi wob xqadlj than ami, 
^Adr«aBAMlhHlWnBg.fcy«awnMik>, got adrift. 

1^ OBfcdbw mfc. IBM^ Ab »trtB rfAe fBaaonr; vas coni- 
llrtad, Ml tkc B^ «M fcH ^OiiBd frara the BeQ Bork 
ruhaimm a Aa a$^ <f the Id «tf FebmaiT, 1811.* Tie 
IBW it NO tMt B MgH. tt fcet IB diaiB«t(>r at the a- 
M^K hBae, nd IS fart m ^HBeler Bt the t«ii>. lite mtnnw 
4hk wUek H fkeed 90 faol uf frcai the base, is appiuBcltd 
kfmwlmmfmffKimiiB,^t« tovn faetweui the door and tbe 
welt W>f rf f*"! iBBsooTx. The total cost <A etwtiun wk 
£61^1 9t. ^. 

Aaother twt re^eioted lighth(<ii9e is the Skenyrore, on i 
wmt at ncka HiBig tvdve nBta to tbe soath-treet trf th« island 
d Tbee, on the naalwa ocasi <rf SmitUnd. The ShemTtm H 
a eoUectiiiD of tnJa extending for oearlv ei|!fal milee a ■ 
diiccticn iK^m \r£.W. to E.^^ It has been the srene cf 
BoraenKU sbipoTe-chs. no let« than thirty ressels baling bt«B 
lost on this one reef between the }re«js 1800, and 1844. At 
Wt the erectioD at a ligbthonse upon these dangeroas rocb 
was detennined upon, and Mr. Alan Stevenson was the engineer 
■elected to cany tntt the aidnons task. 

Tbe poctkiD of the reef that appeared to offer the best site 
for the erectian of the ligfathosse was nearly three nu)« 
distant from the main cluster of rocks, and was in a mtat 
exposed Bitnation, open to bI) the forre of tbe tremendoK 
waves of the Atlantic. Tbe rock itself which was selected 
is oomposed of a very contpat-t gneiss, worn as smooth as glw 
• The cliaracter of die light hasbeeti muehimpTOTnlof Ute TF«ra. Al4< 
preBeut tiiii« tlie liglit ihowa &om ibe B«U Bock U k dioptric of Iba Gnt dM 
rtToMug «iio« in a miniite, Auiwicf bii^t and r«d altenialelf, vniUa Ift talt. 


by the constant aotiun of the sea, whilst at uidinary high water 
the rock ia very nearly covered. 

Nothing whatever could be dune upon the rocka except the 
actual fixing of the stonea, so that everything needed for the 
construetion of the lighthouse had to be brought as it was 
wanted. Barraclis for the accommodation of the workmen 
had to be built on the Island of Tiree, and alao on the Isle 
of Mull, where the granite for the tower was quarried. 
Operations commenced in the summer of 1838, and the first 
thing that was done was the erection of a wooden staging 
for the works, and a rough kind of wooden house for the 
protection of the men when they were compelled through 
stress of weather to remain at the rock. This was all completed 
by the autumn, but on the 3rd of November, 1838, a terrific 
gale carried the whole structure away, and in one night 
obliterated the incessant work of several months. 

As Boon, however, as the winter gales were over the work 
was begun again, and this second wooden house braved the 
storms for several years after the works were finished, when 
it was taken down, and removed from the rock, lest its sudden 
destruction in some atonn might injure the new lighthouse, 
Mj. Stevenson, the engineer, thus graphically describes the 
scene at the wooden house. He says — 

■' Perched forty feet above the wavo-beaton rock, in this Bingiilac abode, 
with ft goodly company of thirty men, I have spent many a. weary day and 
night at lliose timca when the sea prevented any ono going down to the rock, 
nnxionsly looking for Hujiplica from the shore, and eamoBtly longing for a 
change of weather favourable to the recommenceraent of the works. For 
miles Broand nothing could be Bean but white foaming breakors, and nothing 
heard but howling winds and lashing waves. At such BeaBons much of our 
time waa Bpent in bed, for there alone we had effectual abelUr from the 
winds and spray, which searched every cranny in the walla of the barrack. 

" Our slumbers, too, were at timeB fearfully interrupted by the sudden pour- 
ing of the aea over the roof, the rocking of the liouae on its pillars, and the 
apurtiog of the water through the aeams of the doors and wiodoivs — symptoms 
wliich to one suddenly around from sound sleep recalled the appalling fate 
of the former barrack, which had been engulfed in the foam not twenty yards 
from our dwelling, and for a moment seemed to summon us to a similar fate. 
On two occnsionB in particnlar, those aensotioas were so vivid as to cause 
almost every one to spring ont of bed ; and some of the men fled from the 
barrack by a temporary gangway to the more stable, but less comfortable, 
elu^lteT afforded by the bare walls of tlio Kghtliouae tower, then unfinished, 
where they spent the remiinder of the night in darkne^i, wet, and cold." 


The design of the Skerryrore is an adaptation of Smeaion's 
Eddystone, to the peculiar situation and to the particular 
circumstances of the case, at the Skerryrore Bocks. The 
tower is 138 feet 6 inches in height, 42 feet in diameter at 
the base, and 16 feet at the top. It contains a mass of 
stonework of about 58,580 cubic feet, or more than double 
that of the Bell Bock Lighthouse, and nearly fiye times that 
contained in the Eddystone. The whole of the works were 
successfully carried out, and the light was first shown in 
1844, the entire cost of the Skerryrore Lighthouse being 
£86,977 175. 7d. The light at the present time is a dioptric 
of the second class, showing a reyolving bright light eyery 
minute, visible 18 miles. 

Another very fine, and a still more recent lighthouse, is that 
on the Wolf Bock, off the Land's End, in Cornwall, erected 
by the Trinity House in 1870, from the designs of Mr. Jamee 
Douglass. In this lighthouse Smeaton's plan of dove-tailing 
the adjacent stones was also adopted, each granite stone 
being dove-tailed not only into its adjacent stones laterally, 
but also into the stones immediately above and below it, so 
that the whole when fitte<l together, and run in with hydraulic 
cement, was literally one solid mass of masonry. A preliminary 
survey of the site was made in 1861, and the foundation was 
commenced in Mareli, 1862. In so exposed a situation as 
the Wolf, entirely open, as it is, to the Atlantic, the works 
could only bo (»arried on dnring the fine weather of the summer 
months, so tlnit tlie lighthouse was not entirely completed 
until July, 1861), the light being shown for the first time in 
1870. It is a dioptric of the second class. 

Another fine modern lighthouse, more recent still, is the j 
Longships, erected in 1883, upon an isolated rock off the 
Lands' End, tlie grey granite tower of which is 117 feet in 
hei^^ht. From the lantern is shown a first-class dioptric 
oc(ultin<r briglit liglit, visible 16 miles. 

The I'orce of the waves that these isolated lighthouses have 
to contend with is almost incredible. Mr. Stevenson coii- 
strnctcd an ai)i)aratns that recorded automatically the force 
of the waves that struck it, and this apparatus, fixed at the 
Skorryvore llocks, gave, aa \\i^ t«5v\V\, o^ ftve summer months 

in 1843, and siso in 1844, an average pressure of 611 llts. to 
the square foot. The average result for six winter monthg in 
the aame years was 2086 lbs., the greatest force registered 
at the Skerryvore being on the 29th of March, 1845, during 
a strfmg westerly gale, when a pressure of no less than 
6083 lbs. to the square foot was recorded. 

In the North Sea, at the Bell Eock, the greatest result 
obtained was 3013 lbs. per square foot. This leaser force ia 
aopoiinted for by the t-omparatively narrow space through 
which the waves in the North Sea have to travel compared 
with the broad expanse of the Atlantic. But even these 
results, large aa they are, appear to be far less than that 
found at the Bishop Rock Lighthouse, Scilly, which is probably 
the most exposed lighthouse in the world. On the 30th of 
January, 1860, during a heavy gale from the south-west, a 
wave struck the tower, which shook it to its foundations, 
and tore away the bell, weighing 3 cwt., from its support at 
the top of the tower, more than 100 feet above the sea. 

Lighthousea are, however, often required in situations 
where the requisite solid foundation that a rock offers for 
the construction of a stone tower does not exist, aa upon 
certain sands and shoals, and here a screw-pile lighthouse 
has been found to be entirely successful. Wrought-iron piles 
about 6 inches in diameter, having a single turn of a screw 
some 4 feet across at the bottom, are driven down into the 
sand from 18 to 25 feet, and upon these piles the lighthouse 
ia erected. One of the first of these iron-pile lighthouses 
was that erected on the Maplin Sand at the entrance of the 
Thames, in 1838, and which has stood there ever since. 
There are nine screw-piles, one at each angle of an octagon, 
and one in the centre, and on the top of these, about 20 feet 
from the water, is the light-room, above which, again, is the 
lantern, the light being 3ti feet above high-water mark. It 
is an occulting red light every half minute, and ia visible 
for 10 miles. There is another similar lighthouse at Mucking 
Flat, and another at the Chapman Head, both in the Thames, 
besides others at Queenatown, Belfast, and elsewhere ; indeed 
they are now by no means uncommon, being particularly 
snitable for the shallow waters of estuaries and the like 

_ i 



— more 80, perhftps, than for exposed Hitustioua iu lie 
ojieii sea. 

Previous to the erection of the present noble granite tower 
on the Bishop Roek, Scilly, one of these iron-pile lighthouse* 
was attempted there. It was completml np to the bRse tt 
the lantern, wlieii, in the conrse of a tempestuous night io 
Jmiuary, 1850, the whole thing disappeared. 

Of course, no such difficulty exists with the erection rf 
lighthouses on the land as is the rase iu a lighthouse percbed 
on a solitary rock at sea, and many of the earlier examples 
of land lighthouses were simply ordinary houses with a lanteni 
or some other appliance placed on the roof. A well-known 
example of this was the North Foreland light, which vu 
instituted during Charles I.'b reign to warn vessels of tbe 
proximity of the dreaded Goodwin Sands. It was then an 
ordinary half-timbered farmhouse with a glass lantern on the 
roof, from which the light was displayed. This house «u 
bamed down iu 1083, and soon after that the lower part of 
the present tower was erected, upon the top of which vw 
an iron grate for humiug coals. This coal fire, however, wis 
far from satisfactory, for when there was a strong wind blow- 
ing ou shore, and when, therefore, the light was most needed, 
tbe coals were all black to seaward, whilst to leeward the 
bars of the grate were almost melting. From the difGctdtf 
thus experienced in keeping up a proper and uniform Baou 
iu windy weather, in 1732, the top of the tower was corerfJ 
iu with a sort of lantern with large sash windows, and the 
coal fire was kept burn ing brightly by means of lirgt 
bellows, wbich the lightkeepers blew throughont the night 
This, again, was not found to be successful, the lauteni 
was therefore removed, and the open fire restored to it« 
original condition ; and this state of things went on until 
1790, when the tower was raised to its present height of 
70 feet, and lamps with reflectors were substituted for tbe 
old coal fire. 

These coal fires were nearly universal for lighthouse purpose 
(luring the last century, and Smeaton reported favourably of 
the one used at Spurn Point at the mouth of the Humbei. 
alleging that it could be eeen thirty miles ofl'. This, no 


Juubt, would sometimes be the case; at other times, doubt- 
less, it would not be seen from five miles off. These coal 
fires, even if they had been a good means of illumination, 
which they were not, were, of course, never applicable to an 
isolated rock lighthouse; no lighthouse of that description 
being able to afford storage room for the quantity of coal 
that woulil be required ; to say nothing of the difficulty that 
would very frequently l>e experienced by vessels in getting 
alongside with the requisite supplies. Coal fires, however, were 
retained at many shore lighthonses until well into this century, 
the Isle of Jlay Lighthouse, at the entrance of the Firth of 
Forth, having a coal fire until 1810; the lighthouse at Flat 
Holm, in the Bristol Channel, having also a coal fire until 
1820; and that on St. Bee's Head, Cumberland, until 1823; 
whilst at certain lighthouses abroad the coal fire was still in 
use down to 1850. 

Wherever it is equally efficacious, a shore lighthouse is 
always very much to be preferred to an isolated rock light- 
bouse, not only on account of its being in every way much 
more accessible, but as the opportunity then exists for the 
erection of all the numerous subsidiary buildings that are 
required at a first-class lighthouse ; the engine-house in 
connection with the electric light, the house for the fog-syren, 
and very much better quarters for the men. As a typical 
example of such a shore lighthouse, with all its accessory 
buildings, w e give an illustration of the Lighthouse at 
ist. Catherine's Point, at the back of the Isle of Wight. This 
lighthouse, when viewed from seaward, is seen against a 
background formed of grass, and trees, and all the verdure 
of the Undercliff, and is therefore, with all its outbuildings, 
painted a most dazzling white, 



The means of fllumination — The catoptric au<] tlie dioptric sj-glems— Tim 
catoptric flTBtem — Primitivo reflectors — Mora recent iioproTemena- 
Fixed lights — Bevolviug lights— M, Ai^ustino Frenel — The diopi™ 
system — Tlie French lighte — Mr. Stevenson's improvement*— Tk 
appamtUB — Tlio lenHM — Tbe lamp — EviJeiice as to tlic dioptric STSttm 
giyen before the Royal CominUBion — Distances at which Kghts are viabh 
— Experiments at the Sooth Foreland — Eloctric liKhts— Minorai oit- 
Oaa — Boport of the Gummittae — Control of lights — Tlie Trinity Hous*— 
Other bodies — Ligfatahipa — ^Their lights — Revolring ligbla— FU^ I 
lighta — Tbe moorings of lightsliips — Casualties to lightships — Creir of * 
ligbtshi|> — BeUtiw visibility of lights — Oonge and sirens— Besooo)- 
Buoya — Bell btioys — Whistiing buoye — Qbh buoys— Coramuiiica to 
betweeu lighlabips nnd the sliore — Light dues — The different rates— Tl» 
present mode ot collection— Thorough reform needed, 

Thbbe are two distinct systems emploved for the illotninatioD 
of lighthouses and lightships, one of which is known as the 
catoptric, or the reflector system, the other as the dioptric, 
or the lens system. Every ordinary uncontrolled light gives 
off its rays in every direction, forming a globe, in fact, of 
which the wick is the centre, the rays of light being horizontal, 
and from horizontal at all angles, both upwards and downwards, 
to vertical. Now, for lighthouse purposes it is obvious that all 
the vertical rays, whether tending upward ot downward, are 
entirely lost and wasted, and it was early seen that to obtain 
the full effect of a light, and to utilize these vertical rays 
they must be bent into a horizontal direction. To effect this 
purpose reflectors were adopted, and the earliest improvement 
upon the then existing system of lighthouse illumination wae 
the adoption of the catoptric or the reflector system, and tbe 
earliest type of reflector was that applied to the Cordonan 
light in 1727. 




The means of illumination at this lighthouse, as weib the 
ease at all early lighthouses, was an ordinary coal fire, and 
for the purpose about two hundredweight of coals were ignited 
at once, whilst over the fire waa placed a roof shaped like a 
kind of hollow cupola. When M. Bitri, in 1727, waa employed 
to remodel the lantern of this lighthouse, he removed this 
cupola altogether, and substituted for it an inverted cone 
whose apex projected downwards over the fire. The cone was 
covered with bright tin plates, the object being by means of 
these plates, or refleetors, to bend the rays which would 
otherwise have gone upward and been lost, into a horizontal 
direction, and thus materially to intensify the light; but 
by what means M. Bitri proposed to keep the reflecting 
plat«e free from soot, and from tarnishing by the smoke from 
the fire beneath, is not. recorded. 

Here, then, was the first rude element of the reflector system, 
which was soon to be still further developed; and when the 
coal fire was superaeded by lamps, this was effected by placing 
a polished metal reflector behind the lamp. This polished 
reflector was shaped to such a parabolic curve as would have 
the elTect of throwing a large number of the rays of light 
from the lamp all into a horizontal direction, and this system 
of a lamp in front, with a parabolic reflector behind it, is 
practically the catoptric system in use for lighthouses at the 
present day. 

Between 1763, and 1777, parabolic reflectors were first used 
for lighthouse illumination by Mr, Hutchinson, dockmaster 
of Liverpool. In his work on " Practical Seamanship," pub- 
lished in 1777, he states that the Mersey lights were fitted 
with reflectors formed of small facets of silvered glass, and 
made, as he says, "as nearly as they can be to the parabolic 
curve ; " and this is unquestionably the earliest published 
notice of the use of parabolic reflectors for lighthouse illumi- 
nation. Of these Mersey reflectors the smallest were three 
feet in diameter, the largest twelve feet. The smallest were 
made of tin plates soldered together; the largest were made 
of wood covered with plates of looking-glass. 

In 1786, the catoptric system was adopted in Scottish 
lighthouses, the reflectors here being first moulded in plaster, 


id afterwards filled in with facets of looking-glasa; Iwt 
sy were not (.-onsidered hs very satisfai-torj', and tli( 
imitive reflectors abfiiit tlie end of the last century give 
BCd to reflectors of aiWer-pUted copper formed to the pan- 
lie shape hy hand-hanuuering, barouhiug, and polishing ; 
A the first Si'ottiah lighthouse to be fitted with these 
morored reflectors was the iDchkeitb Lighthouse, is the 
th of Forth. 

ijp to 1782, the wicka of the lamps used were of a flat fOTin, 
in that year M, Aigand, of Cienera, introdnoed wicks and 
iiners of a hoUon which admitted a eenti^ 

Tent of air tliri so as to ignite the rone 

gas issuing fn> within and without, theae 

ving ever sine Argand" burners. Count 

jnford afterwarus i and'a invention by making 

reral concent: Jid in more recent times, 

ce the iutroa <■ of paraffin for the lampCi 

I number o( ooncai berai iutawued to five, tii, 

ereD more. 

The reflectors at present used by the Trinity House ioi 
lighthouse purposes are known as Huddart's reflectors; they 
are made of copper ailvered, those used for shore-lights being 
21 inches in diameter, having a total reflecting surface of 
518'6 inches, and costing £31 10s. each. Those used for the 
Scottish lighthouses are 24 inches in diameter, and cost £43 
each. Fitted with Argand burners an inch in diameter, their 
power is equal to about 450 times that of the unassisted flame. 
By the reflector system, where a fixed light has to be shown 
all round the horizon, a number of lamps and reflectors are 
placed round the outside of a stationary chandelier, twenty- 
four or twenty-five being usually required, and by this me^ns 
a number of beams of light of nearly uniform intensity are 
Bent out. By arranging a number of the lamps and reflectors 
on a frame having three or more sides, and each side )>eing 
fitted with from one up to as many as ten reflectors, by 
giving the frame a horizontal circular motion by machinery 
a re.polmwi liijht is obtained. As the faces of the frame come 
round a beam of light sweeps the horiaon, succeeded by im 
interval of darkness, dopendio^ on the rate of revolntioiii 



1 * 

i. ,. 



notil the nest face, with its set of lamps ami reflet^tors, comes 
into Tiew, 

The brillianrj- of the rays issuing from the reflector is 
stronger in the direction of the axis- — that is to say, when 
viewed directly in front of the lamp — than it is when viewed 
obliquely, and for this reason : when a ship is passing a fixed 
catoptric light the brilliancy of the light will vary, it becoming 
brighter when the ship gets into the direct line of the axis 
of the reflector, and less bright as she passes out of that line, 
becoming brighter again as she gets into the line of the next 
lamp, and so on. This, however, is not altogether a disad- 
vantage, as it enables the sailor to distinguish the light from 
a dioptric light, which is equally brilliant from whatever point 
it is seen, and so in certain cases it enables him to distinguish 
one fixed light from another; but in consequence of the 
increasing power and brilliancy of ships' lights at the present 
day, fixed lights for lighthouses are gradually being alto- 
gether discarded in fftvOUl- of rev^ilving, or flashing lights, 
both the latter being more readily identified than the ordinary 
fixed lights. 

Beginning about the year 1820, M. Augustine Fresnel, the 
eminent French mathematician, entirely revolutionized the 
previously existing lighthouse system by means of hia annular 
lenses, cylindric refractors, and totally reflecting prisms. In 
all lighthouses prior to 1822, the mode of getting up the 
required power was by employing a sufficient number of 
separate reflectors, each of which required its own separate 
lamp — that is t(t say, the catoptric system. Instead, however, 
nf these numerous independent lamps and reflectors, M. Fresnel 
used a single central lamp which had four concentric wicka, 
and was fed with oil by a pump worked by clockwork. 
Surrounding this central lump was a stationary cylindrical 
glass refractor, whilst above and below it were rings of totally 
reflecting prisms, the lamp being thus enclosed, as it were, in 
a kind of glass cage, aud this beautiful instrument continues 
in use for dioptric lights to the present day. 

The number of lighthouses on the French side of the 
Channel previous to M. Fresnel's invention was very much 
smaller than the number of lights on the Knglish side ; but 




no sooner was the undoubted auoceaa of the new method 
established than the French Guvemment determined opon 
one grand iinirorm system of lighting the French coftstj, 
and n|x)n adopting fur tbat purpose M. Fresnel's dioptric 
apparatus.* The new mode of lighting osed in the Frenii 
lighthouses soon attracted the attention of Mr. Robert 
Stevenson, and in 1824, Mr, Steyenson waa comniissioDed 
by the Si^ottish Lighthouse Board to visit the Tarioos Freoch 
lighthouses where the new system, then known as " the Freucli 
system," was in operation, and to report as to its efficiency. 
Mr. Stevenson's report was considered so satisfactory that 
the Board determined at once to make a trial of it at the Isle 
of May light, in the Firth of Forth, and the light of the new 
description was first shown in October, 1825. 

Mr. Stevenson, in introducing the new dioptric system for 
British lights, effected certain improvements upon what he 
had seen in France. Owing to certain diQicuIties in con- 
struction, M. Fresnel adopted a polygonal instead of a cyUn- 
drical form for bis refractor, but Mr. Stevenson succeeded 
in getting Messrs. Cookson, of Newcastle, to coostmct a first- 
order refractor of a truly cyliudric form. In forming a refntcl- 
ing instead of a reflecting instrument, to obtain a lens of such 
magnitude as would be required out of one piece of glass 
wouhl be hardly possible, and if it were possible, the necessary 
thickness of the glass would greatly obstruct the light, and 
the whole merit of M. Fresnel's iuvention, and Mr. Stevenson's 
improvements upon it, consists in building up the glass refractor 
of separate rings of glass. The light thus obtained is found 

* Iloro it may inciduntally bu remarked that, as a whole, tho Freuch light- i 
house HyBtcm ta distinctly Buperior to the British system. We have mtaf 1 
ligljts on our Bide tliat are quite equal to any on the other side of the Chanad; I 
but tlie whole of the French lighln are uaifomUy excellent ; and the n 
their syBtem is particularly obvious in tlieii smaller, subsidiary lights, as, fo 1 
instance, harbour h'gbta and the like. All lights, great end sntall, are in Fnnce 
under the control of a department of tho Ministry of Public Worka, and a I 
special commission called " I^ Commission dcs Phores," cooaistiog of osral 
officers, marine engineers, bydrograpliers, members of scientific bodies, and 
other gentlemen distinguished in various branches of science, deals viitii all 
matters connected with the lights. As a consequence, besides the great and 
important lighthouses, pier lights, harbour lights, tidal lights, and all the rest, 
in France are exeollent. 




by experiment to be equal to that aflfordeil by uine common 
refleetora ; and it is calculated that by a consumption of oil 
equal to that of seventeen common Argand lumps with 
reflectors, an effect is produced equal to that of thirty such 
lamps and reflectors, or very nearly double the amount of light. 

The oil-lamp commonly used for this system of illumination 
has four couceiitric wicks of the respective diameters of 0"857, 
1'39, 2'52, and 3'39 inches, and consumes a pint of oil an 
hour, A first-order fixed dioptric apparatus is about (i feet 
in diameter, and 12 feet high. It consists of the central 
belt of refractors forming a hollow glass cylinder 6 feet in 
diameter and 30 inches high ; below it are six triangular 
rings of glass ranged in a cylindrical form, and above it a 
crown of thirteen rings of glass, forming by their union a 
hollow cage composeil of polished glass twelve feet high and 
six feet across. 

A first-order lenticular appjratug of this description, with 
light-room and lantern, costs from £2000 to £3000, the cost 
of the lenses alone being from £1300 to £1550. A sixth- 
order, or smallest size of harbour lens light, is 11| inches 
in diameter, and costs £70. 

But ever since the introduction of the dioptric system, it 
has been a moot point with many as to whether the 
advantages are so greatly on its side as has been asserted, 
and the question cannot be said to be absolutely determined 
even at the present day. The matter was the subject of a 
Royal Commission in 1860, and in the Ileport of the Com- 
mission, issued in March, 1801, they say — 

"It has beeu generally DBamned that the dioptric is preferable to Iha 
catoptric ayHtom ; but while your CoamisaionerH do not controvert this 
opinion, they liave concloaive evidence that many of the catoptric lights of 
England are not only excellent in themselvea, hut exceed in efficiency the 
dioptric lights on its shores. The first part of Queation 7, of CircnJar VIIL, 
addressed to niarinors, runs thus : ' What British light have you neuaily seen 
farthest off? ' Out of the 579 witnosaea who have anawcred tlus question, the 
greatest dittanctt are mentioned with refurence to the ligltta at Lundy Island, 
thti Calf of Man, Tuskar, Flamborough Head, Beachy Head, and Cromer; 
and the grentest number of wituesacs mention Limdy Island, the Lizard, 
FInmhorough Head, Beachy Head, the Start, and the South Staek, all of 
wiiich are catoptric revolving lighta, with the exception of the Lizard, which 
is catoptric fixed, and Lundy and tlie Start, which arc dioptric revolving." 

ch d 


The <)ifiUnce at whi<rh the principal lights are visiUe it 
generally only limited by tlio horizon ; and many lights, if 
only a mfScient elevation cotild be obtained from whena 
to view them, ironld probably be visible for a hundred mile?. 
or even more. During the work on the trigonometrical 
survEiy of England, a Bode light on the top of Lincoln 
Klingter was found to be distinctly visible from Snowdon, 
whiL-h was over a range of a hnadred and dfty miles as Ibe 
ciww flies. Obviously the higher the light the further will 
it be seen; but there are certain disadvantages u tsr u 
nautical purposes are concerned oonuected with its beinf. 
plaoed at too great an altitude, as it is then apt to be ohecved 
by low clouds and sea mists, and for this reason many 
lightA that were formerly high up have been since bron^ 
down neater to the sea-level. Both the Needles light, and 
the light at St. Catherine's Point, at the Houthem extremitf 
of the Isle of Wight, were fotmerly on the tops of the dovu 
some 500 feet above the sea; both now are brought doim, 
the one to 80 feet, and the other to 134 feet above higb-wstor 
ninrk, the vae at its present lower elevation being visible for 
H miles, and the other fv>r 20 miles. 

The oils used for lighthouse purposes have been of ^1 
Icinda — lard, seal, spermaceti, rape or colza, olive, cocoannt, 
and more rarely hemp-seed. Until recently colza oil was very 
largely used, but now paraffin has almost entirely superseded 
it, giving not only a more brilliant light, but having the 
ad<Iitional advantage of being very much cheaper. 

Of late years, since 1S87, the lanterns of the most modern 
light- vessels have been lit with heavy mineral oil. with a flssb- 
ing-iK.>int of about two hundred and thirty dearree;; Fnhrenbeit, 
so that an explosion from spilt oil catised by the rolling of ' 
the lightship is not at all likely to occur, although there 
might, perhaps, be some danger in the use of light mineni 
oil flaahing as low aa one bandied and fifteen. The economy 
eSTected by the use of paiaffln is indeed conrndenble. Until 
about 1840, sperm oil was in ose, which cost from 6s. to 8s. 
per gallon. Next, rape oil was adopted at Sit. Sii. per gallon, 
and although the price of this oil nowadays has fallen as low 
OS In. 8d. a gallon, yet w^iieu ^e ^mvr^ i&xnHnl oil can be 





obtained for only ^yi. per gallon, tlie saving to be effected, 
when one Ughttjliip lantern alone can oousume sis huadied 
gallons in the course of a year, is well woithy of consideia- 

Much difference of opinion has existed as to what was 
really the best illuminant for lighthouaes, and during the 
years 1884 and 1885, a number of experiments were con- 
ducted by the Trinity House at the South Foreland, with 
a view to testing the relative merits of electricity, gas, and 
mineral oil, and in August, 1885, the Special Committee pre- 
sented their Report to the Government, it being soon after 
printed and circulated as a Parliamentary paper. 

The experiments, which were conducted in three temporary 
wooden towers, marked respectively A, B, and C, erected at 
the South Foreland, coveted a wide area of contingencies 
such as fine clear weather, hazy weather, fog, and dense fog ; 
and the conclusions arrived at established the fact that in 
the worst weather — that is, viewed from a lighthouse point 
of view — namely, dense fog, all lights are equally useless 
to navigators, the electric light being visible, perhaps, a few 
hundred yards or so fnrther than either gas or oil, but not 

The Committee agreed — 

" that tho electric light must take the first place in the rank of liglitliouae 
iUuminaiite during clear weather, and tliat for firet-claas pomta of coast light- 
ing nothing can he nioro desirahle, if expense bo no consideratioD. Its 
range, dermition, and where a ilietinctive character is employed, as for group- 
flashing, ita unmistakahlo supcriorit; to all other modes of iUumioation 
betoken its excellence and pre-eminence. A curious result, howecer, elicited 
by the experiments has established the lact that one electric light is equally 
effective with twu or even Uirco electric lights superposed, whereas with the 
gas or oil lights, the advantage of two or more soperpOBCd lighta ia an increaee 
of power proportionate to tho number of lamps employed. The definition of 
any area, witli the electric light, b so exact that at a moderate distance ii 
man may, without changing his position, move his head so as to be in full 
glare, or in perfect darkness, or in a red ray or a bright * ray, as the case 
may bo, 

"The mineral oil light in these trials fully justiGed tho conlideuce reposed 
in it by the Trinity IIohso Authorities after many years' e.iporiencc, aa nt once 

' By a bright light is racant a white or ardiaary light, in coDtradisUnotion 
tu ii i&d light or a green light. 



tho moat serviceitblo illnminftnt, the moet economical, the safest, aad tfat 
eanogt for Btoroge, and a light tli&t m oqnoUy Avukble for tock, floWii^, ' 
L-0A8t light-etations. Tbe lamp in which tliis material is used hw been , 
perfected by Sir James Doiiglftss, the Engineer to the Trinity Hooee, u In 1 
equal to the electric and gas lights in its opability of increase of power 
adapt it to the vaiyiog atmonpheric eonditioDS. The Trinity House oil tu 
possesses concentric ringtt of wicks, from three up to nine in nnmber, g>viii(& 
high power of perfect combuBtion, upon which the briniancy of the V^ 

"The gas liyhl, as adopted by tlie IriBb Lighthouse Board 
stations upon the coast of Ireland iiroved very satisfactory as to its hnffianqv 
but the sysletn is open to cortnin oTijoctiona. The expense of ' 
continned production place it betvreen the electric light and oil in pinnt e( 
cost Its employmeat is impracticable upon rock, or floating Btations: 
n coast stations the very great heat emitted in the b'ght-rootn, ofteii 
ing in the fractnro of tho lenses, and iuconvenieoce to the 
materially restricts its use. Its offeclive power is quite equalled by tta 
mineiol oil, at a much less cost, and with entire freedom from th« ol 
above stated." 

The Official Rejiort com-ludes thus : — 

" Finally, your Committee beg thus to sum up their opuiion hk r^aid It 
tho relative merits of electricity, gas. and oil as lighthouse Ulnmiiiaiits — 

" I. Tliat the electric light, as exhibited in the A experimental tower •! te 
South Foreland has proved to be the most powerful light under all 
of weather, and to have the greatest jienetrative power in fog. 

" 2. That for all practical purposea the gas light, as exemplified hj Xb 
Wigham's multiform system in B experimeutal tower, and tbe oil lig^ H 
exemplified by the Trinity House Douglass six-wick burners 
arrangement up to triform in C experimental tower, when shown throo^ 
revolving lenses are equal, light for light, in all conditions of weather; 
that the quadriform gas is a little better than tlic triform oiL 

"3. Tliatwbenshownthroughfiied lenses, as arranged in the ex] 
lowota, the superiority of the superposed gas light is unquestionaUa. ^i 
larger diameter of the gas flames, and tbe lights being much nearer logelhC' 
ill the gas-kntom, give the beam a more compact and intense appeUMMV 
Ilian that issuing from tlie more widely separated oil-burners. 

" 4. That Cor ligbthoutte illnmioation with gas, the Uouglaas patent 
burners arc much more efficient tlisn the Wigham gBs-biiraera. 

"b. That for the ordioary necessities of lighthouse illumina^on, mineral d8 
is tho most suitable and eoonomical illuminant, and that for salient headlandl^ 
important landfalls, and places where a powerful light is required, electriotfi 
offers tbe greatest advantages. 

"Trinity House, London, August 7, 1885." 

Where the electric light is adopted, in order to preTentI 
at any time the poaaibUH'j oi a Wakdov.-n, everything is is I 



duplicate — two steam-engines, two dynamos, and two sets of 
lamps; whilst this also affords the opportunity, by using 
simultaneously both seta of machinery, of duplicating the 
power of the light in exceptional weather, although, according 
to the above report, it would now appear that two electric 
lights are no better than one. 

In Great Britain there are many bodies having control of 
the lighthouse system, but the first and the greatest body 
exercising such control is the ancient Corporation of the 
Trinity House, of Deptford Strond, which was originally 
founded by Stephen Langton, Archbishop of Canterbury, 
in the rejgn of King John. The custom of wrecking and 
pillaging vessels had been carried to such a length that 
Stephen Langton determined, if possible, to put a stop to it, 
and he accordingly organized in London a Corporation of 

"godlj disposed men who, for the actual suppression of evil disposed peraona 
bringing ahipfl to deatrucUon by the sliewiag forth of false beacons, do bind 
themselves together in tho love of our Lord Christ, in the name of tlie 
Masters and Fellows of Trinity Guild, to succour from the dangers of the 
sea all who are bosct npou tho coasts of England, to feed them when 
ahungercd and athirst, to bind up their wounds, tuid to huild and light proper 
beacons for the guidanc 

This guild continued for many centuries, subsequent 
sovereigns confirming its rights, and granting it additional 
powers. The same guild was in existence in the reign of 
Henry VIL as a "respectable Company of Mariners in the 
College of Deptford," having authority to prosecute persons 
who should destroy sea-marks, etc., and Henry VIII., in the 
sixth year of his reign. May 20, 1514, continued their powers, 
and formed them into a perpetual corporation by the style 
and title of the " Master, Wardens, and Assistants of the 
Gluild or Fraternity of the Most Glorious and Undivided 
Trinity, and of St. Clement, in the Parish of Deptford Strond, 
in the County of Kent." 

This Charter was confirmed by Edward VI., Mary, Eliza- 
beth, and James I. It was revoked by Oliver Cromwell in 
1647, but was renewed by Charles II. on the Eestoration, 
and 80 continues to this day. The interests which the Trinity 
Corporation represented having, however, by the ^e&i 




tm grown in ■obaaqveat yean into grett 
1^ the Qartamaai imn at difinot times interfeted, 
■ad hmm altated now of its pcirilegeB, notably in lS5i 
■has Aa Board td Tnde partook at the snperyiston of tte 

Ib Scodaibi the Ughts an under the oootrol of the Coa- 
aurnkmen tt Nflctheni Ijghthnaana, who vere iucorporaud 
hj Act of BadJaaMBt of the 38th George IIL c. 58 ; and ii 
Ifldand the BaDaat Boaid of Dablin exerciBes this uontroL 
Bendea these three greater bodieB nomeTous local autiiorilia 
deal with loeal Ughta, •■ for laatance the Liverpool BoaH, 
the Trinity Hoose of Newcastle, the Trinity House of EnH 
and Tarioos monicipal bodies; altogether in Great Briuii 
and Ireland th^e being no leas than 174 different antborititt 
who diiecrt certain of the lights, with the result that muf 
of onr smaller lights are ol a very inl'erior description, in I 
some instances merely an ordinary gas light with a colonred J 
pane of glass placed in front of it. The whole of thetffl 
lesser anthoritiea, however, are to a large extent controUeil 
by the Trinity House, iosomach that no municipal body,] 
for instance, can place a new light, or alter the character d 
an existing une, without first obtaining the sanction of tiu 
Trinity House. 

There are many places round the coast where a light '\i 
exceedingly requisite, but where, for many reasons, the erectiua 
of a stone, or even of an iron pile lighthouse, would be 1 
difficult and therefore a costly operation, and here s lightship 
has beeu found satisfactorily to meet the requirement. A 
ligbtehip, however, can never equal a fixed lighthouse, iron 
the fact that its floating character must always preclude tlW' 
use of the more delicate apparatus always possible in a fira. 
and solid stmcture ; and, moreover, a lightship is, apart fion 
its first cost, a very much more expensive means of lUumiM- 
tinn than a lighthouse. The average tirst cost of an Englifb 
lightship is from £4000 to £6000, but even £12,0U0 would ndi 
be considered an extravagant outlay for some of the mon 
important lightships, whilst from £1500 to £2000 has been 
epeut upon a fog-syren and its gear alone. Then, again, tb» 
auiiiial cost of the mavBlenaiice cS. XVft Vu^^ab.v'j is from thne 

OILUOT. \Tofaee itage MO. 





to four timeB that of the lighthouse. Three men are sufBcient 
for e rock lighthouse— a lightship requires eleven men. The 
annual cost of maintenance of a first-class lighthouse in 
England is from £205 to £340 ; in Scotland, £380 ; and in 
Ireland from £400 to £490. The annual cost of maintenance 
for a lightship is in England from £1100 to £1200; and in 
Ireland from £1200 to £1350. 

Dutch vessels, the fishing schujft and the sturdy galliot, 
have ever been celebrated for riding safely in foul weather, 
and particularly for riding safely when at anchor; and it 
was for this reason that in the last century Dutch galliots 
were frequently purchased for conversion into lightships, and 
even at the present day the lines of the most scientifically 
designed light-vessels are still founded on those adopted by 
the Dutch shipbuilders of two hundred years ago. 

In the last century the Trinity House owned but five 
light-vessels — the Not-e, the Dudgeon, the Oivers, the Nemirp, 
and the Goodwin. At the present time this country possesses 
in all sixty-two lightships, and Ireland eleven ; and out of 
this number sixteen are placed around the mouth of the 
Thames, and seven are in the estuary of the Mersey; the 
oldest lightship on the British coasts, and probably the oldest 
lightship in the world, being the Nore light at the entrance 
of the Thames, a light-vessel having been first placed here 
in 1732. 

All the light-vessels belonging to the Trinity House are 
painted a dull red, and have their names, as the Nore, the 
(?«//, or the Mouse, painted in white letters on the side; on 
the Irish coasts the lightships are painted black, with a white 
ribbon. All light-vessels show a bright riding-light on the 
fore-stay at a height of six feet above the rail, to show the 
direction in which they are riding. 

In spite, however, of the fact that some of the modes of 
illumiBation that are adopted in the fixed lighthouse ashore, 
cannot be made available in the case of the light-vessel afloat, 
yet every means is taken to render the light-vessels thoroughly 
efficient, and out of the seventy-three lightships around the 
coasts of Great Britain and Ireland, sixty show either revolving 
or flashing lights. The reflector system is invariably adopted 


,-$• s the parabolic reflectoni being simibr to those in 

ae lighttiouHes, but iwialler, being only 12 inches in dianteto. 

ir fixed lightsi eight lampa and refluctora we genenllv nswl, 

le lamp t>c<iuj)yiiig eanh angle of the oct«gon-«haped luitern; 

r revolving lights, the immber of lamps varies from femi tu 

ght, the lamps buiug ail hung uti gimbals to ensore iheii 

irtwrving a vertical jMwitioii 'luring the rolling of the vessel 

occulting lights, instead of the lantern itself revolving, a 

tds or " eolipoer " is pasteil in front of the lamps. In the cwse 

>t an ordinary revolving light, when viewed from a distance, < 

ft light 1 ""« faintw infl^woitin- in brilliancy until U ' 

«ch«8 its t. gradually decliniug. TbM I 

fises from m of tJie lamps alluwiog 

I light to ba actual line of axis cf the 

;lit is preae; la the caM of occulting 

hts, where thade, is suddenly paswd 

ron the lampa i is sliuwu instantaneously, 

d as intitantanei>ti )d. The flickering of the 

ht when seen froi 'aused by the int«rpoaiti(n 

».i wiivon, is perhaps more apinm^. n the ctiae of s light-teasel 

than ill timt of a lighthuuse, the light shown by the former 

l-eiii^: ln«t'r lii'wii to the level of the water than is the ca^e 

with the latter. 

The value of electric lighting afloat has not M yet been 
(Htni'lusively proved. The experiment reoentlj tried <»i the 
lightship in the Mersey was anything bat soooeaaftiL It ia 
held by many seamen of the old school that a "daatliog, 
blinding " light is by no means desirable, while the dectric 
flash-lights, or so-called "lightning lights," exhibited from 
one of the towera on Cape La H^ve, are open to many objections. 
The lighting apparatus is four-sided, and the intensity of the 
beam ia stated to exceed twenty millions of candles, each flash 
lasting only one-tenth of a second, and being repeated erer^ 
five seoonda. With this the main defects are — Gist, the 
inequality in the intensity of the flashes when the largest 
carbons are in use; secondly, the rapid decrease in the 
intensity of the light aa the distance frcoa it increaeea; 
thirdly, the cessation of the " lightning" effect at long ranges. 
Our own St. Catherine's light, visible at twenty-three miles, 


nith its Rash of five seconds' duration, is possibly of far more 
service to the tnariuer as a pickiiig-up light. 

From the very nature of the case many light-vessels are 
raixired in exceedingly perilous situations — situations which 
in heavy weather, with the wind in a particular quarter, leave 
them a dangerous sand immediately to leeward ; every pre- 
caution has, therefore, to be taken with their moorings. In 
the old days lightships were simply moored by hempen cables, 
which only too often started during heavy gales. Now, even 
the Nore is moured, in its three and three-quarter fathoms of 
water, by one and a half inch diameter chain-cables tested to 
a tensile strain of fifty-sii and a half tons, aud two thirty-two 
hundredweight mushroom anchors. Once every year the 
whole of the cables of all light-vessels have to be hauled up 
on deck one at a time, the inner ends, clinches, and shackles 
examined, and the tiers cleaned out, and then to be re-staved 
and blacked as they are paid down again. The bower anchor 
is always ready for letting go, and there is kept on deck 
during unsettled weather, and in all weathers from October 
to April, a range of the best bower cable suflicient to take 
it to the ground. 

It is a remarkable fact that lightships lying in very 
exposed situations — as, for instance, that at the Seven Stones, 
oft the Land's End, or the Saltees, off the coast of Wexford — 
ride very much easier than those in shallow, though more 
sheltered waters, as the Vami; the Galloper, aud the like. 
This is owing to the amount of heavy cable that is out in 
the case of the former lightshi[)s, acting as a spring, pre- 
venting the vessel from pitching heavily while she crosses 
the sea, whilst the short cables of the latter render such a 
lightship in bad weather one of the most unpleasant situations 
in the world. In shoal water, when the wind is strong, the 
lightship will sometimes ride broadside to the tide and sea, 
but where the swell is much larger, as in the open ocean, the 
tides are not so strong, and the vessel rides more easily. 

Still, however bad the weather, it is extremely unusual for 
lightships to go adrift, although they do occasionally get 
run down. The most serious of such accidents that have 
happened of late years have been the running down of the 



KmtitM KiuKi, the Tamfme, and tli« .Scm/A Sand SmJ light 
of the Goodwins. Tbe fiist of these casualties occurred on 
December 1, 1686, when an iron barque, the Satavin, bound 
from Shields to Vdpaiaiso, ctmcb the Keniith Kncd- lightsbip 
on the starboard bow, cutting her right tbroiigh, so that ?he 
Bank in about three minutes, the wind being WJf.W., and 
the weather perfectly' clear. The KaUuh Knock, siukicg 
ooder tbe Sa!awin'i forefoot, the crew had barely time to save 
their Uvea bj getting on board the colliding reseel, wbicli in 
it! torn waa soon reported to be sinking. Furtnnatel;, 
bowerer, the Draco, of Hnll, sighted the signals of distress 
hoisled, and the crews of both lightship and barque wete 
landed safely at tbe Korih Foreland. 

Daring tbe stormy winter of 189G'97, the Smith Sand HtaA 
lightship of the Goodwins waa singntarly unfortunate. At 
about a quarter to four on Saturday morning, December 19. 
1896, tbe light on the ^trntK Sand Rixul ligbt^ip was seeci 
from Deal to be suddenly extinguished, and almost imme- 
diately afterwards signals of distress were shown, in respond 
to which the Walmer lifeboat and other boats were Uanchett. 
It waa found that tbe lightship had been run into by the 
barqne Ccre», of Boetock, bound for Amsterdam. Three of the 
crew of the barque jomped on board the lightship, whieii, 
except having her mast and lantern apparatus carried away, 
was practically uninjured, and they were taken off by the 
lifeboat and landed at DeaL 

On the 3rd of March, 1897, during a Tery heavy gale ftom 
the south-west, the same lightship broke from ber moorings, 
tbe sea at the time rolling up mountains high towards tbe 
Goodwins, and at times quite envelupiug tbe vessel. Before 
she began to drift sbe strained so terribly that it was at one 
time thought that sbe must sink at ber moorings. Fortanately. 
she was discovered by the tug Con-pieror, of fiamsgate, and 
safely towed into that port. 

The crew of a lightship usually consists of a master, a mate, 
three lamp-trimmers, and six able seamen, the latter being 
selected from A.B.'s of either tbe Royal Navy or tbe Mercantile 
Marine. The maximum pay of the master is £8S 10& a yettv, 
with an additional victualling allowance of Is. 9r/. per day; 


eupenteTS get £45 a year, with a certain allowance for 
vietualling ; lamp-trimmers receive £43 16s. ; fog-sigiial 
drivers, £41 2,s-. ; and seamen of five years' service, £39 6s. 

The majority of lightships show bright lights, either fixed, 
revDlving, or flashing ; a few show red revolving, as the Prince's 
Channel and the Vurne; a still less number green revolving, 
as the Mouse, and the East Goodwin ; whilst some show a red 
flash, as the GaUoper, and some a liright flash and a red flash 
alternately, as the Tongue, the Sunk, the Owcrs, and the 
JDudjeoT!. By means of snch diversity every precaution is 
taken to prevent the possibility of one lightship being 
mistaken for another. 

As there is a strong family likeness among lightships, a 
description of one may well serve for all. We will take one 
that is, perhaps, as well known as any, lying, as it does, imme- 
diately opposite to Rarasgate, the (lull Stream, one of the four 
light-vessels which keep constant watch and ward round 
the ever-dreaded Goodwin Sands. It is a lightship of medium 
size, not the largest, but still there are many smaller, and it 
shows one revolving bright light every twenty seconds. 

The lantern, as shown in the picture, is a far more elaborate 
affair than moat people would imagine ; indeed, it may be des- 
cribed, with its clockwork motion, as a somewhat complex 
piece of machinery. During daylight it is housed in a strong 
metal chamber on deck ; but at sunset its lamps are lit, and it 
is hauled up the mast (the mast passing through the centre of 
the lantern) by means nf a windlass, until it stands close 
under the cage, or ball, about forty feet above the surface of 
the water. Eelow the deck is an elaborate clockwork move- 
ment, which requires winding up every hour, and which strikes 
a warning bell when its weight has just upon reached its lowest 
point. By means of a connecting-rod and cog-wheel the 
motion of this clock is communicated to the lantern on the 
mast, and the lantern turns slowly round onee in every 
twenty seconds. At the Gull Stream each flash of the light is 
due to the conjoined beam from three mineral oil lamps 
furnished with silvered reflectors. 

The crew of the Gull Stream consists of twelve men, the 
master, the mate, a carpenter, three lamp-trimmers, and six 


HeameQ ; and of this niiinber seven are usually to be fuund on 
l>i>atil, the other five, includiDg the master or the mete, bein^ 
usually oshure ; the master and the mate being relieved every 
month, the men every two months. When the men are ashore 
they are not idle, but are employed in painting buoys, lepui* 
ing and refitting such light-vessels as may be at the time in 
(lofk, or engaged upon other work iu the service of the Triuitj 

itetumiug to the lightship, we find on going below, there 
in a main («bin occupying the greater part of the length d 
the vessel, and this serves at once the purposes of kitchen, 
mess-room, and sleeping-berth for the crew. Forward is the 
stove iisod for warming the cabin and for cooking; dowa the 
centre K a long deal table, and in the beams overhead are book) 
t<J which at night the hammoi'ks are attached. Here, in bad 
weather, or when off duty, the men o<^'cupy their apare 
moments, often iu making utoiiel sbi[U4, sometimes with Berlin 
woolwork, for all sailore can use their needle, or in reading. 

Astern of the main cabin is a small cabin for the master, 
and beyond that is the lamp-room, with spare lamps, and two 1 
iron tanks, each capable of buhling 120 gallons of mineral 
oil ; whilst beyond that, again, and consequently right aft, is 
the magazine, where are stored the cartridges for the signitl 
guns, the rockets, and various others explosives. 

Daring foggy weather a hand horn is used at the Guil 
Stream light, two quick blasts of four seconds each bein? 
given at intervals not exceeding two minutes ; and quicker if 
any vessels' signals are heard ; whilst besides the horn the io°;- 
gong is kept constantly poing. These fog-signals, althoiifb 
primarily iu tended fur the lit-iicfit nf jiassin^' vessels, yet are of 
DO small value to the lightship herself, as making her position 
known, and so tending to keep her from being run down. 8 
fate which, as we have seen, has occasionally been shared bv 
some unlucky light-vessels. 

Should a vessel be seen from the lightship standing 
directly into danger, a gun is fited, and repeated until 
observed — this applies both to fair and to ft^gy weather. 
The tiring of special bright rockets after the gon from the 
lightship, indicates that the vessel is actually on the sands, 

RiBcrr— naHC 


nd tLat there is need of asBtstanee from shore. Then 
nmedititely will be seen the answering signals from the life- 
nt stations on shore. From Deal there goes up a red rocket, 
iu\-h means " We see your signal, and are coming." Soon 
Bother rocket follows, this time discharging a green star, 
idicating that " the lifeboat has already been launched, and is 
o w on her way." In like manner from the other stations, at 
Sngsdowu, Walmer, and Ramgate, oome similar answering 
fnals, and out into the darkness, generally in a raging sea, 
1 the lifeboats to the work of rescue, Kamsgate having the 
ivautage of the tug Airl, which in bad weather is always kept 
I the harbour, with her steam up. ready to tow out the life- 
oat at a moment's notice. 

I In the case of both lightships and lighthouses, the lamps of 
Ifferent colours show with very difierent degrees of intensity, 
rhite, or bright lights, as they are tei.hnieally called, show with 
le greatest brilliancy, and are seen from the greatest distances. 
Text to white come red lights, whilst green lights are the 
lost feeble of all. In 1870, when the Trinity House deter- 
kined to show a light with a red and a bright flash alternately 
pom the noble granite tower erected on the Wulf llock, off the 
(Ornish Coast, a series of experiments were instituted with a 
new to determining the exact amount of light to be given to 
ttte red ray in order that it should be of equal intensity to 
J white, and it was found that the proportions were as 21 to 
' ; that is to say, that in order to produce a red flash as brilliant 
« the white flash, more than twice as much light was required 
for the red as for the white, and special lenses were prepared 
accordingly. The magnificent electric light at Cape Grisnez 
shows three white flashes and then a red flash. During hazy 
weather it frequently happens that the three bright flashes are 
perfectly visible, followed by a dark interval until the bright 
flashes appear again, the red flash not being seen at all. 

In thick fog all lights are equally useless, and at such times 
the position of the lightship can only be indicated by sound. 
For this purpose all light- vessels, not fitted with more ixjwerfnl 
apparatus, are furnished with gongs of Chinese make, alwut 
24 inches in diameter, and costing from three to four pounds 
each, the g<nig lieing kept constantly goingduring thick weather. 



In 1872, A Coramittee appointed by the Trinity Home 
visited the United States to ex&mine and report upon a new 
and powerfnl fog-signal then recently patented by MeasiB, 
Brown, of Progress Works, New York, and known as the 
" Bireu." The rep')rt of the Committee was 90 far favonrftble 
that a siren was the following year fitted np and experimented 
npm at the South Foreland, with the reinilt that it has 9in« 
come into general aae for lighthoose and lightship purposes. 
The instmmeut is after the fashion of a gigantic horn it 
trumpet, and is blown either by steam 01 by compressed air. 
The trumpet of the siren ia alwiit twenty feet in length, the 
throat being about five inches across, and the month about 
twenty-seven inchea. Across the throat is fixed a metal disc 
with twelve radiating slits in it, precisely like an ordinan 
circular " hit or miss " ventilator, and behind this ia a similu 
disc, with similar apertures in it, but in this case the disc 
revutves and is driven by a separate mechanism, so that aa it 
rotates it alternately opens and closes the alits in the fixed 
disc. The moveable diac rotates at the rate of 2400 revolu- 
tions in a minute, and as there aro twelve apertures in each 
disc the whole of the openings are opened and shut 28,800 
times in a minute, and steam being passed through the 
openings, a loud musical note is produced. 

Sometimes a single blast is used, as at the siren on tbe 
KentUh Knock light-vessel, where a blast of 74 seconds 
doration is given every 3 minutes ; sometimes two blasts in 
quick succession are given, followed by an interval of sileni'e, 
as at the Ilo'jal Sovereign lightship; sometimes the note is 
varied, as at the North Ooodmn, where two quick blasts of 
2i seconds' duration are given every minute, the first being a 
low note and the second a high note; or at the Sevfii Stonrt 
lightship, where three blasts are given in quick succesgion 
every two minutes, the middle blast being a high note, whilst 
the two others are low notes ; thus, in the same way that the 
lights of light-vessels are varied as much as possible for the 
purposes of distinction, so the sirens are varied in a simiisr 
way, in order to lessen the danger of one being mistaken fot 

Besides lighthonsee and lightships, two other means are 

I t-iQHTaici-'e ooNd. 



Kemployed in the interests of navigation — namely, beacons 

Kind liiioys. Beacons are obviously only suitable for use in 

lallow waters, iu rivers, estuaries, and the like, and on 

I'luidbaaks and shoals. They are made of every possible 

r.Bhape and size, from the ordinary wooden beacon, consisting 

j merely of a tall post surmounted by a lozenge, a triangle, 

k or a cage, up to costly stone or brick structures, as the 

ikicker at Gosport. As with the lights and the fog-horas, 

I with the beacons, every care is taken to render them as 

istinctive as possible, so that besides differences of shape, 

ifferences of colour are adopted, some being painted black, 

me red, whilst many are striped in different conspicuous 


Buoys are of various shapes and sizes ; some are spherical, 

me egg-shaped, some conical, and some, known as " can " 

*baoys, are in shape like a truncated cone. A few are still 

made of wood, but the majority of buoys are now constructed 

of iron. For the purpose of marking fairways, of indicating 

sboals, and for defining the entrances to harbours, apart from 

warping-buoys and wreck-buoys, there are rather over eleven 

hundred buoys dotted about round the coasts of Great Britain 

and Ireland. 

The cost of a buoy vai'ies from £30 to £40 for an ordinary 
"can" buoy, up to £150, £160, or even £200 for a first-claes 
conical buoy. Buoys, like lights, fog-signals, and beacons, 
are diversified as far as possible, some being painted black, 
some red, some white, whilst some are chequered, and some 
striped ; but, as a rule, black or red buoys are found to be the 
most easily seen, and these colours consequently preponderate. 
Where a buoy is placed to mark a wreck it is invariably 
painted green. 

Besides differences of shape and of colour, many buoys, like 
beacons, are surmounted by cages, and many bear other 
devices. Where buoys are used to mark the entrances to 
channels or ports, the system adopted by the Trinity House 
is thus: entering the channel ur harbour from seaward all 
the buoys on the starboard hand are conical buoys painted a 
plain colour, all black, or all red ; whilst all the buoys on 
the port hand are "can " buoys, striped ot c\i6c^6ieiv\. 




It is manifestly impossible that absolute reliance can be 
placed on buoys always maiiitaiuiag their exact positions 
Buoys have, therefore, to be regarded more as warnings, and 
not as infallible navigating marks, especially when in expited 
places; and a ship will always, when ponsible, be navigated 
by a careful man by bearings or angles of fixed objects im 
shore, and not by buoys. 

At many different spots round the coast are bell-bnojL 
Upon the top of an ordinary buoy, inside an iron cage ii 
fixed a bell, which bell is struck by four hammers tbtt 
swing on pivots, so that whichever way the buoy may be 
tilted up by the waves, one or other of the hammers wiH 
fall upon the bell, and thus all day long, and all night long, 
a mournful tolling is kept up. 

A somewhat recent invention is the " whistling buoy." On 
the top of the buoy is fix«d an ordinary whistle, and below 
the whistle, going through the buoy and deep down into 
the water, is an iron tube open at the bottom. This tube is 
consequently full of water up to the surface, and as the bnoy 
rise^ and fulls with the waves, the air in the upper part of 
the tube between the water and the whistle is compressed and 
forced through the whistle, emitting a feeble sound. One of 
these buuys was placed off the Goodwins aa an experiment, 
but it was soon withdrawn, as when it did whistle at all, 
the souud was apt to be confounded with the whistles uf 
steamships. They have, however, found some favour with the 
French, and one has for some years been placed off the end 
of the new digue at Boulogne. 

A more successful invention, and one that has now come 
into very general use, is the gas-buoy. Sufficient gas is placed 
in the buoy to constitute a supply for a month or six weeb. 
On the top of the buoy is the lamp with the requisite clock- 
work apparatus, so that it shows automatic^klly a revolving 
or an occulting light— it being, in fact, a miniature lightship. 
The first of these buoys was placed at the Ovens, off CoalhoiiM 
Point, at the bottom of Gravesend Keach, and was found to 
be such a decided success that another was soon afterwards 
placed on the Ouse Sand, and since that time a number of g&9- 
ibuoys have been atalionei at Nsi\wia ■^\vAb round the coast 



The following lighthouses and lightships round the coasts 
of Great Britain are now connected with the postal telegraph 
system, but only casualties are reported ; and a few of tlie 
light- vessels are now in telephonic communication with 
London, or the nearest ports; — 

Keotioli Knock 




Goodwin (North Sand 

Turn berry Point 







DnrUtone Head 





Skroo Promontorv .. 

Hartland Point 


Fair lale, Scaddon Pro- 

Ltmdy Island 


Can tick, Ortney 

Boll Point 

C»ldy Island 


Sontb Stack 

Covesea SkerrioB 


Souter Point 

Pormby ... 




8L Bee's Head 




LuignesB, Islo of Man 


e LTgbthouse. 

Douglas Head „ ... 
MulfofGalloway ... 

GuQfleet Pi 



No doubt, in the not very remot« future every light-vessel 
and rock lighthouse will be connected by telegraph or telephone 
with the shore. At the present time the men on the Kentish 
Knock light-vessel can by the aid of the telephone make 
themselves heard, and bear the news from Kingsgate, whilst 
those on the Goodwin Sandsc&n communicate with Broadstairs. 
Again, the Gtinficet, the Kentish Knock, and the Goodwin can 
comiuiinicate with each other, or with London, at any time 
of the day or night. 

On June 30, 1898, in reply to a question asked in the 
House of Commons, Mi. Bitchie, the President of the Board 
of Trade, stated that 

" at Ihe preBent time three additional lightlioiiBes, namely Ihe Oodrcvy, the 
Skerries, and Walney Inland, are being coDuected with the shore by electrio 
caUe ; bat it has been thought better to poBtpone the work of connecting 
more lighthouses ontil the resolts of ezperimeata with the Byatem of wireleea 
telegraphy are known," 

With such a large number of lightbouses, Hghtehipa, 
beacons, and buoys to look after the steamers of the Trinity 
House are never idle. They are always to be found cruising 


round the coasts, and one cir other of the Trinity irBchts ni»y 
fDiistantly be seen towing out a new lightship that 
replace an old one ordered home for repairs, or with a iota 
nenly painted buoys on her deck that are going out to take 
the places of as many more that reqoire o verb anting ind 
Hettiug to rights; for, hesides the paint getting shabby tsA 
wuru off from constant exposure to the action of the wtro, 
thu bottom of the buoy gradually becomes covered witk 
b&ruaclea and weeds, whilst occasionally the bnoy will leak, 
causing it to lloat lower in the water than it ought to d& 
Now and thou, to<^i, a buoy gets run down by a passing 
ve8sel, tho master of which, for obvious reasons, umita to report 
the casualty, so that, with all these matters to attend to, the 
nllicial»« of the Trinity House must ever be on the alert. 

Unlike the lights of foreign oonntrien. which for the moA 
j>art are kept up by the state, and are thus free to the ships 
of all nations, British lights are entirely maintained by Britiib 
uiercUant veasela, all of which have to pay their light don 
for the voyage before they can obtain a cleotajice from tl» 

Three difl'ereut scales of rates are adopted. First, the home- 
trade rates— that is to say, light dues payable by all vessels 
(jugaged in voyages between any two British ports, as from 
Liverpool to Loudon, from Hull to Penzance, and the lite; 
or from any British port to any port on the Continent lying 
between Brest and the Elbe, as from London to St. Malo, or 
from Plymouth to AmstenJam. Second, over-sea rates — that 
is to say, rates j)ayable by all vessels on voyages from anj 
British port to auy foreign port (with the exceptions mentioned 
in the next scale), or from any foreign port to auy British 
port, as, for instance, a voyage from Loudon to Crenoa, or oeb 
from Liverpool to New York, or from Sydney to London, 
and the like. Third, the half rates I'ver sea — that is to ssj, 
rates payable by all vessels engaged on voyages from any 
British port to either Denmark, Nurway, Sweden, or Iceland, 
or to the Bay of Biscay and Spanish porl« this side of 

The charge for each light is for the most part adjusted m 
Mccordanca with two cotiAaWotw- 'i'«\, ■wvtVi the cjst of the 



4 • 



maiiitenanoe of such liglit, an isolated lighthouse, aa, for 
iostanee, the Eddystone, being far more costly to maintain 
tban an ordinary lighthouse on shore, ae, say, the North 
Foreland, or the Start ; the dues, therefore, for the Eddystone 
are higher than the dues on the North Foreland, or the 
Start. And secondly, regard has to be had to the number 
of ships that pass the light. Take, for instance, two lights 
whose cost of maintenance is precisely the same. One of 
these lights is situated in a much-frequented locality, where 
there will be a large number of ships always passing to pay 
for the light. Here the charge will be relatively small. The 
other light is in a place where but few ships pass ; the charge 
will, therefore, be proportionately heavier. 

All light dues are reckoned in sixteenths of a penny per 
registered ton, and a ship is charged for every light that 
she will pass on any particular voyage, whether she passes 
that light during the day, or during the night. A ship 
bound foreign — say from Newcaatlo-upon-Tyne to the Cape 
of Good Hope — will be charged on the "Over-Sea Scale;" 
and will pay for the whole of the lights on the east coast 
of England, and along the English Channel, commencing 
with the light on Souter Point at the mouth of the Tyne, 
and terminating with the Bishop Bock Lighthouse at Scilly, 
and the charge for the whole of these lights is 12 pence 
and |''^ths of a penny per register ton ; so that the light dues 
payable by a ship of 1000 tons register on such a voyage 
will be £51 lis. 3'f., less a certain amount of discount. 
Supposing that the same ship is going from Newcastle-upon- 
Tyne to Port Said, she will pay exactly the same light dues, 
plus one shilling for the light on Enropa Point, (ribraltar, 
which is the only British light in the Mediterranean, and 
for which one uniform charge of a shilling per vessel is made. 

The rate charged from, say, Cadiz to the Thames, which is at 
the " Half Kate Over-Sea," is M. per registered ton ; and the 
rates from or to all other British ports, in a similar way, vary 
according to the number and the description of the lights that 
are passed. In addition to the light dues, all vessels entering 
the Port of London have to pay Trinity dues, which are at the 
rate of a penny per ton. There is a slight difference made in. 




the light dues between outward and homeward>bomid Te 
outward bound vessels not paying for the light on H&aoii 
Rocks, Guernsey, whilst homeward bound ships are chatgai 
tor it, outward bound yessela not having any business to be 
near It. 

The present mode of collection of the light dues is extremely 
uosatisfactory, and presses with undue hardness upon the BritiBh 
shipowner, who has to bear the entire cost of the whole British 
lighthouse system, ships of the Royal Navy, yachts, and 
fishing-boats paying no light dues at all ; whilst all foreign 
vessels, and indeed British vessels, if they do not start from 
or come into any British port, may make use of every ligbl 
along the coast, and yet pay nothing. Ab a case in point, 
in May last a vessel of 2565 tons register from Calcntt*, 
discharged at Dundee a cargo of jute, proceeded to Middle*- 
borough, and there loaded a cargo of salt hack to Calcutt*. 
She paid £127 75. Q<1. for light dues in and out. In 
tember, a sister ship of the same tonnage, also from Calcutu, 
discharged at Hamburg a similar cargo of jute, and there 
loaded a similar c^rgo of salt for the same deaUnati 
Although she had passed every light from Scilly to the 
North Foreland, both in and out, she paid nothing. 

It is high time that all this was altered, and that the cost 
of lighting our coasts was charged to the nation, as is the 
case in many other countries, instead of perpetuating what 
a grave and a gross injustice to shipowners. Indeed, ship- 
owners at the present time are not only charged the actual 
cost of the lights, but very considerably more ; for with regud 
to the light dues, the official returns show that from 30 to 
per cent, more is charged than the actual cost of the Iight& 
During the twelve years from 1884 to 1896, there had been 
an overpayment under this head of no less than £860,000. 

During last session the Government passed a Bill * fur 
making some slight alterations in the light dues ; but it it 
mere tinkering, and no settlement of the case will be achieved 
until the British Mercantile Marine is relieved of the light 
dues altogether, and the charge is borne hy the public 



1 41. r 

L [T'o/aMj.a^'IIS 


FUffi^The tutioiul coloars — ^Tho Union Jack — Tho ensign — The whita 
ensign— The red ensign — The hUo ensign — Other legal colours — 
House-flags — Signals and signalling— Tlie Intoniational Coda — Report of 
the Coramittee— The Signal Book— Tho flugs— The signals— The new 

The pMper national colours f-ir all ships of the British 
Merchant Service are the red ensign ami the Union Jack 
with a white bonier. Until the year 1606, the English national 
flag waa that known aa the banner of St, fieorge — a red cross 
npon a white field, this flag being now called the St. George's 
.Tack, After .Tames VI. of Scotland became king of England 
as James I., and England and Scotland were united under 
one and the aamo crown, it Irecame necessary to revise the 
national flag, in order that Scotland might be represented 
in it. The Scottish national flag was a white diagonal, or 
St. Andrew's cross, upon a blue field ; the new flag therefore 
had a red cross with a white border, which white border was 
the remains of the white field of the old banner of St. George 
for England, with the St. Andrew's diagonal white cross 
on the blue ground for Scotland ; and in 1606, James I., 
by royal proclamation, ordered this flag henceforth always 
tu be used as the national flag, the object being to provide 
a flag which should put an end, once for all, to the constant 
disputes aa to the precedency of the rival banners of St. 
Andrew and St. George. On the final union of England 
and Scotland in 1707, this waa formally declared to be the 
" Ensign Armorial of the United Kingdom of Great Britain." 
This, then, was the first Union Jauk ; and it was under thia 
flag that all the great naval battles of Eoduey, Howe, Duncan, 
and the rest, during the laiit century, were tott.g\\l. 




On the 1st of Jauuary, 1801, when the union vritb Irekml 
was concluded, a place had to be found for the red dU^onal 
cross of St. Patrick, as representing Ireland, and it w»6 
placed upon the white diagonal cross of St. Andrew. leaYiag 
some of the white of the St. Andrew's cross on either side 
of it, double the width of white, howOYer. being on one side 
of it, aa compared with the width on the other side ; and the 
Union Jack then appeared as we have it to-day. 

The enaiga ia of three kimls — it is either a red, bine, ot 
white fl»^, with a Union .lack in the upper canton neil 
the staff. The white ensign * is worn exclnsiTely by ship* 
ijf the Royal Navy, with the exception of yachts belonging 
to the Royal Yacht Sq^lad^>n, which are specially permitted 
by the Admiralty to fly tho white ensign. The bine ensign 
ia the Boyal Naval Reserve flag, and the red ensign is tbe 
proper, legal, and distinctive flag of the British Mercantile 
Marine. The Merchant Shipping Act (57 and 58 Vict., section 
73) prescribea that — 

'■ (I ) The Red Enrign, usually worn by mercbant ships, withoat rnnj debee. 
merit or moJiticatioLi wliat50ever, is Iiereby declared to be the proper n«don»l 
oolonre for all ships and boats belonging to any Bridah nibject, except in tiM 
cue of Her Majesty's ships or boats, or in the case of any other ship or botf 
for the time being allowed to wear any other national coloon in pnrsaaoM 
of a warrant fh)m Her Majesty or from the Admiralty. 

"(2) If any distinctive national colonrs, except Each red eosigii, or excqit 
the Union Jack with a white border, or if any colonrs worn by Her Majeat^^ 
■hips, or resembling thoae of Her Majesty, or if the pennant nsoaDy carried 
by Her Majesty's ships, or any p«nnant rwembling that pennant, are or is 
hoisted on board any ship or b<N>t belonging to any British sabject withmt 
warrant iVom Her Majest; or from tbe Admiralty, the master of the ship or 
boat, or the owner thereof, if on board the same, and «rary other person 
hoisting the colours or peimant, shall for each offenos iocor a fine not 
exceeding five handred ponnds." 

The same Act, section 74, prescribes that — 

" (I) A Bliip belonging to a Bril'iah sulijecl shall hoist the proper utioul 

" (a) On a signal being made to bor by one of Her Majesty^ diips 

■ The white ensign bears a rod cross on tbe whiW field, and is very mnch 
the same as Uie old banner of St. George, only with the Union Jack in the 
upper canttin — indeed, il te k.uaiia &b \.\\e vUt«, or 8c Gqar^'s ensign. 

(including soy vessel under the commanil of an officer of Her Mnjeaty's Nav; 
on fhU pny), aiid 

" (&) On entering or leaving any foreign port, and 

" (e) If of Gfty tons gross toonage or upwards, on entering or leaving any 
British port. 

''(2) If default is made on board any Euoh ahip in complying with this 
itPCtioo, the master of tbe ship shall for each oflcnoo be liable t^ a line not 
'V^eediiig one hundred pounds." 

All merchant ships, therefore, not only may, but miisl, 
uQiler very heavy penalties, fly the red ensign and only the 
red ensign; with the following exceptions in fayour of the 
bine ensign : — 

The Blue Ensign. — The following are the Admiralty regula- 
tions respecting the Blue Ensign (Boyal Naval Reserve flag) : — 

'■ (1) British merchant ships commanded by officiirs of the Boyal Navy on 
llie Retired List, or by officers of tlie Boyal Naval Reserve, and Eiillillbg the 
folloiring coiidiliona, will be allowed to wear the Blue Ensign of Her Majesty's 

'' (a) The officer commanding the ship miiat be an officer of the Royal 
Navy on the Retired List, or an officer in the Boyal Naval Reserve. 

■' (t) Tea of the crew must bo members of llio Royal Naval Reser\'8. 

"(c) Before hoisting the Blue Elusign, tbe officer commanding the sliip 
DMut be provided with an Admiralty Warrant. 

''(d) The fact tliat the commanding ofHcer holds a warrant authorizing him 
to hoist the Blue Ensign must t>e noted on the slip's articles of agreement. 

" (2) Commanding officers failing to fulfil the above conditions, unleaa 
such EaiJuie is due to death or other circumstancea over which they have no 
control, will no longer be entitled to hoist the Blue E&aign. 

" (3) British merctiaot ships in receipt of Admiralty aubventJon will bo 
allowed to Hy the Blue Ensign under Admiralty Warrant.' 

" (4) The captain of one of Her Majesty's ships meeting a ship carrying 
th« Blue Elnsign may, in order lo ascertain that the above conditions are 
strictly carried out, send on board an officer, not below the rank of lieu- 
teoant, at any convenient opportunity; but thia restriction as to the rank of 
the boarduig officer, is in no way to limit or otherwise afTect the authority or 
the duties of naval ofBoers either under tbe Merchant Shipping Ads or in 
time of war." 

Hired transports also wear the blue ensign with the yellow 
Admiralty anchor in the fly ; and any ships employed in 
the service of certain Government oiBces will also carry the 
bine ensign with the badge of tbe particular office in the fly. 

Tbe other strictly legal flag for the merchant service is 
* For list of snch ships nee page SCO. 



the Union Jack euclosed in a wliite border, which white \xa 
must be one-fiftb the breadth of the Jack. This flag b to 
be hoisted at the fore by British vessels, and signifies that 
such vessel requires a pilot. 

Besidea the alxive national colours there are certain other 
flags which ore required to be displayed by Act of FarliaineiiL 
They are — (1) A pilot's boat flag, the upper horizontal half 
white, and the lower horizontal half red. This is to U 
hoisted at the mast-head of all British pilot boats, or displayei 
in some other equally conspicuous situation. (2) The red 
burgee (B of the loternatianal Co4le) is to be hoisted «r 
ahown when gunpowder or other explosive ia being taken 
on board or discharged. (3) A large yellow flag, of «i 
breadths of bunting, is tu be displayed at the main topmast 
bead by a ship having a cbau bill of health, but liable to 
quarantine. (4) A similar flag to the last, but with a blaek 
ball of a diameter equal tu two breadths of bunting, is to 
be displayed at the same masthead by a ship not having 
a clean bill of health. {5) A flag of yellow and black 
quarterly, of eight breadths of buuting, is to be displayed at 
the main topmast-head by a ship haTing the plsgne, yellow- 
fever, or other dangeroua infectious disease on board. 

There ie one other flag, which, although not reqtiized to 
be used by Act of Parliament, yet is imiveraally adopted hj 
custom, and that is the Blue Peter (P. of the International 
Code), a blue flag with a white square in the centre. This 
flag is hoisted at the fore, and denotes that the veasel so 
hoisting it is about to proceed to sea, and calls npon all 
persons interested to proceed on hoard. 

House-flags are particular flags adopted by particular flnns, 
every large shipping company, and the larger firms among 
private shipowners, having each its own particular honse-flag, 
which flag is always hoisted at the main. These house-flags 
simply possess the some legal rights aa mercantile trade-marks. 

From time immemorial flags have been used for signalling 
purposes, both in the merchant service and in the imperial 
navies of all countries. Previous to the middle of the present 
century, many difl'erent signal codes had been in use, most 
foreign nations having their own codes, the English Mercantile 


Marine for the most part using Marryat's Code ; but there was 
Bo system of nnifomiity^no system of signalling common 
to all countries. 

Eventually it was proposed to establish some code of 
signals to be used at sea, which should be of universal 
adaptation. Many suggestions were made, but the matter 
did not begin to assume any very definite shape until the 
year 1855, when, in pursuance of a ifiuute of the Lords of 
the Committee of Privy Council for Trade, dated the 2nd of 
July in that year, a committee, consisting of naval officers 
and ofBcers of the Mercantile Marine, was appointed "to 
inquire into and report upon the subject of a code of signals 
to be nsed at sea;" and on the 24th of September, 1856, 
they made their Keport to the Board of Trade, in which they 
stated that they had considered what principles should be laid 
down as the basis for the formation of an efficient code, 
and had resolved as follows:^ 

'' 1. The Code ouglit to be comprehensive atiil clear, and not expoDBive. 

"2, It ought to provide for not less thin 20,000 distinct signals, and 
should besides be capable of designating not less than 50,000 ships, with 
power of extension if required. 

" 3. It should eiprcBS the nature of the signal rande by the combination 
of the signs employed, and the more important signab should be expressed 
by the more simple combinations. 

''4. A signnl should not consist of more tlian four flags, or symbols, at 

" 5, A signal should be made complete in one hoist, in one place. 

"6, Signals should have the same meaning wherever shown. 

" 7. The Signal Book slionld be so arranged, either numerically or alpha- 
betioalty, ia classes, as to admit of the suhject being readily referred to, and 
proTtsioD should be made for future additions. 

" 8. The Code should be so framed as to be cnpable of adaptation for inter- 
nationii] eommunicatiou." 

The Committee, in referring to their decisiou that in any 
efficient code not more than four flags ought to be shown in 
one hoist, and that a signal ought to he made in one hoist at 
one place, made the following observations ; — 

" Upon these griiuiids, therefore, the syHieni of numerals appeared to us to 
be defective for a comprehensive Code, aa not being capable of deagnating 
in a conaecotive numerical series 70,000 distinct signals without at any 
time showing more than four Bags for each signal made ; and it is clear, 


dtcrdbn, that it wooM have been inconavteDt with tbm priocipla kM ilon 
to htn pDMeded vith the (nming of » Code tipoa the bx^ of a R;nm 1/ 

" HAving thai kI aidde the nninenkl ijvtetn, ire hid to cowniW «bt 
other method would best meet the requirements of mn efficient Code. 

" Tbero was ociy one other method known to ns by which the ebjurti n 
bad ill view conl'l be aUaioed. 

" It was that of taking a aiimber of sigiia (or Bagi) Eoffident fix lb 
piirpoee, nnd by their traiupositioQ eSectmg a certAia number uf persD- 
tations, each different combinatioa of two or more of the agaa to laka 
forming a agnal dietinct io itself, and hiiTiiig a patticnlkr ngoiScatieiu 

'■The following Table, prepared ty the Ciimmittee, show* the nnrabatf 
dutind signala which ten or more ttags are capable, by [lermutaliaD, >if 
foTmiiig, iu hoists of from two to fonr aigog at a dme in one )<liu:e :— 


"of wUdi the following Nnmbers of Signs are capable. 

ab^titam \ wta I ww> witkivuk vnu wuk (nib I 



i.tai «.w»! VM 4.«M *jm 

|II».M1, — I — I _ 

i.nt' ttjmt ti,tn{ w 

>.a«| «•.!«' wm 

" From the above Table it will be seen Uiat 18 Bags will be requwte to 
give the number of tagnalB which tlie Committee have stated to be uececHir 
i;e. 70,000 distinct signak, witli power oF extension to 78,G42 signak, each 
sigiinl coiisislino of u iioint of not more tlinn four flag*. Having decided 
npoK lliiri nuoibtr, tlie iVjmiiLiiTM' jinjcci'iliTl lo the noniifi^ of the flap of 
eigne, in iJeriBiiig wiiieli it aiipcatud (o tJieni — 

" 1. That the characters should be famQiar onee. 

" 2. That they shonld recnr in a well-known order, for Gidlity of refereooi. 

" The letters of the alphabet seemed best adapted for the ptupose, and the 
Committee determined that it would be most convenient to aaeigii to each d 
the 18 fiagB a letter of the alphabet, leaving out the voweU. 

"The omission of the vowels was forced upoik the CommittM, fimn tt« 
rircumstance, that by introducing them every objeotioDable mti oonpceed 
of four lettera or lees, not only in their own bat in foreign langnagea, would 
appear in the Code in the conrse of the permntation of the letten at tte 

" Too much Importance should not, however, be set opon the ollQectioB 
which naturally occurs, that the alphabet is thus incomplete, and that the 
power of ^Uhig Is apperently loet; for it abonld be undantood that lit 




~W1ieii aaod aa the "Code SiKn*]," this Poanant is to be luriated oi 
le " EnBign," when aaed as the " Ansvering Penmukt," where beat aeei 





te- ]t>- fcfc^ 

I«ttera ua not used as Idten, but as tignt, cluuaaterizing the different flags 
by tlie most faroiliar metliod, and in an onlcr well known. 

" The hst coaRiderolion nhicli occupied the attention of the Committee 
was the colonring of the flags to be used. 

" In determining this questJon, the following points were discussed : — 

" I. Wliether Hairyat's flags were tlie best adapted in shape and coloiu* 
for signalling? 

" 2. Whether Marrj'at's flaga being then generally in use on board 
merchant ships of this and foreign countries, and also at many foreign 
Hignal stations, it would not be convenient to adopt them as far as possible ? 

" The Committee were not prepared to decide tlie flrst question ia Ihe 
iiHirmatiTO, but coosidering the heavy expense of procuring a new set of 
flags, and in deference to what appeared to bo a general wish— that flags 
which are, and have been for many years, so generally in nse in merchant 
ehips, and with which marincra are familiar, shoiUd not, without very strong 
reasons, bo dispensed with— the Committee determined to recommend the 
adoption of the flaga employed in Marryal's Code (with fillglit variations), as 
fw as they were applicable." 

^m In submitting a Signal Book prepared in conformity with 

^tthe foregoing fiesolutiuns, the Cummittee observed — 

^M " We have only to remark, as regards the general contents, that it does 

^hot materially difl'er from otiier Signal Books. 

^p " The general principles of the Code, and directions for its practical 
working, are eiplained in the commencement of the book ; but we desire to 
point ont to your LordshiiM the main advantages which it nppeam to us to 
possess over any other Code that we have had before us : — 

" Ptret, its comprehensiveness and dit^dnctness, the combination of llie 
signs expressing the nature of the signal made — two flags, or symbols, in a 
hoist always meaning eitlier Datiger or Urgency — and the signals throughout 
being arranged in a consecutive series, so that any individnal sigiutl, whether 
a word or a sentence, may readily be found. Secondly, that the flogs and 

pennants are so arranged as by their po,sifioii t 
made; tlias — 

" In Signals made with Two Signs — 

" The Burgee uppermost repreaentfl 

A Pennant uppermost represents 

And a Square Flag uppermost represents 

" In Signals composed of Four Signs — 

" The Burgee uppermost represents 

A Pennant uppermost represents 

And a Square Flag uppermost represents 

J charaeterir.e the signals 

Attention Signals. 
Compass Signals. 
Danger Signals. 

Ships' Names, 

" And thirdly, that the anangeraent of tlie Code ia such as to hold out to 
foreigners the same advantages that it aflTords lo our own marine. 

As has been seen abuve, the flags of the International 
Code of Signals are eighteen in number, with the addition 


of one " Code Signal " or " Answering Pennant." The eighteen 
signal fiaga consist of thirteen square Flaga, foai PenntnU, 
and one Burgee, each representing a consonant of the alphabet 
from B to W. 

Before signalling, the Code Pennant is hoisted undtr the 
ensign at the gaff, intimating that thin Code is altont to be 
used. When used as an Ansnering Pennant it U hoisted 
anynhere where it can be best seen. When one ship is 
signalling to another ship or to the shore, and has completed 
her signal, the ship sigvalled to runs up the "Answering 
Pennant" for a moment or two, to say, "I anderstand"; 
aud when the ship herself has finished her signalling, Ai 
runs it up for a moment to indicate, "That is all," or, *I 
have nothing more to say." 

There are only two one-flag Signals — Pennant C, whid 
means " Yes," and Pennant J>, which means " No." 

There are three kinds of twit-fiag Signals — Attention Signal^ 
Compass Signals, and Urgent or Danger Signals. 
I ' Attention Signals hare the red Burgee, B, uppermost, u 
BD, "What ship is that?" BS, "Call the attention of tbe 
shure signal-station." In Compass Signals, one of the faur 
Pennants is uppermost: from North to East, the C Pennant; 
from East to South, the D Feaunat ; Inaa South to Wast, the 
P Pennant ; and from West to North, the G Pennant. Thns 
CG, "North by East, half East;" DP, "South-East by 
south;" FQ, "South- West by West, half West; "and OR, 
"North North- West." 

Urgent or Danger Signals have a square flag uppermost, 
as KJ, "Get her on the other tack, or you will be on shore"; 
Q M, " Hare you any message or telegraphic communication 
for me?" 

Three-flag Signals, no matter what they begin with, ore 
the ordinary signals of communication, embracing every sub- 
ject at all likely to be required by seafaring folk, ranging 
between purely maritime matters and the ordinary topics of 
everyday life. Thus, BDJ, "I am aground;" KRV, "Send 
a tug to me ; " K S M, " Shorten in starboard hawser ; " 
LVH, "I think I must have passed the buoy;" or RTH, 
"Glad tofieeyou;" RBW,"WWt\a^<iit o^finion? What 


wonld you do?" RJ H, "Appearance is not satiafactory ; " 
and so ou. 

A very considerable uumber of the three-flag Signals are 
devoted to numerals, decimals, and fraotions, so that by a 
combination of these particular signals any uumber can be 
fommunicated. Thus, V V/G is 1, V WH is 2, VWJ is 3, 
and so on. A certain number of signals stand for two figures, 
asVWR, 10; VWS, 11; up to WHJ, 98, and WH K, 99. 
After that they go in hundreds, W H L being 100, W H M 
200, and so on up to 1000; after that in thousands up to 
10,000, and ultimately to millions. 

As an example, suppose that it were requisite to signal 
lOjOll-jV- Three three-flag Signals would be used : first of 
all, W P N, which signifies 10,000 ; then VWS, which stands 
for 11; and lastly, VSP, which means yj- Or suppose it 
were required to signal 29'09. Here two three-flag Signals 
would be employed : first W C B would be hoisted, which 
means 29 ; and after that V S N, which stands for 0-09 ; and 
50 in a similar manner any number or combination of numbers 
can be communicated. 

After the three-flag come the four-flag Signals, of whii'h 
there are three kinds, namely, 1st, fonr-flag Signals with the 
B Burgee uppermost, which are Geographical Signals, as, for 
instance, B V C J, " Queenstowu, Ireland ; or B V D P, " Good- 
win, North Sand Head ; " and so on ; 2nd, four-flag signals with 
a square flag uppermost, which are all ship's names: those 
signals having the G uppermost indicating vessels of Her 
JIajesty's Navy, as G V M K, " H.M.S. Widijcon, screw gun- 
boat, 6 guns ; " or G T F B, " H.M.S. Powerful, t«in-serew 
cruiser, 1st class, 14 guns;" four-flag Signals with any other 
square flag than G uppermost are ships of the Merchant 
Service, as N B LT, "Cunard steamer fani^wrtin, of Liverpool;" 
or J V G T, " the Western Lass, of Plymouth ; " and so on.' 
3rd, four-flag Signals with a Pennant uppermost are Vocabularj-, 

* All British registered vesseb maj have — prftcticnlly, all do Lave— a Code 
Signal allotted to them for, among other nsea, makiug the ship's name known 
Bt sea ; as, for instance, T M W L, "the taitjae MandaJay, of Gla^ow." A 
Code List ia published Btmiially by the Cooiniittee of XJoyds, for the purpose 
i-f eiiahliiig offieere at signal stations on shore, and masters of ships il son, to 


or Spelling, Signals. These signals are used for commnni* 
eating any word not already provided for in the other p»rt» 
of the Code, Ly spelling auch word. Obviously there must 
be many words having no connection whatever with maritime 
matters that might ocL'asionally liave to be signalled, and by 
this process — necessarily however, a very slow and tediou§ 
process — it is possible to communicate these words. For 
instance, let us suppose that by some chance the wurd mnnihta 
had to be signalled. The first hoist wouM be C D V M, 
"urn;" the second hoist would be CDSK. "ni;" and the 
last hoist would be C BJ K, "bus." Thus by three consecu- 
tive signals the word omnibus would have been spelt; and 
HO by this means any word, English or foreign, not already 
provided for may be signalled, oltliough in a somewhit 
cumbrous fashion, by the International Coile, 

This Code is now employed by all civilized nations as a 
means of communication at sea. It is used on board Her 
Majesty's ships, and has been adopted by all the principal 
maritime powers for their imperial, ae well as tor theii 
mer'-antile, navies; with, of course, the reservation tliat »U 
imperial navies have their own entirely distinct private codes 
for their own special purposes, and the utmost care is taken 
by frequent changes to keep these miintelligible to other 
nations. Every nationality has its own signal-book for the 
International Code, in its own particular luiguage, so that a 
signal being hoisted, the master of the ship signalled to, 
whatever his nationality, turns to his book and runs down 
the page. The signal hoisted is, say, J V K. The skipper 
turns up J V K, and finds that it means in his ovm language, 

signal Bud leport passing veBsels. The Code List contuns the disUDgaiibiBg 
signals, not onlj of British ships, but of sach foreign ships sa have an Inter- 
national Code Signal allotted to them. 

The Signal Letters are not always isancd conseculjvel; — Uiat is to mj, the 
last ship to which a Code Signal has heen allotted will cot necesBarilj hsTS 
the last signal issued ; for instance, say that the last Code Signal allotted 
yesterday, to a liritlKh veBsel was WVTR, "tlie Sialoo, steamer, of New- 
castle ; " it does not necessarily follow that the next applicant for a Code 
Signal should have the next signal, which would be WVTS, beoauH 
a vessel to which a much earlier signal had once been allotted may havs 
been wrecked or broken up, and her signal wonld then be allotted to 
somebodjr else. 


be it EugUsb, or Gerrosn, or Norwegian, or what uot, " I ftiii 
short of provisions." He kuows iuuuediately tliat the signalling 
sliip is in want of provisions of some sort, and he caq act 

The New Code. 

The International Code of Signals, first issued in 1854, has 
been continually undergoing revision in a small way by a 
Committee of which the Registrar-General of Seamen was the 
chairman ; but in process of time the blanks in the Signal 
Bot'k became filled up, and suggestions were made by some 
foreign Governments which were not altogether acceptable to 
other countries. The questions involved thus Imcame too large 
to be dealt with by a small inter-departmental Conmiittee, and 
a larger Committee was appointed, to carefully consider the 
whole matter. In January, 1889, this Committee issued their 
first report with a revised edition of the Code, but no change 
of any importance was made, the Committee confining them- 
selves to excising obsolete signals, and rejilacing them by 
other signals which were demanded by modern requirements. 
No addition was made to the number of the Code flags, 
which still remained at eighteen. This revised edition was 
forwarded to the foreign maritime powers, and to the British 
Colonies, and a statement showing the nature of the replies 
received was printed with the seeund report, which was issued 
in July, 1892. 

In April, 1897, the third and final report of the Committee 
was issued. The most important suggestion received by the 
Committee originated with the French Government, who 
applied a most careful examination to the Committee's work, 
and printed a very valuable pamphlet embodying their views 
upon the eiibject. This suggestion, which was that two new 
flags representing the letters " X " and " Z " should be added 
to the existing number of Code flags, was supported by some 
of the other maritime nations. It was found that the addition 
of two new flags would necessitate re-writing practically the 
whole Code, and it was then resolved to go stil! further, and to 
add, not only flags representing the letters " X " and " Z," but 
also flags to represent all the vowels of the alphabet. TtU, 


therefore, has now been done. Vowels were not introdooid 
originally, for the reasons stated in the original report npon 
the existing Code. 

The increased utility of the proposed new Code thioogh tli« 
addition of eight now flags is astonishing. The passible 
permutations of 18 flags in 78,660 ; the possible pennutations 
of 2fi flags is 37o,07ft. or nearly five times as many as p&nbs 
made by 18 flags. The mirabor of twi>flag signals may be 
more tlian donbied, and three-flag signals trebled, whilst fire 
times as many signals can be made with fonr flags. The 
advantages of the proposed additional flags were deemed bj 
important that the Uommiltee have not hesitated to ad(jpt 
them, although the step involves the abandonment of the Co>le 
suggested by them in 1889, and the preparation of an entirely 
new Signal Book. The great advantage of the new Ctxl«, 
therefore, will lie that no genera] signal will contain more 
than three flags in a buist, and that there will )>e an exteneivg 
addition to the number of two-flag signals. All the two-flag 
■ignala are now Urgeni and Important Signals, the letter " N," 
which is 80 well known all over the world as a distress signal, 
being still retained specially tor vessels in distress. Compaas 
Signals in the new Code are given in degrees, instead of in 
points and half-points, as in the present Code, and the bearings 
are true instead of boing magnetic ; but the bearings in points 
and half points are, however, still given besides, with magnetie 
bearings, should they be preferred. 

Several important signals can be made by one flag between 
vessels towing and vessels being towed, the flag being held in the 
hand, and only shown just above the gunwale. Otherwise the 
one-flag signals have not been extended, firom the fear that 
they might be mistaken for house-flags ; but the Code pemunt 
has been utilized to make a la^e number of two-flag signalii 
and such flags as have a special meaning by themseWefl, as B 
(the gunpowder flag), or L and Q (the quarantine flags), with 
the pennant over them, will retain the meaning that the; have 
at present The Spelling Signals have been very much improved 
and enlarged, as also is the case with the Oeographieai BlgnaU. 
The new Bu^ee flag " A " has been utilized, together with the 
present " B " Burgee, as the diatioguiahing flag of the signal 


The very large Dumber of places on the coaats of the various 
coantries of the world which have sprung into notice during 
the last few decades is so great that there was probably no part 
of the old Code which more required revision than that contain- 
ing the Geographical Signals, and although additiona had from 
time to time been made, yet they entirely failed to render the 
list of names of places even approximately complete. The 
Geographical Section of the new Code contains something like 
10,000 names of places, or about three times as many as appear 
in the present Code, and includes the name of practically every 
sea-coast place of any importance ; and, following a sugges- 
tion of the Danish anthorities, a special sign is to be added to 
thd names of places at which life-saving stations have been 

No change has been made in the colours of the flags in the 
existing Code, except " F," which it is proposed shall have a 
white cross instead of a white Imll, as at present, and "L," 
which is to be changed from blue and yellow squares to black 
and yellow. This change will, doubtless, be appreciated by 
seamen generally, as L and K are constantly mistaken for each 

Under the heading of " Distant Signal.'?," at the beginning of 
Part II. of the new Code, three different modes of signalling 
are given, viz, by balls, cones, and drums ; by balls, flags, and 
pennants ; and by the semaphore. Of these three systems the 
only one which is new to the Signal Book of the International 
Code is the first — balls, c^nes, and drums — and this is the 
system which in the opinion of the Committee is the most 
likely to prove of immediate use to the Mercantile Marine. 
Signals made by balls, cones, and drums cannot only be 
distinguished at much greater distances than those made by 
hoists of flags, but they are much less liable to be affected by 
atmospheric conditions and the absence or direction of the 
wind. Three balls, two cones, and one drum, are all the 
apparatus that is required, and the gear is both less expensive 
and far more durable than flags. This system, although given 
mider the heading of " Distant Signals," being equally applic- 
able at close quarters, will probably meet with the approval of 
owners of small craft who might very naturally be afraid of the 


additional oat of the new and more extensive code. Althou^ 
ttio now Code will mean an additional cost at first for all nm- 
{•«riiQd, yet in the long rnu there is not likely to be m^^ 
dilTereoce, since there will be lees wear and teair in doing tlie 
aame amoaot of work, as the signals will be made with fevs 

The arrangement of the Signal Book has been well thought 
out and planned. To faoilitate rapiditj- in looking ont a sdgiul 
ID the general vocabulary, all the principal words in sentence* 
are given, even at the expense of repetition ; and not only do tbe 
various words in that vticabulary which form headings folio* 
onfl another in alphabetical sequence, as in the old Code, bat 
the ilifTorent words ami phrases coming under the raiion 
headings are also arranged in alphabetical order. 

The Committee recommend that the use of the new Code 
shall come into operation on January 1 , 1900— a date EofBcientlv 
remot« as to admit of the Code being translated into foreign 
languages. Prom the commencement of the year 1900 no 
further copies of the existing Code will be issued ; and aSx 
BecGmber 31, 1!>01. it is proposed that the old Code shall b« 
considered as obsolete, and that signals from it should t» 



_ (' lightB— Port and sUrboard liglito— Anchor lights— Tlie oaae of H.M.S. 
Blenheim and La Franct — Norwegian steamer and barque — Sound 
aignaU for fog — Signals of diatresa — Life-aaving applianceB— Draught of 
water, and load-line — PlimBoU'a mark — Certam cai^oea — Dangerons 
goods— The Rule of the Road. 

^Au. vesaels, both sailing and steam, when under way, are 
boQnd by law to carry from sunset to sunrise a green light 
on the starboard side and a red light on the port side, and 
a steamer, in addition to these, is obliged to curry a white 
light at the mast-head. To this law alt vessels conform, 
from the little coasting schooner to the line-of-battle ship; 
but, as reasonably might be expected, a very large diversity 
in degrees of excellence prevails, many among the smaller 
class of vessels being but ill-found in the way of lights, and 
not always being careful or exact in the manner of displaying 
such lights as they have. The lamps, besides being poor in 
themselves, are often badly trimmed and badly tended, and not 
imfrequently are allowed to go out altogether. Many of the 
larger ships, on the other hand — all the great ocean liners, 
for instance— now carry such brilliant side and masthead 
lights as almost to compete with the lightships and the lesser 
lighthouses. Many of the great liners are now fitted witli 
powerful electric side and masthead lights, although when this 
13 the case it is not unusual for them to discard the electric 
in favour of mineral oil when in home waters, or in waterways 
where the traffic is considerable, as there is less likelihood of 
the lights failing at, perhaps, just a critical moment. 

Now and then an odd thing will occur with regard to 
ships' lights. As an instance, not long ago a small Scotch 
barque left the London Docks for Natal and Mauritius. 
Very soon after getting out of the Channel the foteahe«t 


broke the gtus vi the starboard light. There was uiothn 
pair of side-lights on board, so a new green light wu 
brought up and shipped. It was not many days before the 
foresheet bmke that glass too, and the barqne went all the 
way from the Bay of Biscay to Natal with an ordinary white 
lantern, into which was pasted the green cover of a TU-Biu 
for a starlxjard light. With the heat of the flame the green 
paper speedily assumed a bruwn lint, hut erne of the appren- 
tices ha^-ing a L^onsiderahle store of literature in his chest, is 
the 8hai>e of a year's numbers of Tit-Bits, the green papo 
was renewed every other night, and the small Scotch tarqiie 
thus conformed, to the beat of her ability, to the law thai 
required her to show a green light on the starboard side. 

All sailiug-ahips and steamers at anchor are required 1^ 
law to show a white light where it can best be seen, at any 
height not exceediug twenty feet above the deck. Oc(.-asioiiAU; 
ships at anchor, besides showing this anchor-light forwuii, 
which they are required to do by law, as an additiontl , 
precaution show a Inight light at the stem, which whes at 
anchor they are not required to do, and which sometuna 
leads to disastrous results,* 

On the night of Monday, January 25, 1897, La FraiM,t 
five-masted sailing-ship, of 4000 tons register, belonging to 
Dunkerqne, on a voy^e horn Iqmqoe to Donkerqae, with i 
cargo of six thousand tons of nitrate, waa lying at anchor 
in Dongenesa Beads. She had the tumol anchor-light hoisted 
at the bow, and in addition showed a bright light astern. 
The night was fairly clear. A steamer, which subeaqnentlj 
proved to be H3[.S. Blenheim, when eeveral miles away, wu 
seen from the French vessel to be bearing straight for the 
ship. As the steamer drew nearer it became apparent that 
she would strike La France amidahips. The utmost con- 
sternation prevailed on board the French ship, the crev 
shouting loudly to attract the steamer's attenti<ni, which they 
ultimately did, hut not in time to prevent the colliaion which 
followed. The Blenheim at the last moment altered her 

* By a recent order vee«e1s of 150 feet or upwards in length, wbeo at 
anchor art hotmd U> show a light at the stem as well as tbe light forwaid ; 
but the dieadvantagea of the rule are dvarif shown In the case of La Frwta. 


(.'ourse, but she struck La France a glancing blow on the 
starboard quarter, causing extensive damage ; — rails, bulwarks, 
and staEcheons being carried away, some of ber upper plates 
ripped off, and the taptain's cabin stove in. 

Those on board the Blmheiw stated that the ironclad was 
steaming up Channel at the rate of about thirteen knots, 
and that when about four miles south-west of Dungeness the 
look-out repotted two lights ahead, but thought that they were 
the lights of two fishing-boats, as there was a considerable 
distance between them. The navigating lieutenant continued 
his course, thinking to pass between the two fishing-boats; 
but when close upou La France it was seen that what had 
been mistaken for the lights of two fishing-boats were in 
reality the bow and stem lights of a great sailing-ship. The 
bebn of the Bkiihdm was immediately put bard over, and her 
starboard engine was stopped and put full-speed astern, with 
the result that she quickly came round ; but she struck the ship 
a glancing blow, instead of striking lier at right-angles, which 
if she had done, would undoubtedly have cut the French 
ship in half. ^Vs it was, both vessels received considerable 
damage ; and it was distinctly due to the misconceptioii caused 
by the stem light of the French ship. 

In a somewhat similar case, where a Norwegian steamer, 
lying at anchor with a bow and stem light, was mn into by 
a barque, the President of the Admiralty Court held that the 
steamer was alone to blame ; and this view was confirmed 
on appeal, Lonl Esber ruling that " the riding light forward 
was necessary and sufScient, end the stern light a source of 
error, which might cause, or contribute to, an accident." That 
in the cose of the Blenheim the Admiralty took a similar view 
may be inferred from the fact that, after considering the 
Minutes of the Court of Inquiry, it was decided that no Court 
Martial upon those in charge of the Blmiheim was needed. 

A steam-vessel when towing another vessel, has, in addition 
to her sidelights, to carry two bright lights in a vertical line 
one over the other, not less than six feet apart. 

A vessel which from any accident is not under command, 
has to carry at the some height aa the ordinary mast-head 
light, two red lights, in a vertical line one over the other, 




not lees than six feet apart, and of such a character as to be 
vialble all round the horizon at a distance of at least twu milea 

Pilot ressflla, nhen engaged on their station on pilotage 
duty, are not obliged to carry the Hidelighta required in other 
vessels; bat they must carry a white light at the mast-head, 
risible all round the horizon, and must also exhibit a flaie-np 
light at short intervals, which must never exceed fifteen 

A. vessel which is being overtaken by another vessel mn«t 
show from her stem a white light or a flare-up light, Boch 
light to be as nearly as possible on the level with her sidelights. 

Besides all these and other official lighta, there are now k 
number of private night signals, which before they are used 
have to be approved and registered by the Board of Trade, 
and may only be used at the particular place allowed by ttie 
Board. They number something like a hundred and twenty: 
but the following may be takan as fair specimens of the rest :— 

Ancboi Line 
(Henderson Bros. 

and Co., Fen- 
church Street, 

LondoD and Soatti 

WeHlem Rsil- 

way Cotnpany'a 


(Docks, Sonlli- 

Uooard S.S. Co. 

(Water Street, 


A Red light and a White light On and near tlio «« 
eihibited alternately from of the United Kii 
some conspicuoos part of the . dom, and on the hi 
ship ; tbe Bed light to be so seas. 
exhibited as not to be mis- 
taken for the Red side-light 
carried under the regulationa 
for preventing colMona at 

A Bhie light humed on the > 
bridge, followed imtQediBtely ' 
by a lloraan candle throw- 1 
iiig five blue balla to a 
height not exceeding 150 
feet. I 

A Roman candle Ihrowing out ' 
green balk to- a height not 
exceeding 150 feel. 

Anywhere within Britisli 
jiirisdiotion, and on the 

and Spithead ; also oS 
the Channel Isluik 
and on the high seas. 

L Blue light and two rocketa Ofl" Browbead, in the 

biireting into golden stars Countyof Cork, anJofl 

Qred in quick succession. , Queenstovm HarhooT, 

I in the County ofCoil- 

H ilGNALS OF blSTllESS 373 

B If these aigniils are iiaed in any other place, or for any 
^Hier purpose than that named, they may be liable to be 
^Kken for signals of distress, and any vessel answering them 
^■Diild be able to claim salvage. 


" Every steamship is by law compelled to be provided with a 
steam-whistle, or other efficient steam sound-signal, so placed 
that the sound may not be intercepted by any obstructions ; 
and with an efficient fog-horn to be sounded by bellows or 
other mechanical means; and also with an efficient bell. A 
sailing-ship must be provided with a similar fog-horn and bell. 

In fog, mist, or falling snow, whether by day or night, 
the following signals are to be used : — 

(a) A steamship under way must make with her steam- 
whistle, or other steam sound-si g^nal, at intervale of not more 
than two minutes, a prolonged blast. 

(6) A sailing-ship under way must make with her fog-horn, 
at intervals of not more than two minutes, when on the 
starboard tack one blast ; when 011 the port tack, two blasts in 
SQCcession; and when with the wind abaft the beam, three 
blasts in succession. 

(c) A steamship or a sailing-ship when not under way, is 
at intervalf< of not more than two minutes, to ring the bell. 

SiQNALB OF Distress. 
Wben a ship is in distress, and requires assistance from other 
ships, or from the shore, the following signals are to be use<I : — 
In the daytime — 

(1) A gun fired at intervals of about a minute. 

(2) The International Code signal of distress, indicated 
by N C* 

(3) The distant signal, consisting of a square flag, having 
either above or below it a ball, or anything resembling a ball. 

At night — 

(1) A gun fired at intervals of about a minute. 

(2) Flames on the ship (as from a burning tar-barrel, oil- 
barrel, etc.) 

' N C, " III distress — want 



(3) Kocketa or shells, throwing stars of any eolaur « 
loriptiuD, fired one at a time, at short iQt«rTal& 
By the ■134th Section of the Merchant Shipping Act— 
" If ftnj nwoler of a vossol uses or dUplays, or canseB or penmtt iBf 
rwn under his aiiUiority to n»e or JisjJay, any of these signals ot diBtlts, 
_(iepl iu Ihe cm* of a vcmcI being in distrera, he shall be liable lo pay «w- 
i«iMtion for any labour nnderiaken, risk tncurre'l. or loss eustAuied in con- 
moo of that signal liaving lieeu supposed to be n signal of diEtres." 
same Act providea that every sea-going passengo 
steamer or emigrant ship must be provided to the aatisfaction 
of the Beard of Trade— 
It) With means la said signals of distress tt 

t, including m of . flames on the ship whid 

.nextingnishabl* ch other means of makii^ 

als of diatiei of Trade may prenond; 

axe; and 

) With a pn s lights inextingnishabte fa 

ii, and fitt« lifie-baoya. 

- If taj such ahi| a art of the Uait«d Kmgiiom irilh- 

out being provided ^ > »• ^i— . tion, tlien for each defkolt m mj 

of llio above reijniaites, tho omier (if in Isnlt) shall be lijible to a fine not 
exceeding one hundred pDiiDd.->, and the master (if in fanlt) shall be liable to 
K line not exceeding fifty pounds." 

The Merchant Shipping Act, 1894, provides that the Bosri 
of Trade may make niles for Life-saving appliances, by 
arranging all British ships into classes, having regard to 
the services in which they are employed, to the natnre and 
duration of the voyage aud the number of persons carried; 
and may define the number and description of the boab, 
life-boats, life-rafts, life-jackets, and life-buoys, to be carried 
by such ships. 

Section 430 of this Act provides that — 

" In the case of any ship— 

" [a) If the ship is required by tlie rules for life-saving appliviow to bt 
provided witii such appliances, and proceeds on acyToyage or ezcunJon with- 
out being so provided in accordance iviih the niles applicable to the ship; or 

" (6) If any of the appliances with which the ship is so provided are loet ot 
rendered unfit for Borvicc in the course of the voyage or excursion throo^ 
the mlfiil fault or negligence of the owner or maaler; or 

k)If ll 


;c) If ihe master wilfiilly neglects to replace or repair on the first 
inity any Buch appliances lost or injured in the ooorse of the Toyiige 

mces arc not kept so aa to be nt all times fit and rcaJy 
for use ; 

then the owner of the nhip [if in fault) sliall for each oSence ho lialile to a fine 
not exceeding one hiin<Irc'l jioiuids, and the master of the ship (if in fault) 
shall for each offence be liable to a line not exceeding fifty pounds." 

Thus far the law. How it is possible always to enforce 
the law is altogether a different matter. A ease in point. 
A short time ago a small barijue was loading in the Sontli 
Weat India Dock. She had two boats — a lifeboat on chocks 
amidships, and a small gig on davits on the quarter, the 
lifeboat being full of ropes and all sorts of gear that was put 
in her to be out of the way. The Board of Trade Inspector 
CRtne along, and said that daTits must be provided for the 
lifeboat. The skipper objected. He often used the gig, 
and he didn't want the davits altered ; and he didn't want 
davits both on the port and the starboard sides. The inspector 
said that if he did not have the davits altered to take the 
lifeboat he would not get his clearance, so the master, having 
no option, reluctantly assented. The alteration was made, 
and in due course the barcjue went away to sea ; but she 
"Was scarcely across the Bay before the carpenter was set tu 
work to alter the davits back again to how they were before, 
whilst the lifeboat resume*l its old place amidships as the 

wptahle of all manner of odds and ends. 


Dkauoht of Water and Load-line. 

Every British merchant ship, except vessels under eighty 
tons register, employed solely in the coasting trade, vessels 
employed solely in fishing, and vessels employed exclusively 
in trading from place to place on rivers and inland waters, 
is bound to be permanently and conspicuously marked with 
lines (called deck-lines) of not less than twelve inches in 
length, and one inch in breadth, painted longitudinally 
on each side amidships, indicating the position of each 
deck which is above water ; the upper edge of the deck-lines 
^iug level with the upper side of the deck-plank next the 



n-ftterivsy at the place of uiarkitig. If the ship be pu 
bl&ck, or of a dark colour, the lines most be whitfi oryeUm; 
and if the ship be painted white, or some light colooi, the 
deck-lines most be black. 

In addition to these deck-lines every British merchant ship, 
with the same exceptions, is bound to have, on each side, ■ 
circular disc twelve inches in diameter, with a horozontal line 
eighteen inches iu length drawn through its centre; the 
colours to be the same, as prescribed for the deck-lines. 

(This is what sailors call "PHmsoli's Eye.") 

The centre of this disc has to he placed at snch a level 
05 may be approved by the Board of Trade, and it indicate 
the maximum load-line in salt water to which it is lawful 
to load the ship. If the ship l>e so loaded as to submerge, 
in salt water, the centre of the dis<^', the ship is to be deemed 
on unsafe ship, and may, by the Board uf Trade, be detaineJ 
until her loading has been so altered as to bring the centre 
of the disc again above the water-line. 

Any owner or master of a British ship failing to have his 
ship marked as above ; or if he conceals, removes, alters, or 
iibtitemtes the markings ; or if he allows the ship to be so 
loaded as to submerge the centre of the disc ; — ia liable, foi 
each offence, to a fine not exceeding one hundred poonds. 


Utarboani Sida. 



In addition to the diw referred to above, the eame Act of 
ParlifttneTit requires all British Bhips, with the exceptions 
mentioned above, to be marked with "load-lines" in 
accordance with the Freeboard Tables adopted in the Act, 
and the Committee of Lloyd's Eegister are empowered by 
the Act to administer these tables. The markings of disc 
and load-lines for a steamer are here given. These lines 
indicate the depth to which the vessel may be legally loaded, 
and tbe letters indicate the paiticular circtimatances of sncb 
loading, thus: — 

F W (for Fresh Water). — The maximum depth to which 
the vessel can be loaded in fresh water. 

I S (for Indian Summer). — The maximum depth to which 
the vessel can be loaded for voyages during the fine season 
in the Indian Seas, between the limits of Suez and Singapore, 
S (for Summer). — The depth of loading for voyages from 
European and Mediterranean ports between the months of 
April and September. 

W (for Winter). — Ditto, between the months of October 
and March. 

W N A (for Winter, North Atlantic). — The maximum 
depth to which the vessel can be loaded for voyages to, or 
from the Mediterranean, or any European ports from or 
to ports in British North America, or eastern ports in the 
United States, north of 37" 30' north latitude, between the 
months of October and March, both inclusive. 

Salt water ia more buoyant than fresh water, so that a vessel 
will float higher out of water in salt water than she. does in 
fresh. The average weight of a cubic foot of salt water is 
64 lbs., and that of a cubic foot of fresh water 62-5 lbs., so 
that a vessel having a moulded depth of 10 feet will rise 
2 inches in passing from^ fresh to sea water ; with a depth 
of 20 feet, 4 inches, and so on. The density of water varies 
very considerably in different parts of tbe world. In different 
ports of the United Kingdom there is a difference of 25 oz. in 
the cubic foot ; as, for instance, in the Thames outside the 
Victoria Docks, where the weight of a cubic foot of water 
is 1000 oz., whilst at Plymouth the weight of a cubic foot 
of water is 1025 oz. In view of these facts, certain tables 


..ave l>een prepared by means of whicli the exact point lo 
which any vessel may be legally loaded for any particular 
port ran be readily ascertained. 

The alxtve regulations ari^ the result of persistent efforts 

I the part of the late Mr. PHmsoU, a Liberal MJ*. ot 

[Jent philanthropy, and the champion of the sailors vl 

mir Men-antile Marine who forced from Iilr. Disradi'* 

vernment, in 1875, due attention to the danger oansed 

!,_, the overloading of flhijre, and their despatch to eea in an 

improper condition. He drew upon himself the need of a 

full apology to the House of Commons by a scene of extra- 

-dinary violeuoe, in which hia zeal impelled him to denounce 

tirtain ship-owners in the House as " villaios," to defy the 

i'-eaker's authority, and to shake his list at the Trewnry 

ncli. His auger had been arcmsed by the withdrswsl 

I Government Bill d( ' merchant shipping. Mr. 

soil's case, in spiie n bebaviour, was strongly 

■ported at meetings of tne working-men, and in the end 

.^islatiun ilealt with the subject of overloading, and (WueA 

the paiuliiiy of tiiiw fmiinus " Piiini^.iirH Mark" nti the hnlla 

of all British merchant ships, as described aboTe, as the limit 

of safe flotation for a freighted ship. 

Certain Cahooes, and Danoebodb GK>ods. 

lu the interests of sailors, many rules and regnlations as to 
certain cargoes have been framed, the inMngement of which 
is attended with very heavy penalties. For instance, if any 
British merchant ship employed in the timber trade arrives 
at any port in the United Kingdom from any port oat of 
the United Kingdom between the last day of October and 
the sixteenth day of April, with a deck cargo of timber, 
the master of that ship, and also the owner, if he be privy 
to the offence, is liable to a fine not exceeding five ponnd§ 
for every hundred cubic feet of wood goods so carried io 
contravention of this law. 

In the case of grain-carrying vessels where a cargo of grain 
is laden on board any British ship, all necessary and reasonable 
precautions^ must be taken in order to prevent the cargo from 


shiftiiig; and if these precautione have not been taken, the 
master of the ship and any agent of the owuer who was 
charged with the loading of the ship, or the seiiding of her to 
sea, is each liable to a fine not exceeding three hundred pounds. 
No one may send by any British vessel any dangerous 
goods, that is to say any aqnafortis, vitriol, naphtha, benzine, 
gunpowder, lucifer matches, nitro-glycerine, petroleum, or 
any kind of explosives, without distinctly marking the nature 
of the goods on the outside of each package, under a penalty 
not exceeding one hundred pounds. In the case of a person 
who was merely an agent in the shipment of any such goods, 
and who was not aware of the dangerous nature of the goods, 
and who did not suspect, and who had no reason to suspect, 
that they were dangerous, that person is liable to a fine of 
ten poimds. 

The Rule op the Eoad. 

Many regulations have been laid down with a view to 
preventing collisions at sea, end the aggregate of these regula- 
tions form what is technically known as the "Rule of the 
Road " — a subject i'raught with a certain amount of difficulty 
even to the mariner, and probably with considerably more to 
the lay reader. Speaking broadly, under ordinary circum- 
stances, when two steam-vessels pass in close proximity to 
each other they should pass each other on the port (or left) 
hand, precisely as on shore when pedestrians meet, they pass 
each other on the left. But if our pedestrian, whenever he 
met another had to consider on which tacit tho other man 
was — whether he had the wind on his right hand or his left, 
or whether it was at his back, and bad also to take into 
consideration a variety of other conditions, a large amount of 
complexity would be imported into a proceeding which we now 
perform intuitively. Happily, with the man in the street the 
direction of the wind is of no possible moment, but in the case 
of approaching ships — that is to say, of approaching sailing- 
ships — it has much to do, and necessarily enters largely into 
the consideration of the subject, and very materially affects 
the course to be pursued by either vessel. 

The rules at present in force are prescribed by an Order in 


Council of the lltli of August, 1884; aud they have to be 
rigidly observed by all vessels, as, iu the event of a collision, 
the defaulting ship is apt to find out. The following ate some 
of these Begulations : — 

"Article H.^Wlioii two sailing-fillips are approaching one another, so as to 
involve risk of collision, one of tiera shall keep out of the way of the otliet, 
aa follows, viz : — 

" (a) The ship that b mnmng free ehall keep out of ihe way of Ibe ship 
that U cloao-bauled, 

" (b) A ship which is close-hauled on the port tack aLall keep out of ihe 
way of a ehip which is cloxe-hauled on the utarhoard lack. 

" (c) When both ebips are mnuiog free, with the wind on different nde 
the ship which has the wind on the port side shall keep out of the way of ih 
ehip that haa the wuid on the starboard side. 

" (d) When both ships are niniiiiig free, with the wind on the aame ddi 
the ahip which is to wiodwanl shall keep out of the way ol the ship which ia 
to leeward. 

'* (e) A ship which has the wind aft iihall keep out of the way of the other 

" Article 15. — If two ships under steam are meeting end on, or nearly eud 
on, in such manner as to involve risk of colliBion, each ehip shall alter het 
course to starboard, so that each pass on the port side of the other. 

'' This Article only applies to cases where ships are meeting end o 
nearly end on, in such a manner as to involve risk of collision, and does net 
apply to two ships which must, if both keep on their respeotivo couraes, j 
clear of each other, 

" Tho only cases to which it does apply are, when each of Oie ships is cod 
on, or nearly end on, to the other ; in other worda, to cases in which by day 
each ship sees the masts of the other in a line, or nearly in a line with her 
own ; and by night to cases iu which each ship is in such a position as to 
sec both the side lights of the other. 

"It does not apply by day to cases in which a ship sees another aheftd 
crossing her own course; or by aiglit to cases where the red light of one ehip 
is opposed to the red light of the other, or whoro the green light of one ship 
is opposed to the green light of the other, or where a red light without a green 
light, or a green light without a red light, is seen aliead, or where both gteea 
and red lighla are seen anywhere but ahead. 

" Article 16. — If two ships under steam are croa^ng, so as to involve risk tf' 
collision, the ahip which has tho Other on her own starboard side shall keep- 
out of the way of the other. 

" Article 17. — If two ships, one of which is a sailing-Bhip and the other t 
Hteamship, are proceeding in such directions as to involve risk of collision, Ibt 
Bleamahip shall keep out of the way of the sailing-ship. 

"Article 18. — Every eteaniship when approacliing another ship so 
involve risk of collision, shall slacken her speed, or stop and rever 
necessary. Every ship, whether a sailing-ship or a steamship, overtaking 
any other ship, shall keep out of the way of the overtaken ship. 


" Where, by the abo^e Rules, one of two ehipa ia to keep out of the wsy, 
the other shall keep her course. 

'■ No ship is, under any circumatatices. to neglect proper precautions. 

"Nothing in the above Bdes shall exonerate any ship, or 
master, or the crew thereof, from tlie consequenceB of any neglect to carry 
lights or signale, or of any neglect to keep a proper look-out, or of the 
neglect of any precauliou which may he requu^d by the ordiiiary practice of 
seamen, or by llie special circumstances of the cose," * 

These rules, so far as they are applied to eailiDg-vessels, it 
will be noticed, are based upon en entirely different set of 
conditions from those in force for steamers, for with the sailing- 
ship it is only possible to move at a certain time in certain 
definite directions; the steamship is free to move in all 
directions. Take, for instance, clause (rf) of Article 14 ; it is 
obvious that the ship which is to windward possesses a power 
which the ship tu leeward does not, and this rale is therefore 
framed in accordance witli that fact. The rules for steam- 
ships, on the other hand, are of a more arbitrary character. 
Article 16, for instance, might have equally well decreed that 
the ship which had the other on her own pori side should 
keep out of the way, there being no particular virtue in the 
fact of her being on the starboard side any more than the 
port. And so with many other of the rules, all of which, 
however, have been the result of the most careful and the most 
anxious consideration. 

In order that saihirs might have roughly the Rule of the 
Road at their fingers' ends, the late Mr. Thomas Gray, C.B., 
.^.ssistant-Secretary of the Board of Trade, put the priTicipal 
rules into rhyme as aids to memory :— 

(1) Two steamers meeting :— 

" When both side-lighta you see ahead, 
Port your helm, and show your Heii." 

• Besides the above Rules, which are of universal application, there are 
many other regulations of a mora or less local nature, but which are equally 
binding upon all vessels, as, for instance : " In narrow channels every steam- 
ship shall, when it is safe and practicable, keep to Uiat side of the fairway, or 
mid-chanael, which lies on tlie starboard side of such ship." Thus in Ihe 
Kiver Thames outward-bound steamera ought to keep, as much na possible, 
on the Keutish side of the river, and homeward-bound steamurs, ai much as 
possible, next the Esses shore. 




(2) Two Bteamen pMnng : — 

^ GsKKs (o GaKCX, or Red to ^*n — 
Pofect Miecy— Oo ahcadl" 

(3) TvQ stewneis crossing. (Xot«. — Thb la a position ot 6» 
gnatxA (Uager, uul th«re ia notlilDg for it bat good look-vnt, 
rsotiint, utd JDiigmeot, with pronpt action.) — 

" If ta roar BiKbard BcB ifpMU, 
Ii ■ Toar dntr to kMp dew ; 
Ta Mt a jadgnnt 1^ ii pofv ;— 
T» hrt, «r StaAcaK 8Mk, V Slep lur 1 

" Bat wfcM apaa yw Psit M tan 
A iliiaiM'i SivbMfd t^ otOu.BS. 
nan^ Bot to nodb fo job to 40^ 
Par QaBm to Fart fcec^ oImt «f foak" 

(4) All ritips must keep a g<^iod look-out, and irtcamshipa 
t stop and go astern if neoessary : — 

■' BMh im utttj aaii in doubt i ] 

Alinijakecfi agoodlook-ont; ^^^p 

In dinger, wiih no rvwm ta turn, 

Euc hei ! Sti.">p her ! Go astern ! " I 

The great difficulty always a to get men to do the right ] 
tbint^ at the right moment. It is reqoisite to see at oooe the ' 
thing to be done, and to do it. Freqnently men hesitate; and 
if in the end they do the right thing, they do it too late, with 
the result, not nn&eqnently, of a collision. The same Mr. Gray 
says in one of his reports — 

" LcgisUtioi) cannot make caralees people cardhl, nerroai petals itraog, 
ignorant people nise, dull people bright, or sleepy people wakefnl. Let tbta 
enact mlas for erer, coUiaioDB will continne to b»ppen, through tgnoraiM, 
bad look-ont, or carelewnew, jnat in the Bame way that sliipe wiU contiiiiM to 
be wrecked or stnnded from the same cansea." 



Lloyd's — Lloyd's Coffee-houBo in Tower Street; in Lombard Street; at 
Pope'a Head Alley; at the Boyal Exchange— Tlia Act of Incorpo- 
ration — The objeclfl of Lloyd's — Underwriting — The great h 
Lloyd's— Pttriiamentary inquiry in 1810 — Lloyd's signoI-Btations — Lloyd's 
Rcgiater of BritiEh and foreign fihipping — CUSBification of ehips — Sur- 
veyors of Lloyd's Rcgiater — The ClasHiScalion Committee — Number of 
shipa mrveyed and classed by the society. 

DcniNQ the seventeenth end eighteenth centuries much of the 
commercial buaineas of the City of London was transacted at 
the coffee- houjses, of which there were a considerable number 
in the City, Among them wua one in Tower Street, kept by a 
certain Edward Lloyd, the earliest notice of which occurs in 
the Loivit^n. Gasetic of the 18th of February, 1688, and this 
particular coflFee-house was much frequented, partly for busi- 
ness and partly for gossip, by merchants, shippers, and others 
interested in matters relating to shipping and the sea. In the 
year 1692, Lloyd's Coffee-House was removed to Lombard Street, 
in the very centre of that portion of the City of London most 
frequented by merchants of the highest class, where it soon 
became the head-quarters of the maritime business of the City, 
and especially of the business of marine insurance ; and it was 
from this beginning that aruse that association of merchants, 
shipowners, underwriters, and insurance brokers now known 
as " Lloyd's," whose head-quarters are at the Royal Exchange, 
and whose agencies are to be found in every part of the civilized 

At Lloyd's Coffee-bouse in Lombard Street were started the 
simple written "Ships' Lists," which constituted the first 
attempt to establish anything approaching to a system uf 
classification of merchaut shipping. After the written " Ships' 
Lists" had been for some years in existence, Mr. Lloyd com- 


, a tin jnr 1696, tbe pobUcation of a weekly nevs- 
{«per ftmiduBg eommefcul mnd shipping oewa, in tboae dtji 
an toidertaking ctf ou small dLfBculty. This paper took tin 
name o^ UoySt .Vmra; and altfauugh its life was not a long 
ooe, it vas destined to be the precQrsor of the now abifjnituni 
Voy^M Litt, the oldest newspaper existing in Europe at tb« 
fmamt time, the Ltfndtyji Ga^te alone excepted. 

In I^anbaid 5tn«t the Imsiness transacted at Lloyd's Coflie- 
boon steadily grew in extent and importance, bat tlmnghogt 
He gnater part nf the last eentory it does not appear that tin 
Bendaats and andenmters who ft^qnented the rooms was 
boand together by any roles, or acted un<ler any organiiatian. 
By-ttnd-lT', however, the r«pid incT««s« of marine iusoruKe 
neoesitaled an alteration in the then existing Etrstem, and 
improred acromniodation became absolutely necesaary; tf- 
oonlinglr, after finding a tenpurarr ittstisg-place in Pojie'i 
He«d Alley, the anderwriters and brokers finally settled dom 
•t tlie Bojnil Exchange in March, 1T71, and the rooms oocnpitd 
by tbem, which had prerioiuly been oonipied by the Bui 
India Companv. over the northern piazza of the old Eichan^, 
were known, until s-j receutly as 1S20, as "Lloyd's SnbecHp- 
tion CofFee-hottse." 

After the final establishment of Lloyd's at the Boyal Ei> 
change, one of tbe first improvements in the mode of effecliDg 
marine insurance springing ont of tbe new state of things m 
the introduction of a printed form of policy. Hitherto mioot 
forms had been in use ; and to aroid the nnmerous dispnUs 
consequent on a practice so loose and uusatisfiictory, the Ccm- 
mittee of Lloyd's proposed a general form, which was finally 
adopted by members on the 12th of January, 1779, and whieb. 
with only a few alight modifications, still remains in ose tt 
the present day. Perhaps, however, the two most importist 
events in the history of Lloyd's daring this century *at 
tbe reurganizatioQ of the aissociatiun in Igll, and tbe paw^ 
of an Act in 1871, granting tt> Lloyd's all the rights ui 
privileges of a Corporation sanctioned by Parliament. 

According to this Act of Incorporation, the three m«i 
objects for which the Si>ciety exists are— first, the carrying Mi 
uf tbe bnsinesa of utrame insarattce \ secondly, the pioteetii* 



ftlie interests of the members uf the association ; and thirdly, 
( collection, publication, and diffusion of intelligence and 
[brmatiou with respect to shipping. In the prom<ition of the 
t-n&med object, obviously the foundation upon which the 
e superstructure rests, an intelligence department has been 
doally developed which for wideneas of range and efficient 
lorkiDg has no parallel among i)rivate enterprises in any 

* The rooms at Lloyd's are available only to members and 

plwcribers. The latter pay a certain annual subscription, 

t bftve no voice in the management of the institution ; the 

mer consist of two classes, namely underwriting members 

non-underwriting members, both of which classes also 

ky subscriptions varying in amount. The management of 

> estabiishmeut is delegated by the members to certain of 

r Domber selectefl as "The Committee of Lloyds." With 

I body lies the appointment of all officials and agents of 

I institution, the daily routine of duty being entrusted to 

taecretary and a large staff of clerks and other assistants. 

Lloyd's is thus, in the first place, an association of under- 

riters, each of whom conducts liis business according to his 

;, For those views, or for the business transacted by 

lividual underwriters, Lloyd's, as a corporation, is in no way 

toponaible, except that the Oomioittee of Lloyd's, before the 

tction of any underwriting member, requires that the 

ndidate shall place in the hands of the Committee security 

his underwriting liabilities. For many years this 

■stom has prevailed, and the total securities thus placed at 

■e disposal of the Committee of Lloyd's amount to over 

1,000,000. It is difficult to estimate the value of property 

luually insured by Lloyd's, bat it probably amounts to about 

K),000,000 sterling, Lloyd's, as a Corporation, and the 

lommittee aa ita executive, have, however, little to do with 

laurauee. Their business is to conduct the affairs of 

[Joyd's in its corporate capacity, to carry out the supply and 

Bistribution of shipping intelligence, and to guard as trustees 

rthe corporate funds and corporate property. 

It was the wars which lasted from 1775, with but little 
intermission, until 1815, that raised Lloyd's to the b.v^ 


position whifh it now bolds, bringing borne to merchant! tbe 
net-essily of covering their risks as effeotually as possible. 
Higli premiums adequate to hij^li risks were offered, and mo- 
chants of wealth became insurers of ppjperty afloat. The 
wars liad the effect of bringing foreign marine iueuretn'e fna 
all parts of the world to Great Britain, since the se^-nrity of 
Lloyd's theu, as dow, was unequalled in the world. 

In the second place, Lloyd's is an enormous orgamzatiun foi 
the collection and distribution of marine intelligence. Tli€ 
intelligence department of Lloyd's was originally estabUi^fii 
at Lloyd's Ouffee-house to oieet the public desire for LEifo> 
mation with regard to vessels at sea, and the department hie 
(Continually developed ; indeed, during the Freuch War tiie 
Gh^vernment was often indebted to tbe Committee of Lloyd't 
for the earliest information of trauaactioos all over the world. 

Tiie great wealth of Lloyd's, and the fortunes made there, 
attracted general attention, and in 1610, Parliament appoint«d 
a Coumiittee to inquire into the affairs of the institution. F«m 
this inquiry Lloyd's emerged 'victoriously, and since that time it 
has continued to assist in the promotion of every nieasurt; whicV 
might aid in the preservation of life at sea, tbe prevention of 
fraud in connection with marine insurance, and the rapid collec- 
tion and distribution of maritime intelligence to all interested. 

With regard to the business of marine iusutsnce, the mode 
of effecting an insurance at Lloyd's is extremely simple. The 
business is done entirely by brokers, who write upon a slip of 
paper the name of tbe ship and the name of the shipmasteT, 
the nature of the voyage, the subject to be insured, and the 
amount at which it is valued. If the risk be accepted each 
underwriter subscribes his name and the amount which he 
agrees to take or underwrite, the insurance being effected as 
soon as the total value is made up. The sum paid by the 
insured to the underwriters is denominated the premium, a tai 
upon the profits of the merchant which the progress of science, 
of the art of shipbuilding, and of the art of oavigation has, 
in these latter days, reduced to a very moderate figuie. 

Of course, it is perfectly conceivable thai to a ^udnlent 
ship-owner, supposing that it were possible for such a person 
to exist, who had effected a heavY insurance upon his ship, 


it might be adrantagflous that his ship should be lost; but 
under no possible combination of circumstances could it be 
other than a calamity to the underwriter that the ship which 
he had underwritten should go to the bottom. Thia being so, 
it has always been the aim of Lloyd's, not necessarily from 
motives of philanthropy, but from self-interest, to promote 
in every practicable way the building of ships that should 
not go to the bottom ; and therefore, looking al it merely 
from this low motive, it may truly be said that this great 
society has done more for the safety of life and property at 
sea than all the Acts of Parliament put together which have 
ever been passed for the regulation of merchant shipping. 
The Corporation has its agents in every port, and there is 
no line of sea-coast in the whole world which is not watched 
by some representative of Lloyd's. Various works relative 
to shipping are published by the Corporation for the benefit 
of the mercantile community, and at Lloyd's is also main- 
tained a " Captain's Register," showing the services of every 
master in the Mercantile Marine ; and much confidential in- 
formation of great value to underwriters is collected in the 
Secretary's Office for the benefit of members and subscribers 
to the Corixiration. 

At the present time, when vessels arrive much more quickly 
than was the case formerly, it is of great importance that the 
approach of ships to their ports should be known as early 
beforehand as possible. This information is of great value to 
dock authorities, who have not only to prepare berths for 
arriving vessels, hut also, in the case of fust ocean liners, to 
arrange the necessary organization for landing and forwarding 
both passengers and mails. It is also often necessary that 
vessels which have been ordered to proceed to some particular 
port should, on account of changes of markets, or from some other 
<-jLUse, be intercepted and ordered as soon as possible to change 
their destination for another port. 

Tor these and other reasons the Corporation of Lloyd's has 
within the last few years devoted much attention to the 
establishment of signal -stations which can forward thia infor- 
mation inland, and can also convey orders to vessels paiising 
the stations, not only in the United Kingdom, but also iu 



the British Colonies and in foreign countries. These signal- 
atations are, too, of great value in furnishing intelligence 
upon which underwrif«ra and others iutereated in shipping 
depend for the transaction of their business. Vessels arriving 
oft' outlying signal-stations often bring important intelli- 
gence as to derelicts and wrecks passed on their voyages, aa 
also information of vessels in distress and requiring assist- 
ance. Vessels from long voyages, frequently considerably 
overdue, are also reported from these stations. Not one vessel 
in ten ever arrives now at a port in the United Kingdom 
without having been previously reported from one of Lloyd'e 

Vessels which on passing one of Lloyd's signal-stations in 
the United Kingdom hoist their ensign and signal letters 
are, without any charge, reported immediately in Lloyd'a 
List, the Siiippinff Oazette, and various leading newspapers. 
When shipowners wish vessels reported to their own offices, 
the vessels, in passing the signal-stations have in addition to 
hoist the letters PQG (of the International Code), meaning, 
"Beport me to my owners." In this latter case a charge of 
uue shilling is made, in addition to the cost of the tekgiam. 
Captains may, by leaving with Lloyd's the name and address 
of the person to whom the report is to be sent, have the 
passing of their vessel reported from signal -stations to their 
wives or families at the cost of the telegram if the report be 
telegraphed, or gratis if the report be sent by post ; only it 
is a condition in such cases that the information is for the 
use of the officer's family only, and not for business purposes. 

The following is a list of the signal-stations of the Corpora- 
tion of Lloyd's at the present time : — 


North Foreland. 


Beacli; Head, 

Nettleatone Poiut (IW.) (temporarily 

SL Cfttherino's Point (I.W.) 

Anvil Point (near Swanage) (tem- 
porarily BT!8[iendeii). 


Portland Bill. 

Brixliatn (for Torbay). 

•Prawlo Point 

■The Li7^rd. 

Aldemey (temporarily suspended}. 


Sdlly Islands. 

Lundy Islaod. 

Pcnartli [temporarily sn^pended). 

Barry Island. 

Mumblci^ Head. 



St Ann's Head (MilTora Haven). 

Calf of Man. 

Roche's Poiut. 

•Old Uaad of Kinsale. 

•Brow Head. 

Tory Island. 


Malin Head. 

Rathlin Island. 

Tor Point 

Kadonan {month of the Clyde). 


Lam lash. 

Butt of Lewis (Hebrides). 

Dunnet Head (Pentland Firth). 

Fair lale (temporarily suspended}. 


May Island. 

6t Ahb's Head. 

Flamborou^h Head. 

Spurn Head. 

Grimsby (temporarily suspended). 


Orford Ness. 

At the stations marked * arrangements have been made to take night- 
dgnale. Night-signals made to the Dover signal -station should be shown 
when the ressel ia as near bb possible on a straight line between the Qrisnez 
and Dover Liglits. The answering night-signal used at Lloyd's signal- 
Btations is mode by flasbes from a flashing-lamp. The signal to call the 
attention of a. passing vessel is a series of continuous short flashes. The 
Hignat to intimate that a vesgel'a signals have been seen and reeognized is a 
eeries of long-short flashes repeated as often aa may be necessary. If the 
signal shown by a vessel has not been understood, tlie lamp is kept dark until 
the vessel repeats her signals. 

Ebnnorc (J. T. Lund, Repoiler). 


Hoitenau (Baltic entrance to Kaiser 

Wilholm CanalJ, — Messrs. Sartori 

and Berger, Ship Agents and lle- 

Brnnabiittelkoog (EUbe entrance to 

Kaiser Withelm Canal). — Me-ssm. 

Sartori and Berger, Ship Agents 

ftnd Heporlera. 
Hoek van Holland (Ulntraacc to 

Waterway to Rotterdam).— G. 

Dirfczwager, Ship Agent and Be- 

Port Said. 

i St. Michael's. 

Cape Spartel. 


Ponta Fcrrarin \ 

Ponta do Arnel / 


Las Palmas [Orand Canary). 

St. Helena. 


Capo Point, 

Cape L'Agiilhas. 

Bluer (Port Natal). 

Fort St Sebastian (Mozambique) 

Monlaerrat (W.I.). 


Cape Race. 

Brcaksea Island (K.G.S.), 

Goode laUnd (Torres StrBiwj. 

Cape Maria van Diemen (Kz,) 

Farewell Spit (N.Z.). 

Nugget Point (N.Z.). 


The following Table shows the number of vessels reported 
from Lloyd's signal -stations iu the United Kingdom during 
the six months from the Ist of April to the 30th of September, 
1897 ;— 




L «_ 














880 1 9,714 

V HoTtli?or<duHl ... 





645 ' 6.13^ 

■ Dul 





339 1 7.620 

H Dover 





575 13L20! 

^K Duncenew 

H B«Mli7H««d 





3.M '13.815 





410 : T.6i9 

^ Notliwitone Point ... 





1,490 , 3.821 

" 81. Cthcrine'B Potnt 







Anvil Painl 




















^ PrawlePobt 







■ Llunl 







V Bci% 







W tS^kia'.'.'. 








K PcauiL 







■ B&rry Island 





104 , 12.120 

■ MLiuLI««H«ad ... 





1 1.GW 

■ St Anne's Heftd ... 





III 1 7,2S1 

b OOfofUui 




B Kildonn 







^^ Butt of Lewi. 







Dnnnet He»d 





















May Island 





































Flamborough Head... 
Spurn H«3 























































Roche's Point 







Old Head of Kinsale 






Brow Head 







Tory Island 






Malm Head 

























Burr Point 












Lloyd's regibteh 391 

Besides the benefits of this iustitution in the protection of 
B interests of merchants and of shipowners from the accidents 
d the losses of navigation, the public spirit which on a great 
riety of occasions has been displayed by Lloyd's in rewards 
«iid honours to brave sailers who have risked their lives in 
saving others, and in the event of their death while so engaged 
in charitable relief to their unfortunate widows and orphans, 
entitles this unrivalled association to rank among the greatest 
monuments of British philanthropy, as well as those of com- 
mercial enterprise and honour. 

Lloyd's Beqibter of British and Fokbiqk Shippimo. 

Lloyd's Register of British and Foreign Shipping is a society 
entirely distinct from Lloyd's, although an offshoot from that 
institution, voluntarily maintained by the shipping community, 
having its headquarters at White Lion Court, Comhill. London. 
It was established in 1834, by the amalgamation of "The 
Register of Shipping," founded in 1760, with "The New 
Register Book of Shipping," founded in 1799. Its principal 
functions are, first, the surveying and classification of merchant 
vessels, yachts, etc.. b'tth new and old ; secondly, the annnal 
publication of a Register Book and a Yacht Register; thirdly, 
the supervision of the testing of anchors and chains under the 
provisiotta of the Chain Cables and Anchors Acts ; fourthly, 
the supervision of the testing at the manufactories of the steel 
intended fur use in the construction of ships and boilers ; also 
of large ship and engine forgings and castings ; and fifthly, 
the assignment of freeboard to vessels of all types under the 
Merchant Shipping Act of 1894. The Register Book contains 
very full particulars of all vesisels classed by the society, and 
also particulars of all other sea-going vessels of every country 
of the world, of 100 tons and upwards. This Register is in 
all respects a most remarkable publication. Designed mainly 
to meet the demands of the shipping and mercantile com- 
munities tbrougbout the world, and thus to serve all the pur- 
poses of en International Register and Directory of Shipping 
combined, it necessarily partakes largely of the character of 
a business hook of reference. It gives particulars of vessels 
which in the aggregate represent over t^ent^-w-s. \w\\\\ws\ Vsw^ 


ttAiffing. No o>iintrr is loo htaignifinnt. none too distant 
l» W piMd over, k small stale like Coeta Rii-a appetiring, 
tnA tti on* tteuner of 592 tons, side l^ side with ike United 
8Mm *d A»fTin, with ber 780 steftmers, and 2370 Euliaf- 
Ifc^ lip— ililifc in all 2,448,677 Uma. 

V^Ht IK tb* ~ Bagister of Shipping " of 1760, the cUssifin- 
I tkttof ditps w flist attempted, the vowels. A, E, I.O,aQd G, 
wc cmplofvd lo deitote the relative quality of the bulla, 
and the lett«» G. M, and B (oietuiing Gootl, Middling ud 
*Bad) tu denote the quality of the equipment. Latet, tlw 
Sgmws I. 2. 3 and 4 were used in reference to the equip- 
meot, the wdl-known symhol Al indicating a first-rate reml 
with a ilrst-iate equipnieat. first appearing in the Begul«r 
tM 177&-76. 'When a ship had w far deteriorated ba not to 
be admisBible in anv cla«s, she wm said to be " off the lettet." 
Tliia Register ouotinaed until 1799 to be the only record of 
' tike age, borthcn, build, quality, and condition of Brituk 
umiilu, and Its aBthoritj in great measure goremed the 
shipper and the onderwriter in the freightiiig of goods, a 
in the matter of insurance ; and it aliso largely regnlated the 
value of the ships themselves. 

Aboat the time that the underwriters of Lloyd's shifted 
their qoarters frtsn Lombard Street to Pope's Head Alley an 
alteratiwi was made in the system of clasadficatioii t^ ships 
which caused much dissatisEkcticu, and eventually led to the 
establishment by shipowners of a rival Register. The exist- 
ence of two competing associations was found, however, to be 
fraught with much inconvenience, and both were nltimatelf 
threatened with a financial collapse. Still the two Begisten 
remained in conoorrent circolatitm until 1834, when they 
were at last merged in " Lloyd's Blister" on its present 
basis. Even the new society in its early yean was not 
exempt from financial tronble. Within two years from its 
establishment the number of subscribers dwindled from 721 
to 615, and in 1836, when Christmas came ronnd, the then 
chairman, Ur. Thomas Chapman, who held that positioD for 
close upon fifty years, had to put his hand in his pocket to 
provide the salaries of the staff. This, however, was the 
"darkest hour l<efore the dawn,*' for prosperity soon after 



attended the Committee's efforts, and bucIi a state of things 
never recurred. 

At the present time wooden ships of the highest grade are 
classed A for a term of years, subject to occasional, or annual 
sorveys when practicable, also to Italf-time or intermediate 
special surveys. They are eligible for continuation or restora- 
tion of their character for further periods upon special surveys 
described in the niles of the society. Of course, the construc- 
tion of wooden vessels has now been practically abandoned 
in the United Kingdom. 

Wooden ships whicli have passed the period assigned on 
the A character on original survey, or on continuation or 
restoration surveys, or which did not have an original cha- 
racter, may be classed A in red. These are aubjei;t to annual 
snrvey and to the half-time survey presi'ribed in the Rules. 
A Ifiwer class is denoted by the symlxil X. Vessels so 
classed are considered to be fit for the conveyance of dry and 
perisliable goods on s-horttr voyages than the higher classed 
vessels. They must be submitted to annual sun'ey and to 
special survey within periods not exceeding fmir years. 

Steel and iron ships are classed by the society ^^^ with a 
numeral prefixed, thus : lOOA, 95A, 90A, and so on ; also ^^ 
without a numeral for special truden. These numerals are for 
comparative purjioses only, and do not denote terms of years. 
Under former regulations many vessels still in existence 

were classed ^(f^^j ^^> ^S^> *'"'^' ^^i "i"! '" ^'"■■'> 
cases these old symbols have been matntaiiietl. Vessels 
retain their charaotevs so long as, on careful annual surveys 
and periodical special surveys, they are found to be in a fit 
and efficient condition to carry dry and perishable cargoes. 

To carry out the work of these surveys Lloyd's Register 
employs a very large staff of surveyors, not only in London, bat 
at all the outports in the United Kingdom, and at all the 
principal ports of foreign countries and the colonies; the 
anmber in the United Kingdom aione being 156. With two 
or three exceptions at certain minor ports, all these surveyors 
in the United Kingdom, as well as many of those at the 
more important foreign porta, are exclusively the officers of 



lk» siMtT, aad vn not permitted to engage in any otfan 
er mploTinnkt wbAtooerer. l^eir daties may it 

1. To ruty oat and Kpivt k> tli« Comtnitt^e all samn 
(dans^ th« piMatroetion and aft^nranls) m^nired od the 
T g iw tbs. w tkMr es^nws and iMtlers. under the socrtety's ndei ; 
«Bd opoo lb«n icyuaU ts Ivsed th« olaasiScatioD of tbe ship. 

^ Ib «w» of ^BAge fa> re^M-U to hoM spe<^'al sarren I* 
■scvrtein tka cxteat t4 the dama§:P. and to reriiHiimend die 

9L Tb maj a«k tata t# itael, lar^ foi^iogs and castiIl£^ 

KED«Dt8 «nd surreys reqoired in orier to 

> Oiiiuiutte« to a^aign ft^eboatd under the Load 

f Jd vi 1890. «hi<'Ii u iii>w nuhodied in the H^tdHllI 

fftlHt^Attof 18M.* KoHly KMWO nrii fteeboudB bm 

hnBMKgaed by tka CootaxttsiL 

IWOoawfktBeofLkTABagislerwlknfiist fti^oiBtedfia 

^^ I89L vwknd SB MMahew. vfao vb« all drawn flnm LoodM 

aI->Qe : n'w the C.-oitnitte* nanabers 5S meinheTs, compceed f.i 

, iBen*biuit&, shipovnen. aad iui>l<r«rit«rs, repres^nbative of all 

1^ Iks pruKipat shipfia^ potta (tf tbe •i^untry, and thus appur- 

Ikued:— LtMidoit.aB; livetpot^d; GU^ow, 6; theTyne,3: 

th«W«w.2; Haitl«potfi2; CaidifC2; Leith,!; Greenock,!; 

HoU. 1: Bri^hd. 1; Ab«id«em 1; BelCut. 1; Dundee, 1; 

Xewp>jrt and Swwi5««. 1 ; and the Tees Ptxts and Whitby, 1. 

The CUssifioktioa Committee uf Lloyd's Register meets twice 

a wtvk. and deals in tbe oo«u9e of the year with something lite 

sixdeen lh«xMuid ««»«« of resseb arising npon repocta o( 

Burreys frvm tbe ftviety sarreyots in all parts of the worid. 

U'.«i of the $bip|4ng now ander constraetioa in the United 

lun{e^l*.'m. as well as a large aBMwnt of tMUoage in progres 

abfvwi. is being butt nndev the direct snpo-rision i:^ tbe 

swietT * sorreyvi^s. witb a xiew to dassificatitHt by tbe 


I * MMv-hAM Sfcipfwf: A>.t. 1994. scetiM 443L— -TW Baud ot Tmk ^Wi 

i *Ffo.'ia( the CuBininw of Llunl~« RegiHcr of Britkh mad Fonjgn Sh^fiDe 

. . . ii> a[fio*» a^ ferof; va tktir b«4alf &«« tine to tne tbe posoiw ^ 




At the present time, when all, or nearly all, vessels are con- 
stmcted of either steel or iron, it is interesting to note that 
only twelve years ago the publication of Lloyd's Register 
contained notices of no less than five wooden vessels built in 
the last century, and which were then still afloat and in use ; 
the oldest of these being the British barque Truelovcy of 285 
tons, which was built at Philadelphia, n.SA.y as far back as the 
year 1764. Such instances of the longevity of wooden ships 
are, however, quite exceptional. 

Besides British ships a very large amount of foreign shipping 
is included in Lloyd's Begister; but in addition to Lloyd's 
Begister there are eight other societies which perform the same 
daties and carry out the same functions in foreign countries 
as Lloyd's Begister does in the United Kingdom. None of 
these societies, however, do anything like the amount of business 
that is conducted by Lloyd's Begister, as may be seen from the 
following table for the year 1898 : — 

Nune of cUMlileation sodelj. 

Llo^d*8 Register * 

British Corporation 

Burean Veritas (France) 

Germanischer Lloyd (Germany) . . , 
Nederlandsche Vereenieing van*^ 

AjBsaradenren (Holland) ... / 

Norske Veritas (Norway^ 

Record of American ana Foreign | 

Shipping (United States) ... / 

Begistro Italiano 

Veritas Austro-Ungarico (Austria) 

j 8«Uing- 



1 ToUl number 
of rtmeilM 

, clMsedineach 





















* These figures exclude vessels classed in the society^s Yacht Register. 










( The naiHta qf i>e»teh a 

reprintodin Ilnlia.) 

lb ijDibol first iised, 392 

AiiprenticeB' indentures, 277 

I*an6y, 119 

premiums. 278 

leen Lino, 192 

««pos. 279 

Apprenticeship, alteratious reijuired, 

, 262, 263 
inia, 140 

ia. 134 

Arab, Union Company, 175 

capture uf, lu 

ArchiTi^aia, 111 

1 treBtmsDt of nppi-eiitioea, 280 

Arelie, Collins Line, loss of, 136 

P. an.l 0., 1o88 af. 159 

AT^nd, M., 332 

tic. Wliite Star, 185 

Argand bnmerB, 332 

CollitLS Line. 138 


((we, 82 

Arizona, 251 

I, CuDUd Liua, 136 

Armed cruisere. 260 

<>i>. 3 

AilJmrton, 227 

a, 251 

Alia, Cunord Lbe 13G 


AUielHtsn, G 

tbe Great, 5 

AUanlic, Collins Line. 135 


Australia, discovery of. 77 

o, 140 

Awitr^ia, P. and 0., 246 ^H 

Line, 183 

Automatic logs. 302 ^^M 

H8, Cftpwin, yj 

Auxiliary screws, 174 ^H 

5n, Itoyal Mail, tbe burning of, 

Azores, 27 ^^1 

ica, 134 

32 ^^1 

can Line, 187 

Baltic, CoUins Line, 216 ^^H 
, \Vhit« Suir, 185, S16 ^^M 

icAD Tea Clippore, 231 

iKo VeBpucci, 30 

Baltimore Clippers, 221 ^^H 

ar Line, 189 

Barlow, CapUin, 59 ^^M 
Baron Nor<lenakiold. 40 ^^M 

.r lights, 370 

nt Britona, 3 

Bartholomew Diaz, 27, 64 ^H 

canals across tlio Isthmus of 

IMivia, Cunard Line, 139 ^H 


Battle off Sandwich, aJ). 1217 ..17 

ighthousea, 31 S 

off Sluys, A.I.. 1340.. 19 

Bon, Mr. Arthur, 146 

Beacons, 349 

1, Commodore, 79 

Bede, t 

1 e voyage round the world, 79 

Bd/ait, 185, 227 

iiilicea, 276 

Bell buoys, 350 

Bell Bocl Lightbouae. 623 

actual treatmem of, 280 

iu 1830, 282 

BeUs and watches, 296 - 

number of, 276 

Bengal, imports from, 69 ^^m 

lutices' duties to owuers, 279 

iJenj^, P.andO., 154 ^^H 


Bttty Oulley, the wreck of, 1734 .. 

Bibby Line, 192 

BilliDg's Oate, 7 

Bishop Rock Lighthouse, 327 

Black Ball Line, 229 

Black Prin<x, 233 

BliKkiBtiil, 228 

Blades of propellers, 250 

Blake, 62 

Blasco de Gnray, 102 

Blue Jacket, 165 

, burning of the, 225 

Blue Peter, 358 

Boatawain, 273 

Bokliara, P. and 0,, Iobh of, 159 

Bonil>ay and Suez mail, US, Ifil 

Bona Vunjidentia, 38 

Bona Speranza, 36 

Bothnia, Ciuiard Line, 140 

BuBit, While Star, 187 

Bowie Tub of Newoaelle, 238 

Bcislol, 43 

Biitannia, Cunard Line, 134, 215 

Britannic White Star, 185 , 

Britiih Oomma-ce, White Star, 185, 

BrilUh Qu(tn, 110 
liritiab seamen, number of, 270 

retained Hs armed 

system of toDuege, 243 
tonnnce, 1688-1898.. 254 

Briton, Union Company, 174 

, new, Union Company, 170 

BnioBwick dock, 91 

Builders' Old Meaaarement, 240 

Tonnaga, 239 

Buoyancy ofsea water, 377 

Buoys, 349 

Byron, John, 80 

Cabot, John, 31 

, Sebastian, 36 

Caai/u^o, 49 

Ctesar, JiiliuB, 2 

Calabria, 140 

C'lkdoaia, 134 

Camhria, Cunard Line, 134 

Campania, Cunard Line, 141, 217, 

247, 253 
Canada, Cuoard Liue, 134 

, Dominion lane, 189 

Candia, P. and 0., 164 
Canute, 7 

Cape of Good Hope, 27 
Cape Verde lalanda, 27 

' Captain Cook, 80, 83 
j Cargo-steamers, 123, 193 
I Carpenter, 273 

Carracks, 33 
I CaaUo Line, 176. 17^ 

Catoptiic system, 330 

Cattle-boats, 187, 201 


6U(ie, White Star, 135 
I Cenfurioit, 79 
I Chain cables, 131 

I rigging, 131 

; C^oUm^, 222 

I Chtiilenger,7S.'3 

I Champion of the Seai,l^,2Q& 

' Chancellor, lUchard, 36 

' Chapman Lighthouse, 327 

j Charles II., B2 ^H 

I OharlotU Duadas, 103 ^M 

I Chief Mate, 286 ^M 

Ohimborato, Orient Line, 171 ^^M 

Oatfia, BiBt iron Cuuardet, 139 ^ 

' , P, and 0., loss of, 162 

, China t«a race, 1850 ..223 

, 1866.. 231 

, I8G7..232 .^ 

, 1869. .235 ,^M 

; 1870. .236 ^M 

. 1871 ..236 H 

, 1 872 . . 236 V 

Chinaman, 233 

Christopher, 1 9 
I Christopher Columbus, 29, 30 
] Vhryeotite, 223 

■ Cinque Portfi, 8, 18 

■ City Lino, 192 

I City of Ballimort, m 
I Cil!/ o/ Brtusdi, 216 
i OUyofChxiW, 188 
City of Olatgoiu, Inman Line. 113, 


City of Montrta}, destruction of, 212 

OUy of New Tork, 188 

Ciiyo/Farit, 188 

aty q/" RvAmond, IBS 

Oitt/ qf Roma, Auohor Lme, 189, 251 

City of Washington, 187 

Ckn Line. 192 
I OlassiScation of ships, 392 
' Clousentum, 3 
. Clearances and ontnmccs, 1837-97. . 

i Chrmont, 104 

! Coal, 22 

I , amount per horso-power, 1 14 

: , coat of, to the P. and O^ 153 


C:;oal fires, 329 
"Ooals, danger of, 213 
CSoUins Line, 135 
CoiambOj fire on board the, 118 

, P. and 0., 154 

OoloflSQS of Rhodes, 318 
€Jfoiumhiaj 134 
Cknnet, 105 
Ck>xnposite Bjstcm of shipbuilding, 

Ck>inpound engines, 139 
Oonstmction of iron and steel ships, 

Omtract times for mails to the East, 

Control of lights, 339 
Cook, 274 

Cost of lenticular apparatus, 335 
Cost of lights, 340 
Cotton, spontaneous ignition of, 212 

steamers, 212 

Crest of the Wave, 232 
Crusades, 9 
Cuba, 139 

Cufic, White Star, 187 
Canard Line, 133, 144 
Cutty 8ark, 235, 236 
Cvzco, Orient Line, 171 
Cjlindrical refractors, 333 

Daxpieb, 78 

Dane, Union Company, 174 
Danes, 4 

Dan^rons cargoes, 378 
Darnel Bernoulli, 111 
Danish ship, ancient, 4 
Danube, Royal Mail, 169 
Davis, John, 44, 65 
Dead reckoning, 300 
Deane, Anthony, 62 
Deductions from tonnage, 242 
Dee, Royal Mail, 165 
Deep-sea soundings, 304 
Demerara, Royal Mail, 169 
Deramore, 205 
Derelicts, reportmg, 293 
Dias, Bartholomew, 27, 64 
Dioptric lights, lamps for, 335 

system, 333 

Dischaiges, seamen's, 292 
Displacement tonnage, 244 
Distances lights are Tisible, 336 
Distant sigiuJs, 367 
Docks in London, 91 
Dominion, 189 
Dominion Line, 189 

Donald McKay, 224 

Donald McKay, 230 

Double bottoms, 124 

Dragon, 66 

Drake, Sir Francis, 45, 46, 47 

Drakers, 4 

Draught of water, 375 

Dr. Dupre, 212 

Dreadnought, 227, 229 

Drummond Castle, loss of the, 181 

Dundas, Lord, 103 

Dunvegan Castle, Castle Line, 180 

Durfooth, Cornelius, 36 

Dutch, the, 61, 67, 68, 69 

Duties of apprentices to owners, 279 

of owners to apprentices, 279 

Earl of Baloarres, 73 
East India Company, 64 

, the new, 70 

East India Company's officers, 74 

ships, 75, 85 

East India Docks, 93 
East Indiamen, 68, 72, 253 

, sale of the ships, 75 

Eclipse, Isle of Thanet, and Fawn, 

Eddystone Lighthouse, 320 
Edenmoor, the loss of, 210 
Edward Bonaventure, 36 
Edward Cotton, the loss of, 57 
Edward I., 18 
Edward IIL, 19 

, Great Fleet of, 20 

Edward IV., 22 

Edward VI., 43 

Elder, Dempster, and Co., 192 

Electric light for Lighthouses, 337 

Elizabeth, Queen, ^, 50, 66 

Endeavour, 81 

Engineers, 275 

English ships in the seventeenth 

century, 63 
Elnsigu, blue, 356 

, red, 357 

, white, 356 

English ships in the time of Elizabeth, 

to repel the Armada, 52 

Enterprise, first steamer to India, 

Ethclred II., 6 
Entrances and clearances, 1837-97 .. 

Etna, 155 
Etruria, Cunard Line, 141 

Burepa, Cnuu4 Line, iSi 
Rumpcan utd AiiBtnli&u Sleam 
* Navigation Cotnpaay. Itii, 1G<} 
F.sperimciiU at tbe Soutli Foreland, 

- Official Report of ikt Committee, 



>, 113 



iUeon, 236 

Falkland Inkodii. tIisooTt9i7 of, W 

F.B. Ogdtn. in 

Fordiaand d« LeoMpa, 307 

Ki*ry tv™. .i33 

FiBM. 268 

Firemen. 2T<> 

Flags, Zhb 

Plasliing lighia, 345 

Floau ^ paddlo-wboek, 248 

Jt^ytnir doud, 221 

Flying Spur, 233 

Fog-homa, 346 

Fog-wiens, 348 

Feud, bill uf bra, 267 

Forc« of the wares, 326 

Foreign nUDAu, 26$ 

/'or(«, Itcml Mail, 166 

Fonline of Iron ahlpa' tx>Uoins, 117 

FrciericV Suiivntce, 110 
Freiglit tammge, 244 
French lightu, 33.5 
Frunch system of lightiiig, 334 
Freanal, M. Angiiatm, 333 
Froliialier, 44 
FroieU'iuoat trade, 202 
Fniit Bteamers, 204 
FuitOD, Robert, 104 

Oatfta, Cunard Line. 140 
Qangt*, v. and 0., bumii^ of, 163 
Gurnnne, Orient Line, 171 
Gan-bnojH, 350 
Uiu-light for Lightlionae pDiposee, 

(iencral Steam Navigation Co., 192 
Genoese, 33 
Gcocdiee, 199 

G-^rgic, Wliit« Star, 167, 202 
Germanic, White Star, 186 
Uilbert, Sir Humphrey, 59 

Golden Spar, 233 

Gothland. C&stie Line, 171 
Gi-dm lU Dieu, 24 
Grain steamerv, 204 

Great Fleet of Kinj; Edward 

Grtat Liverpool, 149 
, Great S»pubU<. 227 
I Grvil WnUm. 109 
j Great W»tina Suaa Sa^fda 

Companj, 113 
' Orwn, Mr. Bkbani, 213 
I Qreenknd Dock, 91 

Orenville, Sir I«ebar«l, 60 
I Grey Eayk, 222 

Oreyhoiuui, 222 

Ounge for Li^tsUipi, 347 

Qovemmeirt acheme fur Inontfl 
the nnmber of Britiafa mSkit*. 11 

Gross tonnage, 241 
I Onll-Streoro Light Venel, 344 
' Gunpowder flag. 358 

HiLL LciE, 192 
. Hawkins, Sir John, -44, &3 

Hewkina. Will, 43 

Heaving the lead, 303 

Heaving the I<^, 301 

Rttior, 66 

Helmsman, the, 297 
I //«vt OdMAi)te»,42 



! v., 34 

Henrv V., the Fleet of. 24 

HeurV VII., 29 

Henrj- VIII., 42 

Hibernia, Cunard Line. 134 

Ifimaloya, ?. and 0., 154 

Bindo^n, P. and 0., 150 

Holkere, 4 

Jiott/ Crou. 34 

Holy Ohoa, 24 

HouHe-flags, 358 

Horse-power, 245 

Huughtm Tbuxr 227 ■ 

Howanl, Lord, of ESingham, 53 

Hubert do Burgh, 17 

Hulls, Jonathan, 102 

Hurricane, 230 

Ilfdatpa, P. and 0., 162 

7tenb, P. and 0., 148 

leeland, 56 

Mand, Castle Line, 179 

DlmninantB for Lighthouses, 337 

Illumination, moaua of, for Liglil- 

houses, 330 
Increase of size in ships. 253 

of Bpeed in steamers, 251 

India and China Mail, 150 



Indian troopers, 297 

Inman Line, 187 

International Code, 369 

IriB, H.1LS., 125 

Insh lights, 340 

Iriah mSi Boat, wreck of, 1734 .. 84 

Iron and steel steamships, 121 

bulwarks, 129 

in shipbuilding, 116 

masts, 130 

— ships, Opposition of the Gk)vem- 
ment, 116 

— vessels, 254 
-, the first, 119 

yards, 130 

/MS, Royal Mail. 166 
Isle of May Light, 334 
Ide of Tfianet, 120 
Ivan the Terrible, 35 

Jack, Ukion^ 355 
Jacques Cartier, 32 
Jamm Baines^ 229 
Jamee Watt, 107 
John Bertram^ 224 
John B^n, 80 
John of Gaunt, 23 
Jonas, 46 
Judith, 45 

Kaiser WUhdm der Orosse, 116 

Kangaroo, Liman Line, 187 

Keel-hauling, 16 

Keels, 3, 25, 239 

KelTin^s sounding machine, 304 

Kentish Knock. Light-vessel, 344 

Khedive, P. and 0., 156 

King Coal, 201 

Kii&s Chamber^ 24 

King's Baa, 24 

Knight Commander, 185, 227 

KnounHey Hall, 185, 227 

Labrador, Dominion Line, 190, 217 

LoAZoo, 236 

Lambert and Holt's Lbe, 192 

Lamps for Dioptric lights, 335 

La Plata, loss of, 193 

Lardner, Dr^ on steamers, 107 

Laureniian^ Allan Line, 184 

Lead, heaving the, 303 

Lead-line, 3€3 

Legal quays, 88 

Lenticular apparatus, cost of, 335 

Les Rdles dHJleron, 10 

Leasepe, M. Ferdinand de, 307 

Letters of Maroue, 18 
Life-saving appliances, 374 
Light dues, 352 

, Half-Rate Over-Sea, 353 

, Home Trade rates, 352 

, Over-Sea Scale, 353 

Lighthouse, Bell Rock, 328 
Bishop Rook, 327 

-, Chapman, 327 

-, Eddystone, 320 

-, Longshipa, 326 

-, Mucking, 327 

-, North Foreland. 328 

-, Skerryvore, 324 

-, St Catherine's, 336 

-, the Maplin, 327 

-, Wolf, 326 

Lighthouses, 318 

, ancient, 318 

and lightships, telegraphic com- 
munication witn, 351 

, painting, 322 

, Screw-Pile, 327 

-, Shore, 329 

Lightning, Black Ball Line, 229 
Lightning lights, 342 
Lights, comparative briDianoy of. 347 
Lights, Royal Commission on, I80I .. 

Lightships, 341 

, crevra of, 344 

run down, 344 

Liaies, 230 
Liverpool, 96 

in 1566. .97 

in the time of Elizabeth, 97 

, shippmg of, 1760 to 1897 .. 99 

, the dodcs, 100 

Livmool, 227, 237 
UoycTs, 383 

Coffee House, 383 

List, 384 

, number of vessels reported at 

Lloyd's Signal Stations, 390 

Register, 391 

R^ter, kindred societies, 395 

, the Incorporation of, 384 

, Signal Stations, 388 

Loading Grain, 205 
Loading OU, 207 
Load-line, 375, 377 
Loch Qarry, 236 
Loch 2bfTi^ii.236 
Log, heaving tne, 301 
Log-line and glass, 300 
Logs, Automatic, 302 


UnaoB, tU Do^ » 



/.wnaio, OuMd Um, 141,SlT,a47, 

Lnb vai TotTM, 77 
ZMitoM, Oriwt Ubi, 171, Ut 

MaeAOilw. wiwk o^t7M..M 


JfMd y Ada, SW 

HwiM bmsBoe, 384. 386 
JWof^bfy. IOC 
MuT7«t^ codv, SfiO 

MtOktm QmmH, 96 



l.f I 

t !ightlio» 

M<.w<iir<<iuont for lonn«M, 24) 

Mc<iinU iiujwction, 365 

UtJina, Roj-k) JUil. IGti 

UtxIiM SiauntB, Uuke uf, 51 

Mrdwy, BovkI Ukil, 165 

JVrrt»». 125 

Menu; li^hu, SSI 

iferimn, Union CotniMuiy, 175 

MillM. Mr. Patrick. 1U2 

UiUw&ll Do«kii. 94 

Mineral oil light for ligfatbouMR, 337 

if iniM, 45 

Mongoliam, Allui Line, 184 

Udqbod, Sir WiUiuu. 68 

Uconthirt', 66 

Jf<x>r, Union CoiniMDy. 175, 24G 

HooriBgB of lighlahipH, 343 

Mooniom S\-steiii, 241 

liofclh. Ra>ftl Uail, 163 
■ Mutambique, 28 
— Mucking Lighiliouse, 827 

NAP..LEOS and the Som Canal, 307 

Katal Line, 192 

NatioQiJ coloanfor Uerchantmen, 355 


NawfcudUiMl, 32, 5< 



A'M^vra, CoiMnl Line, 131 

Kile, Royd lUil 169 
.Vmniuin:. White SUr, 187 
Xuntiml lioru-pDwor, 246 
XordcnskialJ. Buon, 40 
Xortaan, Cnion Compaajr. tT4 

, Uie new, 178 

N<irtb America, settlosient ot 31 
North Foreland Lighthoose, 338 
Nwth-vrat ptMBOff!, 33 
Norvegiau ctesmer, colliaoo, SfLiwi 
ATitMo, P. and 0., 154 ^| 

Somber of Hritish ships, 252 
S'umidia-i, Allan Line. 134 

OccrLHso UOHT8, 342 

Chtanic. White Star, 185, 2J3 

Ocean Linen, 122 

Tnimps, 193 

OfTencefl and fines, 268 

Officers on boar J the great Liners, 295. 

Official log-book, 291 
; , entries in, 292 

OiU for lighthouse pnrposes, 336 

Oil-tank liteatnera, 206 

Ophir, Orient Line, 1T2 

Ordinary seamen, 262 
. Ora^ii.Cunud Line, 144,216 
I Orient Line, 171 

OriaU, Orient Line, 172, 246 
' Orient^, dipper ship, 222 

, P. wid 0.. 149 

; Oritaba, 1G2, 191 

Orotava, capsizing of, 125, 191 

Oroya, Pacific Steam Narijatijii 
Company, 172, 191 
^ Orlona, Pacific Steam Nar%aIion 
I Company, 191 

^E^l "^^^B 

^^^^1^^^^^ ^m 

INDEX 4D3 1 

Omba, Pacific Steam NaTigation 

PreB8-gang, 85 

Company, 172,191 

PHde 0/ the Ocean, 236 

Overland roulo, 161 

Prince ftjene, wreck of, 1734 „ 84 

Princeton, 227 

Pac.jfc, 135.215 

Progress of the British Mercantile 

, loss of the, 138 

Marino, 252 

Pacific Sleam Navigation Compmy, 

PropeUor, 248 


Propellers, right or left-handed, 250 

Navy, 112 

Proportion of horse-power to tonnage, 

Paddle-wiiecU, 248 

Punjaub, 231 

Painting liglitliouBea, 322 

P. and 0., 146 

(3.E.D., the, 200 

regulBtiunH, 157 

Quarantine fiags, 358 

Parabolic reflectora, 331 

QuartermaaterB, 273 

Paris, 243 

Qaeen Elisabeth, 32, 50, 66 

Parii,aB,AUan Line, 184 

Qaten of the Eait, 149 

Fateha, 46 

Queen of thi IPwi, 227 

PiilriariA, 226 

Raiabow, 120 

Raleigh, Sir Walter, 59, 67 _^_ 

Battler, 112 il^^H 

Pedro Fernando de Quiros, 77 

Rfd Jacket, 229 ^^^H 

Priira,,, 47 

ReSecUir system, 230 ^^^^H 

ReSeotors, parabolic, 331 ' l^^^l 

Feppereoni, 67 

, Trinity House, 332 ■ 

Pero, P. and 0., 164 

Refractors, cylindrical, 333 1 

Pemarabuco, 32 

Register Tonnage, 241 I 

Fertia. Cnnard Line, 138 

Reporting Derelicts, 293 1 

Personnel of the British Mercantile 

Retolulion, 62 1 

Marine, 261 

ResponsibilitieH of the Master, 294 I 

Petty ofBcera, 273 

Revolving lights, 342, 345 1 
Richard Cceiir de Lion, 9 m 

Pharaoh Necho, 3M 

Pharos at Dover, 319 

Richard de Camville, 9 - ^^^^| 

of AleMn<lri8, 318 

Richard n., 23 -^^^H 

Philip n., of Spain, 61 
Philip VL, of France, 19 

Richard m.., 25 ^^^H 

Riggmg. the, 299 ]^^^H 

Philips, Sir Richard, 105 

lUver thieves, 89, 90 ^^^H 

Phioeas Pett, 62 

Riveting, 128 ^^^^H 

Pilot-flag, 358 

Roh Roy, 107 ^^^H 

PiloUvessers h-ghts, 372 

Robert de Sabloil, 9 ^^^H 

Piracy in the siiteenth oenturv, 43 

Robert F. Stockh,», 111 -f^^^H 

Plating ofironshipft, 128 

Roebuck, 78 ^^^M 

PlimeoU, Mr. S., 377 

RohiUa, P. and 0., 162 ' ~^^^^l 

Plirasoll'B Mark, 376 

Roica d'Oleron, 10 ^^^H 

Pope Alexander VI., 65 

Roman galleys, 2 ^^^H 

Pope Gregory Xm., 15 
Pope Paul IIL, 15 

Royal Mail Steam Packet Company, ■ 

164 1 

Port and Starboard Lights, 369 

Royal Naval Reaerve Colours, 367 1 

Porta of England, time of Eliiabeth, 

Royxl Tar, P. and 0., U7 1 

Boyal WiUiam, the first steam war 1 

Aip, 108 1 

Poloii, 253 

Power of borson, 245 

Rule of the road, 370 1 

Present atate of the British Mercantile 

, in rhyme, 381 J 

Marine, 252 

Bwtia, Canard Line, 139 ^^^fl 

Praidenl. 110 




8a ruTco- VESSELS of the world. 357 

SAilmakcr^ 273 
Sailora' gnevuices, 268 
B«lBdm, 9 

auamu. -as 

Sandwich, b«Ulo off, 17 
SftDJoicli LtUmk, Aiaoo-nay or, 83 
Hanlinian, 226 

, AlUn Line, IM 

Satnrdu; aflernonna, 269, 300 
Savaanali. 108 
Baaon. Vukni Cuntpony, 174 
Bealt qf pn/vinotii, SG6 
Bcot, cutting her U half, 1T6 

, Union Company, 176 

Sootoh Lights, 340 

Seotia, bM Cannrd pAddle-eteamer, 

13B, 2I» 
Seolimaii. Domiulon Line, 190 
Screw-eolliens, 199 
8crew-t)ila Lightbousce, 327 
gcrew-propeUor, 110, 139, 240 
Scythia, 140 
Boamen, 262 

, A.B.'8, 262. 263 

, Ordinary, 262 

SeMiien'a DiachargM, 292 
Seamen's QiiarteTS, 248 

fvi Serpent. 232 

vigLlof, 34i 


Ski K'lWi, 211 

Sebaetian Cabot. 35 

Second MaIo. 286 

Svica, 231, 233 

Barvia, Cuitard Line, 140. 261 

Seymour, Sir ThomoB. 44 

Shalinar, 185, 225 

Shaw, Saville, and Albion Lino, 192 

Ship-money, CharlcB I., 67 

Bhipinag Cude of Richurd the Firet, 1 1 

Shipping buainess of England, 265 

buUtin 1897. .255 

Ship's Articles, 26G 

Ship* belonging to London, 1702.. 

belonging to other porta, 1702 .. 


discharging in the river, 89 

Ships' lights, 369 
Shire Line, 192 
Shore LiRhtliotucs, 329 
Sioge of SL Malo, 23 
Signal book, 364 
Signalling, 368 
Signala, 361 
of diatreu, 373 

Signing-on dav. 265 
Simfa, P. and O,, 155 
Sir Francis Drake, 45-17 

Sir nii^ wilioBebbr, ss 

Sir UQghWaWkby^eKiie 
Sir Hnrnphrey GKlb«rt, 59 
Sir John UawkinH, 44, 53 
Sir LaneeM. 232, 234. iH 
Sir KichaH Greuvillc, 60 
Sir Thomas Soyntour, 44 
Sir Walt«r Baleif^, 59, 67 
Sir Williani HtUKm. fit) 
Sirens, 348 
SiHut. 108 
Skerryvore Lighthouec, 321 

, works at the, 325 

Slip, 260 

Sloy*, baltie off, 19 

Smealon, 321 


Snekkare, 4 

Sobriety. 271 


Bohfton, 45 

Soltoav. Royal Mail. 166 


Smmdlivwachtne, Eelviu'a, 304 

Soudfnsi, deep-wa, 304 

, USing. 303 

Soond-signalg fiir f:%. 37H 
South Foreland, eijieriments ai. 33 
South Sand Head Light.vessel, 314 

Sovereign of the Seoi, 224 
Spaniards in Soath America. 56 

Spanish Armada, 51 
ships, 23 

Spar-decked steamers, 211 

Spartan, Union Company, 175 

Speed of steamers, 247 

Spetling-siKnals, 364 

St. Catlienoe's Lighthouse, 33G 

SI. GafrrW, 28 

SL John's, Newfoundland. 31 

KL Eatherine's Docks, 93 

a. U'lii, 218 

St. Malo, siege of, 23 

S(. Mkhad, 28 

S(. Fwl, 218 

St Jiapkael, 28 

St. Saviour's Dock, 91 

Star o/PoK-!, 230 

Steam, 101 

steeling -gear, 297 

Steamers of the world, 256 

Steamers' lights, 371 

Steel in shipbuildii^, 116, 121 

I^^BfiH 1^1 

INDEX 405 1 

Steel vesBelB. 254 

!ZMot,Itayal Mail. 166 

vessels, number of, 120 

Thamu, Royal Mail, 165 

SteerioE, 297 

Thermopylit, 235, 236 
Tilbury Docks, 95 

Stevenson, Bobert, 323 

Stewards, 275 

Tiutanel OastU, Castle Line, 180 

f^tirling Castle, 203 

Tilania, 232, 236 

Slomoimy, 223 

Tobacco, introduction of, GO 

Streogtli of iron slijps, 123 
Suez Canal, 306 

Tonnage, 238 

of the United Kingdom, 255 

. average time in passing through, 

Ibrnado, 227 


Torres, Luis vas, 77 

- — -, Jemanda of Ibe Porte, 308 

Tour de Corduan. 320, 330 

—.description of the, 309 

Tour d'Odro, Bonlogne, 319 

-, distances vtd the, 315 

TYades Inoreast. B7 

, earnings and dividends, 314 

Traiaiog-sbipa. 281 

UVanaadantic Steamship Linea, 133 

-, Lord Boaconsfiald and the, 314 

, objections of the Post Office, 

record, 215 


Transports, ensign for, 357 
TrmiAe-te-Mer, 9 

, official regnkUons of the, 315 

, opposition of the Engliah 

Tnmt, Royal Mail, 165 

Government, 308 

Trinity, 24 

, the Bitter Lakes, 311 

Trinity House, 339 

■, the Canal dues, 312 

reflectors, 332 

, the capital, 307 

TiLttd, East India ship, 231 
, Royal Mail, 166 

, Uie CLarlcr, 308 

, lie works, 308 

, total cost of, 313 

U«>M<t, Cunan! Line, 141 

, tonnage passbg through tlie, 

Undermamung, 264 


Dnderwriters, 385 

SuTishine, G8 

Uriion, 174 

Surprise, 222 

Union Jack, 371 

Snrrey Commercial Docks, 96 

Union Steamship Oompany, 174 

Surveyors to Lloyd's Register, 394 
Suitex, 228 
Siaillow, 45 

Unittd Kingd(m, 108 

VaUtta, P. and 0., 154 ^^^| 

tiuian. 4G 

Vflseo da Qama, 27, 64 ^^^H 

Swearing on board ship, 15 

Vectit, P. and 0., 154 ^^^H 

Swiftture, 106 

r«?<i, voyage of the, 40 ^^ 

Symington, 103 

Venetiiin galleys, 34 

Venetians, 33 

TAcrrus, 3 

Veasel not under control, lights, 371 
Vessel towing, lights for, 371 

Taeping, Cliinn tea clipper, 231, 233 


Vessels added to the Register of 

Tagvt, Hoyal Mail, 165 

United Kingdom, 1897. .258 

Tailting, 233, 236 

lost or broken up, 1897 ..259 

Taibol, 107 

Veita, 137 

Tanks for water-ballast, 126 

Victoria Docks, 94 

Tasman, Jan Abel, 78 

Vikings, 4 

Virginia, 355 

IZburi-tf, White Star, 187 

Voyages of discovery, fifteenth 

Taylor, Mr. James, 103 

century, 31 

Tea Bteamors, 203 

rulran, early iron vessel, 119 

Tel^aphic communication with 

Lightabipa and Lighthouses, 351 

Wages, rate of, 270 

Temptd, Anchor Line, 189 

WathingUm, 136 

TcaUmk, White Star, 186, 216 

Waste of power in paddles, 248 


^HI'WalchoH and bells, 296 

^K 'Watches, Port anil Starboard, 205 

^^ Wnlfir-ballnst, 124 

^m Waterloo, 227 

^P WatBT-ti^t bulkheads, 129 

^ Wftve-formatioD, 249 

Waves, force of the, 326 

Weights, permaneut, 125 

Well-decked etenmers, 211 

West India and Pacific Company, 19: 

West India Docka, 92 

Wheel, 297 

White Adder, 233 

Wbiatling bnovB, 350 

WhUe Star, 185, 225 

White Star Line, 185 


Wi-lgetm, 112 
I Wilkinson, Mr. John, 119 

Willcoi, Mr. Brodie MoGhee, 146 
1 William Rufue, 9 
I William the Conqueror, 7 

Willonghby, Sir Hugh, 35 
I Windhover, 236 
I Wire rope, 131 
I Wooden ships, 117 
' Wool steamers, 204 

Work at sea, 208 

HE 823 Ca2 

TTm Bfltlih mart 

Stanrord Unh«rMty UbrarMa 


3 6105 033 793 S50 




|4I3| 723-1493 

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