Saturday, 19 March 2011


This vessel is proving enigmatic for me. She was in Stornoway harbour at the time of the 1901 census, during the night of 31st March / 1st April. Only three men are quoted on board, namely:

John Bain, master, aged 34, Stornoway
Allan Mcleod, mate, aged 32, Stornoway
D Mcdonald, ordinary seaman, aged 20, Stornoway

Although there was a Royal Navy ship, HMS Rambler, in service around 1901, it was in port in Malta on the night of the census. HMS Rambler was built in 1879, and saw service in China, the Boer War and the Mediterranean, finally to be sold in 1907. The nature of the Rambler in Stornoway is presently a mystery. Any further info of course welcome.

1 comment:

  1. She was very likely either a fishing or a coastal trading sailing vessel. You could look through this list of registered vessels:
    or she could, for example, have been the replacement for this earlier loss:
    how much easier it would be if either the Official Number or the Port Number of Registered Vessels had been recorded on the Censuses!
    The National Archives have a useful guide here: