Sunday, 9 October 2011

137 years ago this month

Glasgow Herald, 24 October 1874



Telegraphing last night, our Stornoway correspondent says:
The effects of the gale have been more disastrous than at first expected, and it is feared several wrecks, involving great loss of life, have occurred along the Western Islands. After Wednesday's gale, a large three-masted vessel was seen in the Atlantic, a long distance off Barvas, about twelve miles west from Stornoway. She appeared to be quite helpless, and to be driving towards land. On Wednesday, the gale increased, with heavy showers of rain, and next morning no vessel was to be seen. In the afternoon large quantities of wreckage were found on the beach at Barvas, together with men's clothing and women's apparel. Later on  in the day a man's body, dressed in sailor's clothes was found and the following among other articles discovered:

A seaman's cap with "forty-five" stitched into it; a piece of a boat's stern with "Maju, London", painted in black letters on a white ground; a brass plate on the binnacle with "P. A. Feathers & Son, Dundee", engraved upon it; and a brass plate fastened to a piece of teak, with "G. H. Wilson, Bank Hall, Liverpool". A dead pig and large quantities of ham, pork and other articles were also found. It is supposed the ill-fated vessel was on her first trip. Yesterday, three more men's bodies were cast ashore, one being quite naked. The others were dressed in seamen's clothes. A mate's certificate was found in a pocket-book; it was in favour of William J. Aitken, aged 25 years, belonging to Edinburgh. From the appearance of the bodies, it is supposed they were not long in the water. Three lower masts also came ashore, all bound together. From all appearance, the ship seems to have foundered on some rocks about 150 yards off Aird, Barvas, near the parish church of Barvas, and there went to pieces. No portion of her hull or cargo has come ashore. At Gallon (Galson), about 20 miles from Stornoway, a chest has come ashore. In the chest were found clothes, and a book with "Robert Anderson, Greenock" upon it; and on the West Coast of Uist several boxes, chests, pieces of boats, and other articles have also been discovered; "James McMaster" was upon one chest. While the Clydesdale steamer was crossing from Lochinver on Thursday, she met a large quantity of timber floating in the Minch, near the mainland side. Latest advices from Barvas report that two additional bodies and a man's leg have come ashore, and that another body has been seen in the surf. The captain and mate are supposed to be among those recovered. The head of the former is very much bruised.

A telegram has been received intimating the total loss of the smack Mary and Jane, of Stornoway, in Loch Eriboll, on Wednesday morning. The crew were saved. The vessel was bound from Thurso to Stornoway, was caught in Wednesday's gale and driven ashore. She was insured.

The following telegram from our Dundee correspondent supplements and explains the story of the wreck sent from Stornoway.

We understand that a telegram was received yesterday afternoon by Messrs Brown & Simpson, shipbuilders, Dundee, conveyin the intelligence that the Maju, of London, had been lost in the vicinity of Stornoway, where a mate's certificate and the ship's papers were picked up and a body had been washed ashore. The Maju left Dundee on Friday, with a crew of 24 in all, including the captain. The Maju and Lochee, the latter being the first of the Dundee line of clippers, left together, and were in company when the disaster to the Maju occurred. The Lochee, it appears, had time to run into some place for shelter before she had got into actual danger, but the Maju, being ahead and fully exposed to th estorm, was overtaken. The Maju was a splendid ship of 1000 tons register and belonged to Messrs Killeck, Martin & Co, shipowners, London. She was commanded by Captain John Smith, who previously commanded the Min and Lahloo and was built for the China trade. The following are the names of the crew:

John Smith, captain, native of Fife
Wm. Aitken, chief mate, Edinburgh
Chas. S. Scantleburgh, second mate, Cornwall
David Taylor, carpenter, Dundee
John Waters, sailmaker, Kirkcaldy
John Waterston, steward, Anstruther
Wm. Henderson. cook, St Andrews
Henry Smith, A.B., Hull
David Hosie, A.B., Carnoustie
J.S. Eleridge, A.B. Boston, England
George Caithess, A.B., Westhaven
George Drummond, A.B., Tayport
S. Haesbrook, A.B., Ostend
Charles Seven, A.B., Sweden
William Allen, A.B., Portsmouth
Thomas Guy, A.B., Dundee
Frank Langley, A.B. Jersey
Charles Wallace, A.B., Youghal
Thomas Murray, O.S., Dundee
John Milne, O.S., Aberdeen
Reuben Kerr, apprentice, Edinburgh
William Brown, apprentice, Edinburgh
Duncan Paul, apprentice, Edinburgh
Daniel Henessy, apprentice, Dundee

The wreck of the Maju is recorded on the RCAMHS website as being a mile from Barvas Manse.
On the, her cargo is quoted as coal and her destination Rangoon. 
Maju was an iron barque, measuring 61,4 x 9,8 x 6,4 m [200 x 33 x 21 feet], 953 grt.
She was lost on 21 October 1874 with all hands, in the same year that she was built.

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