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Hartington (1880) - a general history


Owners: 1880 TS Hudson, West Hartlepool

Masters: August 1881-82 GE Nesbitt: 1882-83 JG Surtees: 1884 Wandless.

Hartington left Coosaw, South Carolina on 4 July 1885 to sail for Dublin with a cargo of phosphate rock & went ashore on the Western Head of St Shotts-Newfoundland on 14 July 18845. There was a dense fog & an easterly wind which caused dangerous currents up Trepassy & St Mary’s Bays. No lives lost.

South Durham Herald 19 July/2 August 1884”

“The Hudson Shipping Co, West Hartlepool have furnished us with the subjoined report from a St John’s (Newfoundland) newspaper: We are indebted to Captain Wandless, of the steamer Hartington for the following particulars on the loss of his vessel on the Western Head of St Shott’s. The Hartington aggregates 1800 tons & with her cargo is worth about £50,000. On 4 July the Captain left Coosau SC where he received his cargo of phosphorus for Dublin via Sydney, Cape Breton. He arrived at the latter port on Friday morning last & coaled & left in the evening of that day. For six days before he made & after he left Sydney his ship’s course was beset by dense fog, the captain prudently keeping the deck during that time. At 4am on Sunday morning the haze cleared somewhat at which hour it was also daylight, he lay down to snatch some rest. At a quarter to five, hearing a bustle on deck, he jumped out & immediately ordered the enginesto be full speed astern. But it was too late; to the surprise & dismay of all on board, the ship had run ashore on the rocks, although the captain had firmly believed & had taken his position to be thirty miles off the land. The deflection was undoubtedly due to the rapid & dangerous current which an easterly wind sets in motion up Trepassey & St Mary’s bays, which baffles the calculations of mariners & makes two or three contributions annually to the long list of shipwrecks that marks that fatal shore. The spot, the Western Head off St Shott’s, of the disaster is 25 miles or more distant from Cape Race but no sound of its whistle reached their hearing; & as the time was Sunday morning & the fishing boats were in harbour, no friendly warning apprised them of their danger. The fore, compartment of the steamer filled after the concussion; & she now lies stranded on the rocks to such an extent that there is no expectation of getting her off. Leaving his crew on board, Captain Wandless lost no time in communicating with the nearest settlement & procuring means of conveyance hither. It is his present intention to charter a steamer & save as much as possible of the cargo, which is an extremely valuable one.”

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