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Archiver > GEN-DE > 1998-09 > 0906771376


From: "Michael Palmer" <>
Subject: Re: Ships - Matilda Wattenbach
Date: Fri, 25 Sep 1998 16:56:16 -800


On Wed, 23 Sep 1998, I wrote:

> On 18 Aug 1998, (EWattenbach) wrote:
>
> > Any information regarding the above would be much appreciated
> > particularly what became of it and the whereabouts of pictures etc.
> >
> > This is what I have so far:
> >
> > Matilda Wattenbach:
> >
> > Wooden hulled barque of approx. 1,575 tons gross, built to class
> > (special survey) by R. C. Rickmers in Bremerhaven for Wattenbach,
> > Heilgers & Co. in 1855.
> >
> > Most Famous voyage from London to Auckland, New Zealand carrying the
> > last 'Non-conformist' emigrants.
> >
> > Possibly re-named "Racehorse" in 1873.
> >
> > I have no idea whether it sank or was scrapped.
>
> While there was indeed a ship named MATILDA WATTENBACH that belonged to
> the firm of T. H. A. Wattenbach & F. W. Heilgers, and was later renamed
> RACEHORSE, the tonnage, builder, and place of build you give are those of
> another vessel that also belonged to Wattenbach & Heilgers, the AUGUSTUS
> WATTENBACH.
>
>
> 1. MATILDA WATTENBACH.
>
> The annual volumes of _Lloyd's Register of Shipping_ for 1854/55-1873/74
> contain the following information on the MATILDA WATTENBACH, later
> RACEHORSE:
>
> Name:
> 1854/55-1863/64 - MATILDA WATTENBACH
> 1863/64-1873/74 - RACEHORSE
>
> Built: Jersey 1853, under special survey
>
> Tonnage:
> 1854/55-1856/57 - 1300/1058 (old measurement/new measurement)
> 1857/58-1863/64 - 955
> 1863/64-1873/74 - 1077
>
> Measurements (1863/64): 210 (corrected to 209.3) x 35 (corrected to
> 36.1) x 20 feet (length x beam x depth of
> hold)
>
> Rig: Ship
>
> Master:
> 1854/55-1855/56 - J. Clare
> 1856/57 - [not given]
> 1857/58-1858/59 - Berryman
> 1859/60-1860/61 - T. Denkin
> 1861/62-1863/64 - W. Goudie
> 1863/64-1865/66 - J. Mann
> 1865/66-1867/68 - Matthews
> 1867/68-1870/71 - W. Sewan
> 1870/71-1873/74 - E. Peacock
>
> Owner:
> 1854/55-1856/57 - Melhuish
> 1857/58-1863/64 - Watenbach
> 1863/64-1866/67 - "Smrthwaite &"
> 1866/67-1869/70 - A. Fotheringham
> 1869/70-1870/71 - Oswald & Co
> 1871/72-1873/74 - [not given]
>
> Registry:
> 1854/55-1856/57 - Liverpool
> 1857/58-1869/70 - London
> 1869/70-1870/71 - Sunderland
> 1871/72-1873/74 - [not given]
>
> Port of Survey:
> 1854/55-1855/56 - Jersey
> 1856/57-1858/59 - Liverpool
> 1859/60-1863/64 - London
> 1863/64-1865/66 - Sunderland
> 1865/66-1869/70 - London
> 1870/71-1871/73 - Sunderland
>
> Destined Voyage:
> 1854/55-1856/57 - [not given]
> 1857/58-1858/59 - Calcutta
> 1859/60-1861/62 - Cape of Good Hope
> 1861/62-1863/64 - New Zealand
> 1863/64-1865/66 - China
> 1865/66-1867/68 - Freemantle
> 1867/68-1869/70 - New Zealand
> 1869/70-1873/74 - China
>
> [snip]
>
> I do not at present know the ultimate fate of the RACEHORSE, ex MATILDA
> WATTENBACH. Although the vessel last appears in _Lloyd's Register_ for
> 1873/74, the entries in the last three volumes are incomplete, the last
> complete entry being in the volume for 1870/71; she was last surveyed in
> November 1869. (In the 19th century, _Lloyd's Register_ often continued
> to carry the names of vessels for several years after they were "sold
> foreign", lost, or scrapped, in particular if the event took place
> outside British home waters.) Nicholson, vol. 1, p. 432, contains a
> reference to general correspondence by the Foreign Office with France in
> 1872 concerning a vessel named RACEHORSE (Australian Joint Copying Project
> 3611, presumably copied from Public Record Office, FO27), but he is not
> certain whether this correspondence refers to the RACEHORSE ex MATILDA
> WATTENBACH or to a naval vessel of the same name. If, however, this
> correspondence does indeed concern the RACEHORSE/MATILDA WATTENBACH, she
> was probably lost, condemned, seized, or sold in French territorial
> waters, possibly (although this is only supposition on my part) in India.
>
> The following are perhaps the best ways to determine the ultimate fate of
> the RACEHORSE ex MATILDA WATTENBACH:
>
> 1. Check the microfilms of the annual indexes to _Lloyd's List_ for
> 1869-1874, and trace the movements of the RACEHORSE. If there is no
> copy of this microfilm at the Corporation of Lloyd's, there are
> copies in the Lloyd's Marine Collection at the Guildhall Library, and
> at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich.
>
> 2. Check the Sunderland ship registers to determine precisely when the
> RACEHORSE was removed from the registry; with any luck, the
> registers should also indicate the reason the vessel was removed from
> the registry. The Sunderland ship registers for 1786-1932 (50
> volumes) are held by the
>
> Tyne and Wear Archives Service
> Blandford House
> Blandford Square
> Newcastle Upon Tyne NE1 4JA
>
> Transcripts of these registers are held by the Public Record Office
> in Kew, but it is my understanding that they are more difficult to
> use than the originals.
>
> The MATILDA WATTENBACH is illustrated in Frank Charles Bowen, _The golden
> age of sail: Indiamen, packets and clipper ships ... with illustrations
> from contemporary engravings and paintings in the Macpherson collection_
> (London: Halton & T. Smith/New York: Minton, Balch & Co, 1925), plate
> 44; I hope to have a copy of this book in my hands by tomorrow, and if I
> do I shall send you a scan of this picture by the weekend. The original
> picture should be in the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, which
> should also contain (if it survives) the original Lloyds Register of
> Shipping survey report.

I have had a chance to look at Bowen's book, which contains the following
account of the MATILDA WATTENBACH (p. 40):

Wooden clipper ship, built in 1853 at St. Heliers, Jersey, by
Frederick C. Clarke. Her principal owners were J. J. Melhuish, of
Liverpool, and T. H. A. Wattenbach, of London. Her tonnage was
1,058, length 211.5 feet, beam 35.4 feet, and depth 20.2 feet. In
her early days she traded between Liverpool and Calcutta under
Captain John Clare and Captain James Berriman. After three years
Wattenbach became the principal of numerous part-owners, her registry
was shifted from Liverpool to London, and her tonnage altered to 954
tons. After trading for some years out of London to the Cape of Good
Hope and to New Zealand she was, in 1863, acquired by Philip Blyth,
of London. Next year she was sold foreign, but within a few days was
bought by Alexander Fotheringham and renamed RACEHORSE [*].
Fotheringham was joined as part owner by John Smurthwaite, a
Sunderland merchant, and from that port she made a voyage to Hong
Kong. For the next few years she traded out of London, making
voyages to Swan River and Madras, to Sydney and Demerara, to Auckland
and Sydney. Further changes of ownership came in 1870 when she was
bought by Thomas Ridley Oswald, Sunderland shipbuilder, and in 1872
when she was sold first to William Wilkinson, of London, and within a
month or two to Thomas Redway, an Exmouth shipowner. Her last voyage
under British colours was made during 1869 and 1871 from Sunderland
to Hong Kong and back to London, after which she was sold foreign.

[*] The "foreign" sale and the re-sale, within a few days, to the
Englishman Alexander Fotheringham were to effect a change in the vessel's
name, since between 1786 and 1871 British vessels were forbidden by
statute (one of the measures to combat smuggling) from changing names.
A shipowner could evade this provision by ostensibly selling the vessel
to a foreigner, then buying it back a few days later. Upon its sale to
the foreigner the vessel was considered no longer British, so a British
subject who purchased it even a few days later could rename it anything he
wished.

---
Michael Palmer
Claremont, California

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