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Re: [Peterhead] Re: Losses of Seamen and Fishermen from Peterhead

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  • Stephen Hutchison
    Hi Alison, Maybe you are aware of the following story from 1861, as follows. Died on Kekerton Island, Cumberland Strait while wintering ashore, harpoonist on a
    Message 1 of 17 , Feb 7, 2010
      Hi Alison,
      Maybe you are aware of the following story from 1861, as follows.

      Died on Kekerton Island, Cumberland Strait while wintering ashore,
      harpoonist on a whaling vessel.

      The Aberdeen Journal, Wednesday, October 9, 1861

      THE "ALERT" OF PETERHEAD - SUFFERINGS OF THE CREW - The Sentinel says that a
      number of rumours are flying about town with reference to the conduct at the
      ice of Mr Forbes Milne, the nominal captain of the vessel - charges of
      cruelty, &c, being flatly and broadly brought against him, with what amount
      of authority or truthfulness it is impossible for us to say. However, the
      greater part of the complications in the melancholy matter seem to have
      arisen from the fact of his having been placed on board of the vessel as
      actual and practical Captain, while he neither appeared in the books of the
      Custom House in that capacity, nor possessed a certificate entitling him to
      hold that office. With regard to the charges brought against Mr Milne by the
      crew, we forbear alluding to them until the matter be properly and fully
      investigated by the authorities. The Alert left Peterhead for the Straits on
      the 18th May, 1860, and sighted the ice on June 8. On July 27, a boat was
      capsized following a fish, and two of the crew, Burnett and Mitchell, were
      never seen after being pitched out of the boat. On August 12, five boats
      chased and kept in a number of white whales on a shoal till the tide
      receded. 111 of them were killed. On October 25, a number of the men were
      ill, and only a boat's crew out of the whole ship's company were able to
      "flinch" a fish that was caught, which could not be done for a few days in
      consequence of the severity of the weather. On November 3, the Alert bore up
      for home with a northerly wind, but after several endeavours, could not get
      out of the Gulf. On the 25th she was driven up into a bay about 20 miles
      equi-distant from Niatlik and New Boyes stations. At this place she
      wintered. Serious misunderstandings are said to have taken place between Mr
      Milne and the crew on the score of provisions &c. Between the 11th November,
      1860, and 31st July 1861, other eight men died. Fuel ran short, and proper
      food, even when it could be had, could not be properly cooked. Sometimes a
      couple of days' allowance of beef would be served out, and then for some
      weeks no more would be allowed. The crew had little or any sugar (so
      essential in these regions) for the whole of this time. The bread got done,
      and flour and Indian meal (got from the American ships) was served out as
      food; but in consequence of the scarcity of fuel, it could not be rendered
      properly available. For some time a number of the crew left the ship,
      existing by what they could get at the stations and from other ships. Seals
      flesh, whale skins, blubber, &c., had to be eaten on board the ship. Mr
      Milne, however, remained all along in the vessel - for some time alone, with
      the exception of a couple of boys, the rest of the crew being taken away by
      Captain Simpson of the "Union," and Mr Thompson, manager of the Aberdeen
      Artic Company at Kickarton, as they were all dangerously ill at the time.
      The most deaths occurred in the commencement of the thaw, the cases being
      scurvy, exhaustion, and exposure to the weather - none of the crew being
      prepared with the necessary clothing or anything else for an Artic winter.
      On the 23d August of this year, when the "Alert" was preparing to proceed
      home, on the representation of the crew, and investigation into the
      differences between Mr Milne and them was held on board the "Artic" of
      Aberdeen - Captain Reid of the "Artic," Captain Simpson of the "Union," and
      Captain Mackinnon of the "Alibi," acting as judges in the matter. The result
      of their deliberations was that they decided on displacing Mr Forbes Milne
      from his post as Captain, filling his place by Mr Taylor the mate. Mr
      Robertson of the "Alibi" was then obtained to act as mate. Matters now went
      on more smoothly, and a full supply of provisions having been obtained from
      the depots of the Aberdeen Artic Company, the vessel bore up for home
      immediately, and arrived here on Tuesday forenoon (as stated in our last).
      The names of the men dead are - John Mitchell, New Deer, and William
      Bennett, Strichen, drowned by the upsetting of a boat, 27th July 1860; John
      Walker, Peterhead, 11th November 1860; John McKenzie, Portknockie, 13th
      December 1860; William McKenzie, Peterhead, 24th April 1861; Peter Campbell,
      Sutherlandshire, 30th May; Alex. Pickard, Longside, 3d June; Robert Milne,
      carpenter, Peterhead, 25th June; William Nicol, Peterhead, 31st July. The
      "Alert" brings intelligence of the loss of the "Union" of this port. She
      sank at her station in the month of May, but her cargo, amounting to some 25
      or 30 tons of oil, and her casks, do, have been saved. Her men were living
      at their station-houses, and were all saved.
      William Nicol, was among those who died on that expedition, and it's great
      to have some
      more information. William died of rheumatism and scurvy at Kekerten Island
      in the Cumberland Sound. His death was entered in the Marine Register and
      later transcribed into the Peterhead register.

      It would seem that the Alert had not planned to spend the winter in the
      Arctic, which might explain the lack of appropriate clothing and adequate
      provisions. If John Walker was the Ship Master, how did it come about that
      Forbes Milne is described as "nominal captain" and later in the article as
      "actual and practical captain". I note that John Walker died on 11November
      1860, and, except for the two who drowned when a boat capsized, all the
      other deaths came after that. I wonder if Forbes Milne took over command of
      the vessel after the death of John Walker? There was a Forbes Milne born in
      Peterhead in 1830. Could this be the one? If so, he was the brother of
      William Nicol's wife Helen.

      Kekerten Island is referred to in the article as "Kickarton". It was the
      location of a Scottish whaling station in the 1850s and 1860s. The site is
      now part of a Canadian Historic Site and National Park. There is a photo of
      the whaling station at:
      http://www.pangnirtunghotel.com/pangnirtung-hikes-cumberland-sound.htm
      I have a copy of a document, a single page, source unknown, with a farewell
      letter from William Nicol to his wife Helen, and a memorial to William. My
      cousin found it among papers belonging to his father (who was also a
      seaman).
      It is typeset, so presumably came from a published book or pamphlet, and
      it's very touching.
      Here is the text:
      �Alert�, 1st June 1861.
      My Dear Helen,
      I write you these few lines to let you know in what state I penned these few
      lines. I was taken badly with rheumatism in the fall of the last year, and I
      recovered, but, in a short time after, about the New Year, it again
      relapsed, and up to this time I have been bedfast, and I feel that I am
      getting very rapidly worse, which is the reason of me writing this letter to
      let you know in what state this leaves me. I do not expect to survive many
      days from this date. But, my dear, dear Helen, give your heart entirely unto
      the Lord, and then I shall expect to see you in Heaven; for I have tried as
      much as I could, since I have been afflicted, to walk in all His statutes
      and commandments, for I have found peace with God, and am this moment
      relying on His mercy, so I shall expect to meet you in Heaven; and my dear,
      darling children-Matthew, William (,) Francis, and the other of which I know
      not the name, as far as your ability goes, bring them up in the nurture and
      admonition of the Lord, so that they may not wander so long as we have done
      �Strangers to His saving grace.� Oh! my darling, darling Helen - the only
      woman ever I have loved on earth, the dear and faithful partner of my bosom.
      I now bid you goodbye; so farewell for a time, and I shall expect to meet
      you in Heaven. God bless you and protect you, and may He, in your
      experience, prove a husband to the widow and a father to the fatherless. So
      farewell! My darling Wife and Children. I am too weak now to say any more;
      so farewell! My dear, darling, faithful partner. I shall meet you in Heaven.
      Good-bye! - From your affectionate Husband,
      WILLIAM NICOL,
      With a Sore Heart.

      In Memory of WILLIAM NICOL Late Seaman on Board the "Alert" who died on
      shore, JULY 31 1861, AGED 28 YEARS.

      Farewell! for all my sufferings are,
      And all my sorrows gone;
      I go to live upon the shore
      Where Christ shall be my home. [Item provided by Mary Barnes.]
      (See William Penny article)
      Email from malcolm.simpson@... to fiona.riddell@...
      Dear Fiona,
      Have just read your e-mail about the "Alert". My gGrandfather James Taylor
      was the Mate during that terrible voyage,the passage home being his first
      command. He was lost with all hands in the Bristol channel in the barque
      "Nerbudda"of London in a great storm 1886.
      You will find reference to this in the Peterhead Sentinel. My ggGrandfather
      George Simpson was a well known whaling master,mainly in command of the
      "Traveller" and three sons also became whaling masters, John the eldest
      being master of the "Union"involved in the "Alert" story.
      Hope this proves of some interest.
      Best wishes in your project, Malcolm Simpson.

      There is more in "The Aberdeen Journal" (from the "Sentinel") 9 Oct 1861
      ............... Captain Mr Forbes MILNE (didn't hold a ticket!). BARNETT &
      MITCHELL were pitched out of the boat when it was upset by a whale and not
      seen again July 27th 1860. A harrowing story about how the men were
      mistreated by the captain ie. not rationed properly. The names of the dead
      men:
      John MITCHELL, New Deer 27 Jul 1860
      William BURNETT, Strichen 27 Jul 1860
      John WALKER, Peterhead 11 Nov 1860
      John M'KENZIE, Portknockie 13 Dec 1860
      William M'KENZIE, Peterhead 24 Apr 1861
      Peter CAMBELL, Sutherlandshire 30 May
      Alex PICKARD, Longside 3 Jun
      Robert MILNE, carpenter, Peterhead 25 Jun
      William NICOL, Peterhead 31 Jul
      It is reported that she wintered about 20 miles equi-distant from Niatlik
      and New Boyen stations and was preparing to head home 23 Aug 1861.
      Casalguidi

      Regards Steve

      On 7 February 2010 11:28, Alison Kennedy <alison2kennedy@...>wrote:

      >
      >
      > The Peterhead list has been a bit quiet lately so I'm hoping that there may
      > be someone still out there who may be able to assist me.
      >
      > As part of a University course which I am currently undertaking I need to
      > write dissertation, of approx 8,000 words, before the end of April 2010.
      > The subject which I would like to write about, if I can gather enough
      > information, is the loss at sea, by death or drowning, of either seamen or
      > fishermen, singularly or crews of boats, who came from Peterhead or the
      > surrounding area (north as far as St Fergus, west as far as Longside, and as
      > far south as Cruden).
      >
      > I'm thinking of a timescale, probably of 10 years, sometime within the 19th
      > century, but, until I see how much information I can acquire, I haven't
      > decided yet made a final decision on which decade that this will be.
      >
      > If anyone has any information which they think may be able to assist then I
      > would be grateful if they could contact me - either through the Peterhead
      > list (where others may see your connection) or off-line. Often these
      > deaths were not officially registered and if the only information which you
      > have is a name and approx date and from Peterhead area then that's fine -
      > I'll see if I can do the donkey work of researching the death if necessary.
      >
      > Many thanks to all in advance.
      >
      > Alison
      >
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      >
      >
      >


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • malcolm.simpson@ntlworld.com
      Hi Alison, Suggest you have a look at the Peterhead Sentinel dated 31st.January 1862.There you will find the statistics of the Northern Fisheries showing all
      Message 2 of 17 , Feb 7, 2010
        Hi Alison,
        Suggest you have a look at the Peterhead Sentinel dated 31st.January 1862.There you will find the statistics of the Northern Fisheries showing all the whaling vessels from Peterhead from 1804 to 1861.Looking down the lists you will find all the vessels which were lost.This should give you a good starting point.
        Good luck in your quest.Malcolm Simpson.
        ---- Alison Kennedy <alison2kennedy@...> wrote:
        > The Peterhead list has been a bit quiet lately so I'm hoping that there may be someone still out there who may be able to assist me.
        >
        > As part of a University course which I am currently undertaking I need to write dissertation, of approx 8,000 words, before the end of April 2010.  The subject which I would like to write about, if I can gather enough information, is the loss at sea, by death or drowning, of either seamen or fishermen, singularly or crews of boats, who came from Peterhead or the surrounding area (north as far as St Fergus, west as far as Longside, and as far south as Cruden).
        >
        > I'm thinking of a timescale, probably of 10 years, sometime within the 19th century, but, until I see how much information I can acquire, I haven't decided yet made a final decision on which decade that this will be.
        >
        > If anyone has any information which they think may be able to assist then I would be grateful if they could contact me - either through the Peterhead list (where others may see your connection) or off-line.   Often these deaths were not officially registered and if the only information which you have is a name and approx date and from Peterhead area then that's fine - I'll see if I can do the donkey work of researching the death if necessary.
        >
        > Many thanks to all in advance.
        >
        > Alison
        >
        >
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >
      • Mary Barnes
        Hi Alison, You might also be interested in the following, from the East Aberdeenshire Observer of Friday May 11, 1877: Melancholy Boat Accident — Three Lives
        Message 3 of 17 , Feb 7, 2010
          Hi Alison,

          You might also be interested in the following, from the East Aberdeenshire Observer of Friday May 11, 1877:

          Melancholy Boat Accident � Three Lives Lost � A melancholy boat accident, resulting in the loss of three lives, occurred on Monday afternoon. The arrival of one or two vessels at Peterhead were expected that day, and in order to get an earlier view of them as they approached from the South, Matthew Nicol, pilot; William Duncan, seaman; and John Suttar Strachan, son of Geo. Strachan, master of the steam tug Pride o� Scotland, proceeded in a boat to Boddam. Having remained there for a short time and taken refreshments they again went to sea to pilot any vessel to the harbour which might require their services. They were never again seen alive, and in the evening a Burnhaven crew who had been at the haddock fishing found the boat, in which the unfortunate men had sailed, lying on its broadside and the occupants nowhere to be seen. The boat was towed into Boddam. It is supposed that it had been upset by a sudden squall as when found the sail was set and the sheet fast. Several boats have since been out in the vicinity where it is supposed that the boat has been swamped, but none of the bodies have yet been seen, and there can be no doubt that the tide has carried them southwards.
          Matthew Nicol, who was 66 years of age, leaves a wife and nine of a family, most of whom are grown up. He was a native of Berwick, but for many years was master and part owner of several trading vessels, and latterly he owned a herring curing establishment in Peterhead. William Duncan, who was 58 years of age, was a seaman, and for many years sailed in the schooner Jane of Peterhead. He leaves a wife and four of a family. Strachan used to sail with his father, but on Monday he chanced to stop on shore and by accident accompanied Nicol and Duncan into the boat to Boddam. Much sympathy is felt for the relations of the drowned men.

          There is also a report of the same incident in the Peterhead Sentinel of Wednesday May 9 1877, which includes the additional information: "it is thought that it [the capsize] took place about 150 yards from the Skerrie�.

          I suggest that you pick a decade, and go through the back issues of the local newspapers and see what you can find. I'm sure you will get plenty of material. Good luck with the project.

          Mary Barnes
          marysb@...






          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Alison Kennedy
          Steve - thanks for the information regarding the Alert.  I was aware of this article, but I had forgotten all about the letter from William Nicol to his wife
          Message 4 of 17 , Feb 7, 2010
            Steve - thanks for the information regarding the Alert.  I was aware of this article, but I had forgotten all about the letter from William Nicol to his wife Helen which adds a bit of flesh to the disaster, and which I will consider using. Many thanks.  Alison


            ________________________________

            From: Stephen Hutchison
            To: Peterhead@yahoogroups.com
            Sent: Sunday, 7 February, 2010 13:13:29
            Subject: Re: [Peterhead] Re: Losses of Seamen and Fishermen from Peterhead

            I have a copy of a document, a single page, source unknown, with a farewell
            letter from William Nicol to his wife Helen, and a memorial to William. My
            cousin found it among papers belonging to his father (who was also a
            seaman).
            It is typeset, so presumably came from a published book or pamphlet, and
            it's very touching.
            Here is the text:
            “Alert”, 1st June 1861.
            My Dear Helen,
            I write you these few lines to let you know in what state I penned these few
            lines. I was taken badly with rheumatism in the fall of the last year, and I
            recovered, but, in a short time after, about the New Year, it again
            relapsed, and up to this time I have been bedfast, and I feel that I am
            getting very rapidly worse, which is the reason of me writing this letter to
            let you know in what state this leaves me. I do not expect to survive many
            days from this date. But, my dear, dear Helen, give your heart entirely unto
            the Lord, and then I shall expect to see you in Heaven; for I have tried as
            much as I could, since I have been afflicted, to walk in all His statutes
            and commandments, for I have found peace with God, and am this moment
            relying on His mercy, so I shall expect to meet you in Heaven; and my dear,
            darling children-Matthew, William (,) Francis, and the other of which I know
            not the name, as far as your ability goes, bring them up in the nurture and
            admonition of the Lord, so that they may not wander so long as we have done
            “Strangers to His saving grace.” Oh! my darling, darling Helen - the only
            woman ever I have loved on earth, the dear and faithful partner of my bosom.
            I now bid you goodbye; so farewell for a time, and I shall expect to meet
            you in Heaven. God bless you and protect you, and may He, in your
            experience, prove a husband to the widow and a father to the fatherless. So
            farewell! My darling Wife and Children. I am too weak now to say any more;
            so farewell! My dear, darling, faithful partner. I shall meet you in Heaven.
            Good-bye! - From your affectionate Husband,
            WILLIAM NICOL,
            With a Sore Heart.

            In Memory of WILLIAM NICOL Late Seaman on Board the "Alert" who died on
            shore, JULY 31 1861, AGED 28 YEARS.

            Farewell! for all my sufferings are,
            And all my sorrows gone;
            I go to live upon the shore
            Where Christ shall be my home.    [Item provided by Mary Barnes.]
            (See William Penny article)

            Dear Fiona,
            Have just read your e-mail about the "Alert". My gGrandfather James Taylor
            was the Mate during that terrible voyage,the passage home being his first
            command. He was lost with all hands in the Bristol channel in the barque
            "Nerbudda"of London in a great storm 1886.
            You will find reference to this in the Peterhead Sentinel. My ggGrandfather
            George Simpson was a well known whaling master,mainly in command of the
            "Traveller" and three sons also became whaling masters, John the eldest
            being master of the "Union"involved in the "Alert" story.
            Hope this proves of some interest.
            Best wishes in your project, Malcolm Simpson.

            There is more in "The Aberdeen Journal" (from the "Sentinel") 9 Oct 1861
            ............... Captain Mr Forbes MILNE (didn't hold a ticket!).  BARNETT &
            MITCHELL were pitched out of the boat when it was upset by a whale and not
            seen again July 27th 1860.  A harrowing story about how the men were
            mistreated by the captain ie. not rationed properly.  The names of the dead
            men:
            John MITCHELL, New Deer 27 Jul 1860
            William BURNETT, Strichen 27 Jul 1860
            John WALKER, Peterhead 11 Nov 1860
            John M'KENZIE, Portknockie 13 Dec 1860
            William M'KENZIE, Peterhead 24 Apr 1861
            Peter CAMBELL, Sutherlandshire 30 May
            Alex PICKARD, Longside 3 Jun
            Robert MILNE, carpenter, Peterhead 25 Jun
            William NICOL, Peterhead 31 Jul
            It is reported that she wintered about 20 miles equi-distant from Niatlik
            and New Boyen stations and was preparing to head home 23 Aug 1861.
            Casalguidi

            Regards Steve


            ________________________________

            On 7 February 2010 11:28, Alison Kennedy

            >
            >
            > The Peterhead list has been a bit quiet lately so I'm hoping that there may
            > be someone still out there who may be able to assist me.
            >
            > As part of a University course which I am currently undertaking I need to
            > write dissertation, of approx 8,000 words, before the end of April 2010.
            > The subject which I would like to write about, if I can gather enough
            > information, is the loss at sea, by death or drowning, of either seamen or
            > fishermen, singularly or crews of boats, who came from Peterhead or the
            > surrounding area (north as far as St Fergus, west as far as Longside, and as
            > far south as Cruden).
            >
            > I'm thinking of a timescale, probably of 10 years, sometime within the 19th
            > century, but, until I see how much information I can acquire, I haven't
            > decided yet made a final decision on which decade that this will be.
            >
            > If anyone has any information which they think may be able to assist then I
            > would be grateful if they could contact me - either through the Peterhead
            > list (where others may see your connection) or off-line.  Often these
            > deaths were not officially registered and if the only information which you
            > have is a name and approx date and from Peterhead area then that's fine -
            > I'll see if I can do the donkey work of researching the death if necessary.
            >
            > Many thanks to all in advance.
            >
            > Alison
            >

            Hi Alison,
            Maybe you are aware of the following story from 1861, as follows.

            Died on Kekerton Island, Cumberland Strait while wintering ashore,
            harpoonist on a whaling vessel.

            The Aberdeen Journal, Wednesday, October 9, 1861

            THE "ALERT" OF PETERHEAD - SUFFERINGS OF THE CREW - The Sentinel says that a
            number of rumours are flying about town with reference to the conduct at the
            ice of Mr Forbes Milne, the nominal captain of the vessel - charges of
            cruelty, &c, being flatly and broadly brought against him, with what amount
            of authority or truthfulness it is impossible for us to say. However, the
            greater part of the complications in the melancholy matter seem to have
            arisen from the fact of his having been placed on board of the vessel as
            actual and practical Captain, while he neither appeared in the books of the
            Custom House in that capacity, nor possessed a certificate entitling him to
            hold that office. With regard to the charges brought against Mr Milne by the
            crew, we forbear alluding to them until the matter be properly and fully
            investigated by the authorities. The Alert left Peterhead for the Straits on
            the 18th May, 1860, and sighted the ice on June 8. On July 27, a boat was
            capsized following a fish, and two of the crew, Burnett and Mitchell, were
            never seen after being pitched out of the boat. On August 12, five boats
            chased and kept in a number of white whales on a shoal till the tide
            receded. 111 of them were killed. On October 25, a number of the men were
            ill, and only a boat's crew out of the whole ship's company were able to
            "flinch" a fish that was caught, which could not be done for a few days in
            consequence of the severity of the weather. On November 3, the Alert bore up
            for home with a northerly wind, but after several endeavours, could not get
            out of the Gulf. On the 25th she was driven up into a bay about 20 miles
            equi-distant from Niatlik and New Boyes stations. At this place she
            wintered. Serious misunderstandings are said to have taken place between Mr
            Milne and the crew on the score of provisions &c. Between the 11th November,
            1860, and 31st July 1861, other eight men died. Fuel ran short, and proper
            food, even when it could be had, could not be properly cooked. Sometimes a
            couple of days' allowance of beef would be served out, and then for some
            weeks no more would be allowed. The crew had little or any sugar (so
            essential in these regions) for the whole of this time. The bread got done,
            and flour and Indian meal (got from the American ships) was served out as
            food; but in consequence of the scarcity of fuel, it could not be rendered
            properly available. For some time a number of the crew left the ship,
            existing by what they could get at the stations and from other ships. Seals
            flesh, whale skins, blubber, &c., had to be eaten on board the ship. Mr
            Milne, however, remained all along in the vessel - for some time alone, with
            the exception of a couple of boys, the rest of the crew being taken away by
            Captain Simpson of the "Union," and Mr Thompson, manager of the Aberdeen
            Artic Company at Kickarton, as they were all dangerously ill at the time.
            The most deaths occurred in the commencement of the thaw, the cases being
            scurvy, exhaustion, and exposure to the weather - none of the crew being
            prepared with the necessary clothing or anything else for an Artic winter.
            On the 23d August of this year, when the "Alert" was preparing to proceed
            home, on the representation of the crew, and investigation into the
            differences between Mr Milne and them was held on board the "Artic" of
            Aberdeen - Captain Reid of the "Artic," Captain Simpson of the "Union," and
            Captain Mackinnon of the "Alibi," acting as judges in the matter. The result
            of their deliberations was that they decided on displacing Mr Forbes Milne
            from his post as Captain, filling his place by Mr Taylor the mate. Mr
            Robertson of the "Alibi" was then obtained to act as mate. Matters now went
            on more smoothly, and a full supply of provisions having been obtained from
            the depots of the Aberdeen Artic Company, the vessel bore up for home
            immediately, and arrived here on Tuesday forenoon (as stated in our last).
            The names of the men dead are - John Mitchell, New Deer, and William
            Bennett, Strichen, drowned by the upsetting of a boat, 27th July 1860; John
            Walker, Peterhead, 11th November 1860; John McKenzie, Portknockie, 13th
            December 1860; William McKenzie, Peterhead, 24th April 1861; Peter Campbell,
            Sutherlandshire, 30th May; Alex. Pickard, Longside, 3d June; Robert Milne,
            carpenter, Peterhead, 25th June; William Nicol, Peterhead, 31st July. The
            "Alert" brings intelligence of the loss of the "Union" of this port. She
            sank at her station in the month of May, but her cargo, amounting to some 25
            or 30 tons of oil, and her casks, do, have been saved. Her men were living
            at their station-houses, and were all saved.
            William Nicol, was among those who died on that expedition, and it's great
            to have some
            more information. William died of rheumatism and scurvy at Kekerten Island
            in the Cumberland Sound. His death was entered in the Marine Register and
            later transcribed into the Peterhead register.

            It would seem that the Alert had not planned to spend the winter in the
            Arctic, which might explain the lack of appropriate clothing and adequate
            provisions. If John Walker was the Ship Master, how did it come about that
            Forbes Milne is described as "nominal captain" and later in the article as
            "actual and practical captain". I note that John Walker died on 11November
            1860, and, except for the two who drowned when a boat capsized, all the
            other deaths came after that. I wonder if Forbes Milne took over command of
            the vessel after the death of John Walker? There was a Forbes Milne born in
            Peterhead in 1830. Could this be the one? If so, he was the brother of
            William Nicol's wife Helen.

            Kekerten Island is referred to in the article as "Kickarton". It was the
            location of a Scottish whaling station in the 1850s and 1860s. The site is
            now part of a Canadian Historic Site and National Park. There is a photo of
            the whaling station at:
            http://www.pangnirtunghotel.com/pangnirtung-hikes-cumberland-sound.htm


            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Alison Kennedy
            Malcolm Thanks very much for your suggestion - agree that this sounds like a good idea and will check article out asap. Alison ________________________________
            Message 5 of 17 , Feb 7, 2010
              Malcolm

              Thanks very much for your suggestion - agree that this sounds like a good idea and will check article out asap.

              Alison



              ________________________________
              From: Malcolm Simpson
              To: Peterhead@yahoogroups.com
              Sent: Sunday, 7 February, 2010 13:53:36
              Subject: Re: [Peterhead] Re: Losses of Seamen and Fishermen from Peterhead

               
              Hi Alison,
              Suggest you have a look at the Peterhead Sentinel dated 31st.January 1862.There you will find the statistics of the Northern Fisheries showing all the whaling vessels from Peterhead from 1804 to 1861.Looking down the lists you will find all the vessels which were lost.This should give you a good starting point.
              Good luck in your quest.Malcolm Simpson.

              ---- Alison Kennedy wrote:

              > The Peterhead list has been a bit quiet lately so I'm hoping that there may be someone still out there who may be able to assist me.
              >
              > As part of a University course which I am currently undertaking I need to write dissertation, of approx 8,000 words, before the end of April 2010.  The subject which I would like to write about, if I can gather enough information, is the loss at sea, by death or drowning, of either seamen or fishermen, singularly or crews of boats, who came from Peterhead or the surrounding area (north as far as St Fergus, west as far as Longside, and as far south as Cruden).
              >
              > I'm thinking of a timescale, probably of 10 years, sometime within the 19th century, but, until I see how much information I can acquire, I haven't decided yet made a final decision on which decade that this will be.
              >
              > If anyone has any information which they think may be able to assist then I would be grateful if they could contact me - either through the Peterhead list (where others may see your connection) or off-line.   Often these deaths were not officially registered and if the only information which you have is a name and approx date and from Peterhead area then that's fine - I'll see if I can do the donkey work of researching the death if necessary.
              >
              > Many thanks to all in advance.
              >
              > Alison
              >
              >


              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Alison Kennedy
              Hi Mary Thanks very much for taking the time to forward the article.  I have done some background work already but sometimes events took place which didn t
              Message 6 of 17 , Feb 7, 2010
                Hi Mary

                Thanks very much for taking the time to forward the article.  I have done some background work already but sometimes events took place which didn't hit the weekly newspapers possibly due to lack of space or because the event was old news by the time of the next edition.  It's also very difficult to read the close print in the old newspapers and I thought someone might have some information which I had missed or give me some pointers of where else to look.

                Regards.

                Alison


                ________________________________
                From: Mary Barnes
                To: Peterhead@yahoogroups.com
                Sent: Sunday, 7 February, 2010 22:42:15
                Subject: Re: [Peterhead] Re: Losses of Seamen and Fishermen from Peterhead

                Hi Alison,

                You might also be interested in the following, from the East Aberdeenshire Observer of Friday May 11, 1877:

                Melancholy Boat Accident — Three Lives Lost — A melancholy boat accident, resulting in the loss of three lives, occurred on Monday afternoon.  The arrival of one or two vessels at Peterhead were expected that day, and in order to get an earlier view of them as they approached from the South, Matthew Nicol, pilot; William Duncan, seaman; and John Suttar Strachan, son of Geo. Strachan, master of the steam tug Pride o’ Scotland, proceeded in a boat to Boddam.  Having remained there for a short time and taken refreshments they again went to sea to pilot any vessel to the harbour which might require their services.  They were never again seen alive, and in the evening a Burnhaven crew who had been at the haddock fishing found the boat, in which the unfortunate men had sailed, lying on its broadside and the occupants nowhere to be seen.  The boat was towed into Boddam.  It is supposed that it had been upset by a sudden squall as when found the sail
                was set and the sheet fast.  Several boats have since been out in the vicinity where it is supposed that the boat has been swamped, but none of the bodies have yet been seen, and there can be no doubt that the tide has carried them southwards.
                Matthew Nicol, who was 66 years of age, leaves a wife and nine of a family, most of whom are grown up.  He was a native of Berwick, but for many years was master and part owner of several trading vessels, and latterly he owned a herring curing establishment in Peterhead. William Duncan, who was 58 years of age, was a seaman, and for many years sailed in the schooner Jane of Peterhead. He leaves a wife and four of a family.  Strachan used to sail with his father, but on Monday he chanced to stop on shore and by accident accompanied Nicol and Duncan into the boat to Boddam. Much sympathy is felt for the relations of the drowned men.

                There is also a report of the same incident in the Peterhead Sentinel of Wednesday May 9 1877, which includes the additional information: "it is thought that it [the capsize] took place about 150 yards from the Skerrie”.

                I suggest that you pick a decade, and go through the back issues of the local newspapers and see what you can find. I'm sure you will get plenty of material. Good luck with the project.

                Mary Barnes

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              • scotnel4
                ... Hello Alison, I don t know if this is the kind of thing you are looking for but I have never been able to find the death of a George Simpson Murray of
                Message 7 of 17 , Feb 8, 2010
                  --- In Peterhead@yahoogroups.com, Alison Kennedy <alison2kennedy@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > The Peterhead list has been a bit quiet lately so I'm hoping that there may be someone still out there who may be able to assist me.
                  >
                  > As part of a University course which I am currently undertaking I need to write dissertation, of approx 8,000 words, before the end of April 2010.  The subject which I would like to write about, if I can gather enough information, is the loss at sea, by death or drowning, of either seamen or fishermen, singularly or crews of boats, who came from Peterhead or the surrounding area (north as far as St Fergus, west as far as Longside, and as far south as Cruden).
                  >
                  > I'm thinking of a timescale, probably of 10 years, sometime within the 19th century, but, until I see how much information I can acquire, I haven't decided yet made a final decision on which decade that this will be.
                  >
                  > If anyone has any information which they think may be able to assist then I would be grateful if they could contact me - either through the Peterhead list (where others may see your connection) or off-line.   Often these deaths were not officially registered and if the only information which you have is a name and approx date and from Peterhead area then that's fine - I'll see if I can do the donkey work of researching the death if necessary.
                  >
                  > Many thanks to all in advance.
                  >
                  > Alison
                  >
                  >
                  > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  >
                  Hello Alison,

                  I don't know if this is the kind of thing you are looking for but I have never been able to find the death of a George Simpson Murray of Peterhead. He was a seaman and I assume whaler.

                  See my original post - http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Peterhead/message/4879

                  His wife had a child in 1866 so I have to assume he died 1865/1866.

                  Regards,
                  Annette
                • Margie
                  Alison, I have the extracts from both the Peterhead Sentinel and Buchan Observer of 1876 about the death at sea of Andrew Cow from Burnhaven - Margie
                  Message 8 of 17 , Feb 8, 2010
                    Alison,

                    I have the extracts from both the Peterhead Sentinel and Buchan Observer
                    of 1876 about the death at sea of Andrew Cow from Burnhaven -

                    Margie

                    >
                  • Henderson, Roy
                    Not sure if this would be of any interest Alison, but one of my relatives Edward Angus was lost at sea, aged 24, on a voyage to New Zealand in 1867. Edward was
                    Message 9 of 17 , Feb 8, 2010
                      Not sure if this would be of any interest Alison, but one of my relatives Edward Angus was lost at sea, aged 24, on a voyage to New Zealand in 1867. Edward was Second Officer on the Warwick and was swept overboard on 22nd March 1867. His name is shown on a family tombstone in St Peters Kirkyard.



                      Regards,



                      Roy





                      From: Peterhead@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Peterhead@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Alison Kennedy
                      Sent: 07 February 2010 11:29
                      To: Peterhead Genealogy
                      Subject: [Peterhead] Re: Losses of Seamen and Fishermen from Peterhead





                      The Peterhead list has been a bit quiet lately so I'm hoping that there may be someone still out there who may be able to assist me.

                      As part of a University course which I am currently undertaking I need to write dissertation, of approx 8,000 words, before the end of April 2010. The subject which I would like to write about, if I can gather enough information, is the loss at sea, by death or drowning, of either seamen or fishermen, singularly or crews of boats, who came from Peterhead or the surrounding area (north as far as St Fergus, west as far as Longside, and as far south as Cruden).

                      I'm thinking of a timescale, probably of 10 years, sometime within the 19th century, but, until I see how much information I can acquire, I haven't decided yet made a final decision on which decade that this will be.

                      If anyone has any information which they think may be able to assist then I would be grateful if they could contact me - either through the Peterhead list (where others may see your connection) or off-line. Often these deaths were not officially registered and if the only information which you have is a name and approx date and from Peterhead area then that's fine - I'll see if I can do the donkey work of researching the death if necessary.

                      Many thanks to all in advance.

                      Alison

                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]



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                    • William Leslie
                      Hello Folks; My brother just sent me this UTube video from a cousin in Peterhead. It shows some of our ancestors at work in Peterhead.
                      Message 10 of 17 , Feb 8, 2010
                        Hello Folks;
                        My brother just sent me this UTube video from a cousin in Peterhead.
                        It shows some of our ancestors at work in Peterhead.
                        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pYfkk8bSuyM
                        Regards
                        William

                        ----- Original Message -----
                        From: Margie
                        To: Peterhead@yahoogroups.com
                        Sent: Monday, February 08, 2010 7:51 AM
                        Subject: Re: [Peterhead] Re: Losses of Seamen and Fishermen from Peterhead





                        Alison,

                        I have the extracts from both the Peterhead Sentinel and Buchan Observer
                        of 1876 about the death at sea of Andrew Cow from Burnhaven -

                        Margie

                        >





                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      • Margaret Hector
                        Hi Alison I have a relative, William Boyd, master and commander of the Brig Mary Grey who was drowned in the Hooghly River near Calcutta in 1842. This might
                        Message 11 of 17 , Feb 8, 2010
                          Hi Alison
                          I have a relative, William Boyd, master and commander of the Brig "Mary Grey" who was drowned in the Hooghly River near Calcutta in 1842. This might be outside your guidlines, but if you would like more details please get in touch.
                          Cheers
                          Margaret

                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        • Elisabeth Wilson
                          Also not sure if this really fits the study, but my great great grandfather William Gordon died as a result of being crushed on the slip at Montrose when he
                          Message 12 of 17 , Feb 9, 2010
                            Also not sure if this really fits the study, but my great great
                            grandfather William Gordon died as a result of being crushed on the
                            slip at Montrose when he went to see a boat he and his brother in law
                            owned being serviced. This ship was the Nellie, but I don't know if
                            it was involved in the accident - he was crushed between two ships
                            when one slipped off the slips, and died of pneumonia back in
                            Peterhead on 24 November 1864.

                            The loss of life at sea and in associated accidents must have been
                            quite terrible. I have been told by a friend who is in his early 70s
                            that when he went to Peterhead for a holiday in the early 1950s, the
                            front three rows of the Brethren meeting on the Sunday morning were
                            widows in black. In the family (not related to me) with whom I have
                            stayed twice, the father and brother of the husband had both been
                            lost at sea - one was swept overboard, not sure of the other.

                            Best wishes for your study,
                            Elisabeth

                            Elisabeth Wilson
                            Lenah Valley, Tasmania
                            researching GORDON (Peterhead) GIBB (Peterhead) YOUNG (Slains/Cruden)
                            SPENCE(Peterhead) PAUL (Peterhead?) MURRISON (Peterhead) CRAIG
                            (Strichen) DAVIDSON (Strichen)
                          • v11buk
                            Hi Alison Some more information for you that might be of help - One of my 2x grt uncles, George WATT (1824-1883) was a seaman and worked on the whaling boats
                            Message 13 of 17 , Feb 10, 2010
                              Hi Alison

                              Some more information for you that might be of help -
                              One of my 2x grt uncles, George WATT (1824-1883) was a seaman and worked on the whaling boats out of Peterhead. For some time he was a Spectioneer (a senior harpooner and officer in charge of directing the cutting of the blubber from the whale).

                              In 1848, whilst returning across the Atlantic on the whaler "Hannibal", under the command of Captain Lowrie, the ship was driven on to the coast of Norway. Every life was lost, except for one ….. my ancestor George WATT .
                              I have information on George, plus some background information and newspaper articles from the Aberdeen Herald and The Scotsman (May 1848) which give accounts of the tragedy.

                              Just let me know if I can be of any help.
                              Regards
                              Viv
                            • Alison Kennedy
                              Everyone I would like to say a big thank you to everyone, too many for me to thank individually, over the last few days, who have given me information and
                              Message 14 of 17 , Feb 10, 2010
                                Everyone

                                I would like to say a big thank you to everyone, too many for me to thank individually, over the last few days, who have given me information and suggestions following my appeal for help.

                                Many thanks for taking the time to share your information, some of which must have taken some time to prepare.

                                I haven't had time yet to digest all the information but will endeavour to do so over the next couple of weeks.  If I find any information on any of the seamen or fishermen during my research, whose losses have been suggested, then I will happily forward this information on to those involved.  I'm sure that this will give me a huge hand with what I have in mind to write about.

                                Once again many, many, thanks.

                                Alison


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                              • George
                                Fit like Alison - here s a late entry for you.Although slightly outside your timescale 1796 It must be one of the earliest recorded Peterhead fishing vessel
                                Message 15 of 17 , Feb 21, 2010
                                  Fit like Alison - here's a late entry for you.Although slightly outside your timescale "1796"It must be one of the earliest recorded Peterhead fishing vessel losses recorded in the newspapers. Taken from the Aberdeen Journal of 19th December 1796.Two vessels lost(unfortunately not named),10 men lost leaving 8 widows and 35 children and some aged dependant parents!As my typing is not the fastest have posted the photocopy in files under Andrew Duncan Aberdeen Journals Death 1796.

                                  Rgds George Duncan
                                • Alison Kennedy
                                  George Thanks for the information.  Although slightly outwith my intended timescale I m looking at possibly referring to other major shipping losses which
                                  Message 16 of 17 , Feb 22, 2010
                                    George

                                    Thanks for the information.  Although slightly outwith my intended timescale I'm looking at possibly referring to other major shipping losses which occurred (I've got to stretch dissertation somehow!) so I may well include this one as being one of the earliest known about.

                                    Regards

                                    Alison




                                    ________________________________
                                    From: George <gduncan@...>
                                    To: Peterhead@yahoogroups.com
                                    Sent: Sunday, 21 February, 2010 22:47:22
                                    Subject: [Peterhead] Re: Losses of Seamen and Fishermen from Peterhead

                                     


                                    Fit like Alison - here's a late entry for you.Although slightly outside your timescale "1796"It must be one of the earliest recorded Peterhead fishing vessel losses recorded in the newspapers. Taken from the Aberdeen Journal of 19th December 1796.Two vessels lost(unfortunately not named),10 men lost leaving 8 widows and 35 children and some aged dependant parents!As my typing is not the fastest have posted the photocopy in files under Andrew Duncan Aberdeen Journals Death 1796.

                                    Rgds George Duncan




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