arrowbookcheckclosecommentfacebookfavourite-origfavouritegooglehomeibapdfsearchsharespotlighttwitterwelsh-government
  • Use stars to collect & save items A vector image of star to represent action to save this item   Login to save this item

Description

The smack MORNING STAR was one of the shipping losses during the Royal Charter Gale, 25-26 October 1859. It was built at Aberystwyth in 1826 and its port of Aberystwyth registration entry provides us with a technical description:

38 378/3500 tons burthen. 1 deck, 2 masts, that her length from the inner part of the Main Stem to the forepart of the stern aloft is 44ft, her breadth in midships is 14.4ft, her depth in hold at midships is 8.15ft. Smack rigged with a running bowsprit, square stern, carvel built; frame work and planking is of wood, is a sailing vessel.

If you move your mouse over this image, you'll find more clues to the smack's working life and the Welsh people who were associated with it. The owners, all drawn from Aberystwyth, New Quay, Newport and Neath are shown lower down the page. They include the master, Isaac Thomas.
The tragedy behind the loss is revealed in the inquiry into the behaviour of the Harbourmaster at Aberystwyth, reported in the Caernarvon and Denbigh Herald, 14 November 1859, page 2, column 3:

'Aberystwyth Harbour
An inquiry into the mooted neglect of the harbour mater (Mr Richard Pugh) of this port has been made by the trustees...
Captain Owen Enos, master of the VICTORIA (lost at New Quay during the storm that night), said - We were in company with the MARGARET LLOYD and MORNING STAR (the vessels lost as above stated) on the morning of Tuesday 25th, from St Tudwal's Roads. The BRITANNIA (also lost), the SWANSEA TRADER of Aberystwyth. The ELIZA MARY of New Quay and others were also with us. The last time I saw the MARGRET LLOYD was between 5 and 6 o'clock in the evening, staying out about Pendinas. I was about three quarters of a mile to leeward of her. The wind was ENE. In about three quarters of an hour afterwards, it was quite dark, and the storm increasing, I saw the lights of the MARGARET LLOYD in such as position as would have enable her to fetch the harbour in safety if there was a light on the pier, I am positive she would have been in. I would have made an attempt to come in myself had there been a light. The MORNING STAR would also have attempted to have come into this harbour were the light exhibited, I showed a light occasionally myself....
When the Trustees return, the chairman said. Mr Pugh, it now becomes my painful duty to give the result of deliberation of the trustees in this unfortunate matter, which I will do by simply reading the resolution passed by them. Painful, I may say, because as far as I understand you are an old and valued servant of the trustees and no complaint has even before been laid against you, and they are therefore all extremely sorry for the unhappy occurrence which have led them to pass the following resolution:
Resolved unanimously: that the trustees are f the opinion that in the night of 25th ult., the harbour master was guilty of gross neglect of duty in not putting up their pier and guide lights, and that he be forthwith dismissed.'

Three crewmembers were drowned, including the master Isaac Thomas and his son Lewis, when the smack was wrecked at Ceibwr near Cardigan. The gravestone commemorating their deaths can now be seen near the Castle Theatre, Aberystwyth

Follow this link:
http://www.peoplescollectionwales.co.uk/items/44840

Sources include:
Lloyds Register of British and Foreign Shipping, 1 July 1859 - 30 June 1860, 889 in M
Mercantile Navy List 1858, pg 285 (online source Google Books)
Port of Aberystwyth Shipping Register 1832 - 1840, Ceredigion Archive Service AT/SHIP 2, Folio 50 (http://archifdy-ceredigion.org.uk/)
Troughton, W, 2006, Ceredigion Shipwrecks, pg12-13


Richard Pugh gave evidence in his defence at the inquiry. What were his reasons for not lighting the pier head lights?

Follow this link:
http://www.peoplescollectionwales.co.uk/items/44844

Use the historic Ordnance Survey maps provided by the People's Collection Wales to identify where shipbuilding took place at Aberystwyth harbour.

How many different occupations are listed amongst the MORNING STAR's owners?

Comments (0)

You must be logged in to leave a comment