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Description

The MARY ANNE of Cardigan was driven ashore with several other vessels at Newquay during the Royal Charter Gale of 25-26 October 1859. The devastation caused by the storm was reported in the newspaper Baner Amerau Cymru:

'Below Fron-Wig, the PEARL, recently repaired, was lying on its side against the rocks being battered by waves; the MARY HUGHES, the PERSERVERANCE and the MARGARET AND ANNE were crashing together and being completely submerged at times by the huge seas. Behind Penpolion, the MARY ELIZA had sunk completely and the ELLE was on the rocks. The MARY ANNE, the smack MARGARET and the MAJOR NANNERY were driven ashore at Traeth-gwyn. The LOUSA JANE, another schooner and the smack CATHERINE, were dragging their moorings and likely to drift with the rest...'

Of the vessels mentioned above, the Board of Trade Shipwreck Return of 1859 suggests that the MAJOR NANNERY was completely wrecked. However, the vessel's shipping register entry suggests that it continued in service until lost at St Govan's Head near Milford on 7 April 1876.

There is a similar question over the fate of the MARY ANNE - did it continue in service after the storm or was it so badly damaged that it was broken up where it went aground?

The most likely identity for the vessel reported ashore by Baner Amerau Cymru is the MARY ANNE built at Newquay in 1810. A technical specification is given in the sloop's port of Cardigan Shipping Register entry (the image shown above):

23 2185/3500 tons burthen; 1 deck, 1 mast, that her length from the inner part of the main stem to the forepart of the stern aloft is 39.3ft, her breadth in midships is 12ft, her depth in hold at midships is 6.4 ft. That she is a sloop rigged with a standing bowsprit, square stern, carvel built.

At time of the gale, the MARY ANNE was owned by a consortium of local people drawn from Newport, Pembrokeshire - Thomas Evans of Newport, mariner (16 shares), John Harand of Newport, shipwright (8 shares), David Williams of Newport, mariner (24 shares), David Evans of Newport, merchant (8 shares), Elizabeth Thomas of Newport, widow (8 shares), and Anne Nicholas of Newport, widow (8 shares).

The sloop's registration documentation notes that the MARY ANNE had been broken up by 1866, but gives no firm date for the dismantling.

So did this MARY ANNE ever go to sea again after the gale?

Over to you and your own local history research to see if you can find out more...

Sources include:
Passmore, S, 1982, Farmers and Figureheads: The Port of New Quay and its Hinterland, pg69-70
Port of Cardigan Shipping Register 1837-1850, Pembrokeshire Record Office T/SHIP/1/4
Port of Cardigan Shipping Register Transaction Register 1855-1856, Pembrokeshire Archives T/Ship/1/6
Troughton, W, 2006, Ceredigion Shipwrecks, pg42

Pembrokeshire Archives
http://www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/content.asp?nav=2%2C107%2C1447
Ceredigion Archives (for the Port of Cardigan Shipping Register Transactions Register featuring the MARY ANNE's last shipping register entry:
http://archifdy-ceredigion.org.uk


What local documentary sources might help to confirm whether the MARY ANNE was broken up at Newquay after the October 1859 gale?

Where was shipbuilding and repair carried out at Newquay in the mid 19th century? Are there clues on the historic Ordnance Survey mapping provided by the People's Collection Wales www site?

What does the census return for 1851 tell us about the maritime trades represented amongst the populations both of Newquay and Newport?

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