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The Great Gale of 1839

Liverpool Mercury - Friday 18 January 1839


I TERRIBLE STORM AND LOSS OF LIFE. FURTHER PARTICULARS. ,E N GL AND. LIVERPOOL. The whole of the saud-banks and the beach on the north end of the Wirrall peninsulafrom the Rock Point I to Ililbre Island, have, since Tuesday, presented a la- mentable spectacle of the effects of the storm. The five 1 fine ships, the Brighton, Pennsylvania, Lockwoods, St. Andrew, and Victoria, were seen aground in various po- sitions, and exposed to the beating of breakers. Much of their cargoes was already washed out, and, with frag-1 ments of other smaller vessels and portions of their con- I tents were strewed along the whole line of coast. In. 4 Iloylake several small craft were thrown up, and others wrecked, including amongst the latter a schooner and 4 two flats, one of which was bottom up. The beach was full of wrecks and most of the small boats destroyed. The I larboard side of the Brighton was beaten out, and portions of it driven on shore at Hoylake. WRECK OF THE PENNSYLVANIA. 1 The fine hotel, known as Leasowe Castle, (on the sea shore between the Wallasey village and Hoylake,) has, since the hurricane, been the scene of great and melan- choly interest. On Thursday, it being known that an 4 inquisition would be held at the Castle, on the bodies I picked up on the immediate shore, the interior of the Castle was crowded in almost every apartment, and many t visitors sauntered about in the pleasure grounds, or I strolled on the shore below, viewing the scene of devas- tation which there presented itself. In one of the out- l buildings (a stable) lay the bodies of three of the sufferers I out of the ship Pennsylvania, and in an apartment irt the I house lay the body of another. Those in the stable were t in the wet clothing in which theyhad been picked up. One was the body of Mr. Edward Lamb Parsons, a mer- I chant of New York, of tall slender make, fashioaablyj dressed. On his person lay a small Indian rubber or i Maeintoqh life-preserver, found in his breast the cloth sewed in tubes, but apparently not inflated, and too small -to he efficient had it been so. On this gentleman was found considerable property. Another body was that of Mr. Suitor, also a ca in passenger, a fine looking young man of dark complexion, with whiskers. The other was the body of the mate, Mr. Blyndenburgh, a stout man, in seafaring garb, and boots. All of them I had evidently availed themselves of their warmest cloth- I ing as a protection from the cold. The body in the house, that of Mr. Douglas, also a cabin passenger, was t stripped, but covered with a blanket, attempts having E been made to restore animation. Amongst those present I at the inquest was a tall good-looking young gentleman, I named Thompson, the only survivor out of the boat in I which thosolnamed, and about, as is supposed, eight others I ?? following evidence, taken on the inquisition, not E only details the accidcnt by which the parties named lost their lives so late as Tuesday afternoon, but furnishes, in s the evidence of Mr. Thompson, the sole survivor from f the boat, some painful particulars of the wreck of the yes- j eel:- t Mr. John Connor, merchant of Manchester, identifed 1 the body of Mr. Parsons, who, he believed, was about I thirty-two years of age. He also knew Mr. Douglas, whose body was lying in the Castle, and who was, he be- lieved, abo ut thirty-five yearsofa ae, and apartner ofhe house of Thompson and Co of Mew York. r Evidence having been taken as to the picking up of i the bodies, Mr. Henry Graham Thorupson, lot New York, (the 4 young gentleman before alluded to,) wus them called, and r a aid, w ns a cabin passenger in the Pennsylvania, which t was a first-class American packet-ship. We sailed from a Liverpool on Sundays the 6th instant. Mr. William t Douglas, who was lyingdead in-the house, Mr. Suitor,'(a d Scotch gentleman, who resided chiefly in South America,) s and Mr. Blydenburgh, the first mate, both lying dead in i the stable, were on board the vessel, The ship 'sailed. v down the channel'till she wass off Point Lynas, when the .t gale came suddenly on about eleven or twelve oelo&k 'at 'a night. It blewn 'complete hurricane,'and- soon carried t away all our sails, and many of our aps. I was-ea 'E sick, and being below part of the' night did not see all r that occurred. The storin continuedthroughout Monday, I and we did' not know where we were, the spray was so v thick. We werein fact, drifting, at the mercy of the s wind and waves, and it was imposszsle then to set anv other sails, as no man could stand on the deckse . e t passed another night (Monday) On board, in the same ) edagerows. state, and expsetedl to goto pieces beorni woxnlp~ 'O ivttesa mo'nti; e,: fouhilou aelve ti! Y16ai 'bo~A) iotfe ?? ihL~dfter- jh ~j*i6ei4j1 't1 gtanvd rail before 'the wiad.-1- all ~~Tjt~~bgi~~~e be. itieN, as 'a Ie.'hdre 'we. tli i~ot fi istil t~e p40b tb~iyl ined, the ilmc.t eer- do ~~ ~ ?? to te esto tdhe win As C ;~f length (he continuedY got 'ashore.The Light Ship hn, ls no rvosyt ese.Or shtip struck~where't rids' lies opposite the township f Wallasey' she St K 'fh~t~ed'soha~-d that te spate saidhe feared she would tu ri hpnn~b trpieees.Her. timbers 50o7 atrgewy.Some at * thri stea. afternon took to th otta ugover fia it ae It. " think there wer te r twelei h i tt be ?? captain, J. P. Smith, tol II til otake~the boat,. et anti b~kC ot such pasengers as we could. Tlhe deceaised at ?? Parsos, and Mr.W. Douglas, a Mir. Bairfow,'(not. ti ~ 'flis~nl.) mysef, and aout seven others went in the boat. lot It Was about threein the afternoon. Tfhe captain re- 1i Iimained on board1, vis did most of' thle crewv. We mad~e W -for the land, distant ab~out three miles, arid when we had ti iot within about a mile oftit, the boat was swamtpd. The pi Cwaves ralldil'so high that one of themn took thi,- boat by tt the. stern, and lifted her so high as to push her bow under TI erwater. We did no~t attemptto prill her w~ith the oars, but tf ottly' to keep her fin the direction in which the waves run, V4 as sho "would have instantly uplset had at Wave struck her hi on'the side. Shte filled with watter, and I being in the tr, burw, was throwns by the shock into the sea. When I re- at co~vered a little, and fouind asyself above the wave that W 'e"had filled us, I was siomeyards astern of the boat, in which I'l I'saw the remainder ofthe men. A wave broke oier me, in II aned when I looked agptin, I saw thle boat upset, and three tvi 'or four of those who had been in her holding ott by her ti keel. I saw Mr. Parions and Mir. Suitor in the water. ~ They both afterward had hold of me. Mr. Suitor (As we L 'understood the witness) held rie some time ; hut I dove w (dived) tinder the wuater, to make him let go, and he '.it hquitted his hold. I saw that hie was perfie'tly sensible 'V 'a h ime, and I polled bios tinder the water to get' So ' clear of him. I saw tiothing more of' them until I sawy cr: -their boldies. I had possession of my reason all the time; hie iv a'nuI I ilid] not ?? salt waiter. I consider mny. L elf a gooid Swimmer. cc Johit Armsitage, a labourer, saw the boat coming on di kV shdre full of melt, and saw it afterwards upset, aboutitsixty af roods. from the shore. It was ahout three in thd after- w' noon. H-e followed it as it drifted, expecting -to pick le iisome of the men up~ if they came near the Shorte. There tl was another manl with him. I-e saw two of the mten froms te it the boat swim towards the shore, and gain ai bank near to init ; and he'and his cosmpaninn stood by to receive them, ke ' calet their huiddles its the tide-way.- There was a gutter at (foUime'4by the tide) between witness tend the mcii. They fit ?? Iught over the ban into the gutter, which was ver A deep, and (probably being exhausted and henumb) Ca they went down, but came uip agaiti, and struggled wt ttheir arms-atttempting to swim. Hie and his companion hi went farther into the water, and tried to get them out, al. bitt they could not, and they discippeared. Witness and wi hlia compantion (aI youth) walked about to set, if the waves St, would bring them ashore, autd soon ,afterwards saw one of J hthe crstwnyo-thirty yards; from the side ; went th It tfritanwith t eassistance of the bay, (Winl.Dodd) ul drew it out. T'hey fouiindot) igns oflite, atid carried the re Crboy to Leasovre Castle. It wats pit into the stable. fo (his was the hiody of Mr. Parsons.) The property found co Isapnit afterwards, in presence of the writness, was 'th and8 i old, in one purse, and two half sovereignsi hr 1n I8s. in silver in atiothier ; also a bunch of keys, a as, rpenknife, a pencil, gloves, hmtndkerchief, &c. The pro- cr perty was del vered to Mr. Louis Buizzard, t e landlord th ~'of thle castle. wti a Samuel Armittuie said, he wvent down to the shore to in f.assist, along with the last witness-, and they had just get WI Mr. Thompson (the only survivor) ott shore, wheti they til :m saw three men onl the boat's keel. They were washed oft Rr :tand two of-them were alive, and stood on the bank till hi they came to the gutter, wI ore they wvere drowned. The 0' deceased (Air. Parsons) sunk out of' 6ght sieveral times hr it before ho liftogether disappeared, and witness ?? lo him. They tried hard to save him, by taking hold of lit each other's hatids, but could not. ~Witness at leitgth wl saw one of them a ppear close to where the boat had c v cdriftedI, and assisted hlis ceinparion, by lockinig hiands, to b( get him out. He was quite (lead, ?? had on a jacket, re to two red flannel shirts, bloc trousers, and boots. TIhey hn took thle body to the Castle. (This was Mr. 1313denburgh.) tli Mr. Jones, keeper of thle Leasow~e Lighthouse, gave to d evidence to the effect that he picked up Air. Douglas of floating on the shore, amid, finding seine slight indicanton atl of'remaining vitality, with assistance, carried him, with thi all promptitude, to the Castle. He was the first picked `r up after Mr. Thompson gained the shore, and was~qaife PI insensible. At the inn every possible exertion was made to to restore animation, by stripping him, placing him be- ar~ lt foealrelr nabakt n ubitg him with hot njl sal infanlbtwtotayapaac freturn ing quent endeavors to restor him, but al too late li Thsbeing the whole of the evidence wvhcs itwa h thougt necessary to adduce, the coroner isume pi Hd a bre and able manner, and thle jury retureavric ot accordingly-to the effect that all the deceae ha Wet , " 'accidentally drowned." d Mr. Thompson, the survivor from the boat, leftinstrus- ro tions at the inn for the respectable burial of the remains ?? of Mr. Douglas and Mir. S~uitor ; an d an order wats, we to learned, received from Liverpool for the uinteriment of Mr. tlr Blydenburgh. The body of Mir. Pare ons was conveyed hr It from the Castle in the he~arse to Seacombe, imosediaiely W, after the inquest, and thence to Liverpool. an The fate of the other passengers and crew of the Penn- th sylvania is stated above in detail. Fourteen, including th I.the captain, and first anid second mates, were drowned ; th oand twenty-six wrsaved.Ii Mr Rchards, the third mate of the Pennsylvania, anid w. son of the late respected Silas Richards, Esq., gives the hr following Account of the melancholy ev~ent:-" About dr .~half-paist eleven, a~m., on Sunday, Captaiti Smith came te on hoard in most excellent spirits, and desired the ship to b e got under weigh immediately, which being done, we or '~had a fine ran,' with a south wind, as far as Point Lyonse, tI- which we reached by nine, n.m., vi'hien a dead calm came ftm e on for about ten minutes, at the expiration of which time th 11it began to blow very fresh from time south-west. We then fe, :~close reefed our topsitils, furled the mainsails, and ei: fr( deavoured to reef the foresail, but; failing its thle ttempt, ca It wereecompelled to furlit. Things continued in this state or g9 till two a~m., on Mlonday, when the wind changed to the or 5,:: west and blew a perfect hurricane, carrying awsay our fore T1' tad minientopsaitl yards, taking the maintonsiail clean tli aout of the boltrope, atid blowing the courses, though tit furled at the tiome, into the merest ribbons. At daiy- to light we found, also, that. our foreyard wits v'ery badly w, sprung. During the whole of this day, we were emi- to ploye in clearing the wreck aiid wearing the ship every four hours. About two, a.m., on Tu~esday, we sac- th ceeded in bending a new foresail to run up wvith, about sti daylight, and when daylight came, we mavde every effort co a to regain the htarbour, keepin g ait anxious look out for w, it the Light-sliip,'and following its tme track of the Lock- sti i-woods, which kept about half' a mile idiead of its ; but F e being perfectly bewildered by the abseisce of the Light- in t.ship, we dropped anchor abreast of 1-Joylake beach, twvo TI ,_or three miles from shore. When, however, wre han got th h about 30 fathoms of cable out, the chain snapped, and the ship, after driftitig for twelve minutes to leeward, do struck very Iteavily on Hoyle Bank, and after thunpiug its a. eight or nine times, filled. When she had thumped two9 of ,a or three times, thd' first and Second mates, five of the in di crew, and the five passengers went off in the jolly-boat. ti( a As soon as she filled we cleared away the long-boat~, but, wt IS to our cotusteruatien, we could not find lines to hoist her br II outt with ; and,' just as wye were stritining. every nerve to wi hoist her out by main force, the vessel shipped a heavy sea, WI which staved the boat and bruised Capt. Smith very much, ho Pi 'on which he made an attempt to Sprinig into the nmain rig- th eging but, failing, he fell down betweeti two water casks, -whens'Pheshipped another tremendous sea, and Citpt. Smith St; is exclaimingI Oh I my God,' was washed overboard, and us 9 never seen more. This wast at three o'clock, pm. Just be- Li e fore the lost sea came, I ordered the men into the rigging, We r to save themselves, if possible, and I followed them myself, to r when we finally took to the mtain and mizen tops, and cc wraped ourselves up in sails for preservato rmtee-f -thor and in this condition we remained until half'piast ten, hi s a.m,, on Wednesday, when we were rescued from our e perilous situation and piut on board the Victoria steamn- t1 a tog, which brought ass llto Liverpool, except three of the Su crew, who were starved to death in the rigging during the ot -night. I ought to observe, that the Maazine life-boat l- r would not have attempted to render us ?? least service fe r if they hind not been shainied into doing so by a small se I' green gig, which succeeded, after a desperate effort, itt at o, 'eaching-un;" WRtECic OP FTiSE t LOCKWOODS. 8 Inqtuesi on Tweently-eifht of the PersonsDrowned.-On W Friday, an inquest was held before P. F. Catrry, Esq., pi e coroner, touching the several and respective deaths of 0: N John Cairns, Samson Worsley, of five miei unknown, of th nine women unknown, five boys unkiown, and five girls ag unknown, all now lying dead in Liverpool. ev f Edmund Tomkins, a. mariner, was the first witness ex- am 8 amined. He said, on Sunday l-st about one o'clock, I ev s sailed from Liverpool on board the Lock woods, bound for to t New York, with emigrants. The crew, including the sir ?? and officers, consisted of twenty-tive persons. I St I believe there were eighty or eighty-live patssenoers oil J s bonrd. When we sailed tho winid was about S. S. E., wr blowing moderate. Ttwardtl nighttall, aitiltere was evory co t appearance of the windl incretising, the capttinii ordered Ti t the topsails to be doublo reeldL. Abotit ton *r cloven the co sanle night, it caine on aitl blew a gale otif wiid. 'Vlio lit' I fore and main topsail wtis ?? ont of the bolt rop)s. vo About two hours after this, the wind chotppel rotnid ftom en the W.S.W. to N. W., aid continued to Increise lit vio- tu I lence until it blew Ln Imertect linrrienne ThorToero wso nso wt t lights to be seen, atut I vaitimt tell tertietly where we If were, but we were lying to. At daylight our foresatil al -was blown out otf the lmelt ropes. I'}lsseotlei mate grit Vi a disabled on Sunday nigist by mml acc0ident, and I oeu- pou menced doing duty mystellt Houletinie Aites our foresail it, f was blown away, wwere shil a ndti s tbo uasllmlkil, Dur- tub lag Monday, I cannot asy wiere we were, biut on kloa wc day night we were, I tlitsnk, olf 1B1aokeoolmae, On Itle"dtllr ga I Morning we bore up tor LiverpoorI, andt at that tismie I Co believe, both ptissengers amd crew were 8ate, We got IP tt k as far as a buoy, called tile Speneer (ulit Jloy, idl baut ev, the floating li1 st-ship bueh at htr shooin1gs I hntao ia liv doubt afl w (ulI havo been silte. TIs11 ipate Was tbrwIArd, thl and I was on the quarter-deck wvith tile Ctaptttiln, all lonk- wi ing out for the light-ship. Abovit tii-d-ay ons 11sesutilw no I we let go our starlonatr anhosr, Imt tihe aildu hbsrke. e the then let go our larbottrd itilser; thssV wve sils lost osis li t after losing our first aneohmr, ¢te sipi. atriack 'isoun a basik: sid l the false keel of the hip eise si) imnietiiaitsnly A4tprwsrds. syl I Several seas came on board of su, aitil stn0t 4iftorwards it Lc i made a complete bireaehi aver sue, ntod thet vesel filled. th, There was the pilot boat No, fi, boating 4 ahut to resder ho IUs what assistance she could., The 0aptshtt etirpeister, If ISteward? cabin passeliger, onisi seginatiti atd I , vwent, on ma board tne pilot boat in the etititia's gig, and we were thi


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Accessed 20th March 2018

The Great Gale of 1839