Author Topic: sea trading from Blyth  (Read 391 times)

Offline TriciaK

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sea trading from Blyth
« on: Sunday 07 October 18 20:26 BST (UK) »
Some of my Dad's ancestors were ship's masters in the C19th . I have paintings of 2 of the ships, the Blyth and the Messenger. My cousin found out that they sailed across to Scandinavia and into the Baltic sea as far as St. Petersburg.
Has anyone any idea what cargo they would be carrying?
Knott - Northumberland; Yorkshire (?Bridlington.)
Fenwick, Johnston - Northumberland.
Dixon; Hutchinson - York.
Shaw - ? Glasgow

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Offline Phodgetts

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Re: sea trading from Blyth
« Reply #1 on: Sunday 07 October 18 23:06 BST (UK) »
The 'BLYTH' was a collier brig, it transported coal from the pits in the Blyth area to various places such as London, Portugal and Spain, and one old picture I have is of the 'BLYTH' leaving Malta! The vessel would have travelled near and far. The town of Blyth also had strong links with King's Lynn.

Blyth as a town and port also did a lot of business with Scandinavia and the Baltic countries importing pine logs to be used as pit props, and other timbers for use in the coal pits and in the building industry.

I'll attach the image I have of the 'BLYTH' leaving Malta. Enjoy

The 'MESSENGER' was also a collier brig, built Sunderland 1863, owned by a John Bell and Mastered by a John Knott, it weighed 247 tons and could carry 19 keels of coal, the official number of the vessel being 43641.

If you are interested to learn more about the ships of Blyth I can recommend the book 'Collier Brigs and Their Sailors', written 1925 by Sir Walter Runciman, he also gives a comprehensive list of the Blyth owned ships, though sadly there is no mention of the 'BLYTH'.

P
Northumberland; Johnson, Johnston, Dodds, Rutherford, Gray, Kennedy, Wilson, Sanderson, Davidson and other Border Marauders as they are discovered on this journey.
Berkshire; Knight, Bristor, Sharpe, Sharp, Ashley.
Suffolk / Essex; Perce, Pearce, Pearse, Pierce, Hayes.
Midlands; Hodgetts, Parker, Easthope.

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Offline Westoe

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Re: sea trading from Blyth
« Reply #2 on: Monday 08 October 18 03:42 BST (UK) »
Hello TriciaK,

Who were your ancestor-masters of the BLYTH and the MESSENGER and during what time periods?

Details of 100's of 1,000's of Baltic cargoes are available free online but only by date, masters' names and home port. Ship names are not given.

Here is the link:
http://dietrich.soundtoll.nl/public/names.php

The records are in Danish but not difficult to negotiate and you can use Google Translate.

Cheers,
Westoe

Offline TriciaK

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Re: sea trading from Blyth
« Reply #3 on: Monday 08 October 18 16:40 BST (UK) »
Many thanks to both - it brings the past alive to see pictures from those days. Your photos of old Blyth are wonderful,Phodgetts.
I wonder what the Blyth was doing in Malta?
I think my Dad's seafaring ancestors were all called John Knott, as Dad was, and his father , my Grandad. But not certain about that.
I'm not sure how many generations ago they were at sea, or whether there was one or more than one of them. I think it would be in the 1850s. I'll have a look at your link, Westoe.
I'll have to ask my Canadian cousin who has done more genealogical research.
I was also interested in a recent thread about Sir James Knott, a Tyneside ship builder of the C19, who might have been a relative.
One explanation of the family name Knott is that it derives from Knut, a Scandinavian name.
Knott - Northumberland; Yorkshire (?Bridlington.)
Fenwick, Johnston - Northumberland.
Dixon; Hutchinson - York.
Shaw - ? Glasgow

Offline Westoe

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Re: sea trading from Blyth
« Reply #4 on: Wednesday 10 October 18 15:07 BST (UK) »
Hello again, TriciaK,

I've found a "possible-probable" for you on page 516 of Richard Keys' massive reference book "Dictionary of Tyne Sailing Ships". Leastways, it's a Captain Knott on a MESSENGER and it gives you a lot of information:
 - build date and place and builder's name
 - rigging (as a snow, which term you can Google) and burthen (tonnage)
 - dimensions
 - Official Number (O/N) which was unique to this vessel and necessary to know to trace her history

EDIT: For example, if you Google for "MESSENGER 43641 Blyth" (without those quotation marks) you'll get a hit for Tyne and Wear Archives who have a crew list for her from 6 June 1872 to 15 November 1872. IF your man was aboard her then, you'll see his signature and possibly more of his own handwriting. You'll also glean a lot of information about voyage conditions.

 - some owners
 - a reference date (albeit with a typo - should be 1879, not 1979) for a voyage under Captain Knott.

2nd EDIT: Ooops. I've just reread Phodgetts' post and see that I have repeated some of his information.

That last gives you a starting point for checking for references in the newspapers at FindMyPast or British Newspaper Archive. Though both are subscription sites, at BNA you can search for free and get the thumbnails which, altho' full of OCR gobbledy-gook, will be clear enow to let you see if it is one you want to pay for.

The usual format in the shipping news columns is "vessel name COMMA master's surname" i.e. "MESSENGER, Knott" or "BLYTH, Knott" with those quotation marks around it.

Example: Lloyd's List weekly newspaper for 29 November 1870 shows BLYTH with Knott as master arriving somewhere on 23rd November.

IF, you further discover that you had mariner ancestors named James Knott or Matthew Knott, come back to me and I will look again.

Cheers,
Westoe

Offline TriciaK

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Re: sea trading from Blyth
« Reply #5 on: Wednesday 10 October 18 19:02 BST (UK) »
Thanks so much Westoe  ;)
I'll have to do some more digging. I'm not sure if the Knott captains were all called John.
Sad to hear that the Messenger was wrecked. If only Dad was here to ask about it (he died in 1992.)
Knott - Northumberland; Yorkshire (?Bridlington.)
Fenwick, Johnston - Northumberland.
Dixon; Hutchinson - York.
Shaw - ? Glasgow

Offline Westoe

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Re: sea trading from Blyth
« Reply #6 on: Wednesday 10 October 18 20:44 BST (UK) »
A bit more for you TriciaK,

MESSENGER's Commercial Code Signal was T. P. S. H.

That means that she flew those 4 letter flags in that order which allowed her to be visually identified even from a distance through a telescope. Just as the Official Number was a unique identifier of her hull, this was a unique visual identifier of her. If ever you find a painting of her, it should include that string of letter flags.

Here's a link to signal code flags:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Code_of_Signals

Here is her code given in one of many, free online, volumes of The Mercantile Navy List:
http://www.crewlist.org.uk/data/viewimages?regtype=MNL&year=1870&name=MESSENGER&steamsail=Sail&page=268

However ... she was not totally wrecked in 1882. She simply left the Tyne (Keys' book deals only with Tyne-registered vessels) and was re-registered elsewhere. The 1930 Mercantile Navy List has her registered as a barge in Liverpool under her same Official Number.
Here's the link:
http://www.crewlist.org.uk/data/viewimages?regtype=MNL&year=1930&name=MESSENGER&steamsail=Sail&page=1102

Her 1879 Crew Agreement (the year that Keys mentions the master's name as Knott) is at the Maritime History Archive at Memorial University in Newfoundland, CANADA. You can buy images from them tho' they are not cheap. It is a Type E2 agreement and this is what page 1 will look like:
https://www.mun.ca/mha/holdings/code_e_ph.php

It would be worth your while to spend a few hours noodling around this source:
http://www.crewlist.org.uk/

Cheers,
Westoe

Offline Westoe

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Re: sea trading from Blyth
« Reply #7 on: Wednesday 10 October 18 21:23 BST (UK) »
Erm ... last post from me this go-round.

Tricia, was your John Knott born at Bridlington in 1830?

If yes, his masters' certificate number was 22,223 issued at Newcastle in 1863. Certificates were mandatory after 1850.

Ancestry has the "U.K. Masters and Mates" database. Have a look there both by name and certificate number, then be sure to use both the backward and forward scroll arrows to see all the pages in his file. It may include his "Record of Service" listing all his previous ships, dates aboard and ranks aboard. Sometimes it also includes letters of reference from previous masters and (very) occasionally a baptismal certifcate as proof of age.

Cheers,
Westoe

Offline TriciaK

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Re: sea trading from Blyth
« Reply #8 on: Thursday 11 October 18 18:56 BST (UK) »
Thanks once again Westoe. I wouldn't have known where to start looking.
Born at Bridlington - yes I remember my Dad telling me that his family originated from Bridlington.
Which is just down the coast in E Yorks.
Knott - Northumberland; Yorkshire (?Bridlington.)
Fenwick, Johnston - Northumberland.
Dixon; Hutchinson - York.
Shaw - ? Glasgow