Researching family and local history in New Brunswick
The Moss Rose

The Moss Rose

Moss Rose china

One of my favourite hobbies outside family research is roses. I have as many as my urban yard can handle. One I don’t currently have is a moss rose. It was likely from a natural sport of a Gallica rose. They became an interest of the horticultural set which created quite a few breeds, one of the first being Henri Martin. (Laffay France 1863 Rosa x centifolia muscosa.) Eventually they caught on in mainstream Victorian culture and became rather trendy, but Thomas Hilyard was of the former group.

He was a leader in Saint John society and the owner of a shipyard in Portland. Hilyard st. is a reminder of this. One of his ship caught my eye, the Moss Rose. Previous to this I had not considered that anyone here would have been in touch with the happenings in rose history. Here are a few items I’ve run across:

MOSS ROSE. Off No 46944.
Wooden Barque.
Built September 1863 , by Hilliard [sic] , New Brunswick
801 GRT.
155.3ft L, 33.8ft B, 20.8ft D.
Owner : Hilliard
Port of Reg : St John, N.B..

1864. 6th May . Sold to Schute & Co. Port of Reg Liverpool
1866. Sold to J. Williams. Port of reg Liverpool.
1872. Voyage Liverpool / India ( Master H Smith).
1888. 6th January .Vessel abandoned off Brest and sank. . Owners J.Atkinson. Port of Reg Bristol.

Above from Lloyds Register of Shipping , Canadian Ship Information Database
and Northern Shipwrecks
Database CD.

From Lloyds Captains Register
Smith, Henry. b Dumfries 1841.
Obtained Masters Certificate No 25777 , by examination at Liverpool , 1868.
Master of MOSS ROSE from 1868


The Moss Ross

PortCities Southampton
[this has been OCRed so there are glitches in the text]

Unique ID: 15464
Description: Board of Trade Wreck Report for ‘Moss Rose’, 1888
Creator: Board of Trade
Date: 1888
Copyright: Out of copyright
Partner: SCC Libraries
Partner ID: Unknown

(No. 3488.) “MOSS ROSE.” The Merchant Shipping Acts, 1854 to 1876. IN the matter of a formal Investigation held at St. George’s Hall, Liverpool, on the 2nd and 3rd days of March 1888, before THOS. STAMFORD RAFFLES, Esquire, Stipendiary Magistrate, assisted by Captains PARFITT and GROVES, Nautical Assessors, into the circumstances attending the abandonment of the British sailing ship “Moss ROSE,” of Bristol, in about lat. 47 N., and long. 8 W., on the 5th January 1888. Report of Court.

The Court, having carefully inquired into the circumstances attending the above-mentioned shipping casualty, finds, for the reasons stated in the annex hereto, that the said ship was abandoned with 8 feet water in her hold, caused by labouring and straining in tempestuous weather, the crew being worn out by pumping and exposure. Dated this 3rd day of March 1888. (Signed) T. S. RAFFLES, Judge. We concur in the above report. (Signed) WM. PARFITT, Assessors. C. B. GROVES, Annex to the Report. This is an inquiry into the circumstances attending the abandonment of the British sailing ship “Moss Rose,” of Bristol, in about lat. 47º N., and long. 8º W., on the 5th of January 1888. Mr. Paxton appeared for the Board of Trade, and Mr. Lightbound for the master and owners of the vessel.

The “Moss Rose” was a barque, built of wood at St. Johns, N.B., in 1863, and registered at Bristol, of 768.67 tons. She was purchased by her present owners in February 1887, and was the property of Mr. John Atkinson, of Belfast, who managed her, and two others. On the purchase, she was put into dry dock and repaired to their satisfaction, and was classed for five years A 1 1/2 in American record. She was then sent on a voyage to Rio de Janeiro with coals, thence went to Mobile in ballast, and took a cargo of timber to Liverpool, where she arrived in October 1887, after a successful voyage without casualty. She was then put into dry dock, her metal was entirely renewed, she was thoroughly caulked, and other repairs were done at an expense of 250l., to the entire satisfaction of the superintendent of the association. She was then taken to Birkenhead, where she loaded a cargo of 1,170 tons of coals for Aspinwall.

She sailed from Liverpool, being detained by bad weather, on the 11th January 1888, under the command of Mr. Hans Christian Gunderson, who holds a master’s certificate of competency, No. 016,745, granted in March 1886, and a crew of 14 hands all told, drawing 19 ft. 6 in. forward, and 20 ft. 3 in. aft. The weather when she left was thick and hazy, but calm, and she made no water.

On the following day about 4 p.m. it came on to blow, and in the course of the evening they took in sail down to two lower topsails and 3 storm staysails. The vessel made more water, and the starboard pump got choked with coals. The weather moderated after this, and they tried to clear the starboard pump, but could not get it to work, and on the 14th they decided to bear up for Holyhead, and arrived there in the middle of the day.

Mr. Godfrey, a shipwright surveyor for the Board of Trade at Liverpool, went down there on the 17th, and on the 22nd Lloyd’s surveyor and the captain of the coastguard were called in on account of a complaint of the crew, and recommended certain repairs, which were all done to their satisfaction, and on the 24th December she resumed her voyage with a fine northerly breeze. At midnight on the 26th the wind hauled round to E.S.E., and a storm came on, at times of hurricane force, which lasted for six days, and sail was again reduced to two lower topsails and three storm staysails. Everything movable on deck was broken by the violence of the weather, and the deck houses became flooded. They had to keep at the pumps constantly, both of which worked well, but the vessel laboured and strained very much.

On the 1st of January the weather moderated. On the 3rd and 4th the gale returned, till on the 4th the men could not stand at the pumps, and they complained very much of being exhausted. They wanted to leave by a steamer they saw on the 2nd, but the master persuaded them to remain. They kept at the pumps till 5 or 6 a.m. of the 5th, when they said they could work them no more, being exhausted by pumping and standing so long in the water. At 9 a.m. 4 feet were reported by the carpenter. A steamer, which proved to be the “Worcester,” from Cardiff, outward bound, came in sight about noon, and they made signals of distress. She came as near to them as she safely could and sent her boat to the barque. By means of a line every man was hauled on board of her, and by 3 p.m. they were all on the steamer. Before leaving, the carpenter reported 8 feet of water in the ship. She was abandoned in about lat. 47 N. and long. 8 W. The crew were taken to St. Vincent, and thence were sent home, arriving in Liverpool on the 2nd February.

On the close of the evidence Mr. Paxton put in the following questions:

1. Was the vessel in a good and seaworthy condition when she left Liverpool?

2. Having regard to the age and condition of the vessel was she overladen?

3. Were her pumps sufficient and in good order, and were they properly protected?

4. What was the cause of the vessel making so much water between Liverpool and Holyhead?

5. When the vessel left Holyhead was she in a good and seaworthy condition?

6. What was the cause of the vessel making so much water on and after the 27th December?

7. Was every possible effort made to keep the water under?

8. Was the vessel prematurely abandoned?

9. What was the cost of the vessel to her owners?

10. What was her value when she left Liverpool?

11. What insurances were effected upon her, and how were they apportioned?

12. Was the master in default in regard to any of the above matters?

And he stated that in the opinion of the Board of Trade the master’s certificate should be dealt with. Mr. Lightbound addressed the Court.

The Court gave judgment as follows:

1. The “Moss Rose” was in a good and seaworthy condition when she left Liverpool.

2. The Court was not informed what freeboard this vessel should have had according to the rules adopted by Lloyd’s and sanctioned by the Board of Trade. Mr. Godfrey, Board of Trade surveyor at Liverpool, said that when he saw the vessel lying in the outer roads at Holyhead, she appeared to have a very fair side. The Court, however, considered that having regard to her age, 25 years, and construction of soft wood, 1,170 tons of coals was certainly a very heavy cargo for her—the more especially as it was a winter voyage.

3. Her pumps were sufficient and in good order when they left Liverpool, but by some accident soon after leaving that port, a plank of the pump well casing became broken, and the coals getting through choked the starboard pump. This damage was repaired at Holyhead, and after that it was not again choked.

4. The vessel made water between Liverpool and Holyhead, through two or three loose bolts and treenails on the starboard side, and possibly some slight leak in the bow ports.

5. A survey was made whilst the vessel lay afloat in the outer roads, Holyhead, and some repairs, including the defects mentioned in the answer to the last question were done, after which she resumed her voyage in a good and seaworthy condition.

6. The heavy labouring and straining of the vessel during the boisterous weather encountered from the morning of the 27th December, to the time of her abandonment was the cause of her making so much water.

7. Every possible effort was made to keep the water under until the morning of the 5th January, when the crew, from exhaustion, and the continued standing in the water which flooded the decks, said they could no longer coutinue pumping.

8. The vessel was certainly not prematurely abandoned. It was the master’s intention to make for some port, and he was steering for the coast when the men ceased pumping and demanded to be taken off by the steamer which came to their assistance about noon on the 5th. The Court is inclined to consider their plea of inability genuine.

9 and 10. The vessel cost 925l. in February 1887, and since that time she has been re-metalled at an expense of 250l., and the Court is of opinion that these two amounts, 1,175l., would represent her fair value when she left Liverpool.

11. Insurance of 500l. was effected on hull, and 700l on freight and outfit. There was a balance of 450l. of freight at risk.

12. The master was in no respect in default. (Signed) T. S. RAFFLES, Judge. We concur in this report. (Signed) WM. PARFITT, Assessors. C. B. GROVES, Liverpool, 3rd March 1888.