ATOSSA
 
 
New Owner and New Ports
 
In March and April 1877 the Shields Daily Gazette newspaper carried an advertisement offering ‘Atossa’ for sale.
 
Advertisement-Atossa-For-Sale
Shields Daily Gazette Advertisement 1877
Newspaper image © The British Library Board. All rights reserved.
With thanks to The British Newspaper Archive
www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk
 
On the 14th April 1877, William Nicholson the Younger of the Wellington Iron Works, Sunderland and John Nicholson, sold their entire holdings in ‘Atossa’ to William Bedford, Shipowner, of Sunderland. This was recorded in the Sunderland Customs and Excise Register at 10am on the 18th April 1877.
The 1877 Lloyd’s Register of British and Foreign Shipping recorded W. Bedford becoming both the owner and Master of ‘Atossa’. The registered tonnage was given as i) Net: - 483, ii) Gross: - 483 and iii) Under Deck: - 458. The ‘F. & Y.M.’ mark was now dated 78. A1 was shown in the column headed ‘Character, if assigned, for Hull and Stores’ and under the ‘Date of last Survey’ – 2,78.
On 24th April 1877 William Bedford, who gave his home address as 3 Grace Terrace, Sunderland, signed, as Master of the ‘Atossa’ Agreement number 21017, which would take the ship and “The several Persons whose names are hereto subscribed, and whose descriptions are contained on the other side or sides [shown here, below], and of whom six are engaged as Sailors, hereby agree to serve on board the said Ship, in the several capacities expressed against their respective Names, on a Voyage from Sunderland to Buenos Aires and/or any other Ports or Places on the East or West Coasts of South or North America or the Atlantic or Pacific Oceans or Indian Ocean, China or Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Mauritius or Cape Colonies and/or back to the United Kingdom or Continent of Europe with Liberty to Call for Orders before Proceeding to a Port of Delivery. Final Port of Discharge to be in the United Kingdom. Voyage not to exceed three years.”
The crew list for the voyage from Sunderland was: -
 

NAME

AGE &
PLACE OF BIRTH

CAPACITY
(Certificate No.)

PREVIOUS SHIP & PORT
AT WHICH REGISTERED

William Bedford

57 - Middlesex

Master (75849)

Kebroyd - Sunderland

John Douglass Philliskirk

29 - Sunderland

Mate (97860)

Leechmere - London

Charles Adie

29 - Sunderland

Boatswain

Dora - London

John Kotly

46 - Heligoland

Carpenter & AB

Chester - Hartlepool

John Burnett

43 - Essex

Cook & Steward

Agincourt -Shields

William Smith

22 - London

AB

Roxana - Alloa

James Shields

22 - Dublin

AB

Strathairly - Newcastle

Alexander Ereksen

29 - Norway

AB

Dutch Ship

John Duncan

23 - Macduff

AB

Broomhaugh - Newcastle

Alexander Cordiner

20 - Halifax N.S.

AB

Broomhaugh - Newcastle

John Coyle

18 - Kirkcaldy

OS

Estella - Goole

Alfred Pack

17 - Wellingborough

OS

Allison - Whitby

Henry Trench

16 - London

Apprentice

-

Albert Eades

15 - London

Apprentice

-

 
The “Scale of Provisions to be allowed and served out to the Crew during the Voyage, in addition to the daily issue of Lime and Lemon Juice and Sugar, or other antiscorbutics in any case required by Law” were: -

1lb of bread every day.
1½lbs of beef on Sundays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
1¼lbs of pork on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
½lb of flour on Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays.
⅓ pint of peas on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
½lb rice on Saturdays.
A weekly allowance of ⅞oz of tea.
A weekly allowance of 3½oz of coffee.
A weekly allowance of 14ozs of sugar.
A daily allowance of 3 quarts of water.
Equivalents at the Masters option.

The crew’s wages were: -
 

CAPACITY

MONTHLY
WAGE

ADVANCE OF
WAGES

MONTHLY
ALLOTMENT

Mate

£6 15s 0d

£6 15s 0d

£3 7s 6d

Bosun

£4 0s 0d

£4 0s 0d

£2 0s 0d

Carpenter & Able Seaman

£5 10s 0d

-

£3 0s 0d

Cook & Steward

£4 5s 0d

£4 5s 0d

-

Able Seamen

£3 5s 0d

£3 5s 0d

-

Ordinary Seaman : Coyle

£2 10s 0d

£2 10s 0d

-

Ordinary Seaman : Pack

£1 10s 0d

-

-

 
The Agreement showed that the “Distance in feet and inches between centre of Maximum load line disc and upper edge of line indicating the position of the First Deck above it. 3ft 3 ins.”
William Bedford was born on 18th September 1821 in Staines, Middlesex. He first went to sea on 25th October 1835 as an apprentice aboard ‘Thomas’ of Sunderland, a 180 tons vessel employed in the coal trade.
In late 1847 or early 1848 William married Mary Jane Ward in Sunderland.
On 17th September 1850 he applied to the Registrar General of Seamen for a Certificate of Service. On 18th March 1851 he was issued with a Master’s Certificate of Service numbered 35502 which read “William Bedford, Born at Staines, County of Middlesex on the 18th Sept. 1820 Has been employed in the Capacities of App, Mate & Master 15 years in the British Merchant Service in the Coasting and Foreign Trade.” His address was given as 49 High Street, Sunderland.
In his application he showed that since his apprenticeship he had served on the following ships: -
 

SHIP & PORT

TONS

RANK

TRADE

FROM

TO

British Oak
Sunderland

240

Seaman

Foreign

9th November 1835

12th January 1841

Adolphus
Sunderland

260

Seaman

Foreign

25th March 1841

12th October 1841

Symmetry
Sunderland

275

2nd Mate

Foreign

20th April 1842

18th September 1842

Queen
Sunderland

229

Chief Mate

Foreign

12th February 1843

20th November 1843

Beacon
Sunderland

234

Chief Mate

Foreign

14th February 1844

16th August 1844

Triune
Sunderland

243

Chief Mate

Foreign

20th August 1844

18th October 1847

Sir John Franklin
London

234

Chief Mate

Coal

10th November 1847

14th January 1948

Triune
Sunderland

243

Master

Coal

24th January 1848

24th February 1848

Mary
Sunderland

180

Master

Coal

17th January 1849

still remains

 
On 23rd July 1861 William Bedford was issued with a second Master’s Certificate of Service. This was numbered 74123 and acknowledged his 25 years as “App, Mate & Master” in the British Merchant Service. The issue of this certificate followed William’s application which was accompanied by a note which read “Liverpool 12th July 1861. This is to certify that William Bedford was passenger by the ‘S.S. Canadian’ when the was (sic) wrecked on 4th June last off Belle Isle. John Graham Late Master”
‘S.S.Canadian’ sailed from Quebec, Canada on 4th June 1861 bound for Liverpool with 60 crew and 241 passengers. As she passed through the Strait of Belle Isle which separates Newfoundland from the Canadian mainland, she slowed because of deteriorating weather and ice. At 11:50am ‘S.S.Canadian’ struck an iceberg and three compartments flooded. All lifeboats were lowered succesfully, apart from lifeboat number eight which capsized killing at least 30 people. 'SS Canadian' sank after thirty minutes. 35 people died and 266 survivors were picked up by four French fishing vessels and taken to Quirpon Bay.
On 17th August 1871 William Bedford was issued with a second renewal of his Master’s certificate of Service. This was numbered 75849 and acknowledged his 35 years as “App, Mate & Master” in the British Merchant Service.
The 1881 census showed William Bedford aged 59 years and his 54-year-old wife, Mary J, living at 3 Graces Terrace, Bishopwearmouth. He described himself as a Shipowner.
On 10th September 1886 William Bedford was Master of the barque ‘Phillip Nelson’ which was in port at Valparaiso, Chile, when he died in the British Naval Hospital of “Affection of the Liver”. He owned the ship and his address shown in the Register of Deaths of Masters and Seamen in British Registered Vessels Reported to the Registrar General of Seamen was 7 Roker Terrace, Sunderland.
A memorial to William and Mary Jane was erected in Bishopwearmouth Cemetery.
 
Memorial William Bedford Bishopswearmouth
William Bedford Memorial – Bishopwearmouth Cemetery
Charles Gilles / findagrave.com
 
John Douglass Philliskirk was born 15th December 1847 in Sunderland, County Durham. His parents were John and Sarah Philliskirk.
At the time of the 1861 census, 13-year-old John Douglass was living at 8 Woodbine Street, Bishopwearmouth with his mother and his two older sisters; Ann (18 years) and Mary Hannah (15 years). Sarah Philliskirk gave her occupation as Mariner’s Wife. John’s father was absent from home on the night of the census.
On 26th September 1861 John Douglass Philliskirk became an Indentured Apprentice for five years serving aboard ‘Breeze’ of Sunderland. His first employment as an able-bodied seaman, between 8th July 1867 and 12th December 1867, was on ‘Mackay’ of Liverpool.
On 12th February 1868 John was granted an Only Mate Certificate. His address at that time was 21 D’Arcy Street, Sunderland.
On 24th August 1871 he was issued with his Master’s Certificate. He gave his address as 40 Robinson Street, Sunderland.
On 11th March 1874 John applied to a Magistrate in Sunderland for a renewal of his Masters Certificate. He signed the application form which read “I, John Douglass Philliskirk of Sunderland No. 40 Robinson Street, do hereby solemnly and sincerely declare (1) That my Certificate was a Certificate of Competency as Master, and that it was numbered 87309; (2) That the said Certificate was lost on Hasborough Sand on the 6th Day of March 1874 in consequence of the wreck of the Barque ‘Volunteer’ in which vessel I was Master.” The renewal certificate was issued.
On 7th April 1874 John married Sarah Mary Maddison in Sunderland. They were to have one daughter, Annie, who was born on 28th June 1875.
On 23rd May 1893 when John was 45-years-old, and employed as 2nd Mate on ‘Vernon’ of Newcastle owned by Lambert Brothers of London, he attended the Dreadnought Seaman’s Hospital and was diagnosed with Variola; a medical term for Smallpox.
John Douglass Philliskirk survived his wife and died at the age of 80 years in September 1928.
Alexander Cordiner was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia on 27th May 1856. On 13th December 1880 he was granted a Second Mates Certificate of Competency at South Shields. His address was given as 9 Pan Place, South Shields. On 5th January 1884 he gained his First Mates Certificate which was issued at West Hartlepool. At that time he gave his address as 15 Havelock Street, South Shields. His Master’s Certificate was issued at South Shields on 8th May 1885.
Henry Trench and Albert Eades were both bound to William Bedford as Indentured Apprentices for a period of four years from 25th April 1877. Their Indentures were registered on 26th April 1877 at Sunderland.
On 27th April 1877 ‘Atossa’ sailed from Sunderland for Buenos Aires with Bedford as Master.
On 29th April 1877 ‘Atossa’ was noted sailing west, passing Dover.
On Tuesday 1st May 1877 Lloyd’s List recorded ‘Atossa’ sailing west past Dungeness, Kent.
On 7th June 1877, 22-year-old William Smith AB died at sea. Cause of death was given as Lockjaw. Lockjaw is a medical condition in which there is difficulty opening the jaw because of muscular spasm. It is now referred to as tetanus.
‘Atossa’ arrived in Buenos Aires on 29th June 1877 and Articles were deposited on 31st July 1877.
The ‘Dues and Charges on Shipping at Foreign Ports’ manual described Buenos Aires as “in lat 34.36.28 S., long 58.22.19 W on the right bank of the estuary of the Rio de la Plata. Distance by sea from Liverpool 6,210 miles. Exports – Wheat, maize, live cattle and sheep, hay, bones, copper (unwrought), grease, horse-hair, hides, horns, skins of various kinds, tallow, tobacco, wool, etc. Imports – Manufactured goods, cottons, earthenware, gunpowder, hardwares and cutlery, iron, leather, linens, oils, woollens, coals, lumber, etc.
The British Vice-Consul at Buenos Aires signed an endorsement in ‘Atossa’s Agreement that read “I certify that the Master has reported to me the death of William Smith at sea, that I have received the balance of his wages and proceeds of the sale of his effects.”
Crew changes took place in Buenos Aires. James Shields was discharged by mutual consent on 30th July 1877, as was John Burnett on 23rd August 1877. A. Chambers, John Brown, William Heinman and William P. Archie were all engaged. Chambers was then discharged by mutual consent, Brown and Archie were left at the port because of sickness and Heinman deserted.
Further engagements were made. Jacob Snell, Alfred Todd and John Tressie all joined ‘Atossa’ on 23rd August 1877.
The crew list for the voyage from Buenos Aires to Port Louis, Mauritius was: -
 

NAME

AGE &
PLACE OF BIRTH

PREVIOUS SHIP & PORT
AT WHICH REGISTERED

William Bedford

57 - Middlesex
Master (75849)

Kebroyd - Sunderland

John Douglass Philliskirk

29 - Sunderland
Mate (97860)

Leechmere - London

Charles Adie

29 - Sunderland
Boatswain

Dora - London

John Kotly

46 - Heligoland
Carpenter  & AB

Chester - Hartlepool

Jacob Snell

33 - London
Cook & Steward

 Isabella - [?]

William Smith

22 - London
AB

Roxana - Alloa

Alfred Todd

27 - Antigua
AB

Spartan

 John Tressie

 34 - Marseilles
AB

Foreign Ship

Alexander Ereksen

29 - Norway
AB

Dutch Ship

John Duncan

23 - Macduff
AB

Broomhaugh - Newcastle

Alexander Cordiner

20 - Halifax N.S.
AB

Broomhaugh - Newcastle

John Coyle

18 - Kirkcaldy
OS

Estella - Goole

Alfred Pack

17 - Wellingborough
OS

Allison - Whitby

Henry Trench

16 - London
Apprentice

-

Albert Eades

15 - London
Apprentice

-

 
On 23rd August 1877 the British Vice-Consul at Buenos Aires signed an endorsement in the Agreement that read “I certify that James Shields, John Burnett and A. Chambers were left behind at this port on the grounds of mutual consent, that the former have received the balance of their wages and effects, the latter received his effects, no wages being due him and provision for their maintenance has been made by the seamen themselves.
I further certify that John Brown and W. P. Archie were left behind at this port on the grounds of sickness, that I have received the balance of wages of the former, he having received his effects, none being due the latter, and the effects of the latter, and provision for their maintenance has been made for [?] the Board of Trade.
I certify that I have sanctioned the engagement of A. Chambers, John Brown, Wm. Heinman, Wm. P Archie, Jacob Snell, Alfred Todd and John Tressie upon the terms of the within mentioned Agreement, that I have ascertained and am satisfied that they fully understand the said Agreement and have signed the same at this Consulate.
I further certify that Wm. Heinman was left behind at this port on the alleged grounds of desertion, that I have enquired in to the matter and find that the allegation is true.”
Atossa’ sailed from Buenos Aires on 25th August 1877 for Port Louis, Mauritius.
Lloyd’s List recorded that ‘Atossa’ arrived in Mauritius on 6th October 1877 from Buenos Aires.
On 20th October 1877 the Deputy Port Superintendent at Port Louis, Mauritius endorsed ‘Atossa’s Agreement. The entry read “I certify that Robert Fraser an apprentice of the late ship ‘Hampden’ has been provided with a passage home in this ship as a distressed British Seaman under the provisions of Sections 211 & 212 of the Merchant Shipping Act of 1854 : he embarks on the 22nd October 1877. This Agreement was deposited at this Office on the 12th Instant and is returned this day. Mercantile Marine Office this 20th October 1877.”
Lloyd’s List recorded that ‘Atossa’ sailed from Port Louis on 23rd October 1877 bound for Cork, Ireland.
The crew was the same as had arrived in Mauritius from Buenos Aires.
‘Atossa’ had arrived in Cork, Ireland by Friday 18th January 1878.
The Cork Constitution newspaper reported on Saturday 19th January 1878 that at Queenstown Petty Sessions on Friday 18th January 1878, “Before Messrs. W. D. Seymour (Chairman), A. Bremner, W. E. Gumbleton, F. J. McCarthy, and W. R. Starkie R. M.), Jeremiah Donovan and Michael Corcoran, boatmen, Catherine Vidian, bom-boat woman, and two sailors of the barque ‘Atossa’, named Alfred Dodd [Todd] and John Coyle, were put forward in the dock charged with the larceny of a bag of sugar from the ‘Atossa’. Mr. Allen appeared on behalf of Jacob Snell, the steward, whose information was read and sworn to, in which he stated that he saw Dodd and Coyle remove a bag of sugar from the forecastle, and they lowered it into the shore boat alongside where it was received by Corcoran. He went into the pantry and there saw Catherine Vidian and the mate; there were spirits and glasses on the table, but he did not see them drinking; he ordered the woman out of the cabin.
On cross-examination by Mr. O’Sullivan, who appeared for the defence, the witness said that this occurred between five and six o’clock in the evening.
Captain Bedford, the master of the vessel, was examined by Mr. Mercer, S. I., and stated that he was sole owner of the ‘Atossa’, which belonged to Sunderland; he arrived in Queenstown harbour on the 15th  from the (sic) Mauritius with a cargo of sugar, in bags; the following morning before daylight the steward came in to him at the hotel where he was stopping, and reported that a bag of sugar had been stolen from the vessel; he took a boat and went on board and investigated the matter; returned on shore and got a warrant for the arrest of the two men Dodd and Coyle on the information of the steward, and then went to a solicitor to get the law in motion; also to the police and had the men arrested; it was he directed the steward to make the information.
Head Constable Maher stated that as he had charge of the case, he would ask for an adjournment of it to Monday, as he had not sufficient time to procure evidence for the prosecution.
Mr. O’Sullivan opposed the application and said that he had three witnesses for the defence.
Head Constable Maher said that when he went on board he found a great ill-feeling and hostility against the captain by the men, and would not wish to examine any of the crew. Chairman – This larceny from ships must be put down, and it is the duty of the magistrates to assist the head constable in doing so. The case will be adjourned until to-morrow morning at 11 o’clock.
The captain was directed to allow three men and the chief mate to come on shore as witnesses, and the captain promised that he would do so. - Adjourned.”
The same newspaper, The Cork Constitution, recorded in its Monday 21st January 1878 edition that ‘Atossa’ had left port on Sunday 20th January 1878.
On 22nd January 1878 ‘Atossa’ arrived at Greenock, Scotland.
The Agreement showed the date of termination of the voyage as 24th January 1878.
On 24th January 1878 all crew members were discharged and paid the balance of their wages: -

John Douglass Philliskirk
Charles Adie
John Kotly
Jacob Snell
Alexander Erekson
John Duncan
Alexander Cordiner
John Coyle
John Tressie
Alfred Todd
Alfred Pack

£25 15s 2d
£5 2s 6d
£21 10s 8d
£5 11s 6d
£16 8s 10d
£17 14s 10d
£14 15s 10d
£8 12s 10d
£4 17s 6d
£2 12s 0d
£7 19s 6d

On 11th February 1878 the Superintendent of the Mercantile Marine Office in Greenock endorsed the Agreement, stating “I hereby certify that enquiry has been made among the Crew of this Vessel respecting the circumstances which attended the death of William Smith and I find these to have been as recorded by the Master in his Official Log Book.”
 
Demerara Sugar > >
 
The Story Begins Absent Crew and Flying Jib 1872-1873 Rio De Janeiro, Barbados & Wilmington
The Construction of Atossa Swansea to Valparaiso and return 1873 James Grevett
The Shipbuilding Thompson Family The 1874 and 1875 Voyages The Caribbean 1889
The Mercantile Navy List 1864 A Change of Master 1876 Grevett as Master
The First Master and Crew New Owner and New Ports 1877 The 1890/1891 Survey
Dover to Valparaiso 1863-1864 Sugar and Onboard Offences The Final Voyage
Peru and Wales Demerara and London 1878-1879 Places Index
Chile and back 1864-1865 The Far Side of the World 1879-1881 Place Connections
Clements becomes Master South Africa and India 1881-1882 Surnames Index
Official Log Entries 1866-1867 The Robinson Family Ships Index
Return to Chile 1867 Ceylon and New York 1882-1883 Map of Chile
Chile Again 1868-1869 Brazil and India 1883-1884 Sources
Swansea to Coquimbo return 1869-1870 Cape Verde and the West Indies 1885  
Chile and New York 1870-1871 October 1885 to October 1886  
South America and Europe 1871 Twenty-One Months Away © atossa.uk 2020
 
 
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