ATOSSA
 
 
Point de Galle, Colombo, New York
 
The 1881 Lloyd’s Register showed that a ‘half-time’ survey had been made of ‘Atossa’ in 1881 at Sunderland.
Lloyd’s List’s dated 3rd and 18th March 1882 show ‘Atossa’ at West India Dock, London, listed as “to fit out”.
‘Atossa’ first sailed under Robinson’s ‘White Horse’ flag, from London on the 18th March 1882, to Cardiff, with the owners’ younger brother, Edmund Robinson of Pagham, West Sussex as Master.
On 21st March 1882 ‘Atossa’ was anchored off of Deal, due to sail west. On 23rd March 1882 ‘Atossa’ sailed from Deal bound for Newport, Wales.
The ‘Half Yearly Agreement of Voyages and Crew of a Ship engaged in the Home Trade’, numbered 80015, for the period ending 30th June 1882 showed that the ship arrived in Penarth, Cardiff on the 3rd April 1882.
Although there is no indication as to the type of cargo being carried, if any, the document showed that the load was to be stowed with a ‘distance between centre of the Maximum load line disc and upper edge of line indicating position of 1st deck – 3ft 9ins’.
The Crew List for this voyage was as follows: -
 

NAME

AGE

PLACE OF BIRTH

RANK

PREVIOUS SHIP

Edmund Robinson

49

Sussex

Master

 

W. H. Robinson

22

Littlehampton

Mate

 

Alex Robinson

19

Littlehampton

Bosun

Vizcaya

John Jackson

40

Nassau

Cook/Steward

Content

T Flood

35

Dublin

AB

British Commerce

T. H. [?]

47

Dublin

AB

Bodicea

Wm. Hughes

41

London

AB

Star

John Guthrie

47

London

AB

Rama

William Dunbar

26

Aberdeen

AB

Lillian

George Combs

43

Jamaica

AB

Brockley Castle

Carl Bork

29

Stettin, Germany

AB

Bencrouden

George Leverett

16

 

Apprentice

 

 
The Mate was Walter Heward Robinson, the younger son of George Robinson. The Bosun was Alexander Robinson, Joseph’s youngest son by his first marriage. The Master, Edmund Robinson, was their uncle; George and Joseph’s younger brother.
All of the men signed on for the voyage in London. Most signed on the 16th March 1882. Exceptions were Jackson (who made his mark ‘X’) who signed on the following day and Dunbar, Combs (who also made his mark ‘X’) and Bork who signed on, on the 18th March 1882. Apart from these last three, all men joined the ship at 7am on the 17th March 1882. The last three joined the ship on signing on.
Bork gave his place of birth as ‘Stettin, Germany’. Stettin also known as Szczecin is now a province in Poland bordering the Baltic Sea.
Four other men had signed on in London for this voyage but ‘did not join’: -
 

NAME

AGE

PLACE OF BIRTH

RANK

PREVIOUS SHIP

M. Ackett

?

St. Vincent, West Indies

Cook/Steward

Alice Holden

William Coe

21

London

AB

R T Matthews

George [?]

23

London

AB

Elpida

William Clark

20

Essex

AB

Balcombe

 
M. Ackett, William Coe and George [?] had signed on, on the 16th March 1882; Clark signed on the following day.
 
Rates of pay were: -
 

RANK

WAGES PER
CALENDAR MONTH

Mate

£6 0s 0d

Bosun

£4 0s 0d

Cook / Steward

£4 5s 0d

All others

£3 0s 0d

 
Provisions for each man were: -
 
1lb of bread every day.
1lb of every day.
½lb of flour on Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays.
¼ pint of peas on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
A daily allowance of tea - sufficient without waste.
A daily allowance of coffee - sufficient without waste.
A daily allowance of of sugar - sufficient without waste.
A daily allowance of water - sufficient without waste.
 
All men who sailed on this voyage were discharged in Cardiff on the 4th April 1882, except John Jackson, the Cook/Steward who was discharged on the 13th April 1882. Edmund Robinson and Alex Robinson remained with the ship. The Apprentice, George Leverett who was indentured to Joseph Robinson in Littlehampton on the 14th March 1882 also remained.
In early April 1882 ‘Atossa’ was loading in Cardiff for a voyage to Colombo, Ceylon [now Sri Lanka]. Brokers on this occasion were Tellefsen, Wills & Co.
August Bernard Tellefsen was born in Tvedestrand, Norway in about 1820. His father was ship owner Johan Tellefsen. August married Margarethe Christine Speilberg (born: c1823) on 18th December 1849 in Vestre Moland, Norway. They had three children; Johan Christian (born: 31st October 1850, and twins Augusta Birgithe and Margarethe Christine (born: 2nd January 1852).
By 1858, ship owner August, now a widower, had moved to Cardiff. He joined fellow ship owner George Wills in forming the coal exporting agency, Tellefsen, Wills & Co.
August married 18-year-old Martha Middleton Bryant on 12th January 1858 at Shirehampton, Bristol. They had five children; Emily Louisa (born: 1859), Maria Elizabeth (born: early 1861), John Edward Auguste (born: late 1861), Theodore Charles (born: 1863) and Ernest Bernard (born: 1865).
In December 1868, whilst living at 5 Park Place, St Johns, Cardiff, August became a British Subject. On 5th February 1869 he was appointed as assessor at Glamorgan County Court under the County Courts Admiralty Jurisdiction Act.
In 1881 the family were living at ‘Heimdal’ 9 Wordsworth Street, Roath.
The Tellefsen, Will & Co. partnership was dissolved in 1890 and two separate companies were formed; Tellefsen & Co. and G. H. Wills & Co.
In 1891, August and Martha were living on Rhubina Road, Whitchurch.
The South Wales Echo newspaper of Monday 28th March 1892 reported "We announce with deep regret the death of Mr August Bernard Tellefsen, head of the old-established firm of Tellefasen & Co., ship and insurance brokers, timber importers, and coal exporters, of the Merchants' Exchange, Cardiff. The sad event occurred at about seven o'clock ths morning at the residence of the deceased gentleman, Rheubina, near Whitchurch, the case of death being an affectin of the heart and liver. Mr Tellefsen, who was 72 years of age, had been in ill-health for considerable time, and for the last six weeks had been confined in bed. His death, which was by no means unexpected, was quite painless, he being unconscious for some time before the end came. The deceased was a native of Tvedestrand, in Norway, but had been established in business in this town for smething like 38 years. He was very widely known and highly respected by all classes, more especially among the trading and commercial community at the Docks, and, in fact, throughout South Wales. He took a prominent part in local affairs, particularly in relation to shipping and mercantile affairs, and was a member of the Shipowners' Association, of the Chamber of Shipping, the Cardiff Pilotage Board, and other well-known and influential bodies. He was at the time of his death a vice-president of the Shipowners' Association. Mr Tellefsen leaves a widow and a family of three sons and two daughters. The eldest son is in the business of Tellefsen and Company, and the second is in partnership with Mr Howard at the Docks, the third being in Australia. Both the daughters are married. The date of the funeral has not yet been fixed, but it is probable that it will take place on Thursday next."
Augustus was buried at St Johns Parish Church, Cardiff on Thursday 31st March 1892.
The National Probate Calendar recorded that his estate in the United Kingdom was valued at £26,376 4s 1d.
 
August Bernard Tellefsen
August Bernard Tellefsen
Photograph: Alfred Freke, Cardiff
Courtesy of shivaun.co.uk
 
George Hoskins Wills was born in Devon in 1830. His father was Thomas Wills.
He married Rebecca Grigg at Kilkhampton, Cornwall on 2nd October 1852. They had five children; Emma Grigg (b: 1853), Mary Susan (b: 1857), George Henry (b: 1859), Charles John Grigg (b: 1862), Francis Richard Allin (b: 1866).
Websters Trade Directory for 1865 and Harrods Trade Directory for 1866 show George Hoskins Wills as an agent for David Davis, Colliery Proprietor. George’s office was at 7 Bute Crescent, Cardiff. His home address was at Longcross Villas, Roath.
The 1891 census shows George and Rebecca living at 20 Wordsworth Street, Roath with their sons, Charles and Francis.
On Saturday 4th May 1901 the Weekly Mail newspaper, published in Cardiff, carried the news that “Mr. George Hoskins Wills, of Brooklyn, Whitchurch, passed away at his residence on Monday afternoon. Mr. Wills, who was one of the oldest shipowners and shipbrokers of the port, came to Cardiff from South Brent, South Devon, his native place in the year 1858. For some years he was connected with Messrs. David Davis and Sons, colliery owners, and in 1864 entered into partnership with Messrs. Tellefsen and Hoist as shipbrokers and coal exporters. The partnership was dissolved in 1874, but Mr. Wills and Mr. Tellefsen kept on their business until 1890, when another rearrangement took place, and the deceased was joined by his two sons and Mr. J. N. Kestell. In 1892 Mr. Wills retired from the firm, and since then the business has been carried on by his two sons, Mr. George Henry and Mr. Francis Richard Alan Wills. The deceased gentleman was an ex-president of the Cardiff Chamber of Commerce and also of the Shipowners' Association. Some years ago he was chairman of the local branch of the Shipping Federation, and was also for many years a member of the Barry Pilotage Board. In 1893 Mr. Wills took up his residence at Whitchurch, and attended regularly the services at the Wesleyan Church. For three years, up to last December, he was a member of the Whitchurch School Board, but afterwards he did not seek re-election. The deceased was apparently, in his usual health on Sunday, and attended the morning service at the Wesleyan Church. He was however, taken ill on Monday morning about nine o'clock, and, becoming unconscious, peacefully passed away at about 5.30.”
The National Probate Calendar recorded that George Hoskins Wills estate was valued at £22,489 11s 11d.
‘Atossa’ left Penarth, Cardiff on the 13th April 1882, now with her owner’s son, Joseph Edward Robinson as Master. His Masters Certificate was numbered OC 03727. The Agreement and Account of Crew for a Foreign Going Ship stated that the ship was bound for the island of Ceylon in the Indian Ocean, and/or any ports or places with the limits of 75° North and 60° South latitude, the maximum time to be three years trading in any rotation and to end in the United Kingdom or continent of Europe between the River Elbe and Brest.
The Agreement showed that a ‘Foreign Going Ship’ meant ‘every ship employed in trading or going between some place or places in the United Kingdom and some place or places situate beyond the following limits, that is to say, the coasts of the United Kingdom, the Islands of Guernsey, Jersey, Sark, Alderney, and Man, and the continent of Europe between the River Elbe and Brest, inclusive’.
On this voyage, the document showed that the cargo, of which there is no detail, was to be stowed with a ‘distance between centre of the Maximum load line disc and upper edge of line indicating position of 1st deck – 3ft 6ins’.
The Crew List for the outward journey was as follows: -
 

NAME

YEAR & PLACE OF BIRTH

RANK

PREVIOUS SHIP & PORT

Joseph Robinson

1858  - Littlehampton

Master

Falcon, Littlehampton

Albert J. Harvey (07455)

1861 -  Newhaven

Mate

Norham Castle, Glasgow

Alexander Robinson

1865 -  Littlehampton

Bosun

Biscay, Littlehampton

Henry Gershardt

1849 -  Cassel, Germany

Cook/Steward

Alice Otto, N. Shields

Jas (‘X’) Knight

1855 -  Shoreham

AB

Falcon, Littlehampton

Geo (‘X’) Combs

1839 -  Jamaica

AB

Brockley Castle, Liverpool

Carl Bork

1853  - Stettin, Germany

AB

Bencrouden, Glasgow

Johan Preis

1833  - Bremen, Germany

AB

Foreign

H. Hansen

1860 -  Denmark

AB

Sinopia, Salcombe

Edmund Atkins

(17 yrs)

Apprentice

 

Alfred Walls

(16 yrs)

Apprentice

 

George Leverett

(16 yrs)

Apprentice

 

 
Signing on took place in Penarth on the 13th April 1882 for all men except Gershardt who signed on the 15th April 1882 and Preis and Hansen who signed on the 17th April 1882.
Wages were paid at the following rates: -
 

RANK

WAGES PER
CALENDAR MONTH

Mate

£6 0s 0d

Bosun

£4 0s 0d

Cook / Steward

£3 15s 0d

Seamen

£3 0s 0d

 
Each crew member was entitled to provisions on the following scale: -

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.
A daily allowance of ⅛oz of tea.
A daily allowance of ½oz of coffee.
A daily allowance of 2ozs of sugar.
A daily allowance of 3 quarts of water.
At the Masters option No Spirits Allowed

Alfred Henry Walls was born in Wick, Littlehampton, and baptised at St. Mary Magdalene Church, Lyminster, Sussex on the 28th October 1866. His mother was Mary Walls. There was no record of his father’s name. As a four-year-old in 1871 he lived with his Grandparents, John and Eliza Walls, both aged 52 years on Wick Street, Wick. Also at the address were John and Eliza's sons, George (aged 17) and Edmund (aged 12). At the age of fourteen, Alfred was an inmate of the reformatory school ship 'Cornwall' moored in the River Thames off Purfleet. The vessel could accommodate up to 250 boys of between 11 and 14 years, who had been sentenced to at least three years detention. On 14th April 1882 Alfred, then aged 16 years, became an Indentured Apprentice to the Robinsons' for term of three years. After serving his apprenticeship he was taken on as an Ordinary Seman and in October 1886 re-joined 'Atossa'.
The Homeward Mail from India, China and the East newspaper reported that ‘Atossa’ sailed from Cardiff carrying coal bound for Colombo.
‘Atossa’ reached Ceylon on the 10th August 1882 calling first at Point de Galle.
The ‘Dues and Charges on Shipping at Foreign Ports’ manual described Point de Galle as “in lat. 6.1 N., 80.14 E. Distance by sea from Liverpool 10,268 miles. Exports – Tea, coir (in fibre and manufactured), cinnamon, cocoanuts, cocoa-nut oil, cardamoms, sapanwood, citronella oil, lemon grass oil, cinnamon leaf oil, hides, plumbago, poonac, copra, kitool fibre, damar. Imports – Cotton goods, rice, coal, grain, etc.”
An endorsement in the Agreement, signed by a Port Registrar named Reid read, “Johan Preis has been duly discharged by mutual consent. Entered the Point de Galle on the 10th August 1882. Articles deposited the same day. Returned to the Master this 29th day of August 1882.”
Johan Preis was paid off (£6.9s.6d) the same day.
From Point de Galle, on the south-west coast of Ceylon ‘Atossa’ sailed north-west to Colombo, the Island’s Capital.
A book entitled ‘Coffee to Tea Cultivation in Ceylon 1880-1900: An economic and Social History’ records that “Galle primarily acted as a port of call for provisions – such as water and coal – and for repairs. Colombo handled the bulk of the export trade of the island, although the harbour of Galle was by far superior regarding its situation in the sea routes as well as its capacity. Colombo’s importance to the export trade was based on the topography of the island. For the central highlands, which housed the biggest part of Ceylon’s plantation economy, Colombo was a much better outlet than Galle.”
An endorsement in the Agreement signed by a Registrar at Customs, Colombo on the 21st October 1882 read, “I certify that I have sanctioned the engagement of J. Davidson AB upon the term of the within written agreement.”
James Davidson, 39 years, was born in Leith (Edinburgh), Scotland. The ship that he had previously served on had been named ‘Landseer’. He replaced Johan Preis in an otherwise unchanged crew on the next part of the voyage to New York.
Offences by crew members and the penalties for offenders were included in the Agreement. Four offences were listed in the document: -
OFFENCE AND PENALTY
1
Striking or assaulting any person on board or belonging to the ship
(if not otherwise prosecuted) : £5.0s.0d
2
Bringing or having on board Spirituous liquors : £5.0s.0d
3
Drunkenness 1st offence : £5.0s.0d
....................2nd or for each subsequent offence : £10.0s.0d
4
Taking on board or keeping possession of any firearms, knuckle duster, loaded cane, slung-shot, sword stick, bowie knife, dagger, or other offensive weapon, or offensive instrument, without the concurrence of the Master, for every day during which a seaman retains such a weapon or instrument : £5.0s.0d
 
On 11th January 1883 ‘Atossa’ passed St. Helena from Colombo for New York.
‘Atossa’ arrived in New York before the 21st February 1883, the date on which James Davidson was the first of several men to desert the ship. He was followed by Knight, Bork and Hansen who were all paid off on the 24th February 1883 and were regarded as having deserted by the 6th March 1883.
George Combs was paid off (£1.0s.0d) on the 5th March 1883.
During its time in port at New York, ‘Atossa’ was painted by the prolific marine artist Antonio Jacobsen. He was born on 2nd November 1850 in Copenhagen, Denmark and attended the Royal Academy of Design in Copenhagen. In August 1873 Jacobsen arrived in the United States of America and settled in West Hoboken, New Jersey (now known as Union City). He painted more than 6,000 vessel portraits.
 
Atossa ‘ - Antonio Jacobsen - 1883
Courtesy of Littlehampton Museum

 
On the 26th March 1883 the Vice Consul, G. Fraser, of the British Consular General’s Office, New York, endorsed the ship’s Agreement with the following, “This Agreement was deposited on the 2nd alto and is now returned.
I hereby certify that I have sanctioned the engagement of John Trevaskiss - Chas Svenssen - Gust Anderson - James Smith and Louis Hirsch upon the terms mentioned in the with agreement: that I have ascertained and am satisfied that they freely understand the said agreement and that they have signed the same in my presence.
I also certify that George Combs has been discharged and left behind at this port upon mutual consent of the Master and himself and with my sanction, and that the balance of wages due to him has been paid to him in my presence.
I hereby certify that James Knight – Carl Bork and H. Hansen have been discharged and left behind at this port, and the balances of wages said to have been due to them have been through a shipping agent to whom they had given a power of Attorney authorising him to collect their wages from the Master.
I again certify that James Davidson has been left behind at this port upon the alleged ground of his having deserted; that I have enquired into the matter and find that the allegation is true.”
The crew list was as follows when the ship left New York bound for Liverpool: -
 

NAME

AGE OR YEAR &
PLACE OF BIRTH

RANK

PREVIOUS SHIP & PORT

Joseph Robinson

1858 Littlehampton

Master

Falcon - Littlehampton

Albert J. Harvey

1861 Newhaven

Mate

Norham Castle -Glasgow

Alexander Robinson

1865 Littlehampton

Bosun

Biscay -Littlehampton

Henry Gershardt

1849 Cassel, Germany

Cook/Steward

Alice Otto -N. Shields

John Trevakiss

54yrs Liverpool

AB

Salina - Hull

James (‘X’) Smith

23yrs Boston

AB

American vessel

John Groom

31yrs Aberystwyth

AB

Shapston

John Esseo

28yrs Camilla

AB

Pilgrim

James (‘X’) Smith

21yrs Camilla

OS

Pilgrim

Edmund Atkins

(17 yrs)

Apprentice

-

Alfred Walls

(16 yrs)

Apprentice

-

George Leverett

(16 yrs)

Apprentice

-

 
Joseph Robinson, Albert J. Harvey, Alexander Robinson, Henry Gershardt and the three Apprentices (Atkins, Walls and Grevett) all ‘remained’; that is, they were not discharged from the ship, as the other crew members were.
Albert J. Harvey was born in Newhaven, East Sussex in 1861. He was the nephew of Littlehampton shipbuilder, John Harvey. At the time of the 1881 census, 19-year-old Albert and his younger brother, William (18 years), lived with John and his wife, Emma, at 2, Arundel Road, Littlehampton. John (41 years) is shown in the census as a shipbuilder, employing twenty men and seven boys.
Trevaskiss and the 23-year-old James Smith had signed on in New York on the 26th March 1883 along with Charles Svensson (30 yrs old, born in Sweden), Louis Hirsch (24 yrs Germany) and Gust Anderson (25 yrs Sweden) none of whom joined the ship.  John Groom, the 21-year-old James Smith and John Esseo signed on, on the 28th March 1883.
Food rations remained the same as on the voyages to Ceylon and America.
The ship arrived in Liverpool on the 12th May 1883 when all men were paid off: -
Albert Harvey
Alexander Robinson
Henry Gershardt
John Trevakiss
James Smith (23 yrs)
John Groom
John Esseo
John Smith (21 yrs)
£9 0s 0d
£5 0s 0d
£38 8s 8d
£1 5s 5d
£0 0s 5d
£1 15s 5d
£1 0s 5d
£1 10s 5d
 
Brazil and India 1883-1884 > >
 
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
 
 
Page 25