ATOSSA
 
 
Cape Verde and the West Indies 1885
 
The Crew Agreement for ‘Atossa’s next journey shows the “Date of Commencement of Voyage - 24.2.85” and the destination as “Cape Verde and/or any Ports or places in the Continents of Europe, Asia, America, Africa, and Australia, the Baltic, Mediterranean, Azof, or Eastern Seas, the Black, White, or Yellow Seas, the Atlantic or Pacific Oceans, the Islands of Mauritius, New Zealand, and West Indies, including the United States of America, and all the British Colonies. Duration to be within two years and to end in the United Kingdom.”
The crew members were: -
 

NAME

AGE & PLACE OF BIRTH

RANK

PREVIOUS SHIP

Joseph E. Robinson

58 – Littlehampton

Master 03727

Same Ship

Benjamin John

47 - Milford

Mate 06621

Parra - Newhaven

William Birchfield

30 - Littlehampton

Bosun

Parra - Newhaven

Alfred Butler

25 - Sunderland

Cook & Steward

Viscaya - Littlehampton

Alfred Musgrove

24 - Portsmouth

AB

Viscaya - Littlehampton

Owen Field

20 - Littlehampton

AB

Lily of Devon - Plymouth

S. P. Nelson

24 - Sweden

AB

Lily of Devon - Plymouth

Olaf Nilsen

21 - Norway

AB

Lily of Devon - Plymouth

James Chipchase

45 - Stockton

AB

Una - Littlehampton

William Eldridge

17

Apprentice

-

Edmund Atkins

17

Apprentice

-

George Leverett

16

Apprentice

-

 
Benjamin John was born on 26th March 1837 in Milford Haven, Pembrokeshire, Wales. He went to sea as an Ordinary Seaman on 21st January 1855. He was employed as an Able Seaman from 26th June 1857. While he was living at 8 Court, Roscoe Street, Liverpool on 10th April 1860 he gained his Second Mates Certificate numbered 22230. Four years later, on 7th September 1864 he obtained his First Mates Certificate (22203). At this time he gave his address as 9 Edmund Street, Liverpool.
Owen Field was baptised at St Mary's Church, Littlehampton on 7th May 1865. His parents were James and Sarah-Ann Field. James was a Coal Merchant and his extended family and several boarders lived at 4 South Terrace, Littlehampton. The 1871 census shows that James and Sarah-Ann had their six children with them, four other family members and five adult boarders. On 19th May 1880 15-year-old Owen became an Indentured Apprentice to Shipowner William Harvey of 10 River Road, Littlehampton.
Owen gave his age as 20 years when he signed on in Cardiff in 1885. Immediately before serving on 'Atossa' he was a crew memer onboard 'Lily of Devon' registered at Plymouth.
In the summer of 1890 Owen applied twice for his Second Mate certificate of competency on square-rigged sailing ships. First on the 9th July 1890 when he gave his date of birth as 3rd March 1868 and his home address as c/o Mrs Baker, 11 Bevoius Street, Southampton, and again on 13th August 1890 when his date of birth was shown as 3rd March 1864 and his address, 4 South Terrace, Littlehampton. Between his applications he had passed the Second Mate examination in Southampton.
On 28th April 1903 Owen married Augusta King at St Saviours Church, Paddington. Eight years later, on the night of the 1911 census, he was working as a Stoker in the boiler house of the East Preston Workhouse. Augusta was at home, at 3 Beaconsfield Terrace, Wick, Littlehampton with their six-year-old daughter, Edne.
George Leverett was born in Portsmouth, Hampshire on 9th April 1865. He became an Indentured Apprentice on 14th March 1882 at Littlehampton and served on ‘Atossa’ and ‘Lion’. On 13th March 1886 Leverett’s apprenticeship terminated and he became an Able Seaman serving on the 1042-ton ‘Chittagong’ (Official Number 51029) registered at Dundee. He applied for his Second Mates Certificate on 15th October 1886 in London when he gave his permanent address as Greetham Street, Landport, Portsmouth and his present address as 1 Florence Villa, Philip Lane, Tottenham, London. The application document describes him as being 5ft 5ins tall, with a fair complexion, brown hair and hazel eyes. On 5th November 1886 his Second Mates Certificate, numbered 017603 was issued.
On 26th February 1885 ‘Atossa’ sailed from Cardiff for Cape Verde in the central Atlantic Ocean.
Each crew members food rations on this voyage were: -
1lb of bread every day.
1½lbs of beef on Sundays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
1½lbs of pork on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
½lb of flour on Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays.
⅓ pint of peas on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
⅓lb rice on Saturdays.
A daily allowance of ⅛oz of tea.
A daily allowance of ½oz of coffee.
A weekly allowance of 12ozs of sugar.
A daily allowance of 3 quarts of water.
At the Master’s option, no spirits allowed.
The Crew Agreement shows that the vessel arrived in St. Vincent, Cape Verde on 21st March 1885, that the ship’s Articles were deposited with the British Consulate on 23rd March 1885 and that they were returned to the Master on 25th April 1885. The Western Daily Press newspaper noted that ‘Atossa’ was at St. Vincent on 21st March 1885.
The entry in the ‘Dues and Charges on Shipping at Foreign Ports’ manual for St. Vincent reads “Although not the capital, it is the most important island of the group [Cape Verde Islands], owing to its coaling operations [for steam-ships]. The island itself is nearly barren; fruits, vegetables etc. are chiefly obtained from the neighbouring islands.”
John K. Kirkham, Shipping Master at Barbados recorded in the Crew Agreement that ‘Atossa’ arrived in Barbados on 12th May 1885 and that her Articles were deposited with him the same day. They were returned to Joseph Robinson on 15th May 1885.
The ‘Dues and Charges on Shipping at Foreign Ports’ manual describes Barbados as the easternmost of the West Indies, and its chief town, Bridgetown, is situated in Carlisle Bay, on the south-western part of the island, in lat 13.4.45 N., long 59.36.30 W. The climate is most healthy. The staple produce of the island is sugar. Principle cargoes for which vessels can obtain charters in Barbados are sugar and molasses, mahogany and cedar, logwood, salt, phosphate, divi-divi, fustic, pitch-pine, cotton, and oil-cakes.
John Karkeck Kirkham was in later years, shown in the membership register of the Albion Masonic Lodge, Bridgetown, Barbados, and on 5th April 1899, he was described as ‘Harbor Master’, living at Fontabelle, Barbados. The registers show that he died on 12th October 1908.
On 30th May 1885 ‘Atossa’ reached Jamaica where the ships’ Articles were deposited with the Collector of Customs, Milk River and returned to the Master the following day.
Milk River is described in the ‘Dues and Charges on Shipping at Foreign Ports’ manual as “on the south coast of Jamaica, in long. 77.23 W. It is an open roadstead. Exports – Logwood, fustic, bitterwood, oranges, honey, and hides. Imports – Shooks for orange packages.”
The Agreement was endorsed on 9th July 1885 by the Collector of Customs at Savanna-la-Mar, Jamaica and shows that “Articles deposited 1/6/85 Returned today to Master. No change in crew”.
The ‘Dues and Charges on Shipping at Foreign Ports’ manual describes the anchorage at Savanna-la-Mar as being “formed by a line of reefs running along shore, and abreast the town, and nearly 1¾ miles off. Depth of water inside reef, 22 feet. Shoaling but good holding ground. Exports – Sugar, rum, fustic, logwood, coffee, pimento, hides, ginger, beeswax, oranges, lime-juice, sarsaparilla, annatto, etc. Imports – From the United Kingdom: Ironmongery, machinery, cottons, linens, woollens and fancy goods, beer, spirits, wines, soap, salt, etc.
‘Atossa’ arrived in Alloa, Scotland on 22nd September 1885.
All crew members were discharged on 23rd September 1885 and paid the balance of wages: -
 
Benjamin John
William Birchfield
Alfred Butler
Alfred Musgrove
Owen Field
S. P. Nelson
Olaf Nilsen
James Chipchase
£13 14s 2d
£11 8s 7½d
£22 2s 7d
£16 1s 8d
£15 17s 3d
£14 8s 5½d
£15 3s 1d
£13 17s 1d
 
October 1885 to October 1886 > >
 
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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