ATOSSA
 
 
The Final Voyage
 
The London Evening Standard newspaper reported on 24th January 1891 that ‘Atossa’ was at the West India Dock, London loading for Trinidad.
James Grevett rejoined ‘Atossa’ in London on the 12th February 1891 by which time ownership of the ship had passed from Henry Langridge to his eldest son, George Thomas Langridge of 16, Great St. Helens, London EC.
All crew members for the next voyage signed on in Poplar, London, on the 12th February 1891 except the Cook/Steward, J. Bourgois, who signed on the 17th February 1891. He replaced a man named G. Hyland, who signed on, on the 12th February 1891 but is shown in the ships Agreement as having ‘deserted at London 17.2.91’.
Hyland was born in Liverpool in 1855 and had previously served on a ship named ‘Athelstane’. He gave his address as 12, Well Close Square, London, E.
Each man signed the Agreement and provided personal information that was entered in the Office copy of the Agreement, which was to be forwarded to the Registrar General of Seamen.
The full crew list was: -
 

NAME

YEAR & PLACE
OF BIRTH

RANK

PREVIOUS SHIP &
PORT OF REGISTRY

HOME ADDRESS

James Grevett

1860
Littlehampton

Master
(009961)

Atossa
Littlehampton

River Road,
Littlehampton

George Henry Butler

1862
Sunderland

Mate
(018956)

Atossa
Littlehampton

3 Terminus Place,
Littlehampton.

James Collins

1866
Littlehampton

Bosun

Atossa
Littlehampton

Pier Road,
Littlehampton

J Bourgois

1850
Montreal

Cook &
Steward

Strathblane
Littlehampton

17 Graces Alley,
St George

F. Walters

1870
Kent

AB

Dynomene
Liverpool

18 Well St.,
London E

Jan Hansen

1866
Hamburg

AB

Loch Vennachar

17 Graces Alley,
St George

J. M. Grener

1870
Germany

AB

Dynomene
Liverpool

18 Well St.,
London E

G. Wegner

1865
Stettin

AB

[?]
Quebec

17 Graces Alley,
St George

James Payne

1855
Belfast

AB

Minnie Ha-Ha
Londonderry

14 High Street,
Poplar

William Lambert

1855
Queenstown

AB

Corsair
London

11 High Street,
Shadwell

W. J. Schubert

1873
London

OS

Vindomora
 Glasgow

3 Augustine House,
Pelham Street, Mile End Road

Alfred Denyer

1866
Rustington

OS

Margaret Johnson
Littlehampton

Rustington near
Littlehampton

 
The name 'Margaret Johnson' may have been recorded slightly incorrectly. 'Margaret John' (Official Number 648) was a ship owned by J & E Robinson of Littlehampton.
Three of the crew gave their address as 17, Graces Alley, St. George. In 1891, Graces Alley, in the parish of St. George-in-the-East, was home to the East End Mission of the Methodist Church. The Mission had taken over the building used by ‘Wiltons’, London’s first Music Hall, which had opened in 1858.
The crew were paid the following wages: -
 

CAPACITY

MONTHLY  WAGE

ADVANCE  PAID

MONTHLY ALLOTMENT

Mate

£6 0s 0d

-

£3 0s 0d

Bosun

£4 0s 0d

£4 0s 0d

-

Cook & Steward

£4 0s 0d

£4 0s 0d

-

 AB

£3 10s 0d

£3 5s 0d

-

OS

£2 10s 0d

£2 10s 0d

-

 
Each man was given a daily food allowance of: -
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.
⅓lb rice on Saturdays.
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, equivalent substitutes of fresh meat or fresh vegetables could be made, in lieu of salted or tinned meat or preserved or compressed vegetables. Each man was given a daily issue of Lime or Lemon Juice and Sugar or other antiscorbutics. No Spirits were allowed.
By signing on, each crew member agreed to work the ships cargo and ballast when required and to conduct themselves in an orderly, faithful, honest, and sober manner, and to be at all times diligent in their respective duties, and to be obedient to the lawful commands of the Master, or any person who should lawfully succeed him, and of their superior officers, in everything relating to the ship and the stores and the cargo thereof, whether on board, in boats or on shore; any embezzlement or wilful or negligent destruction of any part of the ships cargo or stores was to be made good to the owner out of the wages of the person guilty. And if any person entered himself as qualified for a duty which he proved incompetent to perform, his wages would be reduced in proportion to his incompetency. They also agreed that if any member of the crew considered himself to be aggrieved by any breach of the agreement or otherwise, he should represent the matter to the Master or officer in charge of the ship, in a quiet and orderly manner, who should thereupon take such steps as the case might require. Deductions from the wages of crew members, to which the Master would be entitled, were respectively the following amounts; For not joining the ship at the specified time – two days pay or any expenses which were properly incurred in hiring a substitute; Absence from the ship at any time without leave – a sum not exceeding two weeks pay. Any dispute arising on a subject of these deductions was to be settled by a Mercantile Marine Officer, Consular Officer, or Shipping Master abroad, and his decision would be final.
The Agreement permitted the ship to undertake ‘a voyage from London to Trinidad and/or any ports or places in the West Indies, United States of America, Dominion of Canada, and/or any ports or places on the East and West coasts of North or South America, trading backwards and forwards, as the Master may require, until the return of the vessel to a final point of discharge in the United Kingdom, or the Continent of Europe between the Elbe and Brest inclusive at the Masters option, calling at a port for orders if required. Voyage not to exceed twelve months.’
The document showed that on this voyage, the centre of the disc positioned to show the load-line, was placed 3ft 7ins below the statutory deck line marked under the provisions of the Merchant Shipping Act 1876. The maximum load-line in fresh water was 4 inches above the centre of the disc. The same distance was given as the load-line for ‘Winter – North Atlantic’.
 
Agreement 1891
Front sheet of Agreement dated 12th February 1891
 
‘Atossa’ left Poplar, London on Wednesday 18th February 1891 but because of fog and the lack of wind spent the next week at anchor in The Downs. This is a sheltered anchorage off the Kent coast.

On 25th February 1891, James Grevett wrote a letter to his wife; Charlotte, who was at home with her family in Littlehampton.

James Grevett's Letter 1891
Grevett’s letter to his wife dated 25th February 1891
Family Documents
 

Barque Atossa
25.2.91.

My Dear Wife,

With pleasure I write these few lines to you, hoping please God it will meet you quite well, and the little children. We have been laying at anchor, up till today dinner time. It has been so foggy that we could not get away. We are now towing into the Downs, but there is very little wind, and so foggy, that we shall have to bring up again. Jim is alright. Kiss the little children for me. I would like to know if you had got the money alright. My dear wife, I want you to let them know on the Beach that you have had this from me. Remember me to them all and tell them I would have written to them but I have not got another stamp and give them my address. I do not know that I have any more to tell you now, hoping you will tell me how you are all getting on and all the news, you can write to me in about three weeks time and give my address to Mother. I shall now remain with all my Love and Best Wishes to you and the children.
   
                                                                From Your
                                                                     Loving Husband
                                                                          J. Grevett     

                               X   X   X   X   X   X   X   X   X   X   X   X   X   X
                                X   X   X   X   X   X   X   X   X   X   X   X   X   X 
           
                       Barque ‘Atossa’
                                                       C/o Jas Brennan,                            
                                 Port of Spain,
                                        Trinidad,
                                  West Indies.

Many British newspapers including the London Daily News for Saturday 21st March 1891 recorded that, “The steamer 'Athenian', arrived at Liverpool, reports having passed on the 14th inst., in lat. 47° 42’ N., long 8° W., a whale boat of the ‘Atossa’  full of water, with wooden thole pins shipped, no oars, and mast lashed over stern, evidently for steering. The ‘Atossa’ from London for Trinidad, sailed from the Downs on Feb. 28.”
Whale boats are narrow open boats that are pointed at both ends. Thole pins are set upright in the gunwales to hold an oar in place and provide a fulcrum for rowing.
Although the official documents concerning the loss of the ‘Atossa’ naturally offer no information as to precise date, location and cause of the loss of the ship, Joseph Robinson’s reminiscences suggest that she was lost in a blizzard in the Bay of Biscay. Relatives of the ships Master, James Grevett, also believed that he, and all crew members, drowned in the Bay of Biscay.
Weather records show that a blizzard raged throughout south and west England between the 9th and the 13th March 1891. There were storm-force winds over the sea near both Plymouth and Dover. Sixty-five ships foundered in the English Channel. Two hundred and twenty people were reported dead. Countless trees were uprooted by the wind and up to one foot of snow fell. A train became stuck in a snowdrift on Dartmoor and 11.5ft (3.5 metre) snowdrifts were recorded at Dartmouth, Sidmouth and Torquay.
 
Bay of Biscay Last Sighting
Latitude 47° 42’ W; Longitude 8°00’ N

Courtesy of findlatitudeandlongitude.com
 
On 28th May 1891 ‘Atossa’ was officially reported as ‘overdue’ and on 4th June 1891 the vessel was officially reported as ‘missing’ in the many British newspapers.
‘Atossa’s registration was closed on the 13th June 1891.
G. T. Langridge, the ships owner, submitted ‘LIST C (Account of crew and other particulars of foreign going ship, to be delivered at the end of the voyage to the Superintendent of a Mercantile Marine Office)’ to the authorities at the Port of London on 16th June 1891. He entered, for each of the twelve men aboard, under the heading, ‘Date, Place and Cause of Death, or Leaving the Ship’, “Unknown. Ship missing supposed to have been lost at sea. Last heard of 28th Feby when vessel sailed from the Downs.”
The National Probate Calendar recorded on 23rd September 1891, “Grevett, James:  Administration of the Personal Estate of James Grevett late of 2A, River-road, Littlehampton in the County of Sussex Master Mariner who died on or since 25 February 1891 at Sea was granted at the Principal Registry to Charlotte Grevett of 2A River-road Widow the Relict. Personal Estate £83 12s 6d”
Appendix ‘C’ to the 1891 Lloyds Wreck & Casualties Returns Register involving ‘Sea Casualties – Vessels Totally Lost And Lives Lost’ recorded that‘Atossa’ was ‘Not heard of since sailing on 20th February 1891’. It confirmed that she was bound for Trinidad carrying a general cargo. Under the heading ‘(a) Class in Lloyd’s Register and (b) Date of last survey’ is written ‘(a) A1 in red S.S. – 86 – 9 years. (b) 2.91’. A1 in red indicated that the vessel had been found to be, on special survey and in accordance with the second clause of the Society’s rules; Section 60, of efficient construction and fit to carry dry and perishable goods to and from any part of the world.
On the night of the census of 5th April 1891, Henry Langridge (54 years; Shipbroker) was visiting Chillies Farm, Buxted with Flora Jane (49 years) and two of their children, Arthur Barton (25 years; Barrister-at-Law) and Winifred M. (18 years).
Henry gave his occupation, at the time of the 1901 census, as a ‘Shipowner and Farmer’. He was living at Chillies Farm, Buxted, Sussex with his wife, Flora Jane, their daughter, Winnifred, and two servants; a Cook/Housekeeper and a Housemaid.
The London Gazette dated 6th January 1911 published a notice that read, “Notice is hereby given, that the Partnership heretofore subsisting between Henry Langridge, George Thomas Langridge, John Henry Stark and Francis Barton Langridge, carrying on business as West India Merchants and Shipbrokers at Nos. 16 and 17, Great St. Helens, in the City of London, under the style or form of HENRY LANGRIDGE & CO., has been dissolved, so far as regards the said Henry Langridge (who is retiring from business), as from 31st December, 1910. The said business will be carried on by the remaining partners as heretofore under the style of Henry Langridge & Co. at Nos. 16 and 17, Great St. Helens aforesaid. – Dated this 2nd day of January, 1911.  HY LANGRIDGE; G. T. LANGRIDGE; JNO. H. STARK.”
Henry Langridge died at the Queens Hotel, Hastings, Sussex on 27th March 1915.
The Kent & Sussex Courier newspaper of 21st May 1915 records that “Mr. Henry Langridge, of Bartons, Crowborough, Sussex, and of 71, Nightingale Lane, Clapham Common, Surrey, formerly of 16, Great St. Helens, London, E.C., a Director of the Baltic Mercantile and Shipping Exchange, Ltd., whose death occurred on the 27th March last, has left estate valued at £38,479 1s. 10d. gross and £15,124 15s. 5d. net. Probate has been granted to Mrs. Flora Jane Langridge, of 71, Nightingale Lane, his widow, Mr. George Thomas Langridge, of 15, Great St. Helens, shipbroker, his son, and Major Walter Frederic Langridge, of 3, Woodbury Park Road, Tunbridge Wells, his nephew, the Executors. By his will, dated 20th July, 1914, Testator leaves – The Bartons, Crowborough, to his son, George; 16 and 17, Great St. Helens, E.C., to his wife; one-fourth of his 100 shares of the nominal value of £10 each in the Falkland Islands Company to each of his daughters, Gwenllian Anson, Helen Bruce, Marion Vincent and Mary Seaby. He confirmed settlements made on respective marriages of his daughters Marion and Gwenllian. The residue of his property he leaves to his wife, desiring, but imposing no legal obligation, that she will leave property derived by him to their grand-children or their issue.”
George Thomas followed in his father’s footsteps. A certificate was issued stating “This is to certify that George Thomas Langridge, of No. 16, Great Saint Helen’s, in the City of London, Ship Broker, was this 24th day of July 1919 admitted to the Freedom of the Worshipful Company of Gardeners by Redemption.” 
The Kent & Sussex Courier newspaper of 17th August 1923 noted that, “The marriage took place on Tuesday last, August 14th, at High Hurst Wood Church, Buxted, Sussex, of Mr. George Thomas Langridge, of Bartons, Crowborough, and Miss Ruby Marion Langridge, daughter of the late Mr. George Langridge, of Lansdowne road, Tunbridge Wells.”
George Thomas Langridge died on 1st October 1936 and was buried in the churchyard at High Hurstwood Church.
On 9th October 1936, the Sussex Agricultural Express newspaper reported, “The funeral took place at High Hurstwood on Saturday of Mr George Thomas Langridge, who died at “Bartons”. He was a pioneer of the pedal cycle, being Captain of the North Road Cycling Club in his younger days, and in 1887 he made a grass track record. Two years later he made a high bicycle record by cycling 154 miles in 12 hours. He was 74 years of age.”
The National Probate Calendar showed that George left £5,901 17s 7d to his widow, Ruby Marion Langridge.
 
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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