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Barque Mabel 1873

Privacy Level: Open (White)
Date: 1873 to 1886
Location: [unknown]
Surname/tag: Oatway
Profile manager: Martin Honor private message [send private message]
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The Ship

The term ship is used here in its modern, more generalised, meaning of a vessel built for ocean-trading. In the 18th and 19th centuries a "ship-rigged" sailing vessel had three masts with square sails on all masts. A barque is a three-masted sailing vessel with square sails on the fore and main masts, and only fore-and-aft sails on the mizzen(aft) mast.

This is for information about the vessel Mabel of Bristol, England, which foundered, probably on the Nash Sands, in the Bristol Channel, on 4th January 1886 in the Bristol Channel. All hands aboard were lost, including Thomas Jones, the Master, William Oatway, the mate, and William Ray, the Bristol Channel pilot [1] [2] [3].

Details of Mabel. [4]

Wood built barque

Gross registered tonnage: 465

Net registered tonnage: 454

Dimensions: 144’ 6” x 27’ 9” x 17’ 6”

Builders: Charles Hill & Sons of Bristol in 1873

Owners: Originally G.H.Bridges later T Daule & Sons

From information provided by Farr [5] it seems she was built as a "West Indiaman", a ship for trade with the West Indies and the east coast of America. Despite this she made at least one voyage to Australia arriving in Port Adelaide, South Australia from New York, USA on 7 July 1881. [6]. On her final voyage she was returning from Demerra to Bristol with a cargo of sugar and rum[3].


  1. Monthly Lists Of Deaths Of Seamen, 1886-1890 Archive Reference BT 156 Box 0001 Page 13
  2. Registers Of Seamen's Deaths, Classified By Cause, 1882-1888 National Archives ref BT157 Box 0007 Page 189
  3. 3.0 3.1 Wrecksite Webpage - Mabel Barque (https://www.wrecksite.eu/wreck.aspx?153590 Link)
  4. Lloyds Register of Ships Online 1885 Page 556 Entry 18 Free membership required (Accessed 7 May 2021)
  5. “Bristol Shipbuilding in the Nineteenth Century” By Graham Farr pub 1971 pp 22-23. Link
  6. Passengers in History - An initiative of the South Australian Maritime Museum link

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