Emigrant ship Exmouth

22nd September 2007, 17:50
Does anyone know of a picture/painting of the emigrant ship Exmouth (bound for Quebec from Londonderry), which was wrecked on the coast of Islay in 1847 with the loss of 220 souls?


24th September 2007, 10:57
Most of the Canadian emigrant ships were built to a pattern and whilst I cant help you exactly with your ship, I would point you to the sailing ship "Dunbrody".
The Annie Jane wrecked on Vatersay was the same type and several others, if you can get the "Times" report or data on the ship then do a compare with the Dunbrody and look at the similarities.
Hope this helps

26th September 2007, 12:36
Thanks for the info, Nairda59. I think I previously located some articles in The Times on the Annie Jane - I don't think there was much more than reports of her loss. Not to worry - it's not important. I was just looking for a drawing or illustration of the Exmouth, if such a thing exists anywhere, to go with a web page. Thanks anyway.


26th September 2007, 13:32
the ship that you are seeking was in fact called the "EXMOUTH CASTLE", and not the Exmouth. The Exmouth was an ex Fleetwood steam trawler and wrecked about a mile further north from where the Exmouth Castle was wrecked on the west coast of Islay, but in march 1938 where as the Exmouth Castle ( the emigrant ship ) was wrecked on the southern side of Coul Point, Islay, in April 1847.

This might enable you to find out a little more about the emigrant ship. Also the Exmouth Castle was built at Newcastle in 1818, and weighed 322 tons, she had a crew of 11 with 243 emigrants on board.

If you try contacting either/both Greenwich Maritime Museum,Greenwich UK and /or www.twmuseums.org.uk or any museums listed under Newcastle upon Tyne on google with the full name of the ship and they might be able to help you.


25th October 2007, 20:29

Sorry, lost track of this one. So many threads! According to The Times, it was the emigrant ship EXMOUTH that was lost off the coast of Islay in 1847, not EXMOUTH CASTLE. See this transcription (http://archiver.rootsweb.com/th/read/GENANZ/2007-03/1173488178) on the Rootsweb list GENANZ. I just did a comparison of the results of the following Google searches and there are some references there that seem to confirm this:

exmouth emigrant 1847
"exmouth castle" emigrant 1847

A mention in The Times and a few Google results is certainly not proof positive, of course :) What source did you base your statement on?

Thanks for the idea about looking at similar ships - a good idea.


26th October 2007, 20:36
hi Martin, I base my facts on the published books listed below:

"Dive Islay Wrecks" by Steve Blackburn
"Argyll Shipwrecks" by Peter Mooir & Ian Crawford
"shipwrecks of the west coast of Scotland" by Bob Baird

All of the above authors are eminent divers and researchers who each have spent their lives in researching and diving the wrecks that are listed in their own books, as far as is possible and all coroborate each others information, as listed by receiver of wrecks, Scotland.

I do not have any reason to doubt their superior knowledge to mine, but I do doubt newspaper stories, notoriously wrong in their facts. We all know the old addage " don't let the fact get in the way of a good story?" especially as old as those which would have appeared to tell the tale.

Sorry but those are the facts as recorded in three very reputed books. And not one of these publications lists a second "Exmouth" other than the Fleetwood Trawler "Exmouth" being lost in the area.

However The nearest "exmouth" is to this a report given in a book called "Shipwrecks of the Ulster Coast" by Ian Wilson who quotes............. "several witnesses also claim that the emigrant ship 'exmouth' Derry for Quebec in October1847 (wrong time of year, same date) which was seen off Portrush and was later wrecked on Islay with terrible loss of life, .........................

The author of this book does list in his acknowlegements Central record of Shipping and World ship society as just two of a number of others. If these had taken their extracts from such as the Times, then the author is also possibly on the wrong tack.

hope this helps in your search, neil.

27th October 2007, 22:21
Thanks, Neil. That's interesting. I take your point about newspapers not always being completely reliable and I'm sure, in the 200 years of their archive (1785-1985), The Times is no exception. Not sure about this one though.

Newspapers aside, the book "Dictionary Of Disasters At Sea" by Charles Hocking has it as just EXMOUTH:

Have you used Amazon's "Search Inside Books" option? It allows you to search the millions of pages of the books they sell and then view the page where the references occur, as well as up to two pages before and two after. When I search on EXMOUTH ISLAY, it returns the following mentions in books:

In "Adventurers and Exiles: The Great Scottish Exodus" by Marjory Harper, p.212:

"Lurid emigrant shipwreck was grist to the mill of many Victorian newspapers and journals. Between 1847 and 1851, forty-four ships were wrecked on the transatlantic crossing and 1,043 people were drowned, including 248 who died in 1847 when the Exmouth was driven ashore on the coast of Islay shortly after leaving Londonderry for Quebec."

In "Canada in the 1840s: The Nation's Illustrated Diary" by Royce G. Tennant there are two accounts of the loss of Exmouth 1847, p.129, p.131 and, as it happens, an illustration of the "Wreck of the Exmouth Emigrant Ship" on p.132 (not the ship but the wreckage).

On the back cover of "Caran An-t-saoghail (The Wiles of the World): An Anthology of Nineteenth-century Gaelic Verse" by Donald E. Meek:

" ... Irish emigrants, was wrecked on Islay with the loss of all passengers on 28 April of that year. According to Moir and Crawford 1994: 78, `the ship [called the Exmouth Castle in this source ... "

Frustratingly, for some reason, the Amazon Search Inside pages would not display the page for this one so currently unable to get the full text, which is a pity (I reported it to Amazon so they may fix it).

Google Books also allows searching of books and peeking at pages. A search for EXMOUTH ISLAY 1847 returns a number of results:

Whereas one for "EXMOUTH CASTLE" returns just six and none apparently related to the tragedy:

Getting back to The Times, I did some further searching to see if I could locate anything on the building or launching of the ship in 1818 but didn't find anything for that particular year. However, just to throw the cat amongst the pigeons, I did find this in the following year:

The Times, Oct 04, 1819
Emigration to America.- Captain Barrett, of the
brig Lord Exmouth, of Plymouth, who arrived at Ports-
mouth on Sunday last, from Quebec, states..

Perhaps the only way it could be confirmed one way or the other, though, would be to find the name in primary sources in archives somewhere.


28th October 2007, 22:32
A memorial near Sanaigmore Bay to those lost in the wreck:

28th March 2014, 17:36
I live 900yards from the wreck site and due to the recent storms which gave us a north westerly blowing and very high tides i have discovered various pieces of flotsom on the beach a snapped oak beam approx 10x6" x 8' long peppered with pottery that i have had dated as 1820 circa along with a shattered plank 10x2"x164" it has varios square bore holes and wooden nail holes in it along with a cream coulored i beleave to be lead paint on it
I believe without proof this belongs to the Exmouth and has led me on the trail to try and prove it.
My result so far has been confussing as per Lloyds register of shipping 1818/19only 2 exmouths registered 1@691 ton liverpool to india
and one @235ton liverpool to brasil neither made in newcastle
following the same line 1819-1820 lloyds show a ship 321ton made in newcastle running to Quebec owners taylor and co following this same line till 30-31 she is in for major repairs she then comes out listed not as a ship but as a Barque still 321 ton but new owners /master Greggs/Greig lon(derry)? to marine(marinettes)?
When you get to 34-35 again she is up for repairs this time her weight is now 322 tons we go on now till 37-38 the master is J Gregg the owner listed as gregg now things are a bit confussing at this point half way along the column.
38-39 sees the introduction ofMr Eden and a Black Barge as master no owner and port of register South sheilds destination Lon-Quebec she goes for 5 years like this till 43-44 where Blackbarge hand master to J Booth owner J Eden destination Lon -Quebec at this point she is now listed as a Snow, J Booth as master and J Eden owner 45-46 her destination is listed as Sheilds to Baltic 46-47 the fatefull year her destination is listed Sheilds to America seawothyness was classed AE 1/3
At no time has she been seen to be registered as Exmouth Castle Just Exmouth I will post some pics soon as i learn to do it

14th April 2014, 21:27
Will, Hi. I'm pretty certain I saw the same fractured beam as you have on the beach? I too was intrigued by the pottery encrusted deposit on the beam itself. I have some decent pictures but sadly I don't know how to resize these so I can upload. Amazing that such a large section of beam had been dislodged from the sea bed in the recent storms. Very interesting.