Kindly supplied by Donald Smith

Official No:  121607    Port Number and Year: 4th in Milford, 1906

                                                                                  -    -  San Sebastian, 1931.

Description: Steel side / beam trawler; steam screw, coal burning. Ketch rigged: foresail, mainsail and mizzen.

Crew:  9 men (1906)

Registered at Milford: 11 Apr 1906 

Built: 1906 by Smiths Dock Co., North Shields. (Yard no. 790)

Tonnage: 219.59 grt  104.92 net

Length / breadth / depth (feet): 120.7 / 21.6 / 11.35

Engine: T 3-cyl. 54 rhp.;  by W.V.V. Lidgerwood, Glasgow.



11 Apr 1906:  Cornelius Cecil Morley, 'St.Ann's House', Cunjic, Hakin

Sydney Morgan Price, Murray Cres., Milford.

Managing owners.


15 Aug 1919:

William Wolfe                )

William Gordon Tonner  )  Essex Steam Trawling Co., Docks, Milford.

Alfred James Stevens     )


13 Apr 1920: Essex Steam Trawling Co. Ltd., Docks, Milford

Manager: William Wolfe, 20 Trafalgar Rd., Milford.



1931: Pesquerias Pasaitarras S.C., San Sebastian. 


c. 1945-49: José Romero Nuñez, Sebastian.


Landed at Milford:  19 Apr 1906 - 5 Aug 1914;  13 Jul 1919 - 30 Nov 1923.


J. L. Stroud cert. 02471; age 48, born Ramsgate; signed on 4 Apr, 26 Jul 1906; 1 Jan, 18 Jul, 30 Dec 1907; 14 Jan, 9 Jul 1908

G. Gibbs 7184, 27, Gorleston; 17 Jul 1906; 5 Jun 1907; 23 Apr, 1 Jul, 28 Aug 1912

George Bird [Burns?] 4624, 39, Ingham; 15 Dec 1907; 7 Aug 1912

Henry James 5909, 41, Brixham; 27 Apr, 19 Dec 1908; 11 Jan, 1 Jul 1909

G. Owston 7364, 37, Scarborough; 27 Sep 1909; 18 Jan 1910

Jabez George King 7381, 27, - ; 10 Apr, 1 Jul 1910; 3 Jan, 3 Aug 1911

J. T. Tucker 6164, 31, Brixham; 11 Jul 1911

Harry W. Salter 827, 50, Exeter; 29 Sep 1911

William Harrison 4405, 38, Hull; 4 Jan 1912

P. Leary 7133, 37, Manchester; 3 Dec 1912

E. Bird 7933, 34, Winchester (?); 15 Jan 1913

W. Rayworth 3868, 41, Leeds, 4 Mar 1913

W. Wright 2323, 44, Fleetwood, 21 Apr 1913.


Aug 1914: Requisitioned for war service and converted for minesweeping duties (Ad.No.142)

Feb 1915: Renamed ESSEX II.

1919: Returned to owners and reverted to ESSEX.

1 Dec 1923: No landings at Milford from that date.

1925: Milford Register closed her entry, and referred to Spanish owners, but no registration appears to have been recorded until 1930.

Cert. Cancelled & Milford Registry Closed: 17 Jan 1925. 

1931: Sold to Spanish owners. (As MARIA LUISA).

 Accidents and Incidents

Log book entries:



When coming up Haven ran into and sank the schooner 'Camelia' of Guernsey, the Master of which was drowned.  The crew of three hands were saved by the 'Essex' and brought into dock.  Could not see riding lights in time to avoid collision owing to a steamer going just ahead of us with glaring gas lights burning.

    George Burns (Skipper)

    Jabez George King (Mate)

[ See below for further details. ]



Broken rudder - cause unknown.

    W. Harrison (Skipper)



Left Rock jetty 11 p.m.  Proceeded slow in charge of Pilot Cadden.  Came to anchor in Culmore Bay to repair joints at 12.30 a.m.  After joints were repaired the engineers started the engines ahead in order to try them at 00.45 a.m., the consequence being the ship took a sheer to port on a strong ebb tide, causing her to catch the ground off Culkerach [ Coolkeeragh ? ] Light.  She floated on the flood at 6 a.m. and proceeded to Derry for further repairs.

    P. Leary (Skipper)



Wednesday.  We were leaving the quay before heading out to sea when we collided with 'Lovina'.  We had an ebb tide and we let go the ropes and put the helm hard a starboard, and went slow astern, when the engines gave out again.  When I saw the collision was going to happen I went half speed ahead in order to proceed to prevent the collision and the Second hand was up in the wheelhouse telling me the job had gave out again.

    E. Bird (Skipper)

    H. Robson (Second Hand)



Ramsey Bay

T. F. Chard, age 18, deckhand; British, born Fleetwood, residing Fleetwood.

Entering W.C., door banged to, and caught right thumb, smashing top of thumb badly.

    William Rayworth (Skipper)

    William Roskill.


From the Haverfordwest & Milford Haven Telegraph of Wednesday 25th April 1906:

    On Friday, one of the new trawlers built by the orders of Messrs. Sellick, Morley and Price, viz., the steam trawler "Essex", made her maiden voyage.  The catch, however, was a comparatively small one.  The skipper is J. L. Stroud.  A sister ship, the steam trawler "Sidmouth" (Captain W. Wales) is also expected in a few days.  The vessels are of the very latest style specially built to carry a large quantity of bunkers for long trips.


From The Pembrokeshire Herald and General Advertiser of Friday 3rd August 1906:




    On Friday last Messrs. Morley and Price (steam trawler managers) arranged a trip to view the ill-fated battleship H.M.S. Montagu, combined with experiments of a new propeller patented by Mr. W. M. Walters, of Liverpool.

    The patent propeller had been affixed to the steam trawler Essex, and all the steam trawler owners of the port were invited to witness the trial and partake of luncheon aboard. Capt. J. Stroud was on the bridge, and left Milford Dock at nine a.m., proceeding direct for Lundy. After steaming close to the Montagu, and observing that it would be a great engineering feat to save a vessel in her precarious condition, the anchor was dropped at the back of the island, and refreshments provided.

    On the outward run the increase of speed, due to the patent propeller, was practically half a knot an hour. On the homeward run it was slightly better still, and the patentee, who was on board, was very pleased with the results of the trial, as he considered it proved an increase of half a knot an hour in speed, and a reduction in consumption of fuel by ten per cent. The improvement on the old style of propeller is, roughly, doing away with the centre of dead-water power, and bring the tips more effective.

    To those who were good sailors the trip was most enjoyable, but a heavy swell caused a little lurching of the vessel, and several of the company were very pleased when Milford was reached at half-past nine p.m.



From the Haverfordwest and Milford Haven Telegraph of Wednesday 1st January 1908:


    A serious collision occurred at Milford on Sunday night, resulting in the loss of one life, about 8 o'clock.  The schooner 'Camelia' of Guernsey, bound from Newhaven to Liverpool with a cargo of whitening, was lying windward bound in Chapel Bay, near Angle Point, when the steam trawler 'Essex', owned by Messrs. Sellick, Morley and Price, coming in from sea, ran into her, and as a result of the impact, the schooner sank.  Fortunately, the Mate, who was on deck at the time, had the presence of mind to call out the remainder of the crew.  Two managed to reach the deck and climbed on to the rigging, just as the vessel foundered in shallow water.  When last seen, the Master, James W. Leathlean, was reading in the cabin, and it is supposed that the inrush of water prevented him making good his escape.  The other members of the crew were safely rescued from their hazardous position by the hands of the steam trawler, and landed at Milford.

    During the trip, the s.t. 'Essex' was in charge of the Mate, Mr. Richard Bird, the regular skipper being ashore on holidays.  Mr Leathlean, the master of the 'Camelia' who lost his life, was a widower of about 50 years of age, with two children.  The rescued men were dispatched to their homes on Monday.

    Since the above was written, we learn that the body of the Captain of the schooner 'Camelia' was found on a hatch about noon on Monday.  The hatch had floated into Chapel Bay, about a quarter of a mile from the wreck.  The body appeared as if life had not long been extinct.  The spot where the wreck occurred had been diligently searched, and it was concluded that the skipper went down with the wreck.  Apparently he came up again and lashed himself to a hatch.


From the Haverfordwest and Milford Haven Telegraph of Wednesday 8th January 1908:


    Mr Price, coroner, held an inquest at Angle on Wednesday last on the body of James William Leathlean, master of the schooner "Camelia", who was drowned as a result of his vessel being sunk by the steam trawler "Essex", of Milford Haven, in Chapel Bay on the previous Sunday night. Mr Leathlean's body was found by an Angle blacksmith on Monday about a quarter of a mile from the sunken schooner, and although lifeless the body was then quite warm so his death must have very recently occurred.  A few yards away was the ship's hatchway, and as the Captain was last seen reading in his cabin, and made no response to the inquiries of the mate, it is supposed he must have floated in to shore on the hatch. At the inquest, the jury considered that Mr Bird, the skipper of the s.t."Essex" during this voyage, had been guilty of reckless navigation and he was censured by the coroner.

    John Penhall, of Exeter, identified the body as that of his son-in-law, James William Leathlead, who lived at St Austell, Cornwall, and was master of the schooner, which was registered at Jersey. Deceased was fifty-one years of age. George John Bird said he held a skipper's ticket and lived at Hakin.  He had been acting skipper of the "Essex" during this trip, and was returning from sea the previous Sunday evening, when the weather was moderate and the sea smooth, and they were travelling at the rate of about three miles an hour.  About quarter to eight, while near Chapel Bay, he heard a man give the warning "Stern ahead", and he stopped the engine, but did not reverse them.  Witness did not see any lights, until he ran in to the schooner. The light, which was on the forestay, was not burning brightly, and they were following up another trawler which had bright acetylene lights.  Immediately after the collision he gave orders to lower the small boat and save the crew, most of whom had taken to the rigging.  The schooner sank in two minutes after she had been struck, and the men had been picked up as quickly as possible. He was informed that the captain was missing, and they looked about for him for three hours without success.  The Angle lights were not visible, and the light from the trawler in front preceding them prevented them from seeing the schooner's light, or it was hid by the mast.  The schooner had only one light.  Witness added that he was not many yards out of the fairway.  He had been a skipper on steam trawlers for over eleven years.

    Jabez George King, of Pill, Milford Haven, mate on the s.t."Essex", said he was on the bridge with the skipper on the night referred to.  A steam trawler with a glaring light was two or three lengths ahead, and he remembered being near Chapel Bay.  About eight o'clock, they passed one ship at anchor, and saw nothing else except the steam trawler ahead.  The first thing he noticed was the steam trawler's starboard light, and he was ordered to port his vessel in order to get a clearer sight ahead of his vessel. He heard shouts and at the same time they ran into the schooner's port side on her quarter.  The skipper ordered them to stop the ship's engines, and witness rushed down onto the deck and dashed aft from the bridge to see about saving the schooner's crew.  The small boat was launched at once, and three men were rescued from the schooner.  He was told that the captain was in his cabin and could not make his escape owing to the inrush of the water.  After the crew had been rescued and brought safely on board the "Essex", they made a long search for the captain, and remained by the sunken schooner for over three hours. At the time of the collision they had no one on look-out as they could see from the trawler's bridge, and the men were engaged about the anchor.  The windows of the wheel-house were down and the trawler was travelling at a rate of five miles per hour. The Dock Gates would be open about eleven o'clock that night, and there was no racing between them and the other trawler.

    Doctor W. S. Griffiths said that deceased's thigh had a punctured wound about the size of a two shilling piece, there were lacerated wounds on each hand, and there was a small punctured wound on the chin caused, in witness's opinion, before death. In witness's opinion deceased died from exposure, exhaustion and heart failure.

    George Banner Rees, Blacksmith, residing at Angle, spoke of finding the deceased's body on the beach, nearly a quarter of a mile from the sunken schooner, about half-past-nine on the Monday morning.  It was about six yards from the water on the beach and was lying on its face.  About five yards below the corpse was a hatchway, and witness was of the opinion that deceased floated to the shore on this.  His right hand was down alongside him, and his left held up in a grasping position.

    The jury returned the verdict that the deceased lost his life through the steam trawler "Essex"  accidentally running the schooner down through the reckless navigation of the trawler's skipper, but they did not think that Skipper Bird was criminally to blame. The coroner also censured him for failing to keep a proper look-out.

    Mr W. J .Jones, Haverfordwest, represented the owners of the "Essex", Messrs Sellick, Morley and Price.



From the Haverfordwest and Milford Haven Telegraph of Wednesday 19th February 1908:


    Frederick J. Hancock, Point Street, Hakin, summoned John Stroud, Charles Street, master mariner, for piloting the steam trawler "Essex" out of the port of Milford without holding the necessary certificate.  David J. Davies, of Great North Road, master of the steam trawler "Gillygate"; James Keen, Dewsland Street, master mariner of the steam trawler "Syringa"; and Thomas Leggett, Waterloo Road, master mariner of the steam trawler "St. Clear", were summoned for a like offence.  It was mentioned that the cases had all been settled, and they were struck out.



From The Pembrokeshire Herald and General Advertiser of Friday 5th June 1908:


Sunk off Angle Point.



        At the Guildhall, Swansea on Friday, a Board of Trade inquiry was opened into the circumstances attending the loss of the sailing vessel Cornelia, of Guernsey, as the result of a collision with the steam trawler Essex, of Milford Haven, off Angle Point, on December 29th last, when the master (Captain Leathlean, a Cornishman) lost his life. The court was constituted of Messrs. Howel Watkins and W. Williams, J.P.'s, and Captains W. H. Sinclair, Loutel, [sic?] H. Gordon Higginson, and G. H. Doughty, nautical assessor. Mr. T. N. T. Strick appeared for the Board of Trade and Mr. W. Cox represented the relatives of the master of the Cornelia.

        Mr. Strick said-the facts were that the Cornelia left Newhaven on November 29th with a crew of four hands and Captain Leathlean, the master and owner, and a cargo of 165 tons of whiting bound for Liverpool. On December 4th, owing to stress of weather, she put into Milford, and remained at anchor till the evening of the 29th. Soon after 8 o'clock, when the anchor light was hoisted, the Essex was seen on the port quarter, half a mile off heading direct for the Cornelia. The mate hailed the trawler, and as she did not alter her course he called the master, who was below; and at the same time ordered the boat to be lowered. Before this could be done, and seeing that a collision was inevitable, he ordered the crew to take the rigging, and no sooner had they done so than the Essex crashed into the schooner. She immediately backed away and then the schooner sank, carrying the captain with her. It was from 30 to 40 minutes before the trawler's boat came and rescued the rest of the crew from the rigging. The mate asked the men of the Essex why they were so long in lowering the boat, and they said the oars were lashed and they could not find the rowlocks. He thought it would have been possible for the captain to have got on deck after the collision if the trawler had not drawn back so quickly and the schooner had kept afloat.

        The Board of Trade inquiry was resumed at Swansea on Monday. Jabez George King, the mate of the Essex, declared that everything possible was done to search for the master of the Cornelia, who was drowned. He admitted there was no light in the boat lowered for that purpose after the lamps had been put out on the wreck. The boat had not, so far as he knew, been in the water before for 18 months. Albert Williams, the engineer, said the rescued men did not complain of any delay in the lowering of the boat from the Essex. John Manley, the mate of the Cornelia, however, said he and others of the rescued men did complain of the delay.

        The Board of Trade Inquiry concluded on Tuesday, when the Court found that the cause of the collision was the defective outlook kept by the steam trawler Essex, and that the loss of life was due to the suddenness of the catastrophe, which gave insufficient time for the captain of the Camelia [sic], who was asleep in his cabin, to come on deck. The court satisfied itself with severely censuring the captain of the Essex for his want of care.



From the Haverfordwest & Milford Haven Telegraph of Wednesday 11th September 1912:


    The crisis in the Milford fish trade is the one topic of conversation in the town and port.  The exodus has already commenced, and grave concern is being expressed as to what will be the end of it all.  Of the intentions of Messrs. Sellick, Morley and Price, our readers are fully cognisant, yet there is hope that developments may take place which will be the means of preventing the loss of the entire fleet to Milford.  Much of course depends upon the results of the trading to Fleetwood by the six trawlers which have been transferred.

    The boats which have left for sea during the last few days, and which will run for the next three months to Fleetwood, are the steam trawlers "Teesmouth", "Tacsonia", "Sidmouth", "Uhdea", "Essex" and "Syringa".  Messrs. F. B. Rees and A. Rainbow, manager and salesman, have also left, together with Mr. W. Lewis as shoreman.  The firm have taken offices at Fleetwood, and all arrangements have been completed for the transfer of the business.



From the Haverfordwest & Milford Haven Telegraph of Wednesday 18th June 1919:


    Some excitement was manifested on the Milford Docks during last week when it became known that Messrs. Sellick, Morley and Price were disposing of their fleet of steam trawlers.  For a considerable time negotiations had been proceeding with the Consolidation Company of Grimsby, but these recently fell through.  It is gratifying to know that the greater portion of the fleet has been retained for the port, as will be seen from the following list.  Several local gentlemen having come forward, the competition was very keen.

    The Alnmouth, Weigelia, and Exmouth have been sold to Fleetwood firms, while the Charmouth, Macaw, Tacsonia, Rosa, Xylopia, Essex, Uhdea, Petunia, Lynmouth, Kalmia, Portsmouth, Weymouth, Syringa, Yarmouth and Magnolia have all found local buyers.

    This opens out the question of the need for local trades people and others to invest in the staple industry of this fishing port, as has been done in competing fishing centres.






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