Official No:  108500     Port and Year:  Grimsby, 1898   

Description: Iron side trawler; coal fired, steam screw. 

Crew: 9 men (1898).

Built: by Cochrane & Cooper, Beverley, in 1898.  (Yard no. 194)

Tonnage:   162 grt  64 net

Length / breadth / depth (feet): 100.0 / 20.6 / 11.0

Engine: T 3-Cyl; 45 rhp; 11.0 kts;  by Amos & Smith, Hull



As GY526

26 Feb 1898: Ernest Michael Willey North, Alexander Rd., Grimsby.

Managing owner.


21 Feb 1900: Peter Llewellyn Hancock, 5 Picton Rd., Hakin, Milford.

[See newspaper report below.]


17 Apr 1901: John William Wilkin, Charles St., Milford. (Fish salesman.)


20 Sep 1903:  Miss Florrie Wilkin, Charles St., Milford. (Daughter; died age 24 yrs, 30 November 1906.)

Manager: John William Wilkin, Milford.


8 Apr 1904: John Setterfield, Docks, Milford.

Managing owner / Skipper


Landed at Milford: 28 Feb 1900 - 9 Mar 1908


1900 : Cobley; Hastings; Kilby; Hastings.

1901: Hastings; Trott; Leader; Huddlestone; Walker; Dove

1902: Dove; George Horth

1903: Dove; Mingby; Davies; Kingston; Bennett

1904: Hastings; Woodgate; Screech; Dove; John Setterfield

1905: John Setterfield

1906: John Setterfield


14 Sep 1907: Picked up the crew of the trawler RESOLUTE. [ See below.]

20 Mar 1908: Foundered 12 miles N of Godrevy Island, St. Ives, after beam trawl iron damaged shell plates.  Crew rescued by the Brixham trawler SUPREME BM97.  [See below.]

30 Mar 1908: Grimsby registry closed.

[Lofthouse T., Mayes G., Newton D., & Thompson M. (2012): Cochrane Shipbuilders Vol.1: 1884 - 1914.]

 Accidents and Incidents:

From The Welshman of Friday 28th June 1901:



A LOCAL FISH MERCHANT'S BANKRUPTCY.—At the Pembroke-Dock Bankruptcy Court on Friday, the official receiver (Mr Thomas Thomas) conducted the public examination of Mr Peter Llewellyn Hancock, Stanley House, Hakin, Milford Haven, a prominent shipbuilder and steam-trawler owner of that port, who filed his own petition in bankruptcy on the 3rd inst.— Mr H. J. Evans, solicitor, Milford, represented the debtor, whose gross liabilities amounted to £10,463 3s., of which £4,278 19s. 1d. are unsecured.—The debtor attributed his failure to depreciation in value of vessels, losses in the fishing trade, loss in arbitration case, loss by salvage, heavy trade expenses, loss by fire, &c. It transpired during the examination that the debtor had lent £202 10s. to the late manager of the London and Provincial Bank at Milford Haven to be re-paid by instalments of £1 per month at 4 per cent. interest.— The Official Receiver asked the debtor whether he was sober when he made the loan upon such unusual terms. The question giving rise to some laughter in the court, the registrar (Mr S. H. Owen) remarked that the official receiver was quite justified in asking the question.— The examination was adjourned in order that the debtor might furnish an amended account explaining the largest amounts in his deficiency account, namely, depreciation in value of vessels, £5,750; losses in fishing trade, £1,000; and interest on borrowed money, £1,116.— It was decided that the Official Receiver should remain trustee of the estate, with a committee of inspection. In the King's Bench, Dublin, Justice Madden gave judgment in the case of Messrs Tedcastle, McCormick and Co., coal merchants, against Mr. Hancock, shipbuilder, Milford, Pembrokeshire. It was a motion to confirm a conditional garnishee of a sum of £90 in the hands of Messrs Matthews, of Dublin, payable to Hancock, and had stood over so that notice might be served on the official receiver of the Pembrokeshire district, who had given notice of a receiving order against Hancock. It now turned out that Hancock had been adjudicated bankrupt on the same day the receiving order was made. It was admitted that the garnishee motion could not now be proceeded with, but it was asked that the plaintiffs should not have to bear costs. His Lordship said the Court discharged the conditional order on the ground that adjudication had occurred, both parties to pay their own costs. They refused the official receiver's costs on the ground that it was owing to his giving insufficient information in the matter that the motion was proceeded with by the plaintiff.



From The Pembrokeshire Herald and General Advertiser of Friday 25th December 1903:

Milford Trawler Sued for Damages.

    At Pembroke Dock County Court, on Wednesday, before his Honor Judge Bishop, Jasper Wotten, of Brixham, owner of the fishing smack "Dove", claimed from J. W. Wilkins, of Milford Haven, owner of steam trawler "Goldfinder", the sum of £23 10s for damages alleged to have been sustained by a collision. Mr Marlay Samson, instructed by Messrs Robert Lock & Muncaster, represented the plaintiff and Mr J. Griffith Jones, instructed by Mr Geo Thomas, was for the defendant.

    The plaintiff's case was that on Sunday, March 15th last, while the "Dove" was in the lock, entering the dock, the "Goldfinder" attempted to pass her, thus bringing about the collision and resulting damage. J. R. Lang, skipper of the "Dove", and Arthur Bass, the mate, gave evidence as to the collision, as did the skipper of his other smack who saw what happened. The owner and Peter LI. Hancock, a Milford shipwright, gave evidence as to the amount of the damage.

    Thomas Harries, gateman at Milford Docks, said the "Goldfinder" was in the lock gates first, and had stripped her engines. The "Dove" entered afterwards and struck the "Goldfinder" on the front side. She then went on into the dock.

    James Hetherington, Capt James and others gave evidence.

    His Honor gave a verdict for the full amount claimed with costs.


From the Haverfordwest & Milford Haven Telegraph of Wednesday 3rd October 1906:


    John Setterfield, master of the steam trawler "Goldfinder", and William Frensham, master of the steam trawler "Alpha", were summoned for entering Milford Docks abreast in contravention of the Bye-laws.  Defendants denied the offence.

    Captain James said the previous Monday night about half past eight 0'clock, the boats of which the defendants were in charge of, entered the docks nearly abreast.  Some dozen steam trawlers were outside, and defendants' boasts were coming in at a good speed.  Fearing that one of the boats might have turned over into the gates, he left them alone.  He afterwards noticed that the "Alpha" was about ten feet ahead of the other vessel, but for all practical purposes they were abreast. There was no accident, but this was due more to good luck than good management.  Skippers did not seem to realise that the Dock Gates were afloat like a ship.

    The Clerk asked Captain James why he said "practically abreast".  Captain James replied that if one vessel was overtaking the other lapping by ten feet, they were abreast.

    Mr. J. Ll. Davies:―  They both might think they had a perfect right to go through first?

    Captain James:― Perhaps outside, the other might have been two lengths ahead.

    Skipper Setterfield said that Captain James' evidence was not true.  The "Fishergate" was the boat that did all the disturbance, and the skipper of her was not summonsed.  It was mentioned that summons had not yet been served.

    The Clerk asked if there was any object in getting in first.

    Captain James:― No object at all.  He asked the Bench to impose a penalty in this case.

    Skipper Frensham:― We were several lengths ahead of any vessel in the Channel.

    The Clerk:― The offence is not in the Channel.

    Skipper Frensham:― The rule is, first in the Channel, first into the docks.

    Defendants admitted that the vessels were abreast in the Docks' entrance, and a fine of £2 each and costs was imposed.



From The Pembrokeshire Herald and General Advertiser of Friday 20th September 1907:


Milford Trawler Lost.


On Saturday afternoon the steam trawler Goldfinder (Captain J. Setterfield) arrived at Milford Haven with the crew (nine men) of the steam trawler Resolute (Captain Hawkins), also of Milford, and belonging to Messrs. Page and Co. From the men's thrilling narrative it appears that the Resolute sprung a leak under the boiler early on Friday morning. The crew did their utmost to stem the inrush, but at eight o'clock, when the task was hopeless, they had perforce to take to the boat, and then the trawler foundered about 140 miles to the west of St. Ann's Head. Throughout the day the men remained in their little craft, failing to attract the notice of any vessel. Through the night they pursued their perilous quest, and in the early hours of Saturday morning they were picked up by the Goldfinder. The Resolute was practically a new ship, and had been in the port less than two years, and was a very successful fishing craft. On Tuesday morning she had a collision with the ketch Irene, from Bridgwater to Dublin, with bricks, which had to be towed into Milford. The damage to the steamer, however, was nil. 



From the West Wales Guardian of Friday 20th March 1908, transcribed in Les Jones Archive:


The steam trawler Goldfinder, manned by Captain John Setterfield (who was also the owner) and a crew of 8 men, was working 12 miles north of Godrevy Island, St.Ives, Cornwall, on Saturday when she foundered.  According to the opinion of the skipper, pulling in the fishing trawl, the iron on its beam fouled and pierced the Goldfinder's bottom, unknown to those on board.  At all events, preparations were being made to shoot the trawl again when the engineer went below and found the trawler half full of water.  Fishing a little way off was the Brixham trawler Supreme, and seeing the Goldfinder in trouble, she bore down.  Leaving the trawler as quickly as possible, the crew of the Goldfinder entered their small boat and pulled to the Supreme, where they found safety.  They were landed in St.Ives and returned to Milford on Monday.



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