Official No:    107047    Port Number and Year: 13th in Milford in 1896

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

Crew: 9 men (1896).

Registered at Milford: 17 Nov 1896.

Built: Edwards Bros., North Shields, 1896.  (Yard no. 526)

Tonnage: 145.15 gross 27.95 net 

Length / breadth / depth (feet):  106.0 / 20.65 / 11

Engine: T-3 Cyl 50 rhp; by North Eastern Marine Engineering Co., Sunderland



17 Nov 1896: Cornelius Cecil Morley, Milford (Millfort) House, Portlaw, Co. Waterford.

William Goff Davis-Goff, Glenville, Co. Waterford.

Manager: F.J. Sellick, Milford.


9 Mar 1903: Southern Steam Trawlers Co., 127 Quay, Waterford

(Messrs. Sellick, Morley and Price, Milford Docks.)

Manager: Cornelius Cecil Morley, "Cnocaitiun"*, Milford.  

(*Probably "Cnoc Áine" , Co. Limerick: "Aine's Hill". )


Landed at Milford: 16 Nov 1896 - 19 Feb 1905


John Turner cert. no. 2948, age 30, born Leeds; signed on 3 Nov 1896; 1 Jan, 11 Aug 1897; 10 Jan, 5 Jul 1898

J. W. Rumble 5019, 29, Hull; 7 Jul 1897

J. W. Setterfield 3670, 27, Ramsgate; 3 Jul 1899; 4 Jan, 3 Jul 1900; 17 Jan, 1 Jul 1901

D. Smith 3566, 33, Lincoln; 11 Jul 1901; 15 Jan, 2 Jul 1902; 8 Jan 1903

M. Kingston 4536, 34, Hull; 14 Mar, 1 Jul 1903

A. Barnes 3860, 30, Brixham; 14 Oct 1903; 8 Jan 1904

George Masters 5545, 33, London; 16 Jul 1904; 3 Jan 1905


15 Jun 1905: Wrecked on the Seven Stones, 7 miles N.E. of the Scilly Isles. [See story below.]

Cert. Cancelled & Milford Registry Closed: 20 Jun 1905. Fishing certificate lost with vessel.


Accidents and Incidents:

Log book entries:


Off Maidees Lights.

Vessel slightly damaged through touching bottom, defect of compass which led skipper too close to the shore.

    J. W. Setterfie1d. (Skipper)



40 miles NNW of Innishturk.

W. Kimber, age 45, First Engineer (Chief);  British, born in Cardiff, residing in Milford.

Left thigh broken.  Vessel was struck by heavy sea causing her to heel over and the Chief Engineer slipped on the stoke hold plating falling heavily.

    John William Setterfield. (Skipper).



6 miles from the Smalls.

Towed Brig 'Globe' into Milford Haven.

    D. Smith. (Skipper).



45 miles SW by W of St. Ann's Head.

Towed the "Helena Trecerza", lost jib boom and top mast.  Towed her into Milford Haven.

    G. Masters. (Skipper).

[See newspaper report below.]



From the Aberdeen Weekly Journal of Wednesday, February 8, 1899; Issue 7883.



    The steam trawler Hydrangea, M130, of Milford Haven (Captain Thomas) which arrived at Aberdeen on Sunday afternoon from the Faroe fishing grounds, narrowly escaped being heavily fined for having been within the three mile limit in these waters.  It appears that the trawl gear of the Hydrangea had broken down and Captain Thomas made for the port of Westmannhaun for repairs.  The vessel on entering the port was at once arrested, and the captain brought before the magistrates at Thorshaun, where he was charged with having been found within the three mile limit with his trawl gear on deck.  A new Danish law, it appears, had come into force on the day in question (last Thursday), which required that every foreign trawler within the limit must not have its trawl gear on deck, but stowed below.  The law further prohibits any foreign trawler entering any of the ports at Faroe, unless under stress of weather, or in want of provisions or medical aid, under a penalty of £125.  Further, natives of Faroe are only allowed to repair the engines of foreign trawlers, not their trawl gear.  Captain Thomas, on being brought before the magistrate, pleaded ignorance of this new law, which had only come into force on the day he entered the port of Westmannhaun.  After some consideration the magistrate dismissed Captain Thomas, on condition that he quitted the port within one hour.



From The Pembrokeshire Herald and General Advertiser of Friday 13th December 1901:

Messrs Sellick, Morley and Price's trawler Hydrangea bad been ashore at Moville. She is now on her way home, and it is assumed that the damage sustained is not of a serious nature. 


From the Haverfordwest and Milford Haven Telegraph of Wednesday 9th March 1904:


    On Sunday evening the schooner "Helena Tregenza" (Captain Paynn, owner and master) which was bound from London to Barnstaple with cement and manure, was towed into Milford by the steam trawler Hydrangea, skipper George Masters.  In the heavy weather which prevailed last weekend, she had lost her foremast and bowsprit, and when the trawler came in sight on Sunday morning at about ten o'clock, the master signalled for assistance, and was taken in tow about twenty five miles west-south-west of Milford Haven. She carries a crew of five hands, and will be repaired before she leaves this port.



From the Haverfordwest and Milford Haven Telegraph of Wednesday 1st March 1905:


    The steam trawler "Hydrangea" on entering the dock on Monday of last week reported that a fire had broken out in the forecastle on the previous day, when the vessel was seven miles  off the Saltees lightship. The deckhand, a man named Nickerson, was at the time sleeping in his bunk.  The poor fellow was removed with all speed to institute  of the R.N.M.D.S.F., Charles Street, where he received every possible attention.  Every thing that could be done, humanely speaking, was done to alleviate his intense suffering.  Despite all efforts, however, he succumbed to his injuries on Thursday morning. 

    The funeral took place on Saturday morning, when the remains were followed to the grave by a number of the fishing fraternity.  The case is a particularly sad one, as Nickerson had been out of employment for a long period, and had only lately come round to Milford, this being his first trip.  He leaves a wife and family who are in poor circumstances.


From The Pembrokeshire Herald and General Advertiser of Friday 10th March 1905:


A Milford Trawler's Terrible Death.


    Mr H. J. E. Price held an inquest yesterday at the Court House, Milford, on the body of Noah Nickerson, third hand on the trawler Hydrangea, who died from the result of burns, as already reported. Mr W. J. Jones appeared for the owners (Messrs Sellick, Morley & Price), Mr C. Morley being present and Mr J. W. Crocker, Superintendent of Mercantile Marine, Milford, appeared for the Board of Trade. Mr Wm. Davies was foreman of the jury.

    Archibald Rodmore, who said he was a bo'sun, of 4, Mansfield Street, said he had known the deceased Noah Nickerson for three days only. He remembered the day he got burnt -- three weeks ago last Sunday. The deceased was just turning into his bunk in the fo'castle. Witness was awakened by the heat, somewhere about 2 a.m. When he awoke he thought he saw a kind of red glare coming from the aftside, some three feet from the stove. He jumped out of his bunk, and roused up the third hand, the deceased. Witness had then to go on to the deck to get air. Deceased had got his head and shoulders out of the bunk when he left him, and he knew the place was on fire. By the time witness got on to the deck the deck hand had come from the wheelhouse. Then the mate came forward, and they could hear the deceased groaning. Witness said to the mate "Go down and try to get him out, Ted; I can't go down." The mate went, but came back, and said he could not get in for the smoke. Witness said "Well, we can't leave him there," and, tying a muffler round his mouth, he entered the cabin, and brought him out to the foot of the ladder. He was sensible at the time, and after he had been carried into the cabin they asked him why he did not come out of the cabin. He replied that he could not. When witness went in for deceased the place was full of smoke, but there were no flames. The deceased was wrapped up in oil by the skipper, and when they saw his serious state they turned the vessel towards home. He could not tell what caused the fire, but after they put it out with buckets of water they found some old oil skins on a locker near the stove, which might have flared up. Beyond that they could not tell what caused it. There was nothing hanging before the fire when witness turned in. As a rule things were dried in the engine-room; sometimes clothes were hung in the fo'castle, but he saw nothing there on this occasion.


    The Coroner said Mr Crocker had made an examination, and had discovered some things, and no doubt the jury would like to hear him.

    Mr J. W. Crocker, Superintendent of Customs of the Mercantile Marine, Milford, said when the Hydrangea came in and he had had reported to him what had taken place, he made an examination. His reason for doing so was to trace the cause of the fire, and if he found the least suspicion of anything wrong he should have suggested to the Board of Trade that a survey should be made. He found in the fo'castle a stove isolated from the woodwork by sheet iron. The woodwork all around it was scorched, and the paint blistered, but he found no woodwork actually burnt. To the left of the stove he observed a hook, attached to which was a piece of burnt cord, and on the opposite side of the cabin another hook and a piece of burnt cord. He measured and found that a cord stretched between these hooks would be from 1 foot to 15 inches distant from the stove. The men who were painting the vessel brought to him a piece of burnt oilskin, which had been found after the fire. If any clothes were hanging on the cord stretched across the fo'castle, the rolling of the vessel would throw them against the stove pipe and the heat of the stove might cause the oil from the oilskin to drop on the top, and thus cause the fire.


    The Coroner, in summing up, thought the theory put forward by Mr Crocker would account for what had happened. If an oilskin was hanging from a foot to fifteen inches from the stove the motion of the ship would account for the fire.

    The jury found a verdict that death had resulted from being accidentally burned.



From The Pembrokeshire Herald and General Advertiser of Friday 23rd June 1905:


Milford Trawler Lost.


    The crew of the Milford steam trawler Hydrangea were landed at Penzance on Friday night. The Hydrangea struck a sunken rock off Sevenstones in foggy weather shortly before midnight on Thursday. The crew were nearly swamped in their punt, and were rescued by the lightship. The Hydrangea blew up just as the crew left her.

    A Penzance correspondent wrote :—

    Signals of distress from the Sevenstone Lighthouse were observed on Friday morning, and Captain H. T. Reading, superintendent of the Penzance District, procured the assistance of the steamer Lady of the Isles, in charge of Captain Andersen. He went to the Lighthouse in the afternoon, and found on board nine men and a dog, shipwrecked from the Milford Haven trawler Hydrangea. The trawler left Milford on Thursday morning for the Scilly fishing-grounds, and the same night the captain says he made the Wolf Lighthouse and shaped a course for the Sevenstones Lightship. The weather was hazy at the time, and instead of reaching the lightship the vessel struck the Sevenstones Rock. She made a lot of water, compelling the crew to abandon her. Indeed, water came in so fast that the engineer was at one time up to his waist in it. Before abandoning the vessel the crew burnt a flare, which was observed on board the lightship, from which a boat was at once launched. It succeeded in picking up the crew, though none too soon, as as the trawler's boat was found to be leaking, and sank almost as soon as the crew had been rescued. Just after the crew left the trawler an explosion of acetylene gas occurred. The men were taken on board the Lady of the Isles and conveyed to Penzance in the evening.



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