From Afalo, F.G. (1904): "The Sea Fishing Industry of England and Wales"

Official No:  91421     Port and Year: 34th in Hull, 1885.          

Description: Iron side trawler; (as smack) dandy rigged: foresail, mainsail and mizzen; (as steam) screw, coal burning.

Crew: 10 men (1885)

Built: 1885, by Cook, Welton & Gemmell, Hull. (Yard no. 3) (As smack.)

Oct 1888: Converted to steam screw trawler.

Tonnage: 89 grt  89 net.  1888: 116 grt 52 net

Length / breadth / depth (feet): 81.2 / 20.2 / 9.5.   1888: 95.7 / 20.4 / 9.5

Engine: 1888: C 2-Cyl, 40 nhp (9.5 kts) by Charles D. Holmes & Co., Hull.



11 Jun 1885: Francis & Thomas Ross, St. Andrew's Dock, Hull.

18 Jun 1885: As H1447.

Oct 1888:  Francis & Thomas Ross, 1 Railway St., Hull.

Managing owners.


Landed at Milford:  19 Mar 1889 - 4 Apr 1894

Skippers: 1889: Smith

1890 - 91: Berry

1891 - 92: John Brooke

1893: Wyman.

1894: Mills


30 Aug 1901: KING EDWARD YH549 collided into the MAGNETA's stern.

15 Mar 1903: In Scarboro Harbour, collided with the KELLER schooner of Dundee.

24 Aug 1906: The Lowestoft ETHEL MAY LT415 collided into the MAGNETA's port bow.

24 Jan 1908:  Wrecked at Creek Point, near Hayburn Wyke,  North Yorkshire.

[ From Hull Trawler net. ]

 Accidents and Incidents

From the Evening Express of Wednesday 6th April 1892:


Captain W. T. Jones writes as follows:—The schooner Jane and Alice, of Carnarvon, on a voyage from London to Stranraer, foundered at sea on the 25th of February about twenty miles S.S.W. of Saltee Islands, having been driven thither by that terrific easterly gale which raged commencing Thursday, the 23rd, and increased in violence and severity, especially on Friday night, which was


of snow and frost, so much so that we became quite benumbed and frost-bitten in both hands and feet. The tremendous waves quite overwhelmed the vessel, sweeping away bulwarks, companion, sky-light, compasses, tarpaulins, galley, and, of course, filling the vessel with water, and smashing our good little lifeboat to atoms, which was our only hope of safety. Desperate efforts, however, were made by us to keep the vessel afloat, in the faint hope of being observed by a passing vessel and rescued from our perilous position. We had continued our exertions thus for nearly two days at the pumps, and using every skill and discretion in nailing sails to the deck to cover the holes made by the washing away of companion, sky-light, and tarpaulins, until we were


as the water inside was gaining very much on us and the vessel was settling down. About nine o'clock on Saturday morning a large steamer came in sight, and hoped that the humanity of the captain and crew had prompted them to come to our rescue after their observing our signal of distress; but no, although she passed us within about 60 yards, there was no merciful heart there to make an endeavour to save 11 sinking crew at the point of an awful death. This incident made us more despairing than before. However, we continued our incessant pumping most rigorously. In about two hours we sighted another steamer, steaming right for us, which proved to be the steam trawler Magneta, of Hull, commanded by Captain Brooke, who took us all from our perilous position in a most deplorable and exhausted state.


and his crew cannot be over-estimated, nor too highly commended, when it is considered what a fierce raging sea they had to encounter in their little boat. The kind treatment we all received on board his steamer can never be forgotten, and we trust they will be handsomely rewarded, as they deserve, by the Humane Society, and worthily recognised as brave and gallant British seamen by the Board of Trade. The crew of the said schooner and self can do no less than return our most sincere and heartfelt thanks to Captain Brooke and his gallant crew. It is worthy of remark that this is the fourth crow that Captain Brooke has been instrumental in saving at sea.


The Times, Wednesday, Jun 22, 1892; pg. 6; Issue 33671; col F


HUMANITY REWARDED.The Board of Trade have awarded their silver medal for humanity in saving life at sea to John Brooke, skipper of the steam trawler Magneta, of Hull, in recognition of his kindness and humanity in rescuing the shipwrecked crew of the schooner Jane and Alice, of Carnarvon, which was abandoned in the St. George's Channel on the 19th of February last.  The Board have also awarded their silver medal for gallantry in saving life at sea and a sum of £2 to Caleb Ballard, the second hand of the Magneta, who was in command of the boat which rescued the shipwrecked men, and bronze medals and a sum of £2 each to Henry Timms, third hand, and William Tottle, deckhand, who accompanied him in the boat.


[ Note: £2 in 1892 would be the equivalent of approximately £145 today. ]



From the Haverfordwest & Milford Haven Telegraph of Wednesday 7th September 1892:



    The silver of the Board of Trade for gallantry in saving life at sea, and two pounds in money, was presented to Mr. Caleb Ballard, late second hand of the steam trawler, "Magneta", of Hull, in the fish market at Milford Haven on Tuesday last, in the presence of a large gathering of skippers, fishermen and others.

    Dr Griffiths, J.P., C.C., who made the presentation on behalf of the Board of Trade, in an interesting address referred to the circumstances attending the rescue as follows:― On the 19th of February last the schooner, "Jane and Alice", of Carnarvon, was on a voyage from London to Stranraer, and when about 20 miles from Saltees Island, was caught in a terrific gale from the eastward, accompanied by blinding snow squalls and frightful seas, which completely overwhelmed the vessel, smashing the boat, flooding the cabin, sweeping the decks, &c.  For nearly two days, the crew, consisting of five hands, stuck to the pumps, and kept the vessel afloat until quite worn-out for the want of food and rest, they had abandoned hope, when the steam trawler, "Magneta", hove in sight, and in answer of distress bore down on the schooner, and with great difficulty and danger owing to the terrific sea running at the time got the boat out, and Caleb Ballard, Henry Timms, and William Tottle volunteered to go in her and attempt the rescue, and they succeeded in bringing the whole of the crew safely on board the "Magneta", where they were treated with utmost kindness by Skipper Brooks and his crew.  Dr. Griffith then handed the medal and money to Mr Ballard, prefaced by some appropriate remarks, and amidst enthusiastic cheering.


    Similar rewards have been presented to Skipper Brooks, Timms, and Tottle at Hull.



From The Standard of Friday 23rd September 1892, p.6:





A telegram from Cromer states the Magneta (steam trawler) went ashore during fog at Sparrow Gap, Sheringham; crew, ten in number, saved by Pybourne rocket apparatus; vessel is shipping a great deal of water, and dries at low tide.



From  The Yorkshire Herald, and The York Herald of Saturday 8th October 1892; pg. 6; Issue 12900: 


    BOARD OF TRADE ENQUIRY AT HULL. - A Board of Trade Enquiry was opened on Thursday into the stranding of the Hull steam trawler Magneta on the east coast.  The court consisted of Mr. H. F. Smith and Mr. Ald. Toozes, magistrates, and Captains Davies and Methven, nautical assessors.  Mr. H. Saxelbye, representing the Board of Trade, said the Magneta left Hull on September 21st, in ballast, bound for Milford Haven.  After they had passed the Dudgeon a course of S.E. by S. ½ S. was kept.  The lead was not used, and about 4.10 a.m. the vessel suddenly took the ground between Shevington and Weybourne.  The skipper, who had been below, went on deck, and ordered the engines to be reversed, but to no purpose.  Signals were made, and the crew were taken off by the rocket apparatus.  The vessel was subsequently towed off and taken to Hull. -  Evidence was called and the enquiry adjourned.



From the Western Mail of Saturday 29th July 1893:


    On Friday morning the steam trawler Magneta brought into Milford a huge fish, supposed to be a ground shark, measuring 25ft. 9in. in length, and weighing several tons, which was captured off the Smalls.  After four barrels and a half of liver had been taken from it, the monster was sold to a local fish merchant who, we believe, intends taking it to Haverfordwest for exhibition.



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