Sunday, 28 February 2010

The Ocean Monarch Fire 1848

The Ocean Monarch by Liverpool Marine Painter Samuel Walters 
who is buried at Anfield Cemetary

Do you have any information concerning the fire in Liverpool area back in about Nov. 29, 1848?  William Strand (my Great Grand-father) was a seamen on the vessel "New World" and assisted saving citizens on the vessel "The Ocean Monarch".  Any assistance on finding news articles and/or pictures would be appreciated.
Thank you,
Charlotte Thurlow
Portland, Oregon USA


  1. Hello Charlotte

    Ocean Monarch was an emigration barque which caught fire at sea in 1848 with the loss of 178 lives. The barque was owned by the White Diamond Line and was registered in Boston USA the port where she was built. The Ocean Monarch was built at the East Boston shipyard of Donald McKay in July 1848. On August 24th 1848, she sailed from Liverpool for the United States with a total of 398 persons onboard. When 5 - 6 miles to the east of Great Orme's Head, in Abergele Bay, fire broke out. The flames were seen by Mr Littledale, Commodore of the Royal Mersey Y.C , who was returning to Liverpool in his yacht Queen of the Ocean. He proceeded at once and saved 32 persons.

    The origin of the fire was because of smoking amongst the steerage passengers. The night before, several pipes had been taken from them. In this respect, one of the seamen Edward Jenkins who escaped was seen going into the lazarette with a lighted candle about 08:00 and twenty minutes later, came up without it. About 12:00, smoke was seen issuing from under the cabin which is above the lazarette. The cabin was found to be on fire. Edward Jenkins was asked where the candle was and he said he had put it in his pocket, to grease his shoes. There was wine, spirits and straw in the lazarette at the time. The ship sank at 01:30, Friday, August 25th. With the exception of the solid timbers about the stem, on which was the figurehead in almost perfect condition, the fire had consumed the whole of her upperworks to within a few inches of the water's edge.

    Frederick Jerome a sailor working aboard the New World, born in Portsmouth, showed personal bravery during the rescue. He dived into the sea, swam to the burning ship and lifted more than fifteen female passengers into a rescuing boat. On his return to New York he was awarded the freedom of the city. He was also gifted a fifty pound award from Queen Victoria and another fifty pound award from the Prince de Joinville and Duc d'Aumale, both Brazilian dignitaries aboard the Affonso.

    Steerage passengers: 322
    1st Class and 2nd-Class: 32
    Captain and crew: 42
    Total : 398

    Those saved were:
    Affonso 156
    Queen of the Ocean 32
    Prince of Wales 17
    Fishing smack 13
    Total saved : 218
    Total lost : 178



    Rob Ainsworth

    Programme Secretary & Web Administrator
    Liverpool History Society

  2. Those who distinguished themselves in saving life

    AFFONSO, Commander ALCANTARA, Lieut’s, TORREAO, COSTA, Lucia d’ARANJO and TEIVE, Seamen, FRANASCA, JOSECLE, SILVA and Jaoa CANDIDO. Prince de JOINVILLE previous to his departure from Liverpool, presented them with a handsome donation.

    Capt G. DUNE of the PRINCE OF WALES sent a boat out with Mr BATTY the mate and three hands saving the last few passengers left on the vessel [about 15].

    More information on JEROME

    His is a native of Old England [not New England as otherwise stated], born at Portsmouth on 14th May 1824, first went to sea in 1838, and has been 7 yrs with the American merchant service, he obtained his registry at Liverpool on 11th June 1846, when in America resided at 348 Water St, New York.


    Rob Ainsworth

    Programme Secretary & Web Administrator
    Liverpool History Society

  3. Randall Evans EnochAugust 07, 2010 9:31 pm

    Joseph Blaydon (Blyden) of Birmingham and two unidentified men and two unidentified women were buried in the churchyard of St Peter's Formby on September 12 1848 by the Revd Lonsdale Formby, vicar.

    Randall Evans Enoch