Herring Coble ‘Margaret’

SH200 Margaret was built in Filey in 1881 and its first owner was Arthur DOUGLAS senior. In 1896 Arthur bought the slightly older herring coble, SH111 Jane & Priscilla’. On Monday 26th May 1902 both boats left Scarborough together to fish off Robin Hood’s Bay, Arthur skippering Jane & Priscilla and his 23-year-old son Richard in charge of Margaret. At some time on Tuesday, the boats parted company. At 10.30 pm Margaret was about a mile off Ravenscar and heading swiftly for Scarborough, blown by a strong wind. While the mainsail was being reefed the boom swung and knocked Richard’s younger brother, Arthur (junior), into the sea. A third brother, James (17), shouted “Art is overboard” and Richard, at the tiller, leapt into the sea without hesitation. Both young men were good swimmers but, hampered by oilskins and seaboots, neither stood a chance of rescue. Even if James and an older fisherman, Isaac ETHELL, had been able to bring Margaret about immediately it may have been impossible to see them in the darkness. (They heard their cries for a while.) After searching the area hopelessly for a couple of hours, James and Isaac took their melancholy news to Scarborough where it was passed to Arthur senior by John OWSTON, coxswain of the Scarborough lifeboat.

ArthurDouglasH&SThree days before he drowned, Arthur married Mary COLLEY. Mary gave birth to their daughter, Maud, just a few weeks after Arthur’s death. The child was baptized on 25 June 1902 and buried on 15 January 1903. The photograph of Arthur (inset) was given to me by his grandnephew, Martin, who told me that Mary lost touch with the family thereafter. A small headstone in the churchyard is a poignant reminder of them.



In loving memory of MAUD, the beloved child of ARTHUR & MARY DOUGLAS,

who died Jan 12th 1903, aged 7 months.

‘Adieu sweet babe, short was thy stay,

Just looked around then passed away

Thy angel face we all did see

But soon we were deprived of thee’

Also of the above ARTHUR DOUGLAS, who was lost at sea May 27th 1902, aged 20 years.

‘We shall meet again’

FamilySearch Tree and Filey Genealogy & Connections are in serious disagreements concerning this branch of the DOUGLAS family. I don’t want to interfere too much on FST because it appears that descendants are providing information, rather than “the system”. Over the next few weeks, I’ll work on a version in RootsMagic to see if I can reconcile the differences. I will just say that I have happened upon a Super Pedigree that takes Clan DOUGLAS back to sundry Scottish Lairds before branching into the ruling houses of several European countries. Philip Henry DOUGLAS is a great-grandfather to the drowned Arthur above on FG&C – but not on FST. For fun, you may want to start on FST with Hugh CAPET, King of France and make your way “back” to Philip Henry, or wander further into the mists of time to some of the usual suspects, like William the Conqueror and Charlemagne.

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