I was late out for my morning walk. The Bay was empty of ships. Early birds said Alfa Italia was still at anchor first thing so at lunchtime I checked Ship AIS and saw she was then anchored just out of sight around Flamborough Head. Right now, just before 9pm, she is underway at 11.3 knots, heading for Arzew, Algeria. I photographed her yesterday afternoon as it grew dark.


Thornbury, another of the becalmed tankers mentioned a few days ago, is now on her way north to Sullom Voe.

Yesterday was the anniversary of the deaths of William AGAR and his wife Elizabeth neé CHEW. I looked again for a newspaper account of the loss of the vessel from which they were lost, en route from London to Shields in 1839, and thought for a moment I’d found William. Alas,  it was a late report of a William AGAR of Sunderland who had drowned in late December from a vessel that struck the Seven Stones, a rocky reef between Land’s End and the Isles of Scilly.

I did make a bit of research progress, placing Scarborough William with parents – and becoming more certain than before that his maternal grandmother isn’t the Jane NEWTON on Filey Genealogy & Connections and Family Search Tree. I’ll try to sort out “the old ladies of Roe’s Buildings” and write about them another day. Two of the four have headstones in St Oswald’s churchyard but their husbands are still a mystery.

3 thoughts on “Gone

  1. Dear Ian,
    Like yourself I have been researching my family tree and have found your blog and the information that you provide a very useful resource. I am related to the fishing families of Truefitt (Staithes), Reynolds (Norfolk), Chadwick (Flamborough), Cappleman and Agar etc. In your recent blog headed ‘Gone’ you refer to William Agar and his wife who were lost during the gales of 1839 and the difficulty in finding a report of the loss and the ship that they were on. I too found the Sunderland William Agar that you did, but I also came across a very short report in the ‘Shipping Intelligence’ of the ‘Hull Packet’ for Friday 22 February 1839 (I can email a copy of the page if you provide me an email address). The report reads – ‘The Royal William, Agar, of Scarbro’ sailed from London on 3rd uit. for Newcastle, and has not since been heard of’. There is also a listing from Lloyds register for 3rd January which reads – Royal William, United Kingdom – 3rd January 1839 – The ship departed from London for Newcastle upon Tyne. No further trace, presumed foundered in the North Sea with the loss of all hands (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_shipwrecks_in_January_1839#7_January).
    The above looks to be a good candidate and I’d be happy to share any further info from my research if you wish.
    Best regards


    1. Thanks so much for this information Graham. It feels right. I had imagined William and Elizabeth as passengers but thought this would have been rather odd. Makes more sense that William was master and Elizabeth along for a coastal cruise. Will email you about sharing information.


    2. Further to the information above I have found more supporting evidence in a Google Book entitled Lord Strathcona: A Biography of Donald Alexander Smith by Donna McDonald. It describes a voyage by the Royal William with a Captain Agar of Scarborough in 1838 (one of William’s last voyages I suspect). https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=Xw8o1pjwEOQC&pg=PA24&lpg=PA24&dq=brig+%22royal+william%22+scarborough&source=bl&ots=7xgfhv8o48&sig=ACfU3U0jKzr_uwJPk0eWgnwkqkX170-_rQ&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwi2hLnPsdXhAhXWTBUIHelCC-EQ6AEwB3oECAcQAQ#v=onepage&q=brig%20%22royal%20william%22%20scarborough&f=false

      Interestingly, William was responsible for the emigration of one of Canada’s greatest businessmen and philanthropists – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donald_Smith,_1st_Baron_Strathcona_and_Mount_Royal

      Best regards


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