The Lost Boys

The wooden brig Eugenie was built in Blyth in 1855 and registered in North Shields. On February 2nd, 1886, she left the River Tyne on her final voyage, with a crew of eight and about 360 tons of coal in her hold. Five of the sailors were apprentices, ranging in age from 16 to 21. They reached the estuary of the River Seine without incident and discharged their cargo, replacing it with 86 tons of stone ballast for the return journey. Before departure, the master received instruction to make for Cardiff or the Tyne, “according as the wind might serve”. Eugenie left Honfleur on the 20th and Thomas JONES, 48, decided to go home rather than to Wales. The ship made slow progress up the east coast of England and on the night of the 1st and 2nd of March sailed into a “blinding snowstorm”. Between five and six in the morning, near Craster, Eugenie struck a rock so violently that she broke up and sank almost immediately. All hands were lost.

A few days later the Coroner held an inquest on a body that had been “found on the shore at Howick Burn Mouth”. The father of apprentice James KELLY identified his 17-year-old son.

Beach at the mouth of the Howick Burn
cc-by-sa/2.0 – © John Allan – geograph.org.uk/p/5523421

Another sailor found near Howick Burn was not formally identified but was assumed to be A.B. John Young HINDS, aged about forty. Not far away, recovered papers and a photograph identified Anton Lanitz OLSEN, 21, from Christiania. He had signed A.B. articles and acted as Eugenie’s cook and steward but was still bound as an apprentice. The body of the mate, James PINKNEY (or REDMAID or REDMOND), was not found, and neither were those of the three apprentices, William Charles SCRIVENER, 19, Joseph TAYLOR, 17, and Charles CLEGHORN, 16.

William was the son of Filey doctor, Charles Waters Scrivener. When I researched the family three years ago, I somehow overlooked William. Born in Newcastle upon Tyne in 1867, he was with his grandfather Thomas Scrivener on census night 1871 and not christened until later that year – after the death of his mother, Jane Margaret née SWEET. In 1881, William was a boarder at a Scarborough school run by James WALKER in Castle Street. His father had remarried 18 months after Jane’s death and would die in 1882, aged 48, without having children with Mary Ann WOODALL.

The family is well represented on the FamilySearch Shared Tree but some relationships have yet to be fleshed out a bit more clearly. When apprentice William was born, his maternal grandmother Elizabeth Sweet was also his aunt. Another day perhaps…

Field 9 · Filey Fields

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