Cumberland lassie


Originally a barquentine, the Cumberland Lassie ( Yard number 3) was built by William Thomas at Amlwch, the third vessel he had built there. She was felted and yellow-metalled, so intended for foreign trade. She was owned by William Postlethwaite of Millom from her launch until 1890.

In 1875 the Cumberland Lassie was chartered to carry a cargo of 270 tons of steel rails from Barrow-in-Furness to East London, South Africa. She arrived on the 31st August but was held outside the sandbar until lighters were available for unloading her. These did not arrive until the 6th October and it was only on the 14th November that the lighters had removed sufficient of the cargo to allow the Cumberland Lassie to clear the bar and enter the harbour to finish unloading. There was a court case between Postlethwaite and the charterer regarding the payment of demurrage, concerning whether or not the cargo had been "discharged with all dispatch" - see Source 2.

The National Maritime Museum has photographs of the Cumberland Lassie as a three-masted schooner when she was owned by George Nicholls (Negative No. P.178, undated, poor quality, vessel under sail - plus other photos not listed in the catalogue). One excellent photograph is reproduced in "The Merchant Schooners" 4th ed. by Basil Greenhill, and he states that the Cumberland Lassie was one of the best known Kent colliers operating out of Dover at the turn of the Century.

The  Cumberland Lassie was stranded one mile South of the Martello Tower at Orford Ness, Aldeburgh, Suffolk on the 16th January 1918. She was bound from Gravesend to Newcastle with a cargo of burnt ore. At the time she was owned by Nicholls of Folkestone.

Sources :

  1. Research by Trevor Morgan
  2. Court case reported in the Barrow Times, March 29, 1879, page 5.
  3. Report of loss in "The Shipwreck Index of the British Isles" by  Richard and Bridget Larn: info supplied by Bill Butland.

 Information provided by Tim Latham (Through Mighty Seas)