Lighthouse Keepers

The Notebooks of Captain Robert Wellbanks

Transcript extracts from journeys recorded in notebooks under Accession No.195. kept in the Record Office in Plymouth. Dates are erratically recorded and sometimes lack accuracy in chronology

Accession. 195/1


Thursday 21 July Left London for Bristol

Friday 22 July Arrived Bristol

Saturday 23 July Arrived Newport at 2pm - visited USK in the evening

The Lighthouse is built in the (parish)? on land to the westward of the River Usk and has four Argand lamps with reflectors facing the Bristol Channel. The house is of wooden construction and is built in a ..... foundation which has given way on the east side and the house inclines to the eastward very much.

Saturday 23 July Cardiff arrived very late

Sunday 24 July FLATHOLM

We proceeded in a boat and landed there at 3pm. The Lighthouse contains 12 lamps and reflectors in a circle. The Island is inhabited by a farmer and the Light Keepers and is composed of limestone.

Monday 25 July Left Cardiff for Aberystwyth

Tuesday 26 July Arrived Aberystwyth

Found the Bardsey Tender ready to take us to BARDSEY ISLAND . We left Aber at 4pm and landed at Bardsey at 5am the next morning the 27th. The Lighthouse and .............. is excellent and is under the management of Mr Goddard? of Caernarvon who met us there. There are three tiers of lights, the upper two tiers are fixed lights consisting of five in each and the lower tier contains six and revolves. We stayed on the island until 9pm and the embarked on the tender for Aberystwyth where we arrived at 10 o’clock on Thursday 29 July.

The Island of Bardsey belongs to Lord Newburgh and is inhabited by a few fishing families who also till the ground. The Lighthouse is the best constructed and the handsomest pillar building I have ever seen and is built of Anglesey marble. The landing place is very confined and dangerous being a small cove defined only by broken rock and in gales of wind the whole ........ must be terrific. It is thought that Trinity House has not yet made ...... specific ...... with Lord Newburgh for the land they occupy.

Thursday in the afternoon we left Aberystwyth and proceeded by the coast of C....... to Fisguard.............and arrived at Fisguard early in the afternoon when we called upon Lieutenant Evans who had written to Trinity House upon the subject of a Lighthouse at STRUMBLE HEAD.

In the evening we walked towards the spot to make observations upon the direction of the coast and to form a judgement of the ....... of such an establishment and I do not think the advantages of a Light would be commensurate with the danger ships might be led into by mistaking it under circumstances for the SMALLS neither do I think it would prevent the Accidents said to be occasioned by vessels getting ...... to the northward of the SMALLS. It would confirm their position certainly but not until the danger was also certain.

On Saturday 30th, we left Fisguard having sent for horses to Haveforward and arrived at Milford in the afternoon. In the evening we went in a small boat to Dale where the Agent for the MILFORD LIGHTS resides (Wm Waters ?) and thence in a car to the Lighthouses.

The High Light House contains eleven lights embracing little more than half the circle, the side toward Milford Haven being darkened. The Low Light House at the point contains sixteen and shows its light all around the compass.

We returned in the boat to Milford by midnight having had a delightful trip in a perfectly calm sea by moonlight and the atmosphere pleasantly cool.

Sunday 31st - went to church and saw a ........ urn which was placed there by Lord Nelson and also the Royal Masthead of the L’Orient the French Admiral’s ship which blew up at the battle of Aboukir.

Monday August 1st - Having made arrangements with Mr. Leach the Collector of the Customs and Agent to the PM Office Packets to ........... of our proceeding to visit the SMALLS in one of the Steam Packets we embarked at 8am on board the ‘VIXEN’ Captain Allen and run down the Haven and at 11 landed on the SMALLS and examined the Lighthouse which is .......... of the most simple and unimproved structure of any light house I have ever seen, being merely a platform supported upon a centre pillar surrounded by eight shores in an octagon form and shored up to the NE by eleven shores making the appearance at a small distance thus (drawing follows)

The diameter of the octagon is 16 feet. There are two rows of lamps, nine in each row and the lanthorn is 10 feet in diameter. The coals are kept in a cellar in the rock. The Rock is about 10 feet above High Water Spring Tides and is never entirely covered but the spray breaks over the lanthorn frequently. The standard arc generally 8 feet circumference.

The people live on the platform at the head of the standard and under the lanthorn in which place is also stowed the oil and provisions. There are three persons kept at the light who obtain leave of absence one month each in the Summer. The Head Light Keeper receives £63 per annum and the other two, £62 each and they find themselves with provisions. I drank some beer brewed at the Light house a few days before and of good quality.

Having seen everything worthy of notice we returned to the ‘VIXEN’ and landed at Milford at 3 o’clock.

At 4 left Milford and proceeded to Carmarthen - at midnight arrived there.

At 6am Tuesday (2nd August) left Carmarthen for Swansea and at half past 9 embarked on board the Steam Vessel for Bristol where we arrived at 7pm and immediately proceeded on to (Cross?) and slept there [an excellent retired Inn (Hotel)].

At 5am Wednesday (3rd August) left Cross and at 10pm arrived Barnstaple where we slept.

At 9am (Thursday 4th August) we left Barnstaple for Bideford and then went down the river in a boat to visit the lights at the entrance of the river, being two Lighthouses (BIDEFORD BAR) with a single Argand lamp and reflector in each which being in one are a guide to the best water on the Bar.

There is a buoy also at the ......... of the Spit on the opposite side of the channel but which was carried away.

At 6pm returned to Bideford and engaged a man to go to Clovelly to hire a skiff to take us tomorrow Friday to Lundy Island intending to join the vessel at Clovelly at half past 7am wind and weather permitting which is at present threatening.

At 6am Friday (5th August) we left Bideford for Clovelly and embarked upon a fishing smack of 18 tons at 7 am the ebb tide just making. The wind about NNW and after 5 hours of working to windward arrived at Lundy landing at the SE point of the Island just under an old Fort. Found the (LUNDY ISLAND) Lighthouses in high order and after remaining there two hours returned on board and arrived at Clovelly at half after 7pm having had a fresh breeze and an increasing sea throughout.

Saturday 6th August - left Bideford at 9am and proceeded by Torrington, Holsworthy and Launceston to Bodmin and arrived there at half past 9pm.

The Upper Light on Lundy contains eight lamps and reflectors and revolves once in three minutes. The Lower Light has four lamps and reflectors and is fixed being confined within a certain segment of the circle. An afterthought

Monday 8th August - left Bodmin at 6am and proceeded to Penzance by Truro and Redruth where we found the ‘NIMBLE’ Revenue Cutter Lieut. GOLDSMITH who, upon being applied to, offered to convey us the next day to Scilly.

Tuesday 9th August - at 8am embarked on board the ‘NIMBLE’ the wind being fresh from the westward and worked along to the Lands End passing close to leeward of the Runnil Stone and observed the buoy rode with the marks on the land correctly placed. We afterwards passed to windward of the Wolf Rock appearing just above the water about the size of a cask observed the bearing in passing. The Brisons? High Rock just open to the eastward of the Longships. The wind increasing in the afternoon and the sea rising we did not arrive at St Mary’s until 11pm entering by Crow Sound, Maj. Gen. SMITH the Governor and his daughter being passengers with us.

Monday (incorrect day) 10th August at Noon embarked on board the NIMBLE and ran over to ST AGNES to visit the Lighthouse which we found in excellent condition.

At 3 left St Agnes and made sail and at 9 pm landed at Penzance.

St Agnes Light has three rows of lamps - 9 in the upper row showing 3 faces three in each face - 12 in the middle row showing 3 faces and four in each face - 9 in the lower row the same as the upper row, showing 10 lamps and reflectors in each face - and revolves presenting the full focus every 15 seconds. The Lighthouse was built in 1680 - Hugh Tile? and Capt. Symon Bailey being the names inscribed over the entrance.

The marks for running with the Runnil Stone are T........? Point and Castle Point in order and the marks to clear the Bucks are St Michael’s Mount open of T....... above.

Thursday 11th (August) went in a chaise to St Just and visited Botollock Mine and at 5pm went out to the LONGSHIPS in the boat employed to attend upon the Lighthouse with Capt. BRYCE(?) the Agent and were fortunate to land on it. Found all at the lighthouse in tolerable order and returned to Penzance at 10 at night.

The Light belongs to a family named SMITH(?) and it is managed by the Trinity Corporation by an order from the Lord Chancellor. It contains two rows of lamps, nine in each row and is fixed.

Friday (12th August) - left Penzance and proceeded by Helston to the LIZARD - found the Lights in the best order. Each Lighthouse contains two rows of lamps 9 in the upper and 10 in the lower row.

There is a Point of land called (Penalvan?) Point near to the Lizard and the ....... within it is called the Beach which intercepts the light from the bay to the NE. I went to the top of the lanthorn and from the (ball?) above the vane saw the sea quite open from the Beach Head (Note height from the platform of the lanthorn to the top 16ft 6in and thence to the ball 6ft) Should the Lighthouse be raised so as the light can be as high as the (ball) I think it would be a guide to ships after leaving the Eddystone and also a mark to keep clear of the Manacles, but the true position of the Manacles must be ascertained.

Leaving the Lizard we returned to Helston and thence to Truro.

Saturday 13th (August) left Truro and proceeded by St Austell, Lostwithiel, Liskeard to Devonport.

Monday 15th (August) - at 9 am embarked upon the Trinity Tender to the EDDYSTONE Light and ran out to the Lighthouse with a strong breeze at NNW and a considerable swell and whilst passing the lighthouse hailed to know if it was possible to land which being answered in the affirmative and that the sea was tolerably smooth in the Gut. Capt. ARTHUR, John ARTHUR(?) and myself landed and examined the building it being at the time just low water. We staid about a quarter of an hour when the flood making and the men in the lighthouse thinking it would be dangerous to stay longer we returned to the tender and thence to the Breakwater where we landed and afterward went to Mr. .........

The Light Tender is miserably manned - the Master is an Invalid Midshipman of the Navy whose pay is 23/- per month - a Superannuated Gunner at 20/- pm - a Cook to a Steam Vessel at 20/- pm and a Boy who was sick the whole passage at 5/- per week and all incompetent except the Gunner.

The Lighthouse has two rows of lamps 8 in each and the people are comfortably housed considering the exposed situation at the Rocks. The landing is more precarious and difficult than either the Longships or Smalls and until the boats be well manned and well under command there is great danger of being driven on the Rocks which lie to the eastward of the Gut.

By an inscription in the doorway to the Gallery the building was finished August 24th 1759 and underneath “Laus Deo” and it appears in all respects as perfect as when Mr Smeaton left it.

The names of the Light Keepers this day were - William COCK - John MURCH - William CLOADE and another was there whose name I did not get. The men receive £7-10s-0d per quarter and £7-10s-0d per quarter is also allowed for victualling and they have 3lb of tea and 5lb of sugar each month, one bottle of Porter each per day and some other trifling allowances.

Tuesday 16th (August) - Left Plymouth and proceeded Modbury, Totnes, Newton Bushel, Teignmouth, Dawlish to the Ferry and arrived at Exmouth at 8pm.

Wednesday 17th (August) - Having written to Mr. (RAISING?) a Sub Commissioner of Pilots to .............. at 8am we ...........a boat and rowed to the Beacon on the Bar?

There are five black buoys on the Seaboard (?) hand and two white buoys on the Larboard hand and a red buoy in the Fairway, another white buoy on the Chicks and Duck? on the Larboard hand and a white one within the river. On the Bull Hill the spare buoys are kept in a shed belonging to a Mr. PARKER in which he also stows hay and the buoys are laid on the ground without any protection from the wet soil which I think an improper place. Lord Rolle has a Coal Shed on the Green near and there appears to be much waste ground about it.

At 11am left Exmouth and proceeded to Lyme Regis by Sidmouth, Honiton, Axminster. Called on Mr. DAVIES (?) who procured a Pilot Vessel to take me to Weymouth for £3.

Thursday 18th (August) - at a quarter before 7am embarked at Lyme Regis onboard the ‘FRIENDSHIP’ Pilot Vessel No.2 of Weymouth Robert SHEAR Pilot and stood out SW having a strong flood tide, the wind off the shore from the northward.

At half past 9 having brought the extreme visible point of the Bill of Portland to bear ESE with Lyme Regis NNE distant about 4.5 Leagues, the Town not visible, the high land about Dartmouth appearing in broken patches west northerly and Berry Head WNW - we sounded and had 25 fathoms and sand.

There then began a long list of soundings and bearings in a contemporary navigational jargon covering nearly two and a half hours and its reproduction is attempted as follows:-

At 10 hove to and sounded 25 fathms sand, the Upper ( Portland ) Lighthouse and Old Lighthouse just appearing.

10.15 Sounded 25 sand.

10.25 Saw the Lower ( Portland ) Lighthouse ESE.

10.45 Sounded 26 sand.

11.15 Sounded 24.5 course sand the Bill just rising from the water.

11.30 24 fthms pebbles.

11.40 24 fthms rocks or larger stones.

11.45 Hauled up ENE to .......... the Lower Lighthouse in with the land.

Noon When just disappearing it bore ESE1/4S. When we sounded and had 26 fthms distance off the nearest part of the land about 4 miles, the Flagstaff on the highest part of Portland bearing ENE1/4N.

12.10 18 fthms shells & coarse sand.

12.20 30 fthms the Upper Lighthouse bearing east of the Bill of Portland SE of E the Lower Lighthouse struck in .........

Hauled up ENE and at

12.25 Sounded 30 fthms the Upper Lighthouse E of S and the Bill SE of S distant 1Mile from the shore.

We then bore away to round the Bill and after ........... hauled to the wind and stood over to St Alban’s Head and worked along the shore into Weymouth Road where we arrived at 5pm.

Friday 19th (August) - Left Wimborne at 9am and arrived at Southampton at 1pm. At 3pm embarked upon the Steam Vessel for West Cowes and arrived there at 5pm.

Saturday 20th (August) - At 9am went in a Gig to St Helens and there hired a boat to take me to the KNAB Light Vessel which has two lanthorns hoisted upon the Foremast and Mainmast at different heights. Four men are employed on board three of whom appear superannuated.

The Knab Buoy lies in 23fthm of water. The marks for it are the east end of the trees in Portsmouth lines exactly on with the middle of the high part of South Sea Castle and the middle of the Shanklin Bow copse on with the top of (Culow?) Cliff or Bembridge Buoy over with Shanklin Village.

At 4 p.m. returned to West Cowes and at half past 5 embarked on the Steam Vessel for Southampton where we arrived at half past 7.

Accession 195/3

1839 and 1840

These notes are truly rough notes and do not attempt any form of narrative. They seem to cover all the lights from the North Kent coast to the Scilly Isles and include the Channel Isles with one exception at both the beginning and the end of the notebook

The first entry related to the NE SHIPWASH LIGHT and consisted of a number of bearing observations. High Light N15W - Orford Castle NNW - Aldboro’ Church NNE. Angles by Captain Weller - High Light and Bandrey? (Bawdsey?) Church 68*1’ - Aldboro’ Church and High Light 21*48’

NORTH FORELAND - Land proposed to be enclosed by a wall measures 220ft x 360ft x 360ft x 205ft - a total of 1145ft. There then follows simple calculations converting this into Rods and concluding that 25 Rods at £15 per rod would cost £375.

A pencilled note adds “Finished at £6 per rod”

DUNGENESS - Very ...... between ......Reflectors...... and apparently a considerable space vacant.

SOUTH FORELAND LIGHTS - in sight bright when to the westward of Dungeness at least one mile

OWERS ( Light Vessel ) - New light laid on 5th July 1839 - East anchor in 14.5 fathoms at two thirds ebb. West anchor in 15 fathoms. Soundings indicate stones, shells and sand.

Richard Hatfield aged 74 Master of the ‘LIVELY’ a Government Lighter at Portsmouth was made a regular Pilot in 1809 and afterwards a King’s Pilot. He recommends blocks for mooring the OWERS Light to anchors such as at Portsmouth.

At a quarter before midnight July 5th weighed. At 50 minutes am OWERS new light just dipping from the deck. At 58 minutes am Beachy Head Light first ........ from the paddlebox, the OWERS Light then bright from the same position. At 1 am OWERS Light dipping from the paddlebox and Beachy Head seen from the deck. Night very clear and objects seen to the horizon, OWERS 11 miles distant when lost sight of (and) Beachy Head Light 25 miles distant when seen from the deck.

BEACHY HEAD - COMBER his wife and three children have a sitting room and one bedroom upstairs.

GRIFFITH has two bedrooms on the same floor and there is a small room for the ........ Griffith has six children but his wife is dead. Four daughters are above 20 ..... 18: 14: 12: 9 & 2.5 - the two youngest are boys. He has a washroom and a kitchen on the ground floor and there are two rooms opposite, one a workshop and the other a pantry.

Area around the lighthouse ought to be flagged on the paths and pitched with pebbles on the rest. A coal hole and workshop to be excavated on the east side and another ....... on the west for the second Light Keeper. William Hewitt’s plan for the alteration in the pantries to be adopted. Oil room only eleven feet in diameter. Garden at a distance in the bottom six rods by four surrounded by an oak slab fence.

The Griffith family ought to be dispersed. Comber has a young wife. The children are quite young ........... and many more may come.

Griffith’s brother-in-law on a visit - they do not appear to be tidy people.

With such large families a second Light Keeper is unnecessary if the parents are ..... people and I am sure discussions will arise annoyed from many confined as they must be. The alterations recommended are but makeshift. These people keep no pigs and have no means of restoring the fertility of the soil and the garden appears ........ to be impoverished the plants being small.

The chimneys smoke - tubes might be added and staged by braces to the standards of the lanthorn.

DUNGENESS - July 6th (1839?) - Seventeen reflectors lighting from Rye all around to seaward to the extreme depth of the bay to the northward. (He then records measurements of the lantern)

Floor to the upper eave of the glass - 9 feet

to the upper eave of the reflectors - 7feet 10 inches

to the lower eave - 6 feet

to the lower eave of the glass - 4 feet 1 inch

Consequently there is 5 feet of glass in height sufficient to curtain two rows of reflectors. 12 reflectors should be added extending from the high land about Dover to the high land at (Fairlight ?)

14 inches would be the height of the blocks to be placed under the pillars which now support the reflectors.

To enclose the tower and garden in will require a wall 250 ft long by 80 ft in breadth to give a good appearance.

The tower is the largest I have seen and contains ample accommodation for the two families now employed, indeed more than is necessary. A washouse has been added and a small yard enclosed for other conveniences but they are ....... outbuildings and not substantial.

A boathouse is in front of the pillar which contains wreck and gear. It has a fireplace and a trough which is said to be the property of the Corporation.

The tower would accommodate the Light keepers if convenience in other respects but being very lofty those who habit the upper parts would have to descend for water and all other requisites, the washouse was therefore erected and they prefer to reside there.

Estimates for enclosing the garden only was ..... to the Corporation last year amounting to £125 for brick and £151 for boulder. There is a well about 200 yards distant of excellent water.


OWERS ( Light Vessel ) - June 27th 1840 - Waterway plank on larboard side bad. A scupper abreast of the companion on each side under the boat and the boat to be raised two feet on the chocks to allow for sweeping under her. Cannot sight the centre of the moorings within ...... cylinders from Arundel.

BEMBRIDGE ( Light Vessel ) - June 27th - James CARRUTHERS aged 45 years has been on shore 5 months (Gouty?) and declares that he will not again return to his duty - 10 years in the service.

Six lamps for the lanthorn wanted. Two new bridle chains 2.5 fathoms each. One new Bower cable of 100 fathoms and two anchors 8 cwt each.

ST CATHERINE’S POINT - The lens required being brought around to the east to two trees which stood conspicuously in the decline of the hill thus - - (drawing follows)

The eastern lens should be turned about 6 inches to the eastward to give the full effect and another lens added to the westward filling the space upto the copper chimney. The mirrors require to be adjusted carefully.

PORTLAND LOW LIGHT - Oil in store 340 gallons. Annual consumption about 700 gallons. Cisterns contain 760 gallons. Washouse is entirely of wood. A small quantity of paint to be left in store.

PORTLAND UPPER - Oil in store 233 gallons. Cisterns contain 825 gallons. Annual consumption about 750 gallons

START - June 29th - Oil in store 134 gallons. Consumption 172 gallons

LIZARD - Oil in store 550 gallons. 16 Cisterns contain 110 gallons each - 1760. Annual consumption 1450 gallons. Lumber store ought to remain.

FALMOUTH - A door to the porch outside the kitchen enclosing the privy. Kitchen apparatus by Higgs & Co. Oil in store 100 gallons. Annual consumption 360 gallons.

CASKETS (Channel Islands) - John BLAKE an orphan 12 years of age - (the significance of this information is unknown) - six oil pots - (drawing) - 6 hour lamps (drawing)

The lighthouses (note the plural) have been built 120 years. The towers (plural) are very substantial and the houses also built there are lined with wood and the bedrooms are small in the house ......... there is plenty of accommodation.

The Light keeper’s name is Lucas HOUGUIZ and has a wife Mary GOWANS and eight children living with him from 24 to 4 years of age. Eldest daughter is 24 and eldest son is 18.

The lanthorns are of wood. This establishment requires ......... refitment. Panes of glass in the lanthorn are 3inches by 24 and divided thus - (drawing). The flash lasts for 7.5 seconds and the the darkness 15”. One hundred squares of plate glass 13 ins x 15.75 ins wanted.

CAPE CARTARET (Channel Islands?) - Landed 1st July at 7pm to view the lanthorn which is of the second order in the French principle and revolves. It lights three quarters of the circle and has curved reflectors to the light in the direction of Jersey. The lamp has three wicks concentric and pumps the oil.

The lanthorn is glazed 8ft high and diameter 10ft. It has 12 segments of glass 2ft 6 ins each wide and then squares in height thus - (drawing). The middle square is one piece the upper and lower divided horizontally.

It has a flash every half minute. The frame of both lanthorn and lens apparatus is ....... of copper or mixed metals. In the roof of the house is a chimney covered with a network of iron.

NEEDLES - Four cisterns capacity 126: 130: 177: 177 gallons = 610 gallons. The lanthorn frame plastered with putty.

HURST HIGH LIGHT - Erected in 1812. Kitchen fireplace to be brought lower down to prevent smoking. A window pane to have a under the Light Room and bulkhead to be taken down and this room to have shelves for stores.

HURST LOW LIGHT - Floor of the oil room to be flagged. Four cisterns of 124 gallons each. Annual consumption about 170 gallons.


SCILLY - March 10th 1840

Visited Rosevear and landed on the northern end upon a considerable open space of ground where grass and thrift grow. The ....... is there full 200 yards across and consists of Red Granite and there is an abundance of stone on the surface fit for building. The rocks are more lofty to the westward which would make an excellent breakwater.

Rounded the Bishop which is a very small rock apparently quite steep to ......... impracticable to build on. The Crim (rocks) was scarcely more than awash. It was 9 o’clock am and about half flood. Ran through Smith’s Sound and visited the Light house at ST.AGNES and fixed a Barometer in the ........ room. This establishment much improved in........... The mark at ST MARTIN’S HEAD is a substantial building of 1687 but the interior is much dilapidated.

Lighthouses on Rosevear, Round Island and Scilly? (Rock) would perfect the lighting of the Islands but a Light Vessel is the best for the Seven Stones.

11th March 1840 - Ran out to the Seven Stones having ordered a boat to anchor in the ....... which is just within the shoal............the author then went on to make detailed soundings and observations.

MILFORD - The centre of each reflector in the two light houses points to an angle of the frame of the lanthorn dividing every four panes of glass

thus - (drawing follows)

Accession. 195/4


July 31st 1841 - SCILLY Clergymen -St Mary’s WILCOX

St Agnes HOOLEY?

Tresco/Brhyer NICHOLAS

To apply to the Ordnance to sanction the residence of S ........ and F ........ (probably Keepers’ surnames not readable) in the house in the Garrison at St Mary’s

A house at Tresco now vacant out of repair Mr. SMITH perhaps may repair it being very convenient for the Master and Crew of the Light Vessel and their families as the SEVEN STONES are seen from the hill above.

St Martin’s Day Mark TE 1687

Furze and seaweed are used for fuel

Mr Augustus SMITH ....... Herefordshire

Mr ROUBILLIARD indented for

48 wick holders

1 set of burners

1 set of curtains

A copper case in the Lighthouse containing useless machinery (Which Lighthouse?)

August 12th - St AGNES Lighthouse ( sheets ) in with St. Martin’s Island SW 1/4S. Anchored the Light Vessel in 40 fathoms stoney ground and unfortunately whilst mooring, by a surge slipped the bridal chain. We - unshackled this chain from the other anchor and .... the .... with the hawse of the Light Vessel and shackled to .... bridal for the night.

The northern most point of land on Scilly bore W1/2N by compass .... .... and the breakers on the Pollard a little to the northward of the land W3/4N. South Stone breakers were in a line with the Tower on St Mary’s to half way between there and the Bant’s Carn, the entrance to Crow Sound distant from the breakers on the Seven Stones by 1 3/4 miles.

The ground at the Light Vessel when we left her was of a .... character sand and shells and the lead sunk into it.

LONGSHIPS Lighthouse half way between St Buryan Church and the house on the Land’s End bearing ESE. The angle between the north and the south extremities of Scilly is 22’. To clear the Seven Stones to the northward, keep the .... of the north coast in the open.

August 13th - Blowing hard with thick weather throughout .... went frequently to the old Lookout Station on Trescow.

August 14th - The weather clearing a little at daybreak, saw the Light Vessel between the Pollard breakers and the South Stone breakers over ( White ? ) Island. The Pollard is a small nob above water at low water and has another nob tip in .... to the eastward. We were abreast of it at low water August 17th, one mile distant.

August 17th - Moored the Light Vessel and dispatched the lighter ‘Argus’ in the evening. The Pilot Boat hired at Scilly is the ‘New Prosperous’ No.29 John ELLIS Master. At 29 tons and 4 years old she is engaged at £2-10s-0d per trip to victual the Light Vessel and relieve the crew on the first day of every month or as soon after as the weather will permit and .... .... in St. Helen’s Pool.

LONGSHIPS - To clear the Shark Fin, keep the road leading down the hill at Sennen Cove quite open of the headland.

Drawing of the coast from the sea

The Trinity store house is the small white building with a black door on the land near the water within the ‘Brizons’ ? and the approach is to the north of the Brizons where there is an anchorage, but the south side is rocky and not to be approached.

The Longships Lighthouse requires a structural repair. The lead covering the lower part of the lanthorn and the floor of the gallery is quite decayed. Cisterns for the oil are bad. Ladders all worn out. Floors of the rooms require relaying or .... Cooker stove of bad construction. One like the Eddystone or Falmouth better. Lockers in the lanthorn required. The glazing of the lanthorn might be improved. 8 portions of it from north to south is divided into 16 panes in each portion. The copper bars might be taken away and thicker glass introduced, the last glass .... is single glass. The specimen brought from the lighthouse for a - is double glass. Each original square is 26.5 by 20.

Drawings of the arrangement of the glass

LIZARD - Mr MARSHALL the Contractor did not receive his order to commence working until two months after .... in his tender and although the Corporation has allowed the same period beyond the limits of his contract, yet those two months will be winter months instead of summer. He asks to be allowed to use the bricks of the passage leading from the Eastern Lighthouse to the dwelling and he will make good with boards for the time. The buildings .... understood are his after the new houses are finished.

FALMOUTH - Black Rock Beacon would be better painted black.

EDDYSTONE - The plate glass sent and put in is single glass and not double glass. Cylinders not to be bell mouthed.

START (POINT) - Two oil cisterns left empty after the supply of 750 gallons which is equal to 15 months .... White wash the walls of the .... The house is in the best condition.

HURST HIGH LIGHT - .... .... to be painted.

HURST LOW LIGHT - There are many (nobbed ? ) panes of glass in the lanthorn which should be removed and either filled in with good glass or blanked up with copper.

NEEDLES - There are several urn shaped reservoirs for the oil very old and the rest are of the ordinary kind. The whole should be new. William BLANCHARD (Keeper) - a Virago - a son 17 years old, a daughter grown up and both at home. They ought to be .... .... .... .... into service.

OWERS ( Light Vessel ) - The moorings have been sighted and the bridal turned and - and ten fathoms of chain cut off.

BEMBRIDGE ( Light Vessel ) - Canvas wanted for ... aprons to clean the lamps ........

Accession. 195/2


This entire notebook records the detailed voyage from the Blackwall Depot of the Trinity House on the Thames towing a replacement Light Vessel to the position of the LYNN WELL LV off the North Norfolk Coast.

There is detailed navigational observations and technical jargon concerning the positioning and anchoring of the Light Vessel.

Three paragraphs only have been extracted.

We left Blackwall on October 6th (1841) at Noon laid the Light Vessel on the 8th and brought the old vessel to Blackwall at 4pm on the 9th (October).

October 7th - Having the new LYNN WELL Light Vessel in tow we ran along the the coast from Cromer toward Blakeney............with Kelling and Salthouse churches in..............

Anchored for the night about 2 miles southward of the Light. At daybreak October 8th placed the new vessel upon the old one, then hove up the ....... and proceded homewards.

Accession. 195/4



(Wednesday) February 2nd - Left Blackwall at 6 1/2am on the ‘VESTAL’ Captain ( MADAN ? )

8.20 passed Gravesend

9.05 passed NORE Light Vessel

10.40 passed ( Mouse ? )

11.30 passed (Withansand ? )

11.40 passed East Ma......?


6.40 passed DUNGENESS LIGHT north one mile


3 am passed OWERS Light Vessel


4.00 BEMBRIDGE Light Vessel to the NNW

5.50 St. CATHERINES LIGHT to the north


8.00 ( Durlistone ? ) Head to the north

10.20 passed Portland Bill

3.35 Berry Head to the north

4.40 START LIGHTHOUSE to the north

7.35 EDDYSTONE to the NNE

8.00 EDDYSTONE to the east

10.20 St. ANTHONY LIGHT to the NW

11.00 passed St. Anthony Point.

At 1/4 past 11 pm (February 3rd) anchored in Falmouth Harbour and found ‘ARGUS’ had arrived at 5 pm.

(Friday) February 4th (1842) - Weighed at day break in company with ‘ARGUS’ and at 1 pm arrived alongside the SEVEN STONES Light Vessel. Immediately commenced to haul in her cable and at 5 sighted her anchor and took her in tow and ran for New Grimsby Harbour in company with the ‘ARGUS’ and anchored there at 7 pm. We left a wreck buoy in the position NW about .... from where the Light Vessel last laid and I think it is not far from her original position.

.... bearings of the light at the station she drifted to Pollard Rock WN1/2N: South Stone W1/2S: Longships Light ....

Weight of Hawkins Anchor on board the Seven Stones LV

35 cwt: 1 qtr: 17 lbs.

Small Bower Anchor - 17 cwt.

200 fathoms of chain for Mushroom.

200 fathoms of chain for Hawkins Anchor.

150 fathoms of chain for Small Bower Anchor.

Monday February 7th 1842 - At noon having finished all the arrangements for mooring the Light Vessel with a Mushroom .... weighed from New Grimsby Harbour and ran out at 2 pm. Saw the buoy which was left on Friday last and ran toward it and found the mark bearing the .... at 3 pm.

Anchored the Light Vessel at about 2 cables lengths SE of it in 42 fathoms of sand and shells at High Water.

Various bearings now listed.

We left the buoy to remain as a Watch Buoy until the Mushroom should prove to hold its .... and desired Simmons the Master to .... to 18 fathoms .... .... .... Hawse to heave in, and Mr TREGARTHEN to take favourable opportunities when they offer for doing so.

The Pollard Rock was not visible and the weather being particularly fine with little wind, no breakers or .... were seen. At 6 pm anchored in St. Mary’s Sound. We had on board the Rev W NICHOLAS; Mr S......? and his son; Mr HALE and Mr BICKELL ?, Collector of Customs and the Agent Mr Tregarthen. The towing hawser broke and Mr Nicholas was thrown with great violence on his back and struck his head against the (derrick ?) and was not recovered for a long time. .... .... .... being produced he however returned on shore better than we expected he could.

Tuesday February 8th (1842) - St. AGNES - FAIRCHILD the Senior Light Keeper ( very ? ) ill and in bed. Richard SCADDEN a carpenter who has been employed before under similar circumstances performs his duty. He is a St. Mary’s man and not married, 35 years of age and a very .... looking man. DAVIES the Assistant Keeper is a St. Agnes man. Barometer out of order another should be sent.

John ELLIS ( Pilot ? ) £5 in and out.

At 10 am stood out between St. Mary’s and St. Agnes.

At Noon passed the Seven Stones Light Vessel with ball up.

At 1.30 pm close to LONGSHIPS - too much sea to land.

At 4.30 pm passed the LIZARD.

At 6 pm passed St Anthony’s Point.

At 6.30 anchored at Falmouth close to coal hulk.

Inspected the ‘ARGUS’ boilers which we found patched and the steam pipes behind the boilers leaking having a great crust of salt .... to the joints.

(Wednesday) February 9th (1842) - Falmouth - The Black Rock. The black portion of the beacon was the most conspicuous when running in last night, the white portion scarcly visible and the pole too small to be seen at a distance and only when close abreast. The night was clear but scarcely .... to a twilight, no moon and the ...............

Mr ARTHUR says the Pilots to a man wish it black. Manacles (Buoy?) sinker cannot be weighed by the Pilot Boat and never has been.

Captain ELLIS, Superintendent of Packets - 30 tons at 24 shillings.

(Thursday) February 10th (1842) - Visited St. ANTHONY LIGHTHOUSE and then proceded to the Manacles Buoy which upon weighing was found without a sinker. Laid the buoy with 16 tons of the old chain, 16 tons of fresh and 6 tons having two shackles between them. The marks .... the house on the top of the hill on with the outward rock of Coverack. .... the house at ( Pothers ? ) Rock on with the Manacle. .... Mawnan Church on with the x train of Manacle in 22 fathoms of water. Mawnan Church ought to be whitewashed.

At 3 pm bore away for Plymouth and at 8 3/4 anchored under the BREAKWATER LIGHT, EDDYSTONE in sight SW.

(Friday) February 11th (1842) - At daybreak weighed and ran into Catwater and anchored .... about 120 .... and at Wreck Buoy. Mr Van der NISH ? HM Collector of Customs who we requested would publish the reinstatement of the Seven Stones Light at the Custom House. At 10 (am) weighed and ran out the weather threatening from the SW which increased as we approached the Bolt Head. Kept close to the land and rounded the START at 3 pm and landed and visited the Lighthouse.

William WESTMORELAND and wife and one child had arrived 10 days ago. The chimneys require some consideration, there are only 4 chimneys to 6 rooms and where they join it is reported that they run at right angles which makes them difficult to sweep. The fireplace in the Assistant Light Keeper’s room for a kitchen is only 2 ft 6 ins wide and has no oven. The sitting room of the Head Light Keeper being below it has a larger fireplace and would answer better the HLK taking his room. ALK asks for his expenses from the NASH to the START £7. Machinery oil wanted.

At .... 5 pm anchored in Torbay amongst the fishing boats at Brixham in 6 fathoms close in.

(Saturday) February 12th (1842) - At half past 6 am weighed and left Torbay for PORTLAND steered E & S and at 11 made the Chesil Beach. Thick weather with drizzling rain very difficult to see beyond a mile. Hauled up .... and rounded the Bill and at 12 noon anchored in Portland Road close in. Went to the Lighthouses and returned at .... 4 pm.

Upper Light - 17 new lamps were supplied in November, 9 of which leak. A drain to take the water from the oil cellar ? is required in a NW direction.

Low Light - The stove in the lanthorn was intended to be placed in the same situation as the last ( which is now in the oil room ) in the floor below the lanthorn with a funnel to convey the hot air into the lanthorn as that did. Mr WILKINS has ( fitted ? ) a stove of a description quite different.

Monday February 14th (1842) - At 2 am weighed and ran out SE of E. At half past 4 abreast of St. Aldhelm’s ( Alban’s ) Head then turned east for the NEEDLES. Half past 5 saw the HURST LIGHT, the NEEDLES not visible. At 7 anchored in Alum Bay and went to the Lighthouse.

13 new urn shaped reservoirs. Two white lights show within St. Adhelm’s Head upto Christchurch and the outer red light shows to without St. Adhelm’s Head and one reflector upto Hurst Castle Lights. The Needles was scarcely visible at .... time and is quite ineffectual. If this Channel should be much used hereafter by steam vessels a strong revolving light shining long intervals of light and darkness of equal duration would be best, or a floating light be placed where the Beacon Buoy is. The red shades break and there are none in store.

HURST HIGH LIGHT - has been painted since I was there in September and is .... in very high condition. HOUSEGO ? is the new Assistant Light Keeper.

HURST LOW LIGHT - in equal condition with the High Light. Petition for smock frocks to clean the apparatus, whitewashing, painting etc.

(Tuesday) 15th February (1842) - COWES - Went to the wharf proposed to be purchased and found 10 ft of water at high water close alongside, and at low water dry gradually .... to 12.5 ft in the middle of the river. 6 ft about 12 fathoms from the wharf - ground granite close to.

BEMBRIDGE Light Vessel - Very clean. The reflector worn out and the vessel in all other respects only of character.

OWERS Light Vessel - Very clean. 2 panes in the lanthorn broken, have spare on board. One upright iron to which the lamps are fixed is broken and secured with an additional ? ....


100 fathoms of 1 3/8in chain in the store.

2 single fl....? anchors.

1 large sinker.

2 small sinkers.

6 buoys to change with those laid.

2 wreck buoys.

2 oil reservoirs.

10 fathoms of 1 3/8in chain which had been cut from the bridle of the OWERS (LV) much grooved by wear and only 2 years down. Said to be the .... which received the .... by falling every tide on the rocks commencing at about 15 fathoms from the swivel between the two anchors.

At 2 pm weighed from Littlehampton and stood toward Beachy Head steering .... soon after because very foggy. Rounded the Head by approaching it ...... at 6 pm not seeing the land and the fog continuing. Anchored. Soon after it cleared away saw the Head about 4 miles distant. Weighed and ran for DUNGENESS. Made the Light about 8 pm and anchored under the Ness at 10 pm in 4 fathoms in the .... of the Road. The Light .... abreast the .... Battery.

(Friday) February 16th (1842) - At daybreak visited the Lighthouse at DUNGENESS and at half past 7 am weighed and stood towards the Downs. Thick foggy weather the .... the day without a breath of wind and objects not visible beyond a cable’s length except occasionally. Steered .... literally from buoy to buoy and arrived at the .... at 4 1/2 pm and at BLACKWALL at 7 3/4 pm

Note - The hood ? at the entrance into the lanthorn at DUNGENESS may be taken down and .... at the foot of the stairs in the room below.

Accession. 195/6


Throughout the following journey Capt Wellbanks repeatedly confuses March with May so for the sake of this extraction I have assumed the first entries to be correct - March!

8 March 1843 - SPURN - Oil cellar has 7 cisterns of 100 gallons each and 3 cisterns of 110: 108 & 104 gallons. These last three are unsightly and old. Eight new 100 gallon cisterns together with the 7 already in place would take all the oil.

Two families are accommodated in a new building and the third in the tower.

The whole interior of the tower is composed of wooden partitions, very rough.....the stairs much worn are also wood. This house cannot be painted this year.

First floor above the oil cellar is floored with stone and should be the wash house for the third Light Keeper.....and his kitchen the next above.....three bedrooms.... and the room below the Lanthorn should be fitted for stores.

Only two books sent, another for the third Light Keeper. Chimney boards for the bedrooms ordered. 92 full tins left.

A small house at the Low Light contains old iron machinery for driving piles.....belongs to the Corporation. The beach under the Low Light is collecting again.

10 March 1843 - TYNEMOUTH - Light oil cellar will take ...... cisterns of 100 gallons each. The base of the platform is seventeen and a half feet and take away those now there ....... 3 x 140 gallons each. New curtains are wanted 7 feet high by 2 feet 4 inches wide 8 in number.

There is a quantity of old flag stones left which may pave a path from the kitchen to the premises. No stove in the Lanthorn....there is a room below fit for one, and to have shelves for spare stores.

I ordered a new cleaning table for the Parabolas

Light Keepers WISENCRAFT Senior

MOSS Junior

43 empty tins brought away, 62 left full of oil. This house cannot be painted this year. A new vane wanted.

10 March 1843 - COQUIT - The platform on this Lanthorn is the same as that at Orford - having only narrow planks - it should be altered as the Orford is. The tower and houses are ordered to be painted white - query the sand colour - if painted at all. The stone of the windows at the north of the dwelling house I think is softer than the walls and has already begun to exfoliate.

Light Keepers have no clothes provided for them. I ordered a shelf to be placed in the room between the Living Rooms and the Tower for the spare stores lamp, measures etc. There are four boxes of large cylinders 36 in each and one with 34 in store and the breakage is about 12 per annum. This Lanthorn and Light is French of the first order ....four wicks....

A boat for shifting buoys already applied for with 6 inches more beam. A small boat required for general purposes to be rowed by one man - cost £4-10s-0d - the present coble may then be dispensed with.

Undated - FERNES - 5 cisterns containing 465 gallons. Annual consumption 290 gallons. 7 lamps and reflectors at the Light - revolves in three and a half minutes. Reflectors well polished. No lamps in store - 8 broken lamps returned.

The outward plastering of the cottages has cracked very much and has lately been stopped.

A capstan and boatslip asked for as the present place for having the boat up is quite insufficient. Left Mr Matthews with paints and oils and all other materials for painting the entire establishment.

12 March 1843 - LONGSTONES - On Feb. 4 between 5 & 6 am at high water, the sea entered both doors and passed through but did little damage to new building. Query painting of house this year. Furniture is asked for the new house. Bedstead and chairs for the old. Kitchens are wished to be flagged.

13 March 1843 - FLAMBOROUGH - Requires painting. 23 tins of oil surplus

Light Keepers NOTT Senior


Undated (presumably same day) - SPURN FLOATING LIGHT - Requests 6 Argand burners for store. Mr Wilkin’s man was on board from 8.30pm until 9.30am when sent to alter the revolution of the light - SAMS being his name. 28 tins of oil left.

The chain this vessel is moored by has only one shackle at 100 fathoms from the anchor and is worn between 75 fathoms and 100 fathoms.

13 March 1843 - HUNSTANTON - The Junior Light Keeper’s dwelling remains wet and ought to be battened and plastered over. The Tower is also much spotted.

Pig styes are too small and would be better placed at the angles of the wall near the sea. The present styes could be taken down or used for storing potatoes.

Light Keepers HOWARD Senior

SMITH Junior

Sunday 14 March 1843 - LYNN WELL LIGHT VESSEL - Lies in 27 fathoms at one hour above Spring Tide. Her mooring chain is in 15 fathom lengths without pins to the shackles. The spare shackles have pins, but the bolts are too short to allow a sufficient clinch. The vessel is beautifully clean. Hawse pipe is worn already - the vessel being laid in Oct 1841 (See Accession 195/2)

Sounded at Low Water on this day at 25 fathoms. STACEY the Mate has been on board 20 weeks. The Master died as long ago as March (This chronology is confusing even if May is substituted). DAVIS late Mate of the GULL said to be appointed Master.

15 March 1843 - DUDGEON - This vessel placed new in October 1839 she rides by the same chain as when laid which was then 13/8ins and has but one shackle 100 fathoms from the anchor. Two shackles have lately been put at 75 fathoms where a swivel had been. The Hawse Pipe has never been shifted and is still good.

The chain wears most between 75 fathoms and 100 fathoms and is now 11/4ins between those lengths. Arthur HALE Mate now on board has been on board for 9 weeks - the Master being ill. Hale has been in the Service 30 years. The oil cisterns are painted in lead colour with 231 gallons in store.

Approaching this vessel in a thick fog we got soundings on a shoal NW of her above 2 miles distant and had 6 and 7 fathoms and one cast was as little as 4 3/4 fathoms about 3/4 ebb. HM Steam Vessel BLAZER is surveying the area and we passed her between the Dudgeon and the Sheringham Shoal.

15 March 1843 - CROMER - New curtains received and fitted to the Lanthorn. The angles in the chimnies to be fitted with soot doors - ordered. The floors of the rooms open require to be lifted which was ordered to be done. This house is beautifully clean and is kept by one family.

16 March 1843 - LEMAN & OWER - Left the anchorage off Cromer at 3.15am and steered for the North Harboro? Light Vessel to about 4 miles distant, then steered east and at 6.15am made the Red Buoy on the Leman bearing ESE about 1.5 miles in thick weather and drizzling rain. Found the Light Vessel just turning to the Flood.

This Light Vessel was placed at her station 4 years ago and was riding by her original chain which did not appear much worn. They had cut out one swivel about 75 fathoms from the anchor and put in a shackle which was clinched and pinned. The Light Vessel is in good order but smells strongly of fish which they take in abundance. Hawse Pipe good.

16 March 1843 - NORTH HASBOROUGH FLOAT - This Light Vessel was placed in her present station in 1841 and is moored with 1.5in chain in short lengths of 15 fathoms each with swivels between every alternate length. Her Hawse Pipe has a large shoulder and is not much worn.

Undated - HASBOROUGH HIGH LIGHT - The flooring in the room below the Lanthorn is rotten and perhaps the beam ends. A gutter round the edge of the gallery would be useful to convey water to a tank. The beams in the upper rooms are supported by iron stanchions and clamps. Externally they appear to be quite sound but Mr Sturges who saw their condition before being painted says they are much decayed. Raise the upper floor first.

Undated - NEWARP - Was fitted at Blackwall last year having lost her main mast. She is an old vessel but very strong and laid down by Capt. Huddart. She is moored by chain of 15 fathom lengths of 1.5 inches and shackled, the shackles being without pins.

Undated - ST. NICHOLAS - Proposed for Cockle Gat? Copper bad and will require a general overhaul.

Undated - YARMOUTH HARBOUR - Stopped for coal

Undated - LOWESTOFT - Visited Light Houses

Weather and rain prevented our landing at WINTERTON PAKEFIELD & ORFORD NESS

19 March 1843 - BLACKWALL - Arrived 8am

Accession. 195/4



On the 6th April 1843 the TH Vessel was again anchored in New Grimsby Harbour in Scilly whilst an inquiry was conducted into the movement of the SEVEN STONES Light Vessel from her position during the previous three months. The first step was to establish her position when she was laid.

When she was laid on December 7th 1842 the extremes of Scilly formed the angle:- 22 47’. The northern end of Menawar Island appearing a handspike length open of Round Island W of N. St. Martin’s Head W of S in a line with the South Stone. South extreme of Scilly ...... South Stone W of S and the Pollard W of N distant about 2.5 miles the wind then moderate from the ESE.

Extracts from the Light Vessel’s Journal now follow

Friday 6th January 1843 - After the first strong breeze of wind since she was laid the bearing was as follows:- The South Stone W and the Pollard WNW, the wind at the north. The Master observes the reason is I think, that they had not brought the chain taught from the Mushroom with a northerly wind ‘til yesterday.

During the month of January strong gales of wind from the northward prevailed through the month and particularly on the 13th when it blew a hurrican swinging from SW to NW when it blew the hardest.

(Sunday) January 15th (1843) - The Mate in charge thought that the vessel had drifted to the eastward a little but but had not altered the bearing of the South Stone and the Pollard since the 6th January.

(Thursday) 19th January (1843) - The Agent went on board and hove in 15 fathoms of cable. They were then riding within 7 fathoms of the inner ? and having freshened hawse frequently during the month by veering out a few links at a time.

(Saturday) February 4th (1843) - Blew hard from the northward with a heavy sea, the Master on board, who found on the 5th the South Stone bore W of N and the Pollard WNW 3/4N.

(Wednesday) February 22nd (1843) - The Master hove in 2 fathoms of chain.

(Saturday) March 11th (1843) - The Mate on board hove in 1 fathom of chain.

(Tuesday) March 21st (1843) - At 2.30 am a moderate breeze from the SW with rain. All hands were called by the Watch that they had but 25 fathoms of water alongside. We all ran on deck and I found by the soundings that we had only 25 fathoms but the vessel was not driving by the head. I knew that we must be near the Stones but could not see them. We could hear the chain grinding against the Rocks. I thought of letting go the Butbower ? Anchor but I considered it not safe to let the vessel stop long where she was then and we got the large Kedge and .... one of the hawsers to it and dropped it under foot in case we should drive any more. By this time we saw the Stones astern of us and bearing NE and South Stone about E and close to us. We then lowered the lanthorn and extinguished the lights and kept firing guns every 2 or 3 minutes. At 9.15 am the Agent got on board and another Pilot Boat a little before him came to their assistance, No.28 who supplied 5 men, 2 of whom returned to their vessel at 2 o’clock. At 2.30 pm the Master with the crew on shore got on board and brought 11 men ......

(Wednesday) March 22nd (1843) - 4 of the St.Mary’s men went on shore sea sick.

(Wednesday) March 29th (1843) - ‘ARGUS’ arrived and the Agent brought 3 men more from the shore.

Mr Simmonds examined

My opinion is that from the length of chain constantly out and the vessel swing round the chain catches the rough rocks on the grounds. She has jerked two or three times at a sea before the cable has got clear. I never knew her to ride short. We have invariably kept the lead overboard and never found such an inequality in the ground as to suppose there were rocks of magnitude. I do not think there are any rocks by which the cable could take a round turn. I have never sounded beyond the range of the cable except twice between her and the Stones. I then found between 40 - 45 fathoms coarse sand and shells and very small pebbles. I think it would be a very great satisfaction to us all to .... in cable in fine weather and that 4 additional hands making 11 in all would enable us so to do .... which would not only enable us to examine the cable but also to .... sweeping the Rocks. NW winds throw in the heaviest seas. The vessel has only shipped two heavy seas since I have known her. I feel perfectly confident in the vessel myself but some of the crew are timid. Although there are in the Journal several observations of the bearing of the Stones by which it might be inferred that the vessel had drove, I think the only instance of her doing so was on the 13th January (?) last when she drove 8/10 of a mile to the southward and that was a HURRICANE.



Mr Tregarthen Mate examined

My opinion is that the ground within the scope of the chain is rocky; that is rough ground with rocks in places and sand in others. I have felt the chain catch and jerk us as if passing over rocks but I do not think there are any cairns or high pinnacles we have had when fishing alongside a difference of 2 or 3 fathoms. I never knew the vessel to be snubbed shore? and never knew her ...ipped (?) down blowing hard and the vessel rides always very well blowing hard. If we could have examined the chain after the gale of the 13th January(?), I think we would have been riding there still. I think 5 men more would enable us to shorten in fine weather. The vessel did not drive on the 13th Jan. The lights were seen both from the Islands and Lands End during the gale. NW gales bring the heaviest seas. We drove Feb 4th a little to the southward and brought the South Stone to bear W of N and the Pollard WNW 3/4N. The gale was from the NNE. It is the sea and not the wind which makes her drive. I have perfect confidence in the vessel’s riding. It would be a great satisfaction to all on board and produce confidence if 5 more hands were on board to enable us to examine the moorings.



From the similarity of these two submissions it can be deduced that these were answers to particular questions which were directed at both men and it is possible to derive the line of questioning. The discrepancies in the stories of the two men also become apparent and the repeated quotation of the date 13th January does not align with the Journal.

Obadiah HICKS known to Captain MILLER ? wants a Light Keeper’s berth as Mate or Master on board.

St.AGNES Lighthouse - Since FAIRCHILD died ( see entry for 8th February 1842 ) Mr SMITH has taken the land which Fairchild rented and has .... to another person. DAVIES applied for it before Fairchild died. House very old and not worth repair. Walls cracked. A new barometer is wanted, the index screw being broken.

MARKHAM ? Lamplighter of the SEVEN STONES LV wishes to be removed to another vessel. BE.....? a sickly man with gravel ? LAKEMAN a drunkard.

I applied to Mr SMITH to consider the accommodation for the Light Keepers which he promises so to do gradually as houses become vacant and will also find some land for the Light Keepers at St. AGNES.

Monday 10 April (1843) - Laid the SEVEN STONES Light Vessel in 42 fathoms of sand and shells. Angle of extremity ? of Scilly 21 30’ when anchored. The breakers of the South Stone in with the Telegraph on St. Mary’s. Breakers of the .... just show on Round Island W1/2N. Menawar Island open of Round Island. Ithink the .... as now laid is .... .... to the eastward of her first position. .... the .... .... and observed the top of the cone and cylinder for .... the .... hold above water.

Landed at the LIZARD

Stopped at the Manacles Buoy and weighed the sinker a boat from Falmouth having laid a new buoy today.

Tuesday 11th April (1843) - Left FALMOUTH at day break and took a Pilot to Helford and landed at Mawnan and visited the church and called upon the clergyman Mr ROPER who informed us that some requisitions by the Vestry prevented the church being whitened - it therefore stands overdue. It should not be delayed.

(See note for 10th February 1842)

Coaled at PLYMOUTH.

Wednesday 12th April (1843) - Arrived at COWES by 10 o’clock and by 2 pm got the old BEMBRIDGE Light Vessel down the harbour and took her in tow - run through the Loo ? Stream.


October 6th 1846 - We left Padstow at 9 am with uncertain weather. Wind westerly which increased during the dat bringing a heavy head sea. We perservered and having at 6.15 pm made the SEVEN STONES Light (Vessel), shaped our course to clear the South Stone then steered for St. Mary’s and at 9 pm opened St AGNES Light. The sea then became very confused and lofty the vessel pitching very deep. At 10 got under the lee of St. Mary when the water smoothed. Ran close upto it and burned .... fires and threw up rockets. At 10 1/3 a Pilot came on bard Mr WOODCOCK and anchored the vessel in 7 fathoms close upto the Water....? Point.

Whilst running upto the SEVEN STONES Light the sea evidently smoothed as we approached her and had we .... .... the South Stones hauled to the WNW and brought the whole range ? of the Islands in the wind, I have no doubt that we should have had the sea tolerably smoothe throughout instead of which by standing so far to the southward as to open the Light on St. AGNES we became exposed to the whole sea of the Atlantic.

October 7th ( 1846 ) -