Births at sea

Liverpool Journal 3rd Feb 1849

Birth at sea

On board the BRITANNIA for Dublin on Tuesday night, a young woman apparently much indisposed, made application to come down into the cabin just before midnight. The weather being rough and most of the passengers ill, the Captain, with great feeling, allowed her to sit down and warm herself, when her malady soon turned out, not to be sea-sickness, but something else.

Fortunately there was a surgeon on board, and very assistance was rendered to her in the ladies cabin. In about three hours the lady was delivered of a fine girl, who with the mother are both doing as well as can be expected.

The baby was called, JENNY LIND, for she gave a specimen of her lungs. A collection was made for her amongst the cabin passengers. Capt SARSFIELD gave orders that nothing should be wanted that the ship could supply, the attention of the Stewardess was unremitting.

Birth on the SS. EDINBURGH

Daily Post Jan 2nd 1860

At sea 7 days out of Liverpool on board the S.S EDINBURGH, Jane wife of Charles S. MAY and daughter of Mr MC SHEAN, Trafalgar Hotel, a son.

The saloon passengers received the little stranger with all honours. A subscription was entered into and a very handsome silver cup was presented to "the ocean child" on their arrival to port, with a neat and suitable inscription accompanied by the following address to the young mother ;-

Capt Mrs MAY - We, the undersigned, members of the elephant club, on the steamship EDINBURGH be leave to present to "the ocean child" through you its mother, the accompanying cup as a memento of our very pleasant trip to Liverpool from New York in which your child formed such an interesting episode.

We beg to add our sincere wishes that the child may be spared to accompany and comfort you through the voyage of life, and that he may prosper in all that makes manhood worthy and noble. Though destined to be far separated through our lives, and probably never to meet again, yet we will indulge the hope that at some point of the future we may, at our mature years greet the ocean babe, grown to be an honoured member of society ;-

Henry H. LANDEN, New York, J. F. BOWLE, Richmond Va, Joseph NICHOLSON, Chicago, John NEWMAN, New York, Morrison EWING, Purser, William H. BAKER, Callao, James B. BLACK, M.R.C.S, England, George BUT?ER, Birkenhead, R. W. M. NAYLOR, Limerick, John E. MC ELROY, Albany, New York, Louis Woolf GLESSEN, Germany.

Liverpool Mercury, Friday, June 29, 1849

April 18th, At sea, on her passage to the Cape of Good Hope, the lady of S. R. CLARKE Esq, of a daughter

Liverpool Mercury, Tuesday, December 2, 1851

Nov 19th, at sea on board the royal West India, mail steamship Medway, the Lady of Capt COLLELL, 67th, Regt, Barbadoes, of a son

Liverpool Mercury, Tuesday, April 5, 1853

March 25th, At sea, on board the Great Britain, on her passage from Australia, the wife of Mr C. YUILLE, a daughter

Liverpool Mercury, Tuesday, May 3, 1853

March 6th, at sea between Aden and Ceylon, on board the Peninsular and Oriental steamship Pottinger, the wife of Rev J. K. BEST, S.P.G, a son

Liverpool Mercury, Tuesday, November 14, 1854

Dec 20th, on board the ship Persia, from this port to Sydney N.S.W, the wife of Capt ROBERTS, a son. Death Oct 2nd, on board the ship Persia, from Calcutta for London, the wife of Capt ROBERTS.

Evening Post, 20 October 1902


On the arrival of the Campania at Liverpool Saturday it was reported that a woman in the steerage had given birth to child during the voyage. The saloon passengers took a great interest in the unusual occurrence and subscribed 42 for the mother, while 120 was also subscribed for the merchant seamen's charities of Liverpool and New York


Derby Daily Telegraph, 17 September 1902

BORN AT SEA, MARRIED AT SEA, BURIED AT SEA. The funeral of Captain .R. Marsden, R.N.R., of Gravesend. formerly harbour-master of the Port of London and a county justice of Kent, took place on Tuesday. Part of the service was held at St. James s Church, Gravesend and then the body of the deceased contained in a shell within a polished oak coffin, was conveyed to sea for burial. This form of burial was adopted at the request of Captain Marsden who was born and married at sea. There being no known precedent the family communicated with the Home Department and no objection was raised.

The coffin was placed on a bier on board the tug Britannia and its departure from the pier was witnessed by large crowds of people. The burial took place a few miles beyond the Mouse Lightship, almost out of sight of land, the Rev B. Shaw conducting the ceremony. The weather was rather rough and the coffin on being lowered overboard, was carried away by a large wave, but being weighted it soon sank. Many wreaths were sent and these all went down with the coffin. The service on board though simple was impressive. Captain Marsden was 68 years of age.

Liverpool Echo, 3 June 1914


Mrs. Ruth Turner, aged 101, died at the Bolton Union Hospital to-day. Born at sea, she possessed all her faculties until her death. She had been inmate of the hospital for 17 years.

Liverpool Echo, 29 May 1915

Hero of the E 11

Liscard officer who got to Constantinople

The splendid feat of the E 11, which sailed up the Dardenelles and through the Sea of Marmora right into Constantinople Bay, where it fired a torpedo at a transport, after having destroyed several boats on the way, has won the unstinted admiration of the British people.

Liverpool may share in the pride in this great achievement because the submarine was navigated by a local officer, Lieutenant Robert Brown, son of Captain Robert Brown a well-known master mariner, who lives at 20 Radnor Drive, Liscard.

Lieutenant Brown was born at sea twenty eight years ago. The early years of his life were spent in Liverpool, but when was about eight years old his family moved across the water to Liscard, and when ashore Radnor Drive has been his home for the last twenty years He was educated at the Liverpool Institute, and followed his father's example in the choice of profession. At 16 he was serving his time on a sailing ship. After 4 or 5 years experience in wind-jammers he went to sea in the Mark Woods boats, and after taking his master's certificates joined the Holt Line as 3rd officer. Subsequently he took his extra master's certificate. At the time war broke out he was 2nd officer in one of the Holt boats.

A few months earlier he had joined the Naval Reserve and so when hostilities commenced he immediately took his place in the Navy, and was eventually appointed navigating lieutenant on the E 11. The boat was placed on the Harwich station and for some time did duty in the North Sea. She chased the murderous warships which attacked Scarborough and when our airmen made their famous raid on Cuxhaven she was on the watch and managed to save three of our aviators who fell into the sea. After a considerable spell of duty in this area, Lieut Brown came home on leave and then rejoined the E 11and went with her to the Dardanelles.

Hull Daily Mail, 7 January 1920


When the Cunard liner Carmania arrived at Liverpool yesterday it was reported that on the outward voyage, on the second day at sea, a boy was born to the wife of a Canadian soldier and named Garfield Carmania Piersall, and on the evening of the same day the wife of an American returning to New York gave birth to twins which were christened Francis Cunard Wright and Wilbur Carmania Wright. One of the twins Wilbur died on board 13 days after his birth, the trip being protracted through rough weather. The passengers collected 58 for the mothers.

Dundee Courier, 8 August 1923


When Captain John Ethelbert, of Cornwall, skipper of the Helena, from Newcastle, N.S.W, arrived at Gulfport, he told a story of his unusual and distressing predicament during the voyage. The Helena was just rounding the island of New Caledonia, and heaving heavily in the mountainous seas , when triplets were born to his wife. The ship's physician Dr A. N. FOWLER had died two days before and was buried at sea. The gale blew itself out soon after the arrival of the babies.

Western Morning News, 15 January 1927


When the French Line steamer France left New York last Saturday there were 372 passengers on board, but when the liner arrived at Plymouth last night the number had increased to 373. . The addition was a little baby girl born to Mrs Marta Eissa during the voyage. Both mother and daughter were progressing well last night, and in deference to the French Line the little girl, whose parents are of Syrian nationality, has been named Francoise Josephe.

Western Morning News, 17 May 1927,

BORN AT SEA, A baby girl was born two days ago on board the liner Tamatoa, which arrived at Southampton yesterday morning from New Zealand. The child's parents, Mr and Mrs. Robert J. Young, are returning home to Twynholm, Kirkcudbrightshire. The baby is to be christened Margaret Hartman, Margaret after her mother and Hartman, the name of the commander of the Tamaroa.

Derby Daily Telegraph 1 October 1928

Baby Born at Sea A baby girl, weighing just under three pounds, was born on the Blue Liner S.S. "Andalucia," two hours out from Buenos Aires, says cablegram received London today. The child, which was premature, was resuscitated with considerable difficulty. She is the first baby to be born on a Blue Star Line Steamer. The mother Mme Ponteville had been visiting the Continent with her husband.

Western Morning News, 4 July 1929


George Edward James Brooks was born at sea during the voyage of the Orient liner Orsova from Brisbane to Plymouth. He is the son of Mr and Mrs. H. G. Brooks, who left Australia for Birmingham. In the Indian Ocean the mail steamer encountered the full force of the monsoon and when the Red Sea was reached on the 21st ult the baby was born. Mother and child were reported doing well when the Orsova called at Plymouth yesterday.

Hull Daily Mail, 21 April 1933


Stowaway in Mid- Atlantic three days out of New York, when in mid- Atlantic, Surgeon Jackson Moore approached Commander A. M. Moore, of the United States liner President Harding, with the information a stowaway had been discovered in the ship's hospital The commander, instantly divining the purport of the message, hastened to the hospital to welcome the addition to the ship's complement. He congratulated the mother a 3rd class passenger Mrs Elizabeth Waters on the advent of her first born a baby girl, who is to be named Lillian.


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