Storm 1883, loss of the barque Star of Hope

Terrific Storm, loss of life and great damage to property

Vessels Ashore, Lifeboat Accident

Liverpool Mercury Jan. 27th, 1883

From midnight on Thursday until 7am yesterday a gale blew over Liverpool and Birkenhead. About 2am, the wind which was from the north-west, drove the waters of the Channel and the river with great force towards the Lancashire side. The tide was then at its height the waves and spray dashing over the Landing stage and the dock walls. On the upper stretch of the Cheshire side from Seacombe to New Ferry, the water was comparatively smooth. Rockets sent up by vessels calling for assistance were seen at this time, and the Liverpool lifeboat manned by a crew got together on the Landing-stage And commanded by James MARTIN, was taken in tow by the powerful steamtug CRUISER. The New Brighton lifeboat also went out, and it was found three vessels were in distress, the one a brig, the other a barque, and the third a sloop. The lifeboats could not get near the larger vessels owing to the tremendous seas that were running. The CRUISER however got hold of the sloop and towed her to the Sloyne were she anchored safely. The brig was the KUVAS a Russian vessel, and the barque, the Star of Hope, the former outward bound for Doboy, the latter inward bound from Wilmington with a cargo of cotton. Both were driven ashore on the mainland close to Crosby. The crew of the Russian brig remained by her, but the crew of the Star of Hope reached the land by walking, after their ship had been left high and dry by the receding tide a total wreck

While out the lifeboat from New Brighton was struck by a heavy sea, which washed three of the crew over-board. Their comrades by the most strenuous exertions succeeded in rescuing two of the men, but the third was unfortunately drowned. Six hours later his body was picked up by a tug and brought to Liverpool, and deposited in the mortuary at the Princes Dock. The name of the deceased was Charles FINLAY, and he was in the service of the Wallasey Local Board as a stageman. He resided at Little Brighton, and has left a widow and six children. His mother was also dependant on him.

The cables mooring the vessels in the various docks were severely tested during the day. Ships broke loose in the Queens Dock, the Brunswick Dock, and the Canada Dock, but were re-moored before any serious damage had been done. In some cases, however, sterns, stanchions, bowsprits, and bulwarks were broken. The ferry traffic on the river was interrupted to some extent.

The force of the storm was most severely felt in the upper parts of Liverpool, and by the high and exposed buildings in the centre of the city. Although a great many accidents were reported to the police at the office of the city surveyor during the day, happily, notwithstanding that in some cases the damage to property was very serious no personal injuries were sustained by any one. Most of the Accidents appear to have occurred between 5 and 6am, about 5.30am the chimney stack of a four storey dwelling house, at 38 Kepler Street, Everton, fell upon the roof of the house, penetrating into the room below, where Mrs CROWE, the wife of the tenant was sleeping, the floor of the bedroom gave way and fell into the room below, where a lad aged nine, the son of Mrs CROWE was sleeping. This room also gave way and penetrated the parlour beneath. A number of police were quickly on the spot and managed to release Mrs CROWE and her son, and fortunately they were found to have suffered no injury beyond severe nervous shock. The furniture in the different rooms was broken and damaged severely.

A similar accident occurred at the same time at the model lodging-house, 121 Richmond Row, which is carried on by Mr W. MILNER, Princes Ave, Princes Road. The house contained a large number of lodgers, and those sleeping in one of the upper bedrooms, hearing bricks fall upon the roof, warned their comrades of the danger to which they might be exposed. Some 20 lodgers at once left their beds, and no sooner had the quitted their rooms than the chimney stack fell with a loud crash and wrecked the upper part of the house. Inspector ROBERTS and a number of constables were summoned from Rosehill, and they did their best to find shelter for the homeless men. Considerable damage was done to the property and much of the furniture in the rooms were destroyed.

About 5am, six houses in the course of erection by Messers LAWRIE and BRIMLEY in Ling Street, Holt Road, Kensington, and which were completed with exception of the roof, were blown to the ground. A great many chimney pots, slates, cornices and signboards were blown down in various parts of the town and some of the shopkeepers suffered severely from having shutters, blinds, signboards displaced and broken. At the Masonic Hall in Hope Street a chimney stack fell through and destroyed the glass covered way between the old and new halls.

Several boundary walls were thrown down the most notable being the demolition of about 50 feet of the wall surrounding the playground at St Michaels, R. C. Schools West Derby Road, and a garden wall in Kensington opposite Christ Church, which fell upon the footpath. Considerable damage was done to the new building of Messers LEWIS in Ranlagh Street. A great many of the panes of glass in Fairclough Street front were broken and some of the electric light lamps were so damaged they had to be taken down. The officials at the office of the surveyor in the Municipal Building were busy yesterday looking after dangerous buildings between 50 and 60 notices were served upon proprietors of premises in various parts of the city, warning them their property was unsafe.

At the Postoffice a notice was posted that there was considerable delay in the telegraphic communication between Liverpool and other portions of England and that communication with Scotland was almost entirely interrupted.


The heavy gale this morning has been felt with most severity at Bootle and in the north end district generally. Tiles have been blown off house roofs, chimney stacks damaged and old walls blown down. Early this morning a woman walking down Derby Road was thrown down by the wind and her face and hands were badly lacerated. An old man was flung against a wall in Sandy Lane and his forehead was severely gashed. A tree was blown down in Portland Place, a wall in Derby Road, Kirkdale, several chimneys in Berry Street, and a considerable portion of a roof was stripped off a large villa on Breeze Hill.


The storm raged with great violence at Birkenhead, and considerable damage was done to house property, chimney stacks and slates having been carried off in different places. In some instances windows were blown out, fortunately no serious accident has been reported.

Early in the morning a large portion of the new boiler sheds at the works of Messers COCHRANE and Co, Duke Street was demolished and other damage done. The traffic between the Woodside Ferry and the Georges Landing-stage was considerable interrupted, the steamers owing to the force of the gale, being unable to get away from the stage. Some of the large panes of glass in the roof of the passenger bridge at Woodside were smashed, and two mor three of the side shutters on the stage were also blown down.

In the parish of Wallasey several unfinished buildings were partly demolished and considerable damage was done to house property generally. A gentleman who has resided at New Brighton for many years states that never since the storm in which the Royal Charter was lost was the force of the wind so great as it was yesterday morning. His house a solid well, built structure, visibly vibrated during the tremendous gusts.


On Thursday night and yesterday morning a fearful hurricane prevailed at Southport. The wind, which in the night blew violently from the west suddenly veered round to the south, when its full force expended on the town doing great damage. Chimney pots, fencing, walls and trees were blown down, lead and slates were stripped off the houses. Nearly the whole of a chimney belonging to a foundry fell, breaking through the roof into the workshops below. The Winter Gardens and conservatory suffered considerably, portions of the roof were blown in, and workmen had to be called up during the night to shore up the front facing the sea. The Botanic Gardens and National Schools also suffered, the latter being some much injured that the children were not allowed to assemble there yesterday. The wind was so violent during the night that it resembled the reports of artillery, and rendered the streets almost impassable.

Loss of the barque Star of Hope

The Standard Jan. 29, 1883

The crew of the barque Star of Hope arrived at Liverpool on Saturday morning and gave full particulars of the disaster to their vessel. It seems the Star of Hope left Wilmington, South Carolina on the 24th December, having on board a cargo of resin and turpentine. Shortly after starting bad weather was encountered and it is said the vessel had scarcely 12 consecutive hours of fine weather from the time she started until she stranded. At one time of the passage a tremendous sea was shipped which filled the deck, and for some time imprisoned the men on the forecastle. Last Thursday night as the vessel was making for the Mersey, the wind was blowing fearfully and the sea was running as high as mountains.

There was a pilot on board and two anchors were out, but one of the cables broke and the vessel drifted towards the shore, the remaining anchor being dragged along. Blue lights were exhibited, and it could be seen that the vessel was between two lightships, one of which was also showing blue lights. Finding that the vessel was being carried nearer and nearer to shore the captain ordered the main mast to be cut. This was done, but it had scarcely fallen over the side of the ship, when the barque herself got ashore. She went stern on, and afterwards large waves dashed over her quarters. Fortunately the men managed to keep on their vessel until the tide receded, and they were able to walk ashore. They afterwards brought their effects away, and a subsequent visit to the vessel showed that she had broken amidships. Her hatches were also broken and other damage done. The Star of Hope is a vessel of about 400 tons register, and owned by Mr FOWLER of Memel, on the Baltic.


© 2020 All Rights Reserved