The Ketch ‘Lincolnshire Lass’

Written by S. Ablott
First Published


This ketch rigged fishing smack was launched at Burton Stather on the 12th of November 1870, she was one of two smacks launched at Wray's shipyard that morning.1

On Saturday morning last two fine new trawling smacks were launched from the yard of Messrs John Wray and Son. The owners are Mr J. Potter and Mr T. Boyd, both of Hull , and they were named he respectively the Joseph and Elizabeth, and the Lincolnshire Lass.

Hull Packet
18th November 18701

The 69 ton vessel was registered at Hull with the number H661.2

Assault at Sea

On the 26th of May 1873 the Lincolnshire Lass lay becalmed in the North Sea off the Dutch Coast. But conditions on board were anything but calm. The vessel was boarded by a Mr William Lloyd, who was a smack owner and captain of another smack. Lloyd, who was said to be the worse for drink at the time assaulted the skipper of the Lincolnshire Lass, William Gasson and stabbed one of the deckhands.

Lloyd later appeared in Hull Police Court and was fined 40s and costs.3

New Owner

The Mercantile Navy Lists for 1875 and 1876 show ownership of the vessel change from Thomas John Boyd to Wilkin Blackwood Offen of 21, Campbell Street, Hull,4 who also captained the smack. He appears on the vessel in the 1881 census in Hull Docks.5

Wilkin Blackwood OffenM46Ramsgate, KentMaster (Fisherman)
James AnsonM29Hull, YorkMate (Fisherman)
Joseph ParsonM28Portsmouth, HampshireThird Hand (Fisherman)
William Henry OffenU18Hull, YorkDeck boy (Fisherman)
William Morris BakerU16Hull, YorkCook
Census record for vessel Lincolnshire Lass in Hull Docks 18815

The End

The Lincolnshire Lass met her end in the July of 1896. On the 6th she was in collision with the iron screw trawler Montreal (H211) where she suffered a broken bowsprit and damage to the top part of the stern.2

But this was not quite the end, five days later on the 11th, at Horn Reef, off Denmark6 she came in collision again with the smack Joseph and Sarah (GY490) at 9:30 that morning. Skipper Offen said the collision could have been avoided if the Grimsby smack had ported her helm when danger was first noticed.2

The crew worked the pumps for hours, keeping the smack afloat. But as the water gained the advantage, they were forced to abandon at 4pm. The crew of six that day comprised of W B Offen, captain; John Burnside, second hand; John Bartram, third hand; W Starkings, fouth hand and William Wilson, apprentice cook. They were all picked up and landed back in Hull by the ST Jamaica.2


Map showing the approximate location where the vessel was thought to have been lost, or the last known position.

Vessel Details for Lincolnshire Lass

Official Number:65207
Fishing Number:H661
Vessel Name:Lincolnshire Lass
  • J Potter of Hull
  • Wilkin Blackwood Offen of Hull 1880 90
  • William Gasson
  • 1873
  • W B Offen 1881
  • Hull
Trade:North Sea Fishing.
Incidents:13th Jun 1895 North Sea. Collision with smack Only Sister of Hull.
Fate:At 0930 11th Jul 1896 in North Sea collision with smack Joseph and Sarah. Sank at 1400 after efforts with the pumps. Crew brought home on S T Jamaica.


  1. Hull Packet - 18th November 1870
  2. Hull History Centre
  3. Hull Packet - 1st August 1873
  4. The Mercantile Navy Lists.
  5. UK Census 1881 - Hull Docks
  6. Glasgow Herald - 15th July 1896

Last updated

© 2017 Burton upon Stather Heritage Group

© Background Photograph by Steve Smith.