The Schooner ‘Agnes Porter’

Written by S. Ablott
First Published
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Agnes Porter was a two masted schooner of 150 tons, 91 and a half feet long. Launched on the 2nd of November 1864 for James Fisher of Barrow in Furness. One of eight ships built by John Wray & Son at Burton Stather for Fisher, she traded around the UK and Europe.

Fisher's Ships

James Fisher house flag

James Fisher & Sons of Barrow in Furness once owned the largest fleet of coasters in Great Britain. Founded in 1847 for transporting haematite from the Cumbrian hills. The company still exists to this day. Eight of the ships were built by John Wray & Son at Burton Stather, they are as follows:-

James Fisher
James Fisher, Mayor of Barrow
  1. Emma - Schooner, August 1863
  2. Morecambe Belle - Schooner, March 1864
  3. Squire - Brig, April 1864
  4. Doctor - Brig, May 1864
  5. Agnes Porter - Schooner, November 1864
  6. Eleventh Lancashire - Brig, February 1865
  7. Sea King - Barque, September 1866
  8. Lizzy - Barque, January 1868


In 1874 the schooner set off from Lisbon for Ardrossan and collided with the steamer Mendoza causing the loss of her foremast, bowsprit and rigging. The steamer had to tow the ship back into Lisbon.

On the 25th of February 1875 she was posted missing while carrying a cargo of flints from Shoreham to Elsmere Port with six crew on-board.

Those lost on the ship were:-

  • John Porter, Skipper
  • Henry Helcher of Warton, 57
  • William H Pope of Davenport, 21
  • George Bennett of Exeter, 20
  • James Mudd of Ardrossan, 18
  • John Lowthwaite, 17

Vessel Details for Agnes Porter

Official Number:51072
Code Flags:WLRQCode flag - WhiskeyCode flag - LimaCode flag - RomeoCode flag - Quebec
Vessel Name:Agnes Porter
  • James Fisher of Barrow
  • John Porter
  • Bernard
  • Lancaster 1865
  • Barrow
Construction:Two masts, full figurehead, iron bolts. Some repairs 1873.
Trade:UK Europe Coastal Trade.
Incidents:1874 in collision with steamer Mendoza off Portugal.
Fate:Posted missing 25th Feb 1875 with six crew, going from Shoreham to Ellesmere.

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Creative Commons. Background Photograph by Bruno Girin. Used with modifications under license.