The Schooner ‘Peace’

Written by S. Ablott
First Published
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This schooner was built in 1845 for John Wray and John Rawling. John Rawling was a master mariner, originally from Burton and was John Wray's brother in-law, being married to John's sister Alice. The yard had already built two vessels for Wray and Rawling, the keel Sarah in 1823 and the schooner Johns in 1836, as well as the sloop Alice for John Rawling in 1835.

John Rawling later went into partnership with Daniel King, another master mariner and ship owner. The yard built the brigantine Sarah King in 1850 for Rawling & King. Also in 1850, Daniel King partnered Samuel Bullard, forming the shipping company Bullard King & Co. It is possibly this link which led to the yard getting such prestigious contracts as for the Silvery Wave (1863), Verulam (1865) and Burton Stather (1866) from Bullard & King.

Peace was launched in the August of 1845 at Burton Stather, 64.8 feet long and 93 tons. She was registered at Wisbech under the ownership of Rawling & Co and described as a Goole coaster, fastened with iron bolds, part clincker built, class A1 for 11 years, in the Lloyds Register 1845.

While the Lloyds register states the owner as Rawling & Co, up until 1869, after which she disappears from the list, the 1867 Mercantile Navy Lists shows the ship now registered in London and the owner as William Smith. Most probably Captain William Robert Smith, one of the skippers that worked for Bullard & King on a number of their earlier ships in the UK coastal trade, including the schooner Johns and the brigantine Sarah King. In the 1870 MNL Daniel King is stated as owner.

New Owners

In 1872 Peace was sold to and registered in Goole with William Turgoose of Goole. Thomas S Burton of Selby is the owner in the 1875 MNL, in 1876 she has her final owner Thomas Clegg of Goole.

The Last Voyage

The schooner continued to work the coastal trade for Clegg up until 1883, when the ship and most of the crew met a cruel end. Peace left London on the 23rd of January 1883, bound for her home port of Goole with a cargo of wheat and crew of four men. She was captained by Joseph Wright, the son of a ship carpenter. While off the Dudgeon Light (North of Cromer) on the 27th they experienced a strong south westerly gale with heavy seas. All but the main sail were torn away by the winds. Waves were breaking over the decks and the vessel was making water. With the pumps not working, they raised a distress signal. Help seemed to be at hand as an English barque came within reach, but their plight was ignored and the barque just passed them by.

Abandoned Ship

There was no choice but to take to the boat and abandon the ship. After an hour in the boat, Captain Wright died from the cold. Another crewman, so desperate with thirst, having no fresh water, threw himself overboard to end his suffering.

The mate and the other remaining crewman stayed in the boat all through the rough, cold January night, waiting their turn to die. But at daybreak, there was hope again, they spotted a French schooner. The mate signalled and the schooner came their way. The French schooner, Pauline of Gravelines, under Captain Asmart Everard, took the two survivors onboard, leaving the dead Captain Wright in the boat. About three years earlier, Wright survived a similar scenario. The brig he was commanding foundered and he took to the boat where he waited hours, being thrown about the waves, until a Russian ship picked him up. This time he would not return from the waves, leaving behind a wife and two children.

The Last Man

About twenty minutes after being picked up, the crewman died, leaving the mate as the sole survivor of the schooner Peace. He was well looked after and shown every kindness by the crew of the Pauline before being landed in Gravelines, near Dunkirk.

Captain Everard of the Pauline was later awarded with binocular glasses by the Board of Trade in recognition of the kindness and humanity shown to the mate of the Peace by him and his crew.

Vessel Details for Peace

Official Number:228
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Vessel Name:Peace
  • Rawling and Co 1845
  • William Smith 1867
  • Daniel King 1870
  • William Turgoose of Goole 1872
  • Thomas S Burton of Selby 1875
  • Thomas Clegg of Goole 1880
  • John Rawling
  • G Briggs 1858
  • G Durrant 1860
  • Howlett 1869
  • Joseph Wright 1883
  • Wisbech 1845
  • London 1859
  • Goole 1875
Construction:Iron bolts, part clinker, two masts. Some repairs 55, 59 and 62.
Trade:Goole coaster. London S Sluice 1853.
Fate:Foundered off Dudgeon Light, 27th Jan 1883. Crew escaped in the boat, but only the mate survived.


  1. Lloyd's Register of Ships.
  2. The Mercantile Navy Lists.
  3. Lincolnshire Chronicle 13th February 1883.
  4. Shields Daily Gazette 10th February 1883.
  5. Newcastle Courant 6th April 1883.

Last updated

© 2024 Burton upon Stather Heritage Group

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