Sheffield and Rotherham Independent.
1st week of July 1841

The disastrous ship launch at Masbro'

The following List of victims was taken from an edition of the Sheffield and Rotherham Independent published on the 10th July 1841 and reports the loss of life when a Ship launching on the River Dun at "Masbro' " went disasterously wrong.

It was the custom on that part of the River Dun to launch ships sideways and also the custom to allow young people on board at launching to experience the "rush" of the boat down the stays into the river along with the subsequent big splash!

Only this time the ship capsized when the crowd on board rushed to the river side of the boat to experience the splash. This momentum caused the ship to capsize.

I apologise for not including more but the article is very large and consists of 2 A4 size pages of small, tightly packed lettering.
Mike Greatorex.

NameAgeResidence/occupationParents Names
Thomas Straw10Masbro' CommonAnn Straw, Widow
Charles Robinson11dittoJno Robinson, shaft maker
James Argot15Masbro'John Argot, Carter
John Brown15Masbro', roller(?)Benj. Brown, Labourer
Joseph Furniss12Pool greenRobt. Furniss, Miller
Thomas Woodger13dittoJph. Woodger, chain maker
Wm. Woodger11dittoditto
Geo. Ernshaw7dittoWm. Ernshaw, moulder
John Jacques11Jubbs foldAnn Green
Charles Hamby12Masbro'Jph. Hamby, blacksmith
John Fox16Masbro' moulderDead
Wm Greenfield10Back Lane, Masbro'S Greenfield, Boat hauler
Alfred Greenfield5dittoditto
Wm Bowler10New HollandJph Bowler, Flax dresser
Thomas Dale7dittoJoseph Dale Potter
Thos Bradbury15Old HollandEliza Bradbury, Widow
John Haywood13Glasshouse YardGeorge Haywood
John Gillott17Rawmarsh LaneSaml Gillott, Labourer
John Smith40ditto Waterman 
Charles Smith8ditto }his children
Henry Smith5ditto } 
George Curtis16ditto WatermanIsaac Curtis, Porter
Samuel Freeman16dittoW Freeman, Waterman
Wm Freeman3dittoditto
George Ramsden14Tinsley LockW Ramsden, Shoe mkr
Richard Shaw17Masbro' labourer 
John Greatorix21Furnival Street, joiner} Harriet Taylor wife of
} Benj Taylor, mason
Chas Matthews14WellgateGeo Matthews, Hauler
Saml Woodhouse18ditto LabourerBenj Woodhouse, m(o)lder
John Shillito14dittoJon Shillito, staymaker
Richard Shillito9dittoditto
Joseph Earnshaw10Quarry HillJohn Ernshaw, mason
John Pattison10WelgateJohn Pattison, sawyer
William Hall2dittoGeo. Hall, labourer
George Nixon7dittoGeorge Nixon, labourer
Andrew Dobson9dittoGeorge Dobson, fishmonger
Henry Goodall8dittoGeorge Goodall, labourer
William Bradshaw14dittoRobert Bradshaw
David Cundell13Pigeon LaneRobert Cundell, shoemaker
Henry Crowther8dittoWilliam Crowther
John Kent10Market PlaceJohn Kent, wheelwright
Joseph Buckley33Oil Mill Fold, joiner 
Alfred Buckley6dittohis son
Samuel Heathcote41Crofts, joiner 
Robert Lancaster13Westgate,Jph. Lancaster, currier
Samuel Dobb10Westgate GreenSamuel Dobb, Publican
St. S.W Blackburn11WestgateThomas Blackburn
John Parrott19ditto , watermanThomas Parrott
James Yates11CroftsMr James Yates
William Wood11Masbro'Joseph Wood, waterman.

The inquest was summoned that afternoon by the Coroner, Mr Thomas Badger and included the following.

Mr W Beatson **Mr William Earnshaw
Mr Alexander GrantMr Andrew Crawshaw
Mr Frederick Fleck(?)Mr George Taylor
Mr Francis ParkerMr James Bromley
Mr C.S.R SandfordMr Benjamin Badger
Mr George HutchinsonMr Thomas Law
Mr John Graves ClarkMr William Bingley
Mr William Wingfield

** Mr Beatson appointed Foreman.

A subscription was taken up to offer relief to the poorer families which raised £200.00.

Other persons mentioned, as for example, witnesses, were:

Henry Newsome (col 2)
George Wilton Chambers
Henry Cadman
Robert Marsh
John Callis
Edwin Cadwin (col3)
George Haywood
Henry Smith
George Ridgway

As a follow-on on this subject:

The following letter to the Editor of the Independent dated 7th July 1841 appeared after the tragedy in the same edition I have previously quoted

Sir, Allow me, through the medium of your valuable paper, to contradict a report prevalent in Rotherham, viz, that several boys belonging to the Rotherham, Feoffee's School, were unfortunately drowned last Monday, by the launching of a boat,at Masbro'.

I have great pleasure in stating, that not one Charity boy was present upon the sad occasion. No holiday was allowed. Every Charity boy was present at schol when the event took place, except two who were detained from school on account of illness.

I am, Sir, your obliged servant.
Master of the Feoffee's School, Rotherham.
July 7th 1841.

Data transcribed from:
Sheffield and Rotherham Independent.
July 1841
Transcribed by
Mike Greatorex ©2003