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Hi, wonder if anyone can help me with additional information on the following...

Recently my mother, knowing my interest in diving, passed me a family heirloom; a small mug in plain and ruby coloured glass. The story with it is as follows...

Apparantly my great-grandfather was a man by the name of Stevenson who farmed on the island of Stronsay, Orkney. My grand-mother, his daughter, was one of a family of 18!

One dark stormy night a scandinavian ship was wrecked on the south of the island, in an area known as the Bay of Holland. Whilst some of the crew drowned some were rescued by my great-grandfather, taken in at the farm and given shelter, before being helped home to Norway. Subsequently the king of Norway wrote personally to Mr Stevenson and thanked him for his help and kindness.

The story continues that my great-grandfather then bought the rights to the wreck, which was carrying brass decorative items and glassware...

But, that is as much as I know! I don't know if the wreck sank (in which case it might still be there and diveable) or if it was destroyed on the shore, in which case there is probably no sign of it remaining. I've no idea what the ship was called.

Can anyone help with the name of the wreck, or any other information? I do wonder what happened to that letter, and the rest of the cargo. As a guess, based on the ages people in the family have lived to, I suspect we are looking back to 1830 - 1860 but I might be decades out.

Thanks in advance for any help. I'll be diving Scapa Flow in a couple of weeks and might do some further digging with the local museums, although I doubt I will be able to get out to Stronsay itself.

Kind regards,

M.
 

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Hmmm interesting ... the only known divable wreck near Stronsay is the St Rognvald. she does not seem to fit the picture of your wreck however she lies at Burgh Head, Stronsay, in 15m.
The 480 tonne, 73m steamer, stuck Burgh Head, Stronsay in fog at 6am on the 24th April 1900 while carrying passengers, general cargo and ponies. All the passengers and crew were saved but the ponies could not be got off the ship and were all lost. The wreck is in bad condition in gullies. Largely unidentifiable, she has been well broken by storms.
Ill see if i can dig up any further information

Hazel
 

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Hi

I found three that could be your wreck, but they are just 'maybe's'; it would all depend on how old he was;)
The wooden Norwegian sailing vessel Familia Lucken (no tonnage) was o n passage from Christiansand for Cadiz when she was wrecked on Stronsay on 27 March 1821, crew saved but cargo expected to be saved (no mention as to what it was)

The wooden Norwegian sailing vessel Maria Sophia was wrecked on Stronsay on 17 February 1826 while on passage from Pernau for Liverpool, the cargo was expected to be saved, (no mention as to what it was, if any crew was lost or the vessle's tonnage)

On 24 April 1900 the 980-ton Aberdeen steamer St Rognvald came ashore at full speed at 0600hrs in fog 68 passengers landed on Stronsay at Burgh Head, but the livestock it carried were drowned except one pony that swam ashore. Most of the cargo was lost and the wreck was driven off the reef by easterly gales. Position given as 59 05 45N 02 31 30W

Hope that might be useful;)

Cheers Ron
 

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ST. ROGNVALD (iron) one compound steam engine, 980-tons, passenger/cargo ship completed by Hall, Russell & Co., Aberdeen as Yard No.231 in June 1883 for North of Scotland & Orkney & Shetland Steam Navigation Co., Aberdeen, dimensions of 240.8 x 31.3. Official NO 84373

Wrecked on 24 April 1900 at Burghead, Stronsay, while on a voyage from Lerwick to Kirkwall, with passngers, general cargo & livestock

Cheers Ron
 

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McBad,

Beware of verbal 'family history'. Stories change from generation to generation and with each telling.

It could be the wrong island, wrong nation (do you have the letter) and so on. I don't say this to put you off, but just to inform that the result may not be what you expected. :)

Best of luck in your search,

Adrian
 

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beware of imitations
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Discussion Starter #6
Stronsay Wrecks

Ron Young said:
Hi

I found three that could be your wreck, but they are just 'maybe's'; it would all depend on how old he was;)
The wooden Norwegian sailing vessel Familia Lucken...
The wooden Norwegian sailing vessel Maria Sophia...
On 24 April 1900 the 980-ton Aberdeen steamer St Rognvald...
Hope that might be useful;)

Cheers Ron
Thanks Ron. Although I think the St Rognvald is unlikely to be 'the' wreck I'll do some digging with respect to the other two. Where did you find out about them? They'd be a little earlier than I expected but still within the bounds of possibility.

Adrian, it's the right island and I'm pretty confident that the ship involved was Norwegian; my mother usually turns out to be right on details like that... I'd certainly like to have sight of the letter to confirm but it has been a big family and widely spread, so it could be anywhere now.

Cheers,

M.
 

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McBad said:
Thanks Ron. Although I think the St Rognvald is unlikely to be 'the' wreck I'll do some digging with respect to the other two. Where did you find out about them? They'd be a little earlier than I expected but still within the bounds of possibility.

Those just came from R. Larn's Shipwreck Index of the British Isles, Scotland
It may not have been a Norwegian vessel either, because Norwegians tended to man a lot of other nations ships, however it would have had to be large enough to carry animals too?
Best of luck with your search though;)

Cheers Ron
 
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