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Sovereign of the Seas(Сlipper)

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Sovereign of the Seas(Сlipper)

Postby john sefton » Wed Mar 16, 2011 4:14 pm

sov of seas 200f.jpg
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An extreme clipper ship built in 1852 on speculation by Donald McKay, East Boston, Massachusets USA. Dimensions: 258'2"×44'7"×23'6" and tonnage:
1852 June 19 Launched at the ship yard of Donald McKay, East Boston, MA, USA, for his own account. Built on speculation and sold to Andrew F. Meinke of the ship broker firm Funch & Meinke, New York. Donald McKay conceived of such a ship in his mind and a ship's lift-model and plan soon took form upon his drafting table. While he was firmly convinced of the merits of such a mighty clipper, others in the shipping community were not so sure. Donald McKay had such faith in his intuitive sense about this ship that he was willing to risk all that he had accumulated over the course of his shipbuilding career to see the Sovereign of the Seas to completionA clipper ship of such grand proportions that it would be capable of carrying 3,000 tons of merchandise and transport it across the oceans of the world with Neptune, an appropriate choice of a figurehead, leading the way. He soon signed on Messrs. Grinnell & Minturn & Co., the owners of the Flying Cloud, as consignees for her first cargo of assorted merchandise to be delivered at San Francisco.McKay's choice of captain to command the Sovereign of the Seas was his brother, Lauchlan McKay. The ship was to be of 2,200 tons burden, larger than the Flying Cloud and the Staffordshire, both of 2,000 tons, and Donald McKay decided to call her Sovereign of the Seas.The Sovereign of the Seas was launched in late June 1852. More than two centuries have passed away since this name was first applied to a ship. In 1637 that ship was built in Woolwich dockyard, her tonnage corresponding with the year. She was the first ship with "flushe deckes," and the largest of any vessel which had previously belonged to the British navy. Mr. McKay could not have selected a better name for his ship; its historical association is full of instruction, and no ship was ever more worthy of such a name. Her lines forward, as they ascend above the water, become convex, to correspond with her outline on the rail, and her bow is plain, without even trail boards, and terminates with the figure of a sea god, half man half fish, with a conch shell raised to his mouth, as if in the act of blowing it. The figure accords with the sheer of the bow, is well executed, and forms a beautiful finish. She was built at East Boston by Mr. Donald McKay, and is the embodiment of his idea of clipper perfection. The Sovereign of the Seas sailed to New York, where upon her arrival at the Swallow Tail Line of Liverpool pier, she attracted much attention. The Sovereign was now the largest merchant ship in the world, and everyone interested in naval architecture dropped by the loading wharf for a look at this magnificent ship for themselves. Upon arrival, the loading of the Sovereign of the Seas commenced in earnest and 2950 tons of mixed merchandise was stowed aboard over a period of 30 working days.The Sovereign of the Seas, with the Grinnell, Minturn & Co. Swallow Tail Line flag flying, sailed on August 4, 1852, under the command of Captain Lauchlan McKay, for her maiden voyage around the Horn. With a crew of 103 men and boys, and 21 passengers, including eight children. The crew consisted of 80 able-bodied seamen, or A.B.s, four mates, two boatswains, two carpenters, three stewards, two cooks, and ten boys. A large crew for an exceptionally large ship.Her pilot took her down the East River, where she commanded much attention, and out past the Battery. Upon discharging her pilot off Sandy Hook, the Sovereign of the Seas caught a fine leading breeze that took her out into the Atlantic. Strong winds came from the south over the first sixteen days of the voyage and the Sovereign of the Seas covered only 600 miles on her southern tack down the Atlantic over this period. Between the Falklands and Cape Horn, the currents were strong and the gales blew head on, forcing Captain McKay to beat his ship dead to windward, while carrying much sail aloft, so much sail that the masts bowed tugging on the stays, which sang out loudly in the howling wind and it was a frightful sight to look aloft. A heavy gale blew down on the Sovereign of the Seas on the night of October 12th and took her maintopmast over the side along with the foretopmast, foreyard, and mizzen topgallantmast and foremast canvas. The hands were called, the ship hove to; and, now, said Captain McKay to the second mate (acting mate), "You take the mainmast, and I will take the foremast, and let us clear the wreck. Remember, everything must be saved-nothing must be cut." Every man was employed and worked with a will, but at night the watch was regularly set, though Captain McKay himself did not sleep. Fifteen days after re-rigging the Sovereign of the Seas, she crossed the equator and reached San Francisco 19 days later with a passage of 103 days from New York on November 15, 1852, beating every vessel that had sailed within a month of her. All along the wharf and waterfront, thousands of people gathered and greeted the Sovereign of the Seas with cheers and songs. While not a record passage, it was very good time considering the unfavorable season during which she sailed and the dismasting in the Pacific. The Sovereign of the Seas was then chartered to transport a cargo of whale oil from Honolulu to New York, the first clipper to be so chartered, and much preferable to sailing back around the Horn in ballast. Between 1842 and 1854, Honolulu was a major supply base for whaling ships. She sailed from San Francisco on December 22, 1852, with a crew of 45 men, and was "flying light," that is, with a minimum of ballast, when the winds picked up on the third day and the clipper flew along at 20 miles an hourUpon arrival at Honolulu, most of the crew left the ship for they had shipped aboard for the passage to the Sandwich Islands only, as the Hawaiian Islands were called at that time. With great difficulty, Captain McKay was able to come up with a new crew of 34 men to bring the giant clipper, with 8000 barrels of whale oil and bone aboard, and with weakened fore and main topmasts, back around the Horn. The Sovereign of the Seas departed Hawaii on February 12, 1853, and with such a small crew and weakened masts it was hardly expected that a fast passage would be made. But Captain McKay consulted his copy of Maury's Sailing Directions and was able to find some fine winds which blew the giant clipper right along and during one 24 hour period the Sovereign made 433 miles.
Captain McKay brought the Sovereign of the Seas back from Honolulu around the Horn to New York in the record time of 82 days. The Sovereign of the Seas sailed from New York on June 18th. She eclipsed all previous records on the New York to Liverpool run with a passage across the Atlantic of 13 days, 22 hours, and 50 minutes from the East River dock to the Mersey dock, with a best day run of 340 miles. The Sovereign of the Seas was the first ship in history to make the New York to Liverpool passage in less than 14 days At that time, thousands of emigrants were eager to reach the gold fields of Australia. Upon the Sovereign of the Seas arrival at Liverpool, Donald McKay had ceased to own her. Lauchlan McKay passed on command of the ship to his mate, Henry Warner, an Englishman who had lived in East Boston for many years. Warner had sailed aboard the Sovereign on her maiden voyage and was quite familiar with her sailing qualities. The Sovereign of the Seas sailed for Melbourne on September 7, 1853, heavily loaded down to 23 1/2-feet with a cargo valued at around a million dollars aboard. She reached her destination in 77 days, far ahead of all the ships that had sailed around that same time. The Sovereign of the Seas left Melbourne on her return passage on January 24, 1854, carrying over four tons of gold dust to London. On this voyage, the crew aboard the Sovereign was composed of ex-convicts and beach-combers of the unsavory sort, who early on rose in mutiny and rushed aft in a desperate effort to seize Captain Warner, overpower his officers, and take control of the ship and the gold.Warner grabbed a cutlass and charged back at his attackers opening a lane through them, while the three mates grabbed pistols and cutlasses and followed their captain, helping him to fend off the attackers, till they were overpowered and thrown into irons. The Sovereign of the Seas then proceeded on to London with half the crew in irons. The underwriters of the Sovereign of the Seas were greatly relieved and complimented Captain Warner for his bold reactions to the mutiny for the clipper and her cargo were insured for over a million dollars. Upon the Sovereign of the Seas' return to Liverpool, James Baines returned her to her owners and she entered into the Shanghai trade for her next two voyages. 1859 July 11 Sailed from Bombay with a cargo of cotton for Hong Kong. 1859 August 6 Wrecked on the Pyramid Shoal in the Straits of Malacca on voyage from Hamburg to China. 1859 September The American ship Eloisa was engaged by Godeffroy & Sohn to salvaged the cargo and any parts of value from the wreck.
Djibouti 2009 200f SG?

http://www.eraoftheclipperships.com/

Anatol
 
john sefton
 
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Joined: Sun Mar 22, 2009 1:59 pm

Re: Sovereign of the Seas(Сlipper)

Postby aukepalmhof » Mon Sep 19, 2011 9:58 pm

Sovereignoftheseasdockedphoto.jpg
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tmp11B.jpg
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The stamp is based on an undated lithograph (by Frank Vining Smith) of the clipper ship SOVEREIGN OF THE SEAS.
The clipper ship was built from1840s trough the 1850s during the heydays of the gold rush to California and Australia, and during the tea trade from China to Europe and the USA.
For this trade fast sailing ships were needed, but when most of this trade was taken over by the steamers with a much larger cargo capacity the time for the clipper ship was gone.
06 August 1859 she got wrecked on the Pyramid Shoal in the Straits of Malacca, the Straits Times of 20 August 1859 gives, that she first was refloated with the help of the SHERAZEE were she anchored in 5 fathoms of water, but unfortunately a squall came and the anchors drags where after she grounded again.
When the SHERAZEE left the ship she had 7 feet water in her holds.
Captain Littlepage of SHERAZEE gives that many Malacca’s boats were alongside the wreck when he left, and that the SOVEREIGN OF THE SEAS was underway from Bombay for China wit a full load.

It looks that most sources are wrong which give that she was underway from Hamburg to China when wrecked.
11 July sailing from Bombay for Hong Kong and on 06 August grounded on a voyage from Hamburg to China is impossible, first to Hong Kong, discharging and loading then to Hamburg via Cape of Good Hope then back to the Far East, she never can made that distance in a little bit more as one month.
It is more possible that she was still on the voyage from Bombay to Hong Kong when she stranded.

September 1859 The American ship ELOISA was chartered by Godeffroy & Sohn to salvage the cargo and any parts of value from the wreck. It looks that he was the agent for the ship owner in the Far East, or still had some shares in the ship.

Djibouti 2009 200F sg?, scott?
USA 2011 first class mail sg?, scott?

Source: The Tea Clippers by Macgregor. The Passage Makers by Stammers. The Colonial Clippers by Lubbock. http://www.bruzelius.info/Nautica/Ships ... _Seas(1852).html
aukepalmhof
 
Posts: 6215
Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2009 1:28 am

Re: Sovereign of the Seas(Сlipper)

Postby aukepalmhof » Mon Sep 19, 2011 10:00 pm

The stamp is based on an undated lithograph (by Frank Vining Smith) of the clipper ship SOVEREIGN OF THE SEAS.
The clipper ship was built from1840s trough the 1850s during the heydays of the gold rush to California and Australia, and during the tea trade from China to Europe and the USA.
For this trade fast sailing ships were needed, but when most of this trade was taken over by the steamers with a much larger cargo capacity the time for the clipper ship was gone.
06 August 1859 she got wrecked on the Pyramid Shoal in the Straits of Malacca, the Straits Times of 20 August 1859 gives, that she first was refloated with the help of the SHERAZEE were she anchored in 5 fathoms of water, but unfortunately a squall came and the anchors drags where after she grounded again.
When the SHERAZEE left the ship she had 7 feet water in her holds.
Captain Littlepage of SHERAZEE gives that many Malacca’s boats were alongside the wreck when he left, and that the SOVEREIGN OF THE SEAS was underway from Bombay for China wit a full load.

It looks that most sources are wrong which give that she was underway from Hamburg to China when wrecked.
11 July sailing from Bombay for Hong Kong and on 06 August grounded on a voyage from Hamburg to China is impossible, first to Hong Kong, discharging and loading then to Hamburg via Cape of Good Hope then back to the Far East, she never can made that distance in a little bit more as one month.
It is more possible that she was still on the voyage from Bombay to Hong Kong when she stranded.

September 1859 The American ship ELOISA was chartered by Godeffroy & Sohn to salvage the cargo and any parts of value from the wreck. It looks that he was the agent for the ship owner in the Far East, or still had some shares in the ship.

Djibouti 2009 200F sg?, scott?
USA 2011 first class mail sg?, scott?

Source: The Tea Clippers by Macgregor. The Passage Makers by Stammers. The Colonial Clippers by Lubbock. http://www.bruzelius.info/Nautica/Ships ... _Seas(1852).html
aukepalmhof
 
Posts: 6215
Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2009 1:28 am


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