The Saga of the Anegada Island Shipwrecks


ABBIE C. TITCOMBE, Brig or Brigantine, American, wrecked March 12, 1878, Captain B. Kenney. Ref. St.Th.Tid., 13th March, 1878: "The American Brigte' ABBIE C. TITCOMBE, of Portland, Maine, 394 tons, Captain B. Kenney, which left Glasgow on the 16th January with a cargo of coals for Messrs. Becker & Co., Havana, struck on the Anegada Reef last night at 10:30 o'clock. The captain reports that on the first inst. his vessel was dismasted in a gale and he was proceeding for this port under jurymasts at the time of the disaster. When the vessel struck the boat was got out at once, in which the entire crew embarked reaching here at 3:30 to-day. There is every probability that the vessel will be a total wreck." Penobcot Marine Museum states: "ABBIE C. TITCOMB, brig, Yarmouth, 376 tons, 120.9' x 16.1' x 10.0', billet hd., sq. stern, built Yarmouth, Me., 1863 by Giles Loring. Signal letters HTCG, Official number #1309. Reported wrecked March 31, 1878 near St. Thomas, West Indies."

AFTRIVEDO, Spanish, wrecked July 22, 1810, Captain LaPorta. Ref. Lockwood, 1813 & Admiralty, 1825; also Schomburgk, 1832). Max, 1971 writes "Spanish merchant ship AFTRIVEDO, Captain LaPorta, coming from Tarragona, was lost on July 22 on Anegada Island but part of the cargo was saved and carried to Tortola."

AILSA, Brigantine, Nova Scotia, 219 tons, wrecked February 25, 1886, Captain McLead. Ref. St.Th.Tid., 3rd March, 1886: "Captain McLead, mate and crew of the British brigt. AILSA, 219 tons, of Liverpool, N.S., arrived here on Sunday morning from Tortola in a boat. The captain reports that on the morning of the 25th ultimo the brigantine became a total wreck on a reef at Anegada; she was 12 days out from Savannah, Georgia, bound to Humacao, Puerto Rico with a cargo of P.P. lumber; at the time the vessel struck the reef there was a heavy sea running and as no boat could live alongside, the crew had to swim ashore. The AILSA was built at Port Medway, N.S. in the month of November 1882, classed A1, Amr. Record and owned by J.C. Bartling, Esqr. and others of Liverpool, N.S."

AJAX, Ship, English, wrecked September 21, 1819. Ref. Admiralty, 1825: "AJAX of London, Captain and 3 men drowned, 21st September, 1819"; also Ref. Schomburgk: "AJAX, English Ship, Sept. 1819, captain & three men drowned."

ALSVID, Barque, Norwegian, 366 tons, wrecked April 20, 1881, Captain Tallaksen. Ref. St.Th.Tid: 23 April 1881: "The Norwegian barque ALTING (misspelled) of Risør, Captain Tallaksen, from Newport, G.B., to Galveston with a cargo of iron, was stranded on the 22nd inst. (apparently wrong date) on Anegada Reef. Nothing has been saved, the crew loosing all. Eight men arrived here last night and are now under the care of the Norwegian Consul". A letter from Norsk Sjøfartsmuseum, Oslo, dated April 12th, 1967 states: "ALTING is misspelled, must be ALSVID, because under this name, in a complete list of ships belonging to Risør, it is mentioned that the ship wrecked at Anegada, West Indies 20th April, 1881. Vessel Built in Risør 1872, 366 Reg. tonn, Owner: I.Kildahl and others, Risør, Norway."

ANRORA, Spanish, wrecked November 29, 1813, Captain Alday Turriaga. Ref Max, 1971: "Spanish ship ANRORA (AURORA ?) Captain Aldayturriaga, from Cadiz to VeraCruz, was totally lost on Anegada on November 29th, but the crew was saved."

ARCADIA, Brig, British, wrecked March 4, 1823, Captain Venham. Ref. Admiralty, 1825: "Brig ARCADIA, to Trinidad, 4th March, 1823, part of cargo consisting of cattle, saved". Also Ref. Schromburgk, 1832; and Max, 1971: "British ship ARCADIA, Captain Venham, of and for Trinidad from Puerto Rico, lost on Anegada Shoals on March 4, 1823, only about fifty head of cattle were saved."

ARGUS, Brig, wrecked March 20, 1819, 1820 or 1821. Ref. Schromburgk, 1832; also Admiralty, 1825; also St.Th.Arrvls: "Brig ARGUS ... ført af Captain Thomas ... forliste paa Anegada."

ARK, Ship, Halifax, stranded 1859. Ref St.Th.Tid, 1st Oct., 1859: "Captain Marshall of the British ship JANE, reports having spoken on the 25th ult. the ARK, of Halifax, 36 days out, under jury masts, having experienced a hurricane on the 9th September. It is since stated that the ARK struck on the Anegada reefs on Wednesday last, but has been got off and towed to Tortola leaking badly." In the same paper appears on a later date an auction notice of articles saved from the ARK.

ASTREA, 5th-rate 32-gun Frigate, British, 689 tons, wrecked May 23, 1808, Captain Edward Heywood
(The History and Wreck of the HMS ASTREA)

AUGUST, Barque, German, wrecked June 26, 1870, Captain Jacobs. Ref. St.Th.Tid, June, 1870: "North German barque AUGUST, Captain Jacobs, from Hamburg, with assorted cargo bound for St. Thomas, is a total wreck on Anegada Reef. She struck on Sunday night the 26th inst. Part of the cargo will be saved."

BULWARK, Brig, British, wrecked December 13, 1818. Ref. Admiralty, 1825: "Brig BULWARK, from Quebec to Jamaica, December, 1818"; also Ref. Schromburgk, 1832 and Max, 1971: "Year 1818, British ship from New Brunswick to Jamaica wrecked on Anegada on December 13."

BYRON, Brig or Schooner, British, wrecked November 23, 1821, Captain Anderson. Ref Admiralty, 1825; also Schromburgk, 1832; also Max, 1971: "British ship BRYON, or BYRON, Captain Anderson, of and for Cork from Trinidad, was totally lost on Anegada shoals on November 23, 1821, but the crew and passengers were saved."

CALABASH, wrecked before 1832. Ref. Schromburgk, 1832.

CAROLINE, wrecked November 15, 1814, Captain DaSilva. Ref. Max, 1971: "1814, A ship of unknown nationality, CAROLINE, Captain DaSilva, from Madeira to Jamaica, was lost off Tortola on November 15, but the crew was saved and carried to Puerto Rico."

CAROLINE, Brig, American, wrecked November 7, 1822. Ref. Schromburgk, 1832: "CAROLINE, American Brig, 1822"; also Admiralty, 1825: "Brig CAROLINE, from Boston, 7th November, 1822." Vessel elsewhere reported en route from Boston to Puerto Rico.

CATHARINE, Brig, British, wrecked September 27, 1840. Ref St.Th.Arvls, October 1st, 1840:"Forliste med den engelske CATHARINE af St. Vincent, Søndag den 27. september ..."

CHARLES, Brig, English, wrecked September 25, 1819. Ref. Schromburgk, 1832; also Admiralty, 1825: "Brig CHARLES, from Baltimore, with lumber, cargo saved, 25th September, 1819."

CHILHAM CASTLE, Ship?, English, wrecked May, 1818. Ref. St.Th.Tid, 21st May, 1818: "We are sorry to state that an English and also Spanish ship has wrecked on the 15 (date uncertain due to poor printing) inst. on the reef of Anegada. The name of the English ship is CHILHAM CASTLE, from Liverpool to New Orleans, with dry goods, the former of which port she left on the 1st April. Crew saved, and also some part of the cargo." Ref also Schromburgk, 1832, and Admiralty, 1825.

COLLECTOR, Schooner, American, wrecked 1831. Ref St.Th.Arvls, 12th August, 1831: "Forliste paa Anegada". Also Schromburgk, 1832: "COLLECTOR, American Schooner, 1831."

COLUMBUS, Schooner, American, wrecked before 1832. Ref Schromburgk, 1832.

CONSTANCE, Barquentine, British, stranded November 1890, Captain Zimmer. Ref St.Th.Tid, 8th November, 1890: "The barquentine CONSTANCE of Barbados, Captain Zimmer, from New York, bound to Frederikssted, St. Croix, with a general cargo, struck on Anegada on Saturday last. Through the efforts of the captain and crew she was floated shortly after, and has arrived at destination."

CORSICA, Brig, American, wrecked November 10, 1831. Ref. St.Th.Tid, 16th November, 1831: "Arrived the captain and the crew of the brig CORSICA which was wrecked on Anegada on the night of the 10th inst. on her way from Gibraltar to Vera Cruz, with a most valuable cargo amounting to $200.000. The U.S. schooner PORPOISE, John Persival, Esq., Lt. Commanding, being in this port when the intelligence was received proceeded immediately to the spot to receive any part of the cargo which may have been saved." Also Schomburgk, 1832.

CRUGER, American, wrecked September 1786, Captain Williams. Ref. Max, 1971: "1786. American ship CRUGER, Captain Williams, from Philadelphia to St. Croix, was wrecked on September 3 on Horseshoe Reef of Anegada."

DASH, English, wrecked May 23, 1816, Captain Falls. Ref Max, 1971: "1816. British ship DASH, Captain Falls, of London, from Puerto Rico to Barbados, with 120 head of oxen, was totally lost on May 23 on Anegada Reef, the crew, twenty head of oxen, and some rigging saved."

DESPATCH, Brigantine, Nova Scotia, wrecked July 25, 1863, Captain James C. Bartling. Ref St.Th.Tid, 29th July, 1863: "On the 25th of July at 4 A.M. the British brig'te DESPATCH of and from Liverpool, N.S., with a cargo of spruce scantling destined for Ponce, Puerto Rico, struck the N.E. point of Anegada Reef. Vessel and cargo total loss. Captain James C. Bartling and crew arrived here on the 28th inst."

DETROOP, Galliot, Dutch, wrecked May 5, 1851, Captain K. J. Tolner. Ref. St.Th.Tid., 10th May, 1851: "We regret to learn that another unfortunate vessel has fallen victim to the heartless wreckers of this portion of the British Virgin Islands. The Dutch galliot DETROOP, K.J. Tolner, master, whilst pursuing a voyage from Rotterdam to Puerto Rico, with a cargo of gin, cheese, butter, barley, beef, &c., was stranded on the shoals of Anegada, on the night of the 5th inst., and became a total wreck. On this occasion, however, we opine that the Anegadians will not be allowed to indulge in their wholesale plundering propensities, as formerly, for we understand that Her Britannic Majesty's sloop of War HELENA, Commander DeCourcey, which vessel was at Tortola about the time of the wreck, had repaired to the spot, with the principal officer of Her Majesty's Customs on board, for the purpose of protecting the wrecked property. A quantity of the goods had already been taken to the Queens Warehouse in Road Town, and are advertised to be sold on Wednesday next for the benefit of the underwriters and others concerned."

DIFIANCE, wrecked 1653. Reference "The Memoirs of Prince Rupert" - being a journal of his 1652/53 journey to America where his brother drowned in a shipwreck on Anegada Island; Warburton, 1849.

DONNA DELLA GRACIA, Brig, Spanish, wrecked 1831. Ref. Schromburgk, 1832: "DONNA DELLA GRACIA, Spanish Brig, 1831."

DONNA PAULA, Slaver, Portuguese, wrecked September 3, 1819, Captain Viana. Ref. Anonymous, 1824, 2 reports, 10 pp, map entitled: "Slaves Wrecked in the Portuguese Ship called The Donna Paula". Also Admiralty, 1825: "DONNA PAULA" with slaves, 3rd September, 1819"; also Schromburgk, 1832. There is also a mention of this wreck in the book "Lagooned in the Virgin Islands", Hazel B. Eadie, 1931. Also Max, 1971: "Year 1819. Portuguese ship DONNA PAULA, Captain Viana, of Para, totally wrecked on the Anegada Shoals the night of September 3, 235 African slaves and the crew saved."

EL CESAR, Spanish, wrecked 1757, Captain Josef Bernabe Madero. Ref. Max, 1971: "1757. Spanish merchantman EL CESAR, Captain Josef Bernabe Madero, owned by the Marques de Casa Madrid, was lost on Anegada Island."

EL RAYO, Spanish, wrecked 1790. Ref. Max, 1971: "Year 1790. Spanish ship EL RAYO, sailing from Bilbao to Puerto Rico, ran ashore on Anegada but the crew abandoned her safely."

ELIZA, British, wrecked 1823, Captain Filliul. Ref. Max, 1971: "Year 1823. British ship ELIZA, Captain Filliul, from Liverpool to St. Thomas wrecked on Horseshoe Reef near Anegada, cargo and crew saved."

ESPERANZA, Brig, Spanish, wrecked about 1831. Ref. Schromburgk, 1832 - reference simply states "ESPERANZA, Spanish Brig."

ESPIRITU SANTO, Snow, Spanish, wrecked March 19, 1775. Ref. Max, 1971: "1775. A Spanish snow called SPIRITO SANRO (Spanish spelling would be ESPIRITU SANTO), bound from La Coruna, Spain, to Havana, wrecked night of March 19th on the rocks of Anegada (at the point called the Horseshoe), the people and a great part of the cargo were saved, but the vessel was lost."

FALCON, American, wrecked May 26, 1817, Captain Brothoff. Ref. Max, 1971: "1817. American ship FALCON, Captain Brothoff, wrecked at Anegada on May 26th."

FLEUR DE LA MER, Portuguese, wrecked before 1832. Ref. Schromburgk, 1832: "Fleur de la Mer, under Portuguese colors."

F. MICKELSEN, American, Schooner, stranded August, 1835. Ref. St.Th.Tid, 19th August, 1835: "Extract of a letter from Tortola, dated 16th August, 1835, addressed to Messrs. Haddocks, Phillips & Co. of this island, states that the schooner F. MICKELSEN, of Newburn, was found in an abandoned state on the Anegada Reefs, and carried to that island. In consequence of her being found in that situation, she was taken possession of by the Receiver of Droits. Any information which may be required relative to said vessel may be obtained from the above mentioned Gentlemen, who have delivered a package of letters found on board to the American Consul ..."

FRANCIS, Brig, English, wrecked 1831, Captain Brown. Ref. St.Th.Arvls, 17th March, 1831: "Forliste paa Anegada i briggen FRANCIS, Captain Brown, fra St. Vincent". Also Schromburgk, 1832: "FRANCIS, English Brig, 1831"; furthermore Schromburgk states in his "Remarks on Anegada," page 166: "I conversed with Captain Brown of the English brig FRANCIS, bound from Nassau (New Providence) to Trinidad, who having been prevented by cloudy weather from taking an observation for several days, according to his reckoning was distant from Anegada, and, making land in the evening, considered it to be St. Martin's but was wrecked on the reefs of Anegada at 11:00 the same evening."

References mentioned in the text:
Admiralty, 1825: Chart Publication issued March 16th, 1825 by the British Admiralty - Chart Adm. G83/AG2.
Lockwood, 1813: Chart published in 1813 by the British Admiralty - Chart Adm. 263/AG2.
Max, 1971: "Shipwrecks of the Western Hemisphere", R.F. Max, Published 1971.
Schomburgk, 1832: "Remarks on Anegada", including Anegada Shipwreck Chart, Published by Schomburgk, 1832.
St.Th.Tid: Daily Newspaper "St. Thomas Tidende" published on St. Thomas  throughout the 19th century and earlier.
St.Th.Arvls: The St. Thomas Register of Arrivals, Manuscript, St. Thomas. This register was mostly written in Danish.


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