Part of The Acorn Archive

Hearts of Oak


The Eclipse, of St Ives



Built Bideford Devon in 1829

First registered at Bideford Nr 9; 8th August 1829


Transferred to St Ives Nr 14; Registered 11th November 1830.

103 69/94 tons burthen. 64 ft x 19 ft 7 ½ ins x 11 ft 6 ins depth of hold

Brig ….

Standing Bowsprit; Square Stern

Single deck; Two masts.

Figurehead – a man’s bust.

Carvel built (timber).


Master : Edward John (jnr)

Owners :  64ths Shares

Edward John, innkeeper 26

James Wearne, mariner 16

Roger Wearne, merchant 8

William Davy of Penzance, merchant 8

John Permewan of St Just, farmer 6


Registered De Novo under Board Order 29th June 1842; Registry Lost

Registered St Ives Nr 5; 13th July 1842

Measured as 90 1327/3500 tons burthen; 61.4 ft x 17.2 ft x 10.95 ft.

Re-measured under rules 103 69/94 tons burthen


Master : John Sandow.

Change of Ownership in part

8th March 1843 – Richard Vinnicombe Davy and Edmund Davy of Penzance,

executors of William Davy, late of Penzance, transferred 14th July 1842 8/64ths

Shares unto Edward John; Will Probate 4th December 1939.

Edward John’s shares total 34.


6th November 1844 Edward John transferred his shares to James Wearne


Vessel Altered

Registered De Novo; registered St Ives Nr 15; Registered 6th November 1844.

Measured  114 2307/3500 tons burthen; 69.8 ft x 17.7 ft x 11 ft

Schooner rig ….


Master : James Jennings


James Wearne 50

Roger Wearne 8

Legal representative of John Permewan of St Just 6


21st February 1846 James Wearne transferred 16/24ths to Thomas Daniel, master mariner


3rd August 1848 : Master : Humphry Francis Fry


October 1848  A Newspaper Clipping

Story provided by Bob Nicholls gt gt grandson of Humphrey Francis Fry.

The Mutiny on the Eclipse: The masters of the little brigs and schooners which sailed out of St. Ives harbour during the last century were often very “hard cases,” tough, resourceful men who hardly knew the meaning of fear or danger and thought nothing of hazarding their lives in order to bring their precious ships safe to port when storm and tempest threatened to destroy them. This characteristic is well exemplified by the case of Captain Humphrey Fry of the ECLIPSE who displayed a truly remarkable degree of courage and resourcefulness when his schooner, partially dismasted in a sudden gale was abandoned by her crew leaving her master alone on the deserted ship.

This incident took place in late October of 1848.  Because of strong easterly gales the ECLIPSE carrying a cargo of 180 tons of coals from Cardiff to Southampton was obliged to put into the harbour at St Michael’s Mount for shelter.  The wind having moderated somewhat she again got under way on Monday afternoon and resumed her voyage in a moderate southwesterly breeze. 

The weather soon worsened again however; and at 7:00 p.m. with the Lizard bearing E.S.E. about three leagues distant, in a scud of sea, the bowsprit was carried away, the foremast being broken off short at the same time.

The captain immediately called to the crew to assist in securing the foremast but they all refused on which he went aloft himself and cut a hawser from the masthead to the windlass.  The mutinous crew with the mate as the ringleader, then went below packed up their clothes which they brought on deck and having unshipped and hove overboard the lee gangway bulwark and rail got out the boat; and in spite of all that Captain Fry could do or say to stop them they abandoned the ship in a most cowardly and scandalous manner, leaving the master on board by himself.  They even refused to assist in making the ship snug or in getting the anchor over the gunwale before leaving. At about 11:30 p.m. these miscreants reached Penzance pier, where they united in giving a false

account of the circumstances under which they had left the vessel. In the meantime the captain finding

himself thus deserted and alone began a grim struggle to save his ship and his own life. 

He first took in and secured the foremast and made the sails fast and then by superhuman exertion got the anchor over the side.  This involved getting ninety fathoms of one inch chain weighing between two and three tons up from below and ranging it on deck - a task normally requiring the assistance of several men. Having got the anchor overboard succeeded in bringing up the the ECLIPSE’s 35 fathoms of water, veering out all the chain and making the bare end fast around the foremast.  By this time, however, the water was high up in the cabin in consequence of the loss of the  midship’s bulwark which the crew had thrown overboard, obliging Captain Fry to put several hours work at the pump before he could free the vessel of water. Having done all that was possible for the safety of the vessel he then searched for the lantern which the crew had stowed away in the forecastle and having retrieved it hoisted a light in the hope of obtaining assistance.

As soon as the deserters had landed at Penzance about midnight two pilot cutters the GANNET and GUERILLA were sent out in an endeavor to fall in with the ECLIPSE but owing to the false information given by her crew it was nearly eight of the clock the nest morning before they found her at anchor about two leagues northwest of the Lizard.  The chain was then slipped and the vessel being taken in tow by one of the cutters was safely brought into Penzance pier about one p.m. when the captain’s gallantry was very deservedly acknowledged by the cheers of a crowd assembled on the pierhead to greet him.

Captain Fry asserts that there would have been no difficulty whatever in getting round the Lizard or in coming to a safe anchorage in the roads if his crew had not behaved in such an infamous manner.  It is at least somewhat gratifying to learn that none of these deserters came from St Ives, three of them coming from Cardiganshire and one from Farcet in Hampshire.


20th October 1851 John Permewan of Bosanketh, St Buryan, residual legatee of the late John Permewan

of St Just transferred 6/64th Shares to James Wearne, dated 23rd May 1848


3rd April 1852 Deed of Settlement 2nd April 1852; Ann Wearne widow of the late James Wearne,

transferred 48 Shares to Thomas Daniel master mariner, William Michell Jennings sailmaker and

Richard Dennis Rodda bookbinder, all of St Ives. The Vessel being Absent. Letters of Administration

dated 27th September 1851; Endorsed 19th February 1857.


18th July 1855 Official Number allocated : 11042

Registers do not include Masters names after 1855


Registered De Novo at request of Owners 13th November 1865


Registered St Ives Nr 11; Registered 13th November 1865

Under Deck Tonnage 102 73/100

72.2 ft x 20 ft x 11 ft hold


Owners Thomas Daniel  16 shares as an individual and

48 Shares being jointly owned by the the said Thomas Daniel

with William Michell Jennings and Richard Dennis Rodda.


3rd August 1870

Thomas Daniel transferred his individual 16 Shares to Thomas Wearne, master mariner.

The remaining jointly owned 48 Shares were transferred also to Thomas Wearne, master mariner.

Thomas Wearne was son-in-law to Henry Roach.

In 1874 Thomas Wearne was Master of the ECLIPSE.

Coasting Trade France and/or Belgium.  Coasting Trade Wales and West.

Reported from Penzance: 3rd Aug 1874: Eclipse (schr) of St Ives, from Truro to Cardiff in ballast,

went ashore at Mill Bay, Land’s End yesterday and has become a total wreck; crew and part of materials saved.

2nd August 1874 – ECLIPSE wrecked near Land’s End; Registration cancelled 10th August 1874.


Shipping Registers St Ives

Thanks to Bob Nicholls and Ed Roach for additional material.


Raymond Forward