SPEEDWELL H1283 - Steam Cutter
Murdoch & Murray Port Glasgow
Off Number
Length Ft
Tons Gross
Yard Number
Breadth Ft
Tons Net
25 05 1880
Engine Builder
Muir & Houston Glasgow
63 HP
Registered   Owners Gt Northern Steam Fishing Co Ltd  ( H A NEWTON Manager )
    Owners .
Fate :.08 October 1884 Wrecked Cross Sands off Yarmouth




Shortly before five o`clock the steam-cutter Speedwell arrived with a flag flying half-mast. Everything moveable had been washed off her deck, and her mainsail and port shrouds had been carried away, she had on board the crews of the Premier and Harrier, two Hull smacks. These vessels had been struck by heavy seas which carried away all their sails and filled them with water. The cutters boat had taken the crews off, and they were all standing aft about noon on Tuesday, just after the rescue had been effected, when the master, Thomas Reynolds, observed a huge sea rolling on the steamer, and called all hands to save themselves. Some jumped down the cabin and some into the engine-room. The next moment the sea broke on board and hove the steamer on her beam ends, the water rushing down the engine-room untill it was about eight feet deep, and the fires were put out. (Note: The fires were the boiler fires, which would have lost all the vessels power). On the men scrambling on deck, the master was nowhere to be seen, and the mate was just scrambling on board. For eighteen hours the crew kept bailing before they freed the vessel from water. When this report was despatched other smacks were in sight with flags half-mast high. ( Note: A sign of distress ).

Report On The System Of Deep Sea Trawl Fishing As Conducted In The North Sea. ( 1883 )

06 MAR 1883  In Section of Losses and Damages to vessels the SPEEDWELL  Steam Dandy of 94 Tons Belonging to the Great Northern Steam Fishing Co, Hull with a crew of 12

Whilst on the Dogger Bank was hit by a heavy sea. Thrown on beam ends and fires put out. Sails and lifeboat were carried away, and decks swept.


OCT 13 1883

The Shipwrecked Mariners Society has awarded four silver medals to the crew of the steam cutter Speedwell of Hull for their bravery in rescuing the crews of the smacks Harrier and Premier off the Dogger Bank in Mar last, The Master of the Cutter was drowned on the occasion.

THOMAS B REYNOLDS Was listed on the Hull Honour Boards Dec 1883 / On the 14 DEC 1883 A silver watch and chain was presented to Josiah Reynolds the only son of Thomas Reynolds the sum of £5 and the silver medal was forwaded to the family.



Warrants were granted against fishermen for alleged gross outrages. Two men were about to join the steam cutter Speedwell when they were surrounded by a large gang of fishermen, who knocked them down seized their bags, and destroyed their provisions.



On Tuesday the Great Northern Fish and Ice Company, Hull received intelligence that their steam cutter Speedwell had been lost that morning, while proceeding from the Dogger Bank to the London market, with about 1,800 boxes of fish on board. She struck on the cross sands, and soon afterwards filled and sank, the crew, who lost everything, being taken off by the Caistor lifeboat and landed at Yarmouth. The Speedwell was built at Glasgow, and was commanded by Capt Lyons.

25 OCT 1884

The Board of Trade Inquiry at Hull. Yesterday at the Hull Town-hall, before Mr. Twiss stipendiary magistrate, and Captains Anderson and Kennedy as nautical assecssors, a Board of Trade Inquiry was opened as to the loss of the steam cutter Speedwell, belonging to the Great Northern Steam Shipping \company of Hull. Mr Saxelbye appeared for the Board of Trade, and Mr Jackson for the owners amd master, Mr G. Lyons. The Speedwell while proceeding from the North Sea fishing ground to London with 60 tons of fish on board, on the 7th inst. struck upon the Cross Sands, and becamne a total wreck. The crew were taken off by the Caistor lifeboat, and landed at Yarmouth. Evidence was given by Mr. H.D Newton secretary to the company, who said the vessel was insured for £5,000. Her original cost was £5.500 and she could not be replaced under £6,500 or £7,000. The freight was not insured. After further evidence the inquiry was adjourned.


At Hull Town Hall on Monday, Mr Twiss, spidendiary magistrate, gave judgement in the Board Of Trade inquiry as to the loss of the Hull steam cutter Speedwell, giving answers to the questions submitted by the Board of Trade. In reply to that as to insurance, he said the vessel was of more value than the amount of insurance effected upon her. The vessel was properly and sufficiently manned. had the master been correct in his opinion as to the distance of the vessel from the Newarp Light when the vessel was abeam, the courses he set and steered would have been correct, but, as events proved, he must have been nearer, therefore the course was not a proper one. No measures were taken to verify the position of the vessel from time to time, the master stating that he had never taken cross-bearings. The night being fine and clear, there was no neccesity for the use of the lead. A proper look out was not kept; for if it had been, the Lowestoft light would have been pointed out, and the casualty avoided. The vessel was not therefore navigated in a proper and seamanlike manner. The stranding was caused by the unsafe and improper course which was set and steered after passing the Newarp Light, The court were compelled to find the master ( Geo. Lyon) in default for having neglected to take proper cross-bearings, which would have pointed out his exact position; and such neglect caused the catastrophe. The master`s certificate would be dealt with, but, having regard to his exceptionally excellent testimonials, and to his having, with the exceptions stated, spared himself no pains or care in navigating the vessel, his certificate would be suspended for only three months.


Birth Pl
Date/ Scource
. . . . . Skipper . .
REYNOLDS THOMAS 42 CUTTER SPEEDWELL H1283 . Skipper 06 Mar 1883 After picking up the crews of the Hull smacks Premier and Harriet the deck of the Speedwell was hit by a huge wave both the skipper and mate were washed overboard the mate managed to get back aboard but the skipper was drowned.
. . . . . . . .
GODLEY J . SPEEDWELL H1283 . Skipper 1883 .
. . . . . . . .
LYON GEORGE . SPEEDWELL H1283 . Second Hand 06 Mar 1883 Washed overboard in great gale with skipper but managed to regain vessel
LYON GEORGE . SPEEDWELL H1283 . Skipper 23 Jun 1883 Skipper 08 Oct 1884 when vessel lost /
SMITH JAMES . SPEEDWELL H1283 . Second Hand 23 Jun 1883 .
RANDALL R . SPEEDWELL H1283 Third hand 23 Jun 1883 .
BRADY GEORGE . SPEEDWELL H1283 . Fourth hand 23 Jun 1883 .
ANDERSON JAMES . SPEEDWELL H1283 . Fifth hand / Cook 23 Jun 1883 .
. . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . .