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Loss of the "Lady of the Lake", Newfoundland, Canada 11 May 1833

West of Newfoundland in the North Atlantic
Transcribed, Compiled and Submitted by
Teena, British Columbia

The following report is from the The Belfast Commercial Chronicle, Wednesday 31 July 1833 -


Montreal papers of the 26th June 1833 state, that a few of the unfortunate survivors of the Lady of the Lake, bound from Belfast to Quebec, reached that city on the 23d in a state of great misery and destitution.

As far as memory could supply, they furnish the following as a list of the sufferers

W. STEVENSON, county Tyrone

D.BRADY, Maria BRADY and sisters, and Miriam BRADY, county Tyrone

William GREER with his wife and 8 children

Robert DUFFE, Thos. [Thomas?] KENNYBROCKE, two FERGUSON's (females) Astrea, all from Tyrone

James SIMONS and 9 of his family

S. and J. DENNON



Mr. BOYD wife and sister-in-law

J. BAILEY wife and six of his family

John AIKEN and brother

John ROBINSON with his wife and 5 of his family

2 BROOKES, with one wife

2 COXE's (young women)


Alex. [Alexander?] McNICHOLS and his wife

W ROBINSON and wife



H. COOPER and 8 of his family

J. JORDAN and wife



Anne WHITBY and 6 in family


James QUIN [QUINN?] and 6 in family

Catherine and Mary Anne CROSS

J. WILSON and wife

James McFAE wife and child

Ann MaCAULEY and 4 children

Ann GIFFEN and 2 children

Margaret RANKIN and 1 daughter

Job KILLEY wife and child

A. McGAHON wife and child



To explore more see the E-book "No Fighting Chance" by Thomas G. Clark.

This book includes far more names, than the newspaper report.




The ship "Lady of the Lake" sailed from Belfast on the 8th of April 1833 bound to Quebec with two hundred and thirty passengers. The following particulars were furnished by Captain Grant: -

On the 11th May in latitude 46. 50, north and longitude 47. 10, west at 5:00 AM, steering per compass' W.S.W' with a strong wind at N.N.E., we fell in with several pieces of ice at 8:00 AM, the ice getting closer. I judged it prudent to haul the ship out to the eastward, under easy sail, to avoid it, while endeavoring to pass between two large pieces, a tongue under water in the lee ice, struck our starboard bow and stove it entirely in. We immediately wore the ship round expecting to get the leak out of the water, but did not succeed, the ship now filling fast, the mate, with seven or eight of the crew got into the stern-boat after getting bread, beef, compass, &c &c, we pulled away to the north-west. The scene that then took place is beyond description, after getting the long boat out the passengers crowded into her with such mad desperation that she was twice upset along side, drowning about eighty of them.

I now attempted to save my own life and succeeded in getting the boat clear of the ship, half full of water, with 33 souls in her, without oars, sails, or a mouthful of provisions. The last time I saw the brig, the ice coming between her and us, she was sunk up to the tops and about 30 of the passengers, in the main top mast rigging. We then tried to pull after the other boat, with the bottom boards and thufts, but got beset with the ice. We now expected a worse fate than those who were in the vessel, viz to perish with cold and hunger. The next morning the wind changed to the westward and we got clear of most of the ice. We then pulled to the eastward, in the faint hope of some vessel picking us up and at noon, saw a brig lying-to, under her two top-sails, at four got on board of her, and found the crew just leaving her, the brig in the same state as our own, sinking. We, however, got some provisions out of her and there being a boat lying on her decks, I got part of the passengers out of our own boat into it. In the course of the night it came on to blow from the south-west and the other boat foundered.

All that now remained alive, to the best of my belief or knowledge, out of a crew and passengers of 280 is myself, 1 seamen, 2 boys, 9 male passengers and 2 female,15 in all. At noon on the 14th, we fell in with the master and mate of the brig, "Harvest Home", of Newcastle, the vessel we had previously been on board of, and on the evening of the same day both got on board of a loaded brig bound to St. Johns, Newfoundland, after we had been 75 hours in an open boat, half dressed, wet, and frost-bitten, next morning, I, with the remainder of the crew, and passengers, left the brig and was kindly received on board the ship "Amazon" of Hull, bound to Quebec, where we arrived in safety.


Source: Interesting and Authentic Narratives of the Most Remarkable Shipwrecks ...By R. Thomas (A.M.)