Figurehead of the Bessie Whineray
© National Maritime Museum
Photo: © National Maritime Museum
National Maritime Museum
Polychrome-painted figurehead in the form of a half-length female figure holding flowers in the right hand, across the breast. She is clad in a mid ninteenth century costume.
H114.3 x W61 x D43.2 cms
The ship was a wooden brigantine of 168 tons, built by Wilson at Ulverston, Cumbria, in 1865 (official no. 54534). Her owners were: Bell & Co (1865-68); Whineray (1868-76); E.J. Sholtick (1876-79?); J. Melmore & Co (1880 on). In 1866 the ship claimed a record passage from the Clyde to St. Petersburg. She was recorded in the harbours of Glasgow (1870), Liverpool (1875, from Vlie), Liverpool (1876, heading to Malaga), Belfast (1879, 1882). She was generally used as a coal hulk in the 1880s, but it also transported burnt ore and chalk. The brigantine was sailing from London to West Hartlepool with a cargo of iron ore when she foundered 15 miles East of Spurn Head lightship on August 4, 1900. The vessel was then under the command of Capt. J. H. Cummins. The figurehead may be a portrait of Bessie Whineray, presumably a relative of her second registered owner, though this would be more convincing if he was her first or known to have been part of 'Bell & Co.'
National maritime Museum
Royal Museums Greenwich, London SE10 9NF
Ownership can be cited online
Accessible to public
Data verified by owner