Amlwch - some notes on the history of the port and ships built there

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Amlwch - Hanes y Porthladd a llongau cafod eu adeiladu yn y fan

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Many small ships were built in the creeks and on the beaches of Anglesey. The small sloops and smacks were used to carry any cargo - lime, slates, stone, coal, salt, wine, dairy products household goods, livestock etc. You name it, they carried it. Roads were non existant or deplorable so the sea was the main means of transport. Copper had been mined on the island since Roman times and transported to main centres by these small craft.

In the 18th C it became more organised and the mine owners and managers started buiding or investing in their own ships. The ore was partially smelted then transported to Swansea or Liverpool. Amlwch was one of the main loading places but was not much of a harbour then. Lewis Morris, the famous cartographer, who charted the coast of Wales in 1748 did not bother with a plan of the port as he considered it to be no more than a creek! "no more than a cove between two steep rocks...provided the Mouth of the Harbour can be discovered, which is now difficult for a Stranger...... here the Liverpoole Pilot Boats lie afloat, to be ready to meet any Vessels in the Offing".

Towards the end of the century a Harbour Act was passed which required that the creek be widened and deepened. This was the start of the modern port.

During the 19thC one of the main shipbuilders were the Treweek family who originated from Cornwall but came to work as mine managers. Then came Capt. William Thomas who built, owned or managed many schooners and ketches. He had dealings with another William Thomas (not to be confused with him) who ran a fleet of large square riggers out of Liverpool. Capt Thomas's descendants continued the business changing to iron and steel auxiliary sailing ships and finally steam coasters which they built and owned up to the 1950s (see my page on North Wales Steam Coasters). Capt. Thomas also had a yard at Duddon in Cumberland and there were other close ties between the two areas. Shipowners from Millom and Barrow had schooners built in Amlwch and local men sailed on the vessels of both ports. Tim Latham has a list of the Barrow ships on his website at

Bryan Hope has written a book about Amlwch's early industries called "A Curious Place" (I have not read it yet). He is currently working on a book about Capt William Thomas and Sons. Several of the local vessels sailed on, well into the 20th century. For a brief history of some of them see my "End of an Era" section. (under construction still)

Another good website is the Parys Mountain site. This tells the history of copper mining on the island. It also includes much local and maritime history.

The main sources are the late Aled Eame's books, "Maritime Wales" publications, various autobiographies and booklets. (see my reading list) Some information has been received by email and I thank those people. The crew articles, and some logbooks and other papers for the later vessels are held by Gwynedd Archives Service.

Tonnage is complicated as the method of measuring changed. The figures in the table below are for general indication only. This represents only a few of the ships built and/or owned there or were regular callers. Any more information would be most welcome.

The list requires "Tables and Frames" support. It may not work with old versions of Internet Explorer.

Y mae y rhestr hon yn cynrychioli ond ychydig o'r llongau adeiladwyd ac/neu yn perthyn i'r porthladd. Byddwn yn ddiolchgar am mwy o wybodaeth Mae gorfod defnyddio "Tables a Frames" i weld y rhestr oddi tan. Efallai neith o ddim weithio gyda hen versiwn o Internet Explorer.

Recent additions can be found at the end of the table. 16th Feb 2000

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Name Tons Built/ Known Where By Rig Bought Owned or part owned Fate/Notes
Active 175 1816 Lancaster   Snow 1846 N.Treweek Capt John Hughes
Adventure 75 1845 Cape Breton   Schooner 1848 N.Treweek Capt Owen Parry
Ailsie 98 1892 Amlwch Paynter 3 Schnr   Platts of Oldham Capt John Hughes. Managers at Llanfairfechan
Albion 82 1815 Lancaster   Schooner   W.Thomas Capts. J.Owen, J.Jones, W.Parry
Alliance 94 1858 Amlwch Treweek & Co Schooner   Palmer & Co Capt T.Owen
Amanda 193 1865 PEI Ross Bgntine 1866 R.Jones, W. Thomas, W. Thomas Liv Capt R.Jones. Sold
Amlwch 76 1786 Beaumaris   Brig   Amlwch Shipping Co Capt Rowland Owen
Amlwch Packet 37 1832 Amlwch Treweek Bros Smack/schooner? 1832 N.Treweek… T.Jones of Bangor Capt Griffith Jones. Wrecked Abererch 14th October 1881
Anglesea 149 1885 Amlwch Thomas I.stmr 1885 W.Thomas. L.Thomas, Bilbao owners in 1894 Capt W.Gibbon
Anglesea lass 99 1854 Rhyl   Schooner   W.Thomas Capt W.Thomas
Anglesea Lass 264 1871 Sunderland   Barque 1871 W.Thomas Capt D.Jones. Lost 1973
Anglesey 632 1850 Pictou NS   Barque 1851 N.Treweek Capt Thos Morrison, W.E.Bell
Ann Mulvey 99 1842 Chester   Schooner 1854 N.Treweek Capt William Jones
Arethusa 712 1845 Quebec   Ship 1850 N.Treweek Capt Thos Morrison, J Hamilton
Atlas 66 1839 Northwich   Schooner 1854 N.Treweek Capt Henry Jones
Barbara 46 1825 Rhuddlan   Sloop 1853 N.Treweek Capt James Jones
Barbara 1082 1877 Sunderland Doxford I.Barque 1877 W.Thomas Capt R.H.Roberts
Baron Hill 209 1876 Amlwch Thomas Bgntine 1876 W.Postlethwaite Capt J.Hughes
Brothers 42 1820 Bristol   Sloop 1846 N.Treweek Capt John Williams
Camborne   1885 Amlwch W.Cox -Paynter 3 Schnr   Capt T.Morgan. 1914? Sold to Swansea. (Hugh Shaw tells story in "Schooner Captain")
Caroline 52       Schnr   W.Thomas  
Celtic 224 1894 Amlwch Thomas I.Schnr 1894 W.Thomas & Sons, W.Renney Conahs Quay Capt J.Hughes
Cenric   1905         W.Thomas & Sons Capt M.Parry. Not heard of since leaving Twillingate Nfl 1906
Charlotte 73 1841 Beaumaris   Schooner 1846 N.Treweek Capt Owen Williams
Clara Louisa 168 1854 Bideford   Brig 1866 W.Thomas and W.Thomas Liverpool Sold 1871
Clyde 123 1842 NS   Bgntine   Lewis Thomas, Wm Thomas, Wm Lewis Capt W. Thomas 1849, J.Thomas 1851
Coila 133 1860 Southwick Hardie ?   W.Thomas Capts. H.Jones, W.R.Owen. Wrecked Barrow, repaired 1872.
Confidence 445 1849 Pictou NS   Barque 1849 N.Treweek Capt Robert Hogg
Countess of Kintore 738 1866 Aberdeen Duthie W.Ship 1880   Capt W.Edwards
Countess of Lonsdale 183 1878 Duddon Thomas Schooner 1878 Thomas and Postlethwaite Capt L.Hughes
Crystal Palace 90           W.Thomas Wrecked near Barrow 1871
Cumberland Lassie 208 1874 Amlwch Thomas Bgntine 1874 W.Postlethwaite Capt P.Hodgson. Wrecked Start Point Jan 1918
Cygnus 355 1891 Amlwch Thomas I.Screw Stm 1891 R.J.Francis and A.Evans Capt J.T.Francis
Cymraes 22 1836 Amlwch Treweek Bros Sloop 1836 N.Treweek Capt William Roberts
Cymric 226 1893 Amlwch Thomas I.Bkn 1893 W.Thomas & Sons Capt R.Jones
Cymro 20 1844 Amlwch N.Treweek Smack 1844 N.Treweek Capt Owen Williams
Cymro 20 1844 Amlwch Treweek Schooner 1863 W.Thomas, Owen Owens, William Williams, foundary Lost April 8th 1868
Dasher 66 1805 Bideford   Schooner 1846 N.Treweek Capt Hugh Williams
Delton 43       Flat   W.Thomas  
Detlef Wagner 225 1891 Amlwch Thomas I.Screw Bkn 1891 H.Baumann Denmark
Donald and Doris     Amlwch Paynter Schooner   Hodborrow Mining Co Capts Wynn and Jones.
Dove 33 1839 PE   Schooner 1849 N.Treweek Capt Richard Lemin
Dublin 120       Schnr     Capt John Jones. Lost 1824
Eagle 76 1786 Rhuddlan   Brig   Amlwch Shipping Co Capt Owen Mathias
Economy 60   Amlwch Treweek Bros Schn 1840 N.Treweek Capt R.Jones. Lost on St Patrick's Causeway with all hands 1843
Edith Morgan 130 1866 Padstow Wilmott Schooner 1875 W.Thomas Capt W.Jones. Wrecked Sound of Islay
Eilian 116 1889 Amlwch Thomas Schooner 1889 W.Thomas & Sons, R.Griffiths Sunk in collision English Channe; 1899
Eilian 140 1908 Amlwch Thomas S.Schnr, aux 1908 W.Thomas & Sons Capt H.Hughes
Eilian Hill 99 1878 Amlwch Thomas Schooner 1878 W.Thomas, L.Hughes etc Capt L. Thomas. Foundered off Penzance 15th dec 1882
Eleanor 17 1829 Amlwch N.Treweek Smack 1829 N.Treweek Capt G.Jones
Eleanor 81 1786 Red Wharf   Brig   Amlwch Shipping Co Capt William Williams
Eliza Bell   1854 Londonderry   Schooner   John Edwards Amlwch Aground St Tudwal's Roads 29th April 1896
Elizabeth 76 1838 Three Rivers PEI   Schooner 1851 N.Treweek Capt William Jones
Elizabeth Martha 70 1857 Rhuddlan   Schooner 1871 W.Thomas Capt T.Jenkins. Lost near Duddon Feb 12th 1871
Elizabeth Peers 183 1885 Amlwch Thomas I.Schnr 1885 W.Postlethwaite Capt E.J.Peers
Elizabeth Roberts 134 1904 Amlwch Thomas S.Schnr 1904 E.O.Roberts Liverpool Capt E.A.Nielson
Emma 295 1849 Pictou NS   Barque 1850 N.Treweek Capt Thos. Morrison
Endeavor 50 1783 Carreg Cardigan   Sloop 1862 N.Treweek Capt Edward Hughes
Enterprise 39 1877 Tyne Lindsay I.stmr 1890 W.Thomas & Sons Altered at Amlwch 1890
Euphemia 87 1860 Greenock Scott Schooner 1864 W.Thomas, D.Edwards, druggist Capts. J.Evans, I.Jones, W.Gibbon
Exchange 292 1884 Amlwch Thomas I.stmr 1884 W.Thomas & Co, Liv Capt A.Grant
Gaelic 224 1898 Amlwch Thomas I.Bkn 1898 W.Thomas Jnr, L.Thomas, J.Williams Capt I.Williams. Sold to Conah's Quay 1920
Gauntlet 120 1857 Glasson Dock   Schooner     Capt R.Jones
Gelert 223 1887 Amlwch Thomas I.Schnr 1887 W.Thomas, L.Thomas Wrecked Catalinita Is 26th April 1890.
George the Fourth 99 1829 Dumbarton   Brig 1846 N.Treweek Capt Ellis Jones
Gertrude 230 1838 New Brunswick   Brig 1855 N.Treweek Capt Richard Tucker
Glyndwr 16 1879 Amlwch Thomas Smack 1879 W.Thomas Capt W.Williams. Lengthened 1882. Sold 1886
Grace Evans 90 1859 Amlwch Treweek & Co I Schnr   N.Treweek, W.Thomas, Grace Evans, E.Morgan etc. Capt J. Price
Greyhound 191 1886 Millom Thomas Schooner 1886 W.Thomas Capts Williams, R.Jones
Happy Harry 142 1894 Duddon Duddon S.B.Co Schnr 1894 Hodborrow Mining Co Capt W.Williams
Havana Packet 210 1818 Liverpool   Snow 1845 N.Treweek Capt R.Roberts
Helen 860 1840 Quebec   Ship 1854 N.Treweek Capt John Hamilton
Hero 90   Colchester   Schnr 1823 Mona Mone Co Capt John Evans
Hibernia 60 1799 Bristol   B'ntine 1847 N.Treweek Capt John Price
Holy Wath 99 1872 Amlwch Thomas Schooner 1872 Morgan & Co Whitehaven 1875 Capts.J.Williams and W.Griffiths
Hope 18 1837 Cemais   Sloop 1847 N.Treweek Capt William Owen
Hopewell 16 1730           Capt William Peters
Iris 277 1838 Jersey   Snow 1855 N.Treweek Capt Richard Jones
Irish Minstrel   1879 Dundalk       Ebenezer Griffiths, Amlwch Capt Richard Griffiths. Ended as hulk in the Mersey.
James and Jane 130 1830 Amlwch Treweek Bros B'ntine 1830 N.Treweek Capt John Hughes
Jane 102 1785 Chester   Bgntine   Michael Hughes of St Helens, David Richards of Swansea etc, Capt John Rathbone. Taken by the French
Jane and Margaret 56 1836 Amlwch Treweek Bros Sloop 1832 N.Treweek Capt Wm Roberts
Jane Grey     Amlwch Paynter Schooner     Sunk by enemy action 1915.
Jane Pringle 89 1855 Grimsby   Schooner   W.Thomas, Owen Owens, Draper,William Morris, sailmaker. Capts. J.Hughes, O.Jones. Lost off Bardsey 9th Dec1899.
John 66 1849 PEI   Bgntine 1854 N.Treweek Capt John Hughes
John and Eliza 26       Sloop   W.Thomas  
John and Mary 18 1817 Chester   Sloop 1847 N.Treweek Capt John Hughes
John Bright 498 1847 Dumbarton   Barque 1869 W.Thomas, W.Thomas of Newbro', T.Morgan and Peake of Cardiff Condemmned, Payta 1870
John Morgan 78 1826 Caernarfon   Schooner 1854 N.Treweek Capt John German
Joseph 109 1849 PEI   Bgntine 1855 N.Treweek Capt Richard Evans
Julia 164 1848 Souris PEI   Snow 1853 N.Treweek Capt Henry Jones
Kendel Castle 85 1839 Frodsham   Schooner 1851 N.Treweek Capt William thomas
Kitty 83 1785 Liverpool   Sloop   Amlwch Shipping Co Capt John Makay
Lady Bessie 79 1884 Millom Thomas W.Stmr 1884 G.Farrer and Co Caernarvon Capt R.Roberts
Lady Kate 78 1881 Amlwch Thomas W.Stmr 1881 G.Farrer and Co Caernarvon Capt J.Roberts
Lady Louisa 74 1882 Duddon Thomas W.Stmr 1882 W.Postlethwaite Capt R.Lewis
Lady Neave 89 1876 Amlwch Thomas Schooner 1876 W.Thomas, W.Owen, I.Jones Capt I.Jones. Lost in collision July 9th 1911
Lewis and Mary 70 1870 Amlwch Thomas Schooner 1870 W.Thomas, E.Pritchard Capt E.Pritchard. Foundered Dec 1874
Linda 311 1865 PEI Duncan Barque 1871 W.Thomas Capts. R.Roberts, G.Morgan. Lost Dec 1880
Lord Mostyn 46 1844 Rhuddlan   ?   W.Thomas, W.Lewis Wrecked 1890
Lord Willoughby 69 1840 Preston   Schooner   W.Thomas  
Lydia 41 1803 Caernarvon   Sloop 1833 N.Treweek Capt John Griffiths
Maggie Williams 226 1892 Amlwch Thomas I.Schnr 1892 W.Postlethwaite Capt W.Williams
Marchioness of Anglesey 74 1815 St Helens   Schn 1846 N.Treweek Capt John Hughes
Margaret 43 1827 Amlwch N.Treweek Sloop 1827 N.Treweek Capt John Williams
Margaret 72 1879 Amlwch Thomas Schooner 1879 W.Thomas Capt J.Thomas
Maria 76 1833 Little Anchor Cape Breton   B'ntine 1853 N.Treweek Capt Thomas Owen
Maria 95 1786 Porthinllaen   Bgntine   Michael Hughes of St Helens, David Richards of Swansea etc,  
Marianne 53 1839 Amlwch Treweek Bros Sloop 1839 N.Treweek Capt Thos Hughes
Marquis of Anglesey 65 1826 Amlwch N.Treweek Sloop 1826 N.Treweek Capt Hugh Thomas. Driven ashore near Gimlet Rock Pwllheli 30th Jan 1865. Crew of 4 lost.
Mary 53   Bangor N.Treweek Schn 1842 N.Treweek Capt Owen Parry
Mary 342 1842 Gage Town NB   Barque 1849 N.Treweek Capt George Mconnell
Mary 77 1784 Caernarvon   Brig   Amlwch Shipping Co Capt James Roose
Mary Ann 58       Schnr   W.Thomas  
Mary Catherine 77 1858 Amlwch Hughes & Co I.Schnr   Jones& Co Amlwch Capt J.German
Mary Elizabeth 42       Schnr   W.Thomas  
Mersey 41 1816 Liverpool   Smack 1847 N.Treweek Capt William Jones
Mersey (L'pool Pilot Boat no 11) 79 1875 Amlwch Thomas Schooner 1875   Capt R.Williams. Sank near Bar Lightship Dec 2nd 1885
Messenger 536 1840 Miramichi   Barque 1847 N.Treweek Capt Mangus Bruce
Meyric 253 1904 Amlwch Thomas S.Schnr 1904 W.Thomas & Sons Capt W.B.Williams
Mona 94 1786 Liverpool   Brig   Amlwch Shipping Co Capt James Eyres
Mountain Maid 53           W.Thomas  
Nantglyn 103 1877 Amlwch Thomas Schooner 1877 T.Jones and T.Jones Capt T.Jones. Foundered October 1881
Naparimi 378 1828 Quebec   Barque 1853 N.Treweek Capt W.B.Berrick, Capt J.Jones
Nellie Bywater 99 1873 Millom Thomas Schooner 1873 W.Postlethwaite Capts Ellis, R.Morgan
Neptume 48 1789 Emsworth   Sloop 1833 N.Treweek Capt John Griffith
Neptune 42 1789 Emsworth   Sloop 1851 N.Treweek Capt Robert Hughes
Nesta 104 1878 Amlwch Thomas Schooner 1878 S.R.Platt, Oldham Capt J.Hughes. Sold in 1891 to W.Pritchard Portmadoc
New Providence 16 1815 Caernarvon   Sloop 1834 N.Treweek Capt Thos Hughes
Nimble 44 1809     Sloop 1835 N.Treweek Capt John Griffiths. Prize in High Court of Admiralty
Nottingham 483 1827 Liverpool   Ship 1846 N.Treweek Capt Edward Bell
Ocean Belle 62 1865 PEI   Schooner 1867 J.Edwards, W.Thomas, Capts. J.Edwards, H.Williams. Abandoned 29 Nov 1896
Pearl 100 1880 Amlwch Thomas Schooner 1880 T.Fanning Evans Capt W.Lewis. Sold to Conah's Quay 1890
Portland 83 1778 Pwllheli   Sloop   Amlwch Shipping Co Capt John Pritchard
Power 37 1821 Pwllheli   Sloop 1851 N.Treweek Capt Richard Morgan
President Garfield 48 1881 Amlwch Thomas Schooner 1881 W.Thomas jnr Sold in 1897 to Cornish owners.
Pride of Anglesea 88 1859 Barnstable   Schooner   R.Jones, W. Thomas Capts.R.Jones, T.Parry.Abandoned off Lizard 15th Dec1904
Prince Ja Ja 271 1890 Amlwch Thomas S. Screw 3 mast 1890 Liverpool and Menai Strait SS co Ltd Capt J.Richardson
Princeton 356 1842 Bath Maine   Barque 1854 N.Treweek Capt Thomas Hughes
Proteus 225 1852 Foreign   Brig 1852 N.Treweek Capt Joseph Whitburn. Wrecked at Cemlyn and rebuilt
Providence 53 1837 Carmarthen   Sloop 1840 N.Treweek Capt William Hughes
Rapid 232 1852 Liverpool   Brig 1852 N.Treweek Capt James Lindsay
Recruit 996 1852 Monkton NB   Ship 1853 N.Treweek Capt Thos Morrison
Red 97 1845 NB   Schooner 1846 N.Treweek Capt William Thomas
Resolution 125 1805 Barmouth   Brig 1845 N.Treweek Capt William Francis
Robin Hood 155 1854 Flint   Schooner 1854 N.Treweek Capt Owen Parry
Sally 41 1785 Barmouth   Sloop   Michael Hughes of St Helens, David Richards of Swansea etc,  
Sampson 30 1861     Sloop     Capt Richard Hughes
San Pereil 61 1783 Pwllheli   Sloop   Amlwch Shipping Co Capt William Hughes
Sarah 18 1834 Amlwch Treweek Bros Smack 1834 N.Treweek Capt J.Jones
Sarah Jane 56 1856 PEI   Schooner 1868 W.Lewis, W.Thomas Sold 1873
Sea Queen 82 1862 Amlwch Treweek & Co Schooner   N.Treweek 40 Lost Rhosneigr 1861
Speedwell 8 1730           Capt William Jobes
Stranger 238 1827 New Yarmouth N.S   Brig 1837 N.Treweek  
Thomas 65   Ulverston   Schooner     Capt R.Evans
Thomas Blythe 335 1837 Ansi Louis Is of Mati   Barque 1865 W.Thomas, O.Jones and R.Jones, farmers Sold 1865
Toronto 698 1872 Quebec Anger Barque 1873 W.Thomas Capt R.H.Roberts
Tower 37 1821 Pwllheli   Sloop 1836 N.Treweek Capt G.Rowlands
Union 59 1787 Northwich   Galliot 1850 N.Treweek Capt William Roose
Unity 68 1825 Amlwch N.Treweek Sloop 1825 N.Treweek Capt Robert Jones
Uxbridge 124 1786 Liverpool   Bgntine   Michael Hughes of St Helens, David Richards of Swansea etc,  
Velocipede 251       Bkn   W.Thomas  
Village Maid 92 1852 Miramichi   Schooner 1855 N.Treweek Capt John Hughes
W.S.Caine 74 1883 Amlwch Thomas I.Dandy Stmr 1883 W.Thomas, then W.Thomas Liv then Manchester, Liverpool and N.Wales SS.Co Capt L.Thomas
Welfare 52   Holland   Sloop   Amlwch merchants Prize taken from the Dutch in 1897
Welsh Girl 99 1869 Amlwch Thomas Schooner 1870 W.Thomas, W.Thomas, Liv Capts. T.Jones, J.FarrellLost 21st March 1882
White 91 1845 Miramichi   Schooner 1846 N.Treweek Capt William Pritchard
William and Jane 141 1834 Ostend   Bgntine 1864 W.Thomas, Owen Owens  
William Mellhuish 680 1859 Jersey Clarke W.Ship 1869 W.Thomas, W.Thomas, Liv Capt. D.Jones
Woodman 70 1837 Barmouth   Schooner 1863 W.Thomas Capt R.Jones. Sold 1865
Yuca 483 1860 Workington Lamport Barque 1873 W.Thomas, W.Thomas, Liv Capt J.James


Following received from Dave Owen

PRINCESS OF WALES Call sign: WJGP Official registration #: 50470 Master: Captain W. Roberts, appointed to the shipping line in 1867 and to the ship in 1873. Rigging: iron Schooner; 1 deck; 2 cemented bulkheads. Tonnage: 115 tons gross, 115 under deck and 99 net. Dimensions: 93.5 feet long, 20.3 foot beam and holds 10.3 feet deep. Construction: 1864 by Treweek in Amlwich; repairs to damages in 1872; new deck in 1877 Owners: R. Hughes & Sons Port of registry: Liverpool Port of survey: Bangor.

ANNIE PARK Official registration #: 93411 Master: Captain I. Willian Rigging; steel 3 masts Schooner; iron floors; 1 cemented bulkhead Tonnage: 214 tons gross, 211 under deck and 192 net. Dimensions: 134.2 feet long, 24.1 foot beam and holds 10.2 feet deep. Construction: 1886 by P. Rodgers in Carrickfergus Owners: J. Fisher & Sons Port of registry: Barrow Port of survey: Belfast

ENTREPRIZE (note the spelling) Call sign: NGSD Official registration #: 21543 Master: Captain J. Evans Rigging; wood Schooner; partly fastened with iron bolts. Tonnage: 118 tons gross, 118 under deck and 102 net. Dimensions: 87.3 feet long, 19.3 foot beam and holds 10.6 feet deep. Construction: 1846 in Newport; ship lengthened in 1875 Owners: T. Morgan (J.W. Paynter, manager) Port of registry: Beaumaris Port of survey; Bangor. TOP