Cambridge (1803 ship)

Cambridge was launched at Howdon (Newcastle upon Tyne) in 1803. She made one or two voyages as whaler and then became a West Indiaman and later traded across the Atlantic and with the Baltic. In 1814 she repelled an attack by a privateer in a single-ship action. She was sunk in May 1841 while returning to Newcastle on Tyne from Russia.

United Kingdom
Name: Cambridge
Namesake: Cambridge
Owner: Various
Builder: Howdon, or Newcastle on Tyne
Launched: 1803
Fate: Sunk May 1841
General characteristics
Tons burthen: 309[1] (bm)
Complement: 40[1]
Armament: 16 × 6-pounder guns + 4 swivel guns[1]


Cambridge's first owner was Lord Camelford, a particularly violent former naval officer. When Camelford died three days after being wounded in a duel on 7 March 1804. His whalers, Cambridge, Wilding (or Willding), and Caerwent passed to Lord Grenville, a relative by marriage, who sold them when they returned from their voyages.[2]

Whaler: Captain Benjamin Thompson acquired a letter of marque on 30 January 1804.[1] In February he sailed from London, bound for the Galápagos Islands. On 29 May Cambridge and Caerwent were at Rio de Janeiro.[3] They were later reported to have arrived at Hood Island.[4]

Cambridge was again at Rio in July 1806, requiring food, water, and calefaction.[5] This may have represented a second voyage.[3] At some point her captains were reported as Buves, and Anthony.[5] On 5 December 1806 Lloyd's List reported that Cambridge, Thompson, late master, and Caerwent, Anthony, master, were at the Cape of Good Hope,[6]

Cambridge returned to London on 12 May 1807.[3] Lloyd's Register for 1807 still showed her master as Thompson, her owner as Rodgers, and her trade as London–South Seas.[7]

West Indiaman and general trader Lloyd's List reported on 24 June 1808 that Cambridge, Sullivan, master, had had to put back into Havana, having been run into.[8]

On 6 January 1814 Cambridge, Evans, master, arrived at Havana. She had repelled an attack by a Carthaginian privateer schooner of one gun and 80 men near Morro Castle (Havana). Two hours later the privateer captured a ship.[9][Note 1]

On 6 May 1825, Cambridge, Mason, master, rescued the crew and their belongings from the leaky and sinking Albert, Dixon, master. Both vessels were sailing to London, Cambridge from Jamaica and Albert from Virginia when Cambridge came upon Albert at 46°N 32°W. Albert had four feet of water in her hold that was rising at 18" per hour, even with her pumps working.[10]

Year Master Owner Trade Source and notes
1805 Longridge F. Hurry & Co. Newcastle–London Register of Shipping (RS)
1810 Sullivan
J. Evans
H.Fletcher London–Jamaica RS
1815 J.Evans H.Fletcher London–Havana
RS; small repairs 1814
1820 Langdon H.Fletcher London–Jamaica RS; small repairs 1816
1825 Mason H.Fletcher London–Jamaica RS; large repairs 1822
1830 Thompson Thompson & Co. London–Quebec SR; small repairs 1826 & 1830
1836 Anderson Thompson & Co. Newcastle–Baltic Lloyd's Register (LR); small repairs 1836
1840 Beutyman Thomson & Co. Newcastle–London LR; small repairs 1836 & 1839


Cambridge was last listed in Lloyd's Register in 1841 with the annotation "SUNK".[11] She was sunk on 2 May 1841 by ice in the Baltic Sea. Her crew were rescued by a Russian ship. She was on a voyage from Reval, Russia to Newcastle upon Tyne.[12][13]

Notes, citations, and references


  1. Nineteenth-century South American insurgent privateers, particularly those hailing from Cartagena, Colombia, and flying the insurgent flag were often called "Carthaginians".


  1. "Letter of Marque, p.55 - accessed 25 July 2017" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 October 2016. Retrieved 27 October 2018.
  2. Jackson 1978, p. 89.
  3. British Southern Whale Fishery – Voyages: Cambridge.
  4. Lloyd's List №4206.
  5. Clayton 1814, p. 81.
  6. Lloyd's List №4105, Ship arrivals and departures (SAD) data.
  7. Lloyd's Register (1807), Seq.№C48.
  8. Lloyd's List №4264.
  9. Lloyd's List №4850.
  10. Lloyd's List №6024.
  11. Lloyd's Register (1841), Seq.№C54.
  12. "Marine Intelligence". The Newcastle Courant etc (8616). Newcastle upon Tyne. 28 May 1841.
  13. "Ship News". The Morning Post (21951). London. 25 May 1841. p. 7.


  • Clayton, Jane M. (2014) Ships employed in the South Sea Whale Fishery from Britain: 1775-1815: An alphabetical list of ships. (Berforts Group). ISBN 9781908616524
  • Jackson, Gordon (1978) The British whaling trade. (Hamden, Conn.: Archon Books}. ISBN 978-0713618402
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