Sarah King

"Sarah King" was a brigantine of 123 tons built for Rawling & King in 1850. John Rawling, a master mariner from Burton, was John Wray's brother in law, having married his sister Alice. His partner Daniel King, another master mariner, in 1850 teamed up with Samuel Bullard to form Bullard, King & Co, owners of the "Burton Stather", "Silvery Wave" and "Verulam".

On the 25th of January 1873 she was on route from Cardiff to Kings Lynn with a cargo of coal. She had a new skipper, William Robert Smith of Kings Lynn, who was on his first night in command of the Sarah King, having previously captained the schooner "Johns" for Rawling & King.

It was a foggy night in the Bristol Channel with a fresh southerly breeze. At about 8:25pm off Morte Point, Devon (51°11'15"N. 4°13'54"W), she collided with the Hayle steam packet "Bride" which was heading for Bristol. As the vessel founderd Captain Smith apparently leaped across onto the Bride's rigging and demanded she launch her boat and save his crew. The ships boat was launched, but in their haste they forgot to insert the spiel (drain plug) and needed to bail it out before rescuing the crew. The Sarah King sank within five munutes, but fortunately the crew of four were taken on board by the steamer.

In 1871 I left the "Ocean Wave" (O.N. 975) and took command of the "John" (O.N. 171 - Bullard, King & Co.), followed by the "Sarah King" - a brigantine of 300 tons owned by Messers Bullard, King & Co. which was run down on my first night in command by a steamer off Morte Point in the Bristol Channel. All the crew were saved but their possessions and the ship were lost.

Captain William Robert Smith

Ships Master for Bullard, King & Co.


When the Bride arrived in Bristol, the crew were cared for by Captain Hutchins of the Sailors' Home and agent of the Shipwrecked Mariners' Society. After being supplied with a good breakfast and dinner they were sent home by train.

An example of a brigantine of this size

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