Crown of England

From WikiName
Jump to: navigation, search
Gustav Eisen sketched the wrecks of the Goldenhorn and Crown of England, Santa Rosa Island, 1897


Crown of England (#99115) (1891-1894), 297-foot British-built steel and iron cargo steamship. While en route from San Diego to British Columbia under the command of Captain John Hamilton, she ran aground on the south side of Santa Rosa Island in early November 1894 in the vicinity of Ford Point. The tug, Fearless, came to her aid, and the California Iron and Wrecking Company salvaged much of her equipment and engines which scattered for quite a distance. The main engines, steam hoists, steering gear, anchors, chains and other materials from her wreck were salvaged. Remnants of the 1894 salvage operation can still be found near the wreck site, including a donkey engine. The site is known as Wreck Canyon.

» Howorth, Peter Treasures of the deep: the Aggi, the Goldenhorn, the Crown of England... in Santa Barbara Magazine 12(2):16-24, April/May 1986


http://www.cawreckdivers.org/Wrecks/CrownofEngland.htm



In the News~

November 12, 1894 [SBDI]: “The sloop Genova, Captain Burtis, left late last night with our Independent reporter aboard bound for the scene of the wreck of the Crown of England on Santa Rosa Island.”


November 12, 1894 [LAT/SB]: “The steamer Crown of England wrecked. Struck on the rocks early Wednesday morning…


November 13, 1894 [SBMP]:Crown of England. The steamer strikes the rocks on a Channel Island. The fog was dense and the vessel slightly off her course. A portion of the crew rows to Santa Monica. Considerable excitement was caused Sunday evening when a report was circulated to the effect that a steamer had gone shore on one of the Channel Islands… The steamer Crown of England, bound north, struck on the rocks of one of the Santa Barbara Channel Islands in a dense fog Wednesday morning, where she now lies, almost a total wreck, pinned firmly on the sharp points that project near the shoreline…”


November 14, 1894 [SBMP]: “Captain Dan Haskell of the tug, Fearless, arrived in the harbor at nine o’clock last night from the scene of the wreck of the British steamer Crown of England. He reports the steamer a total wreck…”


November 14, 1894 [SBDI]: “The Crown of England high and dry and no hopes of getting her off. The tug Fearless of San Francisco came in last evening from Santa Rosa Island where she went to render assistance if possible to the wrecked Crown of England. Captain Macgenn, of the burned scow San Pedro, was on board the tug and from him the following particulars were obtained: The Fearless left San Francsico Sunday evening as soon as possible after being notified of the wreck and arrived at Santa Rosa Island on Tuesday about noon. After some search the castaways were found on the middle point of the south shore of the island, about eight miles from where the Goldenhorn was wrecked two years ago. The vessel in some mysterious way passed between large rocks, which stand out from the shore, with just enough room between for the vessel to pass, and went high and dry on the rocky beach, swinging around broadside soon after striking. There are several ugly holes in her bottom and the bilge is badly dented…”


November 15, 1894 [SBMP]: “ The tug Vigilant is now en route for the scene of the wrecked steamer Crown of England. The Fearless has instructions to return to San Francisco.”


November 15, 1894 [SFCall]: “There is, according to the Spreckles Towboat Company, a good chance of saving the steamer Crown of England that went ashore a few days ago on Anacapa Island. The tug Vigilant, in command of Captain Clem Randall, started for Santa Barbara early yesterday morning to join the Fearless. The Vigilant had on board Captain Metcalf, Lloyd’s surveyor. The tug will proceed direct to Port Los Angeles, meet Captain Hamilton there, and then proceed to the scene of the wreck. It is not thought the Crown’s bilges are damaged to such an extent that it will not be possible to save her. Captain Metcalf will be able to determine in a very short while whether it is worthwhile trying to get the steamer off the legde. Captain Randall is one of the most experienced tugboat men in the bay, and Mr. Spreckles did a wise thing to send him below to help Captain Haskell.”


November 16, 1894 [LAT/SB]: “The tug Fearless, Captain Haskell, arrived in port at a little after 9 o’clock Tuesday night from Santa Rosa Island, bringing a fuller account of the wreck of the steamer Crown of England. The ship is a total wreck. She lies broadside against the shore and her bottom is full of holes made by pounding on the rocks…”


November 19, 1894 [LAT/SB]: “The Crown of England a total wreck. No hope that the freight steamer can be re-floated again. The tug Fearless returns to San Francisco. The freight steamer, Crown of England, which was wrecked on the rocks of Santa Rosa Island a week ago last Wednesday morning, is reported as being so badly damaged as to prove almost a total loss. The steamer was northbound from San Diego to Nanaimo in ballast when she struck, being engaged in transporting coal to Southern California. A crew of about twenty men was aboard, and all hands escaped with their lives…”


November 20, 1892 [SBMP]: “The Crown of England a total wreck. The freight steamer, Crown of England, which was wrecked on the rocks of Santa Rosa Island a week ago last Wednesday morning, is reported as being so badly damaged as to prove almost a total loss. The steamer was northbound from San Diego to Nanaimo in ballast when she struck, being engged in transporting coal to Southern California. A crew of about twenty men was aboard, and all hands escaped with their lives. The story of how the mate and five men reached Santa Monica in a small boat, after being out two days and two nights, was published in last Monday’s Times. Since that time the remaining members of the crew have been taken from the island, and a careful investigation has been made into the causes of the wreck…”


November 21, 1894 [LAT/SB]: “The wreck of the Crown of England… An unknown current made the disaster. The testimony of the officers. No one at fault. The court of inquiry to investigate the circumstances attending to the loss of the English steamer, Crown of England, convened at the Hotel Arcadia, Santa Monica…”


November 22, 1894 [LAT/SB]: “Loss of the steamer Crown of England. The court of Inquiry exonerates the captain and crew from all blame. The only testimony introduced before the court of inquiry sitting at Santa Monica on Wednesday to conclude its investigations into the loss of the steamer Crown of England early on the morning of November 7, was the deposition of E. O. Parsons, second officer of the passenger steamer Corona, which plies between San Francisco and San Diego… The facts of the vessel’s size, build, officering, voyage and loss are recited, including the facts found from the published evidence with regard to the fog, log reckoning and change of course, recites the erratic and unaccounted-for currents… particularly in the vicinity of the Channel Islands…"


November 23, 1894 [SBMP]: “Dangerous currents. Loss of steamer Crown of England. The court inquiry exonerates the captain and crew from all blame…”


November 24, 1894 [SBDI]: “The sloop Genova sailed today for Santa Rosa Island with a party to look at the wreck of the Crown of England.”


November 24, 1894 [LAT/SB]: “The California Iron and Wrecking Company has undertaken to save the machinery from the wrecked steamer Crown of England, and tomorrow will start for the scene of the disaster at Santa Rosa Island. The schooner Anna has been chartered, and today pumps, hoisting gear and engines were rigged on her decks for the expedition. She will be towed down the coast by the tug Kate O’Neil, and the rescue of salvage will be conducted under the direction of Captain Magenn, who was in command of the wrecker San Pedro, when she was burned a few weeks ago off the Santa Barbara coast. The wreck of the steamer is lying high and dry on the beach in a sheltered position, and can be easily reached.”


November 26, 1894 [LAT/SB]: “The sloop Genova sailed today for Santa Rosa Island with a party who will visit the Crown of England.”


November 26, 1894 [SBDI]: “The schooner Santa Rosa arrived yesterday from Santa Rosa Island. Captain Thompson visited the wreck of the steamer Crown of England on Saturday last. He says that she is still in good condition, nothing being broken but her sternpost. She lays high on a ledge of rocks and but for her immense size could be easily taken off and repaired. She is about the size of the steamer Santa Rosa and is a fine vessel. Captain Thompson says that it will be an easy matter to save everything on board of her as she is in a good place to work, and there is only about three feet of water in her hold. When the vessel struck the rocks, she was going at the rate of about ten miles per hour and on a northwest course.”


November 27, 1894 [SBDI]: “The sloop Genova returned last night from Santa Rosa Island, where she went with Captain Johnson to look at the wreck of the Crown, with a view to purchasing it.”


November 28, 1894 [LAT/SB]: “The steamer Santa Rosa arrived yesterday from Santa Rosa Island. Captain Thompson visited the wreck of the Crown of England, Saturday. He says that in her position there is little danger of breaking up. While there are several large holes in her bottom, there is nothing else injured about the ship with the exception of a broken sternpost. She lies on a ledge of rocks supported from stem to stern, and as yet there is but four feet of water in the hold. Captain Thompson thinks everything of value on the ship can be saved without trouble.”


November 29, 1894 [LAT/SB]: “Mr. Rogers of the firm Rogers & Co., San Francisco, is in the city. He has charge of the wrecking party who are expected to arrive at the wreck of the Crown of England today.”


November 30, 1894 [LAT/SB]: “The tug Katie O’Neil, which is towing the wrecking outfit from San Francisco to Santa Rosa Island [Crown of England wreck], left it there yesterday and came on here, arriving last night to take on coal. She is in charge of Captain Magenn, formerly of the wrecking scow San Pedro.”


December 5, 1894 [SBMP]: “Henry J. Rogers of the California Iron and Wrecking Company, arrived here yesterday afternoon on the tug Katie O’Neill from Santa Rosa Island where the company has three boats and about forty men engaged in saving the machinery from the wrecked steamship Crown of England. He reports good progress. They have already recovered the main engines, steam hoists, steering gear, anchors, chains and a great deal of other valuable material. The schooner Annie is being loaded with the machinery and if good weather continues, will be able to carry a large cargo to San Francisco. After the machinery is carefully removed, the vessel will be broken up and all the iron saved.”


December 6, 1894 [LAT/SB]: “The tug Katie O’Neil arrived here last night from Santa Rosa Island with Henry J. Rogers, of the California Iron and Wrecking Company, and Captain Mageun, who has charge of the work of wrecking the Crown of England. Captain Mageun says that the work is progressing rapidly. They have succeeded in saving the engines, anchors, chains, steering gear, and in fact nearly all of the most valuable machinery. The schooner Annie, and three large lighters are at the wreck, being loaded with the wreckage to take to San Francisco. After the machinery is all removed, the work of breaking up the wreck will begin. About forty men are employed there at present.”


December 6, 1894 [SDU]: “Santa Barbara. December 5. Henry J. Rogers of the California Iron and Wrecking Company arrived here this afternoon on the tug Katie O’Neil from Santa Rosa Island, where the company has had three boats and about forty men engaged in saving the machinery from the wrecked Crown of England. He reports good progress. They have already recovered the main engines, steam hoists, steam gearing gear, anchor chains and a great deal of other valuable material. The schooner Annie is being loaded with the machinery, and if good weather continues will be able to carry a large cargo to San Francisco. After the machinery is carefully removed, the vessel will be broken up and all the iron saved.”


December 11, 1894 [SBDI]: “The tug Katie O’Neil arrived in port last night at 12 o’clock from Santa Rosa Island, bringing over Mr. Henry J. Rogers of the California iron and wrecking company who left today for a short trip to San Francisco. In spite of the rough weather the work of wrecking the steamer Crown of England is reported to have been carried on quite rapidly and the machinery is all taken apart and ready to load…”


December 12, 1894 [LAT/SB]: “At 12 o’clock last night the tug Katie O’Neil arrived in the harbor, bringing the latest news from the wreck of the steamer, Crown of England. The weather last week was rather rough, a strong southeast gale for two days compelled the schooner Annie to put to sea and remain out until the storm abated. But in spite of this, under the efficient direction of Captain Magenio, the work has progressed so far that the machinery of the vessel has all been taken to pieces and will be saved. It is estimated to be worth $100,000…”


December 29, 1894 [SBDI]: “The tug Vigilant arrived this morning from the wreck of the Crown of England for mail and supplies.”


January 2, 1895 [LAT/SB]: “The schooner Santa Rosa, Captain Thompson, arrived last evening from Santa Rosa Island. Captain Thompson reports that the weather has been so rough that for several days work on the wrecked steamer has been suspended, and the tugs and schooners anchored in a sheltered place, but that they returned to the scene of the wreck Sunday evening. He says that they have removed all the machinery from the vessel except the two boilers and the condenser, and that another schooner arrived last week from San Francisco to take the boilers.”


January 4, 1895 [LAT/SM]: “Reports from Santa Rosa Island are to the effect that the work of salvage on the wrecked Crown of England has been interfered with of late by rough water. The machinery has been nearly all taken from the boat, with the exception of the boilers which will come out as soon as the weather will permit. The hulk will then be broken up for the iron she contains, and the big coaler will have been completely wiped out.”


January 4, 1895 [LAT/SB]: “All the machinery of the wrecked Crown of England has been rescued, with the exception of two boilers and a condenser, and it is expected that in a few days these will also be recovered. Rough weather has interfered with the work of the wreckers, but in a few days they will have finished their task, and will then blow the vessel up with dynamite and save what iron they can… R. S. Moore of San Francisco, a gentleman with capital invested in the wrecked Crown of England, is registered at the Commercial.”


January 8, 1895 [LAT/SB]: “Louis Peterson, mate of the schooner Danielson, met with a serious accident at the islands on Sunday. The schooner was heavily loaded with wreckage from the Crown of England, and the tug Vigilant started to tow her to San Francisco, when one of the falls broke and the block struck this man in the leg, breaking it twice. He was brought over to the mainland Sunday afternoon. Dr. Winchester amputated the injured member, and the sufferer is receiving the best of attention at the De la Vina House.”


March 1, 1895 [LAT/SB]: “Dr. R. F. Winchester has brought suit against the California Iron and Wrecking Company to recover $1320, alleged to be due for professional services rendered to one Pederson, a sailor, who was recently injured at the scene of the wrecking operations on the vessel Crown of England.”


May 9, 1895 [LAH]: “A skull that would prove a fine study for an antiquarian reposes in a box full of small curios at Phelps & Lowe's place, at No. 162 North Los Angeles Street, where it was placed by Michael Crane, the sailor who picked it out of Santa Rosa Island. According to Mr. Crane, who is working on the wrecked Crown of England, he was putting in a 'deadman' when his pick pushed through the skull and pulled it to the surface. Further investigation discovered the skeletons of a seven-foot man, a large woman and a small child. Packing the skull of the man with a few other relics, he brought them here. From appearances the man was a chief and at his death his family had been killed for company. A Herald reporter met Professor D. P. Stoner, the phrenologist, at the place named and together the relics were discussed....”


May 16, 1895 [SFCall]: “The two big boilers which J. D. Spreckles & Bros.’ Schooner Anna brought up from the ship Crown of England, wrecked some time ago on a reef at Santa Rosa Island, will be utilized by the Union Iron Works for the oil ship now being built for the Payta (Peru) trade. They are valued at about $15,000 apiece.”


May 20, 1895 [SBDI]: “The sloop Restless returned last night from San Miguel Island. She came down the south side of Santa Rosa Island and passed in full sight of the wreck of the Crown of England. Captain Burtis says that no work was being done there, that the sea was very heavy and was washing entirely over the wreck which he thought had swung around from her original position on the shelf of rock. He reports very rough weather in the open sea.”


May 21, 1895 [LAT/SB]: “The sloop Restless is in from San Miguel Island and the captain reports that he came down the south side of Santa Rosa Island, passing in full view of the wreck of the Crown of England, and that no work was being done there. The sea was heavy and was washing entirely over the wreck.”


May 21, 1895 [LAT/Red]: “The wrecking schooner Albion sailed last night for Santa Rosa Island for another cargo of scrap steel from the wreck of the Crown of England.”


June 9, 1895 [LAT/SB]: “Henry Rhorbeck, a seaman who has been at work on the Crown of England, had the misfortune to break one of his legs a few days since, and remained four days without receiving medical attention. He is now an inmate of the Cottage Hospital, being attended by Dr. Hall.”


June 9, 1895 [SFCall]: “Santa Barbara, June 8. Henry Rohrbeck, a wrecker employed on the ship Crown of England, ashore on Santa Rosa Island, was struck by a piece of iron early this week and his leg was badly fractured. Rohrbeck laid for days without surgical attendance and was today brought to the Cottage Hospital for treatment. Captain McGinn of the Santa Rosa states that the high winds of last week blew down the derricks, completely checking the work of the wreckers.”


June 27, 1895 [LAT/Red]: “Wrecking schooner Albion, McGenn master, from Santa Rosa Island, arrived last night with 120 tons of scrap steel from wreck of the Crown of England and consigned to Los Angeles Iron and Steel Company.”


July 23, 1895 [LAT/Redondo]: “Arrivals. July 21 schooner Albion, McGenn, from Santa Rosa Island with 80 tons of scrap steel [Crown of England] for L. A. Iron and Steel Company.”


October 29, 1895 [LAT/SB]: “The schooner Cleone departed this morning for Santa Rosa Island to get a cargo of wreckage gathered from the Crown of England, which will be taken to San Francisco.”


October 29, 1895 [SFCall]: “Santa Rosa Island wrecks. Remnants of the Crown of England recovered; the last of the great ship Gosford. Captain McGinn, formerly master of the wrecking scow San Pedro, left here this morning on the schooner Cleone, bound for Santa Rosa Island, where he will take on a cargo of wreckage gathered by his men from the Crown of England, which will be carried to San Francisco. While on the island the captain will make a thorough survey of the wreck, with a view to future operations. The captain states that there is no longer any visible sign of the wreck of the Gosford, the great coal ship lost on the coast in the vicinity of Gaviota nearly two years ago...”


June 13, 1897 [SFCall]: “Dr. Gustav Eisen, curator of the department of biology of the Academy of Sciences, has just returned from an exploration trip to Santa Rosa Island and reports that he is highly gratified with what he saw and found there… About four years ago the ships Crown of England [1894] and Goldenhorn [1892] went ashore on Santa Rosa Island. In spite of the buffeting they have received since then the hulls are still intact. The waves wash over them at high tide, but when the water is low both of them are plainly visible. The wrecking machinery, which was brought out at great expense in the hopes of recovering something from them ,is still lying on the shore. It was found, after the venture proved a failure, that it would cost more to put the machinery on board a steamer than it was worth, owing to the roughness of the sea at the best places where the wrecks are lying…” [Sketches of both shipwrecks are published in the article.]


September 30, 1904 [SBMP]: “Stewart White, the well known author, and West Thompson have returned from a two weeks' camping trip on Santa Rosa Island. They made a very comfortable camp on the south side of the island near where the British ship Crown of England was wrecked, and made explorations out into the mountains of the island.”


Wreck Canyon on the south side of Santa Rosa Island is named after the 1894 wreck of the British ship. A large piece of machinery marks the spot from where she was salvaged. [Jones 1901: 206].