History of the Merchant Navy
01253 824349

In 1838 two Franco-Spanish merchants sent William Myers, a successful Liverpool trader with farming interests, samples of guano from Peru. The results from these samples persuaded Myers to invest in the guano trade and WJ Myers Son & Co. were major participants in the guano trade from thereon.

They also traded in other goods and owned a substantial fleet of ships to support this.  Despite the company’s significance then, there is very little information available today.  A good source for background on the Myers family is Lost Liverpool http://lostliverpool.blogspot.com/2007/06/harbreck-house-and-myers-family.html
Information about Myers ships mainly comes from one source, the family of one of their Captains, Benjamin Williams and is therefore not comprehensive.

Benjamin Williams career
G-g father's CV

Passed Gabo I on 2/3/1884 bound for Cooktown; not seen again; wreckage believed to be from the Alasdair2 6wrecked vessel washed ashore at Cooktown; carrying cargo of railway machinery/materials;
Date wrecked:1884/04/01 Year wrecked:1884 Protected:Protected
Status:  From port:Liverpool To port:Cooktown Comments:  Location Where wrecked:off Cooktown ? (GBR/Coral Sea ?) Found:No

Picture – Benjamin Williams

 

 

 

“Pizarro”  built 1876 by Harland & Wolf.    Lost 1884.

W J Myers 2

Wreck Name:Pizarro
Details:Passed Gabo I on 2/3/1884 bound for Cooktown; not seen again; wreckage believed to be from the wrecked vessel washed ashore at Cooktown; carrying cargo of railway machinery/materials;
Date wrecked:1884/04/01 Year wrecked:1884 Protected:Protected
Status: From port:Liverpool To port:Cooktown Comments: Location Where wrecked:off Cooktown ? (GBR/Coral Sea ?) Found:No
Region: State:Queensland Jurisdiction:Federal Latmax:-16.000000 Latmin:-15.000000 Lonmax:146.000000 Lonmin:145.000000 GPS coordinates: Water depth:
Vessel Draft(mtrs):6.7056 Construction:Iron Type:Ship Gross tonnage:0 Net tonnage:0 LOA(mtrs):71.0184 Beam(mtrs):10.9728 Engine: Builder:Har Port built:Belfast State built: Country built:IRELAND Date built:1875 Port registered:Liverpool Official number:74490 Registered number: Home port: Home country: Cargo: Industry type:Transport Industry type 2:
Crew – passengers Master: Benjamin Williams Owner:W.J.Myers Crew: Passengers:

Deaths: Crew deaths: Passenger deaths: Other information Wreck Id:5735 URL: Signage: Source: Protection notes: Inspected:N

Abstract from the records of the Registrar of Shipping, Liverpool

Andes
Register No. 27664
Registered 19 August 1859
Registered Tonnage 328.40
Built at Harrington, Cumberland 1859
Owners: Benj. Christopher Nicholson, Duncan Graham – Merchants of Liverpool

Swordfish
Register No. 51405
Registered 6 January 1865
Registered Tonnage 725.15
Built at Liverpool
Original owners: Chas. Myers of Liverpool and James Dugdale of Burnley
Total Loss – stranded in Juan de Fuca Straits 6 November 1877
http://metchosinmuseum.org/Contentpages/Coastal%20History/shipwrecks.htm

Cormorant 2CormorantCormorantCormorant
Register No. 29972
Registered 16 November 1865
Registered Tonnage 1021.31
Built at Liverpool
Sold to Norwegian subjects 1893 at Hamburg
Cormorant during Benjamin Williams captaincy 1875-80, location unknown.

Cape Clear
Register No. 63168
Registered Tonnage 852.69
Built at Seacombe, Cheshire 1869
Owners: Chas. Myers 19 James Street, Liverpool. Merchant
Sold to French subjects 6 November 1889

Cordillera
Register No. 54995
Registered 27 July 1866
Registered Tonnage 766.11
Built at Seacombe, Cheshire 1866
Owners: Chas. Myers 19 James Street, Liverpool. Merchant
Sold to French subjects 8 November 1897

Pizarro
Register No. 74490
Registered 27 July 1866
Registered Tonnage 1357.52
Built at Harland & Wolff, Belfast in 1876
Owners: Chas. Myers 19 James Street, Liverpool. Merchant
Missing. Nothing heard since 2 March 1884.
Register closed 2 July 1884
http://www.environment.gov.au/cgi-bin/heritage/nsd/nsd_list.pl

Ship Type No. Tonnage Maker Built Notes Captains
Cape Clear SS 63168 852 1869 1889 Sold J Lands-borough 1870-73
Cordillera SS 54995 766 1866 Noel 1868-73 B Williams 1974-75
Cormorant SS 29972 1021 1865 1893 Sold J Collister 1867-69 B Williams 1975-80 Webster -1882 W. Lewis 1882-83
Damson Hill SS 2087 H & W .1892 T. Brown 1895-96
Fiji SS 1436 H & W 1875 T. Brown 1877-86 W.L. Bryde 1887 T. Hill 1888-91
Pizarro SS 74490 1439 H & W 12.19 1884 Lost off Gabo Is J Collister 1877-79 Jackson 1880-82 B Williams 1881-84
Stanmore SS 1824 H & W 1886 J. Broke-nsha 1888-91 E.W. Nickels 1892-97
Swanmore SS 1821 H & W 1886 T. Brown 1889-93 W.H. Greenhaigh 1893-94
Swordfish SS 51405 725 1864 1877 Grounded Race rocks Graham 1873 J Shandley 1877-79

Information supplied by Hugh Jenkins