Additional information courtesy of Christine Simm
Official Number: 27312
Gross tonnage: 35.25
Net tonnage: 22.65
Length: 51.7 ft
Breadth: 16.1 ft
Depth: 7.8 ft
Built: Gibson & Butcher, Fleetwood
Smack – trawling
28.8.1859: Launched by Miss M. Noblet, daughter of one of the owners at Gibson & Butcher, Fleetwood for Messrs, William Sumner, James Noblet, Thomas Parkinson and Sk. Geoffrey Wright, all Fleetwood as CYGNET.
25.10.1859: Registered at Fleetwood (FD15).
15.2.1851(and subsequent weeks): ON SALE. ONE-FOURTH SHARE of the FISHING SMACK “CYGNET.” The CYGNET was built seventeen months since by Messrs, Gibson and Butcher of Fleetwood, and is now profitably engaged in the Fishing Trade. Apply to Mr William Sumner, Fleetwood.
7.11.1866: Alongside the Jubilee Pier. At a little past midnight, P.C. Campbell on duty in Dock Street heard cries, “Oh Captain, there’s a man overboard.” Campbell ran to the pier and saw a man in the water clinging to a wooden fender outside the smack. Although the smack was some feet below the pier and away from the side, he jumped onboard and tried to pull the man out of the water but he was too drunk to respond. On blowing his whistle, PC Whiteside responded and found, that with the help of a seaman from the Preston registered brigantine SAXON (153regd tons/1863), the man had been lifted out of the water. He was identified as William Baxter, a fisherman of Fleetwood and was fortunate that the wind kept the smack away from the pier, otherwise he could have been drowned or crushed to death.
5.8.1874: On the ‘oyster beds’ some nine miles NNW of Morecambe Bay Lightship in company with other trawlers including EZRA (FD1) (Sk. Richard Wright) , MARTHA and LIZZIE (FD??) (Sk. Robert Rimmer) and MARY (aka MARY ASHCROFT) (FD24), with the trawl down in a moderate SW breeze under main and jib running across the tide. At about 6.00pm. saw a ship under full sail on the port tack coming towards them. An hour later trawling on the port tack, saw the same ship again bearing down on them now on the starboard tack. Observed the MARTHA and LIZZIE run down and foundered under the ship’s bow. Launched the punt manned by Jeb Rimmer, Dick Wright and Jack Wright and pulled over to search for survivors. The ship, payed off on the port tack and when in a position close to where the collision had occurred, spoke to the boat informing them that they had onboard three survivors, David Cowell, George Cowell and Edward Rimmer, but two men, Robert Rimmer and David Cowell were missing after last seen in the water. After wearing ship again transferred the three men to the boat and after a fruitless search in the area placed them onboard the MARY ASHCROFT. Later it was decided to take the three men back to Fleetwood onboard the CYGNET.
6.8.1874: Arrived Fleetwood and landed the survivors. The ship proved to be the American ship IRONSIDES (1400grt/) (Capt. George Blackstone Ashton), Liverpool for Mobile, Alabama with general cargo (also said to be in ballast).
1.1.1875: Owned by Thomas Parkinson, Fleetwood & others.
16.8.1879: A boat race which created much interest amongst the Fleetwood fishermen was that for smack punts over a course in the River Wyre. The prizes competed for were offered by Mr J. Johnson, auctioneer, of Preston. The first was an eight-day clock, valued at 20s, the second 10s and the third 5s, with a metal tea pot for the last boat. Fifteen boats started the race, the course being from the ferry slip, round the lighthouse and back again. The MARY ASHCROFT boat took the lead at the half distance but at the Knott Buoy she was overtaken by the CYGNET and afterwards the MARIA. The return journey was slow there being very little wind and an ebb tide. Results were CYGNET having taken three hours and 20 minutes followed by the MARIA and MARY ASHCROFT. The last boat home was the EZRA.
1.1.1880: Owned by Jeffrey Wright, Fleetwood & others.
1881: Census at Fleetwood – Richard Wright (38), b-Southport, master; Robert Wright (19), b-Fleetwood, fisherman; William Archer (34), b-Fleetwood, fisherman; James Pater (45) b-Liverpool, fisherman; James Pater (13), b-Fleetwood, cook.
13.10.1881: The storms in this month were particularly severe, reaching hurricane force at times. In general the Fleetwood fishing fleet fared better than many others, however no word of the smack was received in Fleetwood and she was reported missing.
18.10.1881: Arrived Greenore, Co. Louth to land a catch of fish. She had sheltered in Douglas until Sunday evening 16th. All well.
28.7.1882: At Fleetwood, took part in race for Fishing Boats’ Punts (Sk. John Wright). Considered that there was too much sea outside, but the contest was very close. Finished third (10s 16d).
4.11.1887: In a particularly fierce gale with recorded wind speeds of 70mph, lying alongside Jubilee, had topmast break away.
4.10.1888: On coming into Fleetwood when crossing the bar in collision with the smack CORSAIR (AR29). Bowsprit carried away and at one time both in danger of grounding.
27.11.1889: Sold to William Moss, Fleetwood.
31.12.1900: Sold to William Moss & John Wignall, Fleetwood. William Moss managing owner.
31.1.1891/1.2.1891: Very few of the trawlers that returned home came back without some loss or damage. With very bad weather in the Irish Channel the fleet had attempted to to reach the Irish coast but the weather on 26th January was so severe that they remained at anchor until the following day. Only a few boats made the Irish Coast and many put into Peel and Ramsey for shelter. In the midst of the heavy gale which lasted for six hours the Fleetwood boats that were still at sea suffered damage. Returned with trawl beam broken.
2.2.1891: Nearly all the boats alongside were undergoing repairs, some had landed fair catches which made around £12 gross.
4.5.1892: Coxswain Wright, along with Mr S. Scott (Superintendent of Mercantile Marine, etc), Mr B. Furse (Board of Trade) and Mr J. R. Gibson, held an examination for skippers and second hands. Mr John Johnson, fisherman of the CYGNET passed satisfactorily as second hand.
8.3.1904: Sold to William Moss, 41 Pharos Street, Fleetwood.
19.12.1904: Fleetwood registry closed. “ Vessel dismasted & will no longer used as a fishing boat.”
05/01/2009: Page published. 2 updates since then.
21/10/2022: Significant update to history.