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Shipwreck Longhope
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Shipwreck Longhope

This photograph has been mounted on card and the
sender has written the following:-

Longhope-Aout 1884

Remember of the wreck of "Camsend"
Paris-20 Nov '84

The message is signed but I am unable to read the signature.
Picture added on 28 October 2008
Dont think I have ever heard of this vessel, it looks like it might be the flat rocks west of Cantick maybe around Hesti Geo- what do you think Fred?
Added by John Budge on 30 October 2008
No John, I haven't heard of her either. As you say she looks to be on the rocks somewhere about Cantick. At that time a lot of steamers came into Longhope to bunker, as most of them could not go from the Baltic to the New World without taking on coal somewhere. I understand that a lot of money was made by some families in the Island, from this activity.

You only have to look at the size of the Old Custom House, to realize what an important port Longhope was.
Added by Fred Johnston on 30 October 2008
Not certain of the ship's name as the writing on the photo is difficult to read.
Added by Bill Sinclair on 30 October 2008
Could this ship be the "Camoens" Bill?
Added by Fred Johnston on 17 October 2009
Looking again at the writing on the photo I can now see that you are absolutely right with the name. Thanks for that, Fred.
Do you know anything about this vessel?
Added by Bill Sinclair on 21 October 2009
I think that this is the S.S. Camoens, which apparently went ashore below Brims Ness in 1884. Angus Budge informed me of this, having himself been told by the late Eric Mowat. Angus dived in the adjacent Geo and recovered some of the iron ballast. Apparently some of the lobsters caught in the area had rust stains.
There is a photograph of the " Cameons" on an Icelandic website, taken in 1887 after she had been damaged by ice and she certainly looks similar to the ship pictured above. She was engaged in the emigrant trade between Leith or Granton to Canada via. several ports in Iceland.

Added by Fred Johnston on 22 October 2009
Yes Bill, I have found out a little bit about her. She was built in 1871 for Lamport & Holts South American run. Sold to Slimon & Co. Leith in 1879. I am not certain if she traded to Canada as stated above, or if it was Leith/ Granton to Iceland return. I have printed a letter from a passenger who travelled in her from Reyjavik to Leith, from whence he travelled probably to the Tail of the Bank, for onward passage to Canada via. Allen Line.
Apparently Iceland was a poor place in those days and it looks to me as though the Allan Line had this ship on charter as a feeder.
I think she was sold to NGI of Italy in about 1888 and had more owners before being broken up in 1923.
She was 1093 Tons, but I do not know if that was Gross or Net. Angus has her as 808 Tons, so that is probably the Net.
I have put a picture of her taken in Iceland in 1883- see picture #22764.
I am glad that we have managed to clear this up, thanks to Angus.
Added by Fred Johnston on 22 October 2009
Bill, here is some more info on the " Camoens" from the year 1887. You will notice that the Gross Tonnage has altered from the original, but this is not unusual.

Built A. Leslie, Hebburn on Tyne (Leslie was a Shetlander) in 1871. Offical number 63342, for Lamport and Holt. Maiden voyage Liverpool to Bahia, Rio and several South American ports. 1879, sold to R & D Slimon, Leith. She was 249ft. by 29 ft. Gross tonnage when built was 1093 Net 808. In 1887 Gross tons was 1265, net809. Engine was built by R Stephenson & Co. Newcastle and the master in 1887 is named as W. Robertson.
Added by Fred Johnston on 23 October 2009
That's great.Thanks for all that information, Fred.
Added by Bill Sinclair on 23 October 2009
As a point of interest in august 1879 Elizabeth Jane Oswald , author of 'By Fell and fjord ,or scenes and studies in Iceland' sailed from Leith to Akureyrei, Iceland on the Cameons with Captain Robertson. She does seem to have only been used at that point for the Scotland to Iceland run.
Added by Jini Rawlings on 10 August 2010
The 'Camoens was purchased by Robert Slimon in April 1879 from Lamport & Holt and had accomodation for 72 passengers. She had a crew of 28. Initially she was under the command of Capt. John Coghill, born in Weisdale near Thurso. His family moved to Orkney. He became a renowned figure in Iceland as Robert Slimon's agent, buying Sheep and Horses. His first two trips were to the Baltic. On the 9 July 1879 she sailed under Capt Roberts onto Iceland on the first of 6 voyages on the last two of which she carried 4,441 sheep. On the 7 July she had arrived in Granton with Icelandic emigrants
In 1880 she made 5 voyages, carrying emigrants ,passengers sheep and ponies.

In 1881 the northern ports were iced up until the end of June, so sailings were late. She made 6 voyages carrying 6,000 sheep from Bordeyri along with 1500 ponies from Akureyri, Husavik and Reykjavik. The fare was £5 single £8 return, for 1st class and £3 and £5 for 2nd. On her August trip she hauled a barge laden with coal. The trip to Husavik was experimental and Mr Slimon told the farmers they would have to improve the facilities if they wanted him to come again. They formed an association and he returned in !883. This was the start of the still existing Farmers Association.

In 1883 the season opened early and the Camoens arrived back at Granton on the 10 June with 219 ponies and some passengers. On her second trip she damaged her bow, when forcing her way through ice and beached nearby for temporary repairs for ten days. Ten days leter she arrived at Granton with 70 emigrants for onward passage by train to Glasgow and America.

After repairs she headed North again now under Capt. Walter Sutherland.
Added by Campbell Slimon on 13 September 2010
She was owned by R & D Slimon from 1879 to 1888. During this time she transported thousands sheep and ponies to Granton and Leith. She also carried a crew of 28 and carried 72 passsengers. Fare to Iceland was £8 return 1st class, £5 second. The crew's duties included looking after the livestock. Hundreds of emigrants were also carried for onward transport to America. Her largest number of sheep carried was 3915 in 1882. On 1 Sept. 1885 she carried 684 ponies, 4 cattle and 50 tourists to Granton. Severe winters in 1881 and 1882 caused severe hardship and starvation in the northof Iceland. She arrived on 6 Oct.1882 with 106 emigrants. On more than one occasion she towed a barge of coal to Iceland.
On 6 July 1884 she ran ashore on rocks off Bruneness with her stern going under water and the loss of her rudder. The East coast Salvage Co of Dundee were given the job of refloating her. with the assistance of the paddle tug 'Iron King' of N.Shields and beached near Longhope for repairs. She was then towed to Leith.
Her first Captain was John Coghill who was born at Weisdale near Thurso, who became the Slimon agent in Iceland purchasing ponies and sheep. He became a legend in Iceland. and died on board ship travelling to Iceland on the 'Opal' on 3 Oct. 1896. His family had by this time moved to Orkney .Her other captains included.W.Robertson and Walter Sutherland.
She sailed to Genoa in1888 to Italians, Navigazione Generale Italiana. Palermo under the name of 'Oreto'. She was sold in 1914 to G.Messina, Palermo and renamed 'Logoduro'. She was broken up 1923.
I have accounts from three of the passengers who sailed with her as well as that of an emigrant. Interesting reading they make.
I am the great grand nephew of Robert Slimon, who along with John Coghill were honoured by the Icelandic legislature in 1884 for promoting trade between the two nations. Most of the research has been carried out by my daughter Jean.
Added by Campbell Slimon on 13 September 2010
After reading Campbell Slimon's post, should Brudeness mentioned be Brimsness, and she was saved after all.. only a thought..
Added by Jimmy Hamilton on 15 September 2010
Bruneness is how Graham Somner spells it. The extract was from his article on Leith and Granton, where Robert Slimon was a ship chandler. Somner got much of his information from Iceland which may account for the misspelling. There is no doubt she was saved as the above indicates.
Added by Campbell Slimon on 16 September 2010
Ah yes Jimmy I wondered where we were talking about. All in all a very interesting tale again unravelled from all the corners o the earth. Never ceases to amaze me what can be recalled on this site, what wid owld men do "withoot" this site, maybe hiv tae speak tae the wife!!!! Och no hid widna come tae that shurly!!.
Added by John Budge on 17 September 2010
Its mentioned that captain Coghill was born at Weisdale near Thurso,i have never heard of Weisdale near Thurso,maybe it could be Waydale which is a couple of miles outside Thurso, will try and find out more.
Added by Billy Farquhar on 18 September 2010
My apologies, Billy, it IS Waydale, I visited it a couple of years ago. I had thought Capt John Coghill might be related to Cllr & farmer Robert Coghill of nearby Stempster Mains but he assures me he is not. There are well Known Coghill stocksmen in Orkney.
Added by Campbell Slimon on 22 September 2010
I have spoken to Mr Terry Coghill on this matter and it seems in all probability he is a decendent of the Capt John Coghill, Terry is of the opinion that his Grt Grandfather was one of maby nine brothers and they lived firstly here on Hoy or Waas,after leaving Caithness. Can anyone enlighten us on this matter. Isnt it strange Terry is also a cattle dealer!!.
Added by John Budge on 22 September 2010
According to my mother who lived next door to Terry's grandfather whose father was manager at Melsetter for a time. I remember Terry's grandfather well.
Added by William Watters on 23 September 2010
My information is that the family moved from Caithness to Orkney at about the same time as John Coghill went to sea. He was born 9 March 1837. and went to sea as an able bodied seaman on the Newcastle registered schooner 'Non Such' on 7 August1855. I don't think it strange at all, John. There are many farming families whose 'eye' for a beast is passed down through the generations.
I know to my cost that Terry or 'TC' is a good judge having been underbidder to him at the AA sales in Perth.
Added by Campbell Slimon on 23 September 2010
I want to thank everyone for the stories about this ship. It is very meaningfull to me as my G.G.G.Grandmother/father sailed on this ship as Icelandic immigrants in 1882.
Added by Brad Tolhurst on 14 April 2011
It is very fascinating to read such stories! Congratulation! I don`t know if it is interesting for you but Laura Goodman Salverson mentions the Camoens in her autobiography "Confessions of an Immigrant's Daughter". If it doesn't make circumstances I would like to know where I can find letters from passengers, so I can compare it with her story. It would be helpful for my diploma thesis.
Added by Elisabeth on 28 September 2012
I have recently read 'The Window of Brimnes' by Bill Holm , Brimnes being in the North of Iceland(not Orkney!) One of his ancestors was an emigrant on the 'Camoens' and en route to Leith dropped ponies ,which were too weak or young for the pits, at Lerwick to graze.
I wonder if anyone has any record of Icelandic ponies being dropped off on Orkney for the same purpose.
As Orkney has superior grazing and John Coghill's family were farming there it would seem more practical. Also it was close to the route. There were many other ships used for this trade.
Added by Campbell Slimon on 03 October 2012
For further information on the "Camoens" John Coghill refer to my recently published book by Grace Note Publications "Horse Kogill & Mr Moneyman". (Kogill is how the Icelanders spelt Coghill. Availible on Amazon.
Added by Campbell Slimon. on 22 September 2015
It maybe of interest that the Camoens was sold by Robert Slimon in 1887. She was replaced by the "Copeland" which on her third voyage to iceland was wrecked on the island of Stroma with the loss of 100 ponies under Capt. Thomson. They were on the inward journey and after horrific storm were 3 days behind and running short of food for the ponies
A thick fog descended but the Capt. Thomson decided to proceed but miscalculated and hit the SW tip of the island. They were seen by the islanders and advised to abandon ship as she was badly holed and there was deep water below.
The eleven passengers, who included the author H. Rider Haggard. got off safely and 120 ponies that were tethered on deck were shoved off and all made the shore, whilst those below deck were all drowned,
Added by Campbell Slimon. on 26 September 2015
Interesting stories.
Camerons was from 1879 and up to 1885 (1886) in regular route between Granton and Iceland. It is known to philatelists collecting Iceland as a carrier of mail.

Added by Jakob Arrevad on 03 January 2016
An account from one of the passengers journals tells of a man rowing two miles out of the Westmann Isles to collect the mail from the Camoens only to receive one letter!

Added by Campbell Slimon on 19 January 2016
My grandmother Halldora (Dora)Johnson (born 1882) was a daughter of John Coghill. Her family emigrated to Winnipeg from Iceland around 1889. Our family have read "Horse Koghill and Mr. Moneyman" and found it so interesting as it has only been in the last few years that we learned who our great-grandfather was. Thank you Mr. Slimon for helping to fill out our family tree.
Added by Gloria Hawksworth on 12 December 2016
Good morning! I am a descendent of Icelandic emigrants Magnus Magnusson and Gudney Jonsdottir, who, like your GGGs, Brad, also left Iceland in 1882. Very grateful for this information. I've ordered the books mentioned.
Added by Anita Daher on 24 June 2019
Good day to you all. Here in Iceland, Coghill is remembered well, and his legend is on the rise I would dare to say. My friend is the descendant of Coghills assistant in Iceland. He and his brothers have just bought part of Stora Borg farm, where Coghills hunting or salmon fishing lodge still stands. There are plans of renowating the lodge, making it a historical memoryblia or museum for the times of sheep and horse trading from Iceland, and salmon fishing. We would appreciate any help, with stories and facts, (we have ordered the book :-) and most urgently pictures. Can someone please help us with pictures, if there are any, of Coghill, and his ventures in Iceland. Please send to "[email protected]" if possible or allowed. Thank you so much and best regards.

Added by Njörður Lárusson on 24 September 2019
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