hartlepool history logo

Chance - a general history

Built Sunderland 1843 wood snow/brig 134nt. Official No. 5056.

Owners: 1843 Coward, Hartlepool: 1844 D French, Rochester: 1845 GW & H Foreman, E Kemp & Goldfinch, Whitstable.

Masters: 1843-44 Brown: 1844-45 W Alderson: 1845-57 R Foreman.

Bound from Whitstable for Hartlepool in ballast during a hailstorm & force 10 E by N winds on 4 January 1857 the crew of Chance saw Hartlepool & began running for port to take shelter. A heavy sea struck her washing everything movable overboard including her small boat & driving her onto Longscar Rocks. The swinging tiller knocked the master senseless & also injured the mate's arm. The mate managed to make the master fast so he would not be washed overboard & he & the rest of the crew took to the rigging. With the sea breaking over the masthead she drifted for several hours before being driven ashore broadside. The Seaton Carew lifeboat (probably the Tees just before her service was discontinued) rescued the crew from their extremely perilous position & they were taken to Carr House Farm where they were looked after by the farm owner & his wife until they were forwarded home by the Shipwrecked Mariners' Society.

The wreck was sold a few days later. The female bust figurehead was returned to Whitstable where she was erected on the gable of the Whitstable Oyster Company building. When the building was bombed in WW2 the figurehead survived & is now on display in the Whitstable Museum

She looks a bit bedraggled & has no paint but she has survived well over 150 years, being wrecked & bombed so is an extremely lucky lady.

Related items :