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February 2010 - link to Turnbull's page added


the vessel

A description of the Countess can be seen by following the link to the Register Entry, to the right

The Countess was Felt and Yellow metalled. This was a layer of zinc, copper, or brass which was for protection against Teredo Worm and barnacles in the Tropics. It was replaced every 2 years. It was often stolen by the Chinese during the night.

The Countess had a Roundhouse, which was very unusual for the times.

Her classification was 10A.l. As 12A.l was the highest this was a very good rating. The rating would have been done by a Surveyor from Lloyds.

Fancy, more exotic names ( such as the Countess of Seafield) were common in the 1850's because that was the goldrush era.

In 1854 Turnbull's shipyard was the last builder of wooden ships in Stockton and in later years built the biggest ship ever launched on the Tees ( The Westminster, 731 tons)

Links to the right will take you to a transcript of the register entry for the Countess, a picture of a 3 masted barque possibly similar to the Countess, a sketch of a 3 masted barque to show the names of the sails etc and a photograph of an arm of the figurehead which is in a museum in Tasmania

NOTE: The Countess of Seafield to which we are referring should not be confused with another ship of the same name built by John Duthie of Aberdeen in 1848. This ship was 140.2 feet long, 25 wide and 18.2’ wide. Its tonnage was 450 n.m. and 520 o.m. It also plied the China trade. Follow the link near the top of the page for more information on THE OTHER COUNTESS

( “n.m.” refers to “New Measurement” and “o.m.” to “Old Measurement” - the method of calculating the tonnage of a ship changed in 1836 and both measurements were quoted until 1854 )