Black Watch

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Portholes in byre wall at Upper Staneybrake, Fair Isle. From the wreck of the BLACK WATCH.
Photo from Shetland Museum and Archives.

The Black Watch, a Full-rigged ship (also described as a barque in some records), 1318 Net Tons, newly built, having been launched four months previously in May 1877 at Windsor, Nova Scotia, Canada. Owner B. Smith. Windsor, Nova Scotia, Canada, and registered in that port. Captain R. W. Newcombe, twenty three crew.

In passage, in ballast, from Bremerhaven (some records state Bremen), Germany, to New York, U.S.A. on her maiden voyage, encountered light winds when passing between Orkney and Fair Isle. She beat to westward of Fair Isle for two days before being caught by the tide and driven ashore on the westernmost point of Fair Isle (Shalstane??) with all her sails set, on September 19th 1877. All of the crew and their provisions were saved, as were her sails and similar materials over the following few days. The vessel was valued at £11,000 prior to loss.

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