Tuesday, June 8, 2010


The Stamp set featured today is the Karran Fleet of Isle of Man.(SG. 259-263).They set of stamps were issued on 14th Feb 1984.

The ship displayed on the stamps are Manx King,Hope,Rio Grande, Lady Elizabeth and Sumatra.
Brief Details of the ship :

Manx King (10p) :
Built by Richardson Duck, Thornaby, England, 1884. 1751 gross tons; 251 (bp) feet long; 39 feet wide.  engine, .  Built for British owners, British flag, in 1884 and named Manx King. R.G. Karran, owner.

Manx King was a Norwegian Cargo sailing vessel of 1,729 tons built in 1884 by Richardson, Duck & Co., Stockton, England for R. G. Kerran, Castletown, IOM. She was later purchased by and owned by A/S Manx King (T. Wilhelms & Axel Jacobsen), Fredrikstad, Norway.
On the 8th July 1918 she was torpedoed and sunk by German submarine U-156 when on route from New York for Rio de Janeiro

Hope (13p):
250 tons, built in Prussia around 1858. This ship was quite a marine curiosity as she had a centreboard. Capable of being drawn up to permit the vessel to settle on the bottom of shallow harbors. 

Rio Grande(20p):
This early small ship of the fleet was built at Topsham, Devon in UK 1868 It was the first command of Captain Karran and survived a terrible typhoon in the China Seas.

Lady Elizabeth (28p):
The Lady Elizabeth was an iron barque of 1,155 tons launched on June 4, 1879 and built by Robert Thompson Jr. of Southwick, Sunderland. Robert Thompson Jr. was one of the sons of Robert Thompson Sr. who owned and operated the family ran shipyard J. L. Thompson & Sons. Thompson Jr. eventually left the family business in 1854 to start his own shipbuilding business in Southwick, Sunderland.

The ship was built for John Wilson as a replacement for the 658-ton, 1869-built barque Lady Elizabeth which sank off Rottnest Island, Western Australia in 1878.

The builders of the second Lady Elizabeth had also built the first ship. The ship had three-masts and was also just under average size compared to barques built by Robert Thompson. However, the later Lady Elizabeth was still the 7th largest ship the firm built.

John Wilson remained owner of the Lady Elizabeth and was captained by Alexander Findley from Montrose until March 15, 1884 when he took out a number of loans from G. Oliver and also with the bank. Eventually John Wilson declared bankruptcy and all of his ships, including the Lady Elizabeth were sold off.

The new owner was George Christian Karran who purchased the ship a few months later. Karrans' family owned a number of ships but this was George Christian Karrans' first ship. George Christian Karran also captained the ship for a few years. After owning the ship for a few years, George's elder brother Robert Gick Karran died leading George to command the Manx King. G.C. Karran took command of the Manx King. However, he remained owner of Lady Elizabeth until 1906.

In 1906 the Lady Elizabeth was purchased by the Norwegian company "Skibasaktieselskabet," for £3,250. The company was managed by L. Lyndersen and the Lady Elizabeth was captained by Peter Julius Hoigh.

Sumatra (31p):
The Sumatra was launched in 1858 from the Brocklebank shipyard at Whitehaven, to serve in their own fleet (T & J Brocklebank & Co.). She was a full-rigged ship with a wooden hull. She operated in the Calcutta trade and carried a crew of 28, variously under the command of Capts. Latham, Fletcher, Beattie, James T.Rorison and Roberts. 

In 1876 the ship was bought by  J. Karron, of Castletown, Isle of Man. Then in 1884 she was sold to A.F.Braga, of Montevideo, Uruguay. The ship was renamed  the Clara B. In 1887 the owner was named as Acties Clara (Chr.Moller) of Christiana, (now Oslo), Norway and her name had been shortened to just Clara 

2.Information from "Merchant Fleets", Vol.27 by Duncan Haws.
2.From Cumberland to Cape Horn" by D.Hollett.
3."Shipbuilding in Whitehaven - A Checklist" by Harry Fancy, Whitehaven Museum (1984)
5.Isle of Man Philatelic Bureau  

1 comment:

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