William Hustwick (cont)

So, William married Barbara Marshall, daughter of shipbuilder Charles Marshall, Garmouth in 1812 in Limehouse though there is no record of the name of the church. During the Blitz much of Limehouse and its church records were destroyed.

He would have sailed north for Kingston to take up residence with his new wife and would be engaged in overseeing the fitting of the masts and rigging, caulking of the hull and all necessary work to make his ship ready for sea. On October 12th, five months after her launch, the “Rothiemurchus” sailed for the Cromarty Firth. The ship was laid up in the Firth until August 14th 1814 when William ceased to be her Master. As the ship had not undertaken any voyages she was not registered with Lloyds. William was lucky to be shore-bound for two years so close to home where a short trip in a small sailing vessel would have carried him back to Garmouth.

1814-1816 he was Master of the “Rose of Cromarty”, but like many others with sufficient wealth he wanted to invest in a ship. He hadn’t sufficient to own a ship outright but was able to invest in the building and ownership with 4 others. These were Alexander Duncan, Millwright, William Geddes, shipbuilder, Alexander Gatherer, Pilot and later brother-in-law and Robert Bain of Elgin. The vessel was called the “Barbara and Ann”, a schooner of 73 tons and William was her master until November 1826, when he was 37 years old and the ship was sold. Subsequently she was wrecked when driven ashore at the mouth of the Spey during the great Muckle Spate of 1829.

Ship ownership appears to have been the stocks and shares of the day, for in 1826 William had enough capitol to go it alone this time and ordered William Winchester to build him a ship of 84 tons, called the “Marshall of Spey” which was launched in August 1827. William was Master and Owner until his son William took command of the Marshall, followed in succession by his brothers George and Alexander George who also became Masters. All the brothers would have a good training in seamanship and navigation from their father. Their experience however would be limited to the “Marshall” and several other small ships. The entry in the Banff Register of Shipping Gives the following entries:- Alexander George Hustwick, Master – June 21st 1848 and George Hustwick, Master January 9th 1854.

William, his eldest son, was Master of the “Marshall” from 1840 – 1848.

Barbara died in 1835 aged 47 after bearing nine children, eight of whom survived childhood. After her death William went to live with his daughter Mary- Ann who was by now married to Hugh Rose Thomson, Bank Agent for Garmouth with the Caladonian Bank, also coal agent and Insurance broker for many of the shipowners. Presumably their residence at that time would be the Bank House.

In 1850 William applied for a Master’s pension and as was needed he supplied a list of the ships he had served on in that capacity. A Master’s Certificate was issued which at that time indicated, though he had not sat examinations he had carried out his position in an adequate and experienced fashion. The Mercantile Marine Act 1851 required that foreign going ships could not sail unless the Master, first Mate and second mate had this certificate.

As shown in the last newsletter William listed all the ships he’d sailed in since his days as a cabin-boy sailing out of Hull until his retirement aged 67.

A painting of William shows him in a navy reefer Jacket holding a telescope and a chart, indicating that he was an able navigator, capable of using a sextant. The picture in the background is likely to be the “Sarah.” Though the painting is unsigned
The back has an inscription, C Hustwick 1844. It has not been possible to determine what relationship there was between them. There were artists in another family of Hustwicks in Hull and a Frances Hustwick was a Maritime painter in Liverpool.

William being owner and Master no doubt increased his wealth for prior to 1844 he commissioned a painting of himself when a younger man. This now hangs in the writer’s hallway. A painting of the “Marshall” by Arthur Smith, a well-known Aberdeen artist in 1840, now hangs in Aberdeen Art Gallery.

There we have ‘Old Billy’ who went to sea aged 11 years, married his lovely wife Barbara Marshall who bore him eight children before her death aged 47. He retired aged 67 and even outlived his son-in-law, Hugh Rose Thomson, by four years when he died in 1868 aged 81. But the old boy had a romantic side. He gave his wife Barbara a gold pendant containing a miniature of herself with the following words inscribed around it:-

When on the beach my Barbara lean’d
Upon her sailors breast

Her head upon my cheek reclin’d
While lip to lip were press’d

And on the reverse it read:- Alike to him each climate and each blast
The first in danger in retreat the last.

Capt. Wm Hustwick HM Ship Sarah.

The family vault at Essil has a marble slab on the wall (sadly no longer legible) which records the deaths of the members of the family. This is surmounted by a crest of a lion passant which is the crest of a family named Hustwick whose arms are recorded in England.

According to the Court of the Lord Lyon in Edinburgh, this crest is not registered in the name of Wm. Hustwick who no doubt used it believing or perhaps knowing he was related to that family.

He bought two sets of railings for his tombstone in Essil churchyard. The first set were removed at the second world war for scrap iron. The second set lay in the attic of Lemanacre, Garmouth, where his daughter Barbara lived with her husband James Spence, Merchant at the Cross. When the house was cleared out in 1951 after the death of his Granddaughter, Polly Spence, the spare railings and spare plaque, a replica of the one in Essil, were thrown out!

P Bingham.

From Garmouth & Kingston Newsletter June 2006

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