A Maritime Heritage — Graham Snowdon 11th January 2016.

Graham Snowdon is a retired journ­al­ist, our Secretary and an author in our blog team who has def­in­itely raised the bar in the qual­ity of our report­ing. His talk was an account of his paternal grandmother’s family, which he has traced back to Christopher Husband, his four times great grand­father, born in Scarborough about 1734.

A Water Colour Of Scarborough By J.M.W.Turner 1825

We all think of Scarborough as a sea­side resort but that only came about with the advent of the rail­ways. Scarborough was a very active port from medi­eval times and a great deal of ship build­ing took place there. From 1755 to 1807 The Tindall shipyard was the largest pro­du­cer of ves­sels, total­ing 57, ran­ging from 64 tons up to 403 tons.

Graham said that of the Husbands his great great grand­father Christopher Husband, his great great uncle John Husband, his great grand­father Richard Tindall Husband and his great uncles Jack and Art Husband were all master mar­iners.

Frances (Fanny) Tindall, Graham’s great great grand­mother was born in Scarborough in 1787 and she and Christopher Husband mar­ried in Scarborough on 15th December 1817. Christopher and Fanny settled into mar­ried life in a small house on Quay Street behind Ivy House (now Ivy House café). At that time Ivy House was the home of one member of the Tindall family, known as ‘Gentleman’ John, master mar­iner and ship owner.

Christopher and Fanny had three sons, John, Christopher and Richard.Christopher was born in1825 but died in infancy. John and Richard both became master mar­iners. Richard or Captain Richard Tindall Husband, to give him his full title, was the young­est of the three, born in 1827 and was the great grand­father of Graham. Richard mar­ried and had a daugh­ter Frances Annie (1872) and two sons, Jack and Art, who again were master mar­iners. Frances Annie was Graham’s grand­mother and Jack and Art his great uncles. Again Jack became a master mar­iner (Captain Jack Husband) and his brother Art, became a fully qual­i­fied trawler skip­per.

Captain Jack Husband used to sail across to America and it was on one such occa­sion That he was the hero in a dra­matic sea rescue 60 miles of the coast of America. The JohnTwohy with eleven crew on board was in danger of sink­ing in a ter­rible storm. Captain Jack Husband dis­patched a life­boat from his ship, the Kilnsea to go and rescue them but one member of his crew was thrown into the sea and was res­cued with great dif­fi­culty. The life­boat was then smashed to pieces and the crew of the stricken John Twohy had to remain on board through­out the night, to await rescue the fol­low­ing after­noon. Great Uncle Jack who organ­ized the rescue and remained calm under severe pres­sure was recog­nized by President Woodrow Wilson who com­mis­sioned a 14-carat gold pocket watch and chain to be presen­ted to him for his gal­lantry. This watch is now in Maine Maritime Museum.

Captain Jack Husband sur­vived the first World War to sail his ship into Calais in 1919 on gov­ern­ment busi­ness, and accord­ing to ‘The Times’, he was seen to go ashore never to be seen alive again. His body was found float­ing in the harbor ten days later.

Graham’s great great grand­father had a 2nd cousin twice removed called Gregory Husband who was born in the same year as he in 1827 and he also was a master mar­iner. He appar­ently slipped off the gang plank going aboard his ship, whilst it was moored in the Thames one Saturday night in 1869 and drowned.

In all, 6 of Graham’s ancest­ors were master mar­iners and was a fully qual­i­fied trawler skip­per, and quite a few of the Husbands sailed the Tindall ships.

His talk was full of facts and dates and was alto­gether thor­oughly inter­est­ing. I for one was spell­bound.