North Walls and Brims

Merchant seamen – Master mariners

North Walls and Brims have produced many merchant seamen. Beginning with some men who became master mariners or captains, this page will be updated from time to time.

  • Albert E Banks, b 1852 d 1881 in north Atlantic of lung disease (port of departure: Dunkirk). Master’s certificate November 1879, London. No. 66913. Son of William Banks, Factor at  Melsetter, and Margaret Sutherland née Maxwell, Saltness (illegitimate).
  • Abram Bruce, b 1821 d 1875, Greenock, Renfrewshire. Master’s certificate: March 1851, Bristol (on basis of service). No. 50443. Son of Benjamin Bruce and Ellen Corrigill, Little Ayre, North Walls (Little North Setter, 1841 census, possibly same place)
  • Benjamin Bruce, b1824 d 1872, Walls, Orkney. Master’s certificate: March 1852, Greenock. No. 3899. Son of Benjamin Bruce and Ellen Corrigill as above.
  • Benjamin Bruce, b 1864 d Wallasey, Wirral 1911? Master’s certificate: July 1893, Liverpool. No. 016970. Son of George S Bruce and Jemima Ross.
  • George Sangster Bruce, b 1831 d 1878 Iquique, Peru (now Chile). Master’s certificate: April 1861, London. No 13 (26008 in Lloyds of London Captains Register). Son of Benjamin Bruce and Ellen Corrigill as above.  Information about his wife Jemima and son James.
  • Robert Carr Bruce, b 1833 d 1871-1881?, unknown. Master’s certificate: September 1859, Glasgow. No: 22312 (18. at 1st issue?).  Son of Benjamin Bruce and Ellen Corrigill as above.
  • Edward Ellicot(t) Corrigill, b 1829 d 1906, Stromness, Orkney. Master’s certificate: December 1854, Greenock. No. 7378. Son of Abram Corrigill and Jean Gray (Jean at North Ness 1841 and 1851 censuses; Abram drowned 1837)
  • Thomas Flett Groundwater, b 1849 d after 15 July 1908 on voyage from Callao, Peru to Antwerp, Netherlands. His vessel, the barque Balmore, was deemed lost with all hands, possibly due to ice east of the Falkland Islands (Board of Trade enquiry September 1909 – see wreck report pdf). Master’s certificate: 1878, Glasgow. No: 01063. Son of Alexander Groundwater and Jessie Robson/Robertson, Mucklehouse (later Ore), North Walls.
  • John McDonald b 1840 Stromness d 1882 at sea. Master’s Certificate: 1873, Kirkwall, Orkney. No: 87933. Son of William McDonald and Jannet Campbell, Burnhouse, North Walls.
  • Ralph Nicholson b 1849 d 1877 Sydney, Australia (TB). Master’s certificate: probably 1875, in Australia (no record found but sailing as Master of the Heron, home port Sydney, by August 1875)  Son of Ralph Nicolson (tended not to include an h in Nicolson) and Ellen Ritch, Brims.
  • William Sinclair Sangster b 1848 Greenock d 1896 Glasgow. Master’s certificate: 1879, Leith. No 96568. Son of George Sangster and Margaret Simpson. In both the 1851 and 1861 Censuses he was in Walls, in the home of Benjamin Bruce, father of the four sons above, described as visitor and grandson respectively but almost certainly Benjamin’s grand-nephew. (Shipwrecked 1895)
  • John Sinclair b 1832 d 1904 Walls. Master’s Certificate: 1878, Liverpool. No: 19876. Son of Andrew Sinclair and Barbara Gunn, Muirs.
  • William Sinclair b 1847 d 1890 at sea (dropsy). Master’s Certificate: 1874, Liverpool. No: 88904. Son of Andrew Sinclair and Barbara Gunn, Muirs.
  • Gilbert Matthew Beaton Telford b c1854 (Farr, Sutherland) d 26 June 1916 off the English coast when his ship hit a mine (Lowestoft area – see Master’s certificate: 1888, Leith. No 04465. Son of George Telford and Christina Munro. George was a shepherd for the Heddles of Melsetter and the family lived at Cletts in the Rysa area. In Walls from from no later than April 1861 until no later than August 1869. Gilbert’s sister Alexandrina married Walter W Wilson – see below.
  • John Read Telford b c 1850 (Farr, Sutherland) d after 31 Mar 1901? Master’s certificate: 1882, Leith. No 98756. Brother of Gilbert Telford above.
  • William Thomson b 1846 d 1916 Stromness.  Master’s certificate: 1876, Glasgow. No 97041. Son of Henry Thomson and Ann Sutherland, Moness, Crockness. More about him.
  • John Wilson b 1848 d 1913 Herston, South Ronaldsay. Master’s certificate: 1880, Leith. No 01103. Son of Robert Wilson and Jean McIntyre, “North Crockness”.
  • Walter Weir Wilson b 1839 d 1901 Edinburgh. Master’s certificate: 1877, Leith. No: 6961. Son of John Wilson and Isabella Mill, Scues or Mill Bay. (Year of birth is 1842 and middle name Wire on his certificates)

I will be adding to this list as time goes on (I have several other names) and may include other ranks of merchant seamen. If you know of any to add, please contact me.