Headline: The Atlantic Transort Line 

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S.S. Sussex

Sisters: Suffolk, Surrey
Builder: Wigham Richardson, Newcastle upon Tyne
Launched 1882; maiden voyage 1883; wrecked December 17, 1885
Hull: length 330'; beam 40' 2"; 2,795 tons; 1 funnel; 3 masts; iron hull
Power: single screw; inverted compound engine by builder, cylinders 40" and 75" diameter, stroke 45"; 250 n.h.p.
Steam pressure 175 lbs.; 10 knots
Registered in London; official number: 87064


The Sussex was built for the Atlantic Transport Line in 1883, and spent her first year chartered to the Royal Netherlands Steamship Company to augment its new Amsterdam to New York passenger/cargo service.

After a brief career the Sussex was lost when, bound for Baltimore, she struck the Maiden Bower Rock off the Scilly Isles on December 17, 1885. The captain was blamed for the accident because the ship was deemed to be traveling at an unsafe speed despite heavy fog. After the initial impact the ship drifted off the rock and the crew managed to escape, but the wreck broke up a week later in heavy seas.

Sources: The Atlantic Transport Line, 1881-1931; wikipedia; The Ships List; Merchant Fleets in Profile 2; the Ships of the Cunard, American, Red Star, Inman, Leyland, Dominion, Atlantic Transport and White Star Lines, Duncan Haws, 1979

Map of the Scilly Isles showing the Maidens Bower.
The Scilly Isles are in the approaches to the English Channel off the tip of Cornwall. The Maiden Bower lies to the west of the island of Bryher.


For more information ...

Kinghorn "The Atlantic Transport Line 1881 - 1931" McFarland, 2011

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