James Adams

by Morag T Fyfe

James Adams was buried in a common grave in compartment Eta on 11 March 1861. The burial register recorded his place of death as ‘The Brigantine Tanner of Brookhaven of New York lying in Glasgow Harbour, South Side’ and this information was enough to identify a short newspaper article.

SUDDEN DEATH ON BOARD SHIP – On Sunday evening, about ten o’clock, a seaman named James Adams, employed on board the brigantine Tanner, of Brookhaven, became suddenly unwell, and dropped upon the deck. He was immediately carried to the cabin, and Dr M’Farlane, Dundas Street, Kingston, who was sent for, was speedily in attendance. The poor man never rallied, however, and expired yesterday morning shortly after twelve o’clock. Deceased, who was a native of Dublin, was 50 years of age. Apoplexy is supposed to have been the cause of death.

Glasgow Herald 12 March 1861

Adams’ death certificate confirms the details given in the newspaper report and adds that he was unmarried, and his parentage was unknown to the master of the ship, George Hodgkinson, who registered his death. His death had occurred at 20 minutes past midnight on 11 March and he was buried later that day.

Forty years later the Tanner went aground near Port Townsend, Washington State, USA.

She survived this grounding but in 1905 her crew abandoned her when she became waterlogged. They were picked up by the British steamer Queen City and taken to Victoria, British Columbia while the abandoned hulk was later towed into Port Townsend.

It can be difficult to find out much about people in the unmarked graves of the Glasgow Necropolis. However we feel it is important to publish what we have been able to discover to date. We would be grateful for anyone with further information on any of these people to contact us. research@glasgownecropolis.org


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