Ship arrivals at Quebec for Atkinson, Usborne & Co                  

The ghost story by Joan Finnigan about George Usborne in "Witches, Ghosts and Loup-Garous (were-wolves)" tells how George went bankrupt following the sinking of three lumber schooners. This page attempts to separate fact from fiction.

Brig                                Bark

Atkinson, Usborne & Co. were shipping agents. George Usborne and Henry Atkinson are listed in a Quebec business directory in the 1840's at 38 Peter St. and Lowndes wharf, Lower Town, Quebec City. There are also newspaper references to an Atkinson, Usborne wharf. All the ships in the table below were consigned to Atkinson, Usborne & Co though it is not clear how many of them were owned by the firm.

Date  Where Ship From Cargo
July 29th                 1834 Arrived Quebec Bark Walker            Liverpool  Mr Houghton
May 14th                1835 Arrived Quebec Brig Marys Waterford  
September 3rd        1843 Arrived Quebec Bark Cairo  Plymouth Passengers:
5 cabin;  
201 steerage
October19th            1844 Arrived Quebec Bark Economist Newport  
May 12th                1846 Arrived Quebec Bark Pleiades London  
May 13th Arrived Quebec Brig Spring Flower Belfast  
May 14th Arrived Quebec Brig Ocean Bordeaux  
May 14th Arrived Quebec Brig Thistle London  
May 16th Arrived Quebec Brig Collingwood Troon  
May 17th Arrived Quebec Brig Lord Canterbury Bristol  
May 18th Arrived Quebec Brig Bolton Ardrossan  
May 20th Arrived Quebec Brig Williams Painboeuf  
May 20th Arrived Quebec Brig Woodman Sunderland Coals
May 21st Arrived Quebec Ship Robert Bruce London  
May 21st Arrived Quebec Bark Eliza Ann Whitehaven  
May 21st Arrived Quebec Brig Six Aberdeen  
May 21st Arrived Quebec Brig Intrepid Sunderland Coals
May 25th Arrived Quebec Bark Thomas Whitehaven  
May 25th Arrived Quebec Brig Ganges Cork 22 Passengers
May 25th Arrived Quebec Brig Derwent Workington  
May 26th Arrived Quebec Bark Marquis of Hastings Sabston  
September 19th Wrecked at sea Sir Robert Bruce Quebec Crew saved
September 19th (?) Wrecked Bark Aurelian Quebec  
October 23rd Wrecked at Metis Brig Ocean Quebec 11 drowned
2 saved
May 11th                 1847 Arrived Quebec Bark Port Glasgow Poole  
May 23rd Arrived Quebec Brig British Tar London  
May 28th Arrived Quebec Brig Harmony Troon  

     Robert Albion writes in "Forests and Sea Power" : "The excessive cost of freight from Canada meant old decrepit ships unfit for any other service ended their days bringing Canadian timber to England. Many of them ended their careers under tragic circumstances. The desire for profits extended to burdening the ships with heavy deckloads of timber; and when the owners tried to get three round trips out of their vessels, the casualties in winter seas were notoriously heavy."

The Bark Aurelian
     On April 23th 1846 on the 16th day of her journey to Quebec The heads of her main and mizen mast were carried away in a heavy squall in mid-Atlantic.
Capt Brown reported that the vessel struck ice with damage to the copper sheathing in the Gulf of St Lawrence.
     The Quebec Gazette of January 1847 reported the auction of the salvaged hull and load of timber from the Bark Aurelian bound for Portsmouth . She was wrecked 12 miles below Cape Chat (probably in the storm of September 19th).  George got 430 for the hull and 150 for the cargo. The "late master" was one, J.Forbes. Did he die on the wreck?