|The Bulls Head Dock, where the Beatsons were|
based, from the 1843 map of the area. It is
immediately to the north-east of the Old Salt Quay.
Breaking a ship was labour-intensive work, and often difficult. Long lengths of wood were particularly valuable, and the main source of profit, but all wooden and metal fittings were removed and sold off, including old rope (called junk) that had deteriorated to the point where it was no longer usable, and was sold for the making of fenders or the fabrication of oakum from the dismembered threads (which was tarred and used to plug gaps in ship decks, and was often made in work-houses and prisons). Selling ships to specialized breakers is a solution to unwanted warships that is maintained by governments today.
in 1838 by John Beatson's younter brother William
(National Maritime Museum. Greenwich)
The Bellerophon, also broken up at the Beatson yard, was another well known ship, famous for receiving Napoleon's surrender and transporting him to St Helena, where he was exiled.
|A chair made from the timbers of the|
Temeraire, one of two that are now
in New Zealand. This one is a family
heirloom owned by one of William
Beatson's descendents. Used
here with my thanks.
|Extract from a valuation survey of 1843, showing the|
layout of the John Beatson yard, copied from
Museum of London archaeological report
(Heard and Goodburn 2003)
- Rotterdam (50 guns) 1806
- Texel (64) 1818
- Tagus (38) 1822
- Treekronen (74) 1825
- Grampus (50) 1832
- Salisbury (58) 1837
- Temeraire (98) 1838
- Charybdis (10) 1843
|HMS Bellerophon anchored in Plymouth Sound, |
with Napoleon Bonaparte aboard. Detail of a
painting by John James Chalon
|St Paul's Chapel, Rotherhithe,|
designed by William Beatson
Many thanks to Ken Beatson for the photograph of the lovely chair, and for the Country Life article.