By Friedrich Spengemann and edited and translated by Chester R.F.Cramer




The seagoing ships of the Hanoverian Weser River Fleet, with particular reference to the ships of the former Hanoverian (later Prussian) districts of Blumenthal, Lehe with its harbor of Geestemünde, Lesum and Dorum and the still earlier noble judicial districts of Lesum and Schönebeck (from the beginnings of shipping until 1901


This book is not a history of persons but of ships, hence we read many names, which we cannot place. I have prepared a short family tree of the Schilling family, as we know it, helped greatly by Margot Wellenkamp and Ursula von Poellnitz. Still there are many names that cannot fit into the list as we know it: Johann, one or more of the Friedrichs, the early Claus, H. F. Ulrichs, as well as Schilling & Meinke and Schilling & Co. Where do they belong?

But this is the story of the ships, the sailing vessels, whose home ports were in the lower Weser River area, and primarily of those that sailed daring the latter half of the nineteenth century -- the Weser, the river that passes Bremen, Bremerhaven, Geestemünde and other cities and towns of the North German Coast.

Ursula tells me that there were other Schilling families at that time, of whom there are no records at present. After the Second World War the Russians occupied Bremen. When they left they removed all the town records they could find, including everything about the Hanseatic days, so new Bremen has only recent records available for study.

November 8, 1971 Chester R. F. Cramer
2100 Pacific Avenue
San Francisco

(oli note: recreate family tree, 2 pages)


Attention to and preservation of local history is a national obligation, as it nourishes the roots of our people -- this has long been understood.

The story of shipping is an important branch of local history, formerly greatly neglected. Therefore there is now only a small amount of official material available about the beginnings of the Hanoverian merchant shipping, its owners and workers.

The sailing master who did not fall a victim of his calling and who grew old on land after completing his sailing days, and for whom marlin-spike and sextant were tools of his trade, had little inclination, with few exceptions, to write about the sea. It was a part of general knowledge that the Phoenicians carried on a widespread overseas trade, that the Egyptians and the Romans had great fleets of ships, that the Battle of Salamis was fought in 80 B.C., and that Puthias of Massilia was the first Greek to reach the German North Sea Coast -- to know all this belonged to an all-around and general education.

But how little is known of our early Hanoverian fleet, and who knows even today that our homeland on the North Sea had a fleet of 882 oceangoing ships in 1860.

Therefore, I have taken the trouble to gather the facts worth knowing, taken from official documents, registers and private papers; I have drawn from these sources to compile the following pages about the Hanoverian merchant shipping during the last century: the ships, their development, their journeys and their sinkings; about the enterprise and the daring of the ship owners, about captains and sea men, tough Lower Saxons from the Weser River country who ventured in their small ships, for indeed "Merchant shipping is necessary!"

St. Magnus, December, 1936 Friedrich Spengemann



Translator’s Summary

Translator’s Summary
Translator’s Summary





Translator’s summary: This is a general introductory chapter, saying that shipping naturally centered in the Hanseatic cities in the early days but that other smaller cities also gradually acquired their fleets of seagoing ships. Thus during the latter part of the nineteenth century it came about that the smaller cities had the greater number of ships but the Hanseatic cities, such as Hanover, Hamburg and Bremen, had the larger vessels and hence greater overall tonnage.



Translator’ s summary: This chapter consists of a discussion of ships, costs, tonnage, builders, captains and crews of ships sailing out of Blumenthal built mainly between 1815 and 1845, in rather great detail and with several pictures.



Translator’s summary: This chapter is similar in content to the preceding chapter. The history of many of the ships is interesting, but is not pertinent to this present translation.



On the following pages there will be little about whaling and sealing, as these have been well covered in other books. But it seems worth while to me to list in one place the names and types of the Hanoverian ships, later called Prussian, that had their home ports on the Weser River and made their voyages to Greenland, and further to glance at the ships that were whalers either permanently or temporarily.

It was Hinrich Raschen, who had built a shipyard in St. Magnus in 1786 who as the leading Hanoverian on the Weser founded a whaling venture in the territory of the judicial district of Schönebeck.

The cost of fitting out a whaler was so high and the risk of the venture was so great that single ship owners seldom acted alone but formed companies or limited corporations as in Bremen as early as 1674.

In 1787 Hinrich Raschen converted his large 240 ton sailing vessel to a whaler in his new shipyard. He collected 4,100 taler by selling capital stock in the venture, and when that was used up he asked for and received a loan of 4,000 taler more from the Hanover Chamber of Commerce. The money was loaned without interest on the condition that he repay it in annual installments of 1,000 taler. The ship was named George III and sailed under the flag of the Elector of Hanover. An old record states that the whaler George III was the first ship to carry the Hanoverian flag into the Arctic Ocean.

The crew was signed on April 10, 1787. They were led by Commander Franz Fennekohl of St. Magnus. The ship was outfitted in the harbor of Vegesack and then lay at anchor at Farge waiting for a favorable wind. The George III sailed on April 25th from the Weser River for the Arctic Ocean and returned from her first voyage on August 6th, 1787. The yield, as they called the catch, was two whales, which gave 174 barrels of whale oil in addition to 2,300 pounds of whalebone. The results of the first voyage showed a net profit of 4,809 taler and nine mariengroschen.

The Queen Charlotte was the second ship put into service by this company in 1788. Both ships wintered in Vegesack harbor. During the War of Independence from Napoleon the ships in 1806 were removed by the English and laid up in an English harbor.

The Queen Charlotte was renamed the Waterloo in 1827 and sailed from then on under the flag of Bremen. The Bremen Ships’ Register says this about her:

"Waterloo; built by Hinich Raschen at St. Magnus in 1788 as a three-masted frigate, then rebuilt as a two-decked bark. 180 gross tons or 120 cargo tons.

Claus Schilling 1/6 2/12 share
Johann Mandels 1/3 4/12 share
Johann Rösing 1/2 6/12 share
Captain: Johann Mandels

This ship was built under the name of Queen Charlotte, then was named Friedrich August, and was later rebuilt as a two-decked bark under the name of Herkules and flew the Hanoverian flag. She received her new ship's papers on August 23rd, 1827."

The next ship of the Hanoverian Weser fleet in the Greenland trade was the Hanover; this is the first ship of that name.

The times had passed when these Greenland-bound ships battled ice in the most northerly latitudes, times rich in adventure and romance of the sailing vessel -- those times are gone. The last Hanoverian Greenlanders ended their days as coal carriers or mere hulks.

Translator’s notes

1. This is the first mention of a Claus Schilling. The date is 1788 and since Dietrich Schilling was born in 1820 it is possible that this was his father or his uncle. Our family tree prepared by Margot Wellenkamp named his father as Friedrich Schilling and his grandfather as a previous Friedrich Schilling.
2. Here follow several paragraphs about this and other ships of various ports, about the two ship builders - Johann Lange of Gröhn and Hinrich Raschen of St. Magnus, and a long official document of a statement made by three ship ‘s officers of the Hanover outlining their duties in detail. The ship was again sold in 1836 after extensive bidding by various groups. There follows in great detail the story of the outfitting of the ship. There is also a discussion of the ships Germania, Greenland (1830), Dolphin (1834), Stern, Orion and others. Their voyages, cargoes and profits are mentioned briefly. There is also a rather long description of the results obtained by various whalers -- whales, seals, polar bears, etc.-- during the 185O’s and 1860’s.


During the development phase of quickly growing cities, it often happened that neighboring villages of the prospering cities also flourished. This is particularly true of cities and villages having similar industries, as illustrated by the naval port of Wilhelmshafen. Bremerhaven can thank the silting of the Weser for its growth, and Geestemünde grew with it. But this fortunate location so near Bremerhaven was not the only reason for Geestemünde’s growth as a city. The older Hanover’s ruling group exerted extra-ordinary efforts, under the conditions prevailing in the previous century, to promote shipbuilding and the growth of shipping firms through its area on the lower Weser River.4

The community of interests with Great Britain encouraged the Hanoverian shipbuilding industry after 1864, the arrival and departure of goods became more active, and consequently the lack of a seaport on the lower Weser became more noticeable.

King Charles XII of Sweden had earlier planned to build a seaport somewhere along the north seacoast river-mouths. However he ran from the Battle of Fredrickstadt and Sweden lost its great power status, so much so that nothing came of it! Also Napoleonts great plan to build a seaport at the mouth of the Weser as well as a Rhine-Weser-Elbe canal failed for similar reasons. His intention, of course, lay less in furthering German interests than in damaging Eglish trade.

When the authorities finally allowed construction of a seaport and Geestemünde harbor was opened in 1847, it was twenty-five years too late to reap the best advantages. The following table shows the growth of the harbor.

Empty Laden Empty Laden
1849 18 ships 66 ships 44 ships 31 ships
1850 14 88 70 46
1852 26 158 138 55

Before the opening of the harbor of Geestemünde, ships sailing under the Hanoverian flag used the harbor Vegesack, and later the new installations in Bremerhaven for unloading and loading and also for wintering. Of the three Hanoverian home ports on the lower Weser, Geestemünde was in second place until 1863 in the total count of sailing ships; Blumenthal was first until that time but then Geestemünde closed the gap. The Hanoverian Ships’ Registry included, in the middle of October 1860, the following inventory of sailing vessels.

"B. Weser fleet: 36 sailing vessels totaling 9,651 tonnage;
a. Town of Blumenthal: 20 ships with 4,409 tonnage
b. Town of Lehe (Geestemünde harbor): 11 ships with 3,528 tonnage
c. Town of forum: 5 ships with 1,594 tonnage."

Geestemünde had the glory that year of having the largest of the 822 sailing ships of the entire Hanoverian fleet, the frigate Adele of 388 and half gross tons, owned by ship owner Ubbelohde of Geestemünde.

The rapid growth of the shipping firms of R. C. Rickmers, Theodore Rüger, D. Schilling, Schilling and Meinke in the succeeding years, followed later by Wilhelm A. Riedemann, brought a great increase in large sailing vessels both in cargo and gross tonnage. Through the years Geestemünde had the prestige of having the largest ships of the Hanoverian Weser fleet. In 1561 it was still the Adele, in 1862 it was the frigate Wilhelmina of 680 cargo tons, in 1864 it was the frigate Fanny of 747 cargo tons. In 1864 Geestemünde boasted registration of 11 of the 13 frigates of the Weser fleets. In 1865 and 1866 the frigate George V, as in 1863, was the largest ship.

Tanslator’s notes
3. The Geeste is a tributary of the Weser just below Bremen; Bremerhaven lies on one bank at the junction of the two rivers and Geestemünde lies on the opposite bank. Geestemiinde is now a part of Bremerhaven and both are now a part of Bremen.
4. George, Elector of Hanover, became King of Egland in 1714 through blood relationship of his mother, reigning as George I. In l814 his title was changed from Elector to King Hanover. The next three Kings of Hanover were also Kings of England; but Victoria could not ascend the throne of Hanover because she was not a male, so the fifth son of George III became King Ernest Augustus.
5. Here follows a detailed table of ships by kind and year, which I have omitted.


The Schillings were old Bremen Hanseatic families. As early as the beginning of the last century their members were mentioned in Bremen and later in Hanover and Prussian ship registries as ship-owners, shareholders in many sea-ventures arid as ship captains. One F. Schilling fell in the War of Independence against Napoleon; his name can be found on the Waterloo Column in Hanover among the names of the heroes who fell for their fatherland.

The Schilling coat-of-arms
6 shows the year 1820. It has a place of honor in the banquet hall of the House of the Merchant Marine in Bremen, among the arms of other Hanseatic families and sea captains.

In the Bremen Ship Registry one can read that Claus Schilling, ship owner, was a part owner of the ship Waterloo, former Queen Charlotte, which had been built by Hinrich Raschen of St. Magnus in 1788. An announcement by shipbuilder Johann Lange in 1826 states that: he...has started to build a mew brig of 279 tons in his new shipyard in Grohn for Captain Schilling." From 1825 on Claus and Friedrich Schilling had shares in the 112 ton brig Charlotte Luise, of which Friedrich Schilling also was the captain. In 1832 Claus Schilling was listed as ship owner of the 100 ton brig Johanna and the galiot Gerechtigkeit.
7 The brig Johanna had been built in 1818 in Salisbury, North America; her name was later changed to Anna. Claus and Friedrich Schilling each had one eighth share; Friedrich Schilling was the commander.8
Johann Lange built the schooner Anna Maria. She was launched March 20th, 1829 and was commanded by Captain Friedrich Schilling. A Johann Schilling of Bremen was captain of the l43 ton Charlotte, built in 1823 in the Hinrich Bosses’ shipyard in Burg.

Diedrich Schilling of Vegesack owned the 132 ton schooner Almuth. In 18h2 Diedrich Schilling commanded the bark Hudson in international trade. She had been built that year in H. F. Ulrichs’ shipyard. According to shipping papers he commanded, the ship Florion from May 3rd, l844; the Carl Wilhelm from March 17th, 1846; afterwards the Jason in foreign trade. This ship, of 240 tons, had been built in Waldoboro, Maine and while under the American flag was named Rammohon Boy. She plied mostly between Bremerhaven and New York. After the Jason, Diedrich Schilling commanded the foreign trade frigate Orpheus, of 784 tons, which had been built in 1853 in Bosses’s shipyard in Burg. She was among the fastest sailors. Even as the large passenger steamers today strive for the speed record in crossing the Atlantic, there was similar rivalry among sailing vessels at that time. In the summer of 1865 the Orpheus and the Gutenberg sailed a ‘race" across the Atlantic from Bremerhaven to New York. The Gutenberg, Captain Raschen, won the race with a 22 day crossing. The passengers had put up a pool of 500 taler, which the passengers of the Gutenberg won. The Orpheus made a very fast voyage--eastward, of course of 18 days 6 hours from Hew York to Bremerhaven: this was on her second voyage in the autumn of 1864.

There is a very fine model of the ship in the Focke Museum in Bremen.
10 In 1870 this model was raffled on the Stock Exchange for the benefit of the wounded of the Franco-Prussian War. An oil painting of the Orpheus is in the Heimat Museum in Vegesack.11

Diedrich Schilling gave the names Orpheus and Jason to various ships of his firm, probably in memory of many successful trips he had made with the first two ships of those names. He, together with a group of partners, bought a bark Jason on February 28th, 1866. She had been built for Captain Moritz von Thielen, of Vegesack, in the Oltmann shipyard in Rönnebeck. She was of 250 tons and carried the Bremen flag. Diedrich and Friedrich Schilling each had two-eighths ownership, Stelljes and Dietjen one-eighth, and Captain von Thielen kept three-eighths. She was wrecked near Minatitlan on the coast of Mexico in 1870 and was a total loss. The crew was saved and returned home via New York.

After 1870, Diedrich Shilling enlarged his shipping operations by buying more ships, especially ships built in North America. The first ship named Orpheus belonging to the shipping firm of D. Schilling was operated under Hanover-Prussian registry after 1871 She was a bark, built in 1869 by Oltmanns in Brake. After being bought from Captain Bellmer she was operated by N. Ballehr. The bark carried passengers and mixed cargo from the ports of New York and Philadelphia to Bremerhaven and Hamburg and return.

During the latter half of the nineteenth century, travelers had the choice of traveling on steamers of the North German Lloyd or the Hamburg-American Line, but many still went by sail because of the cheaper fares. It cost 80 to 90 marks to New York and 115 marks to Galveston. Later, after passenger traffic was no longer profitable and even mixed and general cargo was usually shipped by steamer, Schilling’s ships carried on the North American trade as crude oil clipper ships.

In 1873 Diedrich Schilling sold the first Orpheus and immediately bought the second Orpheus. She was a full-rigged and later re-rigged as a bark and had been built in Boston in 1660. The purchase contract was signed in Amsterdam in August 1871. Her capacity was 910 tons. She was commanded first by Captain H. Michael, later by H. Schulken.

The Orpheus sailed principally between Bremerhaven and Baltimore, the round taking from three to five months. In winter and spring, this was considered to be good average tine crossing the Atlantic. Vessels that had especially good luck with fair winds in both directions made faster round trips. For instance, the brig Ocean, Captain Jacobs, sailed from the Weser on March 6th, 1852 and returned to Bremerhaven on May 13th, after a round trip of sixtyfive days, an extremely fast time.

In the winter of 1879 the Orpheus, en route from New York to Bremerhaven loaded with oil in barrels encountered very bad weather in the North Sea. The second mate was washed overboard only three days before reaching her destination.

The second Jason was listed in the Prussian Registry after 1872 with its hone port as Geestemünde. She was built in 1852 in Johann Lange’s shipyard and was rigged as a bark. She sailed principally from Bremerhaven to New York and Philadelphia and return. On a return voyage from Worth America in 1880 she was damaged by drifting ice in the Weser River shortly before reaching her home port of Pech and sprang a leak. Men were quickly sent from Bremerhaven to man the pumps and they were able to bring the ship in and dock her. Diedrich Schilling sold her after being repaired; she was then named the Vikingen and sailed under the Norwegian flag.

The Athena was a downeaster bought in North America and then sailed under the Bremen flag. She was a frigate, built for J. Taylor of Boston for the foreign trade by George Thomas in Quincy, Massachusetts. Captain Diedrich Schilling bought her in New York for himself and the shipping firm of Konitzky & Thiermann in Bremen. Captain Trentwehl, Diedrich Schilling and Andreas Stark in turn commanded the ship. The last Master’s Certificate of Diedrich Schilling was issued in January 1865.

While the ship, Athena, was flying the Bremen flag, Captain Diedrich Schilling and Konitzky & Thiermann each had one-half interest. Prior to that, Konitzky & Thiermann and Caspar H. Heye each had one-quarter and Diedrich Schilling one-half interest. The size of the ship was stated as 1,057 American tons, 3,239 cargo tons and 730 registered tons. In 1870 she was converted from a full-rigged ship to a bark. Captain J. Christoffers, then J. Bellmers, and later Schwarting commanded the ship in turn for the firm of Diedrich Schilling. Schilling used the bark in the North American trade to New York and Philadelphia.

During the morning of June 1st, 1873, the Athena collided with the English steamer Stammington near Beachy Head. The captain, the mate and a sailor of the steamer jumped onto the Athena as they thought that the Stammington would sink. The steamer however had not been injured below the waterline and was brought to New Haven by the first engineer, two seamen and four of the engine crew. The lower yardarms of the Athena had yanked the mainmast and the smokestack of the steamer overboard. The Athena arrived in New York without damage.

On May 16th, 1877 she sailed from New York and ran into heavy weather in the North Atlantic. She started to leak and had to throw 150 barrels of oil overboard and return to New York. After 1880 she was again registered in Bremen.
14 The Athena was lost in 1886 running ashore, and was a total wreck.

The Hera under Captain C. E. Peschke was built in 1875 in the Wenkes shipyard and was rigged as a bark. She was of 1,037 tons British registry. On the voyage to New York in the fall and winter of 1877 the bark, because of a southwest storm, had to change her course northerly around Scotland. She went through more heavy storms and arrived in New York on December 25th, 1877 with the loss of her sails and other damages to her rigging.

In April 1880 the Hera again had bad weather in the Atlantic and suffered heavy damage. She sprang a leak, and both fore and main masts had to be topped. She was repaired in New York and left there on August 3rd, 1880 on her return to Bremen. After 1880 she was registered in Bremen.
The Carl was bought in America by the firm of S. Schilling. She was a full-rigged ship, 1,303 British register tons, built in 1869 in Bath, Maine. She was commanded by Captain E. Backhaus. She was used by Schilling as an oil carrier. The crew experienced a seaquake on a voyage from New York to Triest in 1884. Captain Backhaus, of Vegesack, reported it as follows.

"During the night of December 21st, 1884, at about 20 minutes past 2, we suddenly felt a strong rocking or shaking of the ship, lasting about 5 minutes. The shaking was so strong that the oil barrels in the top layer between decks were thrown around, and the lamp chimneys fell to the deck. The sea in the neighborhood of the ship turned white. The first mate and his watch were thrown to the deck; he and the carpenter had been standing on the afterdeck, one sailor on the port side as lookout. I rushed on deck, as did the watch below, as we all thought the shin had met with an accident. After the shaking stopped I immediately had the pumps started, and repeated pumping every ten minutes; however, the depth of bilge water did not change. The ship was at 35, 40’ N. lat. and 22,26’ W. long. The sea was calm, the wind easterly and light, the ship’s speed was three nautical miles per hour. Several days later, in very calm weather and a glassy sea, we lowered a boat and rowed around the shin but did not find any damage."

Newspapers mentioned a heavy earthquake in Spain at that time, so it is presumed that this quake moved under water and caused the shaking. The same shocks were felt by another ship that was in the sane degree of latitude. The Hera was sold in 1891.

The bark Jupiter was likewise a former North American vessel, built in Bath in 1855, of 1,094 tons. She was bought by Diedrich Shilling in 1873. Captain Johann Stricker, and later Captain H. Jachens, commanded her on voyages to North American ports. She was lost in 1878 on a voyage from Bremerhaven to New York, after twenty-three successful years. Captain H. Jachens and the whole crew were lost with the ship.

The Norma was a small bark in which originally Konitzky & Thiermann had a half interest arid Diedrich Shilling and Georg Nordenholt a quarter interest each. Her name became Norna in 1870 after D. Schilling and G. Nordenholt had acquired a half interest each. She ran ashore in heavy fog in the North Sea in 1878, but was pulled off successfully.

The Derby was owned by Diedrich Shilling for three years, being used successfully in the New York trade.

The Leda was still another downeaster bought in 1877 by Diedrich Schilling. She was a full-rigged ship, built in 1868 in Richmond, Maine, 1,309 tons Captain H. Steengrafe commanded the ship, and later Captain H. Schaffmeyer. She usually carried crude oil from New York and Philadelphia to Bremerhaven.

In the winter of 1880 she was carrying 8,400 barrels of oil from New York to her home port of Bremerhaven, and had a good trip as far as the Eglish Channel. She met misfortune on leaving the Channel. During the morning of December 28th, visibility decreased as thick fog came up, and the bark grounded on Godwin Sands. The Leda lay among terrible breakers and pounded hard on the shore. The mainmast was topped to lighten the ship, and the topmast tore the yards overboard with it. The ship had sprung a bad leak and Captain Schaffmeyer ordered the distress signal to be flown. It was seen by the lightship of Godwin Sands and passed along. The Deal lifeboat worked itself through the breakers to the ship, took off the exhausted crew and landed them. The Leda was completely broken up in the heavy seas. On January 8th, pieces of wreckage bearing the name Tranquebar were washed ashore at Egomnt; this had been the ship’s name when she sailed under the American flag. Captain Schaffmeyer was feared of responsibility by the Admiralty Court, and the petition of the National Commissioner to revoke his license was dis-approved.

Translator’s notes
6. Illustrated with a picture in the book.
7. A galiot was a small sailing vessel using both oars and sail.
8. Opposite this page is a copy of the coat-of-arms. We have a leaded glass copy in color in our TV room differing slightly in details from the one in the book.
9. Here we have a Johann Schilling. Who was he?
10. The Orpheus was later renamed the Deutschland.
11. A copy of the oil painting is included in the book. This page of the book is followed by a copy of a painting, not in color, of Diedrich Schilling, with the inscription: Diedrich Schilling, born April 18, 1820 in Flethe, died August 7, 1885 in Bremen. We have a color copy, full size, of this painting in our TV room.
12. Here the author seems to be a little ahead of his story.
13. There is a copy of an oil painting, not in color, inscribed "The two barks Orpheus and Hera off the English coast." We have a copy of this painting in color in our TV room.
14. This leads me to think that she had remained in American registry after being bought in New York, purchase documents dated April 30th, 1857. Here the author quotes the long legal documents covering the sale of the Athena in New York by Diedrich Schilling as agent of the New York owner and the purchase of the ship by Konitzky & Thiermann.
15. Opposite this page is a copy of a picture with the inscription: "Bark Hera, copy of an oil painting in possession of Mr. Eduard Schilling, Bremen".
16. Admiralty Court proceedings in Bremerhaven brought out only that the ship had been recently overhauled and was seaworthy, that nothing had been heard of her, and that she presumably was missing and sunk.
17. Opposite this page here is a black and white copy of an oil painting entitled "The two barks Orpheus (left) and Hera (right) off the English coast." We have a full-size copy of this painting in our TV room.


Seafaring people formerly grouped the three towns of Bremerhaven, Bremerlehe and Geestemünde, all lying on different banks at the junction of the Geeste and the Weser, calling them "the United States of the Lower Weser". Three ships of the shipping firm of Schilling & Meinke carried these three names.

The Bremerhaven was built in 1852 in Portsmouth, North America, for the foreign trade, and was bought by Schilling & Meinke in 1872. She was originally a full-rigged ship; but the same thing happened as to almost all petroleum clippers -- in 1886 she was re-rigged as a bark. She was of 1,042 tons; one of the few ships that grew old on the sea. She collided with the English smack Maid Marian in January 1874 fifty miles from Lowestoft, and the Maid Marian sank. The crew climbed aboard the Bremerhaven to safety. After this accident, the ship again changed owners. Schilling & Meinke sold her to D. Heinrichs, of Bremerhaven. The ship was lost in the Atlantic in 1895. Very few wooden sailing vessels reached the age of 142 years as did the Bremerhaven.

The name Bremerlehe was carried by a full-rigged ship, which was built in 1857 as frigate under the name Savely-Chludow in the mew shipyard of C. Rickmers. She was built for the German-Russian firm of J.F. Knapp and had carried the Russian flag. The crew consisted only of German sailors; Captain Adolf Bosse of Oselbshausen commanded. She was of 1,080 tons. Schilling & Meinke bought the Savely-Chludow in 1877 and sold her under the new name Bremerlehe to Norway in 1880....

The Geestemünde was another American ship, built in New Bedford in 1862, that was bought by Schilling & Meinke. She should not be confused with a bark of the same name, also in foreign trade, belonging to the firm of Addickes & Co. of Heuhausen. Schilling & Meinke’s Geestemünde was of 1,164 British registered tons, and was commanded by Captain J. Lamke.

In April 1879 the Philadelphia Shipping News mentioned damage to the ship: "The Geestemünde is in a dangerous position, with a lost foremast, at the Delaware Breakwater. A new storm is raging." After this notice appeared a second time the ship was taken in town and brought to New York for repairs. In 1889 she ran ashore near Absecon.

The Meta was built in Boston as a full-rigged ship, 1,332 tons, Captain H. Höljes and later Captain J. Lenz. She was lost with her entire crew in 1887. Captain Lenz left Philadelphia with the Meta for Hamburg on February 10, 1887, laden with crude oil in barrels. After that date no news whatsoever was received of the whereabouts of the ship, and she never reached her destination. Various letters written by the captain to the ship owners, the latest on the sailing date, show that the ship was in good seaworthy condition. Possibly she sank in heavy winter storms in the Atlantic.

The Cuba and the Favorite were former downeasters, both full-rigged ships built in the United States in 1863, and both of about 1,100 tons each. They made many successful voyages under the German flag and carried many thousands of barrels of crude oil to German ports until tankers replaced the oil clippers in this trade. The Cuba was transferred to German registry and re-rigged as a bark in 1892. The Favorite was sold the same year.

The Harmonie was bought by Schilling & Meinke in 1879; she was of 1,454 tons. She had been built in Newburyport in 1875 as a full-rigged ship. She was commanded by Captain K. Kassbohm. On April 12, 1893 she was abandoned by the crew in a sinking condition in the Indian Ocean…The Admiralty Court in Bremen found: "The full-rigged ship Harmonic, on the voyage from Cardiff to Batavia, suffered greatly because of bad weather west of Cape of Good Hope, and sprang a leak. The efforts to save the ship exhausted the crew, and it was not possible to control the leaks. Abandoning the sinking ship appears to have been justified. There is no evidence of any defi-ciency in construction, condition, fitting out and loading or in the ship’s company."

CHAPTER VIII to XV deal with ships of other firms.
CHAPTER XVI is on steamers.
CHAPTER XVII is on ships from forum.
CHAPTER XVIII is about flags and signals of the Hanoverian
and later the Prussian ships; descriptions without illustrations.


Ship Type Tons Built Bought Fate
Charlotte ? 143 1823 1823? ?
Charlotte Luise Brig 112 1825? 1825 ?
Almuth Schooner 132 1825? 1825? ?
? Brig 112 1826 1826 ?
Waterloo* Frigate 180 1788 1827 ?
Anna Maria Schooner ? 1829 1829 ?
Johanna (later Anna) Brig 100 1818 1832 ?
Gerechtigkett Galiot ? 1818? 1832 ?
Expedition Schooner 160 1841 1841? ?
Hudson Bark ? 1842 1843? ?
Florion Ship ? 1842? 1844? 1846?
Carl Wilhelm
(later Jason)
Bark ? 1844? 1846? ?
Baltikus Schooner 160 1847 1847? ?
Landdrost von
Galiot 160 1850 1850 ?
Jason Brig 1178 1852 1852? ?
Weser Schooner 126 1854 1854? ?
Athena Bark 730 1857 1857 1886 wrecked
Orpheus Bark 832 1859 1859? 1873 sold
Geestemünde Ship 1164 1862 1862? 1889 wrecked
Aurora Bark 390 1864 1864? ?
Favorite Ship 1098 1863 1863? 1892 sold
J.L. Thiermann Bark 872 1865 1865 Renamed Norma
Jason Bark ? 1864 1866 1870 wrecked
Norma Bark 872 1865 1870 ?
Carl Ship 1303 1869 1869? 1891 sold
Meta Ship 1332 1870 1870? 1887 lost at sea
with crew
Jason Bark ? 1852 1872 1880 sold
Bremerhaven Ship 1042 1852 1872 1874 sold
Cuba Ship 1106 1872 1872? ?
Jupiter Bark 1094 1855 1873 1876 lost at sea
with crew
Orpheus Bark 910 1860 1873 ?
Derby Ship 1087 1855 1874 1877 sold
Hera Bark 1037 1875 1875 ?
Bremerlehe Ship 1062 1857 1877 1880 sold
Leda Ship 1809 1868 1877 1879 wrecked
Harmonia Ship 1454 1875 1879 1893 sank
crew saved
Makrele Fischd. 436 1887 1887? ?

*Originally named Königin Charlotte, then Friedrich August, then Herkules.


Ship Captain Owners
Charlotte Johann Schilling, Bremen ?
Charlotte Luise Friedrich Schilling Claus and Friedrich
Almuth ? Dietrich Schilling
? Schilling? Schilling (which one?)
Waterloo* ? Claus Schilling 1/6
J. Mandels 1/3
J. Rösing 1/2
Anna Maria Friedrich Schilling ?
Johanna (later Anna) Friedrich Schilling Claus Schilling 3/8
Friedrich Schilling 3/8
Others 2/8
Gerechtigkett ? Claus Schilling
Expedition H. Nordenholt H. Nordenholt
Hudson Diedrich Schilling from 1843 ?
Florion Diedrich Schilling
from May 3, 1844
Carl Wilhelm
(later Jason)
Diedrich Schilling
from March 16, 1846
Baltikus ? H.F. Ulrichs
Landdrost von Marschalk H. Nordenholt H. Nordenholt
Jason J.H. Denker Diedrich Schilling
Weser ? H.F. Ulrichs
Athena Trentwohl, Diedrich
Schilling, Andreas Mark
Diedrich Schilling,
Konitzky & Thiermann
Orpheus Bellmer Diedrich Schilling
Geestemünde L. Lamke, H. Gärdes Schilling & Meinke
Aurora ? H. F. Ulrichs, of Fahr
Favorite H. Peters Schilling & Meinke
J. L. Thiermann G. Nordenholt Konitsky & Thiermann 1/2
Diedrich Schilling 1/4
Capt. G. Nordenholt 1/4
Jason Moritz von Thielen Diedrich Schilling
Norma G. Nordenholt Diedrich Schilling 1/2
G. Nordenholt 1/2
Carl E. Backhaus Diedrich Schilling
Meta H. Höljes, J. Lenz Schilling & Meinke
Jason Johann Stricker Friedrich Schilling 1/4
Diedrich Schilling 1/4
Steljes & Dietjen 1/8
Moritz von Thielen 3/8
Bremerhaven H. Höljes Schilling & Meinke
Cuba H. O. Stoll Schilling & Meinke
Jupiter Johann Stricker Diedrich Schilling
Orpheus H. Michael Diedrich Schilling
Derby August Hünecken Diedrich Schilling
Hera C. E. Peshke Diedrich Schilling
Schilling & Meinke
Bremerlehe J. Hirdos Schilling & Meinke
Leda H. Steengrafe, H. S.
Diedrich Schilling
Harmonia H. Schiphorst Schilling & Meinke,
J.C. Meinke
Makrele C. Eveling Schilling & Co.