Ada Iredale
Up Name Origins Ada Iredale Ainsdale Allonby Archer Arethusa Astoria Bessfield Calabar City of Carlisle Cockermouth Cumbrian Derby Park Dimsdale Dovenby 1 Dovenby  2 Drumalis Embleton G Broughton Iredale Kinkora Lizzie Bell Lizzie Iredale Lodore Lonsdale Lorton Martha Fisher Mary Ann Wilson Mowhan Penrith Peter Iredale Ravenhill Seaton Ulidia Ullock Vale of Doon


Ada Iredale picture

Date built:






Yard No:








Built for:

 Peter Iredale



Official No:




 3/4 woman's bust

Date bought:


Service life:

4 yrs.  Stern:


In service until:


Service ended as ship was

abandoned 15.10.1876


Ada Iredale
Remark 1 Sold and renamed "Annie Thomson" San Francisco Date 1878
Remark 2 Sold and renamed "Bretagne" as a French 4m Schooner Date 00.03.1926
Remark 3 Foundered off Cape Flattery , N. Pacific Coast of USA Date 05.10.1929 

1. Extract from "Last of the Windjammers" by Basil Lubbock. Vol. 1

The case of the Ada Iredale was even more extraordinary. This iron ship of 997 tons, with her coal cargo alight, was abandoned in the South Pacific on October 15, 1876, when about 2000 miles east of the Marquesas Islands.

After drifting westward in the equatorial current for eight months, she was picked up by a French cruiser and towed into Papeete with her cargo still burning. This, apparently, was not extinguished until May, 1878, when the ship was bought by San Franciscans, repaired and given a new outfit of sails and rigging. She was renamed the Annie Johnson, and like the Pyrenees sailed the seas for many a long day.

2. Other references for Ada Iredale:

"Downeasters" written by B. Lubbock.

"Bounty Ships of France" written by Villiers and Picard.

3. The Ada Iredale

"One of the more interesting ships to come out of Harrington was the ADA IREDALE, an iron barque of 825 tons, built by R. Williamson in 1872 for Iredale and Porter (actually P. Iredale & Co - Author's note) of Liverpool. Early in 1876 the ADA IREDALE was abandoned with her coal cargo on fire, and she drifted for eight months before being salvaged and rebuilt in 1878. She later came into the hands of the Americans, who re-named her ANNIE JOHNSON and registered her at Frisco. where a diesel engine was fitted into her as late as 1923.

In 1927 the vessel passed into the hands of a French firm , who registered her at Tahiti. changing her name once again, this time to BRETAGNE. She then figured in Lloyds register as an iron screw four-masted schooner 212 ft. long: 31 ft. beam, with a gross tonnage of 1,029 tons.

When on passage from Vancouver to Suva in the Fiji Islands. the BRETAGNE was abandoned off the coast of Oregon, on Saturday, October 5th 1929. Her crew, including the captain's wife and daughter, were taken off by the American ship Whitney Olson."

From: "Ships of West Cumberland" by Desmond G. Sythes

4. Contribution from Charles Lee

Date: 27.01.00 22:16:22 (MEZ)

This story says that the ship was not seen to sink. Given her earlier
survival after the fire, it is pleasing to think we might have a ghost
ship still drifting in the North Pacific (too fanciful for words)

5. From the Roseburg News Review, October 5, 1929, page 1:

(Associated Press Leased Wire)

PORTLAND, Ore., Oct. 5. --- The Mackay Radio company picked up a
wireless message this morning saying that the steamer Whitney Olson
picked up 19 members of the crew of the French motor ship Bretagne, 15
miles south of Umatilla lightship. In the life boat were the captain's
wife and daughter. The Bretagne was bound from Vancouver to the South
Sea islands. The Whitney Olson is proceeding to San Pedro.
According to the Mackay company the French vessel took a heavy list
and filled with water, causing the members to abandon ship. It was not
learned if the vessel sank.

The Bretagne was a four-masted schooner with auxiliary oil engines.
She formerly was the Annie Johnson, and before that the Ada Iredale.
She is 212 feet long and was built in 1872. Her home port is Papeete,