The “Twelve Apostles of Pwllheli” Sold
A 19th century water colour of the “The Twelve Apostles of Pwllheli, Commander John Williams, 1891″ in a 19th century maple frame.
20″ high x 26½” wide / 51cm high x 67cm wide
In 1898 a ship called The Twelve Apostles got into difficulties in Hell’s Mouth. The captain sent out a famous signal to the insurers Lloyds of London- “Twelve Apostles making heavy water in Hell’s Mouth”.
The following is taken from http://www.coflein.gov.uk/en/site/271548/details/twelve-apostles The TWELVE APOSTLES was a wooden schooner built at Pwllheli in 1858. Technical and configuration specifications are given as 118gt, 99nt; 86ft 2in long x 22ft 2in breadth x 11ft 4in depth; figurehead of St Peter; official number 21329. Sources suggest the schooner was considered to be the unofficial flagship for Porthmadoc. The TWELVE APOSTLES was deliberately run ashore in an attempt to save both vessel and crew on 23 November 1898, after the schooner had been caught in a southerly gale force 10 during which it sprang a leak. The schooner became a total loss at Hell’s Mouth, but all the crewmembers were saved.
See also http://www.rhiw.com/y_mor/shipwrecks/Twelve_apostles.htm for a full history of the Twelve Apostles and images including one of the figure head.
From the Caernarfon & Denbigh Herald 1858 – “Thursday morning last a fine new schooner, named the Twelve Apostles, of a beautiful model, partly rigged on the stocks, anddecorated with a handsome figure head, was launched from the building yard of Messrs. Hugh Thomas and William Jones, of Morfa, near this town (Pwllheli). She glided majestically into her briny element amidst the deafening cheers of the numerous host of spectators attracted to the spot. She is about 220 tons burthen [118 tons in fact], is the sole property of Captain Prichard, of Erw Wen, Penrhos, is to be commanded by Captain Hugh Hughes, of the schooner Jaw, of this port, and is intended for the coasting and foreign trade”
See also Immortal Sails – a story of a Welsh Port and some of its Ships by Henry Hughes, published by T. Stephenson & sons ltd 1969