The Tyne Pilots

Tyne Pilots (latter half of the nineteenth century)
Tyne Pilots (latter half of the nineteenth century)

South Shields (Tyne) Sea Pilots of the latter half of the nineteenth century, were the real aristocracy of the river’s work force. These men could genuinely afford to dress well, and long retained their distinctive ‘stove pipe’ hats when afloat.

These they knew, with a knowledge born of generations of men who, with little other than skill, had brought countless ships to a safe anchorage, the work involved great responsibility and was fraught with many difficulties requiring coolness and ability. This they had in plenty as is witnessed by the innumerable sailors who daily entrusted them, without so much as second thoughts, with their lives.

John Hutchinson

John Hutchinson was the great, great, uncle of Metcalfe Tinmouth on his mother’s side. He acted as pilot for the Italian Patriot Garibaldi, when his ship the ‘COMMONWEALTH’ came into the Tyne in 1854.

Captain of Pilots

  • Joseph Reed 1724 – 1738
  • Loftus Danby 1738 – 1754
  • Matthias Giles 1754 – ?
  • Capt. Wm. Errington ? – 1773 Died
  • Joseph Hogg 1803 – 1815
  • John Thompson 1815 – 1845
  • William Pearson 1845 – 1864
  • James Kelly 1864 -? (Last Ruler appointed by Trinity House)

Pilot Masters

  • John Purvis 1893 – 1905
  • A.L. Ayres 1905 – 1908 Retired
  • Capt. Chas. K. Sergent 1908 – 1915
  • Capt. L.M. Lamb 1915 – 1932 Died
  • Wm. Marshall (Twaddles) 1932 – 1944 ( Served 25 years as Deputy Pilot Master. )
  • Capt. Henry Row 1944 – 1946
  • Capt. George W. Graber 1946 – 1964 Died
  • Sydney Johnson 1964 – 1981 Retired. (Last of the Pilot Masters)
Captain L.M. Lamb Taken on board "Queen'o the May" 3rd July 1931

Captain L.M. Lamb
Taken on board “Queen’o the May” 3rd July 1931

 

Commander Henry Row, R.D. R.N.R. (Retired)

Commander Henry Row, R.D. R.N.R. (Retired)
Pilot Master 1944 – 1946

 

Capt. George Graber

Capt. George Graber
Pilot Master 1946 – 1964
Taken onboard pilot cutter ‘Helm’ 1947
Sydney Johnson

Sydney Johnson,
(Taken outside Pilot Watch House 6th May 1981)
Last of the Tyne Pilot Masters.
Deputy Pilot Master 1955, Pilot Master 1964 Retired in June 1981

List of Pilots 1746

Sea Branches South Shields

  • HODGESON William
  • MAJOR Robert
  • SUTHERN Cuthbert
  • SMITH Harry
  • WRIGHT John

North Shields

  • ARCHER John
  • KELLIO Ralph
  • LACEY Samuel
  • MATTSON Robert
  • MANN Edward
  • MITFORD Harvey
  • SNOWDON Johnson
  • WILBERFORCE Edward

Newcastle

  • BLAIGDON Jonathon
  • BROWN George
  • GIBSON William
  • RAMSEY David
  • ROBINSON Chris
  • SHOTTON Ralph

Barr Pilots South Shields

  • HAMILTON John
  • HARRISON Ralph
  • HALIDAY Thomas
  • HUBBUCK Thomas
  • MORDEW David
  • SANDOM Ralph
  • WRIGHT John

Town or River Pilots

  • ATKINSON William
  • ANDERSON George
  • ERRINGTON Chris
  • REDHEAD John
  • THOMPSON Isaac
  • THURSTON William

Making a total of 32 pilots

Names of Pilots 

Licenced to pilot vessels throughout the entire District on the Tyne in the year 1909

Name
Age
Name
Age
Name
Age
Charles Pearson
78
Martin Purvis (2)
49
James Purvis (3)
39
William Marshal
70
Heny Duncan
51
Matthew Houlsby
38
William Tinmouth
70
John G Stewart
48
Henry purvis
38
Robert Young
70
Henry Y Marshall
48
Edward C Burn
37
John Peat
69
George B Morrison
48
John Phillips (2)
37
John Hutchinson
69
James Purvis (3)
49
Robert H Burn
37
William Strachan
68
John G H Thurlbeck
47
William Young (2)
36
John Brown
67
David Marshall
47
Bryson Taylor
41
John Bone (1)
67
James W Carter
47
Thomas T Houlsby
36
Thomas Young (1)
67
Charles Burn (2)
50
James Morrison
36
James Wright
68
Alexander Leslie
46
Robert Young (2)
35
Robert Purvis (1)
67
Lancelot Burn (2)
50
James Morrison
36
Heslop Wright
67
George Burn
44
Philip Y Tinmouth
35
Charles Chamber
65
John Whale
46
James Wright (2)
35
Robert Philips (1)
63
John Burn (2)
44
Thomas W Stephenson
34
Jacob Harrison
63
Ralph Burn
43
William H Tinmouth
34
Thomas C Purvis (1)
61
Richard Thurlbeck
43
Matthew Young
37
James W Mackey
62
Matthew C Reid
43
Thomas Bone
35
James Purvis (1)
60
William Purvis (2)
45
Thomas Heron
35
Richard Harrison
60
Henry Leslie
44
William Purvis
34
Anthony Emmerson
52
John Marshall (2)
43
Alex W Harrison
35
John Phillips (1)
60
John W Marshall
42
William O Purvis
34
Arthur L Burn
60
Robert Leslie
42
Beckworth Purvis
32
Henry Young
59
John Young
42
Thomas Y Purvis
32
Joseph O Moffat
59
William Purvis (3)
42
James A Ramsey
31
John T Cree
51
John H Tinmouth
42
John Nevens
34
Lancelot Burn (1)
58
Robert Phillips (2)
42
Joseph Marshall
33
William M Young
57
Thomas Young (3)
41
Fred Peat
34
James Young (1)
57
James Burn
41
William S Morrison
30
Robert Pickering
57
Robert Cowell
44
Annthony H Nevens
31
Robert Ramsey
57
John Bone (2)
41
Ralph P Sloan
31
Anthony Hogg
57
Robert Chambers
41
John G M Houlsby
30
John Burn (1)
56
Robert Heron
41
William P Duncan
29
John Duncan
55
William Young
40
James W Purvis
31
James Young (2)
55
Thomas H Purvis
40
John B Young
30
Anthony Thurlbeck
54
Thomas Tinmouth
40
Joh S Y Bone
29
John W Purvis
54
Joseph Wright
40
Ralph Phillips (2)
29
Robert Duncan
53
George W Burn
40
John H Pickering
29
Samuel Stewart
50
Thomas L Wright
40
John H Duncan
29
Amos L Ayre
49
Robert Purvis (2)
39
Robert W Purvis
31
Ben Heron (2)
49
Ralph Phillips
39
James H Mackey
30
John Chambers
49
Jacob Bone
39
Joseph Watson
31
William Thurlbeck
49
John A Peat
39
Thomas H Marshall
29

NAMES OF APPRENTICES IN THE YEAR 1909

Anthony Thurlbeck
22
John T Harrison
21
John Duncan
17
John Thurlbeck
20
Richard Tinmouth
19
Robert Leslie
16
Peter Purvis
18
Thomas Reed
18
Stanley Purvis
18
Thomas Purvis
19
Thomas A Strachan
19
Robert Pickering
16
Richard Duncan
20
W C Stewart
16
Robert Chambers
16
Robert Ramsey
20
Robert Cowell
16
Jacob Harrison
15
James Duncan
19
Edward Ramsey
17
George Purvis
18
George Ayre
17
Stanley Phillips
16
Arthur L Burn
15

TYNE PILOTAGE AUTHORITY 

LIST OF PILOTS IN THE YEAR 1961 

AYRE Arthur H
PHILLIPS James R
AYRE George
PHILLIPS Kenneth
BURN Charles
PICKERING Robert
BURN Charles H
PICKERING Raymond
BURN Joseph Wm.
PICKERING John H
BURN John
PURVIS Harold
BURN True Britton
PURVIS Robert E
BURN Malcolm N
PURVIS Charles
BURN John H
PURVIS James (1)
BURN George Wm.
PURVIS James (2)
BURN W. Alan
PURVIS John R
BURN James
PURVIS John (1)
BURN Richard C.
PURVIS John (2)
BURN Arthur L
PURVIS George Wm
BURN Morris F
PURVIS William
BURN George P
PURVIS Thomas Y
CHAMBERS Alfred
PURVIS Thomas Adrian
CHAMBERS William P
PURVIS Thomas H
COWELL Edward D
PURVIS Michael
DUNCAN Richard
PURVIS Peter K
DUNCAN Alexander
RAMSEY James C A
DUNCAN John H
REID Matthew
DUNCAN Stanley
STEWART Samuel
HARRISON Alex W (1)
SHEWAN Ralph S
HARRISON Alex W (2)
SLOAN Raph P
HERON Benjamin
STEPHENSON Peter K
HOULSBY Matthew
TAYLOR Andrew
HOGG Thomas
TINMOUTH William
HOGG John A
TINMOUTH Thomas
LESLIE Alex
TINMOUTH Ronald (1)
LESLIE Cyril Y
TINMOUTH Ronald (2)
LESLIE Henry
TINMOUTH John W
MARSHALL Joseph
TINMOUTH Metcalfe
MARSHALL George F
TINMOUTH Raymond
MARSHALL John Anderson
TINMOUTH Thomas Y
MARSHALL John E
THURLBECK Norman
MARSHALL John H Y
THURLBECK William O
MORRISON James
THURLBECK Ronald
MORRISON Robert R
WATSON Leonard W
NEVENS Anthony H
WRIGHT Fred S
PHILLIPS Stanley (1)
WHALE John
PHILLIPS Stanley (2)
WHALE William M
PHILLIPS Ralph
WHALE Sydney
PHILLIPS William
WHALE James S M
PHILLIPS Albert
YOUNG Ralph
PHILLIPS John W
YOUNG William M
PHILLIPS Ronald
YOUNG William W
PHILLIPS John D

Total of 95 Pilots

Tyne Pilot Authority 

List of Pilots in the Year 1981

AYRE George
PHILLIPS James R
BURN Charles H
PHILLIPS John Downie
BURN John Hart
PURVIS James
BURN James
PURVIS William
BURN Richard C
PURVIS George W
CAVE Don
PURVIS Thomas Adrian
CHAMBERS Joseph
PURVIS Thomas H
COWELL Edward
PURVIS Alan Young
DUNCAN David
SLOANE Ralph P
DUNCAN Stanley
TAIT Robert
EGAN Jeff
TINMOUTH Metcalfe
HARRISON Alex W
TINMOUTH Raymond
HOGG John A
TINMOUTH Ronald
MARSHAL John Duncan
TINMOUTH Philip Young
MARSHALL John Hanson
WHALE James R
PICKERING John H
WINTER George
PICKERING Raymond
YOUNG Thomas
PHILLIPS Kenneth
YOUNG William F

Total of 36 Pilots

Tyne Pilots

In 1988 the Port of Tyne Authority became responsible for providing pilotage on the Tyne and the Pilots were given the opportunity of being employed by them. However the Pilots refused, preferring to remain a self-employed independent body. At that time there were 27 Pilots working for the Tyne Pilotage Authority. This then reduced to 12 (listed below) to form Tyne Pilots Ltd.

John Hart Burn
Ralph P Sloane
David Duncan
John D Marshall
Philip Y Tinmouth
Thomas H Purvis
George Winter
Alan Y Purvis
Edward Cowell
James Purvis
Jeff Egon
George W Purvis

In 1998 only 8 Pilots remain

John Hart Burn
Ralph P Sloane
David Duncan
John D Marshall
George Winter
Thomas H Purvis
Jeff Egon
Alan Y Purvis

In 2008 John D Marshall and Alan Y Purvis – the last two remaining Tyne Pilots retired; marking not only the end of their long family tradition, but also the end to the long established Tyne Pilotage Authority. A service that had spanned 143 years.

 

 

 

4 thoughts on “The Tyne Pilots

  1. Trying to find information on my paternal grandfather Matthew Houlsby. He is listed above on the 1909 Pilots as being 38 years old. I have no other information. Also listed are a Thomas T and John G.M Houlsby presumably brothers. Anything you can t ell me will be greatly appreciated. I know live in the USA and cannot get to any information that might be in Shields. The only family left are a younger cousin, who lives in Spain and myself. Thank you in advance Doris Finn.

  2. A Matthew Houlsby born 19 jan 1871 parents John Houlsby and Ann Tinmouth married in 1894 Margaret Jameson His family appear in the 1881 Census. living at the Lawe South Shields with other Pilots Families Brothers Thomas ,Terence, and John are listed

  3. I am still trying to find any information on my grandfather Matthew Houlsby. Or his brothers listed on the1909 pilots list. Thank you in advance Doris Finn..

  4. Hi there
    I understand that the Tyne pilots passed from fathers to sons. My grandfather was Harold Purvis (1906 – 1973) and he was a Tyne pilot. His father was James Purvis (1861 – 1937 and married to Dorothy Elizabeth Baker). I’m trying to ascertain his correct family line as there are so many Purvis families (no doubt all related in some way). If anyone can assist with this, I’d be so very grateful.
    Kind Regards, Philippa Nidd

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