“The Ship Lord Wolseley”


The ship leaves Belfast for Philadelphia on the 18th of January under Cap'n James Dunn. Song describes several ports and storms and constantly makes references to the bravery and steadfastness of the crew and officers.


Harlow says that the author Dawson was bo'sun on the _Lord Wolseley_ when he wrote this.

_Lord Wolseley_ was a four masted ship built in 1883 by Harland & Wolff, Belfast. She was sold and renamed several times, as _Columbia_, _Everett G. Griggs_, _Wolseley_ (again) before being broken up and used for parts in 1928. - SL

I have to admit I find the name of the ship pretty ironic. Garnet Wolseley (1833-1913) was not a navy man but a soldier all his life, fighting in the Crimean War and thirty years of colonial wars before becoming army Commander in Chief in 1895. He was made a viscount in 1883 after winning the battle of Tel-el-Kebir in Egypt (1882). His most famous moment, perhaps, came two years later, when he tried and failed to rescue Gordon from Khartoum -- a rescue that might have succeeded had he understood river transport better. - RBW

Cross references

  • cf. "Yankee Man-of-War" [probably the song indexed as "The British Man-of-War"] (tune)


  1. Harlow, pp. 181-183, "The Ship Lord Wolseley" (1 text, sung to "Yankee Man-of-War")
  2. Roud #9149
  3. BI, Harl181


Author: Wm. R.B. Dawson
Earliest date: 1945 (Harlow)
Keywords: ship foc's'le sailor
Found in: US