Hoban Boys, The
DESCRIPTION: On the night of October 27, a hurricane blows in. The next day, the singer sees the wrecks of the Minnie and Lilly & Jim. The singer's own Mayflower has been towed to St Pierre and looted; they pay the fee to the French, clear customs, and head home.
EARLIEST DATE: 1976 (Lehr/Best)
KEYWORDS: sea ship storm wreck
FOUND IN: Canada(Newf)
REFERENCES (1 citation):
Lehr/Best 51, "The Hoban Boys" (1 text, 1 tune)
NOTES: "The Hoban Boys" text mentions no year. My guess is that it refers to the October 28, 1921 storm but, while there is documentation for damage by that storm in Trinity Bay and Conception Bay (Fred Martin's site has a list of those losses) and Robert Parsons mentions damage at Hermitage Bay and Fortune Bay, I find no information about losses in between, at Placentia Bay.
Northern Shipwrecks Database, and that database's owner -- David Barron -- also has no specific information about ships lost on that date; he recommends I review microfilm of local papers for that week. I contacted a Placentia Bay newspaper, The Southern Gazette, but they have no information about the storm (they started publication in 1975) and thought "only the Telegram or the defunct Daily News would have recorded that info." The Telegram has not responded to my inquiry.
Neither Ms. Lehr nor Ms. Best could pin down the year for this storm; Ms. Best, noting that "sometimes dates in songs are imperfectly remembered and passed on, as you will no doubt realise" wondered why I would take the dates mentioned in the ballad so literally. Obviously, that's a good point. Even for such a famous sinking as "The Loss of the Atlantic," for which I've seen six distinct versions, Ranson [Songs of the Wexford Coast] p. 88 has the sailing date from Liverpool April 18 -- rather than March 20 -- for a wreck that occurred on April 1; Ranson's other version has the sailing from Queenstown on March 21 -- as should be -- but the departure from Liverpool as March 14.
Any further research will have to be done in Newfoundland. - BS
"The Old Mayflower" also mentions a ship named Mayflower being looted. Whether that describes the same event as this I do not know. - RBW
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