Was this your Teare relative? Newspaper clippings 1842-1915

clippings imageA selection of 16 newspaper clippings mentioning Teare in stories from Wales, North West England, Manchester, London, IoM between 1842-1915. Arranged in date order. Some need to be read in sequence to get the full story. As usual press interest focuses on sudden death, court cases and occaisionally some more amusing incidents.


Monmouthshire Merlin 23 July 1842

ABERGAVENNY.—The Teetotal society in this place has not, from some cause or other, progressed within the past few months, with its wonted spirit; and with a view to resuscitate its languid energies, gave an invitation to Mr. James Teare,of Preston, the gentleman who has been doing so many wonders in the county of Hereford, during the last week or two. His addresses on Teetotalism in that county have produced their desired effect-strengthening the already staid, causing the waverer to retrace his steps, and inducing many an opponent first to think, and then to range himself under the banner of Total Abstinence. With a hope that similar results would follow his spirit-stirring appeals in Abergavenny, the advocates of touch not, taste not, handle not alcoholic drinks, engaged his services for the evenings of Monday and Tuesday last. On the former evening his address was delivered in the Teetotal Coffee Room, to as large an audience as could conveniently gain admittance. His address was characterised with a great deal of earnestness, and evidently produced a good effect upon his audience. The same ground which former lecturers took was occupied by him, and no new arguments were advanced, with which the larger part of his auditory was not already acquainted but he made some bold assertions, with which only thoroughgoing Teetotallers could agree. On Tuesday evening, his company was too numerous for all to hope to gain admittance into the room. He therefore spoke to an assembly of perhaps 400 or 500 persons in the Wheat Market, and that, too, so efficiently, that before the meeting broke up, eleven persons signed the pledge. The Rev. Henry Poole, Baptist minister, was the chair on both occasions. The society anticipates much good will arise from Mr. Teare’s visit to the town of Abergavenny.


 Carnarvon and Denbigh Herald and North and South Wales Independent 15 July 1848

A powerful hydraulic presshas just been completed for Mr. W. F. Moore, sailcloth manufacturer, by Mr. R. Teare, turner, Douglas. The condensing pump and its appendages are beautifully executed, and the standing portion of the press strong and substantial. The power which a moderate sized man is capable of exerting is about 150 tons.


County Observer and Monmouthshire Central Advertiser Abergavenny and Raglan Herald Usk and Pontypool Messenger and Chepstow Argus 24 June 1876

A MANX LANDOWNER,named Kerruish, has been sentenced to five years’ penal servitude for sheep stealing. A woman named Teare was sentenced to two years’ hard labour for a similar offence.


 South Wales Echo 3 July 1885

ALLEGED ARSON BY A DRAPER. An extraordinary case of alleged arson was investigated at Manchester police court today. The prisoner was a draper named Edward Teare.On the night of Wednesday his shop was discovered to be on fire. The flames were extinguished before any serious damage had been done. The superintendent of the brigade found there was distinct evidence that the premises had been set on fire deliberately in several places at once. The stock is greatly over insured. Prisoner was remanded till Thursday.

The Western Mail 14 July 1885

INCENDIARISM FOR THE SAKE OF INSURANCE. A draper named Edward Tearewas charged on Friday morning at Manchester Police Court with arson. The prisoner’s shop was discovered to be on fire on Wednesday night. Subsequent investigation showed that it must have been set on fire willfully, as the place was burning in several places at once. The stock, though heavily insured, was valued at only £50. The prisoner was remanded till next Thursday.

South Wales Echo 23 July 1885

ARSON IN MANCHESTER. At the Manchester assizes on Wednesday, draper named Teare,of Manchester, was found guilty of arson, and sentenced to seven years penal servitude. His shop was set on fire in several places, and it was proved that over-insured the stock, and had told the assistants that they would not be required after the day on which the fire was discovered.


 Evening Express 29 April 1891

MAY LADIES SMOKE IN CAFES. A Waiter Who Objects Gets a Water Bottle Thrown at Him. 

At Bow-street on Tuesday William Teare,who refused his address and occupation, was charged with willfully breaking an embossed panel at the Horse Shoe Hotel, valued at £ 5. Henry Marshall, a waiter, said that the defendant, accompanied by a lady and gentleman, entered the cafe, sat down at one of the tables, and ordered some coffee and brandy. They were supplied, and the lady commenced to smoke a cigarette. She was requested to desist, but refused. The defendant then took up a water-bottle and threw it at the witness’s head. He, however, dodged it, and the panel was shattered.

Mr. Vaughan: ‘Is it a regulation that there shall be no smoking in the coffee-room ?  Other persons (men) may smoke.  And why not women?  Where is the distinction?’

The Witness Henry Marshall: ‘That is the rule of the establishment.’

Mr. Vaughan ‘That clearly cannot be.’ (To the defendant): ‘What have you to say?’

The Defendant William Teare: ‘I mean to say this, that a lady, her husband, and myself went into the cafe to have some coffee and brandy and sat down at a table. My friend had a cigar and I offered his wife a cigarette. I had a pipe. She lighted the cigarette, and this man (the waiter) came up in an insolent manner and addressed her, without speaking to her husband or myself. He came up and spoke again, and said he would call in the police and turn her out. With that I picked up the water-bottle and threw it at him.’

Mr. Vaughan: ‘You ought not to have done that.’ To Mr. Atkins: ‘What is this that I hear, that there should be smoking by men and not by women?’

Mr. Atkins: ‘That is so.’

Mr. Vaughan: ‘I don’t understand what is the principle?’

Mr. Atkins: ‘It is a rule of the establishment’

Mr. Vaughan: ‘But you let men do it. Don’t you know that Spanish ladies smoke? Why should not women be allowed to smoke? It seems to me to be most inconsistent.’

The Magistrate fined the defendant William Teare 1s. and ordered him to pay £5, the amount of the damage done.


 Barry Docks News 26 October 1894

A SAILOR DROWNED AT BARRY DOCKS A seaman named Edward Teare,aged 38, a native of Glasgow, was attempting to get on board the s.s. Fulham, lying near No. 5 tip at Barry Dock, about 10.30 on Tuesday night last, when he accidentally fell into the tip well and was drowned. Grappling materials were obtained, and after searching for a couple of hours the body was recovered by Dock-constables Franks, Atkins, and Weeks, and Messrs T. John and J. Blainey, berthing masters. The remains were removed to the mortuary, and an inquest was held on Thursday afternoon at the Police Court.

The Western Mail 26 October 1894

Local News : An inquest was held on Thursday afternoon at Barry Dock (before Mr. K B. Reece, district coroner) touching the death of Edward Teare, a seaman on board the steamer Fulham of London, who was drowned on Tuesday night. The jury returned a verdict of Accidental Death.


 The South Wales Daily Post  13 August 1897

A SWANSEA SHIPPING CASE. THE STIPENDIARY GIVES HIS DECISION. In the case of Frederick Smith and Charles Teare, against Captain James Birchfield, of the barquentine “Brazilian,” the learned Stipendiary (Mr. J. C. Fowler) gave his decision at the Swansea Police Court on Friday morning, He said : ’Having considered the evidence in the cases of Smith against Captain Birchfield and Teare against the same, and the provisions of the Merchant Shipping Act, I now find as a fact that each of the plaintiffs was absent from the ship at Cappa, near Limerick, when she started for Swansea, also that their absence obliged the master to engage one man as a substitute for one, and to sail without a substitute for the other. He had to pay wages to the substitute and also to the crew for working one short of the proper number. Under these circumstances I hold that the plaintiffs committed a breach of their contract and are not entitled to recover the wages claimed.’  Mr. Naylor, who appeared for the defendant, applied for costs


 The Montgomery County Times and Shropshire and Mid Wales Advertiser 22 October 1898

Notes by the Way: 

The Postmaster General has appointed Mr John Wesley Teare,Postmaster of Oswestry to be Post- master of Dewsbury


 Cheshire Observer 26 August 1902

News of the World:

A young man named Tearewas drowned while bathing at Douglas, Isle of Man, on Wednesday, At the inquest a witness stated that he ran for a boat but was refused one, the person in charge saying that he did not provide boats for persons who did not use the bathing-houses in the creek. The jury returned a verdict of found drowned, several jurors expressing the opinion that the man should be censured for refusing the use of a boat.


 North Wales Express 30 September 1904

APPLICATION FOR DISCHARGE. Mrs Teare,Holyhead, appeared before the Board to ask for the discharge of her sister, Mary Hughes. aged about 15. It appears that Mary Hughes had been sent from the workhouse to the institute at Holyhead. After being there for over three years she absconded and flatly refused” to go back, and as she was under the legal charge of the Guardians she was taken into the house. Her sister now undertook to keep her. Some of the Guardians were strongly of opinion that the girl should be kept in the workhouse until she was 16 years of age. Mr Laiiabury moved, and Mr E. D. Jones seconded that the girl be placed under the care of her sister.  Mrs Elias moved an amendment, seconded by Dr Kendall, that she should be retained in the workhouse. The motion was carried by the chairman’s casting vote, and the girl was therefore, discharged.


Weekly Mail 31 August 1907

WAS IT AN ACCIDENT?A young woman, named Jessie Teare,of Liverpool, was remanded at Birkenhead on Tuesday charged with causing the death of Sheik Kabir, a seaman. It was alleged that the prisoner kicked the man in the stomach, and that he died shortly, afterwards. She, however, declared that another young woman pushed the man, who fell on some crockery he was carrying.


The Cardiff Times 16 April 1910

WELL-KNOWN YACHTSMAN.Mr D. Teare Callow, a well-known yachts- man of Castletown, Isle of Man, died on Saturday, age 46, as the result of an accident while cycling on Thursday. Deceased was a member of the Royal Mersey Yacht Club and sailed his yacht Maple Leaf at regattas.


 Herald of Wales and Monmouthshire Recorder 27 March 1915   Omnibus Notes

An American and His Motor. “I have driven cars in New York City for 12 years. I came over to England to join Kitchener’s Army, and this is the sort of thing brought against me,” were the remarks of Alfred John Teare,of Priory Street, who was summoned for driving a motor-car recklessly in Guild Hall Square, and also for refusing to stop when signaled by a constable. Defendant said he did not see the constable’s signal. He struck the kerb in order to avoid a cart, which was on its wrong side. The Bench imposed a fine of 10s. and costs in each case.


Y-DNA testing and origins of Teare / Tear name

teare-and-sons-DNADevelopments in DNA testing over the last 20 years have contributed greatly to the recent increase in knowledge about people’s ethnic and genetic origins. The availability of a number of companies offering commercial testing has lead to a reduction in cost as well as improved range of tests and better knowledge of interpretation of results. The testing of the male Y chromosome has proved so far the most fruitful in this respect for two reasons:-

  • the male Y-chromosome is passed down largely unchanged from father to son, tracking the male genetic line (patrilineal) – and therefore tracks also all the male holders of one family name
  • there is a low rate of mutation of the Y-chromosome as it is passed from one generation to another, but the rate of change is sufficient to identify and track branches in family groups within the last 7-800 years, ie the genealogical timescale in which family names have been used.

The Manx Y-DNA study has been running for 8 years and now includes the Y DNA data on over 500 individuals of Manx origin. The ancestral Y DNA signatures of over 100 families of Manx origin have been identified providing new information on the origins of the early population of the Isle of Man, at a family level – where they came from and also insights into the process of the formation of Manx family names. Based on the sample of men tested in this study, approximately a quarter of the men of this early population of the Isle of Man, with male descendants surviving today, had male ancestors who previously came from Scandinavia and Northern Europe. The remainder came from neighbouring areas, mainly Ireland, Scotland and early Britain. The proportion of Scandinavian genes in the male population of the Isle of Man today will have been reduced due to influx of population in the 19 and 20th centuries. The close-relatedness of the Manx community genetically is a notable feature of the Isle of Man, as might be expected. Y-DNA testing indicates that a number of male lines are connected from early times. However autosomal DNA testing provides further anecdotal evidence of this characteristic amongst a small population of people with Manx ancestry.

Teare / Tear family ancestry

Analysis of the Tear/e family lines show there are two distinct male ancestors living about 1000 years ago who are ancestors to Teare families living today. These can be defined broadly as the Patrick/Peel line with origins in Celtic Britain and the Andreas line having origins in Ireland. Of course this does not mean that there have not been connections between these 2 family lines during the intervening years – indeed it would be extremely unlikely for that to be the case.

From Manx Y-DNA Study – 8 Year Report – Results by Family Name

Tear/e – Line 1:  Patrick/Peel Origins

Hg R1b: Celtic origin: Defining Y-SNP: R-L21>DF13>Z253>L1066

The earliest surviving documentary record of this name on the Island was from 1372. Early forms of the name were ‘Mactyr/Mac Tere/Mac Terre/Mc Tyre’ and it was believed to mean ‘Son of the craftsman.’ Y-DNA testing up to 67 markers has been such that the ancestral haplotype has been identified. This name is unique to the Isle of Man and is not formed elsewhere. Y-DNA testing and analysis shows that this male line belongs to Haplogroup R1b and the lowest level Y-SNP identifiable is R-L21>DF13>Z253>L1066. Analysis suggests that the patriarchs of this male line, before they arrived on the Isle of Man, lived in Celtic Britain.

Tear/e – Line 2:  Andreas origins

Hg R1b: Celtic origin: Defining Y-SNP: R-L21>M222

The earliest surviving documentary record of this name on the Island was from 1372. Early forms of the name were ‘Mactyr/Mac Tere/Mac Terre/Mc Tyre’ and it was believed to mean ‘Son of the craftsman.’ Y-DNA testing up to 67 markers has been such that the ancestral haplotype has been identified. This name is unique to the Isle of Man and is not formed elsewhere. Y-DNA testing and analysis shows that this male line belongs to Haplogroup R1b and the lowest level Y-SNP identifiable is R-L21>M222. Analysis suggests that the patriarchs of this male line, before they arrived on the Isle of Man, lived in Ireland (Ui Niall Dynasty).

The full report is available at: http://www.manxdna.co.uk/results.htm

Unlocking Stories from the Archives: the Records of Teare and Sons, Sail Makers and Ship Chandlers of Peel

Featured on the imuseum website – June 2017

Unlocking Stories from the Archives: the Records of Teare and Sons, Sail Makers and Ship Chandlers of Peel

Posted on 16.06.2017

Manx National Heritage Library & Archives hold the archive of a small family business called Teare and Sons, Sail Makers and Ship Chandlers. The business was established in 1866 by John Teare (a rope maker) and his son William Edward Teare (a sail maker) – interesting fact – William Teare was the brother-in-law of folklorist and fellow Peel resident Sophia Morrison (1859-1917). The business was situated on The Quay on the corner of St Peter’s Lane. The sail making room was in the loft whilst the ground floor was taken up by the chandler business selling ropes, paint, cork (for nets), chains, nets, linseed oil, paraffin and petrol.

See more at:


Teare genetics: Y-DNA and the origins of Manx family names

teare and sons DNAThe Teare name is Manx in origin and its earliest recording is from 1599. It has developed and contracted to its modern spelling from the Manx Gaelic ‘Mac-y-teyir’ meaning ‘son of the craftsman or carpenter’. The Y-DNA project, which uses modern DNA analysis to trace the male genetic line, has shown that the Teare families tested have two separate male ancestors, both of Celtic origin, who would have lived about 1000 years ago.

The Isle of Man is small geographically (221 square miles) and its population has always been small relative to its larger neighbours. Despite being equidistant to Scotland, England, and Ireland (about 20 miles) and a little further to Wales the population historically had little mixing with ‘the other countries’. In this rural community, until the 19th century, the majority of the population worked on the land or the sea; often both – farming most of the time but also taking advantage of the seasonal herring fishery around the island. It was common to have marriages between neighbouring families, especially when farmers were looking to acquire new land or marrying someone from another parish. Consequently anyone researching their Manx family history will soon find their ancestors were related to a range of families, usually with very Manx names.

Families who have been connected with the Isle of Man over the last 500-1000 years are identifiable by their distinctive Manx family names. Previously people were known by single or personal names, sometimes nicknames, such as Duggan meaning the ‘little dark man’. Around 1000 years ago the Celtic patronymic system of names started to be adopted where the personal name was based on the name of your father or grandfather. This system means that a person can be identified by their personal name plus that of their male ancestor, for example Cormac MacNeill = Cormac Son of Neill. Names could describe attributes of the individual, their appearance, trade, or the place they lived but the Celtic patronymic ‘Mac’ meaning ‘the son of’ was the most common. From about 1100 AD onwards on the Isle of Man these family names, mostly unique to the Island, started to be adopted permanently and passed down to father to son unchanged.

Today there are some 125 hereditary family names surviving and still in use on the Island and these are the modern forms of the original Gaelic names in use around 1000 years ago. Modern genetic analysis using DNA testing throws light on the early history of the Manx population by tracking the Y-DNA makeup of men bearing these distinctive Manx names, including Teare. So far the study shows that Manx families tested are descended from one or two original patriarchs and so can be described as having a known genetic origin – the picture that would be expected for small families possessing family names with low overall frequency (see www.manxdna.co.uk for more details of the approx. 80 names investigated and latest results).

The Isle of Man was under the rule of a number of Scandinavian or Norse invaders for around 350 years and the study reveals only 25% of men of Manx origin today are descended from Scandinavians. This is a smaller number than might have been expected and the majority of modern Manx men have Celtic origins from men who arrived either from Scotland or Ireland. From the testing of modern Teare men in Isle of Man, UK and USA it is clear there are two different Teare genetic lines (both Celtic) on the Isle of Man. More testing is on-going to try and determine a more precise picture. However, testing carried out so far does confirm that the Teare lines from Peel (now in IoM and UK) and Patrick (now in USA) are closely related – for more on this connection see http://teareandsons.com/category/mining/ .

The phenomenon of two separate Teare male family lines is a good example of the same hereditary family name being formed in parallel and at around the same time (family names became hereditary on the Isle of Man between ca 1050 and 1300AD) by different families.  In a Gaelic speaking environment where patronymic names were in use, it is easy to expect that the same “son of: something/somebody” name could be adopted by more than one male-led family group at the same time.

But if this is true and occurs in the small Gaelic world of the Isle of Man, then it is even more so in the wider Gaelic-speaking world of Ireland and Scotland. So the Irish Kelly’s have no connection at all with the Manx Kellys for example. Hence we must learn not necessarily to expect that all families with the same name of Gaelic patronymic origin automatically have a genetic connection with each other!

However, all Manx families have mixed origins especially with the marriages between families over the centuries. Certain families are descended from a small group of male patriarchs who arrived on the Island in early times and this means many present day descendants of the families bearing unique Manx names, like Teare, are much more closely related to each other than they realise.

Thomas Arthur Teare 1889 – 1915

poppyThomas Arthur Teare was born on 11 May 1889 in Urmston Lancashire son of Thomas Teare originally from Ballamona, Isle of Man and Alice Day born in St Neots, Cambridge.

Thomas’s father worked in the stationary trade and is variously recorded as a stationer, printer and stationery traveller or commercial traveller. They lived at various addresses in Urmston during Thomas’s childhood and at age of 22 in 1911 he was living at home but now employed as a bank clerk for the Lancashire and Yorkshire Bank in Cadishead. Thomas had two siblings Harry James (born 1891) who became an Insurance Clerk for the Boiler Insurance Company and a sister Doris Day Teare (born 1893).

Thomas was a pre war territorial and on 10 September 1914 he sailed with the 1st/6th Battalion Territorial Force of the Manchester Regiment for Egypt. In May 1915 the 1st/6th embarked for Gallipoli and disembarked at ‘W’ and ‘V’ beaches on 5 May. Each man carried 200 rounds of ammunition, 2 days supplies and iron rations – no baggage blankets or stores were allowed. On the 4 June they took part in the 3rd Battle of Krithia. Their first objective was taken and consolidated but the enemy counterattacked on the 6th

On Sunday 6 June Thomas was wounded twice and seen to fall into one of the many gullies characteristic of the Gallipoli peninsula. His brother Lance Sergeant Harry James Teare (later promoted to 2nd Lieutenant Manchester Regiment in June 1915), searched for him without success and he was later declared killed in action.  Sergeant Thomas Teare has no known final resting place and is remembered on the Helles memorial, Gallipoli and St Clements War memorial, Urmston.


Back to WW1 Teare Memorial Page 

Sinking of the Lusitania Commemoration Peel

lusitania wandererAs part of the 100 year anniversary commemorations of the 1st world war on the Isle of Man the Peel Town Commissioners have decided to mark the centenary of the sinking of the Cunard Line passenger liner ‘Lusitania’ by the U boat U20 off the Irish coast on 7 May 1915.

The Wanderer (PL11) a Peel built and operated fishing boat was the first on the scene of the disaster as she had been shooting her nets 10 miles south of Kinsale head when the Lusitania was torpedoed. She sailed to the scene and was able to pick up over 160 survivors. Luckily the sea was calm and they took 110 on board and towed the others in a raft and lifeboat until they could be transferred to other boats. The letters from the crew of the Wanderer provide a vivid first hand account of the final moments of the Lusitania and the efforts to rescue as many as they could in a small fishing boat which quickly became overloaded. See http://www.isle-of-man.com/manxnotebook/mannin/v6p315.htm 

The owner of Wanderer in 1915 was Charles Morrison, a Peel grocer. His daughter Eleanor Morrison was married to William Edward Teare, sailmaker and partner in Teare and Sons ships chandlers.

There were 128 American citizens amongst the dead and in firing on a non military ship without warning the Germans had breached international law (the Cruiser Rules). The Germans had reason for treating Lusitania as a naval vessel because she was reportedly carrying munitions and the British had been breaching the Cruiser Rules but this sinking caused a storm of protest in the United States and the resulting propaganda was important in changing public opinion and the subsequent decision for America to enter the war.

See the recent BBC article and video at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-isle-of-man-28677593

For more information on the Lusitania Commemorations in Peel on Sunday 3 May 2015 see www.the wanderer100.com

New books now available

Using archives from the Teare family and Manx National Heritage Michael Teare has been researching the story of Teare and Sons, Sailmakers and Ships Chandlers. Founded in 1866 by John Teare, a roper, this family company was in business on The Quay, Peel for 100 years. Teare and Sons were very involved in the development of the Manx fishing industry both as suppliers to the fishing fleet and as shareholders in fishing boats and trading schooners. Now three small books bring these stories to wider audience.

For more information and to order your copies look in the Teare and Sons book shop

ice salt smoke coverIce, salt and smoke (curing and conserving fish) – it wasn’t always kippers on the Isle of Man, how do you export your fish without it spoiling and where do you get your ice in the days before refrigeration?


sailmakers coverSailmaking – before the development of steam engines sails and sailmakers were as important and strategic as oil is today for Navy and Merchant ships as well as fishing fleets. So when  fishing boats were powered by the wind what did the sailmaker do?


ships chandlers coverShips Chandlers - in any port the Ships Chandler was an important business, not just for supplying local and visiting boats but also as an investor in the local fleet and the life of the town. How did a 19th century ships chandlers business work?

Teare and Sons story

Ledgers Teare and Sons

Ledgers Teare and Sons

Norwegian College Fishery Science Tromsø

Norwegian College Fishery Science Tromsø

statue to fishermen Tromsø

statue to fishermen Tromsø







The Teare and Sons story was presented at the 14th North Atlantic Fisheries History conference held in the Norwegian College of Fisheries Science, Tromsø, Norway September 24-27th 2014. The papers from the conference will be published in a supplement to the International Journal of Marine History in 2015. A summary of the paper:

Using archives from the Teare family and Manx National Heritage in Douglas Michael Teare has been researching Teare and Sons, the family run company, founded in 1866 on The Quay, Peel.

Teare and Sons were sailmakers and ships chandlers supplying the rapidly growing fishing fleet during the 2nd half of the 19th century. They were also shareholders in fishing boats and trading schooners. By examining the company ledgers we can see how the daily operations in the chandlers worked and the growth of the company in customer numbers and turnover as the Manx fishing fleet expanded. Fishing boats needed to be prepared and equipped before the start of the Irish mackerel fishery in March, but they didn’t pay their bills until the end of the Manx herring fishing season in September. Teare and Sons had to take bank loans, using property as security, to finance their business.

At the end of the 19th century the company survived a series of difficulties. In 1898 the fishing smack Bee Hive, owned jointly by brothers William Edward and Henry Teare, was wrecked off Cambelltown, the schooner Lily Miles, in which the company had 8 shares, was wrecked on Longstone Rocks in 1899 and the schooner Phoebe (the company was a ⅜ shareholder) was run down by the steamship Duke of Lancaster in Belfast Loch in 1900 – it was not insured. But worse was to come when on 3 February 1900 the company’s bank, Dumbell’s, went bust. Suddenly Manx companies were unable to get credit from their suppliers who would only take new orders with cash up front. Dumbell’s had been an important bank in Peel and many other fishing boat shareholders and fishermen were faced with the same or an even worse financial disaster. As a result many fishermen lost everything, many boats were sold to Ireland or simply left to rot.

Teare and Sons survived and after WW1 ownership transferred to sailmakers John and Freddy Teare. Now they were making more sails for yachts and selling fuel to fishing boats. The business continued on The Quay in Peel until 1964 when Freddy Teare, the last sailmaker in Peel, died and the business closed.

Teare and Sons in Tromsø, Norway

The Teare and Sons story will be presented at the conference of the North Atlantic Fisheries History Association, which takes place in Tromsø, Norway 24-26 September 2014. This annual conference brings together maritime historians from around the world to discuss the scientific papers presented and topics related to fishery history.

Screen Shot 2014-09-19 at 13.40.54

Using archives from the Teare family and Manx National Heritage in Douglas Michael Teare has been researching Teare and Sons, the family run company, founded in 1866 on The Quay, Peel. Teare and Sons were sailmakers and ships chandlers supplying the rapidly growing fishing fleet during the 2nd half of the 19th century. They were also shareholders in fishing boats and trading schooners. By examining the company ledgers we can see how the daily operations in the chandlers worked and the growth of the company in terms of customer numbers and turnover as the Manx fishing fleet expanded.

Frederick Teare captures a German ship singlehanded – August 1914

frederick teareFrederick Teare was born in Peel the oldest son of William Edward Teare master sail maker and partner in Teare and Sons ships chandlers. He was 5ft 5in with brown eyes and hair and aged 37 at the start of WW1 when he was working in Rangoon, Burma – a river pilot bringing boats into port. Letters to home told the story of how his remarkable coolness resulted in the singlehanded capture of a German steamship. I first heard the story from his nephew Ken Teare and you can also find it in ‘This terrible ordeal’ Matthew Richardson’s excellent book about Manx involvement in WW1.

Apparently Frederick had always wanted to go to sea and despite a poor report on his mathematics from Patrick School he finished his schooling at Old Douglas Grammar School before realizing his ambition and he got his Captain’s ticket in 1904. He started his sailing career in 1893 with a 4 year apprenticeship on the four masted sailing barque Andelana out of Liverpool and then served another year after becoming an AB (able seaman). A brief spell in the RNR (Royal Naval Reserve) aboard HMS Collosus, a second class battleship built in1882 and at that time a coastguard ship based out of Holyhead was followed by 2nd mate positions on the French steamer La Madeleine and the Liverpool barque Mashona. He became 1st mate on the 1196 ton square rigger Robert Duncan out of Greenock in 1902.


He continued serving in deep water vessels and at the start of WW1, one hundred years ago, Frederick was a pilot aboard the fast coasting steamer, Hindu, which would meet vessels wanting to be taken up the Irrawaddy River to Rangoon (now Yangon and the former capital city of Myanmar). Britain declared war on Germany on 4 August 1914, following an “unsatisfactory reply” to the British ultimatum that Belgium must be kept neutral. The Rangoon port authorities had already been informed that the large Hamburg- America Cargo Liner, Alesia, had passed through the Suez Canal on July 26th, destination Rangoon. According to Lloyds register she was fitted with wireless and with war declared everyone assumed she would head for a neutral port. So imagine the surprise and consternation when Captain Teare was called on deck by the lookout during a blinding squall to see a large boat flying the German flag passing under the stern of the pilot boat – it was the Alesia. There were many questions – What were her intentions? Was she armed? Did she intend to attack Rangoon port? And then a sharp eyed lookout noticed there was no wireless gear aloft . . . .

Frederick Teare was the pilot on duty and he had an ability not only to remain calm but also to  conceal any facial expression, which he used to his advantage. He packed his bag, leaving behind his copy of Field Service Regulations from his membership of the Rangoon Volunteer Rifles, and took the small boat to board the Alesia. On his way he scanned the decks and faces of the crew and the bearded captain to find any clues. When he got on board the captain asked him ‘So what about the war’ and Frederick bluffed that ‘It had fizzled out’. The captain left the bridge and Frederick was left with the 2nd officer on the bridge wondering if the Captain was also bluffing. When the Chief Officer came onto the bridge he also asked about the war and Frederick took his chance and suggested that ‘If the wireless was in good order they’d have as much news as him’. The reply confirmed that the radio had been dismantled for repairs and that had been very inconvenient.

Frederick could find no reason to believe this wasn’t true so he took the Alesia up river, past the military installation at Elephant Point where there was much activity and which he passed off as the annual military manoeuvres. They moved up river and anchored for the night then at the first streak of dawn the first officer reported there was a large launch alongside and soon Frederick saw two platoons of Royal Munster Fusiliers coming on board. The German Captain raged at him ‘What does this mean Pilot? to which Frederick coolly replied ‘I am sorry to say Captain that our countries are at war and I have captured your ship’.

One of the first maritime actions of the war and certainly the first to involve a Manxman was any other ship ever captured with so much cool and daring by just one man? Official reports of the time described Frederick Teare as a man ‘typical of the British officers bred by our tramp steamers’. The Alesia was subsequently offered for sale in the London Gazette as a prize along with other captured German merchantmen and was purchased by the Government of India.

Frederick Teare left Burma in 1915 with the Burma military contingent; he became a sergeant in the 2nd battalion Seaforth Highlanders (Lewis Gun Section). He was posted to France in April 1915 and would have taken part in the Second Ypres battle and on the Somme when the 2nd battalion Seaforth Highlanders attacked on Redan Ridge 1 July 1916 and near Le Transloy in October 1916. He was twice wounded during this time.

During the battle of Arras (the First Battle of the Scarpe), which ran from 9 – 14 April 1917, there was a disastrous action involving the 4th Division on the Green Line from Fampoux. At midday on the 11th April the 2nd Seaforth Highlanders and 1st Royal Irish Fusiliers attacked from the sunken lane between Fampoux and Gavrelle . They were spotted whilst forming up by the enemy in Roeux and on the railway embankment and subjected to shellfire. At zero hour, as they advanced over a kilometre of open ground behind a feeble artillery barrage they were hit by heavy machine gun fire from the railway embankment and Chemical Works. The Seaforths attacked with 12 officers and 420 men and suffered casualties of all 12 officers and 363 men. Only 57 men survived this attack unwounded. They were withdrawn from the line on 13th April. This action and the casualties from other battalions of Seaforths are commemorated with the Seaforths Cross at Fampoux.  Frederick Teare was wounded leading his platoon in this action and died of his wounds in no 26 military hospital on 23 April 1917 aged 40 years. He is buried in Etaples military cemetery and his name is recorded on the Peel War memorial.

Frederick’s brother Frank Teare served in the Canadian Army and was killed on the 10 April 1917 in the attack on Vimy Ridge just a few miles from Fampoux.

Back to WW1 Teare memorial page

More on Seaforth Highlanders and battle of Arras at http://jeremybanning.co.uk/tag/seaforth-highlanders/

Memorial to Seaforth Highlanders, Fampoux http://www.ww1cemeteries.com/othercemeteries/seaforth_highlanders_memorial.htm