Our Maritime History
According to the entry in the burial register in 1737, William Andrew had been a fisherman; a common occupation in the coastal village of Staithes, Yorkshire. However, by the 1740's, William’s son, Richard (1714-1783), had started to take advantage of the growing demand for coal in London, by shipping it from the port of Shields, near Newcastle and there are several newspaper reports and ships musters, covering ship movements and listing the crews of some of these voyages.
Richard’s sons, further expanded the shipping routes over the next 30/40 years, such that their ships were sailing all over the world, including to St. Petersburg and Norway, (the Baltic trade), North America, the Caribbean and the Mediterranean. It should be pointed out however, that the infamous smuggler, John Andrew of Saltburn, has no connection to our Andrew family, having only moved into the district from Scotland, around 1770.
During this period, the world was far from settled; Britain was intermittently at war with France, Spain and Holland and then the United States, as the latter demanded independence. There is substantial evidence that at least one of his ships, 'The Charlotte', was used as a Transport ship, on lease to the British Government. In this role it saw action in the Mediterranean at the battle of Calvi ensued. (This was the battle which cost Lord Nelson his eye). See: Siege of Calvi - Wikipedia ) and again in 1810 near Sicily.
Shipping at this time must have been a very risky business. Indeed, a newspaper report of 1800, states that the Charlotte, en-route from Halifax, Canada, to Britain, was captured by a French privateer and taken to Spain. It must have been recovered however, as by 1807 it is sailing once again under Newark's ownership and in 1810 he insures the boat and the cargo for the sum of £1,000 with the Sun Insurance company of London. (Of course it may have been insured earlier but there is no evidence to confirm that this was so.)
In 1797, when Newark was 50 years of age, he bought a farm at Simonside, near Jarrow, although initially it was rented out as an investment and indeed his last ship was not sold until after his death in 1824.
The reason for switching to farming was perhaps with an eye to the future. Thomas, his youngest son, was prone to epilepsy and therefore unable to go to sea himself. In addition to Newark’s six children who died in infancy, he also lost several close family members to the sea. Newark's brother Richard drowned in the West Indies in June 1794, his brother in law, William Trattles (husband of sister Alice) was lost at sea in 1788, his nephew Richard Trattles was killed during the battle of Calvi in Corsica in 1794, and sons John & Peter were lost in 1790 (age 17) & 1806 (age 34) respectively. In fact, although Newark & his wife Charlotte (Burnicle) had 12 children, only 4 made it to adulthood and only Thomas had any grandchildren. Whilst farming would undoubtedly not be as profitable, it would certainly be less risky.
From these links below read a more detailed account of the Andrews ships discovered thus far. These links will be connected and updated over time, so do check back occasionally.
Good Intent Richard Andrew
Love & Unity Richard Andrew
Charlotte Newark Andrew
Indiana Newark Andrew
John Newark Andrew