When you explore the history of a boat, any boat, you quickly discover you are not the only one interested in her. Ceres was particularly well-known and appreciated by a wide variety of people. The piece below, from the P.S.N.C. Magazine, was written by someone with a far greater call on her than I – the great-grandson of the original owner.
The History of the Ceres.
The Ceres was built at Salcombe, Devon, in 1811 for my greatgrandfather, William Lewis, of Bude, Cornwall, for the Spanish-London fruit trade. He went master of her, and during the Peninsular War she was employed carrying stores to the British troops in France, under the Duke of Wellington. On the death of my great-grandfather in 1829 my grandfather, ”his only son,” not 18 years of age, went master of the Ceres, and kept her in the coasting trade until 1855, when he sold her to Captain P. M. Petherick, of Bude, who went master of her. In 1866 he was relieved by his eldest son, Captain W. W. Petherick. In 1884 he was relieved by his brother, Captain Walter Petherick, who retired from the sea in 1930 after being master of the Ceres for 46 years. I have known the Petherick family since my childhood. Finer sailors never walked a ship’s deck.
My grandfather had many souvenirs from the Ceres, including the two old flint lock pistols which his father and the mate carried to shoot Napoleon and his bodyguard if they attempted to board the Ceres; the old horn lantern that was lighted by a tallow candle, made by the crew ; the lantern, the only light, was carried at the bowsprit end when possible, to light the Ceres to glory; the old bull’s horn which was used as a foghorn; also a piece of flint and steel used to strike a light with.
This is one of a number of posts on the Ketch “Ceres”. They are presented in a random order as and when I have found, or been given, new material. If you are interested in maritime history and would like to read more, please use the Search facility on the top right-hand side if this page (‘Ceres’). If the Search box does not appear on your current screen, then click on ‘Bill’s Boat Blog’ – (or the title of this entry, then ‘Bill’s Boat Blog’), to be taken to the correct page.