Sailing the British Empire : The Voyages of The Clarence, 1858-73Main MenuSailing the British Empire: The Voyages of the Clarence, 1858-73IntroductionThe Crew / AcknowledgmentsThe Provenance of Watson's LogAdditional Sources: Logs, Crew Lists, DiariesInside Lloyd's Register"Green's Celebrated Service"Details on owner of the ship at the time of our voyage, Richard Green.The Master Builder: William PileThe Master: Joseph Watson's BiographyA Mate's ProgressThe Career of Henry Berridge, First Mate of the ClarenceThe Crew of the Clarence in 1864An annotated crew listThe 18th HussarsThe Clarence and the Cyclone of 1864Origins of Indian Emigrants Aboard The ClarenceThe Surgeon-SuperintendantWages of indentured labourers in Demerara (1870-1900)The Clarence Sails to AustraliaMutiny! Violence and Resistance Aboard "Coolie Ships"Cholera: The Killer from CalcuttaSTSC 077, Fall 2015 First Year Seminar, University of Pennsylvaniab33a025deaa7595ed0079bfc9b77ea3cb14b8d08STSC 077, The University of Pennsylvania, fall 2015
1media/smaller.png2015-12-02T02:06:39-08:00The Master Builder: William Pile119plain2016-02-22T21:05:39-08:00 The story of William Pile Junior, the masterful and renowned shipbuilder who built the Clarence, begins in 1823 when he was born, son of William Pile Senior, also a shipbuilder. William had one brother, named John. As soon as William left school...(Click the map below to zoom in, then click again to zoom in more!)
Monkwearmouth on the map. https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/9/9f/Europe-Great_Britain.svg/2000px-Europe-Great_Britain.svg.png, http://maps.nls.uk/view/102341485
Pile continued his apprenticeship with his father until he was about 20, when he was ready to move onto bigger and better things!
William Pile's Shipyard in North Sands, Sunderland. Courtesy of Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens. Painted c. 1830.
In 1852, Pile crafted for John Hay of Sunderland the King Richard, a gorgeous 1,049 ton full-rigged ship. The creation of this incredible vessel was a turning point in his career.
One of these later-requested ships, the Windsor Castle was built by Pile in 1857 for Green, and is pictured here. Nautical Photo Agency
Pile's ability to create first-class ships for a cheaper price earned him a lot of loyal customers (including His Imperial Majesty Napoleon III-See entry 6 under "Iron and Composite Ships"!) that demanded a multitude of ships; by 1865 Pile's yard employed 3,000 men. Click through the book below to see all of the ships Pile made!
A list of ships built by William Pile, copied from the notebook of Thomas Collie Stamp, first cashier to William Pile. Merchant and Sailing Ships
Or, if you're more into super-neat excel spreadsheets, we've got that too. (Click the image below to view the full document.)
Pile had a highly fruitful career, creating nearly 200 ships in his lifetime. However, his skills with money did not quite equal his ship-crafting abilities, and Pile struggled with debt until he died in 1873. However, even after his death, his legacy continued, so much so that nearly 150 years later he is still considered one of the best ship builders of all time.
A bust of William Pile Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens
1. Bowen, F C. "Pile of Sunderland." Shipbuilding and Shipping Record 65 (1945): 69. Print 2. MacGregor, David R. Merchant Sailing Ships 1850-1875: Heyday of Sail. Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 1984. Print.
Other Sources Utilized
Clarke, J F. Building Ships on the North East Coast: A Labour of Love, Risk, and Pain. Vol 2. Whitley Bay: Bewick Press, 1997. Print.