Painting courtesy of Glasgow City Council, Glasgow Museums.

Bystanders watch from the towpath on the south bank of the river Clyde as the COUNTY of ROXBURGH launches in 1886 from the shipyard of Barclay, Curle & Co. in Glasgow. The ship is pictured in the distance right beyond the paddle steamer.

While the painting above depicts what is perhaps the maiden voyage for the County of Roxburgh, this website is mainly focused on her final voyage. To fully appreciate the circumstances of February 8, 1906 please read:


by Charles W. Domville-Fife


Night was falling by now, and fearing that he would lose touch with his men in the darkness, Captain Leslie ordered them all to muster in the saloon. There was nothing more anyone could do on deck, and the risk of everyone being killed by the falling masts and spars was imminent. Most of the survivors had sustained severe cuts and abrasions and after they had all been accounted for, and given a stiff tot of grog, their wounds were attended to.

The noise of rending steel and woodwork was infinitely louder down below than on deck and the rush of water sweeping to and fro in the hold seemed to shake the ship far more violently.

“She’ll burst her sides open in a minute and fall to pieces on top of us like a pack of cards,” said a sailor gloomily, giving voice to the fear that was uppermost in everyone’s mind.

“Clyde built ships don't go to pieces as easily as all that.” retorted the Captain sharply, but he spoke without much conviction.

Click on the anchor for full version available in printable PDF format