Wreck of the Brothers - 1833

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"Brothers" was a three masted barque of 362 tonnes, built in 1823 at Hull. She was on a voyage home from Bahia, Brazil when she became dismasted on 9th Decmber 1833 off the Western Isles, and gales of wind continued until 19th December, when she was driven ashore on Cefn Sidan Sands near Pembury, Carmarthenshire, South Wales.

Unfortunately there was only one survivor of the ship's company of 16, this was the carpenter, who had lashed himself to a portion of the wreck and was washed ashore with it. The community on shore made no effort to save life, being solely interested in plunder.

The additional marking 'SHIP LETTER/PEMBROKE'  is unusal because although a very common type, very little mail was brought into Pembroke and so mail was seldom marked there.

In the present case a mail bag was presumably washed ashore on the Pendine Sands, in the estuary of the River Towy, and was carried overland to Pembroke some 20 miles away where a cachet in red was applied 'Saved from the wreck of the Brothers' 19 Dec 1833


Here are the transcriptions of the enclosed letters;


1st p(er) Mefsenger

2nd p

                                                                                                                                    Bahia 31st Augt 1833

Mefsrs  J Buckley & Sons                                                                                           


                                                Above is dupte of our last respects of 17th  April, we hand you annexed dupte A/C Sales of two bales p “Basonet” and acco Sales in respt of one Bale Bombazitts Mpos

Rs 226$484 to your credit, we also hand you a copy of acco current up to 1st July bale Rs 1456$854 in your favour this accot upon examination we hope will be found correct; you will notice a change of presentn on paper to pay Duty in which compensing (sic) payment is exacted, it has existed since July last year, thus varied from 2@ 20% at which latter rate it still continues, it is reported that Government are abt to adopt measures to improve the bad state of our currency, in which case will be done away with and trade generally much improved, we have experienced no inquiry for some time past for Bombazitts, fine Cafsimires of the afsortment already pointed out to you are wanted and we hope you have a few Trufses on the way.  We include our Draft on Messrs O H & Co.  at 60 dst. for £150.0.0 at the currt rate of Ex. 30d is R 1200.000 at your debit in acco Currt.      

We remain


 Bahia 21st Oct 1833

per Brothers



                        Since the date of the above Dupt of our last respects of 31 Augt we have recd your esteemed favor of 27 June handing Invoice of 1 Bale Lastings “Victoria” which has been delivered in good condition.  The demand for this article is very fair & we expect in a few days to effect sales of yours at saving prices. We can time without inquiry for Bombazitts we shall take the first fair offer for those we hold of yours.  Fine Casimires are surely wanted and we would be glad to receive a Consignment from you for pattern, we refer you to Messrs Heyworth & Co.  Our Ex. remains @ 30d but we look for a user towards the beginning of next year.




  1. Bahia is now Salvador on the East coast of Brazil
  2. Brazil was an Empire in 1833
  3. Currency in 1833:                            1000 Reis = 1 Milreis
  4. Bombazitts thought to be a material made of a weave using silk and wool, as Bombazine

                                               i.     OR            a thin woollen cloth of various colours, plain or twilled, as Bombazet(te).

  1. Cas(s)imere or Casimire is believed to be a wool worsted suiting material twilled as above, but patterned with a stripe.