“The Crosspatrick”

Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1943 (Ranson)
Keywords: drowning sea ship wreck sailor
Found in: Ireland


Crosspatrick leaves "for New Zealand, with their families and their wives." Five days out the ship is wrecked by fire. The captain and his wife try to save others. "Out of four hundred passengers and forty of a crew, There were only four of them left."


There are Bodleian broadsides for at least two other ballads about this disaster. While neither is dated, both broadsides quote news dispatches making it seem that they should be dated 1874.

Bodleian, Firth c.12(104), "The Burning of the Emigrant Ship, 'Cospatrick'" ("To this most heartrending and sorrowful tale"), unknown, n.d.; the chorus begins "The 'Cospatrick' took fire when at sea."

Bodleian, Firth c.12(107), "The Burning of the Emigrant Ship, 'Cospatrick'" ("In '74 we've had some shocking disasters"), unknown, n.d.; the chorus begins "Far out on the ocean, in the darkness of midnight."

Another broadside seems to be a third different ballad but could not be downloaded and verified: Bodleian, Harding B 40(4), "The Burning of the 'Cospatrick'" ("You feeling-hearted Christians wherever that you be"), J.F. Nugent and Co.? (Dublin?), 1850-1899 ; also Harding B 19(115a), "The Burning of the 'Cospatrick'"

Historical references


  1. Ranson, pp. 99-100, "The Crosspatrick" (1 text)
  2. BI, Ran099