Saint Mary's Parish Church
Holy Island
Vicar: Rev'd Dr. Paul M. Collins
Wardens: S Quilty and M Bushnell
Holy Island Coat of Arms
FIELD FLOWERS
 
A headstone close by the entry to the Priory recording the tragedy surrounding the death of a young boy from Lincolnshire and affecting also several other families from that area.
 
On the night of Wednesday 19th July 1843, the steamship Pegasus set sail on its regular voyage from Leith to Hull. There were approximately 55 people on board, including a crew of 14. The steamer left at about six o'clock in the evening and six hours later it struck the Goldstone Rock and sank close by the Fame Islands This occurred at about 12.20 in the morning and the ship had sunk by one o'clock in the morning Only two passengers and four members of the crew were saved.
 
Amongst those who perished were Field Flowers aged thirteen and his sister Fanny Maria aged eleven who were the two eldest children of the Revd Field Flowers, vicar of Tealby, Lincolnshire. They were attending Miss Banks' Boarding School in Edinburgh and were coming home for the holidays in the charge of Miss Maria Barton, daughter of Zephaniah Barton, a medical practitioner living in Market Rasen. Lincolnshire. Also in her charge was a Miss Hopetoun, a pupil at the same school, who was visiting Market Rasen. They also lost their lives, as did Mr. Robinson Torry aged 27 another native of Market Rasen. who 'had been taking a trip for the benefit of his health'.
 
The SS Martello that was sailing from Hull to Leith picked up the body of Miss Barton at about six o'clock on the morning of the 20 July. Her body was brought back to Market Rasen and interred in the family vault on the 1st of August 1843. The Revd Field Flowers was present, as was Mr. John Torry, whose brother had perished at the same time.
 
The body of young Field Flowers was eventually picked up by some French fishermen who brought it to Holy Island for burial at Lindisfarne about four weeks after the tragedy. A headstone was erected to his memory together with that of his sister Fanny Maria, whose body was never recovered.
 
The inscription on the stone is barely legible now but from a photograph taken some twenty or more years ago most of the inscription can be deciphered and reads as follows:
 
IN MEMORY
OF
FIELD FLOWERS
SON OF THE REVEREND FIELD FLOWERS.
AND FRANCES HIS WIFE
OF TEALBY VICARAGE LINCOLNSHIRE
AGED 13 YEARS
WHO WAS DROWNED ON THE 19th OF JULY
1843 WHEN THE STEAMER PEGASUS
WAS WRECKED (OFF HOLY ISLAND)
Also FANNY,................ SISTER
WHO..............................

Another who lost his life in the tragedy was the Revd J Morrell Mackenzie of the Theological Academy, Glasgow. By a remarkable coincidence, he had preached a funeral sermon for two of his friends who were lost when the Forfarshire was wrecked five years earlier near the same spot! (Note: The rescue of the survivors of the SS Forfarshire was made possible through the heroic assistance of the daughter of the keeper of the 'Longstone' lighthouse. 'Grace Darling', is interred at St.Aidan's Church Bamburgh - English Schools KS2.)
 
[SOURCES : For a detailed account of this tragedy see 'The Wreck of the Steamship Pegasus' by Jim Murray which was published in The Northumbrian (Vol. 27 Summer 1994) and also in the Journal of the Open University History Society (1994).]
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