The British Merchant was one of the finest and fastest sailing ships ever built in the British Isles. She got off to a rough start though on her maiden voyage, losing her bowsprit in a collision with the German ship Marguerite.
In the 16 years following her launch, the British Merchant sailed around the world at least12 times. She made voyages to Calcutta, Sydney, San Francisco, London and Liverpool. Her owners sold the British Merchant to D. Cordes of Bremen in 1896 who promptly renamed her Arthur Fitger. She sailed under the German flag until 1908 when she caught fire in Seattle.
After the fire was extinguished, she was converted into a towing barge. The end came in 1909 when she was in tow of the tug Goliath. The pilot mistook a surveyor's beacon for a navigational aid, headed the tug between two islands and piled up his tow. The old ship was a total loss.
In this view by skilled artist Efren Erese, the British Merchant is shown in all her glory upon the seas in earlier days.
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