The Lost Story of the William and Mary

The Cowardice of Captain Stinson

Gill Hoffs

* Covers the little known story of the William and Mary on its voyage to New Orleans, packed with 208 emigrants

* Includes a murder story as the crew killed emigrants in order to board to lifeboats and leave the other passengers for dead in shark infested waters - what were their motives?

* The captain declared all of the passengers dead, however
Date Published :
November 2016
Publisher :
Pen and Sword
Illustration :
10 illustrations
Format Available    QuantityPrice
ISBN : 9781473858244
Pages : 176
Dimensions : 9.5 X 6.5 inches
In stock


The emigrant ship William and Mary departed from Liverpool with 208 British, Irish, and Dutch emigrants in early 1853. Captained by young American Timothy Stinson, the vessel was sailing for New Orleans when the ship wrecked in the Bahamas in mysterious circumstances.
Instead of grounding the ship on a nearby shore or building rafts for the passengers, Stinson and the majority of his crew sneaked away in lifeboats – murdering at least two of the emigrants with a hatchet as they did so – and reported the ship sunk with all on board lost. But the passengers kept the ship afloat and two days later were rescued by heroic wreckers as the ship went down.

Now, over 160 years on, the tale of the two murdered in Bahamian waters and the hundreds who escaped thanks to kindly wreckers can finally be told. Stinson is no longer getting away with murder.

About The Author

Gill Hoffs grew up on the Scottish coast and now lives in Warrington, England. Her work is widely available online and in print, including Wild: a collection (Pure Slush, 2012), The Sinking of RMS Tayleur: The Lost Story of the ‘Victorian Titanic’ (Pen & Sword, 2014, 2015) and The Lost Story of the William & Mary: The Cowardice of Captain Stinson (Pen & Sword, 2016). She appeared on Series 10 of BBC’s Coast. Contact her @GillHoffs or


"More than 160 years later, this incredible story has resurfaced as Gill Hoffs dons her detective hat to uncover the truth of the emigrants' terrifying experience and the captain and crew's cowardice and lies, which went unpunished. Using a variety of sources such as contemporary newspaper reports, letters and diaries, plus information from descendants, she has pieced together a remarkable tale of its time and ours."

- Family Tree, January 2017

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