Cymdeithas Hanes Resolfen History Society

A web log for the Resolven History Society which publishes articles and stories related to Resolven and the immediate surroundings.

Friday, October 05, 2012

SS Resolven - more theories

Some months ago Colin Evans, Trefor Jones and David Woosnam gave some theories as to the fate of SS Resolven. Unfortunately, intervening circumstance has meant a short delay, so to you who are waiting with baited breath this is the third and fourth theory as to the fate of Wales’s Marie Celeste.

Early Canadian Navy Ship

The role of HMS Mullard ( correct name Mallard)
Two questions arise:-
1. Why was the ship off the east coast of Newfoundland/Labrador? In the 1800 s this was known as Catalina. This (British)Royal naval vessel was in the Indian Ocean Naval Command, so why was the vessel in the north Atlantic? Was this by chance or collusion, because this pre-dates the forming of the Royal Canadian Navy in 1910 and predates electronic communication at sea.

2. It was alleged that the family chest containing a fortune of £300 had gone missing aboard the SS Resolven, which obviously points to theft being a motive. Captain Jones ( actual surname James of a well known west Wales sea faring family), did not get to see HMS Mallard’s log book. Controversially this questions the conduct of the Royal Navy in this matter and explains their lack of cooperation in the enquiry.

This enquiry has taken the form of a forensic investigation and has thown up more mystery than has provided answers. Specific to this is why was the ship called Resolven?
It appears as reported earlier that there is no connesction between the Munn family of Resolven and the ship. The Munn’s of the ship were stevedores who had emigrated from Ballantyne,Scotland.
During the members night of November 2010, Colin reported that there had been a model of SS Resolven in the original Swansea Maritime Museum ( now the Waterfront) and this was featured in “Resolfen Recalled” including a sketch by Rhufon Cockwell. The model was part of a private collection which has since been returned to the owner whose name remains a mystery. So the mystery deepens, and more questions are to be asked of this ship?

Why was it displayed in the Swansea museum?
Did the private collector have a connection with Swansea?
Did the private collector have a Swansea colection through relatives?
Were the relatives connected through Aberaeron or New Quay, Cardigan.
None of the above explain why the name Resolven  was chosen, indicating a simpler but unknown answer.

At this point our readers have been given a number of trails to find out what really happened to the Resolven?
Possible answers?
A – it was simply abandoned and the crew taken by a wave.
B – it was the victim of a theft by a naval vessel and possible collusion by the crew.
C – A victim of piracy or privateering resulting in the death of some but not all of the crew.
D – an act of barratry amounting to an insurance fraud on the high seas.
E -  that the Resolven was a victim of being falsely lured by the locals on to the rocks. This was not uncommon and not unique to Nova Scotia. This would evidently be kept quiet by all concerned since everybody benefitted.