White Star Republic


Apr 11, 2001
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Have just found out that Lizzie Borden's maid, Bridget Sullivan, came over from Ireland on the White Star Republic in 1886, the famous murders being in 1892-Now I am confused-wasn't that the ship that sank with Jack Binns at the wireless in 1907? Must have been more than one Republic or maybe it WAS the same ship. Who has the answer out there?
 

Mike Poirier

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Dec 31, 2004
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Dear Mother-
The Republic that sank in 1909 was originally laid down as a Dominion liner. I believe she was either launched in 1903 or 1906. Can't remember.
 
B

Barbara DeCrow Goldberg

Guest
Dear Shelley,

There were indeed two Republics. Jack Binns was the wireless operator on Republic II, which as Mike points out sank in 1909. Republic II was originally called the Columbus and was renamed Republic when she was acquired by IMM from the Dominion line. The Columbus was built by Harland & Wolff in 1903 and was purchased by IMM in 1907.

What a fascinating detail that Lizzie Borden's maid was on Republic I. The wealth of information available on this list is truly amazing.
 

Mark Baber

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Dec 29, 2000
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Yes, we're talking about two different Republics here. The 1886 ship was one of the original Ismay steamers, sister to Oceanic I, Atlantic and Baltic I. By 1886, this ship was near the end of her White Star career; she was sold in 1889.

As for the life and times of Republic II, see the biography of her that I wrote for Jeff Newman's Great Ships web site, http://www.greatships.net/republic2.html .

MAB
 
Apr 11, 2001
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Thanks one and all- now tonight's quest. Lizzie Borden went to Europe on the Cunarder Scythia in 1890. It was a welcome respite from her dreary life and pennypinching family. Some say that after 19 weeks of the good life, she felt truly "murderous" returning to Fall River and this all led up to the 40 whacks in 1892. Question- were there 2 Scythias? I think one was a running mate to the Parthia in the 1950's? Experts please?/shelley
 

Mark Baber

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Hello, Shelly---

Yes, there were two Scythias. (Actually there were four, but the last two were cargo carriers, not passenger ships.)

The first, the Lizzie Borden Scythia, served Cunard from 1875 until 1898. Until 1884, she was on the Liverpool-New York service; from 1884 on she served primarily on the Liverpool-Boston service. This Scythia was scrapped in 1899.

The second Scythia and Parthia can be found at http://www.greatships.net/scythia2.html, and http://www.greatships.net/parthia2.html, respectively. It's probably more accurate to call them "contemporaries" than "running mates" in the 50's, since Scythia sailed primarily to Canada in those years, while Parthia served New York.

Sources: Haws' Merchant Fleets; Bonsor's North Atlantic Seaway.

MAB
 
Apr 11, 2001
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Thanks Mark, now I can add this info to my Lizzie tour. I give house tours at the Borden house in Fall River. We have a photo of the Scythia in Lizzie's bedroom and a photo of the old Republic up in the maid's room. We had found her name and address on an old boarding list. We love that trivia!/shelley
 

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