Official Number 28,647
Denbigh was not a warship, nor was she a
Confederate vessel. Like most steam blockade runners, she was a registered British
merchant ship -- a civilian vessel. As such, she flew the Red Ensign (above), a flag that
was perhaps more widely recognized around the globe than any other. Carried by every
vessel of the British merchant marine, in the 19th century the so-called "Red
Duster" could be found in virtually every port, harbor and anchorage in the world.
Denbigh's official Board of Trade number was
28,647. She appears to have been registered only once, on October 1, 1860 (below). When
she was sold to the European Trading Company and fitted out as a blockade runner, no
change in ownership was recorded with the Board of Trade -- a further effort to disguise
her new occupation. Her original certificate of registry carries the following note,
written by an anonymous clerk at the office of the Chief Registrar of Shipping in London,
that officially closes Denbigh's record as a British merchantman:
"Captured by the United States and
lost at Galveston
-- per Form 20 received 21 Feby 1867."
Special thanks to Mr. Jerry Williams of Birkenhead for
providing this material.