Lucraft and Luckraft One-name Study

Monday, December 19, 2005

Preacher Lucraft

Arthur Lucraft was born in Hoxton, London, in 1867, and went to Australia where he married Annie Stephenson, ran a woodyard, and was a preacher at a number of churches. Here is a recent internet find from the Australian Jubilee History of the church in Australia, printed 1903. I'll transcribe it when I have a mo!

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Admiral Alfred Luckraft's Sword

The National Maritime Museum carries this entry from its collection; url at the end of the article.

Stirrup hilted dress sword, which belonged to Admiral Alfred Luckraft (circa 1792-1871).

The hilt of the sword consists of a gilt stirrup guard; the langets are embossed with a crown and anchor motif. The sword has a lion's-head pommel and back-piece, the mane extending halfway down the back-piece. The sword has a blue and gold sword knot with a round tassel with a gold fringe and eighteen gold bullions. An anchor and cable motif is embroidered on each side and executed on a blue ground inside a small oval shield with a cable edge. This was the regulation sword knot for commissioned officers between 1805-1827.

The black fish-skin grip is bound with three gilt wires. The flat-back, straight steel blade has a single broad fuller running nearly to the point, which is double-edged 13mm from the end. Both sides of the blade are engraved with floral decoration and naval emblems, but the blade is not damascened. The black leather scabbard has two gilt lockets, with rings, and a chape. All are heavily chased with floral designs and leaves.

Admiral Alfred Luckraft's name was put down for service aboard HMS 'Monarch' in 1799 and he was present at the Battle of Copenhagen. As a midshipman aboard HMS 'Mars' at the Battle of Trafalgar he was wounded in the leg. As a Lieutenant he served in HMS 'Blonde' at the reduction of Morea Castle in 1828. He is mentioned in dispatches, and was created a Knight of the Legion of Honour and awarded the Order of the Redeemer of Greece. His flag rank appointments were all granted on the retired list. He also received a gratuity from Lloyds Patriotic Fund as a consequence of his wounding at Trafalgar. He died on the 11th December 1871.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Gladstone for the Million

Here is a picture of a small dish I have just acquired. It was made in 1869, to celebrate Gladstone’s victory. I bought it to go in the Lucraft One Name Collection archives, (which are very small!), as Gladstone figured so highly in Benjamin Lucraft’s life, and this dish commemorates the election of Gladstone in 1867.

I’m not sure yet to what the “for the million” refers. There are at least two theories:

One is that over a million emigrants had left Ireland after the Great Famine. The Great Famine had deeply impacted British politics. The 1 million deaths and the 1 million emigrants who left Ireland - some on so-called 'coffin ships' - had left their mark. In 1858, the Fenian Society was started in America. In Ireland, Fenians committed acts of violence to bring attention to their grievances. In 1868, Gladstone became Prime Minister for the first time. He declared that it was his mission to "pacify Ireland". Gladstone was a man who held strong religious views but he was not a bigot. He was driven by what he considered to be right and wrong and he viewed that many things in Ireland were wrong. Therefore, he set himself the task of righting those things he considered to be wrong.

The second is the Reform Act of 1867 : Disraeli proposed a new Reform act. Despite resignations by some Tories such as Lord Cranborne, the conservatives were supported by Gladstone and his followers and the bill was passed. The "Reform Act" gave the vote to every male adult householder living in a borough constituency. Male lodgers paying over £10 for unfurnished rooms were also granted the vote. Altogether all this was over one and a half million men.

Henry Greener, was born into the glass making industry and became the owner of the Wear Flint Glass Works after being an apprentice at both Pipewellgate and with Sowerby. In 1858, he formed a partnership with James Angus trading under the name of Angus and Greener. When Angus died in 1869, Henry Greener continued under his own name until 1884. The first design to be registered under this was the Gladstone for the Million tea set designs on 31st July 1869 to commemorate Gladstone's appointment as Prime Minister.

The Million plate has a registration of Rd No. 231430 of 31st July 1869. Gladstone had won a landslide election the previous year and the Greener plate proved to be an immensely popular purchase.

Captain Leaycroft reports on the hurricane in Jamaica

In 1766 there was a severe hurricane in Jamaica and around the islands of the West Indies. Captain John Leaycroft, who was a member of the Leaycraft family of Beaufort North Carolina, was in Jamaica days afterwards and his report was published in the Virginia Gazette on 24th October 1766. I have more material on this family, who originated in Bermuda and after Beaufort went on to live in New York, Virginia and Quebec. I have been in touch with living descendants.

Sept 8 1766 ; The Virginia Gazette

Capt.John Leaycroft, who arrived here laft Saturday from Jamaica, and left Kingfton the 16th of Auguft, gives us the following information, viz.

‘That though the inhabitants of that ifland were very much alarmed with the fhocks of an earthquake felt there in the night of the 11th of June, and on the fea, quite acrofs to Cuba, yet flight fhocks had been fo frequent fince, at leaft twice or thrice every week, that they were now fcarcely regarded. That he heard frequent reports of an earthquake having done confiderable damage at St Jago do Cuba, but no particulars until three days before his departure, when he dined in company of the mafter of a Spanifh veffel, lately from Cuba, who informed the company that St Jago was totally deftroyed, not a brick or ftone houfe left ftanding, and the Moro caftle there levelled with the ground; that the fhock was fo violent and fudden that near 5000 perfons were buried in the ruins of fwallowed up, and the earth rolled like the fwell of a fea.

‘Capt. Leaycroft did not afk when this happened, but underftood it to be on or about the 11th of June. That when he came out of Kingfton harbour (Auguft 16th in the morning) he had the wind at W. to which a calm foon fucceeded; and about 100 o’clock a fevere ftorm, or hurricane came on, and continued without abating until 5 in the afternoon, blowing from the E.N.E. which he fuppofes to have done confiderable damage. That on the 30th he fpoke with a fnow from Jamaica for Liverpool, John Hawkins mafter, who left Kingfton the 20th, and informed him that though the hurricane which happened on the 16th had been very fevere, yet no very confiderable damage had been done thereby, except to a large fugar loaded fhip, which was drove afhore at Port Morant, and many fmall veffels wrecked in the ports, and on the coaft moft expofed to the wind. The 3rd inftant he faw a difmafted deep loaded ship in the gulf, but did not fpeak with her.’

The University of the West Indies refers to this event in its website report of the Seismology Department.

I have copied the text out with the ‘s’ as ‘f’ in all those cases where the ‘f’ was used from the font. It makes for hard reading in the modern Arial font, but somehow is more natural in the old seriffed font.

I have put up a picture of the whole page from the paper. If anyone really wants to read it for themselves, they can find it on the Colonial Williamsburg website, at