Jane Banks Further Reading

Jane Banks, schooner
Schooner Jane Banks entering Bermuda

The marine painting of “Jane Banks’ entering Bermuda” 40 x 61 cm (16″ x 24″), available £1,100 ex studio, ex frame,

(see page http://www.frickers.co.uk/marine-art/jane_banks_entering.html

Jane Banks Leaving Bermudabecame a print at the request of a descendent of a ‘Jane Banks’ captain.

for your copy visit our page Marine Art Prints

To make a purchase the easiest way is bank to bank, ask for details, or using PayPal via the Purchase Page.

Contact US ~ You can E me: artistfrickers@nullgmail.com, T:+ 44 (0)1865 52 2435 M: + 33 (0)6 10 66 19 26

or Skype ‘gordonfrickers’ or whatsapp, or phone

E~ Important ! please substitute ‘@’ for ‘at’: artistfrickersatgmail.com

Return to main page


The schooner “Jane Banksbuilt in Germany as the Frau Minna Peterson.

She enjoyed a long successful life to eventually under Cornish ownership, become the last British square rigger without an engine to trade “foreign”.

With ‘Jane Banks’ and her famous running mate “Waterwitch”, the long distinguished history of British square rigged merchant ships finally closed in 1938.

The years 1877 and 1878 saw a spurt of building activity in Lyn and Eifionydd, North Wales.

The Frau Minna Peterson (named after a German slate merchants’ wife) was rebuilt by Simon Jones at Port Madoc as one of these general-purpose vessels. Launched in 1878, she attracted great interest, as the first vessel launched sideways; unluckily she stuck in the mud during this operation.

Considered a bad omen this later proved to be unfounded as she set sail for many years after.

18 vessels were also built at Port Madoc and Borth y Gest.

The builders and owners were experimenting with various rigs, defined for particular trades so this became a transition period.

Jane Banks’ was destined to enter a trade having origins dating back to the days before Christopher Columbus, when men of the Atlantic coast of Europe were already fishing off the Newfoundland and Maine coasts for cod and building ‘summer camps’.

Her outright (64/64ths) owner, Hugh Parry of Borth y Gest, registered her at Caernarvon, with dimensions of 176 GRT, 102′ LOA, 24.3′ Beam and 12.6′ Max Draft.

This made her an ideal vessel for the Western Ocean Passage as this rig was proven to ‘beat’ well to windward against prevailing winds, was handy amongst the creeks and inlets of Newfoundland and Labrador coasts in particular and demanded a relatively small number of crew, thus for twenty-three years the Jane Banks ploughed the great North Atlantic Ocean, Baltic and Mediterranean, with visits to Port Madoc to load slate for Germany.

The Fowey Connection & First Painting. “Jane Banks leaving Fowey


In 1901 Frau Minna Peterson was sold to a buyer at Fowey (pronounced ‘foy, like toy) in Cornwall, S W Engand and renamed the ‘Jane Banks.

From Fowey and the nearby ports of Par and Charlestown, china clay was her main cargo, often returning with coal or industrial products from the Mersey.

This Author & Artist lived close to Fowey, sailed from the port many many times, the ambience providing inspiration for, Jane Banks Leaving Fowey.

There are some excellent photos of the vessel underway, taken during this period, in Basil Greenhill’s book Schooners and also several of her at anchor and alongside, in the National Maritime Museum collection.

She was in this trade for many years, until ‘Jane Banks’, together with her running mate ‘Waterwitch‘, were both laid up on Par Beach, for sale, after the death of her Cornish owner, Edward Stephens in 1938.

Many thought, this would be the end of her; thankfully, not so.

Sold to Estonia, her story thereafter is uncertain, however the following extract from “Estland Zur See 1918-1940” (Estonia at sea 1918-1940) was supplied by Torsten Hagnéus, of Sweden.

Proof that the vessel ‘lived on’.


3-mast schooner 176 grt – 156 nrt Dims: 31.08 x 7.34 x 3.80 m Built 1878 at Port Madoc by S Jones 1878 Frau Minna Peterson H Parry, Caernarvon, GB
Frau Minna Peterson R May, Caernarvon, GB
1914 August, taken as prize at Emden, DE.

Use during the war not known.
1919 given back to GB 
Jane Banks  to the Shipping Controller, London, GB
Jane Banks (E. Stephens, Fowey, managing owner)
Jane Banks T. J. Stephens, Fowey, GB
1938 Renamed ‘
Viir’ Anton Vilu, Tallinn, EE
1940 taken by Soviet troops at the occupation of Estonia ‘
VIIR’ Estonian State Shipping Co, Tallinn, SU
1941 October 9; fallen into German hands in Tallinn.
Use during WW2 not known.
1944 October; sailed with Estonian refugees to Sweden*
1949 deleted from Lloyd’s Register

*(All Estonian vessels which came to Sweden with refugees were given back to the Soviet Union.
The former owners were however compensated economically by the Swedish Government.)

Return to main page

RECAP: and print ordering details:


Jane Banks entering Bermuda”, is for now offered as a collectors marine print. Taken from the marine painting, printed on canvas for the look and feel of the real thing using inks the manufactures guaranteed under normal conditions, for 70 + years.

This print was first produced for a descendant of one of Jane Banks captains, each copy is numbered, signed by the artist and the price, (£147, standard siuze, £227, large) includes registered postage.

This picture (http://www.frickers.co.uk/marine-art/jane_banks_entering.html) can be added to make a beautiful set of 3 of the most famous of the Cornish merchant schooners, all working ships, for you to collect.

The other pictures being ‘Waterwitch, the running mate of ‘Jane Banks’, http://www.frickers.co.uk/marine-art/waterwitch.html

The schooner “Jane Banks” was the last British square rigger without an engine to trade “foreign”, barely surviving her final crossing of the Bay of Biscay. Despite newly, copper bottomed she was considered lucky to arrive home when she developed a leak in the Bay of Biscay causing her to complete the last 90 miles, rudderless. Her last British master was Captain G. Rundle

The marine painting of “Jane Banks entering Bermuda” (see page http://www.frickers.co.uk/marine-art/jane_banks_entering.html

Jane Banks entering Bermuda” is now available for you to add to your collection.

as a marine print, signed, numbered, time limited edition.

The new marine print has we trust you will agree, captured the warm colours off Bermuda.

The working ships of England:

Now that ‘Jane Banks and ‘Waterwitch are both published, they make a fabulous and historic pair of pictures, worthy of any meaningful collection, to which you could add “Schooners Racing, A Dispute Settled”, THE painting of the famous Cornish schooners “Rhoda Mary” & “Katie Cluett”.

To make a purchase or commission a similar painting, the easiest way is bank to bank, ask us for details, or using PayPal via the Purchase Page.

Jane Banks Leaving Bermudathe print, is a small number [100] limited, signed edition on canvas for the look and feel of the real thing. 

For your copy visit our page Marine Art Prints

Contact US ~

You can E me: artistfrickers@nullgmail.com, T:+ 44 (0)1865 52 2435 M: + 33 (0)6 10 66 19 26

or Skype ‘gordonfrickers’ or whatsapp, or phone

E~ Important ! please substitute ‘@’ for ‘at’: artistfrickersatgmail.com

You can order your copy, quickly and easily, securely using PayPal from page  http://www.frickers.co.uk/prints.html

or pay bank to bank or send a cheque.

Best value, buy from a dedicated artist- buy from a reputable, established artist direct from his studio.

Return to main page

Copyright Gordon Frickers 14.08.2018 updated 26.09.2019