Port Elizabeth of Yore: The Spontaneous Combustion of the Mariposa

In 1900, during the Anglo-Boer War, the steamer Mariposa entered the roadstead with a load of hay as fodder for the British cavalry. Probably due to spontaneously combustion this fodder caught fire on the 20th May 1900 and attempts to quench it were in vain. The ship was towed out to sea where the cargo smouldered for weeks. She was later beached and declared unseaworthy.

This blog is based almost exclusively upon the autobiography of seaman Bisset and an article from the Port Elizabeth Advertiser

Main picture: The Mariposa beached on North End beach

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