James,s father was William who was Isaac Streeter’s 11th child .William was a “journeyman maltster “ and only lived till the age of 52 However his marriage and children provide an easy route to follow . William married Mary Ann Jackman in October 1837 . William and Mary had 7 children , Mary Ann, James , Francis ,Henry , Emily , William and Helen . What was unusual ,for me anyway, James was James Jackman Streeter and Helen was Helen Jackman Streeter . Unusual though their names were both used their Jackman name and indeed James was always James Jackman Streeter . This though provided an easy history to follow.
Initially James sailed for short trips on various boats earning ,first his 2nd mates certificate, then his first mates certificate While first mate he sailed between 1868 and 1871 on a ship called the Ontario registered in London . In 1871 James gained his masters certificate and also got married to Ellen Brown a woman who lived in Streatham London where the family settled.
However James was a sailor and it appears he travelled the long routes to Australia and back .Initially not much is noted till 1878 , and whether it was started by the crews he sailed with or he adopted it himself his name changed on all maritime records from james to an “initialized” first names of JJ. While James Jackman Streeter and JJ Streeter could,ve of been 2 different people there are links joining the 2
He first appears in Australia as JJ Streeter the commander of the clipper Cape City in Melbourne Saturday 27th of April 1878 awaiting to sail to Levuka in Fiji . The next record of JJ( James) is March 1885 on the Illaroo as a mate sailing from Newcastle upon Tyne to Sydney . Only A few months later JJ(james) became involved in a court case
The Deodarus, a barque built in Aberdeen ,while sailing along the Australian coast to Brisbane became the centre of a court case against captain Edwards who was found by the mate drilling holes in the ship .When in court though he was found not guilty as he convinced the judge he was trying to stop the leaks . However the ship got left in Rockhampton with no crew. JJ(james) was charged with taking it to Brisbane Unfortunately the crew would only man it as long as they were paid in advance .So with the authority of local agent and the owners a bottomry loan ( lent against the boat ) was taken out Unfortunately the loan wasn,t paid in time and it ended up in court and James Jackman Streeter was named as one of the defendants the only time JJ (james) was named.
Of course there was a possibility that JJ and James were 2 different Streeters unusual that would have been but the final Australian document provided a link.
On the 2nd of june 1887 JJ Streeter was recorded in the seamans register as joining the ship the Isabel as mate – hand written over the word mate is a number which is the mates certificate number , the same number as James Jackman Streeter,s certificates . On the 14th of June 1887 the Isabel set sail for the port of Natal in South Africa . After that JJ has not appeared again ( yet)for 4 years
In 1891 JJ was registered on the census as being in Cardiff on the ship steam ship Etna as first mate. The crew including him and the captain was 20 . On the 20th may 1893 the etna set sail from Swansea , with a crew of mainly Swansea seamen , James first mate , under a captain Straker
The crew were told it was a cargo trip but after they sailed they were told they were shipping pilgrims from north Africa and around the red sea . the first couple of trips around the red sea went without incident however during the third trip choleria broke out amongst the pilgrims . the usual method amongst the pilgims was to rob the dead and through them overboard . Disinfection of the ship did no good and 2 of the crew died , the 2nd engineer and a fireman . Captain Straker was noted as “indisposed “ James and a passenger named Williams took charge , however James also died on the 10th august 1893 .On the register he was named as JJ Streeter and the cause of death on the register was “exhaustion “ however a handwritten remark also says “excessive drinking accelerated by pneumonia” It may be that brandy may have been used in the treatment of cholera in the crew – The muslim pilgrims refused all medical assistance . The ship also had to tie the dead pilgims to the side of the ship aging through the Suez canal and suffered refusal to land at ports but their passengers got off regardless. A total of 7 crewmen died but of the pilgrims ,who overloaded the ship as the crew couldn’t control them whilst boarding ,far more died indeed on one voyage over 200 died. Regards the captain’s indisposition that, with other later factors , resulted in a court of inquiry