Does anyone know the history of Fiddle of Faversham?

This is the clinker-built bawley Fiddle of Faversham, currently at Rolt’s Boatyard, Bristol, for some serious repair and restoration work.

Mark Rolt says that below the water line she is primarily still elm, but a couple of planks are gone. However, she has no hog whatsoever.

Mark, who worked at Iron Wharf for a time as a youngster before running away to sea and living in the USA for a while, is appealing for information about her history, if anyone has any please? What is her age (her clinker construction suggests she may be quite old), who has owned and used her, and where has she been over the years?

If you can help, please drop me a line at and I’ll pass your information, email address etc on to Mark.

PS – in answer to a query, she’s 29ft long.

6 thoughts on “Does anyone know the history of Fiddle of Faversham?”

  1. Hi, I have some news, my dad remembers this bawley in Whitstable harbour in 1954, she was at that time in use as a pilot/work boat for Whitstable harbour (under engine and not rigged for sailing). My dad was tied alongside her in another bawley named provident. The pilot told my dad that she was 120 years old at least,!! So if the pilot was not exaggerating she would now be an extremely old lady. It’s definitely the same bawley because my dad described her perfectly even before we checked on this page

  2. Jennifer Burke has written in to say that in a will of 1822 (PROB 11/1657), William Jemmett the elder, mariner of Faversham leaves to his beloved son-in-law Joseph Auger mariner of Queensborough “all that vessel or yawl called the ffidle of faversham now in my possession.”
    The Auger family were involved in the oyster trade in Burnham on Crouch and elsewhere, and were Jennifer’s ancestors. She has not found any other evidence of Fiddle of Faversham, however.

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