Prince Victor Figurehead

Let us tell you a story that started 147 years ago in the Village of St. Martins.

In 1870, the Vail and Moran shipbuilding families built a three masted ship and named it The Prince Victor [1].

Its registered tonnage was 1221 with dimensions of 188’ 6” x 37’ 8” x 23’ 6”. It was built for James H. Moran of St. Martins and later sold to The Moran Galloway Shipping Company based out of Liverpool, U.K.

From 1870 until it’s official closure date in 1882 it had twelve round the world voyages that went from St. Martins, Saint John, Liverpool, UK, Burma, India, Ireland, Australia, San Francisco, Peru, Chile, Brazil, Spain and the Netherlands. In 1884 it was transferred to a new port and later sold in 1887 to a Norwegian shipping company. The Prince Victor ran aground on the Severn River on Good Friday 1887.

As a result the captain’s wife and son both drowned, and are buried in a cemetery in Woolaston, England. The ship was later broken up and parts of the ship were collected and placed in many of the homes up and down the riverside. The figurehead was salvaged and chained to a plum tree in the garden of a secluded cottage and there it stood in the weather, brush and brambles for 70 years or more.

After the death of the man who had originally salvaged the figurehead, a local man convinced the new owners of the property to donate the figurehead to the Folk Museum in Gloucester where it was housed in the basement until a few years ago, when Mr. Richard Hunter of Hunter Figurehead Archives purchased it for restoration.

When repatriated, the figurehead from the Prince Victor will return to the Quaco Museum just a ¼ of a mile from where the ship was built and launched 147 years ago.

Beginning on May 17th 2017 this important piece of New Brunswick history will be on display at our museum where young and old alike can look at this massive 7 foot carving and consider what wonders it had seen in it’s voyages around the world on the bow of the Prince Victor.

The Prince Victor figurehead has been purchased by the Quaco Historical and Library Society and has been delivered to the Quaco Museum where it is currently on display.  The official unveiling  took place on May 17th 2017, 147 years to the day the ship was launched.

We have received a lot of media attention regarding our efforts to raise the funds to purchase the Figurehead, and the importance of this piece of history to St. Martins and the Province of New Brunswick. While the funds for this project have now been raised, donations are always welcome to help support the museum’s other projects.  You can donate directly to the Quaco Historical & Library Society and mail it to 236 Main Street, St. Martins, NB E5R 1B8.

[1] (Prince Albert Victor, Duke of Clarence and Avondale (Albert Victor Christian Edward; 8 January 1864 – 14 January 1892), was the eldest son of Albert Edward, Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII), and the grandson of the reigning British monarch, Queen Victoria. (Source: