Ritratto della steam ship Magnus Mail in navigazione, 1895, by Antonio Luzzo
|Builder:||Short Brothers of Sunderland|
|Out of service:||1917|
|Identification:||official number 95287|
|Fate:||sunk 21 May 1917|
|Tonnage:||2,299 gross register tons (GRT)|
|Length:||290 ft (88.4 m)|
|Beam:||39 ft 1 in (11.91 m)|
|Draught:||21 ft 7 in (6.58 m)|
|Installed power:||202 NHP three-cylinder triple expansion steam engine|
|Sail plan:||2-masted schooner (1895)|
With Westoll Line 1889–1916
Short Brothers of Sunderland built her in 1889 for the Westoll Line, also of Sunderland. Her triple expansion steam engine and two boilers were built by Thomas Richardson and Son of Hartlepool. She was named after Captain Magnus Mail (1858–1916), a friend of James Westoll.
Magnus Mail was one of the last tramp steamers to be built with a clipper stem. A painting of her from 1895 by the Italian artist Antonio Luzzo (1855–1907) shows her under sail with her two masts under schooner rig. Westoll Line ships exported coal and patent fuel to Italy and Egypt and imported grain from Black Sea ports to the United Kingdom. In February 1908 Magnus Mail ran aground outside Garston Docks in Liverpool.
With the Gas Light and Coke Company 1916–17
The Gas Light and Coke Company of Westminster bought Magnus Mail in 1916 to carry coal from North East England to Beckton Gas Works. The GLCC renamed her SS Lanthorn and placed her under the management of Stephenson Clarke and Associated Companies.
On 21 May 1917 the German U-boat SM UB-41 shelled her from astern in the North Sea off Whitby. Lanthorn was hit in her saloon amidships, twice in her port quarter and then in her stokehold and engine room, bursting her main steam pipe. All her crew survived the attack, abandoned ship, and rowed away. From their lifeboat they saw the U-boat come alongside her and assumed a German boarding party went aboard Lanthorn. The U-boat then left the area and half an hour later Lanthorn suffered an explosion amidships, which her crew assumed was caused by charges planted by the Germans to scuttle her.
- Allen, Tony; Lettens, Jan (10 February 2011). "SS Lanthorn [+1917]". WreckSite. wrecksite.eu. Retrieved 29 June 2011.
- Helgason, Guðmundur. "Ships hit during WWI: Lanthorn". German and Austrian U-boats of World War I - Kaiserliche Marine - Uboat.net. Retrieved 29 June 2011.
- Searle, Peter. "Page 055 The Shipbuilders – page 021". The Sunderland Site. Peter Searle. Retrieved 29 June 2011.
- Searle, Peter. "Page 131 James Westoll & the Westoll Line of Sunderland (1868/1959)". The Sunderland Site. Peter Searle. Retrieved 29 June 2011.
- Harnack, Edwin P (1938) . All About Ships & Shipping (7th ed.). London: Faber and Faber. pp. 20 & 23.