The Deutschland was an iron passenger steamship of the Norddeutscher Lloyd line, built by Caird & Company of Greenock, Scotland in 1866, registered in Hamburg Germany. Built as an emigrant passenger ship.
Sailed from Bremerhaven on 4 December 1875, commanded by Captain Eduard Brickenstein, with 90 crew and 123 emigrants bound for New York via Southampton. Weather conditions were very bad and early in the morning of 6 December she ran aground 23 miles off Harwich and 22 miles from Margate.
There were delays in any ships reaching her and it was only the following day that the 173 still alive on the wreck were taken off. Once news of the wreck was out men from the nearby coastal towns raided the wreck, stealing jewellery from the corpses.
The poem by Gerard Manley Hopkins was inspired by 5 victims of the shipwreck, Franciscan Sisters of the Sacred Hearts from Salzkotten, Westphalia, in the Kingdom of Prussia, who had been emigrating to the United States. Our page for the plaque explains the Hopkins connection.
A wreck found in 1969 is thought to be the Deutschland.