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Sydney Shipping Gazette Vol. 9, No. 418 - 3rd April 1852, p.93

barque Isabella Watson, 514 tons, Capt. John Fullerton, from London December 7th 1851

Wreck of the Isabella Watson
(from the Melbourne Argus, March 24)

It would appear that at dusk on the afternoon of Sunday last [March 21st 1852], when making the entrance of Port Phillip Heads, she was caught by a sudden squall, missed stays, wheeled around, and struck stern formast on an isolated rock [Corsair Rock], carrying away her helm, and driving in her stern ; everything was tried that could be suggested to get her off, but all proving unavailling, between 8 and 9 o'clock the captain's gig was lowered, and eight persons descended into it, consisting of three sailors, one cabin passenger, Mr. Gray, two steerage passengers, Messrs. Kingsley, and Mr. Paterson's child, who providentially reached the shore in safety ; of this circumstance, however, those left behind were in doubt until their own arrival on Monday. Darkness increasing, and with it the force of the gale and the raging of the sea, it was deemed imprudent to attempt any further landing. However, at the earnest entreaties of some of the passengers, the captain was induced to lower the life-boat, and eleven persons got into her, consisting of Mr. and Mrs. and Miss Paterson, Mrs. Artulas Derrick, Mrs. Terry, Mrs. Hall, Mr. and Mrs. Langford, Miss Mary Allen, and Mr. and Mrs. Orphett : the captain standing upon the boat to steady her, and using every exertion to place them in safety, during which period he was three times washed overboard and recovered, the last time with great difficulty. Just as they has all taken their places, shocking to relate, the mizen mast came down, and striking the boat across the bows, overturned her, and immersed the whole in the water. Two of them, Mr. and Mrs. Paterson, however, were recovered, the remaining nine, we regret to say, perished.
The passengers were then collected together in the cuddy, where they remained in awful suspense unril daylight of Monday morning, during which period the sea was dashing over her, and the vessel fast settling down. At that hour, Mr. Tobin, the pilot, having divested himself of his apparel, and fastened a warp round his body, made fast to the shore, committed himself to the waves, and by dint of extraordinary exertion, reached the ship in safety. He was soon followed by another, and by the united exertions of these gallant fellows, the rest of the passengers, as well as the captain and crew [numbering about sixty passengers & crew], were landed in safety. Immediately after all were landed, the sea becoming calm, the crew commenced saving the movables belonging to the passengers.
The Isabella Watson is a ship of 514 tons burthen, belonging to Messrs Russell and Raeburn, of Glasgow, Scotland, and was commanded by Mr John Fullerton, who during the whole of this dreadful scene, maintained his presence of mind, and rendered all the consolation in his power to his terrified passengers. They speak in the highest terms of commendation of him, and describe the passage up to this event very agreeable. For the above particulars, we are indebted to the courtesy of Mr. John Orr, the agent, and to Mr. W.J. Pearce, the surgeon to the vessel.

The following is a list of passengers by the Isabella Watson, from London, 7th December, which vessel went ashore while entering the Heads.
—(cabin) : Mr. and Mrs. Bailsey, Mr. Parker, Mr. and Mrs. Taylor and two children, Mr. Clarke, Mr. Ritchie, Mr. Mouatt, Mr. Gray, and Mr. Verdon.
(intermediate) Thomas Paterson, Mrs. T. Paterson, John H. Rudd, W.M. Simpson, T.H. Christian, Samuel Drew, James Allen, Eliza [sic] Derrick, George Bell, Joseph Hobbs, R. Talbot, G.B. Hall, George Oliver, William Kelly, Mrs. Kelly, Joseph Menand, William Terry, G. Kingsley, S.W. Kingsley, Eliza Newman, William Geraghty.
Drowned—: Miss Paterson, Mrs. Derrick, Mrs. Terry, Mrs. Hall, Mr. G. Langford, Mrs. M. Langford, Mr. Thomas . Orphett and Mrs. A. Orphett [and Miss Mary Allen], all Intermediate Passengers.—Melbourne Argus

The Wreck of the Isabella Watson.—Up to yesterday evening a considerable quantity of cargo had been saved, numbers of people were employed, and should the weather prove moderate for a few days, something tangible will be recovered.—Melbourne Argus, March 27.

extracted from the Unassisted Shipping Index Victoria 1852-1899

Family Name First Name Age Remarks
Bell George 28  
Butler Alfred 25 not listed above
Carr Mr. W. 34 not listed above
Christian Thomas 27  
Clarke Mr. Hubert 34  
Derrick Elijah 31 listed as Eliza, above
Derrick Jane 34 drowned
Drew Samuel 26  
Dudgeon William 25 Geraghty ? above
Fullerton Capt. John -  
Gray Mr. Archibald 30 safely ashore in the gig
Hobbs Joseph 21  
Kingsley Emma 21 not listed above
Kingsley George 21 safely ashore in the gig
Kingsley Samuel 36 safely ashore in the gig
Langford George 25 drowned
Langford Martha 26 drowned
Mandell Mr. J. - James Allen ?. above
Menaud Joseph 37 listed as Menand, above
Moriat Mr. Robert 37 listed as Mouatt, above
Oliver George 53  
Oliver Susan 55 not listed above
Orphert James 30 drowned
Orphert Jane 29 drowned
Parker Mr. H.M. -  
Parker —wife with— - not listed above
Pasley Mr. Walter - listed as Bailsey, above
Pasley —wife with— - listed as Bailsey, above
Paterson Thomas 36  
Paterson Jane Gray 34 the "Miss" Paterson drowned
Paterson Jannet 32
Paterson Eliza 5 safely ashore in the gig
Ritchie Mr. Thomas 20 went on to become founder of Ritchies Stores, established 1873.
Rudd John 24  
Simpson Hutchinson 20 listed as W.M., above
Taylor Mr. Thomas - Thomas Hamlet Taylor 1818-1884, Lawyer in Geelong and then in Melbourne.
Taylor —wife with— - Anne
Taylor —child with— 6  
Taylor —infant with— inf  
Terry William 29  
Terry Emma 31 drowned
Tolbert Richard 23 listed as Talbot, above
Verdon Mr. C.E. 30  

note: there are some inconsistancies between the newspaper item, and the transcribed passenger list . . the Miss Mary Allen and Mrs. Hall who are indicated as drowned in the newspaper, do not appear by those names on the passenger list, likewise, the G.B. Hall and James Allen, also Eliza Newman and William Geraghty and William Kelly & Mrs. Kelly indicated as saved in the newspaper, do not appear by those names on the passenger list.


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