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The Shipping Gazette and Sydney general trade list; 1844
From the digitised version of the Sydney Shipping Gazette found at the National Library of Australia website.

Mar 23 to May 25 | Jun 01 to Aug 10 | Aug 24 to Oct 05 | Oct 12 to Dec 21

This page is a companion to Ships to Australia 1844 and contains the longer shipping related news items extracted from the Shipping Gazette, and arranged by date of publication. Many thanks to Lina Moffitt for these contributions.

Vol. 1, No. 1 - 23rd March 1844

The first-sailing first-class ship Medusa, 400 tons burthen, John Purdie, Commander, will proceed to the above ports, through Torres Straits, in the course of a few weeks. Having lofty ‘tween decks and a roomy hold, and being an easy vessel under canvas, she offers every inducement for the conveyance of horses to India. The terms are, that the ship will find water, fittings, and attendance, the forage to be supplied by the shippers, £5 per head to be paid here at the time of shipment, and £15 upon all horses landed.

The undersigned are willing to guarantee the payment of the proceeds of all horses consigned for the sale to their correspondents at Madras or Calcutta. This vessel has good accommodations for passengers, and application for freight or passage is requested to be made to Captain, on board, or to

Hunter-street, March 15

We have been favoured by Mr Alexander, mate of the Magnet, with the following account of the taking of the cutter Sisters, Captain Brend, an old trader from this port:--

Jan 31, 1844—Came to anchor off the NW end of Liffou, one of the Loyalty Islands. A number of natives, as usual, swam off to the vessel. They informed us that a ship had lately been taken, and the greater part of the crew massacred by the natives, at the island of Marree. Captn Lewis having arranged with the chief here to cut wood in our absence, we determined upon immediately proceeding to Marree and endeavouring to rescue the remainder of the crew and what property might not have been destroyed.

We accordingly weighed, and with a favourable wind reached the place by noon the following day. About four pm a canoe came alongside with a Tongataboo missionary and three other men that had just arrived (per canoe) from the south-east end of Liffou. The information we got from them was, that all hands had been killed and the vessel sunk; but that the sails rope, trade, &c., were ashore in a hold of a rock abreast of where she went down. We also understood from them, that another vessel had either been taken or wrecked at or near the Isle of Pines; that the white men formerly belonging to her had come over to this island in a boat, and were still living ashore, and said if we would wait until the next day they would bring them on board—we accordingly did.

So about midday the same men came alongside, having brought one of the white men with them—the chief had detained the other. The account he gave of himself was as follows:-- He sailed from London in September last, in the brig Janet, of Dumbarton, Captn Gorman, on an intended voyage to the South Sea Islands, to procure sandal-wood and tortoise-shell, but was wrecked upon the southern reef of Caledonia, on 14th December. Seven of the crew perished with the wreck: the other seven (in all fourteen in number) saved themselves in one of the boats, and landed the fifth day upon the Isle of Pines. Remaining there but a short time, they set sail, anticipating to fetch some other island inhabited by a more civilized race of people, but unfortunately made Marree. They had not been long here before the natives destroyed their boat, and killed five of them.

Since that period he (William Barlow), and his shipmate (William Jones), had been treated with the greatest kindness and humanity, and had now mutually agreed to remain on the island until such time as they can leave together, which he said there was no probability of doing at present, being so closely watched by the natives, who are bent upon keeping them. We inquired if he knew anything concerning the vessel that had lately been taken by the natives at this place; he answered in the negative, but said there was a great many things distributed among them, viz., all sorts of trade, clothing, mathematical instruments, &c.; that a whale and jolly boat, manned with natives, left the island for Liffou a few days previous, having on board a great many articles, among the lot a chronometer, but did not know how they came by them.

He said they were all too frightened to come near us; that when we stood rather close in shore, they left the beach, and went and hid themselves in the bush. After supplying him with a few necessaries he stood in need of, they all returned on shore. As we could gain no further information as to the fate of the unfortunate vessel, we determined upon standing over to the S.E. end of Liffou, and endeavour to learn the particulars from Bulla, the chief of the tribe who inhabit that part of the island.

About 7am the next day a canoe came alongside from Bulla’s with seven natives and the white man (who has been upon the island for the last two years). From him we have the full particulars of the melancholy catastrophe of the Sisters cutter, Capt Brend. It appears that a number of both sexes were on board previous to the commencement of the fray; that while the crew, consisting of ten men, were busily occupied at their respective duties, and consequently unprepared for any sudden attack, they were severally seized round the middle by some of the natives, who held then while the rest dispatched them with their clubs; not one of them, I am sorry to add, escaped the dreadful massacre; they then plundered her of everything and set the hull on fire. As some of the property had been conveyed over to this island (Liffou), and strongly suspecting these people to have been accessory to the whole affair, we detained the chief’s brother until the rest went ashore and brought off what things they had in their possession belonging to the cutter. They soon returned with the following articles:--

A chronometer, greatly injured, a jolly boat, a quadrant, some account books, and the log, written up to the 16th December. Having received the aforesaid property, and time being so much an object with us, we allowed them to depart. We have a letter, given us by the white man, that was sent him from the two men at Marree in which it states they were cast away in the ship Thetis, bound to Canton, being quite a different story to what one of them imposed upon us, and concluded by saying he should know more of their history by-and-bye. Taking into consideration the miserable and anxious situation in which they are placed, and the manner in which he evaded every proposition of making their escape, and getting on board when told we were bound to Sydney, I am convinced it must be something more than common to deter them from changing their condition when such opportunity offered.

Perhaps I might be censured for allowing my suspicion to go so far, especially upon unfortunate men, yet I cannot but think they have either been engaged in some vessel out of the hands of the master and lost her, or are bolters from Norfolk Island.

Thirty-seven white men have been killed by the natives of Marree within the last two years—thirty-two out of that number within the last six months. ………G.F. ALEXANDER, Mate of the Magnet.


In glancing over the Morning Herald of 1st instant, I was extremely sorry to see the loss of the schooner Perseverance, at Moreton Bay, which had become a total wreck, in consequence of running for the old channel, it being unfortunately filled up (the same place, I presume, where the Shamrock, steamer, grounded).

Now, I beg leave to state for the information of the public, that such a channel never existed since the Government establishment was formed (boat channels excepted.) The only safe channel is at the extreme eastern bank; from the bank which forms the channel you leave on the starboard hand is a continuation of sand to Moreton Island, not more than nine feet at low water spring tides, which will be seen by my chart in the Surveyor-General’s Office. This channel is safe, although not more than three hundred feet broad, and not less than fifteen feet at low water spring tides, rise and fall six feet six inches…….

When HMS Rainbow, the Honorable Captain Rouse, conveyed His Excellency Sir Ralph Darling to Moreton Bay, he had a copy of my chart, which he stated was very correct; also the ship Waterloo, that carried troops and prisoners to that settlement. I would recommend to all commanders of vessels trading to Moreton bay, after passing Flat Rock, to go on the fore-topsail yard or cross-trees, where they can con their vessel through the channel. In fine weather you can see the channel and sand banks quite plain; the channel appears dark, and the sand banks of a light colour, resembling pipe clay. In blowing weather you can see the breakers on the sand banks to windward and leeward, and the channel quite smooth. When I first entered the channel in the year 1825 it was blowing a strong gale from the southward with double reef topsails set; after passing Flat Rock, I could see the sea breaking heavy on the sand banks, apparently no passage. I kept standing into the bay until I brought the outer breakers to bear NW by compass, I then discovered a channel quite smooth, bearing WNW by compass, which channel I ran for, the sea braking to windward and leeward of the vessel…….JOHN M GRAY

Volume 1, Number 2 - 30 March, 1844
THE SURVEYING EXPEDITION – HM Schooner Bramble is expected to sail to-morrow for Port Stephens to join the Fly when the surveying expedition, after calling at Moreton Bay, Port Bowen and Cape Upstart, will proceed to Raine’s Islet, when a beacon (from plans by James Aird, Esq., C.E.) to serve as a land-mark to the newly surveyed passage through Torres Straits will be erected. This will occupy the undivided attention of a working party of twenty convicts, and as many men from the ship as can be spared for at least three months, during which time the Fly will remain in the immediate vicinity. The Bramble and Prince George will meanwhile proceed to visit and survey the nearly unknown southern coast of New Guinea, and the three vessels will rendezvous at Port Essington, and thence proceed to Singapore to refit. About January 1845 the expedition will again be upon the surveying ground, and is expected to return to Sydney in August or Sept following.

ENGLISH SHIPPING—The George Henry Harrison was laid on at Liverpool for Hobart Town and Sydney. The ship Johnstone was to leave Liverpool for Port Phillip and Sydney, 1st Dec. The United Kingdom, with emigrants for Sydney direct, was to sail on 18th Dec. The Earl Durham, Capt Tindall, was announced in Hardy’s Shipping List to sail for Madras and Bengal on 1st Dec.

THE SUNKEN WRECK IN THE STRAITS OF BANCA—The following has been received at Lloyd’s:--“Admiralty, November 22, 1843. Sir,--I am commanded by my Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty to transmit to you, for the information of the Committee for managing the affairs of Lloyd’s, a copy of a letter from Lieutenant Dolling, commanding Her Majesty’s brig Algerine, relative to the wreck of a barque in the Straits of Banca. I am, Sir, your very humble servant, John Barrow. To William Dobson, Esq., Secretary, Lloyd’s, London.” (Copy)
“Her Majesty’s brig Algerine, Spithead, November 21, 1843. Sir,--I have the honour to acquaint you, for guidance of vessels proceeding through the Straits of Banca, that on the 25th June last, in lat. 3o 41’ S., and long. 146o 11’ W., I passed the wreck of a barque sunk in 6½ fathoms of water, with lower masts and maintopmast standing, name unknown, Lucipera Island bearing N. ¼ W., about sixteen miles. I am, &c., S.B. Dolling, Lieut. And Com. To the Secretary of the Admiralty. Mem. The above wreck has been passed six or seven times.”

NEWLY DISCOVERED SHOAL—We have been kindly favoured with the following extract from a letter from Captain Whittingham, commanding the Helen Stewart, containing an important notice of a shoal discovered by him on his passage from Hongkong to Chusan. The extract is as follows:--

“I am happy to say I had a regular fine weather passage up; left Hongkong on the 2nd of this month (November) and arrived here on the 22nd; had many calms and light winds and never more than one reef in the topsails. I was holding on against the current and swell for the greater part of the first three days, worked round the SE side of Formosa on the 13th, and kept on that coast up to Samasanna Island; then stood to the eastward to meet the easterly winds, which you generally meet with to the eastward of Formosa, and the evening of the 16th with Kumi Island (lat. 24 o 25’ N., and lon. 123 o 5’ E) bearing E by S 3 leagues, saw heavy breakers a-head and on the lee bow, apparently on a dangerous shoal extending E by S and W by N and bearing from Kumi Island SW by W 3½ leagues.

Having dark cloudy weather with rain, and a heavy sea running, it was too late to send a boat to sound, but we saw the breakers continually from 4.30 pm until 6pm. The shoal is right in the fair track of ships coming up this monsoon, I should say. When running for the Islands I kept 30 miles to windward to allow for the current, but there was none, for I fetched just as much to windward, and made Monte Video in lat. 30 o 7’ N long. 122 o 46’ E at 8am on the 21st.

I think every ship bound to the northward ought to work pretty close round the SE Point of Formosa and inside of Botol Tobago Xima, and not out through the Bashees, because as soon as you round the point you get smooth water compared to the boiling sea a few miles further south, and also a strong northerly current.”—Canton Press, Dec 9.

Volume 1, Number 3 - 6 April, 1844

The Select Committee appointed to inquire into the shipwreck of British vessels, and the means of preserving the lives and property of shipwrecked persons, and to whom the reports of 1836 and 1839, and the several petitions on the subject, were referred, and who were empowered to report thereupon from time to time to the House, have considered the matters referred to them, and have agreed to the following, being their First Report:-

1. Their inquiry has embraced two points: first, the loss of British vessels, and the means of diminishing that loss in future; second, the means of preserving the lives and property of shipwrecked persons.

Having obtained returns of the British ships lost during the years 1841-2-3, as regards the whole of the mercantile marine, from Lloyd’s, and also of the loss of timber-laden ships from British America to Europe, from September 1839, the date from which the Act took place prohibiting the deck-loading of these ships, they have been enabled to make a comparison; first, of the general loss of ships in the years 1841-2, with those lost in 1833-4-5, in proportion to the registered tonnage; and secondly, of the loss of timber-ships, in the years 1840-41 and 1842, with those lost in 1836-7-8.

In both cases they have the satisfaction to find, that the loss has been less in the later periods than in the earlier, more especially as regards timber-laden ships, and the lives of the crews employed on board of them, where there has been a reduction in loss of ships in each year from fifty-six to twenty-three; and, as near as can be calculated, a saving of 200 lives of seamen. In no one instance during the last period do they find, in those ships to which the Act of Parliament alone applies, any of those horrible cases stated in the Report of the Committee of 1839, of the crews of several ships in each year having been reduced to the necessity of existing on the remains of their comrades.

They feel, however, bound to report one of this description, which appears to have taken place but a short time ago, reported from New York, 14th December, 1842, in regard to the Naiad, bound from Halifax to Demerara, where one man remaining only out of a crew of seventeen, was taken from the wreck fifty days after the 22nd of September, when the ship had been upset. Your Committee consider that no ship can be seaworthy, when her upper deck is lumbered with cargo of any kind; and they strongly recommend to the consideration of Her Majesty’s Government, a still further extension of the prohibitory clauses of the Act of Parliament against the deck-loading of ships.

2. Your Committee felt it their duty to enquire into those points which seemed to them more essentially to regard the security of shipping:
(i) The character of ships
(ii) The competency of Masters and Mates
(iii) The facility of obtaining good Pilots
(iv) Harbours of Refuge
(v) Lighthouses, beacons, &c
(vi) Charts and compasses


3. The new association formed for the survey and classification of merchant vessels, especially alluded to and described in the Report of the Committee of 1836, under the name of Lloyd’s Register Society for British and Foreign Shipping, has made regular progress from that time; and, as appears by the evidence of the Secretary, any objections entertained against it in the first instance are now removed, and ship-owners are generally ready to submit their ships and stores to the fair examination of the surveyors of the society, for the purpose of having them classed in the register-book according to their real quality.

Your committee beg to call attention to the return laid before the House, dated 24th February 1843 of the number of ships of war and government packets which have foundered at sea and have not been heard of, from the year 1816 to the present time; eleven of which appear to have been of the class of ten-gun brigs, six of those having been employed in the packet service.

Your committee recommend to the consideration of the House the propriety of an inquiry being instituted as to the necessity of introducing an Act of Parliament, placing all steam vessels carrying passengers under the superintendence of competent persons, to be appointed by Government.


4. Upon this subject, evidence of a somewhat contradictory character has been laid before your Committee. Opinions have been advanced and the example of foreign nations cited, in favour of the establishment of boards for the examination of masters and mates; whilst, on the other hand, most of the leading ship-owners appear to be decidedly hostile to the enforcement of examination by Act of Parliament, considering such compulsory examination an unnecessary interference with their interest in the selection of such persons as they may think most likely to serve them best in the various duties they have to perform; all parties at the same time agreeing to the propriety of encouraging the increase of scientific knowledge as much as possible in the mercantile marine.

Your Committee, however, after carefully weighing the evidence adduced, consider that, under all circumstances, it would materially promote science, and prevent the loss of life and property, if a legislative enactment were introduced by the government, establishing local boards for the purpose of examining into the ability, conduct, and character of all who wish to qualify as masters and mates in the merchant service. And your Committee further recommend the establishment of schools for the purpose of teaching navigation in the different sea-ports, to be supported by a small tonnage duty, to be levied on the vessels belong to such port.

Your Committee have examined many witnesses on the propriety of investigating the conduct of the masters, mates and crews of ships lost, and most of the witnesses are favourable to such investigation; and the Committee therefore recommend that an inquiry into the causes of the loss of ships should on all occasions take place.


5. Witnesses of the highest authority have given evidence before the Committee, proving the want of harbours accessible at all times of tide, and urging the necessity which exists for their erection on those parts of the coast where such harbours do not exist; and your Committee strongly recommend the immediate attention of the government and the legislature to this subject.

The witnesses to whose evidence the Committee refer, have pointed out different localities as most eligible; but the Committee abstain from recommending any particular situations for harbours, from a conviction that these points will be best decided on by a body composed of scientific and competent persons whose attention should be specially and exclusively directed to this subject.

Attaching the greatest importance to this vast project on national grounds, as well as for the protection and security of trade, your Committee think it most desirable that as large an appropriation of national funds as can be made, be devoted annually to the construction of harbours of refuge in such localities as may be recommended.

To the various plans and models of floating break-waters, the Committee have devoted their best attention; and, considering the expense of constructing and maintaining them in repair, compared with the durability of solid break-waters, (which should be calculated to endure for ages) your Committee are of the opinion, that whatever may be decided on, as to the formation of harbours of refuge, such national works should possess the most perfect solidity, to resist the force of any sea, afford shelter to the trade, and the great and essential advantage of having powerful batteries erected on them.


6. The lighthouses and beacons around the coast are so immediately under the direction of the Trinity Board, whose attention is constantly directed to these points, that the Committee feel that they have to notice what has been brought before them upon the subject, rather than to express their judgement thereon.

The numerous wrecks on the north-west coast of Cornwall induces your Committee strongly to recommend that one or more lighthouses should be erected on that rugged shore. Towen Head appears to your Committee to be the most desirable situation, as it is in evidence that there is already a small pier near thereto, which might be extended, so as to render it a fair harbour of refuge. Models of lighthouses have been brought before them by Captain Sir Samuel Brown, Mr Bush and Mr Steward; but as neither of these has been tested, they do not offer an opinion upon them. Two lighthouses erected by Mr Mitchell, upon a new and ingenious principle in regard to their foundation, having now stood the test of more than two years, one upon the foot of the Wrye Sand off Fleetwood, and the other on the Maplin, the Committee do not hesitate to recommend to attention. They feel it right also to notice a beacon erected by Captain Bullock, of the Royal Navy, upon the southern edge of the Goodwin Sands, which has now stood two winters, and having been erected at a very small expense, (not exceeding £55) may prove of the greatest service if brought generally into use.

Your Committee recommend that sound beacons should invariably be placed near lighthouses, as well as on board light vessels, to warn ships of their danger in foggy weather.


7. Your Committee have had represented to them the great and unequal deviation of the needle in different vessels and situations, from the local attraction on board, from 3° to 18°, according to a report from the Admiralty, which may have been the cause of the loss of some vessels, from masters not being aware of it, and which can alone be guarded against by the closest attention.

The safety of ships, and the lives of all on board so much depending upon the correctness of charts, a general and constant revision of those most in use is well worthy the continued attention of the government, and would be a great boon to the mercantile marine. Your Committee are also of opinion that the attention of ship-owners should be called to the propriety of masters being supplied with the latest authorized edition of charts.

In regard to the second point of enquiry, the means of preserving the lives and property of shipwrecked persons, your Committee have received the evidence of the deputy-comptroller and several officers of the coast guard, who have of late years been more the means of saving the lives and property of shipwrecked persons upon the British coast than any others, from their duty having required their continual look-out upon the spot. From this evidence it appears, that their first object, as the most effectual means of rescuing the crew, upon a wreck taking place, and when it has been impossible for their own boats to live through the sea, has been, to endeavour to effect a communication of Captain Manby’s mortars, or rockets, provided by Mr Dennet, of Newport, and Mr Carte, in the Ordnance service at Hull.

Either the mortar or rocket, should the distance of the vessel from the shore not exceed 250 or 300 yards, will, in most cases, prove effectual, and indeed many valuable lives have been saved by these means. The comparative value of each of these plans depends upon the greater or less distance they will carry their respective lines against the same force of wind, as it appears by the evidence there is no difference in the correctness of the direction in which they will carry them. They have had given in a comparative statement of trials, which is annexed in the appendix. They consider, that both the mortars and rockets should be furnished to the coast-guard in all stations, where wrecks are likely to take place, as the best mode of effecting a communication with a wreck in extreme cases, when the ship has no means within herself of communicating with the shore, which few if any have at present.

Scarcely any ships or steamers are sufficiently prepared with the means of saving the lives of those on board, in case of accident to the vessel by fire, or wreck, or even in the case of an individual falling overboard in severe weather. In regard to steamers, irrespective of their other boats, an invention of Captain George Smith, RN for fitting the covers of the paddle-boxes, so that they may form perfect boats, and be easily lowered into the water, should be universally adopted. The advantage of this recommendation will be seen by reference to the cases of the Isis and Solway. Every ship should also be required to carry at least one of her boats, fitted upon the principle of a life boat, kept ready for lowering down, in case of need. The numerous lives lost in the case of individuals who may have fallen overboard, as well as of others in the attempt to pick them up, is alone sufficient to justify such a regulation. The evidence of three commanders of East Indiamen, who have all carried boats of this description on board their ships; the deputy-comptroller, and other officers of the coast-guard; the annual reports of the Royal Society for the preservation of life from shipwrecks; and no less than twenty individuals, by letters addressed to the Chairman of the Committee, have recommended such boats as the best and surest means of saving life.

Your Committee suggests that water-tight divisions in steam-vessels are calculated to prevent total loss of vessel and machinery, and to ensure the preservation of life, by affording time for the preparation of boats for the reception of passengers and crew; your Committee, however, are not prepared to point out what number of those water-tight divisions should be before and abaft the engine room and machinery.

The Committee look with admiration to the many instances in which the officers and men upon the coast-guard service have, at the greatest personal risk, exerted themselves in saving the lives of others; and in the case of Lieutenant Lingard, with the loss of his own life, and that of several of the crew, in Robin Hood’s Bay. Your Committee venture strongly to recommend such devotion to the favourable consideration of government as an encouragement to others.

With regard to the preservation of ship-wrecked property, the evidence shows there is on many parts of the coast a want of that moral principle which should inculcate a just regard for the rights of such property. It is rather looked upon as a chance gift, which each has a right to scramble for as he can, notwithstanding the laws which have been passed from the earliest period, to prevent or punish such depredations. (See “Law of Wrecks Considered”, by W. Palmer, London 1843) The plunder of shipwrecked property on the coast has been carried on to an enormous extent and this seems to have arisen from there having been no persons on the spot, when a wreck had taken place, to look after the property. Since the establishment however, of the coast-guard, by whom, from different stations, every part of the coast is now watched, this plunder has been much reduced; but still it exists to a considerable degree, as in the case of the Jessie Logan, and the Frances, and other vessels wrecked on the disastrous 13th of January last. By the evidence of Captain Sparshott, and other officers, this system of robbery arises, from the coast-guard having no authority to interfere, excepting where the articles from the wreck are subject to Customs duty. The Lord Warden states, that notwithstanding the strictest orders given by him within the jurisdiction of the Cinque Ports, plunder still takes place.

Your Committee wishing to ascertain the state of the law in other countries, obtained the evidence of Mr Van Houten, stating that the government of Holland takes charge of all abandoned shipwrecked property for the benefit of the parties to whom it may belong, if claimed within a certain time; if not so claimed it then becomes the property of the government. By the evidence it appears, that the French government takes charge of all shipwrecked property for the benefit of the right owners; this will be seen by reference to evidence, No. 5741 to 5745, in the case of the wreck of the Conqueror off Etaples. The Committee strongly recommend that all abandoned property from wrecks on the coast of the United Kingdom should be vested in the government, in trust for those to whom it may belong; a regular register and account being kept of all such property.

Your Committee recommend an international arrangement to be made, if possible, upon the subject of wrecks, with all other friendly powers, for the return of shipwrecked persons to their own country, and the restoration of preserved property to its right owner.

The Committee consider that some better code of maritime law than that which now exists for the regulation of the duties of master and seamen on board of merchant vessels is much wanted, with a view of increasing the security of shipping, promoting the comfort and health of seamen, and of preventing desertion.

Your Committee have received various suggestions for life-boats, safety-capes, and belts; and some drawings and models have been presented for their inspection (a list of which is inserted in the Appendix); but not having sufficient means of testing their respective merits, they can only recommend them to the consideration of Her Majesty’s Government in the event of any legislative enactment on that subject.

by Peter Cunningham Esq, R.N.

English attention has lately been directed towards the formation of refuge ports for saving human life and property: but the whole world is interested in establishing places of refuge in various uninhabited islands, &c., near the route of the great lines of commerce, to which mariners could proceed in case of ship-accident, or procure essential supplies when in distress.

Had not Tristan d’Acunha been colonized by Sergeant Glass, the passengers and crew of an Indiaman must have perished; and the colonization of the Falkland Islands has saved at least one ship’s crew and cargo. On returning from New South Wales, in the year 1830, the commander tried to make St Helena for a supply of water, but ran to leeward of it; and after a ten days’ beat, with the island in sight, was obliged to bear up for Ascension, where we arrived with only a gill of water left for each person. Had not Ascension been colonized, all of us must have perished of thirst. I found when at Bahia, that a ship with soldiers from India had arrived there under similar circumstances; having missed St Helena and not knowing that water could be procured at Ascension; they bore up for Brazil.

Never”, said my informant, “did I witness anything so distressing as the screams of the children for water when the tank got alongside.” To prevent national jealousy, these places should be colonized on Sergeant Glass’s plan at Tristan d’Acunha, not acknowledging any country’s sovereignty while benefiting all. Trinidad, in 21° south latitude, is in the route of all vessels bound from Europe or America to India, China, the Cape, Brazils, Chili, Peru, Australia, &c., as also in their home route from a number of these places. Not many years ago the crew of a French ship were saved by making it. They lived upon wild goats, pigs and fish with which its interior and shores abound, until they put their boats in order and procured a provision and a supply of water to carry them to Brazil, 500 miles distant. How different would have been their feelings had they known it to be inhabited; and how many crews, similarly circumstanced, that made it, may have perished from their leaders not having the brains of the Frenchmen. It is fertile on its eastern shore, the flats there being covered with crops of luxuriant green weeds, which we fancied to be wheat crops until we landed. It is deficient in water, but this could be remedied, as in Antigua &c, by tanks and ponds for treasuring the tropical rains. Martin Vass Rocks, within a short distance of it, afford excellent fishing ground, as well as its shores.

St Paul’s in 39° south latitude, midway between the Cape and Australia, is similarly circumstanced to Trinidad, as ships bound to India, China, Australia &c, usually make it to adjust their chronometers. It has a very limited cultivation surface, but a good pastoral one on its hill plain, in the gigantic tuft grass, which affords not only excellent pastoral food, but pastoral shelter, where wild pigs abound, feeding upon the grass roots and leaves, and eggs and young of sea fowl. It is often resorted to by parties from Mauritius and Bourbon to procure Cape cod as this delicious fish is called for these Catholic markets; the fish are so numerous and greedy of bait, that in two hours’ fishing our boat was obliged to return unable to swim with any more.

It has an excellent boat harbour when over the bar, which cannot be crossed except at high water on account of the fall, unless by the Frenchmen’s plan that I witnessed, of having a kedge anchor inside of the bar, with a rope extending to the fall, fast secured to a stone, by which to let the boats safely down and haul them up at low water. There is a small spring of fresh water on the hill, and another slightly aluminous water on the right side of the basin, which the French fishermen I found there in 1820 (14 in number) told me was very wholesome, as they had enjoyed uninterrupted good health. Their hut walls were constructed of peat-turf layers, and the roofs thatched with tuft-grass; the rafters being brought from the Mauritius, as no timber grows upon the island. Peat-turf was their fuel. We obtained a good supply of pigs, dried fish, and vegetables from them in exchange for slops, tea, sugar, biscuit and flour. The vegetables were furnished from a wild garden at the bottom of the basin, and consisted chiefly of small celery and cabbage plants. As rain abounds there, tanks could be easily constructed for ship supply. Hence the utility to ships of having Trinidad and St Paul’s colonized, as, without going out of their way in the voyages before mentioned, they could in a day or so obtain fresh stock and fresh water, independent of their affording an asylum to the passengers and crews of ships meeting with accidents. One of the good harbours at Cape Horn is also well worthy of colonization.

Volume 1, Number 5 - 20 April, 1844

BURNING OF THE “PALESTINE”—It appears that this ill-fated vessel, the property of Messrs Ashley; Brothers of Liverpool, was bound to Aden, from Newcastle, with a cargo of coals, tar and pitch. On the 3rd instant, when in lat. 26o 42’ S., and long. 58 o 30’ E., on the fore-hatch being removed, for the purpose of obtaining water, a dense mass of smoke was observed issuing from the lower hold, and on the main hatch being taken off, it was ascertained that the coals had ignited. The whole of that day and night, and the following morning were employed in throwing water on the coals, and heaving the dangerous cargo overboard, but the flames soon burst out so furiously, as to preclude all possibility of extinguishing them, and the officers and crew were compelled to take to the boats.

Shortly afterwards the whole vessel was enveloped in flames, and soon presented but one mass of fire. Before the boats had made much way the masts went by the board, and the hull was still blazing when they lost sight of her. The long boat contained the master and twenty hands, the pinnace was occupied by the chief officer, Mr Moody, and thirteen men. The latter report that on the night of the 5th, they lost sight of the longboat, about 300 miles to the SE of this island; that they descried a vessel on the 8th, but pursued her in vain for two hours, making signals of distress, and finding it impossible to get up to her, made for this port. They arrived at Petite Riviere, at Mr A Geneve’s, on Saturday at five o’clock, whence they sailed for Port Louis on Monday morning.—Le Cerneen, Feb 24.


LOSS OF THE BARQUE “JANE GIFFORD”—By the letters of the 30th Dec, from Ceylon, we learn that the barque Jane Gifford, Capt R Paul, of about 500 tons, bound from Madras to Colombo and Bombay, being in a sinking state, was run ashore about eight miles to the eastward of Tangalle. She struck on some rocks near the little Bassa, and was making so much water that the Captain was compelled to run her ashore. On the 27th Dec, the ship was only thirty or forty fathoms from the shore, and it was thought could only hold together for two or three hours. She has since become a total wreck—Bombay Monthly Times, Feb 1.

The Tenasserim arrived at Madras from Calcutta on 3rd Feb, and was to leave shortly after for Hobart Town, with convicts.

The ship Candahar, from the Mauritius 20th Oct, arrived Bengal on 15th Jan, with 140 returned immigrant labourers.

The O.C. Raymond—Captain Denison, of the American schooner O.C. Raymond has committed an act of barratry. He sailed from Chusan on 29th May for Macao, but instead of proceeding thither, sailed for the Sandwich Islands, and arrived at Carnac on the 11th July, reporting that he was on his way to Sydney. He sailed again immediately. She had on board $40,000 worth of treasure on freight—Bombay Gentlemen’s Gazette, Feb 1

The whaling at Portland Bay and Port Fairy had commenced with great spirit; the parties had all signed articles for the different stations, and the season was expected to be a prolific one, several whales having already made their appearance.

THE EDWARD—the preparations for whaling on board this vessel are now complete and are very different from those of any other whaler out of this port. She will lower three boats, and her cruising ground during the season will be off Twofold Bay and along the coast. There are no try-works on board, but the whole of her hold has been caulked fore and aft to form one large blubber room, and upon taking any fish, after cutting them in, she will bear up for Twofold Bay, and discharge the blubber into the hulk at Boyd Town, on board which try-works have been fitted up for the purpose. The Edward will be the fourth whaler belonging to Mr Boyd out of this port.

COLONIAL STEAMERS—We regret to state that there are now no less than ten steamers lying unemployed in the harbour of Port Jackson, viz., the James Watt, Tamar, Seahorse, Juno, Corsair, Cornubia, Australian, Experiment, Rapid and Comet.

THE NEPTUNE—The Colonial Secretary, the Colonial Treasurer, Mr Thacker, and a number of other gentlemen, inspected the fittings of the Neptune, about to load with horses for Madras, on Thursday, and we understand, expressed themselves highly pleased with the whole of the arrangements. She has one hundred berths fitted up, fifty-six between decks and forty-four in the hold. There is ample room for each horse; the elevation between decks is quite sufficient, and below the accommodation is superior even to that between decks. The berths are so placed too, that in calm weather all the hatches may be taken off, and should it be required, there will be sufficient room even for exercise, in calm weather.

The commander of the Neptune intends giving a passage to a number of Lascars, who are now in Sydney, who will be most useful in tending the horses, in addition to his regular crew. Some of the horses for which berths have already been engaged are of high value, having been imported at great expense from England. The Neptune has her full number engaged, and will commence taking horses on board after next week. We are able to state also, that in addition to the vessels already taken up for horses, the first eligible vessel which arrives, not having a freight previously engaged, will meet with an immediate engagement to take on a further supply for the Indian market.
Volume 1, Number 6 - 27 April, 1844

THE CUTTER BROTHERS—The cutter Brothers has been taken off by six convicts from Newcastle. It appears that having feigned illness, they had been sent to the hospital from which they escaped last Monday night, and having got on board the cutter, took possession of her and stood out to sea, with the crew on board; they were just discernible on the horizon at daybreak. The following evening, the schooner Northumberland, Captain Chandler, on her passage from the Richmond to Sydney, saw a small sloop off the Seal Rocks, and being short of provisions, lowered a boat to obtain some. Upon seeing the boat, the cutter stood very near to the shore, but having ascertained that only two men and a boy were in her, held out every inducement for them to come alongside; they did not do so, as a man was perceived in the rigging, with a large waddy raised to strike the first who stepped on deck. There is every reason to suppose that this was the Brothers, and being of a light draught of water, she stood too far in for the Northumberland to follow. She was brought back again, by the crew, to Newcastle on Thursday : the little water on board being exhausted, they ran the vessel close in for the shore, a little to the northward of Port Stephens, where they anchored, and four of the convicts proceeded on shore to procure water and provisions, leaving the two others as guard over the crew. Having remained on shore longer than was anticipated, the two became impatient, and repaired after the others, thinking that the crew would not have time to make off; but they were deceived : the wind being off the land, the opportunity was embraced—the cable was slipped—the jib hoisted—and in a few minutes they were safe away from their former captors, with only the loss of the anchor and cable.

THE “CECILIA”—We find the following account of the accident which befell the Cecilia, now in Port, on her outward passage, in the Perth (Swan River) Inquirer of the 6th March:--“At about half-past eleven on the night of the 28th September, the Cecilia being then about two hundred miles from Cape Finisterre, the crew occupied in trimming sails, they were hailed by a vessel a-head. The Cecilia’s helm was immediately put up, with the hope of clearing her, but not sufficiently in time, the two vessels came into collision, the strange ship, which turned out to be the Paul Emile, being struck amidships. The captain of the Cecilia, finding the other vessel keep her sails full, threw all aback, and ultimately succeeded in getting clear, and without receiving any considerable damage, the Cecilia being ripped to the water’s edge. The unfortunate Paul Emile fared still worse, for she sunk within ten minutes after she had been struck.

Part of her crew, finding their vessel in a sinking state, succeeded in climbing aboard the Cecilia, while the vessels were in collision; but, melancholy to relate, the captain, chief officer, and two boys of the Paul Emile, were drowned. Immediately on getting the vessel clear, the Cecilia hoisted out her boats, which remained all night rowing about in search of any of the crew who might be still afloat, and three hours after the accident, had the satisfaction of picking up one poor fellow, from whom they learned that the captain and chief officer had gone down with the vessel. At daylight, on surveying the Cecilia, she presented one entire scene of wreck forward. Her cutwater was torn away; main stern and apron split to the water’s-edge; all securities of bowsprit, jib-boom, knight and cat-heads gone; plank ends forward open about two inches on the starboard side; deck all open forward : indeed so extensive was the damage done, that had not the sea been unusually smooth, she must have gone down with all on board. The search having been again renewed at six o’clock the boats were got in, and the Cecilia bore away for Lisbon, it being very uncertain whether she would ever reach that or any other port.

Providentially, the weather continued favourable, and on the 1st of October the Cecilia came safe to anchor in the Tagus. Having undergone the necessary repairs, she sailed again on the 22nd November, and arrived here without further accident, having spoke the Shepherd about twelve hours from that vessel leaving the land. A general average has been made on the cargo of the Cecilia, amounting to nearly 18 per cent. The Paul Emile was a fine ship, belonging to Bordeaux, and was bound to that port with a cargo of sugar and coffee from St Jago, valued at £16,000—Port Phillip Patriot, April 11.

Volume 1, Number 7 - 4 May, 1844

LOSS OF THE CUTTER “NORTHUMBERLAND”—The steamer Rose, which arrived Tuesday night from the Hunter, reported the cutter Northumberland had become a total wreck on the bar at the Manning River, crew saved.

On 31st November, the French frigate Reine Blanche, bearing the flag of the Admiral Du Petit Thour, and the Uranie, arrived at Tahiti and on the 7th landed 250 soldiers, and the same number of marines, with two field pieces, and having proceeded to Queen Pomare’s house, hauled down the flag which had been given her by Captain Nicolas, and hoisted a French one in its place. The commandant of the troops proclaiming that he had taken possession of the island for Louis Philippe, Captain Bruat of the Uranie was then appointed governor, who had brought out his family and equipage with him.

The French corvette Bassoli had also touched there, but left for the Sandwich Islands ten days after. HMS Dublin had also sailed for the Sandwich Islands leaving the government schooner Basilisk there to protect the British subjects; on board of which Queen Pomare had taken refuge, with orders from the Governor not to land again without his sanction, having offered her an annuity of 10,000 dollars to resign the sovereignty of the island in favour of the French, which she had refused. When the Sultana left Tahiti, the French ships Uranie, Embuscade, Myrtle and a war steamer were in the harbour.

The Ganges touched at St Jago on her passage out for the purpose of obtaining water, but did not make any stay there. She reports having spoke the following vessels:-February 9th spoke the barque Elizabeth from the Mauritius, bound to Falmouth for orders. February 10th, the barque Glenmore from Batavia to Rotterdam, February 14th, the Kilblain from Greenock to Calcutta. On Saturday 27th instant fell in with a barque under jury-masts, in Bass’s Straits, with a signal of distress flying, and found her to be the Rebecca, which was driven ashore at King’s Island about six months since, on her passage from Batavia. On nearing her, two boards were shown, upon one of which was written “no chart, no compass, no provisions”, and on the other, “blown off King’s Island”. The sea was running high at the time, but five hands on board of the Ganges volunteered to run the risk of boarding her with a hamper of refreshment and a compass, which they effected with considerable difficulty, and returned safely to their own vessel after their praiseworthy exertions. The Rebecca had been blown off King’s Island with the party on board who had been dispatched from Melbourne to repair her, and having obtained their position from the Ganges, steered a SW course for Launceston, where they have most probably arrived in safety, having a fair wind at the time.


[Type of Cargo carried, and consignees; this, on the brig Emma, which also carried passengers]

May 1—Emma, brig, Fox, for Adelaide, via Port Fairy: Cargo for Adelaide—45 hogsheads whiskey, Henry Moore; 12 pockets hops, George Small; 11 barrels British gin, Adam Wilson; 1 case saddlery, 5 cases pipes, 2 cases cheese, 1 cask mustard, 1 bale corks, 1 coil rope, 1 case 1 cask hardware, 1 case glass, 1 cask nails, 110 iron pots, 1 case glass, 1 cask nails, 110 iron pots, 1 case dolls, 2 bundles augers, 1 case books, 4 bags shot, 10 kegs nails, 4 cases stationery, 1 cask grindery, 100 ovens, 8 casks ironmongery, 1 bundle sieves, 8 cases ironmongery, 1 case haberdashery, 1 case calicoes, 6 bundles leather, 3 boxes tea, 60 grindstones, 1 case drapery, 2 cases and 1 bale slops, 1 case cutlery, J B Neales; 7 cases oranges, 39 chests black tea, 1 case haberdashery, 1 box oatmeal, 1 cask lemons, 1 cask oranges, 1 case glass, 2 boxes apparel, 20 boxes soap, 2 tons Manila rope, 3 casks turpentine, 3 bundles spades, 1 cask iron, 1 case haberdashery, 3 hogsheads and 13 quarter-casks brandy, 1 case cigars, J Alger; 1 case slops, D Jones and Co; 1 bale sacks, G Thorne, 5 bales sacks, 1 case lasts, 1 case books, J Billerwell; 2 casks 3 kegs and 1 case ironmongery, R Sparrow; 4 cases oilmen’s stores, 4 bags allspice, 20 cases pickles, 6 cases fruit, 2 cases congreves, 1 case castor oil, 3 casks oranges, 2 bags cloves, B Graham. Cargo for Port Fairy—13 casks beer, 10 bags salt, 7 bags groceries, 20 bags coals, 20 boxes soap, 4 casks groceries, 3 bales bags, 1 cask treacle, 15 quarter-casks wine, 10 cases wine, 1 trunk apparel, 30 chests tea, 215 mats sugar, 113 bundles iron, 1 roll lead, 19 oars, 189 cedar boards, 13 planks, 9 bales 2 kegs 13 cases 2 b bundles 3 casks and 3 hogsheads merchandise. 22 kegs and 4 casks nails, 24 pieces plough mountings, 24 camp ovens and covers, 12 grindstones, 8 iron weights, 4 pieces iron, 5 bundles steel, 5 oars, 6 boxes glass, Flowe Salting and Co.

To the Editor of the United Services Gazette

Sir—Her Majesty’s surveying sloop Beagle arrived from Australia, after an absence of more than six years, without the loss of a sail, boat, or spar, and only two of her crew—one from old age, and the other from dysentery contracted at Timor, which speaks volumes in favour of the climate of Australia, after the constant exposure of sleeping in boats in Mangrove Creeks. Although her operations were confined to the coast, her officers penetrated within five hundred miles of the center of the continent on the north-west coast, and within three hundred miles on the northern, the nearest distance to the spot reached by that most enterprising of Australian travellers, Mr Eyre, who proceeded 250 miles further to the northward of South Australia.

It is worthy of remark that the Beagle has the same spars she left England with in 1831; they were fitted with Mr Snow Harris’s lightning conductors—a circumstance which proves they do not weaken even the small spars. In evidence of the utility of that gentleman’s invention, the vessel was struck by lightning in South Australia without receiving the slightest damage. An eye-witness of the occurrence has described it in the following terms:--“The electric fluid passed down the mizzen-mast without injuring the ship or spars. An officer was within a foot of the mast at the time, but experienced no inconvenience beyond that of a slight alarm. The noise was a vibrating sound similar to the rattling of a tin canister”.

It is peculiar, if not an unprecedented, circumstance for officers to serve for so long a period in one ship as the undermentioned have done in the Beagle, viz.: the Commander and Surgeon 18 years, the Boatswain 15 years, the Senior Mate 12 years, and the Clerk in Charge 9 years.

The large collection brought home in the Beagle includes specimens of the spined lizards of Western Australia, technically called “devils”; their resemblance to his cloven-footed majesty is said, by the knowing ones, to be very strong.

Mr Gould has already made known the valuable addition to his work on Ornithology, selected from the Surgeon’s collection. Mr Bynoe’s exertions have done much towards the elucidation of natural history; and his long professional services are of a nature to deserve every reward and encouragement.

To aid the Beagle in her surveying operations in Bass’s Strait, the Colonial cutter Vansittart, of Van Diemen’s Land, was most liberally lent by His Excellency Sir John Franklin, and placed under the command of Mr C C Forsyth, the Senior Mate, assisted by Mr Pasco, another of her Mates. The services of these officers led to very important results. Mr Forsyth had a very narrow escape on the western coast of Van Diemen’s Land, where he coasted a steep and rocky shore for nearly ninety miles in a small crowded boat, almost without provisions. It blew so hard, and there was such a terrific sea that, notwithstanding the precaution of raising the boat’s gunwale by means of strips of blankets, the crew expected every moment to be lost.

The interest attaching to the Beagle’s late voyage has been greatly enhanced by sketches of the many hitherto unfrequented parts of Australia which she has visited. These sketches are the production of her First Lieutenant, Mr Gore, grandson of Captain Gore, who accompanied Captain Cook in his voyages of discovery. Besides his services in the Beagle, he was First Lieutenant of the Volage in the early part of the Chinese war, and second of that ship at the taking of Aden; he was likewise in the Polar expedition with Sir George Back, and in the Albion at Navarino.

Captain P P King, Royal Navy, who is well known to the scientific world, has drawn up a summary of the Beagle’s late voyage (for which we may possibly find room in a future Gazette.) In the meantime it may be as well to mention two singular facts connected with her career. One is her having passed under old London-bridge to salute it at the coronation of King George the Fourth; and the other circumstance of her late Acting Commander having passed through all the grades in one ship. We are not aware of there being another instance of the kind on record.

I have the honour to be, Sir,
Your obedient servant, P.

(from an English Paper)

On Saturday 4th December, the divers worked for the last time in searching for guns, to which, their efforts had been exclusively devoted for more than six weeks, in consequence of the whole of the wood work of this celebrated wreck having previously been removed. Since our last notice of these operations, only one brass 12-pounder was recovered by Corporal Jones, on 27th October, after which, notwithstanding the frequent use of the half-anchor creeper, and the zealous personal researches of the divers, none could be found in the course of the eight following days, when the work terminated as a matter of necessity, for the water was becoming so cold that the divers could no longer work to advantage, their hands, the only part exposed, being benumbed by cold. When the Royal George went down, in 1782, there were 100 guns on board, viz., 28 iron 32-pounders, 16 iron 12-pounders, 12 brass 24-pounders, and 28 brass 12-pounders. Of the above, 6 iron 12-pounders and 9 brass 12-pounders were removed in the course of the same year by means of the diving bell, after which nothing was done till the year 1834, when Mr Charles Anthony Deane first brought the diving helmet and dress, which was a very old idea, suggested in various books for nearly three centuries back, to such a state of perfection, as to render it available for the most important practical purposes, to which it never had been applied until he showed the example. In this improvement, or rather invention, for it will perhaps be considered worthy of that name, he has the same merit as the celebrated Bramah, who converted what was called the hydrostatic paradox from a sort of puzzle into a most powerful and useful machine.

In the years 1834, 1835 and 1836 Mr Deane recovered 7 iron 32-pounders, 18 brass 24-pounders, and 3 brass 12-pounders, 28 in all; for which he received salvage from the Board of Ordnance, after which, the remaining guns being buried in mud, or under the timbers of the upper parts of the wreck, eluded his efforts, as nothing but gunpowder could render them accessible. In 1839, when Major General Pasley, then Colonel of the Royal Engineers, commenced his operations, in which he has never spared that most essential article without which nothing could have been done, he recovered 12 guns, 11 more in 1840 and 6 in 1841; but in 1842 he only recovered 1 iron 12-pounder, because he then directed that the divers, who had got down to the floor-timbers and keel, should not lose time by searching for guns, but should confine their efforts to the removal of the woodwork of the hull, and he pursued the same system in the summer of 1843, until the whole of the keel and bottom planking were got up, after which the half-anchor creeper drawn transversely, and a frigate’s anchor longitudinally, across the original position of the hull, proved that no more woodwork remained, when he directed that guns only should be sought for, in consequence of which no less than 13 have been recovered this season. Hence 42 guns in all have been recovered by the divers employed under Major-General Pasley, which, with 15 recovered in 1782 and 29 recovered by Mr Deane, as before mentioned, amount to a total of 86, leaving 14 guns still at the bottom, of which 6 are iron 12-pounders, 1 is a brass 24-pounder and 6 are brass 12-pounders.

The quantity of iron ballast in the hold of the Royal George when she sank was 126 tons 12 cwt. Generally in pigs of seven to the ton, of which more than 119 tons have been sent up by the military divers, and delivered into Portsmouth dockyard, so that the quantity now remaining at the bottom is less than seven tons, being only 47 pigs, which having been scattered about by the constant creeping, and by the numerous explosions, cannot obstruct the anchorage. In respect to the 14 guns still remaining, all buried about four feet under the mud, and of which only one is a heavy gun, should a ship’s anchor hereafter get hold of one of them, which is possible, though very unlikely, it will on being weighed, raise the run up to the surface of the mud, or a little above it, after which it will release it; and if the spot be marked by a small buoy to guide a diver down to the gun, he may sling it with ease whilst from its form it can in the mean time have done no injury, either to the ship’s anchor or cable. The quantity of gunpowder fired this season amounted to 19,193 lbs, that is to nearly 214 barrels.

The Success frigate hulk, in which Lieut. Hutchinson, as well as the detachments of Royal and East India Company’s Sappers and Miners under his command, and generally about eighty other workmen, chiefly pensioner-sea-men of the Royal Navy, were quartered, was towed into harbour from Spithead on Tuesday 7th December, and the two lumps or mooring lighters followed next day, and after having delivered up all the stores into the dockyard, excepting the guns recovered and the gun powder not expended, the former of which were delivered to the Ordnance storekeeper at the gun wharf, and the latter into the magazine at Priddy’s-yard, the officer, with the Sappers and Miners under his command, set off by the South Western Railway for Woolwich, whilst the pensioners, being natives of Portsmouth, retired to their homes.

Mr Purdo; the principal master-attendant of Portsmouth dockyard, having examined the spot, by dragging a frigate’s anchor repeatedly over it, and meeting no obstruction, reported to Rear Admiral Hyde Parker, that the ground where the wreck of the Royal George formerly lay was now clear, and quite as fit for the use of Her Majesty’s ships as any other part of the anchorage at Spithead, which report, in corroboration of General Pasley’s opinion, having been communicated officially to the Admiralty, their Lordship’s have ordered the wreck-buoy to be removed from the spot, as being no longer necessary. In the sailing instructions annexed to the tide tables, annually published by order of the Admiralty, it will be seen that there were six or seven fathoms of water only over the wreck of the Royal George, the hull of which, then nearly perfect, stood 33 feet higher than the level nearly with the remainder of the anchorage, as Lieutenant Hutchinson ascertained by sounding it with great accuracy, the difference in the sounding nowhere exceeding a foot and a half.

Though the demolition and removal of this celebrated wreck commenced in 1839, yet only two months of that year, and six months of each of the four succeeding years, that is twenty-six months, or little more than two years were employed in actual labour and this object might have been accomplished much sooner, perhaps in half the time, if Major-General Pasley, who directed, and the officers and men who executed, this important undertaking, had possessed, on commencing it, the experience they had afterwards acquired in the course of their operations, to which there was no parallel in the history of mankind, but to which Mr Charles Anthony Deane’s introduction of the diving helmet, and the improvements in the voltaic battery, especially that made by Professor Daniell, undoubtedly paved the way, though in the course of these operations Mr Siebe’s improved diving apparatus was used exclusively after the first year to two, as being safer and more convenient than Deane’s original pattern; and latterly plate batteries of zinc and iron were used instead of Daniell’s constant battery, having been found more convenient for firing gunpowder, though not considered better for other purposes.

Major-General Palsy has ascribed the gratifying result of his operations to the cordial, prompt and efficient aid afforded to him by the successive Admirals Superintendent and the officers of her Majesty’s Dockyard at Portsmouth, in supplying him with all the articles of store and fitments necessary, and to the skill, zeal, and indefatigable exertions of Lieutenant Symonds, who commenced, and Lieutenant Hutchinson, both of the Royal Engineers, who finished them, ably seconded by the naval commanding officers and privates of the Royal and Honorable East India Company’s Sappers and Miners, to whom the important task of preparing all the charges to be fired by the voltaic battery was entrusted; whilst the still more arduous duty of diving, including the placing of those charges, also exclusively devolved upon them for the last three years. The riggers supplied from the dockyard, of whom Mr John Clewitt and Mr Taylor were the leading men, also bore a very important part in these operations, in which they were ably assisted by the gallant pensioners or veteran seamen. Mr Blakey, the master of the sailing-lighter, with the crew of that small vessel were no less useful.

(from the Glasgow Chronicle)

We extract the following from a recent number of the London Mechanics Magazine. The Mr Walker referred to,is an ingenious townsman of our own, and his model may be seen by any who are interested in, or curious about, inventions of the kind described:-

(Patent dated May 18, 1843, Specification enrolled November 18, 1843).

“The present mode of propelling is an attempt to combine the now well tested power of the screw, with another power which has been often thought of, but never yet turned to any practical account, namely, that which is to be derived from the ejection of a column of water through a vessel in a direction opposite to that of a line of motion. It is original and ingenious, and, judging from several experiments which we have seen made, with a model boat on this plan at the Polytechnic Institution, is likely to prove highly successful. Possibly greater rates of speed may not be realized by Mr Walker’s method than before; but this, at least, is certain, that vessels can be propelled by it, against wind and tide with more than the greatest velocity of ordinary sailing vessels, without any alteration of their external form, without any increase of midship section, without any exposure to view, or injury of the means, by which this propulsion is effected, and at much less cost than is attendant on any mode of propelling by paddle-wheels yet devised. And to have accomplished so much is a great deal.”

“Mr Walker’s claim is to ‘the propelling of ships and boats, by means of a screw, or of a horizontal shaft with radial arms, which screw or shaft is caused to revolve in a horizontally inclined cylinder, or circular channel, placed inside of the vessel, (whether at bow or stern, or more or less near to the midship line) and having two or more open passages communicating with the water before and behind the cylinder.’”


The following table of American whalers at sea, on the 1st June 1843 which we have compiled from the Whalemen’s Shipping List, published at New Bedford, will afford a pretty good idea of the number of American seamen engaged in the South Sea Fishery, and also the number of vessels out of each port:-

From what Port
New Bedford
Province Town
Fall River
Free Town
New Suffolk
New London
Cold Spring
New York

Mar 23 to May 25 | Jun 01 to Aug 10 | Aug 24 to Oct 05 | Oct 12 to Dec 21


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