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Kapunda, 1887

Great Disaster At Sea
Loss Of Two Or Three Hundred Lives

Illustrated London News, February 5, 1887

A terrible disaster to a British emigrant-ship, bound for Australia, took place on the 20th ult., off the coast of Brazil. The Kapunda, a sailing-vessel, built of iron, 1095 tons register, owned by Messrs. Trinder, Anderson, and Co., of London, left London on Dec. 11, and Plymouth on Dec 18. She was bound for Fremantle, Western Australia, and had on board four cabin passengers, 268 steerage passengers, Dr. Bentham (the surgeon in charge), and a crew of forty. She was commanded by Captain John Masson. News came on Monday from Pernambuco that the Ada Melmore, barque, of Belfast, from Coquimbo, and the Kapunda had been in collision, and both vessels had sunk south of Maceio. Part of the crew and passengers of the Kapunda-namely, the first mate (Mr. W. Cottrell), the carpenter, baker, and five seamen, with eight male passengers, were picked up by the Ulysses, French barque, and landed at Rio, and a number of others were landed at Maceio. The Ada Melmore was an iron, barque of 591 tons, built at Glasgow in 1877, and owned by Messrs. W. Porter and Sons, Belfast. It was not, certainly known, up to Wednesday how many were saved and landed at Maceio, or whether these belonged to the Kapunda or to the Ada Melmore, which was abandoned by her crew in a sinking condition. But the number lost on board the Kapunda must exceed 200, in any case, and may be nearly 300; there are, indeed, 298 missing, which includes all the women and children. It was impossible to lower any of the boats from the Kapunda. The full list of passengers is published in the London daily papers of Wednesday.

Sinking Of An Emigrant Ship
Great Loss of Life

The Times, Tuesday, February 1, 1887

Lloyd's agent at Bahia, under date of January 31, telegraphs as follows:-"Ulysse, French barque, arrived, having on board the crew of the Kapunda, London for Australia, lost at sea-run down and sunk by a vessel name unknown. Three hundred and sixty of the crew and passengers drowned."

A further telegram from Lloyd's agent at Bahia, dated Jan. 31, 2 20 p.m., states that a portion of the crew and passengers were saved, 203 in number being lost. The Kapunda had been in collision with the Ada Melmore, British barque, from Coquimbo for England, with ore, which vessel received extensive damage, and bore up for Pernambuco in imminent danger.

Lloyd's agents at Pernambuco telegraph under date Jan. 31, 3 20 p.m., that the Ada Melmore, barque, of Belfast, from Coquimbo, and the British ship Kapunda, from Plymouth for Australia, had been in collision, and that both vessels sank south of Maceio. The former lost two, the latter 302 lives. Part of the crew and passengers were picked up by the Ulysse, French barque, and landed at Rio, and part of the crew and passengers landed at Maceio.

Lloyd's agent at Bahia telegraphed at 10 minutes to 4 yesterday afternoon:-"Part of the crew and passengers of the Kapunda have been landed here. Their names are:- Crew.— Cottrell, Norman, Meicks, Anderson, Hughes, Forbes, Maimter (who remained on board the Ada Melmore). Passengers.— Wiggins, Barnes, Daly, Russell, O'Calahan, Sandford, Reece, Broadhurst. All females perished." Other passengers and some of the crew have, it is understood, been landed at Rio de Janeiro and Maceio, and until the names of these have been received it will be impossible to state with certainty the actual loss of life, which, however, will not be less than 200. Of the names mentioned in Lloyd's telegram, Cottrell was the first mate, Meicks the baker, Forbes the carpenter, Norman and Maimter were ordinary seamen, and Anderson and Hughes able seamen. The only name in the passenger list resembling O'Calahan is that of Catherine O'Callaghan, and it is assumed that this person has been saved, notwithstanding the statement by Lloyd's agent that all females perished.

contributed by David Asprey
Although the names of the eight emigrant survivors that were landed at Bahia have been noted, British consular correspondence from there gives a little more detail about them (it is already reported that they were sent back to England on the ss Patagonia, leaving Bahia 9 Feb):
Philip DALY - 28 - Co Meath
Cornelius O'CALLAGHAN - 20 - Kerry
Henry BARNES - 20 - London
William King RUSSELL - 23 - Canavan, Co Clare
Noah BROADHURST - 43 - Brailey Hill, Staffs.
J T REECE - 17 - Mount Pleasant, nr Durham
K WIGGINS - 18 - Notting Hill, London
Robert SANDFORD - 23 - Belfast

The Kapunda was chartered by the Crown Agents for the conveyance of emigrants to Western Australia, and sailed from Plymouth on December 18 last. We are requested to state that there is obviously some error in the statement from Bahia that 360 of the passengers and the crew were drowned, as there were only 313 souls on board-vis., 268 emigrants, four cabin passengers, and 41 crew. The Crown Agents have telegraphed to Bahia for further particulars which will be published immediately after their arrival.

Messrs. Trinder, Anderson, and Co., the owners of the Kapunda, received no message with reference to the calamity except through Lloyd's, but on hearing of it they at once telegraphed for particulars, which they expect to receive to-day.

The Kapunda was an iron ship of 1,095 tons registered, and was classed "100 A1 special survey." She was built on the Clyde in 1875. She left London on December 11, and called at Plymouth. She was bound for Fremantle, Western Australia, and had on board, it is stated, four cabin passengers, 268 steerage passengers, Dr. Bentham (the surgeon in charge), and a crew of 40. She was commanded by Captain John Masson, who had been a number of years in the service of the owners. The vessel had about 600 tons of general goods on board, and 300 tons of stone ballast. She was lightly loaded, drawing only 15ft. 2in., when she the dock. She was under the full operation of the Passenger Act, and subject to the regulations of the Board of Trade. She has several times before carried passengers to Australia. The Kapunda was one of the few vessels built specially for the firm, and was in all respects well found and thoroughly equipped. In fact, she carried one man in excess of the number required by the Board of Trade regulations to navigate the vessel. It is remarkable that she only carried on this voyage one family in the cabin, that of a Mr. Field, who was on his way out to the colony with his wife and children. The vessel, however, did not habitually carry many cabin passengers, her accommodation for them being somewhat limited. All the remaining emigrants were steerage passengers, mostly of the poorer classes, including a number of Scotch and Irish peasants who were going out to Western Australia in the hope of bettering their fortunes. The greater number of these embarked at Plymouth on December 18, or previous to that date, since when nothing has been heard of the vessel. Some remarkable escapes of would-be passengers in the ill-fated vessel are recorded. One of the steerage passengers, who had booked a place in the vessel, broke his arm on the day before the vessel sailed, and consequently lost his passage. Another family were prevented from sailing in the Kapunda by an outbreak of illness. The Ada Melmore was an iron barque of 591 tons, built at Glasgow in 1877, and owned by Messrs. W. Porter and Sons, Belfast.

Most of the emigrants had taken passage under what is known as the nomination system, which has almost entirely superseded the granting of free passages to the Australian colonies. By this system persons living in the colonies may nominate their friends at home, who, if ain good health and otherwise qualified, are granted passages at greatly reduced rates. Some 30 of the emigrants were proceeding to the colony under the auspices of the West Australian Land Company, which was recently formed to work the concession to construct a railway from Beverley to Albany (King George's Sound), over 200 miles in length. By the terms of their concession the company are bound to settle a certain number of emigrants in return for large grants of land. Mr. A. Hordern, the promoter of the company, only recently died on the voyage out to Fremantle. The Kapunda's passengers were drawn from all parts of the kingdom, but chiefly from the agricultural districts in England and Scotland.

The following is a list of the passengers on board the Kapunda:--

Saloon:- William Field, Ann Field, E. Kate Field, Henry Field.

Paying Steerage:- Malcolm Graham, Horace Tarbuck, William N. Cooke, Samuel Green, Kate Green, Elsie Green, Gertrude Green, Iny Green, Reginald Green, Rosina Green, Matthew Sharp, Gibeon Symington, Samuel Harper, Thomas Holyoak, Edith Holyoak, Alice Whittle, Alfred M. Hadow.

Land Company's Passengers:- Joseph Liddle, Ellen Liddle, James Liddle, infant (Liddle), Michael Boland, Lizzie Boland, Michael Boland, Nora Boland, John J. Boland, Mary K. Boland, Patrick Green, John Phelan, William King Russell, Philip Daly, William Essex, George Gillelands, John Kenealy, William Burgoyne, John Marten, John Broad, Mary Ann Broad, George Broad, William Broad, John Broad, Richard Broad, Elisha Griffiths, Jane Griffiths, William Griffiths, John Griffiths, James Griffiths, Albert Griffiths, Gertrude Griffiths, John McSherry, Thomas McSherry.

Emigrants:- James Aickin, George Anderson, Thomas Aplin, Catherine Bairn, Henry Baker, Ellen Baker, William Baker, Eliza Baker, Lewin Baker, Mary Barker, Henry Barnes, James Bourke, Mary Bourke, Michael Bourke, Kate Bourke, Ellen Bourke, James Bourke, Mary Bourke, James Brown, Mary Ann Brown, Matthew Brown, John Buckley, Arthur Burroughes, Esther Burroughes, Ettie Burroughes, John Byrne, Margaret Carter, Ellen Carter, James Casey, Mary Casey, William Casey, Tom Casey, Samuel Collins, Agnes Collins, George Cook, Emily Cook, George Cook, William Cook, Emily Cook, Mary Cook, Ellen Cook, Tom Danby, Eliza Danby, Enoch Danby, Thomas Dowling, Hannah Dowling, Catherine Dowling, Thomas Flannagan, James Frost, Joseph Frost, Arthur Glaster, Rebecca Glaster, George Griggs, Sarah Griggs, Alfred Griggs, Arthur Griggs, George Griggs, Walter Griggs, Alexina Graham, George Halliday, Isaac High, Harriett High, Emilene High, Amos Hooley, Sam Hooley, Frank Jost, Mary Jost, Frederick Jost, Catherine Jost, Mary Jost, Prince Jost, Laura Jost, Patrick Keeley, Jane Keeley, Agnes Kesley, James Leader, Sarah Leader, James Leader, Annie Lockwood, James Love, Henry Inerney, Patrick McMahon, John Morris, Mary Morris, Ann Morris, Emily Morris, John McBride, Bridget Moylan, Hannah Markam, Patrick Nyhan, Julia Nyhan, Catherine O'Callaghan, Thomas Platts, Annie Platts, Beatrice Platts, James Power, Mary Power, George Power, Christina Reynolds, Samuel Reynolds, William Reece, Susanah Reece, Sarah Reece, Joseph Reece, John Reece, William Reece, Alice Reece, Joseph Reece, Matilda Rice, James Rice, John Rice, Emily Rice, Joseph Roberts, Frances Roberts, Frederick Roberts, Joseph Roberts, Michael Russell, John Russell, Hannah Salt, Robert Sandford, William Shaw, Eliza Shaw, James Sheriff, Ann Sheriff, Mary Sheriff, James Sheriff, William Sheriff,Jane Sheriff, Maggie Sheriff, Charles Sheriff, Rachael Sheriff, Frederick Shrive, Ada Shrive, Frederick Shrive, Frederick Sneye, William Spriggs, William Thompson, Jane Thompson, Stephen Tolladay, Ellen Tolladay, Stephen Tolladay, George Tolladay, Robert Turnbull, Jane Turnbull, James Waller, Charlotte Waller, Charlotte Waller, William H. Webb, Aron Weiss, Thomas Whittle, Nancy Whittle, Alice Whittle, Thomas Whittle, Annie Whittle, Mary Whittle, John Whittle, Morris Whittley, Martha Whittley, Digman Whittley, Albert Whittley, Robert Wiggins, James Wilson, Mary Wilson, Barbara Young, John Young, Emma Gaultier, Martha Field, Emily Blake, Agnes Sargent, Elizabeth Tilling, Mary Ann Wright, Emily Scrutton, Frances Alexander, Louisa Jacques, Eleanor Shore, Harriet Brown, Rose Brown, Esther Ellis, Ada Blake, Eliza Thane, Agnes Purcer, Alice Thick, Mary Skelton, Florence Harrison, Mable Skinner, Annie Warner, Mary Dawson, Mary Postlethwaite, Ellen Danby, Jane Irvine, Emma Hooper, Nora Broadhurst, Emma Broadhurst, Emma Broadhurst, Mary Broadhurst, Annie Broadhurst, Martha Broadhurst, Nora Broadhurst, David Broadhurst, Reuben Broadhurst, Charlotte Adams, Catherine Honey, Emily Hall, Mary Evans, Charles Brown, Martha Brown, Walter Brown, Ada Brown, Maud Brown, William Brown, Richard Brown, Charles Wood, Elizabeth Wood, Elizabeth Wood, William Wood, John Wood, Gertrude Wood, James Casey.

List of the Crew:- John Masson, master ; W. Cottrell, first mate ; A.D. Robin, second mate ; H.N. Claringbold, third mate ; Andrew Forbes, carpenter ; H. Weever, purser and steward ; William Guy, cook ; J. Thompson, sailmaker ; J. Journeaux, H. McDonald, W. Delacour, S. Nelson, J. Neils, William Lackes, O. Abrahamson, J. Carperson, J. Gellberg, G. Ringer, A. Anderson, J. Hughes, able seamen ; W. Emery and W. Norman, ordinary seamen ; O. Cupiss, emigrant steward ; G. W. Stephens, emigrant cook ; F. Meick, baker ; J. Freeman, donkeyman ; John Mann, Thomas Gordon, Edward Phelan, Charles Myers, R. Kersey, C. Hogland, H. Edwards, able seaman ; H. Hartington, L. Mounter, A. Phillips, E. Boyes, C. Sands, F. Kemsley, J. Crawford, ordinary seamen ; N. Bentham, doctor.

The West Australian, Perth, WA. Wednesday 2 February 1887, p.3
Much consternation was felt in Perth And Fremantle, yesterday morning, at the news, which spread like wild-fire, that Messrs. Trinder, Anderson and Co's ship Kapunda, 1095 tons, bound for Fremantle with emigrants, had come into collision with a vessel unknown and had almost immediately sunk, bearing down with her 365 souls. The Kapunda left London on the 11th December last, and Plymouth on the 18th. The collision probably occurred in the Atlantic, off the coast of Brazil, some of the crew having, it would appear, been picked up by a French vessel and taken in to Bahia. Out of the 365 passengers, if the Kapunda carried that number which could be doubtful, for our shipping Correspondent reported to us that, of adult emigrants, she had only 277 on board, 217 were for Western Australia. Of these 154 had been nominated by their friends, 34 were selected for the W. A. Land Company and 29 single girls for our Board of Immigration. Whether the remainder of the passengers were persons paying their own passages to this colony, or emigrants for the eastern colonies does not appear. The large proportion of nominated passengers is a specially noticeable feature in this terrible catastrophe as the greater part of them have friends or near relatives in West Australia, to whom the news must prove a painful shock. The horror of the accident comes home to us all the more vividly from the details of the Keilawarra disaster being still fresh in our memory, and enabling us clearly to picture the dreadful scene of crash, confusion and sudden death. It seems hardly probable that all the emigrants were lost unless the ship with which the Kapunda came into collision, either sailed off and left the sinking vessel to her fate, or went down with her. If she had done the latter it would almost certainly have been reported. So, almost incredible though it seems we are obliged to arrive at the conclusion that the colliding vessel did not stand by the emigrant ship. Otherwise, it is difficult to account for the survivors of the crew who, apparently, must have provided for their safety in the Kapunda's boats being taken into port by another vessel instead of by that which had brought disaster to their own. However, all hope need not yet be lost that some few of the emigrant passengers were rescued and will yet be returned to their friends, although, from the terms of the telegram, it seems only too evident that the survivors are under the impression that they alone were saved.
Below we give a full list of the emigrants for this colony :
NOMINATED. (The names and residences of the nominators appear in parentheses}
Aickin, Jas., (W. Riddell, Perth) ; Anderson, Geo., (J. Gibbney, Perth) ; Aplin, Thos., (J. Waters. Albany) ; Baker, Henry, Ellen, William H., Eliza J., Lewin J. C., Mary E., (F. Bennett, Fremantle) ; Barnes, Henry, (H. Tate, Fremantle) ; Bourke, Jas., Mary, Michael, Kate, Ellen, James, Mary, (R. Maggs, Perth) ; Broadhurst, Noah, Emma, Martha, Noah, David, Reuben, Emma, Mary, Annie, (M. A. Jones, Perth) ; Brown, Joseph H., Mary A., Matthew, (F. Blood, Northampton) ; Brown, Charles, Martha, Walter, Ada, Maud, William J., Richard, (W. Powell, Fremantle) ; Buckley, Jno. (A. Maher, Guildford) ; Burroughes, Arthur F. Esther, Ettick, (W. Golden, Perth) ; Byrne, Jno., (Watson & Co. Perth) ; Carter, Margaret, Ellen : Casey James, (P. O'Connor, Perth) ; Casey, James, Mary, William, Thomas, (Watson & Co., Perth) ; Cook, Geo. , Emily, George, William, Emily, Mary, Ellen, (J. Cook, Albany) ; Collins, Samuel, Agnes, (J. Loveday, Fremantle) ; Danby, Thos., Eliza, Enoch, (J. Appleton, Perth) ; Dowling, Thos., Hannah, Catherine, (J. Barron, Fremantle) ; Flanagan, Thos., Frost, Jas., Jos., (M. Shannon, Albany) ; Gloster, Arthur, Rebecca. (E. Wimbridge) ; Perth) ; Griggs, Geo. Sarah E., Alfred, Arthur, Geo., Walter, (J. A. Halliday, Perth) Graham, Alesina (R. Graham, Fremantle) ; Halliday, W.G., (C. Counsel, Jarrahdale) ; High, Isaac, Harriet, Emeline, (F. W. Rudd, Perth) ; Hooley, Amos, Samuel, (D. Birch, Geraldton) ; Jost, Fred, Mary Fred., Mary, Prince, Laura, Catherine, (A. M'Ewan, Perth) ; Keely, Patrick, Jane, Agnes, (J. Keely, Albany) ; Leeder, Jas., Sarah, James (J. Wray, Albany) ; Lockwood. Annie (T. Rands, Jarrahdale) ; Love, James (T. Love, Fremantle) ; M'Inerney, Henry ; M'Mahon, Patrick (M. Shannon, Albany) ; Morris, John. Mary, Ann, Emily (A. M'Ewan, Perth) ; M'Bride, John (J. M'Bride, Perth) ; Moylan, Bridget . Markham, Hannah (J. Ready, Fremantle) ; Nytham, Patrick, Julia (J. Foley, Northam) ; O'Callaghan, C. (D. Connor, Newcastle) ; Platts, Thomas H., Annie, Beatrice (J. Tomlinson, Perth) ; Reice, Wm., Susannah, Sarah, John Thos., Job, William, Alice, Joseph (H. Fenny, Perth) ; Power, James, Mary, George T. (H. Monaghan, Albany) ; Reynolds. Christiana, Samuel James (J. Reynolds, Northampton) ; Rice, Matilda, James, John, Emily (P. Rice, Fremantle) ; Roberts, Joseph, Frances R., Frederick W., Joseph (J. Hayden, Fremantle) ; Russell, Michael, John (M. Shannon. Albany) ; Salt. Hannah (E. M. Salt, Fremantle) ; Sandford, Robert ; Shaw, William, Eliza (Wm. Riddell, Perth) ; Sheriff, James, Ann, Mary A., James, Jane, William, Maggie, Charles, Rachel (G. Simpson, Vasse) ; Shrive, Frederick W., Ada, Frederick J. (E. Appleton, Perth) ; Sneyd, Frederick (T. Rinds, Jarrahdale) ; Spriggs, William G. (M. Spriggs, Perth) ; Thompson, William, Jane, (J. Whittle, Fremantle) ; Tobladay, Stephen, Ellen, Stephen, Geo., (S. Soap Co., Fremantle) ; Turnbull, Robert, Jane, W. Stephens (Watson & Co., Perth) ; Walter, James, Charlotte, Rose, (J. S. Christie, Fremantle) ; Webb, William, K. (W. Collets, Perth) ; Weiss, Aaron, (J. Miller, Fremantle) ; Whittle, Thomas, Nancy, Alice, Thomas, Annie, Mary, John, (J. Whittle, Fremantle) ; Whittley, Morris J., Martha, Digman E., Albert (W. Riddell, Perth) ; Wiggins, Robert (H. Tate, Fremantle) ; Wilson, James, Mary, (W. Riddell, Perth) ; Wood, Charles, Elizabeth, Jessie, William, Charles, John, Gertrude (Harwood & Smith, Perth) ; Young, Barbara, John (W. Stephens, Watson & Co. Perth).
By Miss Ellen Barlee:— Emma Gaultier, Martha Field, Emily Blake, Agnes Sargent, Elizabeth Telling, Mary Ann Wright, Emily Scrutton, Frances Alexander, Louisa Jacques, Eleanor Shire, Harriet Brown, Rosa M. S. Brown, Esther Ellis.
By the Hon. Mrs Joyce:— Ada Blake, Eliza M. Thane, Agnes Purcer, Alice E. Thick, Mary J. Skelton, Eliza Danby, Jane Irvine, Emma Hooper, Charlotte Adams, Catherine Honey, Emily M. Hall.
By Miss Julia Blake:— Mabel E. Skinner, Annie Warner, Mary Ann Dawson, M. Ann Postlethwaite, Mary Evans.
Boland, Michael, Lizzie, John J., Mary K. Michael, Norah ; Broad, John J., Mary A., George W., William, John J., Richard ; Burgoyne, William ; Daley, Philip ; Essex, Wm. ; Green, Patrick ; Gilliland, George ; Kenealy, John ; Liddle, Joseph, Ellen, James, Jane U. S. ; Martin, John ; Phelan, John ; Russell, William K. ; Griffiths, Elisha, Jane, William P., John P., James, Albert, Gertrude V. ; M'Sherry, John, Thomas.

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