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Built by:C. J. Mare & Co. Orchard Wharf, Blackwall
Yard No.
Launched:30th August 1852
Length:246 5/10 feet
Breadth:37 3/10 feet
Depth:25 5/10 feet
Machinery:Built by James Watt & Co. 300h.p. 14-15 knots. 55x55x36 Horizontal.
Built of:Iron.
Type:Auxiliary Screw.
Registered: At London on 17th January 1853.
Other info:Launched by Miss Major.
Official No. 25134.
History:10th December 1852. Due to sail from East India Docks for Plymouth.
15th December 1852. Due to sail from Plymouth for the Cape of Good Hope and Calcutta.
22nd January 1853. Sailed from Blackwall.
24th January 1853. Arrived at Southampton from London.
25th January 1853. Due to sail for the Cape of Good Hope and Calcutta, Captain Greig, on the consequence of the ‘Queen of the South’ not being ready.
9th February 1853. Arrived at St.Vincent.
10th February 1853. Sailed from St.Vincent.
20th February 1853. Arrived at Ascension.
10th March 1853. Arrived at the Cape of Good Hope.
14th March 1853. Sailed from Cape Town. Between this and Mauritius her engines broke down and it was arranged that her mails, passengers and cargo should be transhipped to the ‘Queen of the South’ which sailed from Mauritius.
7th April 1853. Sailed from Mauritius for England with several passengers and a cargo, of sugar,(3,000 to 4,000 bags), wool and tallow.
14th April 1853. Between Cape L’Aguilhas and Danger Point she experienced a server gale of eight-six hours, she had to get up steam to run one engine, and thus kept herself off the lee shore.
3rd May 1853. Arrived at Simon’s Bay, having made the passage from Mauritius, under sail, in nineteen days. She experienced a severe gale of 86 hours duration, between Cape L’Agulhas and Point Danger. She is returning to England in order to undergo repairs.
7th May 1853. Sailed from the Cape of Good Hope.
21st May 1853. Arrived at St.Helena.
27th May 1853. Arrived at Ascension and transferred her mails from Mauritius, St. Helena and the Cape of Good Hope to the ‘Magdalena’.
29th May 1853. Experienced a gale which carried away her topmast.
2nd July 1853. Arrived at Plymouth, from Cape Town under sail, and her forward air-pump is out of order, being worn through, sailed and arrived at Southampton.
24th August 1853. Sailed from Gravesend for the Cape of Good Hope.
2nd September 1853. Went for trail runs in Stokes Bay after a thorough overhaul.
15th September 1853. Sailed from Southampton, at 4 p.m., for India, after having her machinery thoroughly adjusted. Captain Henry B. Benson. Taking out £50,000 on freight, of which £22,000 was in gold and £500 in silver, all for Mauritius, and £27,500 in silver for Calcutta.
16th September 1853. Arrived and sailed from Plymouth.
30th September 1853. Arrived at St. Vincent.
10th October 1853. Arrived at Ascension.
25th October 1853. Arrived at Cape Town.
30th October 1853. Sailed from Cape Town for India.
2nd December 1853. Arrived at Madras.
4th December 1853. Sailed from Madras with Lieut. and Mrs. Slaiden and Dr. G. M. Govan for Calcutta.
7th December 1853. Sailed from Calcutta.
15th January 1854. Sailed from Calcutta with 95 passengers, and a full and valuable cargo of silk and indigo.
20th January 1854. Sailed from Madras.
24th January 1854. Sailed from Ceylon.
31st January 1854. One of the fan blades broke off.
8th February 1854. Arrived at Mauritius and after coaling sailed for the Cape.
20th February 1854. Arrived at Cape Town. On the day of her arrival a fatal accident occurred, which threw a gloom over every one on board. It appears that the shears employed for the purpose of lifting the broken screw previous to fixing a new one capsized, carrying away the after guys, and, being above the poop-deck at the time, the shears and fan fell forward, nearly breaking through the poop. The chief officer, Mr. Bryer, saw the danger, pushed others from it, fell underneath, and was killed on the spot. The chief engineer, Mr. Willcox, had his arm broken, and was otherwise injured; he was conveyed on shore to the hospital, where every attention was paid him. One fireman was slightly hurt; the other officers and men were saved by the energy of Mr. Bryer, who was an excellent officer.
25th February 1854. Sailed from Cape Town for Plymouth after fixing a new screw and coaling.
6th March 1854. Sailed from St. Helena.
10th March 1854. Sailed from Ascension. When 143 miles of St. Vincent, working against a strong north-east trade wind and current, it was found that there was not sufficient fuel on board to convey her there. It was agreed to bear away for St. Jago for further supplies, but when within two hours’ sail of that island the wind died away, and the current drifted the steamer out to sea again. It was then determined to bear away for St. Vincent, which was accordingly done, but having beaten about for five days against a strong north-east trade wind without gaining any ground, and the stock and water getting scarce, it was resolved, with so large a number of people on board, to give up the fruitless attempt, and to steer for the Azores.
27th March 1854. Due to arrive at Southampton from India.
10th April 1854. Arrived in Horto Bay, Azores, and dropped anchor at 7 p.m.
13th April 1854. Sailed from Fayal (Azores) after coaling and taking in supplies.
13th April 1854. A Mrs. Shellito, a passenger on board, died and was buried at sea.
20th April 1854. Arrived at Plymouth bringing the mail from Calcutta. 21st April 1854. Arrived at Southampton from Melbourne with 96 passengers, and a cargo of silk and indigo. The delay in the arrival by 25 days was occasioned by detention at Calcutta, and her fuel running short on her passage. At the Cape chief officer Bryer was killed by the falling of a pair of shears, while tightening the screw, and the chief engineer had his arm broken.
1854. Under charter by the Government.
3rd May 1854. Due to sail in a few days time with troops for the East.
12th May 1854. Ordered to proceed to Portsmouth to embark troops, and will take out nearly 1,000 men, besides camp equipment, ammunition, stores, etc.
19th May 1854. Sailed from Southampton for Portsmouth to embark the 42nd Royal Highlanders for the East’
9th July 1854. Mr. Wootton, chief engineer took the company to court for wrongful dismissal.
2nd November 1854. Arrived at Madras.
16th December 1854. Sailed from Constantinople.
30th December 1854. Arrived at Marseilles.
14th January 1855. Arrived at Marseilles from Constantinople.
26th January 1855. Arrived at Malta from Marseilles.
8th February 1855. Sailed from Constantinople.
18th February 1855. Arrived at Marseilles.
7th May 1855. At Genoa.
8th July 1855. Took in tow the ‘City of London’ 29 miles to Gibraltar, as being disabled by having been run into by a bark.
20th July 1855. Nearing Cowes about 6 o’clock, Her Majesty and Prince Albert, the King of the Belgians, and both Royal families, went alongside her in the ‘Fairy’, and the Queen was pleased to inquire minutely of Captain Baker into the state of the gallant fellows, the nature of their wounds, and their general health, on which Her Majesty exhibited the deepest interest and sympathy. On Her Majesty taking leave the officers, crew, and invalids on board manned her bulwarks, poop, and rigging, and some of the yards and tops, and vociferously cheered the Royal personages, who graciously acknowledged the tribute from the deck of the ‘Fairy’. The ‘Hydaspes’ arrived at Spithead in the evening.
23rd July 1855. Sailed from Portsmouth in the afternoon for Southampton Docks, for a refit.
17th September 1855. Sailed for Plymouth to embark troops for the Crimea. She has a large number of shells as cargo. She embarked 282 men and 14 horses.
26th November 1855. Arrived at Malta from Kazatch, Constantinople, and Kululse with the greater portion of the cargo of ordnance stores and ammunition (shell and shot amounting to 600 tons) which she carried out to the Crimea from England in September last, and which she is now under orders to convey to Spithead; but, in consequence of her cargo having been found very heavy in bad weather in which she strained and laboured very greatly, a great portion of it was taken out at Malta.
17th December 1855. Arrived at Spithead.
19th December 1855. Went into Portsmouth harbour to land invalids and stores.
3rd January 1856. At a home port has been ordered by the Admiralty to be paid off from the transport service.
25th January 1856. Re-chartered by the Government for the transport service.
February 1856. She was involved in a deal with French buyers, the price included stores as well. The Societe Generale des Clippers Francais paid a deposit but when they defaulted on further payments the transaction fell through leaving the ship in the hands of the General Screw Steam Shipping Co.
18th February 1856. The General Screw Company have received an intimation that the Government might require the use of their four large ships now lying in Southampton Docks – the ‘Calcutta’, ‘Argo’, ‘Hydaspes’, and ‘Queen of the South’, for the transport service. The company are acting upon the intimation, and the vessels are being prepared for sea.
30th February 1856. At Southampton ready to embark troops for the Crimea.
3rd March 1856. Lying at Southampton engaged in the transport service.
6th March 1856. Embarked the Horse Artillery.
8th March 1856. Captain Hyde, transport No. 87, sailed from Southampton with four officers, 120 men and 200 horses, also four clerks of the Commissariat Department, plus a few sergeants belonging to the Connaught Rangers.
22nd March 1856. Arrived at Malta from Gibraltar and Southampton.
23rd March 1856. Sail from Malta for Constantinople.
March 1856. Disembarked her horses and troops at Constantinople.
17th May 1856. Arrived at Malta from Genoa.
18th May 1856. Sailed from Malta for Constantinople.
5th June 1856. Arrived at Malta from Balaklava and sail for England the same day.
18th June 1856. Arrived at Lisbon, coaled, and sailed for Spithead.
25th June 1856. Arrived at Spithead. She experienced strong headwinds from Gibraltar; will disembark her troops tomorrow.
30th July 1856. Arrived at Malta from Constantinople, Smyrna, and Syra, bring 57 French and 21 Swiss officers, non-commissioned officers, and privates, and left on the same day for Marseilles.
19th October 1856. Arrived at Malta from Marseilles.
6th March 1857. Owned by the European and American Steam Shipping Company.
30th May 1857. Sailed from Antwerp for Southampton.
4th June 1857. Sailed from Southampton for Lisbon and the Brazils, Captain Bown.
9th June 1857. Arrived at Lisbon at 9 a.m.
11th June 1857. Sailed at daybreak from Lisbon with all her cargo space taken.
17th July 1857. Sailed from Rio de Janeiro.
22nd July 1857. Sailed from Bahia.
25th July 1857. Sailed from Pernambuco.
5th August 1857. Sailed from St. Vincent.
12th August 1857. Sailed from Madeira.
18th August 1857. Sailed from Lisbon.
24th August 1857. Arrived at Southampton with 47 passengers, 8,987 bags of coffee, and 36 packages of sundries.
7th September 1857. Went down to Woolwich on the nights tide and moored alongside the Arsenal pier, for the embarkation of troops.
15th September 1857. Lying off Woolwich Arsenal.
19th September 1857. Sailed from Woolwich for Calcutta with troops who are deriving great benefit from the light fatigue clothing and straw hats provided for the voyage.
30th September 1857. Arrived at St. Vincent’s. Coaled.
2nd November 1857. Reported in the ‘Morning Chronicle’ of the loss of the ‘Hydaspes’ which was entirely without foundation.
5th November 1857. Touched at the Cape of Good Hope.
14th December 1857. Arrived at Galle.
16th December 1857. Sailed from Galle.
30th December 1857. Arrived at Calcutta. Captain Bown, commander, was presented by the officers of the Royal Artillery with a silver salver, accompanied by a very handsome note from Lieutenant-Colonel C.J.B. Riddell, in which he thus expresses the feelings of himself and brother officers:- “We shall all have the recollections of a pleasant voyage of the ‘Hydaspes’, in which nothing was left undone on your part to promote the comfort of the officers and men on board and make their voyage pass as pleasantly as possible.” The salver bore a suitable inscription, with the names and ranks of all the officers.
1857. Owned by R. W. Crawford & others.
1858. Owned by T. Howard.
2nd February 1858. Re-chartered by the Indian Government for a short period for employment in troop service on the India station.
16th February 1858. Arrived at Cape of Good Hope to embark 80 horses.
3rd March 1858. Sailed from the Cape of Good Hope with 200 horses for India.
17th March 1858. Arrived at Mauritius with horses for Calcutta, the ship being in charge of the chief officer, her commander, Captain Henry Bown, having met with a severe accident from a fall down the companion ladder a few hours after leaving the Cape, producing concussion of the brain. He received every attention from the surgeon of the ship, and on arrival at the Mauritius the best medical aid there available was called in, and the result of the consultation was that Captain Bown was taken on shore and left there, the vessel proceeded in command of the chief officer.
1st June 1858. Sailed from Calcutta for England.
10th June 1858. Arrived at Madras.
12th June 1858. Sailed from Madras. A letter from Captain Bown, at the Mauritius, reports that he is much improved in health, and that he was fast recovering from the effects of the serious accident which compelled his detention at that port.
September 1858. The ‘Pera’ was at Malta with Captain Bown onboard travelling back to England after he had recovered from the severe accident which compelled him to leave the vessel at Mauritius.
1859. Owned by W. M. Holmes & another.
22nd August 1860. At Malta.
18th December 1860. Ship taken over by the East India and London Shipping Company.
25th October 1861. Arrived at Madras, Captain Forster, with Capt. and Mrs. Barton and child, Lieuts. McGregor, Keith, and Grant, Surg. Maj. Clinned, Mr. and Mrs. Shaw and family, Miss Tatham, F. Child, Esq., A. Case, Esq., R. Wade, Esq., Lieut. Queen.
24th August 1862. Lloyd’s were informed by telegram, via Jubal, by the East India and London Shipping Company, announcing the safe arrival of their steamship at Calcutta, having made, including detention at Madras, the quickest passage on record. She arrived at Madras in sixty-five days, Saugor Roads in sixty eight days, and anchored at Calcutta within sixty-nine days after her departure from England.
21st December 1862. Passed Plymouth going up Channel for London with 68 cabin and 27 steerage passengers, and a cargo including 1,134 bales of cotton, two cases of ostrich feathers valued at £14,000., a quantity of silks (raw and manufactured), wool, skins, linseed, rapeseed, lac dye, etc.
22nd December 1862. Passed Deal for London from India.
23rd December 1862. Arrived at Gravesend from Calcutta.
16th November 1863. Arrived in London from the East Indies.
17th November / 4th December 1863. Eight days were occupied in refitting, and the remainder in discharging and loading.
28th November 1863. Reported to have got ashore on the Pan Sands, off the Reculvers, where she remained some time, but with assistance eventually got off.
5th December 1863. Sailed from Gravesend for the Cape and Calcutta.
6th December 1863. Grounded on the Girdler Flats, off Margate, but floated off with the rising tide without any assistance. No damage apparent through her grounding, but the vessel will probably be examined at Plymouth.
7th December 1863. Off the Eddystone, Commander George H. Forster, R.N., from London for the Cape of Good Hope, Madras, and Calcutta. She has mail for the Cape, and a full cargo, including a marble monument to the late Captain Sir W. Peel, R.N., to be erected in Calcutta, and a quantity of rare birds and animals under the care of an officer from the Zoological Society. She takes eighty-eight cabin passengers. She dropped the pilot off at Plymouth
8th December 1863. Returned back to Plymouth due to bad weather.
9th December 1863. Sailed from Plymouth for the Cape.
28/29th March 1864. The crew charged with mutiny after refusing to do duty. Two men were later sentenced to imprisonment.
8th April 1864. Sailed from Calcutta, Captain G. H. Forster.
14th April 1864. Arrived at Madras.
22nd April 1864. Sailed from Madras.
27th May 1864. Arrived at the Cape of Good Hope.
1st June 1864. Sailed from the Cape of Good Hope. She brings about 140 cabin and thirty-four steerage passengers, among whom are Major Arbuthnet and Captains Graves, Styles, Briard, Robinson, and Wale. Her cargo includes linseed, rapeseed, rice, coffee, cotton, indigo. Hides, shellac and wool. She also brings the following animals for the Zoological Society:- Three rhinoceros, an elephant, nine tortoise (of immense size), a young Indian cheta, hornbills in two varieties, cassowaries, tantilus, Javanese peafowl, lineated pheasants, one peacock pheasant, rufus-tailed pheasants, Indian cuckoos, and rose-coloured starlings.
27th February 1864. Owned by the East India and London Steam Shipping Company, and will sail between Plymouth, Cape of Good Hope, Madras, and Calcutta.
June 1865. Owned by Captain R. W. Pelly, RN, & another.
12th August 1865. Sailed from Gravesend for Calcutta with 499 men, (troops and officers) 67 women, and 72 children.
15th August 1865. At 2 p.m. was near the Eddystone under steam and fore and aft canvas. In coming down Channel very hard winds from the westward were experienced. In the evening she landed the pilot, (Mr. Moore) at Plymouth.
1867. Owned by Captain R. W. Pelly.
June 1868. Owned by Messrs. Park Brothers, of London. Engines removed and was chartered to Shaw Savill & Co.
25th July 1868. Sailed for Canterbury with the following passengers:- The Rev. Mr. Thomson and lady, Rev. Mr. Pember and family, Captain Lewis, Dr. Jameson and Miss Jameson, Mr. and Mrs. Peez, Mrs. Cornwall and family, Miss M’Swiney, Messrs. Collins, Jones, Darley, Thomason, Portal, Wilemans, Cartwright, Nathan, Rose, Deans, Fulton, Whitty, Hood; and a full complement of second-class and steerage passengers.
28th October 1868. Arrived at Lyttleton from London.
3rd July 1869. Sail from Gravesend, at 6 p.m., for New Zealand.
9th July 1869. Sighted the Scilly Islands.
5th August 1869. Crossed the Equator.
30th August 1869. Passed the meridian of the Cape of Good Hope.
24th September 1869. Passed the meridian of Tasmania.
28th September 1869. Off Otago Heads.
29th September 1869. Anchored off Port Levy.
30th September 1869. Towed into Lyttleton by the ‘Wellington’. Brought out four Durham bulls and two hedgehogs. Four left Gravesend, but two died during the voyage. The immigrants were landed by the p.s. ‘Novelty’.
30th September 1869. Arrived at Lyttleton.
28th January 1870. Sailed from Lyttelton for London.
5th February 1870. Mr. Gilbert Stewart died on board.
13th May 1870. At Gravesend from Canterbury.
August 1870. Arrived at Melbourne.
26th September 1870. At Melbourne.
17th May 1871. Arrived at Melbourne.
23rd June 1872. Sailed from Gravesend for Lyttleton.
24th June 1872. Parted with the pilot off the Owers.
27th June 1872. Passed Cape Ushant.
29th July 1872. Crossed the Equator in 29deg. West.
21st August 1872. Passed the meridian of the Cape of Good Hope.
31st August 1872. Mrs M. Ramsay was confined of a female child.
17th September 1872. No ice seen and passed the Snares.
19th September 1872. Bessie Coffey died from rapid consumption.
20th September 1872. Arrived at the Heads and towed by the tug ‘Geelong’ to her berth in the evening with a full cargo of merchandise.
21st September 1872. The emigrants and passengers were brought to Dunedin by the p.s. ‘Golden Age’.
4th December 1872. Arrived at Melbourne from Dunedin.
27th July 1873. Sailed from London for Auckland with 208 immigrants and a number of saloon passengers. Captain Babot.
28th July 1873. When tacking ship, working the mainsail, the weather main sheet threw three of the male passengers overboard. The ship was immediately backed and one of the unfortunates was promptly hauled on board. Life-buoys were thrown to the others, one of whom could swim, and he reached a buoy; the other could not swim and his struggles were witnessed from the ship. The life-boat was rushed to his rescue, and reached the spot as he was sinking for the third time. Mr Watson, the third officer, dived from the boat and brought him up. After a couple of hours on board the youth recovered.
19th October 1873. Arrived in Auckland.
11th August 1874. Sailed from Gravesend with 350 immigrants for Auckland. Captain Babot.
11th September 1874. Scarlet fever had broken out on board.
23rd October 1874. The last case of scarlet fever which had broke out on board. In all 12 deaths.
6th November 1874. Arrived at Auckland and placed into quarantine.
24th February 1875. At Sydney and cleared for London with a very large cargo of wool, etc; and a full complement of passengers, both in the saloon and steerage.
3rd March 1875. Sailed for London from Sydney.
26th June 1875. Arrived in London.
16th November 1875. Arrived at Melbourne from London and berthed at the Sandridge railway pier.
18th November 1875. Three seamen charged with embezzling the cargo of the ship.
11th December 1875. Sailed from London for Melbourne. E. S. Babot.
25th January 1876. Sailed from Melbourne for London with Saloon passengers Mrs. Edward Ashley, Miss Emily Ashley, Miss Alice Ashley, Mrs. Richard Heales, Miss Heales, Mrs. R. G. Daly, Miss Annie Daly, Miss Mary Daly, Mrs. William M’Lean, Miss Ethel Mary M’Lean, Miss Arnot, Miss Compton, Dr. William Dyas, Albert Ashley, Charles Frederick Heales, and Norman M’Lean.
7th June 1876. Due to sail from London for Adelaide for the Devitt & Moore’s Australian Line.
18th June 1876. Sailed from Plymouth, Captain E. S. Babot, for Adelaide, South Australia, chartered by the Agent-General for South Australia. Carrying 665 emigrants who are under the care of Dr. Husband, surgeon superintendent, and Dr. Langston, assistant-surgeon. The emigrants consist of the usual assortment of agricultural and other labourers, miners, and mechanics, and include 84 single young women, who are under the special care of a matron, Mrs. Hart.
1st September 1876. Arrived at Adelaide.
7th January 1877. Sailed from Adelaide for London.
25th April 1877. Arrived at London from Adelaide.
19th July 1877. Sailed from London for Melbourne.
13th October 1877. Arrived at Hobson’s Bay, Melbourne.
15th October 1877. Arrived at Queenscliff from London.
5th January 1878. Sailed from Melbourne for London with passengers, Cabin – Mrs. E. S. Babot, Miss Battams, Miss Binet, Miss Essie, M. Tate, Messrs. John Caulfield, Thos. Tate, Phillip Binet, Allison, plus cargo 7,186 bales wool, 347 casks tallow, 1,320 bags bark, 42 bales leather, 70 bales sheepskins, 1,000 cases preserved meats, 13 bales basils, 9 bales rabbit skins, 47 casks antimony, 3 cases Exhibition goods.
10th August 1878. Sailed from Plymouth with 329 emigrants. Dr. Dunkley, surgeon-superintendent.
9th November 1878. Arrived at Lyttelton.
13th March 1879. Sailed from Lyttelton for London.
17th June 1879. Arrived at London from Lyttelton.
25th July 1879. Due to sail from the South-West India Docks, London.
30th July 1879. Sailed from Chatham for Melbourne.
3rd August 1879. Sailed from Plymouth.
17th October 1879. Arrived at Port Phillip Bay from London.
18th October 1879. Arrived at Melbourne.
18th July 1880. While on chartered to Houlder Brothers, bound from London for Melbourne with 40 passengers (plus 3 stowaways) and a crew of 47, in tow of the tug ‘Napoleon’, Captain William Houghton, sank off Dungeness, after colliding in a fog with the steamship ‘Centurion’, Captain George Mitchell, from Almira, Spain, for London with a cargo of ivory and esparto grass, and a crew of 27; all the passengers and crew were saved by the tug ‘Centurion’.
18th July 1880. The wreck was visited, and several articles found floating near the spot have been recovered. The mainmast and foremast were standing a considerable distance above water at half flood. It is rather a remarkable fact that Luke Short, the quartermaster, who was at the wheel when the collision happened, held a precisely similar office on board the ‘Strathclyde’, and was at the wheel of that vessel when she was run into and sunk off Dover.
September 1880. Registry closed.

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