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Ian Loxton
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The "Elgin"                 A three masted barque though not The Elgin

A three-masted barque built of wood with a displacement of 548 tuns under the new measurement (Old measurement of ships based on the number of tuns or winecasks it can carry). It was built in 1847 in Maitland, Nova Scotia (Canada) and was 124 feet by 27.1 feet by 20.7 feet. At the time it made the voyage to Australia it was owned by C Walton and registered to the Port of London. The Captain was John Mann, Ship's Surgeon was William Hewer.
The ship departed Liverpool on 17 May 1849 to make its way around the coast to Portsmouth from where it finally departed on 31 May 1849. The Elgin arrived at the McLaren Wharf, Port Adelaide on 10 September 1849.

View Port Adelaide in 1840 View Port Adelaide in 1880

The following passengers were recorded as travelling to Port Adelaide on the Elgin.
[as published in SA Register of 12 Sept 1849 and from the Certificate of Final Departure 49/17]

  • Ellen Duffy 18
  • Patrick Fitzpatrick, wife and 2 children and Ann Fitzpatrick, 16
  • Michael Ganley, wife and 1 child, Honora 22 and Bridget Ganley 20
  • Albert R Loxton, wife and 2 children
  • Thomas O'Loughlin, wife and 2 children
  • Joseph O'Shaughnessy, wife and 1 child
  • James O'Sullivan, wife and 2 children
  • Alice 25 and Charlotte Cope 20
  • Mary O'Leary 35
  • Mary Shea 30
  • Julia Walsh 25

The Elgin also carried 195 Female orphans from the poor-houses of Ireland

The Register (12/9/1849) reports; "The female orphans on board the Elgin expressed themselves highly satisfied with their treatment, and the Captain says he has not a fault to find with the young women."

Here are the 'Poor Unions' that sent orphans aboard the Elgin.

190      (H.L.,1849,1083)

Source: McClaughlin, T., 1991, Barefoot and Pregnant - Irish Famine Orphans in Australia,
Genealogical Society of Victoria, ISBN 0 9 496722 5 4

It took until October 13th before the Shipping Intelligence column of the Register reported that the Elgin was "lying in the stream" and not until November 14th did they report the Elgin was "loading for London" but as of the Register issue of December 29th the Elgin was still in Port Adelaide awaiting loading.

Most of this delay was attributable to the delay in finding places for the orphans. Although the Office of the Children Apprenticeship Board advertised in the Register of Saturday 15th September that
"The Elgin, with female orphans, arrived. Applicant desirous of availing themselves of their Services, are requested to attend, in person or by proxy, at the Office of the Secretary, Native School, on and after Friday next, the 14th instant.
It is recommended that the orphans be removed immediately after the arrangements have been made.
Signed M. MOORHOUSE, Secretary to the Board."

The October 13th Report of the Board mentioned that "... The orphans per the Elgin arrived on the 10th September last, but are meeting with situations at a slow rate. The vessel has been nearly one month in Port, and there are at this date, 109 unhired. ..."

Cargo arriving on the Elgin: (according to the Shipping Intelligence column of the Register edition of 12 Sept 1849)

"15 crates, 212 tons of coal, order;
20 barrels of Fuses, 6 tierces of Hams, Younghusband and Co;
1 box wearing apparel, H. Jackson;
5 bags nails, 4 casks crucibles, 13 packages machinery, South Australian Mining Association."

The Elgin appeared again at Port Adelaide in 1851 but this time it only conveyed freight such as machinery and coal.
[Parsons R., 1999, Migrant Ships for South Australia 1836 - 1866, Gould Books, Gumeracha, South Australia ISBN 0 947284 36 2]

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Updated: 6 January 2007 - minor changes only