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The "William Metcalfe"



WILLIAM METCALFE - 1843 - London to Sydney


Master:  Captain Edward B. Philipson

Rigging:  Ship; sheathed in copper in 1834

Tonnage:  447 tons

Construction:  1834 in Sunderland

Owners:  H. Metcalfe

Port of registry:  London

Port of survey: London  

Voyage:  Sailed for Cork, Ireland from Gravesend, London on 4th November 1843, touched at Plymouth on 16th November 1843, and then set sail from Cork, Ireland on 24th November 1843 direct to Sydney, arriving in Port Jackson on 14th March 1844.


Although built as a full-rigged sailing vessel, at a subsequent refit in 1852, the vessel was changed to a barque. Later, in 1857, the William Metcalfe was to be largely reconstructed as a result of suffering severe damage at sea. In 1858, it is recorded in the Lloyds Register that she was “Wrecked” but does not indicate where or how.


This vessel made many trips to the colonies of New South Wales and Van Diemans Land from the mid 1830's to the mid 1840's, transporting initially convicts, and then later Bounty immigrants. The vessel was one of the first to carry Bounty immigrants.


Edward Philipson, the Captain of the "William Metcalfe", was accompanied on this voyage (and most voyages) by his wife. The vessel was manned by 28 crewmen, (including the Captain and a clergyman) and there was 8 passengers and 233 "Bounty Emigrants" on board the 447 ton vessel which was less than 100 feet (30 metres) in length. In addition to the crew and passengers, the vessel would have carried cows, sheep, pigs and poultry used during the voyage to provide fresh milk, eggs and meat. Unfortunately, during the voyage, five of the emigrants died and were buried at sea. A diary of the voyage has not been found, but one can only wonder at the hardships experienced during the passage.




Page last modified: 8th April 2004


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