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for Georgetown and Port of Spain, and made the run
in well under 80 days. On 6th January, 1862, when
within two days sail of the Bocas, with a strong N.E.
trade, she ran 302 miles in the 24 hours. This ship
was sold by Green in 1873, to a Mr. Bagshot, later a
man named Swyny owned her, and finally Sir John
Arnot, of Cork, ran her until 1881, when she was
wrecked on the Mexican Coast while bound to
Manzanillas from Rotterdam.

The Clarence, which was also sold in 1873, possessed
the peculiarity of sailing best by the head. She is
credited with a run of 372 miles in 24 hours, when
bringing the 69th Regiment home from India in 1864.

Her sail plan, which I give in the Appendix, was a


big one, and the following measurements of the Nile's
mainmast will show the increase of length of spars
in ten years : —

Truck to crosstrees .. 51 ft.

Crosstrtto jj maintop . . 43 ft. I ins.

Maintop to nettings .. 47 ft. 6 ins.

Nettings to copper .. 16 ft. 2 ins.

The Clarence's records would, no doubt, have been
still better if she had not been commanded by Daddy
Vaile, who was one of the old-fashioned type and no
carrier of sail.

The Dover Castle, under Captain J. H. Ayles, once
came home in under 80 days from Hobson's Bay, but
I know of no unusual sailing in her records. She was
sold to Shaw Savill, and sold again to C. F. Boe, of
Arendal, and renamed Kem ; after living to a good old
age she was finally broken up.

Blackwallers in the Coolie Trade.

During the sixties, when the West Indies were
importing coolie labour for their plantations, many of
the fastest of the Blackwall frigates were employed
in carrying coolies from Calcutta to Georgetown,
Demerara, and Port of Spain, Trinidad. The chief of
these ships ^tve the Alnwick Castle, Clarence, Newcastle,
and Tyhurnia.

In 1860, the Alnwick Castle took 225 men, 102
women, 26 boys, 20 girls and 10 infants, from Calcutta
to Georgetown in 83 days ; 31 coolies, an unusual
proportion, dying on the passage.

In 1861, Almvick Castle took 340 men, 89 women,
81 boys, 11 girls and 7 infants to Trinidad in 71 days.
She received a freight of £12 18s. Od. per adult, the
478 souls being equal to 450 adults. The passage


money thus amounted to £5805. Besides the coolies,
she loaded 4350 bags or 450 tons of Ballam rice, and
4050 bags or 297 tons of Moonghy rice at £2 7s. Od. per
ton. She made sail from the Sandheads on 31st
October, rounded the Cape on 10th December,
anchored at St. Helena on 19th December, and
anchored at Port of Spain on 10th January, 18G2.

The Clarence left Calcutta on 20th December, with
450 coolies, of which 6 died on the passage, and
arrived Trinidad on 5th March, 1SG2, 75 days out.
There were some fast ships in competition with
Green's, such as the well-known early iron ship
Accrington and the beautiful Tyburnia, but the Alnwick
Castle and Clarence were hard to beat. In 1865, the
Clarence made the best passage out of a number of
ships, including the Neivcastle, being 46 days to St.
Helena from Calcutta, arriving there 11th January,
1865 ; but she had an unusual number of deaths, 40
out of 469.

I find, as a rule, that these early coolie ships did not
lose more than six to a dozen on the passage, and a
large proportion of these were usually infants.

" Newcastle."

The Newcastle was not a fast ship, yet she
made some very fine passages. Her best homeward
runs from Calcutta were 81, 83 and 84 days : on one
occasion she arrived at St. Helena only 38 days out
from Madras.

During the sixties the Newcastle was employed
trooping to Calcutta, but, on the opening of the Suez
Canal in 1869, she was transferred to the Melbourne
passenger trade.

The Newcastle was such a dry ship that she


would run under lower topsails before a Cape Horn
snorter with her wash deck buckets on the quarter

Under Captains Robert Taylor and C. E. Le Poer
Trench, all the old East India rules and discipline were
kept up in the Newcastle ; and she carried a ship's
company of 62 men. The midshipmen had their
"devil," and also a hammock-man, who, for £1 per
voyage from each "young gentleman," mended and
washed their clothes, cut their hair, and did his best to
attend to their multifarious wants. The crew had their
"fiddler," whilst in every second dog watch the bosun
used to pipe "Hands to dance and skylark."

I can give no greater testimony to the strength of
these old Blackwallers than to record the escape of the
Newcastle in the famous Calcutta cyclone of 5th October,
1859, when upwards of 200 ships were driven from their
moorings. The Newcastle was lying in the tier, fully
loaded and ready for sea, when the storm burst upon

The following is Captain Taylor's account of what
happened to the Neuccastle, taken straight out of his
own private log book : —

5th October.— At daylight, fresh breeze from N.N. E. and gusty with
heavy rain. Barometer 29.75. About 9, wind increased in squalls and
weather very thick : veering to N.E. and rapidly increasing : furled
awnings, pomted yards to the wind, put on extra lashings, attended
cables, etc., thick blinding rain and squalls very severe. 11 a.m.,
squalls more severe. Barometer falling fast with wind veering to N.E.
by E. Secured sails with extra gaskets.

Noon, barometer 29.18 : wind E.N.E : main topsail and main try-
sail blew to pieces from the gaskets. Tremendous bore and storm wave
came up at this time. 1.30 p.m., wind east. The ring of the inshore
bow mooring carried away and we sheered alongside the ship Winchester,
carrying away our port cathead, jibboom and fore topgallant mast.
Hove in starboard cable and bent on to starboard anchor and
let it go— both port boats smashed. 2 p.m., ship MuntHa, swung


across our stern, much injuring quarter galleries. 2.30 p.m., squalls
tremendously severe, main and mizen topgallant masts blew away.

Ships Clytemnestra and Calwood parted and drove across our bows,
carrying awav our port bow mooring and the Winchester's bow mooring.
The bridle of the ii.shore stern mooring then parted and the remaining
stem chain tore qui of the timberheads from the poop, where it was

The ship then drove across the river, taking the cable from the
locker to about 95 fathoms, when it parted. Wind E.S.E. and veering
to S.E. At this time the wind was blowing most severely and the
weather so thick that vessels could not be distinguished, except those
quite close.

At the moment of the ship starting from her moorings, the futtock
hoop of the foremast broke and the fore topmast went over the side,
taking the lower masthead with it. The ship drove across the river
touching many other vessels also adrift, and took the other shore off
Ramkistopore Ghaut, laying right over on her port broadside.

Sounded and found 17 feet on the inshore side at 3 p.m. Barometer
28.48. Wind began to veer fast, the strength of the gale to decrease a
little and the barometer to rise.

At 3.50 a ship drifted by us and took away starboard cutter and
accommodation ladder. 4 p.m., barometer 28.63. The steamer
Mauritius at this time came alongside with great force, driving us
further on shore and much damaging everything on our starboard side.
The Bolton Abbey then came in ahead of us (apparently from up the
river) smashing our figurehead and carrying away port anchor. 5 p.m.,
barometer 29.07. The wind about this time was south and decreasing
fast. Squalls less frequent. The ship gradually righted ; lashed the
ship to the Mauritius to keep the ship upright. At G p.m.. barometer
29.t>2and rising very fast and quite calm with an occasional gust from
S.W. At low water had 2 feet alongside.

From 6th to 15th October, all hands were busy dis-
charging the cargo in order to lighten the Neivcasile
for the next spring tides ; a raft was made of spare
spars upon which the cargo was piled. At noon on the
15th, the Bolton Abbey was towed off, and the tug
Sestos tried to move the Newcastle, but only broke
the hawsers.

However, after several attempts and the laying out
of many anchors, the Nezvcastle was safely floated at
2 p.m. on the 17th. In spite of her battering in the



cyclone and the fact that for over a week she had been
lying across a ghaut, with her hows and stern in soft
mud, so that her whole weight was sustained amidships,
the Newcastle proved to be quite tight, drawing 12 feet
11 inches aft and 13 feet 1 inch forward.

After lying for some days on the P. & O. moorings,
tl e Neivcastle was taken into the Government Dock at
Kidderpore to undergo repairs, which took three weeks.
She was then re-masted and re-rigged and left Calcutta
on 28th January, with over 500 coolies for Trinidad.
One gains a good idea of the speed of different vessels
by their performances in company.

In December, 1865, in the Bay of Bengal, bound to
Calcutta, the Newcastle and Dunbar Castle were four
days in company, the Newcastle at length leaving the
Dunbar Castle out of sight astern.

In 1869, when outward bound to Calcutta, the
Newcastle fell in with the Donald MacKay in 42° N.,
11° W. The Donald MacKay was seven days out from
Cardiff for Callao, whilst the Newcastle was eight days
out from the Start. This was on the 1st August ; on
the 11th August, in 17° 58' N., 25° 58' W., the Donald
MacKay and Newcastle were again in company, and the
Newcastle's log read : —





in company on port beam.



exchanged colours.


on port beam.


astern 4 miles.


N.E. i E. 5 miles.


hull down astern.


courses down astern.


on port bow 6 miles.


on starboard bow 6 miles.

The ships parted company on opposite tacks.

On her first passage out to Melbourne in ISTO, the


Newcastle was in company with several well-known
ships ; the following are the extracts from her logs : —

19th September.— 42° 54' N.. 13° 43' VV. Light wind N.W. to east. 4
days out from Start. Signalled Bftttsh Monarch, London to Sydney, 4
days out.

20th September. — British Monarch on starboard beam.

21st September. — Signalled Renoivn, London to Madras. 9 days out,
strong south breeze.

6th October.— In 12° N., 27° W., a.m., wind fresh Sly. P.M.. calm.
Signalled Abergeldie, London to Sydney, 24 days out. signalled Poonah,
London to Calcutta, 24 days out, signalled Kent, London to Melbourne,
21 days out, signalled Indian Empire, London to Calcutta, 18 days out_

7th. — Indian Empire on port bow, wind east.

8th. — Indian Empire on port bow, wind light E. to S.E.

9th. — Indian Empire ahead (16 sail in sight). Signalled Carlisle
Castle and Renown.

10th. — Indian Empire and Renown on starboard quarter. Wind
strong S.W.

1 1th. — Renown and Carlisle Castle bear W. and VV.N.W.

\2th.— Renown and Carlisle Castle bear N.W. by W. and W.N.W.

13th. — At daylight Renown astern on opposite tack.

16th — Crossed the line in 23° W. Took S.E. trades.

20th. — Signalled Khersonese, London to Calcutta, 49 days.

22nd. — Khersonese on weather beam. Sighted Trinidad.

23rd. — Khersonese on lee beam.

2nd November. — Crossed Greenwich meridian.

9th.— 39° 18' S., 18° 24' E. Barque Spirit of the North in company.

10th November.— 39° 47' S., 19° 32' E., S. 66° E., 74 miles. Wind
light Sly., Khersonese on weather beam.

12th November. — Signalled British Monarch. Carlisle Castle
on lee bow.

13th November. — Carlisle Castle astern.

14th November.— 39° 6' S.. 2S° 38' E., N. 80° E., Ill miles. Light
airs Carlisle Castle on starboard beam. Boarded by a boat trom
Carlisle Castle. She passed close under our stern, flying boom over
our poop !

15th November. — Carlisle Castle on port bow.

16th November. — Carlisle Castle hull down ahead.

17th November. — Carlisle Castle hull up on starboard bow

18th November. — Carlisle Castle out of sight ahead

{Newcastle made her best runs, on 20th and 21st November, in 42°
30' S., both being 290 miles.)

10th December. — Cape Otway. N.E. 15 miles;

11th December. — Passed through Heads, 87 days out:



[ To face I'aije. 244.


{Newcastle's best passage to Melbourne was in 1871.)

On 8th June. — Took her departure from the Start.

2nd July.— Crossed the line in 29° W.

10th July. — Sighted Trinidad Island.

20th July. — Crossed Greenwich meridian in 37° S.

19th August.— Signalled Cape Otway, 73 days out. (A hard gale,
however, kept her hove-to oflf her port for 5 days, and she did not
pass through the Heads until the 24th.)

Her best homeward passage from Melbourne was
in 1875.

12th July. — 9 a.m., passed through Port Phillip Heads in company
with Cardigan Castle.

8th August. — Rounded the Horn.

2nd September. — Crossed the equator.

29th September. — 1.15 a.m., sighted the Wolf.

1st October. — Docked in Blackwall Docks. (The Cardigin Casile
arrived the same tide.)

In 1873, Newcastle crossed from Sydney to San
Francisco in 54 days.

27th September. — Left Frisco in company with British Consul.
21st October. — Crossed the line in US" \V.
1.5th November.— Passed Diego Ramirez (49 days out).
30th November. — Passed Isle of Anglesey. Frisco to Queenstown,
73 days out {Newcastle 64 days out).

•♦Windsor Castle."

Probably none of these ships were quite as fast as
the little Windsor Castle. The Windsor Castle was usually
in the :Melbourne trade, but in 1873 she came home
from Manila, and in 1874 from Sydney, when she was
dismasted and almost lost. Her last years under
Green's flag were spent in the Brisbane trade, in which
with a young and energetic commander she made
some very fine passages.


Extracts from the Log of the "Windsor

London to Melbourne, 1871.

6th February.— Left East India Docks with 19 first-class passengrrs
including 7 nuns, 12 second class and 15 third class, commanded by
Captain Charles Dinsdale, with a crew of 45 all told.

9th February. — 11 p.m., off Dungeness.

11th February. — 4 p.m.. Lizard bore N.N.W.

23rd February.— Signalled the Bayard, London to Calcutta. 23 days
out, in 33' 36' N., 19' 18' W.

24th February. — Sighted Madeira.

6th March.— 10° 45' N., 25^ 46' W. Distance 185 miles. Fresh
trade blowing. Signalled Jerusalem, London to Melbourne. (This
was the Aberdeen White Star clipper.)

11th March. — Crossed the line, 28 days out.

13th MdiTch.— J erusalem in company. Variable airs and calms.

14th March. — Jerusalem in company. Variable airs and calms.

15th March. — Found a dead sheep in the chain locker.

3rd April. — Crossed Greenwich meridian in 40° 40' S. Distance
295 miles. (Best run of the passage.)

6th May. — Cape Otway bore N.N.E.

6th May. — Noon, hauled alongside Sandridge Railway Pier.

Melbourne to London.

20th June. — Passed through the Heads.

26th July. — Sighted Diego Ramirez E.N.E., 36 days out.

10th August. — Signalled Moravian, Melbourne to London, 54 days
out. (This was the Aberdeen White Star clipper.)

19th August. — Brought up off Ascension.

20th August. — Left Ascension in company with the Flying Squadron.
Topaz, Narcissus, Immortalite, Inconstant and Volage.

24th August. — Crossed the line.

12th September. — Flores N.E. by N.

18th September. — Moravian hull down astern.

19th September.— Lizard light E.N.E.

21st September. — Hauled into E.I. Docks.

The above was a steady average voyage for a Black -
waller in the Australian trade. Captain Dinsdale was
a fine seaman of great experience but no carrier of sail.

London to Melbourne. 1871-2.
5tb December. — Hauled out of East India Dock, under command
of Captain N. Harrison, with a crew of 42 and 38 passengers-


lOth December.— Delayed by a gale in the Downs. Sent down
main skysail mast.

13th December. — Noon, Lizard N. 64' W.. 26 miles. S.W. gales to
26th December.

25th December.— Lat. 38° 19' N.. long 10° 50' W. Course S.I 2'
E. Distance 72 miles. Wind 'i.30 a.m., shift of wind in a
furious squall. 8 a.m., struck by a terrific squall, carried awav cross,
jack yard; turned the hands out and secured the wreck. P.M., fresh
gale and squalh-. Ship rolling tremendously. 7.45 p.m., whilst
the ship was rolling very heavily, John Kendall, midshipman, having
just come up after companion, lost his balance and fell through the
poop-rail overboard. As it was blowing a gale and very dark, nothing
could be done to save him.

29th December.— Island of Palma sighted.

13th January, 1873.— Crossed the Hne in 24° 40' W.

14th January. — 2 p.m., lowered a boat and boarded English ship
Guinevere, Foochow to New York. (This was the well-known tea

20th January. — Sighted Trinidad Island.

3rd February. — Crossed Greenwich meridian in 42° 21' S.

18th February. — Distance 313 miles. Wind strong N.N.E. Lat
44° 55' S., long. 78° 12' E.

19th February.— Lat. 44° 57' S., long. 85" 25' E. Course E. Dis-
tance 307 miles. Wind N.E. strong.

6th March. — Signalled Cape Otway, 83 days from Lizard.

7th March. — 7 a.m., passed through the Heads.

(From Melbourne the Windsor Castle went to New-
castle, N.S.W., where she loaded coal for Hongkong.)

The following vessels were loading at Newcastle:—

Ships — Knight Commander, Forward Ho (tea clipper),
Rota, Zemindar, Nelson, Solo, Inverness, Vernon,
Golden Spur {tea clipper).

Barques — Raiiiboiu, Florence Nightingale, Lyitlelon,
Esk, Annie, Buston Vale, Escort.

Brig — August.

Schooner — Lulu.

Newcastle to Hongkong.

6th May. — 6.30 p.m., made all plain sail and stood away.

12th May.— 24° 12' S., 155° 39' E. Distance 152 miles. Wmd
east, moderate. A look-out stationed in fore topmast crosstrces
observe^d a total eclipse of the moon, passed a whaler.


18th May.— Sighted the Island of Bougainville.

19tb ?vlay.— 11 a.m., sighted the Island of New Ireland. Strong
smell of flowers and hay blown oS the land. Natives cannibals and
treacherous. Every precaution had to be taken against an attack.
Two carronades loaded and primed.

20th May. — Two native canoes with 14 men came ofi from New
Ireland with fruit and vegetables.

27th May. — Passed large quantity of floating trees, some 100 feet

28th May. — Crossed the line in 139° E.

30th May. — Signalled British barque Aberdeen, of Newcastle, from
Morton Bay to Mindoro Island, 61 days out.

10th June. — Babuyan Island bore N.W.

nth June. — Passed through very strong ripples.

12th June. — Signalled German brig August, Newcastle to Hongkong
44 days. Signalled British barque Helen Malcolm, Newcastle to Hong-
kong. Signalled British ship Inverness, Newcastle to Hongkong, 49 days.

14th June. — Inverness on port quarter.

loth June. — Passed Inverness. 1 p.m., moored in Hongkong,
40 days out.

(From Hongkong the Windsor Castle proceeded to
Manila, sailing on 25th June, she anchored in Manila
on 5th July.)

Manila to Liverpool.

30th August. — 7.30 a.m., weighed and made all plain sail. Weather
very threatening, wind increasing in hard squalls. 5.45 p.m., brought
up under Mareveles Mountain.

(On the following morning the hands refused to man
the windlass. Captain Harrison addressed them but
there was evidently some serious grievance, for they
persisted in their refusal ; two of the men were then
put in irons, and the mate was sent away in the life-
boat to a Spanish brigantine. At 10.30 a.m. the after-
guard of the Windsor Castle, assisted by 6 men from the
brigantine, hove into 30 fathoms, then the men gave in,
were logged for refusal of duty and the episode closed. )

1st September. — 7.30 a.m., weighed and made sail. Weather very
threatening, wind increasing, fresh and squally, barometer falhng.

(Th^ Windsor Castle had the usual trying time of


squalls and calms down to Alias Staits ; and she was
evidently very short of provisions, for on 30th
September, she anchored off the town of Bally, where
she obtained two bullocks, a ^"^.t and other stores.)

2nd October. — Passed out of Alias Straits. (Her best run in the
S.E. trades was 265 miles on 10th October.)

1st November. — Several sail in company. Signalled Golden Spur.
4 p.m., sighted land about Buffalo River.

5th November. — Signalled County of Berwick, Sourabaya to
Rotterdam, 39 days.

6th November. — Signalled British Envoy, from Calcutta.

9th November.— Signalled Contest, Moulmein to Queenstown, 4B
days. 6.1.5, Agulhas E. \ N. 3 p.m., bore up for and signalled
signal station. 4 p.m., kept ship on her course again.

(The run from the Cape is chiefly interesting lor the
sailing contests with the shipping encountered. The
stores must have been very low, by the way in which
tar, oil and pork were bought from passing ships.)

16th November. — Signalled Connemara, Calcutta to Dundee, 54

17th November. — 20° S., 2° 22' W., at daylight Connrmara astern
6 miles. 9.30 a.m., in stunsails, hove to and boarded Convemara for
6 gallons tar and 2 gallons oil, 1 1 a.m., boat returned, made all possible
sail. 8 p.m., exchanged rockets with Connemara.

18th November. — 6 a.m., Connemara, on port quarter. 6 p.m.,
Connemara on starboard quarter.

19th November. — Daylight, Connemara on starboard quarter.

20th November. — Connemara on starboard quarter, hull down.
Sighted St. Helena. 4 p.m., signalled George Gilray, Calcutta to Dundee.

{Connemara, 1293 tons, built New Brunswick, 1867;
owners — Sinclair of Liverpool.)

21st November. — Daylight. George Gilray on starboard quarter.
8 a.m , signalled German ship Herschcll, Java to Falmouth, 57 days.

24th November. — 8 a.m., signalled County of Berwick. 1.30 p.m.,
boarded her for 1 barrel of pork and 2 gallons boiled oil. Sunset,
County of Berwick S.W. 6 miles.

25th November. — Daylight, County of Berwick S.S.W., hull down.
Noon. County of Berwick S. by W., hull down. 2 p.m., sighted Ascension.
8 p.m.. County of Berwick right astern 6 miles.

26th November. — Daylight, County of Berwick on starboard quarter.


Noon, County of Berwick abeam, starboard side. 4 p.m., County of
Berwick 1 point before the beam.

27th November.^Daylight, County of Berwick 1 point before the
beam nearly out of sight.

28th November. — County of Berwick on starboard quarter.

{County of Berwick, 996 tons, built by Connell of
Glasgow, in 1868 ; owners— R. & S. Craig of Glasgow.)

30th November. — Crossed the line in 21° 47' W.

2nd December. — Signalled Glenlora, of London. Several sail in
sight. Signalled Ann Duthie, of Aberdeen, outward bound.

3rd December. — Signalled French brig Architecie Renard, Hongkong
to Hamburg, 111 days out. 4 ships, 2 barques and 2 brigs in sight.

4th December. — Exchanged colours with Itahan ship Lycka Till,
French barque P.W.V.S., British barque Fusilier, of Liverpool. 5 p.m.,
signalled British barque Colchaqua, of Liverpool.

6th December.— 12° 48' N., 29° 16' W. Course N.E., 153 miles.
Passed through strong ripples.

10th December.— 20° 17' N., 32° 13' W. Signalled Star of Scotia,
Calcutta to London, 79 days. Noon, Star of Scotia on lee quarter.

{Star of Scotia, 999 tons, built by Harland of Belfast,
in 1864 ; iron ship owned by Corry & Co. of Belfast.)

17th and 18th December. — Moderate E.N.E. gale, heavy sea.

19th December. — Sent down crojjick yard to strengthen it. P.M.,
fresh N.N.E. gale.

21st December. — Fished crojjick yard and crossed it.

22nd to 24th December. — Strong to moderate S.W. gale.

24th December.— 47° 54' N., 21° 21' \V. Distance 284 miles. (Best
run of passage.)

27th December.— 50° 03' N., 8° 26' W. Sounded in 65 fathoms, fine
sand. P.M., signalled ships Oheron, Adelaide, and Marpheza, barques
Psyche, Charlotte Ann and Venus, all standing to S.W.

29th December. — 10 a.m., abreast of Hoh'head, strong gale from

30th December. — 2 a.m., dropped anchor in Mersey, 121 days out.

Dismasting of the "Windsor Castle."

In 1874 the Windsor Castle had a most disastrous
voyage. On the passage out to Melbourne she lost her
mizen topmast and main topgallant yard, again she had
trouble with her men, whilst her chief officer went mad

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