News from 1864: Royal Standard's maiden Melbourne arrival

Mark Baber

Jul 4, 2000
The Argus (Melbourne), 10 February 1864
Retrieved from the National Library of Australia web site,

The steamship Royal Standard, which anchored in Hobson's Bay yesterday, is
the pioneer steamer of the White Star line. She was built expressly for the
Australian trade by Palmer Brothers and Co., of Newcastle-on Tyne, who have
spared neither trouble nor expense to render her in every respect a most
comfortable and first-class vessel for passengers of all grades. She is
283[?]ft. long by forty foot beam, and 27ft. 6in. depth of hold, and her
tonnage is 2,000 tons. She is propelled by engines of 165-horse power
nominal, working up to 500, fitted with every modern improvement. She is
rigged as a first-class clipper ship, and altogether presents a noble
appearance. A deck-house stretches the entire length of the deck, the after
portion of which is a dining-saloon for the chief-cabin passengers, and
which, with the sleeping apartments, is fitted up with great taste. The
second-cabin passengers are accommodated forward, in lofty and well-
ventilated cabins. She has bathrooms, and ample space for the comfort and
health of her passengers, while her holds are very spacious, and she carries
a very large cargo.

The Royal Standard left Liverpool on the 23rd November, arriving at Cork on
the 26th and remained there two days, leaving late on the evening of the
28th. She crossed the equator on the 17th December, in lon. 20deg. W., and
the meridian of the Cape Good Hope on the 13th ult., in lat 42deg. S., and
passed Cape Otway at noon on the 8th, arriving at the Heads on the same
night, where she was obliged to anchor. Her passage has been prolonged by
very light and baffling winds, which prevailed throughout. It is with deep
regret we have to record the death of her commander, Captain Edward J.
Allen, which occurred on the 14th January, in lat. 43deg. 53min. S., long.
22deg. 30min. E. He died of disease of the liver. Captain Allen was well
known for years in this trade, while commanding the ships British Empire,
Morning Star, Shooting Star, Shalimar, and Red Jacket, and has always been
highly esteemed by those who had the pleasure of travelling with him for his
universal kindness.

On the news of Captain Allen's death reaching the bay early yesterday
morning (by telegram from the Heads), the vessels in port placed their flags
half-mast, as a token of the respect in which that gentleman was held by his
brother shipmasters. The Royal Standard arrived under the command of her
chief officer, Mr. Hamilton, a gentleman well known here for years in the
ship Greyhound.


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