News from 1869 Maiden voyage of Hoghton Tower

Mark Baber

Jul 4, 2000
The Argus, Melbourne, 8 September 1869
Retrieved from the National Library of Australia web site,

The iron clipper ship Hoghton Tower, which has arrived in port from
Liverpool, was berthed yesterday at the Victorian Railways pier. As
intimated some time ago, this magnificent specimen of iron shipbuilding is
quite a new vessel, constructed expressly for the Australian trade, and her
builders have been singularly successful in combining symmetry and strength,
with great sailing speed, and very large carrying capacity. That she has
fully answered the sanguine expectations formed of her by builders and
owners at her launch is amply borne out by this, her maiden voyage, in which
she has so distinguished herself by making a rapid run out with an enormous
cargo, of which there are 2,000 ton deadweight alone. The Hoghton Tower was
built at Messrs. G. R. Clover and Co.'s yard, Woodside Ferry, Birkenhead,
and she is one of the largest as well as handsomest iron ships ever launched
in the Mersey. In length the Hoghton Tower measures 240ft., with 39ft. beam,
and a depth of hold of 24ft., giving her a register of between 1,600 and
1,700 tons, or 1,750 tons builders' measurement. Her lower masts and top
masts are of iron, and she has double topsail and top-gallant yards, like
most of the new iron clippers hailing [sic] from Liverpool here. No outlay
has been spared in furnishing her with all the newest and best mechanical
appliances for the efficient working of her, and although intended to be a
good carrying ship in the matter of cargo, she has a full poop, elaborately
fitted up for the accommodation of sixteen first-class passengers. The
staterooms are unusually large and commodious, and are replete with every
convenience that the necessities or comfort of the most fastidious con
possibly require or desire. Besides the main saloon, which measures 40ft.
by 18ft., and is beautifully panelled with polished teak and bird's-eye
maple, finished off with gold mouldings, their is a ladies' cabin, fitted up
with everything that could conduce to the comfort of its intended occupants.
Amongst other things there is a splendid walnut-wood piano, the gift of Sir
Henry De Hoghton to the ship. With regard to the other deck arrangements,
there is a large deckhouse forward, containing accommodation for the petty
officers and apprentices, and also an engine-room, and galley, the latter
being especially neat and well arranged. The crew are provided for in the
top-gallant forecastle, which is fitted up with every consideration for
their comfort. The managing owners of the Hoghton Tower are Messrs. T. H.
Ismay and Co., of Liverpool, and she received her name from Miss Aline De
Hoghton, after the ancestral seat of whose father, Sir Henry De Hoghton, the
vessel is called. Miss De Hoghton is a passenger by the ship. The Hoghton
Tower has come out here under the command of Captain Digby Murray, who
expresses himself altogether satisfied with the performance of his ship on
the voyage. Captain Murray reports leaving Liverpool on June 26, Tuscar on
June 27, and having crossed the Equator on the 28th day out, in long. 15deg.
20min. W. Strong southerly winds experienced north of the line caused the
delay on the first part of the passage. The ship's course was kept well to
the eastward, and she was fortunate in falling in with strong favourable
winds in the latitude of the S.E. trades, where she gained considerably on
the passage. The meridian of the Cape of Good Hope was passed in the lat. of
39deg. S., but the furthest southing made in running down the longitude was
lat. 44deg. From the Cape to this coast very heavy weather prevailed, and
there was also a high sea, which broke on board and deluged the decks
repeatedly. Off the Cape, during a violent gale, the jib-boom and the truss
of the foreyard were carried away, and the weather was so tempestuous that
the damage could not be repaired until four days subsequently. Cape Otway
was made on the 4th inst, and the ship was hove too [sic] there for twelve
hours in a heavy S.W. gale. Captain Murray was presented with a laudatory
address at the close of the voyage by the saloon passengers. The ship will
load for London, and will be followed by the Victoria Tower, a sister ship.
As previously noted, the agents are Messrs. Lorimer, Marwood, and Rome.