News from 1869: Maiden voyage of the clipper ship Hawarden Castle


Mark Baber

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The Argus, Melbourne, 16 November 1869
Retrieved from the National Library of Australia web site,
Newspaper Home


[Untitled]
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The number of iron clipper ships constructed at home expressly for the
Australian trade seems still to be on the increase, and the latest
embodiment of art and skill in iron shipbuilding which has entered an
appearance in Port Phillip is the ship Hawarden Castle (of the White Star
Line), which arrived at the Heads on Sunday afternoon, and anchored in the
bay at a late hour of the evening of the same day. The Hawarden Castle is
not such a large ship as either of her precursors in the same line---the
Hoghton Tower and Victoria Tower--- her registered tonnage being only 1,101
tons. She is, however, a smart-looking clipper, and a likely vessel to sail,
and had she not been so heavily laden there is little doubt but that her
passage, good as it is, would have been accomplished in less time. The
Hawarden Castle was built at the yard of Messrs. R. and J. Evans and Co., of
Brunswick Dock, Liverpool, for Messrs. Richards, Mills, and Co., of that
city, and is intended specially for the Australian and Indian trades. She is
215ft in length, with 35ft. beam, and a depth of hold of 21ft. Her masts and
yards are of iron, and she is furnished with all the modern improvements
which combine efficiency and economy in working the ship. The chief cabin is
fitted up for a limited number of passengers, and the builders have made it
a very showy apartment. The command of the Hawarden Castle has been given to
Captain John Jones, formerly of the ship Zulette, who reports of the passage
that he left the Mersey on August 25, and passed Tuscar on August 26; from
thence until falling in with the N.E. trades in lat. 34deg. N., and long.
20deg. W. moderate variable winds prevailed. The winds in the N.E. trades
were very light, and were lost in lat. 7deg. N., and long. 24deg, 30min. W.
South-westerly and southerly winds were then met with to lat 2dog. 30min.
N., and long. 15deg. W., where the S.E. trades were picked up. The equator
was crossed on September 25, in long. 19deg. W., and strong winds, with
squally weather, prevailed from lat. 5deg. S. to lat 20deg. S. The meridian
of Greenwich was crossed in lat. 40deg, 50min. S., and the meridian of the
Cape of Good Hope on October 18, in lat. 45deg. 15min. S. Strong
north-westerly winds were experienced in running down the easting, and on
November 5, in lat. 40deg. S., and long. 106dog. 40min. E., the wind
freshened into a very heavy gale, and blew with great force for about 40
hours, during which time the ship was hove to, and lost her fore-topsail.
The barometer during the gale was down to 28 80. The longitude of Cape
Leuwin was passed on November 7, in lat. 44deg. 51min. S., and the land was
sighted off Cape Nelson on November 13, Cape Otway being passed at 4 a m. on
November 14. Not a bad indication of the sailing speed of the ship is the
fact of her having logged 312 knots in one day. The Hawarden Castle is
consigned to Messrs. Lorimer, Marwood, and Rome, and she was yesterday
afternoon berthed at the Victorian Railways pier to land her large cargo.

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