Iron paddle steamer Royal Consort, built
1844 Tod & MacGregor, Glasgow.
522 grt; 297 nrt; 177.9 x 25.2 x 15.2 ft
Steam 2-cyl engines.
Owned North Lancashire Steam Nav. Co., registered Glasgow.
Voyage Fleetwood to Ardrossan
30th April 1845, struck rocks near Drummore, then beached nearby.
Captain McArthur, crew and all (50-60) passengers saved.
Vessel refloated and taken to Ardossan, returned to service.
PS Royal Consort, b 1844, by Joseph Semple [Fleetwood Museum]
Dundee, Perth, and Cupar Advertiser - Tuesday 06 May 1845
WRECK OF THE STEAMER ROYAL CONSORT. The beautiful new steamer The
Royal Consort, well known on the station between Fleetwood in Lancashire
and Ardrossan Ayrshire, left the former place at seven o'clock on the
evening of Tuesday last, on her voyage to Scotland. A great number of
passengers arrived at Fleetwood on the fast mail train which left London
at ten o'clock in the morning, intending to proceed by the Royal
Consort to Scotland. The cabin passengers were so numerous that
several of them were obliged to sleep in the forecabin, there not
being sufficient accommodation for all the berths off the state cabin.
The night was rainy and the weather thick. About half-past three in
the morning, just at break of day, the vessel was approaching the
coast of Scotland; and the lighthouse on the Mull of Galloway not
being visible from the fog, she ran straight on the rocky shore, two
or three miles from the lighthouse near the village of Dromore[sic; Drummore].
The shock was dreadful, and in few minutes all the passengers were on deck, many of them not having long enough below after the alarm to complete their dress. One gentleman, believed to be Mr Holmes, in the agitation of the moment, rushed from his bed in his shirt and drawers, and leaped overboard from the bow of the vessel into the water at the edge of the rocks. A seaman immediately lowered himself by rope, and tied it under the arms of the unfortunate gentleman, who was pulled on board over the bulwark by some of the crew and passengers. He was frightfully cut and bruised, and being laid the deck was believed to be quite dead; but a gentleman who had assisted in getting him on board, and who carried his head, feeling his chest heave, and hearing him faintly moan, insisted on his being carried below and attended to. This was done; and, although but faint hopes are entertained of his recovery, he was not dead on Wednesday night. We have not heard of him since. A scene of confusion and consternation, as might be expected, ensued on board, but with few exceptions the conduct of the passengers was excellent, and the behaviour of the ladies, of whom there were good many in the vessel, several of them with young children, was admirable; for, although many the ladies wept bitterly, there was not a cry or shriek uttered by any them.
A medical gentleman on board insisted that no attempt should be made to back the vessel off the rocks into deep water, but that the boats should be lowered, and all the passengers landed. The Captain (M'Arthur) stated his conviction that the ship was not seriously injured and that, as the weather was calm and the tide rising rapidly, she would be again afloat in a few hours, and would be able to proceed on her voyage. Another passenger urged upon the rest that they should put themselves entirely under the Captain's control, he was better acquainted than they could be with what ought be done; this way all confusion would be avoided, which their present situation might be attended with great danger to all. This was generally assented to; but the medical gentleman and three other passengers still urgently calling for a boat, were at length landed by orders of the Captain.
The heavy articles on deck, the cabin cable, etc, being carried to the after part of the vessel, the crew and passengers running from side to side making the vessel "saw", as the seamen call it, and the engines being kept at work backing; the boat, about five o'clock, was got off, and ran into the open sea. An attempt was made to put her on her course; but, after proceeding a mile or so, it was apparent to all that she was fast sinking by the head, although, as she was an iron boat with water-tight compartments, had it been she were injured seriously in one place, she might still remain buoyant. The water was gaining very fast, and fears were entertained it might soon reach the engine room and drown the fires.
It was determined, to save the lives of all on board, to run her on shore; she had so much water in her, she steered badly, but her head luckily came round, and, amidst the most profound silence on board, she slowly approached the rocks, and grounded in a small bay about a quarter of a mile from the lighthouse. Some of the gentlemen on board were by this time stripped to their trousers, to save themselves by swimming. The boats were lowered, and the passengers and their luggage safely landed. Carts were procured, and in the course or the day all the passengers reached Stranraer, the nearest town, distant from twenty-five to thirty miles - Scotsman.
Glasgow Citizen - Saturday 03 May 1845
Accident to the Royal Consort Steam ship. We regret to learn that this fine iron steam-ship struck on a rock off the Mull of Galloway, about three clock on Wednesday morning last, while her voyage from Fleetwood to Ardrossan. Captain M'Arthur, we are informed, was on deck the time, and the accident is attributable to the dense fog which prevailed, and which obscured the light upon the Mull. The Captain, having taken the precaution of examining the nature and extent of the damage the ship had sustained, resolved on backing her off the rock with the view of proceeding to Ardrossan. In this he succeeded, but after having made a short way, it was found that the water gained on the pumps, when the Captain wisely determined to run the ship ashore on the sands in Luce Bay, where he landed all the passengers - between fifty and sixty in number - in safety, and the most of them reached Glasgow on Thursday morning by land. One of the passengers (a Mr. Holmes we believe), in the agitation of the moment, when the vessel struck, in attempting to leap upon the rock, fell overboard, but was immediately picked up; and, though a good deal hurt and exhausted, soon rallied, and is now considered out of danger. In receipt of the intelligence in Glasgow, a steamer was immediately despatched by the agents to render assistance if required, and with tradesmen on board to repair the damage. The Royal Consort reached Ardrossan yesterday, having sustained but slight damage; affording another proof of the inferiority[sic] of iron steamers.