Wooden paddle steamer St David, built Humble & Hurry, Liverpool 1824
100nrt, 108 x 18 x 19.5 ft, 70 hp.
First owner: Liverpool & North Wales Steam Packet Co., registered Beaumaris
Later lengthened to 120 ft and as 110 tons (bm).
From 1833, owned St George Steam Packet Co., registered Dublin.
Owned 1844 by George Evans - who was her captain - trading to Le Havre (via Plymouth) from Liverpool.
12th December 1845, left Le Havre with a cargo including wine (deck cargo), 20 crew and some passengers for Liverpool (or Dublin in another report).
Foundered off Le Havre in heavy weather - cargo and bodies came ashore between Etretat and Fécamp.
From Chester Courant - Tuesday 25 May 1824
We understand that on Saturday, the 29th inst. a beautiful new steam vessel called the "St. David," will be launched from the building-yard of Messrs. Humble & Hurry, Trentham street, [Liverpool] at half-past 10 o'clock. She is intended to ply in conjunction with the Prince Llewelyn, to Beaumaris and Bangor.
Note: confusingly another wooden paddle steamer was launched in 1824 - by Mulvey at Chester - with the same name, but quite a bit smaller.
George Evans was agent for the St George Steam Packet Company and then seems to have branched out on his own. He owned the small steamer Paul Pry (built Hereford 1827, engines Fawcett) that ran 1832-3 between Caernarfon and the Anglesey shore and to Menai Bridge. George Evans was owner of the Sportsman Hotel at Caernarfon as well as a shipowner. He is listed as owner of the St David from 1844 and he was her captain for voyages from Liverpool to Le Havre. In April 1845, he seems to have bought a similar vessel, the Severn, registered at Plymouth, and advertised it as providing voyages from Liverpool to Le Havre, emphasizing passenger accommodation. At that time, the St David was advertised as available for sale or charter.
From Liverpool Standard and General Commercial Advertiser - Tuesday 15 April 1845
STEAM TO FRANCE. The fine Steamer SEVERN, (two Engines by Fawcett of 140 horse Power) GEORGE EVANS, Commander, will sail regularly from Liverpool for Havre de Grace, calling at Plymouth. This Vessel has very superior acommodation for passengers, with private cabins, horse boxes, etc. A Steward and Stewardess on board. ...
For SALE or CHARTER, The Steamer ST. DAVID, now lying in the Trafalgar Dock. Apply as above.
The Severn, itself, after several voyages to Le Havre, was advertised for sale in late 1845, and George Evans reverted to using the St David to trade with Le Havre.
From Sun (London) - Saturday 03 January 1846
and Bell's Weekly Messenger - Saturday 03 January 1846.
LATE DREADFUL GALES Amongst those of the most distressing character are the losses of the St. David steamer, trading with passengers and goods between Havre, Plymouth and Liverpool ; and the Tom Bowling steam-vessel, with the loss of nearly 40 lives. The St. David steamer, it appears, was the joint property of the master, Captain Evans, and Mr. Davidson, a merchant, residing at Havre, and was manned by a crew of about 20 hands. She was schooner rigged, of 110 tons burthen, and according the recent parliamentary returns, was capable carrying two 18 pounders; being 119ft. 10in. length, 17 ft. 4in. breadth; with engines of 70 horse power, was built Liverpool, 1824. Her principal trade was in the conveyance of goods, her accommodation for passengers being somewhat limited. From all that could be obtained respecting her fate, it seems she left Havre in the early part of last week, having on board several passengers, the number of whom could not be ascertained, and deeply laden, her decks being, according to reports received, loaded with casks of wine; she was seen by a vessel the afternoon of the day following her departure, and nothing was heard of her afterwards until a few days since, when several casks of wine were picked up by a fisherman, about 25 miles east of Havre, which were identified as having formed a portion of the cargo of the ill-fated steamer. The gale having sprung up within 12 hours after she left Havre, it was at first supposed that the casks had been thrown overboard to lighten her; since then, however, from circumstances that have transpired, it is almost certain that she foundered during the gales, and that every soul on board perished with her; for by the Transit steamer, which arrived at Southampton a few days since, letters have been received, announcing that a large quantity of her cargo had been found off the coast of Fécamp, where a body has also been washed ashore, together with part of a ship's wheel much ornamented with copper. The body has been recognised as that of the engineer of the St. David. A trunk has also been picked up containing women's apparel, which is known to have belonged to one of the passengers. By these discoveries not a doubt is entertained of her loss. The catastrophe has produced considerable sensation at Havre. The St. David is stated to have been insured for £7,000
From Dublin Mercantile Advertiser, and Weekly Price Current - Friday 02 January 1846
LOSS OF THE ST. DAVID STEAMER. We regret to announce that this Steamer, about which much anxiety has existed for some days, has been totally lost. She left Havre the 12th ultimo, for Dublin, principally laden with wine. It is not known whether any passengers were on board; but, if there had been, it is feared that they as well as the crew have perished. The St. David was an old vessel, ill adapted for the severe weather that prevailed during the last month.
The St. David had had a record of mishaps: 3 passengers died of exposure in 1839, her machinery was damaged in February 1844, she had grounded at Belan Point in June 1844, she had a leaking pipe in June 1844, she had to shelter in Fishguard Roads in a storm in late 1845.