Wooden paddle steamer William Fawcett, built 1828, Caleb & James Smith, Liverpool.
206 grt, 186 nrt, 146 x 22 x 15 ft, engines 140hp by Fawcett & Preston, Liverpool
First owner: Wm. Fawcett & Joseph R. Pim, Dublin, registered Dublin
From 1831 Dublin & London Steam Packet Co.
6th April 1834, caught fire after discharging her cargo, while alongside at Sir John Rogerson's Quay, North Wall, at Dublin; sunk.
Captain Campbell and crew all saved. Vessel repaired.
In 1835 used for voyages to the Iberian Peninsular - effectively the first P & O vessel.
Image of William Fawcett from a postage stamp:
Liverpool Albion - Monday 10 March 1828:
LAUNCH. -- At twelve o'clock on Wednesday the extensive premises of Messrs. Caleb and James Smith, Baffin-street, Queen's Dock, were visited by considerable numbers, to view the launch of a new steamer, of 400 tons burthen. At the appointed hour the usual ceremony of christening was performed, and, success having been wished to the William Fawcett, all obstructions were removed, and the noble vessel glided rapidly, though majestically, into the element over which she was seen triumphantly to move, in a few seconds, amid the most enthusiastic cheers. She is built upon the most improved principles, and will be propelled by engines of 130 horses' power, manufactured by Messrs. Fawcett and Preston. She has received her name in honour of the head of the firm, a gentleman whose scientific talents and public spirit have considerably tended to the advancement of steam navigation.
From Monmouthshire Merlin Saturday 19 April 1834
FIRE ON BOARD A DUBLIN STEAMER. We regret to announce a serious loss of property occasioned by the partial destruction by fire of the William Fawcett. A little after five on Sunday evening the crew of the William Fawcett, which only arrived the previous morning from London, were alarmed by seeing smoke issuing from the cabin, and also from the adjoining place, where coals for the use of the engine are kept. On examining closely, it was found that the fire was spreading in the rooms under the quarter-deck, and messengers were at once despatched for the fire-engines. The vessel was scuttled in several parts adjoining the stern, but from the lowness of the tide, the water did not reach to many feet. It was a considerable time before more than one engine arrived, and then the fire had attained a fearful height, rolling in large masses out of the windows, and curling round the seats - on deck and the wheel. The planks soon gave way, and all the stern became one fiery mass, while the flames ran up the cordage, and coiled around the mast adjoining the large chimney. A number of engines reached some time after the first one had commenced playing, and a sufficient supply of water was obtained from the river; buckets were also handed about by a chain of men stationed on the vessel, and broad planks having been laid from the side, the Globe engine was brought on board to play more effectually. The sailors commenced removing the luggage and bedding; the sails were carried away, and all the stairs and timber work which could be removed were thrown into the water, and then taken in tow by men who were stationed with boats round the vessel. The mast nearest to the stern having at last taken fire, to prevent danger from its falling upon the people on shore, it was flung into the water by means of ropes twisted around the upper part. At this period the scene presented a sublime and varied appearance. The wind blew directly from the stern to the forecastle of the steamer, and, had it been more violent, the loss of property would have been much greater. About eight the flames began to subside, owing to the unceasing exertions of the fire engines, and at nine nothing remained but a dense smoke; on the blackened mass which the quarter-deck now presented, large streams of water were discharged, and this was continued up to a late hour. During the confusion, when the conflagration was raging most intensely, the funnel or chimney having lost its support, fell upon the deck with a fearful crash, striking down one man, who was removed, we believe, to the hospital, having been dangerously hurt by the blow. Nothing has yet been ascertained as to the origin or the fire. The captain (Mr. Campbell) was on board, seated at dinner at the time; he has lost the property deposited in his trunks, and had not time to save a single article from the flames. The damage done to the vessel is estimated by very competent persons £5000. It is insured. All the goods which she had brought from London were fortunately discharged from her on Saturday. Messrs. Bournes were the principal proprietors of the William Fawcett. - Dublin Evening Mail