Emigrant ship losses.

Chris Michael

Here I collect records of the worst (in terms of passengers lost) disasters to emigrant ships (in the days of sail) travelling from Liverpool to America and Australia. I focus, particularly, on losses close to Europe, especially in the Irish Sea. After the 1840's, steam transport was the preferred method to cross the Atlantic: it was quicker and more reliable. It was also more expensive, so sailing vessels continued to offer a service to emigrants who had limited funds.

Emigrant ships to America: losses from Liverpool

Sailing vessels: some of these losses have already been described in more detail in my books Wrecks of Liverpool Bay (Ocean Monarch) and Liverpool Hurricane of 1839 (Lockwoods).
Note that passenger numbers were not accurately known in many cases.

Year lost; number of fatalities; name of vesssel:
1801:     0; Francis and Mary, aground
1818:   12; Sine, collision, aground
1822:   45; Albion, aground
1830: 25-55; Newry, aground
1837: 206; Jane and Margaret, aground
1839;   53; Lockwoods, aground
1841; 123; Governor Fenner, collision
1847;   92; Stephen Whitney, aground
1848; 178; Ocean Monarch, fire
1849: 101; Caleb Grimshaw, fire
1850:     4; Hemisphere, storm damage
1852:   69; Mobile, aground
1853; 348; Annie Jane, aground
1853;   47; Isaac Wright aground, refloated, cholera
1855; 193; John aground Manacles, built Chester 1809
1856; 372; Driver foundered, struck ice?
1856;     0; Silas Wright, Samuel M Fox aground Burbo.
1858;     0; Isaac Wright fire, sank, refloated,
1858;   51; St. George, fire
1859; 389; Pomona, aground
1863;     0; John H Elliott, aground

Steam ships lost, at similar dates, crossing the Atlantic from/to Liverpool:
1841; 136; P. S. President, missing, all lost
1854; 322; P. S. Arctic, collision
1854; 480; S. S. City of Glasgow, hit iceberg.
1856; 186; P. S. Pacific, hit iceberg
1870; 207; SS City of Boston, foundered? ice? fire?
1873; 535; SS Atlantic, aground.

Emigrant ships to Australia: losses from Liverpool (or Liverpool owned)

The much longer passage to Australia was very expensive for steam ships (in coal and space to store it), so sail was used mainly, supplemented by auxiliary steam power to get through calms and to negotiate port entrances.
  Several of the wrecks listed here (Tayleur, Royal Charter, Dunmail) were iron clippers relatively newly built for this trade.

Year lost; number of fatalities; name of vesssel:
1833; 154; Hibernia, fire, off Brazil, 78 saved in ship's boats
1841; 0(1); Urania, aground West Hoyle, 277 saved, 1 lifeboatman lost.
1845; 402; Cataraqui, aground Bass straits, 9 survivors.
1853;    1; Earl of Charlemont, aground near Port Phillip, 365 saved.
1854; 380; Tayleur, aground Lambay Island, about 300 saved.
1854; 100; Iowa, missing.
1855; 543; Guiding Star, all lost Southern Ocean
1857; 183; Ultonia, missing.
1859; 450; Royal Charter, aground near Moelfre, 39 saved
1863; 354; Lord Raglan, missing.
1873;    0; Dunmail, wrecked Liverpool bay, 60 saved.
1874;  79; British Admiral, aground King Island, 8 survivors.

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