SS London (Ship)

?, ID3734
Last Edited3 Jan 2021
NoteJul 1864      SS London was built in Blackwall Yard on the River Thames by Money Wigram and Sons and launched in July 1864. Tonnage 1,652 GRT, Length 276.6 ft (84.3 m), Beam 35.9 ft (10.9 m), Draught 24.1 ft (7.3 m).
     On her maiden voyage, she sailed from Portsmouth on 23 October 1864 via Plymouth and Cape Town to Melbourne, arriving on 2 January 1865. After her return voyage, she completed a further round trip to Melbourne between May and November 1865.1 
Notefr Dec 1865 - Jan 1866     SS London left Gravesend on her final voyage on 13 Dec 1865, bound for Melbourne. The ship was due to take on passengers from Plymouth, but was caught in heavy weather, and took refuge near Portsmouth bfore docking in Plymouth, and restarted her journey on 6 Jan 1866.
     While crossing the Bay of Biscay in heavy seas the cargo shifted, forcing the vessel lower in the water where she was swept by tremendous seas. After several days of considerable buffeting, the port life boat, jib-boom, fore topmost and main royalmast with all spars and gear were lost on 10 Jan 1866. Further damage led to the decision to abandon ship on 11 (or 12?) Jan 1866. Only one life boat stayed afloat, and the ship sank when the life boat was 100 metres away. Of the 263 passengers and crew (including 6 stowaways), only 19 (only 3 of whom were passengers) escaped on the life boat and survived.
     The subsequent Board of Trade Enquiry said that one contributing factor was that the ship was overloaded with 345 tons of railway iron and 50 tons of coal stored above deck,2 
(Witness) Death11 Jan 1866Elizabeth Shelley; Bay of Biscay; >
Died, with husband, when the SS London ran into heavy weather and sank in the Bay of Biscay.
See SS London Witness for further information about the ship and the sinking.3,4,5 
(Witness) Death11 Jan 1866Rev. Daniel James Draper; Bay of Biscay; >
Died, with wife, when the SS London ran into heavy weather and sank in the Bay of Biscay.
See SS London Witness for further information about the ship and the sinking.6,7,5 

Citations

  1. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, URL http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/; hereafter called Wikipedia. SS London (1864), History, sighted 2 Jan 2021: Date1, Memo.
  2. Wikipedia. SS London (1864), Sinking and Causes, sighted 2 Jan 2021: Dates, Memo.
  3. Jean Caswell Benson, A Wide Spectrum: A picture of the times from 1828 to 1937 as seen by my forebears -- the Stacy, the Caswell, the Shelley and the Harris families (published by Wilkie Watson Publications Pty Limited, Tumut, NSW, 1987); hereafter called Benson, Wide Spectrum; copy in Researcher's Library. Page Page 117: DOD 11 Jan 1869, Memo1.
  4. Parramatta Family History Group, Parramatta Pioneer Register, Volume 2, Settlement to 1920 (Published by Parramatta & District Historical Society Inc., Parramatta, NSW, 2003) -- names of contributors for all items are listed in the book; hereafter called Parramatta FHG, Parramatta Pioneer Register Vol 2; copy in Researcher's Library: Page Page 205: DOD 11 Jan 1866, POD, Memo1. Page 257: DOD 1 Jan 1866.
  5. Margaret Reeson, Currency Lass: The moving story of a young woman in the convict town of Sydney and the South Seas (Published by Openbook Publishers, Adelaide, SA, 1999); hereafter called Reeson, Currency Lass; copy in Researcher's Library: Page Page 6: YOD 1866.
  6. Benson, Wide Spectrum. pPage 24: YOD 1866. Page 117: DOD 11 Jan 1869, Memo1.
  7. Parramatta FHG, Parramatta Pioneer Register Vol 2: pPage 205: DOD, POD, Memo1.