SOG-UK-L ArchivesArchiver > SOG-UK > 1999-12 > 0945006681
From: "Diana Mehew" <>
Subject: [SOG] Re: AUSTRALIAN SHIPWRECK-1845
Date: Sun, 12 Dec 1999 13:51:21 -0000
Thanks very much for all the information which you gave to me, I really
appreciate it. You are right, it is the Cataraqui in which I am interested.
One of the emigrants was Emmanuel Franklin (shown as Samuel in transcripts).
He was the eldest son of my 3xgreatgrandfather, and came from Eyeworth, a
small village of about 150 people in east Bedfordshire.
Some time ago I asked a very distant relative who lives in Australia whether
she could find out anything about the shipwreck, as I'd been unable to find
anything on internet. She sent me a few photocopied sheets from "Dire
Strait" A History of Bass Strait by Charles Bateson. This also refers to
Solomon Brown from Sutton in Bedfordshire (this is about 2 miles from
Eyeworth), but adds that he didn't survive his ordeal for long, He was found
drowned three years later in a creek near Melbourne, the water in which was
only eighteen inches deep.
In Bedford Record Office I found the original churchwarden accounts for
Eyeworth which details the money raised by local people to pay for the
emigrants to go. I feel sure it would have a great effect on the local
population, but so far haven't found any record of it in this country. It's
interesting to learn that it is remembered so well in Australia. I wonder
where the plaque or memorial is in England. I would like to get a copy of
the book you mention - do you have Hargreen Publishing's address so I can
contact them to this effect.
Thanks again for your help.
From: David W. Weatherill <>
Date: 06 December 1999 21:56
Subject: AUSTRALIAN SHIPWRECK-1845
|Hi Again Diane;
| Following my last message to you, the ship I would assume would be the
|"CATARAQUI" that was wrecked on the rocks of King Island on the 4th August,
|1845. King Island is one of the islands in Bass Stait, between Victoria and
| The CATARAQUI was an 800-ton barque built in Quebec in 1840 and
|purchased by William Smith & Sons of Liverpool. The firm decided to enter
|the emigrant trade to Australia, and looked at getting people from
|Oxfordshire, Bedfordshire and other English counties to make the voyage.
| The ship left Liverpool on the 20th April, 1845 with a total of 370
|emigrants, made up of 62 family groups - 314 individuals, as well as 33
|single woman and 23 single men. 6 children died on the voyage and 5 were
| The survivors of the shipwreck were 8 crew and one passenger. The one
|passenger being Solomon Brown - 30 year old farmhand from Sutton in
|Bedfordshire. His wife, Hannah, and their 4 children died in wreck along
|with 395 other passengers and crew.
| I read about the shipwreck a couple of years ago when my wife and I
|visited King Island for a holiday. There is a large write up on it at the
|King Island Historical Society. King Island had quite a few shipwrecks on
|its coastline as the island is in the middle of Bass Strait. The sailing
|conditions in Bass Strait can be very dangerous when the weather decides to
|vent its fury in the area.
| The story of the ship and the disaster has been well written in the
|LEMON, Andrew & Marjorie MORGAN
| "POOR SOULS, THEY PERISHED - The Cataraqui: Australia's
| Worst Shipwreck"
| North Melbourne, Victoria: Hargreen Publishing, 1986
| 188 pages.
|This is an excellent and extensively researched book. It lists the
|passengers and crew as an appendix.
|The local newspapers also wrote up the shipwreck. It received quite a large
|amount of publicity.
|I also believe that there is a plague or memorial(?) to the people on the
|ship in a church in England. I think I remember reading something about it.
|Also, all around the shoreline at King Island are memorials (there is one
|for the Cataraqui-I photographed it) and signs regarding the many ships
|that were wrecked. The bodies from the wrecked CATARAQUI were collected and
|buried in 5 graves. A further 40 bodies were later found and buried in
|various graves. In all, 342 bodies were found and buried.
|The small number of survivors - 1 passenger and crew were found on the
|beach huddled together by sealers who looked after them for a month until
|the cutter,"MIDGE" arrived on the 7th September and took them to safety.
|The one surviving passenger, Solomon Brown, is believed to have then worked
|as a farmhand, married and had a family.
|My wife had ancestors who were also shipwrecked on the rocks around King
|Island. This was one of the reasons we made the trip. This ship was the
|"NETHERBY" which struck the rocks in 1866. Fortunately there was the loss
|of life from this ship as there was from the "CATARAQUI".
|I hope I have identified your ship and provided some information on it. If
|you have any further question, just ask.
| ,-._|\ David W. Weatherill E-Mail:
|/ \ 86 Moreton Crescent, Bundoora Victoria 3083 Australia
|\_,--.*/ * WEATHERILL & SITLINGTON One Name Studies [GOONS 2846]
| V * President: The Genealogical Society of Victoria Inc.