SS Daphne (1883)

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For other ships of the same name, see SS Daphne.
Career (UK)
Name: SS Daphne
Builder: Alexander Stephen and Sons, Linthouse, Glasgow
Yard number: 279
Launched: 3 July 1883
Fate: Foundered on launching
Later raised, repaired and put into service
General characteristics [1]
Type: Passenger-cargo vessel
Tonnage: 449 GRT
Length: 176 ft (54 m)
Beam: 25 ft (7.6 m)
Propulsion: 2-cylinder compound diagonal steam engine

SS Daphne was a ship which sank moments after her launching at a shipyard in Govan, Glasgow, Scotland, on 3 July 1883.


Around 200 workmen were on board the ship at the time it was launched, ready to begin fitting out work as soon as it was properly afloat. As per the usual practice, anchors were attached by cable to each side of the ship being launched. As the Daphne moved into the river, the anchors failed to stop the ship's forward progress. The starboard anchor moved only 6-7 yards but the port anchor was dragged 60 yards. The current of the river caught the Daphne and flipped it over onto its port side, sinking it in deep water.[2]

Around 70 lives were saved, but 124 died (some sources say 195 died), including many young boys, some of whose relatives watched the ceremony from shore.


An inquiry was held afterward; the shipyard owners were held blameless, which led to claims of a cover-up. The cause of the disaster was reported to be little initial stability combined with too much loose gear and too many people aboard.[3]

One of the outcomes of the disaster was the limiting of personnel aboard to only those necessary for mooring the ship after the launch.

The Daphne was later raised, repaired, and renamed the Rose.


Two memorials, to what was known at the time as the "Linthouse Disaster", exist; one erected in Victoria Park, Whiteinch in 1996[4] and another in Elder Park, Govan.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "SS DAPHNE". Clyde-built Ship Database. 2013. Retrieved 18 March 2013. 
  2. ^ a b "Sudden sinking of a steamship". The Scotsman. 15 May 2006. Retrieved 18 March 2013. 
  3. ^ Reed, Edward James (1883). Report On The "Daphne" Disaster. London: Eyre and Spottiswoode. Retrieved 2009-08-15. 
  4. ^ "Victoria Park Heritage Trail". Glasgow City Council. 2013. pp. 8–9. Retrieved 18 March 2013. 

External links[edit]