Cleopatra (1839)

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Flag of the British East India Company (1801).svg
Name: Cleopatra
Owner: East India Company
Builder: Thomas Pitcher of Northfleet[1][2]
Launched: 1839[1]
Out of service: 15 April 1847
Fate: Sunk by tropical cyclone off Malabar Coast[1][2][3]
General characteristics
Tons burthen: 760 bm[1]
Length: 178 ft 5 in (54.38 m) [1]
Beam: 31 ft (9.4 m)[1]
Speed: 9-10 knots under sail
Cleopatra Memorial, St. Thomas Cathedral, Mumbai

Cleopatra was a Victorian-era wooden paddle steam frigate[4] of the East India Company.[5] Constructed at Northfleet, the ship arrived at Bombay (now Mumbai) on 19 April 1840,[6] and operated as a transport and mail steamer between Bombay to Karachi, Aden and Suez.[3]

Loss at sea during cyclone[edit]

Cleopatra foundered on 15 April 1847 during a cyclone off the Malabar Coast in the Indian Ocean whilst en route from Bombay to Singapore.[3] Nearly 300 people were killed - her entire crew of 151, 100 convicts she was carrying and their Royal Marine guard.[5] The ship was in poor condition prior to her loss, her captain Commander J. A. Young having complained that on the immediately prior voyage, from Aden to Bombay, the paddle boxes had to be secured with chains running across the deck.[7]


A monument recording the loss of the Cleopatra is situated close to the entrance of St. Thomas Cathedral, Mumbai.

Among the list of casualties it records the name of Assistant Surgeon James Thomas Carr, MRCS, (29 September 1822 – 15 April 1847)[8] son of the then serving inaugural Bishop of Bombay, Rt. Revd. Thomas Carr.


  1. ^ a b c d e f Ian M. King. "HMS Cleopatra (1839) 3". Britain's Navy. Retrieved 16 May 2015.
  2. ^ a b "HMS Cleopatra (+1847)". Wrecksite. Retrieved 16 May 2015.
  3. ^ a b c "List of casualties, page 39". Wrecksite. Retrieved 16 May 2015.
  4. ^ name="forgottenbooks1"/>Charles Rathbone Low. History of the Indian Navy. p. 192.
  5. ^ a b Charles Rathbone Low. History of the Indian Navy. p. 194.
  6. ^ Charles Rathbone Low. History of the Indian Navy. p. 136.
  7. ^ Charles Rathbone Low. History of the Indian Navy. p. 192.
  8. ^ Crawford (1930). Roll of the Indian Medical Service 1615-1930 - Volume 2. London: W. Thacker. p. 455. |access-date= requires |url= (help)