Francis (1793)

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Launched: 24 July 1793
Fate: Wrecked on 21 March 1805.
General characteristics
Tons burthen: 41 (bm)

Francis was a 41 tons (bm) colonial schooner that was partially constructed at the Deptford Dockyard, England and sent in frame aboard the Pitt to Australia to be put together for the purposes of exploration. The vessel had originally been designed for George Vancouver’s discovery voyage of the west coast of North America.

Francis was assembled and launched at Sydney Cove, Port Jackson on 24 July 1793.[1] She left Port Jackson on 8 September, with Britannia to Dusky Bay, New Zealand on a survey and sealing expedition. Francis made a survey of Port Stephens in February 1795 under the command of deputy surveyor-general Charles Grimes.[2]

Francis was sent on three rescue voyages in 1797, to the Sydney Cove wreck in the Furneaux Group of islands, Tasmania.[1] While in the Furneaux Group, Matthew Flinders undertook a survey of the islands. She accompanied HMS Lady Nelson to Newcastle in 1801 and collected 75 tons of coal.

In June 1801 Francis sailed to the Coal River (Hunter River). She returned to Sydney with 150 tons of coal from Newcastle, New South Wales. This was loaded on the Earl Cornwallis, which took the coal to Whampoa. This is believed to have been the first export of coal from Newcastle.[3]

In 1803 Francis picked up survivors and cargo from HMS Porpoise, which had been wrecked on the Wreck Reefs. Francis travelled to the reefs in company with the Rolla and Cumberland.


She was wrecked on 21 March 1805, north of the Hunter River, Newcastle on the Oyster Bank.[4]


  1. ^ a b "First Survey of Furneaux Group by Flinders". The Mercury (Hobart, Tas), Monday 22 January 1945, p.6. Retrieved 3 January 2012. 
  2. ^ "Port Stephens and Port Macquarie". Army News, Sunday 2 November 1941, p.8. Retrieved 3 January 2012. 
  3. ^ Free Settler or Felon? - Convict Ship Earl Cornwallis 1801,[1] - accessed 18 November 2014.
  4. ^ "Ship News". The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser, Sunday 31 March 1805, p.3. Retrieved 3 January 2012.