Frederick (1807 ship)

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Name: Frederick
Port of registry: Calcutta
Launched: 1807, Batavia
Fate: Wrecked in 1818
General characteristics
Displacement: 210 tons
Propulsion: Sail

Frederick was a 210-ton sailing ship built in 1807 at Batavia. She was wrecked at Cape Flinders on Stanley Island, Queensland, Australia in 1818.[1]


Frederick was a wooden ship of 210 tons.[2]

A reef discovered by Captain Savigny in 1812 was named after her. The Frederick Reefs are located in the Coral Sea Islands, over 220 nautical miles (410 km) northeast of Gladstone, Queensland. The reefs were described in the ship's log:

the north-east extremity of which is laid down in latitude 20 degrees 44 minutes, and longitude 150 degrees 32 minutes; it is of semi-circular shape, and extends as far south as 21 degrees 2 minutes, and appears to be nearly twenty miles wide.[3]

William Duncan captained the ship during 1814. Frederick undertook voyages from Calcutta to Sydney in 1814, 1815, and 1816 transporting merchandise, passengers and on each occasion some military convicts. In 1815 she carried eight escaped convicts that had stowed away on Archduke Charles when she had left from Port Jackson for Canton.

Frederick was under the command of Captain John Williams when she left Hobart, Tasmania on 27 June 1818 bound for Mauritius. She was carrying sheep and cattle but these died from heat at the Percy Islands off the east coast of Queensland. Williams ordered the crew to collect spars to take to Mauritius instead and it was at this time that the ship was wrecked at Cape Flinders in August 1818. Two boats were launched and shortly after the ship broke in two. In one boat were the master, two men and two boys while the long boat carried the remaining twenty-three of the crew.

Williams and the four other crew were rescued by the ship Duke of Wellington which had been travelling with Frederick for much of its journey. The long boat was not seen again and it can only be assumed that the twenty-three surviving crew drowned or were killed by aborigines. Williams had sailed with a sixteen-year-old girl whom he had bought from her father, much to the scandal of the colonial community. The girl may have been lost when the long-boat was swamped, or may have been captured by aborigines as there were rumours later of a white woman having been seen with aborigines in the area.

The wreck of Frederick was found by Captain Phillip Parker King of HMS Mermaid, on 13 July 1819 while it was on a surveying expedition.[4]


  1. ^ "Frederick". Australian National Shipwreck Database. Retrieved 2014-12-04. 
  2. ^ Encyclopaedia of Australian Shipwrecks
  3. ^ Vol. II has title: India directory, or, Directions for sailing to and from the East Indies, China, Australia, Cape of Good Hope, Brazil, and the interjacent ports... 4th ed. London, 1836
  4. ^ Australian Shipwrecks - vol 1 1622-1850, Charles Bateson, AH and AW Reed, Sydney, 1972, ISBN 0-589-07112-2 p57


Coordinates: 14°07′48″S 144°14′13″E / 14.13°S 144.237°E / -14.13; 144.237