Herald of the Morning

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Name: Herald of the Morning
Owner: George King and John Storm [1] James Thompson [2]
Builder: Storm and King, Saint John, New Brunswick
Launched: 1854 [3]
Out of service: 1859
  • Burned 15 November 1859
  • Hulk scuttled ca. 1889
General characteristics
Class and type: Al
Tons burthen: 1292 tons OM, 1108 tons NM
Length: 195.3 Feet
Beam: 35.3 Feet
Draught: 22.0 Feet
Propulsion: Sail
Sail plan: Ship, square rig

Herald of the Morning was a three-masted square-rigged sailing ship, built in 1853 or 1854 at Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada, expressly for the Australia run. The contemporary Melbourne press described her as 'a fine ship of 1292 tons register'

Wright claims she was built in 1853, but not registered until 1854.[4] Some sources cite 1855[5] Port number 27, The ship was also owned by George King and John Storm.[6] James Thompson [7]


Liverpool to Melbourne 19 December 1854, Cpt. John Attridge[8]

Liverpool to Melbourne 1857

Liverpool to Sydney New South Wales, 25 June 1858, Cpt. G Rudolph, Master, Burthen 1291 tons[9]

Melbourne to Callao, 9 August 1858[10]

Liverpool to Melbourne 5 November 1859

Fire and wreck[edit]

At the end of her second voyage to Australia in 1859 with 419 government immigrants, Herald of the Morning was anchored in Hobson's Bay, when at about 12:45 pm on 15 November the captain awoke to someone[who?] yelling out FIRE! The fire quickly spread through the entire vessel. Despite attempts to scuttle the ship by cutting holes in her side near the waterline, as she burnt and became lighter so that the scuttling holes rose above the water level. An attempt was made to move the ship, by slipping the anchor chains, but the heat drove the crew back from the other. Finally it was cut through from the outside and towed ashore at Sandridge (Port Melbourne) by two tugs, Lioness and Sophia, and left to burn.[11]

The tugs Sophia and Hercules later towed the ship to the beach between Sandridge and Williamstown where she continued to smolder (UID 152). The hulk was eventually removed and sunk at the end of Donaldsons jetty in about 1889.[12]

Included in the cargo was iron work intended for the Hawthorn Bridge, and while this was recovered, the fire had damaged it. It was subsequently salvaged and partly sold at auction eventually to become the trusses for the Mia Mia Bridge at Redesdale. The wreck was advertised for sale on 29 November 1859.[13]

The hulk appears to have remained sitting on the beach for many years until the Melbourne Harbour Trust Commissioners adopted the following recommendations of its Finance Committee:

Your Committee recommend that Messrs. H. B. Donaldson and Co. be called upon as provided by Section 76 of the Act to remove their sunken hulk in Hobson's Bay at Sandridge within a reasonable time (to be named in the notice), and should they fail to remove the said hulk within such time, that she be removed by the Trust as provided by the said Section. Your Committee further recommend that the firm named and Messrs. Stewart, White and Co. be called upon to attorn tenants to the trust under conditions to be submitted by this Committee to the Commissioners and approved by them.[14]


  1. ^ National Archives of Canada, RG 12,
  2. ^ This was a group including Bartholomew French, John Linn, David Fernie and Andrew Gibson, Victorian Heritage Database citing Wright 1974, 112
  3. ^ The National Archives of Canada ships register
  4. ^ Victorian Heritage Database citing Wright 1974, 112
  5. ^ Peter Taylor, 1999: Maritime Archaeology Association Of Victoria, Inc
  6. ^ National Archives of Canada, RG 12,
  7. ^ This was a group including Bartholomew French, John Linn, David Fernie and Andrew Gibson, Victorian Heritage Database citing Wright 1974, 112
  8. ^ "SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE". The Argus. Melbourne: National Library of Australia. 20 December 1854. p. 4. Retrieved 3 August 2012.
  9. ^ Peter Taylor, 1999: Maritime Archaeology Association Of Victoria, Inc
  10. ^ "CLEARANCES.—AUGUST 9". Empire. Sydney. 10 August 1858. p. 2. Retrieved 2 August 2012 – via National Library of Australia.
  11. ^ State Records Authority of New South Wales: Shipping Master's Office; Passengers Arriving 1855 - 1922; NRS13278, 9X98-1000 reel 406, Transcribed by Gloria Sheehan, 2005
  12. ^ Heritage Victoria Shipwrecks Register UID 9
  13. ^ "Advertising" The Argus 24 Nov 1859: 2
  14. ^ 'General Report for the year from the Nautical Branch, prepared by the Harbour Master' Melbourne Harbor Trust Annual Report, 7 September 1881.

External links[edit]