Friday, 6 April 2012

F is for Flying Cloud

Not as in the 1851 clipper that set the fastest sailing time between New York and San Francisco. 
Not as in the immigrant ship that brought typhus to Sydney in 1864 and which was criminally under-rationed on its arrival. 
Not as in the Airship R-505 (also known as a blimp). 
Not as in the mining holding.
And, not as in the "very handsome" thorough-bred horse once owned by Mr E. Mitchell Esq. 

F is for the brig Flying Cloud built in Omaha, New Zealand in March 1867, sold at auction on 29 August 1867 after some serious controversy in New Zealand (which I am still investigating) and put on berth to Sydney where it was purchased by our Robert, in partnership with Messrs. Urquhart and McLaughlan, on 5 October 1867 for the sum of £2450. 

22 August 1867 Daily Southern Cross 

Variously referred to in newspaper records as a brig, a barque and a schooner (which are actually all quite different types of ships) the Flying Cloud was approximately 323 tons of Kiwi construction and timber. As best I can tell she was actually a "brig" which traditionally are squared-rigged, two masted ships. 
 She was put to use sailing between Australian ports such as Adelaide, Sydney and Newcastle, and as far as Hong Kong and Mauritius carrying shipments of coal and sugar. On one such journey between Mauritius and Australia, a seamen by the name of James Harris was lost overboard. Sadly,  she was wrecked off of Cape Banks in South Australia on 4 April 1870, thankfully, with all crew saved.
She is just one of a handful of ships owned by our Robert but not the only to end in pieces.

Because of the popularity of the name it's hard to determine which ship is being referred to in various articles so I will update you as I know more!

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