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British full-rigger ABERFOYLE in Australian waters

Date: 1900-1925
Dimensions:
Overall: 540 x 690 x 20 mm
Medium: Oil on board
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Classification:Art
Object Name: Painting
Object No: 00046911

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    Description
    This painting shows a starboard view of the British ship ABERFOYLE flying the signal flags JWND, possibly in Australian waters.
    SignificanceThis is a good example of the square-rigged ships that sailed to Australia in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries with cargo and passengers. The ALBERFOYLE has a dramatic story associated with its history - the suicide of the master and loss of an officer during a storm at sea.
    HistoryThe full-rigged ship ABERFOYLE was built for Gavin Cowper of Glasgow by McMillan's, Dumbarton in 1885. It was registered at 1,661 tons gross (1597 net) and measured 259 ft in length with a beam of 38 ft. It was the owner's only vessel. ABERFOYLE was sold to new owners in 1892 and again in 1898. It was recorded as still trading in 1908 but disappearred from the records shortly after this date.

    In 1895 during a voyage from Frederickstadt in Norway to Melbourne, the ABERFOYLE was struck by a gale and the chief officer Nr Norton was washed overboard and lost. The ship's master George Matthew Robertson committed suicide by self administering poison and was buried at sea. Tragically three of his daughters were on board at the time in the charge of a governess as their mother had dies eighteen months earlier. The eldest child was four years old. Assitance was offered to the distressed vessel by the SS TAGLIAFERRO which put its second officer Joseph R Amery on board to navigate the ABERFOYLE to Melbourne.

    A marine court invesitgation was held in Melbourne and the proceedings recorded in the ARGUS 22 June 1895.

    ABERFOYLE visited Sydney 29 November 1885, 26 September 1898, 30 September 1889 and 19 April 1902.

    In 1911 the ex-ABERFOLYE renamed HANSEY and Norwegian owned, was wrecked at Penolver, South Cornwall in a strong gale.

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