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Shipwreck of the FLORA transport on her voyage from NSW in the great south seas

Date: c 1832
Overall: 504 x 378 mm
Medium: Ink on paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Name: Broadsheet
Object No: 00015565

User Terms

    This broadsheet is printed with a song verse about the FLORA shipwreck during a voyage from NSW in the Southern seas. It consists of a wood-cut print of the vessel and starving passengers on deck, some committing acts of atrocity. This rhyming tale describes the trials of the passengers, specifically that of Jane Cardonell and her convict-pardoned husband Henry. Ninety people perished from starvation in the disaster and Mrs Cardonell was sent to the Bedlam lunatic asylum after murdering an officer on board.
    SignificanceThis is a rare record providing information on the wreck of the convict transport FLORA. It demonstrates the public's interest in tales of shipwrecks and morality during the 19th century.
    HistoryBroadsheet rhymes and verses were the cheapest prints available during the 18th and 19th century. They were sold by street sellers known as Flying Stationers, who charged a minimal fee of a penny or half-penny. They featured popular songs that were often sung in homes, inns and taverns and covered a range of themes relating to contemporary events or stories. Printed alongside the songs were woodcut illustrations. Most of the broadsheet publishers did not date or mark their works, making it difficult to pinpoint when they were produced.

    The FLORA was involved in the transportation of convicts to Australia's colonies. On 8 November 1829 it is known to have arrived in Port Jackson carrying convicts from Calcutta. FLORA was travelling to Batavia (present day Jakarta) from Sydney, New South Wales transporting passengers including pardoned convicts when it wrecked off Cape Grenville, Great Barrier Reef on 1 May 1832. The 200 men, women and children on board were forced to endure starvation on the stranded ship. A number of stories surfaced detailing the extreme conditions, amidst accounts of murder. Ninety lives were lost and the remaining passengers were eventually rescued from a passing ship.

    This broadsheet verse starts with the lines;

    Hearken to a tale of sorrow,
    Such as was ne'er told before
    Feeling souls the case will harrow
    Christian hearts it will deplore
    Additional Titles

    Primary title: Dreadful shipwreck of the FLORA transport, on her voyage from New South Wales in the Great South Seas

    Web title: Shipwreck of the FLORA transport on her voyage from NSW in the great south seas

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