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New Australian clipper-ship the ROYAL FAMILY

Date: 18 October 1862
Overall: 165 x 240 mm
Medium: Ink on paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Name: Engraving
Object No: 00008964
Place Manufactured:England

User Terms

    This engraving features a depiction of the three-masted and fully rigged clipper ship ROYAL FAMILY at sea from its port side. On the ships mainmast the swallow tail flag represents the shipping line, W & RW. This engraving was printed in the Illustrated London News, a popular English magazine. This article was reporting the arrival of the vessel at Liverpool in 1862.
    SignificanceThis engraving represents the clipper ship ROYAL FAMILY and immigration to Australia during the 19th century.
    HistoryIllustrated weekly magazines became increasingly popular in Europe and America during the mid 19th century. They used large eye catching illustrations to accompany articles on politics, war, travel, exploration, fine arts, science and literature. The coverage of the immigration and the gold rush was a popular story in America, Australia and England.

    The Illustrated London News was a leading weekly pictorial in England and the wider world during the 19th century. It was established in 1842 to cover news and current affairs of national and international interest. Clipper ships generated a sense of romance, competition, national pride and innovative technology. They were a symbol of American modernity and fundamental to the expanding global economy. It was this sense of modernity, romance and excitement that made them interesting subjects in weekly magazines.

    To emigrate or remain at home was a major decision faced by many families in the 19th century. In the United Kingdom and Ireland alone, these reasons included land clearance (Scotland and Ireland), famine (Ireland), unemployment (England), the desire to get rich or the quest for political or religious freedom (Cornwall, the Midlands, Scotland and Ireland).

    During the 1850s and 1860s the discovery of gold in California and Australia instigated the movement of many people. Tens of thousands of miners criss-crossed the Pacific Ocean between Australia and America, with a £20 one-way ticket buying them a bunk and space for one trunk. The trip between Sydney and San Francisco took about six weeks. The travellers and emigrants brought with them their home customs and traditions, leaving a lasting impact on Australian society, technology, economy and lifestyle.

    The ROYAL FAMILY was built in New Brunswick, Canada by William and Richard Wright, who were joint owners of the vessel. The ship incorporated more iron in its construction than a typical clipper ship. This was due to the difficulty shipbuilders had accessing timber from southern ports in America during the Civil War. The ROYAL FAMILY was used on the Australian trade route between Liverpool and Melbourne and completed this journey on two occasions in 1863 and 1864. In 1868 the ship was wrecked when it hit Rufero Reef in the Maldives.
    Additional Titles

    Web title: ROYAL FAMILY

    Primary title: New Australian clipper-ship the ROYAL FAMILY

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