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The Liverpool and Australian Navigation Company's new steam clipper ROYAL CHARTER

Date: 1855
Overall: 150 x 255 mm
Medium: Ink on paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Janet West
Object Name: Engraving
Object No: 00001144

User Terms

    This engraving depicts the auxiliary steam clipper ship ROYAL CHARTER of the Liverpool and Australian Navigation Company shipping line. It illustrated an article the ROYAL CHARTER's s voyage to Melbourne in 1857, and was probably printed in the Illustrated London News. ROYAL CHARTER was used to transport passengers between Australia and England from 1857 to 1859. It combined the new technology of steam power with the sailing power of the clipper ships.
    SignificanceThe engraving represents the migration of people to Australia during the busy decade of the gold rush. It highlights the financial opportunities that the colony offered to many immigrants. It also represents the transition from sail to steam propulsion in 19th century ship technology.
    HistoryIllustrated weekly magazines were 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 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.

    The ROYAL CHARTER was an innovative vessel for its time. Built at the Sandycroft Ironworks in England in 1857 the ship had a steel hull, steam engines and sail power. It could carry up to 600 passengers and was used to transport migrants and travellers between Liverpool and Australia for Messrs Gibbs Bright & Co of the Australian Steam Navigation Company.

    The ROYAL CHARTER was active for only two years before it was wrecked off the coast of Anglesey, Wales, in a gale on 25 October 1859. Approximately 450 crew and passengers died, with only about 25 people surviving. The ship was carrying large amounts of gold with miners returning from the Australian gold fields. A cargo commission of gold insured to the value of £320,000 was lost along with a large unknown quantity of gold held in the possession of individuals on board. Many locals visited the site of the wrecked ship to scavenge for gold after the event.
    Additional Titles

    Web title: Steam clipper ship ROYAL CHARTER

    Primary title: The Liverpool and Australian Navigation Company's new steam clipper ROYAL CHARTER

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