Knight Commander

Privacy Level: Public (Green)
Date: 1864 to 1899
Location: Liverpool, Lancashire, Englandmap
Surnames/tags: British_Shipping_Line Liverpool
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Knight Commander

- Official No 48802,
- Port of Registry Liverpool,
- Size 1435 tons, Length 230ft, between perpendiculars 210 ft, keel 200ft, breadth of beam (moulded 36ft 6in, depth of hold 25ft3in to 26ft8in, registered tonnage 1,450t, burden 2,500t.
- Built at Dublin in 1864, North Wall Shipyard, the Knight Commander was the yard's first launching, first lareg iron vessel built in the Port of Dublin, and was a fill-rigged sailing ship intended for the Calcutta trade.
- Signal Code VWHK.
- Disposal: Missing.
- 1890 Managing Owner Henry Fernie, Borough Buildings, Rumford St, Liverpool

The Knight Commander was the first launching of the North Wall Shipyard, Dublin. The ship was built for Messrs Carlyle and Company (Messrs James Carlyle and Gedes of Liverpool), the principal of which was T H Ismay, who four years later founded the White Star Line when he purchased the company and house-flag of Messrs Pilkington and Wilson for £1,000. It was the first large iron vessel ever built in the Port of Dublin, and was a fill-rigged sailing ship. She was christened by The Marchioness of Kildare and was intended for the Calcutta trade.

She nearly came to disaster on her maiden voyage, while at anchor in Calcutta, when she was caught in the 1864 cyclone and was stranded and badly damaged. However she re-floated and repaired and stayed in the Calcutta and Australian trades until 1883 when she was sold.

The next known owners of the ship were Henry Fernie & Sons, also of Liverpool and she remained with them for seven years, 26 Jan 1888 to 3 Mar 1890, voyage from Britain to Australia-Pugent Sound-Chile; during voyage 2100 miles WNW of Cape Pillar (southern Tasmania), the deck house of the Knight Commander being completely gutted by the seas breaking onboard and washed away the belongings of some of the crew

She then passed into the hands of other Mersey owners Lowden & Company of Liverpool, who converted her in 1892 to barque rig. She was still in the general cargo trade at the end of the nineteenth century.

Lost in 1899, between July, when she was last spoken off the coast of Brazil, and October, when she was due at Pisagua.



Liffey Ships and Shipbuilding, By Pat Sweeney, pp20-22.


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