The Voyage of the Lady Mary Pelham to the South Australian Colony in 1836
The 3-mast barque "Lady Mary Pelham" (206 tons), departed Liverpool 30th March 1836, arrived Nepean Bay, Kangaroo Island, on 30th July 1836, with 29 passengers and crew, under Captain Robert Ross.
Named after the wife of the second Earl of Chichester. A burthen tonnage 206 tons she was Chartered by The South Australian Company to carry cargo: Provisions and whaling stores. Souls on board 29 - 6 passengers, employees of The South Australian Company and a crew of 23 rated as emigrants also.
Lloyd's Register for 1836 showed Lady Mary Pelham with R. Ross, master, the South Australian Company as owner, and with trade London–Australia. She had undergone a large repair in 1830.
George Fife Angas chartered Lady Mary Pelham. She left Portsmouth for Adelaide 30 March 1836 under Captain Robert Ross, and was the third of the fleet to leave. Her only full fare-paying passengers were Cornelius Birdseye and Mrs Birdseye. There were also five assisted emigrants, several of whom were also working as crew members. Her first mate, James Doine Thompson, died at sea. She arrived at Nepean Bay (Kangaroo Island) on 30 July. One source states that she had 29 passengers, all adults.
Lady Mary Pelham sailed from South Australia to Hobart to fit-out for a whaling voyage, arriving there 25 September. She departed Hobart under Captain Ross on 15 October 1836 for the South Sea Fishery. She cruised among the Solomon Islands and was reported at Carteret Harbour, New Ireland, where she spoke the US whaler Mechanic. In April 1837 she arrived Sourabaya in a leaky state, the crew "in a state of almost mutiny owing, it is said, to the conduct of the captain." Only a small amount of whale oil had been taken and it was decided to convert the cruise to a trading voyage. Accordingly she took aboard 2,000 bags of sugar and departed for Sydney, arriving there 2 May 1838.
S.G. Henty & Co. of Portland, Victoria, purchased her and refitted her in Hobart Town as a whaler. As a whaler under the Hentys, her first captain was John Mills, followed in 1841 by John Harper, then in 1844 by William Dutton (1811–1878), sometimes referred to as "William Pelham Dutton". Dutton killed 100 whales in his career, the last being in 1866, and is considered one of the founders of Portland. He gave up command of Lady Mary Pelham in 1847 to Rosevear; Henty sold her that same year. She underwent repairs in Launceston and put in the charge of Captain Thomas Wing.
Lady Mary Pelham was wrecked on 31 August 1849 at Port Fairy, Victoria, or Belfast as it was then officially named. She was anchored off the port awaiting a favourable wind when a fierce gale broke her chains. Captain Wing deliberately beached her, with the result that no lives were lost and most of her cargo was salvaged. Her back was broken and by mid-October wave action had completely broken her up.
Lost at Belfast, now Port Fairy, Victoria, 1 Sep 1849: BELFAST. (1849, September 8). Geelong Advertiser (Vic. : 1847 - 1851), p. 2 Edition: MORNING. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article93136028
Passenger Lists etc.
- LADY MARY PELHAM 1836 from the BOUND FOR SOUTH AUSTRALIA website. first accessed online on the 30th of June 2020 at: https://bound-for-south-australia.collections.slsa.sa.gov.au/1836LadyMaryPelham.htm
- Lady Mary Pelham (1816 ship) from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. first accessed online on the 30th of June 2020 at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lady_Mary_Pelham_(1816_ship)
- 30/03/1836 - 30/07/1836 from the Passengers in History website, An initiative of the South Australian Maritime Museum, first accessed online on the 1st of July 2020 at: http://passengersinhistory.sa.gov.au/node/946627