Abbey (1853)

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File:Abbey (1853).jpg
Extract of the Abbey (1853) Lloyd's Register of British and Foreign Shipping 1854 journal entry
Name: Abbey
Owner: John Phillips
Port of registry: Sydney
Ship registration number: 52/1867
Ship official number: 31803
Builder: Unknown Newcastle, County Down, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom
Completed: 1853
Status: Wrecked
General characteristics
Type: Wood Brigantine
Tonnage: Gross tonnage (GT) of 90  tons
Displacement: Net tonnage (NT) of 90  tons
Length: 22.6 m
Beam: 5.7 m
Draught: 3.3 m
Installed power: NA
Ship primary use: Transport
Ship industry:
Ship passenger capacity: Unknown
Crew: Unknown
Wreck Event
When lost: 1868/02/15
Where lost: Crowdy Head, 3 mls north of
Reason for loss: Gale
Cargo: Ballast
Travelling from: Sydney
Travelling to: Newcastle, New South Wales
Master: Unknown
Deaths: 0
Wreck Location
Discovered: No
Position: 31°50′S 152°46′E / 31.84°S 152.76°E / -31.84; 152.76Coordinates: 31°50′S 152°46′E / 31.84°S 152.76°E / -31.84; 152.76,

Abbey (1853) Abbey was a wooden Brigantine that was wrecked at Crowdy Head, New South Wales in 1868.

Ship Service History

1854 - 1858

1858 - 1866 Ships Master Captain James Crocket

During this period the Abbey was engaged mainly in the trade between Circular Head Tasmania and Hobsons Bay Melbourne Victoria carrying general produce up to Melbourne and returning with a general cargo back to Tasmania

Hobson Bay Cleared Out 25 April 1860 Abbey, schooner, 89 tons, J. Crocket, for Circular Head, V.D.L. Gilles, Nicholson, and Co., agents. With a cargo of 4 bales gunnies, 1 package twine, 3 bags rice, 6 boxes candles, 3 tons flour, 1/2 ton soap. 250 corn sacks, 14 bars and 8 bundles iron, 7 half-chests tea, 15 bags sugar[1]


Arrived Hobson Bay 8 October 1860 Abbey, schooner, 90.tons, J. Crocket, from Circular Head -5th ult. 2 passengers. Gilles, Nicholson, and Co., agents. With a cargo of 12 tons potatoes, 3 000 foot backwood, 2,000 palings, 1 case[1]

The ships master James Crocket made this journey at least 5 times between 5 July 1859 and the 7 May 1862 [1][1][2][3][4]

The ship had also saled from Sydney to Melbourne in March 1859 [5]

While towards the end of Captain James Crocket tenure the schooner was being used in runs between Brisbane and ports such as Newcastle, New South Wales[6] the Clarence River (New South Wales) and Port Frederick[7]

During one of these trips to Brisbane on the 27 June 1866 the Abbey was involved in an altercation with another vessel while it was at rest

Yesterday, while the Abbey, schooner, was lying in the stream, a cutter coming up the river ran into her, and stove in two planks. It seems that the cutter was beating up the stream, and attempted to weather the schooner, but finding she would lay close enough, her master attempted to go about. She, however, would not pay off, and ran into the Abbey, stem on, causing the damage mentioned, besides carrying away her bowsprit.[8]

Not long after this it appears the vessel was put up for sale in Melbourne

Wednesday, September 5 1866. at Twelve O'clock.
The schooner ABBEY.
To Merchants, Ship owners, and Speculators Engaged in the Intercolonial Shipping Trade of Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia, and New Zealand.
JAMES LAWRANCE has received instructions to
SELL by PUBLIC AUCTION, at Lloyd's-rooms, 95 Collins-street west, on Wednesday, the 6th September, at twelve o'clock, the British-built clipper schooner ABBEY,
88 tons register, 150 tons burthen.
Length .. .. 74ft. 1in.
Breadth .. .. 18ft. 8in.
Depth .. .. 10ft. 71n.
This fine schooner is se well known in these waters for her high character that it requires no comment from the auctioneer. Suffice to say, that during the last 12 months she has had a thorough overhaul, been refastened and sheathed with yellow metal, and will be found on inspection to be in first-class order and ready for sea.
For further particulars apply at the rooms of the auctioneer.
No reserve. Terms, liberal, at sale. Wednesday, 5th September, at Twelve O’clock.[9]

It appear the vessel was passed in with ads appearing shortly after in the Melbourne papers looking for private contractors [10] by October it appears the vessel had sold

1866 - 1867 68? Ships Master T. W. Harrison

In October 1866 the vessel was again preparing for sailing. This time in a jounery to Dunedin, New Zealand under the command of T. W. Harrison[11]

In 1867 the vessel made runs from Newcastle to Melbourne stopping on the return voyages at Sydney [12][13]

Shipwreck Event

The ship went ashore during a rather violent storm that claimed several other vessels as can be seen from these original accounts in the Sydney Herald, February 24 1868

Total Loss of the Schooners Cheetah, Abbey, And Raven. The records of the devastation caused by the late gale are being painfully made manifest, the list of casualties having been unfortunately increased by the report that has reached us of the loss of the above named vessels. They left Sydney bound to Newcastle on the 14th instant, in ballast, and are total wrecks.

The Raven went on shore on the 15th instant, two miles south of Crowdy Head, all hands saved, the ship being hove well up on the beach. She is owned by Mr. Metcalfe, and is insured. The Cheetah, belonging to Mr. C. Levi, and the Abbey, were both lost on the same evening, three miles north of Crowdy Head, all hands saved.

The Cheetah is insured in Metcalfe's office, and the Abbey in the Sydney Marine for £800; but it is to be feared that the list of disasters has not yet been completed, as other vessels are missing. The General Wool, barque, belonging to Captain Campbell ; Gratia, brig, owned by Mr. J. Cook, and the schooner Barwon, are all anxiously inquired for.

The chief officer of the Raven reports that on the 17th instant he saw the bodies of two men drifting off the rocks at Crowdy Head, they had clothing on ; there was also part of a ship's boat, and the top of a deck-house, which did not belong to either of the vessels ashore.[14].

The consequences and the severity of this storm can be seen as the number of vessel wrecked over the following days continued to increase

Portions of two other wrecks have come ashore. They are supposed to be parts of the brig Gratia and the barque General Wool. Several bodies have been floated to the shore.

A portion of the cargo of the Esmeralda has been lightered. The vessel is not likely to be got off before the spring tides.[15]

The wreck of the schooner on the beach was then sold by Messrs Bradley, Newton, and Lamb for the sum of £35[16]

Further reading

Online Database's
Australian National Shipwreck Database[17]
Australian Shipping - Arrivals and Departures 1788-1968 including shipwrecks [18]
Encyclopaedia of Australian Shipwrecks - New South Wales Shipwrecks [19]


  • Wrecks on the New South Wales Coast. By Loney, J. K. (Jack Kenneth), 1925–1995 Oceans Enterprises. 1993 ISBN 9780646110813.
  • Australian Shipwrecks - vol1 1622-1850, Charles Bateson, AH and AW Reed, Sydney, 1972, ISBN 0 589 07112 2 910.4530994 BAT
  • Australian shipwrecks Vol. 2 1851–1871 By Loney, J. K. (Jack Kenneth), 1925–1995. Sydney. Reed, 1980 910.4530994 LON
  • Australian shipwrecks Vol. 3 1871–1900 By Loney, J. K. (Jack Kenneth), 1925–1995. Geelong Vic: List Publishing, 1982 910.4530994 LON
  • Australian shipwrecks Vol. 4 1901–1986 By Loney, J. K. (Jack Kenneth), 1925–1995. Portarlington Vic. Marine History Publications, 1987 910.4530994 LON
  • Australian shipwrecks Vol. 5 Update 1986 By Loney, J. K. (Jack Kenneth), 1925–1995. Portarlington Vic. Marine History Publications, 1991 910.4530994 LON


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 The Argus Thursday 26 April 1860 [1] Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "" defined multiple times with different content
  2. The South Australian Advertiser Tuesday 5 July 1859 [2]
  3. The Argus Tuesday 29 May 1860 [3]
  4. The Argus Thursday 8 May 1862 [4]
  5. The Argus Monday 14 March 1859 [5]
  6. The Brisbane Courier Tuesday 7 June 1864 [6]
  7. The Brisbane Courier Thursday 21 June 1866 [7]
  8. The Brisbane Courier Wednesday 27 June 1866 [8]
  9. The Argus Thursday 30 August 1866 [9]
  10. The Argus Saturday 22 September 1866 [10]
  11. The Argus Monday 22 October 1866 [11]
  12. The Argus Thursday 20 December 1866 [12]
  13. The Argus Saturday 26 January 1867 [13]
  14. The Mercury Wednesday 4 March 1868 [14]
  15. The Argus Monday 24 February 1868 [15]
  16. The Sydney Morning Herald Monday 2 March 1868 [16]

External links