Adelphoi (1865)

From SpottingWorld, the Hub for the SpottingWorld network...
File:Adelphoi (1865).jpg
Lloyd's Register of British and Foreign Shipping 1865 Entry
Name: Adelphoi
Owner: A A Farthing & W H Gregory
Port of registry: Newcastle, New South Wales
Ship registration number: 13/1875
Ship official number: 47173
Builder: Thos Robson County Durham, Sunderland, United Kingdom
Completed: 1865
Status: Wrecked
General characteristics
Type: Wood carvel Barquentine
Tonnage: Gross tonnage (GT) of 359  tons
Displacement: Net tonnage (NT) of 348  tons
Length: 36.02  m
Beam: 8.351  m
Draught: 5.059  m
Installed power: NA
Ship primary use: Transport
Ship industry:
Ship passenger capacity: 0
Crew: 10
Wreck Event
When lost: 1879/12/21
Where lost: Port Hacking, 1ml sth of, at Bombora Point
Reason for loss: Navigated too close
Cargo: Ballast
Travelling from: Adelaide
Travelling to: Newcastle, New South Wales
Master: W Milton Gregory
Deaths: 0
Wreck Location
Discovered: No
Position: 34°04′23″S 151°07′12″E / 34.073°S 151.12°E / -34.073; 151.12Coordinates: 34°04′23″S 151°07′12″E / 34.073°S 151.12°E / -34.073; 151.12,

The barque Adelphoi, whilst on route from Adelaide to Newcastle, New South Wales was passing Port Hacking in with a light easterly wind.

The wind dropped, and the vessel drifted close in shore It was attempted to wear ship, but the vessel struck the rocks, and sprang a leak.

The captain found it necessary to abandon her. She was insured in New Zealand by an Insurance Company for £2,000. The vessel was in ballast.[1]

Ship Service History



The barque Adelphoi seems to have first made its way into Australian waters in 1874 via Java where before her arrival news was received

Advices from the colonies had been received to 2nd October Besides the mail steamer the departures for Australia were the Mocq Bailey (arrived) the Adelphoi, Heidi and Elisa Blanche with sugar for Melbourne and the Flintshire with sugar for Sydney[2]

This journey from Java, with a full cargo of sugar constituted of leaving Cherilbon on the 1st October and the vessel was carried with the SE trade winds to a latitude of 28deg S, and longitude 129deg E where the winds have ranged chiefly from SE to SW, with squally changeable weather but once off the Australian coast the barque met with easterly gales[3]

The vessel then arrived in Melbourne and began discharging and receiving, cargo at the Sandridge town pier during the week ending Friday December 25[4]

At this stage the vessel was put up for sale advertised as the Barque Adelphoi of 349 tons register being sold by MacFarlan, Blyth, and Co.[5]

Upon her sale it appears the master made his return to London via the Northumberland

The. Northumberland having completed taking in her cargo for London, embarked her passengers on Monday 14th inst., and left immediately afterwards. She has secured nearly a full complement of passengers, and amongst them three masters of vessels, viz , Captain Carson, who has sold his fine little barque the Mary Blair and Captains Guen and Grazebook, late of the Adelphoi and Seaspray respectively, whose vessels have also been sold.[6]

1876-79 Operation from the Port of Newcastle

On the 19 May 1876 the Adelphoi sailed from Newcastle, New South Wales harbour for Lyttelton, New Zealand[7] and arrived on the 9 June 1876[8]

In September 1876 it was reported that the Adelphoi and Natal Queen were loading at Lyttelton and bound for Melbourne, with 10,000 bags of oats.[9]

On the 15 December 1876 the Adelphoi arrived back at it's new home port at Newcastle harbour after having completed her trip[10]

On the 26 April 1877 the Adelphoi again sailed for Lyttelton from Newcastle [11]

During the night of 12 August the Adelphoi entered [Port Phillips] Heads on a journey bound for Newcastle as part of here return journey[12]

The Adelphoi sailed on arriving at Newcastle, New South Wales on the 3 July 1877 with the captain W. H. (Milton) Gregory at the helm and a crew of 9 [13][14]

On January the 10 1878 the Adelphoi again sailed from Newcastle harbour to Lytteton [15] and arrived on the 8 March 1878 [16]

It again arrived in Lytteton on the 15 July 1878[17] and sailed for Newcastle on the 30 July 1878 [18]

It sailed from Lytteton on the 15 January 1879[19]

The vessel latter arrived in Australian waters again from Lyttelton on 6 June 1879 again at Newcastle again with a crew of 9 none of which had been with the vessel bar the Master on the previous voyage although this time carrying 2 Cabin passengers [20][21]

The vessel again landed at Lyttelton on 11 July 1879[22] when the grain cargo from New Zealand arrived in Australia it was landed and sold to a local Sydney miller [23]

Shipwreck Event

On the morning of the 21 December 1879 the Adolphoi struck a reef of Port Hacking and sank and the

master of the barque Adolphoi, reported to Acting supinspector Donohue that vessel had been wrecked yesterday morning, off Port Hacking From Captain Gregory the following particulars of the occurrence were afterwards obtained by our reporter the barque was bound from Adelaide to Newcastle, in ballast, and was coming along, the coast yesterday morning with a very light easterly breeze When off a point a mile to the southward of Port Hacking about halt-past 7 o clock the wind fell very light, and Captain Gregory, finding, the vessel close in shore, endeavoured to wear her around, but in doing so she stuck on the reef, and at once begun to thump heavily. The result was that she made water fast, and us she still continued rolling heavily, and there was between 7 feet and 8 feet of water in the hold, Captain Gregory found it necessary to abandon the ship At 9 o'clock the crew, having with them a few of their personal effects, took to the boats, and pulled to Port Hacking, which place they reached in due course and without accident Captain Gregory speaks highly of the hospitality both he and his crew experienced a the hands of Mrs York, who resides near the bay, and who after tending in a very handsome manner to the creature comforts of the shipwrecked crew had them driven in a conveyance to the punt at Georges River Thence they walked to Cooks River, where they took the bus, and arrived in Sydney about half-past 8 o'clock The crew were taken to the Sailors Home Captain Gregory, as before stated, immediately reported the matter to the Water Police the Adelphoi was the joint property of Mr A A Farthing, of Newcastle, and Captain Gregory, and was insured in the New Zealand Insurance Company’s office for £2000 She was a staunch vessel, and was built in Sunderland in the year 1865 [24]

W H Gregory the master of the Adelphoi, was called on to show cause why his certificate should not be suspended or cancelled for his wrongful act or default in navigating the barque so close to land that the was lost.

The master claimed that it would have been useless to anchor and that he did all he could to save the vessel but there was no hope, except that of saving life he claimed he had been a careful navigator for upward of 19 years.

The master adding that he was part owner of the vessel, that at the insurance on her had been reduced by £1,000 stating that he was a loser by the wreck, and that it had also thrown him out of employment.

The board considered the matter and could not overlook the fact that the barque might have been kept further from shore, and the anchor dropped.

They had decided to suspend Captain Gregory s certificate for three months from the time of the wreck.[25]


Further reading

Online Database's
Australian National Shipwreck Database[1]
Australian Shipping - Arrivals and Departures 1788-1968 including shipwrecks [2]
Encyclopedia of Australian Shipwrecks - New South Wales Shipwrecks [3]
Other Online sources
Historic Australian Newspapers, 1803 to 1954 [4]


  • 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