Aenid (ship)

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Name: Aenid
Owner: Commodore Sir WIlliam Wiseman
Ship registration number:
Ship official number:
Status: Wrecked
General characteristics
Type: Wood Cutter
Tonnage: Gross tonnage (GT) of   tons
Displacement: Net tonnage (NT) of   tons
Length:  m
Beam:  m
Draught:  m
Installed power: NA
Ship primary use: Unknown
Ship industry:
Ship passenger capacity: 0
Crew: 6
Wreck Event
When lost: 1865/11/12
Where lost: Sydney, Long Reef
Travelling from: Sydney
Travelling to: Broken Bay
Master: Lt Broughton
Deaths: At least 2
Wreck Location
Discovered: No
Position: 33°44′S 151°19′E / 33.73°S 151.32°E / -33.73; 151.32Coordinates: 33°44′S 151°19′E / 33.73°S 151.32°E / -33.73; 151.32

The Aenid was a wooden cutter was wrecked whilst carrying a cargo between Sydney and Broken Bay and was lost at Long Reef, New South Wales on the 12 November 1865

The Ænid was the cutter yacht belonging Commodore Sir William Wiseman, 8th Baronet and to the HMS Curaçao which was the flagship of the Australian Station of which the Commodore was the commanding officer

Shipwreck Event

The description of the wreck event is best expressed by the original survivors’

The yacht Ænid , belonging to Commodore Sir William Wiseman started on an excursion to Broken Bay, her crew consisting of Lieutenants Broughton, Meads, Hunt, Mr. Fulgum (midshipman), and two seamen They left Farm Cove at 8 pm on the 12th instant, and put into Manly, leaving again about 11pm, with a fresh southerly wind. When off Long Reef a heavy sea broke on board and capsized her. The crew had to swim for their lives, and, with the exception of the two sailors, all reached the shore in safety, although much bruised On landing some of the party succeeded in making Mr Jenkins station, where they were hospitably entertained, and Lieutenant Meads being severely injured, a cart was at once dispatched to the spot, and he was brought into Manly. Diligent search was also made throughout yesterday for the missing seamen, but no traces of them have been discovered, and it is much feared they have been drowned The yacht was washed upon a portion of the reef, where she now lies, but in a very dilapidated condition, a portion of her broadside being stove in.[1]

The fully story was made to the City Coroner, on Thursday following the accident

Swamping Of The Ænid : Recovery And Inquest On One Of The Bodies.

The body of Arthur Tilly, one of the unfortunate men who were drowned on the 13th instant by the swamping of the yacht Ænid, off Long Reef, was recovered from the water on Wednesday last. Search had been made on Tuesday by a boat's crew dispatched from HMS. Curaçao, but had not been successful. The body of Tilly was discovered lying near the beach, about fifteen feet under water, and was brought to the surface by John Daly, a seaman of the Curaçao, who dived for it, The body of the ether seaman, who it is supposed has been drowned, was not seen. The corpse of Tilly was taken on board the Curaçao, and an inquest was hold there before the City Coroner, on Thursday.

The Hon. Herbert George Phillip Meade, senior lieutenant of the Curaçao, deposed: Lieutenant Broughton, of HMS Esk, Sub-lieutenant Hunt and midshipman Fulgombe, of the Curaçao, myself, together with deceased and a petty officer named James Clarke, left the Curaçao in the yacht Ænid at 11 o’clock on Sunday night for the purpose of visiting Brisbane Water ; Clarke said that he had been to Brisbane Water before, and that he thoroughly knew the coast ; we called at Manly for hounds, and left at about midnight with a fine southerly breeze ; I had charge of the helm ; after we cleared the Heads we stood to the eastward for about three miles, and then bore up to the north ; shortly afterwards I gave leave to Tilly to go to sleep forwards ; Lieutenants Broughton and Hunt lay down on each side of the cabin, and Fulgombe athwart ships, leaving Clarke and me on deck ; they were all anxious to take their turn at the helm, but I did not wish to give up charge until I was safe inside Baranjoie Heads, where I proposed to anchor until after we had procured a pilot and a tide that, would take us across the bar at Brisbane Water ; the wind and the sea increased so that the yacht steered heavily; soon after half-past 1 o'clock I consented to allow Clarke to take the helm for three-quarters of an hour to rest my arms;

I had the most perfect confidence in Clarke's ability and seamanship ; he had the reputation of being one of the very best and steadiest seamen, and was, as usual, perfectly sober; I strictly enjoined him to go no nearer to land ; the night was dark, und I did not wish to lose sight of land lest we should overshoot the entrance to Broken Bay, and none of us were well acquainted with the coast to the northward of it; at short intervals I looked round to see if we were steering properly, and to see that the lights were in sight, the last time of my doing so being about a quarter-of-an hour before the occurrence; Clarke said, "look at that roller Mr. Meade," and in looking I saw an enormous wave which appeared to be the first of three successive rollers, approaching on the starboard quarter; the nearest land (Long Point) appeared to be nearer three than two miles off; the wind was nearly right aft, and the roller was breaking nearly ten foot high; we shouted in order to arouse those below and at the same time endeavored to bring the yacht's head round so as to clear the southern end of the roller, or at least to receive it bow foremost. Before the yacht rounded, the breaker struck her, swamping the dingy that was towing astern, and causing the yacht to ship a good deal of water ; the second wave, which was the biggest, came clean over us, washed off Fulgombe, filled the sail, and threw the yacht on her beams ends ; Fulgombe appeared to go underneath the sail, which with the mast was under water; the third roller washed every one but myself off the wreck, and from that time until I affected a landing I never saw either deceased. Clarke, or my companions, nor did I hear any cry for help ; nothing was to be seen through the thick darkness but two miles of surf and the dim outline of the distant land ; I remained by the wreck as long as I could, until the brass work to which I was holding was carried away, and which, together with the end of the square-sail yard, and the weather rigging was all that was to be seen above water, and that only occasionally; each of the three gigantic rollers drove the yacht some distance towards the shore, and after they had passed us the ordinary seas setting in with a breeze from the southward drove me with considerable rapidity in the same direction ; at the time I was washed off the yacht she never struck, nor had she been near any rock or reef; finding myself in the surf, which was too rough to swim in, I succeeded in getting rid of my clothes except my shirt, and I was carried with terrific speed on the tops of successive seas towards the shore ; more than twenty minutes elapsed before I found myself among the ordinary waves which break on the rocks ; after having been thrown on the rocks several times and sucked back again, I succeeded in retaining my hold, and was soon joined by Broughton, Hunt, and Fulgombe, who had been washed on shore a little further southward ; the latter was in a very exhausted condition, and had been twice rescued by Hunt; they informed me that they had seen and heard m thing of Clarke and Tilly; we made every search for them, but in vain; that is the body of Arthur Tilly now lying dead on board this ship;

The Ænid was about ten tons ; she was ballasted properly, and the number of men in her at the time of the accident was not too much for her to carry; she was decked all over, with light bulwarks; she was currying a boom sail, which was no more than sufficient to keep her ahead of the seas, which increased with the rising of the wind ; the wind was so nearly aft that we jibbed frequently, but we were not jibbing at the time the occurrence happened ; the yacht had made excellent weather, and had shipped no water up to that time; the Ænid was in the act of turning when she was struck; I do not believe that it was a ground swell that struck her ; Clarke and Hunt agreed with what I did, which was to breast the roller and not run before it; I was steering by the light and the land, my main object being to keep the light insight; I had a compass, but was not steering by it ; there were spirits in the yacht, but we had not drawn the cork ; I have had eleven years' experience in boat sailing, and had some experience previously in Deal luggers; the dingy was washed on shore five minutes after me, and was broken on the rocks. John E. Scudmore, master of the Curaçao, deposed: I have sailed in the Ænid frequently, and should say that she was safe in any weather if properly handled; I would sail under fore and aft sail during the night in a sea way; if I were caught in three rollers I would bring her head to sea if the wind was aft; if I knew the coast I would not use a compass unless it was a dark and stormy night. The jury agreed to the following verdict.
"Deceased, aged twenty-three years, was accidentally drowned by the swamping of the yacht Ænid, belong to H.M.S. Curaçao, on the night of the 13th instant."[2]

Senior Lieutenant Hon. Herbert George Phillip Meade of the HMS Curaçao was well connected as outlined at the time

I may confess to a weakness of admiration for the honor and glory of the British navy, mid certainly the conduct of this young officer seems to have been so plucky, and evinced so resolute a fight with grim death in the rollers, that the record is worth preserving in tho Courier. Mr. Meade is a son of the Earl of Clanwilliam, and, by his mother’s side, intimately related to the Pembroke family, and is therefore, I presume, a connection to your Colonial Secretary. He is only about 23 years old. I give you his evidence[3]

In his later years during World War I the Commander the Hon. Herbert Meade gained some notoriety during The Battle of Heligoland Bight as he

took his Division into action with great coolness and nerve, and was instrumental in sinking the German Destroyer V187, and with the boats of his Division saved the survivors in a most chivalrous manner.
—Commodore Reginald Tyrwhitt[4]

Further reading

Online Database's

Australian Shipping - Arrivals and Departures 1788-1968 including shipwrecks [5]
Encyclopedia of Australian Shipwrecks - New South Wales Shipwrecks [6]

Other Online sources

  • Historic Australian Newspapers, 1803 to 1954 [7]


  • 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. The Sydney Morning Herald Tuesday 14 November 1865 [1]
  2. The Sydney Morning Herald Tuesday 21 November 1865 [2]
  3. The Brisbane Courier Wednesday 22 November 1865[3]
  4. "Despatch of Commodore Reginald Tyrwhitt, Battle of Heligoland Bight". Retrieved 2009-01-03. 

External links