The Despatch was partly owned by William Lancaster of Workington, England. On May 29, 1828 she set sail from Derry, Ireland en route to Quebec with eleven crew and 200 passengers, almost all of whom were Irish emigrants hoping to escape the poverty then prevailing in Ireland.
The ship ran aground July 12, 1828 on a small, bare rocky island near Isle aux Morts off the south coast of the Island of Newfoundland. A seventeen year old girl from the area, Ann Harvey, along with her father, her twelve year old brother and a dog, rescued 160 people from the wreck between the twelfth and fifteenth of July. As a result, Ann Harvey became known as the Grace Darling of Newfoundland. The English government later awarded them a medal and a sum of money for their heroic feat.
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