Elizabeth Henrietta

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The Elizabeth Henrietta was a ship that capsized on the Hunter River, Australia in 1816 with the loss of two lives.

The brig Elizabeth Henrietta was ordered by Governor Hunter in 1797 when it was discovered that HMS Supply was unseaworthy. The frame was made from ironbark and stringybark but as there was a shortage of shipwrights the ship took an inordinately long time to construct. At that time it was called the Portland but on its launch from HM dockyard in Sydney on 13 June 1816 it was named the Elizabeth Henrietta in honour of the wife of Governor Lachlan Macquarie.

On 30 July 1816 at around 4am, while at its moorings on the Hunter River, the ship capsized and sank. The wife of the Captain Joseph Ross and a crewman Patrick Fitzgerald were trapped as it sank and were drowned. The remaining crew, numbering five, rowed in an open boat to Sydney where they arrived on 7 August. The Lady Nelson and the Nautilus were sent from Sydney to raise the ship, which they eventually did and the ship returned to Sydney on 30 August with a load of coal. [1]

The ship was finally wrecked at Newcastle on 17 December 1825. [2]


  1. Australian Shipwrecks - vol 1 1622-1850, Charles Bateson, AH and AW Reed, Sydney, 1972, ISBN 0 589 07112 2 p55
  2. Journeys in Time - List of Ships - Macquarie University