Sea Witch (1848 barque)

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Name: Sea Witch
Owner: Taylor & Co, London
Port of registry:  United Kingdom
Launched: 1848
Fate: Sold to Capt. R. McCully for the South America trade
General characteristics
Class and type: Opium clipper
Tons burthen: 401 tons
Length: 121.5 ft
Beam: 26.7 ft.
Draught: 16 ft.
Sail plan: Barque[1]

The barque Sea Witch was an 1848 British opium clipper and tea clipper. She sailed in the First Tea Race in 1850.

Voyages and speed

Sea Witch sailed from Gravesend to Shanghai in 95 days.

First Tea Race, 1850

The First Tea Race from China to England took place in 1850. The first ship to load tea was "the barque Sea Witch, commanded by Captain Reynell of Waterwitch fame."[1]

Astarte, an 1846 brig of 328 tons finished close behind the Oriental, which made a passage from Anjer to West India docks in 97 days. Reindeer, and Countess of Seafield both finished in less than 110 days, John Bunyan arrived in 99 days, from Shanghai.

“This the first of the international tea races, over-shadowed every other event in China in 1850. I do not think either the Sea Witch or the Astarte returned to the opium trade; at the end of the sixties Taylor & Co sold the Sea Witch to Captain R. Mc Cully, who took her into the South American trade.”[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Lubbock, Basil (1933). The Opium Clippers. Boston, MA: Charles E. Lauriat Co. pp. 322-323, 384.