ABERDEEN BUILT SHIPS


Name
ASTEROPE
Construction
WOOD
Type
SHIP (BARQUE 1878)
Date
1859
Official Number
27223
Description
Rig: SHIP
Yard Number: 216

Owner: Dunn & Co.

Builder's List:
Owners Alex R. Dunn, London; Contract £9,577.

Lloyd's Register of Shipping:
1859, 1861, 1862: Owners Dunn & Co.; Port belonging to London; Master Mitchell; Destined voyage London-New Zealand.
1863-64: Owners Parker & Co.; Port belonging to London; Master Mitchell; Destined voyage London-New Zealand.
1866-67, 1870-71: Master A. Stuart.
1874-75: Master Homer.
1876-77, 1878-79: Owner T. Rhoads; Port belonging to London; Master Homer (1878-79 Barque).
1880-81, 1881-82: Owners R. Jolly & Co.; Port belonging to London; Master J. Ritchie.
1882-83, 1883-84: Master Stapleton.
1884-85: No reference.

Wrecked Tamar Heads, Tasmania, 8 June 1883:
By now reduced to a barque, the ASTEROPE, under Master Stapleton left Gravesend, London for Launceston, Tasmania on 13 December 1882 but when off the Lizard collided with an unknown vessel and lost her rudder. She was towed to Plymouth for repairs then set out again on 31 January 1883.

However, rough weather forced her to return again leaking badly. Sailing yet again on 28 February she finally made it to Tasmania only to run onto Hebe Reef, Tamar Heads on 8 June all were saved.

Efforts to tow her off using the steamers TAMAR, AVON and EMPRESS OF INDIA failed and she was abandoned with three and a half feet of water in the hold. A number of small vessels managed to recover some of the cargo, valued at 15, 000 pounds Stg., and the wreck was sold at auction. After about a third of the cargo was recovered, the vessel broke up in a gale on the 15th. of June.

The inquiry held at Launceston found the master had been negligent in his navigation of the entrance to the Tamar River, and the Police Magistrate, who was presiding, considered his certificate should be suspended for three months. The Nautical Assessor, however, considered only a censure was required, and under the Inquiry Into Wrecks Act 1874 (38 Victoria, No. 2), section 16, his certificate was returned.

[Some details from: Tasmanian Shipwrecks Vol. 1 1797-1899 by Graeme Broxham & Michael Nash, with thanks to Stewart Ross]

Geelong Advertiser, 21/9/1859:
George Gray, seaman, sent to gaol for 7 days for desertion from ship ASTEROPE. Chief Officer had given him permission to go ashore for 1 hour, but he did not return and was arrested by water police over a week later. Although he expressed willingness to do duty in future, Capt. Stewart said he set very bad example and deserved punishment.

Geelong Advertiser, 29/8/1860:
ASTEROPE from London.

Morning Chronicle, 16/02/1861:
Court of Common Pleas, London - action to recover share in broker's commission upon charter for ship ASTEROPE on voyage to Adelaide. In March last defendants wanted a charter for ASTEROPE and plaintiff introduced them to another broker who chartered the ship for £2300 and broker's commission 5% on this sum. Jury found for plaintiff for half the commission.

Reynold's Newspaper, 16/06/1861:
Yesterday Charles Green aged 43, a stevadore engaged aboard the ship ASTEROPE in St. Katherine's Docks, London. While bag of salt was being lowered into hold the tackle gave way and bag fell on him, killing him instantly.

Aberdeen Journal, 02/09/1863:
ASTEROPE, ship, from London for Wellington 27 July 13N. + 26W. (Atlantic off W. Africa).

Glasgow Herald, 23/03/1867:
ASTEROPE, ship, Stuart from Wellington N.Z. at London 22 March.

Aberdeen Journal, 26/08/1869: ASTEROPE, ship, from London for Wellington 26 days, 12 July, 2N + 22W (Atlantic off W. Africa).

Aberdeen Journal, 29/09/1869:
Executor of late Adam Stuart, Master of ship ASTEROPE of London requests any claims on his estate be lodged with advocates in Aberdeen with a view to settlement.

Illustrated News (Melbourne), 4/10/1869:
Port Charles, New Zealand - James Robertson, chief officer of ASTEROPE was charged by Capt. Inglis with wilful neglect of duty on passage London-Otago.

Maitland Mercury, 8/4/1873:
London, 3 April - arrived, ASTEROPE from Lyttleton.

Liverpool Mercury, 09/01/1877:
ASTEROPE, ship of London, December 5 29N, 22W (Atlantic off Morocco).

Daily News, 17/08/1881:
Law Notices - Wreck Commissioners' Court Westminster - Inquiry into stranding of ship ASTEROPE.

S. Australian Advertiser, 23/12/1882:
London, 21 Dec. - ASTEROPE, barque, bound for Melbourne, has put into Plymouth to repair damages caused by collision with a vessel name unknown.

S. Australian Advertiser, 19/6/1883:
Wreck of ASTEROPE on Tamar Heads, 15/6/1883. Capt. Stapleton was steering a S.E. course and watching to get the leading light towers in a proper line for entering the heads, unaware that he was a little too far eastward and that his course would bring him over the Hebe Reef, which was then covered, it being high water. Vessel struck the reef only about 20ft. from only portion that bears at low water and appears to have entered a sort of gut way amongst the projecting rocks, where she struck hard and fast. and was soon jammed immovably by falling tide. During that night wind and sea increased and ship bumped, rolled and strained so heavily that the men were unable to go aloft and afraid to remain on deck for falling masts and spars. Next morning it was decided to abandon ship. Ships boats had to be moored off and crew dropped into them one by one when they saw an opportunity. Only small part of effect of crew were saved. Captain, who was last to leave, unable to save his clothes and charts.

Launceston Examiner, 19/6/1883:
Gear and ship stores of wreck ASTEROPE were sold by auction at the wharf and fetched very good prices. On Thursday next 300 packages of general merchandise will be offered for sale.

Launceston Examiner, 20/6/1883:
Enquiry into wreck of ASTEROPE - Court found Capt. Stapleton should have used lead frequently to ascertain his position as he mistrusted his compass, which was slightly inaccurate.

Daily Telegraph (Launceston), 26/6/1883:
From "Another Sea Captain" - argues the signalling station failed to warn ASTEROPE of the danger, although Capt. Stapleton was looking anxiously for signals.
Shipbuilder
A. HALL & Co.
Dimensions
length 172.2' x breadth 23.4 x depth 17.7'
gross tonnage 601 tons

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