Official Number
Date of Build/Launch: May 1856
Owner: Catto & Co.

Type: Sailing

Aberdeen Register of Shipping (Aberdeen City Archives):
Registered 31/05/1856
1 deck and a poop deck, 3 masts, ship rigged, round stern, carvel built, no galleries, shield figurehead.
Original Owners: William Catto, Merchant (20 shares); John Martin, Master Mariner (16); John Duthie Jr. Shipbuilder (8); James Williamson, Merchant (4); Robert Catto, Shipowner (4); Samuel MacLean, Book-seller (4) [all Aberdeen]; George Herring & William Shanty, London, both Shipbrokers (18 jointly).
01/09/1857: On death of William Catto 20 shares jointly to Robert Catto, George Thomson (Merchants); Arthur Thomson (Banker); John Cadenhead (Advocate); His Executors.
22/12/1857: Executors 10 shares - John Catto, Aberdeen, Merchant.
12/04/1860: John Martin 4 shares - Robert Phillips, Master Mariner, Aberdeen.
14/12/1860: Catto, G & A Thomson, Cadenhead 10 shares - Robert Catto Jr., Merchant.
13/11/1863: Vessel foundered off The Lizard.

Lloyd's Register of Shipping:
1857, 1861: Owners Catto & Co., Master S. J. Martin.
1863-64: Master R. Phillips; Destined Voyage London-Australia.

Morning Chronicle, 15/04/1857:
Thames Police Court - 3 Irish labourers had been employed trimming ballast all day on board ship AUSTRAL. In the evening they were seen drunk and staggering making their way to the dock entrance. On being searched one was found in possession of about a dozen brass rods, which were found to have been wrenched from the cabin door of the AUSTRAL. The Steward of the AUSTRAL found that 9 bottles of champagne were missing from the store room. Admission had been obtained from the hold by breaking through the bulkhead, which was very thick. Pieces of the champagne bottles were found among the ballast on which they had been working. They pleaded not guilty and were committed for trial.

Aberdeen Journal, 02/12/1857 (quoting Geelong Advertiser):
One of the handsomest models that ever entered our inner harbour. From London to the Heads [Melbourne] the voyage was performed in 84 days, only one day more than was taken by the famous MARCO POLO on her last voyage. Captain Martin is well known and highly esteemed in Geelong. A letter from a passenger reads "The kindness and attention I have received from Captain and Mrs. Martin cannot be described... we had not only every comfort, but every luxury".

South Australian Advertiser, 15/08/1861:
Port Adelaide Police Court, James Craig, Cook of the Ship AUSTRAL, was charged with refusal of duty on Wednesday morning. When called up in the morning he was in liquor and commenced quarrelling with the Steward and at half past eight the breakfast not being ready for the men. The Captain spoke to him about neglecting his duty, when he was insolent and refused to do any more work aboard. Committed for one month.
(Source: Australian Historic Newspapers)

South Australian Advertiser, 05/10/1861:
Port Augusta (S. Australia) Police Court - William Johnson, Samuel Letce, John de Mount, Henry Cressy, James P. Erson, James Turner and John Brown, seven of the crew of the ship AUSTRAL, were charged by Capt. Robert Phillips with refusal of duty in the morning of this day. They endeavoured to prove they were worked too much and short rationed... the stipendiary magistrate asked them if they were willing to go aboard to their duty, but they positively refused. The court sentenced them all to 3 months imprisonment in Redruth Gaol, with hard labour. Upon their application through the court the Captain allowed them their clothes.
(Source: Australian Historic Newspapers)

Liverpool Mercury, 17/11/1863:
Yesterday a heavy loss was posted at Lloyd's - the total loss of the ship AUSTRAL, ship and cargo said to be insured for £60,000. She had sailed a few days since from London Docks and sustained such injuries in a gale that she was abandoned on 10th November in Latitude 49-13N, Longitude 6-25E. The crew escaped by the boats, which were afterwards picked up by the French ship RYRIE and were landed at Falmouth.

length 160.9' x breadth 28' x depth 17.5'
gross tonnage 506 tons

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