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Aberdeen Harbour  Aberdeen Harbour

Official Number
Date of Build/Launch: May 1863
Owner: Duthie Jr., W. Duthie Jr. 12/64, Others 4/64

1 deck with a poop and top gallant forecastle, 3 masts, ship rigged, altered to brig on 24/4/1879, carvel built, demi female figurehead.

(Source: Aberdeen Register of Shipping (Aberdeen City Archives))

Bendigo Advertiser (Victoria), 5th November 1863: 'Arrived Hobson's Bay 3rd Nov. Martha Birnie, 831 tons, Aberdeen Clipper Line, master Hugh McQueen, from London 16th August.'

Melbourne Argus, 28th Nov. 1863: 'The owners or agents of the ship Martha Birnie, at present at the Yarra Street Wharf here, have raised rate of freight of wool from 3/4d. per pound to 7/8d. per pound - consequence of this suicidal step will be the transmission of a quantity of the wool that should be shipped at this port to Hobson's Bay to be sent there by vessels which will take it at 3/4d. per pound.

Ballarat Star, 30th June 1864: 'Cape Otway, 29th June - passed inwards Martha Birnie from London 78 days out from Deal.'

South Australian Register, 10th March 1866: 'Melbourne, 9th March - Martha Birnie arrived from London. [15th April sailed for Calcutta].

Voyage: Aberdeen-Australia
1865-66: Master H. McQueen. Capt. McQueen died at sea, 1867.

The following announcement was placed in The Argus (Melbourne) 15th May 1867 -
M'QUEEN. On the 18th March, at sea, on the homeward voyage from Colombo, Captain Hugh M'Queen, late of the ship "Martha Birnie" Aberdeen Clipper line, aged thirty-eight years. [Details courtesy of Elisabeth Burton, Newcastle, Australia]

1866-7: London-Australia.

A number of the sisters of the Dominican Order sailed from Ireland in 1867 on the
"Martha Birnie", and after an 81 day voyage, arrived in Maitland N.S.W.,
To set up their Order, on 10th. September 1867.

Sydney Morning Herald, 5th September 1867: 'To Captain Thomas Norie, 3rd Sept. 1867, we the undersigned passengers of Martha Birnie cannot allow our departure to take place without tendering to you our most heartfelt thanks for kindness and courtesy during a long and interesting voyage...unremitting attention by you and your esteemed lady on those amongst us unaccustomed to be thrown among strangers [Dominican Sisters] who needed in a special manner protection which you kindly afforded them.' [Signed by a gentleman and Sister Mary Agnes Bourke on behalf of the Dominican nuns].

1867-8: Master S. T. Norrie.

South Australian Register, (Adelaide) 17th Sept. 1867: 'Ship Martha Birnie has been chartered at Sydney to load wheat at Adelaide for London at 55s per ton (sailed 30th Sept. for Adelaide).

Sydney Morning Herald, 27th August 1868: '26th August Martha Birnie, ship from London, passed Cape Otway, reports all well. (31st October 1868, loading for London, master Norie).

Sydney Morning Herald, 23rd Sept.1868: 'William Dunn, seaman of ship Martha Birnie, sent to gaol for one month for desertion and one month for stealing pair of trousers worth £1 belonging to one of the seamen, named Fisher.'

Sydney Morning Herald, 11th August 1869: '3rd Aug. Martha Birnie, ship, Norie master, arrived Sydney 90 days from Dartmouth (passengers included Mrs Norie).

Sydney Morning Herald, 31st August, 1870: '27th Aug. Martha Birnie, Taylor master, arrived Sydney, 93 days from the Lizard, (sailed for London 5th Dec.).

Sydney Morning Herald, 6th September 1871, Martha Birnie, Taylor Master, arrived Sydney, 96 days from Start Point, Devon.'

Sydney Morning Herald, 6th October 1871: '30th Sept. - Martha Birnie, Taylor, departed Sydney for London, 16 passengers. Cargo - 1628 carts & 3741 ingots copper, 486 bags copra, 10 hogsheads molasses, 45 casks coconut oil, 864 casks tallow, 2664 cases & 5 casks meat, 12 casks hide cuttings, 26 bags cotton seed, 127 bales leather, 125 casks pearl shell, 47 cases glue, 1277 bales wool, 50 bales cotton, 16 packages beeswax, 500 quarter sacks flour, 80 packages bone.'

Sydney Empire, 27th April 1872: 'Marriages - 10 Feb. at St Mark's Church, Middlesex, England, William Taylor, captain of ship Martha Birnie, to Fanny Close, Trevellyan, NSW.'

Sydney Morning Herald, 4th January 1877: '3rd January - Martha Birnie, ship, captain Jameson, hauled out into the stream am and cleared Sydney Customs P.M. for London (5 cabin passengers).

Launceston Examiner, 1st April 1878: 'London, 26th March - Martha Birnie arrived from Sydney 8th December.'

1872-3: Master given as S. T. Norris (probably same Master as before).
1874-5: S. J. Jamieson.
Surveyed May 1875 and April 1878.
1880-1: Owner J. Milne.

April 27 1886: Vessel was stranded in the Baltic.
1889: Sold to Norway and renamed BASTO.
May 1903: Sprang a leak and condemned.
length 191' x breadth 32' x depth 19'
gross tonnage 751 tons

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