Official Number

Launched 16 July 1877 by Miss Ann Duthie and built for the Australia trade under the command of Captain Davidson.


Description: 2 decks, 3 masts, ship rigged, round stern, clencher built, 3/4 female figurehead, iron built.
Subscribing Owners: John Duthie, Alexander Duthie, Shipbuilders, Aberdeen, 64 shares.
(Source: Aberdeen Register of Shipping (Aberdeen City Archievs))

This vessel was sold to Italy in 1905 and renamed NOSTRA SIGNORA DEL CARMINE.

On 25 August 1916, she was sunk by a submarine in the Gulf of Lyons, en route from Norfolk, Virginia to Genoa.

Lloyd's Register of Shipping:
1880-81, 1884-85: Owners J. Duthie, Sons & Co.; Master C. W. Davidson; Port Belonging to Aberdeen.
1898-99: Master T. C. Carlton; Port of Survey Sydney.

Aberdeen Journal, 12/07/1877:
(Report of launch) For the accommodation of 2nd class passengers she has a deck-house between the fore and main masts and a polished teak saloon and cabin for 1st class passengers aft. Lower masts and yards are of iron.

Aberdeen Journal, 07/05/1879:
BRILLIANT, ship, of Aberdeen, Sydney for London, spoken 4 May, Lat. 49N, Long. 11W (off Ushant).

Glasgow Herald, 30/04/1881:
Ship BRILLIANT, from Sydney to London, arrived of the Lizard and reports that in Lat. 28.20N, Long. 43.15W [Mid Atlantic between N.W. Africa and W. Indies] she passed on April 2 a large vessel bottom up.

Aberdeen Weekly Journal, 17/05/1886:
Court of Admiralty, London - on 28 August 1885, BRILLIANT, on voyage London - Sydney with general cargo and crew of 28 hands, she was undertow in Thames Estuary. In rough weather the towing hanser slipped through defective windlass on BRILLIANT and she drifted onto the Yantlet Flats. Four tugs got the BRILLIANT (worth £80,000 with her cargo) of the Flats in dangerous conditions and sought compensation for salvage. Owners alleged the services were exaggerated. Court awarded £150 between the four tug owners.

Aberdeen Weekly Journal, 06/12/1887:
BRILLIANT, British ship, has arrived at Sydney partially dismasted.

Newcastle Morning Herald, 3/12/1888:
Ship BRILLIANT of John Duthie & Co.’s. Famous Aberdeen line of clippers arrived yesterday from Sydney in tow. She has been chartered to load wool for the London March sales - is the largest vessel ever to be placed on the wool berth here and shows rising importance of Newcastle in direct exportation of wool to the London market. Every effort will be made to get her away about 20 Dec. with about 7700 bales of wool. BRILLIANT was built expressly for London-Sydney trade and has remained on it except for 2 voyages. In the matter of spreading her white wings she has had a brilliant career. Except on one occasion (last year when she was dismasted) she has never exceeded 90 days either to or from London, while 70 days is among her smartest performances. Capt. Charles w. Davidson has been in command since her launch & is one of the most popular skippers in the service. His fine craft is the acme of order both below & aloft. Capt. Davidson is confident the vessel will enter the Thames in ample time for the March sales.

Sydney Morning Herald, 4/10/1892:
At about 9:45 last night fir was discovered in hold of ship BRILLIANT, lying at north coast co.’s. Wharf, Sydney. Large quantities of dunnage wood, with ropes & sails, were destroyed and a quantity of deck planking & a no. of the upward supports severely burned. On arrival of fire brigade 2 lines of hose were led out. Dense volume of smoke issue from main hatch and fire was seen to be blazing freely on tween decks. One fireman with a respirator was lowered. He poured copious stream of water onto fire round & aft of mast. Within 10 minutes density of smoke decreased & half an hour after its discovery outbreak had been completely subdued. Examination showed that fire had extended from main hatchway to about 30ft. aft. Capt. Davidson, when questioned about the fire, said he could not account for it.

Freeman's Journal, 05/10/1892:
BRILLIANT, British ship, on fire at Sydney; extinguished with slight damage to vessel; cargo uninjured.

Maitland Mercury, 6/10/1892:
BRILLIANT is one of best known as well as moat costly sailing ships of her tonnage in Anglo-Australian trade & a regular wool carrier. Bulk of her cargo is now in store for her & she was to be sent for the January sales. Survey showed that whole of the deck will have to be renewed and the iron plate and stringers taken out, straightened & repaired. Ship will go into dock tomorrow and Capt. Davidson fully intends that vessel will be ready to start for the January wool sales.

Aberdeen Weekly Journal, 26/01/1893:
Tug OCEANA collided with ship BRILLIANT, of Aberdeen, from Sydney, when taking her in tow. OCEANA had her foremast carried away and sustained other damage. BRILLIANT'S starboard bow slightly damaged. Both arrived Gravesend.

Sydney Morning Herald, 15/1/1894:
BRILLIANT has arrived in London after quick passage of 79 days from Sydney & this scores 1st place in wool sailing fleet from Sydney so far this season. She has 7000 bales aboard.

Aberdeen Weekly Journal, 24/02/1894 [from Sydney Daily Telegraph]:
Well known Aberdeen clipper ship BRILLIANT has added another to her many fast passages by making the run to London in 79 days. She was the last ship despatched from Sydney for the January wool sales, taking 7001 bales and was amongst the first arrivals at home. For 3rd year in succession she has made the run home in less than 83 days, proving that she is one of the fastest ships in the trade.

Sydney Evening News, 29/7/1895:
BRILLIANT, Capt. CW. Davidson, completed yesterday voyage from London of 80 days. Left Gravesend 24 April & start point 29th. To the Cape much light and adverse weather was experienced. Equator crossed 30 May. Meridian of Cape of Good Hope crossed 1 July & easting made between parallels 40+41 S. (just north of southern ocean), some capital running being made, ship arrived in capital trim.

Sydney Morning Herald, 9/3/1903:
Left London 17 Nov., on 20 Nov. encountered heavy gale from SE, after which wind set in from westward with a very heavy sea running and heavy squalls with rain. On 23 Nov. met with furious gale from SSW. Barometer fell rapidly & next day gale increased to hurricane force. Sea was mountainous and ship laboured heavily, while decks were constantly flooded. On that day two back stays carried away & two of sails were lost. In Addition to some of deck gear which was washed overboard, squalls were extremely violent and Capt. Carlton & his officers had grave fears for safety of the masts. Towards evening force of the wind was terrific. Sea was awful and BRILLIANT was drifting helplessly into Bay of Biscay. Next day hurricane had decreased to a gale. This was followed by a series of W + SW gales over period of 20 days. Reached Sydney in 110 days from London.
length 267' x breadth 39'9" x depth 24'
tonnage 1700 tons

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