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"Stornoway" - Clipper Ship  "Stornoway" - Clipper Ship

Yard Number: 175

Cost: £9,948 16s 6 1/2d

1852 Master: J. Robertson, destined voyage Aberdeen - China

Aberdeen Journal, August 28th 1850:
'On Saturday, there was launched from the building-yard of Messrs Hall & Sons a fine ship of 600 tons OM and 527 tons NM. She is considered to be the finest vessel both in design and workmanship, as yet turned out by her builders. She has been built under contract for Capt John Robertson, formerly of the 'JOHN O' GAUNT' of Liverpool, and will class A1 for 13 years on Lloyd's Register. The whole arrangements for the launch were so complete that the vessel seemed to glide into the water at the word of command, when she received the name of 'STORNOWAY'. We are informed she is intended for the China trade, and will sail for London in a few days'.

Aberdeen Journal, December 10th 1851:
'The "Stornoway," another clipper recently launched here, made the run home from Whampoa to London in 103 days, coming down the China Sea against the full strength of the south-west monsoon, and accomplishing the distance between the Cape of Good Hope and London in 37 days. So far as this season's rivalry between British and American clippers in the China trade has been tested by their performances, the British builders have the best of it'.

STORNOWAY regularly sailed from 1850 to 1860 carrying tea for Jardine, Matheson & Co. of London. In 1861 she was sold to Mackay & Co., London.

Sydney Morning Herald, October 1st 1860:
Cleared 29 September - STORNOWAY, ship, 527 tons, Captain Watson, for Ceylon.

Sydney Morning Herald, December 1861:
Loading for England - STORNOWAY, ship, Watson.

Maitland Mercury, June 19th 1862:
Arrived London 2 April - STORNOWAY from Sydney, 96 days.

Freeman's Journal, Sydney, September 3 1862:
STORNOWAY, Captain Clarke, arrived Sydney from the Downs 29 May (arrived 30 August).

Sydney Empire, September 4 1862:
Water Police Court - James Cumming, seaman, of ship STORNOWAY, convicted of wilful disobedience on board whilst on high seas on 15 July last, sentenced to 4 weeks hard labour and costs with forfeiture of 2 days pay.

Freeman's Journal, Sydney, December 12 1864:
Arrived 11 December - ship STORNOWAY from the Downs.

Sydney Empire, March 1st 1865:
STORNOWAY sailed 28 February for London

Wallaroo Times, September 30th 1865:
At Thames Police Court, Captain Thomas Tomlin, Master of ship STORNOWAY, and Mr. Matthew Read, Chief Mate, appeared to answer charge of violently assaulting and falsely imprisoning George Baker, an able seaman. Baker, who then possessed a Master's certificate, joined STORNOWAY in Sydney February last to work his way home in capacity of able seaman. On 12 May, after being at wheel for 2 hours, he claimed Mate Read began to abuse him and said he was no sailor but a soldier. He told Mate he was as good a man as himself. Mate struck him on the mouth and his lips bled profusely. Baker raised wooden relaying pin, but before he could use it, the Maten seized it, forced his head onto the rail, then threw him down on deck, punched him with great violence, and jumped on him. Captain came out of his cabin, said "that will do, Mr. Read", and ordered Mate to drag Baker aft. He was imprisoned for 7 days, 18 hours and for 2 days of that time was not allowed any food. He was kept in sail room, 3/4 full of damp sails and very hot. He was allowed only 2 hours of exercise per day, on release so ill he could not work for 10 days. Witnesses confirmed Baker's statements. Defendents committed for trial.

Sydney Morning Herald, June 26th 1866:
STORNOWAY, ship, Tomlin, arrived Newcastle (N.S.W.) from Dunedin (N.Z.)

Sydney Empire, August 23 1866:
STORNOWAY, Tomlin, loading in Newcastle for Hong Kong.

A bill of sale appeared in the Shipping and Mercantile Gazette:

On THURSDAY, AUGUST 3, 1865, at Half-past Two o'Clock

(Unless previously disposed of by private contract),

THE Clipper Ship Stornoway, 595 tons O.M., 527 tons per register; built at Aberdeen by the celebrated builders, Messrs. Hall, under particular inspection, in 1850; entirely copper-fastened, and classed thirteen years A 1; in 1863 she was continued A 1 for four years, and re-sheathed with yellow metal; has a full poop and top-gallant forecastle, with good heights between decks, and is very efficiently secured with iron knees and riders. The Stornoway is favourably known in the China and Australian trades for her rapid passages and the satisfactory condition in which her cargoes have been discharged, and is now abundantly found in stores. Now lying in the East India Dock.

2, Cowper's-court, Cornhill, E.C.

The Stornoway, having superior cabin accomodation, is admirably adapted for the trades to Japan, New Zealand, or Cape of Good Hope".

Source: The Shipping and Mercantile Gazette, Wednesday, July 26, 1865.

STORNOWAY raced another clipper, the CHRYSOLITE, also built by Halls. Both ships left Whampoa, China on 9th July, 1852 loaded with tea. They were neck and neck for 21 days with each other racing down the China Sea. After 45 days still in sight of each other the CHRYSOLITE eased away, arriving in Liverpool 22nd Oct, 104 days out, whilst STORNOWAY arrived 3 days later. The STORNOWAY and CHRYSOLITE were the two fastest British ships at this time on the China tea run.

During her lifetime the STORNOWAY was commanded by various Masters:

1850-53: Capt. John Robertson
1853-62: Capt. H. L. Hart
1863-64: Capt. Watson
1865-68: Capt. Tomlins
1869-72: Capt. J. Waugh
1872-73: Capt. G. Greener

In 1867 she was sold to Welch & Co., Newcastle, and in 1871 was again sold to R. Chapman, Newcastle.

In 1873 she was was now reduced to trips to the Mediterranean.

On the 7th June 1873 the STORNOWAY was wrecked on the Kentish Knock at the mouth of the Thames.
A. HALL & Co.
Jardine, Matheson & Co.
length 157'8" x breadth 28'8" x depth 17'8"
Gross Tonnage: 527 ton (Registered Tonnage: 595 ton)

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