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WRECK OF THE ROYAL CHARTER. DISASTER OFF THE; ANGLESEY C-OAST FIFTY YEARS AGO. NARRATIVE OF THE WRECK. OFFICIAL REPORT1 OF THE; LOSS OF THE! ROYAL CHARTER. Continued. The. following is the Report. to the Lords Committee of Privy Council for Trade of Mr Mansfield, the magistrate, of Liver- pool, and Captain Harris, nautical assessor, who held the recent inquiry alt Liverpool into the loss of the Royal Charter screiv s,L-,eamer: "My Lords,—In aeeoordance with the instructions which I received from the, Board of Trade, I have, with the! assist- ance of Captain Harris, nautical assessor, held an inquiry into' the circumstances attending, the Loss of the auxiliary steam clipper ship, Roy ail Charter. The ship was, originally, ordered to be built, by the Messrs. Moore,, of this town. The. builder was Mr Cram, of Chester, and the keel was laid at Sandycroft, on the, River1 Dee. Before any considerable progress had been made in her con- struction, the firm of Messrs. Gibbs, Bright and Co. who are managers for, and now represent, the Australian Steam Navigation Company—the registered own- ers of the- Royal Charter—took her off the hands of Messrs. Moore. At or about this time Mr Oram failed, and the further progress of the ship-building wa,s con- ducted by Messrs. Gibbs, Bright and Co. on their own account. Some changes were made to fit, the vessel for the pur- pose, which were ultimately attained; an addition was made to. her length at. either end, and the original specification, was departed from in other respects. It. is not material to clweil upon this part of her history at any great length., as, at .the time of her transfer to Messrs. Gibbs, Bright, and Co., her keel only was laid, and a, portion of the frame set. up. Near- ly all the material had been provided by Mr Cram, and was on the premises this, after an exmination by the builders em- ployed by Messrs. Gibbs, Brigh: and Co., was used in the construction of the vessel. A portion of this iron, recovered with great difficulty from the wreck, has been produced before and tested by the Liverpool Corporation mechanist. It is decidedly above the average strength assigned by Mr Fafob-aarn for good Staffordshire plate. When the ship was completed, iit was necessary to launch her diagonally, owing to the shallowness of the, water at Sanclycroft. During this operation she stuck fast on her ways, and great, efforts were necessary to get her afloat. It. does not, however, appear that she received any injury at this time. In proceeding down the Dee she took the ground off Itlint, and here her keel and the adjoining: portions amidships received serious injuries, so as to necessitate ex- tensive. repairs in the Graving-dock at Liverpool. There is some discrepancy in the evidence; but it is probable that, on this occasion, she was strengthened by the addition of two Ibiilge kelsons, having been originally constructed with a kelson and two sister kelsons. Of her rigging1 iit is sufficient' to say, that her masts and spars seean to have been amply sufficient, and, though very lange, not out of pro- portion to the size of the, vessel. Her tackle seems to have been generally good, and her heavy sails were of No '1' and No. '2' canvas—the quality of storm-sails, in ordinary ships. The ground tackle seems likewise to have been free from objection. She carried two bower anchors and a sheet anchor of requisite size, and all of Tfcoitman's model. She was provided with .300 fathoms of chain cable of full 2-g a inches in diameter, tested by the maker, Mr Woods, Chester, to seventy-two tons. From the performance of this cable, im- mediately previous to the loss of the ship, it is reasonable to suppose that the material and workmanship* were, good. Her' engines;, which worked a two-fan screw, were of nominal 2001 horse-power1, and were able, to propel the vessel in dead water at-the rate of rub out eight knots an hour. Upon proceeding upon her first voyage, she was very heavily ballasted, as her builders apprehended she wanid be crank, owing to her narrow beam. In the Bay of Biscay, however, she encountered very rough weather, and put, back, to Ply- mouth. Here she was examined by the emigration officers and surveyors,, who recommended! some trifling! repairs to ob- viate, her making water, as it was sup- posed, through her deck. These), how- ever!, had! nothing to do with the sea- worthiness of the ship. In accordance, ailiso, Wjiith their recommendation, she was lightened of 400 tons of ballast;, the re- sult of which was that her sailing pro- perties improved, and she was enabled to stay andl wear wifth facii ity. I am assured by the witness who have subsequently made voyages in her, that she was far from helng defective in this respect- regard being had to the greater time necessarily requisite to brcaig a, long ves- sel round. Upon returning from her first voyage, it, was observed by the surveyor of the Liverpool Underwriters' Associa- tion that, some of the paint had cracked a,t the jointing of the butts, outside amidships, and that in those places there were streaks of rust. This, he stated, was invariabily the case with long iron vessels on their return from a voyage. It, does not, however, appear tha;. wooden ships, after encountering heavy weather, are free from an analogous indication of a strain in their butts; some suspicion, however, seems to have acted upon the minds of the owners; and, with a, view of giving her additional longitudnpJl strengthening, a massive stringer, the greater part of the length of the ship, was introduced on either side, between decks; after this, nothing further of any importance as regards the! strengthening I of the ship, seems to have been done. It, may be proper at, this point to state that, from the evidence, I have arrived at the conclusion that the Royal Charter was at the least fully equal in strength to the average of ships of her class, built at the same dalle (1855). Whether this he suffi- cient is a question which in reality does not arise in the present inquiry; even if it did, I should hesitate to, generalise from an isolated instance. on very im- perfect evidence, and where so much is left to conjecture, a much wider induc- tion is necessarily applied to the subject by the underwriter si, in the ordinary course of their business and to those of the public.; who may be ignorant of the fact., iit may be of interest, to learn that there is no difference in the premium paid for insuring wooden or iron vessels of the same class. Upon her last voyage, the Royal Charter, after an unusually quick passage from Melbourne, arrived off Queens town on the 24th of October. She proceeded up channel, and passed the Tuscar light, about 4 a.m. on the 25th October;, iibout 4 30' or 5 p.m. she was abreast of Hblyhead; up tiO that time the weather had been fine, with a, light breeze' ahead. A changle, then took place, and it became hazy over the land. The vessel proceeded on her course, rounding the Skerries ait six or half-past six p.m. Point Lynas light was in sight, at a quarter to seven p.m., at a,distance of six or seven miles on the starboard bow. At eight p.m. the wind was from N.EI. to E.N.E., veering and Mowing very hard, and had been increasing in strength from the time 1-1 zn the ship passed Holyhead. She was heading, at this time, about. E. by S. At a quarter to. nine Captain Taylor gave orders to starboard the helm, to which the quartermaster at the wheel replied, "The helm is a starboard already." At a quarter to nine, orders were, given to take a cast of the lead. In about a quarter of an hour they first succeeded in gating soundings with the hand-lead in eighteen fathoms. The screw-propeller was at work, but the ship, notwithstand- ing:, was drifting1 rapidly to leeward, as denoted' by the lead. Shortly after this, soundings were again taken in fifteen fathoms, and about half-past ten p.m., an altitem pt was made to stay the ship. This appears to have failed, for shortly afterwards the port anchor was let go, and 100! fathoms of chain cable paid out. A 11 15 p.m., the starboard anchor was let go, with seventy fathoms of chain. The two anchors brought the ship up. At 1 30 a .m of the 26th inst., the port chain parted outside the hawse-hole1. Orders were then given to give up the stream anchor, which weighed only 15 cwt., and was stowed in the fore hatchway; it took about one hour to get up the strea, n anchor, and when this was done, about 2 30 a.m., the starboard cable parted. About 3 or 3 30 adn. the ship took the o' ground; her keel seems to have struck first, and her head cantered round to the westward, broadside on to the wind and sea. It appears that the screw stopped when the ship struck. The mainmast wa,s then cut away; it fell abeam, and not in the direction of the screw. The foremast was then cut away, but. did not fail till the. ship was washed upon the rocks about 5 a"m. or two hours after she first struck. About. 7 30 to 8 a.m. the vessel parted amidships, and a melancholy loss of life ensued. Such is the narrative afforded by the few survivors of the loss of the. Royal Charter in her course up channel. She came up channel with her skysail masts on end, and yard across. It is true that the weather was fine in the morning, and there might have been no indications of the coming hurricane; but it. is certain that in such a dangerous sea, and a a time of year when storms may be expected., the, s- anchest, merchant ship would be only prudent in making all snug Z) z;1 aloft; and the best equipped man-of-war would infallibly do. so. I have no evi- dence before me. to show whether the barometer gave any indication of the ap- proaching gale. There were* two, if not three, of these instruments on board. If they had been noticed, they would, in all probability, have- suggested caution. At 5 p.m., there were, two courses open— the Royal Charter was close to Holy- head, and might have run in there for refuge; or she might have put her head to the westward, and kept the Irish channel open. At 6 p.m., the Skerries were rounded, and the wind increased to a gale. At, 9 p.m., the wind and sea had increased so much that, though under full steam, the ship refused to answer her helm. It, was then found that the ship was drifting bodily to leeward, and no course remained but to let go the anchors. To the anchors, it will have been ob- served, that the ship held four hours; and it is to be lamented that the resolu- tion was not immediately taken to cut- away the masts. Had she been so re- lieved, her only chance of safety, viz.— holding on to her anchors—might pos- sibly have been secured. It is evident, that with the top hamper alopt, the steam power was inadequatei to keep the ship under command. Had the masts been sacrificed at first, as they were ultimately, the steam-power might have availed the ship more effectually. It is very likely that the captain of the Royal Charter was deterred from this course bv the apprehension that the falling rigging and spars might foul her screw—thus repeating the, ca-tastrophe undergone by the 'Prin.ce,' in 1854, off Balaklava; but it should ¡he rememibered that the 'Prince' was supplied with a threei-bladed fan, while the Royal Charter had a two-blad- ed one only, which could be hoisted up in a short time, and with little labour. I am well aware that, in making these animadversions on the, measures taken by the Royal Charter, I may encounter some difference of opinion; but, having the advantage of judging from the event, I cannot help concluding that a far chance of safety was sacrificed by the course pursued. I may here also advert to what appears a dangerous practice, viz.—to steam ahead to the anchors in a ¡ gale of wind, and, in a sea-way, a gale ori of winds, as is well known, is not uniform in strength, but there are moments of comparative lull; during these, the steam power, not being readily con- trolled, IS apt to shoot the ship ahead. After this, when a violent gust of wind occurs, the ship drops astern, bringing up, with a sudden and a. severe jerk on her cables,, a kind of strain most. likely to make them part. It is not impos- sible that such. may be the true explana- tion of the parting; of the cables of the Royal Charter; all the evidence concurs in showing that. the force of the gale was terrific, and unexampled on the coast. Nothing1 conclusive can be arrived at to- wards solving: the question, whether a wooden ship would have held together longer, or so Long; as the Royal Charter ? As far as I have had information on the subject, I have no ground to impute blame to the life-boat people. The coast- 0, guard were early on the spot though stationed ten miles off. The two pilot- boats, according to the regulations of the port, were in their proper cruising- ground, off Point Lynas; one of them saw a, blue; light, probably from the Royal Charter, and kept. a sharp look out accordingly; but, immediately after- wards, the darkness was so great, and the rain so thick as to make it impossible to see from one end of the pilot-boat to the other. The wind also became so high as to put out her lights repeatedly; and, even had she, neare.d the Royal Charter, there was such a. sea running1 as to make it impossible to put a. pilot on board. The officers and crew to the last were indifferent to the preservation of their 3 Royal Charter own lives, and solely intent on their duty. Taking into account; the un- exampled fury of the gale, which entire- ly neutralised the powerful action of the .screw-propeller, so that the ship was no longer under command—a circumstance which Captain Taylor could not. have anticipated and considering also the apprehension he may have sustained while at anchor, that the masts would foul the screw if they were cut away, and, possibly, that the action of the screw to ease the cables could not be safely inter- mitted. I do not think that this is a case. in which I could report tha,t, the ship was lost by the default of the master. "J. S. MANSFIELD, "Stipendary Magistrate, Liverpool. "L,iverpool, November 28th, 1859. "I concur in the, above report. "HENRY HARRIS, Nautical Assessor." (To be Continued).
WHAT LLANDUDNO IS TEMPTED TO ASK. Llandudno people are; often tempted to ask, on reading testimonials from persons living many miles away, "How is it these testimonials are always from strangers in distant, towns, when the word of a, neighbour alone can be easily proven ?" L, But when the evidence is Llandudno evidence, like the, following, there is no longer room for doubt. Mrs E" Jones, whose address is 9, Alexandra Road, Llandudno, says:—"I have suffered with awful pains in my 'back for over two years, and at. last got so bad that. I could not lift any weight at all. I was always tired and weary, and my feet and ankles swelled dreadfully, so much so that I could not put my feet to the. ground. ''Reading of Doan's backache kidney pills, I decided to try them, and before I had been taking them long I found re- 1 lief. The swellings went, down, the pains became easier, and my health improved generally. I am still taking the pills, and feel sure that I shall soon obtain a complete cure. (Signed) (Mrs Ei. Jones). Doan's backache kidney pills are two shillings and ninepence per box, or six boxes for thirteen shillings and nine- pence. Of all chemists and stores, or post free direct from the Foster-MeGlellan Co., 8, Wells-street, Oxford-street, Lon- don. Be sure, you get. the same kind of pills as Mrs Jones had.
WYNNSTAY COLLIERY STRIKE. Information gleaned in trustworthy quarters on Tuesday evening (a corres- pondent says) leads to the belief that. tho unfortunate strike which has occuried at the Wynnstay Colliery, Ruabon, may h. ended in a few days. The parties met together on Tuesday, when the miners' agent, and a, deputation discussed the situation with the owners. It was stated after the conference that no settlement had been reached, but from subsequent inquiries it is clear that an agreement is being approached. A hitch may oücur in subsequent negotiations, but the outlook is hopeful. Thirteen hundred men are effected, and much distress has already been caused.
RHYL PALACE. At Rhyl on Tuesday Mr P. J. Ashfield, chairman of the Queen's Palace Com- pany, submitted revised plans of the re- construction and alterations carried out some time ago at the Palace, when the rear of the buildings was converted into a skating rink, and the hotel (which was partially destroyed by fire) was recon- structed. Mr Ashfield said that, for a reason which he explained to the Bench, there was a. deviation from the deposited plans, in one case in regard to a. staircase leading to the balcony, which was made ia straight instead lof fligjats. wi ,lh a turning. After the, work was completed the justices inspected and approved of the building, but it, was considered desirable that the corrected plans should be accorded the formal sanction of the Bench. The Bench granted the application, and signed the amended plans.
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GIRLS' FRIENDLY SOCIETY. ¡ An inLeresting and illuminative lecture wa.s delivered under the auspices of the above Society at the Llandudno G.F.S. Lodge, on the 25th ult., by the Rev. E. Lumley, B.A., on "Mission work, with special reference to China and the Chinese." The lecture was illustrated by lovely limelight views, which helped us very considerably to understand the religious and social life of the Chinese. The Lecturer said that whether we re- flect on its .antiquity, its vast extent or its teeming population, the Chinese Em- pire claims our most serious attention and investigation. Its annals reach far into the hoary past, and while, other nations who came into existence with c, whose names have risen, flourished, and passed away, leaving scarce a trace behind it still remains,, retaining, amid all its vicissi- u tudes, a wonderful amount of vigour even in its old age. Our national intercourse in the past has not been all we could de- sire, but it is to be hoped that, by the spread of information, the, more friendly spirit that now exists may be deepened for the mutual benefit of both Empires. Speaking of the religious life of China the rev. gentleman said that it might almost, be said of China that it has no religion at all. Certainly, it has no State religion—the only piety the Chinese hold being filial. It is a somewhat re- markable thing that the Chinese Govern- ment has never engaged in religious struggles of any kind, which cannot be said of almoslL any other country. What religion there is, he continued, may be divided into these three classes Confucianism, Buddism, and, Tanism. The first of this trio has a great number of adherents. Without doubt, Confucius was a man of noble and exalted charac- ter. His precepts were simple, and they poln" l out the respective duties of Sovereign and subject, of parents and children, of husbands and wives; and in- culcate the five essential virtues— humanity, justice, the strict observance of ceremonies and love of truth and sincerity. This teaching, said the speaker, has lead to a cold and heartless scepticism which is the greatest barrier to moral and spiritual development. The old Welsh proverb is very true, "Heb Duw heb ddim, Duw a digon." (Without God without anything; Have God have every- thing). Buddhism again, said he, was introduced into China, from India, and has to a. great extent, superseded the teaching of Confucous, simply because men find j how helpless they are without extraneous aid to follow virtue and justice; pre- ferring a religion that speaks of pardon for sins known to have been committed, to the austere prescriptions of a rigid morality. This is true, not only of the Celestial Empire, but of the whole world to a greater or less extent. The temples of Buddha, are scattered all over the country in great profusion. You may judge how numerous they are when you are told that Pekin alone contains about 10,000. He added that the founder of Tanism, the third mentioned religion of the Chinese was and is contemporaneous with Confucius (551B.C.) His doctrines were more speculated than those of Con- fucius', and while the latter might be described, as atheistic the former is more correctly described as pantheistic. Tanism, is now, by many degrees the least popular sect in China. The speaker concluded by quoting the words of Abbe Huc -"The religious sentiment has vanished from the national mind, the rival doctrines have lost their authority; their partisans grown sceptical and im- pious have fallen in the abyss of in- differentism, in which they have given each other a kiss of peace" This is the religious condition of China at the present day, and we Churchpeople., although we liberailly support missions in other countries, yet our Anglican mission work in China is very limited. We have no excuse for not knowing that in China, excluding Roman Catholics, Noncon- formist converts outnumber Anglican in proportion of nine to one, but when this fact is made known there is no doubt that Dhurchpeople wdll, as they usually do, support so deserving a mission. The lantern was very satisfactorily manipulated by Mr Brown (verger of Holy Trinity), and a very hearty vote of thanks were accorded to the lecturer and Mr Brown.
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