FLOTILLA AUSTRALIA

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CLARENCE & RICHMOND RIVER STEAM NAVIGATION Company

Began as the

GRAFTON STEAMSHIP NAVIGATION Company

formed on January 24th 1857, consisting of a group of Gentlemen with vested interests in the Clarence River area. In name as first Directors, were, Francis Mitchell, Clark Irving and Rober Waterson. The first Auditors were David Jones, who went on to found the famous Sydney retail firm that still bears his name, and a Mr Grant Tindall of the Ramornie Station and Meatworks on the Clarence River. In 1860 the Directors decided to increase the Company's capital owing to the increase of trade and at the same changed the Company name to

Clarence & Richmond River Steam Navigation Company
December 1888 renamed the concern to

Clarence & Richmond & MacLeay River Steam Navigation Company Ltd.

1890 merged with John See and Company to form the

North Coast Steam Navigation Company

Continued on servicing all the minor ports along the New South Wales coastline until aggresive competition from the railways and the changing trends of transportation led to this Company going into voluntary liquidation as at 18th February 1954.

This webpage deal specifically with the vessels owned by the

GRAFTON STEAMSHIP NAVIGATION Company
&
CLARENCE & RICHMOND RIVER STEAM NAVIGATION Company



GRAFTON STEAM NAVIGATION Co
1857-60
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GRAFTON
1854-98
WILLIAM THE FOURTH
1831-68
GRAFTON (131489p) & WILLIAM the FOURTH (180791p) images courtesy State Library Queensland
GRAFTON 316 gross tons, 212 net. Lbd: 140'9" x 22'3" x 10'6". Iron paddle steamer of 2 masts brig rigged and built by J Laird, Birkenhead for R S Ross & Partners in 1854. Sold to David Jones & Partners in December 1858. Sold to Clark Irving & Partners (Grafton S N Co) June 1860. March 1866 of Clarence & Richmond River S N Co. August 1874 owned by J E Manning. During 1877 she underwent conversion to be Twin screw, as well as dimension increases of 397 gross tons and 270 net with Lbd: 145'5" x 27'6" x 13'6".December 1877 owned by W R Williams, Wellington New Zealand and then by the Union Steamship Co., of New Zealand where they placed her on the Strahan(Tasmania) - Melbourne run. 1878 deckhouse added. 1879 lengthened to be 173' x 27'3" x 13'6" and 424 gross tons. 1885 tonage bacame 548 gross after more alterations. and 553 gross tons in 1892. June 12th 1898 she struck the 'bar' at Strahan inward bound. She returned to open sea only to discover the loss of some of her propellor blades had had been holed under the boiler. She was taken in tow by the steamer Mahinapua and attempted the entry into Strahan again only to strike the bar again. The tow line parted and she drifted fatally to the shore, becoming a total loss
WILLIAM THE FOURTH 54 tons. Lbd: 74' x 15'6" x 7'. Wooden paddle steamer, 2 masts built by Marshall & Lowe on the Williams River at Clarencetown New South Wales. Of passenger capacity. Engine manufactured by Fawcett of Liverpool England. First owner J H Grose of Sydney. Was the first ocean going steamship built in Australia in 1831. June 1839 owned by Brisbane Water Steam Packet Co. September 1839 of General Steam Navigation Co. 1842 of Edye Manning & others. November 1843 of James Byrnes, Parramatta. February 1844 of John Dobbie & D Bloxome (possibly trustees of for the Twofold Bay Pastoral Co). October 1850 of William M Manning & A B Spark. 1853 lengthened to be 77 tons and Lbd: 86' x 14'8" x 8'2". 1857 of the Grafton Steam Navigation Co. June 1858 (supposedly) owned outright by W M & Edye Manning. February 1860 of the Illawarra Steam Navigation Co. 1863 saw sent sent abroad to China where she was puchased in 1864, and operated by A Ellissen & Co., on the Shanghai - Ningpo route. Laid up towards end of December 1868 she was despatched to Japan. Records end


CLARENCE & RICHMOND RIVER STEAM NAVIGATION Co
1879-90


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ADA
1879-90
AGNES IRVING
1862-79
BALLINA
1865-79
BELMORE
1870-93
AGNES IRVING image pending permission
ADA 17 gross tons, 12 net. Lbd: 52'6" x 10' x 4'. Wooden steamer built 1879 on the MacLeay River. First owner unknown. 1885 owned by this concern. Actual fate unknown, presumed broken up 1890
AGNES IRVING 439 gross tons, 333 net. Lbd: 203'5" x 24'5" x 11'7". Iron paddle steamer with passenger capacity built by Charles Lungley, Deptford Green, London for this concern. 2 cylinders each of 140 horsepower. Wrecked upon the South Spit of the Macleay River, New South Wales, whilst attempting to enter on the low tide December 26, 1879
BALLINA 299 gross tons, 190 net. Tonnage gross later reduced to 253. Lbd: 179'4" x 24' x 9'6". Iron paddle steamer with 2 masts as brig rigged and built at Low Walker-on-Tyne by perhaps C Mitchell & Co. Owner - J Alexander. Acquired by this concern in February 1866. Intended for the passenger trade between Sydney and the northern New South Wales ports, as she did, until she was driven ashore and wrecked on February 13th, 1879 at Port MacQuarie, New South Wales
BELMORE 66 gross tons. Lbd: 101'7" x 15'6" x 6'1". Wooden paddle steamer, 2 masts schooner rigged and of 12 passenger capacity as built by Stuart & Ferguson, Macleay River, NSW for his concern. January 1889 of the Clarence, Ricmond & Macleay Rivers S N Co. September 1891 of the North Coast Steam Navigation Co. Stranded January 21st, 1893 at Coffs Harbour NSW and abandoned as a total loss in March 1893


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CITY OF GRAFTON
1876-1920
CLARENCE
1865-89
CORAKI
1879-1900
CORNSTALK
1877-1921
CITY OF GRAFTON (a636891r) postcard image courtesy State Library New South Wales
CLARENCE image personal collection
CORNSTALK one of the vessels within the image
CITY OF GRAFTON 825 gross tons, 555 net. Lbd: 207'4" x 26'9" x 11'9". Iron paddle steamer 2 masts schooner rigged. Built by A. Stephen & Sons in Glasgow for this concern. Flush decked passenger vessel. 1 deck; Awning Deck; 4 cemented bulkheads. Propulsion: compound oscillating engine with 2 cylinders of 33 & 56 inches diameter respectively; stroke 60 inches; operating at 60 p.s.i.; 150 horsepower; engine built by the same company as the hull. Of the North Coast S N Co. in merger of 1890. Laid up 1913 and hulked 1920. Scrapped completely in 1930
CLARENCE 19 gross tons. Lbd: 64' x 9'1" x 5'1". Iron paddle steamer double ended of 12 horsepower. Built by 'unknown' for the Parramatta River Steam Navigation Co. Sold to this concern January 1873. Records of 1891 state she was wrecked on the Clarence River"some years ago"
CORAKI 275 gross tons. Lbd: 139'6" x 26'1" x 8'5". Twin screw steamship rigged as a 2 masted schooner built by W B Thompson, Dundee for this concern. 1883 lengthened to to be 159'6" x 26'1" x 8'5" and of 326 gross tons. January 1889 of C R & M R S N Co. 1891 of North Coast S N Co. Wrecked 29th November 1900 in the MacLeay River. A heavy swell swung her into the breakwater at the entrance, holing her and she continued on upstream for 300 yards until sinking in the channel. Declared a total loss and she was 'blown up' to clear the river passageway
CORNSTALK 145 gross tons. Lbd: 95 x 21'4" x 5'2". Iron stern wheel paddle steamer built at Sydney and used as a Drogher on the MacLeay River. Of the Clarence & Richmond Rivers S N Co., remaining within the fleet with the Company's name changes until demolished 1921


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CYGNET
1866-91
DIAMANTINA
1861-83
ELECTRA
1887-1920
FENELLA
1846-62
ELECTRA one of the vessels within the image
FENELLA image courtesy Clarence Historical Society
CYGNET 30 gross tons, 16 net. Lbd: 88' x 11'8" x 9'. Paddle Steamship built by G Thompson at Balmain, Sydney for E Manning & T S Mort, registered Sydney. Held 1 high & 1 low pressure cylinder steam engine of 30nhp. July 1867 owned by Parramatta Steam Co, Sydney working in ferry capacity. April 1870 of the Clarence & Richmond Rivers S N Co, Sydney, servicing the northern NSW River ports. 1871 lengthened to 118'3" x 14'5" x 5', tonnage became 57 gross, 36 net and re-engined with a 2 cylinder horizontal condensing engine of 28 horsepower as built by Vale & Lacey, Sydney. July 1872 owned by William Marshall who unsuccessfully tried to convert her into a screw propellor steamship. April 1879 owned by H Perdriau Jnr. Register officially closed August 1891 declaring her as 'made into a landing barge'
DIAMANTINA 85 gross tons, 239 net. Lbd: 158'1" x 23'6" x 8'7". Iron Paddle steamer, 2 cylinders 120 horsepower, and fitted with passenger capacity. Built by C Mitchell & Co., Low Walker on Tyne for Australasian S N Co., Sydney. Fitted with paddle wheels at Sydney March 15th 1862 upon arrival under sail from England. Intended for the Northern New South Wales rivers' and bar harbour trades and worked those including occassional trips to Queensland when sold March 1870 to Clarence & Richmond Rivers S N Co, Sydney. Sold January 1875 to Manning River S N Co., only to be stranded on the Manning River bar March 31st 1881. Several failed salvage efforts saw her abandoned to underwriters and she was sold to J Booth, who salvaged her and re-registered her as a fully rigged sailing ship. Sold 1883 to Burns Philp & Co., Ltd, sailed to Townsville Queensland and converted into a hulk. Scrapped 1907
ELECTRA 395 gross tons, 210 net. Lbd: 160'5" X 27' X 10'9". Steel twin screw passenger-cargo steamer built by Russell & Co., Port Glasgow for the Clarence & Richmond River S N Co. Of 76 horsepower and 11 knots, she was the first ship in this country fitted with electric light, hence the name. Operated between Sydney and the North coast of New South Wales. 1891 of North Coast S N Co fleet. Converted into a lighter 1920 and later sold to BHP Ltd., Australia for usage as a Tar storage unit. As a hulk, broken up during the 1930's
FENELLA 261 gross tons, 179 net. Lbd: 159'4" x 19'3" x 11'1". Iron paddle steamer2 cylinder engines making 110 horsepower. 2 masts, schooner rigged, passenger carrying capacity. Built Liverpool 1846, for J Laidley of Preston. March 1850 owned by T Kemp, registered Fleetwood and later at London England. Arrived Australian shores late 1854 seeking a buyer. Worked the Portland - Warrnambool trade Victoria then in 1855 plied the Port Albert trade. July 1855 chartered to the East Coast S N Co (Tasmania) with option to purchase. She was found too expensive/unsuitable and returned to owners November 1855. Did a number of voyages from Melbourne to Hobart and Launceston until acquired and registered at Sydney 1856 for Hunter River New S N Co. Worked the Sydney - Hunter River trade until 1859 when tried unsuccessfully on a Grafton - Brisbane route. 1859 owned by T Sullivan. September 1859 sold to Jones & Sharpe (trustees for the Grafton S N Co). June 1860 of the Clarence & Richmond River S N Co. Sold to Shanghai interests in February 1862. Records end


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FIRE KING
1866-73
FIRE QUEEN
1872-84+
GRAFTON
1854-98
IRVINGTON
1884-1933
FIRE KING image with many thanks to Fleur Marshall
GRAFTON (131489p) & IRVINGTON (131961p) images courtesy State Library Queensland
FIRE KING 221 gross tons, 171 net. Lbd; 148' x 20'1' x 7'9". Wooden paddle steamer of 3 masts schooner rigged built by John Stewart on MacLeay River New South Wales. Held 2 engines oscillating of 80 horsepower and boasted being the biggest paddle steamer built in New South Wales at the time. She also carried passenger accomodation for 36. Owned by W Marshall until December 1869 when acquired by this concern. Worked mostly the Sydney - Manning River trade until wrecked North Head, Manning River Bar, New South Wales on 30th April 1873
FIRE QUEEN 61 gross tons. Lbd: 81' x 11'3" x 4'. Wooden paddle steamer built on the MacLeay River New South Wales by (probably) A Cochrane. Of single diagonal engine equalling 12 horsepower. Built for this concern and transferred to Newcastle New South Wales September 1884. Fate unknown
GRAFTON 316 gross tons, 212 net. Lbd: 140'9" x 22'3" x 10'6". Iron paddle steamer of 2 masts brig rigged and built by J Laird, Birkenhead for R S Ross & Partners in 1854. Sold to David Jones & Partners in December 1858. Sold to Clark Irving & Partners (Grafton S N Co) June 1860. March 1866 of Clarence & Richmond River S N Co. August 1874 owned by J E Manning. During 1877 she underwent conversion to be Twin screw, as well as dimension increases of 397 gross tons and 270 net with Lbd: 145'5" x 27'6" x 13'6". December 1877 owned by W R Williams, Wellington New Zealand and then by the Union Steamship Co., of New Zealand where they placed her on the Strahan (Tasmania) - Melbourne run. 1878 deckhouse added. 1879 lengthened to be 173' x 27'3" x 13'6" and 424 gross tons. 1885 tonage bacame 548 gross after more alterations. and 553 gross tons in 1892. June 12th 1898 she struck the 'bar' at Strahan inward bound. She returned to open sea only to discover the loss of some of her propellor blades had had been holed under the boiler. She was taken in tow by the steamer Mahinapua and attempted the entry into Strahan again only to strike the bar again. The tow line parted and she drifted fatally to the shore, becoming a total loss
IRVINGTON Tonnage unknown. Lbd: 70'4" x 15'8" x 5'4". Wooden paddle steamer-drogher, single mast of 15 horsepower built by J Piper, Balmain Sydney for F G Crouch. April 1887 owned by this concern and worked the Richmond River trade. Transferred to the North Coast S N Co 1891 and sold October 1892 to Bell & Shields. November 1924 owned by the Hawksbury River Transport Co. Presumed broken up at Brooklyn circa 1933



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KALLATINA
1890-1930
NAUTILUS
1856-91
NEW ENGLAND
1869-82
PELICAN
1890-15
PLATYPUS
1864-98
KALLATINA image from Company brochure
KALLATINA 646 gross tons, 380 net. Lbd: 179'1" x 28'2" x 11'4". Steel steamship built by D J Dunlop & Co., Port Glasgow, 1890. Built as a passenger vessel for the Clarence, Richmond & MacLeay River S N Co registered Sydney. The only new addition to the Company under this title. September 1891 of this concern working the north coast run. Sold to John Burke Ltd., Brisbane in June of 1921 and altered to measure 628 gross tons and 306 net. J Burke employed her on the Queensland coastal run and taking in the Gulf of Carpentaria ports until sold circa 1930 and hulked in 1931; lying as a breakwater on Moreton island, off Tangalooma
NAUTILUS 22 gross tons, 11 net. Lb: 55'5" x 11'0" Paddle steamer built by Randolph Elder & Co Govan, Scotland. Engines by Randolph Elder & Co, Govan. Propulsion: steam 2 cylinder. Shipped in sections and reassembled by George Balloch, Balmain, Sydney NSW and owned by S Crook, Sydney. Since - 1858 Edye Manning & partners. 1860 T S Rountree, Sydney. Originally double ended, was lengthened and given rounded stern in 1860, statistics being 36 gross tons, 22 net . Lb: 74'1" x 11'2". 1862 Robert Towns. 1864 Clarence & Richmond River Steam Nav Co. Registry closed 1891 "missing for years and supposed to have been broken up"
NEW ENGLAND 359 gross tons, 223 net. Lbd: 176'4" x 22'1" x 10'7". Iron steamship, 2 masts schooner rigged and 2 cylinders making 270 horsepower. Passenger capacity of 62. Built by T Wingate & Co., Glasgow for the Clarence and New England S N Co, registered Sydney. August 1879 acquired by this concern. 27th December 1882 wrecked upon the Clarence River bar with a loss of eleven souls
PLATYPUS Iron hulled 2 masted schooner rigged steamship of 217 gross tons. Lbd: 140'4" x 23'8" x 8'4". Built by A & J Inglis, Glasgow for the Queensland S N Co. 1868 purchased by the Queensland Government and resold same year to the Clarence and Richmond River S N Co. Sold August 1887 to G L Fuller, Sydney. Broken up at Sydney 1898
PELICAN 96 gross tons. Lbd: 76'6" x 21'9" x 5'4". Wooden steamship of 18 horsepower as built at Balmain, Sydney for the Clarence and Richmond River S N Co., and taken delivery of as Clarence, Richmond & MacLeay River S N Co. 1891 transferred to North Coast S N Co


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RAINBOW
1860-64
RAMORNIE
1869-99
TOMKI
1882-1907
ULMARRA
1861-72
TOMKI image rare postcard in issue
RAINBOW 110 gross, 75 net tons. Lbd: 149'8" x 18'2" x 6'6". (39 x 6 x 2 metres). Wooden Paddle Steamer 2 masts scooner rigged, built on the Macleay River in 1860 by a Mr Corcoran and owned by a Mr Marshall of Balmain. Her machinery consisted of a ‘high pressure’ boiler and a pair of side lever engines by Young and Mather, providing 60-70 horsepower. In early 1863 the Clarence & Richmond River S N Co purchased her for the sum of £4000. She sank off Seal Rocks Bay 3rd June 1864 in a fierce southerly gale on the NSW coast
RAMORNIE 86 tons. Lbd: 92'9" x 22' x 4'7". Iron side paddle steamer built at the ASN Co's Pyrmont workshops, Sydney for this concern. Remained in the fleet with the Company's name changes up to probably 1889-1900. Eventually ‘rotted away’. - lost 31 January 1893, Clarence river. This vessel built 1869's official register was closed 1944
TOMKI 589 gross tons, 376 net. Lbd: 180' x 27'2" x 14'4". Steel twin screw steamship built by R & H Green at Blackwell, London for Clarence & Richmond Rivers S N Co Ltd. January 1889 of the Clarence, Richmond & MacLeay Rivers S N Co Ltd. September 1891 of this concern as North Coast S N Co Ltd., Sydney. Serviced Sydney and the Northern ports and rivers of and along the New South Wales coastline in her capacity as a passenger-cargo vessel. Ultimately wrecked 14th September 1907 on the Richmond River bar, at Ballina
ULMARRA 50 tons. Lbd: 85'3" x 14'3" x 4'3". Wooden paddle steamer, single engine of 12 horsepower and built at Waterview Bay, Balmain Sydney for this concern. Wrecked upon Manning Heads 10th October 1872


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ULOOM
1863-1909
URARA
1859-66
WAIMEA
1868-72
WOODBURN
1883-1911
WOODBURN image as the MACLEAY
ULOOM 115 tons. Lbd: 102' x 18'4" x 6'6". Iron side paddle steamer, single engine making 25 horsepower and single masted. Built at the Pyrmont workshops of Australasian S N Co., Sydney for this concern. Altered 1869 to be Lbd: 100'4" x 18'4" x 5'6" and 90 tons. Remained within the fleet during Company's name changes until register closed 1909
URARA 382 tons. Lbd: 180'5" x 24'2" x 11'4". Iron paddle steamer of 2 cylinders making 120 horsepower, 2 masts, schooner rigged. Built bt Laird & Sons, Birkenhead as a two funnelled passenger vessel, 105 in total of two classes, for this concern. Chartered by the Australasian S N Co for their Sydney - Maryborough service and used on their Melbourne trades during 1862- 63. Wrecked at the Clarence River Heads, New South Wales on 1st May 1866
WAIMEA 158 gross tons, 107 net. Lbd: unknown. Iron steamship of 60 horsepower erected on the grounds of 'Carabella" the private residence of John Edye Manning, North Sydney. Builder was P N Russell. 1870 owned by E & H Manning. 1871 tonnage increased to 229 gross with Lbd: 131' x 21'5" x 9'5". October 1871 owned by Clarence & Richmond River S N Co. Originated as working the Manning River trade and switched to the Clarence River run probably 1871 when renovations saw increase in passenger accomodation. Wrecked at Richmond River Heads on 10th January 1872
WOODBURN 398 gross tons, 291 net. Lbd: 155' x 25'3" x 10'7". (47 x 8 metres). Was a single screw coastal cargo and passenger vessel originally built by Forrest and Sons on the River Thames, London, England, for B.B. Nicoll & Co., Sydney in 1883 as the Woodburn. The Woodburn left England on 12 December 1883 and arrived in Sydney on 22 March 1884. The vessel carried 28 passengers as well as cargo and was powered by a twin cylinder steam engine and sail when needed. Ownership passed to Clarence & Ricmond River S N Co. in 1884 and in 1890 the ownership again changed when C R & M R S N Co merged with John See and Co to form the North Coast Steam Navigation Company. The name of the vessel was changed to MacLeay. Became a popular passenger steamer. Later overhauled for carrying coal. Struck rocks off Boondelbah Island at entrance to Port Stephens and sank quickly, 11 October 1911. Fifteen crew lost; two survivors


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