CORNUBIA 160 gross tons, 94 net. Lbd: 108'3" x 17'6" x 11'4". Wooden paddle steamer built at Greenock 1830. First owners purported to be Messers Pimm, Plymouth as well as St George Steam Packet Co. First official registration stated under the name of J W Sutherland at London. Arrived at Sydney June 6th 1842 and stated as owned by Benjamin Boyd. Used as his 'private yacht' for excursions to the Hunter River until February 1846 when chartered by Edye Manning. In a commercial arena, she was employed on the Hunter River trade in opposition to the Hunter River S N Co., which resulted in a victory for Edye Manning. November 1846 chartered to the 'colonial' government at the time to take the Governor of North Australia, Colonel George Barney on a search for an appropriate site to establish a Capital for the new province. He ultimately chose Port Curtis, but that was abandoned along with the whole proposal on orders from England. Early 1847 Benjamin Boyd placed the vessel on the Hunter River service and in June that year despatched her to the Bass Strait trade out of Melbourne. Proved an unsuccessful venture and returned to Sydney January 1848. Made several runs since but was ultimately sold after December 1848 to James Paddon, Master mariner who enrolled her at Sydney February 1849 as a 2 masted schooner. Paddon's interests were based at Anatam in the New Hebrides, where she sailed to in March 1949. Paddon himself self proclaimed himself as 'Governor' of New Hebrides. Whilst used as a storeship, Cornubia was destroyed in a cyclone in 1853|
CORNUBIA In February 1846 the Maitland Mercury recorded the following:
'The 'CORNUBIA' - You will be gratified to hear that the Cornubia, on her First trip to the Hunter, has performed exceedingly well. She left Kelllick's Wharf at 25 minutes to 9 on Monday night and reached Newcastle at 10 o'clock on Tuesday morning, having had to contend with a heavy cross sea and the wind right in her teeth the whole of the way, against which she must have steamed about 5 1/2 knots per hour, with a full cargo; thus proving that her qualities as a sea boat are of no very mean order. At a quarter ebb tide (thanks to the dredge) the Cornubia went swimmingly over the Flats. This promises well for her future services. In deed, on the whole, Captain Stericker, who commands her, is much pleased with her performance.
The following week:
'Our readers will be glad to learn that this steamer has made another successful trip, having arrived at Morpeth yesterday morning with a full cargo, passing over the Flats at about half tide, without touching. There proves to be abundance of cargo for her at each end; so that there is every prospect of her proving a permanent accession to our facilities for trading with Sydney'.
In March the Cornubia transported His Honor Mr. Justice Therry to the Hunter in readiness for the Quarter Sessions. Accompanying him on the steamer were the Attorney General, and barristers Messrs. Purefoy, Holroyd, and Dowling. Also on board were Mr. Blair, Clerk of Arraigns and Mr. Cornelius Prout, Under Sheriff.
By September 1846 the 'Cornubia' was trading regularly between Morpeth and Sydney, advertising passage to Sydney for one shilling. This fee was for steerage. A Cabin ticket could be purchased for 4/-. Refreshments were purchased on board at 'moderate rates'. The 'Cornubia' left from Morpeth every Wednesday and Saturday mornings and from Kellick's Wharf, Sydney every Monday and Thursday at 8pm.
Captain Taggart was Master of the Cornubia in June 1847 between Port Phillip and Launceston.
EXPERIMENT 37 gross tons. 80 tons deadweight. Lbd: 79'8" x 12'6" x 5'5". Paddle steamer built at Deptford Shipyard and launched on the Williams River New South Wales 1832 by Marshall and Lowe for Benjamin Boyd. When launched, the unusual vessel was propelled ‘by the rotary movement of four horses over paddlewheels’. This was not a success for a number of reasons which do not defy imagination. 1834 sold to Mr. Edye Manning who installed a steam engine. She worked at Parramatta from 1835. In June 1846 she was sent to Moreton Bay and was the first steamer to ply on the Brisbane River. Registered as owned by James Canning Pierce, she plied as far as Ipswich (in the Bremer River) until foundering in the river January 1848. (Sank in the Brisbane River alongside the Queen’s Wharf early in the morning, 20 January 1848. Jack Loney notes that one version of her loss says she was never raised although her engine and boiler were salvaged and installed in the steamer Hawk. Another claims she was refloated, then sold in October to be broken up. Bateson confirms the second option, and suggests she was refloated and resumed her ferry service, but was sold on 16 October 1848 and broken up)
SEAHORSE 439 gross tons, 243 net. Lbd: 156'6" x 22'8" x 13'9". Wooden paddle steamer bult by unknown at Dundee 1837. Engine of 250 hp. First known owner - St George Steam Packet Co., London. Owned by Benjamin Boyd as at June 1840 and arrived at Hobart April 1841. At Sydney June 1st 1841. Used by Benjamin Boyd for the coastal trade, namely between Sydney and Melbourne (Port Phillip Bay), as well as occassional trips to Hobart Town. Badly damaged on a rock near George Town in the Tamar River, Tasmania, in June 4th 1843. Made for Sydney arriving June 11th. Declared a wreck, as unrepairable in the 'colonies' by Boyd, insurance claimed with dispute and underwriters becoming beneficiary. Auctioned 1849. Hulked 1850
JUNO 621 gross tons, 362 net. Lbd: 159'8" x 22'8" x 16'8". Wooden addle steamer, built by Robert Duncan & Co., Greenock, Scotland, 1836. Held compounded engine = 250hp constructed by Caird & Co., Greenoch. First owner St George Steam Packet Co., London. 1841 owned by Benjamin Boyd when she set out from England, under canvas, on the 26th June 1841 and arrived Sydney March 21st 1842. Strangely, she swung on her anchor in that harbour until May 1847 when she was sent to Twofold Bay, New South Wales on a test run to try her boilers, previously unused since departing England. During 1847, G C Forbes was recorded as an owner and B Boyd again recorded as owner in June 1847. Following, in June 1847, she was chartered to the Militiary Authority in Sydney for the purpose of taking supplies to the British forces based in New Zealand. This effectively made her the first passenger vessel to traverse the Tasman Sea. As a passenger vessel, she had a spacious saloon, two staterooms, a ladies' and gentlemen's cabin each fitted out with fifteen berths, and was considered one of the best appointed vessels of her day. Recorded as being capable of 52 saloon passengers and another 200 in steerage. (Early records confound at times.) Since she was placed upon the Sydney - Adelaide service and continued that run under the August 1848 ownership of William Spratt Boyd, a relative who took over possession with the collapse of Benjamin Boyd's mini-empire. Withdrawn from the service when a 'hoped for' Government subsidy didn't materialise and in December 1848 went on a 5 day cruise from Port Adelaide to Port Lincoln, South Australia being effectively the first 'tourist' vessel in Australian waters. August 1849 owned by William Dawes. Sold at auction in October, 1849. November 1849 officially owned by H Moore. 1851 sold to the Spanish Government based in the Philippines and based at Manilla. She made a number of trips between Manilla and Sydney. Left Sydney for Manila in the Philippines on 20 October 1853 and on 22 October, was battered by a succession of heavy gales which damaged her so badly she began taking water. The rising water put out her fires and she eventually went ashore 2 km north of the Manning River entrance, New South Wales, and broke up quickly, 22 October 1853. Loss of six lives