Lincelles was built in 1858 in Moulmein, Burma, one of many ships owned by Duncan Dunbar II. The ‘first’ Duncan Dunbar was a brewer and wine merchant. His son, Duncan II, owned the biggest sailing fleet in the world in the mid-19th century – mostly built in his own shipyard in Moulmein. Dunbar built his ships of teak cut from the forests that lined the banks of the river surrounding the yard. His fleet was mainly utilised as convict and immigrant transports and troopships in the Crimean War. As well as administering his great fleet, Dunbar founded the London Chartered Bank of Australia in 1852; he was on the committee of Lloyd’s Registry for 16 years and deputy-chairman for five. He died in 1862 (1).
Specifications: Official #27923, 904 tons registered in London. A late frigate ship. Hull of teak; three masts; two decks + poop. Length: 172.0 ft. Breadth: 30.6 ft. Depth: 23 ft. Draft: 17.0 ft. (2).
Lincelles is best known in Western Australia for bringing 304 convicts and 30 pensioner guards and their families to our shores, arriving in January 1862. However, it is her return journey to England that year which is relevant here.
On 27th April 1862 Lincelles, commanded by Captain Edwin Gooch, left Fremantle for the Cape of Good Hope and London. She had a good many soldiers on board including the officers and men of the 20th Company, Royal Engineers, as well as some from the 12th Regiment. Dr William Crawford, the ship’s surgeon and Rev William Irwin, religious instructor on the voyage out to Fremantle, were on board, together with a number of colonists who were also returning ‘home’ (3).
From the 20th Company were Lieutenant E C Sim, Lieutenant and Mrs R G Thorold and their two children and Mrs Grain and three children; Captain Edward Metcalfe Grain, then in command of the 20th Company, would not leave the Colony until early 1863 on Madras (4).
Of the balance of NCOs and Sappers serving in 1861/62, 29 took their Army discharge in WA or other Australian States and some transferred to other companies. One man, Robert Lennox, was serving a sentence in Fremantle prison and another, James Armstrong, died two weeks before ship’s departure and three men had been transferred to other Companies. Thus 36 men boarded the Lincelles with the local populace cheering them on (5).
Also see sources & links
(1) Wikipedia & Newspaper article from TROVE online.
(2) Derrick Prall’s publication & Crew List Index Project.
(3) Inquirer & Commercial News 30 April 1862.
(4) Perth Gazette 20 Feb 1863.
(5) Muster Rolls & Pay Lists WO11-207 April to June 1862.