Lord Raglan 1860

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Lord Raglan
Lord Raglan – but which one?
Illustrated London News
14 July 1855, p. 53, Issue 752.

Lord Raglan was built in Cardiff in 1854 for shipping magnate, Duncan Dunbar. Dunbar owned the biggest sailing fleet in the world in the mid-19th century – mostly built in his own shipyard in Moulmein, Burma – but he also built ships in other yards or commissioned them to be built. He died in 1862, thus Lord Raglan would have passed into other ownership a few years after her voyage described here. She is not an easy ship to identify as there were a dozen ships registered as Lord Raglan in the mid-19th century; not surprising given the role Lord Raglan, the man, played in the Crimean War.

Specifications: Official #26292, 756 tons registered in London. A late frigate ship. Hull of oak; three masts; raised quarter deck. Length: 159 ft. Breadth: 28.3 ft. Depth: 20.0 ft. Draft: 17.0 ft. (1).


Lord Raglan is best known in Western Australia for bringing 270 convicts and 30 pensioner guards and their families to our shores, arriving in 1858. However, it is a different voyage which is relevant here. The only similarity being the Master, Captain Thomas Hybert (2).

A Pleasant Passage CoverHenry Richardson, RN came to Western Australia in 1859 on Sultana, yet another convict ship. He wrote a journal in two volumes of his voyage to Western Australia, his short stay in the Colony and his return to England via the Cape on Lord Raglan (3). On neither voyage was he very specific about his non-cabin passengers, although the law required him to be thorough about the recording of the convicts and their welfare on his Sultana voyage of 1859.

Lord Raglan set sail from Fremantle to England via the Cape on 26th January 1860. From Richardson we gain no insight as to the names or strength of the Sappers and Miners who were on board. He records: January 26-28. Sailed in the afternoon of the 26th from Freemantle (sic) having on board a considerable number of cabin passengers (18), several Invalids with their wives and families and a number of convicts who had obtained a conditional pardon for the Cape of Good Hope – altogether amounting to 132 souls.

In other parts of his journal Richardson mentions: Two of the soldiers not Invalids complained to me yesterday [about the biscuit] (26 Mar p.152). And about the wives of two sappers: Mrs Strickland (sic) …in great distress (8 Apr p.163); Mrs McHale…dysentery (20 Apr p.169). At the conclusion of the voyage he records: We were in great hopes of reaching the East India Docks by yesterday afternoon’s tide but when we reached Gravesend we found that the Invalids and other soldiers could not be landed before the arrival of some official from Chatham whose duty it is to investigate any complaints that may be made and to ascertain the state of the troops before leaving the ship (10 May p.180).

1860 Lord Raglan [PG Independent Journal 27 Jan 1860]
PG Independent Journal 27 Jan 1860
Other sources for the identity of passengers on board come from the newspapers: A party of military invalids women and children, and about twenty for the Cape of Good Hope (4). And 2 sgts., 13 rank & file, 14 women, 43 children (5). In the event, Whiteley was correct about the 20th Company RE. The two sergeants were Colour Sergeant Jacob Cavill, Sergeant Edward Taylor, Corporals John Hay and William Spry and a further 11 rank and file. This included the husbands of the two women mentioned in Richardson’s journal. All had served for eight years and five months (including time at sea) in the Colony with the exception of Corporal Hay who had arrived on Scindian in June 1850 and thus had been in Western Australia for over ten years. There were no officers of the Royal Engineers on board (6).

An article in the Perth Gazette explains why there were a number of miners bound for the Cape of Good Hope; not to be confused with the miners of the Royal Engineers. The miners among the RE soldiers were Sergeant Jacob Cavill, along with rank and file Thomas Booler, Henry Condy, John Stickland and Michael Tynan. The same article regrets the return of many of the colonists (7).


Also see sources & links
(1) Derrick Prall’s publication & Crew List Index Project.
(2) Perth DPS website.
(3) A Pleasant Passage, the Journals of Henry Richardson, Fremantle Arts Centre Press. A copy of the original manuscript is held in the Battye Library (MN1168).
(4) Perth Gazette, 27 Jan 1860 and Inquirer & Commercial News, 1 Feb 1860.
(5) The Military Establishment in Western Australia 1829-1863, E S and C G S Whiteley, ed. Keith J Bostock, Hesperian Press 2010.
(6) Muster Rolls & Pay Lists WO11-172 January to March 1860.
(7) Perth Gazette Independent Journal, 27 Jan 1860.


© Diane Oldman 2015