Saturday, July 13, 2013

Souvenir Saturday: Captain Ilbery of the Waratah

Josiah Edward Ilbery was the son of Walter Ilbery and Eliza Vachel; he was christened at Saint Peter's, Church Street, Liverpool, Lancashire 13 Jul 1840. At the time of his application for his certificate his address was given as Egremont, Cheshire and his birth date as 22 June 1840.

Captain Ilbery was for many years on the England-Australia run and maintained his contact with members of the Ilbery family in New South Wales (where he owned land) and Victoria. During his long maritime career, he commanded most of Lund's new ships as they came onto the run.

Captain J E Ilbery

The earliest of Lloyd's Ship's Captain's Registers shows his birth at Liverpool 1840 and that he obtained his certificate in 1865. His first command was Lund's clipper Mikado in 1868, voyaging to China, Japan and the Oriental Archipelago. While master of the Mikado, Ilbery was recognised by the US Government for the rescue of the Grace Clifton. He later commanded the Serapis 1878 and Ocean King in 1879, then in 1880 took command of the Delcomyn, first steamship of Lund's line, on the Cape Australia route. While with this vessel, Ilbery was instrumental in the rescue of the boat's crew of SS Koning der Nederlanden.

For the last thirty years of his life he commanded steamships plying between England and Australia. Before taking command of the Waratah, he was on the Geelong in 1904.

It's likely that Josiah Ilbery was related to William Ilbery, a famous watchmaker working in London who produced exquisitely enamelled and decorated watches for the Chinese market from ca 1780. There were other Ilberys in the watchmaking profession.

[Biographical details provided by Dr Peter Ilbery.]

Note that this surname is spelled with one 'r': many sources spell it ILBERRY which is not correct.

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