Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Death of a mariner Gadsden 1849

Sailing ship Lalla Rookh
Photo Qld Library


It is our painful duty to record a most distressing accident which happened on Wednesday afternoon last in our harbour, by which the lives of two young men were sacrificed.

 It will be recollected that on that afternoon the wind was at times blowing in heavy squalls, during which the jolly-boat of the barque Lalla Rookh broke away from her fastening. The mate, Mr James Fenton, with Charles Gadsden, the 3rd mate and two hands, got into her pinnace to go after and secure her and had hoisted the mainsail when a squall came on and capsized her and she immediately sunk. Captain Balliston of the Ennerdale who saw the accident from the deck of his vessel, immediately manned his boat, and endeavoured to pick up the immersed crew - but being of a considerable distance from the place of the accident, only succeeded in saving two, Messrs Fenton and Gadsden both meeting a watery grave.

Mr Fenton had only joined the Lalla Rookh at the Cape of Good Hope but his gentlemanly manners and very considerable general talents had already commanded the esteem and respect of the vessel and his numerous passengers. Mr Charles Gadsden, although he had not completed his apprenticeship, had been during the passage advanced to the position of 3rd mate and was a young man well connected and affording much promise of success in his profession. We regret to learn that the bodies were not recovered. The two men who narrowly escaped this sad fate were in the first instance taken on board the Ennerdale where they met with every attention from its kind-hearted commander and are now recovered.

Source: The Daily Southern Cross (Auckland) 5 May 1849 p4

Note: at present it is not certain precisely which Charles Gadsden was involved. There were a number of Gadsdens in Australia at the time.

Note 2: Lalla Rookh is an Oriental romance by Thomas Moore, published in 1817. The title is taken from the name of the heroine of the tale, the daughter of the 17th-century Mughal emperor Aurangzeb



How devastating, made that much worse by the bodies not being recovered. It must have been an exceptionally difficult time for the families. Andrew

Mole said...

As I don't know which Gadsden this man was, I can't discover if he was part of my direct line or not. But certainly a tragedy for these men's families. It is surprising how many fatalities occurred within safe harbours, involving small boats. Captain Bell my g g grandfather was nearly drowned on at least one occasion when the port boat capsized.

Mole said...

For more on the Port Boat incident with Capt Bell see