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Marquis of Anglesea

The Marquis of Anglesea arrived with 104 passengers on 23 August 1829 and was wrecked on Anglesea Point on 4 September - which was consequently named for after the ship. The other end of Bathers Bay was named Point Marquis.

currie

This is a photograph of the image on an interpretive plaque at Bathers Bay, showing the location of the wreck on Anglesea Point, with South Bay (now filled in and become the Esplanade) to this (southern) side of it. The accompanying text follows.

The Marquis of Anglesea was the sixth ship to arrive at Swan River, anchoring in Gage Roads on 23 August 1829. On board were 104 passengers mainly from Cornwall. One child was born on the journey.
The 101 day journey from Plymouth, England, had been eventful. On a stopover at the Cape Verde Islands, the ship's surgeon was reportedly "drunk all the time" and one passenger "knocked down his wife without the slightest provocation on her part, and almost tore off the ear of a Gentleman who interfered on her behalf."
On 4 September, a gale drove the ship onto the rocks dragging its three anchors. Fortunately the passengers and most of the cargo had already been unloaded.

currie detail

Damaged beyond repair, the stranded hull of the Marquis of Anglesea was sold to local merchant George Leak for £170. He then leased the wreck to the Government which treated it as a ready-made building. A few modifications and it soon became the Governor's residence, the Harbour Master's office, the Post Office, a prison for refractory servants and the colonial store.
The wreck later became the colonial gaol, housing up to twenty seven prisoners. For a time it also housed a mental patient, the deranged surgeon Nicholas Langley. Its final use was as a grain store.
After some three years the wreck was finally broken up by heavy seas.

The wreck was the first 'place' to function as a post office, with the business conducted by Lionel Samson on a voluntary basis until John Bateman was appointed postmaster.

The first port activities at Arthur Head were directed from the wreck of the Marquis of Anglesea (1815-1829) which provided a base for the Colony's first Harbour Master [Mark Currie]. The Harbour Master's office was then transferred to a building on Anglesea Point, due north of the South Jetty which was constructed in c. 1851. Souter & McMcCarthy.

It also functioned for a time as a jail. (Garrick & Jeffery: 7)

References and Links

Garrick, Phyl & Chris Jeffery1987, Fremantle Hospital: A Social History to 1987, Fremantle Hospital: 6-7

Souter, Corioli & M. McCarthy nd, The Maritime Archaeological Resource at Arthur Head: A Report for the Arthur Head Conservation Plan, Dept Maritime Archaeology, WA Maritime Museum, report no. 145.

WAGS page for this ship


Garry Gillard | New: 16 January, 2015 | Now: 14 October, 2017