Amazon – More information

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Source:  Maritime Historian, Mr Doug Ford, Jersey Archive, Clarence Road, St Helier, Jersey JE2 4JY

Amazon. ON 9720 Code letters: KJMW

 The  barque Amazon was built by Fredrick Clarke at his shipyard at West Park, St Helier, Jersey for the local firm of  John Carrel & Co. and launched on  18 May 1855.

Her dimensions were 131.5’ long x 25.5’  breadth x 16.25’  depth and on the Jersey Register of Shipping her tonnage is given as 362 88/100 tons.  It also states that she was carvel built with a round stern and a quarter deck.  She had a female figure (an Amazon) for her figurehead.

Her fate is given as “Lost 15 December 1863 off Cape Paterson, Australia

Extra details fro the Lloyds Register of shipping.

1856 Lloyds  Register gives her gross tonnage as 402 tons and net tonnage as 362. It adds that she had been built under Special Survey, was copper fastened and that her hull had been sheathed in Yellow Metal and was destined for the Jersey Autralia trade shows her master as Ogier

The next change in detail comes in the 1859 Lloyds Register which shows her voyage as Liverpool to South America and adds that she had been surveyed in 1858 and that her hull was now sheathed with Felt and Yellow Metal.

The register shows that she remained on the Liverpool – South America trade until 1862 when the details show that she had been surveyed again in May 1861 and that she was simply sailing out of Jersey with no specifice trade mentioned.

Movements of the Amazon, Captain Abraham Ogier 1855-63

Information extracted from primarily the Shipping Gazette, Lloyds List  and the Jersey Independent. Plus other UK, Autstralian and New Zealand newspapers

7-14 June 1855           Cardiff loading coal for Australia

27 June- 5 July 1855   Cardiff loading coal for Australia

1 July 1855                 Sailed from Cardiff for Port Adelaide, South Australia

23 November 1855     Discharging coal at Port Wakefield, South Australia

25 March 1856            Sailed from Rangoon bound for Falmouth

26 June 1856               St Helena – Amazon called in from Rangoon on way to Falmouth from Rangoon

9 August 1856             Off Land’s End from Rangoon

22 August 1856           Arrived in the Schelde

23 August 1856           Arrived Antwerp

October 1856              Sailed fromLiverpool bound for Montevideo

11April 1857              Liverpool: entered outwards  for Bombay.

17 September 1857     Arrived Bombay from Liverpool.

17 October 1857         Sailed  from Bombay bound for Rangoon.

4 December 1857        arrived in Rangoon from Bombay

24 December 1857      left Rangoon for Queenstown or Falmouth.

24 February 1858        from Queenstown spoken to 35 S, 23 E

23 May 1858               Arrived in  Liverpool from Rangoon.

27 May 1858              Entered out . . . for Rio de Janeiro

20 July  1858              Sailed from Liverpool bound for Rio de Janeiro

4 February 1859          arrived New Orleans from London

21 March 1859            entered West India Dock fom New Orleans

30 March 1859           Shipping and Mercantile Gazette advertising berths for “a few chief cabin passengers bound for Cape of Good Hope in what is described as “The beautiful British-built Clipper Barque AMAZON, A1 ten years, 362 tons register, in St Katherine’s Docks. Will have quick dispatch.”

15 April 1859             Shipping and Mercantile Gazette advertising that only 3 chief cabin passengers berths remain.

9 May 1859                 cleared London bound for Cape of Good Hope

10 May 1859               Sailed for Cape of Good Hope

10 July 1859               Arrived Cape of Good Hope.

1 September 1859      Sailed from Table Bay bound for Hondeklip In Northern Cape Province

21 November 1859     arrived in Swansea from Hondeckslip, Cape of Good Hope.

12 January 1860         Amazon from Swansea to Cape of Good Hope spoken to: position lat. 48N. long.12 W.

30 March 1860            Arrived in Table Bay from Swansea

13 May 1860               Sailed from Table Bay bound for Mauritius

11 June 1860               Arrived in Mauritius from Table Bay

14 July 1860               Sailed from Mauritius bound for Eden, NSW[1] (Australia)

7 September 1860       Sailed from Adelaide bound for Mauritius.

27 September  1860    sailed from Melbourne bound for  Mauritius.

5 November 1860       arrived in Mauritius from Melbourne

30 November 1860     Sailed from Mauritius bound for Queenstown. (Cork)

16 December 1860     Amazon from Mauritius to Falmouth spoken to: position lat. 35S. long.25E.

22 February 1861        Arrived Falmouth from Mauritius

28 February 1861        Sailed from Falmouth bound for Bristol.

4 March 1861              Sailed again for Bristol.

6 March 1861             Arrived in Bristol from Mauritius and Falmouth.

20 March 1861           Cardiff: A barque supposed to be the Amazon, Ogier is towing down from Bristol.

21 March 1861            Arrived in Cardiff from Bristol

30 March 1861            Sailed from Cardiff bound for Jersey.

5 April 1861                Arrived St Helier Roads with a cargo of coal  and towed into port by the steam tug Experiment.

10 June 1861               arrived in Cardiff from Jersey

19 June 1861               Sailed from Cardiff bound for the Cape of Good Hope.

29 August 1861           Sailed from Table Bay bound for Mauritius

4 December 1861        Arrived in Mauritius from Johanna, Victoria

16 December 1861      Sailed from Mauritius bound for Otago, New Zealand

31 January 1862         Arrived in Otago from Mauritius at 1:30 p.m. with a cargo of sugar and I passenger.

14 February 1862       Cleared Otago in ballast bound for Adelaide.

26 March 1862            In Adelaide loading flour for London.

6 April 1862                sailed from Adelaide bound for London

5 July 1862                   Arrived in Table Bay from Adelaide bound for London – with loss of bulwarks and sails, and with rudder damaged.

26 July 1862               Sailed from Table Bay bound for London.

30 September 1862       arrived off Deal from Adelaide proceeded for the Thames

19 November 1862     Cleared for Cape Town.

22 November 1862     Arrived off Deal and sailed for Cape Town.

21 April 1863              Sailed from Port Louis, Mauritius for Melbourne with

1,620,000lbs of sugar

24 September 1863     sailed from Port Louis, Mauritius for  Australia

21 October 1863         Arrived in Adelaide

14 November 1863     Sailed for Melbourne

18 November 1863     Arrived in Melbourne from Mauritius.

12 December 1863      Sailed from Melbourne in ballast bound for Mauritius

The barque AMAZON, Captain A Ogier, which sailed from Melbourne for the Mauritius, December 12th, was totally wrecked off Cape Patterson in Sunday  December 20th; all hands were saved. The captain arrived overland today, much exhausted. He left his crew, who were unable to come on, at the Cape.

(The Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser, Tuesday 29 December 1863)

News of the wreck off Cape Patterson, Victoria was carried in the Liverpool Mercury on Tuesday 9 February 1864.

27 January 1864          Captain Ogier returns to Britain as a cabin passenger[2] from Melbourne on board the SS Great Britain


H.M.C.S. Victoria returned to Hobson’s Bay late on Tuesday evening, bringing the shipwrecked crew of the barque Amazon, which was wrecked near Cape Patterson during the late heavy gale on the 15th ult. Captain Ogier, has furnished us with the following particulars from his log:-

Dec. 12th — The barque, Amazon, bound for Mauritius, left Hobson’s Bay ; cleared Port Phillip Heads same evening, at eight o’clock. Weather, cloudy. Barometer beginning to fall rapidly, and breezes freshening. Double-reefed top-sails and rated course; stood on her course.

13th inst. – Commenced with strong southerly winds, with rainy weather.

Two a.m. — Wind suddenly shifted to S.W., Cape Otway then bearing W.N.W., distant about fourteen miles. Four a.m.–Gale increased to a hurricane, blowing furiously. Hove the vessel to under close-reefed main top-sail, with her head to southward and eastward.

Six am. –Storm still increasing and the sea rising fearfully, took in main top-sail, and kept the vessel under storm staysail. She came up to S.S.E., and fill off before the force of the storm to


14th.– At three a.m., the storm still increasing, bore up for Port Phillip Heads,  steering a N.N.E. course; no land being in sight.

Ten a.m. — Gale still increasing.

Noon.–Sounded, and found fifteen fathoms; hauled ship up to S.E., breakers then bring distinctly heard, but still no land visible; then set fore and main courses, at risk of losing both masts and yards. At noon, still sounding, found the water begin to deepen, the cast of the lead showing twenty-five fathoms. About that time caught a glimpse of the land, which they took to be Cape Patten, bearing W. by S. The weather then came on thick and lazy, with rain. Giving up all hopes of reaching the Heads, as the water was still deepening kept on the same tack, but the vessel was drifting fast to leeward, owing to the force of the gale. On sounding got thirty fathoms.

Three p.m.– No change in the weather, barometer still falling, forty fathoms, water.

Midnight. In thirty-six fathoms water, shoaling fast.

15th.–Storm still raging; all hands on deck.

Four a.m.–Heavy squall struck the vessel, split fore course and main topmast staysail. She was then wore round with her head to the N.W., when, finding only twenty-five fathoms, again wore her with her head to S.E.,the vessel being forced bodily to leeward, and the water shoaling fast. Six a.m. — Twenty fathoms; saw breakers on port bow, and rocks ahead. Then found that the vessel was perfectly embayed. Saw land close too, but the weather was too thick to determine what it was. In this dreadful situation, seeing no hopes of saving either the vessel or lives, and being close to the breakers, called the crew aft and held a consultation as to what was the best to be done. Then attempted to wear ship, but she being a long time in paying off, struck the ground, and at the same time the sea made a clean breach over her, sweeping everything off her deck. Kept courses on, to force her well on to the beach, and when she could go no further cut away fore and mizzen masts, in order to ease and prevent her breaking up. The crew having been on deck for forty-eight hours were quite exhausted, and it was with the greatest difficulty that all were saved. The vessel grounded at ten a.m., and it was three p.m. before all hands were saved. On the following day erected tents on the beach, and on the 17th searched the beach, in order to find any inhabitants; thus spent the time until the 21st, when they saw two houses, uninhabited. In the meantime Captain Ogier was fortunate enough to fall in with Mr. Heales, jun. (son of Hon. R Heales) who, coming up to Melbourne from a station, was attracted by a flag of distress flying, and kindly brought him to town, where he arrived on Friday last. On making a report of the wreck to Captain B R Matthews, agent for Lloyd’s, that gentleman immediately applied to the Government, who granted permission for H.M.C.S. Victoria, to proceed to the wreck, in order to bring up the crew, and which duty she has performed admirably. The position of the wreck, as reported by Captain Mathews, is as follows :-

The Amazon now lies on shore, about a mile S.W. ,of Anderson’s Inlet, and about eight miles to the eastward of Cape Patterson,. The vessel is lying broadside on to time beach, with the mizenmast and bowsprit standing; but is embedded into the sand some nine feet, the water inside being level with the beams. At low water she is nearly dry outside. Sixty feet of the main keel and fore-foot are broken off, and lying on the beaches high-water mark; the decks are started up;  the hull of the vessel appears hogged, the metal being off in several places. The crew have arrived in good health; and Captain Ogier, his officers, and crew, beg to express their thanks to Captain Norman, officers, and crew of H.M.C.S. Victoria for their kindness,


(Portland Guardian and Normanby General Advertiser – Thursday 7 January 1864)


For the following account of the wreck of this barque, we are indebted to Captain Mathews (Lloyd’s agent), who has just returned from the scene of the  disaster, having gone and returned there by the colonial steam sloop Victoria. The Victoria left here at an early hour on Monday last, arrived at Cape Patterson at daylight on the following day, and having embarked the crew, who were in good health, left again at ten a.m., and arrived n Hobson’s Bay at half-past nine on Tuesday night. On arrival at the wreck, which was found to be about one mile S.W. of Anderson’s Inlet, and eight miles eastward of Cape Patterson, lying broadside on to the beach, with mizzen mast and bowsprit standing, embedded about nine feet in the sand, the water inside her being level with the beams.

At low water the ship is high and dry. About sixty feet of the keel, with portion of the fore foot has been washed ashore on the beach; the decks are more or loss started, the hull slightly hogged, the metal stripped off in several places, and the boats, two in number, lying on the beach, stove.  There were about one hundred casks of provisions as cargo, all of which are submerged in the hold. The following account is condensed from the ship’s log book :

—Left Hobson’s Bay, for Mauritius, on the morning of the 12th of December. Cleared the Heads the same evening at eight p.m.; the weather was dark, gloomy, and threatening, and the barometer began to fall so rapidly that sail was shortened to double-reefed topsails and reefed courses. On the 14th (nautical time), the wind still continued to blow hard from south, with dirty rainy weather.  At two a.m. the wind suddenly shifted to S.W.; Cape Otway, at the time, bearing W.N.W., 14 miles. At four a.m. the gale increased to a hurricane; hove the ship to, with head to the southward and eastward, under a close-reefed main topsail. At six a.m. the storm increased still more, and the sea was frightfully high, the main topsail was then taken in, and the ship kept under the storm staysail, coming up to S.S.E., and falling off to E.S.E.  At 3 a.m., on the following day, the storm continued with unabated violence, if anything increasing, and the weather becoming very thick, the ship was kept away for Port Phillip Heads, steering a N.N.E. course.  At 10 a.m. there was no alteration in the weather.  At noon obtained soundings, and finding only fifteen fathoms, hauled the ship up to S.E.  At this time the breakers were distinctly audible, but no land could be seen. The dangerous proximity to the land made requisite the reefed fore and main courses being set, even at the risk of losing the masts or yards. At noon it was found that the water had deepened to 25 fathoms, and at the same time a glimpse of the land was obtained, and it was, supposed to be near Cape Patten[3]. It was only a momentarily clear up, as the weather immediately after became as thick as ever.

All hopes of making Port Phillip Heads were then given up, and the ship was kept on the same tack, but she was by the force of the gale drifting fast to leeward.  The lead was kept going, and the soundings; then obtained were thirty fathoms. At three p.m., there was no change for the better, the barometer continuing to fall, the soundings being then forty fathoms, but at midnight they had again decreased to thirty-six, and shoaling very fast. On the 15th there was no abatement in either wind or weather.

At four a.m. a heavy squall struck the ship, and split the fore course and main-topmast staysail, At this time the ship was wore round, with her head to the north-west, but the water again shallowing to 25 fathoms, she was at five a.m. wore round again to the south-east, the ship drifting bodily to leeward and shoaling the water fast. At six a.m. there was only 20 fathoms, and that fearful cry, “breakers on the port bow, and rocks visible right a-head” was given, and it was then seen by all that the vessel was embayed; the Iand at this juncture was also seen, but the weather was too thick for it to be recognised. Then the dreadfully perilous situation was seen by all — that the vessel could not be saved, and the lives of all were hanging on the will of Divine Providence. All the crew were then called aft, and a consultation held as to what could best be done for the preservation of their lives ; and it was decided to wear the ship round again, and endeavour to stand out on the other tack. In attempting it, the ship took so long to pay off that before she got entirely round, she took the ground, and the sea made clean breaches over her, washing and carrying everything off the decks. The canvas was, however, kept on to harden her well onto to the beach; and when it was found she could get no further, the fore and main masts were cut away to prevent labouring, and so prevent her going to pieces. The whole on board had by this time been kept on deck in a constant state of suspense, and were so exhausted that although the ship grounded at ten a.m., it was three p.m. before they all got safely ashore, and it was done at no small risk. On landing, it was soon ascertained that they were on an apparently barren coast, no habitation being visible.

On the 16th search was again made to seek a house or track, but none could be found.  On the 21st, they were rewarded by finding two uninhabited houses. This gave them some encouragement to persevere further but without avail, as they were much afraid of being lost in the density of the scrub.  On the 23rd, the son of the hon. Mr Heales, a young man about seventeen years of age, who is on a station near Cape Liptrap, saw what he supposed to be a ship’s mast, and as he was on route for Melbourne, went to ascertain what it could be; and having heard the particulars, with praiseworthy generosity and promptitude, persuaded Captain Ogier to accompany him to Melbourne ; and, as he had a spare horse, placed it at his disposal. Great delay was caused on the journey, as sailors are not, generally speaking, good horsemen, but to the old saying —’ a good turn never loses its reward.’ Mr Heales succeeded in getting into town in time to have his Christmas dinner at his father’s house. Captain Mathews has requested us to state that when he applied to the Government for assistance to fetch up the crew of the ill-fated vessel, it was immediately granted, for which, on the part of the under writers and himself, he begs to return thanks. Captain Ogier also requests to tender his thanks to Mr Heales for the great kindness and attention he showed him during the journey overland.

The Age (Melbourne, Victoria) – Thursday 31 December 1863

Captain Abraham Ogier (1812-1895)

38-year old Abraham Ogier put in his claim for a Master’s Certificate of Service to the Liverpool Office on 1 October 1850 from the 177-ton brigantine CHOICE showing his service at sea from 20 March 1822 as a 10 year old on the North American trade on board the 145-ton brig BROAD AXE through to his first command the 205-ton brig TWO FRIENDS trading to the River Plate in 1839. Despite having been born in St Peter Port,Guernsey on 20 August 1812 he had spent 23 years of the previous 28 serving on Jersey registered ships. His home address was St Aubin, Jersey.

His Master’s Certificate of Service No 44845 was issued in Liverpool on 12 May 1851

He had married Marie De Bourcier of St Brelade Jersey on 1 April 1838 and their only son William John Ogier was born in the parish on 2 April 1844.

Abraham died on 12 January 1895

[1] Gold Rush here in 1859-60

[2] Cabin Passengers were privileged to dine or lounge in the captain’s cabin

[3] Cape Patterson