Voyages

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The South Australian Trade

The ship spent 23 years making annual runs to and from South Australia, playing an important role in the development of the colony. Researchers have estimated that a quarter of a million South Australians can trace their origins to passengers on the City of Adelaide.

At least six diaries, kept by passengers and describing respective voyages, have survived from the 23 return voyages between London and Adelaide.

By at least 1876, the City of Adelaide was also calling at Port Augusta, South Australia, on the return voyages. At Port Augusta, copper from Henry Martin's Blinman and Yudnamutana copper mines in the Flinders Ranges, and wool from outback sheep stations would be loaded before racing to the wool sales in London.


Voyage Departure Date Arrival Date Duration
London to Adelaide 6 August 1864 7 November 1864 93 days
Adelaide to London 20 January 1865 3 May 1865 105 days
London to Adelaide 26 July 1865 12 October 1865 78 days
Adelaide to London 5 January 1866 13 April 1866 100 days
London to Adelaide 27 July 1866 11 October 1866 76 days
Adelaide to London 27 December 1866 10 April 1867 106 days
London to Adelaide 25 July 1867 12 October 1867 79 days
Adelaide to London 17 December 1867 7 April 1868 113 days
London to Adelaide 29 June 1868 23 September 1868 86 days
Adelaide to London 9 November 1868 26 February 1869 109 days
London to Adelaide 13 May 1869 31 July 1869 79 days
Adelaide to London 3 November 1869 16 March 1870 133 days
London to Adelaide 24 May 1870 18 August 1870 86 days
Adelaide to London 18 November 1870 3 March 1871 105 days
London to Adelaide 2 June 1871 20 August 1871 79 days
Adelaide to London 30 October 1871 25 January 1872 87 days
London to Adelaide 25 June 1872 28 September 1872 95 days
Adelaide to London 14 November 1872 24 February 1873 102 days
London to Adelaide 11 April 1873 3 July 1873 83 days
Adelaide to London 3 November 1873 15 February 1874 104 days
London to Adelaide 29 May 1874 24 August 1874 86 days
Adelaide to London 16 November 1874 21 March 1875 135 days
London to Adelaide 28 June 1875 26 September 1875 90 days
Adelaide to London 11 November 1875 24 February 1876 105 days
London to Adelaide 26 May 1876 18 August 1876 84 days
Adelaide to Port Augusta, South Australia on/after 1 September 1876 on/before 13 October 1876
Port Augusta, South Australia, to London 31 October 1876 9 February 1877 101 days
London to Adelaide 19 April 1877 25 July 1877 97 days
Adelaide to Port Augusta, South Australia on/after 16 August 1877 on/before 10 October 1877
Port Augusta, South Australia, to London 31 October 1877 7 March 1878 127 days
London to Adelaide 21 April 1878 22 July 1878 92 days
Adelaide to London 25 October 1878 8 February 1879 106 days
London to Adelaide 15 May 1879 16 August 1879 93 days
Adelaide to London 30 October 1879 5 February 1880 98 days
London to Adelaide 1 April 1880 27 June 1880 87 days
Adelaide to Port Augusta, South Australia on/after 16 August 1880 on/before 20 October 1880
Port Augusta, South Australia, to London 31 October 1880 7 February 1881 99 days
London to Adelaide 5 May 1881 26 July 1881 82 days
Adelaide to Port Augusta, South Australia on/after 15 August 1881 on/before 11 September 1881
Port Augusta, South Australia, to London 29 October 1881 16 February 1882 110 days
London to Adelaide 9 May 1882 6 August 1882 89 days
Adelaide to Port Augusta, South Australia on/after 30 August 1882 on/before 15 September 1882
Port Augusta, South Australia, to London 30 October 1882 14 February 1883 107 days
London to Adelaide 20 April 1883 27 July 1883 98 days
Adelaide to London 21 October 1883 31 January 1884 101 days
London to Adelaide 28 April 1884 10 August 1884 104 days
Adelaide to Port Augusta, South Australia on/after 25 August 1884 on/before 6 September 1884
Port Augusta, South Australia, to London 4 October 1884 27 January 1885 115 days
London to Adelaide 16 March 1885 20 June 1885 96 days
Adelaide to London 10 October 1885 18 January 1886 101 days
London to Adelaide 16 March 1886 18 June 1886 94 days
Adelaide to London 26 November 1886 23 February 1887 90 days


Route of 1867 Voyage to London

The following map traces the route of the 1867 voyage from the Latitudes and Longitudes provided in the diary of Frederick Bullock.

Voyage of the 'City of Adelaide' from Adelaide to London in 1867.
29 Dec
31 Dec
2 Jan
4 Jan
6 Jan
8 Jan
10 Jan
12 Jan
14 Jan
16 Jan
18 Jan
20 Jan
22 Jan
24 Jan
26 Jan
28 Jan
30 Jan
1 Feb
3 Feb
5 Feb
7 Feb
9 Feb
11 Feb
11 Feb
17 Feb
19 Feb
21 Feb
23 Feb
25 Feb
27 Feb
1 Mar
3 Mar
5 Mar
7 Mar
9 Mar
11 Mar
15 Mar
17 Mar
19 Mar
21 Mar
23 Mar
25 Mar
27 Mar
29 Mar
31 Mar
2 Apr
6 Apr
Voyage of the 'City of Adelaide' from London to Adelaide in 1867 from the Diary of Frederick Bullock.


Route of 1867 Voyage to Adelaide

The following map traces the route of the 1867 voyage from the Latitudes and Longitudes provided in the diary of F.A. Edelston.

Voyage of the 'City of Adelaide' from London to Adelaide in 1867.
24 Jul
1 Aug
5 Aug
8 Aug
11 Aug
17 Aug
02 Sep
Mrs Obdahl
11 Sep
15 Sep
19 Sep
24 Sep
12 Oct
Voyage of the 'City of Adelaide' from London to Adelaide in 1867 from the Diary of Frederick A. Edelsten. Position of death (red) is approximate.

Route of 1871 Voyage to Adelaide

The following map traces the route of the 1871 voyage from the Latitudes and Longitudes provided in the diary of Melville Miller.

Voyage of the 'City of Adelaide' from London to Adelaide in 1871.
2 June
8 June
26 June
30 June
8 July
14 July
16 July
19 July
24 July
27 July
31 July
8 Aug
14 Aug
20 Aug
Voyage of the 'City of Adelaide' from London to Adelaide in 1871 from the Diary of Melville Miller.

Route of 1874 Voyage to Adelaide

The following map traces the route of the 1874 voyage from the Latitudes and Longitudes provided in the diary of James McLauchlan.

Voyage of the 'City of Adelaide' from London to Adelaide in 1874.
30 May
6 June
18 June
M.Morgan,9m
21 June
A.Phillips,5y
B.Myers,24y
M.Thomson2y
E.Flannery,26y
6 July
15 July
16 July
21 July
26 July
29 July
A.Dunk,9m
M.Fitzpatrick,23y
24 August
Voyage of the 'City of Adelaide' from London to Adelaide in 1874 from the Diary of James McLauchlan. Positions of deaths (red) are approximate.



Coal Trade

In 1887, the City of Adelaide was sold to Dover coal merchant, Charles Havelock Mowll, for use in the collier trade carrying coal from Tyne to Dover.

Voyage Departure Date Arrival Date Duration
London to South Shields, England 14 June 1887
South Shields to Dobay 9 July 1887
South Shields to Dobay 11 November 1887


Timber Trade

In 1888, the City of Adelaide was sold to Belfast based timber merchants, Daniel and Thomas Stewart Dixon, and used to carry timber in the North Atlantic trade.

By the start of the eighteenth century, Britain had basically exhausted its supplies of the great oaks that had built the Royal Navy. The lack of large trees was especially problematic as they were a necessity for masts for both its war and merchant shipping. A thriving timber import business developed between Britain and the Baltic region but was unpopular for economic and strategic reasons[1] The Napoleonic Wars and a Continental blockade had a large impact on the Baltic trade and so Britain looked to the North American colonies that were still loyal.

The North Atlantic timber trade became a massive business and timber was British North America's most important commodity. In one summer, 1,200 ships were loaded with timber at Quebec City alone.

As timber is a very bulky cargo, it required many ships to carry it from North America to Britain, but there was little demand for carrying goods on the return voyages. However, there was a market for carrying migrants, and so many of the timber ships turned to the migrant trade to fill their unused capacity for the return voyages from the British Isles to British North America. Since timber exports tended to peak at the same time as conflicts in Europe, a great mass of refugees sought this cheap passage across the Atlantic. This created an unprecedented influx of new immigrants in North America.

The timber trade not only brought immigrants to British North America, but also played a very important role in keeping them there as well. While many of those disembarking from the timber trade ships would head south to the United States, many others would stay in British North America. At the peak of the trade in the 1840s, 15,000 Irish loggers were employed in the Gatineau region alone at a time when the population of Montreal was only ten thousand.

The City of Adelaide was homeported in Belfast and from there frequented several British North American ports. Of these ports, it would most frequently visit Miramichi, New Brunswick. Of the thousands of sailing ships involved in the timber trade between North America and the United Kingdom, the City of Adelaide is now the last survivor.


Voyage Departure Date Arrival Date Duration
Dover to Chatham, New Brunswick 4 June 1888 3 July 1888
Chatham, New Brunswick, to Belfast, Ireland 14 July 1888
Belfast to Dalhousie, New Brunswick 18 September 1888
Dalhousie to Liverpool 27 October 1888
Liverpool to Tybee 9 November 1888
Tybee to Halifax, Nova Scotia
Halifax, Nova Scotia to Bristol 16 February 1889
Bristol to Miramichi, New Brunswick 11 April 1889 17 May 1889
Miramichi to Belfast, Ireland 24 June 1889
Belfast to Miramichi, New Brunswick 29 June 1889
Miramichi to Newcastle, New Brunswick
Newcastle, New Brunswick, to Belfast, Ireland 6 August 1889
Belfast, Ireland, to Miramichi, New Brunswick 31 August 1889
Miramichi, New Brunswick, to Dublin 20 November 1889
Dublin to Algoa Bay, South Africa
Algoa Bay to Barry, South Africa 23 December 1889
Barry to Port Elizabeth, South Africa
Port Elizabeth, South Africa, to Guam 28 March 1890
Guam to Newcastle, New Brunswick
Newcastle, New Brunswick to Belfast, Ireland 14 June 1890
Belfast, Ireland, to Newcastle, New Brunswick 14 July 1890
Newcastle, New Brunswick to Belfast, Ireland 28 August 1890
Belfast, Ireland, to Miramichi, New Brunswick 9 April 1891 38 May 1891
Miramichi, New Brunswick, to Belfast, Ireland 28 May 1891 24 June 1891
Belfast, Ireland, to Miramichi, New Brunswick 3 July 1891
Miramichi, New Brunswick, to Belfast, Ireland 10 August 1891
Belfast, Ireland, to Liverpool 3 November 1891
Miramichi, New Brunswick, to Liverpool 26 November 1891
Liverpool to Garston
Garston to Belfast, Ireland 4 January 1892
Belfast, Ireland, to Miramichi, New Brunswick 9 April 1892 9 May 1892
Miramichi, New Brunswick, to Belfast, Ireland 25 May 1892
Belfast, Ireland, to Miramichi, New Brunswick 29 June 1892
Miramichi, New Brunswick, to Belfast, Ireland 5 August 1892
Belfast, Ireland, to Miramichi, New Brunswick 8 September 1892
Miramichi, New Brunswick, to Belfast, Ireland 18 October 1892
Belfast, Ireland, to Ayr, Scotland 31 January 1893
Ayr to Miramichi, New Brunswick 10 April 1893 8 May 1893
Miramichi, New Brunswick, to Belfast, Ireland 23 May 1893
Belfast, Ireland, to Miramichi, New Brunswick 19 June 1893
Miramichi to Bowling, Scotland 21 July 1893
Glasgow to Southampton 9 September 1893


Hospital Ship

The City of Adelaide ended its sailing career in 1893, when purchased by the Southampton Corporation for £1750 to serve as a floating isolation hospital in Southampton. During one year of opertaion, 23 cases of Scarlet Fever were cared for.

In recent years ...
In 2009, the National Health Service (England) named a new hospital at Millbrook, Southampton, in honour of the ship - the Adelaide Health Centre.[2]

Notes

  1. Tim Ball, "Timber!", Beaver, April 987, Vol. 67#2 pp 45-56
  2. "Welcome to the Adelaide Health Centre" (Press release). National Health Service. 2009-06-30. Retrieved 2010-07-15.