THE WRECK OF THE ROYAL ADELAIDE.
b [From the "Times.] Portlakd, Nov. 27. The gale which has swept along this coas . for the last few days somewhat abated yes L terday, but the wind still blew very strong . though the sea was not so rough as it wn , on Saturday or Sunday. There were fre quent, almost blinding showers, and at se: there was a mist which prevented any yes sels from being seen till they were close t< land. In the afternoon the mist somewhai cleared away, and then the coastguard or the look-out on the Chesil Beach saw a verjj fine ship evidently in distress. She was in wh„t is known as the West Bay. and was endeavoring <o bear up for the Bill of Portland, and thence to the shelter of the break-
water. The wind, however, was blowing too hard in shore to enable her to get up so far. Atone time she was within 1000 yards of the dreaded Chesil Beach, and her speedy wreck seemed imminent. She was, however, put about, and then took a westerly course. Not long afterwards she got out of sight, aud it was hoped she had succeeded in getting well out to sea, though it was the opinion of very many that her condition was almost hopeless. In less than a couple of hours she was again seen, this time taking an easterly course, with the evident inteution of making another attempt to bear up for the long-sought protection of the breakwater. She was skilfully handled, but all to no purpose. It was now getting almost dark, and the scene on shore became most exciting. The vessel still took an easterly course, but it became quite evident to those on shore that she was nearing the land, and that it was impossible for her to reach Portland Bill. Just as her hull was disappearihg in the darkness she threw up a blue light to show she was in distress and wanted assistance. It was too rough, however, for any boats to venture out to her, and besides, it was too clear the ill-fated vessel must come to shore. Her signal was answered by the coastguard at Portland, who threw up rockets and burnt blue lights with the object of showing the captain the most suitable spot to run his vessel ashore. It now became so dark that the vessel could not be seen ; but every now and then she showed blue lights, and each one told plainly enough she was
getting nearer and nearer the shore. At last she came so near that her masts and sails could be seen standing out in the gloom. About this time the captain must have given up all hope of saving his vessel, or of even reaching the spot from which the rockets had been thrown, for he put her head to the shore and ran direct for the beach. In a few minutes she grounded, and then swung broadside towards the beach. She did not seem to be more than twenty or thirty yards from the land ; indeed, so close did she appear that it almost seemed as if those on board could jump to shore. But the sea was running so high that any such idea of getting from the vessel had to be abandoned. The coastguardmen in charge of the rocket apparatus were on the spot, but before the rocket could be fired some brave Portland fishermen rushed into the boiling surf, and ultimately succeeded in throwing a line to the vessel. This they did at the very great danger of losing their own lives, and how they succeeded in doing what they did was little short of a miracle. Their line was fastened to the stern of the ship, and while an impromptu cradle was being got in readiness to "run along it, the coastguardmen fired their rocket, which carried a rope right across the centre of the ship. What the crew should then have done was to draw in the line till they reached the rope upon which the cradle would work, but in their excitement they paid no attention to the second line, and risked everything upon the rope which had first been sent to them. The scene was now most terrible. The ship was rolling very heavily, and every now and then a wave would strike her broadside and completely cover her with foam and spray. Before the fishermen could send a cradle along their line two men were seen clinging from the side of the vessel by means of a rope. Their intention was to wait for a favourable opportunity, and then to drop and make for the shore. But, poor fellows ! the attempt cost them their lives. They had been clinging for two or three minutes, when the vessel
made a tremendous roll towards the fea,
I Not being able to bear the strain which this caused upon their hands they dropped into the water, and before they could make for the shore the vessel lurched over as it seemed, upon them, and they were seen no more. By this time the cradle was in readiness, and then a man, next a woman, and then the captain were brought to land. It was then ascertained that the vessel—a barque—was the Royal Adelaide, of Liverpool, Captain Marten, master; that she sailed from London on Saturday week, and was bound for Sydney, Australia. To make matters worse, it was further ascertained, that in addition to her crew, she had between thirty and forty passengers, many of whom were women and children. The cradle was again set to work, and, one after another, the crew or passengers were landed in safety. In one case a man who had got into it with a little boy arrived safe, but the child was drowned. A woman, too, was also carried away by the violence of the surf before she could be rescued. Several little children, one after the other, were safely landed, having come ashore without any one's strong arm to protect them. During the whole of this time the sea was dashing with the wildest fury against the vessel, threatening to sweep off the remainder of the people who were seen anxiously waiting their turn to come in the cradle, but afraid to venture. One by one the masts fell with a terrific crash, while the sea began to pour through the sides of the ship, and it was evident
she was breaking up. All seemed to have been got on shore with the exception of four or five, and these would not leave the ship. Shortly after the masts had gone by the « board, the vessel's back was broken with a noise resembling the report of a voliey of musketry, and the beach was strewn with bales and boxes of all descriptions. Still the stern remained firm, and two or three people were saved—one brave fellow coming in the cradle with a little boy, who was nearly frightened to death. As the passengers and men were landed they were taken, some to Weymouth, some to Portland, and others to the Ferry-bridge Inn, where their necessities were attended to. One negro, who it appears had acted very bravely in assisting people to get into the cradle, was in his turn landed, but so severely injured that for some time his life was despaired of. The owners of the Royal Adelaide are said to be Messrs Greffell, Taylor, and Roberts, of Liverpool. Large quantities of spirits have been washed on shore, and as the barrels floated
in they were broached by the crowds who were assembled on the beach. In a short time scores of people were lying about in all directions dead drunk ; indeed they had drunk so much that medical assistance had to be obtained, and even now one man is in such a dangerous state that he is not expected to recover. There was a strong patrol of the 77th Regiment and coastguardmen on the beach to protect the property as it was
washed on shore, but their efforts were use- ' less, a great quantity of valuables being « made away with. ' On Tuesday, the writer says:—" The drink- ' ing and pillaging on the beach where the ' Royal Adelaide foundered are still going on. ! People are found about in all directions. ' Several have been found dead on the beach, j one being a boy, from the effects of drink. * Two men were last night brought into the s Passage-house at Portland almost dead from ■ been apprehended with stolen things from ■ the wreck in their possession, and will be l brought before the magistrates. The scene • on the beach is awful, aud is a dreadful * mockery of the 3ad catastrophe of which so * many tokens lie about. Only two of the £ bodies, an old man named Maccanister and I a little girl (passengers), have been washed c on shore. Mr Frank Cumming, son of the * Rev Dr Cumming, was one of the passengers ■ of the Royal Adelaide who were saved. A c little girl named Gordon was drowned 8 whilst a lady with her seven chil- c dren was saved. The Shipwrecked Ma- c riners' Society, through their own agent, Mr H. Dawson, oi Weymouth, have t
been most zealous in providing for the wants Of the shipwrecked passengers and crew. He has fed aud clothed them, and will forward them to their respective homes free of cost. Mr Henry Edwards, M.P. for Wevmouth, has placed £70 in the hands of the" Mayor for j distribution ; so that every person—man, ■woman, aad child —will receive one sovereign. Mr Edwards also most generously informed Mr Dawson that he could draw upon his bankers for any amount required. The captain of the Royal Adelaide has made his deposition at the Customhouse. Ho says he mistook his course, thinking he was off Luhvorth. instead of in the West Bay, as the weather was so thick. He could not wear ship, and finding she must go on shorf. anchored about half a mile off in ten fathoms of water, but the ship would not ride, and drifted on shore. He estimates the loss on the vessel to amount to £2000, and the cargo to £80,000. He believes that about, sixty-two persons were saved in all.
At the inquest held on the bodies of three of the passeugt-ra—Catherine Irons, Wm. Edwards, aud Rosa Bunyau—evidence was given that Captain Marteu had no knowledge of the coast at all. When tbe ship was in peril west of Portland, he believed himself to be east of the island, and off St. Al ban's Head. The father of the little girl Bunyan and other witnesses proved that the captaiu called for a passage for the women to get ashore, and then, when a passage was cleared, effected his own escape ; Mr Bunyan catching hold of him when in the cradle and saying, " You may go, but you are no man, if you do." Marten was the fourth or fifth to leave the ship. Woolley, the mate, however, said that at that time thirty persons had got ashore. The jury wished to return a verdict of manslaughter, against Marten ; but, on the advice of the coroner, delivered an open verdict, recommending an inquiry by the Board of Trade into the steering of the vessel after sighting Portland. Lights, and into the conduct of the captain after the vessel stranded. The coroner told the mate that hia evidence had been proved false i in every particular.
The following is a list of the passengers who were drowned by the wreck of the Royal Adelaide :—Chief Mate Powell, Edwin Ruddock, steerage passenger ; John Edwards, steerage passenger ; Rhoda Behnion, steerage passenger ; Mrs Fowler, steerage passenger ; Catherine Irons, a child. It is believed that there is another missing. Four of the passengers behaved with much heroism, viz.— Mr Frank Cumming (son of Dr Cutnming), Mr King, Mr Bryan, and Mr M'Latchie ; but for their exertions the loss of life would have been much greater. The coroner, Mr H. Lock, held an inquest yesterday on the bodies of some of the men who drank themselves to death. The evidence revealed the fact that the unhappy wretches were frantic with drink, ana after drinking spilt and threw it about in all directions. There are numbers of people now suffering from the effects of having imbibed so much liquor.
The price of beer in London has been raised half-penny per quart by the publicans and beer-house keepers. The net income from the Crown lands in Britain in the year ending on the 31st March last was £376,000. The King and Queen of Saxony have celebrated their " golden wedding " amid wide spread rejoicings.
"Berkeley, September, 1869. — Gentlemen, I feel it a duty I owe to you to express my gratitude for the great benefit I have derived by taking ' Norton's Camomile Pills.' I applied to your agent, Mr Bell, Berkeley, for the above-named Pills, for wind in the stomach, from which I suffered excruciating pain for a length of time, having tried nearly every remedy prescribed but without deriving any benefit at all. After taking two bottles of your valuable pills 1 was quite restored to my usual state of health. Please give this publicity for the benefit of those who may be thus afflicted. I am, Sir, yours truly, Henry Allpabs.— To the Proprietors of Norton's Camomile Pills.
DR BRIGHT'S PHOSPHODYNE.— MULTITUDES OF PEOPLE are hopelessly suffering from Debility, Nervous and Liver Complaints, Depression of Spirits, Delusions. Unfitness for Business or Study, Failure of Hearinir, Sight, and Memory, Lassitude, Want of Power, &c, whose cases admit of a permanent cure by the new remedy PHOSPHODYNE (Ozouic Oxygen), which at once allays all irritation and excitement, imparts new energy and life to the enfeebled constitution, and rapidly cures every stage of these hitherto incurable and distressing maladies. Sold by all Chemists and Storekeepers throughout the Colonies, from whom pamphlets containing testimonials may be obtained. Caution.— Be particular to ask for DR BRIGHT'S PHOSPHODYNE, as imitations are abroad ; and avoid purchasing single bottles, the ] genuine article being sold in cases only. j
THBeye being one of the most delicate organs of nature, the skilled occulist only should be consulted on its diseases and defects.
From the fear of appearing ancient, many persons refrain from artificial aid when really needful. It is absurd, and only aggravates the defect and causes disease of the optic nerve, which may become chronic, and finally result in premature blindness. Nou-pro-fessionals should never be allowed to tamper with the eyes, because the sight changes at different utages of life, arising from several constitutional causes, known solely to the OCULIST, to whom application should be made immediately it occurs, as delay often results in serious consequences. The optoMETRIC treatment not only remedies defective vision, but it has frequently restored the eyes to their proper functions from a state of comparative blindness. It is the only accurate method known to modern science for de tecting the several affections of the eyesight, which comprise Myopia, Presbyopia, Diplopia, Hemeralopia, and Chbomatopseudopsis.
The press, and eminent medical men, pronounce Mr Solomon's OPTOMETRIC treatment to be a marvel of the age, and recommend its adoption "by those whose eyes have deviated from their usual functions ; it has completelyrevblutionised the dreadful system of the sight being so fearfully injured in the selection of glasses from incompetents, and also clearly proves that, persons can't possibly gauge their own precise focus of sight.
The various eye diseases, such as Amaurosis, Cataract, Ophthalmia, Staphyloma Specs, or Films on the eye, and any other blemishes can only be detected by a combination of Mr Solomon's Optometric and Ophthalmoscopic observa tions. There exists an erroneous idea that when once glasses are adopted they can't be discontinued. Such is only a fact when unprincipled vendors of spurious spectacles are resorted to and their counterfeits worn too long. Bonders, wbo is acknowledged to be the highest author!tv on
the scieuce of optics, says in his treatise on the refraction of the eye:—" So far from short-sightedness improving in advanced life, as is popularly believed, it is too frequently a progressive affection, and every progressive Myopia is threatening with respect to the future, inasmuch that if not checked in due season by the aid of Suitable Glasses. the vision will be irrevocably lost. Spectacles or eye-glasses, if injudiciously selected, usually aggravate the evil they are intended to remedy. Therefore, an occulist of reputation should always, if possible, be consulted as to the choice of them." He further states, in reference to long-sighted people, " that Presbyopia is as natural a concomitant of advanced life aa grey hairs or wrinkles. It is occasionally mte with in young persons, and may be the precursor of A3iaurosis ; hence such cases should be carefully watched, and the advice of an oculist regarding the choice of spectacles is well worth his fee." Mr Solomon's OPHTHALMIC prepara- I tions are highly extolled by all who use them, '
and should always bekept in the house by those whose eyes are weaker diseased. If applied opportunely, they afford instant relief and prevent what might culminate in CHRONIC eye affections. The genuine registered ACHROMATIC LENSES, which preserve and strengthen the eyes, and impart to them an essential sense of coolness and relief, adapted to all stages of optical imperfectiono, ann OPTOMETRICALLY guaranteed to tho exact focus of sight, are only obtainable from Mr SOLOMON, tho qualified OCUI«<ST and OPTICIAN, and sole inveutor of tl 'celebrated OPTOMETRIO apparatus. Consulting Rooms : Clarendon Hotel. N.B.—Mr 8. will leave Christchurch on or ; about the 15th instant. 1-23 $5_
Permanent link to this item
Press, Press, Volume XXI, Issue 2348, 12 February 1873
THE WRECK OF THE ROYAL ADELAIDE. Press, Volume XXI, Issue 2348, 12 February 1873
Using This Item
Fairfax Media is the copyright owner for the Press. You can reproduce in-copyright material from this newspaper for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons New Zealand BY-NC-SA licence. This newspaper is not available for commercial use without the consent of Fairfax Media. For advice on reproduction of out-of-copyright material from this newspaper, please refer to the Copyright guide.
This newspaper was digitised in partnership with Christchurch City Libraries (1921-1945).