The Bencoolen sailed from Callao on the 13th of October last, with a full cargo of cotton, hides and guano. On Saturday morning (February 7).
At 8 o'clock. she passed Holyhead, and at ten o'clock, off Point Lynis, took in a pilot from No. 3 pilot-boat. The wind at this time was blowing a fresh gale from the W.N.W. When off Ormshead the pilot ordered the vessel to be hove to, and thus she remained till three in the afternoon, when she steered for Liverpool. The wind, which had somewhat increased, was still from the W N W., with a tremendous sea. At six in the evening they crossed the Victoria Bar.Half an hour after they had passed the Bell Buoy the vessel struck on Taylor's Bank, when the pilot, instantly aware of the imminently dangerous position of the vessel, ordered the jolly-boat to be lowered, and into it five seamen and three apprentices were sent. . The dreadful fury of the waves rendered their situation exceedingly critical, the boat having twice filled with water, and at length such were the sudden strains, from the force which the billows bore against her, that the rope snapped, and she was borne adrift faraway from the vessel. They made several ineffectual attempts. to return to their companions, aware that the vessel could not long hold together ; but, finding their utmost endeavours fruitless, and believing that the remainder of the crew would get out the long boat, they bent their course towards Liverpool.
At half-past nine o'clock they landed at the Prince's Dock Basin in a most miserable condition. Two steamers and the Liverpool life-boat were immediately despatched to the wreck, but no signs of the ill-fated vessel, or the unfortunate individuals who had been on board her, were visible. At the time the jolly-boat was lowered, the men were busy clearing the other boats ; but it is supposed the vessel broke up immediately after those who were fortunate enough to reach Liverpool lost eight of her, and that all on board were drowned.
The pilot was James Harding, of No. 7. It is supposed that, in running up the Victoria Channel, he took the north-east side of the Formby light-ship, and, being to leeward, ran on the bank. He was a steady, sober man. and much respected by his brother pilots.
' We subjoin a list of the parties who have lost their lives by this melancholy disaster, with the names, as far as we have been able to ascertain them :-
Mr. Sands, chief mate
Mr. Creasy, second mate
William Adamson, seaman
Robert Wallace, seaman
George Spenser, seaman
Charles Pugh, seaman
James Harding, pilot.
[Unnamed and undated] Liverpool paper.
Source: Page 179 of SG & SGTL, 1846.
The following item for 1844,although not relevant may be of interest [on arrival at Sydney NSW]:
6 Jan 1844. Bencoolen, barque, 402 tons, Clarributt, master, from Manila: 45 casks brandy, 20 boxes preserved ginger, 1900 chests tea, 178 cases sherry, 15 cases champagne, 100 cases port, 6850 bags sugar, 443 piculs sapan wood, 575 bags coffee ; 43 packages ; 1 case cigars, 74 coils cordage, 74 coils lines.
Source: Page 4 of SG & SGTL, 1844.
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