HOME OF THE LADY DENMAN - Local history isn't always about the big story - the everyday story of life in the early development of the region can be a fascinating, entertaining and educational journey.

9 October 2014

Without a witness

The waters surrounding Jervis Bay, and the Shoalhaven have been known as an area where “the most amount of caution needs to be observed”  by sailors since it was first explored, vessels and boats have come to grief in and around the waters of the south coast on many occasions.
Many leave port full of hope, filled with cargo and are never heard of again, crews are lost and relatives and authorities can never know their story.

The Cutter Brisbane.

One such story is about the 16 ton Cutter Brisbane in August 1832.
”Known as well adapted for the coasting trade”..

She left Nulladolla. (the early name for Ulladulla) for Sydney with a cargo that included cedar and cheese.
Selling products and produce like these were vital to the small coastal towns and ports, roads weren’t adequate for transporting large quantities' of goods, shipping the goods by sea was the most efficient way to get your goods to the markets and buyers.

Wreck found in Jervis Bay.
Captain Maraspin and her owner Kendall with her crew set off for Sydney and were never seen again.
The Wreck was later found in Jervis Bay by Aboriginals, but no trace of the crew was found, it was presumed the cutter over was lost after running into a severe storm.

Wreckage plundered.
Thomas Barker, on hearing of the tragedy, advised Thomas’s widow Jane to try to recover the missing papers from a Mr. Morris’s men, who had apparently plundered the wreck of the ship. The papers were never recovered.

Lucky escapes were also a part of the coastal trade.

It wasn’t the first time the cutter had been involved in an incident at sea.
”The Rev. Mr. Kendall and his boat’s crew had a miraculous escape, on Tuesday night, from a watery grave. They were sailing, with a stiff breeze, from Illawarra to Sydney; about 10 o’clock a sudden gust blew the boat completely over, and being eight miles from land, the unfortunate passengers gave themselves up for lost; the men contrived to get upon the keel, but Mr. K. was entangled in the boat, and could only just keep his head out of the water. After remaining in this perilous position for some time, inevitable death staring them in the face, the boat suddenly righted, and all hands were providentially saved.”
There’s more to this story it’s a fascinating read.

Further evidence.
Investigations into history always finds contradictions and in this case the captain of the cutter in our initial research is named as “Captain Marispin”, but further research has provided other evidence by an ancestor claiming it was
“Captain James Florance on the ‘Brisbane’  wrecked near Jervis Bay, 1832”
Ref: http://www.roymorgan.com/~/media/Files/Papers/2009/20091206.pdf 

We will try and tell the story of these missing vessels as information becomes available and further research is carried out.
If you find a story/information and would like to contribute to this blog, please don’t hesitate to contact us
information is the key to knowledge.

Cutter definition.
The Cutter during the 18th and 19th centuries was a small, single-masted vessel, fore-and-aft rigged, with two or more headsails, a bowsprit, with a mast set further back than in a sloop.

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