The Brig Australia
The "New Brunswick Courier" (Saint John) reported on July 3rd, 1852 - "Another very strong and substantial brig called the AUSTRALIA was recently towed down from Quaco, where she was built by Mr. John Brown. She measures 178 tons N.M. and 209 tons O.M. This vessel has been purchased by a company of persons, who are fitting her out for the diggings. She is divided into 64 shares, and has nearly as many owners, and it is probable it will carry out over that number of passengers. There will be a complete second deck laid, which will be fitted up with berths and we have no doubt but that this will be an economical and comfortable manner for those parties proceeding to Australia."
Saint John County The Shipping Register for the Port of Saint John, New Brunswick contain the following entry - "AUSTRALIA No. 79 July, 1852 - Built at St. Martins in the County of Saint John, New Brunswick in the present year 1852 as appears by the certificate of John Brown and Thomas Lamb the builders dated June 28, 1852 here filed." The vessel is described as "One and one half poop deck Two Masts Length 88 feet five tenths her breadth in midships 19 feet six tenths depth in hold at midships 11 feet five tenths. Brig rigged with a standing Bowsprit square sterned carvel built no galleries Billet head". The subscribing owners are listed as:- "Matthew Mawhinney Suffren, watchmaker 32 shares, George H. Cunnabell, carpenter 32 shares". It seems that Suffren and Cunnabell were only nominated as the owners for convenience; as stated in the "New Brunswick Courier" report above, the brig was "purchased by a company of persons ... 64 shares ... nearly as many owners". To date, the only proof found of further named owners is in the August 10th, 1852 Saint John Customs House records - "George H. Cunnabell aforesaid has transferred by Bill of Sale dated 9th inst. to Samuel Shaw, yeoman, one sixty-fourth share; to Charles E. Weldon, yeoman, one sixty-fourth share; to Tamberlane I. Campbell, yeoman, nine sixty fourth shares; to George G. Prince, yeoman, two sixty-fourth shares; to Thomas Whitney, yeoman, one sixty-fourth share and to Horatio N. Arnold, yeoman, one sixty-fourth share, all of Saint John, New Brunswick."
The AUSTRALIA was cleared to sail on August 7th, 1852 but departure was delayed until the following week. The "New Brunswick Courier" reported in its Saturday, August 14th issue:- "The brig Australia having on board about 70 passengers, the greater portion of them being young men, natives of this city and its vicinity, was towed out of the harbour by the steamer COMMODORE on Wednesday evening and sailed for the goal of her passengers' hopes and expectations on the following morning. From the fact that this vessel containing so many individuals connected with the City and Province, and many of them having a pecuniary interest in her, more than ordinary anxiety is felt for the success of the venture, and in common with others, we wish the good ship AUSTRALIA a speedy and prosperous voyage to the region from which she derives her name". So the departure date was Thursday, August 12th, 1852. The AUSTRALIA landed in Australia in late 1852
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