Loss of the P&O steamer 'Great Liverpool'

The loss of the "Great Liverpool" Mail Steam Packet

By Pascal Kainic

1846 - The steamer "Pasha" brought to Southampton the intelligence of the loss of the Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Company ‘s steamer “The Great Liverpool”

She was lost on the coast of Spain, near Cape Finisterre, on the night of the 24th ultimo, on her voyage from India to the United Kingdom.

Her Commander, Capt. Mc Leod, is a lieutenant in the Royal Navy, has been ten years in the service of the company, is an admirable seaman and no one is better acquainted with the coast where the accident occurred.

But it appears that in consequence of the late heavy western gales, an unusually strong current was at the time setting to the eastward and hence, we presume, the accident as to the reckoning; moreover, there was a strong wind, a heavy sea and the night was exceedingly dark.

The vessel struck on a rock or shoal.

Capt. Mc Leod displayed great coolness and presence of mind; the boats were instantly got out and though there were 145 people on board, all were passed to the shore, despite of the heavy swell and the surf, with the exception of one female passenger, a child of seven years of age and a native servant who were drowned in the confusion attending the swamping of one of the boats in the surf.

We regret to add that a great portion of the mails, luggage and cargo are lost and that the Spaniards along shore behaved ill, plundering all they could lay their hands on.

“The Great Liverpool” was upwards of 1500 tons burden and had two engines of 460 horse power.

Among the few articles saved were two chests of valuable presents From India consisting of plates for Her Majesty; it was in charge of one of the passengers… Maybe some treasures left in the wreck, not so far from the beach…?




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