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Title Letter from George Massingham Describing the Shipwreck of the Netherby
Date 15 Aug 1866
Document Type Correspondence
Reference D_2004-016
Library / Archive Maritime Museum of Tasmania
Description This letter is an old handwritten family copy of the original letter George sent to his mother. He describes the shipwreck, setting up a camp, the attempts made to find a means of rescue – and even the birth of a baby on the desolate shore. Includes a transcript of the letter.
Biographical Note / History Young George Massingham sailed on the Netherby in 1866 to join his brother in Brisbane. He was one of 452 passengers, almost all government migrants for Queensland, who were shipwrecked as the Netherby tried to ‘thread the needle’ between King Island (Tasmania) and Victoria. For several days overcast conditions had prevented taking observations from the sun and the vessel ran onto the rocky shore of the island. Amazingly everyone managed to reach the shore and a camp was set up on the desolate shore to await rescue. Four years before the shipwreck the Black Ball Line’s Netherby carried British emigrants selected by the Launceston Immigration Aid Society. After disembarking in Melbourne in 1862 they took the Black Swan across the Bass Strait.
Theme(s) Ships and Shipping Lines; Journey Conditions; Arrivals: Ports and Early Experiences
Country (from) Great Britain
Country (to) Australia
Places Brisbane, Australia
Ports Melbourne, Australia
Ships Netherby
People Massingham, George
Keywords shipping, shipwreck, crime, emigrant, emigration, food, children, sailor
Language English
Copyright Maritime Museum of Tasmania