Three Bees (1813 ship)

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History
Civil Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg United Kingdom
Name:Three Bees
Owner: Buckles & Co
Port of registry: London
Launched: 1813
Fate: Caught fire and blew up in Sydney Harbour on 20 May 1814.
General characteristics
Tons burthen: 459 [1] (bm)
Armament: 4 × 12-pounder carronades [2]

Three Bees was launched at Bridgwater in 1813. Her first voyage was transporting convicts to New South Wales. After she arrived at Sydney Cove in 1814 she caught fire and was destroyed.

Bridgwater Market town in Somerset, England

Bridgwater is a large historic market town and civil parish in Somerset, England. Its population currently stands at around 35,886 as of 2011. Bridgwater is at the edge of the Somerset Levels, in level and well-wooded country. The town lies along both sides of the River Parrett, and has been a major in-land port and trading centre since the industrial revolution. Most of its industrial bases still stand today. Its larger neighbour Taunton, is linked to Bridgwater via a canal, the M5 motorway and the GWR railway line.

New South Wales State of Australia

New South Wales is a state on the east coast of Australia. It borders Queensland to the north, Victoria to the south, and South Australia to the west. Its coast borders the Tasman Sea to the east. The Australian Capital Territory is an enclave within the state. New South Wales' state capital is Sydney, which is also Australia's most populous city. In December 2018, the population of New South Wales was over 8 million, making it Australia's most populous state. Just under two-thirds of the state's population, 5.1 million, live in the Greater Sydney area. Inhabitants of New South Wales are referred to as New South Welshmen.

Sydney Cove Bay in Sydney Harbour, Australia

Sydney Cove is a small bay on the southern shore of Sydney Harbour, one of several harbours in Port Jackson, on the coast of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.

Voyage and loss

Captain John Wallis and Three Bees gathered her convicts from Ireland. [3] She then sailed to Falmouth.

Three Bees sailed from Falmouth on 8 December 1813. [1] The 46th Regiment of Foot provided the guard, which consisted of five officers and 43 non-commissioned officers and privates. Three Bees left in convoy under the escort of HMS Niger and Tagus. They parted after about a month and Three Bees continued on in company with Catherine. Three Bees arrived in Sydney Cove on 6 May 1814. [1]

46th (South Devonshire) Regiment of Foot

The 46th Regiment of Foot was an infantry regiment of the British Army, raised in 1741. Under the Childers Reforms it amalgamated with the 32nd (Cornwall) Regiment of Foot to form the Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry in 1881, becoming the 2nd Battalion of the new regiment.

Catherine, was a whaler, launched in 1811 at New Bedford, that also made one voyage transporting convicts from England to New South Wales in 1813. She made seven whaling voyages between 1813 and 1831.

Three Bees had embarked 210 male convicts, of whom nine died en route. [4] Governor Macquarie wrote:

The Three Bees, commanded by Captn. John Wallis, arrived on the 6th inst. with two hundred and ten male Convicts, out of 219 originally embarked, the other nine having died on the passage; and out of those landed, it has been necessary to Send fifty five to the Hospital many of them being much affected with Scurvy and others labouring under various complaints. On enquiring into the cause of this mortality and sickness, it appeared that many of them had been embarked in a bad state of health, and not a few infirm from lameness and old age. I am happy in being enabled to state that the Convicts by the Catherine and the Three Bees have, without a Single Exception, borne grateful Testimony to their having been treated with the most unremitting care, Attention, and kindness, by the Masters and Surgeons of those Vessels, from the day of their Embarkation until they were finally landed here. The circumstance of several of those unfortunate men being embarked in a diseased or feeble State will, I trust, shew the necessity for greater attention being paid to the state of the Health of the Convicts, who are to be embarked in future, which I have much reason to believe has not been so fully attended to by the Examining Surgeons as Humanity demands. [5]

After the 210 convicts were all disembarked a fire was discovered on the ship at 4.30 pm on 20 May 1814. It was later thought that the fire was caused by candle snuff being dropped on oakum when an officer and boy had entered the hold. It soon became apparent that the fire could not be fought and so Three Bees was cut loose from her moorings and the other ships in the cove maneuvered to avoid the ship. At 5.30 pm the first gun exploded on board and a swivel ball smashed into the parlour of the house of Captain Piper, hitting only a writing table. The ship drifted onto Bennelong Point and shortly after her magazine exploded. Three Bees was a total loss. [6]

Oakum

Oakum is a preparation of tarred fibre used to seal gaps. Its main traditional applications were in shipbuilding, for caulking or packing the joints of timbers in wooden vessels and the deck planking of iron and steel ships; in plumbing, for sealing joints in cast iron pipe; and in log cabins for chinking. In ship caulking, it was forced between the seams using a hammer and a caulking iron, then sealed into place with hot pitch.

Bennelong Point locality in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Bennelong Point, a former island in Sydney Harbour, is a headland that, since the 1970s is the location of the Sydney Opera House in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.

Lloyd's List reported on 14 October 1814 that Three Bees, Wallace, master, of London and bound for China, caught fire and was burnt at Port Jackson on 20 May. [7]

Citations and references

Citations

  1. 1 2 3 Bateson (1959), pp. 290-91.
  2. Register of Shipping (1814), Seq.№T218.
  3. "Arrival of Vessels at Port Jackson, and their Departure". Australian Town and Country Journal, Saturday 3 January 1891, p.17. Retrieved 28 April 2012.
  4. Bateson (1959), p. 327.
  5. Despatch No.8 of 1814 from Governor Macquarie to Earl Bathurst, dated Sydney, NSW, 24 May 1814
  6. Bateson (1972), p. 49.
  7. Lloyd's List.

References

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