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Built in 1843 as a wooden three masted ship, on the yard of Henderick & Rowan, Glasgow for account of McNeil & Co., Glasgow.
Tonnage 428 tons, dim. 107.7 x 24.4 x 18.2ft.
Delivered July 1843.
Built for the trade between the U.K and India.
26 March 1853, chartered by the British Government for three years as transport vessel.
22 May 1853 she sailed from London, under command of Capt. John McKenzie, for Baffin Bay in search for the lost Sir John Franklin expedition. Her ice master was George Sabiston, I can remember that even in the 1960s ships of the company I was sailing for used ice masters when they were loading in Greenland ports, the ice master or pilot is mostly a experienced captain who knows the waters and ice situation well in that area. On that voyage she had a crew of 20 (21other source) men including the master and ice master.
07 Oct. 1853 it was reported that she was lost, when her companion ship the PHOENIX arrived at Thurso, North Scotland. It was reported that on 21 August 1853 she was crushed by shifting ice and sank in 15 minutes off Beechey Island. The crew was saved by the PHOENIX.
19 October 1853 the rescued crew arrived at London.
The following is an excerpt from the August 21, 1853 journal entry by William H. Fawckner, Royal Navy Officer on the BREADALBANE.
About ten minutes past four a.m., the ice passing the ship awoke me, and the door of my cabin from the pressure opened: I immediately hurriedly put on my clothes, and on getting up found some hands on the ice, endeavoring to save the boats, but they were instantly crushed to pieces; they little thought, when using their efforts to save the boats, that the BREADALBANE was in so perilous a situation. I went foreward to hail the PHOENIX, for men to save the boats, and whilst doing so, the ropes by which we were secured parted, and a heavy nip took the ship making every timber in her creak, and the ship tremble all over. I looked in the main hold, and saw the beams given away; I hailed those on the ice and told them of our critical situation, they not for one moment suspecting it. I then rushed to my cabin, hauled out my portmanteau on the deck, and roared like a bull to those in their beds to jump out and save their lives. The starling effects on them might be more easily imagined than described. On reaching the deck those on the ice called out to me to jump over the side, that the ship was going over…
Everyone then abandoned the ship, with what few clothes they saved – some with only what they had on… The ship now began to sink fast, and from the time her bowsprit touched the ice, until her mastheads were out of sight, did not occupy above one minute and a half. It was a very sad and unceremonious way of being turned out of our ship. For the first time the first nip took her, until her disappearance, did not occupy more that fifteen minutes.
I, as well all the spectators of the last of BREADALBANE, was astonished at the rapid manner in which she went down… I can not easily imagine why the two missing Arctic ships (EREBUS and TERROR) have never been heard of, and it is but too probable in my mind, they were lost not many miles from my old vessel, and that all hands met with a watery grave.
On 13 August 1980 the hull of the BREADALBANE was rediscovered by a team of scientists in a position 74 41 N and 91 50W.
On the stamp, only her steering wheel is depict.
Canada 1987 36c sg1239, scott?
Information I got from the World Ship Society: