Royal Adelaide (1865)

The Royal Adelaide was an iron sailing ship of 1400 tons built by William Patterson at Bristol in 1865.[1]

Name: Royal Adelaide
Owner: Gibbs, Bright & Company
Builder: William Patterson, Bristol
Launched: 1865
Fate: Wrecked on 25 November 1872
General characteristics
Tonnage: 1,298 tons
Length: 233 ft (71 m)
Beam: 38 ft (12 m)
Draught: 23 ft (7.0 m)

She was wrecked on Chesil Beach on 25 November 1872, while on a passage from London to Sydney with a crew of 32 and 35 passengers.[2] In bad weather, the ship tried to reach the shelter of Portland Harbour, but was forced into Lyme Bay from which there was no exit in a storm. The anchors were lowered to try to prevent the ship being blown onto Chesil Beach. However, the anchors dragged and the ship began to break up on the beach. All but seven on board were saved.

A large crowd gathered on the shore to help with the rescue and the salvage of the cargo, part of which was gin and brandy.[3] By the end of the night four of the wreckers had died from exposure, having spent the night on the beach after becoming drunk on the cargo.

She now lies at 50°34.65′N 2°28.50′W OSGB36.


  1. John and Vick Hinchcliffe (1999). Dive Dorset. Teddington, Middlesex: Underwater World Publications. p. 72. ISBN 978-0-946020-26-3.
  2. "BBC Inside Out – South West". BBC. 13 February 2006. Retrieved 2 November 2008.
  3. "Chesil Beach Shipwrecks". The Heritage Coast. Retrieved 2 November 2008.

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