LETITIA Research Notes – Contemporary Newspaper Reports.

These papers were gathered during my research  into the wreck in the Cape Verde Islands of the “Letitia”  in 1828 and the travails of  its passengers including my g g grandfather Edward Conyngham 1805 – 1866.




Sydney Gazette 9 June, 1828 2e.

“Captain Clements who formerly commanded the Ardent, now a hulk at the entrance of Darling Harbour, (Sydney), we are glad to find is bringing out a fine and stately ship, namely the Letitia, of 700 tons, well laden with emigrants from his own ‘dear land’, and a valuable cargo. Captain Clements was always well disposed to the Colony, and has promoted its best interests, so far as he has possessed the means.”


Sydney Gazette 30 June, 1828 1d (Advertisement).

“For Dublin and Cork, the First Class Ship Letitia, 700 tons Burthen, A1 Lieut. Clements RN Commander. The above vessel is intended to be a regular trader between Sydney and Dublin, calling at Van Dieman’s Land, this affording an Intercourse between these Colonies and Ireland. Reference to Mr Harrison, 113 Pitt St.”

NOTE: From the Sydney Gazette Nov 5, 1828: Agents for Shipping in the Port of Australia – J S Harrison, Merchant, Pitt St. Not listed in NSW VGuide an Directory 1834.


NEWSPAPER REPORTS AFTER SAILING from Cove of Cork and Arrival in Hobart and Port Jackson.


Lloyd’s List, London. Friday, 25 July, 1828

Letitia, Capt. Clements, sailed from the Cove of Cork on 20 July, 1828 for NSW.

Hobart Town Courier, Saturday 13 September 1828:

Captain Clements, formerly of the Ardent, bringing out a cargo of Irish emigrants from Cork and Dublin in the Letitia, 780 tons.


Lloyd’s List, London, Tuesday 18 November, 1828 :

“The Letitia, from Cork to New South Wales, struck on the Rocks of St. Jago, Cape de Verds, 19 August, and was wrecked the following day; Crew and Passengers, and part of the baggage, saved by the boats of the Mary, Shuttleworth, bound to New South Wales, which took on board Mrs Weston and child, and Mr Murphy.”


The Hobart-Town Courier,   Saturday, December 20, 1828

  • We regret to state that the ship Laetitia, Clements, with goods and passengers from Ireland for this place was totally wrecked in August, on the rocks at St. Jago, but no lives lost. Arrived yesterday the ship Mary, 368 tons, Capt. Shuttleworth, from London 7th July, St. Jago 21st August, with a large cargo of merchandize, rum &c. and 53 passengers, viz-Mrs. & 5 Myers.  Messrs. Samuda 2, Weston 3, Cotton 7, Lee 7, Poulton 3, Lovell 7, Rhode, Douglas, Mathieson, Pyke, White, Undershall, Murphy, Campbell, Skinner, Boucher 2, Cammings, Gow, Dove, Jinks (died at sea), Shaw, Gillum, Umphelby.   This vessel encountered a severe storm off the Cape, and lost her foremast.


 Freeman’s Journal, Dublin.   Friday December 19, 1828.

Wreck of the Letitia, Capt. Clements.

“ We have been favoured with the perusal of a letter from Porto Prago, Island of St Jago and another dated 22nd of October last, from Rio de  Janiero, stating some of the particulars of the unfortunate loss of the above vessel, and the fate of the passengers; and as many of them have friends in this city, we publish the following particulars:- On the 14th August last, the Letitia anchored in the Bay of Porto Prago, to take in water and some fresh provisions, and on the 19th, although the weather is represented as being moderate, it appears she drifted on the rocks, and shortly after bilged and became a wreck. The passengers and crew were all landed safely, being near the shore…but little or nothing was saved of  the cargo or the passengers’ luggage.

On the 27 August, 46 passengers  including the Captain and his family, proceeded in an  American vessel to Rio de Janiero, where they arrived in 39 days, having lost seven of their number viz,Mr McGee and his wife, Mr Hamilton, Mr Lowry, Mr Cunningham Jr, Mr Lindsay and Mr Clarke’s servant; the five latter were all young men and their deaths are stated to be mainly attributed to bathing in a tropical climate. We are happy to state that Mr Charles Pentland, although attacked by fever and ague, was recovering, and that Mrs Moriarty, who was confined on board with her child (a boy) was doing well. It will be gratifying to the friends of Mr Moore, of this city, who with his family were on board the Letitia, to learn that they arrived safely in Rio, where they again proposed to take shipping to their ultimate destination. Another letter has been since received from the British  Consul at St Jago, which states that Mr Edward Roberts, one of the passengers who preferred remaining on that Island, waiting for a passage home, died of fever on the 6th October last.”

The (London) Times:

On 29 December, 1828, (page 2d) it reported on the incident, drawing entirely on the above report.

Tasmanian Shipping Arrivals and Departures:

  • This had a notation from HRA:” Aug 18, 1828: Letitia. Ship. Clements. Left Dublin (sic) 20 July 1828 towards Hobart Town, Goods and passengers. Totally lost on the rocks off St Jago, Cape de Verde Islands due to misconduct of captain and crew. No lives lost. Passengers came on in other vessels via Rio, e.g. ANNE (arr 3 June 1829) with Cdr Moriarty and family etc.” Refers to HRA p 661.

The Australian, Pub. Sydney 20 January, 1829 :

    • The Mary (Capt. Shuttleworth), is consigned to       Peter Macintyre, Esq., She brought to Hobart Town from St Jago, 53 (sic) passengers who escaped from the wreck of the Letitia (Capt Clements), viz, Mrs and 5 Myers; Mrs Weston, wife of Mr John Weston, Superintendent of the Hyde Park Barracks here, and 2 (sic) children; Mr and Mrs Cotton, 7 in family; Launder 2; Lee 7; Poulton 3; Lovell 7; Rhode; Douglass; Matheson; Murphy; Campbell; Skinner; Boucher 2; Cummings; Gow; Dove; Shaw; Gillum; and Umphelby. A passenger named Jinks died at sea. In a gale the Mary lost her foremast.

The Sydney Gazette 22 January, 1829

    • SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE. The same day (Tuesday last), arrived, from London and Hobart Town, having left the former place on the 3d (sic) of July and the latter on the 7th instant, the ship MARY, Captain Shuttleworth. Lading, sheep and sundries. Cabin passengers; Major Rhode; Mr Douglas; Mr and Mrs Myers and 4 children; Mr and Mrs Samuda; Mr Campbell; and Mrs Weston and child. Steerage passengers Mr and Mrs Lee and 4 children; Mr and Mrs Poulton and one child; Mr Lee; Mr Gilman; and Samuel Dove.

The Sydney Gazette 24 February, 1829

SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE. On Sunday last, arrived from London and Rio de Janiero, the ship JUPITER, Captain Heldy. She left London 22 August, and Rio 24 November, and brings a valuable cargo of merchandise. Passengers Joseph Montefiore, Esq. And Mrs Montefiore, and 2 children; Mr David Fatado, and Mrs Fatado; Mr George Micatto; Captain Clements, Mrs Clements, and 2 children; Mr Thomas Foreman, Mr Edmund Green; and 15 steerage passengers.

[Note: The Clements family were probably the only Letitia survivors on this ship. Understandable that he would travel on a different ship from the other survivors, given that some blamed him for the shipwreck.]


The Australian. Pub. Sydney 27 February, 1829:

NEWS OF THE LETITIA: Captain Clements, R.N. has returned by the Jupiter, accompanied by his family, we believe, to settle in the Colony. We regret to hear that some of the passengers on board the Letitia when wrecked, remain at St Jago, totally destitute: others (we are not certain as to the number,) fell a victim to the fever so very prevalent and destructive in that Island. It was expected that the British Consul would procure a vessel for those who survived, and give them a free passage to this Colony – their arrival is looked for with anxiety by those friends who held out strong inducements to their emigration. The misfortune that has befallen the Letitia’s passengers, of whom there were 56, we apprehend, will be the means of deterring many Hibernians from undertaking so long a voyage, more particularly as that class, who would, in all probability, be the most useful and enterprising Colonists, is , beyond all others, inconceivably ignorant of everything connected with the real condition and trade of Botany Bay, in New South Wales, or New South Wales in Botany Bay, for many people, not ill-informed either in other respects, scarcely can determine which of the two should take precedence. Scarcely a vessel of property was preserved, we are told, from the Letitia. The letter-bag, however we are informed, escaped, but it has not been forwarded to Sydney. How comes this? The wreck of the Letitia, also, will deter many a good substantial Irish capitalist from emigrating hither, as when some of the unlucky get home to tell the tale, there will be no want of gloomy exaggerations. The Colony, to be sure, is not in a very tempting condition just now, but still there is ample scope and verge enough for profitable engagement of capital and enterprise. A couple of bright seasons will bring up not a little of our leeway. The Mary (Capt Shuttleworth) happened to be laying at St Jago when the Letitia drifted, and drove ashore. Capt S. brought away a couple of the passengers, and treated them with remarkable kindness, being forced to run out of the harbour next morning, to escape a like fate. The shore, we hear, was strewed with wrecks – but the wreck of the Letitia, which was crowded with passengers, many of them females, was the most melancholy. Probably, the majority of her passengers who may have survived at St Jago, will prefer returning home to tempting the imaginary greater danger of a prolonged voyage on to these Colonies. The vessel, we understand, and some part of the cargo was insured.



Launceston Advertiser 3 June, 1829

“Shipping News

Arrived at Hobart Town, on Friday – the brig Anne, Captain Corneby, from Rio on the 7th of March, with a cargo of tobacco, salt rum, wine, pork and fruit, and numerous passengers”



Colonial Times, Hobart 5 June, 1829

“arrived June 4th, the brig Ann, Captain Samuel Cornby, from Rio de Janeiro 7th March, with 973 rolls of tobacco, 500 handspikes, 2 harpoons, 23 cases and 4 pipes of wire, 8 casks rum, 32 barrels porter, 21 bundles of chairs, 20 boxes raisins, a quantity of salt and 6 barrels tapioco. Passengers for this port: Mr and Mrs M Ghie and 3 children, 34 for New South Wales””


Hobart Town Courier, June 6th, 1829

(as reported in Sydney Gazette, June 30, 1829 ).

Arrived on Thursday, the 4th instant, the brig Ann ,Captain Samuel Corneby, from Rio 7th of March, with tobacco and salt


Captain Moriarty, RN, Lady, Children and servant

Miss Hogart

Mr Moore, Lady and 4 children

Mr Grey, lady, Miss Grey, Miss Grey, Mr Grey jnr and 3 children

Mr Macnamara

Mr Foster

Mrs Clark

Mr Ghie, Lady and 3 children

Mr Cunningham

Mr Riley

Mr Hayes (or Mayes?) seventh labourer from Rio?


P Murray, J.Ring, James Leary , J.Bayly (or

Dan Heily?). Darby Cleary, I.Cashenor (or John Cashman?)

Cargo of the Brig ANN – 973 rolls of tobacco, 23 casks of wine, 500 handspikes, 2 harpoons, 5 barrels of tapioca, 6 casks and 2 pipes rum, 4 pipes wine, 52 barrels pork, 21 bundles chairs, 20 boxes raisins, and a quantity of salt, loose.

The passengers by the Letitia, which was unfortunately wrecked at the Cape Verde Islands, have arrived by the Ann, after having gone through a series of hardships which, we trust, will at last be solaced in their adopted land.

Hobart Town Courier. 10 June 1829.


The fine first class Ann, Samuel Cornby, Commander, will positively sail for Sydney on the 17th Instant. For freight sale or charter apply to the Commander on board or to C. McLAUGHLIN. June 19 1829.


Colonial Times, Hobart 12 June, 1829

“In our shipping report last week of the arrival of the brig Anne, from Rio, we omitted to give the names of the passengers. The following is the list of sufferers brought by this vessel who had been wrecked at St Jago on the 19th August last, per the Letitia, Captain Clements, from Ireland to New South Wales, and who having lost all their property, clothing and etc on board, are entitled to the highest commiseration:

Mr and Mrs and Miss Moore and three children

Mr and Mrs and Miss Gray and three children

Mr and Mrs McGee and three children

Mrs Clark

Miss Hungard

Mr Gray jnr

Mr Foster

Mr McNamara

Mr Riley

Mr Foster (NOTE: This perhaps should read Conyngham/Cunningham.)

None of whose property  was insured.

Mr Malony, from Rio ,has also arrived, and seven labourers who  emigrated from Ireland, and being in distress were forwarded by the British Consul to this port – to this land of plenty.

We do not entertain a doubt but that a proper representation of the losses and sufferings of those emigrants, to the British Government, would be attended with success, and we feel persuaded that every one of them would obtain a grant of land in this colony at least equal to the property they shipped on board the Letitia, and also ample compensation for their sufferings, and loss of time, to which they are entitled by every consideration of humanity.

It is no excuse to charge them with neglecting insuring their property, when their own lives and those of their respective families were embarked in the same boat -with that property, but of which there was no insurance.

We respectfully beg to suggest the opportunity that presents itself to the Lieutenant Governor, to give these careworn sufferers who ventured across the great deep to settle on our coasts, suitable grants of land to encourage them and in some measure to recompense them for their losses, free of all restrictions, that they be enabled to write home to their friends that their misfortunes have not been attended with utter ruin, or hopeless despair, and that they write home to encourage other emigrants to come here from the kind reception they meet.

If his Excellency, however, should be restrained from doing so by any regulation from the Colonial Department, we at least trust he will forward their case to the Home government, with a recommendation to the above effect. We have no interest in the affair, further than the good of the Colony, to encourage emigration, and the common feeling of humanity we entertain for our fellow creatures, in which we are convinced no person can better participate in than Lieut. Governor Arthur.

We understand that Mr. Gray and family have already decided upon remaining in this colony and we doubt not the remainder of these emigrants, by a little kindness, would do the same particularly when they learn of the uncertain harvest in the sister colony, compared with bounteous plenty this colony enjoys from a gracious Providence, a salubrious climate, and a rich soil.”

Colonial Times, Hobart June 12, 1829

(As reported in the Sydney Gazette, 30 June, 1829.)

The following are the passengers per brig Ann, Captain Samuel Cornby,

which arrived at this port, on the 3rd instant, from Rio de Janiero.

Captain and Mrs Moriarty and 3 children.

Mr and Mrs and Miss Moore and 3 children,

Mr Gray

Mr Foster

Mr McNamara

Mr Riley

Mr and Mrs McGhie and 3 children

Mrs Clarke,

Mrs Huggard

(all originally passengers per Letitia from London, Captain Clement, late of

the colonial vessel GLORY.)

Passengers from Rio:

Mr Malony, also John Ring, Matthew Mayes, Darby Cleary, John Cashman, Dan Heily, Pat Murray, John Leaky. (Seven) Labourers from Ireland who emigrated to Rio and being in distress were forwarded by the British Consul to this port.

The Letitia was wrecked on the 19th August last, at St Jago, with 60 persons on board. They remained at St Jago ? days, the British Consul then hired an American vessel to take them to Rio, at which they remained (with the exception of 11) 5 months, and the British Consul humanely paid for their lodging and diet and chartered the Ann for this place for £900. The 11 of the passengers and crew which remained at St Jago (by their own desire) all died of fever, and were buried on one spot. A fever broke out among the passengers between St Jago and Rio and 7 died.



Colonial Times, Hobart June 13, 1829

(As reported in the Sydney Gazette of 2 July, 1829.)

The cargo of the Ann is assigned to order, with the exception of 668 baskets of tobacco, for Mr Gray, a passenger.



Launceston Advertiser   15 June 1829

  • “The brig Anne, arrived at Hobart Town on the 3rd instant from Rio having been chartered by the British Consul, at that port, in order to bring to this country the unfortunate passengers of the Letitia, which vessel was wrecked on the 19th August last, at St Jago, with 60 persons on board, the passengers lost their property amongst which was £11 000 in specie, belonging to Mr Gray, who has arrived with his family at Hobart Town.”


Launceston Advertiser   22 June, 1829

  • “Departed Hobart, on the 22nd, the brig Anne, Captain Corney, for Sydney,with part of her import cargo, 4 of her passengers from Rio, and Mr Lofgreen from this place”.

Colonial Times, Hobart 26 June, 1829

  • Sailed the brig Ann, Captain Corneby, for Sydney, with part of her import cargo. Passengers: Mr J Macnamara, Mr W Foster, Mr E Cunningham, Mr Riley  (passengers from Rio) and Mr Loftgreen from this place.”

[Note: Mr Riley was NOT on board. But check again.]


Hobart Town Courier. 27 June 1829.

Sailed on Monday 22nd, the brig Anne, Capt Carneby, for Sydney, with part of her original cargo. Passengers from Rio – Mr J Macnamara, Mr W Foster, Mr E Cunningham (sic), Mr Riley and from this place Mr Lofgreen.



Sydney Gazette      Tuesday June 30th.1829

  • Contained, in “Van Dieman’s Land News”,       truncated copies of reports of the Ann’s arrival in Hobart, in Hobart Town Courier of June 6, and Colonial Times of June 12. Texts above at date of Hobart publication


The Sydney Gazette 9 July, 1829

  • SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE. Yesterday, arrived, from Rio de Janiero via Hobart Town, the brig Ann, Capt Corneby, with a cargo of sundries. Passengers Messrs Macnamara, Forster, Cunningham (sic), and Lofgreen.

[Note; Fails to include the two steerage passengers, a (Private) Thomas Moore, and ‘one returned convict’.]



Sydney Gazette. 13 July 1829 and 14 July 1829..

For Sale or Charter, the fine Brig ANN, S Corneby Master, Burthen per register 179 tons; is a most substantial vessel, well found in Storms, and may be sent to sea at the shortest notice; now lying in Sydney Cove;_ for further particulars apply to the Commander on board, or at the Office of JONES and WALKER, Hunter Street. Sydney 13th July, 1829


Sydney Gazette. 14 July 1829..

The Commander of the Brig ANN hereby cautions the Inhabitants against giving Trust or Credit to any of the Crew of the said Vessel, as he will not be accountable for any Debts by them contrcted.


Sydney Gazette. 22 August 1829 and 25 August 1829.

FOR RIO DE JANEIRO.   THE Brig ANNE, Captain Carneby in the event of no Sale taking place on Wednesday, will immediately commence Loading for the above Port, and Sail on or’ about the 15th Proximo. ‘For Freight or Passage, apply to Captain Carnebv, on board, or to JONES & WALKER. Hunter-street, 14th August, 1829.

  1. B.- Will be wanted, 100 Loads of Flooring Boards, Rafters, and Scantling, fit for House Building.


Colonial Secretary In Letters 1829. 29/7368; 4/2046. Sep 1830?

Corneby declaring his intention of returning with his family to settle in this Colony and requesting permission to select his land before he goes home. Refused 29 August 1830.

Sydney Gazette. Thursday 25 February 1830.

Harbour. departures. For the Sperm Fishery. Brig ANN to sail on the 1st of March.

Sydney Gazette. Thursday 25 March 1830.

Two prisoners of the Crown, attached to the Government’s boat crew, were found concealed aboard the brig ANN, on the morning of Monday last, with the intention of making their escape from the Colony. They were brought before the police on Tuesday, and sentenced to receive 100 lashes each. The Ann has since sailed on a whaling voyage.