George Russell survived wreck of Royal Charter
February 2, 2013
Dear Mr Gregory,
I wonder if you can help me... on Melbourne radio (3AW) last Friday 1/02/2013 I heard an interview with a person in Australia researching the Royal Charter, I believe he also mentioned that he was a Gold Panner. Being a busy time of the morning one ear only was listening.
My great great grandfather was a passenger on the ship.
The owner of a very successful goldmine, George Russell was travelling back to the UK with his daughters and wife. When the ship was wrecked only one daughter, and George survived. He went on to Scotland, remarried and returned with his new wife to Australia. Reclaimed the goldmine and went on to make another fortune.
The goldmine is still there and my second cousin still farms the family land first settled in the 1850s.
He has a huge reservoir of relevant family and historical trivia. He still lives in the home of his great grandparents (on his father's side).
If you have been in contact with the person researching the wreck I would be grateful if you could pass on my details.
What a fascinating story. I have been interested in the story of the Royal Charter and her subsequent wreck for some time.Here are the details of the interview with the gold prospector Vincent Thurkettle:
Welsh Treasure Hunters turn focus to Melbourne Posted by: Michael James | Michael James 1 February, 2013
I suggest you contact 3AW and ask them to put you in touch with Vincent.
I have a complete passenger list for Royal Charter which I gleaned during a visit to the Australian Archives here in Melbourne, and it runs to some 9 pages.
One needs a decent magnifying glass as the reproduction is quite hazy.
Vincent is obviously visiting Melbourne with Gwen.
A Professor in the US contacted me originally about RC as a relative of his wife Manus Boyle ( a former miner ) was a passenger who perished in the wreck, and he asked me for help, it took a year to bring Manus to light, and as a result, the Professor has visited Wales to place a marker for Manus in the churchyard. See Manus Boyle from the Royal Charter found.
This whole saga is indeed an interesting and quite
Presuming you are a shipwreck expert you may be interested to know that as a child I knew, along with my parents, Roy Holden, very well. Up, I think until this year, at low tide I could view the Orungal off the heads at Barwon Heads.
Are you in Victoria?
Back to the Royal Charter, George Russell does not appear on the passenger list I accessed however if you Google the Lauristan Gold Mine (near Kyneton in Victoria) you will see, or link to, some information regarding him and his brother John. (And the ill fated Royal Charter trip)
My great grandfather was David McClure, also mentioned in the articles.
It has always been family legend that George sold the mine to some Chinese miners from Ballarat on leaving in the Royal Charter, however when he returned the Chinese gave it back to him claiming not to have found any gold
The legend goes that the mine was a "wishbone" reef and the Chinese could only think in a straight line!!! The Russells' went on to make another massive fortune.
A couple of years ago we took my grandson, then 8, to visit the mine and I can not tell you the derision he was met with at Show and Tell when he announced he had spent the weekend at the family gold mine.
As I mentioned earlier my cousin has a massive amount of documentation which he is always willing to show and share.
Yes I am in Melbourne, we have an apartment on St Kilda Road just opposite Wesley.
My list shows Mr Russell aged 36, his wife Cath at 32, a child 10, and June Russell aged 2
I would be interested in any documentation that your cousin may care to share, so we might add it to material about RC on my AHOY website.
Some details you may be interested in about Orungul.