Royal Charter documentary

October 31, 2012

Dear Mac,

I emailed you a couple months ago regarding the passenger list of the Royal Charter. We are making a documentary on the ship. We have been developing a documentary on the tragedy in association with S4C (Welsh language television), ITV and Australian television. After months of research, we began filming the programme in Moelfre, Anglesey at the beginning of September. At the start of 2013, we will be travelling to Australia to document the beginnings of the fateful voyage.

By looking through your detailed website, and the letters people sent you, I was wondering whether you would be willing to share the email addresses of some of the descendants of the passengers and other
individuals involved.

Particularly, we are very interested in contacting Val, whose ancestor was William Storey, a third class passenger (William Storey went down in SS Royal Charter); Norm Clark, of Ontario, whose ancestor was James Tate, a cook (James Tate was a cook on board Royal Charter and perished in the wreck); and Clive Cornock, of Chester, who is a descendant of Stephen Roose Hughes (Who built Royal Charter?)!

Obviously this all depends on the permission of these people to be contacted and of course, your willingness Mac. I would be very appreciative for this help, notwithstanding the help you have given us already.

Hope you're well



I am happy to assist your project in any way I am able, I will need time to gain the agreement of those in whom you are interested, and if in fact I have a valid E-Mail address for them.

When you do come to Australia in the New Year, you will have to come to Melbourne as Royal Charter sailed from here. Its my home city, and I would love to catch up with you,

Personally as mutually convenient.

I will start to research your names tomorrow to get the ball rolling.

Best regards,


Dear Mr. Mac Gregory,

My name is JC Dowzell, I am a researcher for a documentary production company, TiFiNi Ltd, based in the UK. One of our projects involves the Royal Charter diaster in 1859. Specifically, I am trying to locate any information on a potential Welsh passenger on the doomed ship. Alas, because of a lack
of a credible full passenger list, this has proved difficult. 

By reading the various letters on your website, I am aware that you have a full passenger list! I would be very appreciative if you could send this passenger list to me as this would be vital to the making of the documentary

I look forward to hearing back from you,

Yours sincerely,
JC Dowzell
Researcher, TiFiNi Ltd

Mac wrote:

See this URL:

For a list of Royal Charter passengers.



thanks a lot and yes we were going to visit Melbourne primarily. I would love to meet you to chat about your research when there. We will organise the meeting closer to the date (end of Jan 2013). Thanks for the cooperation and looking forward to hearing from you soon.



Here are some details about a letter from Tate to his wife.

Full View - Australian Library Collections
Record Id:22600602 (Australian Library Collections) Cite
Author:Tate, James, 1835-1859.

Title:Papers [manuscript].



Time Period:d1859

Contents:1. Letter from James Tate to wife, Ellen, 16
August 1859, written
in Melbourne before departure for England on board the
Royal Charter.2.
Letter from minister's wife (?), Margaret Roberts, to
Ellen Tate regarding
the body of James Tate found washed ashore at Anglesey,
Wales, about 19
November 1859, from the wreck of the Royal Charter on 26
October 1859.3.
Transcripts of above letters. Include additional
information supplied by
descendent, Norman Clark.4. Two photographs of James
Tate.5. Photograph of
In Memoriam card.

Biography:Cook on board the Royal Charter. Died from
drowning when the Royal
Charter sank off Wales 26th October 1859

Notes:Manuscript reference no. : NLA MS 9232.

Subjects:Tate, James, 1835-1859 -- Archives.
Royal Charter (Ship)
Cooks -- Victoria -- Archives.
Shipwrecks -- Wales -- Anglesey.
Sailors lcsh

Access Conditions:Available for reference. Not to be
duplicated or published
in any way.

Want to contact your library about this item?:Find contact
Libraries that have this item:National Library of
Australia (ANL) MS 9232



My interest in Royal Charter was sparked by a US Professor Joshua Buch, his wife's Great Great Grandfather was Manus Boyle a 26 year old Miner who sailed in Royal Charter from Melbourne on August 26 1859, and was drowned in the wreck.

Josh asked if I could find Manus on a shipping list, after about a year I turned up the passenger list, including Manus at the Australian Archives in Melbourne.

Josh has visited Anglesey and placed a Marker on Manus's grave site in the church yard where he is buried.

Would you be interested in talking to Josh via E-Mail if he agrees, which I am sure he would.



An interesting snippet about RC.

Ship "Royal Charter" and passengers lost in an 1859 hurricane.
Most family history research relating to ancestors on passenger lists concentrates on the ships which sailed from Europe to Australia. Some of these ships disappeared without a trace, while some were known to have been wrecked. Either way, their passengers drowned a long way from their home and none of these lost passengers were able to settle in their anticipated new home or to raise families and descendants.

However, the article "On a fatal voyage" in "The Australian" on Wednesday 4 November 2009 on page 15, shows that the reverse occurred in the case of the ill-fated ship the "Royal Charter". On 26 August 1859, she took on board 390 passengers in Melbourne, along with 80,610 ounces of gold from the diggings in Ballarat. This Ship was an iron clipper combining the best of sail and steam technology and the journey from Melbourne around Cape Horn to Queenstown in Ireland took only 60 days.

When the ship was near Anglesey in England, a severe hurricane whipped up mountainous seas and the ship was soon at the mercy of the strong winds and the rocky coastline. Only 41 passengers survived and hundreds of bodies were collected and buried in the four cemeteries at Anglesey.
John Noack.



See this URL:

For an interesting site covering Royal Charter.



At this URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iIVBiF4S8bI&feature=player_detailpage

You will find a DVD on Royal Charter.




From The Australian.

On a fatal voyage. by: Michael Parry; From: The Australian; November 04, 2009



See this URL; http://www.pasttimesbooks.com/?page_id=5700

For a fictional book about RC.


From the Guardian.

28 October 1859: Steam clipper lost at sea More than 400 passengers and crew feared dead as The Royal Charter founders on Anglesey rocks


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