Walter HUGHES or John LOONE, Wreck of Royal Charter, 1859

December 22, 2009

Wreck of the Royal Charter (Wales 1859)

Hi Mac

I am trying to contact someone who is aware of information re the survivors of the Royal Charter wrecked off the Welsh coast in 1859. As you would be aware It is (I think) the worst in the UK with about 450 lives lost and only 39 survivors.

See the attached email, I am after any information on John LOONE and Walter HUGHES.

(Below is a copy of an email  I sent to a McKee Family member )

Hi Alice

Greetings from Ipswich, Queensland Australia.

I was wondering if you are the daughter of Alexander McKee the author of "The Golden Wreck" ?

I am aware that Alexander is deceased. My ancestor one John LOONE was a survivor of the wreck.

He was a survivor that little has been recorded. A cousin of mine prepared his story to coincide with the 150th anniv of the sinking of the Royal Charter. (If interested the article can be seen using the key words 150th ANNIVERSARY SHIPWRECK   ROYAL  CHARTER by Rosemarie Searle)

There is a picture of John on page 3. It's a great story of love, commitment and family responsibility.

I have written to you in the hope you may have access to your father's notes etc.

In my family notes about John in my Loone file is a photocopy of his photo which someone has written "He was saved with the cabin boy". On the list of survivors there is no cabin boy but there is an apprentice named Walter Hughes who was seriously injured. He is probably the one that I have the brief note about. Are there any records of either Walter HUGHES or John LOONE?

Do you know of others interested in the story of the Royal Charter to whom I could address my questions?

Thank you  for reading my email

Cheers...Geoff Butler


Have you seen this URL: http://www.old-merseytimes.co.uk/ROYALCHARTER.html

Walter gets a mention.

I had this discussion with Rosemarie Searle, no doubt you have seen her message.

Letters: John Loone survivor of the wreck of the Royal Charter and 150th Anniv. Royal Charter

October 10, 2009

Dear Mackenzie,

I thought that you may be interested in publishing on your site a yet untold story of one of the survivors of the wreck of the Royal Charter, the 150th anniversary of which occurs later this month.

This survivor, John Loone, is among my ancestors who settled  in Tasmania.

I have attached a pdf file of the story. I trust that you find it interesting. Let me know what you think.

Commemorating the 150th Anniversary of the Shipwreck of the Royal Charter, lost off Anglesey, Wednesday 26 October 1859 – a Personal Story Yet Unpublished
Rosemarie A Searle, August 2009

Little did we know as children tiptoeing cautiously among the graves and tombstones of the quaint churchyard at St Mary’s Hagley, Tasmania, what lay behind the words, “That’s John Loone’s grave!” Our seniors would stand in reverent solemnity looking at the mossy tombstone angled in the ground, framed against the outline of the picturesque church and spire.

Read the whole story.

If you require the file in a different format, please let me know, and I will be happy to oblige.

Yours sincerely,


I have not had a problem with opening your file.

My thanks for taking the trouble to write to me with the really amazing story about your relative John Loone and his escape from the wreck of the Royal Charter, it is one that we will add to AHOY so it might be shared others who visit our web site.

In the United States is a Professor Josh Buch who had a relative, one Manus Boyle who did not survive the ship wreck, it took me about a year to unearth the passenger list of the Royal Charter here in Melbourne from the archives and find Manus. Josh has been to Moelfre to set up Marker at the church there in memory of Manus, and I know he will be fascinated by your story.

Perhaps we might talk via the phone as convenient.

Again my thanks for a wonderful story from the past.

Best regards.

back to letters index


back to letters index


This site was created as a resource for educational use and the promotion of historical awareness. All rights of publicity of the individuals named herein are expressly reserved, and, should be respected consistent with the reverence in which this memorial site was established.

Copyright© 1984/2014 Mackenzie J. Gregory All rights reserved