William Storey went down in SS Royal Charter

January 21, 2009

(see "Storey's of Liverpool, update")

I wonder if you have any info on William Storey my gt uncle who went down on the ship, he is listed on the passenger list as a third classs or steerage pasenger. I have an old family diary which confirms that he was on the boat. The info I have is summarised below.

One of my Gt Grandmothers ( Hannah Storey ) paternal was a third class or steerage passenger on the SS Royal Charter. He is listed on the http://www.old-merseytimes.co.uk/ROYALCHARTER.html which is the first time i have been able to verify the contents of an old Slade family diary, which includes info on the women 's family names who married into the family.

Hannah Storey, my gt grandmother  was born in 1834 in Cheshire I believe she married a George William Slade who was born 26.5.1832 or 35 in London, on the 20.1.1858  at St Micheal's in Liverpool. He was 23 and she was 24. Hannah Storey and William Storey's father was Peter Storey a plasterer and Slater of Liverpool. The Slades are my direct line.

Peter Storey was born around 1799 possibly christened on the 22.4.1799 at Liverpool St Micheals, he died 5.5.1836  two weeks short of his 37th birthday, buried at St Michael's church family grave 881. Possibly in a shipping accident? as his son was brought up in a Blue coat orphanage from the age of 8.Peter Storey's  brother Thomas Storey was also a plasterer and a brick setter but at an early age took to religion and became a great western Minister who was still alive when this diary entry  in the Slade family diary was written. Would you know what a great western minister was ? something to do with the Railway? or boats? Thomas went on to marry and had 4 boys and 3 girls.

Peter Storey married a Sarah Walton or Warton , she was born possibly at Cosbee St Liverpool. They had five children,  

The five children Sarah and Peter had were

1. Rueben christened 17.8.1827 Liverpool St Peters who was a blue coat orphan after his father died, was apprenticed to the ship Argyle belonging to a Mr Prouse of Liverpool. He made his way up to Captain and then married a Sarah Waight  whose father was a Church of England minister who held an appointment on the Isle of Man. Sarah and Reuben had two girls, Sarah and Hannah Storey. When the girls were young Reuben was appointed as a ships captain of the SS Fideliter belonging to Messers Harrison and Sons ship owners of Liverpool  he signed his papers for five years but after a short while he took sick with yellow fever and died aged 34 in Africa and was buried out there around 1836. His widow moved to Southport and opened a fancy goods shop being a wax flower and picture maker.

 2.Elizabeth christened 2.6.1829 who died aged 8 in 1837 

3 Hannah Storey my direct ancestor. born/christened 20.11.1831 died 22.8.1884 London buried at Ilford.
4 Sarah Maria C 5.4.1834 Preston St Johns who died in 1871 in The infirmary Whitechapel. She married 1860 a James Hailey or Kailey of New York  at St Johns church Liverpool He was on the ship the Fanny Fern  from Liverpool to Baltimore as a seaman, but was never heard of again. After 11 miserable years she died 26.7.1871  and was buried on poor ground at Ilford London aged 35, 31.7.1871.

5.William Storey the subject of this e-mail, was I believe christened at Liverpool's St Peters church 14.8.1835.

My diary states that William was apprenticed to a shipwright in London. When he became a man, Sarah his mother married again to a James Harris., who was a great drinker. In a drunken fit one day James struck Sarah and William being there at the time struck him back, for which he was locked up for some six weeks. When he came out he was so ashamed of what had happened he went on a ship as a carpenter as he could not stay at home. The ship went to Australia to New South Wales, he left the ship there and got married and settled down there and had a number of children. He left Liverpool in 1853 but this is crossed out and 1848 added. In 1860 he came to see his mother in Liverpool and stopped to see his sister Hannah who was then married to George William  Slade, and spent some time with them. He then got a ship called the Telegraph and went back again. A few years later he was due home on the SS Royal Charter, that illfated ship which was lost just outside Liverpool harbour, and amongst the missing persons list of names was that of William Storey. No one in the family had confirmation that it was him, but enquiries showed that he had a tavern called the Labour in Vain  in Sydney. 

I have researcherd this and found he did not own the pub probably a story he told people back home, to suggest he was going well. I have made some enquiries about the pub and cannot find him listed as the owner, nor confirmation he was there

As a widow Sarah Storey ( nee Walton/Warton)  re-married to a James Harris 13.7.1847 at Liverpool St Nicholas, so that verifies I think the story of the step-father.

I would be very glad of any information about burial, or body never recovered, and where any info could be found regarding relatives enquiries, as I have failed to trace the Australian relatives, or indeed any Storey relatives in the Liverpool area.

I have always wanted to visit the site in Wales, the memorial, church etc and have already ear-marked coming up for the 150th anniverary. If you have any other info I would really welcome this and would be pleased if you needed to let anyone else have a copy of this my sos for info on William or his descendants who were felt to be in Sydney still at the turn of the century.

Many Thanks.
Happy new year to you 2009


More about the Royal Charter, at this URL: http://www.old-merseytimes.co.uk/ROYALCHARTER.html is a complete passenger list, which is the first time I have seen a list other than the one in the Public Record Office in Melbourne where I found Manus listed.



Thank you for your interesting mail about your relatives and the wreck of the Royal Charter, it was a fine ship and a tragedy to strike the worst storm in a long time to wind up wrecked off Wales with such a huge loss of life.

Take a look at this URL : http://www.agius.com/family/ancestor.htm for details about her loss.

Most of the recovered bodies were buried in the churchyard of St Gallgo's church, and as you note, this year marks  the 150th. anniversary of her wreck.

Peter Day, Tynygongl, Anglesey.

The church of St Gallgo's in the parish of Llanallgo (including Moelfre) will be a focal point during the 150th anniversary of the shipwreck. The church members will be arranging events, displays and will be on hand to explain matters concerning the Royal Charter throughout 2009.St Gallgo's is continually visited by descendants of survivors, of those lost and by people interested in the story. Many had their appetite whetted from reading the book The Golden Wreck by Alexander McKe, enthusiasts refer to the book as the Royal Charter Bible.The wreck was worked from 1972 to 2002 by the Royal Charter Salvage Expedition led by Jack Smart and his son-in-law. There was a brief interruption to operations during 1985 which resulted in High Court action against a rival group. The RCSE were successful in their action and resumed their operations. Anyone interested in visiting the church, the wreck site or events planned for 2009 should write to Royal Charter, St Gallgo's Church, Anglesey, LL72 8NE.

I cannot find any specific details about William Storey, nor a Great Western Minister.

The Liverpool Blue Coat School

Continue walking along Church Road until you reach the corner of Bristol Road, opposite the gates of the Blue Coat School. The imposing Edwardian building - described as 'spectacular' by the late Prof. Nikolaus Pevsner - was designed by the Liverpool partnership Briggs, Wolstenholme & Thornely, perhaps best-known as the architects of the Dock Office at the Pier Head. It was opened in 1906, when the pupils were transferred from the old building in School Lane, Liverpool (nowadays known as Bluecoat Chambers). The very impressive Chapel - the large domed building to the left of the main school - was designed by the same architects, having been paid for by Mr T. Fenwick-Harrison (of the Harrison shipping line) as a memorial to his late wife. Like the neighbouring Holy Trinity Church, the school and its chapel are both Grade II* ('two starred') Listed Buildings: i.e. classed as 'particularly important' in the national context.

The Liverpool Blue Coat School - or Blue Coat Hospital, to give it its original title - was founded in 1708 by Mr Bryan Blundell and Rev. Robert Styth as "a school for teaching poor children to read, write and cast accounts". Blundell was a leading Liverpool shipowner - reputedly the owner of the first ship to enter the town's first dock in 1715 - and slave trader, participating in the 'triangular trade' which linked Liverpool, West Africa and the Caribbean. Styth was the first joint Rector of Liverpool, based at St Nicholas Church on the waterfront. Both men were aware of the problems of orphan children in Liverpool, large numbers of whom were left destitute by the loss of their fathers at sea.

The original school expanded rapidly and a new building (the present Bluecoat Chambers in School Lane) was opened in 1718. It was still in use in 1899, when the decision to move 'to the countryside' was made and the land here in Church Road - overlooking the newly-opened Wavertree Playground - was purchased.

The Blue Coat School retained its 'orphanage' role until the late 1940s, the boys and girls in their old-fashioned dress having been a familiar sight in Wavertree during the interwar years. In 1949, however, it became a 'secondary bilateral' school for boys only (day pupils as well as boarders). Girls were re-admitted - though to the sixth form only - in 1990, when the boarding house eventually closed owing to lack of demand. In 1997 - after several years as a nominally comprehensive school - the Blue Coat changed its status once again, becoming a Grant Maintained School selecting its pupils on the basis of academic ability.

Best regards,


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