Search UK Diving

Search over 30, 000 pages of info

Do you want to advertise here?


A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z | all wrecks
Royal Charter

Place Name : Anglesey, Lligwy Bay

Lat / Long : 53 ° 22 ' 17 '' - - 4 ° 15' 20'' West System used to obtain Long / Lat : unknown
OS Grid Ref - Square : 0 8 Figure : 507873
Type : Clipper Built :  
Shipyard : Gibbs & Bright Co. Deeside
Hull material : iron  
Size : 2719 tonnes Length : 78 m Beam : 14 m
Sunk : 1859 Cause : driven ashore in severe gale Date Found : 1958
  Shallowest Deepest
Top : 5 m 20 m
Deck :
0 m 0 m
Bed : 0 m 0 m
Orientation : unknown Lying : unknown Condition : Unknown
Seabed Type : Unknown
Artifacts : numerous
Wreck Owner
Owner : Originally owned by Liverpool & Australian Steam Navigation Co.
Access : public
War Grave : Unknown Protected : Unknown
Restrictions : unknown
When to Dive Best time to dive the wreck, relative to high wate
0 - hours 0 - minutes - - high water
General Information :
Small Boat Launching :
Beach/slip[ launch at Traeth Bychan to south of Moelfre. Alternative launch at Bull Bay to the north. Latter more suitable for RIBS
Notes :

Built in 1854 by Gibbs, Bright & co. for Liverpool & Australian Steam Navigation Co. 235\'x 42\'x 23\'. 200nhp direct-acting trunk engines; speed 9knots. two 24pounder guns, four 18pounder guns. TheRoyal Charter was one of the most successful of the early auxiliary steam sailing ships engaged in the Australian trade. On August 26th 1859, she left Melbourne homeward bound with 388 passenge rs, 112 crew and a valuable cargo under Captain Taylor. The run constituted a record as it took her 55 days to reach Queenstown where 13 passengers disembarked but 11 riggers came aboard thus making a total of 498 persons. An innocent but fatal delay was occasioned by a request from the passengers to call in at Holyhead to see the Great Eastern (then the largest ship in the world). The wind be gan to freshen and by the time the Royal Charter set sail again on the last leg it was very windy. By the time the vessel was off Point Lynas, the seas were very high and the captain steered the ship as near inshore as possible and fired off rockets in a request for a pilot. The weather was,however, too bad for a pilot to get out to the vessel. At 10pm, both bower anchors were let go and the en gines were kept running to assist the ship to keep to windward. The wind grew in intensity and changed around to blow from the north east directly onshore. At 2am, both cables parted and the ship began to be pushed towards the shore of Anglesey. Orders were given to cut down the fore and main masts in an effort to cut wind resistance but it was to no avail and the ship swung broadside on to the coast. The engines working at full pace had little effect, the idea being to drive the ship onto the beach at Lligwy. Cordage from the felled masts in fact fouled the screw. However, just before dawn,the vessel struck the rocky coastline some 400yards from relative safety. As soon as daylight came Joseph Rodgers, a Maltese seaman, volunteered to jump over the side with a line around his waist to swim ashore to rig up a bosun\'s chair. In this he was successful. On board the ship Rodgers\'s success was seen and a member of the crew was seen back aft to where the passengers were sheltering to call them for\'d to escape. Just as the crewman got aft a huge wave engulfed the vessel breaking her back and resulting in spilling the entire compliment of passengers into the horrendous seas. The on ly persons to be saved were those few who had gone for\'ds to effect a rescue line. Of passengers and crew, 459 were drowned including Captain Taylor and all his officers. Very few persons apparently drowned, they were battered to death by the force of the waves. Many passengers refused to leave the gold they had brought back from Australia and jumped over the side wearing their money belts - they , of course, sank like stones. Charles Dickens visited the scene of the wreck and the disaster prompted him to make mention of this tragedy in his book The Uncommercial Traveller. Salvage operations brought up a great quantity of gold and gold sovereigns, but many are said to remain on and around the wreck site. There have been numerous salvage excavations in recent years, one of the most succ essful being organised by Bernie Macdonald who was dive-leader for the firm called Bestspeed. Over the summer of 1985 hundreds of valuable items were recovered by the use of powerful air-lifts from gold-nuggets to silver candlesticks. Many of these find were recorded photographically by Tony Tollitt before the made their way to local museums. At one stage one could swim down from the seabed and into the excavated wreck as far as the keel. Several bulkheads were physically removed so as the excavation could continue along the length of the vessel. The firm Bestspeed was, however dogged with ill-feeling and other troubles and folded in the late Autumn 1985. To date, much of the wreck is untouched and it is probable that many more items are waiting to be found. Only 7mts to the seabed of sand and boulders and 12mts to the keel of the wreck.\r\n\r\n

References :
Link to More Info :
Information Provided by :
Name : From a dive on : 1970-1993
Supplementary Imformation
Added by:
Posted on : November 7, 2012
Was there ever an excavation report produced for this wreck??

Added by:
Posted on : October 31, 2007
If anyone has not heard Bernie, Susan and Ruth giving one of their superb three-handed talks, then you have missed out.
Time-wise, they emulate Ken Dodd - absolutly fantastic, never had such interesting speakers.
For enthusiasm and depth of knowledge they cannot be beaten.

Added by:
Ruth McDonald
Posted on : March 26, 2007
Hey Paul this is Ruth, Bernie's daughter, drop him a line at he'd love to talk.

About us | Disclaimer & terms of use | Contact us | Site News | Suggestions | Link to us | Advertising Info © 2006 Personal Print Ltd