Monday, March 11, 2013

Passengers 1858 steamers Madagascar and Waldensian Natal and Cape

Advertisement from The Natal Mercury Sept 1858,
shortly before the wreck of the Madagascar (Dec 1858).

DEPARTURE OF MADAGASCAR Natal Mercury September 9 1858

Madagascar, Royal Mail screw-steamer, 500 tons, J McKenzie, for Table Bay and Intermediate ports.
J. Brown, agent.

PASSENGERS per Madagascar, steamer, outwards.
For Algoa Bay
Mr Black
Mrs Haw
Miss Slater
One woman and two children belonging to the Cape Corps.
For the Cape
Mr and Mrs Gordon, two children and servant
Mr Nourse


The Madagascar built on the Clyde in 1855 was Rennie's first steamer. She was brought to South Africa in 1856, fitted for trading on the coast, under command of Captain George Rennie, already well known at the Cape as a former commander of the sailing vessels Lord Haddo and Conqueror. The Madagascar reached Cape Town on January 3 1857 and began her regular service between Table Bay and Durban.

In December 1858 she was wrecked in stormy weather on a reef 40 miles south of East London (now known as the Madagascar Rock). No lives were lost.

After the wreck of the Madagascar the Waldensian, her sister ship also built on the Clyde in 1855, continued the coastal service alone but was herself wrecked on Struys Point in October 1862 on a voyage for Cape Town. The ship broke in two, but the approximately 100 souls on board were safely landed, most going overland to Cape Town by wagon via Bredasdorp. Some returned in Barry's coaster Kadie and the Cape Town tug Albatross which had responded to news of the disaster.

Does anyone have an ancestor who was on that final voyage of the Waldensian in October 1862? Please leave a comment, if so.

For more on the wreck of the Waldensian and mention of some of her passengers see

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