Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Found In Australia. Part Four.

One early reference to the wreck that I can find comes from Mr. Alfred Burt, one time Registrar of Titles in Western Australia. The comment was made in the 1870s. He makes the statement: that the wreck is partially buried in mud, unmistakably very old, and probably foreign. The fact that Burt was an educated man of some standing in the community would suggest his observations as being reliable.
His remarks that the wreck was "unmistakably very old and probably foreign" would suggest that he also had some knowledge of ships and it was obviously somewhat different to the many vessels visiting Fremantle at that time. Had the wreck resembled a whaler, sealer, schooner, coastal trader, etc. [as the size of the vessel would fit this type of ship], I would imagine that he would have described it as such.
At the time of Thomas Bindloss
s salvage letter, [1876] Receiver of wrecks Worsley Clifton and Resident Magistrate of Bunbury George Elliott wrote to the Colonel Secretary regarding, and describing a trip to the wreck some 30yrs previously.
If the wreck had been sighted by these men in the 1840
s the above description would certainly suggest pre-settlement.
When the French expedition in 1801 commanded by Nicholas Baudin visited and charted the area, no mention was made of the wreck in any of the many journals kept regarding that voyage.

 The “Search for the Deadwater Wreck” is a project of the Australia on the Map Division of the AHS. It was adopted as a project because of its potential in making Australians aware of their early maritime history and heritage. It also has a particular resonance with hydrography, as I hope will become evident in this presentation.
The Deadwater Wreck is an „undiscovered‟ shipwreck, probably of Dutch origin, dating from the period 1650 to 1750. I use the word „undiscovered‟ advisedly as it was actually seen and reported on by highly credible informants on numerous occasions in the 19th century.
the remains of a vessel of considerable tonnage have been discovered in a shallow estuary near the Vasse Inlet, now quite shut out from the sea, which, from its appearance I should judge to have been wrecked more than two hundred years ago, during which time the land appears to have risen two or three feet [60-90 cm]‟ (Gregory 1861:482)

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