On 18 June 1844 the "Isabella" left Melbourne headed for London, England and Leith, Scotland. She was a 422 ton barque under the command of Captain J. F. Hardie. Her journey had started in Sydney and since arriving at Melbourne on 6 April 1844 had loaded a cargo of wool. Her cabin passengers were Mrs. Hardie and infant daughter, Mrs. French and daughter, Miss Scott, John Broadfoot, John Hunter, Alexander Campbell, Mr. McNeil (from Port Fairy), and Dr. Barry Cotter. The intermediate passengers were Jack Ewart, G. Roach (of the Darebin Creek), H. Davis and Mr. Coffin (late of the ship "Wallace").
When she left Melbourne there was a strong fair wind and thick weather which had increased to a hurricane by 21 June when land was sighted. Captain Hardie mistakenly thought this to be part of the Kent Group of islands and tried to navigate through what he believed to be a well known channel of those islands. Unfortunately the land was actually part of Flinders Island and the ship ran aground on a reef of rocks on the morning of 22 June 1844.
All the passengers and crew were able reach shore safely before the ship broke up. After some days they made contact with a party of sealers and a few days later reached the "Flying Fish" which was on the other side of Flinders Island and about to sail for Melbourne. They were all taken aboard the "Flying Fish" and arrived at Melbourne on 2 July 1844.
On 9 September 1844 the Postmaster, Henry D. Kemp, issued a list of some letters he was holding at the Melbourne Post Office. He said that these letters had been rescued from the wreck of the "Isabella" and would be re-forwarded to London in the first direct mail. This list, with addresses abbreviated for privacy reasons, was published in the "Port Phillip Herald" on 17 September 1844, and appears hereunder:
ADAMSON, John - Walbrook, London, England ADAMSON, T. - Glasgow, Scotland AFFLECK, S. (Miss) - Berwickshire, England AGIE, D. (Mr.) - Edinburgh, Scotland ALEXANDER, Margaret - Arbroath, Angus, Scotland ALLEN, Uriah - Bridport, Dorset, England ANDERSON, James - Bushmills, Ireland ANDERSON, MORTIMER & Co. - Edinburgh, Scotland APOTHECARIESí COMPANY - Glasgow, Scotland ASHHURST, M. (Miss) - Oxfordshire, England BAGSHAWE, H. (Mrs.) - Foundling, London, England BALDWIN & ELLIOTT - London, England BALLOCH, Jean (Miss) - Boords, Scotland BARRY, Robert - London, England BEECH, (Mrs.) - Crosley, England BELL, William - Sinclairburn, Scotland BENNETT, Peter - Gloucestershire, England BENTLEY, John - Derbyshire, England BESWICK, James - Bolton, Lancashire, England BLEAKLEY, William - Tyrone, Ireland BOBART, (Mrs.) - Oxford, England BOURKE, (Mrs.) - Dublin, Ireland BROADHURST, Daniel - Manchester, Lancashire, England BROADHURST, (Miss) - Salford, Lancashire, England BROWN, H. (Miss) - Esk Mills, Edinburgh, Scotland BUCKLES & Co. (Messrs.) - London, England BUNBURY, H. E. (Sir) - Suffolk, England BURN, J. S. - Copthall Court, London, England BUTTERWORTH & HEAP (Messrs.) - Rochdale, Lancashire, England BYRES, James - Alloa, Clackmannon, Scotland CAM, William - Cheapside, London, England CAMERON, Donald - Fort William, Inverness, Scotland CAMERON, (Mrs.) - Worcester, England CAMPBELL, Charles - Glasgow, Scotland CAMPBELL, John - Cavan, Ireland CANDY, James - Somerset, England CARRICK, James - Stirlingshire, Scotland CASEMON, E. (Miss) - Liverpool, Lancashire, England CHILD, (Mrs.) - Wiltshire, England CLARKE, John (junior) & Co. - Glasgow, Scotland CLARKE, Robert - Killinchy, Down, Ireland COMPTON, Ralph - Northumberland, England CONNELL, Matthew - Louth, Ireland CORTIPOS, H. H. - London, England COUPER, James - Glasgow, Scotland COVENTRY, John - Dumferline, Fife, Scotland COWARD, T. T. - Devon, England CRAIGMILE, William - Aberdeen, Scotland CRAWFORD, John - Middlesex, England CROSTHWAIT, Leland - Dublin, Ireland CUTHBERTSON & TWEEDIE (Messrs.) - Glasgow, Scotland DEANE, William - Dublin, Ireland DELAFOSSE, D. C. (Rev.) - Wandworth, England DENNYS, N. - London, England DERRY, William - Plymouth, Devon, England DICKSON, William - Peebleshire, Scotland DIXON, John - near Wigton, England DONELY, Ann - Wigan, England DOSWELL, Edward - Hampshire, England DRURY, G. V. - Oxfordshire, England DUFF, William - Perth, Scotland DUNN, Charles - Devon, England DUNN, H. M. - London, England DUTTON, R. - London, England DYSON, Martha - Liverpool, Lancashire, England ELFORD, Henry - near Andover, Hampshire, England ELIN, J. B. - London, England EMSLIE, George - Aberdeen, Scotland EVANS, R. - Chester, England FARMER, John - Cupar, Fife, Scotland FAWCETT, (Lt.-Col.) - Bristol, England FERGUSON, John - Kirkaldy, Fife, Scotland FERRIE, Peter (Mrs.) - Glasgow, Scotland FLANNERY, Martin - Craughwell, Galway, Ireland FORSTER, John - Dublin or Kilkenny, Ireland FORSTER, (Miss) - Londonderry, Ireland FOX, John - Liverpool, Lancashire, England FREER, William Henry - Stourbridge, Worcester, England GAIRDNER, C. D. - (3) - Kilmarnock, Ayr, N.B., Scotland GIBB, Henry - Perthshire, Scotland GIBBS, William - Lombard Street, London, England GILLETTE, George - Dungenness, England GLADWIN, Samuel - Wexford, Ireland GODDARD, William - London, England GORDON, J. G. - London, England GOW, Robert - Glasgow, Scotland GREEN, Charlotte (Miss) - Middlesex, England GREGORY, (Miss) - London, England GRIFFIN, John - Norfolk, England GRIFFITH, Charles - London, England GROGEN, John - County Tyrone, Ireland GUILLOD, (Mrs.) - Brighton, Sussex, England GULL, J. W. - London, England HAGEN, Jacob & Son - London, England HALL, (Mrs.) - Surrey, England HALLIFAX, (Major) - Dover, Kent, England HAMILTON, F. (Colonel) - Bathgate, West Lothian, Scotland HARRINGTON, H. G. - Bath, Somerset, England HARRISON, Richard - Warrington, Lancashire, England HART, (Mrs.) - Hampton, England HART, (Mrs.) - Hammersmith, London, England HASLAM, Sophia - Derbyshire, England HAY, James - Forfarshire, England HINDE, S. (Miss) - Regent's Park, London, England HINTON, J. P. - (2) - Bristol, England HYDE, LENOX & Co. (Messrs.) - London, England JAMIESON, James - Kirkaldy, Fife, Scotland JONES, (Mrs.) - Swansea, England KELLY, Catherine - Bally Kerny, Ireland KELLY, Jane (Mrs.) - Birr, Offaly, Ireland KELLY, (Mrs.) - Inner Temple, London, England KERR, Joseph - Coleraine, Londonderry, Ireland KINKEAD, William - County Armargh, Ireland KIRBY, (Mrs.) - Ashby de la Zouch, Leicestershire, England LAIRD, Alexander & Sons - Glasgow, Scotland LAMB, James - Edinburgh, Scotland LARRAMENT, John - Stockport, Cheshire, England LATHAM, John H. - Regent's Park, London, England LE SOUEF, C. H. - London, England LEWIS, H. (Mrs.) - Bristol, England LEWIS, Mary (Mrs.) - Pembrokeshire, Wales LINDSAY, John - Kent, England LINDSAY, (Mrs.) - Scotland LINGHAM, S. - London, England LONNERGAN, James - County Tipperary, Ireland LONSDALE, William - Somerset House, London, England LONSDALE, (Mrs.) - Hampshire, England M'CORKELL, James - Londonderry, Ireland M'CORMICK, Thomas - O'Brien's Bridge, Clare, Ireland M'CULLA, (Mrs.) - Drogheda, Louth, Ireland MACDONALD, John - Kirkaldy, Fife, Scotland M'DOUGAL, J. B. (Mrs.) - Renfrew, Scotland MACFARLANE, (Miss) - Glasgow, Scotland M'FARLANE, David - Glasgow, Scotland M'GRATH, William - Clonmel, Tipperary, Ireland MACKAY, John - Wick, Caithness, Scotland M'KELLAR, Duncan - Argyleshire, Scotland MACKENZIE, J. (Mrs.) - Tain, Ross & Cromarty, Scotland M'LACHLAN, John - Argyleshire, Scotland M'LAREN, Daniel - Perthshire, Scotland M'LAREN, G. A. - Leith, Midlothian, Scotland M'LARTY, Hector - Campbletown, Argyleshire, Scotland M'MURDIE, (Mrs.) - Fleet Street, London, England MACK, (Mrs.) - Ayton, Yorkshire, N.B., England MATSON, Robert - Rochester, Kent, England MEAGHER, John (Father) - Nenagh, Tipperary, Ireland MEAKIN, George - near Ashburn, England MENZIES, John - Perthshire, Scotland MERCER, George - Edinburgh, Scotland MILLER, Robert - Glasgow, Scotland MOODY, Thomas - Derbyshire, England MORISON, (Miss) - Edinburgh, Scotland MUNT, Isaac - Wheatley, England MURRAY, Henry - County Longford, Ireland NANTES, H. W. (Mrs.) - Exeter, Devon, England O'CALLAGHAN, John - Mallow, Cork, Ireland O'CONNORS, Cornelius - County Cork, Ireland OLDMAN, Robert - Leeds, England O'LEARY, James & Co. (Messrs.) - London, England ORR, William (Mr.) - Greenock, Renfrew, Scotland PARKER, Charles - London, England PARKER, Robert - Killeshandra, Cavan, Ireland PEGG, George W. - Ashburn, England PEGG, Thomas - Manchester, Lancashire, England POHLMAN, J. G. - London, England POLLETT, James - near Huddersfield, Yorkshire, England POLLOCK, John - Renfrew, Scotland PORTER, John - (2) - Royal Exchange, Glasgow, Scotland PORTER, William - Paisley, Renfrew, Scotland PRATT, John (Mrs.) - Rathdowney, Queen's County, Ireland PULLIN, Samuel - Oxfordshire, England PULLMAN, James - Somerset, England RALPH, (Mrs.) - Kent, England RAMSAY, H. (Miss) - Cupar, Fife, Scotland REGAN, (Mrs.) - County Clare, Ireland REID, (Miss) - Haddington, England RELAND, Thomas - Gloucestershire, England RICARDO, D. - near Stroud, Gloucestershire, England ROBERTSON, William - Glasgow, Scotland ROBERTSON, John & Sons - Glasgow, Scotland ROBINSON, John - Nottingham, England ROONEY, (Mr.) - Downpatrick, Down, Ireland ROSS, David - Rosshire, Scotland SALTER, Robert - London, England SCONCE, (Mrs.) - (2) - Malta SCOTT, Thomas - Barnstaple, Devon, England SEEDS, Hugh - Lisburn, Ireland SHARP, D. W. (Mrs.) - Bingley, Yorkshire, England SHARP, Robert - Rothsay, Bute, Scotland SHAW, (Miss) - London, England SILVER & Co. - London, England SIMONDS, W. M. - London, England SIMPSON, Robert - Warwickshire, England SINCLAIR, Neil - Campbletown, Argyleshire, Scotland SMALL, (Mrs.) - Wiltshire, England SMITH, Edward - London, England SMITH, ELDER, & Co. - London, England SMITH, G. J. - Edinburgh, Scotland SMITH, Robert - near Jedburgh, Roxburgh, Scotland SMITH, (Mrs.) - Liverpool, Lancashire, England SPELD, J. P. - Edinburgh, Scotland SPENCE, Julia (Miss) - Stockton, England STEWART, (Miss) - Mill Hill, Edinburgh, Scotland STOKES, J. L. (Capt.) - Strand, London, England STOW, John (Mrs.) - Greenwich, Kent, England SUTHERLAND, M. E. E. (Miss) - Caithness, Scotland SYLVESTER, George - Trowbridge, Wiltshire, England TAYLOR, J. (Mrs.) - Edinburgh, Scotland THAIN, James - Banffshire, Scotland THOMAS, Griffith - Mincing Lane, England THOMSON, John - (2) - Glasgow, Scotland THOMSON, (Lt.-Col.) - Dover, Kent, England TOOTAL, Henry - Manchester, Lancashire, England TOWLE, (Mrs.) - Derbyshire, England TUCKETT, Joseph R. - Bristol, England TURNER, Samuel - near Leeds, England UNDERWOOD, F. - Bristol, England VEAL, James - Westminster, England WALTERS, (Mrs.) - Haverford West, Pembrokeshire, Wales WHEELER, (Mrs.) - Shropshire, England WICKHAM, H. D. (Rev.) - Frome, Somerset, England WILKINSON, Josiah - London, England WILLIAMS, Richard & Son - London, England WOOD, P. (Capt.) - (2) - Fife, Scotland WOOD, (Mrs.) - London, England WORSLEY, H. L. - London, England WREDE, H. - Moorfields, London, England WRIGHT, J. W. - (2) - London, England WRIGHT, (Miss) - Painswick, Gloucestershire, England YOUNG, Andrew - near Coldstream, England YOUNG, Robert - Norway Place, London, England YOUNGER, (Mr.) - Denhead, Scotland
Contributed by Alexander Romanov-Hughes ( PPPG Member No. 52 )
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