Launched 17 April, 1848 from Patterson's yard, Bristol 'Precisely as the clock struck one, Mrs Rigmaiden of London, the sponsor of the Ship, dashed a bottle of Wine against her bow and having named her the Charlotte Jane, the dog-shore was knocked away and the noble Vessel, which was gaily decorated with Flags of every description, descended slowly and majestically into her native element' - the Bristol Mirror, April 1848.
William Patterson had taken over the Scott shipyard at East Wapping in Bristol in 1831, building the small steam side paddlers Country of Pembroke, Eagle, Lady Charlotte and Mountaineer as well as the sailing vessels Dispatch, Velox and Edward Colston up to 1835. In 1838, Pattersons completed the 1320-ton Atlantic side paddle steamer Great Western for designer Isambard Kingdom Brunel then drew up lines for the hull of the iron screw steamer Great Britain which sailed in December 1844.
The Patterson yard completed the large side paddle steamers Avon and Severn for the Royal West Indies Mail Company in 1842 and then in 1848 launched the 730-ton wooden Charlotte Jane for James Thompson & Company and the trade to India.
Charlotte Jane of London, 131.7 x 32.3 x 21.7 feet; 730 register tonnage.
At Canterbury: Left Lyttelton (Port Cooper) for Sydney/Caroline Islands 6/7 January 1851. British registry closed in October 1865 when sold foreign; last known owners Larchin & Company in the London-India trade.
[ The Port Victoria Customs Department Ships Report Outwards No. 49 for January 1851 recorded the departure] 6 January Charlotte Jane, 729 tons, Lawrence, 32 crew, for Caroline Islands in ballast, Alport agent.
The Merchant Shipping Act 1854 came into force on 1 May 1855 with official numbers being allocated to registered ships from 16 April 1855. However the new Board of Trade Code of Signals did not become effective until 1857 and even then shipping registrars were not always able to provide four signal letters which corresponded with the official numbers.
By 1859, the practice of allocating signal letters to shps' official numbers had become fully effective. The Cressy, for example, was listed in the List of British Registered Vessels with their official numbers and the signal letters (1859) as No. 85, with the letters H.B.K.Q.
In 1850, the Charlotte Jane had a problem in identifying herself to other vessels at sea. Edward Ward noted that on 16 September when the master of the Antonietta, Rio to Palermo, compared longitudes with Captain Lawrence, 'our number does not appear in the last edition of the Signal Book, so if we speak any ship by signal, we shall be represented as the Charlotte or the Jane merely.'
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