The Royal Charter's Black Day
For me, the history of the Royal Charter - the ship, the era and its tragic end, is the most astonishing story in the world. I've somehow always felt that the story belongs to me. The ship was wrecked on the rocks of my home village in Moelfre, Anglesey. There was a massive loss of life and my great great Grandfather, William Jones was a small boy when he witnessed it. Although there are four generations between me and William Jones, the connection feels much closer. My grandfather lost his father in the Great War when the SS Arbonne and everyone on her were lost. William Jones raised my grandfather after that.
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by Bedwyr Rees
Years later, I spent a lot of time with my grandfather because I too lost my father when young. I’ve been brought up on the Royal Charter story and feel a connection with William Jones and the history of Wales’ most famous shipwreck.
The Royal Charter was one of the Victorian age’s most prominent ships. She was luxurious and very fast for her time, managing to sail from Liverpool to Melbourne in less than 60 days. The Australian gold rush was in it’s peak when The Royal Charter was sailing back to Liverpool in October 1859, there was £322,440 worth of gold on her.
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