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Clipper Cairngorm 1853~1863

‘CAIRNGORM’ Built 1853.
Wood ship of 938 Tons.
Length; 185 ft.
Breadth; 36.6 ft
Depth; 20 ft.

Built by Hall of Aberdeen for Jardine, Matherson and Co.
Master; Captain Robertson.

This ship was the first British built wood ship to rival the great American built wood clippers. [Tea Clipper, Passenger and General Carrier]

Aberdeen Journal, 19th January 1853:
'LAUNCH OF A MAGNIFICENT CLIPPER. Last week there was launched, from the building yard of Messrs A. Hall and Sons, a splendid Clipper ship, named the Cairngorm. The vessel, owing to the extreme sharpness of her bottom, was launched on a cradle yesterday week, when there was not sufficient depth of water to float her off; it was then deemed necessary to remove the cradle, and on Saturday the launch was accomplished, to the entire satisfaction of all concerned, and she was floated into the Victoria Dock to receive her equipments.  The dimensions of the Cairngorm are - length, 200 feet between perpendiculars; extreme breadth, 36½ feet; depth of hold, 20½ feet. Her tonnage is 1250 om, or 980 nm. Messrs Jardine, Matheson, and Co., China merchants, are the owners; and the vessel is built expressly for the China trade. She will be commanded by Captain John Robertson, whose services, first in the John O'Gaunt, and more recently in the Stornoway, are well known.  In the latter vessel he has, for the last 2 years, successfully run the race of competition in carrying the 1st of the new teas from China to this country. The Cairngorm is, we believe, the largest sailing vessel ever before built in Scotland; and is certainly about the finest. Her sailing qualities, we are confident, will prove of the very first order, and in carrying power there is every reason to believe she will be equally capable. The Cairngorm lies at Waterloo Quay, and is well worth seeing, as an admirable model of a vessel combining immense size with great elegance of appearance. 

Figurehead - Highland Chieftain - carved by
Robert Hall.

CAIRNGORM left Whampoa 6 November, 1858 along with WYNAUD, CHIEFTAIN and LAMMERMUIR

Participated in first Tea Race under Ryrie. Agreed bonus of £200 for Master and Mates to be divided pro-rata for 1st ship. CAIRNGORM docked 1st and gained the bonus.




1863: Bound from Sydney - wrecked on 29 September whilst attempting to enter the River Min

The Min River was formerly of little use for navigation, though its upper tributaries above Nanping carried considerable junk traffic. In the 1950s the lower course of the river entering the sea below Fuzhou was cleared for navigation by small ships up to 80 tons. 

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Last modified: 01/09/2013