Southern Cross (ship)

Southern Cross (ship)

The Southern Cross has been the name of a succession of ships serving the Melanesian Mission of the Anglican Church and the Church of the Province of Melanesia. It succeeded the "Undine", a 21-ton schooner built at Auckland and in service from 1849 to 1857. Funds from Charlotte Mary Yonge's novel "The Heir of Redclyffe" (1854) were devoted to funding the construction of the Melanesian mission vessel.

* Southern Cross No. 1, c. 70-ton schooner in service from 1857 to 1860. Wrecked on the coast of New Zealand.
* Southern Cross No. 2, 93-ton yawl-rigged brigantine in service from 1863 to 1873. Built at Southampton.
* Southern Cross No. 3, three-masted, two-topsail schooner. 180 tons with auxiliary steam power, 24 H.P., in service from 1874 to 1892. Built in Auckland. Cost about £5,000, of which £2,000 was contributed from a fund collected by the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in memory of Bishop John Coleridge Patteson.
* Southern Cross No. 4. British Registry Official Number 98988. Three-masted schooner. Foremast, square rigged; main and mizzen, fore-and-aft rig. 240 tons, with auxiliary steam. In service from 1892 to 1902. Built in Wivenhoe, Essex, England by Forrest & Sons in 1891. Cost about £9,000; contributed by Bishop John Richardson Selwyn and others. When this vessel was sold its engine was removed and it operated as a cargo vessel around Australia and New Zealand until being lost with all hands off King Island, Tasmania in 1920.
* Southern Cross No. 5, steel three-masted schooner, auxiliary steam engine. Built in Newcastle-on-Tyne by Armstrong Whitworth & Co. £1,000 towards construction contributed by the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, London. Launched by Bishop Cecil Wilson in 1903. Officers in 1914: William Sinker R.N.R. (Captain), H. Burgess R.N.R. (Chief Officer), R. Gardner R.N.R. (Second Officer), W. Pitcher (Chief Engineer) and J. Murray (Bosun).
* Southern Cross No. 6.
* Southern Cross No. 7.
* Southern Cross No. 8.
* Southern Cross No. 9. Built in Australia in 1962 at the request of the Bishop of Melanesia, Alfred Thomas Hill. Currently in service after refurbishing and rededication in 2005 by Archbishop Ellison Pogo.

Antarctic exploration

"Southern Cross" was also the name given to the Norwegian sealing vessel, "Pollux", when it was acquired by Carsten Borchgrevink to transport the British Antarctic Expedition 1898–1900 to Antarctica. She was 521 tons gross, convert|146|ft|m|sigfig=2 in length, barque-riggged with auxiliary engines. "Southern Cross" transported Borchgrevink's party to Cape Adare, Antarctica, and in January 1900 carried out an exploration of the Ross Sea. [cite web|author= Borchgrevink, Carsten|title= "First on the Antarctic Continent"|url=,M1|publisher= George Newnes Ltd|year= 1901|accessyear= 2008|accessdaymonth= 11 Augustpp. 10–11]

Notes and references


Taylor, C. (1998). The Brothers Taylor, A Tasmanian Maritime History (Published in the Roebuck Series, No. 50). Canberra: Navarine Publishing. ISBN 0-9586561-4-2

External links

* [ Last Cruise of the Second "Southern Cross"] Serialized account by C. H. Brooke.
* [ Appeal of the English Committee for a New Mission Ship] , 1900.
* [ Journal of a Voyage to the Western Pacific in the Melanesian Mission Yacht Southern Cross] , by J.W. Beattie, 1906.
* [ By Reef and Shoal: Being an Account of a Voyage amongst the Islands in the South-western Pacific, by William Sinker] 1907 account.
* [ The Wake of the Southern Cross: Work and Adventures in the South Seas, by Cecil Wilson] 1932 account.
* [ Archbishop dedicates provincial flagship] 2005 article.

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