Captain Frederick William Vibert was captain of the Emeu for many year and here are some details about the ship which may be of interest.


Gross Tonnage – 1,538

• Dimensions – 81.74 x 11.15m
• Number of funnels – 1
• Number of masts – 3
• Construction – Iron
• Propulsion – Single screw
• Engines – Geared beam, two
• Service speed – 10 knots
• Builder – Robert Napier & Sons, Glasgow
• Passenger accommodation – 80 1st Class, 130 2nd Class

The Emeu was launched for the Australasian Pacific Mail SP Co. in August 1853 and was bought by Cunard in 1854 and served as Crimean War transport until 1856. The main reason Cunard bought the Emeu was to help the ease the strain on their own service, with so many of their vessels on war service.

In March 1856 it sailed from Liverpool to New York and later from Havre to New York. In June 1857 it sailed from Liverpool to Melbourne for the European & Australian Co. In October, however, it became stranded on the Nubian coast and later had to be repaired at Bombay.

It was sold to the Peninsular & Oriental Line ( P&O ) in 1859. In 1873 its engines were removed and converted to a sailing ship, and it was renamed Winchester. In July 1880 it was wrecked in the Macassar Straits.

Chronology :-

1852: One of five ships ordered for the short~lived Australasian Pacific Mail Steam Packet Company, which planned a monthly Panama/Tahiti/ Wellington/Sydney service.
22/08/1853: Launched.
07/02/1854: Arrived at Southampton from the builders whereupon her owners’ services were abandoned. She was then chartered to the Admiralty for Crimean War transport work at the rate of £100 per day.
11/1854: Sold to British and North American Royal Mail Steam Packet Co (Cunard Line), Liverpool. Continued on Crimea War service as Transport No 74.
06/1857: Chartered to European and Australian Royal Mail Steam Packet Co which had taken over mail services to Australia from P&O, to replace their ONEIDA on the Suez/Sydney leg of the route.
30/10/1858: Purchased by The Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company.
02/1859: Delivered at Sydney and put on Sydney/Mauritius/Suez route.
1860: Bombay/Hong Kong service.
05/11/1873: Sold for £6,509 at auction to William McArthur, London.
03/1875: Sold to John Smith, Millwall.
24/06/1875: Sold to M B Pearson, London.
28/06/1875: Sold to G Crowshaw, London.
08/1876: Resold to William McArthur, reduced to a sailing vessel and renamed WINCHESTER.
08/1879: Sold to G Crowshaw and Co, London.
14/07/1880: Lost in the Macassar Strait when on a voyage from Manila to Montreal with a cargo of sugar.