british Stirling Castle (+1836)
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nationality british
purpose transport
type brig
propulsion sailing ship
date built 1829
weight (tons) 351  bm
material wood
about the loss
cause lost ran aground (wrecked)
date lost 21/05/1836  [dd/mm/yyyy]
about people
Kerr J. & Co. (John Kerr & Co.), Greenock
captain Capt. James Fraser
no. of crew 18
about the wreck
depth (m.)
protected yes
war grave
entered by Lettens Jan
entered 14/05/2008
last update Lettens Jan
last update 27/08/2010
Lettens Jan14/05/2008
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dist. homeportdist. homeport
ref. used
 Australian National Shipwrecks Database,
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 copyright: Unknown - onbekend - inconnu copyright: Australian Hydrographic Service copyright: Unknown - onbekend - inconnu  
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In May 1836, the Stirling Castle (Capt. James Frazer) with 17 passengers and crew set sail from Sydney to Singapore. Some days later, Stirling Castle ran aground on the Great Barrier Reef.

As she started sinking slowly, they went into 2 boats. James Frazer, accompanied by his highly pregnant wife ELIZA decided to make it back southwards, to Moreton (now Brisbane). After a horrifying journey of 1 month at sea, during which Eliza gave birth to a child (that soon died), they decided to beach their badly leaking boat at Great Sandy Island, now known as FRAZER ISLAND.

What exactly happened (dying from exposure and illness or slaughtering by the locals), we may never know. Fact is that Eliza was finally liberated by the escaped Irish convict John Graham and that Eliza married a new Captain and returned to England.

She would spend years as a 'circus' attraction in Hyde Park where she would tell her story about slavery, murder and cannibalism for little money, keeping on exaggerating it every time.
Lettens Jan21/05/2011Eliza Fraser was a Scottish woman whose ship was shipwrecked on the coast of Queensland, Australia, on May 22, 1836, and who was captured by Aborigines. Fraser Island is named after her. She was the wife of Captain Fraser, captain of the Stirling Castle. There were 18 people aboard the ship and a cargo mainly of spirits, which may have been involved in the accident.

They struck a reef hundreds of kilometres north of Fraser Island. They then launched a boat and landed at Waddy Point on Fraser Island. It was here that she was captured by Aborigines. Her husband either died from starvation or was killed by an Aborigine because he was unable to carry wood). They were stripped of their clothing.

She was found by John Graham, an escaped convict who had lived for six years with the Aborigines, and is said to have gone naked to get the confidence of the Aborigines. Wrecked: Swains Reef Group (GBR)
ref. used: 
 Australian National Shipwrecks Database,
Lettens Jan14/05/2008Stirling Castle; Brig; 351 tons; Owned by Kerr & Co.; Built in 1829. Registered at Greenock.

On 21 May 1836, Stirling Castle (James Fras) was on voyage from Sydney to Singapore in ballast, when she was wrecked off Swains Reefs. Some (unknown number of) people died.
ref. used: 
 Australian National Shipwrecks Database,

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