St Michael | NSW Environment, Energy and Science

About us

St Michael

History | Database | Links | Print


This Ship rigged vessel was engaged on the Sydney run from Maitland in the early 1820s, carrying livestock and goods.  Originally registered in Bordeaux, this 170 ton vessel, was armed with 8 guns and a crew of 30when it was purchased by Capt John Beveridge, the vessel was used in the South Sea Island trade.  In 1826, the vessel was used to transport prisoners to Newcastle (Stephen Berry Research Collection).

The vessel was converted to a storeship from in 1826 when it was purchased by John Cobb.  The vessel was used as the supply depot for convicts cutting cedar, their soldier guards and bush constables.  The vessel was increasingly used as the settlement developed, and a road was cut from Maitland to the Storeship by convicts (Stephen Berry Research Collection).  The St Michael sank was moored off Morpeth  when she sank  a few days before 23 November 1841 (Sydney Gazette 23November 1841).  The ship was moored  off Taggarts Point, on the opposite bank of the river.  The vessel was sold by John Wiseman to a speculator who planned to raise the vessel (Maitland Mercury 2 March1844) and use it in the coal trade, but the vessel was still in situ inn 1844 (Stephen Berry Research Collection). The vessel was reported in 1857  to lie alongside where the coal shoots were.  Although attempts were made to break up the hull, only partial attempts were made, and she remained in situ until at least 1853, when a vessel loaded with coal sunk alongside (around 1853-4) - (Maitland Mercury 9July 1857:4).  

The vessel lay on the riverbed sandbank after it turned turtle and  It was reportedly later towed to the other side of the river where it covered in sand.  Local researchers (Stephen Berry pers comms 2014)  have identified that the vessel supposedly lies at a location known as McTaggarts Reef (sandbar).


Site information

Site ID: 2399
Type: Hulk Construction: Wood
Primary industry: Transport Sub-industry: Cargo - inland
Gross tonnage: 170 Net tonnage:
Length (mtrs): Beam (mtrs):
Draft (mtrs): Cargo:
Country built: FRANCE State built:
Port built: builder:
Port registered: Morpeth When built:
Registration number: Official number:
Sources: Summary of Public Intellegence, The Sydney Gazette and NSW Advertiser, 23Nov 1841. - Original Correspondence: Sand Banks, The Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Examiner, 9 July 1857-4. - Morpeth March 1, The Maitland Mercury and Hunter River Gen -

Lost event

When lost: 1841/11/21 Where lost: Morpeth
Wrecked/Refloated: Wrecked Sinking:
From port: To port:
Master: Owner:
Crew: Passengers:
Crew deaths: Passenger deaths:
Total deaths:


Maximum latitude: -32.723221 Minimum latitude:
Maximum longitude: 151.621989 Minimum longitude:
Datum used: WGS84
  Datum    Latitude    Longitude    Zone    Easting    Northing
AGD66 -32.72322590554560 151.62198900000000 56 370865.85589483400000 6378543.45939147000000
AGD84 -32.72322590554560 151.62198900000000 56 370865.85589483400000 6378543.45939147000000
GDA94 -32.72322103231220 151.62198900000000 56 370866.31759434100000 6378556.55869044000000
WGS84 -32.72322103145360 151.62198900000000 56 370866.31759372300000 6378556.55868438000000


Found: No Inspected: No
Protected: NSW Heritage Act 1977 Jurisdiction: State
Protection notes:
Signage: Web address: