The Wreck of the Lucretia

The Lucretia was bound for India on Wednesday 26 June 1839 when a fire started from a candle igniting fumes from a cask of spirits. The ship was engulfed by flames at a rapid rate and assistance was rendered by HM Pelorus and Herald. Ten cannon balls were fired into the hull to try to scuttle the ship, without effect. Burning fragments floated in the harbour and the hull was a vast sheet of flame until 11 p.m. There were several kegs of gunpowder aboard and the masts and quarterdeck smouldered until morning. Captain Scott was the master. Men with buckets tried to put it out initially and Captain Harding of Pelorus sent a message to the barracks for engines and some convicts (to man the winches) towed the engine to try and put it out. When it was evident that nothing could be done, all were ordered off due to the gunpowder. Some volunteered to remove the gunpowder but the crew were not sure where it was stowed. The Lucretia was under full sail when the fire broke out. She was run ashore, and before long was devastated.

On 1 July 1839 the wreck was auctioned by W. Hebblewhite and it appears that Captain Lister bought it as at the time he was engaged in refitting ships.