"The clipper Duncan", by Ferdinand II of Portugal
|Owner||Gellatly, Hankey & Sewell|
|Builder||James Laing, Sunderland, Tyne and Wear|
|Launched||18 May 1857|
|Fate||Wrecked, 7 October 1865|
|Tons burthen||2,500 tons bm|
|Beam||36 ft 3 in (11.05 m)|
|Depth of hold||23 ft (7.0 m)|
|Sail plan||Full-rigged ship|
The Duncan Dunbar was a clipper constructed for Duncan Dunbar & Company in 1857. It was shipwrecked at the Rocas Atoll off the coast of Brazil on 7 October 1865 on the way to Sydney, Australia.
The ship was launched on 18 May 1857 from the yard of James Laing, Sunderland, Tyne and Wear. She was the twelfth ship built by Laing for Dunbar, and at the time the largest vessel ever launched on the Wear. She was constructed entirely of wood, with English oak frames and East India teak planking and masts. She was held together with copper bolts, with iron trusses and knees. Overall the ship was 260 feet (79 m) long, and 229 ft 2 in (69.85 m) at the keel. She had a beam of 36 ft 3 in (11.05 m) and a depth of hold of 23 ft (7.0 m). Her tonnage was given as 1,447 tons, with a burthen of 2,500 tons. A large crowd gathered to witness the launch, and the ship was christened by Mrs. W.R. Robinson of Silksworth. The ship was named either after Duncan Dunbar, the then owner of Duncan Dunbar & Co., or his father of the same name.
Under Dunbar's ownership the ship was engaged in the passenger and cargo trade between England and Australia. After Duncan Dunbar's death in 1862, the ship was sold to Gellatly, Hankey, Sewell & Co.
A contemporary report states:
A different ship named the Dunbar was wrecked near Sydney in 1857. There is a description of the shipwreck of the Dunbar in Following the Equator, by Mark Twain. Twain incorrectly refers to the ship as the Duncan Dunbar.
The Loss of the Duncan Dunbar