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Captain John Beveridge

Sailor and merchant.

John Beveridge appears to have first arrived in Australian waters as the Mate on the ship Harriet/Harriott on the 21 March 1817 (at Hobart Town). The vessel had sailed from London via Rio de Janeiro with passengers, and a cargo of British and South American merchandise (tobacco).

In the period 1817-1825 Beveridge commanded, as Master, a number of colonial vessels involved with the whaling/sealing trade, the South Sea Island trade, and the NSW coastal trade: the Elizabeth & Mary (1817-1820) and Campbell Macquarie (1818) to Macquarie Island, with provisions for the sealing gangs on the island; the King George to the Marquesas Islands (1817-1819) for the pork and sandalwood trade; the Midas to Van Diemens Land and Macquarie Island (1820-1822); and the St. Michael to Tonga, the Friendly Islands, NZ (1822-1823) and Van Diemens Land (1825).

During his last trip to Macquarie Island in command of the Elizabeth & Mary in 1820 Beveridge searched unsuccessfully (as did other ships commanders) for "Company Island," which had been marked on the charts for many years, in 49 S, 142 E (see Sydney Gazette 13 May 1820). The non-existent island was later expunged from the charts.

After working as master for the shipowner James Underwood for a number of years, Beveridge finally entered into partnership with James Cobb (as his agent in England) to form Beveridge & Co. in 1822. It was at this stage that he acquired ownership of the ship St. Michael (170 tons, 8 guns, crew of 30, and registered originally in Bordeaux, later Calcutta) for use in the South Sea Island trade.

In June 1826 Beveridge opened a Mercantile & Naval Academy at 16 Prince Street, Sydney, 'opposite the Military Hospital, commanding a View of the Town and Harbour...' where young Gentlemen could be boarded and educated in navigation, nautical astronomy and related maritime subjects.

Bateson, C. The Convict Ships 1787-1868. Glasgow: Brown, Son & Ferguson, 1959 pp.296-297, 308-309 and 330.

Cumpston, J. S. Shipping Arrivals and Departures Sydney, 1788-1825. Canberra: Roebuck, 1964.

Nicholson, I. H. Shipping Arrivals and Departures Sydney, 1826-1840 Vol.II. Canberra: Roebuck, 1977 p.7.

Nicholson, I. H. Shipping Arrivals and Departures Tasmania, 1803-1833 Vol.I. Canberra: Roebuck, 1983 p.44.

Nicholson, I. H. Gazetteer of Sydney Shipping 1788-1840. Canberra: Roebuck, 1981 pp.23, 114 and 129.

Parsons, R. Australian Shipowners and Their Fleets. Magill, South Aust.: Privately Printed, 1979 [See: Book 5, pp.11 and 75].

Sydney Gazette: 13 May 1820 p.3a; 10 June 1824 p.2a.

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