Launched: 20/04/1876
Completed: 1876
Builder: JT Eltringham, South Shields
Yard Number: 52
Dimensions: 156grt, 68nrt, 114.7 x 19.7 x 10.1ft
Engines: 2 x SL1cyl (30 x 50ins), 80nhp
Engines By: JP Rennoldson, South Shields
Propulsion: Paddle
Construction: Iron
Reg Number: 74905
1876 William Heselton, Whitby, Yorkshire
07/02/1877 William Heselton, Whitby, Yorkshire; registered at Sydney, NSW, Australia
28/02/1877 John & Thomas Fenwick, Sydney; mortgage held by William Heselton
17/01/1883 Wrecked
Comments: 13/09/1876: Left the Lizard under sails for Australia
12/01/1887: Arrived at Melbourne
26/01/1877: Arrived at Sydney
01/1877: Machinery refitted by Mort & Co at Sydney
07/03/1877: Arrived at Ballina
17/01/1883: Wrecked on the bar of the Richmond River, whilst attempting to rescue the PLATYPUS (33grt/1867)
Remains subsequently salvaged & her engines were installed in PROTECTOR (158grt/1884)
Notes: Francis Hixson RN was President of the Marine Board of New South Wales in the 1870s. In 1877 the ferry operator Thomas Heselton imported a new paddle tug, and for whatever reason named it after Captain Hixson. It was usual for the tugs of the era to run excursions on the weekends, and as seeking tugboats at other times.
The following news items are from the Sydney Morning Herald:
27/01/1877: FRANCIS HIXSON (s) 150 tons, Captain Heselton, from Shields via Melbourne in Ballast. Captain agent.
28/02/1877: The steam tug FRANCIS HIXSON has been disposed of by Captain Heselton to Fenwick Brothers of this city. The engines have just been fitted by Mort & Co and she made a successful engineer's trial on Saturday last. Her new owners intend placing her on the Richmond River.
08/03/1877: The steamer FRANCIS HIXSON, arrived at the Richmond River yesterday morning at 7 o'clock....left Sydney 05/03
23/02/1883: Registry closed
Thanks to Buster J Browne for the above details

     Above photo courtesy of Buster J Browne

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