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Death Ships

By Doug Limbrick - ISBN: 9781922594006

RRP: $39.95

Death Ships
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Author Bio

A graduate from the Australian National University, Canberra, Doug Limbrick worked for many years in social policy development, advice and evaluation. Authored many papers, reports, monographs and journal articles on social policy issues in areas such as poverty, disadvantage, housing and homelessness including international comparisons. Over the last 20 years has focused particularly on nineteenth-century Australian history with an emphasis on emigration to the colonies, including exploration of the reasons why people emigrated, the impact of the emigration process, the passage to the colonies, the ships and the arrival process. 

Death Ships

By Doug Limbrick - ISBN: 9781922594006

RRP: $39.95

This is the account of what took place on the Death Ships during the journey to the colonies...

In 1851, the discovery of gold in Australia had a huge and almost immediate impact on the colonies, as many went to seek their fortune. Shiploads of gold seekers sailed in from the United Kingdom and from around the world. Melbourne was inundated and thus became the world's busiest port...

In the colonies, industry and commerce came to a halt. The mills in Lancashire were forced to close due to a lack of Australian wool. And a desperate call was made to Britain for replacement labour...

British authorities located suitable emigrants, but normal transport ships were no longer available. Many ships were engaged in making money transporting gold seekers to Australia, while others lay abandoned in Port Phillip following desertion by the crew.

Out of Liverpool, the solution emerged.

Six very large North American-built ships became accessible; Wanata, Beejapore, Marco Polo, Shackamaxon, Ticonderoga and Bourneuf. They were quickly commissioned and departed in 1852 with nearly 5000 passengers on board.

This is the account of what took place on each vessel during the journey to the colonies...

"A work of veritable integrity and valued history that needed to be recorded concisely and honestly. A great piece of work..." Richard, Indie Books reviewer

“Death Ships” by Doug Limbrick is a well-researched and absorbing history of migration from England to Australia during the 1850s. The account focusses on six new ships, larger than those already transporting migrants. The first few chapters explain the state of affairs of the times, as relating to migration to the colonies, health issues and the discovery of gold in Australia.  Following this, a chapter is devoted to each of the six vessels, discussing construction details, on-board facilities for passengers, embarkation arrangements, the voyages to Australia and disembarkation troubles at the arrival ports. The Conclusion presents an informed analysis of issues relating to, and people responsible for the brief but tragic era addressed in the book. “Death Ships” is a valuable and readable contribution to the literature on Australian history. Hugh Allan (Author) review.

Also by Doug Limbrick

Colonial Artist ST Gill


SALA Death Ships Death Ships Maritime ACT Book of the Year - Doug Limbrick

Prime Ministers Awards - Death Ships NSW Premiers Award+39s - Death Ships

We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of Country throughout Australia and recognise their continuing connection to land, waters and culture.

We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging.

Industry Member of

Australian Publishers Association SPN