Archive for August, 2017

150 years of the Shipping Forecast

August 24, 2017

Darwin’s Captain, Captain Fitzroy of HMS  Beagle, introduced the Shipping Forecast in 1867 in his later career.


It was introduced several years after the Royal Charter Storm losses in 1859, the a month before the publication of Darwin’s Origin of Species on 22 November 1859.

“On the night of 25th/26th October 1859 a severe and slow moving storm struck the British Isles. It was considered to be the most severe storm to hit the Irish Sea in the 19th century. The storm depression was first noted in the Bay of Biscay near Cape Finisterre on 24th – 25th. The centre progressed northwards over Britain from Cornwall to the Yorkshire Coast and the strongest winds in the system developed as a rather narrow stream from the N or NNE over the Irish Sea. The winds reached hurricane force 12 on the Beaufort Scale and were estimated at well over 100mph. Wind speeds recorded in the Mersey were higher than any previously recorded.

The storm took 800 lives and 133 ships with a further 90 badly damaged. Twice as many people were lost at sea around the British Isles than in the whole of 1858.

The most famous ship to founder during the night was the steam clipper Royal Charter, which foundered on the north coast of Anglesey. The ship was on the last leg of her two month journey from Melbourne to Liverpool. She was one of the fastest and most famous emigrant ships operating during the years of the Australian Gold Rush and could carry up to 600 passengers and some cargo.”   Source: Met Office website

Some lovely Fitzroy and  150th anniversary  material on the Met Office site

Winds light to variable …Winds light to variable …

Posted by Mark Norris, Darwin 200 stamp project.