The Lyons-Ryan Family of 'Ellendale', Marong, Victoria

Arrival of Patrick Lyons in Australia

The shipping records for the Ellenborough (the ship that brought the Ryan family to Australia) confirm that Patrick Lyons did not accompany the Ryans on that ship. It is believed that he emigrated separately in about 1853/54 aged about 21-22 years. This is based on his estimated date of birth of 1832, calculated from his age of 25 years when married on 28 April 1857 and on information on his death certificate (27 October 1911) that he died aged 78 years and had lived in Australia for 57 years.

A search of online records held by the State Archives of New South Wales and the Public Record Office, Victoria indicated that, while the are numerous records of persons named 'Patrick Lyons' arriving in the period of interest, only the following two records can be matched to the information in Patrick's marriage and death certificates:

Arrival on the Marco Polo: If the shipping record is correct. Patrick would have been 25 or 26 in 1857 and about 79 or 80 years old in 1911, which is reasonably consistent with information on his marriage and death certificates.

Arrival on the Lochiel: If the shipping record is correct. Patrick would have been 26 or 27 in April 1857 and about 80 or 81 years old in 1911, which is also reasonably consistent with information on his marriage and death certificates.

Although neither shipping record can be discounted, the arrival record for the Marco Polo matches the marriage and death information more closely and seems more likely to be correct. Information on both ships and their arrival in Australia is provided below.

The Marco Polo

Lloyds Register (1852) records that the Marco Polo was a sailing ship of 1400 tons built in 1851 and based in the Port of Liverpool.

The ship was a three-masted wooden clipper, launched at Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada. The ship carried emigrants and passengers to Australia on several voyages and was the first vessel to make the round trip from Liverpool in under six months (Wikipedia).

The Marco Polo
The Marco Polo
Public Domain image from Wikimedia Commons (File: StateLibQld 1 73487 Marco Polo (ship).jpg)

The following article from The Argus newspaper (30 May 1853) records the arrival of the Marco Polo at Hobsons Bay (part of Port Phillip Bay at present-day Williamstown) on the previous day, most likely including Patrick Lyons among its passengers.

The Marco Polo. - This renowned clipper ship arrived yesterday from Liverpool, having made the passage from that port to Hobson's Bay in seventy five days. Another laurel, to her already well-earned crown under the able command of Captain Forbes. She has on board seven hundred and fifty passengers, amongst whom not a single case of sickness has occurred; something unparalleled when so large a number of people are in so close contact. On the 24th April the Marco Polo passed and spoke the ship John Fielding, from Liverpool, bound to Moreton Bay, forty five days out; on the 26th ultimo passed and spoke the ship Eagle from Rio Janeiro, bound here; and a few days after the Erasmus, from London, likewise for this port. The Marco Polo has no cargo on board; but about £100,000 in specie for the Banks, and £50,000 for private hand. We might remark that the passage of this fine ship would have been shorter, but that from 13o N. to lat 3o S. twelve days were occupied, or nearly becalmed. We must furnish further particulars of this tomorrow, having intelligence of importance to occupy the columns of our present issue. We have ample files of English papers up to the 13th of March, inclusive thanks to Captain Forbes .

The Lochiel

Lloyds Register (1853) records that the Lochiel was a sailing ship of 863 tons built in 1852 and based in the Port of Liverpool (no image of this ship has been found).

The following article from the Argus newspaper (22 August 1853) records details of the Lochiel preparing for her departure from Liverpool on her maiden voyage to Melbourne, possibly including Patrick Lyons among its passengers.


The New Clipper Ship Lochiel - Amongst the vessels now loading in this port for Australia, the fine new clipper ship Lochiel challenges admiration, not only for the perfect symmetry of her model, but also for the excellent character of the arrangements on board for the accommodation and comfort or the passengers. The Lochiel is on her first voyage, and is one of the "White Star Line of Australian packets," belonging to Messrs Pilkington and Wilson. Her registered tonnage is 863 tons; her length, over all, 170 feet; her beam, 31 feet; and it is evldent, from her proportions, that her builder has had in view the production of a fast sailing, and, at the same time, a roomy vessel - in every respect a conveyance suitable for the trade for which she has been expressly designed. One of her most valuable recommendations is the fact that she is single-decked, and her passengers being thus accommodated all upon one floor, perfect ventilation can be more easily provided. She is, moreover, very lofty between decks, and affords to each passenger considerable more than the space prescribed by act of parliament. In her fitting-up the greatest llberality and care for the comfort and health of those on board, has been displayed by her owners; and every means adopted which their great experience could suggest. Berths are provided on her main deck for 300 passengers. She is well ventilated by side ports, in addition to which she has air shafts through her main deck, and neat companlon-ways leading between decks and fitted with skylights, both light and ventilation being thus secured. Her poop is set apart for first-class passengers, of which she has berths for about 30, with most comfortable accommodations; and a portion of this and of her deck house - the latter capable of carrying about 40 persons - is being fitted up with berths for families, for whose passage a small increased rate will be charged. The Lochiel is commanded by Captain Rogers, a perfect seaman, of above 25 years experience in his profession, and a gentleman whose affable attention to his passengers has been at all times exemplary. - Liverpool Paper.

An article in the Argus (22 August 1853) records the arrival of the Lochiel on 20 August 1853.

Another article in the Argus (25 August 1853) records a message of appreciation to the Commander of the Lochiel. The signatories to the message included a Patrick Lyons.

TO CAPTAIN THOMAS ROGERS, Commander of the ship Lochiel.

We, the undersigned passengers in the ship Lochiel, from Liverpool to Melbourne, Australia beg most respectfully to tender you our unanimous thanks for the uniform kindness we have experienced at your hands during the past voyage, and for the readiness you have shown In adopting every measure calculated to promote our comfort.

We would especially bear testimony to the ability and zeal you have manifested in navigating the ship during the whole of the voyage, and particularly your untiring efforts during a continuance of calms and baffling winds, notwithstanding which you have accomplished the voyage in the short space of eighty-six days - a fact which in itself speaks volumes.

We have also found the ship, in our opinion, to be first-class in her sailing qualities, and comfortable in heavy weather.

We deem it right here, also to testify to the efficiency displayed by your officers and crew in the execution of their duties.

We further beg to bear testimony to the excellent quality of the provisions, and to notice the regular and liberal manner in which they have been distributed.

With heartfelt wishes for your future welfare, we bid you an affectionate farewell.

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