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                                                                                          The Lalla Rookh.

In the previous pages we mentioned that both Captain Hayes and Captain Harris were recorded as Captain's of this ship we now find that Captain Gardner is also listed as a Captain. Captain Gardner is the Captain of the Earl of Charlemont which sinks inside the Port Phillip heads, in 1853 and then the Captain sails, as a passenger, on the Madagascar. It now appears that there may be three ships operating in Australia using the same or similar name.  This situation is deserving of further consideration given the suspicion cast upon these people and this ship.

New Zealander, Volume 8, Issue 691, 27 November 1852, Page 2

Vessels in Harbour.

Lalla Rookh : ship, American whaler, 323 tons, Captain Gardner, arrived from whaling grounds- refitting. Bain and Burtt, agents.

The Maitland Mercury & Hunter River General Advertiser (NSW : 1843 - 1893), Saturday 17 January 1852, page National Library of Australia


In a late number of the The South Australian Register, we find the following:-"Some misgivings were entertained as to the safety of the gold sent to England in
ships insufficently armed; one suspicious fact was the talk of Sydney. Just before the Lalla Rookh sailed, a regular 'clipper' Yankee schooner, of 200 tons burden, mounting 12 long
gnns, and with a good stock of ammunition on board, entered the harbour, destitute of cargo of all kind, and sailed again the day after the Phonician, with £75,000 worth of gold on

board, left Sydney for England. What took her to Sydney, and took her away just at that particular time, is a question asked by many." This is such an interesting and exciting paragraph, that we feel sorry to be compelled to declare that it is all moonshine. The schooner now referred to was the Sophia, an American whaling schooner, which arrived at Port Jackson on the 28th October, with 40 barrels of sperm oil ; she had, as is usual with such vessels, three or four guns ; as to the " good stock of ammunition" we know
nothing about it, and we suspect the gobe mouche who has sent this stupid rumour flying through the world is in the same predicament.

Instead of her sailing the day after the Phonician she was in port a month after her. The Phonician sailed on November 11th, and the
Sophia, for California, on December 12th. We believe the origin of the report to have been that "somebody" said that if a vessel like the Sophia had some guns concealed in her hold,
and were to follow a ship with a quantity of gold, she could take it from her ; and this idle and foolish remark has been added to and " improved," until it has gained the shape
which has induced our southern contemporary to give it publicity, and which being calculated to excite alarm and apprehension, we have thought​ it a duty to set the matter right.- S. Al.

As is indicated in the story above it appears to be a made up story. However we have placed Bully Hayes in port at this time and it is clear that popular stories are being created about the possibility of taking over a gold ship. This story appears to predict the fate of the Madagascar.

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