Hinchinbrook and Francis Freeling

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The Hinchinbrook appeared with an American privateer on a Turks and Caicos Island stamp, part of a set of old ships, in 1973
The Francis Freeling, named after Sir Francis Freeling, who was Secretary of the Post Office at the time

The year 1811 saw the addition of two extra sailing packets on the Channel Island station, the Hinchinbrook, commanded by Captain Thomas Quirk, and the Francis Freeling under the command of Captain Pipon.

These vessels were built in 1811 for their owners and captains and were of 90 tons, with a four reef mainsail, double reef foresail and a storm jib.


The Hinchinbrook and Francis Freeling ran for 15 years, until, on 2 February 1826, the Hinchinbrook was was sailing past Alderney towards Guernsey in fine weather when she struck a submerged rock near Longy, Alderney, and rapidly filled with water and sank. The 17 passengers and 7 crew were saved, also the mails, which were taken to Guernsey by the cutter Experiment. At a later enquiry Captain Quirk was held responsible for an error of judgment and pensioned off two months later at the age of 67.

Francis Freeling

On the night of 6 September 1826, nearly seven months later, the Francis Freeling was crossing the Channel on a particularly dark and stormy night when she was run down by a Swedigh brig, who failed to see her before they collided. All nine crew and seven passengers were lost and over 100 children are said to have lost their fathers in the incident. The mails were lost and the wreckage was later washed up on the Dorsetshire coast.

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