the export era

1843 ST. HELIERS

First export of beef, wool, mutton hams, wattle bark sent to England

The ability to secure markets for the array of goods that they turned out locally remained an important part of the Imlays’ Twofold Bay activities. To this end, in addition to their export trade with Sydney, Hobart, Launceston, South Australia and New Zealand, they also turned their eyes towards the potential of the mother country

Thus, on approximately 18 December 1843 they despatched the 134-ton schooner St. Heliers from Boyd Town, Twofold Bay, loaded with a cargo of colonial produce that included 289 tierces of beef, 18 puncheons 14 tons of tallow, 1 tun of neats – foot oil, 9 kegs of tongues, 1 keg of marrow, 3 hogsheads of extract of wattle bark (tannin), 45 bales of wool, 3,500 sheep pelts, 5,000 mutton hams, 310 ox hides, 600 horns, 12 tons of bone and 2,400 hoofs. The ship arrived at Gravesend, England, on 6 April 1844, reportedly “…the first instance of a vessel being despatched from Twofold Bay to any port in the mother country.”

However, although some of the produce would undoubtedly have found a ready market, aspects of the cargo were found entirely unfit by the time they reached their destination. A writer from London noted that “Mutton hams, if we are to judge by the shipment now landed ex St. Helier [sic], from Twofold Bay, will be quite as bad a remittance, it not worse. The lots to which I refer per St Helier [sic] were inconsiderately put on board in bulk, and, from tossing about in the ship’s hold, and I suspect from imperfect curing, on arrival were found completely worthless.”

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