Schooner Supply information 1832 to ??

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    Peter. H. King

    I am researching the history of the schooner Supply, built at Shoreham in 1832 for the Ballastage Office of the Corporation for the Preservation and Improvement of Dublin Harbour (later to become the Commissioners of Irish Lights).
    The vessel was sold in 1850 to Captain George Hoseason in Liverpool, who took her out to Sydney, where she was again sold, this time to Fairclough, Randall and Smith, who used her in their coconut oil trade to the Gilbert Islands. I have a copy of Fairclough’s Journal covering this period (which makes interesting comparison with my Letters on Voyage on the same trade 120 years later!).
    Supply was again sold in January 1854 to Captain Benjamin Franklin Chapman, an American domiciled in Papeete and trading under the name Turner, Chapman Mercantile. She left Sydney for Tahiti on 25 January 1854, and there the trail stops.
    There is one depiction of the schooner which appears on a 1990 Kiribati 60c stamp. Design of the stamp was by Ernst Nesbit, and printing was by the House of Queda. Beyond that, I can source no provenance – was the depiction an artist’s impression, produced from plans, or copied from a contemporary painting of the schooner?
    H.E.Maude claimed that a painting of her was displayed in the Union Club, Sydney, but enquiries to the club have yielded nothing – I suspect the reference was to the First Fleet Supply.
    Any information, advice or reasearch leads which SNR members may be able to give would be sincerely appreciated. I am particularly interested in establishing the trading pattern of the schooner after she went to Tahiti, and also her life as a lighthouse tender, 1834-1850. Also, any information on the artist, Ernst Nesbit [would be appreciated]. Apparently the House of Queda has been absorbed into the de la Rue group without archive transfer.
    Peter King

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