Sister ship of Changsha I
December 31st. 1889. Grounded on the Royal Captain Reef, South China sea, 100 miles off the West coast of Palawan. Vessel holed in for'd hold. Refloated, temporary repairs carried out in Manila. On arrival Hong Kong, permanent repairs carried out.
Aug. 1912. Sold with the "Changsha I" to G.S.Yuill & Co. -- Australian Oriental Line., same history.
Aug. 1920. Transferred to Hong Kong registry.
Mid March 1923. Suffered serious damage and holed when it struck Naves Rock outside Bowen, Qld. Towed to Sydney where repairs carried out.
1925. Replaced by Australian Oriental Line's new "Taiping".
Aug 20th 1925. Final sailing from Melbourne. Arrived in Shanghai on Oct. 19th, discharged cargo then proceeded to Japan for breaking up.
Built for the Australian service.
- TAIYUAN 1888.
- (First Voyage)
- Evening Post Wellington. 12th July 1888. Taiyuan left Foochow 23rd June.
- Evening Post 14th July. Taiyuan, 2500 tons, from Foochow arrived in harbour at 4 pm.
- Evening Post 16th July. THE SS. TAIYUAN, FROM FOOCHOW. The China. Navigation Co.'s steamer Taiyuan, Captain Varden (late of the Woosung) which arrived as we went to press on Saturday, reports having left Foochow on the 24th June, and throughout the voyage experienced adverse weather. She brought a cargo of tea and sugar, but no passengers. The Taiyuan is a very fine steamer, and a large carrier, with a small consumption of coal. Her passenger accommodation is quite equal to that of any vessel coming here. The Taiyuan has a crew of 11 Europeans and 59 Chinese. Her officers are chief mate, H. C. D. Frampton, second, J. Cameron third, W. E. Baum-Gartner, chief engineer, J. Bibby, surgeon. H.E.N. Dobie, purser, H. S. Bishop. Johnston & Co. are agents for the steamer.
- 19th July. Taiyuan departed Wellington for Lyttelton
- 20th July. Taiyuan arrives Lyttelton.
- The Press. 21st July. Taiyuan s.s., 1459 tons, Varden, from Foochow, via Wellington. Chrystall and Co, agents
- Imports: 53 cases Japan ware, 2040 bags rice, 1900 bags sugar, 6110 chests and cases tea, 14 pkgs merchandise.
- The China Navigation Company's s.s. Taiyuan arrived in port at 11.30 a.m. yesterday, and was moored to the Gladstone Pier, where she discharges her cargo of tea. Mr H S. Bishop, her purser, reports leaving Foochow on June 24th at 11 a.m., experiencing winds of a contrary character, S.E. prevailing, with high head seas and occasional heavy squalls of wind and rain. On the 9th inst. the wind veered a little, and up to arrival at Wellington on July 14th fine weather set in. She left Wellington at 12.30 p.m. on the 19th, arriving here as above, having experienced head wind and sea throughout. At noon today she steams for Dunedin. The Taiyuan is a fine clipper-looking vessel, and has splendid accommodation for all classes of passengers—first, second, third, and fourth. The first saloon is situated amidships, and is luxuriously fitted, the floor being laid down in mosaic tiles of exquisite design. The sleeping berths are large and spacious. The second and third cabins are aft, and the fourth class forward. She is eighteen months old, and this is her first trip to New Zealand waters, she having made previous voyages to Australia. She was built by Messrs Scott and Co., of Greenock, in 1886, her length being 315 ft, beam 38ft, depth 23ft. Captain Alfred Varden, who was here previously in the same Company's s.s. Woosung, is in command, and he has associated with him Mr H.E.D. Frampton, jchief officer; Mr J. Cameron, second; Mr W. E. B. Gartnor, third. Mr J. Bibby is chief engineer, and Mr H. E. N. Dobby surgeon.
- 21st July. Taiyuan departes for Dunedin.
- Exports. For Hong Kong. 13 cases old metal, 28 casks horse shoes, 935 do. 37 bales zinc, 3 casks glass, 13 bales fungus.
- 22nd July. Taiyuan arrives Dunedin.
- Imports. 10358 boxes, 5956 half chests, 325 chests, 25 cases tea. 1 piano, 3 packages chinaware, 1 do clothing, 11 parcels.
- Otago Daily Times. 23rd July. ARRIVAL OF THE S.S. TAIYUAN.
- The Taiyuan, one of the China Navigation Company's latest addition to their splendid fleet, arrived at Port Chalmers at 0.30 p.m. yesterday, and steamed up the harbour to Dunedin under the charge of Pilot McDonald. The Taiyuan is without doubt a very handsome vessel, and is luxuriously fitted up for the accommodation of passengers. Her hull is very symmetrical; the overhanging bow, and the slope of the masts and funnel give her a rakish appearance, as though she were something more than a merchantman, she has been partitioned off into watertight apartments, is double bottomed, and due provision has been made for water ballast. The length of keel and forerake is 315 ft 21in, her beam is 38ft 2in, while the depth of hold is 23ft 8in. There is a full poop 45ft in length, a bridge or citadel deck 102 ft long, and a topgallant forecastle 42ft long The Taiyuan is built of steel, and was launched In September 1886 from the yards of Messrs Scott & Co, Carsdyke, Greenock. The gross measurement is 2263 tons, the net register 1459 tons, and the space under deck 1954 tons. She is propelled by powerful engines of the triple expansion class, which were also constructed by Messrs Scott and Co., the diameter of the cylinders being respectively 25 in, 40 in, and 60 in, with a length of stroke of 48 in; the boilers are 400 horse power nominal, and 2000 horse power indicated. The saloon is the whole width of the vessel, and is panelled with polished woods maple, mahogany and teak predominating. Light and air are admitted through the large side ports, and from a large handsome skylight. The floor is laid with ceramic tiles, and the mosaic work is beautifully executed. All the first class accommodation is situated under the bridge house and forward of the engine room. There is a special cabin for ladies, and adjoining their bath is a boudoir, tastefully fitted with lounges, &o. The second-class passengers are accommodated in the poop, and very comfortable quarters are provided for them; whilst underneath this compartment are quarters for the third-class passengers. The Taiyuan is also fitted with refrigerating apparatus; she carries full complement of steel lifeboats, and is fitted with all the most recent labour saving appliances. She is commanded by Captain Varden, a gentleman well and favourably known here when in command of the ss. Woosung. The staff is composed of the following gentlemen;- Chief officer, Mr H. C. D. Frampton; second. Mr J. Cameron; third, Mr W. E. Baumgartner (late of the R.M.S. Rimutaka) Mr J. Bibby is in charge of the engine room, Mr H. B. N. Dobie is surgeon, and Mr H. S. Bishop is purser. She brings a crew of 11 Europeans and 59 Chinese, and is consigned to Messrs Neill and Co, (Limited), of this city, and brings a large quantity of the new season's teas from Foochow. She left Foochow on June 24, and throughout the passage experienced a succession of adverse weather, arrived at Wellington on the afternoon of the 14th inst., discharged part of cargo and left again on the evening of the 19th inst. and arrived at Lyttelton next day, discharged part cargo and left again at 5.30 p.m. on Saturday, arriving as above.
- Otago Daily Times 25th July. Taiyuan will be clear of cargo this morning. She will load grain at this port and Lyttelton for Sydney.
- Otago Daily Times 29th July. Taiyuan sails for Sydney via Lyttelton and Wellington. Passengers, Mr Roberts and 4 steerage.
- A Celestial named Ah Mong, one of the crew of the Chinese vessel Taiyuan, was bowled out, at Dunedin, in a neat attempt at smuggling on Saturday evening. He was being searched on leaving the vessel by Mr Burn (of the Customs Department) and Constable Crawford, and as his extremities seemed remarkably solid, he was asked to strip. No fewer than eighty-two cigars were then discovered neatly stowed away between his stockings and trousers and about his boots. As the vessel was about to leave, Mr Chamberlain allowed the culprit to go with her, the chief officer announcing his intention of making the man pay a fine of 40s for his escapade.
- 30th July. Taiyuan arrives Lyttelton.
- The Press. 31st July. The steamship Taiyuan, which leaves Lyttelton to-day for China, via Wellington and Sydney, has on board fifty-two Chinese, who are returning to the Flowery Land. Of these forty-seven are from Dunedin, and the balance from Lyttelton. She takes others from Wellington, and it is anticipated that when she leaves New Zealand she will have over one hundred.
- Exports; For Sydney 528 sacks onions, 4 kegs honey, 36 do lard, 5546 sacks pototoes, 1661 do oats, 60 do swedes, 404 do turnips, 28 cases cheese, 153 sacks barley, 500 do wheat, 15 kegs butter. 60 sacks flour, 40 do peas, 288 do bran, 73 do sharps. For Maryborough 4 cases bacon, 4 do cheese. For Brisbane 6 casks pork. In total some 900 tons produce.
- 1st August. Taiyuan departs Lyttelton for Wellington.
- 2nd August. Taiyuan arrives Wellington. 7.15am.
- 4th August. Taiyuan departs for Sydney and Hongkong. Passengers: Second Cabin Messrs Cowan, Fryer, Walker, M'Loughton and Kilner: steerage- 83 Chinese.
Events / Stories
The following article appeared in the "Hong Kong Telegraph" on the 9th. November 1894.
S.S."Taiyuan" Under Fire.
That the French are actually desirous of picking a quarrel with Great Britain is a matter open to grave doubt, but in the light of various recent events it would seem as if, throwing prudence to the wind, France were anxious to again measure her strength with "perfidious Albion." And the action of the commander of the French cruiser "Forfait" in firing two shots across the bows of the British steamer "Taiyuan" (Captain Nelson in command) on Saturday last, on the high seas presumably because the British vessel omitted to pay the usual courtesy of dipping her flag to a foreign war vessel, certainly appears most unjustifiable. The facts of the case are, we understand, as follows:- About 5.30 a.m. on the 20th. October the S.S."Taiyuan", then on her way from Japan to Hong Kong, overtook the French cruiser "Forfait" about 250 miles to the North of Hong Kong. About 11'o'clock the "Forfait", then about six miles on the port quarter, hauled over towards the starboard quarter. About 1 o'clock the cruiser fired one of her small guns, which the captain of the "Taiyuan" took no notice of, and 5 minutes later a larger gun was fired and a shot whizzed past the "Taiyuan's" bow. Captain Nelson ordered the engines to be reduced to half speed and hoisted the signal:- "What do you want", to which the cruiser replied "Show your ensign". The British ensign was displayed up and the signal hoisted:- "Is that all you want", and received an answer in the affirmative. Thw ensign was displayed all that day and the night following in order that the crew of the French vessel might enjoy a good look at it. The "Taiyuan" then continued her voyage at full speed, leaving the cruiser astern.
What reason the commander of the "Forfait" had for his extremely high-handed and totally illegal action is not yet known, but no doubt a thoroughly satisfactory explanation will be demanded by the British Government. It is greatly to be regretted that at a critical time like the present such an incident should have occurred, and while we can find no excuse for Captain Realoux's (of the "Forfait") quite unwarranted and grossly offensive interference with a British merchant steamer on the high seas, we are at a loss to understand for what reason Captain Nelson, or the officer of the watch, omitted to exhibit the courtesy, which is invariably shown on all British vessels with pretensions to a representative character towards the warships of a friendly nation.''
TAIYUAN AGROUND. Auckland Star. 25th March.1889.'
The China Navigation Company's steamer Taiyuan has arrived at Sydney from Hong Kong, and brings particulars of her recent narrow escape from wreck while en route on her last trip from Wellington to China. The vessel, it seems, had safely cleared the Torres Straits, and was ploughing her way through the Palawan Channel, when, without any warning, she struck heavily on the Royal Captain Reef. The shock is described as being something terrible, and for a time considerable excitement prevailed on board. Captain Varden, the commander, at once ordered the boats out, and so dangerous did the ship's position seem that orders were given to stand by to leave the ship at any moment. To make matters worse, the tide left the ship high and dry on the rocks on her beam ends, and to all appearances she was a total wreck. Captain Varden, however, determined to stand by and try and save the ship, and for five days worked incessantly, the result being that the vessel came off and was enabled to proceed to Manila, where she was temporarily repaired prior to proceeding to Hongkong. Some 500 tons of sugar had to be jettisoned to get the vessel afloat. During the time the vessel was ashore the crew suffered greatly from exposure, being compelled to sleep for live nights in the ship's boats. At Hongkong the vessel was docked and thoroughly overhauled. Some 40 new plates had to be fitted, and this, with other repairs and the delay occasioned thereby, cost the Company about £20,000. The Taiyuan had a number of Chinese passengers on board when she went ashore, and they behaved well and rendered excellent service in getting the vessel afloat.