The Deptford shipyard on the Williams River, NSW

Friday 14 September

Chief investigator Mark Staniforth recently spent five days (5-10 September 2012) conducting research in Sydney and at Clarence Town on the Williams River in NSW. Mark spent a day in the Mitchell Library looking at the Mitchell Map collection for early maps of the Clarence Town area and then a day at Records NSW where he consulted the insolvency records. The visit to the Clarence Town and District Historical Museum proved useful as it revealed information about the early history of Clarence Town and the Deptford shipyard where William Lowe is believed to have built the schooner Clarence.

William Lowe in later life

The wetdock at Deptford shipyard on the Williams River, NSW The front steps of William Lowe’s house at Deptford shipyard, NSW

The wetdock built into the bank of the Williams River by Lowe and Marshall in 1831 still exists and the steps of the house where Lowe died in 1878 are also visible on the 10-acre property that was once called “Deptford”. Lowe was buried in the Presbyterian section of the Clarence Town General cemetery and memorial stones for Lowe, his two sons and his first wife are still there in the cemetery. Thanks to Ian Lyall, Peter & Dorne Doolan, Digby & Lyn Rayward, Ross Sly and Justine Thompson for their assistance and gracious hospitality.