Harriet McGregor


Nathaniel Oldham, 'Harriet McGregor under full sail', c 1880 (W.L. Crowther Library, SLT)

Harriet McGregor was the most famous of the 'blue gum clippers' built at Hobart during a resurgence of shipbuilding in the 1870s. The 339-ton barque was built at the Domain shipyard of her owner Alexander McGregor in 1871, and named after his wife, the former Harriet Bayley. British surveyors who minutely investigated the standard of her construction after her maiden voyages gave her an A1 classification with Lloyds of London for nine years restoring the reputation of Tasmanian-built vessels after the Harpley debacle of twenty years earlier. The Harriet McGregor remained locally owned and traded between Hobart and London, with occasional voyages to other Australian ports and Mauritius, until 1895. She was sold to Danish owners, renamed Water Queen, and was destroyed by fire at Rio de Janeiro shortly afterwards.

Graeme Broxam