I have, as have other researchers, been looking for articles, details and photos of the clipper ship "William Miles".
One of my many forays on the Web brought me to several references - some found by Google, others offered on the New-Zealand-List and in particular Ron Mapplebeck of TEESSHIPS. Here are some results of those site searches and correspondence. Here is one picture of the earlier, smaller vessel.

The information here has been gathered and published by others. This is simply a compilation focussed on the ships which bore the name "William Miles". I believe this page will help researchers distinguish between the vessels and remove any confusion as they come across them in their specific research. If you have more to offer, observe errors or ommissions, please contact me.

There is a lot of commentatory reading here. Many of the details become confused among the commentators. It is important that you check all primary and secondary sources when following leads in your research.
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This was a small vessel of about 577 tons built 1808.
It seems from some references, this ship was "re-built" in 1816 although that is not the word used. Its original 324 tons was increased to 577. The various texts talk about the two builds in the same context, so it is not really clear what refers to which.

Here is the source of a picture of the 1808 / 1816 vessel:-
MAC GREGOR, David Roy - Merchant Sailing Ships, 1775-1815 - Sovereignty of Sail (Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, Maryland, USA, 1988) - copy held by the State Library of Victoria at ref. SF387.224 M17M. Page 114 - picture - "sailing vessel; built 1808; 577 tons; 3 masts; built at Bristol by J. M. HILHOUSE - lines plan."

The photograph's caption reads:-
"Fig 130. Photograph of the second William Miles, built at Bristol in 1816, originally as a ship of 324 tons. The tumblehome, bluff entrance, and open bow port can be clearly seen. (Nautical Photo Agency)"

This detail was obtained by purchasing the services of
Nick Vinehall at www.vinehall.com.au/ and Bruce Garner at http://genealogyPro.com/garners-genealogy.html
From EricWalker in his story about John GALL, we can read this paragraph from an incredible story about the Scottish Convict who was sent to Van Dieman's Land.
                    (Permission granted by Eric Wm. Walker. 25-7-2002).

"A report on John's conduct on the Hulk at Aberdeen was described as "disorderly". He was moved South to Downs in England and was put aboard the prison ship "William Miles", an ocean going Convict Transport ship of 581 tons which was built at Bristol in 1808, Class E1, the ship's Master was G. Sampson. The ship sailed from Downs, England on 24th March 1828 carrying a full crew and 192 convicted men. Seven of the convicts died during the voyage. The "William Miles" made landfall at Hobart, Tasmania, on 29th July 1828. This was a fast run indeed as some ships took over seven months for the same voyage. "
At this www.wellcome.ac.uk/ site there are two pages in relation to Maritime Medicine:-
Local History: Manuscripts relating to specific areas, outside London - | - Archives and Manuscripts. =======================
  • Ship's surgeon: journal compiled by the surgeon of the East India Company vessel "William Miles", including description of passing the Devil's Punch Bowl at Hindhead, Surrey, in 1820 (p.258). 1819-1821. (MS.7114).
  • Ship's surgeon: journal compiled by the surgeon of the East India Company vessel "William Miles", including description of a visit to Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight in summer 1820. 1819-1821. (MS.7114).
  • Anonymous ship's surgeon: journal on board East India company vessel "William Miles", 1819-21 MS 7114 ======================

  • From this "SEAMEN and THEIR SHIPS in Jamaican Registers" site, there is this burial.
    [Sailor], BU 3/3/1816, Hanover, the old church; sailor belonging to the "William Miles", of Bristol.

    At (c)Meryl YOST's wonderful convict site CONVICT SHIPS_W she has compiled:-
                  (Permission granted by Meryl YOST. 26-7-2002).

    "William Miles", One voyage only - Male convicts on board.

    Departed 24 Mar 1828 from Downs
    Arrived Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) 29 Jul 1828
    Source: AOT

    Arrived 29 Jul 1828, barque, 581 ton, built at Bristol in 1808, Class E1, Master Jn. G. Sampson, Surgeon E. Johnston, sailed 24 Mar 1828 from Downs, voyage 127 days. Embarked with 192 male convicts, 7 deaths, 185 landed at Hobart.
    Source: Bateson

    Arrived Hobart 29/30 Jul 1828, Ship, 581 ton, first voyage, Master Jn T/G Si/ampson, departed London 24 Mar 1828, Downs, 127 days, 185/190 male prisoners landed, Surgeon Superintendant A/E Johns(t)on RN, Guard: Lt Kirkley & det 39th incl Ensign Farmer, passenger Mrs K. - The ship's arrival was reported in Hobart Town Courier and Colonial Advocate.
    Source: Nicholson.
    LOG of LOGS
    Vol 1, Ian NICHOLSON - ISBN 0-7316-6534-1
    Roebuck Society Publication No 41
    A Catalogue of of Logs, Journals, Shipboard Diaries, Letters, and all forms of of Voyage narratives, 1788 to 1988 for Australia and New Zealand and surrounding Oceans.

    "William Miles", Page 591
    1828 - Bark/CT, 581, Jn SAMPSON: Lon,24.3-Downs- HTn,29.7 with 185 Male convicts. +Surgeon journal *AJCP PRO reel 3213.
    1860 - Same? Barque. England, 6.5 - Lyttelton, 19.8. (+see "Chrysolite"//for return. +log by W'm Miles MASKELL * ATL, MAS 1860-63.
    Ian was correct to doubt his finding of the 1860 voyage to be the same vessel as the 1828 voyage. They are different ships. {BEP}

    Bob Sanders 1881 census for Kent.
                        (Permission granted by R.H. Sanders. 25-7-2002)
    1881 Census - SHIPS IN PORT IN THE UK.
    Cliffe, Kent
    	               Marr   Age Sex	Birthplace
    Vessel:	"William Miles"	
    Joseph ROBINSON 	M	31 M	Newhaven, Sussex, England	Master
    Edward NOTON	        U	31 M	Sunderland, Durham, England	Chief Mate
    Philip HOUGHTON	        U	23 M	Bristol, Gloucester, England	Boatswain
    John BULL	        U	21 M	Bristol, Gloucester, England	Cook & Steward
    Evan DAVIES	        U	43 M	Pontardulias, Glamorgan, Wales	Able Seaman
    William ROWE	        U	18 M	Newhaven, Sussex, England	A B Seaman
    John ROBERTS	        U	26 M	Bangor, Caernarvon, Wales	A B Seaman
    Hough MC DONALD 	U	26 M	Inverness, New Zealand  	A B Seaman
    John BARCLEY	        W	56 M	Greenock, Lanark, Scotland	A B Seaman
    Rees JONES	        U	45 M	Swansea, Glamorgan, Wales	A B Seaman
    George Henry BUTLER	U 	17 M	Littlehampton, Sussex, England	Apprentice
    Charles Alfred MURRAY	U 	16 M	Bognor, Sussex, England 	Apprentice
    James Wm. C. BENNETT	U 	16 M	Wick, Sussex, England    	Apprentice
    At WRECKS by Bob Sanders, we can read:-
                        (Permission granted by R.H. Sanders. 25-7-2002)
  • At midnight on 8 August 1883 the barque "William Miles" stranded near Porthcawl harbour and on the next day broke up and sank. The Porthcawl Lifeboat (Chafyn Grove) went out twice in heavy seas rescuing the master's wife and one other on the first trip and the master and the remaining ten crew on the second.
    Source:- Wrecks from the book "Wreck and Rescue in the Bristol Channel"

  • More on the foundering of the little ship.
    ShipwreckRon@aol.com wrote:
    < Hi Ron
    < Found out the William Miles was registered at the port of London, she
    < was a wooden Barque of 572-tons at the time of her stranding on
    < 9-8-1883 she was 67 years old!!!!
    < Her master was  J. Laughlan and she was owned by  G. Robinson of
    <  Littlehampton  On route from Havre for Swansea in ballast, crew of 11 no casualties,
    <  she was last surveyed in November 1882, lost on Portcawl sands, Bristol Channel.
    The age of 67 years from 1883 makes the build as 1816. {BEP}.
    More on the life of the little ship.
    "William Miles", built in 1816 at Bristol. 
    Rig ship, material wood.  
    Fitted with single topsails, single top-gall, royals.
    Owners Miles & Co. Bristol. 
    1853 sold to j. de Wolf & Co. Liverpool. 
    1854 lengthened.
    1864 resold to G&J Robinson, Littlehampton.  
    Registered at London Reg. Ton 572
    9.8/83, wrecked in Bristol Channel.
    This was sent to a correspondent by e-mail 
    archives@nmgmarchives.demon.co.uk (Archives).   ref to quote 99/651.

    I believe the image offering at www.vinehall.com.au/ will be of the earlier, smaller, Convict ship of 1828.

    This ship built in 1854 was twice the size of its precessor at 1224 tons.
    Gilbert PROVOST of Webruler Genealogy, Ships and Wine, has this offering:-
    WILLIAM MILES - 1854/1860
    Captain W. Thompson (1854); Captain P. Erwin (1859); Captain W. Lilley (1860).
    Ship; sheathed in felt and yellow metal in 1854 & 1856; fastened with iron bolts.
    1,227 tons using old measurements and 1,224 tons using new measurements.
    1853 in Quebec, using Oak, Pine, Birch, Elm, Spruce & Tamarack
    Miles & Co.
    Port of registry:
    Port of survey:
    sailed for New Orleans (1854); Australia (1859); Lyttelton, N.Z.(1860)
    LOG of LOGS
    Vol 2, Ian NICHOLSON - ISBN 0-646-09182-4
    Roebuck Society Publication No 47
    A Catalogue of Logs, Journals, Shipboard Diaries, Letters, and all forms of of Voyage narratives, 1788 to 1993 for Australia and New Zealand and surrounding Oceans.

    William Miles. Page 574
    1860 - bark, 1224t, (b.1853):
    Eng,c.6.5- Dunedin/Lyttelton, 19/8 +Diary by James COWIE: +Documents of Eugene DITELY re passage, *Canterbury Museum Archives Dept, Rolleston Ave, Christchurch, NZ.
    - - - - -

    LOG of LOGS
    Vol 3, Ian NICHOLSON - ISBN 0-9585232-0-7 1999.
    Roebuck Society Publication No 52
    A Catalogue of of Logs, Journals, Shipboard Diaries, Letters, and all forms of of Voyage narratives, 1788 to 1998 for Australia and New Zealand and surrounding Oceans.

    William Miles. Page 468.
    1860-61 - barque, 1224t, (b 1853):
    Voyage England to Lyttelton: +Diary of Agnes Anna WILLIS, May '60 - Jan '61, *ATL, MS-Papers-25665.
    1862 - Same barque:
    On a voyage, from London to New Zealand: +Journal of Joseph ROGERS, 16.8 - 18.10, * Auck City Library, NZMS 898.
    1864 - Same barque:
    Voyage from London, 7.7, to Lyttelton, 22.10.64: +Diary of D. McLAREN and M.McADAM, *ATL, Ref:MSX-2904.
    - - - - - .

    Ron Mapplebeck [ronald.mapplebeck@virgin.net] offered me this.

    There are some details about East India Company at: http://www.mariners-l.freeserve.co.uk/EICintro.htm.
    However, from this it seems the company was wound up by 1858 which predates the time in which you are interested.

    One can access the free subscription mailing list for Mariners' List through: http://www.mariners-l.freeserve.co.uk/
    However, they deal only with ancestors who were mariners and I suspect yours were passengers.

    If so, the list one should try for fuller details of the WILLIAM MILES and voyages, etc. is TheShipsList at http://www.theshipslist.com/index.html
    Click on email lists for how to subscribe - free again.

    Visit Ron Mapplebeck's TEESSHIPS site         or try         TEESMARITIME Yahoo! group.

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