Labouchere, 1858
This 1858 despatch reports that the HBC steamer Labouchere will start from the port of London on Thursday morning the 2nd [September] for Vancouver Island. By 1859, it had arrived on the coast and began work as a trade vessel, and it was a skookum craft, indeed, built of Baltic oak and teak, and, no doubt, imposing at over 61 m in length.1 Labouchere was driven by a large paddle wheel, the engine for which could generate a respectable 180 horse power.2
Greater drama precluded the Labouchere's demise. It was refit in 1856, at considerable cost, for mail service between Vancouver Island and San Francisco, but on its first run it ran onto a reef in a fog near San Francisco.3 It reversed off the reef but soon flooded beyond hope, and in the scramble for the lifeboats Captain Mouatt was forced to shoot a man who had attempted to board a lifeboat before the women.4
Victoria's Daily British Colonist newspaper reported that Eliza brought news of the total loss of the Labouchere in April of 1866, which, the paper adds, is an announcement not so melancholy in its nature or so important to the interests of mankind as this same ship's news that President Lincoln had been assassinated.5
Mentions of this vessel in the documents