In April 1863, on the 18th the Cambrian was advertised as preparing to sail for Southampton, it was the first voyage of Captain Baynton as master.   It would seem his appointment was a temporary one, possibly a positioning one for his name is not again mentioned in advertisements until the 12th of December 1863 when he is master of the Dane, now out of the mail fleet and relegated to coastal duties, loading for Algoa Bay and Natal.   The Dane remained on the South African coast until at least the mid part of 1864 with Edward Baynton as master when she may have made another voyage to England for in December she is back in Cape Town, loading for Natal but with Captain Smith as master.

Edward Baynton I suspect for a while was a relief master, for on Saturday 10th of June 1865 he is in command of the Anglian loading for England whilst in November he is master of the Saxon at anchor in Table Bay.   Also at anchor, loading for Mauritius was the Athens and Dane.  Edward Baynton was to witness one of the company’s great tragedies.   On the 17th of December a great north westerly gale blew up, of the twenty odd ships in the bay only eight survived, the Dane and Saxon amongst them but not the Athens.   Parting her anchor chain her master Captain Smith signalled he was going to sail out of the bay.  

With the loss of the Athens and death of her master there must have been a general reorganisation of the fleet.  

In August 1866 Captain Baynton is in command of a new ship, the Celt. Exactly how long Baynton was on the Celt I cannot say but on the 7th of October 1876 Commodore Baynton is advertised in the Cape Argus in command of the Nubian

Captain Baynton commanded the R.M.S. "DANUBE" on her maiden voyage in 1872 (Ships and South Africa p.278 by Marischal Murray)

In 1877 when Master of Nubian Captain Baynton’s conduct was subject to a letter from Donald Currie addressed to the Chairman and Directors of the Union Steam Ship Co. Ltd.

In the letter Currie complains that when his steamer, Windsor Castle was ashore on the reef off Dassen Island, Nubian passed within 3 to 4 miles and failed to stop to offer any assistance nor did he report the sighting on arrival at Cape Town.

The full text of the letter and the response can be found in The Union-Castle Chronicle.

Commodore Edward G Baynton


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