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Kate St history and the attempted assassination of Prince Edward at Clontarf (Sydney).

Updated: Nov 24, 2022

Robert T. Scott first purchased portions 110 and 111 in the Redcliff Agricultural Reserve on 12th December 1864. paying 1 pound per acre for the 48 acres.

Portions 108 and 109 were then purchased by Robert T. Scott on the 3rd January 1870. Paying 1 pound per acre. He finally purchased portion 107 on the 4th January 1871

Early c.1920's map showing Kate St and some of the early original buildings at Woody Point, including the Lorneleigh Guest House and Picture Show next door, on St Leonards St ( now Alfred St) Palace Hotel, Trains Store, Belvedere Hotel, Woody Point School Of Arts, Scotts Point Store and the Woody Point Jetty.

10th November 1942 and the first government aerial showing Kate St from Lilla St to Arthur St. (Victoria Esplanade was later renamed Gayundah Esplanade after the Gayundah was brought in 1958 to be used as a breakwater.)

Kate St at Woody Point is named after the government Steamer S.S. Kate.

S.S. Kate was built by Leslie, Andrew & Co., Hebburn-On-Tyne (Newcastle) and launched on 15th October 1863. She was owned by Australian John White.

Dimensions:147 tons, 104nrt, 145.4 x 21.2 x 6.3ft

Engines: 60hp. Propulsion: Paddle and also rigged as a 2 masted schooner

Construction:IronReg Number:48678

Government of Queensland; registered in 1890: The "Kate" Steam Ship Co Ltd, Brisbane

S.S. Kate, a 147 ton iron, paddle-wheel steamer especially designed for Brisbane’s bay and river trade, was built in 1863 at Newcastle-on-Tyne for J and G Harris who were involved in Brisbane wharfage, transport and cargo inter alia. The Kate had two holds, a large cargo deck and roomy accommodation “fitted up plainly.” She was especially powerful to allow towing of other craft. J and G Harris advertised her sale before she had even arrived. They used her on the Ipswich run but after the Government bought the vessel in 1865, she did government work including transporting government officials to immigrant ships and migrants to Brisbane, towing migrant ships and supplying migrants’ needs before they reached port.

Most migrant ships could not come into the Brisbane River because it was too shallow beyond the bay.

S.S. Kate was boarded by Prince Alfred, son of Queen Victoria during Australia’s first royal visit:

The Sydney Morning Herald Monday 2nd March 1868 - Page 6 :


(From the Brisbane Courier February 26th)

"At 6 o'clock yesterday morning two guns from the Observatory awoke our citizens to the fact that the Challenger, H.M.S.S., with his Royal Highness Prince Alfred on board, was at anchor in Brisbane Roads. About an hour later the Kate, steamer, with his Excellency the Acting Governor and the members of the Ministry, started down the river to receive Wb Royal Highness and bring him to a town. She was soon after followed by the Emu and other steamers intended to escort the Kate up the river. "Unfortunately none of the vessels had many passengers, either because of the early hour of starling, or that the desire was more generally felt to see the landing in Brisbane! and the procession to Government House, Going down the river nothing noteworthy occurred. On arriving in the bay, the Challenger was observed dressed from stem to taffrail with flags, the Royal Standard flying at the main. At this time there was a fresh southerly breeze blowing, which excused a considerable swell. This being the case, the Platypus S.S. signalled the Kate, and told her not to go alongside the man-of-war. Accordingly the Kate stopped her engines as soon as she got near enough, while the Ipswich, Mary, and Emu came close up to her. At the same time His Royal Highness left the Challenger in the ship's gig, accompanied by Commodore Lambert and Messrs. Brierly and Haig, and went on board the Kate. Directly the Prince got on board, the Royal standard was hoisted at the Kate's mainmast. On board the Challenger the men, who had been standingready in the tops, lay out and manned the yards, while the guns thundered forth a Royal salute. The Kate then turned ahead, followed by the Emu, Mary, and Ipswich, passed round the Challenger's bows and stood for the bay."

10 days later there was an assassination attempt on Prince Alfred in Clontarf, Sydney:

The respectable Sydney suburb of Clontarf has an unusual claim to fame: it is one of the few sites in the city that has seen a political assassination attempt.

In 1868, Prince Alfred Ernest Albert, Duke of Edinburgh, Earl of Kent and Earl of Ulster and second son of Queen Victoria, was on a world tour on the steam frigate HMS Galatea, with Australian ports of call at Adelaide, Melbourne, Hobart and Brisbane, as well as Sydney. After visiting Tasmania, he arrived in Sydney on 21 January 1868. Here, he received a most enthusiastic welcome, and many events were organised in his honour. He then spent a week in Brisbane, before returning to Sydney. Despite rumours of possible sectarian strife, he agreed to attend a picnic at Clontarf, a popular picnicking spot, on 12 March. The picnic had been organised as a fund raiser for the Sydney Sailors' Home by Sydney barrister and politician William Manning. During the event, an Irishman who had suffered considerable mental illness, Henry James O'Farrell, attempted to assassinate the prince. Although O'Farrell fired his pistol at close range, the bullet, on striking the prince's back, glanced off the ribs, inflicting only a slight wound. O'Farrell only narrowly escaped lynching by the crowd, and was immediately arrested. The prince was nursed by the newly arrived Lady Superintendent of Sydney Hospital, Lucy Osburn.

Click here to read about the details of the assassination attempt.

On the bridge of S.S. Kate 1869 (from left to right): Governor Blackall (sitting on the rail), his brother, Mr. Manning (Under Secretary), Captain Simpson, E. R. Drury, John Griffith, an unidentified man, Captain Peake (of the 'Kate'), Dr. Hancock, Mr. Alex MacDonald (tide-waiter). Below the bridge (from left to right): James Howitt (the engineer on the 'Kate'), two officers from HMS Ballinus, Captain E. P. Redwell from HMS Pearl, Captain Verney, Mr. Fred Good (steward), Mr. C. W. Sargeant.

Queensland Government paddle steamer Kate and the Black Swan ahead at Gladstone in central Qld, ca.1870:

She was the flagship of the first sailing regatta held on the Prince Of Wales birthday holiday on 8th November 1884 just off Woody Point.

The Brisbane Courier Tuesday 11th November 1884 - Page 5 :


President —W. Horatio Wilson, Esq.; Vice president—R. Mac Donnell, Esq.; Committee—Hon. E. B. Forrest, M.L.C.; Messrs. E. H. Webb,J. H. Henzell, H. S. Bliss, J. Barker, H. McCleer, F. W. Dickson, R. H. Lawson, C. B. Lilley, jun., G. Forrest, W. Walsh, R. P. Earle, H. I. Tubbs, H. Smith, H. F. MacDonnell, T. E. Ham, and R.S. Stiller ; Umpire—E. H. Webb, Esq.; Starter— Mr. H. McCleer ; Hon. Treasurer—Robert S.Stiller ; Hon. Secs.—Messrs. H. F. Mac Donnell and H. S. Bliss. The Humpybong Regatta, which took place in Bramble Bay yesterday, passed off very successfully. This regatta was originally fixed for the 24th May ; but, in consequence of the Queen's Birthday celebrations being put off owing to the death of the Duke of Albany, it was postponed till the Prince of Wales's Birthday holiday. The weather in the Bay on Saturday night and Sunday was anything but promising for a regatta, the wind blowing nearly a gale from the south-east, and heavy showers of rain occasionally falling. By yesterday morning the wind had greatly moderated, and when the first race was sailed it was blowing a moderate whole-sail breeze. Its direction was then south-east, but it subsequently veered a little to the eastward and became somewhat lighter.

The Government steamer Kate, which had been secured as the flagship, left her wharf shortly before 9 o'clock in the morning, having a fair complement of passengers on board, and reached Woody Point a little before noon. The favourite boat Garnet, well patronised, left a little later, and arrived a few minutes earlier. The Normanby, Boko, Francis Cadell, and Adonis also made excursions to the same place, and the Mavis plied throughout the day between Sandgate and Woody Point, conveying a considerable number of passengers.


On 11 November 1890, Kate (C. S. Richar) was on voyage from Brisbane to Richmond River with a cargo of grain and produce, when she was lost after a collision with steamer Berwah off Moreton Bay (near Pile Light). Read more at wrecksite

Northern Star (Lismore, NSW) Saturday 22nd Nov 1890 - Page 2

The Sinking of the S.S. Kate.

The steamer Kate, bound to the Richmond, which was sunk by collision with the Burwah in Moreton Bay, had stopped at the Pile Light to leave the pilot, when the collision occurred. She was under the command of C.S. Richardson. Her cargo consisted chiefly of 121 bags of maize, 64 bags of sugar and 60 tons of coals. The damage sustained by the Burwah was a hole in her starboard bow, about 2ft. in length, on the fore-and-aft line, and 7in. wide at her broadest part, and about 18in. above the water. The damage was temporarily repaired before she proceeded on her voyage. The Kate was struck aloft the starboard paddle wheel, and sunk in about 15 minutes after the collision. The vessel was.partly insured, but none of the cargo. The vessel has 6 feet of water on her at low tide. The Captain of the Burwah states no lights were visible, and no whistles wore blown to signify her position. The official inquiry by the Marine Board commenced on Tuesday."

August 1956 aerial of Kate St from Lilla St, Alfred St, Caroline St, Annie St to Georgina Street:

August 1956 aerial of Kate St from Georgina St , Ellen St , Hardiman St to Arthur Street.

A movie travelling down Kate St Woody Point from Lilla to Arthur St in 1956:

Early land sale maps showing Kate St include:

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