Thompson's third iron ship, the stout-built
green clipper Samuel Plimsoll was christened by the Master's
wife in the presence of its namesake. Richard Broaden had left
the Star of Peace to take charge of the Samuel Plimsoll
for the White Star Line. The Samuel Plimsoll was a double
topgallant yarder specially fitted out for migrants, and on her
first voyage took 180 from Plymouth on 19 November 1873.
Despite poor winds to the equator she gained Port Jackson on 1
February 1874, a voyage of seventy-five days. Revelling in the
Roaring Forties, her first and best run to Sydney was under Henderson,
in 68 days.
The Samuel Plimsoll made another passage to Sydney in 1874, taking 74 days. In 1875 she departed Plymouth on 6 August to reach Sydney on 22 October, bringing miner Robert Beattie, 22, from Northumberland to Australia - he was literate and a member of the Church of England. In 1876 the Samuel Plimsoll did the run in 76 days, while in 1877 she departed Plymouth on 9 June 1877 to arrive in Sydney on 27 August 1877, after a voyage of 77 days . Master Richard Boaden, Surgeon Pringle Hughes. Passengers - Wills and Green families from Cornwall. At 6,615 super feet (excluding cabin), the Samuel Plimsoll was allowed to carry a maximum of 441 statute adults; on this voyage she carried 385.
In 1879 the Samuel Plimsoll departed Plymouth about 21 March and gained Sydney with migrants on 12 June, still under the command of Richard Broaden; literate Presbyterian Jane Beattie, 18, of Linlithgow, was one emigrant passengers. On a later trip of 72 days, arriving Sydney 9 July 1880, the Samuel Plimsoll brought out Irish assisted immigrants John and Mary A Morrow, and their children Ann M, Margaret, James and Emily. It is uncertain how closely related these Morrows were to the Morrows who settled near Oberon NSW.
The Samuel Plimsoll made several other voyages to Sydney and Melbourne in from 73 to 78 days. She sailed direct from Plymouth via Bass Strait to reach Sydney on 1 June 1882 with migrants. In 1883 on a passage to Sydney, the Samuel Plimsoll ran thirteen consecutive days at an average of 328 miles, in one 24 hour period covering 348 miles. On this voyage she had departed Plymouth c. 6 April with immigrants, and reached Sydney on 17 June. In 1885, the Samuel Plimsoll left London on 4 April, reaching Sydney on 21 June in a race with the Cutty Sark. The Samuel Plimsoll lost a man overboard in the Bay of Biscay on this passage.
In 1887 the Samuel Plimsoll was transferred from the Sydney run to the Melbourne trade. In her only mishap, under the command of Captain Simpson, she lost her fore topmast and main topgallant mast when the bobstay was carried away in a tropical squall. An accompanying American clipper offered assistance and transhipment for the Samuel Plimsoll's passengers; Simpson declined, and completed the trip to Melbourne in eighty-two days unaided. Upon reaching Melbourne, the American skipper went to the Samuel Plimsoll's agents and reported her condition and Simpson's rashness in declining his offers. He was amazed to learn that Simpson was safely in port, and had been for several days.
The Samuel Plimsoll met an unbecoming and ungainly end. She caught fire lying at anchor and was scuttled in the Thames in 1899, to be raised, repaired and sold to Shaw, Saville and Albion Co. for the New Zealand trade. Leaving Glasgow under Captain Jaffray on 18 June 1902 for Dunedin and Auckland, she encountered gales near Nugget Point Light on 17 September, and a heavy squall off Cape Saunders. She lost her lower main topsail, then the maincap broke, and mizzen and main masts went over the side smashing the ship's four boats and carrying away a lot of the bulwarks. The crew, uninjured, managed to clear the heavy iron masts before they damaged the sides, and the disabled vessel wallowed in the seas until, driven north to the Gable End Foreland, she was picked up by the Union Company's Omapere and towed into Gisborne Roads for shelter. The Union Company's Hawea then gave her a tow to Otago/Port Chalmers in yet more stormy weather. The Samuel Plimsoll was not considered repairable and after unloading was sold and towed from New Zealand to Sydney behind a 120 fathom hawser. From there she was towed to Western Australia and converted to a coal hulk . Brett (1928).