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Final chapter in Royal Charter saga.

A FINAL chapter in the story of the doomed steam ship Royal Charter, which went down off the North Wales coast with the loss of 450 lives - has been written after more than 140 years.

Painstaking detective work by art historians has revealed the identity of the painter who captured the ship in oils at virtually the same spot where she broke up in a storm in 1859. For more than a century the only clue was the artist's trademark use of the distinctive but outmoded British red ensign.

Finally,members of the Merseyside Maritime Museum discovered by chance the first work fully signed and inscribed by the mystery artist,Francis Hustwick,of Liverpool.

The work of Sam Davidson and colleagues at the maritime museum has proved that Hustwick (1797-1865),a journeyman painter who moved to Liverpool from his Hull birthplace, was the creator of the 24 ins by 36 ins work,Royal Charter in- bound for Liverpool. The ship was built by Gibbs, Bright and Co for the Liverpool and Australian Steam Navigation Company in 1854.

CAPTION(S):

The painting of doomed ship the Royal Charter, which sank off North Wales, killing 450, sold for pounds 3,525at an auction yesterday
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Nov 25, 2003
Words:202
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