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Photographs supplied by Arthur Garland

The marble tablet commemorates James Couttes McMillan who lost his liffe in the sinking of the steamship "London" in January 1866.

James McMillan was born in England in 1827 and his education was adequate for apprenticeship within the drapery trade. He arrived in Van Diemen's Land as a young man and eventually settled in Launceston. He was taken on to the staff of a firm operated by a Mr Overell, and by the time he was 39, James was a partner in the firm which conducted its business as the Criterion Warehouse, 100 Brisbane Street.

Early in 1865 James McMillan returned to England, and began his return journey began on 4th January, 1866, when the steamer 'London', sailed from Plymouth. 

By 9th January,  the 'London' was in the midst of a furious gale in the Bay of Biscay and about to turn back for England. All the boats except one had been washed away and only nineteen people left the ship in this boat. The remaining two hundred and twenty people, including several children and James McMillan, drowned when the 'London' sank on 11th January 1866.

Nearly two months later the news of the tragedy reached Tasmania, and friends erected the marble tablet in Chalmers Church in his memory. In 1979 the tablet was moved from the Chalmers Church to the Pilgrim Church.


Address:34 Paterson Street, Pilgrim Uniting Church, Launceston, 7250
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -41.436771
Long: 147.136952
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Plaque
Monument Theme:People
Actual Event Start Date:11-January-1866
Actual Event End Date:11-January-1866


Approx. Monument Dedication Date:Circa 1866
Front Inscription

Sacred to the memory of James Couttes McMillan 

Who was lost at sea by the foundering of the steamship London in the Bay of Biscay on the 11th January 1866

Aged 39 years.

"Be still and know that I am God

Shall not the judge of all earth do right?


Source: MA,JG
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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