Home INDEX Contents Forward Volume 1 Volume 2 Tree chart Miscellaneous RAF Archive Pics

Wilfred F. Daggett  retained a book, written by one of our ancestors of a sea captain of the “RMSS China”, a steamship, which transport mail between Liverpool and New York during the 1800’s.

In 1865, dispatches of USA president Lincoln’s assassination were brought to these shores via the steam-packet ship “China”, and the Ships Captain was Capt. H.R. Allen, who was married to Elizabeth(Lizzie) Allen, a distant relation to the Daggett family.

The following information is all we have about Elizabeth (Lizzie)Allen, who was married to Harry R. Allen, Master mariner of the "China".

Lizzie Allen, Born 1832  met and engaged to H.R. Allen, she was 25 and Harry was 25 years old, he was a qualified Surveyor but decided to be a sea captain with Cunard, sailing a Royal Mailship between Liverpool and Boston New york.


This was squared rigged, had an engine which was used if the wind slackened and wouldn't be held up. Harry took Lizzie to see the lron Ship "Great Eastern" he was an amateur artist.

Lizzie and Harry were married at Shoreditch church 1858' ish, there were no children, lizzie was 34 and he was 35 they lived at Victoria Park Road, he was away a lot at sea , Lizzie did needlework and loved music.

Captain Allen had sailed home from Boston in his ship “RMSS China" with important dispatches on board, just before he went on board the American Nation had been shattered by the news of the Assassination of President Lincoln. These are the first news of the event to reach the ‘old world'.

When Lizzie and Harry were 40 and 41 they decided to retire from the sea and to do drawing and painting a series of small sketches depicting a typical voyage of his ship " China " measuring 5 inches by 4 inches. They begin with the departure from Liverpool in driving rain through various weathers, finishing with a sketch of Boston church where he gave thanks for another safe crossing with a short verse underneath.

Harry had died at 63 years old. Lizzie died when she was 93 in the January and left a house to Marion Hebden,32 Glaskin Road , Hackney which was sold for 165, Lizzie left legacies of small amounts to most of her family. Once the financial part of her estate was disposed of her worldly goods some valuable and some fine things had to be laid claim by various people so they could take what they wanted.

Maud Foreman had concerns for more sentimental values which were rescued from the dustbin, such as items of Uncle Harry’s book of paintings of his voyage (1872) several pieces of embroidery worked by Lizzie.

The "China" book was valued at £500 and has been sent by courier to Liverpool Maritime Museum.

Newspaper cutting of Lincoln's assassination.

It appeared in the issue of April 30, 1865. The previous night the steam-packet China had dropped anchor in Liverpool with dispatches from America.

Steamship “ RMSS CHINA”

The following chart shows the relation between the Captain of the “China” his wife Elizabeth Hebdon (1832-1925)

circled and Wifred Francis Daggett (1917-2015) also circled, who was the researcher for this website’s content.

It appeared in the issue of April 30, 1865.  The  previous night the steam- packet China had dropped anchor in Liverpool with dispatches from America.

Here is an interesting website to visit, detailing how the steam packet ships operated, and how the bulk of immigrants to the USA from all over Europe, used the  Liverpool port, and sailed in a steam package ship to make the journey across the Atlantic to start a new life in the ‘New World’.


Interesting to note the journey time to cross the Atlantic during the first steam packet ship era  . . .

By 1833 the Atlantic crossing time had been reduced to 22 days.