Subject: The Royal Charter
My Great-Great-Great Grandfather Nicholas Le Page was one of the passengers on 'The Royal
Charter' when it sank and he was drowned. I do not know whether his body was found,
he may be one of those buried in the graveyard at Pentraeth. Nicholas was on his way
back to Guernsey where he originally came from. I have visited Moelfre and I also
have been to Guernsey.
There is a book called 'The Golden Wreck - The Tragedy of the 'Royal Charter'
written by Alexander McKee and I was most interested to visit your website and find it
most informative. There are two other people I know in Melbourne who also lost
relatives on The Royal Charter and I shall tell them about your website.
Subject: Your interesting site
What a lovely, educational site you have. I was searching for information on
Pentraeth because my fourth great grandfather, Hugh Grey, lived and raised his family in
Pentraeth (late 1700's to about 1840). His occupation was a "joiner" which was
explained to me as a carpenter who fashions wooden door and window frames, etc. for stone
buildings. His grandson, John Edward Grey, came to America in 1871 and founded my family.
I so appreciate the well written information and pictures, especially of St Mary's
Church where many of my ancestors were baptized, married and buried. Thank you...L.
Carson (Hemet, California, USA).
After reading our Royal
Charter web page, Mr Norman Clark sent us an e-mail all the way from Canada. Here is
Re: Royal Charter
From: "Norman Clark"
Thanks for the translation.
My mother's father's father's father's father was a cook on the ship! He had a 5 month old
son in Liverpool waiting for him. The trip from Australia was very fast back then, but it
still took 2 months. Imagine, they came half way across the world, only to be caught in a
hurricane so close to home. My ancestor's name was James Tate. He was washed ashore about
3 weeks after the wreck. The wreck occurred on October 26, 1859. A local man found the
body and wrote in the newspaper that another body was found. The body was taken to
Pentraeth Church and buried without knowing who it was. James Tate's wife knew it was him
because the newspaper said the body had socks marked J.T. and that's the socks that he
wore. She wrote to the minister that she couldn't travel so far with a baby and the
minister's wife wrote back and included a lock of the dead man's hair. She wove the hair
very finely and had it bound into a gold ring to remember him forever. And that's just one
of the stories from the Royal Charter. There were 459 people that died. James Tate's
grandson visited your cemetery in 1938 from Toronto. He took the exact same picture of the
tombstone and he slept at a hotel called the Glanrafon Hotel between Molfrae and Pentraeth
on June 19, 1938. He met two boys who knew a lot about the Royal Charter.
They were named Leonard Murley Francis from Bodawen, Moelfre Bay (whose grandmother had a
deck chair from the Royal Charter) and Stanley Hughes from the same place.
I still have 2 photographs of James Tate (they are made of glass), his last letter written
in Australia before he left, saying he hopes to arrive safe, the letter from the
minister's wife, a framed remembrance plaque for James Tate and, of course, the ring with
the woven hair!
I hope you enjoyed my story and thanks for your help. Maybe you would like to give a copy
of this to the minister of that church for me?
By the way, I am 38 and married with 3 children aged 13, 12 and 10 and I like to research
my ancestors so that my children and their children will be interested when they grow