Wreck of 'Princes Alice', 1878.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Plate taken from the 'Illustrated London News'. The 'Princes Alice' was a saloon steamboat, named after the third daughter of Queen Victoria (1819-1901) and used for pleasure purposes on the Thames. On 3 September 1878 the steam paddler collided with the 'Bywell Castle', an iron-built collier propelled by a single four-bladed screw, while returning from a day cruise to Sheernes. The bows of the collier sliced through 14 feet of the 'Princes Alice', flooding the engine room. In les than five minutes the ship split into two pieces and sank. Despite rescue attempts from the 'Bywell Castle' and smaller craft, around 650 people were killed.