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September 18, 2015


The Madagascar was a large British merchant ship that went missing in 1853 on a voyage from Melbourne to London. The ship carried passengers, troops and other cargo between England and India. In addition to the regular crew, the ship carried many young boys that would be trained to become officers for the merchant marine. During the Victorian Gold Rush, the Madagascar sailed to Melbourne carrying emigrants. In Melbourne fourteen crew members left the ship and only three replacements were hired. The ship was loaded with a cargo of rice, wool and two tonnes of gold. It also took on about 110 passengers for the trip back to London. On August 10th, three passengers were arrested and the ship was held in Melbourne until the twelfth of August. After it sailed off the ship was never seen again. Since the ship never reached London, many theories arose including the possibility of a fire on board, or the ship hitting an iceberg and even that it was seized by criminal elements among the passengers. The last theory states that the ship was scuttled after it was robbed and the remaining passengers and crew were murdered.