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Brighton started service in May 1857 with the Weymouth and Channel Islands Steam Packet Company. An iron paddle ship, she had been built in 1856 for the London and Brighton South Coast Railway Company, by Palmer of Jarrow.

Chartered at first, but purchased in 1858, she was of 286 tons, 193ft in length, and a beam of 20ft, her paddles were driven by engines developing 140 hp. She had a turtle back deck over the forecastle and five bulkheads. Brighton ran on the Channel Island station for 30 years until on a voyage from Weymouth to Guernsey, on 29 January 1887, she struck the Bray's rocks and became a total wreck. Fortunately the passengers and crew were saved, but the mails were lost. At a subsequent enquiry her captain was suspended for six months.

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