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The Express on rocks at La Corbière before the lighthouse was built
The Ouless painting of the Express wreck

In 1847 the New South Western Steam Navigation Company was formed. It bought out the South Western Steam Packet Company's ships and property for £56,623 also the South of England Steam Packet's ships and property for £29,000 and in part cost of three new ships Express, Dispatch and Courier, £42,870. This company was loaned £50,000 by the London and South Western Railway Company.

This new company renewed the 5-year mail contract for £4,000 in April 1848. 1851 saw the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway Company sued by the South Eastern Railway Company for owning ships contrary to law, so afterwards the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway Company chartered ships from a Mr Maples who had a cargo service operating from Littlehampton to the Channel Islands and from Newhaven to Dieppe. These ships were chartered for eleven years until the Act of Parliament of 1862 allowing the railway companies to own and operate ships.

The Express was built at the same time and by the same builders as Dispatch and Courier. Before coming on the Channel Island station Express was given the important task of bringing Louis Philippe to Newhaven when he fled the revolution in France in 1848. She came to Jersey on 28 May 1848 and had a refit in 1850, costing £2,000.

On a voyage from Jersey to Weymouth on 20 September 1859, the Express struck a treacherous group of rocks off Corbiere known as Les Boiteaux. She tore a hole in her port bow and made water fast, being eventually wrecked at St Brelade just below where St Brelade's Bay Hotel is situated. Two passengers who had panicked and jumped overboard were drowned, but the rest, totalling 108, were saved, including the crew. On board were three race horses due to race at Guernsey the following day and these were also rescued by mattresses and bed linen being placed on the slippery rocks to enable the terrified animals to reach terra firma.

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