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In October 1859, the British Isles were struck by a fierce hurricane. Within two days, no fewer than 133 ships were sunk and about 800 lives were lost.

The 'Royal Charter', a 2,700 tonne steam clipper that sailed between Australia and Liverpool, was among the ships that were lost during the hurricane. It had nearly reached the end of its long journey from Melbourne to Liverpool, when it fell into difficulties of the coast of Anglesey. More than 400 people were killed in the storm. A cargo of gold from Australia, valued at about £322,000 at the time, was also lost.

The number of victims would have been higher had it not been for the brave efforts of the people of Moelfre, who formed a human chain which saved the lives of 40 individuals.

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