The iron steamship Clydesdale was launched from the Cessnock Bank yard of James and George Thomson (Yard No 59) on 23rd April 1862. She measured 196.7′ x 24.1′ x 13.5′ and her tonnage was 447 gross tons, 232 net tons. She was powered by a 2 cylinder compound steam engine by Hutson and Son Ltd delivering 128 net horse power. Built for Hutcheson and MacBrayne her ownership transferred to the newly formed David MacBrayne Ltd., Glasgow in 1877.
It is perhaps surprising that Lady Rock, which lies in the middle of the channel in the approaches to the Sound of Mull, has not been the site of more shipping casualties particularly considering the vicious tides that rip round the rock except for the short periods of slack water as the tides turn.
The isolated rock was to be the resting place of Clydesdale when ran aground there on Friday 6th January, 1905. The Clydesdale had sailed for Barra from Oban early that morning and the passengers were settling for a long uncomfortable voyage to the Outer Hebrides. The weather was foul with a severe south westerly gale lashing the ship. Around 7am, as they approached Lady Rock, they were engulfed in a blinding sleet shower. The temporary loss of visibility was enough to spell disaster for the ship which crashed onto the rock and stuck fast. It was close to high tide when she struck and, as the tide receded, she was left with her bows pointing skywards high above the water.
Around 10am the passengers were taken off by the SS Carbinier which was on her inward run to Oban from Tobermory and the SS Brenda was sent out from Oban to stand by the stranded ship. Later the SS Fingal, which had to abandon her run to Tiree due to the terrible weather, also reached the scene and stood by the wreck. Initially it was hoped that they could get the ship safely off the rock but the weather continued to buffet her for the next week and when she was finally examined she was found have severe damage to her hull. She became a total wreck.
There is reported to be some wreckage on the seabed around Lady Rock but this cannot be confirmed by the authors nor can it be certain that it is from the Clydesdale.