Blackadder was one of the last clippers designed and intended for the lucrative China Tea trade before that route finally succumbed to steamships in the late 1870s. Launched from the Greenwich yards of Maudslay, Sons & Field on 1st February 1870, she was built for John Willis of London, the owner of two of the most celebrated clippers of them all, namely Tweed and Cutty Sark. Sadly, she could never match their prowess although she proved a fast ship when skilfully handled and had luck on her side, advantages she lacked for most of her life. Registered at 970 tons gross (917 net), Blackadder measured 216½ feet in length with a 35 foot beam and was identical to her sister Hallowe'en which had been constructed alongside her. Unfortunately, Blackadder's builders had made their name as engineers and had little experience actually building ships; serious errors were made fitting her masts and her dismasting on her maiden voyage merely confirmed Willis's mistake in selecting that yard to build her. In fact, her first passage was a catalogue of mishaps, some of them near disasters, and Blackadder gained an immediate reputation as an unlucky ship. Eventually settling into a routine schedule, she turned in one near-record passage (Deal to Shanghai in 95 days) during the north-east monsoon in 1872 but was dismasted again in 1873 and nearly wrecked twice the same year. Her later career on the Australian wool run was less accident-prone and she was still logging 16 knots out of Brisbane in the 1890s. Eventually sold to Norwegian owners in 1900, after Willis's death, she was lost on 5th November 1905 whilst en route from Barry (South Wales) to Bahia (Brazil) with a full cargo of coal.