Firm, stiff breeze.
Sermon morning and
Monday 22nd December
The wind keeps
steady and we go on merrily. Warm clothing is now necessary, as the weather
feels much colder. Great preparations are making by the passengers for the
approaching Xmas, 'tho the materials at our command for the purpose are scanty.
This, as usual, was
store day; our Cabin on such occasions assuming the appearance of a market. The
Storeroom being abaft of our Cabin, parties getting their supplies all pass by
our berths. Men, women and children for hours together pass and re-pass loaded
with all sorts of necessities for the week and it is no uncommon thing to have a
quantity of flour or butter, a bottle of pickles or treacle spilt about our
Our speed since Saturday evening has averaged 8 ˝ miles per hour. We are now
under stun' sails and sailing very steady. A number of the passengers are
complaining of colds from the sudden change of weather. We are several
degrees South of the Cape and should we have a continuation of this wind we'll
weather it by the end of the week.
We were visited by
a very beautiful specimen of the Albatross, large and beautifully marked. They
fly quite close to us ‘tho none have yet been caught.
A most disagreeable
day. Nautically termed "Dirty weather." Continuous drizzling rain and
thick fogs. A double lookout placed ahead. Obliged to be 'tween decks most part
of the day where all were, more or less, engaged in preparing for tomorrow. The
coppers will be ready for us at 6 o'clock tomorrow morning at which time all
Plum Puddings and Dumplings must be forward. Music, reading
and games finished up the evening.
There is an old
saying that a good beginning has a bad ending and if we were to judge of the
veracity of the statement by today’s proceedings, it's truthfulness would be
placed beyond doubt. I will narrate the events of this memorable Christmas at
sea as they happen to come under my observation.
I was awoke about 6
by the voices of the two Cooks announcing at the top of our Hatchway that the
coppers were boiling. "Rise up and send abaft the 'duff," etc. I was
engaged last night at chess 'til 12 o'clock and had not time to get up my
pudding, so I immediately rose and got one forward just in time.
The day looked misty at this time but by 10 o'clock it cleared away beautifully,
forming a cheery contrast to yesterday. After breakfast the passengers mustered
on deck in Sunday attire where they mutually congratulated each other and passed
the usual compliments of the season. We had now a fair wind, bright sunshine and
all in high spirits.
At 12 o'clock
dinner was announced. It is not every day that we have Plum Pudding and Brandy
Sauce so it took an extra turn to destroy our keen appetite with such fare.
After dinner small,
select parties began to muster for dessert. I joined one of the
individuals, two of the young ladies from the Poop. We had a very respectable
spread before us, Sherry Brandy, Claret etc. fruits, fancy cakes and
confections. A couple of hours were pleasantly spent with them toasting our
friends and sweethearts at home, singing etc.
I left this party
about 4pm to join a friendly party on deck to which I had received an invitation
from Leut. Wood, a Poop Cabin passenger. There was 9 of us altogether. We sat
'til 6 o'clock at which hour we had coffee served up. I had at this time the
misfortune to get my left hand and wrist very badly scalded with the boiling
contents of one of the coffee pots.
Previous to our
having coffee the Captain had been invited to join us in a glass of wine which
honour he declined. I believe his reason for doing so was to prevent his giving
offence to others which he had refused and not out of disrespect to our party.
Wood, however who is of rather a violent and irritable disposition, took it as
an insult but little notice was taken of it at the time.
After coffee a
rather too abundant supply of wines and brandy was placed at our disposal and as
night advanced several got jolly. By 10 0'clock all had withdrawn from our band,
except Mr. Wood and myself. He had drunk pretty freely and by this time was a
little excited. We sat together for about ˝ an hour over our cigars. He gave me
a short sketch of his life. His father, he said, was an Independent Gent in
England. He was his youngest son. He joined the Austrian Service some years ago
and had fought the Hungarians under General Hayman. He certainly shows several
marks of wounds received during engagements. He had fought duels and killed his
man. He had undertaken his present trip at the request of his father who wishes
to have him settle in N.Z. By all accounts he has been, and still is, a wild
bird. His appearance is rather striking. He is well and rather handsomely
formed, stands 6 feet 1 inch and wears a very fierce moustache and beard of a
fiery red hue. He says he is only 24 but I would suppose him to be at least 32
give of a year.
About 11pm a thick,
damp fog set in. I cut down our lamp and bade my friend Wood turn in, wishing
him a good night. I went below. Most of the passengers by this time had gone to
bed. I again returned on deck to have a few minutes walk before retiring. I
found Leut. Wood, sitting at the Cuddy door, smoking.
He was shortly after joined by the Captain. They continued to converse in
a friendly way for about 10 mins. during which time I kept up pacing along the
deck. The style of the conversation, however, suddenly took a different turn. My
attention was first drawn to it by hearing Wood calling the Captain
"Liar" etc. The Captain immediately left him and went on the Quarter
Deck, it being his Watch. He was quickly followed by Wood, swearing he would
have the Captain apologise for insulting him. By this time he was very much the
worse of drink. I followed him fearing there might be something happen.
One other passenger
came with me. (There was only one or two on deck.) Wood commenced and continued
to abuse the Captain for nearly a quarter of an hour in the most foul and
disgraceful language I ever listened to, all of which the Captain stood without
taking any notion of it, further than requesting him to go below and not annoy
him. On his oath, however, this would not do. Wood seemed determined to have a
quarrel. He then planted himself before the Captain declaring that he would not
permit him (the Captain) to pass. I saw that the affair looked very serious and
endeavoured to prevail on Wood to let the Captain alone and settle the dispute
tomorrow but it would not do. The Captain then began to wax warm and told the
mad man (for he was nothing else by this time) he was acting the part of a
mutineer and that if he did not instantly desist he would treat him as such.
Reguardless of this
warning, Wood raised his hand and knocked down our Commander who in his fall
broke a chair which had stood by his side. Now commenced the Scene. The Captain,
who's patience had been quite outworn, assumed the defensive. Seizing the
remnants of the chair he drew a blow at Wood which stretched him on the deck.
The passenger who stood along side of me then caught Wood to prevent further
mischief while I seized hold of the now infuriated Captain who cried out,
"Let me alone! I will make quick work of the villain." We succeeded in
preventing further blows. The Captain then shouted in a thundering voice for the
Watch. This, with other similar orders, speedily turned out the whole ship. Half
naked men and women rushed on deck, terrified by the cries, and fancying the
ship was going down.
The most serious
part, however of it, remained yet to be seen. It was the Watch on duty refusing
to secure their prisoner. The Captain then told the passengers to stick to him
if they valued their lives. The reply was, "We are ready. What shall we
The Mate and the
Carpenter, alone of the crew, stood to their Captain. With their assistance Wood
was lodged in his berth and the straight jacket put on him. During all this time
he had continued venting forth the most foulsome language and using threatening
tones such as, "Sink the ship! Buy up the men etc. etc." The Captain
ordered a Watch to be placed at his (Woods’) door. It was fortunate he had
done so, for he smashed the door and rushed out. He was instantly laid hold of,
the Captain inflicting two severe wounds on his forehead, which bleed profusely.
He was then tied down to his bed. The services of the Doctor were now in
requisition. The Captain was cut on the face and severely bruised on his left
leg. It is a sad affair and may go sore against Wood.
Such has been the
beginning and ending of this Christmas day. Nor is this all. Our ship which was
scudding merrily along under a fair wind and heavy sea and steering S.S.E. was
braced up close to the wind, for the Captain has determined to steer for the
Cape where he will leave Wood. This
will cost a good 2000 miles extra sailing now. However, it will enable us to see
the Cape which we otherwise would not have done, hear the news concerning the
Kaffis, and get letters sent home.
Saturday 27th December
breezes. Expect to reach Cape in 8 days.
passenger now repents of his rashness and has sent an apology to the Captain. I
know not what effect it will have. To the Cape he must now go at all events.
They have released him of his straight jacket and given him handcuffs instead. A
strong chain and a staple is also placed across his door.
I was requested by
the Mate to sign as evidence, a declaration reguarding the assault, in his Log,
which I did. I would not be surprised should a number of our crew desert us at
the Cape. They know they acted wrong on Christmas night and dread the Captain's
displeasure. There are 3 or 4 bad characters amongst them. The Captain has
deemed it prudent to secure all the weapons which hang in the Poop Cabin, viz.
pistols and cutlasses. He fears an attempt at the hand of the sailors to rescue
Wood. I do not think they would try anything so rash but it is certainly right
to be prepared.
A lovely day. Light
winds. All goes on quietly. Our Captain is confined to his room with his sore
leg. It is likely to trouble him.
Albatross most of the day, without success. They are very wary. They fly quite
close to us. There were more about us today than we have yet seen.
Our visit to the
Cape is now all our talk. I only hope we may get ashore. If there is anything
done in the way of the Law, I am safe to go ashore. Meanwhile, we are preparing
lists of articles for purchase.
I have been
debarred, from these few days back, from doing anything in the shape of work by
my burned hand. I have remarked that any trifling sore or wound at sea takes
quicker attention to effect a cure than is required on land. Our Mate is just
recovering from a scratch he received from a nail.
My repose last
night was disturbed by what I have dreaded for some time back viz. the unwelcome
visit of a small colony of bugs. My neighbours have had them since we sailed and
it is only a day or two ago since I had all my bedding and woodwork turned out
and examined and washed down with turpentine. At daybreak this morning, I
informed my terror-stricken mates of the visitation and after breakfast we had
every article turned on deck and subjected to a minute inspection. I discovered
and put to death about a dozen of the obnoxious insects. My three companions
escaped. My bed is next to the adjoining berth, consequently I had got the
benefit. We spent all the forenoon in sorting our room. Every seam and crevice
we have filled with oakum steeped in tobacco juice, the whole tarred over and
covered with paper. I think we have put a stopper on their further progress. Our
berth now smells strong of tar and tobacco but we get accustomed to that
on board ship.
A squally night.
Both our Topsails gave way by the force of the gale and it gave our Tars two
hours good work to bend our new ones. Grog was served to them, after all was put
to right. It still blows strong, the sea breaking over her. We are steering in
the right direction so the winds may howl as fierce as they like. We feel as
safe on board the old ship as if we were on land. She is a good old craft and
[has] seen a deal of hard work. She has often been charted by the Government for
the conveyance of Troops etc and amongst the service rendered to her country may
be mentioned her trip to N.S.Wales with the Charlist Convicts "Frost,
Williams and Jones."
Thursday 1st January 1852
This joyous and
congratulatory morning was ushered in with shouts of merriment, music and
dancing, the ship's bell ringing the expiring year out and the new one in. A
number of the passengers, not aware the reason of the noise and ringing of the
bell, fancied it was another outbreak, others fancied it was fire and shouted
out to that effect amidst the scene such as can only be seen on board ship
[that] was the result. The Bright moonbeams shone down our Hatchway and were
taken by the affrighted passengers for the glare of flames. Half naked creatures
ran on deck only to become the sports of the jolly crew who had caused all the
noise. The day was observed as a holiday on board but passed off quietly.
Mr Mason, I and
another Scotchman paid homage to the future day of our fathers and drank a bamper
to our dear friends at home. In the evening we stood treat to a number of the
passengers having prepared a very rag
"bun" for the occasion. Sherry and nothing stronger was the beverage
so all passed off quietly and pleasantly.
Yesterday and today
have been two of the most beautiful days I have ever witnessed, warm but not
scorching, the clear, bright sky forming a beautiful contrast to the deep blue
rippling water. Our light barque passing onward under full sail by the breeze,
danced merrily on her course like a thing of life. All our talk is now of the
Cape. The Captain has consented to our visiting the shore. We expect to sight
the land every minute. All is ready, the shipside washed down and the cable
chain swung. I am yearning much to plant my feet again on "terra
Saturday 11th January 1852
The last week has
been one of no small note with us. We had been looking eagerly forward to our
visit to the Cape and had the gratification of sighting it about 4 o'clock on
Sunday. By 9 we had entered the bay. The morning was beautiful and the scene
grand. Before we cast anchor an Official's boat came alongside to enquire after
our health etc. and direct us where to moor. About 40 sail of all nations lay at
anchor, but chiefly British. Along side of us rode the Athenian from London to
Australia with 208 passengers. She had put in for supplies. Out 15 weeks.
We were 11.
On casting anchor
we were surrounded by boats of all shapes and sizes, some with fruit and
vegetables for sale and others to convey intending passengers on shore. The
Captain informed us that we might go as soon as we were ready and that we might
remain for a couple of days at least. No time was lost and another hour found
most of us treading the shore of Southern Africa.
The novelty of our
situation was quite exciting. Everything was strange to us, the houses, the
inhabitants and the picturesque scenery before us. After passing thro' several
streets we made a halt in front of the London Hotel at which house we had been
recommended to stop. It is kept by an Englishman and is one of the principal
Hotels in town. Here a party of us made arrangements to stop, others found their
way to different Hotels and Boarding Houses with which the town is well
I had occasion to
visit most of these places of entertainment and found all of them to fall far
short of the comforts and conveniences of similar establishments at home. They
are poorly furnished, uncarpeted rooms (with very few exceptions) and beds, I
think, of straw or hay- little better than shakedowns but the worst
feature of all is the evident want of cleanliness in which I think, so far as I
could learn, they are all culpable.
The first evening I
was somewhat latish in retiring. I was shown into a double-bedded room, one bed
was occupied by a stranger. Not quite satisfied with the appearance of the room
I thought it advisable, previous to turning in, to examine my pallet. I searched
for what I did not wish to find but found more than sufficient to interrupt my
repose. On throwing the light of my candle over my sleeping companion I
discovered the obnoxious insects engaged in their voracious work in such
quantities that quite frightened me. After a little hesitation I stretched
myself on the floor on a tiger skin where I slept soundly 'til 5 o'clock next
I immediately got
up and was joined by other two of our party. We then sallied forth to have a
view of the town. Cape Town is pleasantly situated at the head of Table Bay on a
sloping plain which stretches to the foot of a range of mountains the most
prominent of which are Table Mount, the Devil's Peak, the Lion's Head and the
The first of these,
"The Table", is a stupendous mass of naked rock rising almost
perpendicular from the valley below to the height of 3582 feet above the level
of the Bay and extending in length about 2 miles in a horizontal direction.
Viewed from our ship it had the appearance of the ruined walls of some immense
fortress. The Devil's Peak is a
rugged pile of rock, adjacent to the extremity of Table Mount, of a conical
shape and rises to within 300 feet of the first mentioned mountain. The other
two, which in reality form but one, lie directly at the entrance to the Bay and
are the first objects which strike the strangers notice. They take their name
from the resemblance they bare to the King of the Forest.
In the centre of
the plain and under shelter of these gigantic mountains stands the capital of
the colony "Cape Town." It is a well-built, clean looking town. The
streets, regularly formed, branch off at right angles. Numerous squares, some of
them very large, intersect the town in different directions. In these squares
are held the public markets. I was just in time (6am) to witness the close of
the vegetable market. It opens at sunrise by which time the farmers from the
neighbouring country make their appearance at the gate. The mode adopted by
these farmers for the conveyance to town of their produce is very odd, at all
events it appears so to the English eye. To a light Dray, which an English
porter would think nothing of dragging after him for miles, the Dutch farmer
yokes from 12 to 18 strong bullocks, two abreast. Almost all the vehicles which
come under my observation had attached to them what seemed to be a needless
expenditure of power. Probably the quantity of horses or bullocks so employed
mark the station or ranks of their owners for I certainly
[think] some of the turn outs are more for show than service. Fancy a private
family driving home from Church (the distance not more than 1/2 a mile) in a
long wagon-shaped carriage drawn by 8 horses, one Darkey holding the reins,
another a huge whip like a fishing rod, while a third stands as Tiger behind.
The town contains a
population of about 30,000 of a very mixed class, English and Dutch
predominating. The latter appear to agree well with the climate and are easily
distinguished from the sallow faced English by their full and portly
proportions. Of the coloured population the Malay, Mozambique, Africana
"nigger" and Hottentot prevail. They are distinguishable by their
style of wardrobe, especially the headdress. I saw few of these latter
inhabitants of pleasing appearance and hundreds of them of both sexes are
detestably ugly. The Europeans on the other hand (probably from the contrast)
were fine looking, particularly the ladies who dress very smart and graceful.
I was somewhat
disappointed with the commercial department. The shops are very plain and the
stocks paltry. There are, however, a few rather extensive warehouses, which I
understand absorb the country and shipping trade. With the exception of wines
and ports everything sells very dear. By all accounts the Cape seems to offer
many inducements to merchant trading of limited or large Capital. A large and
lucrative trade is carried on with the farmers of the interior by barter. I met
with several gents so engaged who informed me that by continued perseverance for
a few years a fortune was sure to be made. The present Kaffir war, however, has
exerted an injurious effect on it, excursions into the country being somewhat
Having a day or two
to spend on shore it was proposed to make the ascent of Table Mountain. A party
of 20 to 30 was formed. And Monday morning last was fixed for the time to try
our climbing powers. On making enquires as to the proper route etc. we found few
could give us the necessary information as it was a task seldom attempted it
being both tedious and dangerous. However, having made up our minds we were not
to be deterred. Accordingly, an early breakfast was ordered for next morning.
When the time arrived, the number decided on making the excursion dwindled down
to 7, two ladies and 5 gentlemen. The remainder formed various excuses. Some had
changed their minds and would not try it, others would courageously await our
return and hear how we had succeeded.
About 9 o'clock our
little party commenced their journey up the rocky mountain. It had been arranged
that each should carry their own refreshments. I made up a parcel of bread and
fruits for my share and a couple of bottles (one of beer, the other Cape wine.)
These I slung over my shoulder. The others were similarly supplied. Passing
thro' the town towards the east we entered the Government grounds on which
stands the house of Sir Harry Smith the Governor General. The gates of this
house, which is a long, plain building, form the entrance to the Government
Gardens a place of public resort. On the opposite side of the shady path are the
Botanical Gardens. Both of these enclosed grounds are open to strangers but as
we were bent on other pursuits we passed on without entering either of them.
We soon reached the
outskirts of the town. Here are a number of very neat cottages built after the
English fashion with sloping slate roofs (nearly all the buildings in town are
flat roofed) with gardens attached. Here I observed the grape and figs in full
luxuriance. Pursuing the course directed we reached the mountain stream along
whose bank we had instructions to prosecute our journey.
Our curiosity was
here much excited by groups of Malay washerwomen engaged in washing clothes in
the pools of the stream. For nearly 2 miles every available spot was taken up by
2 or more of them. As we passed them they would gabber and grin at us and
pointing to our bottles would cry "beer, beer," the only word of
English they could make use of. They were very lightly and oddly dressed. A few
yards of loose white calico wrapt carelessly round their bodies formed their
chief covering. Most of them had a headdress made of a Turkey red Gingham Hky
[Hanky] of Glasgow manufacture. A few wore, what appeared to me to be, cast off
dresses but cut short to suit their occupation and comfort. They looked like
kilts, considerably short of covering the knee in their descent.
Their mode of washing is somewhat different from that adopted at home.
They first steep the clothes, trampling them with their feet, then selecting a
large round or flat, smooth stone they dash the various articles upon it singly,
throwing them round their head like a flail. They then give them a touch of soap
and another steep then, shaking them out to the sun, keep sprinkling water on
them until they become bleached.
Before we reached
the foot of the mountains it was thought advisable to procure the services of a
Malay guide and it was very fortunate for us that we did so, otherwise we should
never have reached the top. Happily we fixed on a very decent, obliging fellow
(qualities rarely found amongst this class of people) who agreed to conduct us
to the top of the mount for 3/-. It
was by this time noon, the season mid summer and the powerful rays of the sun
render doubly fatiguing our toilsome ascent. About 1 pm we reached the base of
the rocky pile which rose to a dizzy height above our heads. Here we made a halt
and panted. At this point the stream takes its rise and as no more water could
be procured further up we emptied some of the wine bottles and replenished them
from the spring.
Two of our number
here gave up the journey (a lady and a gentleman). They could go no further.
Leaving them to descend at their leisure we resumed our labouring task and I
must say it was the most tiresome day's work I ever accomplished. The distance
was nothing, had it been anything like even climbing but our way was rough and
irregular. We had steep grassy inclines so slippery that it was necessary to use
hands and knees. Huge clumps of rock over whose shelving side in passing we had
to use the greatest caution but the severest part of the work was the long and
winding channels of loose rock and sharp edged stone which continuously gave way
to our passing. This was the dangerous part of the work. Before taking a step we
had to make sure of some tuft of grass, sprig or rock to support our weight. In
many parts of the way a slip was certain destruction. We would fain have given
up the attempt to reach the summit but for our guide who with his light dress
and bare feet was quite in his element at such work and kept telling us that the
road would speedily get easier. As it was, we were resting every 10 or 15 yards
to take our breath and wet our lips with wine but for which more than one of us
would have fainted. The heat was excessive and the perspiration ran off us in
streams. In this way we dragged ourselves forward despairing but still
persevering on 'til at 3 o'clock we stretched our weary limbs upon the flat top
of this remarkable mountain. The extensive and varied view which met our gaze
richly rewarded us for our toil. At our feet in the vale, basking in the sun,
stood the neat little town the Capital of the Colony with its terraced roof
square and vine groves. The Bay, on whose glistening surface rode our gallant
barque a mere spec in the distance, is a perfect semi circle. It's sandy border
vying in whiteness with the dashing surf as it breaks over the beach. The
extended view embraced on one side the unbounded waters of the South Atlantic,
on the other the plains and mountain ridges of the Cape. Altogether it was the
most magnificent prospect I ever beheld.
After spending what
time we could spare (being anxious to have daylight for our descent), we
prepared for our downward journey. Many consider this the worst part of the task
but for my own part I would certainly go twice down than once up the mount. In
descending we picked up some bouquet of beautiful flowers with which our pathway
was profusely spread. One of our party had brought a fowling piece with him but
we had not the fortune to see game of any consequence. We however shot a few
specimens of small native birds for stuffing. I killed a very handsome creature
(a Lugar bird) and have preserved it's skin.
On gaining the
valley we dismissed our faithful guide. We gave him more than we had promised
him and he seemed very grateful and pleased. By 8pm we reached the Hotel tired
enough but highly satisfied with the days exploit.
Next day, hearing
of our success, two separate parties started determined not to be behind us. We
advised them to be sure to take guides with them. One of the parties belonged to
our ship the other to the Australian ship Athenian. Two only of the first lot
(out of 8) reached the top, the other fagging and returning when about half way.
Of the Athenian's crew none reached the summit and sad to relate one of them (a
nice young fellow) lost his life by falling over a precipice. After a
long search his body was found frightfully mutilated. Out of respect and
sympathy for the deceased several of the English vessels hoisted their Ensigns
matters were settled with Wood and our rebel crew. The Captain not willing to
detain the ship by a Trial consented to allow Wood to take his departure. Two of
the sailors got 2 months imprisonment with hard labour, a third got his
discharge. In lieu of this we shipped 5 fresh hands so that we are now better
off than before.
On Thursday morning
I joined the ship, taking with me supplies of breadfruits and wine. We were all
ready to sail but the wind setting in dead ahead prevented us. About 3pm the
flukes of our anchor snapped right through which sent us drifting to the beach.
Another was instantly dropt, which fortunately caught and speedily brought us
up. Table Bay is very much exposed to West and N.W. gales. The wrecks of 3
vessels lay along the beach. They had been driven from their mooring. Another
day was spent in finding a new Anchor during which time numbers of fruit and
provision boats visited us.
On Friday I had a
delightful bath from the bows of the ship. Five gentlemen leapt in together.
Others would have gone but were afraid of sharks. I was assured by people on
shore that few or none infested the Bay, so that there was little danger.
Thursday 15th January 1852
Cleared out from
Table Bay on Friday evening last, since which time we have been beating about
close handed under head winds, the high rolling seas breaking over us keeping
the deck constantly wet. Many of the passengers are again sick, especially the
Ladies. The ship's motion is more effective now from the short stay on shore.
Today we were 14 miles further from N.Z. than we were 8 days ago. It is the
intention of our Captain to go pretty far south, say 50°, in order to get strong westerly winds.
Since the previous
date we have had beautiful sailing weather and are still going over the water at
railroad speed. 5 weeks of such weather will serve us. Our course is S.E. by E.
We are going before the wind with Stern sail set. They are now giving her as
much canvas as she can sweat under and nearly all new, the old sails being in
shreds. The sea runs high and causes our ship to roll from side to side. We have
not had this motion upon such an extensive scale before and we feel it
especially at night. It is difficult to retain our places in our bunks.
For the first night or two I could get no sleep. Lately I have fashioned
my bed after the style of an easy chair in which the motion is not so much felt.
Formerly my head and feet alternately went up and down like the beam of an
Wednesday 20th January 1852
The wind still
stands to us and we average a good speed. All moves on peacefully on board. The
weather is now perceptibly colder, the thermometer ranging from 56° to 60°. The fine, pure air, however, is delightfully bracing and I feel much
stronger now than I did in the Tropics. The Mate gave me a sight of his chart
today, which was very satisfactory. This last week we have gone a good 1200
miles on our course.
Our Captain has
never recovered from the affair on Christmas night. He has been confined to his
room ever since. However, we don't miss him. Our Mates are good seamen and
motion of our gallant barque as she ploughs her way thro' the foam crested
billows has been the cause of numerous little accidents resulting from falls on
her slippery decks. Yesterday I fell down the Hatchway. A rather serious tumble
but fortunately escaped with a few slight bruises.
Kept watch last
night with the Mate 'till 12 o'clock and had a few hours yarning. It came on
very thick and foggy which kept on 'till noon today.
Albatross were seen today. They always take best after a fog (it seems that the
mist prevents them from seeing their food) so 4 or 5 baited lines were thrown
out to them. I soon had one fast but he broke the hook. Altogether I had 10 or
12 of them almost on deck but they all got off. They are such a weight the
tackle would not hold them. Another party, however, succeeded in bringing a very
good specimen of them on deck. He measured 10 feet from tip to tip of the wings.
He was cut up and the head, feet and wings preserved.
The passengers made
complaints today (and not without reason) reguarding the butter and fish last
served out. An inspection was made of them by the Doctor, who immediately
ordered the butter to be substituted and the fish pitched overboard.
E. Long 41
28th January 1852
Since last date we
have had changeable weather. Fair breezes, head winds, calms and squalls and
wretchedly cold. A few days ago we lay panting under the fierce rays of an
African sun glad to find shelter from his pernicious beams. Now we are subjected
to the very opposite extreme. The sudden transition is very sore on us. All our
endeavours is barely sufficient to maintain the circulation. The decks are
constantly wet, the sea washing them and occasionally rushing down our Hatchway
floating our Cabin furniture. When running before the wind we rock like a cradle
creating such confusion as is impossible to describe. This is certainly the most
disagreeable part of our trip. Today the wind is fair but blowing furious, the
sea one mass of foam and the billows of prodigious height. I stood on the
Forecastle for hours together gazing on the raging tempest and I think I never
beheld a more gorgeous sight. Our tug Barque rose and fell with the swelling sea
like a duck and went plunging forward with [a] roaring noise at the rate of 12
to 14 miles per hour and that under a very small spread of canvas (fore and
reefed fore and main top sails.) Occasionally a toppling sea would catch her amidships and
come splashing over her bulwarks in torrents sending everything moveable into
the lee scuppers. One visit of the treacherous elements washed our worthy Doctor
off his perpendiculars, amidst the laughter of the passengers.
At another time the
Steward was caught while passing from the Cooks galley to the cabin. His legs
tripped up by the force of the sea and the dishes and contents scattered in all
directions but the most laughable scene of all occurred with the Cook, who when
occasions require, acts butcher. At the time I allude to he was employed in
depriving a pig of its life blood and had just given it the thrust when a
towering billow (as if to avenge the poor porker) fell heavily on the devoted
Cook. Man and beast went rolling to leeward together and it was only after
repeated attempts that poor piggy was secured. The Cook was in a woeful plight,
thoroughly drenched with sea and besmeared with blood.
Having plenty of
time at our disposal I and a few others have been in the habit of playing a few
friendly games of Chess and Draughts and being uncertain who is entitled to wear
the Champion belt we have agreed to play for the victorship after this
fashion: each to play with each, one game per day until the termination of our
games to be registered and the party scoring the greatest number to be declared
Champion. The players at Chess are Messrs. Yates, Cawkwell and Webster. At
Draughts: Messrs. Cawkwell, Mason and Webster. I consider Yates and Cawkwell to
be the best players. The former is arranging a work on the game for publication.
* 0 - 0 These are
drawn games. I will mark off a couple of pages and note the daily result of the
games as we proceed. [see table
S. Lat. 47
E. Long 55
We are now far enough south of EL. We still have to make about 120
degrees. With fair winds we can easily overtake 5 per day x (x miles in a degree
in the Lat. 42.)
Monday 2nd February 1852
The weather is now
much milder, tho' still cold. The winds continue favourable today. At
noon we were in E. Long 80°. In this quarter of the globe the wind blows 9 months out of the 12 from
the West. Veering off course slightly a point or two to the North or South, we
now calculate on dining in Auckland on Sunday, 3 weeks. We are gaining
daily on time, our course being due East. At the rate we have of late been
sailing we make about 20 minutes per day. (15 degrees of longitude make 1 hour
At present we have
the sun 5 ˝ hours earlier than in London. When we dined today (1pm) our friends
at home would be shaking off their slumbers. Affairs on board wear a tolerably
fair aspect, passengers continue to maintain a friendly footing with each other
and the time passes over our heads as agreeably as circumstances will permit.
Within the last day
or two I have had the good fortune to secure a few fine specimens of the
Albatross bird. I tried for a long time with the common English barbed hook
without success. I then got the loan of a Sail Hook from the Mate and with it
soon brought on board 5 very beautiful birds measuring from 10 - 12 feet from
tip to tip of the wings. Other two
gents caught one each. Great demands were made on me for the heads, feet, wings
etc. the portions considered worthy of preservation. I reserved for myself the
head, feet and one wing of one of them and have since been engaged in curing
The catching of
these birds affords very exciting sport. Furnished with a good strong line,
tanned if possible, affix a Sail Hook and a piece of cork within a few inches of
it. The cork is to preserve the line from sinking. Bait the hook firmly with the
fat of pork and drop the line astern. Some tact is required in managing the line
properly. It is first let out about 20 yards and then retained until it catches
the eye of one of the feathery tribe as it hovers around the ship before it
alights on the water. It will make several circles around the fatal hook eyeing
it [warily] and at every turn, drawing nearer and nearer to the tempting bait.
At this stage of
the capture it is necessary to manoeuvre the line. As it approaches the hook the
line must be slacked out and the bait allowed to float smoothly and naturally
along the water. This must be repeated until the bird alights; always drawing in
the slack of the line while the bird’s head is turned. As soon as the victim
touches the water, which it generally does a few inches astern of the bait, all
the slack of the line must be thrown to it otherwise the speed of the vessel
would drag the line out of reach of the bird. The bait and hook is quickly
seized. Then, watching the proper time just as the line is getting taunt, the
cord is smartly jerked which either deprives the prey of it's morsel or affixes
the concealed hook into it's bill. If the former the game must be played over.
If the latter all that remains to be done is to land him safe on deck. So, soon
as it feels itself fastened it shakes its head endeavouring to rid itself of the
treacherous steel, but it won't do. Feeling itself dragged involuntarily along
the surface the bird arouses all it's powers of resistance, spreads out its
immense wings and web feet to the water and uses every exertion to break from
its tether. During this time a steady and strong pull is making on the line,
care being taken to avoid any momentary slacking or sudden jerk (the one would
loosen the hold of the hook, the other break the cord).
The greatest danger
of loosing it is while lifting him from the water. Its great weight tries the
quality of the tackle and the fastening of the hook. As soon as he is within
arms reach his head is laid hold of and he is fairly captured. When about to be
killed, his beak is tied to prevent him from biting. A cord passes round his
neck and fastened to the bulwark. He is then hoisted up by the heels and a knife
passed across his throat. Parties taking a trip to this region and desirous of
procuring specimens of this large and beautiful bird, as well as several others,
should come provided with suitable tackle, especially one or two steel, or well
enough iron, sail hooks of the fashion "g." (No barb.) Also, an
abundant supply of alum, arsenic etc for preserving the skins.
I now make my notes
at very irregular periods. It arises partly from want of matter worthy of notice
and partly from the lack of convenience for writing or want of ability
(physical) to which the extreme cold weather subjects me. Often my fingers are
quite incapable of wielding a pen and we have no fire to warm our hands at.
The weather of the
past week may be described as a mixture of cold, wet, raw and disagreeable, a
chilling contrast to the balmy atmosphere of the tropics thro' which we have
passed. However, a few days more will transport us to more genial regions.
Our Long is now
106, close upon the West coast of Australia but considerably south.
Having now had some
experience of an Emigrant's position at sea, I will offer a few words of advice
to parties who may have a sea voyage in prospect. In regard to securing a berth
within the Cabin of Intermediate, make early application. If the party has an
Australian passage in view be sure to select one on the starboard side of the
ship and if possible that one next to the partition which separates the
Intermediate from the Chief Cabin (Berth No 8 on the sketch.)
The advantages of
such a position are very numerous. You may calculate on having the driest and
cleanest berth in the ship. The prevailing winds on such a voyage blow from the
Larboard [Port] quarter. Consequently that side of the ship stands
considerably higher than the Larboard [Port] side (the right hand side.)
have seen our Cabin in a puddle while those opposite were perfectly dry and
comfortable. All spills, water, rain and high seas find their way to the Lee
side. Again, the passage in front of the berth, on the Starboard side, is a
perfect thoroughfare for all the passengers going to and from the Water Closets,
store rooms etc. Compared to our neighbours opposite, our berths bare as great a
contrast as a house in a crowded city does to a retired countryseat. See also
that your berth has a scuttle hole for the admission of fresh air. This is of
the first importance.
Take a quantity of
shelving nails, cords etc for fixing and a bit of wax cloth or carpet for the
In reguard to articles for culinary purposes, few are required, say a coffee pot, a tin plate, pannikin and hook pot, tea cup, a tumbler and wine glass, tablespoon, knife and fork, cork screw, a few bags for Flour, rice, barley, peas, etc. Canisters with covers for sugar, treacle, tea coffee, butter etc.
* Note drawing of sail-hook used to catch Albatross.
In clothing don't
burden yourself with too much. Say a pair of stout boots or shoes for wet
weather and one pair of slippers. 4 pairs of trousers: one of stout duck or
canvas, one old cloth do to wear when you get a ducking with the sea or while
ducks are being washed, one for a respectable turn out on Sunday and one strong
warm pair for colder weather. Don't forget a good strong Pilot Monkey Jacket.
I found this the most useful article brought with me.
of provender, Emigrants can use their own judgement. I would advise a few
bottles of wine and whisky ('tis better than Brandy) fruits, eggs,
preserved milk, baking powder etc. spices, preserves.
Light and variable
winds and calm since Tuesday.
Head winds and squalls. Loosing ground.
Steering due South, our course lies East.
Wednesday 18th February, 1852
Yesterday at noon
the wind veered round to the S.W. and set in strong which has enabled us again
to shorten our distance. Our Long. is now 134° E. leaving us 40° to make.
We are now out 124
days. Some of our provisions are getting bad. The water especially and our
butter is finished. However, we don't mind much about it, being so near our
destination. We all continue healthy.
Last night, as I
was preparing to retire, a very heavy sea struck us on the Starboard quarter
which stove in the Mate's Cabin, flooded the Stewart's Pantry and came rushing
down our Hatchway in tons. Fortunately our berths were on the weather side so we
escaped this visitation. Some in the Steerage were actually washed out of their
(comparatively speaking) tho' gusty and showery. Fair wind. Long. at noon 143.
A porpoise caught
yesterday. Many have been struck but this is the first one captured. It measured
close on 7 feet. I had a bit of it for tea tonight. It was very savoury.
I mean to have a mess of it for dinner tomorrow. Besides a large quantity of
meat it yielded about 3 gallons (of) beautiful oil.
Had a concert this
afternoon in the Poop Cabin, a totally creditable performance. We played or sang
usual Choruses Glees etc. Music is a source of great pleasure on Board Ship.
Everything else gets tame.
The want of butter
has created great dissatisfaction amongst most of the passengers, more
especially since learning that the Captain has been in the habit of selling it
to the Poop passengers. The Captain has offered in lieu of it, 1 lb of flour and
1/2 lb currants which has been refused. They sent him a note to the effect that
they would take 3 lbs of flour and 1/2 lb of currants and nothing less.
One or two are determined to expose the parties to blame I believe that
there has been an insufficiency slip. The owners are obliged to put on board 6
months supply of everything which they have failed to do in regard to the
weather again. We are now leaving the dreary South, our course now N.E.
We had a nice
little (and I hope the finishing) rumpus in our Mess today, women, as usual, the
cause of it. The majority of the ladies on board (I hope) are a bad sample of
their sex. If not the stock is to be dreaded. I was obliged to act a rather
ungallant part in the row but I came in for a lash of their "unruly
member." I was pressed to tell them what I think of their conduct, as they
are parties for whom I never could entertain any respect. I spurn their bad
Monday 23rd February
Yesterday we had
service, as usual, in the Cuddy the Captain and Doctor officiating. Prayers were
read in the Episcopalian fashion, a few of us forming ourselves into a choir for
the singing of the Chants. These are very pleasant meetings and I hope
production of good to all who attend them.
The Roman Catholic
Priest and his charge (5 Sisters of Mercy) of course do not attend our religious
meetings, their devotions are all done in private. Since we left the Cape I have
seen little of them. They keep themselves confined to their Cabin except on
fine, settled weather when they may be seen for a short time taking a little
exercise in pacing the Poop deck. To all appearance they are very happy
together. They are all Irish, from Dublin. Two of them are confirmed Nuns, the
other three are Novices and I have been informed, Ladies of Fortune.
All appear to be about one age, 26 to 30 years. The Priest is a very reserved
individual and I think I may safely give him the credit of being a simple-minded
Today we had the
butter substitute matter settled to the satisfaction of nearly all. What is
worse than our want of butter, is the quality of water with which we are served.
Today we have had the worst that has yet been given out. It is almost the colour
of pea soup and nearly as thick. Our sugar also is getting
bad. It tastes of tram oil, I presume it has been put into an old oil
cask. It requires a good appetite to enjoy a meal with such materials.
I would here advise
parties going a long sea voyage to add to the stores previously mentioned Loaf
sugar, good tea, and cocoa. Our coffee beans are burned instead of
Altho' we are as
well off and as comfortable as we anticipated we should be on board ship, I
believe we fare rather worse than the majority of Emigrant ships. The Kat. S.
Forbs. is not one of the Willis (Companys) regular vessels and the Captain is
unaccustomed to dealing with passengers. He is a good seaman and a skilful
navigator but not quite the cut for a passenger ship.
Baffling wind has
once more interrupted our progress. Made little or no progress all day.
8pm a ship in sight
on our lee quarter but night closing in. Can't make out what she is.
The wind is veering
round and I expect will be favourable in the morning.
Little rest last
night. The winds blew strong and twice were all hands called on deck to shorten
sail. This morning when I got up I found her riding under only 4 sails and two
of these double reefed. The process of reefing topsails requires all hands
and being hard work and somewhat dangerous the tars are usually allowed a glass
of rum or brandy after finishing. The last portion of the work is the
re-hoisting of the yards to which the sails are attached, and in doing so the
sailors give vent in their loudest strains, to some of their favourite sea
songs. One man takes the lead all the others joining him in the chorus, at which
point the rope receives the united drag of the whole crew. Awakened from our
slumbers by a pleasing melody to which the words are usually sung the sensations
produced are of an agreeable and soothing nature reminding me much of the
nocturnal effusion's of the Straits at home.
Before returning to
rest, the Heavens which but a short time previous displays it's boundless neck
of teeming worlds, suddenly becomes overcast with waffles of clouds of a dark
and threatening character. The breeze just sufficient to fill our sails and fan
us slowly forward on our course gradually subsides into a calm.
All is still but
the eye of the Mariner can trace the signs of the coming storm and hastens
forward his preparations to meet it. The treacherous wind makes it's first
approaches in light fitful gusts as if to tempt the unwary seaman into a greater
spread of canvas.
midnight. The passengers have sought their cabins and sleep has wrapt them in
her oblivious mantle. Soon the floodgates of the tempest opens and pours forth
their "Fury Deluge" upon the devoted Barque. Nature and Act contending
gradually affects the slumber until, under mixed sensations of pleasure and
fear, he regains the use of his perceptive faculties. He is soon convinced that
the vessel in which he lies labours heavily in the midst of a storm. The rush of
the bubbling water sweeps past his ear. The gurgling noise of the billows as
they shoot thro' the scuppers and over the rails is distinctly heard. The
incessant creaking of the timbers and the howling voice of the tempest, yelling
at the temporary check it receives by the outstretched sails, or whistling
triumphantly as it sweeps through the cordage, throws a thrill of inquietude
thro' the frame.
It is when so
situated that the lighthearted song of the watchful crew rising above the storm
steals gratefully on our ear, reassuring us that "All is well."
We may then wrap
ourselves snugly in our blankets and endeavour once more to court that repose
which had been so unceremoniously chased from our couch. The composition of
their songs is not of brilliant character, the words being generally coined on
The following may
be taken as a specimen:
The lively strain
to which these words are sung has become a favourite, and familiar to us all.
The Sail seen
yesterday was again in sight this morning on our weather quarter. At the same
time the wind shifts round favourably. As the vessel was steering the same
course as ourselves we made all sail to give her a run for it. We kept abreast
of each other the whole day, dashing along at a fair pace, gradually closing
until about 6pm when the Whaler (for such she proved to be) crossed our bows at
speaking distance. She was a beautifully rigged ship and with every stitch of
canvas spread presented a truly magnificent sight. She was evidently dodging
about in pursuit of whales; two men were posted as look outs on her Fore and
Main topgallant yards.
Beautiful day, but
calm. E. Lat 42
S. Long 60' 56'
Foul wind in the
morning but gradually coming round and increasing in power.
At 8pm shortly
after a brilliant sunset a very sudden squall overtook us accompanied with heavy
rains, lightening and thunder. It was, unquestionably, the severest puff we have
yet encountered. I looked every minute for some part of her rigging to go or turn
turtle (the seaman's phrase for going on her beam end.) An hour's exciting
work at reefing followed, and she rode it out gallantly. The thunder pealed and
the lightning flashed, literally lightening up the heavens, at intervals during
most part of the night.
A lovely day,
cloudless sky and fair wind. I calculate this will now be the last Sabbath I
will spend on board the "Katharine Stewart Forbes." It is now 19 weeks
since we left the Downs. We could have made the harbour of New Plymouth tonight
but as we proceed to Auckland first we take plenty of sea room in order to
weather the North Cape.
The minds of the
passengers, as might be expected, begin now to reverse to the termination of
their long voyage. Dull care, so long banished from his seat in their
minds, has unmistakably once more usurped his throne. Hope, fears and anxiety
are depicted in many countenances, which for the last blessed four months have
only portrayed the innate feelings of mental tranquillity and independence.
Monday & Tuesday
Two beautiful days
and fine sailing. Land will be due tomorrow should the wind hold on. I have been
busy gathering in all my odds and ends and packing up.
disappointment has been our lot since last date. We were almost within hale of
land when doomed to encounter a most terrific storm, resulting in the loss of
life and considerable damage to the vessel, but thanks to Providence we have
weathered it out with far less loss than appearances at the time indicated. On
Wednesday and Thursday we had head winds and squalls and badly lost ground. At
midnight on the latter day, affairs looked worse and the fore topsail was
reefed. On Friday morning when I got up it blew strong off the land with rain
and at 8am the Main topsail was ordered to be reefed.
I take the
commencement of the gale from noon of this day (Friday) an unlucky day with
Seamen. They say we should not have sailed from Table Bay on a Friday (which we
did 2 months ago) and certainly their superstitious notions in respect to this
day have been strengthened from what we have just experienced. Their ideas in
respect to Sunday are not less singular, if they dread the Friday, they
have a Sailors reverence for the Sabbath. They prefer doing all matters
of importance on Sunday, especially that of weighing and dropping anchor. About
4pm, on aforementioned unlucky day, matters looked very threatening and
all hands were again ordered to shorten sail. All sails were taken in except the
Fore, Fore Top and Main Top sails. The two latter double reefed.
The sea had risen
considerably and being close-hauled we shipped a deal of water. We now rode, for
the first time since sailing, under double reefed Top Sails. At this time
I was tempted to sound some of the old seamen as to their opinion of matters.
They assured me that it was pushing into a Gale and they only hoped the
rigging of the old ship would carry her through it. From 4 'til 6 the wind
steadily increased, the sea rising in proportion. It was evident from the
anxious looks cast by the Captain and his Officers to windward and the nature of
the orders issued by them that the brunt of the storm had not yet reached us.
About ˝ past 6 all hands were for the third time this day ordered to shorten
sail. "Close reef," were the words. Grog was served out in this
instance previous to their going aloft, probably to empower them with courage,
for at this time it blew with terrific fury. Before mounting, the Captain warned
his men of their danger and hoped they would use every precaution on the yards.
I was one of the
few of the passengers who had, up to this time, kept upon deck and could
distinctly observe all the movements that were going forward. It 'twas indeed a
painful suspense to us the time employed on the yards. It made us dizzy to look
at their perilous position. Night had set in ere the limited canvas of the Fore
Top Sail was again braced round to the still increasing gale. The Main Top had
yet to under go the same process. The Halyards were slackened; the reefing
tackle drawn taunt and the men again mounted the riggings. They had nearly
finished their dangerous work when suddenly the lee reef tackle snapped by the
block, the buntings also gave way, and the huge sail, no longer confined,
flapped with thunderous noise round the yards. In a few seconds the dreadful cry
rose above the gale "a man overboard." Ropes, life preservers etc were
instantly thrown after him but darkness, the furious blast and the tremendous
sea rendered it quite impossible to save him. The sail had, after many attempts
at reefing, to be furled.
is impossible to describe the state of the passengers below, especially after
the sad fate of poor Charlie [GLADDEN]. Men as well as women
fainted. For two nights we were under battened down hatches, not
withstanding which, the sea visited us in Tons, the heat almost suffocating.
Today (Sunday) the hatches have been removed. On taking them off volumes of
steam rose from the 'tween decks as from an oven. 'Tis a miracle the poor
creatures are alive.
The storm has now
abated, but the sea runs tremendous, presenting a spectacle at once magnificent
and terrific. Our vessel has suffered damage in her rigging. A considerable
portion of her bulwarks, her main and quarter gunnels, have been carried away.
We have now weathered the N. Cape under a fair wind and are creeping down
the east coast expecting to make Auckland tomorrow.
Tuesday 9th March 1852
I now close my Log
having this day safely entered and anchored in harbour of Auckland. The
impression made by the general appearance of the new country so far as we have
seen is highly formidable. I will postpone giving particulars on this point to
In writing notes of
a Sea Voyage there of necessity occurs great sameness but it will the more
truthfully serve to show the real nature of such an undertaking (a four months
voyage.) There will be lots of blunders in these notes but I have neither the
time, nor indeed do I consider it worth my pains, to glance them over for
* Alexander Webster would be very surprised if he could have known that to celebrate the 150 year anniversary of the arrival in Auckland of my ancestors,
The undersigned Agents for the above splendid Line of Vessels, are authorised to arrange with settlers here who may be desirous to bring their families in Great Britain out to this colony, and are requested either to pay passage money at once to them, or to give a satisfactory security for its payment on arrival of the vessel.
Auckland 9th March 1852 – New Plymouth 20th April 1852
Comprehensive Passenger List Compiled from Newspapers etc.
It has been deemed advisable to postpone the publishing of an advertisement received late last evening from several of the Cabin passengers by the “Katherine Stewart Forbes.”
** Being so distressed by the difficulties experienced on their voyage, some passengers had wasted no time on disembarking, in immediately placing an advertisement in the newspaper to be published the following day. The Editor thought it prudent to delay the publishing, but the passengers were not to be denied, and their advertisement expressing their dissatisfaction with their treatment was published on 12th March.
The Southern Cross Newspap er
12th March 1852
9th- Catherine Stewart Forbes, barque, 457 tons, Wm. Wright,
Commander, from London, October 19th, Cape of Good Hope, January 9th.
George Jackson, Jane Jackson, James McDonald, Mary Sweeyman, Anna Casey,
Maragret Emmie, Julia Flaterery, Charles Sanderson, Fanny[Catharine] Sanderson,
Fanny Sanderson, Mary Anne Sanderson, Susan Sanderson, Mary Twoney, John Powell,
Charles Powell, Agnes Sinclair, Andrew Sinclair, Robert Gilmore, Thomas
Cawkwell, George Cheeseman, Mary Shackell, Augustus Shackell, Arthur Shackell,
Sarah Gjessing? Miss Merns, Miss Cochrane,----
Yates, William ??? Burton, Elizabeth Burton, Richard Shalders, Eliza Shalders,
Mary Byrne, Margaret Byrne, Thomas Byrne, Richard Pratt, Frances Pratt, Frances
Pratt, William Pratt, Frances Pratt, William Pratt, Emma Pratt, Julia Pratt,
Robert Button, Anna Mary Button, George Patterson, Elizabeth Patterson, Willliam
Parker, Alexander Webster, Elizabeth Webster, Mary Chandler, Jane Reid.-
Stephen Nash, John Strange, Maria Strange, Emma Lepine, John Lepine, William Lepine, Daphne Lepine, John Mullins, George…G? John Cranshaw, John Hughes, William Boyd, Henry Reid, James Fulton.
From: The New Zealander. 13th March 1852
To The Editor of the NEW ZEALANDER.
Mr. Editor,- Will you be good enough to insert the following in your
paper as an advertisement:-
barque “Katherine Stewart Forbes,” W. WRIGHT, master, having just arrived in
this port from England, the undersigned Cabin passengers in that ship wish,
through the medium of your columns, to express their dissatisfaction at the
treatment they have experienced during the voyage; they complain of a total
absence of cleanliness, civility, and attention to their comforts, with an
insufficiency of provisions, and, in many cases, those of bad quality. As our
excuse, Mr. Editor, for troubling you with our complaints, we hope to prevent a
recurrence of the same in future ships.
Your obedient servants,
“New Zealander” 14th April 1852
the Katherine Stewart Forbes.
from the Journal of Viscemus Lush,
Vicar, March 1852.
12th Having heard that the Catherine Stewart Forbes with 68 passengers had come into harbour during the week, was early with all my work in order to have a clear evening for the enjoyment of the letters and papers I felt confident my dear Friends in England would send me. I sent Bridgford off with a bag for the looked for treasures and after waiting anxiously for upwards of an hour he returned with 5 letters from England-Oh what a treat- one from Auckland and 22 English papers and 2 Auckland ones.The letter from Auckland was from Mr. Lewis apprising me of two packages- containing wine, Books and piano forte. The letters, papers, books and piano forte stood a good chance of reaching the bottom of the sea rather than our harbour, for the ship Catherine Stewart Forbes encountered a heavy gale last Saturday when off the Three Kings and was well nigh ship wrecked- one sailor, poor fellow, was washed overboard and of course perished.
from “Colonial Fare”
In his diary Parson
Lush describes the difficulties of transporting a piano from ship to shore- and
the joy of the family receiving it.
18. Stepping out on to our front verandah just after breakfast I espied a large
cargo boat sailing into our bay, and I guessed it contained some packages for me
from the Catherine Stewart Forbes, so ran back to the breakfast room and
announced the arrival of the long looked for Piano. The children were full of
delight although little Blanny suggested that after all the boat might not be
fro me, and therefore the Piano might not as yet have arrived; but I would not
entertain the doubt, but sharing the hopefulness of Charlotte I put on my
cassock (I wear a white Holland blouse from the time I rise till breakfast and
from tea till bedtime: my cassock the rest of the day) and off I started for the
beach- but ere I had gone far I met two men who, touching their hats, said
“Please your Reverence, we have bought two cases for you.”
Fortunately I had three men working for me, two forming my straw rick and one heightening the parlour chimney, so calling them we put Jessie in the cart and went down to the beach. The mare wanted a deal of coaxing to face and enter the waves, but at last we reached the side of the boat, which had heeled over on to one side by the ebbing of the tide, and succeeded in placing the case containing the Piano safely on my cart: a few desperate tugs pulled us out of the soft sand and out of the water and I soon had the satisfaction of seeing the case stowed safe and sound on our garden walk. The bricklayer and I went down for the second case and then I commenced the very pleasant task of unpacking. At last it was exposed to our sight and even dear Mamma ventured from her bed room to see our new and very pretty instrument. Just now and while the covering was off and ere we could remove it from its fastenings, I felt a few drops of rain, the precursors as I thought of one of our Colonial drenchers, but by good luck we housed it safely before the flood came and Blanche was delighting us all with playing one of the tunes endeared by its association with Ewelme, when the rain was pattering down outside. Mother’s great joy was the piano, a present from her father. It was a great friend and companion for so many years.
Copied from “The New Zealander”
12th March 1852
the Katherine Stewart Forbes and on sale at the stores of
coverlets of the newest patterns
flannels of the finest description
clothes of the best quality
ditto splendid pattern
dresses in great variety
best cambric prints
and blue dittos
of every description & newest styles
in great variety
and coloured Jacconets
and children’s gloves of every description
superior cotton hose
fine Lambs wool Hose
shoes and boots
silk and gauze ditto
Black and Coloured Satin
in every variety
Hair, Nail and Tooth Brushes
Trimmings, Sewing Silks, Cotton,
Check and Blue Serge Shirts
in great variety
and Worsted Night Caps
Blue Cloth ditto
and English Wine
Ale and Porter
Small Musical Boxes
Pens and Quills
in Small Bottles
Wax and Wafers
and Slate Pencils, Slates
and Lucifer Matches
Map of the World Coloured
Key to Ditto
Geometry and Measuration
Key to Ditto
Greek and English Lexicon
French Phrase Book
Introduction Perrins Elements of French Conversation
French Spelling Book
Classical dictionary 18 vol.
Smiths 8 Vols:
Course of Reading
Second Ditto Ditto
Ditto Ditto with Key
Guide to English History
Books in variety etc
Room Scrap Books
(McPhun’s) in Morocco, Morocco Flexible, and Cape Morocco, with gilt edges
Psalms and Hymns, in various
Letter and Note Paper and Envelopes
and Tissue Papers
Papers, Spanish and Shell
Paper 6 and 12 staves
and Bone Paper Knives
Pen and Pencils
and Camel hair Brushes
Boards, foolscap and demy
Ruler, French polished.
Diary Part 1