|10 April 1854|
This day we bade farewell to numerous weeping friends and
acquaintances, and in the William McCormick steamer from Londonderry to
Liverpool commenced our journey to New Zealand. The weather was very fine
and auspicious but our hearts were sad...we were leaving our country and
our home probably never to return. Those dear ones we were embracing
alas it may be for the last time were shedding bitter tears our own
were flowing amain and the feelings of our breaking hearts could find
no utterance but in short fervent ejaculations mingled with sobbings.
To the mercy of God we mutually commended each other, and with the
hope that our meeting again if not in this world would be in heaven and
be boundlessly joyful and tearless. We gazed upon each other with the
last intent fond look and waved a last Adieu.
|11 April, Tuesday|
We reached Liverpool at half past seven o'clock in the morning after
a very pleasant passage of seventeen hours in which I suffered less from
seasickness than ever I did on a steamer on any previous occasion. Still
I was not entirely free from that malady for which though dire there is
so little sympathy. I believe no one of our party suffered so much as
myself the children gave promise of being very good sailors on the long
voyage which they were shortly to enter and my dear wife though mentally
dispirited and her heart overwhelmed and in perplexity yet mercifully
preserved from bodily sickness and discomfort.
Our party bound for New Zealand consisted of my father, mother, and
sister Dorcas, Mrs. Alexander, my sister-in-law, and her four children,
Mr. Joseph Cochrane, my brother-in-law and my wife, our five children
and myself with two female and one male servant for the party and two
young men, members of my former congregation in the fore-cabin. We left
Liverpool for London about three hours after our landing and managed
with the assistance of cold water and conversation with a few other
simple appliances to pass the time in the railway carriage pleasantly
enough. Our little Lizzie was naturally enough dissatisfied with the long
confinement in so small and crowded an apartment and contrived to make us
aware of her feelings by sundry ebullitions of the genus crying. However
we all were in good health and tolerable spirits when we reached London
and after an hours delay at the Terminus during which time J. Cochrane
was busily engaged procuring lodgings, we were whirled off in cabs to
Frederick Street Pentonville where most of us remained during our stay
|12 April, Wednesday|
This day we went first after breakfast to the office of the Agents and
owners of the Cashmere Messrs H. H. Willis & Coy and were rather startled
when they informed us that they were expecting she would leave the dock
next day however our minds were set at rest on that point ere going to
see the Ship as we found she could not possibly be ready to leave before
Saturday. We gave orders about the fitting up of our cabin and spent
the remainder of the day in making sundry purchases necessary for the
voyage. I was able to go through great London with very little concern
for its sights and wonders inasmuch as business was pressing which must
be attended to and there was little time to do it. The cabs of London
though of bad notoriety are a necessary evil and restricted as the cabmen
now are in their fares by a carefully regulated and equitable scale of
charges there can be little imposition practiced by that fraternity if
a moderate degree of caution be exercised by those who employ them. It
struck me as a matter worthy of notice and as giving a good idea of the
difficulty of becoming acquainted with all the localities in the World
of London that scarcely one of the Cabmen could drive without enquiring
the way to our lodgings in Pentonville.
|13 April, Thursday|
Spent much the same as yesterday. The children altogether confined
to the house as the others were all engaged elsewhere. Letters from
Ireland today from those who love us, but whose faces we will see no
more. My dear wife still much depressed and my own health and peace
of mind beginning to suffer. May God strengthen and support us for all
the trials we may have to encounter and Oh; that we may be fitted for
our various duties so that we shall esteem it our meat and drink to be
doing the will of our father in heaven. May God comfort the sorrowing
friends we have left behind us.
|14 April, Friday|
Good Friday all business suspended in London. A fraction of the people
engaged in Gods worship the millions seeking their own pleasures. On
this day however I do not blame them if their consciences be not grieved
the day is of human institution and therefore wholely different from the
Sabbath to the careful observance of which as a day especially devoted
to Gods worship and service we are morally obliged. This day took the
children to see St. Pauls, that magnificent temple of worship of the
true God ostensibly but an object of admiration for the grandeur of its
structure and the vastness of its dimensions The Monument, the Horse
Guards... Westminster Abbey... Houses of Parliament... The Tower.
Afterwards went to the ship likely to be our home for months to come
and completed to a certain extent preparations necessary for going on
board next day. Thoroughly tired of London.
|15 April, Saturday|
In the morning bought some additional cabin requisites, got the
remainder of our luggage aboard and being determined to leave with the
ship went on board ourselves. The Cashmere left the St. Katherine Dock
about one o'clock p.m. and was towed by a steamer to Graves End where
we are riding at anchor. We have a great deal of confusion on board
but are cheered by the information that this will give place to order
in the course of two or three days. This is to be our first night
aboard ship. God grant us his favour and protect us while we remain
|16 April, Sunday|
Few of the passengers in the ship. I went ashore to Graves End. Its
Easter I was surprised and shocked to see so many shops open in every
street the Sabbath is very much desecrated here—Steamboats and
Railway Trains constantly running, crowds of people on the wharves and
in the pleasure gardens in the river steamers all sorts of amusement,
fiddlers, harpers etc. Went to a Methodist Chapel and heard an evangelical
sermon there is an organ in the chapel the music very good this was the
first place I ever saw the people sit down during prayer the pews were
too narrow for kneeling in and I suppose they preferred any posture to
standing. Why it is not in me to say. In the evening heard two street
preachers one evangelical and the other a sermon. A more villainous
looking fellow than the latter I never saw.
|17 April, Monday|
In London bought some things still necessary for the voyage and
returned in the evening to the ship. A large number of the passengers
now on board the vessel being expected to sail tomorrow.
|18 April, Tuesday|
A further delay in putting to sea. The Government Inspector has required
a new fire engine to be put aboard and some other alterations to be
made. Satisfied by this circumstance that this inspection is not a mere
matter of form and that we have reason to believe that everything for
our safety and comfort has been provided. This evening J. Cochrane and
Anne Alexander came aboard. We can't as yet speak very comfortably of
our feelings and Rebecca is still very dispirited.
|19 April, Wednesday|
The ship has not yet sailed. The difficulty of getting cleared out
the only explanation. Engaged today in putting some more things to
right in the cabin and was to Graves End in the afternoon with Anne
and Rebecca. There are very fine and extensive baths in this town A
great luxury and certainly not less a necessity for health than for
enjoyment. Still in great confusion not auguring well for comfort.
Feel very much cast down myself on account of Rebecca's despondency.
May God give her peace of mind and restore unto her the joy of his
|20 April, Thursday|
This morning was waked up at 4 o'clock by Willis's people who were on
board to have accounts of freight etc. settled previous to the ships
sailing. I managed satisfactorily my freight account and have reason
to speak favourably of the liberality of the Agents who remitted a
considerable amount which I suppose they might have insisted on. The
steamer to tow us to a point where the wind was favourable was now
alongside the anchor was weighed about half past four we left Graves End
and in about six hours we were able to set sail and dispense with the
further assistance of steam. The wind was very favourable though light
and we made about seven knots. May God mercifully speed us on our way
and preserve us from all dangers.
|21 April, Friday|
Wind still with us. The day delightfully fine. Getting down the
Channel as rapidly and as pleasantly as the most sanguine could have
anticipated. This day a British steam Cruiser passed us with a Russian
Barque in tow which she had captured. We had no means of ascertaining
any particulars. This circumstance however plainly reminded us that
the peace of Europe is broken and God only knows when it shall be
restored. Not many complaints of seasickness, can't complain of our ships
|22 April, Saturday|
Getting on to the hearts content of our Captain who is a very worthy
man and most anxious to promote the comfort of all his passengers a
fresh breeze very sick and confined to my berth all day.
|23 April, Sunday|
No religious service aboard seasickness very general among the
passengers the wind favourable and good. I am selfish enough to wish it
were not so good my sufferings are considerable.
|24, 25, 26 April, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday|
Confined almost constantly to my berth unmitigated seasickness
accompanied by sadness and sorrow. Poor Rebecca still very poorly cannot
comfort her may God help her. Wind uninterruptedly good and fair sailing
along the Bay of Biscay and coast of Portugal sighted no land.
|27 April, Thursday|
Wind not so strong. Sickness proportionately less able to go on deck
felt very cold owing partly to the very weak state to which I have been
reduced. Very great confusion has hitherto prevailed children very
disorderly persuaded that going to sea is a very miserable thing at
least in the commencement of a voyage.
|28 April, Friday|
Was able to be on deck before breakfast felt very much stronger
the day very pleasant atmospheric warmth considerably increased. This
day sighted Madera and sailed pretty near to the end of the island the
coast is very rock bound and there is scarcely any cultivated land in
view a large white building was visible in considerable elevation in an
apparently barren district some thought it a chapel, some a Convent.
The wind light speed not more than 4 knots.
|29 April, Saturday|
Health of all passengers considerably improved beginning to be better
acquainted with each other all very agreeable, at least manifesting
a disposition to be so. A good many appear anxious to have religious
ordinances regularly observed. The Episcopalians most so. My dear
Rebecca and a Scotsman in the Steerage the only Presbyterians who
appear interested in the subject. Feel disheartened on this account
God give me strength to preserver amidst discouragements. Wind still
|30 April, Sunday|
A beautiful morning wind—very light and rather more
easterly—sighted Palmas Ferros and Teneriffe of the Canary Islands
at different times throughout this day. Preached under an awning on
the Quarter Deck at half past ten. The attendance good and the whole
service comfortable enough. I had often been grieved at home at the
careless lifeless manner in which the psalms were sung and hoped that in
our services on board this would not be the case, expecting confidently
the assistance of my brother-in-law. However in this I was disappointed
and the singing was so wretched that I was heartily longing even for
the music of Fahan. In the evening at the request of the majority of
the cabins passengers who appear to be of the High Church Party of
Episcopalians. Dr. Sealy read the evening service of the Church of
England. The singing of the hymns was good my brother-in-law leading I
preached by request. I believe I am in the way of my duty in present
circumstances in yielding so far to the prejudices of this people in
order to promote the spirit of Christian Union and that they may receive
the Word from my lips.
|1 May 1854, Monday|
The day very fine. We are within two or three degrees of the
Tropics. The heat is considerable but the Cuddy is remarkably well
ventilated the awning is over us on deck and we now know the advantage
of having a stern cabin as with one of the windows open during the night
we can sleep in comfort covered with a single blanket and sheet. We are
not making much way. A whale has been seen and numbers of porpoises. The
Nautilus or Portugese Man-of-war occasionally glides past us not sinking
beneath the waves and anon raising his fibrous tiny sail with which he
steers his course fearlessly over the waters. My reading has hitherto
been very trifling since we sailed and moreover very cursory. I am reading
James Earnest Ministry. All are now well on board but my dear Rebecca and
the nature of her malady (whether mental or bodily) I cannot discern. Oh,
how earnestly and with what tears and groanings I have prayed and do
pray for her restoration to health and strength.
|2 May, Tuesday|
Not yet entered the Tropics but will during the night. Wind very
trifling but still making a little way. Saw a steamer this day in the
distance, homeward bound. Our Captain thinks she is one of the Oriental
Steamboat Company's vessels. This day reading The Memoir of Leigh The
Missionary to New South Wales and New Zealand. Oh, that I could possess
the fervent zeal which actuated him through all his course. We have all
reason to feel comfortable as far as our treatment on board is concerned
and our intercourse with each other. We have now regularly reading and
prayer in the Cuddy immediately after breakfast conducted by me and I
have prayer with my own family in the cabin in the evening. God hear
|3 May, Wednesday|
We are now within The Tropics but the atmosphere is less tropical
than the last few days as the wind is much fresher. Our speed last night
and this day has increased considerably and we are now (9 p.m.) going 7½
knots. My thoughts have been very much today on past scenes and places and
persons whom we have left behind us. A coterie of passengers meet every
evening to sing on the quarter deck not sacred songs however thus far this
singing of such songs usually termed profane is innocent and pleasurable
is a question which I feel considerable difficulty in answering to the
satisfaction of my own conscience this evening while listening for an
hour I could not perceive that any but right feeling had a place in
my mind. There are emotions not strictly speaking religious but which
are never the less conducive to the progress of religion in the soul,
or at least perfectly consistent with the holiest exercise of religious
principles which are oft times excited by many songs generally considered
profane. Notwithstanding that this is my feeling I fear that song singing
is generally abused and it must be a self evident abuse when it interferes
with the performance of any command of duty. The reflection I think ought
to settle the question as far as singing in this ship is concerned we have
no Psalm Singing, no joining together daily to celebrate Gods Praise in
the manner of his own appointment. Therefore our singing is abused and
is wrong. But were there no song singing would it be better if the same
time were spent in idle conversation or listless watching, would there
be any improvement? I think not. Perhaps I shall soon see a fitting
opportunity for introducing something better I know from my position it
would be foolish of me to attempt to dogmatize or hastily innovate. How
hard it is to display on all occasions sufficient firmness and invariably
to exhibit the ministerial character. May I be helped to do so. This
day I endeavoured to keep the children pretty close to their books,
but still further improvement in this regard is demanded.
|4 May, Thursday|
Wind fair, increasing towards evening. Making 7 knots. Saw two sails
today. One crossed our stern, coast-ward, probably bound for some part
of Africa the other ahead of us on the same course as ourselves. How
pleasant it is to have the sense of utter loneliness relieved by even
the sight of a sail at a distance and how vast must be the ocean on whose
bosom so many ships are constantly traversing and yet so seldom falling in
with one another. We have not yet felt any inconvenience from the heat of
The Tropics but I believe we could safely do without any covering in our
berths even with an open window. The moon is now on the increase and the
nights are beautiful. On either side the quarter-deck are trusses of hay
for the sheep and when the heavy dews are falling it sends forth such a
delightful perfume, that sitting in the balmy evening I could almost fancy
myself in some sweet meadow far away from this restless ocean. But this
day dream soon passes and I am alive to the reality of our situation. We
have many things to be thankful for but some regrets intrude.
|5 May, Friday|
Last night and this morning the wind blew pretty fresh and we are
getting along at nearly 9 knots. There are some renewed indications
of seasickness with some of the passengers sister Dorcas and myself
included. However I feel convinced that an increase in motion does not
affect me nearly as much as formerly and that in time I might become a
good sailor. No sails in sight today. We are passing between Cape Verdi
Islands and the coast. Land is not visible. The nearest of the islands
is 150 miles distant and the coast still more. I had this day prayer in
the steerage in which about 12 passengers united. Every morning after
prayer in the Cuddy I intend, God willing, to visit the Steerage for the
same purpose. This evening very warm on deck even when everything was
quite wet with the heavy dew. The moon is much more directly overhead
in these latitudes (as the sun is) than we ever before saw her. Great
numbers of porpoises gamboling round the ship today. As yet no fish of
any kind have been taken.
|6 May, Saturday|
This day wind not so good but still very favourable. We have not had
one hours contrary wind since we left Graves End. Let God be praised
for his great goodness. Saw a whale this morning about two miles on the
starboard I believe it is by the man on the masthead who is constantly on
the lookout that a whale is first recognized as such. Whaling is a game
made up of minding, expectation and excitement and I should think the two
former generally constitute nine tenths of it. In this however I may be
mistaken one only seeing two whales on our course cannot be regarded as
a criterion I believe they are pretty numerous within the Tropics at this
season. Attendance at prayer in the steerage rather better today. Not more
than a few minutes on deck till after tea, engaged in the cabin preparing
for preaching tomorrow. May God give me the preparation of the heart,
and oh that some may derive comfort and edification, and others awakening
from the word of my lips. May my dear wife be comforted.
|7 May, Sunday|
All the more favourable for preaching on the Quarter Deck. Preached
from Hebrews 6.19 Which hope we have is an anchor of the soul
etc. attendance pretty good preached from the same text in the
evening. The service of The Church of England read as formerly by
Dr. Sealy. The Psalms and Amens chanted the latter especially made
me feel very uncomfortable as if I was where I should not be However
in matters indifferent the Golden Rule of Moderation must be observed
and he that chanteth not must not despise him that chanteth. My fellow
worshippers on this occasion hold Christ the Head and are at one with me
in all the great essential doctrines of Christianity, and I trust that
in those things in which we differ I shall be able to keep the unity of
the spirit in the bond of peace.
Wind improved towards evening. Sabbath dinners quite sumptuous in
their way this day our Captain treated us all to Champagne drank of it
and felt better for it.
|8 May, Monday|
Getting to the end of the Trade Wind after which we will be some days
in what are called the Variables until we get into another trade. Saw
a sail this morning astern of us steering more Easterly than us either
bound for some part of Africa or else taking a different course which
is sometimes the case as seamen differ in their opinion as to choice
of direction in order to catch the Trade. A porpoise taken this morning
harpooned by Sedgewick the first mate who seems to pride himself a good
deal on his activity but if in command I fear it would be a pity for
the sailors serving under him. Walker the second mate is a nice mild
agreeable fellow and I do hope he may have a prosperous career. The
porpoise is very much relished by the sailors who are glad to have
anything fresh. I believe part of it when well cooked might easily be
taken for pork. They are seen in great numbers a good many Black Fish
seen today which yield an oil equal to that of the whale.
|9 May, Tuesday|
Thermometer at 81 degrees all feeling the heat very oppressive
except the seamen wind light but favourable as it has invariably been
since we left. Met a ship today homeward bound. Great excitement on
board preparing letters for home and great disappointment when it was
ascertained that she was not a British Ship and that no letters would
be sent by her. She was a French Barque but had no flags for signaling
so that no information was given or received on either side, except the
display of the National Flag. Making pretty good way notwithstanding
the lightness of the winds I believe much better than usual in these
latitudes being now in the Variables. We are now about the eighth degree
north latitude. Attendance at prayers in the Steerage improving. This
day Chris's hat was lost out of the cabin window and our valuable servant
nearly went after it The Captain has promised to have the cabin windows
nailed to prevent accidents.
|10 May, Wednesday|
A heavy shower of rain this morning about 6 o'clock. It had been
preceded by a short squall of wind. They collected off the Quarter
Deck nearly a barrel of water. The wind fell away afterwards nearly to
a calm but after two or three hours perceptibly increased so that we
made nearly 4 knots. Passed a vessel about 6 miles distant going in the
same course signaled her but they either could not make out the signal
or were too uncivil to reply further than by displaying something like
a black ball. They recognized her from this and the colour (yellow)
of her painting to be one of the Blackball line of Packets generally
sailing to the Mauritius. This day was sultry and the evening warmer than
usual. Feel it very difficult to read much on account of the heat the
days are passing without much interest and I regret to add unprofitably
besides. I trust if this warm weather were past I will be able to do
more myself and make the children do more. We are in about 6 degrees 30
minutes North Latitude.
|11 May, Thursday|
The wind was tolerably good during the last night very light this
morning. Heat still very great all complaining of its exhausting influence
a baby born on board this morning the mother, wife of a man called Shaw
in the Steerage one of Mr. Hammerlin's servants. The husband is a civil
quiet man and appears very thankful for his wife's safe delivery. Sam's hat
went overboard this morning I believe he could not help it as a sudden
gust of wind lifted it off his head. This trifling accident led to some
remarks I deemed rather severe on Sam's demerit by Jos. Cochrane and I
permitted myself to lose my temper a man in whose heart the feelings of
the father never kindled is unfit to speak to a father about his children
and he is influenced either by ignorance or ill nature who speaks of a
child to his father as a blackguard and a scoundrel. I am aware of Sam's
stirring nature and the natural forwardness of his disposition and his
proneness to be opinionated but he is very affectionate and warm hearted
and possessed of very quick natural talent and considering that he is not
yet ten years of age, I trust by the grace of God I need not despair as
others seem to do that he may yet possess and manifest more wisdom and
steadiness. I have learned however the necessity of exercising greater
control over my temper.
|12 May, Friday |
Wind light... very sultry... Three vessels all outward bound in
sight... some of them sufficiently near to speak with.
|13 May, Saturday|
Making pretty fair progress... heat very uncomfortable. Engaged till
the evening making preparation for preaching tomorrow. Carried back in
thought very much to the quiet room in which I used to study at home and
made to feel how much I would value its comfort did I now possess it.
God enable me to trust to his mercy that all things are ordered for
the best and that the Lord will graciously provide all things needful
|14 May, Sunday|
About the warmest day we have had yet. Preached in morning and
evening from Hebrew 11.33. My spirit was greatly overwhelmed on account
of my dear Rebecca and I prayed with great earnestness that she might be
enabled to receive the promises through faith and be comforted by them.
A few minutes after evening service a Swedish Barque ("The Adelaide")
from India laden with rice bound for Cowes for orders passed so close
to us as to give us this information of her by signals and to learn
our destination through the speaking trumpet. It was very interesting
to witness the whole procedure and to hear the kind interchange of
civilities between the Captains. It spoke to my heart what brotherly
kindness universally exercised throughout the world would accomplish.
Oh, for the time when all men shall be brothers.
|15 May, Monday|
Wind fair but light... crossed the Equator about 11 o'clock
tonight at about 23 degrees West Longitude. The event celebrated in
no way except some drinking among the sailors which is certainly a
great improvement on the barbarous practices of former times which I
believe are nearly universally exploded (exploited?). Our voyage has
thus far been satisfactory and yet at no time of my life do I remember
passing a time of greater mental suffering... my dear Rebecca's illness
|16 May, Tuesday|
Making good way for these latitudes... nothing occurred worth
recording... still warm... sleep without any covering... windows and
|17, 18, 19 May, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday|
Miserable, miserable days. Rebecca very poorly. God relieve her and
pity us both. I can remember nothing of these days but their misery.
May we be strengthened for trials.
|20 May, Saturday|
On 20th. of last month we sailed from Graves End and we are now
in the 13th. degree of South Latitude. We have great reason to be
thankful that our way has been prospered and that we have had so few
bodily discomforts. Preparing today for tomorrow's services... never
did so at any former time with so sorrowful a mind... may I see God's
hand and be submissive.
|21 May, Sunday|
A very good breeze yesterday and today ½ wind S.S.E. Preached
morning and evening from Luke 13.33. My dear Rebecca heard me both
times... I trust she is somewhat better... the Doctor has given her
a draught every evening for some days. After preaching this morning
I baptised Shaw's child which he named after the Ship... "George
Cashmere". I believe the Episcopalians were rather pleased with the
simple impressiveness of the service... one of them would have liked the
Lord's Prayer to have been used... I didn't know how far I should conform
to this very general prejudice among them in wishing this prayer to be
used more frequently in our devotional exercises. I have no objection to
it myself except the fact of using it to please men... but after all this
may be scripturally right ½ "All things to all men."
|22 May, Monday|
Wind good and fair S.E. by E. half a point. Some expectation of seeing
Trinidad tomorrow. It is an island belonging to Portugal almost utterly
barren and now uninhabited. Some convicts used to be sent there but it
proved too expensive a prison as they were not able to raise sufficient
food in the Island for their support.
|23 May, Tuesday|
Wind still good S.E. making very good way. Passed Trinidad late in the
evening... not visible... probably would have been had it been daylight.
The motion of the ship has been considerable the last two or three days
but notwithstanding I have scarcely felt even uncomfortable so that I
am not likely to be such a martyr to seasickness in the Southern Seas
as I feared I would be. Rebecca seems rather better today and I would
fondly hope by God's blessing she may gradually be relieved from the
|24 May, Wednesday|
Wind light towards evening... making little way... the temperature
sensibly falling... nights rather cooler... not wearing any covering in
our berth yet... the boys lie quite in a state of nudity.
|25 May, Thursday|
Morning delightfully cool... wind fell away towards evening... getting
out of the Tropics tonight. Thank God no cause for complaint.
|26 May, Friday|
Wind still very light. A pretty heavy shower of rain before
sunrise... sun warmer today. This day spoke with two vessels... with one
by signals... the other with the speaking trumpet. The first was the
"Sea Kelpie" from London to Mauritius out 45 days... she promised to
report us as having 104 passengers all well out 35 days. This vessel
was very slow in signalling... and our officers were nearly out of
temper with them. We had been waiting for them all morning. In about
two hours after we met and spoke the "Fides" of New York from Calleo
to London with Guano... a large and good looking ship. She had been
out 75 days. Also promised to report us. These short meetings tend
very much to vary the monotony of a dull lazy day at sea, but we regret
that they are so very short... a mere 'How do you do' and 'Good bye.'
Feel very languid this evening and fear that dear Rebecca's spirits
have been rather unfavourably affected by some cause. I do pray God
she may soon be herself again. What a dull voyage this has been to me.
Except ourselves none dull... all are contriving ways of enjoyment and
in some of them I have participated. Reading, Dress, Conversation etc.
I am sorry that cards have been introduced in the evenings. I do not
see my way in interfering in any way to prevent it. I must not appear
a meddler... they play only for amusement... no gambling... could not
be persuaded they are doing wrong. I think myself 'the appearance of
evil' and association are here the strongest argument against cards.
I bear a silent testimony against them in never being in the Cuddy while
they are on the table. Rebecca still taking a composing draught each
|27 May, Saturday|
Wind light and contrary. Preparing for tomorrow. Thoughts reverting
to... whether or not to pass scenes and oppressing me, with regret.
Memory involuntarily starting before my mind in quick succession places
of meeting... kind humble faces of men and women who loved me and gladly
waited on my ministrations... my days of visiting... my light heart when
the day was past and I returned to my home. All this is too much for me.
But Oh. My God art thou the strength of my heart? and will not I put
my trust in thee? Even if it be not thy will that I shall ever again
have as kind a people and such a pleasant home... Oh do Thou cause the
light of Thy countenance to arise upon me and this will put gladness
in my heart more than all earthly comforts. My God give me a strong
persevering enduring faith and fit me for my trials, and my duties.
If it be Thy Holy Will fit my dear partner to bear with me the burden
and heat of the day and may she be strengthened in body, mind and spirit
to endure whatever of inconvenience vexation and hardship may be mingled
in our lot. And do Thou mercifully Heavenly Father be the guide of our
dear children's youth and their portion forever.
|28 May, Sunday|
Wind very light and still contrary. Preached morning and evening from
2nd. Kings... "Is the heart right". The 'Sea Kelpie' had again come up
with us... and some signalling passed between us. There was considerable
differences between the longitude according to their reckoning and
ours. Theirs was 35 degrees west and ours 32 degrees 30 minutes west.
Our Captain has two chronometers and at the islands we sighted he had
very little alterations to make so that they were going well. There must
be some great inaccuracy on the part of one or the other.
|29 May, Monday|
Wind scarcely any better. Towards evening became more favourable
but still very light... making about 4 knots S.E.E. While there was
an undesirable calm without, this morning there was rather a sudden and
violent storm within the Cuddy. A lady and gentleman being the Dramatis
Personae. I would greatly have preferred an hour's violent rocking
in a snorting breeze. What a sad exhibition of our Irish propensity
for quarrelling and Billingsgate before our English acquaintances.
This little fracas made me very miserable and was a great loss indeed to
my dear Rebecca whose nerves were much shook and her depression greatly
|30 May, Tuesday|
Scarcely any wind. A dull stupid day. Commenced to rain before
breakfast and continued drizzling and thick till this evening.
Then however the atmosphere became clearer and there was promise of an
increasing wind. A ship in full sail was seen after us but was steering
much to the Eastward. We have been doing very little for some days past
so that our voyage is likely to be longer than was at first expected.
A dolphin was taken by the Boatswain today.
|31 May, Wednesday|
The wind was good and favourable during the past night and continued so
today. Going 9 knots. For some days a good many birds have been flying
about... those most numerous are called parsons... a black bird with
stripes on either side it's throat... thought to resemble a clergyman's
bands... hence the name. This day one or two Cape Pigeons were seen... a
very pretty bird of mixed colours which flies without any apparent motion
of the wings which are extended to their full length but making an angle
with the back. The latitude today is 25 deg. 30m.
|1 June 1854, Thursday|
Wind not so good. Sailing East and one point by North expecting to
pass the Island of Tristan de Acuna to the North of it. Our progress has
not been so good as formerly for a week and more. We have great reason
to be thankful that the health of all passengers is very good and that
no accident of any kind has occurred since we sailed. General harmony
prevails but there is a trifling undercurrent of scandal which I do hope
will not increase so as to mar our comfort.
|2 June, Friday|
Still sailing East by North. A pretty strong wind blowing.
Going nearly due east part of the day. Sighted a large vessel astern
of us in full sail. We reduced sail that she might come up with us
before evening. The Captain being anxious to be confirmed as to the
correctness or otherwise of his longitude, the "Water Kelpie" and
"Fides" having differed considerably. The vessel which was a very
large one proved to be the "Terra Nova" from Greenwich to Melbourne with
passengers... out 46 days. Her Longitude and ours were exactly the same
which was very satisfactory to the Captain.
|3 June, Saturday|
Wind strong and still contrary. Tacking so as to make about 25 miles
Eastward out of 200 miles sailing. Unable to sit at our Cabin table to
write today on account of the great layover of the vessel to one side.
Studied the text Isiah 30.10. with the assistance of Chalmer's Sermon for
the Scottish Pulpit. Thank God my dear Rebecca is a good deal better
and I am now fondly hoping she will gradually but surely recover from
the depression under which she has been suffering.
|4 June, Sunday|
Wind strong and favourable sailing S.E. Too boisterous to
have preaching either on the Poop or Main Deck. Preached in the
Cuddy... attendance not so good as on former occasions. I regret to
observe the great carelessness of all the ship's officers and can't but
think it is mainly owing to this that none of the seamen attend the
Sabbath Services. Our passengers are all formalists... and there do
not appear to be any who have a scriptural view of the sacredness of the
Sabbath except the Presbyterians. The views of our Cuddy Episcopalians
on this subject are very hazy and the English Steerage and second Cabin
passengers are all either Unitarian or ?.
|5 June, Monday|
Wind still good and blowing in the same direction as yesterday.
Seasickness returned to me this morning with mitigated horrors.
I was considerably better after breakfast. Not easy to maintain the
Center of Gravity these days as the ship heaves tremendously. My dear
mother got two falls in her cabin yesterday but fortunately she was not
much hurt. I am reading Macaulay's "History of England"... a masterly
|6 June, Tuesday|
The pitching of the ship very great during last night and our berths
very uncomfortable but our progress was very good... going for some
time at 11 knots. Wind continued good during the day. I regret that
I have not marked the Longitude and Latitude of each day as my journal
proceeded but I expect to be able to append this to it when completed
if God will that we shall reach the end of this voyage in safety.
From the direction we have been sailing the last three days there is
still some likelihood of our seeing "Tristan de Acuna". We have seen
albatrosses during the last few days flying near to the ship. They are
said to measure sometimes from 15 ft. to 20 ft. between the tips of
their wings... the largest we have yet seen might measure about 6 ft.
They are occasionally taken with a hook and line. There is now a very
great change in the temperature. The children wear their coats on deck
and we can bear a blanket over us at night. I believe we need not expect
to have much less motion than we have at present to the end of the voyage.
The stern cabins on this account are very ineligible.
|7 June, Wednesday|
The wind strong and fair. Made 240 miles yesterday. Latitude 37
degrees South... very cold. This is the anniversary of my ordination in
Fahan 12 years ago. Oh God how little have I done throughout those years
to promote Thy Glory and the Welfare of immortal souls in comparison of
what I might have done... how unworthy and guilty in thy sight... how
little penitent for sin... and how little thankful for many many mercies.
Oh God vouchsafe to me Thy Grace that I may henceforth walk worthy of
the lord to all well pleasing and that I may constantly glorify thee
with my body and spirit which are thine.
|8 June, Thursday|
Weather similar to yesterday. The reckoning shows a progress of
243 miles during the last 24 hours. Tomorrow the Captain expects our
longitude will be East. Children can't be on deck so much on account of
the cold... and until they retire to their berths in the evening the Cuddy
is all noise and confusion. I regret to say the Card playing continues
and that no good is being done on board in the way of mental, moral or
religious improvement by the majority of the passengers.
|9 June, Friday|
A gloomy miserable day, cold wet and gusty and on this day the cold
relentless hand of death was among us. A sailor lad William James
fell and was drowned. There was a heavy sea running at the time and
although the life buoy was thrown to him and the lifeboat lowered
with 7 adventurous fellows headed by Walker 3rd. mate the effort was
unsuccessful. Poor James had sunk to rise no more till the last trumpet
shall sound. His father, a seaman, had been drowned about 5 months
previous and his four brothers are sailors. He, it is said, left his
widowed mother in opposition to her wish and was alas like the majority
of sailors a careless thoughtless lad. This accident overwhelmed many of
the sailors and passengers with violent emotions of grief... myself among
the rest. The two or three minutes of suspense before ascertaining who
was overboard and after hearing that someone was struggling in the waves
were the most agonizing I ever experienced. I was sitting in the stern
cabin and the children were on deck and I knew them to be so stirring and
venturous (especially Sam). Most earnestly did I pray for the poor boys
soul and I think many prayers were offered for him at that moment and
most sincerely did I feel what I knew would be the poor mother's grief
when the said intelligence will reach her and I wept burning tears at the
sad fate of the unfortunate sailor boy. It is likely that a subscription
will be raised among the passengers for the bereaved parent.
|10 June, Saturday|
Had a relentless sleepless night. Weather improved this morning.
Wind still favourable. Engaged in preparation for tomorrow's
services... hoping to be able to improve the sailors death so as to lead
us to reflect of the shortness and uncertainty of human life.
|11 June, Sunday|
Very fine winter's day. Great flight of birds about the ship.
Pigeons, Malamauks, (?) Undertakers, Petrels, etc. Several of the
passengers showed their disregard of Sabbath observance by spending
the day catching or making vain attempts to catch some of the large
birds. The attendance at the divine worship was better than on last
Sabbath... preached from 2nd. James 20.3. "There is but a step between
me and Death".
|12 June, Monday|
Wind still light but favourable. Slight showers but a fine grey day.
Not making more than 6 knots. The moonlight is not very clear... the
moon looking larger than she ever appeared at home... the atmosphere
|13 June, Tuesday|
Still sailing South East by East... wind not strong making 7 and
8 knots. Not able to see the sun today... by dead reckoning expect to
be in 18 degrees E.L. which is the longitude of the Cape. This weather
considered very unusual in this latitude. We have been all along led to
expect coarse weather at The Cape and it is by far the most agreeable
we have had. The most experienced may err in their calculations.
Warm though pleasant enough we would be getting on better if we had a
breeze sufficient to make the motion unpleasant. This evening I was
rendered very unhappy by hearing unpleasant reports of McL. no one can
be trusted. I have never doubted that person.
|14 June, Wednesday|
The wind more easterly and consequently not so favourable. The weather
is still very pleasant. The time is hanging heavily enough on my hands
and there are many things which often make me wish this voyage was over,
or that I had never left home. God knows how far my fear may be realized
or removed... as for pleasant or hopeful anticipations I have none.
I will not certainly be able to look back on my traversing the Ocean as
a time of pleasure. I would rather it were blotted altogether from the
page of memory. I believe God has desired it as a time of special trial.
I have found none to associate with among the passengers... my relatives,
affinity to whose society I have looked forward with pleasure are so
estranged from me that we seldom do more than speak and my wife in whose
society I could have found ample compensation for all this had she been
as she was wont to be, but she is so hopeless and despondent that she
has not a word for my ear but what is calculated to increase my misery.
May God be merciful and enlighten my darkness.
|15 June, Thursday|
Very delightful day... much like a fine April day at home... a good
deal on deck today. Any pleasure I might have enjoyed however was marred
by a most unpleasant investigation I was called on to make of a malicious
story raised on our servant by one of the steerage passengers. She was
evidently maligned but nothing could be made of the unmannerly ruffians
who wantonly injured her though the Captain tried as well as myself.
I pity her very much... but am of the opinion we would have been better
wanting a servant altogether as so little dependence can be placed on them
and the additional exertion which the want of one would have rendered
necessary on the part of Rebecca would have been good for her now and
would have been an excellent preparation for the hardships of Colonial
life. Sister Dorcas has commenced reading Macaulay's History of England.
I am getting on with the 2nd. volume but though much interested can
somehow or other get on but very slowly. Day now very short. 8 o'clock
this night wind improving... going 10 knots.
|16 June, Friday|
Wind rose pretty high and we had a good deal of rocking. Sails
shortened at 4 o'clock A.M. continued to blow half a gale till towards
the afternoon when the rain came on. Rained very heavily in the evening.
The night pitch dark. Averaging 8 knots. Some of us very seasick
this morning. I had a narrow escape from being severely hurt by my
foot slipping off the ladder of the poop deck. May we be thankful to
the God of Providence who is continually preserving us. It was on this
day week the poor sailor boy was drowned. How helpless we are without
the help of God... may we wait continually on him.
|17 June, Saturday|
A very dark damp cold miserable day. I could scarcely see at table
today and even in our cabin to read and write was very straining on
the eyes. I was employed in preparation for tomorrow's services as I
would have been at Carnshanagh, but many acquaintances and friends are
this day in Derry and some of them will likely be thinking of us and
talking of my successor who is perhaps chosen by this time. God enable
me to think with equanimity on this subject.
|18 June, Sunday|
Wind contrary today. Fortunately not much of it. A clear and
dry day. Reading in the morning from "Let no man deceive himself" and
in the evening expounded from Romans 3. 21. to end. The attendance was
pretty good... for the first time some of the second cabin passengers
here present who are said to be Unitarians. I believe I do not preach
to please my hearers but with a desire to profit them. My thoughts were
frequently in Fahan today. May God bless all the people there and order
all things for their good.
|19 June, Monday|
Wind still contrary... unable to make anything of it. A dark and
gloomy day... the most disagreeable we have had since we came aboard.
The passengers generally seem affected by the weather...spirits
dull... little chess playing and little conversation. Wind rose
considerably towards evening and sail was shortened in anticipation of
a gale... blowing very fresh towards 9 o'clock P.M. we have reason to
fear a night of rocking and general disquiet.
|20 June, Tuesday|
Last night we had the first real gale of wind which we encountered
since leaving. My dear wife was sleeping calmly by my side and suddenly
stirred during the night. I felt very uneasy but not positively afraid.
The roaring of the wind was certainly terrific but the waves did
not rise what is termed 'mountain high'. The children slept as usual
very well and none of them awoke at all except Sam who asked me if I
thought there was any fear of our being wrecked tonight and if this was
a hurricane. I reassured him and he fell asleep almost immediately after.
Notwithstanding Sam's stirring disposition, he feels and thinks. This
morning winds still high and the air piercing cold. Moderated a
little towards the evening. Making no way, tacking in order to hold
our own... sometimes to the South West and again to the North East.
Considerably calmer towards 10 o'clock and a general expectation is
therefore entertained of a good night's repose. My dear Mother very
much requires it... She was very much shaken last night.
|21 June, Wednesday|
Wind light but rather more favourable... sailing nearly East but
not exceeding 4 knots. A dry but cold raw day. Everything is sadly
monotonous... and it is certainly a great trial of patience this hope
deferred and especially as we all along supposed that after passing
the Cape we would be assured of good winds. It is bad to expect too
much... when we do so we are almost always disappointed. Goldsmith is
interesting me these heavy days... what a chaste style attained apparently
without effort and how (very?) pleasing (because?) very natural.
Strange that so few follow nature... whether created by authors or
morbidly bred in readers and demanding gratification the present taste
appears to me vitiated because unnatural to be easily understood by the
unlearned seems to be dreaded as a damning quality by the writers of the
present day and words etymologically the most difficult, and abstruse
are eagerly seized and made to do service where simpler words would be
very much more suitable and expressive.
|22 June, Thursday|
Wind still very light. This is the sixth day since we have made
anything of it. Our voyage is likely to be a tedious one after
all... however we ought not to complain... we have had very little
interruption and comparatively little sickness and our treatment on
board is everything we could expect. I would write much more had I a
better way of doing so but I find this to be one of the unpracticable
things on shipboard and study is not less so. Except towards midnight
there is an unnecessary din, confused noises and heterogeneous sounds
sufficient to render impossible the collection of two successive and
related ideas... except such as the mind has long habituated to and which
come without effort. There are indeed reasons of abstraction when noises
are harmless and the mental ear is deaf to them but on such occasions my
thoughts are invariably detected making a survey of past scenes, places
and persons with such vivid impressions that when the reverie is passed
I feel a kind of surprise that I cannot by a volition realize the while.
But alas; I cannot by a former volition I rendered this impossible... my
former home and people... Oh; how distant they are and will I ever
possess another home... will I ever be loved, by another people?
None but God could answer these questions and may He enable me to wait
patiently till it is his will to resolve them in the revolving events
of his good providence. For myself I fear not... I could conform to any
circumstance and preach the Gospel wherever I could find people willing
to hear me... but my dear wife and my dear children... this often proves
rather much for my faith... may God increase it and make me feel assured
that he will provide.
|23 June, Friday|
Sick and confined to my berth all day. Very little wind and not in
the right direction. The quiet favourable for me in my time of suffering
but not withstanding I would have preferred a measure of suffering had
we only been making good way. Rather better towards evening and have
reason to be thankful it is not worse with me.
|24 June, Saturday|
My health rather improved thank God. The weather still very fine
and the wind against us. Making absolutely no progress. Our Captain
seems rather disheartened by this delay. It teaches us how much we are
dependent on the will of providence and how little we can accomplish
by our own foresight, caution or prudence unless aided by a higher
power... endeavoured to make some preparation hoping to be able to
preach tomorrow forenoon. May we be kept mindful of the uncertainty of
all things here below and especially of that which hangs over the life
|25 June, Sunday|
The morning delightfully fine. We are sailing South West today... it
is rather discouraging but we must be submissive to the Divine Will and
wait the accomplishment of his gracious purposes. Preached this morning
on the parable of the ten virgins... the attendance was tolerable.
Distributed tracts among the passengers and sailors as I have done on
previous occasions. Having expressed regret to the sailors at not seeing
them at divine service although it came out unwillingly... still it
did come out with some of them that not being invited by their officers
was the only reason for their non-attendance. This I was sorry to hear
plainly answered though I had previously suspected as much and it fully
convinced me that were it not for the presence of the passengers there
would be no acknowledgment on this ship of the obligations of Religion.
I was glad to find that an old sailor... a Prussian... had a New Testament
in his native language. May the tracts distributed be blessed to some
of them. In the evening I had determined not to preach and had made no
preparation but after Dr. Sealy had read the evening service the people
sat expecting and rather than announce myself that I would not address
them I opened my bible and thinking at the moment of the suitableness
of the 14th. Chapter of Moses, I lectured from it acceptably and I trust
|26 June, Monday|
Another fine day with unfavourable wind. Thermometer indicating
a considerable rise in temperature. If we can judge of the winter
in New Zealand from this weather it must be very pleasant but it
will require to possess many advantages to equal our own dear home
that we have left. My health is not yet everything I could desire.
I am a good deal enfeebled and a very thing affects me injuriously.
The gossip of our fellow passengers is unceasing and the appetite
for scandal insatiable. I have no sympathy with the lovers of such
commodities but they seem to amuse those who deal in ????????? as if
they were of less questionable value. Walked on Deck a good deal with
sister Dorcas today and felt the better of it. Played a game of chess
with Sam for the first time.
|27 June, Tuesday|
Beautiful as on a summers morn, the sun rose today. We are heading
East but the wind is so light we are scarcely making any way. The birds
are so tame today that they are swimming in flocks alongside the ship and
diving for anything thrown to them... a fine albatross was among them for
a little but all efforts to induce him to take a bait were unsuccessful.
Our officers think there are indications of a sturdy increase of wind.
I may here transcribe a few verses I hurriedly wrote on the Death of
the sailor who was drowned on Friday, 9th. June, as formerly referred
It was a day of wind and rain,
And waves were running high,
And we were sailing on the main
Beneath a Southern Sky.
All hearts were light for hope's bright star
Had shone upon our way,
And pointed to a land afar
Glad with her own bright ray.
Full half our voyage we have passed,
Nor cause for grief we had
And now the full sail beat to the mast,
Who could then well be sad?
Chief of our ship a man of heart,
In duty firm yet bland
Did well perform the Master's part
And well our comfort planned.
His mates were favourites with us all
True British sailors both
Ever alert at duty's call
To kindness never loth.
The hardy crew with cheerful song
Performed the mild command
Boldly the slippery decks along
Or while aloft they stand.
That day in various past time we
Clothed time in lightest dress
Some gazed upon the troubled sea
Some read Some played chess.
While thus engaged the cry arose
A man is overboard
And still the vessel onward goes
And still the billows roared.
But' 'to' the gallant ship soon 'lies'
Owning the helm-man's power
The revolving lifebuoy swiftly flies
Brave hearts the lifeboat lower.
But all in vain - the struggle's past
The charm of life is o'er.
He looks that awful look, the last
He sinks to rise no more
And who has perished from our sight?
Ah, whose sad fate was this
Whose day has thus dissolved in night?
For misery or bliss.
When first the alarming cry was rained
This was a fearful thought
And wives and mothers Jesus blest
They found the ones they sought.
Ah, he was friendless the lost one,
A lonely sailor boy.
Few tears were shed when he was gone
Little it marred our joy
But the widowed Mother of the lout
Of him oft speaks and prays
Thinking her darling still is tossed
Upon the storm waves.
But when to Merry England's Shore
Our ship again in borne
She learns her son returns no more
Then bitterly she'll morne
And often, often she will tell
Even till she finds her grave
O her son who from the 'Cashmere' fell
And sank beneath the wave.
But while of the sailor's fate we think
And of his mother's woe
Let us not forget how near the brink
Of the abyss below.
There's but a step 'tween us and death
That hand will seize us all
And mayhap sudden take our breath
Be ready for the call.
|28 June, Wednesday|
Wind more favourable but little of it. Expected to increase during
the night... this expectation has begun, to be realized towards bedtime,
naturally tending to elevate one's spirits, when a scene ensues between
our Captain and Mr. Motherell which no one present will ever forget.
Mr. Motherell certainly gave offence but a more terrible castigation
could not have been inflicted by the "Little member" had it been of
never so much more grievous a nature. With my whole heart I pitied him,
for I well knew it was because of the deprecatory whispering about
his previous conduct which had emboldened the Captain to go far for so
trifling a matter. A slight interference of mine on the occasion was
likely to bring down on me the indignation not only of the Chief in the
affair but of some unconditional admirers of his.
|29 June, Thursday|
A fair wind and plenty of it. We are going nearly 9 knots this
evening. Thank God the distance between us and New Zealand is fast
decreasing. We commenced a game of chess this evening of three a
side... on the one side The Captain, Mrs. Nixon and Joe Cochrane and
on the other Dr. Sealy, Miss Hinde and myself. It is likely to be
interesting. There are no incidents occurring worth recording and were
it not for books this monotony would be terrible but with the variety of
books and good health there need not be much ennui felt even on board
a ship by any who are at all fond of reading. I recorded as a fact
often observed by us of late that time is passing with as much apparent
rapidity as ever it did in our lives. We almost wonder to think that
ten weeks have passed away since we left Graves End.
|30 June, Friday|
Wind still fresh and fair. Getting on very satisfactorily.
There seems to be no approach to the media of usual civilities between
the belligerent parties of the other evening. It is passing strange
that even in society so small that a ship's Cuddy can contain it there
would not be uninterrupted harmony even for a few weeks. Alas; for poor
fallen human nature. How much that is hard unkind and malignant is it
constantly exhibiting... some members of our little company breathe only
to their own satisfaction in this polluted atmosphere.
|1 July 1854, Saturday|
Finished our game of chess after breakfast this morning... our side
successful... we played with great caution... perhaps the other side
possessed really more skill but as in the game of life one false move may
turn the balance either way. By the way in this respect the playing of
a game of chess is a very good emblem of what should be the regulation
of our conduct at all times. How many ruined men can trace all their
misfortunes to one false step taken hastily and without due consideration.
Indeed there are very few who have walked so wisely all their lives but
as not to have been guilty of some indiscretions which though the evil
consequences of them may have been in a great measure retrieved by their
after conduct have never the less so far proved injurious as to render
them out run and distanced in the race of life by those competitors who
acted with greater foresight and produced throughout but more especially
at the start. This day wind increased very much towards evening and
a storm is apprehended. I have been preparing for tomorrow for a good
part of the day.
|2 July, Sunday|
A memorable day. Last night towards morning the gale increased
to a frightful extent and about 1 o'clock the storm was raging with
great violence. All were in bed in our cabin but of course sweet sleep
did not visit us. There were great apprehensions entertained for the
safety of the ship from the violence and long continuance of the storm.
The huge billows were terrific and when one of them would strike the
ship it was like the shock a cannon shot would produce. At dawn this
morning there was no abatement of the tempest and very few sat down at the
breakfast table. We had prayer but to have preached would have been quite
impracticable. I was surprised to see the insensibility of some and I was
glad to see some touched when I scarcely hoped anything would influence.
I am told some of the sailors were reading the Bible and praying and I do
hope my informant was correct. One wave was so immense that the Captain
felt assured it would sweep the decks from stem to stern. Fortunately
only the tail of it struck us and we escaped with very little damage.
The top of the bulwark on one side was broken off with a huge crash which
made all who heard it think the ship was greatly damaged. For my own part
I thought the ship could not survive long in such a sea and my mind was
filled with a multitude of thoughts many of them distressing. I prayed
almost incessantly and felt that as far as myself was concerned I could
cast myself on God's mercy through Christ Jesus but I greatly desired
to live and wondered that we had all been brought by many apparently
strange coincidences to perish in this distant ocean. Not till after
6 o'clock this evening was there any great abatement either of wind or
sea but after that time both decreased rapidly and we have the prospect
of getting at least a tolerably good night's rest. I trust we are all
truly thankful that God has preserved us and that very trifling injury
of any kind has been done and I do hope that it may have been a storm
bringing to some souls the influences of the spirit like mighty winds
and torrents fierce... breaking down the strong holds of sin and driving
them to Jesus. The Cashmere appears to be a good tight ship... she
made very little additional water during the storm though it would not
be at all surprising if she had. It was to me a matter of surprise that
after so much straining she did not leak at every joining and many waves
struck her with so much force that I thought them quite sufficient to
stave her in. As to the grandeur etc. of the storm I cannot speak as I
did not see it. I neither felt inclined nor deemed it prudent to go out
during its continuance and if it be God's will I would never wish to see
the sea raging so awfully as it did during those hours and I am sure I
will never be able to look on a troubled Ocean without feelings of painful
sympathy for those who may be in distress in the midst of it.
|3 July, Monday|
Thank God the storm is altogether past and we have this day a good
and fair wind. There is a considerable swell and the ship is rocking
a great deal. A motion the most unpleasant to be experienced at sea.
Among the Steerage passengers and Sailors I found many truly grateful
for our merciful deliverance. May the great goodness of God not be soon
forgotten by any of us. May our vows made in the time of our trouble
never be forgotten and may our spared lives be devoted to his service.
How heartily I wish this voyage over.
|4 July, Tuesday|
Good strong favourable breeze today. Going 9 knots... dark
weather... very much like December in Ireland. I find I can do very
little in the way of reading or writing. Before breakfast there is
not time or space. Breakfast is scarcely over when the confusion of
preparation for the children's dinner commences and when that is over
a very short time intervenes before the Cuddy is again occupied by the
Stewards in laying the table for our own dinner and when that is over and
dinner past it is almost night and absolutely nothing can be done till
after tea and then the noise of the children playing, general conversation
and card playing is so great and so incessant that anything requiring
much thought is not to be undertaken except to prove a bitter failure.
Yesterday some of our children were loud in their complaints that at
dinner they had not got a share of some roast pork... but this morning
several children were confined with sickness owing to their having
eaten plentifully of pork which was under-done... so that the children
found it was good for them not to have been permitted to get what they
thought it was an injustice to be deprived of. Let me learn patience
and contentment from this circumstance.
|5 July, Wednesday|
Wind still continues favourable. We are getting on very satisfactorily
and have reason to hope that in three weeks at furtherest we will reach
New Plymouth. We will pass the Island of St Paul this evening... leaving
it more than 100 miles to the north of us. We had another game of
Chess today Mr. Cochrane and Mrs. Nixon being winners. It seems rather
inclined to blow hard tonight but I think it will not increase to a
|6 July, Thursday|
This morning about half past four I was awoken with the noise of
a very heavy sea breaking on our Quarter and washing the poop deck.
There was very little wind after this but I was surprised to hear after
I got up that there had been a great deal of wind during the night and
that many of the passengers scarcely slept at all including my Father
and my Mother. It appears there was a good deal of alarm among the
Steerage passengers and for the first time I heard a whisper of something
not well calculated to increase our confidence in an individual on whom
very much depends and who is said to have been in a condition last night
disqualifying him for the performance of his duty and at a time when
the consequences might have been serious. Thank God my dear Rebecca,
the children and myself slept well as usual and were undisturbed by any
fear of danger. Beginning to think this day that I must endeavour
to find leisure to arrange some sermons, addresses etc. for my first
public appearances in Auckland should God in his good providence bring
us thither in safety. For a week past my dear Rebecca is going out
much more among other passengers than formerly and is, thank God in
all respects herself again. Father, Mother and she are gaining flesh
perceptibly. Dorcas the children and I with difficulty holding our own.
I often think of our former home and cannot yet but feel many regrets.
God knows when I shall cease to regret if ever. May I be fitted for my
trials. It grieves us very much that we have not with us those things
our dear brothers will be expecting us to have. I can't help it but
this thought very much hinders the gladness of anticipating our Reunion.
God knows I can scarcely account for our not at least procuring some
little present for them but the sad disappointment we experienced on
leaving made us neglect buying things.
|7 July, Friday|
Very cold today... wind favourable... blowing from N.W. Several
showers... decks very wet and slippery. The Steerage is becoming
very uncomfortable and I have very little pleasure in visiting
it. With the exception of one Scottish family consisting of four
individuals... Mrs. McKenzie, her two daughters and son-in-law there is to
all appearances not even a professor of Religion in the Steerage. My own
countrymen are manifestly more careless than I expected. Moses Wallace
has exchanged for a place in the second cabin where he is much more
comfortable and I hope better situated as to the matter of associates.
The carpenter, a Scotsman, and apparently a very civil as well as a
steady laborious able man has repaired the bulwark etc. broken by the
late storm so that the "Cashmere" looks herself again.
|8 July, Saturday|
Wind fair and good. A bracing cold but dry day. A pleasant day for
taking exercise on deck, but I was in my cabin from breakfast to dinner
preparing for tomorrow and meditating in solitude on a great variety
of subjects. I always find that when left much alone thoughts of home
always intrude and in spite of resistance will occupy much of my time.
Notwithstanding the tiresome sameness of our long voyage the weeks are
passing rapidly away and in looking back I can scarcely think yet so it
is, that we are this day 12 weeks on board the "Cashmere". We cannot
reckon on less than four weeks more. They will pass away however and if
they bring us to Auckland it will be with very mingled feelings I shall
look on it and land upon its shore. Oh that there were no remaining
doubts in my mind as to this being my providential path but alas... I
am much more in doubt on this subject than I was before leaving Ireland.
There I was convinced I saw my way clearly and felt comparatively little
|9 July, Sunday|
A day of squalls and snow showers. On this sabbath morning many
of the passengers and sailors were pelting each other with snowballs.
The moral obligation of the sabbath seems to be almost wholely denied or
disregarded by nearly all the English passengers. I preached this day
morning and evening from Exodus 34, 26, and 27 on the glorious name of
our God as revealed by himself. Oh that we all may be enabled to fear
and love that sacred Name and to subscribe ourselves by it.
|10 July, Monday|
A good fair wind carrying us towards the hoped for land. Had some
pleasant and profitable conversation in the Steerage with Mrs. McKenzie
today. How very indicative of their good sense appears to me the very
tone and accent of these Scotch people. My heart warms to them very
much... but when I reach Auckland will the hearts of the Scotch people
there warm towards me, an Irishman. This I very much fear... The power
of prejudice is very great and hard to overcome. One of our Cuddy
passengers, young Mrs. Hammerton is virtually Scotch... being brought
up in Scotland from her childbirth and is a nice agreeable person... but
it almost seems to me anomalous to find her notwithstanding all that is
Scotch about her, an Episcopalian. Her husband is a very obliging kind
hearted fellow... they have two fine children and he is only 23. In this
respect he has shared a little of our Irish imprudence and improvidence
as calculating people deem the qualities which lead to early marriages.
With all my heart I wish that they may never have any reason themselves
to consider their union to have been characterised by imprudence.
His father and Mother, sisters and brothers are passengers. His father
was a solicitor and a farmer in England and taken out with £1000
worth of machinery. His married son is to be his Engineer.
They are to farm and have thrashing machines... sawmills... flourmills
etc. Their cousins Mr. and Miss Hinde accompany them whose father is
vicar of Featherstone in England. Mr. Hinde is also an Engineer and
|11 July, Tuesday|
Last night it blew half a gale at 4 o'clock this morning J. Cochrane
came into our Cabin to put down the dead lights and we scarcely slept
after. The precaution is frequently necessary but no seas struck our
quarter last night. The wind has not ceased throughout the day but
it is very favourable and we are getting along well. This is Sam's
birthday... he is ten years old today and in his body's growth and in
mental capacity few boys of ten exceed him, and for this we are bound to
thank God but we are kept humble by reflecting that he exhibits a good
deal of waywardness and forwardness which while they may be owing in some
measure to his mental activity make him impatient of restraint, show us
how much we ought to endeavour to direct his mind to those subjects which
may exercise a sobering and chastening influence upon him and destroy the
natural pride of his heart. Mrs. Carrington, a second cabin passenger,
who has been the most delicate person in the ship all the voyage gave
birth last night to a stillborn child. The association recalls to my
mind the little child born on board on the 11th May and whom I baptized.
He is thriving well and is a good quiet baby. I addressed to him a few
lines which I insert:
To The Ocean Child
Hail little stranger, child of Ocean
Sleeping on thy mother's breast.
Calmly in the wildest motion
As when winds are sunk to rest.
That morn when first we bade thee welcome
To this moving breathing Earth world
Scarce a cloud was in the welcome
Scarce a breath the waters curled
And lovely was that Sabbath morning
When we met for worship as our wont
In innocence thy meek adorning
They brought you to the sacred font.
And while winds here gently murmuring
Prayer of heaven for thee was made
And for thee unconscious slumbering
Vows were uttered to be paid.
Thy father at thy baptism gave thee
The names our ship and Captain bore
Which with his own may heaven save thee
Make thy name 'George Cashmere Shaw'.
The sea on thy natal morn resembled
Thy own placid gentle sleep—
In its fury we have filled with trembling
Deep wildly calling unto deep.
So when you may hereafter often
Be tossed upon life's stormy sea
May God in love the rough winds soften,
When they blow, dear child, on thee.
|12 July, Wednesday|
Very cold day... wind still fair but fell considerably towards
the evening when we had two or three very heavy showers of hail.
The barometer has been getting gradually lower for some days and I
think there are such apprehensions of sudden squalls that we are not
carrying as much cloth as we might other wise do. The number of the
crew is scarcely equal to the requirements of the ship and certainly not
equal to an emergency. I had a long walk on deck with J.C. today and our
conversation awakened fresh regrets in my mind on account of many of the
occurrences of the last few months and especially the unkind treatment
not to say the positive injustice which I have had to endure at the hands
of the man whom I had always regarded as being at least one of the most
scrupulously honest men I have ever met with. Who then can be trusted?
Who has the ability and the will to befriend me and mine? I am not sure
of possessing any such earthly friend... but I know if we seek God with
our whole heart we will never want a friend whose friendship is better
than that of all the world beside.
|13 July, Thursday|
Wind very dull during last night... improved after 10 o'clock today
and continues favourable blowing from the South West. There are still
frequent showers of rain and hail and the weather altogether very wintry.
The barometer is lower today than it has been since the commencement of
the voyage. It is down to 'Rain'. I am amused and surprised at the
continuing gossip of our Cuddy party... not a day passes but some new
piece of scandal or something approaching it turns up. Sometimes the
ladies sometimes the servants... the Captain at one time mixed up in
it... Mr. Wetherell at another... Mr. Sedgewick first mate at another.
Some all smiles today... will be at daggers drawn tomorrow. Some all
compliments and courtesy to an individual when they are defaming on
every fitting opportunity. It is an atmosphere I never liked to draw
a breath in and here I am choked with it. God grant I may escape it if
we get ashore. Before leaving home I got more than enough of it and I
fear it will always surround some people wherever they are. Oh that we
all remember the precept 'By love serve one another' and 'Let all good
things be done in Charity'. Query... Will any person of Discernment
who unhappily possesses the un-amiable weakness of loving to exhibit
the failings of others not try to conceal that disposition from those
whose good opinion is desirable lest the knowledge of it would rather
lower the individual in their estimation?
|14 July, Friday|
Going on prosperously. All the passengers in good health and with few
exceptions in tolerable spirits. Those who are in complaining mood have
themselves to blame as they are dissatisfied with every trifling annoyance
and regard some slight unintentional neglect as injustice of partiality.
In any disputes which have occurred I have hitherto most carefully avoided
any interference and by the Grace of God will do so during the remainder
of this voyage. I have as I believe been treated very coolly by a person
at whose hand I did not expect it but I have not resented it and if
there be any misunderstanding I would be very glad to have it removed,
as it is my sincere wish to retain the friendship of old friends while
I endeavour to make new ones. Nothing certainly is more vexing to me
than to be slighted by those whom I respect and whom I deemed entertained
similar feelings towards myself. I feel how unpleasant I am situated here
and especially when viewed in contra distinction to my situation in my own
dear home. There I was surrounded by affectionate friends and people who
knew and loved me... here I am not known or understood... I have no doubt
I am regarded as distant and morose... and such is the bigotry and such
the prejudice of these high Church people that I fear their attendance
upon Ordinances in which I minister can only be resolved into a sort of
respectful suffering which is owing very likely to the good fellowship,
attention and suavity of J. Cochrane than to anything else.
|15 July, Saturday|
A good breeze today and getting on very nicely. Occupied during the
day in preparation for tomorrow. Beginning to feel very nervous about my
first public preaching in Auckland if in the good providence of God we
be brought safely thither. Oh that I were constantly anxious to please
God and to promote his Glory and the advancement of Christ's Kingdom.
May God give me a single eye and simplicity of aim and purpose. The day
is considerably longer which I feel to be a great comfort especially at
dinner as in the shortest days and dark weather it was almost groping
with me. This evening I was able to see easily at our cabin window the
dial of my watch at half past five o'clock.
|16 July, Sunday|
A squally day... very severe showers of hail... not so cold as
some of the past days however... wind right aft and not being able
to carry much cloth on account of the suddenness and frequency of the
squalls... the rolling was very great and rendered the conducting of the
services a little troublesome in the matter of posture. Preached in the
morning from Acts 26.28. 'Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian'
and in the evening from 1st. Thes. 5.20. 'Despise not Prophesings'.
The attendance was as usual. For the first time the Captain was absent
from both services. He appeared to be generally an attentive hearer but
he manifested no signs of seriousness in matters of Religion...and alas,
the same thing might be said truly of the vast majority of our passengers.
How true it is that 'The world lieth in Wickedness' and well may we ask
looking not only at the state of the world but at the state of Christian
Churches 'when the Son of man cometh will he find faith on the Earth'.
The squalls are becoming more numerous towards turning in time and there
is little promise of a quiet night's rest. May our trust be in the name
of the Lord.
|17 July, Monday|
Last night after retiring my spirit was chafed far beyond what the
offence warranted and I was disposed to look only at the trifling causes
of vexation which sometimes arise and to receive no impression from the
multitude of mercies and loving kindnesses with which God is daily loading
me and I suffered my tongue to utter unkind and bitter words which even
at the moment my heart condemned. How frail we are... How desperately
wicked and deceitful are our depraved passions and when we went from want
of prayerful watching permit ourselves to be delivered over to the storm
of anger we are like a ship tempest tossed without rudder mercilessly
driven, beaten and shocked by the chafing surges pursuing each other in
quick succession... seeming to vie with each other in the impetuosity
of their fury and in an ungoverned eagerness to engulf their victim.
The night turned out a rolling disturbed sleepless one. There were some
very heavy hail showers with a good deal of wind with them. The greatest
roll yet felt in the voyage filled us with momentary alarm. I really
thought the ship was gone quite down on her side and that she would not
right again. Thank God it was much better after all than we expected
it to be and though we spent a sleepless night we made good progress as
today at 12 o'clock we had made 225 miles. This day the wind is still aft
but not so good and now at 10 o'clock p.m. it is almost calm.
|18 July, Tuesday|
Foul wind this morning but little of it. During the night the wind
was fair but changed at 8 A.M. and we have sailed today S.E. by South
at about 4 knots. The barometer is very low and falling still more.
There are apprehensions of a storm but we are in the hands of a kind
providence who may send us more favourable weather than our meteorological
phenomena seems to indicate. Old Mr. Hammerton and my father look at
the Barometer about every half hour from 7 in the morning till 9 or 10
at night and are sanguine or melancholic according to its rise or fall.
Doubtless others feel an equal anxiety but do not manifest it and some
of the knowing ones occasionally hoax the old gentlemen by moving up the
index and thus leading them to believe that the mercury is falling with
hurricane boding rapidly. The rain fell in torrents during the day so
that the fear of wind was a little abated but when the rain was over and
the glass still looking down the anxiety was renewed and not a few turn
in tonight expecting a severe gale before morning.
|19 July, Wednesday|
Fine clear morning... wind foul but scarcely any of it... mere
puffing... sails hanging loosely... the ship rocking lazily. Last night
was a very restless, sleepless one to the most of us... the rocking
was incessant... a continuing see-saw... most wearying to the flesh.
I was up and down frequently during the night feeling no inclination to
sleep but anxious to keep books from falling, mugs from breaking, water
from spilling etc. Several breakages partly caused by our uncomfortable
motion have occurred in the cabin during the last few days consummating
this morning by the entire destruction of a very convenient potter's
vessel which had safely occupied a tiny little nook in our cabin during
the whole of the previous part of the voyage. Sic transit gloria.
About 12 o'clock the wind again changed to the west and freshened up
in a few hours to a good breeze bringing with it a good deal of rain
and an angry appearance but at 9 P.M. we had a very fine night and a
fair breeze. All Well. May we enjoy a good night's repose and feel
secure in the protection of the Almighty.
|20 July, Thursday|
This morning the wind is right aft but there are still squalls flying
about so that we have but few sails set and our progress is indifferent.
Last night the wind blew very hard for a few hours and I felt more
anxiety and alarm than I did since embarking. I was awakened by the
fearful sound of wind and waves and the ship seemed to me to be driving
with tremendous speed through the water. Upon enquiring this morning I
found this was a 'mer 'animi Sonitus' as she had been kept as close to
the wind as possible and was only going about 5 knots. I could not keep
my berth and was up and dressed from 1:30 A.M. to 6 A.M.... part of the
time in my father's cabin where they were all awake and had been rather
alarmed like myself. The wind blew hardest at 2 P.M. but at 4 P.M. a
tremendous shower of hail fell and immediately the wind fell almost to a
calm when the rocking commenced which has continued more or less since.
The wind is now fair and we are getting along well. The barometer is
rising and we are all hoping that it will please providence that the
strong comfortless weather we have had for sometime past will be succeeded
by agreeable weather which will last till our arrival in New Zealand.
We are now all getting on very quietly and upon the which our time is
passing more pleasantly than it did. No one is enjoying better health
nor better spirits than my dear Rebecca and God in his kindness enables
her to enjoy sleep when all are awake and anxious except herself.
My father and Mother are quite well and we are to each other a great
source of mutual comfort and happiness... the unaccountable coolness of
my sister Anne is the only draw-back to my comfort at present.
|21 July, Friday|
Weather still showery but the glass rising gradually and steadily.
Wind fair and getting on very satisfactorily. Hoping now that ten
days more and perhaps less will bring us to New Plymouth, God's will
be done May he be with us in mercy and all will be well. This day I
was sent for to visit a sick sailor in the forecastle. Found three
of them on the sick list. The man who sent for me is suspected to
be a dodger i.e. merely pretending illness. This I am inclined to
disbelieve and am of the opinion that had he been treated a little more
considerately when he first complained he might now be fit for duty.
Certainly he exhibits symptoms of sickness today. He appeared anxious
about his spiritual state... was not entirely ignorant of scriptural
truths... excused himself for neglect of religious duties by pleading
influence of evil example and I endeavoured to instruct him in the way
of truth more perfectly and those who were with him and prayed with them.
I afterwards sent them suitable tracts.
|22 July, Saturday|
All rejoiced at the great improvement of the weather this morning... a
beautiful day, clear and spring like with a good steady wind... all
sails set going sometimes 10 knots during the past night averaged 8.
I enjoyed the open air and the now unusual sight of our ship in full
sail a little while before breakfast but was not out afterwards except
a little after dinner being engaged preparing for tomorrow's services.
We have had two or three showers during the day and it is still looking
thick and heavy but barometer steady.
|23 July, Sunday|
A good wind but looking rather squally. Conducted services as usual
in the Cuddy. Preached morning and evening from Phill. 3.20. 'For our
conversation is in heaven'. Felt a good deal put about in my services
in the morning by the marked inattention of Mr. Cochrane and Miss
Hinde. God forbid I had long such people to minister to. I believe
the prejudice pride and intolerance of the high church party in the
Church of England is as bad as the worst phase of Popery could exhibit.
As for my brother-in-law I would much like to know him... I confess
my utter ignorance of his sentiments towards me... one thing I know he
manifests to me less amiability of disposition than he does to any other
of the party. He is greatly changed from what he was in times long past.
This evening looks very dark and gloomy and we are likely to have rather
an uncomfortable night.
|24 July, Monday|
This morning about 4 o'clock the wind came very high and there
was little sleep after and indeed for a good while before that hour.
It was expected we would see Van Dieman's Land in the morning about 10
o'clock but we had got on much better than we anticipated and had passed
that island about the time the seas began to rise in the morning. It was
from this circumstance, the waves from the North and short broken spells
they concluded where they were even before they had taken the longitude.
When it was taken we found the past had been one of our best days as
we were in 149 degrees E.L.... 2 degrees East of Hobart Town. The wind
continued to blow very fresh during the day but as we were going close
to the wind for the purpose of making headway our speed wasn't great.
New Plymouth folk are beginning to pack up and have all things in
readiness for disembarkation. Mrs Sealy would be very anxious to be in
time to attend church once in New Plymouth on Sabbath next to thank God
in his own house for their safe passage etc.
|25 July, Tuesday|
This morning there was a very unlooked for sight awaiting us when we
turned out. We thought Mary Jane our servant had been hoaxed by somebody
who told her that Van Dieman's Land was in sight... but it turned out
to be quite true and that we were in error in supposing we had passed
that land yesterday. The truth is the Chronometers were very incorrect
and we could not have been less than 8 or 9 degrees astray in reckoning.
The consequences might have been awful. Of course supposing we had passed
Van Dieman's Land North East as the course we wished to sail and had that
night been foggy or wet we would likely have been driven on the land.
As it was we had according to the account of the sailors and passengers,
a narrow escape although the ship's officers say otherwise. Where the
rocks known by the name of 'Eddystone' were seen by the man on watch
it is said we were sailing directly towards them and would have been
on them in about half an hour. I regard it as merciful providential
interposition and I trust we will be truly grateful to our gracious God
who did not leave us to be overwhelmed in the waters of the Ocean but
has shown us that his arm is mighty to save even when human skill and
foresight are utterly at fault. We saw different parts of Van Dieman's
Land at intervals during the early part of the day and as the wind was
light we did not make more than 4 to 6 knots. The wind has freshened
up towards bedtime and we are getting on well.
|26 July, Wednesday|
This was a very delightful morning with a good fairing breeze
which continued all day. Last night there was a great deal of sheet
lightning which led to the apprehension of a gale but so far there is
no indication of anything but weather. There is I believe a possibility
of our reaching New Plymouth by Sabbath yet but it would require a good
wind as at present, the whole time, which we can hardly expect. I find
very little can be done down here. Here I sit in my own Cabin writing
this Journal and the motion is so great that I can scarcely keep the
pen on the paper and my whole body is twisted and wearied excessively
with the reeling I am subjected to.
|27 July, Thursday|
A very favourable wind and just enough of it at least during the
greater part of the day. In the evening it became calmer and they
are likely to be able to keep up the sails all night. Something took
Mr. Motherell's toe this afternoon and he got rid of a good deal of
bile or Billingsgate Mrs. Alexander being the subject. I believe the
attack was altogether unprovoked but in a man constituted as he is the
cold indifference and contempt with which he has been treated in that
quarter are highly provocative and I think it is the dictate of prudence
to provoke no one even though we do not live in a house of glass and
though the provoked party be impotent to harm us. Civility for all is
a nice maxim and were we all to practice it, how free would we be from
all those disgraceful bickerings which an opposite course produce.
Paid my subscription today towards raising a fund for the mother of
the drowned sailor boy. Reading (????) Letters which are admirable.
Time is passing with much more laggard pace now that we are coming near
to the end of the voyage and counting the days. God grant we may have
a happy meeting with all our friends and that we find nothing amiss.
This despondency is a sad thing... but whether I will or not vexing
and distressing thoughts will obtrude themselves and are keeping me
habitually low spirited.
|28 July, Friday|
Wind not so good... all sails even (??) sails set. Very smooth sea.
A beautiful bright day. Wrote the following verses as a farewell to
our fellow passengers who leave at New Plymouth.
Farewell companions of our Ocean Home
Over 16000 miles of treacherous seas
(Now calm as sleeping child now lashed to foam)
Emblem of life and sinner's destiny.
With breaking hearts and eyes suffused to tears
We bade adieu to England's shore,
Our bosoms torn with various hopes and fears.
Most to behold our native land no more.
By various fates and various fortunes led
To seek another and far distant land,
We dried at length the bitter tears we shed
Trusting our all in the Almighty hand.
And now perforce one family we were
Who must for weeks and months together dwell:
And on each other happiness confer
Or make our ship a very type of Hell.
The weeks and months their rapid course have sped
And though not free from imperfection's strain
Yet yon mild charity, prejudices fled,
And dark distrust and hatred in their train.
And Sabbaths were alliances of love,
Our faith the same... we shared each others forms
And sought together mercy from above
To guide us mid life's dangerous calms and storms
By mutual knowledge, friendships stronger grew,
Until it rivalled e'en the growth of years:
And kindness, sympathetic bosoms drew,
To tell each other all their hopes and fears.
Thus passed the swiftly flying time away,
Which we had feared would prove distressing long:
And some would gladly have it longer stay
That they might longer be such friends among
'Tis true not alloyed our joys have been
Some trifling bitter mingled with the sweet:
The edge of temper oft is all too keen
And judging too, severer than is meet.
But let this pass... as did those awful gales,
Which for a little filled our hearts with fear
And to life's gentler breezes spread the sails
Hasting to wipe from Sorrow's eye the tear.
Go ever shine where darkness is most dense,
And ever holy principles maintain:
The Tribune God will be your sure defence
And true it is that Godliness is gain.
And now Farewell: Mayhap a long Farewell
May blessings rest upon you from above
And may we all in Heaven Dwell
And sing the praises of redeeming love
But see; your voyage now is almost o'er
And snow capped Egmont rises to our view
Your boats will land you on New Plymouth's shore
And we must say again 'Adieu Adieu'
This afternoon the wind improved a good deal and we are getting on
very well. Sam alarmed his grandpapa greatly this morning by venturing
in some dangerous part of the ship... unfortunately he is reckless and it
is of God's mercy that some accident hasn't occurred to him ere this.
At home his fondness for riding horses and here his forwardness in
pulling ropes and reefing sails have exposed him to frequent perils.
The management of such a boy I confess is a matter I do not rightly
understand may the grace of God do what I cannot do and sanctify his
natural abilities which are of no mean order to God's service and make
him if spared a good citizen and a Christian. Although this day was so
fine I wasn't out more than 5 minutes... engaged reading and writing
the whole day except an hour or two in the twilight. This evening
about 6 o'clock Mrs. Sealy the wife of our Doctor gave birth to a
daughter... mother and child doing well. They had intended stopping at
New Plymouth but it is likely she may not be sufficiently recovered to
leave the ship when we arrive there and that they will go on to Auckland.
It is worthy of observation that the two births which have taken place
on board have been on about the finest days we have had on our passage.
We are going now at 9 o'clock P.M. about 6 knots... we are likely to
have some rocking tonight. I hope not for Mrs. Sealy's sake.
|29 July, Saturday|
Fine day but making little way. Engaged from breakfast to dinner
preparing for tomorrows services. No expectation now of seeing New
Plymouth before Monday but almost assured we will see Mt. Egmont as early
as we can see it in the morning. Have felt rather inspirited today from
what cause I can scarcely tell. May God make it permanent.
|30 July, Sunday|
Wind contrary. Scarcely any of it. Preached morning and evening
from Deut. 12.9. 'Ye are not yet come to the rest and the inheritance
which the Lord your God giveth you'. A good attendance in the evening.
Endeavoured to apply the subject to our own circumstances and addressed
the passengers to New Plymouth for the last time. It is probable they
will never again hear my voice as a preacher... nor I address them
as hearers. This was an impressive consideration and I felt it and
endeavoured to impress it. I conversed by writing a good while with
the deaf and dumb boy today and felt it very interesting to myself and
profitable too and I hope it was so to him. Although the voyage has not
been made as profitable as it might have been but I was utterly impotent
to make it so. The card playing in the evenings constantly kept up and
was I am fully persuaded an effectual barrier to the accomplishment of
any good to those who engaged in it.
|31 July, Monday|
Almost a calm... the very light wind which is almost imperceptible
constantly changing... not going a mile and hour. We are learning how
entirely we are dependent on God and it is a good lesson to have impressed
on our minds as we are nearing our destination. The day is one of the
finest... indeed I may say the finest we have had since we left England.
Not warmer, nor more cloudless than we had in the Tropics but more genial
and fanning us with the balmy breath of spring. We were all deceived
today in supposing we saw M. Egmont in the great distance and even Rebecca
and Mrs. Nixon came on deck to see it. (?) where was before for a couple
of months. The imaginary mountain soon disappeared and when the longitude
was taken it was found we were still distant from it about 140 miles.
We all walked on deck a good deal today except Rebecca who although she
takes absolutely no exercise is yet very well. We were amused no little
at a walking match between my father and Miss Bell Harriett Hammerton.
My father walked best but the air and look of determination and mighty
effort exhibited in his countenance and were so like anger that he might
be supposed to be resenting an insult or contending with his mortal foe
was irresistible and unfilial though it was I laughed immoderately.
Mrs. Nixon beat him by a kind of hop step and jump and exalted with
triumphant air at her supposed success. She seems in many respects a
character.. I hope she will prove on further acquaintance an amiable
character... it occurs to me that a long friendship with her will be
best secured by a moderate degree of intimacy.
|1 August 1854, Tuesday|
This day the exact counterpart of yesterday. At 12 o'clock we found we
had just made 30 miles from 12 o'clock yesterday and to all appearance we
will make little more today. Several times a tantalizing puff made us
suppose the wind was coming but we as often were disappointed. The day
was very warm... just what we would consider a fine June day in Ireland
and if this be a fair specimen of the early spring in New Zealand the
climate at least is not over-rated in the accounts we have received of it.
Had another long conversation with the deaf and dumb boy today and visited
the sick sailor in the forecastle where I had an opportunity of talking
to and praying with several of the crew. I rather fear the treatment of
the sailors in this ship savours too much of a harsh discipline... they
are to a man dissatisfied and if they can get it accomplished they will
leave this ship at Auckland. I fancy Masters and mates have a good deal
to do in making the characters of sailors and that if they did their
duty as Christian men the sailors as a class would be of a different
|2 August, Wednesday|
This day also beautifully fine. Expected this morning to get a
sight of land... towards evening all looked out very anxiously for that
desirable object... I had gone over to the forecastle and pointed to what
Mr. Carrington a second cabin passenger considered the 'loom' of land
when John Ferguson my father's servant who had gone up to the cradle of
the foremast called out "land land" and sure enough he was right... it
was the long looked for Mt. Egmont. During the continuance of daylight
this was very partially visible... we all looking forward very eagerly to
daylight of tomorrow to behold less dimly our adopted country.
|3 August, Thursday|
Egmont visible this morning in all it's glory. What a magnificent
cone with it's resplendent snowy mantle shining in the light of the
morning sun. Smaller mountain heights less distinctly visible and land
on either side of the mountain falling away gradually till lost in sea
still less distinctly visible. During the day we made little progress
towards New Plymouth as there was almost an entire calm. In the evening
the sunset was the finest we witnessed since we left England and indeed
during our lives. Perfectly unclouded did that bright luminary sink into
the Ocean. Fancy could not paint more beautiful clouds than his rays,
painted all round the western horizon and Egmont immediately opposite
which had been covered with vapours during the afternoon became very
clear on it's apex, which reflected most resplendently the gilded beams
of the glorious sun, even for some moments after he was hid from our view.
The opinion of the weather wise is that this sunset betokens a continuance
of fair weather though some sailors are expecting a change. What reason
on reviewing all the way our God has brought us hitherto to give thanks
unto his holy name for his enduring mercies... and Oh how little real
gratitude there is in our hearts. How prone we are to be joyful on
receiving gifts but to be wickedly unmindful of the Giver.
|4 August, Friday|
This morning we were awakened by an uncommonly furious squall which
created immense confusion in the ship and excited no little alarm among
the timorous. The wind sprang up earlier but only gently and a squall
was not at all anticipated. Fortunately no harm was done and the wind
had ceased in a very few minutes. In the morning Egmont was completely
covered but a great part of the Taranaki District was visible and becoming
more distinctly so every few minutes. We could discern the timber lands
very easily at first... then the cultivated fields and houses and (?) etc.
As we sailed North three rocks near the anchorage at New Plymouth were
the most prominent objects... they are called 'The Sugar Loaves' from
their shape... one stands on the shore and the other two in a line from it
into the sea at about equal distances from each other... high water ships
could if necessary sail between them but they do not require to do so.
As we neared we could perceive the white houses of New Plymouth which
appears a scattered town but very beautifully situated and surrounded by
a country which I have no doubt will in a few years merit the appellation
given it by Hursthouse... 'The Garden of New Zealand'. Here a pilot
comes aboard to point out the best anchorage and we shortly saw a boat
leaving the shore but while expecting to see it near us heavy squalls to
the westward were gathering and some of the men who were aloft reefing the
mizzen saw the boat turn again towards the shore. Indeed our Captain had
little expectation of being able to anchor as the glass was falling and
the wind blowing on the shore. It was tantalizing and the New Plymouth
passengers were very much cast down about it as they fully expected to
be on shore in an hour or so. The circumstance of having no harbour
will ever be a serious drawback to the prospects of New Plymouth and
I believe if parties were aware of this to its full extent they would
be discouraged from immigrating to it at all. However for rural life
it is probably unsurpassed and those who are willing to give up other
things for rural beauty, retirement and quietude will doubtless find
here, if anywhere, those wished for blessings realized. The evening
wore rather a stormy aspect and with close reefed topsails and sailing
close to the wind we are heading at 9 o'clock P.M. North West by West.
Another Brig wishes to get anchorage at New Plymouth from where we can't
tell is also standing off from land.
|5 August, Saturday|
Last night was very squally and I was sleepless and restless.
We tacked several times to avoid going far to sea and what with the noise
of sailors and wind and occasional pitching and rocking I was completely
upset. Rebecca and the children slept well. This morning we are 20
miles from land. Egmont is clearly visible. We are sailing S.W. by
W.... very little wind... day fine... wind freshening a little about 12
o'clock but is blowing off the land. During the forenoon I was engaged
preparing for tomorrow. Little did I think last Sabbath when addressing
my fellow passengers that so many would be with us this day... how little
we know of the future. There is reason to hope from appearances this
evening that we may be at anchorage off New Plymouth tomorrow.
|6 August, Sunday|
This morning we were very near the anchorage but as frequent
tacking was necessary we did not cast anchor till about 10 o'clock.
Sometime previous the boat with the pilot and Willis's Agent Mr. Nash had
come alongside and we were very glad to see the faces of our fellow men
dwelling in this distant island of the sea. Mr. Nash breakfasted with us.
He has not been here more than six weeks... he came on the 'Eclipse'.
Three or four of the settlers were in the boat beside him... among them
were a Mr. Gray and a Mr. Blachman, Scotchmen and Presbyterians... they
were very glad to see me and I learned some thing of the state of religion
in New Plymouth. From their statements I would infer that there is
very little religion in the place, except what is external and nominal.
I promised them to try and go ashore before we left that I might converse
with one or two more of their number. Immediately after casting anchor a
boat load of passengers and luggage left us and another in the afternoon.
It is a question whether this was a work of necessity but considering all
circumstances it would require very great faith to act in accordance with
a negative answer to this question. We found it quite impossible to have
a morning service today as at the usual hour of holding it the confusion
was very great... in the evening I preached and although the majority
of our Cuddy passengers had left there was a good attendance as we had
more than usual of the steerage and second cabin passengers.
|7 August, Monday|
A beautiful day. The boat made three trips to and from the beach
today taking out goods and passengers. Jos. Cochrane went on shore today.
I had told him my intention to go when he was going but he slipped away
without me, I suppose choosing his company. We all enjoyed the view
of the town, adjacent country, and especially Mt. Egmont from the ship
very much today. In the very clear moonlight in the evening Egmont was
a magnificent object of sight and contemplation. Mrs. Sealy went on
shore today in her cot. Dr. Sealy had gone a shore the previous day
and procured lodgings. The Hammertons with the exception of young
Mrs. H. left without even bidding goodbye to some of us. How much
attention was lost on some of that party and others too.
|8 August, Tuesday|
Another delightful day. Warm as a summer at home. Went a shore in
the morning boat which left rather early for breakfast. Was astonished to
find a tremendous surf on the beach. Warned off by a flag hoisted on the
flag staff. We sailed some time until the tide would have ebbed further
when the surf decreased. We held on by a buoy to which is attached a
cable which is also made fast on shore and with the assistance of which,
place in a runner on the bowline of the boat the crew more steadily and
securely than with their oars propel her up on the beach. This morning
while holding on the buoy the chain attaching it to the anchor broke and
we were soon drifting towards the shore. The men took to their oars
and by stout rowing and careful watching on the approach of two great
breakers we got safely on the shore of New Zealand. The few Maoris I saw
did not appear strange to me... probably from the account I had read of
them and aided by fancy the whole scene appeared to me as one with which
I was quite familiar. A few days previous a dispute had arisen between
two of the tribes on an agrarian question and 16 persons of the tribe
friendly to the Europeans were shot... seven of whom have since died.
These people were working at a road through the bush for the settlers
when the hostile tribe whose Chief is a fractious mob orator sort of a
fellow ordered them to desist which they would not do and after first
firing over them and then in the ground they fired among them when the
result was as stated above. The old friendly Chief and his son were both
mortally wounded. The Chief died in hospital and was buried yesterday
in the burying place of his fathers. I believe the funeral was rather
an imposing spectacle. There were but few of the natives in town today
and I learned that the reason was that the road was Tapu or made sacred on
account of the outrage. They are boiling with indignation and the hostile
Chief is expected to be soon the victim of their revenge. He is said to
be very low in spirits and some are of the opinion that he will commit
suicide. These natives are all nominal Christians... The deceased Chief
was a Wesleyan. New Plymouth is a very scattered irregular place as most
new towns are (the streets are marked out pretty regularly but the houses
are of all sizes and shapes and dotted here and there so that at little
distance you would suppose there was no such thing as a regular street).
With the exception of the Episcopalian Church which is built of beach
stones all of the houses are wood. The town occupies a rising ground
sloping gradually up from the sea to a considerable height... from the
Church you look down upon the town and from Mt. Marsden a terraced round
Mount immediately behind the church, you command a magnificent view of
the town and the whole of the surrounding country. There seems to be
a considerable breadth of well cultivated land and the cultivated land
and the ancient forest stretching away as far as the eye can reach.
I met with four Presbyterians, heads of families, Dr. Wilson, a very
popular man in New Plymouth, a magistrate and the Medical Superintendent
of the Government Hospital for the Maoris: Mr. Black, a baker and a
substantial man who has been 13 or 14 years in the colony; Mr. Gray a
Haberdasher and General Storekeeper and Schoolmaster and a Mr. Ritchie
of whom I only learned that he is a second cousin of Dr. Wilson.
I found that sometime after Mr. Gray commenced a correspondence with
the Rev. William Bruce about the practicability of supplying them with a
preaching occasionally in New Plymouth and latterly Mr. Bruce has been
corresponding with Mr. Wilson. He has promised them that when he can
get a supply for his pulpit for a few Sabbaths he will pay them a visit.
With the new arrivals by the 'Cashmere' they don't number more than
12 families... one or two of which are at a distance of more than ten
miles from New Plymouth. It is quite evident that they are not in a
position to have a minister of their own yet... though they speak very
confidently of getting accessions from the Episcopalians, the Methodists
and especially Independents whose minister is not very popular on account
of some inconsistency of conduct. The Wesleyan preacher, an excellent
man, has his time fully occupied with the natives. The Episcopal Clergy
don't visit the people and altogether there is a great deadness among
the Europeans. I partook of the hospitality of Mr. Black and Mr. Gray
and was regaled with New Zealand produce in the shape of bread, cheese,
butter, honey and preserved Cape Gooseberries all of which were excellent
and the zest with which I partook of them was enhanced not only by my
not having regularly breakfasted but by the kind and cordial manner in
which they were offered. I had some idea of remaining in New Plymouth
overnight and holding a meeting and they seemed anxious that I should,
but being told that the Captain was determined to be on board sometime
tonight and that a change of weather was apprehended I judged it prudent
not to remain. The surf was again very considerable on the beach where I
parted with the Hindes and the Hammertons. Mrs. Alexander also remained
on shore with them thinking there was no risk as the Captain was there.
In the ship after my arrival we spent the evening very pleasantly and
harmoniously... the only evening of which it could be said that all in
the Cuddy were on kindly terms with each other. The night looked well
at 10 o'clock.
|9 August, Wednesday|
Surprised to hear the rain before daylight this morning and to
feel the vessel pitching a good deal. The morning looked threatening.
Mrs. Alexander came on board by the boat which arrived just as we had
finished breakfast. We were sorry to find the Captain was not in her
and it did not certainly satisfy us when we heard that what detained him
was that he and Jos. Cochrane were to breakfast with Mr. Nash the Agent.
After the boat was loaded as the sea was rising very fast our lifeboat
was lowered to tow her to windward, but they had to return and with
the boat was rowed in another sheltered direction round by the beach.
Very shortly afterwards the Chief Officer Mr. Sedgewick having been
signaled from the shore thought it prudent to slip anchor, hoist sail
and go to sea and we were soon almost out of sight of the Sugar Loaves.
The wind increased considerably for some time and the sea rose but the
rain fell very heavily and for a long time which lowered both wind and
waves and then at half past nine the ship turned towards New Plymouth
again and we are getting on very steadily and smoothly. Our Chief
Officer is an excellent seaman and is very cool and steady in command.