- Born: Cir 1828, Witham, Essex, England
- Christened: 5 Jan 1829, St. Nicholas, Witham, Essex, England
- Marriage: Henry William CHALLIES on 4 Dec 1852 in St. Martin In The Fields, Westminster, Middlesex, England
- Died: 9 Mar 1920, Appleby, Waimea West, Nelson, New Zealand aged about 92
- Buried: St. Michael's, Waimea West, Nelson, New Zealand
Colonist, Volume LXII, Issue 15328, 17 March 1920, Page 1
A PIONEER SETTLER.
DEATH OF MRS SARAH CHALLIES. ADVENTUROUS VOYAGE RECALLED. (From "The Colonist," March l0th.) The death of Mrs. Sarah Challies, relict of the late Mr. H. Challies. which occurred at her residence, "Eustone." Appleby, on the 9th inst.. in her 92nd year, removes one of the oldest identities of the district, and incidentally recalls the exciting experiences of the passengers of the ill-fated barque Mahomed Shah, one of whom was Mrs. Challies, who left England in 1853 on the voyage to New Zealand. According to Mrs. Challies' diary, the vessel left Firlay on December 14th. 1852, but newspaper reports give the date as January l0th, 1853. Early on the morning of April 18th the vessel was discovered to be on fire. The next afternoon, the brig Ellen, bound from the Mauritius to Hobart. with a load of sugar, sighted the Mahomed Shah, and bore down upon her. All the passengers were rescued the same afternoon, and the officers and crew early next morning. After a long passage of 16 days, on. the 6th May all were safely landed at Hobart. Mr. and Mrs. Challies and one child were brought from Hobart to Nelson in the brig Munford, and arrived here on the 18th June. The deceased had resided in the Waimeas ever since her arrival, and was universally respected. She leaves a grown up family, who are well known in the district. Appended are some extracts taken from newspapers published in the "fifties, which give the experiences of the passengers of the ill-fated Mahomed Shah:\emdash ("Examiner," July 2nd, 1853.") Mahomed Shah. \emdash Left Firlay 15th January, 1853, and everything went on pretty well until 18th April last, when the vessel was discovered to be on fire in the forehold at about half-past o a.m. The nearest land to us was Cape Leuwin. The passengers, 31 in number, included eleven children, all under seven years of age. Evening coming on, we determined to draw lots to decide who should go in the different boats, of which we had four \emdash the long boat, gig, whaleboat and lifeboat. There were 22 for the long boat, 14 for the whaleboat, 8 for the gig, and 6 for the lifeboat. We kept drawing and pumping water during the whole of the night. ("Nelson Examiner," June 18, 1853.) Extract in the "Wellington Independent" from the shipping intelligence of the Melbourne "Morning Herald" of May 16th: \emdash "The Ellen, Brig, from the Mauritius, when in latitude 40dog. lOmin. S. and longitude 119deg. lOmin. E. took on board the crew and. passengers of the barque Mahomed Shah, bound from London to New Zealand, the said ship being abandoned on fire. The following are the names of the parties thus providentially preserved: Passengers: Mr. and Mrs. Jeffries; Mr and Mrs. Hall and 3 children; Messrs. Herbert, Oswald Curtis; Smith; Holland Mrs. Wheeldeu, sen.; Mr. and Mrs. Wheelden, jun.; Mrs. Roddy; Mr and Mrs. Powell and 7 children; Mr and Mrs. Challies and 1 child; Mary Knowles; Mr. Drummond, Anno Williams; W. Winter, master; Dr. H. Schenk, surgeon; Thomas Burgess, Ist mate; Thomas Robertson, 2nd mate; and 23 seamen. Before being so providentially fallen in with by the Ellen, the Mahomed Shah had been on fire for 2 days, but the conflagration had been kent under in a smouldering state by battenin down the hatchways, etc. The escape of the passengers and crew was attended with no other casualty than the loss of every article of property, excepting that upon their persons, belonging' to them. The fire is supposed to have originated in spontaneous combustion as from its breaking out in the lower hold, no other probable cause can be attributed. It is stated that Lady Dcnison, with her accustomed generosity, has largely contributed to the assistance of the,, crew and passengers of the ill-fated Mahomed Shah. Great quantities of clothing, etc., have been forwarded for their use from the Governor's house." Extract from Mrs. Challies's diary: 19th April.\emdash At noon- we were about 368 miles from the nearest land. Upon pumping the ship in the afternoon a great quantity of oil was noticed amongst the water, and in the wake of the vessel. At length about half-past 4 on Tuesday afternoon the joyful sound was heard from aloft of "Sail ho," and was repeated by every person on deck. The second officer, Mr. Robertson, sprang aloft with a telescope and soon announced that it was a brig about 10 miles to windward, and nearing. We immediately shaped our course so as to cross her bow, and hoisted our onsign at the main, union down, and fired a gun, but the brig did not seem to notice us, until we fire a szcond gun, and then she bore down upon us. Our captain hailed her. and upon learning our condition she promised to take on board the passengers at once, and to lay by us all night. We immediately took them on board in the whaleboat, excepting two or three who were to remain until the morning. The brig proved to be the Ellen, of London. Captain S. Pardon, from'the Mauritius. to Hobart Town. We hoped to hold on until daylight, when about half-past 4 a.m. the carpenter sang out that the rigging looked very slack, and immediately that the foremast was settling down. We all hurried into the boats, and the gig with 10 men in it got clear of the ship,the next- was the whalebont with. 13, and last the lifeboat with ,the captain and five others. We pulled for about three-quarters of an hour in a very heavy sea until we reached the brigWe all got safe on board as daylight began to dawn, and offered up heartfelt thanks to God for our preservation. We were placed upon allowance of llb of bread and 11/2 pints of water, with a little rice and pork. This was 21st April, and after a long passage of 16 days anchored in Hobart Town on 6th May. The passengers were taken to the immigration department.
Sarah married Henry William CHALLIES, son of CHALLIES and Unknown, on 4 Dec 1852 in St. Martin In The Fields, Westminster, Middlesex, England. (Henry William CHALLIES was born on 19 Feb 1823, died on 8 Feb 1898 in Appleby, Waimea West, Nelson, New Zealand and was buried in St. Michael's, Waimea West, Nelson, New Zealand.)