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'Camilla'

New Zealand Bound
1858 to Nelson

A barque was signalled yesterday, which, it is hoped, will prove to be the long-looked-for Camilla.

Reference: 'Papers Past' - a NZ National Library website.
Nelson Examiner and New Zealand Chronicle, 26 June 1858, Page 2
The vessel started, as we have been informed, without any live sheep or pigs, with only a small allowance of preserved meat, with but a few casks of good salt meat, with no medical comforts, and with a short supply of water ; and during the voyage, whilst the vessel was suffering from the effects of a violent gale, the captain, who should have been the foremost in endeavouring to remedy the mishap and to cheer the spirits of his passengers, was himself helplessly drunk, leaving the heroic passengers and the praiseworthy crew to do the best they could for their common preservation. Those facts are bad enough, but, in addition, the surgeon of the ship affirms that this captain (who was otherwise considered a good seaman) had the infatuation and cowardice to threaten to destroy both the ship and the passengers sooner than go into a port where the much needed supply of provisions could be obtained.

Nelson Examiner and New Zealand Chronicle, 23 June 1858, Page 2
Entered inwards June 19, barque Camilla, 283, M'Donald, from London via Hobart Town.

Passengers— cabin:

Matilda Thompson
Isaac Crompton
Lucy Crompton
Joseph Marshall
Elizabeth Matthews
T. Scott
Betsy Scott
T. Thompson
Annie Thompson
Henrietta Thompson
Mrs. Mary Tutham

Steerage —

Lucy Gray
Ellen Gray
Frederick Gray
Ann Camming

The barque Camilla, from London via Hobart Town, arrived on Saturday morning, having been upwards of 5 months on the passage. She left London on the 12th January and put into Hobart Town for provisions on the 4th June.

The following paragraphs from the Hobart Town papers will help to explain the cause of the vessel's detention :
Camilla Barque. —We regret to hear that serious complaints are made by the passengers of the above ship with regard to their treatment on board. It appears from their statements that from the first day of leaving England, they had been denied many of the articles enumerated in the dietary scale, and that there has been a total absence of medical comforts. For more than two months they have been short allowance of water ; in fact there was not sufficient on board on entering the Heads to have served another day at the rate they have lately been on, viz., one quart per diem. Salt beef and pork, and biscuits (mouldy and full of weevils) have formed their staple articles of food, varied, while they received two quarts only of water for cooking breakfasts, &c, with pease pudding and rice. But for a providential fall of rain, they would not have had water for the last fortnight. There are other and more serious charges than even shortness of water and provisions. The scurvy has made its appearance both fore and alt, and as the email quantity of lime juice put on board was expended two months ago, there was no means ol affording any assistance to the sufferers. For the benefit of future emigrants we may state that the ship was chartered by Morrison and Co., of Leadenhall-street. We sincerely hope that the Captain, now that he has it in his power, will remedy the above evils, and render their future stay on board as comfortable as circumstances will permit.— Mercury, June 5.

The barque Camilla, from London to Port Nelson (New Zealand), and which put in here on Thursday last for provisions, and sailed for her original destination on Sunday, returned to port again under the following circumstances. About 11 o'clock on Sunday morning, when the vessel was to the southward of Cape Raoul, the captain told the chief mate to take charge of the ship, at the same time remarking that he (the captain) would have nothing further to do with her. He then retired to his cabin, and locked the door. The mate, having consulted with the passengers, determined to return to port, and returned accordingly. Yesterday morning, the chiel mate reported the matter to Lloyd's agent, T. D. Chapman, Esq., and, by his direction, the affair was brought under the notice of the inspector of police, who despatched Mr. Sub-inspector Weale and a party of constables on board the Camilla, with a view of ascertaining whether the captain was dead, or through illness incapable of speaking, as he had not been heard to move in his cabin for several hours. As soon, however, as the chief mate knocked at the his cabin door, Captain Mcdonald asked, ' Who is there? ' but he would give no person admittance, neither would he reply to Mr. Weale's questions. As the police had no authority to break open the door, Mr. Weale left, and was shortly followed by the constables. At 4 p.m., Mr. Harburgh (Deputy- Harbour Master) went off to the vessel, and, by the authority of the Collector of Customs, demanded the ship's papers. Captain Macdonald immediately opened the door, and handing the papers to Mr. Harburgh, said, 'Present my compliments to the Collector, and tell him to appoint another master, as I have no confidence in myself or crew.' Mr. Hamburgh, after receiving the papers, came on shore, and made his report to the Collector of Customs. It is to be hoped that her passengers have now experienced the last of their disasters ; and that, under the charge of another master, she will proceed on her lengthy voyage, and reach her destination in safety." — Id.

Nelson Examiner and New Zealand Chronicle, 26 June 1858, Page 3
POLICE COURT.
[Before John Poynter, Esq., Resident Magistrate, D. Sinclair, Esq., J.P., R. K. Newcome, Esq., J.P., and J. Mackat, Esq., J.P.] Join Macdonald, master of the Camilla, charged with drunkenness. Fined 10a. and costs. Seven Seamen, of the barque Camilla, were then charged by the master with continued wilful disobedience to lawful commands.

John William Tatton, who, on affirmation, gave evidence as follows : I am the medical officer of the barque Camilla. I had, during the passage, frequent opportunities of observing the conduct both of the captain and the crew. The voyage was a very protracted one ; it commenced on January the 12th, and terminated on June 19th. We called at Hobarton, as we were very short of food and water, and had been so for a very considerable time. During the passage I kept a log. The captain, when sober, was very attentive to his duties, but sometimes, for days together, was intoxicated. I had, during the passage, to treat him for delirium tremens. On the 5th of April, passengers and crew were put on short allowance of water; two quarts daily being supplied per adult. Previously to arriving at Hobarton the captain had been intoxicated for ten days together ; this was after a time when the vessel had suffered from the loss of her maintopmast and several other principal spars, during a gale of wind. The captain did not attend to the repairs, but left it to the crew, assisted by the passengers. There was at that time a chief officer on board, who left the ship at Hobarton. The reason why the captain did not attend to the repairs was intoxication. The captain had a quantity of ball cartridges in packages in his own cabin. On the 5th of April he threatened, while holding a packet of cartridges before myself and Mr. Martin, a passenger, that rather than put in at the Cape of Good Hope for supplies, he would put a light to the parcel and blow the ship to the devil. He was then recovering from a fit of intoxication, but was sufficiently sober to know what he was about. On arriving at Hobarton the men complained of this, and would proceed no further until he had given up all powder and combustibles to me. The whole crew, together with the passengers, felt considerable alarm in consequence of the captain's threat of destroying the vessel. The powder is now in my possession. After leaving Hobarton, the captain was very attentive to his duties, and always sober. We left Hobartown the last time on June the 9th. The ship had left Hobarton once before, but had put back in consequence of the captain refusing to take any further charge of the ship, and giving up command to the mate, who brought the ship into the port and delivered her into the charge of a government pilot, who took her up to Hobarton. The captain was at the time of giving up command intoxicated ; he was not very, but the effect of spirits was perceivable. For the first part of the passage, the character of the provisions was good, but for the latter part bad. [Mr. Travers here read an extract from the log-book, by which it appeared that the meat and biscuit of the ship had been surveyed by the Collector of Customs here, and condemned as unfit for human consumption.]...