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Voyage of the Good Ship "HINDOSTAN"

New Zealand Bound

 London to Otago 1874

The "Hindostan" arrived  Port Chalmers, July 13 1874, 1262 tons, White, from London, March 26; Downs, April 7th. Dalgety, Nichols, and Co., agents. Passengers: 344 immigrants, equal to 279 statute adults.

The Hindostan is a fine-looking ship of 1262 tons register, and is owned by Messrs Shallercross and Hyghan, of Liverpool. Her dimensions are length, 219 feet' beam, 35 feet; and depth of hold, 24 feet. She is highly classed, both at Liverpool and London Lloyd's and is about 10 years old. She has been chiefly employed in the Calcutta and San Francisco trades, and hence is expected to go direct to the latter port to load up wheat for home.

Voyage of the Good Ship "HINDOSTAN"

My friends, I have these verses, and I hope you will excuse
If any thing should be misplaced, or should not meet your views;
I am only but a passenger, who has left his native shore,
And going to a foreign land of gaining more.

We started away from London, on board the Hindostan,
Our hearts were filled with sadness, in leaving our native land.
We bid adieu to all our friends - perhaps never to see them more,
As we left the Docks of London, bound to a foreign shore.

It was on the twenty-sixth March we started in the ship;
We soon anchored off Gravesend after a very pleasant trip.
Next day we started for the Downs, with three hundred souls or more,
And anchored off the Cliff of Dover - close to the British shore.

Nine days we laid windbound there, the pilot still on board,
Awaiting for a shift of wind to start us on our road.
At last the welcome wind arrived, the sailors made all sail,
As away we bore along the shore with a sweet pleasant gale.

Our pilot still on board of us, we sailed both day and night
For five clear nights and days, until we reached the well-known light,
Called the Start by name, well-known by fame, as the boat down on us bore
And we gave three good old English cheers as the pilot left for shore.

Now our captain took the ship in charge and down the Channel it ears
Our pilot, hat in hand, saluted every cheer.
Our good old ship, she onward bore to every gush of wind,
And soon we left the Channel of old England far behind.

The wind began for to increase, which made her roll and pitch,
Which frightened all the passengers and made them all sea-sick.
We crossed the Bay of Biscay and soon left it far behind,
As we made all sail before the gale some other shore to find.

We onward sped before the wind, our ship still held her course,
And the sailors amused the passengers by riding the 'dead horse';
A custom used by sailors of many ages past,
In finishing their advance month's pay and pledging it in a glass.

The gentle winds still forced us on, the weather came hot and fine,
Which clearly told us we should soon expect to cross the line.
The passengers and crew also worked  hand and hand together
In causing all the fun they could to make this voyage a pleasure.

We crossed the line and onward sped all full of hope and pleasure,
But we soon found out that all good things so not last long together,
For, alas! upon one bright forenoon all through the ship it was spread
That two poor souls had breathed their last, and now were lying dead.

The one a fellow passenger who had left his native soil
To better his condition, and to share an easier toil,
Had gone and left a widow to battle the spray,
May heaven bless and protect her! now he has gone away.

The other, a little infant child, whose soul to heaven had gone,
One who had never done a wrong from the time the it was born.
Both from this world of trouble had suddenly passed away,
To meet, perhaps in some better land upon the Judgment Day.

At four o'clock that afternoon, preparations then were made 
To launch those two poor suffers into a watery grave.
Our Captain read the service, which caused many a one to weep,
As those two poor souls we grieve to lose were cast into the deep.

Our gallant ship bore gently on for some five days and nights,
When a welcome voice was heard to shout, "land, oh! in sight". 
Some eager passengers ran on deck, with all the strength they had,
To gaze upon that well-known land the Isle of Trinidad.

We made our way with plenty of sail before a steady wind,
And very soon we left the land of Trinidad behind.
But as we journeyed on our way the winds began to blow,
Which caused our ship to roll and pitch and make her progress slow.

But our gallant ship dashed bravely on, as if to celebrate the day,
While most on board were thinking of those dear friends far away.
It was on the twenty-fourth of May being Whitsun Sunday morn,
Our good old ship seemed quite prepared to battle with the storm.

The sky looked black the sea run high, the winds did loudly roar,
Which caused the waves to madly dash upon our vessel's floor;
The sea broke angrily on our decks and down the vessels hold,
Which caused much misery and alarm to every living soul.

But on we bore amid the roar of every surging wave,
When all at once quite suddenly, one heavy roll she gave;
Our poor cook's coppers all gave way and out of the gallery flew,
While our cook ran out like a scalded cock and was laughed at by the crew.

The beef and duff were flying about amid the steam and smother,
While passengers and crew commenced throwing duff's at one another.
Some of them went overboard and some laid in scuppers,

While some of the crew took the others away and cook'd them for their suppers.

At last the galley fires were lit, and the coppers filled with water,
And the cook began to prepare for tea amid much fun and laughs;
But this was not the worst of all that happened in this gale,
The wind began so to increase that it blew away all our sail.

We pitched and rolled as the squall came on booth furious and hard,
Until at last one heavy blast blew the sail from the topsail yard;
But well our noble vessel stood against the heavy gale,
And so we kept on all that night and lost near all our sail.

The long and dreary night was past which brought Whitsun Monday morn,
Which clearly told us we were fast escaping from the storm,
Until at last the wind abated and we rapared all sail and rope,
And stood away with a fair wind to round the Cape of Good Hope.

Fresh sails being bent, we stood away with a good strong west'ly wind.
Which brightened up our hopes again and cleared sadness from our mind;
Until, alas! another sad occurrence came to pass,---
Another little infant child they said had breathed its last.

This poor little dear sufferer, aged some five months or near
Had left its parents for them to mourn for their child they loved so dear,
The burial ceremony was read by our good old Captain White;
It was cast into the briny sea and soon was lost to sight.

We journeyed on for many days with strong winds blowing abaft,
Which gladdened all the hearts of those on board the good old craft.
But on one cold boisterous night, the passengers being all asleep,
By some mysterious unknown means, we suddenly lost a sheep.

It was hanging up on the quarter-deck, already skinned and dressed,
Awaiting for the next day morn to be cooked for the cabin mess;
When some one in the middle watch, who, anxious the sheep to save
From being eat by those abaft had give it a watery grave.

But still we hurried on our way, to bring our journey to a close,
For many days and nights, until another gale arose';
But our good old captain knew full well our lives were in his care,
So carefully but gallantly he passed the treacherous Snare.

A name that's given to some rocks, which most ships have to sight
In sailing to New Zealand shore, with all their human freight;
But now each heart seemed filled with joy - each face began to smile.
When they began to sight the land of their adopted isle.

At last we anchored off the Heads, awaiting the next day
For the steamer and the tide to take us in the Bay.
Next morning we weighed anchor, the steamer took us in tow
Into Port Chalmers Harbor, where the anchor we let go.

So now our voyage is over, and we may all have to part,
Through all our new career to life let's act with manly heart
To help each other when in need as far as ever you can,
And never forget we were all alike on board the Hindostan.

God bless our noble Captain who stood to us so true,
Likewise our noble doctor and all the officers, too;
May they have a pleasant passage home in that good ship Hindostan,
That brought us safe to Otago shore from dear old England.

Composed by H.H. Gibson, passenger, Ship "Hindostan".


Otago Witness 18 July 1874 page 13 
Arrival of Home Ships - voyage accounts
The Caroline, ship, 984 tons, Clyma, arrived July 11, from London, via Queenstown. NZ Shipping Company agents. Passengers 300� statue adults, free and nominated. Including the inquest into the death of one of the seaman of the ship Caroline, Alexander Noales.
The Easby, s.s, 969 tons, Shands, from Newcastle, F. Fulton, agent. Passengers - Miss Fulton, Mademoiselle Nisderhauser, Messrs Fulton and Brown.
The Hindostan
The Cartsburn - ship, 1257 tons, Young, arrived July 13, from Glasgow, April 8th. Russell, Ritchie and Co., agents. Passengers: Mr Duncan and family, Mr Cobham; and 404 free and nominated immigrants.
The Devana - ship, 795 tons, Thompson, arrived July 14, from London, April 12th. Bright Bros., agents. Passengers: 23 second cabin and steerage.

After towing the Janet Court to sea, the Geelong returned with the ship Hindostan in tow; and her bill of health being sufficiently clean she was taken to the upper anchorage, and moored off the end of the old wharf. The immigrants brought by the Hindostan number 344 souls, of whom only 37� occupied the single women's compartment, and two of those were widows with families. There were 75 single men, and a heavy balance of married people with, according to the Doctor's computation, nearly 100 youngsters amongst them. They appeared to be a decent set of people - combing a variety of trades, with, however, the labouring man predominating as usual. A serious complaint was made by the Captain about some of the young men immigrants leaguing with the crew to plunder cargo of spirits. The hold was broken into and cargo breeched. One evening, when all officers, save the third mate, were below at tea, they watched their opportunity and darted forwards, but did not long remain there, for the circumstances being reported aft, the captain went below and very soon had them on deck again. The matron, Mrs White, reported that the young women were unruly at first, but tamed down and behaved well towards the conclusion of the voyage. The single women's compartment was badly lit and ventilated. In the other section, some of the berths were thwartships, and some fore and aft. The latter place appeared much too crowded, and the former was open on account of the hatchway, which lacked a booby hatch. No complaints were made by any of the passengers. 

The passage out had a poor commencement, after leaving London on the 26th March, the ship was detained eleven days in the Downs, by westerly gales, and finally left on the 7th April, and cleared the Channel on the 11th with moderate weather. On the 9th the Island of Trinidad was sighted; the Trade was lost the next day in 21 south. A very bad cross sea got up, and at times the ship took much water on board. On the 25th a succession of furlous squalls struck her, one of which blew the foresail away as it was being handed. The barometer dropped to 29 and 29.18. On the 28th, whilst running with a fine breeze, the ship passed a quality of wreck, consisting of a ship's tarpaulin, and what appeared to be a topgallant mast with the sail attached. The meridian of the Cape was passed on the 3rd June in 42.37S. The ship ran her casting down on the 48th parallel, and crossed the meridian of the Leuwin on the 23rd June; She made the land at the Snares, passed the Nugget on the 11th, and hove to in 55 fathoms off the Heads on the 11th. Next morning she took a pilot on board, was picked up by the Geelong, and towed to anchoring ground.


This page may be freely linked to but not duplicated in any fashion, wholly or in part, except for private study.

The Otago Settlers Museum holds a diary that of passenger James Bardwell.

There was another "Hindostan", a vessel of 833 tons, which brought immigrants out to Auckland in December 1873.