The 'MERMAID' to Auckland
Daily Southern Cross, 21 October
1859, Page 2
The Mermaid, Captain James "White, one of the " White Star" line of Liverpool packets, arrived in harbour on Wednesday at 4 a.m., having been signalled during the greater part of the previous afternoon. The Mermaid is a fine vessel of 1326 tons register, built at St. John's, New Brunswick, and an old Melbourne trader. She left Liverpool on the 11th July at 5 p.m., in tow, had fine weather through the Bay of Biscay, and fell in with the N.E. trades in 26 ° 29' The line was crossed on August 12, in 22 ° 50' ; and the Mermaid ran down subsequently to 29 ° 46' W. long. The meridian of the Cape was crossed on the 5th Sept. ; and her highest latitude was 51 ° 55' S. The prevailing winds between the Cape and New Zealand were .from N. E. to N. W. King's Island, off the North Cape, was made on the 15th instant, and the Mermaid has experienced since principally light southerly winds. She anchored off Rangitoto reef at half past 9 on Tuesday evening. Passengers have been very healthy during the voyage; three infants died, and one birth occurred. The passengers speak highly of Captain White and officers, and two addresses presented on the arrival of the ship here will appear in our next.
THE MERMAID ARRIVES IN LYTTELTON
From the "Lyttelton Times," December 14, 1859
Arrived, December 12, ship, Mermaid, via Auckland and Wellington.
Passenger - Mr Smythe.
The Mermaid came to anchor in our harbour on Monday morning, having visited Auckland and Wellington en route from Liverpool, whence she carried 370 emigrants to the first-named port. The Mermaid is a handsome American-built ship in 1853, and now commanded by Captain James White, to whom a most flattening testimonial was addressed by his passengers on their arrival at Auckland. The Mermaid is eminently adapted for a passenger ship. She has great length and beam and is high between decks, being also well lighted and ventilated throughout. Her 'tween deck fittings have not been removed and we find that they are remarkably comfortable as compared with London emigrant ships. She has five classes of passengers, saloon and fore cabin on the main deck, second cabin, intermediate, and steerage on the 'tween decks. Every berth is enclosed and fitted with comfortable bunks according to requirements. The fittings for all classes scarily differ, except in their position in the ship. As compared with common ships this may be called the luxury of emigration, and we think perhaps the style might be adopted in other ships with some success. We do not speak of the general appearance or sailing qualities of the ship, nor of her saloon fittings, in all of which points the Liverpool clipper is too well known to require flattery: suffice it that the Mermaid is a good specimen of her class. We understand she will lay on to load with wool from this port.
Daily Southern Cross, 23 November 1860,
November 22— Mermaid, ship, 1233 tons, R. A. Kerr, from London, via Melbourne. Passengers- The ship Mermaid arrived in harbour on Wednesday at about midnight, having wiled from the Downs on the 22nd July. She landed the pilot off Portland on the 25th, and experienced light and variable winds to the line, crossed the equator on the 15th August, and fell in with steady trade winds. She passed the meridian of the Cape 48 days out, iv latitude 44°, where she saw several icebergs. Contrary winds were met off Cape Otway, and the ship Monarch was passed, 94 days from Plymouth. The Mermaid arrived at Port Phillip heads on the 14th Oct., and hauled alongside the Railway Pier, Hobson's Bay- on the 16th, discharged 1800 tons cargo, and sailed from the Bay on the 9th Nov. She was subsequently hove to twelve hours off the Kents Group. Made the Three - Kings on Saturday last, rounded the Gape the following day, and has had light baffling winds, E. to S.E., to tins port.
Daily Southern Cross, 17 December 1861, Page 3
The white star clipper ship 'Mermaid, Captain Rose, 1,233 tons burthen, from London, with passengers and general cargo. The 'Mermaid' left Gravesend on the 4th September, and took her final departure from the Start Point on Tuesday, September 10th, with light westerly wind. The passage from land to land was made in 94 days. On Sunday Rangitoto was fetched, and the ship was worked up against a head wind during the night by Captain Burgess, our able pilot. The passengers enjoyed excellent health during the voyage; and the clean and tidy state of the ship reflects credit on her commander, Captain Rose, and his subordinate officers. This is the, third trip of the ' Mermaid' to Auckland, but the first under her present commander. Mr. Deighton, chief officer, is here for the second time in this ship ; and the second officer has now made the third voyage.
Otago Witness 25 Jan 1862 page 7
An inquiry was held at Auckland, on 23rd December into the circumstances of the death of Frank Keith Adair, third officer of the ship Mermaid, who committed suicide by hanging himself in his cabin, when under the arrest for drunkenness. The length of the hatch-house in which he was confined was eight feet four inches inside, the breadth seven feet four inches. It had two doors and four windows. He was confined on December 11th. The following was the entry in the log: - "Wednesday, December 11, 1861, 5 p.m. On boy Dixon going at the usual hour with Mr Adair's tea, found him hanging to the roof of the hatch-house, by his comforter made fast round his neck. He immediately reported it to me, and I hastened to cut him down, and called for the doctor, who proceeded with the usual remedies to restore animation, and at 8 p.m. pronounced life extinct. Last seen at 4 p.m. Left two letters one address to the Captain and the another to Mr Dreden, fourth mate.
Daily Southern Cross, 7 January 1862, Page 8
SHIP MERMAID.-Inquiry regarding the suicide of, Frank Keith Adair, late third mate of the ship ' Mermaid,' was gone into before the presiding justices.
He hanging himself in his cabin, when under arrest for drunkenness. The
length of the hatch-house in which be was confined was eight feet two inches
inside, the breadth seven feet four inches, and the height five feet ten and a
half inches. It had two doors and four windows. lie was confined up to Dec. 11,
when he hung himself. The following was the entry in the log :—" Wednesday,
December 11, 1861, 5 pin- — On boy Dixon going at the usual hour with Mr.
Adair's tea, found him hanging to the root of the hatch-house, by his comforter
made fast round his neck. lie immediately reported it to me, and I hastened to
cut him down, and called for the doctor, who proceeded with the usual remedies
to restore animation, and at, 8 p.m. pronounced life extinct. He was last seen,
was told by the boatswain, that he had seen him about 4 p.m., looking out
of the window. Found two notes he bad written, one addressed to self, and one to
Mr. Dearden, fourth mate. This was signed by the captain and other officers.
After a lengthened enquiry the Bench were clearly opinion that the captain was
wholly exonerated from any imputation whatever in the death of his third
officer, Mr, Adair, and that no more restraint was used than was absolutely
necessary for the preservation of the ship.
"Wednesday, 3 p.m. — I can't bear my life any longer. This is like a grave with a living inhabitant, You have not treated me fairly, though I suppose you thought differently. I have heard reports of my being charged with something more than I at present am aware of. I swear on the oath of a dying man, I am guiltless of anything except getting drunk and violence, " Never, as you have a heart, inflict the misery you have inflicted on me on another of God's creatures. God forgive you, and have mercy on me. Ask Mr. Allom to write to my father. — A. K." [This was written in pencil on a page torn from a small pocket diary. It was folded and addressed, " Captain Rose," in pencil writing on the outside.]
Henry Rose examined— I am captain of the ship ' Mermaid.' She arrived at Auckland last Monday morning, the 16th instant, from London. She was a passenger ship, full in the saloon ; but there was not a sufficient number of passengers on board to bring her under the " Passenger Act." She was commanded by myself, and I had four mates. The third mate was named, I believe, Frank Keith Adair. He was drunk three times during the voyage, and used very abusive language. I overlooked the first occasion when he was I drunk : I merely reprimanded him then, but did not enter the offence in the log.
The bench were of opinion that Captain Rose was wholly exonerated from any imputation whatever in relation » to the death of his late third officer, as what he did was absolutely necessary for the preservation of the ship. The finding o£ the court was ordered to be entered on the official log, and the proceedings terminated. — " Southern Cross," December 24.
Abraham Coran, I am boatswain of the ship 'Mermaid.' (mark)
Albert Adamson Lloyd
R.M. Deighton, C.O.
Mr Dearden, 4th mate
James Nixon, I am cabin-boy in the ship 'Mermaid.'
Dr R.R. Norris, M.D. - I was surgeon on board the ship 'Mermaid.'
Albert James Allom - I was a saloon passenger on board the 'Mermaid' from London to Auckland.
Mr Stafford - a saloon passenger.
Mr. Jas. Lyel, examined— I was a saloon passenger on board the ship.
"Ship ' Mermaid,' October 15, 1861.
"MY dear Mother, — "We are now in the track of homeward bound vessels, so I write in case we may have an opportunity of putting letters on board of some. I like this ship pretty well ; the captain is a very quiet man, and the chief is a very agreeable officer. The 2nd do. is quiet and reserved, but very touchy. I have luckily not trodden on his toes yet. The 4th mate, a young fellow named Denton, with whom I live, is a first-rate, quiet, kind-hearted fellow He and I get on well together— as well as it is possible for two fellows to get on. I hope sincerely that the Governor has made some satisfactory arrangement about wages, as if I do not get news to that effect in Auckland, I should consider it foolish to remain on board a ship for nothing. In mentioning the officers I forgot the purser. He is a jolly, good natural, passionate, witty little Patlander." [This letter was unfinished, and bore no signature]
Daily Southern Cross, 7 February 1862, Page 7
Cleared Outwards - January
18— Northumberland, ship, 850 tons, Hawkins, for London. Passengers — Rev. Mr. Gideon ; Mrs., Miss M. A., S. J., F. C, and S. E. Smales ; Mr. and Mrs. Wynne Gray and Mrs. Barbara Gray, Mrs, Mary Spain, Martha Snooks ; William, Augusta, Gray, Wynne C. J., John A. F., and M. B. H. Gray, Mr. D. Silva, Harry and Algernon Silva. No steerage passengers — Brown, Campbell, and Co., agents.
21 — Mermaid, ship, 1233 tons, Henry Rose, for Lyttelton, with 120,000 feet timber, 235 mats sugar, 5 horses, 100 tons coal (part of original cargo from London). Passengers — Messrs. Hargreaves and Lawton. — O. R. Strickland and Co., agents.