The Montmorency, waiting for the pilot boat at the end of a voyage. She was the first official immigrant ship to the new state of Queensland in 1860. Between 1860 and 1865 she made four voyages to Queensland. The original photo is held at the John Oxley Library, Brisbane. A larger photo can be found in "Logs of Logs" Vol. 2 page 1
The following is a transcript from the Hawke's Bay Weekly Times Monday March 25th 1867 page 3
The ship Montmorency, arrived in Napier 24 March 1867. She burnt in port four nights latter.
Arrival of the Montmorency
Arrived March 24 - Montmorency, full rigged ship, 668 tons, McKenzie, from London.
Passengers - Saloon: Miss H.H. Herbert, Miss J. Ogilvie, Miss R. Starkey, Miss Cleary.
Mr and Mrs Orr and family, Miss Spears.
Steerage: 49 single women, 22 single men, 63 children, 7 infants and 138 adults, being in all equal to 169½ statute adults. John Stuart and Co. agents. Passenger list. Passenger list transcription from the Hawke's Bay Herald 26 March 1867
This splendid ship left the East India Docks, at 12.30 p.m. on the 7th Dec. for Gravesend, at which place she lay for two days. Brought up at the Nore on the 9th, blowing a gale from the W.S.W. On the 11th proceed to sea under charge of pilot...On the 18th the pilot left the ship off Plymouth.. On the 6th March, in lat. 45º 6 min S. long. 128º 58 min. E at daylight saw 17 icebergs, of various sizes, some very large, off the coast of Tasmania. On the 7th, saw three very large icebergs, making in all 20. From the meridian of the Cape till rounding Tasmania, the time occupied was only 25 days. At 4 p.m. on the 16th sighted Cape Farewell, NZ, at which the passengers seem very happy. On Cook's Strait, on Sunday, at 1 p.m., wind veered from W. to S.E., and increased to a furious gale with terrific squalls, the gale continued without intermission, from the eleventh to the twenty-first, when it fell light, and the wind continued from S.E. to S. Entered Cook's Strait on the 16th and remained there for six days. From Cook's Strait to Hawke's Bay had light winds and moderate weather. The passage, from pilot to pilot, occupied 96 days. From port to port (Plymouth to Nelson) was 88 days, being one of the most rapid we have known and bore out her well-earned fame as a first-class Black Ball liner. She was built by T.C. Lee in Quebec for James Baines & Co. of Liverpool and launched in 1854. Registered at Liverpool. The Montmorency dropped anchor at about 3.45 p.m. yesterday. She has been comparatively free from seasickness - two only of her passengers arriving in ill health while the deaths have been but four these being infants and entirely from a deficiency of maternal nourishment. There has been one birth, so the number that she arrives but three short of her original number.
The Montmorency, for her age and tonnage, has carried more passengers than any other vessel from Great Britain to this colony. Voyage of 104 days. We heartily welcome the new comers to the land of their adoption and trust that a prosperous career is before them.
Hawke's Bay Welcome to Her Emigrants
Come, welcome to my sunny shores.
Britannia's hardy son's of toil,
And with abundance crown your stores,
The produce of my fruitful soil.
England's fair youth with arts and arms,
Your gardens leave, - come; till the field:
Come and develop all these charms
Which I do each fair science yield.
Yes, hardy son's of Erin's isle,
Come leave your native shamrock shore,
Another land as green as cloth doth smile
Beyond the South Pacific's roar.
Come, Caledonia's children free,
And leave your sterile mountain homes;
Your matchless plough shall break no lea,
Where now the savage Hauhau roams.
Then, eloped by a race so brave,
From Countries of immortal fame:
My commerce well may stem the wave
That rolls across the western main.
Te Wairoa, March 21, 1867. E.M.
Hawke's Bay Weekly Times
Monday April 1st 1867 page 3
Burning of the Montmorency
(Hawke's Bay Times, 28th March)
While preparing for the issue of this morning's paper we were suddenly interrupted by an alarm of fire, and on proceeding to the beach we discovered the good ship Montmorency, but so recently arrived from England, was on fire between her main and fore-masts. The flames were rushing up though her forward hatchway to the height of 30 or 40 feet. This occurred at 1 a.m. It was known at least one of the ship's boats was on shore, and the captain also (we believe this being the first night he had been away from the vessel since her arrival). Several boats put off as quickly as possible but because against a strong flood tide and head winds the Captain was unable to undergo passage to the ship. At half-past 2, the mizen-mast being burnt through at the foot, and the main mast at the main-top, both gave way the same instant, the former falling clean over the stern into the sea. At about 2.45 a boat was seen making for shore, and speedily the welcome news was told, and received amidst loud cheers, - all hands were saved.
The watch had discovered smoke coming up the fore hatchway about midnight, and the alarm immediately alarmed the first officer and the remainder of the crew; that every practicable measure was taken to extinguish, but in vain, for being overcome by the effects of suffocating vapours, they were at length compelled to desist, and fasten down the hatches. They took to the boats at about 1.30 a.m. but remained in proximity to the burning ship until she had become an entire wreck. At 4.am the foremast, being burnt off at the foot, fell backwards on the deck. Nothing now remains of the ship that but yesterday looked so fair, and that had done her duty so far and so well, but a flaming hull, with some remnant of the bowsprit. At daylight she had burnt nearly to the water's edge. In addition to a very valuable cargo for this port, none of which had been landed, and all of which is destroyed, a large amount of valuable property is lost by the passengers, who of course, are totally deprived of their properties, we have one particular instance where deeds, plate, and heirlooms of generations past are, by this sad mishap, totally and irrecoverably lost, and Captain McKenzie has lost all his earthly goods, which were in his cabin and uninsured.
On Friday morning she was towed over to the Spit where she was left aground. During the whole of Thursday, the night following, and the greater part of the next day, the vessel continued to burn more or less fiercely, until, being run into by the steamer, the sea effected an entrance, and, coming in contact with the incandescent iron, produced an explosion so loud as to cause a a general rush to the Spit, when she as to be seen envolved in an immense body of steam. A quantity of empty iron tanks floated off her and were safely landed on the Spit to the number of twenty-four.
On Saturday an auction sale was held by Mr John Stuart.
Lot 1. The hull and all belongings to the ship at the time in her, £110
Lot 2. The residue cargo as it then lay in her hold 105
Anchors and cable, as it lay at the Government moorings £10
Lot 4 Life boat £18
Lot 8 Captain's gig £12 10
Lot 9 Pinnace £5
Lot 11 Life boat £19
24 iron tanks, from £1 to £4 each
Total proceeds of the sale at about £350.
Monday April 8th 1867 Hawke's Bay Weekly Times.
Josiah Hudson Mackenzie
Appointed master by the managing owner, Mr John Brodie, of Mark-Lane, London. I left England on 11th December. I brought out 205 passengers. The copy of the manifest was burnt. The cargo principally of salt, tar, drapery, spirits, beer, and ale, fencing wire, agricultural implements, turpentine and hardware. I believe the vessel was insured and expired 30 days after arrival in port. I do not think there was any kerosene on board. On Tuesday all the bedding of the passengers was sent ashore. On Wednesday all the luggage belonging to the passengers was sent ashore.
Joshua Lewis Fawkes - first mate of the Montmorency. I ordered the carpenter to scuttle the ship if possible, impossible due to the swell. I threw the powder magazine overboard. I ordered the hatch to be closed again. I ordered one part of the crew to clear away the boats. I fired a set of rockets without any answer from shore. Three sets fired and burnt blue lights. Tried to unshackle the chain. I superintended the lading of the vessel in England. In the forehold, where the fire originated, there were casks of Stockholm tar, coal tar, oil, turpentine, pitch, resin, 200 or 300 boxes of candles, 10 or 12 casks of cook's slush, and about fifty boxes of pipes. Nearly all there was inflammable. The spirits were not kept in the forehold. The forehold hatch was on when I went to bed.
Charles Broberg, second mate.
William Henry Fordham - tide-waiter. Heard "Mr Fawkes, the ship is on fire!"
James Parker -third mate
Charles Prince - boatswain
James Anderson - carpenter
Timothy Ryan and William Beaumont, able seaman
Crew of 31 total.