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"Phoenix"
New Zealand Bound

The Southern Cross Friday June 29 1860 pg 2
June 28 - Phoenix, ship, 986 tons, Robert Brown, for Liverpool. 
Passengers - 
Alexander 	Mr, Mrs and Miss
Carl		Phillip
Craig 		George
Crossland 	John
Falkner 	James
Feather 	William 
Fialty 		James
Gerard 		John
Graham 		Mr and Mrs and two children
Grange 		Capt.
Heather 	Mr
Hodkinson 	William, Priscilla, Mary Anne, Margaret C. and
Hodkinson 	John William
Hudson 		Mr
Hyatt 		Mr
King 		Patrick and Mary
Melchrist 	Mr (3)
Moore 		William
Moss 		Robert
Moss 		William and Mrs
Parker 		Mr
Pilcher 	William M., Sarah, Isabella, Kitty and William
Rabbit 		Patrick 
Roberts 	Rev. J.
Robinson 	George
Simons 		Ellen V.
Smith 		John
Steel 		Samuel
Stewart 	Alex.
Sutcliffe 	W.H.
Sweeney		Alfred, Anna, Bertha, Alice Kate, Adeline M., Ethelbert, 
Sweeney		Geraldine, Frank Albert, Camilla Norah, Ernest S., Evelyn Walter & infant
Symonds 	Master
Taylor 		Richard, Anne, and Mary and infant
Thomas 		Eliza
Wylie 		James
O.R. Strickland & Co., agents.

The Southern Cross Tuesday 3rd July 1860 pg 2
Auckland. Sailed July 2 - Phoenix, for Liverpool. The Phoenix, after an ineffectual attempt to round the North Head on Sunday, came back to her anchorage, but finally succeeded in making a start yesterday forenoon.

William Hodkinson's account of voyage of the arrival of the "Phoenix" at the mouth of the Mersey.  The "Phoenix" dragged her anchors and keeled over during a gale. Voyage from Auckland, New Zealand, to Liverpool, England in the full rigged ship Phoenix, 986 tons, of the White Star Line July 2nd 1860. Source:  Merseyside Maritime Museum search Hodkinson.

Commander 	Capt. R. Brown
1st Mate 	Mr Venruss
2nd Mate 	Mr Combs
Boatswain & two Carpenters
Stewards, Butchers & Stewardess 
Chaplain 	Rev. J. Roberts
Three cooks 2 of them Blacks
One Sailmaker
Surgeon 	Dr. Theorton
Purser
about 14 men before the mast

Oct. 9 Off Dunganon say 200 miles
Oct. 10. Off Rock light and landing

At easy seeing distance we have scarcely time to swallow our breakfast for fear if missing some important object. Where is no lack of Ships of all sizes from the yachts to the 3 deckers sailing
in every direction. 12 noon, Off Dungannon 3 pm we can see ?Taskes Island, where the famous ?Dasher Lighthouse stands on. The wind is from the north rather against us. we hope for a change or else no Liverpool for us to morrow, at 8 pm. Very dark blowing rather strong from N.W. passed the large floating lightship it looked like an illuminated ship red lights at end of yards, mast top, bows & stern, we passed her at a quick rate they should so hailed us as they seen us at sea, giving us directions as to wind dir., we ____ a good look out I had lights burning at our bows. We got to bed in good time tired with the day's achievements.

Oct. 10th. We arose early & got breakfast over so that we could look about us but the weather was not very favourable for seeing fast, for the drizzly rain had come again & the wind not being fair we were beating up the channel that is tacking, about, about noon were near Holyhead lighthouse, sometimes we could not see it when more than a mile distant on account of the rain, after dinner we took on board Pilot Mr ___ but I rather think he is not quite sober but perhaps he knows this business all afternoon we are sailing along the Welsh coast with a strong wind more fair on account of our course being more east. Ships and now as plentiful as blackberries & steam tugs too, they wanted 20 for taking us into Liverpool but as we have got such a good wind the captain would not engage them. there about 5 pm we entered the mouth of the Mersey and we could see the lights of the core of docks, the Pilot thought we had but anchor for the night and we let go the patent anchor opposite the Battery. The gale blew us on to the bank & as the wind a gale and the sea was high, we dragged our anchors, the tide being at the ebb. we soon touched the bottom with a heavy thuds and then she keeled on her side. The sailor had got beach but happily the wind abated or the ship would soon have gone to pieces.
Some of the passengers asked the 1st or 2nd mate where we were going and he said we were going to the devil. It was a & no fair game to sail all way from New Zealand & then be wrecked in the Mersey. The Captain wanted to signal for a tug to take the passengers to port but the sailors would not hear of it. They hailed a tug for all hands we got a good sized piece of pork to
wash & when roasted we did not feel inclined for eating, we stayed up all night approaching but its was very uncomfortable owing to vessel heeling on her side but as soon as this tide permitted on the morning we got a tug which brought us opposite the landing stage and took us passengers with children. I saw Mr Robinson at the door _____ of death, him if he could not manage to go with us, he shaked his head ......


THE AMAZING SAILING SWEENY'S

Searching for clues about greatgrandmother Geraldine Orde McGowan nee Sweeny who settled in Levuka, Fiji 1873, I went back in time to her mother, Ann Sweeny, Worthing, Sussex who produced sixteen children between 1841 and 1863. A family of that size would certainly be a handful on land much less at sea, but trawling through shipping records I found Ann Sweeny in 1860 loading nine of those children aged 2 years to 16 on board the Avalanche and setting sail for Auckland, NZ. Husband Alfred and two other children sailed out a few months earlier on the Jura. The big unsolved question is WHY? You see, by the 1861 English census they were all back home in Sussex. Long voyage short stay! Alfred and Bertha joined Auckland Mechanics Institute (now the Auckland Cities Libraries) on19 January 1860, three days after landing.

Outward journey passenger lists are as scarce as hens teeth, so when I found one for the Phoenix, Auckland to Liverpool 1860 I searched the names with little expectation, but another glance and there was a family with all the same children. It had to be and it was. I was able to detail their next sea voyages, all to Australia, thanks to transcribers. In 1866 seventeen year old Geraldine Orde Sweeny and sister Adeline Maude Sweeny aboard the Red Jacket to Melbourne. 1867, Bertha Sweeny aboard Atalanta.1868 Ann Sweeny and daughter Camilla Norah and son Frank Albert on board Southern Ocean.

The children all in their teens stayed on in Victoria while Ann returned to England in time for the 1871 census. How did Geraldine end up in Fiji? Did any of the kids over the years make the long voyage home to see their adventurous Mum? To find out I'll just have to keep searching. Robyn Mortimer Posted 30 December 2006.

1861 England Census. Worthing Sussex.
Father 	Alfred 		43 
Mother 	Ann 		39 
	Bertha 		16
	Alice Kate 	15
	Adeline Maude 	13
	Ethelbert 	14
	Geraldine Orde 	11 
	Frank Albert 	 8
	Camilla Norah 	 6
	Ernest 		 4
	Evelyn Walter 	 3
	Madeline May 	 1
Five unnamed above died young, eldest Alfred Robert 18 elsewhere.