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Otago Witness July 31st 1875

This fine ship, one of the latest additions to the British merchant fleet, this being her maideu voyage arrived off the Heads on the 24th inst. Smart attention was accorded her by the steamer Geelong and by 2 p.m., she was at anchor at the Quarantine Ground. It was apparent that that proceeding was unavoidable, for in reply to the signal - "Are you all well?" that was hoisted at Taiaroa station, the signal of measles was made on board. The day being Sunday prohibited communication with the Board of Health at Dunedin, but the local officials, Mr Monson and Dr Drysdale, proceeded to the vessel, and ascertained that a course of measles had run through the ship, all or nearly all, the children having suffered from them. Twenty deaths had occurred, but not from measles the fatal complaint being chronic diarrheoa, excepting in the case of one adult, who, to quote Dr Pyper the surgeon of the Aldergrove, "was dead when he came on board." The man was then suffering from abdominal tumour, and died during the passage. The waybill also stated that when the ship left Greenock she had 448 souls on board, including the crew, and 428 on arrival. No land was communicated with, and only one vessel, the Woodlark, from London, bound here. Six births occurred on the way, so that if the children lived there ought to have been 434 souls on board when she arrived. The measles had run their course, and of the many that had been attacked, all excepting six who were then convalescent, and those demised, had recovered. As our communication with the Aldergrove was necessarily of the briefest, she being ordered into quarantine immediately, we were unable to procure many particulars about the passage, and until the waybill was placed at our disposal by Mr Monson after we landed we were not aware that the Woodlark had been spoken, and hence cannot give the date and position of the two ships when they met. We had two or three minutes' conversation with Captain Fullerton, the master of The Aldergrove, and from him learnt that she was a brand new ship, owned by Messrs John Robbe and Co., of Glasgow, and left Greenock on the 1st May and thus has made the passage in 85 days, being a creditable time indeed. She cleared the Channel on the sixth day out, crossed the Equator on the 31st day out, and the meridian of the Cape on the 28th June. Steady and strong westerly- breezes favoured her in the Southern Ocean, which she crossed between the parallels of 48 and 49. Made the land about the Snares on Saturday morning, and with a soldier's wind at west about, ran the coast down and arrived off the Heads early yesterday forenoon The Aldergrove is a grand ship of 1270 tons, with good lines and spring, and well sparred and rigged. Her passengers lined the bulwarks, and, in the majority of instances appeared to be a stalwart lot, but would certainly lose nothing by a few days' intimate association with soap and water. As disease has passed through the ship we daresay the Board of Health will concur with us in the opinion that it would be advisable to give the immigrants the run of the admirable quarters at the Quarantine Island for a few days. There they would have the opportunity of undergoing a thorough cleansing and purifying process, which would tend to destroy any disease germs that might be lingering amongst them. It is of the utmost consequence that immigrants should be presentablec at all points before they are distributed through the Province. Dr Pyper informed us that there were 342 statute adult immigrants on board, of whom 67 were single women, 97 children from 1 to 12 years of age, and I8 infants. All the passengers were in good health, save the five convalescents, and one about recovering from a confinement. Before leaving the ship Mr Monson instructed the captain to hoist the yellow flag, and to consider the ship as strictly quarantined until the Board of Health had considered her case, and came to a decision about her. Accordingly the yellow square was seen fluttering at the main. Many months have elapsed since its ominous shadows was thrown across the Port waters. Happily, the cause this time does not appear to be very serious. We shall take the earliest available opportunity of laying a full report of the Aldergrove before our readers. She is consigned to Messrs Russell, Ritchie, and Co. Captain Fullerton requested that Captain Logan, the Albion Co's marine superintendent, might be asked to deal with her as if she belonged to that firm, by which, we may observe she is chartered.

The Aldergrove was visited the following day by Captain Thomson, Dr Brown, medical advisor of the Board of Health, and Mr Allan, Immigration Agent. Dr Brown boarded her and ascertained that the condition of immigrants was such as to warrant the ship's detention in quarantine for a short time; also that an infant under four months old had died of chronic diarrheoa during Sunday night. Captain Fullerton was advised that the Board of Health would meet in the afternoon and definitely decide as to the action that would be taken with the immigrants by the Government. Their removal to the Quarantine Island was, however, next to certain. Whilst Dr Brown was on board a written complaint against the ship's doctor was handed to him by the passengers. The latter may depend that it will receive the closest attention

Otago Witness August 7th 1875 [from "Flotsam and Jestam" by Crustacean]

So we have got another cargo of queer characters ex Aldergrove. All was to have gone right when Sir Julius was in London, but the magic of his presence does not seem to have prevented the shipment of another bad lot, if not as bad as the Asia's contingent, yet undesirable new settlers. Round about the Dunedin Custom House scenes, which remind me of Palmer's Folly and White Hart street, are daily enacted. If Mr Allan would only take the suggestion so freely offered him and ask for one good ship to take return emigrants, and send some 300 or 400 back to Glasgow of the worst of the lot, it would be fine for Otago.

Otago Witness August 7th 1875

An umncumbered and clean ship was the Aldergrove when we visited her on the 30th ult. Her immigrants had been landed, and during the short interval that had elapsed from the time that they left her the careful chief officer and his crew had effaced all travel stains and removed much of the lumber in the way of offices that had cumbered her decks. As regards appearance, build, and appointments the Aldergrove closely resembles the new 1250 ton vessels belonging to the Albion Company. She was, in fact, built by the same builders, Messrs Duncan and Co., at Port Glasgow. It is almost needless to remark that she is an iron vessel fitted out in the most approved manner and is unexceptionably appointed. She has a large roomy house on the main deck, containing the eugineroom galleys, and quarters for the petty officers. Abaft it is the steam winch, and forwards of it a supplementary winch, whilst before that again in the forecastle, is an admirable windlass, one of Harfield's patent, and worked by either manual or steam power. The forecastle constitutes first-rate quarters for her crew, being roomy, dry, and well ventilated, whilst the deck above it presents a wide, clear space for working the head gear and anchors. The ship, of course is of the most modern style of rig - double topsailyards, wire rigging, &c. - and if she has a particularly noticeable feature above deck it lies in her somewhat taunt lower masts. She is a half poop ship, and thus has a very spacious quarter deck This half poop feature constitutes the main difference between her appointments and those of the Albion Company's ships, the poops of which extend nearly to the mainmast. In the case of the Aldergrove, her poop encloses very snug and tastefully fitted up saloon accommodation, in which some dozen or so passengers might be comfortably quartered. Every part of the saloon is in keeping with the rest, and is nicely ornamented, without gaudiness. There are two capital after cabins, and the side cabins are everything that could be desired by travellers. Conducted by the chief officer, we inspected the 'tween decks, and found the immaigrints' compirtments still intact They were arranged in the London style, that is to say, the berths were in blocks, with open alley-ways on either side of the ship. As much comfort and privacy as it is possible to squeeze out of a good yet faulty system was ensured the married people. They were however, berthed far too promiscuously. The single men's and single women's quarters were as usual, and quite sufficient at all points for the purpose. Cleanliness was dominant wherever we went, To judge by the general appearance of nooks and cornrs we should say that the quarters had been fairly kept during the passage out. The 'tween decks are high and spacious, and capitally lighted and ventilated. They are pierced on both sides with side scuttles. Liberal provision had been made to ensure as much comfort as possible to the passengers. The galley was more than usually spacious, and was entirely devoted to immigrants' uses, the ship's cooking being done in a small supplementary galley in another part of the deck-house. A capacious oven, for bread-baking, is attached to the main galley; and the customary fresh water condenser was not wanting, and we were informed had acted well throughout. She left on 1st of May, and was muzzled by head winds in the Channel and on the 6th day found herself off Cape Clear. Here she got a leading breeze, and made better progress but still the winds did not favour her in the North Atlantic. The Trade was light and poor, and several days were lost in the equatorial doldrums. The S E Trade was very so-so, and when it gave out, she knocked about during four or five days in the Capricorn doldrums. A little north of Tristan d'Acunha she picked up the westerlies, and from that point made a brief passage. The westerlies were fresh and very steady ; and although the barometer several times predicted bad weather - falling, on one occasion, to 28.80 - she was spared the infliction, and, on the whole, had a good time of it whilst crossing the Southern Ocean.

The Aldergrove has seven boats - rather more than the complement prescribed by Statute. Three of them are lifeboats, fitted with Douglas's patent lowering apparatus.

Whilst the Aldergrove was in quarantine she waa carefully fumigated.