Search billions of records on

The Daily Southern Cross June 8th 1863

The ship that was signalled all day on Saturday, did not make her number until yesterday morning at nine o'clock. She proved to be the expected 'Aloe'` 1,024 tons, Captain Tregoning, from London, 113 days out. She took her final departure from the Isle of Wight on the 14th February, and caught the N E trades off Madeira (which was not sighted0, and carried them to 140 N., passing outside the Cape de Verde Islands; crossed the equator on the 11th March, in longitude 260 west, and experienced considerable detention from light winds. South-east trades also very light - the run for 25 days averaging only 70 miles - carrying the vessel away as far to the westward as 400 43'. On the 17th April passed the meridian of the Cape, in lat 410 45' S., running down the easting between the parallels of 430 and 480 S., with strong N E and N W gales. Passed the S W cape of Tasmania on the 15th May, in 450 11' S., and from thence had nothing but light winds until her arrival in port. The first land made on the New Zealand coast was Cape Brett, which was sighted on the 3rd June. The 'Aloe' brings a general cargo, and 8 cabin and 170 steerage passengers; total 178; whose health during the long passage has been very good. No vessels connected with the colony were sighted during the voyage, nor did any accidents occur. The casualties were two deaths, Elizabeth Cheyne, aged 68, died on the 6th April, and Edith Jane cook, aged 16 months, died on the 15th march. Four births took place on the passage.

The Daily Southern Cross June 9th 1863

The passengers, being desirous of expressing their grateful acknowledgment to the Captain and Doctor before leaving the vessel, and knowing the confusion which would be likely to take place at the time of landing, formed a committee to carry out the same, and an Address being agreed upon, was drawn up, subscnbed to by the passengers, and presented on the 26th May. It ran as follows - To Joseph Tregoning, Esq , Commander of the ship Aloe. Dear Sir, - We, the passengers of the Aloe, now that the voyage is drawing to a close, cannot separate without expressing the feelings of high esteem and respect which we entertain for you. You have, at all times, acted as a gentleman, an able commander, and a kind and considerate friend, and have made the comfort, the health, and amusement of your passengers your chief study, compatibly with the interests of your owners, and, in fact, your consideration for others has only been exceeded by entre forgetfulness of self. We sincerely hope that the same kind Providence which conducted you thus far will continue to watch over and enable you to prosecute this and many future voyages, to your own comfort, and satisfaction of those with whom you are connected. We beg to offer you, as a small memento of our esteem and friendship, the accompanying purse, not having been able to provide any other suitable present here, and would suggest that, on your return to England, you should purchase a piece of plate of whatever kind you may deem most useful, and with our united wishes for your and Mrs. Tregoning's future welfare, we have much pleasure in subscubing ourselves. [Here follows the signatures of the passengers]
May, 1863.

Gentlemen - In reply to the kind and flattering testimonial and praise with which you have honoured me, as the commander of the ship Aloe in her outward voyage from London to Auckland, I need not say how deeply I feel this substantial mark of your approbation, while at the same time the sentiments of kindness and satisfaction you have expressed towards me personally sink deeply into my mind, and afford me ample recompense for the anxiety and exertions which I, as well as all my brother commanders, must undergo who have at heart the safety of his ship and the comfort of those who may entrust themselves to their care whilst traversing the vast expansive ocean. In conclusion you will permit me to add, if by any chance anything that might have added to your personal comfort should have been inadvertently neglected, which is not at all unlikely seeing that Shaw, Saville, and Co.'s New Zealand line is but in its infancy, yet every day increasing with such gigantic stirdes that ere long this company, who I have the honor to serve as one of their officers, hope to give such assistance to our paternal government as may strengthen the many ties already existing between imperial England and the colonies of New Zealand; in their doing so no opportunity shall be spared on my part as one of their officers in recommending evory improvement of the age as regards speed, comfort, and economy, which I am satisfied they are ever ready to adopt.

Gentlemen, I once more return you my sincere and warmest thanks for your kindness and liberality, and I trust you may long live to enjoy the recollection of having imparted to me the satisfaction with which a recipiocity of feeling must always produce in well disposed minds.

To Thomas Walter Marshall, Esq, Surgeon of the ship Aloe. - Dear Sir, As we are now in daily expectation of arriving at our desired haven, when we must leave each other's society, we cannot sepaiate without complimenting you on the excellent sanitory state in which, through the Divine assistance (without which all human aid were in vain) you have been enabled to preserve the passenger and crew of the Aloe, amounting to above 200 souls, a large number of  whom were women and children. During this voyage of nearly four months we have had to deplore the loss of but two of our fellow passengers, one a babe who passed away from the effects of a tropical sun, the other an aged matron, fast approaching three score years and ten. Their places, we are happy to say, have boon more than supplied by four births, each visitor being strong and healthy. Although suffering occasionally from illness yourself, you were always ready to attend on the call of those requiring your services.
As a friend you have always made yourself agreeable, affable, and courteous, and we are all most happy to have made your acquantance, and we hope that you may be spared many years to be an alleviator of the sufferings of others, and an ornament to your profession. With the greatest pleasure we subscribe our selves. [Here follows the signatures of the passengers]
May 17th 1863.

The Surgeon returned thanks, in suitable terms, to the passengers for their very kind address, stating that it afforded him great pleasure to have been the humble instrument by which any of their sufferings had been alleviated. He assured them that he looked forwaid to the time when he muat leave the society of so many kind fnenxls with much regiet, and hoped that the "land" that they weie fast approaching would prove a muse of health, wealth, and happiness to all he felt sure that many of them would take a very prominent part in then new country.

The Daily Southern Cross June 9th 1863

London, Feb. 2, 1863. - Sir, l have put on board the 'Aloe,' which leaves to-morrow for Auckland, the undermentioned birds, which I beg to present to the Auckland Acclimatisation Society :- 18 blackbirds and thrushes, 9 starlings, 11 larks, 12 bullfinches and goldfinches, 27 sparrows, 2 red poles, 8 hedge sparrows, 24 yellow hammers and chaffinches. Mr Vialon, who goes to Auckland by the 'Aloe,' has very kindly agreed to superintend the management of these birds, and under this gentleman's care there is every probability of a fair proportion of them arriving in Auckland. — I have, &c , W. Morrin. The Secretary of the Auckland Acclimatisation Society. 

The Daily Southern Cross June 10th 1863


ASSAULT ON BOARD THE SHIP 'ALOE' - James Gibson, Charles Stephens, Stephen Waters, John Manning, Thomas Bastard, Henry McCann, and John Miers, were charged by Henry Morris, boatswain of the ship 'Aloe,' with assaulting him on the high seas, on the 10th May, 1863, by striking him on the head with a belaying pin, kicking and otherwise ill using him - Mr Merriman appeared for complainant:

William Craven sworn I am second officer on board the ship ' Aloe,' and am now acting as chief officer. I left London as second officer, I recollect the night of the 9th May. At midnight I was called. It was Mr Morris' watch on deck I was in the next watch to come on duty. Whilst dressing to come on deck I heard a scuffle and cry of murder. I hurried on deck partly dressed, and found Mr Morris, the plaintiff, lying on the port side of the main deck, near the deck house, bleeding profusely from a wound in his forehead. I asked him what was the matter. He told me that he had been assaulted and nearly killed. I asked him where his watch was, and he said they had run into the forecastle. I heard the captains voice on deck calling me by name, asking me where the port watch was, and to call them aft. I called them aft. The prisoners were in the port watch. John Miers was on the doctors list at the time Henry McCann was also on the same list. The remaining five of the prisoners were on duty as the port watch at the time. The writing in the log book I hold in my hand is Captain Tregoning's. I read it to the prisoners on the morning of yesterday in the presence of one of the police Constable, Constable Barnard Green. I read over the pages of the book produced marked by my initials, W C. The prisoner in reply said "it was a _____ lie" That entry was made on the 14th May, as soon as Mr Morris was able to make a statement. Some of the prisoners remarked that "they would do for him before they got to Auckland." The entry in the log bears the signatures of Captain Tregoning and myself

By prisoner Charles Stephens - The port watch only was on deck when the expressions about taking the boatswain's life was made use of

By the Court - There were ten in the port watch. The two prisoners on the doctor's list had no business out when the watch was called. One of the three other men was at the wheel, one on the lookout, and the other in the forecastle.

Walter Thomas Marshall deposed - I was surgeon of the ship 'Aloe' on her voyage from England to New Zealand. I recollect being called about midnight on the 10th May, to attend to the boatswain. I found him in the saloon sitting on a chair, moaning, and his face covered with blood There was a cut over the left eyebrow. That was a contused wound. A belaying pin would have inflicted such a wound The scar now on the forehead is the one caused by that wound. There was also an incised wound on the nose. The left side of his face was very much bruised from blunt force.  His left arm had a swelling, where another blow had been inflicted, with infused blood under the skin. There were eight separate contusions on the back and ribs. They were all recent injuries, and from experience I could say that the injuries on the back were from kicks. He was unfit for duty for a length of time, and now complains of pains in his back The book produced is my medical journal for the voyage. John Miers, on the 9th and 10th May was on my list, as unfit for duty. I put him off after this had occurred. Henry meccano was also on my list as sick with diarrhoea. They were excused from duty as far as I was concerned.

By prisoner McCann - I cannot recollect what you said to me when I came into the forecastle on the 10th May. I cannot tell what quantity of medicine I gave you. You were laid up three days. I might have come to you after the assault had occurred, and asked you your name, but I don't remember.

Henry Morris deposed - I am boatswain on board the ship 'Aloe', from London to New Zealand, for this present voyage. I have been taking command of the port watch, the chief officer being off duty. It was my watch on deck on the night of the 9th May. I recollect giving orders to put on the hatches. After making sail, I ordered the watch to put the hatch on, and and put the hen coops in then place, and lash them, and to coil up the lopes and clear the decks. I then went aft to heave the log. It took me about five minutes. Afterwards I went fori 'ard in the waist. The deck had not then been relieved. The hatch had been put on, but the hen coops were not in their place. The ropes were not coiled down, nor were the decks cleared. The captain came on deck and ordered me to get the fore lifts hauled tight. I called the watch four times before I got any answer. The prisoners Stephens, Waters, Manning, Bastard, and Gibson were all doing duty in the watch. The prisoners McCann and Miers were off duty at the time, on the sick list. I called the watch the fifth time, and John Manning, James Gibson, and Charles Stephens came out of the forecastle, grumbling to themselves, and said it was a quarter past twelve. The deck had not been relieved by this time, and the watch was not therefore discharged from duty. James Gibson gave me a great deal of insolence, and I checked him. I then was going to see whether the rest of the watch were coming on deck to haul the lifts tight, and Charles Stephens collared me by the throat, and threw me down, when James Gibson and John Manning kicked and abused me shamefully. I got up, and was going aft to report to the captain, when I heard Gibson say, '"You_____ , I will have your life before we get to Auckland." I said I would report them, and went aft and did so, and the captain told me to go and call them aft. I went to call them, when John Miers came out of the forecastle with an iron belaying pin in his hand, and, using violent and obscene language, struck me a blow on the arm, and a second blow on the forehead. The scar on my forehead is the effect of the blow. He made a third blow, when I caught the pin, and hove it away over my shoulder, when the rest of the watch rushed in and threw me down. There was Stephens, Manning, Gibson, McCann, Bastard, Miers, and   Walters. They kicked and abused me, and left me for dead on the deck. Mr. Vialon, one of the passengers, and the chief mate took me aft. I did not see Mr Vialon on the deck at the time. He was a passenger living in the deck house. The doctor of the ship examined me. I swear that the wounds and bruises were inflicted by the parties present. The blow on the arm and cut on the forehead by Miers with an iron belaying pin.

By the prisoner Walters - When the captain sent me to call the watch, I said "lay aft."

By Henry McCann - I said nothing when I left Gravesend.

By Thomas Bastard -  You were coiling up the maintopsail halyards when I came from heaving the log. I' complained that the hencoops were not secured.

Isaac Richardson Vialon deposed - I was a passenger by the ship 'Aloe,' from London to New Zealand. I occupied the berth in the deckhouse. I recollect hearing a noise on deck on the night of the 9th May. I was woke up out of my sleep by cries of help and people running to and fro. There was a momentary lull, and then another noise took place. After the first row I heard the boatswain come and call the watch aft, and say "that they were cowardly sons of b_____ s to use him as they had done". I then heard sounds as of blows and kicks and great scuffling. I also heard voices say "give it him." I recognised the voice of the boatswain as the man that was being attacked. I then went out and saw the prisoners going aft. I identify Miers and McCann. I am certain of those two men; and to the best of my belief the others were also present. I saw the boatswain standing on the poop ladder, and I assisted to take him down into the cabin, and assisted Mr. Marshall, the surgeon, in examining him.

By the prisoner Gibson - I did not hear the boatswain challenge the watch out to fight when became to call you. I heard McCann challenge the boatswain to fight in presence of the captain.

Joseph Tregoning sworn - I am master of the ship 'Aloe.' On the night of the 9th May, about midnight, there was a disturbance on board, in which the informant was concerned. When I came on deck I ordered the boatswain to trim the foreyard. He went forward to call the port watch. The prisoners all belonged to that watch. The boatswain went forward to call the watch. I then went below, and on coming on deck again I heard the cry of murder and a great noise. The  boatswain came aft and was bleeding from the forehead. The book now produced is my official log. I made the entries marked with the initials W C. These were not read over to the men at the time, lest it should cause irritation amongst them. The entry contains a fair account of the transaction as it was given to me.

Henry Delves deposed - I am an apprentice on board the ship 'Aloe.' On the 9th May I was in the starboard watch. About 12 o'clock on that night I heard a noise, and heard Mr Morris crying out "murder". I opened the door and said  "I I don't like to go out as they are striking somebody." The prisoners are the men that I saw scuffling. Something fell close to me I think it was a bit of iron. I could not say who threw it there. It was iron. There are iron belaying pins on board, and the sound was something like an iron belaying pin falling on the deck.

This was the case for the prosecution.

The prisoners being asked what they had to say,

Charles Stephens stated - The fast assault was by Morris himself assaulting Gibson. I caught hold of Morris to prevent a row, and Morris fell and I fell upon him, and after extricating myself Morris went  away. I deny striking Morris. The second time Morris came forward he did not call us aft, as he was ordered, but called us every bad name he could think of; challenging us all out to fight. There was no belaying pin used at all to my knowledge, unless Morris had it himself to use. When he called us the first time we came out immediately. I only heard one call. Morris that night was under the influence of liquor.

The Court in summing up the evidence said that it was very clear that a most brutal assault had been committed, and that, in dealing summarily with the case, he considered that the utmost penalty that the court could inflict, was totally inadequate to the crime, but, taking into consideration the detention which the ship would suffer by committing them to take their trial at the next sessions, and the counsel applying to have the case summarily dealt with, he must do so, and therefore sentence the prisoners James Gibson, Charles Stephens, Henry Miers, and John Manning to be imprisoned for two calendar months with hard labour, and Stephen Waters, Henry McCann, and Thomas Bastard to six weeks imprisonment with hard labour.