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The New Zealander December 29th 1855

The water was as smooth as glass and with scarcely an air stirring, the ship drifted slowly to her anchorage which she fetched about 7 am.   The Bank of England sailed from Gravesend on 6 September and from the Downs on the following day, crossing the Equator in 31 deg W on the 31st day.  She had a very fair run to Van Diemen’s Land, passing without sighting, to the Southward of that island and from which her passage has occupied a period of 18 days.  In lat. 46 deg S, long. 105 W.   She spoke the ship Elizabeth from London to Geelong which sailed ten days previous to the departure of the Bank of England.  On Christmas Day at 2 am sighted the Three Kings, experiencing light northerly and north-easterly winds on the coast.  A very melancholy accident occurred in 1 deg N, lat. 30 deg W long.  The ship was then going about 7 knots through the water when William HAWKINS, a miner, and a native of Falmouth, unhappily fell overboard.   The ship was immediately hove all aback and, as the poor fellow was swimming light and strong, there was every prospect of saving him.  All at once he gave a piercing shriek and disappeared having been taken, as is supposed, by a shark.  Hawkins had a wife and child on board; the child died about a month since.  The Bank of England brings 76 passengers, among whom we have to welcome the return of our old townsman Mr J I MONTEFIORE.  She has a general cargo of merchandise.  The next ship of Messrs Willis’ line will be the Ashmore.