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New Zealand Herald May 3rd 1884

The New Zealand Shipping Company's chartered steamship British King paid her first visit to this port last night, having arrived shortly after midnight from London, with a general cargo and a large passenger list. As we have said, this is the first visit of the vessel to Auckland, but she is no stranger to other ports of New Zealand, having made three visits to Wellington and Lyttleton. A full description of the British King has already appeared in these columns. The British King is somewhat of a different class of steam vessel to those of the Shipping Company that have hitherto visited this port - being more of the school that pay attention less to passenger accomodation than to the carrying of cargo. Yet, for the carrying of immigrants, she is well suited, having spacious and high 'tween decks; but, for saloon passengers, her accomodation is limited. Yet what there is is neat and comfortable. The "King" is a steel vessel of 2278 tons, and was built by Messrs. Harland and Wolff, at Belfast, in 1881, and is of 410 feet length, 39 feet 3 inches beam, and 28 feet 9 inches depth of hold. Upon her previous trips to and from New Zealand the steamship has shown such a turn of speed that warranted the expectation of the vessel making a good run out to this port, and, as will be seen from the report of the passage those expectations have been fully realised. Forty-eight days from London to Auckland is not bad work, although there is no doubt that even such good work as this will, in a few years, be looked upon as a poor rate of travelling. However, the British King has done well, and Captain Kelly who, like his ship, is also a stranger here, is to be congratulated on the passage he has made. The British King comes from a good yard, her builders being those of the popular steamships: Doric, Ionic and others of the celebrated Whit Star line. Owing to the lateness of the hour, and there being no appearance of any officials from either the Immigration or Health Officer's departments, Captain Sainty decided to drop anchor in the stream off the Queen-street Wharf, there to await the visits of the authorities named. The first business to-day, after the inspection of the passengers by Dr Philson, will be the landing of the immigrants and their luggage; then the discharge of the Auckland portion of the ship's cargo will receive prompt attention. As will be seen from Captain Kelly's report, the passage throughout has been a moderately fine weather one, and with the exception of the death of one infant, nothing has occurred to mar the pleasure of the voyage. Of the immigrants on board, the British King has 19 for Hawke's Bay, 41 for Wellington, 14 for Taranaki, 15 for Westland, 7 for Nelson, 5 for Marlborough and 72 for Canterbury, the balance being for this port. Captain Kelley reports having left the Royal Albert Docks, London, on Thursday 13th March; proceeded down the river and anchored at lower light ship for the tide. Experienced fine weather in Channel, and arrived at day-break at Plymouth on 15th March. Embarked emigrants and sailed at 3 o'clock pm same day. Experienced fresh southerly winds in crossing the Bay of Biscay, which continued to Teneriffe, arriving there at 5 pm on the 20th. Received coal on board, and sailed at 7 am on 21st. Had light NE trades, with cool, pleasant weather to the equator. Thence had strong but steady SE trades to the Cape of Good Hope; experienced a dense fog off Table Bay, arriving at Cape Town on Monday, the 7th of April, at 6 am. Sailed from Cape Town at 2 am on 8th of April, and ran down easting upon the parallel of 45', with variable weather. In longitude 100' E, had a severe gale from SSE which lasted four days. When off Tasmania, on Sunday, 27th April, signalled the ship Crusader steering as ourselves. Experienced easterly winds on the coast. Made the Cape Maria van Diemen light at 10 am on May 2, arriving as above.

Evening Post May 10th 1884

The British King arrived from London via Auckland this morning. She sailed from Auckland at 8 o'clock on Wednesday evening, experienced fresh westerly winds to East Cape, thence strong SW gale with heavy seas, and made the Heads at 10 this morning; was boarded ten minutes later by Assistant Pilot Schilling, and berthed at the wharf at 11.30 am. The list of her Wellington passengers was published on Thursday last She is expected to get away for Lyttleton by Thursday next.