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The Evening Post Monday 14th May

The New Zealnd Shipping Company's steamer, British Queen, 2277 tons, under the command of Captain Newell, was brought in by Pilot Holmes at 3 p.m. yesterday. This is the second of the direct line of steamers from London for the Shipping Company, and is similar in almost every particular to the British King, which vessel we described on her arrival here. On the Health Officer boarding the steamer yesterday he found that there were eight children suffering from measles and he therefore ordered her into quarantine. As this was the only disease aboard, and being in slight form, it was decided today, to land on Somes Island the families affected, and permit the remainder of the passengers and the steamer to come round to the wharf, which she did at 8-30 this afternoon. From what we can learn (there being no report sent ashore yet) the British Queen left Plymouth on the 24th March, with 415 passengers on board, a large number being government immigrants. She called at Teneriffe and the Cape of Good Hope for coals, and had thus made very fair run. We hear that one of the passengers had his leg broken, but his name has not been sent ashore. The British Queen will leave for Lyttelton about Wednesday evening.

The Evening Post May 15th 1883

The following is the report of the British Queen's voyage from Plymouth:- "Left Plymouth at 7.35pm on the 24th March; experienced fine weather with light variable winds, and arrived at Santa Cruz (Teneriffe) on the 29th; sailed again next day, had very light N E Trades, and crossed the Equator on the 9th April; got very strong S E Trades, which lasted to latitude 20dg S, thence fine weather and light variable winds, and arrived at the Cape of Good Hope on the 15th. Took her departure on the 17th, made the Easting with moderate and variable winds between latitude 39dg and 40dg S. Made Cape Moon light on the 7th inst., passed through Bass Strait, experienced thick, dirty weather while under the land, and fine weather with changeable winds, thence to Cape Farewell, which was passed at 9.30pm on the 12th. Had very thick weather in the Strait, and made the Heads at 1pm on the 13th. Was boarded by Pilot Holmes off the Pinnacles, and anchored off Thorndon baths at 8.30pm on Sunday. The actual steaming time was 48 days 5 hours and 3 minutes. On the 25th April in lat 40dg 4mn S., and long 64dg 42mn W, spoke the barque Eurylees, bound from Natal to Adelaide with about 60 passengers. She had not been long out, but was short of provisions, and obtained a supply from the British Queen which was considered sufficient to carry her to her destination."

The British Queens officers are:- Captain Nowell; chief officer, Mr Wm Kelly; second do, Mr Joe Sall; third do, Mr Thos Walker; fourth do, Mr Wm Willing; Purser Mr J Roberts; surgeon, Dr Hazzard. Miss Ruthven, one of the lady passengers, performed the duties of matron to the entire satisfaction of all concerned.

Pilot Simms brought the steamer up to the wharf at 3.30 yesterday afternoon.

From the Evening Post May 15th 1883

The British Queen, the second steamer of the new Direct Service has arrived under a totally different condition of things from that which existed when her predecessor, the pioneer boat, reached Wellington. Then these trips of the big steamships chartered by the New Zealand  Shipping Company, were looked on as to a large degree tentative - a sort of preliminary experiment - pending the establishment of the regular permanent line which was to be started under Government auspices and aided with a Government subsidy. Crowds of eagerly competing ship owners were to struggle madly for the eminent prize, and were to tender against one another within and inch of there lives.

The shareholders of the New Shipping Company gazed sadly at the magnificent proportions  of the British King, and wondered what the mighty ships would be like that, assisted by the 20.000 Government subsidy, were to "wipe out" this unsubsidised line which the Shipping Company, with such temerity, had started on their own account. Little more than a month has passed by , and lo! we find everything is changed as in the twinkling of an eye. Where is that expected unbiased service which was to eclipse all rival efforts? There isn't any. Nobody would take the trouble to pick up the subsidy, or even look at it. Nobody wanted it, or cared to have it on the conditions annexed to its bestowal. And so we awake from our dream of a subsidised line, to discover, that this service of the British King and Queen and their fellow steamers is not the mere tentative affair that some seemed to have supposed; but is the the Direct Steam Service, so long desired - a firmly established and permanent line of splendid steamers which are to ply between Great Britain and New Zealand with the same certainty and regularity as the Union Company's fine boats perform the passengers between New Zealand and Australia. We have secured our wished-for service, and this is it. The second boat has entered our port , making the run - as did her predecessor - well within the stipulated term of 50 days. And already out of here, nearly three weeks out from home, is the third of the series, a much more splendid steamer, the Ionic, reputed to be one of the noblest vessels that has ever visited Australian waters. She, in her turn, will be followed by her sister ship, the Doric, and the latterly similarly fine successors. Yet, there are only temporary "makeshifts" All this time the steamships specially designed for this service are in course of construction, and will take their place on the line in due order, as they are finished. they are reported to be planned on a superb scale of efficiency and grandeur; while being expressly prepared to suit the peculiarities of the New Zealand trade, they will probably be superior even to the Ionic for this particular service. On the whole, therefore, we may fairly plume ourselves on having obtained, without paying a farthing for it, an infinitely superior service to that for which Parliament was willing to pay 20,000 per annum. this is very satisfactory in every way. Naturally, too, more interest will be felt in the New Zealand Shipping Company's steam service now that it is known to be the regular and permanent line, and people either contemplating trips to the mother country or desiring to send for their friends from Home can make their calculations with ease and certainty.
The quarantining of the British Queen is, of course, an unfortunate circumstance, but it is one of those incidental difficulties to which every vessel is liable, and we trust the inconvenience will be minimised as regards both the passengers and the steamer. It is to be hoped also that the Ionic, whose arrival will be so eagerly looked for in about three weeks time, will escape this annoying experience.

Quiet a large crowd of people assembled on the Queens Wharf yesterday afternoon to witness the debarkation of immigrants by the British Queen. Of these immigrants there was no fewer than 150 single women. As soon as the steamer came alongside the wharf Captain Nowell gave orders that no one was to be allowed on board except those who were in a position to say they had business. At 5 o'clock some of the single women were marched to the Mount Cook Barracks, each of whom found she had the choice of several situations as domestic servants. The immigrants are a fine looking body of people. They met with a very cordial reception, and we hope all will succeed in speedily securing comfortable "billets". The British Queen brings to New Zealand 295 immigrants, most of whom are nominated. They will be distributed from Wellington to different parts of the colony as opportunity offers. The immigrants consigned to Canterbury number 150, being composed of 11 families, 27 single men and 83 single women; for Wellington, 102 immigrants comprising 7 families, 22 single men and 46 single women; for Taranaki are 6 immigrants representing 1 family and 1 single man; for Nelson, 15 immigrants, including 8 single men and 7 single women; for Marlborough, 4 immigrants, being 3 single men and 1 single women; and for Westland (including Greymouth, Hokitika &c) 18 immigrants, comprising of 4 single women. The Canterbury detachment were left on Somes Island and will be taken on to Port Lyttelton by the British Queen on Wednesday. Of the single women allotted to Wellington it appears only about a dozen are eligible for engagements. The remainder have come out to their friends though no doubt they will shortly be open to accept engagements. There was quite a rush of applicants for the twelve at Mount Cook Barracks this morning. [Since the fore going was in type, we learn from Mr Redward, the immigration Officer, that 15 single women were open for engagement at the Barracks, and these were engaged at from 10s per week to 40 per year, there being three applicants for every available girl. Already applications have been received for girls expected by the next ship, the Ionic.]

Three men who put off in a boat on Sunday night with fresh provisions on Sunday night for the British Queen came within an ace of being drowned. The boat which was manned by G. Harrison, T, Johnson and T. Murray, was from the Gear Meat Preserving and Freezing Company's establishment. it arrived safely alongside the British Queen, notwithstanding the several gale that was blowing and when nearly the whole of the provisions had been hauled up a high sea swamped the little craft, leaving the three men referred to floundering in the water. they were rescued without much difficulty, but Johnson was so exhausted that had it not been for the prompt and assiduous attention of Dr Hazzard, it is questionable whether he would have recovered. the men wish to thank those on board for the kindness they received after being rescued. They landed on the Queens Wharf yesterday afternoon with the main body of immigrants and were naturally subject to a deal of "chaff".

One of the tallest men seen in Wellington since Chang the Chinese giant, paid us a visit to-day in company of several passengers by the steamer British Queen, on board of which vessel he came out from London. His height is 6ft 8in, and as he passed along the street, head and shoulders above his companions, he attracted general attention. He is a native of Ireland, and is said to be only 22 years of age.

Up to last night 4900 sheep, and 52 quarters of beef have been frozen ready for shipment on board the SS British Queen. It was estimated that 250 more sheep would be prepared to-day, and that by Saturday night 6000 carcasses would be ready to be placed on board. The work of loading the vessel will probably commence on Tuesday next.

A painful accident occurred to a man named Taylor, who, while assisting in discharging cargo from the British Queen, was struck on the leg close above the ancle (sic), by a bundle of iron in the sling. The blow inflicted a nasty bruise. He was attended by Dr Macdonald.

A man named Thomas Russell, aged about 24, died suddenly in Lyttelton this morning. He came from the Cape in the British Queen, having stowed away in that steamer, and worked his passage as a deck hand. Last night he went on board the steamer, and complained of having fallen on the wharf and hurt his back. He was found dead in his bunk this morning. An inquest will be held.

Inquest into the death of Thomas Russell
The Star May 25th 1883

An inquest was held at the Mitre Hotel, Lyttelton, at 3pm yesterday, before J S Coward, Esq., Coroner, touching the death of Thomas Russell, who died suddenly on board the SS British Queen on Monday.

Joseph Saw deposed: I am second officer of the British Queen. Deceased was a stow-away on board the ship from the Cape. He was not on the articles. He was, apparently, in good health on the arrival of the ship here. The day after the ship arrived here he left, and we saw nothing more of him till I saw him dead yesterday morning in his bunk. He did not complain during the passage. On hearing of his death I went to see his body, and immediately sent for a doctor.

Willoughby D Hay, sworn, stated: I am quarter-master on board the British Queen. At about 11 o'clock pm on Monday, I saw deceased trying to climb up the ship's side. I saw he was struggling, and I went to help him, and, noticing he looked white, asked him if he was tight. He said he had fallen on the wharf and hurt his back. He went along the deck down into the forecastle. Next morning he was very ill. I did not see him before he died. I understood him to say he had fallen on Sunday night. He said he was sober when he fell, and that he had not been able to get any drink.

Hugh McDonald, sworn, stated: I am a duly qualified medical practiioner. I was called to see deceased yesterday morning on board the British Queen. He was quite dead. I made a post mortem examination of the body. There were no external mark (sic) on the body, which was well nourished. On opening the chest I found the lungs healthy. On examining the heart I found a quantity of fluid in the percardium. The heart itself was unnaturally enlarged, and was fatty. On opening the heart I found large clots of blood in it. The other organs of the body were healthy. The heart disease was of long standing, and was the cause of his death.

James Joyce, ordinary seaman: I am 15 years of age. I was in the forecastle when deceased came down on Monday morning. He looked quite white when he came down. I asked him what was the matter. He said he had fallen on the wharf and hurt himself. He then went to his bunk. I saw him every day during the voyage, and did not hear him complain of illness. He was sober when he came on board.

James Saw, re-called: It is usual to make stowaways work. Deceased particularly requested his comrades to say nothing about the accident.

Thomas Peters: I stowed away in the steamer at London. I slept in the same pert of the forecastle as deceased. I and deceased used to go on shore together. When I went down to the forecastle at dinner time on Monday deceased said he had slipped on a piece of wood on the wharf, had fallen backwards and hurt his back. I asked him why he did not go to the doctor. He said he would wait till morning to see how he felt. He said, "Don't say anything about the accident, for fear they turn me out of the forecastle." Yesterday morning about seven o'clock I asked him if I should get him any breakfast. He said no. I thought he was very ill at the time. He could hardly speak. A stowaway from the Cape, who suffered from fits, was attended by the doctor frequently. There were only three stowaways in the forecastle, but a number of the regular crew.

After some deliberation the jury agreed that deceased died of heart disease, and found a verdict accordingly.


The death occurred to-day of a lady who until recently was well known in Wellington musical circles as one of the most charming amateur contralto singers ever heard in this city. We refer to Mrs Henry Evans, third daughter of Mr William Hickson, who died shortly after 8 o'clock this morning at here fathers residence, Abel Smith St, after a lingering and painful illness (consumption) at the early age of 29 years, having thus survived her brother Mr Harry Hickson, only a fortnight and her sister, Mrs Lodger, only two month. So sad a triple bereavement has rarely befallen a family in so brief a period and deep sympathy is felt for the relatives. The late Mrs Evans, when Miss Agnes Hickson sustained for several years the chief contralto part in the oratorios given by the old Choral Society, notably in "the Messiah" "Samson" "Naaman" &c. Her expressive interpretation of "He was Despised" "Return, O God" and "I dreamt I was in Heaven" will dwell in the memory of those who heard it, long after the sweet voice of the singer has been hushed in death. Mrs Evans also was a member for many years of St. Peter's choir. Her gentle and amiable character made her a universal favourite, and her early death will be widely lamented.

Joseph Aaensen, the young man who it is said demonstrated his affection for Mary Sheehy, a fellow-servant at Christchurch, by pouring scalding hot tea down her back the other day, again appeared at the Resident Magistrate's Court this morning, on an information charging him with  having inflicted grievous bodily harm upon that person. Chief-Detective Browne stated that since adjournment of the case the warrant had arrived from Christchurch, and a remand to that place was now applied for. His Worship granted the application. Accused wished the court to take Mr Browne's evidence as to his character, but Mr Hardcastle could not see his way to accede to the request, pointing out that such testimony must be taken before the magistrate by whom the case id tried.

A young girl named Alice Carlyle, alias Edwards, was brought up at the Resident Magistrates Court this morning and charged with having obtained six yards of flannel and a woollen mat from one Ernest Arthur Green, at Christchurch, by means of false representations. She admitted the offence. Chief-Detective Browne applied for a remand to Christchurch, from which city she had only recently arrived, and said there were several other charges against her. Mr Hardcastle asked why a remand was asked for when a plea of guilty had been recorded; to which Mr Browne replied that he would allow the matter to stand as it was. In reply to his Worship, Mr Browne said the warrant for her arrest only arrived yesterday, and the police here were not in possession of the particulars of the offence. Accused was sentenced to seven days impressment with hard labour.