ARRIVAL OF THE JOHN TAYLOR
The Lyttelton Times October 22nd 1853
The ship "John Taylor," J M Cawkitt,
Commander, anchored in our harbour on Tuesday evening. The "John Taylor" left
Gravesend on Sunday, July 10th, with 140 passengers. The Pilot was discharged off the Isle
of Wight on the 13th. Strong contrary winds with head seas were experienced until reaching
Cape Finisterre, causing much sea-sickness, and disappointing the hopes of making a rapid
passage. Madeira was reached on the 30th July, and the line crossed on the 17th August. A
favourable trade wind was experienced, and the ship passed close to Tristan de Acuna on
the 5th September, and hove to for a short time to enable those on shore to communicate
with the ship, but no one came off. Several houses and cattle were seen. The Meridian of
passed on the 7th September, and the Cape on the 12th. Strong westerley gales were experienced with heavy seas, the ship rolling heavily and constantly. On the 20th they had a hurricane from WSW, which lasted from
three to four hours with extreme violence, the ship scudding under a reefed foresail, and treble reefed main-top-sail; the force of the wind aft sending the ship's forecastle under in two or three plunges. All on board state it to have blown heavier than they had ever experienced. The ship behaved nobly and met with no accident excepting a new main-top-sail much split while taking it in. Ship's position at the time - lat. 42' south, long. 51' 28"
east. From that time to sighting New Zealand, they had strong gales. Stewart's Island was passed on the 15th October, and the ship entered the harbour of Lyttelton on the 18th, making tha passage from Ushant in 88 days,
and from Madeira in 77. Four deaths occurred on the passage among the children.