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Written on board the voyage of the ship Berar October1874 - December 1874

Thursday, Oct. 15
Left depot at 11 o'clock. Embark'd in S.W. Dock 1 o'clock - started from dock 3 o'clock - reached Greenhithe 6 o'clock. Anchord at Greenhithe till next morning. Plenty of fun & music on board. Brought to Greenhithe by the steam tug. Pass'd Alexandria, emigrant ship for Brisbane, at anchor.

Friday, Oct 16
Left Greenhithe and anchord at Gravesend. 3 services on board. Received passengers' luggage ex Retreat. 1 box belonging to Mr Foster broken. Much singing & dancing on board. Alexandria passed us for Brisbane 3.17

Saturday Oct. 17
Laid at Gravesend all day. Government inspector on board most of the day exercising crew in the use of Life Boat, fire hose etc. Mr Chapman held 3 services and gave books. CTP's 4 large cases arrived on board, all in broken condition. 3 stowed away & one put on deck on the pigsty - shipped 5 sheep, 5 pigs and 5 doz poultry.

Sunday Oct.18
Left Gravesend with Steam Tug Cambria in damp hazy weather. Made good way to Deal. Anchored off Deal 6 p.m. Saw porpoises round the ship waiting for their supper. They were not disappointed as several cast up accounts for the benefit of small fish. Just saw the South Coast. Music & singing - very comfortable & happy. Turned in after a good supper. Sent cards ashore by Pilot. Fred, Charly & Mary sick.

Monday Oct. 19
Started with Tug Cambria 6 a.m. Beautiful weather. Much fun made by seasickness. Saw coast of Dover, Hastings, Eastbourne to Beachyhead. Tug left off Beachyhead 7 p.m. Breeze strong & in our teeth. Much sickness in which Sophy, Fred, Mary, Charly, Dick, heartily joined. Singing & Music drag heavily. Set all sail on the Tug leaving us.

Tuesday Oct. 20
Fine weather. All sail set. Wind still over our bows - ship rolling too much for weaklings. Fred, Charly & Mary very dickey - little retching. Saw Coast of France at mid day - bout ship & back. Much fum going on. Made Isle of White lights. Wind freshened into a gale with heavy sea. Only a few of the strongest on deck. Mary, Charley, Fred, Alfred, Dick & Sophy sick and very bad.

Wednesday 21 October
Turned out 4 a.m. Found the crew reefing sail - strong gale - ship shipping much water & laying much on her side to the great alarm of the ladys & confusion of tins and pans - traps all shift off tables at breakfast - & rolling from side to side all day - large case shifted by the weather and fresh lash'd. Much sickness & fright - few left bunks. Still off Isle of White. Was knocked down by a coil of hose from off the sheep pen & washed from the mid deck into the gutter & well drenched with water. Narrow escape of going overboard. Truly those who go down to the sea in ships see the works of the Lord and His wonders of the deep. The roll to and fro. They reel as do a drunken man. The ladies must tell of the horrors of this day. It certainly is awfully grand. Every few minutes the ship one side or other under water - once she lay for some minutes on her side with her bulwark some feet under water & the water 1/2 up her deck. I thought she could not wright herself as I saw the yardarms dip in the sea- then & then only did I begin to quake, but thinking of my motto I thought my heart must not fail me. I know in whom I have trusted. Scarce anything eaten by anyone all day. Bread spoild again for the third time by the baker & the cook not able to stand at his fire. Engineer thrown from his bunk & struck his head cutting it open. Ship'd a tremendous sea as I was crawling under the bulwark & took a salt water bath free of expense. 8 p.m. put up a sort of side sail to steady the ship & keep her from rolling so much. Child with scarlet fever better = pigs sick & musical. Turned into bunk 9 p.m.

Thursday Oct 22
Took watch below 2 a.m. Not supposed to watch, but nearly all men sick so offered to take a turn. Wind somewhat drop'd & sea calmer so that we can travel from one part to another on our feet instead of having to crawl. After breakfast (or breakfast time) for there was no breakfast, wind & sea abaited & we lay all day off Portland. - Child in next birth had fit very bad.

8 p.m. Thursday 22/10
After laying all day & making little headway we have a shift of W[ind] in our favour & hoist all sail - feel rather pensive and faint. Sit under the lea & smoke a pipe with Dick on my knee while Sophy puts the little ones to bed - Sophy very queer - boys & Mary better. 9 p.m. moon clear & nearly full, breeze fresh & ship going 7 or 8 knots per hour, looks like a sea bird flying through the W[ind].

Friday Oct 23
Turned out 6 a.m. Wind gone down - Channel Pilot put on shore by a fishing smack 5 a.m. - Company nearly all over sea sickness & coming to their appetites - quite ready for breakfast by 8 o'clock - Cook nearly worried to death by the amount of things sent to him to cook. Sophy made a loaf & cake which proved very acceptable after nearly a week on hard biscuits.

10 o'clock wind ceased & the S[hip] lay becalmed for hours every inch of canvas set but not a mile gained. The sea as smooth as glass & the sails flap on the mast - cooking eating & drinking music singing & dancing pass the hours away. The deck look a little Greenwich Park. The children playing with hoops from flour casks. Swinging on the ropes. Men playing cards, dominos & smoaking all day.

Oct 23 Cont
Ship laying off Cornish Coast which we cannot get away from. Tobacco supplyd at 2/6 per lb by Captain, very good 1/2 lb cakes. Provisions good & ample, more waist than the pigs can consume - meat 3 times a day & odd pieces thrown away with the remainder of Biscuits knowing that there will be fresh tomorrow.

9 p.m. breeze springing up & sails filling , go to bunk well and happy.

Saturday Oct 24
Up 6 a.m. Wind rather fresh but too forward coming over our bows. Still hugging the Cornish Coast. Being Saturday we receive week's provisions, tea coffee sugar pepper salt pickles mustard raisins currants flour suet & the daily allowance of meat & biscuits. Noon, wind still increasing & sea begins to run high. Steph & Harry amused to see me roll about as I carry Step or lay hold of a post or rope to stay myself. Sea sickness coming on again & with it the laugh & chaff. 8 bells had a short draft of medical comfort from the Doctor which with the roll of the ship make me more steady sitting than in any other posture. 2 bells turn to bed tired.

 Sunday Oct 25
Turnd out 1.20 a.m. Moon light very haisey. Wind still in old quarter against us. Did a pipe on deck & turnd in again untill 6 a.m. Fog increased. Making but little way. Said to be in Bay of St Michael. Noon - breeze freshened into gale. Entered Bay of Biscay. Plenty of pitching & tossing. Punch, Fun, Judy & all the comic of London eclipsed by the seen on board - some sick, there some lying groaning there - some slipping one way some another - myself down twice & damaged the other knee - one broken last Wednesday & now very stiff & sore which make it very awkward for me to crawl about my dutys which take me from one end of S[hip] to the other - Mother & Mary still sadly all the rest well & hearty, but little music & sing, enough to do to keep feet or seats. Mary, Mother & the little ones in bunks all day for safety as they could not stand. Tables not down for breakfast & dinner & at tea time had to hold the traps on the table to keep them where we might know where to find them. 9 p.m. hoist main staysail & into birth [berth].

Monday Oct 26
Up at 6 a.m. Still tacking about with a strong head wind. only making 2 1/2 knots per hour & said to be 22 miles out of our proper course. The Amusements of the day consist of making wooden wind mills & harpooning porpoises &c. The first mate got a ducking while in the act of throwing harpoon. The ship dipt & put him under water which caused alarm at first but when the ship rose & he found all right - caused a good laugh. Our boys all on deck enjoying the fun - all getting their sea-legs on board. Mother & Mary still hold queer in the head. Sickness all gone with them - but many are still casting up accts. Provisions still ample.

Tuesday Oct 27
Up 2 a.m. Dead calm. Bright moonlight. Smoked in deck untill 3 then below into burth till 6. Fine day throughout. All gay on deck. Spoke to an homeward bound S[hip] name unknown - more fishing done but little success - Held a prayer meeting in the fore hold very well attended & cheering led by one of the crew.

Wednesday Oct 28
Turned out 12:30 a.m. & on deck wind blowing a gale. Ship pitching and rolling too much to be comfortable in births. On deck the waters appear boiling but look grand in the moon light. 4 a.m. Wind easier & sea calmer. Ship more steady. Turnd in for a couple of hours. Out again 6 a.m. Wind dropd almost to a calm. One of the pigs died & given to King Neptune. One child removed from married peoples hospital recovered from scarlet fever & another put in with measles very bad. Midday dead calm. Fishing music dancing cards drafts dominos &c very brisk- Condensing engine break down consequently water very bad. Publick meeting call'd to decide what classes & meetings should be formed. Resolved that a prayer meeting be held on Sunday & Wednesday evenings in addition to the Sunday morning service & a Discussion Class be held on Monday evenings. Turn'd in 9 p.m. Fair breeze.

Thursday Oct 29
Turnd out 6 a.m. Wind fair. Ship making good way. Preserved carrots served out. Very good seldom had so good on shore. Company settling down contented & happy except a few discontented spirits - but few who are not enjoying the voige - a River Trip could not be more pleasant. Ship running 10 knots per hour on a smooth sea. The usual games going on, children swinging on the ropes, card parties &c all over the deck. Bad case of scarlet fever. Single man removed to their Hospital. Captain supplyd water from reserve supply. 9 p.m. turn in with the feeling "My Father is at the helm. I will lay me down in peace & sleep for Thou art with me"

Fred has inflamation in one eye which makes him very uncomfortable & destroys his pleasure for a time.

Friday Oct 30
Turnd out 6 a.m. Wind fair, good breeze. Ship still making good way. Strong appetite & good supply - fat pork not thrown away now - nothing too fat or unsavoury. Pint good coffee 1/2 lb pork & biscuit for breakfast. The women making meat pies for dinner. A tin of preserved onions served out to each mess today, to last a week. Carrots yesterday to last some time. A piece of iron just fell from masthead & struck a sailor on the head. The Doctor dress'd the wound. Weather much warmer & days drawing out - like a fine May day this evening.The phosphorus in the water look like very large glow worms as large as the palm of a hand. Puss quite at home in the forcastle with the sailors where she has a good time of it. The young man in the Hospital more quiet & sleeping. Turnd in 9 p.m. Ship running on an even keel.

Saturday Oct 31
Up at 6 a.m. -Beautiful morning. Breeze not so strong. Ship going about 5 knots. All hands wash on deck, children & all. Getting rather close below. Evidently getting into warm weather. All sorts of amusements on deck & below look like a large kitchen where the women are making cakes pudding &c. Music on after deck for single girls. Captain & Doctor dance with them as also first & second mate. Contentment sets on each face & all seems bent on making the time fly as easily as possible. The officers jolly fellows. Capn & Doct join in the different sports. Shark said to be following us.

Sunday Nov 1
Up 5:30. The month begins with casulties- 2 children died this morning. Infant at 1/2 past 1 & a girl 9 years at 2:30. Wind blowing fresh. Ship making good way. Squally & wet. First sounds herd on awaking in the carpenter on deck making a stand on which to lay the body while the service is read. The first thing seen is the sail maker making 2 bags to serve as coffins. The eldest child belong to the man who play bass viol. While at breakfast the children are put in the bags with large stones out of the hole to sink them & taken up on deck. The Capt read service & the Doctor standing by after reading the Carpenter open porthole & drops the body through into the water. The flag flying half mast high. Squalls increase during the day with heavy rains again putting off morning service much to the regret of many. The form of dinner gone through but not enjoyed. 2 more patients put in hospital with scarlet fever v- one on single girls, one in married peoples. Mrs Price fell down open hatchway - much frightened & hurt head & shoulder. Short service on deck by the sailors &c - no stars to be seen in sky - but phosphorus beautiful in the sea - look like 1000 stars.

Monday Nov 2
Up 1-30. Breeze fresh & strong. Ship making good way - doing 10 k - heavy rain - Took watch for 2 a.m. Heavy sheet of water fell about 4 a.m. Got wet through putting down hatchways. Sea look awfully grand, great masses of water roll towards the ship as if to swamp her but is cut in two by her & sent back rolling in foam from her bow. 6 p/m/ ship making 11 k, appears to fly, look hansome with her wings full like so many bags. The sea grand & making a "joyfull noise" as David has in the Psalms. If the seas clap their hands the waves kiss each other cheek - on one side they dash & splash, on the other they surge & foam & appear to boil in the distance. The boys thoroughly enjoy the sceen, so do I.

Tuesday Nov 3
Up at 5:30. Fine morning. Ship making good progress (10 knot). Took meals on D very pleasant picnic partys everywhere. Have not seen a sea bird for 5 days. A sparrow, a finch, & a wagtail making a passage on the ship without paying fare. Our cat & Prices bird all right.

Wednesday Nov 4
Up 6 a.m. Weather fine. Breeze slackened & ship not making much way. Bread supplyd not good. Passengers' boxes up. Very warm work. Enjoy cold mutton & pickles. Another child died in our hospital at noon. The child bit its mother's finger before death & it is going bad. Sea smooth. Not a wave. Simply a little heave up & down. Engine breakdown again. Nice service by Seaman, and prayer meeting after. Child buried about 8 p.m. very secretly on the poop. Much singing on deck. All loth to go below. Flying fish dropd on deck, caught in the rigging.

Thursday Nov 5
Up 6 a.m. Weather very fine & warm. Ship not making much way. Crew supplyd with lime juice. Guy Fawkes not forgotten. More remembered on board than I saw on shore last year. Had 3 Guys made & carried round the deck with all honours we could give them. Practised singing in the evening.

Friday Nov 6
Up 9 a.m. Sick headache. Weather hot & nearly dead clam. Scarcely a ripple on the sea. Almost unbearable below for heat. Another child died at midday making 4 in one week. The child said to be the one that brought the fever on board. Bed & bedding strewn about the deck. Child put overboard 8 p.m. Mustard & cress for tea grown on board. Quite a novelty. Engine set going again. Great fears entertained about water as the engine works so bad. Doctor, Captain & Storekeeper unwell. Another child put into Hospital. The young man in single mens Hospital getting better. Ate 2 of our biscuits today. Harry very poorly & scarcely to be wondered at.

Saturday Nov 7
Weather very hot & dry. Ship lay becalmed. All sail set and making 1/2 mile an hour. Much suffering from headache & heat. Engine stopped again. Worm said to leak letting sea water into fresh. Singing, cards & dominos very brisk. Deck crowded until 10 p.m. Regular noisy Saturday night except the drink. All hands agree they would rather have a gale of wind than a clam here in the Tropics.

Sunday Nov 8
Up 6 a.m. Weather warm & fine. Little air. Ship making 2 knots hour. Devotions read for the first time on board. Read on Poop before single girls only. Too much sickness among married people to allow of all meeting together. 2 sheep died & thrown overboard, from heat & want of water. Nice 2 hours service on main deck by Mr Pyne, the sailor, in the afternoon & another in the evening. Well attended, and a prayer meeting afterwards. This was the fourth prayer meeting held & is growing. At the first only one (myself) spoke. At the second, 3. At the third, 3, & tonight 4, & was altogether a very enjoyable meeting. Mr Pyne's watch on forecastle 10-12 p.m. so went up there with him instead of turning in. Had some pleasant talk with him & altogether very comfortable. Breeze on a shift, settle right aft, though faint. Making 2 knots per hour. Sun set 7 p.m. No twilight here. Dark at once.

Monday Nov 9
Up 6 a.m. Weather fine, breeze freshened & ship making good way again. After sunrise very hot. Awnings put up over single girls & one rigged over the boats aft on mid-deck taken down again. Another child died this morning, about 4 months old. Not of fever but of consumption. Another child died this afternoon of Fever, about three years old (6). Both thrown over this evening, with singing, dancing & music going on. Engine repaired & tried this evening.

Tuesday Nov 10
Up 5:30. Weather fine, nice breeze & ship making good way, about 8 knots. Engine at work this morning to delight of all on board. Only water enough to supply one side of ship. Padlock put on W.C. & ordered to keep one side locked. Engine at work night & day. Carpenter to watch it by day, Engineer by night. Sit on forcastle with man on Watch till midnight. Petitioned Captain to get flour instead of bread. No good bread having been served out.

Wednesday Nov 11
Up 5:30. Weather fine, very hot. Ship making good way. Said to be in the Trade Winds.Swarms of flying fish. 3 swings in full play. Lime juice served out today. Said to be in 15 degrees. Almost longing for a change of scene. The same sky & the same water day after day. The same stars night after night. Tonight we have an addition. The new moon appears for the first time which is a welcome sight in a cloudless sky. Good Service & Prayer Meeting tonight well attended.

Thursday Nov 12
Up 6 a.m. Weather fine, sky clear & almost cloudless. Saw 2 birds this morning, a sight we have not seen for a fortnight. Most of our invalids progressing favourably. The fever almost gone. This (the fever) our only trouble. The ship making good way. Fred had headache. Spend the evening & most of the night up forward watching the luminous fish in the water. Charley caught one about 2 inches square, a sort of jelly fish. Stars - in clear weather never dark here. As soon as sun is down the stars appear & very bright it is here. The heavens declare the Lord God.

Friday Nov 13
Weather fine. Ship still making good way. Ship cutting through the waves & casting spray from her bow as if indignant at their opposition. Stephen very ill from teeth & heat, full of scarlet rash & very low. Heat something dreadful, but still a fine breeze making life bearable under shade. Ship like a large tent with canvas stretched over the deck nearly from stem to stern. Many sick headaches, very few free from it. 4 p.m. clouds appear in the wind. Sailors predict a squall. While at Tea advised to see to boxes, tins &c. Some of the sails taken in & other precautions taken on deck. 6 p.m. all ordered down when storm of wind & rain burst on us. Such a rain as only to be seen in the Tropics. Ship rolled & lurched surprisingly. Lightning ran from all points in flash & stream, playing up & down wire ropes & around iron bands on mast, lasting until 10 p.m. I was on deck most of the time, going below occasionally to see all right. After 10 the sight was wonderful. At first not a star to be seen in the sky but for clouds, but thousands of luminous fish in the sea, which, but for the waves, would look like the sky. The clouds were blown away & stars appear, making it as light as at full moon, & all the time the lightning flashed from one point to another making it grand to behold, & brought this thought to my mind, "This awful God is ours. Our Father."

Saturday Nov 14
Up 6 a.m. Fine cool breeze. Ship making good way, 6 knots. 8 a.m. two sails appear in sight far off on the horizon. 10 a.m. could see sails of ships with naked eye. Captain told us we could write if we liked in case either proved homeward bound. I wrote to F & M. 2 p.m. after watching both all morning, was doomed to see one bearing away towards the coast of Spain and the other would not come near us, but signalled she would report us. Letter not gone. She was supposed to be Italian, but understood the new code of signals. We are now at 6N 28W. Another child died this afternoon & buried 8 p.m. Engines stopped to clean. Regular Saturday night on board with emigrants & sailors. Sailors bury their dead horse - in other words, when they started each had a month's pay in advance which is now worked out & the hail the fact with delight. They got a barrel of tar & drawing it around the deck with a sailor on it, went to the Cabin & each received a Tot of Grog. Then they ran the barrel up to the stern & over.

Sunday Nov 15
Up 6 a.m. Weather fine & almost dead calm. Very hot. Ship making little or no way. Service on poop with single girls by Captain. Service on main deck by Mr Pyne. Sunday School among children in afternoon. Prevented attending morning service by illness of Stephen & Mother. Mr Pyne's turn at the wheel from 6 to 8 so accepted invitation to conduct service & speak, as 8 o'clock too late to begin, From 7 p.m. one of Mr Pyne's fellow sailors volunteered to take the wheel that he could take his place with us on deck, which was well thought of. Evening Service interrupted by a squall of rain of which we had several during the day. Shark said to be following us. Engine not at work, nor yesterday.

Monday Nov 16
Up 5:30. Weather fine, very hot. Much headache & suffering from the heat. Decks strewn with carcases of sufferers. Myself one of the invalids. Had to give in at noon. Turned out again at 6 p.m. & enjoyed the evening breeze on deck till 11. Breeze sprung up, driving us well but not fair. Engine at work today. Ship going 5 points out of her proper course. Brown's baby born 4 p.m.

Tuesday Nov 17
Up 5:30. Weather fine. Fresh breeze, but not fair for us, driving us too far west. Not so hot as there is more wind & rather cloudy. One sheep thrown overboard & another one killed. Both suffering from heat & no proper care. Engine stopped at middle day. Boiler out of action again. Much fun on deck. Climbing matches &c. Trials of strength & dancing.

Wednesday Nov 18
Up 6 a.m. Weather fine. Good breeze but not fair. Made ST Paul's Rock this morning. They are without lighthouse, are barren rock 55 miles north of Line & lay West of our course 5 miles. Not so hot today. Cloudy & nice breeze. Shark following us as if in want of something. Several birds seen today & 4 sails. Signalled to one. All sorts of sports. Some rifles & Militia men among us so some exercising & fun. Nice Service in evening and Prayer Meeting with plenty of singing. Woman taken very ill with cramp & inflammation in bowels. Stephen better. Engine not worked since Tuesday, middle day. Expect to cross Line tonight. Beautiful clear night. Now that moon is up almost as light as day. Swarms of flying fish.

Thursday Nov 19
Up 5:30. Weather very fine. Light breeze.. Ship going well but a little out of her course. Crossed Line in the night. I begin to wonder where the horrors of the sea are gone. It appears more like an Excursion Trip. We have done with the Northern Hemisphere and now for the Glories of the South. The Berar plys well oer the water. I begin to love it is a home. She will never come into a port where I am, without I make an effort to see her. I sit many hours at her bow in the still starlight & think of past & future. As for the present, none of Cook's Tours can be more pleasant or more enjoyable unless it be in the spread of the table. I daresay we do not get so many knick-knacks. The seamen had made preparations for their usual feat on crossing the Line, but the Captain put a stop to it on account of the passengers. He thought it might not end so well as could be wished. The sailors had things all ready. Neptune's Crown was cut from a bright tin can as also his spectacles & a fine head of hair & beard were provided of pulled oakum. I wish it had come off. I should have liked to have seen it. My usual place when not nursing or on duty is up aloft where I can see & hear & smoke my pipe & be quiet. Although the sailors are foiled in one way, they are not to be done. They had their usual tot of grog & amused themselves & us in one thousand ways. They had gymnastics, climbing, dancing on tight & slack ropes in various parts of the rigging, walking & performing several feats on ropes & spars & some of them after dark, or rather after sunset, in the moonlight, borrowed some women's clothing & dressed in them danced with the other part of crew dressed in the best clothes they had on board.

Friday Nov 20
Up 5 a.m. Weather fine., Ship making about 8 knots but steering too far west. Said to be 2 degrees south. Fine breeze which makes it very pleasant., counteracting the heat of the sun, which is intense. Mr White put into Hospital from our Mess. Several sails seen today. Spoke to one that passed about a mile from us, by signal flags. The usual amusements all day, dancing & jumping in cool of evening in which crew joined. Some in female attire.

Saturday Nov 21
Up 5:30. Off Brazil. Wind still in the same quarter being the S.E. Trade Wind, which blows right over our bows, while we want to go S. or S.E. right in the direction the wind comes from. Engine is working. The ship is kept as near W. as she will go and by tacking about, travel about 1,000 miles to gain 500, which is far better than standing still. Day spent in receiving provisions. Had to return my beef as there was more bone than I thought fit to have. Sunset most beautiful. Evening- music, dancing &c. I sit with Watch in forecastle after others have turned in.

Sunday Nov 22
Mr Foster's child died 2 a.m. Up 5:30. Weather fine. On going on deck found they had 'bouted ship & was on East tack. From enquiry found land or rocks had been seen 2 a.m. on W side, hence tack to east, after running from N to E from 2 till 8 a.m. tack to W again towards coast of S America. Held Service on main deck while Captain did same on poop for single girls. Afternoon School & singing for children. Charley wrote an address to the children which was read. Engine not at work. Service in evening on main deck interrupted by the cry "All hands 'bout ship". A large bright light seen in the west to which we were steering - said to be a light on South America. Mr Foster's child buried from poop about half past eight. Many sad, anxious faces at the thought of, not caused by, so much sickness & so many deaths, while others are larking & amusing themselves in various ways regardless of the time, place & circumstances.

Monday Nov 23
Up 6 a.m. Weather fine & hot. Almost unbearable as day advances, but little breeze, so little way made. On deck passengers lay about in the shade wherever it can be found - under the boats, shade of sails &c, playing cards, chess, drafts & dominoes. Engine at work. Below the seen looks sad. So many unable to get in the air, looking dejected & miserable. After sundown becomes more cool & deck become crowded. Dancing & music & singing as usual. Mr White sadley all day & worse as evening approaches. Light-headed from 6 to 8 with 4 men to hold him down. Dancing going on deck over the Hospital where he & 2 children lay with same complaint, fever, whose parents with the Doctor's assistant & those in attendance on White are packed in a box about the size of a railway carriage. At half past Mr White died, causing a shock to all on board, to say nothing of the screams & crys of his wife. Mr White was the first adult who had fallen victim to the fever. All the rest had been children. He was a stout healthy looking young man about 25 who, with his wife about same age, and child 1 1/2, was going to Feilding on the Manchester Block, where he was to have a cottage & one acre of ground partly paid for in England. They have no friends there, but a mate of his who had worked with him & who Mr White had induced to come with him, Mr Meacham by name, is with us & will do what he can for the Whites. Mr M. has himself lost his only child by fever while on the way, about three weeks back, & his wife is expecting to go to bed very soon. They are very much cut up & feel the position in which they are placed, keenly. When they get to Wellington they will have to travel 70 miles by steamer, 25 by tramway, and from 10 to 20 by wagons, then to set down among strangers. God help them.

Tuesday Nov 24
Had little sleep. Awoke by the knocking away of the hatches to get some stones to sew up with Mr White. Turned out quarter past four by request & with other Constable helped the sailmaker to sew & carry him on deck. Most splendid morning. At sunrise sea looked some times like fires, sometimes like blood. At 6 a.m. Captain read funeral prayers & Mr White was slipped out of one of the portholes, his wife & friends being still in bed. One of the sailors badly hurt by a wooden grating falling into the hold of the ship where he was at work filling baskets to be drawn up on deck. Pure accident brought about by carelessness. Engine at work. Ship's company like one large family in mourning. So many mourning for their dead. Half the passengers are nurses waiting upon the sick. Women standing in groups all over the ship bewailing the state of affairs. Men moving here & there with long faces & downcast looks, morose & grumbling talk of petitioning Captain to run ship into home port to clear ship. Crew watching progress of fever saying if not stopped they will run in. whether Captain will or not. No music or rattling of dominoes or cards. Some of the most wanton & profligate singing or trying to sing "Safe in the arms of Jesus", to add to the gloom of the scene. The moon does not rise until 8 p.m. & the sky being cloudy, it is pitch dark on deck. 8:30 p.m. another child died, belonging to our Butcher, & the little Hospital is again the scene of confusion & bustle, the dying & the dead, the mourners & the nurses all huddled together almost to suffocation. After 10 p.m. I go on the forecastle till 12, Mr Pyne on watch, good talk.

Wednesday Nov 25
Up 6 a.m. Fine morning, good breeze & for us, making good way. Child committed to the deep first thing. All the children that have died have been girls except one, the Baker's boy. Stephen & Harry very ill & low. Sophy almost knocked up with nursing, anxiety & watching. Doctor ordered Sophy extra bottle of stout, Stephen & Harry tin of potted Mutton Broth, potted Chicken & all sorts of things on board.

Thursday Nov 26
Up 5:30. Weather fine. Wind still from same quarter & very soft, hot & dry. Another child put into hospital. Engine at work. Latter part of the day squally & wet. No Service as weather too rough in evening. Some of the most rough on board enquiring about Service, some of them exceedingly frightened. May White's death be the life of many. D.V.

Friday Nov 27
Up 5:30. Weather still fine & warm. Rather cloudy which is a great boon as we are very near under the sun & 15 degrees south of the Equator. Light squalls & calms all day. Although the weather is fine & passengers all on deck there is a marked difference in their behaviour. Service this evening instead of last. Moon not being up, could not see to read, so could only sing what was known. Fine breeze.

Saturday Nov 28
Up 6 a.m. Weather fine, good breeze. Ship making good way. Had stores as usual for the week, which, with cooking, makes us all busy, & passes time away quick. Time passes so quickly it appears only about a fortnight since we left the Depot at Blackwall. Mid-day calm. Ship lay like a log. On the Watch all afternoon. 4 p.m. heavy squall of wind & rain. 6 p.m. engine working. Saw a specimen of seamanship. In a squall of wind one of the sails was ripped across as if cut with a knife. The wind was so strong that it burst like a paper flour bag. In less than 5 minutes the guard was manned, the old one taken down, & in less than half an hour a new one put in its place, although the wind was blowing as if it could carry all before it. We are going at the rate of 13 knots per hour.

Sunday Nov 29
Up 6 a.m. Fresh breeze blowing & has been all night. Ship making good way, pitching & rolling in fine style, occasionally shipping a fine sea, much to the amusement of those who happen to escape a ducking. We are falling & floundering about as if grog had been served out plentifully. "The old man is drunk again" bursts from several mouths at once when anyone falls down, until it has become quite a familiar saying. 10 a.m. no Service as it is impossible to stand without holding a rope or something stationary, & in mid-deck where we hold the Service, these things are scarce. 12 noon Cook's galley the scene of action & a merry one it is. Sharp appetites waiting to see their dinners drawn. After being two or three times christened with the spray, some are walking away with their swag when a sea brakes over the side & drenches them, dinner & all. Dinner is got over by sitting in little groups on the deck with our traps in the middle, & each one looking after his own plate, & an occasional glance at the dishes to see that they do not run away, for sometimes the decks, instead of being horizontal, they stand up perpendicular, to the confusion of plates & dishes & the horror of hungry appetites. Squalls & heavy rain all afternoon. No meeting this evening. Sudden squalls & calms. Sails being always shifted to catch breeze. Ship making no way.

Monday Nov 30
Up 5:30. Weather fine. Ship making little way. Stern-sails set outside ship as far as deck is wide, to catch all the wind profitably. Engine at work.Sailor boy better of fever, not out of hospital, but improving. Company very cheerful, but not so boisterous in their amusements. The death of Mr White evidently has made a deep impression on most of the thoughtless of all ages. Dancing & lewd song singing flags, & appears distasteful.

Tuesday Dec 1
Up 6 a.m. Weather fine & almost a calm, making the heat very fatiguing. We have now been at sea 6 weeks & throughout the provisions have been ample, & with a little scheming may be made hearty. We chop up the old beef left from dinner & mixed with biscuits, pounded with a mallet or belaying pin, & given to the galley to bake for breakfast, which , with an onion, is a very nice dish. Sophy has 1 or 2 bottles of stout per day.

Wednesday Dec 2
Up 5:30. Weather still fine. What little breeze very changeable, giving seamen plenty of work changing sails to catch what wind there is stirring. Several heavy storms of rain during the day, & had Service between decks on account of the changing weather. After 8 wind freshened, clearing away clouds & sweeping a beautiful starlit sky. The Magililan Clouds seen for the first time. Sunrise 5-7:30.

Thursday Dec 3
Up 5:30. Weather fine with light breeze. Ship making 6 knots. Passed 2 ships, one supposed to be homeward bound. Not near enough to speak to her. Engine at work. Great preparations for Concert to come off tonight, weather permitting. Musicians practice below. Sails & flags being arranged & fixed on deck. Programme posted on deck all day giving names of pieces& by whom to be given. After tea all excitement. Flags flying & like a Fair. Booth made weather side of ship for the accomodation of the performers & helpers. Entertainment commenced 7:30 with overture by the Berar Band. Singing & music lasted till 9 o'clock when "God save the Queen" was sung by all on deck, which had a good effect, all being united & appeared to sing with heart & voice. Everything went off well & quiet, giving satisfaction to Captain & Officers as well as passengers.

Friday Dec 4
Up 6 a.m. Weather fine but colder. Ship making about 6 knots. Light rain through morning, keeping most of the children & women down below. Engine at work. Fire in afternoon. Heavy rain in evening. Mr Brown's child died 8:30 and 2 more children put into Hospital. Atmosphere below is very oppressive & bad owing to overcrowding & bad ventilation.

Saturday Dec 5
Up 5:30. Weather fine, scarcely any breeze. Engine worked half-day. Sharks seen this morning. Albatross & several small birds keeping us company. Tremendous swell on, but no wind. The sailors say there must have been very rough storms about to raise & leave such a sea. Quite dangerous to travel about the ship. We are like children learning to walk, holding on by anything we can get that stands in our way.

Sunday Dec 6
Weather fine. Ship going about 6 knots. Child died 4 a.m. and thrown over 5 a.m. this morning. Scarce an hour from death to the time of being put overboard!!! Lots of birds follow ship all day. Several albatross & some small birds called Cape Birds, & Mother Carey's Chickens. Said to be off Cape of Good Hope. Beautiful day all through. Service on deck this morning well attended, & gone through comfortable, led by Mr Pyne. Pantomime at dinner time owing to roll of the ship. Stephen fell down & cut his eye. He & Harry continually pulling the ropes & singing as sailors do. The sailors call Harry "Belay Billy" because he imitated the Captain & Mates giving orders & singing out "Belay" so well. 4 large fish said to be seen this afternoon. Service on the poop for single girls this morning & singing afternoon & evening. Service on main deck this evening. Many of ship's Company attended & most all the passengers. No prayer meeting as squall is expected & Mr Pyne has to go on "Look out" at 8 bells. Beautiful starlight night. Engine started working this evening.

Monday Dec 7
Up 6 a.m. Weather fine. Strong breeze. Ship making good way. Mrs Meacham gave us another passenger in the shape of a son. Mother & child doing well. Ship's Carpenter in Hospital with fever with one of the Ship Boys. 4 children in one Hospital. A woman from her mind, said to be mad - with fever? Engine at work. Doctor asked for dates of deaths as his book was not perfect. I have given dates of 12 deaths. Rare pantomime through the day, by the spray christening & the ship laying us on our beamends. Totsey had 2 tremendous falls without doing her carcase much damage except bruises. Thermometer fell 7 degrees since last night. Greatcoats & comforters come into use today. We hope to leave the heat & the fever together & run South into cooler weather. Practicing below for next concert.

Tuesday Dec 8
Up 5:30. Fine weather, not so much wind. Ship not going so fast. Lots of birds flying round us. Said to round the Cape today. Woman who was light-headed or mad that night is very bad with fever today. 2 more fall sick today, Charley Lepper & Samson Breech. Lepper put into Hospital. I suppose we had our first tea in the Southern Ocean this day so will note that it consisted of some baked potatos that I put into Galley this afternoon (this would be extravagant but that I worked in the Hold this morning & earned a double allowance), bread & butter with mustard and cress grown on our table, tea & currant cake. We are the only ones that grow anything on board.

Wednesday Dec 9
Up 6 a.m. Weather fine. Little breeze, very warm. Daybreak 4 a.m. dark 8 p.m. Child born this morning dead & thrown overboard 8, & belonging to Mrs Benson. Chief amusement watching birds, some of which settle on the masts. Many attempts to catch some without success. Far too much biscuit &c thrown out by children &c so that the bait on the line is not tempting enough.

Thursday Dec 10
Up 6 a.m. Fine weather, almost a calm. Sailors say it is extraordinary weather for off the Cape. Sighted the Island of Tristan da Cunha 37S 13W. The base was enveloped in cloud & we could only see the top as it were of a high mountain. As the day get up we can see the Island plain. The clouds rise & show the land to view well. We are much out of our course, or we should not be near this place. It is said to contain 500 inhabitants, a shipwreck crew & a mutiny crew, & is governed by an old soldier. Hatch opened, case smashed. Had the good fortune to catch 3 fine albatross. I was in the poop & see 2 caught & helped land one on the deck. They are about the size of a Swan with tremendous wings & feathers.

Friday Dec 11
Up 6 a.m. Hatch open. Weather still beautiful. Fine breeze.Ship making 8 to 10 knots. Said to be about 400 miles below or South of Cape. Main sensation this morning is the skinning of the 3 albatrosses caught yesterday - one for Captain, one for Doctor, one for 1st Mate. All the Officers had a piece or part. I had a tail which is beautiful, the feathers are splendid, part of a wing & a leg piece. So we shall be set up for feathers for years to come. The head & small tufts of feet were raffled for by all hands, which pass away the morning. The afternoon being taken up in dressing & cleaning, & the beak is about 10 inches long, & when the skull is clean, looks very well. I have 2 long marrow bones out of the wings, about 2 feet long, for pipe stems, which I hope to polish for that purpose. There are still lots of birds following us, but the bait travels too fast now for them to take it. A shark also keeping us company. The stillborn child (on the 9th) was almost thrown into the mouth of one, as it was seen to take it directly it was thrown over. All excitement tonight as the Concert is to come off tomorrow. The children are all well & getting fat. Mary & Harry especially. As for myself, I feel that as a bird in a cage, I pine. The Cattle Show is over & I have not seen it his year. I offered to go last night if I could get a mate to go with me!

Saturday Dec 12
Up 6 a.m. Weather fine. Ship making good way. Strong breeze - 13 knots per hour. Engine at work. Hatch open again for coals as usual. Boxes smashed up shamefully through carelessness in raising them. Strong winds all day. Ship going on an even keel & have done for 2 days. Down below cannot detect that she is moving, she goes so steady. Concert came off this evening. Several good songs and entertainment by the Berar Nigger Band.

Sunday Dec 13
Up 6 a.m. Weather fine. Strong breeze. Ship going well, scarcely any sea running. A small river boat could not take harm. In fact, a small yacht could do the trip with the weather we have had. No service on deck as the wind is too cool & cutting for many to come on deck, the deck company being a few hardy men. Pig was put in sheep pen yesterday & was found dead & thrown over today. Singing with children on deck in afternoon. Service between decks in evening well attended & hymn singing after. Several sorts of beautiful birds including Cape pigeons visit us all day. Daylight until 8 p.m. Enjoyed a pipe on deck after "All in". Wind rather cool, but refreshing, with greatcoat & keeping moving. The scene was wild & beautiful.

Monday Dec 14
Up 6 a.m. Wind still fresh. Ship going well before it. Said to be doing 13 knots per hour. Engine at work. Hatch open again for coals. Boxes very much damaged. One box belonging to Mr Andrews smashed to pieces. Most of the women below & Stephen & Harry good sailors. They run about as well as any of us.

Tuesday Dec 15
Up 5:30. Wind drops & almost a clam. Ship only making 2 knots. The deck looks like a fair ground. Children swinging wherever a rope can be fixed for that purpose. Several fishing lines & small craft of all sorts over the side. Some of the boys can make good boats by this time. All hands on deck & all sorts of games going on this evening.

Wednesday Dec 16
Up 6 a.m. Beautiful morning. Fine breeze blowing. Ship making good way. Engine working. Plenty of rolling & pitching. Children mostly below. Single Girls' Concert first rate affair. Captain & Doctor sang & danced. Doctor dress'd as a lady. Mary made his bonnet of blue silk, white lace & 2 ostrich feathers. Only one fault - too much rum about, served out from 1/2 gall cans into tumblers.

Thursday Dec 17
Up 6 a.m. Weather fine. Not so much wind. Ship making about 4 knots. Lots of fishing, bird catching & boat sailing, cards & dominoes with loungers all over the deck, smoking & reading. Towards night wind freshened & ship rolled heavily. Moon second quarter, fine sight. Had a pipe with the Cook out on forecastle. See Southern Cross - unknown in Northern Hemisphere [dots] Engine work. Child died this morning - over evening.

Friday Dec 18
Engine working part of day. Up 6 a.m. Weather fine. Wind blowing strong. Ship going like a wild bird, but little canvas set. Most sails furled. Sea runs high - splendid sight, sometimes up high in air, sometimes down between the waves. It is all a lie about waves running mountains high, they never do. If a wave is as high as a house it look a rare depth between them. Charley & Mary very bad with plueracy in side.

Saturday Dec 19 Engine work
Up 6 a.m. Weather fine. Wind not so strong & chop about during the day. Very cold, like a fine March day in England. Sun very cheerful & warm out of the wind. Wind freshened at night. No coat too thick or scarf too warm on deck. The usual stores given out with consolidated beef in square cakes added. Plenty of chicken broth, beef gravy & mutton broth in tins for sick. Charley has Port & Sherry wine with above. Engine at work.

Sunday Dec 20 Engine not at work
Up 7 a.m. Weather fine but cutting cold. Hatches down to keep out wind. Fine sea, but not so high. Ship pitching. No Service. Charley & Mary a little better. Children playing between decks, do not go far without falling, sometimes 6 or 8 in a heap. I should think they will want no more swinging or riding. They are quite happy & enjoy themselves well. Harry is continualy saying "Nice Steam Boat" when he feels an extra roll of the ship. He is a general favourite with the sailors and has got their call to a nicety. Stephen tries to imitate. Had a good cutting of Cress for tea. Although table was well spread it was all a job to have tea, as it required both hands to hold utensils on table. No service on account of ship tossing too much. Wind biting cold. Cook's Galley swarmed, as only place where a fire is to be found.

 Diary ends.


The last two pages of the diary contain the following-

Will of EH
CTP 50
GB 3-15-0 &c
GC 50 &c
JB 50
MP watch
300 0 0

Money in hand 205 0 0
Job 35
Silver 4 salt sp
6 table sp
6 tea sp 7 1 7
Eye glass
Funnell & strainer
Bills to be paid
Doctor 6 12 6
Hearse 8 19 -
Bearers paid 1 0 0
CTP -- 1 10 0

Mr Jorrow
34 Henry St
Burdett Rd Poplar

[This appears to be a record of the will and funeral expenses for the relative whose death prevented the family from sailing earlier on the Cospatrick, upon which they had been booked. The Cospatrick sank in flames off the Cape of Good Hope with only 3 survivors. Possibly a Hewett (maternal uncle?)]