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The Lady Jocelyn  - Report from The London Times of September 24th 1880 - Emigration to New Zealand

The Lady Jocelyn will sail from the East India Docks on Monday for New Zealand under the command of Captain Jenkins with about 500 emigrants on board. The colony of Te Puke of which they will be the earliest colonists is described as a highly favoured block of land some 15,000 acres in extent only a little more than 12 miles from Tauranga Harbour - the only harbour between Auckland and Wellington.

Mr Stewart, at a luncheon given on board the Lady Jocelyn yesterday, said that not only was his ship filled, but many of the emigrants who were going to people this, the Third Colony he had been so happy as to be the means of founding in New Zealand, would have to follow by means of the ship "Himalaya". From his experience in forming special settlements he would say, with regard to such settlements as he had planned that they were particularly suited to retired military and naval officers or civil servants with perhaps 1,000 or 2,000 or with an income of 200 - 300 a year and possibly nine or ten children. What comforts could persons with such small means enjoy in this country (i.e. Britain) where we were all struggling with each other for a bare existence? In New Zealand they would find scope for their exertions, openings for their children and the advantage of congenial society. Contrasting the lot of those who elected to go to the backwoods of America with that of those who were going straight to Tauranga he drew a lively picture of the complete homes which awaited those going out by the Lady Jocelyn. They would find fifty new houses erected in anticipation of the arrival of his ship and before she left the port they would be as comfortably settled as they had been in the homes they had left behind. Others whom these settlements would suit, were farmers with limited capital and farm labourers. .."

The Lady Jocelyn departed from London on September 27th 1880. She was filled to such an extent that saloon accommodation was provided not only in temporary berths in the space allotted to cargo but even the deck beneath the saloon was also fitted up for the accommodation of saloon passengers. The cabins however were well ventilated and were considerably larger. And this is her history. "A famous ship that flew the Shaw Savill house-flag for many years was the "Lady Jocelyn" which had a long and colourful career in various roles. The "Lady Jocelyn" was built for the General Screw Steam Shipping Company which in 1850, inaugurated the first contract mail service between England and South Africa. Two years later the Company signed an agreement with the Admiralty to extend its monthly service to India with eight ships specially built for the purpose, two of which were the "Lady Jocelyn" and "Hydaspes". The "Lady Jocelyn" was named after the wife of Lord Jocelyn, who was a strong advocate of steamship communication between England and Australia by way of the Cape. She has a definite place in the history of the Cape of Good Hope, for it was in her that the Colony's first constitution arrived out from England in April, 1853. A lithograph of the ship, testifying to this fact, hangs in the library of Parliament at Cape Town.

Built by Mare, of London, the "Lady Jocelyn" was an iron ship of 2,242 tons gross register, 254 feet in length, 39 feet in breadth, and 24 ft. 9 in. in depth of hold. She was a lofty full-rigged ship, fitted with an auxiliary screw driven by engines of 300 n.h.p. She sailed on her maiden voyage from Plymouth to Calcutta in August, 1852, calling at St. Vincent, St. Helena, the Cape and Mauritius for bunker coal. In 1854 the General Screw Company abandoned its Indian Service, and the "Lady Jocelyn's" fourth voyage was out by way of the Cape to Australia.

Next year she was employed as a transport carrying troops to the Crimea. The company was in financial straits, and in 1857 its eight ships were sold to a new concern, the European and American Steam Shipping Company for 320,000, which was about half their original cost. The plan was to run a service to New York and another to Brazil, but before she was delivered, the "Lady Jocelyn" was taken up as a troopship for the Indian Mutiny operations. In 1857 she was renamed "Brazil", but soon the European and American Company was wound up and the fleet sold for 250,000 to a new concern known as the East India and London Shipping Company, which planned a new service to Madras and Calcutta. The ship then resumed her former name of "Lady Jocelyn". She carried troops home from India and in 1863 made her first voyage to New Zealand with troops from India to Auckland to fight in the second Maori war. She carried 667 rank and file, 48 women, 93 children and a band numbering 25. There were seven deaths and nine births during the passage. Some time later, the "Lady Jocelyn" was bought by a retired naval Captain who had her engines taken out and large repairs made. In 1869 she was owned by Park Bros. of London, who long had been interested in the New Zealand trade for which their ships were chartered and loaded by Shaw Savill & Co.

From 1872 onward the "Lady Jocelyn" made fourteen successful voyages out to New Zealand with emigrants for Canterbury, Otago, Wellington and Auckland. In 1875 she arrived at Lyttelton with no fewer than 516 passengers, and in August, 1878 she arrived at Auckland after a passage of 88 days with 451 emigrants for the Bay of Plenty settlements organised by Mr Vesey Stewart. She was the first overseas ship to bring emigrants direct to Tauranga and arrived at that port on January 2nd, 1881. In the following year the "Lady Jocelyn" was purchased outright by the Shaw Savill and Albion Company and fitted with refrigerating machinery. She arrived at Wellington in December, 1882, to load the first cargo of frozen meat from that port. In addition to a large quantity of wool and tallow, she had 5,800 carcases of mutton and lamb in her holds when she sailed on February 25th, 1883. She was 105 days on passage to London where she delivered her meat in perfect condition. Very good prices were obtained for her cargo - this mutton selling at 6d. a pound and the beef 6d.

The "Lady Jocelyn" made her last voyage to New Zealand in 1889. On her return to London, she was converted into a refrigeration hulk in the West India Docks, the cold storage facilities in the Port of London then being insufficient to meet the rapidly growing volume of the frozen meat trade. As the shore facilities increased, the old ship became surplus to requirements and she was chartered to various interests as a floating warehouse or labour barracks. In 1899 she was sold to the Shipping Federation. During the First World War, the "Lady Jocelyn" was used as a barracks, though not for strike breakers. Her hull was still in sound condition when she was sold in March, 1922, to Dutch shipbreakers".