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(Transcription by F.RANDS from the original diary of Edwin Selby held at the Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington. NZ (Reference: MS P SEL Edwin Selby Diary))

On Monday 21 June 1984 Edwin Selby left his home for New Zealand. On arriving at the Emigration Depot, Brunswick Wharf, Blackwall he was billeted until Wednesday. On 24 June he was embarked on board the ship CARTVALE of 1198 tons, registered, built of iron (1872). At eight o'clock am the ship was towed out of the South West India docks London by the steam tug Victoria. The CARTVALE was anchored at Queenhithe at ten o'clock to adjust compasses in a short thunderstorm. Left at five o'clock and anchored at Gravesend 6.15 pm.

Thursday 25 June 1874.
Turn out 5.30am, Breakfast 6.30am. Thames missionary came onboard had short service. Distributed tracts and magazines. Another minister came onboard and gave us books and tracts also. Doctor and Commissioner came aboard but the examination was only a form as we only walked past him. Sailors tried signal gun and manned the boats. Saw two of the New Zealand Shipping Co ships pass up river dipped flags to salute them.

Friday 26 June 1874.
Left Gravesend 3.30am this morning wind in our teeth. Sighted France 11 am arrived off Dover and sighted a Prussian Man of War 2.30pm saluted her. Saw Dungeness and most of the north fleet. Tug left us llam.

Saturday 27 June 1874.
First day at sea up at 6.30am, breakfast at 8am consisting of buttered biscuits and coffee. At 8.30am all hands on deck to have teeth cleaned. Beautiful weather but scarcely enough wind to carry us along although fair. Dinner 2pm Salt beef, boiled rice and tea. About 6.30pm buttered biscuits and tea all in bed by l0pm.

Sunday 28 June 1874.
Fine breeze NNW. Pilot left us off Landsend sent back a letter to Jim and friend.

Monday 29 June 1874.
Sea sick until Saturday 4 July during which time we saw several vessels. One of them nearly ran into us in the night although we had our lights burning. It was rather rough the same night with all the sailors up at twelve o'clock to take in sail. Wind against us blowing strong.

Friday 3 July 1874.
Wind changed that we could go nearer our course but rather; rough was able to eat a little and felt better after eating hardly anything since last Sunday.

Saturday 4 July 1874.
Fine weather morning made more sail, sea very calm. People onboard all getting better. Began to rain about 4pm.

Sunday 5 July 1874.
Fine day with just enough fair wind to carry us along. Short service on deck with the Doctor in the afternoon. Little rain in the evening.

Monday 6 July 1874.
Weather very fine and warm with little wind. All hands take bedding on deck to air.

Tuesday 7 July 1874.
Still fine. Did washing. Saw a comet NW

Wednesday 8 July 1874.
Still fine. Sighted 6 ships. Wind freshened slightly in the afternoon.

Thursday 9 July 1874.
Weather still fine passed a boat bottom up. Our ship began to roll in the evening just after tea which was very amusing to see the things rolling about as our ship is rather light. Began to rain a little in the evening.

Friday 10 July 1874.
Weather fine and wind fair. Sighted several ships and spoke to one with flags but do not know what they said. Wind freshened in the afternoon. Got up storm sails and went along nicely at about eleven knots an hour.

Saturday 11 July 1874.
Weather still fine, wind lightened. Had to be up at five this morning to help get coal and water for the cook. We are told off six every day. This is my first turn we get it from the fore hold. Sighted one ship early in the morning.

Sunday 12 July 1874.
Weather fine and wind fair as we suppose to have been in the trade winds several days. Muster and inspection on deck 11.30am by Captain and Doctor. Short service on deck in the afternoon by the Doctor. Sighted light of a ship about 9pm.

Monday 13 July 1874.
Weather fine going from 9 to l0 miles an hour. Ship rides beautiful. We pass all the vessels we see on our route. Sighted two today.

Tuesday 14 July 1874.
Weather still the same. A little boy two and a half years old died at 20 minutes past three this morning was thrown overboard at 8am. He died of croup. The mother could not come to see it thrown overboard. Service was read by Captain. Saw some flying fish and sighted two ships. Wind gone down.

Wednesday 15 July 1874.
Weather fine and little wind. Spoke to a French barque the 'St Adresse' of Naure from Bordeaux to San Francisco. We were close enough to speak to them. They were 35 days out and we were only 21 days. We soon left her behind us. I had to clean decks this morning, this is the second time. We are told off six every morning. The sun is just beginning to make us feel it rather warm and to bring out the livestock. We ran the French ship out of sight in fourteen hours. A little girl born about 7am this morning. A little girl 3 and a half years old died about 4pm, buried 6pm.

Wednesday 22 July 1874.
Rained hard at 2am to 6am. Then off and on till 2pm, fine afternoon till 4pm, rained hard till bedtime. A light breeze sprang up with it. A little child 11 months old died.

Thursday 23 July 1874.
Fine morning, nice breeze. Spoke to ship going to Sydney yesterday. I do not know her name. Spoke to the 'Ben Nevis' from Glasgow to Melbourne with passengers. Threw the little girl overboard this morning another died aged … this morning. I think it was Dutch it was ill before it came on board. A nice breeze sprang up about 4pm but we had to sail close 2 points out off our course to the wind rather stormy.

Friday 24 July 1874.
Weather fine, wind the same.

Saturday 25 July 1874.
Stormy weather wind the same. Spoke to a SHB schooner.

Sunday 26 July 1874.
Wind same rather stormy. Sighted a ship.

Monday 27 July 1874.
Wind same, Sighted 2 ships.

Tuesday 28 July 1874.
Weather same.

Wednesday 29 July 1874.
Weather same. Sighted 3 ships. Spoke to French ship 'American’ from Marseilles 35 days out to Monte Video soon left her behind.

Thursday 30 July 1874.
Weather same.

Friday 31 July 1874.
Weather same. Had boxes out of the hold to get clothes.

Saturday 1 August 1874.
Weather fine wind same.

Sunday 2 August 1874.
Wind same weather fine. Spoke to the ship 'Ivanhoe' of Liverpool from London to St Helena.

Monday 3 August 1874.
Weather and wind same. Crossed the line at 2.30am this morning. Sighted a ship SHB

Tuesday 4 August 1874. Weather fine wind freshened, had to shorten sail in the evening.

Wednesday 5 August 1874. Weather and wind same.

Thursday 6 August 1874. Weather and wind same. Sighted 2 ships.

Friday 7 August 1874. Weather and wind same. A ship SHB a hour among the sailors.

Saturday 8 August 1874. Weather wet, wind about same.

Sunday 9 August 1874. Wind same, squally with rain.

Monday 10 August 1874. Weather and wind same.

Tuesday 11 August 1874. Weather and wind same. Making fair way.

Wednesday 12 August 1874. Same as yesterday.

Thursday 13 August 1874. Wind very quiet.

Friday 14 August 1874. Wind freshened almost fair wind.

Saturday 15 August 1874. Wind against us rained hard all day. Saw a ship. Took in sail.

Sunday 16 August 1874. Weather fine wind same. Make more sail. A boy died 4 years old.

Monday 17 August 1874. Weather and wind same.

Tuesday 18 August 1874. Weather same wind more fair.

Wednesday 19 August 1874. Weather fine wind light freshened nicely in the evening, 4th concert held song sung by self on Cartvale. Sighted 3 ships.

Thursday 20 August 1874. Weather same wind changeable. Spoke to the Dutch ship 'Princess Amelia' from Amsterdam to Batavia 68 days out, we soon ran away from her. A dutch woman died in the evening.

Friday 21 August 1874. Weather and wind same.

Saturday 22 August 1874. Wind very good, weather fine but rather cold. Sighted a large ship to windward. Held concert in the evening. Song 'Roaming over the Sea' by Mr Foxall. Weather by East wind freshened in the evening, Took in Royals and Crossjack.

Sunday 23 August 1874. 4am got to windward of the ship we saw yesterday and left her behind. Weather cold and stormy. Wind against us sailing SE by E. Took in topsail gallant and reefed mainsails.

Monday 24 August 1874. Weather and wind same, cleared up dinner time. Fine wind freshened and reefed topsail.

Tuesday 25 August 1874. Weather and wind same going S by SW.

Wednesday 26 August 1874. Weather and wind same. Wind went down shook reef out of topsails and set fore, main and top gallant. Wind unchanged until evening but came back a little more favourable.

Thursday 27 August 1874. Child died … years old. Weather and wind same, cleared up about dinner time. Better wind, set all sails, went splendid all night.

Friday 28 August 1874. Weather fine wind fair but light increase in the afternoon. Going along splendidly all night.

Saturday 29 August 1874. Weather fine wind changed on our port quarter but going first rate. Took in royals, top gallant, outer jib and crossjack sails, reefed top sails. Wind changed behind us again. A child aged … old died, one born, Raining all night. Took in inner jib and clieved up main sail, mizzen and topsail.

Sunday 30 August 1874. Weather fine wind same. Set fore, main, top gallant, main trysail and royal. Sighted a ship. Thousands of birds flying around us. Ship rolled a good deal. nearly all our tea scalded the second cook. A water cask broke loose when a man was filling it and threw him over, it was his shins grazed, it might have been worse but it was brought up against a spare spar.

Monday 31 August 1874. Weather and wind same. We are about in the Lattitude of the Cape of Good Hope. All fore and main sails. Set mizzen, top gallant and topsails. Mainsails and topsails reefed. Overtook and spoke to the 'Beemah' went out of dock the same time as us bound for Hong Kong and the 'Glenesk' from Liverpool for Calcutta both of these first class clippers but as we stopped nearly two days at Gravesend and have on all sail now I think we have the best of them. We are leaving them behind very fast, going about 12 knots. Jim and Linney both saw the 'Beemah' in dock, Linney the Sunday week before we started and Jim when we went to the dock. She has a blackman on her bow. The 'Glenesk' has never been passed by a sailing ship before.

Tuesday 1 September 1874. Raining nearly all day a squall came on us about 8am took in sail running under lower topsails only. Little quieter dinner time. Shook out foresail, set main, topsail in the evening. Reefed from 12 o'clock yesterday to 12 o'clock today we ran 288 miles sometimes going 14 knots.

Wednesday 2 September 1874. Weather stormy wind quieter, starboard side. Set fore tops, for mizzen, top gallant and royals in the night. Sighted a ship this morning, wind freshened breakfast time, took in royals dinnertime, wind got still higher took in fore mizzen and top gallant sails. Blew still harder in the evening running under lower topsails and foresail. Saw a break of this ship we sighted. A sea came over the port quarter and very nearly drowned a woman, she was floating about in the water on deck.

Thursday 3 September 1874. Weather and wind same, Running under lower topsails and tri sails. Sighted a ship abreast of us suppose her to be a Indiaman. Sometimes we were going 15 knots.

Friday 4 September 1874. Fine weather rather quieter. Set topsails and foresails.

Saturday 5 September 1874. A child born. Weather fine. Set top gallant sails, main, royal and inner jib. Wind changed to port.

Sunday 6 September 1874. Beautiful morning wind same blowing a nice breeze. Set fore royal sail and the stay sail. Came on to blow dinner time. Blew fore royal to pieces, took in. Running under lower topsails, foresail, fore and main topsail stay.

Monday 7 September 1874. Fine morning fair wind, came on to blow in the evening. shorten sail took in some, blew heavier in the night ran under same sails as Sunday night.

Tuesday 8 September 1874. Wind fair heavy hail storm about 6am. Wind steadier. Set topsails in the evening and fore mizzen, top gallant and main royal.

Wednesday 9 September 1874. Weather fine and wind fair blew hard at lam took in main royal and top gallant sails. Wind got slightly on our port quarter, making good speed under top sails. Reefed upper topsails. Child died 16 months.

Thursday 10 September 1874. Wind fair but slight with a little rain. Set top gallant and royal sails. A child born late at night.

Friday 11 September 1874. Fine weather and breeze on our starboard quarter and wind died away to a dead calm dinner time, but sprang up on our port quarter nicely just as we were going to bed.

Saturday 12 September 1874. Weather and wind same, going first rate.

Sunday 13 September 1874. Weather fine wind got in front going about 2 knots. Child died 2 years old.

Monday 14 September 1874. Weather and wind same changed behind us in the evening.

Tuesday 15 September 1874. Fine morning, wind same, began to blow hard from the southward about dinner time with squalls of hail and rain. Running first rate under lower topsails, foresail and main. Upper topsails reefed beside stay sails and try sail. Going along first rate but very cold. We do not go on deck much on account of the sea coming over. A baby died and one born in the night.

Wednesday 16 September 1874. Wind same weather cold and strong, going first rate.

Thursday 17 September 1874. Wind gone down, set top gallant sails and main royal going very well. A child died this morning. Took in sail during the night same as Tuesday.

Friday 18 September 1874. Stormy and blowing hard. Had to go without red soup as someone stole our water.

Saturday 19 September 1874. Weather fine wind in the westward not so strong, made more sail. A child died in the morning and one in the evening. Saw some seaweed float by.

Sunday 20 September 1874. Fine day fair wind. Another child died. Shorten in sail in the afternoon.

Monday 21 September 1874. Fine morning, set fore, main, top gallants and royals.

Tuesday 22 September 1874. Weather fine wind got round a little on our quarter. Set fore, royals, mizzen and top gallant sails, died away to a calm in the evening.

Wednesday 23 September 1874. Fine morning in a calm got up our boxes from the hold for clothes. A light breeze in the evening.

Thursday 24 September 1874. Fine morning just moving a nice breeze sprang up about dinner time. Got up the davits and making preparation for the anchor. A twin birth and a death in the night.

Friday 25 September 1874. Steady breeze just so we could keep on course by sailing close to the wind.

Saturday 26 September 1874. Wind against us stormy.

Sunday 27 September 1874. Wind and weather same.

Monday 28 September 1874. Wind and weather same, caught some large sea birds 7 feet 6 inches across the wings. The Captain sighted land with his glass about 4 o'clock in the afternoon. I think it was the coast of Tasmania.

Tuesday 29 September 1874. Wind same weather fine.

Wednesday 30 September 1874. Weather and wind same. Got up anchor chains. Wind changed on our starboard quarter in the afternoon and got right behind us at midnight. Royals set.

Thursday 1 October 1874. Weather fine good breeze got the anchor over the side ready for dropping.

Friday 2 October 1874. Weather and wind same going about 10 knots an hour. Set crossjack and stay sails but wind blew hard in the night. Took in fore mizzen and royals.

Saturday 3 October 1874. Weather fine wind on our port side going on nicely. Sighted a steamer from Melbourne, Australia to Otago. Wind blew up in the night, took in main royal and top gallant sails reefed top sails.

Sunday 4 October 1874. Fine breeze set top gallant sails, fore and main royals. A child born in the morning one died in the night 15 months old.

Monday 5 October 1874. Stormy wind blew up early in the morning took in royals, fore, mizzen and top gallant sails. Wind on our starboard side. A child born in the morning.

Tuesday 6 October 1874. Weather fine wind same going about 11 1/2 knots set main and royal.

Wednesday 7 October 1874. Wind behind us furled mainsail. A squall of wind and rain came on after dinner. Took in all sails except lower topsails and fore topmast stay sail. Lay to 4pm as we are close to land.

Thursday 8 October 1874. Land Ho I need not say how glad we were to see land after being out of sight exactly 100 days. Set foresail, mainsail, the upper topsails, foremain, top gallant sails and spinnaker going steady down the straits with a side wind. I think it is Taranaki we see as there is a high mountain, which I think is Mt Egmont. We can see the coast for miles, Sighted it at daybreak. Wind went down at dinner time, beat around all night as we could not go in by night. A child died in the night. Sighted 2 ships.

Friday 9 October 1874. Started on again 4 o'clock with a nice breeze. Spoke to a ship 5 o'clock. The scenery is splendid. Spoke to a little coasting steamer the 'Waipara' she told us to make all sail and she would send us a pilot, we kept up with her a good way but in the end was obliged to lay to at the mouth of the harbour, as the wind blew strong against us. Pilot came nboard about 3 o'clock but could not take us in so we had to stay there all night. The men that rowed the Pilot spoke well of the colony by their looks more than by what they said.

Saturday 10 October 1874. Cannot get in signalled to a steamer last night but she did not come to us. Saw several coasters go in and out. Saw the 'Pretender' go out she brought out emigrants, was 135 days coming out. Sighted several steamers in the evening, signalled to one, she came along side at 8 o'clock and we dropped our anchor in Wellington Harbour at 12 o'clock.

Sunday 11 October 1874. It is a fine harbour and a first rate view of the town. Inspector came on board and ordered us into quarantine, as there was some sickness on board, It is a fine harbour with fine scenery, The single men landed about 6 o'clock on an island. No one is allowed to come on it except the Depot master and other officials. It is very rocky so we had fine games, romping and climbing about it like wild colts.

Monday 12 October 1874. Wind too rough to land the other passengers but brought some of the single women in the evening. There is plenty of shell fish, some of the men lighted a fire and cooked some on the shore in a hook pot. We had to do about four hours work per day levelling gardens and making a road.

Tuesday 13 October 1874. Brought over the rest of the single women and the married people with the exception of the sick.

Wednesday 14 October 1874. Got over the sick people and the boxes we can get out our boxes 2 hours every day while we are here. I have since heard that the three steamers we saw on Saturday night were running a race from Wanganui.

Thursday 15 October 1874. Too rough to do much got a little wood from the ship as all the bunks and fixtures have to be broken up.

Friday 16 October 1874. Steamer came and fetched off the island and took us and our baggage to Wellington. Carts took our boxes to the Depot and we walked up. Wellington is a picturesque little place, all the houses are built of wood. I do not think there are four brick houses in the place. Lots of building going on but they could not set on very fast for want of wood. There is hardly any work for labourers here, but they will send you almost anywhere.

Tuesday 20 October 1874. Went about town to search for work but could see nothing at all moving to suit me.

Wednesday 21 October 1874. Agreed to take a place as assistant gardener at Epworth Lodge, Turakina, 52 pounds a year and all found.

Thursday 22 October 1874. Wrote first letter to England and started to Wanganui per the steamship 'Manawatu'. We had a very rough passage. Got to Wanganui Friday morning half past seven.

Friday 23 October 1874. Started by carrier to Turakina, a distance of 13 miles then walked seven miles to Epworth Lodge. The reason we had to walk was because we were expected to come from Wellington by coach, so the trap was sent to Bulls town, a distance of eight miles to meet us. Arrived here about 7 o'clock, had tea and went to bed and very glad we were to get there as we had no rest on board the steamer all Thursday night.

Saturday 24 October 1874. Up to breakfast 7 o'clock, work at 8 o'clock, dinner at 12 o'clock, an hour to dinner, leave off work at 5 o'clock, making a day of 8 hours work.

Sunday 25 October 1874. Could not clean ourselves, as we had not our boxes so went to explore the premises. It is a stock station, all feeding ground. There is about one thousand head of cattle and about 14 or 15 thousand sheep. The station runs about thirty miles long, I do not know how many miles wide. It is seven miles from the sea, which can plainly be seen. There are some fine lakes on the premises, which with the young trees planted and other improvements will in a few years make it a fine picturesque gentlemen’s seat. So now I must consider my travels over for a time and bid farewell to the emigrant ship and so farewell.

(signed) MY LOG


Breakfast - Butter Biscuits and Coffee

Dinner - Preserved Potatoes, Aust Mutton and Plum Pudding

Tea - Butter Biscuits and Tea

Breakfast - Oatmeal Biscuits and Coffee

Dinner - Suet Pudding with treacle, Salt Beef and Biscuits

Tea - Butter Biscuits and Tea

Breakfast - Oatmeal Bread and Coffee.

Dinner - Salt Pork and Pea Soup, Baked Suet Pudding

Tea - Butter Biscuits and Tea

Breakfast - Plain Cakes and Tea

Dinner - Aust Mutton, Rice and Baked Suet Pudding

Tea - Biscuits Butter and Tea

Breakfast - Bread Butter and Coffee

Dinner - Salt Beef, Boiled Rice and Biscuits with Pickles

Tea - Suet Cakes, Butter Biscuits and Tea

Breakfast - Cake or Biscuits, Suet and Tea

Dinner - Boiled Pork, Red Soup, Preserved Potatoes

Tea - Butter Biscuits and Tea

Breakfast - Baked Biscuits and Coffee

Dinner - Beef Boiled Rice and Treacle

Tea - Plum Cake and Tea

We had to manage ourselves to make what we could from the list of Provisions.

Signed   E Selby