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LETTERS CONCERNING THE 1877 VOYAGE OF THE WAIROA

Our sincere thanks to Russell Thorne for sending us this information on the Wairoa.

7 Westminster Chambers
Victoria Street
Westminster SW
23 July 1877

Sir,

With reference to my report of this 9th Instant on the eligibility of the "Wairoa" for this conveyance of Emigrants to Wellington I have now the honour to inform you that this ship was fitted in the South West India Docks with Fore and Aft Berth partly on the "Block" plan with passengers towards the ship’s sides and partly in "Soujers" with continuous passages around them.

Sir Julius Vogel
KCMG
Agent General

A portion of the ‘tween decks after about the 16 feet before the lazarette was marked off for stowage of spirits and wines and was separated from the Single Women’s Compartment by a double bulkhead which was first put up so badly that I had it taken down again and rebuilt.

The Single Women’s Compartment was before this and, as first planned, extended to the fore part of the After Hatchway with the Matron’s Cabin on the Port Side abreast of the Hatch, the Bath Room is in the Foremost Cabin on the Port Side of the Poop with a ladderway from the between decks, and the Hospital at the side immediately abreast of this ladderway: the Compartment is lighted and ventilated by 6 side scuttles-

2 Iron deck ventilators, an air shaft through the Poop, and four Bitt Ventilators - the After Hatchway fitted with a Mark??? Companion Hatch is the ladderway.

The Married Compartment is before this and separated by a double Bulkhead, this extends about halfway along the Main Hatch the after end of which is fitted with a Booby Hatch and is the ladderway -the Hospital is on the Starboard Side and on the Port Side was a cabin for an intermediate passenger (Henry Cucksey) and his family for whom the New Zealand Shipping Company has your permission to proceed in the Ship; the Issuing Room was immediately before this: the Compartment is lighted and ventilated by 7 side seuttles, 4 Prisms on this Deck and a large Air Shaft through the After Deck House.

The Dispensary is the Foremost Cabin on the Starboard side in the After Deck house.

Before this Compartment and separated therefrom by a double bulkhead is the Store Room and before this again a portion of Cargo is stored.

Before this is the Single Men’s Compartment extending to the Forepart of the Fore Hatchway which is fitted with a Companion and is the ladderway for the Single Men, and in addition to this Hatch, the Compartment is lighted and ventilated by a shaft through the Midship Deck House, four Bitt Ventilators, and six Scuttles in the sides: the Hospital is the Foremost Cabin in the Midship Deck House.

A portion of the Crew are berthed in the ‘tween decks before the Single Men.

The Provisions, Stores and Medical Comforts were examined by the Emigration Officer and myself , I rejected the Pork first supplied, which was replaced by other of good quality: a further supply of provisions was put on board at Plymouth to make up for the extra number of Passengers Embarked - A list of all Provisions, Stores ??? was given to the Surgeon and a copy is furnished herewith.

The Condenser was reported by the Board of Trade Officer to be efficient and the Engineer who joined at Plymouth (the man originally shipped in London having deserted) was competent by the Board of Trade Officer at this Port.

The Boats , two of which , at the Quarters, are Life Boats are fitted with Cliffords Lowering Apparatus - they were all tried at Plymouth and were found in good working order.

The Crew were told off to their respective Boat and Fire Stations, I called the Captain’s and Surgeon’s attention to your instructions as to the exercise in Fire Drill of Crew and Passengers and told them that they were to note especially in the Log Book and Journal the dates on which they were exercised.

The ship was moved to Greenhithe on Saturday the 7th instant where her compasses were adjusted and she was then towed to Plymouth where she arrived on Monday the 9th instant. 

On examining the Ship at Plymouth, I found that the Spirits which were stowed in the ???? After Hold had not been properly blocked off , and that a quantity of Oils, Hay & ??, had also been stowed on the After Hatch I therefore had the hatch broken and a portion of the Spirits stowed in the Vargarette , and the remainder blocked off by a ??? of other cargo, and the whole seemed by a bulkhead of 3 inch deals:- the oils were stowed on the fore peak?? And the Hay was taken on deck.

The ship would have ready to her date but that I had to have?? large alterations made on her fittings to provide for her additional passengers who had come forward, this was done by moving the Matron’s Cabin to before the after Hatch and putting up additional berth’s for Single Women where the Matron’s Cabin was by shifting the Cabin for the intermediate passengers alongside of the Matron’s Cabin on the Port Side, and the Issuing Room from the Port to the Starboard side in order to make room on the Main Hatchway for a portion of the Single Men who are berthed on the Port side having the foremost portion of the Main Hatch as their ladderway which is fitted with a booby Hatch. There are 2 wide seutters on this compartment.

The other shipped in London being found incompetent, was discharged at Plymouth and a competent man shipped in his place.

The Emigrants were mustered and inspected in the Depot by the Emigration Officer and Medical Inspector under the Passenger Act on Saturday the 14th instant and then embarked.

The Medical Inspector on examining the Medicine Chest as supplied by Inspector Dakin found it incomplete even for the numbers it originally provided for , it was complete and bonded his own provisions at Plymouth and the crew having been mustered I delivered your sailing In Muster???? To the Captain and the Ship and proceeded on her voyage on Sunday 15th instant having on board her Surgeon Certificate herewith enclosed. One hundred and ninety nine (199) souls equal to one hundred and seventy five and a half (175) Statute Adults, embarked under your orders - Seven Cabin Three Intermediate Passengers, engaged by the New Zealand Shipping Company.

A ????????????ated Emigrant for Canterbury named Patrick Milehan?? came forward with some friends from Ireland and wished to go on this ship and having received your permission to embark him on the condition that he proceeded to Canterbury at his own expense, he signed an understanding to that effect in the presence of the Surgeon and proceeded on the Ship.

I have the honor to be
Sir
Your most obedient Servant
Signed
(Smith)
Inspecting Officer

Reference:
Archives New Zealand Im 77/951

Officers in the Colony are the following; NZ:-

To the Surgeon Superintendent Dr Hamilton, Fifty Pounds, and ten shillings per adult on the number of immigrants landed.

To Captain Joss, Twenty five Pounds

To the Chief Officer, Ten Pounds

To the Officer who serves out the provisions, Five Pounds.

To the Schoolmaster (to be appointed by Surgeon Superintendent) Five Pounds.

To the Matron Mrs Paustt, Five Pounds

To the Sub Matron, Two Pounds

To the Constables Ordinary Two Pounds each for Water Closets, Five Pounds.

I have the honour to be,
Sir,
Your most obedient Servant,
M Randolph, Agent General

Reference:
Archives New Zealand

Immigration Office
Wellington 2 Nov 1877
Sir,

We have the honour to report the arrival on the 18th of October of the Ship "Wairoa" from Plymouth, with 174 adult Immigrants = 200 souls, there were three births; and two deaths during the voyage, one being that of a young man by name William Muir who died of consumption, the other was a young child.

We boarded the Ship soon after her arrival and were pleased to find everything well arranged , clean and orderly, there being no complaints of any kind, it was arranged to land the people on the day of arrival which was accordingly carried out the "Moa" being sent off by the agents of the ship for the purpose.

The Surgeon Superintendent Dr. Hamilton has made three voyages with immigrants he therefore understands the management of them, the Surgeon, Captain and officers of the ship appear to have carried out their duties in an very satisfactory manner, the fire and boat drill was carried out according to the instructions.

In conclusion we beg to recommend that all gratuities be paid, and that Dr Hamilton should again be employed if he desires it.

We have the honour to be
Sir
Your obedient Servants
Alexander Johnston MO
John Holliday
James B Redward
Commissioners

Reference:
Archives New Zealand Im 77/1014
 

 7 Westminster Chambers
London SW
15 January 1878
Via Brindisi
Sir,

I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 6th November 1877, No 184, reporting the arrival of the "Wairoa" at Wellington on the 18th of October 1877.

I am glad to receive so satisfactory a Report of the arrangements of the Ship, and to learn that there was no complaints of any kind.

I also note that the Surgeon Superintendent, Dr A P Hamilton, is recommended for future employment if he desires it.

I have the honour to be,
Sir,
Your most obedient Servant
Signed
(Randolph )
Agent General
The Honorable
Minister for Immigration