Ship: 683 tons
Captain: Robert Harland
Surgeon Superintendent: John Latimer Parke
Departed London 11th February 1849 - arrived Port Chalmers 5th June 1849
arrived Wellington 12th July 1849
The Mariner, American-built ship, was sent out by the old firm of Willis, Gann &
Company, and made several voyages to New Zealand. She sailed from London to Otago the
first of two voyages, bringing out a total of 320 passengers.
In 1849 the Mariner sailed from Gravesend on February 8th, and arrived on June 5th, making the passage in 119 days. As many of the passengers were booked for Wellington, the vessel proceeded on to that port, arriving on July 12th.
The following year she sailed for Port Chalmers on the 7th April, and arrived at that port on the 6th August, 1850. The vessel, having 126 passengers for Wellington, sailed from Dunedin at the end of August, and arrived on the 2nd September. After discharging a portion of her cargo, she sailed again for New Plymouth, arriving there on the 11th October. Captain R. Harland brought the ship out on each occasion.
In 1856 the Mariner sailed from London on July 14th, and after calling at Tasmania for water, arrived at Wellington on November 25th, where she landed 68 passengers. Three deaths occurred during the voyage.
Nine years later the Mariner was sent out to Nelson under Captain Fraser (Frater). She sailed from London on the 2nd January, and arrived on the 23rd April, 1859. The "Examiner," reporting her arrival, said:-
"The Mariner is the first of the new line of vessels recently established by
the Shaw Saville Co. She brings 48 English, 41 Scotch, and 34 foreign, mostly
Germans - a total of 125 passengers. The passage occupied 111 days from the
Downs to port."
Extracted from White Wings vol 2 by Sir Henry Brett
from the Diary of John Thomas Tylee
Chief Cabin Passenger on board the Mariner
|Chief Cabin Passengers|
|James Grant||5 months|
|Fore Cabin Passengers|
|Archibald||Alexander||41||Flax Dresser & Labourer||Otago|
|Sarah E||16||Domestic Servant||Nelson|
|Calder||David||46||Mason & Farmer||Otago|
|Hugh||19||Mason & Farmer||
|Collins||William||31||Printer &Farm Labourer||New Plymouth|
|Mary Ann||25||New Plymouth|
|Mary Ann||1||New Plymouth|
|William||23||Groom & Labourer||Nelson|
|Mary Ann||6 months||Nelson|
|Houstan||Thomas S||29||Agricultural Labourer||Otago|
|Kerr||William Laing||25||Agricultural Servant||Otago|
|King||James||35||Brickmaker and Farm Labourer||Nelson|
|Agnes Fortune||Born on Board||Otago|
|Child||Born & died at sea|
|Monro||Jessie||23||Domestic Servant & Straw Bonnet Maker||Otago|
|Catherine||18||Domestic Servant & Straw Bonnet Maker||Otago|
|Morrison||Walter||19||Agricultural Labourer||New Plymouth|
|Jane||22||Dress & Straw Bonnet Maker|
|Summers||Andrew||22||Baker & Labourer||Otago|
|Thackthwaite||Colchester||18||Gardener & Nurseryman||Nelson|
|Wakelin||Thomas||36||Wheelwright & Joiner||Wellington|
|Mary Jane||4 months||Wellington|
|Wilson||Robert||22||Baker & Labourer||Otago|
|Wood||Mary Ann||30||Domestic Servant||New Plymouth|
Before going to the West Coast of the South Island, I was engaged trading between Nelson, New Plymouth and Onehunga, taking stores for the commissariat and carrying the mails, coal and general cargo. This was during the time of the Maori War in Taranaki. In June, 1861, I was chartered by Messrs Waite and Saunders, who were then living in Collingwood, to go to Westport. We left Nelson in the ketch "Jane" with several gold diggers and a miscellaneous lot of cargo. Calling in at Collingwood we took on more diggers and cargo and sailed for Westport. On arrival at Westport we were joined by four or five men, who had left Collingwood at the same time as we did. They had launched their boat across Farewell Spit. These, with the men I took in the ketch, were the first permanent settlers and gold diggers on the West Coast. We found about half-a-dozen Maoris living in Westport. There was no accommodation of any kind, so we had to set to work to provide some. The Maoris gave up one of their whares for us to put the stores in. The country was a mass of dense bush everywhere. Mosquitos, fleas, sandflies and blowflies were very plentiful. The blowflies were a perfect pest, getting into clothing, blankets and wherever they could. I waited for three weeks in Westport assisting the diggers (who afterwards scattered up the Buller River) with their stores. I continued to trade between Nelson and Westport for about six months; on one trip, I took among other cargo, three hundredweight of greenstone. I then went to Waimangaroa where I myself tried golddigging. Failing to get any gold there, I went further up the Buller, but met with no luck. Returning to Westport, I had the misfortune to lose my boat, and all it contained, coming down the river. I managed to swim ashore, a distance of nearly a mile owing to the difficulty of landing, and then did the rest of the journey on foot. In March, 1862, I was chartered by Mr Mackley to take him, his family and stores to the Grey River. Mr J. C. Richmond (afterwards Premier of New Zealand) was with us. While waiting to get into the Grey I sailed 50 miles South in order to give Mr Richmond an opportunity of painting Mt Cook. The conditions at the Grey were somwhat similar to those at Westport. There were a few Maoris who had cleared several acres of land, and whose live stock at the time consisted of thirteen roosters, one hen and a large number of dogs. I assisted Mr Mackley to take his stores by the river to his place at Waipuna, about 45 miles from the Grey. It took nearly a month to take the six trips backwards and forwards, before Mr Mackley was settled. Mr Mackleys house, which measured 40ft by 30ft, was made out of manuka poles and bark, and took eight days to build. Returning to the Grey with Mr Mackley we had to contend with a high flood, all the flat land being under water. We were nearly frozen when we reached the gorge.
In the Grey the Maoris were flooded out, the flat land where Greymouth now stands being six or seven feet under water. In order to reach the terrace at the back where we were to make our camp, we had to take the boat through the treetops. After a rest in the Grey, Mr Mackley, a Maori boy, and I walked to the saddle near the present town of Reefton, which took us two days. Reaching the Inangahua River we launched a small canoe previously left by Mr Rochfort at a place known to Mr Mackley. Here Mr Mackley and I parted. I then went in the canoe down the Inangahua and Buller Rivers, arriving in Westport in two days, in rags and tatters and half-starved. There I was made welcome and had a good square meal, which I badly needed and thoroughly enjoyed. At Westport I found my old vessel on the beach. It had during my absence been sold with all it contained, by the mate who had also done away with the proceeds. Buying her back, I sailed round Blind Bay for some time and then finally sold the vessel.
In September, 1864, I took charge of a sheepstation belonging to Major Newcombe, situated above the Grey River near the Ahaura. In January, 1865, Mrs Jacobsen joined me on the station. Some idea of the difficulty of travelling at that time may be gathered from the fact that it took Mrs Jacobsen eight days to do the journey of twenty-five miles in a canoe owing to floods, rain, and other inconveniences. Canoes were the chief means of conveyance from place to place, but one journey I made from the station to the Grey had to be made in a raft made of three bundles of flat sticks.
The house in which my wife and I lived was built of mud, the walls being covered with moss halfway up. The roof consisted of flakes of manuka bark tied down with flax. The place was infected with rats of a very large size. The comforts or discomforts of living may be easily imagined. I left the sheep station after having been there nine months. From an old account book in my possession some idea of the cost of provisions at that time may be gathered. Items may be of interest today who grumble at the increased cost of living. The following are some of the prices ruling then:-
Salt 2s. 6d. jer lb., sugar 2s. 6d. jer lb., salt beef 2s. 6d. per lb., flour from 60 to 75 pounds per ton, bread (4lb. loaf) 2s 6d., coffee 6s. per lb., tea 4s. per lb., onions 1s 6d per lb., small ham 24s. 6d., herrings 1s 6d each, potatoes 10s. per lb.
Soon after this things began to improve very rapidly. Gold diggings broke out in several places on the coast and inland. Large sailing vessels and several steamboats were plying chiefly from Nelson and Melbourne, bringing people and stores of all kinds. Settlers and diggers were flocking everywhere. I started gold-digging again, this time on the Nine Mile Beach between Greymouth and Westport. On my way I came across a man whose leg had been broken in two places through a fall from the cliff. While setting the leg and splinting it up with pieces of bark, Mr Kenesley (the gold field warden at the time) and three policemen arrived. They informed me that they had been trying to find my location, as I was wanted to take the post of signal man at Westport.
I accepted the position, and was gazetted signalman by Governor Bowen about September, 1866. One of my first duties on arrival at Westport was to see to the erection of a flagstaff. In 1875 I was transferred to the station at Port Hills, Nelson, where I remained until the station was removed to Boulder Bank. In 1890 I was transferred to the lighthouse service and removed to the Auckland District. After being altogether thirty-six years in the Government Service, I received notice from the secretary of the Marine Department that he had the honour to inform me that on account of my old age, my services would no longer be required.
So here I am, stranded like an old ship. I am 79 years of age. This is only an account of a few of the adventures on the West Coast, the recollections of which, with the many hardships endured, are still very vivid.
COPY OF LETTER FROM TOWN CLERK, WESTPORT.
Town Clerks Office
|I have the honour by direction of the Westport Borough
Council to acknowledge the receipt of your letter accompanied by a flag, the first hoisted
in the Buller River. The Council, in accepting the flag, desires to place on record their
thanks to you for the same and also to assure you that the gift is duly appreciated, and
will be hoisted on all fitting occasions, with due care as to its preservation. I have the
honour to be, sir,
Your obedient servant,
A.D. Gordon Cumming,
|The preceeding was given to us by Greta, a descendent of Captain Henry Jacobsen. If you have a connection or re interested in learning more please e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org|
My Great Grandparents, Andrew and Jessie (nee BINNIE) SUMMERS were married on 22nd January 1849 at St James Church, in Edinburgh. 17 days later the newly-weds left for New Zealand on board "MARINER". Their four children were all born in Dunedin, Agnes in 1851, James 1853, John 1855 and Andrew 1857. Sadly Jessie died in 1860 and four years later Andrew married Annie RUTHERFORD. Although they produced five children only one survived, Robert born 1871 who died young. Andrew was a baker and owned a provision store on the corner of Princess and Dowling Sts, Dunedin from early 1850s. Andrew died in Dunedin in 1877. If you have an interest in or connection with this family please contact Noeline Cottam on email@example.com
Copyright Denise & Peter 1999, 2000, 2001
Archives New Zealand NZC 34/p71
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