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Lord William Bentinck

This vessel, a barque of 444 tons, was built in 1832, and spent her early career as a passenger ferry on the Ganges river in India. She was hired and fitted out for her hew role as emigrant ship during 1840, and made four voyages to New Zealand with passengers and cargo. The first of these was to Wellington - she left Gravesend on 7 January 1841 under Captain Crow and arrived 24 May with 39 married couples, 24 single men, 15 single women, 51 children under fourteen and 52 under seven. Five births and nine deaths occurred on board. Five of the crew deserted the ship on its arrival at Port Nicholson.

Her second New Zealand voyage took her to Auckland in 1850 under Captain Allan, on which occasion "she brought out a good number of passengers, including 48 sappers and miners and 4 gunners of the Royal Artillery, with women and children". She left the Downs on 26 March and reached Auckland on 26 August 1850, a journey of 153 days from the Downs. After landing her passengers and a portion of her cargo, the vessel sailed for Wellington.

On 11 August 1851 the Lord William Bentinck sailed from the Docks under Captain Edward Canney, took on passengers at Plymouth, and left there on 14 August on her second voyage to Auckland, where she arrived on 12 December.

Her fourth trip to New Zealand was in 1852, when she headed for New Plymouth, arriving there on 6 January 1852.

The Medical Superintendent on the Lord William Bentinck's first voyage to New Zealand was Dr George Rees, who wrote the following in a letter dated 27 May 1841:

"We arrived here last Thursday, after a very favourable voyage, in excellent condition, and have the credit of being the best disciplined shi that has anchored here for some time past. With a good fair breeze, a ship may get into Port Nicholson, after sighting Cape Farewell, in 12 hours. .........

Captain Crow is an excellent sailor, and a very careful one; although we saw no land after we left England until we saw Cape Farewell, we sighted it at the time he had stated we should, showing his reckoning good. In a word, by his conduct and carefulness during the whole of the voyage, he has secured my lasting esteem.".

Anthony and Susannah Wall and their five children also travelled on that first New Zealand voyage. Susannah wrote to her sisters in Derbyshire on 18 December 1842:

"There were more than two hundred on board and I can assure you there was plenty for all hands to do. .... There was school kept daily for the children and the church prayers was (sic) read every Sunday and a sermon read. We had plenty of good provisions allowed us. We had more than we could consume. "

Included in the ship's passengers on the 1841 voyage were John and Charlotte Whitehouse and their four children.

References:  "White Wings" Vol.II, - Sir Henry Brett;  "Early Wellington" - Louis E. Ward;  "The New Zealand Journal" 5 May 1842 - Alexander Turnbull Library.

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