White Wings Vol I. Fifty Years Of Sail In The New Zealand Trade, 1850 TO 1900
the Clontarf, a ship of 1120 tons, flying the flag of Willis, Gann and Co., was sent out to Lyttelton on two occasions with Government immigrants. On the first passage she sailed from Plymouth under Captain Allen, with 412 passengers, on September 20th, 1858, and arrived on January 5th, 1859.
The following year the Clontarf had an eventful voyage of 105 days. She sailed from Gravesend on November 30th, 1859, commanded by Captain A.W. Barclay, with three saloon passengers and 302 Government immigrants. A Christchurch paper recording her arrival on March 16th, 1860, stated:—"The vessel made a long passage to the equator owing to very rough weather in the Bay of Biscay. The voyage throughout has been characterised by bad weather, especially towards the close, when constant gales and almost incessant rain were experienced. It will be seen from the melancholy list of deaths that the passage has not been without casualty; indeed we have never yet had so long a list to publish. It includes five adults, one of whom was a midshipman of the vessel. Of the 28 children leaving London almost all perished from the consequences of measles and whooping cough which unhappily prevailed at the commencement of the voyage."