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The Whaling Journal of Captain W. B. Rhodes: Barque Australian of Sydney 1836 - 1838


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page 87

1. Articles of Agreement between the Owners and the Master of the 'Australian'

Articles of Agreement made and entered into this Eighteenth day of April—in the Year of our Lord One thousand eight hundred and thirty six between James Holt and Richard Roberts, of Sydney, Merchants, on behalf of the Firm of Cooper, Holt and Roberts, owners of the Barque called The Australian of the one part, and William Barnard Rhodes, Master of the said vessel, of the second part, namely, That the said William Barnard Rhodes who has been placed in command of the said vessel shall forthwith assume his duties and proceed therein as Commander thereof to such Fishing Grounds and Stations for taking and procuring Black Whale Oil at or adjacent to the Island of New Zealand or other places as he may be directed by the Instructions of the said Owners or as in his judgement and discretion (should he be so authorized by the said Owners) may appear most eligible there to fish, and shall and will exert himself and use his best endeavours to procure for the said vessel a full and complete cargo of Black Whale Oil Whale Bone and other substances or articles usually procured on such voyages and having so done or at the expiration of the season shall return with the same to the aforesaid Port of Sydney and there discharge and deliver the said cargo to the aforesaid Cooper, Holt and Roberts, their Agents, Executors, Administrators or Assigns That the said William Barnard Rhodes, on the due fulfilment of the conditions of this agreement, shall be entitled for his services, skill and ability to One Twelfth part of the said Black Whale Oil, Whale Bone and other substances or articles procured during the said voyage first deducting the value of casks at the rate of Four Pounds per Tun old Measure, the Re-coopering, Wharfage (if any), Labour, and other incidental Expenses page 88as may accrue on the landing or transhipping thereof, the said owners reserving to themselves the option of taking the said Master's portion of Oil, Bone, and other substances or articles at the market price at Sydney and on the usual terms of sale first deducting the value of casks and other expenses before enumerated, or, if he should so make his election, the said Master may ship the said Oil, Bone and other substances or articles home through the said owners on his own account, or (if the said owners should decline to purchase the same on the terms before mentioned) may sell the same here to his best advantage.

That the said William Barnard Rhodes shall use his utmost exertions to preserve due subordination obedience and sobriety among the crew of the said vessel and shall stand by and protect the said vessel in all parts and places seas and dangers and shall at all times use his utmost exertions skilled ability for the preservation of the said vessel and cargo and her Boats, Tackle, Apparel, Furniture, Stores, Materials and Appurtenances, and shall, whenever required by the said Owners or their Agents, truly account to them for the same and all such other things as the said Master shall be entrusted with by the said owners or which shall in any way come to his hands custody, care possession or power as Master of the said vessel and for all monies received and paid by him and for all his other transactions and conduct in the course of his duty as such Master and Commander of the said Barque Australian That he shall keep and cause to be kept a true and exact account of the Receipt and of the Issue, Expenditure and Consumption of all provisions liquors stores and supplies furnished for the use of the said vessel and shall produce and verify such account to the said owners when required and shall not suffer any misapprehension embezzlement or waste of any such provision Liquors stores and supplies That the said William Barnard Rhodes shall be just true and faithful to the said owners in all his transactions and conduct as Master of the said vessel and in all the concerns thereof and shall communicate with page 89them at every opportunity and shall not neglect his duty by day or night nor suffer the same in any of the Officers, Seamen or Crew under his command, but shall in all respects well and truly and faithfully perform the said intended voyage and strictly follow observe and obey the orders and directions of the said Cooper, Holt and Roberts for the performance of the said intended voyage according to the true intent and meaning of these presents That in the event of any or either of the officers or crew dying on board or deserting at any place or places before mentioned whilst engaged in Fishing or procuring Cargo the said William Barnard Rhodes shall be entitled to receive the amount of his claim against the person or persons so dying or deserting for slops, supplies and advances out of the balance (if such there be) which may be due to the person or persons so dying or his or their Estate or Estates after the said Cooper, Holt and Roberts shall have deducted therefrom and received the amount of their own claims for advances or otherwise.

That the said William Barnard Rhodes shall not wilfully negligently or incautiously do or permit to be done or omit or permit to be omitted any act matter or thing whatsoever during the course of the said intended voyage whereby the owners of the said vessel or any or either of them shall or may sustain any loss injury or damage and particularly That the said William Barnard Rhodes shall not at any time from the commencement of his duty as Master and Commander or throughout the said intended voyage carry on any illicit contraband or illegal trade or do permit or suffer to be done any other act matter or thing to subject or render liable the said vessel or her Cargo Boats Apparel Furniture or Appurtenances or any part or parts thereof to seizure confiscation fine or penalty or the said owners to any loss damage injury or expense in respect thereof or otherwise howsoever That the said William Barnard Rhodes shall not have any claim or demand or under any pretence whatsoever for performing the said intended voyage or any service on board the said vessel page 90or in her boats or on shore or in any other situation or place except as aforesaid.

Also that the said Cooper, Holt and Roberts engage to furnish out of their own stock on credit to the said William Barnard Rhodes at the current or market prices such supplies of slops, Tobacco and other Articles for sale to the crew of the said vessel actually employed as such (but not for trade or Barter with the Natives of New Zealand or others) in amount not exceeding One Hundred and Twenty pounds as the said Wiliam Barnard Rhodes may require, such amount to be deducted and paid for out of the amount of the aforesaid One Twelfth portion of Oil, Bone and other articles or substances to which the said William Barnard Rhodes may become entitled as master of the said vessel, if such there be, otherwise or in the event of deficiency therein, the said William Barnard Rhodes to be liable to pay, account for and make good to the said Cooper Holt and Roberts for such amount or such deficiency on his return from the aforesaid voyage to the said Port of Sydney.

That if any difference or dispute shall arise between the said owners and the said William Barnard Rhodes in respect of the accounts of the said William Barnard Rhodes or his conduct as Commander of the said vessel in any respect whatsoever or any clause or agreement herein contained or the meaning or construction thereof the same shall be referred to Two Arbitrators one to be chosen by the said Owners and the other by the said William Barnard Rhodes the award of which Arbitrators shall be binding and conclusive, and in case such two Arbitrators cannot agree in their award they shall have liberty to nominate and appoint an Umpire whose award shall be final, binding and conclusive and That the said Owners or the said William Barnard Rhodes shall be at liberty to make this submission a Rule of Court in either of His Majesty's Courts of Record at Westminster or Sydney, and that the cost of doing so and of such award shall be in the discretion of the said Arbitrators or Umpire.

page 91

In witness whereof the said parties to these presents have hereunto set their hands and affixed their seals the day and year first before written.


Joseph Roberts
James Holt
Richd. Roberts
W. B. Rhodes

2. Owners' instructions: Cooper, Holt and Roberts to Captain Rhodes

Sydney, June 11th, 1836

Captn. W. B. Rhodes,


In placing you in command of the Barque Australian we do so in the fullest confidence that every exertion on your part will be used to promote our Interest in the Voyage. You will proceed from this Port to New Zealand, either to "Cloudy Bay", "Port Cooper" of "Otaga" and there fish during the season. Should the prospect of success at either of the above ports be good you will complete your voyage and return; if otherwise we recommend you to proceed to Chatham Island and there endeavour to make a voyage, Should you fail in doing so, at the end of the season or before, if your prospects of a Black Whaling Voyage are not good, we deem advisable your attention should be turned to Sperm Whaling.

We enclose you a list of provisions and other stores on board the Vessel to which we beg to call your particular attention, as on your return to Port we shall require from you an exact and faithful amount of your expenditure. We mention this more on account of your officers, as they will pay page 92more attention when they know such instructions are given to the Captain, especially when you inform them that they will be held responsible for the proper appropriation of the stores placed in their charge.

The vessel is insured in this Colony for a Black Whaling Voyage for the season at the aforementioned Ports for 4 pr. Cent, but if she goes Sperming at 10 pr. Cent for the whole Voyage, to return 2 pr. Cent should she arrive in Sydney within 12 months. It will therefore be necessary for you to, write us pr. every opportunity so that in case of any loss we may make our claims.

On looking over the list of stores you will find more spirits than your crew will require. You are at liberty to Barter them or any surplus stores for Oil, Whalebone, or Sealskins, for the benefit of the ship.

We are,

Dear Sir,

Your Obed Servs,
Cooper, Holt & Roberts

3. List of Stores on board the 'Australian'

Indent of Salt Provisions required for the Barque Australian for Nine Months or 277 Days. Other Stores as per inventory for Twelve Months' Crew to consist of thirty three Persons and the Rations for each to be as follows:–

Salt Beef 1½ lbs per diem. Pork 1¼ lbs. Bread 1 lb

Flour ½ lb per diem for 3 days per week

Pease ½ a pint Do. 2 Do.
Rice ½ lb Do. 2 Do.

Sugar 1½ lb pr. week. Tea ¼ lb. Vinegar ½ pint pr. week Spirrits 2 Glasses per diem or 1 Quart per week.

page break
Harpooned Whales Breaching[From Life and Adventure in the South Pacific]

Harpooned Whales Breaching
[From Life and Adventure in the South Pacific]

page 93
32 Tierces of Beef 336 lbs each 19726
18 Barrels Pork 200 lbs Do. 3619
Biscuit 13,249
Flour 2831
Rice about 14 Bags, 133 Lbs 1887
Pease 118 Gallons 472 Quarts
Spirrits 472 Gallons
Vinegar 110 Do.
Piccled Cabbage, Fruit

N.B. 10 Per Cent is allowed on the above for Wastage or about 25 days extra.

Sydney, April 13th, 1836

e. & o.e.

W. B. Rhodes,

For 12 months Salt Provisions the rule was as under:–

42 Tierces Salt Beef 336 lbs ea. 14210 lbs
24 Barrels Pork ea. 4719
18929 lbs
Extra Stores Wanted
1 Pipe Brandy
1 Cases Gin
12 Doz. Wine
30 Doz. Ale or Porter
2 Doz. Mustard
3 Doz. Piccles
100 lbs. Fruit or Preserves
25 lbs. Black Pepper
2 Tons Salt
2 Bags Coffee
6 Kegs Piccled Tripe
5 Cwt Potatoes
50 Tins Preserved Meats and Soups
6 Barrels Cabin Biscuits
2 Bags 2 Bags fine sugar
2 Doz. Bottles Chollaride of Lime
1 lb. Spices Assorted
page 94

4. Whaling Gear on board the 'Australian'

  • 3 Try Pots
  • 2 Copper Coolers
  • 4 Iron Tanks
  • 2 Copper Ladles
  • 1 Skimmer
  • 3 Blubber Hooks
  • 4 Double Cutting Blocks
  • 11 Single Do
  • 2 Cutting Falls, 1 old
  • 6 Fluke Topes
  • 8 Tubs of Whale Lines
  • 1 Cask & 2 Coils of New Do.
  • 21 Cutting Spades
  • 6 Mincing Knives
  • 2 Boarding Do.
  • 59 Lances
  • 115 Harpoons
  • 2 Oil Pumps
  • 1 Water Do.
  • 1 Set Cutting Tubs
  • 2 Dipping Bouys
  • 17 Bundles of Iron Hoops
  • 7 Truss Hoops
  • 20 Ash Oars
  • 5 Steer Oars
  • 75 Boats' Timbers
  • 33 Do. Knees
  • 133 Do. Boards
  • 1 Stern and 1 Stern Post
  • 4 Gunwhale Pieces
  • 1 Keel Do.
  • ½ Coil Whale line
  • A quantity of Iron & Lance Polespage 95
  • 3 Chain head strops
  • 3 Capstan Bars
  • 5 Handspikes
  • 4 Crowbars
  • 14 Luff tackle Blocks of sizes
  • 1 Long boat Hook and 1 short Do.
  • 3 Ships Compasses and 1 Tell Tale
  • 1 Lead & Line (Hand)
  • 1 Speaking Trumpet
  • 2 Cook's Lanthorn
  • 2 Signal Do.
  • 1 Binnacle Lamp
  • 2 Cabin Do.
  • 1 Scoop Net and Pole
  • 1 Vyce
  • 5 Boat's Compasses
  • 1 Cask containing Sundries
  • 1 Cask Turpentine
  • ½ Cask Pitch
  • ½ Do. Coal Tar
  • Stores, New
  • 18 Boat Anchors

5. Prices of Slops to be Charged to the Crew
[From the Captain's 'Rough Day-Book']

s. d.
Shoes 12. 0.
Stockings 3. 0.
Monkey Jacket 1. 0. 0.
Flushing Trowsers 9. 0.
Cotton Shirts 5. 0.page 96
Twilled Flannel Shirts 8. 6.
Blue Baize Shirts 6. 6.
Red Baize do 5. 0.
White Duck Trowsers 6. 0.
Soap per lb. 1. 0.
Caps slouched 2. 0.
Scotch Caps 2. 6.
Brown Duck Frocks 4. 6.
do do Trowsers 4. 6.
Kerchiefs each 1. 0.
Single Blankets 8/4 14. 0.
Tobacco per lb. 6. 6.
Pipes per doz. 1. 0.
Knives each 1. 6.
Tin Potts 2. 0.
Pannikins 1. 0.
Thread per oz. 0. 6.
Beads string [per lb.] 4. 0.
Single Blankets 9/4 1. 0. 0.
Mittens per pair 3. 0.
American soap per lb. 1. 0.
Tobacco received at Bay of Islands 5. 0.
page 97

6. Signals from the 'Australian' to the Whale Boats

[From the Captain's 'Rough Day-Book']
Whales Ahead Jib up and down 2 or three times
Weather Bow Weather clew of the ∗Fore Topsail (∗ or Top Gallant Sail)
Lee do Lee do do do do
Starbd. Beam Ensign at the Mizen
Larbd. do Union Jack do
Astern Ships Burgee Blue & white
Weather Quarter Brail the Mizen up and have it out 2 or 3 times.
Lee Quarter Brail the Mizen up and let it remain so
Whales between the Ship and the Boats Masthead Flag up and down and half Mast
One Boats recall Whiff1 at the Gaff
Recall for all Boats Ensign at the Gaff
Distance of Whales from the Ship to be indicated by small Flags at the Mizen Gaff one to a mile.
Whales to windward of the weather Boat Two Flags at the Mizenpage 98
Whales to Leeward of the Boats Two Flags at the Gaff

Boat fast to a Whale and wants assistance—

One Whiff

Stove Boat and wants assistance—

All the whiffs, or not less than one head and stern; the nearest Boat must go to her assistance as well as the Ship.

Should a Strange Ship be in company and it is not desirous that she should understand the signals they are all to be reversed.

1 The whiffs (or whifts) were small flags usually carried by the boats.

7. Monthly return of Provisions issued out on board the 'Australian,' 1836

Beef 999 Pounds
Pork 120 Do.
Flour 233 Do.
Sugar 181 Do.
Raisons 13 Do.
Tea 114 Do.
Chockolate 19½ Do.
Rice 22 Quarts
Peas 34 Do.
Brandy 34 Gallons
Bread 650 Pounds
Vinegar 3 Gallons
page 99

List of Stores Broached: September

  • Sept. 1st a cask of Flour
  • 1st a Do. Beef 336 lbs
  • 1st a Do. Raisons
  • 9th a Rag of Tripe
  • 11th a cask of Brandy 18 Gallons
  • 14th a Do. Beef 336 lbs
  • 23rd a Do. Pork
  • 25th a Do. Bread
  • 27th a Do. Beef
  • 25th a Do. Brandy 16 Gallons

Breakages on Board the 'Australian'

  • 1 Vegetable Dish
  • 1 Tumbler
  • 1 Spoon
George Hamilton Coglan Steward

8. Owners' further instructions: Cooper and Holt to Captain Rhodes

Waterloo Warehouse, Sydney,New South Wales, 28th February, 1837.

Capt.W. B. Rhodes,
Barque Australian.


We have received your several letters, communicating your indifferent success hitherto and your expectations and prospects, as detailed in your letter of the 7th December last, page 100of making up for lost time and Outlay of Provisions and Stores, provided six months' additional provisions were sent you together with sundry stores and Trade Goods as specified by you.

Altho' you went to sea well and sufficiently victualled for Twelve Months and little more than Eight Months are now elapsed, we have resolved to send you the supplies you write for, in order to afford you every possible chance of retrieving your voyage by the trial of another season in the Black Whale Fishery. You will accordingly receive these supplies by the present conveyance the Schooner Currency Lass, Capt ——— should he find you at the Bay of Islands, or if not, you will receive the same from Capt. Clendon there, into whose custody they will be delivered to wait your arrival. Enclosed you will receive a Bill of Lading and List specifying the quantities &c. and the Expense of which additional stores and provisions, Casks and Shooks included, with the Freight, will not be less than £650, in addition to which, we incur further expense to extend the Insurance for another season in the Black Whale Fishery. But you will be careful to observe that by the Clauses in the Policies of Insurance you are permitted in the pursuit of the Black Whaling Fishery to enter the following Ports and places and no other, namely,

Cloudy Bay
Port Cooper

Otago and
Chatham Islands,—You cannot therefore be unlimited' as to Bay Whaling as you propose.

On the conclusion of this next season's Black Whale Fishery you are to return from thence direct to Sydney without engaging again (whether full or not full) in the Sperm Whale Fishery. Your voluntary deviation from these our Orders and Instructions will vitiate our Policies of Insurance. And you should be aware that your going into any unpermitted Port, or your pursuing for a single day or hour any unpermitted page 101purpose, even tho' you meet with no accident in either, is a deviation to all intents and purposes, and would prevent our recovery in the event of any subsequent loss or disaster. We wish you to understand, however, that on leaving the Bay of Islands you are not restricted from pursuing a Sperm Whale Fishery, if occasion should present itself, previously to your recommencing Black Whaling, but that on the conclusion of the next season's Black Whale Fishery, you are not on any account whatever to engage again in the Sperm Whale Fishery, but to return as abovementioned, direct to Sydney.

With respect to sending up all or any part of your Cargo that may be already obtained on the receipt thereof you have our authority to do so, and we have accordingly arranged for its transhipment on board the Schooner Currency Lass and agreed with the owner of that vessel as to the Freight of the same. The Shooks or Packs and Casks now sent to you will replace the casks sent up with the Oil as far as we have been able to obtain room for the same on board the Currency Lass.

You will not fail to send up with any Oil or Bone you may ship for Sydney the Certificate of yourself and first Officer (in the form of the enclosed) of the same being British Fishing, otherwise it will not be admitted to entry as such here.

You will also fill up and transmit to us at the same time a Bill of Lading for the oil &c. shipped for which purpose we enclose you a Blank Set of Bills Lading. The Freight you will state to be 'payable as to agreement with the owners here' you will also write us in duplicate by some other opportunity sending us a second Bill Lading, or leave such letter and Bill Lading with Capt Clendon for transmission to us when opportunity may offer—so that in case of loss we may have the means of proving our Interest. In the body of the Bill of Lading you will mention the number of Tuns of Oil or weight of Bone as near as possible.

Wishing you better success henceforward, We remain,

Sir, Your Obdt. Hble. Servts.

Cooper & Holt

page 102

9. J. R. Clendon to Captain Rhodes

6th May, 1837 Bay of Islands

Captain Rhodes,
Bark Australian

Dear Sir,

As your ship has now been ready for sea nine days during which time every exertion has been used to complete your crew without effect—although a bounty independent of advance has been offered—I consider it my duty to request that you will give the case your most serious consideration upon which you will allow me to offer one or two remarks. First, you should bear in mind that your owners have been at a great additional expense in sending you another six months' stores and that you have now on board at least 12 mths. provisions. Should you go to Sydney to complete your crew the chances are that those on board would leave and you would have a full crew to ship with considerable expense and loss of time—and the uncertainty as to whether you could obtain a crew as the Montreal (Skeys) has put into this port for men not having been able to get them in Sydney. The season also would be far advanced for Bay Whaling, even should you accomplish your object.

I have carefully perused your instructions which certainly are decisive that you should pursue Black Whaling, but as you have not and cannot get a sufficient crew for that purpose I should recommend as a last measure that you make known to your crew that every means has been tried to complete the crew for Bay Whaling, and that you intend to proceed to the Southward immediately for that purpose, and should they still refuse to proceed to the Bays unless more hands are procured, you must either return to Sydney, or proceed on a Sperm Whaling Voyage. I hope for the interest of your owners page 103you will decide on the latter, in which case you will not fail to write them every particular that they may effect insurance accordingly.

I remain
Dear Sir,
Your Obed. Servt,

James R. Clendon

10. Certificate of Captain Clapham

This is to Certify that I cruised in Company with the Australian from the ——to the —— during which period I had many opportunities of witnessing the conduct of the officers of the said ship but more especially the Chief Mate Mr Powell and I have every reason to think that the other officers as well as the crew were very much biased by the said Mr Powell whose conduct was such as to make it highly disagreeable and difficult to Capt. Rhodes to carry on the necessary duty of the ship on every occasion he appeared to endeavour to bring the Captain into disrespect. On one occasion when he was at the mast head whales were seen from my ship much nearer the Australian than the Tamar and I feel confident he ought to have seen them.

Witness my hand this 10th day of Decb. 1836

Geo. Clapham

Master of the Tamar

page 104

11. G. Powell to Captain Rhodes

Dear Sir,

I have informed the crew concerning the Schooner being sent for the oil, and they say if the oil goes out of the ship they consider their voyage up, and that they cannot think of discharging it other ways, the ship being now ready for sea and all the water to break out before we can get at the oil.

I remain
Your Obd. Sert,

G. Powell

Barque Australian April 27, 1837

12. Stores shipped at Bay of Islands

List of Additional Stores and Provisions shipped pr. Currency Lass for the use of the Barque Australian (Whaler). Capt. Rhodes.

Packages Contents Quantities
Weight or Gauge
6 Hogsheads Flour 2632 pounds
9 Butts Biscuit 5600 pounds
3 half do. 3 pipes ditto. (Best) 1568 pounds
20 Barrels Salt Pork 4000 pounds
9 Tierces & 2 Hhds Salt Beef 4024 pounds
1 Hogshead Sugar 625 poundspage 105
1 half pipe ditto 559 ditto.
1 Cask Vinegar 35 Gallons
2 Hogsheads Rice 940 pounds
2 Chests Tea 125 pounds
1 Hogshead Peas 63 Gallons
1 Keg Cheese pounds
1 Case Pickles & Mustard
1 Keg Tobacco 180 pounds
1 Pipe Brandy 115 Gallons
1 Case Bottled Wine ½ Port. ½ Sherry 3 Dozen
2 Boxes Cigars 250 ea 500 (in Number)
3 Bags containing Blankets 12 large & 12 small
and Shoes 1 dozen pairs
1 Bundle Tomahawks 2 Dozen
1 ditto New Muskets 12 in Number
4 Kegs Gun Powder 100 pounds
38 Bundles Shooks or Packs
36 ditto Iron Hoops
21 ditto Hoop Iron
2 Casks Bottled Porter 6 Dozen
1 Case Pipes 10 Gross
Sydney; New South Wales 28th February, 1837

13. Survey of Bread

Know All Men by these presents that We the undersigned having been c ailed upon by Captain Rhodes of the Barque Australian belonging to the Port of Sydney in New South Wales and now laying at anchor in the Bay of Islands in New Zealand to proceed on board the said Barque for the page 106purpose of holding a survey on Fifteen Casks of biscuit bread. We accordingly went on board this Twenty ninth day of April in die year one thousand eight hundred and thirty seven and examined the different casks, found eleven partially damaged, one entirely damaged and unfit for use, and three in a good and perfect state, but out of the eleven casks of partially damaged biscuit picked out of four of sixty and one of one hundred gallons each, estimating the quantity at about nine hundred weight of mouldy bread entirely unfit for any use. We are therefore of opinion that the damage has occurred in consequence of the casks not being properly coopered at the time the biscuit was put up.


L. W. Stuart

Andrew Bliss Commander of the Barque
Folkstone of London

Joseph Apsey Commander of the Barque
Hariot of London

Saml. Stephenson Resident Bay of Islands

14. Bay of Islands account for Stores, etc.

Dr. Bark Capt. Rhodes & Owners
Pr. J. R. Clendon

March 25th. To Receiving Rent for Australians Stores P. Currency Lass 5: 0: 0
March 25th. Boat Hire 1: 12: 0
April 12th. 1 Ton 2 cwt Potatoes 60/- 66/- Tinder Box 2/6 3: 8: 6
April 12th. 1½lb Lamp Cotton 6/6. 2 Padlocks 5/- 3 day Boat Hire 1: 4: 0
April 12th. 651 lb Pork 2½d 6: 15: 7 14 lb nails 11/8 3lb do. 4/6 7: 11: 9
page 107
1. To Pr. Order to Turner £4: 6: o
2.: Captn. Coffin 3: 0: 0
3.: Captn. Bliss 1: 17: 0
4.: Mair's A/c- 16: 2: 7
5.: on Bread 4: 3: 0
6.: Blacksmiths A/c- 2: 1: 2
–: Wright (Water) 12: 0
7.: Doctor Assolam 3: 0: 0
8.: J. Jones 1: 7: 0
9.: Seamen's Advance 20: 7: 0
56: 15: 9

5 Pr. Cn. on £56.15.9 2: 16: 9

Brought Forward 79: 0: 3

Cr/By Rice &c. Sold Caroline 4: 13: 6
13 cwt Iron Hoop 8: 9: 0
Bills on Messrs Cooper & Holt at 30 days 3: 11: 6
Do. 30 days 32: 6: 3
£79: 0: 3

James R. Clendon

page 108

15. Discharge of Seamen

This is to Certify that we the undersigned have been duly discharged from the Barque Australian at our free will and pleasure and do hereby agree to forfeit any claim or claims whatever that might have arisen from our Lay had we continued in the above vessel. Witness our hands this 13th Day of April at the Bay of Islands 1837.

Charles Robbin
John A. Webb [Welsh]

16. Maori Seamen's Articles

May 10th, 1837 Bay of Islands.

We the undersigned engage to serve as ordinary seamen on the 170th Lay on Board the Australian and to conform in every respect with the ships articles

Epio X his mark
Etou X his mark

Witness: A. J. Ross

Henry Day

page 109

17. Sperm Whale Oil Taken by the 'Australian'

[From the Captain's 'Rough Day-Book']

  • Oct. 27th 1836.1 Two school whales, 45½ barrels. Got by Powel and Mossman [October 21].
  • March 9th 1837. One lone whale, 76 barrels 20 gallons. Seen by Black Bob. Got by Powel [March 5].
  • March 27th. One whale, 54 barrels 23 gallons. Seen by Mr. Powel or W. Hoare. Got by Walter [March 22].
  • April 9th. One whale, 91 barrels 8 gallons. Seen by C. Gleason. Got by Powel [April 5].
  • June 8th 1837. One whale, 70 barrels. Seen by Mr. Powel and caught by W.B.R. [June 4].
  • June 24th 1837. Three school whales, 64 barrels. First seen by John Evoy or Mr. Powel. Got by W.B.R., Mossman, and Walter [June 20].
  • July 21st. Two large whales, 106 barrels. Seen by J. Evoy. Got by Powel and Mossman [July 16].
  • August 11th. One large whale, 63 barrels. Seen by John Terrel. Got by Mossman [August 8].
  • March 9th 1838. Two whales seen by Robert Roberts. Captn. and Mossman killed them. 86 Barrels [March 4].
  • March 31st.One whale seen by joiner. Got by the Captain. 64 barrels.
page 110
Whales (Sperm) up to April 1st.
Mr. Powel 4 whales 263 barrels
Mr. Mossman 5 do 202 do
W. B. Rhodes 4 do 198 do
Mr. Walter 2 do 75 do

718 barrels

[The entries listed above appear at intervals against a continuous and detailed tabulation of 'contents of casks filled'. Unfortunately there is no similarly informative annotation of the right oil part of the table. From the Journal, however, it appears that right whales were taken as follows:
  • 1836: July 14, July 26, August 2, August 12, August 13, August 21, August 25, August 30, September 3.
  • 1837: Nil.
  • 1838: January 21 (two whales).
The whales taken on July 14, 1836, and January 21, 1838 were dead whales apparently lost by other whalers.]

1 The dates given by Rhodes are those on which the oil from each catch was finally stowed away. For convenience the date of the actual catch, as recorded in the journal, is here inserted in square brakets at the end of each entry.

18. Receipt for Whalebone


115 Bundles

Received from W.B. Rhodes—One hundred and fifteen bales of Whale Bone marked as per Margin on board the Brig Hind Capt. Wyatt which I engage to deliver to Messrs Cooper Holt & Roberts at Sydney they paying freight at the rate of Three pounds per ton Weight about Ton 2½.

Cloudy Bay Sept. 23rd. 1836.

Weight unknown to. R. Wyatt

page 111

19. Account of Whale Oil and Bone
[From the Captain's 'Rough Day-Book']

Sept. 1836. 370 Barrels Right Whale Oil procured which is equal to—
42 Tons Imperial at 13 £ per ton 546 0 0
Also 2⅛ Tons Whale Bone @ £50 112 10 0
Barrels G.
Up to March 9th 1837 — 121 28— Sperm Oil procured but say—
15 Tons Old Measure @ £30.6.8 455 0 0
18 Tons up to 9th April 1837 546 0 0
since leaving the bay
38 Tons up to nth Aug. @ £30.6.8 1152 13 0
6½ Tons Black Oil @ £13 p. Ton 84.10.0 £ s.d. Whale Bone @ 50 £ 84 10 0
18¾ Tons up to April 1st @ £30.6.8 558 15 0
£3419 18 0

[It should be noted that the captain's figures are incorrectly added. At another place in the 'Rough Day-Book' appears the following pencilled summary.]

To 45 Tons B. Oil Imp @ 10 £ 450 2¾ Tons Bone @ £100 212 662 0 0
89¾ Tons or 718 barrels Sperm @ £50 per Ton O.M. 4487 10 0
£5149 10 0
page 112

[In the list of 'contents of casks filled', the final total of sperm oil is 22,626 gallons, this being also stated as 718 barrels. Right oil is shown as 13,671 gallons and as equalling 434 barrels or 45 tons imperial. From these figures and from the accounts set out above it is apparent that although Rhodes follows the standard procedure of calculating in half-hogshead barrels of 31½ gallons, and of eight barrels to the ton (or tun) old measure for sperm oil, he converts to imperial tons for right oil. The day-to-day list shows also that the casks actually used on the ship varied considerably in size, their contents ranging from as low as 18 gallons up to actual tuns holding 252 gallons.]

20. Trade with the Natives

[The following extracts from the 'Rough Day-Book' indicate the terms upon which Rhodes traded with the natives for provisions, etc.]

September 25, 1836. Cloudy Bay.

I Keg of powder, 20 flints, 6 fish hooks, for 60 baskets potatoes.

November 22, 1836. Eua (Tonga).

3 lbs. beads (12/-), 1½ tobacco (6/9), 6 doz. pipes (3/–), total £1.1.9, for a quantity of fruit, coconuts, etc.

December 4, 1834. Pylstart (Ata).

1 old saucepan, 2 lb. powder, 1 doz. kerchiefs (8/-), 3 shirts (10/-), 1½ lb. beads, 2 doz. pipes (7/-), total £1.53., for 40 baskets potatoes and 17 pumpkins.

January 15, 1837. Three Kings.

Exchanged 1 red shirt (4/-), 1 doz. pipes and ½ lb. tobacco (5/6). total 9/6, for seven baskets potatoes.

April 25, 1837. Bay of Islands.

2 lbs. tobacco (9/-), 4 canisters powder (8/-), pipes (3/-), total £1, for 2 pigs, vegetables, etc.

1 Musket to Pomare for securing the anchor.

page 113

October 19, 1837. Vavao.

10 yards muslin (10/-), 10 trading knives (5/-), looking glasses (3/-), 2 kegs powder (50 lbs. @ 1/5, £3 10s.), 6 muskets ac £1 6s. (£7 16s.), 16 boat axes at 2/10 (£2 5 4), 5 large American axes at 3/- (15/-), total £15.5.2, for refreshments, wood and water.

February 23, 1838. East Cape.

One tomahawk (2/-), three blankets @ 9/6 (£1.8.6), 2 kegs 50 lb. powder £3.10s.), 10 canisters powder @ 2/- (£1), 6 boat axes @ 2/10 (17/-), 4 lbs tobacco @ 2/6 (10/-), 8 doz. pipes (4/-), total £7.12.4, for refreshments.

page 114

21. The crew of the 'Australian' 1836–1838
[Compiled from Stop Account and Captain's 'Rough Day-Book']

Name Position Lay Months of Service Amount Represented by Lay Balance due after Deductions
Signed on at Sydney £ s. d. £ s. d.
1 G. Powell Chief Mate 28th 24 123 2 0 77 12 0
1 Adam Mossman Second Mate 48th 24 71 4 0 43 17 0
2 Adam Scott Third Mate 75th 3 8 15 7 4 11
1 Wm. Walter Fouth Mate 80th 24 37 15 0 25 2 0
1 Wm. Read Cooper 55th 24 62 0 0 39 2 0
1 George Johnson Carpenter 65th 24 52 10 0 34 2 4
1 Robt. Marris Cooper's Mate 100th 24 34 3 0 20 16 6
1 J. Myres Carpenter's Mate 120th 24 28 8 0 18 5 6
1 George Coglan Steward 110th 24 31 0 0 18 7 0
1 Wm. Hoare Ord. Seaman 300th 24 11 0 0 6 1 5
1 Joseph Johnson Able Seaman 120th 24 28 8 0 15 1 6
2 Ed. Drew Boatsteerer 100th 3 6 11 8 1 7 8
2 Wm. Shearer Boatsteerer 100th 3 6 11 8 1 1 8
2 John Richards Boatsteerer 100th 3 6 11 8 7 10
3 Hugh Stirling Boatsteerer 100th 3 6 11 8 6 4
2 Walter Gough Ord. Seaman 180th 3 3 12 7 11 11
2 Harry Burns Ord. Seaman 180th 3 3 12 7 5 5
2 John Clements Able Seaman 120th 3 5 9 9 1 3
2 John Blunt Ord. Seaman 150th 3 4 7 9 15 3
2 Nath. Dance Able Seaman 120th 3 5 9 9 10 3
2 Henry Harford Able Seaman 120th 3 5 9 9 1 7 9
2 George Stigant Able Seaman 120th 3 5 9 9 10 3
2 Robt. Neile Able Seaman 120th 3 5 9 9 6 3
2 Wm. Baldock Ord. Seaman 170th 3 3 17 5 1 1 7
2 James Lawdon Ord. Seaman 180th 3 3 12 7 9 5
2 Thos. Riches Able Seaman 120th 3 5 9 9 8 9
2 George Catton Ord. Seaman 200th 3 3 5 10 16 8
3 John Tap Ord. Seaman and Boat builder 140th 6 5 17 10 3 10
4 James Dickson Able Seaman 120th 11 13 7 0 7 13 6
Shipped at Port Cooper
1 Wm. Hitchings Boatsteerer 1000th 21 30 0 0 11 10 0
(Later 3rd Mate) 75th
Shipped at Cloudy Bay (Sept. 1836)
4 Wm. Lamb Boatsteerer 100th 7 10 0 0 4 16 6
5 Charles Gleason Boatsteerer 100th 7 10 0 0 5 18 6
5 Bob Otaheite Boatsteerer 100th 7 10 0 0 5 11 6
1 John Morris Able Seaman 120th 20 26 6 6 16 15 0page 115
5 Win. Adamson Able Seaman 120th 7 8 6 9 2 14 9
5 Wm. Slater Able Seaman 120th 7 8 6 9 5 10 3
5 Hugh deGrath Seaman 140th 7 7 3 0 3 18 0
5 J. A. Webb Ord. Seaman 160th 7 6 5 0 3 4 6
5 Charles Robbins Ord. Seaman 160th 7 6 5 0 2 18 0
1 Jackcy (Maori) 170th 20 49 10 0 24 0 8
1 Tommy (Maori) 170th 20 49 10 0 24 0 8
5 Jemmy (Maori) 170th 7 49 10 0 24 0 8
1 A'wackey (Maori) 170th 20 49 10 0 24 0 8
Shipped at Sunday Island (Dec. 1836).
1 Hugh Anderson Able Seaman 120th 18 22 0 0 15 1 6
1 John Evoy Able Seaman 120th 18 22 0 0 13 3 0
Shipped at Bay of Islands (May 1837).
7 R. J. Evans Boatsteerer 100th 11 18 1 2 4 17 2
6 Adam Marston Able Seaman 120th 6
1 Walter Cowan Boatsteerer 100th 13 18 0 0 5 17 11
1 James Brown Able Seaman 120th 13 15 0 0 6 12 4
1 John William (Maori) Ord. Seaman 160th 13
(Boatsteerer 11 Sept. 1837) 100th
1 Jacky Witi (Maori) Ord. Seaman 170th 13 10 10 0 5 13 11
1 Epio (Maori) Ord. Seaman 170th 13 10 10 0 6 8 2
1 Etou (Maori) Ord. Seaman 170th 13 10 10 0 5 19 4
Shipped at Vavao (Nov. 1837)
1 Robt. Roberts Cook and Seaman 110th 7 5 18 0 5 2 0
1 James Clements Able Seaman 120th 7 5 18 0 4 9 6
Exchanged at Sea per Bombay (4 April 1838)
1 Wm. Essex Boatsteerer 100th 2
No Data
Joseph Boyle Apprentice

Amounts printed in italic represent a debit still owing. Men who deserted or Were sent ashore after mutiny forfeited their lay.

1 Members of crew on return to Sydney

2 Discharged at Port Cooper

3 Discharged sick. Sent to Bay of Islands by Tamar.

4 Discharged sick at Bay of Islands.

5 Deserted at Bay of Islands.

7 Transferred to Bombay.

6 Deserted at Vavao.

page 116

22. Ships mentioned in the Journal

Date Name of Ship Port or Country of origin Captain's Name Place of Encounter
July 15 Six vessels
unnamed1 Port Cooper
Aug. 7 Harriet [Sydney] Howe Port Cooper
Aug. 26 Friendship [United States] [West] Pegasus Bay
Aug, 20 Nile [United States] [Collins] Pegasus Bay
Sept. 5 Sisters [Sparling] Pegasus Bay
[Elizabeth] Fowler Port Cooper
Sept. 24 Hind [Sydney] Cloudy Bay
Lynx [Sydney] Cloudy Bay
Oct. 6 Tuscaloosa United States [Hussey] E. of Cook Strait
Oct. 10 Tamar Clapham N. of Kermadecs
Nov. 17 Envoy United States N. of Kermadecs
Dec. 17 Cheviot England [Bateman] Kermadecs
Jan. 17 Pusey Hall 2 London Near N. Cape N.Z.
Jan. 18 Roslyn Castle Richards Off Three Kings
Mar. 7 Harriet Sydney Lord Howe Is.
Mar. 27 Pantheon Pell Off Bay of Islands
April 11 George Clinton Off Bay of Islands
April 12 Achilles London Off Bay of Islands
July 24 Tigris Sydney Terry W. of New Caledonia
July 30 Scamander W. of New Caledonia
July 30 Mic-Mac [Sydney] [Brace] W. of New Caledonia
Aug. 3 Jane Barber W. of New Caledonia
Oct. 5 Elizabeth London Currie Near Niue Is.
Oct. 19 Independence United States Vavao
Oct. 21 Ann London Ball Vavao
Nov. 13 Columbus 3 United States [Ellis]
Nov. 23 Diana 4 Harvey
Nov. 27 Nantucket Nantucket N.E. of Kermadecspage 117
Dec. 23 Rambler Nantucket S.E. of Kermadecs
Dec. 27 Parker United States Austin N.E. of E. Cape N.Z.
Dec. 28 Hope London N.E. of E. Cape N.Z
Jan. 13 Corinthian Bristol Near Chatham Is.
Jan. 23 Gauge Havre Grandsaigne Near Banks Peninsula
Jan. 24 Oriental Havre Near Banks Peninsula
Feb. 3 Warren Warren (U.S.) [Lewis] Near Banks Peninsula
Feb. 10 Mountatio 5 United States [Sayer] Off Banks Peninsula
Feb. 19 Trent Bay of Islands Near Hawke's Bay
Apt. 4 Bombay 6 London
page 118

1 The whaling vessels in Port Cooper between July and September 1836, although not named by Rhodes, are known to have included the following: Bee, of Sydney (Hempleman), Nile, of U.S.A. (West), Friendship, of U.S.A. (Collins), Harriet, of Sydney (Howe), Elizabeth, (Fowler), Sisters, (Sparling) and Caroline, (Cherry).

2 Sydney Herald gives this name as Puzey Hall.

3 Spoken by the Ann.

4 Spoken by the Nantucket.

5 Possibly Montana. McNab (Old Whaling Days) gives the name as both Montana and Montana.

6 Mentioned in ship's accounts only.