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White Wings Vol I. Fifty Years Of Sail In The New Zealand Trade, 1850 TO 1900

The Helvellyn

The Helvellyn.

Mutiny and Assault.

There are several incidents of interest connected with the passengers and crew of this ship. The single men who came out in the Helvellyn had no occasion to seek employment when they landed at Auckland, as they were immediately met by recruiting officers and given the option of joining the Volunteer Corps or the Militia, to serve in the Waikato War. About thirty fine young fellows were sent to barracks, and a few days later to the camps at Otahuhu and Drury for training; they subsequently took an active part in some of the fighting.

the Helvellyn was a fine large comfortable ship of a little over a thousand tons, built at Sunderland by Messrs. Robert Thompson and Son, and chartered by the Shaw, Savill Co. for one voyage to bring out a large number of passengers and Government immigrants, under the command of Captain F. S. Dalison. The vessel sailed from Gravesend on July 14, 1863, and called at Dartmouth, which was left on the 19th of the same month. She experienced very light winds and fine weather to the Equator, which was crossed on August 23. After rounding the Cape on September 26 the ship encountered a succession of heavy gales until sighting Tasmania. The Three Kings were made on November 11, and owing to light adverse winds she was five days beating down the coast, Auckland being reached on November 16. Two of the passengers, Messrs. Copeland and Finn, died of consumption before the vessel reached port, and were buried at sea.

Among the passengers by the Helvellyn were Mr. Henry Atkinson, who donated the park at Titirangi to the people of Auckland; also Mrs. Henry Atkinson, Mrs. David Gouk (widow of the late Mr. Gouk, ship builder), Mr. J. S. Johnstone, and other well-known colonists.

When the ship arrived in port, four of the sailors who had been under arrest were brought before the magistrate at Auckland and charged with a breach of the Shipping Act. William Thompson pleaded guilty to having struck the captain with his fist, and combining with others of the crew to disobey orders, and thereby impeding the navigation of the ship. He was sent to Mount Eden gaol for five months with hard labour, and with others assisted in the making of Khyber Pass Road under an armed warder. Robert Canter, for assault, throwing ship's stores overboard, and stealing, was sentenced to six months' imprisonment; William Bass was charged with inciting to mutiny and sentenced to 12 weeks' imprisonment with hard labour The other sailor was acquitted.