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

The Hylton Castle

page 359

The Hylton Castle.

A fine craft was the barque Hylton Castle, 548 tons, Captain Scott, which was the pioneer vessel of the Auckland Freight Company. On the first occasion she visited Auckland she arrived on June 25th, 1873, 114 days after she left Deal. On that occasion she did not bring any passengers. The following year she was back again in Auckland, arriving on March 28th, after a passage of 112 days. On this trip she brought two passengers, and, according to the "Star," "one of them was a McPherson, who, versed in all the secrets of the chase, comes to hunt wild dogs at Napier." The McPherson, dressed in his kilt, played the pipes on the poop of the Hylton Castle, and "made the shores resound with the striking notes of his bagpipes," says the newspaper paragraph.

Mention of the Freight Company reminds me that there have frequently been arguments as to whether the New Zealand Freight Company or the New Zealand Shipping Company started first. From books in the possession of Mr. C. V. Houghton, I have been able to settle the point. The New Zealand Freight Company was incorporated on July 1st, 1872, the Auckland directors being Dr. J. Logan Campbell, Messrs. J. McCosh Clark, Edward Isaacs, G. von der Heyde, and J. M. Shera. The capital of the company was £25,000 in £10 shares, of which 1060 shares were allotted, £2 per share being paid up. Six months later, on January 6th, 1873, the New Zealand Shipping Company was incorporated. The Freight Company immediately amalgamated with the Shipping Company, and the headquarters were fixed at Christchurch. Only three ships were chartered by the New Zealand Freight Company, and they were the Hylton Castle, the Fontenaye, and the Ferndale.