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White Wings Vol II. Founding Of The Provinces And Old-Time Shipping. Passenger Ships From 1840 To 1885

Chapter II. — Some Auckland Memories

page 116

Chapter II.
Some Auckland Memories.

Troopships Of Maori War Days.

An interesting chapter in Anckland's shipping history could be written round the troopships that have visited the Waitemata. Owing to the uncertainty of the attitude of the Maoris, troops were drafted to New Zealand at a very early stage, and after Heke's war of 1845 the feeling of insecurity was accentuated. Then when hostilities broke out in Taranaki, soldiers were rushed out, until by the middle 'sixties there was quite an army. Some idea of what the Maori War meant to Auckland in the matter of shipping and trade—caused through this large influx of troops—may be gauged from a study of the imports. In 1853 the total value of the goods imported into Auckland was £253,926, in 1863 it had risen to £959,219, while in 1864 there was a phenomenal jump to £2,219,287, which seems almost incredible, and as a matter of fact that figure was not reached again until 1900.

From a very early date there was a garrison of Imperial troops at Fort Britomart, the picturesque headland which now lies buried in the reclamation somewhere about the head of the present King's Wharf. After Heke's War with the sacking of Kororareka, Sir George Grey hit on a very good idea for the protection of infant Auckland. He arranged to bring out a large number of time-expired soldiers with their families, who were to be located in a cordon of villages running from Howick, through Panmure and Otahuhu, to Onehunga, to form a screen of protection against any possible invasion of Maoris from the Waikato, where there was always more or less disaffection. Many of these old soldiers came from Ireland, and in all these villages you will to-day come across many names redolent of the "Ould Sod." These pensioners, or "Fencibles," as they were called in those days, came out in the late 'forties and 'fifties. Each family was given an acre of land. A double cottage was built On the boundary between each two acres so that the villages were made up of these semi-detached cottages scattered about. It is interesting to know that the bricks for the chimneys were brought from Sydney. A few of these high-roofed cottages, somewhat modified, of course, are still to be found standing, particularly at Panmure, where in one of them is living an old lady who came out from Ireland in 1848 as a girl of twelve.

In dealing with the troopships I have taken them in their chronological order.

By the Minerva, a 691-ton barque, Captain McBrath, there arrived at Auckland on October 8, 1847, Major General Pitt, Mrs. Pitt and family of eight, Captain and Mrs. Greenwood and theirpage 117 sons, and Captain Smith of the 55th Regiment, who was accompanied by Mrs. Smith. Major Pitt remained in Auckland, where the family was well-known for many years.

A large party arrived by the Sir Robert Peel, a ship of 623 tons, commanded by Captain Champion. She sailed from London on September 20, 1846, called at Hobart for provisions, and made Auckland on January 4, 1847, bringing out Lieut.-Colonel Gould of the 65th Regiment, Captain Smilie of the 99th, 60 rank and file of the 60th Regiment, and detachments of the 11th, 58th, and 99th Regiments, together with 57 women and 79 children. The ship was bound for Sydney after discharge at Auckland, but was wrecked at Avoca Bay, about 50 miles north of Sydney Heads, no lives being lost.

The Ramillies, a ship of 750 tons, under Captain Maclean, which arrived at Auckland on August 5, 1847, after a passage of 111 days from London, brought Lieut.-Colonel Bolton, Captain Kenny, 80 men of the Fencibles, 56 women and 120 children.

The Sir Robert Sale, a ship of 741 tons, under Captain Louder, brought out to Auckland 60 of the Fencibles, with 60 women and 130 children. Captain McDonald, who was in charge of the party, was accompanied by his wife and family of six. The ship left London on July 1, and arrived at Auckland on October 11, 1847.

In the Sir George Seymour, Major Gray brought out a party of 77 Fencibles, with 58 women and 109 children. This vessel was a 867-ton barque, in command of Captain Millman. She left London on August 10 and reached Auckland on November 26, 1847.

One of the few ships that has her name perpetuated in the vicinity of Auckland as a place-name is the Ann, which brought out the pensioners who settled at Otahuhu. Ann's Bridge, on the Great South Road, near the Westfield Freezing Works, was built by the pensioners, and named after the old ship. A barque of 801 tons, under Captain S. C. Walker, the Ann arrived in Auckland on May 16, 1848, having sailed from London, via Belfast, on Christmas Day. Captain Hickson was in charge of the party, and he was accompanied by his wife and family. Most of the people she brought out came from the North of Ireland, there being 73 men, 66 women, and 107 children. On her way down the Irish Channel the barque touched the Arklow Bank, but was not damaged. She did not clear the land until January 7. A call was made at the Cape of Good Hope, which was reached on April 12, the barque remaining five days in port. A fairly bad epidemic of influenza was experienced on board, and twelve deaths occurred during the voyage.

During the passage of the barque Ichnumen, 565 tons, Captain T. Ennis, which brought out a large party of Fencibles, there was more than the usual number of deaths—twenty-two mostly among the children. Sailing from London on January 14, 1852, and Portland fourteen days later, she arrived at Auckland on May 27, landing 78 of the Fencibles, with 68 women and 113 children.

A party consisting of 48 sappers and miners, and four gunners of the Royal Artillery, together with a large number of womenpage 118 and children, landed at Auckland on August 26, 1850, from the barque Lord William Bentinck, 443 tons, Captain Allan. She sailed from the Downs on March 26, but sustained some damage during very severe weather in the Channel, and was compelled to put into Falmouth for repairs. She left Falmouth on April 7, the passage from the Downs to Auckland thus taking 153 days.

The ship Euphrates, 675 tons, Captain Barrow, arrived at Auckland on April 26, 1855, with a detachment of the 65th Regiment, consisting of Captain McGregor, Lieut. C. S. Harris, and 160 privates, and 22 women and children. She left Portsmouth on December 27, 1854, and had a pleasant passage until she reached 40 degrees south, after which she encountered a succession of heavy west and north-west gales, which, however, did but very little damage on board.

A protracted passage to Auckland was made by the Spirit of Trade, a fine barque of 450 tons, Captain McCulloch, which brought out a detachment of the 65th Regiment under Captain Barton from Queenstown, and a detachment of the Royal Artillery under Lieut. McNaughton from Woolwich. She arrived at Auckland on December 4, 1858. Her long passage was due to the very severe weather she encountered.

A detachment of the 65th Regiment under Captain George Lang arrived in Auckland by the Nourmahal on December 5, 1859 An exceptionally fine vessel of 846 tons, commanded by Captain Brayley, the Nourmahal left Gravesend on August 20, and crossed the Equator on the thirty-ninth day out. On October 18 she called at Tristan da Cunha for supplies. During the voyage a marriage was celebrated and there was one birth.

Another ship which brought some of the 65th men in 1859 was the Sir George Pollock, 630 tons, commanded by Captain T. H. Withers. Sailing from Queenstown on May 15, she passed the meridian of the Cape on July 19, and when in the Southern Ocean struck a severe gale, during which a big sea pooped the ship, the stern windows being smashed and the after-cabin flooded. There were three births and one death during the voyage. Captain C. F. Shawe, of the 40th Regiment, Ensign Nullit, and 60 men of the 60th Regiment, landed at Auckland. In addition the ship carried 47 passengers.

A vessel that brought a large detachment of troops to New Zealand was the True Briton, a ship of 685 tons, Captain H. W. Norris. Sailing from Deal on August 15, 1852, she arrived at Wellington on December 13, and landed 84 men, 14 women, and 13 children of the 65th Regiment, the officers being Lieut. Priestly and Ensigns Buck and Wemyss. She had a pleasant voyage, though somewhat protracted. There were two deaths and one birth on the way out. The landing of such a large number of troops created no little excitement on the beach, said the Wellington "Independent," recording the arrival.

The ship also had on board a detachment for Auckland, to which port she proceeded, arriving on February 7, 1853. Shepage 119 landed 87 rank and file of the Fencibles and the 58th Regiment, Captain J. E. Petley being in command.

After 1855 there was a lull, everything being quiet until the outbreak of hostilities in Taranaki in 1860, and then in the Waikato in 1863. Ten thousand troops were brought out to New Zealand to meet this new situation. Some came by sailing ship and some by steamer, and the sailing vessels concerned have already been dealt with in Vol. I of "White Wings"—included in that number being the Empress and the Light Brigade, two of the largest sailers employed as troopships.

Swiss Family Robinson Adventure Of The Forties.

One of the very early families that settled in Auckland was that of Captain Porter, a Liverpool ship-builder and ship-owner, who in 1838 set off with his whole family, and all his belongings, to seek his fortune in South Australia, which was then much in the public eye. The story reads rather like the start of the adventures of the Swiss Family Robinson. Captain Porter was a successful seaman, considerably in advance of his time, and he was the first to introduce several improvements in the rig of vessels, notably the double stay and iron caps for the mast-head. Before his innovation the cap was made of wood, which was necessarily big and clumsy to get the strength, the result being that the masts were quite a distance apart.

To take the family to the Antipodes Captain Porter built a brig called the Porter, 250 tons, which was specially strengthened and fitted out, and she was accompanied by a small brig called the Dorset, which was only of 90 tons burden. They were painted black, with a broad white streak and black ports. Being a most particular skipper, Captain Porter had everything on board of the very best, the vessels being particularly well found and comfortable. Captain Porter, his wife and family, and a few domestics travelled on the Porter, while in the Dorset were a small number of tradesmen, such as blacksmith, carpenter, tailor, gardener, bootmaker, brickmaker, etc., who were under contract to work for the Porters until their fare was paid. There was quite a large collection of livestock, including cattle, two horses, pigs, sheep, and poultry. It is interesting to read of the "ammunition chest" and two eighteen-pounder guns which were mounted on the quarter-deck. In the chest there were muskets, flint-locks, long-handled axes with a spike at the back of the head—called "boarding axes"—cutlasses, and flint-lock pistols. In addition to the livestock there was a large collection of trees and plants, and some of the apple trees had been obtained from the United States, as they were supposed to be superior to the English stock.

A most interesting account of the brig and her multifarious cargo has been left by Mr. W. F. Porter, son of Captain Porter. This Mr. W. F. Porter was a boy when the voyage was made in 1838. He afterwards lived at Mangatangi and Miranda, and died in Huntly.

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Everything about the brig is lovingly recorded in this interesting old memoir or diary, and it is a pity more of the early families did not keep some similar record. Life was more picturesque in those far-away days, and it is only by such records of the past that the pioneers' descendants can realise what a wide gulf separates the present generation from that of the people who founded New Zealand.

It was in August, 1838, that the brig Porter left Liverpool, bound for South Australia. Great interest was taken in the event, and as the little vessel drew out there were "cheers from the pierhead." On board the little brig and her even smaller consort there was "everything necessary to found a settlement, and the brig was commanded by her owner, who had all his family on board, as well as work-people of all trades." Such an undertaking was unique up to that time, and was probably never paralleled afterwards.

The Dorset was in command of Captain Bishop, who also seems to have been a very salt-water sailor. He took a keen delight in the speed of his little hooker in light weather, and used to sail round his big companion just for the fun of the thing. One moonlight night, however, he bumped into the Porter, and though no damage was done, his yachting tactics were suppressed by order of Captain Porter. The vessels put in a week at Madeira, and a month at the Cape of Good Hope, where there was then no breakwater. While at the Cape Captain Porter sold a stallion he had on board for 400 guineas, as he did not think it advisable to attempt to carry such a valuable animal to Australia. He took on a Cape mare, and another addition to the brig was a couple of black girls to act as domestics. The girls proved excellent servants. One left the party at Sydney and one of them—"Black Sall"—came on to Auckland with the family, being very well known there for many years. After leaving the Cape the Porters' governess died, and possibly that, the only casualty, would not have occurred if the brig's doctor had not cleared out at the Cape.

The voyage seems to have been singularly pleasant on the whole, and devoid of excitement. The diary records one amusing incident. One night one of the heifers "fetched away," was sent though the bulkhead into the forecastle, and fell into the berth of one of the sailors, a Welshman, who put his hand out in the dark, and, feeling horns and hide, yelled out, "The devil is in the forecastle!"

To-day, one wonders at the formidable battery of firearms, and the two 18-pounder guns, but on one occasion the latter were actually cleared for action and the lethal weapons were served out. "A low black schooner" kept hovering about the brigs at one stage of the voyage, and as the gentle pastime of piracy was not then extinct, the Porters had quite an anxious time, until the suspicious craft drew away, evidently intimidated by the presence of two vessels in company.

The old diary is very interesting on the question of food. There was no tinned meat in 1839, with the exception of "bouillie," a soup with vegetables in it, "rather nice," says the diarist. Corned beef, and pickled pork were the staple meats in 1839, but the Porters hadpage 121 plenty of poultry, salt tongues, fish in kegs, eggs in salt, carrots in sand, fruit of all kinds in bottles, jam, and even cake in tins. Fresh bread was baked every day. It is interesting to read that "oatmeal was not then eaten by adults." At the Cape the larder was added to by some Dutch cheese and bags of raisins and walnuts.

When the Porter and her consort arrived at Adelaide after a five months' voyage there were no regular streets in that township. Flour was £100 a ton, and other things in proportion. There the Dorset was sold and the family stayed some time. Later they went on to Port Lincoln, Hobart, Launceston, Melbourne, and Sydney, staying in Australia about 18 months in all, but they did not care for the country, and decided to go across to New Zealand. They took over with them a family named Abercrombie, who were building a vessel in Neigle's Bay, Great Barrier. This family of Abercrombies evidently gave the name to Port. Abercrombie, as the Neigles did to Nagle Cove, although the spelling is different in the latter case.

In port at Sydney when the Porter sailed was the Chelydra, Captain Smale, a well-known trader to Auckland in the very early days. Captain Smale was a spic and span sailor like Captain Porter, and the Chelydra's officers and six cadets used to wear very smart uniforms, including a gold band round the cap and a gold snake worked on the lapels of the coat collar, Chelydra being Chinese for snake. On board the Chelydra duties were carried on with man-o'-war precision, everything being done to the signal of the bo'sun's pipe. The captain had a fine gig with a crew in uniform, and no one else dreamed of using that boat.

It was the middle of May, 1841, that the Porters left Sydney. Before the brig was allowed to sail, the police went on board to hunt for runaway convicts, and they even put their swords through some trusses of hay lying on the deck, just to make sure there was nobody concealed.

In about twelve days' time the Porter reached the Great Barrier, at the entrance to the Hauraki Gulf, and put into Neigle's Cove, where the Abercrombies were building their vessel, a craft of about 400 tons burden, named the Sterlingshire. The diary says "this was the first vessel of any size built in New Zealand." There were flocks of goats on the Barrier, and the people used to make butter and cheese from the milk.

Eventually the brig reached Auckland. "We had been told in Sydney," says the diary, "that the harbourmaster at Auckland when he came on board would be wearing white kid gloves, so we were all on the look-out, and sure enough, when the boat came alongside there was a spruce little man, and the white kid gloves. His name was Captain David Rough, and he proved a very good fellow, and a fast friend of ours. He married Miss Short, who was governess to the children of the Governor. Short Street was named after her, and she was very short. Captain Rough died in England. There was no pilot in those days, and father went by the chart and lead-line. Going up the harbour past the North Shore there were only two houses—one the powder magazine, and the other the signalman'spage 122 house (a Captain Snow, who was murdered some years later). He did not live on the top of the signal station hill as the signalman did later, but just walked up once or twice a day."

Anchoring in Commercial Bay, as the bay off the end of Queen Street was then called, the Porter found in port the Chelydra, the old ten-gun brig called H.M.s. Britomart, two or three schooners, and any number of canoes on the beach. The diarist says he was much interested in the Maoris and their canoes, as they were such a novelty. The sails of the canoes were made of raupo. Bringing fish, potatoes, oysters, and kumaras for sale, the natives would not look at copper or even silver; their one cry was "Money—gold!"

The Porters landed at low water at Soldier's Point, below Fort Britomart, now no longer in existence, and when the tide was full in they landed on the beach, just about where L. D. Nathan's big warehouse stands in Fort Street. On the west of Commercial Bay was a point of land called Smale's Point, after the captain of the Chelydra, who had a house built on top of the cliff, and at high water goods were hoisted up to it out of the boats by a windlass.

As they could not get a house, the Porters had to live for three months on their brig, and eventually landed for good on August 11, 1841. The brig was kept in the Sydney trade, being in charge of Captain Stewart, and was ultimately lost when going to Manila for a cargo of sugar.

As there were no schools in those days Captain Porter engaged a teacher for his son, and the diary mentions that "a German named Dressin started a school in what is now Victoria Street East, close to the park at the bottom of Bowen Avenue. The old house stands there yet, and is now a fruit shop."

Mr. Porter soon afterwards went to Nelson with some friends to continue his schooling, and the diary mentions interesting facts about the state of affairs in infant Wellington (then a place of one street along the beach) and Nelson, which was in the throes of the Wairau dispute. Young Porter remained three years at Nelson, and then came back to the family at Auckland.

At the first sale of "country lands" Captain Porter bought 200 acres at the West Tamaki, the place then being called Waiparera, and there the first plough in the Auckland district was used, the ploughman being named Pearce. It was a small wooden plough, the top part of the mould-board being of wood, and it was brought out by the Porter's neighbour, Mr. William Atkin. One of the plough teams consisted of two working bullocks, which cost £40 each imported from Sydney. In 1842 there was no road cleared from Auckland to West Tamaki, only an old Maori track part of the way. Captain Porter went down to his farm in his boat, and on one occasion when going up to Auckland overland he lost his way. In 1843 all the land from what is now Orakei to Newmarket was all black birch bush, with only a Maori track where now the electric cars run.

The late Captain W. Field Porter, who died at Auckland in May, 1927, was a grandson of the original Captain Porter.

page 123

First Large Craft Built At Auckland.

It is many years ago since there has been a brig in the Auckland Harbour. Probably the last of that rig to sail these waters was the Vision, an ungainly craft, which used to trade across the Tasman a generation ago. Brigantines survived to a later date, but even that relic of the picturesque days of sail has gone. It is so long since a brig has been afloat in New Zealand waters that young people of the present generation have never seen such a vessel, and to them the picture of one would be just as archaic as the counterfeit of one of those frigates one reads about in the sea stories of the days of Marryatt and his friends.

The first vessel of any size that was built in Auckland was a brig called the Moa, which had a varied career. Begun in 1845, she was completed by 1849, when she entered the Sydney-Auckland trade. She was a vessel of about 230 tons, and was built for Mr. W. S. Grahame, a well-known merchant, by Messrs. Niccol and Sharpe. Their slip was in Mechanics' Bay, Parnell, the site being now buried under the reclamation that has gone steadily seaward from the Beach Road. Sharpe was fatally injured as the result of an accident when the stem of the vessel was being placed in position and fell. The building of this vessel was an undertaking of considerable magnitude for such a small place as Auckland was then, and the event caused much interest at the time. After being in the Australian-New Zealand trade for some time the Moa was taken round to the Manukau when the Maori War broke out, and she was there used as a Royal Navy coal depot ship, but was re-rigged at the end of the war and went into trade again. In later years she became a coal hulk at Port Chalmers, and is still afloat—a remarkable testimony to the soundness of the splendid kauri timber with which she was built.

When first launched the Moa was commanded by Captain Norris, and later by Captain Bowden, Captain Thompson, Captain Kean, and Captain H. F. Anderson, the last-mentioned later starting a well-known ship chandlery firm in Queen Street, Auckland. Built for W. S. Grahame, a name very well known in early Auckland, the Moa afterwards passed into the ownership of Henderson and Macfarlane, who ran her between Auckland and Sydney, in which trade she was subsequently replaced by the famous barque Kate.

She was a handsome craft, and the fact that she had been well designed by Henry Niccol (not then over 21 years of age) was shown by the excellent record she had in the trans-Tasman trade. On one occasion, in June, 1851, under Captain Norris, she made the run from Sydney to Tititiri in five days 20 hours. In August, the following year, she made another phenomenally good run. Still under the command of Norris, she did the passage from Sydney to Auckland in what the "Southern Cross" of the day calls "the extraordinary time of seven days." The newspaper says that if the captain had not been solicitous for the livestock, he could have done the trip in from 20 to 24 hours less. He had 300 sheep and 12 horses on board, and lost only two sheep and one horse.

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An interesting relic of the Moa is one of the cherished possessions of the Navy Yard over at Calliope Dock, Auckland. When the brig was stripped in Auckland before being taken round to the Manukau to act as coal depot ship for the men of war, her figurehead was taken off and later was fixed as an ornament at the end of a big shed on what was known as the Naval Reserve, Devonport, the present Windsor Park, at the head of Victoria Wharf. Naval people have a keen respect for these old figureheads, and although the sheds have long since gone, and the navy has shifted its quarters from the reserve to the present yards round Calliope Dock, the thing that was supposed to represent a moa was preserved, and to-day has been restored to a place of honour at the foot of the yard flagstaff. The brig was named after the extinct bird, the legends about which were very attractive to the early settlers, and the figurehead that graced her prow can hardly be said to have been designed upon scientific information. It was a purely fanciful head of a big bird, but one must admit that the primitive carver was an artist in his own line.

Blundell's Wily Skipper.

"A short, squat, high-wooded, painted-port barque, more like a haystack than anything else, and she could sail about as fast as a man could walk," is the way Mr. James Dacre, of Auckland, described the 573 ton vessel Blundell, that during the summer of 1862-63 lay out in the Waitemata, and became as familiar to the early Aucklanders as the coal-hulks that now lie in "Rotten Row" are to us of the present day. She is best remembered by the old hands, however, as the craft that crept out of harbour in the night to avoid the long arm of the law, which on this occasion was either not quite long enough or did not care to stretch itself.

"The Blundell left London on February 16, 1862, and the Auckland merchants who were expecting consignments had almost forgotten her when she tumbled into port on August lst—167 days out! She struck bad luck right from the start, carrying away the tiller-head off the Scilly Islands, and had to put into Fowey for repairs. Contrary or light winds did not help to increase the naturally slow speed of this queer old hooker, so it was not until the second week in April that she crossed the equator, and the Three Kings were not sighted until July 30. When she left London she had on board six hares, eleven pheasants, nine partridges, and six fallow deer, consigned to His Excellency the Governor—probably one of the earliest attempts in connection with acclimatisation. Considering the sort of trip the ship had, it is not surprising that when Auckland was reached only four birds had survived the ordeal."

"As may be expected," said Mr. Dacre, "the Blundell's cargo was in a most awful state when she got here, everything being more or less damaged by the knocking about it had received. The consignee of ten cottage mangles said, when he got delivery, 'I thought I ordered mangles, but bless me if I have not got mousetraps.' Claims for damages were numerous, and several judgments werepage 125 obtained against the master of the vessel (Captain Richard McLean). I may mention that such was the state of the cargo that some of it was actually swept up into sacks. There was a consignment of whiting among the cargo, and this had broken adrift, so that everything had a good coating of it."

Upon one of the judgments obtained against him, Captain McLean was sent to Mount Eden for a term, but he must have been a pretty shrewd gentleman, as in spite of judgments and the lawyers he managed to "cut his stick" and get clear away. The story is told in the "Daily Southern Cross" of February 9, 1863.

"The barque Blundell," said the "Cross," "took her departure at an early hour on Saturday morning, greatly to the surprise of most people in Auckland. Our readers are familiar with the judicial proceedings taken against the master of this vessel, who was detained in gaol up to eight o'clock on Friday evening, in consequence of a judgment obtained against him some time ago in the District Court, because of short delivery and the disgraceful state in which he delivered his cargo to importers. When Captain McLean would be able to procure his release seemed problematical, and the Blundell lay at her moorings in the river fouling her bottom and rapidly eating up her value in expenses. The public had become familiar with this vessel, and most people came to regard her as a fixture in our harbour, so long as she held together—which last was a point on which no two nautical men agreed."

But by some means Captain McLean became possessed of money sufficient to pay the amount for which he was detained—£60—at the suit of Messrs. Gilfillan and Co., and on Friday night he was set at large. Once at liberty the master of the Blundell did not let the grass grow under his feet, for, as the sequel proved, his arrangements were complete. He went on board his vessel, and at an advanced hour of the night lights were hoisted, answered from the shore, and two boats went alongside. The sails were bent, anchors tripped, and at two o'clock next morning the Blundell took an abrupt farewell of Auckland. So far as is known, the crew consisted of the master, the former second mate, and three seamen. The first mate remained behind in Auckland.

As the Blundell had left without a clearance, she had no business to be on the high seas, and some of the Auckland merchants interested waited on the Governor, and asked him to send H.M.S. Miranda in pursuit, but that ship could not be spared, and Mclean got clean away.

Fourteen years before she made her prolonged appearance in Auckland, the Blundell visited Dunedin, being then in command of Captain C. Renaut, one of the most skilful men afloat in those days. She left London on May 4th, 1848, and arrived at Port Chalmers on September 21st, after a long passage of 140 days. After landing 140 passengers and cargo, she proceeded to Wellington, Nelson and New Plymouth, for each of which places she had passengers.