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

The Duke Of Portland

The Duke Of Portland.

One of the finest sailers sent out to New Zealand in the early fifties was the 533 ton ship Duke of Portland, owned by Messrs. F. Young and Co., of London, which brought many honoured passengers to New Zealand, including Bishop Selwyn and Mrs. Selwyn, who landed at Auckland in 1855. The Duke of Portland made her first appearance in the colony in 1851. Under the command of Captain William John Cubitt, she sailed from London on June 11th, and Portsmouth on the 18th, and arrived at Lyttelton on September 26th, after an uneventful passage of 100 days. She landed 26 cabin and over 100 steerage passengers, and on October 13th sailed for Auckland, for which port she had 24 saloon and some steerage passengers. She reached Auckland on October 23rd, and entered the Waitemata by the Eastern Passage, instead of coming in by the Rangitoto Channel, which is the usual entrance for vessels making the port.

In 1854 the ship, under the command of Captain Seymour, made the record passage to date between Plymouth and Nelson, 88 days. She sailed from Plymouth on the 19th November, 1853, crossed the equator on December 1st, rounded the Cape 26 days later, and made the New Zealand coast at Cascade Point, South Island, on the last day in January—82 days from Plymouth, arriving at Nelson on the, 5th February.

The Duke of Portland visited Auckland in 1855, and the "New Zealander," in reporting her arrival said: "The Duke continues to maintain the reputation she has so deservedly acquired in the New Zealand trade, that of a punctual and trustworthy clipper, having arrived in harbour after a fine passage of 93 days from the Lizard. She left Gravesend on the 29th March." Among the passengers landed at Auckland on this voyage, in addition to Bishop and Mrs. Selwyn, were the Revs. J. C. Batheson, J. Carter, Harper, and H. Harris. After discharging part of her cargo the ship went on to New Plymouth, for which port she had 29 passengers, and arrived there on August 19th.

Here follows the record of the ship's passages to New Zealand:

To Auckland.
Sailed. Arrived. Captain. Days.
June 20th October 23rd, 1851 Cubitt (via Lyttelton)
March 29th July 5th, 1855 Seymour 98
(from Lizard, 93)
To Wellington.
Sailed. Arrived. Captain.
Nov. 8th, 1853 Feby. 12th, 1854 Seymour (via Nelson)page 147
To Lyttelton.
Sailed. Arrived. Captain. Days.
June 18th Sept. 26th, 1851 Cubitt 100
June 20th October 21st, 1852 Alexander 123
Nov. 8th, 1853 March 27th, 1854 Seymour (via Wellington and Nelson)
To Nelson.
Sailed. Arrived. Captain. Days.
Nov. 8th, 1853 Feby. 7th, 1854 Seymour 91 (from Plymouth, 88 days)
To New Plymouth.
Sailed. Arrived. Captain.
March 29th August 19th, 1855 Seymour (via Auckland)