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This tapestry of the Howrah was started by William and Martha BAYLIS during the voyage of the Howrah in 1876
The picture was drawn by the ship's carpenter on sail canvas
William and Martha's son Richard and his wife Elizabeth continued the tapestry in New Zealand
Their sons Horatio Baden Powell BAYLIS and Henry Richard William BAYLIS finally completed the tapestry and had it framed in the 1930s

The Howrah was ten years from the stocks when first chartered for three voyages to New Zealand. She was an iron ship of 1,098 tons, built at Sunderland in 1864 by Pile. She sailed from London on her first voyage to the colony on the 26th August, 1874, with 380 immigrants, and during the voyage encountered some very rough weather. She made the passage in 96 days, arriving at Wellington on the 30th November. During the voyage ten deaths occurred

The following year, 1875, the Howrah made her second voyage to Wellington, sailing from London with 260 immigrants on the 30th July, and arriving at her destination on the 9th November, the passage occupying 92 days. During the passage a passenger was caught stabbing a cat, and the Captain ordered it to be thrown overboard. Up to this the ship had been favoured with good winds, but shortly after the cat incident she met with rough weather and contrary winds. In accordance with a nautical superstition the passengers attributed the succession of unfavourable winds to the killing and throwing overboard of the cat

In 1876 the Howrah sailed from London on the 29th July, with 286 immigrants, for Nelson and Wellington. She arrived at Nelson on the 9th November, and landed 200 of her passengers, and then proceeded to Wellington, where she arrived on the 18th November, and landed the remainder of her immigrants, 86 souls. Captain Greeves commanded the ship on the three voyages, and was still in charge in 1878

THE ARRIVAL OF THE HOWRAH (NZ Mail of 25 November 1876, page 11)

The New Zealand Shipping Company’s good ship Howrah, from London via Nelson, was signalled as at the Heads early on Saturday morning

At 10 a.m. it was notified that the s.s. Hinemoa had her in tow, and at 11.30 a.m. they entered the harbor, the Howrah anchoring in the powder ground. On boarding her we were welcomed by Captain Greeves, who is so long and favorably known in connection with this ship, and to him we are indebted for all particulars regarding her, and those under her care. The Howrah arrived in Nelson on the 9th instant, at 6 p.m. with 290 immigrants on board, all in excellent health, after a passage of 102 days from Gravesend, and 96 days from land to land. There were two deaths on the voyage, one a child five months old, who was dying when the ship left Gravesend; and the other a child four days old that died through inanition.

Most of the immigrants were landed at Nelson, only 86 of them being for this port. They are described by the Nelson papers as a fine healthy lot, who spoke highly of the gentlemen who had charge of them during the voyage – Dr Percy Lee (a gentleman of considerable experience in the management of immigrants, and who has been to this colony in this same capacity several times), and the captain and officers. For our part, judging from the number we have seen, they appear to be a very desirable lot of immigrants of the right class, and who will have no difficulty in obtaining employment.

The voyage accomplished by the Howrah to Nelson was uneventful, and is rather over her average runs; but she had made good time of it, considering the unfavourable weather which she experienced. She left Gravesend at 3 p.m. on the 29th July, and had to work down the Channel against light winds. The Channel pilot left the ship on the 2nd of August, and at 8 p.m. on the 6th the Lizards were passed, then variable weather was experienced, with winds which were for the most part ahead, till the first of the N.E. trades were picked up on the 21st, , in latitude 32 N, longitude 18 W. They were light and fickle, and gave out ten days in latitude 12 N., longitude 26 W. Fine weather with moderate winds were afterwards experienced, till crossing the line on September 11th, when again light winds held sway. Sighted the island of Tristan d’Acuna on the 27th. The S.E. trades were run through and found to be poor and variable, occasionally shifting into the south. Rounded the Cape of Good Hope on the 6th October, and ran the casting down between the parallels of 40 and 44, with the westerly winds, which varied from light breezes to strong gales, and the vessel here made her best running, doing in one day, October 14, 317 miles, and her finest day’s work, 320 miles, on October 25. Passed Tasmania on the 2nd November with a fresh breeze from the south and thence had strong variable winds still sighting Cape Farewell on the morning on the 8th instant, when a fresh S.E. breeze sprang up and carried the vessel to an anchorage at Nelson next day. The following vessels were spoken on the voyage that wished to be reported: - Barque Hopewell, from London, for Sydney, on August 30 in lat. 12deg. 57min N., long. 26deg. 15min.W.; barque Loch Cree, from Liverpool to Hongkong, on same date; ship Ballochmeyle, from Liverpool to Calcutta, same date; ship City of Auckland, from London, for Auckland, on September 3, in lat. 8deg. 1min N., long. 20deg. 9min. W.; ship James Livesey, from Liverpool, for Calcutta, on October 2, in lat. 39deg. 31min. S., long, 9deg. 56min. E.; ship Calypso, from London from Otago, on October 29, in lat 44deg. 57min. S., long. 123deg. 53min. E. After disembarking her immigrants at Nelson, the Howrah sailed for this port on the 14th inst, with light westerly wind, and came through the Strait as far as Cape Jackson. At 10am on Wednesday the 15th the wind veered to the S.S.E., and all plain sail had to be taken in; at noon took in uppertop sail and stowed the mainsail, but while so doing an apprentice named P. Moore, fell from the mainyard on to the top deck, breaking his leg, knocking four of his teeth out, and severely lacerating his chin, and besides receiving several other injuries. The poor fellow is, up to the latest accounts, very low, and fears are entertained for his recovery. At 2 p.m. there was a very heavy S.E. gale blowing, and at 4 o’clock that evening a married woman, named Woodsworth, aged 23, died of consumption, and at 10 o’clock next morning the corpse was buried. All the previous night a terrific gale blew, and in the morning Stephen’s Island bore S.W. by S. distance 23 miles. That afternoon the wind fell to a calm, and at 10.20 on Friday a light N.W. breeze sprung up and brought her to the Heads, where the Hinemoa picked her up and towed her into port. The Howrah brings a large general cargo. The immigrants were landed on Saturday afternoon by the s.s. Moa.

The following is a list of their names and ages:-



    George 24
    Grace 21
    Elizabeth 3 months


    Lawrence 40
    Barbara 38
    Gilbert 11
    Elizabeth 9
    Margaret 7
    Lawrence 5
    George 4
    Catherine 1


    Lean 32
    Marie 32


    John 40
    Catherine 34
    Mary 10


    Alfred 20
    Emma 19


    William 25
    Frank 2
    Andrew 9 months


    Christian 29
    Caroline 24
    Lorenz 11 months


    Edward 30
    Mary 23



    Henry 28
    Mary 44


    Joseph 30
    Maria 30


    Thomas 30
    Ellen 28


    Samuel 37
    Pauline 35

Single women:

Anne Dalton 16
Bridget Barrett 20
Mary Campbell 29
Elizabeth Cross 25
Mary Goddard 27
Margaret Hoggan 21
Susan Hoggan 19
Margaret Johnstone 33
Margaret Ryan 22
Susan Towsend 21
Martha Ingram 18
Mary Stevenson 30
Catherine Blow 25
Margaret Patterson 19
Sarah Anty 33
Mary Cutler 17
Louise Cutler 15
Elizabeth Baylis 13
Kate Evenden 27
Bridget Heffermann 22
Mary Heffermann 16
Margaret O’Shea 35
Kate O’Shea 8
Margaret O’Shea 2
Eliza McNamara 19
Maggie McNamara 20
Elizabeth Gott 20

Single men

William Johnston 15
John Johnston 13
Stephen Barrett 22
John Campbell 33
John Montomgery 26
William Quinn 14
Denis Fahy 25
John Denson 25
Robert Anty 12
George Baylis 49
Thomas Baylis 15
Michael Donovan 22
Alfred Rockey 20
John O’Shea 11
James O’Shea 10
John O’Halloron 33
Michael Mulmhill 28
John Dwyer 15

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New Zealand