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'Matarua' - 1875

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"Diaries shed a light on the nerve of the settlers. The pioneers required courage to enable them, to step on board the sailing ships and set out on a voyage into the unknown. Some of the pioneers kept diaries, brief affairs, often no more than the state of the weather and the location of the ship, from the day they left their homes; others began and soon gave up the discipline as the boredom of slowly sailing over the limitless ocean asserted its influence. A few kept to the discipline for the whole of the journey."

Diary  by Thomas Scott, school master. He was a land surveyor, from Somerset, England, age 43, travelling with his wife and 16 year old daughter, Janet C. Scott, heading for Marlborough but it looks like he settled in Nelson on Trafalgar street south.  He published the weekly  "Mataura Magazine" on board, taught the children, wrote a diary until day 87. The vessel took 93 days to come out to Nelson. Unfortunately, by the time they got to New Zealand, the diary had become somewhat less full, and there are no comments or drawings about his the first sighting of Nelson.  There were only two spelling mistakes in the entire diary. Thomas' wife, Jane, died on the 59th day out. On page 36 there is a drawing of Tristan da Cunha, and on page 40 there are drawings of icebergs.

The Mataura, ship, John Gorn, from London, 8th August 1875, via Nelson 10 November 1875, and onto Port Chalmers. New Zealand Shipping Company, agents. She anchored off the Boulder Bank at noon on the 10th, 93 days from Gravesend, allowing for difference of time. Landed immigrants and left on the 14th. Brought out 216 immigrants, 75 of whom were for Nelson, 40 for New Plymouth, the remainder for Marlborough and Westland. The immigrants for New Plymouth were transferred to the steamer Taranaki yesterday evening, and sent on to their destination. The others will be landed this morning and, as soon afterwards as possible, the ship, will continue her voyage, to, Port Chalmers, for which place she has a cargo. The Health and Immigration officers boarded the ship shortly after her arrival, and found that except a few cases of whooping cough all was right. Fourteen deaths occurred on the passage, viz.,- a woman in child-birth (ruptured uterus due to premature labour), a man of disease of the liver, Jane Scott, age 35, [the wife of Thomas Scott, the schoolmaster, Matarua Magazine, editor,] and eleven children. A very anxious time was passed by Captain Gorn when in latitude 44deg south, when sailing through a  a field of icebergs for 151 miles ; the weather was bitterly cold, and one of the crew was frost-bitten. Surgeon-superintendent Patrick Kennedy, and the officers — Messrs R. Metcalf  [was here in the barque Mallard as chief officer eighteen months ago.] and P. Barnes. Captain Gorn is an o'd stager in New Zealand, having, been for two years in the pilot service at Port Chalmers.

Passenger List - immigrants for  Nelson             pdf 306k
         pdf 290k
                                                      Marlborough    pdf 298k
                                                      Westland         pdf 297k

Source: New Zealand Immigration Passenger Lists, 1871-1915, database, Family Search (opens up in a new window) Go to browse, port Nelson, 1875.
Nelson Evening Mail, 11 November 1875, Page 2

White Wings The Mataura, an iron ship, length, 200 feet; breadth, 33ft 6in; depth, 24ft4in. under the name of Dunfillan, was built at White Inch, County of Lanark and was launched in 1868 from the yard of Aitken & Mansell, Glasgow, and was purchased by the New Zealand Shipping Company in late 1873 from Wm Ross & Co. She is fitted up with all the latest modern improvements, including iron masts, steel yards, steam winch, and a condenser capable of condensing 300 gallons per diem. . She was a full-rigged ship of 853 tons, fitted with Haslam's Patent Freezing Machinery and took the second cargo of frozen meat from New Zealand. The first load having been taken by the 'Dunedin' in February 1882. In 1882 she was re-rigged as a barque.  In 1895 she was sold to Captain Bruusguard of Drammen, Norway,  for £2800 and renamed 'Alida'. Dismasted and abandoned in the Pacific Ocean on 24 August 1900. Do a broad search for Mataura sailing ship to see a beautiful b/w photo of the vessel at the Alexander Turnbull Library from the De Maus collection.

She is a splendid specimen of naval architecture, and remarkably well finished, and a finer ship has never left the waters of Blind Bay. Her lines are suggestive of good sailing qualities.


Otago Witness  Nov. 20 1875  Page 11
The performance of the ship Mataura this voyage should be no less gratifying to her owners (the New Zealand Shipping Company) than it is creditable to her new master, Captain Gorn. She is from London, and called at Nelson to land a number of immigrants with whom she was entrusted. 255 souls, exclusive of the crew, found safe and comfortable quarters on board the good ship, and were landed at Nelson on the 93rd day from Britain, and would have reached their destination two days earlier but for exceptionally thick dirty weather, that detained the ship on the West Coast before she could make a landfall. She has reached here on the 100th day from London, and made remarkably smart work of it since she arrived in the Colony, having occupied only seven days in landing the immigrants at Nelson, and found her way round the coast this far.  Our Nelson contemporary (the Mail) speaks highly of the condition of the ship and her passengers when she arrived at that port.
    She was the very pink of cleanliness and good order, and the passengers were in excellent health and loud in their praises of the ship, her Captain, doctor, and officers, and demonstrated their gratification in a cordially worded testimonial. Strict discipline was preserved during the passage.  The immigrants were told off in batches, were exercised in fire and boat drill, and cheerfully played their part in the precautions adopted to stave off those dire calamities fire and wreck. Captain Gorn and the Surgeon Superintendent (Dr Kennedy) used every reasonable means to promote the happiness of their numerous charges.  Readings and concerts were held frequently, and a weekly MS paper, entitled the "Mataura Magazine," was published on board. Twelve deaths occurred, in in the case of infants under one year of age and two adults. The Mataura left Gravesend on. August 8th, worked down Channel against westerly winds with very thick weather, and took her departure from the Start on the 10th. Here she was kept away, passed Cape Farewell in the evening beat up Blind Bay, and anchored off the Boulder Bank at noon on the 10th, 93 days from Gravesend, allowing the difference in time. Landed immigrants and left on the 14th, was bee timed a few hours in the Strait and then picked up a N.W. breeze, which carried her through and to the Kaikouras. Thence she experienced light variable winds until early yesterday morning, when a N.E. breeze sprung up and brought her into port. She sailed up harbour and anchored off Deborah Bay. The Mataura has some 700 tons of cargo, chiefly railway plant, for this port.  

Marlborough Express, 13 November 1875, Page 5
The Lyttelton is expected to-morrow from Nelson with 50 immigrants arrived by the Mataura. She is to leave again for Wellington on Monday, and on her return is to go to Nelson.
Nelson, Nov. 9. Forty of the Mataura's immigrants were forwarded to Taranaki to-day ; the remainder will be landed to-morrow.

Appendix to the Journals of the House of Representatives of New Zealand 1876 Volume 1 - Page 22

Commissioners' Report on Ship "Mataura."
The "Mataura" left Gravesend on the 8th of August, with 216 souls, equal to 176 adults, and arrived here on the 10th of November, making the passage in ninety-three days. The immigrants were allotted as follows:—To Nelson, 63 adults; to Taranaki, 30 adults; to Marlborough, 41 adults; to Westland, 41 adults.

The Commissioners and Health Officer boarded the "Mataura" about five miles from the entrance to the harbour, and found, on going alongside, that there had been several cases of whooping-cough amongst the children during the passage. As most of the sufferers had recovered, and the disease had been prevalent in Nelson only recently, the Health Officer saw no objection to the immigrants being landed. The "Mataura" having no cargo for this port she did not enter the harbour, but landed her immigrants and their luggage the following day by means of a small steamer,—all except those intended for New Plymouth, who were taken from alongside the same evening by the steamer "Taranaki," and landed at their destination the next forenoon.

We found the ship in a very satisfactory condition. The fittings were well arranged, except that the sleeping berths next adjoining the sides of the ship were too close to allow of a free current of air inside them. The whole 'tween-decks were exceedingly clean and of good height, and no complaints were made by the immigrants in reply to our inquiries. The children, on the whole, were not so robust as in the two previous immigrant ships, nor were several of their parents constitutionally strong. Many of the children had suffered severely from whooping-cough, and their want of stamina had increased the death-roll, which was in excess of that on board previous vessels to Nelson except the "Adamant." The voyage, though not attended with much rough weather, was a severe one, owing to extensive fields of ice encountered by the ship in a low latitude—an experience which befel other vessels about the same time bound to this colony. Excessive cold created great discomfort on board. Several of the children suffered severely from chilblains, from which some have not yet recovered, and one, a boy of about thirteen now in hospital here, will probably have to lose two of his toes. Besides two married women and seven children—equal to 51 adults—four children under a year old died on board, including two prematurely born during the passage. The surgeon-superintendent complains in his journal that in the early part of the voyage the quality of the bread was bad, and thinks this was in some measure attributable to the use of kiln-dried flour. The intimate connection between sour bread and diarrhoea in children on board immigrant ships makes it important that the flour put on board should be faultless for making wholesome bread. That which we tasted on board after the ship's arrival was fairly good. The surgeon-superintendent also complained of the port wine supplied as a medical comfort, a sample of which is herewith forwarded. It being a well-known fact that much of what is called "port wine " is only a manufactured article, we are of opinion that pure Australian wine would be greatly preferable for medical purposes. The exemplary attention given by the surgeon-superintendent, Dr. Kennedy, to his patients, was testified to by all on board, and should he seek further employment from Government we recommend that he may be engaged. We feel bound also to commend the conduct of Captain Gorn, who was well supported by his officers. The only complaint against Captain Gorn was his being a strict disciplinarian, but this was only while enforcing rules framed for the comfort and safety of those placed in his charge, as his kindness otherwise was unbounded. An excellent code of rules was framed at the commencement of the voyage, and a copy pasted up in each compartment of the ship, one of which is attached. If a similar practice was observed on board every vessel carrying immigrants it would tend to the safety of life in the event of an accident occurring.

Leonard Boor, James S. Cross, C. Elliott.
Nelson., 20th November, 1875. 

Voyage Account

Tuapeka Times, 24 November 1875, Page 3
The Mataura left Gravesend on August 8, and took her departure from the Start on the 10th. She got the N.B trades on the 24th in 35, and lost them on the 31st in 16. Thence experienced variable winds with nun to September 13, when she got the SE. trades in IN. Crossed the equator on the 14th in 23, and lost the trades on the 23rd. Passed the meridian of Greenwich on October 6, in 39 and the Cape on the 10th in 42. On the 13th and 14tU passed an enormous quantity of icebergs and floating ice, which was not lost sight of for a distance of 180 miles. Passed the meridian of Tasmania on the 3rd of .November, and made Bock Point at noon on the 9th. Arrived at Nelson at noon on the 10th Landed 250 immigrants, who were under the charge of Dr Kennedy, and left again on the 13th. Had head winds to the French Pass, when she got a N.W. wind through the Straits as far as the Kaikoura, thence light baffling winds until this morning (17th Nov.), when she got a N.E. wind, which continued till arrival off the Heads at 11 o'clock. Account

 The Mataura brought three cabin passengers for Otago:

Mataura, ship, Gorn, from London, via Nelson. New Zealand Shipping Company, agents.
Cabin Passengers for Dunedin:
From London – Binny Mr W, Mrs and son [Binney]
From Nelson – Hughes Mr and Mrs 


Scott, Thomas, 1821-1901 On the road to Havelock, New Zealand  pdf 7,379k courtesy of Margaret Robinson of Wellington. Margaret is developing the Nelson Genealogy website. A descendant of Thomas Scott, Jim Wall, of Bellerive, Tasmania has the original diary. This transcription of a shipboard journal kept by Scott on board the `Mataura' in 1875 gives a very full description of events and passengers, and includes copy of instructions given to the schoolmaster; also genealogical chart and family history written by J. R. Wall. Scott was schoolmaster on board the `Mataura'. Copy at the Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, N.Z.

Second Wife

Rosa Caroline Harris, came out to New Zealand to marry Thomas Scott in 1877. She (who had been trained as a teacher at Whitelands College in Chelsea, and worked as a teacher in Birmingham) set up a boarding school for girls, called "Mrs Scott's School", at Rose Bank, College Hill, and Thomas later worked with her as a drawing and music teacher. At the beginning of 1877, he was advertising evening classes for young men in the Nelson Evening Mail. See The Cyclopedia of New Zealand. pg119 and page 66. Thomas Scott wrote poems - the original exercise book is in the Isel Museum in Stoke. They had two sons born:
1879  Thomas Chapman Campbell Scott
1880  Arthur Leonard Scott
Thomas Scott  was a native of the North of Ireland and was educated at Valencia, a small island SW of Ireland. He taught at Brixton, in England. He died on 7th July 1901, aged 79, in the Cathedral at Nelson, N.Z. while waiting for Evensong to commence - Evensong was cancelled that evening out of respect. He was buried at the Wakapuka Cemetery in plot 1, block 11. Funeral Rosa is buried in the same pot 20 Oct. 1905 and Janet's daughter, Ada, is buried in the same plot.

Nelson Evening Mail, 22 December 1880, Page 2
Marriage. Humphreys — Scott.— On the 22nd December, at Christ Church, Nelson, by the Rev J. Leighton, William J. Humphreys, son of Capt. Humphreys (H.M. 24th Regiment) Dovedale, to Janet Carroll Scott, youngest daughter of Thomas Scott, Trafalgar street south, Nelson.

1882 Humphreys William Henry
1885 Humphreys Kate Frances Gwendoline  m. Hugh E. Fuller at Seddon, 19 April 1911
1887 Humphreys Margaret Janet m. Andrew Clinch, at Seddon, 23 March 1911
1889 Humphreys Rose Julia
1892 Humphreys Edward Thomas m. Miss Wynn Conner Nov. 1921
1900 Humphreys Charles Seddon
1902 Humphreys Ada Elizabeth

WEBBER, William 1843-1903

A ropemaker from Devon, England, William Webber emigrated to New Plymouth, NZ on the 'Mataura' in 1875, with his wife, Matilda, and six children. His journal, 14 pages, in the form of a letter sent to his sister  (Aug-Nov 1875) describes daily events on board the ship Mataura. Taranaki Museum Archives.

Taranaki Herald, 17 November 1875, Page 2
Rope walk.— An application was read from Mr. Webber, an immigrant by the 'Mataura,' stating that he had brought the necessary tools for rope making, and wished for permission to encroach upon Lemon-street for a rope walk ; also to be allowed to erect a shed in front of his section 992 for the wheel. Matter referred to the Working Committee with power to grant permission if it was found not to interfere with the public traffic or was not likely to inconvenience the inhabitants.

Taranaki Herald, 31 July 1903, Page 4
The funeral of the late William T. Webber will leave his late residence, Lemon-street, for Te Henui Cemetery, on Monday, the 3rd August, at 2.30 p.m.

Descendants of William and Matilda Webber - from England to New Zealand
Large format, card covers. 171 pages. b/w illust throughout. William and Matilda Elizabeth (nee Jackman) (d.1926 age 86) left Gravesend, England, 1875. Sailed on the
Matarua, arrived Nelson, left for New Plymouth on the steamer Taranaki  ... started a rope making factory in Grover St.

Eliza Ann Webber 			m. Walter Charles Kisby 
Emily Webber 				m. James Shearer 
William Thomas Webber 		m. Eveleen Bland 
Louisa Maud Webber 			m. John William Taylor 
Albert Edward Webber 			m. Nellie Rosina Jones 
Jessie Matilda Webber (d. 1935, age 61) m. John Thrush 
James Frederick Webber b. 1877 NZ 	m. Matilda Elizabeth Johanson 
Florence Eva b. 1879
Charles Webber b. 1880 		m. May Humphrey Beatty. 
Albert died at age 94 in 1966 and is buried in the Wesleyan Block Te Henui Cemetery, New Plymouth.
Jessie Matilda Thrush died 3 Sep 1935 and is buried at the Te Henui Cemetery in the Primitive Methodist block.
She was 1½ years old when she came out.  So died at age c.61. 

Ebenezer and Mary Ann Griffin immigrated in 1875 to NZ on the 'Mataura'

Deaths and births from Mr. Thomas Scott's diary

The newspaper articles only reported eleven deaths but by reading Mr Scott's diary and the newspaper of the day there were fourteen deaths. Jane not so well owing to the Medicine no doubt wrote Thomas Scott, schoolmaster. The Doctor recommends chest physical therapy - day 58. We still do that today. The "Mataura" left Gravesend on August 8, at 3 a.m., and proceeded to sea, having on board 33 married couples, : with 29 boys, 31 girls, and 11 infants; 40 single men, 42 single women, 3 cabin passengers, and a crew of 33, making a total of 255 souls. Mr Thomas Scott read three of the burial services.

10th day Tuesday  	Aug. 17th 1875 	 1st death onboard, a boy of 5 months (child of Schofield)
39th day Wednesday  	Sept. 15 1875 	 2nd death Mr Brosnan's child (a boy) 
51st day Monday   	Sept. 27th 1875  3rd death Mr Entwell's child (a girl)
52nd day Tuesday 	Sept. 28th 1875  4th death Daller's child, a boy 32 s 25 W
55th day Friday 	Oct. 1st 1875 	 5th death Mr Anderson's child (girl)
59th day Tuesday    	Oct. 5th 1875 	 6th death Mrs Jane Scott, wife of the school master
70th Day Saturday  	Oct. 16th 1875 	 7th death Mrs Sarah Peverill age 23. Ruptured uterus caused by premature labour, w/o George W. Peverall 
	 				 8th death Cater child died.
71st day Sunday 	Oct. 18th 1875	 9th death Mrs Peverall's infant, female, died.
73rd day Tuesday 	Oct. 19th 1875 	10th death Arbuckle child
74th day Wednesday 	Oct. 20th 1875  11th death Mrs Cudd confined and child died.
75th day Thursday 	Oct. 21st 1875 	12th death John McCormack died aged 14 months
76th day Friday   	Oct. 22nd 1875	13th death Brown child died.

79th day 25th Oct. 1875 Birth
Mrs Tremain confined of a daughter, premature.
There was another birth on page 47, a boy.


11th. The Taranaki left Nelson last night for Taranaki and Manukau. She transhipped 40 immigrants from the ship Mataura, for the former port.

Taranaki Herald, 13 November 1875, Page 2 IMMIGRANTS BY THE 'MATAURA.' 
The immigrants by this vessel, which arrived at Nelson on Wednesday 10th Nov., 
were brought out here in the s.s. 'Taranaki,' and were landed the following day. 
The following are the names of the immigrants that have arrived: — 
Carter: 	George   32 shepherd 				Lincolnshire (His family remains for the present in Nelson) 
Cudd: 		Joseph   34 ropemaker 		Annie   29 	John, 8; Emma, 6; George, 4; Alice, 1, Dublin 
Griffin: 	Ebenezer 37 labourer  		Mary    38  	Ada, 9; Eva, 5; Arthur, 3; Rebecca, infant, Somersetshire 
Pearce: 	George   30 wheelwright  	Annie   30  	George, 2 ; William, infant, Wiltshire 
Rumbolt: 	Joseph   43 farm labourer 	Sarah 	40  	Mary, 10, Herts 
Webber, 	William  32 ropemaker  		Matilda 35  	Emily, 11; William,; Louisa, G; Albert, 3 ; Jessie, 1, Devon 
Williamson: 	George   25 labourer  		Maria 	25 	Lincolnshire 

Single Men 
Drury: 		William    42 farm labourer; John, 12 ; William, G, Kent 
Griffin: 	Theophilus 18 labourer Somersetshire 

Single Women 
Drury: 		Elizabeth 15 servant Kent 
Drury: 		Kate 	  10 servant Kent 
Drury: 		Annie      8 servant Kent 
Griffin: 	Alice 	  17 servant Somersetshire 
Webber: 	Annie 	  12 servant Devon  

Wanganui Herald, 28 January 1899, Page 4 JOYS OF THE WAVES.
The steamer rolled and pitched in the waves. 'Deah boy,' groaned Edwin at the end of his first hour on shipboard, ' promise me you will send my remains home to my people. A second hour passed. 'Deah boy,' feebly moaned Edwin, 'you needn't send my remains home. There won't be any.'

Page created 17 May 2011 The passenger lists took Carol took about 10 hours to transcribed.  Thanks Carol, very neatly presented.