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'Pleiades'

New Zealand Bound
to Lyttelton from London in 1880 in 86 days

The following is a transcript from

Star 26 January 1880, Page 2 Lyttelton THE PLEIADES, FROM LONDON.
Messrs Shaw, Saville and Co.'s ship Pleiades Captain Setten, arrived from London this morning, 86 days out, with 21 saloon, six second cabin, and, 82 steerage passengers. Total passengers 114.

Arrived. Jan 26. Pleiades, Ship, 996 tons, Setten, from London. Passengers:
Saloon- J.D. Davis, E.S. Davis; S. Davis, S. Gray, Mrs L. Gray, Mr Marten, Mrs Marten, Rev D. M'Kee, Jane M'Kee, Rebecca McKee, Letty M'Kee, James M'Kee, Helen, M'Kee, Rebecca M'Kee, Lizzie M'Kee, Sally M'Kee, Robert M'Kee, Willie M'kee, Miss Baker, Agnes Bell, George Platt, E.C. Gilmore, Mrs A. Gilmore, Mrs Wallace, Francis Wallace, Mr Wallace, A.H. Barrow.
Second cabin: Donald McPherson, W.H. Snowball, Elizabeth Barton, Ellen Barton, Ellen Holloway, H.E. Pellet, C.M. Lee; 82 steerage.

Press, 27 January 1880, Page 2 Port of Lyttelton
Arrived. Jan 26. Pleiades, Ship, 996 tons, Setten, from London. Passengers: Saloon- ... 82 steerage.

Steerage (80) (missing two names) 

Anderson     	P
Booth 		William
Booth 		Mary
Boyd 		Alexander
Emery 		Alfred
Clarke 		Mary S
Cole 		John Richard
Cole 		Jane
Cole 		Alexander
Cole 		Minnie
Collier 	William
Elkin 		Thomas
Gill 		Robert
Hamilton 	A
Hamilton 	Walter
Hammond 	Christopher
Holland 	Thomas
Jackson 	Thomas
Jackson 	Mary Ann
James 		John
Kent 		Charles
Lennox 		James
Lennox 		Eliza
Lennox 		James
Lennox 		Jane Fernie
McDougall 	John
McDowell 	A
McGilwary 	Jessie
Mitchell 	David
Moore 		William
Moore 		Ann
Moore 		William
Morris 		Robert
Morris 		Samuel
Nichol 		James
Nickels 	Elizabeth
Nickels 	Charlotte
Nowles 		Henry B
Oliver 		Walter
Oliver 		Ann
Parkinson 	H.
Pattia 		Eliza
Perry 		George
Perry 		John
Perry 		Jane
Perry 		John
Pour 		A.R.
Power 		William
Quayll 		Thomas
Quick 		Emma
Quick 		Henry
Quick 		Henry Charles
Quick 		Mary
Rogerson 	Samuel
Simpson 	Charles
Simpson 	Essie
Slinn 		T.P.
Slinn 		Mrs M.E.
Slinn 		Thomas
Slinn 		Percy
Slinn 		Sydney
Slinn 		Florence
Snell 		John
Taylor 		Joseph
Taylor 		Henry
Toole 		James
Treeborn 	J.A.
Treeborn 	Ellen
Treeborm 	William
Treeborn 	Elizabeth
Treeborn 	Samuel
Treeborn 	Hannah
Trigg 		Alexander
Trigg 		Edward
Trigg 		Arthur
Tspley 		Charles
Wallace 	Elizabeth
Wallace 	Fanny
Whitock 	Thomas
Wilkinson 	T.E.
Wilson 		Peter


ATL image. The Pleiades alongside a wharf at Lyttelton Harbour. photo taken by William Ferrier.

Voyage Account

Press, 27 January 1880, Page 2 THE PLEIADES.
Messrs Shaw, Savill and Company's ship of this name entered the port yesterday at 5 a.m. completing one of the fastest voyages from London recorded this season. She left the docks on November 1st, the Downs next day, and the Start on November 3rd, with a large general cargo and one hundred and fourteen passengers of all classes. The passage, in addition to being a speedy one, was throughout exempt from serious sickness, and free from accident to the ship up to January 21st, when the vessel was within one hundred miles of this coast. The logged position of the ship was lat. 48 S long. 163 E, when a heavy gale from W. to W.S.W. was encountered, which increased to a hurricane, the ship being put under two close reefed topsails, the upper maintopsail having been blown away. A heavy cross sea was running, and repeatedly broke aboard fore and aft, filling the decks with water. One very heavy sea struck the ship in the waist, which burst the iron bulwarks and started four stancheons. It knocked the sheep pens to pieces, and took everything moveable off the deck. Another sea lifted the lifeboat out of the davits, stove it in, and threw it across the deck, tearing the davits from their sockets, and washing everything out of the boat. Fortunately there was no loss of life, nor injury sustained by the passengers or crew. A second mishap occurred to the ship when she was about one hundred miles south from Lyttelton, and which was supposed to be an after result of the rough usage by the gale described above. The ship was in stays at the time and the steering gear broke, the wheel bang shattered to pieces. A temporary taller was at once rigged, and the ship brought into port safely with it. With these exceptions, the voyage was a moderate one, and uneventful. The passengers were a happy and sociable lot of people, and expressed their good opinion of the ship, their appreciation of her commander, and their admiration of Mrs Setten in a testimonial, which they presented to Captain Setten. Concerts and other entertainments were given by the Pleiades Entertainment Company two or three times weekly, and a concert by the crew in aid of the Dreadnought fund, realising £8. Four vessels were spoken, their names and positions being as follows: —
November 14th. in lat. 29 long.- 21 W., the three masted schooner Koh-i-noor, from Liverpool to Demerara;
December 2nd, lat. 3 N„ long. 23 W., the ship County of Carnavon, from Cardiff to Bombay;
January Ist, in lat 45.12 S.. long. 43 X, the American ship Llewellyn, J. Morse, from New York to Yokohama. She wished to be reported all well.
On 3rd January, in lat. 46 S, long. 62 E., the Pegasus, of Liverpool, in company, steering eastward, in ballast, apparently bound to the colonies.

The account of the voyage supplied by Captain Setten, is—After leaving the start, and having made a run of but thirty nine hours down the Channel, fine easterly winds were experienced to Madeira, passed November 19th. Thence to the Equator, on December 4th, in 26 W., light baffling winds prevailed, with occasional run and heavy thunder and lightning, instead of the expected N.E. trades. Fine S.E. trades were picked up at the line, and held to 21 S. The meridian of the Cape was crossed on Christmas Eve, the weather having been very fine previously from losing the trades. Off the Cape a heavy westerly gale was encountered, and strong winds, varying from N.W. to S.W., ware earned right along from there to the Snares. On  making this Coast the first land seen was the Nuggets, passed at 1.30 p.m. last Wednesday with a southerly wind, and Otago Heads were passed same day. The wind died away that night, and came light northerly. Akaroa Heads were passed on Saturday at noon, and Godley Head made out at 8 p.m. on Sunday night. The pilot boarded at 2.30 yesterday morning. The health officer and the officer representing the Board of Trade, visited the ship on arrival, and made their official examination of the vessel and her passengers. Amongst the latter a second cabin passenger young man, by name H. Piliatt, a compositor, was found to be far spent from consumption. It was ascertained that he was one of the many ill-advised invalids who have been started on a long sea voyage as a means of recovery from an incurable disease, and the passengers staled that, had it not been for the constant care of the captain and Mrs Setten he would almost of a certainty never have reached his destination alive. As it is he will probably be taken to the Hospital, and it is intended to enforce the regulations of the Passenger Act against the ship, which will be required to enter into a bond as provided. The Pleiades landed the greater portion other passengers yesterday, and to-day will be entered at the Customs by her agents, Messrs Edwards, Bennett, and Co.


Star 19 October 1880, Page 2 Death
M'Kee: Oct. 18, at his residence, Meriden, Merivale lane, the Rev David M'Kee, Minister of the North belt Presbyterian Church of this City, and late of Rutland square Presbyterian Church, Dublin. [age 41] [Sarah Jane McKee, widow of the Rev David McKee, had been left with nine children on the death of her husband, and was bringing them up with the assistance of her mother-in-law, Rebecca McKee] [his nephew was the famous NZ poet Rev. David Kee Wright]

David R McKee
Date of death: Wednesday, 20 October 1880
Date of burial: Wednesday, 20 October 1880
Cemetery: Addington Block number: 0 Plot number: 734
Age: 41 years

Star, 15 November 1892, Page 2
McKee : At Hawthornden, Upper Fendalton, on the 11th inst., Rebecca McKee, aged eighty three years. Widow of the late Rev David McKee, of Anaghlone, County Down, Ireland. [Rebecca was 71 when she immigrated to Canterbury in 1880]

Rebecca Todd McKee
Year of Death: 1892
Location: Addington Cemetery, Christchurch Q10.01
Age: 84

Evening Post, 9 August 1937, Page 14 MRS. DAVID McKEE
The death is announced of Mrs. Sarah Jane McKee, of Fendalton, widow of the Rev. David McKee, who, with his wife and eight children, arrived in Lyttelton from Dublin in 1880, and was the first minister of Knox-Church, Bealey Avenue. He came to New Zealand with the, hope of benefiting his health, but he died some months after his arrival. Mrs. McKee, who celebrated her ninety-fifth birthday in June, was born in Rathfliland, County Down, Ireland, and was married at the age of 22 years. After her husband's death she lived at "Hawthornden," on the borders of Upper Fendalton, where she established a Sunday school and to her is due the credit of starting the first mothers' meeting in Christchurch. Later she opened a boarding school for girls at "Inveresk," and afterwards conducted Avonside College, where her daughters and Miss Jessie Mackay, the well-known New Zealand writer, were members of her teaching staff. She took an active part in women's movements in the city, especially in the temperance movement, but in recent years she lived in retirement in Fendalton. Mrs. McKee was a gifted member-of a clever family, one of her brothers being Judge Dodd, of Dublin. Writing of her on her ninety-fifth birthday, Miss Jessie Mackay said, "She may well be called an Irish mother in Israel." There was a wider motherhood in her mind than that which builds one home and is satisfied. She had that understanding which mothers the world in its charity. She seemed to have instincts to know when and how to touch (lives that needed her." Mrs. McKee leaves a family of six daughters, Mrs. Hugh Hunter. (Riccarton), Mrs. J. Dickson. (Clifton), Mrs. J. J. Brownlee (England), Misses. E. McKee, S. McKee, and J. A. McKee (Christchurch).

Oamaru Mail, 9 August 1897, Page 4
The Rev. J. B. Lusk, writing from the Ballynaskeagh Manse, says: Henry M'Fadden, who tells about the runaway match (of Hugh Bronte and Alice), the attempted conversion of Hugh Bronte, the great Bronte battle, etc., lies grievously ill (xt. 97, he says), but is going to pull through, I think." Henry M'Fadden is the only man living, if still alive, who remembers Hugh, the father of Patrick, and grandfather of the novelists.


Manse sketch and map from William Wright's book (author of The Brontes of Ireland) born 1837 County Down, Ireland. Died 1899 England. He married Annie McKee, died 1877.  Dr. Wright' came under the influence of the Rev. David McKee, of Ballynaskeagh, he was a great educationalist of his time. The Bronte family resided in Rathfriland which is near Banbridge, County Down. The father of the Bronte sisters, the Rev. Joseph Bronte, was a minister there before taking a position in York, U.K. where the Bronte sisters were born.