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'Lancashire Witch'

Painting of the 'Lancashire Witch' by marine artist Thomas Dutton.

The Illustrated London News April 27, 1867: LANCASHIRE WITCH 
"The ship Lancashire Witch, 1574 tons register, sailed recently from London for Canterbury NZ, with a full complement of cabin passengers [31 saloon, 12 second] and about 110 in the steerage. Of the latter 85 were Government passengers, and amongst them 52 single women, to whom free passages were given."  [92 passengers listed below.] 

Lyttelton Times version 1867 (opens in a new window)
The Star version 1923. (opens in a new window)

LANCASHIRE WITCH - sailed from London 02 April 1867 - arrived Lyttelton 29 July 1867, 110 days. Land to land 89 days. Captain King.


DAVIS 		Philip 		39 	Oxfordshire 	Cook 
		Eliza 		41 	
		Thomas 		18 	[ transferred to page 16 ]
		Henry 		16 	[ transferred to page 16 ]
WICKS 		Jemima 		23 	[ transferred to page 22 ]

JACKSON 	Hininan 	27 	Lincolnshire 	Farm Laborer 	[ Timaru ]  
		Ann 		22 					[ Timaru ]

SPOONER 	Joseph 		34 	Norfolk 	Farm Laborer
		Eliza 		35 
		Arthur 		 8 
		Agnes 		 5 
		Walter 		 3 

MURRAY 		Thomas 		25 	Ayrshire 	Farm Laborer 
		Jane 		22 
		Thomas 		 3 
		James 		 2 

GREIG 		Daniel 		34 	Fifeshire 	Farm Laborer 
		Isabella 	29 

SHEEHAN 	Thomas 		30	Cork 		Farm Laborer 
		Ellen 		28 
		William 	 6 
		John 		 3 

HENDERSON 	Thomas 		33 	Armagh 		Laborer 
		Elizabeth 	30 
		John 		 8 
		Susanna 	 6 
		William 	infant 


DAVIS 		Thomas 		18 	Oxfordshire	Laborer
		Henry 		16 	Oxfordshire	Laborer	 

CARVER 		Robt Wm 	22 	Leicestershire 	Grocer 

CROSS 		Will Peter 	19 	Yorkshire 	Farm Laborer 

CLARKSON 	Emmerson 	18 	Yorkshire 	Farm Laborer 

CLAY 		William 	21 	Warwickshire 	Baker 	

SWINDELL 	James 		25 	Middlesex 	Watch Maker 

HODGES 		Frankling 	10 	Cornwall 

FINDLAY 	Robert 		23 	Aberdeenshire 	Farm Laborer 

WALKER 		William 	20 	Londonderry 	Laborer 

WALLS 		Robert 		20 	Londonderry 	Laborer 

QUINN 		Thomas 		18 	Sligo 		Laborer 

OWENS 		William 	20 	Tipperary 	Domestic Servant 


WICKS 		Jemima 		23 	Oxfordshire 	Domestic Servant 

CLAY 		Sarah H 	19 	Warwickshire 	Domestic Servant [ Timaru ] 
BIRMINGHAM 	Mary 		21 	Warwickshire 	Cook 		 [ Timaru ] 

WALLS 		Mary Jane 	20 	Londonderry 	Domestic Servant 

QUINN 		Maria 		20 	Sligo 		Domestic Servant 

BANT 		Elizabeth 	37 	Middlesex 	Matron 

GEORGE 		Flora 		18 	Middlesex 	Domestic Servant 

SMALL 		Eliz. Alice 	25 	Middlesex 	Domestic Servant [ Timaru ] 
TOOLEY 		Theresa 	18 	Middlesex 	Domestic Servant [ Timaru ] 

MUDD 		Emily 		25 	Middlesex 	Domestic Servant

DANIELS 	Eliza 		17 	Surrey 		Domestic Servant 

GODDARD 	Harriet 	19	Surrey 		Domestic Servant 

RUSSELL 	Harriet 	31 	Surrey 		Dress Maker 

SMITH 		Elizabeth 	28 	Surrey 		Cook 

WEDERELL 	Emily 		22 	Surrey 		Barmaid 	[ Timaru ] 

WILLIAMS 	Emma 		21 	Hampshire 	Domestic Servant 

BEASLEY 	Eliza J 	17 	Middlesex 	Domestic Servant 

LEWIS 		Elizabeth 	22 	Wiltshire 	Milliner 
SECKERSON 	Mercy 		20 	Worcestershire 	Domestic Servant 

LOWTHER 	Emma 		19 	Cambridgeshire 	Domestic Servant 
 		Louisa 		14	Cambridgeshire 	Domestic Servant 

STRAIN 		Hephzibah 	22 	Worcestershire 	Dairy Maid 

LAWRENCE 	Louisa 		25 	Warwickshire 	Cook 

TRUMPER 	Ann 		26 	Herefordshire 	Domestic Servant 
		Eliza 		17 	Herefordshire 	Domestic Servant
COLLAY 		Emma 		14 	

HOSKEN 		Hester 		19 	Cornwall 	Domestic Servant [#  note 1 ]

CAMPBELL 	Jane 		28 	Perthshire 	Domestic Servant 
		Helen 		25 	Perthshire 	Domestic Servant 

SYME 		Grahame 	23 	Fifeshire 	Domestic Servant 

BAIRD 		Margaret 	38 	Stirling 	Cook 		 [ Timaru ] 

GILCHRIST 	Cathe 		19 	Donegal 	Domestic Servant [# note 1 ] 

PURDON 		Mary A 		23	Antrim 		Dairy Maid 	 [# notes 1+2 ]

FRIZZELL 	Rachel 		22 	Tyrone 		Domestic Servant 
BOYD 		Jane 		27 	Tyrone 		Domestic Servant [ Timaru ] 

MEADE 		Margaret 	20 	Kings 		Domestic Servant [ Timaru ]
ALEXANDER 	Jane 		25 	Kings 		Domestic Servant [ Timaru ]

BURN 		Margaret 	23 	Wicklow 	Domestic Servant 

WILLIAMS 	Prudence 	21 	Kerry 		Domestic Servant 

BRODIE 		Ellen 		21 	Limerick 	Domestic Servant 

ELDRIDGE 	Maria 		22 	Limerick 	Domestic Servant 

HICKEY 		Sarah 		25 	Tipperary 	Dairy Maid 	 [ Timaru ]

OWENS 		Mary 		28 	Tipperary 	Domestic Servant 
EDWARDS 	Sarah 		21 	Tipperary 	Domestic Servant [# note 1 ]

LAWLOR 		Ellen 		25 	Tipperary 	Domestic Servant
ST JOHN 	Mary 		25 	Tipperary 	Domestic Servant

FOSTER 		Mary Ann 	20 	Warwickshire 	Dress Maker 

BESWETHERICK 	Elizth 		25 	Cornwall 	Cook 

SWIFT 		Annie 		32 	Lancashire 	Nurse 

WRIGHT 		Hannah Mc	18 	Armagh 		Domestic Servant 
BENNETT 	Annie 		20 	Down 		Domestic Servant 
KELSO 		Ann 		19 	Down 		Domestic Servant 

# Note 1 = refused to go to Timaru after being engaged. There was a giant asterisk * in the margin by the surname, text in the comments. Timaru - was written over the surname in the column.  

# Note 2 = child by MEDLOW [?] of Papanui - this was in the margin on the better copy of the list. 

Source = Archives NZ, Chch - IM CH 4/78 1+2 
Transcribed by Ailsa Dodge, Christchurch.  Posted 28 Oct. 2004. Ailsa wrote "It was fortunate that there were two copies of the passenger list, by different hands, just as well as one was about a 3rd generation photocopy and a trifle hard to read. I have kept the spacing as it was on the originals."


The Timaru Herald 7 August 1867 page 2
Arrived August 5 - Wainui, s.s. 87 tons, Bain, from Lyttelton, via intermediate ports. Passengers - Mr and Mrs Wood, and nine children, H. Jackson and wife, G. Meredith, T. Thomson and fourteen female immigrants, ex Lancashire Witch.

A transcription of the report on Lancashire Witch online at Archives NZ, Christchurch site. 

"Lancashire Witch" 1867
The Commissioners report that they found the Ship in average condition as regards cleanliness. The provisions were reported as satisfactory in quality and quantity with the exception of Flour the quality of which was bad. The distilling apparatus (Graveley's) had worked but indifferently requiring to be continually going during the 24 hours to give a diminished supply to the Immigrants. The Single Women were generally well conducted and appear a desirable class of immigrants but to this there is a marked exception in the Case of 4 Girls all supplied from one Agent in London whose name will be communicated to the Provincial Government with detached particulars. The Immigrants of the Ship were of a nature that the Commissioners consider particularly objectionable, besides the presence of Single Male saloon passengers frequently objected to by the Commissioners in reporting previous ships. In the Lancashire Witch they note the following:

page 2
In the Single Woman's Compartment 2 Assisted Immigrants for a payment were allowed an enclosed cabin thus establishing difference when all should be equal.

In the Compartment allotted to married immigrants was Second Cabin passengers, free steerage passengers. The female Hospital and dispensary and through it only was access to the Store Room.

In the Single Men's Compartment was the Male Hospital, the Single Immigrants, free passengers, Immigrants (as in the Single Women's Compartments) for extra payment in Enclosed Cabin and besides these a portion of the Crew.

The Surgeon Superintendent, matron and officers of the ship are recommended 
for full gratuities
Dr Wm Donald
John T Rouse
Fred. D Gibson
Richard R. Armstrong

David M Mackay
Assistant Immigration Officer
5th August 1867

Memorandarum. The four girls referred to in Report were sent by an Agent in London named Dawson. One at least came on board suffering from Venereal complaint and all 4 are believed to be prostitutes.

page 4
1273 2
By Lancashire Witch

Eliza Daniels           )
Harriett Goddart     ) From Mr Dawson
Flora George          ) London
Alice Small             )

Eliza Trumper far gone in family way.

Born in NZ in James Trumper, mother Eliza, father NR
Eliza married Samuel Derbidge in 1870 in NZ. Eliza Derbidge died in 1939 age 90Y. Samuel died in 1908 aged 66Y. Samuel, inspector of works for the Lyttelton Harbour Board, was born at Turnford, near Cheshunt, Hertfordshire, leaves a widow and grown up family, three daughters and four sons. He came to Lyttelton from the Old Country by the ship Greyhound in 1865, and shortly afterwards went to the West Coast goldfields. After a brief stay there he returned to Lyttelton and was employed on various works connected with. the tunnel and the harbour. He worked for a time under the late Mr Robert Martindale, and when that gentleman resigned the position of foreman of harbour works under the Canterbury Provincial Council, in 1874, in order to take the contract for the Lyttelton breakwaters, Mr Derbidge was appointed to the post. This office he held until the abolition of the provinces. The present Lyttelton Harbour Board then came into existence, on January 1, 1877, and Mr Derbidge was appointed the Board's inspector of works, a position which he held till his death. Children:
1872 Derbidge Catherine Lucy
1874 Derbidge Charles Edward
1876 Derbidge William Claud
1878 Derbidge Lilly Elizabeth
1880 Derbidge Herbert Samuel
1883 Derbidge Arthur Joseph
1885 Derbidge Ernest Gordon
1889 Derbidge Leslie Lewis

Press, 28 June 1939, Page 1
DERBIDGE On June 27, at the residence of her daughter, Mrs J. W. Woodbury, 9 Aylmer street, Somerfield, Eliza, widow of the late Samuel Derbidge: In her 91st year. (Sprays only.)

Mary Elizabeth Derbridge married John William Woodbury in 1896.


I would be delighted if descendants would consider providing a "potted history" by email to be posted on this web page and I can added an email link pointing back to you if desired. Thanks. 

Other Voyages

The "Lancashire Witch" was built in Quebec,  in 1854, using oak and tamarack. She was a full rigged ship of 1574 tons, sheathed in felt and yellow metal in 1855, and was eleven years off the stocks when she commenced trading to New Zealand. In 1856 owned by D. Dunbar.
Port of registry: London
Port of survey: London. Latter owned by Firnie and Co. of  Liverpool, and in 1863 was chartered by the Shaw, Savill Co.
Captain J. Mollison and the Dunbar fleet were regular visitors to Australia and New Zealand.  


The Lancashire Witch left Gravesend on 4 April 1856 and carried the members of the 65th (2nd Yorkshire North Riding) from Ireland and stopped into Melbourne on the way to drop off members of the 11th Regiment in Sydney, and continued with the 65th Regiment to Wellington. This Regiment was responsible for the area around Taranaki during the Second Maori Wars. and arrived in Wellington on 20 July 1856, then going on to Auckland, where it arrived on 1 August 1856. J. Mollison was the Captain.

The following articles reported her arrival in Wellington ...

From the Wellington Spectator 23 July 1856
Arrival of Lancashire Witch

The Lancashire Witch arrive on Sunday evening from London, via Hobart Town and Sydney, with a detachment of 257 men of the 65th regiment, under the command of Capt. Peebles of the 11th Regiment, and Ensigns Lewis, Leonard, and Penefather, of the 65th regiment, and Assistant Surgeon Birkett, of 74th regiment, having landed a detachment of the 11th regiment at Sydney.  She has made a quick passage of eight days from Sydney.  The Lancashire Witch is, we believe, the largest, and is certainly one of the finest vessels that has entered this harbour.  It is reported she will proceed to Auckland.

From the Taranaki Herald  2nd Aug 1856: 

The Lancashire Witch�.is a new vessel, and has made a most rapid voyage.  She arrived in Hobart Town in 77 days from Portsmouth, landed a portion of the 12th Regiment, proceeded to Sydney and landed a portion of the 11th Regiment, and finally arrived in Wellington in 15 days, making a total of 92 days between Portsmouth and New Zealand

Daily Southern Cross, 5 August 1856, Page 2 Port of Auckland

Entered Inwards .August 1 � William Denny (s s.) 600 tons, R. Mailler, from Sydney. Passengers : Mr. Powditch, Mr. and Mrs. Ellis, Miss Hungerford, Mr. S. A. Wood, Mr. J. S Macfarlane, Mr. Whitlaw, Captain Brier, Mr. Pillian, Mr. and Mrs. Sharp, Piri Kawau, Mrs. Bredy and 3 children, Miss Farris.� G. Duke, agent.
August 1� Lancashire Witch, 1385 tons, A. S Molison, from Wellington, in ballast. Passengers : Capt. Peebles, 11th regt. and servant, Captain Blewitt, 28 men, 7 women, 8 children 65th regt , Assistant Surgeon Burkett 74th regt., 1 private sapper and miner. � J. Salmon & Co., agents.

The Lancashire Witch left Wellington on Monday the 28th ulto,, and, having the wind from sou-west, came by Cape Palliher, and the Eastern coast. She arrived off Cape Colville on Thursday evening, and entered the harbour on the forenoon of Friday. She brings a small detachment of the 65th regt., consisting of Captain Blewitt, 28 rank and file, 7 women, and 8 children, under command of Captain Peebles of the 11th regt., together with Assistant Surgeon Burkitt, of the 74th regt., and one private of the Royal Sappers and Miners. The Lancashire Witch is nearly a new vessel, of Quebec build, and is now her first voyage to these colonies. She is the largest ship that has entered our harbour, and is certainly a magnificent specimen of marine architecture. She is commanded by Captain Molison, who, it will be remembered, brought the Westminster to the Bay of Islands, in March, 1840 ; and is the joint property of that gentleman and Messrs. Duncan Dunbar and Son.

The Lancashire Witch is the largest, and finest merchant vessel that has ever entered this port, and has made one of the quickest passages on record. She sailed from Portsmouth on the 17th April, and arrived at Hobart Town on the 3rd July, after a quick passage of 77 days. She remained at Hobart Town only three days, where a detachment of the 12th regt., consisting of Ensign Oliver, and 85 rank and file were landed ; and sailed from thence for Sydney on the 6th July, where she arrived on the 9th inst., after a passage of three clays. A detachment of the 11th regt, under the command of Major Blosse, consisting of Captain Roe, Lieut. Birch, Ensign Martin, and 77 rank and file were disembarked at Sydney. After remaining 4 days at Sydney, she tailed for this port on the 13th inst., and arrived here on the 20th, after a very quick passage of seven days, completing the whole distance from Portsmouth to Wellington in the short space of 94 days. She has brought on here a detachment of the 65th regt., under the command of Captain Peebles of the 11th regt., consisting of Ensigns Lewis, Pennefather, and Leonard, 3 Sergeants, 247 rank and file, 30 women, and 31 children. The health of the troops, under the care of Assistant Surgeon Burkitt, has been very good. Three deaths, adults, and four births occurred during the voyage. On the 25th May, Ensign Harrison, of the 11th regt., accidentally fell overboard, and was drowned. There was a strong breeze blowing at the time, the vessel going through the water at the rate of 12 knots an hour, and from the heavy sea that was on, it was found impossible to lower the boots to his assistance. �

List of the members of the 65th that left from Banbridge, County Down, Ireland courtesy of  R. Whiteside who has an ancestor is on this list. The list is not a complete listing of the 65th Regiment and users are advised to check with original sources. Posted 29 August 2005.

Reg# 	Rank 	Surname 	First name 	Occupation 	Enlistment  Age on	Discharge	Place of
								Date  	    Enlistment  Date 		Discharge
1653	Sgt	Nail		Samuel		Weaver		02/19/1841		11/01/1864	Wellington
1952	Pvt	Cunningham	Robert		Shoemaker 	03/8/1842		03/31/1850	Wellington
1959	Pvt	Crozier		John		Labourer	03/17/1842	21	02/28/1857	Wellington
2004	Pvt	Hathorne	David		Weaver		05/03/1842		12/31/1849	Wellington
2042	Pvt 	Russell		Private		Sawyer		12/18/1842		02/28/1857	Wellington
2052	Pvt	Mooney		Edward		Labourer	05/29/1843		01/31/1857	Wellington
2064	Pvt	McAlevey	John		Weaver		06/27/1843		12/31/1853	Wellington
2248	Pvt	Murphy		James		Labourer	08/10/1845	19	09/14/1865	Otahuhu
3285	CPL	Grimes		Thomas		Labourer	03/11/1854	18	09/09/1865	Otahuhu
3286	Pvt	Douglas		William		Labourer	03/13/1854	18	08/31/1865	Otahuhu
3414	Pvt	Burns		Edward		Weaver		11/20/1854		08/31/1865	Otahuhu
3427	Pvt 	Hull		James		Threadmaker	12/11/1854	19	9/05/1865	Otahuhu
3441	Pvt	McCraken	James		Weaver		12/26/1854	20	08/31/1865	Otahuhu
3458	Pvt	Gray		John		Ropemaker	01/13/1855	20	09/09/1865	Otahuhu
3461	Pvt	Grant		William		Shoemaker	01/15/1855	20	08/31/1865	Otahuhu
3473	Pvt	Whiteside	John		Weaver		02/10/1855	28	18/09/1865	Otahuhu
3475	Pvt	Gerry		George		Weaver		02/10/1855	19	09/28/1865	Otahuhu
3477	CPL	Graham		William John	Weaver		02/13/1855	19	08/31/1965	Otahuhu
3485	Pvt	Stevenson	James		Labourer    	03/03/1855		10/05/1865	Otahuhu
3506	Pvt	Davison		Robert		Labourer	04/02/1855	18	09/09/1865	Otahuhu
3508	Pvt	McKeown		William John	Labourer    	04/07/1855	18	09/14/1865	Otahuhu
3522	SGT	Moffitt		Robert		Weaver		04/21/1855	21	09/09/1865	Otahuhu
3523	Pvt	McAfee		John		Hackler		04/07/1855	18	09/09/1865	Otahuhu
3524	Pvt	McGivern	Mark		Weaver		05/02/1855	18	08/31/1865	Otahuhu
3534	Ptv	Crozier		Braham		Weaver		05/14/1855		09/11/1865	Otahuhu
3543	Pvt	Brown		John		Weaver		11/20/1854			
3544	Pvt	Mulligan	Richard		Weaver		06/12/1855	20	08/31/1865	Otahuhu
3545	Pvt 	McKeown		Patrick		Labourer	06/13/1855	20	09/18/1865	Otahuhu
3563	Pvt	Brown		William		Labourer	05/14/1855		
3574	Pvt	McAllister	William		Labourer    	08/11/1855	18	09/14/1865	Otahuhu
3577	Pvt	O�Rourke	Patrick		Labourer    	08/20/1855		09/09/1865	Otahuhu

1863 to Lyttelton via Cape of Good Hope and Timaru
1865 to Auckland with the largest number of passengers that had ever arrived at Auckland in one vessel, 490.
Papers Past


Condensing Water

Up to the early 1850s there was no means of distilling water and it all had to be loaded prior to departure and enroute, if there were any stops! So somewhat fetid after a couple of months. A vessel would carry many tons of water, and this was often the first thing that would be discharged, or started, as they used to say, if a vessel went aground or needed to be lightened quickly.

By the early 1850s various types of patent distilling apparatus were being developed and tested especially by the RN. The water distilled onboard was rather flat compared with water ashore, but that it was far better than water which had been stored onboard for weeks or more. The distilling machine heated seawater using a fire (not sure if it was coal, wood or gas) and the steam was condensed forming fresh water. Several different brands of apparatus were produced in those days.