The MONGOL departed London on 12 December, 1973 and arrived in Port Chalmers, via Plymouth, on 13 February, 1874.


Transcribed from the Otago Daily Times, 14 February 1874, Page 2



Mongol,s.s., 22G2 tons, JohnFlamank, from London via Plymouth, December 23rd. Driver, Stewart, and Co., agents.

Cabin passengers: Messrs Glendining, Holloway, and 21 others.




The signal of a steamer to the northward yesterday morning was immediately followed by the appearance of the vessel herself between the Heads, where she loomed up a big barque-rigged boat, showing a great deal of side above water. She was at once pronounced a stranger by the shipping authorities of the Port, and then a very general conclusion that she would be no other than the expected Mongol was arrived at, and proved to be correct. And a fine stately vessel she looked as she steamed rapidly through the Cross Channel, and then, just as folks were beginning to speculate on the probability of her coming right up, she eased steam and came to an anchor in the Quarantine Ground. This was regarded as an ominous proceeding, but then again it was thought that it was but a prudential measure on the part of the pilot, who, doubtless retaining a lively remembrance of the Mikado's little misadventure, had taken the precaution to select the widest part of the channel as a mooring-place for the Mongol. As soon as she was moored, Captain Thomson, the Health Officer, together with Dr O'Donoghue and Mr. Monson, of the Customs Department, proceeded down to her in the steamer Golden Age, and were met by the unwelcome intelligence of sickness on board in the form of scarlet fever, measles, and bronchitis. This, of course, left but one course to be pursued, viz., to quarantine the steamer, and communicate with the Board of Health at Dunedin. Accordingly instructions to hoist the yellow jack at the main were given, and the Golden Age returned to the Port. During the forenoon a meeting of the Board of Health was held, and in the afternoon Professor McGregor, Dr Webster, Dr Drysdale, and Captain Thomson, members of the Board, proceeded to the Mongol in the Golden Age, and made known to the Captain the decision arrived at, and which ran as follows:- “That the ship Mongol remain in quarantine in the meantime, and that she be thoroughly fumigated. That the 14 emigrants for Otago be placed on Quarantine Island and all usual and necessary steps be taken to fumigate and cleanse their baggage, bedding, and personal effects. That the cargo for the port be placed in lighters, and fumigated prior to being landed. That in the event of the colonial Government so desiring it, the whole of the passengers on board the Mongol be landed on Quarantine Island, and their effects be thoroughly cleansed and fumigated.” A copy of the above resolution was handed to Captain Flamank of the Mongol, by Captain Thomson, and then Doctor Davidson, the Surgeon- Superintendent of the Mongol, came to the gangway and replied to certain interrogatories from Professor McGregor. He stated that the emigrants were shipped at Plymouth, and were taken from the Depot there, and that they were unhealthy at the time, scarlet fever and measles having previously appeared amongst them. Two of the families had been removed from the Depot in consequence, and several of the intending emigrants had to be left behind. On the morning of the day that the steamer sailed from Plymouth a family was sent on shore because its members had only lately recovered from scarlet fever, and were in a very weak state there from. Moreover, as Dr Davidson remarked, the infection of fever must have been about them. Professor McGregor then asked Dr Davidson whether he considered it prudent to undertake the voyage with emigrants in such a very unsatisfactory condition? To which the Doctor replied that he certainly did not, and expressed surprise that the Emigration authorities at home had not detained her. He furthermore remarked that if one case of fever had been apparent on the day she sailed, he would have taken the responsibility of detaining the steamer. The emigrants, however, were, to all appearance, well on the day she sailed, but on the following day fever and measles appeared amongst them, and remained throughout the passage.

According to the Doctor's report, 67 cases of measles, 21 cases of scarlet fever and 8 cases of bronchitis had been treated during the passage, and out of that number 12 resulted fatally, viz 4 cases of measles, 5 of scarlet fever, 3 of bronchitis. Besides these there was 1 fatal case of diarrhoea, 1 of ulcer, 1 of death from inanition, and a death from sunstroke. A list of those persons deceased, with their ages, &c, has been supplied us, but is evidently incorrect in one or two particulars as to the cause of death. We, however, publish it, with dates, as follows:—January 6 - Arthur Lammas, infant, inanition. January 9 - Jane Matter, 3 years, bronchitis. January 19 - Fanny Batty, 1 year, ulceration. January 22 - Elizabeth Lammas, 3 years,diarrhoea and measles. January 23 - Arthur Spragget, 5 years, measles and malignant sore throat; William Lammas, 1 year, inanition; January 24 - Henry Cullimore, 18 months, measles and glandular swelling. January 28 - George Spragget, 10 years, malignant sore throat.January 29 - Ann Johnson, 10 years, ulcerated sore throat and mania; February 1 - Elizabeth Timms, 6 months, measles and scrofulous swelling of joints. February 2 - Elizabeth Kendall, 12 months, bronchitis.February 4 - Emily Hewitt, 9 years, sunstroke.February 7 - Henry Turner, 2 years, scarlet fever and diarrhoea. February 8 - Robert Toombs, 11 months, measles and bronchitis.February 9 - William Withams, 28 years, diarrhoea. February 11—Emma Johnson, 6 year, scarlet fever and ulcerated sore throat.

From the above it appears that the deaths were confined to children of ten years of age and under; and, excepting in the case of Wm. Withams, with regard to the present condition of the immigrants, we have to report that there are under treatment 4 cases of scarlet fever, 2 of abcess, 1 of diarrhoea,1 of bronchitis. The precaution was taken to destroy all the clothes and bedding used by infected persons during the voyage, whilst the infected persons were carefully isolated. No doubt Dr Davidson has had a trying time of it. He looked worn and jaded.

When the Mongol left Plymouth, she had 245 statute adult immigrants on board, besides a number of paying passengers, and her crew of 54 men and boys. The immigrants came out through the New Zealand Shipping Company; and are for distribution through the Colony is follows: — 10˝ statute adults for Otago, 71 for Canterbury, 91 for Wellington, 72˝ for Auckland. We were not impressed favourably by the appearance of those who were to be seen from the deck of the Golden Age. They seemed to lack physique, and were pale and unhealthy looking. Those of the Otago contingent were described as particularly healthy, not one having succumbed to disease during the passage. They are to be landed on Quarantine Island to-morrow morning.

The Mongol is one of the steamers engaged to run in the new Australian and American Mail Line, and has demonstrated her ability to undertake the running of the mail service by making the quickest direct passage from England to New Zealand on record. Her time from land to land was 50 days 8 hours, and 51 days 18 hours from Plymouth to Port Chalmers. We recollect, what stress was laid upon the performance of the steamer Otago, when that vessel made the passage from England to Melbourne in 52 days, but the Mongol has beaten that by four days at the fewest. She is a handsome boat of 2265 tons register and 1463 tons carrying capacity. Her length is 300 feet, beam 35 feet, and depth of hold 31 feet 6 inches. She is fitted with a compound engine of 1600 horse-power indicated. Her accommodation is good; there is a magnificent saloon, with ladies' cabin and retiring room, bath-rooms, ice-house, &c. She is built with three decks.

The owners of the Mongol are the New York, London, and China Steam Company. She was specially built to carry tea between China and Now York, and is the sister-ship to the Tartar, lately arrived on a similar mission at Melbourne, and belongs to the same owners.

We gleaned the above facts with some difficulty, as we were debarred from boarding the Mongol. From the same cause we were unable to acquire a detailed account of her passage. All that we could gather on that point was that she left Plymouth at noon of the 23rd of December, crossed the Equator on the 5th of January, and rounded the Cape of Good Hope on the 23rd day out. Captain Flamank intended to have run the easting down in between 48 and 49 deg. latitude, but on account of the health of the passengers, he selected the warmer parallel of 45 degrees. The coast of New Zealand was made at the Snares on Thursday morning, and Otago Heads reached at 830 a.m. yesterday. Light head winds prevailed during the passage, and for twenty-nine days the ship was propelled by steam only. Only two vessels were sighted on the way, and the only land that hove up was one of the Canary Islands. Her engines, which were built by Messrs Dobbie and Co., of the Clyde, are described as having worked in a most satisfactory manner. They were only stopped once, for one hour, for repacking the pistons. Mr. Lawrence is the chief engineer. Of the passengers on board the Mongol, 23 are first-class, 2 second class, and 299 free assisted immigrants. We could not obtain the names of the first-class passengers.

It is to be hoped that the Mongol's detention in quarantine will be of the shortest; and we have no doubt but that the salubrious and bracing climate of Otago will hasten the recovery of those who are sick, and invigorate the convalescent.



Transcribed from the Otago Daily Times, 16 February 1874, Page 2

A definite decision, based upon advices received from the Colonial Government at Wellington, was come to by the Board of Health on Saturday respecting the steamer Mongol and her sick passengers. It was resolved, and very wisely so too, we think, to place the whole of them on Quarantine Island, in which charming retreat, and surrounded by the comforts and conveniences with which the place is provided, the sick will no doubt speedily be come convalescent, and the convalescent well. As soon as the decision was arrived at action was taken upon it. Captain Thomson, the Health Officer, and Mr Colin Allan, immigration Agent, proceeded to the Mongol in the morning, and notified to the captain what had transpired ashore. As the Mongol happens to be provided with a powerful and handy steam launch, it was arranged that she should land her own passengers by its aid, and very shortly after the launch was to be seen in the water, and spinning about the harbour at a great rate. The launch first landed the Otago contingent of passengers, and the remainder were removed ashore in the course of the day, excepting 20 who were landed yesterday morning. The Mongol was, we believe, thoroughly fumigated yesterday, and is to be shifted this morning from the Quarantine Ground to a berth it the upper anchorage, where she will discharge cargo. We are not yet in a position to give our readers definite information respecting the Mongol's probable movements. We, however, think that she will in all likelihood remain here until the Macgregor, from Kanduvu, reaches Auckland.

We regret to say that two more deaths have occurred amongst the Mongol's passengers. On. Friday night a female infant named Julia Higgs, aged 12 months, died of abscess; and on Saturday afternoon, a little fellow named Charles Stripp, aged 17 months, died of bronchitis at the Quarantine-Station. We hear from Captain Thomson, the Health Officer, and Mr C. Allan, Immigration Agent, both of whom have been indefatigable in their efforts to get the emigrants comfortably settled at the Station, that there are only five patients in hospital there. Dr Davidson has very strong hopes that they will all pull through.

The following testimonial was presented to Captain Flamank, of the Mongol, by a number of the passengers:— " S.S. Mongol, Port Chalmers, N.Z., 13th February, 1874. — Dear Captain Flamank - As our voyage has now terminated, we avail ourselves of the present opportunity to express our most unfeigned thanks for your courtesy, kindness, and anxious desire to meet our wishes and comforts throughout the passage, thereby converting a dreary voyage into a mere, pleasure excursion. We have also observed with admiration your desire to protect the interests of your employers, and your unwearied exertions for the safety and successful navigation of the vessel. As some of our number are interested in extensive emigration from Great Britain, while all are concerned in the success of the Emigration policy, we desire to record our appreciation in the strongest terms of your anxious care and solicitude for the emigrants on board. In conclusion, we beg to assure you of our complete confidence in yourself, and the fine vessel you have so ably commanded; and in bidding you farewell we wish you every happiness and success for the future." (Here follow a number of signatures)


Transcribed from the Otago Daily Times – 17 February, 1874, Page 2

First class passengers for Otago:

Mr. and Mrs. Glendining

For Wellington:

Mr. and Mrs. Hamilton

Mr. and Mrs. Stowe

Messrs – Marsh, Yates, Yates, Richardson

For Auckland:

Mr. and Mrs. Andrews and family of two sons and three daughters

Messrs – Williams, Kennedy, Phillips, Gibson, Rowe, Holloway, Oakes


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Copyright – Gavin W Petrie – 2013