'Tasmania' arrived Lyttelton March 1853

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The voyage out on the 502 ton barque

 New Zealand Bound

The Tasmania, barque, was built in 1841 in Sunderland, Great Britain, registered in Bristol with registration number 20463, its tonnage was (A 502) and (B 412) and constructed mainly of wood.

Sailed from, London, England on the 4th of November, 1852 under the command of Captain MacMillan, via Plymouth to Madeira where an attempted mutiny took place.  She had called into the port for water. Continued to Otago to discharge passengers and cargo and arrived at Victoria Harbour (Lyttelton), Canterbury, New Zealand, on March the 15th 1853. Sailed for Wellington and New Plymouth, arriving April 19, and on to Sydney. 


Otago Witness Saturday March 5th 1853
Cabin and Intermediate  -

Bellairs	Capt. and Mrs
Bluett		Mr
Cholmondeley	Mr and Mrs and family of 7
Bow		Messrs. Alexander and John
Boys		Messrs. James and Robert
Dalgleish	Messrs. Thomas and Alfred
Devon		Mr
Gray		Messrs. Ernest and William
Hunt		Miss
Jeffreys	Mr and Mrs
Kennaway	Mr
Lovell		Mr and Mrs, sen.
Lovell		Mr and Mrs, jun. and four children
Leech		Mr Charles
Parlor		Mr
Rayner		Mr and Mrs
Stanford	Mr
and about 90 in the steerage. 

The passengers at Lyttelton

Birch, Mr
Bluett, Mr
Chalmondeley, Mr and Mrs. and four children
Chalmondeley, Mr G
Cholmondeley (2), Misses
Dangaleish, Mr A
Dangaleish, Mr T
Devon, Mr
Gray, Mr L
Hilton, Mr Richard Alsop
Hunt, Miss
Jeffrey's, Mr and Mrs. C
Jeffrey's, Mr and Mrs. H  and child
Kennaway, Mr
Leech, Mr and Mrs
Leech, Mr C
Palour, Mr
Bys, Mr B
Bys, Mr J 
Rayner, Mr and Mrs
and forty five in the steerage

The Tasmania anchored in our harbour on Tuesday evening, bringing dates from England to November 3.  The Tasmania arrived at Otago on the 26th ult., and we learn from the witness that she put into Madeira for a supply of water, and that a serious mutiny occurred there, the crew refusing to proceed on the voyage or to weigh anchor.  The latter difficulty was overcome by the prompt assistance of the passengers, and the mutiny was quelled by firm and determined conduct of Captain W. McMillan.  Afterwards, everything proceeded smoothly, the barque running from Madeira to Otago in just 88 days. 

Mr and Mrs. Rayner cabin passengers on the Tasmania which arrived at Lyttelton 15th March 1853. Unfortunately no initials on the passenger list which is held by the Otago Settlers Association, 220 Cumberland St, Dunedin. NZ. Information courtesy of John Rayner.


The Kennaway brothers (Walter, John, Lawrence James) occupied South Canterbury runs. Owned Rollesby and Opawa runs and partners in several others. Walter had control of railway construction in Canterbury.  He played an important part in early political life of the Canterbury province, and was responsible for setting aside 300,000 acres of public lands as endowments for Canterbury University, Lincoln College and other institutions. Governor of Canterbury University College, then Commissioner of Crown Lands. Secretary to the New Zealand Agent-general in London and after retirement was knighted in 1909. Ref's: Oliver A.Gillespie's  South Canterbury A Record of Settlement. William Vance's, High Endeavour :The Story of the Mackenzie  Country.

Wreck of the Barque "Tasmania"

Otago Witness Saturday 4th February 1854 page 2
"The Tasmania, Captain McMillan, which left Otago on the 10th March for Canterbury, and March 20 for Wellington and Sydney, was totally lost in Torres' Strait on the 2nd July, 1853 having gone ashore on a reef. The Tasmania left Sydney on June 16th, bound for Singapore and prosecuted her voyage very favorably until she arrived at the Prince of Wales Channel (Torres Straits), where she struck a reef off Booby Island and sank.  The captain and all hands were saved by taking to the boats.  Owner of the vessel was : Perrin & _____." Crew picked up by the ship Queen.

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You may ask, why is a ship is always referred to in a feminine tense? �


Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz put it more succinctly in an address to the Society of Sponsors of the United States Navy.
"A ship is always referred to as 'she' because it costs so much to keep one in paint and powder."