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Ann Wilson

From White Wings Vol 2

Some appaling revelations followed the arival in Wellington of the Ann Wilson on 29 March 1857. Owned by R & J Wilson and chartered by Messrs James Baines and Co to bring out emmigrants.

Soon after the vessel dropped anchor it was roumored that great sufferings had been undergone by the passengers and investigation proved the rumor to be only too true, eighteen deaths having occured.

Several of the passengers were landed in a deplorable condition, and one died soon after arrival. A bitter complaint against the quantity of water and food during the voyage was made by passengers.

At the inquest of the dead body some dreadful facts were brought to light. It was stated that the Ann Wilson left Liverpool on 30 November having on board 222 emigrants, 7 saloon passengers and a crew of 21. Althought hte vessel experienced average weather and made a fair passage of 120 days it was apparent that she was overcrowded.

Towards the end of the voyage passengers were linited to one pint of water per day. The doctors evidence showed that the medicines and medicinal comforts were lamentable deficient. The sufferings which were shared by both saloon and steerage passengers alike were said to have been caused by poor ventilation, lack of medical comforts and insufficient badly cooked food.

At the conclusion of the inquest the jury strongly censured the charteres of the Ann Wilson, the emigration officer at Liverpool and the ships captain was specially blamed for not putting into the Cape for fresh water and other provisions.

In explaining his position, the cook said that the cooking aparatus was only sufficient to cook for 60 persons.

The ship arrived at Wellington on 29th March 1857 in command of Captain Rutherford.