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The Henbury..

A ship of 473 tons who left Gravesend 23rd April 1859 under the command of Captain Robinson, bound for Dunedin with passengers and general cargo. She arrived at her destination 20th August 1859.

After anchoring the Captain left to visit Dunedin town ad during his absence the cew acquired a quantity of grog which the indulged in heavily. Fighting broke out amongst the men and their behavior was so bad that some passengers still on board left and sought refuge aboard the Avondale nearby. About 3am the chief mate awoke to the strong smell of smoke and upon investigating discovered that the sails in the locker room were on fire. Every effort was made but the fire had taken strong hold and before long a whole section of the ship was ablaze

In order to avoid sinking the ship in deep water she had been allowed to drift towards the shore but having run too far she could not be sunk deep enough to extinguish the flames. The stern was grounded.

The fire raged below decks and cargo could not be saved. In just a few hours the Henbury kay on the beach at port Chalmers a complete wreck with parts reduced to a cinder. Since the fire began so soon after her arival there had been nothing unloaded so all was lost. The passengers also lost all of their belongings and stood only in scanty clothing worn when rushing ashore from the flames.

The destroyed cargo had a value of around 20,000 pounds.