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The WHITE ROSE

"White Rose"


List of Passengers that disembarked at Bluff on ship White Rose Arrived Bluff 21st October 1875.

NAME AGE FROM OTHER INFO Richard B. TRELOAR 23 Cornwall Labourer Josephine TRELOAR 20 Sabina TRELOAR 8/12 (notation died)




Beside this family was a notation, Bluff. Quite a few others had Timaru, no other passengers had Bluff.

The ship left Lyttelton for Bluff and arrived there on 21 October 1875.There were 20 adults who came from Cornwall. The White Rose had a lengthy and adventurous passage, first it sailed from London on the 14th February 1875, to Plymouth to pick up her 166 passengers, then on the 14th April, the captain was found dead in his bunk (apoplexy stroke).

The ship hit rough weather, as she had a lot of railway material in her hold, it constantly moved during the rough weather which was encountered during the voyage, also the mast was damaged. The White Rose pulled into port Louis, Mauritius, for repairs on 22nd May, and sailed again on 10th June. Again she hit rough weather, then on July 9th, a fire broke out amongst the cargo, but was quickly put out.

There were six births on board during the voyage (two were still born). Three deaths occurred (two children and one adult). When the vessel left Mauritius tropical fever and ague (used to define the recurring fever and chills of malarial infection) existed, and during the voyage one man died from fever and plague.

When the vessel reached Lyttelton there was apparently no disease on board, but authorities decided to land the passengers at Ripa Island. They were released after a stay of seven days.

THE WHITE ROSE

Partially dismasted - A Trying Experience for Passengers and Crew

The White rose like many other ships leaving England with a large quantity of iron on board, experienced an eventful voyage. Owing to her cargo shifting during a heavy gale, and the vessel sustaining serious damage, she was compelled to put into Mauritius for repairs.

The white Rose, a sister ship to the Tintern Abbey, was built in Quebec in 1874, and was on her maiden voyage. She was a ship of 1557 tons, owned by Messrs. Ellis and Sons, London, and chartered by the Shaw Savill Co. She sailed from Plymouth on February 21, 1875, with 166 government immigrants, and crossed the Equator on March 19,. Nothing worthy of note occurred until April 14, when the captain T. G. Thorpe, was found dead in his berth, having died suddenly from apoplexy.

Mr C. W. Best, chief officer, then took charge, and shortly after the vessel encountered a succession of gales, with very heavy high seas, the ship rolling violently at times, during which some of the railway plant got adrift. On May 10 another heavy gale was encountered, and the vessel shipped large quantities of water, the sea literally sweeping the decks, a heavy sea carrying away the fore upper topsail yard.

The following day the main topmast broke in the middle and settled down. Finding that the railway plant was still adrift, and constantly rolling about, proving utterly impossible to secure it properly. Captain Best deemed it advisable to bear up for Port Louis, Mauritius, in order to save lives, property, and cargo.

Port Louis was reached on May 22, and the necessary repairs having been effected the vessel proceeded on her voyage on June 10.

After passing St. Paulís Island further heavy gales were encountered, with most boisterous weather. On the 23rd, whilst travelling under a heavy north-east gale, the vessel shipped a big sea, which washed her fore and aft, besides doing considerable damage to running gear. On July 9, a fire broke out in the lower foremost hold amongst the cargo, and all on board had a trying experience. The crew and passengers worked strenuously, and the fire was eventually got under control.

When the vessel left Mauritius tropical fever and ague existed, and during the voyage one man died from fever and plague. When the vessel reached Lyttelton there was apparently no disease on board, but the authorities decided to land the passengers at Ripa Island. They were released after a stay of seven days.

THE WHITE ROSE

By Patricia Taggart

My Great Great Grandparents Richard Bennett and Josephine Treloar with their baby Sabina chose to come to New Zealand from Cornwall. They travelled on the White Rose.

The White Rose, a sister ship to the Tintern Abbey was built at Quebec in 1874, and was on her maiden voyage. She was a ship of 1557 tons, owned by Messrs. Ellis and sons, London, and chartered by the Shaw, Saville Co. The White Rose, like many other ships leaving England with a large quantity of iron on board, experienced an eventful voyage. She sailed from London on February 14th 1875 arriving in Plymouth sound on February the 16th. She left Plymouth on February 21 with 166 Government immigrants and set sail for New Zealand. The Island of Madeira was sighted on March 1st and she crossed the Equator on March 19.

Little Sabina died from diarrhoea on April 6th. She was only 8 months old. Josephine gave birth on April 23rd and the child was stillborn.

According to the ship's log nothing worthy of note occurred until April 14, when the Captain, T.G.Thorpe, was found dead in his berth, having died suddenly from apoplexy. Mr. C.W.Best, chief officer, then took charge and from that date until May 1st they experience moderate winds and fine weather. Subsequent to that the vessel encountered a succession of gales, with very heavy high seas, the ship rolling violently at times. On May 4th it was discovered that some of the railway plant stowed in the main hold had got adrift, and as it consisted mainly of carriage wheels, was rolling about considerably. The crew managed to secure the cargo as best they could under the circumstances.

"The ship White Rose May 9, 1875 To the captain. Sir, We, the passengers, beg you not to delay to throw the iron wheels overboard. All that has been done or can be done to make them fast cannot fail to prevent them from knocking a hole in the side of a ship. Our lives are in great danger, and we pray that you will at once sanction our request, - and remain yours obediently, G.J. Kimber, and fifty other passengers."

On May 10 another heavy gale was encountered, and the vessel shipped large quantities of water, the sea literally sweeping the decks, a heavy squall struck the ship carrying away the fore upper topsail yard. The following day the main topmast broke in the middle and as a natural consequence had settled down. This was secured as far as circumstances would allow. Finding that the wheel portion of the railway plant was still adrift, and constantly rolling about, proving utterly impossible to secure it properly, Captain Best deemed it advisable to bear up for the nearest port in order to save lives, property and cargo, and that damages might be repaired and the cargo re-stowed. On May 13th the crew broached some of the ship's cargo of brandy. Port Louis, Mauritius being the nearest port of call, shaped the vessel's course for the island arriving there on May 22nd. The necessary repairs having been effected, the vessel proceeded on her voyage leaving Port Louis on June 10. After passing St Paul's Island and Amsterdam Island on June 21st further heavy gales were encountered, with most boisterous weather. On the 23rd, whilst travelling under a heavy north-east gale, the vessel shipped a big sea which washed her fore and aft, besides doing considerable damage to the sails and running gear. On July 9 a fire broke out in the lower foremost hold amongst the cargo, but owing to prompt and strenuous efforts of both crew and passengers it was speedily got under, the cause and extent of the damage being unknown.

The following testimonial by the immigrants was presented to Mr. C.W.Best:- "Ship White Rose, July 11th, 1875. Dear Sir, We, the passengers from England to New Zealand, beg to tender you our united respect and sincere thanks for the able manner in which you have discharged your duty as commander of the White Rose. We cannot be unmindful of the lamented death of your predecessor, a sad event in the midst of the mighty ocean, which suddenly imposed upon you the arduous duties of commander of our ill-fated ship. When the hour of danger was nigh, we found that you anticipated our fear; we saw with satisfaction that we were in safe keeping, and we saw with admiration that you humanely jeopardised your future position for ours by seeking shelter and repairs in Mauritius.

We should indeed be unworthy of the name Englishmen, were we not to tender you our gratitude for our safe deliverance from a watery grave, which, but for your anxious care, wise decision, and humanity, would eventually have been our fate through the shifting of the cargo. We are assured that you have discharged your duty as commander in a manner that demands the best consideration of the owners, merchants and others concerned in the safety of the ship, and congratulate them in the appointment of one so thoroughly worthy. Signed on behalf of the Committee - G.J.Kimber, Chairman; Richard Murdoch, Secretary"

The ship signalled off Lyttelton on July 21st at nine oíclock in the morning. She had been so long expected but as she was a new ship, when her number was run up her name was not on the list of ships and so all on shore were in doubt. The wind blew strong from the S.W during the day and the ship was only able to come to anchorage some two miles outside the heads.

The voyage had taken 137 days from the Thames or 130 from Plymouth. During the passage six births took place (two being stillborn), one adult and two children had died. When the vessel left Mauritius tropical fever and ague existed, and during the voyage one man died from fever and plague. At 4pm the S.S. Gazelle, with the Health Officers and Commissioners proceeded to the ship. On going alongside the surgeon-superintendent stated there was no sickness on board then. The commissioners decided to land the immigrants at Ripa Island for two reasons - namely, that the immigrants having come from a port where tropical fever and ague exists, they considered it would be advisable to ascertain if such existed - and the second to allow them time after such a long voyage to clean their clothes, and have a weeks recreation prior to entering on their labours. The immigrants were landed on the 22nd, the single girls on Ripa Island and the married couples and single men on Quail Island. The detention was very slight and the ship was not placed in quarantine.

An inquiry was held on board the White Rose respecting the conduct of the third mate. The Commissioners, after hearing the evidence, fully exonerated that officer from all blame. The ship got under weigh on the 23rd and with the assistance of the tug Mullogh came up to an anchorage off Stoddart point.

Mr. Best requested the Christchurch Star to insert the memorial dated May 9th (above), in order to show the cause why he put into Mauritius on his passage from London to Canterbury.

The immigrants were landed on July 28th and were open for engagement. Richard and Josephine were allowed to travel on to Bluff where they settled in Invercargill.

Some of the other passengers with assisted passage were as follows:- Patrick (18yrs) (Groom & Labourer) & Catherine (23yrs) KEANE with a daughter; James (23yrs) (Mason) & Ellen (22yrs) MATTHEWS and Clara (2yrs) from Cornwall; George (22yrs) (Farm Labourer) & Ann (23yrs) COCK from Cornwall; William (30yrs) (Plumber) & Louise (33yrs) BUSH from Warwickshire; Frederick (33yrs)(Butcher) & Ellen (28yrs) SUNDALL with Frederick(8), Henry(6), Ellen(5), Silly(3), Annie(1) & daughter born on ship from Surrey John (28yrs)(Labourer) & Mary (22yrs) HICKEY with Daniel (5mths) from Cork; Michael (25yrs)(Farm Labourer) & Mary HAYES with Thomas (10mths) from Tipperary.

Sources of information:-

Family stories; White Wings (pages 188 & 240;) two volumes, by Henry Brett The Star newspaper dates July 22nd, 24th, 27th, and 29th, 1875. National Archives of New Zealand - Christchurch Office.

Thanks to:- Ann Facey, Olwyn Whitehouse, Athalie Coker, and many more who have contributed.

Photocopy of Births and Death Certificate.

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