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Shipwrecks.........lower North Island

A combination of New Zealands rugged coastline and the unquestionably large part that shipping played in the history of the colony, have given the country a colourful history when it comes to shipwrecks

Here are some of those that occured in the Wellington and lower North Island in the 19th century - THEY ARE NOT LINKS!

1828 - HUNTER on 8th June driven ashore on Entry Island, now known as Kapiti Island.

1840 - JOHN DUNSCOMBE on 5th May driven ashore at Kapiti Island. Although the schooner was a total loss, the crew and cargo were saved.

1840 - JANE in December the cutter was bound Wellington to Wanganui and blown ashore near Turakina. . Foulplay was suspected since one of the bodies was found headless. The cutter was found with sails set and not a living soul to be found..4 seamen were lost. It is supposed that she capsized, then righted herself. Owned by Mr Joseph Howes and said to have been in no fit condition for a sea voyage.

1841 - DAVID whaling barque on 3rd Sept when making for CookStrait, met trouble in Palliser Bay. 29 on board, 3 perished. It was carrying 120 tons of black and sprm oil, which later washeed ashore on the beach.

1841 ELBE - whaliing ship on11th December at Palliser Bay. No fatalities.

1841 - SAND FLY in June at Kapiti Island struck rocks & sank. Owned by Messrs Molesworth and Hort and its usual trade was to make daily trips between Wellington & Petone, however on this occasion it was under 3 month charter to Mr E Wakefield to travel to Wanganui carrying Wakefields cargo and one passenger.

1841 - WINWICK During a strong southerly gale on Sunday Dec 12th, the ship was totally wrecked at Lyall Bay, Wellington. One life being lost. Under the command of Captain Ware, her cargo consisted of 120 tuns of oil. Carried a crew of 11 and three passengers.

1842 - MARY ANN WADE When on a trial cruise in Wellington Harbour on Sun 20th March the schooner capsized and sank with the loss of one life.The vessel was stated to be insufficiently ballasted, carried sails too big for so small a craft and her timbers having shrunk, large quantities of water seeped through her seams. One casualty was a Mr Yates who did not jump clear.

1842 - KATE, on 10th July whilst voyaging from Wellington to Nelson she wrecked on Cape Terawhiti. No casualties.

1842 RORY O'MORE - schooner, September, driven ashore in Palliser Bay whist voyaging from Akaroa to Wellingtoon with a cargo of whale oil and bone. All of the 23 crew survived.

1844 JAMES - schooner drivven achore, Palliser Bay about the 8th July. The captain and one crew member lost their lives.

1845 -TYNE 4th July 11845 the barque was totally wrecked on the Rimpara Rocks, close to Sinclair Head, all hands were saved. She had left Gravesend in February.

1845 - PICKWICK, on 29th June, the cutter met with a heavy gale off Palliser. Daniel Abbott and John Delaney, two of the crew, lost their lives in the accident. Captain John Guard (who was also the owner) and a boy, were afer much hardship, saved. The wreck was plundered by natives who were led by a white man. (Captain Guard was said o have been the first white child to be born in the south island)

1845 - BLACK WARRIOR on Sept 13th foundered whilst travelling from Ohau to Wellington, the crew escaped with difficulty.

1845 - HENRY on 16th November at the mouth of the Manawatu River whilst going up-river. 11 ton schooner built on Kapiti Island by Captain James Daymond. Owned by James Lloyd of Wellington & commanded by Captain McCarthy.

1845 - ELIZA on 4th July at Palliser Bay. Whilst travelling from Wellington to the Chatham Islands. No fatalities.

1846 - MARGARET on 9th July the schooner sailed from Kapiti during a gale and was not heard from again.

1848 - SUBRAON On 26 October the barque was totally wrecked at the entrance to Port Nicholson, all hands being saved. It had left Sydney with 40 passengers commanded by Captain Mills.

1848 -MATILDA On 6th May, the cutter from Manawatu with a cargo of wheat was caught in a south east gale and driven ashore at Fitzroy Bay near Wellington Heads. The bodies of the two crew were washed ashore & susequently buried at Pencarrow Head.

1849 - PETREL In March, foundered off Kapiti Island. Sailed from Wellington heading to Manawatu and ran for shelter from a violent northerly. 2 crew members drowned.Owned by Mr Joseph Rhodes of Porirua and under the comand of Captain Thomas Murphy.

1849 - INCONSTANT on 29th September from Adelaide to Callao, when entering Wellingotn Harbour went on the rocks near Pencarrow Head. She was towed off and into harbour where she was found to be badly damaged and was condemned. Under the command of Captain Cottleton.

1849 EMILY, the schooner left Nelson for Otago on 6th June and wrecked in Palliser Bay. There wer no survivors.

1851 - MARIA On 23rd July the Maria was wrecked near Terawhiti with the loss of 26 lives. The barque had sailed from Lyttleton for Wellington, having on board 6 passengers and a crew of 22. A European and a Mandalay reached the shore safely. 12 bodies were recovered, including that of the master. She was under the command of Captain Plank

1851 MARIA JOSEPHINE on 10th June en-route from Wellington to Lyttleton she met with rudder difficulties during a gale and tried to return. Anchored in Worser Bay she then drifted over Welligton harbour toward Ngauranga whene sh beached. A 22 ton cutter, built in Nelson by Siegmund Jacobsen and owned by Mr Jacob Frank, vine dresser of Nelson.

1852 - HENRY On 5 June the schooner was totally wrecked in Fitzroy Bay with the loss of all on board. Owned by Samuel Bowler of Wgton and under the command of Captain John Holmes.

1852 - HENRIETTA On 27 Oct the schooner was totally wrecked inside Wgton Heads. Owned by Messrs. Hervey, Johnson & Co, merchants of Wellington and under the command of Captain Adams.

1855 WITNESS, a brigantine, was wrecked at Palliser Bay in June. One fatality.

1856 JANE, the schooner caught fire near Palliser Bay in early September. All 6 hands made it safely ashore in the lifeboats when it became clear the fire could not be extinguished.

1856 - CLARA a small coastal vessel loaded with Rangitikei settlers supplies wrecked at the Rangitikei River mouth on September 11th. It hit the bar in the darkness.

1857 - GIL BLAS on 10th July wrecked on Mana Island when travelling from Wellington to Sydney. Owned by Hichson & Company of Wellington, who also owned the cargo she was carrying (potatoes). Commanded by Captain Small

1858 - PORT GLASGOW On 15 April the dismasted waterlogged wreck of the schooner was discovered by the Maoris on the shore in Fitzroy Bay. Owned by Messrs Gould 7 White of Christchurch & commanded by Captain Smith she sailed from the Heathcote River for Wellington with a cargo of 750 bushels of barley & one ton of tallow.

1858 - PELSART sailing for Ahuriri with a cargo of firewood was totally wrecked on 16 April. All hands saved, as was the English mail for Napier which was however, badly damaged. Under the command of Captain Symonds.

1858 - OLIVER LAING Arrived Wellington 18 Sept with 300 passengers and was leaking as a result of an earlier collision. A few hours after anchoring in Wgtonm it blew up from the North-west and the ship was driven ashore. She was eventually blown off but another heavy gale drove her on to Te Aro beach where she suffered from several more Wellington Gales. Commanded by Captain Mundle

1860 - MARGARET Brigantine caught fire 5 July 1860 & after 9 hours was scuttled at her anchorage at Wgton Harbour. Commanded by Captain Smith

1861 SHAMROCK, on 9th January, the brig under the command of Thomas Dixon was beached at Wangaimoana, near Lake Wairarapa. Three ladies on board suffered considerable bruising but were saved. Captain Dixon stated that "so great was the wind that the beach was strewn with dead albatrosses and porpoises"

1862 - MARY MERRILL on 21 April the ship went ashore between Ngauranga & Kaiwharawhara, three miles from her anchorage in Wgton during a heavy gale. She was later condemmed and sold with her cargo of 250 bales wool. An American fully rigged vessel commanded by Captain McClellan.

1863 - ROYAL BRIDE totally wrecked at Napier 22-6-1863 during a gale. A Fully rigged ship of 526 tons.

1863 -- FANNY A. GARRIQUES - brig, on 30th June whilst travelliing from Otago to Wellington she totally wrecked in Palliser Bay. Captain Hansen was washed overboard and whilst making for shore was drowned on the rocks.

1863 SUCCESS - on 30th December in Palliser Bay. Two lives lost, that of the mate and a boy.. The master, Captain Bronwell, owned the schooner. It is also thought that the boy who drowned was a desserter from an English vessel.

1865 SHAMROCK. schooner. When leaving the Patea River for Wanganui on 18 September 1865 she was almost accross the bar when the wind failed her. She was driven by the force of the surf in a southerly direction and broke up amongst the rocks.

1866 - ESTHER on 12th February, smashed to pieces 3 miles south of the Manawatu River mouth. 4 corpses were recovered along the shoreline. A Nelson based schooner.

1866 - SARAH in March , the schooner sank a few miles north of the Rangitikei River but all hands were saved.

1866 TRITON - on 2ng August in Palliser Bay. The brigantine was owned by Messrs Clark & Co of Newcastle and Dunedin. The Captain was R. Spencer. No fatalities

1867 MONTMORENCY - arived in Napier on 24th March 1867 and totally destroyed by fire on the 27th. 668 tons built at Quebec as a Black Ball Liner.

1867 - CORDELIA on 2 August near Baring Head with the loss of three lives. Bodies were washed up on the beach between Orongorongo & Wainuiomata. Built by Thomas Thwaites, owned and captained by John Butt of Auckland

1867 - AFFIANCE on 7th Nov in Fitzroy Bay. Having come from Newcastle with coal and lost most of her sails in a heavy gale she anchored in Fitzroy Bay near Port Nicholson. During the whole day they flew the signals saying that the vessel had sprung a leak but no notice was taken of them either by the pilot or the steamer that passed by them. in the afternoon, having found the water in the hold to have increased the captain eased in to shore, the crew exhausted from pumping. All hands landed safely & the master was guided by a Maori to Wellington whilst the crew stayed at the scene of the wreck.Owned by Captain George Simpson of Port Chalmers and commanded by Captain W.A.Frondsham.

1868 JOANNA. schooner of 26 tons built at Te Aro, Wellington in April 1864, owned by Mr Adam Thompson, shipbuilder. Foundered off Sinclair Head, Wellington. No lives were lost. The crew escaped in a lifeboat.

1868 - ST. KILDA In July the cutter was supposedly wrecked at Manawatu but later reports subsequently stated Palliser & also Patea.

1868 CLEOPATRA - paddlesteamer wrecked 6 miles west of Palliser whilst voyaging from Napier to Wellington with two passengers. Captain Palmer beached he vessel, all hands made it ashore but she later broke in half on the tide.

1869 - NAUTILUS on 6th January it stranded on the North Spit of the Manawatu River. The schooner was travelling from Wellington and became a total loss. Built at Riwaka, Nelson and owned by Captain Robet Thompson and commanded by Captain S. Bolt. The Nautilus had previously suffered the same fate at both Greymouth and Palliser but not been wrecked on those occasions

1869 - Ida Ziegler During a gale in Napier in February, the clipper was wrecked on Bayview beach (about the same place as the Royal Bride). All crew were saved.

1869 - ST. VINCENT - on 14th February, an 843 ton ship commanded by Captain James Barron went ashore in a gale at Palliser. There were 22 persons aboard but only the sailmaker (a Swedish man) and the chief officer survived. The bodies were badly smashed on the rocks and only four, the Captain, the cabin boy a passenger and the second officer, were able to be identified, of the 9 recovered.

1870 - RAPID, on May 25th the schooner stranded near the Manawatu river entrance. It was a leaky vessel and the captain was forced to run it ashore to avert tragedy.

1870 - SUPPLY on 6 December while travelling from Havelock to Wellington, was beached to save her life, due to defective ground tackle. Built at Neson by Samuel Strong, her first owner.

1871 - MOSQUITO on 10th November stranded on Kapiti Island and wrecked ina gale. A 15 ton Ketch commanded by Captain H Pierce.

1871 - WAIHOPI - on 10th November the schooner wrecked at Palliser Bay by the entrance to Lake Wairarapa. No casualties. Captain was C. Evans

1872 - ALARM on 18th August - Commanded by Captain W. Callonstranded on the bar of the Rangitikei River and became a total wreck. No casualties. It was a 15 ton ketch built at Okains Bay in Banks Peninsula in 1865.

1874 - CYRUS on 7th March, totally wrecked ina storm, between Lyall Bay & Sinlair Head, with the loss of 5 lives. Carried a crew of 10 and three passengers, a woman and two children, whowere crushed to death by the falling of the deckhouse just as the captin was making effort to get them on to the rocks. The Master was found to have been careless in his Navigation but otherwise steady and sober. Built on Prince Edward Island in 1868 commanded by Captain Powell Andrews.

1874 - WELLINGTON 7March, totally wrecked ina storm between Lyall Bay & Sinclair Head, with the loss of two lives. Having left Wellington harbour the lookout reported seein 'rocks ahead' and the Wellington struck just 50 yards from the wreck of the Cyrus. Both vessels were quickly smashed to pieces. The master and 8 seamen boarded a lifeboat & made way for Wellington harbour in a miraculous escape. The chief officer clung to a lifebouy and the second mate and a seaman swam to shore. The seaman died on shore from exhaustion. The cook was drowned. The court of enquiry found the master guilty of careless navigation but otherwise steady and sober. An American ship, her foreign name being 'Helios' commanded by Captain H E Hull.

1874 EARL OF SOUTHESK on 28 May whilst attempting to enter Wellington harbour it struck Barretts reef. The master and crew (12) boarded a lifeboat and abandoned ship just 5 minuted before she sank. Wreckage was found on the coastline next day indicating the vessel had been smashed to pieces. Had come from Newcastle with a load of cao commanded by Captain W A Frodsham. Scottish built.

1876 - HUNTER on 8th April the schooner stranded on Barretts reef. No lives lostbuilt in Stockton, Northumberland NSW & commanded by Captain H Nelson

1876 - NILE on 18th May on the rocks at Pencarrow lighthouse. A schooner built at Mullet Point in County Rodney and commanded by Captain C Huntley. It was not the Niles first wrecking, but the fourth and last, for she was a total loss.

1877 - ELI WHITNEY on 24th February. Two lives lost. The vessel was anchored in the harbour, just off Queens wharf in a gale. Apparently it was struck by the outgoing steamer, Taupo bound for Picton, causing the Eli Whitney hold to fill with water. A court of enquiry exonerated the captain of the Taupo.

1877 KATE BRAIN in April 1877 the brigantine is believed to have gone down around Palliser Bay. Captain G Gay and a crew of 6 were all lost.

1877 - WAIHOPAI, on 10 Nov when traveling from Pelorous Sound with a load of timber, drifted on to the rocks at Pencarrow Head and was totally wrecked. Ownned by Mr J.S. Cross Jun. of Nelson and under command of Captain Peter Curron

1877 - CARLOTTA on 9th Nov filled with water when running against a heavy gale and ran ashore under the lighthouse. Carrying a cargo of coal from Newcastle, had a crew of 10 and 2 passengers, under the command of Captain Edward Rayner and owned by Captain Williams of Wellington

1878 - HYDRABAD on 24 June, whilst voyaging from Lyttleton to Adelaide she was driven ashore between Otaki & Foxton near the Horowhenua River. A fully rigged 1,350 ton ship owned by Messrs Stephens & Son, London and commanded by Captain Holmwood. Hydrabad's wreck can be seen today.

1878 - FELIXTOWE on 13 October, struck shore north of Otaki. 4 died including the captain. The 379 ton barque was carrying a cargo of coal & commanded by Captain James Stuart Piggott.

1878 CITY OF AUCKLAND, ship: The ship went ashore on the Otaki Beach at about 9 p.m. on October 22, 1878, and became a total wreck. At the time of the casualty, a north-west gale was blowing and the weather was very thick causing the master to mistake Kapiti Island for Stephen's Island, and alter the ship's course so as to run through Cook Strait. The ship was under topsails when she struck close to the wreck of the"Felixstone". She had on board 256 immigrants and had nearly completed her voyage from London to Napier. A certain amount of panic ensued among the passengers, but this was promptly quelled by the master, who revolver in hand, threatened to shoot the first person rushing the boats. The following morning, all hands were landed in perfect safety, a line being attached to the stern of each boat and slackened oft as it progressed towards the shore. In this way they were kept fore and aft and prevented from broaching to and capsizing in the heavy surf running. The English settlers and Maoris from Otaki rendered yeoman service in assisting the passengers ashore, and afterwards were most liberal in their hospitality to the shipwrecked complement. The immigrants were forced to tramp to Waikanae, about 12 miles further south, to board the Government steamer Hinemoa which conveyed them first to Wellington. and then to Napier. From the first, it was apparent that the City of Auckland would become a total wreck, as very soon her, sternpost and forefoot gave way in consequence of the sea breaking against her, and she had also buried herself in the sand to a depth of eight feet. At the Court of Inquiry, the nautical assessors disagreed, and the chairman later gave an independent decision, in which he stated that though there was an error of 14 to 15 miles in the course marked on the chart, negligence could not be proved
against any officer, and all certificates were returned. The ship was commanded by Captain George Ralls.
The, City of Auckland No. 60.964, was a full-rigged ship, of composite build, of 780 tons register, built at Sunderland in 1869, and her dimensions were: length 172.2 ft., beam 33.1 ft., depth 19.1 ft. She bad sailed from London on July 13, with a general cargo consigned to the New Zealand Shipping Company, at Napier. On January 24, 1871, the ship caught fire at Auckland, and when other methods to quell the fire failed, she was taken cut into the stream and scuttled, being refloated two days later.

1879 - DAY DAWN on 11th July while loading ballast at Ward Island was driven ashore during a gale. Built by Alexander Meiklejohn in Auckland.

1880 - HANNAH BROOMFIELD on 4th October whilst entering Wellington harbour. From Hobart with a cargo of timber she hit the reef during heavy gales. Cabins quickly filled with water. A brigantine built on the Tweed River, NSW in 1865 by Messrs Stewart & Co. and commanded by Captain F W Highfield

1880 - PROGRESS on 23d January in Palliser Bay in thick fog. Broke up.

1881 - MAGGIE PATTERSON on19th July the schooner ran aground at Pencarow Head. Was travelling from Greymouth to Dunedin with a cargo of coal and hides, when the weather turned bad. Built in Auckland by Sims & Brown, commanded by Captain Hugh Paterson.

1882 - JOSEPHINE, the schooner left Foxton on May 17th 1882 for Sydney with a crew of five and was never heard fromagain. She was carrying a load of timber.

1883 - THREE BROTHERS on 5 September during a storm, wrecked on Kapiti Island. Owned by Mr George Thomas of Wellington & plied trade between there & Otaki

1883 HANNAH BARRATT capsized on 2nd April off Cape Terawhiti. All four crew perished. A 57 ton top-sail schooner, she had left Wellington in ballast heading for Picton to collect a load of timber. Built at Scotts Creek, N.S.W. in 1872 by Thomas Cosgrove, owned and commanded by Captain Frederick W.S. Renner.

1883 EMERALD - on 12th March beached at Palliser. No casualties

1883 MARGARET SCOLLAY, the cutter was driven ashore by heavy winds whilst discharging her cargo in Ohau Bay, Cook Strait. She wrecked on a reef on the western side of the bay.Captained and owed by John Young Hogarth, and built in Stewart Island in 1872.

1884 - FUSILIER on 1th January went ashore on Turakina Beach when travelling from Wellington to Newcastle in ballast. No lives lost.. Commanded by Captain John Nevison Harkness. Owned by E.C. Friend & Co of Liverpool & built by Sunderland in August 1860

1884 - OCEAN QUEEN on 19th October she drifted ashore at Worser Bay. A small trawling schooner owned by Eckford & Outram of Wellington.

1886 - DAYS BAY on 25th August driven by a gale on to a reef off Ward Island in Wellington harbour & sank. A cutter, built by George Hughes of Wellington and commanded by Captain Andrew McGregor

1886 - TUI on 1st November when travelling from Wellington to Foxton when she struck rocks at Pencarrow. An enquiry found the cause to be reckless navigation on the part of the Master who's certificate was ordered to be cancelled. owned by J Joseph & C Seager of Wellington and commanded by Captain Charles Quintin Pope.

1888 - COLONIST, on 31 August, when travelling from Lyttleton to Waitara carrying produce, she went ashore at the entrance to Wellington harbour and became a total wreck. The master and 2 crew members were drowned. The Captain was Edward A. Bayley who was attempting to swim ashore and ended up dashed onto the rocks. Owned by Captain Bayley and Mr Thomas Bayley.

1888 - LIZZIE GUY - on 10th November the schooner wrecked at Kaukau Point, near Palliser. Captain was J. Stevens, Owner was Mr J Craig of Oamaru. Two fatalities, the captain and the cook drowned.

1889 - WILLIE MCLAREN on 5 October at Wellington Heads, a total wreck. Carrying a cargo of coal from Newcastle. Under the command of Captain Joseph Salmon who also owned her.

1892 VINNIE on 13th May during a southerly storm, wrecked on Pencarrow Head wheree she had anchored to shelter from the weather. No lives lost. Built at Whangaroa, owned by Messrs Bender & Son.

1893 ANNIE WILSON. topsail schooner of 150 tons buil at Aratapu, Kaipara in 1879 by James Barbour. Owned by Mr John Dennin of Dargaville and commanded by Captain Joseph Murray. With a cargo of potatoes and flour she stranded 100 yards south of the Oeo River in Taranaki early on the morning of 22 April 1893. Heavy seas caused her to become a total wreck. She was firmly embedded in a cluster of rocks with her bottom seriously damaged. The master stated that they were becalmed in thick weather with heavy rain obscuring views, he lost his bearings and thought he had rounded Cape Egmont. The Captain was found guilty of bad judgement and although his certificate was returned he had to pay the cost of the enquiry.

1896 - HALCIONE on 8th January coming from London, viia Tasmania, with a cargo of general goods, struck the rocks at Fitzroy Bay. The Master was Herbert Wild Boorman, it was built at Greenock & owned by Shaw Saville Albion Co.

1896 - WAITAPU on 8th Feb, this steamer that plyed between Wellington & Patea was completely gutted by fire on the Wellington Patent Slip where she was undergoing repairs. Built at Golden Bay by Adolphus Walstrom of Nelson, with her twoo engines made in the Anchor Foundry Co in Nelson. Owner was Mr JS Cross, Nelson

1896 - RELIANCE on 29th February laden with railway irons, ran ashore at Hinds Point, Wellington. All crew survived. Built at Huon River Tasmania, commandedd by Captain Frithjof Wilhelm Hultgren and owned by Cook Bros, Lyttleton.

1896 -- LIBERTY on 3rd December of Clyde Quay during a gale. She sank at her moorings. Built, owned and captained by John Chalmers of Wellington.

1899 - PLEIADES on 31-10-1899 ran ashore at Akito beach & became a total loss.

1901 - OMEGA on 18th May, destroyed by fire whilst moored in Wellington harbour. An American built barque owned by Messrs J Josepph & C Seager of Wellington.

1907 - EMMA SIMS, on 18th May on Mana Island whist on a voyage from Havelock to Lyttleton with timber. Looking for shelter, she dragged her anchors and was driven on to the rocks. The master was exonerated of all blame. Owned by EG Pilcher of Wellington and commanded by Captain James MacDonald.

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