A pretty little vessel that brought many hundreds of passengers to all parts of New Zealand from 1874 to 1896, was the Glasgow-built ship Helen Denny, one of the Shaw Savill fleet. Although 728 tons she had a fairly good turn of speed and made many passages between London and many New Zealand ports, considerably below the average, under a fine old sailor Captain William Ruthe who passed away at Auckland in 1924 at 82 years of age.

The captain had a most successful career at sea and when he retired in 1886, his last passage to New Zealand being made in the ship Zealandia, he had never met with an accident.

The Helen Denny was launched in 1866 as a full rigged ship, but she was changed to a barque a few years later. She was built by Robert Duncan of Glasgow, was an attractive little vessel and her fine lines have been praised by more than one writer. When sailing ships began to go out, before the oncoming of the steam tramp, the Helen Denny was sold to Messers Turnbull and Company of Christchurch, and was engaged in the inter-colonial and inter provincial-service.

The Helen Denny made two voyages to the Bluff, the first was in 1881, in the charge of Captain Ruthe, and took 98 days, arriving on the 13th July. The second was in 1892 under Captain Carnell, and took 115 days, arriving on 18th October.

As yet I have not been able to find any passenger lists for this ship, but I will keep on looking.

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