This is a story about William Kerridge's voyage to Australia, with his wife Eliza, on the sailing ship Marchioness of Londonderry in 1854.
William Kerridge was born in Dennington, Suffolk -circa 1824. William was the son of James and Jemima Kerridge (nee Fisk). James Kerridge married Eliza Bean in the March quarter of 1849 at St Margaret's Westminster. Eliza Bean was born in Orford, Suffolk - circa 1824.At the time of the 1851 Census, William (26) and Eliza (27) Kerridge were living at Catherine Street, London, Middlesex St Margaret. William was a Coach builder and painter and the couple at this time had no children. By 1854, it appears that William and Eliza felt they could have a much better life in Australia. As William notes in his diary, he had thought for a long time previously on the importance of such an undertaking, but considering the extensive field and demand for labour in the Colony, he decided that they would be for going. William spent some time selecting a ship for the voyage and at last settled on the "Kate", which appeared to be a sturdy vessel, so he booked his and Eliza's passage through the Shipping Agents Marshall and Edridge, of 34 Fenchurch Street, London.
Once the arrangements had been made, he and Eliza travelled to the country to take a long farewell of their friends and relatives and then returned to London to make ready for their long and adventurous voyage. However, when William called on the Agents to secure his tickets, he was informed that the Government had charted the "Kate" to transport emigrants out to Australia. The firm then offered him a passage, on the next ship to leave, the Marchioness of Londonderry as they had a cancellation. The Marchioness of Londonderry would be sailing on 1st August, 1854.
William proceeded to visit the ship and inspected it to make sure it was sea worthy and of a good structure. He was highly satisfied with the clean appearance and lofty 'tween decks and fine poop and being nearly new, in short the general condition of the ship was good and under all circumstance, he was induced to wait and go by the Marchioness of Londonderry.While waiting for the sailing, to earn more money, William again went to work for £4 a week for his old master Mr.P.Flocken, who was particularly kind in allowing him to work till the ship was ready. William accordingly did so till the week before the ship's sailing. He then began to purchase for the voyage and found no small trouble to do so, but a heavy anxiety was also upon him, as to how to sell the things they had and what to get ready for the voyage.First, William went down to the ship and filled the cabin with shelves and hooks etc and hung the cabin with paper to give it a domestic appearance. William and Eliza had a cabin to themselves, for which he had paid £50. However, William received notice that the ship would not sail from the London docks until Tuesday 15th August, so he accordingly prepared himself for departing on that date. However, it was to William's horror, when he and his wife arrived at the dock on the Tuesday morning at 5 o'clock, to find that the Marchioness of Londonderry had sailed, and he notes he had to put himself and his wife to no end of trouble to proceed to Gravesend by boat and rail, so they could catch up with the ship. However, because they were not on board the ship when she sailed from the London docks, William and Eliza Kerridge's names were removed from the ship's manifest and they were never re-entered. It is only because of the diary that William Kerridge kept on the voyage, that it can be proved that they were in fact on board this ship.
When William and Eliza at last arrived at Gravesend, they were horrified to have to pay the Waterman 24 shillings to put them on board the ship. However, they were very much relieved to find that they had not lost any of the belongings from their cabin. In their cabin they had stored bedding, a bushel of potatoes, onions, pickles, a clock, mats etc and their luggage. At last they found themselves safely on board ship by 2 pm. So their next business was arranging things in their cabin and that being done, they took themselves up on deck to look around for Mr Hewitt and Mr Hill, who had come down to look over the ship and say their goodbyes. After their visit was over, William went on shore with them to purchase more stores. On leaving the Terrace Pier at Gravesend, William stepped into a cook shop and had a beautiful tea, which he very much enjoyed. He returned to the ship by 9 pm to take his first nights rest on board the ship, but found it strange to sleep in so small a place. However, human nature being very pliable he and Eliza had to submit to the inconvenience, as several passengers were minus of a bed at all, and slept on tables, and others just sat. This inconvenience had occurred from the arrangement of berths not being completed by Mr. Felloes, the manager of passengers, but the next day all this was rectified.
William was, the next day, very busy; arranging the cabin in the morning, and for breakfast they were supplied from the galley with coffee, one pint per adult, and a life and death matter it was, pushing, crowding, hollowing as all wanted to be served at once and those that were last served, with plenty of coffee grounds to feed them. Their coffee was sweetened by the cook, as sugar was almost as precious as gold. The passengers were supplied with butter and a loaf of soft new bread and they sat down to a long table numbering about a hundred persons. For dinner (lunch) they enjoyed boiled beef, potatoes and bread, with abundant supply, though, if they did not hurry, some were left short . William felt that there must have been a double allowance at this serving. For tea (dinner) one pint of coffee per adult with butter and bread. During the day, William's Aunt Hewitt came down to visit him and took dinner on board and left the ship around 3 o'clock in the afternoon. Aunt Hewitt had brought with her some apples, which William found to be quite sweet. During the afternoon Lieutenant Laing, the Government Inspector, and a doctor came on board. They partly inspected the ship and made arrangements to return the next morning to finish the inspection, as it was discovered the jib boom was sprung, and they had to send off to London for a new one. That evening there was singing and dancing on the Poop deck and it was all quite jolly and comfortable.On the second night, William reports, they were able to sleep much better. The Marchioness of Londonderry, was still tied up at the dock at Gravesend.
The next day the new jib arrived from London and around 3.00 pm William again went on shore to purchase more provisions, bread, cheese, sugar, candles, carbonate of soda, tartaric acid, as their last treat before they sailed. William had returned to the ship loaded up with his purchases by 5.00 pm. It was then he received the news that the voyage would start by midnight. All were in very high spirits for the departure. William estimated that the Gravesend Watermen must have taken about £25 from passengers and friends, while the Marchioness of Londonderry was at anchor at Gravesend. He did not hold these men in very high regard and noted in his diary, "... for they are in my estimation a lot of hungry unfeeling fellows and would readily draw the poor emigrants of his last shilling..."
It was on Friday morning at 4 am, when William Kerridge was sound asleep beside his wife Eliza in their cabin, that he was woken by a noise, "..clank, clank, clank..." such a noise was well known to any person who knew anything of ships, it being called tripping the anchor. William made it his business to be up and dressed, to go up on deck to lend a hand. The anchor was weighed without the song this time, not wishing to disturb the sleeping passengers. Hove out a warp to the tug boat and stately the Marchioness of Londonderry glided away, as all minds were bidding Adieu to Gravesend. William tells us the morning was fine and beautiful, the tug leaving them before they had reached Noak Lighthouse, and the ship went along very steady with all sails, excepting the Royals set. The ship passed Ramsgate and Margate, which William found to be very nice looking places and then she runs on to Deal. There they took the wind and anchored laying just off the Goodwin Light ship. It was felt that the sailing had been very good that first day but the wind was now foul for them to proceed any further. From the ship, with the help of an eye glass the passengers could see the place where the honourable Duke of Wellington ended his day and it was also, William remarks, a very pretty place. The ship lay quite opposite seven guns laying on. William notes that Bottey Deal is also a quaint place containing a good number of houses, high headlands all round there and the Grand Martella Tower. William enjoyed himself scanning the shore with the eye glass. That evening after an enjoyable Tea, there was much singing and dancing on the Poop deck as usual. As it grew late passengers retired to sleep.The following day was Saturday, and the ship still lay off from Deal. The morning was fine and a boat came along side with beer and apples at 3d a dozen. The apples were soon sold and the beer drunk. The Captain called all to the Cuddy and read the regulations to passengers going on long voyages. There would be Captains for meals appointed in messes of 4,6,8 and 10. William Kerridge was quite proud as he was appointed a Captain. The instructions that the Captain gave at this meeting would set the tone for the whole of the voyage. It covered amounts of food given out and water. Passengers conduct and responsibilities in keeping the ship clean, attending Sunday Church services, etc.The sixth day, Sunday. After breakfast the passengers and crew attended church services. As the passengers sat down to enjoy their dinner (lunch), the Pilot came on board to give the order to the men to weigh anchor and set the sails. By 2 am the ship was on her way and by 4 am there were many who had become sea sick, however William was able to hold off until 5 am as he had not eaten sparingly, soon though sea sickness also overtook him. The ship had soon reached Dover, with the old castle in bold style standing as an ancient stronghold of their native land, with very prominent cliffs and on the other side, the French coast of Callas. William was more than surprised to find the coast on each side so close, the cliffs very white looking like chalk or white marble. Most of the passengers retired early to rest, as many were ill from sea sickness. However, the day was very fine and beautiful to those who were well enough to enjoy it.The seventh day, Monday. The ship was running off from Dover to Beechey Head, with adverse winds beating and taking the ship about close to the headland. By 6 pm with the ship pitching about, there was an increased number of sick and too ill to eat their meals, very few cared about cold pork this day. Tea seemed so very nauseous, in short everyone's appetite was going down, and most got to bed as well as they could. Mrs K, as William calls Eliza, his wife, was very ill and moaning on the bed wanting to get it up, she afterwards gratified this, she then felt better and was at last able to sleep.The eighth day, Tuesday. When William came up on deck he observed that they may have sailed at least 40 miles down the coast. For breakfast William part took of a little tea and biscuits. However, the ship was finding it hard going until midday. William at last found somewhere he could lay to help him cope with the continual rolling of the ship. He laid on the skylight to the chief cabin all day, as he found himself easer in that position. Mrs. K. remained in their cabin. In the afternoon William had a cup of arrowroot and munched on one of the apples his Aunt Hewitt had given him and that is all he could eat for the day. He retired to bed early.The ninth day, Wednesday. In the morning the Isle of Wight was sighted and about 3 o'clock the Marchioness of Londonderry dropped anchor on the south end of the island and put the Pilot on shore, as the boatmen would not take him to shore for less than £2.10.0. There was still an adverse wind and the Captain took the ship's helm, the ship was still being beaten about with a stiff gale and making no progress, the number of sick on board was increasing. The Captain then decided to take in sail. That evening William was either afraid to leave the Poop deck to go down below deck, as the ship was pitching so much, as he knew when he went down he should be more sick and on going down he soon was sick and he crawled into bed very ill. He was much too ill to wind up his watch.On this night of Wednesday, the ship had a very rough time, water leaking in ships side, tin plates and earthenware smashing about. Water cans upset and noise of men working ship that no sleep was to be had for a landsman. The noise became so great that William got out of bed and dragged himself up on deck. One women screamed out that the ship was sinking and William will never forget seeing this woman running around the deck in her nightdress. One poor old lady jumped over the table to her newly married daughter's cabin to see her beloved Deloise before the ship sank and they were all drowned. Mrs K was sleeping deeply and was not privy to all this confusion. William did not get up from his bed the next day until after breakfast time and he still felt so very ill. Just before he decided he should be up, a shelf over his head gave way and down came a half gallon jar of pickled onions, which struck him a blow on the nose and knocked the skin off, also sugar was thrown loose in to the bed, and other bottles were all about. However, it was very fortunate there were not breakages. Though feeling so ill, William felt that he had to muster all his courage, so as to make the unfortunate accident right. His nose was very tender, and he thought he may have broken it. William describes in his diary that day on the ship, where he saw passengers as ill as he. He writes that to see the people moving about 'tween decks that morning with heads tied up and looking so bad, the nearest representation he could think of was a plague smitten village, seeing people crawling up the ladder on to the poop deck,. He concludes he shall not soon forget this terrible sight. He felt sure that if these conditions continued many would die.The Captain came to the decision to give the fight up and made up his mind to run into St Helens, so he signalled to the Pilot on the shore to come and take the ship in, so by 5 pm the Marchioness of Londonderry lay at anchor off Binstead dock, opposite Portsmouth Harbour. A party of 12 went on shore overnight and the Captain sent off for water to fill up the barrels and for fresh beef and new bread to be brought out to the ship. William and Mrs K. also got themselves up out of bed, cleaned up and dressed themselves and went up on deck, where they spent a pleasant evening, as they walked the deck and felt more happy than they had the night before. William thought it was a Godsend, to be in still water. However, they had not yet left the protection of the English coast.
Friday, the 11th day. William is out of bed early and up on deck to take in the sights of the harbour. It is a very fine morning, clean, a fine and beautiful place where the ship lay at anchor. A boat comes along the side of the ship, selling bread at half a quarter sixpence, beer at threepence per pint and sweetmeats. However, it appears some of the bread they were trying to sell was mouldy. They also had glass bottles of pickles 1/6 and nothing more than water, vinegar and green onions cut into slices a few hours before. The ship's long boat returned from the wharves with water to fill the casks below deck and also filled the passengers cans. William is astounded and had never witnessed such a scramble for water before. He himself had to wait in line for over a half an hour to get his hang pot filled up. Later in the day, another boat came along side with more bread, beer and buckets of small apples at 3d per dozen and they were all sold in a few minutes. William could only buy the last eight for 2d, a sack full would have sold readily. William had found that nothing was better in his palate, after the terrible sickness, than the apples.The wind had shifted by morning and the Captain was very anxious to be off. The wind was from the north east and fair for the ship. The pilot came on board and brought the 12 passengers back who had spent the evening on shore. However, the Captain was very angry and had he not wanted to fill the water casks, would have gone much earlier without the pilot, then some would have stood a very narrow chance of losing their passage. The Captain appeared to William, to be a very determined man, but also kind to his passengers. William sent letters per the pilot, one to his late shop master and one to Mrs. K's brother at Sheilds. William liked to keep the family informed of their progress and up to this time, had send 6 letters from the ship. Soon the Captain gave the order to tripped anchor and as the breeze caught the sails, they left the harbour with an outward bound song.There was another ship leaving the harbour with the Marchioness of Londonderry. She was the "Patsy Dawson" bound for New Zealand. She was said to be a very fast ship and on her deck there was a great number of passengers, the two ships sailed out through Spithead in company. The first day at sea, William tells us, was very fine and a pleasant day, all the sails were set except the royals. The wind blowing a steady breeze, but shifted more against the ship than when she first sailed out of the harbour to the open sea. That evening there was much music, dancing and singing on the Poop deck. The sunset at the end of this day was very red and magnificent, as William and Mrs. K stood at the rails on deck and watched the sunset. They were astonished at the quickness of the whole circle passing out of sight like dropping in water and William now knew that sunsets at sea to be grand indeed. As William and Eliza sat on deck, watching and joining in the merriment, they witnessed the new moon rise from the ocean, it was a very enjoyable experience for everyone on board. As the evening came to its end, the passengers had evening prayers in the cuddy, which William and Eliza were well enough to attend. However, there is sadness on board, as a little boy has been taken very ill from prostration by excessive sickness, and there is little hope held for his recovery. William and Eliza retired to their cabin and the ship is going along nicely and steering west.The 12th day Saturday. Lat. 49-48. Long. 3-12. It is Saturday morning, very fine, no land in sight and the "Patsy Dawson" still in company. They sailed past Portland Head at 1 am going at six knots per hour, running on to Start Point, the sea is very calm and there are light winds. Everyone is very busy cleaning out their berths, boots and shoes blackened. William assisted to clean 'tween decks, everyone on board was very busy to dinner time. Butter, tea and fresh beef and bread served out to-day, the quantity is for the week. The butter William notes was very nice indeed. In the afternoon the crew cleaned the stairs and holystoned 'tween decks. However, the crew did much complain and said it was not their work. They informed the passengers that they would not do it again, as the passengers ought to do it themselves. Later on the Captain sent for all the passengers to assemble on the Poop deck, for fresh air.The last day of potatoes, fresh ones are being served, but William has a bushel of his own untouched in their cabin, which gives him a certain felling of satisfaction. The young men have put up a swing on deck and are performing gymnastics with great merriment and laughter, much to the enjoyment of the bystanders. The ship is very steady and the passengers are taking their evening strolls and there is a lovely soft breeze blowing over the deck. This is the passengers first Saturday night at sea. Also, on this night, much to the dismay of all who witnessed it, the doctor got drunk and climbed up the rigging. A sailor had to climb up after him and lash him to the mast and leave him there until he was sober enough to bring down. When it was time to retire for the night they were off from Cornwell. Prayers were said in the cabin, before William and Eliza retired for the evening. The night was cloudy.The 13th day, Sunday. Lat. 49-6. Long, 4-45. Miles 81. William is again up early, dressed and is up on deck at the crack of dawn. He can see that the "Patsy Dawson" is about nine miles astern of the Marchioness of Londonderry. William also observed with great excitement, that there was a barque also in sight. At around 9 am, a thick fog came up and continued until after 11 am. Church service was held on the Poop deck and the sailors were aft, looking very clean and orderly. The rest of the day was one of sitting around, reading and gossiping, while the missionaries formed a juvenile school to amuse the children. Tea was had a five, and walks were taken above deck at 6 pm. A homeward bound ship came within half a mile of the "Marchioness of Londonderry's" stern and signals passed between each ship. In the evening three porpoises were sporting on the weather side of the ship, which caused much laughter. In the young men's house a bit of a fight started up, which was soon put a stop to. Prayers again were held in the cabin, before retiring to bed at 10pm. The Captain took his rounds below deck, to see all was ship shape and he was satisfied. The ship is steering west.
On the 14th day the Marchioness of Londonderry was running under full canvas and all the additional sails on lee. She is running parallel to the Bay of Biscay, steering south south west by half south. On the 15th day in the morning the sea was still, however by noon the wind increased, which caused more swell and the ship was running at 9 knots. William and his wife Eliza became seasick as did many of the other passengers. William was much better before bedtime and the ship was dashing along splendid and fast as a horse and cart on land, however with no jerking over the stones. Next morning a bird flew around the ship and then alighted on the staysails yard and stayed until night fell and then flew away. The ship's carpenter has been building a hospital on top of the deck house, as a passenger has become ill and it is thought it is small pox, he is a native of Germany. The "Patsy Dawson" has been left behind and is quite out of sight, as she is unable to keep up with the Marchioness of Londonderry which is a much faster ship, however one of her sails was sighted this day.On the 16th day, the second mate gave William a copy of the Log, showing that they were about 35 miles outside the Bay of Biscay and near to Bordeaux in France and the ship was bearing west for Cape Finisterre on the coast of Spain. In the afternoon the Captain came to visit William and enquired about his health and offered to give him a tonic of Tincture of Rhubarb, Carbonate of Soda and some other ingredients. William also purchased a bottle of sherry for 2/6 and good sherry it was too. He felt the wine was much better than brandy. However, he prefers British Ginger Wine, as it is so warm and can heal the stomach after sickness, he feels that brandy is too strong for the stomach. William hears a report that there is a shark following the ship. A strong line is baited with a lump of pork, but they had no luck in snaring the beast. The sea is a deep blue and very calm in the evening. The men on the main deck are playing at leap frog and a swing is again put up producing much laughter and clapping of hands and on the poop deck there is dancing and singing as usual, until nine o'clock when the passengers retired for the evening.The following days were quite pleasant, the sea was calm, fish were caught and a young whale came up beside the ship, blowing up jets of water and showing his large humped back. In the evenings dancing and sinking as usual. A watch and clock stall has been set up on deck and the ships clocks were cleaned, as was a number of passengers' watches, by a French passenger. Mrs K went up on deck and washed their clothes, William helped her by hanging the clothes up on deck to dry. William then continued in the cleaning mode and cleaned all their metal utensils with sand and whiting. While walking on the deck in the late afternoon many porpoises are sighted jumping from the water. One day the Captain gave the order to have sprinkled 'tween decks with Chloride of Zinc, as it has been confirmed there is a case of small pox on board. William went below after tea and became very ill suddenly, which he put down to the smell of the Zinc. On the 19th day Saturday 2nd September, the morning is fine and clear and the ship is almost becalmed. A new sport has been taken up, shooting bottles as they are thrown off the stern of the ship. However, Mother Careys chickens took fright and started flying around the ship and one was shot by accident. The weather is getting very warm, the ship appears to be feeling as lazy as the passengers. Sugar, tea and preserved potatoes were served this day. Later four young men are over the ships bow bathing, at the risk of losing their limbs by a shark. When the Captain was informed of their sky larking, he immediately put a stop to it. William has also heard the gossip, that some of the young men are indulging in the drink too freely and it is said they can drink 7 dozen bottles of wine in one week. This snippet had come from an eye witness, and the Captain accused one of being drunk, which he denied. The Captain did not believe him and gave him a good dressing down in front of the passengers, declaring in no uncertain terms, that he would have a sober ship and if he saw anyone drunk, he would not allow one drop more to be sold to any of the Passengers. Then there was a fight between two young men, but this soon was given up. William began to worry, as there are three fast young men on board, who are thorough blackguards and William feels certain that if they do not alter their ways, they will do no good in the Colonies, or anywhere else for that matter.On Sunday a very nice breakfast was served of two hot rolls each, and they cost 3d each. As the sun was now becoming very hot and a little uncomfortable for the English passengers, straw hats where being sold at 2/6 each, the temperature was reaching 90 degrees in the sun up on deck, and in the cabins it was around 78 degrees. However, in the evening after prayers a pleasing breeze had sprung up, which was very pleasant to all. The Captain informed William that he was having difficulties in reaching the trade winds, as the ship was almost becalmed.William had become the ships unofficial hairdresser and this kept him very busy indeed. On one occasion, while he was cutting the hair of two little boys, their mother inquired of him, was he a hairdresser. He smiled and informed her he had gone to learn the hairdressing trade, but gave it up and instead took up Coach painting. William charged 6d for a hair cut and was making quite a bit of pocket money. He was in much demand as the official hairdresser on board gave the young boys the regular Newgate crop (prison), which was much hated by the lads. William was the favourite of Mr. Higson's boy and Mr Alrights also thought he was the best and he went to their cabins to cut their hair.By the 23rd day things came to a head regarding the cleaning 'tween decks, as the crew refused to do this added chore, when they were always busy performing their day to day duties. So a committee was formed by the Captain, made up of what he felt was the most trustworthy of the passengers. On the committee were Mr.Wakefield, William Kerridge, Mr.Barnett, Sugden Spragg and Hennessey. They met and drew up a roster for cleaning and when this was presented to the passengers on deck, it received unanimous approval, which was much better than they had expected. These rosters were displayed on each deck and every man was aware when he was expected to be on the cleaning team. On this day also the Island of Madeira was sighted from the Masthead at midday, the ship was about 60 or 70 miles out at sea. This evening a Ball was going to be held and there was much excitement amongst the passengers and the crew. William and Mrs K came up on deck just as the moon was full and it rose with a magnificent splendour. William remarked to his wife Eliza how such a thing must be seen to understand the beauty of it. The Ball came off at the appointed time with high boots and some with their faces blackened, one passenger came out in a sheet and knight cap. After much dancing the passengers went up the rigging, with sailors after them. At 10 pm a terrible row commenced and woke the mate, he came off his berth and tried to persuade the lads to go to bed. Two passengers Braden and Tadlow were the worst for drink in the roundhouse. Bladen became very offensive and drew a long knife and said he would knife or shoot any one who accused him of being drunk. The whole affair did not come to an end until the Captain came from his berth and talked to the troublemakers. The Captain told them that they were two bullies and he did not wish to see them after he got to Sydney, a lovely evening had again been spoilt by these two drunken selfish bullies. The last words the Captain used on them, was he would put them in irons for the rest of the voyage, if he had any more trouble with them. With that all retired to bed. The next morning all is fine and the young men are quiet, as the steam having been exploded the night before. However, after breakfast the Captain calls muster of all passengers on the Poop deck and gives his opinion to the portion of respectable passengers, on the conduct of the young men the previous evening. The Captain requests the committee to meet and to draw up a resolution regarding these young men's behaviour and what the solution would be to bring a halt to the drunkenness. Which they did and the committee found that the passengers on board the Marchioness of Londonderry did view with feelings of great alarm and regret the riotous conduct of two of their fellow passengers. This resolution was delivered to Captain Williams, and he informed the committee that if the behaviour of these young men was repeated, he would without hesitation place them in irons and take an advertisement out in the Sydney papers, informing the population in the Colony of their despicable behaviour. The young men were informed of the committee's resolution and they then apologised for their behaviour and promised to conduct themselves better in future.
It is Thursday evening on 7th September, 1854 and the 24th day of the voyage and it is not long before the sun will set. There had been a foul wind coming in the afternoon. However, now the Marchioness of Londonderry is calm, not making very much way at all and the sea is as smooth as a river. Madeira is coming in sight as the day comes to a close.From their cabin William and Eliza could hear squeals of delight up on deck, so they quickly made their way up the stairs to the deck and made their way to the bow, where a crowd of passengers had gathered. In the water below there was a shoal of Bonettas, then some dolphins joined them, frolicking in front of the bow. William and Eliza then noticed the sky was changing colour and left the group, to stand alone to watch the sunset and here in William's own words is what they saw...."....The sunset this evening was with sublime beauty, with rich crimson streaks and rays of a pink hue, forming a star or streams of colour, behind the other clouds. It was the finest sunset we have seen, the like I never saw from the forecastle of a ship. I could see lights on the island and cockets were seen, also a light very high up, supposed to be a lighthouse. The moon rose very grand and coming very fine. Our doctor sang some good songs on the poop, which was very pleasing. Two ships are in sight outward bound..."On Saturday 9th September, the morning was very windy, however the wind was still unfair for the ship. The Captain realised that now the weather was getting warmer, there was not enough ventilation below deck, so he had the carpenter knock out at least 9 inches of timber panelling at the top of each dividing wall in the cabins. The ship was given an extra clean in the afternoon and William comments that she looks well nice and white. However, he is much concerned with the people in the aft part of the ship, as they are very dirty and some of the young girls are very lazy and dirty too and they would rather sit around gossiping on the poop, sooner than clean the tables down as they ought and help to do other work. However, in the evening William began to feel a bit queer and had no appetite. He retired to bed and before falling asleep his thoughts go to his father and that he may have by now sewn his harvest, also that no doubt he and Mrs. K are thought of in London, and talked about at the Sunday gathering of their dear friends.William was pleased to see the young lad, who had been so dangerously ill, up and about and walking around the deck, but he still appeared to be weak, but he was recovering. William full well expected to have written in his diary of the death of the young lad. Also, the passenger with Small Pox is expected to pull through and will gain back his health over time. Though William is a little concerned with his own health, as again he is not feeling well, however he stays up on deck, as the Canary Islands are coming into sight. In the far distance William observes a cone shaped island, and after referring to his book and his map comes to the conclusion he is seeing Teneriffe. As they pass close to the Canary Isle, William is fascinated by the island of Palma and he describes it in much detail. He can see a house and trees on the top of the mountains and on its south western slope there are rows of grape vines. He observes that it is very rocky and reminds him of the walls of Sutton and Oxford way, where the heath grows but those on board who know the island, say what he sees are grape vines. William is so impressed at what he sees he makes a sketch of the island. The island was planted all over with rows and rows with something green. There are clouds above and also below the top of the mountain, which is very broken and rugged on top.There is a brig sailing in front of the Marchioness of Londonderry which she is gaining on, and off her starboard side is a steamer screw and under canvas. She is supposed by some of the passengers to be for Australia, however some disagree and conclude she is West India Mail.Later in the day there is some panic on the ship, when a passenger runs to the Captain and tells him he can smell smoke, the Captain immediately went below, where he too can smell it. After searching for a time they find that one of the chief cabin passengers has set his cabin alight. It is quickly put out, however William begins to think, what if it had got out of hand and the ship had burnt to the water line, there would be no escape for the passengers. He tries to put these thoughts out of his mind, as he feels a panic attack coming on. William was luckily distracted, when another ship came close to them, and both ships begin to signal to each other. One of the crew informs the passengers, who begin milling around, what messages are being passed between the two ships. She is the General Hewitt and she had sailed from Southampton 19 days past and she is carrying Government emigrants for Moreton Bay. With the eye glass William has an excellent view of the passengers, who cover the ships side like bees and it is quite pleasing to see someone to speak to for a change. The crewman tells the passengers, that she is an old ship and once she had carried convicts to the Colony. The General Hewitt sails with them for the rest of the day, however the Marchioness of Londonderry leaves her astern during the night.
The Captain is becoming aware of the uncomfortable conditions being suffered by the passengers below deck, as the weather warms up, so he gives the order for the scuttles to be left open during the day, to allow the circulation of air for better ventilation. Also, the passengers are requested to bring up their bedding each day to shake out and to be aired. William, with other members of the committee, collect the extra blankets issued for the colder weather, give them a good shaking up on deck, seal them in casks and then stored them in the hold, until they are required again. Passengers also begin to assist the crew, to scrub down the deck each morning without being asked. The Captain is very concerned about his passengers health, as there is a bad case of Small Pox on board. William is finding the smell below deck nauseating and he and Mrs K, spend as much time as they can in the fresh air on deck, they only go below deck when it is absolutely necessary.The heat and the long voyage begins to take its toll on William and Mrs K., as they are beginning to feel very poorly. William feels so depleted he stops writing in his journal for over a week. The sickness he feels is not the usual sea sickness, but he puts it down to the change of climate, plus sea sickness together, which has produced a feeling that he did not care to speak to anyone or do anything. A great many of the men and women are now also ill, as the heat is so great. William feels he does not want to move and when he does it is only to do what he is obliged to do. The ship is making very slow progress and William concludes with a deep heart it is going to be a very long passage out.On Friday 22nd September, both William and Mrs. K are up on deck, even though they feel very weak, when the long boats were lowered by the crew to try them out. Afterwards, when they return to the ship a wager is made to row a match. The challenge is taken up and the boats are lowered again and the race is for one pound and two bottles of wine, the race is between five of the crew and five of the fitter passengers. Of course the ship's hands beat the passengers, but watching the race and cheering their team on helps to lift the spirits of all on board. At about 8 pm a squall came up, which put the ship on its way, she laid over and the sails rattled and there was much confusion for two hours, as she ran at the rate of 14 knots per hour for a short time. The sea was full of foam and it was a magnificent sight at the stern. Later a brilliant light appeared in the water, called the phosphorescent light reaching all around the ship's side and stern for over 100 yards.Mr. Leach one of the cuddy passengers became ill on Wednesday night, with delirium tremors and is not expected to live. At least three times a week Doctor Honeywell gives lectures on hygiene, the necessity of fresh clean air and how to avoid becoming ill. Also, a student of the Georges Hospital in London gives a talk on heat electricity and Dr. Golding gives his talks of gases. Concerts are now held on Monday, Wednesday and Friday evenings to help keep up the spirits of all on board. William finds these concerts first class and very entertaining, averaging from 20 to 50 songs a night. Lime juice has been issued to the passengers, they were given a 1/4 pint per each adult. There are complaints being made by the passengers to the committee regarding the supply of water. The committee undertook to be in charge of the water supply and this is working well, much to the agreement of the majority of the passengers.A Bonetta fish was caught off the bow and was cooked and William found it very tasty. The days are getting much warmer, there are dolphins and Bonettas at the stern of the ship and also a pack of shark. That day five ships were in sight. On Monday the 25th September, the deck was so hot you could not walk on it without shoes to cover your feet. Because of the warm weather there was another rowing match this day and again the crew beat the cuddy passengers. There are Martins and Swallows in sight and also sea fowl and the ship is very still in the water. The sunset this evening was with a splendid tinge of gold, the grandest sunset William and Mrs K had yet seen. So grand that no person can describe it and William has never seen anything in England approaching these sunsets, the colours so very soft and brilliant. At midnight William was still up on deck, making conversation with the crew and enjoying the clean fresh air, when he saw a splendid meteor appeared in the eastern heavens, a ball as big as his hand and omitting bright sparks from its tail, it was he concluded a very grand sight.On the 44th day out, the "Sylvia Sophia" a French ship was sighted, she is a clipper from Bordeaux and 28 days out. The Marchioness of Londonderry returned her name and time out. Each ship exchanged the latest dates of newspapers and letters. The Captain of the French ship invites Captain William's to dinner, however the Captain had to decline, as he had to make up time. The next day nine sails were sighted. The passengers are troubled with prickly heat and boils. The water is sometimes bad and stinking. The passengers are given more lime juice, which William found makes a very nice acid drink. The sailors begin to talk about shaving crossing the line, however the Captain says he is open to a fine if he allows this practice to go ahead. So it is unknown if the celebration of the shaving by Neptune will take place. William was sick that evening, due to the motion of the ship.Tempers are becoming frayed on board the ship, and there was a terrible row between Mrs Gardner and Mrs Ginger, with the use of some bad language. Mrs. Gardner was very faint and she was distressed that when Mr. Gardner went to bed the night before, his cover to the water filter fell down and cut his head quite badly. On the 46th day out, Thursday 28th September, the ship is becalmed and six sails are in sight and also becalmed. There was much amusement with watching Portuguese men of war, as they float on the water below and erect a kind of sail, they are a beautiful pink colour underneath, a kind of spawn hanging in streamers with a quantity of little fish swimming underneath it and eating it. The passengers were able to catch two of them in a basket and one small fish, however found that they loose their beauty when taken out of the sea. They were informed by the crew that they are very poisonous and the water from them can sting very severely . The cord that was fastened to the basket touched William's arm and the sting he felt was much worse than any nettle sting. More than a dozen passengers were stung by it from larking. A young shark was noticed round the stern of the ship and the crew tried to hook him, but no go. It is very hot 'tween decks and again there was a beautiful sunset and moonlight evening. William and Mrs K slept on deck on a sheet of canvas a piece, and they enjoyed a peaceful nights sleep. The ship is now opposite the coast of Guinea.On Friday 29th September, the morning is very cloudy and by 10am it is raining quite hard and it continues all day. So the crew and passengers erected canvas slings on the poop, to catch the water and begin to fill the casks with fresh water. William is able to also fill his own cask, for washing his and Mrs. K's clothes the next week. There is a great scramble for the fresh water, and everyone's spirits are lifted with the knowledge they no longer have to drink water, which they are sure is what has been making them ill. That afternoon four ships are sighted and signals exchanged. In the evening it is very close below deck, due to the rain forcing everyone to remain below during the day. Also, that night there is another very close call with a fire, when one of the passengers sets his berth on fire, by using turpentine to kill the bugs and a lighted candle ignites the turpentine.
At last the ship was catching the right winds and her royals had been hoisted. However, the seas were rough and everyone again was feeling quite squeamish. Some of the ladies fainting away, William and Mrs. K were unwell and could not hold down their meals. The captain informed William that he had a last caught the South East Trade winds and he is hoping it will take the ship at least 20 degrees of south latitude. This day was quite cool and William for the first time in weeks wore his stockings and waistcoat. The ship is now 219 miles from the Equator. That evening plum pudding was served for tea and a bottle of stout and William managed to partake of the meal. In the early hours of the morning William woke with a nagging toothache and was unable to get back to sleep, so he went up on deck, it was around 2 am. The ship was then running the fastest he had ever seen her, like a water race horse and he had to hold on to the railing to steady himself. William now could see that there was no mistake about her sailing ability, if she could get the wind in her sails. In the morning as the passengers came up on deck, they appear to be feeling a little better. William, however is no better and feels very quarmy and inclined to be sick. The ship lay over well and on this day to walk on the Poop deck was like walking on the roof of a house, as you had to take care where to plant your feet. The passengers are informed by the Captain that he expects to pass over the Equator tomorrow morning. So another grand concert was put on in case Neptune should come on board to show his head, however he had not arrived by 8 o'clock, though a few minutes later a tar barrel was lighted and thrown over board to announce the arrival of Neptune, and having nothing else to look at everybody looked over the side and all thought it looked well.The 51st day out, it is Tuesday 3rd October, 1854. The morning is fine and the ship had been running at a very good rate all night and still going with a good wind. At the midday observation the ship is 7 miles north of the Equator and the sun is right over head, and it was found that if you stood very still and upright you had no shadow. The Marchioness of Londonderry passed over the line of the Equator between 1 and 2 o'clock, at that very moment another ship was sighted from the masthead on the Marchioness of Londonderry's tack. In the evening as it got dark Neptune came on board singing, "...Britons never shall be slaves..." and to inquire how many children we had here. The law prohibits shaving on passenger ships and the Captain of any ship who allows it, is punishable by law. So the Captain has cautioned his men not to do it to the passengers and if they do insist on doing it then the fine would fall upon him. However, five of the crew had never been this way before and they would shave each other and not interfere with any of the passengers, however three of the passengers in good will volunteered to also be shaved. It was done in a mild form and very laughable to the bystanders, as faces were blackened with soot and grease. A long piece of wood, about 3 feet called a razor was used and each participant was asked a question, this was to make him open his mouth, then in goes the brush into his mouth. When each was shaved he gets up and embraces Mrs. Cox who is playing Neptune's wife, then with three cheers he is pronounced free of the Marchioness of Londonderry. After the shaving a collection for Neptune is taken up for him to drink the health of the passengers and so it ended with good order. The passengers really enjoyed the evening and the Captain was satisfied that everyone had been restrained and all appeared to be in a very happy mood indeed. After the festivities were over, the passengers retired to bed.The weather has warmed up again and William has taken to sleeping up on deck. He feels this gives Mrs. K more room and more air in the small cabin. The moon is full and lights up the deck like the sun. He has been told that it was bad to sleep with your eyes exposed to the light of the moon in the tropics. William feels this is an old wives tale, and it would be the sun of the tropics that would be more damaging to the eyes, as he is sure that nowhere else on earth was the sun brighter or the sky so blue. That day a ship has been spotted and the Captain thinks she may be out of New York, however after signals were past between both ships, it was discovered it was the "Patsy Dawson" the ship bound for New Zealand, which had been in company with the Marchioness of Londonderry off the Isle of Wight. The passengers and crew gave a loud cheer to see an old friend and signals were sent back and forth:-"...Signal from P.D. 6527, I hope you are all well, reply from M of L 6528 all are well, question from M o L, I hope you are well, reply from PD, very well..."Sunset was again upon the ship, while it sailed on the vast expanse of water, far, far from home. The ship was going at around 9 1/2 knots at nine pm. William went below deck and slept this night down stairs on the table, he found it a hard bed and not over refreshing. However his attitude is, such is the life of an emigrant, or others who are in the regions of such heat. William is growing very tired of what they are eating and he has a great craving for beer and would drink a good deal of it, if only it was not so expensive. He finds the water is queer, black with filth floating on it and he feels sure that if people on shore were to see it, they would say it is not fit to be drunk by human beings, but they cannot get any better now and this is the only water they have to drink. William believes that the water has not been well filtered, nor were the casks cleaned well before the voyage began.On Friday 6th October there had been a very good wind in the early part of the morning, but now it was slight, they were sailing very near the "Patsy Dawson" and around 10 am they were level, and the Captain of the other ship enquire the time (Greenwich) and it was found that each ship had almost the exact same time. Later in the morning a squall came up with rain and the "Patsy" went off at a good rate and the Marchioness of Londonderry was becalmed, as she was out of the current of wind, however just under an hour the winds caught her sails and she was on her way.That evening there was an altercation on deck and very unpleasant it was too. It was between the cuddy passengers. Mr.Burton is drunk and wants to fight with Doctor Golding, the good doctor is in no better state, as he had also been drunk on Sunday afternoon and Wednesday night too. Mr Burton is turned off the poop by Mr. Bewick, the chief mate and Mr Burton feels annoyed that he cannot be there to make what noise he likes. He is crying and swearing he will be there in spite of everybody. This Mr. Burton is a native of Newcastle in New South Wales and is returning to Australia after a two year stay in England. He can be a real troublesome person, when he sets his mind to it. Much to the dismay and discomfort of the ladies and the other passengers.
"...It is the 55th day out, Saturday 7th October, 1854. The morning is fine and the ship is going along with some speed. Everyone, is busy carrying out their cleaning duties, as the deck is well washed, as it the engine hose cleaned. There has been rain on and off over the weeks and fresh water has been gathered. William goes below deck and has a wash with fresh water in the cabin, and he finds it very refreshing. The salt water does not clean the dirt off as fresh water does, also he can get a better lather of soap. There was another row in the afternoon in the roundhouse, it is Bladen again, the old offender, and he strikes Mr. Field at least four times and turns him out of the house, others made sure that the fight did not continue. That evening everyone was in high spirits and a comic scene took place on deck, as two fifes, a whistle and a tin pot for a drum played "The Girl I Left Behind Me", and a good number of the passengers marched around the deck and in front of the cuddy deck repeated the song several times, then changing the tune, which produced more laughter, than any one thing yet had been seen on board.William went to see the doctor this day, for some salts and for Mrs. K. he got a tonic and also some arrowroot. In the evening by the light of the moon they could see the "Patsy Dawson" and they were parallel to her. It gave a nice feeling of confidence to be out in this fast ocean, with a friend nearby. After tea, Mrs. K joins William on the deck for the evening stroll before she retires to her cabin, leaving William on deck to discuss the days happenings with the other males passengers.Around midnight the young men as usual commenced bathing on the main deck and opposite the roundhouse door, when some person or persons began to annoy those enjoying their bath by throwing lumps of pudding, a piece of wood, biscuits and bones. In time the young men began to retaliate by throwing a broom in the doorway and also a bucket of water. Mr. Persse, getting sick and tired of these goings on, went into the roundhouse and groped his way around, but could not find anyone there. However, when Mr.Persse came out, more things begin to be thrown out at the young men. Mr. Persse this time goes in and lights up a match and this time finds Mr. Bladen standing there, looking very guilty indeed. Mr Persse seized him by the throat and dragged him out by the hair of his head and knocked him to the deck. Bladen then gets himself up, Persse challenges him as a man to stand up and fight and get it over with, but Bladen has not pluck enough to do so. William thinks it such a jolly lark, he has not seen for many a day and was pleased that Bladen had been shown up as the trouble maker he is.The next morning was Sunday, and it is a beautiful fine day, with the "Patsy" on the Marchioness of Londonderryís stern. The Captain of the "Patsy" hoisted a signal enquiring if Captain Williams had on board a chart of New Zealand, the Captain of the Marchioness of Londonderry signalled that he did not have one, as one had not yet been published. However, our Captain was sure that one could be purchased in either Wellington or Nelson. The conversation between the two ships was of a business nature between the Captains. William found it very pleasant standing on the stern, watching this conversation take place, between two ships at sea. William then took in a large breath of fresh air and turned away from the stern and walk over to join Mrs. K., who was standing and gossiping with the other ladies, while they waited for the Sunday church service to begin.Sunday service was held on the Poop as usual. After service was over and when Mr. Persse came off the Poop, that blackguard Bladen was waiting for him and began to mouth him, when Mr.Persse struck him and they began fighting going hammer for hammer at each other by the ship's side. However, one of Bladen's party tried to pull Persse off, when Persse's friend also interfered to protect him and they all began fighting, until the Captain came and parted them. Bladenís face was scratched about, but he had not been half punished enough and now of course the ship was much disturbed. William felt much annoyed at a repetition of such blackguard conduct and that the peace of the ship was being destroyed by one man, with almost impunity.After dinner all the passengers were ordered on to the Poop to hear the Captain and Bladen was brought up and ordered aft of the mast, where the handcuffs and leg irons lay. The Captain gave Bladen a reprimand and told him if he repeated his reprehensible behaviour, he would put him in irons. The Captain continues, that he had been 10 years a Master of a ship and never had he had an occasion to put one man in irons.. The Captain then stipulated that Bladen must promise to behave better for the future, which Bladen did and so ended the case. William, however feels that the Captain has not done his duty to the passengers, by not putting the troublemaker in irons and making an example of him. He feels that the Captain's kindness will be abused and they will see a recurrence of the same thing. William feels he must be as prudent and cautious as one can, for it is very difficult and different on board ship to what it is on land, as there is no chance of getting away from these disagreeables. William, notes that both he and Mrs. K, are as well as ever they have been at sea. In the afternoon they take a walk around the deck and chat to other passengers as they pass. They stand for a while on the lee side and William notes how beautiful it is at sea this day. The ship is more square with the wind, which is fair, and she is going free. All her stunsails are set and the ship has now every inch of canvas up she is rigged to carry. The "Patsy" so close by looks one mass of canvas and looking at her the passengers on the Marchioness of Londonderry can see their likeness. Though the "Patsy" carries one or two mores sails than they, William feels these extra sails are more ornamental than in actual use. William informs Mrs.K that he had had his usual daily discussions with the Captain this day and he had informed William that he expects to be off the Cape by Monday week. The Captain estimates that they are now about half way through the voyage. However, the Captain has warned William that the worst part of the voyage is ahead. It has been indeed an eventful day, but the evening has been an enjoyable one. The couple retire down below to their cabin, however William again sleeps on the table.William and Mrs. K are fastidious about keeping themselves, their bedding and their clothes clean, and when William is able to catch rain water he and Mrs. K catch up on their washing. This day there is a light wind and any washing they are able to get done will dry quickly. Mrs K. washed a few things, while William washed two sheets and his trousers. They have a small quantity of linen out, which they use and wash a little every week, so they have no dirty things in their cabin. However, it is very awkward washing on board the ship with cold water. Sometimes as a great favour William is able to get a little water made hot so he can wash his flannel. Sometime William does use a little rain water. Each day they have to contribute from their supply of water a certain amount to the cook, this is used to boil the rice or the potatoes and make the pot of tea. All passengers have to contribute a portion of their water each day for cooking. On the evening of Monday, 9th October, a Grand concert was held in the evening, with old English ballads, also comic and sentimental singing and recitations. William has been busy all this day about something or other. He is feeling as well this day as he does on land and he hopes he and Mrs. K. keep so, for he feels by now they should be getting used to the sea voyage. "Patsy" is still on the stern and westward of the Marchioness of Londonderry. The first mate informs William that they are getting near to Rio Janeiro in South America. It is getting very warm and they have lost the trade winds. The Captain is very disappointed about this, as they have not lasted as long as he had expected. A Mrs. Andrews was taken down ill the previous Sunday evening, it was a miscarriage of birth, but it appears she is now doing well.A few days later, it is early morning just after sunrise, it is fine and the ship is almost becalmed. William notes that the Captain appears to be out of spirits, with the long passage he is making. Every one is busy cleaning and paint brushes are out and being used. On the following Sunday odd jobs are being carried out as usual until dinner time. However, after dinner, afternoon squalls come up again and all the stunsails are taken in and others stowed. It is soon raining and continues all the afternoon, which drives all the people down below, expect those who like the change that rain brings at sea. William stays up on deck and gets thoroughly wet. He catches a bucket of water for washing and is very pleased. Evening is also very wet and dark, not one star to be seen. Those on board have not before, ever seen a night so dark since the Marchioness of Londonderry left the English Channel. The ship is moving fast, but only for a short time and then she slows down again, and she is pitching a good deal more than usual.A sheep is killed today, however all that came to stare at it, are turned off by the sight of it hanging up. However, it looks to be a nice healthy one and all of it goes into the cubby, the head and feet included. Everyone is sure that they will enjoy cooked fresh meat for a change. William takes up some of his potatoes and other vegetables he has stored in his cabin to the cook. William is hoping that he and Mrs K. will enjoy their meal this day and he has also taken out a bottle of wine he had stored away, which will accompany their fine dinner. There is a large dog on board, which belongs to the ship and one of the best tempered dogs William has ever seen. However this night the dog jumped off the Poop, into the quarter boat at the ships side, after a large rat, he then slipped overboard and of course was drowned, which William is much vexed for. So is the Captain who suffered much at the loss of his dog, as he was a Chinese dog. The Captain had a boat lowered but it was too late and it was decided by the crew to leave his body to the deep. That evening Mrs. K slept on the table and William slept on the berth. However 'tween decks it was stifling hot, from most of the passengers staying below during the day because of the wet weather..."
"....It is the 60th day out, Thursday 12th October 1854. The morning is cloudy and the ship is becalmed. After breakfast is cleaned, many passengers make themselves comfortable on deck and making sure they are wearing their hats to keep the harsh sun from their eyes and faces. It is a beautiful day, yesterday land was sighted and it was the rocky island of Trinidade. William was informed by a crewman that is was uninhabited. He stood at the rails and took a sketch of the island, describing it as very pretty, much like one of the Canary Islands the Marchioness of Londonderry passed some time back. They were on the American side of the island. This day was a fine day for washing with Mrs. K. washing her linen and William washed his white trousers for Sunday service. For dinner Suete Pudding was served. The evening before someone had stolen the kidneys from inside the sheep and the cook had an order to look out for them. He opened one pudding but no go, tried another and found the kidneys and the man who brought the pudding to the galley, it was Bladen our noted character, in trouble again. Another concert that night and marching around the deck in comic order like soldiers. The next day was also fine and still becalmed, the sea is still. Westerly winds are prayed for, the ship is now standing with her bow headed for South America, and the Marchioness of Londonderry is very near Rio Janeiro. The Captain has told William that they will pass near an island called Tristan de Achuncah, and if required the ship can pull in there to get more fresh water. The ship is now sailing direct for the Brazilian coast, however she is still sailing very slowly and finding it difficult to pick up the winds. In the evening there was a brilliant meteor, which was close by the ship, the light from it was so bright that those on deck could see things very plainly on deck, it was emitting sparks and a bright violet light. Everyone at night comes out on deck, to see if they are the first to sight the Southern Cross. It has not yet been sighted, however they can see light spots called the Magellan clouds. The passengers are astounded at how thick the stars are and so brilliant in this part of the world. There is Pludase, Tigo and Spica in sight and a very brilliant planet in the zenith Jupiter.On the 65th day out, on Tuesday 17th October, William is woken from a deep sleep, by the noise of the sea and the rocking of the ship. He dresses quietly and quickly and goes up on deck to see what was doing and a very grand sight greeted him. As it was to see the sea, in such grand motion and the ship running at least eleven knots to the hour. Morning broke a little after four o'clock and William made his way to the cuddy and begged a little coffee from the cook in the galley. After breakfast the wind increased in strength and by ten it had got very thick to windward and began to rain and blow, the sea rising to big waves all around the ship, as if to show those on board that they were now, really at sea. It was quite different to anything they had witnessed before this, the ship head rising from ten to twenty five feet and the stern down very low in the hollow of water, with a big wave of fifteen to twenty feet high just behind it.William put on his oil skins and was out and about on deck all day, he was right in his element. William stood for sometime on the forecastle watching all around the ship's head and it was a very grand sight, the swell was here and below there is nothing but hills and holes. The Marchioness of Londonderry is only running with three sails set out of 26 foresails closed and reefed. Topmost sail set and mizzen sail on aftermast and she is going as fast as when she is in full canvas. She is shipping seas on main deck and the poop and some of the women are much frightened.All retire to bed early however, one old woman screamed out in the night with such fright, that she frightened a good many more. William held the crew in great respect and found them hard working men of good character. The rule of the ship for seamen was that there was no grog allowed, however these men nearly all the previous day, had been drenched and wet, some wet through twice and they had nothing but cold meat for dinner. Many of the passengers felt that the Captain should give them a glass of grog, as it would be nothing more than they deserved and would not be at all out of place. William describes the crew as very strong men and well conducted and carry out responsibility, are very civil and not swearing. That is all except the old boatswain and he can swear, as every third word is interlaced with an oath, the people consider him to be a Rum old beggar, but yesterday he was in his glory, having plenty of work on his hands.During the night there is nothing but terror on board, with timbers creaking and the noise of sailors rolling about, there is little sleep enjoyed by anyone. William rises with a terrible headache and finds there are water bottles broken, floor pails spilt and crockery broken below deck. When he goes up on deck he hears from a friendly crew member that several bottles of wine and a large jar of brandy, had been broke in the steward's store room. Oh what a loss, William thinks to himself. Breakfast is a debacle, for no sooner was a pot of hot water set down on the table, than over it goes. Cups of tea go over, there is water running on the tables and the deck is wet and slippery. Ladies are screaming and crying with terrified looks on their white faces, their eyes betraying their fears. There is general confusion all over the ship. The Marchioness of Londonderry is leaning so far over, everyone feels she will go right over. There is a great swell and the seas are striking the ship from every direction. Hatches had to be covered, to stop the water penetrating below deck, which it had already done, drenching the berths. There was a party sitting up on the Poop, when a huge wave broke over them giving them a good drenching. A half a gale is now blowing and everyone wonders how they would survive a full gale. William thinks that if their friends on shore could see them now, they would be terrified for their safety. It is very rough and the ship is being pounded by huge waves, and if you walk around the deck you must hold tightly on to something, or you will be washed overboard. The ship's head is sometimes so low that if feels like she was going down, down to the depth of the ocean and then she would rise and then over on her lee side with gunnels nearly in the water, this occurring in constant succession. William stations himself up on the Poop, watching this storm raging all around him, from 6 to 8 pm. He only leaves his post, when be begins to feel very cold. However, once below deck, he becomes seasick and loses his dinner and tea by 9 pm.The next day when William comes up on deck he notices on the stern of the ship a good number of sea fowl, some Cape hens a large black bird, a Cape pigeon which is a very pretty black bird and a white Albatross and also some Mollyhawks, a bird nearly as large as the Albatross. There are also Whale birds, which are a small grey bird and added to that Mother Carey's chickens. The carpenter tells William that he has seen an Albatross that measure 12 feet across from the tip of one wing to the other. The weather today is quite cool. The passengers are pleased that some fish was served for dinner today, as the sea is calmer and the fishing lines were out once more.On the Saturday 21st October, the doctor has asked William will he come to his cabin and cut his hair, after this chore has been completed the good doctor asks William to share a glass of sherry with him. He then went on to cut the Steward's hair and received 6d for his trouble, also some brandy and water, which William found to be very acceptable indeed. Also, after the Steward informed him he had this day bottled 24 bottles of stout, William immediately undertook to purchase 2 bottles from him, for himself and Mrs. K. to enjoy in their cabin. He was very pleased with his purchase, as there had been no porter or beer for sale for some weeks.For almost a week the weather again has been foul, the ship was so drenched that water began to seep into William and Mrs. K's cabin. All have been very ill and pray for the weather to settle down. The Captain was very concerned, as he knew that there was an island soon to be passed, but he was unable to work out which side of the island they would be passing, this due the thick weather. He was afraid that if he did not get it right, the ship would be in danger of drifting on to the rocks surrounding the island. However, the Marchioness of Londonderry passed it in safety during the night. The island was Gough Island, it is over 3000 feet in elevation, from the level of the sea. William enjoyed his stout so much he went back and purchased some more from the Steward, as it soon may not be available again. He very carefully put it away in storage. His thoughts now begin to turn towards Australia, as he reckons that they are only five weeks out from arriving in Sydney Town. He and Mrs. K are going to bed much earlier these days as it is becoming quite chilly and bed is the warmest place to be, especially now they have their extra blankets.The Marchioness of Londonderry passed the Meridian of Greenwich time during this night..."
It is the 74th day out, Saturday 28th October, 1854. The Marchioness of Londonderry has been sailing well, however, in the early hours of the morning the ship has been rocked about. The wind had increased in strength, so much so that the canvas had to be taken in at 4 a.m. The ship was rolling so much that William jumped out of bed quite startled, and went up on deck and ascertained it was not the weather that was causing the most trouble, but bad steering by the man at the wheel. The wind was aft and he brought the ship too much around into the wind and the officer of the watch, half expecting to see the topmast blow away and also the sail. The cans and the utensils flew about all over the ship. Again, there was an elderly woman running about in her night dress, in a most dreadful way. Old Mrs. Hall so frightened wished herself at home and cursed that she had ever come. There are three old women who are always grumbling and finding fault with everything. Old Mrs. H frightened herself so much, that she screamed like a maniac, in a state of hysteria. At this time the ship is about 600 miles south of the Cape of Good Hope, William is very pleased as he feels that they are now getting on with their journey. However, everyone is feeling the bitter cold and are finding it very difficult to get warm, no matter how much they rug up. Problems are beginning again between some of the passengers, with Dr Honeywell calling the chief mate Mr. Berwick a coward, by which Mr Berwick considered it an insult and he told Honeywell that no man will call him no coward, and it was then that Mr. Berwick seized the doctor by the collar and threw him down, as if to spite him. Honeywell, got up very quiet and says but little. Doctor Honeywell has talked quite a great deal about fighting and has been unfairly used and that he would fight any man. All this talk and drink caused others to become involved and it took the Captain's arrival and ordering a number of those involved to their cabins, and when Mr Henessy refused, the Captain twisted his arm behind his back and marched him down the stairs to his cabin.William quite enjoys his time in the galley, when he can cook up his cakes and make up his jams, as Mrs. K works beside him and it reminds him of home. It is nice and warm in the galley, as the bitter cold is taking its toll on some of the passengers. There has been reports of a new case of pneumonia in 'tween decks. Though the hatchways are covered over it is still very cold. There is another bother with the steward and Mr. Thurgood, who went into the cuddy and began a row, when the steward put him out. Mr. Thurgood was drunk again and a cuddy passenger took him into his cabin. William reflects on the voyage and thinks that they each pass their time in their ocean home, while journeying over this vast expanse of water and leave not a track for the next comer to follow. The evening before William dreamt that he was back home at Dennington, however when he awoke he soon remembered he was off the Cape of Good Hope. The day before there was a Cape Pigeon on board, however it was not caught and was allowed to fly off home. On Wednesday 1st November, there was ice on the topsails and after breakfast it was so cold most passengers chose to return to the warmth of the cabins. The thermometer stood at 42 degrees. The cold however, has helped to improve most passengers appetites.On Friday 3rd the Marchioness of Londonderry sailed past Prince Edward Island and she is running on for Gough Island. William approached the Captain and asked permission for the Steward to sell him a bottle of brandy for Mrs. Kerridge, who was feeling the cold terribly and was feeling very unwell. The Captain agreed that he would allow William to have one bottle. The cook is spending quite a bit of time at the stern of the ship trying to catch sea birds and this day he was lucky he caught two with the first line from the stern of the ship. The first bird is called a Boby, a white bird very much like the sea gulls at home and a large brown and slate colour bird, called a Cape Hen and he measure from the tip of wing just 7 feet. The cook again was lucky as he caught a second Hen. The line is run out when the birds fly past and the cook gives it a swing round and it gets over their wings and fouls them, then he pulls the birds in. The Hens are nearly as big as a Goose. Once caught, the birds are carried around the deck so everyone can see the sea monsters. After the birds had been plucked and cleaned, William is given the birds for the stuffing and the cook has given him free rein in the galley. William will make up a nice tasty stuffing, using many of the cooks exotic herbs and spices and stale bread. William has even been able to get a little porter, from the cook to moisten the mixture. He feels so happy, helping to create a wonder meal they will all enjoy the next day.On Sunday 5th November, the weather was most foul, the worst ever seen, at one time a wave went right over the Poop deck, drenching the poor captain through to the skin. A young lad was thrown overboard when drawing a bucket of water, but lucky for him, as he held on for dear life to the rope and was again hauled in. However if he had lost his hold, it would have been nearly, if not quite impossible, to have saved him, with such a sea. It would have periled the lives of the men to have gone after him. On the whole William feels this is a cold and very uncomfortable road to Sydney. Poor William had a fall in the evening, falling rather heavy and on the previous night also.On Tuesday evening, it was so dark it was impossible to look up and see the sails. At 2 am there came a very heavy snow storm and the night deck was covered with snow. The Captain declares, that he has never seen so much snow for ten years. The night was almost at freezing point. The next morning it is again very cold and a large tub of snow is up on deck. There is snow on the rigging and the sails have quite a winter aspect. The passengers sat down to their meal with overcoats on to try and keep warm, they held on tightly to their warm cups of tea to keep their hands and fingers warm. In the afternoon the ship rolled more than ever, there were heavy squalls. During the squall the Captain supposed the ship was going at the rate of 14 1/2 knots per hour. There is an old lady who is very ill and not expected to live. She is 65 years of age going out to her husband, her daughter and son-in-law are on board with her, but they have not payed that much attention to her as they ought. The old women has been up early in the mornings and stays about as long as she can, then she must return to her bed. The cause of her illness William concludes, is she is just too old to have been expected to make such a long and arduous voyage. William prays and hopes she will recover, but holds out little hope for her survival.On Friday 10th November, William was almost killed. It was blowing a hard gale and the seas were really heavy, when William went up on deck and was standing on the Poop deck, when a large block, which fell from the cross jack landed right next to him. Had it hit him or any other person, there was no doubt they would have been killed on the spot. There have been many falls on board due to the rolling and pitching of the ship. Mrs Fletcher had a nasty fall and hurt herself, also Mr Andrews fell, which resulted in a badly bruised shoulder. Around 9 pm a sea struck the shipís side with such force she lurched three times, it was worse than anything they had previously experienced. William and many others held on for dear life and they were sure the ship was going over. Everything flew off shelves in all directions. In the cuddy the diner service was smashed. The doctor and several more of the passengers were standing in front of the cuddy, when they were thrown to the side with great violence. The doctor's nose, head and arm were cut and his knee was badly bruised. He was in a very bad state and had to be carried away by two people to his cabin. The cook's mate was in the galley and was so frighten, he thought his coopers were coming down on him. One of the boats that hung on the side of the Poop, floated at the time of the lurch. The Captain laughed when it was all over, most likely from relief that they had survived and not on any count, from amusement. That night was very uncomfortable for all as 'tween decks it was so wet, cold and had a miserable appearance. If the howl of the wind had not been so deafening, William was sure he would hear the continual chattering of teeth..."It is the 88th day out on Saturday 11th November, 1854. This is a very special day, as William notes in his diary, as it is Mrs. K's 30th birthday. The morning is fair and it had been a still night and everyone for once was able to sleep through the night. There was rain and snow at noon, and for dinner (lunch) the passengers enjoyed melted butter, with preserved herrings warmed, baked rice pudding. Latitude is 46o-23o south, Longitude 81o-22o east, 227 miles on course. There is hope amongst the passengers, that they will spend only two more Saturdays aboard ship. As the weather cleared the ladies took of the Poop deck in the afternoon, which is a treat for them to get up on deck. The evening is fine and there is promenading on the Poop. The poor old lady, Mrs. Sluice is very ill. William felt so sorry for her, at around 10 pm while others were socialising and playing cards, he went to the hospital to see her. He sat beside her and by her appearance William concluded that she would not last more than 2 to 3 hours.This Saturday morning, 12th November, William upon rising opened the door of his cabin to enquire about Mrs. Sluice and he was informed with much sorrow, that she had died at 7 am that morning. Breakfast was sad and it was noticed by some, when the sail maker went down 'tween decks to sew up the body. William felt deeply that the death was sad and gloomy for the poor old lady, as she was almost there and her hopes of a few days ago, were as high and bright as William's and Mrs K's, with the old lady's expectation of a last seeing her husband again. Also, Mrs. Gibson the kindly lady, who sat up with Mrs. Sluice for two nights, is now also ill with diarrhea, however she shows signs of improvement in the afternoon.Latitude 46o-18o South. Longitude 86o-38o east, 219 miles on course. On this day the Marchioness of Londonderry sailed passed the Meridian of St. Paul's Island and the last land, William was told they will see until they come to Van Diemans Land. Two days before this day, they had passed Kergulan and Desolation Island. Even though the day was a sad one, William's spirits lifted as for dinner on this day, there was a special spread put on in honour of Mrs K's birthday the previous day. They enjoyed a bottle of stout, preserved meat soup with dumplings, preserved potatoes and a rich plum pudding.At four o'clock in the afternoon Mrs. Sluice's body was brought up on deck. The cargo post was removed (this is a board in the ship's side) and the board with the body on, was laid on deck projecting through the port hole. A big cannon ball, about 56 lbs in weight was attached to the legs. The ship bell tolled melancholy and the Minister read the Service. The Captain officiated as clerk and in place of the words, "Ashes to Ashes etc", he said, "I commit this body to the deep", the plank was then raised by the ships carpenter and boatswain, with the first mate standing by. The sense of committing one of their fellow creatures to the deep, was a very impressive and calculated to touch the tender felling of all. Some of the passengers had no desire to witness the burial at sea, however the majority of them were present. For William it was a new scene and effected him deeply, he held close to him Mrs. K. and she placed her had tenderly on his. Mrs. Sluice's son, daughter and son-in-law stood by the body. Her husband having been out in the colonies for these past three years. It was a very sad day for all on board.Twins, a boy and girl had been born the week before and William has been told that the mother and twins are still confined, but are doing quite well. He is also informed that a cuddy passenger, a Mr. Leech is very ill and not expected to live many more days. He can take little beside brandy, from the free use of which, he has destroyed his constitution and he has with his own hand, committing suicide on himself. William is told that Mr. Leech could probably reach Sydney, to die there soon after arrival. Mr Leech's friends in Sydney Town are well off and it is said he has come out here to be cured of his unsteady habits. Sadly, he is only 20 years of age.Over the next five days the ship is battered with high winds, hail, sleet and snow storms. The galley is suffering a great deal with breakages. The seas are striking the good ship's sides with such force, that at times it feels that the angry sea is trying to stove her in. Some nights are fine and it was on one of these nights, when at last the Southern Cross was sighted shining ever so brilliant in the southern sky, also the Southern Constellations.On Friday 17th November, the passengers woke to a fine morning. However, there was a little disturbance with one of the sailors. Mr. Wakefield and the Captain were able to quell it before it got out of hand. For dinner this day for the first time salmon was served and it tasted very good indeed. William visits the Captain to enjoy his daily chat and he is informed that they are off from Cape Leeuwin, which is on the western coast of Australia. Latitude 48o-3o south. Longitude 114o-40o east and 241 miles sailed on course. Since the previous Friday to this day the ship has sailed 1595 miles and the Captain proudly informs William, that this is the best weeks work he has made in this ship. As the day is so fine, most come up from below deck and gather on the Poop. That evening the ship is under all her sail and a strong breeze is up and she is going faster than William has ever seen her. She is laying over so much that the boat on the side is nearly touching the water. The wind increases to strong before bedtime. The crew take in the royals and top gallant sails. William was on the Poop until bedtime, watching the fast sailing. The Captain informs him that he has never made such a run from the line, having gained 7 days; at the line the Marchioness of Londonderry had been 11 days behind.On Sunday 19th November it is the 97th day out, the morning is fine and the bright sun rises around 4 am and sets at 8 am, the days are getting very long indeed. Latitude 46o-49o. Longitude 126o-1o east 235 miles on course. The Marchioness of Londonderry is running opposite the Great Australian Bight, on the south coast of Western Australia. William is exhilarated and is glad to walk the poop after dinner. The new stunsails boom broke into pieces. However, all the sails are set today except the spanca. The ship is going nobly at 10 knots, it is good and very steady sailing. Seaweed was seen today and in the evening a bird of multi colours was sighted, and the passengers were informed that it was an Australia Parrott. Steering east half north, wind is from the north east. Tuesday 21st November, the morning is fine and the Marchioness of Londonderry has been sailing well at night. Then all members of committee met in the Captain's own cabin this day and presented him with a Memorial with the passengers signatures, requesting that extra quantity of food to be given out to all, as much of the food has been short weighted. If this request is not acceded to, the passengers as a group, will take legal action in Sydney. The Captain was very much enraged at this act and in committee nothing was spared being spoken of. Latitude 45o-19o south. Longitude 130o-52o east 211 miles on course. That afternoon Mr. Wakefield was busy with getting a subscription for the passenger's cook and William is pleased to report that he succeeded beyond the committee's expectations and collected the amount in cash of £6.8.6 with nearly £3 on the collection list still to be paid. The wind is well for the ship that night, however very wet and dark and they are pushing on to Van Diemans Land.
It is the 101st day out on Thursday 23rd November, 1854. William has been reading up on some books he had brought with him from his home. One reference book he had carefully packed in his luggage, was on the voyage of the First Fleet under the command of Captain Arthur Phillip. William was interested in how they had coped with this part of the voyage that the Marchioness of Londonderry was now making. After William read up on some of the tales that were told of the Fleetís trials and tribulations sailing across the Great Australia Bite, William could see that they had suffered greatly. Though he felt the Fleet would have been much further south than the Marchioness of Londonderry was. On his daily talk with the Captain, William brought up the voyage of the First Fleet. The Captain also had read of the Fleet's voyage and agreed that this was indeed a treacherous coast, and the name given to it, "The Ship wreck coast", told the tale. The ship has been sailing on well all night and the morning is very fine, but there is no land to be seen by noon. Latitude 44o-39o south. Longitude 140o-00o east, 200 miles on course. William referred to his charts and by reference, he believes they are 60 miles off land. At 6 o'clock that evening a ship was sighted ahead and it soon came clear to sight. The Captain, however is now in a fix, because they had not sighted land. He is afraid to go on, as the wind is driving the ship towards the north, to where the shore is and night it falling. The captain did not expect the wind to be from this quarter, if he had be would have sailed further south much earlier and not have run down the latitudes so soon. Knowing that the Marchioness of Londonderry was near land, the Captain showed he was very nervous this night as the wind did not shift. He then made the only choice opened to him, he altered the ship's course by sailing to the south, to stand off land till the morning!William notes it is a very fine night, the stars are thick in the heavens and the brightest of all is the Southern Cross and also the Constellation of Orion is so bright. However, Mrs Kerridge is not very well and has been given a glass of brandy from Mrs. Miles, William hopes this has helped her to sleep.Friday 24th November. The morning is very fine and the ship is close in with the land, those on board have a good sight of the island. Those on board note that they are off the broken low hilly part of the island. The passengers feel very gratified that today, they can see land once more and especially that the land, which is so near is part of their hopes and destination. A great many people came up on the Poop much earlier in the morning than was usual. The land on this part of the coast is very high and mountainous, and presents a bold majestic appearance to their view. This is a rock bound coast. The ship is near a small detached Island. The night is very fine and light. The passengers retire to their beds, thinking that tomorrow for dinner they will be enjoying the fruits of the catch of the day, a very large plump tuna.Saturday 25th November. Morning very fine, the Marchioness of Londonderry stood off the land at night and returned at 7 o'clock in the morning. She stood opposite the South West Cape, within ten miles of the land, at a point of land before her with two islands in near proximity to land. There is also a rock out to sea, which looks just like a ship in full sail, this is several miles from land. The Captain wants to get around the outside of this rock, however the Marchioness of Londonderry returns close to land that evening and little has been gained.Sunday 26th November. Morning fine. After breakfast the Captain changes his course and steers the ship further south to try and find a change of wind or give himself more sea room to clear this rock called Don Pedro. There is a nice sailing wind today, but the wrong way for the Marchioness of Londonderry. The passengers had anticipated to be near Sydney today, or some even had hoped to be there. Had the wind continued to be fair to the ship, there is little doubt that she would have been in Sydney Harbour this day and the passengers landed the next day, but such is not the case. William records another birth, to Mrs. Britton a girl and in the next cabin to the Kerridges, another is expected to give birth within the next few days. The evening is fine and people getting on the Poop deck, however it is chilly.The ship had stood off from the island with her stern turned towards it. The wind is still against them and the ship has made poor progress this day, but the Captain hopes to get out of the bay tomorrow and get on their way to Sydney. In the morning two ships were near by, but moved in to shore ahead of the Marchioness of Londonderry. One is a large ship and the Captain feels sure that it is the "Patsy Dawson". She hoists her ensign and the Marchioness of Londonderry did the same. William remarks on the colour of the water, it is very different, a very dark green. Also, a great number of fish are caught. That evening a barque was in sight and it is supposed to be a whaler standing in for the night.The 105th day out and it is Monday 27th November, 1854. This morning it is not so cold, the ship has stood south all night, and there is still but little wind and no prospect of a change as yet. The passengers are most disappointed and feel out of patience. They see little of the Captain as he, the poor man is vexed and disappointed. Standing off land and running south direct out of the road she should be sailing, with the knowledge of every mile the Marchioness of Londonderry goes in that direction, she has to come back again. At last at 4 o'clock that afternoon there is a change of wind, the ship is standing north east for a short time and an hour after to the south again, and in the evening to the north. It is cloudy all around and it looks like there could be a change in the weather, but to what no one knows. The Captain informed the passengers this evening, that they are now further off Sydney, by one day than they had been the previous Thursday night, and sadly he did not know what to do for the best.On Tuesday 28th November, there is great disappointment on board, the Marchioness of Londonderry is making no way, but standing south and there is very little wind. Everyone is showing their disappointment at not being in Sydney. William and Mrs. K. this evening sipped brandy on the Poop and looked at the stars in the sky and tried not to let their disappointment get the better of them.
"...We are 107 days out, it is Wednesday 29th November, 1854. This morning is fine, no better wind, it has not changed in our favour and there are no signs of it being better. In the afternoon the wind was a little more in our favour. Going east all afternoon at about 5 or 6 knots. This evening a large bird was caught, an albatross, its wings are a dark slate colour and the other parts of his body are pure white. The wings extended 7' 6", it was killed with 10 drops of Prussic Acid, a token from Dr. Honeywell. I was treated with brandy for my trouble.Thursday, 30th December, the morning is fine and mild, and we are becalmed until 11 o'clock, then we began to go on a little better. We are steering east and by McCarey's account we are within 12 miles of the Meridian of Sydney and 876 miles south of Sydney. The seamen are busy taring the ropes and the carpenter is getting the landing stairs ready, which reminds us of soon we will be going ashore.Friday, 31st December. This morning it is cloudy and cold, with a little wind steering due east and at noon the same. A sail in sight on our western bough. The people on board are dejected and feel a want of spirit, as we are no more forward now, than we were nine days ago and in 49o south latitude. One days sail too much to the south now makes us 10 days further than we were. Last night had a present of a bottle of brandy, Cognac from Dr. Honeywell for preserving a bird to go to England. It was found that they were no good for eating. Our doctor has been so drunk this and two previous nights, that he had to be lifted into bed. No change of wind yet and our position is no better than it was.110th day out. Saturday 2nd December. The wind is foul and we are going to the east then back again to the west, doing but very little good.Sunday, 3rd December. Cold and cloudy all day, there is an appearance of change to the wind, as we are steering a little better in times north west, than bout ship standing again to the east at night. The spirit of the ship is gone, people are out of patience and it is felt very much by all.Monday, 4th. Morning is very fine and it continued all day. In the forenoon becalmed and the birds came at the stern of the ship and took the meat off lines put out to catch them. Caught two albatrosses, and they are very fine birds from the tip of their wings.113th day out. Tuesday 5th December. This day is wet and cloudy, with strong signs of change of the weather. Captain Williams thinks this wind is used up. Steering to the west until four o'clock in the afternoon, when our ears heard the sound of up stunsails and square the yard. Delightful sound to us poor wind bound mortals to hear the wind was fair, though little of it. The ship is now heading due north, though we have our doubts whether it would last. A strong head sea is on all evening. The sunset was with magnificent beauty tonight, also a rainbow forming a complete arc of brilliancy. We observed two whales were near to us , blowing up jets of water, also a part of their bodies we could see. At the time we retired to our cabins, the ship is going much faster.Wednesday 6th December. Morning is fine and we are going our course at eight knots by 10 1/2 knots, in the afternoon it is 11 knots, with the wind on the increase and the sea is now with us. Thank God, we now feel a change in our favour and going at a noble rate for Sydney. This is a beautiful day at sea. The evening is fine and there is a bright moonlight at ten pm. I witnessed a remarkable phenomena, a rainbow from the moonlight formed an arc. Strange, most strange.115th day out. Thursday 7th December. Morning is fine and we have been going very fast all night and we continue so all day. Going from 10 to 11 knots. We have a swell in our favour and this is another beautiful sailing day at sea. Our distance sailed is 24 miles, and this is a good days work. We have gone a little to the east. At 8 o'clock the wind continues to be strong and going on nobly.Friday 8th December. Morning again very fine, with a good breeze we have done another good days work and are now fast approaching our land of adoption. There is some idea of us getting there on Saturday, however to do it we must have a strong wind. This is a lovely day at sea, very steady and bright clear blue sky. The sky is so very blue. In the evening the wind dropped a little, the night is clear and there is bright starlight.117th day out. Saturday 9th December. Morning very fine with little wind, the sea gone grand level, with a clear blue vault over head. We now know we shall not get to Sydney today, however we are all very busy now, cleaning our berths and ourselves, packing up and preparing in part to go on shore. At 12 o'clock today, from the forecastle we sighted the Australian land, soon after altered our course of steering. Steering north west, then changed to east by north. Going on till, noon at 3 knots, only in the afternoon the wind increased and we saw very plainly the change of the coast. Not such a high elevation of land. In the evening people walking the Poop in good spirits. Viewing from the poop this land, which has been the desire of our hearts to see and for which we have gone through some very disagreeable, as well as pleasurable experiences to reach and it is the desire of my heart for God, to prosper and preserve us till we gain a firm footing on this magnificent continent.After dark a light is seen on the land, and it is supposed to be the bush on fire. Some are going to sit up all night, others intend to rise before the sun. In the forecastle they are all very merry, singing and cheering till after twelve at night. Captain Williams is sure that tomorrow we will sail through the headlands that guard the waterway beyond and we will see what is said to be, the most beautiful and magnificent harbour in the world. We sleep this night content, as we are arriving at our promised land.
"...It is the 118th day out. Sunday 10th December, 1854. This morning is fine and Mrs. K. and myself are up at 12 past two in the morning. The ship is going slow with only light breeze and at 4 am the Poop looks animated. No land in sight and we are supposed to be about 38 miles from the heads. At 6 o'clock the yards are set and we are steering west by north. Now we are standing well in for land. This is a momentous day, we are now very anxious to see the heads as we have been in search of this last 17 weeks. There are two ships in sight but distant. It was between 6 and 7 am when we sight the land and the cliffs are very clear to sight, reflecting the sunlight. Every half hour they become more prominent to view and there showing between the high headlands, an opening nearer and nearer we approach. The flagstaff hoisted signals-Q - Who are you?A - Marchioness of Londonderry.Q - Where are you from?A - London.Q - How many days out?Our Captain declined to answer, as our ship wanted his attention. A few minutes later we have taken our pilot on board with three hearty cheers. The entrance is not very wide and we are quite close in with the cliff within a few yards. Before you go in, you cannot see the harbour any distance, but when you round this corner, then the harbour opens itself more to view. Just as we get in there is a ridge of rocks, level with the water, with a floating light near to them. This rock is called the 'Sow and Pigs'. We have got passed this, when the inspecting doctor came on board and to our great disappointment we are ordered to go to Quarantine. However, for what cause we do not understand, as we are all a good state of health. Not one case of sickness on board our ship. However, we are ordered in quarantine to get all our clothes washed.We came into the harbour just about a 1/4 to eleven o'clock. The morning is very fine and lovely. The sea is as calm as a lake and on our right and left side lay the land of our adoption. Our first impression of this country is very pleasing and this side of the picture is very different to the starting side. We are surround with high land, green in places and at the water's edge there are huge blocks of sandstone, which have tumbled about as nature and time have left them.It is very warm now and people sport their large rimmed straw hats, which are well adapted for protection of the eyes from this bright sun. We see small boats plying about. The reporter from the Sydney Empire came on board and the English news is received from Melbourne. The news covering up to October, which had arrived by cargo steamship out only 61 days. It is by this that we learn of the fall of Sebastopol and Burosund. The English and the French have lost three thousand and the Russians ten thousand. Destroyed by blowing up of a Fort and twenty two thousand have been taken prisoner. Also, there has been a rebellion with the gold diggers at Ballarat in Victoria and it is of a very serious nature, between some of the military and the miners and civilians have been killed. The insurrection is to do with licence fees. Captain Williams receives the papers and we have four papers put on board, which gives us news and makes us feel at home in the world once more.Thank God in my heart that we have arrived safe this far. This morning the ship from Liverpool the "St.Helena" arrived a few hours before us, she being 105 days from Liverpool. We have a Mrs. Williams with us and her sister came out by the "St. Helena", which is also in quarantine and we are sufficiently near for them to exchange signals to recognise each other. Two boats came down in the afternoon to inquire if their friends are well and one came in the evening with the husband and daughter of the poor old lady that died on passage and this was a painful case to all, to give them the bad news. Of course they returned with heavy hearts. Mr. Myall, the Harbour Master came to see his wife and two children after an absence of three years. Altogether this is a very eventful day of our lives. A clear and most beautiful sky all day and starlight at night and with this, I close my days report on the arrival to Port Jackson on the Marchioness of Londonderry..."The Marchioness of Londonderry carried Captain John Williams and 35 crew, 105 male passengers, 107 female passengers and 32 children. Almost exactly one year later, "The Light of the Age" arrived from London in Sydney Cove under the commanded of Captain John Williams, a report from The Sydney Morning Herald:-"... This splendid clipper ship arrived on Thursday from London under the command of Captain John Williams, late of the Marchioness of Londonderry. She is a new clipper of 1287 tons register and very beautiful model, build by her owners to run as a regular trader between London and this port. Her saloon is very large, and elegantly fitted up; the table is about 30 feet in length and the cabins spacious and well ventilated. there is a separate cabin for ladies fitted up in the most gorgeous style. the passage was accomplished in 91 days from London..."Post script:- William Kerridge never wrote another word in his Journal, so research and investigation had to be carried out to find out what happened over the next few days, while they were anchored in the Cove. As the ship did not have any sick on board at this time, the passengers did not have to be taken up to the hospital above the cove. This in many cases was a death sentence, so they were very lucky. Unbeknown to the authorities at the time, they were spreading the diseases amongst the well passengers, as the water flowed from the top of the hill to the lower part, through the graves of those who had died there and were buried and this polluted the water. The passengers of the Marchioness of Londonderry, where taken off the ship and were taken to the wash house building on the edge of the sand right on the bay. The women first had to remove their clothing and had to scrub down with carbolic soap and they had to wash their clothes, changing into clean clothes taken from the ship. The men followed later. The ship was scrubbed down and all bedding was burnt on Quarantine Beach. Once this exercise was completed, the passengers were taken back on board to await their next orders.The arrival of the Marchioness of Londonderry was announced in the Sydney Morning Herald on December 11th 1854 on page four:-"...Marchioness of Londonderry, ship of 869 tons, Captain John Williams, from the Isle of Wight August 25. Passengers - Mrs Lee, Mrs Myall and two children. Messrs Chalmers, Leech, Mathews, Dr. Golding and 244 emigrants. Lyall, Scott and Co, Agents..."Thursday, December 14th 1854 - The Sydney Morning Herald:-"...Marchioness of Londonderry from London - This ship will discharge at Campbell's Wharf. Consignees are requested to collect their entries without delay, as all goods impeding the discharge will be landed by the undersigned at the risk of the owners. - Lyall, Scott and Company..."Most of the assisted passengers on the Marchioness of Londonderry was organised by the "Family Colonisation Loan Society', run by Caroline Chisholm.There is a list of the assisted immigrants on the N.S.W. Website:- http://www.records.nsw.gov.au/also there is a List of crew on the Mariners and ship in Australian Waters site: http://mariners.records.nsw.gov.au/1854/12/040mar.htm