THE DIARY OF THOMAS HENRY SEVERN
An account of the voyage of the "Prince Alfred" from Gravesend on the River Thames to Melbourne, Victoria. 13 August to 4 December 1852. Thomas Henry Severn, or Henry as he was known, was aged 22 at the time of the voyage. Soon after he arrived in Melbourne he gained employment as a compositor in a printing office. In a letter to his father written on 26 December 1852 he writes about his first impressions of Melbourne.
Friday August 13 / '52. Woke up this morning at about 5 oclock with a loud noise on the deck had breakfast of tea and biscuits. At about 1 oclock we left this dock and amidst much cheering we sailed for Gravesend. I went on shore to post letters - My chum Frank Hewer a very nice young man not very well went on shore and purchased a filter (Filters decidedly wanted as the water is very bad). All lights ordered out at 10 oclock
Saturday August 14 | - The boxes came up from the hold today. - (Advised to purchase some plates to eat off + cup and mug - found them nicer to drink out of than tin. Some of the passengers went on shore to a ball in the evening. Captain Lanning the Government surveyor came on board and called over our names - lights not put out till 11.
Sunday August 15 | This evening found that the berths near the hatchway were swamped - water is very scarce - At about 1 oclock the Tugg came for the vessel - has a glass of Brandy and water to drink the health of ....Our mess is formed - At about six oclock we passed the "Noor light" - Two or three beginning to be ill - before dark most of the ladies were ill in their cabin. Staid on deck till tired out - for the cabin below smelt so dreadfully that I felt ill when I went below -
Monday August 16 | Found that we were off the I. of Wight bound S.W. No ladies on deck all were ill My head ached very much - on deck all day - dare not go in the cabin for the smell was so bad.
Tuesday August 17 | Many ladies still ill. The scramble to get the water - beef, biscuit - most annoing. The washing up of the things rather tiresome A Gale sprang up in the afternoon and the rain poured down in torrents During the night the gale blew so hard that the vessel was driven more than 70 miles out of her course - A ship nearly ran into us during the night.
Wednesday August 18 | Great consternation at the night before. My head ached, having slept with my head the wrong way, the ship changing her tack while I was asleep On deck all the day not at all well - To bed early - It has been a wet and miserable day.
Thursday August 19 | All the passengers appear much better, most of the ladies on deck. Land seen in the afternoon. The second Cabin passengers formed a deputation to wait on the Captain to make complaints respecting several inconveniences - such as a man not being provided to sweep out the Cabin etc - The Captain referred us to Mr Gull who has Gulled the passengers thoroughly
Friday August 20 | Arrived this morning at Plymouth the sun shon brilliantly - the land look cheering to the sight of all - especially those that had been ill - and had been fed off fat pork and hard Beef - After breakfast a party of us went on shore and had a dinner of beef steak and onions at the Commercial Inn The table was cleared by us hungry passengers - Remain with the ship at Plymouth until the 25 inst. The 22 and 23 being Carys birthday and another event - I passed my day not without a thought
1 Thursday August, 26 | - Went on shore to post my last letters in England, announcing my departure... At about 4 oclock Mr Gull came on board and to all appearance the Cabin passengers were as little satisfied as us Mr Gull struck one of them and got struck again in return Many of the things done for us that we required - A glorious breeze springing up we sailed into the Ocean. - The scene of the departure of Mr Gull most amusing - the hisses - yells - both from the ladies and gentlemen of both cabins - and some rotten egg etc etc found their way to him as he left the vessel thus were the feeling of the passengers towards him. The moon shining brilliantly on the water & the ship flying (as it were) through the sea, was a pretty sight. A Cornet - etc - were playing polkas on the deck Gentlemen walking to and fro smoking - ladies begin to look ill and interesting again and by degrees all retired from the deck.
2 Friday August 27 | Busy trying to make my berth comfortable. My chum very ill again. Went and laid down on the deck during the afternoon. The wind not so fresh - but it change in the evening and we went on again at a good pace
3 Saturday August 28 | Cloudy and windy - find that I wanted some cloths to wipe my tea things on - pudding cloth too small. Not very well - took some medicine
4 Sunday August 29 | Had service on the Poop in the open air - the wind blowing a stiff gale all the while that scarcely a word could be heard - In the afternoon it being rather rough and I tired I laid down. It cleared up in the evening and the moon shon brilliantly. Being messman my time was very much occupied during the day, that I have had little time to read.
5 Monday August 30 | - Off the Bay of Biscay - almost a calm and very warm - Very busy all day long getting things for the mess - Found it really hard work - One young lady still very ill - A man in the hospital with the mumps - Several of the passengers amuse themselves with singing on the deck in the evening.
6 Tuesday August 31 | Very warm - still in the Bay - A calm - the ship drifting backward - busy as a messman - My chum much better - Found that a filter very useful - for the water is dirty and bad. In the evening - someone tried to get up a dance - but for want of decent music failed.
7 Wednesday September 1 | Very warm - a calm still - The sea a deep blue - and when I went on the deck in the morning it quite cheered me to see how beautiful the sea looked with the sun shining on it - Very busy still as Messman - In the afternoon I roasted the coffee - or rather fixed it - This is another of Mr Gulls misrepresentations - for we do not even have our coffee roasted for us - Oh the heat while roasting it cannot be described without we might say it resembled a certain very hot place below - Ground the coffee and had some of it for tea but found that it tasted more like burnt beans than coffee. The moon rose and being at its full let fall its silvery rays upon the water making quite a contrast with the morning. The salt Pork and Beef the worst part of the diet - the preserved meat the best - The puddings very good. Cannot keep clean for the salt-water too uncomfortable to wash in - found that the marine soap very useful to wash with. Pickles very nice to eat with the salt junk. Have been very thirsty all the day. Still in the Bay. Coffee and Tea very dreadful - and bags of all kinds very useful to put stores in for we have the things given out for the week for the Mess. The Mates and Captain appear as yet very nice men. The Captain is very quiet.
8 Thursday Sept 2 | A breeze sprang up and during the day we proceeded at a good pace. During the night a squall sprang up which was the heaviest we have had since we have left London. This I heard for I as usual slept through it.
9 Friday Sep 3 | A fine day with a fair wind - found that it would have been advisable to have provided oneself with a pair of scales - for the food is not all weighed and we are apt to get short allowance - this we have found out. In the afternoon we caught up a vessel and spoke with her - Her name was Ida from Newcastle for Celone. 56 in all on board - did not carry passengers. - We all mess together - 8 of us - we therefore find it no use to provide things that are only large enough for yourself - for it would look very selfish. - Saw several large Black fish as they are called a sort of Porpoise - The Latitude 45°10 - In the evening one of the Cabin passengers | which by the bye are a most contemptible & ignorant lot of persons | one does not pronounce his hs another puts them in the wrong places - another does not visit coffee shops. Of this one there is an amusing anecdote - Another passenger and myself were playing at chess together a few nights after we had left London - and he sauntered to where we were playing | a most unusual thing | We got talking of Chess - and happened to mention Pursels on Cornhill as being a good place to have a good cup of coffee and a game of Chess "Wheres Pur-sels?" he drawled out. We told him - Oh! - Ah - ah! a Coffee shop - I dont visit Coffee shops! Since then he has had the name of the Coffee Shop Man - Another gets drunk as often as he can - The Best of them are Three brothers a Mother and sister. It seems that they are being taken over by one of the brothers, who was a pauper - sent over by government to California - from Southampton some few years since he has made his fortune and is now taking his sister, brothers and Mother to Australia. - The Coffee Shop Man happened to be showing his agility on the ropes - and got lashed there by the sailors until he had paid his footing - a bottle of Rum - In the evening three of the sailors dressed themselves up in womens dresses, and danced - then we had some dancing to a violin - and the sailors came and danced again - and concluded with a sham fight - We subscribed a few pence to get them some extra grog. Having a slight headache I took some pills when I went to bed.
10 Saturday Sep 4 | - During the night my head ached more and more. I was so ill that I could not rise - my head aching violently - I never had a headache like it - I lay in this state, the pills not acting. I sent for the doctor who gave me a dose of Colomile and a black draught - but it did me no good.
11 Sunday Sept 5 | Still got most dreadful pains in my inside. The doctor gave me a dose of Castor Oil the other medicine not acting - In my berth all day in the most excruciating pain, but felt much better in the evening. They had a service on the poop - both in the morning and evening.
12 Monday Sept 6 | Much better, but not the thing - Having a berth that was intended for four, and the other two not being engaged - My chum and I knocked down the unused berths to make more room for ourselves. This made us very busy all today (Ay - did anything happen on this day at home - for Frank Hewer (my chum) declares that something must be happening for he kept thinking of my father all the day.
13 Tuesday Sep 7 | Much better but not perfectly serene. We knocked the berths down on the left hand side and put up a washing stand a desk besides shelves - nails etc to hang things on. And both sleep one above the other on the right - I was not so active in the afternoon in consequence of making a good dinner off preserved Roast Mutton, baked Plum pudding and Cheese.
14 Wednesday Sept 8 | Finished the berth today making it very comfortable. The weather has been very fine and the ship going S.S.W. at the rate of about 5 miles an hour - Our mess is formed of 8 Mr & Mrs Gedge who are people that make themselves very agreeable. Mr W Gedge Jnr his nephew, a fine hearted, handsome young fellow - with a most generous heart - who insists on calling me the "Rapid Severn" (I must have after from the "Gentle River"). He has a moustache (a handsome one) and a pair of large dark eyes - that would make any romantic lady fall in love with him - His eyes are large and roll - Mr Meakin - his chum - is a little merry - small eyed good looking chap - He sings "Guy Fawkes" - Mr Taylor - or Montague as he calls himself sometimes - I can make nothing of . He is a Roman Catholic ( and I think a Jesuit). Mr Schjorn a Norwegian - who when he first came could only say mine - which he did when any one wished to take any thing that was his. (These are two friends and is most difficult to make them understand.) My chum Frank Hewer is a rum chap - he is very young and had but little experience in the world I should say for his speech to his elders is not always what it should be - but he is with that exception a very nice chap - and we agree very well.
15 X Sep 9 | Thursday - My birthday - up at 6 oclock - a beautiful morning - had a pipe before breakfast - while they washed the decks - (Note Wished that I had had a lamp to make some hot water to make a cup of Coffee - a baby food lamp is the thing that person would find useful. It being my birthday - the Mess insisted on keeping it, and they all purchased some wine to drink my health not allowing me to pay my share. At dinner we had Beef (Preserved) Jam pudding - etc and we were very jolly - But still at times my thoughts ran to England. At about 5 oclock it began to rain and we could not get on deck - The heat was dreadful below. At about 8 oclock many of the gentleman at the other end of the Cabin came and insisted on drink my health - they made some Punch between them - and they (there was about 20) drank my health with musical honors - I had to return thanks - which I did and I may say that I was never so publicly toasted before. At their request I recited The Vulgar little boy which seems to amuse them exceedingly - for I have had to recite it many times - They then sang songs till 10 oclock when the rain poring left off , they (according to the regulations) went on the deck - and most of us had retired at about 11.
16 Friday Sep10 | - The wet has cleared off and the morning fine - a ship in sight - caught her up - a Dutchman. They spoke with her - very hot - have a spunging bath nearly every morning - the salt water we have to wash in is very disagreeable.
17 Saturday Sep11 | The boxes came up today and I was not sorry for I wanted mine badly - I got out all the things I wanted on the voyage and stowed them away in my berth (it being much larger now)
18 Sunday Sept 12 On every preceding Sunday a Revd Mr Brumley had read service on the Poop deck - The doctor (whose duty it is to read the service) but who is an ignorant Scotchman of the Scotch Church had refused to read it before was beguiled by some of the chief cabin to read! - and as he passed to take the book from Mr Brumleys hand who was ready to read it as usual - said to some of the 2nd Cabin passengers - that hed get through it in 20 minutes. The insult we felt by Mr Maxwell (the doctor) taking the book from Mr Brumleys hand could only be shown by our leaving the Poop deck - which we did. An appeal was made to the Captain - and in the afternoon we had a service at which one of our Cabin read the prayers - I understand that the Doctor made such dreadful mistakes in the pronunciation of several words in the service. The scean between the two cabins after the morning service can not be described - but insults were thrown on both sides.
19 Monday Sep 13 | - A notice was stuck up this morning - That all 2nd Cabin passengers are requested not to frequent the poop deck - except during Divine Service . This being an insult to us all for none had been there except those who had purchased that privilege. So a letter was written to the Captain asking him to settle the question. They sing and dance on deck as usual - of an evening.
20 Tuesday Sep 14 | The weather continues still the same and the ship sails at about 5 miles an hour. The sea is as blue and as blue as ever. I never credited till now that the sea could be blue. Land in sight - the I. of Palma - but I did not see it. Two or three ships appeared in sight. Amongst the young ladies - in the ship is Miss Goodhall - a very agreeable young lady who has passed much of her time in France. She is generally surrounded with gentlemen for she can converse well and is a very senceable girl. She is very pretty and sings very pretty songs - This is the only lady on board that does sing - The other single ladies Miss Long and Bullen are not what I should call educated girls - the latter who is Irish is the best of the two - but not to equal Miss G. Her mother is a most quiet woman - and her little sisters are very good and obliging little girls. There are some young ladies of the name of Robertson at the other end of the cabin - but who keep themselves so close that few speak to them and those and those that have - met only with a rebuff. This looks very foolish for they sit by themselves - with old worsted gloves on, and speak to nobody. Their father is a rum old fellow and very disobliging. Of the married ladies there are some very agreeable women and if any circumstance happen which brings me in contact with them I shall mention them.
21 Wednesday Sept 15 The sun shining on the beautiful blue water, appeared very enlivening to the eye. I passed the morning and greater part of the day by the side of the ship speaking to Miss Goodhall while she smoked. It was a very beautiful day - but not so hot as we have had it. Mr Tweed the doctor of Brook street Grosvenor Sq. - married Miss Goodhalls sister - I found. During the evening a breeze sprang up and we glide through the water at the speed of 7 or 8 knots an hour - The phosphorous on the water was very beautiful. Wind W. by N.W.W.
22 Thursday Sept 16 |- The wind still very high - changed the tack to E - very fine weather but very hot - We amuse ourselves by reading aloud on deck - for it impossible to read to oneself. I find that my books are a great blessing.
23 Friday Sept 17 | The vessel has again found her equilibrium
24 Saturday Sept 18 |- All the morning busy mopping and sweeping out my berth - It is rather an amusing sight to see some on their knees scrubbing - some mopping - some sweeping their berth out. I cannot describe the heat - it is impossible to find a cool place thats all I know. We have had an hawning - or cover over the deck to keep the sun off.
25 Sunday. Sep 19 ( I have a sponging bath every morning and I find it keeps me from being as thirsty as I other wise should have been The quantity of water is not too much We have 1 pint at Breakfast the same at Tea and 2 quarts to drink make pudding with etc it is not a drop too much. The service was read on the poop by a Mr Heath, a consequential gentleman, who takes a great deal upon himself.
26 Monday Sept 20 | - We are now in the trade winds and are going on at a good pace - at about 9 miles an hour - and have sailed about 186 miles since 12 yesterday
27 Tuesday Sept 21 | - How mistaken we were - we are be calmed again - it is dreadful - and is hot
28 Wednesday Sep 22 | - Calm still - A shark seen - and caught- the first shark - It was about 8ft long - Our mess cooked some of it - and I thought it was uncommonly good we had it for supper
29 Thursday Sep 23 | Too hot to do anything but sleep
30 Friday Sep 24 | 31 Sat 25 | 32 Sund 26 | A breeze sprang up on Saturday evening - which they had to take in many of the sails and which lasted all Sunday - the port holes were obliged to be shut to prevent the waves coming in. To walk on the deck - was like walk up Greenwich Hill on a wet day. A ship was seen in the morning with her top mast off
33 Monday 27 | 34 Tuesday 28 | 35 Wednesday 29 | 36 Thursday 30 | so hot and almost a calm - dreadful - can do nothing.
37 Friday Oct 1 | - I slept on deck for the first time - at about 4 o'clock a squall sprang up, which woke one up as well as the Captain, Mate, etc and in a few moments the deck was in a state of confusion. The Captain hollowing to seamen's "Hi! - Hi! Sirs" - the wind roaring through the ropes. The ship all on one side was gliding through the water , at a terrific rate. It was astonishing how quick the sails were taken in. And during this it poured in torrents. Ted Meakin and I took our cans, tubs, etc. and caught a great deal of rain water.
38 Saturday Oct 2 | - A notice was posted up on the mast this morning to this effect - that no lady or gentleman was to be allowed to sleep out of their berths without special permission of the watcher. A self elected body of married gentlemen proposed themselves as watchers at night to prevent any improper proceedings. This all coming from a mere report caused the anger of most of the passengers. The notice was pulled down three or four times - until the mate nailed one up. The first night watch was Mr Gedge Sen who I find is a very deceitful and who has fallen in my opinion greatly - and Mr Neath - who thinks no little of himself - I wish them joy of the night - it looks very like rain.
39 Sunday Oct 3 | - This was just such another day as last Sunday, and in the afternoon it poured with rain.
40 Monday October 4 | - The ship almost becalmed again every one seemed dissatisfied. In the evening I had gone to bed thoroughly disgusted with the day, when I was woke up by a shout It proceeded from several of the passengers, shouting at the watch as they came up. This woke up the Captain and he came out and said he would rope's end any man who would make the noise again - Thus ended the night watchers.
41 Tuesday Oct 5 | - The Captain called the whole of the passengers together this morning, and asked them why they wanted the Committee to be dissolved. The reason argued was chiefly that it ought to be a general thing throughout the ship - and that the second Cabin were being governed while the intermediate did just as they liked. I had resigned being a committeeman some weeks back being thoroughly disgusted with the manner in which the Chairman and some of the Committee were acting towards the passengers so I resigned with four others. Three more resigned on Saturday last - Another Committee is to be formed. A breeze sprang up in the evening and we are going on at a glorious rate. The day has been sultry hot.
42 Wednesday Oct 5 | - Although the ship is much on one side it is with much pleasure that we have the breeze - we have not been doing more than 5 miles a day.
43 Thursday Oct 6 | - We have done nearly 200 miles in between 12 yesterday and 12 today and are dayly expecting to reach the line. I got up this morning at about 4 o'clock and remained up until the sun rose, and surpurb indeed was the sight: - First a streak of light came across the horison then by degrees it illuminated the heavens and all the most distant clouds were tinged with gold. Then as it rose higher , the lower clouds took the tinge, and the former clouds took their original hue. At last last the sun rose and threw its light on the waters. It was indeed a surpurb sight. While in a writing mood I now say that no lady ought to come out in the 2nd Cabin or intermediate without some protection - and no one who is not willing to soil his hands ought to come - for we all have to work - and hard too - and no one is to attend upon us - but I manage to be very happy as long as I have something to do. Ladies if they come should come in the Chief Cabin. No one that has not been on the voyage can tell how we live. I (and I don't call myself dainty) cannot touch the pork and beef - I do not know what it tastes like. Then the pea soup - that I cannot eat - I never could. So on Mondays - Wednesdays and Fridays I live on boild rice - we have plenty of rice but we have to boil it ourselves. The rest of the week we have preserved meat, preserved potatoes (very good) and a plum pudding.I generally make a pretty good dinner on these days although we only have a taste of preserved meat.
44 Friday Oct 8 | It was very strange that though we are so near the line that we should feel the cold in the night. I think, it is warm in the day but not as hot as it has been. ( a week ago it was 120° in the sun). The breeze we have now the Captain says he thinks will take us to the Cape. We overtook and past a French ship today - in fact we catch every vessel we see and pass them. This ship the "Prince Alfred" - who by the by has a new figure head - is as fine a sailing vessel as has left London. "Neptune" is expected on deck this evening - he sent a letter to us to say he always shaves the passengers who will not pay the fine of 1/- before he allows them to cross the line. - At about 8 o'clock - The Chief Mate asked through his speaking trumpet who was there. The answer was that it was Neptune - and that he would pay the good ship "Prince Alfred"a visit next morning at nine o'clock. His departure was announced by a tar barrel being set on fire and thrown into the sea and we could see it for many miles alight.
45 Saturday Oct 9 | In consequence of it being rather squally Neptune put off coming until Monday morning. We are going along at a good pace - and we expect to be at the line tomorrow night. I hope we shall - we are back gloriously.
46 Sunday Oct 10 | We crossed the line at about 9 o'clock it was supposed in about the longitude of about 14 - It has been hot each day - but rained in the evening.
47 Monday Oct 11 | At about half past 9 o'clock in the morning it was announced that Neptune might be expected, and a sail was put up the left between the house (in the centre) on the deck, and the side, this was filled with water. When this was done, Neptune and his wife (a sailor dressed up as a woman) were drawn around the deck on a cannon stand. They went to the poop where Neptune announced that it was usual to shave everyone who had not passed the line before, but that as the passengers were willing to pay their toll - they should be let off - but that the ship's company who had not passed the line before must be shaved - Neptune was dressed in a large bear's skin with a black mark - and his spear was a harpoon with some fish stuck on it to resemble a fork - Mrs Neptune (who was personated by an American) was dressed as a woman including a fall and parasol.. They were followed by the barbers (one man with a piece of an iron hoop - the other with a pot full of treacle and flour) and four constables. The men to be shaved were brought blind folded - had their faces besmeared with the mess and scraped off with the iron hoop. When this was done they were thrown into the water into the sail. There must have been no less than twenty shaved. The doctor had to undergo it as well only without the ducking - and he only was slightly done for which he had to bribe them well. All having been shaved they commenced emptying the sail by throwing the water over the passengers, and a general confusion ensued. I who expected that there would be some water thrown about had put on only a pair of canvas trousers and a blouse - I got up on a rope, and saw it all. They filled a bucket with water and pulled it up with a rope and threw it all over me which wetted me to the skin. They did this three or four times but finding they could not get me down, they gave it up and amused themselves where the sport was easier - and I enjoyed it the more and when it was over smoked my pipe - (by the by you can buy tobacky on board for 2/- a pound. You have to cut it up - that is the only trouble - we now begin to look anxiously for the Cape.
48 Tuesday Oct 12 - It would amuse many to see me making puddings - bread etc. for our mess.
49 Wednesday Oct 13 - 50 Thursday Oct 14 | - The boxes came up and I had a look at my things - they were all in a dreadful state of mildew - boots, coats etc. - I expect they all will be spoilt.
51 Oct 15| - 52 Oct 16| - 53 Oct 17| - a rather a rough day
54 Monday Oct 18| - I am Messman again and a busy day is with us. - We spoke with a ship - called the Ann Melish from Australia for London - You will see by the list of Latitude that I have sent how many miles we went a day.
55 Tuesday Oct 19 | - 56 Oct 20 - 57 Oct 21 |- 58 Oct 22 59 Oct 23 - The weather has now become much colder being now nearly 2000 miles from the line. We are expected to be in the latitude of the Cape of Good Hope tomorrow. I find the biscuits are made eatable by baking them. Flour is a very needful thing, for we make bread and bake it. Four of us have purchased a tin of Jones's Patent flour - weighing 14lb. When the biscuits are baked - and butter they resemble dry toast , buttered. I begin to be able to eat the pork and beef. I think it much better and not so salt as it was. Ham a very nice thing to bring - A sauce pan and frying pan will be found very useful. At 12 o'clock this night the ship was going 12 knots an hour the fastest she has gone since she left England. It is useless to bring much cheese as Mr Tullidge brought a great quantity and it is almost all spoilt. There was a meeting held among the passengers last evening (There are always being meetings held, tho I am sick to hear the grumbling, and it is all through two or three meddling persons) about going to the Captain, to ask him to show them his papers - his private papers to convince them that there is sufficient food on board - was there ever such an absurd thing, just as if the Captain did not know his own business. I was reading Quentin Durward at the time, and it disturbed me so that I was obliged to leave off. There are one or two who have friends at the Cape and they want to put in there. Today I find that the meeting has not come to anything in fact my opinion is that they are afraid to ask the Captain such an impertinent question. I have been Messman during this week - and I am not sorry it is at an end.
60 Sunday Oct 24 | Church service on the poop as usual - I asked the first Mate what the Latitude and Longitude was today , and received an answer that he must not tell me. It seems that a Cuddy passenger named Miller has chosen to tell the Captain he is running on some rocks, the Captain has accordingly given orders that none of the passengers shall be told the Lat or Long.
61 Monday Oct 25 | It has got much colder of Late and great coats and wrapper are very needful - for it is as cold as winter in England. We are calculating our course on the Chart. I sit down in the cabin and read a great deal now for it is much warmer now.
62 Tuesday Oct 26 | 63 Wednesd Oct 27 | Very wet, cold, and miserable all day. No getting on deck
64 Thursday Oct 28 | 65 Friday Oct 29 | Very Cold. Mr Thompson a gentleman, having no cabin particularly to sleep in , having slept in a hammock on deck during the best part of the voyage, asked us if we minded his slinging his hammock up in our berth it being too cold to sleep on deck. So we let him and he rolls it up during the day and it does not take away any of our room
66 Saturday Oct 30 | - As had been long expected - at about 12 o'clock today a young lady was introduced into the world - Mrs Clarke was confined - she went into the hospital, which is next to us - a rather uncomfortable position for me. She is doing well but I wonder at it - with the noise and rocking of the ship, and who can keep such a number quiet. The child does cry but is pretty good. Mrs Clarke must have been a very courageous woman knowing what little comfort she could expect on board ship. I wish her well - but suppose I shall have a month of it. I cannot reconcile my Chum to the crying of the child. He says she ought not to have come there to annoy him. We must make the best of a bad bargain
67 Sunday Oct 31 | The "mother and child are doing well" ____ I would advise anyone coming out to bring a compleat suit of water proof clothing for in the wet, when you have to run about it is very uncomfortable to be without.
68 Monday Nov 1 | A beautiful morning with a wind that blows us along at the rate of about 12 knots an hour. We saw a ship ahead this morning - which we caught up as usual - although she sailed well. She turned out to be an American with no signal flags, and would not tell us her name. Our Captain told her in signals that if she refused to hoist up her name he would report her at Lloyds. She then hoisted her name "The Hindoo" The mate then for fun hoisted up the signal to ask her "if we should tug her along, or send her a steamer."
69 Tuesday November 2 | This being Ted Meaking's birthday of course we intend to keep it. We got some preserved meat, potatoes, and milk which we had saved for the occasion, and made some dishes that would have astonished the Cooks of England. I made the bread and baked rice pudding (in which I put suet). We invited a select party of eight to supper - what the names of dishes were I cannot recollect - but we had 6 dishes all different. There were two ladies among us Misses Goodhall and Bullen - two of the nicest girls on board. The supper was very good but very rich - After supper we adjourned on deck to amuse ourselves by singing not wishing to disturb Mrs Clarke.
70 Wednesday Nov 3 | We had a most dreadfully rough day today - the sea rose to great heights - and the ship went about 15 knots an hour. As I have nothing much to do - I will write what I do when I am Messman. On Monday morning at half past 7 woke up with "Lay up for your biscuits" What "Lay up" is I don't know but it means that they are going to give out the biscuits and milk. After that you have to go for the hot water for the mess. You then have your breakfast - Immediately after it you have to fetch some salt water to wash the things up in - from the head of the vessel (which on a rough day is anything but a pleasant occupation, for the vessel is so much on one side). At about 9 o'clock the beef or pork is given out which we have to a soup and wash it over board - then we have to fetch the flour, then the tea, sugar, cheese, potatoes, coffee (which we have to pay the Cook 6d for roasting) pickles, butter suet, pepper, salt, mustard, raisins etc etc and each separate so that most of the day is taken up in getting them - at 12 o'clock we leave off for dinner, when you have to fetch the beef, pudding and pea soup, after dinner you get some cold water in the pail, and take it to the cook who gives you hot for it. Then you wash up the things which are generally very greasy and nasty. You then go on getting the things till tea time, then hot water for tea and water for washing up. Besides this you have to get the mess water , which is four Gallons a day - and which is no easy load to carry on a rolling ship. Tuesday and every morning throughout the week, we have to "Lay up" for Biscuits, Milk, Flour, Beef, Pork, Preserved Meats. Take the pudding and meat to boil or bake - mix the potatoes fetch the pea soup get water and wash up after every meal. Get hot water for tea and breakfast - and fresh water for the mess and this I think is nearly all we have to do - and hard enough it is for though the duties may seem nothing to read, yet in a rolling ship at sea where there are 28 messes served separately with each article it becomes hard work.
71 Thursday November 4 | - A Cold but fine day. Many of the passengers amusing themselves by shooting at the Cape Pigeons, Boobies, Albertrosses etc etc.
72 Friday Nov 5 | This being my father's birthday I wish him many happy returns of the day and to amuse myself read all the letters sent to me at Plymouth over again.
73 Saturday Nov 6 | 74 Sunday Nov 7 | 75 Mon Nov 8 | 76 Tuesday Nov 9 | It both hailed and snowed today. It is very cold and during last week I had a very severe cold but it is much better now and I cannot say that I have more than enough to eat. It snowed very hard at about 5 o'clock this evening, so much so that the passengers amused themselves by snowballing one another
77 Wednesday Nov 10 | An amusing (!) scene happened today this morning. There has been some strange report flying about the ship - of two lady passengers in our Cabin and two gentlemen in the Cuddy. One of the women's names was Miss Long the other Mrs Davidson, whose husband appears to be half silly. It appears that these women have been seen go into the cabin of the Cuddy gentlemen as late as 12 o'clock and remain there till 2 this has been done several times and on one occasion Mr Davidson went to fetch his wife return, but they made him drunk and sent him to bed. Mr Davidson was heard one night to say that he would expose her when she said "James! if you expose me to the ship I will kill you!" To look at the woman one would not have thought her capable of such a thing. Now it appears that Mr Morrison and his wife (who is called the bloomer in consequence of her wearing such a large straw hat) slept in the next cabin, and in telling the Captain of the affair said that the 1st Mate was in there on Sunday night. The Mate denied it call his men who keep watch with him before the Captain who asked if the Mate had neglected his duty they answer "No". The mate then called Mr Morrison a liar - the consequence was a fight. They came down to out deck, and the Captain sent them forward to the head of the vessel to fight. - Mr Wight the chief mate, is a strong built seaman but has been ill for several weeks during the voyage and therefore is still weak, while Mr Morrison, the Cuddy passenger is a tall well built man who seems to understand how to fight. It ended, after much blood on both sides, by the Mate giving in. And the notice that was stuck up some time ago by some of the 2nd Cabin passengers was wanted by 1st Cabin "and women the cause of all this row" say I. Oh! O - h!
78 Thursday Nov 11 | 79 Friday Nov 12 | The whether gets colder and colder every day, and we have got a N.E. wind, that is driving us south, we get under the blankets. By Jove, while I write this my hand is about frozen. I never dreamt it would be so cold we are now near Latitude 50° 15'. Longitude 70° 0'. Last night I saw the Southern Lights, which are like the Northern Aurora Borealis, and very beautiful
80 Saturday Nov 13 | Last night the wind blew so hard and boisterously that they had to take nearly all the sail in, we rocked dreadfully, and rolled and went through the water at a terrific rate. Nearly all of us were kept awake all night, so in our Cabin we laid in bed all day, and only let Hewer get up and get the breakfast and dinner, while Thompson and I laid in bed - and that was the warmest place. We are all anxiously looking for change of wind. I cannot say how cold it is - the Captain has come much farther south than ships generally do , or he intended.
81 Sunday Nov 14 | Very wet and miserable and cold all day. Not up very early you may be sure.
82 Monday Nov 15 Glorious news the wind has changed we have got a fair wind, and now we begin to look forward with great anxiety to arriving at Port Phillip. We have been much more south than Kerguelen Land and Desolation Island which we passed yesterday morning.
83 Tuesday 16 | 84 Wednesday 17 | - A beautiful day - but in calm we would sooner have it rather rough with a good breeze than calm. A breeze sprang up in the evening and we are off again.
85 Thursday Nov 18 | - till 91 Thursday Nov 25 | We have had great changes of whether sometimes almost at a calm at others going 10 knots an hour - There are many reports as to when we shall be there - but the Capt. keeps it very close and will not tell anyone where we are. Some say we shall be there on Sunday . I hope we shall
92 Friday Nov 26 | - and 93 Saturday 27 - Numbers of whales seen about the ship.
94 Sunday Nov 28 - Not there or near yet. We are almost becalmed again
95 Monday Nov 29 | Three Albertrosses were caught today - beautiful birds - larger than geese - they measured from the tip of wing to the tip of wing about 10ft -6 - but they are swarmed with lice -
96 Tuesday Nov 30 | A breeze has sprung up and we hope to see land tomorrow
97 Wednesday Decr 1 - 98 Thursday Decr 2 | - 99 Friday Decr 3 We are anxiously expecting to see land.
100 Saturday Decr 4 | Early this morning land appeared in sight - I was with a sailor when it was seen and was the first of the passengers that saw it. How gorgeous we felt - At about 9 o'clock we came close to it and the panorama from Cape Otway was very low and uninteresting it was so barren and destitute of what could be termed fine scenery - at about 6 we came to the heads and a pilot came on board, we passed a ship laying in Quarrinteen. Ticonderoga was the name - she had been there six weeks . At about 9 o'clock we dropped anchor (Williams Town) and were at Port Philip or as it is now called Victoria. And do end my diary of my voyage. The pilot gives us a fright account of the place.
Henry's letter to his father
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