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Voyage of "John Taylor"

The Lyttelton Times 22 Oct 1853

October 22, 1853

Tble trade wind was experienced, and the ship passed close to Tristan de Acuna ohe ship “John Taylor,”J. M. Cawkitt, Commander, anchored in our harbour on Tuesday evening. The ”John Taylor”left Gravesend on Sunday, July l0th, with 140 passengers. The pilot was discharged off the Isle of Wight on the 13th. Strong contrary winds with head seas were experienced until reaching Cape Finisterre, causing much sea-sickness, and disappointing the hopes of making a rapid passage. Madeira was reached on the 30th July, and the line crossed on the 17th August. A favouran the 5th September, and hove to for a short time to enable those on shore to communicate with the ship, but no one came off. Several houses and cattle were seen. The Meridian of Greenwich was passed on the 7th September, and the Cape on the 12th. Strong westerly gales were experienced with heavy seas, the ship rolling heavily and constantly. On the 20th they had a hurricane from W.S.W., which lasted from three to four hours with extreme violence, the ship scudding under a reefed foresail, and treble reefed main-top-sail; the force of the wind aft sending the ship's forecastle under in two or three plunges. All on board state it to have blown heavier than they had ever experienced. The ship behaved nobly and met with no accident excepting a new main-top-sail much split while taking it in. Ship's position at the time — lat. 42' south, long. 51' 28" east. From that time to sighting New Zealand, they had strong gales. Stewart's Island was passed on the 15th October, and the ship entered the harbour "of Lyttelton on the 18th, making the passage from Ushant in 88 days, and from Madeira in 77. Four deaths occurred on the passage among the children.

The voyage was characterised by the best feeling among all on board. As the ship was entering the Heads on Tuesday morning, a meeting of the passengers was convened in the saloon to present an address and a piece of plate to the Captain. On the motion of Mr. Harper, seconded by Captain Beswick, the Rev. J. C. Allen was called to the Chair, who, in a brief but very appropriate address, paid a high tribute to the many qualifications of Captain Cawkitt, alluding to his Christian character and gentlemanly deportment. The address was read by. Mr.Ollivier,after which the healths of Captain and Mrs. Cawkitt were proposed by Mr. Allan and warmly received by the passengers. The worthy Captain feelingly responded. One feeling of gratitude for the Captain’s unceasing kindness pervaded the whole of the passengers.

The following is the address read by Mr.Ollivier which was signed by 39 passengers, many of them heads of families, and representing in all one hundred and forty-one persons

Dear Sir, —The undersigned Passengers by the John Taylor,cannot separate after the agreeable voyage which has been accomplished under your direction, without bearing their most sincere and heartfelt testimony to your ability, zeal, moral courage and decision of character as Commander, as well as to your kindness of heart and general anxiety for the welfare and comfort of the Passengers confided to your care. All speak in warm terms of acknowledgement of the almost parental sympathy you have felt for their wants and their sufferings, of the anxious consideration you have displayed during their unavoidable hours of sickness, and of the cheerfulness with which every thing in your possession has been placed at their disposal, though, as they are fully aware in many instances, at your own personal inconvenience.

"To you then, they feel they are entirely indebted for the comforts of the voyage, and they desire to couvey to you their most grateful thanks for yonr repeated acts of kindness.

"We have experienced how completely the happiness of the Passengers on board ship depends upon the gentlemanly bearing of the Captain; nor could they indeed offer you a more convincing proof of their high opinion of your great and peculiar fitness for the important trust you have so ably discharged, than in the expression of our anxious hope that our friends who intend following us may fortunately succeed in securing a passage in the vessel you command.

"Permit us to add that you will carry with you the most sincere regard and esteem, and the heartfelt good wishes for the prosperity of yourself, Mrs. Cawkitt and family, of those who have now unfeigned pleasure in subscribing themselves your friends and Passengers by the John Taylor.”

This address was accompanied by the presentation of a purse to purchase a piece of plate, the result of a subscription among the passengers, with the following inscription to be engraved thereon:—

J. M. Cawkitt,
Commander of the “John Taylor”
by the Passengers
as a mark of their esteem, and
in remembrance of the kindness and attention
received from him during their
voyage to
New Zealand,
October 20, 1853.

Owner/SourcePapers Past - Lyttelton Times
Date22 Oct 1983
Linked toFamily: Ollivier/Morton (F3735) (Immigration)

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