CQ Family History Association Inc.

The Missing Passengers of

The Great Pacific

 The shipping Intelligence list of the Morning Bulletin dated 12 July 1866, announced the arrival of the 2088 ton "The Great Pacific", a ship of the Black Ball Line which sailed from Liverpool on 27 March 1866 for Keppel Bay. There were 630 immigrants on board and a large cargo/plant for the Queensland Railways for the western line from Rockhampton to Westwood. The majority of the immigrants were to be employed on this project and came from the Stoke on Trent area. They were under the charge of Surgeon-superintendent George William Paynter, late of Rockhampton

 Research into the "Great Pacific" has been very difficult and any information about this vessel came from the Queensland Archives, Queensland Maritime Museum, British National Maritime Museum, the Rockhampton Bulletin and the John Oxley museum. The Great Pacific is not mentioned in Lloyds Shipping register and there are no known photographs of her.

 'The Great Pacific' was a large ship of 2088 tons, and would have been around 89 metres long and 12 metres wide. This ship was an auxiliary screw clipper which means that she was a fully rigged ship with a small steam engine which was used only in conditions of little or no wind. This ship was built in Bordeaux in 1858 and was either bought or chartered by Baines, ship owner of the famous Black Ball Line. According to the National Maritime Museum at Greenwich, "The Great Pacific" was sold to WH Potter in 1867 and she was condemned. Potter then listed "The Great Pacific" in the Mercantile Navy List. I have other information that states that Potter had purchased the French vessel in 1864 on Baines behalf and then refitted her and when she was ready to sail, found out that Baines could not afford her. At about the same time, Baines had acquired another French Auxiliary screw clipper which he named "The Great Queenslander".

The ship was to travel direct to its destination, Keppel Bay and the passengers expected to spend only 87 days approximately at sea. Just a few days out of Liverpool, the ship encountered a heavy western gale and lost her top gallant mast, caps and gear. During this time, the family would have been kept below decks in midships. From reports of other immigrants diaries, the people were terrified that the end was near (remember that most had never been to sea), the waves would wash across the deck and sea water would find its way down. People were sea sick, food could not be cooked on the wooden stove on the deck and toilet facilities or heads were to be found at the stern of the vessel and could not be used. From that time, the ship experienced light winds until she again experienced heavy gales and seas at 48 degrees south. At least during this time, the family would have gained their sea-legs. The ship's log tells us that the ship rounded the Cape of Good Hope at 41°60'S & 15°57'E on 28 May. One month later, "The Great Pacific" reached Bass Strait and she was now in Australian waters. The ship continued North along the Australian coast until she dropped anchor near Sea Hill, Cape Capricorn on 11 July 1866. Instead of the expected 87 days, the ship actually took 107 days to arrive.

 Here the passengers had to stay on board for a week until the Health Officer arrived from Moreton Island. It was reported in the local paper that on Thursday 19 July 400passengers and their luggage had been taken off the ship and bought into the port of Rockhampton by the "Platypus" and the rest by Government steamer 'Leonie" which had travelled from the pilot station at Moreton Island. This last remaining journey took seven hours to sail up the Fitzroy River.

 It was expected that all passengers would help in keeping the ship clean and tidy. The Doctor attempted to give a weekly lecture but the passengers on board the ship could not be induced to attend and anyway he had asevere suffering of the throat. At night, they would have sing songs. Children were expected to go to school while they were on board. The children's conduct at school was better than their parents as the report states that their attendance was very good and a chapter of the bible was read daily to them. A class roll was marked every day regularly.

 The Health Officer found that there were no contagious diseases present and he was satisfied as to the sanitary conditions and cleanliness of the ship. According to the ships immigration agent's return, there were 114 married couples on board, 232 single males and 15 females, 64 male children and 65 female children between the age of 1 - 12 years as well as 11 male and 14 female infants. There were nine births and nine deaths on board and the number of deaths was very low compared to other voyages in this era. The papers referred to this shipment of arrivals as "an inferior shipment" and the doctor stated that the conduct of the 629 immigrants "was mainly bad with few exceptions". There were some unruly characters on board and they ended up being charged and convicted

 Fortune did not smile on these new immigrants as, when they arrived in Rockhampton, they found that the Government was short of funds so they could not be immediately employed on the railway.

 Below is a list of names of the passengers who attended school, infants born on board with the name of their mothers as well as the list of the dead. Other records of Cabin passengers and passengers of Water Police Court has been taken from The Morning Bulletin of the day. Lists of other passengers have been found in Queensland Land Records.

 

SCHOOL RECORDS ABOARD GREAT PACIFIC

 NAME GIVEN AGE

BARRATT Winifred 6

BIRKINSHAW Daniel 9

BIRKINSHAW Elizabeth 13

BIRKINSHAW Samuel 12

BULGER Catherine 12

CARNCRASS David 10

CARNCROSS Annie 12

CLARKSON Job 8

CLARKSON Joseph 12

CLARKSON Mary I. 14

CLARKSON Robert 10

CLARKSON Thomas 16

CORCARAW John W. 6

DUNNE Henry 4

DUNNE Marie 16

DUNNE William 15

EDGELEY George 7

FLETCHER Henry 7

GARNER William 10

GREEHALGH Alice 9

GREENHALGH Daniel 13

GREENHALGH John 6

GROVES Elizabeth 13

GROVES Mary E. 4

HALE Ellis 14

INGLE Annie 10

LENTHWAITE Frederick 15

LYNAM Henry 4

LYNAM Mary 6

MANNION Peter 4

McCLAREY Mary 9

McDONOUGH Catherine 10

McDONOUGH Michelle 6

MURPHY Charlotte 5

PATTERSON John 4

PRITCHARD John 4

PRITCHARD Susanah 14

RICE Thomas 13

SMYTH Thomas 6

WATT Alexander 8

WATT John 13

WATT Thomas 6

WRIGLEY James 7

WRIGLEY Violet 9

YOUNG Adaline 11

YOUNG Victoria 14

 

SCHOOLMASTER

 O'BRIEN James

 

DOCTOR

 PAYNTER William George born in St Columb, Cornwall

 

CABIN PASSENGERS

 SURNAME GIVEN NAME

AITKEN Andrew

AITKEN Mrs

BERWICK James and Charlotte

DONALDSON William J

GILCHRIST Archibald

HUBBARD T P

LEETCH Thomas

LINTHWAITE Frederick

LUNDIE George

O'MALLEY George E

SEWELL Wm R

SPENCE John

STRAKER A J

THOMPSON Mr & Mrs J and servant

THOMSON Mrs J

WADDLE John

YOUNG Isabella Sophia

YOUNG Margaret Keith

YOUNG W H B

 

BIRTHS ON BOARD

 MOTHER'S NAME CHILD'S NAME SEX DATE OF BIRTH

BETHEL, Mary Selina Bethel f 28 May 1866

CALLAMAN, Catherine John B Callaman m 1 April 1866

GIBNEY, Catherine Henry Gibney m 23 April 1866

HALE, Dorothy Decima Hale f 26 June 1866

HALL, Jane Decima Hall f 10 April 1866

LEITCH, Sarah Jenny Leitch f 21 June 1866

NEWTON, Sarah Emma G P Newton f 21 March 1866

ROBERTS M A ---- Roberts m 20 May 1866

WRIGLEY, Betty Biscay Wrigley m 2 April 1866

 

DEATHS ON BOARD

SURNAME PARENTS NAME RESIDENCE SEX AGE DATE OF DEATH

ARMSTRONG ------ Armstrong Liverpool m 25y 24 May 1866

BURGESS John & M Burgess Knutsford Ches f 3.5y 19 May 1866

BYRNE Edward & M Byrne Pembleton Lanc f 19y 20 May 1866

CASEY ----- Casey Liverpool m 40y 19 June 1866

EDGELEY Peter & S Edgeley Wilmington f 8m 11 May 1866

GIBNEY Thos & C Gibney Navan Co. Meath m 8w 19 June 1866

MATHEW John & C Mathew Arville Co Donegal f 1.5y 25 June 1866

ROBERTS Rich & M Roberts Liverpool m 2h 20 May 1866

STRANTINA Ivach & C Strantina Sangpombe Hamburg f 1.8m 22 May 1866

 

WATER POLICE REPORT

All were charged with wilful disobedience of lawful commands on board "The Great Pacific" and were sentenced to hard labour on board the hulk "Proserpine" at Brisbane

SURNAME GIVEN NAME SENTENCE

ALLISTER George 12 weeks imprisonment with hard labour

ANDERSON George (crew) 12 weeks imprisonment with hard labour

CROPPER John (crew) 12 weeks imprisonment with hard labour

JONES Robert (crew) 12 weeks imprisonment with hard labour

MILLER Frederick 12 weeks imprisonment with hard labour

TURLER Carlo 12 weeks imprisonment with hard labour

WILLS James (crew) 12 weeks imprisonment with hard labour

 

LAND GRANTS FOR PAYMENT OF VOYAGE

Cost of voyage appears to be £30 for adult and £15 for children.

 SURNAME GIVEN NAME DATE OF CLAIM

 

John & wife 7 August 1866

AITKEN Anne 7 August 1866

ANDREWS Joseph 7 August 1866

ASHWORTH James & Jane 10 August 1866

BOSWICK James ( 2 claims for self and wife) 7 August 1866

CHAMBERS Mary 7 August 1866

CLARKSON Joseph, Jane, Thomas, Mary Jane, Joseph,, Rbt, Saml, Harriet & ___ Clarkson 6 August 1866

DONAGH Richard 7 August 1866

DONALDSON William I 16 August 1866

HUBBARD Emma 7 August 1866

IZOTHER James 16 August 1866

IZOTHER Walter 16 August 1866

LEITCH Sarah & William, Margt, Mary & Mathew Neild 7 August 1866

LENTHWAITE Sarah (4 claims on behalf of Fred, Sarah Ellen, Eliza and self) 7 August 1866

McGILDERIST Archibald 7 August 1866

NAPIER George 7 August 1866

NEALE George 7 August 1866

O'MALLEY George 7 August 1866

PETERS Carl 10 August 1866

SEWELL William R 7 August 1866

SHEATMAN Cecilia, Wilhielmina & Jon_liam 10 August 1866

STROKES Alfred 16 August 1866

SUNDERS George 7 August 1866

THOMSON John (3 claims on behalf of MaryThomson, Marg Boscock, ---- Mann 7 August 1866

WORSLEY Charlotte 7 August 1866

YOUNG Edward & Jane 10 August 1866

YOUNG Isabella, Margt, Ellen, Isabella 16 August 1866

YOUNG Samuel, Mary, Robert, Henry, Victoria, Adam, Eliza 10 August 1866

 

CREW MEMBERS OF "The Great Pacific"

 MASTER

William BAILLE

 

CREW MEMBERS

NAME AGE PLACE OF BIRTH QUALITY

CLELLAND Hugh 24 Belfast 1st Mate

ROWLANDS, Robt 23 Holyhead 2nd Mate

DAVIES, David 22 Holyhead 3rd Mate

SEARGENT, Edward B 26 Plymouth 4th Mate & Purser.

CARSOW, William 28 Liverpool Carpentar

GRATTON, William 22 Liverpool Mate

HARE, George 26 Milford Boatswain

OWENS, John 28 Liverpool Sailwaner

REZIN, John 47 Liverpool Steward

PAZNTER George William 48 Cornwall Surgeon

MIRANDA Jacod 48 Sea Cook

TELFORD, David 23 Donaghadee Quartermaster

HOUSTON, George 26 Liverpool Quartermaster

JONES, Robt 24 Liverpool Quartermaster

MOORE, Thomas H 26 Guersey Quartermaster

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