The 'IVANHOE'

From The Lyttelton Times 14 June 1864

"Marred by no fewer than 25 deaths among the passengers. Twelve of these caused by low fever.  She arrived at Timaru. From that port, on account of the sickness on board, she was ordered on to Lyttelton." Brett.

Arrived Lyttelton June 12, Ivanhoe, ship, 1034 tons, Dunn, from London.  Passengers - [26]  Mr and Mrs Tripp, three children and servant;  Mr and Mrs Warrington; Misses Paynter (2), Mr C. Williams, 4 children and servant;  Mr and Mrs Allcard, Miss Downs, Rev. E. H. Grainger,  Messrs W.H. Pettegrew, R. Bovey, W. Willoughby, M.C. Enysss, F. Back, C.R. Kennaway.  In steerage, 264 souls, equal to 213 statut� adults. 

The Lyttelton Times of Thursday 23 June 1864 ran the following testimonials:

                                                                              Ship Ivanhoe, May 23rd, 1864.

 The Ivanhoe - The passengers have presented the following testimonial to Captain Dunn:-
   We the undersigned passengers on board the Ivanhoe, at parting, after our voyage from London to this port, beg to return you our sincere thanks for your kind care and gentlemanly conduct to us while on board your ship.
   We found you doing all in your power for the comfort and safety of the passengers under your charge, always at your post, and accessible to all when required.
   The provisions were fresh and good, always issued to us regularly, being both excellent in quality and sufficient in quantity.
   We request that you will convey to the officers of your ship our kindest wishes for their welfare and happiness, and wishing you and them long life and prosperity.
   We beg that you will accept this accompanying Church Service as a small token of our regard and esteem.
       [Signed by a number of the passengers]"

  "The following testimonial to Dr. Wood was numerously signed:-
                                                                               Ship Ivanhoe, 14th June, 1864.

   We, the undersigned passengers on board the ship Ivanhoe, Captain Dunn, commander, on leaving you after a long and trying passage from England to this port, beg to return you our most sincere and heartfelt thanks for your gentlemanly conduct, kind care and attention to all on board entrusted to your care as medical officer.
   We equally regret with you the number of deaths we had on board, and the suffering of those thast are gone. When becalmed under a tropical sun, where disease first made its appearance amongst us, we anxiously watched you, day after day, and night after night, attending with unremitting care the sick and dying, and administering to them medicine and medical comforts as each case required.
   We do you only ordinary justice in thus publicly stating that were it not for you (through the mercy of Divine Providence) many more of us would have been consigned to the deep. You even forgot yourself in your care for others, not taking your usual rest, having been up for weeks together watching and attending every hour of the night the sick and dying on board.
   We can not in words express our feeling of gratitude to you, but we shall never forget your kindness, wishing you every happiness in this world, and everlasting life in the world to come".

The following account paints a different picture.  It is from a reminiscence published in 1916 by Ellen Shephard Tripp, the wife of Mr Tripp who was listed as a passenger on that 1864 voyage, and entitled, "My Early Days". This small book in the Alexander Turnbull Library.  All the names mentioned are included in the passenger list

"But I must go back two years, when we left England in February, 1864, by the Shaw Savill sailing vessel Ivanhoe, Captain E. Dunn. Before leaving Silverton, Mr Tripp had arranged (as he was travelling with three small children) to take a cow, and luckily had a written agreement with the Company that the animal should be put on board at the London docks. On arrival at Plymouth we found that this had not been done, and he at once telegraphed, - "Will stay at hotel your expense until cow put on board." 

The ship was delayed, and the cow, which afterwards saved many lives, was put on the Ivanhoe. But troubles were only beginning, as directly we left Plymouth, a passenger, who had paid a pound for the passage of his dog, found that, by the Captain's orders, the poor thing was thrown over-board. It was no use doing anything, so my husband advised the man to wait until New Zealand was reached, and then go to the law. We had a number of prize Spanish fowls also on board, and after a few days the Captain had the necks of all the cocks wrung, because their crowing in the morning awoke him. We soon saw he was drinking heavily, and the ship in a shocking condition; the pigs, being allowed in the saloon at night, were soon causing fever. The Captain at times was quite mad with drink, and would have good food thrown overboard before us, while sitting on deck, while that which came to table was seldom good to eat and in very small quantities. There was plenty of good sugar on board, but we were only allowed almost black stuff, except when sometimes the second mate gave us a little white sugar; and we had some we had brought from England with us, it made the captain very angry, if I shared with the other ladies at table. One day twenty-eight passengers were expected to dine off one sheep's head, and Mr. Eneys would often come to the table, and, seeing how little there was for the women and children, would walk away, eating nothing himself. Once the meat was quite bad and my husband was so angry, he took it to the Captain's cabin and asked him if it was fit to eat, which made him furious, as his own meals were served in his cabin whenever the food was not good. Luckily he had the cow well cared for, as the Doctor had advised him to drink milk. Being a splendid animal, and good milker, I was able to take milk every day to the poor typhoid patients in the steerage. We were also very grateful to old Mr. Tripp for the stores he had given us, such as port wine, champagne, white sugar, and also quantities of strong beef jelly, a present from Sir Thomas Acland, which he had especially made for us at Killerton; these comforts meant everything to those who were ill, but for all we could do, twenty-six died of starvation and typhoid. A passenger, Mr. Williams, lost his wife, and I took charge of her four little children: - My eldest child was delirious for three weeks; and the nurse was very ill for some time, also George Hammond, so those that were well were very busy and anxious.

We were nearly wrecked on the Crozets, and after such a trying time, it was with great thankfulness that we sighted New Zealand, on June 11th, but, to our horror, the Captain declared Timaru was Lyttelton, and making for it, was going direct for the rocks. My husband got despearte, as he knew the coast and the great danger, and said, if the Captain was not put in irons, he would shoot him, before he would see women and children drowned by a madman. So this man, who had all our lives in his hands, was drugged and got below, and the first mate also being intoxicated, the second mate took command, and brought us safely to Lyttelton, where to our distress, but quite rightly, we were put in quarantine for three weeks. When Dr. Donald, the health officer, came on board and saw the state of the ship, he turned up his trousers, the dirt was so terrible.

Mr. Tripp, who had been a barrister before leaving London, had, during the voyage, written all that the Captain had done - complaints covering fourteen sheets of foolscap paper. The day after landing he was summoned, first, for causing the death of the dog, and for that offence fined �20, and many other cases were to follow, but, on leaving the court that day, he shook his fist at my husband, saying "You are at the bottom of this" and went off into Lyttelton, where, after drinking brandy, he fell off the pier and was drowned. The trouble and suffering he caused were so appalling that one could not be surprised, when Mr. Tripp came to Bishopscourt with the news, that Mr. Enys who had nearly starved himself so as to leave food for others, exclaimed, "I could dance on that man's grave!". It was a dreadful ending to our wretched voyage" 

Information courtesy of Alan Davies. Posted 16 Feb. 2002

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