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Bound for South Australia Ship Shape Week 5 Cygnet John PirieDuke of York.

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Presentation on theme: "Bound for South Australia Ship Shape Week 5 Cygnet John PirieDuke of York."— Presentation transcript:

1 Bound for South Australia Ship Shape Week 5 Cygnet John PirieDuke of York

2 Overview Between February and July 1836 nine ships left Britain bound for the newly created province of South Australia. On-board the ships were passengers who over many long months braved the perils of the ocean, including some of the most treacherous seas in the world to begin a new life on the other side of the world. This resource uses the stories from these nine ships as recorded by the passengers and crew in their personal journals.

3 Contents Introduction Ship profiles – Cygnet Cygnet – Duke of York Duke of York – John Pirie John Pirie Journal entries Inquiry Questions Relevant images Glossary of terms

4 Introduction We now find three ships at sea; the Duke of York, the John Pirie and the Cygnet. So how do they measure up? This week we take a look at the ships themselves. What are they made of ? How similar are they? How are they designed to keep afloat and what keeps them sailing smoothly?

5 Cygnet The Cygnet was built of teak in India in The Colonization Commissioners chartered the Cygnet to sail for South Australia in 1836 to carry many of the survey staff as well as emigrants. The Cygnet was 27.7 metres long. The emigrants’ accommodation was in the between-decks. That was the area below the main deck where third class passengers sailed. They were housed in dormitory style accommodation and ate and slept in the same shared quarters. The height between decks was 1.8 metres but that height was interrupted by the timber beams that supported the upper deck. They were 30 centimetres wide and reduced the height for passengers to 1.5 metres. The Cygnet did offer more comfortable accommodation for those who could pay a higher price. Pictures of the ship show a poop with passenger cabins above the main deck at the back of the ship.poop Those cabins offered access to fresh air, natural light and a measure of privacy. There were also cabins in the between-decks for intermediate passengers. They offered more privacy than third class but lacked the comfort of being above the deck. The crew was no doubt housed in the forecastle, quarters built above the deck toward the front of the ship. They shared dormitory accommodation but enjoyed the air and light above deck. On 20 March the passengers embarked at London’s Shadwell Basin and the Cygnet was immediately towed down the River Thames to Gravesend. It set sail on 24 March, the third vessel to leave for South Australia.

6 Specifications Carrying capacity 238 tons Length 27.7 metres (91 feet), beam 7.4 metres (24 feet), draught 4.9 metres (16 feet) Built by John Gilmore and Company at Sulkea, across the River Hooghley from Calcutta, India in 1827 Originally rigged as a ship but converted to a barque before its voyage to South Australia.shipbarque

7 Duke of York The Duke of York was built in 1817 as a Falmouth packet The Falmouth packets were built to carry the mail and they also carried passengers and precious cargoes such as gold bullion. They were small ships and they carried few guns to protect their cargo but they had a reputation for speed. The packets were built to flee pirates, not to stand and fight them. The Duke of York was just 24.8 metres long and 7.2 metres wide. Like most ships of the day, its timber hull was sheathed in thin copper plates to protect it from barnacles, weed and teredo worm, a mollusc that eats timber. It was also fast. In 1821 it sailed from New York to Falmouth in just 24 days. By 1835 the Duke of York was almost 20 years old, and the Admiralty had taken over the packet service from the Post Office and introduced steamships to carry the mails. The South Australian Company bought the Duke of York and another Falmouth packet named Lady Mary Pelham. At first, the Company offered to charter the Duke of York to carry Governor Hindmarsh to the new province of South Australia. However, negotiations broke down and the Company instead decided to buy the Duke of York and to send it whaling in the South Seas after it had delivered passengers and cargo to South Australia. In the oceans off Australia and New Zealand fortunes could be made in whaling. Since the first European ships had arrived in Australia in 1788 they had used whaling as a way to catch a cargo for their return voyages. Whales were boiled for their oil which was carried in timber barrels and sold as a lubricant for machinery and fuel for lamps that lit homes and streets. The Duke of York was fitted with extra boats to hunt whales and large iron pots called try pots to boil whale blubber into oil. The ship had two decks which could be fitted to carry cargo or passengers. It carried thirteen passengers in It would not have been the most comfortable ship because it was small and it did not have cabins raised above the main deck

8 Specifications Carrying capacity 190 tons Length 24.8 metres (81 feet 3 inches), beam 7.2 metres (23 feet 7 inches), draught 3.8 metres (13 feet) Built by William Taylor at Bideford, North Devon in Originally rigged as brig but was converted to a barque for its voyage to South Australia.brigbarque

9 John Pirie The John Pirie was the smallest of the nine ships that arrived South Australia in It was just 19 metres long! By comparison, today an articulated bus is 17 metres long. It was named after the London merchant and alderman John Pirie who owned half of the shares in the vessel. The other half were owned by a group of investors from Macduff in north-eastern Scotland. In its early years the John Pirie carried cargo from Britain to Palermo in Italy, the Canary Islands, Riga, Santa Domingo, Vera Cruz, Halifax and St Helena. By 1833 Alderman Pirie had become the sole owner of the vessel. Two years later he became deputy chairman of the South Australian Company. He was approached by Samuel Stephens, the manager of the South Australian Company, seeking vessels for the new colony. One of Pirie’s other ships, Emma, was hired or chartered for the voyage to South Australia but the John Pirie was purchased by the Company. The ship was prepared with stores, farm animals for the colony and just twenty-one passengers. One of those passengers said the vessel was ‘only a washing tub with a tiller’. It would have been a very small and uncomfortable ship for a long voyage. It was also said that the schooner was ‘built for stowing rather than sailing; one end of her is very much like a packing case’. That comment no doubt referred to the blunt outline of the schooner’s bows. The John Pirie’s shape would have made it buoyant and Captain George Martin claimed he had never been in a better sea-boat.schoonerschooner’s

10 Specifications Carrying capacity 105 tons Length 19 metres (62 feet 3 inches), beam 6.1 metres (20 feet 1 inch), depth in the hold 3.4 metres (11 feet 1 inch) Built by Alexander Hall and Company at Aberdeen, Scotland 1827 Rigged as a schoonerschooner

11 Journal Entries Tuesday 22 March 1836 John Pirie journal writer, on board the John Pirie wrote: _______ There has been a great deal of Rain, during the Night, and 2 A,M, the Wind shifted round to the Northward in a fine Breeze, but which only lasted untill Noon, when it fell nearly a Calm, and at 4 PM, a steady Breeze again sprang up from W,S,W, but a strong Sea, still coming from N,W, causes the Vessel to labour very much, and has prevented the Sheep getting any rest in their Pen’s since Yest dy morn g, besides making several of the Passenger’s squeamish _____________

12 Thursday 24 March 1836 Boyle Travers Finniss, on board the Cygnet wrote: 24th. Left Gravesend at ½ past 12 o’clock, anchored near the Nore Light at 3. Strong gale from the West, Proceeded to the Downs, strong gale from the West, several vessels drove, wind moderating, up anchor at night and passing North Foreland, strong N.W. gale drove us to Margate roads, slipped 2 anchors and returned to the Downs.

13 Friday 25 March 1836 Captain Robert Morgan, on board the Duke of York wrote: After commending my all to God and his grace went to my days duty the wind from the SW d blowing fresh gave the ship 20 fathoms more cable went on shore with M r Stevens went to the agent ordered a few neces arys for the ship and passengers visited a pious fisherman wife in our socierty and pertook of the humble fare … … God only knows what is before us therefore I commit all into his care and keeping

14 Inquiry Questions This week we read journal excerpts from three different ships: the Duke of York, the John Pirie and the Cygnet. Are there any similarities in how the three authors record the week’s events? Examine the ship profiles for each of the ships. What are the similarities and differences? Consider the names of each ship. How do you think the ships were named?

15 Images

16 "Gravesend, from the Terrace Pier" engraved by J.Henshall after a picture by T.C.Dibdin, published in Select Illustrated Topography of Thirty Miles around London, 1839.

17 "Margate, Kent" drawn by J.M.W.Turner, engraved by R.Wallis and published in Picturesque Views in England and Wales.. Engraved under the superintendance of Charles Heath, 1838.

18 Glossary of Terms Poop Technically called a stern deck, the poop is an exposed partial deck on the stern (rear) of a ship. It forms the roof of the stern or ‘poop’ cabin. Brig A sailing vessel with two square-rigged masts. Bark or Barque Ships were generally classed by the way they were rigged for sail. A bark (also spelt barque) is a sailing ship which has: three masts, square sails on the front or forward mast square sails on the middle or mast mast, and triangular sails on the back or mizzen mast. They were a relatively small sailing ships in the 1830s. Ship Ship can be a confusing term because it actually has two meanings. Its common meaning is an ocean-going vessel that is larger than a boat. When used in that sense, a ship can be rigged in many different ways. In strict maritime usage ship also has a second meaning. It names a specific type of rig. A ship has a bowsprit and three masts and it carries square sails on all three masts. Schooner A schooner is a vessel with two masts, the main mast is taller than the forward mast and the largest sail on each mast is a fore and aft sail. Return to Ship Profiles

19 Glossary of Terms Slipped Anchor ‘To slip’ is to let go the cable with a buoy on the end, and quit the position, instead of weighing the anchor. A vessel would slip an anchor if it needed to change positions urgently. The anchor, rather than the cable, would be buoyed for retrieval at a later time. Fathom A fathom is a measure of depth in the imperial system. One fathom is equal to six feet or 1.83 metres. Return to Journal Entries


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