Family Passengers
Adamant (State Library of Victoria)
Patrick Lynn
The Voyage, 1878 to 1879
The Adamant, Captain Bowling, departed from London on 20/9/1878 sailing via Plymouth. It left Plymouth on 28/9/1878 and arrived at Napier on 11/01/1879 taking 113 days.

Hawke's Bay Herald

13 January 1879

January 11 - Adamant, barque, from London via Plymouth, with 270 immigrants

Arrival of the Adamant
On Saturday last, at 3.30 p.m. a signal was run up at the Barracks, "A sail in sight". Shortly after the signals were run up for a "ship" or "barque". This of course caused many enquiries as to what the vessel could be, some surmising it was one vessel, but the majority at once put it down for the ADAMANT. As time wore on, and the said vessel got nearer and nearer, it was very easy to make out that it was the ADAMANT without doubt, as the crowds of people which were on deck could easily be distinguished from the shore. At 6 p.m. the Sir Donald went out in the bay to meet her, with the following gentlemen on board:- J.M. TABUTEAU Esq. (Collector of Customs), Messrs TYLEE, FOX and Dr. HITCHINGS, also F. WILLIAMS Esq. on behalf of Messrs KINROSS and Co., who are the agents of the ship, and D. BALHARRY Esq. of the New Zealand Shipping Company. There were also a few gentlemen on board, including the representatives of the Press.

As soon as the Sir Donald was within easy distance, the immigrants gave three hearty cheers, which at least showed their vocal powers, as the cheering was kept up for some minutes. As soon as the excitement was finished, Dr HITCHINGS asked the usual questions, which were replied to by our old friend Captain BOWLING and Dr DALZIEL, and we are happy to state that all on board were well, which speaks highly of the ship's officers and all concerned. Dr HITCHINGS then gave permission for anybody to go on board, but this was soon put down by the immigration officer, Mr TYLEE, who gave orders not to allow any person on board the ship under penalty of 10 pounds. This is certainly a new law, to us at least, as we should think if the said vessel was clean and wholesome enough for Mr TYLEE to go on board, it certainly was the same for the representatives of the Press.

However, after the Commissioners had inspected the ship, they returned on shore for the night, and they were the only gentlemen on board that evening (Saturday). Yesterday at 9 a.m. the Commissioner again went off in the Sir Donald to bring the nominated immigrants on shore. After the Sir Donald had been alongside for about an hour and a-half the visitors were permitted to go on board, which of course was soon accomplished. After friends and relations had finished their greetings (for at least a few moments) the fire-bell was rang [sic], and in a remarkable short time all the females and children were below, and the water was pumped on to the supposed fire. At the given signal all the ship's boats were lowered and rowed around the ship, which shows that the whole of those on board have been kept up to the fire practices, &c., and much praise is due to Captain BOWLING in getting them into such a good state of efficiency.

The ADAMANT, both on deck and below, is as clean as could be possibly be. We need not dwell on this subject long, for we have never seen a vessel come into this port cleaner or better managed. The chief officer, Mr CONNELL, kindly furnished us with a report of the voyage. The second officer, Mr TWIGG, also gave the information required. Mr BULBIE, third officer, who was in her last trip, is still as jolly as ever. Mr DALZIEL speaks very highly of all her immigrants, both married and single, also the chief matron, Mrs McCRUM, and her assistant, Miss HALLOWAY. There has been one death, an infant, and two births, on the voyage; the latter are quite well, and as their parents say, perfect "Adamants". The schoolmaster, Mr JOHNSON, has also had some laborious duties. He presented the best scholars with prizes yesterday, in the presence of a large number of people, he [sic] successful lads being Masters AUSTES, SMITH, BOYLE, and HARRIS. Yesterday hundreds of townspeople were going on board to see their friends and the ship, as the Sir Donald and Bella were kept plying to and fro.

The immigrants presented Captain BOWLING with the following address:-
"We, the passengers of the ship ADAMANT, cannot suffer to pass unnoticed the very efficient and satisfactory manner by which the captain (T. BOWLING), Mr DALZIEL, the officers and crew, have displayed their duty in conducting the passage from England to New Zealand. Captain BOWLING especially holds the respect and best wishes of all who have been placed under his care." (Then follow the signatures of passengers.)

Today (Monday) the whole of the immigrants will be brought on shore. The following is the ship's report:-
Left London on the 20th September. Had strong southerly gale down Channel. Arrived in Plymouth on the 24th September. Embarked passengers on the 27th; left Plymouth on the 28th, and took departure from the Lizard Point at 9 a.m. on the 29th. Had moderate south-east and westerly winds until we got the N.E. trades, in 32 deg.N., which were light throughout, and lost them in 14 deg.N. Sighted Palma on the 11th October, and Cape de Verdes on the 17th. Crossed the Equator on the 29th October, 31 days out. Passed under the sun on the 6th November, and sighted Trinadad on the 9th. Had light south-east trades from 2 deg.N. to 14 S.; variable winds and moderate weather to Tristan de Acunha, which was passed on the morning of the 20th. Passed the Meridian of Greenwich on the 23rd October, and of the Cape on the 28th. Run down the easting between 42 deg. and 45 deg. Experienced moderate northerly winds from the Cape to the Leeuwin; from Leeuwin to Tasmania strong winds from S.W. to S.E.; Tasmania to Cape Farewell light variable winds and calms; through the Straits variable winds from S.E. to N.W. Made Cape Kidnappers at 3 a.m. on the morning of the 11th January, 105 days out, and arrived in the Napier anchorage at 6.30 p.m. same day. The following vessels were spoken during the passage:- October 11 latitude 29 deg.N., longitude 19 W., French barque steering north. October 22, 6 deg.N., 26 W., Janet Court of Glasgow, from Adelaide to London. November 13, Argonaut ship, from Adelaide to Falmouth, 28 deg.S., 26 W. December 12, Hespaides, of and from London for Melbourne, 74 days, 45 deg.S., 71 E. Sighted the Edwin in Cook's Straits, of and from Wellington.

Comber Index
Hawke's Bay Herald, 13 January 1879
Ship's manifest and passenger list - Archives New Zealand

Transcribed by David Tonkin

Summary of Voyage
1878 September 20 sailed London
24 arrived Plymouth
28 sailed Plymouth
29 Lizard
October 22 spk (spoke a ship) 7 N 25 W
29 Equator 31 W
November 9 sighted Trinid.Is. (Trinidad Island)
20 passed Trinadad d'A (sic Tristan da Cunha)
23 meridian Greenwich
28 meridian Cape of Good Hope
Easting 42/45
Through Cook Straight
1879 January 11 arrived Napier
11 off Cape Kidnappers
March 31 sailed Napier for London
52,75 [sic - 52,750lbs cargo aboard]
June 27 arrived
The Ship
The "Adamant " was an iron barque of 3 masts, weight 815 ton, length 174.9ft, beam 30ft, depth 19.2 ft, built at Hull in 1858.

She was owned by Messrs Harrison and made three voyages to South Australia between September 1863 and October 1865. She was later sold to the Shaw, Savill Company and was extensively employed in the migrant trade to New Zealand. She made nine voyages to New Zealand, coming out first to Lyttelton in 1873, fifteen years after she was built.

The Adamant had some eventful voyages, the following is an excerpt from the book White Wings:

The Adamant, Captain Bowling's first ship as master, was an old vessel when bringing immigrants to New Zealand. She was an iron barque of 815 tons, built in 1858. amd later purchased by the Shaw, Savell Co.

The Adamant made one rather fast passage when bound for Nelson in 1874, having rounded Tasmania on the 79th day out, which was considered very good for this old ship. Here she met with strong easterly winds until nearing the New Zealand coast and did not reach Nelson until twelve days later. This was the record passage for the Adamant. She brought out 340 Government immigrants on this occasion, far too many for the accommodation provided. During the voyage there were twelve deaths. In 1878 the barque, on her passage out to Nelson with a large number of immigrants on board, very nearly came to grief when running down the Southern Ocean. during the night a huge iceberg loomed up right ahead of the ship, and a collision was narrowly averted.

On the passage out to Auckland in 1879 (the voyage Sarah Snowsill was on) the Adamant had on board all the Christmas goods for the Auckland merchants. She arrived the day after Christmas and the cargo was not delivered until the New Year. Owing to the long passage made by the ship some anxiety was felt by friends for her safety. Captain Bowling reported the Adamant left Gravesend on the 27th August and was detained in the Channel nine days, anchored at the Downs and Deal. The ship also encountered a series of very heavy gales in the Southern Ocean. After discharging, at the end of January, 1880, the Adamant sailed for Napier and loaded up with wool and produce for London.

Mr. Robert Jordon was a passenger by the Adamant on this voyage. He has resided at Auckland, mainly in the Tauranga district, over 40 years, with the exception of one year, 1910, which he spent in Ireland. He sailed on another visit to the Old Country, leaving Auckland in February, 1924. Other passengers by the Adamant were Mr. Walter Buchanan, now residing at Takapuna; Mr. J. A. Beale, solicitor, and his wife; and the family of the late Judge Laughlan O'Brien. All of these were returning from a voyage to the Homeland. The ship, in addition to the above saloon passengers, brought out 150 passengers who had been assisted in seeking fresh pastures by trade unions in England. Mr Tom Bowling's younger brother Alfred was third officer of the ship.

The most remarkable and eventful passage out by the Adamant was in 1875. She sailed from Gravesend on July 14 in command of Captain Burch. The report published in the Invercargill paper stated that Captain Burch was much given to drink. He kept the ship sailing about the coast of Brazil for three weeks, and on September 17, at 10 o'clock, ran her on a sandbank within hail of the shore, so close that the natives waded out and conversed with those on board. The barque was refloated within a couple of hours. Eventually the chief officer, Mr. Tupman Highman, took over command. About six weeks before the vessel arrived at the Bluff Captain Burch died, and was buried at sea. After her long passage of 144 days the provisions were almost exhausted. The Adamant landed 271 immigrants at the Bluff.

Another account of this remarkable passage is supplied by a member of Mr. Nathaniel Ayling's family, who was a passenger by the Adamant on this occasion. Mr. Ayling settled at Invercargill with his family of eight in 1875, and in 1915 removed to Dunedin, where he died in 1919. Mr Ayling's daughter gives the following version of the stranding of the ship: "After crossing the Line the Adamant lost the trade winds, and for weeks no headway was made, and finally the vessel grounded on the Brazilian coast. after the vessel was floated off, the Line was recrossed and the trade winds picked up, and from that time good progress was made. Mrs. Ayling died a week before the captain."

The following is the record of passages outwards:
Sailed Arrived Captain Days To
Jul 16 1873 Oct 17 1873 Grant 93 Lyttelton
May 7 1874 Aug 6 1874 Grant 91 Nelson
Jul 14 1875 Dec 4 1875 Highman 144 Bluff
Nov 6 1876 Feb 22 1877 Bowling 107 Lyttelton
Oct 3 1877 Jan 9 1878 Bowling 98 Nelson
Sep 20 1878 Jan 11 1879 Bowling 113 Napier
Sep 25 1879 Dec 26 1879 Tom Bowling92 Auckland
Nov 19 1880 Apr 7 1881 Bowling 139 New Plymouth
Feb 17 1882 Jun 15 1882 Tonkin 118 Bluff
The Passenger List (partial)
ABERNETHY Matilda 20 Antrim Housemaid
ARMSTRONG Alice 20 Kent Gl Servt
BAKER Sarah 20 Yorks Gl Servt
BARTLE Elizth 22 Cornwall Housemaid
BAWDEN Fanny 18 Cornwall Gl Servt
BRADFORD Clara 20 Somsersetsh Gl Servt
CHEGWYN Mary 21 Cornwall Gl Servt
CLARK Margt 29 Yorks Gl Servt
CLARK Mary 19 Middlesex Dressmaker
CLEMENTS Harriet 18 Hants Gl Servt
COOK Kate 20 Suffolk Gl Servt
COURTNEY Mary 18 Kerry Housemaid
COX Eva 20 Glostersh Gl Servt
CURRAN Mary 30 Waterford Gl Servt
DARROCH Annie 18 Antrim Gl Servt
DUCKONINE Ann 20 Guernsey Dairymaid
DUYER Mary 17 Tiperary Farm Servt
ENGLISH Margrt A 33 Down Nurse
ENGLISH Mary 15 Down
EVANS Margt 28 Carmarthensh Gl Servt
FITZGERALD Ann 24 Limerick Gl Servt
FLEMING Cathe 18 Tiperary Farm Servt
FLEMING Ellen 16 Tiperary Farm Servt
FRINCHAM Annie 23 Kent Nurse
FROST Margrt 24 Limerick Gl Servt
HALLOWAY Henrietta 33 Hants Cook
HEPBURN Janet 29 Lanark Gl Servt
HICKEY Margt 17 Cork Dairymaid
HICKEY Mary 22 Cork Dairymaid
HINDER Mary 15 Glostersh Gl Servt
HOWELL Theresa 18 Glamorgensh Gl Servt
KENWORTHY Maria 26 Surrey Housemaid
KINNANE Kate 18 Clare Gl Servt
KIRMICK Louisa 20 Devon Gl Servt
LINDEN Elizth 25 Middlesex Gl Servt
LINDSAY Christina 5 Edinburgh
LOUNEY Ellen 20 Cork Housemaid
MAKER Margt 21 Devon Cook
McCRUM Grace 23 Jersey Gl Servt
McDONALD Jessie 26 Ross Cook
MOUARTY Denis 18 Kerry Farm Lab
MOUARTY Ellen 21 Kerry Gl Servt
MOUARTY John 21 Kerry Farm Lab
MOUARTY Margt 23 Kerry Gl Servt
MULLOY Honoria 16 Roscommon Gl Servt
MULLOY Kate 18 Roscommon Gl Servt
MURPHY Cathe 20 Cork Dairymaid
NICKLEN Sarah A 15 Worcestersh Gl Servt
O'HARA John 22 Roscommon Farm Lab
PEARCE Annie B 20 Cornwall Cook
PERKS Julia 21 Salop Gl Servt
REIDY Mary 21 Clare Gl Servt
ROACHE Mary J 22 Middlesex Housemaid
ROBERTS Phoebe A 18 Staffordsh Gl Servt
ROBERTSON Elizth 24 Shetland Gl Servt
ROCHE Fanny 20 Cork Housemaid
SALISBURY Bessie 20 Somersetsh Gl Servt
SCANNELL Ellen 20 Limerick Gl Servt
SHEEHY Bridget 20 Limerick Gl Servt
SNOWSILL Sarah 20 Middlesex Housemaid
STEVENS Margrt 19 Middlesex Gl Servt
THOMPSON Whyha 18 Staffordsh Gl Servt
THORNLEY Ellen 35 Lancash Nurse
WARWICK Fanny C 20 Essex Cook
WATSON Margrt 34 Middlesex Cook
WAYMOUTH Emily 22 Devon Gl Servt
WICKINS Margrt 26 Durham Gl Servt
Notes & References
  1. White Wings' Vol. 1, Sir Henry Brett, published in 1924