Family Passengers
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Robert Sizeland Harper
The Voyage, 1855
This splendid ship, Commander F.G. Tadman, left Plymouth on the evening of October 9th last, with 29 first, 37 second, and 36 steerage passengers, also with 650 tons of general cargo. Owning to the skill of the Captain the passage has been one of unprecedented speed, passing Otago on the 2nd inst, being 83 days only from land.

Eight days after leaving Plymouth the island of Madeira was sighted. The line was passed on the morning of the 4th of November, 25 days from Plymouth. The God of the Deep then paid his accustomed visit, and found all his "Sons" happy and prosperous. On the 1st December, in Lat. 46.30 south, a large iceberg, said to be 800 feet long and 112 feet high, was passed at a distance of two miles. The thermometer was 35.5F.

We understand the voyage was passed most agreeably by the passengers, who enjoyed excellent health, the only melancholy casualty being the health of the Surgeon (Twining), who died on entering the harbour. He suffered much all the passage from a broken rib (caused by a fall some years since) pressing on his lungs. We hear he was nearly sixty years of age. Messrs. Young and Co. acted very unwisely in committing the charge of so many valuable lives to a gentleman who, however great his professional skill, owning to his age and infirmities, would have been unable to attend to any serious illness if such had unfortunately broken out. This is more culpable when so many young and capable men can be easily obtained in England.

We are happy to welcome amongst the passengers our old colonists Messrs. Cholmondeley, Heywood. Paul, and White. Tasmania

The passengers were most agreeably surprised at the beauty of the country and the delighted climate of Canterbury. From a Correspondent.

DIED - On Thursday last, January 4th, on board the ship Royal Stuart, aged 59 years, Mr. David F. Twining, surgeon of the above vessel .Source: Lyttelton Times 6 January 1855

The Ship
The Royal Stuart, 723 tons, of wooden construction, built by Sutherlands, England, in 1851, official #21899, length 45.4m, beam 9.75m, draft 6.4m, was wrecked on the Capricorn Reef, Torres Strait, in May/June 1864, while on passage from Auckland to Madras. On the 12th June 1864 the Marie Laurie put into Port Louis, Mauritius, with the crew of the Royal Stuart, which had been wrecked in Torres Strait.
The Passenger List
Notes & References