Transcription of Diary kept by Alfred Copley
On board "Tintern Abbey" 21 December 1874 - 12 May 1875.

Ernest Alfred COPLEY
Alfred E. Copley

Arrived at Emigration Depot 4.15 pm on Monday 21st Decr 74/ - had tea in half pints pots (without milk) made or served out of large teapots. returned to our beds at 8.30. Selina Ernest and I with Ernest in our bed. Lennie with Mrs Noble and Teresa in another. under Mrs and Ernest Noble with baby. not much rest but as much as we could expect under the circumstances Charlie and Willie with single people and Do. Fanny ------

Tuesday Decr 22/74
Left our beds at 7-0 am. had a wash and breakfasted 8.30 on tea and bread & butter. same as previous evening at Tea ---- passed the Doctor during the forenoon and had a walk through the docks to see the Vessel Tintern Abbey returned at 12.45 had Dinner at 1 pm Roast Beef and potatoes which we fetched from Kitchen (we were 10 to a mess) Meat very good in quality as well as quantity - The Emigrants for the Edwin Fox left the Depot at 3.pm/ the above ship having had to put back through stress of weather   went to bed at 9 pm. and passed a more comfortable night arose
at 7 Wednesday and had breakfast at 8.30   spent the forenoon in looking after the children and at 1 oclock had dinner (Beef (which was rather too fat) and pottatoes. in the afternoon after washing dinner things had a walk through the docks with Mr Hill and Noble   went aboard Tintin Abbey men busy getting in provisions & c c - then had a walk with above mentioned in Poplar High St had 2 glasses of whisky each and returned in time for tea which was Ditto. retired to bed at the usual time Mrs C, and Lennie and Ernest in the bed above me - a very cold night.
Thursday got up at usual time there were 6 couples in the room and 9 children) and had breakfast as usual. Sarah lost gold ear rings in wash house I had a walk on Brunswick pier and saw a large Merchantman towed in to the docks The "Hindostan"   had dinner at 1 and after seeing the table cleared and things washed up had a walk again on the pier and saw a large steamer the "Queen Victoria" towed into dock    had tea at usual time then Emigrants had orders to scour Tables. seats and floor. we 4 men in our Mess set to and did ours and that part of Floor our table occupied (the Females and children having gone to bed) Ernest not very well having a slight touch of diarreha.

Friday Decr 25/74 Xmass
Christmas morning breakfast usual time & usual fare   had dinner at 1   Roast Beef and Plum Pudding in a rough and ready way   had a walk along Poplar High St and witnessed a disgraceful scene a free fight among a parcel of the lowest roughs --- during afternoon there was Sacred Music in the mess room. Violin & concertina music very questionable   after tea there was dancing to the lively strains of an accordion -- got liberty from Depot Master to featch in a drop of Ale which we 2 families Mr Noble's and Mine Shared in   went to bed at 10 and had a good nights rest and was down stairs at 6.30 26 to have a good wash then returned to the bed room to help Sarah to dress children --- had Breakfast at usual time. A. Mason and Alfd Denton come to the Depot in the fore noon but I was out with Messrs Little, Smith and Holmes with whom I had a glass or two of Whiskey and got back to the depot. at 12-30    had dinner at 1 in the afternoon paid a visit to the Tintern Abbey and while away Nephew Alfred came to see me but went away dissapointed    left a letter with Selina for me from Tickhill -- got a clean shirt from Stores which I put on on Sunday morning 27    while having a walk through the docks with Mr Noble we were overtaken by A. D my nephew who told me he was getting on very well giving great satisfaction in his situation    he stayed with me about an hour   I promised him to be in Stratford on Monday night

Monday 28 passed in the usual routine    Scrubbed the floor after females had retired and had beer in afterwards   went to bed at lO pm and on Tuesday 29 put all Boxes and packages on Barge at the warf for Gravesend to meet our ship then went to Stratford [added after] had a visit from our friends Mr Potter whom I parted with at Poplar Ry. Stn    in the evening to bid farewell to Alfred Mason and wife and nephew Alfred returned at 8-0 pm and went to bed at about 8.30   Alfred Mason gave me a bottle of Gin.

Wednesday 30 morning saw the ship "Fern Glen" towed down river to Gravesend and after dinner saw a quantity of Emigrants leave the Brunswick pier to meet her at Gravesend. Mrs Noble had a bottle of medcine from town the Depot. Doctors perscription cost 2-6 Bought a pair of trousers. Quinin wine- Medcin - Cheese & cc for the voyage ---

Thursday the usual routine with dancing in the evening ---
Friday 1 New years day. had a few glasses of grog with friends from Stratford saw the Tintern Abbey towed from the Quay to the basin ready to leave tomorrow bought ¼ hundred herrings for 1-11 ½ -- had orders to embark on the following morning at 1Oam on steamer to meet Tintern Abbey at Gravesend --

Saturday 2 not sufficient water in basin to allow Tintern Abbey being towed out   steamer waiting alongside Brunswick pier for us but had to leave in consequence -- Notice put up in mess room that we shall leave Brunswick pier in Steam Boat at 10am on Monday without fail ----

Sunday 3    Tintern Abbey towed out of basin into the river at 8.30 A.M. and left for Gravesend at 9-0-am -- in afternoon were visited by Nephew Alfred -- Alfred Mason. and Mr J. Booth - and parted with them at the end of East India Dock road at about 5 P.M.

Monday Jany 4th    left Brunswick pier at lO oclock and got onboard Tintern Abbey off Gravesend at 12.20 and took Possession of our Berths   had dinner shortly after 1 oclock of Boiled Beef and Pottatoes --- and Tea at 5 and went to bed at 9

Tuesday  5 got up at 7. went on Deck and had a good wash had breakfast at about 8 oclock -- workmen busy on Deck Fixing double stationary Engine for Pumping or hoisting -- got our contract Tickets in the morning and in the afternoon passed the Gov. Inspector. Life Boat lowered and taken some distance from ship and back again    Passengers Luggage taken on board from Barge and while filling Office of Constable the men in my absence put Mine, Charles and Fanny's bags in the hold of Ship which so much annoyed me that I gave up the possition of Constable thinking I had better look after myself than other people for the sum of £2 which I learnt afterwards was to be my reward --- T Noble appointed assistant Constable in the Female Appartment

Wednesday 6 --- Government lnsptr left ship and were cheered by the Emigrants. Sarah had misfortune to slip down the steps leading to main Deck with Ernest in her arms and hurt her back --- Expect to sail tomorrow morning at 4 A.M. a child died during night there was quite a scene with its mother who is an Irish woman

Thursday 7 Left Gravesend at about 10 o'clock in tow of a large Steam tug which is to tow us to Falmouth   at 8.30 we passed the Straits of Dover   another child belonging to the same parents died to night --- slight indications of sea sickness. the weather cloudy and very cold ---

Friday -- 8 commenced with Sarah being sick which caused her to keep her bed all the day   we have had a good breese all day which increased in force as the Evening came on when it blowed a gale all night    at one time the ships head would be 30 or 40.ft. out of water and next moment would be ploughing through the wave.

Saturday 9  same kind of weather wind from South -- course of Ship west South west. Mr Princes child died to day    another one was born -- Sarah sick all day. and in bed till after dinner. had the first watch last night from 8 till 12

Sunday 10 wind not so high but sea very rough    sun shining all Day and nearly all Emigrants on deck after dinner -- no Divine Service. but a few good hymns sung on the forcastle by single men -- beautiful sunset with beautiful red sky which told me very plainly that we should have a stormy night   we are just on the Borders of the Bay of Biscay

Monday 11 Morning I was on Deck at 6 a.m. and found my conjecturs were confirmed for the sailors had taken down nearly all the sails    the wind blowing a strong gale from south. the Mizen stay sail was split before they could take it in   it was quite a new one    the ship was rushing through the foam at a fearful speed the deck being at an angle of about 20º  the flaping of the sails as they furled them and the wind rushing through the rigging was nearly deafening at about 11 am. the Stores on the Main Deck Consisting of Pottatoes Flour. Biscuit preserved meat & cc broke loose and Knocked the front of the place out  several men having very narrow escapes of being killed   it took us several hours to put things to right again    found my watch glass broken and took charge of Charlies my time being at present 3/4 hour before the ship's time

Tuesday 12 Jany [added above] Beckensals child died today -- while washing on deck in the morning there was a shoal of Porpoises passing we could see them in all directions leaping out of the water the largest appeared about 4ft long.    wind still unfavourable   course of ship West by South

13 Jany Wednesday - Stiff Breese blowing and a disagreable Rain falling nearly all day     wind freshened in the evening and at night it blew quite a gale  we were nearly pitched out of our beds and anything that was loose on the deck was sliding about as though it was afloat --

Thursday 14 Jany --- wind calmed down in morning   More sail put on again  Commenced raining about 1 and continued all afternoon    wind increased in the evening as usual and blew great guns all night    Life boat on poop nearly lost by the ship being struck by a sea on the stern   wakened up by Sarah in the night who said the ship was going down    she heard the water rushing over the deck   Mrs Boswell's child died about l2P.M. -- went on deck about 4 A.M.

[Researcher's note] Webster's 1913 Dictionary: Poop
Poop, n. [F. poupe; cf. Sp. & Pg. popa, It. poppa; all fr. L. puppis.] (Naut.) A deck raised above the after part of a vessel; the hindmost or after part of a vessel's hull; also, a cabin covered by such a deck. See Poop deck, under Deck. See also Roundhouse.


Friday 15 Jany    Seas breaking over Ship. Captain calling for another man to assist at the wheel. Wind howling through the rigging and all confusion generally --- wind abated as day light came on when we had a tolerable fine day with a stiff breeze blowing    Course of ship South by East -- South west wind blowing --

Saturday -- 16 Jany    weather of the usual stamp   nothing of much importance to note --- after Breakfast all Emigrants ordered on deck so that their berths could be cleaned out   one woman refused to go which caused a great disturbance   she was ultimately forced up --- we had rice for dinner to day which was quite a failure it not being half done and burnt as well - Joseph Scoble's child died to night at 8. oclock -- Sarah made the Plum pudding for our mess to night for Sunday's dinner which we had to day.

Sunday 17 Jany   though ours proved very good there were a many spoild. I saw some of them had been lying in a tub in which was a quantity of brine. and others was burnt to the bottom of Pan. Divine service was held in our Compartment in the afternoon a good sermon preached by our Doctor from text love your neighbour as yourself which he handled very well    another Child was added to the list of dead to night belonging to Edward MacCormick ---

Monday 18 Jany 75  ship put on the oposite tack early in the morning the wind having freshened during the night   Fore and Main topsails reefed at about 7a.m,   fine sunny day.   the flour in the Married peoples Compartment scraped and scrubbed   Mr Philpotts child died at 8 p.m. --- attended the funeral of Mc.Cormick's child to night    the Doctor and Captain reading the funeral service the child was tied up in Canvas and placed on a plank on the Ships side from which it was slided into the sea ---

Tuesday 19th wind still unfavourable ship making but slow progress   saw an incredible number of Porpois this morning Playing about   could see them leaping out of the water at least a mile distant   Formed one of a deputation to ask Surgeon to allow us to have a vocal entertainment in married peoples compartment occasionally which he quite approved of but which was postponed until we got into finer weather   also to consult him on the best means of keeping the ship clean between decks --- ship put on oposite tack again had rather a rough night ---

Wednesday 20 a gloomy disagreable day   Sarah made an attempt to wash but had to give it up for a bad job.  washed a flannel and apron which we hung on a line under one of the boats to dry and while taking them in we shipped as sea and got wet through    the child of G. and Ann Mullings died to night at 11-0 P.M.

Thursday 21  The weather no better (G. Mullings child 1 year and 8 months old) and wind unfavourable   ships course S by E about 3 or 4 Knots   School commenced yesterday    Willie attending, Mr Mallinn's child and one of Irish parents died to day and were with G Mullings child buried to night   the Irish father not willing to part with his child so soon --- ship rolling violently in a nasty Chopping sea

Friday 22 --- sea calmed down and not so much wind   all sails set and making about 6 or 7 Knots in a southerly course   wind S.W. clear sunny day the sun quite warm but wind cold   all beds taken on deck for airing Another Child died to day named Burman ----

Saturday 23 resumed the office of Constable over Single Females at Doctors request Boxes had up from the hold for Emigrants to get changes of clothing. got Charlies and Fannies Bags up --- two more children died night    one names Hall 8 Months old and the other Louithwaite --- Raisins and Flour served out to night for pudding tomorrow which Sarah has made up ready --- Floors between decks washed and scoured at 9.0 P.M.

Sunday 24 Jany 75 ---- Fine morning sea pretty smooth   all Emigrants ordered on deck at 10.30.  Divine Service in our Compartment at about 11 o'clock - Funeral of the two children at 11.30. ---

Monday Sea calm and scarcely any wind   ship making little or no progress fine Pleasant day ------

Tuesday 26th  almost dead calm the sea like Glass - the sun quite warm. head of ship standing North at sunset ---

Wednesday 27 --- same kind of weather - got a cake of Tobacco from Captain for repairing his pipe - assisted the Steward to take down the Water Closet Cistern in Cabin ---

Thursday 28   Fine Weather. but not enough wind. course of Ship S.W. Doctor exhibited his Magic Lantin in Single Mens Compartment and while so doing some one or two of the Sailors threw 2 Buckets of water over him and Constable Philpott. ---

Friday 29 -- More wind, a nice breese, ship making about 8 Knots    sun out all day and quite hot.  command to make a box for the Doctors Lantern Slides. - Ernest is troubld with a bad cough and diarrhea which he has had some time now

Saturday - 30 The wind more favourable and ship making good progress. The Island of Madeira in sight about 15 miles to the East of us, appears to be very Mountainous - a pilot fish swimming at the ships cutwater all day   a beautiful fish striped across with brown and grey stripes about I ½ " broad - the fish about 18" long ---

Sunday 31 The wind still favourable the ships course S.S.W. making about 7 Knots perhour. Passengers on Deck at 10 a.m. to answer Roll call - Divine Service in Married Peoples Compartment and Single females Comps [?] in the Evening ---

Monday Feby. 1  Commenced with usual fine weather and so continued the day through    in evening a few songs were sung in the Married peoples place

Tuesday Feby. 2  a disagreable morning with wind and rain    Ship rolled very much, Ernest's cough no better. Lennie in good health    rain came down in torrents during the night ----

Wednesday Feby. 3 Great improvement in the weather   a fine morning and ship making good headway. A man named Charles Hitchins died to day at 10-30 a.m. of Jaundice and was sewn up in Canvas and buried at 12-30 and through some mismanagement the ballast came loose and allowed the corps to float - ship making about 4 knots ----

Thursday Feby.4 Ship making little or no progress   10 single Females not allowed to go on deck as punishment for insubordination. Another Child of G Mullings a little over 4 years old died to day and was buried at night - a single man placed in Irons to night for setting the doctor at defiance.   a great number of the Single Men and sailors came aft to demand his being set at liberty and insulted the Doctor and so incurred the penalty of £2 fine. and a months imprisonment. the Captain ordered them forward and so terminated an affair so disgraceful to the Single men.

Friday Feby. 5 Fine weather more wind and in a more favourable quarter ship making more headway   the single men Emigrants very quite and things in general went off well --

Saturday Feby 6 --- wind still favour able and ship making about 7 Knots 2 more Constables chosen frorn Single men.
had a meeting of Constables in Captain's Cabin presided over by Captain and Doctor when it was agreed for the safety of the ship that there should be a watch kept on deck all night from 1O pm to 6am. I and a constable from Single mens dept to take the watch tomorrow night. ----

Sunday Feby. 7 arose at about 7. a very fine morning and Sun quite hot mustered on deck for Roll call at lO   Emigrants quarters inspected by Doctor and Captain who expressed their entire satisfaction at the state of cleanliness the[y] found there   Divine Service followed at 11-30 - Ernest's cough proves to be the hooping cough - expect Lennie to have it too as she Coughs occasionally - went on watch at 10 pm. and walked the deck till 6 am    most beautiful night  Some of the stars so bright that objects gave a shadow saw    saw the southern Cross Constilation  ship making about 8 Knots

Monday Feby 8. --- Ship still making same progress Saw a whale in the afternoon about 30 yds from ship it appeared about 20 or 30 ft long it was disporting itself about the ship for nearly an hour it spouted water about 1O ft high ----

Tuesday Feby 9 Fine morning with N.E Trade winds blowing   saw large shoals of flying Fish  one or two flew on deck early in the morning. fish about 8" long. the Fins behind the Gills reach to the tail nearly. they can fly a distance of 30 or 40 yards and they frequently alter the course of their flight while on the wing.

Wednesday Feby 10 quoits  Trade winds still blowing favour ship making 11 Knots - more Flying fish. and fine day throughout

Thursday Feby 11 - Ernest and Lennie both bad of the Hooping cough and diarreha - weather very warm 74° between decks & wind sails fixed to ventilate Ship   my watch again on deck  a cloudy night and a warm wind. Man on the Look out fail'd to see ship which was homeward bound until Captain Called his attention to it in no very gentle manner   Ship making about 9 Knots

Friday Feby 12 - off duty to day   no change in weather and ship going about same speed ----

Saturday Feby, 13.  Weather still very warm with light winds which died away as evening came on and left us stationary  a few casks of Pottatoes which had before been over looked. brought up from hold and washed by Emigrants the bad ones been thrown overboard  Sarah washed about a peck which we intend to have cooked for ourselves ----

Sunday Feby 14 went on deck at 6 am  a most beautiful morning the sea as smooth as glass  the birds of which we have a great quantity on board viz: gold finches, linnets, yellowhammers, Thrushes, Blackbirds Hedge sparrows. Starlings. Partridges &cc were singing beautifully   in the evening the sky became over cast with every appearance of a storm  presently the sky was illuminated by a flash of lightning which was followed by others in quick succession of the most dazzling briliancy the rain came down in streams I was wakened up at about 11-45 by a very loud crash of thunderSunday Feby 14 went on deck at 6 am  a most beautiful morning the sea as smooth as glass  the birds of which we have a great quantity on board viz: gold finches, linnets, yellowhammers, Thrushes, Blackbirds Hedge sparrows. Starlings. Partridges &cc were singing beautifully   in the evening the sky became over cast with every appearance of a storm  presently the sky was illuminated by a flash of lightning which was followed by others in quick succession of the most dazzling briliancy the rain came  dorn in streams I was awakened up at about 11-45 by a very loud crash of thunder  I thought that all the rigging was coming down  I could plainly hear the scales of rust falling down the inside of the Mastr Mast which is of Iron. I slip't on my trousers and was out on deck instanter   the lightning was most awful being all colours of the rainbow and making the rigging of the ship as distinct as at Noonday   I soon went below again to find the heat almost unbearable being between 90° and 100° so went on Deck again and stayed then till morning under shelter of one of the boats --- storm abated as day light came and

Monday Feby 15 was a cloudy sultry day with occasional Rain  wind very light  my watch again on deck from l0 to 6 am, very dark night and ship making about 4 Knots ---

Tuesday Feby 16 nearly dead Calm and the heat of the Sun almost unbearable   off duty to day and not much on deck --- Lennie's and Ernest's Coughs about the same

Wednesday Feby. 17. Weather much angre dark heavy clouds  in the distance saw two very distinct water spouts ----

Thursday Feby 18, George Beckensal's child died this morning at 2 a.m. and was buried at about mid day - crossed the line today the sailors had a spree at night   the[y] took the Forecastle by storm and rnarched about deck in single and double file to the strains of a penny whistle  scene ended at 10 p.m. ----

Friday 19  Weather still calm and quite as hot as yesterday   wear nothing but trousers, shirt and slippers with a white cap  the perspiration pouring off me in streams  McCristals child died to day  Ernest still bad of Hooping Cough   watched on Deck from 10 to 6

Saturday 20  Winds very light and very little progress.  Made  Mrs Cunliffe confined

Sunday 21  Winds still very light in the forepart of day. signaled a Ship in afternoon.  about 5 pm wind freshened and ship made better progress. ---

Monday 22 Trade winds fairly set in  ship making above 9 Knots  weather fine.

Tuesday 23 ship making 9 or 10 Knots   ships course S.S.W   Weather fine  Mrs Ruscoe confined at about 4. a.m. ---

Wednsday 24 Ship course and Speed about same   about 12 Midnight she was making 11 Knots  was on watch from 10 to 6 ---

Thursday -- 25 off duty to day  nothing of importance  ship still making good heading

Friday 26. no alternation of the weather good breese blowing

Saturday 27 Breese dying away and not making so much head way   Sun still very hot ----

Sunday 28  nearly dead calm  scarcily a cloud to be seen  the sun scorching hot  Cannot bear to be exposed to its rays  my watch to night on deck  Ernest improving in health and Lennie nearly well

Monday 1 March 75 Dead calm sails hanging loosly against the masts - making no headway  off duty to day  made Sarah a washing tub out of a Butter barrel ----

Tuesday 2 March  weather Fine, winds still light  Matron forced lock of single girls dept. ---

Wednesday 3 Winds still very light up to 8.30 am - when a breese sprung up which moved us along at the rate of 7 Knots all the day and night.

Thursday 4. Breese increasing. at about 11 a.m. we were making about 12 Knots in a S.S.W. direction. about 25° south.  watched again on deck all night when the breese slackened which reduced our Speed to 7 Knots

Friday 5 --- Off duty to day.  fine weather with wind increasing  Lennie quite well and Ernest greatly improved -

Saturday 6 went on deck at 6 a.m. as usual and found the ship was making about 12 Knots which she had been doing all night --- Commenced of a clothes box for the Doctor 2-4 x 16 x 11 ----

Sunday 7  same kind of weather in Early part of day   ships cours altered to E but in afternoon wind died away to a calm the sails flapping against the masts ---- service twice in our dept. --- Morning & Evening and Single Females Compt. in Evening

Monday 8 Nice Breese blowing and ship making about 9 Knots in SSE Course   on duty all night ----

Tuesday 9 saw the first Albatros besides a large number of Cape Hens   very fine birds about 4ft across the wings  the Albatros is about 7ft  the usual routine routine of Ship gone through ---

Wednesday 10 wind still favourable   ships in same course.

Thursday. 11 one of Passengers caught 2 Cape hens with line and Hook which he baited with a pice of Pork  one of the birds he skinned and the other was allowed to fly again.

Friday 12.  Very gloomy day and wind blowing rather cool   walked the deck all night with another Constable and in the Morning

Saturday 13 at 5.30 sighted land off Port Bow which proved to be Gows Island   'tis but a small one composed of high Mountainns and cliffs  Sea fowl more plentiful and another one caught   wind dying away and not much progress ---

Sunday l4 wind change dearly this morning  ship put on the other tack and making about 7 Knots in EN.E direction   service twice in our comparted

Monday l5 Weather about same and wind favourable   making good progress Ernest not so well. Lennie quite well ----

Tuesday 16. Doctor Came this morning with an Irishman and one of the constables in our compartment about the cleaning of the Ship - we are still favoured with fair winds ----

Wednesday l7  Wind increasing and ship making more progress   off duty to day having watched last night on deck  Ernest ordered to drink port wine which we hope will get his strength up again as he is very weak ----

Thursday 18  wind more astern of us which makes the ship to roll very much which we find very disagreable at meal times and very dificult to walk about
Friday 19  Another woman confined to day named "Wolfe" of a daughter ----

Friday 19 Heavy Sea running  the Ship going through it at about 11 Knots shipped a sea at about 9. am and nearly washed the cook out of his galley his pots and pans were swimming about deck  at 1 oclock while at dinner the ship was struck by a very large wave which sounded like a large cannon going of  it made the Ship tremble from stem to stern  some of the women screamd and rushed to the stairs to go on deck but were soon satisfied that there was no danger ---

Saturday 20 - Ship still making good headway in an Easterly course  weather fine and wind abated a little  my watch again to night.   Ernest no better ordered to take brandy and milk which he managed very well ---

Sunday 21 Ship made about 13 Knots per hour all night  wind blowing from S.W.  our course being due East. which laid the ship to one side which caused her to run steady - Ernest rather better  Service in our place twice to day ----

Monday 22  good Breese blowing and things going on well  Ernest is improving nicely in health and Lennie is quite well  the wind is blowing quite cool now and coats are more worn ----

Tuesday 23  a Stormy disagreable day  no pleasure to be on deck which is continualy wet  during night the Sea washed over Ships side frequently and the water was near ankle deep went on deck twice during night  the rain was pouring down in torrents. ----

Wednesday. 24 Weather calmed down a deal. but a heavy sea was running. watched on deck all night which was a very cold job though I had a top Coat and large woollen muffler on  a squall came on at about 1 a.m. which near took away the top sails  I could scarcely keep on my feet the ship was so much on over side - going 11½ Knotts to ES.E

Thursday. 25 --- off duty to day  the wind and sea much calmer  not being very well I slept nearly all day ----

Friday 26 - being Good Friday the sailors have holiday, and there are no stores given out to Emigrants we are all served with hot X buns which are very nice  Ernest got possession of 2 and would not give them up until he had nearly eat them both.  Wind calmed down a deal and ship making about 7 knots

Saturday 27. Busy in hospital Making a tray to fit Box I made for Doctor  Strong favourable breeze and ship making 11 or 12 knots in her right course. ---

Sunday 28. Easter Sunday wind more a head which causes the ship to pitch a little  heavy seas shipped occasionally which makes the decks wet and disagreable  though we have plenty of Sun the wind is cold  watched on deck all night  Mr Noble's little boy died during the night about half past 12 --- [written on side found during the night that the window in the matron's room was open]

Monday 29 off duty all day   Wind More favourable and a fine day.  reported the Matrons window open ---

Tuesday 3O  Fair wind still blowing. while on duty on poop at about 9.45 when I saw an apprentice speaking to one of the Girls  when I ordered him away the captain came up at the time and ordered him forward among the sailors which is considered a great disgrace - [over-written had a deal of trouble with one of the women a Miss Harvey who struck the doctor in the face for which she gave a written apology to save being put in Irons] -

----- Wednesday - [crossed out Awoke this morning by a sailor shouting down the hatchway that land was in sight several went up to see and so were made fools of as there was none in sight] Made out a report of Friday the Matron's window open and of the woman Striking the Surgeon which I and Chief Constable philpoft signed ---

Thursday April 1, wind gradually dying away and little progress made  66 [degrees] East longitude and about 41 [degrees] South Lat. [Overwritten Doing duty in married compartment],

Friday 2  Very light wind and a heavy swell rolling which makes it difficult to walk about   watched again on deck last night and this morning at about 1/4 to 4 some of the sailors threw some potatoes at me and my companion for interfering with the boy who was speaking to the girls he being the communicating link between the sailors and some of them  reported the above to surgeon and Captain after breakfast --- (2 albatross' caught to day by Captain)[Overwritten Mrs Reynolds confined today]
Shy Albatross [click on image]

Saturday 3 April Fine day Nearly dead calm no progress made - store keeper served out bad suet  samples were taken to the doctor for inspection when he condemned it and ordered better to be served out - measured onr of the Albatross' and found it 12 ft from tip to tip of wings --- Ernest still very poorly his stomach being very weak and the diarrhea together has reduced him very much.

Sunday 4 Usual inspection of depts. by Doctor and Captain our place giving satisfaction   divine service twice in our place today wind increased today when we gained a modest speed ---

Monday 5. Nice breeze biowi ng and ship making IO knots.  got one of the albatross feet which I skinned and [made?] into a Tobacco pouch - wind increasing up to night - assisted the Surgeon's assistant to skin one of the albatrosses in the evening after tea ---

Tuesday 6.  Fine day wind dropped and ship making about 7 knots. five of the single girls nearly poisoned by putting white percipitate in some cakes instead of baking powder Doctor had to give each an emetic  one of them was very bad being insensible and in strong convulsions it took 3 of us men and one of the women to hold her doctor had to give her chloroform to quieten her ---- my watch on deck to night

[Researcher's note] Webster's 1913 Dictionary: Emetic; Chloroform
Emetic:   \E*met"ic\, a. [L. emeticus, Gr. ?, fr. ? to vomit, akin to L. vomere: cf. F. ['e]m['e]tique. See {Vomit}.] (Med.) Inducing to vomit; exciting the stomach to discharge its contents by the mouth. -- n. A medicine which causes vomiting.
Choroform: Chlo"ro*form (?), n. [Chlorine + formyl, it having been regarded as a trichloride of this radical: cf. F. chloroforme, G. chloroform.] (Chem.) A colorless volatile liquid, CHCl3, having an ethereal odor and a sweetish taste, formed by treating alcohol with chlorine and an alkali. It is a powerful solvent of wax, resin, etc., and is extensively used to produce anæsthesia in surgical operations; also externally, to alleviate pain.


Wednesday 7. Calm all last night and rain from 12 till 12 noon when it cleared up with a little wind   expect to be at our journeys End in about a fortnight ---

Thursday 8 - Fine weather - making about 7 knots went through the usual routine.

Friday 9.  Wet disagr. day with light winds   4 Albatr and a Molyhawk caught by Captain - one of them a very fine bird nearly all white

Saturday 10. Strong head wind  Course of Ship N.E instead of ESE. helped to Skin one of the Albatross' for Doctor.  had the promise of a wing of one of them which when skinned will made a beautiful Tippet for Sarah - rain nearly all day (overwritten, passed through an (?] school of Bottle Nosed Whales]

Sunday ll. Wind more favourable and Ship going her right course   wet weather as usual-only the men called on deck to answer Roll call  divine service in evening in our dept.

Monday 12. Fine weather Early part of morning but turned out wet by mid day  ship making about 10 knots   in evening wind increased and about 10 p.m. we were going at the rate of 13 knots -----

Tuesday 13 - disagreable Morning --- wind not so high - the usual routine of business gone through

Wednesday 14.  Indications of soon arriving in port seen --- such as preparing and painting the ladders and landing stage used for disembarking passengers watched on deck all night very cold and windy ship rolled very much in consequence of the wind being aft. ------

Thursday. 15. off duty today nothing of importance occurred ship making about 8 knots with fair wind. Ernest very poorly dont expect him to get well until we get ashore - bad appetite, very much purged and sick   nothing scarcely will stop in his stomach - he is taking Cod liver oil and port wine after each meal  doctor gave him a new laid Egg this morning which he relished very well ---

Friday 16 Wind more on the beam today. Cold disagreable morning with occasional rain  making about 9 knots  rumours about that we shall be in port in a weeks time  some people say 3 weeks  if so I have no hopes of Saving Ernest  he is so emaciated and weak. --- Mrs Ives Confined to day -

Saturday 17 Strong Breeze from N.W.   ship making last night about 13 knots   to day she has averaged not less than 10. disagreable weather deck always wet. Ernest no better refuses his food - in bed all day.  great inconvenience experienced by Sarah in attending to him as he does not know when his bowels are moved ---

Sunday 18.  We are still making great progress   160 miles about since 12 last night to 12 today  prayers in Single females place this Morning at 11.30 and in Evening in Married peoples place  My watch on deck to night ----

Monday 19. Last night we were travelling at the rate of 16 Miles per hour   off duty to day  ship making about 9 knots  very cold wet day - Ernest about the same

Tuesday 20 - Wind died away during night and nearly a calm a 6a.m.   light breese sprung up when we made about 5 or 6 knots  Captain sent Ernest a slice of Roast pork (Fresh) for his dinner but he could scarcely taste it  he is looking rather better to day   he is still having plenty of port Cod liver Oil and milk milk (preserved)

Wednesday 21.  Light winds as usual. travelling very slow  Ernest still getting worse. he can eat nothing but a little cheese which the Doctor gives us for him

Thursday 22. all Boxes had up from the Hold to day for the Emigrants to get their shore going clothes out and to put all others they can spare away  ship making abt 7 knots   my watch on deck tonight a cold and moonlight night ----

Friday 23 About 5 this morning a breeze sprang up from from N.W. when we commenced running at the rate of 10 Knots which lasted all day.  Ernest no better Doctor says he will not be till we get on shore -----

Saturday 24  Ship making 12 knots last night and about 11 to day. Course E by N.  expect to land on Tuesday   very anxious for Ernest. we are hoping the wind will last and let him have a chance  he is still taking wine. Oil. and essence of beef and Condensed milk but he does not seem to benefit by them. [Overwritten Mrs McCormick [?] confined today]

Sunday 25 Good breese up to 4 oclock when it died away  Doctor Gave a parting address to the Emigrants in our dept. Weatherfine ---

Monday 26 Dull cloudy morning with little wind which increased towards Noon. Making 7 or 8 Knots  head winds blowing - some doubts about us getting into port tomorrow.

Tuesday 27  Strong Head winds from North   Ships Course E,N,E  people impatient for a change of wind so that we could get into port  this Morning Ernest had a new laid egg which he eat up ravenously and was more content during day after it than he has been for some time  Still uncertain when we shall get into port -

Wednesday 28  Strong head wind still blowing  Ship put about at 8 a.m. this morning  we are now running N.W. by W. 9 or 10 knots which would carry us to Otago which would not be far enough North so if the wind does not change we shall have to tack again on the EN.E Course so that we can get in port when we tack on the NW by W Course  Ernest still getting worse every day  seems an age while we are beating about here and so near land

Thursday 29. The same unfavourable wind from N. still blowing very rough all last night - 5 or 6 hours of fair wind would bring us to port but there is no sign of the wind changing.  course of Ship NW. at 12 noon wind died away and we had a calm as near as possible.   a light breese again sprung up  the yards were again braced to suit it but it died away and we remained motionless the remainder of the day. ------

Friday 30 No wind as usual ship in same place as she was last night light  breese sprung up at 1 p.m. which would take us to Dunedin same as on Wednesday last. Ernest passed a very restless night and he seems still more prostrate today - at about 6 p.m. we were struck by a squall which came from the oposite quarter to that which the breese was coming from   we were driven backwards stern first at a frightful speed until the sailors could get the yards braced round (there was quite a commotion at the time) when we rushed along at the rate of 12 knots in our right course   my watch to night on deck

Saturday May 1  at 2.30 this Morning we sighted what we hope to be our New land on the port bow, a bold Mountainous land.   as the sun arose the appearance of the land was beautiful  we are about 15 miles from Shore which we sailed alongside of all the day  we arrived at Lyttelton light house at about 9.30 p.m. and signaled  with rockets for pilot. but we got no answer.

Sunday May 2.  went on deck at 7a.m. and had a closer view of the Shore which is a very mountainous one  the entrance to the harbour is between very high cliffs ---- pilot came on board at 8 oclock this morning and after 3 or 4 hours endeavouring to get into the entrance failed through a gale springing up which blew from the entrance of harbour. So we cast anchor to wait till a more favourable breese springs up.  we had a severe storm of hail and wind at 3.30 this afternoon.  Ernest is still getting worse in spite of all we can do for him we have to force him to drink his wine and milk he can scarcely move his limbs and cannot sit up in bed.

Monday 3 Last night we had a tremendous storm of Hail. rain and wind which which lasted the whole of the day. the Commisioners came on board in the forenoon and enquired of our welfare   Saw Ernest who they said was in a very bad state. Many Complaints laid against Doctor which they took down in a book   a number of us signed a paper expressing our approbation of him   taken in tow by Steamer and anchored off Littleton at about noon. great quantities of Beef, Mutton pottatoes and bread brought on board for us which we relished very much

Tuesday 4  a very fine morning the sun shining all day.  the view of the surrounding hills is something grand as the port is entirely closed in by very high hills some of them capped with snow.  busy all forenoon in preparing to disembark  Ernest a little better he had a taste of the fresh meat and he eat a little cheese this morning    disembarked at about 2 +p.m. and was Cdonveyed by Steamer into the port Littleton where we took train for Christchurch  Ernest was wrapped up in a Blanket and Shawl and we Carried him between us all way  he appeared quite pleased to see the green fields and the Cows and Sheep  it is a most beautiful country about Christchurch   we arrived at the Depot. at about 5 where we had fresh meat leg of mutton for us and bread with Tea and Sugar served out to each of us. as only one of our two beds followed us in the evening I had to sleep with my cloths on. Lennie had a bed made up with shawls top coat waterproof &c c & Sarah with Ernest had the bed -------

Wednesday 5  Awoke this morning after an almost sleepless night and had a walk to warm myself as it was a very cold Clear Morning   Ernest asking for Eggs and Cheese.  got a good supply of new milk for him which he seemed to enjoy  we had mutton chops for breakfast and Loin of Mutton with pottatoes for dinner Served all with milk tea and sugar & bread at about 9.30  More of the luggage came today.  the weather very fine the Sun as hot as it is in England in June -

Thursday 6 Ernest improving a little having a better appetite.  he is to have 2 Eggs per day and a pint of new milk which the doctor here ordered  he has likewise got a bottle of Medicine from him   he thinks it is only nourishment he requires  we are having another very fine day  Charlie and I went to Christchurch to day with Mr Malenoir[?] the Surgeon's assistant on board ship and saw the Surgeon and had luncheon with him at an hotel  got a glass put in each of our Watches which cost one Shilling Each ----

William James RAVEN - Watchmaker [click on image]

Friday 7  Sarah and I went to town to day bought cheese, Jam, Cakes, Apples sago for Ernest. Met with Mr Malenon in town  had a glass of grog together   Sarah being too tired to walk home and there being no tram Mr Malenon Kindly Engaged a cab for us and we got home at about 6 (it is dark here at that hour as there is no twilight it being very dark as soon as the sun sets.  left Ernest in Care of Charlie and Fanny   he is still improving the land air and the fresh food being the cause ---- weather dull and not so warm as the two previous days.

Saturday 8  Very heavy rains All night and day with strong wind   went to Christchurch to see Mr Warner but could not see him ---

Sunday 9. Dull gloomy day with drizzling rain   went to church in Morning and in afternoon went for a walk in the Country  saw a native bird about size and colour of a blue cap  it had a beautiful white tail which it spread out like a fan  the feathers in tail about 3 or 4 inch long. it was very tame and allowed us to approach to within 7 ft of it   Ernest still gaining strength though the weather is against him ---

Monday 10.  Heavy rains all night with wind went to Christchurch and saw Mr Warner who was both surprised and pleased to see me - made an appointment to see him tomorrow

[Verse in reverse of diary:]

[Researcher's note]
Ernest Edward COPLEY died 26 May 1875 at Christchurch, New Zealand (Barbadoes Cemetery)



Back to the top

Tintern Abbey 1875

Surgeons Report

Alfred's Family

Alfred Copley's letter to his brother