Notes from various sources on 'The INVERERNE'.


(This page was updated on 17 June 2002)

The Hawkes Bay Times

Tuesday 10thMarch 1874 from 'Shipping Intelligence'.

The Arrival of the Invererne.
Transcribed by Murray Scott McKenzie on 6thFebruary 1998. From 'The Hawkes Bay Times' of 10thMarch 1874. Courtesy of The National Library, Wellington.

  • The New Zealand Shipping Company's fine iron ship Invererne, 743 tons, Capt. Foreman, arrived in Hawkes Bay at 6 o'clock on Sunday evening, after a good passage of 107 days.
    She left Gravesend on the 22nd November, but meeting bad weather, was forced to lie for a week in the Downs ; went down the Channel, but the rough weather continuing, put into Dungeness, where she lay two days ; had light variable winds to the 5th December, when she landed her pilot. Made a passage of 29 days to the line, which she crossed on the 3rd January. Passed the meridian of the Cape on the 28th January, and from thence had moderate weather to New Zealand. Sighted Stewart's Island on the 28th February ; met with light contrary winds along the coast until Friday, when off the entrance of Cook's Straits, when it increased to a fierce gale, the direction of which changed to the south on Saturday at about 8 p.m. bringing the ship rapidly up the bay, which was entered on Sunday afternoon. Anchored off the Town of Napier at about 6 p.m. ; and was shortly afterwards boarded by the Pilot, the Board of Health, and a number of visitors, who went off in the steam launch Bella. She was removed to the western anchorage yesterday morning.
    The Invererne brings 270 passengers, including a large proportion of Scandinavians. They all speak highly of the accommodation on board the ship, and the uniform kindness of the officers. There were two births on the passage ; two marriages (of Scandinavians) on Christmas day ; and sixteen deaths - all children, the oldest being six years of age. The causes of death were scarlatina, bronchitus, and measles, and the last case occured about six or seven weeks before the arrival of the vessel in port. One passenger - a Scandinavian woman - suffering from congestion of the lungs was removed to the Provincial hospital.



    Copied without permission from ‘White Wings’ (1924), Henry Brett, Vol 1.

  • A ship that will be remembered by old Aucklanders, on account of an incident connected with several marriages that took place on board during her voyage from London to Auckland, 1874-5, was the Invererne, a vessel of 912 tons, which was under charter to the New Zealand Shipping Co. As told me, the story was to the effect that Captain Foreman, who commanded the ship, was not aware that the authority of captains to perform marriages on the seas had been revoked, and that the couples had to be re-married when they got ashore at Auckland. Two of the passengers were Mr. and Mrs. Allen, who now reside in Dunedin, and a letter from Mr. Allen explains what really did happen.
    Prior to their departure in 1874 Mr. and Mrs. Allen had just been married in Ireland, and in the rush to catch the Invererne they forgot their marriage certificate, which was left behind them in Ireland. This made it rather awkward, and they decided to book passages singly, Mrs. Allen going under her maiden name and being quartered with the single women. She was a great sufferer from sea sickness. Naturally Mr. Allen was very much concerned, and he frequently used to go down and see her. Some of the other girls began to talk, so Mr. Allen decided to tell the captain the truth at once. Under the circumstances the captain suggested they should be re-married. This was done, the captain gave them a certificate, and the young couple shifted over to the married people's quarters.
    Mr. Allen tells me that on this trip the Captain also married the doctor's assistant to a Miss Roberts; a Mr. Grigg to a widow; and the head storeman to a sister of Miss Roberts. When the ship reached Auckland there was some question raised as to the legality of the three last marriages, and the matter came before a magistrate. Mr. Allen tells me that the marriages were declared legal, but the registrar demanded a fee of £4 5/ from each of the three couples, and after paying this amount they were re-married. On this trip the Invererne, which reached Auckland on Anniversary Day, January 20, 1875, had a 'few people for the Vesey Settlement scheme, in the Bay of Plenty. Mr. Allen, however, did not go down to the Bay, as at first intended, but. entered the employ of the Railway Department, and for some time was in charge of the Helensville train, both before and after the line was completed for the whole distance. It will be remembered that up to the 'eighties the line ran from Kumeu only, and the line was later extended right down to Auckland. He subsequently served at Nelson and Dunedin, and retired about twelve years ago from the service.
    Captain Foreman seems to have been singular in carrying matrimonially-inclined couples, as on a voyage to Napier in 1873-4 he performed two ceremonies, and on that occasion no questions were raised as to his jurisdiction. The Invererne was formerly the Atalanta Banfield, under which name she came to grief and was condemned and sold. Her new owner, however, carried out extensive repairs and renamed his craft the Invererne. Under her new name the ship made three voyages to New Zealand, all under the command of Captain Foreman. The first was to Napier, where she arrived on March 8. 1874, bringing 240 immigrants, 107 days from London. There was a lot of sickness aboard during that trip, and 16 children died, the chief trouble being scarlatina. In 1875 the ship came out to Auckland, as explained. She made a good passage out of 88 days, bringing 200 passengers. The Invererne's third trip was to Lyttelton, which port was reached on February 22, 1876—91 days from the docks, London.
    Regarding the ultimate fate of this fine craft I find that she was lost on the coast of Java. After she visited Lyttelton in 1876 she went, across to Newcastle and picked up a cargo of coal for Java. When approaching the Javan coast she struck a reef and became a total wreck. the crew having scarcely time to get into the boats before she broke up. The boat in charge of the third officer made a successful landing, but the men in her were nearly dead for want of food and water. They had spent seven days in the boat, and during that time had suffered great torture. Nothing was ever heard of the other boat, which was in charge of the captain and contained the rest of the ship's complement.



    Copied without permission from ‘White Wings’ (1924), Henry Brett, Vol 2.


  • When the New Zealand Shipping Company decided to enter into competition with the Shaw Savill Company, it chartered a number of vessels to run to New Zealand before it purchased or built the beautiful fleet of ships and barques which afterwards, flew the well-known house-flag of St. George's Cross with the letters "N.Z.S.C." in the corner. Among these chartered vessels were the Invererne, the Inverallan, the Inverness, Inverdruie, and the Inverurie. The first four were in the passenger trade. The Inverurie, which came later than the others, was on a cargo charter only, but I have included her in this list owing to the unusual circumstances under which she made her appearance in New Zealand waters.
    "Yellow Jack" was raging in Brazil at the time, so it is not surprising that when the Inverurie, flying the yellow flag, arrived in Napier roadstead from Santos on January 7th, 1892, she was under suspicion, and the health officer even refused to go on board. She had come across in ballast. Leaving Santos on November 5th. 1891, she made for Otago Heads for orders, and there got instructions to go on to Napier, where she arrived on January 7th, as mentioned. When the health officer saw the yellow flag and found that the vessel was from a fever stricken port, he hailed the deck and asked for particulars. The chief officer, who was then in command, reported that the second mate had been left ashore at Santos, and that the captain had died at sea on the 11th of November. Four men had been down with intermittent fever for a few-days after leaving port, but the last case of sickness, erysipelas of the leg, had happened six weeks before the ship reached Napier.
    The port health officer was not satisfied that it would be safe to grant the ship pratique, and he recommended the authorities to order her to Wellington for thorough fumigation and the discharge of the ballast which had been taken on board at Santos. The chief officer was the only man on board with a certificate. and he refused to go without assistance. He also said he had no coastal charts, and as a matter of fact he had brought the ship all the way from Santos with only a general chart of the Southern Ocean—no mean feat of navigation. Eventually another officer was sent off to the ship, and she proceeded to Wellington, where she arrived on January 22nd. She was placed in quarantine, though everyone on board looked quite healthy, and then she was thoroughly fumigated, cleaned, and painted, after which she returned to Napier, where she loaded wool for London. She sailed towards the end of March, with the chief officer who had brought her over from Santos now in command, and made a good run Home.
    Yellow fever was a dreadful curse some years ago, but modern medical science has robbed it of much of its terrors. In 1891 Santos was considered the most unhealthy port in the world. The harbour was undergoing alterations, and dredges were scooping up the vile mud that had been flowing into the harbour for ages past. The scourge of yellow fever was so great that some ships lost nearly the whole of their crews. Things were so bad that incoming ships from abroad were met immediately on arrival by a launch, and the whole crew, from captain to cabin boy, were taken ashore and sent straight up to the mountains. When the ship was discharged and ready for sea again, the crew were brought back and the ship at. once towed to sea.

    The Invererne was a vessel of about 900 tons. Under Captain Foreman, she sailed from Falmouth on October 30th, 1874, and arrived at Auckland on January 29th, 1875, having made the voyage in the good time of 90 days. Under the same commander, she sailed from London on November 21st, 1873, for Napier, where she arrived on March 8th, 1874. In 1875 she made a voyage to Lyttelton, sailing from London on November 23rd, and arriving on February 22nd, 1876, a good passage of 91 days. On this last-mentioned passage she had exceptionally good weather. Captain Foreman reporting that he was able to carry the royals practically the whole way. Full details of the voyages made by this vessel will be found in 'Vol. 1. of "White Wings."

    The Inverallan was a full-rigged ship. In 1876 she made a very good passage to Auckland, sailing from Gravesend under Captain McCann on March 19th, and arriving on June 30th. Fine weather with very light winds was experienced until the equator was crossed on the thirtieth day out. After passing the Cape the ship encountered severe gales with high seas until reaching the meridian of Tasmania on June 19th. Thence to the New Zealand coast she had fierce squalls with a high cross sea, which stove in the bulwarks and carried away a portion of a deck-house. In 1874 the Inverallan visited Wellington, making the voyage from Land's End in 96 days. She sailed from London on February 14th, and arrived on May 28th.

    The Inverness, a barque of 725 tons, built in 1869, made two voyages to Napier. Sailing from London on August 21st, 1875, she arrived on November 28th, 99 days port to port, and landed 105 passengers. The following year she again visited the port, leaving London on July 21st, and reaching Napier on October 29th.

    The barque Inverdruie, 591 tons, built in 1867, made a voyage to Lyttelton under Captain Wootton. Sailing from Portland on December 29th, 1875, she arrived on April 10th, 1876.

    Transcribed by Murray Scott McKenzie on 22ndJanuary 1999. From White Wings (1924), Henry Brett, (vol 1), Page 280 & (vol 2), Pages 192, 193.
    Courtesy of The Maritime Museum, Wellington.


    Lloyds Register of 1874 of 'The Invererne'. #53197
    Transcribed by Murray Scott McKenzie on 22ndJanuary 1999. Courtesy of The Maritime Museum, Wellington.

    Official Number

  • 53197

    Ships Name & Type

  • INVERERNE, Iron Ship, One Bulkhead.

    Ship's Master

  • C. Foreman

    Registered Tonnage

  • Net 744
  • Gross 744
  • Under Deck 696

    Registered Dimensions

  • Length 188.5 feet
  • Breadth 31.3 feet
  • Depth 19.2 feet
  • Poop Deck 48 tons

    Built at the Port of Glasgow by Duncans in November 1865, owned by J&R Grant and Registered in London


    This passage of The Invererne to New Zealand was marked by; "16 deaths between ages of 1 and 6 years, 2 births and 2 marriages. Most deaths were from scarletina." On arrival, the migrants were reported as "the least promising lot of immigrants we have had" in an official telegram from the Immigration Office.

  • The Immigrants consisted of;

    Farm Labourers 41
    Labourers 29
    Bootmakers 4
    Carpenters 3
    Butcher 1
    Painters 2
    General Servants 27
    Cooks 2
    Dressmakers 2
    Gardeners 3
    Plasters 2
    M??? 1
    Plumber 1
    Miller 1
    Shepherd 1
    Smith 1
    Coachsmith 1
    Schoolmaster 1

  • The Nationality of the Immigrants were as follows;

    English 190
    Irish 7
    Danes 53
    Germans 3
    Norwegians 5


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