Thursday, August 16, 2012

Passengers to Natal on the Umgeni, 1867

The Umgeni: arrival at Natal, 14 August 1867.

This barque of 365 tons under Capt J Stuart sailed from London on 15 July 1867, and was one of Rennie and Co's 'Aberdeen Direct' clippers which were frequent visitors at Natal. Others included L'Imperatrice Eugenie, Prince Alfred, Natal Star and Quathlamba.

Passengers per Umgeni from London, arriving at Natal
14 August 1867
Among the passengers were Captain Tollner, his wife Jessie (daughter of John Milne), and child (plus nurse). During the Crimean War Captain Tollner served with the Royal Horse Artillery at the Battle of Sebastopol. He had studied at the Royal Military Academy at Woolwich. During 1863/4 he was stationed at Fort Napier. Tollner also served during the Anglo-Zulu War. After the death of his first wife he married Mary Agnes (daughter of Alexander Gifford).

Capt and Mrs Fitzgerald may indicate a second military gentleman, plus spouse, on board. A well-known Natal name on the list is A E Runciman.

Testimonials to the Captain of the Umgeni
and a description of the voyage from Gravesend to Natal.
(Click on the pic for zoomed version.)

On this voyage, the Umgeni nearly lost one crew member overboard in a gale. The 46 passengers all expressed their thanks to the vigilant Captain Stuart via letters to the press.
A detailed account of the passage after Cape L'Agulhas mentions 'a very dangerous cross sea, which rose in pyramids...'. Note that the cabin passengers and those in steerage presented separate testimonials.

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