Monday, October 20, 2014

Passengers to Natal per Dreadnought 1849: a Byrne Settler ship

Natal Witness 2 November 1849

The Dreadnought, 377 tons, under Captain Bidder, took a somewhat circuitous route to Port Natal, as the captain lost his bearings on more than one occasion. This isn't as impossible as one might imagine. Later steamers ploughed a straight furrow across the seas. Navigation in the days of sail could be very hit and miss and if weather was bad "dead reckoning" had to be relied on, plotting compass bearings, prevailing current and the vessel's speed. So the position of the ship after storms or cloudy skies could bear little relation to that plotted on the chart. Gales could spring up and blow the ship off course, and being becalmed was another hazard. Sometimes, much tacking had to be done back and forth without gaining many sea miles. Dreadnought was an old ship, and not in the best condition. She left London on 17 August 1849 and arrived at Natal on 2 November, having run out of drinking water supplies.

One of her passengers was destined to be closely involved in the development of the port: John MILNE, a widower travelling with his daughter, Jessie. Milne, a Scottish engineer, had worked for John Rennie (who built Plymouth breakwater) and on harbours such as Leith. This experience would stand him in good stead when fighting the Battle of the Bar at Natal.

The VINNICOMBE family also arrived on this ship, bringing with them an assortment of musical instruments: George Vinnicombe was to build the first pipe-organ in the colony. His brother, Valentine, coming out to join the family later, was among those shipwrecked on the Minerva.


Nov 2nd - Dreadnought, bark, 338 tons, Capt. G Bidder, from London, with 114 passengers. Left the Downs 17th August. 
Nov 4th - The Rosebud crossed the bar.

Oct 30th - Lalla Rookh, brig, Henderson, with cattle to Mauritius.

Outer Anchorage 
Henry Tanner, bark, for Mauritius. GC Cato, Agent.
Dreadnought, ditto.

Gem, for Cape Town. H Jargal, Agent.
John Gibson, for Mauritius, to sail in a few days. GC Cato, Agent.
Rosebud, for Cape Town.

Archimedes, from Port Elizabeth.
Douglas, from Cape Town.
Aliwal, from London.


Dr Taylor and family 
Mr Inchstone and family 
Mr and Mrs Dawson 

Intermediate and Steerage: 
Thomas Hudson 
G Vinnicombe and family 
Robert Humphry and family 
DJ Price and family 
R Smith 
Edward Goodwin and family 
T Hind 
E Tomlinson and family 
G Tomlinson and wife 
R Whitehorn and wife 
J Robson 
H Vertue 
P Vertue 
WH Roberts 
J Puttarill and family 
J Jacob and wife 
F Jacob and family 
F Corbit and family 
R Harwen 
EC Whitworth 
W Whiting and family 
G Waddelove 
WH Fenton 
Alfred Hubbard 
William Smith and wife 
John May and wife 
John Dykes 
T Hannah 
F Stott 
RL Brooke 
Jabez South 
W Hill 
C Wakelin 
J Harrison 
D Paterson 
J Paterson 
F Ashford and wife 
John Rogers 
J Blackwood and wife 
J Crowder and family 
Isabella Masterman 
John Bull 
E Campbell and wife 
WA Emerson and wife 
WF Baths 
E McFarlan 
SV Phillips and wife 
C Florey and family 
R McLachlan 
T McLachlan 
John Eagle and family 
Isaac Adams and family 
FW Good 
J Milne and family 
Walter McFarlan 
J McLauchlan 

In all 65 males, 27 females, 22 children. Total 114 Persons.

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