Arrival of the Hutts on the “Huntress”.
The entire Hutt family bravely said goodbye to the Old Country, leaving London and headed to a new life in New Zealand on 10th December 1862.
130 days later on the 21st April 1863, The Huntress ,776 tons with 313 passengers under Captain Barrow, arrived in New Zealand carrying Thomas, wife Emma and six children. There was Henry (10), John (8), George(4), Charles (18 months), Mary Ann (6) and little Emily (1 month). Maria Gaskins, first born daughter of Emma was also on board but listed separately to the family, as being 14 years old she was moved to the single woman’s accommodation.
(Also on board were my maternal relatives, William Benbow & family – more about that later).
The ship was also carrying various cargo destined for the New Zealand market.
The trip was protracted and eventful and included a near mutiny and an encounter with a cyclone! They initially experienced very heavy weather in the Channel and only reached the Line after a very long interval of 60 days. The ship was to dock at Timaru but a fierce storm which raged for several days prevented this and the ship instead layed anchor in Lyttelton.
Following the journey, the Captain was summoned for cruelty to the crew and Emma’s husband, Thomas Hutt was called to give evidence against him.
Five sailors jumped ship and deserted the Huntress here, which was very fortunate for them as the ship later left Lyttelton for Callao and was never seen again! Anyone who answered the advertisement on the left, was never seen nor heard from again. Also unluckily, one poor man died of exhaustion climbing the steep Port Hills on his way over to Christchurch. Imagine surviving a 130 day voyage to drop dead on arrival!
Not everyone was disappointed with the behavior of Captain Barrow, some passengers wrote to the papers in support of his conduct. Others including one group of 67 passengers, took out advertisements to thank him.
Click here for the newspaper clipping announcing Thomas Hutt and family arriving in New Zealand.