Cuzco 1877 (Ship)

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Date: 1877 [unknown]
Location: [unknown]
Surnames/tags: Ships Ship_Tree Immigration
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The SS Cuzco Immigrant Ship Arrived off Adelaide on November 6, 1877, 40 days after leaving London.

In the months leading up to this momentous occasion the Australian Newspapers were awash with much news and speculation regarding the impending arrival in such record time. I counted well over 2000 articles, advertisements and detailed lists in Australian newspapers per the TROVE database. Here are just a few:

1. THE CAPE ROUTE from the Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954) of Tuesday the 13th of March 1877, Page 5.

London, March 10. - The Pacific Company's steamers via the Cape are advertised : Lusitania, for May ; Chimborazo, for August ; and Cuzco, for September.

2. MISCELLANEOUS from the Geelong Advertiser (Vic. : 1859 - 1929) of Saturday the 23rd of June 1877, Page 3.

The Pacific Steam Navigation Company have decided to employ a portion of their well-known fleet of steamers in the direct trade between London and Australia.

The first boat is to be the Lusitania, to leave Gravesend on June, 26th, and Plymouth two days later, for Melbourne and Sydney, calling at Cape de Verde Islands to coal. She is to be followed on August 10th by the Chimborazo, and on September 24th by the Cuzco.

These are full-powered steamers, each of over 3800 tons gross register, dimensions being length 379 feet, breadth 35 feet, depth of hold 35 feet, and they are uniform in plan and appointments.

It is expected they will accomplish the passage in forty days. We believe that no steamers so well adapted for the trade have yet been sent to Australia, and from the high character the Pacific Company have so well earned in respect of their well known line from Liverpool to the Pacific via the Straits of Magellan, we have no doubt they will deserve and enjoy the confidence of Australian passengers and shippers, and supply an additional means of communication between the mother country and the colonies which can scarcely fail to be of great value to both.

The London agents for these steamers are Messrs Anderton, Anderson and Co., of Billiter-court; in Sydney, Messrs Gilchrist, Watt, and Co.; and in Melbourne, Messrs Bright, Brothers and Co.

3. ADELAIDE AND LONDON TELEGRAPH in the Express and Telegraph (Adelaide, SA : 1867 - 1922) of the 5th of October 1877, Page 3.




LONDON, September 28, 6.30 p.m. - Received October 4, 11 p.m.

The Famine Fund. The Indian Famine Relief Fund now amounts to £270,000. The sum of £200,600 has already been remitted to India.

Wheat and Copper. The wheat market is weaker. There is no Australian wheat here. Adelaide is nominally quoted at 66s. to 68s., and New Zealand at 52s. to 56s. - Copper is unchanged.

Tin and Hemp. Tin is quoted at £64 10s. - New Zealand hemp (sound) fetches £27.


Arrived—HMS Rosario. Sailed from Plymouth — The steamer Hankow, on the 24th instant, and the steamer Cuzco, for Adelaide, yesterday.

4. IMMIGRATION from the South Australian Register (Adelaide, SA : 1839 - 1900) of Saturday the 6th of October 1877, Page 2.

The Immigration Enquiry. - The House of Assembly has agreed to the report of the Select Committee on Immigration : with an amendment, directing that the Agent-General should be instructed by telegram to report whether taking bonds from immigrants to remain two years in the colony prevents suitable persons from coming to South Australia.

In a recent number of the Gazette appeared copies of two telegrams and a despatch to the Agent-General in London from the Commissioner of Crown Lands in reference to immigration matters. The first telegram, which is dated August 18, instructs Sir Arthur Blyth to dispatch forty single men monthly by the Orient line of steamers, commencing with the Cuzco if she were to call at Adelaide, the cost not to exceed £15 each. The second message - which is not intelligible without some information as to previous communications, says Goddefroy's after, German emigrants declined.'

The letter is dated September 4, and is as follows:- ' Sir - With respect to your despatch dated 21st June last, relative to the application of Messrs, J. C. Godeffroy & Son for land-order warrants for certain emigrants per Peter Godeffroy, and leaving the matter for my decision, as you did not feel justified in issuing warrants for the majority of the persons named in the list for warded, I have the honour to inform you that the Select Committee appointed by the House of Assembly to enquire into the subject of immigration have recommended that land-order warrants should be granted to persons without much regard to the trades or professions of the applicants; consequently land-orders will be given to the immigrants enumerated in the list referred on their arrival in the colony, and land order warrants can in future be issued in similar cases.— I am, &c, John Carr.'

5. GENERAL NEWS from The Express and Telegraph (Adelaide, SA : 1867 - 1922) of Wednesday the 7th of November 1877, Page 2.

The steamer Cusco has arrived from London after a magnificent voyage of 40 days.

She brings a mail for this colony. Letters thus. received may be answered by the steamer Chimborazo, which will probably sail tomorrow. It, is expected that the mail which the last-mentioned steamer carries will reach London in 36 days. It is possible it may be there in considerably less time should the Chimborazo fall in with a steamer bound for Brindisi, but it is unsafe to count on that.

Should the mail reach its destination in 36 days it will anticipate the mail taken by the R.M.S. Assam, which left on Monday. The explanation of this is that the Chimborazo sails direct for Aden, while the Assam goes to Galle, which means a considerable detour in the passage.

In the event of the Chimborazo accomplishing what there is very little doubt about her ability to do, it will be the first instance on record of replies being received to letters addressed to Australia which had not been written mere than 80 days. Postal facilities are gradually but surely bringing Great Britain and the colonies closer together, and the owners of the Cuzco and her sister steamers are entitled to the thanks and the generous support of Australians for the excellent and valuable work which their fine boats are now accomplishing.

6. LATEST NEWS from the Evening Journal (Adelaide, SA : 1869 - 1912) of Wednesday the 7th of November 1877, Page 2.

THE CUZCO'S MAILS. - The Cuzco has brought a mail for Adelaide, and it will probably be ready for delivery shortly after 2 o'clock.

QUICK MAIL COMMUNICATION. - Owing to the arrival of the Cuzco with English mails this morning and the departure of the Chimborazo to-morrow correspondents in England will be able to obtain answers to their letters in an unusually short time. The Cuzco's letters will be less than 40 days' old, and allowing 40 days for the home passage of the Chimborazo it is not unreasonable to expect that replies to letters written in England will be delivered within 80 days of the date of such letters.

ARRIVAL OF THE CUZCO. - The steamship Cuzco, which sailed from Plymouth on September 27 or 29, has arrived at the Semaphore after a remarkably quick passage. Among the passengers for Adelaide are Mr. and Mrs. Richard Searle and family.

MAILS PER CHIMBORAZO. - The closing of the English mail per steamship Chimborazo has been postponed till 5 o'clock this evening, with a late fee up to 6 o'clock; and should the sailing of the steamer be further deferred the mail will not close until a later hour.

COLLINS-STREET BAPTIST CHURCH. - By the steamship Cuzco the Rev. S. Chapman, the newly-appointed minister of the Collins-street Baptist Church, Melbourne, has arrived.

7. IMMIGRANTS BY THE CUZCO. from the South Australian Register (Adelaide, SA : 1839 - 1900) of Thursday the 8th of November 1877, Page 6.

The following are the names of the immigrants by the Cuzco :

— Single Men.—

J. H. Ashton, 23, tailor;

W. Baird, 25, carpenter :

A. T. Barwick. 23. pressman;

A. Bond, 27, bricKiayer:

H. Cox, 19, platelayer;

W. J. Curry, 18, joiner;

T. Curry, 20, (ditto);

R, Curry, 22, mason;

D. Cormack, 21, R. Cran, 20, D. Crawford, 19, W. Davies, 36, agricultural labourers;

G. Dawson, 20, bricklayer;

J. Eade, 23, builders' labourer;

E. Evans, 25, agricultural labourer ;

G. Evans, 22, agricultural labourer;

T. Graham, 26, carpenter;

W. Grattan, 22, agricultural labourer;

G. Gregg, 24, agricultural labourer;

T. Govan, 20 joiner ;

G. Hambling, 18, platelayer;

W. Harrison, 24, carpenter;

H. Hatwell, 20, agricultural labourer;

T. H. Hill, 25, agricultural labourer;

C. James 20, agricultural labourer;

J. Kane, 23, mason;

T. Keefe, 23, labourer;

T. Martin, 24, labourer;

M. Miatke, 26, agricultural labourer ;

F. Miatke, 19, agricultural labourer ;

A. McDonald, 19, agricultural labourer;

A. Miller, 22, carpenter ;

A. Mitchell, 22, mason ;

W. Owen, 20, cabinetmaker ;

R. Roberts, 26, carpenter;

W. Roberts, 21, agricultural labourer ;

W. Rossiter, 15, farm lad ;

G. Ryan, 26, agricultural labourer;

J. C. Slocombe, 18, agricultural labourer ;

E. Smith, 26, engraver;

B. A. Tench, 20, joiner;

T. Tobin, 21, bricklayers' labourer;

J. Walker, 29, agricultural labourer ;

E. Wheaton, 17, agricultural labourer;

R. Whillance, 27, joiner;

A. Will, 25, mason ;

J. Williams, 24, carpenter ;

P. E. Williams, 19, butcher;

T. S. Williams, 23, printer.

Classifications. — Tailor, 1 ; carpenters, 8 ; pressman, 1; bricklayers, 2; platelayers, 2; joiners, 5; masons, 4; agricultural labourers, 19 ; builders' labourer, 1 ; labourers, 2 ; cabinetmaker, 1 ; farm lad, 1 ; engraver, 1 ; bricklayers' labourer, 1 ; butcher, 1 ; printer 1.

Nationalities.— English, 34 ; Scotch, 9 ; Irish, 4 ; Germans, 2.

8. THE VOYAGE OF THE CUZCO from the Adelaide Observer (SA : 1843 - 1904) of Saturday the 10th of November 1877, Page 19.

THE VOYAGE OF THE CUZCO. A passenger by the Cuzco, 3,845 tons, which arrived off the Semaphore on Wednesday, has furnished us with the following interesting particulars respecting the passage :- “The Cuzco left Plymouth, where most of her passengers joined her, at 3.20 pm. on the 27th September, lifting her. anchor in the presence of a large number of friends who had come to say, 'God speed you; farewell'. Owing to her exceeding steadiness and huge bulk but few were sick, most of the passengers never missing their seat at table from the first day or their promenade on deck. Her saloon is very large and elegant. It is 100 feet long, beautifully decorated with hand-painted panels framed in gilt mouldings, and is admirably ventilated, the latter adding much. to the comfort, of voyageurs. The table has been. unusually good, the food being of excellent quality, plentiful in quantity, and not only well cooked, but put on in good style. A large, number of entertainments were, got up, as there happened to be a good deal of musical talent on board, the leading star being a young German lady who possesses a finely-cultivated voice of great power.

When the weather permitted these evening gatherings were held on the quarter-deck, and when too cold in the saloon. The usual newspaper was of course duly started, bearing in this instance the title of the Illustrated Cuzco Chronicle. The chief attraction of this new weekly was the clever illustrations, which were pen-and-inked' by a French artist who is on his way to Sydney, All personalities being kept out of its pages it provided a source of amusement to most of its readers. The Sundays were well observed, three services being held—two in the first saloon and one in the second. The afternoon service was Conducted by two ministers alternately, namely by the Rev. J., D. Robertson, Presbyterian minister of Geelong, and the Rev. Samuel Chapman, Baptist minister, who is on his way to Melbourne to fill the pulpit of the principal Baptist Church there.

The weather was remarkably fine the voyage throughout, with the exception of one day shortly after rounding the Cape Of Good Hope, when in a violent squall the main topgallant yard was carried away and the fore-topsail split. For a few hours a very heavy sea followed the ship, but very soon the wind went down and the sea became quiet as before. Almost the entire voyage it has been dead hard steaming, with very little wind to help. Generally speaking, when the wind was fair it was very light, and for fourteen days running both wind and sea were against the ship. There can be no doubt that with a favourable run of winds the Cuzco could make the voyage to Adelaide in 38 or 39 days, and if the Company should see their way clear to lay on their faster steamer, such as the Liguria or the Iberia, they could accomplish the passage in 36 days.

Just before reaching Adelaide two addresses were prepared and presented to Captain Conlon and his officers. In addition, the former is to receive a piece of plate in honour of this his first Australian - voyage, subscribed for by some of the saloon passengers. This will be purchased and presented in Sydney on the arrival of the steamer there. It is now demonstrated beyond a doubt that even under somewhat adverse circumstances the voyage from England to Adelaide can be accomplished in 40 days, and it is to be hoped that these steamers will continue to run, as they will be not only of advantage to passengers, but also to the importing and exporting trade. We may add that the total time occupied in the passage was 40 days 7 hours; the stoppage at sea and at St. Vincent amounted to one day seven hours; the actual steaming time was therefore 39 days. The total mileage was 11,929 miles,"and the average daily ran 305 miles.

The following is an account of the voyage of the Cuzco by our Shipping Reporter:— The Cuzco arrived from London and Plymouth on Wednesday, and as she slowly headed in for the buoy in Largs Bay few persons would have been bold enough to hazard, the assertion that she was not in an excellent berth. The arrival of these vessels is a turning point in the maritime affairs of the province, and nothing could be more pleasant than the day on which the Cuzco put in an appearance. For several days those who: were expecting friends by the vessel were in attendance at the beach, and although not a sign of the ship was made until Wednesday morning, some of the expectants continued the watch-keeping when there was a warning note that the steamer had been seen.

Everyone was at once in commotion, and as the vessel headed in for Glenelg it was supposed she purposed anchoring there. After-hoisting her signal letters in completion of the voyage she shaped a course away to the north-ward, and pretty soon picked up a pilot, who directed the master where to make the vessel fast. She took her way in to the northward of the Bell Buoy and across the stern of the Holmsdale, heading slowly for the mooring buoy, to which she was shackled. Her ponderous screw created such a disturbance in the water that in a measure she stripped her bottom of weed and sand, and Sent the whirling eddies in muddy circles athwart her stern.

She is certainly a very handsome vessel, though where all are equally so it is extremely difficult to draw the line. The Lusitania, Chimborazo and Cuzco are as much alike as it is possible for vessels to be, and at a short distance the Cuzco looked a very small edition of a two-thousand ton ship, and even on a closer inspection she hardly looked the size, but in closing in with her the magnitude of her proportions became evident. She is barque-rigged, with immense masts and square yards, but they looked nothing on such a hull. With a spar deck fore and aft a splendid promenade space is afforded; and a novelty not often seen here was a handy steam cutter sitting in the starboard chocks with steam up and her screw revolving ready for lowering into the water.

Her crew numbers 114 hands. The Saloon is a very fine apartment on the main deck aft, with open transom and enclosed berths on each side, and the general tone of appointments is much the same as her predecessor's. At the fore end the vessel is divided, up into bar, steward's pantry, and offices, and thence forwards the midship space is taken up by engines, with officers' quarters on each side; farther forwards the boiler space, flanked by more berths, and then the second cabin, where there are forty-two berths with excellent accommodation. As usual the seamen and engineer's crew have the fore-end of the ship, while the steerage passengers find quarters below. The whole of this vessel is like a small town, and it is rather a task to single any one out.

Of the treatment on the voyage the passengers speak in favourable terms, and throughout the passengers nothing but eulogy of the line is heard.

A few days before the arrival the master was presented with a tankard valued at £60 or ; £70, given in appreciation of his unremitting kindness during the voyage. The voyage out is another triumph for steam-power, for while the lines of steamers have done work year after year across the Atlantic, the long Australian voyage has been considered unapproachable.

The Cuzco left London on September 24, and Plymouth on the 27th, called at St. Vincent on October 5, and then made a long distance round the Cape with fine weather, and onto Cape Borda without a breeze. The whole voyage was one of hard steaming, only two or three days affording an opportunity for setting sail, and thus passed away 11,929 miles of steaming with only a break of one day seven hours and a half at St. Vincent. The average speed of the voyage was over 305 miles per diem, and this taken as a test brings up her rate to that of other vessels in the same line. The consumption of fuel throughout was 1,800 tons on board at starting with 500 tons taken in at St Vincent, and 200 tons on board on arrival gives her 2,100 as the total consumption on the voyage. She has has 250 to 300 tons of cargo from London for Adelaide, and at the early start of the voyage it was resolved not to call at Adelaide. Those passengers, however who were bound here objected to this procedure, and so pressed the matter that the steamer arrived here in due course. The vessel had no sooner hove in sight than the steam tugs were ready at the Port and at once headed down stream, and the early launch from the station took off the boarding officers.

The whole of the arrangements worked well save that the lumpers for cargo discharge were a little behind. Pretty early the work of discharge began, and while the Eleanor was sent on to the Port with the passengers the Adelaide was hauled alongside and filled up with light goods. The Eva, steam-launch, was sent away to tow up the schooner Madeline, and before nightfall the work of discharge was going on in such a way that the ship would most probably sail at 6 in the morning. Dr. Duncan was in early attendance to master those of the passengers sent out under the Government regulations


1. THE CAPE ROUTE. The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954) of Tuesday the 13th of March 1877, Page 5: [1]

2. MISCELLANEOUS. The Geelong Advertiser (Vic. : 1859 - 1929) of Saturday the 23rd of June 1877, Page 3: [2]

3. ADELAIDE AND LONDON TELEGRAPH. The Express and Telegraph (Adelaide, SA : 1867 - 1922) of Friday the 5th of October 1877, Page 3: [3]

4. IMMIGRATION. South Australian Register (Adelaide, SA : 1839 - 1900) of Saturday the 6th of October 1877, Page 2; [4]

5. GENERAL NEWS. The Express and Telegraph (Adelaide, SA : 1867 - 1922) of Wednesday the 7th of November 1877, Page 2: [5]

6. LATEST NEWS. Evening Journal (Adelaide, SA : 1869 - 1912) of Wednesday the 7th of November 1877, Page 2: [6]

7. IMMIGRANTS BY THE CUZCO. South Australian Register (Adelaide, SA : 1839 - 1900) of Thursday the 8th of November 1877, page 6: [7]

8. THE VOYAGE OF THE CUZCO. Adelaide Observer (SA : 1843 - 1904) of Saturday the 10th of November 1877, Page 19: [8]

  • Lithographed image of S.S. 'Cuzco', 'from a photograph by F.C. Gould, Gravesend'. Engraved by MacLure & MacDonald, London, with details of the ship: 3849 gross tonnage, 550 horse power, length 384 ft 2 in., breadth 41 ft 4 in., depth 35 ft 3 in. The ship visited South Australia in the 1870s, 1880s and 1890s. from the State Library of South Australia website: [9]

Return to the Cuzco, Arrived 15 Nov 1877 category page.

sister ship Chimborazo 1871 and Garonne (1871)

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Thank you for the great page. After leaving Adelaide the Cuzco travelled to Melbourne (10 Nov) and Sydney (14 Nov), before returning to Adelaide then onto London via the Suez Canal.
posted by Kathy (Melloy) Thomson
Thanks Kathy, I will update this and the official voyage page.

Regards Danny Stapleton in Canberra

posted by Danny Stapleton