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Isles of the South, sailed 6 November 1873

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Surnames/tags: Ships Migration
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The voyage of the ship Isles of the South to Lyttelton, New Zealand in 1873/74

  • Ship: 821 tons
  • Captain: J D Le Conteur
  • Surgeon Superintendent: Dr. John Wilmshurst.
  • Sailed Plymouth 6 November 1873 - arrived Lyttelton 2 February 1874

This was the seventh vessel sent out under the auspices of the New Zealand Shipping Company. She brought 8 saloon and 320 Government immigrants, and made the run from the Cape in 28 days.[1]

A report of the ship's landing at Lyttelton and the Captain's Report of the voyage were printed in the 3 Feb 1874 edition of the Lytteton Times. [2] Highlights of the voyage include:

  • 353 passengers made up of 320 immigrants and 33 crew, and general cargo.
  • Sighted Madeira, 13 Nov 1873.
  • Calms and light airs meant passage to the equator was slow, with the ship eventually passing near the Brazilian Ilha da Trinidade on 17 Dec 1873.
  • The ship passed approximately 1,300km south of the Cape of Good Hope on 2 Jan 1874.
  • The South Island was sighted on 30 Jan 1874.
  • Two infants unfortunately died of dysentery, and an elderly passenger died also.

The full passenger list is stored on microfilm at Archives New Zealand and has been reproduced online.[3]

This voyage was part of the NZ Government Assisted Immigration Programme from Britain and Ireland, which peaked in 1874 with over 32,000 immigrants that year. [4]

The ship's surgeon was subsequently charged with stealing alcohol from the medical supplies and selling it to the passengers.[5] He was sentenced by the Supreme Court at Christchurch to 18 months' imprisonment. [6]


  1. Sir Henry Brett, "White Wings vol.II", accessed via Victoria University of Wellington website
  2. Lyttelton Times, 3 Feb 1874
  3. "Isles of the South", Denise & Peter (2000)
  4. "British & Irish Immigration, 1840-1914", NZ History resource
  5. Supreme Court Press, Vol XXII Issue 2705, 9 April 1874
  6. Tuapeka Times, Vol. VII Issue 383, 15 July 1874

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