Friday, 6 March 2015

List of Ships in Quarantine in Lyttelton Harbour 1863-1900

Quarantine was first enforced in 1863 with Camp Bay after the unfortunate arrival of of a couple of sickly ships.  The Chariot of Fame in January 1863 with low fever and whooping cough and the Huntress with scarlet fever onboard and inadequate containment, causing it to spread on land.  Click here for the immigration commissioners report on the Huntress published on 2 May 1863 in the Lyttelton Times.  And in July it was noted that small pox was raging in London.

Camp Bay was chosen in about August 1863 as it had fresh water, a deep bay with easy access and was sheltered from the prevailing winds (not exactly true as it got the easterly).  Buildings were built in 1863 at the cost of 1000 pounds, with 112 pounds for employing a man to look after the grounds.  Click here.  The buildings were described as "superior accommodation" for the immigrants.  Later on these buildings were described as not even fit for animals!  And two years later in 1865 they fell down in a strong wind!  They were called an absolute failure in the newspapers.  A year later in June 1866, what was left of the buildings was blown away in another gale!  In November that year it was commented that what was left (if anything) were unfit for humans.  Luckily there were no more ships put in quarantine in 1866.

Another article suggests the barracks were just about burnt down in a grass fire way back in the day (date not mentioned).  A woman shovelled earth and saved the barracks from going up in smoke!

For the regulations and procedures for the Harbourmaster from 1863 click here.  They make for interesting reading noting what the questions were for the Captains of the immigrant ships.

The expenses of quarantine were great and it was proposed that a charge of 5s per passenger coming into the province be enforced to offset the cost.  Costs included staff, buildings, food etc.

It was March 1869 before the Provincial Government decided to do away with Camp Bay and it was noted that they had nowhere if a ship with small pox or other disease was to arrive in Lyttelton Harbour.

It was 1872 before an advertisement appeared regarding timber for the new Quarantine Barracks.   This was on Ripa Island (now called Ripapa Island).  These buildings were finished by late July 1872. although another article states April 1873.  It appear that in March 1873 they had a feeling that the Edwin Fox would have disease break out on it, due to too many passengers on board for the size of vessel.  It was therefore mentioned that the buildings needed to be completed asap.  It turns out disease did break out!
If you want to know all there is to know about the character of the island and it's buildings, click here for an interesting article.  A similar article can be found in the rival newspaper.  Mr John Edwin March was appointed superintendent of the quarantine station at this time.

The exact area of the quarantine station is mentioned in the following article.  And tenders accepted for different supplies such as potatoes and firewood in 1873 can be found here.

The new quarantine barracks must have been of interest to those in Christchurch with excursions organised on a steamer to visit them as well as other sights around the harbour.

In October 1874 it was announced that Camp Bay was no longer to be used (it sometimes housed healthy families whilst the very sick stayed at Ripa Island.) On 16 Feb 1875 Quail Island was proclaimed a quarantine area.  Soon Quail Island had new buildings and the island being large, was considered the best ever for the immigrants, seeing they had rights to roam the whole island.

A tragedy occurred in November 1878 when the keeper of the Quail Island Quarantine Station, Mr Charles Hancock, had a boating accident and drowned.  His body was never found.

A discription of the buildings in 1880 reads: "The quarantine island is a noticeable feature, it lies away to the South side of the harbour, and in the distance, with its barracks, and cottages, and other buildings, looks exactly like the ornaments one sees on cakes sometimes in confectioners' windows. A nearer acquaintance which, happily, I did not make, would doubtless dispel the illusion, and take away any romance which imagination now attaches to it."

In 1881 Quail Island was going to be used for a sheep quarantine island and tenders were sort for fencing to be put up.  There was also a new jetty built for loading cattle from ships.  Cattle were also to be quarantined there, probably after the major problems with pleuro-pnemonia in Canterbury.  In 1882 there was the fear of hydrophobia being introduced and dogs were also to be quarantined on Quail Island.

In October 1884 it was noted that in the event of a much feared small pox epidemic then a quarantine camp would be set up at the North West side of Quail Island.   Small pox had reached New Zealand now, having been in Australia for a year or so already.  Ripa Island was also seen as a great site for quarantine with "every soul" of every ship being checked as they came into the port to avoid an outbreak.

An article a few years later stated that Camp Bay was the ground for small pox burials in the early days.

In October 1884 it was put forward that Ripa Island was the perfect spot for defending the Port of Lyttleton and that a battery should be built there.  And by July the next year it was noted that quarantine was not needed like it used to be.  In September 1886 the big guns were going in and the old quarantine buildings had been disassembled and taken to Quail Island.

Click here for a photo of the buildings at Quail Island in 1911.

Camp Bay

1863 Alhambra

26 August Penalties for breach of quarantine

1863 Accrington

1863 Captain Cook

Response to Dr Clutterbuck's letter

1863 Victory

1863 Lancashire Witch 

(buy my book on the Lancashire Witch for more detailed information)

24 October Lancashire Witch
14 November The Lancashire Witch

1863 Brother's Pride 

(buy my book on the Brother's Pride for more information)

1864 Indian Empire

21 April Gratuities to be paid

1864 Ivanhoe

1865 Blue Jacket

The Story of the Blue Jacket (a great summary) 
Deaths and a message in a bottle!
Article on special constables
 A letter to the editor
A letter to the editor by "Smallpox"
A letter from Captain White
Letter from the surgeon
 Great poem on the Blue Jacket quarantine situation
Camp Bay buildings destroyed by weather and not suitable for Blue Jacket emigrants
Only single men allowed on shore due to state of buildings
Passengers in good health
Visitors to the quarantine ground allowed
A passenger testimony
Another passenger testimony
A Saloon passenger testimony
A Pilot Station needed at the Lyttelton Heads
Ship and saloon passenger released from quarantine but not other passengers
Charges against the crew
No proper medical inspection before ship left England
Letter from the First Mate
The Blue Jacket, a wool ship, departs

1865 The Tudor

25 September Another article and passenger list for the Tudor
14 October In quarantine for one day

1869 Caroline Coventry

10 June In quarantine for only a few hours!

Quail Island & Ripapa Island

1873 Punjaub 

1874/1875 General summary of ships quarantined NZ wide

1874 Phoebe 

(immigrants on board from the Mongol which was in quarantine at Otago)

2 March Passengers put in quarantine

1874 City of Glasgow

23 March City of Glasgow in quarantine

1874 Northampton

6 June Report on the Northampton
8 June Another report on the Northampton
9 June Modified small-pox reported
11 June patient update
13 June Two new cases of modified small-pox
22 June Quarantine update
22 June Two new cases
29 June single men taken to Camp Bay
29 July Passengers released from quarantine at Camp Bay
29 July Immigrants taken from Camp Bay to Christchurch
8 August 100 passengers released
8 August Biggs takes a fall
10 August Thomas Biggs inquest
10 August passengers all released

1875 Rakaia

1875 White Rose

Report on 1875/76 quarantine cases - reasons very light

1876 Countess of Kintore

1876 Jessie Osborne

1877 Cardigan Castle

1877 Mangerton

5 May Mangerton in quarantine
7 May Mangerton in quarantine
11 May Fever patient to be sent to Ripa Island
11 May Similar report on the Mangerton
14 May Seamen with fever landed at Ripa Island
17 Mangerton released from quarantine

1878 Waitangi

14 October Waitangi put in quarantine
15 October Waitangi report
15 October Huge report on the Waitangi
15 October Letters to be forwarded
19 October No new cases have occurred
22 October Nosegays sent to passengers
24 October Most passengers released
24 October Passengers bound for Timaru and Ashburton cheer

1878 Marlborough

1879 Opawa

1879 Northern Monarch

1 February Northern Monarch placed in quarantine
3 February Northern Monarch Report
3 February  Another report on the Northern Monarch
3 February Report on Northern Monarch
4 February Two deaths on Ripa Island
6 February Visit from health and immigration officers
8 February Saloon passengers landed and ship released

1879 Lyttelton Orphanage

13 December Orphanage uses Quail Island facilities for diphtheria patients

1880 Westland

23 February The Westland quarantined
23 February Westland report
24 February Westland report
26 February No new cases
1 March No new cases
2 March Ship released from quarantine
4 March Scarlatina case
8 March Some passengers released (names listed)
8 March names listed
12 March The Westland released from quarantine

1880 Waimate

25 February Waimate from London in quarantine
25 February Slocum and Jones families on Ripa Island
26 February No new cases
1 March No new cases
2 March Ship released from quarantine

1880 S.S. Norfolk

14 June S.S. Norfolk put into quarantine
14 June S.S. Norfolk
14 June Yet another article
15 June Smallpox or chickenpox?
15 June Only chickenpox and steamer to be released

1880 Maori Prisoners held at Ripa Island

10 September Maori prisoners from Parihaka

1881 S.S. Wakatipu

22 June Family with measles sent to Ripa Island
22 June Hay family with the measles
8 July Hay family out of quarantine
14 July Family continues on with Wakatipu to Dunedin instead of staying in quarantine.

1882 Loch Cree

1883 Clansman

From about 1883 onwards I can't find any more quarantined ships mentioned in the newspapers.  There are many reports however of Quail Island housing sheep, dogs and cattle as well as some reports of birds up until 1900.

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