Star of India




Note.- Section 282 of the Merchant Shipping Act, 1854, requires the Master of the Ship to enter in his Official Log the particulars of every Birth that has happened on board, every Marriage that has taken place on board, and also of every Death that has happened on board; and sections 273 and 274 require that a List of such Births and Marriages and Deaths should be made out and delivered to the Superintendent of a Mercantile Marine Office in the United Kingdom.

Surgeon's Report Births on Board Deaths on Board

Sailed London 26th 1873 September - arrived Lyttelton 31st December 1873

Surgeon Superintendent: Dr S. Mc. D. Cumming

Photograph courtesy of Alexander Turnbull Library Collections, Wellington, New Zealand
Ship Star of India: Photographer unknown
John Dickie Collection: Reference number: G-16346-
Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, must be obtained before any re-use of this image

Surgeon's Report

Ship: Star of India
Port of Lyttelton
January 1874

To J.E. March Esq.
Immigration Officer,
Christchurch, N.Z.

In presenting a Report of the voyage of the ship Star of India from London to Canterbury with Government Immigrants I think it necessary to call your attention to the following inconveniences that occurred -

The Plumbers' and Carpenters' work has in some places been done in a slovenly and apparently hurried manner and the Ship's Carpenter has been frequently employed in repairing benches and lockers, which, had they been substantially made ought never to have required any attention during the voyage.

Much annoyance has been caused by leakage from the water cocks supplying the closets requiring conductors to be placed beneath them to prevent the seats and floors of the closets from being flooded by the overflow of water from the leaking taps. -

The Matron also complained of insufficient washing accommodation for the Single Women under her care and of the want of water in the closets used at night; no water having been available from the usual source for flushing the pans after 8 o'clock p.m.-

With regard to the Dietary Scale much trouble was at first caused by the Passengers demanding to be supplied with cheese, carrots, and onions, according to their Contract Tickets, as Dietary Scales were posted up in all the holds in which these articles are mentioned as part of the fare and had not been erased. -
They are not mentioned in the Contract between the New Zealand Shipping Co. and the Government.

Many of the Passengers complained especially in the Tropics that they could not eat the salt beef and would have much preferred having bread in lieu of it.

For children during the voyage and for many Adults in the Tropics I think that bread substituted for salt beef would be a more desirable diet and cheese in almost all cases would be preferred by many in the laboring class of Immigrants to salt beef throughout the voyage.

The large amount of medical comforts used may be accounted for by the fact that we had fourteen Mothers nursing Infants; also the Physical state of health of many of the Passengers which in a large number of cases was anything but robust; many of the children were also of a strumous Diathesis and required a generous diet. The preserved milk was used freely during the Voyage and the supply came to an end before its termination. By this I mean the amount sent as "Medical Comforts". -

A great inconvenience has been caused by the want of sand for scouring and holystoning, none having been placed on board, neither could the Purser supply me with quick lime for washing the bottom boards etc etc -

No egg powder was shipped but fresh eggs substituted which were of no use after being at sea a month. The children have therefore been without their full allowance of Albuminous food for nearly two months.

The ventilation of the ship has been excellent throughout the voyage.

Captain Holloway kindly placed the Ship's Library at the service of the Emigrants and I am glad to say that a great many of them availed themselves of the privilege of using the books which were issued by Mr Robinson the mate who has been most zealous in his endeavours to make all persons on board comfortable.

I have been ably assisted by the Matron Miss Ferrier in carrying out all the Regulations for single women and she has proved herself a most zealous and efficient Officer, discharging her duties in a very able manner. - She has in every way fulfilled the office of Matron with credit to herself and her Employers. -

I regret to state that we have had eight deaths on the voyage, all children (three of whom were prematurely born). - Also five births have taken place. The Mothers in all cases have done well. -

In conclusion I must advert to the kind manner in which Captain Holloway has assisted me in carrying out all the Government Regulations.

I have the honor to remain, Sir
Your most obedient Servant
sgd   S Mc. D Cumming
Surgeon Superintendent

Archives NZ Ref: IM 74/96



Date of Birth Name of Child Sex Christian & Surname of Father Name & Maiden Surname of Mother Profession or Occupation of Father Remarks
Oct 28 1873ThomasmaleThomas BATCHELORElizabeth DAVISEmigrantsPrematurely
Oct 28 1873StellafemaleThomas BATCHELORElizabeth DAVISEmigrantsPrematurely
Dec 17 1873FemalefemaleCatherine HANSENCatherine HANSENEmigrant -
Dec 17 1873MalemaleCarl BEHUKA GisheEmigrantPrematurely
Dec 31 1873MalemaleJoseph GAYElizabethEmigrant -




Date of Death Name of Deceased Sex Age Profession or Occupation (if known) Parents' Names (if known) Cause of Death
Oct 23 1873Wm Richmond PEACHYmale5 mo - Tola & Fanny PEACHEYInflammation of Lungs & convulsions
Nov 1 1873Albert Edward WORGERmale11½ mo - Chris'r & Martha WORGERDiarrhoea
Nov 9 1873Kate WORGERfemale2 yrs - Chris'r & Martha WORGERTabes Mesenterica
Nov 11 1873Thomas BATCHELORmale14 d - Thomas & E'th BATCHELORExhaustion (prematurely born)
Nov 13 1873Stella BATCHELORfemale16 d - Thomas & E'th BATCHELORExhaustion (prematurely born)
Nov 15 1873John WRIGHTmale11 mo - Henry & Jane WRIGHTDiarrhoea
Nov 27 1873Anna THORSENfemale2 yrs - Ole & Grimnd? THORSENWhooping cough & convulsions
Dec 17 1873Infant BEHUKAmale4 hrs - Carl & Gishe BEHUKAPrematurely born

I hereby certify that the above is a true statement of births and deaths on board the ship Star of India on the passage from London to Canterbury amongst the Government Immigrants.

(signed) S. Mc. D. Cumming,  Surgeon Superintendent


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