THE NEW ZEALAND MARITIME RECORD
Displacement: 200 tons.
The Queen was an English steam ship carrying auxiliary sail and is reputed to have arrived in New Zealand waters on the 25th August 1858. She was the first screw steamer to visit Dunedin. Her hulk rests on Quail Island, where she is now completely buried.
Note: The first seven entries refer to a vessel named the Queen, but they are unconfirmed as referring to this particular steamer.
1846 February 14 Arrived at Sydney
1846 March 22 Departed from Sydney
1853 January Departed from Liverpool
1853 April Arrived at Melbourne
1854 August 31 Arrived at Sydney
1854 September 6 Departed from Sydney
1855 December 27 The Schomberg outward bound from Liverpool for Melbourne, grounded on a sandbank 35 miles West of Cape Otway in the North-western approach to Bass Strait. All the passengers were safely disembarked and put aboard the steamer Queen the following morning. All efforts to save the ship failed and she eventually broke up.
The Queen was owned by Scotsman James MacAndrew (1820 - 1887) and was the first screw steamer to visit Dunedin. She caused quite a stir when she arrived on 27th September 1858. Greeted with a 20 or 21 gun salute, she replied with a display of fire works launched from her deck that evening.
The Honourable James MacAndrew was one of Dunedin's more colourful characters and had arrived in the province at the beginning of 1851 aboard the Titan after a five months voyage from London. The vessel was privately owned or chartered as a venture by MacAndrew and his father-in-law Thomas Reynolds. He soon established James MacAndrew and Company, merchants and ship-owners and would be the first employer of the young James Mills, later founding chairman of the Union Steam Ship Company of New Zealand.Note: The following entry contradicts the reputed date of the vessel's first arrival at Port Chalmers.
1858 January 8 The sailing ship Strathallan (550 tons) with 250 passengers arrived at Port Chalmers after 110 days from Leith under the command of captain Todd. "Some time in the morning, Adam's Lighter, the Queen, came from Dunedin and got alongside and took a load of passengers on board. I remember the second-cabin passengers' claim for precedence was very marked, with rather funny results. They and their belongings had to go first, then a few extras, and finally the Queen got away, very heavily loaded. She got about a hundred yards when she sat fast and remained there all day. So much for precedence. Somewhere between ten and eleven a.m. Mr. McAndrew had got word of the plight we were in, and he turned up with a boat load of bread." Reminisce of Agnes Archibald.
1858 The Otago Province had found it necessary to provide at its own expense a connection with Melbourne and the Queen was chartered for two years to connect Otago and later Canterbury with Melbourne and the English steamer service. The steamer was soon found to be too small for the inter-colonial trade and was then used mainly for coastal work, mostly on the Lyttelton to Port Chalmers run. By January 1860 James MacAndrew had obtained another vessel; the Pirate for the voyages to Melbourne and this successful venture opened up a lot of trade between the two centres.
1858 Hugh Percy Murray-Aynsley, chairman of the New Zealand directors of the New Zealand Shipping Company Limited, was born in Gloucestershire in 1828. He came out to Lyttelton in 1858 aboard the s.s. Queen, a vessel purchased by the late Hon. James MacAndrew to open up trade between Melbourne and New Zealand.
1861 circa Captain John Watson (born Peterhead, 1834, died Port Chalmers, NZ, 1912) joined the ship Alibi as chief officer and after a few months transferred to the ship Queen in a similar capacity.
James Turner records that he has salvaged a lot of timber from her.
"In my excavations carried out on her I measured her out from bow to stern to be approximate 45 feet. She has a flooring that is lightly secured about a foot high above her hull which appears to be carvel built. She is almost completely constructed of wood, the only metal items that I have found are on her stern post and also at the bottom of her bows. All the top bow section has gone.
McCluskey, F. H.
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Thanks to James Turner, Steven McLachlan (specialist in Maritime Covers) and Marcus Castell
This page is part of the The Wrecks and Hulks of Lyttelton Harbour section of the
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