BOOK OF MEMORANDUM - BY JAMES MENZIES 1848
Copy of Transcription of handwritten diary of voyage to Australia on board the WILLIAM MONEY,
which left Plymouth on September 19, 1848 bound for South Australia, arriving on January 3rd, 1849.
NOTES: James Menzies (22) - Embarkation Number 14798. James 'Jim' Buchanan (21) - Embarkation Number 14800
As the Embarkation Numbers are only two apart, it seems likely that these two were already friends.
The following is written in ink towards the end of the book -
Left Port Adelaide per 'Scout' Schooner April 10th 1849 being a Saturday, and arrived at Van Dieman's land on May 10th 1849.
Spelling is as is - James has used what appears to be an "fs" when writting "ss" (eg "tofsing" and "vefsell")
September 12-13th - We started for Southampton at quarter past 10 o'clock and arrived at
Southampton at 12 o'clock and were on board one of the Southampton Company Steam Boats
to Plymouth and arrived there at 7 o'clock on Wednesday morning 13th.
Had Breakfast and Dinner had a walk about and went to bed
Sept. 14th Thursday - had Breakfast then went to Mr Drakes and I enquired for Charles Dale,
but could not see him.
Sept. 15th Friday - had a walk about Plymouth all day.
Sept. 16th Saturday - had Breakfast and Dinner and come on board the William Money
Sept. 17th Sunday - has Service on board in the Afternoon.
Sept. 18th Monday - the Clergyman gave out a few books.
Sept. 19th Tuesday - sent a letter to Lizzy. Jim sent one to his Cousin William in the morning.
Put out to sea in the afternoon.
Sept. 20th Wednesday - rather sick felt very queer.
Sept. 21st Thursday - felt allright so far allmost becalmed and they are laying about the deck
like sheep in Smithfield Market but a heavy sea tofsing about like anything
a stiff breese springing up going at a slashing pace wind right off the larboard
quarter tofsing about all night some of the sailors washed out of there bunks.
Sept. 22 Tuesday [Friday] - rather roughf tofsing about above a bit which made her old timbers
creak. some of the Methodists went to prayers at night - thought they were going to Davey Jones.
the mefs things rolling about all night we could not sleep, one of the seamen washed out
the feemales very ill, pafsed a Portigee Brig
Sept. 23rd Saturday - stiff breese going a good pace yards almost square rather showery still
a good breese which brought the see over her decks
Sept. 24th Sunday - a man broke his arm, past a foreign brig, stiff breese still blowing,
the Methodists went to prayers thought they were going to the bottom they were all on
Lord have mercy on my soul, enough to give any one the belly ache.
Sept. 25th Monday - early in the morning a child died and was thrown overboard shortly
afterwards, a stiff breese blowing going a good pace.
Sept. 26th Tuesday - wind still about the same, in the evening rather squally flying jib boon carried away
a bother with the females for the doctor wanted to send them below at 7 o'clock.
Sept. 27th Wednesday - no wind at all scarcely beautiful day rather warm, a lecture from the Doctor
and a row with one of the sailors and one of the constables,
the sailor was going to put him overboard - all about the girls.
Sept. 28th Thursday - came in sight of the Madiera Islands, a fight with the ships carpenter and
one of the sailors, a dead calm all day off the Island, plenty of singing and dancing
Sept. 29th Fryday - a bit of a breese past an American bark, had a row with the doctor,
gave up my berth. the doctor forbid the girls speaking to the sailors. The sailors for
spite to the doctor wrote a paper out and stuck it out an the Long Boat calling him
every thing and that he was not fit to carry guts to a bear because he would not
let them pull them about. So in the evening one of the sailors drefsed up as a
woman with another sailor hold of his arm and walked aft round the captain and the
doctor see them and laid hold of the gound and then they turned round and laughft
at him, then all of them clap't their hands and hooted him. The Methodists went to
prayers, the rest of them were on deck singing and dancing. Me and Jim were
thinking of old times.
Sept. 30th Saturday - a slight breese, came in sight of a vessel first thing and came along side
of her about three, which was an English bark. we think she was an Emigrant Ship for there
seemed a great many people on her deck, had a concert practicing for the service on Sunday.
[note: ship may have been the 'John Woodhall']
October 1st Sunday - had prayers in the Morning after Dinner had a glafs of grog beautiful day.
Methodists went to prayers in the Evening.
Oct. 2nd Monday - lost sight of the English vefsell left her behind, hot enough to leave all your things off,
had all our boxes up out of the hold, breese sprung up about the middle of the day,
going about 8 knots
Oct. 3rd Tuesday - going about the same pace, sun very hot, hot enough to cook a steak if we had it
Oct. 4th Wednesday - very hot, wind about the same saw a lot of flying fish, sailors swear
vengence against the doctor
Oct. 5th Thursday - heat about the same, singing and skylarking as usual
Oct. 6th Fryday - very steady wind, row with the sailors and the doctor - two of the sailors put in irons
- all about the young women. the sailors threatened the doctor.
Some of the females confined upon bread and water for speaking to the sailors.
We thought there would have been a mutiny for the sailors said they would not go to work
till they were released, but they went to work again
Oct. 7th Saturday - breese nothing transpired worth notice
Oct. 8th Sunday - fine day had us up to muster had prayers had some of them up with flutes and
bafs viola for an organ, the captain for a pulpit had the awning spread and flags to put
on the seats and the pulpit. there is lot of flying fish about and a tremendous lot of
paupoises round the bows and in the afternoon poped/hoped a lot of sharks
but they did not stop near us. a ship to leward of us but she was not near enough to us
to tell what contryman she was. we have not had our clothes off for two or three nights
for it is so hot down below were we slept in the garrett on the matrefs with our clothes on
Oct. 9th Monday - steady breese beautiful day past a homeward bound brig a long way to leeward of us
Oct. 10th Tuesday - almost becalmed saw three sails to leeward of us
Oct. 11th Wednesday - very hot not a breath of wind at night very squally for two hours with thunder
and lightning and rain and blew tremendious hard
Oct. 12th Thursday - a dead calm very hot
Oct. 13th Friday - very hot no wind at all scarcely. lots of fish Turtle Albercore Dolphin and thousands of
flying fish and many others we could not tell the name off and lots of birds like swallows
Oct. 14th Saturday - a dead calm in sight of two vefsels one homeward bound to Liverpool named
the 'John More' been to Bombay they signalled to her and sent the letters home by her.
Oct. 15th Sunday almost a calm. service on board, about three or four days from the
line, a lecture from the doctor again after the service about the regulations and
so much quarrelling amongst the Emigrants. another birth at night
Oct. 16th Monday - a calm very hot. in the afternoon caught a shark about 10 feet long.
Oct. 17th Tuesday - a calm. had a game at fly the garter. Me and Jim joined in natural enough.
Oct. 18th Wednesday - two men very bad with the fever - both married men. a shoal of paupoises
past us thousands of them. they couldn't get the harpoon ready soon enough to catch
any of them
Oct. 19th Thursday - a slight breese. caught a shark about 5 feet long and another 2 feet long.
there is lots of other fish. we have had a great deal of wet this last three or four days.
Oct. 20th Fryday - a birth and a child died, caught another shark about four feet long.
Me and Jim made a meal off him. we cut some slices and baked it. it was very good.
they caught two large dolphins and lots of Bernother and Skip Jacks for there
is thousands of them together. see them jumping after the poor flying fish again.
Oct. 22nd Sunday - cleaned ourselves what we call clean'd. now had to muster at 10 o'clock
and went to prayers. Me and Jim had a cheroot and wished for a pint of porter.
walked about and gofsopt [gossiped] the time away. a child born. a good breese.
Oct. 23rd Monday - a stiff breese lots of fish. the ships company catch't them all and eat them
too. past a bark leeward of us but could not tell what countryman she was. a good 8
knot breese but right broadside.
Oct. 24th Tuesday - wind much about the same rather squally. the sailors catch't plenty of fish
Oct. 25th Wednesday - a good 8 knot breese. a child died crossing the line. Neptune hailed the ship.
the water befan to fly about. a great many got a wetting. The sailors were busy getting
the raisors and lather and pills and wigs and drefses ready.
Oct. 26th Thursday - they began to shave early in the morning amongst the ships company.
none of the Emigrants were alowed to be shaved, but they would go on deck, had to
stand the consequences. Me and Jim and a lot more were standing looking on when
a lot of sailors on the long boat and top surrounded us and drounded us. was a bit of fun
to see them blindfold them, ask where they were from and if they opened their mouth
in went a pill of the tar brush and if he would not speak they would give him a
draught which was a bucket. then the man that was the doctor said he thought he was
very poorly and gave him the smelling bottle, which was a piece of cork with a half
a dozen needles in it and run them into his nose. after that they lathered him with
a lot of tar and muck and then they shaved him with a piece of tin with notches in
then they tip'd him over into a tub of water head first. there was several paid the fine
after the shaving was over they got chucking water over one another
and drownding every one that came on deck. all have got tipsy if they could have
bought any rum but the captain would not sell them any. they had a little.
the doctor gave us a good gulp. a good breese.
Oct. 27th Fryday - wind about the same, some of the girls speaking to the sailors. the doctor
would not allow it. there was a bit of bother. the man that broke his arm has got better.
Oct. 28th Saturday - wind about the same. the woman that has been confined has been up in about
three or four days afterwards.
Oct. 29th Sunday - mustered and had prayers. Me and Jim went natural enough.
a very slight breese. walked round the hawses, smoked our cheroot.
the doctor walked round with his lantern
Oct. 30th Monday - a fresh breese. a ship to windward of us. one of the men very bad with the fever.
they dont expect he'l get over it.
Oct. 31st Tuesday - a good breese. a beautiful day a heavy sea
November 1st Wednesday - about 10 o'clock the top gallent yard brok slap in half and the
sail tore to peices.
Nov. 2nd Thursday - a good breese got the new yard and sail mended
Nov. 4th Saturday - wind about the same, running a few points off her course
Nov. 5th Sunday - mustered as usual and prayers. wind much about the same
Nov. 6th Monday - had our boxes up again. great many peoples things mildewd and some completely
spoiled. some of Jim's things were mildewd but mine was allright. a slight breese
Nov. 7th Tuesday - a slight breese. a lecture from the doctor about one of the girls because she
would not go down when he told her. she told him she would not go down till those
in the poop went down
Nov. 8th Wednesday - a stiff breese beautiful day. one of the boys fell down the fore hatch and
hurt his knee. so did I a few days ago and hurt my shin
Nov. 9th Thursday - a fair wind going 10 knots. I think we are in the NE trades. the main top
gallant sheet broke
Nov. 10th Fryday - a fair wind going 8 or 9 knots
Nov. 11th Saturday - a good 10 knots breese cold enough to wear a coat. a lot of cape pidgeons
about and cape hens and a lot of albertrofs about 6 feet from tip to tip of the wing
some larger and a lot of other sort of birds. the doctor got one of the men to
sing some day or else dance
Nov. 12th Sunday - clean'd ourselves and mustered at 10 o'clock. too rough to have prayers. a
good 10 knot breese. a child died. wind rather cold. getting colder every day
not far off the cape. a boy fell over the fore scuttle into the lower forecap
- we thought he had broke his neck. one of the sailors sung a blaghguard song at the
pump one morning when they were pumping ship and the captain discharged him for it
and gave him bread and water to the end of the voyage. a shoal of paupoises.
about 7 in the evening the child was buried. rather cold
Nov. 13th Monday - a slashing breese heavy sea wind rather cold (in the evening wet and stormy).
lost our main topsail. a few white paupoises about and hundreds of different sorts of birds
Nov. 14th Tuesday - a good fair wind. another child died. very wet and miserable a heavy sea.
child buried in the crossing
Nov. 15th Wednesday - a good fair wind past the Cape of Good Hope. folk rather dull. the man
that was bad with the fever has got better now. rather cold in the evening
Nov. 16th Thursday - not much wind a breese sprung up wet and foggy
Nov. 17th Fryday - a good breese very wet and foggy and cold all day. the sailors up all night
Nov. 18th Saturday - a good breese. one of the ...?
Nov. 19th Sunday - mustered at 10 o'clock a good breese very cold. the doctor promised us grog and
because some of the married people were not at their berths he stopt (?) the (? illegible )
from the whole of us. the wind was right aloft and she kept rolling and some of them slipping
from one side to the other and some sliding on their berths at night. a birth
Nov. 20th Monday - continued very cold wind about the same. the child that was born died. the doctor
gave us some grog and said that if we conducted ourselves we should have it twice a week
Nov. 21st Tuesday - keeps very cold wind about the same. weather a little warmer
Nov. 23rd Thursday - a dead calm beautiful day. the doctor gave us our grog as he promised
Nov. 24th Fryday - becalmed beautiful day a great many different sorts of birds flying about.
some of the youngsters lost their bed clothes and there was a bit of a row about it
Nov. 25th Saturday - a very slight breese. being washing day Me and Jim have been busy a washing
and thought of you and your mother. a beautiful day it puts me in mind of rag fair of a washing day
to see the clothes and rags hanging out
Nov. 26th Sunday - a good 7 knot breese. mustered as usual at 10 o'clock went to prayers between decks.
continued rather cold. one of the females made my waistcoat and I put it on. stopt our grog because
the blankets were not found. Me and Jim had a walk round the decks after tea what they call supper
and thought of times that past. rather squally all night
Nov. 27th Monday - a good 9 knot breese rather rough. there is lots of birds following us in the afternoon.
blowing half a gale. busy getting sails in
Nov. 28th Thursday - rather stormy rather cold. single females making a noise at night and the doctor
went down and told them to be quiet and some of them were saucy to him. he told them that
he would have a prison made for some of them
Nov. 29th Wednesday - a good breese. sheeting sails set to. carpenters busy making the prison.
Me and Jim went to see it. it was made of some 3 inch quartering for uprights. put acrofs
from the berth from the tables so as to keep them from the others. put Me and Jim in mind of the wild
beast cages at the Surrey ? Zoological Gardens. we are not allowed there but we went down there
when the doctor was at dinner. this ship is fitted up like the one we went to see at the London Docks.
Nov. 30th Thursday - a slight breese very cold nothing hapsed (?) worth notice
December 1st Fryday - a good breese very cold still. a shoal of paupoises. had a glafs of grog. obliged
to run about to keep yourself warm every now and then. some of them falling down when the ship
gave a lurch to leeward
Dec. 2nd Saturday - a slashing breese going about 8 or 9 knots still very cold rather dull
Dec. 3rd Sunday - a good breese very cold had a little snow this morning. the Captain said that when
he was this way before there was a lot of icebergs floating about. mustered at our berths at 10 o'clock.
I had a bit of a row with one of the young men. Me and Jim would sooner be among a lot of Irish - for
they are all cornish people except two or three and a more ignorant set I never was with in my life.
a grog after dinner. sea rather heavy, going a good pace. Jim went to tea with the single women.
Me and Jim are comfortable enough
Dec. 4th Monday - a very slight breese. warmer than it was yesterday. served the Beef out for tomorrow
and it was not good and there was a row about it. the doctor and the Captain said it was good
Dec. 5th Tuesday - a good breese gets warmer. we have been in the habit of having rasins for our puddings
and now they are all gone we have currants and the doctor for spite about the beef has stopt
an ounce of curants for the stalks of the raisins, but when he comes round of a morning
to see the place is clean he says ours is the cleanest part of the ship
Dec. 6th Wednesday - a fair wind. we have increased our stock for the old sow has got 8 young ones.
we have had two or three sheep die since we came out - they belong to the Captain.
we get a smell some times. blowing a half gale of (?) wind in the night. going along at a rapid rate
between 10 and 11 knots
Dec. 7th Thursday - a good breese rather showery blowed very hard in the night
Dec. 8th Fryday - blowing half a gale. going under double reef topsails and foresail. all the cape pidgeons
have left us and so have the albertrofses. there is a lot of birds with us now they call ice birds
Dec. 9th Saturday - rather squally and a heavy sea. some of the married men fighting now with the doctor
and the single women and the married folk because they would not come on deck.
it has been rougher this last two or three days than it has since we left Plymouth
Dec. 10th Sunday - there were only three sails set ?? and very rough. mustered between decks.
had grog after dinner
Dec. 11th Monday - a slight breese beautiful day. we had the boxes up to get things out to go ashore in
Dec. 12th Tuesday - a light breese colder than it was yesterday. turn'd out beautiful day. it is quite light
till 8 o'clock. Me and Jim walked the decks till about 11 o'clock
Dec. 13th Wednesday - a good breese beautiful day. people on board very busy washing.
the washing days is Wednesday Saturday. I have been busy washing too
Dec. 14th Thursday - a light breese beautiful day. another row with the doctor and the young women.
Another child died
Dec. 15th Fryday - another child born. wind about the same beautiful days. there is twelve more ? ? ? constables
to keep three females down below for they are so outrageous
Dec. 16th Saturday - wind about the same beautiful day gets warmer every day. saw several large black whales
Dec. 17th Sunday - a slight breese saw several whales again. the doctor gave us grog after dinner.
one of the females that was confined below gave the constable the slip that kept down below
to guard them and came up on deck and the constable dare not leave the door for some of the others
would get out. she was on deck a good while but they persuaded her to go down. it was as good
as a play it made everyone laugh that was on deck
Dec. 18th Monday - a slight breese rather cool. saw several whales again
Dec. 19th Tuesday becalmed beautiful day. great many albertrofs swimming round us. they caught 3 of them
they are rather larger than goose with tremendious long wings. They measured from tip to tip
of the wings 10 feet 6 inches. after dinner the wind spring up right ahead. we were obliged to tack
about to keep our own ground
Dec. 20th Wednesday - wind still ahead beautiful day. another birth. Me and Jim were walking about
wishing we were going to land
Dec. 21st Thursday - almost becalmed beautiful day wind shifted around a bit. there is an elderly woman thats
been poorly ever since we started and the doctor gave the Matron some medicine to give to three
or four married women and she took it into the hospital till the time to give it to her and when it
was time to give it her she took the wrong bottle and it was chloride of zink, and she was
taken worse and the doctor came down and he found out that she had given her poison. they
tries all they could to get it u again but she took weak in the stomach and she died in the
evening and she left five children. if it had been a few minets later the other women would
have had theirs.
Dec. 22nd Fryday - wind right ahead nice day. the doctor got 12 men and held an inquest in the cabin.
the captain took down every statement. they did not finish that day but put it off till the next morning
Dec. 23rd Saturday - a head wind beautiful day. jury set again and brought it in accidental death.
there were two bottles alike, and the one that had the medicine in got emptied by some means.
the medicine and poison were very much alike. in the evening she was sown up and buried
about 1/2 past 9 o'clock. the husband would not let the doctor read the burial service and the captain
read them. it was very dark and the wind blew very hard and rained. a melancholy sight
Dec. 24th Sunday wind about the same beautiful day. the woman that was confined on Thursday - when she
heard that the other woman was poisoned it frightened he so much that she died this morning and left
five young children with the baby, and she was buried in the evening and they sang hymns before
and after the doctor read the service. there was two of the sailors went down in the
single womens apartment to see one of the single women that was sick and someone told the Captain
of it and the Captain has confined one of them till we get to Adelaide and the other
got off for it was his first offence. the sailor that was confined some time back has not come out yet.
the Methodists were singing psalms and carrols all the evening
Dec. 25th Monday - some of the men got up about 4 o'clock and went into the Captains cabin and sing
some carrols. the doctor gave us extra allowance of flour and currants. Me and Jim had
for our Christmas dinner port and pea soup and currant pudding. the doctor gave
us a glafs of grog. Me and Jim thought of last Christmas day. a little boy fell down in a
fit and he has not spoke since. the Cornish people sung some carrols in the evening
Dec. 26th Tuesday - a fair wind beautiful day. the doctor came down to see the boy that
was took ill and he was taken ill all of a sudden and they had to carry him up into his cabin.
after dinner there was a heavy squall and caried away the lower studing sail boom
Dec. 27th Wednesday -a good fair wind beautiful day. the boy that fell down in a fit -
five worms came from him about 8 inches long he is a great deal better. a schooner pasfd
Dec. 28th Thursday - wind about the same beautiful day going about 10 knots an hour.
sailors very busy getting things ready
Dec. 29th Fryday - wind about the same. busy getting the chain cable up. child died that belonged
to that woman that died through fright. one of the young men thrown overboard
- he was steping over the jib pendant and the wind caught the jib and threw him right over
- we were going along very fast and a heavy sea on, that they could not save him.
Dec. 31st Sunday - wind about the same. the doctor mustered us below. they woke us at 12 o'clock
a ringing the old year out and the new year in and they would not leave off till the boatswain
piped all hands for grog
January 1st Monday 1849 - almost becalmed splendid day. we were all on the look out for land.
towards evening a bit of a breese sprung up and they squared the yard. a birth
Jan. 2nd Tuesday - when we went on deck we could see land. a head wind going under a three reef top sail.
the pencil record ends
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