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We now have an original painting of the "Monarch" (this is a photo of it) as described below in the transcript of a letter written by Mary Pavitt as told by her father , Augustus in 1935

"The "Monarch" – the ship which brought the Pavitt family to New Zealand left England on November 27th 1849 after a long journey of five months landed at Akaroa on April 2nd 1850.

She was a barque of 375 tons and had originally been a paddle steamer plying between Calais and Dover. In 1849 she was purchased by C.B. Robinson and H. Smith and converted into a barque. She was a long narrow boat painted black with the figurehead of Queen Victoria, in grey at the bows.

She could sail like a bird with the wind on the quarter. The main mast was very long and the hinder one quite short. When she was at full sail she carried three jibs on the foremast, -mainsail – foresail – gallant sail and in a light wind; a royal – on the main mast and two smaller sails on the hind mast like those carried by an ordinary yacht.

The bulwarks were between four and five feet high. She stood up well out of the water, and the fact that she was not too heavily laden and was narrow in the beam, made her able to sail very fast and smoothly. We hardly shipped a sea all the way out, even after we lost our rudder when a thousand miles from New Zealand: and we kept up for three days with the fastest boat trading out of Brazil – the Swordfish.

She had only three port holes along either side, when with small skylights from the deck, made darkness just visible in the cabins beneath. At night small swinging oil lamps suspended from the roof at intervals gave a very faint light to those who occupied these cabins. One of the sailors went round at 10 o’clock each night to see that all lights were extinguished. A stairway led from the deck to the cabins and a rope ladder down the hold. The cabins were large rooms, occupied by different families where they slept and had their meals and amused themselves during the voyage. There was very little furniture in these places and the berths were not very roomy, but all hands endeavoured to make the very best they could – grumbling only turned inconveniences into hardship.

The cooks galley was on deck between the foremast and the mainmast. The food was portioned out each day and it was after having been prepared by the receiver, taken to the galley to be cooked by Mahoney. The fresh water used was pumped up from tanks down in the hold while sea water was used for bathing and washing and was dipped up from the ocean in canvas buckets. A sailor poured buckets of sea water over my brothers and I as we stood on the deck. This form of bathing took some little time to get used to, but I feel sure we were all the better for such washing. As the voyage was so protracted, owing to the loss of the rudder, the fresh water was for many weeks towards the end, rationed out to half a pint per person, per day.

The captain’s name was Smale. He had three officers. Brown, Cameron and Bell and seven or eight good sailors; Bill, Jim, George, Frank, Boy Tom and Tom Payne, and Chips the Carpenter. The cook Mahoney had two stewards and a cabin boy Smith, who afterwards settled in Akaroa.

Each watch consisted of four hours and sometimes when a sudden squall arose some of the passengers were obliged to help with the ropes and sails. There were 52 passengers.

The "Monarch" lay in Shadwell Basin some time while being fitted up for the voyage out to New Zealand. There were several tons of salt and iron taken aboard for ballast. As it was purely a passenger voyage very little cargo was brought. So few people were here that there were no purchasers for goods, and the passengers’ luggage formed most of the cargo together with provisions for the long trip. These were very low when the "Monarch" reached Akaroa.

We brought out a racing mare for a client in Nelson, two bulls and a heifer, two deer and a few pheasants and partridges – which were landed at Pigeon Bay.

The ship left St Catherine’s Dock escorted by a tug with a pilot on board. At the mouth of the Thames we saw the wreck of a ship on the Goodwin Sands. The crew had been rescued and a number of small fishing boats were busy gathering up the cargo. Although the first part of the trip was done in winter time we did not feel the cold. We carried a doctor on board. But besides ordinary seasickness I did not hear of anyone being ill.

When sailing down the English Channel at night we were nearly cut in two by an American Steamer which was so close the spray from her bows flew on board our ship. Mahoney hung a lamp on the bulwarks just in time to save us.

After we left the "Monarch" in Akaroa she stayed in the harbour for about a fortnight. She then left for Nelson where several of the remaining passengers left her. She then made for Wellington and Auckland where Captain Smale was drowned. Then Bell took her over to Sydney where all the crew, except Bell, and all the remaining passengers left her to go to the Melbourne diggings. She made several trips to New Zealand bringing horses and cattle for Akaroa and was last beached in Sydney Harbour where her bones lay visible for quite a number of years…"

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