The Barque ' Indus '

The Brisbane ' Courier ' newspaper of Friday, 10th October 1873 reported amongst vessels in harbour the Barque Indus, 1400 tons, Captain Hunt, from London. J. and G. Harris, agents. A further entry in the shipping columns was as follows : Captain Hunt reports that the ship Indus left Gravesend in tow on the 8th July, and passed through the Downs, landing her pilot on the 11th. A strong SW wind blowing, the Lizard was not reached until the 15th. Moderate weather was experienced till the NE trade winds were encountered; these were at first rather light, but increased somewhat in strength during their continuance till the calms of Cancer were reached. On the 13th of August the Line was crossed in longitude 26 west. The SE trades, which were left on the 26th in latitude 25S, longitude 36W, were strong and steady throughout. On the 1st September the Cape of Good Hope was rounded in latitude 40S. In running down the easting some very heavy weather was experienced, during which the jib-boom was sprung, the mizen topmast, the maintop-gallant yard, together with a large quantity of canvas was lost. The vessel was off Cape Leeuwin on the 19th, in latitude 45S; on the 27th the ship was off Hobart Town. Fine weather with light winds prevailed during the rest of the passage, Cape Moreton Light was sighted at 7 p.m. on the 5th of October, and the anchor was let go off the Yellow Patch at 5 p.m. on the 6th, thus making the voyage from the Lizard to Cape Moreton in 82 days; at 3 p.m. on the 7th the pilot came on board, and the vessel was got under way, but owing to head winds the anchor was again dropped off the middle banks at 11 a.m. At 4 a.m. on the 8th the anchor was again weighed, and the vessel brought to her moorings off the Sand Bar at 11 a.m. on the same day. There were in all 430 passengers on board, under the superintendence of Dr W.H. Maclean, assisted by Miss Davidson, Matron. During the voyage there were eight births and six deaths; five of the deaths occurred amongst the children, the remaining one was the case of a man named William Lewis, who died of disease of the kidneys. On the 5th September, in latitude 40 degrees S, and longitude 45 degrees E, on a dark stormy night, a seaman named Jansen fell from the maintopsail yard overboard, striking the main chains in his fall; as there was a very high cross sea running, and the ship going at the rate of 14 or 15 knots an hour, any attempt to recover the body would have been madness. The passengers as a whole expressed themselves satisfied with the kind treatment of the captain, surgeon, and the officers of the ship, and presented them with the usual address at the conclusion of the voyage. The ship and passengers were inspected on the 9th by Mr Gray, the Immigration officer. The passengers, with their luggage, &c., were all brought up to the wharf on board the ship intact yesterday, towed by the Kate and Francis Cadell, and landed at the depot. They all appeared to be in excellent health and spirits.

The Passengers

The Brisbane ' Courier ' of Wednesday, 8th October 1873 carried the following report : The passengers per Indus will arrive in Brisbane either today or tomorrow, as streamers were to leave at an early hour this morning for the purpose of bringing them up. Should this fine barque not draw too much water, we believe it is in contemplation to tow her at once up to town. The passengers on board amount to 475 souls, equal to 428.5 adults. Their nationalities are as follows :- English, 328: Scotch, 30: Irish, 116: foreigner, 1. There are 44 full-payers, 98 assisted, 243 free, and 90 remittance passengers. The passengers are classified as follow :- 51 married and 172 single men, 51 married and 125 single women, 36 male and 23 female children between the ages of 1 and 12, and 10 male and 7 female infants; total, 269 males, 206 females. The occupations of the free, assisted, and remittance passengers are as follow :- Female domestic servants, 111; farm labourers, 134; gardeners, 2; painter, 1; miner, 1; bakers, 2; blacksmiths, 4; bricklayer, 1; masons, 2; mechanics, 4; carpenters, 12; wheelright, 1; other, 17. Dr McLean, who has made so many previous voyages to Queensland in a similar capacity, comes out as surgeon- superintendent of the vessel, Miss Davidson being the Matron.

A search of the records held by Australian Archives shows that one Alfred Nelms age 18 sailed from London aboard the 'Indus', arriving Brisbane on 8th October 1873. Also listed as being on board was John Nelms aged 43.

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Brisbane Port

On Friday, 10th October 1873 the Brisbane ' Courier ' advertised : The Splendid Clipper Ship INDUS, double A1 at Lloyds, Capt E. Hunt, will discharge her Inward Cargo along-side the wharf with the utmost despatch in order to receive dead weight for London. Shippers of - Tallow, Hides, Tin (ore and ingot), Copper, Preserved Meats, etc, etc, etc, are invited to make early application for freight to the undersigned. J. and G. Harris, Geo. H. Wilson & Co : agents. In the same edition in the Shipping columns the newspaper reported : The fine barque Indus, with all her passengers on board, was towed up to Brisbane by the steamers Kate and Francis Cadell, yesterday. No greater proof can be given of the increasing importance of this port than the fine fleet of English vessels at present in harbour. The Great Queenslander, Ramsey, and Indus are all double A1 ships at Lloyd's for twenty years, and are about as fine a class of vessels as could possibly be desired.