News from 1894 Coptic's last trip to New Zealand


Mark Baber

Staff member
MAB note:1. Although there's nothing out of the ordinary in the following
description of Coptic's trip, this article describes what would turn out to
be her final voyage to New Zealand. After eleven years on the White
Star/Shaw/Savill & Albion service, Coptic returned to the Pacific early in
1895 and spent the rest of her White Star career there. In the original
article, the name "Shaw, Savill & Albion" in the first sentence was not
spelled out; It was abbreviated, but for some reason the message board's
bad language blocker won't let the abbreviated name---the line's three
initials with an "&" in it---be used here.

The Evening Post, Wellington, 12 April 1894
Retrieved from the National Library of New Zealand web site,

The [Shaw, Savill & Albion] Co.'s R.M.S. Coptic left Plymouth on 24th February. Heavy
westerly swells were encountered for the first few days, and then fine,
bright weather and smooth seas till arrival at Teneriffe. This port was
reached at 1 o'clock on 1st March, and the passengers had a delightful run
ashore for seven hours. Coaling being finished at about 8 o'clock in the
morning, a start was made for the Cape. The weather from the Canary Islands
downwards was for the most part everything that could be wished. The S.E.
trades were met with lower down than is usually the case, and proved to be
very high, with the exception of two or three days. Squalls were prevalent
also for a day or so, but the rest of the run was comfortably warm and
enjoyable. The passengers had the opportunity of seeing Capetown for some
hours, but as it was Sunday, 18th March, unfortunately their sight-seeing
was limited. The Cape was left in the afternoon, and from there to Hobart
the weather has been, on the whole, fine, a fair wind all the way, but for
two or three days a very heavy sea was running with the wind N.W. by W.
Hobart was reached at daybreak on Saturday, 7th April, and the vessel left
again at 5 same evening. Cape Farewell was abeam at 5.30 pm yesterday, and
the Heads were made at 6 this morning. The weather from Tasmania was fine,
with westerly breezes. The passengers have indulged in the usual amusements.
The health of all on board has been of the best. The vessel was berthed at
the Queen's Wharf at 8 am, after having been inspected by the Health
Officer. Her cargo for all ports consists of 1830 tons, of which 1170 tons
form the Wellington portion. She takes in 6000 carcases meat and a quantity
of wool, &c., at this port, and leaves on Tuesday for Napier, where 20,000
carcases will be taken in, proceeding on to Lyttelton to fill up, and making
that her final port of departure for Home. Messrs Levin & Co. are the local

The following is a list of her passengers:-First class-Mrs E. Johns, Messrs
P. Helder, S. Stewart, J. Timbers. Second-class:- Misses Parsons (2), Schut,
Mesdames Wm. Leslie, Parsons, Schut, Messrs F. Cooper, J. Durant, H.
Forsyth, J. Halliday, L. Paice, F. and W. Parsons, D. Waddell, E. Schut.
Third-class- Miss J. Stevens, Mrs Harris, Messrs T. Dron, A. Mactier, D.
Williams; 8 for other ports.