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This diary written by 12 yr old George Samuel Wright, a passenger with his family on board the "Castle Eden" en route to Port Cooper (Lyttelton). After their arrival they boarded the the coastal ship, the "Catherine Johnson" for Wanganui. C T Mahieson, 50 Coronation St, Auckland  made this available to the Guilford family, also "Castle Eden" immigrants, on the occasion of the first Guilford Reunion held at Christchurch on 7th Feb 1976.

The steerage passengers, were accommodated below decks: single men in bunks six and a half feet long by two feet; married couples in bunks an extra foot and a half in width. This space had also to accommodate everything they needed about them for the whole voyage. What privacy they sought, or the little others felt they required, was supplied by a curtain. Down the centre of the steerage space ran a large table at which people had to eat and do anything else public which required a flat surface. Washing and laundry arrangements were by way of buckets of water drawn up as needed. Periods on deck for this and other purposes were sometimes limited. There was usually also a hospital served by a surgeon who was supposed to inspect all passengers at intervals. He would normally be assisted by four constables' appointed from among the passengers or crew, and a matron appointed to oversee any single women on board, although these minor officials were as much to act as beadles to keep order as to see to the welfare of the steerage passengers. The doctor keeps them very strict; the doctor's assistant counts them every night after they are in bed like a flock of sheep. Src:

Sep 25 1850 - We embarked on board the "Castle Eden". She is a fine ship of 930 tons laden and well fitted up for the voyage.
Sept 26 - Thurs. we heaved out of Woolwich at 4 o'clock. The men at the Arsenal gave us three cheers as we passed. Arrived at Gravesend at 7 o'clock.
Sept 27 - At Gravesend Father went ashore and posted a letter to Grandmother - Susan Weller.
Sept 28 - Left Gravesend at 6 o'clock in the evening and dropped anchor at 9 p.m.
Sept 29 - We weighed anchor at 4 a.m. and dropped anchor at 9 a.m. Weighed anchor at 12.30 p.m. Dropped anchor off North Foreland at 4 p.m.
Sept 30 - Off Margate all day. 
Oct 1  - All in the downs. 
Oct 2 - On for Plymouth.
Oct 7 - Shocking night aboard ship. Reached Plymouth at 4 p.m.
Oct 8 - Sailed from Plymouth at 12 noon with a fine breeze. Had a service in the evening by the Bishop
Oct 9 - Wind still faIr.
Oct 10 - A beautiful morning, wind still fair.Many porpoises, stormy night.
Oct 11 - In, the Bay of Biscay. Caught an exhausted starling three hundred miles from land. A tremendously stormy night, shipped so much water it nearly drowned mother and all the children. Father and Wheeler battened down all the hatches. But all our sea stock of bread etc destroy and also a great quantity of clothes.
Oct 12 - A tremendously stormy day. Still battened-down. The Doctor's mustard jar broke. The water, between decks washed it about and we were nearly suffocated. Fathera and two men were employed all night bailing water and mustard between decks
Oct 13 - A beautiful morning, service morning and evening.
Oct 14 -  A dead calm.
Oct 15 to Oct 23 - Days continued calm.
Oct 24 -  Rain and squally. Ship taken aback. Lost fore sail boom.
Oct 25 - A beautiful day, 2 sails in sight.
Oct 26 - Sighted St. Antonia at quarter past 10 in the morning.
Oct 25 - Sunday. Fine weather and steady breeze. Saw first flying fish and some porpoises.
Oct 28 - Steady breeze and fine weather. going 8 knots. Lots of flying fish. Mother is making a cake for tea. Mrs. Searrol is very ill.
Oct 29 - Calm and hot. Not far from line, most people bathing.
Oct 30 - Calm and hot, had a bath under the pump.
Oct 31 - Caught a shark and had some for dinner.
Nov 1  - Calm. Mrs. Searrol died at half past eight this morning after a fortnight's illness, age twenty-four and only two months married.
Nov 2 - Funeral at 9 a.m. Her family name was Bassett.
Nov 3 - Squally and wet.
Nov 4 - Squally and wet. Father made a loaf for tea. It was such a treat.
Nov 5 - Squally. Another loaf for tea. The sailors keep up Guy Fawkes.
Nov 6 - 3 ships in sight. Very showery, caught a Pilot fish which resembles a mackerel. The Bishop is keepimg it for his museum.
Nov 7 - Steady breeze, going 6 knot's. Caught two albercores about four feet long. We had some for tea.Nov 8 - Steady breeze, going 6 knots. Half point out of course.
Nov 9 -  Steady breeze, going 5 knots. Two ships in sight, homeward bound.
Nov 10 - Sunday, steady breeze. We expect to cross the line tomorrow.
Nov 11 - A fair breeze and squally. Neptune came and haunted the ship and said he would come at 9 in the morning.
Nov 12 - Steady breeze - crossing the line - Shaving from 9 -12. I was shaved and ducked.
Nov 13 - Fine weather and steady breeze - going 8 knots - 3 points out of our course. .
Nov 14 - Steady breeze - going 8 knots.
Nov 15 - Steady breeze - were 7 degrees and 10 miles from the equator today.
Nov 16 -  Steady breeze. We altered our course for Rio at 7.30 p.m. Steered until 12, when they found the association had no account open there they altered their course for the Cape.
Nov 17 - Steady breeze with stud sails set.
Nov 18 - Steady breeze and fine weather - one of the sheep died.
Nov 19 - Steady breeze - one of the cows died - a child is born.
Nov 20 - Steady breeze - abt 10 degrees from the Cape.
Nov 21 - Steady breeze and fine weather. Dancing from 6 to 9 and one of the steerage passengers taken very ill.
Nov 22 - Steady breeze - dancing as yesterday.
Nov 23 - Steady breeze - going very fast.
Nov 24 - Sunday. Steady breeze. Stud sails set at 8 a.m. One of the seamaen named Mailey being late for muster was ordered off. He refused and a scuffle ensued and it almost caused a riot.
Nov 25 - Strong breeze, a squally going 11 knots.
Nov 26 - very squally with rain. 11 1/2 knots
Nov 27 - Beautiful weather - going 3 knots - saw an albatross and 3 cape  hens.
Nov 28 - beautiful weather - going 3 knots at 2 p.m.  - the breeze freshened.
Nov 29 - A strong breeze - saw 2 albatross and some cape hens and a cape pigeon - shot one albatross - rather cold.
Nov 30 - Wind against us - caught 2 albatross - one measured 10 feet from tips of wings.
Dec 1  - Sunday. Strong wind and very cold - a ship in sight.
Dec 2  - Strong breeze but not so cold as yesterday - caught another albatross.
Dec 3  - Not so strong a breeze as yesterday and very mild.
Dec 4  - Calm till 6 p.m. a fresh breeze sprung up.
Dec 5  - The same as yesterday.
Dec 6  - Calm until 2 p.m. - a breeze sprung up.
Dec 7  - A strong breeze.
Dec 8  - Strong breeze - a couple asked in church for the first time.
Dec 9  - A fair breeze - the doctor ordeed the women's closet to be nailed up and a troop of them beseiged it and broke it open.
Dec 10 - A fair breeze - we expect to be at the Cape tomorrow.
Dec 11 - A steady breeze and fair at 3 p.m. Ship lying well. All hands expecting to be at anchor about 5 p.m. The Captain ordered the ship about and we are all disappointed. and we were all disappointed.
Dec 12 - About ship at noon - dropped anchor at 2 - lying in Table Bay - Father, Emma and I went ashore and liked the place very well - nine out of ten people are black - the Captain sent for 3 ring leaders of the meeting and they got 2 months each hard labour.
Dec 14 -  In Table Bay.
Dec 15 -  Still in Table Bay. All the men struck and were sentenced to thirty days imprisonment. A Brig came into harbour with emigrants from London, one hundred and twenty days on the passage, and four days without
provisions or water. (so...the brig left abt 16 Aug approx 6 wks before the Castle Eden...)
Dec 16 - Still in Table Bay.
Dec 17 - All the men struck and sentenced to 30 days imprisonment.
Dec 18 - Shipping new hands.
Dec 19 - Ready for sea, some of the old hands threw windlass handle overboard.
Dec 20 - Waiting for new handle. We had fresh provisions all the time we lay here.
Dec 21 - Weighed anchor at 12 noon and left two passengers behind.
Dec 22 - Sunday. Fine weather, going 12 knots. Mr. Davidson and Miss Godfrey asked in church.
Dec 23 - A fine day. A ship in sight. She would not answer us.
Dec 24 - A fine breeze - stoning raisins for Christmas pudding.
Dec 25 -  Xmas Day. Plum pudding and roast mutton. A child christened.
Dec 26 - A steady breeze - going 8 knots.
Dec 27 -  Going 9 knots.
Dec 28 -  Very rough - battened down.
Dec 29 -  The same as yesterday.
Dec 30 -  Still blowing a gale - finished our black currant jam.
Dec 31 -  A strong breeze and a ship in sight.
Jan 1 1851 - Wednesday, New Year's Day. A hind quarter of mutton for dinner. -
Jan 2  - Wind against us and squally.
Jan 3  - Wind fair. Going 8 knots.
Jan 4  -  A strong breeze and battened down.
Jan 5  - Still blowing a gale. Another couple asked in church. A child died at 10 p.m.
Jan 6  -  Another child died at 4 a.m. Miss Thursling and Mr. Rously
married at 11 a.m. The two children were buried at 4 p.m. One aged 2 years and the other was 13 months.
Jan 7  - Fair wind - going 10 knots.
Jan 8  - Light breeze - caught six albatross.
Jan 9  - Going 9 knots. Mr. Davidson and Miss Godfrey married.
Jan 10 - Going 10 knots - wind fair all day.
Jan 11 - Going 10 knots.
Jan 12 - Going 9 knots.
Jan 13 - Golng 8 knots
Jan 14 - Going 7 knots.
Jan 15 - Going 8 knots. 350 miles from New Holland (Australia)
Jan 16 - 7 knots. A child born at 7 p.m.
Jan 17 - Going 9 knots.
Jan 18 - Going 10 knots.
Jan 19 - Sunday. Calm in the morning and a breeze in the afternoon.
Jan 20 - Going 8 knots. Emma's birthday. Plum pudding for dinner and cakes for tea.
Jan 21 - Going 8 knots. Another couple married.
Jan 22 - Going 9 knots. :
Jan 23 - Going 9 knots.
Jan 24 - Squally.
Jan 25 - A fine breeze. Another child born which makes 3 deaths, 3 births and 3 marriages.
Jan 26 - A fair breeze and four months today since we hauled out of dock.
Jan 27 - Going 8 knots - saw some whales.
Jan 28 - Calm - a ship in sight - got the anchor up.
Jan 29 - Light breeze - a child christened.
Jan 30 - Light breeze - saw some black fish and whales.
Jan 31 - A gale of wind drove us back two degrees.
Feb 1  - Wind fair and light. 450 miles from Port Cooper (Lyttleton).
Feb 2  - A strong breeze.
Feb 3  - Sighted land. A gale of wind drove us back.
Feb 4  - Light breeze, dropped anchor near Pidgeon Bay.
Feb 5  - Weighed anchor at 6 a.m. A gale came up and we had to put to sea.
Feb 6  - It took us all day to sight land.
Feb 7  - Wind fair, dropped anchor at 1 p.m. at Port Cooper. 134 days from London.
Feb 8  - Father went ashore and walked over to the plains. The sailors all struck the same as at the Cape, and no one to row the boats to put us ashore.
Feb 9  - Sunday. A child born at 1 p.m. (born to Martha Mumford Feb 9) Mr. Henry Lesley died at 8 p.m. after 6 weeks illness. He left a wife and two children. Father came from the plains at 9 p.m.
Feb 10 - Still on board on account of the sailors strike.
Feb 11 - Disembarked today and remained until 20th.
Mar 1 - We embarked on board the "Catherine Johnson" along with Alexander McGregor and family and arrived in Wanganui on 14th March 1851, 169 days in all from London to Wangannui. Lived on the riverbank by Aramoho till November 1853 - above the race course till July 1862 and came to Eden Cottage. The family burial plot is at Brunswick, Wanganui. The original diary for safe-keeping is at the Alexander Turnbull Library, Wgtn
George Wright (b: 24 Jun 1803 in Toynton St Peters, Lincolnshire, England, parents Samuel and Epiphany Wright; he d: 15 Sep 1891 in Wanganui) mar: 06 Mar 1831 to Eliza May Weller (b: 15 Jul 1813 in Woolich, Kent, England; parents: John Weller Mother: Sussanah Guelph; d: 02 May 1907 in Wanganui)
Their children 
1 George Samuel Wright b: 05 Aug 1836 Woolich, Kent; d: 15 Sep 1890 in Brunswick Line, Wanganui
2 Emma Mary Wright b: 30 Jan 1840 in Hayton, Cumberland, England d: 15 Dec 1922 in Wanganui
3 Henry Wright b: 09 Jul 1842 in Woolich, Kent, England d: 31 Aug 1913 in Papkura Auckland
4 Eliza Wright b: 30 Jan 1845 in Woolich, Kent, England d: 04 Aug 1933 in Wanganui
4 Emily Wright b: 26 Mar 1848 in Woolich, Kent, England d: 04 Aug 1933 in Wanganui
5 Arthur Zealand Wright b: 01 May 1850 in Woolich, Kent, England d: 27 Jul 1934 in Wanganui
6 Liber Wright b: 23 Mar 1852 in Wanganui, New Zealand d: 27 Jul 1936 in Wanganui
7 Harriet Wright b: 18 Oct 1854 in Wanganui, New Zealand d: 18 Sep 1938 in Wanganui
Alexander and Isabella MacGregor and their one yr old, Ann from Durnoch, Sutherland, in Nth Scotland were also immigrants  on the 'Castle Eden'. Isabella brought with her a bale of clan tartan, the Macgregor plaid - she  was ill for most of the voyage  The MacGregors accompanied the Wright family onwards, clearing Port Cooper on Mar 1 but were storm-bound at Kapiti and had to wait for calmer seas to cross the bar at Wanganui where they landed Mar 14.  The Magregors bought land at Matarawa Valleyy, 10 miles from Wanganui where he started a sawmill with machinery from Scotland. Tree truns from his bush buttressed both ends of the first bridge across the Wanganui river and donated both land an timber for the Matarawa School, the first in the area. They had a second daughter and five sons.