Currently I have been looking at the ships connected to my 4x great-uncle Joseph Wood (1803 – 1855) of Maldon, Essex. I am aware of four ships he sailed on during his seafaring life HMS Enterprise, Barque Westminster, HMS Volcano and Wanderer, my aim is to track down all the ships associated with my family history and it’s a slow process but a very interesting one as you can learn so much about your ancestors if you know the journeys they took.
I have no dates of when Joseph Wood was on-board Barque Westminster but it would have been between 1838 and no later than 1850
Below are the details regarding this ship:
She was built-in 1837 most probably by the James Laing yard at Southwich, Sunderland, England for Duncan Dunbar at London. The yard of Laing built many East Indiamen.
Tonnage 610.3, dim. 117.0 x 27.3 x 20.8ft.
According to Lloyds register she was 513 22/94 tons (old measurement rules) and 611 tons (new rules).
Launched under the name WESTMINSTER.
Ship rigged, carried a female bust as figurehead.
She was registered in London on 08 March 1838 under No 70.
Owners given then as Duncan Dunbar, London shipowner, 44/64th shares.
Philip Laing, Sunderland, shipowner 20/64th shares, (the fact that Philip Laing was a part owner for the first 12 years, helps to confirm the builder.)
Her first voyage was from Gravesend when she sailed on 25 March 1838 with 250 emigrants to Sydney, during the voyage 10 persons died. Arrival date 26 June.
Her second voyage with assisted immigrants to Australia, was when she sailed under command of Capt. S.A. Mollison on 18 August 1839 from London and arrived at Melbourne on 13 December 1839.
In 1841 she made an other voyage with emigrants to Sydney when she on 17 April 1841 sailed from Plymouth, arrived Sydney 30 July 1841. The 246 immigrants arrived in good health, only five deaths having occurred during the passage. She was that voyage under command of Capt. Forbes Mitchie.
1841 She was repaired after damages, and sheathed in felt and copper.
In 1843 she was an emigrant ship to New Zealand.