Thursday, 17 July 2008

By the skin of his teeth (literally)

This chromolithograph image shows a small ketch safely inside the Grey River ca. 1869, in the process of either hoisting or dropping the mizzen sail. Source: Cooper, William Marshall 1833-1921 :Greymouth. [Hokitika, Harnett & Co., 1869?]. Taken from the Timeframes website.

The newspaper Grey River Argus was loaded on to Papers Past this month so I did a little search through for anything mentioning Pascoes, as they had rather a presence on the West coast of the South Island of new Zealand. I found some great stories from New Zealand and Australia (as well as a crazy one in a mining camp in Colorado) so will post them up over the next couple of weeks.

I'm no genealogist so have no idea how closely related I may be to any of these people, but I'll be posting these stories occasionally as they give a good cross-section of life in the South Seas during the 19th century. There were sailors (all over), miners (all over), brewers (Wellington), butchers (Greymouth), churchmen (all over), teachers (NZ), oyster bar owners (Nelson), brawlers and killers (all over). Like most early settlers, they were mostly a combination of these things. Few of the stories are happy ones, but that's newspapers for you.
First up is the story of the loss of the small ketch "Constant" on the sand bar at the mouth of the Grey River in 1870. It was a jack of all trades vessel, small at 13 tons; making deliveries, fishing, anything that would earn a few bob for the owner up and down the coast.
Now in all families there are physical and mental traits that keep popping up. A reasonably regular one in ours is a good set of slightly large, even teeth. This article made me laugh as they played an important part in the rescue of "Captain" John Pascoe here. There is mention of a "Schooner W. S. Munday, Pascoe, master" from Wanganui in the arrivals section of this paper dated 25 April 1871. It's likely to be the same man, but doesn't mention if he is the owner or not.
The inquiry was quickly done: the next day in fact. It follows below.
(Added 30 April 2009: I was just asked by a woman at work if I am related to the Pascoes of Nelson, as I look a lot like them)


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