William Ambrose Ford and Mary Hatherley left England on the Cressy, from London on 7 September 1850, with 9 children.
They arrived in NZ, Lyttelton on 27 December 1850, with 9 children
The Cressy was the last of the four ships to arrive.
Quote from Article in the Lttleton Times 11 January 1851
On the morning of September 4th, 1850, the barque Cressy , JB Bell, master, left Gravesend, and was towed down the river. She sailed down the channel, was nearly becalmed off the Isle of Wight and did not drop anchor in Plymouth Sound before 3 in the morning of September 7th. At midnight she left Plymouth, and had an excellent run out of Channel.
On 10th she was almost clear of the Bay of Biscay, the nearest land being Corunna - the antipodes of Lyttelton - but far from her. Five days of very light winds succeded, and on the 18th we made Madeira, and passed to the westward of it: on the 20th made Palma and Teneriffe: on the morning of the 26th made S. Antonio, passed to W. of all the islands, and ran as far as 26.26W. We had no NE trades; and on the 30th, after crossing the parallel of 10N met a breeze from the southward, were fifteen days beating against it, and at length came more and more from the eastward, and the extreme westing of the ship was 32.54" on the 24th October, in latitude 20.51S. For five days made a course nearly due S., then began to make some easting with strong and fair winds. We passed above 60 miles to the north of Tristan dÁcunha, sighting the snowy summit of the mountain over the clouds on November 6. From the 3rd to the 8th made little way, and then commenced a good run. From November 9 to December 5 ran down 100 degrees of longitude between to paralels of 37.30 and 40.S, passing about six miles to the southward of St. Paull's on December 1. After a good run, found oursel ves in lat. 47.30S., 162.43E. on Dec 21, and stood on between the Snares and Traps: had no sight on the 22nd or 23rd, but rought and bad weather. Made land on the evening of the 23rd, and stood more to the North Made Cape Mulyeux on the 24th, stood out for Banks's Peninsula, and at last anchored in lórt Vicgtoria before noon on the 27th of December, being 110 days from Plymouth Sound. GThe fore-top-mast having been badly sprung S. of the Cape will account in a great measure for the length of the passage: no confidence could be placed in it: the fore-top-sail was reefed whenever the breeze freshened. The ship has now landed 214 emigrants; more that 90 children had enbarked in her, but two, who were brought aboard in a most sickly state, did not survive many days. One child was born as we entered Pacific. During the greater part of the passage it was necessary to watch one genteman and keep him under constant restraint, his mind being evidently deranged, and he has been safely landed, as we would fain hope, in a better state of mind.
Such is a rough sketch of the Cressy's passage, and the melancholy event which cast a gloom over our little party. the details of many incidents, which are faithfully recorded in the Cressy Times, would have little interest for the general reader. we were dull at Gravesend; the dinner given to the emigrants was followed by too many parting scenes to allow any merriment, and it wa sthe gloomy thoughts and low spirits that one passenger at least took possession of a comfortable cabin aboard Cressy. But when the ship dropped down the river, the feeling of being afloat had its usual exhilarating influence; the ties of old England were forgotten by the least sanguine, as they cherished the prospect of a btter country; and if a thought of home would occasionally return there was little time for these contending emotions. One new feeling soon absorbed all otheres. We rounded the N. Forland, and sentiment gave way to sea sickness. what a spectacle does an emigrant-ship present on such occassions, and how particularly dismal was the Cressy with her youthful family of ninety! But ther distress was temporary. In a few days after touching Plymouth we were on the broad Atlantic, with the wonders of the ocean before us, and few, if any, of our passengers viewed them with indifference.
we passed near Madiera in most lovely weather, and were equally fortunate off the Canaries, having a clear view of the distant peak. On the 30th a boat from HM brig, Mariner, boarded us and took our letters for home. In a few days, the Bank-agent, who had been the most lively guest at the cuffy-table, shewed great excitement, and a fixed antipathy to one of the passengers. On Oct. 9, it became necessary to secure him, and for some weeks he was watched by his fellow-passengers. As he became less violent, his wife was enabled to stay with him, and under her control he has become quiet. But one feeling of sympathy exists for the lady under so sudden and awful a visitation. We had little merriment to welcome Neptune when we crossed the line, but fair winds in south latitudes soon put us in good humour with our vessel. All became nautical and the passenger who did not know the ship's longitude, and the distance ran daily, was viewed with some contempt by his companions. we had sights of the sun nearly every day, until we neared our new country, but thick weather, when we most needed a clear sky, for two successive days, a bad specimen of our future climate. How wretched was the longest day! Then how variable the weather - reefed topsails at nine, the ship becalmed at noon! in short we took the Englih privilege of a 'good growl'. But we had reason to be must thankful for the ecape of a midshipman, who fell overboard when a high sea was running. A boat was lowered, and he was picked up a long way astern; we did not know that he had been saved until we saw him nearly lifeless in the boat on its return. We spent Christmas day most pleasantly at sea, and on the 27th came into Port Victoria with as good grace as the last in a race can shew to his competitors.
Two circumstances may have contributed to preserve the general health on board the Cressy. the ship was not becalmed in the tropics, and in the hottest part of the world the foul breeze which delayed her was too strong to allow any great heat to be felt on board. Again, the captain deserves our thanks for consulting the health and comfort of his passenger in not running further to the soutward, when a shorter passage might have been made in colder latitudes.