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Week 13 - tensions reach breaking point

[ 15th of May 1836 to 21st of May 1836 ]
[ View related 'school content': Week 13 Food for Thought ]
[ View related 'school content': Week 13 - tensions reach breaking point ]

This week we catch up with the Cygnet as it approaches the Equator. A bout of bad weather has seen many of the passengers sick and conditions below deck are foul. Boyle Travers Finniss is impatient with what he sees as the ‘apathy’ of the The area of between-decks occupied by steerage passengers, that is, those travelling at the cheapest rate. steerage passengers and decides on a thorough clean up, despite the reluctance of some of the passengers. He also sets out some recommendations for future emigrant ships, a number of which are later implemented.

Tensions meanwhile boil over. Several of the passengers are drunk and aggressive. The crew is mutinous.  Everyone is unhappy with the poor quality of the supplies and Captain Lipson seems unpopular in his efforts to impose some discipline on his fellow-passengers. The Cygnet is not a happy ship!

Sketch of the Cygnet at anchorage, Port Augusta, April 1833.
Sketch of Cygnet at anchorage, Port Augusta 1833. Image courtesy State Library of Western Australia MN 586 ACC 303A/21.

While things settle down on the Cygnet quarrels break out amongst crew members of the John Pirie. Long sea voyages were trying experiences for everyone!

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