THE ARIADNE? A three masted barque, square rigged fore and main and mizzen rigged fore and aft.
THE ARIADNE? A three masted barque, square rigged fore and main and mizzen rigged fore and aft.

Our first immigrant ship, the Ariadne

AT SEA on a boat. Those are the first words of a song I knew as a boy; the Skye Boat Song. I heard it again recently and it started me thinking about how people in Australia came from somewhere else, from overseas, as we say.

The first immigrant ship to bring new settlers to Maryborough was the Ariadne, a barque of around 670 tons. Captained by one J Brown, it arrived in Wide Bay on October 5, 1862, with 259 immigrants and 200 tons of cargo, having left Liverpool on June 5. A four-month journey half way round the world to the day, seems an admirable feat.

The passengers, according to the Maryborough Chronicle on October 9, were in excellent health, other than a little scurvy and the pilot reported that the vessel was very clean and orderly. There were six deaths, mainly infants, and six births on the trip.

Cargo and passengers were offloaded onto the The Telegraph, a smaller vessel from Rockhampton, for the final leg of the journey to Maryborough.

All of that information I found at TROVE. (https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/4608505)

There is reference to an vessel named Ariadne associated with the early history of South Australia but little other evidence of its fate. A couple of images turn up on the internet but it is difficult to know if they are of our Ariadne.

The Fraser Coast Libraries History Blog include a painting, purporting to be the Ariadne but I can find no providence for it and I'm curious as to why it is flying a Norwegian flag. It's the right type of ship; a three masted barque, square rigged fore and main and mizzen rigged fore and aft.

Another tantalizing image is a painting by Vincenzo Luzzo of an Ariadne, leaving Venice. Again the type of boat is right and this one flies the British red ensign. It was painted between 1855 and 1875, according to Bonhams.

 

Vincenzo Luzzo Ariadne in Venice.
Vincenzo Luzzo Ariadne in Venice.