[please contact Ross Beattie for further details of this vessel, or if you have any additional information or corrections]
This Page was Last Updated on 17th November 2003

Stebonheath
A
1 ship, 926t. (o.m.), 1014t.
 

Jenny Fawcett (Victoria, Australia) has compiled an extensive database of nineteenth century Australian shipping records, and from sources including Shipping Reports Inwards and Outwards and Register of Assisted Passengers [held at the Public Records Office of Victoria and other locations], Ian Nicholson's Log of Logs, Marten Syme's Shipping Arrivals and Departures for Victorian Ports, and the Melbourne Argus and Australian and New Zealand Gazette newspapers, mentions the following voyages of the Stebonheath:
ex Adelaide 8 Nov. 1850; arr. Melbourne 15 Nov. 1850; dep. Melbourne 12/15 Feb. 1851; arr. London 8 Jul. 1851
and

Peter Noone (New South Wales, Australia) transcribed Australian newspaper reports of the 1858 incident.
 

Selected voyage(s):

The 1013 ton ship Stebonheath [926t(nm)/1015t(om)] was owned by Wilson & Co. Built in Hull 1842-3 her measurements were 145.3'x33.0'x23.3'. She underwent repairs in 1845 and 1848. [The Stebonheath may have been named after the variant spelling for Stepney, generally accepted to be derivated from Steben and hythe: apart from the doubt whether Steben refers to a personal name - Stephen - or to a Saxon word "steb," meaning timber, the hythe or wharf, is not strongly disputed. As there appears to have been no other appropriate place elsewhere the hythe would seem to have related to the foreshore at Rateliff - see "Stepney in Other Days", from The Copartnership Herald, Voll. II, no. 19 (Sept., 1932).]

Christopher Connett (13jun2003) notes: "One of my ancestors sailed to India on the Stebonheath. He departed on the 06 July 1845 and arrived on 15 October 1845." Christopher seeks
information on the voyage and any pictures of this vessel.

The Stebonheath departed Plymouth 31 January 1849, arrived Port Adelaide 11 May, mastered by John Sargeant. Lew Chinner's WebSite notes amongst the emigrants on this voyage were John Andrews and his wife Grace Boundy, together with their children William Andrews (born 1844 at Carharrack?, Cornwall, died 1928; married Ellen Hillier and became a farmer at Smithfield), and Grace Andrews (born 1846, died 1873; married Richard Best). Noelene Selmes of Marayong, NSW mentions that her ancestors listed as MR Mrs Wilton and son were on this voyage and seeks further information regarding this voyage (Surgeons Report, conditions / food on the vessel, etc.). Margaret Swiggs (3 May 2003) had a great-grandfather aboard. Keith Ford (8Jun2002) had family on this voyage. Michele Gregg (10Apr2003) is searching for a Lindo family of believed to have taken this voyage: Robert Christmas Lindo is believed to have arrived in Adelaide with his wife and two children on May 11 1849 on the Stebonheath. Robert, born 25 December 1812 in Norfolk, England, died 4 March 1904 at Jamestown, South Australia. His wife, Emma Jane (or Jane) Lindo nee Wilson, was born 21 April 1815 at Wetwang, Yorkshire, and died 9 August 1895 at Jamestown. They had married on 2 October 1842 at Acklam, Yorks; children thought to be on the voyage were Wilson Lindo (born 25 February 1843) and Miriam Lindo (born 31 August 1844).

The Stebonheath later departed London 1 June 1850, Plymouth 16 June, to arrive at Port Adelaide 15 September, mastered by John Sargeant. Henry and Mary Coward, ancestors of Graham Coward [31jan2000], came to Australia on this voyage. Diane Cummings of Melbourne [5nov2003] and others are creating a free online database for passengers into South Australia from 1836 to the 1860s. Diane forwarded (from another researcher, thought to be Judy in Queensland) a passenger list for the Stebonheath ex London 1 June 1850, and also two Letters of Appreciation regarding Captain John Sargent, published in the South Australian Register on Saturday 21 September 1850 containing signatures. Judy Meibusch [27oct2003] forwarded the following entries from the South Australian Register of Monday 16 September 1850:
Arrived Sunday Sept 15. The ship Stebonheath, 1030 tons, Sargent , master, from London 1st June and Plymouth 16th June. Passengers for Adelaide & Port Phillip.
and
"Stebonheath" ship 1030 tons Sargent arrived from Plymouth 13th Sept at the Light Ship, Acranian, Cooke & Co agents.

In 1851, when owned by Wilson and Co of London, the Stebonheath was sheathed in yellow metal and received a ten year A1 certification from Lloyds. As an emigrant vessel mastered by John Sargeant, she was towed from Gravesend on a cool (69°F) mild late-August day before a westerly wind, reaching Plymouth in three pleasant days. On 9 September, after a week in harbour the Stebonheath departed for Victoria before a cool (62°F) easterly wind; she was reported becalmed south of Ireland three days later. Good weather then saw her west of the Cape Verde Islands by the 27 September where she was sighted by the Tinto. She reached Hobson's Bay, William's Town (Port Phillip) just before midday on 16 December 1851 . The Surgeon-Superintendent on this voyage was Dr John Kidd, RN. Welcomed by fresh bread and beef rowed from the shore, the Stebonheath brought the colonists the disappointing news that the recent gold finds had so far caused little excitement in London. She cleared port for the return journey on 31 March 1852, sailing on 21 April for London which she gained on 6 August, with some 16 passengers, 3,220 bales of wool and gold from the colony. [Chuk, 1987.]

The Stebonheath left Gravesend again on 25 September 1852, arriving at the Downs two days layer and reaching Plymouth on the 30th. On 7 October 1852 she set out for Australia, arriving in Geelong on 18 January, mastered by John Sergeant but now with James Kilgour as Surgeon Superintendent. She carried six cabin passengers and 364 government immigrants, with cargo including six cases of pianos, 30 barrels of raisins and $30,000 in coins for the Union Bank. Russ Preston'sWebPage gives details regarding one passenger: Elizabeth Lawrence, born in 1831 in Calne, Wiltshire, England, the daughter of James Lawrence and Elizabeth Lemington. She married William Sefton 16 August 1854 at Christ Church Church of England, in Geelong, Victoria; he was 21 years old farmer and she was 23. Disembarking from the Stebonheath in 1853, Elizabeth and her family had first settled at Modewarre where they opened a boot shop later moving to Yourang where they were among the first selectors.

It appears that the Stebonheath arrived in Victoria, Canada on 26 December 1854, with a party of British immigrants including Alexander Day (see Day family WebSite).

On 18 August 1855 the Stebonheath left London for Melbourne, reaching her destination on 19 December. John Sargent was again in command for this passage.

Jenny Fawcett's GenSeek WebPage - part of an excellent WebSite - notes a reference to a "notorious mutiny" on the Stebonheath reported in a newspaper in 1858. Peter Noone (September 2001) transcribed Australian newspaper reports of the incident. Jan Royal of Melbourne (29sep2003) thinks her "… gr gr grandmother (Mary Lawrence) was on this voyage" and seeks a passenger list.

Anything to add?
If you have any queries about this vessel, or information to add, please eMail
Ross Beattie
ross.beattie@environment.nsw.gov.au )
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