On the 27th December 1850, the Canterbury Association’s fourth ship, Cressy, sailed into Lyttelton Harbour. She had been at sea for 110 days and carried 155 souls.
Unlike the three other ships that were determined to race, the Cressy took her time; seeking more favourable conditions and comfort for the passengers. It also didn’t help that the fore-topsail broke and couldn’t be fully repaired at sea.
The Cressy had been built in 1843 and her first voyage was carrying male convicts from Plymouth to Hobart, Australia.
On her journey to Lyttelton, she seemed to have had the roughest time out of the First Four Ships. The whole crew had to be replaced at Cape Town due to laziness and the replacement crew turned out to be just as bad. They were all arrested in Lyttelton upon arrival. There were also two cases of passengers going insane who had to be kept in restraints during those long days at sea.
The Cressy made her journey back to England in one piece and there she disappeared into history.
Some noted Canterbury Settlers aboard:
Arthur Dudley Dobson – Behind the Arthur’s Pass fame
Michael Hart – Opened the first hotel/pub in Christchurch. Also served as Mayor.