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Author: Subject: Australian Packet Ship, Ben Nevis
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[*] posted on 6-6-2017 at 10:41 PM
Australian Packet Ship, Ben Nevis

Thank you to Lorie Christian for providing this interesting link about the Ben Nevis from the Australian Wendish website.
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[*] posted on 6-7-2017 at 05:24 AM
British Packet Ship - Ben Nevis

Investigating this further, research shows the expected result of the Ben Nevis being a ship of the White Star Line, constructed in England with final fittings for sailing at the Salthouse Dock (Port of Liverpool) and first launched from Liverpool.

With its maiden voyage being to Australia, to transport over 600 emigrants, it is easy to understand the mistake made by a reporter at "The Illustrated London News" upon the Ben Nevis' exciting departure of 4 Sept 1852 for Australia.

This is may be a common phrasing of a ship's first voyage (or not), but to me, I would then wonder why the Mayflower has not been recorded as an American ship. Were the Nina, Pina, and Santa Maria American vessels, or Spanish vessels?

In 1845, The White Star Line (or Aberdeen White Star Line) was founded in Liverpool by John Pilkington and Henry Wilson. The aim was to provide a service to Australia, serving the gold rush. These men were not Australian - they were entrepreneurs.

The following graphics display this fact quite clearly:

Ben Nevis Illustrated London News pt 1.JPG - 21kB
Ben Nevis, Illustrated London News Pt 2.JPG - 47kB
Ben Nevis London illustrated pt 3a.JPG - 62kB
Ben nevis 3a.JPG - 44kB
Ben Nevis Freemans journal and Commercial Advertiser, 6 Sep 1852, 1a.JPG - 77kB
Ben Nevis Freemans journal 1b.JPG - 74kB
Ben Nevis Freemans journal 2a.JPG - 77kB
Ben Nevis Freemans journal 2b.JPG - 76kB
Ben Nevis  Freemans journal 3a.JPG - 71kB
Ben nevis Freemans journal 3b.JPG - 66kB
Ben Nevis, Leicester Chronicle, 2 Oct 1852.JPG - 17kB
Ben Nevis arrival, per Elgin Courier 15 Apr 1853.JPG - 32kB

I believe that, once again, we are seeing the spread of misinformation due to false reporting. Or false interpretation of the English language. With coffee mugs, prints, and T-shirts available galore celebrating "The Australian Packet Ship - Ben Nevis" or "The Australian Emigrant Packet Ship - Ben Nevis".

To view the excerpts and articles from where they were found on the web, please see

In any case, the Ben Nevis continues to be a key piece of history. For Wendish emigration to both Australia (first) and the U.S. (second). Let's be thankful for the absence of North Atlantic icebergs during those voyages!

It would be a worthwhile effort to cross-check the descriptions of the Ben Nevis here, with existing diagrams of the ship.

I note that the descriptions above tend to debunk the common viewpoint that the Ben Nevis was a small, cramped ship rife with uncomfortable lodging and hardships.

Or so one might surmise, given comments like "In short, no expense has been spared to render the Ben Nevis a perfect passenger ship, and second to none as a first-rate conveyance for emigrants". And "... pronounced her to be the finest and most perfect emigrant vessel which had ever fallen under his notice."
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