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Mrs J M Linnell for access to her father's diaries, compiled by Eric Fowell & Ann Cooper, 2001
Joseph Bayes 1842 -1925
A Rushden Baptist Link

Joseph Bayes was a prominent worker at the 'Old Top Meeting' in Little Street, teaching in Sunday School and for a short period was church secretary. Two of his wives were buried in graves in the Rushden Baptist burial ground.

Joseph Bayes was a man of vision, he was a builder in Rushden and lived at 102 Wellingborough Road and in 1880 he had been widowed twice, with one daughter from his first marriage to Mary Freeman and two small boys from the second marriage to Catherine White. He took as his third wife Eliza Colson aged 27, of Chelveston in 1881.

Many advertisements appeared at this time stating that tradesmen were needed in New Zealand and that land was very cheap.

He employed 4 men and 2 boys and had just completed building a row of houses in Wellingborough Road, but at the age of 38 he felt that there were too many builders in the town, it was time for him to look further afield. [He also built a factory for John Cave following a fire]

The family of five, Joseph, Eliza, Annie, William and Arthur, discussed the advertisements of life in New Zealand and decided to emigrate and take up this challenge of starting a life at the other side of the world. The family packed up their belongings and prior to departure, stayed with a relation in Rectory Road, John Sargent .(John Sargent was the founder and first secretary of Rushden Temperance Society.) They were apparently, serene and behaved as though they were making a call before a short outing.

It is thought the family went by train from either Irthlingborough or Ditchford Station but this is something which has yet to be determined in fact.

Because Joseph had a dread of fire he chose to take a sailing ship (The Famenoth) as opposed to a steam ship to transport the family to New Zealand. They set sail on September 25th 1882 on a journey that was to last 112 days.

Leaving

6th September 1882

A farewell meeting was held at the chapel to speed the Bayes family on their journey to New Zealand, it was a very emotional affair and prayers were offered for them.

The Sunday School Minute Book contained the following entry:-

6th September. Tea and meeting was held to give Mr. Joseph and Mrs. Bayes and family an affectionate and prayerful farewell, who were leaving us for New Zealand.

The teachers left the Sunday School to present Mr and Mrs. J. Bayes, Sept 21, to go to New Zealand when a testament was presented to them as an expression of the teacher's love to them for the past and best wishes for their future well being on the other side of the globe, which was written by the Pastor, Mr. Davis, then printed and framed.

Joseph and Eliza had an unshakeable faith that God would be with them if they believed in Him and kept His commandments.

The farewell chorus, sung at the railway station, was "God be with you till we meet again" sung with great feeling.

Journey of Joseph Bayes on the 'Famenoth', as described in The New Zealand Herald, 16th January 1883.
September 25th: Left London in the evening.
September 26th: Left Gravesend in the afternoon. Dirty weather with W.S.W to W.N.W winds met with working down the English Channel.
October 2nd: At 8 pm discharged the pilot at Plymouth. October 13th: Sighted Madeira.
November 4th: Crossed the equator, the NE trades proved exceedingly light and unsettled.
November 20th: Gough Island was sighted..
November 30th: Cape of Good Hope rounded.
December 7th: Passed the Crozet Islands, 15 miles distant.
December 27th: Crossed the meridian of Tasmania.
1883
January 9th: Sighted the Three Kings at 4 a.m.
January 10th: Was abreast of Cape Marne Van Dieman light in the evening.
The Bayes Family Journey To New Zealand - From Joseph Bayes' Log Book
As suggested bv John Sargent before the Family departed
Voyage to New Zealand 1882. (incomplete)
Wednesday November 15th. Mr. Edwards and Mr. Sam Gifford have started a newspaper called the Famenoth Chronicle, a written weekly which contains a little ship gossip, letters to the editor, etc, etc. Daylight lasts now from four in the morning till seven in the evening.
Thursday 16th. Have had good sailing. A Cape Pigeon was caught today, it is a pretty bird with black and white wings and webbed feet. It cannot fly off the deck but it is let out to run about. There are great numbers of them; they accompanied us until we reached Australia.
Friday 17th. Cloudy day but going along at good speed. We are now turning round the Cape towards the east leaving the sun behind us. The appearance is most grand; now the vessel is cutting its way through the waters, the white foaming waves being dashed aside by the action of the ship as if by the arms of a huge monster swimmer in regular succession, each side of the vessel extending 100 yards. It is, I think, the grandest sight I have ever seen. We are now going at the rate of 14 knots an hour, and every now and again we have large quantities of water come dashing over the windward sides and often we get a good drenching to the skin.
Saturday 18th. From noon of yesterday to noon today we have come 291 miles. Early this morning, a little after 3.0. clock we were suddenly startled by a heavy sea rolling just over our heads; it appeared as if the ship was running under water. I said to Eliza after it was over, "She rides". You know our berths were on the left hand side of the ship, so that as we looked out of the port window, it was towards the French, Spanish and African coast. The wind was generally so as we had the high side of the vessel, which was to our advantage in keeping our cabin dry. On the lower side, our friends had 3 or 4 inches of water in their cabins, which of course made it wretched, wetting their boxes etc. Just after this heavy sea, our sailors got altering the sails and we appeared more satisfied. Most of our friends arose to put things to rights, which had gone helter-skelter flying about. Are going at a great speed, about 15 knots an hour. A rough and cloudy morning broke upon us, and we felt very thankful for our safety. Flying all around us are a great many sea-birds as the Albatross, Cape Pigeon and Cape Hen. In our cabin we have our common house fly of which I shall have more to say.
Sunday 19th. A fine, clear bracing and cool day. No service on deck because it was too cold; had a service in our saloon at night, we attended. Mr.Knight spoke to us from the account of Lot and the Destruction of Sodom, had a short prayer meeting afterwards. A small rocky island is in sight today.
Monday 20th. An Albatross was caught tonight with a line and hook. The length of its wings when expanded was 9ft. 9ins. and 13lbs. weight; it had beautiful feathers, generally white, tinted down its back with speckled dots. Another was caught, its wing measuring 10ft. 4 ins. We have a few small feathers; perhaps we may send you some. The island we saw yesterday, we have seen again today about 20 or 25 miles distant; it is called Gough Island; it consists of rocky uninhabited peaks where the birds make their nests.
Tuesday 21st. A nice quiet morning slow sailing; some seaweed has been gathered.
Wednesday 22nd. It being quite a calm, so as it did not signify which way our vessel's head was, in fact once it faced west when eastward was our course. In the evening we had our concert and entertainment and we asked our Captain to be chairman to which he consented and it was quite a success. Miss Neild sand "The Old Armchair" by Eliza Cook; Annie sang "Write me a letter from home" and 4 of us sang "Sunset over the sea" out of Evergreen etc, etc.
Thursday 23rd. 50 miles in 24 hours explains the calm. The second mate tells us we are having remarkably fine weather. It is very easy and enjoyable sailing, no rolling over the deck knee deep in water. Our time is now the same as yours being in the same Longitude. It is a pleasure to know your hours of rest are when ours are, your daylight at the same time as ours.
Friday 24th. Crossed the line today. The sailors have for the last few days been scouring the decks. They have two fire bricks fastened in a clamp obliquely, and with water and sand keep rubbing away until they make it look almost white. Willie and Arthur have been reading lately the story of Joseph out of the Bible.
Saturday 25th. A wet stormy day; not safe to go on deck for fear of being drenched, so lay abed all day.
Sunday 26th. A wet and stormy Sabbath, spent the day below. No service on deck but one in our saloon at night. Mr. Knight took as his text, "As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness etc.". A good number attended, we sang Sankey's hymns. Afterwards we held a prayer meeting.
Monday 27th. A dull damp day, going along very slowly. Another Albatross caught. It seems a great pity to kill the poor birds they look so grand and graceful when flying, skimming through the air for a long distance with its wings outstretched for 10 feet without flapping in the least, and they are so gorgeously pencilled. I feel sorry when one is caught. We have kept Willie's birthday, have had currant cake and sweets, Willie has given a few sweets to about 25 little children in our saloon. He is nine years of age.
Tuesday 28th. A little sunshine but mostly dull and damp. We have 72 in our cabins; the size of ours is 3ft. 9ins wide 7ft. Sins long and 7 feet high. I can just about get my shoe to fit tight between our bunk and the partition, which parts us and Mr. Turley of Manchester so you will see we are very straightened for room. Willie and Arthur sleep in a bunk above us and as theirs is too narrow for them to sleep side by side, Arthur has his head toward England and Willie his legs. When the sea is rough our iron port is closed which makes it dark day and night, a state of things not very pleasant. Being so many in such a small compass requires a good degree of patience and self control, although we are pretty fortunate in our messmates.
Wednesday 29th. A dull damp day. A breeze sprang up in the night but abated with the morning. Accidents are very common amongst us, several falling down the ladder by which we ascend to the desk.
Thursday 30th. A fine clear day with a heavy sea rolling and a fair breeze, the sea often dashing over the side of the ship. I was standing looking over at the grandeur of the scene when there came a huge wave appearing 10 or 15 feet higher than my head. I ran to the middle of the ship, trying to seize hold of the capstan, but in my haste and with the lifting up of that side from which I ran, I could not lay hold, so was forced to the other side of the ship, knocking my cheek bone very hard against the iron work, which fortunate for me was a smooth surface, and bruising shin and thigh bones very much. 1 was picked up by two friends as I lay in the water and was led below and was better in a day or two.
Friday December 1st. As we are doing now what is called Eastings, our time has to be put on; for instance, we came yesterday 200 miles so our time-piece was put on 20 minutes. Another case yesterday was that of a young lady of the first class who was on the poop, that is, the high part of the ship aft and is about 8 feet higher than the main deck; she was nearly washed overboard, a heavy sea rolling and the ship lurching, but was caught hold of by one or two of the others.
Saturday 2nd. Wind from the East so we are going S.S.E, but making little progress. It is a rainy day and very cold, thermometer standing at 46. We have no fire all over the ship but at the two cook's stoves. I have lain in bed all morning reading out of some old Good words, an article on Hugh Miller* etc.
* (Hugh Miller 1802-1856. Was a Scottish geologist and writer, he was born in Cromarty and apprenticed to a stonemason at 16. He developed an interest in fossils and devoted his winter months to reading and writing and natural history. He became a bank accountant for a time (1834-39) and later became involved in the controversy over church appointments that led to the Disruption of the Church of Scotland in 1843. At the same time he wrote a series of geological articles in the Scottish 'Evangelist' newspaper The Witness, later collected as The Old Red Sandstone (1841). He made important discoveries of fossil fish from the Devonian rocks of Scotland. Also he was a pioneer of popular science books, he combated Darwinian evolutionary theory with Footprints of the Creator (1850) The Testimony of the Rocks (1857) and Sketch book of Popular Geology (published posthumously in 1859.))
Sunday 3rd. A wet cold and foggy day; no service on deck; we held a service below in the evening. Our friend Mr. Knight spoke from, 'Choose we this day whom you will serve'; good attendance, held a prayer meeting afterwards. Miss Grice, one of Annie's cabin friends has been ill with rheumatic fever for the last day or two. What a lonesome dreary life a seaman's must be, cut off from society, fireside joys, social and religious company; I have been quite intimate with a pious Swede named Dahl Green.
Monday 4th. A wet cold and uncomfortable day. It is a very noticeable fact, that the more ease and comfort we have, the less is our progress, and generally vice versa, the more discomfort, the faster we go. We have seen whales today; they force water from their mouths or nostrils to a very great height, or as high as our mast which is 136 feet high.
Tuesday 5th. We have been 330 miles today; this is our highest run as yet. Another wet and cold day: I should think it is about 40 degrees. There is a high and heavy sea rolling and dashing over the ship's sides, sometimes it would be 2 feet deep at the sides and as the ship rolled sideways, it would swill backwards and forwards until it made its escape out, and thus it continues so; we are obliged to keep below. I had just emptied my slop-pail over, and seeing Mr. Butler, one of our shipmates from Wolverhampton coming up the ladder, so I took hold of his and emptied it, but it cost me a good ducking and bruising for the water came over and I fell into it; I got thoroughly wet and change my clothes and get dry as well as I could.
Wednesday 6th. We heard as we were laying in bed, (for my head is only 4 inches from the restless waves) that we were going at a good speed through the night, say 12 or 14 knots an hour. Mr. Knight came down as I was dressing and said "Come, Mr. Bayes, if you want to see the mountains, get up quick!". I did so and saw the outline of the Crozet Isles, about 25 miles south of us; the first was a huge square looking rock, like a barn.
Thursday 7th. There are 7 or 8 irregular peaks which appeared to us very grand. We thought we had been in a perilous position, and were nearer these rocks than our officials had anticipated owing to the fact that we had been without the sunshine for 4 or 5 days so that they could not get their correct position and were not expecting them so near, and so we were very thankful for being preserved, we thought if we had been allowed to strike upon the rocks in the darkness, we should have been in great peril and we knew we had been going at great speed. It is now too cold for reading in bed, so we play with the boys who enjoy it very much and they will long remember it. I am now better of my bruises. Miss. Neild our Good Templar friend had a bad fall so has had to keep her bed for 2 or 3 days.
Friday 8th. A fine day. Our baker bakes us bread about three times a week and charges Ida loaf, it is not always as sweet as we would like it which causes grumbling. He often has to have beer for yeast.
Saturday 9th. A beautiful clear bracing day, rather cold. There is a young fellow from Wellingborough named Ebenezer Fall, apprentice under the Captain, he has been to school with John Colson and one of Woodward's sons, and is a teetotaller.
Sunday 10th. A cold wet day, raining snowing and sometimes sleet and a head wind, sea rolling over our boat very much, no public service today on account of the rolling of the vessel.
Monday 11th. We have very rough weather now at night, we can get very little sleep because of the rolling of the vessel; in fact, we have some difficulty in keeping ourselves in bed.
Tuesday 12th. From noon yesterday till noon today, we have been 332 miles. This is the highest number of miles we have been in one day. We have the winds behind us which sends the waves as it were in courses and there is often a wave at our fore and another at our aft, so that we seem to be in quite a deep valley with waters far higher than we are, but they keep catching us up and sending us forward. It is scarcely safe to go on deck now. I went up and secured myself on an eminence holding myself fast by the rigging, to behold the grandeur of the scene. It is worth travelling a very long way to see. Eliza has not been too well since we have had this terrible shaking. A Miss Franklin was struck by a heavy sea and was quite stunned; she had to be taken down to the hospital. The second mate was struck also, banging his head against a sleeper and hurting it very much.
Wednesday 13th. Sunshine and rain and not quite so rough. The sailors have been trying the pumps today and got a little water up which came into the hold.
Thursday 14th. Another rough day with heavy sea. We are now the low side of the ship and a great deal of water is washed over us; occasionally a lot comes down our hatchway and runs along into our cabins, making it wet and uncomfortable. The appearance of the sea is still very grand and we get used to the rolling and tossing of the vessel.
Friday 15th. Today we are able to walk on deck, though some water comes over at times.
Saturday 16th. A nice and pleasant day with a steady breeze, safe from water at the fore part of the ship. At half-past six tonight Eliza and I were in the cabin, when there was a lurch or two of the ship making quite a commotion, things upset and were flying about, a 61b, tin of meat falling on Mors Turley's head and severely bruising it. I went to look for W and A and found them all right on the deck laughing at four unfortunates who got very wet. The weather has been damp and cold lately so that some of my fingers are chilblained.
Sunday 17th. We have had rain and hail today. The Captain appeared rather intoxicated and shown himself foolish. Mr. Knight conducted the service and I led the singing.
Monday 18th. A pleasant day with favourable breeze, water coming over at aft part of the ship; I stood looking over where I thought it would not reach me, when a large body of water struck the side just where I stood, but learning from past experience it was better to stand one's ground and did so and only got a wetting.
Tuesday 19th. Safely brought through another night. We have a great deal of rolling about and a great deal of water flowing over our heads. This is one of the roughest seas we have had.
Wednesday 20th. It has been quieter and so have had more sleep. Have been practising singing for Christmas.
Thursday 21st. A pleasant day, it is now warmer. We are in a longitudinal line with the western part of Australia.
Friday 22nd. Pleasant weather now. lib of flour allowed for each adult extra for Christmas. We are now getting ready for it. The days last from 3 in the morning till 8 in the evening.
Saturday 23rd. Practised a little for Christmas, but there is a split in the camp. We who thought we could sing a little better than some others, joined together and began to practice, while others outside got up another party and sang some pieces which they knew by heart. Today a large bird (about the size of an English goose) was caught. None knew its name.
Sunday 24th. A bright and beautiful day. Church of England service on deck. A shoal of porpoises have been swimming round our ship; a whale was at a distance, blowing up water into the air.
Monday 25th. Christmas Day. This is Christmas Day upon the waters in Lat 45-12S. Long 140-54E. We have travelled 159 miles on the past day. Our party went by arrangement into the 1st Saloon, (which is a nicely fitted up place, with one centre table with cushioned seats turning either side) and sang our songs; "Hark the Herald"; "While Shepherds Watched"; "Oh Come All Ye Faithful"; "Christians Awake"; out of Ancient and Modern Tune Book. It being the Captain's birthday, we exchanged the usual compliments, we withdrew to the other end of the vessel to the sailors' forecastle and gave them the 2nd edition. They seemed to like it very well and behaved in a good manner after which we all joined together and sang one of our pieces on mid-deck and then retired to our cabins at 2 o'clock. Got up at 10. It is a very beautiful day, quiet sailing. At night we had a meeting together and had songs, readings, recitations, etc, until 10 o'clock after which some sailors came down and sang until 12. We then had given to us a small doughnut of fantastic shape which had been boiled in oil. The children had some currant cake and the sailors had some drink given to them which they evidently enjoyed and I am sorry to say some of them got drunk. There was a post office opened this morning and evening, through which was passed, it may be, a little sense but rather more nonsense and was the occasion of some pleasantry and mirth.
Tuesday 26th. Splendid weather, easy sailing. I played with the boys two hours. I think I have done more of this than any others on board. Grand and beautiful sunset. Disappointed in not seeing the Tasmanian coast.
Wednesday 27th. A nice day, a little more breeze. We are supposed to be about 85 miles south of Tasmania, Porpoises came around us this morning, they seem about 8ft long with white noses, tails and bellies and dark brown backs. Some of our people tried to catch one with a harpoon, but did not succeed. One of the 1st Class passengers gave £1 each to the two watches which caused drunkenness and quarrelling. I went up on deck tonight at 10-O.clock and the scene was grand; the sails were nicely filled, the tall masts did not seem to stir and the moon and the stars were shining in great splendour. It seems much better than railway travelling at such times.
Thursday 28th. A change in the weather since last night. The sea arose by reason of a wind which again caused it to beat into the ship. The boys, Eliza and I were walking on deck where we thought we were safe from the water, when there came a large body of water over just against us, poor Arthur was fairly washed about which frightened him very much. A most splendid sunset.
Friday 29th. A beautiful day, we have had our dinner on deck. The comet is now sometimes seen.
(This Comet was known as 'The Great Comet of 1882' and was a very important one in astronomical history. It was the first Comet to be successfully photographed, by David Gill, 'Royal Astronomer' 1879-1907.)
Saturday 30th. Winds against us, we made but little progress.
Sunday 31st. Public service on deck. (No sailors presents, they seem to have little respect for the Sabbath. Some washing and mending their clothes, others mending shoes.) Mr.Knight based his remarks on "Ebenezer" [Hitherto hath the Lord helped us.]
1883
Monday January 1st. A wet morning but afterwards finer. Another shoal of porpoises came around our ship today. I think some of them felt the ill effects of Christmas keeping. We took 22 names, 12 of them of the crew and 10 passengers. 3 Albatross caught.
Tuesday 2nd. A fine day and favourable breeze, but no land or ships yet in sight. We are getting impatient.
Wednesday 3rd. Fine day, a good breeze this afternoon.
Thursday 4th. Pleasant day, the wind is at our right, taking us rather wide of north of N.Z. The anchors have been hung out ready for dropping. We are quite in hopes of being in Auckland for the Sabbath.
Friday 5th. A beautiful day, no land seen yet. Have begun packing up ready for landing. The Captain brought two rams with him from England, one of them died today.
Saturday 6th. A lovely day but no sight of land yet; have changed our tack and going in the direction of the Western shore of N.Z. instead of the northern. We have taken half a week's stores, which we hope will be enough for us till we get there.
Sunday 7th. A beautiful calm summer day. Services in the morning on deck, conducted by the doctor, singing went very bad and was so very low. Our friend Mr. Knight spoke to us for the last time from "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord."
Monday 8th. Beautiful weather, head wind so we have to go zigzagging along, having to go 100 miles to gain, say 10. Took another half-week's rations.
Tuesday 9th. Head wind, tacking about. We saw glimmering of a revolving lighthouse on Cape Maria at N. point of N.Z.
Wednesday 10th. We have seen some rocks called the Three Kings, the largest is supposed to be about 2000 acres in extent. Passed a steamer going to Sydney. I must confess to a feeling of envy; we passed over an ocean current about quarter mile wide; it seemed like a calm river. It is a splendid night, the stars shining out, the Butchers Cleaver being very visible, there is another group which is not seen at home in the shape of a cross, called the Southern Cross.
Thursday 11th. About 10 o'clock we first saw the N. Cape of N.Z. Have kept land in sight all day, passing by its many capes and bays. It has taken us 14 hours to advance 25 miles. Sometimes we see a white sandy beach and craggy rocks, then a deeply indented bay with islands here and there, covered with forest trees and grass.
Friday 12th. Today we passed Doubtless Bay, Cape Brett and Poor (Four?) Knights Islands, consisting of two small islands and rocks. They were 5 or 6 miles distant. About 7 o'clock it came on raining and was very dark. We got little sleep as it was so very close and hot.
Saturday 13th. A fine morning, no progress in the night. We are about 50 miles from Auckland. Various islands are around us, as the Hen and Chickens, the Great and Little Barriers. We have witnessed a splendid sunset tonight. Early this morning a Mrs. Wymar was safely delivered of a son. The colour of the sea here is a light green; it has generally been dark blue. I went to bed at 10, but some of the others stopped up to see us pass through between the Great and Little Barriers. They came to bed at 12, telling us we had passed all right.
Sunday 14th. On arising this morning at 4, we found we were not through. There was a head wind so the Captain had turned back and gone between the islands and the mainland. We could tell where Auckland was, though we couldn't see it because of an island. We are all too much excited to hold a service today. Early this afternoon we signal for the pilot; he came in a small cutter, and we gave a good cheer as he came on board. He had brought with him newspapers and letters. After a while my name was called, the only one in the 3rd class. I cannot express how I felt on reading them, my feelings were so strong, that I had a good cry and could not read, but Eliza read them.
(The report of our ship sinking no doubt arose from its being wrecked at Whitstable on the 27th March 1882 near the Isle of Sheppey at the mouth of the Thames)
At the end of the log, the following letter is written.
Tuesday, March 27th, 1883.

Dear Friends,
I am afraid my long epistle with all its bad writing and grammar, its sameness will almost weary you, but remembering that love hideth a multitude of sins, I trust it will not be so. I have thought there lacked in its pages, expression of gratitude to God for his many favours to us all, but I trust He can read it in our hearts.
We often wonder how you are getting on. Have been anxiously expecting letters the last 2 mails but of course you did not know our whereabouts; but we are expecting a good budget before this reaches you. We haven't written to Barking yet, will some of you send on and say we will try and write to them by next mail. To all enquiring friends we send best love.
We take the Auckland Evening Star, a 1d. paper. It is far behind your Daily News; its chief attractions are its home cablegrams. It brings us news about two days after occurrence. You might send us a paper sometimes if you think there is anything in which will interest us.
With best love, I remain, Yours
J. Bayes,
Victoria Avenue,
New North Road,
Auckland.
N.Z.



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