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Rules of Conduct Onboard a Tall Ship in 1882

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The object of the Regulations was to secure the health and welfare of Steerage Passengers. It is obvious where a large number of persons were compelled to live together for several weeks in a small space, cleanliness had to be observed with regularity and order maintained if discomfort and disease were to be avoided.

It was the wish of the Agents of the Government to make everyone as comfortable as the circumstances would permit, to exact no unnecessary duty, and to impose no unnecessary restrictions.

Instructions at the time the Regulations were given.

There may be found very occasionally among the Passengers some person who is not amenable to an appeal to good sense and proper feeling, and in respect to such a one it may be observed the law invests the Surgeon Superintendent and Captain of the ship with the powers necessary for the repression of misconduct, and the maintenance of order and discipline, and they will not hesitate to use them if an occasion for doing so should unhappily arise; and the Captain is further instructed to prosecute any case of willful misconduct immediately on the arrival of the Ship at Auckland.

The Emigrants (to emigrant - when leaving own country/ to immigrate - to move to new country permanently/migrate - to move like birds in winter), are under the immediate charge of the Surgeon-superintendent. They are to obey and give effect to his directions. He will hear any objections or complaints they may desire to make, determine any differences of disputes, which may arise amongst them.

The Emigrants will be divided into messes and one of each mess will be selected to be its head mess-man. He will receive from the Purser the provisions for the mess, will take such portions as require cooking to the galley, and receive them again when cooked. He will see that the Rations are fairly divided between all the members of the mess, and will report to the Surgeon any misconduct or neglect which may arise amongst them. This rule applies also to the single men’s and single women’s compartments of the ship. One man out of the Male Emigrants above fourteen years of age may be taken daily, if necessary, to act as assistant to the passengers cook.

The married men will in a rotation, keep watch in their cabin of the ship during the night. Two men will be put on each watch. The night will be divided into three watches, from 8 p.m. to midnight, from midnight to 4 a.m., and from 4 a.m. to 7 a.m. The duties of the watch will be to prevent irregularities, to assist any person taken ill, and to see that the hatchways, deck ventilators or scuttles are kept open or otherwise, as may be directed by the Captain or Officer of the watch, to whom they will report whatever may be necessary.

The Surgeon will name every morning, the Cook’s-Assistant for the day, and make a list of Watchmen for the following night. He will also make a list of those whose turn it is to become sweepers and cleaners for the day, according to the 10th section of the "Queens Order in Council."

Constables will be appointed for the single-men’s and single women’s compartments of the ship. They are to take their instructions from the Surgeon. They are to see that the sweepers do their work efficiently, that the watch is properly kept, that these regulations are observed in their respective compartments, and they are to report to the Surgeon any misconduct that may occur.

The Crew are forbidden to go into the ’tween Decks except on the ship’s duty, and the single men are forbidden to enter the forecastle. The Constables are to see that these rules are observed. One of the Constables will also attend at the serving out of the provisions daily, to see that each mess gets its proper allowance.

One or more Constables will be appointed to attend the single women’s cabin. They will draw their provisions, take them to the Galley when they have been prepared for cooking, deliver them at the single-women’s compartment when they have been cooked, and perform any other service in connection with the single-women’s cabin which the Surgeon may direct. Each of the Constables will be entitled to receive from the Captain a gratuity of £2 at the end of the voyage if their duties have been efficiently done.

A Special Constable will be appointed to keep the water-closets clean and in good order. He will be similarly entitled to a gratuity of £5.

The Constables are exempt from the duties of sweepers and cleaners.

The arrangements for the division of the food amongst the several members of each Mess and the rules with respect to sweeping and cleaning apply equally to the single-women’s cabin. The Matron will name daily in rotation those whose duty it is to act for the purpose and see that the work is done. A report will be made to the Surgeon of any instance of refusal or neglect.