Male portrait placeholder image

Name: Henry Wight

Burial Number: 0458

Gender: Male

Occupation: Merchants Service - Only Mate, First Mate, Master, Captain

Distinction: Master Mariner

Born: 03/1/1833

Died: 02/03/1905

Buried: 04/03/1905


Henry Potts Wight, husband of Annie Wardman, was a master mariner.

Researcher: Pat Brownbill

The Grave

Photograph of headstone for Henry Wight

Location in Cemetery

Area: NWS Row: 5 Plot: 10

Exact Location (what3words): trap.edge.plank

Ashes or Urn: Unknown



Set 3" G. York Stone Kerb - 8ftx4ft and fixing to late Henry P Wight at Heene Cemetery £5.0s.0d.


R.I.P. In loving memory of Henry P Wight for 34 years a sailor on many seas. Died 2nd March 1905 aged 72 “in whom was no guile” Also of Annie his wife who died 21st December 1907 aged 75yrs “Her children arise up and call her blessed”

Further Information


Name: Henry Potts Wight

Gender: Male

Born: 03/1/1833

Town: Unknown

County: Durham (County Durham)

Country: England


Maiden Name: Not applicable

Marriage Date: 22/6/1861

Spouse First Name: Annie

Spouse Last Name: Wardman

Town of Marriage: Gateshead

County of Marriage: Durham (County Durham)

Country of Marriage: England

Information at Death

Date of Death: 02/03/1905

Cause of death: Prostate Disease; Nephritis; Cardiac Failure

Address line 1: Ravenscroft Cottage

Address line 3: Heene Road

Town: Worthing

County: Sussex

Country: England


No obituary has been entered.

Personal Effects

Money left to others: £913 18 s 5 d

Current value of effects: Not calculated

Census Information


Henry 8yrs is living in Windmill Hills, Gateshead, Durham with John C Potts 30yrs, Eliza Potts 25yrs, George Calder Potts 2yrs, Anne Potts 11mths, Jane Harrison 25yrs Servant, Elizabeth Robson 19yrs Servant


Living at 53 Benwell Road, St Marys, Islington


Living at 55 Hillmarton Road, Islington: Henry P 58yrs Clerk CC, Annie 58yrs, Joseph P 27yrs War Office 1st Class Clerk, Annie M 26yrs, Margaret 16yrs, Margaret Wardman 54yrs Sister in Law, Janet McFarlane 81yrs Friend living own means, Minnie Shinkfield 16yrs General Domestic

Miscellaneous Information

Windmill Hills - Henry Wight lived here in his early years.

The South Australian Register 26/12/1865

The population has been again augmented by the arrival of 388 souls by the above vessel, which is one of the superior class recently selected by the Commissioners. She is 810 tons register, and from the space in ‘tween decks is computed to carry 333 statute adults. She has almost that number on board, having embarked 389 souls at Plymouth, and sailed on October 3, with Dr. C. H. Graham as Surgeon-Superintendent This appointment has also been a happy one, for under Providence his care and watchful attention have resulted in an arrival with a clean bill of health, no serious sickness having occurred, and but six deaths are recorded, entirely amongst the juveniles. On the other hand, there was one birth. On the usual visit of inspection the greatest satisfaction was expressed. It must be noted that Dr. Graham has been constantly in the service for 11 voyages, and consequently had considerable experience. His efforts were seconded by the adaptability of the ship to emigration purposes and the ready coalescence of the master (Captain Wight) in carrying out the regulations. The ventilator of Dr. Edmunds was fitted to the Gosforth, and found fully to answer all expectations, keeping the ‘tween decks perfectly supplied with fresh air ; but the distiller of Normanby is not so well spoken of as on previous occasions. But this has probably proceeded from some of the machinery or tubes becoming defective. It is to be regretted that the old arrangement of the single females’ compartment is still retained especially as it has been a subject of constant complaint during the past few months. It would be so easily remedied that surprise has been expressed that the fore-and-aft bulkhead had not been long ago condemned, for it only muddles the lower deck into a couple of long narrow strips of space, instead of affording the whole width of the vessel’s beam. This, however, will doubtless be altered in some of the next arrivals. The particulars of trades and national classification an subjoined:— Occupations—
Bootmakers 3, miners 75, tindressers 2, servants 24. sawyers 2, labourer 42, blacksmiths 13, farm labourers and ploughmen 3, matron 1, dressmaker 1, masons 4, nurses 2, gardeners 3, collier 1, carpenters 4, plumber 1, hatter 1, chairmaker 1, cooks 3, joiners 2, porter 1, groom 1, plasterer 1, engine-driver 1, bricklayer 1, railway labourer 1, engineer 1, cabinetmaker 1, bakers 2, painter 1.
Married males 81, married females 81, single males 100, single females 32. Children between 1 and 12— males, 41 ; females 36. Infants— males 9, females 8.
Some of the domestic servants are very highly recommended, and will doubtless find immediate employment.
Published by Asian Educational Services about 1864
Page 29
But to persons or families returning home from India, either for good or for prolonged stay, especially those who are in impaired health, the voyage round the Cape, in a comfortable, well-found, capably commanded, and fast sailing ship, offers many very decided advantages. …It is also an opportunity, …. of obtaining three or four months mental and comparative physical rest, combined with the enjoyment of the invigorating sea-air …

Page 30
With regard to the benefit to be derived by persons in ill-health, from making the long sea-voyage home from India, I am entitled to speak with some emphasis, having myself experienced it. When I was obliged to revisit England, it was by the doctor’s orders, and this route was insisted on. It was considered necessary that my departure should be immediate, and consequently, owing to the early sailing of that vessel, in five days I was at sea in the Gosforth, having embarked in a most precarious state of health, and while extremely weak. Before a fortnight had passed, all my unfavourable symptoms had subsided, my appetite began to return, and ultimately became absolutely voracious; so that, after a remarkably quick and agreeable voyage, I arrived at home in excellent health, to the great surprise of my friends. I shall always connect my very rapid and remarkable recovery on this occasion, under Providence with the Gosforth and her amiable, excellent, and efficient commander – Captain H.P.Wight.

Sailing ship "Taranaki"



The TARANAKI was one of the New Zealand traders belonging to the Shaw Savill & Albion Company. She was a beautiful little emigrant clipper and one of the fastest. The firm mentioned above was one of the first to realize the growing business with freight and passenger service to New Zealand. Mr. Savill was originally a clerk in the early fifties who realized the potential of trading with the new colonies forming in New Zealand. He obtained a partner in Mr. Shaw, who had some experience with the shipping business in a counting-house, and the firm was born.


It is surprising how small the emigrant clippers were for the New Zealand trade as compared to the huge liners that were employed everywhere else. Right up to the last, few passenger or cargo ships which exceeded 1,500 tons were built for the trade, and most of these were very much smaller ships. The English, Scottish and Irish settlers who colonized the two beautiful islands at the Antipodes were very hardy and able to bear the sometimes very rough passage to their new home.


The TARANAKI was launched in January, 1877. Her registered measurements were: gross tonnage, 1,199; net tonnage, 1,126; length, 228 feet 2 inches; breadth, 35 feet 2 inches; depth, 20 feet 9 inches; she had a poop 41 feet long, and a fo’c’sle of 37 feet. She was built by the famous Scottish shipbuilder Robert Duncan, who did not know how to build a slow ship.


On her first three voyages, TARANAKI was commanded by Captain Wight. On her first outward passage, leaving port on May 2nd, 1877, she reached Dunedin on July 24th, 83 days out. One her second passage out she made the best time of her career. She left Glasgow with 326 passengers on November 7th, 1878 and reached Port Chalmers on January 24th, 75 days out. In 1879 Captain Wight went out in 81 days.


Image of Ship In 1880 Captain W. Hard took over the command of the beautiful little clipper and had her for the next four voyages, his best being 80 days to Lyttelton in the autumn of 1882. In October, 1884, Captain Gordon took over the command. Captain Gordon has the distinction of being the only captain to have an outward passage of over 100 days. He did have an excellent passage of 78 days out in 1887-88. Captain Gordon sailed the TARANAKI for 10 voyages, then turned over command to Captain J.A. Evans in 1894. Evans had the ship until 1902, his best passage being 80 days from London to Rimaru in 1900. The old ship was then sold to F. Olivari, of Genoa, for 2,900 pounds. She continued to sail the seas under her old name until 1915, when she was broken up at Genoa, though she was stilled classed 100 A1 at Lloyd’s. Throughout her long life, which included 24 voyages in the New Zealand trade, TARANAKI had the rare distinction of keeping clear of any kind of trouble. Her best chance for trouble turned out to be one of her best performances. In 1898 there was terrific weather in the Southern Ocean. TARANAKI arrived at Port Chalmers 93 days from Gravesend, which was the best passage of the season. She was a beautiful little clipper ship that served her owners faithfully and well her entire life. A better epitaph for a ship cannot be stated.



The Press January 14th 1884


One of Patrick Henderson and Company’s well known splendid ships, the Oamaru, sister ship to the Timaru, arrived here on Saturday from London, under charter to Shaw Savill and Co., and the Albion Shipping Company. The Oamaru is commanded by Captain H P Wight, formerly master of the Taranaki. She has hitherto traded to Port Chalmers, and she now visits this port for the first time during the ten years she has been afloat. The passage she has just finished indorses (sic) the high reputation which has been earned by the Patrick Henderson line of vessels in the shipping records between the old country and this colony. Allowing for the detention she incurred in the English Channel, resulting from a succession of severe S W gales, from which she was driven to shelter for some days at Torbay, after having worked down Channel almost to off Falmouth, her passage occupied just eighty-four days from weighing anchor in Torbay on October 20th to dropping it in this harbour. Reckoned from the date on which she passed out of sight of the Old Country to sighting the Snares on the 8th instant, or from “land to land” it shows but seventy-nine days. She brought eighteen saloon passengers, eleven second cabin passengers, and thirty-four in the steerage, or a total of sixty-three, all of whom arrived well pleased with the ship, and speak in complimentary terms of Captain Wight and his officers. The names of the latter are Mr J Maxwell, chief officer; Mr J G Little, second; and Mr J D Munro, third. Very disagreeable weather, stormy and wet, was met with running down the easting, little better than a succession of gales from passing the Cape of Good Hope right along to making the coast of New Zealand. One exceptionally severe storm was encountered when the ship was in the neighborhood of Kerguelen Land on December 21st, in lat 45 14 S., and long 76 W. Captain Wight describes it as having been the most fearful gale he can remember being in during an experience of a great many years. Quoting from the entry in the official log it is stated that on the morning of the date named the glass commenced to fall very rapidly, as much as three tenths in four hours. At noon the ship was hove-to under the main lower topsail, when the barometrical reading was .8 20. A fearful sea was running, and the wind, which was from the N W, was at hurricane force. Seas upon seas swept over the ship, one of which broke with tremendous force on board, carrying with it overboard a sheep pen containing eight valuable pedigree sheep, two of which were pure merino rams, and six pure merino sheep. One of the passengers, a Mr Stokes, was knocked down on deck, and sustained a broken collar bone. A portion of the starboard topgallant rail was stripped, and the starboard pinnace was lifted from the davits out of the sockets, and swept overboard, while the port one was struck by the sea and stove in. The gale moderated towards the night, and at 4pm the day following had sufficiently abated to admit of sail being again made. The Oamaru brought a large general cargo, particulars of which are given above. She is also fitted with one of Bell and Coleman’s refrigerating machines and two capacious meat rooms, extending forward right from the main hatchway in both upper and lower holds. The further particulars of the passage, as under, were kindly supplied by Mr Maxwell, chief officer. Left London October 11th; Gravesend next day. Met stiff weather, and after landing channel pilot on the 15th, heavy S W gales, so put back into Torbay. Left there October 20th, and had southerly and westerly winds to passing Gibraltar. Then one or two days of calms and light airs