The Mooltan carried William Payne (1827), his wife Jane Hancock and their second daughter Sarah to Port Phillip in August 1853. Other couples from Somerset also came to Victoria on the Mooltan. These couples included:

The ship left Southampton, Hampshire, England on 23 April 1853 and arrived in Corio Bay, Geelong on 3 August 1853. A voyage of 100 days. A very quick voyage for the times.

Cite as: Brodie Collection,

La Trobe Picture Collection,

State Library of Victoria.


The Mooltan of about 560 tons was launched in about 1848 and one of her first voyages was to Otago in New Zealand. Mooltan's Captain Chivas had a tendency to add canvas rather than subtract it, for the sake of speed. He had a brand new ship to make a name for, and indeed, apart from the John Wickliffe voyage in 1848, the Mooltan's 105 days to Otago was the fastest passage of any of the ships chartered by the New Zealand Company.

The ship, apparently, had space for approximately 152 passengers. There are at least two diaries from that voyage published on the Internet and they make interesting reading because our ancestors would have experienced something similar 4 years later. The diaries can be found at Mrs Purdie's Diary and Francis Pullin's Diary.

Interestingly, something must have happened to our Mooltan because there is a list of ships illustrations which shows the Mooltan built in 1861. I wonder what happened to "our Mooltan"?? Did she sink in a storm somewhere as almost happened on her maiden, 1849, voyage? Or was she simply replaced by a vessel that had the new steam power??