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Title Diary Written by Charles Care of His Voyage from London to Melbourne on 'RMS Orient'
Author Care, Charles
Date 2 Mar-12 Apr 1888
Document Type Personal Account
Reference HT 30972
Library / Archive Museums Victoria
Collection Name Diaries / Journals / Letters
Description Diary entitled 'Diary of a Voyage from London to Melbourne in the RMS 'Orient' of the O.S.N. Co's Line, March-April 1888'. The diary is described as an extract of an original diary that had been written during the journey, and appears to be a revised version. Charles Care gives an account of the voyage and shipboard life from the ship's departure from Tilbury, England on 2 March 1888 until the steamer's arrival in Melbourne on 12 April 1888. Entries include descriptions of shipboard events such as fire drills, church services and concerts, outings at the various ports, and a fancy dress ball. Diary entries are interspersed with paste-down colour and black and white printed illustrations of ships, maps of ports of call including Gibraltar Bay, Gulf of Naples, Port Said, and Suez Bay, flags of the Australian Colonies and shipping companies, and various hymns and psalms taken from the New Church Hymn Book.
Series Description The diary was covered with two pages of 'Cole's Funny Picture Book' and later covered with brown paper and is a valuable example of shipboard journal-keeping from the nineteenth century, providing first-hand historical insight into the experiences of immigrants at the time of Australia's Centenary year celebrations. A number of elements make it particularly significant to migration, transport, and public life and institutions collections. The diary dates to 1888, the year of the International Exhibition at the Exhibition Building. It relates a personal account of life on board the Orient, one of the best-known migrant ships of the period, which is also represented by a model held by Museum Victoria.
Biographical Note / History The 'Index to Unassisted Inward Passenger Lists to Victoria', held by the Public Record Office of Victoria, reveals that Mr. Care was 38 years old and single when he made the journey to Melbourne. The diary entries indicate that Mr. Care was a follower of the doctrines of the New Church, a religious movement developed from the writings of the Swedish scientist and theologian Emanuel Swedenborg. Unfortunately, the author reveals little about himself, his background, family and plans in the diary. Though it is clear from his final entry that he intended to remain in Melbourne, it is unknown whether that actually occurred. References in the diary to a letter of introduction to a resident in New Zealand, as well as Sydney being listed as his port of destination in the Passenger Lists, leave his ultimate destination ambiguous.
Theme(s) Journey Conditions
Country (from) Great Britain
Country (to) Australia
Places Naples, Italy; Spain; Portugal; Gibraltar; St. Vincent; Morocco; Suez Canal, Egypt; Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
Ports Tilbury, England; Port Melbourne, Australia; Aden, Yemen
Nationality English; Canadian
Ships RMS Orient; Agincourt; Monarch; Oroya
People Care, Charles; Ridler, Captain
Keywords religion, entertainment, animals, food, passenger, shipping, emigration, music, Orient Steam Navigation Company, postal service, good weather, alcohol, travel, tourism, communication, death, Tuberculosis, coal, sanitation
Additional Information Please note: Some of the metadata for this document has been taken from the Museum Victoria catalogue.
Catalogue Link Museums Victoria Catalogue
Language English
Copyright Museums Victoria