Betsey (ship)

From SpottingWorld, the Hub for the SpottingWorld network...

The Betsey was a ship that was abandoned off the coast of New Zealand in 1815.

On 28 December 1814, the Betsey under the command of Philip Goodenough left Sydney for Macquarie Island where the ship arrived on 13 Feb 1815. Goodenough landed a sealing party of thirteen men and then headed North to the Auckland Islands to undertake further sealing. Contrary winds meant that the Betsey was unable to return either to Macquarie Island or to Sydney. Food and water began to run out and the crew started to suffer from scurvy. Heavy winds drove the ship towards New Zealand and on 18 September the Betsey's rudder was smashed by the heavy seas. Twenty miles from the Bay of Islands, with several of his crew dead from scurvy and the remaining crew starving and parched from lack of water, Goodenough ordered the ship abandoned. Fourteen Europeans and six Lascars had left Macquarie Island. At the time of abandonment only twelve men were alive. Four were placed in the jollyboat as they were so sick they could not crew a boat and the remainder placed in the whaleboat. The jollyboat was tied to the whaleboat and under the command of Goodenough headed for New Zealand. Progress was very slow, and soon after abandoning the Betsey, Goodenough ordered the rope between the jollyboat and the whaleboat to be cut. The four sick sailors were never seen again. Eventually Goodenough made land and shortly after landing a Lascar died, followed by Goodenough on 1 November 1815.

The six survivors were captured by Māori and eventually released to the brig Active on 23 Feb 1816. The Betsey itself was eventually blown ashore near Great Exhibition Bay and went to pieces.

The Betsey was probably owned by James Underwood, was some 222 tons and had been built at Chittagong, India and registered at Calcutta by Hogur & Co. [1]


  1. Australian Shipwrecks - vol 1 1622-1850, Charles Bateson, AH and AW Reed, Sydney, 1972, ISBN 0 589 07112 2 p51

External links