The following might be of interest. It's a copy & paste of a contribution to the The ShipsList web-site concerning the Birkenhead Emigration Depot and an indication of dietary requirements on emigrant ships. I'm guessing it's part of the text from the newspaper report which accompanied Derek's pictures:
BIRKENHEAD EMIGRATION DEPOT
From 'The Illustrated London News
', July 10th, 1852
The full tide of emigration, which has of late been diverted by the gold
discoveries from the United States, and even California, has, by setting in
for own far distant settlements in the Pacific, given a wonderful impetus to
the Australian trade, which has become of a profitable character to the
shipowner, and by which so much employment is now given to shipbuilders,
ship-carpenters, ship-smiths, block and rope-makers, sail-makers, ship
store-dealers, coopers, and the various other trades employed in promoting
the vast human traffic now carried on to Australia.
Our present business is to illustrate an outline of the system adopted at
Birkenhead for the comfort of the emigrants who may be cooped up in a ship
for perhaps a three or four months' voyage. The plan may be divided into two
branches- "Free Emigration," and "Government Emigration."
The former is altogether of a private character, but is under the
surveillance of the Government officials; the latter we are now about to
The Government in Australia has secured large funds arising from the Sale
Crown lands, &c., a portion of which have been remitted to this country to
persons appointed by the Crown, who are called "Her Majesty's Colonial Land
and Emigration Commissioners," who have an office in Park Street,
Westminster, where the whole business of emigration is carried on, and who
have the management of the funds in this country to a which we have referred.
The business of the Commissioners is to receive the applications of such
parties as are desirous of going out under the protection of the Government,
and chiefly at the expense of the colonies. They examine, also, into the
character of the applicants, and decide upon the amount each shall
contribute, which varies from £1 to £5, according to the occupation, age, and
character of the applicant.
The Commissioners also advertise for tenders for ships to take out the
emigrants, and it is a matter of great responsibility to decide upon the most
suitable. There are proper officers for examination, who survey the ships,
and, upon their report, the vessels are accepted or rejected by the
Commissioners as the officer recommends. Contracts or charters are then
signed, and the ship proceeds with her outfits, shipping stores and every
necessity as provided for in the charter party. We annex the dietary scale:
The following is the scale for one adult. Women to receive the same as the
men; children between one and 14 to receive one-half. Infants under one year
to be allowed one quart of water, daily, but no rations.
Sunday to Monday, inclusive, 8 ounces of biscuit, (the biscuit not to be
below second quality), 6 ounces of flour, 3 ounces of oatmeal.
On Saturday, 6 ounces of beef. (Prime new Irish or American East India beef).
On Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 6 ounces of prime Irish East India pork.
On Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday, 6 ounces of preserved meat, not more than
one-third of the supply to consist of soup and bouillon; the rest to be
exclusively preserved meat.
On Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, 2 ounces of raisins.
On Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, 1½ ounces of suet.
On Tuesday and Saturday, 4 ounces of rice.
On Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, ¼ ounce of tea.
On Monday, Wednesday and Friday, ½ ounce of coffee. (Weight when roasted).
On Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 4 ounces of sugar.
On Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, 2 ounces of treacle.
On Monday and Friday, 2 ounces of butter.
On Sunday and Thursday, 4 ounces of preserved potatoes. (From September to
March, inclusive, parties will have the option of taking a supply of fresh
potatoes for the first month, or six weeks, substituting 1 pound for the 4
ounces of preserved potatoes).
On Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 1 pint of dried peas.
Daily, 3 quarts of water.
Weekly, one gill of mixed pickles, ½ ounce of mustard, 2 ounces of salt and ½
ounce of pepper.
While in port, and for one or two days afterwards, if practicable, two-thirds
of a pound of fresh meat, 1½ pounds of soft bread and 1 pound of potatoes,
per adult, are issued, with a suitable supply of vegetables, in lieu of salt
and preserved meat, and of flour, suet, raisins, rice and peas.
It is in the discretion of the surgeon-superintendent to issue three times a
week, to children under seven, four ounces of rice or three ounces of sago,
in lieu of salt meat.
The surgeon is also at liberty to draw an additional quart of water, daily,
for the use of each person sick in the hospital.
The Commissioners formerly despatched their emigrant ships from Deptford and
Plymouth but, latterly, private enterprise pointed out Birkenhead as a
suitable place, and the Commissioners now despatch three of four ships a
month from that depot. The large and well-ventilated dining hall of the depot
comfortably accommodates six-hundred people, divide into classes, or schools,
of English, Irish and Scottish, each table being so marked.
(What was 'East India beef' ? Pickled beef, perhaps, originally for the
British garrisons in those parts?)
Tony, West Wales.
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