The Shenandoah (Sea King)

Built as the Sea King, this fine vessel is well documented in the Auckland Maritime museum - /www.nzmaritime.org.nz.

Built of iron by A Steven and Son of Glasgow, for Robertson and Co of London, who ordered her for the lucrative China Tea trade. She arrived in Auckland on January 27th 1863 as the Sea King.

Those were the days of the Maori wars, and under the command of Captain Pinel, she brought Colonel Williams and other officers, 185 non-coms, men of the first battalion, Fourth Brigade Royal Artillary, plus 23 women.and 43 children to the young settlement.

This fine vessel made a rapid passage from Woolwich to Auckland in 77 days, mostly under sail. She had auxiliary engines, which were only used on the odd occasion.

The Sea King went from Auckland to Newcastle, and then to Shanghai where she was sold to the Americans, who fitted her with new guns and also took on a new crew in Madeira.

On arrival in Melbourne, she was renamed the Shenandoah, and from here went on her career as a confederate raider, sinking barques from Newcastle bound for the ports of the Union. In the Southern seas. She destroyed 36 Yankee ships, mainly Yankee whalers flying the stars and stripes.

After peace was declared between North and South, Captain Waddell, who by chance had been a "passenger" when she arrived in Auckland, took her into Liverpool where she was confiscated by the British Government, who later sold her for 30,000 pounds, half her value at the time.

If you have notes on the Shenandoah or Sea King, and would like to be considered for inclusion in this website, please e-mail.