Newspapers

With a sea voyage to Australia taking up to four months, 19th century emigrants formed committees to organise shipboard entertainment and amusements. One such activity was the production of a ship newspaper. Following in the fashion of satirical journals of the day, and with their main purpose being to entertain, these shipboard newspapers were full of jokes, witty poems, and puns.

‘...it is desirable to observe that very small things cause great interest in the monotony of a long sea voyage’ The Massilia Gazette, Q910.42/M

Travelling on the ship Parramatta, John Maffey writes extensively in his ‘Diary from London to Sydney’ about his time as editor of The Petrel Papers. He describes a meeting presided over by the Captain which resulted in the formation of the newspaper committee (comprising an editor, sub-editor, illustrators and printers) although Massey claims they offered him no assistance at all.

Newspaper content often varied from paper to paper (and edition to edition) and frequently included illustrations, caricatures, passenger lists, poetry, prose, letters to the editor, riddles, local news, announcements, shipboard sport results, accounts of births and deaths, reviews of entertainments as well as details and advice about the ship’s destination. They provide a rich resource for discovering details of life on board a 19th century emigrant ship.

Ship newspapers can also expose shipboard class distinctions – the Zealandia Free Press started as a rival to the Zealandia Look-Out which was not allowed to circulate amongst steerage passengers. While the Southern Cross newspaper produced different editions of differing qualities for passengers in first, second, and intermediate class cabins.

During some voyages, passengers paid a subscription towards the reprinting of their shipboard newspaper on arrival in port. These reprinted newspapers provided a well-documented souvenir of the journey to Australia for circulation amongst family and friends. Much of what is known today of life on board 19th century emigrant ships is due to the survival of these reprinted editions of shipboard newspapers.

The Massilia Gazette

The original Massilia Gazette was produced on a 'Hammond' typewriter during the voyage to Australia by Edward Noyes, editor, and J. Barton Faithfull, sub-editor, reporter and bookbinder.

Illustrations in pen, brush and pencil were contributed by Miss B.L.M. Pollock, Mr Faithfull and Mr Padwick. Photographs of Gibraltar and Port Said were purchased on shore, with additional photographs taken by Mr Bowden during the voyage.

After the voyage, the Massilia Gazette was reprinted in Sydney ‘at the request and expense’ of a large number of passengers.

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Full title: The Massilia gazette : the ship's newspaper a reproduction of a newspaper published weekly on board the Peninsular and Orient Steam Navigation Company's Royal Mail steamship Massilia (Captain Charles Fraser) during a voyage from London to Sydney, November 13th 1890 to January 1st 1891 / Edited by Edward Noyes

The Massilia gazette : the ship's newspaper a reproduction of a newspaper published weekly on board the Peninsular and Orient Steam Navigation Company's Royal Mail steamship Massilia (Captain Charles Fraser) during a voyage from London to Sydney...
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a6205001
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Full title: The Massilia gazette : the ship's newspaper a reproduction of a newspaper published weekly on board the Peninsular and Orient Steam Navigation Company's Royal Mail steamship Massilia (Captain Charles Fraser) during a voyage from London to Sydney, November 13th 1890 to January 1st 1891 / Edited by Edward Noyes

The Massilia gazette : the ship's newspaper a reproduction of a newspaper published weekly on board the Peninsular and Orient Steam Navigation Company's Royal Mail steamship Massilia (Captain Charles Fraser) during a voyage from London to Sydney...
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a6205004
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The Massilia gazette : the ship's newspaper a reproduction of a newspaper published weekly on board the Peninsular and Orient Steam Navigation Company's Royal Mail steamship Massilia (Captain Charles Fraser) during a voyage from London to Sydney...
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a6205005
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Full title: The Massilia gazette : the ship's newspaper a reproduction of a newspaper published weekly on board the Peninsular and Orient Steam Navigation Company's Royal Mail steamship Massilia (Captain Charles Fraser) during a voyage from London to Sydney, November 13th 1890 to January 1st 1891 / Edited by Edward Noyes

The Massilia gazette : the ship's newspaper a reproduction of a newspaper published weekly on board the Peninsular and Orient Steam Navigation Company's Royal Mail steamship Massilia (Captain Charles Fraser) during a voyage from London to Sydney...
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a6205006
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The Massilia gazette : the ship's newspaper a reproduction of a newspaper published weekly on board the Peninsular and Orient Steam Navigation Company's Royal Mail steamship Massilia (Captain Charles Fraser) during a voyage from London to Sydney...
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a6205007
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About this item: 

Full title: The Massilia gazette : the ship's newspaper a reproduction of a newspaper published weekly on board the Peninsular and Orient Steam Navigation Company's Royal Mail steamship Massilia (Captain Charles Fraser) during a voyage from London to Sydney, November 13th 1890 to January 1st 1891 / Edited by Edward Noyes

The Massilia gazette : the ship's newspaper a reproduction of a newspaper published weekly on board the Peninsular and Orient Steam Navigation Company's Royal Mail steamship Massilia (Captain Charles Fraser) during a voyage from London to Sydney...
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a6205008
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About this item: 

Full title: The Massilia gazette : the ship's newspaper a reproduction of a newspaper published weekly on board the Peninsular and Orient Steam Navigation Company's Royal Mail steamship Massilia (Captain Charles Fraser) during a voyage from London to Sydney, November 13th 1890 to January 1st 1891 / Edited by Edward Noyes

The Massilia gazette : the ship's newspaper a reproduction of a newspaper published weekly on board the Peninsular and Orient Steam Navigation Company's Royal Mail steamship Massilia (Captain Charles Fraser) during a voyage from London to Sydney...
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a6205009
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About this item: 

Full title: The Massilia gazette : the ship's newspaper a reproduction of a newspaper published weekly on board the Peninsular and Orient Steam Navigation Company's Royal Mail steamship Massilia (Captain Charles Fraser) during a voyage from London to Sydney, November 13th 1890 to January 1st 1891 / Edited by Edward Noyes

The Massilia gazette : the ship's newspaper a reproduction of a newspaper published weekly on board the Peninsular and Orient Steam Navigation Company's Royal Mail steamship Massilia (Captain Charles Fraser) during a voyage from London to Sydney...
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a6205010
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About this item: 

Full title: The Massilia gazette : the ship's newspaper a reproduction of a newspaper published weekly on board the Peninsular and Orient Steam Navigation Company's Royal Mail steamship Massilia (Captain Charles Fraser) during a voyage from London to Sydney, November 13th 1890 to January 1st 1891 / Edited by Edward Noyes.

The Massilia gazette : the ship's newspaper a reproduction of a newspaper published weekly on board the Peninsular and Orient Steam Navigation Company's Royal Mail steamship Massilia (Captain Charles Fraser) during a voyage from London to Sydney...
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a6205011
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About this item: 

Full title: The Massilia gazette : the ship's newspaper a reproduction of a newspaper published weekly on board the Peninsular and Orient Steam Navigation Company's Royal Mail steamship Massilia (Captain Charles Fraser) during a voyage from London to Sydney, November 13th 1890 to January 1st 1891 / Edited by Edward Noyes.

The Massilia gazette : the ship's newspaper a reproduction of a newspaper published weekly on board the Peninsular and Orient Steam Navigation Company's Royal Mail steamship Massilia (Captain Charles Fraser) during a voyage from London to Sydney...
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a6205012
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Zealandia Free Press

'On board ship where one meets, day after day, the same dresses, the same sky and sea, and are confined within the same narrow walls of a floating township - one needs amusements ...'- Zealandia Free Press, A 1681

Look-Out was the first newspaper published on board the Zealandia in response to the need for amusement. However, the editors did not want the paper circulated amongst the steerage passengers or crew.

This fostered resentment amongst a number of the passengers and an opposition newspaper, the Zealandia Free Press, was brought out which later replaced the Look-Out. With J.R. Gunn as editor and W. Welch as sub-editor and printer, the Zealandia Free Press included sketches, stories, poetry, riddles and weather reports as well as details of daily life often from the point-of-view of steerage passengers.

Zealandia Free Press, nos. 1-8, 5 May-July 10, 1884
5 May-July 10, 1884
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a6247031
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Zealandia Free Press, nos. 1-8, 5 May-July 10, 1884
5 May-July 10, 1884
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a6247032
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Zealandia Free Press, nos. 1-8, 5 May-July 10, 1884
5 May-July 10, 1884
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a6247033
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Zealandia Free Press, nos. 1-8, 5 May-July 10, 1884
5 May-July 10, 1884
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a6247034
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Petrel Papers

The Petrel Papers was a weekly shipboard newspaper produced on board the Parramatta during a voyage from London to Sydney (1882 -1883).

Written and edited by John Maffey, the Petrel Papers was 'published' by being 'read aloud at the Saloon table during dessert' each Saturday. The manuscript newspaper was then circulated amongst the ship's passengers and crew. Though Maffey was supposed to have a committee of three to assist him with compiling the newspaper, he claimed he received neither assistance nor contributions. As his personal correspondence suffered as a result of the newspaper taking up most of his spare time, this copy of the newspaper was sent home for circulation to his family and friends.

Transcript: 

Petrel Papers: a weekly magazine issued on board the ship "Parramatta" outward bound from London to Sydney, 1882-1883

Series 02: Petrel Papers: a weekly magazine issued on board the ship 'Parramatta' outward bound from London to Sydney, 1882-1883, Editor John Maffey, L.R.C.P., 1882
1882
Digital ID: 
a6778001
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Transcript: 

opprobious names they could think of. In the twinkling of an eye they had pulled its whiskers out, and appropriated them to be placed in a silver amulet or charm to be worn on the arm or round the neck.
Upon examining the carcass we found my bullet had penetrated the lungs and heart from behind the shoulder so that death must have been almost instantaneous, and probably rendered A’s shot unnecessary. We soon has "Stripes" slung to the Bam-boo and made quite a triumphant party as we slowly returned to my Bungalow followed by an admiring crowd of men, wo-men and children, all yelling at the top of their voices. So ended my first day’s experience with a tiger. I may mention that the animal turned out to be a young tigress measuring 9 feet 3 inches from the tip of the nose to the end of the tail. The skin was a very perfect one, very well marked; I had it preserved & subsequently sent it home to one of my friends in England. 
"Victor Secundus"
Parramatta 
14 Novr 1802
The Equatorial Sports.
Having crossed the line on Monday afternoon of the 6th of November, the usual Equatorial Sports were held on the main deck the following day, presenting some novel features to the landsmen and others making their first voyage. A start was made about 2 p.m. Mr Shardlow our indefatigable Chief Officer acting as Starter, Messrs Michael and

Series 02: Petrel Papers: a weekly magazine issued on board the ship 'Parramatta' outward bound from London to Sydney, 1882-1883, Editor John Maffey, L.R.C.P., 1882
1882
Digital ID: 
a6778043
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Transcript: 

Odling being umpires.
The first event was The high Jump, for this there were 14 entries. The competition com-menced at 3 ft 6 in at which there were 3 or 4 failures – at 3ft 8in again came two mishaps. At 3ft 10 in four failures more reduced the contest to Messrs Puiches, Goddard, Field Ottewill, Leonard and Atkins. On the jump being raised to 4ft Ottewill failed and in two other attempts, misfortune still dogged him. 4 ft 1 in was then essayed. Atkins and Goddard here came to grief, but the latter on a renewed effort chased the ribbon pluckily. Puiches Ottewill, Leonard and Goddard all came to grief on the first attempt at 4ft 3in. On again coming up to the barrier Puiches balked & in a third effort carried the line away; then Field Leonard & Goddard each broke it down; but on a 3rd fly Field chased it in a magnificent force. Goddard again failing, Leonard then had a final chance & barefooted chased it in fine style taking the first prize. Longden & Deven then competed for Second place which the latter secured.
Hand over hand up a rope is an essentially sailor’s feat and requires a nautical training to perform it was not therefore to be wondered that few of the passengers were "in it" The first prize was taken by Crooks the Second by Neil Anderson. We ought to mention Deadly Night-shade (Mr Atkins) made a good third in this.
Foot to foot pull is another decidedly sailor-like affair, where the contest took place between fairly matched men a great deal of excitement was manifest-ed and much amusement – such was the case with Simmonds and Vincent who were very equally balanced, in the end Vincent however got the advantage & twice landed his opponent on the adverse side. Mr Baker & Mr Ottewill shewed some fine pulling. It seems to us that in settling the final heats however much more

Series 02: Petrel Papers: a weekly magazine issued on board the ship 'Parramatta' outward bound from London to Sydney, 1882-1883, Editor John Maffey, L.R.C.P., 1882
1882
Digital ID: 
a6778044
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depends upon the fortuitous entry of the competition rather than actual strength – Surely some more approved plan could be adopted. Peterson secured the first prize and Houghton the second.
The Sack Race caused the usual amount of fun but the risk of accident from a tumble must be greatly enhanced then when such a contest takes place upon a greensward as on land. 
Ottewill secured first place, Vincent 2nd and Peterson 3rd.
Long jump standing Mr Baker started this by an apparently easy jump without much effort but it took a lot of beating, finally the result was Leonard first 8ft 10in. Burton second 8 feet, Devan making a plucky effort for a little fellow however only came third.
Deck chalking was the next item in the programme, this was another of the peculiarly nautical games. A rope was attached to the lifeboat & hung to within about a foot of the deck where a good sized loop was made, with this loop the feet of the competitor are hitched, he thus supporting himself face downwards & by the aid of his hands, the feat is then to pro-pel the body by the aid of the hands until it gets as nearly in a perpendicular position as possible head downwards & supporting yourself with an hand to make a chalk mark with the other as far from the point of starting as possible and then to recover the horizontal position at starting. This latter seems the great difficulty of the feat as there is always the tendency of the body to swing round with tension of the rope. We must mention that two of the boys Tommy Dodd and Peter Merreyfield made plucky efforts in this event made the latter eventually taking first place. Mr Ottewill one of the passengers, whom we learn had never tried the feat before, making a very good second, and Deven third.
The Greasy Pole Climbing elicted the fun to be expected. The boy Merrefield who took the [indecipherable]

Series 02: Petrel Papers: a weekly magazine issued on board the ship 'Parramatta' outward bound from London to Sydney, 1882-1883, Editor John Maffey, L.R.C.P., 1882
1882
Digital ID: 
a6778045
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Transcript: 

from the top of the pole seemed to have a very good idea of what he was about from the first, we understand he has taken it twice previously. Leonard was second in this.
Three legged race 
In this Messrs Houghton & Goddard were first. Messrs Simmons & Legg second the former being 11 seconds the latter 12. Mr Spencer & Mr Seville tied the first but stood out that the others might take the prize.
Dipping for Coppers caused a great deal of fun & not a little discomfort to those engaged in it we should think. Tommy Dodd came out first having recovered 12 browns from the bottom of the tub & Legg scored with 11.
Wheel-barrow race In this Mr D’Arcy Goddard came to grief falling & severely bruising his right eye – this was the only accident of the day. Leonard & Smith were 1st Vincent & Simmonds second.
Cock-fighting Peterson 1st Simmonds 2nd 
The Tug of War took place in the Poop between the Port and Starboard watched respectively under the Command of the Chief Mate & Mr Smith, Captain Goddard acting as starter. In this the Port watch completely ran away with their opponents.
The bucket of water race in this the competition ran in heats each carrying the bucket filled to a certain height with water, the task being to spill as little as possible and get in first. The one who is loosing usually managing when he finds this is the case to deluge the other who is before him with the contents of his bucket- poor Vincent came in for a large share of this. Bennis on first, Vincent second.
Race over the Mast Head this was confined to the boys only – Vincent and Andrews started at the foot of the Main mast & Dodd and the Warspite boy at the foot of the fore-mast – the course was up the mast & down again – then up the other mast & down again – Vincent and Andrews won this very [indecipherable] coming in first & second respectively going up by the rattlings and sliding down the last back-stays.

Series 02: Petrel Papers: a weekly magazine issued on board the ship 'Parramatta' outward bound from London to Sydney, 1882-1883, Editor John Maffey, L.R.C.P., 1882
1882
Digital ID: 
a6778046
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Transcript: 

The taming of Bucephalus
A new version of an old story.
In the Kingdom of Greece there once lived a queer horse
Whose head was so large and whose tail was so coarse,
That they called him "Bous", which, an ox means d’yr see?
To which name they added the Greek Cephale.
Now this horse was so wild, that ‘tis said, none was able,
To mount, nor to make him go into a stable.
But "Sandy the Big" vowed by rain, fire and thunder,
And the Delphic Oracle, I’ll make him knock under.
So, on one day, when the people assembled,
The horse was brought out and the multitude trembled,
For he kicked and he shied, and he played such mad tricks,
As made the men stare – sent the women in fits.
Appelles came out with his brush in his hand,
"Why he’ll never make such a vicious beast stand",
And [indecipherable] exclaimed, as he twanged at his lute,
"Well! I never saw such a wild skittish brute!"
King Phillip alarmed, cried, "Jupiter Ammon"!
"Dont mount him my boy, or you’re dead as a salmon,
"You Mother, no doubt, would make a great row,
"And my life, Jesu help me! Is bad enough now.
Alexander the Great, paid no heed to their cries,
Nor yet to the savage beasts plunges and shies,
With one sudden spring he leaped on his back,
And spurred with his heels and hit him a whack.
And away they both fly with the speed of the wind
Till the King and his courtiers are left far behind,
King Phillip exclaims as he chuckles with glee,
"The like of my son, you’ll none of you see."
Classicus
The writer of the foregoing has overlooked the main feature of this incident. Alexander observing that the animal was frightened by his own shadow, took advantage of his knowledge of the fact, turned the hack’s head to the sun, leapt upon his back and urging him in a direction that he could not see his own reflection, subdued the animal which was then tamed.
[Ed. P.P.]

Series 02: Petrel Papers: a weekly magazine issued on board the ship 'Parramatta' outward bound from London to Sydney, 1882-1883, Editor John Maffey, L.R.C.P., 1882
1882
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a6778047
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Transcript: 

Children’s Entertainment etc.
The children, on the afternoon of Wednesday the 8th November, assisted by the Misses Moulton & Brookes got up a small entertainment amongst themselves, in which they presented a series of "Tableau Vivants" which they designated "Waxworks". A space was screened off by the side of the lifeboat & a drop curtain managed by Messrs Sloper and Longdon shut off the space. Four scenes were given. The first representing their R.H’s the Princess Alice and Prince Leopold who were presented by Mabel and Reggie Maffey respectively. Next came "Sleeping Beauty" Renie Cunningham being the beauty and very lovely the little lady looked. Gertrude Brookes and Mabel Maffey being the Mother & old woman of the scene. This was followed by the Children in the Wood where they are surprised by the bear. Gertrude & May Brooks and Mabel Maffey being the children, & Reggie Maffey covered with a skin rug being the bear. The piece de resistance followed this, was a representation of the Royal Family of England. Gertrude Brookes bore the role of Her gracious Majesty wearing a diadem & holding a sceptre, the other children being the different members. Mabel Maffey as the princess Royal, Reggie Maffey the Prince of Wales, May Brookes the Princess of Wales whilst the others viz Renie & Sidney Cunningham & Edith Stalivass & Frieda Maffey filled up the remaining figures. The little folks sustained their parts admirably & fully maintained their parts throughout, seemingly much im-pressed with their dignity. 
On the conclusion of the entertainment Captain Goddard kindly set the youngsters to go through a series of athletic sports to their great delight & amusement, subsequently giving

Series 02: Petrel Papers: a weekly magazine issued on board the ship 'Parramatta' outward bound from London to Sydney, 1882-1883, Editor John Maffey, L.R.C.P., 1882
1882
Digital ID: 
a6778048
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Transcript: 

the little competitors prizes, consisting of toys, the captains own photographs, books & sweets, these latter were kindly handed to the small folk by Mr Houlding with a few genial and appropriate remarks to each.
Equatorial Sports prize distribution.
On the evening of the 8th of November the prizes gained during the Equatorial sports of the day previously were gracefully distributed by Miss Moulton to the successful competitors. Her Majesty in future was seated at a small table covered with the Union Jack & placed upon the Poop. The details of the competitors we have given elsewhere, the amount distributed being upwards of £7. The whole of sum went to the members of the Crew as though several of the passengers were successful in the contests they each stood on one side the prize going to the next best man if one of the Sailors.

Series 02: Petrel Papers: a weekly magazine issued on board the ship 'Parramatta' outward bound from London to Sydney, 1882-1883, Editor John Maffey, L.R.C.P., 1882
1882
Digital ID: 
a6778049
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Read the Petrel Papers, 1882-1883, via the Library's online catalogue
Read John Maffey's Diary from London to Sydney, 1882-1883, via the Library's online catalogue 

Illustrated Iberian

'This paper is not intended to touch matters and topics foreign to our voyage, but rather to cement the good feeling that every one seems desirous of cultivating' - Illustrated Iberian, 910.42/2

The Illustrated Iberian was published at sea on the S.S. Iberia and reprinted in Sydney. Issued weekly, the newspaper included the ship's log and the editor’s witty accounts as well as sporting results, poetry and prose, fashion, correspondence and sketches of scenery and passengers. Heavy on puns, the Illustrated Iberian included numerous plays on the word 'Iberian' including the drawing of an ‘eye-berian’ on the masthead and naming the editor, 'I, Berryun, Esq.'

Illustrated by Edmond le Bihan, A.H. Wall and A. Wall, the newpaper included caricatures, sketches and stories such as the comic 'Adventures of Mr Jones' which depicted Mr Jones coming aboard, losing his chair, going on shore, and experiencing the many trials and tribulations endured by passengers on the voyage to Australia.

> Read the Illustrated Iberian via the Library's online catalogue

The Illustrated Iberian.
[At sea] : Published by the Illustrated Iberian Company, Limited on Board the S.S. "Iberia", 1887.
Digital ID: 
a5652003
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The Illustrated Iberian.
[At sea] : Published by the Illustrated Iberian Company, Limited on Board the S.S. "Iberia", 1887.
Digital ID: 
a5652004
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The Illustrated Iberian.
[At sea] : Published by the Illustrated Iberian Company, Limited on Board the S.S. "Iberia", 1887.
Digital ID: 
a5652005
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The Illustrated Iberian.
[At sea] : Published by the Illustrated Iberian Company, Limited on Board the S.S. "Iberia", 1887.
Digital ID: 
a5652006
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The Illustrated Iberian.
[At sea] : Published by the Illustrated Iberian Company, Limited on Board the S.S. "Iberia", 1887.
Digital ID: 
a5652007
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The Illustrated Iberian.
[At sea] : Published by the Illustrated Iberian Company, Limited on Board the S.S. "Iberia", 1887.
Digital ID: 
a5652008
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The Illustrated Iberian.
[At sea] : Published by the Illustrated Iberian Company, Limited on Board the S.S. "Iberia", 1887.
Digital ID: 
a5652009
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