Story: Shipwrecks

The Burning of the Boyd

The Burning of the Boyd

Ninety-nine years after the event, Walter Wright painted this impression of the burning of the Boyd in Whangaroa Harbour in December 1809. On a voyage from Sydney to Cape Town, the Boyd anchored at Whangaroa Harbour to load kauri spars and allow Māori to disembark. During the voyage a Māori chief, Te Ara, had been mistreated by the ship’s captain. In retaliation for this, a group of Māori boarded the ship and killed the captain, crew and passengers, and looted the ship. A barrel of gunpowder was accidentally exploded, which burnt the boat to water level. Only four of the 70 people aboard survived.

Using this item

Auckland Art Gallery – Toi o Tāmaki
Reference: acc. 1908/1/3
Oil painting by Walter Wright

Permission of Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Gerard Hutching, 'Shipwrecks - Perils of the sea: 19th century', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 6 December 2020)

Story by Gerard Hutching, published 12 Jun 2006