RENAUT - 3 generations of Sea Captains
LONG SEA SERVICE Trade with New Zealand
FATHER, SON and GRANDSON
* Captain William Renaut
.. father of:
* Captain Charles Henry Renaut (1838-1914)
... + Anne Jane Riches
.. parents of:
* Captain Charles Malcolm Renaut (1869-1939)
.. + Isabella Darling Ormiston
written 18 May 1935
When Captain William Renault sailed the immigrant ship 'Blundell' into Otago Harbour on September 21 1848, after a long passage of 140 days from Britain, he began a family association with ships and the sea that has survived in New Zealand to this day. It is an association that comprehends the best part of a century, three generations of sea captains, the change from sail to steam and, indeed, from steam to motor power. But that long association in an official sense - by the retirement of Captain C. M. Renaut, son of Captain C. H. Renaut and grandson of the skipper of the 'Blundell', from the position of Superintendent of Mercantile Marine at Lyttelton.
The record of the Renaut family in New Zealand shipping must be a unique one. The 'Blundell' was the third ship to bring immigrants to Otago - the 'John Wickliffe' and the 'Philip Laing' had arrived earlier in 1848 - and she was the first ship to be entered in the Customs records at Port Chalmers. After landing 140 passengers at Port Chalmers, Captain William Renaut took the 'Blundell' to Wellington, Nelson and New Plymouth, for which places she had passengers
The Second Captain Renaut
With Captain W. Renaut in the 'Blundell' on that voyage was his young son, later Captain C. H. Renaut, who is probably best known in Canterbury as master of the 'Calaeno' and the 'Crusader.'
"The Crusader" wrote Basil Lubbock in his book 'The Colonial Clippers', was a very handsome little ship and she was considered by many to be the fastest in Shaw, Savill's fleet. In 1877, when commanded by Captain Renaut, she ran from Lyttelton, New Zealand, to the Lizard in 69 days and on her next outward voyage in 1878 she went from London to port Chalmers in 65 days, a performance which has never been beaten
Just as Captain C. H. Renaut, who died 20 years ago, worked as a lad on his father's ship, so also did Captain C. M. Renaut, who is shortly to retire, serve on a vessel sailed by his father. When he was seven years of age he was signed on as 'boy' on the Pleione and made a voyage in 1876-77 from Britain to Wellington and back, calling at Calcutta on the way home. He still has the discharge which was issued to him after that trip.
Sail and Steam
After leaving school he served in the sailing ships of the Shaw, Savill and other companies for 11 years. During that time he called at Lyttelton in the barque 'Trevelyan' in march 1886. That was his first visit to Canterbury. Obtaining his second mate's certificate in 1888, he served in that capacity in the barque 'Glenora' and then in the ship 'Cardigan Castle''. He passed for first mate in 1890 and served in the barque 'Annie McDonald' and in the steamships 'City of Cork, 'Avoca', 'Glenedin', 'Whitby Abbey' and 'Neva'. After gaining his master's certificate in London in 1892 Captain Renaut served as third mate in the Shaw, Savill Company's 'Mamari' and as second mate in the same company's 'Rangitira'.
In April 1897, Captain Renaut entered the service of the Union Company, signing on the steamer 'Moana' for her maiden voyage from Glasgow. After his arrival in New Zealand he served as second mate in the company's steamers 'Monowai', 'Tarawera', 'Mahinapua', 'Rotoiti' and 'Waikare' successively and then as mate in the 'Waikare', 'Warrimoo' and again in the 'Waikare'.
The only experience of shipwreck that befell Captain Renaut was when the steamship 'Glenedin', of which he was second mate, was wrecked on the Balaskar Rock on the south coast of Norway in October 1891. The vessel ran ashore in a thick fog at midnight, but the crew were later landed without loss of life.
Evening Post, 17 April 1939
OBITUARY of Captain Charles Malcolm RENAUT
A unique family association with ships and the sea has been broken by the death in London on Saturday of Captain Charles Malcolm Renaut, formerly of Christchurch. It was an association that comprehended the best part of a century, three generations of sea captains and the change from sail to steam and, indeed, from steam to motor power.
Captain Renaut's grandfather, Captain William Renaut, brought to Otago in 1848 the Blundell, the third immigrant ship to arrive there and the first to be entered in the Customs records in Port Chalmers. His father, Captain Charles Henry Renaut, was famous as captain of the clipper ship Crusader, which made record passages from New Zealand to England and also of the Pleione and other ships of the Shaw Savill's early fleet.
Captain Charles Malcolm Renaut, who was 69 years of age, first served with his father in sailing ships, later transferred to steam and for many years commanded Union Company vessels. He was appointed surveyor of ships in the Marine Department, Auckland, in 1911 and was transferred to Lyttelton in 1923, being appointed superintendent of mercantile marine there in 1919. He retired in May 1935.
Captain Renaut went to England early last year. He and Mrs Renaut, formerly Miss Isabella Ormiston, Dunedin, intended returning to New Zealand in November next. He leaves one son, Mr J. O. Renaut, London and two daughters, Mr R. T. Roberts, Wellington and Mrs L. M. Aitken, Christchurch
NOTE .. the children mentioned
* 1901 - 1969 Bessie Campbell Renaut
married Richard Tudor Roberts in 1923
.. Temporary Lieutenant-Commander Richard Tudor Roberts V.D., RNZNR., received an MBE (Military Division) in 1946
* 1905 - 1985 Belle Darling Renaut
married Leslie Milner Aitken in 1933
.. Leslie was a journalist and the chief sub-editor of the Christchurch 'Press'
* 1913 - 1995 James Ormiston 'Jim' Renaut
married Aldywth Mary Jones in London in 1938
.. Aldwyth was born in NZ. She was an accomplished pianist. She also loved needlework and became head designer at the Pawena Studios in London. They returned to NZ after the war and, from the 1970s, Aldwyth produced a series of fine tapestries, giving solo exhibitions at the CSA Gallery
* In 1904 there were no fewer than 15 of the Renaut seafaring family at sea
* ALSO SEE
* Generations Of Seafarers .. The record of the Renaut family with New Zealand shipping must be without precedent .. With Captain William Renaut in the Blundell in the 1848 voyage, was his young son (later Captain) Charles Henry Renaut and nearly 30 years later his son, (later Captain) Charles Malcolm Renaut, sailed with his father when signed on as 'boy' at the age of 7 on the Pleione in 1876
* The Crusader
Into Port Chalmers 15 April 1848
The John Wickliffe & Philip Laing