“Steer, faithful helmsman, steer,
By stars beyond the line.
You go to found a realm one day,
Like England's self to shine.
Cheer up! Cheer up! Your course then keep,
With dauntless heart and hand;
And when you've ploughed a stormy deep,
Then plough a smiling land.
Thos. Campbell, 1839.
The first four ships, (the “Aurora,” “Oriental,” “Duke of Roxburgh” and “Bengal Merchant”), with their wearied, but expectant passengers, arrived at Pitoone shortly after one another (between 22nd January and 28th February, 1840). Quarters were assigned to them in hastily constructed huts, and the Company's Emigration Barracks; while some were domiciled with friends until their arrangements were completed. The population of Pito-one was now increased by about six hundred European inhabitants, including a number of women and children.
A brief description of the ships and passenger lists is recorded in the order of the ships' arrival.
The “Aurora,” a barque of 550 tons, commanded by Captain Theophilus Heale, left Gravesend on the 18th September, 1839. She had 148 emigrants, and 21 cabin passengers, on board, some of the former coming out under engagement to Messrs. E. Catchpool, W. Deans, Geo. Duppa, Eaton, Hughes, and H. Moreing.
There were 25 married couples, 36 single persons and 40 children. Following is the passenger list:—
|Name||Age||Wife's Age||No. of Children|
|Baker, Major R.||—||—||—|
|* Barnett, David||20||20||1|
|Barrow, Jas. (jun.)||23||—||—|
|Brown, Andrew (widower)||41||—||—|
|Child, J. W.||—||—||—|
|* Crowther, Ann||15||—||—|
|* Davis, Rowland||30||31||3|
|Drake, T.J., lady and child||—||—||—|
|Draper, Martha||30||—||—page 24|
|* Farrar, Alf||29||—||—|
|Friend, Rich (widower)||33||—||1|
|Langford, John A.||23||20||—|
|* Meech, Henry||28||25||—|
|Miles, John Clemt.||21||—||—|
|* Packwood, Edward||22||—||—|
|Palmer, G. T., ju., and lady||—||—||—|
|†Parke, Mr. R.||—||—||—|
|Parker, Samuel and lady||—||—||—|
|‡ Petherick, James||33||30||5|
|‡ Petherick, George||19||—||—|
|* Smith, Benjamin||25||24||1|
|Stokes, J. M., Surgeon||—||—||—|
|Wallace, John Howard||23||—||—|
|Wallace, Wm. Ellerslie||25||—||—|
|* Walton, Ann||27||—||1|
|* Webb, William||33||—||—|
|Wilkinson, John H.||23||—||—|
The names of the passengers who arrived in the Company's vessels were obtained from the N.Z., copies of the ship's registers, by courtesy of the Internal Affairs Department.
The equator was crossed on the 5th of November, when Neptune paid the vessel his customary visit. The voyage was uneventful. The South Island of New Zealand was sighted at 6 p.m. on the 16th of January, and on the following day the anchor was dropped in Port Hardy. There was great excitement among the passengers as they were doubtful what kind of reception they would meet with at the hands of the natives, and every preparation was made to guard against surprise. The Maoris came off in canoes to the vessel and delivered a letter from Colonel Wakefield addressed to the captain of the “Aurora.” Some alarm was felt among the immigrants in consequence of not meeting with the “Tory,” which vessel had arrived some time previously from London. The anchor was weighed, and the vessel, with a fine breeze, passed through Cook Straits, arriving off Port Nicholson Heads on the evening of the 21st. On the following day the vessel beat up the heads against a north-west wind, accompanied by a trading barque called the “Helena,” from Sydney, commanded by Captain W. B. Rhodes, and owned by Messrs. Cooper and Holt. Both vessels came to an anchor under Somes Island on the 22nd.
* Did not embark.
† Early Settlers' Journal, Vol. 2, No. 1.
‡ Present at the Jubilee of 1890.
During the next week, the work of disembarking was carried on. A small jetty had been run out by the surveyors, locations were allotted near the beach for the pitching of tents and temporary huts, in the erection of which the natives assisted, and some wooden houses in frame sent out by the Company for the reception of the labouring emigrants were also set up. The following Sunday (on the 26th) the Rev. J. Buller, a Wesleyan missionary, visited the place and performed divine service on board the “Aurora.”
Captain Heale gave a farewell dinner on board the “Aurora” to the principal settlers on the 26th February, 1840.