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Early Wellington

New Zealand Company

New Zealand Company.

The following information is extracted from the “Colonial Gazette,” 28th August, 1839, printed by Joseph Clayton, No. 7 Windsor Court, Strand, and published by him at No. 9 Wellington Street, Strand:—

List of Directors: The Earl of Durham, Governor; Joseph Somes Esq., Deputy-Governor. Directors: Lord Petrie, Hon. Francis Baring M.P., Messrs. John Ellerker Boulcott, John William Buckle, Russell Ellice, John Brodie Gordon. Thos. Alers Hankey, Wm. Hutt M.P., Stewart Marjori-banks, Sir Wm. Molesworth. Bart., M.P., Mr. Alexander Nairne. Alderman John Pirie, Sir George Sinclair. Bart., M.P., Mr. John Abel Smith M.P., Alderman Thompson M.P., Sir Henry Webb, Bart., Arthur Willis Esq., and Geo. Frederick Young Esq.”

The “New Zealand Journal,” 6th June, 1840, contains the report of the first general meeting of shareholders of the company, held at their house in Broad Street Buildings, Thursday, 14th May, 1840. Joseph Somes, Esq., Deputy-Governor, in the chair. It was moved by Jeremiah Pilcher, Esq., seconded by Edwin Bryant, Esq.: “That the report now read be adopted and printed for the use of the proprietors…” And at this meeting Mr. Edmund Halswell moved and Mr. John Heath seconded: “That the deed now submitted to the meeting, comprising the names of the directors and auditors this day chosen, be adopted as the Deed of Settlement of the company.” The first report follows in the same number of the “Journal.”

A special meeting was held on the 15th August, 1840, for the purpose of declaring a dividend. Besides the names mentioned above, the names of Aglionby, Wakefield, Hart, Everingham and Hine appear.

The arrival of ten ships was notified, and the site of the town definitely fixed at Lambton Harbour, being the inner harbour of Port Nicholson.

The “New Zealand Journal” of the 6th June, 1840, has in its list of ships despatched by the company, an announcement that the “Cuba,” 273 tons, John Newcombe, master, departed from London on August 1st, 1839, with eight cabin passengers and 22 steerage on board.

page 440

Emigration, 25/5/39.

The following article appeared in the “Colonial Gazette,” dated 25th May, 1839:—

“A society has been formed in connection with the New Zealand Land Company, consisting exclusively of heads of families and others intending to settle permanently in New Zealand on lands purchased by the said company. The society already numbers a considerable body of gentlemen who have determined to emigrate with their families and property.…

“Qualifications of a member of the society are the purchase of 100 acres of land; of a member of the committee, 500 acres, including a part of the first town. The greater part of the purchase money to be expended by the company on the emigration of the purchasers, their families and servants. Members admitted by ballot only.

“The colony will depart in a body during August next, so as to reach their destination about mid-summer (in the Southern Hemisphere), when the site of the first town will have been determined and prepared for their reception by a preliminary expedition now on its way to New Zealand. The committee meets daily at the offices of the New Zealand Company, No. 1 Adam Street, Adelphi, where further information may be obtained on application to the chairman of the society.”

A further announcement appeared in the “Colonial Gazette,” dated 15th June, 1839, thus:—

“The directors of the New Zealand Company hereby give notice that they are ready to receive applications for a free passage to the first and principal settlement, from mechanics, gardeners and agricultural labourers, being married, and not exceeding 30 years of age.

“Strict enquiry will be made as to qualifications and character.—John Ward, Secretary.”

The same journal, of the 20th July, 1839, contains a copy of a letter addressed to John Fleming. Esq., Glasgow:—

“Sir,—I am directed by the Marquis of Normanby to acquaint you that the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury have referred to this department a memorial addressed to their Lordships by the merchant manufacturers, shipowners, and other parties in Glasgow, praying that New Zealand may be erected into a British colony; and I am to request that you will inform the parties who signed the memorial that measures are in progress which will lead to the result which they express their anxiety to see attained.—I am, sir, your obedient servant, H. Labouchere.”

The first object of the New Zealand Company was to induce the Government to erect these islands into a British colony; but, disappointed in their endeavours, they themselves fitted out and despatched to New Zealand a preliminary expedition for the purpose of making purchases of land from the natives, for selecting suitable localities for the sites of settlements, and to prepare for the reception of emigrants on their arrival.

The following announcement appeared in a newspaper called the “New Zealand Gazette,” printed on the 6th September, 1839, at No. 16 Little Pultney Street, St. James, Westminster, and published by Samuel Revans at No. 1 Adam Street, Adelphi. Middlesex:—

“A specimen number of a newspaper for the first and principal settlement of the New Zealand Company, which, it is supposed, will be at Port Nicholson, in Cook's Straits, is presented to the public.

“It will be found to contain various information interesting to the colony now on the eve of departing, to their friends, and to those who may wish to be acquainted with the principal objects and local circumstances page 441 of the colony, and to the actual proceedings of the colonists to the present time.

“The second number will be published in New Zealand as soon after the arrival of the colony as it may be found possible to print it, and which, it is hoped, will be within a fortnight of the disembarkation of the colonists. And as ships pass through Cook's Straits almost daily on their return from Australia to Europe, it is expected that immediate and frequent opportunity will be afforded for transmitting the second and subsequent numbers to England.

“The price of this specimen is 9d., and annual subscription £ 1 10s. in advance.

“Orders received by Mr. D. Ramsay at the New Zealand agency office, and subscription reading rooms, No. 5 Adam Street, Adelphi.”

The advertising columns contain a list of ships, dates of proposed departures, business notices, and a proclamation issued by the directors of the New Zealand Company. A few brief extracts are recorded:—


“Oriental,” 506 tons, departs Tuesday, 10th Sept., 1839.

“Aurora,” 550 tons, departs Tuesday, 10th Sept., 1839.

“Adelaide,” 640 tons, departs Tuesday, 10th Sept., 1839.

“Duke of Roxburgh,” 417 tons, leave London, 10th Sept., 1839; leave Plymouth, 14th September.

“Bengal Merchant,” 503 tons, leave London, 10th Sept., 1839; leave Clyde 17th Sept., 1839.

“Charges: First-class cabin, £75; second-class cabin, £50; steerage, £18 15s.

“Two tons of baggage free for first-class passenger; one ton for second-class passenger; and half a ton for steerage passenger.

“Free passage to emigrants consisting of gardeners, agricultural labourers, being married men not exceeding 30 years of age.”

“John Ward, Sec., N.Z.C.”

Some of the advertisements are as follows:—

“D. Ramsay, Agent to the New Zealand Company, for the sale of land; contractor for the supply of portable cottages.”

“Daniell and Riddiford, agents for the management of landed property, purchasers of sale of merchandise, and superintendents of shipping, and other agency business. London correspondents are Buckle, Bagster and Buckle.”

“The Directors of the New Zealand Company are now ready to receive applications for country lands to the extent of 50,000 acres, in sections of 100 acres each, at the price of £100 per section, or £1 per acre, to be paid in full, or in exchange for the land orders, which will entitle the holders thereof, or their agents, to select country sections.…

“The land orders will be transferable at the pleasure of the holders, and a registry will be kept at the Company's offices in London, and in the settlement… 25 per cent, only will be kept reserved by the company for local expenses. The remainder (75 per cent.) will be laid out by the company for the exclusive benefit of the purchasers in giving value to the land.”

Terms of purchase for rural lands in the company's settlement, are here given, also regulations for labourers wishing to emigrate, and a dietary of all but cabin passengers is listed.

The aims of the company are set forth, and an extract from instructions given to Colonel Wakefield, the company's principal agent, in command of the preliminary expedition, also from the Board of Directors to Captain W. Mein Smith, R.A., the company's Surveyor-General is given.

page 442

Educational matters are thus referred to:—

“A lady intends to establish a school for the benefit of the children of the aborigines and of the poorer classes of settlers.

“She has purchased one of the preliminary sections of land, which she gives as a perpetual endowment for the purpose, and has taken upon herself the responsibility of guaranteeing the salary for the first year of a master and mistress, with their daughter as an assistant, for whom she has likewise provided free passage and accommodation on arrival in New Zealand.

“The teacher engaged is Mrs. Buchanan, who, during the last twenty years has super-intended the first institution of this kind established in England.

Fig. 277.—Edward Betts Hopper, Esq. A Director of the N.Z. Company. Arrived by the “Oriental,” 1840, and was drowned in the Hutt River, 17th September, 1840.

Fig. 277.—Edward Betts Hopper, Esq. A Director of the N.Z. Company. Arrived by the “Oriental,” 1840, and was drowned in the Hutt River, 17th September, 1840.

“Three trustees are appointed (names not mentioned). Donations and annual subscriptions will be received by Dr. Evans chairman of the first Committee of Colonists.

“Should these proposals meet with any considerable support, the plan will be extended so as to include an Infant Orphan Asylum for the native children.… . Bankers are Messrs. Hankey and Fenchurch.”

A Literary, Scientific and Philanthropic Institute was formed, with the following committee: G. S. Evans, Esq., D.C.L. (chairman), Hon. H. Petre, Captain Daniell, Dudley Sinclair, Esq., Francis Molesworth, Esq., E. Betts Hopper, Esq., George Duppa, Esq., Eden Bowler, Esq.; bankers, Wright and Co., Henrietta Street, Covent Garden. Its objective was to form a public library, with a general museum and scientific institution, and the establishment of a dispensing hospital for the benefit of the settlers and aboriginals.

Another column contained the shipping news, and the outfit required by emigrants.