The "Sir Allan McNab" to Nelson, N.Z. in 1855.

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'Sir Allan McNab'

New Zealand Bound
1855 to Nelson

"Sir Allan MacNab" sailed from Deal on the 17th April 1855 for New Zealand and arrived with 105 assisted immigrants, and 24 miners for the Dun Mountain copper mine and a Superintendent of the works.  James Battle and James Smith were passengers.  James Battle was murdered along with five other men in 1866 while walking from Deep Creek in the Wakamarina gold field to Nelson.  The track followed the Maitai river and was used by horse and foot travellers between Nelson and Blenheim and labourers for the Dun Mountain Copper Mine.

We are glad to be able to announce the safe arrival of the Sir Allan Mc Nab, with 105 assisted immigrants, and 24 miners and labourers for the Dun Mountain copper mine, and a Superintendent of the works. We are also glad to welcome back Mr. Wrey, whose voyage to England to get up a company to work the mine has been eminently successful; for, should the operations of this preliminary staff prove satisfactory, we may expect out, with the least possible delay, a large additional body of miners and labourers. The Sir Allan M'Nab has on board all the necessary tools and machinery for the works.

Nelson Examiner and New Zealand Chronicle, 11 August 1855,
Arrived. Aug. 8, ship Sir Allan McNab, 840, Cherry, from London, with a general cargo.


Mrs. Cherry and child
Mr. W.L. Wrey
Mr. How

Assisted Immigrants

Mr. and Mrs. Abbot and one do.
Mr. Bird and three children
Mr. Bishop
Mr. R. Bishop
M. Bishop
Mr. D. Brennan
Mr. and Mrs. Blick and one do.
H. Burns
Mr. Coster
Mr. and Mrs. Chamberlain
Mr. and Mrs. Drummond
Mr. A. Drummond
Mr. and Mrs. Drummond and 8 do.
Mr. and Mrs. Greig and four children
Mr. Griffith
Mr. Healy
Mr. and Mrs. Hodges and two children
Mr. and Mrs. Humphrey and three do.
Mr. and Mrs. Inglis and three do.
Mr. and Mrs. Leahy and 2 do.
E. Lee
Mr. and Mrs. Limmer and seven do.
Mr. and Mrs. M'Artney
Mary Moynihar
Mr. and Mrs. O'Connel and one child
Mr. and Mrs. O'Leary and six do.
Mr. and Mrs. Parkes
Mary Patullo
C. Robertson
Mr. and Mrs. Shanahan and five children
Mr. and Mrs. Watt 3 and five do.
Mr. and Mrs. Wesman and one child
Mr. and Mrs. Withey and one child
and 24 miners and labourers.

Nelson Examiner and New Zealand Chronicle, 8 August 1855

The steamer Nelson, which leaves our shores this day under sail for London, carrying home a cargo of our produce, affords a favourable opportunity for transmitting to England some account of the social and political state of the province ; and we have therefore extended the dimensions of our Wednesday issue, to enable us to, publish all the statistical information within our reach, and to add such remarks, explanatory or otherwise, as will .convey to our friends in England a just idea of our actual position.

The population of the Province of Nelson,. when taken on the 1st of February last, amounted to 5,858 souls, which gives an increase of 710 in the period of ten months the Census for the preceding year having been taken on the 1st of April. The difference .in the number of the two sexes is only 486 in favour of the males, an approximation to equality in the sexes which is not often found in colonies, where the males usually preponderate largely. In speaking of the population of the province, as well as in noticing other statistical facts, it will be interesting if we go back a few years to show the progressive advancement which the province has made in wealth as well as in numbers ; and for this purpose we shall take the Government Census Returns, obtained in August, 1848, which is as nearly as possible midway in time between the landing of the first body of settlers in Nelson, in February, 1842, and the taking of the last Census. At the date of the Census referred to, the population of Nelson was 3,090, so that in six years and a-half our numbers have been nearly doubled. During this time there has been no regular immigration from England ;

The number of acres of land in cultivation in the province is 9,436, of which 4,925 acres, or rather more than one-half, were last year sown with grain. In 1848, the number of acres cultivated by Europeans was 3,332, but 1,717 acres additional were stated to have been cultivated by Natives.

Steam Navigation.
It may appear to be a discouraging sign of the prospects of Steam Navigation in New Zealand, that the 'Nelson,' after having been little more than a year engaged upon our coast, has been recalled to England. A project, however, is on foot, to form a Company which shall undertake to run a powerful steamer between Wellington, Nelson, and Melbourne, as well as to keep up a fortnightly communication by steam between the Provinces by two boats similar to the Zingari and Nelson.

The Auckland Office for making up the mails for the Southern Provinces in such a disgraceful manner.. Separate mails should be made up properly for each Province. The Auckland mail brought last week from Wellington by the Zingari, was conveyed thither by the Taranaki, and was detained for the steamer, in consequence of having got wet when sent on shore at Wellington. This may be true in part, but it cannot apply to English letters by the Marco Polo, and brought to Auckland by the William Denny, as shown by the post-mark, for the Taranaki left Auckland long before the William Denny arrived there ; and these, therefore, must have been sent by the Zingari, which awaited in Auckland the arrival of the Sydney steamer.

Nelson Examiner. The passenger list does not name the miners.  The ship was named after the Canadian hero and statesman (prime minister of Canada 1854-56) Sir Allan Napier MacNab (1798-1862) who received a knighthood for services to the crown after putting down the rebellions of 1837 in Canada.

Marlborough Express, 20 April 1889, Page 2
As one of the Blairich hands on Thursday afternoon was passing the whare in the Awatere Valley, inhabited by Mr Allan McMaster, he observed the door open and going inside found the occupant lying on the bed, dead. He at once gave an alarm and the news was telephoned into town where it occasioned no little, surprise and regret. Deceased had been Inspector to the Awatere Road Board for about five years. He had been in New Zealand many years having come out to Nelson in 1855, in the ship Sir Allen McNab. He went to the Otago gold gold rush, and afterwards became a resident of the Awatere. He was a Highlander and had been employed in teaching in Scotland. Here he was generally liked being very genial and intelligent. He has two or three brothers in the Wairarapa district.

Colonist, 17 July 1919, Page 5
The late Mr James Dawes, whose death occurred at Blenheim, was one of the oldest identities of Renwicktown, whence he removed to Blenheim about a year ago. He arrived in Nelson on the 6th August, 1855, in the ship Sir Allan McNab, having been engaged in England to come but and work the Dun copper mines in the Nelson district. He went to Marlborough a few years later, and was for some years ringer of a shearing party which used to serve most of the sheep stations in Marlborough until the advent of the shearing machines. He also did a lot of fencing work on we Flaxbourne, Blairich, and many other. stations, being in the employ of several leading station-owners. The deceased, who had attained the age of 85 years, was one of the oldest members of the Oddfellows' Lodge in Marlborough. He leaves two sons and one daughter.

Grey River Argus, 5 March 1902, Page 4
Mr Samuel Mackley came to New Zealand in 1855, in the ship Sir Allan McNab, landing at the port of Nelson. Here he made the acquaintance of Mr James Mackay, the then Resident Magistrate at Collingwood, who, upon receipt of Government orders in 1859 told him that he was under instructions to proceed to though West Coast, and determine all native titles to land, from Collingwood right through the South Island, excepting of course the already recognised reserves.

Colonist, 1 April 1920, Page 4
Mr Alexander Inglis of Riwaka. has passed away at the age of 73 years. The late Mr Inglis, who was born at St. Andrews, Scotland, came out to the Dominion in the ship Sir Alan MclMab lin the year 1855, and went to Riwaka. with his parents to reside immediately after landing in Nelson He was a man (says the "Star") with whom it was a pleasure at all times to converse, being of a bright and cheery disposition and withal generous in his actions to his fellow-men. He could recount many interesting incidents of the "good old days" and, having a keen sense of humour, never failed to interest his hearers. The deceased married a daughter of the late James Chapman, of Pangatotara, who predeceased him by some two years. A family of eight children (five daughters and three sons) is left, viz., Mrs Feary (Takaka), Mrs Sparkes and Misses M., D., and F. Inglis (Riwaka) Messrs Alex Inglis (Nelson), and J. and G. Inglis, Riwaka. The deceased was a member of the Oddfellows a great number of years, and also a stee of the Loyal Good Intention College.

Evening Post, 30 April 1934, Page 11
The death has occurred at Braeburn of Mr. James Drummond, at the age of 98 years. He arrived in New Zealand in 1855 in the Ship Sir Alan McNabb, and proceeded to the Riwaka district. He was in the Collingwood gold rush in the early sixties. Mr. Drummond leaves ten children and a large number of grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

The Dun Mountain Railway Company

The Dun railway used horses and not steam to pull waggons on its three foot (0.91m) gauge line. The 21.5 km line was opened 3 February 1862 at the depot and preceded NZ's first steam railway by nearly two years. With English shareholder capital, the railway was built to transport minerals from the mines on the eastern slopes of Wooded Peak. Copper deposits proved disappointing but the mountain contained chromite that was manufactured into dyes to colour cotton cloth. Chromite was exported from Nelson by the Dun Mountain Company until 1867 when the deposits were exhausted. The company was required by the government to utilise the town section of the line for public transport; the Dun Mountain Bus began operating on 3 May 1862 and was NZ's first passenger service on rails. The incline section of the railway was dismantled in 1872 but the City to Port section continued to be used by the horse-drawn City Bus until 1901. Today the line makes a walking track. Higher up you go you will enjoy the shade of mature native trees. A distinct change from forest to stunted vegetation marks the start of the Mineral Belt.