"Zealandia" arrived Lyttelton, NZ May 1862

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The Star, 23 Dec. 1870. The Zealandia into Lyttelton.The 1870 voyage
Three passenger transcriptions out online, all slightly different. 1  2  3 Seybe

The Zealandia, a full rigged ship, built in 1852, made her maiden voyage to Lyttelton in 1858  in 98 days under the command of Captain Foster for Willis, Gann and Co.  She made voyages to Lyttelton in 1858 (another 1858 listing), 1859, 1862, 1863 and 1865 and to Auckland in 1861. On the 1862 voyage she called into Cape Town about March 2nd them on to Lyttelton. There have been many vessels named Zealandia including an iron clipper ship built in 1869. (1116 tons.) By 1869 she was carrying guano from Callao to Cork.

Captain John Edward Foster was born in 1816 (probably in London) and married Elizabeth Mouat in 1841 at St. Ann's Church, Limehouse, Middlesex.  He traded to the West Indies in his early days and rose to command.  He first came to N.Z. commanding the "Joseph Fletcher" from 1852.  He captained this "Zealandia" (there were two others) on all her voyages from 1858, 1859, 1861, 1862, 1863 and 1865.  He brought his family out in 1854 to settle in Auckland but bought land in the Whangarei district.  Problems with Maori in the district caused him to sell up and move back to Auckland and then back to London. It is thought he brought his family back about 1859 (I have been unable to confirm this from passenger records) and he bought land in the Otira Gorge area.  The station, then known as Rockcliffe, was a wilderness.  All furniture etc. (including a piano) had to be packed in by horse.  Ill health as a result of dysentery caught in China, plus the loneliness for his wife caused him to move to Oxford, Canterbury. He had five sons: William (my great grandfather), Edward, Walter, Alec and Joe and one daughter Annie. He died in Oxford in 1878, aged 62 years. An original oil painting of the Zealandia remains in the possession of my brother, Bill Foster, in Wellington. This is all we have as recorded by my grandfather Captain Philip John Foster, son of William. Information courtesy of Elizabeth Foster. Posted Dec. 21, 2000.

From an old paper clipping (undated).
"Seventy years rolled away imperceptibly to the party of passengers by the good ship Zealandia, who gathered yesterday afternoon in Ballantyne's tearooms to celebrate their seventieth anniversary of their arrival in Canterbury." There were 17 passengers present with the Rev. Canon W.S. Bean presiding. The date of arrival at Lyttelton was Sep. 21st, 1858 (Capt. John Foster). The report notes the celebration was delayed a day or two so the paper must have been some days after the 21st in 1928.

Present were Mrs Pratt, Mrs Winny and Miss Gordon, Rev. Bean, Messrs S. Ayers, T. Tankard, J.H. Parker, C. Skevington, James Goodman, Walter Johnson, Gibbs Stanton, George Mehrtens, Amos Wright, James Wright, Vincent W. Wright, F. Whitcombe.

The oldest present was Mr Ayers at 82 years. He was 12 when he arrived. The Rev. was only 1 year old when he arrived. There is reference to a Mr Skevington present on the voyage who nursed Mr Ayer's father. Mr James Goodman was seven when he arrived. Walter Johnson was Secretary and kept records of the passengers which he said was difficult as there were 444 passengers. Apologies from Mrs George Scott (nee Smart), Mrs Newton (nee Gordon), Mrs W.J. Moore (nee Whitcombe), Miss Nora Clark, Mrs Pritchard (nee Proctor)." 

Anyone wanting more information from the clipping - which describes the event in more detail is welcome to contact Elizabeth Foster. Posted Oct 7, 2000

Another listing another listing

(from the "Lyttelton Times", May 24, 1862)

Arrived Lyttelton: May 24, ship Zealandia, 1032 tons, J. Foster, from London.
Mr and Mrs Cox and child
Mr and Mrs Blakiston and child
Mr and Mrs Symington
Rev. Mr and Mrs Clifford and two children
Messrs Coffin, Fielden, E.C. and A. Hilton, Henry, Mitchel, Coare, Helm, Johnstone, Murdoch, Whitten (2), Draper, Gregory, Millers, Walker, Urquhart, Hall, Gethin, Rose, and 247 intermediate and steerage passengers.

Government Immigrants:
Married Couples:

Ahrews      Carl Franz    Y 2 Germany          Blacksmith               
Bowie       John          Y 4 Ayrshire         Farm Labourer            
Bradley     Edward        Y 2 Tyrone                                    
Brown       John          Y 5 Down             Farm Labourer            
Coleman     Robert        Y   Cowan?           Farm Labourer            
Colter      Henry         Y 2 Ayrshire         Farm Labourer            
Cornforth   John          Y 2 Yorkshire        Farm Labourer            
Dailey      Robert        Y 1 Waterford        Labourer                 
Dixon       Hanse         Y 2 Down             Farm Labourer            
Farrow      Chas.         Y 2 Suffolk          Plumber                  
Finlay      Samuel        Y 3 Down             Farm Labourer            
Gilpin      George        Y 1 Armagh           Farm Labourer            
Hale        Wm.           Y   Hants            Carpenter                
Hamilton    Lewis         Y   Down             Farm Labourer            
Hampton     Robert        Y 2 Down             Farm Labourer            
Horn        John          Y   Kinross-shire    Ploughman                
Jardine     Alex          Y 1                  Farm Labourer            
Jebson      John          Y 5 Yorkshire                                 
Kennedy     Samuel        Y   Antrim           Labourer                 
M'Conkey    John          Y   Down             Farm Labourer            
O'Neill     Hugh Henry    Y 2 Tyrone           Farm Labourer            
Sheridan    Patrick       Y   Tyrone           Farm Labourer            
Skilling    James         Y 2 Down             Blacksmith               
Smith       John          Y   Armagh           Farm Labourer            
Someville   George        Y 1 Armagh           Farm Labourer            
Sowry       Joseph        Y 1 Yorkshire        Carpenter
Talbot      John          Y 3 Devonshire       Farm Labourer            
Uprichard   Joseph        Y 3 Down             Farm Labourer            
Walsh       Henry         Y   Sussex           Labourer                 
Ward        James         Y 3 Down             Farm Labourer            
Single Men:
Bailey      George            Cheshire         Farm Labourer
Benson      James L.          Yorkshire        Farm Labourer            
Branagh     Thomas            Antrim           Farm Labourer            
Brown       Wm.               Down             Farm Labourer            
Callan      William           Lanarkshire      Ploughman                
Campbell    David             Down             Farm Labourer            
Christie    James             Down             Farm Labourer            
Cromie      John              Down             Farm Labourer            
Doak        James             Down             Farm Labourer            
Duan        John              Tipperary        Labourer                 
Duff        William           Ayrshire         Shepherd                 
Easton      George            Yorkshire                                 
Easton      Samuel            Yorkshire        Bookbinder               
Findlater   Alexander         Wigtonshite      Ploughman                
Finlay      Samuel            Down             Laundress                
Glover      John              Leicestershire   Farm Labourer            
Haskitt     John              Tipperary        Farm Labourer            
Hill        Peter             Middlesex        Labourer                 
Hogan       Michael           Tipperary        Labourer                 
Huddy       Thomas            Cornwall         Farm Labourer            
Hutchinson  John Hy.          Isle of Man      Farm Labourer            
Jebson      David             Yorkshire        Labourer                 
Jebson      Joseph            Yorkshire        Labourer                 
Jebson      Richard           Yorkshire        Labourer
Johnston    Philip            Down             Farm Labourer 
Johnston    James             Down             Farm Labourer    
Johnstone   Thomas            Down             Farm Labourer  
Laffey      Patrick           Galway           Farm Labourer          
Livingstone Wm.               Fifeshire        Farm Labourer            
Lyndon      Thomas Cole       Devonshire       Farm Labourer 
Macartney   Hugh              Antrim           Farm Labourer
Macartney   John              Antrim           Farm Labourer
Macartney   Thomas            Antrim           Farm Labourer
Macartney   Willism           Antrim           Farm Labourer           
M'Auntley   Travers           Armagh           Farm Labourer            
M'Caw       William           Ayrshire         Shepherd                 
M'Cullough  Hugh              Antrim           Farm Labourer            
M'Cullough  John              Antrim           Farm Labourer            
M'Cullough  Thomas            Antrim           Farm Labourer            
M'Cullough  William           Middlesex        Tailor                   
M'Cullough  William           Antrim           Farm Labourer            
M'Cutcheon  Hugh              Down             Farm Labourer            
Morrissey   Edmund            Kerry            Labourer                 
Price       Samuel            Down             Farm Labourer            
Rier        Hans              Down             Farm Labourer            
Rose        Daniel            Lanarkshire      Joiner                   
Smellie     Robert            Lanarkshire      Joiner                   
Stewart     Robert            Down             Farm Labourer            
Talbot      George            Devonshire       Joiners                  
Talbot      John              Devonshire       Joiners                  
Ward        John              Yorkshire        School Master            
Welch       John              Ayrshire         Farm Labourer            
Wetherall   William           Armagh           Farm Labourer            
Wilson      Archibald         Down             Farm Labourer            
Wilson      Arthur            Antrim           Farm Labourer            
Wood        Benjamin          Middlesex        Labourer                 

Single women:

Atkinson   Margaret           Down                                    
Atkinson   Mary Margaret      Down                                    
Bennets    Celia Ann          Cornwall                                
Bowie      Agnes                               Domestic Servant         
Bowie      Helen                               Domestic Servant         
Bowie      Mary                                Domestic Servant         
Bradley    Ellen              Tyrone           Domestic Servant         
Bradley    Isabella           Tyrone           Domestic Servant         
Brown      Jane               Down             Domestic Servant         
Brown      Leitita            Down             Domestic Servant
Carr       Ellen              Galway           Domestic Servant         
Duan       Eliza              Tipperary        Domestic Servant         
Easton     Ann                Yorkshire        Domestic Servant         
Failey     Fanny              Down             Domestic Servant         
Gainry     Ellen              Cork             Laundress                
Hadrorn    Mary               Cumberland       Domestic Servant         
Hanmer     Sarah Ann          Middlesex        Housekeeper 
Jobson     Elizabeth A.       Yorkshire                                   
Henry      Catherine          Kirkudbrightshire Domestic Servant         
Johnstone  Anne            1  Limerick                                
M'Auntley  Mary               Armagh           Domestic Servant         
Madden     Mary               Tyrone           Domestic Servant         
Mahon      Isabella J.        Galway           Domestic Servant         
Maxwell    Kitty              Tipperary        Domestic Servant         
Moren      Sarah              Tipperary        Domestic Servant         
Russell    Mary Ann           Tyrone           Domestic Servant         
Skilling   Sarah              Down             Needlewoman              
Smith      Elizabeth          Yorkshire        Domestic Servant         
Talbot     Ellen              Devonshire                              
Warner     Eliza              Suffolk          Domestic Servant         
Warner     Emma               Suffolk          Domestic Servant         
Watson     Isabella           Lanarkshire      Dairywoman           
Land:   Farm labourers 55
	General labourers 14
	Ploughman 3
Stock:  Shepherds 2
Iron:   Blacksmiths 2
Wood:   Carpenters 2
	Joiners 2
	Bookbinders 1
	Plumber 1
	Schoolmaster 1
	Tailor 1

Single Women:
	Dairywoman 1
	Domestic Servants 22
	Laundress 1
	Needlewomen 1
Cabin:		 32
Couples:	 30
Children:	 50
Single men:	 56
Single women:	 32
My Total:	230 (missing 49)

A ship, which proved to be the Zealandia, with immigrants from London, was signalled at midday on Thursday. The wind blowing fresh from the sou'west, she did not reach the heads before nightfall. The passengers are all well. Two deaths occurred during the voyage.

Information above courtesy of  Jean Price. Page created 3 Dec. 2000. Jean is researching her husband's great grandfather Samuel PRICE, who travelled as a sixteen year old. They are now in touch with a second cousin, once removed, who still lives on the original Price property in County Down.


There is a diary (1862) by G. Fleming at the Otago settlers Museum and a copy at the Canterbury Museum Archives. The passenger list can also be found at the The Aotearoa New Zealand Centre, Christchurch City Libraries on microfilm. Press 26 June, 1862 and on the microfilm Immigrant ships to Canterbury 1853 -1885.


A testimonial from passengers on board "The Zealandia" to Auckland dated 13th Feb, 1861 and signed by Chief Cabin Passengers.

Dear Sir ,
Allow us to offer you our most hearty congratulations upon the termination of our agreeable and prosperous voyage from England to New Zealand on board "The Zealandia" which left England on the 3rd day of November last, and of which vessel you are commander and part owner. We are happy to be able to say that the superior sailing qualities of your noble ship have been proved to demonstration, as with one exception only, she passed every other vessel which was seen travelling in the same direction as ourselves. Towards the conclusion of our journey we were becalmed for several days, otherwise it seemed probable that our voyage on the Zealandia would have been one of the most speedy ever accomplished. We have thankfully to acknowledge, the liberal manner in which our daily table had been supplied, as well as the great care which has been taken to render the ship as commodious as it is, and to reduce to the smallest amount, the discomforts inseparably attendant upon a long voyage. These commendations belong to myself as well as the other owners of "The Zealandia" in common with each other, but the main object we have now in view is, to assure you personally, how highly we estimate the kindness and suavity of manners you have at all times during our voyage displayed to us collectively as well as individually, as also (so far as our observation has extended) to all on board: whilst at the same time we admire the firmness you have shown when necessary in maintaining peace and good order in the Ship. To these qualifications inherent in yourself as Commander we must attribute in no small degree the meritorious conduct of your Officers and Crew and the regularity and decorum observable in the discharge of the daily business of the Ship. Our journey has been characterized by cheerfulness and harmony and altho such a state of things must almost entirely depend upon the conduct and temper of the Passengers themselves, yet it would be most unjust, if we were not to acknowledge how much we are indebted to Mrs Foster (your amiable Lady and our fellow passenger) for the success which has attended her constant endeavours to promote a feeling so agreeable. Finally we beg to assure you, that we shall always remember Your Name as connected with The Good Ship Zealandia with pleasure and reflect with pride on the qualities belonging to a true and kind hearted British Sailor.

Wishing you and all your family much success and happiness,  we remain, Dear Sir, Yours very truly,
Geo. Pearson, William Atkin, W.H. Turner, K.H. Harman, Arthur Heather, Emma Turner, Charles Turner, Emma Turner Junr., John Laman, Jane Turner, Rutland Turner, Emily Turner, J.R. Knighte, Mary Turner, T.L.B. Lloyd, Eleanor Turner, R. Stewart, Olive Knighte, William Mann, Anne Francis Fayres?, H. Somervell, Catherine Mens, Fred Crowley, J.E. Mens, Sarah E. Crowley, W. Hobson, Robert Thompson Inglis, L. Hobson, W? Moon.

The original letter from which this information was copied is in the possession of the grandchildren of Capt. Philip Foster. Courtesy of Elizabeth Foster. Posted 7 Oct. 2000

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