Ship Star of India

Information obtained from Immigrants


James FULLER: Married, no children - from London. Engineer's Laborer

I first thought of emigrating to New Zealand through reading an advertisement in "Lloyd's Weekly Paper" headed "Emigrants Wanted". I afterwards heard more about New Zealand from several people who had friends and relations there, all of whom gave very good accounts of the place. Dr Sharp, a gentleman to whom I applied for advice, strongly recommended me to go to New Zealand.

I went to the Agent General's office and found all the necessary steps to procure a passage very easy. I called four times altogether at the Agent General's office. I was kept waiting five days before the ship sailed. I received 3/- (3 shillings) a day for maintenance of myself and wife during that time. I shall write home an account of our voyage and treatment both on board and here. If I do well it will be the means of bringing out all my relations and friends. Letters home are much better than Government advertisements in the Papers. A great reason that more people do not come here is that many fear the long voyage.

William JACQUES: Married, one child - Carpenter - from Northamptonshire (lately from Kent)

A conversation with Mr Carr of Brighton first made me think of emigrating to New Zealand. Mr Carr had lived in New Zealand and he gave very good accounts of it as a place for working men to go to. He sent me copies of the "Times" with several articles about New Zealand and the prospects for Emigrants. Mr Carr gave me letters of introduction to friends of his in New Zealand. I wrote to the Agent General and received a form to fill up as to my character etc. This I returned duly filled up and I soon after received another letter telling me when to join the ship. I paid my own fare to London and was not kept waiting for the ship. There are no Agents in Kent and the people there know nothing about New Zealand except by chance conversations with some one who has been there or has friends there. An intelligent Agent from New Zealand who could answer the many questions intending Emigrants ask about climate etc and who knew something of the way of living amongst laboring men in the Colony, could induce great numbers to come from Kent. A great many leave there every year for America.

John WATTS: Married, three children - from London - Cooper

I was advised by my Brother who is a medical man, to emigrate either to New Zealand, Queensland, or Canada. I chose New Zealand on account of the climate. I saw an advertisement in a paper - "Wanted a married couple; wages £65 per annum and all found, the woman to work in the house, man to milk, work in garden etc". This first convinced me that the wages were so good in New Zealand. I went to the Agent General's Office and found every one very obliging, there was no difficulty in getting my papers filled up. I called twice at the Office and my Contract ticket was filled up for the Dilawur. I had to wait five days for the Star of India. I received one shilling and sixpence per Adult for my family during this detention. I believe that the best way of promoting Emigration would be to have popular lectures on New Zealand to the working classes in the East End of London and to distribute gratuitously pamphlets such as that published by Street for Shaw, Savill & Co. I bought one - a great many people saw it and read it. They thus heard of New Zealand for the first time as a field for Emigration. The advertisements for the Agent General are amongst the shipping advertisements and not one person in a thousand for whom the advertisements are intended ever see them. It was quite by accident that I saw the advertisement in the "Standard".

Thomas BATCHELOR: Married, six children - from Kent - Shoemaker

I received a letter from a friend in Canterbury who had gone out last year by the Crusader. He stated that he was doing very well and advised me to come. I had previously read accounts of New Zealand in books and thought I should like to go there. I also saw advertisements about Emigration to New Zealand in "Reynolds" and in "Lloyds" weekly papers. These are the best papers to advertise in, but advertisements are not sufficient inducement. People require either letters from people they know in the Colony or personal explanation from some one who has been there. As soon as I made up my mind to come I wrote to the Agent General and received a reply at once. I wrote all together four or five times and always received prompt and satisfactory answers. I paid my way to London and was detained there about a week waiting for the ship to sail. I received £2.  5.  0 (2 pounds, 5 shillings) maintenance money. I think more care ought to be exercised in receiving testimonials as to character as I believe a great number are forged. It would be a very good thing if something could be done to make people more comfortable during the long voyage. The want of some place to air and dry clothes is very much felt, especially where there are young children. The discomfort of the voyage is a great obstacle to emigration to this Colony.

Tola PEACHEY: Married, one child - Gardener - from Gloucestershire

I saw letters from Emigrants in New Zealand published in "Reynolds" weekly Paper. Mr Davies the Agent in Gloucester to whom I applied strongly advised me to go to Canterbury - he had relations and friends out there and he gave me a very good account of the place. I found the accounts I received are very truthful. I paid my way to London - waited five days - received fifteen shillings maintenance money. I had no direct communication with the Agent General's Office. Mr Davies forwarded all my letters. He was very very obliging but an Agent should know something personally of the Country for which he is employed and be able to answer questions. I might just as well have written direct to the Agent General. Sub-Agents possessing no knowledge of the Colony are an evil rather than any good. Mr Davies having friends in New Zealand was in a better position than a great many local Agents, but as a rule when people having read an advertisement apply to the local Agent and find he knows nothing about the Country for which he is acting they are apt to think the whole thing a take in.

John STUART: Single. Farm Labourer - County Antrim, Ireland

A neighbour at Ballintoy had been 10 years in New Zealand and had made a good deal of money there. He told me I should do well there. I saw an advertisement from the Agent General in the "Belfast Morning News". I wrote to him and received a reply that I could obtain a passage to New Zealand upon payment of £9. I forwarded the money and received my contract ticket. I paid my way to London - waited five days for the ship - received no maintenance money during that time - had no communication with Agent General's office while in London. The best way to induce people to emigrate is for those who are here to write letters home. Many are waiting to hear from me.

Martha TWIGG: Single. Domestic Servant - South Wales (lately from London)

I saw an advertisement in an Uxbridge paper for Cook, housemaid and needlewoman to got to Canterbury N.Z. The wages offered for a cook were £35. This induced me to apply for the place. I found it was filled up but I was advised by Mr Hetherington, to whom I applied, to go to New Zealand as he said I could get as good a place there as the one advertized (sic). My sisters and other relations in Wales are waiting to hear from me. I shall be able to give a good account of the Colony.

Margaret DEBNAM: Single. Domestic Servant - from Liverpool

I saw by chance an advertisement in the "Temperance Star" a Liverpool paper, offering free passages to New Zealand for single women. I applied to Agent General and received a short circular, afterwards I purchased a book containing information about New Zealand. I paid my way to London and while waiting 6 days for the ship to sail, I received no compensation for this. Plain advertisements in papers read by working people stating wages that domestic servants would receive and the free passages to the Colony would induce many single women to come. I like the Country and the treatment I have received.

Mary Ann SHEE: Cook - London

I answered an advertisement in "Morning News" to go to a nobleman's family (Lady Tancred's). When I went I found the place filled but I was offered a free passage by Mr Hetherington one of the local Agents. I communicated with the Agent General. I paid my own way to port of embarkation 5/6 (5 shillings & 6 pence). I was waiting one month for the ship. I was detained five days in port. I am quite sure plenty of young women Domestic Servants would emigrate if they knew of the prosperous condition of the Country. I intend to write and tell them about it and will also nominate some.

Immigration Office, Christchurch. 14 January 1874

Archives NZ Ref: IM 74/97


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