"Isabella Hercus" 1856 into Lyttelton

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"Isabella Hercus"
New Zealand Bound

London to Lyttelton, New Zealand arrived January 1856

From the Lyttelton Times Saturday January 5, 1856.

The 'Isabella Hercus', Captain Sewell, arrived in port early yesterday morning with 116 passengers for the province.  Seven cabin passengers, and twenty one assisted emigrants for Otago.  This vessel left London on September 18 1855.  There were two births, and eight deaths during the voyage, four adults and four infants.  Fever of a low character appears to have prevailed on board during considerate portion of the passage.  Ten convalescents were admitted into hospital immediately on the ships arrival.  Port of Registry: Workington.  She sailed for Port Chalmers Feb. 1 and on March 5 she departed from Port Chalmers for Shanghai in ballast.
Shipping News Arrived
Jan. 3, barque David Webester, 300 tons, Addams, master, from Sydney. 
Passengers: Mrs. Addams, Messrs. J. and R. Longworth, Hawkes, G. Smith, and J. Chancey.
Jan. 4, schooner Wellington, 57 tons, Porter, master, from Wellington.
Passengers: Mrs. Bradley, Messrs. Owens, Rule, Young, Taylor, and Rev. Mr. Bradley
Jan. 4, ship Isabella Hercus, 569 tons, Sewell, from London

Surname            First           Age         Sex     Spouse Chd  Occupation               Origin

Alfeld      Christian    28    M        Blacksmith      Germany     
Allison     Arthur        5    M                        England     
Allison     Charles      10    M                        England     
Allison     Charles      34    M   y  4 Carpenter       England     
Allison     Francis       3    M                        England     
Allison     Henry         7    M                        England     
Allison     Mary Anne    34    F   y  4                 England     
Attaway     Richard      19    M        Labourer        England     
Banks       Mary Anne    21    F        Housemaid       England     
Bean        Frederick    25    M        Cook            Germany     
Bennett     Charles      18    M        Stable boy      England     
Bennett     Ellen        27    F        General servant England     
Borthwick   Clarence      7    M                        England     
Borthwick   Diana         4    F                        England     
Borthwick   Eliza        35    F      2                 England     
Bruns       John         30    M   y    Labourer        Germany     
Bruns       Margaret     27    F   y                    Germany     
Burns       John         23    M   y    Labourer        England     
Burns       Louisa       27    F   y                    England     
Burrell     Edward       29    M   y    Labourer        England     
Burrell     Emily        24    M   y                    England     
Burrell     George       26    M   y  1 Labourer        England     
Burrell     Louisa        1    F                        England     
Burrell     Sarah        22    F   y  1                 England     
Clarke      Joseph       17    M        Labourer        England     
Cobbald     Robert       21    M        Printer         England     
Cole        Elizabeth    27    F        Servant         England     
Cole        Henry        23    M        Miller          England     
Cole        Jane         22    F   y                    England     
Cole        John         25    M   y    Miller          England     
Cole        Miles        17    M        Miller          England     
Cotton      James        45    M        Labourer        England     
Cricks      Joseph       47    M   y    Shoemaker       England     
Cricks      Sarah        24    F        Dressmaker      England     
Cricks      Sarah        49    F   y                    England     
Dean        Henry        19    M        Joiner          England     
Diers       Henry        28    M   y    Blacksmith      Germany     
Diers       Margaret     29    F                        Germany     
Ebeling     Heinrick     33    M        Labourer        Germany     
Elliott     Samuel       20    M        Labourer        England     
Fagan       Elizabeth    24    F                        Germany     
Fagan       Elizabeth     1    F                        Germany     
Fagan       Hermann      24    M   y  y Labourer        Germany     
Frazer      Anne         24    F        Dairymaid       England     
Friedinthol Henry        22    M        Labourer        Germany     
Gefken      Bernhard     24    M        Labourer        Germany     
Golding     Anne         21    F   y                    England     
Golding     Samuel       21    M   y    Labourer        England     
Hayton      William      34    M        Labourer        England     
Hemmens     Elizabeth    33    M   y                    England     
Hemmens     Richard      39    M   y    Labourer        England     
Hincken     Henry        22    M        Labourer        Germany     
Holst       Ludwig       24    M        Carpenter       Germany     
Hughes      Charles       2    M                        England     
Hughes      Emblen       25    M      2 Labourer        England     
Hughes      Georgina      4    F                        England     
Hunt        George      inf    M                        England     
Hunt        Henry        12    M                        England     
Hunt        Joseph       36    M   y  3 Labourer        England     
Hunt        Matilda      38    F   y  3                 England     
Hunt        Thomas        4    M                        England     
Hunt        William      22    M        Carpenter       England     
Hurrell     Alfred       18    M        Labourer        England     
Hurrell     Frederick    10    M                        England     
Hurrell     Joseph       42    M   y  2 Labourer        England     
Hurrell     Letty        41    M   y  2                 England     
Hurrell     Rachael      13    F                        England     
James       Julian       19    M        Shoemaker       England     
Jones       William      21    M        Labourer        England     
Kessen      Johann       25    M        Blacksmith      Germany     
Kettenberg  Fitz         31    M   y    blacksmith      Germany     
Kettenberg  Jane         23    M   y                    Germany     
Koster      Diedrick     23    M        Blacksmith      Germany     
Krusi       Diedrick     25    M        Blacksmith      Germany     
Lehmann     Johann       32    M        Labourer        Germany     
Leurs       Frederick    19    M        Labourer        Germany     
Lunsemann   Johann       21    M        Labourer        Germany     
Magon       Charles      22    M   y    Carpenter       Germany     
Magon       Elizabeth    22    F   y                    Germany     
Mangels     Johann       22    M        Labourer        Germany     
Mayer       Johann       27    M        Labourer        Germany     
Moore       Caroline     25    F   y  1                 England     
Moore       Phoebe        1    F                        England     
Moore       William      27    M   y  1 Labourer        England     
O'Neal      Charlotte    17    F        General servant England     
Preece      Thomas       16    M        Labourer        England     
Raby        Enos         21    M        Labourer        England     
Regan       Peter        19    M        Shoemaker       England     
Russell     Alfred        5    M                        England     
Russell     Betsy         7    F                        England     
Russell     Mary         32    F                        England     
Russell     Richard      33    M   y  2 Labourer        England     
Rust        Henry        27    M        Labourer        Germany     
Schmidt     Frederick    21    M        Labourer        Germany     
Simmons     Margaret     14    F        General servant England     
Steggall    Edward       24    M      1 Miller          England     
Steggall    Walter      inf    M                        England     
Stocks      Joseph       30    M   y    Labourer        England     
Stocks      Mary          1    F                        England     
Stocks      Sabrina      23    F   y  1                 England     
Todd        David        26    M        Labourer        England     
Todd        Job          22    M        Labourer        England     
Tunmer      Ellen        33    F   y                    England     
Tunmer      John         33    M        Gardner         England     
Twigg       William      19    M        Labourer        England     
Vogeler     Christine    23    F        General servant Germany     
Warner      Maria        16    F        Housemaid       England     
Warner      Martha       14    F                        England     
Warner      Mary Ann     15    F                        England     
Warner      Robert       41    M        Tailor          England     
Warner      Sophia       17    f        Cook            England     
Whitley     Emma         16    F        General servant England     

Died on the passage -
Dec 30, J.D. Sinclair, 29 yrs, passenger for Otago;
Dec 12, Charles Hughes, 26 yrs, for Canterbury;
Dec 15, Hannah Steggal, 25 yrs, for Canterbury;
Jan 3, Esther Lock, 22 yrs [servant], for Canterbury;
Oct. 14, Lucy Allison, Emily Burrell, Harriet Hughes, Geo. Hunt. 
Two births occurred.

Passengers for Otago -
Chief Cabin: Mr. and Mrs. Edwards and 5 family. 
Assisted passengers:
Alexander, F. Mr.
Alexander, W.H. Mrs.
Barker, L.
Barker, F.
Binnie, M.
Brown, W.
Duncan, M. Mrs.
Duncan, James, Mr.
Dabinet, Job. Mr., wife and 4 children
Harrison, H.
Jackson, W.
Martain, N.
Robertson, J.
Robertson, M.
Urquhart, C.
This vessel brought no regular mail. The quarantine flag was hoisted by the harbour master on this vessel until the medical officer had inspected her. She continued on to Port Chalmers  (via Wellington) arriving there 1st February 1856 with 22 passengers. [Eliza Borthwick was the matron for the voyage. An exception was made for the fare of family of Mrs. Borthwick, adult and two children, who were only charged for 1 half adults.  Total cost of passage for family 29 pounds and 5 shillings.]

Otago Witness 2 February 1856, Page 3
Feb 1, Isabella Hercus, 568 tons, Sewell, master, from London via Port Cooper. Passengers� Mr. and Mrs. Edwards and 5 children, Mrs. Duncan, James Duncan, Miss Binney, Mrs. Baker and child, Mr. and Mrs. Alexander, Job Dabinett, wife, and 5 children, J. Brown.  J. Jones, agent.

Notes: The primary source for the passenger manifest is a microfilm copy of the original handwritten ship's passenger list, available for viewing online, Emigration to Canterbury : Shipping Lists 1856-1874  at the Aotearoa New Zealand Centre at the Christchurch City Library.  The original from which the copy was made   can be found at Archives New Zealand in Christchurch.  The above list is composed from the passenger manifest as the list in The Lyttelton Times newspaper was incomplete, with discrepancies in surname spellings and the newspaper contained additional names.  The list below contains the misspelled surnames and additional names * from The Lyttelton Times:

Dress, Henry
Keltenberg, Fritz
Morgan, Charles
Stokes, Jos.
Tanmar, John

Single women -
*Dausch, M.A.
*Oldfield, C.
Warnel, G.
Warnel, E.
Warnel, M. A.
Warnel, Martha

Single men -
*Clark, W. 
Clark, J.
Crense, D.
Elliot, J.
*Fleming, R. G.
*Fleming, G. W.
Friedenthol, T.
Gefhen, W.
Hinehen, H.
*Jane, W. L.
Leahmain, J. 
Manzells, J.

*The names of six passengers do not appear on the original passenger list but in The Lyttelton Times. Ruth's message confirms the Fleming's did arrive in Canterbury.

Some immigrants were unable to join their own ship because of illness.  When they finally sailed they were not included in the official passenger list because their passages had already been paid as immigrants and debited against the ship in which they should have travelled but their names might appear in arrival port's newspaper listing the immigrants.

Provisions: In addition to any provisions which the passengers may themselves bring, the following quantities of water and provisions will be supplied by the Master of the Ship, as required by law: to each adult 3 quarts of water daily: and a weekly allowance of provisions according to the following scale; Reference: Ellen Bennett's passenger contract.

Articles Second Cabin Steerage   Articles Second Cabin Steerage
Preserved Meat 1 lb. � lb. Soup & Boulli � lb. � lb.
Suet 6 oz. 4 oz. Coffee 2 � oz. 2 � oz.
Ham � lb. ____ Butter � lb. � lb.
Fish � lb. � lb. Cheese � lb ____
Salt Beef 1 lb. 1 lb. Currants � lb ____
Potatoes, Fresh 3 � lbs. 3 � lbs. Raisins, Valentia � lb. � lb.
Biscuit 4 � lbs. 3 � lbs. Tea 2 � oz. 1 � oz.
Flour 4 � lbs. 3 � lbs. Pickles � pt. � pt.
Rice 1 lb. � lb. Vinegar � pt. � pt.
Barley � lb. � lb. Mustard � oz. � oz.
Peas 1 pt. � pt. Pepper � oz. � oz.
Oatmeal � pt. 1 pt. Salt 1 oz. 1 oz.
Sugar 1 lb. � lb. Salt Pork 1 � lb. 1 lb.
Treacle � lb � lb or preserved ditto � lb. � lb.

Fare: Miss Bennett was an assisted emigrant and paid her deposit of �9 pounds and fifteen shillings, in cash, in full to R.S. Harman, Emigration Agent for the Provincial Government of Canterbury, New Zealand (35 Charing Cross, London) on August 22 1855.  Total cost of passage was �19 and ten shillings.

A few passengers settled at Avonside, Christchurch as they attended the Holy Trinity Anglican Church, Avonside and were sponsors for each others children when christened. e.g. Allison, Hurrell and Palmer's.  Source:Go to letter Baptismal Register listings found in the card index in the Aoatearoa New Zealand Centre, Christchurch City Libraries. (The library card index contains baptism, marriage and burial entries from almost all local parish registers (i.e. Christchurch and rural areas as far south as the Rakaia River and most of North Canterbury).  Baptism entries usually show date of birth, date of baptism, name of child, name of parents, sometimes mother's maiden name, residence, father's occupation, sponsors, church, and presiding clergyman.

Ellen Eliza Bennett met William Palmer, crew member, steward, on board the 'Isabella Hercus'.  They walked over the Port Hills via the Bridle Path to Christchurch which at that time was an established town, where her future husband became a farmer and set to work and built a sod house at Avonside.  Miss Bennett stayed with Dr. Barker's family, Worcester St, West, Christchurch until her marriage on 18 February 1856 at the Wesleyan Chapel, Christchurch to William Palmer.  A witness to the wedding was Mary Anne Banks who was also a passenger.  Ian Nicholson's "Log of Logs" gave us the clue (Canterbury Museum) where to look for William Palmer's discharge certificate, certificate of character as well as Ellen Bennett passenger contract.

The Holy Trinity Church, Avonside Christchurch.  August 1999. "The most English-looking God's Acre in Canterbury"PALMER: Ellen Eliza was buried 19 Feb 1900 at Holy Trinity Anglican Churchyard, Avonside along with her husband William PALMER, buried 4 Jun 1906. No headstones. I believe Millicent Hannah Palmer, Ellen Eliza Palmer and William Palmer are all buried in the same plot, near the Lych Gate.  In 1980 a small headstone was found "Ellen Eliza Palmer, died 17 Feb 1900 aged 71".  A flatstone - at ground level. I was unable to find it a few years ago but  it should be there somewhere. Millicent Hannah Palmer (1863- 1874) and William John Palmer (1858-1938) two of their eleven children are also buried at Avonside. Please contact Olwyn if you have any information to share on this family or would like information.  

What generation New Zealander am I? 
You start counting generations with the immigrants who were born elsewhere. The original immigrants are the "first generation." Their grandchildren are the "third generation." I would be a fifth-generation New Zealander as my great- great grandparents came to Lyttelton from England in 1855 on the "Isabella Hercus".

BANKS: Unfortunately we do not have much information on Mary Ann BANKS, however she married Kenneth CAMERON on 10 June 1856 at St Michael's Church in Christchurch, witnesses were Eliza FISHER and Emma ANDREW.  Mary Ann was born on 6 June 1835 in Painswick, Gloustershire, England, the daughter of Mary BANKS, father unknown. We have found out that Mary (the mother) was in an Almshouse (poor house) in Painswick at the time of the 1871 census, but in the 1881 was living with a relative. Hopefully life was a little better for her by then, as the census noted that in 1871 she had been blind for 16 years.  It seems Mary Ann was her only child, that we know of anyway, so life must have been hard for her with her daughter living on the other side of the World.  Both Kenneth and Mary Ann died in October 1902, the victims of a very bad flu epidemic. They are buried at Dromore, just out of Ashburton. Wrote Rae Magson of Ashburton. Sept. 2004

Clutha pioneers. Mr and Mrs Charles Dabinett (Isabella Hercus, 1856, David Hudson (Creswell, 1857))

Evening Post
, 3 June 1927, Page 7
SYDNEY 2nd June. The death is announced of Sir W Bassett Edwards, late senior puisne Court of the New Zealand Supreme Court. Sir Bassett Edwards was born in London on 5th September 1850. His father, Mr C.S.W. Edwards, came to New Zealabd in the ship Isabella Hercus, and settled at Portobello. Worley Bassett Edward was educated at the Dunedin High School under the Rev. F.C. Simons...

FLEMMING: Ruth Rathrone is searching for information on Robert George FLEMING and his wife Mary Ann Murphy.  Robert emigrated with his brother George Warren Fleming on the 'Isabella Hercus' 1855 voyage. Robert was 15 years and George was 13 years old at sailing sailing - both are in the G.R. MacDonald Dictionary of Canterbury Biographies.  The boys went to live with their uncle Richard John Philip Fleming at Port Levy, who had arrived 1850 on the settler ship 'Randolph'.  G's paternal grandfather George FLEMING was a lighterman (owned sailing barges); his maternal grandfather Robert KING was a master mariner, also his uncle William MORTLEMAN and part of a large family of of other master mariners and last but not least his father, also George, was a grain merchant who according to oral tradition owned ships trading with the continent, the master of which was sometimes his brother-in-law, Wm Mortleman. Did they pick the Isabella Hercus at random or would a father with many seafaring family connections deliberately select the vessel that was taking his two eldest, but still young, sons to NZ?? I would dearly love to learn what happened to George Warren Fleming, he seems to have disappeared off the face of the earth (historically and literally!) It has always struck me as curious that if MacDonald obtained some of his information from Robert George and/or MaryAnn he still only referred to George as G.W. Fleming. Posted 19 Jan. 1999. 

MacDonald's entry which was in his own hand: RGF ran away from boarding school, hiding on a banana boat to the West Indies. On being discovered he was returned to his parents who promised that if he finished his schooling he could go and live with his uncle Richard John Philip FLEMING in Christchurch, NZ. FLEMING, Robert George (1836-1906) was a nephew of Richard John Philip Fleming of Port Levy and came out in the Isabella Hercus, single arriving in Jan '56. . He stayed there with his uncle 6 years and then went to the Otago gold diggings, but soon returned to Cant'y and in 30.1.62 bought RS 3860 of 40ac. between Sheffield and Annat. This was the nucleus of his farm which he called the Willows and where he lived for the rest of his life. It was bought out of the Dean's Homebush Station. He was a member of the school committee and the vestry for 6 years. Married at St Michael's 22.12.64 by Dean Jacobs Mary Ann Murphy. Widow. [this word is inserted later]  She had arrived in Canterbury in '61 and lived at Sheffield till her husband's death and lived at Takapau, H.B. with her son. She d. there 29.3.13 aged 75 leaving 3 sons 3daus.....[info on3 daus].... G.W. Fleming came out with him in Isabella Hercus
Cyclop. NZ III: pass list, Ref Lib: MacMillan: Lyttelton Times 18.07.1901, 7.4.1913

Ashburton Guardian, 23 December 1903, Page 2 OBITUARY.
Mrs Matilda Hunt. Ono of Ashburton's oldest settlers passed away yesterday afternoon at 4.30 in the person of Mrs Matilda Hunt, wife of Mr ,Joseph Hunt, of Hampstead, at the mature age of 88 years. The deceased lady in company with her husband, arrived in the colony in the " Isabella Hercus " on January 4th 1856. After landing she made her home in Papanui and East Eyreton till 1865, when Mr Hunt having purchased property in this district, she settled down about a mile from Ashburton where she has permanently resided ever since. The deceased, who 'was of a very amiable disposition, made a host of friends in the Ashburton county, who will sincerely regret to hear of her demise. A staunch member of St. Stephen's Church she was always; ready to assist in works of philanthropy, and her generous help in this particular has frequently been commented upon. When the deceased first settled in this county Ashburton consisted of one accommodation house, which was at that time the property of Mr W. Turton; while nothing was visible for miles save a broad expanse of virgin land studded with tussocks and cabbage trees. Mrs Hunt leaves four children, viz: Mrs P. Ferriman, of Ashburton, Mr Henry Hunt, Greenstreet, and Messrs John and Thomas Hunt, Mrs Colbert Mayo and the late, Mrs Norton, (the latter the mother of Mrs P, Crum), both formerly was known in Ashburton, were; sisters of the deceased. Up till three months ago. She had been married 61 years and was seldom or ever away from her husband, so that Mr Hunt, who is four years her junior, keenly feels her removal from this sphere of life. Ashburton Cemetery tomorrow.

Star 2 August 1907, Page 3
Ashburton, August 2. Last week was chronicled the death of one of the oldest residents in Ashburton in the person of Mr Joseph Ward. This morning another old identity, Mr Joseph Hunt, passed away at the age of eighty-eight. He was one of the first residents of the district, arriving here in 1865, and in .1868 he acquired a farm. In 1869 ho cut a water-race from Wakanui Greek to the Ashburton River. This was one of the first water-races in Canterbury. He also was the first to pat down oats and wheat in the Ashburton County. He came to the colony in the
Isabella Hercus, landing at Lyttelton in 1856, and resided at Gollan's Bay for two years, after which he rented a farm at Sumner, and raised one of the first wheat crops in the district. He leaves a grown-up family.

HURRELL: Following the footsteps of his nephew Henry HURRELL, who came to Canterbury in the "Sir George Pollock" in 1851 from Felstead, Essex, came Joseph HURRELL, accompanied by his wife Lettya and 3 children. Joseph was born in Felstead in 1811.  His nephew must have reported on the opportunities here.  The 3 children were Alfred 18; Rachel 13; Frederick 10. The first son Lawrence died in Essex.  Joseph settled in Lower Lincoln on a small farm just about where the new motorway crosses.  Lettya doubled as a nurse midwife.  She died in 1862. Alfred died in 1854. Rachel married George PIPER, St Paul's Riccarton,1865.  Frederick married George's sister, Mary Ann PIPER St Andrew Riccarton, 1865. Information courtesy of Clyde Hurrell. Posted 3 Feb. 2000. Clyde Owen HURRELL of Levin died on Monday June 6, 2005. A committed researcher.

Press, 22 November 1911, Page 9
On Thursday last at the residence of her daughter, Mrs Jno. McDonald, Greenpark, there passed away an early settler of Canterbury, in the person of Mrs Karl Magon (nee Elizabeth Carroll). Born in London in 1832, Mrs Magon accompanied her husband to New Zealand a few months after their marriage, landing in Lyttelton per "Isabella Hercus" in January, 1856. After residing for four years at Hoon Hay. Mr and Mrs Magon took up a farm at Halswell, and in 1871 moved to a new farm at Greenpark. Mr Magon died in 1890. The late Mrs Magon is survived by five sons Messrs J. Magon (Balclutha), A. Mazon (Cheviot). F. Magon (Makikihi). C. Magon (Taranaki), and A. Magon Halswell). and by three daughters, Mrs Rmpmgdalo (Oregon, America; late of Dunsandel), Mrs J. McDonald, and Mrs H. Carr, junr. (Greenpark), and by about forty grandchildren and great-grandchildren. The large funeral procession testified to the great esteem in which the deceased lady was held when her remains were laid to rest last Sunday in the Springston cemetery, the Revs. Jasper Smythe and A. Ashcroft officiating.

Burial records -Linwood Cemetery, Christchurch
Elizabeth Jane ALLISON died 17 October 1916 age 66 arrived by "Travancore" 1851 her husband Henry died 11 September 1924 arr.
"Isabella Hercus" 1856. Elizabeth Jane Kiver married Henry Allison in 1880.

The Christchurch Press Friday 6 September 1889
ALLISON - 5th September at Chester St. East to wife of Henry Allison, a son

Sydenham Cemetery, Christchurch
Charles Allison b. 29 June 1845 died 8 April 1920,
wife Jane Allison d. 23 July 1926

Bromley Cemetery Christchurch
Emily Malbon Allison d. 22 December 1936 also Laura Malbon Allison d. 18 March 1944 daughters of Charles & Marianne Allison who arr. "Isabella Hercus" 4 January 1856

Shipping Index
Charles Allison age 34 carpenter "Isabella Hercus"
Mary Ann age 34
Charles age 10
Henry age 7
Arthur age 5
Francis age 3

Star 29 April 1909, Page 1 THE MAYOR.
Mr Charles Allison, who has been elected Mayor of Christchurch for the second time, was born in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, England, in 1845. He arrived in New Zealand when eleven years of age with his parents, by the ship Isabella Hercus

Obituary Ashburton Guardian, , 9 April 1920, Page 7
Mr Charles Allison, who was Mayor of Christchurch from 1908 to 1910, died yesterday afternoon at his residence in Wordsworth Street, Spreydon, alfer an illness extending over, six months. The late Mr Allison, who was born in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, seventy-four years ago, came to. New Zealand as a boy of ten in the ship Isabella Hercus, along with his parents, and first set foot in Christchurch on January I, 1856.

O'NEIL: I am researching a poem, Charlotte O'Neil's Song, written in 1987 by Fiona Farrell, a Banks Peninsula poet, which is about a servant Charlotte O'Neil who had enough of being a servant.

You rang your bell and I answered. 
I polished your parquet floor. 
I scraped out your grate 
and I washed your plate 
and I scrubbed till my hands were raw. 

You lay on a silken pillow. 
I lay on an attic cot. 
That's the way it should be, you said. 
That's the poor girls lot. 
You dined at eight 
and slept till late.
I emptied your chamber pot. 
The rich man earns his castle, you said. 
the poor deserve the gate. 

But I'll never say 'sir' 
or 'thank you ma'am' 
and I'll never curtsey more. 
You can bake your bread 
and make your bed 
and answer your own front door. 

I've cleaned your plate 

and I've cleaned the clothes you wore.
But now you are on your own, my dear,
I won't be there anymore.
And I'll eat when I please
and I'll sleep where I please
and you can open your own front door."

O'Neil was a passenger, general servant, on the Isabella Hercus in 1855.  I would be extremely grateful for any information on this woman. Her name is listed on some passenger manifests as Charlott O'Neal. Richard Coopey 16 Oct. 1999   The poem was first published in 1997 in  An Anthology of New Zealand Poetry in English.

North Otago Times, 15 May 1874, Page 4

Dear Susan, I take up my pen just to write
These few lines, as the mail it leaving to day;
Which I hope all are well down at Biddicum Bight,
As it leaves me at present I'm happy to say.
Oh! Sukey, be sure you come out by next ship,
For this, is a sensible sort of a place,
No misses out here dares to screw or nip,
And going to service ain't thought a disgrace.
Disgrace ! I should think not why, Susan my dear,
Domestics out here met with proper respect,
We move in a very superior spear,
And leave if the neighborhood isn't select.
Why, only last week a, fine lady came down,
And begged very hard that I'd come as her cook ;
But, Suke, when she mentioned she lived out of town,
'Twould, a taken a harpist to pieter my look.
Now, Susan, old girl, don't you make a mistake,
And slave along there t'other side of the hearth
As soon as you can, sich hard labor forsake,
And come to, a land where they value your worth.
But master is waiting to take this to town,
So, Sukey, goodbye -do come over the waves;
For everything here is just turned upside down
And servant are ladies and missuses slaves.
S.A. Register.

Captain William SEWELL

William SEWELL was christened 17 Jan 1823 at Workington, Co. Cumberland, England and married Jane RULE in 1853 at Workington. They immigrated 26 November 1857 to Port Chalmers, Dunedin, New Zealand on the ship BOSWORTH with their first child and finally settled at the new town site of Oamaru, North Otago on 13 October 1860 where he established a landing service with two well equipped surf boats and eight men to under take the landing of goods and passengers. On 13 August 1862 he was appointed, by the Otago Provincial Government, Beach Master and Pilot of Oamaru at 120 pounds per annum and with the privilage of carrying on his own boating services. In 1863 he obtained the highest poll for the Oamaru Town Board elections, so chaired the first Town Board meeting. In 1865 he was appointed deputy Harbourmaster and Pilot, as full time duty and then Harbourmaster under the Harbour Board, until retiring in 1896. He died 28. Dec 1897 at Oamaru of age 75, and left many descendants, who have spread throughout New Zealand.  His widow Jane lived until the age of 85 (1822-1907).   Information posted on behalf of Mrs Janette Adams, Charing Cross, 1 RD, Christchurch, NZ and Geoff Green.  Please contact Geoff or Mrs Adams if you have any further information on the Sewell family. Posted 19 Jan. 1999. (Capt. Sewell was one of the Timaru Roadstead Commissioners in 1864)

Captain Sewell was one of those grand old settlers whose word was a bond men hastened to accept, whose duty was ever paramount in fair weather or in foul, and whose open-hearted generous simplicity of character won the affection and esteem of everybody would could appreciate his nobility of soul.  His life has been a long and picturesque life, from his first running away to sea, with all the tradition of wild boyhood, to his death today upon his birthday.  His first visit to New Zealand was in the later fifties when he came here in command of the sailing ship Isabella Hercus.  He took the vessel back to the old world, and then, smitten with the charm of the southern seas, he returned here to live, coming out in the Bosworth, bringing with him his wife and daughter (now Mrs. A. G. Creagh). He settled at Portobello first, but only remained there for a very short period, removing to Oamaru in 1859....Leaves a widow, two sons, and three daughters.

"Flags on the shipping and at the harbor were at half-mast today as a token of respect"
Oamaru Mail 28 Dec. 1897
Timaru Herald 30 Dec. 1897 pg2

Otago Witness Feb. 2 1856

Arrived. Feb. 1st Isabella Hercus, 568 tons, Sewell, master, from London, via Port Cooper. Passengers. Mr and Mrs Edwards and 5 children, Mrs Duncan, James Duncan, Miss Binney, Mrs Baker and child, Mr and Mrs Alexander, Job Dabinett, wife, and 5 children, J. Brown. - J. Jones, agent.

Another Voyage: Passenger listing  The 'Isabella Hercus', a full rigged ship built in 1847, made an earlier voyage departing Plymouth, England, 24 October, 1850 under the command of Captain Holstone and arriving Port Cooper (Lyttelton) 1 March, 1851 with 107 steerage, 16 fore-cabin, and 25 cabin.

FHL film: The 1856 Isabella Hercus list is also found on LDS film # 0287464: Passenger lists from foreign ports to Canterbury 1855-1871 Microfilm of manuscript (handwritten), at Archives New Zealand in Wellington, NZ. Includes index. Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1961 5 microfilm reels

Photo of vessel: The Canterbury Museum has on display a photo of a porcelain cup from the 'Isabella Hercus' with the painted image of a ship inside the cup with the name of the vessel on the top and bottom. 

Lloyd's Register confirms William Sewell was Master of the Isabella Hercus from 1856 to 1858.  The vessel was named after the wife of John Hercus of Greenock; John being one of the original owners. Information courtesy of John Hercus ggg-nephew of the original owner.  Please contact John if you have further information on the 'Isabella Hercus' or you would like information on the ship, her voyages, or the Hercus family. 

When was a passenger manifest created?
(1) Emigration Agent
(2) Ship's Surgeon
(3) Shipping Agent

Passenger lists are also called ship list, ship passenger manifest, ship manifest, embarkation list and passenger manifest in the 1800s or just plain manifests. There was more than one form of list compiled. The shipping company required a passenger list showing details of the accommodation allocated to each passenger, while the Customs Department required a list of passengers and crew on official stationery.  In 1926 England to New Zealand, the official list was headed: "Shipping Act, 1906 and Aliens Restriction Acts,1914 and ... " Return of Passengers leaving the United Kingdom in ships bound for Places out of Europe and not within the Mediterranean Sea."  Then lists: Names and descriptions of British passengers embarked at the port of:.......  This list is compiled by Class of passenger travel and contract number.  Government records are more likely the ones to survive in archives than records from shipping companies which came and went.


This page may be freely linked to but not duplicated in any fashion, wholly or in part, except for private study.  1998- 2017  Olwyn If you have information on the persons mentioned in the manifest please email me so that we can share the information with all in the genealogy community.