The "Randolph"


The Lyttelton Times

Vol. 1.     No.1.    SATURDAY, JANUARY 11, 1851.   PRICE SIXPENCE.

We have been favoured with the following accounts of the first ships, by passengers on board:-


"Foran et haec olim meminisse juvabit"
"Perhaps this too will be a pleasure to look back on one day"

The "Randolph" left Plymouth on the night of Saturday, Sep. 7, 1850 a few hours after the "Charlotte Jane," having on board 217 passengers.  The officers of the ship were Captain Dale, Commander, Mr. Scott, Chief officer, Mr. Puckle and Mr. Willock, officiating ministers, and Mr. Earle, Surgeon Superintendant.

Her course lay outside Madeira, and crossing the line in long. 24.20 W., she proceeded as far to the westward as long. 36.30 on Oct, 23, being in lat. 23.46 S.   On Nov. 14, her lat. was 45.55 S. long. 44.40.  On Dec. 1 lat. 48.26 S. long. 109.1 E.  On 11th of December, she was in the longitude of the Snares, in lat. 48.33 and after a most delightful run up the coast she entered Port Victoria at half past three o'clock in the afternoon of the 16th , having accomplished the passage in 99 days.  On the anchor being dropped, 'God save the Queen' was sung by all the passengers on the poop.

The Randolph spoke an usually large number of vessels during the early part of the voyage, and on the fourth October fell in with the "George Seymour,"   had left Plymouth 12 hours after her, bringing a passenger who had arrived at Plymouth after the sailing of the Randolph.

She was becalmed two days in company with a French barque, have on board an operatic company with who were proceeding to Mauritius.  On the first day some of the Randolph's passengers pulled to the French vessel, and invited a large party to dine with them, and the second day they had kept a promise exacted by their visitors on leaving the day before, by dining on board the Frenchman; the toast-drinking both sides was most amusing.  A great deal of It_n music was sung in first-rate style.  On 6th November, there was almost a mutiny on board, which by the mercy of God was suppressed through the promptness of the Captain, supported by his officers, and the passengers.  On the twenty-fifth, was performed Sheridan's play of the "Rivals," the female characters were supported in a manor which gave universal satisfaction.  To the ladies on board the greatest praise is due for the effective ways in which the characters were "got up;" the wonder where all the dresses could have come from, and it was very curious to hear of what they were composed.  The representation took place between decks before an overflowing audience; and a second performance was asked for by many who were unable to gain admittance.

There were 5 deaths, all children, and 9 births on board.  The voyage is declared, by common consent, to have been most agreeable, the only unpleasant part of it being that which as passed in the low latitudes between the Cape and New Zealand, on account of the cold and fog, which proved fatal to almost all the game on board.

Our first New Zealand sunset.
Sett’st as thou wert wont to do,
Old fount of light?
Bathing with familiar hue
Tree, and dale, and height?

Casting still old England’s shades,
Thou art ay the same;
If on land the vision fades,
The be our’s the blame.

Grand old friend! thou shinest still,
Guiding to the work;
To the steadfast mind, and will
Never dim or mirk.

Glorious type! of old fond ties
Fate may have bereft us;
Paint thou with unfading dyes

Mast-head of the Randolph,
Dec. 12, 1850.

Poets' Corner January 11, 1851

Accident - During the afternoon of Sunday last, the 5th instant, an accident, fortunately unattended with any serious results, occurred to one of the boats of the "Sir George Seymour."  A large party, consisting of Mr. and Mrs. J.C. Watts Russell, Mr. Wilkinson the surgeon of that ship, and three maid-servants, were returning on board from attending Divine Service.  A squally breeze from  N.E. was blowing at the time, and, through some mis-management of the junior officer in charge of the boat, she capsized while attempting to wear, after missing stays, under the stern of the "Cressy."  Boats were quickly lowered from all vessels; and the whole party were most happily rescued, after having been for some minutes in imminent danger.  We are happy to state that, with the exception of some fatigue, no inconvenience has resulted to any of the party.

On Thursday, 20th of December ult., one of the steerage passengers from the Randolph, named John Williams, who had been walking out of Riccarton and Christchurch, was found lying dead near the bridle-path, on the top of the hill above the town, by some other travellers on their return.  Medical assistance was quickly  procured, but it was ascertained that life had been for some time quite extinct.   The cause of death appears to have been-of an apoplectic nature, and was probably hurried on by the excessive heat of the weather, and the usual fatigue, to which, in his praiseworthy endeavours to find a suitable spot on which to locate his family, the deceased had exposed himself.  The remains were brought to town, and burial in the cemetery on the following day by the Rev. E. Puckle.  John Williams bore a high character with all who had an opportunity of knowing him.  We call attention to the Advertisement which we have received on the subject of his widow and eight children.

Barbadoes Street Cemetery, Christchurch.


Before John Robert Godley, Esq., Resident Magistrate

December 20, 1850.- John Russell, a merchant-seaman, was charged by Captain William Dale, master of the ship "Randolph," with having assaulted ___ while on board ship.  From the evidence of Captain Dale, corroborated by Mr. Samuel Sheard, his second officer, it appeared that the prisoner was quarreling with one of the emigrants, and on the captain ordering him aft, the prisoner struck him in the mouth.  Fined 21., or 14 days imprisonment.  The fine not being paid, the prisoner was moved to the lockup.  John Cormick and James Reeves, merchant-seaman on board the "Randolph" were charged with having refused to work, and were each sentenced to one week's imprisonment.

January 4.- William Corbishly,  merchant-seaman, was charged with deserting the ship "Randolph," and was sentenced to a fortnight's imprisonment.

Randolph Theodore Chaney was b. in the Bay of Biscay 10 September 1850 - died 6 Nov 1928 and Randolph Harper were both born aboard the Randolph which arrived Lyttelton 16 Nov. 1850. Randolph was baptised aboard ship by the Rev. Charles Puckle. His father, William, was a mason, throughout his working life and Randolph was a labourer.

DOB 1850



 Later Residence


Sept 10

 Randolph Theodore

Wm. George & Sarah Susanna Chaney

Canterbury, Co. of Kent, ENG


Sept 17

 Elizabeth Dale

Arthur & Louisa Wayhorn

Gravesend, Co. of Kent, ENG

 Waterman & Lighterman

Sept 24

 Laura Mary Louisa

Jas' George & Louisa Cox

St Dunstan, Flat Street, London


Oct. 27

 John Thomas

Charles & Martha Brown

City of Westminster,  Middlesex, ENG


Oct. 30

 Harriett Jane

 Isaac Wm & Mary Ann Philpott

?Boryhlam n'r, Canterbury, Kent ENG


Nov. 16

 a boy

 John & Elizabeth Harper

Shropshire, Norfolk, ENG

 Farming labour

Nov. 17

 a girl

Wm & Sarah Stokes

Branston, Lancashire, ENG


Nov. 19


 Wm & Lucy Gosling

Maselesfield, Cheshire, ENG


Dec.   5

 a boy

John & Ann Birmingham

Wickham, n'r Woolwich, Kent ENG

 Employed in the Arsenal Woolwich

The Lyttelton Times
September 20, 1851

The ship "Randolph", Dale, commander, from Madras, bound to London, via Mauritius, was lost on  25 June, on a reef off Amber Island (Mapon).  She had on board a cargo of sugar of London, a large amount of money, and 254 Indian emigrants, for Port Louis. Nothing belonging to the vessel could be saved.  Mr. Scott, an officer of the Madras Army, swam on shore, but died a moment after reaching it from exhaustion. Two European sailors, nine men (immigrants), ten women and three children were drowned.  The remains of Mr Scott were interred with military honours, the garrison following the funeral. "Cornwall Chronicle".

The Canterbury Museum Christchurch, New Zealand holds diaries by Parsons J. Lee, Richard J.P. Fleming and Charles Bridge and letters by John Stanley.

Press, 14 December 1920, Page 5
12th day out. September 19th. Spoke the barque Fortesque, bound from London to San Francisco; another birth (the second), the new arrival to be named Randolphina (number one being of the other sex, was named Randolph); a public auction; and at night, "a dance in the steerage, the black cook as fiddler."
September 26th; A fine morning, but extremely warm and quite becalmed. A French barque (the Active, Captaine Godard, bound for Mauritius) two miles off. We had a boat lowered, and some of our party pulled over there, had lunch, and came back bringing about fourteen of their party to dine with us. After dinner they sang a quartette, etc., for us and returned in their two boats and our one before dusk."
The following day the diarist was one of a party from the Randolph which visited the Active.
"I must say I am delighted with some of their ways and only wish our English friends would copy them at least in some of their good traits. . . This interchange of civilities on the high seas is rather romantic and a great relief after the intesity of monotony we have had to endure." The the romance ended for the Randolph "the French barque about 7 miles" though she remained in sight till the 30th.
October 4th was notable as the date upon which the Sir George Seymour was sighted; the ships were in latitude 7.20 and longitude 21.44. The Randolph lowered a boat and brought off from the Sir George Seymour Mr Cyrus Davie "who was left behind at Plymouth, owing to his not showing."
The Sir George Seymour, remained in sight all the next day; on the 7th the diarist records that those on board the Randolph fancied they saw the Cressy —but was only fancy.
The black cook bobs up again in the diary, the entry on October 8th: "Very little to tell to-day excepting that there was a slight altercation with the black cook who was rather suspected of having stolen some missing cheese. (He was exculpated after)."
October 12th the Randolph was on, or just over "the line." There were "great disturbances on board, the boatswain and one of the middies personating Neptune and his wife. . . We had no tarring and feathering as the captain would not allow it, very properly. Nor would be allow any extra grog to be given them (the crew) lest they might create a disturbance. "
October 16th: "Formed a dramatic, company. Mr Williams read the play we first propose trying— "The Rivals. "
Before the play was produced some real dramatic happenings occurred on November 7th:—"There was a row among the sailors, Mr Scott (first mate) having reproved the man at helm, he was insolent telling him that he had steered a ship before he saw one! Mr Scott gave him double work for a week, which he said he would not do, so he was put in irons. Afterwards the men belonging to the man's watch came aft and told the captain they would not work unless the man was released. The captain said that was out of the question, and ordered those men who meant to work to go on one side of the deck; they all, after a little demur, did so. Then, after, there was a great row forward, when it was found that the black cook had been humbugging the sailors and had given him a good thrashing. The captain went to see what was doing, and received an unintentional blow from one of the sailors who was engaged in the affray, for which he was handcuffed and put in irons. All were ultimately released, having said that they were sorry; and to show the sailor character they drank the captain's health that very evening. . . . We showed fight in the matter: had cutlasses on the poop, and the captain had a two-barrelled pistol loaded ready in case anything really serious occurred. Some of the cuddy passengers got their firearms loaded." The ship was in the vicinity of £he Cape of Good Hope when these incidents took place. On November 25th "The Rivals" was duly produced, the diarist stating "with great eclat." The cast was as follows: Sir Anthony Absolute, Captain Dale (the master of the ship); Captain Absolute, Mr Boby; Sir Lucius O'Trigger, Mr Scott (the first mate): Bob Acres, Mr Bayfield; Tag, Mr Fitch; David, Mr Peel; Mrs Malaprop, Mr Williams; Lydia, Mr Keeley; Julia, Mr J. P. Lee; servant maid to Julia, Miss Ellen Earle; servant maid to Lydia, Mr Cuddiford (one of the middies); page, Miss Kate Williams; boy, Mr Edward Puckle. On December 12th Stewart's Island was lighted, and the diary ends with an entry on the 14th, with the ship almost becalmed fifteen miles from, land, evidently Banks Peninsula.

Passenger lists of Canterbury Association Ships. 1900.
Chief Cabin Passengers in the 'Randolph'. Sailed from Gravesend 4 Sept. 1850
Bealby, Richard Coopes
Blanchard, W. Richard
Bridge, C.J.
Duncan, T. S
Duncan, Mrs (one infant Miss)
Earle, G.W. Dr./ Surgeon Superintendent
Earle, Mrs
Earle, Ellen
Earle, Edward
Earle, Katherine
Earle, ____ child
Flemming, Richard
Flemming, Mrs
Flemming, George Spencer child
Flemming, Emily child
Harrison, T.H
Kesle, W (Keele)
Parsons, John Lee
Peel, T.F.
Puckle, Rev. E.
Puckle, Mrs
Puckle, Edward
Puckle, Summers
Puckle, Sidney
Puckle, Murray
Puckle, Mary
Williams, Theodore
Williams, Mrs
Williams, Catherine
Williams, Daniel Theodore
Williams, Charles Hood
Willock, Rev. W.W.
Willock, Mrs
& 1 son?

Total: 32

A listing of the passengers appeared in "The Lyttelton Times" January 18th 1851. The names can also be found on plaques in the Christchurch Square.

Canterbury Jubilee Celebrations, published Christchurch Press Printers 1900 by Old Colonists Committee. Additional names mentioned in book listed below:

Williams, John & Mrs. & (2 sons*) ?
Williams, John *
Williams, J.J. Struthers *
Wood, Mr. W.D.
Boly, Mr. (could be Boby)
Butterfield, Mr.
Tullock, Mr. J.
Bayfield, Mr. Arthur & Mrs. Matilda & 1 child.*
Bayfield, Arthur D.*
Stoddart, Mr. & Mrs. (School master)
Ransom, Miss (School mistress)
Taylor, Miss W.R. ( School mistress)

Brief account in White Wings Volume 2 by Sir Henry Brett including extracts from the Charles Bridge diary.
He notes that Randolph met other ships on the way and at one point the crew became mutinous. Two were put in irons (chained up at the ankles) and the captain threatened to flog the ringleader and armed some passengers. The ship made a speedy voyage but it was very cold when she sailed far south. National Maritime Museum image online shows the passengers of the "Randolph" dancing. The deck is crowded and sails have been rigged to provide shade. The sketch appeared in the The Illustrated London News 27.3.1850.

Aotearoa New Zealand Centre, Christchurch Public libraries also holds "The Canterbury Settlement sketch on board the Randolph emigrant ship" that appeared in the Illustrated London News, 3 Aug. 1850, p. 108 1 photograph : b&w ; 16 x 21 cm. and 7 Sept. 1850, p. 198 Continuation of an account of the Canterbury Association's farewell to New Zealand emigrants [picture]

Lloyd's Register
RANDOLPH (1849-50-51)  (No vessel listed under RANDOLF)
Master: none listed
Rigging:  Ship; sheathed in felt in 1849; fastened with copper bolts
Tonnage:  664 tons
Construction:  1849 in Sunderland
Owners:  D. Dunbar
Port of registry:  London
Port of survey:  London
Voyage:  none listed
NOTE:  in the 1851 Register, the entry also contains: WRECKED

New Zealand Bound

"Charlotte Jane"
Shipping News