Bengal Merchant
Ship: 503 Tons
Captain: John Hemery
Surgeon Superintendent: Dr Francis Logan
Sailed Glasgow 30th October 1839 - arrived Port Nicholson 20th February 1840

Name Age Occupation Comments
Cabin Passengers
Anderson Mr
Buchanan William Trueman
Carruth John
Carruth Robert
Colville John
Dorsay Dr William
Son 2
Daughter 1
Duncan Andrew
John 2
Andrew 1
Hay Ebenezer 26 Pioneer/Settler Pigeon Bay, Canterbury
Agnes 26
Johnson David
Johnson James
Logan Dr Francis 57
Housten Francis 15 mths
MacDowall William
Jessie 4
Robert 1
MacFarlane Rev John First Minster sent by NZ Co.
Marjoribanks Alexander Traveller and Author.
Married Anne Forbes 25/12/'39 off coast of  Sth America
Reid Adam
Daughter 9
Strang Robert Rodger
Susan Douglas
Todd Archibald
Todd Dr Graham Died shortly after arrival
Wallace George Brother-in-Law to Dr Logan
Drowned in shipwreck in NZ 1851
Yule John
Steerage Passengers
Branks John 31 Farm Servant Brother to Robert Branks
Rachel 27
Branks Robert 24 Farm Servant Brother to John Branks
Wife 20
Brash William 39 Labourer
Wife 28
John 1
Daughter Infant
Brown Adam 23 Mason
Brown Malcolm 20 Farm Servant
Brown Peter 27 Labourer
Wife 21
Catherine 1
Bryce John 33 Wheelwright Widower
Thomas 12
John 7
Jeanette 7
Burnett Samuel 28 Ploughman
Wife 28
Mary 8
George 4
Son Infant
Campbell James 24 Candle Maker
Cook Mathew 35 Shoemaker & Gardener
Wife 35
William 17
Mathew Jnr 15
M. (son) 11
George 6
A. (son) 2
Crawford George 27 Farm Servant
Cullen James 20 Farm Servant Married Jane Stevenson per ship Philip Laing
Dick David 22 Labourer
Sarah 24
Robert 2
John Infant
Dorran Peter Snr 49 Labourer
Wife 49
Dorran Peter Jnr 24 Labourer
Wife 19
Peter Infant
Dorran Thomas 19 Labourer
Wife 17
Drummond Donald 28 Farm Servant
Wife 22
Dugald Elizabeth 19 Servant Married William Tannahill
Eckford Thomas 28 Gardener
Forbes Ann 22 Female Servant Married Alexander Marjoribanks 25/12/'39 off the coast of  Sth America
Galloway David 20 Tailor
Ann 18
John Born at Sea
Gilbert James 22 Tailor
Wife 24
Isabella 5
Christina 3
Daughter 1
Golder William 29 Shepherd
Wife 26
Margaret 2
Daughter Infant
Londsdale James 31 Gardener
Mary 20
Mary Jane 1
Leckie William 23 Farm Servant
Wife 24
Lockhart Isabella 21 Female Servant Married Capt Jock McGregor,  September 28th, 1840
McBeth Jane 17 Female Servant
McBeth John 27 Gardener
Wife 27
James 1
Daughter Born at sea 29/11/1839
McEwen Andrew 45 Flax Dresser
Wife 47
McEwen David 21 Flax Dresser
Mary 20
Son Infant
McGechean John 20 Farm Servant
Wife 20
McLaggan John 29 Wright & Joiner
Wife 25
McLatchie George 20 Miller
Miller Mrs 57


MATRON to Single Women
Mitchell James Joseph 23 Labourer
Moore Frederick George 25
Murray John A. 25 Clerk & Salesman
Murray William 21 Labourer
Wife 19
Neilson James 27 Farm Servant
Wife 27
Son Infant
Nisbet John 40 Farmer
Wife 36
Nisbet Thomas 31 Sawyer
Pollock Thomas 21 Farm Servant
Wife 20
Rankin Mary 22 Farm Servant
Reid David 39 Carpenter
Reid Thomas 23 Painter & Glazier
Mary Ann 20
Child Born and died at sea
Riddle James 27 Farm Servant
Rowand Andrew 22 Farmer
Scott Alexander 30 Ploughman Dr Logan's Plough
Scullers Henry 25 Farm Servant
Wife 22
Simpson Thomas Ritchie 21 Farm Servant Mr Strang's Servant
Tannahill William 20 Labourer Married Elizabeth Dugald
Turner Andrew 18 Cabinet Maker
Turner James 20 Baker
Turner John 19 Tailor
Webster William 23
Wilson James 39 Joiner & Cabinet Maker
Mary Ann 32
Jessie 10
Ann 8
Thomas 6
John 3
Allan 2 months
Yule Alexander 34 Sawyer Lancashire
Elizabeth 29
Grace 10
Robert 7
Mary 1
Yule Moses 24 Farm Servant


This is the Biography of James Cullen from the website "Electric Scotland". If you have a connection with James Cullen or would like to know more please contact Nancy Cullen-Stewart.


Captain John HEMERY 1813 – 1881:

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John Hemery was born into a family of merchants and traders on the Island of Jersey, between England and France, on the 30th October 1813. His father Clement was a wealthy merchant and ship owner on the Jersey. His grandfather, also Clement, had fought in the Battle of Jersey against the French invaders in 1781, and been included in the famous painting by John Singleton Copley of the battle. John went to sea at an early age, serving on the ship ‘Lord Hungerford’ before buying his first vessel the ‘Bengal Merchant’ in 1839 at the age of 26. In her he sailed to India, Australia and of course New Zealand. We have a description of John Hemery by one of the passengers on this voyage to New Zealand, Alexander Majoribanks taken from his book ‘Travels in New Zealand’, London 1846:

The commanding officer of our ship, Captain John Hemery, from the Island of Jersey, was a handsome young man of good address, and though said to be opulent, preferring a sea life to any other – a singular choice I must admit. He had some faults, and who has not; but he was an excellent seaman; very sober and attentive to the duties of the ship, and a strict disciplinarian. He was disposed to be somewhat haughty in his deportment – keeping very much aloof from us all; but this, I am inclined to think, arose, in a great measure, from the situation in which he found himself placed; and really, when we consider his youth, and the difficult part which he had to act, amidst the jarrings and quarrels that invariably occur in emigrant ships, I cannot help feeling that this feeling was highly commendable.

Later John Hemery was owner and captain of the ‘Constant’ which on at least one occasion transported convicts from Ireland to Tasmania. He married Anna Beatty in 1844, and they had a total of 9 children. He retired from the sea in 1849, and embarked on a banking career. Settling in Canterbury, Kent, England,  John Hemery was manager of the London and County Bank, and Lord Mayor of Canterbury in 1879. He died on the 22nd November 1881. An account of a convict voyage on the ‘Constant’ can be read in Patrick Howard’s book ‘To Hell or to Hobart’ published by the Kangaroo Press in 1993. John Hemerys brother Clement kept a diary which also has much information on John, his marriage, his travels, and life in Jersey in the middle of the 19th Century. This can be found in the library of the Societe Jersiaise, St. Helier, Jersey. Further genealogical information on the Hemery family will soon be posted on my website : If you have a connection with John Hemery or would like to know more please contact Richard Hemery or visit his website above.


GALLOWAY family:
David and Ann (nee McEWEN) GALLOWAY were married at Abbotshall, Fifeshire 17 days before leaving from Glasgow for New Zealand.  On the shipping list he is a 20 year old tailor with his 18 year old wife and no children. He is recommended by Rev James Drommond of Forgandenny, Perth. They are accompanied on this journey by his brother in law David McEWEN and his wife Mary (flaxmiller with recommendations from Dundee) and his parents in law Andrew and Agnes McEWEN. Spent his last years with his daughter and son and laws George and Annie TAYLOR. Their granddaughter Elsie HARRIS nee TAYLOR remembers him putting on his Tam-o-shanter and saying - Aye, now I'm back in Bonnie Scotland. David and Ann GALLOWAY are buried in Pauatahanui Cemetery.
There is an obituary in the Evening Post - Wed Mar 13 1907 - reads as follows;
Mr. David Galloway, whose death in his 89th year occurred on Monday last was one of Wellington's earliest settlers, having landed at Petone in 1840. He resided in the Hutt Valley for some twelve years and then went to the Pahautanui district, where he spent the rest of his life. For a period of ten years Mr.Galloway, who went in for farming, represented the Porirua district in the Wellington Provincial Council with the late Mr. Brandon; he was a member of the Hutt Highway Board (which became the County Council), and acted for many years as a Maori interpreter. Mr. Galloway leaves nine children, seventygrandchildren, and twenty great grandchildren. Of his five sons, four are farmers at Pahautanui, and another is a farmer in Woodville, and the daughters are Mrs. Samson (Sandon), Mrs. G. H. Taylor (Pahautanui), and Mrs. W. Taylor (Petone).
If you have an interest in this family or would like to know more please contact Cheryl E Duggan


YULE family:
Alexander Yule, the son of Robert Yule, brought his family to NZ from Hamilton, Scotland on the Bengal Merchant. A son was born at Petone one month after arrival and their daughter Mary was drowned in a flood in the Hutt River soon after. The family first settled at Lower Hutt where another daughter, Elizabeth, was born and they were to have seven other children. They moved to the Wairarapa, and were farming at Sunnyside East Taratahi,  when their daughter Elizabeth married Thomas George, the son of Thomas George who came out to NZ on the Martha Ridgeway and lived in the Wairarapa. The wedding took place on December 7th, 1866. Alexander Yule was a foundation member of the Knox Church in Masterton (now St Luke's Union Church). He died on 25 April 1890, aged 84 years and is buried in the Masterton Early Settler's Cemetery with his wife Elizabeth who died on 3 June 1903, aged 92 years. If you have an interest in this family or would like to know more please contact Mathew Dowdell McPherson or visit his website


LOGAN family:
Doctor Francis Logan. R.N. was born on January 28th 1780 at The Braes , Dunlop, Ayrshire, Scotland. His parents were William Logan and Janet Gray (married in 1771). He undertook medical studies at Glasgow University between 1804 and 1806, following which he joined the Royal Navy as surgeon. On February 22nd 1837 he married Janet Wallace (born Glasgow in 1808). In 1838 they had a son, Houston Francis, who was born in Glasgow and baptised at barony on March 17th 1839. They arrived in New Zealand on this sailing of the ship Bengal Merchant. Dr Logan was the Surgeon Superintendent on board and was also described as a naturalist. Francis Logan died at the age of 84 on May 30th 1862 and is buried in Bolton St Cemetery in Wellington. Janet Logan was buried on August 19th 1903 at the age of 95 and is also buried at Bolton Street Cemetery. If you have a connection with this family or want to know more please contact Jim Dale. Further information on Dr Francis Logan. Letters from Dr Logan


Earlier this year Nick Perrin sent us the following epitaph concerning the widowed Mrs Miller that he located in Wellington's Bolton St Cemetery - In memory of Mrs Miller who in 1840 immigrated from Bridge of Allan, Stirlingshire, Scotland to New Zealand and became one of the early settlers of Wellington where she dwelt as a lodging-house keeper in the kindly affections of all the community till 26th march 1850 when she fell asleep aged 73. A note from his Bolton St Tour Guide says that she arrived on the Bengal Merchant. Her lodging house collapsed in the big fire along Lambton Quay in 1842, but she carried on business undaunted. It is possible that a daughter came with her to New Zealand as an early register of deaths recorded the death of a daughter of Mrs Miller from consumption, aged 24.
Thanks for this record Nick and thankyou Mrs Miller for enriching the life and history of this country


WILSON family:
We have been favoured, by a valued correspondent, with the following particulars of the late Mr James Wilson:- As one of Wanganui's oldest settlers, I feel it incumbent on me to add somewhat to your obituary notice of the late Mr James Wilson, of Ann Bank, Turakina. Mr Wilson, who died at the good old age of eighty-four, came to New Zealand in 1840, in the Bengal Merchant, and after a residence of thirteen years in Wellington, where he successfully practised his profession as an engineer and architect. For that period he removed with his family to Turakina, where he had purchased an estate of some seven thousand acres. After residing there a long time, he removed to Wanganui, and from thence to England, where he and Mrs Wilson and daughter sojourned for twelve years. On the decease of Mrs Wilson, he returned with Miss Wilson to New Zealand about five years ago, and settled at Auckland. Mr Wilson was one of the oldest magistrates of the
colony, and frequently occupied the Wanganui bench along with Major Durie, Resident Magistrate, and the others of our worthy Justices who have passed away. He was elected a member of the Wellington Provincial Council, and gave a general support to Dr Featherston's Government. He was honoured with the confidence of the Wanganui people, and, along with the late Sheriff, Mr Harper, was chosen to represent them in the General Assembly at Auckland, with a view to having Wanganui separated from Wellington province. He secured the respect and esteem of his fellow settlers, and was honoured in his family. Three of his surviving sons, John, Thomas, and Robert, are Magistrates of the colony, and the two former did good service during the New Zealand war. Above all, Mr Wilson was a sincere Christian, and set a good example to his family and numerous
acquaintances; and, after serving God in his day and generation, has gone to rest in the "Paradise above". Source:- The Burnett Papers - Alexander Turnbull Library James Wilson died in 1883.
If you have a connection to James Wilson or would like to know more please contact Kay Bastin.

Allan Wilson married Margaret Annie Lumsden in 1865. For more information contact is Greg Baldwin.

Robert Wilson married Jane Anne Moir daughter of Reverend John Moir (arrived John Taylor 1853) from Menmuir and the first Free Church minister at St John's, Wellington. For more information contact is Kay Bastin

Strang: Susan Douglas, daughter of Robert Roger and wife married Donald McLean 28th September 1851 at the Scotch Kirk, Wellington. She passed away shortly after the birth of her son on the 7th November 1852. Her mother died 30th November 1851 aged 51and Robert Roger died 27th September 1874 aged 79. Sir Donald McLean died 5th January 1877 aged 57.


LONSDALE family:
James Lonsdale (Lansdale?) was born in Ireland c 1789. His wife Mary was also born in Ireland c 1803. Their daughter Mary Jane Clarke LONSDALE married William Judd Jnr on the 12th August 1844. William had arrived on the ship Bolton on April 21st 1840. They had 12 children. William died on the 3 May 1866. and Mary married James Davidson. If you have a connection with this family or are interested in learning more please contact Kathy McCombs  or  Debbie Bowdler.


Elizabeth was born on 21st February 1821 in Glasgow, Lanark, Scotland. Her parents were Andrew and Elizabeth nee FREW Elizabeth died on the 10th February 1893 at Lower Hutt. She died of heart failure after an attack of bronchitis complicated by Bright’s disease and is buried in the Taita cemetery. Anyone interested in this family please contact Tony Christiansen


William was engaged to work for 18 months by Clyde Trusty. William married soon after arrival in Wellington to a fellow passenger Elizabeth DUGALD on the 5th April 1840. William and Elizabeth had 11 children, 7 girls and 4 boys. A daughter Helen Burns was born 16th May 1841. The witness to the birth from the records is given as Alex Yule and spouse. They were on the same ship as William and Elizabeth. William and Elizabeth originally lived in Petoni but later they lived in Taita. William worked as a carpenter and as a pit sawyer and a shingle splitter. Their daughter Helen was married at age 17 in their house at Taita to James William FOX who was farming in Taita. William was on the first jury list in Wellington, in 1848, and he was also a member of the "Hutt Militia" in the 1840’s. He is listed in the Electoral Roll for Hutt in 1865. William died at Wainui-o-mata on the 20th June 1876 and is buried there but the gravesite is unknown. He died of a heart attack after a bout of bronchitis. Anyone interested in this family please contact Tony Christiansen


Copyright Denise & Peter 1999 - 2006

Archives New Zealand NZC 34/1 p 84a
Various sources