The Sir George Seymour was the third ship to dock at Lyttelton, arriving 24 hours (to the hour) after the Charlotte Jane dropped her anchor. She was though, the last of the four to leave England, carrying 227 souls to a new life. Before her journey to Lyttelton in 1850, she had a history as a convict ship, taking the voyage to Australia a few times over the years 1847 -1849. Lyttelton was also not her first New Zealand port – she had made the journey to Auckland also. After Lyttelton, she continued to be a passenger ship, mostly to Australia.
The Sir George Seymour and the Randolph were the only ships to view each other on the trip over in 1850. They sailed together from the 4th October to the 10th October. Randolph passenger – Cyrus Davie – who missed his boarding time, was able to sail in the Sir George Seymour and took the opportnity to join his luggage and sleep in his own cabin on the Randolph after this historic chance meeting. He made the transfer to the Randolph in a row boat.
A passenger aboard wrote the following about the first church service held on the poop…”What church could be grander than that which had a sky for its roof, the ocean for its floor, and God himself for its architect.”
In 1897, the Sir George Seymour was present at a celebration of the ships that carried early settlers to Australia and New Zealand. Another ship was also docked during these celebrations named the “Minerva’. This was the ship that carried the newly married and pregnant John and Jane Deans from Scotland to Lyttelton in 1853.
*image courtesy of Cairnduff and Cairnduff*