Suicide On The Isabella Hercus

As the ‘Isabella Hercus’ – the Canterbury Association’s 6th ship – broke through the waves 200 miles north of the Equator that warm November morning, Chaplin James Wilson was on the deck, murmuring a desperate prayer.   He was aware of Captain Houston crouching down beside him impatiently but this poor dead young woman lying before …

The White Hart Hotel

The first time I read about the Hart family, my imagination was stirred! Here was this family fresh off the ‘Cressy’ struggling through the tussock of the Canterbury Plains (after tramping over the Bridle Path and punting across the Heathcote), squinting into the blazing setting sun. They stop for breath, the father looking at his …

Sir Arthur Dudley Dobson (1841 – 1934)

Sir Arthur Dudley Dobson was truly a man-child amongst men! Arthur first entered into history as a nine year old, aboard the ‘Cressy’ with his father Edward Senior and his older brother George. His mother and younger siblings would arrive the following year aboard the Fatima – the Canterbury Association’s 19th ship. Edward Senior struggled …

The First Four Ships

The first four ships in order of arrival: the Charlotte Jane, the Randolph, the Sir George Seymour and the Cressy. All four ships brought a total of 791 pilgrims to Canterbury in 1850. To rent a cabin for your journey, it would cost you £42. To travel intermediate class it would cost you £25 and …

The Hart Family

The first time I read about the Hart family, my imagination was stirred! Here was this family fresh off the ‘Cressy’ struggling through the tussock of the Canterbury Plains (after tramping over the Bridle Path and punting across the Heathcote), squinting into the blazing setting sun. They stop for breath, the father looking at his …

The Ward Brothers

Maybe it had been the tedious bumpy ROADLESS journey over the sea of tussock – from Hawkins (a stone’s throw from Darfield) to Rolleston – that made the farmhand lower the new plough down to harvesting position before he towed it back to Bangor in which he worked. He had been sent out hours before …

The Brooker Family Memorial Seat

Was very surprised to come across this memorial plaque on a seat in Victoria Square. I had seen the graves of Stephen and Rebecca Brooker in Addington Cemetery and knew their story. It goes like this: William Free was just 10 years old when he arrived in Lyttelton on the “Cressy”. 10 or so days …