The Corlett Family

In the early hours of the 18th September 1850, the passengers of the ‘Sir George Seymour’ – the third of our First Four Ships – heard one of the distress calls that no one at sea wants to hear.  FIRE! It is not reported whether the watch-keeper (name of the male passengers who strolled the …

Quail Island Gets A Feminine Touch

I can’t say whether Elizabeth Watts-Russell was one of those who laughed when the Ward brothers – Edward, Henry and Hamilton – chose Quail Island as the place to set up their farm.  The brothers were well aware of the giggles happening around Lyttelton as they prepared to make their move.  Edward – the eldest …

Little Hagley Park

The Ngai Tahu and those before them thought nothing of walking from their Pa at Rapaki (a bay of Lyttelton Harbour) to the northern stronghold of Kaikai-a-waro, the area now known to us as Kaiapoi.  Of course, they knew the quickest routes, their tracks through the marshlands and over the Peninsula resembling an over-land rabbit …

John Hill (1836 – 1918)

Phillip Hill must have been a pretty ‘bad boy’ to have been disinherited by his father, John Hill Senior. Luckily for Phillips’ sons – John Jnr. and James – the disinheritance only went as far as their father.John Hill Senior actually went all out and beyond to make sure his grandsons had the best chance …

J.C Watts-Russell (1825 – 1875) & Alfred Creyke (1831 – 1892)

You couldn’t have had two closer friends than J.C. (pictured) and Alfred. The grew up together as their fathers were friends, owned land together, married the same women, travelled together and are even buried in the same cemetery in Upper Riccarton, Christchurch. It’s the land these men owned that puts them on the map…the suburb …

William Guise Brittan (1807 – 1876)

William Guise Brittan arrived in Christchurch on the Sir George Seymour, one of the first four ships.  William’s main occupation before his journey was as a surgeon, serving as the doctor on board the Sir George Seymour! But once in Christchurch, he never practised medicine again. He became the Commissioner of Crown Land and was …

Cyrus Davie (1821 – 1871)

Cyrus Davie will always hold the most interesting record regarding our first four ships. He was the only passenger who made the journey on two of them!!! From what I understand though, it couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy. Cyrus – as most of the settlers would have done too – took life by …

Sir George Seymour – the 3rd Ship

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 …