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Martha Ridgeway

Ship: 621 tons
Captain: James Forbes Bisset
Surgeon Superintendent: John Frederick Knox
Sailed London 5th July 1840
Sailed Downs on morning of 9th July 1840
Sailed Isle of Wight 6pm on 11th July 1840
Arrived Wellington 14th November 1840

This splendid Liverpool-built ship had been constructed expressly for the passenger trade. She had a very spacious poop, with a height of 6ft 9in in the 'twixt decks, and was replete with every arrangement for the comfort and health of the passengers. The end of the Martha Ridgeway was that, while bound from New Zealand to Bombay, she was wrecked on a reef at Nimrod's Entrance, Torres Strait, and was abandoned by the crew.

Shortly after the Martha Ridgeway left England, smallpox broke out, and during the passage to New Zealand the ship was never wholly free from cases. She sailed from Gravesend on July 5th, 1840, with 225 emigrants, and arrived at Port Nicholson on November 14th. The first to contract the disease was a steward, who developed it soon after leaving England. It must have been a mild type, for we do not read of any deaths. Several of the passengers were down when Port Nicholson was reached, so a quarantine ground was established on the eastern shores of the harbour [Lambton Harbour]. The ship was taken across, and everybody aboard was placed in strict quarantine for three weeks. Like everything else it did, the Company had seen carefully to it that the new settlement was supplied with first-class medical men, and these soon had the disease stamped out.

(taken from White Wings by Sir Henry Brett)

Arrival of the "Martha Ridgway"
The "Martha Ridgway", 621 tons, sailed from England on the 3rd March, 1840 and arrived on the 8th July, with 80 married couples, 19 single men, 17 single women, 47 boys and 34 girls under fourteen, and 2 children under one.
6 births and 5 deaths occurred on board.
The register was signed by Mr. Daniel Riddiford, Emigration Agent.
A list of the passengers is given as under:-

Anderson, T. ..... 21
Ashley, Mary ..... 17
Bennett, W and Hannah .....38 ..... 38 ..... 4 children
Bolton, James .....23
Bottomley, Wm Henry .....28
Bottomley, Charlotte ..... 38
Brittain, William ..... 20
Brooks, Stephen ..... 39 .....3 children
Brooks, Sarah .....37
Brooks, Caroline .....16
Brosnahan, Patrick .....20
Brown, Chas .....
Brown, Anne .....
Browne, Thomas .....
Browne, Annie .....
* Butler, John and Sarah .....
Campbell, Jane .....
Canning, Joseph .....
Canning, Mary .....
Cannon, William .....
* Clark, Jane .....
* Crowhurst, John .....
* Curtis, George .....
* Curtis, Priscilla .....
Dallison, Jos. Bond .....
Day, John and Jane .....
Duncan, Arthur Wm .....
* Gannon, M and Cath .....
Goldie, John and Barbara .....
* Goodens, Len and Mary .....
+ Goodens, Ann 19, Phil 17, Ellice .....
Harfield, Dan .....
* Harley, Sam and Harriet .....
Harvey, Rich and Mary .....
Harvey, John .....
Harvey, Elizabeth .....
* Harvey, Thos and Mary A .....
Head, Ed and Sarah .....
Hobman, Jas and Jane .....
House, Ann .....
* Howe, Ed and Eliza .....
Howell, Th and Eliza .....
Howland, Sarah .....
Hudgell, Jos. .....
Hughey, Wm. .....
Hughey, Marianne .....
Hunt, Thos and Eliza .....
Jones, Jos. and Elizabeth .....
Judd, Wm. and Elizabeth .....
* Kelt, James .....
Mason, Wm and Elizabeth .....
* Maxwell, John B .....
Medhurst, Charles .....
Medhurst, Mary Ann .....
McGregor, Joseph .....
McGregor, Ellen .....
McLelland, Ann .....
(Taken from the book Early Wellington, page 54)

Note only one member of the Milner family is shown on this list and the dates of departure and arrival are not correct

Milner family passengers (from draft passenger list compiled at London 5 July 1840 - date of sailing)
Richard 38
Sarah 41
Sarah 14
Son 11 (Richard)
Son 10 (George)
Daughter 7 (Rose)
Daughter 5 (Jane)
Daughter 2 (son, Jesse)
Son 3 weeks (daughter, Ann)

The final passenger list compiled off the Isle of Wight on 11 July 1840 does not include the infant, suggesting she may have died between the 5th and 11th of July



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