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Emigration to Canterbury

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From 1854 to about 1870, the Canterbury Provincial Government conducted an emigration scheme, offering assisted passages from Britain to Canterbury, New Zealand. Recently I was sent a transcription of the Form of Application to be filled in by applicants, which sets out the conditions set down by the Provincial Government. My gr-gr-grandfather, who had emigrated to Canterbury in 1855, had sent the form to his brother in Ontario, Canada, with the offer to provide financial assistance if he would like to emigrate to New Zealand. His brother, after a lot of thought, did not take up the offer. The form, along with correspondence written during the 1860s, recently came to light in very good condition. I set out below some interesting extracts from it, which will be of interest to anyone who has emigrant ancestors who came to Canterbury, New Zealand under the Provincial Government scheme.

Carole Cowan

      I. The passages are restricted to Agricultural Labourers, Shepherds, and Domestic Servants, and a small number of Masons, Bricklayers, Joiners, and other Tradesmen.  They must be sober, industrious, of good moral character, in good health, and must be going to the Colony with the intention to work for wages.

      III. The sum charged by the Government for the full passage will be �17 for each statute adult.  Every person above the age of twelve years is reckoned as an adult; children between one and twelve are reckoned as half an adult; and infants under one year are not reckoned.

      IV. The Government will give towards the passage-money a sum equal in amount to the sum paid in cash by the Passenger. If there shall be any balance, the Government will advance the sum required to make up the passage-money, as a loan, taking from the Passenger promissory notes for the amount advanced, payable to the Treasurer of the Province.  Such notes will be made payable on demand; but, unless the Passenger dispute the debt, or shall attempt to leave the Province, payment will only be required in sums of Five Pounds at a time, at periods of three months, until the whole debt is discharged.  The first payment to be made Six Months after landing.

      V.  In filling up the �Form of Application�, the Applicant must be particular to state the sum which he is prepared to pay towards his passage.  If he can pay one-half, he may expect, if approved, to receive a passage in the next ship : and no further payment will in that case be required from him.  If he cannot pay so much as the half, he must state the largest sum which he can afford to pay.  The more he can pay in ready�money, the more likely he is to receive an early passage, and the less he will have to pay for his passage on the whole.

      VIII. No person will be allowed any assistance unless he shall have been approved of by the Emigration Agent.  No single man above the age of Forty years; no person above the age of Fifty, unless a member of a large family: and no person above Sixty years under any circumstances, will be allowed assistance.  But any person so ineligible on account of age, and going with a family eligible for assistance, may obtain a passage upon payment of the passage-money in full.

      XI. The Emigrants must pay all their own expenses to the Port, and up to the period of embarkation.

 

S H I P �S  R E G U L A T I O N S

     XI. PROVISIONS, &c�Provisions, Medical Attendance, Cooking, and Cooking Utensils, are supplied on board without charge to Emigrants.

The following is the Dietary Scale for each Adult per week. Women receive same Rations as Men; Children between one and twelve, one half.

Preserve Meats

Beef

Pork

Cabin Biscuit

Flour or Bread

Rice or Oatmeal

Peas

Carrots

Sugar

Lime

Juice

Tea

Coffee

Butter

lb

1 �

lb

1

lb

1

lbs oz

2   10

lb

3 �

lb   oz

1   12

pint

lb

lb

1

oz

6

oz

2

oz

3

oz

4

Cheese

Raisins

Currants

Suet

Pickles

Molasses

Mustard

Pepper

Salt

Potatoes

Fresh  Preserved

Water

 

oz

6

lb

lb

oz

8

pint

lb

 

oz

oz

oz

2

lb

3

lb

3/4

qt

21

 

        Children between one and four years of age to receive preserved meat, instead of salt meat, every day, and in addition to which they are entitled by the above written scale, a quarter of a pint of preserved milk daily, and 8 ozs. of arrowroot, or sago weekly.  Children under one year, 3 pints of water daily; and if above four months old, a quarter of a pint of preserved milk daily, and 3 oz. preserved soup, 12 oz. biscuit, 4 oz. oatmeal, 4 oz. sago or arrowroot, 8 oz. flour, 4 oz. rice, and 10 oz. sugar weekly.

      XV. OUTFIT, &c. (which may be purchased, irrespective of Clothing, at from THIRTY SHILLINGS to Two Pounds). � Emigrants must find Mattresses (which should be new, if possible) and of the following dimensions:-For Single Men or Women, 6 feet by 20 inches; Married Couples, 6 feet by 3 feet;  Children, according to size), and the necessary Bolsters, Blankets, and Counterpanes.  Each person should also take a Knife and Fork, Spoons, Metal Plates, Drinking Mugs, &c.  No one will be allowed to embark with a less quantity of Clothing for each person than-

FOR MALES

6 Shirts

6 Pair Stockings

2 Warm Flannel or Guernsey Shirts

2 Pair New Shoes

2 Complete Suits of Strong Exterior

Clothing

FOR FEMALES

6 Shifts

2 Warm and Strong Flannel Petticoats

6 Pair Stockings

2 Pair Strong Shoes

2 Strong Gowns, one of which must be warm.

FOR CHILDREN

7 Shirts or Shifts

4 Warm Flannel Waistcoats

1 Warm Cloak or Outside Coat

6 Pair Stockings

2 Pair Strong Shoes

2 Complete Suits of Exterior Clothing

 Also, 3 Sheets for each Berth, and 4 Towels, and 2 lbs Soap for each person.

Emigrants must not have less than the above Outfit; but the larger the Stock of Clothing the better for health and comfort during the voyage.

      XVl.  The Emigrants will be divided into three classes, and berthed in three separate compartments in the ship: lst, Single Men, that is, all unmarried males above twelve years; 2nd, Married Couples and Children under twelve years; 3rdly, Single Women, that is, all unmarried females above twelve years.  Parents should bear in mind this regulation when procuring bedding for their families.

      The Single Women will be placed under the superintendence of a Matron.

      XVll.  LUGGAGE, &c.- All Luggage should be distinctly marked in Paint with the Name of the Passenger and the Ship; and Boxes containing Articles which will be required on the voyage should have the word �Wanted� written conspicuously upon them. The whole Quantity of Baggage for each Adult, allowed free of charge, is twenty cubic feet measurement, not exceeding half a ton in weight, and this may be either brought on board by the Emigrant on the day of embarkation, or forwarded to the Docks previously.  Luggage in excess of this quantity will be chargeable with freight at a rate not exceeding 1s.6d. per cubic foot.  Notice of the Number and Sizes of the Packages containing such extra luggage should be sent to the Shipping Agents at least five days before the day of embarkation.  Emigrants must present themselves at the Ship on the day named for embarkation on the Contract Ticket.  As all boxes are put into the Hold of the Ship, and those marked �Wanted� can be got at about once a month during the voyage, the Emigrant should keep a supply of linen for immediate use in a canvas bag, which he can keep in his berth.

Information courtesy of Carole Cowan. Thanks Carole.

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn�t do than by the ones you did do, so throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
~Mark Twain
1835-1910