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"Robert Henderson"

New Zealand Bound

 Otago Witness Saturday February 13, 1858 page 4

Shipping News 

Arrived Feb. 9,  1858 "Robert Henderson", 550 tons, Cubitt, from Greenock. 
The "Robert Henderson", from Clyde, arrived in Port on the 9th instant, after a fine passage of 84 days, having beaten the "Palmyra," which sailed from London 12 days previously. She brings an addition of 286 souls to our population, most of whom are assisted immigrants. There are no cabin passengers, and scarcely any cargo; so far the "Robert Henderson" may be said to be purely an immigrant ship. There have been seven deaths during the voyage - an aged female, and six young children. The passengers are in good health, and the ship, considering the number of passengers, is remarkably clean.

The very short passage made by the "Robert Henderson" has produced some inconvenience, which was increased by the proceedings of the immigration contractors, who, by infringing the Passenger Act, hustled the passengers ashore before the time which the law prescribes, without giving the Government notice. An immigrant ship is bound to shelter and feed her passengers for 48 hours after their arrival in Port; but in this case it suited the interest of those whom the "Colonist" represents both to save the keep of so many mouths, and to inconvenience the Government. Passengers:

Allan		Mr and Mrs A.G. and 1 child
Andrew		Mr and Mrs T. and 3 children
Bruce		Mr and Mrs D., James Emily, and Jane Bruce
Bryce		Mr and Mrs P. and 3 children
Crawford	Mr and Mrs James and 2 children
Chapman		Mr and Mrs
Chalmers	Mr and Mrs Andrew
Chalmers	Robert, and 6 children
Chalmers	Mr and Mrs R. Robert, David, Thomas and Elspeth Chalmers
Campbell	Mr and Mrs Mal.
Callander	Mr and Mrs A.
Callander	J. and W. and 2 children. 
Dow		Mr and Mrs J and 2 children
Ford		Mr and Mrs A. and 4 children
Ford		Mr and Mrs G and 4 children
Hagart		Mr and Mrs D. Isabel, Janet, Jean and Peter Hagart and and 4 children
Heriot		Mr and Mrs S.
King		Mr and Mrs J. and 4 children
Kay		Mr and Mrs David
Lamb		Mr and Mrs R. and 1 child
Lamond		Mr and Mrs J. Charles, Janet, Elspeth and John Lamond and 1 child
Masser		Mr and Mrs J.
Miller		Mr and Mrs A.
Mitchell	Mr and Mrs John and 5 children
Mitchell	Mr and Mrs John and 1 child
Muirhead	Mr and Mrs John and 2 children
McCormack	Mr and Mrs T. and 4 children (?Mcormick)
McGregor	Mr and Mrs Peter and 3 children
McIvor		Mr and Mrs F. and 2 children
McLaren		Mr and Mrs P., Margaret, Peter and Jessie McLaren
McKenzie	Mr and Mrs D. and 5 children
McSwan		Mr and Mrs A. and 2 children
Petrie		Mr and Mrs J. 
Petrie		Mr and Mrs William and 1 child (Robert Petrie paid �6 passage money June 5 1871 to the Provincial Government of Otago)
Reid		Mr and Mrs W. and 1 child
Robertson	Mr and Mrs P., Margaret and 4 children
Russel		Mr and Mrs A, Margaret, Jane, John, Alexander, and Ann Russel and 2 children
Steel		Mr and Mrs W. and 1 child
Stewart		Mr and Mrs John and 1 child
Weatherstone	Mr and Mrs P., Helen, David, and John, and Weatherstone and 1 child
Weatherstone	Mr and Mrs W.
Younger		Mr and Mrs W.

Gerrard		Mrs
Keith		Mrs
McGower		Mrs
Miller		Mrs
Strachan	Mrs

MISSES
Adam		Margaret and Elizabeth (2)
Dow		Betty and Helen
Ellis		Margaret
Gray		J
Henderson
Kelley		E
Lamond		G
Leitch		J
McGower		C
Miller		S
Murray		Mary
Parkinson	Isabella and M.C.
Ross		J
Shiel		A
Stewart		J. and B.
Taylor		J
Young		Mary

MESSRS.
Adam		W
Brown		G
Byars		F
Cameron		George, John. Archibald, and Donald Cameron
Crawford	J
Dowe		John, James. Peter, and Alexander Dowe (Robert Dow paid  �25 10s passage money March 20 1865 to the Provincial Government of Otago)
Fell		C.R.
Gerrard		A
Henderson	F
Hepburn		William (veterinary surgeon)
Hood		J
Hunter		J
Inglis		J
Kelley		J and D. and 4 children
Kennedy		Alexander
Keith		J
Lee		J
Leitch		P
McCallun	A
McDonald	C
McGown		D
McGregor	Daniel
McIntosh	J
McIntyre	A
McIntyre	A jun.
McKenzie	A
McNeil		D
Mackay		D
Mackay		G
Melville	R
Miller		John(2), James, Robert, and Andrew Miller
Mitchell	R
Munro		W.
Murray		Robert and John
Parkinson	R
Reid		T (Wm Reid paid �10 passage money June 15 1861 to the Provincial Government of Otago)
Robertson	A
Sanderson	W
Smith		D
Somerville	John
Stewart		J

The above includes 36 labourers, 23 servants, 22 ploughmen, 4 carpenters, 14 shepherds, 2 gardeners, 3 farm servants, 1 wheelwright, 1 butcher, 1 shoemaker, 1 blacksmith, 1 sawyer, 2 farmers, 1 teacher, 1 veterinary surgeon.  

The handsome new Aberdeen clipper "Robert Henderson", of 612 tons, has arrived at this port, and her model has excited much admiration among nautical men. On her passage to Clyde she displayed extraordinary sailing powers, and stiffness under canvas. She left Stromness on Wednesday the 7th inst. at 5 p.m., with a strong easterly gale, and at 3 a.m. of the next day, begin unable to make out Scalpa Light, was hove to in the Minch Passage. .... She accomplished her passage from Stromness to Clyde in 48 hours. 

Her poop accommodation is exceedingly spacious for a vessel of her tonnage - the saloon being 50 feet long and 7 feet high - and is tastefully decorated and fitted for 20 passengers. She is furnished with Cunningham's patent reefing topsails, which have given her experienced commander great satisfaction, who was by their means enabled to carry on a new vessel with confidence. Her steering gear, which is on the principle of a reserve screw, is a novelty in this quarter, and is at once efficient, simple and economical. The Robert Henderson is commanded and partly owned by Captain W.J. Cubitt, well known at this port, and is intended for the China trade.  She is about to go into the Graving Dock to be coppered, after which she will load for Dunedin, New Zealand, whence she will proceed to China. Greenock Advertiser, Oct. 16. Otago Witness Feb. 13. 1858.

The fine new ship "Robert Henderson", Captain Cubitt, with immigrants from the Clyde; arrived at Port Chalmers on the 9th inst., after performing one of the quickest passages as yet upon record, having made it in 79 days from land to land. She took her final departure Nov. 12, and got the S.E. trades in lat. 32� north, which continued steady to 8�.  The S.E. trade winds were caught in 4� south, and carried up to 25�, calms and variable winds intervening. Passed the long. of the Cape on the 5th January, and had a continuance of strong and steady breezes until her arrival at the Snares, which where reached on the 3rd February.  Fogs and light easterly winds prevented her from making the Harbour, and Captain Cubitt found it necessary to anchor at the entrance to the Waitaki on Sunday night; but the weather clearing, he was enabled to enter the Heads at daylight on Tuesday morning.  The passage altogether was a very successful one, and proved the qualities of the Robert Henderson as a good sailer and a quiet steady going ship.  Built upon the most approved plan, and fitted out with every convenience that could be suggested by her spirited owners, they now have the satisfaction of knowing that they possess a valuable ship, which has fully sustained the reputation of Aberdeen building; and that she is commanded by a captain whose steadiness and perseverance as a seaman, and his urbanity as a gentleman, could not be surpassed, and have obtained for him the best wishes of those who have been fortunate enough to sail with him. - Colonist. 

The Barracks. A few more days were all that were required to afford some accommodation - accommodation far superior to any which has been afforded to immigrants hitherto. The Government sent to the ship immediately for all the carpenters that could be obtained, to complete the barracks; Before that time, the Government had advertised for timber in the Province, and had ordered it from aboard and as soon as it was obtained, work was set about.

March 13 1858 Otago Witness page 5
Married. At Maclaggan Street, Dunedin, on the 12th instant, by the Rev. Thomas Burns, Mr John Somerville, Joiner, to Margaret Ellis - passengers per ship Robert Henderson.

September 11 1858 Otago Witness page 5 
Fatal Accident at Waihola.

On Monday last, an accident, attended with the loss of two lives, occurred on Waihola Lake. Mr Hertslet, an old settler living at the Taieri Native Village, and Mr Kelly, started up the Waihola in a canoe to the store at the Claredon jetty for provisions, and loaded their canoe; but the wind was blowing rather fresh, and their fail vessel being very heavily laden, they postponed their return until about three o'clock. In about twenty minutes after, a shrill cry of distress was heard from the Lake...Harry Faulkner, a youth, ran to Mr George McKay's, three miles farther on, where a boat was last obtained. Darkness was coming on...This makes five men who have fallen victims to canoe navigation on the Waihola Lake since its first settlement. Mr Hertslet was unmarried. Mr Kelly leaves six helpless and motherless children to bewail his untimely end. He came to Otago in the Robert Henderson.

September 25 1858 Otago Witness 
Deaths. Drowned in the Waihola Lake, on the 6th inst., by the upsetting of a canoe, James Augustus, second son of James Hertslet, Esq., of Brighton, Sussex, late of the Foreign Office, London.

The Times, Monday, Jun 26, 1865; pg. 12
Falmouth, June 25
The ship Robert Henderson, from Otago, New Zealand, March 31, passed up the Channel off this port today, bound for London, with 6,000 ounces of gold, 17 passengers, and a cargo of wool. Some of the passengers landed here.

Saturday 8th May 1880 Otago Witness page 8 2 column
There is an article 'A Visit to Tuapeka, and a Chat with Mr Peter Robertson, of Lawrence'.
The name of Peter Robertson is as inseparable from Tuapeka district as is that of Gabriel Reed. Mr Robertson has been an eminently successful settler. He has resided in the neighbourhood for 22 years, and that he is actually the second settler in the district. He arrived in Dunedin in the Robert Henderson on her first trip to the province, and was shortly engaged by Mr John Miller to proceed to what was then almost a terra incognita. Mr Miller was at that time Mr John Cargill's overseer, and the later had just stocked the Waitahuna run. The family left Dunedin with Goodall's bullock dray, reaching the Taieri Ferry after an uneventful journey of two day's duration. Here they were wind bound for two days more, and stayed at Harrold's, being then rowed in a small boat to the head of the lake by a party of Maoris. From thence the journey was made to Tokomairiro with the aid of Mr Gray's harness bullock, the party staying a couple of days at Mr Goodall's. The next stage was two Meadow Bank, the homestead of Mr Cargill, the mode of conveyance utilised this time being Mr Miller's saddle bull, Jack. To Manuka Creek formed another day's journey; and the last stage was to the shepherd's hut at Break-neck, the mode of conveyance again being a bullock team. The hut -is standing to the present day - was only 17 feet by 11 feet; Mr Robertson's description of the discovery of gold will be more than local interest...

Otago Witness 16 October 1907, Page 30
The death is recorded in our obituary column of a very old resident of Dunedin in the person of Mrs. Ann Mitchell, who arrived in the colony with her husband and a family of five children by the ship Robert Henderson in 1858. Mr and Mrs Mitchell resided for a year after their arrival in the North- East Valley, but then removed to North Dunedin, which remained ever since the location of the family home. Mrs Mitchell had the misfortune in 1878 to lose her husband, a carpenter by occupation, his death being the result of an accident. They had been among the very earliest settlers in the north part of the town, which, as a matter of fact, consisted largely when they went to live there, of clumps of bush with three or four houses planted through it at long distances from each other. Mr and Mrs Mitchell shared many of the privations and discomforts incidental to the pioneering life, but they enjoyed various compensations, and among them was the satisfaction derived from the knowledge that they were leaving behind them a line of descendants that earned the respect of their fellow-residents and showed a marked capacity for the performance of the duties of citizenship in thus young country. Their family had increased to one of four sons and five daughters, all of whom survive their aged mother, and there are also 56 grandchildren and eight great grandchildren. The sons are well known in business, one at Port Chalmers and the others in the north end, and they have all taken a great interest in municipal and educational affairs. One of them, in fact, Mr George Mitchell, served as a councillor in the Borough of Maori Hill for a period of about 20 years, and was on seven occasions elected to the mayorality of the municipality, while during a stay in Invercargill he also served in the North Invercargill Borough Council and on the North Invercargill and Gladstone School Committees. Three of Mrs Mitchell's grand-children, moreover, have already attained positions of responsibility in commercial life one on the staff of the Phoenix Company, another in the employment of Messrs P. Hayman and Co., and the third in the service of Messrs Laidlaw and Gray.


1860 Voyage

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