DEPARTURE OF THE SHIP
The Stirling Observer (Stirlingshire, Scotland) September 3rd 1840
Our sincere thanks to Beryl O'Gorman for supplying this write-up.
On Monday last we had the
opportunity of accompanying a select party who paid a farewell visit to the ship
'Blenheim', before her departure with emigrants for the land of promise in the southern
seas. The emigrating band numbered nearly 200; they were principally highlanders who are
strangers to the language of the Saxon, and as Dr McLeod had kindly consented to address
them in Gaelic for the last time before their departure from the shores of old Scotland,
the occasion was one calculated to excite both feeling and interest. The 'British Queen'
steamer sailed from the Broomielaw at 11 o'clock, with the New Zealand flag flying from
her mast head, and both there and at Renfrew wharf, passengers for the remote home of Port
Nicholson, New Zealand, were received, and placed on board the 'Blenheim', which lay at
the Tail of the Bank, shortly after one o'clock. The 'Blenheim' is a London ship,
commanded by Captain Gray, and although she only reached Greenock on the Sunday week
preceding, the time had been so well improved that it only required the lifting of the
anchor, and the spreading of the sails, to fit her for sea. It was intended that the ship
should be entirely filled with emigrants from the Highlands, but when the day of parting
came, the home-sick feeling came so strongly upon them that about 40 drew back, whose
places were filled up by families principally from Glasgow and Paisley. Mr Crawford, the
New Zealand Secretary, only received notice of the defalcation in the Highland complement
on Thursday last; but so eager and so general is the desire to settle in this infant
kingdom, that in two days he was able to muster a sufficient number of reputable artisans
- weavers, blacksmiths, carpenters, &c, with their families - who were willing and ready to
leave the land of their fathers for ever. The great majority, however, were Highlanders,
and we have rarely seen a more creditable band; they were selected personally by Mr
McDonald late of Druimi!
ntoran, who shows his sincerity in the cause of emigration, by proceeding at the head of his peasant friends, accompanied by his lady and family.
The emigrants are principally in families of from six to twelve in number...........
originally copied this page for another article I don't have the conclusion, but
I think, as it stands for those who had Highland ancestors. Beryl O'Gorman