RULES FOR MATRONS ON BOARD THE IMIGRANT SHIPS
All young women sent out by the Female Emigration fund, will be considered under your charge.
You will inspect them daily to see that they are clean and neat, and their cabins well aired and washed. You will also be careful that their stock of clothing is washed at proper times to be appointed and that it is kept in good order.
The young women being divided according to proficiency, the first division are to meet together every morning, as soon after breakfast as convenient, for the purpose of reading the Scriptures together, in accordance with the system of the books given for that purpose by the Committee of the British Ladies Female Emigrant Society.
If practicable, this division should afterwards, in the course of the morning, have the opportunity of improving themselves in Writing, Arithmetic &c, and some young person more advanced than the rest should, with your sanction, be allowed to preside the Class.
The second division are to meet for general improvement during The time in which the first division are engaged in reading the Scriptures.
The second division are to meet to read the Scriptures, while the first are engaged in writing, &c.
You should be present during the time allotted to Scripture instruction.
You are to make it your daily endeavour to collect around you in the afternoon all the young women; and while they are employed in needlework, you should propose that some of those best qualified should read to the rest occasionally; and you should vary the employment by suggesting questions on Arithmetic, Geography or Spelling. At the end of the working time, the needlework of each worker to be returned to your care, with a ticket bearing her name.
The young persons should, on Sundays, be encouraged to devote as large a portion of time as possible to religious improvements, and you should employ various means to interest them - such as encouraging them to commit to memory and repeat portions of Scriptures, distributing questioning cards, to be answered in writing or otherwise, and forming parties for singing psalms and hymns.
You will be provided with needlework to employ the young women during the voyage; and you will receive a bag containing scissars sic,emery cushions, tape, cotton &c., for the use of the young women when their own are expended. What remains at the end of the voyage is to be divided among the classed.
The books and the needlework (with the exception of the shirts) are to be divided at the end of the voyage among the young women, if not forfeited by misconduct. You are to have the privilege of choosing one book and one piece of work for yourself.
You will see that the young women are in their proper sleeping apartments as soon as it is dark, and that no male person is then on any pretence, except the Surgeon in his professional capacity. In the event of the Surgeon's attendance being required at any time, it will be your duty to be present with him. The key of their apartment will be in your custody.
With a view to prevent any irregularity, you are to muster all the young women at any hour you may deem necessary for this purpose, but you must exercise this authority with discretion.
Material for dozen shirts will be consigned to your care, which it will be your business to cut out, aided by any assistant's you may select, and to distribute among the young women to make. It will be left to you to decide who are capable of making the finer shirts, and who the coarser ones. A book will be given to you in which to register the number made by each young women.
At the end of your voyage, you are to give over the stock of shirts made, and any remains of material to Messrs Brown and Campbell, Auckland who will receive directions as to the payment of the Emigrants for their shirt work, and the disposing of the same.
You will be assisted in every department by an Under Matron and it must be your earnest endeavour to support her authority with the Emigrants, and to work in harmony with her.
In carrying out the above rules, you must depend, for the maintenance of your authority with the Emigrants, on your influence with them, rather than on any direct power which can be given to you. You must endeavour daily to unite kindness and patience with firmness, and not be discouraged by meeting a great diversity of temper and disposition.
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