| The Rosanna Settlers : with Captain Herd on the coast of New Zealand 1826-7, by Hilda McDonnell. (2002)|
including Thomas Shepherd's Journal and his coastal views, The NZ Company of 1825.
|Contents: Preface | chapters: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | Journal | Sources |
Port Nicholson or Wangenue'tera in NZ,
surveyed by Captain Thomas Barnett, May 1826.
Reference no. Mapcoll-832.47aj/1826/Acc.379
Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library,
Wellington New Zealand, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.
|In 1825 a group of Scottish settlers, though some were said to have been from Cumberland, sailed on the barque Rosanna from London with Captain Herd. They were part of a New Zealand Company venture planned to last three years.
The New Zealand Company settlers sailed from Leith, the Edinburgh port, by what ship it is not known. They proceded to London and from thence by the Rosanna, the vessel that was to take them to the other side of the world. The Rosanna was accompanied by the storeship Lambton.
The Rosanna settlers were employed by the New Zealand Company as indentured servants. Heading the list of employees was Thomas Shepherd, a nurseryman and landscape gardener originally from Scotland. As agricultural superintendent Shepherd kept a journal while on the coast of New Zealand, produced coastal sketches and made summary notes, completed at the Bay of Islands. Several women and children came on the Rosanna, including Thomas Shepherd’s family. Three children were born on the voyage.
The Rosanna left London on 27 August 1825 bound for ‘New South Wales, Ec’. It was soon joined by the Lambton (Captain Barnett). The vessels sailed via Tristan da Cunha. At the Snares Islands the settlers, including the women, went ashore. On 6 March 1826 they reached the south of New Zealand and came to anchor at Southern Port (Pegasus harbour) in Stewart Island.
After six weeks at Stewart Island the ships set sail along the east coast of New Zealand. In his journal Shepherd described Stewart Island, Otago harbour (which they entered), Banks Peninsula and the Kaikoura coast. They were some time at Cloudy Bay, explored Queen Charlotte Sound and then crossed over to Wanganui a Tara (Port Nicholson) where they spent eight days. After this the journal entries cease. Continuing along the east coast a visit was made to White Island, which Shepherd made notes on. The Rosanna was next at Mercury Bay. The winter months were spent anchored in the Firth of Thames area of the Hauraki Gulf.
Captain Herd had by now decided against forming a settlement. At the end of October 1826 the New Zealand Company vessels arrived in the Bay of Islands. At the missionary settlement at Paihia Mrs Shepherd gave birth to a son, who was baptised by the Rev. William Williams. By this time Captain Herd and his party had seen or met up with most of the Europeans then in New Zealand.
By December 1826 the New Zealand Company ships were on their way round to the Hokianga river, which Captain Herd knew from an earlier visit. Finally, on 11 February 1827, the vessels arrived at Port Jackson (Sydney), New South Wales. At Sydney, the Lambton and all the stores, machinery and equipment belonging to the Company were sold. A little pearl fishing was engaged in. In May 1827 the Rosanna left Sydney for London. As previously agreed, those who wished returned with Captain Herd. Some, including the Shepherds and the other family groups, remained in New South Wales. Four of the Rosanna settlers made their way back to the Bay of Island where one of their old shipmates already was.
In Sydney Thomas Shepherd set up the Darling Nursery and took part in public life. His Lectures on the horticulture of New South Wales (1835) and Lectures on landscape gardening in Australia (1836) were published. A leather-bound copy of his Horticulture lectures found its way to the Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington. It had a handwritten dedication: “To Lieut.-General Sir Ralph Darling With the dutiful and sincere respects of the Author Thomas Shepherd, Darling Nursery 1 May 1835.”
Thomas Shepherd died at the Darling Nursery, Sydney on 30 August 1835. Shepherd’s journal, together with his coastal sketches, is held by the Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales. A microfilm copy is held at the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, which also holds the McDonnell transcript of Shepherd’s journal (MS-0527).
Pdf version of Author's full manuscript (517 KB). This has all appendices and acknowledgements. To view this you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader (freeware)
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