WRIGHT OF STIRLINGSHIRE, SCOTLAND TO POKENO, NEW ZEALAND

John WRIGHT was born in Dunipace, Stirling, Scotland in 1822, the son of Robert WRIGHT and Jean MICKELJOHN. John was involved in the printing business. In 1843 he married Helen (Ellen) MITCHELL the daughter of John MITCHELL and Ellen ?. John and Helen had nine children, and the six surviving immigrated with their parents to New Zealand in 1864 on the HELENSLEE [see passenger list below].

The family came to New Zealand under the Waikato Immigration Scheme, which was part of an attempt by the New Zealand government to bring large numbers of immigrants to settle the area south of Auckland (present day Franklin). Four main classes of immigrants were initially sought - labourers, mechanics, small farmers and capitalists. Mechanics (industrial craftsmen and artisans) were to be offered free passages plus a land grant if they resided on that land for three years. John WRIGHT and some of his sons fell into the category of "Mechanic". Immigrants were entitled to a quarter-acre section in the local township, a suburban allotment of ten acres, plus five for each child above 12 years old. Immigrants could apply for an additional grant of ten acres, plus five acres for their wives and children over 12 years old, if they repaid half their fare.

The HELENSLEE dropped its anchor on Thursday 22 December 1864 in Auckland but it wasn’t until the 27th that the passengers were permitted to disembark. There was no accommodation available for the immigrants and many of them slept under trees until they got word they were to be sent on to Mangere. They then went by boat up the Drury Creek and stayed in a farmer’s large flourmill or wool shed at there until they got word that they were moving on to Pokeno down the Great South Road. Pokeno was at that stage known as Queens Redoubt. The WRIGHT’s settled in the Pokeno area and many of the HELENSLEE passengers intermarried and their children intermarried too. Many descendants of the original immigrants are still in the area today.

Queens Redoubt, Pokeno 1863.

The children of John and Helen (Ellen) WRIGHT were;

Robert WRIGHT and Maggie DEAN m married at Queens Redoubt in 1870 and had eight children all born Pokeno.

CRAIG, DEAN AND WRIGHT FAMILY REUNION — POKENO 1964.
HELENSLEE CENTENNIAL 1864-1964

The sailing ship Helenslee arrived in Auckland on Thursday December 22nd 1864. To celebrate the anniversary of 100 years since its arrival the descendants of the following passengers held a reunion at Pokeno on the 6th February 1965

CRAIG Alexander 33 years Labourer
CRAIG Isabella 31 years Wife
CRAIG John 13 years
CRAIG Samuel 6 years
CRAIG Alexander 1 month

CRAIG Robert 28 years Labourer
CRAIG Mary 21 years Wife

KING John 16 years Printer Brother of Mary CRAIG

DEAN William 28 years Engineer
DEAN Catherine 26 years Wife
DEAN William 3 years
DEAN Jane 1 year

WELSH Isabella Sister to Catherine DEAN

DEAN John 31 years Boilermaker
DEAN Margaret 28 years Wife
DEAN Margaret 3 years
DEAN William 1 year

DEAN Matthew 21 years Single
DEAN Margaret 19 years Single
DEAN Mary 61 years approx Housekeeper

WRIGHT John 40 years Labourer
WRIGHT Ellen 40 years Wife
WRIGHT William 17½ years Baker
WRIGHT Peter 16 years Baker
WRIGHT Jane 12 years
WRIGHT Thomas 10 ½years

WRIGHT John 20 years Baker
WRIGHT Alexander* 18 years Miner *Robert WRIGHT came as substitute

WRIGHT David 25 years Farm Servant

It is interesting to note that Mary DEAN who emigrated with her four children William, John, Matthew and Margaret was by far the oldest passenger, the next oldest being George PITKETHLEY aged 46 years.

An account of the arrival of the ship and of the voyage appeared in the New Zealand Herald on December 23rd 1864 as follows;

"The clipper ship Helenslee, Capt. BROWN, arrived in harbour yesterday morning after a good passage of 101 days from Clyde. The following is a report of her passage, which has been kindly, furnished us;

She left Clyde on the 10th September with 334 passengers, all selected by the agent for the Auckland Government in Glasgow.  Cleared Channel on the 14th, shortly after which experienced a heavy gale from the Westward, with high sea and much thunder and lightning.  Light variable winds followed till the line was crossed on the 19th October, and the same light wind continuing till the Cape of Good Hope was passed on the 9th November, in latitude 46 ° 25’s, longitude 41° 30’ East. Saw a large iceberg, supposed about 90 feet high, and 2 miles long.  The wind then shifted to the westward, with very cold weather and frequent showers of sleet and snow, which continued till Tasmania was reached, on 7th December, then light Northerly winds prevailed, until sighting the Three Kings on the 19th inst., the time occupied from land to land being 97 days.   During the passage the greatest harmony and good feeling prevailed and amusements were entered into with spirit.

Day schools for children between 5 and 16 years of age were conducted by Mr Thomas WILSON, teacher, assisted by Mr Samuel CRICKET, who in addition to secular knowledge, imparted to them a considerable amount of religious instruction, the fruits of which it is trusted, will be seen and felt in this colony for many days after.  Sabbath day services in the forenoon were conducted by Mr CRICKET to a apparently earnest and anxious congregation.  Sabbath evenings and Thursday evening prayer meetings were also conducted by Mr CRICKET, assisted by Messrs. WILSON and PATERSON.

Lastly there was a sacred music class of 12 persons, named respectively and the practiced 3 times weekly.  This did much to enhance the psalmody of the Sabbath services and week night prayer meetings.  The following were the members; William DEAN, conductor, Samuel CRICKET, John CRICKET, George PITKETHLEY, Neil MCPHEE, W SIMPSON, Thomas WILSON, Joseph GOVAN, Stewart McGREGOR, Mary PITKETHLEY, Mary CRICKET, Agnes PITKETHLEY, John FERGUSON and Mary MAXWELL.

The Helenslee is a fine clipper ship of 798 tons, and has, considering the weather experienced, made a very good run; and to show if she has experienced anything like winds she would have made a rapid passage, we may only state that the run from 40° E to within 100 miles of Tasmania was made in 17 days, thus averaging 320 miles a day.  Her last voyage was to Otago, which was made in 74 days from Glasgow. The ship, which has arrived in port in a clean and creditable condition, has bought a total of 334 passengers, all in good health, and under the medical superintendence of Dr. John WILMSHURST.  There were 9 births and 14 deaths during the passage, one a Mr PITKETHLEY, aged 21 years from continued seasickness and debility; and the other Mrs. Mary LATTA, aged 23 years from diarrhoea; the remainder were all infants. Mr Walter GRAHAM is agent for the vessel."

A testimonial and purse of sovereigns were presented to Mr CRICKET for his voluntary good work during the voyage and also a testimonial and token were presented to Captain Wm. BROWN in appreciation of his care and watchfulness over his passengers during what they considered to be a comfortable voyage.

The following extracts from the ship’s regulations are interesting and give some idea of the general conditions under which these pioneers traveled;

Provisions, Medical Attendance, Cooking and Cooking Utensils are supplied on board without charge to emigrants.

The following is the Dietary Scale for each adult person per week.  Women receive the same rations as men; children between one year and twelve years, one half, infants under one year, no rations.

SUN MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT
Beef 8oz 8oz 8oz
Pork 8oz 8oz
Preserved Meat 8oz 8oz
Suet 2oz 2oz 2oz
Butter 3oz 3oz
Biscuit 6oz 6oz 6oz 6oz 6oz 6oz 6oz
Flour 8oz 8oz 8oz 8oz 8oz 8oz 8oz
Oatmeal 4oz 8oz 4oz
Peas 1/4pt 1/4pt 1/4pt
Rice 4oz 4oz
Potatoes 4oz 4oz
Carrots, Turnips, Onions, Celery 3-5oz 3-5oz 3-5oz 3-5oz 3-5oz
Raisins 3oz 2oz 3oz
Tea 1/4oz 1/4oz 1/4oz 1/4oz
Coffee roasted 1/2oz 1/2oz 1oz
Sugar 4oz 4oz 4oz
West India Molasses 2oz 2oz 2oz 2oz
Water 3qt 3qt 3qt 3qt 3qt 3qt 3qt
Mixed pickles 1/2gill 1/2gill
Lime juice (in tropics) 3oz 3oz
Mustard 1/2oz
Salt 2oz
Pepper 1oz

Emigrants are supplied with the following bedding for which they pay the sums indicated:

SINGLE MAN MARRIED COUPLE SINGLE FEMALE
Wool Mattress 6' x 1'8" 4/9 Wool Mattress 6' x 3' 7/5 Wool Mattress 5'9" x 1'6" 2/5
Bolster 1'8" 1/1 1/2 Bolster 3" 1/9 Bolster 1/1 1/2
3 sheets 4/4 1/2 4 sheets 8/7 1pr blankets 6/5 1/2
Bed cover 2/9 Bed cover 2/9
1 pr blankets 7/- 1pr extra quality blankets 9/6
TOTAL £1/0/0 £1/10/0 10/-

Additional bedding for single females and children, as well as the following articles for each passenger, had to be provided by the emigrants; canvas bag, comb, brush, knife and fork, table and tea-spoon, 2 metal-plates, hook pot, slop pail, drinking mug, tin quart, pint pot and one gallon can or keg to hold the allowance of water.

No one was allowed to embark with less clothing than:

FOR MALES FOR FEMALES FOR CHILDREN
6 shirts 6 shifts 7 shirts or shifts
6pr stockings 2 warm & strong flannel petticoats 4 warm flannel waistcoats
2 warm flannel shirts 6 pair stockings 1 warm cloak or outside coat
2pr new shoes 2pr strong shoes 6pr stockings
2 complete sets of strong exterior clothing 2 strong gowns one of which must be warm 2 complete suits exterior clothing

Also 4 towels and 2lbs of marine soap per person. Emigrants had to have not less than the above outfit but were advised that the larger the stock of clothing, the better for healthy and comfort during the voyage.

The following information on the early days of the settlers has been taken from various newspaper reports.

Although the anchor was dropped on Thursday 22nd December it was not until the 27th that the passengers were permitted to leave their floating home. On the 28th December it was reported that: "the passengers who arrived last week by the ship Helenslee from Glasgow were safely landed on the Queen Street wharf by means of cargo boats".

On January 22nd 1865 it was reported from Queens Redoubt (Pokeno); On Thursday evening the first 10 or 12 families, mostly Scots arrived in carts provided by the government. They were passengers by the ship Helenslee and were for some time located at or near Mangere."

On January 25th the immigrants commenced to make a road from the redoubt to the native village of Pokeno and by February 13th a road was cleared from the Great South Road to continue on to Paparata later.

At Pokeno valley a track was cleared and bush burned to make a road to Surrey Redoubt at Maramarua shortening this distance from 17 miles to 9 miles. On February 13th it was reported that: "it is to be hoped that the men will soon be able to get their several allotments so as to get themselves settled before the winter months come on."

During the first 10 months, they lived in tents, often using umbrellas as protection against rain while they cleared the land.

Our ancestors traveled on the second of seven voyages made by the Helenslee to New Zealand, 3 were made to Auckland and 4 to Dunedin, and this was her fastest passage. On her last voyage in 1872 she encountered a series of gales and the passage took 145 days.


HELENSLEE
CLYDE, GLASGOW — AUCKAND
10 SEPTEMBER 1864 — 22 DECEMBER 1864

The Helenslee was part of what became known as the Waikato Immigration Scheme of the 1860s.


ALLEN Alexander, Mary, Ellen, Alexander
AULD Agnes
BATHGATE Charles, Barbara, Charles
BEITH James D, Margaret, William Thomas, Mary Ann
BOWERS (BOWES) Janet
BLAIR Joseph, Agnes, Barbara, Margaret, Agnes, Jane, Thomas, Robert
BUCHANAN Alexander, Margaret, Archibald, Euphemia, Alexander, Thomas
BURNETT (BARRETT) John, Ann, Agnes
BURNS Andrew
CAMERON Mary
CAMPBELL Hugh, Elizabeth
CAMPBELL Alexander, Hannah, John, Ann, Alexander,
CAMPBELL John, Frances, Arthur, Ellen
CARNACHAN Daniel, Elizabeth, Foxmaulie (Fox Maule), Lauderdale, Catherine
CASSIDY James, (Catherine, Daniel)
CHESHOLM (CHISHOLM) John, Susan, John
CLARK John, Margaret, Margaret
COCHRANE James, Charlotte
CRAIG Alexander, Isabella, John, Samuel, Alexander
CRAIG Robert, Mary
CRICKETT Samuel, John
CRICKETT Samuel, Mary, Mary, Margaret, Robert, Agnes, Marion, Helen
CUNNINGHAM David, Mary, James, William, Robert, Mary, Margaret
DEAN William, Catherine, William, Jane
DEAN John, Margaret, Margaret, William, Matthew, Margaret, Mary
DEWAN Ann
DOUGLAS William, Rachael
DOUGLAS Alexander
DUNLOP Thomas
FERGUSON Jean, Hugh, Margaret, John
FERGUSON Ivy
FRIARS Ann
GALL John, Euphemia, James, Janet, Grace, Adam
GORDON Thomas, Jane, Robert, Douglas, Thomas, Samuel, Jane
GOVAN Joseph
GRAHAM James, Janet, Mary
HENDERSON Thomas
HUGHES (HUGHIE) James, Janet, Esther, Stewart, Janet
HUNTER William, Mary, Andrew
IMRIA Mary
JACKSON Campbell, Jane, Hugh
JAMIESON Boyd
KING John
KELLY (KELLEY) James, Elizabeth, James
LATTA John, Mary, Thomas, Sophia
LAW Alexander, Janet, Janet, Alexander
LITTLE Robert, Margaret, John
LIVINGSTONE William, Lillias
LOCKIE Alexander, Ann, James, Alexander, Ellen, Joseph
LOWE John, Jane, Margaret
LUKE (LAKE) William, Jane
MACGREGOR Stewart
MCCALLUM (MCCULLUM) John
MCCONNELL James, Mary, William, Margaret
MCCOWETT George
MCDONALD Angus
MCEWAN Joseph
MCFARLANE Robert, Sarah, Sarah
MCGILL John, Lillias, John, Archibald, David, Angus, Gilbert, Thomas, Allan, Duncan
MCGLYNN (MCGLYNE) William, Ellen, Margaret, Ellen, Elizabeth, Jane, Arthur, Joseph
MCGUIRE Peter
MCINTYRE Peter, Elizabeth
MCKENZIE David
MCKENZIE Peter
MCLEAN Donald
MCLEAN N. Rachael, Flora, Isabella, Mary, Alexander, Marion, John
MCLEOD Norman, Ann, Christian
MCNEISH John, Esther, Elizabeth
MCPHEE Neil
MCPHERSON Peter, Ellen, Isabella, Thomas
MCPHERSON William, Mary, James, William, Mary Jane, George
MAXWELL David, Mary, Mary Ann, David, Jane, Elizabeth, Alexander, Sarah, John
MAXWELL John
MELLIS (MILLS) Alexander, Madeline, William, Alexander
MITCHELL Thomas, Elizabeth, Thomas, William
MUIR Hugh, Isabella, John, William
MURRAY Thomas J, Isabella
MURRAY Thomas, Susan, Anthony
NAPIER John, Catherine, William, John
PATTERSON William, Jean, Ellen
PAUL Matthew, Isabella, Matthew
PEAT John, Margaret
PEAT George, Elizabeth, Elizabeth, Mary
PENDERGRAST Robert, Mary, Robert, John, Catherine, William
PHILLIPS James
PIRRIT George, Isabella, Isabella, William, John, James, Christina, George
PITKETHLEY George, Lawrence, Margaret, George, John, Jane, Mary, Agnes, John, David
PITKETHLEY James, Robert, William
SAMSON James, Marion, David, Janet, James, William
SCOTT Alexander, Mary, Agnes
SHANKS Robert, Jane
SIMPSON William
SLOAN William, Mary
STEWART Charles, Margaret, Robert, John
WALKER James, Isabella, James, Isabella, Margaret
WARN John, Bridget, Richard
WELSH Isabella
WILLS (WILL) William, Frances, William
WILSON Thomas
WILLIAMSON Thomas, Agnes, Thomas, Agnes
WRIGHT David
WRIGHT John, Ellen, William, Peter, Jane, Thomas
WRIGHT John, Alexander, (Robert)


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