Official Reports for the 1873 Voyage of the Star of India

Second Letter from Agent General Immigration Officer's Report Commissioners Report Letter to Julius Vogel

Letter from Agent General to the Colonial Secretary

7, Westminster Chambers,
Victoria Street,
Westminster. S.W.
3rd October 1873

The Honourable
Colonial Secretary
New Zealand

No. 680
I have the honor to advise you that the Ship Star of India sailed for Canterbury on the 26th September with Three hundred and seventeen souls equal to Two hundred and sixty one and a half Statute adults.
I send enclosed a Certified List of the passengers who proceeded by the Vessel. The Ships Book with original Promissory Notes and the usual advice as to the gratuities payable upon the report of the Immigration Commissioners shall be sent by next Mail via Southampton.

I have the honour to be, Sir,
Your most obedient Servant
sgd J G Featherston
Agent General

Archives NZ Ref: IM 73/1327; IM73/1461 attached

Letter from Agent General to the Colonial Secretary

7, Westminster Chambers,
Victoria Street,
Westminster. S.W.
22nd October 1873

The Honourable
Colonial Secretary
New Zealand

No. 693
Referring to my letter No 680 of the 3rd Instant, advising the sailing of the ship Star of India for Canterbury, with Three hundred and seventeen Emigrants equal to Two hundred and sixty one and a half Statute Adults, - I have now the honor to transmit herewith, a copy of the Ship's Book, and the originals of the Promissary Notes.
The Gratuities payable on the recommendation of the Inspecting Officers in the Colony, are the following viz:
To Surgeon Superintendent Dr Cumming - Fifty Pounds and ten shillings per adult on the number of Emigrants landed; (£50 and 10/- per adult)
To Captain Holloway - Twenty five Pounds; (£25)
To the Chief Officer - Ten Pounds (£10)
To the Officer who serves out the Provisions, - Five Pounds (£5)
To the Matron, Miss Ferrier, - Five Pounds (£5)   [Miss Ferrier proceeds to Canterbury under engagement to the Provincial Government as School Teacher.]
To one or two Sub-Matrons. - Two Pounds each (£2 each)
To the Constables. - Ordinary. Two Pounds each (£2 each); for Water Closets. Five Pounds. (£5)
To the Schoolmaster Mr McGregor, who was selected from among the Government Emigrants - a free passage has been promised.

I have the honour to be, Sir,
Your most obed't Serv't
sgd J G Featherston
Agent General

Archives NZ Ref: IM 73/1461; IM73/1327 attached

Immigration Officer's Report

Date of Arrival: December 31st 1873

Number landed:

45 Families            equal     128½ Statute Adults
47 Single Men       equal        47
85 Single Women  equal        85

Total 314 Souls       =          260½ Statute Adults

Number Engaged:

All those who were for engagement were provided with suitable employment within a short time after the Barracks were open. A considerable portion of these Immigrants had friends in the Province whom they joined immediately on arrival. Five families, fifteen single men, and nineteen single women, representing forty eight adults were forwarded to Timaru. There was a larger and more suitable supply than usual of single women (Domestic Servants) by this Ship.

Character of Immigrants:

Good. - These Immigrants were well behaved and orderly. The single women especially were of a good class and likely to prove useful servants. They obtained therefore high rates of wages.

What wages were given:

Married Couples - for farms and Stations £60 to £65 per annum and found
Married Men - Seven shillings per day with Cottage for Family
Single Men - £52 per annum and found with from 10/- (ten shillings) to 15/- per week extra during harvest
Single Women - Cooks £35;   General Servants £25 to £35;   Housemaids £25 to £30;  Nurses £18 to £25

Recent demand of the labor market:

The demand for labor has as I anticipated in my last report (Cardigan Castle) increased very much, the harvest now being very general. A very small proportion of this shipment were genuine Agricultural laborers and consequently many farmers were disappointed in obtaining men. The wages also demanded by the Immigrants were in several instances most extravagant and quite beyond the current rate given even at harvest time. - Carpenters, Plasterers and others connected with the building trade are still in great demand as also are Shoemakers, Tailors, Coachmakers, Blacksmiths etc
Married couples and single men suitable to Agricultural work are still in great demand. The enquiry for Single Women is much in excess of the supply.

sgd  J E March
Immigration Officer
Immigration Office, Christchurch
15th January 1874

Archives NZ Ref: IM 74/99

Commissioners Report

Ship Star of India

The Commissioners on visiting the above ship found the various compartments in a very creditable condition as to the cleanliness and order, and also well lighted and thoroughly ventilated.
The management generally were satisfactory, but the plumbing work was very badly done, especially in the case of the Single Women's closet and bathroom in the poop. The arrangement of the closet was very objectionable, there being three seats opening into one common trough, without sufficient fall to carry away the soil, the supply of water being inadequate and the service ill arranged.
The Commissioners were informed that the Surgeon Superintendent had constantly to seek the services of the Ship's Carpenter to remedy defects in the plumber's work.

Much dissatisfaction was expressed in the married and Single Men's compartments with respect to the dietary scale. Many of those who were in these compartments had been transferred from the Dilawur and held contract tickets, in the dietary scale on which were included cheese, carrots, and onions; none of these were placed on board; some others shewed contract tickets in which these articles were erased as they stated after issue; a third class had tickets in which these were omitted - on enquiry the Commissioners ascertained that these articles are not included in the present Contract and that the fault therefore does not rest with the Charterers. The same however does not apply to the omission of condensed eggs for children; a grave one as there is no possiblilty of keeping eggs fresh beyond the first week or two of the passage.

Appended to this Report are three of the original Contract tickets and other papers held by the Immigrants per Star of India by which the discrepancy will be evident which has caused much annoyance both to the officers of the ship and the Immigrants upon what seems otherwise to have been a very pleasant voyage.

The Commissioners would further remark that the scale posted in each compartment of the ship contained the articles viz: cheese, carrots, and onions, which under the present Contract have not to be provided.

The quality of the provisions was good and the serving out and cooking had been regular and satisfactory. The distilling apparatus had worked well giving an ample supply of water throughout the voyage.

The class of Immigrants was highly satisfactory, this may be especially remarked of the single females who both in physique and in conduct compared favorably with any shipment hitherto received.

Several of the Immigrants had been detained at the port of embarkation, some had been paid the amount allowed for such detention, others, notably Germans not speaking English, had not been paid. - The Commissioners would recommend that in future the Shipping officer should see these claims adjusted before the ship sails.

The Matron Miss Ferrier is very highly commended both by the Captain and Surgeon Superintendent. The Commissioners commend the payment of full Gratuities.

sgd  Wm Donald  R.M.
John J Rowe  J.P.
J E March
Lyttelton, 2nd January 1874

Archives NZ Ref: IM 74/96; IM73/1488 attached; with IM 74/99

Letter from Agent General to Julius Vogel

7, Westminster Chambers,
Victoria Street,
Westminster. S.W.
June 11th 1874

The Honourable
Julius Vogel C.M.G.

Referring to your letter of 13th March last (No 53/74) I have only to express my satisfaction at learning that the arrangements on board the emigrant ship Star of India were so entirely approved by the local Immigration Officer.

I have the honour to be, Sir,
Your most obedient Servant
sgd J G Featherston
Agent General

Archives NZ Ref: IM 74/883; IM74/99 attached

Spelling and punctuation as copied from original documents

Further Material about this Voyage:

Surgeon's Report and list of Births, Marriages & Deaths

Information obtained from Immigrants

Here is the full list of assisted immigrants and a description of the voyage.

This map shows the shipping routes to and from New Zealand.

Back to Cornish Passengers

Back to Cornish Family page


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Copyright Blanche Charles, 2003