Letters to P.E.I. - Another Paper Regarding Islanders Resettling to New Zealand in 1858


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Transcribed by Anne Brooks, anbrooks@nbnet.nb.ca


The following is another report regarding the Bagnalls resettling to New Zealand aboard the "Prince Edward" in 1864. It is not a letter, per say, but I have included it in this section as it relates to several letters already here. See also:

A compiled passenger list of those on the voyage is available on the Island Register at: http://www.islandregister.com/pedward.html

See also related letters:

Lemuel Bagnall en route to New Zealand to John C. Clarke, Cavendish, March 19th, 1864

Sarah BAGNALL, nee WALLACE Pakeha off, Cape Town to Mrs. Donald CRAWFORD, New Glasgow, March 18, 1864

Paper written by Margaret Bagnall regarding the Bagnalls resettling to New Zealand in 1864


This is the story of two courageous women, Moore HASZARD, who sailed from Prince Edward Island, Canada, to New Zealand in 1858, and Martha BAGNALL, who made the same voyage five years later. The passenger lists of the two ships also contain the names of the MORPETH, OWEN and DARRAH families, whose descendants will hold a reunion in Auckland next weekend.

Voyage of Hardship

As the tiny sailing ship Prince Edward carried Moore HASZARD from Charlottetown Harbour in November, 1858, destined for New Zealand, 14,500 miles (23,200 km.) and then half a year away, she needed all the courage of her illustrious forebear, Sir John MOORE.

The bride of Robert HASZARD, she must surely have questioned the wisdom of this voyage, especially as she lay wretchedly ill with seasickness for much of the trip.

Her son, Fenwick, born in New Zealand 16 years later, wrote of her distress: "Mother had been ill from the start of the voyage. She never could get over the seasickness and before reaching Cape Town she was in such an exhausted state that her life was despaired of. On reaching the Cape it was decided to remain for a month until her strength was built up."

At least Moore HASZARD had the comfort of her husband and several members of the Haszard family.

She was christened Moore (pronounced Moree) in deference to Sir John MOORE who had died at the Battle of Corunna in 1809 and had left no male heirs to carry on the name.

Moore was one of the 84 passengers in the hands of a highly skilful master, Captain Edward NOLAN, who had spent more than 30 years in sail, chiefly in north Atlantic and west African waters.

As well as the considerable demands on his seamanship and recurring shortages of water and the main food of salt meat and ship’s biscuits at certain stages of the voyage he had to control some quirky passengers.

What had carried these 84 people away from Prince Edward Island in the Gulf of St. Lawrence?

Moore’s father, Henry Douglas MORPETH, had heard of the Auckland Waste Lands Act whereby land was bought from the Maoris by the Crown for the purpose of settlement.

Immigrants "of good character and sober speaking habits" could select 40 acres (16.2 hectares) of this land on the payment of the agent’s fee of £ 10. Children could claim 20 acres on application by their guardians.

Robert HASZARD, aware of the decreasing property at home, especially with the restrictions of farm freeholding, looked to the other side of the world.

Auckland drew agonizingly close, but there was still one final ordeal. The ship was struck by a violent westerly squall as Great Barrier Island was rounded.

Moore HASZARD recorded, "For a while it seemed impossible that anything could save us. The ship was lying on her side with the lee rail under water. The expressions on the faces of all – fear or determination – the howling of the wind, flapping of sails and roar of water, made such a scene that I can never forget. Gradually the strain was eased and the ship slowly came back to an even keel."

Moore HASZARD’s journey did not really end on May 13, 1859 when the ship berthed with the relieved passengers and such items as bricks, saws, wagons and even a steam engine.

The Haszards first settled in Mangonui, Northland, and the only communication to Auckland was by means of a sailing cutter.

Fenwick HASZARD kept a record of those heartbreaking days when settlers looked out from their temporary raupo whares, often on many acres of scrub to be cleared.

He wrote with particular sensitivity on what his mother and other women went through in those times.

"The living conditions were hard even for men," he recalled. "But how much harder they were for women, little more than girls brought up in the seclusion of early Victorian days.

"They were certainly taught the rudiments of house management, but they never had to do the actual work.

"Then suddenly they were transplanted to the wilds of a practically unknown county, surrounded by tattooed savages and compelled to do the whole of the multitudinous work, even to the grinding of corn for bread for the whole household. "

Mangonui was abandoned and the family moved to Tanoa on the Otamatea River. Robert HASZARD taught at a native school, even though he had no knowledge of Maori and his pupils knew little of English.

Robert HASZARD retired in 1886. He and Moore moved south, spending their final years in Waihi.

On the night of December 23, 1863, Martha BAGNALL looked out from the sailing ship Pakeha, towards the fading land around Charlottetown Harbour, which would soon be frozen.

Ahead of her lay New Zealand, said by those who had sailed earlier in the Prince Edward to be beautiful country where land was given to every person who paid their passage.

But beyond the darkening shoreline on Prince Edward Island were Martha’s six brothers and five sisters. She never saw them again.

Not all were sad on that bleak December day. Young Horatio Nelson BAGNALL, a son of Martha and her husband, George, raced round the decks of the newly built brig with as much confidence as his famous namesake had handled the VICTORY.

His older brother, a future Mayor of Auckland, Lemuel BAGNALL, and his bride, Sarah, thought of new challenges rather than the severing of old ties.

Their arrival in Auckland on May 26, 1864 was not encouraging. No accommodation was available after settlers had fled north from the turbulence of the land wars. The weary immigrants inquired anxiously for lodgings while their children sloshed through the mud of Shortland St……………

From "N.Z. Herald" of Saturday, 12 May, 198? -

Dorothy Bagnall's book, The Bagnalls of Turua, on pages 25 and 26.

Mr. and Mrs. L. J. BAGNALL – Their Golden Wedding.

An interesting function was held at Cargen, Auckland, on October 10th, when Mr. and Mrs. L. J. BAGNALL celebrated their golden wedding. The spacious new dining room was a bower of roses, the floral decorations evoking many admiring comments. A large wedding cake centred the main table and was cut by Mr. and Mrs. Victor BAGNALL. The principal toast was proposed by the Mayor, Mr. C. J. PARR and duly honoured in bumpers of champagne. Mr. and Mrs. BAGNALL were presented with many beautiful gifts and sheaves of congratulatory telegrams from all parts of New Zealand. Mrs. BAGNALL wore a handsome gown of silver grey poplin, finished with embroideries and smart black and white bonnet. She carried a bouquet of roses. Miss BAGNALL wore a biscuit coloured coat and skirt with touches of tangerine, and hat ensuite; Mrs. Harold BAGNALL wore a grey silk skirt and dark blue silk coat, and floral hat; Mrs. Victor BAGNALL white crepe frock and black picture hat; Mrs D. HUNT, grey charmeuse gown, cream hat massed with flowers; the Mayoress (Mrs. C. J. PARR) black velvet coat and skirt and black and cerise hat. There were about 150 guests.

Interested in Public Affairs.

Mr. and Mrs. BAGNALL were married in Canada in 1863 and came to Auckland in the following year. Four years later Mr. BAGNALL went to the Thames, he and his father purchasing the Turua Sawmills. In 1872 he was elected to represent the Thames district on the Auckland Provincial Council, and since then he has served on the Thames Harbour Board, the Auckland City Council, the Auckland Land Board, the Charitable Aid Board and Education Board. Mr. BAGNALL has been chairman of each of the elective bodies of which he was a member, and he was also Mayor of Auckland for a period.

From "The Social World" N. Z. Sporting a Dramatic Review, 23rd October 1913.


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