Feb 17, 2009

Will Watch

Here is some more background on the Will Watch the ship that brought John O'Sullivan my great great grand father to Nelson (See blog below)
I was lucky enough to find this painting on the Internet along with some back ground which may be of interest to family.
Like all colonies. Ships formed the only link and lifeline to the outside world and were a big part of life for pioneers in New Zealand as they are today.
The sea is in our blood and our blood is in our seas.

The two google searches below the painting print are not my words simply copies of what I read

Ships; Whitby (Ship); Will Watch (Ship); Arrow (Ship); When: 1840-1849 ; Where: Nelson City;

Google search 1.
April 1841
Two ships, the Whitby and Will Watch, sailed that month for New Zealand with surveyors and labourers to prepare plots for the first settlers (scheduled to follow five months later). Land sales proved disappointing, however, and threatened the viability of the settlement: by early June only 326 allotments had been sold, with only 42 purchasers intending to actually travel to New Zealand. Things had improved little by the drawing of the lottery in late August 1841, when only 371 of the allotments were drawn by purchasers, three-quarters of whom were absentee owners.

Google search 2
During the 1841 period, new settlements sprang up on both islands of New Zealand. Three ships were dispatched from England to carry out a survey for the new Nelson settlement. The barques Whitby, Will Watch and the brig Arrow left with 59 officials and labourers. The Will Watch carried 45 labourers, while the cargo hold of the Arrow was packed with stores of all kinds for the settlers.The first two vessels sailed on the 2nd May, 1841 from Gravesend but the Arrow did not get away until the 21st. All three vessels arrived at Port Nicholson when there was some argument over the site. The expedition crossed Cook Strait to explore the district, when it was finally agreed that the settlement would be located in the S.E. corner of Wakatu Bay.Late October 1841, saw a second migrant wave of ships heading for Nelson, New Zealand. The small brig Lloyds carried the wives and children of the men sent out in the first settlers. She was accompanied by the Lord Auckland, Fifeshire, Mary Ann, the four ships carrying some 764 people bound for the settlement.The Lloyd was reported on arrival as being badly overcrowded with poor and cramped conditions during the voyage which resulted in the death of 65 children. The Captain and doctor were both censured by Captain Wakefield, who refused to sign the clearance certificate so neither could claim his pay.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Mike,
    My husband is a descendent of your John O'Sullivan (married to Ellen) who came on the Will Watch and worked on the road from Nelson to the coast. Involved in the Catholic Church in its early days in Nelson. My uncle-in-law is going to Ireland shortly and is interested to know where John came from in Ireland. Thought to be Co Cork or Co Kerry? I would be glad to have any information regarding family tree -