Alexander Keith

The initial passenger list for the Blenheim included Alexander Keith, 24, in an additional list at the end. The embarkation and subsequent lists included Alexander Keith, 24, shepherd.

Return to The Blenheim People.

Based on his age of 24 in the Blenheim passenger list, Alexander Keith was born around 1816.

The only references to an Alexander Keith in the early years of the colony are in court reports. The New Zealand Gazette and Wellington Spectator of 20 April 1842, recorded that Alexander Keith was convicted of stealing a watch from his employer, Mr Robert Sturgeon, a watchmaker in Wellington. In mitigation of punishment he put in a statement confessing his guilt, which he attributed first to disappointment in not obtaining money he expected on his arrival, and next to the bad habit of drinking. The Judge passed sentence of six months imprisonment and hard labour, remarking that the prisoner was receiving pay from Mr. Sturgeon, and therefore could not have been in want.

A few months later, as reported in some detail in the New Zealand Colonist and Port Nicholson Advertiser of 18 November 1842, Alexander Keith, presumably just out of his sentence, was indicted for stealing two Maori mats, one pair “trowsers”, one piece of soap, and other article, the property of an aboriginal native of the name of Ohiro or George, on the 18th of October. Ohiro, Benjamin Eglinton, constable, and others gave evidence to the effect that Alexander Keith had sold some of the articles, most of which were recovered. Alexander Keith was found guilty and sentenced to imprisonment for six calendar months to hard labour.

No further information has been confirmed for Alexander Keith.


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