Tag Archives: Tasmania

Dr Neil Campbell

Dr Neil Campbell was the Surgeon Superintendent on the Blenheim and was not an emigrant passenger as were the others.  The Glasgow Herald of 28 August 1840 noted that Dr Campbell, the surgeon of the ship, from Mull, was a cabin passenger departing on the Blenheim, while the New Zealand Gazette and Wellington Spectator of 9 January 1841 reported that Dr Campbell was an arriving passenger.

The surgeon-superintendents on New Zealand Company ships were responsible for the emigrants’ health on the voyage, and with the master of the ship were responsible for discipline. The surgeon had free cabin passage and was paid 8s per head for each emigrant, with a limit of £60, and 20s for each child born alive on the journey. The surgeon-superintendent would choose an assistant from among the passengers.


Return to The Blenheim People.


Dr Neil Campbell

In her Journal entry for 13 December 1840 Jessie Campbell wrote:

Dr Campbell may be a good doctor, but you never would think so from his manner, he speaks with such a highland accent and expresses himself so ill, you would think he had not spoken English till he was at least twenty. I must say he is most attentive to his duties and most obliging: we have always found him particularly so at all events we have not a very polished party, we have what is better a very merry and social one. I forgot to say Dr Campbell tho not so little as Dr D [S?] is very small likewise and plain looking.

However, it appears that Dr Campbell may not have stayed long in Wellington.  A number of colonists, possibly including Dr Sinclair Sutherland and several others from the Blenheim, departed for Tasmania on the Lord Sidmouth, within a few weeks of their arrival in New Zealand.

The Colonial Times (Hobart),  reported on 23 February 1841:

FEB. 19.-Arrived the barque Lord Sidmouth, Marr master, from Port Nicholson 4th inst. Passengers – Mr. Hind, Mr. W. Blyth, Dr. Campbell, Dr. Sutherland, Miss M. Rankin, H. Goodwin, wife, .and 6 children, G. Boonger and wife, G. Murray and ‘wife, J. Blyth and wife, C. Morris, wife, and 6 children, P. Shields, S. Wilson, J. Gordon, M. Briton, R. Whitewood, J. Cromworth, – Walker and wife, T. Bonnie, J. Stephens and wife, – Kilgrove, wife, and 5 children, H. M’Kinnon, J M’Kinnon, J. Hichman, wife, and child, J. Lockwood, J. Simmons, J. Chisom, M. M’Eachan, – Eago, P. Lanachar, and Mrs. O’Brien.

Information on Dr Neil Campbell’s subsequent movements has not been found.


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John Chisholm

John Chisholm appears at the end of the initial list of passenger on the Blenheim, in a group that included some crossed out earlier in the list or put there as late additions.

In the initial list John Chisholm was described as a labourer of 40, and in the other lists as an agriculturalist.


Return to The Blenheim People.


Although John Chisholm arrived on the Blenheim, he did not stay long in Wellington. Apparently disenchanted with the conditions he found there and the delays that would affect his ability to take up land, he succumbed to promises of better conditions in Tasmania, and left for Hobart on the Lord Sidmouth on 4 February 1841, barely six weeks after arrival.

The New Zealand Gazette and Wellington Spectator of 16 January 1841 stated:

The Lord Sidmouth was sent down to relieve us, not by supplying us with food, but by carrying away our population. A very mean spirit has been exhibited in the attacks made upon this settlement. It might have been expected that a community acting for itself, without any of that extraneous aid generally liberally bestowed by the Government, would have been deemed interesting, and worthy of all the support which could be extended by neighbouring communities of the same parent stock. But though unaided even by sympathy, this settlement has succeeded, is now securely planted, and may treat with contempt the imbecile efforts which have been made, and are making, to injure us.

The Colonial Times of Hobart, in its edition of 23 February 1841, noted that:

The passengers arrived by the Lord Sidmouth, who are about sixty in number, amongst other unfavourable reports state, that, in consequence of the frequency of earthquakes, of which several shocks had been experienced by the settlers since their arrival, they dare not build stone buildings of any size. We were not before aware that the Colony was visited by such a calamity, and we trust the report will turn out to be unfounded. We give it, however, as we received it; and shall be most happy to have it in our power to contradict the assertion.

The newspaper also published the list of passengers who arrived on the Lord Sidmouth on 19 February, who included “J Chisom” (and also Dr Campbell, Dr Sutherland, and others who may also have been Blenheim passengers).

The New Zealand Clan Chisholm Society, in its Newsletter #47, August 2009, noted that John Chisholm never returned to New Zealand, ending his days on the goldfields of Ballarat.


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Dr Sinclair Sutherland

Dr Sinclair Sutherland was a cabin passenger on the Blenheim.  The Glasgow Herald of 28 August 1840 included Dr Sinclair Sutherland in the list of cabin passengers departing in the Blenheim, while the New Zealand Gazette and Wellington Spectator of 9 January 1841 reported that Dr Sutherland was an arriving cabin passenger.


Return to The Blenheim People.


Dr Sinclair Sutherland

In her Journal, Jessie Campbell noted, on 30 August 1840, “Chatted a good deal with Dr. Sutherland, he improved on acquaintance.”  He suffered from seasickness a few days later, but showed great agility in rescuing a wine bottle during rough seas.  On 13 December 1840 Jessie Campbell wrote:

It is alleged by other young men that Dr Sutherland is looking sweet at her [Catherine McDonald]: they have a great deal of joking among themselves about it. Dr Sutherland is the smallest man, except Jimmy Macdonald I ever saw and very plain looking: he is generally in very high or low spirits, speaks very like Christian Tait, he has been well educated but not by any means I should think a clever youth; he is much more of the gentleman than Dr Campbell, his father was a respectable proprietor in Caithness but was obliged to sell his property; he has two brothers in the company’s service in India. So much for Catherine’s beau. His fortune is between £400 and £500 and 100 acres of land.

However, it appears that Dr Sutherland did not stay long in Wellington.  A number of colonists, including several from the Blenheim, departed for Tasmania on the Lord Sidmouth, within a few weeks of their arrival in New Zealand.

The Colonial Times (Hobart),  reported on 23 February 1841:

FEB. 19.-Arrived the barque Lord Sidmouth, Marr master, from Port Nicholson 4th inst. Passengers – Mr. Hind, Mr. W. Blyth, Dr. Campbell, Dr. Sutherland, Miss M. Rankin, H. Goodwin, wife, .and 6 children, G. Boonger and wife, G. Murray and ‘wife, J. Blyth and wife, C. Morris, wife, and 6 children, P. Shields, S. Wilson, J. Gordon, M. Briton, R. Whitewood, J. Cromworth, – Walker and wife, T. Bonnie, J. Stephens and wife, – Kilgrove, wife, and 5 children, H. M’Kinnon, J M’Kinnon, J. Hichman, wife, and child, J. Lockwood, J. Simmons, J. Chisom, M. M’Eachan, – Eago, P. Lanachar, and Mrs. O’Brien.

Information on Dr Sinclair Sutherland’s subsequent movements has not been found.


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