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.
- Blenheim passenger lists at FamilySearch website
- PapersPast website
- Jessie Campbell’s Journal and Letters.
- Trove website of Australian newspapers
- Fatal Success, Patricia Burns, edited by Henry Richardson, 1989.