This smart little ship was a contrast to the general run of vessels sent out to the
colony in the early days. For her size - her tonnage was only 586 - she made a remarkable
run out to Otago on her first voyage. She took her departure from Greenock on November
12, passed the Cape of Good Hope on January 5, reached the Snares on February 3, and
anchored at Port Chalmers on February 9, only 79 days from land to land, one of the
quickest passages on record at that date.

The Robert Henderson was an Aberdeen clipper, built in 1857 for J. Hay and
Company upon the most approved plan, and she was fitted out with every convenience and
comfort for passengers. her model excited much admiration among nautical men at the
time. Her poop accommodation was exceedingly spacious for a vessel of her tonnage, the
saloon being 50ft long and 7ft high, tastefully decorated, to carry twenty passengers. Her
steering gear, which was on the principal of a reverse screw, was a novelty, and was
efficient, simple, and economical. On her maiden passage from Stromness to the Clyde the
Robert Henderson displayed extraordinary sailing powers and stiffness under canvas, logging
over 14 knots on many occasions, and notwithstanding the terrific weather she encountered
she accomplished the passage from Stromness to Clyde in 48 hours.
The Robert Henderson for many years sailed direct from Glasgow to Dunedin, and,
as will be seen from her records, she kept up her reputation as a fast sailer, In later years
she made one trip each to Auckland and Wellington, and her run to the former port was a
lengthy one. On the voyage out in 1869 she encountered stormy weather in the Southern
Ocean, and had a narrow escape among icebergs; no less then 18 huge bergs were passed
in 24 hours ten days before reaching her destination. Captain Culbert stated the long
passage made to Auckland was owing to the knocking about the ship received on the coast
of Brazil for several days, during which time the crossjack yard carried away and the mizzen
and foretopgallant yards sprung during the gale.
Here follow the record of passages made to New Zealand:-




From the book White Wings, Fifty Years of Sail in the New Zealand Trade, 1850 - 1900 by Henry Brett, Volume 1.
Auckland: The Brett Printing Company, Limited, Publishers, Shortland Street. 1924

Passenger List  

From Glasgow 2 June 1860 arriving Port Chalmers 3 September 1860

Aitchison, George

Aitchison, James

Aitchison, John & Wife

Alison, Thomas

Allan, Alexander & Wife

Almer, Margaret

Anderson, Duncan

Anderson, James & Wife (Marion), 1 daughter

Arnott, David

Barrowman, John & Wife

Bell, Eliza

Blaikie, Peter

Blaikie, Andrew

Blaikie, James

Blaikie, Isabella (possibly wife of the above)

Blaikie, Margaret

Blaikie, William

Blaikie, Robert

Blaikie, James

Blaikie, Eliza

Blaikie, Walter

Brown, Robert & Wife, 3 daughters

Buchanan, J & Wife

Burns, Alice

Campbell, Donald & Wife, 1 son, 2 daughters

Christie, Andrew

Clerk, David

Cochrane, John & Wife, 1 son, 1 daughter

Cockburn, Walter

Corrie, William

Cowan, James

Crawford, James

Crosbie, George

Currie, John

Dawson, Ralph

Dawson, John

Dick, John G.

Dick, William & Wife, 1 son

Dickie, Alexander

Dixon, Thomas

Dobbie, Archibald

Dods, Alexander & Wife, 1 son, 2 daughters

Dow, Sarah

Douglas, Helen

Dunn, S R

Fairbairn, Alexander & Wife

Fairbairn, Robert

Fairbairn, Margaret

Fairbairn, Alison

Fairbairn, David

Findlay, Ann

Forsyth, Charles

Fraser, John & Wife, 3 sons, 1 daughter

Gillie, James & 1 son, 2 daughters

Glendinning, Andrew

Grey, Agnes

Hall, John

Hay or Blair, Margaret

Hay, George & Wife, 1 daughter

Hay, James & Wife, 2 sons, 1 daughter

Hay, John & Wife, 1 son

Hay, William

Henderson, Agnes

Henderson, John & Wife (Anne)

Henderson, William

Herrie, Herbert

Hewit, Joseph

Hood, James & Wife

Houliston, Robert & Wife, 4 sons, 5 daughters

Hunter, James

Hunter, John & Wife, 4 sons, 4 daughters

Hunter, Margaret

Hyslop, Robert & Wife, 1 son

Inglis, James & Wife, 1 son, 2 daughters

King, Adam & Wife, 3 sons, 5 daughters

King, Alexander & Wife, 1 son, 1 daughter

King, Thomas

Knox, James & Wife, 1 son, 2 daughters

Leishman, Robert & Wife (Margaret)

Littlejohn, William & Wife

Logan, Ann

Lowrie, Joseph

Lunam, David & Wife, 2 sons, 2 daughters

Lunam, Thomas & Wife, 6 daughters

Lunam, William & Wife, 2 sons, 5 daughters

Macauley, John

MacMillan, Archie M.K.

McCallum, Duncan

McGregor, Ann

McGregor, Jane

McIndoe, Charles

McIntyre, Hughina & 3 daughters

Marshall, Anthony & Wife (Margaret), 2 sons, 2 daughters

Marshall, George & Wife (Agnes), 1 daughter

Marshall, William & Wife (Janet), 1 daughter

Martin, Margaret

Mathieson, Elizabeth

Melrose, Andrew & Wife, 2 sons, 1 daughter

Milne, John

Moffat, John

Mouilaws, Alexander

Murray, Andrew

Murray, George

Murray, James

Murray, John

Murray, Mrs

Murray, Thomas

Nelson, Mr

Oliver, George & Wife (Robertina)

Oliver, James

Oliver, Lachlan

Pagan, Archibald

Raeburn, John & Wife, 1 son, 3 daughters

Rankin, William & Wife, 1 daughter

Redpath, Thomas & Wife, 1 daughter

Renton, John & Wife, 2 daughters

Richardson, Agnes

Robertson, John

Sharp, Samuel

Sligh, John

Spiers, William

Stewart, Donald & Wife

Stewart, Fanny

Stewart, Jemima

Stewart, Henry

Stewart, Janet

Stewart, John & Wife, 1 son, 1 daughter

Suiness, John

Taylor, James & Wife, 4 sons, 3 daughters

Tully, Robert & Wife

Waugh, James

Waugh, William

Welsh, John

Welsh, Elspeth

White, John

Wilson, Thomas

Young, John & Wife, 2 sons, 5 daughters

From the "Otago Witness" and the "Otag Colonist"


14 farmers, 40 ploughmen, 34 shepherds, 5 masons, 2 carpenters, 1 engraver, 1 gamekeeper, 13 labourers, 1 baker, 1 blacksmith, 8 dairymaids and 33 female servants

Married Couples

Single Women

Single Men

Male Children 1-12

Female Children 1-12

Infants - 8 male, 5 female

Total number of souls...









July 16,

July 20,

Sep 4,

Sep 5,

Mrs. William Marshall

Mrs. John Stewart

Mrs. Thomas Redpath

Mrs. John Aitchison

- son

- infant still-born

- son

- daughter\par }


June 7,

June 14,

June 25,

June 26,

July 2,

July 18,

July 23,

July 26,

July 26,

Aug 12,

Aug 21,

Ellen Houliston,

Jane King,

Robert Hislop,

Ann Henderson,

John White,

Janet Marshall,

Charles Stewart,

Elizabeth Cochrane,

Janet Inglis,

Robert Dick,

Catherine Brown,

aged 9 months

aged 49 years

aged 7 months

aged 20 years

aged 13 years

aged 3 1/2 years

aged 9 years

aged 5 years

aged 9 months

aged 10 months

aged 3 years


acute bronchitis


scarlet fever

scarlet fever



scarlet fever

scarlet fever



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