Charlotte Jane

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Name: Charlotte Jane
Route: Gravesend, England to Lyttelton Harbour, New Zealand
Builder: Pattersons, Bristol[1]
Launched: 17 April 1848[1]
General characteristics [1]
Tons burthen: 730 tons bm
Length: 131 ft 8 in (40.13 m)
Beam: 32 ft 4 in (9.86 m)
Depth: 21 ft 8 in (6.60 m)
Sail plan: Full-rigged ship

Charlotte Jane was one of the First Four Ships in 1850 to carry emigrants from England to the new colony of Canterbury in New Zealand.

The ship is remembered in the name of a road, Charlotte Jane Quay, in the port town of Lyttelton.

Arrival in Lyttelton[edit]

Randolph, Cressy, Sir George Seymour and Charlotte Jane together carried an estimated 790 passengers. In addition, about another 60 worked their passage on the ships or deserted and disembarked. The first of the vessels to arrive was Charlotte Jane in Lyttelton on 16 December 1850 in the morning. Randolph followed that afternoon. Sir George Seymour arrived on 17 December, followed by Cressy on 27 December.[2] Charlotte Jane carried the equipment for the production of the region's first newspaper, the Lyttelton Times, which was first published less than one month after the ship's arrival.[3]


Marble plaques in Cathedral Square

Charlotte Jane carried approximately 154 passengers. Exact numbers are not known because the surgeons' lists and the shipping lists do not match, and some young children were not counted.[2]

The passengers aboard these four ships were referred to as "the Pilgrims". Their names are inscribed on marble plaques in Cathedral Square in the centre of Christchurch, where 157 passengers are listed.

Notable passengers[edit]

The first passenger who leapt onto the shore was James FitzGerald,[4] who became an important politician in New Zealand. One of Charlotte Jane's most notable passengers was the architect Benjamin Mountfort.[5] Charles Bowen was later Speaker of the New Zealand Legislative Council.[6] James Stuart-Wortley was a member of the 1st New Zealand Parliament before he returned to England in 1855.[7] James Temple Fisher was elected to Parliament in 1876.[8] Edward Bishop was the 6th Mayor of Christchurch.[9] Harriet Ritchie became the first nurse at Lyttelton Hospital.[10] Alfred Barker was the surgeon on the voyage. He was Canterbury's first doctor.[11]


  1. ^ a b c "Charlotte Jane". Canterbury Pilgrims and Early Settlers Association Inc. 2012. Archived from the original on 8 February 2013. Retrieved 24 July 2012.
  2. ^ a b "The First Four Ships". Christchurch City Libraries. 2012. Retrieved 7 January 2010.
  3. ^ "About the Lyttelton Times - January 11, 1851". Christchurch City Libraries. 2012. Retrieved 1 April 2011.
  4. ^ "James Edward Fitzgerald". Christchurch City Libraries. 2012. Retrieved 24 July 2012.
  5. ^ Lochhead, Ian J. (2012). "Benjamin Woolfield Mountfort". Te Ara: The Encyclopedia of New Zealand. Retrieved 24 July 2012.
  6. ^ Lineham, Peter J. "Bowen, Charles Christopher - Biography". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 31 October 2011.
  7. ^ "The Charlotte Jane". Shadows of Time. Retrieved 12 January 2012.
  8. ^ Wilson, James Oakley (1985) [First ed. published 1913]. New Zealand Parliamentary Record, 1840–1984 (4th ed.). Wellington: V.R. Ward, Govt. Printer. p. 196. OCLC 154283103.
  9. ^ "Mr. Edward Brenchley Bishop". The Cyclopedia of New Zealand (Canterbury Provincial District). Christchurch: Cyclopedia Company Limited. 1903. Retrieved 16 October 2012.
  10. ^ Macdonald, Charlotte (1991). The Book of New Zealand Women. Wellington: Bridget Williams Books. pp. 609–611. ISBN 0 908912 04 8.
  11. ^ Turner, John B. "Alfred Charles Barker". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 1 December 2011.