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The 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.

Arrival in Lyttelton

The Randolph, the Cressy, the Sir George Seymour and the 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 the Charlotte Jane in Lyttelton on 16 December 1850 in the morning. The Randolph followed that afternoon. The Sir George Seymour arrived on 17 December, followed by the Cressy on 27 December.[1]


The first passenger who leapt onto the shore was James FitzGerald[2], who became an important politician in New Zealand. One of her most notable passengers was the architect Benjamin Mountfort.[3]

The Charlotte Jane carried perhaps 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.[1]

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.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Christchurch City Libraries website; accessed 7 January 2010
  2. Christchurch Libraries entry on James FitzGerald; access 7 January 2010
  3. Dictionary on New Zealand Biography on Benjamin Mountfort; accessed 7 January 2010