A poster advertising for colonists for New Zealand 1839. Special incentives were offered to single women to go out to the early settlements.
The New Zealand Land Co was founded by Edward Gibbon Wakefield (1796-1862) in 1838 to promote the settlement of the colony by Britons. The company held a meeting in Glasgow in 1839, sponsored by the Duke of Hamilton, the Duke of Argyll and the Lord Provost of Glasgow, to encourage Scots to emigrate and posters such as this one were produced to generate interest. Eighty-nine adults and thirty-three children were selected to go on the first sailing from Scotland. The Bengal Merchant left Port Glasgow in October 1839 and arrived at Port Nicholson, Wellington, in February 1840.
There were probably no more than 1,000 Europeans living in New Zealand when the first Scots arrived. Wellington was a small and primitive town and its only "boarding house" was a hut which had neither windows or doors. In spite of the difficulties they faced, the settlers proved to be hardy and self-reliant. Many New Zealanders living today can trace their descent to the passengers who sailed with the Bengal Merchant.
Reproduced with the permission of Glasgow City Council, Glasgow Museums
advertisements, assisted emigration, Bengal Merchant, colonies, colonists, emigrants, Lord Provosts, New Zealand Land Co, posters, sailing ships, women