Customs Register - Foreign Shipping Report
On 16 December 1850 the first two of the initial fleet of Canterbury Association settlers arrived in Lyttelton - the 'Charlotte Jane' in the morning and the 'Randolph' in the afternoon.
The Pākehā pioneers were greeted on their arrival by Customs officials. By December 1850 Lyttelton was a bustling little settlement of some 60 buildings thanks to the work of Captain Thomas, who had been employed by the Association to ready Canterbury for its first organised settlement. A Customs officer had been appointed to Lyttelton in 1849 in anticipation of the planned settlement.
These photographs are of a Customs register – the foreign shipping report book – inwards and outwards, which is open at the pages recording the arrival of the first Canterbury Association immigrant ships. The relevant entries have faded almost to illegibility, not because of age, but because Customs staff, understandably proud of the record, clearly left the pages open on display for lengthy periods and obviously pointed out the relevant sections, nearly obliterating the writing.
This Customs register, along with many other records from the early Customs Service can be viewed in our Christchurch Reading Room. R18282771 CAVL CH443 /24 6/6/1
Papers relating to the voyages of the early immigrant ships, including the Charlotte Jane and Randolph, can be seen in one of Archives New Zealand’s online exhibitions:
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