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Printed Poster advertising lecture by A Duncan on free emigration to Canterbury. 1874

Archives Reference

CH 287, CP143,ICPS 772(2)/1874

Immigration Report

Archives Reference

CH 287, CP98a, ICPS 946/1867

Printed copy of regulations for emigration to Canterbury. 27 January 1868

Archives Reference

CH 287, CP94, ICPS 86(1)/1868

Dr. Donald et al - reasonably satisfactory report on Lancashire Witch but some unfavourable comments about some single women and some berthing arrangements. Including 1273(1) 10.8.67 D. MacKay - memo stating that the four single women complained of were sent by a London agent named Dawson, one girl had VD and all were thought to be prostitutes. 1273(2) Names of above women - Eliza Daniels, Harriett Goddart, Flora George and Alice Small. Also stated Eliza Trumper was pregnant. 10 August 1867

Archives Reference

CH 287, CP 91 ICPS 1273/1867

File deals with deportation of Western Australia convicts - all Irish - John Hood, Edward Kelly, Thomas Baines, Thomas Fennell, Edward Halliwell, William Collier, Charles Barton, William Goff, - includes detailed descriptions of above and their offences in Ireland. 6 July 1871

Archives Reference

CH 287, CP120, ICPS 754/1871

PPC Session XX Copy Correspondence from The Emigration Agent, from 8th August 1862 to 26th May 1863. Marshman to Provincial Secretary 1 March 1863.

Archives Reference

CH 287, CP608b/4, 1863


As products and exponents of the Wakefield theory of planned settlement, it is little wonder that the Canterbury Association, and later the Canterbury Provincial Government, spent a lot of effort on screening and documenting prospective immigrants to Canterbury. Not only were people of a supposed less desirable background excluded from the official immigration schemes, other potential settlers were also considered ineligible due to age, vocation or prospects.

The examples on display here, from the inwards correspondence of the Provincial Secretary, provide a good overview of the concerns and issues facing Canterbury settlement administrators when planning the growth of a new community. For example, shown here is a copy of the 1868 regulations for emigration from the United Kingdom to Canterbury. Another example is a list of people who had been nominated for the Colony, and the reasons why they were subsequently declined.

There was great concern about undesirable individuals and groups settling in Canterbury, from both Europe and the Australian colonies. Some immigrants who navigated their way through the rules and regulations were nevertheless deported once they had arrived in the Colony. This was particularly true of Australian convicts. We hold a large collection of papers, only some of which are reproduced here, detailing the deportation of Western Australian convicts, who had left Australia with pardons.

Most Canterbury Provincial Government documents relating to immigration during the period 1853 to 1876 have been indexed by volunteers and are easily accessible to those visiting the office.