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Diary & Log of James Lugsdin Bailey.
Scotland to New Zealand via the vessel Eden.

Thanks to Judy Williams


Some Persons write a Log of Diary for the purpose of passing away or killing time, for their own amusement, and others do it for the purpose of showing off their talent in writing and their powers of eloquent or flowery language - I subscribe to none of the above reasons, and my object is Thus - Being in the act of leaving my native land perhaps never to return, and also having this day completed my twenty-third year I deem it advisable to note on paper some passage of my youth and also to continue these notes for the information of any relative or members of my family who may in some future period be amused by it. 22nd June 1850


1827 June 22nd.
I James Lugsdin Bailey, was born on the 22nd June 1827 at the village of Datchet in the County of Bucks, near the Royal Residence of Windsor Castle, one of Englands Proudest Palaces. My Father, William Bailey was for some years a Draper at Windsor, but having had a good run of business and having bought a house at Datchet, he went to live there and presided as Pastor of the Baptist Chapel assembled there till his death on the 3rd June 1844. It is but natural for children to speak in terms of respect of the Parents, but gratitude prompts me ever to remember and revere one who was the kindest of fathers and one of the best of men, and who, by his extreme good nature and gentlemanly conduct to every one gained the love and admiration not only of his family and connections but also of all that knew him. Such was the esteem that he was held in by the inhabitants of my native village that the day of his funeral every shop was closed and almost every house bore signs of mourning, which I believe was indeed real.

My mother was my Dear Father's second Wife, and her maiden name was Ann Redworth. After My Father's Death, we all continued to reside at the same house at Datchet and my dear Mother still does. Our family consists of Ann, Benjamin, James, Joseph, Mary, Elizabeth, and Samuel, and William Jasper, who died when young, and before I was born. My eldest sister Ann was married in 1842 to Mr Charles Teede a Wholesale Grocer of London, a most excellent man and kind husband and who is now the leading partner of the firm of Teede and Bishop of Mincing Lane, London. My Brother Benjamin was at school with me for some time and then was apprenticed to Messrs Fletcher & Son, Drapers at Henley on Thames, Oxfordshire. After he finished his time there, he held good situations at Rochester, Margate, and London, and lastly at Manchester, but being disgusted with the humbug connected with the Drapery trade, and not seeing his way clear in England, he made up his mind to go to New Zealand, and by the last accounts he apppears to be doing very well and is happy, and I hope soon to join him in that country. My second brother Joseph was educated part of the time with myself and after he had finished school, he went as Appprentice to Mr C Teede my Brother in Law and served his time with him, after which he continued as assistant with him for some time, but from bad behaviour he left Mr Teede's employment, and resided at home in idleness for about nine months. He is now employed as Clerk in the firm of Messrs Flow of Eastchurch where I hope he may continue, but I have my doubts on the subject as from the bad disposition and ingratitude he has already shown, I have but little hope of him, but fear that he will one day come to something bad. My other sisters Mary and Elizabeth both received a first rate education but being brought up genteely and having some accomplishments, they could not be persuaded to make themselves useful in the world, and are consequently living the life of Ladies at home, but without the means of acting up to their profession. Samuel, the youngest of the family is now Apprenticed to Mr Gunn, Grocer at Aylesbury, and is likely to prove a steady and industrious young man, if he had health and strength.

I now commence my own History. Nothing particular occurred during my infancy or youth, but having received a good education at different boarding Schools, I was taken by my Uncle Lugsdin to finish my education at the city of London School where I stopped two years, and where I learnt more than at all the rest of the Schools together.After leaving school I went on trial as Apprentice to a Chemist in London, but the late hours and heavy work not agreeing with my health, I left there and then went to try with Mr H Bradford, Bookseller, Stationer and Printer at Thame in Oxfordshire and as my Father did not seem pleased by my leaving the Chemist's situation, I made up my mind to stop in this place, whatever it was and so accordingly I was bound for five years on the 18th January 1842.

If ever there were five years wasted in any ones life I think my Apprenticeship was so in mine, for I learnt very little and was treated very shabbily by my Master who received with me a Premium of 60. I was glad when my time was finished and I left the place and spent a Month at home while looking for a situation. I was at last successful in being introduced to Mr A. Fullarton, Printer and Publisher of Edinburgh and having effected an engagement with him on the 10th of March 1847, I started under the care and in the company of Mr Teide by the Royal William Steamer for Edinburgh. Having spent a Day in viewing the City, Mr Teide started home, leaving me among total strangers and 500 miles from home. However I soon found many acquaintances and shall long remember the three years I spent at Edinburgh and consider them as a happy era in my life. The Printing Establishment in which I was engaged was one of the largest in the City, and there were about 100 Persons employed therein. We commenced work at 6 in the morning and having an hour for Breakfast and Dinner, we left off work at 7 o'clock, and on Saturday at 3 o'clock in the afternoon. It certainly was a great change to me, especially in the manner of living, for I had never lived in lodgings before, but I soon got used to it and began really to like it. The People I lived with were really good, homely people and were very kind to me, but would have been better pleased with me had I acted more as they wished. However, we never had a quarrel of any sort.

My principal acquaintance in Edinburgh was a young man called John Russell and vulgarly nicknamed "Pica Bold" from the habit of holding his head on one side. He was a very nice companion, and many an adventure have we had together, and like his Countrymen he had a good proportion of "Scotch Cheek". Another good fellow or chum was Rob Hart, alias Bob, alias 'The King' a merry good fellow. Indeed before I left the town I made a great many friends and was sorry to leave them

While in Scotland I took a holiday and paid a visit to the West, in company with John Russell, and James Ramsay another friend. We went first to Lanark and stopped a night at a farm house, an acquaintance of Russell's and were very hospitally treated. Saw the Falls of Clyde which were very beautiful and the surrounding scenery very grand and then we went on to Hamilton where we stopped a Day or two with Russell's Aunts, three "jolly old maids". We spent a very happy time there and then went on to the City of Glasgow which is something like London. And I did not think much of it. My friends then left me and I took a trip across to Belfast in Ireland and was much pleased with my trip and I then returned home and to business.

Sept 1849

With the City and Suburbs of Edinburgh I was very much pleased and it is in my estimation the prettiest City in Great Britain. It has the attractions of Mountains and Sea close at hand and besides it possesses some very fine Specimens of Architecture. I had a narrow escape one day when a few of us had gone out to sea in a small boat, for the purpose of shooting some seagulls. We were out some distance from land when all at once a thick mist came on, and the sea rose in fury and it was with the greatest difficulty that we reached the land, which however we managed to without any injury, but got a severe fright. But after I had been in Edinburgh for 2 years and a half, my health began to suffer from my constant standing at the Case, which was necessary in my trade, and so I began to turn my thoughts homeward and accordingly left Scotland in the month of September


After several attempts, I at length succeeded in getting an engagement as Booksellars Assistant to Mr Mackenzie at Uxbridge, Middlesex and there I stopped for about 5 months and from my being so close to home and my friends I was pretty comfortable, but my governor seeming to want change, and to have a relation of his in my place, I therefore left.


March 10 When I was about to leave Uxbridge, We received a letter from my Brother Ben at New Zealand containing a pressing invitation for me to go out and join him, and holding out a prospect of many advantages to be desired from such a step and therefore not seeing a very good prospect in England and on consulting with my friends on the propriety of such a step, I made up my mind to go and join brother Ben at New Zealand. Midnight Previous to doing so, however, I thought I would take another trip to Scotlandin order to bid my old friends and chums goodbye. I therefore started by the rail to Newcastle and after stopping a night and day in that town,I took the Steamboat and reached Edinburgh in the morning where I received a hearty welcome from my old companions. But I had another motive for revisiting Auld Reekie ant that was to "try and get a Wife" - in the words of the Song "A Wife I soon got, and I aye have her yes, " And the folk think together we unco weel fit!

I had the good fortune to meet and be introduced to a respectalbe young lady named Isabella Kay who had some thought of going to New Zealand to join a sister already there. After one or two interviews with that young lady (and only one or two) and finding that our thoughts, feelings, and dispositions were in harmony,I popped the question, and was accepted and in a week after I changed my bachelor solitary state for the more comfortable one of married life. There is an old adage which says "Marry in haste and repent at leisure". - but although I did the first, I am happy to say that I have not yet had the occasion to do the latter and indeed I have little fear of doing so, for we have lived very happily and comfortably together ever since. We were married on the 26th of March, 1850, and as it is rather an eventful epoch in a persons life, I will transcribe a description of the "event" which occurred to me.

I first had to go to the Session Clerk of the Parish and get the 'Marriage Lines' which were proclaimed in the West Church on the following Sunday and on the Tuesday evening at 6 o'clock (having previously spoken to the Minister) we started off to the residence of Rev. Dr. French in 2 cabs. J Russell was "best man" and Miss Paterson the "best maid". Ramsey, Hope, Gib Taylor and Miss Viv Hollis and another young lady accompanied us out but the ceremony did not take above ten minutes and we returned into the town, and then drove down with the rest of the Company to Portobello (where we had taken lodgings for a week.) We had a splendid supper and enjoyed ourselves all very much. There was a party of about 30 and lots of singing and dancing. The married couple retired at 4 in the morning, but some of the company were displeased at not seeing them to bed, and accordingly were very refactory in trying to break into the bed chamber, they were however unsuccessful and were in consequence rather displeased. We enjoyed ourselves at Portobello for a week and then after stopping a few days in Edinburgh we bade a final farewell to that City of Palaces and the many friends who dwell therein and set sail by the

Clarence Steamer for London. It was a sad time to bid farewell, perhaps for ever to so many friends, for there were a good many of them accompanied us down to the boat and if it is not to bad to make the similie, it put us in mind of the early christians who bid farewell to the Apostle St.Paul, and grieved so much that 'they should see his face no more'.

April Previous to leaving Scotland I took advantage of a wet morning to compose the following lines;

Written previous to leaving England for New Zealand

How sad it is to look around
On friends both known and true,
And think these lips must soon to them
Pronounce a last adieu !

About to leave my native land
In distant climes to dwell;
To part from kindred, home, and friends,
And bid them all - farewell !

Farewell ! - a long and last farewell,
To hearts so true and kind;
But oft my soul will breathe a prayer
For the friends I leave behind.

"Tis sad to part from home, although
My reason and prefence
For leaving Britain's happy shores,
Is - "Duty calls me hence."

That duty teaches me to make
Provision for myself,
And to endeavour to improve
My store of worldy pelf.

A Briton's birthright still I claim
And proudly I confess -
In any clime my heart will be
A Briton's none the less.

A Wife - the partner of my joys
Goes with me on my way;
And my our God for us provide,
And keep from day to day.

England ! my native land, good bye !
I ne'er thee more shall see;
And Scotland, home of friends and love,
My heart still clings to thee.

May blessings rich, to every friend
By Providence be given,
And if we meet no more on earth,
"May all unite in heaven."

May 1850 J.L. Bailey

We had a very pleasant passage and arrived in London on Monday morning and proceeded straight to Datchet where I presented my new wife to my Mother and the rest of the family. We spent a very happy time at Datchet and were pretty well employed in making preparations for our long journey.

In the beginning of May we spent a week with Mr Teede in London and passed the time most pleasantly. But now the time drew near when we must bid all our dear Friends adieu. We got all our preparations completed and on Saturday the 3rd of June we left Datchet most likely never to see it again. It was a sore trial to part from my Dear Mother, as she was the only one of my family from whom I received any real affection, and as she is getting up in years I fear we shall never meet again on this side the grave but I trust that both father, mother and children will all unite in that happy place where there shall be no more parting.

We stopped in London till the Wednesday and then we went to Gravesend and embarked in the ship "EDEN" bound for New Zealand. Mrs Teede, Mary and Joseph accompanied us to Gravesend and stayed with us till the evening when they bade us goodbye. I must say without any pangs of sorrow on my part ( and I think on their own too) for their conduct on this and former occasions did not please me at all. We parted from Mr Teede in London, and it was with great sorrow that I did so, for he has behaved with the greatest kindness to all members of our family, and from his Office as Trustee and

Executor under my Dear Father's Will has had a good deal of trouble with the family. My father in his will left his children 300 each, but from family circumstances we did not receive it all at our coming of age.


1850 June 5
After bidding our friends adieu as detailed on the precedng page we enjoyed a very good nights rest in our new berth, and awoke with the noise of the heaving up of the Anchor, and when we went on deck we were nearly at the mouth of the Thames. As soon as we were in the British Channel we were kept back by contrary winds and at last had to anchor off Margate.

June 7
In the morning we were off again with the Pilot on board still, but we had to tack about continually, first into the shore and then out again. The wind was still quite contrary and we kept off and on the Coast till we got to the Isle of Wight, and then on to the 'Lands End' where we finally got fairly out to sea to our great satisfaction. The Pilot went ashore at Deal and I among others took the opportunity of sending a letter by him. I need only say that my letter was addressed to my Dear Mother. Most of the People on board commenced getting sick, before we were out of the Channel amongst these, my dear Wife was almost or quite the worst of them being obliged to keep her bed both day and night.

1850 June 8
We have got a very respectable assortment of Passengers on board and a very good Captain and Crew. Almost all of the Passengers are those who like myself, leave their native land in the Hope of bettering themselves. Many of them go with very good means and prospects, but I expect to land with a total of about 10 in Cash, but 'nil desperandum' is my motto and I will hold up my head with the rest of them and trust by the blessing of God and perseverence and industry to succeed in my enterprise. However, on the 1st night of my being at sea I commenced a practise which I hope to continue, namely "family prayer" the which of it does no good at present will I trust, eventually become a blessing to us both. Nothing particular has occurred for some days, with the exception that one of the sailors fell overboard but was picked up again uninjured. Several porpoises and a shark or two have been seen but none caught.

June 22
We saw a ship ahead of us and as we came nearer we saw that whe was waiting for us and had got a flag of distress hoisted, so we all rushed down to our berths and commenced writing letters to our friends as a report was given out that she was bound for England, so most of us worte at least one letter - some two or three and got them ready but when we got up to the Ship at half a mile distant, she did not come any closer, but only wanted to know the correct latitude and longitude and then she went off, so we kept all our letters. She was a Greek Vessel and her crew were dressed in Greek Costume, with wide, trousers. - This is my birthday and I complete my 23rd year.

June 27
This day we came in sight of "Port Santo" one of the Maderia Islands. It has eight or nine peaks rising up to a tremendous height from the sea, and quite bare. We all looked and strained our eyes to discover any tree or signs of life about but all in vain. When we got within 5 or 6 miles we tacked and went out to sea again. -

June 28
When we awoke in the morning, the same island was still visible, though at a much further distance but we gradually lost sight of it through the day.- The Weather is very hot, but we have got an awning over the deck, which takes away the tremendous heat of the sun. - My Wife is still very poorly and sick.

1850 June 30
This is the fourth Sunday we have had at sea, but although great attention is paid to the day here, it is nothing to the calm and religious manner we have been accustomed to spend it on shore. The Doctor reads the Church of England service on the Poop at 11 o'clock and all the congregation respond to him. The Scotch folk also hold a Service after the Presbyterian form in the Steerage and the Schoolmaster reads a Sermon and one or two of the Passengers engage in prayer, and I must bear my testmony to the simple and humble manner in which this service is carried on, so much so that I and my wife regularly attend it in preference to the Episocopal Service.- It is a curious life that we lead at sea but now we are getting used to it, there is not much to complalin of. We get lots of eatables and drinkables and that of first rate order and if we could get a few vegetables with some milk, we would be quite satisfied. It puts one in mind of a small village or large factory to look along between the decks and see the different sorts of people standing about and at different occupations, some eating, some cooking, and some washing dishes, in fact, at any and everything, you could mention. - We generally get up at about eight o'clock and prepare our breakfasts, take our coffee pots to the Galley fire and get boiling water and sometimes fry a piece of pork or any other rarity we may have. After breakfast there is the dishes to wash up and prepare puddings etc for dinner. We then go up on deck and some read, some play draughts, chess, dominies or cards while the rest do a little work or loll about and talk or walk, and thus pass off the time till dinner when we all go down and pay our compliments to the meal. We occupy, ourselves much in the same way until the evening when perhaps a small knot of folk will collect and have a song or dance together and we retire to our beds at 10 o'clock when all lights in the Cabins are required to be put out. The married men all take it in turns to watch during the night, two hours each man to guard from fire and irregularities. The single men require to get up at 6 in the morning to draw the water up from the Hold. Thus we pass away our time at sea.

July 1 Monday
We were awoke at past 3 this morning by a loud spash and on looking about we found that a tremendous wave had burst our window open and was deluging our Cabin. On jumping out of bed, I was over my ankles in water and the neighbours in the other Cabins were also complaining, however, it was no use complaining so I put on my top coat over my shirt and with bare feet and legs commenced mopping and cleaning out the cabin. I got all to rights when in about 4 hours after, my wife being ill in bed, the Surgeons assistant came in and thinking the place to hot opened the window again. The consequence was that the sea found its way in and again deluged the place wetting the bed and bed-clothes, and spoilt some goods and also a lot of raisins, but a little time and patience put all to rights again. -

July 3
The weather is now getting very hot especially in the middle of the day, but the evenings are very pleasant. This evening was passed with much pleasure as we had a very nice party of dancing and singing and all seemed very happy.

July 5
This morning an unpleasant scene occcurred between the Chief mate and some of the sailors, on the occasion of some insolence offered by the sailor to the mate when the latter fell upon him and gave him a severe thrashing and deservedly so but it occasioned a very unple5asant feeling among the rest of the sailors.

July 31
We are now at the close of our second month at sea and are about 10 degrees south of the equator with a spanking breeze, so that we hope to have a favourable passage after all. We are all pretty lively on board and in good health with few exceptions

Aug 16
The last few weeks have passed away with few incidents to vary the monotony of a long voyage. We have had a few quarrels between passengers one of which ended in a "mill".- Several parties are still at loggerheads with each other. - For the last three days we have been amused by number of birds called "Cape Pigeons" flying about and behind the ship. - Several fishing lines and hooks were put out baited with pork - which they attacked with great eagerness and two of them were caught. They are beautiful birds but somwhat larger than the domestic pigeon with white body and wings spotted with black, - the bill quite black. Yesterday several guns were mustered and many shots were fired, - but few were killed from the closeness of their feathers. It appears strange to see these birds when we are at least one thousand miles from any land. - We have been going at a spanking rate, viz: 10 miles an hour, for this two days but today the wind has gone down and the rain has come on, which makes us all keep below, and as it seems we are not yet past the 'Cape' we shall probably have a long voyage of it.

Aug 27
Yesterday made us ten weeks at sea. We are now at last believed to be rounding the Cape though a good deal to the south of it. - For the last ten days we have had very wet and bad weather and for two days there was a regular gale. We were awoke one morning about three o'clock by the water coming in large quantity down the hatchway and with its heavy plash on the deck awakening the most of us. The women screamed and some declared they were going to the bottom. In some Cabins there was as much as two feet deep of water, but with the Captain's assistance and directions we got it all cleaned up at last. - There was also a tremendous sea running all day and slushing over the deck making it very slippery and causing several people to fall and hurt themselves severly. - A quarrel also had occurred between two intermadiate Passengers - Adams and Caldwell, which like most rows did much harm, but not good.

1850 Sept 16
A Splendid breeze, - with a sail in sight though at a great distance. We are going between nine and ten knots an hour and hope to see New Plymouth in about seven weeks.

Oct 25
About 20 weeks at sea and no sign of New Zealand yet. What with calm and head winds we have made a very long and dull passage of it. However, we hope to see New Plymouth in about four days. - Nothing of note has occurred since my last entry with the exception of going through Bass Straits which we did on the 13th inst, and while passing through them we caught several nice fish called Baracoota and also we saw several rocks and islands and the coasts of Australia and Van Deimans Land. After getting through the Straits we be becalmed 3 or 4 days and the weather was very hot. We also saw several Whales and Sharks and caught one of the latter. In going through the Straits we spoke the "Christina" of Melbourne full of Irish Emigrants and convicts. - We are now off again with a spanking breeze for New Zealand. - This morning we all turned up as soon as it was daylight by the announcement of the cheerful words "Land in sight" and on going on deck many of us in our shirts only, we saw that we were running along the coast of what we were informed was New Zealand, but to us it looked like a dim outline of cloud only. - As the day wore on, so we got nearer the land, and looked long and anxiously at the "land of promise" and by the middle of the day we saw the Port and Town of New Plymouth, but as the wind was contrary we could not go in, but kept tacking about till evening, when the Pilot came off, and took ashore the mails and the next morning we anchored in the roadstead about three miles from the shore.

The settlement looked very pretty from the deck and I am told by those that went ashore that it is a very pretty place, but as I wished to husband all my finances I did not go on shore but contented myself with purhcasing some luxuries such as Bread and vegetables instead. We now commenced landing passengers and cargo, but at night, as it came on to blow, we were obliged to slip our cable and out to sea again and this night we had a very narrow escape of all going to the bottom, for as we were tacking off and on during the night, the mate being rather sleepy we were all roused from our beds with the announcement of a "lea shore close on our bow" and we had to strain every nerve to get out ship off, but at last she righted and took us out into deep water in safety. - It was one of the most dangerous events of the whole voyage and we had to thank Mr Caldwell (one of the Passengers) who was on deck most of the night and warned the mate in time, otherwise we must inevitably have gone to the bottom.

The next day we anchored again and after stopping another day, we lifted our anchor and set sail for Nelson, where we arrived the next day in the afternoon. I sent a letter ashore to the relation of my wife and the next day her sister's husband came on board and took us to his house. - It was certainly a very pleasant meeting for the sisters after a nine years absence - as pleasant as the meeting I hope will be with my dear brother

Ben and I, though we have not been separated quite so long. The town of Nelson I was much pleased with, but here for the first time, I found all the delusive hope vanish which had induced me to come out from England, and I began to have some fear for my future prospects. - At Nelson I heard it confirmed that bad accounts which I had previously heard of Otago, and from my being possessed of so little ready cash, and the horror of the idea of going to Otago to be a burden on my brother, - together with the state of my wife's health (she being near her confinement) and the solicitation and advice of my friends, all conspired to make me alter my plans and to try what I could do at Nelson.

Well my prospects were not very good, and after looking about a little I was advised to go over to Motueka. I did so, and took 5 acres of ground and with my little means put a slab and weather-board house (the work I did myself with some assistance of one man and he not a regular carpenter). However, we knocked up a pretty comfortable worrie, which with a small Maori Fence cost me 12.10/- and then I fetched the wife over. After getting things a bit to rights and planting a few potatoes, I began to look for a job, and for the first time in my life went out to work as a day labourer at 2/6 a day to Mr Kryvelt - the work was very hard to me at first but just as I was getting used to it, it got scarce, and as there were very few emplouers of labour there, I began to look rather ? .

I should have mentioned before this, that on the 4th day of February, my dear Wife was confined and presented me with a daughter and I was a happy Father. Well we plodded on, earning little and getting rid of our little stock of valuables gradually, till I was recommended to apply for the mastership of the School, which was then vacant. I did so but it being a Church School, and it being already promised by the Parsons to a Party in Nelson, I did not succeed, and after trying (at the suggestion of several over there) to get up a private School, found that the Motueka people had no firmness in them, and were afraid to support me in the face of the Parsons, but would do anything behind their backs. - We had a meeting and I came to rather high words with the Rev. Mr Tudor but my conscience tells me that I was not in the wrong. - I may just record here that the School- master whom they appointed turned out to be a great scamp, and only stopped there a month or two, when he was turned out.

Notes on James Lugsdin Bailey

He went in to printing of some kind or another, as the death certificates of his first two children state this as his profession. In 1860 when my grandmother was born he was Clerk to the Board of Works, Nelson. In 1862 when Alice (5th Dau.) was born he was Secretary to the Board of Works. In 1864 when Minne & Nelly were born, he was a Flock Owner/ Clerk in Registrar of Deeds Office, Nelson. James Lugsdin Bailey died in 1865 from Erysifrelas and Isabella Kay, his wife, died in 1868 from Chronic Peritonitis.

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