Edward Jollie - Reminisces 1841-1865

1. Beginnings
Beachcroft, Canterbury, 12th of August, 1872

 My wife Carrie has asked me to jot down some of the incidents of my life and in order to tempt me to begin she has placed a little round table with ink bottle upon it at my side before the fire.

I hardly know how to begin and after having got thus far, I feel a difficulty in continuing, as there are six children(1) in the room all under eleven years of age and they are making a dreadful noise, some of them are painting pictures in the Illustrated News and the others share wanting to help, which leads to squabbles, which are only varied by the squalls of the baby, (2) the expostulations of the mother, or questions as to whether a Comet (3)which has been prognosticated to come into collision with the Earth today will really burn us all up.  As far as the day has gone the effect of the Comet seems to be to freeze us all rather than to burn us, the snow falling fast and likely to continue for some time.

(1) Margaret, Caroline, Francis, Elizabeth, Mary and Florence.
(2) Six month old Edward, born 26 October, 1871.
(3) Fear took possession of many citizens and church confessionals became crowded when the earth passed through the tail the disintegrating Comet Biela.

I know but little of my ancestors, having left England before I took any interest in the matter.  I have been told that the Edict of Nantes drove my progenitors out of France, and that they settled in the north of Scotland.  But, whether that is the case or not, I believe there is no doubt that my Grandfather, Francis Jollie, somewhere about the latter part of the last century left the North of Scotland and settled at Carlisle in Cumberland where, being of a literary turn, he established the newspaper known as the Carlisle Journal.  This was about the end of the eighteenth century. (1)

Carlisle at the time of Edward Jollie's childhood

(1) Jollie is an example of a group of early European surnames that were gradually created from the habitual use of nicknames.  It first enters the Scottish record, in the vicinity of Edinburgh, (with a probable origin in Picardie or Picardy in north-eastern France) just before the 1598 Edict of Nantes. Within a generation a northerly diaspora along the west coast took them to Angus and another generation later they had settled in Fife. These two counties account for significantly more than half of all the 3,076 Jollies listed in Scottish parish registers and census records before the end of the nineteenth century.
A reference in Burke's Colonial Gentry nominates Stirling and Perth as the origins of Edward Jollie's family.  The first assertion may be correct as the wider family was established in that county by 1671, but the reference to Perth could be considered as unreliable as there were no Jollies recorded in that area until two decades before Edward's Grandfather is known to have been living at Carlisle, close to the Scottish and Welsh borders.
A man of great enterprise, Edward's Grandfather was in business at Carlisle by the later 1770s as a Printer, Author and Publisher of histories, maps and travel guides. By 1780 there are references to a Jollie's Circulating Library.   Francis Jollie the elder (1755-1820) founded the Carlisle Journal, as a radical Whig newspaper in October, 1798.  His sons Francis Junior and James succeeded him in 1819. Collateral Jollie descendants still live in the Carlisle area.

He married, I forget whom, and had to the best of my knowledge four sons, Jeremiah, John, Francis and James, and two daughters.  One daughter married to the Reverend G. Thompson, the other to the Reverend Mr. Blair.  Of the sons, they all died as young men except James who died last year (1871) as an old man.  He was the only son of my Grandfather who was given to dissipated habits.  The others were steady men and died young.  The only one I remember seeing was Uncle John, whom I recollect visiting at his house at Beaumont near Carlisle, when I got into disgrace from having broken with a stone a glass cover placed over a plant in the garden. 

My father, Francis, was born, I think, in the year 1791 and was married to my mother in or about the year 1813.  She was a Miss Routledge, her father carrying on business as a Tanner in Brampton, (1) Cumberland, and she was married to my father when she was seventeen years old.

(1) The Jollie family also lived at Brampton, a small market town about nine miles east of Carlisle on the road to Newcastle.  Edward was christened in the St. Martin's parish church on the 25th of September, 1825. His antecedents lie in the graveyard.

St. Martin's church and graveyard at Brampton.

On the death of my grandfather, Francis Jollie, my father became the owner of the Carlisle Journal, which he conducted ‘till his death in the latter end of 1826 or beginning of 1827, when I was a little over one year old.

My mother then became the owner and engaged a Mr. J. Steel as Editor. This arrangement continued until about 1836; when my eldest brother Francis, having declined to undertake the conduct of the paper, it was sold to Mr. Steel whose sons now possess it. (1)

(1) James Steel (1797-1851) was appointed editor of the Carlisle Journal by the then owner, Margaret Jollie, in 1829. He entered into partnership with her in 1831. The partnership lasted until 1836 when it was dissolved by mutual consent, with Steel becoming sole owner of the newspaper.

Margaret Jollie (1795-1872) had served four months imprisonment for the libel of the Earl of Lonsdale in 1833. The opprobrium and considerable expense may well have been contributing factors to her sons seeking a new life in New Zealand.

I was born in the year 1825 on September 1st, the youngest of a family of five, viz. Francis who died November 30th 1870, aged 55, at his Peel Forest sheep station in the alpine foothills of Canterbury, (1) John [b. circa 1821] who is living at Gateshead in England and is unmarried, William [b.1820] who was a Doctor in practice at Gateshead until he died in 1868 aged 47 unmarried,  Elizabeth who is married to Mr Peter Haggie (2) of Whickham near Gateshead and has sons and daughters to the number of ten or eleven, and Edward of whose particular doings I am more particularly interested in.

(1) In 1853 Captain the Honourable Francis Jollie (1815–1870) moved to South Canterbury, taking up land at Peel Forest, where he built a fourteen room homestead in 1859. From 1861 to 1866 he represented Timaru in Parliament, and from 1866 to 1870 he represented the 202 electors of the Gladstone district. His wife Jane died in 1873 at the extant Collins' Hotel, Christchurch.

(2) Born in 1823, Elizabeth married the wealthy industrialist Peter Haggie at Gateshead in August, 1844. Rope Manufacturers David Haggie and Sons was founded in 1789 to supply the coal mining and shipbuilding industries on Tyneside. Haggie had three sons; David (1819-1895) and Elizabeth Jollie's husband Peter, who became well-known in the public life of Gateshead, and Robert, who, owing to family quarrels left to operate  the Willington Ropeworks, which had been acquired by the family in 1843.

On the death of my father or shortly afterwards my mother removed into a small house situated in Lonsdale Street, Carlisle. She had but a small income to keep the house going and to feed five hungry children, but by careful economy she managed to satisfy our hunger, clothe us comfortably, and to give us as good schooling as the Town afforded.

I think perhaps if my mother had been less anxious in regard to my education I should have learned more than I did. Her anxiety on my account causing her to be constantly moving me from one master to another, which destroyed the continuity of my studies and in a great measure lessened my desire for excelling. However if I failed in the school, I always took the lead in boyish games out of school, which may be one cause of my adapting myself without inconvenience or distress to the habits of a rough colonial life.

As a boy I remember hearing my brother talk in a joking way about going to settle in New Zealand, but from joking it soon appeared that my eldest brother Francis, who had a situation in the Tithe Commissioner's office, had begun to seriously consider the necessity of becoming a New Zealand colonial.

The New Zealand Company having in 1841 projected a settlement in New Zealand on improved principles, to be called Nelson, my eldest brother Francis bought a land order and determined to try his fate as a colonist.  About the same time, my mother’s relations were debating the question as to what should be my future occupation, and it was nearly fixed that I should be apprenticed to an Engineer in the north of England, when a letter arrived from Frank saying he thought I might get an appointment under the New Zealand Company as a Cadet attached to the Survey Staff about to proceed to Wellington, if I wished it.

We were sitting at tea when the letter was read and  when I was asked whether I would go, I said at once that I would, upon which my mother who was sitting opposite to me burst out crying and left the room.  It then struck me that I had acted very thoughtlessly in hurting the feelings of my mother, who was always so kind and patient with me.  This happened about the first week in September 1841.

A few days after completing my sixteenth year on the 2nd of the next month I was on board the barque Brougham at Gravesend, being one of ten cadets attached to a survey staff of a Chief Surveyor and six assistants, with three ladies and some children, all of whom sailed for New Zealand in the Brougham, a small vessel of about 230 tons, on the 2nd October 1841.

Only known image of the 1820 East Indiaman Brougham

July 11th 1873 - After eleven months rest, on the expostulations of my wife, I resume.

We knocked about the British Channel for several days with a strong head wind which made our small vessel pitch and toss in a most unruly manner.  I was very sick in consequence and kept my berth, being nearly dead, when the Captain thought it best to run for shelter through the Needles to Cowes, Isle of White.  Here we had a collision with another vessel and after repairing damages we made another start on or about the 26th October 1841.

Our voyage was not very eventful, we tried to go into Tenerife, but when we were well in sight of that island we were blown away, so the Captain determined to go into one of the Cape de Verde Islands instead.  This he did, and we arrived at Port Praya on the island of St Jago on a Sunday afternoon.  The next day I went on shore and took a ramble with a friend.  We gathered some tempting looking nuts of which I eat, being told by a native they were good.  However, before I again got on board, I was very ill, with every symptom of poisoning.  The Doctor however pulled me through after a hard fight.  We stayed two days here and then sailed, having laid in a large stock of fruit, consisting of oranges, bananas, coconuts, sugar cane etc, also a she-goat to give milk to the children.

We reached Wellington, New Zealand on the morning of February the 9th 1842, (1) where I found that the Fifeshire, the ship in which my brother Frank had sailed for New Zealand a few days before I left England, had arrived a fortnight or three weeks before us and had gone on to the place pitched upon for the Colony of Nelson situated in Blind Bay.  

(1) Edward Jerningham Wakefield (1796-1862), Political Theorist Colonial Promoter and Politician refers in his diary to the arrival of the Brougham, with the new chief Surveyor for the Company, Mr Brees.

"He was accompanied by a large suite of young gentlemen, engaged by the Company for three years as Surveying Cadets. I had met two or three of these on the Porirua Road when I came into town, with labourers and Theodolites and other baggage, starting for the Manawatu. I remember laughing at their dandified appearance and wondering what new arrivals had thus suddenly and without preparation taken to the bush.

Everything about them was so evidently new; their guns just out of their cases, fastened across tight-fitting shooting jackets by patent leather belts; their forage caps of superfine cloth; and their white collars relieved by new black silk neckerchiefs. Some positively walked with gloves and dandy-cut trousers; and to crown all, their faces shone with soap. I sat down on the stump of a tree and vastly enjoyed the cockney procession, wondering how long the neatness of their appearance and the fastidiousness of their walk as they stepped over the muddy places (caused by a shower of rain the night before), would last.”