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The ship Sir George Seymour

Oil paintings

Object connections:

Collection Oil paintings, Fine art
Gallery locationNot on display
VesselsSir George Seymour, Sir George Seymour 1844

Object details:

Object ID BHC3640
Description A portrait of the ‘Sir George Seymour’, built in Sunderland in 1844, owned by Somes Brothers and registered in London. She is shown sailing down the Channel with other shipping with the coast in the background. The ship may have been named for the admiral Sir George Francis Seymour 1787-1870. She was involved in taking emigrants to Australia and New Zealand in the middle of the 19th century. The ‘Sir George Seymour’ was one of four chartered ships leaving England in September 1850 for Canterbury, with the ‘Randolph’, the ‘Cressy’, and the ‘Charlotte Jane’. They were under the auspices of the Canterbury Association which envisioned the founding of a church settlement in New Zealand. It was hoped that a cross-section of English society including bishops and gentry, artisans and labourers, would journey to this new colony together. They hoped they could take traditions and loyalties to colonial soil, to start a new England that would resemble every good feature of old England. Before they left, a public banquet and dance took place on board the ‘Randolph’ for the families who were buying land in the new settlement and a church service was held on 1 September in St Paul's Cathedral for all the 'Pilgrims'. The two main groups of ‘Pilgrims’ were the ‘colonists’ and ‘emigrants’. Colonists were men who were able to afford to buy land in the new settlement. These men and their families travelled as cabin passengers. They would be the leaders of Canterbury for the first years. The emigrants were farm workers, labourers and tradesmen, travelling in steerage. Their passage was either paid for by the Canterbury Association, or by their future employers, travelling in the same ship. Life on board ship was a dramatic change in lifestyle for these intending settlers and accommodation below decks, for the steerage passengers, was particularly cramped, the ‘Sir George Seymour’ carried 227 on this trip.
Date made Mid - Late 19th century

Artist/Maker Howard, W
Credit National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
Materials oil on canvas
Measurements Painting: 760 mm x 1120 mm
  • The ship Sir George Seymour (BHC3640)
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