BACK ON THE BEEJAPORE 1853

FROM TWAS HARD TO DIE FRAE HAME

‘IT WAS HARD TO
DIE FRAE HAME’:
DEATH, GRIEF AND MOURNING AMONG SCOTTISH MIGRANTS TO NEW ZEALAND,
1840 -1890.

 

By
Debra Powell
A Thesis
Submitted to the University of Waikato
in fulfilment of the
requirements for the degree of
Master of Arts
in History
2007

Infectious diseases, chronic illness, accidents at sea, dysentery and diarrhoea, and the debilitating effects of constant seasickness on pregnant women and breast-feeding mothers, all took a toll on passenger numbers. Migrants were not unaware of the risks involved. The loss of babies and infants was considered an inevitable consequence of long seaboard journeys. William Usherwood on board the Beejapore to Sydney in 1853 expressed a common sentiment when he wrote: ‘The … adults are all in good health, we have lost several children but this was quite expected, being always the case’.

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