|In 1980 after the death of my
Granddad, Lawrence Dulling Bland, we discovered a diary that no one in the family new
about. The diary was written by Joseph Napoleon Bland and It explained in great detail the
families visit to New Zealand in 1854.
Upon checking the 1851 census, it appears that Joseph Napoleon Bland, his wife Jane Bland and 7 children lived in Edmonton, Nr London. Also on the Census records were their Gardener and House servant, Head Nurse, Housemaid and Nurse and Cook.
For some reason unknown, the family decided to move to New Zealand(leaving behind their Servants) and arrangements were made to Sail upon the "Eagle" late in 1853.
The Family arrived in New Zealand on the 30th March 1854 and it was reported in the Nelson Examiner, 1st April 1854, that Mr and Mrs Bland and 7 children arrived safely from Plymouth.
It was reported in the same paper that Mr Felix Wakefield imported a Red Deer Stag from England.
|It appears from his diary that the family spent several days in a hovel on the beach before buying a property from Mr Robert John Creasy on the 7th April 1854. the legal description of the property was Part Section XIV district of Waimea East and was stated to contain approximately 56 acres. It would appear that the property became known as "Willow Bank". The property was sold by deed of Conveyance dated 21st January 1859 after the death of Joseph. The diagram opposite below shows the current site at Haycocks Road, Hope, Nelson.||"The Ship Eagle arrived on Thursday last, after a fine passage of
115 days from Plymouth. by her, Mr Felix Wakefield has brought out a Red Deer Stag in fine
health; his mate, a beautiful hind, died only four days pervious to the Ships arrival in
our port. Mr Wakefield also brought out a cock and two hen pheasants. Mr Wakefield reports
that the owner and Captain Looke rendered him every assistance in getting such an
acquisition to New Zealand out safely."( The Nelson Examiner 1st April 1854)
We understand that Joseph appears on the Electoral Roll as a Leaseholder and House Holder from 1855 to 1858 and he made his will on the 24th June 1857.
Again, for an unknown reason, the family decided to return to England on the Ocean Queen on the 4th March 1858. The Nelson Examiner(6th March 1858) reported Mr and Mrs Bland and 8 children left for England.
Unfortunately, Joseph died at sea in 1858 and we do not know where the remaining family then resided.