Margaret Johnstone Robertson
Children of Walter & Margaret Slone are listed with Walter Henderson Sloane.
Obituary, Mrs Margaret Johnstone Sloane
The portrait of John (right) is likely to be from around 1830s). The photograph (below) was taken about late 1870s.
John Robertson was born 1795 in Queensferry, Scotland. His father was William Robertson a master Mariner and his mother was Helen Finlay. In 19 Nov. 1833 he married May Doughty, Edinburgh, Midlothian, Scotland. (Situated between, Queensferry and Dunbar)
Arrived Russell, New Zealand, on the "Westminster" on 13 March
1840. He soon settled in Auckland and set up a sawmill in Mechanics Bay.
Noted for making the flagpole for celebrations in Auckland.
"Another of the old residents of Auckland has disappeared in the death of Mr John Robertson, of the Queen's Ferry Hotel. Mr Robertson has lived in Auckland, much respected, since the day of his arrival. What is more, he has lived on the same spot for nearly the whole time, having bought the site of the Qneen's Ferry Hotel at the first land sale 35 years ago, and occupied it ever since. His memory was wonderfully clear to the last, and it was pleasant to hear his account of the doings in the Old Country, when the Battle of Waterloo was fought, as well as his stories of early days in the Colony. Gradually all of the old generation are passing away, and New Zealand is falling into the hands of New Zealanders."
Children of John & May Robertson:
Christina Robertson (Kitty)
About 1853 he lived in the Vulcan Lane/Shortland Street area. He may have also built the "Queen's Ferry Hotel".
The following is an extract from "A History of the Queen's Ferry Hotel and it's Publicans" compiled by Michael Butler, pages 2-6.
Mr. Robertson was born in Queens Ferry, Scotland and originally emigrated to New South Wales. However not liking the climate, and upon hearing that Captain Hobson, who had been appointed Governor of New Zealand, wanted to take down some mechanics with him, he applied, and was the first man engaged to proceed to the infant colony. Sailing from Sydney with Captain Hobson, he landed at the Bay of Islands in March 1840, (see note below) which he left after a residence of six months. Ever since, Mr. Roberson had been a citizen of Auckland, having lived in the same spot in Vulcan Lane for 35 years. He purchased the property in an auction on 29 June 1842 and in 1845 was engaged there as a sawyer - later running a general store on the site. the wooden building in which for so many years he kept a store was burnt in the great fire about 1857 or 1858, and in its place Mr. Robertson erected a two story brick building. He continued running a general store up until April 19, 1865 when he received conditional approval to turn the existing premises into the Queens Ferry Hotel, his application being adjourned, in order to give time for him to put his house in order and thereby comply with the licensing requirements.
The Hotel seems to have been named after the Scottish town, Queens Ferry, that Mr. Robertson came from and not, as many people believe, because the harbour Queen's ferries plied to the naval ships in the harbour and were once able to moor close by the hotel, although this may well have been the case.
Mr. Robertson's broad Scotch accent, as if he had left the Lowlands only a week or two ago, was the calling card for every Scotch-man in Auckland and the Queen's Ferry became a gathering place for the Scottish as well as being the birthplace of the Scottish Volunteers of the Auckland militia.
Note: It would appear that Hobson travelled indepentantly to New Zealand on the Herald, arriving in the Bay of Islands 29 January 1840, with a group of government immigrants arriving on the Westminster on 17 March 1840.
'On Friday a meeting of persons interested in the formation of a Highland Company in connection with the Auckland volunteers, was held at the Queens Ferry Hotel. About 15 persons were present, and after some discussion, the meeting was adjourned for a week.'
'Last evening an adjourned meeting of persons interested in the formation of a Scotch (and kilted) Company, in connection with the Auckland Battalion of Rifles, was held at the Queens Ferry Hotel, Vulcan Lane. Over 30 persons were present; Mr. McCaul occupied the chair and Mr. McLeod acted as secretary. The object of the meeting was explained to those who had not been at the previous meeting. The chairman remarked that the Scotch element was very strong in Auckland, and that they ought to have a company of their own (hear, hear). He had spoken to a good many Scotchmen, and numbers of them had signified their intention of joining. Several gentlemen of very high standing were ready to take command and become officers, and he had no doubt that when the company was once started it would rapidly go ahead. The names of twenty-two gentlemen were then enrolled as efficient, and two honorary members. At the next meeting this number will probably be augmented to fifty. After the conclusion of the meeting Jim McPherson, who was present in full highland costume, played a number of inspirational scotch airs on the bagpipes. We understand that next week the election of officers for the company will take place."
The Hotel was also popular as a commercial venue after improvements were made in 1871, especially with the many speculative gold-mining boom in Auckland and who regularly met in all the hotels during this period.
'The annual meeting of the Berkeley Castle Gold Mining Company will be held at the Queens Ferry Hotel, at 5pm today.'
'The first annual meeting of the shareholders of the Moanatairi Union Gold Mining Company was held yesterday, the Queensferry Hotel, Vulcan's Lane. There was a good attendance of shareholders. Mr. D. W. Wallace, chairman of directors, presided. The directors' report was read, which showed: receipts for past year, 828 pounds 15s 4d; expenditure, 755 pounds 7s 5d; leaving a balance in bank of 73 pounds 7s 11d. J.W. Booker, Esq., was elected director to replace Mr. Wallace, retiring. In reply to shareholders, the chairman stated that the directors would immediately invite tenders for putting in a tunnel 260 feet in length, to intersect the Golden Age reef, which has already proved dividend paying. This work will be pushed forward with all possible dispatch, to test the reef already in the company's ground. The proceedings terminated with a vote of thanks to the Chairman,'
A description of the hotel and the refurbishments appeared in June of the same year.
'Yesterday we were called in the course of business into the Queens Ferry Hotel, in Vulcan Lane and were somewhat surprised to find, in this unpretending hostelry, such first-class accommodation as is provided by Mr. Robertson for his customers. Behind the bar is situated one of the best Commercial rooms that we have seen in Auckland. This has been recently added to the hotel, and if it can be equalled cannot be surpassed in this city. In this cold winter weather there is one this, which will recommend itself to the peripatetic public whose business is principally conducted at the "the Corner", and that is a good fire and a comfortable room to sit in, where every convenience, for commercial transactions may be found. A full suite of bedrooms and sitting rooms has also been added to the upper portion of the building and the hotel altogether, has been made one which will command itself to families and the commercial public. The lighting decoration and furnishing of the rooms have been all equally well attended to, and for comfort and convenience there is not a hotel in Auckland, that can surpass the Queens Ferry Hotel, Vulcan Lane.'
Mr. Robertson died on October 28, 1877, aged 82 years and was probably at the time the oldest citizen of Auckland. He never took any part in political matters, but was well-known to every one of the older citizens of Auckland, and was highly respected by all his acquaintances. He left four daughters, all married.
'The funeral of the late Mr. John Robertson, the well-known proprietor of the Queensferry Hotel, Vulcan Lane, took place yesterday afternoon. Shortly after 3 o'clock the cortege, consisting of half-a-dozen carriages, and about sixty persons on foot, moved off from the Queens Ferry Hotel, and proceeded up Queen-street to the Presbyterian cemetery. Amongst those present were representatives of many of the business firms of the city, and most of the very old Auckland settlers. The chief mourners were * Walter Sloane, Geo. Boyd, and John Guilding, sons-in-law; Thomas Powley, and John Sinclair, husbands of two of the grand-daughters; and Alex. J. Harris, an intimate friend. It may be mentioned that Mr. Harris and Mr. John Harris (who was also present) arrived in the colony in the same vessel as the deceased. The burial service was read by the Rev. Mr. Carrick.'
Footnote (4 May 2005): according to a descendant "John Guilding" in the obit above is mostly likely to be John William Richard Guilding born in Auckland in 1842. I have contact details available for those seeking further information about the Guilding family in New Zealand.
The portrait of May (right) is likely to be from around 1830s). The photograph (below) was taken about 1878.
The following is an extract from "A History of the Queen's Ferry Hotel and it's Publicans" compiled by Michael Butler, page 7.
When Mr. Robertson died, his wife May Robertson took over the running of the Queens Ferry hotel.
Mrs. Robertson had married at age 30 in Edinburgh which was right next to Queensferry in Scotland and arrived in New Zealand to join her husband in 1842. She died of cerebral disease at her residence, the Queens Ferry Hotel on September 9, 1880.
'In our obituary column will be found recorded the death of Mrs. Robertson, of the Queens Ferry Hotel, Vulcan Lane who was aged 77 years. The deceased was a very old colonist, and the widow of the late Mr. John Robertson, who died some time back. After a forty years' residence in the province, Mrs. Robertson was much respected for her kindly disposition and charitable deeds, and has passed away at a good age having more than attained the allotted span of human existence. The funeral will leave the Queens Ferry Hotel at 2p.m. on Sunday, friends are respectfully invited to attend.'
Walter Sloane, the son-in-law briefly ran the hotel for a few months until December 3, 1880 when the lease of the hotel was transferred to a Mr. Charles Sutherland."