The Copeland family arrived in Wellington on the Tyne on 9 August 1841. The barque Tyne, 500 tons, Captain Charles Robertson, with 98 passengers, which sailed from Gravesend on April 6th, 1841, arrived at Port Nicholson on August 9th. Sir William Martin, first Chief Justice of New Zealand, and Mr William Swainson, its first Attorney General, arrived from England by this vessel, and proceeded to Auckland in her. The Tyne was ultimately lost on July 4th, 1845, through striking the rocks off Sinclair Head, outside Wellington Harbour, in a violent S. E. gale.
The passenger list shows:
George Copeland Miner 29
Susanah Copeland 20
Son 10 months
George Copeland married Susannah Wray on 18 Mar 1839 at St. Augustine's Church, Bermondsey, Surrey, England. The marriage is also recorded at Horsleydown, Surrey. Their son George Copeland was born on 27 Mar 1840, and christened at St. Mary, Rotherhithe, London, on 17 April 1840.
The births of eight more children were recorded in New Zealand - Joseph 1849, Elizabeth Ann 1852, Rebecca 1854, Mary 1856, Anna Maria 1859, Charles 1861, Ada 1863 and Julia 1863. However, in 1846 it is recorded that the couple had three children.
In the New Zealand Spectator and Cook's Strait Guardian of 7 March 1846, there is a report of Maori raids on settlers of the Hutt. Included in the list of those impacted by the raids are George Copeland, wife and three children, on the Waiwetu.
The List of Jurors of 19 February 1847 includes Copeland, George, Waiwetu river, farmer.
In the list of New Zealand Company land records in 1852, there is record of George Copeland being allocated 8 acres, 2 roods and 35 perches.
George Copeland took part in a number of community activities, as these newspapers extracts will indicate:
In the Wellington Independent of 20 July 1853 there appears the following report.
PUBLIC MEETING AT THE HUTT. A crowded meeting of Hutt Electors, Mr. Keys in the chair, took place on Monday evening last, and did not separate till after midnight. As we had no notice of this meeting, our Reporter was not present. We therefore regret that it is not in our power to report the proceedings, except as they appear by the following Resolutions, which have been transmitted to us. Moved by Mr, Ludlam, Seconded by Mr. Renall— “Resolved, that the meeting condemn the system that has been pursued by some persons, in canvassing the electors of this Valley for their votes, after it had been agreed by all parties that no canvassing should take place, and that they do not consider the electors bound by any pledges they may have given." Carried unanimously. Moved by Mr. G. Copeland, seconded by Mr. J. Cole, and carried by a large majority— “That Mr. Ludlam is a fit and proper person to represent the Hutt District in the Provincial Council and General Assembly." Moved by Mr. Ludlam, seconded by Mr. Lawson, and carried unanimously—
"That a Deputation be appointed to wait upon the Governor, and request that he will have immediate steps taken to have the Hutt Road repaired, and a wing put in the River above the Second River Bridge, to prevent the encroachment of the River; the Deputation to consist of Messrs. Ludlam, Copeland, Lawson, Hay ward, and Cundy." Moved by Mr. W. Hall, seconded by Mr. ____ and carried unanimously—
“That Mr Wakefield be requested to answer the accusation spread against him in this valley, that he has come to this country for the purpose of fixing upon us the debt of the New Zealand Company." Moved by Mr Lynch, seconded by Mr. McEwen “That though we disagree with his Excellency in some matters, yet on learning that he is about leaving the colony, this meeting embraces this opportunity of recording its entire approbation, and returning its best thanks, for the late act in levelling the Wakefield system or high price of land, and substituting in its stead the present existing Land Regulations. This meeting also deprecate, disapprove, condemn, and disbelieve a portion of a speech uttered in this room on an occasion wherein reference was made to his Excellency, of a disparaging nature, by Mr. Gibbon Wakefield." Amendment moved by Mr. Wakefield, seconded by Mr. Ludlam, and carried unanimously — "That this meeting, informed of the Intention of his Excellency the Governor to quit the Colony for England, desires to record its thanks to his Excellency for the advantages which the Hutt Valley has derived from his attention to its local and that the draft of an Address to the above effect be laid before the next meeting of the inhabitants of the Hutt." Moved by Mr. A. Renall, seconded by _______ and carried unanimously—
"That this meeting do adjourn till Monday next, the 28th instant, and the do request the attendance of all the Candidates for the Hutt District, in order that they may answer any questions that the Electors may to put to them." On the motion of Mr. Wakefield, the meeting passed a vote of thanks to Mr. Keys for his conduct in the chair, with three cheers.
Wellington Independent, 23 April 1863. A PUBLIC MEETING will be held in the Mechanics' Institute, at the Hutt, on Wednesday next, the 29th inst., at 7 p.m., for the purpose of considering the best means of establishing a Public School. Lawson Potts, George Copeland, Robert Death, William Hunt, April 22, 1863.
Wellington Independent, 14 September 1865. The Hutt Harmonic Society- Committee. Mr. Geo. Beetham, Mr. W. A. Fitzherber,t Mr. Braithwaite, Mr. Hunt, Mr. Copeland, Senr. Mr. Thos. Mill,s Mr. W. Copeland, Mr. Trott, Mr. Dixon, Mr. Valentine, Mr. Downes, Rev. W. Watkin, Rev. J. E. Herring, Secretary and Treasurer. Conductor Mr. George Williams. Meetings for Practice. Every Monday at the Mechanics' Institute 7 to 9 p.m. Terms per Half-year. Honorary Members, 10s. Members, 5s. Members' children under fourteen admitted to the classes free, subject to the approval of the Committee. The first practice will be held on Monday Evening, Sept. 18th, when subscriptions will be received, and members' names enrolled.
He was also very involved in the local Horticultural Society, and obviously grew a wide range of fruit and vegetables.
New Zealand Spectator and Cook's Strait Guardian, 12 April 1864, HORTICULTURAL EXHIBITION.
This Exhibition was very successful, and did not seem to have suffered from the postponement which had taken place. The vegetables were very fine we noticed some exceedingly large onions grown at the Hutt, some fine carrots from Karori, and some large cabbages the produce of one of the' gardens in the Town. There was a very good display of fruit, particularly of apples of which a great variety were exhibited, some by Mr. Gillies from Wairarapa were exceedingly large and fine, indeed the different collections of apples from their variety and excellence were the chief feature of the Exhibition. As the Committee's maxim was touch not, taste not, handle not, we are unable to expatiate so fully as we could wish on the exquisite flavor, and delicate bouquet of the several articles. Nevertheless, we can safely say that the show of apples was in every respect good. Mr Copeland exhibited more than nineteen different varieties, of which it is impossible to say, what was most worthy of notice whether the exquisitely colored “Hawthorn Dean”, the “Duchess," the “Kent Russett's," or the “Ribstone Pippins.”
The following is the list of prizes won by George Copeland.
Vegetables. 1st Prize
Apples Hawthornden Copeland.
Collection of Apples, 19 sorts Copeland.
Dessert Apples Countess of Wick Copeland
George Copeland died in 1866 at the relatively young age of 56.
Evening Post, 23 May 1866. We regret to announce the death of Mr. Copeland of Waiwetu, one of the oldest settlers in this province, having arrived here in the year 1841. He died of apoplexy on Monday evening, at his residence near the Hutt.
He was buried at Blackbridge cemetery, as was his wife in 1905. However, the tradition of growing and exhibiting fruit and vegetables was carried on by the family, almost certainly by their son William.
Wellington Independent, 6 March 1872, HORTICULTURAL EXHIBITION.
Omitting all considerations as to weather and the many other drawbacks with which the committee of the Society have had to contend, the show of yesterday the fourth in the existence of the society, compared favorably with any other; but taking into account the afore-mentioned matters the exhibition was a marvellous success, testifying more effectively than could any other method of assurance to the energy of the committee and the enthusiastic support of the florists of the province, professional and amateur.
1 Melon 1st, Mr A. de B, Brandon
24 Cape Gooseberries 1st, Mr B. Mantell (gardener to Mr W. B. Rhodes) 2nd, Mr Bunckenburg
12 Kitchen Apples— lst, Mr T. Mason; 2nd, Mr D. Wilkinson
12 Table do 1st, Mr T. Mason 2nd, Mr D. Wilkinson
12 Peaches— let, Mr W. M. Bannatyne
12 Walnuts— lst, Mr B. Mantell (gardener to Mr W. B. Rhodes) 2nd, Mrs Stilling
25 Blackberries— lst, Mr M'Nab, 2nd, Mr Mason
3 Lemons 1st, Mr Ludlam
2 Bunches Black Grapes— lst, Mr A. do B. Brandon, 2nd, Mr M'Nab
2 Bunches White Grapes— No 1st prize, 2nd, Mr Mitchell
Collection of Fruit No 1st prize 2nd, Mr H. H. Travers
25 Blackberries— lst, Mr Copeland
25 Filberts or Cob Nuts— lst, Mr Churcher
12 Plums— lst, Mr Collins
2 Bunches Black Grapes 1st, Mr L, Levy
2 Do White Grapes— lst, Mr Mitchell
2 Cucumbers—lst, Mr T. Osborne 2nd, Mr Mantle
6 Stalks Rhubarb—lst, Mr G. Mason 2nd, Mr Cooper
25 Pods French Beans—lst, Mr Copeland
25 Broad Beans —1st, Mr Donald
50 Pods Peas—lst, Mr T. Mason
12 Potatoes, kidney —lst, Mr T. Mason 2nd, Mr G. Mason
12 Potatoes, round—lst, Mr T. Mason 2nd, Mr Copeland
4 Cabbages —lst, Mr P. Laing
2 Red Cabbages—lst, Mr Mantle
6 Turnips 1st, Mr Wilton 2nd, Mr Mantle
9 Carrots—lst, Mr Donald; 2nd, Mr T. Mason
12 Radishes—1st, Mr Mantle
12 Onions—lst, Mr Mantle 2nd, Mr Copeland
3 Heads Celery—lst, Mr Mantle; 2nd, Mr Cooper
12 Tomatoes—lst, Mr P. Laing
2 Pumpkins —lst, Mr Riddiford 2nd, Mrs Stilling
2 Vegetable Marrows —1st Mr A. de B. Brandon 2nd, Mrs Stilling
6 Stalks Rhubarb —lst, Mr Harrison
6 Turnips —lst, Mr Copeland
9 Carrots—lst, Mr J. J. Aston
12 Onions—lst, Mr T. Mason 2nd, Mr Aston
Evening Post, 16 January 1873. The Horticultural Society gave their second show for the season this afternoon, in the Odd Fellows' Hall, and may be congratulated on the success they achieved, in spite of several of our residents known to possess large gardens, who steadily keep aloof from anything like public encouragement of horticulture. It is noticeable that the exhibits are steadily improving in kind, in growth, and in variety. The advantages which communities are said to derive from the establishment of flourishing horticultural societies in their midst, are becoming apparent in Wellington. …. The judges were, for fruit and vegetables, Messrs. Copeland, Mantle, and Bramley.
Black Currants— 1st, Mr Copeland. Red do— 1st, Mr Copeland.
12 Kitchen Apples— 1st, Mr Copeland.
12 Table Apples — 1st, Mr Copeland.
Collection of Fruit— 2nd, Mr Copeland.
24 Gooseberries 1st, Mr Donald 2nd, Mr Copeland.
Raspberries (Amateur)— 1st, Mrs Stilling; 2nd, Mr Copeland.
French Beans — 1st, Mr Bramley 2nd, Mr Copeland.
12 Potatoes (round)— 1st, Mr Copeland.
9 Carrots 1st, Mr Mantle 2nd, Mr Copeland.
Evening Post, 23 December 1905.
The death is announced of Mrs. Copeland, Waiwetu, Lower Hutt (relict of the late Mr. George Copeland), at the age of 84 years. The deceased lady was born in Kent, England, and came to New Zealand with her husband in 1841. Soon after their arrival they settled at the Waiwetu, Lower Hutt. Mrs. Copeland was highly esteemed. She leaves four sons, six daughters, fifty-four grandchildren, and twenty-five great-grandchildren to mourn their loss.
William’s wife Mary died in 1896, and she too was buried in Blackbridge cemetery, where her parents Joseph and Mary are also buried.
William Copeland had married Mary Norman White in 1865.
Evening Post, 11 February 1896, Funeral Notice. The Friends of Mr. William Copeland are respectfully invited to attend the Funeral of his late wife Mary Norman, which will leave his residence, Blackbridge, on Wednesday, 12th February, 1896, at 230 p.m. E. H. Collett, Undertaker, Petone and Lower Hutt.