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Robert McCulloch, 36 and his wife Euphemia, 33, arrived in Port Nicholson on 1 March 1852 on the ship Agra.

The Agra, 665 tons, was built at Sunderland in 1851 and was owned by Lidgett and Sons of London.     She sailed from Gravesend on 17th November 1851 and Plymouth on the 28th, arriving Port Nicholson 1st March 1852 and Lyttelton 19th March. After landing passengers and cargo at Lyttelton the Agra sailed for Port Chalmers on 4th May where 49 passengers were landed. Captain: McLean   Surgeon Superintendent: H J Philips.

Robert Mcculloch was born 27 April 1817 Muthill, Perthshire, son of  James Mcculloch and Christian Mitchel.   

He married Euphemia Johnston at Forteviot, Perthshire, on 26 Oct 1851, less than a month before the ship sailed.

Euphemia Cheyne Johnston was baptised on 3 November 1819 at St. Nicholas, Aberdeen. She was the daughter of James Johnston and Euphemia Cheyne.

They had three children after their arrival in New Zealand, Catherine born1855, Alexander born 1857 and John born 1859.

17 March 1860, Militia Ballot.                       M’Culloch, Robert, River Hutt, farmer.

Robert does not appear a lot in organisations in the Hutt, apart from the Taita School, which he had a hand in setting up.

Wellington Independent, Taita, July 9, 1864

NOTICE. A PUBLIC MEETING will be held at Buckeridge’s Long Room, on Monday, the 18th inst., at 7 o'clock, p.m., for the purpose of considering the propriety of establishing a Public School in the Taita. (Signed.) Wm. Whitewood, George Buck, William Beetham, W. R. Welch, Peter Bruce, Robert McCulloch.

Their children appear regularly in the reports of this school over the years.

TAITA COMMON SCHOOL.          (5 November 1868)

The pupils of this school were examined on Thursday last by the schoolmasters of the district, viz., Rev. Dan Desbois, Upper Hutt Mr Clark, Wainuiomata and Mr Nickliss, the newly appointed schoolmaster to the Taita. The children underwent a searching examination in the different branches, and those present expressed themselves highly pleased with the result. The various classes under Mr Haswell and his assistant, Miss A'Court, showed that much pains had been taken with them, and that they had received sound instruction in the different branches. The following is the prize list:

ENGLISH. 5th Class.— Dux, Lucy Welsh Ist, Emily Daysch 2nd, Agnes Milne 3rd, Henry Stent. 4th Class. Ist girl, Ellen Milne boy Jno. McCulloch.  3rd Class. Girls 1st, Ann E. Rayner boys 1st, Wm. Scarrow 2nd, Wm. Bruce. 2nd Class. Girls Ist, Mary A. Harris boys Edwd. Winteringham. 1st Class. Girls Sarah King and Mary Harrison, equal boys Jas. Greeks and Jas. Harris, equal. Juniors Bertha Burnett and Albert Welch.

ENGLISH GRAMMAR. 1st Class.— Girls lst, Cath. McCulloch 2nd, Christina Craighead boys 1st, Alex. M'Culloch. 2nd Class. Girls 1st, Margt. Phillips boys William Scarrow.

GEOGRAPHY. Girls. 1st, Christina Craighead. Boys.— 1st, Alex. M'Culloch.

ARITHMETIC. 1st Class.— lst, Cath. M'Culloch 2nd, Eliza Jane King. 2nd Class. Ist, Jno. M'Culloch 2nd, Emma Scarrow. 3rd Class.— Girls 1st, Sarah J. Phillips boys 1st, William Harris. 4th Class. 1st, Emma Clement. 5th Class. Girls 1st, Charlotte Clement boys Henry Sherrin.

WRITING. 1st Class. Girls: 1st, Emily Daysh 2nd, M. A. Rayner boys 1st, Jno. Bruce. 2nd Class. Girls 1st, Eliz. Parker boys William Avery. 3rd Class. Girls 1st, Alice Rayner boys Henry Sherrin,

ELOCUTION. 1st Division. Girls Agnes Milne. Boys John Bruce. 2nd Division. Girls: Ann Eliza Rayner; boys Alfred Keys.

Book-keeping. Eliza Jane King.

Essay. The prize for the best essay on housekeeping Lucy Jane Welch and for the best essay on farming, Alex. M'Culloch.

Needlework.— lst prize, Agnes Milne 2nd, Maggie Yule.

Regular Attendance. Jabez Mabey.

Good Conduct.— Girls Sarah Parker; boys: James Welch.

7 Sep 1865 - CROWN GRANTS

The last published 'Provincial Government Gazette' contains a schedule of the names of persons entitled to Crown Grants.

The following comprise the list:-

The Bishop of Wellington                                                                                                                                                      

Mr Archibald Colquhoun                                                                                                                                                  

Arthur Ormsbee                                                                                                                                                                          

Charles Austen

Joseph Lambert

William Tonks senior

George Curtis

John Hooper

Robert McCulloch

William Scott Milne

John Rayner

No.1377 Robert MCCULLOCH of the Hutt Valley Grant part Country section No 63.

Catherine married Robert John Ward in 1892. They had one daughter, Euphemia Johnston Ward, born 1893.

On a wall of Knox church there is a plaque with this inscription.

 “To the Glory of God and in loving memory of Mr and Mrs Robert McCulloch and their daughter Cathrine (Mrs R.J. Ward). Founders of this congregation 1858.”

Alexander married Evelyn Mildred Ransom 1882. Their six children were:

Effie 1883,

Evelyn 1887,

Hilda May 1889,

Robert John 1893,

Alexander Ransom

Catherine 1895.

Alexander died in 1907, but his wife Evelyn (Evie) lived until 1942. She was born in Lower Hutt in 1860 and died in Palmerston North.


McCulloch.—On June 27th, 1907, at his residence, Rangitikei Line, Palmerston North, Alex McCulloch, late of Upper Hutt; aged 50 years.

John McCulloch married Susanna Ransom, sister of Evelyn, in November 1885. There were no children of the marriage, and John died on 16 March, 1888.

Evening Post, 11 April 1881.

FUNERAL NOTICE. THE Friends of the late ROBERT McCULLOCH are respectfully invited to attend his funeral, which will leave his late residence, Taita, for the Presbyterian burying ground, Hutt, on Tuesday, the 12th inst., at 2 p.m. John Hall, Undertaker 

Evening Post, 23 August 1896.

FUNERAL NOTICE. The Friends of Alex. M'Culloch are respectfully invited to attend the Funeral of his late Mother, leaving his residence, Silverstream, at half-past 10 To-morrow, Wednesday, for the Knox Church Cemetery, Lower Hutt, arriving: at 12 o'clock. CHARLES CUDBY, Sen., Undertaker, Upper Hutt.

Both Robert and Euphemia were buried at Blackbridge Cemetery, as was their son John. 


Also on the Agra were Rev. William and Mrs Grace Dron. William had been appointed minister of the Presbyterian chapel in the Hutt (later to became Knox) by the Free Church of Scotland. 

William Dron was born on 14 Dec 1828, in the parish of Barony, Lanark, son of Alexander Dron and Mary Ross.

He married Grace Kent on 26 Oct 1851 in Barony, Lanark, Scotland. The marriage is also recorded in the parish of Row in Dunbartonshire. Grace Kent is recorded as living in the county of Dunbarton in the 1851 census. She was born on in Glasgow on 17 Oct 1829 daughter of William Kent and Agnes Burgess.

William was educated at the University of Edinburgh 1841-1844, and licensed by the Presbytery of Glasgow (Free Church of Scotland) in 1848. He was ordained by the Presbytery of Linlithgow as Minister at Lower Hutt, New Zealand.

He came out as a Probationer, arriving in Wellington on 1 March,1852. The ship had left Gravesend on 17 November 1851, less than a month after their marriage.

Two children were born to the couple during their time in the Hutt, William in 1853 and another child in 1856, where the name is not recorded. They were to have at least two more children after their return to Scotland, Alexander Grace Dron, 10 March 1862, Row, Dunbarton, and Agnes Dron, 17 February 1860, Kilmalcom, Renfrew

The family had returned to Scotland in 1858, sailing on 12 June of that year. He was apparently ‘somewhat disappointed regarding colonial ministerial life.’

Through the influence of the Rev William Miller he went to Victoria Australia in 1862, and served in various churches in Victoria and New South Wales between 1862 and 1866. It appears that he moved to Dublin in 1866, and we lose track of him.

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