Archiver > ENG-LINCSGEN > 2005-02 > 1108966934

From: Michelle Cook <>
Subject: Re: [LIN] Emigration from north Lincs
Date: Mon, 21 Feb 2005 19:22:14 +1300 (NZDT)
In-Reply-To: <007701c516dc$0c615a10$27336bd5@delarralde>

This is an extract Taken from a book "The Farthest
Promised Land"
English Villagers New Zealand Immigrants of the
Professor Rollo Arnold.

In it,there mentions Michael Cook, my husband’s Great
Grandfather. I would be interested to know if there
are any copies on microfilm of the following newspaper
Labourer (Boston) 16 January 1875 & 23 January 1875.

Michelle Cook
New Zealand

The Heartland

At a public meeting in Laceby Temperance Hall, he
expounded his views on emigration as the answer to the
rural labourer’s problems. He believed that ‘in a
natural state of society’, an industrious frugal man
should earn enough to be able to give at least a tithe
‘to God’s cause and the need of his brother man’, to
make provision for a family, so that an annual
increase in the home should be a cause for gladness,
not anxiety, and to provide for his children’s
education, for the special needs of sickness, and for
old age. If society were run as God intended, all
these needs would be met. White did not see how a man
could do with less than thirty shillings a week. (Only
a few days later, m reaching its agreement with the
farmers, the Labour League had to cancel three
objectionable rules from its constitution. One of
these set the minimum rate of wages for its members at
not less than eighteen shillings a week. According to
White’s calculations the League’s target was
hopelessly inadequate.) White was driven by the low
wages and unemployment which he saw about him, to
conclude that labourer’s were too many. He saw the
hand of divine providence in the coincidence of labour
unrest at home with an urgent need for labour in the
colonies. He therefore proposed emigration as a
Christian duty, whereby a man might meet his various
obligations, fulfil the divine command to subdue the
earth, and hasten the coming of Christ’s kingdom. He
envisaged that wholesale emigration would raise rural
wages, and lower the rents paid to those who had more
than enough. White’s combination of Christian and
economic arguments made him a convinced and convincing
advocate of emigration. Having expounded his
philosophy of emigration, he proceeded to explain the
practical details. He pointed out the advantages of
proceeding together with old neighbours and friends,
explained that the planned ship would get them to the
colony in time first for the hay, then the grain
harvest, and told of the excellent opportunities for
land purchase in New Zealand. At the close of this,
his first meeting, White took some fifty names of
those wishing to join the party.
At this Laceby meeting brief speeches were given by
three heads of families who were to emigrate within
the next week or two. One of these was Michael Cook,
37 years of age, who had for several years been
foreman on Francis Sowerby’s farm at Aylesby. He sail
for Canterbury with his wife Ellen and five children,
on the Carisbrook Castle on 29 May 1874. Possibly
Sowerby, had dispensed with his services on account of
union membership, when his agreement ran out in May.
In any case, he was soon exulting from Waihi Bush,
near Geraldine in New Zealand, that he could sit down
in his own house, from which ‘no one can give me my
discharge or put me out’. White was fortunate in
having Cook as one of his first recruits, for Cook
sent home a flow of lucid letters which served as
admirable emigration propaganda. From the Thames, just
before sailing, he wrote of the fine, large vessel he
was aboard, and of the dinners of roast beef.. He kept
a dairy of the voyage for his old friends at Pyewipe
farm, Aylesby, and this found its way to the union
newspaper, which published

155Lincolnshire and the Northern Wolds

it in two parts in January 1875. In March the paper
published a letter he had written to John H. White.
This frankly admitted that his Ellen wished they had
never come, on account of their losing their two
little children on the voyage, but having since being
confined with a son, she had been overwhelmed with the
kindness of folk for miles around, who sent her fowls,
eggs, milk and mutton. In later letters he told of the
acre of land ‘better land than any in Aylesby’ which
he soon had freeholded. On this he built himself a
comfortable house and planted a vegetable garden. By
April 1875 he was buying three more acres and writing
of his pig and pig-sty, and hens and hen house. He had
also built a dairy, and was planning to buy a cow.
Ellen no longer rued leaving Aylesby. After doing some
odd jobs of fencing and well digging, Michael had
settled into steady employment driving a steam engine
at a nearby sawmill. His master had been so pleased
with his work that he had raised his wages from eight
shillings to nine shillings a day. When he wrote on 2
September 1875 he was still working happily at the
same job, and was pleased that he had plenty of time
and energy left each day to do a lot of work for
himself on his farmlet. ‘Our house’, he reported’ is
more comfortable than the smokey old kitchen at
Pyewipe, we have a good boarded floor. He was also
pleased that the Primitives had begun to hold services
at the schoolroom, and at his own house. The last
letter in the published sequence id dated March 1876,
and was in reply to one from his old friends at
Pyewipe Farm:
You said I was to send you word if we kept Christmas
up. Of course dinner we do, and we had green peas, new
potatoes, and that will puzzle you at Pyewipe, and on
New Year’s day, no one here will work. There was some
races on our park ground… My wife says, if you don’t
like dressing poultry she does not wonder, she could
not come back again to do it if the money was sent to
fetch her – what she dresses now she helps to eat..

White’s Laceby meeting was followed by others in the
various villages within easy reach of Laceby, from
Ulceby to the north, to Binbrook to the south. . Among
those who decided to emigrate was Henry Tomlinson,
secretary of the League’s Laceby branch, who had
worked for five years for Mr Clark (probably
Theophilas Clark, the Aylesby farmer), but was refused
reemployment at the close of lock- out, and ‘spotted’
by other farmers of the district.. The Labour League
Executive proceeded to appoint him as delegate in
charge of the September party, and no doubt he
assisted White with the recruitment campaign. By
mid-August Tomlinson was able to report that 50 souls
had been enlisted from Laceby, 20 or 30 from Keelby,
20 or 30 from Ulceby, 20 or 30 from Binbrook, and
about 100 from the district around Caistor. Andrew
Duncan had paid a visit to the area to assist with the
recruiting, holding meetings at Laceby, Caistor,
Binbrook, Waltham and Keelby between 27 June and 2
July, and he had returned at the end of August to make
a final selection from among the applicants. White
believed for a time that 250 to 300 would be going,
but the number who finally left Grimsby railway
station on 15 September was 136.

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