Hingstons in New Zealand


I am grateful to Peter Hingston <46walter@onetel.com> who has provided these details of his own tree (which he calls HX) and another New Zealand tree, which he calls HY (now part of Tree HO). This page is still being updated so layout and numbering may well alter in the near future.


Tree HX

Wynne McLachlan (Odds and Ends 21.) takes this line back one generation further and has, as a brother to John, Capt William Hingston of the convict ship Hillsborough. However, Wynne has William marrying Mary Bruce and fathering WGCH, so there is a conflict here that needs resolving. Alan Lawton <alanlawton@xtra.co.nz> has a similar version to Wynne, with WGCH being born in about 1740 in England.

Tree HX is also unusual in that 1. John Hingston has two sons called William, both living at the same time, but there does seem to be plenty of evidence that they coexisted; perhaps one of them used his middle name?

Generation No 1

1. JOHN HINGSTON. Presumably born around 1770. In a document written by his son William Bruce Hingston (WBH) it is stated that he was born in Devon on 11 March, but with no note about year. (Peter Hingston suggests that he could have been the John born in 1776, the son of James HD22, but we show him as the best fit for a burial in 1788, or the John born in Apr 1767, the son of George HF5, and with no subsequent history, from the Thurlestone tree. That John did have an older brother William, born Jul 1764, also with no subsequent history, so there might be something in Wynne McLachlan's story above.) According to family tradition he was a sea captain and owner of whalers - perhaps the "Elizabeth & Mary" recorded as being in Sydney Sept/Oct 1805 with master John Hingston; perhaps the "Speke" recorded as being in Sydney Nov 1808 with 97 female convicts, again in Sydney Sep 1809 with whale oil, in the Bay of Islands Mar/Apr 1810, all with master & owner John Hingston. He married ELIZABETH MARY BROWN at St Mary's, Rotherhithe, on the 2(?) July 1797. Amongst the witnesses was a William Bruce but it is not clear what relationship he was to the bride or groom. WBH said that Elizabeth was born on 12 Aug, but WBH wasn't sure which year; she is probably the daughter of John Brown and Mary Heveningham who married at St Leonard's, Shoreditch 27 Sep 1774. She died at 50 Alfred Street, Poplar, Middlesex, 17 Aug 1840, widow of a captain, aged 65 - cause of death: "the visitation of God", in which case she would have been born 1775.

On 20 Nov 1808 The Sydney Gazette reported that The Speke convict ship arrived on 16th having departed England with 97 female prisoners 18th May. All prisoners healthy, one lost on the passage out. Passengers included Captain Porteous, Lieutenant Oxley, Mr. Harris. The healthy and cleanly state in which the prisoners from the Speke were landed is a strong proof of the care and humanity with which they were treated during the voyage.

In Jan or Feb 1809 – The Speke, Captain John Hingston, arrives in the Bay of Islands. Captain Hingston has chief Te Pahi flogged for not being able to produce a stolen axe. Later, in Nov 1809, the crew of the Boyd were massacred and eaten in Whangaroa Harbour, and the Speke, under Captain John Hingston, was one of six ships to take part in the revenge fuelled attack on Te Pahi’s island in the Bay of Islands towards the end of March 1810. Speke had been in the fisheries before joining Atlanta, Inspector, Diana, Perseverance, and New Zealander in the mistaken and deadly attack to avenge the burning of the Boyd. Two weeks after the attack, in which 60 innocent people died, Speke set sail for England in company with Atlanta and Inspector.

Sydney Gazette and NSW Advertiser reported on 28 Apr 1810. "This day arrived the Perseverance from the Bay of Islands, with spars. Passenger Mr. Mason, late officer of the Speke, Captain Hingston; to whom we are indebted for the following details:- Colonel Foveaux and Lieutenant Finucane, left the Experiment at New Zealand, and shipped for England on board the Speke; on account of her superior accommodations, and sailed on Sunday the 15th instant. At the time the Perseverance, Speke, and Experiment lay in the Bay of Islands were also there the Diana, Parker; Inspector, Walker; and Atalanta, Captain Morrison; who received intelligence from a young native woman of the destruction of the Boyd, and massacre attending that unfortunate event, and likewise that four Europeans, of what country unknown, were held prisoners there, the only names that could be made out being Brown, Cook, Anthony, and Harry. Upon receipt of which later information the Captains, accompanied by a party of seamen, penetrated into the interior to the distance of 50 miles and upwards in search of the captives, which unfortunately proved unsuccessful. Upon their landing at Tippunah, the district of Tippahee, they were opposed by a large body of natives; who in their determination to resist their approach fired on the party, and killed one man, a seaman belonging to the Inspector, whose loss was much regretted by Captain Walker; after which provocation however, a sharp skirmish ensued, in which 16 or 18 natives were killed, but happily no other European hurt. In this contest Tippahee is stated to have been wounded in the neck and breast, but whether mortally or not was not ascertained. Mr Finucane accompanied the party, which he commanded with equal spirit and forbearance, not permitting a single discharge to take place that was not actually necessary to the resistance of assault; and the conduct of the party was highly applauded by the Colonel, who bestowed on Lieutenant Finucane, the Captains, and their people, the most satisfactory Eulogiums. Prince Matyra, here known by the name of Jackey Mytye, who was taken to England by Governor King, and returned here in the Porpoise under the immediate protection of Captain Porteus and Lieutenant Oxley, is reported to have been killed by his father in a paroxyom of rage. The young native woman already mentioned to have given the foregoing information being no longer safe from the vengeance of the chiefs, arrived by the Perseverance, recommended by Colonel Foveaux to the protection of His Excellency the Governor in Chief.—This vessel also brings Boyd's longboat, as a further confirmation of the doleful accounts already received of that vessel and her ill-fated crew and passengers; and as a further demonstration of the horrible treachery practised by Tippahee for the accomplishment of his detestible project, Mr. Mason informs us that that infamous chief breakfasted on board with Captain Thompson on the very morning of the massacre."

In 1810 he was sailing around the north of N.Z. whaling when he was requested to help escort Governor William Bligh home to England. He was to accompany the ships, “Porpoise”, "Dromedary" and the "Hindustan". Bligh was an excellent seaman and a wily character hence the need for four ships to escort.

On the voyage out from England it seems that John had some comfort. According to Dell Paton (ndpaton@bigpond.com), one of the female convicts on the Speke was MARGARET THOMAS, who was “assigned to” John Hingston, master (according to her Ticket of Leave). In 1809 she had his child. Dell Paton has written a poem about Margaret (Our Convict Maid). In the three early Australian censuses, Margaret Thomas is listed as a servant in the household of John Douglas who married her 15 year-old daughter, Elizabeth Hingston. John did not hang around but returned to England.

The children of John and Elzabeth were: [IGI has 4 of the 6 as Kingston. Probably all born in Poplar.]

The child of John Hingston and Margaret Thomas was:-

Generation No 2

3. WILLIAM GEORGE CORNELIUS HINGSTON. Born 6 May 1802, place not known. Christened 15 Aug 1802 Rotherhithe St Mary (IGI batch C006251-00) son of John & Elizabeth Mary Hingston. He married firstly, MARGARET MEAD STODDART, in 1828 by Licence at St George in the East. She was born 3 Oct 1803 and baptised Aug 1804 at St John Horseleydown, Bermondsey, parents Joseph Hicks Stoddard & Margaret [nee Anstis] - they would be of the same generation as the Admiral Pringle Stoddard; family tradition has it that she was a daughter of the Admiral but she may have been a niece. Apparently Margaret died in childbirth, along with the child.

William was owner and master of the whaler "Mary Anne". In Bay of Islands, NZ 27 May 1837 when he purchased Onewhero block (estimated 1600 acres) for £150, again on 2 Oct 1838 when he purchased the Otahowai block (est 500 acres) for £12/12/-, also Motupapa Island (est 4 acres) for £12 and Paitaia block (est. 500 acres) for £30 - the location of the vessel in the Bay of Islands on these dates borne out by crew entries in the ship's muster roll. He married secondly JANE ELIZABETH FEATHERSTON 3 Dec 1840 Paihia St Pauls, Bay of Islands, NZ. She was the daughter of Captain Featherstone. She died 24 Jul 1867 aged 53 and is buried at Paihia St Pauls next to her husband. It is assumed that WGCH met his wife-to-be during one of his visits to the area, she having been resident in the district with her mother, stepfather and younger sister since 1831.

In the two years from late 1838 and late 1840 he sold the "Mary Anne" and returned to the Bay of Islands. He built a house at Te Wairoa on the Onewhero block (to a Canadian design with a steeply pitched roof to shed snow, generating much hilarity locally) and commenced farming, initially in horse-breeding, supposedly the first horse farm in NZ. Cattle, sheep, goats and turkeys followed. He died 19 Sep 1891 Te Wairoa, Bay of Islands, NZ and is buried on the farm there.

Some of the information below comes from Frances Stuart, the g.g.grandaughter of WGCH.

The children of William George Cornelius and Jane Hingston were:

Generation No 3

all New Zealand born, details to follow.

Tree HY

This tree has now been incorporated into Tree HO

Odds and Ends 21. Wynne McLachlan <bigmac@winshop.com.au> writes.

I am the daughter of a Hingston and have come to a standstill with my ggg-grandfather the notorious sea captain of the convict ship "Hillsborough" which sailed into Sydney 1798-99. William George Cornelius Hingston was born in England around 1740, his son William Hingston b abt 1776 in London m Mary Bruce. Their son William George Cornelius Hingston b 1802 in London m Jane Featherston 1840 Paihia, NZ. William and Jane's son John Wright Hingston b NZ m Matilda Edmonds in NZ and had 8 children including my g-father Arthur Conrad b 1874. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

According to The Fatal Shore by Robert Hughes, the government was nervous of publicizing the defects of transportation. They put restrictions on 'these low-lifed barbarous masters, to keep honest.' It set up deferred payments--so much per convict embarked, the rest (usually about 25%) when he or she landed in decent health. Masters and surgeons had to get a certificate by the governor when they arrived in Sydney, rating their performance, if this paper commended their 'Assiduity and Humanity,' there would be a bonus from the transport committee when they got back to England. Some captains were beyond such inducements. In 1798 the contractors of the transport 'Hillsborough' were to get a bonus of £4 10s 6d for every convict landed alive, over and above the £18 per head paid on embarkation. But her master, William Hingston, starved the prisoners, kept them so heavily chained that they could not walk on deck and kept them below in double irons at night. Typhus also raged through the vessel soon after she left Langston Harbor, and one convict in three died. No action was taken against Hingston.

The same book refers to convicts hiding, seemingly with the Captain's knowledge, before the return journey. So they seem to have been willing to put up with Hingston again in order to be able to get back to Britain. (This paragraph added 10/6/1999).

(On http://carmen.murdoch.edu.au/community/dps/convicts there are lists of ships taking convicts to Australia. William Hingston is listed as the Master of the Hillsborough, 764 tons, sailed from Portland Roads 23/12/1798 and 212 days later arrived New South Wales 26/7/1799. She carried 300 male convicts of whom 95 died. The surgeon was John Justice William Kunst. The same web site lists a Jn. Hingston, Master of the Speke, sailed 18/5/1808 from Falmouth with 99 women on board, arrived NSW 16/11/1808 after 182 days with 97 who were landed at Sydney. J MacMillan listed as Surgeon. CJB)


Another snippet, from Cumpston's analysis of shipping movements in & out of Sydney - "Isabella" 93 tons, master George Hingston, arrived 18 Aug 1812 from London & Madeira via Rio with merchandise, sailed 2 Feb 1813, wrecked Falkland Islands Oct 1813.


The convict transport "Hillsborough", master William Hingston, has aroused considerable interest for many years - much of the comment decidedly unfavourable to WH's reputation. Robert Hughes in his "The Fatal Shore" [see your O&E21] put particular spin on the subject to present the argument he was making, without any consideration for historical accuracy. WH did not return to Britain with "Hillsborough" - he had purchased the Spanish prize "Nostra Senora de Bethlehem", renamed it "Hunter" after the then-governor of New South Wales and sailed for Bengal 7 Oct 1799. He did get into strife there and I can send details if you want. A William Hingston and wife Ann had children christened at Rotherhithe St Mary during late 18th & early 19th centuries - perhaps he was brother to HX1.

From: Gordon Stimmell <stimmell@sympatico.ca>. Subject: Hingston snippets on the net
The next man to call at Kerguelen, was Capt.Rhodes, master of the 'Hillsborough', a ship of 782 tons, owned by Daniel Bennett a London oil merchant who was fast becoming the leading owner in the south seas trade. He sailed from Gravesend to Botany Bay under William Hingston with 250 convicts on 28th October 1798, arriving on 28th July 1799. The 'Hillsborough' left for England under Rhodes in October 1799 and eventually reached Gravesend on 15.4.1801. He came back to New South Wales 1802/03 as master of the whaler 'Alexander'. http://birrell.1hwy.com/pg000006.htm


RICHARD FERDINAND HINGSTON born 18 Dec 1877 at Christchurch to Richard Hingston (aged 23) of Ballycotton and Ellen Maria Morton (aged 17) of Heathcote, these two having married 23 Oct 1876 at Kowai Bush. [I assume this Ballycotton is the one in Co. Cork. Heathcote is on the eastern fringe of Christchurch, while Kowai Bush is about 40 miles west.]


Two families from Tree HD went to New Zealand. Their details are listed in that tree.

Thomas Hingston (HD#80) emigrated to Te Puke in 1881/2

Andrew Hingston (HD#81) emigrated to Mataura in 1879.


Return to Hingston web page
Updated by Chris Burgoyne 7th November 2016