Heritage

Christchurch - a chronology

1851

January 6
The first school (which became Christ’s College) opens in Lyttelton.
January 11
First copy of the "Lyttelton Times", edited by J. E. FitzGerald.
January 28
Fire destroys a large part of Riccarton (Deans) Bush.
January 18
First bank, the Union Bank of Australia, opens at Lyttelton.
February
First Avon bridge built - a footbridge at Worcester Street. It was destroyed in the 1868 flood.
February 7
"Castle Eden" arrives with settlers. There had been trouble on the voyage, and her crew was arrested and imprisoned for mutiny.
February 11
Land Office opens in Christchurch on the site now occupied by the Chamber of Commerce building.
March 1
"Isabella Hercus" arrives with settlers.
April 16
First sale of Christchurch town sections.
May 3
George Gould opens shop in Christchurch. The business eventually became part of Pyne Gould Guinness and Co.
May
Ferrymead ferry service begins.
June 21
Road from Christchurch to Riccarton completed.
June 21
Christchurch Cricket Club formed.
June 9
"Steadfast" arrives with settlers.
June
"Duke of Bronte" arrives with settlers.
June 22
Pioneers Edward and Henry Ward drowned in Lyttelton Harbour. A brother, Crosbie Ward, later became the city’s best known satirical poet.
July 20
First church in Christchurch opened - later dedicated as St Michael and All Angels in 1859.
July 23
Pioneer William Deans among 28 lost in the wreck of the "Maria" in Cook Strait. Godley had tried to deprive the Deans and Hay families of their farms because he wanted only Anglicans to own land in the New settlement. The Deans brothers had sold sheep to pay the legal costs of fighting Godley’s high handed action, and William Deans was travelling to Sydney to buy replacement stock.
July 27
Storm wrecks 6 ships in Lyttelton Harbour.
September 13
Meeting held to discuss the establishment of a Jockey Club.
September 27
First Avon drowning reported. The victim was drunk. The river claimed 105 lives in the first 50 years of settlement. A high proportion of the victims were drunk.
October
"Canterbury" arrives with settlers. Read a Journal of the ship Canterbury, 1851 by Edward Eade
November 15
White Hart Hotel (possibly the city’s first) in operation.
December 16
Anniversary celebrations in Hagley Park. First organised sport, including horse races, athletics and a cricket match.

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Notes