It is impossible to be sure of who was on board the John Pirie. The ‘Register of Emigrant Labourers Applying for a Free Passage to South Australia’ lists those people considering life in the new colony and generally indicates on which ship those deciding to proceed were embarked. However uncertainty arises from clerical errors, last minute changes, and desertions. Together with the South Australian Company’s other officers and servants, the John Pirie’s crew was considered to be an addition to the colony’s population, so those eligible are named in the ‘Register of Emigrant Labourers’ as well as the Directors’ Minutes, which recorded all engagements. An anonymous account of the voyage and Captain Martin’s letters to Angas from the Downs and Dartmouth, and to his wife Mary from Hobart, throw further light on the personnel on board. From these sources it is clear that Charles and James Powell, who were to go by the Duke of York joined their sister Mary Ann on the John Pirie, leaving Charles Bendin Powell on the Duke of York. Samuel Stephens’ diary records Staple as being one of the crew on the occasion of his marriage to Mary Ann Powell, a ceremony performed at Nepean Bay, Kangaroo Island, by Captain Martin. Not mentioned otherwise, George Martin Jr, aged 6, was taught to read and write on board by mate Henry Simpson.
George Martin Jr
Information compiled by Mr Bob Sexton