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Professor John (Old John) Shand
C.M.G., LL.D., M.A.
1834 - 1914

Going to New Zealand

Moving now to that wonderful facility at Papers Past, we find John Shand’s appointment to his job in New Zealand.

A meeting Council meeting of the University of Otago was reported in the Otago Daily Times of 11th November 1869 (page 2). In it, the Council determined the Chairs of the new University of be Mental and Moral Philosophy; Classics; and, Mathematics and Natural Philosophy. They also set the salaries of the professors appointed at £600 per annum, with fees of three guineas per student per term to each professor; and allowed £150 each for passage money and outfit.

The candidates were expected to be graduates of some established and recognised University. Advertisements would be inserted in the Home and Colonial newspapers, and applications, with testimonials and certificates, should be addressed to the agents of the Province of Otago in Britain, or to the Secretary of the Council in Dunedin. In addition, each professor would be each empowered to select books to the value of £50, such books to form the nucleus of the University Library and, in addition, the mathematical professor be empowered to expend £200 in the purchase of scientific apparatus necessary for the natural philosophy class.

The first advertisement for the position eventually offered to John Shand seems to have been in the Wellington Independent of 31st March 1870 (page 4):

Wellington Independent, 31st March 1870

From the Otago Daily Times of 15th June 1870 (page 2) we learn that:


In connection with the Professorships in the Otago University, it may be mentioned that there are from home, 55 applications for the Professorship of Classics and 49 for that of Mathematics.

The names of these applicants have been forwarded by Mr Auld, the home agent, who has promised to send the written applications, testimonials, &c., by the next mail.

In addition to these, there are six candidates for each Chair from the Australian colonies and New Zealand provinces.


The Evening Post of 1st October 1870 (page 2) carried an article about a meeting of the Council of Otago University the previous day:

Evening Post, 1st October 1870

At this meeting it was announced that the Professor of Mathematics was appointed to be John Shand, M.A., Aberdeen, head Mathematical Master Edinburgh Academy.

On 8th February 1871, John married Annie Bell, a native of Ayr. The Otago Daily Times of 28th April 1871 (page 2) carried the following notice:


We find the following notice of marriage in the Edinburgh Daily Review:- “At 2 Holyrood Place, Glasgow, on the 8th February, by the Rev Thomas Dobbie, Stranraer, John Shand, M.A., Professor of Naturual Philosphy in the University of Otago, to Miss Annie Bell.”


1871 Marriage, John Shand & Annie Bell

The marriage certificate for John Shand & Annie Bell tells us of their marriage on 8th February 1871, at 2 Holyrood Place, Glasgow after Banns according to the Forms of the United Presbyterian Church.


Married were John Shand, Professor of Mathematics (bachelor), aged 37 years, living at 11 Brandon Street, Edinburgh, son of Alexander Shand, Shipping Agent & Isabella McKenzie and Annie Bell (spinster), aged 27 years, of 12 Montgomerie Terrace, Ayr, daughter of James Bell, Merchant (deceased) & Annie Purdie (deceased).


The witnesses were Lewis Anderson & Lizzie Kilpatrick.


Brandon Street, Edinburgh lies north of Princes Street, but not as far north as the Royal Botanic Gardens.

Surprisingly, John Shand does not show up as living at 11 Brandon Street in the 1870/71 Post Office directory for Edinburgh; he only shows up in the Edinburgh Academy item (see above).

At 11 Brandon Street are living Alexander Davidson, writer - in the modern sense, that means solictor; Mrs W Davidson; R L Dowling, commercial traveller; Mrs Ironside; Rev Joseph Miller; and, J G C Peebles, S.S.C. (a member of the Society of Solicitors before the Supreme Court).

Montgomerie Terrace, Ayr lies south of the river, between South Harbour Street and the Esplanade.

The 1870/71 Post Office directory for Ayr tells us that, living at 12 Montgomerie Terrace at that time was Thomas Cree, teacher of French and German at Ayr Academy - Thomas Cree, of course, was head of the household; it is unclear whether Annie Bell was staying there at the same time or, if she was, what her relationship was to Thomas Cree.


John and his wife left Glasgow on 22nd March 1871 aboard the ship Wild Deer, bound for New Zealand.

Wild Deer
(National Library of New Zealand, ID: 1/2-016755-G)


The Wild Deer was built as a (tea) clipper ship by the Charles Connell Shipyard at Glasgow for William Walker of London. She was 211 feet long with a beam 20.7 feet. Her maiden voyage was in December 1863. Following the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869, she was no longer needed for the tea trade and found new use in round trips to Australia and New Zealand - taking emigrants on the outward trip and goods, such as wool, on return. Under this guise, the Wild Deer made a number of successful round-trips to the southern hemisphere. At the commencement a voyage in January 1883 she ran aground on the coast of Ireland and was lost - fortunately with no loss of life!


They arrived at Port Chalmers, near Dunedin, on 21st June and a brief announcement of the arrival was made in the Otago Daily Times of 22nd June 1871 (page 2) under arrivals:


Wild Deer, ship, 1016 tons, Cameron, from Glasgow, 23rd March. G G Russell and Co, agents. Passengers Professor D Macgregor and Mrs Macgregor, Rev W Macgregor and Mrs Macgregor, Professor G S Sale, Miss Sale, and Mr C Sale, Professor J Shand and Mrs Shand, Messrs R A Ferguson, M S Holmes, W Morrice, and 149 in the intermediate and steerage. A list of some of these passengers of the Wild Deer can be found here.


A more complete description of the voyage appeared in the same newspaper, the Otago Daily Times of 22nd June 1871 (page 2):


The clipper ship Wild Deer, from Glasgow, was signalled as off the Heads yesterday forenoon. “All well on board” was then exhibited, followed by “Wanted a steam tug,” to which the tug Geelong responded, went outside, and brought the ship up on the flood.

The Wild Deer left the Tail of the Bank, Greenock, on the 23rd of March, and parted with her pilot on the following day off Rathlin Island. Experienced moderate weather and light N E. Trades to the Equator.

The S.E. Trades were favourable, and followed by westerly and southerly breezes; crossed the meridian of Greenwich on the 9th of May, and that of the Cape on the 13th.

Her easting was run down on a general parallel of 46oS., and with the exception of a heavy easterly gale off the Crozets was characterised by westerly winds; she passed to the southward of the Snares, and the first land that was sighted was the Nuggets on Tuesday evening.

The Deer brings a large cargo of general merchandise and a number of passengers, including several assisted immigrants, all of whom will be brought to town this forenoon by one of the Harbour Company's steamers.

The ship comes into harbour clean and tidy alow and aloft, reflecting credit on her master and officers.


The Otago Daily Times of 23rd June 1871 (page 3) - the very next day - reported that five members of the crew of the Wild Deer appeared before T Tayler, Esq., J.P.; two being for drunken and disorderly conduct, and the others for obstructing the police in the execution of their duty the whole were men belonging to the ship Wild Deer, and had been on shore with some of the passengers and got drinking. The first cases called on were Michael Hogan and John Steel, for being drunk and disorderly. The charges being proved, they were fined 10s each, or 24 hours’ imprisonment. Henry Thoms, Archibald M’Vicar, and Angus M’Lean, for obstructing the police, were each fined 20s, or 48 hours’ imprisonment.


The Otago Daily Times of 28th September 1871 (page 3) gave notice of the departure of the Wild Deer, for London, on the 7th, with 25 passengers, 866 bales wool, 16 do flax, 647 casks tallow, 357 hides, 1200 bags grain, 9437 cases preserved meat, 42 packages sundries, and 2107 ozs, 16 dwts. of gold, arriving there 22nd November.


The Otago Daily Times of 6th July 1871, in announcing the arrival of the professors, also announced that, the classes will be opened almost immediately.

The same newspaper, the Otago Daily Times of 11th March 1871 carried the first advertisement of the new University’s classes:


Separate Classes for Junior and Senior Mathematics; Junior and Senior Natural Philosophy. Professor: John Shand, M.A., formerly First Mathematical Master in the Royal Academy, Gosport, England and the Edinburgh Academy.


The classes were expected to start about the beginning of June, but were delayed for reason of the professors not sailing for the Dominion in time.

The Otago Daily Times of 5th July 1871 carried an advertisement announcing the classes available for the first session of Otago University:

Otago Daily Times, 5th July 1871

John Shand seems not to have had a great workload in his first year in Dunedin, his classes advertised were from 11 to 12 a.m, 12 to 1 p.m and 8 to 9 p.m only.

John Shand’s introductory lecture was delivered in the Large Hall of the University on Tuesday, July 11th at 8 o’clock p.m; it was briefly described by the Grey River Argus of 25th July 1871 (page 3):


Professor Shand delivered his lecture on Tuesday evening, his subject being Mathematics and Natural Philosophy.

He dwelt largely on the importance of mathematics - pure and applied to almost every trade and profession, and particularly to that wide field of labor which is implied in the word Physics.

He spoke of astronomy, and showed how much the great discoveries of modern days’ are indebted to mathematics, and the close and persevering study of philosophers.

He also mentioned the spectroscope, as the latest result of science, and the wonderful discoveries already made, and the interesting field of research which it rendered available to the student.


A full summary of John Shand’s introductory lecture was printed in the Otago Daily Times of 12th July 1871 (page 2).

John Shand, with the other professors, was given an enthusiastic welcome. An Australian newspaper, The Argus, of 11th August 1871 (page 7) stated:


There was so great a crowd at a social gathering held to welcome them, that the hall was nicknamed the Divorce Court, all the ladies being separated from their husbands, because it was impossible to find seats for any of the male part of the crowd, and equally impossible for a lady to move about in those parts of the room which were originally intended for promenading


The same article also said that their preliminary lectures also drew some of the largest audiences that have been seen here and the number of students entered is encouragingly large - 36 but that some of these, however, would have been excluded had a regular matriculation examination been insisted upon.


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