A CHRISTCHURCH PRESS PROJECT

Louisa Field
The Charlotte Jane

Original information:
Louisa Field (formerly Mrs Nippriss) migrated when she was 22 with her husband, Henry Nippriss, an agricultural labourer (28). According to sources, in 1900 Mrs Field was living in Port Levy.

Readers' response:
Louisa Jane Walter was born in Wiltshire, England, in 1827. She and her husband, Henry Nippriss, arrived in Canterbury with Louisa’s brother, George Walter, who was 16 at the time. Louisa had lost a baby while at sea.1  Apparently the couple brought a house with them and already had a piece of land in Christchurch. Before the house was completed, Henry died of fever, in early April, 1851. The house was then moved to Lyttelton.

A child was born in August 1851 but died a week later.2 In order to survive, the widowed Louisa ran a boarding house in Lyttelton, and it is there she met George Field, who was staying next door. On May 24, 1852, Louisa married George Field (b. June 17, 1823, in Thal, Lincolnshire, England), a retired soldier who came to New Zealand as part of the 58th Regiment.

George Field had been discharged from the British Army after being involved in the North Island Land Wars and the siege of Ruapekapeka. He was given a grant of land in what is now Woolston, but it was not to his liking, so he swapped it for land at Port Levy. Before occupying that land, however, Louisa and George ran a public house in Lyttelton, and the two eldest children were born there.3

In 1855, the family moved to Port Levy. Louisa was the nurse in the area and also taught all her children at home until the Port Levy School opened. George was illiterate at the time of their marriage but later became a member of the Port Levy School Committee. When this photo was taken, Louisa and George would still have been living at Port Levy, although part of the farm and the original house was sold about that time.

Louisa and George had 10 children − eight sons and two daughters − most of whom followed farming pursuits.4  The couple celebrated their golden anniversary in 1902, and in 1904 they moved to Christchurch. The remainder of the farm stayed in the family until 1964.5  The original house is apparently still standing.

Louisa died on April 27, 1908, and George on February 9, 1915. Both are buried in Papanui cemetery.6

 

Footnotes:
1: Colin Caldwell, unpublished family history
2: Rob Field, unpublished family history
3: Colin Caldwell, unpublished family history
4: Extract from notes from L. H. Field, Port Levy over the Years. Courtesy of Carolyn Craw
5: Rob Field, unpublished family history
6: Helen Field, unpublished family history