More Buchan ‘Lunatics’

I was very excited to receive an email from Roy BUCHAN – author of the book ‘From Peterhead to Passchendaele’ mentioned on this blog and distant relative of mine.

He also mentioned that the Mr Peter BUCHAN listed above (on the Rimutaka 1893 passenger list) as aged 35 was, in fact, mentally retarded from birth and died 3 years after landing in New Zealand.  This was roughly the same time as his brother, and my direct ancestor, Alexander Ritchie BUCHAN died while working on a fishing boat.
Before I’d even had a chance to look into it, another distant BUCHAN relative, emailed me the information that Peter had actually died in July 1897 (seven months after his brother, Alex).  He apparently died at Seacliff Hospital, Dunedin – also known as Seacliff Lunatic Asylum.
(NOTE: A further email from the same relative warns that this may not be true)
Seacliff Hospital, Dunedin, NZ c.1910

Peter was the son of  Charles and Jessie (nee RITCHIE) BUCHAN.
I will now be checking for his asylum records.

Next Steps:

  • Check for Peter BUCHAN’s death in New Zealand (Place of death – asylum?)
  • Look into story from Roy Buchan’s book that suggests he went out ‘wandering’ and died from exposure
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