On Wednesday August 11 1841 the Marquis of Bute departed from Greenock which lies on the south bank of the Clyde river in the west central lowlands of Scotland. The Marquis of Bute carried a total of 148 families, mostly bounty immigrants. “Bounty immigrants” were selected by colonists who then paid for their passage. When the immigrant arrived, the colonist would employ them and the colonist would then be reimbursed by the government for all or part of the cost of passage.
Among the bounty immigrants was Andrew Harper (aged 29) with his wife Maria (27) and their three sons Paul (6), Samuel (4) and Henry (6mths). Andrew was born in Templepatrick, Antrim Ireland and that was also where he and Maria were married. The Port Phillip Herald reported that “The Marquis of Bute had a very severe passage, she had a head wind the greater part of the way”.
Some time after their arrival, the Harper family settled at Creswick which is 18km north of Ballarat in Victoria.