Major Richard Baker, Magistrate for the New Zealand Company, emigrated to New Zealand at the age of 30 on the Aurora in September 1839. The Aurora carried 148 settlers, mostly agricultural workers and labourers, who landed at Ports Hardy and Nicholson in January 1840. Following the Company's survey of Port Nicholson by the Troy in 1839, the Aurora was in the first wave of settlers' ships to land the following January. The Hutt shore and valley was originally selected as the site for the Company's first settlement, to be named Britannia, but the location proved too swampy, prone to flooding and forested, and the site was quickly exchanged for Thorndon across the harbour. Once thick bush and forest had been laboriously cleared, the settlers found the soil rich and fertile. A horticultural society was established in 1841, chaired by Colonel Wakefield, and Major Baker sat on the committee. The prize list for the Wellington Horticultural Show held on 22 January 1842 lists Baker as a prizewinner for 'Bouquet flowers' and turnips. (see W. Shepherd, Wellington's Heritage, plants, gardens and landscapes, Wellington, 2000, pp. 151-3).