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The Early Canterbury Runs: Containing the First, Second and Third (new) Series

Murphy's Run — (Run 14)

Murphy's Run
(Run 14)

I learn from an old stock return that this station was called Pukeriki for a time in the 'fifties. The two homesteads on it were afterwards known as Tara and the Downs, but the station as a whole was generally known as Murphy's Run.

It was about fourteen thousand acres and ran from the Eyre to the Cust below the Carleton Run. It was taken up on 17th October, 1851, by Robert Luke Higgins for John T. Murphy. Murphy was a large squatter in Australia. He sent Higgins over to Canterbury with stock to take up country as a managing partner. Murphy continued to live in Australia but came over once or twice in the 'fifties to see the station.

Higgins built his original hut on the site of the old house at Tara, which I believe is still standing. He continued as managing partner as long as Murphy lived, and after his death became his executor. In 1853 Higgins took up another run, No. 78, for Murphy. It lay south of the Eyre but was sold to T. J. Curtis in the late 'sixties and became part of Worlingham.

In the early 'sixties Murphy sent his son over to the run. When the younger Murphy married he built a separate homestead on the downs where A. R. Blunden lives. He was killed about 1870 while riding home from a mounted paper chase. His widow, who was a daughter of Dr. Moore, one of the earliest Christchurch doctors and Canterbury runholders, afterwards married R. Blunden and lived at the Downs until her death in 1918. The old house was burnt down in 1922 but has been rebuilt, and Mrs. Blunden's son still lives there.

The Murphys bought the freehold of a great deal of good land on the run. In the late 'eighties when the partnership with Higgins ended, most of the land page 61was leased to farmers, and in 1921 it was all cut up and sold except the Downs homestead farm.