The Early Canterbury Runs: Containing the First, Second and Third (new) Series
Double Corner And Mt. Brown — (Runs 8, 76 and 107)
Double Corner And Mt. Brown
(Runs 8, 76 and 107)
Double Corner took in the whole low country between the North Kowai and the Waipara, and included what was afterwards Mt. Brown Station. Like the Mt. Grey Station, Double Corner was named after a natural feature outside its own boundaries. The cape called the Double Corner is on Teviotdale, across the Waipara.
Double Corner is another station that was taken up before the Canterbury settlement. I cannot find the page 72exact date, but Charles Hunter Brown took up the first part of it early in 1850, under license from the New Zealand Government. He was settled there in January, 1851, when Ward's diary was written.
Hunter Brown was one of the ablest and most successful of the early runholders. He contributed a very good chapter on 'Starting a station' to Archdeacon Paul's book. He was educated as a civil engineer and arrived in Dunedin 1849 in the Mariner. He took up Double Corner on the advice of Caverhill of Motunau. He brought with him the seeds of the she-oaks growing at Teviotdale and Seadown and of the white gum, which is the oldest gum tree in Canterbury, at the site of the old Double Corner homestead. Hunter Brown was one of those who met Godley when he arrived in Canterbury and showed him over part of the plains.
After Hunter Brown sold Double Corner he joined FitzGerald and Percy Cox in the firm called Brown, Cox and Company which owned the Springs and Longbeach stations. When these were sold he did very well by investing his money in Christchurch property. He travelled extensively in Palestine and elsewhere, and represented Cheviot in one Parliament but was afterwards defeated by Weld. He lived for many years in Nelson where he died in 1908. His choice of Double Corner as a run was a wise one. Waitt in his Progress of Canterbury says that 'Brown's run is not to be equalled in the whole Canterbury Block for its compactness and also superior herbage.'
Hunter Brown took out a license from the Canterbury Association for Run 8 in September, 1851, and took up two more runs, Numbers 76 and 107 in March and August, 1853, respectively.
Percy Cox who was afterwards a partner in the Springs and Longbeach, and owner of Mt. Somers, was a cadet with Hunter Brown from 1854 till 1856, and George Draper, a brother of Mrs J. E. FitzGerald, was also a cadet there. They had a certain amount of scab at Double Corner but it did not get very bad. Hunter page 73Brown sold Double Corner to Marchant and Polhill (known as Marchant and Co.) at the end of 1856 for £4500.
Marchant, the managing partner for the new owners, was an Australian, and went back to Australia when he sold Double Corner. Polhill afterwards had Lake Heron on the Upper Rakaia, from which he also supervised Double Hill for Joseph Palmer. There is an account of him under Upper Lake Heron. Samuel Coleman, afterwards at Wharfedale, was manager at Double Corner under Marchant.
Marchant and Co. transferred Double Corner to Thomas Hood Hood in 1863. I can find nothing about Hood but I think he was only a banker or agent for the station as he seems to have transferred Runs 76 and 167 to Bosville Place and John Innes at once, and these two runs became the Mt. Brown Station. John Innes became sole owner of Mt. Brown in 1877, and took his brother James Innes into partnership. They bought the freehold of the whole run from the Midland Railway Company in 1890. Soon afterwards John Innes returned to Scotland where he inherited a baronetcy, and dying unmarried, was succeeded by James Innes, who sold Mt. Brown about 1898 to William Buss of Rangiora and also returned to Scotland where he died in 1919. Buss sold Mt. Brown to A. W. Byrch (his family are the present owners of Motunau) and Byrch sold it to William Nicholls of Belfast. Since James Innes's time the station has been much subdivided. The homestead and two thousand acres belonged to I. Croft in 1924, when this note was written.
To return to Double Corner itself (Run 8), Hood seems to have sold it almost at once to Levin Alexander Graeme Walker (nicknamed 'Lag' Walker from his initials), but kept the lease in his own name until 1866, when it was transferred to Frank Courage. The run at that time included the present Glasnevin and Stockgrove estates. The homestead was on the south bank of the Waipara close to the sea.
Frank Courage (father of the present owner of (Sea-page 74down) arrived in New Zealand with his wife in the City of Paris in 1861, and seems to have bought an interest in Double Corner soon afterwards, but bought freehold on the run independently. He afterwards bought out Hood and Walker's interest and lived at Double Corner until 1872, when he bought Seadown (which itself had been part of Double Corner) from Mrs Carter and went to live there, and he and his son have always called the place Seadown. The old name Double Corner dropped out of use, but E. L. Wyles, who now owns the old Double Corner site, has revived the name for his farm.
Mrs Courage wrote a very amusing book on her early colonial experiences. It is now difficult to get a copy of it.
The Maori name for Double Corner seems to have been Mimimoto or Mimiomoko, at least that is what it is called in a stock return of 1854 when Brown had 1500 sheep there.