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

The Warren — (Run 35)

The Warren
(Run 35)

The Warren lay on the south bank of the Eyre, between Burnt Hill and Worlingham. It contained nearly twelve thousand acres and was taken up on 1st June, 1852, by Cookson and Bowler, who did not occupy it but sold it within about a year to Sanderson and Brayshaw. Sanderson, the managing partner, worked the Warren country from Carleton, his station on the other side of the Eyre.

In 1855 Sanderson and Brayshaw sold the Warren to Major Thomas Woolaston White who named it, and started it as a station, with his brother, Taylor White.

White had 700 sheep in 1856, and 1800 by 1858. He got into difficulties during the 'sixties, and about 1866 his agents, the Trust and Agency Company of Australasia, sold the Warren to George William Lee, though the run was not transferred to Lee's name until 1873. page 58Lee died in 1883. His executors carried on the station for his legatee, Bennet Rothes Langton of Spilsby Hall, Lincoln, England (I suppose a descendent of Dr. Samuel Johnson's friend), until May, 1912, when Robert W. Chapman bought it from them. Chapman cut it up and sold it shortly afterwards.

Cookson and Bowler, the first owners of the Warren, were speculators who took up one or two other runs in the 'fifties, always selling them after a year or two. William Bowler was a Wellington merchant to whose business Levin and Company are the successors. When the Pilgrims arrived he sent Isaac Cookson down to open a branch in Canterbury, and Cookson and Bowler became the chief merchants here during the 'fifties.

Cookson lived in the Heathcote Valley. He entertained Bishop Harper and his family at dinner there when they walked over the Bridle Path on their first arrival in Canterbury. His wife was a daughter of Sir Mathew Ridley, the famous Yorkshire sportsman.

I shall give accounts of Thomas Sanderson and George Brayshaw when I come to Greta Peaks and Waimate.

Major White had been in the 48th Bengal Native Infantry Regiment, and afterwards on the Australian gold diggings. He commanded the Militia or Volunteers in Canterbury from 1861 till 1867. He also owned the Mt. White and Sherwood Stations. He was before my time but I have been told that he had a very bad temper. After losing his money he went to live in Fiji, but was deported for raising a riot. He then became Stock Inspector in the North Island, but quarrelled with his superiors and ended his days at Lake Wakatipu.

His brother, Taylor White, left the Warren to start Mt. White Station, and after that he took up Mt. Nicholas on Lake Wakatipu. When he sold Mt. Nicholas he went to live in Hawke's Bay, where he died not long before the 1914-18 War. He was a keen field naturalist, and many papers by him are published in the Transactions of the N.Z. Institute.

page 59

As well as the Warren, Lee had Wharfedale Station up the Ashley. Lee's Valley there is named after him. He was known as 'Jockey' Lee, and was a well known owner and amateur rider in the early days of racing in Canterbury.