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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Canterbury Provincial District]

Old Colonists

Old Colonists.

Mr. John Danns Brittin, of Pleasant Point, was born in 1817 at St. Ives, Huntingdonshire, England, and had experience under his uncle, who was a farmer in the Isle of Ely. He arrived at Lyttelton by the ship “Minerva,” on the 4th of February, 1853, and in 1880 acquired about 400 acres of land at Burke's Pass, where he farmed till 1881. In that year he retired from active life and has since resided at Pleasant Point. Mr. Brittin has taken an active interest in the Anglican church for about fifteen years, and has acted as vestryman and churchwarden. He was always fond of racing and hunting, and in the early days he often rode with success in Christchurch as a gentleman rider. Mr. Brittin was married, in 1840, to a daughter of the late Mr. Henry Marsh, farmer, of Woodhurst, Huntingdonshire, England, and has had one son and four daughters; one daughter having died. There are twenty-two grandchildren and twenty-seven great-grandchildren.

Burford, photo.Mr. J. D. Brittin.

Burford, photo.
Mr. J. D. Brittin.

Mr. Reginald Orton, sometime of Pleasant Point, was a son of Dr. Orton, and was born in Sunderland, England, on the 27th of March, 1837. He was intended for the medical profession, but did not complete his course of study. Mr. Orton arrived at Lyttelton in 1860, and went to his uncle, the Rev. R. R. Bradley, at Charteris Bay. Shortly afterwards he removed to South Canterbury, and found employment for a short time at the Level's station. He was farming between Christchurch and New Brighton for about four years, and finally settled in the Pleasant Point district in March, 1863. In 1879 he took up his residence in the township, and carried on business as stock dealer and drover and afterwards undertook statistical work for the Government. Mr. Orton was married, in 1865, to a daughter of the late page 939 Mr Samuel Manson, of Governor's Bay, and at his death, in July, 1895, left a family of seven daughters and four sons. Mrs Orton, who was born in 1844, on the late Mr. Dean's estate at Riccarton, was the first white child born on the Canterbury Plains.

The Late Mr. R. Orton.

The Late Mr. R. Orton.

Mr. Robert Stewart, sometime of Pleasant Point, was born in Renfrewshire, Scotland, in 1845, and was brought up to agricultural work. He emigrated to Australia in 1869, by the ship “Lanarkshire,” and followed the goldfields for some time. In 1873 he came to New Zealand and took to farming and cropping near Timaru. In 1877 he cleared £1400 from 160 acres of wheat, but in the year following a hailstorm threshed all the crop standing in the field. Mr. Stewart purchased the lease of an educational reserve in Totara Valley in 1882. It comprises 562 acres, and on obtaining an extension of the tenure he effected improvements, which include drainage and fencing, and a good dwellinghouse built of stone. Mr. Stewart purchased the first portion of “Clover-hill” in 1894–550 acres—from the New Zealand and Australian Land Company. In 1897 he purchased an additional 450 acres, thus bringing his freehold at “Cloverhill” up to 1000 acres. In one season he had 360 acres in wheat, 100 acres in oats, and 50 acres in turnips; and it was common for his wheat crop to average thirty bushels and the oats sixty bushels per acre. Mr. Stewart died on the 26th of November, 1899. He was married, in 1887, to Miss Dickson, who bore him two sons and four daughters.

The late Mr. R. Stewart

The late Mr. R. Stewart