Murihiku: A History of the South Island of New Zealand and the Islands Adjacent and Lying to the South, from 1642 to 1835
CHAPTER XVIII. — Trade of the Early Twenties
Trade of the Early Twenties.
BEFORE proceeding to deal with the early twenties, advantage will be taken to refer to some sealing on the mainland of New Zealand by the Governor Bligh during the latter portion of the second decade, the better to enable us to understand the position of trade when the period to be dealt with in this chapter commences. We are fortunate in having the required information from a man who accompanied the Governor Bligh on several of her voyages, given before Mr. Commissioner Bigge in May, 1821.
The seals were sought for off the West and South-East Capes and at Campbell Island. There were two seasons—April, when the pups were six months old and were killed for the China market, and Christmas, when the seals gathered together in herds. They were to be found in the bays, and a vessel of from 100 to 200 tons was required to weather the coast. Knives, steel, and salt were the stock-in-trade of the sealer. Skins intended for China were dried by being pegged out on shore, while those for England were cured with salt. Oil was also obtained from the seals in quantities which varied from two gallons from a pup, to five or six from an old male.
Sometimes the voyages were prolonged to an inordinate length. One of the voyages of the Governor Bligh lasted no less than seventeen months—from 9th May, 1815, to 4th October, 1816. In addition to skins and oil the Governor Bligh took in a little timber cargo as well. Logs of red and white pine were cut and brought to Sydney to make boats for the ship's use and for topmasts, for all of which purposes this timber was held in high favour. page 258 Very few natives were met with during the voyages, from which it would appear that the most successful sealers kept away from the habitations of natives, as we know from other sources that they were in great numbers at different points along the coast. Banks Peninsula was visited by the Governor Bligh and potatoes and mats purchased from the natives.
Her crew varied in number from sixteen to twenty, and were paid by the lay, for the first voyage the 75th lay, and for old sealers a 60th lay, which meant one skin in 75 or 60. The price of skins in Sydney varied from five to eight shillings. The last three voyages made before the third decade were as follows: May 9th, 1815, to October 4th, 1816, Grono, 13,000 skins. December 7th, 1816, to February 2nd, 1818, 10,841 fur, 500 hair skins, 200 gallons oil. May 7th, 1818, to March 30th, 1819, 10,516 skins; or no less than 34,857 skins in three trips.
The third decade of the nineteenth century saw the sealing trade reduced from one of such a magnitude that vessels could be fitted out for it and sail from Sydney seeking nothing else but a cargo of skins, and obtaining the results given above, to one which only supplied a portion of a cargo, the balance having to be made up with flax, spars, potatoes, whale oil and pork. Had nothing else developed in the way of trade, the pinch of lessened profits would have ensured the seal rookeries being left unmolested and the natural increase would have replenished them; but history shows that the flax trade was first attempted by the Sydney merchants, then the timber was looked to as a supplementary agent, and lastly shore whaling produced enough oil to enable men to be continuously on the ground. These branches of trade producing a livelihood to the sealer, he was always there and ready to kill everything that looked at him, although the produce of his slaughter could not possibly be said to reimburse him. The seals, though not actually exterminated, became vastly reduced in number. If left alone and without legislation to protect it, no wild animal which becomes the page 259 property of its captor and which pays to catch, will survive extinction. Decimating slaughter is the natural instinct of man, and animal life continues not so much through difficulty of capture as through its unprofitable nature or the restraints which a civilized community has imposed upon it by legislation. As the narrative proceeds it will be seen to what extent the history of New Zealand sealing, like that of sealing in other parts of the world, supports this contention.
The great bulk of the trade was a Sydney one. Outside of that, we have three distinct sources, but it is questionable whether all these put together equalled the Sydney portion. The three referred to were the Hobart Town, the American, and the English trade. Sydney has earned a reputation for the ephemeral nature of its records and those of private firms appear to have been as short lived as those of the State. Hobart Town did better, but at best the share of the sealing trade that went to that place was small. American and English sources have not yet, to any extent, been examined. An accurate and continuous narrative is thus impossible, but such scraps as we have may be pieced together and so give a general idea of the movements of the trade during the period under review.
The third decade opened with keen competition in seal skins from a newly discovered field in another part of the world. Captain William Smith, commander of the brig William, on a passage from Monte Video to Valparaiso in 1819, discovered the South Shetland Islands away to the south of Cape Horn and reported seals to be there in abundance.1 Immediately the news became the property of the world, a rush of sealers took place to the islands, and so great was the destruction wrought by vessels from different parts, that during the years 1821 and 1822 it is computed that 320,000 skins and 940 tons of sea elephant oil came from this little group of islands.
This activity in connection with the South Shetlands was accompanied by a corresponding lull in the New Zealand sealing. On 27th January, 1820, the Elizabeth and page 260 Mary, a regular trader to Macquarie Islands is reported as having arrived from New Zealand with a cargo of 4,397 skins.2 The Governor Bligh, referred to above, reached Sydney on 3rd April with 5,500 seal skins, but the year 1820 produced nothing eventful until on 24th October, a brig called the Hope, commanded by J. Grimes, reached Sydney from England. After discharging her cargo she fitted out for the seal fishery on the New Zealand coast, with the intention, if she proved successful, of going to England.3 To the surprise of the people of Sydney she returned on 6th February, 1821, to recruit the strength of her crew, having lost the chief officer and five men, about 30 miles to the south of Open Bay.4
“Mr. Claridge, with six men, left the vessel about six in the morning, to effect a landing, but, upon gaining the place proposed, it was deemed not only unsafe but very dangerous, when the boat was seen from the vessel to bear up for the northward about 7 or 8 miles, and attempted to land in the entrance of a bar-mouth creek, into which the sea was rushing with excessive violence, and from the rapidity of the stream the boat was unable to make way through the surf, and speedily filled. The unfortunate men were then left to swim for their lives through a heavy and boisterous sea, and an impetuous current, in which Mr. Claridge and five of the men, out of six, were shortly overwhelmed. One alone, an Otaheitan and an excellent swimmer, survived to tell the mournful disaster. He could not give the least satisfactory account of the motive that could have induced Mr. Claridge to act contrary to the instructions given him by his commander, as the very spot he was directed to land at, Captain Grimes had been ashore on only two days before, and that at night with a boat laden with skins, which was then looked upon as an extremely safe landing-place. The names of the deceased men are, Richard Claridge, chief officer, Richard Brown, John Frankish, Francis Curtis, Joseph Hills, and Robert Richardson; William Thompson, a seaman, died between Sydney and New Zealand, from illness—thus page 261 making in all, seven men Captain Grimes had lost this trip. The Hope has only been absent since the 20th of November, and has on board 800 skins.”
The Hope, in prosecution of her voyage, sailed on 10th March for England via New Zealand and Tahiti.
The feature of the sealing trade of 1821, next to the loss sustained by the Hope, was the arrival in Sydney of the Governor Bligh, under the command of Captain Dawson, on 17th February, with a cargo of no less than 12,000 skins. The enterprising firm to which this fine cargo came, was Messrs. Jones, Riley and Walker. It is not to be supposed that this rich consignment came from the mainland, nor even largely from the southern portion of New Zealand. From subsequent events, it is fairly certain, that pretty well all the southern islands were drawn upon, as well as substantial supplies from the mainland. The only islands, which were distinguished by special reference in the columns of the Sydney press, were the Campbell and the Macquarie Islands. The happening of special events only enables the others to be identified.
From that time on and for a considerable period the sealing trade appears to have almost ceased, little but sea elephant oil being imported into Sydney. With an idea of reviving New Zealand trade and, if possible, finding something to take the place of the lost sealing, the New South Wales Government despatched the Government cutter Snapper, under Captain Edwardson to report upon the prospects of trade. On 7th November, 1822, he sailed. No sooner had the Government cutter departed, than Captain Grono returned from his shore occupation to the sea and in command of a new brig called the Elizabeth, on 11th November, sailed on a sealing voyage calculated to take up twenty months.5 As results showed she had better luck in some directions than her captain anticipated but was most unfortunate in others. This was the trip in which Grono picked up the gang of the General Gates and brought them on to Sydney. He reached port on 21st January, 1823, with 1,500 skins, but evidently his voyage had been cut page 262 short before he was ready to return, owing to his unfortunate mistake. He returned to the prosecution of his voyage on the 13th of the following month.
The Wellington (Day) returned to port on 25th September, with from 4,000 to 5,000 skins and some oil, doubtless seal oil. She is reported as coming from Saunders Island which probably means Cape Saunders or the Otago Peninsula, a very likely place for a cargo. The Wellington was followed by the Elizabeth on her second trip, on 2nd October, with a cargo, the details of which are not supplied. The sealing trade appeared to have taken a new lease of life.
Trade prospects underwent a mild revolution in 1823. The Snapper returned from her trip to New Zealand on 28th March, with very favourable reports on the flax trade, which were followed up by the despatch of the Mermaid under the command of Kent, which sailed on 7th May and returned on 15th August. Unfortunately information regarding the details of her trip are not available. Edwardson, however, did most of all for the regeneration of the sealing trade, in capturing the naturalized New Zealand chief, Caddell, who with his adopted tribe had harassed the sealing gangs along the coasts of Foveaux Strait without let or hindrance, adding the prospect of supplying material for a cannibal feed to the terrors the sealers had to face in the ordinary prosecution of their calling. Caddell spent some time in Sydney, and doubtless advantage was taken of his presence there to come to some understanding with the sealers. Whether this course was followed or not, cannot with the information at our disposal be asserted as a fact, but it is significant that renewed activity in sealing followed. The Perseverance, which had for some time acted as a hulk, was refitted and sent off sealing. A number of other vessels were also put into commission. On the lists of those sent away we notice the names of Thomas Chaseland and James Spencer, on board the St. Michael, and John Guard, on board the Wellington. These are names of men who afterwards became prominent in New Zealand history.page 263
More directly bearing upon the giving out of the South Shetland sealing was the fitting out of American vessels to range over the whole Southern Ocean in search of the fur seal. This year (1823) Messrs. Byers, Rogers, McIntyre and Nixon of New York fitted out a schooner called the Henry under the command of Captain Robert Johnson, to visit, amongst other places, the islands off New Zealand. From the Auckland and adjoining islands she took no less than 13,000 skins, described by an American critic as being “as good fur-seal skins as ever were brought to the New York market.” In the year 1824 Johnson was fitted out for a second voyage. His first essay in these waters had proved so profitable, that he revisited Southern New Zealand. In 1825 he was seen at the South Cape, having lost three men by drowning at the Chatham Islands. Johnson and his crew were in good health and had 1,700 prime seal skins on board. From there he sailed to the south and east, in search of new lands between the 60th and 65th parallel of south latitude. He was never heard of more.6
Edwardson's work in bringing samples of flax to Sydney by the Snapper in March, 1823, followed by Kent's expedition in the Mermaid, did much to awaken interest in the development of that trade; and for the purpose of obtaining a cargo of phormium the Elizabeth Henrietta, under the command of Captain Kent, sailed for New Zealand on 5th November, 1823.
As it has been stated that the object of the trip of the Elizabeth Henrietta was “to complete certain enquiries… of a delicate character to the natives themselves7 the following letter at present in the Chief Secretary's Office in Sydney, which sets out officially her mission, is here printed.
Pitt Street, Sydney, 20th January, 1826.
“Returning to you the enclosed letter and Memorial of Mr. John Busby, I have the honour of acquainting you in reply to your enquiry of the page 264 “13th instant, that the object of the last voyage of the brig Elizabeth Henrietta to New Zealand, was to promote the civilization of the inhabitants of the island by supplying them with British Manufactures in exchange for their flax.”
I have the honour to be
Your most obedient humble servant,
The Honourable Alexander McLeay,
On the night of 25th February, 1824, the brig was at anchor in Ruapuke Bay, Goulbourn Island, now known as Ruapuke, when a gale came on so violently as to part the chain cable and cause her to lose two of her anchors. Owing to this calamity and notwithstanding the efforts of her crew, the vessel was driven on shore. Captain Kent remained with the wreck and sent the chief officer with the official report to Sydney, on board Mr. Joseph Underwood's brig, the Wellington, just then returning from the sealing islands with a cargo of seal skins. The brig reached Sydney on 3rd April, 1824. The report, so far as it leaked out, was that with proper and timely aid the wrecked brig might be restored to the public service, but that otherwise she would have to be broken up.
As soon as what had happened became known in Sydney, every effort was made to send relief, and by the 15th of the month H.M.S. Tees, under the command of Captain Coe, was fitted out for the voyage and sailed to her aid.
Captain Coe made Solander Island on the 28th April and on the 29th ran through Foveaux Strait into Port William, where he cast anchor in the evening. The following day the pinnace and a cutter were sent over to Ruapuke under the command of the first lieutenant, with fifty men and everything necessary for floating the stranded vessel. From the 30th of April to the 4th of May was spent in the attempt to float her off, and on the latter date the party returned to Port William. On the 9th of May they page 265 returned to Ruapuke. On the 13th the first gig was sent under a lieutenant with provisions for 40 men, but after battling about two days she returned, having failed to reach Ruapuke owing to the tremendous swell. On the 14th, imagining they heard distress signals on Cockburn Island, the master was sent thither in the second gig, but the alarm turned out to be false. On the 16th the boats returned to Port William from the wreck, having given up all hope of floating the vessel. They brought with them fifteen persons belonging to the crew of the Elizabeth Henrietta, leaving only the master and two of the crew upon the island.8 The Elizabeth Henrietta had been by the united efforts of all hands moved for a distance of five yards, and it was thought that success would crown their efforts. All was vain however; a gale set in about 10th May and the vessel was driven higher up on the beach. After other fruitless trials it was decided to leave her. Captain Kent and his party remained at the wreck and the others returned with Captain Coe to Sydney to obtain further instructions as to the steps to be taken pending the arrival of a vessel to take away the stores, etc. Kent appears not to have given up hope, but Coe was satisfied that nothing more could be done, and the only thing that remained was to burn the hull and save the ironwork. The Tees reached Sydney on 3rd June, 1824, after an absence of about seven weeks.
For a second attempt the Government secured the services of Mr. John Busby, a mineral surveyor and civil engineer in the service since March, 1823. He had had some experience in England in connection with shipwrecked vessels, having floated the smack, Earl of Dalkeith, when wrecked on the coast of Northumberland in 1808. After interviewing those who had already made the attempt, and reading Captain Coe's report, he was confident that the vessel could be saved, and as a result, on 29th June, 1824, sailed in the Mermaid, for New Zealand via Hobart Town, leaving the latter place for Ruapuke on 18th July.page 266
Having arrived on the scene, with the aid of only six men, in the space of 26 days, Busby completed his task. The vessel was quickly rigged, and accompanied the Mermaid to the Bay of Islands, 800 miles distant, where Mr. Busby left her. The crew were out of provisions, and had been living for some time on almost nothing, in which privations Mr. Busby participated.
Busby returned to Sydney in the brig Calder under Captain Dillon.
Mr. Busby's own account of his work is to be found in his application for remuneration, dated 20th July, 1825.
“By saving the vessel I saved also a cargo of New Zealand flax as both vessels returned with cargoes. To look on the other hand at the expense by which all this was accomplished. Captain Coe recommended that I should not take less than fifty men, as that number would be required. I was aware that if my means were applicable a much smaller number would suffice. In addition to the Mermaid's crew of sixteen, I required only a carpenter and a blacksmith. On the arrival of the Mermaid where the Elizabeth Henrietta lay, I determined on not even detaining her. I took six individuals, and said to Mr. Kent, ‘You are at liberty to go and collect your cargo of flax; these men will serve my purpose.’ We were left with ten weeks provisions. In 26 days we got the vessel afloat. The Mermaid did not return till upwards of fourteen weeks had elapsed, and we were reduced to lengthen out our scanty provisions with the addition of shell fish, and fern root. The cordage and stores expended could not exceed £10 in value.
“I now solicited Mr. Kent to despatch the Elizabeth Henrietta with her cargo, and follow page 267 “himself when the cutter should have obtained hers. He was, however, anxious to bring both vessels home with him, and we were detained by adverse winds upon the coast, at one time out of sight of land with only one days provisions on board, till eight months after I had left my family, who never during all that time heard of me and who were now in extreme distress.”
On 13th February, 1826, the Board of General Purposes recommended that Mr. Busby receive a gratuity of £300.
The men of the Wellington, which had been in the vicinity of Foveaux Strait when the Elizabeth Henrietta went ashore and who rendered valuable assistance to the wrecked vessel as well as brought the news to Sydney, were recommended by the commander of H.M.S. Tees for a substantial reward.
On 19th March, 1825, only a few days after his arrival, Captain Kent met Messrs. Tyerman and Bennett the deputies from the London Missionary Society, at Sydney, and these gentlemen reported that he had brought with him 25 tons of flax for the Government. In his description to them of New Zealand, he spoke of Foveaux Strait as Tees Strait, after a vessel which he says first found a passage through. The inhabitants in the vicinity he describes as exceedingly fierce and cruel, yet he lived among them upwards of a year. During that time however, a boat's crew were surprised, captured, killed and eaten for some pretended wrong.10
The allegation that the Tees was the first vessel to find a passage through was entirely wrong, unless it was meant that she was the first man-of-war, in which case it is subject to doubt. The name Goulbourn given to Ruapuke also indicates a desire to place names suggested by himself on the various places to the exclusion of those they had long borne. The mention of the boat's crew, does not clearly indicate the General Gates massacre, as that took place in 1823, and before the Elizabeth Henrietta sailed for New page 268 Zealand. The discovery however, of that massacre, by the Samuel, may have taken place while Kent was in the south, as may also the subsequent punishment of the Ruapuke natives by Riggs.
In the Memoirs of the late Pastor J. T. H. Wohlers, in the translator's account of a visit to Ruapuke in 1873, it is stated that mice were first brought to Ruapuke in the Elizabeth Henrietta, and at that date continued to be known to the natives as henriettas.
Amongst the possessions of Ruapuke to this day is a small cannon alleged to have been taken ashore from the Elizabeth Henrietta. So far as official records go there is nothing to support the contention that the cannon ever belonged to the wrecked brig. She was not a man-of-war and would be no more likely to have cargo of that nature than the Snapper which had visited Ruapuke in the previous year, or the large number of Colonial. American, European and British ships, which for years frequented the coast. After having been buried in the sand for some time it came to light in December, 1907, and was removed to a place of security.
When the vessels, which had been despatched towards the end of the year 1823, began to return to Sydney, their cargoes were found to be such as to give fresh encouragement to the seal merchants and to those engaged in the shipping trade. Speaking of the prospects, when some of the first of the fleet arrived, the Sydney press said “The seal fishery by the late arrivals seems to promise ample success to our Colonial speculatists.”11
Up to the end of May the following cargoes were recorded as having arrived:
|March 25||Minerva||Fisher||Excellent cargo|
|March 30||Elizabeth||Grono||Successful trip|
|April 2||Samuel||Dawson||Valuable cargo|
|March 3||Wellington||Excellent preservation|
|May 4||Haweis||Jameson||2000 skins, also oil|
|March 24||Glory||Brown||1333 fur, 151 hair skins|
A list of Sydney owned vessels sailing out of that port to the seal fishery at the date was as follows:
|Wellington||Mr. Joseph Underwood|
|Elizabeth and Mary|
|Belinda||Berry and Wollstencraft|
|Elizabeth||Levy and Grono|
|Samuel||Mr. Jones, London|
|Sally||Mr. Thomas Street|
A vessel the property of Captain Watson of the Aguilar.
The writer “Scaevola” who supplies the above information also added:—“And we may reasonably anticipate that the above ten vessels, with any tolerable success, will bring to this port 40,000 to 50,000 skins which will of course be sent to the English Market.”
This optimistic estimate appears to have roused the ire of one at any rate, of the sealing traders, and Mr. Levey penned the following in reply:—12
To the Editor of the “Sydney Gazette.”
“You will perform a public duty by inserting this unvarnished truth, in answer to a letter that has a tendency to ensnare the unwary or to hoax those enterprising speculators, who are so ably recommended by Scaevola to the Government patronage and Public esteem. I beg leave to reply to such part of the letter as concerns myself.
I am sir, your most obedient servant,
“Friends in England! Beware of a letter in the ‘Sydney Gazette’ of July 1, 1824, signed ‘Scaevola,’ the following being a true account.
“It is publicly known, on the discovery of New Shetland, that a great annual supply of seal-skins was expected from that very extensive island; and, in consequence of the page 270 superior fur on skins from that place, with the great quantities brought to the London market, all other resorts for seal were abandoned for about three years, when Mr. Grono left this port for the purpose of getting seal skins on the coast of New Zealand, or such other place as they were likely to resort. Since that time it is nearly two years, and Grono has brought three returns to this port, making in the whole 12,000 fur skins, but this may chiefly be owing to his accurate knowledge of the seal's resort, having been twenty years in that trade on the same coast. The next brig that left that place was the Wellington, Mr. Joseph Underwood owner, with other vessels, all of which have not brought to the port forty thousand fur seal skins, in the period of two years; and all those acquainted with sealing, can safely pronounce, that there will not be so many procured in the next two years, even allowing they had time to increase; whereas of late they have been harassed and driven from the ground; therefore, how can Scaevola assert to the Public, that next year we may reasonably anticipate (says this ingenious writer) 40 or 50,000 skins will be brought to Sydney. Surely this is attempting to undervalue the skins, or he could never attempt to infringe on common sense, by asserting, so confidently, that in one year we are to have more skins than were obtained in about two; when the reverse seems so probable. No doubt he wants to purchase the seal skins; and for his information I do inform him, that a Sydney merchant gave me, for upwards of 5,000 skins, fifteen shillings each; and it is to be hoped, that they will get dearer, as it is likely there will not be one skin caught this season to every three the former….
No. 72 George St., Sydney.
Anything in the nature of a trade correspondence by parties engaged in sealing at that early date is so rare, that many points of great value are to be obtained from these letters, and out of the subsequent ones another extract is given to show to what extent the seals on the New Zealand page 271 coast had been treated in the manner suggested by the writer.
“I do assert of late the southern and western coasts of New Zealand have been infested with Europeans and New Zealanders, who, without consideration, have killed the pups before they are prime, and the clap matches before pupping, for the sake of eating their carcasses; the consequence of which is, that the increase of seals will be totally extinct in about three years on the coast. This circumstance will illustrate what I am about to observe, when I state that the seals will not resort to the ground frequented by man. The rookeries they are found at, in the various latitudes, induce me to say, with confidence, that four vessels well fitted out, with proper knowledge of the coasts, would procure as many seal skins as ten vessels; the only difference that would arise, being that of the quantity which must be divided among the ten.”13
There is no doubt, from the above correspondence, that the Sydney sealers were doing with the New Zealand seals what they had formerly done with the Bass Strait seals and what called for the warning from the French Commodore, Baudin, in 1802. What more destructive system of killing could be devised than waging war against the young and the mothers in young? The further narrative will show how prophetic was the statement that three years would see the last of the trade.
Early in 1824, an English captain while passing through Cook Strait had an interesting experience. On 26th February, while on a journey to Lima and lying becalmed about five or six miles from the land, in the vicinity of Kapiti Island, Captain Reynolds of the Urania was astonished to see three canoes of Maoris coming towards the vessel. Alarmed at this apparently warlike demonstration, preparations were made for action, and when the canoes came within hail they were ordered to keep off. page 272 The natives however, had no warlike intentions and the big canoe with the chief on board gradually drew closer until she ranged alongside.14
Captain Reynolds was placed in a very awkward position. The Maoris could only be kept off by firing into the canoes, and to do that meant a legacy of trouble for any English ships which might thereafter visit the coast in search of protection from the elements. Under the circumstances the peacefully disposed canoe could scarcely be prevented from coming alongside, and when she was allowed to do that, the chief, Te Pehi, with no other clothing on but a mat, immediately jumped on deck, and asked for arms. When told that there were none, he intimated, with what little English he had at his command, that he intended to stay on board and go to England to see King George. Saying this, he waved his canoes off. Captain Reynolds ordered him back into his canoe but he declined to obey. Efforts were made to throw him overboard and let the canoes pick him up, but he held on so tenaciously to the deck fittings as to defy the efforts of the seamen. To ensure his object, Te Pehi ordered the canoes to return to the shore, saying he had taken a passage to Europe.
Captain Reynolds did not give up hope of getting rid of his self-invited passenger, and the following day, at the eastern mouth of Cook Strait, attempted to land him. In doing this the Urania was very nearly lost and the Captain had to reconcile himself to the inevitable, much to the satisfaction of Te Pehi.
Notwithstanding what had happened, the Maori chief was very handsomely treated by the captain of the Urania and, when the vessel was at Lima, Monte Video and Buenos Ayres, lived ashore with him. On board he sat at the captain's table and everything was done to familiarize him with European manners and customs.
After his arrival in Liverpool, on 13th February, 1825, Te Pehi became ill, and for fear of his catching the cow-pox, was vaccinated. Naturally the chief became much page 273 attached to his friend the captain, and at the first talk of separation threatened to put an end to his existence. Although Reynolds acquired some of the Maori language, Te Pehi was unequal to the task of mastering the intricacies of English. The position brought about by this peculiar relationship began to be felt as a heavy financial drain upon the captain, whose small means were quite unequal to the added burden of the chief's maintenance. Reynolds therefore, in April, 1825, applied to Earl Bathurst for financial assistance and the latter recommended the payment of £1 per day from the date of the chief's arrival. The recommendation was approved by the Treasury and payments made.
In June, arrangements were made for his return in the Henry Porcher, a convict ship, but as he was suffering from spitting of blood and chicken pox at the time, his medical attendant, Dr. Traill, would not permit him to depart. So far he had not seen the King. A suggestion was made that the chief should be sent out by the New Zealand Company's expedition, but it came to nothing. Finally an opportunity presented itself with the Thames, a Government hired ship bound for Sydney, and Te Pehi was put on board early in October, 1825.
During a stay in Liverpool of about eight months Te Pehi was taken by Captain Reynolds to visit the principal manufactories and public buildings, in Liverpool, Birmingham, Gloucester and London, and before leaving was fitted out with wearing apparel, carpenter's tools, agricultural implements, and sundries of all kinds. The gallant captain also did his best to teach him the use of the various implements of husbandry which were sent with him. As the treatment of the chief was with the object of paving the way for a good reception of English sailors in New Zealand waters, it was but right that the cost of what had been done should not fall upon Captain Reynolds, and the modest sum of £200 was paid him from the Treasury.page 274
From that time until his return to Kapiti his movements are rather obscure, but the Thames went to Ireland and sailed from Cork on 14th November with a number of emigrants for Sydney, reaching that port on 11th April, 1826. On her voyage she called at Teneriffe and Pernambuco, leaving the former place on 29th November and the latter on 11th January. After his arrival in Sydney Te Pehi remained with Marsden until an opportunity presented itself of returning to Kapiti15
For a general account of Te Pehi's stay in Liverpool the reader is referred to “The New Zealanders,” published in 1830, pp 317 et seq., where will be found an extremely readable narrative, though some of the dates and a few of the incidents may require revision. The errors in the dates have found their way into the late Mr. Travers' work on Te Rauparaha and must have affected that writer's calculations, but to what extent it is difficult to say.