Journal of the Nelson and Marlborough Historical Societies, Volume 1, Issue 2, November 1982
"Hillersden" Run No. 6 (1854)
"Hillersden" Run No. 6 (1854)
Edward David Sweet squatted on this run in 1848. and was granted a depasture licence in 1849 (Run No. 2) of that year. He was one of the first to erect a house in which to live in the Wairau Valley. The lower half was built of cob and the upper of timber, which was milled at the Big Bush, Grovetown, near Blenheim, by pitsawyers and carted to Hillersden in Bullock drays. This homestead was about a mile to the south of Highway 63 on Section 32 Block VIII Mount Olympus Survey District, and about four miles south-west from Wairau Valley township. By 1914 the house had fallen into disuse, and only the sheep-yards nearby on Section 31 are shown on Map of Sections (1914).
Originally the northern boundary of the run was along surveyed sections (Budge's 1848). Eastwards by Hillersden Stream, over Sweets Saddle and down Sweets Stream to Waihopai River, up the Neatherwood Stream and over a hill known as the Wether Hill, and down a stream later known as Forty Eight Valley to survey peg 47/48. Sweet came to New Zealand on the sailing ship Lord Auckland, 628 tons. leaving from Gravesend 25th September. 1941, and arrived in Nelson 23rd February 1842. He is shown on the passenger list as a bank clerk. His neighbour to the east of Hillersden was C. F. W. Watts at "Lansdowne", and after taking over Jenkin's Run No. 4 in 1854 his neighbour to the west was N- G. Morse on "Wantwood". To the south-west was G. H. Meyers on "Te Arowhenua".
Both Sweet and Jenkins were able to purchase some surveyed sections (Budge's Survey 1848) in front of their runs, but not all. Dr. Joseph Foord Wilson bought eight of them in a row of good land between the main road and the hills, and to the east of Sweet's homestead section.
To the Wairau Valley in 1854, from Australia, came the Carter brothers, Thomas. James and Joseph. Thomas Carter was their leader, and was to have a big influence on the sheep farming of the Wairau, as well as serving on the Provincial Council of Marlborough for fourteen years and becoming the Province's third Superintendent.
The Carter brothers were born near Winterton in Lincolnshire. England. In early manhood. Tom, at least, left England and tried his luck on the Californian goldfields, nd from there the brothers made their way to the newly found goldfields of Australia, before coming to Marlborough in 1854. Soon they were grazing stock as far away as the Acheron and Clarence Valleys, and in 1859 they were granted a depasturage licence over country from the Dillon River to Jollies Pass. They later extended this run up the Acheron. Clarence, Severn and Alma Rivers.
In 1862, A. G. Jenkins sold some of his freehold sections in the Wairau to E. D. Sweet and the balance to Carter Bros. E. D. Sweet had returned to live in England in 1859, first at Little Birkhamstead in the county of Hereford, but later near Lymington in Hampshire. Just who ran Hillersden from 1859 to 1864 is not clear, whether it was by a manager or on lease or on shares, but in 1864 on 12th July a deed of lease was drawn up between Edward David Sweet on the one hand and Samuel Hellier Pike and Charles Saxton on the other, for a transfer of the licence of Hillersden Run and the lease of certain freehold lands along with a flock of sheep. Pike and Saxton did not do well and had to sell and transfer their interests in the run and flock of sheep to Carter Bros, in 1865 and 1866. In 1869 Sweet sold his interest in Hillersden to Carter Bros.
In 1867 Joseph Carter returned to Winterton in England where he died in early December of that year. He died intestate and his brother James became his heir at law. In 1877 Carter Bros, disposed of their holdings in the Clarence and lower Acheron Valleys to W. A. Low, in order to concentrate their energies closer to Hillersden. They had already purchased Stronvar Run in the Waihopai from S. H. Pike in 1865 and in 1880 they purchased Wantwood Run No. 3 of 15,381 acres for 13,000 pounds with the flock of sheep and station stock. In June of 1881 they purchased Te Arowhenua Run No. 48, from G- H. Meyers's widow. This gave Carter Bros, a fairly compact area all contiguous of over 79,000 acres.
Thomas Carter had married Catherine Schroder, daughter of G. W. Schroder in 1866. James Carter died in 1881. toward the end of the year, and left half his share in the estate to his brother, the rest of it being divided among a half-brother and two half-sisters who resided in Lincolnshire, England.
In 1891 Thomas Carter bought the Wither Run No. 14. earlier known as Taylors River Run, on the outskirts of Blenheim, which at that time included several flat sections of land to the south of Alabama Road, and also the Burleigh homestead on the south-west corner of Blenheim where he and his wife lived from 1897 until his death in 1900.
His manager at Hillersden was James Bell who was also one of his trustees, and carried on Hillersden with considerable efficiency until the run was sold to the Crown for closer settlement in 1914.