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Early Wellington

Chapter X

page 102

Chapter X.

The First Horticultural Show—Arrival of the “Birman”—Survey Cadets—Arrival of the “London”—Post Office Fire—Election Day—Races on the Pito-one Beach Raupo House Fire—Arival of the “George Fyfe”—Swainson's Farm

“Like rubies set in gold shall blush,
Your vineyards girt with corn,
And oil and wine and gladness gush
From Almathea's horn.
Cheer up! Cheer up! Your course then keep,
With dauntless heart and hand;
And when you've ploughed a stormy deep
Then plough a smiling land.”
Thos. Campbell, 1839.

The whole of January, and the first part of February were remarkable for a long continuance of fine dry weather. During this space, however, light showers at night were frequent, and there was at no time more than nine days and nights entirely without rain. Nothing could be more seasonable for the grain harvest in the Colony; and refreshing rains fell at the end of February to save the pasture on the hills from parching, and to keep the potato crop from injury.

The first Horticultural Show was held on the 24th January, 1842. Two cabbages, grown on mere shingle at Pito-one, within 30 yards of the sea-beach, weighed respectively 21½ and 12lbs. (Hybrid and early Fulham). Some of the kidney potatoes grown at the Hutt, from native seed, measured 9 inches in length. Specimens of the red flat turnip were shown, 19 inches in circumference, and weighing 2½lbs., and of the common white turnip, 21 inches in circumference, and weighing 3lbs. The wheat had full and large ears. Apples, the first fruits of trees imported from England, were exhibited. Every other sort of vegetable figured in the list of prizes, and seedlings geraniums and dahlias represented the flower garden.

The “Birman.”

This ship, which has already been described in the opening chapter, was of 450 tons register, and was commanded by Capt. James Cleland. She left Gravesend in October, 1841, and arrived in February, 1842, with 53 married couples, 15 single men, 12 single women, 47 children under fourteen, 38 under seven, and 16 under one. 15 births and 12 deaths occurred on Board. The following persons, some of whom became well known in the settlement, augmented the rapidly increasing population:—

page 103
Name Age Wife's Age No. of Children
Agaga, Thomas (a New Zealander). 19
Allen, Eli 20
Bell, John and Jane 34 39 4
Bell, Wm. and Hannah 39 39 4
Bell, Ann 15
Bradshaw, John and Mary Ann 28 22
Briggs, Martha 38
Buck, George and Mary 23 24 1
Burford, Robert 18
Cayley, Thos. and Mary A. 38 37 6
Carpenter, Robt. Holt 21
Carpenter, Harriet 23
Chapman, Henry 22 1
Chapman, Sarah 27
Chapple, Jas 30 2
Chapple, Maria 27
Clarke, —
Clapham, Joseph 38 3
Clapham, Sarah 37
Clapham, George, 18; Ellen 16
Clapham, William 14
Clapham, Sarah 20
Collis, Chas. 30 3
Collis, Ann 30
Cronin, Patrick 38 3
Cronin (Wife) 36
Crowther, Sam 20 1
Crowther, Eliza 18
Davey, William 37 4
Darvey, Eliza 35
Day, Robert 26
Day, Sarah 20
Duck, John 21 1
Duck, Eliza 21
Dunn, Wm. 38 4
Dunn, Mary 37
Ferguson, Mary 30
Furniss, John 14
Furniss, Smith 17
Furniss, Wm., 28; Sarah 27
*Gill, George 20
Gillespie, Andrew 36 3
Gillespie, Christian 36
Harding, John 21
Harding, Emma 20
Haigh, Geo. 33 3
Haigh, Elizabeth 35
Harvey, Jane 14
Hill, James H. 26
Hobbs, Chas. 30 2
Hobbs, Sarah 31
Hodges, Wm. 24 1
Hodges, Elizabeth 21
Hodges, Chas., 20; L. Jane 19
Hunt, Geo. Prior 32
Hunt, Ann Sophia 26
Ladbroke, Wm. 23
Ladbroke, Eliza 22
Levi, Elizabeth 20
Lewis, Evan 39 4
Lewis, Ann
Lismore, Geo. 24
Lismore, Mary Ann 22
Lowndes, Lewis 28
Lowndes, Mary Ann 25
Ludwell, Wm. 36
Ludwell, Harriet 35
Maxton, Samuel 26
Maxton, Henrietta 20
Mellor, James 28 1
Mellor, Mary 24
Mills, Chas. 38 5
Mills, Eliza Sophia 40
Milson, Daniel 30
Milson, Elizabeth 20
Monk, John 32 6
Monk, Phœbe 32
Morgan, Thomas 32 3
Morgan, Mary Ann 34
Nott, William 26
Nott, Ann 32
Parry, Thos. 28
Parry, Mary 21
Patterson, Rob 39 1
Patterson, Ellen 39
Patterson, Mary, 18; Wm. 15
Penfold, Stephen 31 4
Penfold, Harriet 32
Perkins, Geo. 23
Perkins, Sarah 22
Phillips, John 34 4
Phillips, Hannah 34
Read, John 35
Read, Prudence 38
Richards, Jas. 22 1
Richards, Sarah 23
Sarjent, Henry 25 2
Sarjent, Louiza Catherine 24
Solomon, Esther 18
Sparks, Jordan 28 1
Sparks, Mary Ann 22
Startup, Robert 23 1
Startup, Sophia 19
Stewart, Richard 39 5
Stewart, Mary 38
Stewart, Lewis, 18; Chas. 16
Taylor, George 38 2
Taylor, Sarah 27
Tonks, Wm. 35 5
Tonks, Jane 36
Torr, Joseph 27 3
Torr, Julia 29
Vaughan, Jas. 37 1
Vaughan, Jane 37
Waters, George 30 2
Waters, Susan 28
Waters, Thomas 16

Some letters, written by a lady passenger on the “Birman,” were published in “Chamber's Edinburgh Journal,” 1848, No. 257, Vol. 9.

page 104

A few extracts are given as under:—

“Cape of Good Hope.
December 30th, 1841.

“Dearest Annie,

“Here we are at the Cape, and a delightful place it is, especially to us, who have been tossing for weeks on the billows. What a luxury is soft bread and fresh meat. Everything we could desire is brought on board to us and all very cheap. We have good wine at fourpence and six-pence a bottle, and fine mutton and beef at three half-pence a pound.

“Many of our companions would like to land here and finish the journey.

“Employment being plentiful and provisions cheap, but rents are high.

“We have had a favourable voyage, parted with sea sickness and have voracious appetites.

“This is the last day of the year and as warm as summer at Home.

“Grog was served on Christmas Day, and we are to have a pint of wine on New Year's Day.

“The doctor on board serves as chaplain also.”

“Port Nicholson,
July 28th, 1842.

“Dearest Annie,

“After leaving the Cape we had a good voyage until nearing New Zealand. The captain diverted from the right course, and we were nearly wrecked; and should have run on some reefs but for the timely warning of a stranger who put off in a boat and was just in time to intercept us while within a few hundred yards of the sunken reef. The right track was discovered and we at length reached the harbour in safety.

“On getting on shore, we found what a wretched place we had come to.

“The building intended for our occupation had been appropriated by a ship load of emigrants who had the good fortune to arrive before us. The result was that we were crammed into a large empty storeroom, just like an old barn, filthy beyond description, and overrun with rats.

“Here a space was chalked out for each family on the rough flooring, and here our little property, together with rations for a fortnight were conveyed, and we were finally left for good and all to shift for ourselves.

“There were heart-breaking scenes. The most sanguine lost heart, and many women wept and wrung their hands.

“I could have done the same, but my husband wore such a dismal face that I forebore.

“We arranged our things as well as we could and curtained our corner off. Then went into the bush close by, cut some small twigs, made a broom, and swept the floor and walls. Our example was followed by others, and we found ourselves better off than on board ship as we could get in and out as we chose. We were banished to this outlandish place at the end of the earth and thought we would never stay here. We found the natives a fine lot of people: dark brown skin, and most of them tattooed in fanciful patterns, which suffices for clothes for some of them. Some are dressed in loin cloth and tattoe.”

Wellington, October, 1841.

Dearest Annie


“My husband rented a small piece of land, 60 × 24; barely sufficient for the site of a decent home, for £9 per year, and has built a small house on it, and has opened up a store. We sell whatever was bought and do business with Maoris and Pakeha, who daily flock to the store. We sell clothing, bread, potatoes, which page 105 latter we buy from the Maoris. My husband earns a little at carpentry. Some of our fellow passengers are half starved for want of employment, and were in a miserable position in winter, when storms and tempests of rain prevailed. Once we could not venture out of doors for weeks together. We were sometimes soaked to the skin, for we could not hold an umbrella up.

“Gross immorality prevails amongst the Colonists. Some seem to have left every moral and religious obligation behind them. Bishop Selwyn has lately landed here; he is much liked at present. I hope his example and exertions, which are very much wanted, will be of general use. I retain my health wonderfully. My husband is well and picking up the language. The Maoris are fond of us, because we are uniformly kind to them. They call me ——, and are quite as familiar as you could be.”

Wellington, December 11th, 1843.

Dearest Annie,

“The country appears all mountains and vales. Trees everywhere which are always in full leaf, there being never sufficient frost to kill the foliage. As our stock increased, we had to use our building to accommodate it. We hired a house of two rooms, built of clay and thatched with toi-toi. Work is not too plentiful, about two days employment during the week for each. Auction sales take place on the arrival of vessels. Our credit being good we buy from natives and Colonists, some of whom sell the clothes from their backs through destitution. Some in good circles in England have parted with everything, lead miserable and degraded lives, skulking in the bush and drowning their sorrows in drink—when able.…

The “Brougham.”

Edward Jerningham Wakefield, in his diary for the month of September, refers to the arrival of the above vessel:—

“The ‘Brougham,’ after making a passage of 92 days last year to London with her cargo of oil and bone, returned on the 9th February, 1842, with a new Chief Surveyor for the Company, Mr. Brees, who superseded Captain Smith.

“He was accompanied by a large suite of young gentlemen, engaged by the Company for three years as ‘Surveying Cadets.’ I had met two or three of these on the Porirua Road when I came into town, with labourers and theodolites and other baggage, starting for the Manawatu. I remember laughing at their dandified appearance, and wondering what new arrivals had thus suddenly and without preparation taken to the bush. Everything about them was so evidently new; their guns just out of their cases, fastened across tight-fitting shooting jackets by patent leather belts; their forage caps of superfine cloth; and their white collars relieved by new black silk neckerchiefs. Some positively walked with gloves and dandy-cut trousers; and to crown all, their faces shone with soap. I sat down on the stump of a tree and vastly enjoyed the cockney procession, wondering how long the neatness of their appearance and the fastidiousness of their walk as they stepped over the muddy places (caused by a shower of rain the night before), would last.

“They considered me as one of the curiosities of the interior, turning up their page 106 noses with evident contempt at my rough red woollen smock, belted over a coarse cotton check shirt, without neck-cloth, and stout duck trousers, and gaping with horror at my long hair, unshaven beard, and short black pipe, half hidden under a broad-brimmed and rather dirty Manilla hat. They appeared, too, to view with some distrust a sheath knife, about eighteen inches long in the blade, which I had made my constant companion and with which I was cutting up negro head tobacco.”

Population—Prison—and Post Office.

The British population of the Company's settlement (writes Wakefield), “was at this time about 5000, including 3000 at Wellington and in the immediate vicinity, 150 at Whanganui, 1000 at Nelson, 600 at New Plymouth, and 200 in other parts of Cook Strait.”

About sixty prisoners were at the Wellington gaol, chiefly mutinous or runaway sailors, “but there were some felons,” states a newspaper of the 9th March, 1842, “and one person at least confined for debt only. They are all huddled together in a wretched Maori building, large enough for twelve or fifteen human beings at the most. We are told that the atmosphere is almost suffocating.” The same authority states: “A decent building for a Post Office is also especially required. On Sunday last we saw Mr. Mantell stuffing an old potato-sack amongst the reeds of the dilapidated hut he occupies as Post Master, to prevent the wind from blowing the letters off the table on which he had assorted them for delivery. One-fifteenth part of the revenue collected here and remitted to Auckland would suffice for the buildings needed.”

Arrival of the Ship “London.”

On the 1st May, 1842, the “London” arrived at Wellington for the second time from England, with pasengers and cargo.

Mrs. Wills, one of the passengers, brought the first pheasants to New Zealand. A cock and three hens were landed in safety, and were passed on by Mrs. Wills to Mr. E. J. Wakefield, to have them placed under his charge. A hive of bees, also belonging to this lady, had unfortunately died on the passage.

The “London,” 700 tons, commanded by Capt. Attwood, sailed from Gravesend, in January, 1842, with 55 married couples, 14 single men, 13 single women, 24 children under fourteen, and 15 under seven.

15 deaths and one birth occurred on board. One birth occurred on shore, after landing.

The passengers comprised the following:—

Name Age No. of Children
Abbott, M. E.
Acourt, Jas. and Cathie
Andrews, Wm. and Eliza —-
Attwood, Susannah
Barb, Jas. and Mary 2
Barratt, Wm. and Mary Ann 6
Bee, Francis and Ann 1
Benton, Tim and Mary 1
Benton, Elizabeth, 16; Francis 15
Bidmead, John and Sarah 1
Bird, Wm. and Mary
Brewer, Wm. and Caroline 3
Burley, —
Burling, Henry and Mary 5
Calvert, Will
Cattell, Jas. and Mary 4
Cattell, Wm. and Elizabeth 1
Chamberlain, Thomas and Susan
Cheesman, Mrs. Ann 2
Cheesman, Mrs. Robert
Collier, Jos. and Harriett Ann 1
Collins, J. Power and Marg. 3
Collins, Jeremiah 17
Conlan, Richard and Mary 1
Dale, Wm.
Dixon, Jos. and Mary 2
Dixon, Chas. and Mary 2
Dockray, Sam and Hannah 3
Dougherty, Mrs. Daniel page 107
Dougherty, Mrs. Sarah 2
Eades, Wm. and harriett 3
Edwards, Rob 5
Empson, Mrs. Thomas
Felgate, Geo. and Martha 3
Fitchett, John and Louise 7
Florence, Thos. and Celia
Hall, Wm. Jabez and Maria 5
Hamilton, Mrs. Will
Harvey, Wm. and Sarah
Harvey, Chas 21; Alfred 18
Harvey, John17; and Sarah 22
Harvey, Jos and Sarah 1
Hodder, Walter and Emma 1
Holder, Wm. and Martha 3
Mollingworth, E. and Phillis 2
Hurley, Alex and Ann
Ikin, John and Jane 1
James, John C. and Eliza 4
Jenkins, Wm. and Cath. 2
Jones, Hen. and Mary 4
Judd, John and Selina 1
Kelham, Mrs. Georgina
Kelham, Mrs. James
Lockyer, Thos. and Eliza 3
Loweston, A. Rushton 20
Marshall, D. Watt
Martin, Mrs. Emma 2
Mason, Wm. and Lucy Ann
Mason, Wm. Fred 14; L. Ann 16
Matthews, Ch. and Eliza 1
McCarthy, Jos and Mary Ann
Poulter, Samuel and Wife
Remington, John and Rebecca
Rider, Thomas
Rogers, Chas. and Elizabeth
Saunders, Jos and Rose
Saunders, William and Maria
Scott, James and Catherine
Shepherd, Mrs. William
Short, Jas. and Charlotte 4
Stockbridge, Steph and Mary 5
Tarr, John and Eliza 3
Tattle, John and Ann 4
Taylor, Jas. and Elizabeth
Telgate, Geo. and Martha 3
Thomas, Wm. and Sophia 2
Tomkins, John and Mary 4
Torre, Mrs. Henry
Wallace, Mrs. Richard
Whale, Nathaniel
White, Amelia
Williams, Dav and Eliza 2
Willis, Mrs. Margaret
Worsley, Thos. and Ann
To Mrs. M. A. McCarthy, Feb. 16, a son.
  Rebecca Remington (May 2nd, 1942, daughter, at Port Nicholson).
Deaths 1842
Joseph Dixon 9m. Jan. 3
Edwin Matthews 9m. Jan. 25
John Jenkins 12m. Feb. 2
Wm. Stockbridge 8m. Feb. 4
Ed. Chamberlain 10m. Feb. 5
Eliza Lockyer 6m. Feb. 16
Phebe Edwards 36yrs. Feb. 24
Henry Edwards 10m. Feb. 28
William Barb 5m. Mar. 5
Thomas Barb 2yrs. Mar. 8
Chas. Burling 2yrs. Mar. 9
Mary Barb 19m. Mar. 17
Eliza Williams 19m. Mar. 19
Jane Jenkins 2yrs. Mar. 30
Mary Jones 6m. Ap. 18

Sheep and Cattle.

On the 13th of May, 1842, a brother of Mr. John Carne Bidwill brought down a ship-load of sheep, cattle and horses from Sydney.

The latter were principally brood mares of the best New South Wales blood, which Mr. Molesworth and others had ordered

The Post Office and Court House Fire.

A fire, which Wakefield describes as an “awful conflagration,” occurred on the 5th July, 1842. Some carpenters employed in erecting a house on the beach (Lambton Quay) near the court house (site of temporary Anzac Memorial) discovered flames issuing from the building which had long done duty as Post Office, Court of Justice, Police Office, and Church. The structure was burnt to the ground in half an hour.

Fortunately, Mr. Halswell and the Police Magistrate had for some time doubted the security of the edifice, so kept their documents at their respective homes, and some of the carpenters saved what was lying or blowing about in the Post Office. The whole damage done was estimated at nearly five pounds.

The Launching of the “Maori Davis.”

The schooner “Maori Davis” was launched from Meech's shipbuilding yard, page 108 Thorndon Quay, on the 5th August, 1842. It was the first vessel built for a bona fide native owner. Mr. Davis entertained a large number of European and Native friends, among whom were Dr. Featherston, Messrs. R. R. Strang, E. Halswell, Chiefs Wi Tako, Moturoa and others. The table was laid out in first-rate European order, the dinner was sumptuous, and the wines excellent.

Election of Aldermen.

Ever since the proclamation of the Borough in August, the settlers had looked forward with eagerness and excitement to the election for Aldermen and Mayor, which was set down for 3rd October, 1842. The Act provided that all male inhabitants should be entitled to register their votes with the sub-sheriff by paying one pound sterling; 350 persons availed themselves of the privilege. The usual competition took place between the gentry and the working men. Each party formed a committee, which suggested a list of Aldermen for election. Meetings were held, and canvassing began even before the registration of voters. Some of the registry fees were paid by the committees. The meetings were most stormy; and at one of them Dr. Evans was pulled off the table (upon which he had climbed in order to addressed his audience) by visiting stockman from Australia.

On the day of the Poll, flags and a band were paraded on the beach with some of the popular candidates; distinctive cockades were worn; and the straw hut inside the Pa (Police Office), now used as the polling booth, was surrounded by agents of both parties, eager to force cards with their own list into the hands of each voter as he arrived. The usual tricks and intrigues were resorted to, and bribery in the shape of glasses of grog, was much in evidence.

The first Mayor of Wellington was Mr. George Hunter, one of the earliest colonists. He was of advanced years, with a large family, and a merchant of the first standing in the place. He was also a Justice of the Peace

Burgess Roll for the Borough Of Wellington, 1843.

Copied from the Printed Sheet kindly lent by Mr. W. E. Bethune.
 1. Allen, W. Manners Street
 2. Allsdorf, Von C. Lambton Quay.
 3. Anderson, Archd. Thorndon Quay.
 4. Annear, Jas. Sidney Street.
 5. Biard, Jas. Cuba Street.
 6. Baird, John Cuba Street.
 7. Baker, Richd. Lambton Quay.
 8. Barr, John Lambton Quay.
 9. Bell, Jas. Lambton Quay.
10. Bethune, Kenneth Lambton Quay.
11. Bevan, Thos. Lambton Quay.
12. Bewick, Wm. Te Aro.
13. Bolton, Fredk. Thorndon Quay.
14. Boulcott, Jos. Te Aro.
15. Bould, Robt. Tinakori Road.
16. Brees, S. C. Hawkestone Street.
17. Brice, John Terrace.
18. Brooke, S. Pipitea Point.
19. Brown, R. Lambton Quay.
20. Brown, W. H. Lambton Quay.
21. Buck, Geo. Thorndon Flat.
22. Buck, H. Thorndon Flat.
23. Bull, Jas. Pipitea Pa.
24. Butler, W. S. Willis Street.
25. Catchpool, E. P. Dixon Street.
26. Cimino, S. Lambton Quay.
27. Clifford, C. Thorndon Flat.
28. Collier, R. Thorndon Quay.
29. Collins, Jas. Thorndon Quay
30. Cooper W. A. Te Aro.
31. Curtis, Geo. Tinakori Road.
32. Davis, Ed. Hawkestone Street.
33. Davis, Rowland Lambton Quay.
34. Dimond, John Tinakori Road.
35. Dorset, John Lambton Quay.
36. Duck, J. Ghuznee Street.
37. Duffield, G. Berhampore.
38. Durie, David Lambton Quay.
39. Edwards, G. Hawkestone Street.
40. Evans, M. Te Aro.
41. Evans, John Thorndon Flat.
42. Featherston, I. E. Terrace.
43. Fellingham, G. Woolcombe Street.
44. Ferguson, John Te Aro.
45. Fisher, Wm. Willis Street.
46. Fitchett, John Bolton Street.
47. Fitzherbert, W. Farish Street.
48. Ford, Jas. Te Aro.
49. Forster, J. R. Willis Street.
50. Fox, Ed. Hill Street.page 109
51. Fuller, John Manners Street.
52. Gower, John Wright Street.
53. Guthrie, Thos. Willis Street.
54. Guyton, Wm. Te Aro.
55. Hansard, J. T. Manners Street.
56. Hanson, R. D. Terrace.
57. Hay, Wm. Te Aro.
58. Hendry, Thos. Cuba Street.
59. Hewitt, Alf Lambton Quay.
60. Hill, H. St. Hawkestone Street.
61. Hort, A. Abel Smith Street.
62. Hort, A., Junr. Te Aro.
63. Hort, Alfd. Te Aro.
64. Houghton, Robt. Willis Street.
65. Hume, Peter Willis Street.
66. Hunter, Geo. Willis Street.
67. Isaac, David Lambton Quay.
68. Jenkins, Robt. Manners Street.
69. Johnson, David Te Aro.
70. Johnson, Ed. Lambton Quay.
71. Johnson, John Lambton Quay.
72. Johnson, Wm. Manners Street.
73. Kelham, Jas. Mt. Albyn.
74. Kemble, Robt. Murphy Street.
75. Kennedy, Thos Te Aro.
76. Knox, F. J. Willis Street.
77. Langdon, R. Herbert Street.
78. Levin, Nat Lambton Quay.
79. Levy, Sol. Mount Cook.
80. Lewis, Dav. Tinakori Road.
81. London, H. Terrace.
82. Lloyd, John Lambton Quay.
83. Lyall, Alex. Lambton Quay.
84. Lyon, Wm. Lambton Quay.
85. McCarthy, J. Te Aro.
86. McKenzie, T. Ghuznee Street.
87. McLaggan, J. Terrace.
88. McNally, Jas. Lambton Quay.
89. Mitchell, F. Lambton Quay.
90. Monsheer, C. Lambton Quay.
91. Moore, Geo. Lambton Quay.
92. Muir, J. Wm. Manners Street.
93. Michol, Wm. Pipitea Pah.
94. Norgrove, Wm. Lambton Quay.
95. Omeara, Timy. Park Street.
96. Park, Robt. Terrace.
97. Partridge, T. M. Te Aro.
98. Penny, C. M. Te Aro.
99. Pharazin, C. Pipitea Pah.
100. Pike, Wm. Thorndon Flat.
101. Pilcher, S. Wright Street.
102. Pratt, T. D. Te Aro.
103. Prince, Ed. Tinakori Road.
104. Rae, Thos. Lambton Quay.
105. Reading, J. B. Terrace.
106. Reid, Alex Te Aro.
107. Reid, H. Lambton Quay.
108. Rhodes, W. B. Te Aro.
109. Richardson, T. Willis Street.
110. Roberts, Jas. Thorndon Flat.
111. Robertson, A. Willis Street.
112. Roe, Ed. S. Manners Street.
113. Roe, Ed., Junr. Manners Street.
114. Roots, John Thorndon Flat.
115. Ross, Hugh Lambton Quay.
116. Saint, Thos. Manners Street.
117. Sayers, B. Lambton Quay.
118. Scott, Geo. Will.
119. Sharp, Chas. Terrace.
120. Shelton, Wm. Lambton Quay.
121. Sheppard, Wm. D. Terrace.
122. Squib, C. H. Herbert Street.
123. Stacey, J. Thorndon Flat.
124. Stafford, Ed. Lambton Quay.
125. Stevens, C. Thorndon Flat.
126. Stokes, J. M. Woolcombe Street.
127. Stratford, G. A. Lambton Quay.
128. Strang, R. R. Woolcombe Street.
129. Suisted, C. Lambton Quay.
130. Sutton, R. Lambton Quay.
131. Taine, Jas. Lambton Quay.
132. Tomlin, John Hobson Street.
133. Vavasour, Wm. Thorndon Flat.
134. Villiers, Wm. Ghuznee Street.
135. Vincent, W. E. Ghuznee Street.
136. Wade, J. Te Aro.
137. Waitt, Robt. Te Aro.
138. Wallace, John Lambton Quay.
139. Wallace, J. H. Lambton Quay.
140. Wallace, W. E. Te Aro.
141. Ward, Jas. Te Aro
142. Waters, Geo. Te Aro
143. Waterson, J. Thorndon Flat.
144. Watt, J. Tinakori Road.
145. Watson, T. H. Thorndon Flat.
146. Welsh, H. Lambton Quay.
147. Whabby, T. Tinakori Road.
148. White, J. Willis Street.
149. Wilson, J. Willis Street.
150. Woodward, J. Hawkestone Street.
151. Yule, John Te Aro.
152. Yule, Moses Te Aro.

It appears that although 350 persons paid the free of £1 Os. Od, only 152 names were printed.

Municipal Council, 1842.

Returned at the first Election of Aldermen for the Borough of Wellington.

George Hunter, Willis St., Merchant 273 votes.
William Lyon, Lambton Qy., Storekeeper 237 votes.
William Fitzherbert, Farish St., Merchant 220 votes.
John Wade, Te Aro, Auctioneer 212 votes.
George Scott, Willis St., Carpenter 196 votes.
F. A. Molesworth, Hutt River, Farmer 182 votes.
John Dorset, Lambton Qy., Surgeon 176 votes.
Robert Waitt, Te Aro, Merchant 164 votes.
William Guyton, Te Aro, Merchant 155 votes.
Abraham Hort, Te Aro, Merchant 155 votes.
Edward Johnson, Lambton Qy., Merchant 151 votes.
Robert Jenkins, Manners St., Publican 149 votes.
Reserve List. Out of which all Extraordinary Vacancies were to be supplied.
John Howard Wallace, Merchant, Lambton Quay 144 votes.page 110
Richard Davis Hanson, Solicitor, Wellington 126 votes.
Wm. Anthony Cooper, Carpenter, Te Aro 125 votes.
Edward Daniell, Gentleman, Te Aro 124 votes.
Thos. M. Machattie, Merchant, Lambton Qy. 122 votes.
Henry Taylor, Storekeeper, Willis St. 117 votes.
(N.Z. Journal, 18th March, 1843, p. 66.)

The Corporation Ordinance was disallowed soon after the Election because it placed the power of establishing beacons and lighthouses in the hands of the Corporation.

The only lands vested in the Corporation of Wellington were the belt reserved round the town for ornament and recreation, and the land which might be reclaimed from the sea.

The Municipality of Wellington had been in existence nearly a year when this disallowance put an end to its operations. After the death of Mr. Hunter, Mr. Wm. Guyton had been elected Mayor. No taxes were imposed. Measures were passed for the preservation of the town belt, formations of markets and slaughter-houses, maintenance of roads and streets and other useful local purposes. Meetings which were well attended were held twice a week at 10 o'clock a.m.

The funds consisted entirely of fees paid on the registration of voters (Burgess Roll), in October, 1842, amounting to £370 12 6d. This sum was spent as follows:— £118 for roads and street repairs; £15 rent for Town Hall (Exchange); £50 for Town Surveyor's salary; £42 15s. for Town Clerk; £7 for messengers; £37 for constables; £8 for making up a rate book; £2 10s. for engraving a Borough Seal; £5 5s. for large map of the beach frontage; £12 12s. for law expenses; and £72 for printing and stationery from the two newspaper offices. (Wakefield's Adventure, p.p. 689–692.)

The undermentioned ships, with cargo and passengers, were among the shipping arrivals during 1841:—

“Clifford”: Messrs. E. Cording; J. H., J., and E. Cook; J. Watson, senr. and junr.; D. G. and R. Cook (Brett).

“Clifton”: Messrs. J. Harris; C. Howe;—Weatherley; J. Bills, Chitty; R. Collins; T. and W. B. Howe: G. K. Smith, Surgeon; M. Stratford; W. Mosday; J. Kibblewhite. (N.Z. Journal, 27th Nov., 1841.)

“Clydeside”: Messrs. R. Scott; Summers; Strang; Todd, Imrie; D. Gallan; R. Dickie; T. Duncanson; K. Mathieson.

H.M.S. “Driver.”

“Elbe,” of New York, wrecked 15th December, 1841.

The barque “Winwick” was wrecked at Lyall Bay (or False Bay). One account states that the captain mistook Lyall Bay for Port Nicholson and ran in boldly, but finding his error, let go his anchor and held on for some time. Meetings re the two wrecks were held on the 11th and 12th December, 1841, and a resolution was passed that a temporary lighthouse be erected. Messrs. J. H. Wallace, J. Wade. A. Ludlam, J. C. Crawford, Evans, Molesworth, Waitt, Wicksteed, Guyton, and others attended.

“Eleanor,” Capt. Holderness. In 1841 destroyed by fire.

“Gem,” 27th September, 1841: Messrs. Bell, Ankatell and Arrowsmith.

The “Chelydra” departed for Auckland with soldiers and mechanics. Mr. D. Sinclair was a passenger.

Races on the Pito-one Beach.

Grand horse races had been appointed to come off on 20th October, 1842, on the beach at Pito-one. Nine of the best horses had been entered some months before at ten guineas each. The horses were in regular training; jockey jackets and caps page 111 were being made; top boots and whips sought out; and betting books were pulled out at the hotels, the club and other lounges.

Jerningham Wakefield was appointed Clerk of the Course, and “Bob” Jenkins Steward. A day was selected on which a very low tapering-tide would leave a hard sandy beach uncovered. The distance was about a mile and three-quarters, from the mouth of the Hutt to Pito-one Pa. It poured with rain on the 19th, and Mr. Molesworth's house, where Wakefield spent the night, was full of sporting characters, including some of the gentlemen riders for next day, busy drying themselves after the soaking they had received coming from town.

Next morning (the 20th), the village of Aglionby (opposite side of the river), was in an uncommon state of agitation; the stable yard of the neat little inn was full of grooms and horses, And clodhoppers, dressed in their best, were coming down the path along the river bank, with their wives and children; for a general holiday had been agreed upon.

Mr. Watt's pink coat, the only one in the Colony, adorned Wakefield's person, and as the latter rode out of the inn yard in full Clerk of the Course's uniform, he excited universal admiration.

Te Puni was begged to have the native dogs tied up and to keep the pigs at home.

The company began to arrive from Wellington. Carts, waggons, bullock-drays were all pressed into the service, and the line of road was a miniature representation of Epsom. Six or eight of the ladies came over in a spring-cart containing chairs covered with flags; and the only gig in Wellington, imported from New South Wales, brought over the chemist of Medical Hall and two shopkeepers. One waggon contained the band of music; and a large flotilla of boats of all sizes and shapes brought over those who had no carts or horses or were too lazy to walk.

Booths, tents and stalls were rapidly put up, and one man wheeled a barrow about selling “ginger-pop.” The “Coming in” was close to Colonel Wakefield's old house, and there a cold collation had been provided for the ladies. The grand stand consisted of a few planks on the top of eight or ten water-butts outside the fence, supporting the chairs out of the carts.

The Clerk's duties multiplied. Firstly, in explaining to a party of natives why they should not lie basking on the middle of the track (the beach). Secondly, to implore a gang of whalers either to haul their boat right up, or push her nose off the beach; to get the sails of another boat, moored close off, furled so as not to flap about in the horses' eyes; and finally to stop the band as the horses were coming.

It was a brilliant cloudless day, with the heat of the sun just tempered by a light air from the southward as the tide made.

Five or six hundred people were assembled by eleven o'clock, when the horses started.

Seven horses started, as one of the nine had paid forfeit, and another had been killed some weeks before by a bullock which scoured the beach of the town in the paroxysm of fury which cattle often display upon being landed after a long voyage. The following horses started:—Mr. Watt's “Figaro,” ridden by owner. Mr. Molesworth's “Calmuc Tartar,” ridden by owner. Mr. Virtue's “Marksman,” ridden by owner. Mr. Geo. Hunter's “Temperance,” ridden by Dorset. Mr. Bannister's “Sulky,” ridden by Wade. Capt. Buckley's “Daylight,” ridden by owner. Mr. Revan's “Mazeppa,” ridden by Tyser.

Sweepstakes for ten guineas each, gentlemen riders. Heats of one mile and three-quarters.

page 112

One Mile Sweepstake, one pound each. Mr. Revan's “Dandy,” ridden by Dr. Dorset. Colonel Wakefield's “Beau,” ridden by Mr. Watt. Mr. G. Hunter's “Wai-ake-ake,” ridden by owner. Mr. Allen's grey gelding, ridden by owner. Mr. Virtue's bay mare.

One Mile, one pound a side. Mr. C. Von Alzdorf's bay pony. Mr. Lyon's cart horse beat Mr. Virtue's cart horse.

One Mile, five pounds a side. Colonel Wakefield's “Beau” beat Mr. Virtue's bay mare.

About thirty gentlemen on horseback followed in procession behind the ladies' cart on the road to town in the afternoon, and the day was closed with a race dinner at Barrett's hotel.

The Beach Fire.

Towards one o'clock on the 9th November, 1842, Lloyd's bakehouse was found to be on fire. This house was situated about 400 yards on the Te Aro Flat side of Colonel Wakefield's residence. The fire commenced on acre No. 488, and ended at the public reserve adjoining section 483: from there it extended up Te Aro Flat, destroying a large number of houses on the beach. The last
Fig. 37—Te Aro Beach, South East Extremity of the Harbour, 1841. 1. George Duppa's House and Tent (Oriental); 2. Schooner Portenia; 3. Taranaki Pa (or Te Aro); 4. Barque Lady Nugent, near Rhode's Pier; 5. Capt. Daniells; 6. Commercial Inn; 7. Ridgway, Guyton and Earp.

Fig. 37—Te Aro Beach, South East Extremity of the Harbour, 1841. 1. George Duppa's House and Tent (Oriental); 2. Schooner Portenia; 3. Taranaki Pa (or Te Aro); 4. Barque Lady Nugent, near Rhode's Pier; 5. Capt. Daniells; 6. Commercial Inn; 7. Ridgway, Guyton and Earp.

house towards the Flat that was destroyed was Willis and Co's. The wind was from the north-west, and the fire spread with fearful rapidity, the pieces of blazing thatch flying along to other houses a hundred yards distant and igniting them immediately. Several houses were torn down to prevent the fire spreading. A large number of sailors from the shipping acted well in concert under their commanders—several houses were cut down and the thatch carried bodily into the sea.

Lloyds, Ross, Adams, Brown's hotel, Brady, Yonding, Castle, Miller's lodging-house, Dr. Grace's, Evans' Office, Harvey (wooden houses), “Keen-Copo-Nat” (Maori building), Young's hotel (wooden), Durie and Co., store, Hunter and Co., store, Willis and Co., store, and fifteen other houses were razed to the ground.

Besides the above destroyed by fire, many Maori houses were pulled down.

The damage was estimated at from £5,000 to £10,000 in house property, and £2,000 to £2,500 in goods. The only sufferers in the wholesale houses were Messrs. Rout and Willis and Co. Willis and Co.'s large wooden building at the page 113 other end of the harbour was uninsured.

Out of the ashes of the raupo thatch, sprang substantial brick and wooden stores and taverns, with slate or shingle roofs, and heaps of melted glass and other rubbish were cleared away from the site of one of the merchant's stores, to make room for the foundations of the Scotch church. Within two or three months, this part of the beach was more thickly populated than before, and no vestige of the fire remained.

Some of the Natives had joined in the subscription for the sufferers, and others offered their services to rebuild houses without payment. They had been exceedingly active in their exertions on the night of the fire; grateful, no doubt, for the like exertions of a body of settlers which had saved the greater part of the Te Aro Pa from destruction in the same way some months before. It is recorded that the outer fence of their Pa was carried out fifty yards beyond where it had formerly stood, instead of agreeing to Colonel Wakefield's renewed instances that they should quit the location for their own reserves. The natives of the Pipitea Pa soon after followed this example, apparently aware that the Governor's restrictions as to the alienation of their occupied land had not defined any limits.

Society Notes.

The following appeared in the N.Z. Journal, dated 6th August, 1842, and copied from the Taunton Journal, 29th July, 1841:—

“Mr. Arthur Whitehead, Surveyor, and William Curling Young, a highly intelligent gentleman, give their first impressions of Society in Wellington.

“The progress of refinement has been very rapid. The furnishing of the house, the style of the dinner parties, and the dress of the ladies differ in no essential point from those in England. Balls, dinner parties and picnics—placards are stuck about, and the general appearance of the place resembles Hastings or Brighton.”


Picnics began to multiply as the season of the anniversary approached. Among the most pleasing of these was a picnic given by Messrs. Clifford and Vavasour, who had cleared their section, half a mile beyond Captain Daniell's farm (Trelissick) on the Porirua Road. They were in time to ask their fellow passengers in the “Fife” (who were going on to Nelson), into a tent in the midst of their first clearing. A party of the ladies of Wellington joined the merry throng.

Arrival of the “George Fife.”

The “George Fife,” 460 tons, commanded by Capt. George Pyke, sailed from Gravesend in June, 1842, for Wellington and Nelson. She arrived in October with 19 married couples, 3 single men, 2 single women, 6 children under fourteen, 13 under seven, and 4 under one. Dr. Philip Williams was surgeon superintendent.

The passenger list contained the following names:—

Name Age No. of Children
Aldred, Miss
Balharty, David and Mary 3
Barnett, Reuben and Eliza
Bolton, Edward 27
Broadbent, Wm. and Honorah
Buckland, Mr. and Mrs.
Burnett, Alex and Jane 1
Champney, Mr.
Christian, Miss
Clifford, Mr.
Coster, Mr. and Mrs
Coster, Chas. 18
Dillon, Hon. C. A.
Donald, Mr. and Family
Firth, Jas. and Hannah 1
Fitzgerald, Mr. and Mrs.
Fox, Mr. and Mrs.
Godfrey, Henry
Haigh, Mr.
Hammond, Mat. and Sarah 1
Hammond, Richard and Amelia 2page 114
Harris, David and Caroline 1
Hirst, Sydney and Mary 2
Jones, Francis and Rosa 5
Kearsley, James
Kinniburg, Dav. and Jane 5
Ledgard, Danl. and Ann
Lewis, Wm. and Emma
Martin, Alice 18
May, Mr.
Remnant, Jas. and Hannah
Reynolds, Ed. and Harriet 4
Rhodes, Israel and Martha
Riddle, Geo. and Marion 2
Secker, Dinah 23
Thairlwall, Mr.
Vavasour, Mr.
Webster, Mr.
White, Mr.
Arrived December 29th. 1842
(N.Z. Journal 27th May, 1843, p. 127.)

Mr. Swainson was at this time worried by “Dog's Ear” (Taringa-kuri), and other natives. He had hired three sections, of 100 acres each, of untouched forest-land on the banks of the Hutt (Fig. 40), and fondly made plans for laying this out in patches of cultivation, and sheltered by belts of timber. He built a substantial farmhouse for his family and another for his labourers, and had cleared about two acres in which a fine crop of wheat for seed was just coming to perfection. Taringa Kuri: who had established himself close to the house, at first promised to cut only what Mr. Swainson pointed out to him, and pretended only to want one crop in return for his trouble.

But, notwithstanding repeated mediations of Mr. Spain, or of Mr. Clarke, junior, the deceitful chief had cleared all the wood indiscriminately off a large tract of ground. Belt after belt, clump after clump, fell beneath the merciless axes of his followers, and the native clearing at length reached to within a few yards of Mr. Swainson's house and the little patch of wheat. They now openly laughed at their victim, and told him to “look out” for as the dry weather came on, they should set fire to the fallen wood.

Mr. Swainson approached the Police Magistrate and Crown Prosecutor for an indictment and an injunction, without avail. However, the clearing was burned off without damage to his wheat and his thatched roofs; potatoes were planted; a Pa was built on the river bank; and in October (1841), the natives were living there permanently, and encroaching still further on a large portion of the valley, in any part of which they forbade white men from settling. The clearings of the Ngatirangatahi, Rauparaha's especial servants, extended nearly a mile along the banks, and they carefully stopped every white man who began to clear or saw even in parts that had never before been occupied.

Notwithstanding the worries occasioned by the natives, the Christmas festival was celebrated with “right merrie” sports in Wellington. A cricket match between two clubs which had practised for some months, quoits, swings and other diversions, were numerously attended on Te Aro Flat; and, to the credit of the community be it spoken, not a single case of drunkenness or disorderly conduct disfigured the pleasant associations of the day.

The past season was reckoned rather an inclement one in New Zealand; but barley was cut in the beginning of December on the banks of the Hutt, which weighed 74 pounds to the bushel.

At the Show of the Horticultural Society on the 27th December, 1842, prizes were given for every class of vegetable, for wheat, barley, oats, ryegrass, turnips and pot-herbs, and for strawberries, cherries, gooseberries and black currants. Flowers were judged, page 115 and there were three prizes for cottagers' gardens on the Hutt and near the town.

Shipping Arrivals.

The undermentioned ships arrived during the year 1842, with passengers for Wellington:—

“Prince of Wales”: Messrs. Birnie; Crummer; Gould; J. Johnston; Joseph and H. Marshall.

“Bernian”: Messrs. G. Buck; J. Hurley; E. Lewis; H. Buck; C. H. Gillespie; and T. Cayley.

“Bombay”: Messrs. R. Eames; J. Gibbs; Amelius Smith, T. Parkinson; H. Hughlings; G. Saunders; F. Bradey (second trip); Gell; and Dr. Hodgkinson.

“Bronan”: Mr. Duck and wife.

“Essex”: Dr. R. L. Vane; and Messrs. A. and C. Aubrey.

“Exporter”: Messrs. W. Allen; J. and Jas. Hyams; J. Roe; and K. Samuel.

“Esther”: Messrs. C. Alzdorf and J. G. Rush.

“Fifeshire”: Messrs. Cullen and T. W. Trower.

“Indemnity”: Dr. J. Hoggard; J. Hunter; J. Coleman; A. Dowstand; and A. and H. Betts.

“Explorer”: Mr. J. Collier.

“Lord Auckland” (Capt. Jardine): Messrs. T. O'Malley; Barnicoat; and Otterson. The “Lord Auckland” was wrecked later, and the remains are on the Otaki beach.

The “Mary Ann Wade” was the first vessel built in Wellington: Capt. Tulett was in charge.

“Maria Theresa”: Messrs. R. Hyrons and T. Hooper.

“New York Packet”: Messrs. C. Brewster; J. Constable; R. Beamish;— Heatherane; A. W. Hort;—Shepher.

“Regia”: Dr. Croverow; Messrs. J. Lean and Crope.

“Scotia”: Mr. H. F. Eager.

“Thomas Sparkes”: Messrs. J. Cudby and J. H. Marriott.

“Three Brothers”: Mr. S. Howland.

“Tobago”: Messrs. Ferguson; Hornbrook; and Lord.

“The “Tomatin,” with Mrs. Martin (wife of Judge Martin), the Bishop of New Zealand (Dr. Selwyn), and others, arrived in May, 1842.

* Did not Embark.