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Early Wellington

Governor Hobson

Governor Hobson.

“On the 1st of July, 1840,” states E. J. Wakefield, “a public meeting was held for the purpose of voting an address to Lieut.Governor Hobson. Colonel Wakefield had presided and was asked to proceed to the Bay of Islands for the purpose of presenting the address to His Excellency.”

The Address was couched in the most loyal terms, but continues Wakefield, “appealed against the imputation upon their allegiance displayed by Lieut. Shortland's proceedings. It humbly expressed the hope of the settlers that His Excellency would decide upon fixing the seat of Government at a spot so admirably adapted for it as Port Nicholson, and among the great body of the respectable colonists from England.”

“The ‘Platina,’ which had brought Governor Hobson's wooden house, and some more stores for the Company, arrived on the 6th. Colonel Wakefield had therefore to obtain the instructions of the Lieut. Governor as to the destination of his residence. It was hoped that in answer to the concluding paragraph of the Address, His Excellency would send back word to have it erected in Wellington in readiness for his arrival amongst us. The “Platina” brought page 60
Fig. 30A.—“Pahautanui.” Reproduction of a Certificate of Selection or Land Order, dated 1st August, 1839.

Fig. 30A.—“Pahautanui.” Reproduction of a Certificate of Selection or Land Order, dated 1st August, 1839.

page 61 news of the assemblage of some thousands of emigrants in England. in readiness to embark as soon as they should hear the first account of the arrival and proceedings of the “Tory” and other matters concerning the Company.”

On the 19th of August, 1840 a public meeting was held at Barrett's unfinished hotel, to receive the answer of Captain Hobson to the Address of the Colonists.

Colonel Wakefield stated the results of of his mission of which a brief summary will suffice.

The assurance of Governor Hobson's friendly feelings towards the settlers, and praise for their expressions of loyalty and support; his refusal to reside at Port Nicholson on account of his sense of public duty inducing him to select “a more central position”, and one more adapted for internal communication.

Speeches were made at the meeting expressive of the great pleasure at the reply of the Lieut-Governor, and thanking Colonel Wakefield for his energetic advocacy of their interests.

A series of resolutions was passed, stating their grievances, and it was agreed that a memorial embodying these resolutions should be prepared and presented to the Governor of New South Wales by a deputation, to consist of Dr. Evans, Mr. Hanson and Mr. Moreing. The meeting also recommended the appointment of Mr. E. Gibbon Wakefield as agent in England for the body of Colonists, and that a requisition to that effect be prepared and signed by the Colonists.

Meanwhile, the little village of Britannia was growing.

The Engineering and mill-wright business of Betts-Hopper, Molesworth and Petre commenced operations on the 3rd July, 1840. They were prepared to repair ship and boat ironwork, stoves, grates, ovens, and also to make the latter articles. Their place of business was next to the Maori Pa at Britannia.