The Early Canterbury Runs: Containing the First, Second and Third (new) Series
Lavington — (Run 117)
Lavington was the station above Rokeby on the Rakaia. It contained twenty thousand acres and was taken up by Mackie and Beard in September, 1853. Their manager for some time was William Dunford, who had been shepherd at Acton. About the middle of the 'sixties they leased him the station which then carried 11,000 sheep.
Some years later, C. N. and C. S. Mackie, sons of the first owner, took the station into their own hands again and in 1879 divided it between them. By that time the whole of the run seems to have been bought up, part of it by a dealer named Hartnell who had been a Devonshire butcher. Hartnell bought the Mackies out altogether in the middle 'eighties and died some years later. Hartnell's executors carried the place on through the bad times and eventually saved some fifteen hundred acres of land with the homestead. One of the sons, George Hartnell, bought out the others and kept Lavington until a year or two before the 1914-18 War, when he sold out and went to Australia. The homestead now belongs to James Lockhead.
I do not know who G. C. Beard was; Mackie, the first vicar of Avonside, was another of the parson squatters who were not uncommon in the days when land and station property were almost the only invest-page 101ments for capital. The parson squatters always remind one of an old story which has nothing to do with the Canterbury runs. The farmers in an English parish complained to the squire because 'As soon as ever Parson have got in his own hay, he do clap on the prayers for rain.'