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The Early Canterbury Runs: Containing the First, Second and Third (new) Series

Highbank — (Runs 112, 113 and 199)

(Runs 112, 113 and 199)

Highbank came next above Corwar on the Rakaia. Runs 112 and 113 of about twenty thousand acres altogether, were taken up by George Williamson Hall (1819-1896) and T. W. Hall, brothers of Sir John, in October and December, 1852. They must have put enough sheep, or more probably cattle, on to the country to hold these runs when they abandoned or sold their other runs in the neighbourhood, for they held them until 1859 when they sold them to Browne and Allen.

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Run 199 of nine thousand acres was taken up by Alexander Lean in July, 1857. This run lay away from the river and was supposed, until the country was surveyed, to be included in the neighbouring runs, which accounts for it being taken up so late. In 1864 Browne and Allen bought it also.

Browne was a squatter in Australia. He sent Allen over to buy a station in New Zealand and only came over himself once or twice to see it. Allen sold his interest to his partner in 1881 and retired. He lived in Christchurch until his death in 1908.

In 1882 Browne sent his son, Mathew Ingle Browne, over to take charge. Before that, Thomas Tayspill Dowling had managed the station for many years, after leaving Rokeby. M. I. Browne became sole owner on the death of his father. Browne and Allen had made nine thousand eight hundred acres of the run freehold and the younger Browne kept this until 1896, when he sold it to the Government for closer settlement.

George Bonner was Browne's overseer for twelve years until the station was sold.

Browne had an unpleasant experience soon after he came to New Zealand. He went to shoot at a neighbouring station and the host invited the party to have a nip before they started out, but gave them 'Rough-on-Rats' by mistake for whisky. Six of them were badly poisoned, one of whom died, and Browne was shaky for several years afterwards.