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

Spaxton or Drayton — (Runs 15, 42 and 56 and for a time 329)

page 106

Spaxton or Drayton
(Runs 15, 42 and 56 and for a time 329)

Spaxton took in the plains between Mt. Hutt Station and the south branch of the Ashburton. For a time it included the education reserve known as Pudding Hill. This was then Run 329 and afterwards became part of Blackford. The three runs which made up Spaxton proper were all taken up in 1852, Run 15, the most easterly, by Joseph Hawdon in September, Run 42 by Joseph Pearson in September, and Run 56, next to the hills, by C. Wright in October.

Hawdon, Pearson and Wright all either abandoned their runs or sold them unstocked. Anyhow John Hall sold Hawdon's and Pearson's runs unstocked to Captain Harding for £350 in December, 1858, and Harding already had 2000 sheep there earlier in the year so I think he may have bought Wright's run about 1857. Run 329 was taken up in December 1859, probably by Harding. Harding called the station Scarness. He had 4000 sheep there in 1863, and carried a lot of cattle.

In 1864 or 1865 Harding sold the station to H. J. Cridland of Hoon Hay. Cridland changed the name to Spaxton. His manager was David Thomas who had been Harding's stockman. He was afterwards the auctioneer at Ashburton; Dr Knyvett was Cridland's overseer.

Cridland had a partner, his brother-in-law Richard Walton, whose name does not appear in the records. Walton lived at Papanui. In 1867 they had 11,000 sheep at Spaxton but they lost almost all of them in the 1867 snowstorm—one of the worst recorded in Canterbury. Cridland sold Run 329 to the owners of Blackford in 1868. In the early 'seventies Cridland's executors and Walton sold Spaxton to James Stuckey and William Allen, who did not keep it long, selling it to Edward Chapman, formerly of Acton, in 1876.

Stuckey was afterwards a well known breeder of Herefords in the North Island. Allen was a brother of Allen of Highbank.

Chapman gave the station a new name, Drayton, so page 107it has had three names altogether. He held it until his death and his executors sold it to Frederick. J. Millton in 1897. Millton sold it in 1904 to H. J. Harrison, the father of T. S. Harrison, the present owner. The property now consists of two or three thousand acres of freehold.

I know nothing more about Harding except that he had been Moorhouse's overseer at Shepherd's Bush and that he was drowned in Lyttelton Harbour. Cridland was a land agent and surveyor in Wellington in the late 'forties. He helped Captain Thomas to survey Canterbury in 1850, and died in June, 1867, aged 44.