Other formats

    TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

The Endeavour Journal of Joseph Banks 1768–1771 [Volume One]

November 1769

November 1769

1. Calm in the morn: at sun rise we counted 45 Canoes who were coming towards us from different parts of the shore; 7 soon came up with us and after some conversation with Tupia began to sell Muscles and lobsters3 of which they had great plenty. In the beginning they dealt fair but soon began to cheat, taking what we gave them without making any return; one who had done so on being threatned began to defy us and laugh, on which a musquet was fird over the boat which instan[t]ly brough[t] him back and made trade very regular for some time. At lengh the cabbin and gun room having got as much as they wanted the men were allowd

3 Lobsters: the common New Zealand Crayfish, Jasus lalandi; mussels, no doubt Mytilus canaliculus. Pickersgill adds that the latter making some of the men sick when eaten they were suspected of being poisonous, ‘but this I do not believe as I eat very hearty of them and felt no bad effect’. We may suspect overeating and not poison. A pencil sketch of a small specimen of the crayfish is on the back of pl. 12 in Parkinson II.

page 423 to come to the gangway and trade for themselves, and I must say that there was not the same care taken to prevent their being cheated as had been before, by which neglect the Indians soon began to cheat with impunity and to despise our threats; the consequence of which was that as soon as they had sold all they had got one of the boats pulld forward and seeing some linnen which was hanging overboard a man in her untied it without ceremony and put it into his bundle. He was calld to but instead of returning it let his boat drop astern and laughd at us. A musquet was fird over him which did not at all spoil his mirth, small shot was then fird at him which struck him upon the back; heated I suppose he was, for he regarded it less than most men would do a stripe, just shrinking his body without ceasing to bundle up the very linnen he had stole which he was at that moment employd about. The boats dropd astern about 100 yards and several musquet balls were fird near them but they continued their song of Defiance till the ship had left them 3 or 400 yards; a round shot was then fird which went over them and struck the water 3 or 4 times at a large distance beyond them. This effectualy shewd them that they could not easily get out of our reach for they immediately began to paddle and proceeded quite ashore without stopping to look behind them.

Just at night fall we were under a small Island1 from whence came off a large double canoe,2 or rather 2 canoes lash'd together at the distance of about a foot which was coverd with boards so as to make a kind of deck; she came pretty near the ship and the people in her talkd with Tupia with much seeming freindship, but when it was just dark they ran their canoe close to the ship and threw in 3 or 4 stones after which they padled ashore.

2. Pass this morn between an Island3 and the main which appeard low and sandy with a remarkable hill inland, flat and smooth as a mole hill tho very high and large.4 Many canoes and people were seen along shore: some followd us but could not overtake us. A Sailing canoe that had chasd us ever since day break came up with us and provd the same double canoe as pelted us last night which made us prepare for another volley of their ammunition, dangerous to nothing on board but our windows. The event provd as we expected for after having saild with us an hour they threw

1 Motuhora or Whale Island: running head ‘of Moutohora’.

2 The voyagers were used to double canoes in the islands, but not very many were seen in New Zealand seas.

3 Motiti or Flat Island.

4 Called by Cook Mount Edgcumbe—with some variety of spelling.

page 424 their stones again; a musquet was fird over them and they dropd astern not I beleive at all frightned by the musquet but content with having shewd their courage by twice insulting us. We now begin to know these people and are much less afraid of any daring attempt from them than we were. At 12 the countrey appeard low with small clifts near the shore but seemingly very fertile inland. We saw plainly with our glasses villages larger than any we had before seen situated on the topps of cliffs in places almost inaccessible, besides which they were guarded by a deep fosse and a high paling within it, so that probably these people are much given to war. In the evening the countrey low as before: many towns were in sight larger than those at noon, always situated like them on the topps of cliffs and fenc'd in the same manner; under them upon the beach were many very large canoes, some hundreds I may safely say, some of which either had or appeard to have awnings but not one of them were put off. From all these circumstances we judgd the countrey to be much better peopled hereabouts and inhabited by richer people than we had before seen,1 may be it was the residence of some of their princes. As far as we have yet gone along the coast from Cape Turnagain to this place the people have acknowledgd only one cheif, Teratu: if his dominion is realy so large he may have princes or governors under him capable of Drawing together a vast many people: for himself he is always said to live far inland.2
3. Continent appeard this morn barren and rocky but many Islands were in sight, cheifiy inhabited with such towns upon them as we saw yesterday; 2 Canoes put off from one but could not overtake us. At breakfast a cluster of Islands and rocks were in sight which made an uncommon appearance from the number of perpendicular rocks or needles (as the seamen call them) which were in sight at once: these we calld the Court of Aldermen in respect to that worthy body and entertaind ourselves some time with giving names to each of them from their resemblance, thick and squat or lank and tall, to some one or other of those respectable citizens. Soon after this we passd an Island3 on which were houses

1 Hence the name given, Bay of Plenty.

2 I have written at some length on the problem presented by this ‘chief, of territorial dominion so much greater than that of any otherwise known Maori historical figure, in my introduction to Cook I, pp. cli-iii. The conclusion there drawn, as at least a reasonable conjecture, is that Banks (among others) confused a personal name and a direction: the name of a minor chief—or of two minor chiefs, indeed—in the Poverty Bay district, Te Ratu, with the phrase te ra to, the westward (lit. the setting sun). It is difficult to see any other way in which Cook and Banks could have constructed the great king or prince of whom they write.

3 Castle Rock.

page 425 built on the steep sides of cliffs inaccessible I had almost said to birds, how their inhabitants could ever have got to them much surpassd my comprehension; at present however we saw none so that these situations are probably no more than places to retire to in case of Danger which are totaly evacuated in peaceable times. At 12 the Continent appeard still rocky and barren, few houses were seen, they were not built in towns but stood seperate. About dinner time 3 Canoes came alongside of much the most simple construction of any we have seen, being no more than the trunks of trees hollowd out by fire without the least carving or even the addition of a washboard1 on their gunnels; the people in them were almost naked and blacker than any we had seen only 21 in all, yet these few despicable gentry sang their song of defiance and promisd us as heartily as the most respectable of their countrey men that they would kill us all. They remaind some time out of stones throw but at last venturd close to the ship; one of our people gave them a rope from the side to save them the trouble of Padling, this they accepted and rewarded the man who gave it by thrusting at him with a pike which however took no effect; they then went a few yards from the ship and threw a lance into her which struck nobody; a musquet was fird over them on which they all went off.

Late in the evening the ship came into a bay which appeard well shelterd by Islands2 and gave hopes for the morn. Several Canoes with people like the last came about the ship and talkd very civily to us. A bird was shot from the ship in their sight as it swam on the water, this they took up and tied to a fishing line that was towing astern for which they were rewarded with a peice of cloth. Notwisthstanding all this they became very saucy Just at night singing their song of Defiance and attempting to tow away the buoy of the anchor; 2 or 3 musquets were fird over them which had not the least effect, they threatned hard and promisd that tomorrow they would return with more force and kill us all and dispatchd a boat who told us that he was going to another part of the bay for assistance.

4. Our freinds meant to be still better than their word for they visited us twice in the night intending I suppose to wake us if we should be asleep, but as they found us not so they went away as they came without saying a single word. In the morn they returnd

1 S has the note, ‘Washboard, a kind of additional edge or board to hinder the Sea from washing in so immediately as it otherwise would’.

2 This is the cluster of islands off and within the south-eastern point of Mercury Bay—Mahurangi, Motueka (properly Motu Iki), Motukorure or Middle Island, and their attendant quite small islets.

page 426 with the earlyest day break, about 150 men in 10 or 12 Canoes all armd with pikes lances and stones. We all got up to see the event. An hour and a half was spent in conversation sometimes civil sometimes otherwise: our resolution was that as we had in vain shewd them the power of musquets by firing near them and killing the bird yesterday we would on the first provacation they gave us fire at them with small shot, the last resource we had to shew them our superiority without taking away their lives. They at lengh offerd to trade for their arms and sold two weapons very fairly, but took a price for the third and refusd to send it up but offerd it for a second; the second was sent down but a third was requird instead of the weapon being parted with; this was a convenient time for the execution of our project as the man who had thus cheated us swaggerd prodigiously, having paddled the boat a few yards from the ship. Accordingly a musquet ball was fird through the bottom of the boat and small shot at the offender which struck him and another who sat next him, on which the canoe was immediately paddled off and remaind about 100 yards from the ship; but what was truly surprizing was that tho the men who were shot bled a good deal not one of the other boats went near them or enquird at all how much or in what manner they were hurt. They returnd to the ship and renewd trade for their arms, a large quantity of which they sold without attempting to play any tricks; at last however one gentleman padled off with two different peices of cloth which had been given for one weapon, he got about 100 yards from the ship and thought himself safe. A musquet was fird after him which fortunately struck the boat Just at the waters edge and consequently made 2 holes in her; the people in her and the rest of the Canoes padled hard, as a finishing stroke to convince them of our superiority a round shot was fird over them and not a boat stoppd till they got ashore. Soon after this the Captn went in the boats to seek a place for the ship to stay that she might observe the transit of Mercury; it raind and as we were sure of staying 5 days Dr Solander and myself stayd on board. The Indians ashore were neither freinds nor foes, they shewd however much fear whenever our boats approachd them. After dinner the ship removd to the place he had found1 where were great plenty of birds, much Celery and good hopes of fish.

5. This morn some canoes came off but brought nothing to sell.

1 The anchorage is exactly known from the extant charts, in Hawkesworth and elsewhere—a mile offshore from the mouth of the Purangi or Oyster river, almost at the eastern end of the beach of Cook Bay.

page 427

One old man whose name was Torava1 came on board; he seemd to be the cheif both today and yesterday but in all the transactions of yesterday he was observd to behave sensibly and well, laying in a small canoe always near the ship and at all times speaking civily to those on board. With some persuasion he venturd down into the cabbin and had presents, Cloth, Iron &c. given him; he told us that the Indians were now very much afraid of us, we promisd freindship if they would supply us with provision at their own price.

After breakfast we went ashore on the banks of a river.2 The Indians who were on one side made all the signs of freindship imaginable, beckoning to us to land among them; it suited our convenience for hawlmg the sein and shooting Birds of which there were great numbers to land on the other side and it was not without much persuasion that they about noon venturd over to us.

The Sein was hawld with no success but several Birds were shot, like sea pies but Black with red bills and feet,3 the trawl and drudge were also today employd and caught nothing but a few shells. The people who stayd by the boats saw two Indians fight on some quarrel of their own: they began with Lances which were soon taken from them by the old men but they were allowd to continue their battle, which they did like Englishmen with their fists for sometime after which all of them retird behind a little hill so that our people did not see the event of the combat.

6. Went ashore: Indians as yesterday very tame. Their habitations certainly were at a distance as they had no houses but slept under the bushes. The bay may be a place to which parties of them often resort for the sake of shell fish which are here very plentifull; indeed where ever we went, on hills or in valleys in woods or plains, we continualy met with vast heaps of shells often many waggon loads together, some appearing to be very old; where ever these were it is more than probable that Parties of Indians had at some time or other taken up their residence, as our Indians had made much such a pile about them. The countrey in general was very barren but the topps of the hills were coverd with very large Fern, the roots of which they had got together in large quantities as they said to carry away with them.4 We did not see any kind of cultivation.

1 Toiawa.

2 The Purangi—from which was derived the name Opooragee, and its variants, used as a name for the whole bay in many of the logs and journals.

3 Probably the Black Oyster-catcher, Haematopus unicolor Forster, the descendants of which are found in the district still.

4 Again aruhe, the roots of Pteridium aquilinum.

page 428

In the evening I walkd up the river which at the mouth looks very fine and broad, it in 2 miles or less shoald to nothing. The countrey inland was still more barren than that near the sea side.

7. Rain and most disagreable weather all day kept us on board as well as the Indians from coming off to us.

8. Fine weather: many Canoes came off, in them our freind Torava. While he was along side he saw 2 Canoes coming from the opposite side of the bay on which he immediately went ashore with all the canoes, telling us that he was afraid; he however soon returnd finding I suppose that the canoes had not in them the people he expected. In the two boats came an amazing number of fish of the macarel kind1 which the people sold for little or nothing, so that all hands had today fish enough.

We went ashore and botanizd with our usual good success which could not be doubted in a countrey so totaly new. In the evening we went to our freinds the Indians that we might see the method in which they slept: it was as they had told us on the bare ground without more shelter than a few shrubbs over their heads, the women and children were placd innermost or farthest from the sea, the men lay in a kind of half-circle round them and on the trees close by them were rangd their arms in order, so no doubt they are afraid of an attack from some enemy not far off. They do not acknowledge any superior king which all we have before seen have done, so possibly these are a set of outlaws from Teratu's kingdom; their having no cultivation or houses makes it clear at least that it is either so or this is not their real habitation.2 They say however that they have houses and a fort somewhere at a distance but do not say that even there is any cultivation.

9. At day break this morn a vast number of boats were on board almost loaded with macarel of 2 sorts, one exactly the same as is caught in England.3 We concluded that they had caught a large shoal and sold us the overplus what they could not consume, as they set very little value upon them. It was however a fortunate circumstance for us as by 8 O'clock the ship had more fish on board than all hands could eat in 2 or 3 days, and before night so many that every mess who could raise salt cornd as many as will last them this month or more. After an early breakfast the astronomer went on shore to Observe the transit of Mercury which he did without the

1 See n. 3 on this page.

2 It seems clear that they were at that particular beach for the fishing.

3 The Southern Mackerel, Pneumatophorus colias (Gm.), is rather similar to the English species. The other sort was perhaps Trachums novae-zelandicae Richardson; cf. II, p. 6.

page 429 smallest cloud intervening to Obstruct him,1 a fortunate circumstance as except yesterday and today we have not had a clear day for some time.

About noon we were alarmd by the report of a great gun fird from the ship, the occasion of which was this: two canoes came to the ship very large and full of people, they shewd by their behaviour that they were quite strangers or at least so much so as not to be at all afraid; they soon enterd into trade and almost immediately cheated by taking the Cloth which was given to them without returning that which was bargaind for. On this they immediately began to sing their war song as if to defy any revenge those on board might chuse to take, this enragd the 2nd lieutenant so much that he leveld a musquet at the man who had still got the cloth in his hand and shot him dead. The canoes went off to some distance but did not go quite away. It was nescessary to send a boat ashore, so least they might atempt to revenge his death upon the boat A round shot was fird over them which had the desird Effect of putting them to flight immediately. The news of this event was immediately brought on shore to our Indians who were at first a little alarmd and retreated from us in a body; in a little time however they returnd on their own accords and acknowledgd that the dead man deservd his punishment — unaskd by us, who thought his fate severe knowing as we did that small shot would have had almost or quite as good an effect with little danger to his life, which tho forfeited to the laws of England we could not but wish to spare if it could be done without subjecting ourselves to the derision and consequently to the attacks of these people; which we have now learnt to fear not least they should kill us, but least we should be reducd to the nescessity of killing a number of them which must be the case should they ever in reality attack us.2

A little before sunset we went home with the Indians to see them eat their supper. It consisted of fish, shell fish, lobsters and birds: these were dressd either by broiling them upon a skewer which was stuck into the ground leaning over the fire, or in ovens as we calld them at Otahite which were holes in the ground filld with

1 Cook and Hicks shared in these observations, though Green was rather scornful of their efforts.

2 Cf. the sober Cook, after giving his brief account: ‘I have here inserted the account of this affair just as I had it from Mr Gore but I must own that it did not meet with my approbation because I thought the punishment a little too severe for the Crime, and we had now been long enough acquainted with these People to know how to cliastise trifling faults like this without taking away their lives’.—I, p. 196. Gore was in charge of the ship while Cook and Hicks were on shore.

page 430 provision and hot stones and coverd over with leaves and Earth. Here we saw a woman who mournd after their fashion for a dead relation. She sat on the ground near the rest who (except one) seemd not at all to regard her: the tears constantly trickled down her cheeks; she repeated in a low but very mournfull voice words which we did not at all understand, still at every sentence cutting her arms, face or breast with a shell she held in her hand, so that she was almost coverd with blood, a most affecting spectacle. The cutis she made however were so managd as seldom to draw blood and when they did to peirce a very small way into the flesh; but this is not always the case with them, for many we have seen and some were among these very people who had shocking large scarrs on their arms, thighs, breasts, cheaks &c. which they told us had been done in this manner and upon this occasion; may be they proportion the depth of their cutts to the regard they have for the deceasd.
10. This day was employd in an excursion to view the large river at the bottom of the bay which lay at some distance from it. The mouth of it provd to be a good harbour with water sufficient for our ship but scarce for a larger, the stream in many places very wide with large flats of mangroves which at low water are coverd.1 We went up about a league where it was still wider than at the mouth and divided itself into innumerable channels seperated by mangrove flatts, the whole several miles in breadth, the water shoal, so we agreed to stop our disquisition here and go ashore to dine. A tree in the neighbourhood on which were many shaggs nests and old shaggs setting by them2 confirmd our resolution; an attack was consequently made on the Shaggs and about 20 soon killd and as soon broild and eat, every one declaring that they were excellent food as indeed I think they were. Hunger is certainly most excellent sauce, but since our fowls and ducks have been gone we find ourselves able to eat any kind of Birds (for indeed we throw away none) without even that kind of seasoning. Fresh provision to a seaman must always be most acceptable if he can get over the small prejudices which once affected several in this ship, most or all of whoom are now by vertue of good example compleatly curd. Our repast ended we proceeded down the river again. At the mouth of it was a small Indian village where we landed and were most civily receivd by the inhabitants who treated us

1 Called by Cook the River of Mangroves. The mangroves were Avicennia resinifera.

2 Several species of New Zealand shags nest in trees, and there is nothing to identify the victims of this feast.

page 431 with hot cockles, at least a small flat shell fish, most delicious food, Tellina.1 Near the village was the ruins of an old Indian Eppah2 or Fort which we went to see. It was situate on the point of a peninsula3 inaccessible on three sides from the steepness of the cliffs; the fourth was guarded by a ditch the bank of which nearest the fort could not be less than 20 feet high, there had also been pallisades both on the Inside and outside of he ditch but of these nothing was left but thick posts almost rotten. Was any ship to winter or stay any time here this would be a most excellent place to set up tents as it is sufficiently spatious.

11. Rain and blowing weather all this day so that no canoes came off nor did we go ashore. An oyster bank had been found at the river by the wooding place, about ½ a mile up on the starboard hand Just above a small Island which is coverd at high water; here the longboat was sent and soon returnd deep loaded with I sincerly beleive as good oysters as ever came from Colchester and about the same size.4 They were laid down under the booms and employd the ships company very well who I verily think did nothing but Eat from the time they came on board till night, by which time a large part were expended, but that gave us no kind of uneasiness as we well knew that not the boat only but the ship might be easily loaded in one tide almost, as they are dry at half Ebb.

12. Two canoes came early this morn who appeard to be strangers who had heard of us by the caution and fear they shewd in approaching the ship; two of them were however persuaded to come on board and the rest traded for what they had very fairly. A small canoe also came from the other side of the bay and sold some large fish which had been taken the day before yesterday, as yesterday it blew too [hard]5 for any Canoes to go to Sea. After breakfast we all went ashore to see an Indian Fort or Eppah in the neighbourhood, uncertain however what kind of reception we should meet with as they might be Jealous of letting us into it, where probably all their valuable effects were lodgd. We went

1 Probably the Pipi, Amphidesma australe—perennially esteemed; as Banks has it, ‘most delicious food’.

2 E or he (the indefinite article) pa.

3 Pa Point.

4 Possibly, as the phrase ‘an oyster bank’ is used, they were Ostrea sinuata, which occurs throughout New Zealand, but in the largest beds in Foveaux Strait—whence its popular name of Stewart Island Oyster. But they may have been ‘Auckland Rock’ oysters, Ostrea glomerata Gould, an admirably delicate species.

5 Supplied from S. P fresh.

page 432 to a bay where were two,1 we landed first near a small one the most beautifuly romantick thing I ever saw. It was built on a small rock detachd from the main and surroundd at high water, the top of this was fencd round with rails after their manner but was not large enough to contain above 5 or 6 houses; the whole appeard totaly inaccessible to any animal who was not furnishd with wings, indeed it was only aproachable by one very narrow and steep path, but what made it most truly romantick was that much the largest part of it was hollowd out into an arch which penetrated quite through it and was in hight not less than 20 yards perpendicular above the water which ran through it.2 The inhabitants on our aproach came down and invited us to go in but we refusd intending to visit a much larger and more perfect one about a mile off, we spent however some little time in making presents to their women. In the mean time we saw the inhabitants of the other come down from it, men women and children about 100 in number, and march towards us; as soon as they came near enough they wav'd and calld horomai3 and set down in the bushes near the beach (a sure mark of their good intentions). We went to them and made a few presents and askd leave to go up to their heppah which they with joy invited us to do and immediately accompanied us to it. It was calld Whanetoowa4 and was situate on the end of a hill where it Jutted out into the sea which washd two sides of it, these were sufficiently steep but not absolutely inaccessible; up one of the land sides which was also steep went the road, the other was flat and open to the side of the hill. The whole was inclosd by a pallisade about 10 feet high made of strong pales bound together with withs; the weak side next the hill had also a ditch the face of which next the pallisade we measurd to be 20½ feet in depth. Besides this over the pallisade was built a fighting stage which the[y] call Porāvā,5 which is a

1 That is, they rowed across to the other side of the bay. Banks has here rather telescoped his impressions: the two pa he now describes were not in the same ‘bay’, but at the ends of different, though adjacent, stretches of beach.

2 This rock and pa were called Te Puta o Paretauhinau (puta, hole). When the pa next described was taken by the enemies of the Ngatihei people of Mercury Bay, in 1800, a small remnant escaped to safety on this impregnable rock. It is now much worn away.

3 haere mai, ‘welcome’, lit. ‘come hither’.

4 Whare-taewa. The words calld Wharretoowa are an interlineation, and the name is rather difficult to read; it is possibly Wharretoawa. I have printed it wrongly in Cook I, p. 198, n. 2, as ‘Wharretouwe’. There are certain discrepancies between Banks's and Cook's accounts of this great fortification, the remains of which are still visible in the grass-grown ditches on the bluff above the north-east end of Buffalo Beach. It has been made the subject of detailed study by Mr Leslie G. Kelly, ‘Whare-taewa Pa, Mercury Bay, 1952’ in Journal of the Polynesian Society, Vol. 64 (1953), pp. 384–90, with interesting photographs. Best, op. cit., II, p. 315 has a diagram, but mistakenly calls the pa Wharekaho, the name of a village on the beach below.

5 puwhara or pourewa.

page 433 flat stage coverd with boughs of trees upon which they stand to throw darts or stones at their assailants out of danger of their weapons. The dimensions of it were thus: the hight from the ground 20½ feet, breadth 6 ft 6, the lengh 43 feet. Upon it were laid bundles of darts and heaps of stones ready in case of an attack. One of the Young men at our desire went up to shew their method of fighting and another went to the outside of the ditch to act assailant; they both sung their war song and dancd with the same frigh[t]full gesticulations as we have often seen them, threatning each other with their weapons; this I suppose they do in their attacks to work themselves to a sufficient fury of courage, for what we call calm resolution is I beleive found in few uncivilizd people. The side next the road was also defended by a stage like this but much lower, the other two were by their steepness and the pallisade thought sufficiently secure. The inside was divided into I beleive 20 larger and smaller divisions, some of which containd not more than 1 or 2 houses others 12 or 14; every one of these were enclosd by its own pallisade tho not so high and strong as the general one. In these were vast heaps of Dryd fish and fern roots pild up in heaps, so much that had they had water I should have though[t] them well prepard for a siege but that must be fetchd from a brook below, so probably they do not use to beseige a town as we do in Europe.1 Without the fence were many houses and large netts which I suppose were brought in upon any alarm; there was also about ½ an acre of Gourds2 and sweet potatoes planted, the only Cultivation we have seen in the bay.

13. Rainy and blowing weather today so we did not go ashore, indeed there was little temptation for we hade got by much the greatest number or perhaps all the plants that the season afforded.

14. But midling weather. As we were resolvd to stay no longer here we all went ashore,3 the boats to get as much Celery and Oysters as possible, Dr Soiander and myself to get as many green plants as possible of sea stock for finishing scetches4 &c, so an enormous

1 They did, and lack of water was often the cause of the downfall of a great pa such as this, which fell precisely because the besiegers in 1800 cut off the supply.

2 The hard rind of the gourd, Hue or Lagenaria siceraria, was much used as a container. It probably came to New Zealand with the Maoris.

3 Cook mentions landing on one of the islands off the south head of the bay on the evening of the 15th (Banks's 14th). Banks, who had collected names, writes in Grey MS 51, ‘the Island on which he landed is calld by the natives Poegaig [Poikeke] near it were two more called Motueike [Motu Iki, charted as Motueka] & Motucara [Motukorure] the rock like a castle seen in coming in is called Teruamahow [? Te rua mahau] and a remarkable steep clift spiring up like a Pillar Komutoro [Ko (it is) Moturoa]’—which illustrates his thirst for all available knowledge.

4 i.e. for Parkinson to draw on board. There are many of these drawings extant.

page 434 number of all these articles came on board. Dr Solander who was today in a cove different from that I was in saw the natives catch many lobsters in a most simple manner: they walkd among the rocks at low water about middle deep in water and still felt about with their feet till they felt one, on which they divd down and constantly brought him up. I do not know whether I have before mentiond these lobsters but we have had them in tolerable plenty in almost every place we have been in and they are certainly the largest and best I have ever eat.1

15. Little wind and that foul, sail however. Several canoes were on board and in one of them Torava who sayd that as soon as ever we are gone he must go to his heppah or fort, for the freinds of the man who was killd on the 9th threatend to revenge themselves upon him as being a freind to us.

16. Wind foul as yesterday. Many Islands were seen but neither the main or them appeard at all Fertile or well inhabited; only one town was seen all day and no people, indeed we were rather too far off.

17. Foul wind and blowing fresh, so that we did not come near enough to the land to make many observations.

18. Fine weather and Fair wind today repayd us for yesterdays Tossing. The countrey appeard pleasant and well wooded. At 7 we were abreast of a remarkable bare point jutting far into the sea;2 on it stood many people who seemd to take but little notice of us but talkd together with much earnestness. In about an hour we saw canoes put off almost at the same time from several different places and come towards us, on which these people also put off a small Canoe they had with them and came likwise towards us, she soon came up with us and had in her 20 people and soon after another with 35. They sung the song of Defiance as usual which we took very little notice of, in about ½ an hour they threw 3 or 4 stones on board and then departed towards the shore; we though[t] we were quite clear of them but they soon returnd as if inclined (which I beleive is the common policy of these people) to provoke us to shew them whether we had or not arms superior to theirs. Tupia who I beleive guessd that they were coming to attack us immediately went upon the poop and talkd to them a good deal,

1 They were Jasus lalandi, the same as the lobsters bought in the Bay of Plenty, p. 420 above. Parkinson (Journal, p. 99) says that some of the crayfish caught at Tolaga Bay weighed eleven pounds.

2 Grey MS 51, ‘it was calld cape Colvil’ or Colville.

page 435 telling them what if they provokd us we should do and how easily we could in a moment destroy them all. They answerd him in their usual cant ‘come ashore only and we will kill you all’. Well, said Tupia, but while we are at sea you have no manner of Business with us, the Sea is our property as much as yours. Such reasoning from an Indian who had not had the smallest hint from any of us surprizd me much and the more as these were sentiments I never had before heard him give a hint about in his own case. All his preaching however had little effect for they soon renewd their stone attack, on which a musquet ball was fird through one of their boats on which they dropd astern and left us. At night the ship was in a place which some people conjecturd to be a channel betwixt an Island and the main, others a deep bay,1 where she came to an anchor.

19. This morn two Canoes came from the land who said they knew Torava and calld Tupia by his name. We took some of them onboard who behavd very well. Afterwards canoes came from the other side of the bay who likewise mentiond Toravas name and sent a young man into the ship Who told us that he was the old mans grandson: we never suspected him to have had so much influence. In the evening it came on thick and misty so we came to an anchor not a little pleasd to find our selves at least in a peaceable countrey.

20. Weather still thick and hazey. We had yesterday resolvd to employ this day in examining the bay so at day break we set out in the boats. A fresh breeze of wind soon carried us to the bottom of the bay, where we found a very fine river broad as the Thames at Greenwich tho not quite so deep, there was however water enough for vessels of more than a midling size and a bottom of mud so soft that nothing could possibly take damage by running ashore. About a mile up this was an Indian town built upon a small bank of Dry sand but totaly surrounded by Deep mud, so much so that I beleive they meant it a defence. The people came out in flocks upon the banks inviting us in, they had heard of us from our good freind Torava; we landed and while we stayd they were most perfectly civil, as indeed they have always been where we were known but never where we were not. After this visit we proceeded and soon met with another town with but few inhabitants. Above this the banks of the river were compleatly cloathd with

1 It was towards the bottom of the Hauraki Gulf: running-head ‘Ooohoorage or River Thames’.

page 436 the finest timber my Eyes ever beheld, of a tree we had before seen but only at a distance in Poverty bay and Hawks bay; thick woods of it were every where upon the Banks, every tree as straight as a pine and of immense size: still the higher we came the more numerous they were. About 2 leagues from the mouth we stopd and went ashore. Our first business was to measure one of these trees: the woods were swampy so we could not range far, we found one however by no means the largest we had seen which was feet in circumference and in hight without a branch;1 but what was most remarkable was that it, as well as many more that we saw, carried its thickness so truely up to the very top that I dare venture to affirm that the top where the lowest branch took its rise was not a foot less in diameter than where we measurd, which was about 8 feet from the ground. We cut down a young one of these trees; the wood provd heavy and solid, too much so for mast but would make the finest Plank in the world, and might possibly by some art be made light enough for mast as the pitch pine in. America (to which our Carpenter likened this timber) is said to be lightned by tapping.2
As far as this the river had kept its depth and very little decreasd even in breadth; the Captn was so much pleasd with it that he resolvd to call it the Thames.3 It was now time for us to return, the tide turning downwards gave us warning so away we went and got out of it into the bay before it was dark. We rowd for the ship as fast as we could but nigh[t] overtook us before we could

1 Cook gives the circumference of this tree six feet above the ground as 19 feet 8 inches, and the height, taken with a quadrant, from the root to the first branch as 89 feet; ‘it was as streight as an arrow and taper'd but very little in proportion to its length, so that I judged that there was 356 solid feet of timber in this tree clear of the branches’.—Cook I, p. 206. Cook and Banks were in the great forest of Kahikatea or Podocarpus dacrydioides that then covered the valley of the Waihou or Thames river for about 25 miles—now alas! completely vanished. Mr Leslie G. Kelly tells me that their activities were watched by Maoris close by, and the tree remembered in tradition which in due course was passed on to Europeans. It was felled for milling a little before 1900, but abandoned as the trunk was hollow. Measurements taken by Mr Courtenay Kenny, surveyor, of Paeroa, and his brother, tallied with Cook's. The site of the tree is given by Mr Kenny as almost due west of the present Hikutaia railway station, on the west side of the river and close to the Cook Road. So close to, as well as so far from, the eighteenth century are we.

2 The description here given argues that the tree cut down was not one of ‘these’ trees at all, if ‘these’ were Kahikatea, but a Matai, Podocarpus spicatus. As a standing tree this would look much like the other. The timber of the Kahikatea is light. Furthermore the description of the leaf and berries given below, II, p. 10, pretty obviously refers to the Matal; see II, Pl. 12. I owe this piece of discrimination to Professor W. P. Morreli's Sir Joseph Banks in New Zealand (Wellington 1958), p. 80, n. 1.

3 … on account of its bearing some resemblence to that river in england’.—Cook. He was thinking of the lower readies of the Thames—‘broad as the Thames at Greenwich’, as Banks says above; and apparently of its estuary, for he extended the name in New Zealand to cover the whole of the Hauraki gulf.

page break
Pl. X. Fuchsia excorticata Kotukutuku or Tree Fuchsia Anaura Bay

Pl. X. Fuchsia excorticata Kotukutuku or Tree Fuchsia
Anaura Bay

page break page 437 get w[i]th[i]n some miles of it. It blew fresh with showers of rain, in this situation we rowd till near 12 and then gave over and running under the land came to a grapling and all went to sleep as well as we could.

21. Before daybreak we set out again. It still blew fresh with mizling rain and fog so that it was an hour after day before we got a sight of the ship. However we made shift to get on board by 7 tird enough, and lucky it was for us that we did, for before 9 it blew a fresh gale so that our boat could not have rowd ahead so that had we been out we must have either gone ashore or shelterd ourselves under it. Before evening however it moderated so that we got under way with the Ebb tide but did little or nothing.

22. This morn we weighd with the Ebb but breeze was so light that the Captn went into the boat and dr Solander with him. There were many Canoes about the ship with which I traded for their clothes, arms &c. of which I had got few so I stayd on board, they sold cheifly for paper. In the course of this commerce one young man who was upon Deck stole a half minute glass1 which was in the Binnacle and was catchd attempting to go off with it. The first Lieutenant took it into his head to flogg him for his crime. He was accordingly seezd but when they atempted to tie him to the shrowds the Indians on board made much resistance: I heard it and came upon deck: they then began to call for their arms which were handed them out of the boats and one canoe atempted to come up the ships side. Just then Tupia came upon deck, they ran to him immediately, he assurd them that their freind would not be killd he would only be whippd, on which they were well satisfied. He endurd the discipline and as soon as he was let go an old man who perhaps was his father beat him very soundly and sent him down into the canoes, into which they all went and dropd astern, saying that they were afraid to come any more near us. They venturd however at last but stayd a very short time promising however at their departure to return with fish which they never performd.

1 The half-minute glass, on the hour-glass principle, was used with a rope or ‘log-line’ knotted every fifty feet (at least in theory) and attached to a floating piece of wood to find the rate at which the ship was going. One half-minute was one 120th part of an hour; 50 feet was one 120th part of a nautical mile of 2000 feet. ‘Heaving the log’ consisted in flinging it overboard and noting how many knots ran off the reel while the sand in the glass ran, thus giving the ship's speed in nautical miles per hour—i.e. so many ‘knots’. In practice there were modifications both of the length of the line and of the ‘half-minute’ measured by the glass; but Cook always speaks of an unmodified 50 feet and half-minute. See Cook I, p. 57 for the effect of too much error in the division of the line. It was not for a light-fingered Maori to make free with half-minute glasses.

page 438

23. Very light breezes: we have got but little as yet by Tideing.1 In the morn 2 small canoes came off and promisd to return at night with fish but did not.

24. Strong breeze off the land so we soon got clear of the bay. Land in the morn appeard unfruitfull, few or no houses were seen; in the Evening large sands which extended some way into the countrey in little hills as I have seen in England. At night we came to an anchor in a small open bay;2 our fishing lines were tried and we soon caught a large number of fish which were calld by the seamen Sea bream,3 as many as I beleive the ships company could eat in 2 days.

25. The countrey had a tolerably good appearance. In the morn some stragling houses and 3 or 4 fortified towns were in sight, near which was a large quantity of Cultivation; in the Evening 7 large canoes came off carrying about 200 Indians. Two of them who said they had heard of us came on board and receivd our presents: this did not however hinder some of their companions from cheating as usual by offering to trade and keeping what they had got without sending up what they had offerd. Our usual punishment was inflicted, small shot, which made the offender immediately relinqu[i]sh his prize (an old pair of Black breches) which he threw into the water on seeing a second musquet presented. His companions however as soon as they thought themselves out of our reach began as usual to defy us which made us think it nescessary to shew them what we could do, a conduct surely most right when it can be done without hurting them: musquets were fird near them which made them draw a little farther off, a round shot was then fird over their heads on which they all set off for the shore most stoutly.

26. Two small canoes came off early in the mom and told us that they had heard of yesterdays adventure, they came on board and traded queitly for whatever they had: soon after two larger ones came from a distance, they calld the others to them and then All came tip together to the ship. The strangers were numerous and appeard rich: their Canoes were well carvd and ornamented and they had with them many weapons of patoo patoos4

1 ‘by Tideing’—i.e. by drifting with the outgoing tide and anchoring when it turned, in the attempt to make some progress in spite of the absence of real wind.

2 Bream Bay. But the two outer points of the bay, Bream Head and Bream Tail, were estimated by Cook to be five leagues apart.

3 This haul was not of Snapper as has been suggested (Cook I, p. 210) but of Tarakihi, Dactylopagrus macropterus (Bloch and Schneider), a common and good food fish of New Zealand waters which was described by Solander as Sciaena abdominalis (Pisc. Aust. pp. 29–30) under this date. Solander refers to a painting which cannot now be found.

4 ‘Weapons of patoo patoos’: S reads ‘weapons, as patoo patoos’, which makes better sense. P follows the MS.

page 439 whales bones which they value much; they had also ribbs of whales of which we had often seen imitations in wood carvd and ornamented with tufts of Dogs hair.1 The people themselves were browner than to the Southward as indeed they have been ever since we came to Opoorage, and they had a much larger quantity of Amoco2 or black stains upon their bodys and faces; almost universaly they had a broad spiral on each buttock and many had their thighs almost intirely black, small lines only being left untouchd so that they lookd like stripd breeches. In this particular, I mean Amoco, almost every different tribe seem to vary their customs:3 we have some days seen Canoes where every man has been almost coverd with it, and at the same time others where scarce a man has had a spot except his lipps black'd, which seems to be always Essential.

These people would not part with any of their arms &c. for any price we could offer; at last however one producd an axe of Talk and offerd it for Cloth, it was given and the Canoe immediately put off with it. A musquet ball was fird over their heads on which they immediately came back and returnd the cloth but soon after put off and went ashore.

In the afternoon other Canoes came off and from some inattention of the officers were sufferd to cheat unpunishd and unfrightned. This put one of the Midshipmen who had sufferd upon a droll tho rather mischeivous revenge. He got a fishing line and when the Canoe was close to the ship hove the lead at the man who had cheated, with so good success that he fastned the hook into his backside, on which he pulld with all his might and the Indian kept back, so the hook soon broke in the shank leaving its beard in his backside, no very agreable legacy.4

27. Light breeze. Several canoes came off and traded for fish but were most abominably saucy, continualy threatning us, at last they began to heave stone[s] with more courage than any boats we had seen. This made it nescessary to punish them: the Captn went upon the Poop where they immediately threw at him, he leveld a gun loaded with small shot at the man who held a stone in his hand in the very action of throwing and struck him. He sunk down so immediately into the Canoe that we suspected he was

1 The ‘ribbs of whales’ were probably hoeroa, objects which have been generally taken to be weapons, but are now regarded as rather a sort of chiefly staff. The ‘imitations in wood’ were more likely to have been taiaha, a favourite two-handed striking-weapon, 5 to 6 feet long. For more detailed discussion, see II, p. 28, n. a below.

2 moko.

3 Variety was individual, not tribal.

4 These visits, and the midshipman's prank, were off Gape Brett.

page 440 materialy hurt; this however did not prevent another Canoe from coming up with stones in their hands who met another load of small shot at about 50 yards distant which struck several of them and at once stopd their speed. The two canoes which had been fird at went immediately for the shore, the others dropd astern and we left them behind. The land appeard rocky and full of Islands, the Continent behind them rose in a gradual slope and seemd fertile; some cultivation was in sight. In the even foul wind.

28. Foul wind continued and this morn the ship was 2 leagues at least to leward of yesterday. The Continent rose in gentle hills but did not appear so fertile when near it as it did at a distance; several large heppas were in sight one the largest we have seen, to appearance far inland.

29. Wind as foul as ever and the ship moved more to leward, so we res[o]lvd to bear away for a bay which we had Passd. We did so and by 10 came to an anchor in a most spatious and well shelterd harbour or rather collection of harbours almost innumerable formd by Islands.1

Canoes crowded upon us from all quarters so that we soon had 37 large and small about us; the people in them traded very fairly for what they had and shewd much fear of us, especialy if they saw any thing like a gun which they were well acquainted with. They became however soon a little more bold and while we were at dinner one of them went to the Buoy which they atempted to tow away: a musquet was fird over them without effect [and?] small shot at them but they were too far off for that to take effect. A ball was then fird at them which was thought to strike one of them as they immediately threw out the Buoy which by this time they had got into their Canoe; a round shot was then fird over them which struck the water and then went ashore; 2 or 3 canoes landed immediately and the men ran about on the beach as if in search of it. After this we calld to them and in a little time they all returnd to the ship.

By this time she was properly moor'd and the Boats out, so we set out for the shore.2 At our parting from the ship not a canoe stirrd which we Judgd a good sign, but no sooner had we set a foot on the shore about ¾ of a mile from the ship but every Canoe put off in a moment and pulld towards us. We were in a sandy cove

1 The Bay of Islands.

2 The ship was moored off the south-west end of the island called Motu Arohia, and it was on this island that the landing was made.

page 441 behind the two heads of which the most of them landed, one or 2 only in sight; out of these they came running with every man his arms, others appeard on the tops of the hills and numbers from behind each head of the Cove so that we were in a moment surrounded by (the gentlemen in the ship say) 5 or 600 men tho we I beleive never saw more than 200 of them. We now every man expected to be attackd but did not chuse to begin hostilities so the Captn and myself marchd up to meet them. They crouded a good deal but did not offer to meddle with us, tho every man had his arms almost lifted up to strike. We brought them towards the party and made a line signing to them that they were not to pass it: they did not at first but by this time a party from the other side had come up and mixd with our people. They now began to sing their war song but committed no hostility till 3 steppd to each of our boats and attempted to draw them ashore. It was now time to fire, we whose Guns were loaded with small shot did so which drove them back. One man attempted to Rally them; he who was not 20 yards from us came down towards us waving his Patoo patoo and calling to his companions; Dr Solander whose gun was not dischargd fird at him on which he too ran. They now got upon rising ground about us from whence we dislogd them by firing musquet balls, none of which took effect farther than frightning them. In this way we were about ¼ of an hour, resolving to maintain our ground, when the ship had brought her broadside to bear and fird at the Indians who were on the topps of the hills.1 The balls went quite over them notwithstanding which they went off and at last left us our cove quite to ourselves, so that the musquets were laid down upon the ground and all hands employd in gathering Cellery which was here very plentifull. An Old Indian now appeard who had been on board in the morn with two more, they came immediately to us and provd to be his wife and brother. He said that another brother of his was struck with the small shot and askd whether he would dye: we told him no and gave him a musquet ball with some small shot telling him that it was the latter with which he was struck, but that if they again attackd us we would shoot them with the former which would infallibly kill them. After this we went into the boats and rowd to another Cove in the same Island near which was a high hill from whence we might have a good view of the bay. We climbd up it and from thence saw

1 Hicks, left in command of the ship, and somewhat alarmed by the crowding of the natives on shore, had immediately manoeuvred her to bring her broadside to bear—a fortunate circumstance.

page 442 that the bay we were in was indeed a most surprizing place: it was full of an innumerable quantity of Islands forming as many harbours, which must be as smooth as mill pools as they Landlock one another numberless times. Every where round us we could see large Indian towns, houses and cultivations: we had certainly seen no place near so populous as this one was very near us, from whence several Indians came to us taking however great pains to shew us that they were unarmd. They acompanied us down to the boat. Night coming on we went onboard carrying much Celery, the only plant of any use even to us, for of all the places I have landed in this was the only one which did not produce one new vegetable.

30. Several canoes came off to the ship very Early but sold little or nothing, indeed no merchandice that we can shew them seems to take with them. Our Island cloth which usd to be so much esteemd has now intirely lost its value: they have for some days told us that they have of it ashore and shewd us small peices in their Ears which they said was of their own manufacture, this at once accounts for their having been once so fond of it and now setting so little value upon it.1 Towards noon however they sold a little dryd fish for paper cheifly or very white Island Cloth. Among other things they told us that the man who was shot at with small shot on the [2]7th was dead, 3 shot they said struck his Eye and I suppose found there an easy passage to his brain.

In the Even we went ashore upon the Continent:2 the people receivd us very civily and as tame as we could wish. One general observation I here set down, that they Always after one nights consideration have acknowledgd our superiority but hardly before: I have often seen a man whose next neighbour was wounded or killd by our shot not give himself the trouble to enquire how or by what means he was hurt, so that at the time of their attacks they I beleive work themselves up into a kind of artificial Courage which does not allow them time to think much.

1 Cf. p. 412, n. 1 above, and II, p. 9 below.

2 Banks, as we shall see, was letting the continental theory go hard. Cf. Cook, p. 216: ‘At 3 PM the Boats having returnd from sounding, I went with them over to the south side of the Harbour and landed upon the Main, accompaned by Mr Banks and DT Solander’.