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White Wings Vol II. Founding Of The Provinces And Old-Time Shipping. Passenger Ships From 1840 To 1885

Chapter V. — Canterbury Province

page 66

Chapter V.
Canterbury Province.

There was a wide difference between settlement in the North Island and in the South Island, and nothing shows it more clearly than the stories of Wellington and Canterbury. Wellington was the spear-head of organised colonisation; upon her first settlers fell the task of showing the way. Taranaki was much in the same category. Auckland was different, for there the first settlement was a "flitting" from the Bay of Islands, rather than the act of an organised band of settlers from overseas. In considering these North Island settlements we must always remember the important part the Maori played. In the North the Maori neighbour was a very real problem; in the South he was a negligible factor in the case.

Canterbury was founded in a typically English manner—thorough from first to last. It was not until ten years after the founding of the settlement on the shores of Port Nicholson that the Canterbury scheme was actually carried into effect, so that the leaders had the valuable experience of others to guide them. Then, again, by fixing on Port Cooper and its hinterland, they had vast plains, free from the heavy bush with which the Northern settlers had to struggle, plains that offered something much nearer to the Englishman's ideas of farm land. Evidence of the comparative ease with which farming was begun is found in the fact that four years after the first ships dropped anchor in Port Lyttelton, a full cargo of produce was sent to London in the ship Edward Grenfell, the main item being wool valued at over £l5,000.

There is not much doubt that we can trace the settlement of Canterbury to a momentous interview at Malvern between Edward Gibbon Wakefield, the founder of the New Zealand Company and J. R. Godley, a well-connected, well-educated young Irishman with a penchant for colonisation. The enthusiasm with which Godley was inspired was communicated to the aristocratic band of men who formed the Canterbury Association with the Archbishop of Canterbury at the head—for from the first the scheme was strongly Church of England in tone, and would have been wholly so, but for circumstances that arose—probably the difficulty of getting sufficient numbers of the working class of that denomination.

In 1849 Captain J. Thomas, a surveyor, who had come out with the Wellington settlers, was dispatched to Lyttelton to see about the laying out of the settlement, and in April, 1850, Mr. J. R. Godley arrived, he being the executive head of the Association. page 67 Under these two men adequate preparation was made for the reception of the settlers who were to follow close on Godley's footsteps; barracks being erected at Lyttelton, and precautions taken to ensure that the profiteers would not run provisions up to famine prices

At the end of the year the ships arrived, and it did not take the newcomers long to decide upon fixing their capital on the plains instead of at Lyttelton, as was originally intended. When the first settlers climbed what we now call the Port Hills, and looked over the wonderful expanse of plains, they saw the futility of building their chief town on the steep shores of Lyttelton, and so they trekked across and took possession of the "Promised Land."

Some Very Early History.

Although Canterbury naturally dates as a province from the momentous day when the first ships arrived at Lyttelton, the immigrants were not the first whites to settle in the district. There were Europeans on Banks Peninsula one hundred years ago, and when the Canterbury settlers landed they found living at Riccarton, the Deans brothers, two hardy Scots, who had come out with the Wellington settlers and then gone South, as they could not get suitable land in the North. It was in 1843 that these two brothers settled at Riccarton, which they named after their Scottish home in Ayr. Many people knowing the English origin of Canterbury, immediately jump to the conclusion that the Avon is named after the famous Warwickshire stream, but it was so named by the Deans after their own Scottish river. Other settlers who had come out with the Wellington parties and then went on to Canterbury, were the Hays, pioneers at Akaroa. Still another settler who dates from before the first ships was Edward Pavitt, who came out to Akaroa in April, 1850, and is now living at New Plymouth, aged over 88 years.

In the very early days Port Lyttelton was known as Port Cooper, being named after a Sydney merchant, who, in 1830, purchased land from the Maoris with the intention of establishing whaling stations, but the pioneer vessel was lost, and the scheme was not revived. When the Canterbury settlement was decided upon, Port Cooper became Port Victoria, being named after Her Majesty, but eventually settled down as Port Lyttelton, the godfather being the earl of that ilk who took a keen interest in the settlement and in the colonisation generally.

It is interesting to know that when the Canterbury settlement was first discussed with the New Zealand Company the idea of the latter's officials was to place the settlement on the banks of the Ruamahunga River, so that to-day we might have had to look in the Wairarapa Valley for Christchurch instead of on the banks of the Avon.

As in the case of all the ventures fathered by the New Zealand Company, the Canterbury Association financed its settlement by page 68 the sale of land. Incorporated in 1849 by Royal Charter, the Association in the same year entered into an agreement with the Company for the purchase of 2,500,000 acres at 10/ an acre, but the price to the settlers was to be £3 an acre, the difference to go to a fund to be administered "for the spiritual and temporal welfare of the settlement."

Well-Prepared Welcome.

When the Canterbury people landed they found a jetty "which would do credit to an English watering place," So an old-time diary says, a number of neat-looking buildings, called the immigration barracks, and a house for Mr. Godley. These places were roofed with shingles. There was even a paling fence round the barracks, and "streets" had been marked out, for we must remember that originally Lyttelton was to be the capital.

Governor Grey was there to welcome the new arrivals, having gone down in the Government vessel, the Fly, and altogether the newcomers had their way very pleasantly smoothed for them. Five hundred of the immigrants were accommodated in the barracks, and a week's rations served out to them. Even some of the cabin passengers were glad to find a shelter in the barracks, but they had to find their own food. Fortunately the weather was perfect, and the strangers were saved the discomfort of rain and mud, such as the pioneers of Petone Beach experienced more than once.

At Lyttelton no one had expected the four ships to arrive so close together in point of time, and when three dropped anchor within two days the people ashore were nearly at their wits end to deal with such an influx. Naturally they had expected to deal with one ship load at a time, and thought that they would have been able to get one batch safely through their hands before the next arrived. However, there was no confusion, and everyone soon settled down. All sorts of living places sprang up in quick time, from iron buildings, to the sod cabin, or even a blanket tent.

Godley was appointed Resident Magistrate, but the immigrants were picked people, and we read that Lyttelton with a population of eleven hundred "was as quiet as an English village." Some of the pilgrims came from walks in life which one would not expect to furnish ideal material for "roughing it," but a diary records that "a regular West End style of gentleman was the day after landing wheeling his truck about, hard at work, as there was much to do in a short while."

Lyttelton was, however, only the stepping stone to the plains, and the immigrants soon began to trek across to the promised land. There was only a bridle track over the Port Hills, and the regular route was by sea to Sumner and then up the river. Freight was 30/ a ton, much to the chagrin of the immigrants, but more boats soon arrived from Wellington, and a bit of healthy competition soon put that to rights.

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Food Cheap And Plentiful.

One thing that gave much satisfaction to the immigrants was the abundance and cheapness of food. Even in those Arcadian days the profiteer flourished, but the leaders of the Canterbury settlement took good care to forestall him. Instructions had been sent to Godley by the Association in London warning him that the sudden arrival of a large number of persons might have the effect of occasioning an inconvenient rise in the price of foodstuffs, and asking him to guard against such a contingency. As a further precaution, a large stock of provisions, that would probably last for two months, had been sent by the ships. In order to prevent profiteering, Godley was instructed to sell by auction, and only in small quantities, so "as to prevent any large capitalist from buying them on speculation."

But another factor operated in keeping prices at a reasonable level. The arrival of the ships had been anticipated by other settlements in New Zealand, and within three weeks of the landing, no less than seven coasting vessels arrived, carrying supplies. With the stocks that had been accumulated beforehand, and with almost daily additions, the new arrivals were gratified to find that fears of shortage and exorbitant prices were groundless. Bread was sold for sevenpence per 21b loaf, milk was fourpence a quart, and meat was only fivepence per pound.

When it is remembered that by the arrival of the first four ships the population increased from 300 to 1100, the abundance of supplies and the low cost must stand as one of the most remarkable features of the settlement of Canterbury. Water was scarce above ground in Lyttelton, but wells provided sufficient for the needs of the settlers, though the supply was to furnish one of the burning questions for years to come. Christchurch was generously supplied from springs and from the then crystal-clear Avon and Heathcote.

Although they were by no means superstitious the Canterbury pioneers were very much impressed by the fact that three of the first four ships arrived in Lyttelton within a few hours of each other, and the fourth arrived only ten days later. With the exception of a meeting early in the voyage between the Randolph and the Charlotte Jane none of the ships had seen one another from the day they left Plymouth Sound, and yet they converged on their appointed haven with almost the unanimity of birds coming home at night. There were very few people who did not take this unusual happening as a good omen.

Charlotte Jane, Randolph, Sir George Seymour, and Cressy. Those were the historic first four ships by which the Canterbury pioneers came out to New Zealand. Singularly uninteresting names, with the exception of the last, which will always have a clarion sound for Englishmen, yet to-day no names are held in great affection in thousands of Canterbury homes. There were, page 70 of course, other ships, but it is this first quartet that one always associates with the birth of Canterbury.

First away from Plymouth Sound, sailing at midnight on September 7, 1850, the Charlotte Jane, 720 tons, Captain Alexander Lawrence, was first to reach Lyttelton, where she dropped anchor at 10 a.m. on December 16, taking 99 days port to port, or 93 days land to land. She was by no means crowded, her passenger list comprising 26 cabin, 19 intermediate (or second saloon as we call it now), and 80 steerage. The Rev. Mr. King-don was the chaplain, and Dr. Alfred Barker, surgeon-superintendent. The outstanding feature of the voyage was the high latitude the ship reached when running down her easting, as she got away into the cold regions of latitude 52.36 south. When she reached this extreme point she was 88 days out, and striking contrary winds it looked as though she was going to make a long voyage of it, but a change of wind came opportunely and she made a good finish. The only ill effect of the extreme cold was the mortality among six brace of partridges and four brace of pheasants. Only one brace of pheasants and one partridge survived.

Nothing of unusual interest happened on the voyage, which seems to have been a very pleasant one with the exception of the cold when the ship made her long sweep to the south. The best day's run was 250 miles, which was registered in the vicinity of Tristan da Cunha. The Line was crossed on October 9, and the meridian of Greenwich on October 29. She had a splendid run in the Southern Ocean and sighted Stewart Island on December 11. Calms and baffling winds then held her up for four days, but as she stood off and on the immigrants enjoyed their first views of the Britain of the South, and judging from diaries that have been left they were quite satisfied.

There was one birth and one marriage on the voyage, and three deaths—three children, who were sick when they came on hoard, one in fact dying before the ship left Plymouth. The amusements were of the usual shipboard kind, and there were two manuscript weekly magazines, "The Cockroach" and the "Sea Pie." Pleasant as it was, one passenger in an account of the voyage winds up by quoting most feelingly Southey's lines,

"How gladly, then,
Sick of the uncomfortable ocean,
The impatient passengers approach the shore;
Escaping from the scene of endless motion,
To feel firm earth beneath their feet once more."

Pioneer's Interesting Diary.

A few hours after the Charlotte Jane sailed, the Randolph followed. A vessel of 761 tons, commanded by Captain Dale, the Randolph carried 34 cabin, 15 intermediate, and 161 steerage passengers. There were two chaplains, the Revs. Puckle and Willock, and Dr. Earle was surgeon-superintendent. The voyage was a gen-page 71erally pleasant one with the exception of cold weather experienced when the ship was driven by contrary winds as far south as latitude 50. She was in the longitude of the Snares on December 11th, the day the Charlotte Jane sighted Stewart Island, and the two dropped anchor within a few hours of one another, in Port Lyttelton.

A diary kept by a Randolph passenger, the late Mr. Charles Bridge, father of Mr. C. Hastings Bridge, of Christchurch, gives unexpected glimpses into the shipboard life of seventy-six years ago, and shows how very much it differed from life on a modern steamer. The visits to other ships on the high seas are a picturesque touch wholly lacking to-day; they were not in such a hurry in 1850 as we are to-day. After describing the start of the journey and some rough weather with which the Atlantic greeted them the diary says:—"September 19th, 1850: I was awoken in the morning by the voice of the captain, speaking a bark, the Fortescue, bound from London to San Francisco; left Gravesend the same day we did, soon left her behind. A birth in the steerage. The water sails set, fair wind all day. An auction took place to-day on the poop; Mr. Tulloch auctioneer, myself clerk. Sold all kinds of things, cheese, eggs, candles, soap, wearing apparel, razors, telescope, pins, cigars, and other things too numerous to mention. Charged the sailors 5 per cent, which is to be spent in porter. The steerage passengers had a dance on deck, the black cook is the fiddler."

Not long afterwards they fell in with a French barque, which was becalmed a couple of miles off. The captain giving permission a boat put off from the Randolph. Says the diary:—"Our crew consisted of myself, Messrs. Scott (the chief officer), Butterfield, Willock, Fleming, Williams, and Duncan (T. S. Duncan, late Crown Prosecutor in Christchurch). As we approached the bark we met one of their boats with some ladies. They asked in French if we were going on board, to which we replied, "Yes." We accordingly went on board, where we were received with the greatest politeness. She appeared to be about 350 tons, with about 20 passenger, on board. We were invited down into the cuddy, and cigars, with brandy and other nice drinkables, put upon the table.

"We had rather a difficulty in making ourselves understood, as none of us could speak much French, but together we managed very well. After we had had some music, we persuaded some of the passengers to return with us on board the Randolph. The captain of the Active therefore lowered two boats, which were soon filled; we took two of the ladies in our boat, and though we were the last to leave, we were the first alongside the Randolph. As soon as we were all on board and all the proper ceremonies of introduction gone through, some bottled ale was handed round, which they all appeared to enjoy, the ladies included. We pressed them very much to dine with us. The French captain at first declined, but in the end yielded to the solicitations of the ladies, who were very anxious to stay. We had a very good dinner, after which we had some singing. Our party left us about seven o'clock, after spending a very pleasant day.

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"September 27th, 1850: Very fine morning, still no wind. Saw the French ship in the distance; she kept nearing us all the morning. Towards noon we proposed going on board, to which Captain Dale consented. The boat was accordingly lowered, and off we went with a large party, including two ladies. We took with us two pots of preserved milk, one of cream, and a bottle of mustard, as a present for the French captain. We were received with great cordiality. We were invited to dine with them, and about four o'clock sat down to a very good dinner, served up quite in the French style. We had six courses, consisting of soup, preserved meats, preserved woodcocks and asparagus, and their wines, claret, champagne, and Madeira, were excellent. Before dinner was over our captain fired the gun for our return. We took the ladies back first and returned for the gentlemen. We reached our ship about seven o'clock, after passing a very pleasant day.

"October 4th, 1850 (Friday): Saw a ship in the distance, which the captain thought looked like the Sir George Seymour. Upon signalling her, we ascertained that it was her. She told us that they had on board one of our passengers whom we had left behind at Plymouth. When we came near to her we lowered a boat and went on board her. We found all well, and after staying about half an hour, we bade them good-bye, and taking our stray passenger with us, regained our ship after a hard pull. (This "stray" passenger was Mr. Cyrus Davie, who thus made the voyage in two ships. He shared Mr. Bridge's cabin, and the friendship then begun has continued in the succeeding generations until the present day. Mr. Davie later became Chief Surveyor of Canterbury.)

"October 21st, 1850 (Monday): Our ship becalmed, and I was called up before six o'clock to prepare letters to take to a bark sighted yesterday in hopes that she would be able to forward them from one of the American ports. All the letters being ready, and having had an early breakfast, the whale boat was cleared away and in her was put a keg of water, two bottles of brandy, two bottles of ale, biscuits, cheese, etc. We took also a telescope and a pocket compass. Our crew consisted of Messrs. Scott, Willock, Duncan, Fleming, Butterfield, and myself, also two seamen. After a very hot pull of about eight miles we were alongside the vessel. She proved to be a bark from Liverpool to Buenos Ayres with Irish emigrants on board. The captain received us very kindly and promised to take off our letter bag. We lunched on board and, after remaining about an hour, we again pulled towards the Randolph and reached her in time for dinner, after an absence of more than six hours. We saw two whales during our pull.

"November 7th, 1850 (Thursday): A very fine morning, bright sun. A busy day amongst the emigrants as all the boxes were brought up out of the hold, as the weather is colder and warm clothing is required. In the afternoon the sailors showed signs of mutinous conduct. It arose from one of the men at the wheel using abusive language to our chief officer. He was sent away from the wheel and ordered to keep an extra watch and when he refusedpage break
From a contemporary sketch, showing the first four ships anchored at Port Lyttelton.

Arrival Of The "First Fleet" Of The Canterbury Settlement.

page 73 to do this, the captain had him put in irons. As soon as he was in irons the remainder of his watch came aft and gave notice that they would not perform their duties unless their comrade was released. This, of course, Captain Dale refused, and ordered them to go below until it was their watch on deck. Soon after this the cook (who is disliked very much by the sailors) was attacked by some of them. Captain Dale, on seeing this, ran forward to separate them, when he was collared and struck by one of the combatants. This man was soon overpowered and put in irons with the other man.

"It was now six o'clock, the time for calling the watch, who, when called, refused to come out, and the man refused to take his turn at the wheel. The captain, on hearing this, mustered all hands aft and addressed them. He said that there appeared to be a strange mutinous feeling amongst them, and called upon us, in the Queen's name, to assist him in punishing the man who refused to take his turn at the wheel. He was taken upon the poop and cutlasses were distributed amongst us. Preparations were made for flogging the man when he fortunately consented to return to his duties, and to our great satisfaction the rest followed his example. The men were released from the irons about eight o'clock.

"November 12th, 1850: Very little wind, almost a calm. The day was fine, but cold and damp. A boat was lowered this morning, and the captain and some of the passengers went on a shooting expedition. They killed a Cape pigeon, a whale bird, an albatross, and a mollyhawk. The albatross measured 9 feet 3 inches from tip to tip of the wings. The birds were all skinned and preserved. About six o'clock a shoal of porpoises and grampuses came close to the ship.

"November 25th, 1850: We were all very busy all day in preparing a theatre for the performance of "The Rivals." It was erected between decks, and formed a very pretty theatre, and the performance went off very well. The cast of characters was as follows:—Sir Anthony Absolute, Captain Dale; Captain Absolute, Mr. Boby; Sir Lucius O'Trigger, Mr. Scott; Bob Acres, Mr. Bayfield; Fag, Mr. Fitch; David, Mr. Peel; Faulkland, Mr. Davie; Thomas, Mr. Blanchard; Mrs. Malaprop, Mr. Williams; Lydia, Mr. Keele; Julia, Mr. Lee; Lucy, Mr. Cuddeford; Boy, Servant, and Maid, the Misses Earle and Williams and Master Puckle. Leader of the orchestra, Mr. Wood; scenery painter, etc., Mr. Blanchard and assistants; stage carpenters, Messrs. Tullock and Balby; prompter and stage manager, Mr. Bridge. After it was all over, the stage was cleared away and supper was laid out. After spending a very convivial evening, we all separated about 12 o'clock and went to bed."

When the Charlotte Jane reached Port Lyttelton she found there two vessels at anchor, the Government brig Fly with Governor Grey and Lady Grey on board, and a merchant vessel, the Barbara Gideon, which had sailed from Plymouth two months before "the first four ships," and was probably the vessel by which the Canter-page 74bury Association had sent out the material used in preparing for the arrival of the pioneers. Governor Grey and the settlers afterwards had differences, but his welcome of the newcomers seems to have been most courteous and his presence on the spot smoothed over many difficulties that might have arisen through the sudden influx of such a large number of new settlers. Not the least appreciated act of his was the remission of all Customs duties on the belongings of the immigrants. There was going to be some trouble over the interpretation of "personal belongings," which were admitted free, but the Governor was higher than red tape, and everything went ashore free of toll.

Bishop Selwyn was too keen a Churchman to allow the settlers to come unwelcomed by the Church, particularly in view of the strong Anglican tone of the settlement, and on January 3, 1851, he came sailing into Port Lyttelton in his little schooner yacht, the Undine, which he used to sail himself. His visit was much appreciated, early reminiscences containing many references to his thoughtful attention to the settlers.

Why The Women Wept.

During the 75th anniversary celebrations in Christchurch in December, 1925, Mrs. T. V. Whitmore (who was a Miss Grubb), one of the passengers by the Charlotte Jane, gave some personal reminiscences which were of much interest as she was one of the few survivors of the band that arrived by that ship. "I remember the morning of our arrival as if it were only yesterday," said Mrs. Whitmore, then eighty years of age. "When we arrived at Lyttelton we were met by the Fly with Sir George Grey aboard. The captain and some officials from our vessel went aboard his ship, and after a time we were all taken ashore in small boats. Most of the passengers on our vessel took up their quarters in the barracks, but my father, having come to New Zealand several years before, had already built a home for US, and we went to live there.

"After the Cressy arrived—she was the last of the first four ships to reach port—the single men, who had been accommodated at the barracks, had to leave to make room for the children aboard the vessel. There were a great many youngsters on the Cressy, and difficulty was experienced in finding room for them all.

"In those days the Maori pa was right in the heart of Lyttelton, but it was not long before the natives were asked to shift, and they settled at Rapaki.

One of Mrs. Whitmore's keenest recollections connected with the arrival of the Charlotte Jane at Lyttelton is that a number of the women passengers burst into tears when the vessel drew into port. "They were crying," she said, "because they had all dressed themselves in their Sunday best, and there was nowhere to go."

Other Ships Arrive.

The first four ships are generally the only ones referred to when speaking of the founding of Canterbury, but vessels that arrived close on their heels are surely entitled to some of the reflected glory that surrounds pioneers. For instance, in February,page 75 two months after the Cressy, we have the Castle Eden, 930 tons, Captain T. Thornhill, entering Port Cooper with 27 cabin passengers, 32 fore-cabin passengers and 145 in the steerage. Among those in the cabin were Dr. Jackson, the bishop designate of Lyttelton, with his wife and family, Lord Frederick Montague, "and several other land purchasees," as the "Lyttelton Times" described them. This ship had sailed from Gravesend on September 28, and from Plymouth on October 3, but heavy weather drove her back, and she finally left Plymouth Sound on October 18.

Then the next vessel to reach Port Cooper was the Isabella Hercus, 618 tons, Captain Holstone, which left Plymouth on October 24, 1850, and reached Lyttelton on March 1, 1851. She brought out 25 cabin, 16 fore-cabin, and 107 steerage passengers.

The Duke of Bronte, 500 tons, Captain Barclay, anchored in Port Lyttelton on June 6, 1851, after a lengthy, cold, passage. She was followed by the Steadfast, Captain Spencer, the Labuan, the Bangalore, the Dominion, the Lady Nugent, the Travancore, and others. In nine months from the beginning of the emigration of the settlers sixteen ships were dispatched by the Canterbury Association, carrying, in round numbers, 2500 people. In September, 1851, the "Lyttelton Times" estimated the population at about 3000.

Mr. Pavitt's Reminiscences.

As mentioned previously, among the people who settled in Canterbury before the arrival of the "first four ships" in December, 1850, was Mr. Edward Pavitt, who arrived at Akaroa in April, nine months before. Recalling those early days Mr. Augustus Reid Pavitt, of Tennyson Street, Christchurch, who is a son of Mr. E. Pavitt, writes:—

"My father and mother, with their family of eight sons and three daughters, arrived in Akaroa by the Monarch, a barque of 365 tons, after a perilous journey of five months, on April 2, 1850. Instead of landing in Auckland, as was our intention, we drifted round the west coast of New Zealand, through Foveaux Straits, up to Banks Peninsula, into Akaroa Harbour, up which we were steered by the help of two boats, as we had lost our rudder some hundreds of miles before we sighted New Zealand.

As we drifted towards the anchorage, several Maori canoes came out to meet us. When the natives came on board, clad in very scanty garments, all the lady passengers retired to their cabins. The steward returned presently with several articles of apparel, which were received with great satisfaction by the natives, especially by one heavily-tattooed old gentleman, whose share of the pakeba clothing was a white bell-topper, which he immediately put on. As he was stepping into the canoe a sailor brought his hand down heavily on the top of the hat, bonneting the poor old fellow, whose white head was forced through the top of the hat. The last I saw of him was when he was trying to restore his prize to its original shape. The natives were never troublesome, and we were always able to maintain friendly relations with them. I remember well old Te Whawha, a splendid looking old native, who had been mainly instrumental in saving part of his tribe from the fury of Te Rauparaha.

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"When we arrived in Akaroa there were about 70 white people on the Peninsula, most of whom were French. All of these have crossed the Great Divide.

"We bought land at Robinson's Bay and set up a sawmill there. Most of the work was done by hand, but we afterwards installed a water-wheel which drove a circular saw with a radius of about 12 inches, and all the flitching had to be done with pit saws. When fifteen years of age I was working in the pit doing a man's work. There were no labour laws then and no time restrictions, and we worked in summer from six in the morning till six at night. A great deal of the timber was used in building houses in Christchurch, being brought up from Akaroa in small vessels (of which we owned three), and unloaded at the old steam wharf on the Heathcote. Although we had had no previous experience in boat-building we managed to build a little ketch of sixty or seventy tons, called the Thetis, which some years after was wrecked on the Kaiapoi Bar.

"I can well remember how excited all were when we heard of the arrival of the 'Four Ships'—even the Maoris were surprised to see 'Plenty men, plenty women, plenty girls'—this with true Maori emphasis. It was several years after we landed that we first tasted beef and mutton here, but hard work gave us a good appetite for the wild pork, pigeons, kakas and fish which he had to shoot or catch before we could have a meal. However, they were easily obtained, so we rarely went hungry for long.

"Our stores we bought from Mr. Peacock, who brought them from Sydney in the brig Torrington (afterwards wrecked at Lyttelton) and the Mountain Maid. Whalers often visited Akaroa. The ships were principally manned by French and American sailors, who came in for wood and water. The Government warships Acheron, a survey boat, and The Fly, bringing Sir George, Grey, arrived in Akaroa in 1850. Other notable visitors to the Peninsula about that time were Bishop Selwyn and Lord Cecil, afterwards the Marquis of Salisbury. Our first bishop was a most noble-looking man. One could not but be impressed by his appearance and manner. He did more to pacify the Maoris than anyone, either Governor or general. He was loved by all his people, both white and brown, and admired for his courage and fearlessness as he travelled from place to place over his large diocese."