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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Wellington Provincial District]



The Most Rev. Octavius Hadfield, late Primate of New Zealand and Lord Bishop of Wellington, is now residing at Edale, Bond Street, Marton, where he settled immediately on his retirement from his ecclesiastical office. The reverend gentleman was born at Bonchurch, Isle of Wight, and educated partly in France, but on his return to England became a student at the Charterhouse School, Godalming, London (the chairman of whose managing board is the Archbishop of Canterbury), completing his educational course at Pembroke College, Oxford. He also studied for a time under his elder brother, who was then curate of Whitchurch, Hampshire. In 1838 Bishop Hadfield came out to Sydney, at which place he was ordained a deacon in the same year. After a short residence in Australia, the then Rev. Mr. Hadfield crossed over to New Zealand, arriving at the Bay of Islands on the 21st December, 1838. This was before the British Government was The Most Rev. Octavius Hadfield established in New Zealand. In 1839, the Colony's future Primate left the north, and, coming down to Port Nicholson, immediately began his arduous labours amongst the Maoris. He very soon acquired their language, and for many years the rev. gentleman's life was one of hardship and responsibility, especially during the numerous disturbances which arose between the natives and the settlers. On many occasions he was the means of quelling, by his influence and taca, what might have developed into very serious war between the two races. He ministered at Waikanae and Otaki and the surrounding district until the end of 1849, when he was created an archdeacon; after which he still resided at Otaki for some years in charge of the Maori mission. Subsequently Archdeason Hadfield came to Wellington, and in 1870 was consecrated Bishop of the Diocese. He was appointed to the primacy in 1889, but age and the page 1314 effects of his fatiguing work of the early days necessitated his release from the onerous duties attached to the office. He had been a bishop for no less than twenty-three years, when, in October. 1893, his Lordship resigned the bishopric and primateship. Bishop and Mrs. Hadfield were much missed by the poor of Thorndon and other parts of the city, for since Mrs. Hadfield's health was very delicate, she deputed her amiable daughters to look after the wants of the needy in her place.

St. Stephen's Anglican Church, Marton, was founded in 1872, when the foundation stone was laid, though ten years elapsed before the church was finally completed. The church was named St. Stephen's in memoriam of Major Willis first wife, who died on St. Stephen's Day. The very beautiful altar cloth was executed by handwork by the Holywell sisterhood in Oxford, and is the gift of Miss Willis. Major Willis contributed largely to the funds of the building. A good deal of the interior of the church, including the sanctuary and chancel, was groined and ribbed by the Ven. Archdeacon Towgood, also the baptistry, which is in memory of Dr. Taylor, as is signified by the handsome brass plate. The stone font was given by Mr. Stewart. The church is about 100 feet in length, and 50 feet to the ridge-pole, while the height to the top of the bell-turret is 79 feet. The vestry is under the sanctuary, being part of the old redoubt on which the church was built. The ordinary sitting-accommodation provides for about 240, but 300 have been crammed into the church on a special occasion. There are about ninety church families in Marton, representing some 450 adherents.

Photo by and engraving kindly presented by Mr. J. Locke. St. Stephen's Church, Marton.

Photo by and engraving kindly presented by Mr. J. Locke.
St. Stephen's Church, Marton

The Venerable Archdeacon Towgood, who is in charge of St. Stephen's, Marton, was educated at Sherborne and St. John's College, Oxford, and after a year at Cuddesdon, under the present Bishops of Lincoln and Grahamstown, who were at this time respectively Principal and Vice-Principal of the College, was ordained in June, 1865 at Exeter by the great Bishop Philpotts, whose voice, in spite of his great age of eighty-seven, easily filled the cathedral. Mr. Towgood's health breaking down shortly after, he left for New Zealand in the “Donna Aruta,” and landed at Nelson in February, 1866. Returning to Nelson a few months later from the North Island, he took duty in the neighbourhood for some eighteen months. It was during this time that the celebrated Manugatapu murders took place, an event which was as remarkable for the pertinacity with which the young men of Nelson searched the mountains for the missing men, as for the audacity of the criminals. After a couple of years spent in retirement, Mr. Towgood commenced work in the Rangitikei in November, 1868. He was the first English clergyman to settle in the district, and has been there ever since. His work at the time comprised Bulls and Sandon, and subsequently Turakina and Hunterville; but it has of late years been reduced to its original dimensions of St. Stephen's, Marton, and St. John's, Tutu Totara. Mr. Towgood was made Archdeacon of Wanganui, by the late bishop, Primate Hadfield, on his retirement from office.

St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church is situated in Broadway, Marton. It is a wooden building, with seating accommodation for about 200, and was rebuilt in 1870. The Sunday school is held in the church, there being 131 on the roll, and an average from ninety to 100 in attendance. The church holds services at the Upper Tutaenui, about six miles from Marton, where they have a wooden building, which has been erected for about twenty years, and accommodates 120 persons. There is a small Sunday school of about twenty. The Presbyterians count about 300 as the number of their adherents in this district.

The Rev. David Gordon, B.A., Presbyterian Minister of Marton, is a native of the North of Ireland He was educated at Belfast, and took his degree in 1882 at Queen's College, which, with the colleges of Cork and Galway, formed the university which is now known as the Royal University of Ireland. The reverend gentleman studied for the ministry at the Theological College, Belfast, and was ordained as minister of Conlig congregation, County Down. After ministering to this congregation for eleven years, he came to New Zealand per s.s. “Tongariro,” landing in Wellington in the year 1884. On his arrival he was inducted into the Marton Church. Mr. Gordon is president of the Blue Ribbon Union in the district. He is married and has a family. His eldest daughter took an Education Board scholarship which entitled her to two years' education at the Wanganui Girls' College, where she was further successful in taking a second scholarship, and in 1894 was dux of the college.

The Wesleyan Church is erected in Wellington Road, Marton. It is a fine building with a handsome spire, and was completed in 1894. Accommodation is provided for 300, The adherents in the township number about 200. There is a good Sunday school of about ninety children. The Wesleyans also hold services at the Upper Tutaenui, where their congregation is about eighty. At Porewa they usually have a congregation of about forty, Beaconsfield about 100, Crofton thirty, Rata forty, and at Silverhope forty.

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Wesleyan Church, Marton,

Wesleyan Church, Marton,

The Rev. James Thomas was educated at Horton College, Ross, Tasmania, where he studied for the ministry. He was admitted as a probationer in 1871, and was ordained the same year in the York Street Church, Sydney, in order that he might go to the mission field. He was appointed to Tonga and landed in Nukualofa. For one-and-a-half years he ministered at Hihifo, and four-and-a-half years at Neiafu Vavau. Owing to impaired health he returned to the colonies, and had one year's rest at Hobart. Subsequently he travelled in the Latrobe-Mersey circuit for three years, in Deloraine for three years, and in Beaconsfield for one year, being transferred to New Zealand in 1885. In this Colony he has ministered in Richmond for three years, Whangarei for three years, and Hamilton and Waikato for three years, and has been resident minister in Marton since 1894.

St. Martin's Lutheran Church, Marton, a pretty building seating 100 worshippers, was erected in 1876 and enlarged in 1883. It is situated near the railway station. A day-school meets every Saturday in the Church, when the scholars are instructed in the German language and Lutheran doctrine by the pastor. The church has a fairly good choir and a “Palace” organ. The office-bearers are Messrs. J. Zajonskowski and G. Volkerling.

Rev. C. C. W. Meyer, the Pastor of St. Martin's Lutheran Church, was born at Stemman, in Hanover, and educated at Hermannsburg. He was ordained a minister and came to New Zealand in 1880, and was the next year placed in charge of the Lutheran Churches at Marton, Halcombe, Palmerston, and Rongotea.

Marton Evangelical Lutheran Church —which was founded in 1891, as a result of a difference in the Marton Lutheran Church—seats about sixty worshippers, and was erected in 1893. The Rev. Christian Dierks, Maori missionary at Waitotara, is the pastor. The church secretary is Mr. B. L. G. Goile.