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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Auckland Provincial District]

Mr. Henry Alfred Home Monro

Mr. Henry Alfred Home Monro, ex-Judge of the Native Land Court, has been intimately connected with the dealings of the Maori race since his arrival at Hokianga, in 1835. He was born in October, 1824, at Hobart, Tasmania, and is the eldest surviving son of Mr. Peter Monro, who, prior to migrating to Hokianga, was connected with the Tasmanian civil service, under Governor Arthur. Judge Monro was educated at Thompson's Academy, Hobart, and completed his studies under the tuition of his father, who settled at Hokianga in 1835. At that time the place was in a state of great law-lessness; and Judge Monro relates an instance of a native being lynched for murder (after solemn trial according to the procedure of the Supreme Courts) by a handful of Europeans, who showed considerable pluck in taking the law into their own hands, surrounded as they were by hostile and savage natives. On the outbreak of the natives under Hone Heke, in 1845, Mr. Monro, senior, removed with his family to Auckland, where he commenced business as a general merchant, and his son acted as his clerk for several years. In 1848, Judge Monro married Miss Coney, sister to Mr. James E. Coney, the present postmaster at the Thames. For a short period he engaged in agricultural pursuits at Tamaki, but owing to severe droughts the investment did not pay. In 1857 he was offered an appointment as translator and interpreter in the Native Office, and held the position till the removal of the seat of Government from Auckland to Wellington. He then applied to be transferred to the Native Land Court, and in 1865 he was appointed Judge of that Court, and subsequently Judge of the Compensation Court for the adjudication of confiscated lands. These positions he held until he retired on a pension. When the Hon. J. C. Richmond was Native Minister he appointed Judges Monro and Rogan as Commissioners for Poverty Bay, to administer and settle old land claims and the claims of friendly natives to confiscated lands; and in that connection Judge Monro and Judge Rogan, who has been dead for some years, did excellent service to the State by the judicious settlements which they were able to effect or pave the way for.