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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Auckland Provincial District]

Henderson And Macfarlane

Henderson And Macfarlane (George Dunnet, junior, Auckland; and Henry William Henderson, Pitt Street, Sydney), General Merchants, Fort Street, Auckland. Messrs Henderson and Maefarlane are Proprietors of the Circular Saw Line of Vessels; Island traders; Agents for the Messageries Maritimes, Nippon Yusen Kaisha Imperial Japanese Line, London and Lancashire Fire Insurance Company, Canton Marine Insurance Company, and Correspondents for the Aberdeen Line; Representatives of the New York Board of Underwriters and of the Hamburg Board of Underwriters. London Agents: James Morrison and Co., Ltd., 4 Fenchurch Street (late agents for the New Zealand Government); Cable Code, A1, A.B.C., and private code. Bankers, Bank of New South Wales. Telephone 203. P.O. Box 125. This firm was established by the late Mr. Thomas Henderson, as far back as 1842. The business grew and expanded with the growth of the province, until the firm's connection extended over the Australasian Colonies, Polynesia, America, and Great Britain. The firm established and partly built the fleet of vessels known as the Circular-Saw line. This fleet includes the celebrated barque “Novelty,” built at Mechanics' Buy, Auckland, by the late Mr. Henry Niccol. The “Novelty” holds the record for a sailing vessel for the passage between Sydney and Auckland. Other crack liners owned by the firm were the “Alice Cameron,” “Kate Breadalbane,” “Sir George Grey,” “Neva,” “Thos. W. Howse,” and others, which were employed in carrying and bringing miscellaneous cargoes to and from California, Australia, and Polynesia. During the Maori war, the firm obtained the contract from the Imperial and Colonial Governments for the whole of the flour used by the troops, and imported it from Chili, California, and South Australia. Prior to the advent of steam between New Zealand and Australia, Messrs Henderson and Macfarlane established the first regular line of packet vessels between Sydney and Auckland, and the service was carried on until the establishment of the Panama Steamship Company in 1865. The firm thereupon withdrew its vessels from the Australian trade and employed them as traders in various parts of the globe, and in 1870 they were confined exclusively to the South Seas. When the Panama Steamship Company went into liquidation, Messrs Henderson and Macfarlane purchased several of its vessels, including the steamers “Claude Hamilton.” “Phoæbe”—now employed as a collier in Australian waters—and the “Lord Ashley,” and “Airedale,” subsequently wrecked. The steamers were employed in the interprovincial trade of the colony until the Union Steamship Company commenced operations, when Messrs Henderson and Macfarlane became its agents in Auckland, and continued to act as such up to the time when the Union Company opened its Auckland branch under the management of Mr. Thomas Henderson, junior, who retained the position until 1899, when he was transferred to Hobart to act as Tasmanian representative of the company. In September, 1898, Messrs Henderson and Macfarlane sold their Western Pacific trade to the Pacific Island Company, which also acquired the s.s. “Archer,” and a few sailing vessels; the firm, however, still retains the Eastern Pacific trade, which produces large quantities of pearl shell, vanilla, cotton, copra, etc., the whole of which is exported to America and Europe. One noteworthy incident in the history of the firm is also worthy of note as an incident in the history of the Colony. In the early sixties, when the first, second, and third Waikato Regiments were being enlisted in Melbourne by Colonel Pitt, Mr. Henderson guaranteed the New Zealand Government to the extent of £40,000, and for this he was afterwards thanked by Parliament. It was Mr. Henderson, too, who first introduced pheasants to New Zealand, to which he brought the birds from China.