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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Auckland Provincial District]


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Howick is situated on a beautiful bay facing the sunrise, ten miles south-east from Auckland, the distance by road, via Panmure and Ellerslie, being thirteen miles. It was one of the Pensioner villages founded in 1847 for the defence of Auckland, and the earthworks of the old redoubt still remain on Stockade Hill, overlooking the village. From this hill there is a magnificent view of the surrounding country and the Hauraki Gulf. In October, 1863, the Maoris killed two boys of eleven years and eight years of age—sons of a settler, named Trust, at the head of the bay, Turanga Creek—but no fighting occurred at Howick itself. The opening of the Thames goldfields caused Howick to become literally a deserted village, but it is now again prospering and bids fair to be the favourite watering place of the city of Auckland, its great need being quicker and better means of communication. A wharf of 900 feet long has been erected, but cannot be used at low tide until a further extension of 300 feet is added. There are Anglican, Roman Catholic, and Presbyterian Churches, two public schools—one in the village and the other situated at Pakuranga—a public library, and an Institute with good reading and recreation rooms. The Marine Hotel is a large and well conducted house, with fine views both seaward and landward. Howick has a population of about 250 persons. There are many handsome buildings in the vicinity, among them being the old Melanesian College, erected originally at Kohimarama by Bishop Patteson, and removed and re-erected at Howick in 1899 by the present vicar, who is always pleased to allow visitors to inspect this interesting building, so closely connected with the early history of New Zealand.

The Hon. Every Maclean, some-time of Bleak House, Howick, Auckland, was born in Cornwall, England, in 1819, and came to New Zealand, along with his brother, the late Mr. Robert Maclean, by the ship “Constantinople,” in 1840. The vessel was bound for Canterbury, but put into Auckland for repairs, and the Messrs Maclean, meeting acquaintances in Auckland, decided to settle there. They acquired a large property in East Tamaki, and, in conjunction with Messrs James Williamson and Thomas Russell, carried on extensive farming operations in the Cambridge district, Waikato, under the style of Maclean and Co., afterwards the Auckland Agricultural Company, Limited. Mr. Every Maclean formed and commanded the Howick Yeomanry Cavalry Corps during the war. He was a Justice of the Peace, was for many years a member of the Auckland Provincial Council, and was at one time Acting-Superintendent of the Province. Mr. Maclean was called to the Legislative Council in 1873, but ceased to be a member, through absence, in 1876. For nearly fifty years his name has been a household word throughout New Zealand and the Australian colonies, as that of a successful breeder and importer of Hereford and Shorthorn cattle, Clydesdale horses, and Leicester and Down sheep. Mr. Maclean died at Auckland on the 12th of August, 1901.

The Hon. Colonel Stephen Ponsonby Peacocke was the eldest son of Colonel Stephen Peacocke, of the Scots Fusilier Guards, and was born in England in 1813. He entered the army and served with his regiment, the 25th (King's Own Borderers), in India. On obtaining his commission as Major he exchanged into the 59th Regiment, and shortly afterwards retired from the army. In 1858 he came out with his wife and family to New Zealand, and after a short stay in the province of Canterbury he removed to Auckland in 1859. He bought some land near the Pensioner Settlement of Howick, East Tamaki, where he lived until his death in 1872. When the Maori war broke out in the Waikato, Major Peacocke, as an ex-military officer, offered his services to the Government, and was given command of the 3rd Battalion of the Auckland Militia with the rank of Colonel. He commanded the district extending from Wairoa South to Otahuhu, a line which at the beginning of the war was practically “the front,” defended by Galloway's and St. John's redoubts. After the war was over Colonel Peacocke entered the Auckland Provincial Council, and became Crown and Waste Lands Commissioner. He was called to the Legislative Council in 1866 and attended several sessions of Parliament in Wellington, where he became known as a polished and effective speaker. Colonel Peacocke left four sons and two daughters. Three of the sons and one daughter are at the present time residents of Auckland, and the fourth son has been for many years settled in New South Wales. Colonel Peacocke was one of those early settlers who devoted to the public service highly cultivated minds, guided by those principles of public honour and integrity, which are characteristic of English gentlemen.

All Saints Church, Howick, is one of the oldest church buildings now in use in New Zealand; both in appearance and situation it is strikingly picturesque. The framework, windows, etc., were all prepared at St. John's College, and then brought by water to the Howick beach in 1848, when Bishop Selwyn himself carried much of the material ashore. In 1862 a south aisle was added, but it was not until 1898 that the church was actually finished by the inner lining being completed, and it became what it now is—the quaintest and prettiest of Auckland churches. The building and churchyard are admirably cared for. The first vicar was the Rev. F. Fisher, who was succeeded, in 1850, by the Rev. V. Lush, afterwards Archdeacon of Waikato. Then, in 1866, came the Rev. R. A. Hall, who remained in charge until March, 1882, when the Rev. R. O. C. Biggs became vicar for one year, and was followed in February, 1883, by the Rev. Thomas Farley. In 1888 the Rev. A. C. Fox was appointed, and in 1893 the Rev R. G. Boler succeeded him, and is still page 657 (1900) in charge. The east window—subject, “The Transfiguration”—was erected by the parishioners as a memorial of the late Mr. Robert Maclean, of Bleak House.

The Rev. Robert Gooddine Boler, Vicar of Howick, was born at Sheffield, England, in 1850; educated at the private school of the Rev. L. Incledon, M.A. (afterwards headmaster of Southwell Grammar school) and at the Manchester Grammar school. At the age of sixteen he had reached the Upper Remove of that school and it appeared probable that he would shortly proceed to Oxford to read for Holy Orders. He had, however, to take his place as manager of the Richmond Street Engineering Works, Manchester, which were at that time the property of his father, and remained there until the continued ill-health of his father compelled the family to emigrate to New Zealand in 1871. At the request of the present Primate, Mr. Boler entered St. John's College, Auckland, and was ordained deacon in 1883, and priest in 1884. His first charge was Coromandel, of which district he was appointed minister in 1884. His first charge was Coromandel, of which district he was appointed minister in 1884; he afterwards removed to Waikato West, in 1886, and having suffered severely by exposure and work in the King Country, was compelled to move northward to Wairoa North in 1890. He was appointed vicar of Howick in January, 1893. Although Mr. Boler still feels the effects of former overwork, he is so fortunate as to have the help of a large staff of seven lay readers, and other zealous coadjutors, so the church's work in his large district is well cared for.

Mr. Hugh Kerr Gilmour, “The Beach,” Howick, is a retired manufacturer, who resides at this fashionable and salubrious marine suburb of Auckland. He was born in Glasgow, in the year 1842. and educated at a private school and the Irvine Academy. After finishing his education, he engaged in the manufacture of brushware, and followed that business in Scotland until 1881, when he migrated to Auckland. On his arrival, he immediately took up his old business and carried it on with success for four years, when he settled at Howick. In 1890 he purchased a large estate at Buckland, Lower Waikato, and entered on its cultivation with his sons, to whom he afterwards gave up the entire management of his property. In 1871 Mr. Gilmour married Eliza Dickie, daughter of Mr. James Templeton, carpet manufacturer, of Ayr, Scotland, and they have had four sons, one of whom died in 1887. The eldest son joined the Wesleyan Church in 1896, and was in charge of the Dannevirke Circuit, Hawke's Bay in 1900. Both Mr. and Mrs Gilmour are prominent members of the temperance cause, and they jointly started the first local Band of Hope at Howick, in August, 1888. Mr. Gilmour has shown his faith in the future of Howick by erecting one very handsome residence “Ingledell,” since sold, and is (1900) about to erect another as his own home.

Hanna, photo.Mr. H. K. Gilmour.

Hanna, photo.
Mr. H. K. Gilmour.

Hanna, photo.Mrs. H. K. Gilmour.

Hanna, photo.
Mrs. H. K. Gilmour.