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Historic Poverty Bay and the East Coast, N.I., N.Z.

Bristow: Whaler, Trader and Mariner

Bristow: Whaler, Trader and Mariner

Before Captain David Bristow (Rewi Pereto) made contact with the East Coast he had, in the 1830's, lived at the Bay of Islands, where he had married and had had a son, to whom he had given his own forename. On a flyleaf in his Bible, which is page 122 now in the possession of a granddaughter (Mrs. Charles Goldsmith, of Te Araroa), there appears a roll of his family. His first home on the East Coast was at Waiapu, where he married Umutahi. Their eldest child (Elizabeth) was born at Waiapu on 17 February, 1841. He then went off to Te Wharariki to engage in whaling. Tiring of the sport, he opened a store at Purehua (Waipiro Bay) in 1843. Again, however, whaling lured him north. His next child was born at Hicks Bay on 17 August, 1847. Mawhai then attracted him. Another daughter (Heneriata), who was the mother of Canon P.M. and Reweti Kohere, was born there on 27 December, 1848.

Shortly afterwards, Bristow became the husband of Ani, the widow of Kento (Keneto) the Dutchman. He was the master first of the Julia and then, in turn, of the Fancy and the Zillah, which were engaged in the Auckland-East Coast trade. Ani had eight children. A daughter born on the Zillah was named after that vessel. Two of the sons, Henare and Leonard, became well-known sheepfarmers in the Te Araroa district. Bristow left the sea to join Peachey in a storekeeping business near Te Kaha. So highly esteemed was he by the natives that they named a favourite horse “Pereto” after him. He was drowned in the Kereu River. Descendants use the spelling “Bristowe.”