Title: Octavius Hadfield

Author: Barbara Macmorran

Publication details: 1969, Wellington

Digital publication kindly authorised by: G. H. Macmorran

Part of: New Zealand Texts Collection

Conditions of use


Other formats

    TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

Octavius Hadfield

[extract from letter written by Octavius Hadfield]

Bay of Islands 1839.

To his father.

'Rauparaha', the principal Chief of the Southern part of the Island, and who has hitherto by his very name caused terror in all directions having been a very bloodthirsty savage, having in a very providential manner had a few leaves of the Gospel of St. Luke brought among his people, and a native, formerly a slave, having given them some instruction from this, has lately sent two young Chiefs to us requesting missionaries. My wish on this subject being known it was proposed to me to go there, and I readily assented. The Revd. H. Williams will accompany me as I yet know next to nothing of the language, and he will continue with me for a few weeks. I shall probably be joined ere long by some other person (Mr. & Mrs. Ford-ham volunteered). We sail as soon as the weather will permit. I shall probably be accompanied by one of the young Chiefs. I shall take one or two Christian natives for teachers.

I must give you some further idea of the place I am going to. It is about 200 miles further to the South than any of our Missionaries have yet been; the name of the place is Kapiti, just by Entiy Island in Cook Straits, about 50 miles from the extreme southern part of the Island, and about 150 from Cape Egmont or Taranaki; the distance from the opposite island is about 17 miles. From all accounts there are about 8000 natives in the immediate neighbourhood, and large parties of natives all along the coast to Cape Egmont where there are about 4000. There are also about 600 English and Americans in the neighbourhood of Kapiti and many on the southern Island, within a range of 30 or 40 miles dwelling in Cloudy Bay and Banks Peninsula. All these I must endeavour occasionally to visit.

It is in every respect as important a place as a minister of Christ can be placed in. I should have preferred a more confined sphere of duty and one more entirely among natives, but as I have made it a matter of much prayer, of fervent prayer, of believing prayer that I might be directed by the Lord, I must cheerfully enter upon that path which He has opened to me. You may easily imagine from the oudine that I have given that I shall have abundance of employment. My health is not so good as when I left England, but I trust that when I get into my work and have plenty of exercise it will improve. Nevertheless my health and life will last as long as the Lord has work for me and then I shall enter into rest.