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Historical Records of New Zealand

[Enclosure No. 4.]

[Enclosure No. 4.]

Greenwich Ropery, 12th Nov., 1823.


In reply to your letter of the 11th inst., I can have no difficulty in giving you my opinion of the Phormium tenax or flax plant of New Zealand, of which I have seen several specimens; and, as a rope-maker, I can say, with much truth, that it appears to me to be infinitely superior to the best Baltic hemp; its strength is much greater, and from the readiness with which its fibres may be minutely divided, I am of opinion, as a sail-maker, also, that it would answer admirably well for canvas and other strong cloths, provided it could be afforded at such a price as to allow it to compete with the different kinds of flax now used for that purpose.

I have, &c.,

Peter Young, Jr

To Lieut.-Coll. Nicoll, &c., &c.