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Murihiku: A History of the South Island of New Zealand and the Islands Adjacent and Lying to the South, from 1642 to 1835

CHAPTER XXVII. — Cook Strait and Vicinity, 1830 to 1833

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Cook Strait and Vicinity, 1830 to 1833.

PRIOR to the beginning of this period, and for a very long time, New Zealand had been intimately associated with the whaling trade. From about 1794 whalers were off the northern coast and frequented the Bay of Islands to obtain refreshments for their ships. These were sperm whalers and hunted the special class of whale they were interested in on the open sea. As a trade, sperm whaling cannot be associated with any country in particular, it belongs to the ocean. The whaling trade, which we now come to deal with, was a very different trade and consisted of pursuing and capturing the right whale at certain seasons of the year when these animals frequented the bays of New Zealand.

Diffenbach, the naturalist of the New Zealand Company, writing in 1839, says that the whales arrived off the coast of New Zealand in the beginning of May, coming from the northward, and, skirting the coastline of the northern island, passed between Kapiti Island and the mainland and then entered Cloudy Bay. In June they appeared at the Chathams. In October they made to the east or to the north. Some of the whales however did not come to the east through Cook Strait but by way of Preservation Inlet and Foveaux Strait. In the early part of the season the whales were in Cook Strait, in the latter part, in Cloudy Bay.

Several firms in Sydney at this time had vessels pursuing the sperm whale in the open sea, in company with the whaling vessels of England, Europe and America. Some of these vessels captured the right whale when opportunity offered and took sperm or right as they were available. As the sperm came to be reduced in numbers page 380 greater attention was paid to the movements of the right, and the whaling vessels followed these animals into the bays in their annual migrations. It was at this stage that the trade known as “bay whaling” became a New Zealand one.

Bay whaling was carried on from the decks of vessels lying at anchor in a bay, or from stations established on the shore. In the former case the whaling vessels simply carried on their whaling at anchor instead of while sailing. In the latter case several boats were sent from Sydney and stationed at some suitable spot, where they could be readily manned when a whale appeared and where the captured cetaceans could be drawn up ashore and the blubber melted under the most favourable conditions. A small vessel of perhaps 100 tons visited the shore station from time to time to take away the oil and bring stores in return. The station was permanent. In the case of the anchored whalers the vessels were much larger in size and were self contained, and when they left at the end of the season, took with them their whole cargo of oil and bone, leaving nothing behind. An anchored vessel might also keep a gang or gangs ashore. The oil obtained from the right whale was sometimes called black whale oil.

The Rev. R. Taylor, writing in 1855, states that whaling began in Cook Strait and Preservation Inlet in 1827, but as Williams, who managed the Preservation station, only claimed to have started there in 1829, Taylor's dates are not strictly accurate. In 1839, Guard told Colonel Wake-field of the New Zealand Company that he entered Tory Channel in 1827, having been driven in by a gale of wind. There he build a house and carried on sealing and whaling with great risk and annoyance from the natives and no profit to himself. Sometimes he was compelled to live on whale's flesh and wild turnip tops. For want of sufficient men and the necessary tools, he was unable to save the oil and he killed the whales for the bone only, which he sold to passing vessels. The Maoris repeatedly burnt his houses. Guard's account is quite consistent with Sydney page 381 records and would explain the absence of any mention of New Zealand whale oil during those years.

The first cargo of whale oil which can be identified as coming from the South Island of New Zealand, reached Sydney on 3rd February, 1830, in the Waterloo, a small schooner of 66 tons under the command of Captain Guard. The cargo was consigned to R. Campbell & Co., and from what appeared afterwards must have come from Cook Strait. This oil must have been procured during the year 1829, and is evidence that whaling had commenced at the northern extremity of the South Island in that year. In addition to her oil, the Waterloo had on board 1185 seal skins which she had procured in the south, as she reported meeting the Caroline, Williams, off Chalky Inlet the day the Waterloo sailed. Her sealing trip would explain the delay in getting to Sydney the oil of the season of 1829.

On 7th February, the Samuel, Worth, returned from the Chathams. Her cargo comprised timber, pork, potatoes, flax and skins. The details of her voyage have already been noted.

On 13th February, the Harlequin, 71 tons, Scott, sailed from Sydney with a cargo of muskets, gunpowder, pipes, tobacco and rum, for Cook Strait and returned on 30th March with a cargo of flax.

In March also the firm of R. Campbell & Co. purchased the brig Hind and fitted her out for the black whale fishery, and the William Stoveld, 187 tons, Davidson, belonging to Bell & Farmer, sailed on a whaling cruise to New Zealand on 26th April. The Hind followed on 4th May. Both vessels made for Kapiti and when the brig Tranmere arrived from that island on 25th June, with a cargo of flax which Captain Smith had procured from Te Rauparaha, she reported that the William Stoveld and the Hind were engaged in bay whaling there, and at the time of her departure the former had 25 tuns of oil on board, and the latter 16, with one whale alongside.

Reports which reached Sydney in July regarding the prospects of the bay whaling were very favourable. These page 382 were borne out by the return of the William Stoveld on 13th August with 50 tuns of oil and 25 tons of flax. This vessel appears to have had a party stationed ashore in connection with her operations. On the day of her arrival in Sydney, the Norval, Harrison, sailed for the New Zealand black whale fishery.

On 11th October the flax trading brig Industry, Young, returned from New Zealand with 21 tons of flax and a passenger named Murphy. She reported speaking the brig Elizabeth with nothing on board, the Waterloo with 10 tons of flax, the Dragon with nothing, the Currency Lass two months before with nothing and the Hind at Cloudy Bay on 28th August almost full of oil. The Waterloo returned to port on the 23rd with 14 tons of flax.

The following month, as the season had closed, the remaining bay whalers returned to Sydney. The Norval and the Hind sailed together and the former put into Cloudy Bay for several days, eventually reaching Sydney on 2nd November, with 100 tuns of oil, 10 tons of flax, and 6 tons whalebone; the latter reached Sydney on the 13th with 160 tuns of oil and 6 tons of whalebone.

Captain Young reported having spoken the Elizabeth when on the New Zealand coast. This vessel had sailed on 23rd August and had gone to Kapiti the great centre of the southern flax trade. There she embarked on a venture which has made the memory of her captain and his voyage execrated in New Zealand history.

J. B. Montefiore, in his evidence given before a Select Committee of the House of Lords, appointed to inquire into the state of the Islands of New Zealand in 1838, says that while in Sydney in 1830, he decided to form mercantile establishments throughout New Zealand, and, to make himself acquainted with the country and its inhabitants, chartered a brig (the Argo, 168 tons, Captain Billing) and sailed from Sydney on 11th September, 1830. He first of all went ashore at Kawhia where he purchased some land and then sailed south. It was his intention to visit the page 383 South Island but when he reached Kapiti his plans were entirely altered and his southern visit abandoned.

At Kapiti lay the brig Elizabeth, just returned from Akaroa from a marauding expedition against the southern natives. Captain Stewart related the circumstances connected with the raid, which, as supplemented by Montefiore, were to the following effect:—

After Te Pehi returned from England he waged war against the Maoris of Banks Peninsula and was killed by the chief of that country, Mara Nui (Tamaiharanui). Ecou (Te Hiko), the son of Te Pehi, who lived with Te Rauparaha at Kapiti, then made preparations to obtain satisfaction for the death of his father. He engaged in a considerable trade in flax, selling the fibre for muskets, powder, &c., to the Sydney traders. When he considered he had acquired enough guns and powder he looked around for an opportunity of chartering a vessel. On 23rd August, 1830, the Elizabeth sailed from Sydney to obtain a cargo of flax from Kapiti. On board she had the usual medium of exchange of that day—muskets, flints, gunpowder and tobacco. Arrived at his destination Captain Stewart was informed by Te Rauparaha that there was no flax available just then, but that if he would take down 300 men in the brig to Banks Peninsula (or Banks Island as it was then called) on a war expedition, and would bring back the captives, he would be paid in flax to the amount of 50 tons, the value of which would amount to £1200. Captain Stewart and his supercargo consented, entered into a regular charter party, and took down from 200 to 300 picked men, fully armed, to Akaroa.

When the brig arrived at the site of their opponents' stronghold, the Kapiti Maoris were all stowed away in the hold and were not visible to the chiefs who boarded the vessel. The Elizabeth was a fairly well armed vessel, carrying eight guns and well equipped with small arms, and when the visiting Maoris saw this, they became alarmed and asked if Te Rauparaha and Te Hiko were on board. The replies given did not allay their fears and they at once took to their page 384 canoes. Immediately afterwards the Kapiti warriors came on deck and made prisoners of some canoes of slaves which were lying alongside, after which they proceeded ashore and commenced the slaughter. Tamaiharanui was taken prisoner by Te Hiko and brought on board the Elizabeth. Fifty of the Akaroa natives were killed and a like number taken prisoners, as against one man only which Te Rauparaha lost.

The Elizabeth then returned to Kapiti Island with the captives which were there to be eaten. Arrived at their destination 2000 slaves were sent out to prepare the flax required to pay for the charter of the vessel and meantime the captive chief was kept on board in irons. Te Rauparaha promised to have the flax payment ready in six weeks. This was the stage things had reached when Stewart gave his version of the history of the transaction to Montefiore. The latter, fearing that as a result of Stewart's action Europeans would no longer be safe in the South Island, left the Argo to continue her voyage without him and decided to return to Sydney in the very brig in which the chief was lying in irons. Time wore on and the natives did not supply the 50 tons as promised. Montefiore, taking advantage of the delay in payment, expostulated with Stewart on his conduct and tried to induce him to take the captive chief on to Sydney, but, though he admitted the folly of what he had done, he would not accept the advice tendered. To crown all, before sailing he handed over Tamaiharanui without receiving his promised payment. The captive met his fate before the Elizabeth sailed. Montefiore saw the whole process of the chief's intended sacrifice, and before he left Te Pehi's widow was carrying the victim's entrails as a necklace about her neck. Stewart reached Sydney on 14th January, 1831, with Montefiore and Arthur Kemmis as passengers.

One of the relations, Ahu, of the murdered chief, who was also on board the Elizabeth, was taken on to Sydney and there obtained the protection of Marsden, by whom the native version of the story was brought under the notice page 385 of Governor Darling. It differed in many respects from that given to Montefiore by Stewart.1

Captain Stewart on arrival at Banks' Peninsula, enticed the chief with his brother and two daughters on board. When there he took his guest's hand in a friendly way, conducted him and his two daughters into the cabin and showed him the muskets and how they were arranged. When all was ready the door was closed, the chief was seized, his hands were tied behind his back and with a hook stuck through the skin of his throat under the side of his jaw, he was kept fastened to the cabin until they reached Kapiti. One of his daughters was dragged from her father's side by one of the sailors and hurled off, when her head struck against a hard substance and she was killed. Ahu, who had been sent to the forecastle, managed to get as far as the capstan and saw the old chief in the situation described. The Maori version also added that after Tamaiharanui had been captured natives came off in canoes with flax when they were killed by the Kapiti men and by the sailors of the brig who fired at them with their muskets. Te Rauparaha's men were then sent on shore with some of the sailors to kill all they could find. Only those escaped their wild fury who fled to the woods.

Governor Darling referred the case to the Crown solicitors with directions to bring the offenders to Justice, but this was never done. Stewart was held to bail, but the others implicated, and the sailors who might have been witnesses, were allowed to leave the country. Stewart is said to have met his death by being washed off his vessel while going round Cape Horn.

Montefiore stated in his evidence before a Select Committee of the House of Commons in 1838 that it was not correct that the chief had a hook fastened under his chin as described by the natives. He says however that he was cruelly confined and when in the brig at Kapiti his legs were in a state of mortification. To Montefiore, Tamai-haranui denied having murdered a boat's crew of H.M.S. Warspite as contended by Te Hiko when putting forward page 386 reasons for requiring satisfaction from the Banks Peninsula chief.

Stewart's actions do not require to be discussed to arrive at a correct estimate of his iniquity. A bare statement of the facts is enough. The same cannot be said of the action of the Sydney authorities in permitting him to escape from his well earned punishment. It is satisfactory however to know that the Secretary of State for the Colonies, Lord Goderich, thus expressed himself to Governor Bourke.

“It is impossible to read, without shame and indignation, the details which these documents disclose. The unfortunate natives of New Zealand, unless some decisive measures of prevention be adopted, will, I fear, be shortly added to the number of those barbarous tribes who, in different parts of the globe, have fallen a sacrifice to their intercourse with civilised men, who bear and disgrace the name of Christians… There can be no more sacred duty than that of using every possible method to rescue the natives of those extensive islands from the further evils which impend over them, and to deliver our own country from the disgrace and crime of having either occasioned or tolerated such enormities.”

The Argo did not reach Sydney until 28th May. Her cargo consisted of 55 tons of flax, 10 tons of potatoes, 30 pigs, 2 sacks of wheat and 30 jars of pickled oysters. Amongst trade pioneers the Argo probably claims the honour of being the pioneer of the oyster trade.

During 1830, Kapiti Island, more than Cloudy Bay, appears to have been the popular resort for whalers, but the exact separation of the two places is not very easy to make. The cargoes of oil which they took to Sydney amounted in all to 212 tuns, with 12 tons of bone. At the London prices of £28 for oil and £125 for bone the whaling products would amount to £7436. The whalers also took away 35 tons of flax. In addition to the Sydney whalers page 387 the Deveron had gone to the Derwent from Cloudy Bay with 250 tuns of oil and a large quantity of bone. Probably only a portion of her cargo was obtained at Cloudy Bay.

In the early part of 1831, and before the whaling season commenced, considerable activity was shown in the Kapiti Island flax trade. First of all, as has been recorded, the Elizabeth returned on 14th January with 30 tons. She was followed by the Currency Lass, 90 tons, Wishart with 30 tons, and reported that she had left the brig Argo and the schooner Speculator at Kapiti with small quantities of flax in each. The last named reached Sydney on 5th March with a cargo of 13 tons. Then came the Waterloo on the ninth with 15 tons of flax and 700 seal skins, and finally the Argo on the twenty-eighth with 55 tons. These five flax vessels brought to Sydney, in three months, 143 tons of prepared fibre, mostly from Cook Strait. When we remember that the flax was prepared at Kapiti to enable arms and ammunition to be purchased we can see that the defence preparations of the Kapiti Administration must have been in a very forward condition.

When the whaling season came on the first vessel to arrive from Cook Strait was the Waterloo, Brady, on 12th June, with 3 tuns of oil, the product of one whale. The Waterloo had left New Zealand on 28th May and reported the following vessels there when she sailed.

The Elizabeth, moored off the bay, having taken one whale.

The Courier, without oil and with her crew in a state of mutiny.

The Venus, empty.

The Currency Lass, empty.

On the 25th September, the Waterloo returned from Campbell's shore whaling establishment on her second oil trip, with 40 tuns oil and 3 tons bone. Readers will notice that Guard commanded the Waterloo outside the whaling season, but when the shore establishments were busy another page 388 captain had command, Guard leaving to manage the shore gangs.

The season proved a very profitable one and on 27th July, when it was past its best a letter written on board the Elizabeth and sent to Sydney per the Dragon stated the position of shipping at the Bay to be as follows:—

The Dragon, full.

The Elizabeth, 1000 barrels and in a fair way of getting more.

The Courier, 300 barrels.

The Venus, 800 barrels.

The New Zealander, empty.

The Juno had sailed about three weeks before for Banks Peninsula

The Jane had arrived 26th July.

Mossman's shore gangs had procured 170 barrels.

When the season was ended the return of the vessels which had visited Cook Strait was as follows:—

Juno 23rd Sep. 60 tuns oil 3 tons bone R. Jones
Courier 4th Dec. 73 tuns oil 3½ tons bone T. Street
Wm. Stoveld 5th Dec. 60 tuns oil 7 tons bone A. Mossman
Jane 5th Dec. 135 tuns oil 7 tons bone
Elizabeth 9th Dec. 327 tuns oil 15 tons bone R. Campbell & Co.

This year Messrs. Enderby of London, the well-known whaling firm, sent out to explore the high southern latitudes an expedition of two vessels, the brig Tula of 148 tons, under the command of John Biscoe, R.N., and the cutter Lively, of 49 tons under the command of Captain Avery. The expedition sailed from Gravesend on 14th July, 1830, and as a result of its work placed Enderby's and Graham's Lands on the map of the World.

The Tula and the Lively arrived in due course at Van Diemen's Land and from there sailed round the North Cape of New Zealand to the Bay of Islands, which was reached on 30th October. On 5th November they continued their journey to the south and made for Chatham Island. On the seventeenth the 44 degree rocks were sighted and land page 389 was visible at different times, but it was not until the nineteenth that boats were sent ashore. These returned with three natives who expressed their willingness to remain on board. Biscoe describes them as quite naked but wearing over their shoulders a stiff mat, which, when they squatted down on the deck, stuck out like the shell of a turtle and formed a roof for turning the water off. As there was no work for them they were returned to the shore. Thick dirty weather prevailed until the twenty-third when the 44 degree rocks were again sighted and a boat sent for seals, but the rocks proved so perpendicular that it was difficult to land upon them and only seven skins were secured. Thinking that these were stragglers from some rookery near at hand Biscoe tried the rocks to the south but owing to bad weather could not effect a landing and accordingly bore up for Chatham Island. After spending some time in a further unsuccessful hunt after seals, on 2nd December anchor was cast in a bight of the largest of the Cornwallis Islands. From there the boats were sent out to the islets in sight for skins. Pigs were found on the island but seals, which were so much desired, were nowhere to be seen. In one of his excursions Biscoe found the wreck of a small vessel of about 100 tons which he concluded to be the Glory, lost there in January, 1827. On the twelfth sixteen skins were procured on the Sisters rocks.

From there the expedition made for the Bounty Islands, which were sighted on the twenty-fourth. The boats were sent ashore but returned without anything, having seen only five seals which could not be approached. Landing on one of the rocks they found a hut, the roof of which was formed of skins and wings of birds, a baking dish, a water cask, a bottle half filled with oil, some pieces of firewood and an Irish provision cask. So far, the expedition had failed to find likely sealing ground. From the Bounties Biscoe made southward. With his Antarctic explorations we are not concerned, but Biscoe in his little craft earned page 390 for himself a high position amongst the explorers of the Antarctic.

Before the 1832 season opened Guard brought up the Waterloo with 115 seal skins and 9 tuns of oil to R. Campbell & Co., on 3rd March, and, on the twenty-fifth, took back a whaling gang to Cloudy Bay for the season just commencing. H.M.S. Zebra sailed from Sydney on 1st March for Cook Strait. She first of all called in at Taranaki and finding everything quiet there, sailed on to Kapiti, which she reached on 16th March. There she found that the chiefs and fighting men were away south putting to use the munitions of war gained through their industry in the flax trade by attacking the Banks Peninsula natives, and she accordingly sailed on the eighteenth through Cook Strait and on to Tahiti, which she reached on 9th April. When at Kapiti the schooner Currency Lass, on the lookout for flax, was also there and reached Sydney on 22nd April with 62 tons of it. As passengers she brought up Mr. Wishart and Messrs. Lane and Ward.

The Waterloo brought up her first cargo of the new season's oil on 22nd August—40 tuns—and returned to Cook Strait on the twenty-seventh. Hall was now master and her cargo consisted of supplies for the men on the whaling gangs. Her next cargo, on 2nd September, consisted of 40 tuns of oil and 4 tons whalebone. Two days after the Waterloo reached Sydney another of Campbell & Co.'s vessels—the Harriet, 254 tons, Wyatt—reached port from New Zealand with 188 tuns of oil and 10 tons whalebone. She had sailed on 12th October, 1831, from Sydney.

The barque Vittoria, 281 tons, S. Ashmore, belonging to R. Jones & Co., brought up 37 tons of flax, 50 pounds whalebone and 5 butts whale oil to Sydney on 12th November. She also brought up very sad news of a sealing gang. It appears that about seven months before that, an old captain from Sydney named William Kinnard, accompanied by two whites and several New Zealanders, proceeded in the Admiral Gifford to Rocky Point, for the page 391 purpose of forming a sealing establishment. The Admiral Gifford, after leaving the men there, returned to Sydney on 9th June with 11 tons of flax. The Vittoria, on this trip, went round to pick them up, when, to their astonishment, they found that the natives had seized and devoured the whites and taken away their boats and stores.

Details of the 1833 season are not very full. There appears to have been a considerable quantity of oil left over at the beginning of the year, and, on 25th February, Hall brought the Waterloo up to Sydney with 38 tuns of oil on board and 6 seal skins. Her next voyage was to bring up oil from Captain Bunn's establishment at Preservation Bay. On 25th September she brought up 45 tuns of oil, having sailed from Cloudy Bay on the ninth.

The following was the position of shipping at Cloudy Bay when the Waterloo sailed.

The Harriet, Irvine, 150 tuns.

The Caroline, Blinkinsopp, 100 tuns.

The Denmark Hill, Finlay, 90 tuns, in a leaky condition.

These had all put in to the Bay and were about to proceed to sea again.

Captain Guard's gangs had procured 240 tuns of oil and whales were very numerous.

The Waterloo had made a very expeditious trip, having been only six weeks away from Sydney. Her end however had come. The next trip she was doomed to leave her bones on the rocky coast of Cook Strait.

The Tasmanian vessel Mary Anne, the property of Messrs. Hewitt & Smith, returned from Cloudy Bay with 200 tuns of black oil, 11 tons of bone and 10 tuns sperm. She reported that at Cloudy Bay whales were so plentiful that any number of ships might be loaded.

On 5th September a vessel called the Sarah, 308 tons, Jack, commander, left Sydney for England and put into Cloudy Bay leaking. There she left a Mr. N. L. Kentish and his family who were passengers. After she sailed for page 392 her destination Kentish returned to Sydney and published the story of his woes.2

(To the Editor of the “Sydney Gazette.”)


“My attention having been directed to a paragraph in the ‘Sydney Gazette’ of the 25th of January last, stating upon information derived from the whaling barque Harriett, that ‘you were surprised to learn that I and my family had left the brig Sarah at Cloudy Bay, where she had occasion to touch, in consequence of a disagreement with the captain.’ I have to request that you will do me the justice to correct the gross misrepresentation which has been palmed on you and on the public to my prejudice by the following statement of facts, which will also save me an irksome and fatiguing repitition of disasters I am anxious to forget, but for which I have no escape, in reply to the kind inquiries of my various acquaintances, and other gentlemen who are so obliging as to take an interest in my misfortunes. The pumps were obliged to be worked in the Sarah long before she had lost sight of Sydney Heads, and she was so leaky, making from 3 to 5 inches of water in an hour, that it was necessary to pump her out every watch day and night. This the commander and crew generally were aware of before she put to sea, as whilst lying in the harbour she was pumped out every night, and before daylight every morning but of course I was totally ignorant, and without suspicion of anything of the kind, or I would never have taken a passage in her. The captain, however, well aware of the circumstances, directed his course from the Heads to Cook Straits, New Zealand, for the purpose of causing a survey to be held on her, by which he said he should be bound to abide, and which alone could exonerate him. The following is the report of the Board of Survey page 393 “forwarded to Sydney for the information and guidance of the owner and underwriters.

Whaling Harbour, Cloudy Bay,
September 26, 1833.

“We the undersigned Masters of vessels lying in this harbour, having been requested by Captain Jack, commander of the brig Sarah, bound from Sydney to England, with a general cargo (which vessel put into this port on the 26th instant, in a leaky state) to hold a survey upon her, we have repaired on board, and having perused her log and questioned her commander his chief and second officers and passengers, and having ourselves with the assistance of two carpenters, examined her upper works, and having ascertained that the above-named vessel makes whilst lying in the harbour, three inches of water per hour, we the undersigned are unanimously of opinion that the brig Sarah is not seaworthy for a passage to England, and we have earnestly recommended her commander for the benefit of the underwriters and those concerned, to cause her topsides to be caulked, and to proceed with the least possible delay to Sydney for further inspection.


John Blinkinsopp

Com. of the barque Caroline

John Irving

Com. of the barque Harriett

John Finlay

Com. of the barque Denmark Hill

John Guard

Com. of the schooner Waterloo

“The brig was accordingly caulked above water, and two planks were discovered as rotten as tinder, and the carpenter declared the whole bottom to be in the same state, and they, the two mates, the seamen and Captain, all expressed the greatest alarm at even returning in her so far as Sydney, for fear of some other, and worse leak springing in her bottom; but it was Captain Jack's avowed intention to return, who repeatedly declared, he could not do page 394 “otherwise, even if he considered her safe, as it would be illegal, and the insurance would of course be forfeited; however, when such repairs were nearly completed as could be effected in the Bay, it transpired that Captain Jack would not return to Sydney, by his dismissing the second mate (the only person in the brig who understood navigation besides himself) because he, as well as the seamen in general, refused to go in her to Valparaiso, whither he said he would run the chance of proceeding, as he considered the brig was as likely to reach that port as Sydney, and there, if she should appear tolerably safe and tight, he would obtain a supply of provisions and proceed on to England, or if she should still be in a dangerous state cause a fresh survey to be held, when if she should be condemned, the passengers might get a passage in some other vessel, and all who did not choose to go on with him, might go to hell. This was the reason of myself and family leaving the Sarah, and obtaining a refuge at Mr. Campbell's whaling establishment, at Cloudy Bay, intending to return to Sydney in the Waterloo, at that time daily expected, but about a week after the sailing of the Sarah, the news of the total wreck of the Waterloo was brought to us by Mr. Hall the master, who with his men crossed the straits in a boat, after narrowly escaping with their lives from the cannibals, who pillaged and then set fire to the hull of the Waterloo. I then entreated Mr. Irving to give us a passage in the Harriett to the Bay of Islands, where we might have remained in safety and comparative comfort, and from thence obtained a passage to Sydney three months ago, but he was inexorable, which I thought was unfeeling, and under these circumstances, inhuman towards my wife and children, as we were existing among a gang of whalers not only destitute of every comfort (and page 395 “subsequently of common necessaries, as we foresaw must be the case, from the exhaustion of provisions) but in the greatest terror of a descent from a powerful tribe of one or two thousand natives from the Southward, under a chief called Tyroa (Taia-roa), who are at war with the tribes about the Straits, and last year destroyed fifty tons of barrels, and some oil with the huts and the property on the same beach, belonging to Mr. Mossman, and at the reported approach of which hostile tribe, the natives in Cloudy Bay were so much alarmed that they (our chief protectors) deserted us and fled away into the bush.

“That we further had some disagreement with Captain Jack is also true, and I will thank your informant to explain how it could possibly have been avoided, as he well knows that the command of the vessel was obliged to be taken from him, after his twice, within the nearest trifle, running her on the rocks; and that by his violence he had twice frightened my wife into fits, besides assaulting me whilst holding my little girl in my arms.

“What I have stated, and much more, which I hope it will be unnecessary for me to bring before the public, I am enabled to prove by the clearest testimony.”

I am, Sir,

Your humble and obedient servant,

Nathaniel Lipscomb Kentish.

20 Princes Street Sydney
March 3, 1834.

The first news of the wreck of the Waterloo reached Sydney by the Harriet on 22nd January, 1834, when it was stated that she had been wrecked in Cloudy Bay. In a letter3 it is stated that she was lost about 30 miles from Mana about the middle of October. Adding this information to the story told by Kentish, it would appear that the page 396 Waterloo was wrecked on her return trip to Cloudy Bay on the North Island shore of Cook Strait in the vicinity of Terawhiti, not far from where, as this is being penned, news has come to hand that the Penguin has gone to her rest and 75 of our fellow creatures found a watery grave. Mr. Kentish advertised his intention of publishing a description of his voyage to New Zealand and his stay at Cloudy Bay, but there is no record of the publication having ever seen the light.