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A great coloniser : the Rev. Dr. Thomas Burns, pioneer minister of Otago and nephew of the poet

Chapter XX. — The Presbytery of Otago

page 228

Chapter XX.
The Presbytery of Otago.

You, my readers, myself, and a good few besides may hail from other branches of the vine, but in the old days we elected deliberately to go to a settlement which was under the cover of the Free Church branch, and are forward to acknowledge the benefits we derived from the comprehensive measures of its Free Church founders; and therefore regard the first addition to the ministry of that Church here, and the occasion of its first becoming a corporate existence, as an event of great interest in the history of Otago.

Thomas James Barr, in "The Old Identities" (p. 236).

For the first six years after landing at Dunedin Burns had a parish which extended roughly from the middle of the South Island to the Bluff. It was impossible for him to conduct more than the stated services at Dunedin and Port Chalmers for the first few years. His pastoral visits also were limited to the Taieri in the south until his first journey to Tokomairiro and the Clutha in December, 1851. With the gradual growth and extension of the settlement the necessity of assistance in his clerical duties forced itself upon his notice almost from the beginning. On March 6, 1850, Burns entered in his diary: "Sent off letter to Rev. John Sym as to necessity of a second minister."He got some generous help from Dr Purdie, who had settled in Otago, and kindly undertook to hold fortnightly services at Port Chalmers, the first of which was held on April 7, 1850.

A crucial event in the history of Otago was the failure of the New Zealand Company, whose interests had so powerful a bearing upon the inauguration of the Colony and its sister settlement at Canterbury. Word was received by the Phœbe Dunbar, which arrived at Port Chalmers on October 24, 1850, that the Company had tendered page 229its resignation of its charter, and that the Lay Association had applied for one in the same manner as that given to Canterbury, which had made a start with four large emigrant ships and a party of colonists. Captain Cargill wrote to the Kirk Session of the church at Dunedin announcing the intelligence, and pointing out that through the failure of the Company "further advances on our account under the heads 'emigration,' 'civil uses,' and 'religious and educational uses ' "must necessarily come to an end, and he added that" it is from the proceeds of our land sales alone that funds are to be derived for the future advancement of these objects, and for the gradual liquidation of balances now due upon them."1

This was a somewhat serious, although not a wholly unexpected, blow to the class settlement, and those who opposed the Scottish and Free Church character of the Colony openly rejoiced in the prospect of a change from the existing order of things. But the glee of "The Little Enemy " was premature. A meeting of the congregation was called by the Session, and the situation was faced with calmness and determination. Thrown more than ever before upon their own resources the settlers resolved to support the cause of the church and school by voluntary contributions, whilst seeking to discharge the liabilities which the shortage of land sales had left as debits to their funds.

It will be recalled that the Otago Lay Association had in November, 1847, agreed with the Company to sell, if possible, 2000 properties or 120,500 acres within five years to private buyers. Up to the time of the failure of the Company, however, only about 18,000 acres had been sold. At the proportion of one-eighth of the value of this land the fund for Religious and Educational Uses was page 230entitled to receive £4500. From this sum, however, the stipends of the minister and schoolmaster had been paid, and expenditure had been incurred for the purchase of 22 properties and for other purposes connected with the Trust, such as the passage moneys for minister and schoolmaster and erection of manse and church. The result was that a debt of £1700 stood in the books against this fund. The liquidation of this debt was taken as a first charge (in gradual instalments) on the moneys accruing to the Trust, including those which might come to hand from further sales during the two years which were left for the completion of the bond entered into between the Company and the Lay Association. The total income from the 22 properties which had been secured by the Trust was only about £30 a year for several years.

The first thing done by the Session and congregation under the leadership of their indomitable minister was to make additions to the eldership, and to constitute a Deacons' Court for the management of the finances of the church, which would include collections, seat rents, and the Sustentation Fund. Here the experience of the minister who had faced the chaos following upon the Disruption in Scotland proved to be of very special value to the cause. The result of the elections and distribution of districts among elders and deacons was as follows:—Town Districts—Elders, H. Clark, W. Cargill, C. Robertson, James Brown, Thomas Bain; Deacons, Alex. Garvie, Edward M'Glashan, William Stevenson, William Young, John Mills. North-East Valley—Elder, William Smith; Deacon, William Chapman. Halfway Bush—Elder, George Hepburn; Deacon, James Marshall. Anderson's Bay— Elder, George Brown; Deacon, James Elder Brown. Green Island Bush, Forbury, etc.—Elder, Thomas Ferguson; page 231Deacon, John Anderson. Taieri, Waihola, and Tokomairiro—Elder, Francis M' Diarmid; Deacon, William Jaffray.

Before leaving the year 1850, which saw the introduction of fresh financial arrangements into the Dunedin charge, it is fitting that brief reference should be made to a few events which occurred in the course of that year. On March 5 Mr Valpy held a harvest home at Forbury, and it was an occasion of much rejoicing to old and young. Mr Burns, accompanied by Mr Fox, attended the festival, and entered heartily into the proceedings. Mr Burns had a similar function at his then untenanted house at Grants Braes on July 26. Mr R. N. M'Dowall acted as chairman, and the entertainment was kept up with "harmony and spirit, being continually interspersed with the alternate amusements of dancing, singing, and recitation."2 An address by the chairman on the benefits of steadiness, industry, and sobriety concluded the evening. Although it is not reported that Mr Burns was present, the event suggests that he was no gloomy ascetic as some of his detractors averred. The appointment of Mr Justice Sydney Stephen3 to Otago at a salary of £800 a year caused much dissatisfaction, inasmuch as the criminal record was almost a negligible quantity. The story goes that the gaoler, John Barr, used to warn the few prisoners whom he had in custody from time to time that if they did not return from their outdoor duties at a specified time they would be locked out for the night, a threat which always had the desired effect!

On September 29 another daughter was born to Mr and Mrs Burns. Her name was Isabella Grant. She was the only one of the family born in Otago. She afterwards page 232married Mr Alexander Stevenson, and had one son, Douglas, who was lost at sea in 1899.

On November 18, Governor Sir George Grey, with his wife and members of his staff, arrived in Dunedin, and was the guest of Captain Cargill. He made a good impression, and was lavish in his promises to the settlement—a municipal charter within three months, a political constitution before the year was out, and the expenditure of £700 in extending the jetty, building a hospital, and the completion of a road near the present Oval4. On the day after his arrival, in addition to a levee, which was held at the Royal Hotel and attended by everybody in his or her Sunday clothes, a dinner was served at Captain Cargill's, at which Mr Burns was present. The Governor subscribed five guineas towards the roofing of the church.5 On November 20 the distinguished guest left Dunedin for the Government brig, which was lying at Port Chalmers.

The faithful schoolmaster, Mr Blackie, who had accompanied Mr Burns from Scotland and had rendered excellent service to the children of Dunedin, had by this time fallen into ill-health, and he left the settlement on board the Phœbe Dunbar, in hopes that the climate of Sydney would relieve the tubercular trouble from which he suffered. Unfortunately, he did not long survive his change of residence. Mr Burns had much correspondence with Mr Blackie's aged father in Dundee with a view to settling the affairs of his honoured young colleague. Mr M'Dowall took the place of Mr Blackie at the school.

Mr James Macandrew, who was destined to play an important part in the future history of the province, arrived on board his own ship, the Titan, on January 16, page break
View of Dunedin From Church Hill, November, 1851.

View of Dunedin From Church Hill, November, 1851.

page 2331851. Mr Burns soon became intimate with him, and stood by him in many of his troubles and battles for progress in the Colony. With Mr Macandrew arrived his minister, the Rev. William Nicholson, of London Wall, referred to previously in connection with the service held prior to the departure of the John Wickliffe from London. Mr Nicholson spent two months in Otago, waiting for a vessel to convey him to his destination, which was Hobart, in Tasmania. He assisted Mr Burns during his stay and conducted a service with 13 persons at the Taieri.

In the year 1851 the entries in the diary kept by Mr Burns from the sailing of the Philip Laing from Greenock come to an end for all literary purposes. A few jottings are given from time to time, but they mainly record odd notes of letters written, outstanding events, and amounts of money sent to the missions of the Free Church, and later on to the New Hebrides. These memoirs of ours must move rapidly over the remaining portion of Dr Burns's life.

To enter fully into the details and general history of the period from 1851 to 1871 would require a separate volume. The object of this work is to give a presentation of the man Thomas Burns, with special regard to his work of colonisation and his spiritual leadership. If that purpose is kept in mind the reader may seek for a history of the times in other works of reference.

The newspaper of the infant Colony, which had caused profound dissatisfaction in the minds of Cargill, Burns, and the main body of the Scotch settlers on account of its highly critical attitude towards the policy of the leaders and the whole conception of a class settlement, came to an end with the issue on December 21, 1850. The tragical feature of the cessation of the Otago News was the failing page 234health of the editor, Mr Graham. A new organ of the press was urgently desired, and the Otago Witness, yet happily circulating as the oldest weekly paper in New Zealand, came into existence on February 8, 1851. A company of 11 shareholders was founded, consisting of Messrs Valpy, Cargill, Burns, Johnston, W. H. Reynolds, John Jones, W. H. Cutten, H. M'Glashan, and James Macandrew. Mr Cutten was appointed editor. Mr Valpy disapproved of the attitude of the paper towards himself after he accepted the Governor's nomination to the Council without popular election, and he soon withdrew from the venture. Bickerings reached their height about this time. The small section which sought to free the settlement from the authority of the leaders supported Grey in his official conduct of affairs. The Otago Settlers' Association, with Dr Robert Williams as chairman, was formed on May 31, 1851, and enrolled about 100 members. When it came to a vote the hostile section always made a poor showing, and "The Little Enemy" died a natural death when the Constitution was reported in 1852.

On the granting of the Constitution Burns wrote to Mr John M'Glashan, then in Scotland, under date November 18, 1852:—6

Our colonists are in great spirits in consequence of the New Zealand Constitution. The thing for which I was chiefly alarmed was the consequence to our moral sense and our regard for integrity and worth that were likely to ensue from the irritation and disgust arising from the habitual exhibition before our eyes of everything like honesty and truth and principle violated, not only under the countenance, but in subserviency to the known wishes of Sir George Gray. I used to think with great dislike of the temper and spirit of Yankeeism in our North American neighbours. But I believe a kindred spirit would in time have been created in the honest hearts of the Free Church men of Otago had this wretched system lasted page 235for a generation or two. Thanks to the feeble position of the Derby Ministry and the need of bidding for popularity, and thanks also for the frank, manly spirit in which Sir John Pakington has met our demands, and once more and specially thanks to such men as Fox, Wakefield, and yourself for a final deliverance from so great an evil!

Although Burns felt deeply the attacks which were made upon the Colony by those whose religious and national instincts diverged from his own, he preserved his nobility of character in all his public actions and utterances during the period of controversy. His letters to his brother Gilbert reveal the intensity of his feelings, but he never forgot his duty to his congregation as well as to himself; and he refrained from entering the arena of petty strife and controversy. For instance, when the Mechanics' Institution was opened on January 3, 1853, amid much cavilling Mr Burns alone spoke with calmness, eloquence, and dignity, "free from all unpleasant allusion."7

The first number, of the Otago Witness gave a census of the population of Otago taken to March 31, 1850, as 1149 persons, of whom 888 were in some kind of association with the Presbyterian Church. The figures for the Church of England were given as 206, and there were 55 others. In view of the large number of persons who recognised the church as their meeting place, it was not surprising that additions had to be made to the building for the accommodation of worshippers. In the first issue of the Witness Burns said:—

The great body of our immigrants, more or less regularly, attend on my ministry, according to the distances at which they are severally located. Our place of worship is regularly filled, lobby and all, and I can see them standing outside with infants in their arms, partly for want of room and partly for fear of the infants disturbing the congregation.

page 236

Many of the settlers walked long distances to the Church. For instance the Harolds used to leave Taieri Ferry early on Communion Sunday morning to attend the service. A small lunch or "piece" was taken, and eaten in the Church grounds between the forenoon and afternoon diets of worship. The ladies sometimes removed their shoes and stockings at the streams. The usual garb of the men was the blue smock, worn over their clothes, with a leather belt around the waist.

The interest which the minister took in the health of the people was shown by the fact that he announced from the pulpit that Dr Purdie was prepared to vaccinate free of charge any who came to him. A considerable number of the people immediately availed themselves of the opportunity to receive this treatment as a safeguard against the scourge of smallpox. One would like to know whether any record of such a close association between religion and medicine, especially that great department which is now known as Public Health, can be found elsewhere at such an early date as 1850.

The Kirk Session of the Church met regularly every month. On June 27, 1851, a special meeting was held with the Deacons' Court, and a report was passed and transmitted to the Edinburgh Presbytery. After reviewing the benefits of the religious basis on which the settlement had been founded, and considering their effect during the three years that had passed in regard to Sabbath observance and the education of the young in Christian principles, the report proceeded to remark upon the spirit of harmony that pervaded the community, despite the efforts of a small section "to throw the brand of discord" into their midst. The division of the territory into 11 districts, with an elder and a deacon for each district, the church door collections, which averaged between page 237£1 and £1 10s each Sunday with an equal contribution from seats rents, were then referred to in turn. It was stated that the church was seated for 400, and was still too small for the congregation. The Communion roll contained 360 names, "including a few Episcopalians who are looking forward to getting a minister of their own persuasion amongst them." The population was estimated at 1600, including over 120 Natives at the mouth of the harbour and 50 Natives and others at Waikouaiti. Of these 1600, 1100 were stated to be Presbyterians, mostly Free Church, 61 Independents, from 15 to 20 Wesleyan Methodists, 11 Roman Catholics, "who were visited last summer by a French priest, one of a body of priests who, with their bishop and a number of Sisters of Charity, all French, arrived all at once not long ago at Wellington"; in addition to the foregoing the Episcopalians were set down at 230.

The report mentioned the liberality of the people in subscribing £120 for roofing the addition to the church and adding to the seating accommodation. They had also raised a similar sum towards a church building at Port Chalmers. Reference was then made to the Mechanics' Institution, meeting every two weeks for essays to be read followed by discussion, and public lectures once in two months. The Otago Settlers' Society and the Dunedin Property Investment Company were not regarded as too secular to be tabled in a church report.

The matter of education is so bound up with the biography of Dr Burns that the following paragraph, written possibly by himself, must be quoted:—

In the important matter of schools we have suffered loss in losing the services of our principal teacher, Mr James Blackie. The school continues to be taught by a young man (Mr M'Dowell), who, having been four or five years at College, page 238is perfectly competent to the task. If the Colony were a little farther advanced we must have an Academical Institution of a superior character in Dunedin, for it is felt to be of the last importance towards the best and highest well-being of the settlement that the means of a thoroughly good education should be within the reach of the rising generation. There ara three district schools and a girls' school in Dunedin. There are four Sabbath Schools in different districts. There is a monthly congregational prayer meeting at which missionary and other religious intelligence is communicated. There are several prayer meetings on week days in different parts of the Colony, conducted by the elders and others. 8

On Sunday, October 17, 1852, the church at Port Chalmers was opened for public worship. The minister invited the Dunedin congregation to attend in force, and his invitation was heartily responded to, the office-bearers and about 65 others voyaging to the Port in boats. It was a remarkable scene as the boats tacked to the landing place, past the ship Persia, which was beflagged for the occasion. Even such an excursion on the water did not lose the Sabbath calm. The commanding site had been selected by Mr Kettle and placed on the first map of Port Chalmers, which bears the date, " March to June, 1846."9 The church was the second building for the purpose in Otago, and the third Presbyterian church to be erected in the South Island, following upon the building of a church at Nelson by the Rev. T. D. Nicholson in 1849. In 1871 the old church at Port Chalmers was superseded by the present handsome structure which greets the travellers from the north by sea and land. The first resident minister was the Rev. William Johnstone, who was settled at Port Chalmers in 1858.

page 239

On June 7, 1852, a memorial was submitted to the Session and Deacons' Court by the Moderator, which traversed the ground of the interruption of the development of the Church and province by the failure of the Company and the approaching termination of the Association. It pointed out that while the Church had done its duty in meeting the needs of the scattered population, the number of the distant members was too small to form even the nucleus of a second church, and the Dunedin church could not support a missionary.

At Port Chalmers there might be an attendance of between 40 and 50, in the East Taieri between 20 and 30. Smaller groups are located in the West Taieri, in the Taieri village, in the Kuri Bush, in the Waihola, in the Tokomairiro, and several very small groups in the Clutha, besides detached families at remote sheep stations.

Accordingly the office-bearers respectfully petitioned the Colonial Committee of the Free Church to supply a missionary and pay his salary for a period of three years. On June 27, 1853, the movement for securing additional ministers took a definite form at a joint meeting presided over by Mr Burns, who stated that the object in view was to take into consideration the spiritual necessities of the rural districts. Captain Cargill prepared a circular in the form of an address on the subject, and suggested that a larger meeting, inclusive of former office-bearers of the Home Churches, should be called for the purpose of securing two ministers and also on behalf of two funds:—(1) For organising the Sustentation Fund (on the lines of the Free Church of Scotland) in order to raise £200 for defraying the expense of the passage and outfit of the additional ministers; and (2) for supporting the missionary schemes of the Home Church. It was also suggested that a quarterly collection should be made at the church door page 240for the support of the district schools.10 A committee to give effect to these resolutions and visit rural districts was appointed, and it was decided that one quarterly collection should be made for the district schools; and that the three remaining quarterly collections should be devoted to the Home Mission Fund of the Free Church.

These heroic and unselfish decisions showed the depth of Christian feeling which animated minister and people. When the New Zealand Company was liquidated Mr Burns had been left with his salary unpaid, and an amount of between £400 and £500 owing to him, and with only the untried method of small church door collections and seat rents as the means of raising revenue in the future.11 Yet he fostered the cause of giving to general purposes and missions, as indicated in the foregoing resolutions.

At a meeting on October 23, 1853, the joyful tidings of the appointment by the Colonial Committee of a second minister, the Rev. William Will, was received by the Session, and a congregational meeting was held with a view to the thorough organisation of the Sustentation Fund and the division of the town from the rural districts, the latter being allotted to the new minister as his pastoral charge. The Colonial Committee in the meantime had secured another minister for the Colony in the person of the Rev. William Bannerman, who arrived with Mr Will on the ship Stately, which dropped anchor in Port Chalmers on February 8, 1854. Both young ministers were received with the greatest heartiness, Mr Bannerman being entertained at the manse, and Mr Will at the house of page 241Captain Cargill. On the next Sunday the newly-arrived ministers preached at the respective diets of worship, and at the close the Session met, and the Moderator "offered up fervent thanksgiving to God for so signal an expression of His goodness and mercy towards this Church, and having commended the ministers and their future ministry in this Colony, introduced to them the several elders and deacons of the congregation, who gave them the right hand of fellowship."

On the following Sunday, February 19, 1854, Mr Burns introduced Mr Will to his future congregation at the schoolhouse of East Taieri, the charge extending from the town of Dunedin to the southern end of Waihola. Mr Bannerman preached at the First Church for the absent pastor, and proceeded on the following day to join him at East Taieri. Together they travelled southward, Mr Will accompanying the party to the boundary of his parish. At Tokomairiro in the house of Mr Alexander Duthie the first service under the new regime was held, probably on the Wednesday or Thursday of that eventful week. Mr Bannerman was there introduced to the people of Tokomairiro after the sermon by Mr Burns. On Saturday the two ministers reached the great Clutha River, and a service conducted by Mr Burns was held at Mr Redpath's house on Inchclutha on the following day, Sunday, February 26, at the close of which Mr Bannerman was introduced to the people of the Clutha district. Some settlers walked to the service from their little homes up to 10 miles away through the tall flax and toi tois. Mr Burns then returned to Dunedin, and Mr Bannerman conducted his first service at Hilly Park on March 19. Three preaching stations were appointed to Mr Bannerman, namely, South Clutha, Inchclutha, and Tokomairiro, but in reality his parish extended from Waihola to the Bluff, page 242and from Kaka Point on the east to beyond the Aparima on the south-west. In the course of his minstry Mr Bannerman walked or rode over the whole of this immense area, often in perils of waters, cold, and weariness.12

On June 27 of the same year the Presbytery of Otago was constituted, Mr Burns being elected Moderator. Mr John M'Glashan, who on the demise of the Lay Association had voyaged to Otago on the ship Rajah, arriving in September, 1853, was elected Clerk of Presbytery and also Procurator, an ecclesiastical and legal office for which he was remarkably well fitted. The Presbytery, as constituted, consisted of the following members:—

Ministers—Rev. Thomas Burns, Moderator, of Dunedin; Rev. William Will, of the Taieri and Waihola districts; Rev. William Bannerman, of the Clutha and Tokomairiro districts. Elders—Captain William Cargill, Superintendent of the Province of Otago; commissioner from the Kirk Session of Dunedin; Mr John M'Glashan, Provincial Treasurer and Solicitor, Procurator of the Church, and Clerk of Presbytery.

The following 20 office-bearers of the Church were also invited to sit with the Presbytery and give advice on the important matters which were to come before the reverend court:—Rev. Robert Hood, Messrs James Adam, Charles Robertson, George Hepburn, George Brown, James Elder Brown, Henry Clark, John Gillies, William Young, Thomas Ferguson, Thomas Bell, George Shand, Andrew Kay, James Cullen, Alexander Chalmers, Peter Lindsay, James Brown, William Smith, James Ritchie, James Souness.

Mr Burns's address on the occasion of the inauguration of the Presbytery referred to the origin, the character, and the progress of the Colony.13 The report of the page 243proceedings of the Presbytery may be found in a compilation 14 issued by the Clerk of Synod. Mr Burns's time must have been fully taken up in writing, possibly with the assistance of Mr M' Glashan, the addresses which, in graceful and fervent phrasing, expressed the sentiments of the Church to the Queen's Most Excellent Majesty, to his Excellency the Officer Administering the Government of New Zealand, to the Venerable the General Assembly of the Free Church of Scotland, and to the Ministers of the Presbyterian Churches in New Zealand, which included a prayer that "at no distant period, through the favour of the Great Head of the Church, a closer union of these Churches and this Church may be consummated."15

The foundation of the Presbytery marked an epoch in the history of the province. The preparatory stages of pioneering under the Presbytery of Edinburgh, the authority of which was little more than nominal, were past, and the heroic efforts of the first minister of Otago were conserved and multiplied by the organisation of the Church Court and the labours of his devoted young colleagues. The legal changes brought about by the erection of the Presbytery were as great as the ecclesiastical. The services of Mr M' Glashan in preparing the necessary documents to give effect to the transfer of authority from the defunct Lay Association and the Edinburgh Presbytery to the local representatives were particularly valuable. Fresh ministers were applied for, and in due course arrived to carry on the work of supplying religious ordinances to the far-flung settlement.

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The Rev. John M'Nichol, a Gaelic-speaking probationer of the Free Church, arrived early in February, 1858, and he was soon followed by the Rev. William Johnstone, who was inducted into the charge of Port Chalmers and the Northern Districts on June 23, 1858.

The Presbytery of Otago was the first to be established in New Zealand. Auckland followed on October 15, 1856, and Wellington Presbytery came into being on November 3, 1857. The influence of the southern movement was felt through the length and breadth of New Zealand. Canterbury Presbyterians were encouraged by Mr Burns to send Home for a minister, with the result that the Rev. Charles Fraser arrived at the house of the Deans family early in April, 1856. In the meantime the other religious denominations had not been unmindful of their obligations to their own members. Dr Frederick Richardson, who arrived in September, 1851, brought from England a sum of £270, Communion plate, a stone font, and a barrel organ16 for the use of an Episcopal Church in Dunedin. Following upon the services which had been held by the Wesleyan missionary, the Rev. Charles Creed, in the gaol and afterwards in the courthouse, Bishop Selwyn appointed the Rev. J. A. Fenton to the Anglican parish of Dunedin. He arrived at Port Chalmers on January 1, 1852, and continued in office until 1858, when he was succeeded by the Rev. E. G. Edwards. In 1855 Father Petitjean, of the Roman Catholic Church, toured Otago in the interest of his Church. For the Methodist service the courthouse was used in the evenings, Mr Creed being succeeded in turn by the Rev. William Kirk and the Rev. George Stannard. The first resident minister of this church was the Rev. Isaac Harding, who arrived from Auckland on March 18, 1862.17

1 Minutes of First Church Session.

2 Otago News, August 3, 1850.

3 A nephew of Sir James Stephen, of the Colonial Office. See chap. VI, supra. Mr Strode had already been created Resident Magistrate in Otago.

4 Grey's Provincial Councils Bill passed the Legislative Council in July, 1851, but its ordinance affecting Dunedin was disallowed by Earl Grey as; being "ultra vires."

5 Burns's diary and Chisholm's "Fifty Tears Syne," pages 110-111.

6 Original letter In John M'Glashan collection.

7 Hocken's Early History, p. 131.

8 Minutes of First Church Session.

9 See the booklet "Otago Seventieth Anniversary, 1848-1918," edited by the Rev. Alex. Whyte, Port Chalmers, published by the Otago Early Settlers' Association, Dunedin, and the Old Identities' Association, Port Chalmers, 1918. Pages 55-59. Much useful information is to be found in this booklet, which ran through several editions.

10 Dunedin, North-East Valley, and Port Chalmers. A school at East Taieri was in contemplation, with a building of its own which might serve for a church as well. First Church Session Minutes, June 7, 1852.

11 See his letter to Gilbert Burns, p. 10, of Bannerman's "Early Otago," etc. The proceeds of property were very small, and were devoted to meeting arrears owing by the Trust.

12 Biographical notices of the excellent ministers Will and Bannerman can be found in John Wilson's "Early Reminiscences of Otago," and Chisholm's "Fifty Years Syne," and need not be given here.

13 The original notes of Mr Burns are preserved in the John M'Glashan collection.

14 Proceedings of the Presbytery of Otago, 1854-1865. Compiled from the original records by Rev. A. M. Finlayson. Published by authority of the Synod of Otago and Southland, Dunedin; the Otago Daily Times and Witness Newspapers Co., Ltd., 1926.

15 The Otago Witness, Saturday, July 8, 1854, contained a good account of the proceedings. " Fifty Years Syne," chap. XVI, also traverses the ground of this first meeting of the Presbytery.

16 Now in the Early Settlers' Museum, Dunedin.

17 See Mr Alfred Eccles's brochure "Records of the Early Days: Some Beginnings in Dunedin and Otago." Published by the Otago Early Settlers' Association, 1929.