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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 79

Upholding the Law

Upholding the Law.

Mr Colenso was frequently employed page 26 to recover goods stolen by the natives from vessels wrecked in the Day. The coast seems to have had some danger for small craft for there are a number of cases of shipwreck. On January 2nd, 1846 (see Journals, also "N.Z. Spectator", January 14th, 1846) he secured restitution of the goods stolen from the United States brig Falco, wrecked on July 27th at Table Cape. When the chiefs arrived from Nukutaoroa with the goods Bishop Selwyn was staying at the Mission. Tiakitai, no doubt to mark his displeasure at having to return them, said that henceforward the bishop should be his father, Colenso replied: "That is well; let him be your father for books, medicines, and nails too." (Journals, January 2nd, 1846).

In January, 1840 the cutter Royal William was robbed at Ahuriri. The 'New Zealand Spectator" on January 10th says: "We aro informed that the Royal William, on her trip to Hawke's Bay was rushed by the natives, who took out of her whatever articles of trade they required and left in return what they considered an equivalent in pigs. This may be freetrade, but we should think it desirable to place such trade under proper restrictions." Mr Colenso on January 12th secured a return of the stolen articles.

In July, 1847, the Sarah Jane was lost at Uruti (Wairarapa) and plundered by the natives. Again Mr Colenso helped to recover the stolen goods. The next year he reports that a trading vessel was wrecked at Cape Turnagain. But this time the goods were stored in native huts and mostly restored to the owners. A similar incident is referred to in a letter written by Mr Colenso to the "New Zealand Spectator," April 28th, 1847: "The Flying Fish, Captain ".Mulholland, came into Ahuriri to refit. The captain and crew fell out and some page 27 of the latter left the vessel. A chief had tapud trade which the captain sold to another. The chief struck the captain and took away other goods." Colenso persuaded the chief to pay for these and in addition gave a pig for striking the captain.