The Founders of Canterbury
Reigate, 22nd June, 1850
My Dear Godley,
—In order to avert pressure for time at the end, which mars all, I already begin to write for the Phæbe Dunbar.page 277
The topics are so many, and my strength, or rather weakness, so occupied that I must impose on you the task of finding out the meaning of but few words. And, indeed, between us it ought to be verbum sap.
After all the trouble, my infidelity to Canterbury has totally missed its aim. No advantage for New Zealand in general and universal colonization will be taken of the death of the Company on the 5th proximo. All depended at last on your posthumous correspondent. The Company was ready to yield all, provided he would have taken the lead in a reconstruction of New Zealand affairs. Of course an Act of Parliament was indispensable; and this could not have been obtained without the special aid in the Commons of his mastery of the subject. Neither could the Act have been worked, when got, half so well by any other man as by him. He is the only man with great Parliamentary talents and position, who holds the true faith. Netherby has the talents and position, but. So, of fitting men not in office, your P. C. was the only one we could think of. If he had consented he would, to use his own words, have had the working of a special Colonial Office for New Zealand. Fancy a Colonial Office for New Zealand bent on carrying into effect the true faith! It was too good to come true. Tour P. C. refused. Perhaps he suspected Whiggery of intending to occupy him, and so nullify his general opposition to them; but if so, why not? He would have been doing great work, and, when he spoke, would have spoken realities. If a trap was intended (as it probably was), not he, but they, would have been caught in it, I think. That he was over shy is not surprising; for there was risk: but when was anything really great ever accomplished without risk? Moreover, and no wonder, he could not bear to touch the Company, even for the purpose of putting it out of existence: he shrunk away from the defilement of that very stinking pitch. And thus my dream of making New Zealand a model, as respects both colonization and government, has come to an end. Whether page 278or not in technical form, the Company will be broken up in July, and superseded by the Colonial Office. Every thing in New Zealand will be in a mess, except only Canterbury as respects land only. And there is no chance, I fear, of another opportunity so great and favourable as that which has been lost. The missing of it was a bitter disappointment to me, besides the distraction of my thoughts from Canterbury at a time when it needed that close attention which, in my present feeble state, I can only give when I do one thing at a time.
At any rate the Canterbury affair is a pleasanter theme: but I will commence with some disagreeables.
The baronetcy fell through. After infinite pains had been taken to get the promise, the old gentleman wanted the thing before he emigrated. This was impossible, and would have been useless besides: for if his demand had been complied with, the promise of a mark of honour for doing a public service would have been degraded into a bargain for a title on the one hand and a sale of land on the other. Since the negotiation was broken off, the family have given indications of a wish to renew it; but I did not respond, having had enough of them when they got me to "make fools" of Lord Lyttelton, the Bishop of Norwich, and Lord Grey. It was really a great point gained to get the Hinds principle adopted; and Canterbury would have gained largely by being the subject of its first application. And further, the retreat of young ———, after publicly announcing himself as a colonist, has been very hurtful to us.
The same sort of injury has been done us by my connexion, ———; and it is greater in degree, because the renegade has turned preacher against Canterbury; and his connexions are far more numerous and influential than those of the small—— squire. You won him, or rather his wife; but when she had completely overcome his Low-Church scruples, his own family made a dead set at him, and frightened him with Papish bugaboos, till at last he bolted quite out of sight. No Joss, you'll say. Truly: but, on the other hand, his defection page 279has proved very mischievous, because his kith and kin abuse us in order to excuse him.
The impediments and drawbacks have been serious. After my letter by the Eden, I need only say of the Jackson trouble, that he is such a host at work—the hardest sort of work—that he wins his way by storm. I mean his personal way, by making a favourable impression wherever he goes. As respects the episcopacy of Canterbury, it is as I feared it would be: the Church Settlement is, to a great extent, lost in the Island See. As the Settlement alone has ecclesiastical funds, the Bishop must needs beg for the rest of the Island; and a most masterly beggar he is. But this is not exactly what we desired: for it is like a common colonial episcopate—infinitely too large in area, and only maintainable by begging. Neither (putting Church matters aside) does it conduce to the enlistment of good colonists. We ought to have taken higher ground, and might have taken the highest—that of refusing eleemosynary aid—if the See had been confined to the Settlement. Then why, I hear you ask notwithstanding my previous account of this mistake, was the See extended to the Island? I partly told you before, but may now add that the objections to this step were not seen till the time had gone by for giving effect to them. They were not seen till Jackson had set his heart on the larger See, which he supposed to have been offered to him. It was a most critical time when this question arose. Two Bishops had already been announced and withdrawn: the risk of a third refusal after announcement was too great to be run: and so we (or at least I did) reluctantly swallowed the unpalatable measure of a too-large, vulgar, make-believe, episcopate. It was a case of doing as well as you can without liking it; the commonest of cases in this world, where people, and especially such fastidious people as the Godley lot, should be content when they get much less than their desires. For the unavoidable short-coming I know of but one remedy, which I suggested to Mr. Jackson by way page 280of preventive, but he would not take it; namely, making the whole Island an Arch-episcopate, with Jackson for Arch-bishop, and Bishops for Canterbury, Nelson, &c. But this is too far off to engage anybody's thoughts now.
There has continued unabated the monster drawback of no official organ of the Association. You can form no just conception of the bad effects. While John Hutt was Chairman he was both legislature and executive, all by himself; and he did nothing but—to use a former simile—"cut holes in the bottom of the ship," being out of his mind. So we shot him down. But since he disappeared, there has only been a legislature. The decisions of the Committee are sagacious, brave, earnest, and pertinent; but their execution is almost nil. Nay more, that important part of executive business which consists of timely preparation for legislation, is anybody's business, and therefore nobody's. Or rather it is done by anybody in a strange scrambling way, because it is nobody's business in particular. The whole thing would break up if Lord Lyttelton, Simeon, and Sir Walter James did not stick to it, legislatively speaking, as if their all were at stake. It is as if the Government of England consisted of a good House of Commons without a Ministry. There never was such an institution before, as a corporation so important as this, without an able, responsible, and trusted Secretary. Poor old Alston is no younger nor wiser than when you saw him last. He really performs none of the functions of Secretary; and the whole of them would be unperformed if Lord Lyttelton did not undertake a good many of them when he is at the office. Except what he does, the executive part is all make-shift work, got through somehow, and but in small part, by such means as irresponsible services, first of FitzGerald and now of Brittan as members of the Committee, and of intrusive aid by anybody, myself included, who is willing to take some of the Secretary's proper work. So of course it is all a great scramble, only saved from failure by the amateurs' honesty and zeal of purpose. The evil is generally seen, and page 281by some much complained of; but nobody proposes the only efficient remedy—the appointment of a capable Secretary. I think if there had been one there three months ago, the body of colonists would have been two or three times as large as it is now. Head-quarters is the proper place for enlisting colonists, being the place to which all enquirers naturally go in the first instance. But from that place—namely, the office of the Association, 20, Cockspur Street—enquirers have been repelled by lazy, twaddling, nincompoopery, except when by chance they happened to light upon a member of the Committee or other good-willed amateur. You will remember the case of ———: there have been many like it: and though it is difficult to get at these eases, enough of them are heard of to establish a suspicion that perhaps hundreds of good people have been repulsed, and not a few of them made detractors, who would have been good colonists if they had been properly received at head-quarters. But I hope that this may soon be remedied: for the time is at hand when the public men of the Committee will be leaving town, and a substitute for them must be provided. There has been talk of making colonists members of the Committee, because they would work, having a personal interest: but there are, I think, fatal objections to this plan, the main ones being first that though colonists would work, they would have no weight from station and character as Lyttelton and Co. have; and secondly, that they would be suspected of working only for their own interests as first colonists, without regard to those of subsequent colonists, as they would very likely do in fact, if they got possession of the Committee-room. The difficulty is to find a ready-made Secretary. I see one who has all the qualities except knowledge of the subject, which he is acquiring; but then he is an intending colonist. At present I think of suggesting him to Lord Lyttelton, who might perhaps induce him to take office for sis months, which would be an important benefit to the whole affair.
As respects government, there is only the bad news of no page 282news. The state of the general subject you will gather from newspapers, &c. It shows more than ever that the Colonial Office can have its own way in spite of anything that anybody here may do to the contrary. We have no colonial public and never shall have one. Redress for the colonies can only be got by themselves. The Cape for ever is now my only thought. You will conclude therefore that I have no hope of a good, separate, provincial government for Canterbury. It will be tried for, but in vain, I think. If I should be agreeably disappointed, it will be by means of the fine body of colonists whom we may expect to see preparing to depart in the first week of September. The fact of the emigration of such a colony may move opinion at home to operate on Lord Grey as we wish.
This brings me to an agreeable topic. Assuredly nothing in modern times is to be compared to our first body of colonists, actual and probable. In spite of all impediments and drawbacks, this part of the work will prosper. It is hard work, and facilitated by nothing but the religious element. But its very success makes one nervous. You know it is constitutional with me to be more afraid of prosperity than adversity—more depressed by success than defeat: and this may be at the bottom of my anxious fears lest our most prosperous beginning in the enlistment of good colonists should be nipped in the bud by some untoward event. A trifle could do this great mischief, because buds are essentially tender and liable to destruction by the slightest cause. So I watch the recruiting service with intense interest. You may be sure that I know the state of the case, actual and probable. It is very satisfactory and more promising. Considering the difficulties it is really wonderful. I feel certain that if no great error be committed in any quarter, there will be sent out this year, and resident at Lyttelton in 1851, a far more important colony than were, in the first year of their existence, all those put together with which I have been personally concerned, namely, Adelaide, Wellington, New page 283Plymouth, Nelson, and Otago. I speak advisedly. Even now, we beat either Adelaide or Wellington hollow; and I am persuaded that on the average, for every higher-class colonist who has taken the shilling, there are eight or ten who are taking beer. The enlisting process is slow, but sure in proportion. The plan somehow repels desperate and bad people, such as commonly form a large proportion of the materials of a new settlement. Those whom it attracts are circumspect, cautious, and slow to decide. But then this, which is the real foundation of all, is real and solid, not puffed out and apt to burst. I am not acquainted with a single emigrant who goes as a money-grubbing speculator, though of course there must be some. We are sure that nearly all go to do something as a steady pursuit—most of them to cultivate the earth, breed horses and cattle, and grow wool. This is chiefly owing to the nature of the people whom the plan attracts, who are steady, prudent people, of quiet, moderate tastes, and simple habits; but it is also a good deal owing to the agricultural and pastoral enthusiasm of Felix Van Diemen, who has infected many with his Tasmanian tastes. Besides preaching the Canterbury plan of colonization, he preaches getting up with the sun, gardening, farming, dining at one o'clock, teetotalism, and going to bed before night-time; and as he does so without the least intention of making converts, he makes them at a great rate. I am sure you will have a fine horticultural show on the first anniversary: I believe you will see, not merely a nice, but a choice society of English people assembled there. Not that more than a very few of the really bettermost class in habits and manners have already declared themselves, but many of that sort—families of the very nicest description (or shall J say after your own fancy) are preparing slowly, and not without pain, to take the step which will commit them. At present there is certainly too large a proportion of people who, however estimable, are deficient as respects manners—good and satisfactory, but not refined and polished people: page 284but I feel quite sure that if no important check should occur, there will be a larger proportion of the most agreeable sort of people than one commonly finds in a country neighbourhood here. The best are the most hesitating, and need the tenderest handling when they first allude to their own purpose. I ought to have said before, that the most novel and curious feature of the whole case is, that about five out of six, perhaps more, of the intending colonists, declared, known, and expected, are truly religious people. Neither of us ever expected this to the extent in which it is now manifest. Judging by the case of the New England Pilgrimage, which this Canterbury Emigration really and truly resembles in the religious feature, the effects must be immense if nothing untoward should happen during the next two years. When I think much about it, and feel ill as usual, I grow quite afraid of not living to see the plant firmly rooted.
|Sections of 100 acres sold||1000|
|Bought by absentees…||595|
|Sections of 150 acres sold||432|
|Bought by absentees…||352|
It is no wonder that Nelson has stagnated. Now, I expect page 285that in the present case the absentee purchases will not exceed one in seven, perhaps not one in ten: it will be nearly all colonizing sale; scarcely any of it of the merely speculative kind. If this expectation should be realized, of which I have no doubt, we shall have done as much as you desired, and more than we expected, in the way of giving to the sale a most satisfactory character. The whole matter has been under controul, and the plan of confining agency work to one person has completely succeeded. Nothing has been done to encourage, everything has been done to discourage, stock-exchange and other speculative purchases. I enclose a printed paper drawn up by Felix and me. This is now being cautiously circulated among the colonist class only: if the old South Australian and New Zealand speculators were to see it, and know of my hand in it, our sale might be twice or three times as great as it probably will be. But it is used so late in the day as not to allow time for putting its ideas into that class, whilst we hope that it will stimulate the colonist class. Its circulation at all is a venture; but I am not afraid, because, without commission-pay to agents in the speculative circles, it is impossible to stimulate these classes in a short time, and Felix has in a great measure promised commission to agents in respect of sales to actual colonists only. We have also allowed the speculating classes, whom I know well, to continue in the belief, which they formed long ago, that this is not a colonizing but only a Church enterprise. I hear it is said amongst them, that they should consider buying Canterbury land-orders the same as subscribing money to build a church or found a Bishopric in the colonies. That will do. Felix has endeavoured, however, with my aid, to induce some people to buy largely, who would not be emigrants, but would sell the land here at a profit to actual colonists. Success in this move would increase all our funds for immediate use, without hurting the colony; but it is difficult to make the move successfully without exciting real absentee purchases; and I almost wish nothing had been done in it. However, I page 286mean to submit the whole question to Lord Lyttelton in time to let him, if he chooses, have absentee purchases stimulated as much as possible; but I hope he won't, and I think he won't because his personal interest in the question suggests that all means should be used to increase the sales on 1st of July. Everybody asks me how much will be sold; but of course I am not such a goose as to answer. The estimates vary immensely; and even Brittan, who knows most because Felix plays all probable purchasers into his hands as the leader of the colonist body, has alternate fits of elation and despondency. My own estimate I will tell you for fun; it is about £35,000, supposing always that absentee purchases be discouraged to the end. Even that would be nearly as much as the colonist purchases at Wellington before any New Zealand disasters had happened, and three times as much as the colonist purchases at Nelson. Taking into account this solid reality of the colonist body and the smallness of the individual purchases (very small as compared with Wellington and Nelson) in consequence of the unspeculative character of the colonists, I shall consider this sale equal in promise to a sale of two or three times the amount under ordinary circumstances.
You will see by the last number of the Canterbury papers, that the colonists have attempted a kind of self-organization. It is not very real, but on the contrary partakes largely of the character of make-believe. For this there are two reasons; first, those who intend to emigrate this year are so deeply occupied with their own private affairs as to be really incapable of attending seriously to anything else; and secondly that the desired organization is of necessity voluntary, not binding upon any body, and without effect. It is playing at organization and the exercise of authority. But it is not without its uses. For example, there was a pretty general opinion against the name of "Christ's Church" for the Capital of the Canterbury Settlement; the main objection being that the application of this sacred name to a commercial page 287and political metropolis savoured either of profanity, or cant, or both. You will hardly understand this objection, because the name is associated in your mind with cricket, rowing, drinking, smoking, swearing, &c.; but most of those to whom the name is not profanely familiarized by college recollections, preferred that the place should be called "Lyttelton." So the nascent nation divided itself into Whig and Tory about a name. But Lyttelton had it hollow. John Simeon made a manly and persuasive speech for "Christ's Church," and was supported by FitzGerald with Conway Rose; but all the rest, I think, voted for Lyttelton, not a few of them, you may be sure, being moved by the wish to pay a compliment to him who, since the great danger of Hutt's no-administration was discovered, has been the soul and body of the enterprise. Nor is the mere appearance of organization without good effects. It reminds the colony on the move, that they ought to be lawfully organized for important purposes concerning them as a body, and that when they reach their destination, they will have to concur, differ, decide, and act in all sorts of matters of a public nature, and with results of the utmost practical importance to themselves. It thus steadies, and probably fortifies their minds and prepares them for contending with the difficulties which they will of course have to contend with. It has the further good effect of bringing out men's characters, testing their qualities, making them known to each other, and putting every one into his proper place according to his deserts. The scene is curious. It is the very beginning of the formation of a new society, in which no one can take a place by means of factitious or extrinsic aid, but each must find his place according to his properties. As they are all really strangers to each other by superficial appearances, some necessarily rise too high in the scale of esteem and position, and have to be pulled down to their natural place; whilst on the other hand, some worthy but humble natures sink too low, and have to be lifted up by the manifestation of their good qualities. The ups and downs are amusing; the envy and page 288jealousy no worse than the inevitable consequences of exposing poor human nature to such a trial as she undergoes when a number of people are uprooted from their old places in society, and shaken into their relative positions of distinction and importance amongst their kind, which they will have to occupy for the rest of their lives. There has been no quarreling yet; but I suspect, judging by former cases, that the present absolute harmony will not be preserved after gentlemen shall have obtained their land orders, or, in other words, after they shall feel that the dream of half a year has been turned into a reality. It will not surprise me if then the first body, so called, shall exhibit the same evil passions as I have seen at work in other like classes; but I do believe that in this case they will be unusually tempered by the religious element. At the worst they will be kept down by the feeling of common interest; and there will be but little time for their operation before the chief members of the colony will be dispersed into their several ships, not to meet again for evil or for good till it will be your business to describe what happens. It is perhaps fortunate, looking so far forward, that there has not yet appeared among the colonists any one superior enough to the rest to be capable of taking the part of leader and commander morally speaking. Unless there should turn up some man of this kind who has not yet been heard of, you will have to compound and mould the new society, and will be able (for its materials are good enough for that) to give it the impress of your own character. The future Bishop, alone of all the colonists, seems to have the qualities of a natural leader of men: and even of him I am not sure but that the qualities which mark him for a valuable instrument of the Church, do not predominate over those which would make him an original power rather than a powerful machine. I will not conclude this chapter without warning you to be on your guard with respect to a colonist who has been inadvertently too much trusted by the other leaders, and whom you will see when you receive this. The very last words of this chapter shall consist page 289of a promise, which I hereby make, to send you by the main fleet some estimate of the character of the principal people, such as will at least expedite the task of forming an estimate for yourself.
Since the above was written I have been too much occupied and fatigued for writing more. Many things have happened, and the topics crowd upon me. I have submitted the question of absentee purchases to those who have the greatest personal interest in a large sale; uamely, Lord Lyttelton and John Simeon, who with Mr. Cavendish and myself, are the parties to the guarantee. They understood and considered the question; and Lord Lyttelton spoke. He said (I compress the meaning a little, but preserve it exactly) that it was a good, true, real colony, and that he would not have it spoiled by stimulating sales to absentees and speculators: things must take their course; no stimulus should be applied. I told him that the amount of sales might perhaps be doubled if the means used on former occasions were employed; but he said no; he would rather have a solid colony of colonists than lead mere speculators into the affair by any means. John Simeon entirely concurred, as did afterwards F. V. D. who has the greatest personal interest in a large immediate sale. Nothing consequently will be done to move the Absentee class; and as no encouragement from me or my intimates amounts to discouragement from us, who alone have influence in that market, I expect that speculative purchases will bear a very small proportion to those by colonists. It is a pity that the public spirit of the parties should not be known; which I say without boasting because I have always regarded my signature to the guarantee as imposing on me no real pecuniary liability. Poor I should have to pay only when Hagley, Swainston, and Mr. Cavendish's estate could not.
I am continually tempted to write about our hopes and fears with regard to things on your side; as if that could do any good. Wherefore I will only repeat the expression of my page 290confident trust that you have sacrificed every thing else to the one essential thing—the surrey, the survey, the survey. Every other defect could be remedied when the colonists arrive, save only that of a deficient survey. No day passes without my thinking of your being there with urgent work to do, and no money. Still I fancy that somehow or other, if you all live on nothing but wild pig, you'll get enough of the survey done for enabling the first lot of colonists to choose their land satisfactorily. It is certain now that the sale on July 1st will add but little to our resources; and indeed I have heard, though I am not sure, that an undue proportion of the miscellaneous fund has been recently promised to the Company in satisfaction of their advance for miscellaneous outlay. The thought of Thomas's roads and buildings drives me wild. But indeed both roads and buildings ought to have been secured as well as the survey; and the whole deficiency of money must be treated as an unavoidable misfortune, unless you and I are to blame for having thought of founding with twenty-five thousand pounds a colony whose proper foundation on the plan adopted requires a capital of two or three hundred thousand. However, courage! It is a good plan; there is a good colony of people; an excellent prospect, on this side, of the largest and best emigration that we ever hoped for; and we Englishmen are not apt to faint. I rely on your English blood. I often say to Felix, it is well Godley is not Irish, meaning faint-hearted Celtic. The anxiety to hear from you will become intense at the beginning of next month, when we shall look out for Canterbury news by the Overland mail.
Your money destitution reminds me of the New Zealand Company. Since I mentioned it before, its end on July 5th has, I think, become inevitable. Great efforts of the smallest kind are being made to save it, but without a chance of success, I believe. If I had my own will and there were men in the Company capable of giving effect to it, I would have them keep the Charter, stop all expenditure, prove the page 291fraudulent character of the terms granted to the Company in 1847, and compel the Government to go to Parliament for a reconstruction of New Zealand matters. But this course would involve upsetting the present direction, and forming another as independent of Downing Street as the Aglionby Board is completely subservient to B. Hawes; and this is impossible. J. A. Smith and Aglionby therefore will have their way, which is to sell the Charter for some base consideration. It will at any rate be a comfort to have the great sham out of the way; and I do not see how Canterbury can be affected by the change except beneficially. The first benefit will be that the sending of passenger ships to all the Southern Settlements will fall upon the Association, and many an emigrant intending to go elsewhere will stop at Canterbury as being his first landing-place.
Another break since the foregoing sheets were written. Both the 1st and the 5th of July have passed. The sale of land is less by eight thousand pounds than I counted. The deficiency arose from the drawing back of some who had left no doubt of their intention to purchase; and, strange to say, there is not a single absentee or speculative buyer. I feel no depression in consequence of the smallness of the sum realized, and hear of none in other quarters. Lord Lyttelton, with his usual courage, resolved to establish without delay, and without regard to other things, the main stay of the whole affair, which is the Bishopric as evidence and guarantee of religious and educational provisions. Every body, so far as I can learn, is in good spirits; though of course the Hawes-Aglionby set crow over us, and speak of Canterbury as a miserable failure. They little know, the low-minded jobbers and Whig-backs, where or what its roots are. The rage of some of them when I mentioned the determination to discourage speculation, was amusing to behold; for they wanted the money down on the nail then, at any rate of usury as respects the future well-doing of the Settlement. I hear they say we checked the sale at last in order to withhold the money from page 292the Company. Their last word in expiring (as you will see by the inclosed copy of their report) was to cast upon C. Buller the blame due to somebody for the defects and frauds of the agreement of 1847—Aglionby, sitting in the Chair of the Court of Proprietors, took pains to fix this charge upon Buller's memory. I longed to expose the ineffable meanness (for Aglionby knows that Buller hated the arrangement of 1847, and only accepted it because he could get nothing better); but I had only strength to propose and carry a Committee of Inquiry, which however had not the courage to report the truth though I informed them of it. I cannot recollect to have been ever so much disgusted as by the unworthy, contemptible manner of the Company's death; but the death itself is a great satisfaction.
Another death has saddened every body. I believe it will have a marked effect on the national affairs. Though Peel was not liked, and not much respected, he was greatly valued as a disagreeable watch-dog may be. Our politics since the Reform Bill have been Aristocratic Conservatism and Democratic Movement tempered not to say blended by Peel. Peel gone, I expect to see the naturally antagonistic parties separate into distinct and hostile camps. The Whigs, or most of them, will go with the movement, I think: if the Tories have sense enough to go with the times—to consent with a good grace to inevitable changes—they will be in office and may avert a Revolution. Will Stanley be guided by Gladstone and Graham? If not England will be in trouble ere long, I fancy. I fully intended to sail for New Zealand by one of the Canterbury ships in September, but am now hesitating for two reasons. Though rest from excitement has become more than ever a condition of prolonged existence, I want to see whether the new state of parties may afford a chance of realizing colonizing dreams to some extent; and I do not like to abandon Canterbury Settlement till it shall have got a broader foundation of colonists going and intending to go. I think that if I accompany this first body, I shall scarcely keep page 293my engagement with you by which I am pledged, so far as health permits, to work for your scheme until it shall have taken root enough, and grown enough, to be past the need of such help as my feebleness can give. But the time has hardly come for deciding with judgment. I must see what the next two months will do. If we can double the present body of colonists, and can set in motion a continuous stream proceeding from springs unlikely to dry up, then, unless there shall be the fairest prospect of seeing your friends in power next year, I will depart before the end of October next.
Bowler informs me that it is time to seal up. Since the last paragraph was written I have heard that which enables me to conclude with a piece of very good news. The Committee of Management is about to appoint a Deputy Chairman with a view to the performance of those responsible functions which J. Hutt did not perform. The gentleman selected is Mr. Henry Sewell, a brother of William of Exeter College; a conscientious and able man of business, of high character, with his heart in the thing as an intending colonist, and with no defect that I know of unless his Puseyite name should prove hurtful. If so, the Bishop of Lyttelton must counteract the evil, as he well knows how to do, by making New Zealand Canterbury a piece of neutral ground in the domain of the Church. I expect that this appointment will prove as comfortable for those who are really responsible to the public, by making somebody responsible to them, as it is satisfactory to me who believe that the want of a trusted and responsible officer has prevented good and produced evil incalculable.
But here is another bit of pleasant news; for you in particular most pleasant, I suppose. It has been discovered that Mr. Cornewall Simeon is, and is deemed by high authorities, well qualified for the judicial office; and that he would like to be a Canterbury colonist. The colonists accordingly have written to him (without his brother's knowledge) to beg that he will come to England immediately for the purpose of enabling them to press with effect upon the Association and page 294the Government, their wish that he should he the first Judge at Lyttelton. He is in Spain, hut may, I trust, he induced to return quickly. There are several candidates and will be many more after the Bishop shall be consecrated; but both colonists and Association are so much interested in identifying the Simeon family with the Settlement, and getting so true an English gentleman at the head of their judicial magistracy, that I think their selection must almost necessarily outweigh less worthy influences as all others must be. I can see no formidable obstacle but the Colonial Office, which may interpose its own, unreasonable, pedantic rule with respect to years' standing at the bar.
I send with this:—
|1.||Another copy of Lord Lyttelton's lecture;|
|2.||Counsel to Canterbury colonists;|
|3.||New Zealand Company's last Report;|
|4.||Molesworth's speeches this session; and,|
|5.||Complete set of Canterbury Papers.|
Rely on it I will miss no opportunity of writing, and believe me to remain,
My dear Godley,
Ever yours most truly,
E. G. Wakefield.
P.S.—I have added a pamphlet on Colonial Policy, by an old friend of mine;. and a posting bill which please to stick up at Lyttelton.