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Early Wellington

Earthquake Report

page 147

Earthquake Report

Submitted by the examining Board, comprising Messrs. T. B. Collinson (Capt., R.N.), Robert Park, C.E., and H. St. Hill, R.M.—extracts from New Zealand Reports. Presented to the Houses, by command of Her Majesty. July, 1849.

Quakes on October 16th, 1hr. 30min. a.m.; 17th, at 4 p.m.; 19th at 5 a.m.; and 24th. at 2 p.m., 1848.

Estimate of damage £15,000, including £3,500 Colonial Government, and £1,000 Ordnance Department.

Owner or Occupier. Description of Buildings. Estimate of Damage.
The Terrace.
Mr. King House, part clay, one storey Brick facing down, walls shattered.
Mr. Cridland House, part clay, one storey. Walls shattered, partly down.
Mr. Sharp House, part clay, one storey. Damaged.
Mr. Bethune Two storied brick house. Verandah in front. Walls cracked; now under repair.
Rev. J. O'Reilly Two storied clay house, thick walls, well built. One gable much shaken.
Mr. R. R. Strang One storey, clay and brick foundations. Brick work fallen out at front, walls shattered; to repair with wood.
Willis Street.
Mr. Catchpool Three storied brick flour mill. Shaken all over.
Mr. Wilkinson Two storied clay house. Front wall shaken out.
Mr. Crowther Two storied brick house. Gables down, side walls out.
Manners Street.
Mr. Rhodes Two storied store, brick. Entirely down; site being cleared.
Wesleyan Chapel Large brick building. All down; site being cleared.
Hickson and Ridgway Two storied store, brick. Both gables out, walls shaken.
Mr. Waitt Wooden store. Brick gables thrown out.
Mr. Allen Commercial room, one storey. Brick partly fallen, much shattered.
Public House One storey, brick, wood frame Scarcely damaged.
Bethune and Hunter's Store, weatherboard. Slightly damaged by shifting stock.
Mr. Fitzherbert Store, one storey, brick. S.E. and N.W. ends thrown down.
Ordnance Stores, three storied, 13½ brick. Gables out, north wall cracked.
Mr. Loxley Brick store. Gables much cracked.
Union Bank of Australia One storey, wood. Brick work of safe much shaken.
Mr. Langdon One storey brick building. Ends and sides down.
Mr. Hansard Two storied brick building. Completely shattered.
Mr. Squib One storey, clay and board. Completely shattered.
Mr. Moore Two storied house, part brick. Bricks shaken out of frame, wood work only remains.
page 148
Fig. 45—The Earthquake of 1848. Destructive effects on Mr. Fitzherbert's Stores (No. 1), the Ordnance Stores, Farish Street (no. 2 and 4), and the Colonial Hospital, Pipitea Street (site of Girls' High School) (no. 3).

Fig. 45—The Earthquake of 1848. Destructive effects on Mr. Fitzherbert's Stores (No. 1), the Ordnance Stores, Farish Street (no. 2 and 4), and the Colonial Hospital, Pipitea Street (site of Girls' High School) (no. 3).

page 149
Owner or Occupier. Description of Buildings. Estimate of Damage.
Sutton Row (Quin Street).
Mr. Gerard Clay house, two storied. One gable and part of side fallen down.
Military Hospital Several one storied buildings; clay and detached. All shattered.
Mr. Quin Several clay houses. All more or less shattered.
Mr. Villars Several small houses; some clay, other brick. Parts fallen.
Dixon Street.
Mr. Howe Two storied, brick and wood. A gable down and the rest shaken.
Mr. Stoddart One storied brick building. Gable down.
Mr. Blyth Two storied building, clay. Much shaken, one gable down.
The Beach (Lambton Quay).
Smith and Wallace Store, one storey, brick. Front thrown out, corner open, S.E.
Mr. Plimmer Offices, Colonal Government; two storied, brick. Front out and arches cracked; to put a verandah to the lower storey next the street, and tie the front wall of the upper storey with iron bars and take down the parapet.
Mr. Flyger Store, two storied, brick. Gables started.
Mr. Christian Store, one storey. Front arches cracked.
Mr. Swinburne House, two storied, brick. Front arches cracked.
Mr. Hart Store, one storey, brick and wood. Front arches cracked.
Mr. Armstrong House, one storey, brick. Front thrown out a little.
Mr. Inglis Store, one storey, brick. Very little damage.
Mr. Johnson Store, one storey, brick. Sides out, gable and roof damaged.
Mr. Geo. Young House, two storey, 9in. brick. N. end and S. Wall cracked.
Mr. Tonks House, two storied. Front and rear gable cracked.
Mr. Grace House, two storied. House cracked from top to bottom.
Mr. Taine Store, one storey, brick and wood. Rear wall cracked over the window; now pulled down.
Mr. Alzdorf One storey, brick and clay. Brickwork cracked.
Mr. Levien Store, one storey, brick front. Thrown forward to S.E.
Mr. Stafford One storied brick building. Front cracked.
Mr. Cook One storied brick building. Cracked at E. corner; to be pulled down.
Throndon Flat.
Mr. Hornbrook Store, one storied, brick, clay and wattled. Front and rear fallen out; to be repaired with wood.
Dr. Fitzgerald One storied, wattled and board. Cracked on all sides.
Major Richmond One storied, wattled and board. Brick work cracked.
Colonial Gov. Hospital Two storied—hollow. Brick wall, 14in. thick. S.E. gable out and front upper storey also, walls cracked on all sides.
N.Z. Co.'s Buildings One storey, brick and wood. Sides thrown out; walls repaired.
Mr. Clifford One storey, brick and wood. N.E. gable cracked.
Independent Chapel One storey, brick and wood. N. corner thrown out.
Mr. Cooper Two storey, small room, badly built. Cracked at junction of part, and arches over windows.page 150
Te Aro.
Mr. Vincent One storey, part clay. One side wall of clay out of gable.
Mr. Plimmer One storey clay house. Nearly all brick work down.
Mr. Lowe One storey, clay, thick walls. Both gables down.
Mr. Hendry One storey, clay. All clay work disturbed.
Mr. Hawkins One storey, clay. Parts fallen.
Mr. Foster One storey, clay. Front wall and gable shattered.
Mr. Penny Two storey, brick. Front and back wall out, etc.
Mr. Gooder Two storey, brick. Completely shattered, partly down.
Mr. Hutfield One storey, brick. Much shaken, walls cracked.
Mr. Masters One storey, clay. One side wall down.
Mr. Mudgway One storey, clay. Greater part down.
Mr. Bennett One storey, clay. Greater part down.
Mr. May One storey, clay. Walls much rent, building not in the throughfare.
Mr. Ashdown One storey, building, clay. Slightly damaged.
Mr. Mills One storey, building, clay. In ruins.
Mr. Ford One storey, building, clay. In ruins.
Mount Cook.
Colonial Government Gaol Two storied brick building, 18in. walls, boundary wall 9ft. high. N. and S. gables thrown out, walls cracked in both stories, side walls cracked.
Powder Magazine, H. M. Government Powder Magazine; one storey brick building; wall 3ft., large buttresses all round, 15 arches covered with solid masonry. Small magazine cracked in each gable and separated from boundary wall, wall cracked in the stone foundations on the north side.
Porirua Barracks Two storied building; wall 2ft. thick, of rubble masonry and brick quoins to all openings, divided by four partitions, octagonal towers at the S.E. and N.W. angles. Main wall E. side much cracked, stone and brickwork separated from top and bottom at every junction, most of the arches cracked and the partition on the upper storey, also S.E. tower much shaken.
Kaiwharawhara Public House. Slight cracks in Walls.
Major Baker Two storied brick building with an attic and cellar, several bond timbers divided into several small rooms; slate roof. Recommended that the interior be lined in wood, and that three planks be fixed perpendicularly, about 4ft. apart, on the outside, connected by horizontal string pieces and tied to the roof and floor timbers inside, and that the bond timbers, which are decayed, be replaced with sound timber.

NOTE.—All these buildings were repaired in wood.

Extracted from Burnand's collection, “N.Z. Journal,” 1848, Alexander Turnbull Library.

page 151

A meeting was held at the Britannia Saloon, Lambton Quay, on the 1st December, 1848, which, the “Spectator,” of the 2nd, states was “Most numerously and respectfully attended,” the room being crowded with settlers. On the motion of Mr. W. Hickson, seconded by Mr. R. Waitt, the Rev. R. Cole was requested to take the chair. The object of the meeting was to receive the address of sympathy from the inhabitants of Auckland, and to afford the inhabitants of Wellington an opportunity of giving expression to feelings so generously and so justly excited.

Mr. Hort, J.P., in moving the first resolution, said it was a matter of congratulation to himself that he had not left this Colony until he had witnessed such an expression of sympathy from Auckland. “The public of Auckland had, with the utmost promptness subscribed for the relief of those rendered destitute by the earthquake and they were met to consider whether they could avail themselves of this assistance.” The Revs. S. Ironside, J. J. P. O'Reilly, J. Inglis, Dr. Featherston and Messrs. Carpenter and Stokes spoke to the meeting. Mr. Fox said:

“If they accepted the sum of money subscribed by the Auckland people (£500), every person hearing of it at Home would believe that the town is in ruins. They would not believe that when the ‘Subraon’ left, she had only forty-five passengers. They would not believe that when that vessel was unfortunately wrecked, most of those passengers made up their mind not to go away. If any distress existed, then let a subscription be raised amongst ourselves. (Great cheers.) He, on behalf of the New Zealand Company, would head the list with what he was sure would be called a liberal subscription, and on his own private account, with what he could afford.” (Cheers.)

Dr. Featherston urged those present, as the money was raised under the influence of grossly exaggerated statements as to the extent of the injury the settlement had sustained, as men of honour, to return the money, accompanied with the same thanks as if they had been compelled to accept it. He could not believe that they would degrade the Colony by accepting money subscribed under such misapprehension.”

Mr. Carpenter moved “That this meeting instruct the Committee to accept the funds so kindly subscribed by our fellow colonists at Auckland.”

The amendment was seconded by Mr. Roots. Three hands went up for the amendment, and the original resolution was carried unanimously amidst applause.