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Early Wellington


page 75


First Anniversay Celebrations—Regatta—Horse Racing—Arrival of the “Slains Castle”—Governor Hobson—Cricket—Arrival of the “Lady Nugent”—Exchange—Court Scenes—Municipal Corporation—Arrival of the “Lord William Bentinck” and “Olympus.”

“Know'st thau an Island on the misty ocean,
Green, green with fern, and many an ancient tree
Whose waving tops, with soft perpetual motion
Repeat the same primeval melody?

“The Rata with the red pine interlaces,
And lights the forest with a scarlet gleam.
The sunshine on the hills the shadow chases;
The fern-tree bends in silence o'er the stream.”
Lady Wilson, Rangitikei, 1889.

The New Year of 1841 was saluted by the ringing of bells, firing of cannon, and hoisting of flags. One of the attractions that day was an invitation to the general public given by Wade brothers, to journey to Evans Bay and attend a cattle sale at their stock yards. A good many people availed themselves of the opportunity, and partook of the cold collation served up at noon.

It was determined towards the end of the year to celebrate the first arrival of the settlers, on the 22nd January, by an anniversary fete. So favourable was the state of affairs in the settlement, and so bright were prospects for the future, that everybody joined heartily in this idea. The harvest was in progress in the Hutt Valley, consisting chiefly of potatoes, as a good cleaning crop for the newly-cleared land. The samples of wheat and barley produced in some small cleared patches promised an equally good return under a grain crop.

The rapid improvement of the condition of sheep and cattle on the natural pasturage of the hills south and southeast of the town, was no less remarkable. The fern, through which the settlers used to ride up to the knees of the horses, had been trodden down in many places, and grasses had sprung up in its place.

During the year 119 vessels had entered and 112 vessels had left the Port. The white population already amounted to 2,500 persons; and there were nearly 200 houses erected in a town of which the inhabitants had been in possession but four months.

18,000 acres of rural land had been selected by the end of the year. Out of the whole community only 25 men were on the Company's hands, pursuant to their engagement to employ labouring page 76 emigrants until they found service; these were receiving 25/- per week besides their rations, which might fairly be counted as seven shillings more.

The prosperous state of the working-classes did not fail to show itself by their very obstinate, but inoffensive, determination to have a share in the arrangement of the forthcoming festival.

The democracy and aristocracy of the Port could not agree about the persons to be appointed as a committee of management for the celebrations, so, after many days' good-humoured dispute, it was decided to hold two festivals on different days, to be called the “Popular” and the “Select” fete.

The “Selects” gave a subscription ball at Barrett's Hotel on the night of the 22nd; the stormy weather having prevented any out-door amusements. On Saturday, the 23rd, a rowing match took place in the harbour under their auspices, but a sailing match was abandoned in consequence of an accident to Mr. George Duppa's boat.

The “Populars” presented an extensive bill of fare for Monday, the 25th. The weather was fine. A spirited race between two whale boats round the vessels at anchor started the proceedings.

Then came a hurdle race by four horses over some level ground at the back of Te Aro Pa (Taranaki St.) for a purse of fifteen guineas, and the name of “Calmuck Tartar,” ridden by Mr. Henry Petre, deserves to be recorded as the winner of the first race in New Zealand. Other horses running were “Currency Lass” (George Wade), “Black Billy” (Mr. Watt), and “Sulky” (Capt. Hodges). A sailing match, won by Mr. Duppa, followed; the “Sand Fly” entered for this. A rifle match for five pounds and entrances was won by G. Crawford, Pito-one.

Ten entered for this event. Diversions such as jumping in sacks, wheeling barrows blindfolded, climbing a greasy pole, finished the day in a right merry manner.

A “Popular” ball, joined by most of the aristocrats, was given in the evening at one of the large wooden stores being erected on Te Aro beach. Flags waved over many houses and the masts of the shipping, also over houses at the head of the bay, while over the room fitted up for the ball, a large white banner with the words “Popular Fete” was inscribed.

The natives had not been forgotten. An ample feast of rice and sugar, which was a dainty dish with them, had been provided, and a prize in money was held out as an inducement for a canoe race, which did not eventuate.

Wakefield's Adventure in N.Z. and N.Z. Gazette.

Arrival of the “Slains Castle.”

The “Slains Castle,” commanded by Captain James Petre, left Deal on the 18th September, 1840, and arrived on the 29th January, 1841, with 41 married couples, 24 single men, 21 single women, 42 children under fourteen, 34 under seven and 15 under one. 5 births and 4 deaths occurred on board.

The passenger list is as follows:—

* Did not embark.

Name Age Wife's Age No. of Children
Allen, John (widower) 35 1
*Ashworth, Thos. and Mary 20 28 1
Baron, Geo. and Helen 40 41 3
Baron, Geo., Junior 19
Barrow, Louiza 20
*Binns, Chas. and Sarah 35 35
Blake, Geo. and Sarah 38 35 6
Boysen, Peter and Jane 29 37 2
Brungar, Geo. 24 1
Brungar, Mary 22
Burkett, Benjamen 38 3
Burkett, Mary 35 page 77
Butler, Jas. Henry 24 1
Butler, Martha 25
Carley, Ann Maria 29
Chisholm, Adam 30
*Clarke, Stephen and wife 33 28 3
* Cochran, Thomas 26
* Cochran, Maria 26
Collins, Jas. and Ann 30 30 4
Cormack, John 21
Crouther, Thos. 31 4
Crouther, Judith 30
*Cruikshank, Marg. 30 1
Cutting, H. House 25 1
Cutting, Hannah 23
Day, William 20
Dingle, James 22
Downie, Jane 19
*Dyer, Rob and Eliza 32
Eglington, Benza 32 4
Eglington, Eliza 32
Fairbrass, Thos. 21 1
Fairbrass, Ann 21
Fairbrass, Mary 20
Fellingham, Geo. 23 1
Fellingham, Rebecca 25
*Fisher, Jas. and Harriet 39 38 4
Floyd, Thos. and Caroline 23 20 1
Forbes, Rob and Mary 35 30 6
Goodwin, Hen. and Eliz. 49 43 4
Goodwin, Elizabeth 18, Jas. 21
*Grant, Jas. and Janet 28 26 1
Greenwood, William 33 3
Greenwood, Martha 32
Hair, Wm. and Margt. 40 28 3
Hammersdorff 26
Harris, Eleanor 21
Harris, Samuel 24
Heese, A. A. (Albert) 27
Heese, Pauline 23
Hickman, J. and Eliza 25 27 1
Hodge, John 26
Hood, Augustus 20
Jackson, J. and Martha 22 24
Jones, Thos. and Mary 38 37 2
Keiller, Jas. and Mary 31 21 2
Kerney, John and Ellen 30 28 2
Kilgour, Alexander 45 4
Kilgour, Margaret 35
Kilgour, Infant, died 1/10/'40
Kilgour, John 18
Lakeman, William 29
Lakeman, Martha 29
Leathart, Chas. 34
Leathart, Claudia 33
Lockett, Jonas and wife 23 23 1
Lockett, Infant, died off Gravesend, 12/9/'40
Lockett, Eliza 17
Marshall, Henry 25
McIntosh, Isabella 20
Medwin, William 37
*Menzies, John and Grace 28 26
Merrix, H. and Martha 26 29
Miller, Jas. and Ann 43 44 5
Minzies, Alex. 41
Mortimer, Jas. Andrew 20
Mortimer, Caroline 18
Nathan, Heny. and Jane 26 25 1
Neil, Caroline 19
Norton, Chas. James 27 3
Norton, Ann 24
Osborne, Mary 21
Palmer, Richd. and Eliza 27 27
Parker, Thomas 21
Pote, Wm. and Betsy 27 27
*Ramsbottom, Thos 31 1
* Ramsbottom, Ann 32
Richards, Jos. Manuel 27 2
Richards, Ann 27
*Riley, John and Cath 29 37 3
*Roche, Thos. and Eliza 27 27 1
Roots, John and Mary 40 36 1
Schmidt, J. (widower) 58
Schmidt, Sarah, 24; Mary 22
Schmidt, Martha 20
*Seear, Wm. J. and Mary 25 25 1
Sharpe, Mary 21
Sharpe, Harriet 16
Squib, Chas. Henry 39 3
Squib, Elizabeth 37
Squib, Elizabeth Harriet 19
Squib, Ann Sophia 15
Squib, Margaret 14
Stevens, Jas. and Mary 25 26
Stewart, John 25
Susans, Thomas 48 5
Susans, Elizabeth 40
*Sutton, Wm. and Ann 37 30
Teague, Samuel 25
Turner, Robert 21 1
Turner, Agnes 24
Vincent, Wm. Ed. 17
Walker, George 23
Walters, John 29 3
Walters, Marion 24 2
Warburton, Thomas 21
“Not here,” recorded against name.
Westwood, James 20
Wheeler, Robert 34 1
Wheeler, Sarah 23
Wight, David and Mary 24 27 3
*Willmore, Thos. 39 4
* Willmore, Susannah 26
*Willmore, Thos. (Junr.) 16

Adolph Hammersdorf was put ashore at Deal, off Beachy Head, on the 17th September, as his thigh bone was fractured on the 16th.

James Cooper and James Weanell were taken on board at Blackwell at Mr. Alton's request.

Letter to J. Pirie and Co.:—

“I am happy to inform you of the safe arrival here on the 25th inst., of the “Slains Castle”—all well—having only lost four infants under twelve months old and having five births.”


Capt. Petrie

“Slains Castle,”
Port Nicholson, 29/1/'41.

* Did not embark.

page 78

An estimate of the native character is given by Mr. William Hay, who writes thus from Port Nicholson, February 11th, 1841:—

…“I have got one quarter of an acre of ground, for which I pay £7.… The natives throw European people into the shade, both for honour, honesty and religion. Every morning, as duly as the sun rises, they assemble at their chapel, and we are generally awakened with the sound of hymn singing, and on Sabbath they attend the Missionary chapel from morning till night.…”

Lieut.-Governor Hobson.

On Monday, 15th February, 1841, an important meeting took place at Barrett's Hotel. Mr. Geo. Butler Earp was voted to the chair. After his address, explanatory of the objects of the meeting, Captain Edward Daniell proposed:—

“That Lieut.-Governor Hobson has systematically neglected his duty to Her Majesty's subjects settled at Port Nicholson.

“That His Excellency's recent attempt to deprive this settlement of its skilled labour by inducing mechanics and artificers to leave it and enter into the employment of the Government at Auckland, is calculated to inflict serious injury upon the settlement.

“That the annexed petition to the Queen be forwarded to England, and presented to Her Majesty, stating the above-mentioned grievances, and praying Her Majesty for protection and the recall of the Lieutenant-Governor.”

These motions were seconded by Mr. James Coutts Crawford.

Mr. Hanson appeared at the head of a more moderate party, and read an address in the form of a petition to both Houses of Parliament, praying for redress. Amongst such an assemblage, there could be but little doubt of the result, and the original motion was finally carried with acclamation.*

The causes which led to the meeting are briefly summarised as follows:—

The removal of the army of thirty soldiers. The alleged crimping methods to induce newly arrived emigrants to proceed to Auckland for work. The issue of an official notice warning persons not to settle or occupy land at Taranaki or Whanganui under land orders from the N.Z. Company, as such had not been conveyed by the Crown; and other matters relating to Auckland and the Bay of Islands. The petition, with numerous signatures attached to it. was forwarded to Valparaiso by the “Cuba” on the second of March.

At the end of February the “Chelydra” sailed for Auckland with the troops and the crimped mechanics, who were allowed a free passage among other inducements. Mr. Dudley Sinclair, attracted by the prospect of speculation in town lots at the proposed capital, also left Wellington in this ship.

* “N.Z. Journal,” October 16th, 1841, p. 258.

Formation of a Cricket Club.

Cricket enthusiasts now got into action, for the “N.Z. Gazette and Wellington Spectator” announced the formation of a cricket club in their issue of the 20th February, 1841. Games were played at Thorndon Flat.

Arrival of the “Blenheim.”

The “Blenheim,” commanded by Captain Moses Campbell, left London on the 25th August, 1840, and arrived at Port Nicholson February, 1841, with 18 married couples, 87 single persons and 39 children under fourteen. Dr Neill page 79 Campbell was the surgeon superintendent, and Robert Watt, Surveyor of Shipping to the N.Z. Company, signed the certificate on the 25th August.

Name Age Age
Brown, James 28
Brown, Mary 30
Brown, Sarah, 9; James 71/2
Brown, George, 5; Elizabeth 11/2
Cameron, John 49
Cameron, Janet 44
Cameron, J., 26; A., 24; C., 20 D. 17
Cameron, A., 15; Ann, 12; A., 9; D., 7; M. 5
Cameron, Alex 35
Cameron, Janet 30
Cameron, J., 19; H., 17; *D., 30; A. 21
Cameron, C., 45; M., 15; C 17
* Cameron, Alex 30
* Cameron, Isabella 25
Cameron Allan
Campbell, Cap Moses
Campbell, Wife
Campbell, J., 8; C., 6; L., 5; S., 1; Isa. 1
Campbell, Neil
Chisholm, John 40
Drummond, James 15
Dunnit, Matthew 36
Dunnit, Margaret 33
Dunnit, John, 71/2; Janet 4
Easton, Geo. 22
Easton, Mary 21
Ferguson, Donald 36
Ferguson, Mary 35
Ferguson, Marion, 9; Donald 7
Frazer, Duncan 40
Frazer, Margaret 36
Frazer, J., 17; C., 16; Is., 15; M. 14
Frazer, E., 14; A., 12; Al., 8; J., 7; D. 4
Frazer, Jane 20
Grant, Alexander 30
Harvie, Wm., 15
Keith, Alex 24
MacEachnie, M., 36
Mackay, John, 52; John 28
Mackay, D., 25; S., 19; L., 16; H., 14; Colin 6
McColstry, Dan 27
McConnell, Wm. 22
McConnell, Elizabeth 21
McDonald, Allan 22
McDonald, Donald and Mrs.
McDonald, C, 16; D., 15; A., 14; F., 12; A. 11
McDonald, C., 9; Thos. 5
McFarlance, John
McGregor, Gregor 21
McKenzie, Hugh 50
McKenzie Catherine 46
McKenzie, J., 24; P., 21; M. 17
McKenzie, F., 15; J., 12; John 10
McKinnis, Lachlan 21
McKinnon, John 20
McLachlan, Dugald 40
McLachlan, Jane 32
McLachlan, C., 15; A., 11; H., 10; P. 4
McLeod, John 29
McLellan, Archibald 30
McMaster, Angus 36
* McMillan, Ewen 35
*McMillan, D., 29; J., 27; M., 37; C. 32
* McNaughton, Ewen 28
*McNaughton, Janet, 25; Angus 3
McQuarrie, Donald 54
McQuarrie, Margaret 53
McQuarrie, R., 27; J., 25; A., 23; J. 19
McQuarrie, Alex 17
McQueen, Archibald 21
Mitchell, James 29
Mitchell, Janet 28
Mitchell, Marion, 5; Jane 3
Morrison, Hugh 50
Morrison, Ann 40
Morrison, H., 18; D., 16; A., 14; J. 12
Morrison, M, 10; Mary 8; Colin 6
Murray, John 24
Nicholl, Wm. 47
Nicholl, Janet 35
Nicholl, J., 18; W., 16; C., 13; T., 10; Janet 8
Rankin, James 21
Ross, George 21
*Shank, George
Sinclair, Francis 42
Sinclair, Eliza 45
Sinclair, J., 20; G., 15; J., 14; Jane 12
Sinclair, H., 10; F., 6; Ann 1
Smith, Mary 19
Sutherland, Dr. Sinclair
Thompson, Alex 28
Thompson, Helen 26
Turner, Isabella 28
Turner, John 20

* Did not embark.

A Distinguished Lady Visitor.

The H.M.S. “Favourite” again entered the harbour on the 3rd March, 1841, having on board as passengers, Lady Franklin, the wife of the Governor of Van Dieman's Land, and her suite. Lady Franklin was completing her tour of the Australasian Colonies by a visit to the different settlements in New Zealand. She resided, during her short stay here, in the house of Colonel Wakefield (old site of the Vice-Regal residence), which page 80 was by this time fitted up with some degree of comfort. She also made a trip to see the farms on the Hutt.

Before her departure, a congratulatory address was presented to her Ladyship by a deputation from the settlers, with allusions to her literary and scientific acquirements, and to the friendly feeling displayed towards the settlers by Sir John.

The sloop made the passage from Hobart Town to Port Nicholson in ten days.

Arrival of “The Lady Nugent.”

The “Lady Nugent,” 600 tons, commanded by Captain Martin, sailed from Gravesend October, 1840, and arrived in March, 1841, with 41 married couples, 29 single men, 16 single women, 49 children under fourteen, 5 under seven. 6 births and 21 deaths occurred on board.

The Passenger List is as follows:—

* Did not embark.

Name Age Wife's Age No. of Children
Baker, Geo. and Susan 24 25 2
Beachen, George and Fanny 24 22 1
Bevan, Thos. and Mary 39 39 5
Bevan, Geo., 17; Ed. 15
*Bluett, Thos. and Mary 21 25 2
Bolton, Frdk. and Eliz. 33 30 4
Bowman, David and Janet 31 28 3
Bruce, Peter and Helen 23 22 1
* Bruce, Barbara 22
Brungar, Jas. and Soph. 27 24 3
Campbell, John and Jane 37 32 5
Campbell, Sarah 19
Chipperfield, Wm. Rich. 34 3
Chipperfield, Susannah 37
Cockram, Thomas and Maria 26 26
Collier, Geo. and Eliza 34 30
Cross, Henry 27
Cruikshank, Mary 30 1
Dodds, John 1
Dodds, Wm, 14; Mary A., 16; James 20
Duncan, Robt. and Ann 33 28 3
Duthie, Alexander 25
Evans, Thos. and Ann 27 23 1
*Fairweather, D. and C. 25 26
Fairweather, Robert and Barbara 32 25 3
Finnamore, Wm. and Anna 39 24 1
Futter, Jas. and Frances 40 32 6
Futter, Susan 16
*Gentle, G. E. and Car. S. 23 22
*Giddend, Thos. 20
* Giddend, Hannah 25
Gillard, Jos 17
*Gray, Mary 21
Gunn, John and Mary 31 28
*Harvey, Thomas and Mary A. 29 26
Jefferson, Ben and Sarah 45 37 4
Johnston, D. and Amelia 23 21 1
Jones, Edward John 21
Kennedy, Thomas and Mary 25 25
Kieller, Jas. and Mary 31 21 1
Kilminster, J. & Frances 32 30 4
*Lewis, Michael and Elizabeth C. 43 28 1
Martin, Edward 20 4
Martin, Jan, 25; John 18
Martin, Martin Thos. 16; Sarah 14
Martin, Robt. (widower) 29 3
*McDonald, Alex and Mary 30 30 5
McHardie, David and Elizabeth 38 39 2
McHardie, David (Junr.) 15
*McHardie, Alex and Marg. 26 24 2
Milne, William 16
Morton, David and Grace 32 34 3
Mummery, Chas. and Mary 39 38
Oliver, James 1
Paul, Elizabeth 19
*Phelps, Jas. and Mary Ann 35 23 2
Pimble, J. and Ann 31 29
*Preston, Henry and Sarah 32 36 2
Prince, Ed. and Mary 35 35 5
Prince, John (died 12th December.)
Rhodes, Richard 29
Robertson, Alf. and Emma 23 20
Robertson, George 23
Robinson, Robert and Ann 40 29 4
Robinson, John 18
Robinson, Richard 16
*Savage, Elizabeth 50
Seear, W. James and Susan 25 25
Sellar, Jas. and Sophia 30 37 3
Sellar, John 17
Seymour, Frances 40
Shepherd, George 25
Shillton, William 31
Southee, John and Sophia 40 37 6
Stewart, Alex. 19
Stewart, Jessie 19 page 81
Stoodley, John and Eliza 34 34 4
Stratton, Thomas and Eliza 45 35 2
Sturgeon, Rob 30
Smith, David and Agnes 31 33 4
Smith, Jas. and Amy 40 32 5
Smith, James (Junr.) 14
*Tanner, Mary 23
Thorby, Ezekiel and M. Ann 30 27 4
Turnell, Martha 17
*Walker, Geo. and Sarah 30 31 2
Watt, Ann, 17; Peter 16
Watterson, John and Mary 36 36 4
Watterson, Mary 14
* Webb, Thomas 35
Wilkie, Mrs. 60
*Wilkie, George and Ann 36 36
* Wilkie, Elizabeth 14
* Wilkie, James 22
Wood, Eliza 22
  • Deaths recorded on the New Zealand copy of the Register:—

  • Two children of Mr. and Mrs. Bevan.

  • One child of Mr. and Mrs. Bolton.

  • One child of Mr. and Mrs. Bowman.

  • One child of Mr. and Mrs. Brungar.

  • Jane Campbell died of Typhus fever on Christmas Eve.

  • Maria Cockram died of Typhus fever, 25th November.

  • Eliza Collier died of Marasmus, 9th December.

  • Mary Gray died 14th January, 1841.

  • One child of Mr. and Mrs. Keiller.

  • One child of Mr. and Mrs. D. McHardie.

  • One child of Mr. and Mrs. Alex McHardie.

  • John Prince, 12th December, 1840.

Amongst the passengers was Mr. Edmund Storr Halswell, who had been appointed by the Company's Commissioner to the management of the Native Reserves and Protector of Aborigines.

* Did not embark.

The Exchange.

A wooden building of some pretensions in point of architecture was erected at Te Aro in 1841, and used as an Exchange and Library, and new stores, houses and fences were springing up in every direction. The clinking of the hammers and the sudden apparition of new habitations still went on day after day with unceasing activity.

The steam mill company erected their mill upon an acre of Mr. Riddiford's, adjoining the acre upon which the store of Messrs. Rhodes and Co. and the Gazette office stood. Captain Rhodes erected a wharf in front of his store in the rear of Manners Street (about Cuba St.). This was the first wharf built in Wellington, was substantial and had four feet at low and nine feet at high water. The public used it free of expense.

Messrs. Waitt and Tinline, in conjunction with Messrs. Partridge and Co., ran a jetty out from their stores in Old Customhouse Street. Another wharf was to be erected in front of Barrett's Hotel at the expense of several enterprising residents of Thorndon Flat.

Protection from the Police.

On Monday, 21st March. 1841, a public meeting was held at Barrett's Hotel, in order to take steps necessary to protect the public from the outrages of the Police establishment. Mr. Earp was in the chair, and Messrs. Wade, Waitt, G. F. Moore and Rhodes spoke at the meeting.

Complaints had been made of the use of pistols and handcuffs, and ruffianly dragging to the lock-up, on unfounded charges, by the police constables.

About this time four gentlemen were appointed Magistrates of the Territory. These were Colonel Wakefield, Mr. Geo. Hunter, Mr. Henry St. Hill and Captain Edward Daniell. The three gentlemen who had composed the deputation to Sir George Gipps had been placed in the commission of the peace some time before. The aggrieved parties had determined on requesting Dr. Evans and Mr. Hanson (Mr. Moreing being absent) to take their places on the Bench of Magistrates. Dr. Evans had acceded to the request, notwithstanding the petulant display of temper made by Mr. Murphy on the occasion of his first acting page 82 upon this resolution. The hitherto unrestrained potentate declared, in the Police Court, that he would not sit on the Bench while Dr. Evans did, except in cases which, by law, required the presence of two magistrates.

In connection with this affair a report appeared in the “New Zealand Gazette and Wellington Spectator” of the 3rd May, 1841:—

“Dr. Evans took his seat in the bench on Wednesday last, when the following conversation, we understand, took place between the learned doctor and Mr. Murphy.

“‘Is it your intention to sit here in your Magisterial capacity?’

“Dr. Evans: ‘Such is my intention.’

“Mr. Murphy: ‘Then, sir, in consequence of the proceedings of a public meeting and a letter used in the paper last week, I shall be compelled to leave my seat.’

“Dr. Evans: ‘You can do as you please, sir. It is my intention to sit here for the purpose of administering to the best of my ability, justice to the people.’

“Mr. Murphy then made the remarks quoted above.”

The Institute.

The public were now informed that temporary rooms of the Institute were at the store of Mr. Rob. Waitt, where the latest English, Australian and American newspapers and magazines would be found. The subscription was £2 2s. per annum. Mr. G. B. Earp's name was appended to the announcement.

Also at this time a public dinner, to mark the welcome accorded the separation of the Colony from New South Wales, was held at Barrett's Hotel on the 9th April, 1841.

Colonel Wakefield presided. Amongst those present were Messrs. R. Hanson, Geo. Hunter, Rev. Davy, Dr. Evans, Mr. J. P. W. Guyton, Rev. John Macfarlane, Messrs. McDonald. Jas. Smith (Union Bank), Captain Mein-Smith, Messrs. H. St. Hill, G. Duppa, W. Johnston, Major Baker, Major Durie, W. V. Brewer, R. R. Strang, A. de B. Brandon, S. Revans, W. B. Rhodes, Santry, Sinclair, R. Waitt. Ludlam, J. Smyth, Tyser, Hillier, McHattie, Wallace, Brown, and others.

Two days later (the 21st of April, 1841) a very severe gale from the northwest was experienced. No damage occurred to the vessels in the excellent harbour. But the schooner “Jewess,” on her way to Whanganui, full of settlers and goods, was driven away from her anchorage at Kapiti, and totally wrecked on the beach near Pari Pari, after being cast on her beam ends in the attempt to make an offing. Two lives were lost. George Wade, of the two brothers who had been among the earliest to bring cattle and horses from Hobart-Town, and whose energy and perseverance had contributed much to the progress of the settlement in its younger days, was one of those lost. The other was the native chief “Wide-awake!”

Wheat Grown at the Hutt.

Mr. H. S. Chapman, Farrans Building, Temple, London, was the recipient of numerous letters from the Colonists. Some of the correspondence was circulated in London and elsewhere by the medium of his excellent periodical, the “New Zealand Journal.” Mr. T. Partridge writes to him thus:—“Port Nicholson, 30/4/41. I send you herewith a fair sample of wheat grown at the Hutt. When you have looked at it, pray send it to Miss Partridge, Beaconsfield Bucks, to be given to old John Rolfe page 83 the farmer. He was Burke's steward and I promised to send him word what New Zealand would produce. Revans will tell you that he hopes to have found coal on his section near the town. I believe there is slate too. Your Journal is looked for here with great interest by everybody and I believe is felt to be of the greatest service to New Zealand generally. I trust you will believe that we have in our community a class of person who can appreciate the subjects. Our Colony is a very happy one. There is a good deal of kindness and active sympathy with misfortune, though little has existed.”

Municipal Corporation.

The inhabitants of Wellington, anxious to secure the advantages of a Municipal Corporation, as proposed to be granted them by Sir George Gipps, determined to meet and consult upon the course to be pursued, and upon the details of a measure, such as they could approve, and which they might after mature deliberation submit to Governor Hobson as the basis of such an arrangement. The working men claimed and obtained, the right in the deliberations. The formation of a committee occupied a considerable space of time, but the observer could not fail to be struck by the fixed determination of the Colonists of all ranks to obtain the power of managing their own local affairs.

The New Roads.

The Kaiwharawhara road was completed by the Company's labourers on the 20th March, 1841. Sam Phelps was the first to drive his bullock-dray over it to Pito-one. A bridle-road from Kaiwharawhara to Porirua was also in progress, as well as one from the town into an elevated valley of some extent, called Karori, situated a mile to the south-west.

Horses were now plentiful, and the new roads afforded delightful rides, a curious contrast being presented by the neat macadamised causeway, and the groups of workmen and wheelbarrows, among the primeval forest and wild scenery which they penetrated. At the Hutt, the cultivations and clearings looked cheerful and promising. From sixty to a hundred families were now permanently settled there. Neat cottages and luxuriant gardens appeared along the banks; the rich crop had induced many a doubting settler to clear some land, and the axe-men had begun to be a large and important class.

Cattle driving, too, on the pasture hills afforded exercise and excitement. Wakefield writes: “Owners of cattle brand their herd and let them run loose over the hills, and then drive them at a gallop into
Fig. 31—Pito-one Road, showing Wellington in the distance.

Fig. 31—Pito-one Road, showing Wellington in the distance.

page 84 the stock yard when they are wanted. The cattle get exceedingly wild and fast, so that it requires bold and hard riding in some instances to head them. The stock whip, a very necessary instrument for this work requires some description for English readers. A stout wooden handle a foot in length is attached to a heavy thong of plaited hide, about fifteen feet long, from the handle to the end of the lash. The whip is whirled two or three times round the head, and cracked with a report as loud as a pistol in the face of a stubborn animal. The wildest cattle when charging you will turn from it, if it be used with skill; but an inexperienced hand is very apt to slice his own face or injure his horse severely, without at all alarming the cattle.”

Arrival of the “Lord William Bentinck.”

The periodical stream of arrivals into Port Nicholson brightened the lives of friends, relatives and bystanders on the beach. Anxious eyes were concentrated on the ships as they disgorged their living freight. Tender embraces, fond hand clasps, and eager and endless enquiries assailed the newcomers. The latest ship to arrive was the “Lord William Bentinck, 444 tons, commanded by Capt. Crow, which left Gravesend on the 8th January, 1841, and arrived 24th May, with 39 married couples, 24 single men, 15 single women, 51 children under fourteen, and 52 under seven. Five births and nine deaths occurred on board. The register was signed by Mr. Daniel Riddiford, Emmigration Agent. Five of the crew deserted the ship on its arrival at Port Nicholson. The names of the passengers were as follows:—

* Did not embark.

Name Age Wife's Age No. of Children
* Adams, Eliza 22
*Alexander, Don and wife 22 27 3
Anderson, John 30
Anderson, Mary 28
Bezeek, George 35
Bould, Robert, 32 3
Bould, Anne 27
Brown, Chas. 23
Brown, Daniel 29 4
Brown, Amelia 27
* Bruce, Alexander 35 35 4
*Buroughs, Wm. 39 38 2
Butler, Thos. 30 2
Butler, Elizabeth 27
Caines, Wm. 27 3
Caines, Mary 26
Clifton, Richard 39 6
Clifton, Margaret 32
Clout, John, 27 4
Clout, Mary 29
*Cooper, Samuel 40 35 4
Cornford, Joseph 42 1
Cornford, Mary 36
Cornford, Car., 19; Thos., 15; *E. 17
*Cottle, Chas. 30 36 2
Christie, Wm. 37 27 2
Craighead, Wm. 29
Craighead, Susan Miller 28
Crosbie, Thos. 29 2
Crosbie, Isabella
Cumming, David 24
Dew, William 34 7
Dew, Anne —38
Dew, Anne 15
Dimond, John 39 5
Dimond, Judith 37
Farmer, Alexander 53 2
Farmer, Euphemia 45
Farmer, Eliz., 18; Geo. 15
Farmer, Alexander (Jun.) 22 1
Farmer, Elizabeth 23
Farrow, Sam 27 1
Farrow, Harriett 28
Fisher, James 39 4
Fisher, Harriett 38
Forrester, Wm. 27
Forrester, Elizabeth 24
Francis, John 35
Francis, Frances 36
Francis, Jas. Swan, 18; Mary 15
Francis, Stephen Swan 21
Franklyn, Edmund 28 1
Franklyn, Eliza 24
Gengoe, George 19
*Green, Henry 40 38
*Green, J., 17; F., 15; S., 29; and L. 17
Greenacre, Wm. 39
Greenacre, Sarah 28
* Grimaldi, Henry 26 21
*Heffer, Worthington 28 27 3
Hopton, Robert 32 5
Hopton, Charlotte 29
*Hornsley, Wm. 28 26 4page 85
Howell, John 37 5
Howell, Ann 29
Hubbard, Wm. 36
Malcolm, Jane, 19; Isab. 21
Maxted, Geo. 34 5
Maxted, Elizabeth 30
McHardie, Alex. 33
* Melvin, Robert 49 48 3
Membury, Wm. 35 6
Membury, Eliza 35
Membury, Wm. June, 16; Mary 14
Neighbours, — 21
Nelson, Wm. Lunn 35 34 5
Nelson, Benjamin 14
Parnacott, Joseph 39 40 3
Parnacott, Jos. (Jun.) 18; Emma 15
Philips, John 36
Philips, Catherine 38
Philips, Henry 14
Philips, Wm. 24
Piper, Thos. 27 1
Piper, Mary Anne 24
Potter, John 25
*Rider, Johnathan 24 26 2
*Robertson, Alex. 23 20
Roussell, John 26
Roussell, Edward 25
Rutter, Samuel 37 2
Rutter, Jane 27
* Sainsbury, Anne 24
*Salmon, Fred 20
Smith, Wm. 22
Souter, Chas. 44 3
Souter, Elizabeth 33 3
Souter, B., 21; A., 17; John 16
Speedy, William 29 2
Speedy, Anne 28
Speedy, David 36 6
Speedy, Helen 35
Speedy, Elizabeth 14
Starkes, John 27 3
Starkes, Lucy 24
Stent, — 20
* Stewart, Richard 38 37 5
*Stewart, Lewis, 17; Chas. 14
* Sutherland, Andrew 27
Swan, Francis 18
Tandy, Wm. 36 2
Tandy, Mary 29
Teans, Jas. 27
Teans, Letitia 28
Telford, Wm. 24
Thomas, John 24 27 2
Van, James 25
Voce, Samuel 28
Wall, Anthony, 34 5
Wall, Susanna 30
*Wears, John
White, Charles 28 4
White, Harriett 26
White, Joseph 31 3
White, Mary 32
Whitehouse, John 39 4
Whitehouse, Charlotte 34
* Wildman, Joseph 35 34 3
Wilkie, James 23 23 2
Wilmshurst, John 17
Wilmshurst, Harriett 17
* Wilson, George 25
Wright, David 28 3
Wright, Harriett 27

Daniel Riddiford

Sat., 24th May, 1841.

The following died on board:—

  • George Membury, 18 months, 7th January.

  • T. J. Francis, 6 months, 31st January.

  • George Bould, 7 months, 3rd February.

  • Izobella Crosby, 28 years, 8th February.

  • Miriam Fisher, 2 years, 16th February.

  • Rayner Clifton, 18 months, 18th February.

  • Sarah Franklin, 3 years, 25th February.

  • Janet Crosby (infant of Izobella), 6 months, 4th March.

  • Jane White, 6 months, 17th May.

At this time (1841), the spiritual wants of the community were supplied by the Rev. John Macfarlane, of the Scots church, who performed divine service at the native chapel, Te Aro Flat, at eleven o'clock in the morning, and at a quarter past one at the Court House, Thorndon Flat, every Sunday.

It was also notified that the Rev. R. Davy, of Kumutoto, was prepared to supply to those desirous of obtaining them, Bibles, Testaments and Common Prayer Books.

* Did not embark.

The First Herd of Cattle.

About the middle of May, Mr. William Gordon Bell, a Scotch farmer, drove the first herd of cattle to Whanganui. He arrived with Mr. Jas. Watt, who was the first to attempt agriculture at the Port.

“Long before the town was distributed,” writes Wakefield, “Mr. Bell farmed a piece of land between the harbour and the sea for Mr. Watt; and had been the first to use the plough in Cook Strait. The land in question was of a poor clayey nature, and in a spot swept by both the prevailing winds, so that the crop of wheat, though good in page 86 quality, was scanty. He owned two or three sections in the second series, including the seventh choice; and having completed his engagement with Mr. Watt, he determined to start for Whanganui with his family (wife, two sons and two daughters); a cow, and six fine oxen. The bridle-road to Porirua was but partly finished, and the crossing of the various rivers seemed to offer some difficulty; but the old man had walked over the whole route to satisfy himself. His departure was a fine sight. The cow and the six bullocks yoked in a team, with packs on their backs. They were attended by old Bill and his two sons.

In coming from Watt's farm to the beginning of the Porirua road, he had to pass through the whole town; and all the spectators flocked to shake his iron fist, and wish him every success. He was furnished by Jerningham Wakefield with letters to various chiefs along the road, requiring their help at the rivers, and their friendly assistance along the road. His plough, drays, bags of seed, etc., were put on board the “Sandfly” and another schooner, in which the women of his family also proceeded.

Mr. Bell arrived in safety with his cattle after some difficulty in crossing the quick-sands of the Turakina and Whangaehu. His proceedings afterwards are recounted in Mr. Downes' “Old Whanganui.”

Arrival of the “Olympus.”

The “Olympus,” 500 tons, commanded by Capt. John Whyte, sailed from Gravesend in December, 1840, and arrived in May, 1841, with 27 married couples, 16 single men, 11 single women, 15 children under fourteen and 26 under seven; five births and four deaths occurred on board. Dr. Featherston was surgeon superintendent. The passenger list was as follows:

* Did not embark.

Name Age Wife's Age No. of Children
*Aitken, Mrs. and two others
Barras, James 21
Barker, Jas. and Mary (Ag. 10yrs., Eliz. 3yrs. Sar. 1yr.) 33 29 3
Barns, or Barus, Jas. 21
Birmingham, John 25
Bluett, Thos. and Mary (Thos. 3yrs., M. Ann 11 months) 21 25 2
Bryson, Thos. and Cath. 26 21
Burrows, — (farmer) 20
Burton, Jas. and Elizab. 40 29
Burton, Amy 26
Burton, Elizabeth 24
Burton, Emily 17
Burton, Jas. 15
Burton, William and Mary (Eliza, 5 months) 23 30 1
Connacher, Don 30 1
Connacher, Margaret 25
Corley, Isaac 23
Couttie, Dave and Janet (Alex. 9yr., Geo. 12yr., Jas. 2yr.) 26 25 3
*Cox, Wm. and Esther 23 25
Doughty, — (farmer) 25
Featherston, Dr. and Lady 27 24
Fox, Ed. Thos. and Harriet 35 27
Giles, John 27
Gowan, — (merchant 23
Graham, Agnes (Jas. 13, Nancy 9, Marg. 4, Mary 4, Betty 18 months.) 36 5
Hall (2), Gent, 26 and 30
Heggie, Thos. and Mary 22 20
Honeyman, Thos. and Mary 25 28
Jennings, —
Jones (farmer) 25
Kilgour, John and Margaret (William, 4yrs.) 36 38 1
Langley, Peter 23
Leslie, Mary 17
Lyall, Rob and Agnes 36 36
Mabey, Job and Rachael (Sarah 4, Mary A. 2.) 28 28 2
Mason (agricultrist) and Lady 22 22
McKain, Douglas and Mary (Isaac, 11yrs.) 49 1
McNaughton, Mary 29 1
Miller, Wm. 26
*Moore, A. and Mary 30 28 1page 87
Neale, Wm. and Sarah 37 38
Piper, — (farmer) 25
Pollock, Robert 29
Pope, Henry and Eliza (Jane 5, Wm. 3, Geo. 6 months.) 27 28 3
Roberts, — (farmer) 25
*Rowsell, J. and Sarah 26 25 2
Saxby, Wm. and Mary (M. 9, Jas. 4, and infant 4 months.) 43 32 3
Saxby, Ben 19
Scott, Thos. and Mary 24 20 1
Shepherd, Wm. and Margaret (Jas. 3yrs., Jane 16mo.) 35 23 2
Sime, Jas. and Janet (Jas. 3, Dav. 3, Mary 5, J. 4 months.) 26 27 4
*Slarke, Jno. and Mary 27 24 2
Tolhurst, Sam and Sarah (Sa. 8, Ann 5, M. 3, E. 2.) 34 27 4
Underdown, Wm. 20
Vennell, Sam 27
Vennell, Pamela 28
*West, Jas. and Patience 26 24 2
Wilkie, Geo. and Ann (G. 10, Jno. 7, P. 3, and C. 12.) 36 36 4
Wilkinson, D. and Eliza (Christina 14 months.) 28 24 1
Williamson, Thos. and Eliza (Chas. 16, Eliza 7.) 28 24 1
Wood, Jas. and Hannah 35 31 1
Wood, Martha 11
*Wood, Robert 18
Mrs. G. Hegge, 26th Jan. Son
Mrs. C. Mabey, 17th March Son
Mrs. D. Couttie, 23rd March Daughter
Mrs. J. Barker, 2nd April Son
Mrs. G. Wilkie, 4th April Son
Henry Pope, 6 mths., 21st Dec.
Jane Pope, 5 yrs., 23rd Dec.
Joh Scott, 13 months, 7th Jan., 1841.
Sarah Mabel, 3 yrs., 9th Feb. 1841.

(Signed) Dr. Featherston

Surgeon Supnt. “Olympus.”
Gravesend, 5th Dec., 1840.
Certified at Customs House, London,
Dec., 1840; (Sgd.)

G. Rupert Cole


The “Sandfly,” a schooner of 16 tons, was launched from a yard on the Hutt river in 1841. She was the largest ship built there and was named by Mrs. Collett. The boat was the property of Messrs. Molesworth and Hart.

Other persons arriving to swell the ranks of the inhabitants of the Port were: Dr. Matthews (“Sir John Falstaff”); Messrs. Burleigh and Spencer (“Surprise”); Mr. Archer (“Ullswater”); Messrs. Halswell, Mathew and Clarke, in the Government brig (“Victoria”); Capt. Liardet (“Whitby”). Messrs. J. King, J. Wallace, G. Goodall, J. Webster, E. Brown, W. Halse, H. Halse, J. G. Cooke, L. H. Davy, E. C. Merchant, E. Marshall, St. George, and W. Shaw, arrived by the “Amelia Thompson.”

* Did not embark.

page 88
Fig. 32—Thorndon from Golder's Hill, off Hill Street. This view is taken from Dr. Evan's garden, on Golder's Hill (now Dr. Morice's) off Hill Street. Dr. Evan's house is in the foreground on the left. The first house below the hill was occupied by Mr. Mocatta. The group of buildings beyond were the N.Z. Coy's offices and Messrs. Clifford & Vavasour's residences. The flagstaff marks the locality of Colonel Wakefield's house and the church behind it. Mr. Chetham Strode's house is seen in the foreground to the right.

Fig. 32—Thorndon from Golder's Hill, off Hill Street. This view is taken from Dr. Evan's garden, on Golder's Hill (now Dr. Morice's) off Hill Street. Dr. Evan's house is in the foreground on the left. The first house below the hill was occupied by Mr. Mocatta. The group of buildings beyond were the N.Z. Coy's offices and Messrs. Clifford & Vavasour's residences. The flagstaff marks the locality of Colonel Wakefield's house and the church behind it. Mr. Chetham Strode's house is seen in the foreground to the right.

Fig. 33—The Beach, Thorndon, near Major Richard Baker's residence.

Fig. 33—The Beach, Thorndon, near Major Richard Baker's residence.

Fig. 34—The Barracks, Thorndon.

Fig. 34—The Barracks, Thorndon.