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understood to have affixed the latter meaning to the phrase. The distinction, made plain by Walker, is maintained in the reply. 1
Paihia, October 15, 1847.
To my old friend Waka Nene,--I have received your letter of the 12th instant. Friend, I did not believe that untruth, from whomsoever it may have originated, that that saying was yours--that the portion of land purchased by the Missionaries was the origin of the war. That is it as you have it--the cause was "The statements of the pakeha--the sovereignty [mana] of your country is gone." Hence the wrong of one and another. Now I ask you for which land was it that they felt jealous and angry? That portion which was paid for justly and in open day by the white man, or that portion which was not paid for, that is, the portion upon which the Maori sits and the waste lands? Tell me, did not they proclaim that by means of the canker worm, the stick, the flag-staff which stood on the top of Maiki, the sovereignty and the country of the Maori was gone--the men also as slaves for breaking stones to make roads and what not.
Is this a new cry or one of no importance, that it should be ignored now in this new era? For this was the error of the pakeha and the Maori?
By the treaty alone, which was signed at Waitangi on the arrival of the first Governor, the thoughts of the tribes who stood by the pakeha, and those who sat quietly, were kept straight. By it the Maories' lands are secured to them, and their persons safe.
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On the question of Lord Grey's "instructions," and the breach of treaty, the alliance between Archdeacon Williams and the Bishop remained unbroken. The Archdeacon continued to press for abnegation, on account of the dangerous state of the native mind. The subject was a sore one with the Governor, causing loss of temper, which he was not always able to disguise. No other excuse can be found in palliation of what follows.
Colonial Secretary's Office,
Auckland, January 7, 1848.
Reverend Sir,--I am instructed by his Excellency the Governor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 1st ultimo, but which only reached his Excellency on the 30th, and to inform you that a copy shall be forwarded to the Resident Magistrate at the Bay of Islands for his report.
I am further directed to add that his Excellency has not seen any instructions of Lord Grey which direct that the lands of the natives should be taken from them, and the Governor attributes a great deal of the ill-feeling of the natives in the North to the large land-claims of some of the Missionaries, who his Excellency had hoped would have assisted him in the adjustment of them.
I have, &c,
Archdeacon Henry Williams,
This, as a newspaper reply, would be called "very smart letter writing." Readers of the foregoing pages will form their own opinion as to accuracy of assertion, which the Archdeacon was not the man to let pass unchallenged. His reply is couched in very plain words, and may be taken as a fair specimen of those letters which were complained of as violent by Governor Grey. Some may think it not enough deferential; but soft words are out of place when they only serve to weaken truth.
Archdeacon Henry Williams to the Colonial Secretary.
Paihia, February 14, 1848.
Sir,--Your letter of the 7th ultimo I have the honour to acknowledge, and should not trouble his Excellency with any further remarks did you not inform me that you were "directed to add that his Excellency has not seen any instructions of Lord Grey which direct that the lands of the natives should be taken
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from them, and the Governor attributes a great deal of the ill-feeling of the natives in the North to the large land-claims of the Missionaries, who his Excellency had hoped would have assisted him in the adjustment of them."
In the preceding paragraph there are three distinct points to which it will be my duty to call his Excellency's attention.
Firstly,--"That his Excellency has not seen any instructions of Lord Grey's which direct that the lands of the natives should be taken from them."
I am surprised to see this statement as made by his Excellency's direction, as the tenor of the despatches received from Lord Grey evidently indicates that New Zealand is already considered demesne land of the Crown; consequently "the lands of the natives are virtually taken from them." This certainly is the only interpretation given to these documents by the first men in the Colony, and by all who in November last signed the petition to Her Majesty,--which is now generally disseminated among the aborigines. In support of this I request to call his Excellency's attention to the fourth and sixth resolutions of the select Committee of the House of Commons, and to the Queen's instructions under the Royal sign-manual and signet accompanying the New Zealand Charter 13, and chapter 14, 7. By a careful perusal of these documents I can arrive at no other conclusion than that the whole country was virtually regarded as demesne land of the Crown upon the issue of these royal instructions, except those lands actually in possession of "the aboriginal natives or the settlers of European birth and origin, who may have established any valid title, whether of property or of occupancy."
The second point in the above paragraph requiring notice is the following. "The Governor attributes a great deal of the ill-feeling of the natives in the North to the large land-claims of some of the Missionaries."
I very much regret that his Excellency has authorised such an expression of his feelings,--such unfounded reflections as contained in the above clause to be repeated to me. At this date his Excellency will certainly admit that the ill-feeling of the natives in the North "is shewn towards Her Majesty's Government and not towards the Missionaries." The cause of the late disturbance and present ill-feeling and suspicious fears expressed towards the Government is too well known to need my again drawing his Excellency's attention to the subject; and certainly, the uniform kind feeling of the aborigines towards the Missionaries and their sons ought to have silenced for ever such an imputation, that the land-claims of the Missionaries were in any respect the cause of, or connected with "the ill-feeling of the natives in the North" towards Her Majesty's Government. Had there been any
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foundation for the imputation his Excellency desires to establish against the Missionaries, the aborigines would most assuredly have evinced their displeasure against the Missionaries when so fully in their power; and not against the troops, from whom they could only expect a severe contest. The whole is irreconcileable, and the correctness of these claims has not been disputed except by his Excellency.
But I am told that "his Excellency has information from certain chiefs upon the subject of which I may not be aware." May I ask, is it from motives of delicacy that his Excellency refrains from making the information publicly known, and at once silencing the Missionaries with their own acts and deeds. 2
His Excellency's opinion concerning the Missionaries would appear to have been grounded upon statements such as the following, which has been recently given as coming direct from his Excellency:--"As a proof that the purchase of land by the Missionaries was the cause of the war between Her Majesty's Government and the aborigines, and not the flag-staff, that Waka had thus stated to Colonel Despard, that the purchase of land by the Missionaries was the cause of the war; that this statement was made in Mr. Williams' presence, and that he attempted to stop Waka and his relation of this fact by putting his hand before Waka's mouth; that Colonel Despard was highly indignant at such an attempt on the part of Mr. Williams and desired Waka to continue his narration."
As his Excellency cannot have any personal knowledge of this circumstance, I merely observe for the information of his Excellency that in the above statement there is as much truth as that his Excellency is now in China. 3
The above relation I mentioned to Waka in the presence of several of his people, who expressed their perfect astonishment and disgust with this emphatic exclamation:--"Katahi ano te iwi tekateka ko te Pakeha;" "The Europeans are a very lying people."
I am informed that his Excellency has collected statements against the Missionaries, and I feel it to be consistent with my profession and station to inform his Excellency that, upon the production of these statements, should I fail to scatter them to the winds, I will resign my duties in New Zealand.
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The apparent secresy with which his Excellency obtains spurious information, to the attempted prejudice, and even ruin of the Missionaries, is after the order of the Inquisition, and calculated to excite the evil disposition of the aborigines, giving rise to clandestine proceedings, thus introducing a new order of ideas amongst them, injurious to the vital interest of the Colony at large; creating suspicion in the minds of the natives against the Government, and dangerous to settlers not so firmly established in the confidence of the natives as the Missionaries are.
Were not the allegations against the Missionaries made by his Excellency personally, I should decline to notice them. His Excellency is aware that the Missionaries are members of a public body of men, who will feel it to be their duty to institute the fullest enquiry into the origin of these aspersions, and will require the fullest explanation to establish the facts, whether they be true or false; for which purpose the Missionaries will render their assistance and entire concurrence. His Excellency's communication with the chiefs in the Bay of Islands in September last, according to his previous intention as expressed in his Excellency's letter to the Bishop, of August 30, 1847, might have proved the overthrow of the Missionary families at the hand of these excitable tribes around, had not the Missionaries been too well established in the affection of the aborigines, who have expressed much sympathy on the occasion. I have in the course of my journey, recently traversed the ground over which the two Government officers sent to the North passed in December last, to Whangaroa and Kaitaia, and was frequently questioned by the chiefs upon the subject of their mission, which has produced a general feeling which I consider to be my duty to mention to his Excellency. Amongst a variety of information which has been given by these two officers, bearing particularly upon the Missionaries, I was told by the chiefs that they were informed that the Missionaries were not sent to take their lands. The design of this remark is obvious; but as respects our own standing with the aborigines we could not desire anything more favourable to our cause, as a direct negative is put upon a charge against the Missionaries of being Government Agents, which some have endeavoured to allege. Some chiefs speaking upon the subject, observed, "True, the Missionaries have only that portion of ground we gave for their families of New Zealand birth. They have not taken our ground as the Governor says; but though the Missionaries were not sent to take our land, it appears that the Governor and others have come hither to take our land, and these two officers have informed us of numbers of ships coming with settlers; and it is now said generally that the country is seized by the Queen; we shall see the truth of these sayings in time." And to shew the feeling of
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the aborigines--"the ill-feeling of the natives in the North," the chiefs have been for some time past engaged in the removal of the bones of their relatives long since dead, "that they may not be abused by the Europeans," their fears having been created by these late despatches. That gentlemen in connection with the Government, imperfectly acquainted with the native character, should thus be sent amongst the native tribes, disseminating remarks of an exciting tendency, will be seen to have been unwise, and unworthy of the dignity of British officers, and dangerous to the public peace. The endeavour to prejudice the character of the Missionaries before the aborigines is too delicate a work to be attempted, and has failed though the effect is reflected upon the community.
Your closing remark is that "his Excellency had hoped that the Missionaries would have assisted him in the adjustment of these land claims."
The Missionaries have long been officially informed that their land claims had been adjusted in the Land Commissioners Court. But after the very high testimony given by his Excellency's predecessors to the services of the Missionaries, rendered to Her Majesty and the Colony,--of men whose lives have been devoted to the preservation of peace and good understanding and the adjustment of differences,--of "men on whose integrity and devotedness no imputation has fairly rested," I am surprised to see a doubt expressed as to the desire of the Missionaries to "have assisted in the adjustment" of any point of difference existing amongst the aborigines and themselves. But we cannot discover any point of difference requiring adjustment relating to the Missionaries, as implied by his Excellency, except those of his own creating. And when the tenor of his Excellency's communication to the Missionaries was considered, accompanied with such severe aspersions upon our character and proceedings, we felt constrained to maintain our position until these aspersions should be brought to light, and upon the merits of which the Missionaries will either stand or fall.
In my letter of August 16, 1847, upon the occasion of his Excellency's unprecedented despatch to the Secretary of State, of June 25, 1846, I wrote the following words, by which will be seen our desire to render every assistance to Her Majesty's Government, in removing all difficulties, as far as we were able, could it be shewn that our claims were the cause of evil, as reported in that despatch:--
"Considering that his Excellency's despatch does convey a charge of a very grave and serious nature against the Missionaries in the North, of having been accessory to the shedding of human blood for the possession of land claimed by them and their
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children, so as to involve the propriety of possessing even a single acre of land in this country, I am authorised to say that the Missionaries shrink with horror from such a charge, and are prepared to relinquish their claims altogether, upon it being shewn that their claims would render the possibility of such an awful circumstance as the shedding of one drop of human blood." To this letter I received no reply.
In a more recent communication from his Excellency, a proposition is made to the land claimants, to select four blocks with this reservation,--"not to include in these blocks any land to which the natives may establish a just claim 4 (though these claims have passed the Commissioners Court, and no native has at any time advanced any point of dispute), "or which may be required for the use of the natives, or for public purposes." 5 Seeing that the whole question was negatived by this reservation, we considered that it was intentionally so placed, as to render it impossible for us to attempt to enter upon it. Her Majesty's officers, both civil and military, look for reward for long services, and obtain reward. His Excellency's feeling towards the Missionaries is personal and political, also the remarks of Lord Grey in his despatch of March 1, 1847, wherein he observes,-- "nor should I hesitate to dispossess the whole body of Missionaries of the property which they have acquired in the same manner as Mr. Kemp has, if the law would enable me to proceed to so extreme a measure." Does not his Excellency regard this expression as extremely vindictive? I beg to assure his Excellency that Mr. Kemp does not stand singular in his purchase. All have proceeded upon a similar scale of purchase, and are therefore entitled to the same compliment from Lord Grey. Why Lord Grey should thus have expressed himself towards the Missionaries, who have merely acted as trustees for their extensive families, and otherwise have no personal interest in the question, is as yet to us a mystery. 6 And it appears a strange perversion of justice that parents of these extensive families, on account of providing for their families, should be subject to the capricious judgment of men who know not a father's care, and that in a wild and savage land. Lord Grey, we conceive, could not thus have expressed himself, had not representations been made to the
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Secretary of State, of which we have no knowledge. The Missionaries therefore view the past proceeding of his Excellency and this expression of feeling from Lord Grey towards them and their families, as their reward for past services rendered to Her Majesty, and admitted by his Excellency's predecessors in most honourable terms, that by their influence the Colony was first established, and afterwards preserved in the absence of any military force.
Unable to substantiate, 7 unwilling to retract, the Governor sought to annul the grants he had failed to recover, by resorting to the Courts of Law, on the ground of a supposed informality. The extension of the award had been recommended by a Commissioner: it was argued that it ought to have been recommended by Commissioners. The technical defect, if sustained, would relieve the Governor from the difficulty of having refused to accept the Archdeacon's and Mr. Clarke's conditions. 8 On the legal merits of the question, we shall presently have more to say.
The Bishop had written to Mr. Venn, the Society's Secretary, as follows:--
If therefore you receive letters from any of the claimants, expressing their intention to make over their whole claim 9 [that is to say, their crown titles] to their children, you will understand that by so doing they will embroil the whole question with the Governor; outrage public opinion; break your resolutions, and
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set aside my award; 10 and all for no possible benefit, either to themselves or to their children.
It must be assumed that the Bishop's clearer judgment was obscured by anger when he wrote those words; but certainly, as regards "public feeling," he was under a great mistake. I lay very little stress on public feeling; but, as a matter of fact, it happened to set most strongly the other way. It was mainly from the laity that the Archdeacon received that strong support which at last put to silence his assailants.
The following letter is from one who used to take a prominent part in colonial politics.
Mr. Thomas Forsaith to Henry Williams. 11
January 17, 1848.
By this time you are aware that the Governor has commenced his operations against you. The "Calliope" took up writs of scire facias against yourself, Mr. Clarke, Mr. Davis, and Mr. Kemp; and my own impression is that your letter so annoyed him that he hastened the projection of these missiles on that account. Now the question is, what is to be done? I have been
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endeavouring to ascertain which cause will be called on first; but find that this is quite arbitrary, as the Attorney-General may call which he pleases when the day comes . . . . It is a case in which I feel myself incompetent to advise. If you take no notice, judgment will of course be given against you by default; and if you defend it, the chances are that the Government by their superior influence will carry it in their own favour. The question is, whether you would be in a better position by not defending it even if you lose, than you would by contesting the matter, and losing it after all. But this you alone can decide. Your own judgment will be a much better and safer guide than the opinion of others.
I am very pouri [downhearted] about these things, not only on account of their intrinsic injustice, but on account of the evils that such proceedings must entail upon us. The Governor is surely going demented. When he left the other day he assumed a power unknown to the Czar of all the Russias, and actually gave verbal orders for the abolition of the Court of Requests,--a tribunal established by a law which has been confirmed by the Home Government.
From the many letters on the same question is one from Dr. Purchas, one of the Bishop's clergy, in no way connected with the Mission, but always taking an active part in native matters, which he had made the subject of especial study.
The Reverend Arthur Guyon Purchas to Henry Williams.
St. John's College, January 12, 1848.
I shall make no apology for writing on the present occasion; I had long intended to do so, but hitherto have hesitated: however my strong feelings upon the subject will allow me, to be silent no longer.
First of all, my dear sir, I hope you will allow me to express my deep sympathy with you under the abominable treatment you have received at the hands of the powers that be, and I trust you will not be offended at my presuming to offer advice upon a point that has just come to my knowledge. I must, however, tell you that I am but ill-informed as to the most of the recent occurrences; owing, I believe, to an unwillingness to take any part whatever in what must necessarily be an unpleasant business to all engaged therein,--an unwillingness which led me to neglect opportunities of becoming acquainted with the facts of the case, until the opportunities themselves had passed. But now I am so fully convinced that "might versus right" represents the case, that I cannot as an honest man stand by and look on
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unconcerned. My mind is so completely made up, that I am most willing to take my part, in whatever--public or private--may in the least degree help to bring matters to a rightful issue. As far as any person in the world can be independent, I am so. I have no favours to ask from anybody, and can therefore freely say, if any person in my position can be of any use, I am at your service.
I have now to tell you that writs of "scire facias " are about to be issued immediately against yourself, Mr. Clarke, and Mr. Davis; this I have no doubt is in pursuance of instruction from Lord Grey, published in the Southern Cross for Saturday last. I have no doubt you have seen the document, or I would have sent you a copy of the paragraph I refer to. Now, my dear sir, allow me to suggest two things; first, that in this case much blood might be shed by suffering judgment to go by default; for the natives would rise on seeing the lands unjustly wrested from their rightful owners. 12 If I mistake not, the natives will not recognise the quibble that substitutes "legal" for "rightful"; therefore it is of the greatest consequence that the writ be met by a plea. Secondly, that if there be no sufficient reason against it, the case might be made stronger on the side of right by the parents, who at present hold the land in their own name, giving deeds of conveyance at once to their children for the whole of their grants, but retaining in their own hands the native titles; because they are of no value in relation to Government, and may become of great value hereafter on other grounds. If this is done quietly and immediately, it may thwart the unjust efforts of might, by causing the writs to fall to the ground from want of correctness. I trust your kindness to attribute this letter to the real motive, and beg you to convey my kind regards to your family.
The writer's good feeling is manifest, though his law may be questionable. The formal conveyance to the children was postponed, because of the issue of the writ. It was taken for granted that the Attorney-General's opinion, as to the existence of a technical defect in the grants, was correct; the conveyance would have been a useless expense, and might have been construed into a factious proceeding. What was passing in the mind of the writer when he recommended the retention of the native title-deeds, while conveying the deeds of grant, I cannot say.
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There is high legal authority for assuming that Crown grants were never required at all; that the native title-deeds were in themselves amply sufficient, and that any colonial law or ordinance pretending to disturb them would be invalid, on the ground of repugnancy to English law. 13
Mr. Clarke's Crown grant was eventually selected by the Government as the one on which to try the question of formal legality. The defendant remained passive, instructing his solicitor merely to enter an appearance, out of respect for the Court; but to refrain from arguing the case. 14 Nevertheless, to the surprise of all, the case went against the Crown. Mr. Clarke's title was declared valid.
Henry Williams to E. G. Marsh.
Paihia, August 3, 1848.
You will be gratified to learn that after all the two judges of the Supreme Court have given their opinion in favour of Captain FitzRoy's grants. This verdict, or rather decision of the judges, has given general satisfaction. To us, of course, the same; but you may be surprised to learn that the two Mighties still play upon the same string, to relinquish the land. Having obtained
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the victory, it is not my intention to trouble myself on the subject, but rather to look for compensation for injuries received. I perceive in one of your letters you speak of these grants as "second grants." This is a serious error. 15 We have never had but one grant; and, singularly enough, the other day while examining the local law on the question, I fell in with the following, shewing that the grant was according to law, and by the unanimous consent of the Council. The document will be found in the Parliamentary papers, April 22, 1845, p. 100.
" The Council met June 12, 1844; present, all the members.
His Excellency submitted to the Council the land claims of the Rev. H. Williams. His Excellency stated, that from the report of the Commissioners, Messrs. Godfrey and Richmond, the claimant had actually paid enough to entitle him to 22,131 acres, but that the whole land claims amounted only to 11,000 acres. In accordance with the provisions of the Land Claims Ordinance the Commissioners had recommended awards amounting to 7,010 acres. His Excellency remarked, among other things, that there could be no doubt that Mr. Williams had done more for the advancement and improvement of the aboriginal race, and in fact for the general interests of the Colony at large, than any other individual member of the Mission body; he, Mr. Williams, was therefore entitled to favourable consideration, and his Excellency would request the opinion of the Council whether Mr. Williams' claims should be referred to the Commissioner, authorising him to recommend an extension of the award. Upon consideration, the Council were unanimously of opinion that, taking into consideration all the circumstances in connection with Mr. Williams' claim, the Commissioner should be authorised to recommend a grant in his favour." 16
I think you will consider Captain FitzRoy's pamphlet an important document,--one not to be cast aside in these times, received as a set-off to Captain Grey's insidious statements.
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By this judgment of the Supreme Court the whole aspect of affairs was changed. The grantees could no longer be charged with succumbing to intimidation, and the question might be considered as re-opened. Not, however, for the Archdeacon; for, in consequence of the Governor's proceedings among the natives at the Bay, he had refused definitively to entertain any further communications on the subject. But the young men, the cultivators and real possessors of the estates, were not so hindered. They resolved upon acting for themselves, and coming to an arrangement with the Government. For their act would be now spontaneous; no longer on compulsion. But, as usual, the Governor marred all. Beaten in the Supreme Court, he served Mr. Clarke with notice of appeal to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, 17 thus placing the titles again in abeyance. The
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proposed arrangement of course determined by reason of the appeal; fortunately for the Mission families, for the Secretary of State for the Colonies, when informed of the judgment of the Colonial Court, abandoned the attack. He directed the Governor to bring a Bill into Council, confirmatory of the titles. The Bill, originally entituled "The Quieting Doubts Act," was passed as "The Crown Titles Act." Formal conveyance of the whole estate to the family was made at once, the Archdeacon leaving himself without a single acre.
The Reverend Robert Maunsell to Archdeacon Henry Williams.
Waikato Heads, October 25, 1848.
Though we have not for some time exchanged notes, yet I often think of you. The late decision of the Judges gave me great pleasure, and I am now free to admit that I heartily approve of the very manly way in which you have maintained your conduct against the "confederacy." Deeply as I regret that our Mission should be so deeply involved in these discussions, it does not appear that after the purchases had been made, and such heavy charges officially advanced, any other alternative remained for conscious integrity than to "stand." You are now, thank God, on, I hope, firm ground, and will, I feel confident, give all to see that you were ever contending, not for acres, but for your character. I was much concerned to hear that the Bishop had forwarded to the Colonial Secretary, a copy of his letter to you. This I learnt from a common friend, and speak it in confidence. He said he heard of it from you. I cannot but feel certain that there is some error somewhere in this statement. Surely the Bishop could not have thought of publishing such
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a severe document, and one so incorrect in some of its statements . . . . You may be assured that my sympathies are with you. You have been aggrieved; rights and privileges have been no more regarded than brown paper, and a mighty stretch of prerogative was made to make all things bend according to the stereotyped rule of a superior will. I say, "justice," a fair stand-up fight, a tender regard for the fair claims of others; and above all, for the unalienable privileges of the Englishman,--trial by your peers. Thanks be to God, we are in a quiet work here, looking at the clouds as they blow over, and fully employed in my schools, studies, and district. How delightful the contrast! In the world we have tribulation, in the blessed Saviour and His word, peace.
Henry Williams had won; but only on a point of law. The continual taunts about the "illegality" of the grants had been put a stop to; but the great primary charge against the Mission, of having been accessory, in their greed of possession, to bloodshed, hung over them still, unretracted, and unproved. The deeds had now become worthless to the Governor, and the Archdeacon could no longer hope, by tendering them as the price of enquiry, to exact enquiry. He therefore resolved to claim in England what had been refused in New Zealand, and appealed to the Secretary of State for the Colonies; for he could now do so without imputation of interested motives. The memorial is lengthy, and must be relegated to the appendix, 18 but the tenor is shewn by a letter to the President of the Church Mission Society, requesting his Lordship's support.
My Lord,--As your Lordship is the proved friend and President of the Church Mission Society, before whom especially the New Zealand question has been considered, I crave permission to forward a duplicate copy of a letter to the Secretary of State for the Colonies which I hope your Lordship may be pleased to present in behalf of some of the oldest members of the Mission, who have laboured more than a quarter of a century in the country.
Your Lordship will perceive that the letter is no appeal respecting the Crown grants to land issued by Governor FitzRoy,
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but one to claim protection against the various, dangerous, and insidious despatches of Governor Grey, one of which, June 29, 1846, with extracts from others, was forwarded to your Lordship from the Secretary of State, and laid before the Church Mission Society.
I do most respectfully urge that an opportunity may be afforded me of publicly clearing the Mission from every imputation that may have been cast upon us, or may be now secretly working against us.
Our case is urgent, having a powerful body of opponents in array against us; and Governor Grey himself explains that his proceedings--
"Would inflict great injury on the Mission, and possibly even injure deeply our common faith."
By maintaining my stand against these attacks, I feel I maintain the honour of the Church Mission Society in fearlessly meeting the same; and in so doing, exercise a right which is the duty of a Christian Missionary, who stands not in his own strength, but in the strength of the Lord of Hosts.
The Right Honourable
The Earl of Chichester.
The Archdeacon, in throwing himself on the protection of Lord Grey, had taken his stand, like Coriolanus, at the hearth of his mortal enemy. In what manner Aufidius responded to the call, shall presently be shewn.
Archdeacon Williams had to withstand not only the Bishop and the Governor, but also some of his own brethren, who had sided with the magnates, and whose proceedings were made the most of, as proof unanswerable that he must have been in the wrong. I care not to revive this part of the question, believing that most of them have thought better of it since,--two, indeed, have told me so; and feeling sure that they were not clear-sighted enough to see their way through the thick fog with which the case had been clouded. For what may seem clear enough in these pages, where we are able to dispose of all false issues and irrelevant arguments, was not so then, unless to practiced and fearless reasoners. It was easy to confuse the abstract question, whether it be expedient that Missionaries should be land owners,-- a mere matter of opinion, upon which any person is at liberty to think as he pleases--with the one particular question really
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at issue, namely, whether the statements, injurious to the Mission, contained in the Governor's despatches, were true or untrue. The gift of clear logical perception is not so common as to justify imputation of blame for the lack of it. But some of "the brethren," in their excess of zeal, went, so far as to assume authority where they had none, and to interfere without warrant.
The Governor had expressed himself bitterly about the publication of his despatch to Mr. Gladstone, accusing the Mission, and of his letter to the Bishop inviting cooperation. The one he charged against the Archdeacon personally; the other, more generally against the grantees. He was doubly in error; firstly, in assuming that publication was wrong; and then, in assuming that any of the Mission had anything to do with it. But he was very sore; for public feeling had thereby been turned against him.
A few of "the brethren," 19 willing to grind in Caesar's mill, ingratiated themselves by striving to place the Archdeacon in the dilemma of either acknowledging publication or of refusing to deny. They took upon themselves to question, but without result. Taking advantage of a paper signed by some of the Archdeacon's sons, setting at rest the question of real ownership, they returned to the charge, in a letter not remarkable for good taste.
June 12, 1849.
My dear Mr. Archdeacon,--I have to acknowledge the receipt of a copy of your letter to the Parent Society, May 17, as also an address from some of your children to you, which documents I am now forwarding home.
I beg to draw your attention to certain queries inserted in my former letter connected with the publication of certain despatches of Governor Grey, the answers of which you have forgotten to insert in the letter I have acknowledged. 20
I remain, &c,
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Like Shakspeare's Hotspur, "nettled, and stung with pismires," the Archdeacon made a somewhat tart reply. The Central Committee had no authority to put such questions, and when asked to produce it, found themselves unable to do so.
Archdeacon Henry Williams to the Provisional Secretary of the Central Committee.
Paihia, June 27, 1849.
I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 18th instant, wherein you notice in the following words your having received "an address from some of your children to you." I will here mention that your speaking of my sons as of "children" is certainly speaking of them in a very light manner, conveying a very incorrect idea, as though they were mere boys whose opinion is not valid. Your style is not with that degree of respect I consider them entitled to. You might possibly have been thinking of my "grandchildren," or of your own little
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boys. These children of whom you speak to me are each six feet two inches in stature, and advancing towards thirty years of age.
I have further to inform you that Archdeacon Henry Williams does not transact the business of the "Messrs. Williams Brothers." 21 It is therefore non-official in you to have acknowledged to me any communication to yourself from these gentlemen.
You beg to draw my "attention to certain queries" contained in your letter of April, 1849. I have been examining your documents to find upon what authority you acted in these particulars, and am unable to discover the authority. May I therefore request to learn from you your authority for proposing such queries for my consideration. Should you be unable to produce your authority, I shall be constrained to pronounce your proceedings to have been unauthorised, or as we say in Maori, he pokanoa nau.
I enclose to you for your information a copy of "Remarks explanatory of the pledge given on September 11, 1847, and forwarded to the Church Mission Society."
Though refusing to entertain unauthorised questioning in the colony, the Archdeacon had already been quite explicit with the Society in England, on the question of the despatch. In a subsequent letter to Mr. Maunsell (January 1, 1850), recapitulating the proceedings against the grantees, he writes as follows:--
To reply to your queries proposed, Nos. 1 and 2, I should consider to be a degradation to my station . . . . But for your information, I will repeat what I gave to the Church Mission Society in a letter of August 1, 1846.
You appear to charge us with furnishing the Press here with a copy of Governor Grey's despatch of June 25, 1846, which is incorrect. True, we were not very careful to withhold it from the sight of many; it was so great a curiosity--a cunningly devised fable. It was therefore seen by very many before it appeared in publication, and we consider it a most providential circumstance that it did come before the public. But the great objection which has been put forth seems to have given weight and importance to it, and to prove its own condemnation as incapable of enduring the light. The only tangible reason therefore against this despatch being brought to the light, was its being of too bad 22 a character to stand the test of inspection.
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I also gave a similar reply to the Bishop on this same subject, in my letter of November 30.
With these facts before you, and rejected by your Committee, what conclusion can any impartial person come to.
Since the receipt of your letter of April last, I have received information by letter, on good authority, that the despatch of August 30, 1847, was provided, directly or indirectly, by the Bishop's private chaplain."
A few stray extracts from the Archdeacon's diary may here find place. Though regularly kept up, from day to day, the entries become more curt and meagre still, as if he felt a repugnance to setting down what was now treated as mere disturbance to his work.
January 4, 1848. At 6 a.m. off for the Kerikeri; at business all day.
January 5. At business until late in the afternoon. Returned to Paihia; Captain Rough at the house. Fresh despatches; wicked.
January 6. An intimation from the Governor.
January 7. Wind N.N.W. Her Majesty's s.s. "Inflexible" 23 steamed out. The flag-staff not up, nor peace ratified with Heke. Much bombast come to nothing.
January 14. An insolent letter from Mr. Whytlaw upon want of hospitality on the part of the Missionaries. When that fails in this quarter, we may fear it will fail altogether in New Zealand. The Mission is a public pack-horse, upon which all may mount with their bundles and boxes, and think it strange if they be not carried free of expense without a word of remonstrance.
January 17. Report from Major Bridge that I had been exciting the natives at Waikari and at Orongo on Sunday the 26th ultimo. Particulars taken down. 24
January 19. Took leave for Kaitaia.
January 21. At 8 a.m. took canoe for Te Karaka. Ururoa gone to the heads; Hira Pure up the river, to get out of the way. Pororua pulled up the river. Everything as yet dead--very dead.
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January 23. Gale from the North; crossed the entrance of the harbour to Te Rere. Rain commenced and continued to increase. At Mangonui waded the two rivers and at 4 brought up in a sheltered spot. Pitched the tent, and by the aid of the blankets recovered warmth.
January 24. Heavy gale with rain; called upon the Europeans. In the afternoon Paora Putete came to the tent; spoke of the secret dealings of the spies at Whangaroa.
February 3. Rode to Tepuna; after dinner sailed to Paihia. All well; a bushel of letters; much kindness displayed.
February 5. Took wife and daughter to call on Mrs. Bridge.
February 7. Mr. Woods [constable] called with the writ. Gave him a lecture for non-attendance at Church. An invitation from Captain Stanley [H.M.S. "Calliope"] for Mrs. Williams and myself to dine to-morrow.
February 17. Sent my letter to the Governor.
February 21. Preparing for my trip to the South.
February 23. Discussion as to the sea at Cape Brett; concluded to go and examine. At 8.30 rounded the Cape; put into a small bay for breakfast. At 6, landed at Mr. Lewington's, Nguguru; Lord George Butler, Mr. Petre, and Captain Stewart here. Conversation on the state of the country and the politics of the day. Took up my abode in my tent.
March 6. Much difficulty to round the Cape; entered the Bay at sunset, and at 10 landed at Paihia. Much news. The Bishop had been here in the "Dido;" he and the Captain had called.
March 27. At daylight the "Undine" announced at anchor. Did not send off. At 10, while occupied with the native class, a message that the Bishop was in the house. Went, with much reluctance. Most sweet, as though no difference of opinion or feeling. Incomprehensible!! 25 Said as little as I could; luncheon for the party, after which embarked.
March 30. The "Albert" arrived: present for Heke; five sovereigns and blankets. A letter from the Colonial Secretary.
March 31. The Kawakawa natives down for examination; also the natives from the Rawhiti.
April 1. Engaged with the natives at the chapel. Walker Nene come to join in; a most agreeable conversation with him. Received the Bishop's letter to Mr. Clarke.
April 2. Sunday. Good congregation of natives,--between forty and fifty at the communion; an improvement. Afternoon service at Kororareka. Good congregation of natives; Walker
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came to me and said that as the notice for the communion was so short, they 26 should not attend on this occasion, but that they would on the next.
April 11. Some conversation with Pomare, Whai, and Kemara. Also with Waka and party. The Governor's present to Heke not held in much esteem. 27
April 16. H.M.S. "Calliope" anchored at the Wahapu with the Governor on board.
April 17. Heavy rain. The Governor to go to the Waimate to-morrow to meet Heke.
April 18. The Governor and party on the way to Waimate., Received a letter from Major Bridge relative to Heke telling him to lay down his pipe while talking to him.
April 19. Mr. Clarke from the Waimate; news,--the Governor's party walked in last evening, carrying their own saddles, as Heke was not at the Waimate. All on the move to Kaikohe.
April 20. The "Albert" arrived. In the afternoon learned that the Governor had returned to the Waimate, not having seen Heke, though Pene Taui had a long conversation with the Grey-Fox. Governor gone to-day to Hokianga. Mr. Berrey and Mr. Webber [H.M.S. "Calliope"] with James Clendon and Henry returned this afternoon. Much news and particulars of the tinihanga of the Governor,--his secret dealings.
April 24. News from England; the Charter to be kept back for five years. 28
April 25. Preparing for my voyage. In the afternoon Mrs. Robertson, Lord George Butler and the Doctor called, and sat some long time. At 5, the Governor and followers came through the settlement, but called not. All the evening engaged in hearing the news. The whole contrary to the expectations of his Excellency. Failed completely.
April 26. Mr. Berrey called; gave brilliant account of the meeting, quite opposite to what it really was. At 4.30, a boat from the "Calliope" to fetch me to dinner. At 9, joined the party at Clendon's. House became full; the Governor and Colonel Wynyard with the rest. Both stood aloof from the "Traitor;" all others friendly.
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April 27. Natives from inland conversing upon the meeting; Wiremu Hopihana came to breakfast. Much to say as to the Governor's conversation; had been told I kept Heke back. Gave opinion of the Governor's proceedings. Took leave with Kate and Henry to embark for Auckland.
In Auckland he was received with marked sympathy and kindness; partly because of the Governor's unpopularity, partly from respect to himself. The absurdity of former charges had been made manifest. I take a just pride in having been among the foremost in vindication; the "Traitor" had become known as the most loyal of men, and the reaction was complete.
The diary is full of pleasant reminiscences, which it would no longer serve any purpose to extract.
July 7. Letters from Tauranga and Auckland. Great news; the land grants settled to be according to law. Henry off to Waimate to carry the news.
September 4. The anniversary of the day of trouble when the Bishop broke forth upon us in his letter of the 1st . . .
Within the colony the grantees had won; but their English troubles were on the increase. Two days after delivery of the Supreme Court judgment, in New Zealand, the Parent Committee of the Church Mission Society passed a second set of resolutions, contradictory to the first. By those of 1847, the grantees were warned against retaining more land, "for their own use and benefit" than should be determined upon as suitable by the Governor and the Bishop, jointly. 29 But they were told that the disposition of the surplus was left to their own decision. It was expressly stated that they might sell, convey to their children, or put in trust for the benefit of the aborigines. By the resolutions of 1848, the grantees were required to surrender that land unconditionally. There is no getting over this; the discrepancy stares one in the face. Yet the Parent Committee laboured hard, with ill success, to make it appear that the second set of resolutions were consistent with the
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first. A single specimen of reasoning must suffice. When Mr. Venn, their secretary, was pressed hard with the distinct permission to make over the land to the children, he alleged that he himself drew up the letter of March 1, covering the resolutions of 1847; and that when he wrote it, he never contemplated the making over the land to minors, but only to grown up sons; i.e., that he had deliberately contemplated the disinheritance of the younger children, and the establishment of the elder.
Much paper was wasted upon a question that admits of no dispute. But the matter has lost its interest to the reader, and hinders progress. Once for all, I may state that it is not my intention to go beyond an outline statement of the main facts of the case. Those who ask for proofs, or for details, are referred to the "Page from the History of New Zealand," where the whole question is subjected to minute and searching analysis. It is enough to observe that Archdeacon Williams declined to acknowledge the right of the Society to cancel terms that had been offered, accepted, and acted upon; or, in any way, to stand between him and his own indefeasible right to vindicate himself from calumny. 30
All this while, much correspondence was going on; the Archdeacon continually daring the accusers of the Mission to the proof; the Bishop and others still writing about land, notwithstanding the request "that the subject should never again be named." The greater portion has already been printed, with ample comment. The Archdeacon, having in vain challenged the Governor and the Bishop, severally, to make good their allegations, and being now in a position to defy suspicion of interested motives, addressed the Secretary of State for the Colonies on behalf of the Mission, demanding the most searching enquiry, and expressly stating that his appeal was not concerning Crown Grants, "but
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merely against the dangerous and insidious despatches of Governor Grey." 31 Upon the reply, with its glaring misrepresentation, we shall presently have more to say.
To the perversely continued correspondence about land, he put an effectual stop, by a review of past proceedings, put together with a power of reasoning that defied reply. 32 The result of it
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was that the Bishop wrote to Archdeacon William Williams, stating that he had received "a letter from Archdeacon Henry Williams, upon which, after mature deliberation, he (the Bishop) bad resolved to withdraw himself from all further connexion with the land question."
In reading the following letter, it must be remembered that Canon Marsh was himself a member of the working committee of the Church Mission Society.
The Reverend E. G. Marsh to Henry Williams.
Aylesford, July 4, 1849.
My dear Henry,--By a letter received from William we are informed, that since the judgment of the Supreme Court of New Zealand upon the disputed Crown Grants, you have made over all your land by deed, to the children, for whom it was originally purchased with a proviso, that a certain portion of it (one-tenth), is to be set apart for Church and school purposes. I exceedingly rejoice in this step having been taken, because it puts an end, as I confidently trust, to all questions between you and the Society, upon the subject . . . I do not wish now to reopen any of the sores occasioned by the painful agitation of the land question. I think the treatment which you received from the Bishop, in his peremptory and ungracious exclusion of you from the Committee, unworthy of him and of you. The Committee at home have felt the whole question a grievance from which they, as representing a Missionary Society, might fairly claim exemption. Whether they took a right view of the case, or of their own concern in it, is of little consequence now. I hope they are at length entirely relieved from it, and that their correspondence with you will relate hereafter exclusively to those topics which concern the Church in New Zealand. I went to London a short time ago, for the purpose of looking over the correspondence and other communications which have passed on New Zealand affairs, especially, the remarks of Governor FitzRoy on Governor Grey's dispatch, which are remarkably candid, able, and satisfactory.
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But I was chiefly intent on finding some practicable termination to the whole business, and I hope and believe that the deed which you have executed in favour of your children has supplied it. If the Privy Council should at length decide in your favour, the whole will be brought to a happy issue and be off your mind for ever. You will again I hope be able to enter into your proper relations with the Bishop, though not with the former confidence and intimacy, and I trust the wounds of the Mission will be healed.
Two letters from the Archdeacon to Canon Marsh set forth the mystification to which even his own friends in England had been subjected through the strange and complicated statements by which truth had been smothered up.
Henry Williams to the Reverend E. G. Marsh.
Paihia, January 30, 1850.
In your letter of August 2nd, just received, you speak of lands unoccupied, subject to dispute by the natives, as some excuse for Governor Grey in his late proceedings against us. That you in England should be under a difficulty to understand these conflicting statements is not surprising, but that difficulty would be solved were you to regard the despatches of Governor Grey as cunningly devised fables. All I can say is that hitherto there has been no dispute; such a statement is perfect deception. These lands are occupied by cattle and sheep; and considering the uncertainty of tenure, from the fact of there being not the least protection afforded by the Government to the young men in occupation, I think they are entitled to high premium and commendation rather than persecution for thus maintaining their position under all these disadvantages. The extent of these grants may sound great in English ears, but by their extent have these young men been preserved from annoying their neighbours by trespass. It should also be remembered that they are but barren wastes, and in extent a mere mite,--a speck upon the surface of the map. I should, however, have been fully satisfied with half the grant, and did not expect even that. The grant, as I have it, was given in consideration of past services rendered to the Colony.
Every Northern settler, of old standing, is aware that these lands were occupied from the time of their purchase, without dispute, to that of the arrival of a Government. They were then disputed by that Government; not by the natives, who protected and
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maintained the young men in possession even during war. What must we, who live in the district, and know this of our own knowledge, think of despatches that assert the contrary?
Henry Williams to the Reverend E. G. Marsh.
Paihia, March 26, 1850.
I have just had the pleasure of receiving two letters from you, July 9, and September 5, 1849. That of August 2, I received in January. By these I perceive that you are yet much in the dark as to the true state of the case which has so long agitated our Mission, not having seen the severe documents sent from the Church Mission Society, or my replies, or the Bishop's letter to me of November 8, my reply of November 30, 1848, or my letter to Lord Grey of November 1, 1848. However, as the victory is mine, by their having abandoned the field, I intend to keep it. It is a singular fact that no one has ventured to controvert any of my letters or statements made; here they have been pronounced incontrovertible. My letter to Governor Grey, August 16, 1847, called for by the notorious despatch, "Blood and Treasure," which appeared in the Blue Book, has been declared to be "unanswerable" by the papers of Wellington and Auckland, conveying the general opinion. Upon "Plain Facts" the same opinion was given, so also upon my two letters to Governor Grey. My letters to Lord Grey and the Bishop are more private; of their fate I have not yet heard. Having brought forward everything I deemed needful to advance, the enemy, not being able to endure so close a charge, abandoned the field in much dismay. I have since proclaimed to all this unqualified manifesto, that, should I fail to scatter to the winds all allegations and imputations, I should myself retire. No one has yet appeared, though there is much done in secret which ought to stamp the character of their proceedings. The first count brought forward by Governor Grey in his letter to the Bishop of August 30, 1847, in support of the despatch "Blood and Treasure" --that the grants issued by Governor FitzRoy were "not only illegal but opposed to the rights of the natives" The above decision of Governor Grey was overruled by the Chief Justice in Court, of which you are aware; but may not be aware of a further qualification of this judgment. The Chief Justice further observes:--"I find that it interferes not with any right of any subject of the Crown." Compare these two sentences. Is it not satisfactory to see how that the Judge goes apparently out of his ordinary course, required by law, to clear up the latter question, that it interferes not with any right of any subject of the Crown. The second important point appears to be the subject or cause of the insurrection. These are points blundered
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over by the Church Mission Society in their fright. Governor Grey, in his despatches, has stated that the Missionaries were the originators of the insurrection in the North, supported by the Bishop, and received by Mr. Venn, the Secretary of the Church Mission Society: see Mr. Venn's letter to me, March 31, 1848. Governor Grey stated personally to the Wesleyan Missionaries in Auckland that Colonel Despard had so reported to him. See this case in my letter to Governor Grey, February 14, 1848. The idea of such a charge is in this country treated with perfect ridicule; it is too absurd, confined to Governor Grey and his immediate party. Captain FitzRoy, in his pamphlet on New Zealand, shews that the Missionaries were not the authors of the insurrection, but the suppressors of the insurrection, and the preservers of the Colony. The charge of treason and insurrection is met in "Plain Facts," and in my two letters to Governor Grey, January 1, and February 14, 1848, so violently condemned by the Parent Committee. That the land claims of the Missionaries did not contribute to the feeling of enmity manifested by the aborigines in arms, is confirmed by the extreme kindness shewn by these men in arms towards these Missionary families, altogether in their power, while engaged in a fierce war with Her Majesty's troops. In no instance can it be shewn that any person but the Missionaries of the Church of England did attempt actively to suppress the insurrection. Their part taken is shewn in "Plain Facts." The cause of the insurrection is shewn by Captain FitzRoy, who was the Governor of New Zealand during the whole affair, and whose testimony has not been called in question. Captain FitzRoy speaks upon this subject in his pamphlet, page 37. Heke also in his two letters to Governor FitzRoy, May 21 and July 15, 1845, shews the same, which letters appear in "Plain Facts," pages 32-33. All the chiefs in the North can be produced in support of Heke's letters. Heke's fears, as shewn in these letters, fully agree with the resolutions of a Committee of the House of Commons in 1844, of which Earl Grey, as Lord Howick, was chairman, also with his Lordship's instructions, as Secretary of State, to Governor Grey in 1847, petitioned against by every respectable person, the Bishop and the Chief Justice included. See also my two letters upon the subject to Governor Grey, of January 1, and February 14, 1849, and Appendix D. to my letter to Earl Grey, wherein is shewn the opinion of the late British Resident as to the cause of the insurrection.
In March, the Archdeacon was informed that the Secretary of State for the Colonies had declined compliance with his demand for an open investigation into the charges against the Mission, on the strange plea that enquiry would be an affront to the person
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who had brought those charges. A jeering evasion; nothing less. It is not easy to persuade oneself that Lord Grey had read what he had signed. Cabinet ministers, whose time is mainly taken up with large questions of Imperial policy, are compelled to sign sheaves of papers for which they are only technically responsible; having no option but to put confidence in subordinates, with some of whom, not infrequently, governors of colonies are on terms of personal friendship.
The mention of the reply, in the Archdeacon's journal, is sufficiently curt and contemptuous. 33
Saturday, March 30, 1850. Fine; wind the same. Letters from Auckland. Reply for Governor Grey to my letter to Lord Grey. Most satisfactory. No enquiry to be made into the conduct of this man's proceedings. Corrupt.
I care not to write a fresh comment upon the obstinate stifling of enquiry to which all parties adverse to the Mission had now committed themselves; but transcribe what I wrote some four-and-twenty years ago in the "Page from the History of New Zealand."
Still bent upon obtaining substantiation or retractation,--upon proving that there had never been any question of land, but only of character, Archdeacon Henry Williams, in the name of the grantees, addressed a stringent letter to the Secretary of State for the Colonies, appealing to him for protection against the "dangerous and insidious despatches of Governor Grey," demanding an open enquiry into the charges already preferred, and pledging himself, should he not scatter those charges to the wind, to resign his duties in New Zealand. Lord Grey made answer, that enquiry could not be conceded to the accused, because such concession would be an affront to the accuser.
The Bishop had already favoured the Governor's escape, by substituting the pointless queries.
And the Society had declared that it was "impossible to institute enquiries on the subject."
It thus appears that the demand of investigation was opposed by Governor Grey, by Lord Grey, by the Bishop, and by the Society.
How such a challenge can be declined, unless by those who fear the light, is a marvel of the age. It was not the manner of
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the Romans to deliver any man to die, before that he which was accused had met the accuser face to face, and had license to answer for himself concerning the crime laid against him. Nor must the like be suffered, without the stubbornest resistance, to creep in among ourselves. Whatever may be thought of the three first refusals, for the fourth, at least, there is no excuse. That Governor Grey should have opposed enquiry, was to be expected; he had everything to lose by it: the Bishop may have felt himself too far committed with his Excellency to withdraw from him: Lord Grey may possibly have signed a refusal that he had never read; but I that the Society itself should not have responded to the call is beyond my understanding. There is nothing for it but to suppose that these "masters of Israel" have lights that are denied to such as I.
The glove is thrown down by the accused; wager of battle is required. No inconvenience, no difficulties can be pleaded in answer to that appeal; all must go down before it. Yet it has been rejected by men whose desire of acting for the best should be beyond dispute. Who shall account for this? Are we to suppose that religion is without its chivalry of feeling,-- that it is of less avail than a high-bred, though worldly sense of honour, in elevating our aims to justice for the sake of justice, without fear or compromise? It has not always been so, and God forbid that it should be so now,--that the Knights Templars of the Church should be extinct, and the Shavelings only left; that the spirit which once impelled the flower of Europe against the Saracens in Palestine, should have dwindled into negotiating priest-craft.
I will never believe it; but yet I cannot blind my eyes to a certain timidity which disposes many towards shrinking from inconvenient truth, towards yielding to the bias of what has been so long miscalled "expediency." Seek the truth, I say, at whatever risk, conducting the search not in secret conclave, but before the face of the world. Seek it for its own sake, regardless of consequence. Walk steadfastly onwards, and the danger will prove to be more in show than in reality; keep in the midst of the path, and you shall pass in safety, as did Christian between the lions before the gate of the Palace Beautiful. For the beasts were chained, though at the first he knew it not.
To return to the judgment given in the Supreme Court, in which both judges 34 concurred. The Chief Justice after going at great length into the point of law, went on as follows:--
Looking at the whole case, I find on the one hand, that the grant is good in form; that it purports to convey to the defendant
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nothing but what the Government, in the name of the Crown, could lawfully convey to him; that it interferes not with any right of any subject of the Crown; that there is no misrepresentation or misconduct of any kind imputed to the grantees. On the other hand, I find that in a proceeding preliminary to the issuing of the grant, an act was illegally done by an agent not of the grantees but of the Crown, an act affecting not the grant itself, but a document distinct from the grant; and that the grantee is not alleged to have been connected in any way with that act, or even to have had any knowledge of it. Under these circumstances and for the reasons already stated, I am of opinion that the grant is good in law.
This decision was for a while supposed to have set the whole vexed question at rest. The Parent Committee of the Church Mission Society, by their own avowal, had at first taken a favourable view of the question on the presumption that the grants were legal; then, accepting what they are pleased to call "the contrary decision of the Colonial office," they changed their views; and now, judgment having been given against the Colonial office, it was naturally expected that they would change back again.
But they had become entangled in a political question, and could not get out of it without admitting that they had erred. Moreover, they did not well know what they were about, seemingly bewildered by conflicting statements. On the one side were those of the Mission; on the other side were those of the Bishop and the Governor, diametrically opposed. It might have been expected that the Society would have believed by preference their own tried servants, at least until evidence, not mere assertion, should be brought against them. But expediency, as usual, carried the day; the names on the other side would carry more weight among the uninformed. Undeterred by the recollection that they had throughout refused enquiry, the Parent Committee passed an arbitrary resolution, by which Henry Williams was dismissed the service of the Society.
I do not believe that the Bishop had ever wished, or expected the matter to go thus far. He knew too well with whom he had to deal, not only within the Mission, but beyond the Mission. Yet
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was he the main agent, doing his utmost to bias the mind of the Society, and urging on the Governor, who would not have ventured so far without the Bishop's respectable support. Impatient of thwarting, his temper gave way, and he went beyond what cooler judgment would have allowed.
I feel sure, moreover, that the Governor had hoped that the Society's censure would stop short of dismissal; for that extreme measure would inevitably entail a thorough sifting of the whole question, putting his own despatches on their trial. It was his interest to leave all in doubt,--the grantees under a cloud, never to be cleared away. But he had already gone too far, and could no longer control events.
On Saturday, May 25, the mandate arrived by which Henry Williams was dismissed the service of the Society. It took him by surprise; for, although, to use his own words, he had "counted the cost" of resolute adherence to his own condition,-- substantiation or full and honourable retractation of the Governor's charges against the Mission, so much time had now elapsed, that the storm seemed to have blown over. It came at last with double force, and with a double sense of injury, because of the taunting refusal of enquiry, returned in answer to his appeal to the Colonial office.
His own journal of events, for this period, is disappointingly meagre; he seemed unwilling, while the blow was yet fresh, to trust himself with words; that of his wife is, as usual, abundant in detail. Deeply as he felt this cruel wind up to seven-and-twenty years of service, he might, to judge from his own comments upon the procedure, be deemed a professor of the philosophy of the Porch.
May 25, 1850. Left early for Paroa, to remain until Monday morning. When at Tapeka saw "The Children" (his son's schooner); pulled to her. Received one letter from Edward Marsh; one from the Church Mission Society, with certain resolutions;--a full discharge from their service. He pai ano!!! Amine! Felt very thankful that my mind was preserved so quietly under such oppression. Returned to Paihia instead of proceeding on my visit to Paroa; in a strange feeling during the day.
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26th. Sunday. Passed a sleepless night from the very great excitement. Felt strong during the services. Did not go from the place, as there was no one to attend to the natives. A pleasant evening.
27th. A more quiet night. After the Bible Class at the Chapel, I communicated to the natives the news from Salisbury Square. They were astonished. Went over to Kororareka, to take leave of all parties. Much regret expressed and kindly feeling shewn.
28th. In high bustle all day. Edward and Henry down early. Pack saddles loaded and sent off. Sarah Busby to assist. Cutter sent off.
His main desire now appeared to be, to shake the Paihia dust from off his feet. Not an hour's delay was allowed in preparation for departure; he was nettled, indeed, by the very unnecessary expression of a hope, on the part of the Society, that he would not make any difficulty about giving up possession of their premises. It must be assumed, indeed, that the Society could hardly have been aware of the real effect, under the circumstances of the time, of a direction to "clear out" without delay. In England, migration from one house into another is an operation simple enough; in New Zealand--in an out-district at all events, where every house has an occupant, it means, quitting home, to begin again in the bush. It did so happen, that the sons possessed a house, inland, into which their parents could be received for atime; a resource of which the Society were not aware; but the Archdeacon would have built himself a raupo hut, sooner than have remained an intruder. It was a case of "all hands on deck," neighbours volunteering assistance; and in very few days the clearance, a troublesome affair at that inclement season of the year [winter in New Zealand] was effected.
May 31. An eventful day; cloudy, dark, and heavy; appearance of rain. Finished my making up our bundles for the march. Roughed out a letter to my congregation at Kororareka. Mr. Busby came early, soon followed by Mr. and Mrs. Bateman, Mr. Ford, and Mr. Stephenson. These gentlemen presented an address full of kind feeling and condolence at our departure. I was constrained to offer a few words expressed with difficulty. At 2.30, mounted our horses, took leave of all our friends, and rode off. Much admired the country, riding over land with new feelings.
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Arrived at our children's house at dark, which was indeed a refuge of no mean character. Glad to meet our children in health and in good spirits. The goodness of God continued to us.
A woman's journal is more circumstantial. Mrs. Williams does not disguise the feelings which her husband so sternly repressed. She gives, moreover, a host of small details, of no interest to the general reader, who cares nothing for Maori names, but which will be read with avidity by the grandchildren, and the descendants of the early native converts.
From Mrs. Williams' journal.
May 25. Henry hurried forward preparations for his going to Paroa bay to sleep out, and left after breakfast. When the fog lifted I caught sight of "The Children." She came on quickly; but, to my surprise, I heard my husband's voice, and in he walked, saying, "John is come; I met the vessel, and brought him on shore." Then I asked for news. "Yes, I have news,--my dismissal from the Church Mission Society." I felt all in a tremor, and yet my husband looked quite happy and cheerful. This dismissal came unexpectedly at last; for we had thought that all was settled. All to come to a close directly: "That the Northern Committee take immediate measures for receiving from the Venerable Archdeacon Williams all the property and documents of the Society he may possess, &c." I took up letters, laid them down, and was all in a dream. Thomas rode off, and John rode off, to Pakaraka and Waimate. My husband wrote off to his sons Edward and Henry to come and hold a committee, and determined to clear off at once. What a change! This morning I was forming plans for this dear old home at Paihia; now preparing to pack up and leave it for ever. Let us not forget that the hand of Mercy leads us, and ever has led us. It is mercy that we were permitted to work at our post till the last moment,--that my husband was in harness when stopped on his way in missionary duty. Mercy that his removal is not caused by death; that we are enabled to go as pensioners on our children, all in health and strength, a united family, and without reproach.
May 26. Trinity Sunday. The day was beautiful in which we saw our old and much loved home, all untouched in Sabbath peace, for the last time. We told no one; all went on as usual; but it was a great conflict all day to keep down the thoughts of our expulsion, and all its attendant cruel injustice. Henry had a good native congregation. I looked round on our English congregation, but could not trust myself with the sight of the Busbys, the Cooks, the Pughs, Teeces, &c, for the last time; my head was giddy for want of sleep, my heart was full. The sermon, for Trinity Sunday,
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was excellent, but my attention bewildered. Mrs. Busby, after service, congratulated me on the birth of a grand-daughter, and supposed that Thomas and John had ridden into Pakaraka to spread the good news! She little thought what other news they had to carry. I had school with the native women; they were all unsuspicious. Henry had school with the native men, and in the afternoon native service.
May 27. All to pack up in this great house, as Henry was determined to clear out this week. Bewildered where to begin. Henry assembled his reading class at the chapel for the last time, and informed them of his sudden uprooting. He then went to Mr. Busby's and to Kororareka to take leave. Pack-saddles arrived, which we loaded; and thus the first package was sent off before my husband had returned from taking leave of his parishioners . .
May 28. Mr. Kemp took a passage in the boat that went to Kororareka, to put the seraphine in charge of Mr. Stephenson. When carried out to the road, Lydia sat down to play her last tune upon it there, Hetaraka blowing the bellows, and a crowd of natives around. The crying of the native women at every turn was the hardest trial. The cutter sailed with the first cargo, to Kerikeri.
Details, with which the journal is crowded, must be passed over. Enough to say, that during all this hurry of packing up, the house was filled with neighbours and visitors from far and wide; the greater number of whom seemed more disturbed by the event than the principals themselves.
May 29. We saw ten horses come in with pack-saddles; our son Henry and Pene Taui riding with them. The scene at the front door was an animated one; such a troop of horses coming up, the ground littered with straw, the entrance filled with heavy packages, a crowd of natives looking on, the women tangi-ing--a melancholy sound. Pork and potatoes cooking for the men; corn (the winter store for my fowls) got ready for the horses; all seemed to go right, no difficulties, no obstacles from any one.
After dinner I had been called several times to go and see Katerina Hori and the Kawakawa natives, who had come in a body with Tamati Pukututu at the head of them. My husband was at the front door, a crowd around him, Tamati making his rere, and speechifying. Fanny told me that they were going to put me into a canoe and take me up to the Kawakawa (a pleasant prospect); that they were all very angry that Te Wiremu should pokanoa [decide without consultation] to go away without asking them; that he should go nowhere but to the Kawakawa, where they would build a house for him; that they would burn the Paihia house, that no one should live there after him; Puariri (or Parata,
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as he is now called,) dancing about as in the old times. The end of all this scolding and threatening was, that if Te Wiremu had been going out to sea, they would have stopped him and held him; but that as he was going inland among the people, they would let him go. They had sent to examine the road from Pakaraka to the Kawakawa, and found it was not half so far as from Paihia to the Waimate . . . Mrs. Bateman went home in Mr. Hartley's boat; she has made herself an affectionate friend and assistant. My husband and sons kept telling me to leave off and pack no more; so I took a last walk round the garden, and felt thankful that the ties that drew me to this dear old place,--this little paradise my husband had been permitted to make out of a savage wilderness, the home of twenty-seven years, the birth place of eight of our children, the house and chapel my husband's own hands had worked at,--were all so easily loosed; that I could willingly go, like Abraham, with faith and joy, when called to leave it. Mrs. Pugh sent for us, as "she saw Mrs. Busby coming, and wished to have a few serious words;" as to-morrow she would only see us to say good bye. We went into our own room, and surely it must be by the Spirit's teaching that she spoke so well, so sweetly, and so gratefully . . . . After all had taken leave except Sarah Busby, who remained to the last, we had a chat round the fire. Thomas and John kept us all alive. I repeated what Mr. and Mrs. Bateman had told us, that a party of the Kororareka congregation, Mr. Stephenson and others, meant to walk in to Pakaraka the first time service should be held there. I told her, I hoped they would give us notice, that we might kill the fatted calf.
The storm has at last broken, and the whirlwind is carrying us off; but we can rejoice in the midst, and listen to the still small voice that speaks of peace, and love. Friends are springing up to cheer and help us; old and firm friends we have still; our dark friends faster and firmer, and more numerous than ever. What a contrast is the scene of our departure from the midst of crowds of weeping and affectionate natives, to our arrival among them twenty-seven years ago. Many of the savages who then yelled and danced around us are now dead; but here are their children, like Hemi Tautari, educated in our schools, and many, like our chief Tamati Pukututu (called Thomas Williams, after my husband's father,) partaking of the family meal with us, and listening with us to the word of God, as one clothed in his right mind,--nay, only suffers us to depart, because he and his tribe can walk over land to our retreat in a shorter time than he now passes in a canoe. Our children, born in the place, and the little boy we brought here, are now all men, carrying us with a strong hand to a place of refuge.
This is the anniversary of the Bishop's landing in Auckland eight years ago.
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Thomas amused us by saying,--"'Well, this must be a house-cooling."
The details, shortened as they are, may seem trivial; but biography does not reach the dignity of history; and it is not easy, having once begun, to leave off recording the simple outpourings of a brave and unrepining woman's heart. Let the scene that took place at the departure from Paihia be taken as an answer to Bishop Selwyn's declaration that the Missionaries had "outraged public opinion."
May 31. It rained very heavily, and was dark and cold. My husband, to my alarm, proposed leaving Kate and me at Mr. Busby's.
We had some natives to breakfast; among them Pene Taui, who repulsed the troops at Ohaeawai; Tamati Pukututu, who protected the ammunition and stores of the English at his pa at the Kawakawa landing-place, on the last expedition to Ruapekapeka; Wickliffe, a nephew of Kawiti, but a fast friend of the English during the war; Hori, nephew to our old chief, who lived with us as a boy, and rowed in the boat which brought me to Paihia when I first arrived, now principal teacher at the Kawakawa, and "Major" Hara . . .
After breakfast, a deputation from Kororareka was introduced. Mr. Busby was also there, and James King, who had just arrived. Mr. Busby stood forth, saying that a paper had been put into his hands to read. His voice faultered, and he frequently stopped. Mr. ---------- cried like a child, and went out of the room several times. My husband rose to reply; it was long before he could speak. There was a long, deep pause; we all sat and looked at each other, or on the ground. The deputation requested that the address should remain with them, for the addition of further signatures.
The horses had now all arrived. We took leave of our kindly Kororareka friends as we were led out to be mounted. Kate moved off first, and was nearly pulled off her horse on the road by poor Ritihia, who clung hold of the skirt of her dress, as she was seized upon to be carried off to be married, after having hid all day to make her escape to Pakaraka. A crowd of natives shaking hands all the way we rode down the road; a crowd at the boat-house, and again at Cook's; another party on the hill. Edward, our first born, rode by the side of his mother; John attended his father, and Thomas rode by Kate; Pene Taui's horsemen followed; Pene brought up the rear; about fifteen of Kate's school children ran by our side, and followed us to the Ti, where the crew of "The Children" and some others gave us three hearty cheers. It was
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now fine; the air and exercise greatly refreshed us. We rode cheerfully along; my husband's spirits rose as we proceeded; and as we ascended the road winding up the Taratara hill, looking down upon the graceful fern trees, and the steep wooded precipitous sides, riding through the brushwood that shaded the road on either side, we felt like Pilgrims ascending the Delectable Mountains.
We arrived as the light failed, before six o'clock, and were greeted by Henry, Jane, and Lydia, Our own chairs were placed for us on either side of the fire; we had reached the land of Beulah, where we may wait a summons to cross the river Jordan, and yet not wait idle in our Master's work,-- that work for which we had left our own dear native land. Kate and Lydia ran to the piano, and played a duet to welcome us. We cast our eyes around us; the very Paihia pictures and chimney ornaments met our view; and, what was more, our little smiling grand-children were frisking all delight around us. When I was taken to my room, it was the old Paihia room we had left. It appeared, as though by magic, we had been taken up in our habitation, transported through the air, and set down here. We retired with grateful hearts.
The Archdeacon's reply to the Church Mission Society is written in very plain English,--in the opinion, perhaps, of some, too plain. But the Governor's despatches were in question, and he was a lover of what is termed by Jeremy Taylor, "that Macedonian simplicity which calls things by their right names." Moreover, he was naturally wroth at the final clinching by the Society itself, of the charges by which the Mission had been so sorely galled. The strength of his words is characteristically directed, not so much against the particular injury to himself, but rather to the general ruin brought upon the character of the Mission. He complains bitterly "That not one word of sympathy, assistance, or support in our difficulties has been offered by you in any form, to men long tried, and writhing under such a weight of infamy, in no respect attempted to be established." 35 For me, no words can be too strong, if true, in repelling attacks upon character. But there are some whose instinct it is to render deference on all occasions, who love to hear the chant of the Esculapian cock; and these will
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object to the "style and tone." Yet that style and tone ought not to create surprise. In truth, the position was hard to bear. Henry Williams found himself suddenly an out-cast, without a following and without a lead; his fair fame wrenched away; left a butt to the jeers of those who had striven to thwart his ministration from the first; turned adrift to seek shelter where he could find it; reduced (for he had put by nothing) to being a dependent on his sons--by comparison a trifling injury, yet not unfelt; his work unauthorised, for he was now but an irregular in the field; all for the crime of having stood foremost in defence of the Mission, cruelly assailed,--all, moreover, upon the dictum of one man, countersigned, though in terms made conveniently general, by that of another. Not yet knowing how stoutly his friends would rally round him, he fought for his own hand. A man of strong impulses, without which he could never have faced the work he did, he spoke his mind in downright English. The only question we have a right to entertain, is, whether he spoke truth. Alongside of this, conventionalities of "style and tone" must pale.
It must be admitted that the Society's Committee had no wish to affix a stigma on one of the staunchest of their own servants; but they did so. Notwithstanding their complimentary acknowledgement of service, there is no escape from the conclusion. Step by step it can be brought home to them. Their movement in 1847 36 was, by their own admission, based upon passages in the Governor's despatches; they compromised themselves with a Secretary of State, who gave implicit credence to those despatches; they varied their original resolutions, under the influx of fresh statements, to similar effect, keeping pace with the development of the charges alleged; so satisfied of their truth that they gave a point blank denial to the demand for enquiry; and crowned the whole with dismissal.
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A letter from his European congregation, shews the estimation in which he was held by them.
To the Venerable Archdeacon Henry Williams,
Russell, May 31, 1850.
Reverend and dear Sir,--Astonished and grieved at the unexpected termination of your valuable labours among us, we cannot allow you to leave Paihia without the expression of our deep sympathy with you, and our strong sense of the value of those exertions, which, in connection with the Church Mission Society, have exercised so beneficial an influence upon the country around us during the last twenty-seven years. Neither would we omit to hold a grateful remembrance of the many disinterested services performed ministerially, for all classes of your countrymen, nor the readiness with which your extensive influence with the natives has ever been exercised, to assist the industrious settler, by the promotion of peace, order, and goodwill between them. That influence we feel assured will, under all circumstances, still be, as ever, used for the benefit of the Government and country.
It would have been a source of much gratification to be permitted to present you with some little memorial of our regard, but this pleasure, we hope, is only deferred. In the meantime, our affectionate interest will accompany you to the sphere of your future ministrations, with heartfelt prayer, that the best blessings may attend you and your estimable family, and, that when called to resign your charge upon earth, you may be enabled to say with St. Paul, "I have fought the good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith; henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord the Righteous Judge shall give me at that day." We bid you heartily farewell, and remain, with the deepest sentiments of esteem, ever, reverend and dear sir,
Your obedient Servants,
To this the following reply was returned.
To the Members of my Congregation at Kororareka and Paihia.
Paihia, May 31, 1850.
My dear Brethren,--I feel it to be my duty previous to my leaving this place, to give you briefly some explanations of my sudden flight after so long a residence in the Bay of Islands of twenty-seven years, where I have shared with you the troubles and calms of that long period.
You are too well acquainted with the character of the despatches from Governor Grey to the Secretary of State, and their general bearing upon the Mission, to render it needful to say anything upon that subject, more than that I did not hesitate to meet the imputations cast upon me, and to offer every explanation in my
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power, which was declined by his Excellency; and that I further pledged myself, that, failing to scatter these imputations to the winds, I would of my own free will relinquish my duties in New Zealand. This challenge as to the merits of the question was also declined by his Excellency.
I had been led to conclude that the whole question at issue had been settled; but on the 25th instant I received two letters from England, one from a member of the Committee of the Church Mission Society, the second from the Secretary of the Society, dated December 21, 1849. In the first appears the following sentence: "In the meantime Lord Grey sent down to the Society a letter from Governor Grey, which quotes a letter of yours to the Colonial Secretary in New Zealand, in which you are said to have at one time estimated the land to which you laid claim at thirty thousand acres; under these circumstances the Committee felt themselves embarrassed."
The following is the final resolution of the Parent Committee of the Church Mission Society:--
6th. "That these Resolutions be communicated to the Bishop of New Zealand, and that Earl Grey and the Governor of New Zealand be informed of the dissolution of the connection between Archdeacon Henry Williams and the Church Mission Society."
Secretary Church Mission Society.
With regard to the first extract, I disclaim all knowledge of the letter in question, said to have been written by me "to the Colonial Secretary in New Zealand." I must abstain from designating in fit terms such a communication from his Excellency to the Secretary of State; I leave that to others.
Upon the two extracts it will be seen that the whole is a political movement.
It is with extreme regret that I leave the Bay of Islands. I had hoped to end my days amongst persons known so long; yet it is the Christians duty to act as circumstances may require, always bearing in mind the words of scripture, 1 Peter, iv., 12, "Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you, but rejoice."
I trust that my interest in the welfare of the Bay, from which my present removal will not disconnect me, will not cease. My desire will ever be that you all may abundantly prosper with all temporal and spiritual prosperity, and that the peace of God which passeth all understanding shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Believe me ever to remain,
Yours very faithfully,
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Archdeacon Henry Williams to the Reverend E. G. Marsh.
Pakaraka, June 1, 1850.
On Saturday morning last, exactly one week since, I received a mandate from the Church Mission Society that our relationship was dissolved, and yesterday afternoon, I came with Marianne and Kate, and two sons as our escort to this place; our baggage, for the most part, sent on before us. It is painful to be thus treated after so long a period of service, and after the open, candid, and unreserved manner with which I had acted towards them. But the presence of the Lord has been so manifest throughout the whole affair, that I cannot doubt that He will continue with me. He hath been my Sun and Shield, and will give grace and glory. We have felt much your solitary position in the presence of the General Committee of November 38, 1849. I hope you will be relieved from attending any more committees on my account, or from having even to mention my name to such a body of men. True, they have the power to dissolve my connexion, but they cannot destroy my peace of mind, nor can they set aside fact by fiction or truth by falsehood.
In the report, for 1849, they speak of our agitating the question by an appeal to the Court of law, and in this letter, of "his unhappy contention for his land claims." What extreme folly, to say the least. The whole is absurd, and a reproach to common sense. We were holders of the Crown grants: for what were we to appeal to the Courts of law? and our families being in possession, for what were we to contend? These statements are frivolous in the extreme, and disgraceful. A highwayman might, with as much reason, charge the traveller with contention because he did not feel disposed to deliver his purse when demanded of him. The contending parties are the Bishop, Governor Grey, Lord Grey, and the Committee of the Church Mission Society, who demanded this legal property after the judgment of the Supreme Court. 37 In your letter of October 19, 1849, you observe:--"they (the Committee) naturally call for precise information, and such explanation as may enable them to form a judgment upon the case. To this you do not seem to think them entitled." It is said by yourself, and the Secretary of the Church Mission Society, that, upon this subject of information, much allowance should be made considering the distance at which we are. I here say that no question has been asked upon any subject by the Church Mission Society, and, that I had considered that every possible information had been supplied; certainly no reservation, intentionally, can be charged against us. I am, therefore, at a
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perfect loss to understand the bearing of your remark. If your remark relates to my not having put them in possession of the fact that the land had been settled upon the family, I merely say the Committee of the Church Mission Society had this information from William, which ought not to have been regarded as from a "private source." But the allusion may possibly be to the following sentence in your letter: "In the mean time Lord Grey sends down to the Secretary a letter from Governor Grey which quotes a letter of yours to the Colonial Secretary in New Zealand, in which you are said to have at one time estimated the land to which you laid claim at thirty thousand acres: under these circumstances the Committee felt themselves embarrassed."
What a wonderful story. Had no one the wisdom to detect this fraud? to examine, by the public returns made to the House of Commons, to see what the return was, and brand at once this information as false? There evidently was no desire to do so on the part of the Committee of the Church Mission Society, therefore it was not done. You will perhaps be surprised to hear me say, and deem the expression as somewhat uncourteous, as made respecting men in high authority, that this letter, said to have been sent by me to the Colonial Secretary, and acted upon by the Committee of the Church Mission Society, I have no knowledge of. It is a palpable forgery. For the end of justice, and for the establishing of a notable fact, I think you should obtain a copy of the communication from Lord Grey to the Church Mission Society upon this wonderful fiction if you can, and send the same to me, or a copy of the same.
No wonder that the Archdeacon was bewildered; yet the letter was not a forgery after all. But it was read with the Governor's annotations, which had virtually crept into the text. A few lines may be well bestowed on the clever work of art by which his Excellency was able so seriously to "embarrass" the more Boeotian wits of the Society's Committee.
Acting under colonial ordinance, the Commissioners had awarded 7,010 acres, out of the 11,000 purchased, reporting also that Mr. Williams had paid enough to entitle him to more than double the quantity. This ordinance being abrogated, the Commissioners, under a new and more restrictive law, went to the limit of their powers in making an award of 2,560 acres. On being informed of the changed award, Mr. Williams, by way of turning into ridicule the mutability of New Zealand legislation, enquired, in
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his own dry way, whether 2,560 acres (the quantity allowed in New South Wales to each son of a colonial chaplain) was intended for each member of his family, as named in the margin.
This was in 1843. Whether such enquiry was prudent, is another matter; but Governor Shortland, to whom it was addressed, was not the man to affix a false construction.
The letter was disinterred by Governor Grey. Mark now, how neatly he works it up. Bit by bit, the face of it is changed, until not a feature of the original is left; though the derivation be as perfect as of one of those wonderful words which Max Muller brings down from Aryan roots with every vowel and consonant transmuted.
His Excellency has an object to obtain, and calls the ready-reckoner to aid. The "family" were eleven in number. To give full measure, the Governor superadds the father, and finds that 2,560 x 12 = 30,720. This quantity, according to the Governor, Mr. Williams presumed was to be granted. Therefore, he must have thought that his claim contained that quantity. So argues the Governor, leaving it to be inferred, as it was inferred, that the Archdeacon had purchased 30,000 acres from the natives, but had only reported 11,000 to the Society.
The neatness of the handiwork is incomparable. One can even take pleasure in telling up the links of a chain, delicate as of Venetian facture, yet strong enough to hold against just so much strain as was likely to try it. Nothing wasted:--
"What needs the bridge much wider than the flood?"
as much said as was wanted, and no more. 38
Nothing succeeds like success; and the Governor did succeed.
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The tone of the wife is more subdued; but even she is able to give plain utterance to her thought.
Mrs. Williams to Mrs. Heathcote.
Pakaraka, June 18, 1850.
I regretted much at the time that I was unable to write to you by H.M.S. "Rattlesnake," which came into the Bay, from Sydney, on her way to England. Some of the passengers, one, a very interesting blind lady, called upon us. But it is well I could not, for I should have given you a pleasing picture of Paihia, which vanished before the vessel had well left the coast. Three days after she sailed we were startled by a mandate of dismissal from the Society; within a week were uprooted from a home of twenty-seven years, and transplanted to this place, to take refuge amongst our children, whose exertions upon the occasion have been surprising and affecting. When this mandate did arrive we had ceased to expect it, having been taught by Mr. Marsh's letters that the Church Mission Society were satisfied that Henry's transfer of all the land to his children, doing more than even the Church Mission Society required, had settled the matter. Henry was in treaty for a vessel to be built, to cost £250, to visit the natives on the coast, and had narrowly escaped paying £80 for a decked boat for the purpose. That very day, I had grieved to see him depart in an open boat, to spend three days in a tent, in bitter cold weather, when he met his sons' vessel, "The Children," from Auckland, and his son John on board, who gave him the letter of dismissal, with which he returned on the Saturday afternoon to spend the last Sabbath at Paihia, no intimation being given beyond our own family till the Monday morning. The same principle which actuated your brother to stay and devote every energy and every means to his Master's work, in spite of insult and persecution, as long as permitted to remain at his post, urged him to delay not an hour his departure when this door of usefulness was closed. The Church Mission Society might have spared the request "to take immediate steps and put no difficulties in the way." Our Heavenly Father hath heard our prayers, and "prepared us for all he had prepared for us." We could feel we were led out in love, and were given cheerful obedience to the call. God has permitted, for some purpose of good, the wilful blindness of the Church Mission Society to work the ends of our enemies, and to be again deluded by the fictions of our . . . . Governor. But it is enough for us that our Heavenly Father hath permitted it, and we try not to look at the injustice and cruelty of man. We had, most providentially, five days of unexpected fine weather, in the commencement of winter, for our removal, and had every assistance from our children and our
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neighbours. A body of natives from inland, headed by Pene Taui, the chief who repulsed the English from his pa at Ohaeawai, came down in a body, to assist our son Henry, and carried off our things, with shouts of triumph, on horses and on men's backs; the heavy cases down to the boat. Their chief remained with us and accompanied us to Pakaraka with a troop of his horsemen. The pack-horses were going backwards and forwards all the week, and our sons were indefatigable with their boat and their drays, here, at Kerikeri, and at Pakaraka. The greatest trial, I found, was the crying of the natives, coming around us from different quarters, keeping up their melancholy sound, a sort of chant. The quiet grief was the most affecting. The tribe from the Kawakawa came down with their chief, Tamati Pukututu, the chief who protected the English stores and the camp at the Kawakawa landing place, at the last expedition of the English during the war. They expressed their great anger that Te Wiremu should attempt to leave Paihia without their consent, and at first declared that he should not go anywhere but to the Kawakawa, whither I was to be taken, forthwith, in a canoe, and where they "would build us a house." After the principal men had made their speeches with much gestures and animation, it was concluded that if "Te Wiremu" had been going out to sea they would have held him; but, as he was going behind, to be amongst the people, they would let him go, having first sent to examine the road, and found that it would be a shorter distance from their settlement to Pakaraka over land, than to Paihia by the river. We left Paihia on the last day of May; on that day, a deputation from Kororareka came across, and presented an affectionate address to Henry. We left amidst crowds of weeping natives, and parted with friends we knew not we possessed, till called forth by the occasion, and were deeply affected by the feeling manifested both by our European and our Maori friends. Fifteen of Kate's little scholars ran beside us nearly a mile and-a-half. We rode in, accompanied by Kate, two sons, the chief and his party. We are at present in our son Henry's pretty cottage, but a chapel and a house for us are planned, and natives are come to saw the timber. Henry is still in his work, though not in his place. Having been driven from the chapel his own hands had helped to build, he has a native congregation in a barn. The natives are collecting around him, and many, from different tribes, have declared their determination to come and plant and settle around him. Last Sunday we had forty natives, the usual number being augmented by a few of our Kawakawa friends,--the chief Pukututu, his wife, and a few other leading characters, to the Lord's Supper, which we received with them. The stormy weather and the want of buildings for shelter alone prevented a number from coming;
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but to use the words of my old friend Mere [Mary], the chief's wife, "These few sheep ran through the wind and rain and the cold after their Good Shepherd into the wilderness." A child was baptised, brought from the Kawakawa, so the two Sacraments were administered in this infant Church. These natives have resorted to plant here, and erect buildings for their accommodation on the occasion of their visits as they did at Paihia. Tamati said,-- "It was Te Wiremu, not the Committee, that he and his tribe settled and protected at Paihia; and now, after all these years, he finds they have let Paihia go to people that "drive Te Wiremu away." Mere asked, "why Te Wiremu purchased Paihia with the taonga [property] of the Committee?" Nothing could exceed the affection these old friends of twenty-seven years shewed to us.
The native sellers were much vexed when they found he had no right to Paihia,--that he had purchased it for the Society, and not for himself: such had not been their understanding; but it was too late to complain. The work was carried on still, though from a new centre. It was then shewn of how small account were either the Society or the Bishop, by the side of Henry Williams, among the native converts. His sway was undisputed,---nay, even strengthened by his fall.
It is convenient, at this break in the narrative, to sum up the result of the proceedings hereinbefore detailed. This will best be done by extracting the final paragraphs of "A Page from the History of New Zealand;" for they were written before the revocation of the dismissal.
What has the Society gained by its dealing with the Colonial Office? The approbation, it appears, of a Secretary of State. And for this a heavy price has, indeed, been paid. A healthy limb has been cut away: the rest of the body is disordered, and the disease must rise to a crisis yet, before it can be cured. Even in matters of more worldly care, the Society is suffering loss. Monetary subscriptions are being refused, or transferred elsewhere, because of the self-seeking displayed by the Committee, of the braving out an error to avoid acknowledgment of having erred. Few perhaps as yet; but of some I know. And the refusals will increase in number proportionately as contributors shall learn to understand the case. 39
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What has the Bishop gained by his share in the contention? It is easier to say what he has lost. He found the Mother Church united; he sees it now divided against itself. He has lost the willing cooperation of many fellow-labourers, who now work by the side of him, rather than along with him. He has lost the support of the elder Missionary families, now fast assuming an important position in the community. He has exposed himself to much injurious, even to unjust suspicion; and, by having failed where he put forth his utmost strength, has shewn the measure of that strength. To balance these evils, he has nothing to shew beyond the prematurely, tendered thanks of Mr. Labouchere, in the House of Commons, for the adjustment of a political question.
I can only suppose the Bishop's motives in joining forces with the Governor. Public opinion has assigned them, and not without severity. But, though his Lordship would fain have made the grantees amenable to that tribunal, he has ignored its jurisdiction as regards himself. Few indeed will now deny that this coalition has been the great error of his Loreship's career. He had leagued himself, bound in Mezentian union, with one whose alliance is more dangerous than his enmity . . . . Who shall marvel furthermore that so many of his staunchest adherents among the laity should have fallen away, or that the jealous suspicion with which the Governor's acts are viewed should have been partially reflected on himself.
The time has been when the Bishop might have carried all before him; when by legitimate means he might have raised his influence to the pitch of almost absolute authority. But he failed to improve the golden moment, which is now irrecoverably lost.
The grantees had been charged by Governor Grey with having been accessory to the shedding of human blood. The charge was credited at the time by many, and the character of the Mission was at its lowest ebb. BUT THE BISHOP KNEW THAT THEY HAD BEEN MALIGNED. Then it was that he might have knit them to himself by stronger than ecclesiastical ties,--by the bonds of gratitude and well-merited affection. He was their natural champion; it was for him to have interposed his own broad buckler between the Missionaries and their assailant. Help at need is no matter of compact; he should have stepped forward and given it, without a word.