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said to him, "it was not from you, but from the Europeans." My question to you is,--Who was the European who put forth these ideas which you reported to Mr. Clendon?
Kawakawa, December 2, 1854.
To Williams. 1
Your letter to me has arrived (of September 15); that expression was not from me; it is an expression new to me; I never heard that expression. That is all I have to say.
The services of the scene-shifter must now be called into requisition. In New Zealand, the laity, through the public press, were making the question of "dismissal without enquiry" too hot for all concerned in it,--for the Bishop, the Governor, and for those few who had abetted them. The Governor's despatches were being subjected, line by line, to public examination,--put through the mill and ground to powder. The Bishop, still of notable influence among Europeans, found himself a cypher among the Maori,--a mere figure-head to the ship. 2 The Society were
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themselves wounded in the tenderest point, their revenues being threatened. 3 The leaguers found themselves immured in one of those prison cages of olden time, which closed in upon the occupant, inch by inch and day by day, till he was crushed up to nothing. In England, country parsons, themselves members of the Church Mission Society, were harassing the Committee with questions the Committee were not able to answer. These obdurate members refused to be satisfied with vague general assurances that there was good and sufficient reason for all that had been done, but insisted upon descending to particulars. Driven perforce into furnishing particulars, the Committee found themselves in greater straits than ever. In self-defence, they published a statement, which was forthwith torn to shreds,--from first to last, a mass of error. Not wilful, of course: knowing who were on their track behind, they would have committed no such folly; but they had utterly confused each other; they had hearkened to the tempter, and, wishing to believe, they did believe. No longer the assailants, they could hope at most for an orderly retreat. But it soon became clear, that they would have to pass under the Caudine forks.
The Bishop and the Governor supplied to the Society a pretext for the reversal of their own decree, without confession of error. In the last month of the year 1853, the two had sailed in the ship "Commodore," homeward bound. When in England, the Bishop
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and the Governor went to Salisbury Square. There, the Bishop developed his views concerning Church government in New Zealand; after which he expressed a wish that Archdeacon Williams should be restored to his position. For the sake of precision, I quote the words of Canon Marsh (himself a member of the Committee), contained in a letter to Archdeacon William Williams.
At the close of a long exposition of his views, the Bishop expressed to the Committee, as a matter of personal feeling, his wish that they would restore your brother to his position in the Society. I cannot accept it as an act of grace; though I should rejoice to see him restored by a reversal of the decree which separated him from the Society.
Yet was the reversal made to assume the semblance of an "act of grace," in order to cover a retreat. The Committee expressed a desire that "all past questions should be at an end," in terms which implied that it was not their own conduct, but that of Henry Williams, which ought to be buried in oblivion. The waters of Lethe were to be drunk by him; and not by them. He was invited to forget that the Society, after the Oriental fashion of throwing the Grand Vizier's head out of the window to allay political disturbance, had sacrificed a faithful servant to the animosity of a Governor and of a Secretary of State. It is manifest that no middle course was open. Either Henry Williams was unfit to remain one single hour in the service of the Society, had a tithe of the charges against him been made good; or, the Society was bound to confess error in having ever entertained those charges. I was myself so much afraid that a natural pride would hinder him from accepting the offer of restoration, that I took the liberty of writing, requesting him to consider that actual restoration would be the only practical clearance of character in a censorious, but matter-of-fact world.
The letter of the Secretary to the Committee, conveying the resolution, reads smoothly enough. I care not to offer comment in the text, but refer the reader to a leading article which appeared at this time in the Southern Cross, reprinted in the Appendix to this Memoir. 4
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The Reverend Henry Venn to Archdeacon Williams.
Church Missionary Society,
14, Salisbury Square, October 2, 1854.
My dear Archdeacon Henry Williams,--I transmit to you a Resolution unanimously adopted by the Committee, which sufficiently conveys to you their genuine sentiments. In the review of the affairs of New Zealand, when the Bishop and Governor were with us, the desire was expressed by the Bishop, and evidently responded to by all parties, that you should resume your position as a Missionary of the Society. You declined to receive a retiring stipend offered to you by the Committee on a former occasion; but this present proposal, that you should resume your full position as a Missionary of the Society, is so far different that I earnestly hope you will see your way to its acceptance. The new order of things about to take place in New Zealand at once suggests that all past questions should be at an end, and, that as you were mainly instrumental, under God, in the establishment of the Mission, so you should assist in the great work of transferring Missionary operations into a settled ecclesiastical system. Be assured that if the Committee have in any respect misunderstood your actions or mis-stated facts it has been unintentional on their part, as they are most desirous of doing full justice to your character, and to the important services which you have rendered to the cause of Christ.
I am, my dear Mr. Archdeacon,
Very sincerely yours,
The resolution itself is a curious production. The imperfection of the wording is probably attributable to alterations by several amenders before being finally agreed to. But the substance is more faulty than the form. The Committee speak of "a question which may now be regarded as having passed away." What was that question? They speak of "obstacles providentially removed." What were those obstacles? the Committee are careful not to say. They fall back upon generalities to avoid confession of error.
RESOLUTION ENCLOSED IN MR. VENN'S LETTER, COMMITTEE MEETING, JULY 18, 1854.
Resolved: That adverting to the confidence which this Committee have ever felt and expressed in Archdeacon Henry Williams as a Christian Missionary, and their regret at his disconnexion with the Society upon a question which they understand may
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now be regarded as having passed away, rejoice to believe that every obstacle is providentially removed against the return of Archdeacon Henry Williams into full connexion with the Society, as one of its Missionaries, and they therefore gladly dismiss from their recollection all past events, and will rejoice to hear that Archdeacon Henry Williams, receiving this Resolution in the same spirit in which it is adopted, consents to return, and that all personal questions, on every side, are merged in one common object, of strengthening the cause of Christ in the Church of New Zealand.
Extracted from the minutes,
He did receive and accept the Resolution; but not, as expected, "in the same spirit in which it was adopted;" for that was a spirit of timidity, I had almost said, evasion. The Committee had feared to grapple with the question.
Henry Williams to the Reverend Henry Venn.
The Retreat, February 28, 1855.
Your letter of October 2nd, covering a Resolution of the Committee, of July 18, 1854, I received on the 2nd ultimo, with unexpected pleasure. In this communication I have to acknowledge the hand of a Righteous Judge. I must regret that the Committee allowed themselves to be carried away by vain speeches and unsound statements: these "having passed away," I have no desire to recall them.
About himself, he says no more. The rest of the letter concerns the position of his fellow-labourer Mr. Clarke, the Bishop's proposals for Church government, and the natives.
Thus does the eventful history of the "secret and confidential" despatch to Mr. Gladstone come at last to a close. All might have been spared by a frank and early acknowledgement of error; but neither the courage or the wisdom to do so were there. "There is much difference," says Chancellor Bacon, "between a cunning man and a wise man, not only in point of honesty, but in point of ability. There be that can pack the cards, yet cannot play well."
Archdeacon Henry Williams to Hugh Carleton.
January 3, 1855.
I forward to you the last act of Venn, which I suppose concludes the drama. A hard fought battle, and may stand among the important events of the day . . . . You will shew the
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papers to our friend Mr. Bartley. Your "Page" stands a record of their deeds, not to be forgotten. I believe the fear of that "Page" brought them to terms.
Though my confidence has ever been in the Righteous Judge of all, yet, I shall ever regard your untiring efforts as His means to accomplish His ends. The victory is complete.
Congratulations of course came pouring in, even from some of those who had once sided with the Bishop in the contest.
The Reverend G. A. Kissling to Archdeacon Henry Williams.
Auckland, January 19, 1855.
My dear Friend,--Whatever construction may be put on the motives which now induce me to write to you, I cannot help expressing my unfeigned joy at your return to our Missionary body, whom you used to head with so much honour and success, and whose cause never ceased to be uppermost in your mind. We read in history of a Roman soldier, who, in his retreat from the busy world, was content to occupy himself in rural pursuits of quietness and peace; but when the Empire was in peril, he quitted his plough, and placed himself in front of the army to repel the foe, and save his country. I, for one, welcome you most sincerely and warmly to your accustomed and merited post amongst the warriors of the Cross in this part of our Blessed Master's service. If ever we needed energy, wisdom, and union of action, it is at the present time, when we are almost overwhelmed by the evil spirits of luke-warmness, worldliness, drunkenness, and infidelity. Come, then, and join us at the Central Committee, that measures may be taken to meet this flood of iniquity, which rushes on our heritage with all its impurity and violence; and especially that provision may be made for the Northern District, where we are at present so exceedingly weak.
The Kaitaia Missionaries to Archdeacon Henry Williams.
Kaitaia, January 23, 1855.
Dear Mr. Archdeacon,--It is with pleasure that we learn that you have received a copy of a Resolution of the Church Mission Society, in which you are invited to return into full connexion with their Mission in this country. This we had expected, because we could not see how it could be otherwise when the affair should have been fairly discussed by the Parent Committee and the Bishop. To the Great Head of the Church we ascribe this renewed instance of His goodness towards you and Mrs. Williams, and to us all. We have never ceased to sympathise with you in your deep affliction, nor can we but be thankful for, and rejoice in this your deliverance, although it appears to us to be only what was due to you. We enclose a copy of a resolution we have ventured to record on the occasion, and we sincerely hope and
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pray that you may be led to see that it is your duty, for Christ's sake, to accept the invitation which the Church Mission Society, under the direction of Divine Providence, have thus made you.
And now we would offer you our sincere congratulations, under the consideration that the heavy affliction with which you have been visited by your disconnexion is thus brought to a correct and happy termination by your re-union. Praying that the Lord Jesus may bless you and Mrs. Williams with much of His sensible presence, and fill you with His grace and Heavenly benediction,
Your affectionate fellow-labourers in the Gospel,
W. G. PUCKEY.
EXTRACT FROM THE MINUTES OF HALF-YEARLY MEETING OF COMMITTEE, HELD AT KAITAIA, JANUARY 15, 1855.
Having learned with gratitude to the Great Head of the Church, who has the hearts of all men in His hands, and disposes and governs as seems best to His Godly Wisdom, that the Parent Committee has passed an unanimous Resolution to invite the Archdeacon Henry Williams to be re-united to their Mission in New Zealand--
Resolved: That the Committee record their thanks to the Committee of the Church Mission Society for having re-considered the Archdeacon's case, and thus, in the spirit of the Gospel, done justice to the character of the oldest member of their Mission, to one who was never backward to jeopard himself in the high places of the field; and would also congratulate the Archdeacon on having received the invitation, and hope he will receive it in the spirit in which it has been given.
Henry Williams to the Reverend E. G. Marsh.
Pakaraka, February 28, 1855.
This year commenced with the news of the surrender of "Salisbury Castle " and the capture of Sebastopol. These were exciting particulars and unexpected, but, I confess, much more so to others than to myself. In the former I perceive a signal display of the finger of God, and, with Simeon of old, I would exclaim, "Lord, now lettest Thou thy servant depart in peace, for mine eyes have seen Thy Salvation." The conflict has been severe, and I now consider my work well nigh ended. The letter and resolution received, I presume, is merely the duplicate. The original is believed to have been in the "Polar Star," of which ship we have no tidings, therefore no intelligence, beyond that conveyed in the above papers. The high tone assumed by you in your letter of
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August 7, 1854, is gratifying, and has been carefully considered. William came up from Auckland to fetch me, having arrived there to attend the Central Committee. I should not have moved, but for the wording of Mr. Venn's letter. The resolution might have been more nobly expressed . . . . I feel it to be my duty to meet the Committee where there is no sacrifice of principle; I have not shifted my position taken in 1847: this is a singular fact.
Mention has been already made of the church built at Pakaraka for the Archdeacon's ministration. That being completed, the next thing was to build him a house to live in. The estate had been already brought to a high pitch of cultivation by the sons, and was in fact a model farm; even landscape gardening being not forgotten. Nothing was spared upon the house, and the old folk found themselves in comfort at last, their sons within easy hail.
For the pleasure of English relatives, the photographer has been called to aid, 5 and, by way of contrast, a copy of a pencil sketch, made by Mrs. Williams, of the primitively built house in which the family dwelt, for many years after arrival, at Paihia.
When Governor Grey went home, at the close of 1853, Colonel Wynyard, as Commander of the Forces, became Acting Governor. He was superseded by Colonel Gore Browne, sent out hurriedly by the Home Government, which had taken alarm at the astonishing policy propounded by Governor Wynyard in the speech with which he opened the second session of the New Zealand Assembly. 6
Colonel Browne was a loyal English gentleman, but so jealous for the honour of the Crown, that he seemed to think he wore it under his own hat; not treating the Maori as children, to be corrected in good humour, but resenting affronts as if offered by a great European power, placing the credit of England, always impaired by little wars, at stake. Deservedly popular, from first
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THE OLD MISSION-HOUSE, PAIHIA
Drawn by Mrs. Williams.]
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to last, even among those who felt it their duty to oppose his native policy, he left New Zealand for another Government amid unmistakeable marks of goodwill. The demonstration was real;-- not always the case. All governors have partisans, whom no one cares to hinder in the setting up of triumphal arches, if they be content to pay for them.
In a former page attention was drawn to the value of the work (considered as a means of civilization) done by the sons of Missionaries, settled down upon and cultivating their own lands, employing Maori labour, making themselves one with the people, and teaching the proprieties of life by example. It was a short-sighted policy that strove to tear them from the soil where they had taken root. And this is made clear by contrasting the endurance of Church of England work with that of the Wesleyans, The Wesleyans, by the rules of their connexion, are not permitted to settle. From time to time, a Wesleyan minister is removed; sent to another district. His own personal influence is lost, for he leaves none behind to maintain it. There may be good reason for the difference of practice; but the result is undoubtedly as stated in the following letter.
Henry Williams to the Reverend E. G. Marsh.
Pakaraka, June 4, 1855.
The Wesleyans have made material changes in their Mission; they have withdrawn altogether North of Auckland, excepting one person on the Western Coast. On the removal of the Wesleyan families, the natives remarked the contrast between them and our men, in the establishment of our families amongst them as a real part of the community, having struck root, flourishing and extending; while the Wesleyans leave not a vestige behind to shew they ever were on the spot. On the death of Mr. King, his son John stands in his place, holding Sabbath duties, and giving general advice and assistance to the people. Since my removal from Paihia, one of my sons has acted there in the same way, and is now about to erect a church by subscription; the old one, the first in the country, having fallen to decay. At Pakaraka, before I came, the same was observed; and at the Waimate, Edward has had for half his time to take the services. You have heard much of the vast extent of the land purchased by me in behalf of my family, and the expression of feeling arising out of the same, as
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sounding large in English ears. You may perhaps be surprised at my stating that these young men have, within the last four years, purchased 4,000 acres in addition, and are in the act of purchasing more, finding it needful for their operations. They have made one large purchase from the Government of their own land, which had been appropriated by the Government.
The land-purchase troubles, induced by faulty system, were now coming on in earnest. The Government, having enjoyed the monopoly of purchase for years, could no longer shift the blame from themselves to the old settlers. This is no place for questions that savour of political controversy; but it is allowable to state, as a matter of history, that all serious disturbance that has taken place, concerning land, has arisen from Government purchases, and not from private purchases made by settlers before the foundation of the Colony. When a settler made a bargain for land, he knew right well that unless he made it properly, to the satisfaction of all, he had neither a chance of being allowed to occupy, or of getting his purchase money back again. He also knew that if the bargain were correct, it would never be disputed. He was at the mercy of the sellers, who, holding the law in their own hands, had no cause for the creation of disturbance. But the Government, whether the Government bargain were good or bad, had the means of putting pressure on the sellers. The Government could employ what the French lawyers call force majeure, unless when they were beaten by the Maori in fair fight. And, what was called "The Government brokerage,"--the difference between buying the land for pence, and selling it for pounds, was always a sore point with the natives. They were not so learned in political economy as to perceive that they were being specially taxed; but they did see clearly that they were not getting value for what they sold.
Henry Williams to the Reverend E. G. Marsh.
Pakaraka, November 6, 1855.
Much excitement is created by the purchase of land by Government agents, causing many disputes and blood-shed amongst the tribes in some districts, bringing confusion and every evil upon the country. In this the Bishop has in my opinion
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unnecessarily involved himself by his gratuitous interference, for which he has been painfully abused by many, and unthanked by all. 7 The affair is strictly one created by the Government, and should be left in their hands. The poor man has been seriously repulsed for interfering in matters in which he was not concerned; a sad failing of his. He is fond of politics, bustle, and noise. It is remarkable that no dispute has at any time arisen owing to private purchase of land, as asserted by Governor Grey, from the foundation of the Colony; but several by the untoward acts of Government: this ought to be borne in mind.
The Bishop wrote a kind letter to me on his arrival, in reply to one from me. I have been desirous to commence a Church Endowment Fund with the principal settlements in the Northern Division. As yet no provision is made for continuing the attendance of a clergyman when the present men shall be removed. The English families have never paid anything towards the support of a clergyman, or the expense of any repairs of the church. I fear the parties most interested will not respond, they have been so long accustomed to have their wants supplied gratis. Should this be the case, we shall confine ourselves to the establishment of Pakaraka. But every church throughout the Island is on a most objectionable footing, or rather no footing at all: the consequence therefore you must infer.
I am glad you approve of my receiving the Resolution of July, 1854. They might have expressed themselves with more grace. It is hard for them to admit an error in their proceedings . . . . The fondness of the natives for spirit drinking, puzzles all who give it consideration. It is a new acquisition on their part; but there are persons who would gladly poison the whole race, that they might possess the land without fear. This feeling has been of long standing. The natives are not naturally fond of indulging in intemperance, but they are in possession of money, and these vendors of spirits must possess themselves of it by any means, and of course do all in their power to oppose a better feeling. You enquire after our new Governor,--as to his views. I have not yet seen him, but the general opinion formed is most favourable; his wife also is most highly spoken of. We therefore hope that there will be a considerable improvement in the country, in the formation of the new constitution, which will be more corresponding with that of the mother country. But I take no part in politics, and hinder as far as I can any of the clergy from turning aside from their ministerial course.
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Paihia, the Archdeacon's original camping ground, his home for four and twenty years, had fallen into decay after his retreat to Pakaraka. Desirous to renovate a station endeared by so many associations, he proposed, either to purchase it from the Society, at its value, or to take it in quittance of back pay, due for the period of his separation from the Church Mission Society by a resolution which had to be afterwards overruled. Paihia had been acquired for about £20. 8 He would have acted more prudently had he bought it for himself at the outset, so as to retain the command; for the Society not only declined to sell, but also refused to acknowledge liability for arrears, though under offer of such easy composition.
The Archdeacon's sons exerted themselves towards the restoration of order, and were enabled, partly by personal contribution and partly by collection, to rebuild the ruined Church.
Henry Williams to the Reverend E. G. Marsh.
April 12, 1856.
You say "we are anxious now to learn whether you are at Pakaraka, or returned to Paihia; and in particular what district you regard as your especial province and field of action." We have not returned to Paihia for obvious reasons, and no one has proposed that we should do so; neither the Church Mission Society, the Bishop, or the Local Committee, though my district is the same as formerly. I have never ceased to attend to the duties of former days, excepting the distant bush visits, which my strength will not admit of. My old house is in a serious state of dilapidation, being constructed of perishable materials, and having far exceeded the time allowed for such buildings to stand. The chapel, the first erected in New Zealand, is in ruins from the same cause,--old age. In 1855, I called the attention of the Central Committee to its state, and requested £100, to be granted towards a new one: this was refused, but the sum of £45 from rents on the place was allowed. A church at the cost of nearly £300 has been put up by the efforts of my sons. I mention this to shew that if the house of prayer be allowed to fall to decay, I cannot look for aid to the repair of my old house. I cannot repair the house myself, or re-build it, nor will they; so I am at a stand in this respect. Besides, the expense of my removal from the Bay was very serious, which, taken with the erection of my
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present abode, I estimate at £1,000, owing to the high wages of workmen. I therefore see no means of my returning with the family, unless the Committee in London should either sell me the wreck as it now stands, with not less than five acres of land, or make me a present of the same. I must therefore content myself with running from place to place; but as the Bishop is expected in three weeks, we may probably have some conversation on the subject. My field of action is round the Bay; the natives on one side meet me at Kororareka, from some distance, for the communion once a quarter; and on the other side at Paihia, for the same duty once a quarter, besides attending to those in connexion with this place.
Henry Williams to the Reverend E. G. Marsh.
Pakaraka, June 2, 1856.
The Bishop has recently left us, after a shorter visit than was anticipated; he came to hold confirmations at Paihia, Waimate, and Kororareka. The weather was very bad, owing to the first fall of rain on the commencement of winter, and his arrival being delayed by two days owing to calms, he was obliged to hurry over the ground much more rapidly than I consider desirable upon such occasions, for no Europeans in the Bay saw him beyond ourselves, consequently could not hold that communication which was absolutely necessary. My conversation on matters of business did not exceed ten minutes, though I had many things to speak of . . . . The Bishop and Mrs. Selwyn, who accompanied him, made themselves very agreeable; they appeared determined to be pleased with everything. The examination of the candidates for confirmation, was particularly interesting. The Bishop, as he well knows how, beautifully explained many important passages of Scripture. The service was held in our new small church [Paihia], which had been opened on the previous Sunday. The original place of worship, the first in New Zealand, being in ruins, this building has been put up by the exertion of my son Henry at an expense of £300, the Church Mission Society allowing £45, collected from rents on the spot. The Bishop, in proceeding from Paihia after the morning service, in the rain to the Waimate, a road he had often gone before, lost his way in the dark, the horse taking him to Pakaraka, where he was received and entertained by our sons John and Joseph. His chaplain, Mr. Patteson, 9 was with him. He spoke to us in very handsome terms of Samuel and his work at the Southern part of Hawke's Bay: a contrast this to the terms expressed by Mr. Venn, because not engaged in England, though saving thereby much expense to the Society and prepared for immediate work in a thorough knowledge of the
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language. Had not his heart been deeply in his work he would have withdrawn from them, as he was recommended to do. From the Bay the Bishop passed on to Kaitaia, in the North, in his vessel; thence to Sydney and the Islands on his Mission, with the intention of being back in Auckland by the latter end of August, to hold ordinations, when Leonard is to be admitted to priest's orders. The Bishop, in common with many others, appeared dissatisfied with the proceedings, generally, of the Church Mission Society in New Zealand. He observed that they had certain pets, men who might do anything; while others, let them do whatever they might, were sure to be misunderstood and a wrong construction put upon their proceedings. I think the members of the Mission are disposed to hold their peace and let matters go as they may. People are now getting old, and must satisfy themselves with discharging the duties of the day in its day. I am of opinion that the Bishop was placed by the Church Mission Society in a false position with the Mission from the beginning; he does not now attend any meeting, and, had he not at any time, it had been better for all. There has been a meeting in Auckland of church members, but nothing done. 10 Seeing that the support of the church is soon likely to fail with the existence of those, who are now officiating in this district, I have been urging the necessity of a general effort to raise an Endowment Fund, which may be ad led to from year to year. At two places a commencement has been made, and I have great hopes as to the result. I do not include Pakaraka. Here, a good foundation is laid, commenced more than twenty years since; the members of my family will look out to provide for this place.
Mrs. Williams to Mrs. Marsh.
Pakaraka, June 4, 1856.
We have lately returned from our visit to the Bay, whither we went altogether, upon the important and delightful occasion of the opening of the new church at Paihia . . . .
On Whit-Sunday it was opened, crowded with natives from the Kawakawa and different villages. Twenty-two were baptised; there were eighty-four communicants; six children baptised in the evening. The collections at the morning native service and the afternoon English service amounted to £58 19s. 6d., since made up to £60 :--of this £32 was from the natives. I cannot tell you how gratifying the whole services were. It was the intention of the Bishop to have been present; he sailed from Auckland on the Friday, but was detained by wind, or rather
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calms, till the Wednesday. On Thursday the confirmation took place at Paihia; equally gratifying; 48 natives confirmed. Nothing could exceed the kind and friendly manner of both the Bishop and Mrs. Selwyn; he, with Mr. Patteson, dined twice, and she once with us in the old house. They admired the church, expressed great gratification at the revival amongst the natives, and that there was so much good left in these trying times. They took a great deal of notice of our six grand-children, and were very kind to our sons and daughters, and several times exclaimed how glad they were "to see this house full of Williamses again." I tried to forget all that was passed. Our children had made the old house as neat as possible, though the leaky roof made a large tin dish indispensible in the room in which we dined to catch the water after every shower.
Henry Williams to the Reverend E. G. Marsh.
Paihia, October 28, 1857.
Our months roll rapidly along, and I feel the time of the end is drawing nigh, as regards Marianne and myself. I presume, therefore, it must be the same with you and Lydia. We must soon deliver up our account, and make way for another generation. "The place which now knoweth us, shall soon know us no more for ever." We appear to write from time to time with little interruption, as a matter of course, and are apt to regard the future as more certain than it is; at least, I find it necessary to call to remembrance, and that daily, how frail our nature is. I am thankful to say I have long since set my house in order; my temporal affairs have been long arranged, and on these subjects I have no care or concern. Our Heavenly Father has been most bountiful and has highly favoured us, though some have frowned. I have the happiness of seeing all the members of my family walking in the fear of the Lord. They have been greatly blessed, and free from anxious desires after this world's goods; they are highly esteemed by the natives around for their probity, and regarded as one with them. This to us is very gratifying, though some have desired to make it otherwise appear.
We have had much pleasure in seeing notice of the Patagonian Mission in various papers; we hope to see it rank with other Missions. The Memoir of Captain Gardiner we have received from Elizabeth; it is very interesting and shews how greatly his heart was set on his work. We wish to hear all you may have to communicate on the subject. I shall hope to send you something by way of contribution at the commencement of the year. There are many who like to hear of the progress of this work, but, I am sorry to say, their interest does not allow them to go beyond this. You are aware that our Mission is not what it once was, when the tribes used to say,-- "O! come, let us sing
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unto the Lord, let us make a joyful noise to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto Him with psalms." This was the song of former days, but the whole scene has changed; much mischief has sprung up under the assumed term of civilization, and totally altered the face of the country, yet are there many bright spots and eminent examples. It is remarkable that where the gospel was first planted there it still exists, and those who first embraced Christianity still maintain their ground. As an evidence of vitality there is not a Prayer-book to be procured, all having been bought up long since, while applications are daily made, which cannot be met. The congregations in connexion with Paihia are good. On Sunday last I administered the Communion to ninety-eight persons: this is only one side of the Bay. But the aborigines are exposed to awful snares. We have just heard that a young chief of note, when over at Kororareka, was entertained freely at one of the grog-shops, and became noisy. A policeman gave him a blow on his head with his staff. He immediately sprang upon his antagonist and struck him with his hatchet on his jaw and disabled him. A second policeman came up; he also received a blow, which brought him down, when a third attempted, but shared the same fate. This may lead to something serious. The young chief walked off, and returned to his own place, the police unable to secure him. Such is civilization amongst the natives, while he who is the cause of this mischief escapes even censure. You are aware of our Church constitution in progress, not yet determined. I consider it better than that in contemplation for Sydney and some other places. That something must be concluded upon is evident for want of funds, and nothing can be entered upon until that be finally settled. The laity will not come forward unless they have their voice in the matter. The next Synod will conclude the question. The endowment of Pakaraka has been much discussed by our young people. The Bishop would like to possess, but the property is vested in trustees, who have not the power to alienate it to others. This was settled in the memorable year 47, never to be forgotten. Of the long-discussed land question, this is the conclusion,--a fresh commission has sat, when the Government has given my young people more than a thousand acres, over and above the amount originally awarded as a set-off for expense of survey and roads. My young men have themselves purchased four or five thousand acres from the Government, in addition to what they had from me, shewing the great folly and wickedness of the great outcry . . . . We have received a reply to my application for the cession of the old site of the Paihia settlement, a contracted spot, and on which stands alone my old house, in the last stage of consumption. This ground did
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not originally cost to the Society £20. The question was, whether a ministry should be continued or not continued to the people around. I therefore undertook to make this arrangement, having set apart nine hundred acres for purposes of endowment. Had I not raised the question the place would have become extinct, and may still do so after my decease.
The following letter relates to the series of meetings in which the clergy and the laity were brought together by the Bishop to consult about the establishment of regular church government in New Zealand. The subject was one of extreme difficulty, because of the many complications, and of the state of the law, which was only now being discovered through certain late judgments delivered by the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. The laymen who attended were few in number, but painstaking in consideration, and, for the most part, of a fine conservative temperament. And they did insist upon modifying very much the Bishop's original scheme. He has been foolishly accused of Puseyism or Ritualism, by some who are in utter ignorance of his views; but his real tendency was in a very different direction. His leaning was understood to be towards reestablishment of the discipline of the primitive church, without making allowance enough for change of circumstance. He would have made the Church of England a close borough, to which formal admittance, under rules prescribed, would be required; the laymen, on the other hand, held that every baptized Englishman enjoyed church-membership as a matter of course and right, until he should think fit to declare dissent. The Bishop would have organised congregations of Pharisees; 11 the laymen would take in publicans and sinners. The Bishop would have organised Courts, wherein laymen should sit in judgment on each others sins:--a dream, and nothing else, as regards mother-church, comprising men of all classes, from high to low. 12 The laymen, while not impugning the Bishop's right
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to excommunicate, shewed no desire towards becoming parties to that transaction themselves. 13 The Bishop, in fine, sought to lessen the dependence on mother-church; the laymen to be at one with her.
This is no place to enumerate the several points of difference; suffice it to say that the Bishop, seeing no eagerness on the part of the laity, but, on the contrary, much quiet and thoughtful criticism, gave way upon every main point of difference, gracefully enough. But failure of cherished schemes had changed him much. He was bent upon carrying something, and, by gentle management, he did. A scheme of fair working promise (if allowance be made for one danger not yet past), with little to take exception to was the result. But the express understanding with the laymen was, that the title of the church should be,-- "The Church of England in New Zealand," and not the "Branch Church of England." The difference is in substance, and not in form.
Hitherto, the church constitution has been a practical success. It is to be hoped that it may remain so. But there has been only a fair-weather voyage as yet, and there are breakers ahead. Whether the good barque will weather them, remains to be seen. 14
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Henry Williams to the Reverend E. G. Marsh.
Bay of Islands, May 1, 1857.
I wrote last on my projected visit for Auckland, to meet the Ecclesiastical Dons on the church constitution, when the Bishop of Christchurch, the Bishop designate of Wellington, my venerable son-in-law, and the various Archdeacons, with some few laymen, were to meet to frame certain regulations, to bring before the members of the church for the better ordering thereof, as also for temporal support, there being little or no endowment, consequently depending upon the voluntary system. I was the only one who faithfully attended the day of call. I met the Bishop who was very friendly, and though there was a positive delay of a month, there being no vessel before that date, he was desirous that I should remain. I told him I should be greyheaded to be so long off my own ground, unless there were any especial duty requiring my absence. I therefore returned home, with directions to appear in a month from my leaving Auckland . . .
The church constitution occupies much attention in certain quarters; I hope it will increase in interest, as I consider something of the kind is required to bind the members together. All other denominations have their laws and regulations, which are binding, and though much is said of the laws of the Church of England, yet it appears that the church clergy are the most exposed and the worst supported. The people are surprised at the idea of the Bishop relinquishing those powers he has hitherto possessed, for no one else has offered an opinion on church matters. They fear some trap may be concealed amongst the fern. 15 They may be right to be careful, but I see nothing to apprehend. It is evident something must be done, or we shall come to a stand. The Bishop is already so, not having anything but what he receives from the Church Mission Society; there are no funds, and the people will not act unless they have a full voice in the matter. The Bishop having been tossed overboard, of course all must expect to follow, if left to the tender mercies of the Government. If the people are to be expected to support their Bishop the nomination must be ceded to them, otherwise the cry will go forth, "to your tents O Israel," and not even the form left with us. I am thankful I have been enabled to arrange for the support of a church at Pakaraka, and could wish to do the same for Paihia, with especial reference to the support of a stated ministry for the aborigines of the Bay. I do not perceive
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any provision for the keeping up of the Maori Church, and as the Church Mission Society have property, it should be appropriated exclusively for the aborigines. It was first purchased for their benefit, and I see no other provision for them. My sons wish to do something for them, they being part and parcel with them by birth. You well remember the uproar made first and last, upon the very grave question,--"the extravagant extent of the Missionary land claims." This now-a-days is laughed at as a "great piece of humbug," to answer a certain object for a season; and it did answer Grey's purpose. By the Colonial law, Government country lands are sold at 5s. per acre, the pick of the land at 10s. per acre; grass land with liberty to purchase any portion at 10s. per acre. Our nephew, James, has taken 10,000 acres of land for the rent of £10, 16 close by Samuel. If nothing else were required to shew the character of the persecution to which I was exposed this is sufficient. This regulation was by Grey's order. James has now a flock of sheep upon his land and must go ahead.
Henry Williams to the Reverend E. G. Marsh.
Bay of Islands, July 3, 1857.
On the 15th May I left the Bay for Auckland to attend the Synod, with the hope of meeting the members from the Southern Settlements. On our arrival we learnt that all had arrived except William.
On the following morning a vessel was reported standing to the anchorage, from the East Coast. John soon descried his aunt on board and went to fetch them to breakfast. John was not known by his uncle and aunt, he wearing a beard according to the fashion of the day. William and I made our appearance at St. Stephen's chapel, where the Synod met, and took our seats. All were very kind, and we were much pleased with the benevolent countenance of the Bishop of Christchurch. Our work occupied more than five weeks, when we concluded, if not to universal, to general satisfaction. I hope something has been accomplished towards the formation of a church in New Zealand, which can scarcely be said to have been the case till now. All has been disorder; the Bishop overboard, and no one disposed to cast him a rope to catch hold of; the clergy, depending on the voluntary system or a weekly contribution, which is extremely bad. The Wesleyans and dissenters generally have their laws and regulations, and are well supported; but the Church of England has stood alone, a specimen of confusion and disunion, which is painfully set forth in the state of affairs at home. It has been resolved to hold the next meeting in about six months hence, at Wellington, with more
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numerous attendance, to confirm the past proceedings. I am doubtful whether I shall attend; I am becoming old, and my voice failing, warning me to be quiet and give place to younger men.
The next event of historical interest is the setting up of the fallen flag-staff at Maiki by the natives themselves, in honour of Governor Gore Browne. The Colony was just now enjoying a golden time. The Governor had conceded Parliamentary government, consenting to be guided by the advice of his ministers in all but native affairs, the management of which he retained in his own hands; a Commons House of exceptionally high order had been returned; and, after a couple of failures, soon disposed of, had rallied round the best and strongest ministry the Colony has known. 17 Conservative in temper; economical administrators; not seeking to forestall the resources of the country, but content to keep pace with their steady expansion; too strong to need resort to sensational schemes for the mere purpose of retaining a majority in the House; too proud to subserve the passions of the mob; and bent upon doing what had never yet been done--something substantial towards the advancement of their native fellow subjects. 18
The ending of the Northern war, against Heke and Kawiti, had been not a success, but a surrender. Heke fought against the flag-staff, and that alone. The fighting might have been brought to an end, at any time, by suffering the staff to lay where it fell. Governor FitzRoy could have done that, as easily as his successor. Lacking force to defend it (and the experience of the last war, when we had ten thousand troops in the country, shews how large a force was required), Governor FitzRoy ought to have done so. But he would never have suffered credit to be taken for success.
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Governor Grey acted more prudently. He did not stand upon a conventional point of honour with savages; he gave way to a prejudice which was not to be overcome. The position may have been somewhat undignified, but escape was easy. It was enough to assign a cause for the war, other than the flag-staff. To lay the blame on Governor FitzRoy's grants would serve the double purpose of diverting attention from the prostrate flag-staff, and of winning favour from the powerful New Zealand Company.
A letter from the Archdeacon puts the question of success in a very plain light.
Archdeacon Henry Williams to Hugh Carleton.
Kororareka, March 13, 1854.
I am in the Bay waiting for a wind to carry me to the North; to Kaitaia; I fear therefore there may be some delay in my reply to your queries, which I hope to do in a few days.
But you say, "Grey will go upon Kawiti's submission as a proof of victory." I ask you in what form was Kawiti's submission? and to what and when did it take place? This is new to me, as also to Kawiti. Compare Kawiti's letter to Governor FitzRoy with the proclamation of Grey, immediately on Grey's return to Auckland, after Te Ruapekapeka was upset, or before peace was made, that all parties were to return to their own places, keeping in mind that the bone of contention was the flag-staff. Nothing was demanded from the chiefs in arms; nothing was given; but Kawiti demanded in his letter that if peace were made, it should be made with respect to the land. 19 This was acceded to by Grey, and the flag-staff has remained prostrate to this day, though several attempts have been made to re-erect it. Captain Stanley was applied to replace it; he consented to do so immediately, but asked,--who would take care of it. Major Bridge declared it would take a thousand men to keep it in its place. Why? the natives had gained their point, and to this day laugh at the idea of submission. Peace was made with the natives on the understanding that each should let the other alone, and the demands of Kawiti having been complied with by Grey, where is the evidence of Kawiti's submission? Rather, does not the evidence shew Grey's submission to Kawiti? The war was a perfect farce, both in the North and in the South.
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The point having been gained, the feeling died away. Not that the natives would have suffered us to re-erect the staff; but there was no longer cause why they should not do it themselves. They had got over the scare caused by the memorable thirteenth chapter of Lord Grey's "Instructions," which had died a natural death; they knew by this time 20 that their lands were safe; and the doing themselves what we were not suffered to do might be construed into an additional triumph.
But there were other causes at work.
For years, the rebel chiefs had stood aloof, and had been left so. The friendly tribes were reaping a good harvest from their free intercourse with the settlers, and the rebels by degrees awoke to the conviction that pride was a barren pleasure. They were in want of money. The troops had departed, only to be wished back again; for with them was lost the market for Maori produce. Money was still to be had by sale of land, but to effect a sale it was necessary to be on an amicable footing with the Government.
By the death of old Kawiti, an opening was afforded to his son, untrammelled by the past.
By Maori custom, the old policy may be buried with the old chief; his successor being free to adopt a new one. When he comes into power, he naturally feels a desire to distinguish himself; and it is customary to give him a fair trial, allowing him to carry out his policy till it should be seen what becomes of it.
Marsh Brown Kawiti, the young chief, had been a teacher in the backwoods at Mangakahia. When brought to the front, he consulted with several members of the Mission, what new course to strike out. 21 He was advised, and consented, to abandon the feud with the Pakeha. He first came forth as a supporter of the law and the gospel,--the ture and whakapono. Then as a pledge of earnestness he determined to replace the flag-staff.
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Amid great pomp and rejoicing, the Queen's flag was spread again to the breeze. It was named, Whakakotahitanga,--"being at one with the Queen." The next step was to turn the act to practical account. Marsh Brown asked the Government to give him a township, for which he offered a block of land, at the junction of the Karetu and Kawakawa rivers. Then, he offered for sale a large block of land, containing coal. The negotiations with the Government were conducted through Wikiriwhi, Marsh Brown's uncle, the chief being considered too great a man to attend to so small a matter. While negotiations were pending, Wikiriwhi died; said to have been makatu-ed (bewitched) by Whaka-ariki, a Kawakawa man of no great note. Upon this, a runanga was held by Marsh, where the wizard was condemned to death. Three men were told off, who shot him in his bed.
This affair left the advocate of "law and order" again under a cloud, for some three or four years. But no notice was taken by the Government, and recollection passed away. The negotiations for purchase were then renewed, and completed at Pakaraka, by Superintendent Graham. Thus was the Bay of Islands coal mine acquired.
The following account is one of the series of the Archdeacon's "Reminiscences."
THE RESTORATION OF THE FLAG-STAFF AT KORORAREKA, 1858.
Since the fate of the flag-staff, in 1845, a strong desire had been expressed at various times for its restoration by Governor Grey, who applied to Captain Stanley, of H.M.S. "Calliope," to put one up. Captain Stanley replied "I can very soon have one up, but who will take care of it? Major Bridge, in charge at the Bay, declined, unless with a force of 1,000 men.
At the first agitation of the Maori King movement, deputation after deputation, from Taranaki and Waikato, came up to Ngapuhi to excite them to join the common cause. The chief man to whom these deputations were addressed was Maihi Paraone Kawiti, son of Kawiti, a leader and ally of Heke's in the war of 1845-6.
No encouragement was given to these deputations, and finally those tribes who had been implicated in the fall of the flag-staff in 1845 replied--"they had no desire for a "Maori Kingi." "Kuini Wikitoria" was their "Kingi," and as an evidence of the sincerity
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of their feeling towards the Government, immediately decided to restore the flag-staff, and arranged how the work should be accomplished by a division of strength to drag out a noble spar from the forest, and to make a large collection of food for the parties engaged.
This was carried into effect towards the close of 1857; the staff was erected in January 1858, at the entire expense of the natives, having been dressed on Kororareka beach and carried up the hill by a body of about four hundred men. This flag-staff has never since been disturbed.
It has been said that the restoration of the flag-staff was one of the stipulations with Heke and Kawiti when peace was made in 1846. The contrary would be more correct: on the part of the natives the stipulation was, that the flag-staff should not be erected, and it remained prostrate from 1845 to 1858.
The restoration of the flag-staff was a voluntary act on the part of the tribes who had cut it down, March 11th, 1845, and they would not allow any other 22 to render any assistance in this work.
The Archdeacon, no longer able, for advancing years, to undertake the long journeys of olden time on foot, had built at his own cost a small vessel, by means of which he was able to keep up his Native communications coastwise. A letter to the Bishop describes one of his journeys.
Archdeacon Henry Williams to Bishop Selwyn.
April, 23, 1859.
I wrote to your Lordship by my son Henry to excuse my attendance at the Synod, owing to age and infirmity. I feel that my time has been gained to the people upon whom I have been permitted to call.
My little vessel, which I have commissioned for the purpose of visiting the people has answered my fullest expectation. My first voyage was South of the Bay to Whananake, Tutukaka, and Whangaruru. My reception was most gratifying, all the people assembled to meet me, and were eager for books, for which they payed the usual price. I was solicited to visit other places, Aotea &c, &c, but my arrangements would not admit of this.
I have recently returned from Kaitaia, Mangonui, and Whangaroa. At the former place I met 240 communicants and a large force of teachers. It is gratifying to see so large an assemblage. Yet it is attended with inconvenience and certain objections; there is too much hurry, which I do not approve of, besides subjecting them to
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huddle together, which must be adverse to a correct christian feeling of propriety; their conduct however was quiet and proper. I should prefer smaller assemblies, and at their own places, when they would be better known and looked after. I was solicited to go to Parengarenga, near the North Cape, but could not afford the time.
I passed one Sunday at Mangonui and one at Whangaroa. I should have preferred two Sundays at each place, as I could not see both Natives and Europeans to satisfaction. I administered the Lord's supper at four important places, and admitted to baptism many adults and children.
The natives at all the places I called at, except those at Kaitaia, were greatly abroad, though very anxious for knowledge and to be brought into regular order. They are looking forward with interest for my return in the spring, which I hope to accomplish.
When at Whangaroa, my old friend Ururoa, the chief of the place, came forward for baptism, and finding him further advanced than I had anticipated, I admitted him to that rite.
My visit at each place was attended with both pleasure and pain; pleasure at witnessing so promising a field prepared for culture, pain at the idea of these tribes being left to the spoil of the enemy, having no regular shepherd in charge.
There is one ruinous evil which has been introduced by designing Europeans under the head of "Nama" [obtaining goods on credit], by which whole tribes are involved in debt, and thus continue in bondage year after year. I am of opinion that a law ought to be enacted prohibiting the recovery of such debts, regarding the natives as minors; otherwise they may never be able to extricate themselves; consequently ruined so long as such "Nama" exists. I found many chiefs lamenting their state, only now feeling the evil consequences of this "Nama."
Henry Williams to the Reverend E. G. Marsh.
Paihia, Bay of Islands,
April 23, 1859.
The general Synod is now sitting. I have two sons in attendance, Samuel and Henry, with William. I therefore felt it to be unnecessary, that I should thus absent myself from my duties amongst the people; considering also my infirmities, which increase with my days. I must work while I have the opportunity. I have occupied my time fully in visiting the people on the coast in my little vessel, and have never had a more agreeable season amongst the people. I had a most hearty welcome wherever I went; they assembled from all quarters to meet me at every place, and many whom I had regarded as perfectly insensible, hardened in sin, I found full of interesting enquiry.
My son-in-law Davies is at length disconnected from the Church Missionary Society; the plea given--"unable to enter upon active
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duties," i.e., to undertake rough work through the bush, though within the precincts of Paihia he is in full occupation. His complaint is in the heart, and the frigid terms of the resolution bidding him depart seriously affected him. For some days we have been obliged to patch him up. As he is a medical man, he will practice for salt for his porridge. There is no member of the mission more beloved by the people than he is.
William [Archdeacon William Williams] was admitted to the Bench on Sunday, the 3rd, but as yet we have no particulars. As Bishop Selwyn is now relieved from many cares, I hope he will be content to remain more closely to his own work. He has many good qualities, but not quite perfect. We hear of another bishop nominated for the Islands, a young man, who came with the Bishop on his return to this country, Mr Patteson.
Colonial politics have been avoided in this Memoir, unless where inseparable from the subject. But political questions, however hotly disputed for a while, subside into matters of history.
The question of the great New Zealand war is one of these. Fiercely advocated and as fiercely denounced at the outset, there are scarcely two opinions on it now. Those who were branded as disloyal for opposing it have now the satisfaction--whatever that be worth--of knowing that "public opinion" has veered round. 23
It is over; quenched at enormous cost; but the collateral evils induced are permanent. It unsteadied the Colony; inducing that spirit of restlessness which refuses to be satisfied with any but sensational legislation; intensifying the bitterness of those party animosities that are the curse of the Australian settlements, and bringing demagogues to the front who would never have been heard of in quiet times.
Even the story of the war is yet unknown to the many. It ought to be told from a Maori point of view; but, as in the fable, lions are not painters.
It has been already mentioned that when Colonel Gore Browne took office, he conceded parliamentary government to the colonists, but retained in his own hands the management of native affairs, as
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being of more directly imperial interest:--that is to say, he chose his own advisers, instead of having them chosen for him, as in all other matters, by the House. 24
Now there were two "native policies," differing essentially, but each with influential supporters, from which to choose. The object of one was to continue the privileges of the Native Land-purchase Office, by maintaining the Crown's preemptive right; of the other, to "enfranchise native lands;" permitting the Maori to obtain the market value of his property, which the Crown, holding the monopoly of purchase, did not give. 25
With this object it was proposed to create a Native Land Court, for the purpose of determining disputes, and establishing the right owners of land. Crown grants were then to be issued, wherever the tribe would consent to abandon the common tenure 26 and individualise the land; thus placing the natives on an equality, in the matter of conveyance, with his European fellow subject.
Governor Browne, as a new comer, not unnaturally took things very much as he found them. He gave his confidence to the Native Land Purchase Office. 27 Government purchasing went on as before, too often taking advantage of native disputes, until they culminated in the ill-omened negotiations for sale at Waitara. 28
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An individual native, Te Teira, who had quarrelled with his chief, Te Rangitake, better known as William King, offered to sell, as if in his own right, a block of land without consent of the tribe. But nothing can be more clearly established than this,--that no native had an absolute right over any land whatever. He had his part in the common right; also, where he had cultivated, an usufructuary right, but nothing more. 29
Many other questions were raised; even the usufructuary right over the whole of the land sold by Teira was disputed; but these are all subordinate to the one main question--whether the Government were justified in buying of an individual in defiance of the common right of others. But this, beyond which it is not worth while to travel, has been studiously overlaid with verbiage. 30
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Had the Native Land Court been already constituted, all these matters would there have been tried and settled by law. But there was no tribunal before which Te Rangitake would bring the case. It had to be tried by the Governor; and a contemptuous gesture, wounding his susceptibility for the honour of the Crown, did not improve the native chance. The Governor sat as Judge in his own cause. 31 Those who hindered the constitution of a Native Lands Court, are in the first degree guilty of the New Zealand war.
So plausible an account of the proceedings was given in the official papers, that many were led away who afterwards retraced their steps; but Henry Williams saw through all from the first.
Henry Williams to the Reverend E. G. Marsh.
Bay of Islands, May 1, 1860. There appears to be a severe trial at hand, in the form of another Maori war, wantonly brought on by the Governor, in the forcing of a disputed claim of land, at Taranaki, or New Plymouth, on the Western Coast. The piece of ground was sold to the Government for £100, by a person who had only a partial right to the land, which sale the Governor has thought proper to confirm to the detriment of any other claim. Surveyors were sent on to this land, and were upset by a party of women, set on with that intent. Troops were collected, and war commenced; but where it will terminate no one can surmise. The Bishop remonstrated, and I understand is in great disgrace with the war party, as also Archdeacon Hadfield. I
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stand aloof, not yet being brought into collision; but of course as the war party gain strength, the Missionaries are suppressed, and I am quite prepared to hear that at the next General Assembly the grant hitherto allowed for the instruction of the natives in Schools will be disallowed. The language used by the Europeans towards the natives is extremely vile, and I am prepared to expect sad work. All Europeans who can bear arms are called out to drill, and of course every expression of excited feeling used, as to the extermination of the natives, if there be only an opportunity afforded. This feeling is general. The Hadfields are in great excitement, surrounded by their people, who have been for many years in close connexion, looking to them for advice, he unable to speak, and tainted with the familiar term of traitor, a term given to any who may differ from them in these sanguinary matters. As the European power gains strength the feeling grows upon them, to suppress both the natives and all who will give them countenance, even to utter annihilation. We wait with much anxiety the arrival of news from the seat of war. We have learned to put no confidence in any Government Despatch.
The European feeling in the North certainly did seem to be as strong as the Archdeacon had depicted it. But it was far from being universal, and was indeed rare among the old settlers. It is true that a great uproar was raised by the ignorant portion of the community,--so great that many of the more thoughtful bowed to the storm until it should pass; yet there were not wanting those who spoke out boldly, breaking through party ties,--even personal friendships sometimes, on a question so momentous to the Colony. This was especially shewn in the House. The Stafford 32 ministry were doing their utmost to support the Governor, and were themselves backed up outside. But within the House it was as much as they could do to hold their own. They managed to weather the Session of 1860, defeating a vote of want of confidence 33 by a majority of one,--that one declaring himself an opponent, but considering himself bound in honour by a general promise of support, unwarily made before the commencement of the Session.
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An accurate index to the real state of colonial opinion could now be found. In 1860, the Parliament expired by efflux of time. The question was thus remitted to the country. A general election was held, and by a remarkable coincidence, in the Session of 1861 the two parties in the House were found to be, numerically, as before; the scale being turned against the Government by the very same vote, now set free, which had kept them in before. Thus came to an untimely end the ablest ministry the Colony has known; ousted by their own friends, respectfully, but without option to act otherwise.
Henry Williams to the Reverend E. G. Marsh.
Bay of Islands, July 20, 1860.
You will be sorry to hear that the country is involved in war, through the folly of our self-willed ministers, men of no experience of native matters. This affair commenced in the Governor purchasing a piece of land for £100, in opposition to certain parties who opposed the sale. The surveyors were driven off, and this led to the troops being sent on the disputed land, to take possession. Fighting soon followed. A number of the Maories were killed, but in the last conflict the troops were repulsed with considerable loss. Great distress has been the consequence, in the burning of the settler's houses and general destruction of property. The old settlers are opposed to the war, while the youthful part of the community are for war to the last, without regard to consequences. The Bishop and Missionaries are most fearfully abused as "Traitors and busy-bodies, stirrers up of all evil, and authors of all mischief." I have felt a strong desire to speak, but as yet have held my peace. The differences between the Missionaries and the Church Mission Society, as to the resolutions passed between 1847 and 1850 have been brought forward in confirmation of the baseness of the Missionary character. No one sees the termination of these sad proceedings. Hadfield 34 is in sad disgrace with the Government, having ventured to protest against this war. The Governor is a good man, but exceedingly weak, unable to resist his ministers. The war is very popular, in the hopes of smashing the people altogether. The General Assembly has just met to consider the merits of the war, but the mischief has been done. The Governor and his party are looking for troops from India and England.
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GOVERNOR GREY RE-APPOINTED.
The war, having been originated by the Governor, was deemed to be an Imperial, and not a Colonial war. 35 The distinction was of importance, for upon it hinged the question,--which Government was liable for the cost. The Home Government took alarm, and determined to settle the matter with the least possible delay. They highly complimented Governor Browne, but announced to him that his place was to be filled by Sir George Grey. Notwithstanding promotion to Tasmania, this was a bitter disappointment; but Colonel Gore Browne, deservedly popular, bore away with him the hearty good wishes of all. Governor Grey found himself endowed with freedom of action almost complete. The war party were out of power in the Assembly; he had his own partizans; also the volunteered support of his old opponents, nearly all of whom were desirous for peace; and he had, like his predecessor, uncontrolled power over native affairs.
It was understood that he came out to reverse the war policy. The Archdeacon, who never did anything by halves, waiving every personal consideration, setting at nought the danger of seeming to compromise his own consistency, at once proffered his support. Just resentment he had felt; but there was not a grain of vindictiveness in his composition. He was possessed, and had been so throughout, by one leading thought,--the well-being of the Maori race. To this event every other consideration was subordinate.
Sir William Martin to Henry Williams.
Auckland, October 18, 1861.
I return, with many thanks, by the hands of Mr. Clarke, the copy of Mr. Dandeson Coates' letter, which you kindly forwarded me, adding thereto two copies of the "Occasional Papers," No. 4, in which the Bishop has recently collected some of the most important passages, bearing on the question of the part taken by the Missionaries in the first planting of this Colony.
It is naturally and evidently very gratifying to the Governor to find himself welcomed back to the country by those who had
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serious differences with him in old times. Such generosity is honorable to him and them. When he visits the North, no doubt he will lose no time in duly acknowledging your message, in person. Mr. Clarke will convey to you some notion of the Governor's policy in detail. So far as I have seen yet, his plan; are likely to answer, at least the main principle is quite sound. He feels the absurdity of attempting to intimidate or coerce the natives into acceptance of the Queen's Sovereignty in the abstract, and before that claim has been justified and strengthened by the exhibition of some manifest benefits accruing from it to the native people. He is intent upon a plan by which the extension of colonisation shall yield real and permanent advantages to both races, and the true interests of both shall be combined. They have been fed long enough with the idle wind of vague promises. We may now hope for some substantial fulfilment, for a policy so fair and beneficial to the Maories as to make those who may stand aloof in the beginning, perceive before long that they are losers by so doing. Please accept my heartiest good wishes for yourself and yours.
Henry Williams to the Reverend E. G. Marsh.
November 16, 1861.
We have not heard from you for some time, since which I wrote to you, after the announcement of the appointment of Sir George Grey. A change has indeed come over the spirit of the dream-- a total revolution in political views and ideas. Until that event it was war, savage frenzy, to the absolute extermination of the Maori race. But when the appointment of Sir George was known, the news flew like wild fire; these savage supporters of their own "supremacy," under the name of the Queen's, 36 became suddenly silent, reminding me of the sudden entrance of the schoolmaster, when the boys are hurry-scurry to their seats, and all is silence. Nothing is now heard but "the dear Maories; who would hurt a hair of their heads?" How long this may last remains to be proved. Every one for himself: this has ever been the case with sycophants; each seeking his own ends, no question with him who suffers.
The ministers who caused this great evil had been just turned out of office by two severe struggles; on each the victory was gained by a single voice. Of the feeling of the old ministry and their partisans, there was no mistake:--"Hang the Missionaries and
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Bishops, for having caused the rebellion." These persons are now so still and quiet, you may hear a pin drop, even in the bush. Previous to the arrival of Sir George Grey, I sent my card to be presented by his old antagonist, Carleton; thereby killing two birds with one stone, as I ensured his presentation of himself, which was accomplished. All was as it should be. Mr. Clarke, an old antagonist, waited on Sir George, making a voyage for the purpose. He was received with open arms, as an old friend and counseller, and pressed into the service, as first commissioner. My meeting Sir George does not compromise me in my opinion as to those never to be forgotten proceedings of 1847-49. I have it, on the best authority, that he has said that he committed one error in interfering with the Missionary land-grants; but that he had been urged to it. I ask, by whom?
Wherever Sir George has been, addresses of congratulation have been presented. I met his Excellency, and believe the pleasure was mutual. At the great meeting at the Waimate we had a long conversation, when he unfolded his native policy, of which I fully approved. He feels sanguine, and will spare no expense.
The Governor, with his suite, went from Waimate to Hokianga, and on his way back paid a visit to Pakaraka, where, presumably by way of intimating that he no longer considered the Missionary land grants excessive, he volunteered the information that a farmer at the Cape of Good Hope would think nothing of 40,000 acres.
Henry Williams to E. G. Marsh.
June 22, 1862.
We were rejoiced to receive your letter of March 18, at which time you appeared in your usual and surprising health and strength, free from pain and anxiety. This is indeed a cause of much thankfulness, to be able patiently to await the Lord's call from this vale of sorrow and mourning, to the realms of eternal joy and bliss, where sin and sorrow shall be known no more. You appear to be permitted, though in weakness, yet to proclaim God's love to man in the redemption of the world, not willing that any should perish. It is surprising and painful to see how few, by comparison as of old, are they who have believed in our report, who feel their need of divine aid to assist them in a closer walk with God. We are indeed monuments of grace, unworthy of the least of those mercies so freely bestowed, and daily experienced. I feel our work is drawing to a close; and were it not for the Maories, I should have relinquished all long since. But I feel bound to them, while I have the power, as there is no one else left. Mr. Davis, at the Waimate,
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like myself, is weak and infirm. The Maories I regard as members of my own family; with them I can freely communicate, and they do respond to my wish.
We here have had a wonderful manifestation of the providence of God, in the preservation of William and Jane. On their return from the Bay last month to Auckland, a vessel was on the point of sailing from Auckland for Tauranga. William and Jane were so anxious to get home, that they tried three times to persuade the Captain to take them, without regard to accommodation, but were denied a passage. The vessel sailed, and has not been heard of. 37 A vessel, answering her description, was seen bottom upwards in the course for Tauranga, but unknown.
You notice my letter on the arrival of Sir George Grey, and it appears to have given you pleasure that peace had been restored. But as the close of every drama is peace, so in this. Sir George was older on his second arrival; he was possessed of more experience, and had learned to steer by his own compass. On his first visit he fell into unsafe hands, and was led away beyond all reason. On his arrival about two months since, at Wellington, he went off by himself as early as he could to Otaki, to Hadfield, remaining a day or two with him. Of course they were agreed on all points. You ask how Sir George progresses, in restoring order. You may rest assured that I should not have been the first to have given him welcome on his re-appointment, had I not felt that the country was in a perilous state,--on the eve of a war of extermination of races, each towards the other; when, for one native, two or more Europeans might suffer. The confidence of the natives towards the Europeans and the Government was destroyed. To restore confidence time is required, and must be allowed; but the policy entered on by Sir George, I feel satisfied is the only one that will restore order. Nothing can exceed the activity of the Governor; he is here, there, and everywhere, as fast as steam can convey him from place to place, and the opposition are beginning to feel confidence. Yet there are certain of the war party who wish for war, provided they be not exposed to inconvenience.
The King movement Grey has wisely let alone. It is a name, and nothing more; for want of means for its subsistence it must die out of itself; but these Pakehas are more ignorant than the Maories, in wishing to force measures to which they have no right. But all will fall in place, if patience be observed. Without this all will be confusion; and, although I have every confidence in Sir George, he is in want of men to carry out his views . . .
I have used manuscript sermons ever since the general row of forty-seven. Finding that there were certain persons on the watch
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to catch a word, with evil intent, I found it necessary to exhibit what I might have said at any time. I was accused publicly with preaching sedition to the natives; but the authorities did not deem it safe to bring the case forward.
In truth, all promised well. Governor Grey spoke like an angel. 38 His scheme was of fair promise, and might have succeeded, if introduced with firmness and with judgment. But, as usual, he shewed more ability in the closet than in the field. Busy enough and active enough, unsparing of his labour, he was not "a man of action,"--that is to say, one of those who achieve practical and permanent success. Of a disposition naturally vacillating, until opposed, when he could be self-willed enough, he walked on with faltering steps, and ended by virtual abandonment of his charge. 39
Two prominent errors, both arising from that fatal want of decision, may be mentioned in example. The Waikato natives, with whom we were not yet at war, had conferred on Potatau the title of King. The Governor might have acknowledged the authority, treating the name as not worth contention; or he might have taken active measures towards dethronement. In behalf of either course, there was much to be said. But he staved the question off, and told the natives, by a figure of speech peculiarly fitted to arouse suspicion, that "he should not cut down the King's flag-staff, but that he should dig around it." 40
Those who understand the peculiar temperament of the natives will agree that he could not have spoken more dangerously. The words were never forgotten, or forgiven. To us the phrase may seem scarce worth mention; to the Maori, it conveyed the impression that clandestine action was contemplated.
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The second error was greater still. The Governor having investigated the Waitara question, 41 had rightly come to the conclusion that the alleged sale was no sale, and that the land must be restored. 42 There was at the time, by tacit consent, an intermission of hostilities; the word for restoration had but to be passed, and all would have reverted to the status in quo ante.
But it had happened that when we got possession of Waitara, at the North end of the province of Taranaki, the insurgent natives got possession of Tataraimaka, at the Southern end, crown land and partly settled. This they held in pledge as equivalent to Waitara. The Governor, instead of restoring the Waitara first (as he did at last), postponed the act of justice until he should have retaken the Tataraimaka. Troops were ordered to advance. Lieutenant Tragett with his party fell into an ambush, where nearly all were killed; and war blazed up again, to be now put down, notwithstanding the present restoration of Waitara, only by force of arms.
It must be remembered that in native matters Sir George was not bound by the exigencies of Parliamentary Government. The power was with the Governor; but also the responsibility.
When he found that his personal influence among the natives was not what he had supposed (for he seems to have expected, though warned to the contrary by outsiders, that his name, his mana, would carry all before it), when he found troubles gathering in, he made an endeavour to shift the responsibility, by transferring it to
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the General Assembly,--that is to say, to the responsible ministry, who were to "advise" him in native, as in all other matters. He even informed the Secretary of the State for the Colonies, prematurely, that the arrangements had been made. But when the proposal was brought before the House, in 1862, the House would not hear of it. 43
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In 1863, the House gave way, and thenceforth, Sir George's action became confused with that of his advisers. 44
It was during his term of office that the war became general in New Zealand. 45 Under his predecessor, it had been confined, by mutual consent, to the Province of Taranaki. By the crossing of the Mangatawhiri creek, we carried war into Waikato. The plea, as usual, was necessity; it is urged that had we not attacked Waikato, Waikato would have attacked us. I am not of that opinion; but shall not dispute a controverted point.
The Archdeacon was not long in finding out that he had been somewhat oversanguine at first. One expression of his feeling must suffice, for it is time to bring this work to a close; but his dissatisfaction increased to the end.
Henry Williams to the Reverend E. G. Marsh.
November 10, 1862.
I fear the Governor's report of proceedings will be received with great pain and disappointment in England as to his progress in settling and arranging the question in dispute,--the sale of Waitara, --whether legal or illegal. The Governor is perfectly satisfied that the whole was illegal, but afraid to admit this to the Maories. Hence the difficulty. The Government is involved in error, but honour being at stake, the Government require the Maories to take the whole risk of the question and submit to arbitration. It would appear that the Government cannot make the amende honorable in admitting their error, and taking a fresh start, by which act the Maories would see that there is protection for their rights and interests. But now there is much confusion, and general distrust and threats passing from one to the other. The Government ought long since to have learned that "honesty is the best policy;" to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with their God.
The war is mentioned only so far as it directly affects the Mission, or the Archdeacon's comments upon the proceedings of the Government. From this point of view, the most notable feature in the war, and the heaviest blow to the Mission, was the rise of the
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Paimarire, or Hauhau superstition. Like Mahommedanism, it took its beginning with a prophet, Horopapera Te Ua, of Taranaki. This chief, formerly treated as a maniac, now rose to the dignity of prophet and liberator. He dreamed that victory was near at hand; and it happened to follow, in a chance rencounter. A reconnoitring party, under Captain Lloyd, was worsted, the officer in command, with some of his party, falling into their hands. The event was attributed by the natives to the use of Te Ua's magic wand, powerful as that of Prospero. Te Ua framed a new religion, which might be deemed an invention of Satan himself, so diabolically was it adapted to working upon the weaknesses and feelings of the race. Communistic polygamy, incantation, mesmerism, ventriloquism, the giddy whirl of dance, in combined temptation; also, the more legitimate exaltation of mind produced by passionate appeals to love of country,--to the aroha ki te iwi. 46
In 1865, a Hauhau party, bound for Poverty Bay, where, in accordance with Te Ua's instructions, they were to deliver the head of Captain Lloyd to a chief named Hirini Te Kani, reached Opotiki. They had left the Whanganui river with the intention of murdering any Missionaries whom they could take, and here, unfortunately, they fell in with Mr. Volkner and Mr. Grace, both of the Mission. By means already alluded to, they caused the head to declare that it was the will of the gods that Volkner should die. Whakatohea, his own people, cowed by numbers, or bewildered by the new faith, offered no resistance, and Mr. Volkner was hanged upon a willow tree. His head was cut off, and Kereopa swallowed his eyes. Mr. Grace, having been remanded for a while, eventually escaped.
From Opotiki the murdering party proceeded, under Kereopa and Patara, to Poverty Bay, 47 there to await the arrival of a second
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party from the Wairoa. At the meeting of these two parties, there was to be a grand performance of the Paimarire-karakia [incantation service], in hope of drawing over the Poverty Bay natives, hitherto well affected to the Mission. When the scene took place Mr. Henry Williams, from whom these particulars are derived, was an eye-witness. A pole, upon which the Paimarire flag was hoisted, had been set up. The party marched up, and stood around. The tiu [priest] stood by the pole, raised a little above the rest. The party marched three times round, their eyes fixed with steady gaze on the pole, chanting a song. Then, they gathered into a compact mass, while the tiu gave out a prayer from a book, which the people followed, responding in unison, with great earnestness and many inflexions of the voice. Towards the close, the priest buried his face in a cambric handkerchief, his breast heaving deep with emotion. The people squatted down; up jumped an old cannibal heathen, in pure Maori costume, kokowai and all, singing a song of the old time. The friendly by-standers could no longer resist, and some came rushing into the ring. 48 Kereopa, the "eye-eater," now came forward. Those who desired to see the head of Captain Lloyd were invited into an adjoining house, where, by ventriloquism, it was again made to speak. This was at Patutahi, about two miles from the Bishop of Waiapu's station.
Now these men were reeking with the blood of Volkner, the Bishop's personal friend. He called his own people together, and said--"either these people must leave, or I." With many fair words, they entreated him to stay, but did nothing." 49
About this time came up Karaitiana, Wi Tako, and others, on a long promised return-visit. They also said--"These men must go, or we go." When the Opotiki party were apprised of this, they sent messengers after the Wairoa party, who were already on their way for home, bidding them return. An attack in two parties--by
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one upon the Bishop's college, by the other on Wi Tako's people, was then arranged. The Hauhaus spent the night in casting bullets, and making up cartridges.
Some of their conversation was over-heard by a Turanga native, and reported to the Bishop. Moreover, the chiefs on whom he mainly relied had been seen drinking with Patara. After long consultation, an unwilling departure was resolved upon, by night. But to this the native ministers demurred. One of them, Mohi, spoke out:-- "No; we will stay, and die like men." But it was not for the Mission to fight. Endurance had been their badge from the first, and had to be so still. "At least," said Mohi, "do not go by night. If you do, you will be overtaken and tomahawked. Go in the face of day." The advice was taken, and the party were not molested.
The Bishop removed his establishment, including the school, to the Bay of Islands, taking refuge for a while with the Archdeacon and his family. And thus, by force of circumstance, it came about that the two brothers, Henry and William Williams, who, at their last parting, had scarcely expected to see each other more, were again found working, side by side, upon the old familiar ground.
The more eventful periods of the life of Henry Williams are now at an end. No longer disturbed by assaults from without, he had leisure to consider how to make the most of declining strength and lessening time. To die in harness he was resolved; but care and management were needed to ensure that end. When toilsome overland journeys had become no longer possible, he built himself a cutter, for visiting along the coast; naming it " The Rainbow," in memory of God's mercy and promise after the. destroying flood. When he could not go among the people, he bid them come to him; and most cheerfully did they obey the call. When he saw that the time for binding up his sheaves had come, he turned his mind, like a practical man, towards consolidating and giving permanence to the work by means of material endowments; 50
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giving also special attention to the Maori clergy, those of his own district being kept in constant communication with himself.
For two years his travelling duties had been lightened by his brother, who, driven from Turanganui, was sojourning with his school at Horotutu, adjoining Paihia, and had taken charge of what may be called the home district,--Kawakawa, Russell, and Paihia. But the war was now wearing itself out, and Bishop Williams saw the way to re-establishing himself on the East Coast, though not at the old station, which had been racked by the Hauhaus.
On the eve of Bishop Williams' departure, Archdeacon Henry went down from Pakaraka to take leave, and to resume the charge of that portion of the district. In so doing he left himself, as in former time, only one Sunday in the month at home. This was in May, 1867. It was also then arranged that, if life were spared, the brothers should meet once more, at an anticipated jubilee,-- the celebration of the Archdeacon's golden wedding. For the fifty years, within a few months, had now elapsed. But this was not to be.
There is little more to tell, beyond the remarkable manner in which the close of his life was brought into harmony with the course of it. In May, 1867, an intertribal war broke out, within a few miles of Pakaraka. The old story; a disputed boundary line. The two tribes originally concerned (for the nature of Maori warfare is to spread) were Uritaniwha and Ngarehauata, hapus [sections] of Ngapuhi. 51 The land in dispute was at Te Ahuahu. Ngarehauata attempted to put up a block-house on the ground, but were driven off. Presently they were joined by Ngatikawa, under Haratua, who took command of the united force. Mr. Edward Williams, Resident Magistrate, throwing himself at much personal risk between the contending parties, for some days succeeded in preventing further collision. Having at last obtained consent to arbitration, he left for the purpose of attending to other parts of the district. But Ngarehauata, who had dispersed, were at fever-heat, and came back in the night to fight it out. Mr. Williams,