Chapter 10, The Sere, the Yellow Leaf, 1891-1906
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The Sere, the Yellow Leaf
The Governors of New Zealand during this period were: Earl of Onslow (retired 1892), Earl of Glasgow (1892-97), Earl of Ranfurly (1897-1904), Lord Plunket (1904-10).
When Sir Harry Atkinson resigned the premiership his public career was almost ended. With the failure of his health and his plans for social justice he had no reserve either of physical strength or of spirit. John Ballance, the Liberal leader, took office on 24 Jan 1891 with a cabinet which was to endure for many years, mainly under the leadership of his lieutenant Richard John Seddon.
Early in 1891 Atkinson attended with Sir George Grey and Captain W. R. Russell a convention held at Melbourne to further the federation of the colonies. 1 Grey's early career in Australia as explorer and governor gained him a prestige which encouraged him to ignore procedure and press his views even against a majority. His motion that governors of states should be elected was rejected but he carried a motion that a plebiscite on federation should be taken in each of the colonies on the principle of one-man-one-vote. On defence, Captain Russell argued that military cooperation between New Zealand and Australia was not practicable but that naval cooperation was. Atkinson was too ill to participate in debates except on topics he had studied as minister of marine. The opinion of Judge C. W. Richmond, on an Australasian court of appeal was submitted by Sir Henry Parkes.
Atkinson's part in the parliamentary session of 1891 was small. He was appointed Speaker of the Legislative Council, 2 and he
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presided as that Chamber, consisting entirely of members appointed for life, opposed and threw out most of the Government's policy measures.
Sir Harry's death occurred in dramatic circumstances at the opening of the next session on 28 June 1892. After the Council had recorded its condolences in respect to members who had died, the Speaker retired to his room and quietly expired. He was in his 61st year. In the collection are numerous telegrams and letters of condolence and resolutions of public bodies and of parliament. There is also an exchange of letters between the leader of the opposition (William Rolleston) and the Premier regarding the grant (£3000) which parliament proposed to make to the widow and children of the deceased statesman.
C. W. Richmond's tribute to his brother-in-law was both affectionate and generous: "I who write this way of him was in continual disagreement with him on political questions," he wrote to his daughters in England. "I have not his belief in the efficacy of state intervention in all the concerns of life. I hold the ethical basis of society to be false - that inequalities in men and therefore in the condition of men are natural, i.e. divinely appointed - and their removal at once undesirable and impossible. I no more want to see women hustling their way to the polling booth than to see a regiment of Dahomey amazons. . . . but I reverenced his absolutely unselfish spirit - his unquenchable hope - his belief in God and therefore in man."
Before many months had passed Ballance himself died 3 at the age of 54, his health weakened by many years of public duty and a crucial dispute with the Colonial Office. 4 Richard John Seddon became Premier on 1 May 1893. In view of the pending general election he applied himself with vigour to the enactment of vital policy measures, for the passing of which there was now an adequate Liberal following in the Legislative Council. Seddon did not favour female suffrage, nevertheless at a critical stage he decided to support the bill which Sir John Hall had introduced and it was passed into law on 19 Sep
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1893 With the electorate thus almost doubled and the temperance party mollified by a new licensing law, the Premier gained a substantial majority at the general election. The new House contained 46 Liberals, 20 Conservatives and 8 independents.
When the Liberal regime opened death was busy amongst the emigrators of half a century since - the band of brothers, thinkers, dreamers and men of action - who came to Taranaki between 1843 and 1853. The leading members of that group were already, or soon to be, off the stage. Others, in the sere and yellow leaf, had laid aside pen and brush. J. C. Richmond, the last to be in Parliament, resigned from the Legislative Council on 7 Jul 1892. Only two of the Richmond's were still vocal - Jane Maria, the steady soul whose letters run through the years like a thread of silver and steel, and her brother C. W. Richmond, the frailest of them all, but still intellectually vigorous. Many of his letters from this period were retrieved from the lively correspondence which he maintained with his daughters, Mary (1853-1949) and Alice (ten years her junior) who were then living in England.
Richmond had a graceful literary style, always newsy and humorous, occasionally satirical and often philosophical. His letters, of which many were written on circuit, were full of racy comment and delightful appraisals, sometimes punctuated with verse for the children or adorned with a pen or pencil sketch. His mind was susceptible to every mood of nature or hint of beauty. A clear-thinking rationalist, he kept abreast of current thought in metaphysics, theology and philosophy. He revelled in debates with such "equal minds" as Lady Gore Browne, James Edward FitzGerald, Archdeacon H. W. Harper and F. W. Frankland. His belief in God, which was never shaken, is exhibited in the declaration of his faith of a Rationalist (to his Unitarian son-in-law Edward Jarman Blake) in 1891, in his lectures to learned societies, and notably in the reply he made to the Victoria Institute's offer of membership. His charges to the jury were invariably inspired by careful thought and humane impulse. His more noteworthy lectures were those given at Nelson in 1869 on Man's Place in Creation and The Modern Aspect of Natural Theology and at Wellington in 1881 on Materialism. There is a classic
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quality even in Richmond's speeches in Parliament and his memoranda as a cabinet minister. One of his outstanding utterances was at the opening of the Wellington Public Library. 5 At the time of his death he was writing a paper on Robert Browning. 6
At the outset of the Liberal regime, when Richmond was 70 years of age, his observations were often tinged with satire. At that point he pulled himself up, confessing that it is ridiculous to allow pessimism to get hold of one; and thereafter as to politics, he aimed at a philosophical neutrality. The result of the 1890 election he regarded as "a temporary swing" "a triumph of Liberalism and temperance" and he hoped that Sir Robert Stout, who had just regained a seat in Parliament, would eject Seddon from the leadership on the licensing question. In 1892 he records his sister Jane Maria Atkinson, always a strong advocate of women's rights, as "pushing for female franchise in the Nelson debating society": in December 1893: "Rejoicing in Nelson. Aunt Maria in great force; female franchise." And later, without bitterness: "This is the women's work. The vote for absolute prohibition was very heavy here and still heavier in Christchurch and Dunedin."
Convinced of "the falsehood of our great radical dogma of the rights of a numerical majority in all places and under all circumstances," he scoffs at the advanced thinkers of the day and their lack of humour. "Willie Reeves," for example, the little boy whom he described in 1857 as "tne very heaviest little lump of lead I ever took hold of," was now minister of labour, and proposing a system of industrial conciliation. He wondered whether Reeves had ever read Hood's story of the wether which was "conciliated" by the butcher.
C. W. Richmond died on 3 Aug 1895 at the age of 74. A year later James Edward FitzGerald passed away, aged 78. By that time the facile pen of J. C. Richmond had fallen dry. He died in 1898 at Otaki, where he was living in retirement comforted at the last by the artistic development of his daughter Dorothy. Sir William Fox died on 23 Jun 1893, aged 81.
There are few letters now from A. S. Atkinson, who was practising law at Nelson. He died on 10 Dec 1902, aged 69. As late as the turn
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of the century he was corresponding with Robert Parris towards a faithful narrative of early days in Taranaki. 7
Thus for the last few years of this priceless collection we are indebted mainly to the steadfast chronicler of the Taranaki saga, Jane Maria Atkinson. Her disillusionment with politics was definite: they did not even amuse her. At the age of 77 she declared "there is no sparkle or humour in politics with the advent of Seddonism, but perhaps old age prevents my finding it." Her challenging mind responded generously to the demands of the new century - women's rights, education and temperance. She died on 28 Sep 1914, aged 90, the last and longest lived of her generation.
Jane Maria's son Arthur Richmond Atkinson (1863-1935) was practising law in Wellington when he first ventured into politics in the temperance cause. After unsuccessfully contesting the Wellington Suburbs seat in 1896 and 1897 he was elected in 1899 as M.H.R. for Wellington South. A brilliant, and at times a bitter, critic of the Seddon administration, he lost his seat in 1902, probably owing to his reservations about sending troops to South Africa.
Sir Henry Newbolt, who was with him at Clifton and at Corpus Christi College, Oxford, says in his memoirs 8 that Atkinson was "an excellent classic and the most expert bibliophile I have ever known". As a speaker he had an unusual talent for irony, parody and subtle argumentative traps. Once he astonished the College Debating Society by pronouncing himself a convinced supporter of the House of Lords, which he proposed to perpetuate by making their privileges and functions hereditary in every line of descent and in every descendant so that eventually the House of Lords would be coextensive with the nation. Atkinson once electrified the meeting with a speech of grave and measured dignity which they had not hitherto associated with their "vivacious oversea orator." Only towards the end did they realise that they were listening to the voice of the man who wrote the speeches in Thucydides. Newbolt adds that Atkinson "had not made a reputation at the Union" because "he did not care to sacrifice to ambition evenings which could be spent in College among his intimates. He preferred to accumulate memories of a college life which could not be so easily paralleled in the islands to which he was returning."
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Sir Harry Atkinson to H.E. the Governor - - - Premier's Office, Wellington (draft undated)
The Premier presents his respects to the Governor and in reply to his note begs to inform him that there is no truth in the rumour to which His Excellency refers. The choice of a Premier in this Colony rests entirely with the Crown. And he feels sure that no meeting of any Parliamentary party in N.Z. would attempt to assume what is solely the function of the Crown.
Atkinson Papers in Turnbull Library
C. W. Richmond to Alice Richmond - - - Wellington, 8 Jan 1891
I think I told you that Mr Gammell 9 who used to coach Bob and Ted . . . has been lecturing down South on the origin of the Pentateuch - a subject referred to by Mr Gore in his essay on Inspiratn. in Lux Mundi ... I have reviewed Mr Gammell for the Monthly.
Lord Onslow to Sir H. Atkinson - - - Christchurch Club, 16 Jan 
When you are discussing the matter with Mr Stevens, it may be well for you to have before you the ideas wh I endeavoured to put forward last night.
I therefore send an outline draft of the course which I think might with advantage be adopted, & which if settled to-day may be carried out through the telegraph on the due dates.
Draft in hand of Lord Onslow:
The Premier advises H.E. acceptance of Sir W F[itzherbert]'s resignation & informs H.E. that by Act (?) the appointment of a successor rests with H.E. & that Ministers will be prepared to tender advice to H.E. as to the person to be appointed. Mon 19 Jany.
The Governor accepts Sir W. F's resignation observes that he is aware that owing to the state of the Premier's health he found it impossible during the last session to lead the H of R and intimates that shd the Premier think it well to tender such advice that he (the G) will have much pleasure in acting upon it and appointing the P. Tues 20
The Premier thanks H.E. and informs him that he is prepared to advise the course proposed & as a preliminary step advises that he (the P) be called to the Council. Tues 20
The Governor accepts the advice & calls the P to the Council. W 21
The P informs the G. that he has taken the oath as member of the Leg: Co: & advises H.E. that he be appointed to the chair of that Assembly & at the same time tenders his resignation as Premier on his own behalf & on that of his colleagues. Fri 23d
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The Govr accepts the Premier's resignation. Fri 23d
In the House Mr Mitchelson as soon as the Speaker returns and has announced H.E.'s approval of the selection made by the House announces that the Premier has resigned & that H.E. has appointed him to be Speaker of the Leg: Co: & moves that the House adjourn till Tues 27.
After the adjournment of the House the Govr sends for Sir H.A. & asks him to advise who shall be asked to form a Ministry.
Sir H.A. tenders the necessary advice and the Govr sends for that gentleman.
A draft in the Governor's hand, marked confidential and undated, reads: The Governor has received the Premier's advice to call to the Legislative Council
In view of the Premier's memorandum of - - - - to the effect that in the altered constitution of the House of Representatives at the General Election it is desirable that Parliament shall be summoned at the earliest possible date; the Governor, before taking action on the recommendation tendered, requests the Premier to advise him whether the names that are suggested are in his opinion best calculated to strengthen the efficiency of the Upper House -- and further whether they are the six names, in New Zealand, or at least from among the Premier's political supporters most fitted to attain that object. 10
Atkinson papers in Turnbull Library
VICTORIA, by the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland Queen Defender of the Faith:
To Our Trusty and Loving Subject the Honourable Sir Harry Albert Atkinson, K.C.M.G. of New Plymouth.
WHEREAS by an Act made and passed in the Parliament of our United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, holden in the thirty-first and thirty-second years of Our reign, intituled 'An Act to make Provision for the Appointment of Members of the Legislative Council of New Zealand, and to remove Doubts in respect of past Appointments, it is enacted, amongst other things, that, from and after the proclamation of the said Act in Our said Colony of New Zealand, it shall be lawful for the Governor of Our said Colony, from time to time, in Our name, by an Instrument or Instruments under the Public Seal of Our said Colony, to summon to the Legislative Council of Our said Colony such person or persons as Our said Governor shall think fit, either in addition to the then present Members of the said Council, or for supplying any vacancies which may take place therein by death or otherwise
AND WHEREAS the said Act was proclaimed in Our said Colony on the twenty-seventh day of January, one thousand eight hundred and sixty nine:
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NOW, THEREFORE, know you that, in pursuance of the said Act, and in exercise of the power vested in Us, and reposing special trust and confidence in the loyalty, prudence, and discretion of you, the said Harry Albert Atkinson WE do hereby summon you the said Harry Albert Atkinson to the Legislative Council of Our said Colony of New Zealand. 11
IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF We have caused these Letters to be sealed with the Seal of Our said Colony of New Zealand, at Wellington, in the said Colony, this twenty third day of January, in the year of Our Lord One thousand eight hundred and ninety one, and in the fifty fourth year of Our reign.
WITNESS Our Right Trusty and Right Well-beloved Cousin William Hillier, Earl of Onslow, of Onslow in the County of Salop, and of West Clandon in the County of Surrey; Baron Cranley, of Imbercourt; Baronet; a Member of Our Most Honourable Privy Council; Knight Grand Cross of Our Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George; Governor and Commander-in-Chief in and over Our Colony of New Zealand and its dependencies, and Vice-Admiral of the same.
By His Excellency's command,
(countersigned) Wm Russell.
H. A. Atkinson, writ of summons to Legislative Council 22 Jan. 1891. 12
(Form and text as in writ of date 23 Jan 91.)
(countersigned) W. R. Russell
C. W. Richmond to daughters in England - - - Wellington, 20 Jan 1891
So swift an end [H. R. Richmond's] was altogether unexpected by us; though we knew the Dunedin doctors thought badly of the case. Whilst Uncle James was at Totaranui the sight of his left eye suddenly became affected, and after Henry's case everybody felt very anxious as to the nature of the affection. Dr Boor has seen him and says . . . the affection seems to be from the description quite different from Uncle Henry's whose vision was altogether confused . . .
[23 Jan] This day the new parliament meets. It is finally arranged that Uncle Harry shall take the Speakership of the Leg. Council, vacant by resign, of Sir W. Fitzherbert. The salary is £500 per ann. One cannot but regret such a termination to his political career. As I write your mother brings me the Press with the acct. of the opening. Your Uncle was introduced as Speaker to the L.C. Then the Ministry's resign, was announced in the Lower House and Mr Ballance intimated that he had
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been sent for and had undertaken the formation of a ministry. Major Steward has been elected Speaker of the House of R. by a majority of 36 for Steward to 29 for Rolleston. This perhaps is as well as it will leave Rolleston a power in politics.
24th In the new ministry Pat Buckley is to be Atty. General - Willie Reeves Col Sec. and Educatn., Seddon - Mines - Cadman and McKenzie are the other names mentioned - Ballance himself Treasurer and Native . . .
Lord Onslow to Sir H. Atkinson - - - Government House, Wellington, 10 Feb 
(Posted at Napier) Before I leave those resources of civilisation, the post & the telegraph & before you quit the Colony for Australia, I must write a few lines to express my gratitude to you for the courtesy and kindness you have extended to me since I have been in New Zealand & since I have had the interesting pleasure of watching your administration of the affairs of the Colony.
Though the chief services which you have rendered to your country were done before I had the honour of being connected with it, I have not failed to observe with admiration your disinterested efforts to show to the world that the Government of an Australasian Colony can be carried on without resort to the London money market, & without depriving the people of the luxuries which they expect & to which they have been accustomed -
Apparently Colonial gratitude is full filled when it has allowed its statesmen three years of office - Where party feeling does not run high the sense that there are no more favours to come, swallows up on the part of many (though I hope for a time only) the recollection of those already conferred & that loyalty to leaders to which I am accustomed in England.
Another turn of the wheel (perhaps before I leave the Colony) and the justice of history will reassert itself, when you will no longer have to dwell on thoughts which may not unnaturally be somewhat tinged with bitterness.
In any case you have interesting work in a wider field in the near future. That with returning health you may still have many years of quiet usefulness, in a position of less responsibility but greater dignity than heretofore is the sincerest wish
Of yours very sincerely
Atkinson papers in Turnbull Library
C. W. Richmond to Sir H. Atkinson - - - Wellington, 11 Mar 1891
I enclose a letter which I have addressed to Sir Henry Parkes . . . which will be less likely to be consigned without notice to Sir Henry's waste paper basket if you will yourself introduce it to Sir Henry.
I have considered whether I am entitled on such an occasion to break the usual reticence of Judges by volunteering to address a Politician, & have decided in my own
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mind that I am justified in so doing. Of course I desire the publication of my views, but would rather that it were done for me than that I should directly place myself before the public. ... Since I wrote the letter I see, with pleasure, that a good many members of the [Federal] Conference are protesting against the proposal to cut off appeal to Her Majesty in Council.
Grey is quite right in warning the Conference against the States-rights doctrine. Some of them do not seem to know that States-rights were extinguished in blood at Gettysburg. But Grey's (unexpected) proposal that the Federal Council should have unrestricted powers of Legislation, like our General Assy, is of course inadmissable for the present at least. It seems clear that its powers must be limited as in the case of Congress, & that the residuary powers of Legislatn must belong to the present Colonies. Their territorial revenue will no doubt have to remain provincial unless they can agree to neutralise their unoccupied country.
I see we are threatened with a Protective Tariff if we stand out. Well - if the Australians choose to pay extra for their horse feed &c that is more their affair than ours. We could laugh at it all if America does away with duty on wool. . . .
You will see from what I have said that the Letter is a statement of my objections to the proposal to do away with appeals to the Judicial Committee of the P.C. Certainly it is improbable that the British Government would assent to such a proposal - yet I should be sorry ever to see it made . . . Atkinson papers in Turnbull Library
C. W. Richmond to Mary E. and Alice Richmond - - - Wellington, 18 Mar 1891
. . . Whilst I had bronchitis I was, as usual, making speeches and writing pamphlets and letters to the newspapers at a great rate - on Socialism, Protection, Home-Rule, Australian Federation, Democracy, etc. No trace remains of all this brain agitation save a letter I have sent to Sir Henry Parkes protesting (or rather arguing) against the proposal to do away with appeals from these colonies to the Privy Council . . . The present English Government would certainly not consent to it. But Gladstone and John Morley would apparently agree to anything to break up the Empire. Perhaps England might be safer if reduced to the position of a larger Holland and relieved of her heavy imperial responsibilites. But the policy seems to me an abject one. I regard British influence as the most potent in the world for civilisation and Christianity, and to my mind it is treason to weaken it, cowardice to abandon it.
As to the Parnell business, there is nothing in it to surprise a Unionist. It has been the means of bringing out the true character of the Irish party and the true nature of their demands, which the so called English liberals could never be got to understand. It has throughout been obvious to all whose horizon (moral and political) was wider than that of English non-conformist tradesmen, that the Irish party would be contented with nothing short of full national rights - including of course the power of the sword. These people (like the old Manchester School) ignore the facts that there
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are such things as swords . . . They ignore the fact that between nation and nation the strong instinctive feeling is one of, if not dislike or positive hatred, yet repulsion. It is the same animal instinct which separates brute species. This passion which if allowed to slumber in a just political union would gradually yield to higher influences, would be immediately strengthened by being provided with the means of expression in action . . . There is a pestilent literary class in several European countries which occupies itself in exciting race hatreds - e.g. the Pan-Slavonic writers at Moscow, the young Czechs in Bohemia. To this class belong most of the Irish leaders. They feed their own imaginations with hateful pictures of those with whom they are politically connected. All the evil doings of the ungracious past are concentrated and imputed to the living generations. La perfide Albion as she appears to the heated fancy of a Parisian journalist is a respectable character by the side of the bloody base and brutal Saxon as idealised in Dublin by men in whose own veins the blood is three parts Saxon, whose whole civilisation is English and who could not speak ten words in what they call their national tongue! Who can doubt that fanatics like Dillon and O'Brien would, if the power were in their hands, proceed to discharge 'the legacy of hatred' on which they so freely talk on their own side of St George's channel? . . .
The dispute about the appointment of Mr Edwards as a judge of the S.C. is coming to a crisis. Mr Ballance openly denies the legality of the appointment and says that the Government is determined not to propose a provision for his salary. Mr Edwards has been taking Supreme Court work and sat with the other judges at the last Court of Appeal. They have hitherto been paying him salary at the rate of £1500 a year. This they apparently mean to discontinue at the end of this month. It is very hard for Edwards, who has surrendered and I fancy disposed of, a practice which brought him in more than £2000 per annum. No doubt a great blunder was made in giving him a permanent commission without first consulting the House - as there was provision on the Civil List for only four puisne judges. The late Government apparently made sure of the approval of the legislature to the increase of the number of judges. How the question is to be settled no one knows. Possibly by some proceeding against Mr Edwards in the S.C. for usurping the office of judge.
Mr Seddon has begun his ministerial career by sweeping reductions in the Police Force - seven inspectors are dismissed. It is quite intelligible that a Digging's hotel keeper should be of opinion that we can do with fewer policemen. Wilson Hursthouse is discharged from the Public Works Department, but I hope and believe this is only a transfer of his services to the Survey Department.
In the way of taxation no one knows what is coming. 'Woe unto ye rich' will be the word I suppose. We are to have a Land and Income tax ... It will be a dangerous experiment in a country so dependent on foreign capital. An income tax will prove a more grievous burden than the property tax . . . Trade and professional profits now go untaxed - the whole burden of the property tax falls on realised property - of course including land, and the tax is paid by quite an insignificant fraction of the people. No one pays who does not possess more than £500 worth of property ... A
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number of these geese do not see that when the tax is on realised property, not on mere annual profits, it is a question of words whether you call the tax one on income or capital... for they have no idea of extending the area of taxation - quite the contrary. They would only wish to hit more heavily the people who already pay 19/20ths of the tax.
But how powerful words are:-
Call enforcing the law against boycotters------------coercion
Bolstering up monopoly-------------protection
Dissolution of the Empire-------------Home-Rule
Full rent ----------------rack-rent 13
Liberalism------------- advocacy of any and every change proposed however foolish.
You must not shew this to any of your Liberal friends - or they will say - just so, the old man is gone mad with Toryism. But I know better. I am less of a Tory than I was in my younger days. I recognise that it is the ultimate end of all political constitutions to enable, or at least not to hinder, every human being to be and to become what his (or her) Creator meant him (or her) to be and become. Every institution, including that of private property, must be subject to change, or if need be, abolition, unless it furthers this supreme end. The extent to which political power, in the way of the suffrage or otherwise, should be conceded depends on the tendency of such concession to advance or retard the highest welfare of the people - not on any dogma of the abstract rights of man - or woman. In this view of the matter, viz. that the supreme end is educational, I am in agreement with J. S. Mill ... I find it strange that the a-priori dogmas of Locke and Rousseau are still so influential. Locke was far too wise, however, and even Rousseau was far too wise, to imagine that men really were as the dogma runs, born free, equal and independent. All that Locke (at least) meant was that it was a necessary theoretical assumption and in framing a constitution it ought to be assumed that they were etc. It is curious that in the country which has made the greatest ostentation of the dogma there should . . . be, the most striking denial of it in practice ... What are the rights of the majority - the enormous majority - of the Malays and Chinese in the Straits Settlement? What of the enormous Hindoo majority in India? And what are we to say about the abstract political rights of the Irish peasants so ignorant that they have to get their priests to put a cross against the name of the member they want to vote for? - or of our own utterly ignorant voters? Can anyone have a right to power which he is absolutely unable to use intelligently? . . . Surely these considerations suggest a limit and expose the falsehood of our great radical dogma of the rights of a numerical majority in all places and under all circumstances. Similarly, in my opinion, the question of women's suffrage should be debated on the ground of utility (in the largest sense) and not on the ground of a supposed abstract right.
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Lord Onslow to C. W. Richmond - - - Auckland, 27 Mar [1890 or 91]
Will you oblige me by perusing the enclosed letter & giving me the benefit of your opinion on Sir G. Grey's view of the case. I gather from his letter that he holds the title of Honble. to be one which the Queen cannot confer without an Act of Parliament because it is a new title & therefore that the prefix is used without authority.
I do not know from what he quotes in the passage marked in inverted commas. Perhaps you will recognise it & will know where to refer to the papers which give an account of the transactions to which Sir George alludes.
I am not sure that it would not be a good thing to have an Act of the Imperial Parliament for the purpose, if it be found that Sir George is right.
v 7, p 57
C. W. Richmond Memorandum (draft)
The rule was afterds. established in every colony under the B.C. that Ex. councillors who have held office for 3 years should be permitted to retain the title of 'Honourable' for life with the precedence above mentd. N.Z. Pari. Papers 1878. Appx. A 1. pp. 15-18. Todd 231.
Upon the receipt by the Govr. of N.Z. of Ld. Carnarvon's circular despatch of Aug 29/77, above mentd. in refce. to the dignity & precedence of Minrs. in Australia (ante 229) the premier of the Colony - (Sir G. Grey) addressed a Memo, to the Governor in which - while admitting that the action taken by the Sec. of State accorded with the wishes expressed by his predecessors in office - he took exception to the interference of the Crown in a self governing Colony, & without the consent of the Gen. Ass. in establishing any order of rank & dignity therein. The Governor transmitted this Memo, to the Secty. of State in a Despatch dated May 22/78 wherein he declares his inability to understand the objection raised by the premier, or to see that this exercise by her Maj. - who is constitutionally the source of all powers throughout the empire - of her undoubted prerog. in 'conferring' distintn. upon a retired judge &c - can be supposed to interfere in the slightest degree with the Const, of N.Z. or with the rights & priveleges of the local parliament - N.Z. Parl Papers 1878 A 1. pp, 15-18 (& see Sir George's remonstrance with Sir M. Hicks Beach - Ibid. 1879, A 9 - Todd's Manual Parly. Govt, p 239.
Lord C. in a despatch of Aug 29/77 to Australian Govrs. decided that retired judges of the S. Courts in Australia shd. retain the title of Honourable for life within the Colony, with precedence next after the existing judges of their respive. Courts.
v 7, p 58
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Lord Onslow to C. W. Richmond - - - Auckland, 30 Mar 
When we were talking over the recent strike your mind was, I think somewhat open as to the legality of combinations to prevent men from serving certain masters.
The enclosed article from the Spectator 14 wh. paper you may perhaps not see struck me as containing some able comments on Mr Bompas' recent decision on the subject.
v 7, p 59
C. W. Richmond to Mary E. and Alice Richmond - - - Wellington, 2 Apr 1891
Your Uncle Harry is still at Sydney attending the Convention. My letter to Sir Henry Parkes against the proposal to do away with appeals to the Privy Council was printed at Sydney by order of the Convention . . .
It seems to me that it is a main object of many of the delegates, including our own great statesman Sir G. Grey, to set up an independent Australasian Republic. Sir G. Grey even proposed that the Governor General should be elected in Australia, but this was rejected on division by (I think) 35 to 3. The federation is to be called the Commonwealth of Australia - a fine name no doubt but with Cromwellian associations which will make it distasteful to English authorities. Along with the desire for severance of the connection with the mother-country there exists an intense spirit of provincialism, which is likely to delay, if not defeat, the project for federation. Each colony is desirous of maintaining its independent existence and of surrendering to the Federal Parliament as little power as possible . . .
If the constitution is accepted by the Legislatures of the several colonies to which it is to be submitted there will be free trade as between the federated colonies and (probably) protection as against the outer world - New Zealand included. Our oats will be heavily taxed for the benefit of the Victorian farmers, and N.S.Wales, Queensland and Sth Australia will have to pay the extra price.
H. A. Atkinson to A. S. Atkinson - - - 4 Apr 1892
I am writing a few lines to see if I can induce you to pay us a short visit if you wont pay a long one. ... Of myself there seems now no reasonable doubt that the heart is pretty well affected and that the shortness of breath is caused by that. Dr Hobhouse examined me when here . . . and was rather inclined to think there was aneurism of the heart - but this is not clear yet. It seems nothing more can be done than I am doing - come if you can if you are not still afraid of the voyage. I am sure we can give you the food just as you like it. And we shall be very glad to see you, you will be quite free to come and go at all hours . . .
v 7, p 62
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W. M. Burton to Major C. Brown - - - Okaiawa, 9 Apr 1891
Your letter in the News re Mr Robt. Pitcairn, together with your remarks as to your non-appearance among the Waireka veterans in the jubilee procession, so strongly convey the idea that you are a believer in the Palmam qui meruit idea, that I am induced, even at the risk of being charged with 'bad taste', to mention two or three facts in connection with that ammunition.
When the news reached town that the 'volunteers & militia were short of ammunition' great excitement prevailed, and a bullock cart was procured and loaded. As soon as I knew what was going on, having a horse & trap (I think the only one in the place at that time,) (it was something like a 'hansome cab') I offered to go instead of the bullock cart as I could travel more quickly. The offer was gladly accepted, the ammunn. transferred, and an escort of 4 mounted men told off to accompany & protect. Of these four, I can remember three - Regi & Percy Bayley, and Robt. Pitcairn.
We proceeded along the beach to Moturoa making all possible speed as you may imagine. There we fell in with J. Duncan & another or two, I think, who told us that we could not go on for we were cut off. Now comes the gist of the story; my four protectors in charge of ammunition, all forsook me & fled, galloping on to Omata, and I must return, or venture on alone. I chose the latter, reached Omata safely and went down McKellar's road to the head of a gully with bush in it. While waiting there, still without any protection or escort near me, Pitcairn came & took some ammunition out of the trap. I do not write this with the idea of implying want of bravery on their part, but it certainly was a grave error which might have resulted in the enemy getting the ammunition instead of our own people. What was not used was left at the Omata Stockade, and I brought home Lieut. Blake and a wounded soldier.
I never made any complaint against the escort as I did not regard it as an act of cowardice, and matters fortunately turned out all right, but I think you will agree with me that it was both careless and culpable.
On seeing your letter it struck me that you would like to, and ought to, be in possession of these facts.
v 7, p 61
C. W. Richmond to Alice and Mary E. Richmond - - - Wellington, 17 Apr 1891
The difficulty about Mr Edward's appointment has been obliging me to give a few signs of life . . . The Government deny the validity of the appointment, but are not open enough to attack it by proceeding against Edwards as they might do in the Supreme Court on exercising an office to which he is not legally entitled. However a private person is about to do what the Government shrink from. Young Vogel has been retained by a prisoner, in the gaol who reed, a sentence of 5 years frm. Mr Justice Edwards to attack the validity of the sentence; for which purpose he is going in the first place to attack the validity of the commission of Mr Edwards.
This you see is a nice state of things. Jellicoe went to the gaol after Vogel had been
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retained, and got the prisoner to retain him). But on the matter being explained to the prisoner he cancelled Jellicoe's retainer - so Vogel is to be the man. This is a great miss for Jellicoe who would have been delighted to attack a judge - or anyone exercising the office - and doubly delighted as Edwards is the person to be attacked. A majority of the judges have expressed opinions in favour of the legal validity of the appointment of Mr Edwards . . . The Legislature can if it chooses refuse to provide his salary. The complaint is that the late Government had no right to increase the number of judges without first consulting the House, and it cannot be denied that there is ground for the complaint . . .
I am sorry to say that Uncle Harry has not been able to take much part in the conference at Sydney. He started however, one important question about what should be done with the different colonial debts. The Federal Parliament is to have the power of levying customs duties. Now we have to look to our customs duties to pay the interest on our debt, and if the tariff is lowered by the Federal Parliament we should not be able to meet our liabilities. Uncle Harry thinks it could not be done by direct taxation as we already pay a property tax on our capital of 1d in the £ (equal at colonial rates of interest to an income tax of 1/4).
W. P. Reeves to Sir H. Atkinson - - - Education Department, Wellington, 20 Apr 1891
I was glad to see from the papers that you have returned from Australia none the worse for your trip ... I write this note because I want to send you something and also to ask for something. The magazine which I send contains an article on German 'Labour Colonies' which has interested me immensely and which I can't help thinking will interest you. What I want to ask is that you will not forget to let me have the photograph of yourself which you were kind enough to promise me.
Atkinson papers in Turnbull Library
C. W. Richmond to Alice Richmond - - - Wellington, 2 May 1891
My leave expires at the end of this month. Probably I shall be sitting somewhat earlier, as the Government have at last determined to test the validity of the appointment of Mr Edwards in the only proper way by laying an information or taking some other proceedings in the Supreme Court. Uncle Harry and Aunt Annie are still with us. They go every day to their new house to overlook the alteratns. and repairs .. .
C. W. Richmond to Alice Richmond - - - Wellington, 21 May 1891
I have taken my seat again on the Bench as a member of the Appeal Court in the Edwards case. The argument occupied 2 1/2 days and ended yesterday. Judgment is reserved. Your Mother was in court every day, and Margie was there yesterday and on Tuesday. The case excites great interest and the court was full - a great many
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ladies the first day. Your Mother says she enjoyed it very much. She looked as grave as a judge - graver than some judges.
W. R. Russell to Sir H. Atkinson - - - Flaxmere, Hawkes Bay, 27 May 1891
... I hear very little about politics here and have been more busy than ever since my return putting my own affairs into order ... I fear there is little hope of turning Ballance out this Session, and in any case it might prove disastrous, as it seems improbable that we could get a strong Government if we did so. I am dreading the Session very much I have been away so much I dislike the notion of going away from home again-and prefer farming to squabbling . . .
Atkinson papers in Turnbull Library
E. Mitchelson to Sir H. Atkinson - - - Auckland, 28 May 1891
. . . What a releif it must be to you to be out of politics, although I fear that under the present regime we shall soon again be in troubled waters, Seddon Co are making a great splash. The public are going to grin and bear them I believe for the whole Parliament . . . But Taihoa as the Maori says. The Eyes of the public will soon be opened, but not until the mischief will have been done. Any stick could get in for a seat here under the wing of the Government just now . . .
Atkinson papers in Turnbull Library
C. W. Richmond to Mary E. Richmond - - - Wellington, 17 Jun 1891
18th. 6 a.m. I am trying a Maori will case and have about 80 foolscap pages of notes already. All the witnesses on one side declare the testatrix was 'porangi' (mad). The other side say she was a 'tohunga' and a prophet and had gifts of healing (according to native custom). The plaintiff (nominal) is a brother of the testatrix - a very old man with a stubbly white beard . . . The mixture of naivete and shrewdness in these people is most amusing. They carefully prepare their evidence - or rather it is prepared for them by one of their native lawyers or agents . . . and at the trial they are all in a tale. A native witness was lately asked at the conclusion of his evidence by the judge of the Native Land Court - 'Now is all that you have been telling the court conscientious and true?'. The witness paused and replied, 'it is for the court to find out whether what I have been saying is true or not'.
Mr Ballance has just delivered his Financial Statement. The property tax is nominally abolished but really retained in great part under the name of a land tax . . . The statement was received with great enthusiasm by Mr Ballance's supporters - Mr Smith (late lamp-lighter to the borough of New Plymouth) exclaiming at the close, 'that's the programme for New Zealand! ! ! ' amidst loud laughter. He ought to have had his ladder at hand to run up.
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C. W. Richmond to Alice Richmond - - - Wellington, 13 Aug 1891
Parliament is busy at work handicapping the rich - one class voting the expenditure and another class paying the taxes. Sir George Grey tells the people that the whole 'unearned increment' belongs to them, and may be confiscated as soon as convenient. The 'prairie value' of this section would not exceed £1. It is certainly now worth £1200 without reckoning improvements. Therefore £1199 belongs to 'the people' and not to me. Unfortunately I have pd. the money to old Mr Dawson who has escaped with it to Australia. It is my folly to have invested in land. As to all our mortgages we're all in the same plight. Take away the 'unearned increment' and as regards all country securities at least 3/4 of the value is gone. We have answered in the affirmative Lord Salisbury's question as to the rights of a majority. 'If three men get 2 men down have they a right to pick their pockets?'. Clearly they have.
C. W. Richmond to E. J. Blake - - - Wellington, 18 Sep 1891
We are as well contented with the engagement as it is possible to be under the circumstances. It is of course impossible that esteem founded, as ours is for yourself, on the report and opinion of others, should equal the strength of a feeling arising from personal knowledge, and the separation involved cannot but be painful to the old people. Yet I have a very strong conviction that Alice will never regret her choice, and strong hope that a union founded not merely on personal attraction but on a deeper sympathy in regard to the ends of life, must result in the increased usefulness and happiness of both of you . . .
Though I have as little sectarian feeling (I flatter myself) as most of you yet I own that your ancestral connection with that small and despised body which through good report and evil report has maintained the possibility of a rational Christianity is a comfort to me. Our agreement is something much deeper than a common opinion on the interpretation of texts of Scripture, or any merely theological ideas. To have imbibed from childhood the spirit of a religion like that of dear old Letitia Barbauld never to have been in bondage to a dogma such as that (for example) of the universal depravity of man - is in my judgment a priceless advantage enabling us to keep unshaken our faith in an age in which everything is called in question and in which, to many the only safety seems to be in a return to the superstitions of the Dark Ages.
C. W. Richmond to Alice Blake 15 - - - Wellington, 8 Jan 1892
Your mother has taken Emmy to one of Stanley's lectures on his African explorations ... I suppose Stanley must be badly in want of money or he would not make an exhibition of himself in this way. Fancy a man who has done what he has done,
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repeating the story of his own achievements at every little town - front seats 3/-, pit 1/- etc. All sense of personal dignity seems to have left our democratic societies ...
Walter [Fell] has been away yachting . . . During his absence they have been cutting away the ground between Walter's and Dixon St. to get a site on the street level for a house and stable for Dr Chapple of Motueka who is coming to practice in Wellington . . .
C. W. Richmond to Alice Blake - - - Wellington, 25 Feb 1892
Your mother, Emmy and I went yesterday afternoon to a tea party at the Primate's in honour of the newly elected Bishop of Nelson, late Archdeacon Mules. All the Bishops there except Julius and Waiapu. Bishop Cowie is a most aimiable and liberal man - a great admirer of James Martineau. He called here a few days ago and we had a long talk. He told me that Martineau, though it was not openly acknowledged, was one of the most influential minds in England and he referred to him again yesterday. The Primate has been making himself very unpopular by despotic conduct as chairman of the Anglican Synod - telling Bishops to sit down and hold their tongues etc. It is all about an inhibition practically laid by him on Canon Howell against the Canon preaching in Wellington. The Canon is an agreeable and popular man, but apparently a sacerdotalist. Bp. Hadfield, though not exactly evangelical, hates the Romanizers. Howell, whilst taking Mr Still's place, had refused to baptize one of Bell's children as the parents offered themselves as sponsors and were unbelievers, and had done one or two other things of the same kind of which the Bishop vehemently disapproved. Howell is sympathised with by Bishop Nevill and the Dunedin clergy and the Primate put himself in the wrong by his mode of action - though fundamentally he is in the right and the public would think so if they knew anything about the underlying facts. Bishop Hadfield does not want to have 'the mass said at his lug' any more than Jenny Geddes did.
I am to tell you that I have sold my beautiful land at Hurworth for a mere song - 50/- an acre. This family is so eminently adapted for bush life that it is thought to be a sad pity.
C. W. Richmond to Emily E. Richmond Napier, 28 Feb 1892
I turned back and went to the hospital to see old Dr Menzies 16 ... I found him occupying a house (Government) close to the hospital with his comparatively young wife ... He mentioned Teddo Patten's superanuation. He knows Teddo very well. Two of his sons were at Rochester Grammar School, one of them gained a scholarship which was the first fruit of Whiston's agitation against the misappropriation of the endowments of the school by the Dean and Chapter.
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Mr Cotterell, the Crown prosecutor . . . gave me all the news of the Napier Bar . . . Henry Russell is dead . . . There is a soi-disant baronet practising here at the bar - a Sir Henry Wastney. I call him soi-disant because his claim to the title is not it seems quite clear. I believe he is to defend some of the prisoners . . .
Philip and I were at the Cathedral this morning. It is really a magnificent building . . . Dean Hovell's intoning, though good, became to me most wearisome. The Bishopp 17 reached. He is a scholar and no sacerdotalist - the sermon was evangelical but not impassioned . . . Most of us in church were of the feminine gender.
A. S. Atkinson to Emily E. Richmond - - - Nelson, 7 Jul 1892
I was very glad to hear what you tell me about the last hours of our dear Hal. His end was like his life full of courage and kindliness, no distrust and no shrinking, no perturbation even. We were talking one morning at breakfast about his state and he said 'of course I don't want to go, but when the Dr. told me what it was, it did not seem to affect me at all'. And so it seemed all through when I was there.
The universal recognition of his worth is very cheering ... as helping to justify his own generous estimate of the general human goodness. But his instincts were worth more than most men's reason.
W. Rolleston to J. Ballance - - - Wellington, 27 Jul 1892
I understand that you do not propose to take any action with regard to proposing a vote to Parliament for the widow and children of the late Sir H. A. Atkinson without previously being made acquainted with the feeling of the House on the subject.
I have thought a good deal about it and have discussed it with members on my side of the House with the result that I find that such a proposal would meet with general acceptance among them. The general feeling seemed to be that while it would be inexpedient to take action without previously being assured of meeting with general support the proposal would most fittingly come from the Government and that it would lose much of its grace and significance if it were made by anyone who might be taken to represent local or personal or party ties. It is for this reason that I have ventured to write to you indicating what would be the feeling of this side of the House. I have marked the present communication 'confidential' but should you wish for a more formal letter I will send it, and I should be glad to gather and give you the opinions of those with whom I act as to the form in which a vote would appear and as to the amount, &c.
Of course there are the precedents of Dr Featherston and Mr Macandrew.
Ballance papers in Alexander Turnbull Library.
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C. W. Richmond to Alice Blake - - - Wellington, 11 Aug 1892
. . . Everything relating to the event was most impressive and touching . . . The public feeling displayed was genuine and universal. It was consolatory to have such assurance that he had not lived in vain. There is no mistaking the moral impression which his simplicity, courage, public spirit, hopefulness and faith have made on the mind of the country.
We all together saw the cast-off garment of the flesh, which had been glorified and endeared to us by the habitation of as pure a soul as it has been my lot to know, committed to the earth, and heard the farewell shots fired over the grave of a true soldier . . .
Though the scale of his action was so small in comparison, there is much in Tennyson's grand Ode on the Death of the Great Duke which recalls to me your uncle. 'In his simplicity sublime', 'rich in saving common sense' - and much besides. Had Harry been called upon to act in a wider theatre he would have acquitted himself as he did here. I who write this way of him was, as you know, in continual disagreement with him on political questions. I have not his belief in the efficacy of state intervention in all the concerns of life. I hold the ethical basis of socialism to be false - that inequalities in men and therefore in the condition of men are natural, i.e. divinely appointed and their removal at once undesirable and impossible. I remain a freetrader. I no more want to see women hustling their way to the polling booth than to see a regiment of Dahomey Amazons. I do not believe in the rightful supremacy of the most numerous, which is necessarily also the most ignorant class. I am, of course, against putting civilised Ireland under uncivilised Ireland. We used to differ and fight about all these things. But I reverenced his absolutely unselfish spirit and his unquenchable hope - his belief in God and therefore in man.
I can only vindicate my own more sceptical position by saying that our hope for and faith in the ultimate destiny of the race must not blind us to the fact that particular present tendencies may be in the wrong direction - that particular countries may, for the time at least, be going downhill. I confess I fear for England at the present moment; the ignorant masses have got to get their political education at the cost, it may be, of great calamities to themselves and to the country.
W. J. Steward to Lady Atkinson - - - Speaker's Rooms, Wellington, 22 Aug 1892
In forwarding to you herewith an illuminated copy of the Resolution passed by the House of Representatives 18 in recognition of the distinguished services rendered to the Colony by the late Sir Harry Atkinson, and expressing the sincere sympathy of all its members with yourself and family in your bereavement, permit me to add on my own behalf the assurance of the profound regret which I feel at the loss of so old and valued a political and personal friend.
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C. W. Richmond to Alice Blake - - - Wellington, 8 Sep 1892
I am sorry for the Grand Old Man [Gladstone]. Like Tennyson I love him and hate his policy. I don't think he will be able to live through the struggle on which he is entering. All the same I hope he is none the worse for the heifer, which no doubt was revenging the dastardly conduct of the G.O.M. anent female suffrage. We do not know yet whether we are going to have it here - but Aunt Maria is cock-a-hoop on the subject. At Nelson in their debating society they have settled all the burning questions of the day to their own entire satisfaction, being happily free from any doubts or qualms as to the effect of any of their measures.
C. W. Richmond to Emily E. Richmond - - - Wellington, 15 Oct 1892
I have just received a letter from Mr Ballance proposing to pay over to me and to any other person whom I may nominate as a joint trustee the £3000 voted to dear Harry's widow and family, 'without imposing any condition upon the trustees'. I think it would be much better to have a regular trust declared, and on considering what ought to be suggested I shall of course see Annie about it. I do not know whether the Government (or the Legislature) mean that all Harry's children are to have an interest, or only those who are minors. It will never do to leave this to be decided by the trustees. There are many other things to be considered - especially whether the capital may be employed during Annie's life, and if so to what extent.
C. W. Richmond to Emily E. Richmond - - - Wellington, 18 Oct 1892
People here seem fairly well satisfied with the appointments to the Leg. Council - 4 labour representvs., 4 newspaper men and 4 old politicians. Not by any means a revolutionary lot I should say.
C. W. Richmond to Alice Blake - - - Wellington, 25 Jan 1893
Teddy is now one of the leading architects of Wellington. His name is inscribed as a member of the firm Clere and Richmond on a memorial slab let into the wall of the new Government Insurance building on the wharf next the Post Office which it will over-peer - red brick with white Oamaru stone dressings. The firm has also got the additions to the Hospital (a £6000 job). They have also been patronised by the Harbour board and have erected a bonded store and offices at the foot of the Queen's Wharf.
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C. W. Richmond to Alice Blake - - - Wellington, 18 May 1893
Her [Emily's] steamer left Wellington on the very day and at the very hour when I was engaged to open the 'Free Library'. They had to leave the Hall just after I had begun to read my address. Contrary to my custom I had written my speech as I was so distracted with other thoughts that I could not trust myself to speak from mere notes. After using my silver key on the library door, Margie, Frank R. and I rushed across the reclaimed land to Jervois Quay, just in time to see the Penguin backing out from the wharf . . .
One great topic has been the opening of the Congregationalist mission by Messrs Evans 19 and Bradbury. Mr Evans, as you know, is the liberal Nelson minister of that name. He is a well read and enthusiastic man and finds himself rather cramped as regards theology by the narrow creed of his sect. Many of our people at Nelson have found themselves in thorough sympathy with him. Aunt Maria and Charles Fell often attended his services. Bradbury is more a man of the people - simple and honest with plenty of straightforward good sense and strong sympathy with the so called 'Labour party'. Mr Evans has been staying with us . . . Mary has agreed to be organist for a time, but has not yet officiated. Margie played for them last Sunday. The meeting place is the large hall at the Exchange (late Athenaeum), Ted and Bob have sung in the choir. Frank Rolleston was pressed into the service by Mary, but after one experience found non-conformist ritual or want of ritual too much for him. There is something so fresh, nice and clean about a surplice, one cannot wonder at the preference many people feel for that form of 'Religion'. I always admired Archbishop Laud's account of the state of things he found on a first visit to Edinburgh - 'no religion at all that I could see'.
C. W. Richmond to Alice Blake - - - Wellington, 15 Jun 1893
We see a good deal of Mr Evans. He is an advanced theologian not afraid of Martineau or anybody else. He is also on social questions a member of the Party of Progress, but not a socialist and a very moderate democrat - if indeed you can call him one at all. Bradbury is less cultured and philosophical - a very good fellow people say having strong sympathies with the wage earning class. The purpose of the mission seems to be to introduce something very like Thom's 20 and M's view of Christianity to our agnostic young men and to the working classes. They lecture every Sunday at the Exchange Hall . . . and are drawing fair audiences . . .
I have sometimes spitefully said that the fundamental principle of Church of Englandism is. 'Let all things be done decently and in order'. But after all I agree
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that it does not answer to neglect the surroundings in our attempt at worship. We can few of us and only at seasons of deep excitement, wholly dispense with some adventitious aids to devotion. A homely looking little man in a black coat in a lecture hall fitted for theatrical entertainments, with a strange pronunciation, must have very good matter in him and great spiritual power to compete, in the judgment of the crowd, with 'the snowy handed' and his grand organ and his surpliced choristers and other adjuncts . . .
C. W. Richmond to Alice Blake - - - Wellington 9 Aug 1893
We are getting ahead famously in politics. Being, as we are, far ahead of both Europe and America in time we are bound to lead the world. We are going to have Woman's suffrage (universal like men's), Compulsory Conciliation for making employers pay proper wages, Prohibition so that we may not let those wicked brewers go on forcing us to intoxicate ourselves. Maurice and his partner have got a bill already printed and circulated to prohibit the manufacture, importation and use of fermented liquors - bristling with penalties. Only if your doctor will prescrible it for you, you may get a bottle at a time of the druggist, labelled outside with the complaint it is for, and the dose - say a dessert spoonful twice a day in a tumbler of water ... Militant temperance, recommended by Artie in 'The Prohibitionist', we have, thank heaven, already. Militant vegetarianism is in the back ground and coming we hope. It is quite settled that the rich people are to pay all the taxes and the poor people are to vote all the expenditure. Under this regime things will soon be righted. We have plenty of new statesmen coming into the field - carpenters, boiler-makers, printers, etc, who for the salary of £240 per annum (which we hope shortly however to increase a little) will regulate all our affairs. We are entirely of Mr Gladstone's opinion that property and education disqualify men (with some few exceptions such as W.E.G. himself and one or two of his colleagues) from forming sound judgments on public affairs, and think as little of the protests of bloated capitalists as Mr Gladstone does of those of the city of London, or the Chamber of Commerce of Belfast.
You see I am fast getting rid of my Tory prejudices, and only wish that all these young people of ours had begun sooner with their reforms, as some of us will scarcely live to see the beneficent effects of Social Democracy . . .
C. W. Richmond to Alice Blake - - - Wellington, 30 Aug 1893
We have had an epidemic of measles and mumps... A Government House Fancy Ball has twice been put off on account of measles amongst the young Boyles. The disease is all over Australasia. The free use of carbolic and sulphur has scented this mansion charmingly . . .
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Here in politics we are on the eve of woman's suffrage (universal) and the direct veto on the sale ... of intoxicating liquors. The thoroughgoing people on this subject propose to prohibit both the manufacture and import of these deadly poisons. We have also just passed in the House of Reps, a compulsory conciliation bill which is an excellent sample of modern legislation by advanced thinkers. It is a measure for settling trade disputes. Employers are to give, and workmen to take, such rate of wages as the court allows. Judges of the Supreme Court are to preside over these tribunals. Willie Reeves probably never read Hood's story (in the Ode to Rae Wilson) of the wether conciliated by the butcher who tugged him tail foremost to the slaughterhouse. 'There (says the butcher) I've conciliated him.' Andrew Lang, in his Letters to Dead Authors, tells Rabelais, that the Coque-cigrues (our friends the Faddists) are slain with Laughter. I wish they were. But they cannot see a joke or they would not be what they are. Want of Humour is a deadly failing in our 'Advanced Thinkers' . . .
Frank [Rolleston] is a court favourite. He goes to all the private picnics. I think Lady Glasgow has found out that he is a boy that can blush; which is a rarity south of the Line. The other boys are jealous. They tell Frank how they noticed Lady Augusta gazing at him.
C. W. Richmond to Alice Blake - - - Wellington, 10 Sep 1893
. . . There is nothing here in the way of news except that woman's suffrage will shortly become law unless something extraordinary happens. The Olivers dined here to-day, and Mrs is quite cock-a-hoop - or rather hen-a-hoop - about it. I fear that female politicians will be no more accesible to argument than male ones - and that it is true if man is in obstinacy a mule (as Mrs FitzGerald says he is) woman (as Mr FitzGerald says) is mulier. You will want to get the Latin dictionary for this letter.
C. W. Richmond to Alice Blake - - - Wellington, 26 Sep 1893
Woman is 'enfranchised' amidst huge acclamations. I want to send you a cutting from this morning's paper with an account of 'a monster meeting' at Nelson to celebrate the victory. The body of the hall filled with ladies-men in the gallery. Aunt Maria in great force - no more Jack Kerrs to be sent to parliament - no more Fishers - no more Seddons. And with them will pass into deserved political oblivion Rollestons and Bowens and the whole class of bookish old fogies with their half hearted 'ifs' and 'buts', who are ever standing in the way of great reformers with judgments at full cock on every question on earth and in heaven. Women, says Mr Chatterton, are to show that they will not be governed 'by fads faces and feelings'. Feelings and the other things are to be left, I suppose, to the men in the gallery . . .
The clergy for the most part applaud the measure. It will clearly increase their influence - which in this country may do no harm. But many will find themselves
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out in their reckoning. Forms of application for registry are provided already in the R.C. churches. The block vote of the Catholics for their own special ends will be more than doubled. This is not exactly what the non-conformist leaders of the movement will like, nor supporters of our system of secular education like Stout. The experiment will be a very interesting one. It may end in our backing out of the absurdity of universal suffrage, though scarcely in my time. It may be that Social Democracy will be allowed to run its course, and end in a smash as inevitably as a railway train let loose on a steep incline. 'Let the peoples spin for ever down the ringing grooves of change' - only they won't spin for ever. The triviality of the reasoning on both sides of this great question (with some rare exceptions) has surprised even me, who am accustomed to juries.
C. W. Richmond to Emily Richmond - - - Wellington, 5 Oct 1893
Mary is a leading member of The Citizens' Institute - a kind of politico-philosophical - social appendage to the church of Messrs Evans and Bradbury. In this capacity she is engaged in counteracting Mr Gladstone by reconciling the classes and the masses. Female influence is just now in the ascendant, as you may easily imagine, with 3,400 women's votes added to the roll in Wellington. Aunt Maria had made a great speech at Nelson at the meeting to celebrate 'Women's Victory'.
C. W. Richmond to Alice Blake - - - Wellington, 30 Nov 1893
I arrived at Nelson, or rather at my lodgings, on the stroke of 11 - being the hour for opening the court ... I was conducted to the Court House by Ruthie and Mary, to the admiration of the jurors and witnesses assembled outside the Court House. No doubt they regarded my female secretaries as another sign of the times, but did not cheer. The men are taking the thing cheerfully and resignedly, as it is wise to do . . .
At Blenheim I was trying without a jury a case about ditches and drainage and floodwater . . . when a view was suggested by the parties and within a few minutes the court and counsel, witnesses and parties started in a train of cabs and barouches for the spot a mile or so out of town. Mary (if you please) must needs be of the company - so there was I in my barouche with my two secretaries to the wonderment of the citizens, who seemed to think it might be a quiet marriage . . .
C. W. Richmond to Emily Richmond (in England) - - - Wellington, 30 Nov 1893
. . . Arfie has thrown himself into Wgtn electioneering with all the fervour of his race, though in the interests of cold water. He has I suspect an instinctive feeling that the blood of Grandfather Smith needs damping down ... I have no doubt that the family has to an appreciable extent contributed to the victory of the Temperance
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ticket in Wgtn, for the return of Stout, Bell and Duthie may be so regarded though none of the three - not even Stout - is an extreme prohibitionist.
The great political event has been however the exercise by women of the parliamentary franchise. More than 7000 women are on the electoral roll in Wellington, bringing the total number of electors up to about 16,500. Notwithstanding the excitement of parties the elections went off here, and I believe throughout the colony, with the greatest orderliness. The men were most polite to the women and not a drunken man was to be seen in the streets. Mary and Alla were on Mr Bell's committee and attended on the day of the election (Tuesday 28th), Mary at Boulcott St., and Alla at Clyde Quay, up to 7 o'clock at night. The women were most energetic. Though I cannot go the lengths of the cold water men I thoroughly sympathised with them in the Wgtn. contest, because after they had substituted Duthie for Fraser on their ticket, their three men were without doubt the most honest and capable of the ten candidates.
There is a dismal set off to the success of the moderates in Wellington. Mr Rolleston has been defeated at Ellesmere by young Mr Montgomery. Fortunately the successful candidate is an able and highly educated young man - son of old Montgomery. Scobie Mackenzie has been beaten by Shepherd Mackenzie, the Minister for Lands - in fact your Uncle Harry's old party is completely smashed. Only Capt. Russell and Mr Mitchelson have got in. The Democracy, generally aided by the Prohibitionists, have made a clean sweep of the board. It is however expected by many that Stout will turn out the Seddon Ministry on the Licensing question - that the soi-disant 'Liberal' party, which now has the ball at its feet, will split in two on this question.
C. W. Richmond to Emily Richmond - - - Wellington, 21 Dec 1893
The excitement of our electns. is over. No one knows exactly what will come of them. The Temperence vote in Wellington was fortunately in favour of the best men, but in other places the cold water people have turned out the leading members of the Oppostn. Mr Rolleston lost his election because he wd. not give in to local option. So did G. F. Richardson, Uncle Harry's Minister for Lands.
Arfie of course was in his element during the elections, and I have no doubt contributed sensibly to the defeat at Wellington of the Seddonian (who were not the cold water) candidates. He was particularly unkind to poor Tom Wilford. He followed him about to his meeting places and put awkward questions - heckled him. Tom complained that it was unfair - 'a young man could not know everything', he said and 'my fellows can't write letters'. Dr Newman last week was celebrating his victory at Porirua and telephoned to Arf that 'a ten minutes humourous Temperance speech' was wanted. Arf was engaged to give Mary a Greek lesson, but went to Porirua and performed there . . .
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Arf's activity has not been limited to the political sphere - he has been diving into a deep hole in the Kaiwarra Stream to rescue a lad who sunk whilst bathing. Unfortunately . . . Arf could only bring up from the bottom a lifeless body. The jury on the inquest highly commended him . . .
Esmond is an uncommon child . . . very reflective, very timid - takes quite a remarkable interest in scientific facts and in machinery. His drawings are of electric lamps and high pressure boilers in which he takes an interest made up of curiosity and fear ... He is afraid of dreaming about strong currents.
C. W. Richmond to Alice Blake - - - Wellington, 27 Dec 1893
I have read with great interest the Inquirer's full report of the address at the opening of Manchester College at Oxford. I rejoice that Unitarians should be taking their natural position amongst British theologians. Our sectarian organisation I have always looked upon as a necessary evil - being in fact in thorough sympathy with Dr Martineau upon this subject. Nowadays a majority of educated laymen are either Unitarian or Nothingarian. The latter I rather think are much the more numerous .. .
You are experiencing something of the arrogance of ignorant members of the Church of England, of which we see little or nothing in the colony. I honour the old Somersetshire Protestants who stick to their little conventicles in spite of social sneers and even in spite (which is harder to bear with) of pastors who leave out their 'h's'. The Blakes appear to hold a very unusual position in English county society. As descendants of the illustrious Defender of Taunton they cannot be looked down upon. Their adherence for generations to their old Puritan traditions in the midst of an English county is altogether honourable, but only what one would expect remembering the rock whence they were hewn. Nonconformity is in itself an inconvenience, not to say an evil, but the blame rests on those who make it necessary. However a better time is at hand. The weight of authority against the corruptions of Xtianity which still go by the name of orthodoxy is steadily increasing. It must ultimately necessitate changes in the Church of England and open her doors to many now excluded.This, for my part, I should much rather see than Disestablishment.
C. W. Richmond, journal - - - 15 Jan 1894
Yesterday went (Mary and I) to morning service & heard Archdeacon Harper intone the service. 'Truly for to tellen, at the last, in church he is a noble ecclesiastic'. Such a chest! Waited for him outside, till the people had left when he soon spied us & asked us to supper at 8. He took us in to his now emptied church which is a fine building by Armson. Monolith pillars of Aberdeen granite & a noble roof. The memorial window to Capt. Woolcombe is a real work of art. The Archdeacon knows all about windows & the methods by which the tints are obtained & showed us that in portions of the
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work the effect is obtained by relief, 'Just pass your finger over the face of our Lord in this group & you will feel it'. We went to supper & had a most pleasant evening of art talk. Fortunately Mary was pretty well up in the subject of illuminated missals .. .
Now for Monday 15th. Started by rail for Fairlie. Only 1 first class compartment swarming with chdn. Turned out to be all one family & well behaved, but I took to the 'smoking' & rode most of the way on the step. Lovely air - swarms of moths from the tussocks flying in your face & down your throat if you don't keep yr. mouth shut . . . The 35 miles fm. Timaru an altogether charming rural district. Limestone cliffs with huge blocks at 'Cave' in the Tengawai valley . . . Fairlie a good sized up-country township. Buildings all stone - hotel fairly comfortable - jolly landlady. Good night & ready for coach at 8 . . . The so-called pass into the Mackenzie country is quite a low saddle. On crossing it the grass plains at the foot of the three lakes open out on you in stretches of 20 miles or more, & you find yourself inside the outer ranges (or foot hills) of the N.Z. alps . . . Lunch at Tekapo - 26 miles fm. Fairlie. Fine solid suspension bridge over the river just where it issues in a fine rapid fm. the lake. The glacier water has got well filtered & the colour is a splendid blue green equal to the Rhone at Geneva... Reached our day's journey's end at Pukaki at 5.30 ... The lake 4! feet above usual level & no coach fm. the Hermitage as the creeks are impassable. Started at 8 & the coach & horses with all aboard were carried over on the punt which works in the usual way on a wire cable. The force of the stream heaped the water up on the bows of the two barges which carry the stage . . .
About 1/2 past 12 our driver began to fear the other coach was still blocked, but just as we were in the midst of a remarkably nasty stopping place in the Tasman river flat, meandering about amongst treacherous spiteful looking little streams of muddy water our mate hove in sight - what our driver calls an open coach, that is a big buggy. After the usual colloquy ... we changed drivers & under Mr Barry's pilotage resumed our journey . . . Pickaxe & shovel work is generally necessary at Glentanner where we stopped to wait for a couple of hours, met Williams J. & his wife coming down in a private buggy. Had a grass banco sitting & a long talk. Lager beer for lunch.
Soon after we started again the clouds cleared off Mt Cook & we had a magnificent view of it. But the surprise of the day was coming in sight of Mount Sefton on turning the spur called Sevastopol ... It is an astonishing sight. Reached this house [the Hermitage] at 5-30 - a long low building - the old part cob, the new part galvanised iron sheltered under a high part of the moraine of the Hooker & Mueller glaciers. This side of the moraine is covered with beautiful low bush - the other side the abomination of desolation. As I write I hear the roar of an avalanche (of ice) fm. the awful blue cliffs which rise stage after stage up the flank of the mountain. Walked to suspension bridge - afternoon pouring.
19th - Showery - beautiful walk up the valley . . . between the Mount Ollivier & the moraine . . . Amongst the bushes dwarf totara with red berries & a blue green one belonging to the pines, Mr Martin says. Abundance of the mountain lily with nearly
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circular leaves sometimes 12 inches or more across: but the flowers are over . . . After rising about 700 feet above this house come suddenly out at Kea point on the moraine of the Mueller glacier - a scene of utter desolation . . . Wekas everywhere as impudent as usual. The keas . . . too are fearless of man & let you come within a yard or two of them.
20 Saturday. Magnificent day. Began sketching Mount Sefton. Mary prowling about amongst the rocks very vigorously.
We have had several sunset views of Mount Cook - clear to the summit. The gable end which fronts us as sharp as a tool, passing through shades of colour from golden to rose & ashen grey . . .
Adamson is a fine natural young fellow - intensely interested in mountaineering ... He said . . . the keas have a language of their own & if you imitate it they partly understand & come closer in order to make out what you are saying. A lot of keas the other day were sitting on the fence, not looking the same way, but head & tail. One of them was going on terribly - something very bad. The one next him said nothing, but suddenly gave a squall & kicked the one that was using bad language off the fence.
21 Sunday. Another magnificent perfectly cloudless day - I stuck to my drawing though nearly baked as I may not have another chance of seeing the summit so exquisitely defined . . .
27 Saturday. . . . Te Muka is on the plain & the drive to the Rolleston's is on a dead level. The mountains alone give interest to the landscape. Four ranges projecting from the outer line of mountains are in sight at a distance of 15 to 20 miles fm. the house - '4 peaks' - Mount Peel (great & little) Mt Somers & Mt Hutt - beyond them far away to the north Mt Torlesse range . . . Rolleston says the prospects of the wheat harvest are not brilliant. There is a good deal of smut - though his crops are free . . .
Sunday 28. The weather threatening & R. is full of agricultural anxieties. I was mounted on a very stout pony & we started at a foot's pace to inspect the farm. Rolleston's wheat looked a healthy brown. He is cutting a hundred acre paddock of it. We rode as far as mouth of the Rangitata. Frank opening the gates . . .
Rolleston I am sorry to say seems quite crippled, but I hope it is only temporary ... As might be expected the political outlook does not appear to him hopeful. That an old settler of unblemished character & high accomplishments should be rejected in his own district in favour of a young prig like Montgomery is an indignity which he has not merited & a misfortune to the country. Nor is it only the present & particular loss to the public service. It is an evil omen - a sign of worse things coming ...
v 9, p 26
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C. W. Richmond to Emily Richmond & Alice Blake - - - Wellington, 22 Feb 1894
As we were waiting for the Brougham at the P.O. in Cathedral Sq. [Christchurch] ... we observed on a first floor window next the Post Office 'J. S. Atkinson successor to Mr Thomas Dentist'. This was the first we knew of Jack's 21 establishment at Ch'ch. Mary and Frank promptly ran up stairs and found the 'oak sported' with a card and the usual 'back in 20 minutes'.
C. W. Richmond to Emily E. Richmond - - - Wellington, 18 Mar 1894
Your visit to Hurworth must have been very interesting. I have a smudgy sketch made in 1859 not many yards from W. Atkinson's house looking towards Hal's Pillicock hill. A wretched little slab hut in the foreground and burnt bush.
C. W. Richmond to Emily Richmond - - - Wellington, 22 Mar 1894
Bob suddenly made his appearance from the bush on Tuesday and went back yesterday. He has had a rough time of it surveying a block on the ranges up the Wai-o-hine in the Wairarapa . . . Once . . . they had nothing to eat but a tui and a more-pork. The men don't like more-porks because they live on rats, and it is like eating rat. They were stewing the two birds when a kuka-pa (bush pigeon) flew up and perched. Bob shot it and it was made into a separate stew. This is not exactly what the Britishers call 'sport' - but there is more of nature about it than 30 gents in pink and tops and an army of hounds waiting for a wretched little fox who, when he is killed, is not equal for culinary purposes to a more-pork. Once coming up the Waikato in 1851 your Uncle James got a pot-shot at a lot of parera (grey duck) and knocked over seven with right and left barrels. Men don't feel any vegetarian or sportsmanlike scruples about this sort of thing when their stomachs are pinching them in the bush . . .
Yesterday the poll was taken on the question of Prohibition. I shall know in a few minutes what was the result. There is a very strong feeling amongst respectable people in favour of a vigorous administration of the liquor laws. I do not think the absolute Prohibitionists are in a majority - or anything like it - but the publicans by their defiance of the law have provoked a reaction. The real fault, I take it, is with the brewers and spirit merchants who hold most of the leases and exact enormous rents, which can only be paid by allowing wages men (such as shearers) to 'knock down their cheques' in public houses. One of these men spends as much in a day or two as a decent boarder would in ten.
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7-30 a.m. The result of the Wellington poll seems to be for Reduction and the committee elected shows a majority of moderates - the new committee will have a discretion to reduce. The vote for absolute Prohibition was very heavy here and still heavier in Christchurch and Dunedin. This is the women's work . . .
C. W. Richmond to Alice Blake - - - Wellington, 29 Mar 1894
The licensing elections have resulted in very heavy polling for Prohibition . . . but not sufficient to carry the measure . . . This is the ladies' doing, and is not marvellous but just what might have been expected. People are disgusted with the way the trade has been carried on - not that it has been getting worse lately - on the contrary, drunkenness has been diminishing. But the system of 'knocking down cheques' is still a great, in some cases a main, source of profit and the public will not put up with it any longer. The lowest of our working classes, mostly born in Europe, spend the enormous wages they receive whilst work is plentiful at shearing time and harvest, in a few days at the public houses. Their wives and families are left unprovided for, and they themselves have to appeal for state aid as 'the unemployed'. Having left themselves without a penny they travel the country as 'swaggers' and 'sun-downers' - claiming everywhere at the stations food and free quarters. No wonder people want to abate a nuisance like this. Whether Prohibition would prove a remedy is another question . . . More is to be looked for from aroused public opinion, which will insist on the observance of the law against supplying drunken men with more liquor.
A. S. Atkinson to Emily E. Richmond - - - Nelson, 28 Apr 1894
Your Taranaki letters . . . have indeed stirred up old memories. I should much have liked to go round the old places with you and Mr Parris - and so far from disliking to recall the memories of Waireka I should not object for the same cause and the same comrades, but with a little more ammunition, to go again through the day itself. If I remember right we were sent out with only 30 rounds each and none given us during the day. . . The only ammunition sent us during the day was a kit full brought by R. Pitcairn in the afternoon at considerable risk as he had to come thro' the Maoris, and when we opened it, it was for muskets not rifles! The soldiers meantime safe behind us and on the town side of the gully, blazed away over our heads at the Maoris in Waireka pa (at a range I suppose of 3 quarters of a mile!) a good deal of ammunition they had better have brought over to us . . . towards the end of the day some of us were running very short. For myself, being as William has said, 'constitutionally cautious' (especially in war-like affairs) I brought away several rounds with me because I was not satisfied how it was to end, and I meant to keep an effective voice in the matter until the last.
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C. W. Richmond to Emily Richmond and Alice Blake - - - Wellington, 9 Aug 1894
The session has been socially a gay one. But only socially - politically and financially things look dark enough . . . The country appears to be committed to supporting blindly the Bank of New Zealand. All owners of property are aware that it is at the mercy of a parliament elected by a majority with little or no property which has unlimited power to mortgage it for state purposes. The present Government has shown itself to be comparatively speaking moderate, but there are not wanting persons to advise the extremest measures of Social Democracy. It is however, I own, ridiculous to let pessimism in politics, or in anything else get hold of one.
C. W. Richmond to Emily Richmond and Alice Blake - - - Wellington, 6 Sep 1894
Your Mother and Aunt Maria are both very full of Drummond's Ascent of Man. I don't much like the way Fathers are treated . . .
About women and women's mission, D. is quite out of date. He seems to think that passivity, gentleness, repose, should characterise the female, and that no efforts or explanations or expostulations can ever break down the distinction between male-ness and female-ness, or make it possible to believe that they were not destined from the first of time to play a different part in human history. The old fossil! He can never have read Sir Geo Grey's address at the Women's Rights Convention, or the arguments of Sir John Hall in our House of Representatives. He seems to think the female cochineal insect the proper type which spends much of its life not at public meetings or even riding about in hansoms - but like a mere quiescent gall on the cactus plant. All our women feel inclined to throw things at him - and no wonder . . . Dear Emmy, Ali may be too far gone, but you at least, as a fin de siecle girl will never sink to the level of a female cochineal and may live to be mayor of a New Zealand borough, if not in the House of Representatives.
C. W. Richmond to Emily E. Richmond - - - Napier, 16 Sep 1894
Howlett called on Friday night and stopped an hour or more. Very entertaining he was. He fancies 'Neuropath' is Tregear and of course I did not undeceive him. He said, 'I am really the author of that letter. I sent Tregear, to give him a fair chance (of retaliation of course) [C.W.R.] a copy of my letter on 'Tirenics'.' I said I hoped he would answer Tregear. We talked mathematics and bi-metallism. He has written to Frank [Rolleston] with sundry mathematical problems. He attended Professor Rolleston's lectures, and tells Frank he sends him these nuts to crack as he knows he is not hereditarily a fool. This is a nicely turned compliment. The folly, if it exist, must be idiopathic. He looks very well and says the runholder at Makaretu with whom he lives treats him as a prophet and has appointed him a little chamber on the wall.
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C. W. Richmond to Emily Richmond and Alice Blake - - - Wellington, 4 Oct 1894
Your Mother's Wednesday's receptions are crowded. We are in the midst of a musical festival and the Opera House is crowded every night. The Creation, the Lobgesang, The Spectre's Bride, The Golden Legend and I know not what besides, are being performed. All this just suits the family . . .
In spite of the distractions of society your Mother and Aunt Maria have found time to read together Kidd's Social Evolution. They can't agree about it. Aunt Maria won't allow that a rational religion is a scientific impossibility. Anyhow the book is a very able one.
C. W. Richmond to Emily Richmond and Alice Blake - - - Wellington, 27 Dec 1894
Amy Jervois 22 is still with us. She ... is very merry and quite like a daughter. She and Mary have fights now and then when Mary becomes too oppressive. Mary is grander than ever . . . with her new writing table, reams of dun - ducally - mud coloured writing paper for poems and shelves full of philosophy. There is plenty of going out, parties, theatre, concerts about 4 nights in the week . . .
Frank [Rolleston] left for his holiday last Saturday. Everybody misses him very much. Hector paid us a short visit... He is a pleasing young fellow, less self restrained and dignified than Frank who is every way a model secretary.
C. W. Richmond to J. Fitzgerald - - - Wellington, 29 Dec 1894
Your definition of Religion approaches that of Hegel & Caird. (Kidd p. 89.) Hegel says 'The knowledge acquired by the Finite Spirit of its essence as Absolute Spirit.' But does not every definition which makes Science or Knowledge the essence of Religion overlook its emotional side? With the knowledge comes Love, and the sense of obligation, which are not purely intellectual things - which as we know may exist in immense force with very little science.
It is evident that no definition can be given of Religion which will satisfy everybody until men are agreed what Religion is. Kidd is unfair in his collection of 'Current Definitions of Religion'. The writers he cites are not attempting to describe the same subject. Many of them are Atheists, at least Agnostics - Matthew Arnold, Bain, Comte, Huxley - at least they fancy themselves such. But to most people Religion without a real God is a contradiction in terms. We cannot worship the Cosmos, or the Eternal Law, or the 'Continuous Not-ourselves that makes for righteousness', or a Stream of Tendency. No wonder that men having their eye upon entirely different objects should describe them differently.
Your definition seems to me rather one of Theology than Religion. That some Theology (that is, knowledge of God) is essential to Religion I grant readily. But Theology is not Religion.
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Your corollary that Religion must be based on Reason I accept fully: taking the term Reason in a wide sense as including Conscience. Of course I dissent from Kidd's proposition that a rational Religion is a scientific impossibility. Rational in Kidd's book has the artificially limited sense he gives it at p. 67. Reason is assumed to be purely egotistic in its ends, & its views must be limited to man's present Life. From this point of view self-sacrifice is irrational. The highest forms of Religion command it, but no rational sanction can be found for it. Religion with him is an instinct, cunningly implanted by Nature, under the influence of wrhich the Individual is induced to sacrifice himself, contrary to the dictates of his own reason, for the good of Society. This enables Evolution to proceed as in the days before man came upon the stage of being. The eyes of man having been calamitously opened to the knowledge of Good & Evil the Religious instinct is superadded to undo the mischief! But what about the scientific gentlemen able to peer behind the scenes, & discover the illusion?
The book no doubt is able & suggestive but in my judgment radically unsound. He starts from a basis of Agnosticism in Theology and Hedonism in Ethics, & can come to no good end.
I am reading Caird's (Edward) noble book on the Evolution of Religion with which I find myself much more in sympathy than with Mr Kidd. Letter copied from copy by Emily Richmond
C. W. Richmond to J. Fitzgerald - - - Glenorchy, Wakatipu, 17 Jan 1895
I am now writing to ask Mr Evans to hand over to you when he has done with it the first vol of Caird's book. 23 It seems to me an important contribution to Theology. Caird is an Hegelian. He is also a Theist and a Christian. Some would call him a Pantheist: but he would not I feel sure deny the personality of God or Man. We have in our consciousness the objective world, the subjective, and the transcendent Consciousness of Being - of that Being in whom object & subject - matter & mind - the World & Man live & move & have their being. The successive religions of the World are of these three types - Objective (Nature Worship), Subjective (sharply separating man from God as independent personalities) and lastly the true type which recognises God as immanent in the Universe both of man and Nature.
Miracle is for him unmeaning, for all Nature is miraculous. In Scriptural criticism he is of the most liberal school. His treatment of the vexed question of the Fourth Gospel is very able ... It is a significant & to my mind most hopeful sign of the times. Caird is packed full of poetry. Wordsworth's Lines written at Tintern Abbey contain much of the spirit of the book. Also Tennyson's New Pantheism - 'closer than breathing: nearer than hands and feet.' He has numerous citations from Goethe, and also from the In Memoriam , . .
What you say about the affinity of the three forms of Perfection appears to me entirely just. They may well be likened, as they often have been, to the decomposed
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colours, or rather separated waves, of a ray of light. A worship founded on exclusive adoration of any one of the three may be called idolatrous in the sense that it sets up an inadequate symbol of the perfect whole - Even the worship of the Good divorced from that of the True & of the Beautiful may lead to disastrous error. In this line of thought there is some analogy to Caird's. He accuses Judaism & Protestantism of exaggeration in this direction. Of the latter Milton is just referred to as a type - living & working 'as ever in the great Task-Master's eye', forgetful of the fact that He indeed worketh in us both to will & to do. Here the Puritan has something to learn or recover even from the Sacerdotalist with his system of Sacraments - under which everything is done for the unconscious soul.
I am writing this from one of the most lovely places I have seen.
At this point I am interrupted ... by the Chief Justice of Samoa - Mr Ide, a very sensible American who has been giving me an interesting account of the political situation there, & the views of parties in the States . . . 24
C. W. Richmond to Emily E. Richmond - - - Paradise, 19 Jan 1895
Mary has I believe told you the address of Mr Ide, the Chief Justice of Samoa. He is a very sensible man and was a friend of Stevensons, who used to teach the young lady French. . . .
Mary (dear child) ... is always looking after us. Even on the hottest day she tries (and fights) to muffle me up in woolly wraps and brings out the black goggles whenever the mountains are looking splendidly bright. I have been trying various sketches but have been able to finish nothing. If I mean to bring away any memo of the grand Dart valley view I must begin at once.
C. W. Richmond to Mary Richmond - - - Wanganui, 2 Mar 1895
I have told your Mother about the Bishop. He is a scholar, but no doubt a thorough sacerdotalist. No doubt he would thoroughly sympathise with the recent laudation of Laud of which there is a very interesting account in the Times of Jany. 11th ... In my opinion your true sacerdotalist will always be a persecutor if he gets the chance. The delusion that he is the possessor of supernatural powers, the necessary vehicle of Divine grace to the laity and the possessor of an infallible oracle of truth leads logically to persecution, even unto death of all gainsayers. Laud is described on a medal struck in his honour after the Restoration as 'Sancti Caroli Praecursor'. Next we shall be having a movement I suppose to restore the service in honour of 'King Charles the Martyr'.
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C. W. Richmond to Emily E. Richmond - - - Wanganui, y Mar 1895
Going back to our journey here, I expect Frank has told you or Mary that Amy Hadfield was down to meet us at Marton Stn. and came into our compartment for the few minutes of our stay . . . They were expecting the Bishops of Salisbury 25 and Wellington on the Monday or Tuesday . . .
On Saturday night I got a note from Mr Empson inviting me to attend the chapel on Sunday where the Bishop was going to preach. I accepted gladly - telling him that I had meant to ask leave to attend, Bishop or no Bishop. It was a very interesting service. The whole school joins in the chaunts. Some verses (but not every alternate verse) are left to the choir of young boys with sweet unbroken voices. The responses from the others come crashing in with great effect in some passages . . . I stayed lunch but the Bishop was very shy and would not converse. It was Sunday and he was going to preach in the evening which may in part account, but it seemed to me he was on his guard . . . After we had been in the drawing room a quarter of an hour or so he went out for a walk and Mr Empson accompanied him. I should say he is decidedly medieval.
C. W. Richmond to J. Fitzgerald - - - Wanganui, 9 Mar 1895
I have an hour before starting on my homeward journey & will try to answer yours about Caird. I am sorry he has not taken hold of you. His discussion on the views of Herbert Spencer & Max Muller on our consciousness or conception of the 'Infinite or Infinite Being' is the toughest, & to my mind the least interesting part of the work ... I am not at all certain that I get properly hold of the ideas of either side. But there seems to me to be a practical & intelligible difference between Spencer & Caird inasmuch as Caird holds that we have a consciousness of the Infinite Being in whom we live & move & have our being, whereas Spencer regards the Infinite Being as an abstract something outside of all Human cognition.
To know is, according to Spencer, to limit; therefore the illimitable cannot be known. In this controversy so far as I understand it I certainly side altogether with Caird, & against Spencer & the Agnostics. I imagine you yourself are really of the same mind, & that you have not forgotten Wordsworth's child, far inland, applying to his ear the convolutions of a smooth-lipped shell, so receiving 'authentic tidings' of the invisible Ocean - 'of ebb & flow and ever during power, and central Peace subsisting at the heart of endless agitation', - or the tender Pantheism (half Pantheism) of the lines written at Tintern Abbey. Caird has drunk deeply of our best Modern Poetry, as is plain from his continual citations, and Wordsworth is one of his Prophets.
I read your paper directly I got it. I have it by me at this moment.
Wellington: Sunday 10 Mar. At this point I was interrupted, & have now hastily
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to finish up. I have taken the liberty of making a few notes in the margin. Of course like you, I place the ultimate seat of authority in matters of Religion in the Human Reason & Conscience. We have to make choice between that and an Infallible Church or Infallible Bible - in neither of which can any really cultivated layman put his trust.
As Mephistopheles soliloquized about Faust, 'Only despise reason & knowledge, the highest strength of Humanity: only permit thyself to be confirmed in delusion & sorcery work by the spirit of lies - and I have thee unconditionally'. All magical modes of salvation to my mind belong to the category of delusion & sorcery-work.
Somehow I think you have taken Caird wrongly, but I can't enlarge on this. I do not reckon myself a Hegelian - I feel their doctrine is beyond me. I cannot make the step from Thought to Existence which they seem to be able to do, but with the outcome of their Philosophy I am in sympathy - in entire sympathy. Their present predominance in the English Universities (for such I understand is the case) appears to me a good sign of the times.
Jane Maria Atkinson to 'My dear People' - - - Windhover, 2 Jul 
. . . Aunt A's 26 recollection as to dates &c is hazy but she thinks that Mr Murray persuaded Uncle H, tho' very unwilling, to become part owner of the N.Z. Times as Mr M was most anxious it should be run as a Govnt. paper. It did not pay & had to be sold probably at a loss, but what Uncle's loss was, or whether Mr M undertook any of it for the bank she does not know. . . .
v 7, p 80
J. E. Fitzgerald to Emily E. Richmond - - - Wellington, 5 Aug 1895
It is right I should tell you how much I feel that the duty I owe to others is all that prevents my paying the last tribute of respect and affection by following to the grave one for whom I entertained the closest feelings of friendship and the strongest affection and respect of all whom it has been my privilege to meet in life. I can hardly realise that I am still left work to do and one so infinitely more valuable and powerful for good should be taken, unless it be that he has sooner earned his rest.
When I think what he was to me, so rarely in his company, I can conceive what he was to you and yours. Even for me there is a void left never to be filled again in this life. It is thus we feel that there must be another. Without it life is an unfinished tale - an unsolved problem.
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W. F. Howlett 27 to A. R. Atkinson - - - Napier, 13 Aug 1895
Many many thanks for the E. Post you sent me in re the Judge. I had . . . the highest respect for him. I enjoyed an hour's chat with him in Napier in September last. He was as good sport as J. A. Symonds - and he was about as smart as they make them - or Leonard Courtney, but Symonds was a born aristocrat and L. C. very much wasn't.
The Judge had much of the manner of men I have never met, but I know it. A sort of cross between Manning and Lord Granville, judging simply from what I have read. Symonds was deliberately ultra aesthetic. Walter Pater was no good to talk to, at least he didn't let his milk down easy. His brains were all in his pen. Farrar ditto -seemed very anxious not to wear his heart on his sleeve, which was as good as calling me a dow. Hated shop and liked to walk politely on the surface of things . . .
If I ever come to Wellington you must let me have a long yarn with you. There are some things you can hardly have escaped reading for the schools, and you can lay me on to some books. One thing I particularly want is an up-to-date exposition of this mysterious 'moral sense' which all the Richmonds and Atkinsons think they know all about. I recognize nothing but hedonism pure and simple so far as I know. 'Ought' to me is as meaningless as J - 1, and while J - 1 does not vitiate conclusions, an 'ought' mars the whole logic of an argument to my mind. My poor old Dad says this is because I am sinful and my carnal heart loathes the restraints of Xtianity. To which I reply with Clough 'It may be and yet be not.' See 'Wen Gott betrugt ist wohl betrogen,' ad fin. I don't know German, but that's the name.
New Zealand Institute to Emily E. Richmond - - - Wellington, 14 Dec 1895
Extract from minutes of a meeting of the Board of Governors of the New Zealand Institute - His Excellency Lord Glasgow presiding: -
'Resolved that the Board of Governors, acting on behalf of the members of the New Zealand [Institute] who represent scientific research in this Colony, desire to place on record their appreciation of the brilliant talents of the late Mr Justice Richmond and of the great benefits which the Colony has received from his untiring efforts to diffuse sound philosophy by his numerous writings and lectures, and particularly to acknowledge the powerful aid which he gave towards the foundation of this Institute: That this resolution be recorded in the Minutes of the Institute & that a copy of the same be forwarded to the relatives of the late Judge with an expression of profound sympathy with them in their bereavement.'
v 7, p 78
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Jane Maria Atkinson to Emily E. Richmond - - - Otaki, 5 Aug 1896
We thought of you all a great deal on the third, and of the poor Fitzgeralds, who were on that day laying to rest their husband and father, and almost the last I fear of N.Z's really noble men who laid what seemed a hopeful foundation for a new state -now alas being so unworthily built upon 28 . . .
Mr Edwards' appointment is one gleam of justice in the darkness and it is refreshing to read how he spoke of dear William when answering the bar's congratulations at Nelson. His appointment has altered Art's prospects, for he and Mr Morison have dissolved partnership, that Mr M. might join Mr Loughnan in the purchase of Mr Edwards' practice. Some of the richest clients are brewers and men of the Trade as it is called, who would not have anything to do with a fanatic like Arf. Today he is 33 and I regret his prospects becoming unsettled again at this age. If politics don't improve at the general election I dread his feeling free to shake the dust of N.Z. off his feet!
Jane Maria Atkinson to Emily E. Richmond - - - Nelson, 27 Sep 1896
The political outlook is very serious ... I fear that the utmost we dare hope is that the large body of malcontents who certainly exist may succeed in sending up a much more numerous and powerful Opposition than that now in the House, but of course the difficulty is to induce honest able men to stand. If Mr Carleton pronounced the puddle too dirty for decent folk 25 years ago, I wonder what he would say to it now? . . . Again there will be a Motueka electorate, and Richmond [Hursthouse] is being pressed to stand by his old supporters ... A good many want him to fight Graham again for Nelson, which will now I hear include Havelock! But I hope he will stand where his chances are best, for to have him in the next House is our main object . . . We have no certain news as to Artie's standing, and if he does, whether it will be for Wellington City, or Suburbs . . .
We shall be very much interested to hear something of Mary's experiences in the Kindergarten. I wish she would make inquiries as to the working of the Sloyd system. (I spell it as it sounds and probably wrong.) I believe it is for older pupils on the kindergarten lines, the hands and eyes being trained as much as the memory. It is said to be most successful and I am sure we need improved methods of education here ... If there is any literature in connection with the Sloyd system I should be very grateful and willing to pay for them if Mary could bring out the books explaining it . . .
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Jane Maria Atkinson to Emily E. Richmond - - - Nelson, 24 Oct 1896
Certainly New South Wales is the Colony which would attract me if Seddonism should make N.Z. unbearable and I were young enough to care to move anywhere 29. . .
[Mabel] has been busy since her return in learning dispensing from Dr Mackie and book-keeping from the Rev Mr Gray, our new Baptist minister, and Ruth's ally in the Temperance cause. R. has taken very much both to him and his pretty little wife ... He is quite an eloquent preacher, more strictly orthodox than the Isitts, but never neglecting the practical application of Christianity to life, so one can listen to him with satisfaction. The Baptist church, the oldest here, is being rebuilt . . . On Sunday evenings he preaches in the Prov. Hall, which is well filled, partly with members from all the other denominations, partly with those who never go inside a church, but feel at ease listening to a sermon in a lay hall . . .
The Gen. Election . . . cannot be held before the 1st week of Dec ... I can't look forward very hopefully to the result, the people are so besotted as to care far more for the petty benefits the Ministry will confer out of this abominable million loan, than for the deeper and deeper indebtedness and the heavier taxation more borrowing means . . . Now this is the principle pervading the country. Alla finds it rife at Otaki. It makes one sick to think of it. Nothing but an elective executive can help us, but with Seddon as dictator that is unattainable ... I can't believe Arf will get in because he is far too out spoken and enthusiastic for the classes, and his name and good education brand him as a Tory to the masses, the Pro. folk excepted, and some of them are deluded enough to still cling to Seddon, but not the main body in the South. We are reading ... an excellent essay of Mr Melland's on Party Government ... as an antidote to Lecky's terribly depressing and pessimistic Liberty and Democracy. Mr Melland believes that we can overcome many of the evils beginning here and rampant in France and America if we take Switzerland as a guide. The dangers of democracy he maintains are enormously increased by the system of party government . . .
A. R. Atkinson to Emily E. Richmond - - - Wellington, 29 Oct 1896
We are just on the brink of a general election and shall miss your and Miss Richmond's services very much . . . Our journalistic stormy petrel, The People's Voice is supposed to start next week, but I can't run the thing and my election at the same time, and whatever arrangement we make, we shall miss our poet terribly.
I was very nearly going for the Suburbs . . . and had one or two interviews with Wilford on the subject which were as good as a play ... In one of these conversations I explained to Mr W. that it wd. be much better fun for me to sit quietly at home and lampoon him in the newspapers, as I did before, but that I thought that being young men and beginners in politics we might safely disregard the conventionalities which
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bound older candidates and speak of one another from the platform as plainly as possible. It would have been very funny if we had got to work. But [T.W.] Hislop has now taken up the running in my stead . . . The arrangement leaves me free to write and I made my first use of the opportunity a couple of days ago in the Post . . . Knowing your tenderness for the young rascal [Wilford] I dare not send you a copy ...
Speaking for Wilford at Petone on Monday, Seddon claimed credit for the Government on account of the increase in the church-goers and the decline in the free-thinkers during its tenure of office! Could Gilbert and Sullivan beat that? Let Mary consider how nicely she could have set it for the Voice. The audience of course received the remark with applause.
Jane Maria Atkinson to Emily E. Richmond - - - Nelson, 20 Dec 1896
. . . The real blow was Richie's [Richmond Hursthouse] defeat by R. Mackenzie, a mere ignorant sot, whilst there is good reason to believe he would have beaten Graham for Nelson ... He had not the slightest wish to return to politics . . . but having, when Motueka ceased to be an electorate, made a kind of promise to come forward ... he agreed to contest the seat . . . provided a very numerously signed requisition were brought him. The number of names he demanded was so considerable . . . that he made nearly sure they would not be procurable. However they were forthcoming and he stood. By Takaka and the mining districts round Collingwood (where Mackenzie, who is wealthy, had beer flowing freely) the election was really decided. The miners and agriculturalists have quite opposite interests. The former told Richie plainly they only wished Seddon had borrowed 5 instead of one million! .. .
About the Wellington election ... In the beginning Arthur and I had not the least expectation that Arfie would be returned, but . . . after Messrs Bell and Duthie retired, we began to feel the unlikely was quite possible. His friends and supporters seem quite certain that but for Mr Duthie's dangerous tactics in ordering plumping for Menteath . . . Arf would have been elected instead of Fisher, who was only 28 votes ahead . . . Arf was well supported by the 'toffs' which ought to please you, but this did not alienate the Pros. Admiring relatives, and friends wrote glowing accounts of his good speeches and the pluck and good temper he showed thro' barracking and interruptions. Like his Uncle Harry he never lost the thread of what he was saying . . . He told the rowdies he should do so if he stayed where he was till daylight, and sat on the table calmly reading his notes till the noises subsided . . . Mr Isitt declared he had never known any old stager, . . . keep his temper and composure better. So anyway Arf has made a very successful debut in politics . . . Arnold [Atkinson] arrived in time for the end of the fight ... if only life and health are granted them, I hope he and Arf may fight many a good fight side by side for the benefit of the colony in days to come ... In numbers and character we may hope to see a better and stronger Opposition than in the last parliament 30 . . .
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I can't approve of the modern parsimony in the matter of children, where neither health nor means appear to demand it. It seems to me the effect on the world will be disastrous, if all the thoughtful pairs anxious to bring up their children as they should be brought up, are only to have 2 or 3, whilst the thoughtless and reckless, who take no kind of pains in the training and education of their offspring, continue increasing and multiplying ad libitum . . .
A delightful letter has just come from Lily Fell ... It quite did my heart good to hear it after all that is said of the advantages of art and high civilization and the way some girls consider home ties, duties and affection mere dust in the balance when weighed against European culture and advantages. I had far rather my children and grandchildren grew up loving dunces than have them value intellectual gains as the supreme objects to be striven for in life, and pity themselves and be pitied when circumstances lead them in a path where ministering to others rather than cultivating their own intellects or tastes seems their fate. I believe that in helping to train the musical talent and taste of dwellers in this obscure corner of the world, Lily has a higher career before her than in remaining to enjoy the most exquisite music Europe can produce, for at the same time she will have a home life to keep her heart and sympathies warm . . .
A. S. Atkinson to Emily E. Richmond - - - Nelson, 16 Feb 1897
Last Sunday afternoon . . . whom should I see coming up our path but Mr Rolleston - he is on his way home again. I need hardly say that Maria and he were soon discussing 'elective executive' and other leading points and I afterwards took him down to the 'Wainui' . . . He is perhaps in fact a trifle older than he was ten years or so ago when I saw him last, but he has this one sign of enduring youth, which you will remember poor old Hal always had ... a cheerful view of the political outlook, however much against us for the time - wrhat in it is abominable has to be fought against till overcome and it will take time, but it must come right at last . . . We feeble ones must not let our impatience hinder us from doing what little we might.
A. S. Atkinson to Emily E. Richmond - - - Nelson, 16 Feb 1897
Maria has mentioned a great scheme which is being discussed here . . . some suitable memoir of dear old Hal. If it is to be done it will want all to help, Maurice very creditably offering to edit, and it will be a worthy employment for you if you wd. get a memo book, comfortable to write in, and put down without any attempt at present arrangement all you can remember characteristic of him and his surroundings from the first, as well in England as in N.Z . . . Don't trouble yourself now about the form in which you get your recollections down. It should be to begin with just a rough note book to be sorted afterwards.
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Jane Maria Atkinson to Emily E. Richmond - - - Nelson, n Apr 1&97
Arfie is again plunged into the thick of the fight against Seddonism . . . He is out for the Suburbs against a creature of Seddon's, Chas Wilson, who was one of the losing candidates for the City in Dec. I can't say I felt at all glad that Arf was chosen to stand, but he seems quite cheerful and ready for the fray in spite of fortune's rebuffs. I am told his chances are good, much better than Mr Hislop's would have been had he come forward again.
You will hear that thanks in a gt. degree to the generous and loyal sentiments of his foes in the Opposition, Mr Seddon is to be allowed to go to England with a more numerous retinue than any of the Australasian premiers are taking! Money is to flow freely to enable him to cut as grand a figure as he believes he deserves, but many people think that in spite of expense N.Z's contingent will cut a sorry figure amongst the finely accoutered and scientifically drilled troops in the Old Country and that to have taken half a dozen of our best shots and perhaps a dozen of the best made Maoris would have been in all ways wiser and more modest. Any way Seddon as Sir Richard is bound to return 'puffed up with majestic pride' and not by any means a wiser or a sadder man. The only way in which N.Z. might benefit by a European war would be if some enemy's cruiser would capture our premier on his return voyage and detain him as hostage for 5 or 10 years. That his party cannot run alone can be plainly seen as he dare not leave them to face parliament without him even for a few weeks.
(Copy or draft, corrected)
[E. W. Stafford] to Alfred Saunders - - - 27 Sep 1897
I have read with much interest the first volume of your History of New Zealand . .. I will now refer to the late Judge Richmond. From some sentences in your work it might be inferred that in the advice he gave he was influenced by a consideration for the interests of relatives and friends. Such was not the case. There was no more thoroughly straightforward, singleminded or honest man than Mr Richmond, and in any advice given by him as to public affairs he was never influenced by any consideration for private interests but by the conscientious conviction that it was the advice proper for the occasion. I knew him well and intimately, and knew how zealously and devotedly he used his great intellect in support of what he believed to be for the public good. In this case of the Waitera the very first advice he gave was that Teira's offer should only be accepted if the title were good, and in all subsequent action his advice was governed by the same sentiment. His opinions on the subject are fully disclosed in the several official papers submitted to the New Zealand parliament in the sessions of 1860-61. ...
Stafford Papers, 44 (in Turnbull Library)
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Robert R. Parris to Arthur S. Atkinson - - - New Plymouth, 23 Feb 1898
... So my dear old friend Mr J. C. Richmond, the last of the three brothers, has passed away 31 who together with your brother Sir Harry leaves you & Mrs Atkinson the only survivors of the old stock of the two families.
My mind has been exercised of late thinking of the extraordinary incidents . . . which I have witnessed since I first knew them, more especially in my official capacity as a subordinate under them during our efforts to subdue a noble race & prove to them that we must be masters ... time has proved that the process adopted was necessary & right. Much as I was abused I claim to be as sincere a friend of the Natives as any of my vilifiers which some of them have since admitted, even Governor Grey & Sir W. Fox, the latter with by far the best grace, the former from force of circumstances . . .
After our success in taking [Katikara and Weraroa] ... Sir George Grey promised, in the presence of several witnesses, that I should be specially rewarded for the part I had taken but I never heard from him in fulfilment of his promise afterwards. It is painful to speak of one who has held the high position he has & possessing ability, to have to speak of him but respectfully, but a more insincere, treacherous & vindictive individual it would be difficult to find . . .
I don't know if you or the dear old Judge ever heard of his wickedness in 1863 on the occasion of General Cameron going out with the troops to re-occupy Tataraimaka when I went with them. Domett & Bell were here with the Governor but in different lodgings. In my absence on a Saturday eveng. he went to Domett & Bell with a written statement signed by a weak minded settler declaring that W. King & his followers were driven out of the Pah at the mouth of the river at the point of the bayonet & every thing in the place burnt or destroyed. Domett & Bell told him they had never heard of it but if true it would alter their opinions altogether on the question of giving up Waitara but that they must see Parris before giving an opinion . . .
It was arranged that the Governor & Bell should go together the following morning to see me at Tataraimaka camp, time was fixed & the Governor promised to call for Bell who was waiting, but no Governor called. Bell sent his servant to ask if the Governor was ready when he was told that the Governor had been gone an hour. Bell was naturally displeased but he followed. When the Governor arrived at our camp, his horse black with sweating he asked for me & was told that I was out where the working party was building a stockade. He asked the General to send his orderly for me & to request me to come in as quick as possible. When I got to camp he was standing in front of the General's tent. He received me with fulsome flattery & led me into the tent where General was sitting in a chair. The Governor gave me a document to read which when I had done so I laid it down on a table. The Governor then said 'What do you think of it Parris?' I replied 'Its a tissue of falsehoods'. He said 'What do you mean?' I replied 'What I have said, in proof of which I reported to the Government
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a fortnight before the troops left Auckland that W. King & his followers had left their Pah with all their belongings & gone to Mataitawa'.
The old General with a very stern look at the Governor said 'O Governor that gives it a very different feature.' As I left the tent Bell rode into camp, dismounted from his horse and asked if I had seen the Governor. I replied yes. He then said: Has he shewn vou a document?' I told him what had taken place, upon which Bell gave me a heavy blow on the back & said 'Splendid, my dear fellow. I was afraid he would trap you.' I replied: I thought you knew better than to think so.' Bell then said he has behaved very shappy to me, I will not ride home with him. Bell remained in camp & we drafted a Memo which he said he & Domett would confront the Govr. with on the morrow . . .
v 7, >p 81
Robert R. Parris to Arthur S. Atkinson - - - New Plymouth, Jan i8gg
Your letter of the 26 ultimo has raised the Ghost of the political enemies of Governour Brown and also of the Ecclesiastical casuist who violated their sacred office by joining an unholy alliance to overthrow a strictly honest and truthful Governour who had initiated a policy absolutely & essentially necessary for the occupation of New Zealand as a British Colony ... for although they brought back Sir George Grey who for two years did his best to patch up a peace at any price reached the climax of his folly by causing the massacre of Dr Hope Lieutenant Traget & several privates by his persistent obstinacy.
I . . . will only give you a few incidents as proof of Teira's party's rights to the land which should convince any unbiased reasoner -
1st. On the return of Rangitaki & the Ngatiawas from Wakanae to Waitara before they built their pas Rangitake asked Taripa Raru (Teira's Father) for his permission to build a pa for Manukorihi on the south bank of the river assigning his reason for doing so the possibility of the Northern Natives attacking them again and on that account the three pas were built very near each other for self defence against a raid from the North.
2nd. Soon after the adoption of a Maori King a deputation of Kingites arrived at Waitara & were guest of Rangitake. They had a large fishing net which they proposed using at the mouth of the river on the south bank. Rangitake saw at once an object in the proposal, beyond fish, for by Maori custom the usage of a net for catching fish in rivers establishes a claim to land and he appealed to Teira's father to oppose their using the net.
3rd. Rangitake on several occasions admitted unreservedly that the land belonged to Teira's party but that he would oppose the sale of it.
4th. During the negotiations a follower of Rangitake told Archdeacon Govett that if Raupongo was agreeable to Teira's proposed sale that Rangitake had no right to oppose - Raupongo was supporting Teira.
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At this stage of the negotiation I was very anxious, having from many interviews with Rangitake convinced myself that he was decided on giving trouble and knowing Bishop Hadfield's long acquaintance with him I asked Archdeacon Govett to write and ask him if he would advise Rangitake to settle the matter peaceably with the Governour who was anxious to avoid hostilities and would make any reasonable concession.
Bishop Hadfield's reply was vindictive & shewed his animus. He said he must decline & intimated that his Natives would espouse Rangitake's action (this correspondence was private & if ever made use of Archdeacon Govett & myself should not be named).
5th. One incident more. During Sir G. Grey's visit with General Cameron, Mr Domett & Mr Bell in 1863 Rangitake's daughter Horiana came in from Mataitawa with Tamihana Tuhawe & had an interview with the Governour (Rangitake was in Waikato) in the presence of the General, Mr Domett & Mr Bell when the Governour offered to give Horiana a piece of the disputed land if she would live on it. Tamihana Tuhawe instantly replied; No good, Governour, she never owned any of that land & would never live on it! ! (Tamihana's remark applied to Rangitake & Manukorihi generally! ! Mr Domett said it was the best evidence & most conclusive he ever heard in favour of the validity of the title of Teira's & his supporters.
The great land league originated with the Ngatiraukawa living at Otaki & the great meeting was convened by Matene Te Whiwhi for which the large house named Taiporohenui was built at Manawapou & was after the meeting removed to Whareroa, the head quarters of the Chief Te Rei Hanataua, father of Hone Pihama. At the meeting Matene Te Whiwhi brandished a tomahawk (patiti) as a token & warning of death as the punishment of any one who offered to sell land & the first example was the massacre of Rawiri Waiaua & seven followers whilst on their way to cut the boundary of a small block of land to sell to Government in 1854. It is well known what was the state of this district from that time until 1860.
Rangitake was at the Taiporohenui meeting but arrived late. The mat presented to the Governour by Teira was a kaitaka. It was taken up by McLean, but as to [who] kept it or where it is now I know not, but my impression is that the Governour kept it.
... On the eve of Governour Jervois leaving New Zealand he paid a short visit to New Plymouth ostensibly if not wholly for the purpose of seeing me. He said he wanted to have a talk with [me] & would like to go for a walk . . . He commenced by asking me why I refused to write a history of the Native troubles? Also of the war & its cause? I entered very fully into an explanation of my reason, to which he replied: I admire your principles nevertheless it is a pity as no one has gone through & knows so much about it as you do.' When that was ended he said: 'there is another matter I would to talk with you about, it is very strange but Bishop Hadfield maintains to this day that the war could have been averted - what is your opinion? I paused for a bit & then said: 'Yes certainly.' The Governor looked astonished & said 'bless me, you are of the same opinion'. I replied: 'On very different grounds to that of
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Bishop Hadfield. Nothing short of suspending colonization & the further advancement of settlement could have averted the war. I wish I could think it was only an error of judgment on the part of Bishop Hadfield but there was something more.' The Governour: What is that? I replied: Bishop Hadfield wanted to be dictator to the Governour in Native matters, my experience of what the Natives had been doing for a long time in acquiring arms & ammunition and their general demeanour was proof sufficient that they were determined [to] have a trial by recourse to war.
The matter has been fought out through great trials & privations to many who have been through it, but without it New Zealand would never have been the prosperous country it now is. I have done my part & have had my share of abuse especially from the parties first named at the commencement who have witnessed their own ignomenious overthrow in all their abortive attempts to carry their point.
I have no desire to be egotistical but I claim to have been as good a friend to the Natives as any of them & as much respected by the Natives as any of them even during hostilities & since. Even Sir G Grey told Mr Domett and Bell that he was surprised to see how the natives respected me even the followers of Rangitake . . .
I look back with amazement at the past & my present existence after all I have gone through, and my present advanced years to 83 I find my physical vitality & energy waning . . .
v 7, p 2-3
A. S. Atkinson to M. W. Richmond - - - Nelson, 2j Mar 1899
... Of course what we want from Mr Parris is evidence on the various parts of the Waitara question . . . You can get some real evidence as to Grey's character & methods - get also that of Teira, W. Kingi, W. Thompson, Rewi &c. He first left N.Z. about the last day of 1853 (6 or 7 months after we came). He left with a great reputation for his knowledge of & personal influence & power over the Maoris. This reputation tho' much exaggerated was not absolutely without foundation. He spent much time & labor in studying the Maori language history & customs, & tho' his methods in collecting were not always admirable the Maori literary relics he has left behind deserve the gratitude of all Maori students, and this is well deserving mention tho' not enough to entitle him to a resting place in St Pauls beside Nelson & Wellington & presumably as one of their peers . . .
Let it be granted that he had extraordinary knowledge or insight into & power over the Maoris, what practical record of it did he leave among the Maoris themselves? What did he do to establish or towards establishing British Govt, among the Maoris on a permanent & rational or say workable basis? Did he leave even a word of warning for his successors as to the dangers involved in King movement & Taranaki Land League? Yet when he came back again in 1861 to save New Zealand William Thompson himself told him that the King movemt. began while he himself was Governor &
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W. T. L. Travers will tell you that he talked with Grey about the Land League in 1852 and how long after he came back in 1861 did it take him to see the full significance of these two movements or forms of estrangement by that time merged into one? I look on the Waitara war as beginning with the killing of Rawiri Waiaua 3d Aug. 1854 being the first practical action of the Taranaki Land League.---Fas est et ab hoste doceri. [After quoting Gorst's The Maori King p. 137 on the Waitara war the writer continues]:
His court of appeal was at first the Land League, after 1860 the King - in either case the sanction of the law he recognized was the Tomahawk passed round at the great Taiporohenui meeting of May 1854 & exemplified 3 months later on Rawiri - Of the state of things around New Plymouth between 3rd Aug 1854 & the 17th March 1860 i.e. from the active interference of the Land-leaguers with the Taranaki land question to W. Kingi's taking it up the only competent historian is Mr Parris, but he must not leave out his own part in the matter which was often the best and quite essential to a true & vivid presentment of the case -
Here I must interrupt to summarize a little - The notion of a war of races was for a long time repudiated by the first leaders of the King movement except Rewi & Te Heuheu - but the Taranaki Leaguers were never far from it as they had from the beginning declared war on the close allies of the white people if they venture to act as they were forbidden - Yet even W. Thompson very soon justified himself for fighting at Waitara one ground being that W.K. was a relative of Waikato & had asked them! The truth being that the notion at first absent or far down in their minds had rapidly developed & taken a strong hold of them that they must fight it out with the pakehas - was Pakeha or Maori king or Queen to rule? That was the state of mind I reached very early in the war & held to the end - & tho' I could not give the date if it was not in the beginning - it was I believe the state of mind of all Taranaki except perhaps half a dozen - . . .
Don't forget to give my kindest regards to Mr Parris & ask particularly for his personal adventures - as well before the war as at the pa, the various ambushes he has fallen into or nearly - the pa's he has virtually shown the way into while greater(?) men went off with the credit. Katikara & Weraroa I think are two . . .
v 7, p 85
Robert R. Parris (narrative) - - - New Plymouth, 27 Mar 1899
A BRIEF NARRATIVE
of Native troubles in the Taranaki District from the time of the Land League meeting, which was held at Manawapou, where there was a large building erected and named Taiporohenui, in 1853, until the end of the year 1859, with additional explanatory matter in self-defence.
The decision of the meeting in which Matene te Whiwhi, a Ngatiraukawa chief living at Otaki, took a prominent part, elicited a pledge from those present to support
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it, and a large majority of the Natives in the Taranaki district allied themselves to the movement, which decreed that any Native who offered to sell land should, if he persisted in the sale, be put to death.
The first result was the massacre of the Puketapu chief Rawiri Waiaua, and six others, by Katatore, also a chief of the Puketapu, and his followers, in July 1854. It is due to Katatore to say that he tried to avert the calamity without breaking his pledge to support the Land League.
Rawiri had offered to sell a small block of land to the Government, which he was to define by cutting the boundary of. This was publicly known, and Katatore sent a messenger to Rawiri, desiring him not to attempt it, and warning him of the consequences if he did so. Rawiri, relying upon his chieftainship, fixed the day for cutting the boundary. On the evening before this day Katatore sent a gun to Rawiri with a message that he should come armed, as he, Katatore, would meet him with an armed party.
Rawiri and his party went unarmed and were met where the cutting of the boundary was to commence by Katatore's armed party, who fired a volley into the air and re-loaded, and seeing Rawiri's party advancing they fired a volley at them, killing Rawiri and six others. From this time until 1859 tne district was in a very disturbed state and was the cause of great anxiety for the settlers, armed parties of Natives being constantly running about close to the Settlers' houses and even through the town of New Plymouth.
Soon after this a Puketapu chief named Arama Karaka returned from the South to take the part of Rawiri's relatives against Katatore, when two fortified pas were built; 'Ninia' occupied by Arama Karaka, and Ikamoana' occupied by Ihaia Kirikumara, an Otarawa chief from Waitara. Katatore built two additional Pas, the 'Tima' and another, from which constant watch was kept on each other's movements and ambuscades were planted, from which sallies issued, and skirmishing followed with casualties on both sides.
Katatore had recourse to an ancient custom of applying for support by roasting one end of a potato and sending it to the Ngatiruanui natives, who, the most of them, refused to commit themselves by biting the roasted end of the potato, stating that they would not be mixed up in the quarrels of the Puketapus. Piripi, son of the chief Te Rei Hanataua, was the only one in favour of going to the assistance of Katatore, and he bit off the roasted end of the potato, by which act, according to superstition, he could not retract, but was bound to go, but the tribe refused to accompany him and he left with about six followers. On his arrival at Kaipakopako, Katatore's pa, there was a lull in the hostile movements of the opposing parties, who were engaged in their plantations. On one occasion Katatore's people were so engaged, and Piripi, who was with them, strolled away some distance and fell into an ambuscade and was killed. On the news getting to Piripi's tribe a war party was soon made up, seven hundred strong, to go and revenge Piripi's death. Before their arrival, but on getting near to Katatore's pa at Kaipakopako, they manifested signs of extreme hostility as
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a war party by killing every animal within reach, and on arrival, instead of going to Katatore's pa, they encamped a few hundred yards away from the Pa. Katatore took the precaution to barricade his Pa. The only communication between the camp and the Pa for several days was that of myself going from place to place.
I was convinced that they had not come to befriend Katatore but to take revenge on either party. I think it was on the fourth day that Wiremu Kingi Rangitake came up from Waitara with a large force and brought Katatore and his people out and confronted the Ngatiruanuis in front of their camp, when a most extraordinary scene took place, one I shall never forget.
Both parties intermixed, rushing around like maniacs, Wiremu Kingi and other leading Natives, each with a blanket in his hand, rushing about amongst the crowd, waving blankets over their heads. After a time the excitement subsided with an appearance of reconciliation, but no usual demonstrations of peacemaking, and each party retired to its own place.
The next day the Ngatiruanuis shifted their camp and went to a place near to where Piripi was slain and they threatened to claim it and settle upon it. I had several interviews with them and advised them to give up the idea of settling there, as they would not be allowed to do so and it would bring more trouble upon them. Before they left they went to attack Ihaia at the Ikamoana Pa, but were repulsed with three killed and some wounded. There were only slight casualties on Ihaia's side. After about a week they cleared out and returned to Ngatiruanui. Katatore kept aloof from them and for some time afterwards it was much quieter. Up to this time I had not held any office under the Government.
In June 1857 I was appointed Land Purchase Commissioner and soon afterwards I negotiated the purchase of the Tarurutangi Block, which included the land Rawiri proposed to sell. I prevailed with Katatore not to oppose the sale, but it was not he who first proposed to sell the block of land, the survey was made and the land paid for, but Katatore refused to take any part of the purchase money.
The feeling against Katatore still existed with Rawiri's relatives, and frequent secret consultations were held, (as was afterwards proved), how to avenge the massacre of Rawiri, in which Ihaia Kirikumara took a prominent part. They knew it was of no use to attack Katatore as long as Wiremu Kingi Rangitake was always ready to assist him with reinforcements at short notice.
Ihaia then devised a plan of communicating to Katatore his great desire to be reconciled and become friendly. Katatore had his suspicion of Ihaia's insincerity for some time, but at last gave way and began to come in to New Plymouth on Saturdays, when Ihaia would meet him and treat him and profess warm friendship, which threw Katatore off his guard. On a particular Saturday it was arranged that Ihaia's brother, Tiraurau, should plant an ambuscade party after Katatore had passed on his way to town. Ihaia went into the town himself to entertain Katatore and three Natives with him, which he succeeded in doing by inducing them to eat food and drink to intoxication.
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The ambuscade was planted behind a furze hedge by the roadside, and as Katatore and his party were returning home a volley was fired at them, when Katatore and another were wounded and the ambuscade party rushed out and Tiraurau dragged Katatore's wounded companion off his horse and literally cut him to pieces with a tomahawk, whilst others ran after Katatore and shot him. The other two got away unhurt. The ambuscade was behind a furze hedge at the westward corner of four cross roads. At the eastward corner there was a settler's house (Mr Hollis's) which was struck by bullets from the volley fired by the ambuscade at the returning betrayed victims.
After this tragic, treacherous, horrible event, Ihaia and his followers retired to the Ikamoana Pa, where they soon became convinced that ominous clouds were forming and trouble coming upon them.
Before Ihaia left the Ikamoana Pa a disclosure was made of a fact which had been kept secret. Two elderly natives Karepa and Haeana, near relatives of Rawiri, brought to my house a very handsome mere pounamu (greenstone club), which they said they had promised to Ihaia if he succeeded in killing Katatore, and that he was now demanding it, but that they were afraid to give it to him as they were certain that Ihaia's opponents would kill them if they did so, and that they wished to make me a present of it. I told them that under the circumstances I could not accept it without Ihaia being a consenting party, and that I would see him about it. I did see Ihaia and explained the matter to him. He said he was willing that I should accept it, but that if they kept it themselves he would kill them. I have had the mere pounamu in my possession ever since. Rawiri's widow came to my house to see it. I put it into her hands and she lay down on the floor with it on her breast, weeping and sorrowing in true Maori fashion.
After this Ihaia and his following abandoned the Ikamoana Pa and went into their own district, that of the Otarawa tribe, stopping a short time at Matorikoriko, a strong position on the south side of the Waitara river, from where during their short stay they commenced preparations for building a pa on the opposite north side of the river. They soon went across the river and lost no time in building and fortifying a strong position for a pa, afterwards named the Karaka pa, which became subsequently a place of painful notoriety.
The Taranaki chief Wiremu Kingi Matakatea's wife was a sister of Katatore, by virtue of which connection and according to Native tradition Wiremu Kingi Matakatea was bound to take part in the work with the forces forming to attack Ihaia and his party in the Karaka Pa. He came with his following and joined Wiremu Kingi Rangitake at Waitara, where altogether there was a force seven hundred strong. They soon formed detached encampments around the Karaka Pa. For weeks there was but little done beyond close watching for anyone venturing to come outside the Pa, sure to be fired at. On one occasion a Native named Mark went out to satisfy nature, when he was chased by a besieger named Hare te Paea with a long handled tomahawk with which he inflicted several severe cuts on Mark's head before he got
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back to the Pa. Bishop Selwyn, who was in New Plymouth at the time, went with me to visit the scene of strife, and took with him some materials for dressing wounds. Mark's head was swollen and in a bad condition, and the Bishop washed his head and dressed the wounds. Before leaving the Bishop had an interview with Kingi Wiremu Rangitake, but made no favourable impression.
After many weeks of weary watching with a view of starving the occupants of the Pa, the besiegers became desperate and commenced preparing to burn them out. Fern was to be cut and dried and tied up in bundles, and flax shields made with which to go up to the Pa with a bundle of fern and set fire to it and burn out the inmates and attack them as they tried to escape.
It was my custom to go every day to the place and visit both parties, except on Saturday, when I was at my office writing my weekly report for the Government to be posted by the Monday morning's mail. On one occasion, and one only, the Rev Mr Whiteley called to see me and expressed a wish to visit the Pa, as most of the Natives belonged to his Church, and asked me if there was any danger if he went with me. I explained to him that I had unpleasantness to put up with from the camps of the besiegers, who frequently fired bullets over my head to deter me from going to the Pa, still I was of opinion that there was no danger if he would like to go with me. We arranged to go together, and on arriving we spoke only to one of the camps, and as we were walking towards the Pa they commenced as usual to fire over our heads, when Mr Whiteley remarked 'those rascals will be shooting us'. However, we got to the Pa unhurt, and after talking for some time and inspecting the deplorable condition of the Natives, his warm hearted sympathy and pity for them caused a copious flow of tears, and as soon as he recovered himself he said to me I have seen a good deal in the early days of my mission work, but I never saw anything equal to the deplorable condition of those poor Natives. Can nothing be done for them?' He then said that he remembered a case many years ago of two sections of the same tribe quarrelling, when the weaker section was besieged in their Pa, and would have probably been starved or destroyed but for the intervention of another tribe, which proposed that the Natives in the pa should be allowed to walk out and the others should then burn the pa, which was agreed to. He then asked if I thought it was practicable to induce the besiegers to agree to a like arrangement.
On returning the following day I submitted the proposal to Rangitake and Matakatea, the two principal chiefs, for which I received considerable uncourteous abuse, nevertheless I persevered for three days and at last succeeded in eliciting a promise from them to allow the occupants of the pa to escape without molestation, after which, they, the beseigers, were to destroy the Pa. On reporting to the Natives in the Pa what had been arranged in their favour their dejected spirits revived, and they appeared to be truly thankful.
Before the arrangement was publicly known, strong manifestations of sympathy for the Natives in the Pa were being shewn by the Europeans, and suggestions were made for an appeal for Volunteers to go to their relief, which probably would have
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made matters worse. In addition to my reports to the Government strong representations from local authorities were made, which induced the Government to send a detachment of troops to New Plymouth, to be used only in case of extreme emergency.
To revert to where I left off in the former paragraph I explained to the Natives that if they kept quiet they would not be molested while they were making their arrangements to clear out of the Pa, and I told them that I was anxious to know when they would leave, as I wished to be present. Just at this time the chief Wiremu Koroiti with a small party arrived from Pipiriki, upper Wanganui. I explained to him what I had done at which he professed to be much pleased. I visited them every day and tried to get them to fix the time for leaving, and was puzzled to understand why they would not.
As before stated, it was my custom not to visit them on Saturday, but, being anxious lest the besiegers should attack them on leaving the Pa, I rode down early on the Saturday morning that week, and on crossing the river just below the Pa Wiremu Kingi Rangitake met me as I rode out of the river and said 'Kua riro ratou' (they have gone). I said 'How do you know?'. He replied 'Nikorima (the old Ngatirahiri chief) spoke from the Taumaihi (watch tower) in the night, and bid farewell to the people and the land, we knew his voice, and there is no fire in the pa nor any dogs moving about.' I asked where his people were. He replied 'Up there', pointing to the pa with his hand. I rode up and found them under cover of a rough shelter of wood work preparing to go to destroy the pa. I told them to wait until I had been into the pa to see if the late occupants had really left. I went in by the usual entrance, which was still closed with wood across it about four feet high, which struck me as strange if they had left. I went through the pa and examined every whare. All were empty and not a vestige of anything was left in them, and I concluded that the pa was abandoned, and, as I was about to go back, when I was getting over the board at the entrance I caught sight of Wiremu Koroiti walking stealthily across the pa. I went back, but he had disappeared. I called out his name and he came out of the trench and I asked him what he was doing there. He replied 'looking about'. I said 'There is something wrong, tell me where the men are'. He pointed to the trenches. I then talked to him and told him I was sorry he should be a party to such an ungrateful treacherous plot after what I had done to save them. He admitted the charge of ingratitude and said it was Ihaia.
I 32 went outside and warned Wiremu Kingi's people to go away and keep quiet. I returned to the pa and found the men out of the trenches, without clothing, each with a gun in hand and a belt round the waist with a tomahawk stuck in it, prepared for a desperate struggle or an easy treacherous massacre. I asked for Ihaia, they said he had gone away. I spent some time with them before returning home in a very unsatisfactory state of mind. I went again the next morning (Sunday), accompanied by Isaac Newton Watt, and on arriving at the pa we found Ihaia and all the women and children with the baggage returned to the pa.
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I had a very unpleasant meeting with Ihaia, whom I upbraided for his ungrateful treachery, and during our wordy encounter he worked himself into a violent state of rage. We were in a whare full of men, at last he rose up and threatened to shoot me. Mr Watt ran out of the house. Ihaia stood opposite to me, gesticulating and threatening to shoot me, when I presented my breast to him and challenged him to shoot. After his passion subsided he sat down and I left. On getting outside I found Mr Watt standing alone, looking frightened, and on seeing me he said 'My dear fellow, I never expected to see you again alive.' It was not the first set-to I had had with Ihaia, for, although he had some good qualities, he was a very unreliable individual in any negotiations with Natives.
They soon left the Pa, which was destroyed by the besiegers, thus terminating one of the most painful events in the history of the Natives in this district since the tragic event of Pukerangiora.
Ihaia and his party settled for a time near the Mimi river, where they built a strong pa, and during one of my visits there I had a narrow escape from being murdered by the southern natives as they were returning from the first Maori King movement meeting held in Waikato. It was at the request of the chief Rewi and the Revd Mr Morgan that I went there, They said that some Waikatos were with them, who they thought would return from Pukearuhe if I met them there. Fortunately for me they did not, for it was the Waikatos who saved me from being murdered.
I was very unfairly censured, I may say abused, for my action during the Karaka Pa struggle, because I was the means of preventing Ihaia's atrocious plot from taking effect as intended against his opponents, but no man with a spark of honour in his composition could have done otherwise. My censure was by articles in the Taranaki Herald, which were written by a partisan of Ihaia's, between whom there was an especial connection. There was a long debate upon it in the House of Representatives, but some who spoke knew nothing of the true facts of the case, except the Ministry, who defended me.
I had no intention when I commenced this narrative to refer to any incident after the Karaka Pa event was ended, but there are two or three I wish to explain.
On one occasion I was talking to Wiremu Kingi Rangitake about the sale of the Waitara block and I reminded him of what I had done for them at the Karaka Pa by saying 'Naku koe i ora ai' (By me you were saved), which Bishop (then Archdeacon) Hadfield took advantage of (very unfairly, I think,) by publishing the remark and stating that it was the greatest insult that could be used to a chief. At the time I made use of the reminder Wiremu Kingi never resented it as an insult, knowing it was absolutely true.
I was accused of another insulting offence to Wiremu Kingi Rangitake, namely of having told him that he was to be shot and buried outside of his pa: A more malicious, wicked falsehood it would be impossible to fabricate. In all my intercourse with him my chief object was to conciliate him, a difficult task with an adept at duplicity. I know not where the base accusation originated, but doubtless it was
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nursed and grew under the shadow and cloak of a sacred calling and was transferred to the House of Representatives through a member (whose connection was well known), who did his utmost to sustain the base charge against me. He was fond of telling the House that he was learned in the classics, and on this occasion he must have been thinking of the Siege of Troy when he said 'Perhaps Parris wanted to run away with Helen (King's daughter).' His venom not being quite exhausted he called me a 'pig jobber' which I never was, but even if I had been there was nothing derogatory or disgraceful in it. Perhaps he was thinking of the Gadarene episode, when poor pigs (herd of swine) were summarily dealt with to the serious loss of the owner. I suppose fair allowance should be made for those in a condition similar to that of the drowning man who caught at the straw floating on the surface. An interesting story could be told of the advocacy of 'Metoikos.'
For six years I was on terms of intimate friendship with Wiremu Kingi Rangitake and his people, but as a matter of course when the war broke out there was an estrangement, and quite naturally. Yet, during hostilities, there were incidents proving that they still respected me. In 1862 I received an invitation from several Ngatimaniapoto chiefs to visit them at Mokau. Sir William Fox was premier, and his policy was free personal intercourse with Natives without distinction, whether rebels or others. I informed Sir Wm Fox of the invitation, and I requested to be informed as to whether the Government approved of my going or not. In reply I was told 'that the Government declined to request me to go, as they considered there might be danger, but that if I saw my way to go they would be pleased.' I communicated with the Commander of the Forces, Brigadier Warre, as was my duty to do, and he recommended me not to undertake it. I decided to go and started with three Natives who brought the invitation, and as we were riding across the plain between Urenui and Mimi at a good pace my horse turned a somersault and fell upon me, breaking three of my ribs. I was taken across the Mimi river to a large whare where there were a few Natives. I was perfectly unconscious and without pain for twenty four hours, after that I was in great pain. One of the Natives went to Mokau to report the accident, and a party of forty, with several chiefs, came from Mokau to see me. On the third day six of Wiremu Kingi Rangitake's natives came out from the bush, made an 'amo' (stretcher) and carried me on their shoulders from Mimi to my house in New Plymouth. This is one of the incidents referred to as evidence that they still had respect for me, contrary to the representations and wishes of my detractors.
When Sir George Grey came in 1863 to New Plymouth with General Cameron to restore the settlers to their deserted desolate homes and make peace at any price, he was anxious to see Wiremu Kingi Rangitake's people who were at Mataitawa, (Wiremu Kingi being at Waikato). He asked me if I thought there was any danger if he went to see them and would I go with him? I said I thought there was no danger and if he wished me to go with him I was willing to do so. We went, and on arriving the only one who came up to speak to him was Wiremu Kingi's daughter. As soon as he took a seat outside a whare close to a flagstaff the Maori King's flag was run up. After
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talking some time with Wiremu Kingi's daughter Sir George said to me 'It is strange that none of the people come to speak to me.' I went to look for them and found them keeping aloof. I told them they ought to go to speak to the Governor, which they were reluctant to do. I took Enoka (Wiremu Kingi's brother) by the hand and led him, others following, to the Governor, and after an uninteresting interview we returned. In the evening Sir George called at the quarters of Mr Domett and Mr Bell (the late Sir Dillon Bell), who were members of the Ministry then in office, when he told them that he was astonished to witness how much the Natives respect Parris. He told them that I was the worst paid officer in the service and recommended an addition of £100 a year to my salary, which the Ministers told him they should have much pleasure in giving effect to. Sir Wm Fox, in his last report to the Governor, dated 3rd June 1884, at the conclusion of his work as Royal Commissioner, in the last paragraph stated as follows: - 'Nor must I omit to record the grateful sense which I entertain of the invaluable assistance rendered by Major Parris (of whose services I was able, by an arrangement with the Government, to avail myself,) in laboriously working out the practical details of a vast amount of very difficult business. His long experience in the service of the Government as Civil Commissioner in the Taranaki District, his extensive acquaintance with the Natives in it, his exact and minute acquaintance with the land titles and tribal relations, the great personal respect deservedly entertained for him by the Natives, his entire abstinence all through a long career from all speculation in Native lands; these and many other qualifications which no other living person known to myself combined in an equal degree,were faithfully and zealously, during the whole period of my operations, brought to bear by him in contributing to their success.'
Reference to these incidents is but a small matter, and is only used to disprove the prevailing idea, that Wiremu Kingi's people were bitterly hostile to me, which was originated by disappointed opponents of Governor Browne's policy. Their reward was their own ignominious failure in every attempt made to restore order and submission to the Queen's Government except by force of arms. I have been requested by many who have held high positions, from that of Governor downwards, to write a true history of the war in this district which was most affected by the war, but for special reasons of my own I have declined to do so. I have no inclination to scratch old sores and cause them to fester again, which would revive past unpleasant reminiscences and create in some quarters a bad feeling. I wish to be quiet for the remainder of my days and to end them in peace.
P.S. A much fuller account of many events during the same period was published by Mr B. Wells, in his History of Taranaki, but, as he got some of his information at second hand, parts of it are not reliable. Nevertheless it is a valuable work for reference.
v 7,p 84
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Sir J. Hall to R. R. Parris - - - Hororata, Canterbury, 5 Apr 1899
I have just received your most interesting account of the proceedings connected with the Karaka Pa. It will be a valuable contribution to New Zealand history & it makes me sorry that you will not give us the benefit of your much wider experiences. However I thank you very much for the concessions you have made to my importunity. Have you any objection to the paper being published in the Press? I am sure they would be glad of it & would strike off some copies in pamphlet form, of which I would send you as many copies as you desire . . .
Your grandson tells me you have given up your chairmanship of the school trustees & are now only a looker-on at the public life in which you have borne so long and so honorable a part. I trust you will still be spared many years . . .
v 7, p 86
R. R. Parris to A. S. Atkinson - - - New Plymouth, 12 Apr 1899
By this mail I have sent you a copy of my re-written Brief Narrative. I have also sent a copy to Sir John Hall who as you will see had a copy of the original, which he wanted to publish. 33 With the re-written copy I have told him to exercise his own opinion as to whether there is any part of it unfair or injudicious & if so to cut it out & not publish it ... As Sir John is an Orthodox Churchman & friendly with Bishop Hadfield he might be inclined to spare him in that indirect allusion to the shadow of a sacred calling which is meant for Bishop Hadfield & Rewai Te Ahu, an ordained native clergyman who has been a catspaw of Bishop Hadfield's in the fulsome laudation of W. King in the past.
Please do not make public use of the Narrative until I hear from Sir John Hall for it would be awkward to have what he left out published elsewhere ... I suppose you understand the thrust at 'Metoikos'.
v 7, p 86
Jane Maria Atkinson to Emily E. Richmond - - - Nelson, 17 Aug 
The young folk are very busy with approaching exams and hockey. The latter is quite the rage with the girls here and is a fine healthy game for them.
Edie's account of Arf's state of mind has cheered me too. He has no time now to write and I have pictured him as I should feel listening to columns of balderdash such as I read in Hansard (he sends us) till the small hours of the morning.
Jane Maria Atkinson to Emily Richmond - - - Nelson, 8 Dec 1900
... I have felt sad when there [New Plymouth] the changes were so trying, tho' I am very thankful prosperity has at last come to the beautiful district . . . The dairy
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farmers have one great difficulty to cope with in the increased distaste of the lads and young men to employment on dairy farms. The milking night and morning is so irksome and the hope of ever doing it by machinery seems abandoned, as it has quite baffled the clever Americans to invent anything to supercede the human hand. Do you remember how the young men in the old days used to sit over a good log fire in winter at Hurworth and speculate on the subject of milking machines and the fortunes to be made by the invention of one? . . .
Blanche [Hursthouse] has actually accepted the post of Directress of Music at the Girls' High School in Wanganui! Some time ago Eliza and I . . . could give no assurance that she would accept the offer if it were made she seemed so wedded to Fraulein Reichert at Berlin . . .
Arthur agrees that he must give up the pleasure of Art's [A. R. Atkinson] Xmas visit if he has the chance of attending the opening of the Australian Commonwealth. It will be such an historical event that he may regret hereafter having missed attending it, tho' a quiet holiday after the wear and tear of the session may be more to his taste just now . . .
I am sick of war and rumours of war and feel as tho' they would never cease the world seems so steeped in militarism ... It is a pity Arf does not respond more to H. Newbolt's faithful friendliness. He might at least have sent wedding cards. I don't feel drawn to the plan of women's proposing. It is natural for most to wish for marriage but so many men dread being as they call it 'caught' that girls often lose their chance of marriage by showing their desire for it. Still men seek most the women who are devoted to them but more for amusement than for marriage . . .
G. FitzGerald to Emily E. Richmond - - - Wellington, 2 Sep 1901
In looking through some papers of my Father's I found these letters from the Judge. They were put carefully away among the documents to be preserved & apparently were thought to be of consequence. I am sending them to you in the hope that some day they may be useful to the biographer whomsoever he may be.
Before very long some enlightened scribe will attempt to rescue from oblivion the memories of New Zealand's earlier & more talented colonists - a work that may yet have its useful & proper effect in checking the worship of clay images to which we seem for the present at all events to be committed.
Jane Maria Atkinson to Emily E. Richmond - - - Nelson, 30 Aug 1902
... To us the session seems decidedly dull but we only get a few prosy notes from the very dullest of 'Our Correspondents' that ever put pen to paper. It really seems as tho' all sparkle and humour had died out of politics with the advent of Seddonism, when one remembers the old days. But perhaps old age prevents my finding it.
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C. F. Richmond to Emily E. Richmond - - - Hornsby [New South Wales], 10 Jul 1906
Thank you for your two letters mostly about Mr Seddon. I was glad to see Harry Bell attended his funeral and Martin Chapman (!) sent a wreath ... I see none of the judges attended: that must have been entirely due to Stout's foolish petulance over the matter of precedence, which has I believe been modified by the Colonial Office in all colonies and I think very rightly in giving the members of the cabinet social rank commensurate with their responsibilities. Did you say or have I heard that Sir Jas. Prendergast was sent as representing the Supreme Court judges? If Stout really did stop away on acct. of above, I don't think his act will be regarded as anything but a grave breach of decorum and public decency, besides indicating a pettiness of spirit that he might wisely have kept out of sight as such a time.
Sir R. Stout owes his Chief Justiceship to Seddon doubtless and to him alone -though he was not then and is not now by any means the most eminent lawyer in N.Z. He is a loose jointed kind of man in almost everything - a dabbler and more or less of a failure all round; in politics erratic and fiery and a wretched leader. To lose all grip of his party as he did when the struggle with Seddon for the premiership came, betrayed extraordinary weakness: to be outmanoeuvered over the temperance question as he was again by Seddon - his (Stout's) bill being scornfully torn to shreds though Stout was undoubtedly the acknowledged temperance leader in the House at the time, and Seddon carrying what is to this day the N.Z. Charter of Temperance Liberty and ramming it down the throats of the fat brewers and beermen as what they must have or something much worse - this again showed Stout to be an undeniable political failure, wanting in strategy and resource and above all incapable of leading men . . .
But whether in office or out, Stout has always been in touch with the party in power and has inspired much more of N.Z. legislation than is generally known besides having had a hand in re-forming ministries or re-allotting portfolios in cabinets which have still retained Seddon as premier. They have not been altogether enemies and they were undoubtedly close allies in the work of destroying the Atkinson-Hall-Russell party; though Seddon's misappropriation of the leadership, as Stout called it, must have strained things much. Yet if Stout had become leader after Ballance's death there is little doubt but that the party wd. have gone to pieces, and you wd. now be in the hands of the 'gridiron' men with their huge land thefts (as we have them here) and their utterly unjust scheme of taxation which left wealth free of its proper burdens and crippled the best man of all - the small farmer. So on the whole you may be thankful.