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My dear Sons,
I do not very willingly comply with your request that I should leave some record of my life, the main reason being the fear of not being true; for without any notice of the innumerable shortcomings and terrible blots - without adverting to the many "sins, negligences and ignorances" which marked it throughout, it cannot give a perfectly true picture. Yet a Memoir, or what serves as such, is not meant for a confessional, and I can only ask the reader to bear in mind throughout, that of which I am grievously sensible myself.
Some people "have greatness thrust upon them", that was not my lot, - but I have had an amazing amount of goodness assigned to me, so that with the evil left out and the good put in, it cannot be a veritable portrait. So much by way of caution, which may serve as preface.
I was born on the 2nd September 1809 at my Grandfather's house, Wanlip Hall in the County of Leicester. My father was the youngest of the three sons of Anthony Richardson Esquire a West Indian Merchant and Landowner in Dominica, where his eldest son Anthony afterwards lived and prospered badly. My father, chiefly by the kindness of the Headmaster Dr. Drury (for my Grandmother was then a widow in straitened circumstances) was sent to Harrow, where he distinguished himself by his assiduity and scholarship, and even more by his goodness. He ran then, as before and after, an unstained and conscientious course, well remembered by the schoolfellows, who, to the end of their lives, spoke of him as "Johnnie". He then went to Oxford to University, in the Hall of which College his portrait now hangs. On leaving Oxford, he chose Law as his profession, being aided in his start by Sir Thomas Plomer, sometime Master of the Rolls.
When he would afterwards have restored to him the sum expended Sir Thomas refused, desiring him to reckon it as a trust with which he could help others also. On this principle, my Father afterwards advanced many sums to help on deserving young men, and desiring them to do the same.
He was in the year 1818 made a Judge in the Court of Common Pleas, but was obliged in 1825 to resign his office, from ill-health, while yet retaining unimpaired knowledge and full vigour of mind. It was a great blow to one who had led so busy and vigorous a life, but he suffered too frightfully from Asthma to do otherwise, and in this, as in all cases, he shewed the chastened religious spirit which was the rule of his life. Many good men have I known, but I never saw any who excelled and hardly any who equalled my Father. Naturally of a very sharp and angry temper, he had so completely subdued it that I can only once remember seeing him angry though he could be gravely displeased by wrong - neither can I recall the slightest approach to uncharitableness, albeit so hasty and quick himself, in either word or deed in all the years I lived in my old home. Indeed he attained to the great end of making those about him careful and reticent also in speaking of other people: ill-natured remarks or harsh constructions on others were never made to him, his very presence silenced them. In this respect - in heavenly Charity he exceeded all: in piety, in patience, in humility, in liberality in submission, in thoughtfulness for all, in short, in true goodness, he was among the first, and herein left his children a blessed heritage. I would that they had the same single eye [and] ever walked with God as he did. Such a heritage is a great outfit for them in itself, as it should be in their consciousness of it moving them to do likewise.
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My Mother was the daughter of Sir Charles Hudson of Wanlip in the County of Leicester, this being the property of his wife, the heiress of a branch of the Palmer family. I fear that in former days, the Palmers had been Puritans and Roundheads. In my Grandfather's days, they held contrary opinions. My Mother was one of a family of five. Of her two brothers, it may be said that, after his father's death, the elder had to revert to his mother's name and became Sir Charles Palmer, the father of "Aunt Min", of Mrs. Abraham and others. My Mother's younger brother retained his Hudson Patronymic, He, my Uncle John, married his cousin, Maria Allen - the dear old blind Aunt who lived at Wimbledon and died in the year 1865 - aged 90. My Mother's training seems to have been left to six governesses in succession, four of them French and apparently all of them ignorant. Of education, properly so called, she had none at their hands, and the religious training of children had hardly begun in her day, anyhow she had next to none - but withal a perfect French accent! Still the outcome was of a rare good woman, deeply religious, and with a capacity and taste for knowledge which only required to be fed. However, when my Father as a friend of her brothers came upon the scene, being brought with them from Harrow or Oxford to Wanlip just about 100 years ago, he cultivated her mind and deepened religion in her soul. Part of the year was passed in London in a quaint old house at the bottom of Arundel Street, It is now altered into a great hotel. It was situate between the Temple and Northumberland House, now pulled down. It was also in the Parish of St. Clement Danes, and my Mother used to tell us of her being taken there in her very young days, and being in the square pew with a very large old gentleman, who used to say the responses loudly and with much fervour, and attract her attention greatly. It was Dr. Johnson. Another reminiscence of those days was being sent down to an old Aunt at Mortlake in the year 1780 for fear of the riots in London about Lord George Gordon. The special pleasure of the Arundel Street House was that the garden went nearly to the bank of the Thames and that it was near the Temple Church and the Temple Gardens, which was a place of deep interest to me and my younger brothers, at first chiefly for the abundance of daisies and much more for the seats close to the wall against the River. Its historical interest was not then awake, but to sit and watch the unlading of the coal barges by sacks painfully carried on men's backs - no thought in those days of scientific help - was always interesting.
They were not married until 14 years after, when he had become a flourishing King's Counsel with many distinguished pupils besides. Besides his large legal acquaintance, he had many friends whose descendants are to this day friends of mine and of my descendants, notably Mr. Hobhouse long Under-Secretary in the Home Office, the Father of Bishop and of Lord Hobhouse, Mr. George Frere, the brother of Canning's friend, John Hookham Frere, and of Sir Bartle Frere, the notable Anglo-Indian. There was also the Marriott family.
With the children of all these families I grew up in fast friendship, they were as brothers and sisters to me indeed I was often called the "dark Miss Frere", An old pocket book of my grandmother's recorded notes of her friendship with the Mrs. Frere of that day so the bond was kept up for generations. My Father's main friends belonged to the staunch supporters of the Church long before the Oxford movement and its later developments. These had hung closely together in the dark days of the French Revolution and the infidelity and uprooting which prevailed, and did much for the support both of Church and State. I think there was only one who testified to the sincerity of his opinions by wearing a pigtail to
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the last, to show also that he stuck to old ways and not to French fashions. This was the second Lord Kenyon who with John Scott the son of the Chancellor Lord Eldon, was one of my Father's first pupils in his Chambers,
Among the good Churchmen of his friends were Archdeacon Watson and his lay brother, Mr. Joshua Watson, a rare specimen of an English gentleman layman, a supporter most liberal of all that was good, both with wisdom and time and money.
How I used as a girl to delight in listening to him and his friends, especially when all the hopes and fears about the new Oxford teaching were rife - so far-seeing, so wise and kind was all he said,
Mr. Henry Handley Norris was another of that clique, a cleric full of zeal and opposition to Dissenters, and with the full courage of his opinions - a phrase unknown in those days - and a rare good man, who might in ancient times have been burnt on one side or the other, so fearless was he about all that he held to be the truth. Another friend was good Bishop Van Mildert, Dean of St. Paul's Bishop of Llandaff, then of Durham. When he was at St. Paul's, he used to send for me, a very young girl, when any function was to come off there. I hugely enjoyed this, and the rest of the day spent at the Deanery. The Nave was never used then. We sat up in a little box on one side of the Chancel or Choir, perched very high up and quite private.
I recall also old Mr. Sikes, a pattern country clergyman of his day, always upholding Church teaching to the utmost; but neither he nor we nor any of the congregation saw anything to disapprove of in the Parish Clerk, or the black gown or the choir in the West Gallery, "big fiddle" and bassoon, flute and clarionet playing wonderful tunes! Old Mr. Sikes was a far-seeing man, and before there was a breath to stir the calm he said "There is one little Clause in the Creed, not much heeded now, which yet will shake England to her foundations before very long, and that is "The Holy Catholic Church". There were many others but in this notice of my Father's compeers, I am anticipating, and now return to my own life.
We lived in London, and some of my earliest recollections are connected with the Wars with Napoleon then raging; the terror at being awakened out of sleep by the blowing of discordant horns in the street announcing some great victory of Wellington's. I distinctly remember Waterloo, and the rejoicings for the Peace that followed. A vast and hideous Chinese Pagoda on St. James's Park was supposed to embody a nation's joy; I followed the nurse's example and looked at it with much respect and appreciation. Before this, however, in 1814, there had been the visit of the Allied Sovereigns etc.
The favourite heroes were Platoff and his Cossacks and Blucher. London was then dismally lighted by oil lamps, and the story went that the Cossacks used to hitch down the oil by way of a dram, but they could not do any wrong in the eyes of an admiring populace, saving the lamplighters. This was long before Railways, but just before they came in, the English highroads, the public coaches, the mails above all, towered far above all continental arrangements and we held our heads high. Railways have now reduced most countries to a level.
We used to go in a family carriage every year to my grandfather's place in Leicestershire, posting with four horses, but always sleeping a night on the road! One saw much more of the country then than whisking past allows of now. People took life leisurely in those times, and were not put out if they did not go fast enough to have more time
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on their hands at their journey's end, as idle folks generally are now, the more idle, the more displeasure at a slow train.
Our travelling was after the days when Barnet Common and Hounslow Heath and other places had an evil name for Highwaymen. An old relation of mine was stopped and robbed years before near Barnet, and the thief having demanded all the gold and silver, she was so flustered that when he was riding off with all her money, she put her head out of the window calling out "Stop, Sir Stop"! "I've found my silver thimble - here it is"!
Folks used certainly to pull themselves together as they entered on the dreaded spots and look to their arms lying in the sword case at the back of the carriage seat, and draw a long breath when the carriage came safely out.
We were always in London again at the end of the long vacation, and the beginning of Michaelmas Term which brought the Lawyers to London.
My brothers and I used to enjoy the talks between my Father and his brother, the dear Uncle Tom of us and all our cousins of both sides in earlier days. They would recount the arrival of the news of the various acts of the French Revolution, the hopes that its early days inspired, their rapid quenching, the growth of Infidelity and the outburst of horrors that sprang, out of the anarchy that followed, the murder of the King and Queen and the Reign of Terror, and how in 1797 the Mutiny at the Nore caused a terrible scare. They would also talk of the great Naval Victories of those days, and my Mother then chimed in and told us how she was at the Opera in June 1794 with Lady Charlotte Curzon, in her box, when the news of Lord Howe's victory of the first of June first reached London, when all the audience turned to her and cheered her for Lord Howe's sake, her Father. They would talk also of "General" Buonaparte, and what he was like to do. Then my father told us how on the night of the 31st December 1799, he stood in the Temple waiting to hear St. Paul's strike the close of the century, and the burst of saluting and peals of bells that followed to greet the new one. He and my Uncle were keen Volunteers, as were most men when Buonaparte threatened to invade England, and gather his troops at Cherbourg (Boulogne?). The very rumour of such a thing stirred all hearts in England and roused their indignation and the arming of the nation seemed universal, and it was said that Napoleon himself did not care to encounter the spirit he had raised. Then came Trafalgar, and Nelson's funeral when the Volunteers lined the streets for the procession to St, Paul's.
Uncle Tom used to recount to us how he was at the Theatre where George III, Queen Charlotte and Princes and Princesses were sitting in state, when the King was shot at. It put an end to the performance as the audience refused to listen to anything but "God Save the King" over and over again all the evening.
In 1817, we had a house at Eltham near Chiselhurst. It was towards the end of this year that the Princess Charlotte died, scarcely a year after her very happy Marriage with Prince Leopold of Saxe-Cobourg, The outburst of grief and sympathy it caused was like that occasioned by the death of the Duke of Clarence, more concentrated indeed, as George IV was not Queen Victoria, but the domestic touches in both cases went home to the hearts of the people, both being so strong. The pity for her Mother and anger at her Father, the love match that the Princess would make in spite of him, all strengthened the love for her, as did all the peeps that were vouchsafed of the happy married home at Claremont, and then Prince
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Leopold refusing to allow her dressing room to be touched where she had thrown her shawl on a chair and hung her bonnet on a screen when she came in from her last walk with him just before she was taken ill. This was long before the days of telegrams and wreaths: condolences came in slowly from abroad, and the funeral was of the gloomiest description as those were the times of the blackest of trappings.
I do not remember paying any attention to political talk unless it touched on the late war or on "Bony" as he was called now safe at St. Helena. Everyone that could was flocking to Brussels and Waterloo, where the field still kept some traces of the fight and in the year 1818 my Father and Mother went there and to Paris, and my youngest brother and myself were sent to a relation of my Mother's in Somersetshire.
On our return to London to meet our Parents, the first great family event was that my Father was made a Judge. Being the Junior Judge on the Bench, he had Hobson's choice as to a circuit, so the long Oxford came often to his share. If there was no capital offence to try at Oxford - I think this was it - he used to receive two or three pairs of white gloves with splendid gold lace cuffs. At Cambridge, they were more practical and gave the Judge on the Criminal side in the same case some pairs of serviceable beaver. I liked Oxford best as I came in for the gold lace, and felt that Cambridge was very dowdy. We lived in London and at the house at Eltham for the next two years. Lord Wynford, another Judge, lived there also, and the two Judges in 1820 used to go to London together for two great trials, for Queen Caroline's in the House of Lords (1820) happily abandoned afterwards, and then for the trial of the Cato Street Conspirators (1821) one of the last, if not the last, for High Treason, and certainly the last when any of the conspirators were executed. It was afterwards said this would not have been the case but for their shooting the Constable. Their own design, however meant murder on a large scale. They were to begin by shooting the Ministers on a certain day at a Cabinet dinner at Lord Harrowby's in Grosvenor Square, but the plan oozed out in time.
This was the year that George III died January 29th. My Father had to go to his midnight funeral. The Procession from the Castle, the long waiting and standing on the flags in St. George's Chapel, were fatal to some of the old and delicate mourners. Poor old man! he had long been insane and blind. In his former days he had the family and royal faculty of remembering everybody, and all about them. My Mother was wont to tell us how he used to say to her at the Drawing Rooms, as, I think, he moved among the people "Well, Miss Harriet, how are the horses?" or "Riding flourishing as usual?" she being a great rider.
On May 5th in 1821, Napoleon died at St. Helena. In July, George IV was crowned with great pomp and ceremony; a much smaller event, but it made a great stir as it was the first after 60 years. There was a long list of claims on the part of Peers and others to do this or that office at the Coronation, some being very quaint. My Mother and the Mother of a dear friend, Selina Marriott, with whom I was staying, went off at dawn of day almost to the Abbey. We two remained at home, writing and putting up loyal Mottoes and singing "God Save the King" with loud emphasis and no melody, at intervals. Also we felt called upon to withstand the maid left in charge who was, like all of her grade, a fierce Queenite. At that time we thought badly of the Queenites, not giving heed to the generous feeling that lay at the bottom of their opinions, - the standing up for the oppressed and weaker side - and not knowing as much about King George, her husband. In the midst of our proceedings, came a grave and reverend signor to call - the then Head of Hoare's Bank. He desired
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to improve the occasion, and I hope we listened respectfully, but with small patience and less appreciation. By-and-bye Mrs. Marriott came back in all her bravery and with a glowing account of the day and in the evening, I was taken out to see the illuminations. In these days of Gas and Electric Light, no doubt they would seem poor enough, but they pleased us and moreover we caught sight of a Peer walking to his home in full attire, crimson and gold lace and a coronet on his head. How he could have been in such a guise in the streets at such an hour, I cannot say. He took off his coronet once and addressed the mob who followed, which pleased them as the sight did us.
In this year (1821) my Father took a house on Wimbledon Common, a much more rural place than it is now. Very near on one side was Combe Wood, and skirting the Common on the North side was a large Park belonging to Lord Spencer, joining Lord Stafford's much smaller grounds near Wandsworth, and very nearly Merton in another direction. Of course it is now all cut up into Villas without end. Caesar's Camp was at the other end of the Common - this still remains, I believe, a monument of the past, being truly an old Roman Camp. Our part of the Common was surrounded by other houses, standing in their own grounds. It was a very happy home to me then and after when it passed into the hands of my Uncle John Hudson and his Wife - Aunt Maria better known after as "Blind Auntie". In their days it was a rendezvous for all the young cousins of the family, a very happy one, under the benevolent Uncle John and his very original wife. They were not married till January 1822. It was a very sober elderly wedding, but all the same I was greatly exalted at being my Aunt's Bridesmaid with the further delight of going to the Play in the evening. My Aunt and Uncle took a house for the summer on Wimbledon Common and to it came en masse the Wanlip family, Uncle Charles Palmer, his wife and three daughters, Louise, Mary Anne, and Caroline afterwards Mrs. Abraham. Mary Anne was the dear "Aunt Min" of the next generation. There used also to be Shadwell cousins occasionally, and also Woodcocks, as well, so the young ones mustered strong, - as I look back I think the elders must have been a long-suffering race all through the holidays. We girls had a rage then for Albums and used to persecute our friends to write out some piece of poetry for us therein. My cousins had graver tomes also under lock and key for serious and edifying prose extracts. I was not good or grave enough to go this length, nor do I remember any reading of the locked-up prose, but I suppose the transcribers felt they were wise in selecting and good in transcribing and that goes for something.
This was long before Railways. Dawnay's Coach was the only public conveyance to town, which once a day went round the houses on the Common, picking up fares and in the evening brought them down again.
In this year, my Father's tendency to Asthma came to a crisis, and he suffered from violent attacks of it, leading henceforth, with but few intervals, the life of an invalid. We were consequently very quiet both at Wimbledon and in London, not giving up hope for some time that he might recover so far as not to have to resign. We spent the winter in London, and the summer of 1823 at Wimbledon. In the Autumn it was decreed that he must go to Malta for the winter, whither we went very soon after I was 14 years of age.
The last five years of my life, I had not had a Governess nor had I been at School. My education so to speak was somewhat promiscuous. It began by going about 1816 to a class at Mr. Hobhouse's house, where we were taught on the Madras System first introduced by a luminary called Dr. Bell. It was wholly unlike a kindergarten of these days, - there was nothing graphic or amusing, excepting the trays of white sand in which we learned to write with our finger as a pen. But the sand afforded an opening for making hills and cascades, and also a desire to put a pinch of it on the head of a white-headed boy to see how much darker than the hair it was, pervaded the whole school. This was not part of the Madras System. A little later on I went to a dancing class
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at the same house taught by Princess Charlotte's instructor. He used to push my long gloves down with his fiddle-stick which I thought an insult to my Mother who had pulled them up; so I hated him accordingly. I had only had a governess from 6 to 8 1/2 years old, and after that, masters - French, writing and Latin, - the last a very good one and also a funny one.
If we were alone in the room, he used to throw himself on the sofa and demand a verb at my hands, always calling out at any mistake "harkee now" in a harsh and squeaky voice,
I had no governess again till I was long past 16 - it might be owing to ray Mother's remembrance of hers, neither was I sent to School, so the teaching I had and the guidance were wholly unconventional. The effects would have been a great deal worse if it had not been my fortunate lot to live among very good, cultivated and literary people, and with the rare benefit, if his health allowed, of my dear Father's help, over and above all that was gained by the reading aloud to him which was a constant proceeding, not with any view of teaching me but for his own sake. We ploughed through Hallam's Constitutional History and such like, and he would read Cicero with me and Virgil, I fear with but little permanent fruit as to a sound knowledge of Latin to last me through life, owing to my carelessness, but, no doubt, with benefit to my mind.
In my younger days, sometimes, a benevolent visitor at our house would take me up and teach me. But nothing could supply the want of regular habits - it was all desultory and desultoriness has, I alas, coloured my life. To anyone whose lot was not like mine cast among such good and clever people, it would be fatal, as it is I can only feel how much better and better-informed I might have been. So I only began music, a double loss, the discipline of its early drudgery, and the help and pleasure to others in after life: it has been a life-long regret. Neither was I trained to needlework and have scarcely felt myself a true woman without it ever after.
All this while the true foundation was never overlooked. It was before the zeal for Catechizing in Church or Children's Services had begun, and Hymns with half-a-dozen exceptions, were supposed to savour of a school and proper chiefly to Dissenting Chapels, but we read the Psalms and Lessons for each day at length, learnt the Collect and said the Catechism every Sunday and went to Church twice to take part in the whole of Matins and Evensong, and listening more or much less to two sermons. The children of that generation were hardy Annuals, and it was not supposed that they needed a shortened service or that sitting quietly for an hour or two was not a part of very wholesome training, so there were no Children's Services and we had "to behave" with our elders. Moreover when we were older, and were allowed the bliss of sitting up late, another sermon was read to the servants at home at Evening Prayer. There were no Evening Services then but I rather doubt the value of this reading, it used to keep me awake to see the nodding, and a sleepy footman suddenly awakened by an order from my Mother "David, snuff the Candles! but the Prayer that followed in my Father's voice, I hope remained fixed in their minds as they have in mine. At Church in earlier times I recall frequent allusions in the sermons to Buonaparte, especially if the text came from the Revelations, and also in the minds of the young and ignorant a firm persuasion that the King's "enemies" alluded to in the Prayers meant the French, and that it was a duty to pray against them. According to the fashion of those days, the Charity Children perched in two high galleries each side of the organ, represented the Choir and sang Tate and Brady very slowly and very shrilly, but no Hymns were admissible except those at the end of the Prayer Book: in those benighted days Hymns were supposed to savour of Dissent, so we missed their help. As I recall the services and the preaching, it was all highly correct and reverent. The Clergy, with whom I came in contact, were of what is
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now called the "High and Dry" School and neither unction or enthusiasm, with some conspicuous exceptions, were its characteristics. These marked the Low Church and the Dissenters and a Dissenter they would hardly have touched with a pair of tongs. Still though they might not care for hymns or enthusiasm, they were rare good men.
But to return to the Church of my youth, the Clerk used to give out the portion to be sung, as also inform the congregation of the Vestries to be holden and about rates to be paid, also now and then, of Court Leet and Court Baron, to be holden under the Lord of the Manor at Richmond, to which I listened with much attention not always bestowed on all the service - it seemed so respectable to have to do with such things! When there was a Charity Sermon the alms were collected on a brass tray by two gorgeous functionaries adorned with huge buttons and much gold lace, who waylaid the descending Congregation at the foot of the gallery stairs, and the streaming from the Nave on the other hand. At intervals, they shook their trays and called out in threatening tones "Remember the Poor" striking terror into my childish soul.
Things improved as time went on and in 1827, the "Catholic Church", as old Mr. Sikes had said, seemed to spring into active life everywhere under the stimulus of Oxford, and enthusiasm was no longer at a discount,
1823 was our last summer in our Wimbledon home, which, in the autumn, my Uncle John Hudson and his wife Aunt Maria took off my Father's hands, and towards the end of October, we started for Falmouth to take ship for Malta for my Father's health. My youngest brother William and I accompanied our Parents, my mother's maid and two other servants were taken because they were invalids and it might set them up also, the family carriage was fitted with a dickey behind where they sat, my Father's man of business and myself on that in front, two behind and the rest inside, I alone was in exuberant spirits at going abroad (I was just past 14) only regretting it was to be by sea. That night, as the old Chronicles say "we lay" at Andover on the edge of Salisbury Plain which next morning we saw covered with snow and a high sharp wind blowing also. I was nearly frozen in my eyrie on the carriage, and we all feared greatly for our invalid: by night, a very rapid thaw set in, and next day, the waters were out and the high wind had blown trees across the road.
We spent Sunday at Exeter, and the next day reached Falmouth, the four horses doing no better for us. Here we had to wait till the Malta Packet arrived from the Thames, when we set sail. She was a veritable tub about 300 tons, of course, only a sailing vessel, very different in all respects from the splendid ships of the P. & O. and other Companies.
She had a crowd of passengers but no Stewards or Stewardesses to attend to the cabins, and she took her time being five weeks out, landing us on the 10th December 1823 at Valetta, nearly 69 years ago. Possibly it is still the "little Military hothouse" that Lord Byron called it, but probably English carriages Lave superseded the Calesse of those days with a mule to draw it, and a picturesque figure by way of Coachman, a Maltese, who ran by its side all the way.
The Maltese women, high and low, all appeared out of doors in their black silk Faldettas, picturesque but gloomy not like the pretty Genoese Mantilla.
It was a very gay place, I hardly know how it was that I was allowed to take a share in these gaieties. It was partly due to my aged appearance, I believe, but fortunately for me, my gaieties
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were cut short by a long fit of illness, which nearly lasted till we left Malta in June 1824 to escape the great heat. We sailed for Genoa, At that time the quarantine laws were in full force so we sailed by Sicily to Naples to get pratique earlier, and then, being accounted free from plague restrictions, went on to Genoa. Hence we posted over Mont Cenis to Paris, my brothers meeting us there where we spent two months in the course of which Louis XVIII died. We returned to Malta from Marseilles in a splendid old teak-built frigate the Seringapatam, which was sent from Valetta for the purpose. I do not know how this honour came to pass. It could hardly have been on account of the commission my Father received to revise the laws of Malta, for which, declining any payment, he afterwards received from the King a splendid candelabra centre-piece. On its receipt I remember our old-world Housekeeper, who had always lived in our family, walking round it with tears in her eyes at the honour and glory of the thing, while her feelings found expression in "Short sixes, I perceive, my Lady."
After a brilliant season on my part, as a grown-up girl, in June 1825, we again left Malta by the same route to Genoa, lying for a couple of days in the Harbour of Naples on the way. From Genoa we travelled over the Simplon this time, taking life leisurely and seeing the scenery to perfection.
At Geneva, we saw for the first time a steamer, on the Lake. On returning home, I, having been out, now went in, and had a Governess not being yet 16. This was a very happy period of my life. She was a nice and very cultivated creature, with whom it was a pleasure to work. I greatly delighted in the return to my own contemporaries, though I had much enjoyed Malta too and all the grown-up gaieties.
We arrived in England in August 1825. We lived in London generally for all the winter and spring months, moving to some country place for the summer. In the Spring of 1827, my Uncle, Sir Charles Palmer died, leaving his children under the Guardianship of my Father together with the care of the Leicestershire estate. This involved a yearly sojourn at Wanlip, much of the rest of the year being spent by my cousins under my Father's roof, so that all were one family.
My Uncle, John Hudson, and Aunt Maria, his wife, lived on in our former house at Wimbledon, My brothers as they grew up followed the Law. My second brother, dear Anthony, died in his 22nd year in 1829, at Ryde in the Isle of Wight.
My Father extended his hospitable kindness to many cousins, to the friends of his sons, and to any descendants of his own friends, who were beginning their career in London, that they might feel they had a house and the heart of a friend open to them at any time, feeling strongly that this might be a help to solitary youths starting in life. With them was a sprinkling of his own friends (to balance the amount of exuberant youth sometimes - it was generally in the ascendant) and quiet it a little, including two Uncles - my Father's bachelor brother, Uncle Tom, and his brother-in-law, Sir Launcelot Shadwell, who then held the now superseded office of Vice-Chancellor, He was warmly attached to my Father, and used regularly to appear at dinner once a week and entertain him with the curious cases in his Court and with the witty sayings of the witty lawyers there. His first wife was my Father's sister, the mother of his four sons. There were many more now. He had had nine sons before the eldest of his five daughters was born. The sons and he seemed to be as hardy as Norsemen. We used often to hear how, in the winter mornings, Uncle Lance sallied forth with five or six of them with lanterns and spades from his suburban house by the river, broke the ice, and had a dip in the Thames.
These promiscuous dinners to all comers who arrived just in time, sometimes occasioned a qualm in the mind of the young housekeeper
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as to ways and means for so many mouths. It was more to the purpose that the old housekeeper in the kitchen was seldom perturbed by these inroads, saying to me on the following morning "Well, Miss, I only hope you was as agreeable upstairs, as we was downstairs - quite comfortable". Dear old Nanny or Mrs. Davis (as the world called her) was quite a character, belonging to what seems an extinct species now. She had never lived in any family but my Mother's being born at Wanlip: first with my Grandfather, then with his successor and finally with us. She had a profound respect for "the family", went into deep mourning if any member of it died, and to their funerals, if possible, and had many remarks to offer upon the character of its departed scions. Her talk was very racy, as for example when a servant came by appointment after a situation and arrived in tears with a black eye having been run against by a cart: to whom Nanny "Well, Ma'am, as you was knocked down at a crossing, the thing sanctions itself".
It was in the year 1830, that, touring with some friends, I went to Liverpool, and saw the railway which was to connect it with Manchester - the first I think that was made in England, the first that is for travelling. It was not yet completed, and to the uninitiated seemed somewhat awful and uncanny, that is, the moving carriages did. It seemed then, with this new project, with the growing Chartism, the fever for Reform and the rick-burning that expressed so much of the prevailing discontent, that the times were stirring, but they were quiet by comparison with these when everyone is set moving by these same railways, and people were content to stay at home, they did not ascribe their maladies to the locality, ignored drains and were ignorant of germs and remained in peace at home.
But my pen is garrulous. Our return from this tour was to Wanlip, whence we travelled byway of Guilsborough (the good Mr. Sikes' place) and Digswell, Archdeacon Watson's, to London for the winter. At this same Digswell, I was, as a girl, a frequent visitor to my Father's old Oxford friend and his daughters, a very nice place on Lord Cowper's property. In a pretty house belonging to him lived his old relation, Mr. Henry Cowper - he who had been Clerk in the House of Lords when the poet, his cousin, shrank from that office. Mr, Henry Cowper was full of old-world reminiscences, and of the heroes of by-gone days, Pitt, Burke, Fox, Sheridan, and others, and of the trial of Warren Hastings, which were highly interesting and life like. It was in 1827 that I saw most of him. But of all those who then carried one back to old days, none went so far as an old Aunt of Lord Kenyon's, who was a young girl at Peel in Lancashire when Charles Edward "the young Chevalier" marched from the North as far as Derby - and stout Jacobites though the Kenyons were, she was sent out of the way of any possible frays, on a pillion behind a trusted servant to some safer place. So I often heard from my dear friend Marianne Kenyon, Lord Kenyon's daughter.
In the year 1831, my Father for the first time took a house on the Thames, which practice was continued for six years. This was a large house at Maidenhead, from whence, as far as up to Henley, the River is beautiful and equally charming in having Eton and Windsor below the Bridge,
The brothers and cousins found great enjoyment in bathing and boating, as did the girls in the last. In this year too, I was taken by our Hobhouse friends to Oxford to the Installation of the Duke of Wellington, as Chancellor. I and a cousin stayed at Christ Church with a relation of my Mother's, one of the Canons. It was a very festive occasion and immensely enjoyed by the young people, who gathered there.
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The old Duke was received with immense enthusiasm everywhere and in the Theatre when conferring the Degrees, it rose to a great pitch. I can see him now gravely listening to the Public Orator's introductory speech about each candidate and then adjusting his pince-nez and reading the few latin words of admission, invariably making the same false quantity in them, and then setting it right with a little shake of his head, but first the false quantity and then its correction brought the house down with thunders of applause on every occasion.
It was an ideal place, some of it very old, and with a tradition that the King Maker and other heroes lay buried there though there were no traces to be found. It had a large Hall with a gallery at one end; on one side, the broad staircase led up to the picturesque old Council Room, where, it was said, Queen Elizabeth had held Council. Beyond this was a large bedroom hung with ancient and very dark tapestry, behind which was a door leading to a secret chamber. There were six several flights of stairs, and I was happily placed on the turret staircase, my maid sleeping in an old turret chamber out of mine. Notwithstanding the inevitable Ghosts the place was too full of young and happy and placid contented older life to admit of any qualms on this head. The beautiful river and the beautiful beech woods were constant sources of pleasure - besides all the readings and discussions always going on. Dear Mother insisted upon a course of History by way of work (I think it was even Robertson's) we Palmers and Freres worked conscientiously, and one wet season, I wrote a parody of the worthy man in a History of my Father's reign at Bisham, over which we had great fun.
A very old friend of my Mother's family, a Mrs, Jemima Brereton, used to stay with us for a few weeks every year. She knew all the former Generation at Wanlip and could give us quaint accounts of them, and not only of them. She liked us to read her a list of marriages out of some old Annual Registers, say between the years 1770 and '80. It was very rarely that she had not some old-world story to tell about the people mentioned. Dear Bisham! it was a delightful place for old and young, and many were they who enjoyed its pleasures.
I think it must have been in the very early spring of '36 (then or '37) that the Influenza first appeared and raged as in after times, prostrating whole households suddenly - indeed the story went that the Duke of Devonshire at Burlington House had to get up to take in the milk! I escaped it then and so had my hands full of nursing my neighbours. It was often fatal, and as it was before a stop was put to intra-mural burials, the poor convalescents, on being sent out to walk for the first time, came back shuddering "the streets were so full of funerals", I recollect myself meeting eight or ten in the course of a very moderate walk. Our dear Uncle Tom died this year, I think in January, We persuaded him to come from his solitary Chambers to be nursed in our home, where he died to our great sorrow.
It was in 1837 that William IV died. Our Queen, who has been such an untold blessing to the nation (for which may we be as thankful as we ought) was then just 18, living at Kensington Palace with her Mother. We heard of her being wakened from her sleep and hastily going down to receive the Archbishop and the great Officers of State, who came in the night to announce that she was Queen, and that her first words were an enquiry after Queen Adelaide. Then Uncle Lance spoke of the Privy Council held very soon after and how the hearts of the Old Privy Councillors were stirred by the youth and grace of their new Sovereign. He said "It would not have been the thing but she looked so like my fair
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young daughters I could have kissed her"! (and now 1892) Her jubilee was five years ago, and she has children and grand and great-grand-children, and that generation of Privy Councillors has been succeeded by many another! The Coronation took place in 1838. I only saw the Procession from the Athenaeum, remembering most the reception the mob gave to Marshall Soult, an Envoy Extraordinary for the occasion. Was it because he had been so well beaten by Wellington that he was so popular? This Coronation was a splendid affair greatly excelling that of William IV the last, which was popularly called "only a half Crownation!"
His reign was marked by much commotion and disaffection by rick-burning, Chartism and the Passing of the Reform Bill, not forgetting the terrible riots at Bristol and the burning of the Bishop's house. The times seemed quieter towards the close, and the Queen was very popular when she came.
The Summer of 1837 was passed by us in Surrey near Frensham and Farnham, this year (1838) we reverted to the banks of Father Thames, in the parish of Bray, between Maidenhead and Eton, the last time alas!, of my dear Mother's beloved presence with us.
I take up the history of my life at the year 1839.
In the March of that year my dear Mother died, after a very short illness. I hardly think, if my wedding day had not been fixed and all preparations made that I could have made up my mind to leave my invalid Father, as it would not have been open to my Husband to cancel all his engagements and make his home in my Father's house. As it was the wedding was postponed, and I only began my married life at Eton in July of the same year. At the end of the month, we joined my Father in one of the Canonical houses of St. George's, Windsor, of which parish my Husband was Curate. He had, before entering on the Curacy, inaugurated a good deal of clerical work in and about Eton, many of the earnest-minded and thoughtful among the Masters and young tutors joining him and remaining in fast fellowship with him to the end of his life. His influence was very great then as ever after. In 1840 our son William was born, I was very happy in this Eton and Windsor life with many kind friends around us and always rejoicing in the Services both in the College Chapel and sometimes at St, George's, the first especially - could any congregation be mere moving, mere prompting to intercession than such a seed plot? What might not all the trained power and energy effect for good to their own and after generations.
But this was before the boys came to the daily Service, only on Saints' days and Sundays did they appear. It was long before the time of shortened services,
St. George's Chapel was delightful in a different way. I used to enjoy it most at Evensong in the shorter days when the Choir was lighted from end to end by long rows of wax tapers, which but faintly showed the Banners of the Knights of the Garter, waving overhead, and made a truly religious light.
At that time, those banners were not disfigured by a crescent by the side of the Cross! the Grand Turk had not then been made a Knight of the Noble Order of the Garter. It was reserved for later times so to honour "Mahound", When women's rights are duly recognised, we may put in for Termagaunt.
This year my Father rented Lord Grey's House at Datchett, and this year my poor Aunt Maria Hudson lost her sight. She died in her 90th year, twenty-five years after, and much work did her ever-busy fingers do in them. She was the most devout and most liberal soul - and she was undoubtedly one of the quaintest that ever lived. This, too, 1840 was the last summer with my dear Father (He died in March 1841)
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The Winter following was our last in England for some years and our last happy months at Eton and Windsor, where in so many of my Husband's works, I could take my share. A Bishop's occupations afford but small opening in comparison to a wife; but so it was to be.
One fruit of the growing life of the Church was a growing care for the Church in the Colonies and the formation of the Colonial Bishoprics Fund. New Zealand, then beginning to come into notice was one of the first Sees to be founded.
George's brother William took so lively an interest in promoting this that he was naturally requested to be the first Bishop, but whatever he may have wished himself, his wife's relations were vehemently opposed to it for her sake as well as his. It was not out of fashion then to consider a competent and educated man as thrown away on "Settlers and Savages".
The Authorities turned then to George, who had never thought of going but was quite ready to take his education and his wife and all besides into any sphere to which he might be called by lawful authority. So a deputation came from the Archbishop and Bishops arriving at Eton in the very heyday of one of the last Montems held there, and every house was full of visitors. I wondered what the business might be that took him away so long from his guests to walk in evidently earnest conference with these two gentlemen up and down the garden walk. When all had departed, George came and sat down beside me and asked me if I could make up my mind to go to New Zealand! I said I did not like it, but I hoped I should never hinder him from doing what he thought was right. He said he could only look on this as a call to go, and so it was settled. The news soon spread. George went to his Parents without delay, and I could then feel thankful that my way was cleared by the peaceful death of my own dear Father some months before; it would have been a horrible wrench to have left him in his infirm state, yet he would never have held me back from a plain duty. But I could not but feel glad that he was spared the pain.
Old Mr. and Mrs. Selwyn put no obstacles before George, but freely gave him to the work to which he was called with no grudging spirit, although it was a pang, a sore pang, no doubt to part with him. How our life seemed changed by this prospect, as truly it was, and not ours only but the lives of many others also though we knew it not. The funny thing was that we could find so little to throw any light upon our future home. It seemed as far off as it well could be, it was just beginning to be colonised, - the natives were wild and warlike.
The Church Missionary Society had had a staff of four or five Clergy and some Catechists at work there for a few years before the Colony began. The C. M. S. was induced to go at the instance of a very noble man, Mr. Marsden, the first Chaplain of the convicts in New South Wales, who, some years before, was led out of pity for those neglected outcasts, to offer to go to them. If I remember right, his wishes met with small response at first in those apathetic days - (it might have been felt as a superfluous luxury for Botany Bay!) but he persevered and finally was sent out. The same love of souls led him after a time to venture to the wild islands of New Zealand, He had been very kind to some Maories, who had been brought to Sydney by some vessel. He never rested till at last he went, landing unarmed at the Bay of Islands in the North of New Zealand. His kindness to the natives in Sydney stood him in good stead. The chief took him under his protection and in token that the sleeper was under his protection, stuck his spear into the ground by his fern bed as he lay there to sleep that first night. Mr. Marsden's action was followed by the sending on
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the part of the Church Missionary Society, a small band of workers to begin operations, as I think about the year 1825. These were followed in due time by the Revd. Henry Williams, formerly in the Navy but now a zealous Clergyman, and very well fitted by his devotion to the natives for his present post. He was not rash, but quite fearless, inspiring both awe and confidence into them, and his wife shared in her degree, in all these qualities. They arrived with two children to whom nine were added. Alone among these natives, their position was not one to feel always safe in, and Mrs. Williams' courage was put to the test often, being left with only the Maori members of the household in her husband's frequent absences on his missionary work. The Maori tribes were then constantly at war one with another, so that she was often between two fires on the lookout maybe to see if she befriended the other side. Her own friendly natives would rush in with any story they heard. "Oh, Mother, there has been a fight - the Williams is dead," or "There is a war party coming down very soon to plunder the house;" the noise made alike by friends as by foes was not reassuring -"e tata ana te taua." (?)
I was often struck by the wonderful confidence she and others like-minded expressed in the Divine over-ruling, how it quieted their fears and made them strong, so also, with the readiness of their expressions of gratitude, I do think that one towards another, we are too reticent as to praise and thanksgiving while there is so much in the Psalms about speaking and showing forth and telling and giving thanks; and of the use to be made of our lips, our tongue, our mouth, not hiding the Righteousness in our hearts but telling of his Salvation from day to day. It may be partly owing to our national reticence and partly the wholesome fear of being unreal and partly that we shrink from seeming to "take on" upon ourselves - anyhow we suffer loss.
Mrs. Williams also told how that in those early days when there was neither Doctor or appliances of any kind, no nurses and very little help, somehow it always seemed to happen that in any time of emergency, accident or illness etc., a ship with a surgeon on board would come in. But I am anticipating, and return to Eton in the middle of 1841, just as it was settled that we should go to New Zealand. Now that it has become customary for the best men to be ready to go anywhere on the earth's surface, I recall with wonder the stir and the fuss that was made over this move. For the life before us had in it so much of prose and matter of fact, that the heroism and romance we were invested with seems out of keeping. However, we had to submit to a good deal of greatness thrust upon us, mine being wholly reflected light and such as any happy wife might have - to be ready to go to the ends of the earth with her Husband, - which I did. In this and in other things, George was to be a pioneer. There were those who thought it was throwing away a good man, and a great wrong to the many who needed such in England. It may well be doubted, if George had remained, whether he would have stirred the life of the Church in any degree to equal the effect of his New Zealand and Missionary life; so that argument goes for what it is worth.
I look back with "serrement de coeur" at the amount of love and regard and estimation this step of my Husband's evoked. Help offered, help given on all sides and of all kinds - the crowning gift of all being that of Bishop, then Mr. Abraham, who gave himself to the work, though not at once. He, a successful Master at Eton, had just given up his house and gone to rooms in College, with the view of getting hold of the Collegers by being among them, and thus raising the tone of the boys, and no doubt this self-sacrificing move was blessed to many of them. He desired to keep to this work for ten years, when all being well, he would join the Bishop in New Zealand,
Another recruit was in the person of the Revd. William Cotton, an assistant curate with George at Windsor, who very unexpectedly announced his intention of throwing in his lot with him in his new sphere. As this is meant for private circulation only, I may say that
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while his love for the Bishop, his enthusiasm, his goodness and good nature, and his great cleverness would have made him a valuable helper it was all largely balanced by a want of ballast which made one afraid of what he would do next. It was owing, poor fellow, to a temperament subject to alternations of the highest and the lowest spirits each phase lasted for some time. The news of our going found him in the depths after a year's work at Windsor.
Immediately, he shot up into exuberance, full of zeal and self-devotion and thoroughly delighting in the prospect. How kind he ever was to me I cannot say, in how good a spirit he would take away any check I ventured to offer or how earnestly he desired to help the work in hand in his own eccentric way, but he was an anxiety from time to time truly, also a great help from his cheeriness and life.
We did not finally leave Eton till the Autumn. Gifts poured in some for the future Diocese, many for ourselves, who were poor creatures going to the wilds! George declined heirlooms, and his friends joined in providing a valuable collection of books for the Cathedral Library at Auckland. (I may say that this and the beautiful site there provided by the Bishop's foresight are as yet the only indications of a Cathedral). They also raised a fund for the New Zealand Church which was supplemented by the great Church Societies and was carried on for years. The chief mover in this and in many subsequent funds was an unfailing and most zealous friend, the Revd. Edward Coleridge, to whom we ever felt we owed a vast debt.
The Parishioners of Windsor were very keen on their part and presented costly Church plate and made great demonstrations of regard and esteem. It was a time of excitement - everyone so full of admiration of George (and he, so quiet about it, throwing off as he could) and of regard and wonder too, also some pity for me indeed! I could do without that. But there was a prosaic side in the great packing. We thought we should want everything, so we carried off tables and chairs and bedding etc, etc. etc., and provided vast stores of underclothing for the voyage. Also we actually took five servants, I should say four - one a dour dame with two children, who used to assure me that she had "a most mysterious affection for me". I did not return the sentiment - it would have been more mysterious if I had! After giving much help in New Zealand and more trouble she took herself and her two children to Australia.
Another of that set was "Old Nurse" of famous memory likewise competent to give help right and left, and whiles, some trouble also. She, poor thing, was subject to violent illnesses seemingly of a fatal sort. I took a final leave of her several times, but on coming home would find her up and about, and doing the work of three or four people - a quaint and loyal soul, always ready to help especially in illnesses, an outburst of this was like a trumpet call, she was always ready and willing.
But I wander from our preparations for our new life as I must from the showers, no, floods of kindness and attention which was bestowed on us and which followed us across the world as well, then and ever after.
George was consecrated on Sunday the 17th October at the Chapel of Lambeth Palace, by Archbishop Howley, Bishop Blomfield etc., as many friends as the little Chapel would hold being present. Our time after this was taken up with farewell visits to friends and relations and a parting one to our happy home at Eton for the final winding up and the farewell sermon to the Parish of Windsor, the last sermon from George to his loving people - and one from Archdeacon Samuel Wilberforce, of which I only remember one sentence. Speaking of Death and separation he called it "only a wearisome suspension of the active ministries of Love", The day came, and we left Richmond for Devonshire to meet the "Tomatin" at Plymouth with which nearly all our party and impedimenta had started from the Docks in London.
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At Exeter Cathedral, George preached a memorable sermon "How shall we sing the Lord's song in a strange land"? much to the surprise of most of the Exeter Congregation who knew very little about the young Bishop and nothing about the country he was going to; there were but few who did, late in 1841.
We were twelve days at Plymouth, waiting for the arrival of the ship from London, - she was more or less of a tub. Our stay there was cheered by some of our Eton friends who came to see us off Charles Abraham, Edward Balston, Harry Dupuis, Edward Coleridge and one more. The three first, all Eton Masters, had engagements which prevented their staying to the end of this long delay, but Mr. Coleridge remained to see us off on S. Stephen's Day, At Plymouth, we found Lady Martin who was going out to join her Husband who was Chief Justice of New Zealand. He and the house they were to live in had gone out some months before his delicate wife to prepare for her. The Admiral on the Station kindly sent his barge to take us on board, where, after a crowded little gathering for prayer in our cabin, the friends who came with us took their leave, and left us to our strongly-stirred feelings, and the hubbub of a departure. This was before the days of passenger ships with all their luxuries and stewardesses.
Ours like all the others was a merchantman. She was but small for the party she carried, but happily it was before the extinction of poops and of airy stern cabins. You could not give way to your feelings while your cabin was chaos as yet. The only sentiment you could indulge in was straining your eyes at England as long as you could see it, and thinking great thoughts much chequered by the prevailing confusion. The arrival of stores, the hoisting up of a side of beef and a sack of cabbage, then a belated passenger, and people rushing about clamouring for missing boxes, all this was, perhaps fortunately, not in harmony with deep feelings, - so to our cabin to reduce chaos and get things straight while we were yet alive and well. We had a very good run at first, and did not reef topsails for 70 days. George kept his party hard at work learning Maori, he himself sticking to it the whole day. There was nothing to help him but an early, old and imperfect, translation of St. Matthew, and a Maori boy brought by some gentleman to England, and whom we were taking back. He was of no use excepting for the pronunciation, but all this enabled George to preach and to speak to the Maoris as soon as he landed on New Zealand. I am afraid that none of his pupils were half as diligent as he. On board he got up a lesson ahead of us, and we sat like good children round the table for two or three hours every morning learning it, the Maori boy supplying his part with the pronunciation.
Anyone who wishes to hear more of the events (or lack of them) of a passage of 109 days may peruse to his much sleepiness a diary of the same kept in compliance with the wishes of benighted friends in England.
Sydney. The Bishop of Sydney, Bishop Broughton, gave us a hearty welcome to his house at Wooloomooloo. The Governor took us for a drive to Botany Bay of ill-omened and famous memory, but then deserted as N. S. Wales had ceased to be a convict settlement. He also took us in Company with Bishop Broughton up the country to the Blue Mountains. The bush road, full of stumps of trees and hollows in the ground, did 1
with such a long tail. So I hoped for a long passage to Auckland to
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give him time to come up from Auckland to the Bay of Islands before we arrived. As it turned out, we made a very quick one only five days. On the sixth, we were close to the picturesque entrance to the Bay, all watching the new land - the new home with great eagerness. It was on S. John the Baptist's Dry, June 24th that we reached the place. I must confess I was less absorbed by the picturesque than by the hope of seeing a shovel hat in any boat on the water. The Bay is a large one. The little Township of Kororareka on one side, and opposite, the much smaller settlement of Paihia, where some of the earlier Missionaries had lived in the outset of their career, the senior clergyman of the C. M. S. Mission still remaining in charge of the District, and with him, Archdeacon Henry Williams, I hoped to find my Husband.
New Zealand. 1842, Paihia.
The right boat with the much desired hat appeared ere long; George had only reached Paihia the day before, having given much satisfaction to the Archdeacon, who, when going to meet the Bishop on his arrival had found him drawing up his boat on the beach, recognising in that a test of suitability to his position. There was a large gathering of natives at the place who had come to meet the Bishop with much curiosity, and now they congregated on the beach to see his wife, who landed on the shores of New Zealand on S. John the Baptist's Day, Friday, June 24th, the middle of New Zealand winter, equal to Christmas in England, but very bright and warm, the sun shining hotly upon us - and here in New Zealand I remained for twenty-five years! and then the leaving it cracked many and many homey heart strings again.
The Maoris gave us a hearty welcome, "Haere mai, Haere mai Mata Pihopa" - "Come here, come here, Mother Bishop", the whole party pressing round to shake hands which was a long process. I felt shy at airing my Maori learning before such numbers and indeed the business in hand, or rather hands, left little time for further amenities, there was such a forest of them on either side.
Archdeacon Williams received us into his hospitable house where his wife and eight of his eleven children met us. The house and its outside dependencies was very elastic; and another close by contained his brother's family, wife, and six or seven children, with their Maori following also. (This brother was afterwards Archdeacon W. Williams and later, Bishop of Waiapu). They had come from their Southern home at Turanga on the East Coast for a visit to their old quarters.
Nothing could exceed the kindness of all, but it was dreadfully puzzling to know one from another, and still more to remember the names of the Maoris, who liked to be recognised,
I well remember the first Sunday the Maori service and the first sermon that George preached in Maori for which he got great kudos from Archdeacon W, Williams who looked over the MSS. with astonishment. It was, I conclude, more correct in grammar than in pronunciation, and it was nearly the only one written for the Maoris.
The evening gatherings at Paihia round the fire with ginger tea and biscuits by way of supper were very pleasant.
Stories of early vicissitudes from the two veteran brothers, anecdotes of the character and habits of the Maoris, and how to deal with them - Mrs. Williams and her sister-in-law chiming in occasionally - so we listened and learnt. This was the quiet time. All day there seemed to be a continuous succession of Maoris and children passing through the three doors of every room, slamming them all!
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George wished to lose no time in starting for a tour of inspection through the Northern Island as far as Wellington so he went up one day to the Waimate some miles to the North of Paihia where had been among the many natives thereabouts, a small colony of C. M. S. Missionaries, who had built a Church there, and some houses for themselves, weather-boarded buildings all. Of the staff there there now only remained the Rev. Richard Taylor and Mr. Davis one of the early missionary catechists. A house being vacant and the Society agreeable for George to begin here, he took possession of the Mansion our first New Zealand home, so for this place on the 6th of July I started with Willie and old Nurse in a cart, escorted by the aforesaid Mrs. Taylor, after taking leave on July 4th of my Husband for six months. He was sailing for the South taking Mr. W. Evans with him who poor fellow, was going to Wellington to die of fever there. The rest of the younger staff were to be left at the Waimate under the care (?-) of Mr, Cotton. There was no doubt of his ability and willingness to instruct them and of his wish to carry out the Bishop's wishes and to take every possible care of us. His great inequality of spirits at intervals and other things made him often a great anxiety to me for fear of what he might do, but I might have spared my fidgets, for no son could have been more considerate or kind or attentive than he was to me in that very long six months.
The original plan had been for him to have been travelling Chaplain with the Bishop and for Mr, Whytehead to have had charge of the young men at home, but his illness stopped all this.
To go back to our start, (in the sort of taxed cart we went in) from Paihia on the morning of the 6th of July.
It was the winter and consequently the rainy season in New Zealand. We went by Kerikeri, where was an old Catechist of the C. M. S. and his nice old wife, who had done and still was doing very good service among the native women and girls, on through a wood, where the road, which was astonishing before, seemed now a marvel of badness - thick stiff clay up to the axles and with no perceptible bottom, save an occasional great bump over a stump. I wonder we are not there still but neither our nag nor his driver seemed in any way disconcerted - so why should we? This was my first introduction to that beautiful thing, a New Zealand wood, not that I thought it as beautiful as an English one of fine old trees with the sun glinting on their stately trunks and greensward below and great leafy branches overhead. Still the luxuriant undergrowth and the masses of lovely ferns are beautiful and surprising, ferns of endless variety; tall trees and parasites of all descriptions covering the stems, shooting up to the top, and then hanging down either in long shoots or festoons. When riding you had to look out you were not caught by the chin. I am afraid none of these woods are now to be found near any of the English towns, so ruthless has been the clearing and the burning. This first leaves a blackened area, with here and there a gaunt tall stem, if the bark is gone, it is quite white, if not, black, - a stage or two further on, there may be some posts and rails enclosing patches of potatoes, but no beauty, no poetry left.
On reaching the Waimate, we found some cleared fields and grass growing round the weather boarded houses already mentioned, with cattle in them. The little tiny spire of the Church out of all proportion to the size still looked most comfortable and so also was the kind hospitality of good Mrs. Taylor to us for the next few days till we could get some of our furniture out of the great store at Kerikeri, just enough, for we could not feel sure that we should remain permanently at the Waimate. The roads aforesaid were rather an obstacle to moving heavy goods. The house we were to inhabit seemed odd to me at first. Further acquaintance with the run of houses in those days led me to look back on it as palatial. I then felt as if living in a box-floor, walls and ceilings all of wood, not panelled or adorned - labour too dear for such vanities. We had the piano up from Kerikeri,
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the first effect of which was, when I played to him, to make a benevolent old visitor in a blanket think that I had got a man inside, clamouring to get out! We had also the large round top of the drawing room table - legs and claws not getatable for months it was the very antipodes of a modern drawing room, never a small table and not the ghost of a gimcrack. I incline to think too that these were the dark ages before the reign of antimacassars, but we continued to drag on a miserable existence without these indispensables, and when the cask it stood on at first was superseded by the real leg of the table, we felt we had reached a high point of civilization. In some ways, I was sorry not to have things prettier and brighter. I felt it to be desirable to keep up so far as might be an atmosphere of polish among the young men. I think I was like the lady in "Sir Charles Grandison" whose main object it was always to remember her "punctilio" - but people so easily sank in those days into rude habits and rough demeanour in out-of-the-way places in the Colonies, that I felt it a duty to help George's young staff in homey ways lest their influence should be lowered. So we assembled in evening attire at our tea without milk and our bread without butter and made ourselves agreeable according to our lights and behaved "pretty" as the nurses used to say - all you see with a real end. One day was like another.
Miss Davis kindly came to teach me Maori, the natives who came to chaffer assisting also in my education. Those were primitive times; a large kete (basket something like a Carpenter's tool basket) of anything, potatoes, kumaras, peaches, Cape Gooseberries, quinces all alike were one shilling each.
At intervals - long ones, they brought a fowl to sell also but we almost entirely lived on pork, our diet greatly improved by the fruit when in season. Stores we used to get from the little English settlement of Kororareka in the Bay of Islands. The goods were then usually sold by wholesale. It was not nice if you had laid in a bag of sugar, a cwt. or so, to find a flavour of oil in it perhaps or a box of tea moistened by salt water or - but that will do.
The Maoris helped freely with the, to them, much improved sugar, and we baked the tea before using it with good effect.
I beg you to observe that all these things were exalted by admiring friends in England into "Missionary hardships", which brightened the halo they had been pleased to invest us with, forgetting how much people would endure for fame or pelf or to please themselves after gold or orchids or butterflies etc, etc. This being our first acquaintance with the Antipodes, we found it confusing to have it cold in July with short days, and stars on the wrong side of us, also that the North was warm and the South cold, while the Easterly gales were soft to feel, though violent in their nature. It was wonderfully warm for midwinter, only caring for a fire in the evening and running out by day into the sunshine, for a warming, if we were chilly. We had no letters - it was long before any regular mail service was established; letters and papers came promiscuously by any trader to any part.
New Zealand being one spot at that time in the minds of those at home, so if our letters did not come direct to Auckland, they were either sent up from their port of arrival by some little wretch of a coaster or else waited for the Government Brig, which sailed round the Island, touching at the English Settlements once every two months. At long intervals, the cart from the Waimate with the young men went down to Kororareka for stores and they were most eagerly watched for on their return on the chance of some news, but none came from home, We had left England at the end of December 1841 and none came to us till the end of October 1842, having been landed down at Wellington at the end of the Island and had to wait for a chance to Auckland, and for another to the Bay of Islands,
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I am wrong however in saying that nothing reached us. One stray letter to the Bishop alluded to the fact that my eldest brother had died in March, and that was all, and sad enough indeed.
But in the course of the six months that George was away I had two or three letters from him by some chance conveyance. Beginning with Auckland to which place he went, while I etc. went up to the Waimate, When he had seen to matters there, he started for the South. Wellington in Cook's Straits first with his young friend William Evans of Eton who had come out with us, as also Mr, Cole, to be left in charge of the Parish of Wellington, intending afterwards to visit and set in order things wanted in the English settlements and then come back among the Maori districts, his first bush journey chiefly on foot varied now and then, but rarely, by a canoe on a river, and in later years, sometimes, by the loan of a horse!
The party started in a Government Brig taking with them a fellow passenger named Lowther who had also come out in the "Tomatin", though not one of us. Some one must have carried the seeds of fever on board the brig. At Wellington, both Mr. Lowther and Mr. Evans fell ill of a fever, contracted as was supposed in the Brig and died. Mr. Cole also suffered severely but recovered. The greater part of George's time was taken up in Nursing them and sad at heart was he at losing young Evans and that the first letter to his Father should be to tell of his son's death.
The long overland journey which followed was better provided with attendant Maoris than in later years, and much more cumbered with "necessaries" for the outing than was George's use afterwards. There were no other roads up the country then than the natives' paths as there were then no horses among them. These paths for the most (? part) went straight on over the stiffest hill and through any swamp, sometimes fighting your way through flax bushes, and often being more than three days in a wood. The natives were merry fellows and at the halting place for the night would sit round the fire and recount in lively style the doings of the day and the sayings of their "Pakeha" - the stranger that is, they were escorting. Such a camping out is always picturesque with the fire lighting up the trees near at hand and the figures sitting round. If the men had been lucky enough to shoot a bird or catch some fish or have had some food given them by the compatriots they met, they were most festive, and if the food ran short they made the best of it. The long rests were at the Mission Stations en route, but they halted of course every Sunday close to some village, George's object being to see as much of the people as he could. He came back with the words oft-repeated on his lips "The lot is fallen unto me in a fair ground, yea, I have a goodly heritage."
Mr. Cotton, meanwhile, escorted me and little Willie for a walk every day after his morning with the young men and mine with the young Taylors and anyone else there was to teach. We always ended by a stretch on the way to Kororareka to see if perchance there might be a messenger to bring us news from the Bishop or from England. What was our joy one day to hear that a box had arrived thence! that supreme joy in those old days. We stuffed it full in anticipation "with sugar and spice and all that's nice," gages d'amour et d'amitie for all and news from home above all, and when it came, we stood over it, watching each nail as it was drawn with breathless suspense, - but it was only to see two shovel hats! at last, nothing in them and a desert of unused space around! After a few weeks, a letter from Sydney did indeed bring us joy - it told us that dear Mr. Whitehead would soon be with us. Did I not rejoice? it lifted such a sense of responsibility and brought the thoughts of pleasant companionship and cultivation and refinement and goodness to benefit our little circle. Dear Soul, he but came to die among us, though at that time he knew it not, but was as hopeful as it is the wont of consumption to make its victims, and was very happy
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in being in his right place, in being with us and sharing the beginning of the new life etc. To the Waimate house had been added two rooms, apart from the stir of the rest of it just adapted to his requirements, and there he began at once to prepare the good old Catechist, Mr. Davies, 2for Ordination - the Church Missionary Society having recommended the whole body of their Catechists in New Zealand to the Bishop for Ordination.
Mr. Whytehead was received by nearly all their members with some doubts and suspicion at first, the obnoxious term then being - a "rank Puseyite", but anyone of them who received him into their houses thought they had received an angel unawares, and in this case, it was strangely beautiful to see the growing reverence and love of the old disciple for the dying young instructor at whose feet he sat. At first, he used to join us in the evenings but as time went on, his weakness stopped that. We used in those days duly to read our Keble on Sunday Evening, and think of the friends in England who were sure to be doing the same according to the custom then prevailing with all good Church people. The natural seasons were complicated as we read for we were drawing toward Midsummer at Christmas, but the Church's Seasons were abiding. As time wore on though Mr. Whytehead was never confined to his bed, his weakness increased - it was a great privilege and a great responsibility to be allowed to minister to him. Mr. Cotton took the night work and he was my care by day, reading to him, and talking with him as he could bear it. The end of the year came and we talked over all it had brought us, and but little now of what the new one would open - of all the plans and hopes before us, as in these we now felt he should have no part - a sorrowful close to our bright hopes. It was a terrible blow to the Bishop to find his beloved friend and Chaplain, on whom so many hopes had been raised, evidently passing away. He died on the 19th of March 1843, the anniversary of my dear Father's death, retaining his full powers of mind till the last all along but especially the last two months. It was a precious time of solemn intercourse with this holy soul, the restlessness of mind having passed away and been succeeded by a blessed calm.
We felt as lifted into another sphere by the side of this departing saint where higher thoughts and feelings prevailed over those of our great loss. So it went on till the 9th of January 1843 arrived and brought the great joy of the Bishop's return six months after he had left us, Willie's shouts of greeting brought the invalid out of his room into the passage where George met him. His spectral face told its own tale without any words, but the prominent thought with us all was of thankfulness that the Bishop had returned in time. Indeed he did not die till the 19th of March, having spent the last evening in the dining room with us, for he was never confined to his bed till the day of his death, then after a very bad night which sapped the last elements of strength, he passed quietly away. Even in the short time he had been with us, he had indeed been a blessing - later on, such a boon was repeated in the coming of Bishop Patteson, How honoured were we in having two such saints -one at the beginning, the other towards the end of the Bishop's Episcopate!
Dear Mr. Whytehead's body was laid to rest in the Churchyard of the Waimate, all of us attending the burial, and everyone Maori and English within reach also, We missed our little Willie afterwards, but found him sitting on the grave and calling Mr, Whytehead to come back, but saying to us, "I am afraid he can't hear me for I am not an Archangel"!!
After this, work began, the beginning of the Schools that were to be, all boarding Schools which the Bishop felt was the only efficient way of educating the people and training them in civilised habits.
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The Missionaries did not fall in with this opinion at first but in time, they had nearly all of them boarding Schools attached to their districts. Of these particular days I have little to tell as I fell ill and could not take any share in what was going on. At last George carried me down to Paihia and then to Kororareka to the house of the Clergyman there and left me under the care of his dear kind wife, Mrs. Burrows. We adjourned afterwards to Paihia on the opposite side of the Bay of Islands, where I had first landed.
Here Mrs. Williams, the wife of the stalwart Archdeacon Henry Williams hospitized me. She was most considerate and kind. The new feminine arrivals in the missionary body used rather to quail at her incapacity for entering into the privations and difficulties they found in their new position.
She had faced such real dangers in earlier times, such positive wants, she could not see anything in such minor troubles. Happily these did not last long, and as a rule, the missionary women were a noble set, greatly aiding the work going on. Those who were in Mission Stations in the heart of the country had still a rough time of it. Most of them had large families, beginning their career perhaps with only one or two children. They lived for some time in small raupo or reed houses far from the few settlers of those days, taking care always to have windows down to the ground in case of fire - no uncommon occurrence.
If a raupo house caught fire, before you could count 20 it was flaming throughout. Twice was Archdeacon Williams burnt out in this way. On arrival, the new Missionary's wife would be inundated with Maori visitors, all friendly, all crowding in, all talking at the tops of their voices and inspecting everything. Till she had trained her "girls" from among the womenkind of the place, all the work of the house fell on her; attending to her children, mending and making clothes, preparing food, bread included, seeing to the sick brought for advice, getting their medicine, washing the family clothes, teaching her children, helping her husband etc, etc. etc. She was often left alone for weeks among the natives. So she had her sphere for missionary hardships though they were not in degree like those of the first comers who lived in the midst of tribal fights and suspicion.
We returned to the Waimate, detained for days at Kerikeri where was the large store built by the early missionaries to contain the supplies from "the Colony" as they called Sydney in those days on which they depended. Here our much goods were now stored including the books. It was built of stone a phenomenon among the weather boards and reed houses of the first settlers. Hard by was the home of Mr. Kemp one of the first set of Catechists, His wife was a dear old thing. She had never heard of Standards and would not have shone in a Board School reading one day about the atmosphere and the next about Cortez and the third about Conchology etc., but she was apt to teach, very practical and full of a true love of souls. I do not think that any improvement could have been made in her method of training the Maori girls. It was the real thing and stuck to her scholars in after life.
She was very tender over me as I was still weak and would insist on sending me up delicate little refections, cooked by her own hands, regaling me also with histories of the early days, all told with the utmost simplicity, but setting forth the faith and zeal and endurance that was in her. We were kept here by a "Marangai", an easterly gale, furious as to wind and rain, but very warm throughout the three days they were wont to last.
I found a great deal going on at the Waimate - a primary school beginning and an adult school, at present only a day school just opened. The Bishop had brought back with him from Otaki near Wellington a very young man named Rota Waitoa, first as travelling
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squire and now as learner. He never left us from that day forward passing through upward grades, till he was ordained in the year 1853, when ho went to a district on the East Coast, More of Rota by-and-bye.
An amusing event, as it turned out, happened this year. Some of our young men, those who had begun their New Zealand life at this place when I did, had shot some wild ducks at a place which they did not know had been made "tapu" (sacred) so they were not to be touched and great offence was taken, A set of natives came as a "taua" or fighting party to our house and proceeded to demand payment getting up their steam by beginning to dance up and down and prance on the lawn, making speeches the while. But George invited the elders to come into his room politely seating them on chairs, which put a stopper on the steam. The rest crowded round the windows and door but did not venture in. He then asked them, after regretting the ignorance which had caused the offence, whether they should go by the old Maori law or the Christian law? The principal man, after a short conference with his fellows, said "By the Christian". So George read Zacchaeus' statement, that he restored fourfold anything wrongfully taken and "so I will pay four times the value of each duck". This gave huge satisfaction as did a great supply of stirabout, simply ordinary Paste with sugar, which I brought forward. I was much perplexed to find a dish suitable to the occasion, but a beautiful white crockery baby's bath answered as tureen, John Heke, a notable man, who was at the head of the taua was not long after the Chief of the natives in the first Maori war with the English, cutting down the English flag at Kororareka a year or two afterwards. He was now quite satisfied; the party took an affectionate and noisy farewell and would have rubbed noses had we been open to that proof of their regard.
The natives used chiefly to bring their articles to sell on Mondays, a sort of Market day, but before business, they always came to Church, After Maori custom, the women were the beasts of burden to carry the heaviest loads, a huge basket of potatoes perhaps, while her stalwart lord stalked by her side with one fowl perhaps, or nothing! George demurred to this fashion so matters were reversed next time, but the rogues still made the wives do the heavy work and only changed when close to the Waimate! Of course, many children came also, more or less clad. On one occasion, two little boys appeared dressed in one red handkerchief tied behind. They suited themselves to their circumstances very cleverly, and I had reason to feel obliged to this anecdote after it had figured in my English letters. It was most productive, moving the feelings of the benevolent to a great degree in the way of sending out garments for the poor sufferers! It also set forth the power of an anecdote over argument of the soundest. An anecdote has a point and is sticky. It goes into the mind and stays there... In a very humble way, we made provision for receiving some of the sick, fitting up an outhouse for them. Their favourite remedy for "all the ills that flesh is heir to" was a bottle of Piro piro to wit "bad smell" in polite language "stink". It was a compound of whale oil and turpentine, and was applied promiscuously anywhere. As being stronger, a mustard plaster was preferred, and bliss of bliss! if you had a blister to spare! This they cherished, passing it on after using to a sick friend with totally different symptoms, who would also do the same kind act to a third party and so on till hardly a thread remained. They used to give comical accounts of their aches and pains in all parts of their body and how they chased "him" from one place to another with the plaster or blister always personifying the pain as if they had been fighting an enemy. "He was so sly, he would turn up in your great toe just while you were routing him away from your hip joint"! I have wandered from the marketing natives.
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When the time came for George to start on another long bush journey, he took me down to Auckland with Willie to stay with the Martins at Taurarua, It was my first visit to that hospitable place as the coming there was my first introduction to the charms of a fore and aft schooner! Both Auckland and the life at Taurarua seemed highly civilised after our community life, as to meals, at the Waimate, also ladies and gentlemen coming to call, a papered room and a return to old familiar habits impressed me strongly, George went round to Taranaki by the Government Brig, thence down the coast to Wellington crossing over to Nelson. This was years before the Canterbury settlement and Christchurch were thought of, I think he touched the lowest depth in some of the fore and afters he had to sail in, but he always made merry over his experiences. But alas, the visits to the English settlements were very sad ones. There had been a disastrous collision at the end of last year between the English and the Maoris ending in many English being killed at the Wairau. I do not enter into the causes, but the exasperation of the English was great - it was probably on both sides, for the Maoris felt themselves unjustly handled by the New Zealand Company. The effect was that among the English, no one had a chance who stood up for the natives, so they were not very civil to the Bishop who spoke out very boldly for them. Yet nothing quenched the hospitality of the malcontents.
The eastern side of the Coast of the middle Island had been much frequented by whalers and many of their old sailors remained with their Maori wives and half-caste families scattered about. They fitted their cottages up with the bunks to make them as like a cabin as might be. That coast is now much changed, English Settlers have taken the place of the sailors and their bunks. George accepted their hospitality sometimes. He married 70 couples and baptized their children (No cleric had been seen along that coast) belonging to the Canterbury Colony and further South to Otago. That part near Lyttelton (the port of Christchurch, Capital of Canterbury) used to be beautiful, but I suppose the zeal for clearing and bush fires have made havoc of beautiful Akaroa and other bays we used to frequent.
Meanwhile, I with little Willie and Mary Crump remained at Taurarua. The Judge, afterwards Sir William Martin, was an old College friend of the Bishop, a delicate man as to health, a regular student in his tastes, very learned in languages and literature, never at fault when you asked for information on any subject, like-minded with George in the welfare of the Maoris, quite as ready to do battle for them as he was, and entering into all the Bishop's far-sighted plans for them, and for laying the foundations of the Government and of the Church in New Zealand on a sound basis. In after days, he entered as heartily into the Melanesian Mission, especially the philological part and was a warm ally of Bishop Patteson, who by nature was a student also of the Government.
He heartily entered into fun also, and when the day's work was over used to read pleasant books to Lady Martin and me in the evening over the wood fire, when we were very lively, reading sometimes old chronicles, now and then something of Indian lore on which he was great, and sometimes a bit of Don Quixote (My deeply respected hero). We did not get many books from England and used to feel astonished at the selection made if they did come; for we had explorations in Australia and travels in these Colonies usque ad! We had enough of the real thing, and wished for a different atmosphere from travels in the bush and settling, and sheep runs and squatting etc. etc.; but the gifts were kindly meant, also they greatly improved in quality as years went on. The Attorney-General, Mr. Swainson, lived close by Sir W. Martin also in the little bay of Taurarua, his house being divided from that of the Judge by the little ravine that led to the Bay, He came punctually at 6 to tea, and on principle never stirred till 10.30 by which time his hostess was asleep, and the Judge nodding. In this ravine was also the
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house or hut of the Maori-in-waiting, and close by it, another Maori house tenanted by the sick and their friends, for Lady Martin had a great name among them as a Doctor. There were others who might be called out-patients coming to consult their Doctor and to fetch medicine or to bring an offering for past favours,
Taurarua is just at the opening of the Waitemata, a long wide inlet, a few bays up which, the town of Auckland was built, in those days, of wood. Opposite to Taurarua was the North Shore ending at the entrance of the harbour in a long piece of low land with a hill on it where was the flagstaff overlooking the open sea, whence incoming vessels were signalled.
How I used to watch that flagstaff and when George was coming back, in the Undine at first, then the Border Maid, and lastly the Southern Cross from Melanesia, and also for any vessels from England likely to bring letters! There was no regular mail service till long after and the ships were nearly four months coming. The weather grew warmer towards the end of the year, at Christmas being brilliant summer The Easterly gales however occurred from time to time, and as the thin wooden house got older, making themselves felt within as well as without the wind blowing some of the old shingles off the roof, then came a deluge, which I must say I have felt in bed, so tubs were set along the passages etc. The wind and rain were alike furious.
At the end of 1843, the New Governor, Captain Fitzroy came out with his family, the first Governor having died soon after we arrived. Old General O'Brien, the father of Mrs. Fitzroy, was of the party and his position was somewhat unique, in that he was elderly. We were all young in those days as were the great body of the settlers. Captain Fitzroy had been in command of the "Beagle" in her exploring voyage in the Southern Ocean near America and had been for some time in the Straits of Magellan, and with him, was the afterwards celebrated Darwin, The account of their researches was published and is very interesting. Then Captain Fitzroy left New Zealand to go home with his wife and little children, the winter was coming on, but he persuaded the Captain of the Ship he went in, against his will, not to go round Cape Horn but through these Straits again. The weather there was dreadful the storms constant, the food was limited and fuel failed, cabin furniture, chairs etc, being cut up to supply the need.
Very different this from the swift and luxurious P. & O. boats of these days. I suppose that it was in this year that Sir George Grey came from Adelaide to reign in Captain Fitzroy's stead. He had been a great explorer in Australia and then Governor of one or two of the Colonies there, but was now coming to a different Government, the rights and wishes of the Maori population being complicated with the expectations and claims of the immigrants. At that time there was an officer entitled "Protector of the Aborigines" on the staff, the first being a Catechist of long standing of the C. M. S., an imperturbable man, just suited to deal with the excitable natives. A Maori of rank had committed a murder and was tried and sentenced to death by the Judge, the evidence being quite clear. The Chief of his tribe was furious and demanded that he should be given up to him, coming one day with a war party in full attire and in his war canoes. They were full of indignation and bounce, and the old chief rushed into the Protector's Office in a fury dancing round Captain N. with a tomahawk. He took no notice but presently said, - "Friend, would you like to have a pair of boots?" Away went the wrath and bounce, boots reigned and the fire-eater was wholly taken up with pulling up the smart military things over his wide feet. This accomplished he could no longer prance, and so hobbled away in equal state of peace of mind and anguish of foot.
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George came back from the South I think in February 1844 and we returned to the Waimate, In May of that year our second son was born at that place, and on that account was claimed by the natives in after years as belonging to the tribe of the Ngapuhi a fighting one of old. It was in this year (or the last) that "a war" so to call it, broke out in the North, this time purely Maori between two tribes, thus there was a truce on Sundays; and at all times peace for the crops, so war is a grand name for the skirmishing that went on at other times.
George went up with William Hau (Chief and Teacher at the Waimate) to mediate. Both sides were very civil to the Bishop and came to listen on Sundays. Wi-Hau greatly enjoyed himself in the outing, saying, "The War will end when all the food has been eaten". Mrs. Hau brought her husband's letters to read to me and to hear mine - from mine. We had a visit from two great chiefs on their way to the scene of action. They amused us by their high and mighty notions, laying the blame on the Governor, who had made on Nopera "a Gentleman"! which he was not nor ever would be. Someone said it was a pity the natives should fight about a slip of land. Old Nena, one of the Chiefs said that was just what "Ponapate" and Wertu Wellington) did and it was right. The Bishop was not away long. He baptized a child on Sunday with a better name than its preceding brother who was called "Rehoboam". Happily they took me into Council on this head first. On another occasion some parents gave out a remarkable name. "What is that name?" I asked. "It is out of the Bible", said they, but as the child was called after one, Mr. Hopukina, I looked in vain for it there.
In September 1844, the Martins paid us a visit, and soon after them arrived the Members of a Translating Committee, "a Syndicate", as George called it, to revise translations already made, a syndicate of the best Maori scholars to be had. First, Archdeacon, afterwards Bishop Wm. Williams, the brother of Archdeacon Henry of Paihia. He was an Oxford man and the two were looked upon as the heads of the C. M. S. New Zealand Mission. Next, the Rev. R. Maunsell, a much later member of it, a racy Irishman, a very able man and with a rare knowledge of Maori. The last was a layman, Mr. Puckey, a Catechist, who had been brought up in New Zealand from early days.
We were admitted sometimes to hear them. It was highly interesting and sometimes amusing. Mr. Maunsell would give such colloquial definitions of a word, generally supported by the excellent Puckey. George had not in these early days such intimate knowledge of the language as enabled him to cope with these Philologists, but he could, supported by Mr. Williams, put his veto on anything too familiar for Bible or Prayer Book.
Mrs. Maunsell and her little baby, Eliza (afterwards Mrs. Bice) were also with us, George having carried the said baby all the way from the Keri-keri. She was wrapped in his maud and strung round his neck.
About this time he had made up his mind to move his quarters to Church land near Auckland. The neighbouring natives heard the rumour and highly disapproved, besides higher reasons, the loss of their market stared them in the face, and one day a large body came to protest, (vide Lady Martin's account).
Our Waimate home was broken up at the end of the year in October. We went with the Martins to Auckland, where George rented a house pending the building going on at S. John's College, our future home. The Students and the Maori School as also a few English scholars were Settled at Purewa with Mr. Cotton. Purewa is a pretty spot at the head
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of Orakei Creek, S. John's College being more inland. Huts were put up, and a great barn served as Schoolroom and hall. Here the party remained till the Autumn (our spring) of when they and their buildings moved up to the college. Meanwhile the native mind had been growing more and more unsettled. It thought that the Treaty of Waitangi, by which the Island was taken under English protection and Maori rights reserved, was infringed by the substitution of the name of the Queen instead of the native chiefs in the Public prayers, and still more by the erection of a flag-staff at Kororareka. Twice under the auspices of "John Heke" was it cut down, the resentment at the supposed aggression on the Treaty waxing stronger. Between these two assaults on the flag, the Bishop went up on March 20th in his little Schooner "Flying Fish" to the Bay where H. M. S. Hazard was lying off Kororareka, as also an American Man-of-War; near these he anchored, Champion, late Boatswain on the Government Brig, being Master of the F. F. with three Maoris as crew and George as navigator. The following is an extract from a letter written at the time and will tell you all. I take up the tale at Wellington.
We left Auckland hurriedly for Wellington as Mr. Hadfield, the Missionary in charge of a large district near, was supposed to be lying on his deathbed. His district was the home of the great chief Te Rauparaha. Rangihaeta, his brother was not far off. They were both great chiefs after the old type, but the last was much more of a savage than his brother. They had both taken a part in the Wairau affair, and were very obnoxious therefore to all the English of the Wellington and Nelson Settlement. We left Wellington for Waikanae, Mr. Hadfield's post, on the West Coast, in primitive style, George on foot, I mounted on Mr. Hadfield's very nice horse accustomed to Bush journeys; the two maids with one between them ride and tie; little Willie in a large potato kete (basket) affixed to poles and carried by two men, and about four Maoris also on foot. In those days you went straight out of Wellington into a most lovely wood, it has suffered sadly from fire and ruthless clearings since. But we saw it in its pristine beauty, the luxuriance of the vegetation, the parasites and creepers on every stem of a tree, the masses of ferns of every variety, including tree ferns were most lovely. Later on we found ourselves on high road which sloped straight down to the sea far below. The Bank was clothed with shrubs in great variety and starred with splendid tree ferns at intervals; it was a sight to see and it is to be hoped that its steepness has saved it from a settling Goth, who wanted to plant potatoes.
The shore extends North as straight as the line of duty. It was curious to watch the waves rolling over as far as eye could reach.
The Waikanae natives made us very welcome and came to inspect us freely. They did not seem to have any designs on hand against us and were eager to be doctored and to take much more physic at my hands than I desired to give. Mr, Hadfield had been truly liberal for I found a row of huge jars in the house like Ali Baba's jars, which had contained Epsom Salts! evidently given freely, I do not wonder that the next Clergyman there who dealt only in globules was accounted very stingy!
There were no shops, of course; we made bread and bought pigs. The Maoris were much taken with the rule the Bishop established that they should be bought by weight. Accordingly, when piggy was prepared, the steelyard was set up, and he was assessed at so much a pound to the satisfaction of all.
"Now then, Mother Bishop," said they, "you must show us how to cut him up." I should think that herein I occupied a unique position as it would hardly come under the sphere of a "Mother Bishop's" duties at home. So I stood up aloft as they wished and directed their movements with a stick amid continued appeals as to whether they were to cut to the East or to the West!
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George went to the South, hoping by taking up Mr. Hadfield's work for a time to assist in keeping the peace.
We had no alarms and learnt a good deal of Maori during our stay here and at Otaki to which place (Mr, Hadfield's other quarters about 10 miles beyond) we also went. Here was a very small raupo (reed) cottage of two rooms and an outhouse.
It was a populous place and we were much inspected by the inhabitants. An early morning School went on after the daily service in the chapel, a school duly attended by the great chief Rauparaha who was one of the Maori leaders in the Wairau, and was exceedingly hated by most of the English Settlers. I am not prepared to say how much he learnt, but he showed goodwill by coming, also he kept a sharp look-out on the rest of the class to keep up their attention and he certainly liked the English breakfast afterwards. The very hostile feeling towards him made him shy of the Settlers but not of the Bishop, He seemed to wish to be on friendly terms with the Colonists now.
We went from this place up the Manawatu River to a large gathering of natives, and afterwards on to the beautiful Gorge, We went in a canoe with a good party of men to paddle, all bent on catching as many eels as they could. We often met other canoes intent on the same thing and after brisk and noisy salutations, the parting token of regard was to throw a lump or two of eels at us, It was kindly meant, but a dab of slimy cold wet eel was a remarkable expression of affection.
The river was beautiful (the land around was then in its native wildness) but too full of snags and rapids for quick progress. We landed once to meet some people, and on coming back, I found my place at the stern of the canoe nicely covered with fresh fern quite a sofa of fern and felt much at ease there till I found the couch was on its travels to the other end of the canoe!! The natives had laid in a stock of eels and stowed them under my seat, who not unnaturally considered me to be uncomfortable, the feeling was reciprocal.
We spent Sunday on shore at a large village and in a native house belonging to the Missionary. There was an almost total lack of appliances combined with the presence of many fleas, but the people were very pleasant and made us most welcome and the services in the new Chapel next day were very hearty. The hymns were sung not with English tunes but after their native notions which are peculiar. The scale did not seem to contain more than three or at most four notes - the precentor holding fast on to one of them as each verse ended. The choir which was the congregation, after he had howled his note for the first few words of the next verse all struck in simultaneously and sang (?) to the end, breaking off as suddenly, all but precentor who howled on. The Maoris are excellent timists and if the singing was not grand nothing could be finer than the responses and most of all the creed. It was like one great voice.
We returned to Wellington in the way we came, only that in default of any vessel, we had to carry our luggage with us, books and bedding and clothes. It was all laid out in packages ready to be carried by hand, or rather back, to Wellington. The Maoris came to inspect it, and it was amusing to see a great hulking fellow look out for the smallest bandbox, but this was all changed when George announced that the payment would be so much a pound. Down went the bandbox and there was a general rush for the heaviest thing left, the steelyards again settling matters. So we started with a great tail and Willie in his potato basket and were presently joined by Te Rauparaha who wished to go to Wellington and show his goodwill and was afraid to go except under the Bishop's lee. This step gave unlimited dissatisfaction at Wellington, but it did not prevent all the rank and fashion from coming
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to call or the wife of the Editor of the local paper from sending a fine plum cake to Willie, just as her husband was denouncing the Bishop in thundering articles. This last act of the lady pleased George - it was in accordance with his own way in nine cases out of ten not to allow public arraignments and so to speak abuse, interfere with the amenities of private life. So when a husband fulminated against the Bishop, I had to go and call on the wife and to make myself highly agreeable and as sweet as nature would permit - it generally had as doctors say a "mollifying" effect. We came up to Auckland in the old Brig as we went, and putting in at Tauranga, we heard alarming accounts of the hostile attitude of the natives and of various outrages they had committed but we did not find Auckland a heap of ashes or indeed in a state of siege, and did find the natives as ready as ever to sell potatoes and make their constant request for embrocation - or as they called it "bad smell", (piri-piri) - I might better use the one stronger term! This was a mixture of turpentine and oil - any oil - the stronger it smelt, the more to your credit and its efficacy in their eyes. Bless the dirty old things! it was very amusing to be a quack among them though I felt it to be a great responsibility too, they were so entirely confiding and appreciative, just as they were when teaching them.
The Bishop lived between the towns and the settlement transferred from the Waimate to Purewa, the young men who came with us. from England, some few young Maori men, and the nucleus of a boarding school of Maori boys, together with the like of English boys, Mr, Cotton being in charge of the whole. I may add that in his good-natured pity for the Kororareka sufferers, he had invited a considerable number of the sons of these indigent folk to come free to the school which was embarrassing - not a little to the Head when he returned from the South, as he was thus made responsible for providing for a much larger party than he could well afford. The keynote to living was there struck low perforce, and necessitated the making the school altogether to be on an industrial basis, both of which, very homely food and some hard industrial work did not give satisfaction generally speaking, but as we all fared very much alike and had no wish to go to jail, we were obliged to turn a deaf ear. Still I used sometimes to feel sorry. George was ever quite ready to accept the inevitable and wholly unable to see difficulties, excepting that of seeing things from the young men's point of view, which I, being much nearer to them in calibre, was able to do. Naturally it made occasional friction. Nevertheless, the keynote of the College was struck and was afterwards accepted and carried out by Bishop Patteson at Norfolk Island. Something of the kind, though perhaps in a less rigid form, George had always intended, but the necessity arose out of the English boys School being flooded with indigent scholars in l845.
He went South again in November, returning early in May 1846 to Auckland, when soon after we went to take up our abode at S. John's College. May at the Antipodes answers to our November, the shortest day being in June, but it is not foggy and generally sunny enough by day though cool at night, and towards the end, the rainy season begins The place seemed dreary when we arrived, very little of the land was cleared.
The clay soil with no paths waxed worse and worse as winter went on; the only erections were a brick building of two houses semi-detached each with two stories of four small square rooms and a high-pitched garret-room overhead.
There was also a kitchen with one end divided off like a glass screen in a Bar, this was our Dining-hall, the school sitting for meals in the kitchen. Here for the next year or two, we regularly ate hot pork three days in the week and cold pork four days, only in towns was the luxury of mutton available in those early days, and we had no
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poultry then. But I think the pork added to our glory at home! being erected into a kind of hardship! The New Zealand pigs were clean feeding animals, living very much on roots and any vegetable food and so less rich than in England. Our next change was to beef - this is anticipating however - we were in the Pork Period now. When the land about us was brought into cultivation, the grass laid down and horses came into play instead of oxen, then we ate the team, it was a tough job and took some time. We could turn the beef to more account than the pork, I liked to go into the kitchen and instruct the Maori cook in the art of making stew - poor stews however for lack of vegetables or flavouring. However the cooking gained more credit than it deserved save for its adherence to the principles of cooking savoury dishes - first fry the meat, then stew slowly.
The component parts of our community a little later on were the English staff of young men, a good many English youths and boys under their instruction, several Maori youths and a good supply of Maori boys under the care of Rota Waitoa,
It was gradually that it assumed these proportions. Building was going on - the school for adult Maoris, another house for the boys a hospital on a limited scale across the road, houses for the English employees, farmer, carpenter, etc. etc. But I think the Chapel preceded everything. In the end it was a lovely little Church, lined with cedar and rich in gifts - painted windows in the Apse and elsewhere, a font and light etc. A beautiful tablet in memory of Mr. Whytehead was also put up by Lord Powis. I only remember one Brass upon the walls in memory of "the first fruits of Melanesia", Siapo, Thol, and Apalo, who had been with us. I think others followed. It was built on a peculiar plan in wood suitable to building, a plan much favoured by the Bishop, partly his own and partly gathered from drawings by Mr. Petit of Lichfield, It combined strength with its beauty, enabling it to withstand the fierce winds that had laid low more than one Chapel in the country, although this on one side, was exposed to the gales from the sea. The view from the Churchyard was beautiful. In after days dear Aunt Carrie used to recline there a good deal not being equal to walking, I remember her being so amused one day when a visitor arrived who told her he had been met at the house with the cheerful assurance that he would find her "lying in the churchyard, where she would be very pleased to see him!"
These were busy times, the elder scholars under the charge of some one of the English, head of his department, had first school work and then industrial. One important division of the latter was the printing press superintended by Mr. Nihill, a young man with the same gift for languages which was possessed by Bishop Patteson. He also had a like ability for attaching "natives" to himself, so he seemed to be marked out for the Melanesian Mission when that began. Under him was a staff of boys, English and Maori.
There was a translation of parts of the Bible and a Maori Grammar by the Rev. R. Maunsell, printed there. Correcting the press for the first fell to my share, a rare help in the language for me. The primary school for the children of the working people about was also mine, and books being much needed, there was also some work in compiling lessons. Lady Martin helped much in this, and indeed we flattered ourselves that our respective reading books were distinguished performances. One of my scholars who stumbled over his reading, on my saying, "Well, I suppose you know what a rat is?" gravely replied, "Yes, - cats' wittles"! I did not introduce this definition into our next publication. Happily for me Government Inspections were not in those days, but did I not then and often after earnestly wish that I had learnt the method and the drill of the schools at home, not to say the devices and songs of the Infant and Kindergarten schools. How useful would they all have been to me! so, my dear descendants, use your opportunities and learn. Who knows what they may be called on to do? Also keep up your learning. How I mourned over the small knowledge of Latin acquired
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under the before-mentioned, "Harkee now" and looked back remorsefully on readings of Cicero, Virgil, etc. with my dear Father in after days. I should have been such a much better Domina to any of the English boys who came to me when tutors ran short and could have helped them far more if I had stuck to it and been thorough, and alas this last has followed me through life - it is horrid to see it and the desultoriness from which it springs in the next generations and to feel how much of it is my own fault. But I have got a long way from "Cats' Whittles" - so to proceed
In the October of this year (1846) we had an influx of guests, 22 scions of the house of Williams, the dear Archdeacon Wm. Williams and his nice wife, with sons and daughters, together with a few sons and daughters of the elder Archdeacon Henry Williams, our kind host at Paihia on our first arrival in New Zealand. The occasion was the marriage of the Revd. Samuel Williams, Archdeacon Henry's son to Mary daughter of Archdeacon William. We did our best to make it as festive as we could but in those days our resources were very limited. We sat down a party of 40 to a dejeuner in the College kitchen, then our only large room leaving to the usual possessors of the tables the remains of our feast which as the proverb says "is better than the beginning of a fray". As it was far more solid than elegant, it served their turn. Nor were our Maori neighbours forgotten. The two Archdeacons were historical characters amongst them, and the occasion offered an opportunity for speechifying at which the Maoris are as great adepts as the Irish.
Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Williams came to live at the College for a short time, he being put in charge of the Maori division. About this time, Mr. and Mrs. Purchas arrived from England, to join the staff. Besides his profession of Medicine, Mr, Purchas brought with him a knowledge of music which was a great gain. He was not quite like Mr. Carleton who said he only wanted a boy and a stick to produce excellent music, but he was an excellent teacher and ere long we had singing in the Chapel which was popular and greatly enlivened the services, I should not say that Maoris are musical, but the people are excellent timists.
They soon learnt many catches and glees; used to sing "Bacon and Potatoes" (Fra Martino) as a dinner bell in default of a real bell or gong. So the summer and early autumn passed.
George at home at the College a good deal and only leaving for short trips - the Bay - Hauraki etc. One of the buildings recently put up at the College was the Hospital which had no resemblance to the palaces but where we could make some Maoris comfortable and feed them up. In April 1847 we had a terrible trial for more than two months in a visitation of the same infectious fever that was prevailing elsewhere and which, though then we knew it not, had carried off Mr, Bolland at Taranaki and of which one of our young students was then lying desperately ill there broke out with us. The fever spread among us, attacking both races alike. Every house was a hospital. The younger part of the community was straightway shipped off in successive departures of the "Flying Fish" to live under canvas on the shores of Hauraki, apart from taking or giving infection many of the elders staying to nurse the sick at the College, Every house had its quota of invalids. Next to us were the English boys who were chiefly Mr. Cotton's charge. These were a great anxiety lest we failed in the amount of care the Parents would think was their due, though we worked night and day. Then Mrs. Purchas fell ill, and was moved into our house where very soon her husband, the Doctor, followed suit. Happily their little baby did not, but our two boys and a maid servant were lying ill already and the absence of all extraneous help (Nurses were not at that time) made us glad to have our patients within reach to save our strength. George and I with Nurse were the staff in our house, though George used to be much away lending a hand for the other patients. We shared also in the services of a Scotchwoman, the wife of one of the
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labourers, but she was much in request elsewhere and only came by day. George and I and Nurse divided the night and for weeks he and I sat up till four in the morning. Our children were very ill indeed, and our hopes were very low while Willie screamed with slight intermission for days together, holding up his hand and apparently unconscious. Do I not remember the first sign of awakening sense! All intervening time was given to making broth and slops for all the sick, and then there was the Purchas baby! Poor little dear, at that busy time no one had leisure to attend to it, and we used to call it "the French Mark" which in a Boarding School is parted with at the first opening. If anyone took it, the last holder ran off, as quickly as might be, to the washing or the arrowroot or to a sad beside. However, happily its Father and Mother mended more quickly than most, and we restored a well-washed infant to them - for Nurse and I took care of that.
Nothing could exceed the kindness of friends in Auckland especially Sir George and Lady Grey. Wine and brandy and any delicacies to be had were constantly poured in on us, "with sugar and spice and all that's nice" as things went in those benighted times. After a while things began to mend but we had losses among our dear lads (though our own were spared) and these tried us much. Then again someone nearly given up would revive and get well, and so we gave thanks for all the mercies we could see and for the hidden ones we could not see but which no doubt at all were many. Either the Bishop or Mr. Cotton had a Service at the Chapel daily - chiefly intercessory for a time, but now full of thanksgiving for returning health. The intensity of that service may be imagined.
The trouble lasted till the end of May, We had gained some experience by that time, and learnt how to break the neck of the fever at the outset before it had taken a firm grip, and for a long time afterwards woe to the poor wight who came in complaining of indisposition - he was instantly seized and treated vigorously. We had no shams while this lasted. This was before the development of sanitary science as understood now, but Nurse anticipated the doctors, being a woman of determined action.
As soon as the Bishop had set off in July on his rounds (going to Taranaki, Wellington and Nelson), and I and the little boys had departed to Sir W. Martin's at Taurarua, she set to on a fumigating campaign at the College like a born Inspector of Nuisances, though of Carbolic she had none.
In this year, though not till December, Mr. Cotton left us for England, fully intending to return, I think, - but illness at home put an end to this, and he never came back.
All these years the Bishop had never lost sight of the "Melanesian" Islands, as he called them, and the name was afterwards universally adopted, and of his burning desire and intention of carrying to them the knowledge and blessings of the Gospel. But he had also thought it right to wait till many things were established in New Zealand, and he should have his Diocese well in hand. Notwithstanding that some of his proceedings in it were disapproved of, and some carped at, this new departure did not at first commend itself to the Colonists as infringing on their right to all his time and all his powers,
I daresay some thought it very Quixotic to go after "Savages" as the natives of the Islands were termed, "savages" or "niggers" which last name embodies, all the world over, the feeling, the opinion, the prejudice of a full-blown highly superior white article against a black one, and, as such, it is a bad and hurtful word. If it was not wicked, it would be amusing. However, turning a deaf ear to all this, the time had come and he began that which was afterwards the Melanesian Mission.
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In November, S, John's College Chapel was consecrated. Soon after H. M. S. Dido (she seemed like an old-fashioned Frigate to me) arrived from Sydney and sailed to the Friendly and the Navigator Is, - Samoa and Rarotonga. This was in the direction of but was not the Melanesian field and these Islands had been for some time in the hands of the London Society, the Church not bestirring herself to be beforehand with it. Whatever their agents did nor did not do they certainly infused a missionary and self-sacrificing spirit into many of their converts, several of whom were planted out on some of the hundreds of Islands in the Pacific. Those of them with whom we afterwards came in contact, were excellent men, giving evidence of that self-sacrificing spirit which was in them, as when a party of these Rarotongan teachers had been carried off at Tanna by an epidemic raging there, a number of them from another island instantly volunteered to take their place and did so. They were chiefly from Rarotonga or Samoa.
George, at the request of the Governor and to gain some information about those seas, 3 sailed in the Dido with Capt. Maxwell on December 23rd, having exchanged Dominie work and Chaplain's duties (the Chaplain was naval Instructor) with the Chaplain who meanwhile came to the College and taught there. He was a good man more fitted I think, for home than for ship life and used to be much with us whenever the Dido was in Auckland, and paid us the compliment of thinking us very charming people - if only we would go to bed. In those busy times at the College, we saw so little of one another that I am afraid we did all sit up late when the day's work was over. As it was so, this flaw in our goodness existed.
On the 5th of March 1848, the Dido returned to Auckland. In February came a famous despatch from Lord Grey about native lands which highly displeased the friends of the Maoris. It seemed to assume that all land which was not "subdued", as he phrased it, was waste land, to wit, ought to be at the disposal of the Government and to be on sale for the settlers. The Colonial Minister in his London Office might have been ignorant of the fact that the Maoris knew to which tribe the land belonged, knew to which family such and such a portion belonged, and each man knew his own to an inch. They would therefore hardly see the justice of this "Annexing" though the average Briton might look on it as a right. Nor did they lack friends in New Zealand. George stood up stoutly for them and sent home a vigorous protest against the proceedings, for which Mr. Hume in the House called him "a Turbulent Priest."
He was only home for three weeks when he sailed in the Undine (21 tons) for the English Settlements in the South, and the Chatham Islands. He took down the wife and little children of the clergyman at Nelson including a very young baby. The mother was a very bad sailor and hors de combat, so George enacted nurse to the baby as regards washing and dressing it, a nervous process, he used to say, with the critical eyes of the mother inspecting it the while through the curtains of her berth. He also meditated much on the baby's garments, thinking that they and the endless strings which held them together were as hard a problem as he had yet had to solve in New Zealand.
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He did not come home until August. I meanwhile had been chiefly living at the College with my boys and all the other boys. In October, the Dido came back to Auckland en route for England, and this George thought too good an opportunity for sending Willie home to be missed, - Captain Maxwell offering to take charge of him. It came very suddenly upon us and I am afraid I was hardly prepared to see it with judicial and approving eyes, no, not a bit - but I could not oppose what he thought best, and it would have been horrid in any way or at any time. So poor Willie went, Novr. 4th, 1848.
George did not start on any long outing by sea till February 1849, but was much occupied this summer in visiting all the outlying places near Wangarei, the Thames District and once to the Bay of Islands. We had visits to Taurarua occasionally and there was much talk with the Judge about the Church Constitution he had much at heart and was framing, to which Lady Martin and I used dutifully to listen (and with much edification) for two or three hours every evening, and there cut in with some general conversation. Our husbands shook their heads at us and said we were light but they were mostly pleased with the excuse of our lightness to rest their brains and have a wholesome laugh. I know the Constitution did not suffer by our diversion.
Now that I have resumed English ways these many years, I look back with some surprise at the spare living of those times. Dinner was at one, and seemed at Taurarua to be a sumptuous feast to us because there was >no pork and always pudding or some sweet. Tea was at 5 or 6, with bread (and butter, if any) after which nothing more till the eight o'clock breakfast next morning, but in those days we never thought of more and were satisfied.
In the summer of these years 1847, '48, '49, the first instalment of Military Pensioners arrived, some were settled in the English settlements not far from the College whither we used often to ride. My first horse was a beautiful thorough-bred English mare full of perfections and who could take one over everything without your knowing it almost. She was succeeded by a smaller horse, Sintram by name. He was decidedly a horse of character. He had an awkward objection to Bishops which he manifested by parting company with three of them if they rode him. But we were great friends. He knew my voice and always behaved like a gentleman to me, and with him ended my riding days. I parted from him with deep regret when we came home; a friend with a run offered to take him and to watch that he should come to no untimely end - so I left him in peace.
During the Bishop's residences at the College, he would go now and then to the outlying Bays and Islands to see English and Maori and to bring back a cargo of wood etc, etc. - going in the little Undine and often taking me with him. When she was laden with logs everywhere the accommodation was not luxurious truly, but as good as people could look for in the "coasting trade" at which he prided himself as having made me an adept. It was all in the way of business and if the weather was good there was much to enjoy in the very pretty scenery and seeing the people who always made us very welcome.
After Willie had gone to England Johnnie went with us. We could put into any of the bays and the Islands at Coromandel and up the Thames, and sometimes picnic for a day on shore, no fear of snakes, only a worry of sand-flies and mosquitoes occasionally but nothing to harm you in this favoured and lovely land. Mr. Thatcher arrived this year at the College, a faithful and beloved friend from this day forward to the day of his death in 1890. He was one of the list of good men who were attracted by the Bishop and who followed him - a rare man attracting all by the sweetness of his nature with all the qualities arising therefrom. But with this there was combined strong good sense with no lack of backbone in his character and a great capacity for business! I do not think that any one could quarrel with him or anybody take liberties with him.
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The Bishop and he had much in common though they were much different men, but they supplemented one another and were ever after fast friends. He was then an architect and most useful in the matter of the Churches in demand in every direction, but in a very few years he received Holy Orders and had charge of a Parish in Auckland, in fact he made it as it arose out of the rapidly increasing town! He Built Church and Schools and Parsonage and organised away in a manner that highly delighted George, and at the same time won the respect of the Parishioners even before it was merged in the deeper regard for his ministerial work among them, subsequently he was at Wellington with Bishop Abraham. Finally he followed the Bishop to Lichfield, and a weakness in the throat incapacitating him for ministrations in a Church, he acted for some years as the Bishop's Secretary, winning love and respect throughout the Diocese.
This year 1849 was a marked one in our annals by other events also. The Bishop sailed February 4th by the Undine to the English settlements and to Port Cooper afterwards, in view of the coming "Canterbury Pilgrims" as they called themselves.
This was to be a Church of England Settlement; and it also was to be (and was so in some ways) highly superior to the former emigrants. It did a little more resemble a slice out of the community at home than the loose crumbs who formed the staple of the other settlements. Not that some of the crumbs - many indeed, were not quite as good as the Pilgrims, It did however attract a good many of good family and position in England, and there was more esprit de corps among them, at least at first when they seemed like one community. They did not arrive this year, but the Bishop found their precursors, the surveyors, at work settling sites and laying out streets etc.
The main settlement was to be inland on the great Canterbury plain running from N. to S. in this middle island. A splendid line of mountains, as long, or longer than the plain, bounds it on the west, but the Port must needs be on the East Coast and the Surveyors were busy at Port Cooper getting the town of Lyttelton into shape. That meant putting up a house for the Resident and V huts for the Pilgrims. And it was in 1849 that the first Melanesian voyage was made in company of H. M. S, Havannah, Captain Erskine, to which ship the little Undine acted as Pilot. I think the Undine's voyage did not extend beyond Aneitium and Tanna and the Loyalty Islands - afterwards lost to us, but the first set of Melanesians, five in number, from the Loyalties, were brought to the College! -the beginners of the system still existing (45 years after) of bringing young people to be trained and taught in the central school, and then returned to their own Islands as teachers there. How well I remember their arrival. When the time used to come for the Bishop's possible return from his outings; either by land or sea, the house door was left wide open at night with a lamp burning there, to guide and welcome him. Do I not remember the famous night of this return, watching for what might happen, then George coming in about 1 a. m. rubbing his hands and saying "Thank God with me, I have brought them - the work has begun". I got up and went down to find five strange looking folk sitting over the fire toasting potatoes. They came chiefly from Nengone and thereabouts, the Nengone men were in mourning for their lately deceased chief. It consisted in powdering white their black hair, and with patches of white on their dark faces how quaint they looked! Among the very many Melanesians who have passed through the School in succeeding years, few if any can have exceeded Siapo, the head of this party, either in gifts or in exemplary conduct. (Sapi was his equal) He was a great man at home, and was a gentleman born, so dignified and so courteous. One of our home party, a young Mr, Nihill turned his own powers to account. He had nearly the same gift for languages as had Bishop Patteson, hardly perhaps as educated an one, but with the same delicate ear and ready tongue. He had almost the same love for those we are pleased to call
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"native races" so he was highly attractive to them and certainly he returned their love. Another who came was a little lad named Thol, the only one from Lifu, the others were from Nengone, Poor Thol fell ill, and great was our fear as well as regret at the thought of losing him, for who could persuade his Lifu friends that we had not killed him. His sick room was George's study, that he might see after him, and Johnnie was his chief friend. They contrived to understand each other while Johnnie brought his pictures and his toys - it was nice to watch the friendship. Thol got better and returned home, but he did not live to man's estate - lived however to be baptised by the name of John. Towards the Autumn (Your, I should say, our Spring) we were looking joyfully forward to the coming of Bishop Abraham, a pleasure greatly enhanced by now hearing that he was bringing out my cousin Caroline Palmer, as his wife. We were more like sisters than cousins. My father having been Guardian to her family since their father's death in 1827, Wanlip in Leicestershire had been nearly as much my home as theirs, and their interest in our affairs was unbounded. Much did we owe to it during our New Zealand career and not only then........ I do not say anything about the Maori boarding schools, generally established by the C. M. S. Missionaries this year.
George, from the first, had begin in a humble way at the Waimate being convinced of the need and the hopefulness of them, but the older men did not see them in this light at first and took no part in promoting them for some years. But now they took the matter warmly in hand, schools, industrial schools chiefly, sprung up and found a warm supporter in Sir George Grey the Governor. It was before the days of Ministers of Education whose thoughts are of cubic feet, and all the ologies and there were no inspectors appointed, but the people were willing to send their children and now and then Potatoes or a pig towards their support. All want on well for some few years till the unhappy war with the English and all that led to it put a step to most of the Schools. (Now there are State Board Schools) The one established at Auckland this year was more for youths, and for teachers; and also for those who were looking forward to Holy Orders, These gentlemen generally brought their wives, and this allowed of an importation of elder girls, as there would thus be supervision for them from the matrons, these were under the charge of Mrs. Kissling whose husband was the head of the concern. They (Mr, and Mrs. Kissling) had heretofore been employed in Africa, He was a German, but he spoke English most correctly and wrote it with much severity of grammar and style as made his English correspondents shiver at the thought of their own slipshod returns to these faultless documents. To bring some grist to the mill and to find employment for the women we set on foot a Laundry under the name of "The New Zealand Female Aborigines Washing Establishment"! It served to invest the washing bills, and one's clean clothes with a dignity unknown before.
N. Z. F. A. W. E.
The native Teachers at School there had the great advantage of being taught for a little time daily by Sir William Martin, some very excellent men passed through his hands, some that were afterwards ordained. The girls used to come to Lady Martin and when I was at Taurarua, I took part in this also.
In December of this year on our longest day a highly honoured and much loved Recruit joined the Bishop's staff of Clergy The Revd. John Lloyd. He came from Armagh and was not either a wild Irishman or an Orangeman, but an educated gentleman; he had all the pleasant traits of his countrymen, and on occasions his full share of Irish fire in speaking and in actions. We welcomed him and appreciated him more and more as we knew him better, his guileless nature and singleness of heart endearing him to all. The "Poore Parson" as Sir William Martin called him (vide Chaucer), He was always a warm supporter of the Bishop and a ready helper in any exigence as when nursing aid was needed during a great outbreak of illness among the Melanesians at Kohimaramara, so also in assisting the Bishop in Chaplain's duty during the war. He was then Archdeacon.
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It was in this year that our third son was born - but not alive and so 1850 opened for usa I have forgotten the year when the Chapel was built sometime before this and on a plan which George found in a book of beautiful sketches chiefly of French Churches by Mr. Petit of Lichfield, It was well adapted to stand against the winds, and it was picturesque in its wooden beauty. The finish of the inside was added to by the cedar lining which the Bishop brought from Sydney late in the year.
As time went on and incidents occurred the little Chapel had many additions, a tablet of beautiful workmanship sent by Lord Powis as a memorial of his friend Mr. Whytehead and brasses to record the first fruits of Melanesia who died at the College adorned the pretty little apse with painted windows. Lights and a font were given and finally a bell. The Chapel stood at the end of a large Church-yard looking over towards Kohimarama and to the entrance of Auckland Harbour beyond to the North Head (with its much conned signal staff) and to the curious volcanic Island of Rangitoto opposite to it. This Island was all lava but the volcano seemed to have exhausted itself. Beyond the North Head was the long low Island of Tiritirimatanga and to the right up towards the Thames was the lovely Island whose pretty Maori name had given way to "Brown Island". At the College the first building you came to was the Printing Office, a very busy place especially after the Melanesians arrived and needed lesson books. Mr. Nihill reigned over this department having various subordinates both Maori and English. At right angles with this office was the stone house the first erection on the place, at that time all bush. It looked rather dreary when we came in '46, further on the kitchen had been added leaving a good space for the Hall to come. After the kitchen both as to time and space came the Hospital, and still on the same line beyond it the house which was, whiles, the Maori boys house, at another time Mr. Lloyd lived there, and then near this was the school. The kitchen was another department under the charge of one of the students, the work being done by some of the older Maori scholars. It was hoped the English head would take some interest in it, first for the sake of teaching the Maoris that all work was honourable, and next to show that he was not above sharing it, 3rdly to help the finances which could not afford paid labour, and were largely strained in maintaining so large a body.
The Bishop called this work the sublimation of carnifex. I am afraid when carried into action, carnifex was thought of without any help from its sublimation. The young men who alternately superintended this department liked it not yet it was nothing to some sheep stations. The kitchen was large enough to be used as the Hall for the meals of the English party, students and boys, the Maori adults, and the Maori boys under Rota. At the end a partition with a glass window side like the bar in an Inn, made a more private room, where was the high table so to call it for the Bishop and Co. But by this year the real Hall was built. The fare was chiefly - always pork and potatoes - could not afford beef and mutton from Auckland, but after the College land about had been subdued and horses were in the place of oxen, a change came over the spirit of our dream - we ate the team! It wasn't pork but it was a tough enjoyment, and I may say lengthy in the performance, 16 bullocks in succession. Next to kitchen, some way off was the hospital - not exactly after the fashion of St, George's or (Guys, but two rooms for men and women, and where a good many came first and last - much kitchen physic belonged to our Pharmacopoeia we could not pretend to take very severe or infectious cases. To go back to the kitchen. Beef afforded an opening for some culinary skill. Pork was nothing but hot pork, cold pork and now and then a pie. But while the team had to be consumed, visions of soups and stews arose - dishes unknown to our Maori Cook Henry Taratoa. So I took part in instructing him. It was rather appalling, the dinner was on such a large scale. There had too been such a clearing of the land and draining and fencing and ploughing to do as occupied all the working hands in such lines and so it was that the luxury of a garden was deferred and deferred; and so it was that we have no flavouring for our cooking, no herbs, no carrots, turnips etc., etc., and so it was that we cooked under difficulties and without much eclat.
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But the Maoris approved and moreover we had a lively time in the process, they were such cheery aides-de-camp and so deeply interested in the result. Bread was also made on a large scale also by the Maori staff. One Puckey who, for the nonce, was chief baker used to retire to dance and sing if the dough were satisfactory. I never heard of such a Baker in England. As time went on and cows were added we made butter.
In this we were in long after times far exceeded by the Melanesians at Kohimarama, under the direction of Mr. Pritt, who, in addition to his admirable qualities as a trained schoolmaster added the prowess of a first rate dairy maid. In the early days butter used to be 4/- a pound rather too high to be eaten with a clear conscience. We had visions of making bacon also. It remained a vision but we (Lady Martin and I) had great fun in the evening with our respective Lords in getting our receipts done into Maori properly. George recommending us to take as our motto for the process "Aye there's the rub". The college had now been at work four or five years, but this is enough by way of description.
Very early in January during the absence of the Bishop, I received a letter from the Lieut. Governor Mr. Eyre - begging me that if the expected ship which was bringing his Fiancee to New Zealand should arrive at Auckland that I would befriend and hospitise her. All communication with England was then most irregular and uncertain, ships seemed to come at hap-hazard and the poor expectant did not know at which port the bride might land. So he made provision at all. It was rather out of the way as he lived at Wellington. As it seemed ill-luck would have it, and she arrived at the wrong port and there unfortunately were those who were not friendly with the bridegroom, and where idle gossip she heard made her afraid to listen to him. And now George in the course of his visitation, appeared unexpectedly on the scene, at Taranaki, He was not disposed to pay any attention to the unfriendly statements, so instead of her going straight home again, he persuaded her to come to us. Whereupon the Bridegroom set forth overland to the College to meet her. Of all this I knew nothing, but on Shrove Tuesday a sorrowful and bushy looking man arrived at the College. Folks did look shabby and ragged coming off a bush journey; I only remember one friend who possessed the hidden art of appearing on such occasions as if he had stepped out of a band-box; but I cannot say the same for the Bishop, the doughtiest traveller of all, notwithstanding his laudable efforts at Tailoring en route, or for this poor Bridegroom who announced the Bride to follow by Sea. My resources for the entertainment of distinguished visitors were limited, but I could listen, which in this case was the main thing wanted. Ere long the Bishop and the Bride arrived, and all through Lent the Courtship went on. In character suiting the Season to a T. It would have been far more dreary if the Bride had not been so attractive, but she was very pleasant and pretty and also a beautiful singer. One song however seemed finally to settle the matter, the Bridegroom took it as his conge, so the Bishop was only too glad to be off to Taurarua en route for his own departure to his work in the South, the Undine waiting him there. The kind Martins invited the Bride to come with us to Taurarua, and then the shunted Bridegroom accepted the invitation of Mr. Swainson who lived on the next headland, in the same bay as the Martins. Things did not seem to prosper here any better, but George who had a genius for hoping, hoped on, and was most unusually dilatory accordingly in his preparations for departure, till one day when the Bridegroom said that positively it was at an end and he was ready to sail with the Bishop the next day. But when we looked out on the morrow lo! a Marangai (North Easter) a violent gale had sprung up, in which no vessel ever put out to sea. It never ended until the third day, so the siege was renewed and this time successfully. We all went back post haste to the College and the wedding took place. It was the beginning of a most happy marriage. The very happy grateful letters we used to receive year after year quite justified George's foresight in the matter.
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It was not long after this that we sailed again, in company with a Man-of-war, H. M. S. Fly, Captain Oliver, to the Islands. This was a short outing, returning, but with a small number of Melanesians, early in June. The draft of the Church Constitution was prepared, much conference going on as to the legal part with the Chief Justice, Sir William Martin, and the Attorney General, Mr. Swainson, It was on August the 6th that we welcomed the arrival of Bishop (then the Revd. Charles) Abraham and Caroline Palmer his wife, - it seemed too good to be true. They came last from Sydney whither their ship from England was bound, like our old Tomatin. George went to Auckland to meet them and brought them by boat up the Orakei Creek to Purewa. There Mr. Lloyd and Mr. Thatcher and a party of young men met them and in our book-lined sitting room - drawing room is too fine - Nurse had set out the tea-table: high tea with all the taste and ornamentation she could muster, while Johnnie and I awaited the entrance, I must use George's phrase "O qui complexus" - it was goodly. How we did welcome them! In view of their coming we had had their room papered - the first in the College - the Maoris took the most lively interest in the proceedings, and came in relays to look and wonder at it.
It did look civilized; but we never got beyond this point in adorning the place. The house was a populous place; over our heads was a great airy loft, which was gradually divided into four compartments for the four Maori couples of the Community the Husbands being our Scholars - the wives in two or three instances from Mrs, Kissling's School.
George delighted in this patriarchal arrangement, and in the children "born in his house." I have not said that before this time Mr. Purchas, who had been on the staff of Guy's Hospital in London, was with his wife added to our party. We had the rooms provided at the Hospital and besides acting in his medical capacity, he was a great gain to the community from his musical powers. He taught the boys both English and Maori to sing and the chapel services were greatly enhanced by their Music. They learnt to sing in parts, my friend the cook being very musical. He was also an accomplished Artist, he evidently had a taste for accomplishments. After he had washed up, he would often go out with his sketch book and sit on a tub and sketch. He also learned English well. I much regret that I lost the sketch of the pig-sty he gave me as bearing upon our culinary relations I suppose, Mr. Purchas had classes for secular singing also, and all about we used to hear snatches of old familiar catches etc.
The Bishop sailed for Sydney to join the Synod of Bishops (there summoned by Bishop Broughton) on the 7th of September (1850) two days after our only daughter was born - a most welcome gift, but one soon to be taken from us alas (but for the time). How I welcomed her. Doubtless many mothers have as great delight in such a treasure though it did not seem possible to me, and her death was a great shock. But I was able to think then, as I think now, that the unlocking of such a fountain of love as your little baby calls forth is, even if so transient, something to be thankful for, and something to turn to account though it may end so soon, I can see her now in her Father's arms as he stood ready to depart.
The Bishop till the 27th November was at Sydney with the other Australasian Bishops, He was received with great feeling and presented with a larger vessel - the Border Maid. It was not the kind good people's fault that she proved unfit, after one or two voyages, for the Island work, as it was, she enabled the Bishop to bring many more scholars than before, and her price when sold brought a good sum towards the first Southern X when she came. On December the 8th he returned home, and on the 21st he was off again in the Undine to the South to meet the (then) Bishop elect of Canterbury (who had not come) and the Pilgrims who had, the first instalment that is, Among them (I think it was at this time,
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though he had not come with the party) was the man who had been selected as Bishop, He had not yet been actually appointed, and indeed never was, and was perhaps more confident about it than were others about him. Al1 the pros and cons there anent do not relate to my life, I only mention one of the cons as expressed strongly by one of those young lads of the College (who took to sailoring and was the Bishop's companion in his voyages) when the good man paid a visit on board the Undine in Lyttelton harbour -"that a Bishop? Why he does not know a holy stone when he sees it."
It was in February 1851 that my sweet child fell asleep. She was full of life a very few days before, but drooped suddenly. It was at Taurarua she died and at S. Johns we laid the little body to rest. Mr. Lloyd carried the little coffin down to the boat, Bishop Abraham taking the service.
The end of April saw the Bishop home again. He brought Mary Greenwood with him, the daughter of Mr, Greenwood of Motueka near Nelson. Things went on as usual at the College. I had as a pupil one of the young gentlemen farmers so to call them. His education had been of a limited description and his opportunities of opening his mind very scanty. Was he not dull! till the time came to talk about the farm and then he blossomed out upon sheep and pigs and ploughing. To all of which I did most seriously incline, hoping by this show of interest to inspire him with the like when my turn came with belles-lettres - vain hope!
It was all an excellent lesson for me if not for him, exercising one's wits to put the simple fact in the simplest way. Bishop Abraham and I used to compare notes about a similar pupil of his, also a farmer, an enthusiastic one as he burst out "I think it is a sin to kill a six-toother"! a new lesson in morality to his teacher.... There were other lads who used to come for History reading, these were more enlightened though they knew nothing of Chevy Chase to Johnnie's extreme astonishment. He had now many companions, English children, for the Bishop had brought over from Sydney the rest of the Hector family, the mother having died and the father being absent. Only two of this party remained with us, a little girl and her much older sister who in the year following married Mr. Nihill, The two elder brothers had been with us since 1845, the younger leaving for the South ere long. Besides, we had the two orphan proteges of some friends who had gone to England, Lizzie Maling and her brother. Lizzie was a great gain to me with all the others, she being one of the blessed upon earth, never thinking of herself, always looking out for others, always establishing peace.
In June, the Bishop of Newcastle whom George fondly looked upon as a Coadjutor Bishop with himself in his Melanesian work came from Sydney, intending to go with him on this coming Island voyage. About the same time the vessel, presented by the Church in Sydney also arrived, "the Border Maid". The Bishop of Newcastle certainly did not look as if he had ever been on a bush journey. His trim thin shoes, so unsuited to the clayey land he must in these days walk upon in New Zealand, excited almost as much surprise as did George's sturdy double soles in Sydney, when we first landed there. This Bishop was most spick and span, a good man, most devoted to his Diocese, over which he could ride on his visitations, but perhaps pioneering work in wild places was not exactly in his line. Still his presence was a great pleasure to my Bishop who always desired to associate others and make his objects a co-operative work and then give them all the credit, "I hate foundership" as he said. His desire was earnest that the Mission work should be recognised Church work, not merely individual effort, and so he promoted forming a Board of Missions. Early in July (1851) they sailed on the Border Maid for the Islands from Taurarua, dear place associated in my mind with so many comings and goings, sad partings and most joyful meetings again into all of which the beloved host and hostess so heartily entered. How much we owed to that never-failing sympathy and hospitality! This was rather a memorable voyage, the island
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of Malicolo was, I believe, new ground, and but for the prudence of the Bishop and the courage and calmness of Nelson Hector, who was left in charge of the boat, while George and a party of sailors went on shore for water, there might have been a serious affray, - such things often happen in these places, begin with fear on both sides arising from want of understanding, expecting perhaps the worst of each other, so George did not favour taking the sailors on shore except for watering. There was a great crowd at the landing place but the watering party kept together and were quiet though the natives bounced a good deal and some threw stones. Nelson had much ado to keep others out of the boat, as he waited. The party with water came down to the shore in good order, one dropping his keg. On shore a large armed party of natives had assembled, some bows were bent, George and Co. waded off to their boat up to their necks but without molestation. Very thankful was he to get all safely on board the ship, They soon spied a party on land rolling the dropped keg towards a canoe, which then came off to the Border Maid to bring it. They came on board and no doubt were feted, so peace ended the matter.
The Border Maid came home via Australia to drop the Bishop of Newcastle at his home and to pay a short visit to Sydney, It was now that my Bishop preached a then famous sermon, "Lift up your prayer for the remnant that are left", in favour of the natives, a most despised race in the eyes of the sheepmasters and other Colonists, With one (the brother of Bishop Hamilton of Salisbury) a fellow Etonian and now a great sheepmaster, George had a lively argument on this head, the Colonist feeling, running down the native Australian as being of the lowest possible type of humanity and quite irreclaimable (this last strongly affirmed by those who never tried to do so) finally George said, "Well, one thing I am sure of, that if the wool which grows on their heads had grown on their backs, you would have found out some way of improving their race". Q. E. D.
He landed at Taurarua, where I was staying, soon after dawn, I was on the qui vive and heard the boat in the little bay and hoped - then presently the tap on my window and a glimpse through the blind disclosing the joyful sight of a shovel hat. No one in the house heard him and great was the wonder and pleasure of the Martins when I ushered him into breakfast next day.
One short month saw him at sea again, this time with wife and son and Mary Greenwood. We went straight to the Chatham Islands, where were a small body of Maoris and a very small sprinkling of English, The place was highly uninteresting and leaves nothing to record. We went on shore for a walk every day, Mary Greenwood and I, and got through a good deal of reading together while George was absent with his flock. From thence we went to Lyttelton, the Port of Canterbury - rather its first Port and always that for its inland Capital, Christchurch, which place at that time was yet in the future as a town. We chiefly lived on board. Bright summer weather like the end of an ideal May at home we had for the most part, Mr. Godley, the Agent of the Canterbury Company was now here with his very nice wife, also many more of the "Pilgrims", more than there were houses for, so they had to put up with V huts. These were like roofs standing on the ground, a ridge pole with boards nailed up on either side, the ends of the building looking like topsy-turvey Vs. These temporary homes tested the mettle of the settlers, some of whom, of course came out with extravagant expectations, not unusual with that class and had no patience with the proof that Rome was not built in a day. The Godleys were most hospitable, but we only stayed there from Saturday to Monday, though we went to a great gathering for tea very often. There we met many of the new arrivals and made some nice friends, the Simeons (son of Sir Richard) and his wife, Mr, Keble's friend, also the FitzGeralds. He was a racy amusing Irishman and much more than that, so good and clever. They were both very musical and sang together, and then, for the first time did I hear, "O Rest in the Lord", the first note of Mendelssohn, it was also to me.
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Mrs. Godley made tea for all the huge party - upon condition that no one but herself should go for the kettle - this was to prevent a general scrimmage among the Pilgrims every five minutes. There was a huge and most inviting looking loaf as one important feature (this being a real meal and not 5 o'clock tea) made by Mrs. Godley's maid. She had been ladies' maid to the Duchess of St. Albans, who, as very rich and elderly Mrs. Coutts, had married the young Duke of St. Albans. She was a notability of those days chiefly from her gorgeousness and splendour. But the maid was a born settler with resources and a power of "turning to" and contriving. She made splendid bread and also the oven to bake it in by scooping a hole out of the rocky side of the hill close to the house, which she heated in the approved way with hot ashes.
The nicest thing in Lyttelton was the temporary Church. Being a Church Settlement, there was a zeal in England to fit the settlers out with the means of providing for the Churches, and this looked most soignee. They had Archdeacon Dudley, the father of Archdeacon Benjamin "to their minister" as Bunyan says. The son afterwards came back with us and joined the Melanesian Mission till health compelled him to give it up.
Going back we dropped Mary Greenwood at her Motueka home near Nelson, her little sister greeting her with "Mary, we have got two foals, three calves, and a new Baby"!
Our next move was to Wellington where we spent Christmas and early in January started for Waikanae, and Otaki once more through the beautiful Porirua Wood, George and I on horseback, Johnnie was too big for the potato basket but he was still carried by the Maori attendants. We were delayed en route by heavy rains and reached what was called "London's Accommodation House" where we put up though it belied its name. I was riding a worthy steed lent to me by Mr. Hadfield, who was wont to ride at the quickest pace and by the shortest cuts to and fro from Waikanae to Wellington. Straight in the road there arose a high hill very steep on all sides - the horse instead of circumventing the hill went full tilt at it like a fly on a window pane. Happily I could twist his mane in my hand so I did not ignominiously slip off at his tail and roll down into space but I liked it not. The Border Maid came round to Kapiti and picked us up, Rota, Ternina, Johnnie, myself and some Maori boys to go to Auckland leaving George to start in a few days on his overland journey. We sailed on January 16th, George going to Manawatu beginning his great journey chiefly on foot. He went across to the East Coast, Ahuriri and Turanga confirming in many places and seeing as much of the Maoris as he could. Turanga was the abode of Archdeacon, afterwards Bishop Williams, the brother of the stalwart Archdeacon of the North. He was a superior and educated man, quite the flower of the C. M. S. flock and a great power for good among his people. I always rejoiced when I knew that your Father's travels had landed him in these quarters where I knew he would have rest and refreshment and some congenial intercourse. Leaving Turanga, he struck inland into some very rough walking and going on to the hot Lakes and coming home by the Waikato, arriving at S. John's the last day of March.
In the April of this year, Mr. Nihill and Anna Hector were married. We did honour to the occasion by a holiday ending with a general assembly in the Hall and much fun with a bullet pudding. At the wedding feast George was very lively on the "Annihilation of Hector". Our Maori friend Kynaston was married at the same time, and we had a large party of Maori guests as well as English in the Hall.
On April 21st, he went on board the Border Maid once more - this time bound on a little trip up the Thames. He took Caroline Abraham with him spending Sunday at Hauraki and mourning there over the falling off of the people in numbers and in zeal. Nevertheless he found plenty of work to do and on one morning he granted himself the unwonted pleasure of sketching for a couple of hours with Carrie, a great enjoyment rarely
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indulged in but when it would subserve business. His books abound with drawings of headlands, lagoons and harbours in the Islands something between a chart and a sketch to serve as a guide for the next visit, but sketching for the pleasure of it was rarely indulged in lest it should be too absorbing and on this occasion the entry in the Diary is "half ashamed of my three hours' idleness"!!!
In the beginning of May, Johnnie and I went with him in the Border Maid to the North, a busy Confirmation tour for him. We all three revisited the Waimate and saw Mr, Whytehead's grave, - ten years since he was taken from us and how we missed him!
We returned to S. John's at the end of the month. This was the end of the long Confirmation tour on foot, and on horseback in which George had kept every engagement punctually. He came home to the sadness of losing one of his Melanesians, George Apale, and not long after was at sea again on the Island Voyage, sailing on the 19th of June, It had been vainly endeavoured to destroy the rats which abounded on board but they and the cockroaches were still in full possession.
The first place touched at was Aneitium, the first of the New Hebrides group. Here for many years had been established a Missionary named Geddie, sent by the Scotch Presbyterians of Canada, whilst as yet the Church of England had done nothing for those Islands, and rare good people were he and his delicate little wife alone among the natives at Aneitium, often suffering from fever and ague, going away to recruit for a time, but always coming back again. He was always very grateful to George for his visits and the help he used to bring in the way of type for the press and other things. This year it took the shape of bringing a much needed Coadjutor for the hard-working little "Minister" and the Coadjutor's wife too and even beyond that, his house! This came on board at Auckland in alarming quantities, with his goods too, but as the weather was calm, the deck load did not prove a danger. For this benevolent act on the part of a "Prelate", he received I should think an unique acknowledgment to a Bishop - that is, a vote of thanks from the Church Authorities in Scotland! After this, they ran into Byron's Cave at Santa Cruz but did not land; twenty-five canoes put out to meet them with bows and arrows and George beat a retreat. Another fleet of as many crossed their course so the Border Maid stood out to sea and shook them off, Santa Cruz had a bad name in those days. In the light of later times, we may perhaps think the people were friendly, but that knowledge waited for Johnnie's great venture of faith in later days. The Border Maid returned to Auckland on October 21st 1852. After leaving Aneitium they had gone on to the Loyalty Island where landed Mr. Nihill and Henry Taratoa, my friend the accomplished cook. They landed at Nengone, they found there a Rarotongan teacher, Mark, sent by the London Society formerly. But he and the place had been quite neglected by the Society which was thought to have given them up. Mark was a rare man, so humble so good and so able. The Loyalty Islanders, the first Melanesians who came, Siapo, Cho, Napai, Kaleingo were now taken back to their homes, Cho had been very ill, but he revived altogether at the sight of the first cocoanut! These lads were baptised by the Bishop afterwards, having been well taught Christianity by Mark and Mr. Nihill, Mr. Nihill and Henry came back in October, leaving September 27,
It was about this time that S. John's College was beginning to change its character. Among other reasons was the spread of Maori boarding schools in many of the principal Mission Stations, so that it was not necessary to bring them away from their homes and pastors, at the same time that Sir George Grey largely promoted industrial work among the people by presents of ploughs and carts and horses etc, etc. The natives were very hot upon the work for a time but they were most unfortunate in the matter of their vessels to carry their produce to market.
The selling of a horse or a ship is by many supposed to authorize a laxity of statement about these noble things, and truly the poor Maoris were often taken in by unscrupulous traders and ships were lost, men drowned and cargo lost thereby.
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Other reasons contributed to the change and to the retirement of the Bishop for the present from active participation in the College work. He was beginning to think seriously of a visit to England, his aged Father earnestly desiring to see him again before he died. The Megneto pulled hard both ways - home and Willie and friends, one way; and the work in New Zealand and the people and the prospect of having to leave Johnnie in England pulled the other. However, the hardest part of such a case did not rest with me. I had only to follow suit - not to choose, - and then to see the best side of things, and many things were highly attractive after our twelve years' sojourn in the new place, so it was settled. Archdeacon Abraham, to say nothing of his dear wife, would be left in charge. The transfer of the Native department to their own "Minita" simplified matters, and of the English staff, some who had been ordained had been planted out, one or two had gone home (Mr. Nihill's failing health pointed to a warmer climate for him) and no new scholars on the Industrial basis had been received for some time, the older set who had been with us for some years going to their homes to plough their own lands. The way so far was clear, George desired also to plead for Melanesia in England and to see about the indispensable ship to replace the Border Maid, which had proved so unsuited to the Island work. Her price was a nucleus to begin with.
But to go back to the arrival of the Border Maid on October 21st 1852 at Kohimarama. The party at S. John's College was then intact and there was always great excitement at the return of the ship. Many went down to meet the voyagers. I always waited for the quiet welcome in the house, but we could watch them coming - the crowd of Maori and English, then the train of Melanesians, new and old, then the Bishop: much speculation this time as to the quaint figures on either side of him, coming gravely along as if dressed in the height of the fashion. but these two girls for such they were, had very skimpy petticoats made, as we soon learnt, by the Bishop himself out of a coloured counterpane, together with white Russia Duck tippets "Canazeno" George called them, which he, after deep reflection recalled to mind having seen his sister wear, though not made of duck, I doubt if they were an exact copy, but not that they were a great work of art elaborated by him and his sailing master, Champion, They cut them out upon the deck with a knife in the approved fashion, and the garments answered their purpose - but they were funny. These girls were the first of their kind that came as scholars. Wabisana and Wasatrutru of Nengone were they, the first as thorough a lady as her fiance Siapo was a gentleman. They were assigned to the care and instruction of Mrs, Abraham and myself. We dressed them like other girls, George's "Canezons" being (metaphorically) put under a glass case as an encouragement to future Bishops in dressmaking.
Besides the girls, there was a good party and two Australian Blacks, natives who had been with us before. It was amusing to see the Maoris holding their heads up above the Melanesians owing to their own lighter colour, while the Melanesians looked down on the Australian, "He no good, too black"! These two lads were not found to be of inferior capacity to the rest of the party, notwithstanding the rooted belief of the settlers of those days that they were the lowest of the low in the human scale. No doubt, their position in Australia did offer great difficulties in the way of civilization, as they were nomads not localised like our Maori tribes, and possibly there were differences of dialect among them. But no one seems to have got hold of their language (?). One of these lads lived afterwards with a Clergyman in Sydney quite in a civilised way and learnt to speak English.
I have mentioned the flock of English children we had with us now at S. John's College. The two Melanesian girls used to be of their party out of school time, entering with much zest into the games and learning to speak English with their companions fast. It was amusing to hear their remarks on some pictures of cricket, and still more to see their enjoyment of a game manufactured out of a story of a grim old Judge who was by mistake called very early once or twice by "Boots" at an Inn to be in time
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for the "Brummagen Heavy" about to start. The girls took their turn, one under the table, to be the old Judge in bed and the other to be the urgent Boots. "What's that you say?" grunted the old Judge in the gruffest of tones - "Brummagen Heavy" - I ain't going by the "Brummagen Heavy", not I, get you gone."
Besides these accomplishments, they learnt to read and write and sew, both having deft fingers as most of their races had. Wabisane was a true lady in ways and in mind. I should think Wasatrutru (my girl) was the quickest, but she was made of commoner clay. They both behaved very well as long as we had any note of them. They went to Taurarua for a month and lived there as to the manner born, kindly cared for by the good Judge and Lady Martin and very much enjoying visits to Mr, Swainson and his gooseberries, but much perplexed at the absence of any wife on his premises.
This was a sad year as we lost many besides Apale, one dear boy Tol died. It was a great grief to George who had nursed him through his long illness before, and Emily Taratoa, Henry's wife was also taken, a docile, nice creature was she. An English clergyman out for his health also died at the College,
We were in Auckland for some time early in 1853, George having taken charge pro tem of Mr. Thatcher's parish, S. Matthews, the Melanesian party at the College being under the care of Archdeacon and Mrs. Abraham, Mr, Nihill and others, as also the English boys.
The Border Maid was sold and after vainly hoping that Auckland would afford a ship that might be chartered to take the Islanders back to their homes, nothing remained but to go to Sydney for this purpose. Our passage thither was not very prosperous, two of the Melanesians died on the way and we were within an ace of running on the rocks in entering Sydney Harbour.
Umao the younger of these two boys was from Tanna, A trading vessel had left a sick sailor there by himself and this little lad, who in time British Vernacular was a "Savage" and a "nigger", he might also have added, a heathen, attached himself to the man, and no Christian could have excelled his patience and attention to the invalid. He might have been the heathen for he was most cross and exacting to his patient nurse, even to striking him with his stick. The Bishop gave him a passage to Sydney that he might go to a Hospital. He lived in a tent put up for him on deck, as he could not be below, and when he was taken ashore Umao came with the Bishop to S. John's College. Now he was with us once more at sea returning to Sydney on his way home. But the dear child was very ill, very patient as he lay in his berth (it was George's) dying. His devotion to the Bishop was very touching. He had learned something of sacred things but how far his knowledge extended, we could not tell, life could not doubt about his practice, which, in returning good for evil always, in self-sacrifice, and now in patience in adversity, might put many a Christian to shame. He was baptised William after Mr, Nihill, from whom he had learnt the most, and so he died, leaving his bright example to us who with far greater privileges fell so short of it. It is lovely to think of him, - that possibly, nay probably, he may be numbered with the "saints in glory everlasting." The deaths of Tol and Umao were full of griefs and full of comfort to George. The other Melanesian who died on board was a Malicolo lad named Nabong. His head like many of his compatriots had been squeezed in infancy towards a conical shape, and now all his cry was for weights to be laid upon it as we judged by the proceedings of his friends, who piled boxes on his head one at a time till he asked for more, poor fellow.
The Captain's Chronometer got wrong and we nearly got on the rocks in consequence loosing out of the Port. We seemed to be almost touching the ironbound Headland near the entrance of the Harbour, but we escaped D. G., and ere long were at anchor in the beautiful Bay of Sydney, July 1853. It was 11 years since we had first anchored there on our way to that terra incognita, New Zealand now a familiar home abounding with strong interests and many warm friends.
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Bad news greeted us here (Sydney) the death of good Bishop Broughton in November. He would go home to England by way of Panama long before a railway was thought of across the Isthmus - a most deadly journey to take on Donkey-back with the prospect of sleeping at that most unhealthy place Colon on the Eastern side of the swampy Isthmus, Yellow fever broke out in the vessel on which they embarked and several died before they reached Southampton. He was indefatigable in his attendance on them but it was too much for him and he died soon after. He was a man of considerable power, an excellent scholar, as good a hand at a Latin speech as any Public Orator of the Universities, herein rather going over the head of the average settler, so the gift waited for its appreciation till more Bishops came. In those early and autocratic days the Governor put him on the Council. There he was consulted and feared, being very outspoken and holding his own with great courage and more ability than had the others. He was turned out till the Government got into a great muddle and then they entreated him to come back! The See of Australia had been sliced out of that of Calcutta, It was nearly as large as Europe in area, with the addition also of Tasmania and New Zealand when Bishop Broughton went first there. Now there are thirteen Bishops in the Australian Province and seven in that of New Zealand.
It was a great blow to George to find his friend and brother gone, but the Clergy took all possible pains to lighten it.
Clergy and laity alike gave us all the warmest welcome and it was decided at once that the Melanesians should be the guests of the Church in Sydney, chiefly of the parish of Christ Church, during their stay. Accordingly it rained bank notes and cheques every day to say nothing of collections and offertories for the same end. It was a puzzle at first how to dispose of the great party but our good friend Mr. Walsh of Christ Church had just vacated his old Parsonage for a new one. It was entirely empty but the offer of it was gladly accepted and then the kind folk of Sydney sent in heaps of things for our use. Possibly the furniture did not adhere to the strictest rules of high art, but goodwill and brotherly kindness were written on the miscellaneous assortment: friends used to look round and see after what was lacking and then bring it. The boys and girls were such objects of interest that they supplied the place of ornament so to speak. This would hardly be justified by the photographs of any of them, but the presence of our Islanders, their demeanour at all times, made an impression that made up for all that was lacking in our surroundings, the sight of them bringing home the reality of Missionary effort. The girls were always with me, the boys were under the charge of Nelson Hector who had been with the Bishop from the first and who was his right hand on the Island voyages. Their reverent behaviour in Church on Sunday struck the Congregation greatly. It responded heartily to Mr. Walsh's suggestion in his sermon the first Sunday to consider the Island party as their guests in particular. Nearly £50 was found in the Alms bags and the next day the amount was increased to more than £100.
The widow of a ship's carpenter brought £5, "I had only my usual offerings yesterday so I brought this." The Parish schools were close by and I could now and then leave my girls with the kind mistress and the admiring children with whom they made great friends. Vast was the School's astonishment when, at the Bible reading my lassies stood up to read with the rest and took their verse in turn with the others. Plainly it created a feeling of respect for them. People were most kind and feted them right and left. Magic Lantern entertainments were the most popular of course, Sydney was rather desolate then, no Bishop, no Governor, no Admiral in those days, but George was supplied with plenty of work: party feeling was running high about the relation of the Church of England College to the University and both sides wished him to arbitrate, (which always seems to open the way to give no satisfaction to anybody) besides there was the ship to look for. Finally one "Captain Towns" who had a wharf of his own and an array of vessels, supplied an old tub called the Gratitude. She did not inspire the warmth of feeling suggested by her name, but George, hasted
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to be gone as we were soon going to England. The Melanesian party all went on board early in the day. George was detained by interviews and meetings. He appointed an evening hour for me to meet him with Johnnie on Towns' wharf. We arrived punctually - no Bishop and the vessel not alongside. Waited for about four hours hanging about till Johnnie got so tired and sleepy that we gave way to the gatekeeper's pressure to come into his house. After all we did not go on board for some time. At Aneitium I saw the excellent Geddies, such a gentle, brave little woman. She had a good party of native women and girls about her. She lacked for them any English clothing and these people did not seem to have "Tapa." Their petticoats looked like thatch, being made cleverly enough of reeds! which rattled as they walked.
Mrs. Geddie had given them a domestic training evidently, as well as the higher one. When they had anything to work on, they could do needlework as well. We left Aneitium for Tanna, an Island with a volcano, neither one or the other as beautiful as Ambrym, the next volcano we saw in our progress. But first came the Loyalty Isles, Lifu and Nengone, this last the abode of the girls, so we parted there with the girls and many of the boys. The girls had, on leaving Sydney, received various presents from the kind people there: some hardly adapted to their native tropical regions. Two pretty fair-haired wax dolls beautifully dressed being among them; and the school children who in the Sydney winter were doing much wool knitting laded them with specimens of their skill. We had dressed the girls warmly as they were hot-house plants, which suited them well at Sydney, but they were a sight to see on landing at Nengone, on the hottest of days when they came on deck waiting in the melting heat to go on shore, dress cross-over and shawl all woollen, two or three comforters round their necks and as many muffetees as they could get on their arms. They were quite composed feeling evidently the dignity of their appearance, canoes came off with an immense amount of noise as we went off. The canoe was lightened en route by two or three superfluous hands being shoved overboard sans ceremony, they splashed about and there was a vast amount of yelling on both sides, a fury of shouting, but all in good humour it seems and I look back with pleasure on this voyage though I was not well enough to enjoy it thoroughly. But it was a little insight into this part of the Melanesian work, as the scholars were dropped at various Islands, and when I was able to go on shore I was looked at as a phenomenon, being I suppose, the first white woman the natives had seen. At Nengone they were more advanced, the excellent Rarotongan Teacher, Mark, had taught them, and they were very civil. Our girls seemed to be much admired but it was feared that their beautiful dolls were speedily annexed by their chiefs (so said Mr, Nihill) as well as a good deal of the suitable garments supplied by the Sydney children.
We came back to Auckland to prepare for going home, the Abrahams were left at S. John's in charge, chiefly of the remaining English boys. Shortly before we sailed Rota Waitoa, who had come from his native South with the Bishop on his visiting Otaki in 1842, was now ordained, the first of the Maori Clergy, the first of a goodly band. He was a lad when he came to us unkempt, and Maori in his habits for a time, and he was not of the better looking half of his people, who have straight features and smooth hair. He had an African cast of feature and woolly hair, but a countenance betokening the much good there was in him. He had passed up through several steps to this last great step, pupil, then College Butler, then Master of the Junior Maori department at S. John's, and after this he went to be teacher at the Mission Station, Mr. Kissling our German friend had been obliged to leave for health's sake. You always felt so sure about Rota and he never did fail, intelligent and good, so open and simple was he. He was now to return to the same place in Holy Orders, There he worked an excellent element among his own people and most highly respected also by the remnants of the whaling men scattered up and down the coast. They would bring their difficulties and differences to the Reverend Rota, as they called him, and abide by his judgment. He used to pay occasional visits to S. John's College to Bishop Abraham, or to his old Bishop saying "his bag was empty, he had sown all it had contained, and now he wanted more seed," i. e. further instruction.
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Terina his wife had been of our College house for some tine and she was apt at Pakeha ways (the ways of the stranger). They had now the nice Mission House and kept themselves "up". The Captain of a Man-of-war being benighted there, was hospitably entertained, finding also his room and bed nicely arranged even to the furnishing of a nightdress! the worthy Captain was somewhat perplexed by the manner of the garment but finally went to sleep very comfortably in Rota's surplice the best substitute Terina could provide. Dear old Rota he lives in my memory as a beloved personal friend - not the only one of his race but among the chiefest. Terina and two or three of her children died before he did. Johnnie's namesake of this family survived them both. But Rota married again and his little daughter was born when he was in Auckland preparing for Priest's Orders and reading daily with Sir W. Martin. At this moment it was early Church History so the little girl was named Perpetua (Peter for short) whose story had made a deep impression on his mind. Rota's Ordination (1853) was quite an event in Auckland. Some who had been very doubtful on the matter came round with a good grace though I do not know they were as hopeful as we were. It was a happy wind up to the first portion of our New Zealand career.
At the end of December (1853) we embarked on board the Commodore. In it too went Sir George and Lady Grey and his attaches and a few others including Nelson Hector (with us) and a young girl who was under my care - young enough to be very companionable to Johnnie;, Things had not much improved in passenger ships since we had left England twelve years before. The Commodore was a merchant-man a barque, and of personal attendance there was none. She took 128 days to reach England so we got through a respectable amount of junk on our way though we put in to the Falkland Isles and the Azores, en route, for supplies. We were amused in going up the winding entrance into the Harbour to see a Walrus or two lying on the bank, uncanny looking things truly. So on till we dropped anchor at the little Settlements, It all looked dreary and very cold and insignificant, yet what a commotion there was years before in England about their importance. Dr. Johnson writing a severe pamphlet on the enormity of giving them up. It old not seem justified by their position and certainly not by themselves. At this time (1854) a Company had been established to make them an Emporium of S. American sheep hoping vainly to catch those ships sailing round Cape Horn. There was a scanty set of so called settlers there, a Residential house whose occupants came off to our ship with hospitable offers. Sir George and Lady Grey and ourselves went on shore to dine and meet the rank and fashion of the place. Among them were the Chaplain of Monte Video and his wife who gave an amusing account of the manners and customs of the English emigrants to that place, who were in great request up the country on the Cattle Ranches, How their owners used to come in for stores, a saw or a saddle etc, and a wife if they luckily hit the time of the arrival of a vessel from England. In these circumstances they dispensed with Courtship or postponed it till after marriage and the wife rode inland on the new saddle instead. The Chaplain and his wife had come for change of climate which they truly got there. These Islands seemed so bare and desolate, the very temple of the winds. Some things looking like marbles were handed round at dinner. Thereupon the party glorified themselves exceedingly. "Really now". Potatoes! never saw the like before. Grown here! Indeed. The visit was a nice break in the voyage,
Mrs. Rennie our Hostess was very pleasant and gave us some delightful music. They could not of course enlighten us about our relations with Russia, but we heard at the Azores long after, that the Russian Ambassador had left London and that War was imminent, and so we found it when we landed at Weymouth on the 5th of May 1854 and found all England in the excitement of preparation on a grand scale.
We had been 125 days at sea and 12 years and 4 months absent from England. As one nears its shores and sees the trees and the houses and the lights twinkling in them, what a rush of pleasure it gives, you
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keep on saying to yourself that this is England, one almost feels it was worth while to have been long away. It was night when we landed. Johnnie was extremely affronted at the Chambermaids who came to inspect him when we was in bed, by their exclaiming "Why, he isn't black; then was your mother a white woman?"
The next day's journey to Richmond lives in my mind's eye. Everything was in the glory of Spring, the trees bursting into full leaf, the expanse of verdure and the soigne look of everything was so striking, after trees that were not deciduous, and after grass that was lacking and after the more or less unkempt appearance of things in those early days of the Colony. We laughed with pleasure like children. At Richmond George found his old father aged and infirm. His mother had died years before on the first anniversary of his Consecration. His two brothers William Lady Margaret Professor at Cambridge and Charles a flourishing Chancery lawyer, were here to welcome us, and the two sisters, Letitia in very close and devoted attendance on her father, and Fanny, who, before her marriage, when they went off for their many changes kept house for her brother Charles and the times then were eminently lively. She had since married Dr. Peacock Dean of Sly. The next day we went to Wimbledon to my dear old blind Aunt Mrs. Hudson, still living in the old house and with her my two Palmer cousins, Carrie Abraham's sisters Louisa and Mary Palmer (Aunt Lin), The curious thing about meeting again, after a long interval, the contemporaries you had left, is that they all seemed at first as if they had passed into the generation about them, and that they were the Aunts and Parents you had left. But the voices were the same and soon restored the identity,
We were soon in London after our arrival at the hospitable house of the Rev. Ernest Hawkins, Secretary of the S. P. G. It was a place of call for Missionaries, as well as for Church folk generally, so here we were "well situate", Bishop Armstrong, the first Bishop of Grahamstown, lives in my memory, but I fear without companions forgotten in the lapse of ages. He was a notability for his goodness sake and the good works he set on foot.
Though everything connected with English life was in great contrast to our then way of living in New Zealand - somehow it all seemed very natural and London most familiar. I have no journal of those days to give the order of events but little thereby is lost. Dining out and seeing old friends, do not afford much to record. At that period the breaches in their ranks were not many - at Eton I think not one. There was a huge meeting of S. P. G. where the Bishop had a prolonged ovation. I felt so sorry for him (though I doubt not I should not at all have liked them to be silent) but I could tell what was passing through his mind the while, and how much smaller and smaller he would be feeling in his own estimation as it went on. The meeting was held in Willis's room, chiefly known as "Almacks" where dances were wont to be given by a committee of ladies of the highest rank and tow in London, who jealously excluded all but the creme de la creme of Society (according to their view) from it, in its palmy days.
The first friend we had met on reaching London from Weymouth was George's schoolfellow then just Bishop of Salisbury, and he made George promise that we should go to Salisbury for a Festival in August, Meanwhile our first visit from London was to Eton for the S. Barnabas meeting which had been started there by many loving friends to aid the Bishop's work soon after he left England in 1841: As far as I recollect Mr. Harry Dupuis supported by these friends on the spot and in the neighbourhood and by outsiders also. It was always a most happy gathering, not only in the pleasure of meeting friends, but because it represented such an amount of love and sympathy, to say nothing of the material support it rendered year after year. Its having sprung from Eton was an additional charm. And now
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to be on the beloved spot once again was delightful - it was so uncolonial so regal and so old: and then the Chapel! -what is there to compare to that magnificent seed plot for England! Six years had made a vast difference in Willie too: the happy looking Eton boy who had arrived at Richmond in the morning was another being from the sorrowful child I had parted from in the Dido with much anguish of spirit six years before. I think it was at that time slightly relieved by a note in round hand the next morning dwelling chiefly on his victories over the first Lieutenant who had done his best to console the child by playing many games of Fox and Geese "I took all his Geese". But it was doleful next day to watch the Dido going out and to listen to Johnnie's oft repeated shouts "Dido bring Willie back." We had seen at Richmond our friends, Mr. Coleridge, Mr. Dupuis and Mr, Balston. They sat and gazed at George, who was much less altered than his wife, rested by his voyage, no letters, no responsibility about the ship - it had been rest to him. He looked well, better than his wife, for if I thought my friends had gone up (or down) into another generation, they thought I had into two. How civilized the place seemed, so many servants, so many appliances and carriages and cabs and Railways. We soon got into a whirl of going and coming, visiting friends and being feted. George had felt so grateful to S. P. G. for their support and help to him in New Zealand that he offered to go shares with them when preaching for his Diocese, and of course they welcomed such a deputation, I was reproved for not taking the proper view of this arrangement and I daresay my feet were not planted in so large a room as his, for he thought it only fair. But it gave him some extra work out of his holiday. He was soon in the rush so familiar to all Colonial Bishops, preaching and speaking, accepting or declining, making arrangements, living with Bradshaw in his hand, and a huge correspondence filling up all chinks of time.
Ostensibly they come home to rest and see their friends and this is the manner of it. However, who can complain? for how the interest and zeal in Missionary work increased since then and the number of such Bishops also. At that time I remember feeling injured at the strictures of some very good men upon those that had come back for a time - good kind men too - but there they went to their daily toil without wetting their shoes, or indeed going on tramp to their objects. I should like to have taken them a bush journey in New Zealand going on foot with swamps to wade through, and rivers to swim included or perhaps a tropical voyage in the Border Maid, or a cruise in rough weather, round New Zealand in a little fore and after, and then they might have thought it was not so bad to have a whiff of home once in a way. But indeed the unusual warmth of welcome to George left nothing to desiderate, it was so hearty and he could feel that he came on duty to see his Father and his son and to get a ship for his Melanesian work. All the eclat and notoriety that followed him was highly distasteful to him, though I fear I did not hate it for him. Sir Walter Scott on his visits to London used to speak of the effect of his face as "whipped Cream" at which George would have appraised his also, though he thoroughly enjoyed the renewed intercourse with many beloved friends. Often I was with the Bishop on his travels, oftener with my own people at Wimbledon and elsewhere or at Richmond. Together we went to Salisbury for the S. P. G. Festival on S. Bartholomew's Day, Bishop Hamilton being there and there we met divers notabilities, some local, and also Mr. Coleridge, Lord Richard Cavendish, Sir Walter and Lady Mary Farquhar and the Gladstones. How impressed I was with the quiet beauty of the Close; of the grandeur of the Cathedral, and the trimness and richness of the Palace Garden, in which stood the beautiful Chapter House, above all by the delightful air of antiquity about it all. One must have lived in a new Colony or in America to enter into this. There it is all "go ahead", "Look sharp", "Press on", "Get rich", with nothing outward to create or help a feeling of Reverence for the past, there is no Past, may be last year: but you think far better of this year and what it has produced. I pitied the children there, who could not but lack the aid to their training of the connection with bygone times, the ancient Churches. However it is all in keeping with this age of progress; and that they are the greatest men who have the largest moral or critical or scientific or
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political legs in the race. I might almost add destructive legs liking to kick their misguided ancestor into oblivion. As a Grandmother I sympathize more with my Ancestors; as feeling often so entirely behind the age and not liking to see the worthy old dears altogether discounted. Still this is not to say that I do not recognise any good in modern opinions, or any value in the outcome of them. The crown and glory of them all is the awakened consideration for the poor, and the readiness of so many in the upper classes high born and delicately nurtured, to give time and money and powers to help and brighten the workaday lives. But I am not prepared to go full tilt into Socialism and I have got a long way from Salisbury, so I defer the utterance of more wisdom on this head. We paid a visit to Wilton from Salisbury then occupied by Sidney Herbert and his beautiful wife not yet a Romanist; she was afterwards created Lady Herbert, her husband having died before his elder brother whom otherwise he would have succeeded. Mr. Herbert was the War Minister in Lord Aberdeen's Ministry. The Crimean war was the absorbing topic at that time - its exigences telling much on some of those in Authority especially on our host... Wilton is an interesting place from its associations though the little Church of Bemerton had better still. Just to feel you were in George Herbert's own Church, in the parish and place which inspired "The Country Parson", and to picture him there, was so unlike anything that our very 4New Zealand could inspire. Our most memorable visit from its great results was to Feniton. Our last visit to Devonshire had been on our way to join our ship for New Zealand at Plymouth in 1841, and there now could the Lord's song be sung as in a familiar home though to people of a strange speech. It was comforting then to think of this in the beautiful Cathedral in contrast with our ignorance of all belonging to the strange land, of our former visit, I hasten on to Feniton the home of our dear old friend Sir John Patteson and of his two daughters Joanna and Fanny, His elder son, Coley, the celebrated Bishop, then a young Priest was living near in charge of a small Living. Henceforth he was part of a larger History. He had, as an Eton boy been used to copy letters of the Bishop's to his Uncle, the Bishop's most helpful friend, the Revd. Edward Coleridge, his tutor at Eton, and this had probably helped to foster a great interest in the work in New Zealand, more especially in its Melanesian developments and George was not slow to discern the readiness of his Spirit for the call, or his fitness for the work, although his singular aptitude for it remained to grow on our astonished sight hereafter. But then he was the apple of his dear old Father's eye, and seemed to be so necessary to him in his great infirmity, it would be a sore parting. Yet it was to be. The way in which the beloved old judge judicially weighed the reasons on both sides and recognised the call was lovely, as was also that of his dear sisters; not less so the entireness with which he gave him up, and the cheerful heartiness with which he entered into his son's work and doings afterwards.
So we left Feniton infinitely richer than we had come into it, George so happy in the prospect of such a coadjutor, and I so glad that some of his heavy load would be thus lightened. Yet then we did not know the half of our reasons for thankfulness, or the extent of Coley's great gifts, or the power his name would be in the Church at large, or that he was born for the Melanesians, as he always seemed to have been, or that his boys were to be so entirely satisfying to his soul as they proved. His wonderful capacity for languages, enabling him to have the most inner communion with them in no time: and this was a great source of attraction to himself on their side, while his sweet nature and loving manner with them led them to confide in him readily and to bring their thoughts and feelings to light. From hence we went to Trafalgar, Lord Nelson desiring that the Bishop should baptise his son and heir, There
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was a great gathering high and low; including many for whom a school feast in the Park and tables also for the fathers and mothers were provided. I daresay our sons remember how busy they were on the occasion - and perhaps also the great legend on the facade of the portico, executed in Dahlias by the Gardener "England expects every man to do his duty". It was a suitable theme for George to expatiate upon. I cannot record the order of succession of the many visits we paid, they might have been twice as many had the Bishop's engagements for sermons and meetings allowed. But almost the crown of all was the one to Mr. Keble at Hursley which seemed like a dip into history, as if we had come to all the Fathers and the great Divines of the 17th century. One trod softly and spoke with reverence. And yet the Inspirer of all this feeling was the most humble of men. The old woman in the village best described him when she said she could only think of "Holy, Holy, Holy," when he spoke to her. And yet almost as strongly marked was the playfulness that was wont to appear so often also.
In September we went to Powis Castle where truly the utmost antipodes to a Colonial abode might be found. The ancient pile, the massive walls, the antique bed, the tapestry hangings, the ceiling with its royal arms and royal devices and crowns emblazoned there, all to do honour to the Royal Charles, would find no parallel among our weatherboards any more than the beautiful old Cabinets and furniture would to our sea chests, contrived into cupboards and washingstands of the same. The embrasures in those wonderful walls too, for the windows were larger than many of our cabins had been, and the view from them was so English. The trim garden on one side, and the stretch of park on the other, beautiful old oaks, deer, red deer and fallow deer, and the glades under the trees which we miss in places. There the undergrowth is so luxurious. I laid it all up in store for the edification and amusement of my young friends in New Zealand. As also the account of a visit one day to Lymore, the home of Lord Herbert of Cherbury in James the First's time. Its age is its chiefest interest I think. The drive thither was beautiful - we did not know it then: - but (it was the 20th Septr. 1854) all the time we were enjoying ourselves the battle of the Alma was being fought! It seemed shocking afterwards. Our next visit was to Bishop Lonsdale at Eccleshall the then abode of the Bishop of Lichfield, There was rather a large party in the house, and we all Trent on the last day of our stay to a function at Lichfield - George for the first time preaching in what was his own Cathedral afterwards. It was not yet restored and the amount of stucco within and without was very disfiguring. Little did I think how dear the spot would be to us in after times. It was late in the evening when we got to Stafford on the way back and here we found newspapers with some description of the battle - and of the slaughter - but with no lists of the wounded, or of the dead. No telegraphs in those days, so the poor relatives of the soldiers had to undergo a fearful time of waiting, poor things. As we went on to Eccleshall the Bishops, first one and then the other, stood up under the dim lamp above and read the account of the Battle in the train - a scene that is graven on my mind. Among us were the sister of a Colonel then in the Force, and the fiancee of a young Officer who was also in the fight. The next day was Sunday and also All Saints' Day, I recall the comfort the words of the Psalm for the day seemed to impart for them, and how they would be realized "With Thy favourable kindness wilt Thou defend them as with a shield" and both were safe!
Soon after this we were through the kindness of Canon Anson established in his canonical house at Windsor. Could anything have been more truly delightful. Near our dear boys at Eton, and the place itself so full of attractions and remembrances of our early married days when we lived at Eton and George was Curate of Windsor, and then St. George and the Castle, and the house in the old Cloisters in which we lived looking out one way on a glorious view of Eton, The services at the Chapel
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were a deep enjoyment especially in the November evenings when the long row of wax tapers just over the heads of the poor Knights of Windsor (as they used to be called) cast such a "dim religious light" but just revealing the banners of the Knights of the Garter which floated overhead. This was better than the broad daylight which did reveal among those of this noble and religious Order that of the Sultan Turkey! Now that Mahomed has been thus exalted and now that woman is to the fore and is getting what she calls her Rights, perhaps "Termagant" may be also recognised some day? Let us hope for the best. The beautiful music and the Dean's (Gerald Wallesley) most solemn tones in reading the lessons was all in keeping with the place.
All this time the air was full of war and all that it brought with it. Everyone almost had private reasons for interest or anxiety in what was happening - and by degrees there arose too great displeasure at what was considered to be the mismanagement of the supplies for the Hospitals. Very likely it was not well done at first; things were on so gigantic a scale, but did the Authorities here and the Authorities there deserve all that was so ruthlessly heaped upon them? I remember when we were staying with Sir Walter Farquhar how keenly Lady Mary Farquhar used to feel about the criticisms hurled at Lord Raglan (her Uncle) especially by the Times which seemed to arrogate to itself the merit of being the only thing that had any feeling for the soldiers - it was horrid, though the fund it opened on their behalf was so well responded to, that it nullified its objurgations. I cannot remember exact dates, it might have been before this, but when everyone's sympathy was deeply stirred that Florence Nightingale arose and offered to go and nurse the soldiers. Hospital training I think was then in its infancy and the calling of a Nurse was only beginning to be counted as suitable to a woman of gentle birth, but now it seems as if half the ladies in England desired to go with her, and many did go who had better counted the cost than others, whose present qualifications for such arduous work were only a warm but very ignorant zeal..... The need of Nurses for the Army was indeed pressed on by the rapid succession of fights. You could not go anywhere without meeting those who were living as it were on tenter hooks, or else mourning for their slain, it did eminently warm the feeling of brotherhood - most of all you felt it in the cottages but never did it seem to come home so strongly to us, as when, after Inkerman, a Regiment stationed at Windsor left for the Crimea to fill up the many vacant gaps, I shall never forget that departure or how earnestly George longed to be going with them. The platform at the station was full of people, it was a moving spectacle, and a most moving occasion. You could not help wringing the hand of every soldier near you, your eyes full of tears and your heart full of prayers for the poor fellows - I could have kissed them all, but may I never see the like again - And though they knew it not, they were going to the Redan and to the trenches et Sebastopol in the terrible winter that followed! September saw the Alma. The Balaclava charge was in October and Inkerman on November 5th followed, as I have said, by the Trenches. The train passed slowly out, the poor men leaning out for their last glimpse, waving their handkerchiefs and greeted by a real cheer though it had a sob in it - all the world was kin there that day.. The news of the Battle of Inkerman on Nov. 5 was appalling the loss being so great. I remember someone from the Castle telling us how the Queen sobbed upon her husband's shoulder as the list was read, it was awful... but still the friends we had felt so much for when at Eccleshall were spared, Sir William Wilbraham and the girl's fiance, but not so our neighbour in the Cloisters Mr. Seymour Neville who lost one brother at Balaclava and now another was killed at Inkerman. It was all very dreadful though I suppose this feverish anxiety must have paled before the next occasion three years later, the year of the Indian Mutiny.
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The Bishop as a great privilege was allowed to confirm his own son, and the daughter of Bishop Chapman (of Colombo) in that most exclusive place St. George's Windsor, the Dean, his old friend made no objection to his request for permission, but the old Canons demurred to any intrusion, it was a novelty etc, etc. However they got over their scruples, and then nothing could be more cordial; and two of the elder Canons Cust and Canning came to his seat to escort the Bishop to the Altar.
Mr. Gladstone, Willie's Godfather, was present I think, at any rate he and Mrs. Gladstone came for a night; I remember into what high latitudes the talk between the Bishop and himself (?soared) though alas! I remember not its subject, saving the inevitable war, Mr. Gladstone sat with something in his hand, a pen-wiper I think, twirling it as he talked and making the most energetic spins as he warmed to his subject. At this time I am saying nothing of the almost daily enjoyment of seeing our dear boys, nor of the pleasant intercourse with the dear old friends at Eton, nor of Mr. Coleridge's unceasing efforts to raise money enough to provide George with a better ship than he had had for the Melanesian work - the kind gift of the Border Maid from his Sydney friends having proved unsuitable, the product of the sale of the old ship was the nucleus for the new one, and at this time she was being built at Southampton,
Of his own good will George would have sailed about this time and as he wished in the Southern Cross, we were ready but in effect we did not leave till March and then in a Passenger ship. There was a great outcry among our friends at the idea of our going in such a small vessel to the other side of the world. They, poor landsmen, would not listen to us, nor to a friendly Post Captain, who laughed at the notion of its being dangerous. He thought it would not be comfortable - the Pirates walk only, three steps and overboard, that was all the space to move in. But George hastened to get her off and was much worried by the many delays, I fear I was not so magnanimous as to be sorry for the longer time to be at home with the boys. We left Windsor to return to be between the paternal home at Richmond and Wimbledon with my people. We had come home for a tremendously cold winter: the Thames was frozen over for some time and great blocks of ice were on its sides - and what was it in the Crimea? in the Trenches round Sebastopol, In a frightful storm in the Black Sea not long before several ships were lost. One huge transport (I think two or three) foundered and with them a great store of comforts for the Hospitals and warm clothing for the men in the Trenches, so sorely needed. Somehow all disasters were laid to the door of the Authorities at home. They went to all hearts and I suppose everybody found some relief in blaming somebody, I remember that we met Sydney Herbert at dinner just then and I cannot forget his stricken look poor man, (He was Secretary for War). The obloquy at that moment perhaps may have been overshadowed by the horror of the calamity. The one good thing that seemed to come out of this terrible war was the general enlargement of heart towards those engaged in it, the thoughts being for the time more fixed on others than on self.
We were honoured by an invitation from the Queen to dine at Windsor about this time, and there after dinner the Queen and her Ladies were all busily engaged on comforters and muffetees for the freezing soldiers in the trenches. I best remember there the sweet and gracious Lady Canning then in Waiting and her kindly talk with me. Poor thing what terrible trials lay before her three years later. The Prince Consort was then alive and the old Duchess of Kent who played at Patience all the evening. The maids of honour looked away from the Queen to escape being called upon to pick up her dropped stitches. Of course I took note of everything knowing how I should be questioned by my Maori friends, no particulars would be too small. Her majesty walked round the room after dinner speaking to all her guests in turn and happily she asked me some question about them, which greatly added to the halo this event threw around me. How Lady Martin and I laughed when a pragmatical old gentleman (the one who thirsted to wear a Cassock) said gravely to her pointing to me "Was it not for the good of her works that the Queen invited her to dinner?" "No", I said, "it only was because I was the Bishop's wife." "So just" said he. They took a keen interest in Her Majesty's knitting.
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Once more before we sailed we were in Windsor Castle, when the privilege of seeing the Royal children was granted to us. All came but the Prince of Wales, who was not there, and Princess Beatrice who was not born. But there was the Empress Frederick three years before she was married and Princess Alice and the two younger Princesses, as also little Prince Arthur (the Duke of Wellington's Godson) in martial attire and the baby Prince Leopold in his nurse's arms. He was put upon his feet and told to go to the Bishop; but he had no taste for Bishops for he always ran the other way. All this supplied much for the pleasure of my Maori friends who listened with grave attention to everything, and asked endless questions. One woman was hugely gratified at finding that she had exactly the same number of children, boys and girls, as the Queen and in the same order of birth.
This was near the end of our time in England. I was glad to have a quiet time with my dear blind old Aunt and my cousins Louisa and Mary Anne Palmer (Aunt Min) at the old Wimbledon home home where also my brothers could often come,
George was to and fro often to Southampton to hurry on the Southern Cross, who, after she was launched, sprung a leak which refused to be cured for some time. Also the first time she made an experimental little cruise, another vessel ran foul of her and stove in part of the stern, George did not enjoy these delays as I did, but we were afterwards truly grateful to the assaulting vessel for making our quarters far more comfortable and airy when they were remade.
Towards the end of March (29th March 1855) came the last sorrowful farewells. We went down to Gravesend to meet our ship, an ancient Barque called "The Duke of Portland". It was no compliment to her namesake for she was, as to fitting and arrangements, an old tub. However we had a quiet accommodating Captain and passengers were few. Coley Patteson met us and our brothers with my cousin Charles Palmer and his fair young daughter Catherine. I think it was only the next year that she and her older sister died, almost on the same day at Wanlip, I then saw my brother Charles also and my Cousin Charles who was as another brother, for the last time; happily we knew not this - the present pang of parting with our children was more than enough - of how many such heart wringing partings has a ship been the scene, especially when George was year after year going on his Island voyages, or when seeing our Children go - or going ourselves and leaving them. We watched the boat with our precious sons returning to the shore, while we were in all the bustle and hurry of getting under weigh. They were very brave and waved their handkerchiefs as long as we could see them - it was utterly horrid like all the other partings. The Captain was good-natured and allowed me to keep school with the steerage children. George the while instructing Coley in Maori and in navigation which signified more for him. There were no other ladies on board; the nicest of our fellow passengers was a gentleman who had been in Brazil for some years. He did not enjoy the Captain's preference for Great Circle sailing just then in vogue - nor did we. It meant going far South, on the way to the Antarctic regions and among the icebergs for a short space. - Was it not cold! How we pitied the people living on Kerguelen Island. Our old tub did not pick up the wind she went after, but we got into warmer latitudes before we were quite frozen. I had a little fete with my scholars on the Queen's birthday! having saved up my figs and raisins at dessert to that end for some time, and then first one and then another of our fellow Passengers did the same so I had a Royal feast. One of them lent me a splendid musical box for the occasion, thus supplying us with a band for our festivity. No room for dancing, but we managed a game or two and ended by singing "God save the Queen" with great enthusiasm and small melody. It was a great success and many sweets were over for friends who could not come. We dropped Anchor in Auckland Harbour on July the 5th but we did not land till the next day George cleaving to the ship. I could not even get up any enthusiasm for remaining but that for pleasing him did better.
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On the 6th we landed at Taurarua having the usual warm welcome from Sir W. and Lady Martin. "How many times have we returned to this home" is George's account of it. Soon came Charles and Caroline from the College and friends English and Maori came flocking in with the warm welcomes that made it seem very homey. Owing to some disturbance at Taranaki George was soon on the wing again (I should rather say on the foot) for that place, Archdeacon Abraham going with him. It was a truly rough breaking in for Coley. They started bush travelling on July 31st in our winter, and therefore, muddy season. The Southern Cross had arrived from England on the 19th and went to her anchorage at Kohimarama - the first of her name. This was a great relief to the Bishop's mind, as they went on their rough walk. I meanwhile being partly at the College and partly at Taurarua with the Martins. Governor Gore Browne had lately arrived, the brother of Bishop Harold Browne, He was a most honourable upright gentleman, kind and courteous, desirous to do his duty end deal fairly with all his subjects, but he fell upon evil times and upon interested or misguided councillors. On this head I could say much, but don't.
At the end of September we sailed in the Southern Cross for the first time. This was a visitation on George's part of the Southern settlements. As there was no Melanesian School as yet Coley went with us to be introduced to people and places. We had also the Revd. Levi te Ahu a Maori from Mr. Hadfield's District and trained by him, He had come for further teaching up to Auckland, Sir W. Martin taking that work specially in hand, Levi was one of the noble band of the early Maori Clergy - one of the best - a true gentleman and so good. He was going with us partly for his health and also to visit his Ngatiawa kinsfolk scattered about in the Nelson Diocese. George set himself vigorously to work on embarking in the new vessel in reducing the chaos of things in the cabin into order, and glorying in finding nooks and capabilities in every corner. The thermometer of its perfections kept on steadily rising as did the many charms of a sea life. I fully agreed about the cabin and made the most honest response I could to the other for having been so overpowered with headaches on board as to make me think they must almost be agreeable on the stable quiet shore. I preferred that - yet I look back with pleasure to this little voyage. George was feeling so much more free in the prospect of Coley at the head of Melanesian matters; and with the hope of a Bishop ere long for Canterbury: and Coley who had not yet entered on his laborious career, with its many anxieties - so I was in clever in having such companions when they did not get out of my depth, besides having the beloved Levi to fall back upon when they did. I refer you to the details of this expedition to the journal letter about it, which you can read or not as you will, while I go on to the end of it, when we parted from George at Wellington (Decr. 31st) to travel overland chiefly on foot and Coley and I went en in the Southern Cross to Auckland and were followed by George who arrived there on Coley's birthday, April 1st 1856.
In this year the Martins went to England on account of Sir William's failing health and we moved altogether into their house at Taurarua, the Abrahams being at the College pro tem, but we were away all the winter, as we sailed on the 9th of May on what was Coley's first Melanesian voyage! We went first to the Northern settlement in New Zealand and then on to Sydney and a very rough passage had we arriving there on June 11th. The very tall new Bishop came on Beard to welcome us. We felt flattered that he could stand upright in our after Cabin without touching the ceiling! We moved next day to his hospitable house at Millers Point a cheerful situation up the Harbour in the midst of the shipping. It was most lively; the bells announcing the arrival of some coasting steamer ringing often in the night and the water twinkling with the lights of the Vessels lying there, looked alive and cheerful. In respect of stir and business Sydney seemed to have made astonishing strides since we were last there (1842). It appeared then dead alive, but the gold discoveries had awakened it up not a little. Nothing could exceed the kindness and hospitality of the tall
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Bishop and his very nice wife, but he was a great contrast to his predecessor, his opinions not being on the same scale as his inches. He was popularly called "the highest and the lowest Churchman in Australasia". We saw many old friends and Coley and George were much in request for meetings and speeches etc. and sermons. Finally we left Sydney on the 24th for Melanesia, calling at Norfolk Island en route. We had called therein our way out to see if the convicts had vacated it and if the Pitcairners had taken their place. It had for many years been applied solely to convict uses: the creme de la creme of all that was bad being sent there from Botany Bay near Sydney. A beautiful Island with its most dreary and hopeless population. A large company of soldiers were always with them for fear of any rising upon the Authorities, as more than once was attempted. So the house of the Commandant and those of the Officers were something like little fortresses. To this Island, the little Colony from Pitcairn's Island had now been removed by the Governor of New South Wales under orders from home. These were the half caste descendants of the Mutineers of H. M. S, Bounty who after shipping off their Commander with another or two in an open boat went themselves on to Tahiti. Here they behaved badly running murderous riot, and at last the residue went on with their families in the Bounty ending by finding themselves at Pitcairn's Island where they remained; five survivors of the mutinous crew, and with them their Polynesian wives and half caste children. They were a lawless set, and it was not I think till John Adams, one of the five, was left that anything like order was established. He had been an ordinary sailor but he had some sense and some right impulses. So seeing that it would be intolerable to let the rising generation follow their Father's steps, he turned his commanding spirit to good account and established law among them. These were a more peaceable set and submitted to John Adams' rule and to such teaching as he could give them. He was King, and Judge, and Parson too - unless indeed a ship was at hand, when he considered the Captain as the most efficient Clergyman. He lived in terror of any visit from a man-of-war lest he should be taken home and tried for the mutiny, until a free pardon was sent to him. Pitcairn had not many calling vessels but one from S. America had left an English surgeon there who remained with them, married one of the half castes, and being educated established a school. Finally he was taken by Admiral Moresby to England and there he, Mr. Nobbs, was ordained and went back in full spiritual charge of the Pitcairn community. They had now outgrown their first little Island and its resources, and being nearly starved were transplanted in this year (1856) to Norfolk Island where each head of a family, and some others, had an allotment of land given and quarters assigned in the old settlement, Officers' houses or rooms in the Public Buildings, saving the huge prisons. They looked dismal enough - the only Church of course was the large and dreary prison Chapel.
We arrived from Sydney early in July and had a most hospitable reception from the people, rooms in the Commandant's vacant house being assigned to us. It was bare and fortress like in some ways. Wooden chairs and tables marked with the broad arrow, a couple of old bedsteads and a closet full of firearms, constituted its furniture, no, there were besides two beautifully made and ornamented sort of wardrobes looking very incongruous there. But among the convicts men of all trades were found, and often beautifully skilled artizans. We saw the splendid botanical gardens shewing the same thing. This was an exceptional place as I had heard at Sydney, the conditions of the Norfolk Island climate, allowing of so many tropical and non-tropical growths. For this treasure, whence used to be brought to me such rare and exquisite flowers, the Pitcairners cared not a straw; otherwise than as being a fine place to grow "potatoes" alack and alas - as they cleared away as so much scrub, numbers of the choicest plants to make room for their crops.
I had been so unwell at Sydney that George finding the people here so cordial thought it would be better for me not to run the risk of knocking about in the tropical Islands, so it was settled on Saturday night that I should remain with the Pitcairners, and tea, sugar, and candles as could be spared, were sent to me from the vessel with some
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bedding, and early on Tuesday the Southern Cross departed. It felt slightly desolate but far better than if I had been a missionary left on a wild Island - there was nothing to fear and the people were very kind and instantly told off two of their numbers to come into residence with me at Government House, one the daughter of Mr. Nobbs and the other a fat good-humoured dame who went by the name of "Big Aunty" among her friends, Jemima Young by name. She always reminded me of Mrs. Beecher Stowe's picture of the fine old negress Candau (Chloe?) a jolly comfortable body, most good tempered and obliging. My other lady in waiting Jane Nobbs had been taken some years before by Sir Fairfax Moresby in his flag ship from Pitcairn to Valparaiso for a sojourn so that she was ahead of all her compeers in knowledge of Life and its amenities, I had some difficulty in persuading them to live altogether with me. I took the mistaken view (perhaps) that this arose from profound respect, but wiser thoughts led me to the conclusion that I could not compete with the kitchen as to society or amusement. However we were a very lively trio and very comfortable together.
Before he left George had expressed his desire that those who wished it and were ready should offer themselves for Confirmation on his return, desiring me to do what I could. Accordingly I went the next day to Mr. Nobbs first to make an offer of my services to him as assistant teacher of the Schools; and also in preparing any of the Community he would like me to take for Confirmation. We were both so very respectful to one another so highly afraid of presuming that it was not easy to settle matters, but finding that Mr, Nobbs was quite ready to accept any offer I made, we came to a conclusion. This arrangement so entirely filled up my days that I had no time for feeling lonely etc. The school was held in one of the Barracks, Mr, Nobbs in one long bare whitewashed room, and I in the other. The afternoon being wholly given up to Confirmation classes, and preparation for the same - the evening enlivened by visitors who always came in classes; young boys, lads, girls, and now and then came the Precentor and a friend to offer Music. This meant singing some of their Hymns, out of the American Hymn book. It was so kindly meant, and one of them had such a beautiful voice, I was always glad to hear at the door "We thought you might be dull Ma'am, so we've come", When the young ones came they would seat themselves on forms and carry on a most lively chatter among themselves till I proposed a game, as keeping up a conversation was trying. Birds, beasts and fishes was highly popular. We could always however get up a conversation on the respective merits of Norfolk Island and Pitcairn. "But are not cows better than cocoanuts?" answered by a zealous Pitcairnite "Cocoa-nuts are the best of cows."
The Southern Cross re-appeared again in September with a good freight of Melanesians and we returned to Auckland (Sept, 13) Coley and his boys to the College; henceforth to develop his great powers for this special work. He had already proved himself to be an apt and good sailor.
We had spent part of our short stay on shore at the College, where, when Mr, Patteson was called away for a time, Lady Martin and I taught the small party of the Melanesians such things as were within our reach - they having no notion of letters, or we of their language. They were all, according to their wont, very neat-fingered and apt to learn anything with their hands, so we wrote, and sewed, and sang and made them orderly in school; to which end, guided by our limited intellects we adopted a sort of infant school drill which seemed to fascinate them. Especially a rather elderly gentleman, a man of rank in his home, a benignant and portly dear, who delighted in marching out, clapping his hands to time and singing "We'11 all march home together" as much as if he had been only three years old. On the 4th of October (1856) we were on board again, the principal intention being to meet the new Bishop of Christchurch, on his arrival at Canterbury. He, our old friend, Mr. Harper, was an old Eton ally of George's, so would be doubly welcomed. Our voyage began with a return to Norfolk Island to take seed and potatoes to our friends there. We had to land at the Cascades at the back of the Island owing to high seas on the
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other side, George and I walked over towards the settlement, and numbers of the Pitcairners came to meet us. We had to hurry back for, as ever throughout this voyage, the weather was very rough, one gale after another and now and then a regular storm. We were going the usual New Zealand round; this time by the North Cape and Taranaki. This Western Coast of New Zealand is very barren of Harbours, and if any they are bar harbours. Taranaki has only an open roadstead with a great sea rolling in and making the landing there very unpleasant. We went on to Nelson and to Wellington encountering fierce winds everywhere. I remember the comfort of turning a point now and then and finding ourselves in a sheltered spot - but we were usually tossed about by day and night. It was anxious work among the Islands and currents of that Southern part, and I have a vision of George all oilskin So'wester and drip coming into the cabin from time to time to consult the charts and barometer and returning on deck to take the helm. From Wellington we ran down the east side of the Southern Island to Dunedin and put into divers Bays on our way back to Lyttelton which we reached on Decr. 11th. Hither soon arrived Mr. Leonard Williams, son of Archdeacon Williams, and now (1895) Bishop of his Father's See Waiapu. He came then to receive Priest's Orders which he did at Lyttelton. The Harpers did not arrive till the 23rd, George went on board their ship to welcome them, the next day carrying all the family (14) I think to see the Southern Cross and then piloting them to Christchurch by the bridle path over the hills to be there in time for Christmas Day; they had trucks for the luggage and the children, but it was a stiff pull till a friendly settler appeared with his harnessed bullocks, so all the trucks proceeded comfortably. On the other side carts were waiting for the party and the boxes also; the Superintendent of Christchurch with his tandem in order to take the new Bishop in state to his Cathedral City (there was no Cathedral as yet). It was then all very primitive, one Church and nearly all houses being built of wood, but the town was marked out on Ecclesiastical lines, for the rudiments of streets were all named after British dioceses but very unlike them in having generally a view of the grand mountains at the end of the Street, The next day was Christmas Day. The Congregation came from many scattered points either on horseback or in carts or drays or gigs and tandems, the horses tied to the fence all round the Church. During the Service Bishop Harper was enthroned with all the ceremony that the absence of Cathedral throne and Chapter would admit of. But as being the crown of the designs of the Canterbury Association, and being joyfully welcomed by the people and as being such a relief to the load upon George's shoulders it was heartily entered into by all - the enthusiasm at the fact supplying all that lacking as to means and surroundings. It was a very happy day. Though it cut off a large piece of the nicest part of the Diocese of New Zealand, I was truly glad to think of the large lessening of George's responsibilities and cares from the coming of Coley and Bishop Harper,
But I did not foresee the future, and the war that was a far weightier burden still. We left Lyttelton early in January (1857). It was then that Benjamin Dudley joined us, now the Archdeacon of Waitemata, and the staunch friend of the Melanesian Mission. He joined Bishop Patteson and worked for some time in this till his health compelled a change.
We had quieter weather than before for the Chathams, and at Pitts Island, where we found a family party living apparently in great comfort (to judge by the sumptuous tea they gave us) though there did not seem to be anybody else living on the Island; and so to Wellington with the wonted stormy welcome from Cooks Straits. We went up the Country as far as Waikanae and Otaki among our old Maori friends and sailed again on February 2 for Auckland, landing Leonard Williams at Turanga (where was now a flourishing Maori School) en route. We landed at Taurarua on Feb. 11th (1857). It was a quiet time then. The Abrahams came into Auckland for a time and their son Charles was born there on the 13th of April. In May the first Conference of the Church opened at the old Chapel of S. Stephen in Taurarua. It stood on the top of a cliff just opposite the Judge's house. It had been built
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chiefly for the Maoris who used to bring their canoes in the early days into the little Bay and camp out on shore. There was also a little Maori Hospital near the shore provided for and attended by the kind Martins. This little Hospital was always a place of great interest. Its successive occupants were sometimes so funny and amusing - at others the incidents so pathetic, bringing out such nice traits of character and sending to the winds any thought of the people being ungrateful.....
For years had George been at work considering and evolving the Church Constitution aided by Sir William Martin and by friends at home, especially Sir John Patteson; and had familiarized the minds in the Church with its provisions in all parts of the Diocese, where it was generally accepted. I might include the minds of Lady Martin and myself also, they were I may say sated with the subject: after many highly important, but possibly dry discussions, lengthy withal in the evenings at Taurarua - and we could not strike, on this matter, as we used to do afterwards in the talks on the Melanesian languages and their affinities, for as Lady Martin said, "When Coley came to the 17th meaning of a particle" it was time to do so. But it is not to be thought that I did not take a deep and respectful interest in the Church Constitution. Of course, I did, if not for itself as much as George did, yet as being so near his heart; but still it was good to change the subject sometimes and enliven up the senators. They were highly willing in deference to our weak feminine minds, generally to be so stirred, and now the toil of all these years was coming to a point. In May the first Conference was held at Taurarua in the old Chapel of S. Stephen.
The Bishop of Christchurch and one or two of his Clergy came up to take part, one or two from Wellington, and some members of the old Church Missionary body, notably the two Archdeacon Williams, Messrs. Maunsell and Hadfield etc. Mr. Patteson was not present. He was taking his hothouse plants back to their tropical Islands to escape the colder winter in New Zealand which they could not stand. George carried the Bishop of Christchurch and other Southerner back to their homes after the Conference and in July (22nd) we sailed again, he and Coley for Melanesia, and myself to be dropped at Norfolk Island, for a three months stay. Before we sailed however the Abrahams went home, in consequence of an accident of Bishop Abraham's which necessitated the best surgical attention. The Brig Sarah in which they started was more than a month in going to Sydney where alone then they could find a ship to take them to England, Mr. Abraham found in the ship's surgeon one who had been of eminent service to him in an accident when a boy at Eton. He was of greater service now. On the day they sailed from Sydney they had a narrow escape, the Captain came late on board, when being very drunk he contradicted every order given by the Pilot to the sailors, so that the ship was drifting on the rocky shore, where it must have gone to pieces. Mr. Abraham asked the support of this gentleman in laying commands on the mate to lock up the Captain! and their lives were saved. Mr. Abraham went next morning to meet the Captain at breakfast in a doubtful state of mind as to whether the man might not return the compliment and keep him in his cabin for the rest of the voyage, but as the Captain said nothing about it, neither did he and things went smoothly. To return to Norfolk Island.
I did not feel the landing and being left at Norfolk Island (1857) so dreary now, the welcome was so hearty, and this time having no continued course of classes (confirmation) and only the School, I could be about with the people much more. This year also, I had two long Barrack rooms, assigned me for School rooms, so we set up an Infant School with one form on the top of the long table and another below, it was an extempore gallery.
My training was very defective for the occasion. How I wished I had learnt at Windsor, alas, lost opportunities: Appliances were few but a kind friend had written out notes and all, some simple ditties, sacred and secular, and I wrote some more secular jingles - of the statutory
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improving kind, so we got on. But the drill, alas, was wholly defective, saving in teaching orderly movements. However it was most popular here as it had been with their elders and the ditties were sung all over the settlement. There was always full evensong on Thursday in the dismal Chapel, and there were, twice in the week, vocal musical meetings under the guidance of the Precentor. A few years before, while they were yet at Pitcairn, when the Californian gold fever prevailed, Mr. Carleton, a gentleman of New Zealand had started with a party to go there. On their way, their Captain took them to Pitcairn and decamped in his ship, leaving them on the Island. Mr. Carleton, being a musician, offered to teach the people to sing, which he did, and also trained as successor one of themselves, when any passing ship should luckily put in and carry the forsaken party off. This successor had trained the present precentor. They had really learnt to sing well as far as time and keeping in tune went. The secular practice consisted of the familiar old catches and glees of home. The Church practice on Saturday evening introduced me to some wonderful hymns and tunes, the gift chiefly of American Whaling Captains! Some of the New Bedford tunes were quaint enough and some really very fine, most of them of the Moody and Sankey order. In Church the congregation sat according to their voices, a body of Soprano, another of contraltos and others of Tenors and Basses. It was really very good and stately, although at first the reading of the verse and then the squeak of the Precentor's tuning fork to start the tune was remarkable.
I was asked one day if the "Community" might have a Dance in the great room at Government House. I said I hoped they would invite me. It was not a brilliant scene as light was precious and fiddle was not, but music was supplied by the singing, dancers and wallflowers alike taking part. Just after this a ship appeared and supplies of things were to be had. I got a bag of flour and tried my hand at making bread, but I had no yeast or leaven or baking powder. Still with the aid of what the people called "an Irish potato" (one that was not their sweet potato) and a little rice and some coarse brown sugar etc. I made something and listened in hope for the explosion of the cork of the bottle, and finally having thus the leaven, made some loaves. The people had not had bread, they made cakes of Yam, I think, in Pitcairn, and thought the Ration biscuit here a bad exchange, so my bread gained much renown as far as it went, Alas, one of the loaves was "annexed" by some enquiring spirit and this made a great stir, so much so that Mr. Nobbs commented on the act in his sermon on the Thursday next ensuing, much to my discomfiture in my seat in the jailor's pew. I will end my Norfolk Island experiences in 1858 here. Both Mr, Patteson and the Bishop had been and were desirous to obtain a site for a settlement in Norfolk Island for the Mission, Sir John Young, the then Governor of New South Wales, was very willing to accede. As was most likely, the new Governor did not care to promote his predecessor's plans, and objected and wrote sharply to the Bishop thereon, so it stood over for a time. The somewhat strained relations between the New Governor of N. S. Wales and the Bishop relating to the Pitcairners continued and the Bishop did not relax. The Governor had been imbued with the very roseate opinions held by the Pitcairn Committee in London of their protege's in Norfolk Island - that their innocent flock would be contaminated by the Melanesians "savages" no doubt they called them, forgetting the Polynesian descent of their own lambs. I daresay it was natural as the mind of a Briton takes its idea of a "savage" (so to speak) from the Cannibals who visited Robinson Crusoe's Island rather than from his man Friday whom the Melanesian Schoolboys much worse resembled. Hence the strain. In my last visit in 1858, I was startled one day by the arrival of a Man-of-war with the Governor's flag flying. I decamped with all speed from Government House into another, that he might not find the enemy in possession, But he was very kind about it, coming at once to see me and saying "Why did you go? the place is big enough for both of us, is it not?" to which I made a sweet reply. He wanted to know what I could find to do in such a place He was busy with his subjects during his visits, and he came to talk them over with me afterwards, asking me many questions and saying out what he thought about them. "What is wanted is someone on the spot
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to elevate them etc." I thought of Bishop Patteson and so perchance did he - perhaps not, for he left a damper for George as to the move, after all. However, the next Governor, as was likely, did not see things in the same light as his predecessor, and Norfolk Island has been the Headquarters of the Melanesian Mission for many years. My present abode had been the house of some Officer of the Regiment, it was frequented by his most sociable old horse, who used to walk into my room like a dog at odd times, whore he seemed quite at home. I left Norfolk Island for the last time in November 1858. It was a great contrast to my arrival in '56, the people like old friends and I and the young ones so sorry to part. I was now presented with a most unique and appropriate testimonial from my scholars (the lads chiefly) in the shape of a surf board they had made, with which "Now, Marm, said they, you can in any harbour ride over the roughest of waves and land in safety"!!! (Their pity for me when I had acknowledged I could not swim was most amusing. "Not swim!! I could soon teach you", and so they would I am sure, had not time been too short). I much appreciated this suitable recognition, of my "services", but my husband confiscated it forthwith for use in the Southern Cross and it was lost when she was wrecked! It could only have been a useless trophy in the Diocese of Lichfield, where a whiff of salt is not to be had, more's the pity, so it is well that it was not there to exalt me over the heads of other Bishops' wives who never had the chance of such a testimonial.
I now go back to 1857 and New Zealand. I was picked up at Norfolk Island by the Southern Cross in November and we reached Auckland on the 15th. I look back on the road between Taurarua and Auckland with wonder and the stiff clay to be floundered through en route to Church, also up to Parnell. Our Deanery House was then being built with a long strip of garden. We adjourned to this house on Church land opposite then to the Cathedral Library to which last place was added soon after the Bishop's house. It was intended for future Deans when things should be ripe enough for such blessings and luxuries, and was therefore called the "Deanery" to keep him in mind. It has been a dissolving view up to date, the time has not come yet.
In February 1858 we went Southland to the Chathams, leaving out Canterbury and returned early in April. On the 23rd we sailed again, George and Coley for the Islands, and I to be dropped once more at Norfolk Island. Heavy seas and gales and lying to prevailed. I was put on shore on May 3rd at the back of the Island as the Bishop hastened to be off out of the rough weather. We were back early in July and still living at Taurarua. George and Coley on the 17th of July once more to the Islands to bring back boys for the summer arriving at Auckland Nov. 17th, by which time the Martins had returned from England and we soon moved up to our Deanery. George started again 10 days after Novr. 27th on a long land journey to end with the Synod at Wellington, with Mohi in attendance. The much seafaring and the tropical voyages and hard work had not fitted him for this exertion and it was a very painful journey, he suffered a good deal in the course of it. He sums up in his note book at Ahikereru Decr. 31st, "A year of many blessings", "Prosperous voyage to the Melanesian Islands, also voyage to the Southern Settlements". "Land Visitation then in progress. Consecration of Bishops of Wellington and Nelson."
He reached Wellington, meeting Bishop Hobhouse as he walked into the Town. Meantime the Abrahams had arrived at Auckland, from thence Bishop Abraham and I had gone down to Wellington. Hither also had come Bishop Harper for the meeting of the General Synod and for the Consecration of Archdeacon Williams as Bishop of Waiapu. This place was then for the most part a Maori Diocese for which the long knowledge of the people and their language, his wisdom and his goodness eminently fitted him. He had been in New Zealand more than 30 years and was of great weight among them. The presence of so many Bishops was a great event in New Zealand, and the Consecration of one a greater still. We had a very lively time at Wellington with the component parts of the gathering in our lodging - Mohi being the equerry-in-waiting. He amused us by diligently attending the Synod and
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by his lively interest in it, especially in one delicate little scrap of a Member who did not seem to be imbued with a spirit of reverence for the wisdom of the Ancients, for he jumped up like a parched pea on all occasions to differ from them; while Mohi surveyed him from his front seat in the Gallery with great zest "the little Toa" as he called him "the. little brave - the little hero."
Bishop Abraham remained at Wellington and the Northern members of the Synod and ourselves went up to Auckland at its close. Here we were met by heavy tidings. Mr. Thatcher came on board to bring the sad news to Archdeacon Lloyd of the death of his noble boy Harry, who was soon followed by his two pretty little sisters. Once more did George go on his Melanesian round four months to Decr. 1st 1859. It was his last voyage, and he was soon to enter on a new and sorrowful phase, the war in New Zealand. And thus ended a very marked phase in our New Zealand lives, I say "our" because though the risk and the toil mental and bodily and the wear and tear and work were George's much larger share, in which I had no part, mine was to speed him off ever and again (and he liked to be speeded) and then to wait and hear nothing and know nothing and hope the best till he came back, and watch the signal staff, as the time drew near that he might come, for the signal of a schooner. But I had much to be thankful for - always in those long absences, it was, as the Quakers say, "borne in upon me" that whatever might betide, it must be all right, while the love of souls and the desire to extend the Kingdom of our Lord was the cause of his going, and the thought was quieting and upholding. How hard it must be for soldiers' wives! and they have to bear absence with certain danger - so surely ought I!
George's Melanesian career ended while the storm which issued in open war in New Zealand was beginning to make itself felt. Land was at the bottom of it, as often it had been in the internecine wars of the Maoris themselves. The desire and impatience of the English to possess land, the ignorance on both sides of each others' feelings and customs in the matter, the mischief made by ignorant or unprincipled men prevailed at the outset. As time went on, things grew worse, the English judged the Maoris by their own standard, and the only recently converted Natives, not having had so many centuries of Christianity and growing civilization, naturally - under the impression that they were not justly dealt with, reverted to their former habits, which were, no doubt, in some cases, barbarous. So they did evil things, very evil - then the English retaliated in their way and so it went on, and public feeling ran very high. The Bishop had much obloquy thrown on him. He could not justify the doings of the natives, still less, the justice or wisdom of the line taken against the Maoris, and he could not class them all together, the well-affected and disaffected alike. Neither did Sir W. Martin and those who well understood the native character. We were all highly unpopular, though it was only George who had real as well as abusive stones thrown at him. It was amusing to see how mistaken opinion came round and this barbarous and contemptible native was deemed worthy to sit with English legislators and represent his people in the New Zealand Parliament, "All things come to him who waits" as I thought a few years afterwards on our leaving New Zealand when finally with much eclat, the lamentation at losing the Bishop was very great.
To go back to the early days of the War. As it was, our house was from time to time now a refuge for panic-stricken people, whenever an ugly rumour of invading Maoris (wholly unfounded) arose. At that time there were two Regiments or part of two in Now Zealand. The first overt act of the Government that seemed to light the flame, was in its buying the Waitara in November 1859 (as a Harbour for Taranaki) from one of its Maori owners, Te Teira. It was the only available spot on that iron-bound coast for a harbour. Teira had no right to sell without the consent of the other owners, but the English would not wait, and surveyors were sent forthwith to the spot to begin work. The Maoris were patient at first and only sent some women to pull up the pegs to stop it. "The beginning of strife is as when one poureth out water". This little trickle was the prelude to more mistrust
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and ill-will, to murder, bloodshed, waste of life, to the suspension or undoing of years of good work, to sorrows of heart and the spending of some millions of money, for soldiers were sent down to enforce the orders and so the strife began, the resistance was stronger than was expected. It was difficult to reconcile the Governor's Despatch to the Home Government that "having sent these soldiers down to Taranaki, he should not have to trouble them more upon the matter" - with the assertion so often made a little later on that "the collision was inevitable and had been long foreseen," "better to let it come and have it over" etc. etc. So more and more troops were asked for, as beginning with despising them, the Maoris were found to be a far tougher opponent than it had been thought they could be. The General in Command was Sir Duncan Cameron who had been with Lord Clyde in the Crimean War. There were Maori Hui or Gatherings in various parts of the country, especially in the District near Auckland up to the Waikato River.
There was a large assembly (Hui) at the village of one of the few remaining very great chiefs Potatau or Te Wherowhero and George in May 1860 went up to see what he could do. But the people had now got the length of desiring a king of their own and elected this chief as King, setting up his flagstaff there, thereupon the Bishop retired altogether. I cannot fix the date of another great gathering 100 miles to the South, There a man who had always been a faithful friend to the English Government, remarked that he had heard much about Japheth dwelling in the tents of Shem. "We did not object. We said, 'Come in Japheth,' but we were not pleased when Japheth said, 'Get out, Shem,'" and he kicked out his foot in illustration.
The Southern Cross took Mr. Patteson to Mota in June 1860 and on her return she was wrecked at Nqunquen (?Ngungueu). She had been our floating house so often that we felt as sorry as if a favourite house had been burnt, and it was a terrible loss to the Mission, afterwards replaced however by the unfailing friends at heme.
A good deal of desultory fighting took place about Taranaki all through the summer till May 1861, and the ill-feeling between the two races grew. There was a grand project for invading the Waikato and more troops came in but this place was averted by the removal of the Governor to Tasmania and by the War Ministry being beaten, and soon after, Sir George Grey came to reign in his stead. Great hopes were entertained. Perhaps things had gone too far to make their fulfilment easy, as it was, they were not realized.
I do not pretend to give a history of the War but simply as it touched us. In 1861, a truce was made, and scon after, the Governor called by Proclamation on the Maoris to submit and take the oath of Allegiance, This was just before the troops, of whom many had been poured in, had crossed the boundary line in the Waikato District. Our old friend there, Tamati Ngaporo (a near relative of the King) who had been most friendly to us, but who, like many others, did not quite see what would be implied by such an act, declined to do so at once. Numbers followed his example. He had to fly - all his property was taken, and the Church, which at great cost he had built, was turned into Barracks for years. Ngaporo, like many of the Maoris, could not understand the action into which the Bishop was forced by the arrival of so many soldiers without any Chaplains for sometime. The open War continued, many lives were lost. The dying and the wounded were always on his mind, he worked hard among them and the troops in camp. So the poor Maoris thought he was acting against them, and it was long before they would accept the true reason.
There had been another very large gathering on the East Coast, where the same man Renata, who spoke about Japheth in the tents of Shem, had spoken about the impending War, contrasting the strength of our resources, - regiments, munitions of war, arms and ammunition in such abundance, with their own poor appliances, which he illustrated by stretching out his arm and saying, "O stranger, were you not ashamed thus to come against this naked empty hand?"
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The truce, though availing against open hostilities, did not prevail against some murders on the part of the ill-disposed Maoris, and at Taranaki there was a sad case. A labouring man was sent on some Government employment into a contested district. He was returning through a wood with a cart and his boy in the evening, when they were both set upon and murdered by some Maoris who sprang on them out of the Bush.
There was a lull for a season, some months that is. In this lull, I went to England to see our sons. It was out of the question for George to go in the face of all this turmoil and not knowing what a day might bring forth, and sorry enough was I to leave him and to be so far away. And I very much desired to stay for Bishop Patteson's Consecration, but a chance of going in a fine ship and with friends was not to be lost, and I sailed on Febry 5th 1861 in the troop ship "Boanerges" for England. The Consecration was on the 24th of Febry, St. Mathias. It was during the lull and while I was in England that the Bishop went to Taranaki to do what he could among the people. The English hardly made him very welcome, nor did the natives when he went among them. While he was journeying, one evening he came to a place where a sort of meeting was being held. The people looked askance at him. However, they all sat round and talk went on with many allusions to Renata's speech and then they began to tell dreams. After a time, the Bishop asked them if they would like to hear one from him, to which they agreed. "Some Maoris were walking through a wood, it was evening and very still. They were talking when a distant sound was heard and they went out of the path to hide in the wood. The sound got louder -- it was of wheels -- and presently a cart came by - there was no one in it but the carter was by the horse, and the boy was following. All at once, the Maoris fell upon them and killed them both - but the young defenceless boy, as he was dying, held out his arm to the Maoris, "Were you not ashamed to come against this naked hand?" The Bishop's companions were not slow to see the application and did not like it - they started to their feet in anger and asked him where he was going to sleep - the most inhospitable thing that could be said. Some tried to explain away the Dream for again and again it was told. But it spread through the country and the Bishop was asked about it. Often and often it was told with additions and alterations. He returned home as he found the people in no mind to receive him. He went back to Auckland to the Deanery and as the Native Districts were for the time closed to him and four great limbs of his Diocese cut off from his charge, Canterbury, Wellington, Nelson, Waiapu and also Melanesia, while S. John's College was in the hands of Mr. Blackburne, for once in a way, he settled at Auckland, only going in his little Schooner the Asp to the outlying Settlements on the nearest seas and the English ones about Auckland.
I was in England and missed this quiet time with him and the share in caring for convalescents from a fever, who, with sisters, mother and Aunts, came to stay with him, as also the poor young widow of an Officer whose husband had been shot in a skirmish. The house was so full that old Nurse who was acting as "General" with a small satellite begged for help and one Cleopatra Watts was engaged. Curiously enough, the Asp was wrecked that very day Cleopatra came.
All this time I was on the high seas, sailing early in February. George came on board and stowed my belongings in approved fashion, at the same time, caulking up the gaping boards by my berth to keep out the cockroaches which abounded.
The Boanerges was a splendid ship, she had brought out troops and was returning empty, so I had two good-sized cabins for my share. Of course, there was no stewardess, being that she was a troop ship, but there was a benevolent old Steward who was next door; he used to see after my comfort all through the voyage, most considerate too, for he came on his first entrance to my sitting room backing in (thinking I might be ill) to know what I might want! The old Captain too, having his accomplished son to
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take his place (though he himself was always to the fore in doubtful weather) was more like a gentleman entertaining you in his house than any Captains I had hitherto fallen in with, watching his live stock with such care and keeping his table so nice.
We saw some fine icebergs at Cape Horn and soon after were within an ace of running a ship down one night. We came suddenly upon her and had barely time to shift our course and get clear of her. How well I remember the cry I heard - and that I could from my Stern Port see into hers and the frightened faces looking out, but the ship swung round and we felt alone in the Ocean once more. Nothing seemed so strange as to find ourselves close to so much life again in that lone place. She was out of sight in the morning.
Our ship arrived at Portsmouth in May and there Johnnie met me, not the little ten-year-old we had brought to England, but an Eton youth of 17. The sons were both altered, Willie had grown tall and manly. It is more curious than comfortable to look on their faces thus and say "Can that be my child?" But you soon find out right pleasantly that it can, and the old memory gives way to the living presence. The pleasure of seeing them again almost made up for the absence of my Husband, not quite, as they also know not that they too are married.
We went straight to Wimbledon, my dear blind Aunt, Mrs. Hudson, being still alive, but only one of my brothers was then living, William the youngest, Richmond had changed. My brother-in-law, Charles Selwyn, had married and was living in the altered old house with their two elder children. My sister-in-law, Letitia Selwyn, was now at Sandwell, which by the aid and kindness of Lord Dartmouth had been given up to Educational and charitable uses. It was a complex arrangement, the divers departments were to play into each other's hands in a helpful and beneficent way and Letitia was at the head, delighting in both organizing and also in teaching the younger divisions, for which she was quite as competent as any modern certified mistress of a High School, who had passed endless competitive examinations. Till her Father died, she had been his constant companion in close attendance on him. At this time, Fanny was a widow, Dean Peacock having died a few years before. She had always made her house at Ely a home for Johnnie,
Charles Selwyn was in full practice as a Chancery lawyer and M.P. for the University of Cambridge. We owed him a large debt, for he was the most careful and kindest of brothers, looking after George's English affairs all along most diligently and he was always an affectionate brother-in-law to me. But now my first care after greeting my relations was to go to Feniton to Sir John Patteson, then not laid up, but stricken with mortal illness. He naturally wanted to hear of his beloved son, the same and yet very different Coley he had so nobly and so freely given up to the work seven years before.
He was very ill, but, supported by his daughters, he came to the door to meet me, took me by both my hands, saying so earnestly "He said he would be a Father to him - and he has." It was a most kind greeting to me (and for George) as he must now have been feeling the absence of this dear son more than ever. But he had never begrudged him, and had taken a very keen interest in his work. Excepting to see this dear Father, Coley never seemed to wish to visit England. He had so completely found his vocation among his Melanesians that notwithstanding though full of loving regard for kith and kin and devoted friends at home, his sable scholars had won his warmest affections while he was devising the best method of teaching them and bringing them out of darkness into light. The study of their different languages kept his head also fully at work. So he did not hurry and after his Father's death never wished to be away from them. They satisfied head and heart alike. Like all "native" races, as the Colonists call them, as if they themselves had no native land, they had no constitution. It was a constant care to keep them in health - a slight illness would let them run
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down in no time and if they were down, it was doubtful if they would be up again and no nurse ever looked more carefully after her nurselings than did Bishop Patteson, by night as by day if need were. We used to wish that his friends at home could see him in his new position, the position of command might be one item of his influence, but the care and great love of the human element in his work - especially the black human, brought out a great deal in him that I think must have been latent at home. We used to smile too at the horror he would express at the thought of the "Trammels of Society" - "What could he do in English Society life now?" It was rather difficult to reconcile this genuine feeling with the great courtesy and polish he always maintained, with his enjoyment of conversation and the pleasure with which he spoke of his rare visits to Sydney and Melbourne and reverted to Dresden and to the delight he had in the old pictures and in the Music.
Not long after my visit to Wimbledon, I went to Cambridge to see Willie. I scarcely recognised the tall figure who met me at the station and took me to his Uncle William's house. He, Canon Selwyn, was Lady Margaret Professor, and at that time also Canon of Ely, I should think he was about the only man who ever had three homes in Cambridgeshire, but not content with his two professional abodes, he had a third by choice half way between them. It did not take long to find out that Willie was my dear son, as before, even though it was like renewing an acquaintance at first. The last sight of him had been when leaning over the ship's side at Gravesend, we watched the boat with the two boys going back to shore as we were getting under way for New Zealand in 1855. We had much practice in sorrowful farewells in those days. Nothing could exceed the welcome of friends everywhere or the kindness of brothers-in-law. Being Member for the University, Charles Selwyn went to meet his constituents, a visit that I came in for on going to stay with Canon Selwyn, He was at Trinity and I with Canon Selwyn. With him I went to the Senate House on the great day seeing Degrees conferred and Prizes given for divers poems in divers tongues, Dr. Butler, the present Master of Trinity, receiving many. Also a host of notabilities came to be D. C. Ld. The Public orator did his part excellently, though the latin tongue obscured to me all the merits of the oration but that of being very short. The notabilities comprised Dr. Gell, Bishop of Madras, Sir Roderick Murchison, Sir W. Hamilton of Dublin, Mr. Motley and Mr. Grote, Lord Stratford de Redcliffe and Lord Elgin. The Prince of Wales, then, I think, at Trinity, was also present with his Governor, General Bruce, Mr. Motley, the American, brought a very pretty daughter, now Braud, under the wing of Lady Affleck the wife of Whewell, Master of Trinity. Lady Affleck was most popular and received immense applause from the youngsters in the Galleries. Then came the Prize Poems. The Prince looked bored at an English one on "The Prince at the Tomb of Washington" (He had lately been in America) in which it was stated how he "In silence bowed an awful head". The Author was not disconcerted as the Prince was at the loud laugh that followed this announcement. He waited till it was over and then went on as grand as ever. Some of it was good, some was very dark, the author was wholly self-possessed, delivering it with as much grimness as Kingsley did the "Antigone" one evening, a memorable evening at Caius' College where the Musical Society belonging to it had got up the Choruses of the "Antigone" set to Mendelssohn's Music,
The play translated by Mr. Kingsley was read by him. It was altogether a very striking performance, Mr. Kingsley reading in a most tragic voice, was quite in keeping with the words and very fine. Then too I sat close to a great picture of Jeremy Taylor, who beamed down upon me to my infinite satisfaction, as I had known him from my youth upward intimately. It recalled my Mother's speaking of him always as "Dear Old Jeremy" which was perhaps more affectionate than reverential.
The youth of England here seemed full of loyalty and ready with a most hearty response to any expression of it. Mrs. Latimer Neville held a Reception that evening to which we all went and were introduced to a series of notable people, winding up with the Prince, who affably asked after the Bishop.
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On leaving Cambridge, I had the good fortune to be put under the care of Mr. Walpole and so to be in the same carriage with the rest of the distinguished D. C. L.'s, Mr. Grote and Mr. Motley, Lord Elgin and Mr. Cavendish, much talk about the Civil War in America then raging, Lord Elgin seemed to think that the split between North and South would hardly be healed. He did not at present see the basis on which they could unite. Someone said, "No, unless the North could be led to adopt slavery also". Mr. Grote added "Upon the principle that some have put forth that there cannot be a perfect Republic without slavery". Lord Elgin had heard this also and remembered that at a great dinner at Washington, he had net a Senator from Virginia, one Mr. Mason, who under their regime was a sort of external Foreign Secretary - a clever bombastic fellow who said to him "That the State never would prosper till the torch of Liberty was re-lighted on the altar of Slavery", whereupon Mrs. Hamilton Fish who was also present there said to Mr. Mason, "I am glad to hear you say that to Lord Elgin, for when I told my husband you had said it to me, he replied, 'No one would ever make such a foolish speech to anybody excepting a woman.'"
Then the talk returned to the present state of things. Lord Elgin said he thought they would not get on unless some great man was brought out by the circumstances, - such an one had not appeared yet - their great men were now a very second rate set. He adverted to the Prize Poem and the absurdity of saying that "delivered from a foreign yoke - the stately cities filled with nobler folk" - the greatest and pre-eminently Washington were her sons while she was yet a Colony, with which remark he had always he said silenced bragging Americans. Webster was the best but was lacking in character. By-and-bye he got upon his Canada Career, specially his dealings with the Democrats there who clamoured for separation. He seemed to have understood the use of plain English with these heroes in the discussion upon responsible Government. "Gentleman, I think that I can govern you better than you can govern yourselves, but you may have it your own way only if you have the power, you shall have the responsibility with it. No doubt it would be highly agreeable to you to have all the power and to throw upon me all the blame of your acts if they do not answer, but I won't have that, you shall have it all."
It was a lucky chance that gave me the opportunity of listening to these celebrities, you are not to think that at this distance of time I am compiling or working out "Out of the depths of my inner consciousness" all that was said. No, I took notes at once of their talk chiefly with the view of sharing with my husband and friends in New Zealand such pleasures I enjoyed.
Recurring to the Senate House, I forgot to say I was there accosted by an elderly gentleman who said he had not "forgotten my kindness to him as a little boy!" which I had and himself also in the grey headed old figure before me. However his mother was beyond him, and she remembered me as a little girl so the account was balanced. I did not hear his name.
I was staying at Eton for some time in order to see as much of Johnnie as I could (Willie was going back with me) owing to the kindness of Miss Evans. Her father was then alive but an invalid. It was very nice to be in Keats's Lane again and several old friends still remained. It is curious that there had been scarcely any change for many years after we left in 1841 at Eton, but the spell had been broken now, though Dr. Hawtrey was still there though as Provost now and Dr. Balston as Head Master in his stead. So Johnnie was in the hands of his third tutor - an unlucky experience in an Eton career. It was very pleasant to be in the midst of Eton life, and to share - at a most respectful distance - in the interests of the boys' doings, sayings and opinions.
The conscientious but too anxious Dame at that time in Mr. Evans' house was soon to be succeeded by her sister who was better fitted for the anxieties and weight of the office she filled, namely, the widely known and much beloved "Jennie". She was made for her post, never forfeiting
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the respect and regard of the boys, and winning unbounded gratitude from their parents for a wise good woman was she. The house, her part of it, abounded in beautiful water colour drawings by Mr. Evans and other artists of note, the rest of the house was like a rabbit warren, boys' rooms in every part and cranny. It was a very pleasant piece of my life in itself and in its renewal of many happy associations with Eton and Windsor, only there was no George to share them with, but then I had my boy.
We had made all arrangements for sailing, when my last remaining brother died after a very short illness. (We should have done better to have postponed our sailing departure till all the business consequent thereon had been settled, but the day for sailing had been fixed and it never occurred to me, after long habit in New Zealand, to disregard it). He was the youngest of my family, and the plaything of my early youth, being five years younger than myself. He had passed through Harrow with distinction. One of his principal friends there was Frederick Faber. Dear Willie won the gold medal in competition with him. An infirmity in his utterance had prevented his taking any prominent part in after life.
Our ship could not wait and matters were hurried through, and we went on board once more at Plymouth, starting for New Zealand for the third time. The Kinniard was not a very nice ship, but more than good enough for most of her passengers of the manly order, but there was one poor lady who needed all our care and kindness, and there were also some children. It was worse for Willie than for me. Still we two made ourselves tolerably comfortable, and he arranged a course of reading, pursuing his own course in the morning, I having school with the children, and then together he read to me Conybeare and Howson's Life of St. Paul and one or two other books, and for recreation in the evening "The Woman in White" which was making a noise in those days, I had a share too in the serious reading, and the discussions which thereon ensued, we both enjoyed. To that time with him, I always look back with great pleasure. He gave up his Cabin for seme time to the poor lady with the highly uncomfortable husband.
We reached Auckland early in 1862, The Bishop and Macey had been watching for the ship to come round the Heads since dawn. Was not the sound of the familiar voice just under my Port delightful at early morn! We landed of course at Taurarua, the scene of so many tearful departures and farewells and of so many joyous and thankful greetings again, during our 20 years sojourn, but the order was now inverted. Instead of listening to George's Sagas as in the early days of his long tramps over his Diocese and a little later, of his pioneering work in the Island Voyages, whiles, of the perils, whiles, of the encouragement and possible openings and always of the grounds for hope, now Willie and I held forth about Home and the dear people there, to him. It must have been mightily tame in comparison, but nobody knows how enjoyable till they too have been in a far country and found out the truth of that which was said of old about "As cold water to a thirsty soul etc,"
George's return had so often been to Taurarua from the earliest times and when his visitations were "needs must" made on foot with a small suite of Maoris carrying tents, clothes and food. Happy he who had the last, it was "food weight" and so always light. As time went on, the retinue dwindled to one or two at the most, so the packages dwindled also. The little tents were home made after a pattern given by the Bishop. The Officers in later days used to find them far better fitted to keep out rain than the Regulation tent which they got wet in. His, which they used in after days to congregate in, had a natty little apse at either end, which held his effects. The indispensable waterproof sheet stretched under the dry fern with a blanket folded into three lengths and sewn at the sides was the bed. In hot weather, two folds below and one above and vice versa in cold. It left apparently nothing to be desired, but an extempore mosquito net in the summer.
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It was in this year (1862?) that the Military Force was increased by the arrival of five Regiments, some from India and some from home. The increasing disaffection of the Maoris, provoked by the blindness and wrong-headedness of the Ministry, began to make the position of the outlying settlers in some parts very doubtful. The Rulers would not listen to the words of those who knew the Maori mind, and take the course that would have averted all the misery that ensued. There had been under the Missionaries in the Waikato flourishing Maori schools established, one also under Mr, Gorst's charge, but he was expelled by the Maori king in April 1862. Very soon after, a Court house erected on the bank of the Waikato, near the landing place for Auckland, was thrown into the river by the Maoris.
The missionaries felt themselves not to be safe as there were increasing numbers of armed natives gathering round their king. Schools were broken up and congregations dispersing, so they left their stations to those brave good men, the Maori clergy, who would be safe, and who remained faithful to their trusts throughout.
The Queen's Redoubt was, I think, erected somewhat before this time not far from the Waikato, and a small steamer was established to go to and fro and carry stores to the Front. The Queen's Redoubt figured much in our domestic history throughout this year and the next two or three, while there were so many military posts established up the river. This Redoubt, between 20 and 30 miles from Auckland, was not very far from the Waikato River, and had a kind of Hospital for the wounded and was a kind of storehouse also for the troops posted up the river, while to it a succession of wounded soldiers were brought from successive fights that now ensued. The main part of this fell upon the Bishop and the anxious care for the Mission Stations up the Waikato, still more for the steadfast Maori Clergy was altogether his. He was to and fro to the Redoubt from Auckland for a long time, much oftener to than from however. He was always there when the wounded were brought in and ministered to them. If not thus delayed, it was a starting place for the various ministrations.
There were severe fights at Koheroa, Meremere and at Rangiriri up the River, after the General had collected his forces on the boundary line between the settled districts and the Maori lands, and many valuable lives were lost. The Maoris made a stout resistance, but the English gradually moved up the River, the "King's" abode finally falling into their hands, and there the Force was posted for some time. If he was not on duty in the Hospital, at the Queen's Redoubt, it was the Bishop's custom and that of all the extempore Chaplains from Auckland, besides, to ride up to it on Saturday to be in readiness for the early service there on Sunday, followed on his part, by many others at the various Posts up the River, ending at the Front. He went in independent fashion; carrying his tent on his horse with the ridge-pole like a lance in rest, and all his paraphernalia in more than one waterproof bag, disposed about his saddle. As time went on, his best coadjutors were Bishop Patteson and Archdeacon Lloyd, but I cannot remember their being much on duty up the Waikato.
In all our Auckland time, seafaring over, I had classes of girls and some of matrons and a junior class of girls also. There were many Officers' wives living there during the War, while their husbands were away ("grass widows" was the current term for them poor things) to whom our discussions etc. were some solace, I hope. They were a gain to me all along as nothing brings one's ignorance home like teaching. Visits to the private sick or sorrowful and with George to the Hospital was the sum of parish sort of work, happily as yet, there were no "slums" in the place neither were there any Maori Kainga within my reach on foot. However together with the people to help and the people to comfort, there was enough to encourage you not to live for yourself.
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As regards the War, - By this time (1865) the Waikato was pretty nearly all in the hands of the English, but fighting of a desultory kind had continued on the East Coast. It was kept up by a renegade Maori named Kereopa (Cleopas). Before this, Mr. Grace had removed his family from his Mission station to Auckland, while he himself stuck to his post - nor was he the only one. Kereopa attacked the Station of Mr. Volkner, the Missionary in charge of Opotiki and murdered him. Mr. Grace was taken prisoner and kept in confinement, his life being threatened. George went down the coast after Mr. Grace in H. M. S. Eclipse, but not till he had been over to S. John's College to convey the sad tidings to Mrs, Volkner. Mr. Grace escaped.
I did not enjoy the thought of George going on shore among those disaffected people near Opotiki, but he came back safely D. G.
This year also our dear old friend, Revd. Rota Waitoa died. His wife, Terina, had died a few years before, but his second wife survived and his little daughter "Perpetua", She was born when he was reading Early Church History, with Sir W, Martin, so hence her name. In point of time he was the first ordained Maori Minister, It would be hard to choose the first in worth among a very goodly band in point of character. I remember many, and think of them among those with whom may I be found worthy to be numbered in Life Everlasting! Rota Waitoa, Levi Te Ahu, Matthew Taupaki, pre-eminently.
The year 1865 found the remains of the active warfare still carried on chiefly by the members of the political religion into which the King's followers had lapsed. One of the C. M. S. Missionaries was murdered at his post on the East Coast and another, Mr, Grace, was taken prisoner. The Bishop immediately went up after him in the Man-of-War, which was sent to the spot, and in the end he was released.
The Synod met this year at Christchurch, whither we went in April, Bishop Patteson and Sir William and Lady Martin went with us. At Napier we picked up Bishop and Mrs. Williams and at Wellington, Bishop Abraham, We found a great change at Lyttelton and Christchurch since the primitive time of the bridle path over the hills. We no longer went over the hill to the great plain beyond but round the hills by the coach on a now road, and found the town greatly advanced after our visit there in 1856: real streets in lieu of prophetic indications of them, more than one good-sized Church, with many villas about, but the Godleys had departed and the community was now too large to come all and several to one hospitable tea table as formerly.
By 1865, the house now going by the name of Bishops Court was so far finished that we moved into it. The Cathedral Library, now part of Bishopscourt, had been built some time, and the books moved into it from the College, Lately too, a sort of tower had been added for the reception of appeal of bells for which I had for years been scraping together small sums. Now it had been largely aided by the kindness of Lady Lucy Herbert and her friends and the eight bells arrived. How overjoyed was I and many who gathered round when the lovely chimes were first heard it sounded so homey, though I did not cry as did some others. This year the Synod, or rather Conference, met at Christchurch, in the Southern Island. We went down in one of the coasting steamers to Wellington to pick up Bishop and Mrs. Abraham. These little steamers were not much but a wonderful improvement on the ancient fore and afters. The earthquake at Wellington two or three years before, had altered the appearance of the town, built round the bay at one end, for the intake it supplied was covered with Stores and high business buildings with their backs towards you - from the sea, hiding the pretty curve of the bay and a good deal of the hill that rose behind it. This used to be beautiful before the zeal for clearing made an ugly desolation, the bush
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fires leaving bare stumps and trunks, some quite white, the majority quite black. It would be years before Villas and gardens had replaced the old Bush with its beautiful trees. But now, turning your back on the Town to the Harbour its size and the distant mountains at the other end, showed its magnificence still more when you sailed towards the Heads and could see down the Coast of the Southern Isle, the grand range of the Kaikoura Mountains, They stood out against the setting sun splendidly and were some consolation while waiting at the Heads day after day for what the sailors call "a slant" to get out with, as I often felt in those days
Canterbury had made many strides since I had last seen it - we went on a good road round the Head in a four-in-hand, a goodly party - Abrahams, Martins, Archdeacon Lloyd and Coley, of which only Bishop Abraham and myself survive, A house had been taken at Christchurch for as many as it would hold, and hospitality was abundant. We had a very pleasant time sometimes listening to the grave and reverend signers in the Synod, and the Musical Society got up a concert in honour of their visitors. It was very good and the programme printed on white satin with a gold border, seemed to be a stretch of civilization with which we sadly felt we did not harmonize, as it was done in honour of the guests. But nothing could exceed the heartiness of the welcome given by the kind people of Christchurch - the place was quite altered, the wooden houses replaced in many cases by more solid villas, churches rising, shops in abundance, people everywhere, and the great plain around with much cultivation and clumps of trees on it. The everlasting hills, the splendid mountains remained as they were and as they will be, a perpetual feast to the eyes. There are many rivers flowing from them eastward to the sea, rapid mountain streams, never very safe, especially when augmented by the melting snow. These rivers too had an uncomfortable habit of sometimes changing their beds, very awkward in respect of bridges, left high and dry over nothing, still more for their invasions into settled property.
We came home to our new quarters in Auckland, intended as a home for future Bishops, and exceeding in dignity anything we had yet lived in, but I left the Deanery with regret for some things. We could see the flat sands at Orakei, which we used to watch for Coley on beautiful Paladin, coming from Kohimarama at times, and it was connected with the most anxious years of the wretched war.
It was, I think, in this year (1863) that there was a terrible epidemic among the Melanesians. Coley gathered his stricken lads into one large room, hospital fashion, where he tended them night and day like any trained nurse. Archdeacon Lloyd and George relieved him as much as they could, taking turns with him. They had no hospital appliances and no help in any of the work, light or heavy, but they had much comfort in the patience and demeanor of the poor fellows themselves - some who had grasped enough in their training to be looking forward to the end with hope, others only just emerging from darkness, but almost all most patient and grateful. Coley was just like a mother among them.
It was during Coley's time at Kohimarama while George was absent on a cruise, that I went to stay with him not very long after he had returned from a Melanesian voyage when he had gained many scholars from many Islands to come with him. Each group of Islands and often Islands within the group spoke a different language and one of these had as yet been reduced to writing. This seemed to be his first care and a wonderful process it was, with all the various tongues and dialects it brought out, also the great gifts he possessed, in a surprising way. I sat and listened with small understanding but ever-increasing wonder and admiration at his powers and his tact in using them. He sat at his desk with his papers laid out, and before him, squatting on the floor were a set
* probably "none".
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of men and lads, arrived for the first time, and rather mystified as to what was required of them. Presently one of them catches the purport and gives a word or two - a little farther on he would explain to his fellows, "Then this set seemed weary, they would give way to another, perhaps a little more advanced, but in a totally different dialect and so on and so on; some sets so stupid apparently and some so quick and ready to catch at what was wanted, Coley would shuffle away one set of papers and out with another, all in various stages, and whiles, sit, pen in hand, cogitating what possible association of letters would express the unearthly sounds they uttered. It was more or less plain sailing when once they caught his object to get names for things, substantives and also verbs in fact, but to master the little words that linked them together was another thing and out of most people's reach. The lesson over, Bishop Patteson used to go amongst them, and listen and discern and recognise a link word, and after a time, get hold of enough to compile simple lessons and thus did they learn "letters".
Their quickness with their lissom fingers helped them to write and so to read the printed lessons, while their teacher soon acquired enough of their various tongues to be able to impart knowledge and that, religious knowledge, to them. It was all very wonderful and unique. The Melanesians were very happy in having a long sunny stretch of sandy shore at Kohimarama (a delightful place for a gallop was that hard sand), they made their little fire and caught and cooked their fish, sitting about in little parties in the intervals, of schooling and industrial work, and looking, in that pretty setting, very picturesque,
- '62, '63, '64, were the years most sadly connected with the War. I group them together in this desultory narrative. After the fights, George remained with the troops. In more than one place they did all they could to make the last resting-place of their fallen comrades into a seemly burial ground, nor did they neglect the daily evensong, particularly at Rangiriri. 1863 was marked by fight in the Waikato, Koheroa in July, followed by Rangiriri in November, where the loss was greater and some of the Officers were killed or mortally wounded. Before this George had been at the Sailors' Camp at the Waikato, where the General came and pitied him for having to "rough it"! and invited him to make a formal requisition. So he sent in an application for a Chaplain to be always at Head Quarters, naming Archdeacon Maunsell, Mr. Lloyd and himself.
This secured a tent or hut of his own, a servant obligato, and rations for himself and horse, the last a great matter. In answer to my requisition to hear exactly the tenor of his Sunday duty, he sent me a list of seven places, beginning and ending with the Sailors' Camp, the last being a Bible Class with 15 sailors in the same place. In the interval, he had ministered at the Queen's Redoubt, at the Hospital, then at Rhodes Clearing, the Razorback Camp, then back to Mangatawhiri, to Koheroa, to Whangamarino, and so to the Sailors' Camp as above, these places being about six miles apart.
Just about this time, a soldier was shot on the road which the Bishop often traversed, and the same thing happened in another place just as he went back a month afterwards; but of course, the ministering Chaplains took no count of this (I will not say this of their wives) and they escaped, George had of course the lion's share of this kind of duty, "No duty", he said, "can come closer to the heart than that which is carried on among us who are 'in deaths oft'."
I could cite up "a thousand heavy times" during those wars that did befall us. After the fight at Rangiriri, the General pushed on after attacking a Pa, en route, to the King's Quarters nearer the head of the river Waikato, and made that his Head-Quarters, so that there was so-called
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peace in the Waikato, as the Maoris retired but did not give in. Not so, farther on towards the sea, where at a long-established Mission, Tauranga, the Maoris made a strong Pa with rifle pits etc. to defend it, and here soon after, at the end of January 1864, was the most disastrous affair that befell the English. The 43rd Regiment, alas, was repulsed with the less of its Colonel and four of its Captains, one well-known and greatly regarded by us. The excellent Captain of the Esk was also killed among his blue-jackets, besides others. But though repulsed, we had in the end the best of it - the Pa was surrounded afterwards and they gave in. Before this, a wounded Officer lay in the Rifle pit dying, but longing for water. He was heard in his faint appeal by one of the young opposing Maoris, who under cover of the night, crept through the English lines to get the water, but just as he returned with it, a stray shot killed him. A slip of paper was found on him with the words, "If thine enemy hunger feed him, if he thirst, give him drink."
Poor Henry Taratoa, he was the accomplished scholar at S. John's College of whom I have spoken, and plainly he had learnt better lessons still.
As I am not writing a history of New Zealand, I have said nothing about the Hau Hau superstition which was considered by many to be more of a political than a religious movement. But in several instances it superseded the Christianity so many had professed, and was of course attractive to all that were lawless and ill-disposed. The war had ceased in the Waikato by the end of 1864, and its seat was transferred to Tauranga, which notwithstanding the affair of the Gate Pa, was in the hands of the English,
The Bishop was startled about this time by receiving a sudden announcement, in answer to a letter to England in which he had said that when the endowment was raised, he would let them know at once - that a Bishop had been consecrated and was coming out to Otago in New Zealand, It was hard on this Bishop and on George on whom would fall all the obloquy of having nothing ready, but there was nothing to be done for it, but to hurry to Dunedin (Otago) and raise what he could. No telegraph or Cables in those benighted days! It was uphill work for George but he met with some encouragement and help, with never failing hospitalities as he rode through the country, some of which towards the west coast is very beautiful. He had also much enjoyment in his ministrations to the Gold diggers at work along his path, and amusement at the lack of invention in the names they had given to the lovely streams in which they washed their gold, Hogburn! Sawburn! Pigburn!
They often responded to the offer of a service at Irontown, a large centre - if time allowed of a notice for the evening, numbers came. The sermon ended, the congregation still sat on, the Bishop waiting for the dispersion till a man whispered to him "They thought there would be a Collection, Sir", so there was a very good one, also a pattern Congregation were they.
In this year, Johnnie came out to visit us, (as we thought) as it turned out, we went back with him to England, and in this year, 1866, Dr. Codrington joined the Melanesian Mission,
The war had practically ended now, though the subsidence of all the feeling on either side it had caused, had hardly yet abated. The country was open, however, and George was much about among the outlying settlers. Among these was a family named Urquhart, brought out by reasons of health, I think. They were altogether of gentle blood, and nurture, in this respect above the ordinary run. They were unfortunate in the land they settled on some 15 miles from Auckland. The old Father and Mother and three sons and one carefully-nurtured and well-instructed daughter, a slight delicate looking girl - it was a slender frame to hold so great a spirit. The brothers subdued the land, being farmer and
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labourer together, while Cecilia (Cecy) was truly the maid of all work, excepting that her Mother cooked the dinner, but the housework, the scrubbing, washing and mending all fell to her share, yet did she find time to teach the uncared-for children around. Still neither she nor the rest ever lost sight of their true position and kept up the culture and manners of their gentle training, Cecy was free to come in to Bishops Court whenever she could. But one day, she came suddenly in full of joy and expectation to meet the dear brother and his wife coming out to share their labours. The ship from Sydney being signalled she only went to hear that they had been lost in the "London" in the Bay of Biscay, She heard that they had stood together hand in hand, supporting by their example and their words all those around them till they were washed off by a mighty wave. This talk about my Cecy may weary any readers of this, but she was what Jeremy Taylor would call "A great Exemplar". How to conform and that cheerfully to a great change in life, so needful for settlers in the bush. It wore her out early, the physique being too frail for all it had to bear, but she remains in memory as one to "Shine as the brightness of the firmament".
In the year 1867, the summons came to the Bishop to attend the Lambeth Conference, so we accompanied our son John to England, By this time the New Zealand War was virtually over, but not its effects on the people. A considerable body had elected a king for themselves, though it was little more than a name, and perhaps a rallying point for the disaffected. The religion of the Haus Haus (as they called it) also prevailed for a time, but I believe never took strong hold of the people.
To return to the departure for England. We did not know or anticipated that this summons to England would mean the end of the New Zealand career, so we neither felt or left any sadness in our preparations for departure. The Bishop of Christchurch was also going with Mrs. and Miss Harper, Bishop Hobhouse had gone home, Bishop Abraham remained, Mrs, Abraham was already in England with her young son.
The route thither was chosen to be by Panama. This route had but a short-lived existence, and was open to objections as it involved the danger of yellow fever. Some considered its failure due to the unholy agreement of the original contractors with the hands employed, viz., that they would be paid when the work was done, and that the largest number never lived to see, so deadly were the conditions under which they laboured, the tropical heat - the rank vegetation, the moist atmosphere - the sluggish stream and the yellow fever, apt to be brought by any fresh arrival, did the deed and the poor workers died off before their pay day came.
But the route was open now and there was a regular service on it, reaching England in the short time that seemed magical to us, only used to passages by long sea, as the old route by Cape Horn was called.
The first move was to Wellington, going there by the little steamers which were a sumptuous change upon the smaller fore and afters, which preceded them. Mr. Ashwell and his daughter, Sarah, were with us. The Ruahine one of the line of steamers which had superseded the Mercantile old tubs of former times was ready but was detained for despatches - a sore trial to the Captain as we were losing thereby a splendid wind. We burnt so much coal to make up that we anchored at Panama, displaying a show of copper on the ship's bottom that condoned truly the Captain's irritation. The name of Panama seemed to connect it with old history of Spain in the 16th century, but the place itself was insignificant and only remarkable for the quantity of American iced drink it offered to all comers. Tumblers full were set before the tired walkers, each with a straw in it.
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The train took us to Colon, the port, modern "Aspinwall", on the Eastern side of the Isthmus of Darien where the steamer awaited us which started as soon as we wore on board, to take us over the Caribbean Sea to S. Thomas where we found the English Steamer.
As we passed through the Isthmus, we could not wonder at the loss of the workers. It was more a place to die in than to live in, so close the air and so swampy the ground. There were no stations but the two at either end, but the train stopped promiscuously now and then, when we got out to look about; we alighted on what looked like the freshest and greenest of grass. It bowed its head under our feet and we found it was the sensitive plant of English hothouses! Colon was wholly uninteresting and was a focus of yellow fever, as there the ships from far and near used to bring passengers and it was a rare thing if yellow fever was not imported in one or more of them. The passage over the Caribean Sea over the S. Thomas was the hottest of my experience in tropical seas, and the slightest indisposition was dreaded as certainly meaning yellow fever. We mercifully escaped even the slight warning that an Auckland friend had in Peru where she fell ill. The Doctor stood over her with a huge dose of Calomel, "Oh, Doctor," said she, "I cannot possibly take all that, I shall die if I do", "Die if you don't", said he, so she did.
At the Island of S. Thomas, we took up several more passengers, some from Jamaica, They were all loud in their praises of our old friend, Governor Eyre, about whose conduct in preventing a rising of the Blacks, opinion ran very high at that time. The English there seemed to look upon him as having saved them from an awful calamity. The Home Government took a different view from that of the Martial law under which he acted. He was recalled and practically consigned to oblivion to the great indignation of this West Indian community, and I think was very hardly dealt with, for he was a kind upright and honourable man, and if he erred, it was only an error of judgment at the worst. Besides this Jamaica party, came another from Mexico, carrying home relics of the unfortunate Emperor Maximilian and his wife, who went out of her mind for the rest of her life in consequence, poor soul.
I do not intend to give any detailed account of this visit to England but only to record its prominent features. We landed at Southampton early in September, our brother Charles receiving us in his London house, where his wife was lying very ill. Not long after - she died. My dear old Aunt, Mrs. Hudson, had also died and the old Wimbledon home had come to an end. My Palmer cousins were still living in the place in one of the innumerable houses that were enlarging it. Lord Spencer had sold a large Park which reached to Wandsworth, and this was straightway cut up into sites for superior houses with gardens. Fortunately the Common remained intact, as did the old Roman Camp, which it joined and they remain still unadorned with notices of being desirable Building sites to this day.
We found Mrs. Abraham with her sisters and she was persuaded to come with us to Ireland whither we were going to see the Lloyd family, our friends in New Zealand, one of them was now Archdeacon of Auckland, We went to Bangor en route staying at the hospitable house of the Bishop of Bangor. The pretty Menai Bridge lost its prestige when the Railway Bridge over to Anglesey took its place. From thence we went to Holyhead and by the Mail Steamer to Dublin. Our first visit was to Bray, a lovely place most truly. The Provost of Trinity College Dublin received us. He was brother to our New Zealand Mr. Lloyd. We went back with them to Dublin to meet Archbishop Trench. Our next visit was to Armagh to Archbishop Beresford and afterwards to Bishop Alexander and his notable wife, the writer of Hymns. Of course we had to visit the places of interest in this orange coloured city and get up as much steam as possible about the famous siege.
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All the people whom we met, both high and low, gave us a most pleasant and hearty welcome, and if by chance we had to travel in a car, the driver's pieces of information and his comments upon them were often very amusing. After this, we went South to Cork, taking Killarney in the way, but incessant rain and fog prevented our seeing anything of its beauties.
After being hospitised by the Bishop of Cork and meeting the elite including two old New Zealand friends, we found ourselves in familiar quarters again in the cabin of a coaster this time between Cork and Bristol, a rough piece of sea, but Carrie and I were seasoned sailors, though she had not been in the "Coasting trade" as the Bishop used to call it when we went about the Bays and Islands near Auckland, and when his visits were ended, the little Undine used to ship a cargo of wood for use at the College. We had a rough squally night in the Bristol Channel, which he thoroughly enjoyed. We did not attain to that positive state but we were a source of wonder and of comfort to our terrified companions in the Ladies' cabin. They were surprised that we could make merry under the circumstances feeling sure that they were going to the bottom without delay.
In a like vessel had Bishop Hobhouse crossed over before and going to enquire the cause of a great uproar, found a man among a cargo of pigs laying about him with a great whip, "Please, your Honour," said he, in answer to the Bishop's remonstrance, "I'm the pace (peace) maker". The pigs did not coincide with him.
We landed at Bristol and went on to Torquay where the Pattesons had settled after their Father's death, Fanny had a pet cockatoo, who in mid-air used to accompany his mistress in her walk.
We were soon in London again, and it was soon that the offer of Lichfield was made by Lord Derby, George had no hesitation about declining the offer made by the Prime Minister, Lord Derby, but it was persistently renewed, and finally, after a pressing letter from the Archbishop of Canterbury, George was sent for by the Queen who was equally emphatic in the wish that he should accept, I remember his return from Windsor and how sorrowful he was saying as he walked up and down the room, "They don't know how much I love New Zealand,"