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a cellar, where much of the property of the town had been deposited. This person was observed to be in the magazine with a pipe, which, falling on the floor, determined the fate of the day and of this part of the island,--at least for a long period. In the course of the afternoon, every one was withdrawn from the town to the ships and vessels, leaving all in the possession of the natives, who immediately commenced to plunder, within half a mile of the sloop of war. The Bishop, who had come up from Auckland the previous day, landed at Kororareka with myself, to collect the dead and bury them. Yesterday, the work of plunder was going on; in the evening, most of the houses were set on fire; and it is said that, to-day, should not the sloop of war remove out of the way, the natives will fire upon her with the great gun, left by the troops on shore. You will readily conclude that we are in great confusion, besides being in imminent risk of being turned out of our homes, after a period of more than twenty years.
10 o'clock, a.m. All bustle; refugees turning out for Auckland. The natives in connection with us oppose my sending my daughters away. The time is very trying; I trust we are acting correctly, but there is no doubt there will be a wide-spread rise. I hope, however, to collect materials for the erection of a church to the honour of God. I mean to remain, and see the last. My poor boys will in all probability be adrift, as they may lose all; but we have this satisfaction, that the "Lord of Hosts is with us, the God of Jacob is our refuge." Our heavenly Father has protected us, and will continue to do so.
Mr. Williams' apprehensions for his sons were not groundless; for, though they suffered nothing from "the regulars," they were pillaged by some stray marauders, notwithstanding orders from insurgent chiefs that they were not to be molested.
The violent language which Lieutenant Philpotts, of the "Hazard," permitted himself to use, may be contrasted with the confidence shewn in Archdeacon Williams by Sir Everard Home and the Governor.
Her Majesty's Ship "North Star,"
Bay of Islands, March 31, 1845.
My dear Sir,--I think it as well to remind you that, the weather here being so uncertain, no moment should be lost. Whilst it is fine and practicable, I beg that you will be so kind as to inform me of the present position and prospects of the Missionaries, for the information of his Excellency the. Governor, to whom I shall be able, I hope, to write in a day or two by a vessel, the "Albert," which is now on her way to the Bay of Islands for that purpose. I
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shall also wish to inform his Excellency of the steps about to be taken for the safety of the families now at the Bay. I extract a paragraph from a letter which I have received from his Excellency, expressing his views and wishes to me; it is as follows:--
"It will eventually become necessary to exclude all merchant vessels from the Bay of Islands, and blockade the port. With such a prospect, probably the Missionaries will deem it advisable to quit their stations; but of this the zealous and loyal Archdeacon Henry Williams will be the best judge. In effecting a blockade, it will be quite practicable to keep open a communication with the friendly natives and the Mission."
I send the blue lights, and remain,
My dear Sir, faithfully yours,
P.S.--How many men are expected to be attacked; or rather, how many will Heke have against him?
Archdeacon Williams to Sir Everard Home.
March 31, 1845.
In reply to your communication of this morning, I beg to assure you that no time shall be lost in expediting the movements of those persons who may wish to avail themselves of your kind offer to remove them to Auckland. I have heard this evening from the Waimate, and am informed that, on receiving my notice of an opportunity for their removal to Auckland, they proceeded to make preparations for a departure, when Heke with his army rushed upon them and brought all to a stand, it being imprudent to remove either persons or property. Waka with his people (four hundred) returned to Hokianga, on the western coast, before the gale. Heke has with him four hundred, and was joined by a party of three hundred from Whangaroa, under Ururoa,--generally well disposed natives, desiring peace. The Waimate natives consisted of only one hundred and fifty; much fiery language was used on both sides, but no blows struck.
With regard to our position and prospects, I consider that the male portion of the Mission will stand their ground to the last extremity. Our wives we shall leave to their own judgment, as wives of Missionaries, who stand as mothers to the native female population. For our daughters we are concerned that they should have a refuge, and beg to express our thanks for your kindness in offering them a passage to Auckland.
Of the prospects of the Mission, I can only say that they are exceedingly gloomy, every portion of the district having been thrown out of place by this present convulsion, which renders it
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more needful that every man amongst us should be at his station, and close at his work.
I hope to hear the determination of the families this evening.
Archdeacon Williams to the Reverend E. G. Marsh.
Paihia, April 18, 1845.
I have written several letters to you and Mr. Coates, by way of America, New South Wales, and direct to England, respecting the affairs of the last two months; I hope, therefore, you will receive some accounts upon which you may place dependance. The loss of the flag-staff, with the loss of Kororareka, has been a serious blow to the Colony; but, so far as we are concerned, a more serious blow to the Mission. When we may recover, I cannot surmise. Since the fatal and disastrous events of the 11th instant, all the Europeans have cleared out of this part of the island, leaving the Mission families nearly as they were some years since. We have been under serious apprehensions, as far as relates to property and our settlements, though not as regards our persons. Several of the daughters of the Mission families have been removed to Auckland, and we are preparing for a more extensive remove, should it be required, which is not unlikely, on the arrival of troops. We have to a considerable degree recovered ourselves from the first effects, which were indeed very serious. Yet, all is perfectly unsettled. Our infant school, which had commenced at the Waimate, has greatly fallen away. Many of the children have been taken away, and the remnant of the school has been brought down to this place, with a hope that we may be able to keep them together until better times.
Since the British force was driven away from Kororareka, a chief named Tamati Waka has taken up the cause on behalf of the Government. He has assembled a large party, and brought the rebels to a stand. Several of these have been killed and wounded; Waka has lost but few. Of course, these movements seriously affect us in every respect. Our Mission is in a sad position: not merely brought to an absolute stand, but turned bottom up. We sit in great uncertainty, holding on by the wreck. There seems a strong wish in some to bring false accusations against us, as an excuse for their own ill conduct. There are others who act in the reverse, and thus preserve the balance. My young men will suffer much in this sad war, as they are in the midst of the contending parties, and have had a large muster quartered upon them, devouring their produce. I could indeed wish they were in a settled country, under a steady government. It is sadly disheartening for them to labour, as they have done, with no prospect of security. Poor lads, they do not know the blessings of a government. I could wish they were in Van Dieman's Land or New South Wales;
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yet there, their morals would be more exposed than their persons and property are in this country. What will be said to all this in England? Where will they place the blame? Or is there blame in any? I care not where it is, so that we could proceed on in our work. I am happy to hear that the southern parts of the island are quiet; they may remain so, if these people be kept in order.
April 26. I must close my dispatch, as a vessel is to sail in the morning. I am sorry I have nothing of an improving character to add. I received a letter this morning from Heke, the chief of the deluded party; it is full of kindness to me and all my tamarikis [children]. He is in sad difficulties, and I do not see how he will extricate himself, in consequence of the extent of the damage which has been committed on all sides to the settlers. But we do business here in a very different way to what used to be done in olden days in England. This very serious affair has been made extensively more serious by the neglect of duty and extreme folly of those to whose care this service was entrusted. As you may see in the English papers my name as traitor in the overthrow of our first city, you will like to see my notice of the charge to the Governor, with his reply, which I have forwarded to Mr. Coates; he will furnish you with a copy. Some are of opinion that I ought to have had "Toby" [Philpotts] into Court. I am content to leave him where he is, possessing as I do the full approbation of the Bishop and the Governor on the question. Abuse and vile slander appear to be our portion. I hope you all will endure it as well as we do. To me it appears a matter of course that thus it must be, so I toss it to the winds. These things do not trouble me, but I cannot say the same when I see the state of the natives. How greatly fallen away. I am thankful to say that Marianne is well supported. Many have proposed her moving to Auckland with the remainder of the girls; however, it is her wish to keep at work as long as the natives will allow her to do so, as the settlement appears to hang together by her being in her place. The sick and infirm apply to her, and get their wants attended to. We have plenty of duty, which keeps the minds in full exercise; but the worst is yet to come when the troops shall be brought into action. We may then have to clear out the house, though it is my intention to remain on the ground as long as I can possibly do so. We have been protected many years, and, I feel confident, shall be so still. It is a comfort to know that our duties here are not of a temporal nature, but for the spiritual health of this people. Our hearts have often been cheered; I trust it will yet be so, and that these poor people will yet be restored to their right minds, and to the favour of their God.
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The confidence placed in the Archdeacon is shewn by another request for counsel.
Sir Everard Home to Archdeacon Williams.
"North Star," Bay of Islands, May 24, 1845.
May I ask you to be so kind as to give me your opinion of the present state and immediate prospects of New Zealand.
Archdeacon Williams to Sir Everard Home.
May 24, 1845.
In reply to your note of this morning, requesting my opinion of "the present state and immediate prospects of New Zealand," I consider that the eyes of all the native population are directed to the issue of this present war, and that upon this depends the quietness of the whole country. It was the general opinion amongst themselves that Heke would prevail, until Waka came forward and brought Heke and his people to a stand still. There is no doubt, in my opinion, that this movement of Waka's has been the preservation of Auckland and every other place of any importance in New Zealand.
The "immediate prospects," therefore, of New Zealand depend upon the manner in which this war shall be conducted. I have just received Heke's reply to the terms proposed to him, a copy of which I forward to you, by which you will perceive that he has no disposition to accede to them. I presume, therefore, that nothing short of vigorous measures will satisfy him. It is my further opinion, that peace and good order will not then be preserved, unless a strong military force be stationed in the Bay for that purpose.
For reasons not worth mentioning, the behaviour of Major Bridge was distant and cavalier; but this did not hinder the Archdeacon from supplying him with all needful information.
Archdeacon Williams to Major Bridge.
May 24, 1845.
Heke's letter has just arrived for the Governor; it is not satisfactory. He expresses his willingness either for peace or war, as the Governor may desire. This same letter I forward to your care. In writing to Waka it may be advisable to mention the names of the other chiefs with him to prevent jealousy; they are Te Taonui, Mohi Tawhai, Otene, Repa, &c. I hope, also, an epistle will be forwarded to Heke, giving him to understand what he may expect,
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Of the charge of treason, which was presently to assume more formidable dimensions, there will be more to say. As yet, it was merely an annoyance. The Archdeacon put it into the hands of Governor FitzRoy, and received in answer a generous expression of confidence.
Auckland, April 2, 1845.
Sir,--I have the honour of acknowledging the receipt of your letter, dated Paihia, March 20, which reached me yesterday. I am so much accustomed to hear and read such strange perversions of fact, and such unfounded attacks upon even the best characters in the community, that they usually pass unnoticed; but this is a startling charge.
Had you not distinctly referred to the extraordinary language used by Lieutenant Philpotts of Her Majesty's ship "Hazard," I should not have alluded to it, in writing to yourself, so deeply must you be, as I am, pained that such expressions, such imputations with reference to yourself should have emanated from any one, however ill informed, hasty, or excited.
To accuse Archdeacon Henry Williams--the tried, the proved, the loyal, the indefatigable, of being a "traitor," of having acted "traitorously," seemed to me so utterly absurd, to say the very least, that such an idea could not be entertained by me for one moment. I rejected it with feelings similar to those of Sir Everard Home, who before this has, I trust, fully relieved your mind from every scruple on this subject.
I might refer to the Bishop's clear account of all that he witnessed, (frequently in company with yourself,) on the fatal eleventh of March; to the statement of Archdeacon Brown, who was also present, and to others; but your well known character requires no testimony.
The conduct of some of the "Hazard's" crew towards yourself personally, and to natives in your boat, has grieved me very seriously.
Irritated and mortified as that ship's company may have been, at the events of such a disastrous day, those men were nevertheless inexcusable.
At the return of Sir Everard Home, the senior naval officer, I shall consult with him as to the proper steps to be taken with respect to the officers and crew of Her Majesty's ship "Hazard."
I beg you to rest assured that no active measures will be authorised by me that may compromise the friendly natives.
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In conclusion, I need hardly say that the charge made against yourself by Lieutenant Philpotts is, in my opinion, as unfounded, unjustifiable, and ungrateful, as it is indeed absurd.
I have the honour to be, Sir,
Your obedient humble servant,
N.B. Archdeacon Williams will have the goodness to make this letter "confidential" as far as he thinks proper.
After the affair of Kororareka, Heke retired inland to Mawhe, where desultory fighting took place between his force and that of Walker Nene, in position at Okaihau. 1 Colonel Hulme, having
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arrived from Auckland with troops, landed them at Otuihu, Pomare's place, intending to follow Kawiti to Waiomio. Archdeacon Williams, who had gone on board the "North Star," was taken into council. He urged the danger of advancing between Kawiti's tribes and Pomare's, through a most rugged and difficult country, with which the European guides appeared to be very imperfectly acquainted. The natives present on board had chalked out lines, which were assumed to be roads, or tracks. The Archdeacon, upon examination, pronounced them to be, not roads, but
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rivers; observing, "you may get there; but you will never get back." Sir Everard Home sad,--"Colonel, you are going you know not where; you had better re-embark your men." Colonel Hulme, who was every inch a soldier, was not deterred by false pride from taking seasonable advice, and gave the order accordingly.
Colonel Hulme's next expedition was against Heke's pa, at Mawhe, 2 near the Omapere lake. Owing to a combination of misfortunes, the attack was unsuccessful. The rain had poured in torrents during a long and difficult march; the supplies had been spoiled, much of the powder damaged, and the rocket battery, the fame of which had spread far and wide among the natives, was a failure. The first rocket was watched with anxiety; it was a miss, passing high. "Tshee! is that all?" said Heke's people, re-assured. But all the dogs rushed forth from the pa, scouring any way across the country. The troops fell in with Kawiti outside, generally said to have been lying in ambush. The two parties appear to have met unawares; Kawiti's people being first seen in the fern by Hone Ropiha [John Hobbs]. 3 There was hard fighting in the open; Kawiti under the feet of the soldiers in a charge; one of his sons killed; another wounded; Ruku, the horse-stealer, killed. 4 Our men behaved well, but the pa was not taken. The troops were finally withdrawn.
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After the engagement at Mawhe, there was a lull. The troops returned to quarters; the pa, in accordance with native custom, was abandoned, blood having been spilt there. For commissariat reasons, which military men will understand, the rebel natives spread their forces, the principal chiefs retiring upon their several kaingas, but still so as to be able to concentrate on occasion: Pene Taui to Ohaeawai, Kawiti towards Waiomio, Heke to Kaikohe. But Heke committed the error (against the advice of Pene Taui) of attacking Walker, who had advanced to Pukenui. With four hundred men, he attacked about one hundred and fifty of Walker's party, taking them also by surprise; but was beaten back with loss. Kahakaha was killed, Haratua 5 was shot through the lungs, Heke was wounded, and never shewed to the front in fight again. He. lost mana, and Pene Taui rose in estimation.
When the troops returned, this time under Colonel Despard, of the 99th, they were directed against Ohaeawai. According to preconcerted arrangement, the rebel forces concentrated, throwing themselves into Pene Taui's pa. The attempt to breach, maintained for a week, was ineffectual. On the 1st July, a sally was made from the pa, which resulted in the temporary occupation of the knoll on which Walker had encamped, and the capture of Walker's colours, the Union Jack. The position was gallantly recovered by a party of the 58th regiment, under Major Bridge, but the Union Jack was carried into the pa. There it was hoisted, upside down, and half-mast high, below the Maori flag. This was the cause of the disaster which ensued. The sight was too much for Colonel Despard's temper, and he ordered an assault upon the pa. The point selected for attack was the only angle doubly flanked. The hopelessness of success was perfectly well known to the storming party; they were marching to certain destruction. They did their duty to the utmost, some of them even firing into the pa through its own loop-
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holes; but within five minutes one-third of their number lay stretched upon the earth. The men returned to the bugle call, but not till then. One officer only, Captain Westropp, escaped unhurt. Among the killed was Lieutenant Philpotts, of the "Hazard." 6
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Further loss was sustained in the endeavour to bring in the wounded men, which was not entirely successful; some having crept into camp during the night. 7
The effect upon the natives of their own success was not what might be supposed. Our disaster, instead of inducing boastfulness, struck the victors with awe. "We had often been told," said they, "that the soldiers would go wherever they were bid, to certain death; but never believed it. Now we know it."
Failure had been predicted by Colonel Hulme, by Major Marlow of the Engineers, by Moses Tawhai, 8 and by Walker Nene.
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Colonel Despard, under the effect of the reeling blow that had been dealt, was for moving back to the Waimate, before even the dead had been recovered. This resolve was so strongly protested against by our native allies, 9 and indeed by all who were in a position to speak, that he was induced to stand his ground.
As had been foreseen by those acquainted with Maori custom, Ohaeawai, like Mawhe, was abandoned, blood having been spilled. The pa was then destroyed by the troops.
The following extracts from letters and journals supply details.
From Archdeacon Henry Williams' journal.
July 1, 1845. Mr. Burrows and I rode out to Ohaeawai. On our arrival observed much firing, and soon learned that the natives had made an attack on Waka's people on a hill overlooking the camp. The hill retaken by the soldiers under Major Bridge in noble style. Henry Clarke (interpreter to the forces) was wounded in the thigh. At four o'clock the troops marched to storm the pa, and in a short time a heavy firing was opened. It was a fearful moment. I moved on to the camp, and found numbers of wounded brought in. The troops were repulsed with serious loss. Captain Grant and Lieutenant Philpotts killed, with
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twenty-two seamen and soldiers, and upwards of seventy wounded, some mortally, many seriously. I assisted in dressing the wounded; towards sunset, at the request of the Colonel, I attempted to go to the pa to recover the bodies of the slain, but as soon as I came in sight was ordered back by the people of the pa.
July 2. Mr. Burrows and I rode to the camp; found all confusion. The Colonel glad to see me, and all the officers very civil. Went to the pa,--thought the natives very uncivil. They objected to the bodies being taken to the camp unless the troops would withdraw. After much conversation to no purpose, we returned to the camp, much disgusted with all we had seen and heard. The bodies lay about the ground as they had fallen, exposed to the pigs and flies. Could not learn the loss of the pa; all very reserved. It was dusk before we returned to the Waimate.
July 3. Returned to the camp to endeavour to recover the bodies. On my arrival learned that a flag of truce had been hoisted at the pa, and that enquiry had been made for myself and Mr. Burrows; that our boys might fetch away the bodies. I proceeded to the pa on my arrival, but the natives would not give up the body of Captain Grant. 10 Found the people disposed to be insolent. Returned to the camp. Attended the funeral of the soldiers,--thirty, including the seamen: a mournful sight. The troops were all present. A fellow named Marmon had been holding a whawhai [a fight of words] with some of my natives, stating that I had been telling the natives to keep the body of Captain Grant; which information he had carefully given to the troops.
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July 4. Proceeded to Paihia; found all well at home.
July 5. My mind much disturbed by the present trouble. Saw old Hepetahi, Te Tao, and others, evidently much elated by the fall of the troops.
July 7. Captain Johnson called. Gave him the eye-glass, &c, of Lieutenant Philpotts.
July 8. The anniversary of the cutting down of the first flagstaff. News this morning that the troops are to fall back on the Waimate, until the arrival of reinforcements.
July 11. News this evening that the pa was left in the night. One old woman found asleep, two dead bodies, and several guns, with powder and ball. The Colonel talking of returning to Auckland.
Mrs. Williams to Mrs. Heathcote.,
Paihia, July 5, 1845.
Time slips on in our present perilous situation, and. you will be anxious to hear the result of the war. Nothing final or satisfactory has yet been accomplished, but you will rejoice to hear that the Missionaries have been permitted to remain so far in safety, and that Paihia, which has been in the front of the battle and often threatened, has stood firm. God has preserved His people, and we have had unspeakable mercies vouchsafed unto us in the restoration to health of our children, who have been dangerously ill with fever. Edward, his wife, and Thomas, were alarmingly ill at the same time, and wanted sitting up with in three different rooms. They were visited by a naval doctor and the surgeon to the troops, at a time when all the medical men had fled from the Bay: God provided us help in our necessity. The tide of war has now rolled from us for a season; Waimate is the principal encampment of the troops who are now besieging the rebel army at Ohaeawai, a few miles distant from thence. It is quite astonishing how they seem to defy the British in their fortifications. They have double fences, ditches, and loop holes, their houses sunk underground; and as the great guns of the British are fired through their pa with so little loss to the rebels, it is supposed that they have large holes, in which they secure themselves. The fence round the pa is covered between every paling with loose bunches of flax, against which the bullets fall and drop; in the night they repair every hole made by the guns. An attempt was made by the English on the first to storm the pa. The soldiers went with great coolness and bravery against a murderous fire, but were obliged to retreat, with the loss of one hundred killed and wounded. Lieutenant Philpotts was killed, and Captain Grant, of the 58th; several officers wounded. Henry had arrived at the camp just before, and witnessed the whole; he afterwards went to the pa at the colonel's request, to obtain the dead, and was ordered by the
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rebels to return. The following morning he was allowed by them to advance to the outer fence, but not to enter the pa. Henry was in danger. None of the chiefs shewed themselves, and he was refused permission to remove the dead, of whom he counted twenty-four. He cut off a lock of hair from Lieutenant Philpotts' head, and took his eye-glass, which he sent to his captain.
July 8. This is the anniversary of the first cutting down of the flag-staff by Heke. Henry was absent at Turanga then, and William here; the Waimate college and schools in full action. What a deplorable change now! What an eventful year it has been! The Waimate is now head quarters for the British troops, six hundred in number, and was in great danger of being burnt down before they entered. Heke was there with two hundred men a few days before, and said it was only respect for the Missionaries that induced him to spare the settlement, the bridges, and the cattle. The colonel said it was more than they could have expected, and more than they themselves would have done, to have left such buildings for an enemy. John is in Auckland, whither he has taken some farming stock to be in safety; but he is begging to return. Thomas is sowing wheat at Pakaraka, but can take no comforts to their desolate place for fear of straggling plunderers; though large detachments of the rebels have passed through and treated them civilly,--even the fearful savage Kawiti himself, when Thomas was ill, and his natives had all left him to go to the fight. The poor boys have had great losses, but great preservations. When Heke encamped his army there they ate twenty tons of potatoes,--all their winter stock; burnt a quantity of fencing, and many tons of valuable kauri gum (purchased for export), for firewood. Much wheat destroyed; all their poultry and pigs, and yet the barn was not burnt, though the natives lay upon the wheat, smoking their pipes, and carrying fire-sticks in to light them. Great friendship was professed; when eight horses were caught and about to be sent off, Heke ordered them to be delivered up to our son Henry. But when the army passed on, straggling plunderers, finding the place left, broke into their house and Edward's, broke all the windows, and stole whatever they found. They are just in the high road between Heke and Kawiti's dominions. Haratua, Heke's principal general, lives close to them, and now lies wounded in his pa, which they have to pass on their way to Paihia. He professes protection, and calls them his children, but when the soldiers march to attack him, Pakaraka will be the seat of war. Thus you see we have had innumerable mercies and preservations vouchsafed to us and ours. May the lives He has spared be devoted more earnestly to His service. May He soon grant us the blessings of peace.
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Henry Williams to the Reverend E. G. Marsh.
Paihia, September 15, 1845.
Still at war, yet all sitting quietly, though it is not known how soon all may be confusion again. I have given you a general account from the commencement, and hope you may collect a tolerable idea of our state. It has been a season of much excitement, not unmixed with fearful apprehension; it is, however, a matter of much thankfulness that we have been enabled to stand our ground amidst such serious commotions. The Europeans look with much wonder and surprise at our remaining as we do. I have written to Mr. Coates respecting the Mission finding quarters for the troops in this their war. To me it appears perfectly inconsistent, and directly opposed to our duty as Missionaries. How far this may correspond with the views of the Society, I know not, but certainly I am not prepared thus to lend myself to such a service. It is with much effort we are enabled to keep our feet. How can we excuse ourselves to the natives, when thus incorporated with the military. Our cause must seriously suffer. Moreover, all this is perfectly unnecessary. At Paihia we have been clear of the troops; Waimate and Kerikeri have been, and still are wholly taken possession of by them . . . .
Our brave man in Cook's Straits, Octavius Hadfield, I fear is unfit for work. He has never been strong, though always very active. By late accounts he appears to be drawing near his end. Thus do our ranks decline. I believe it is the intention of the Bishop to keep Samuel near himself, at least for some length of time. This will be of great advantage to him, and tend to form his habits. This good lad of mine has never cost either myself or the Church Mission Society a shilling since he was fifteen, and as yet bears his own expenses at college. He owes this to the land, and his own attention to work, about which there has been so much said to little purpose.
In October, a letter was received from Captain FitzRoy, stating that he had been recalled from the Government of the Colony. This was to the Archdeacon a cause of much regret, for he had fully appreciated the generous temperament and the utter unselfishness of the man. To Governor FitzRoy scant justice has been done. Errors must be admitted, as, for instance, when he commuted indirect for direct taxation, being as yet unaware of the hindrance to collection in a young colony; or again, in setting up the broken flag-staff without sufficient force to protect it. But when he left, the Colony was fast recovering from the state of deep
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depression into which it had fallen. Moreover, he possessed the gift of foresight, in greater measure than any other of our New Zealand Governors. It was he who first perceived that the Crown's exclusive "right of pre-emption" over native land,--that is to say, in plainer phrase, Government land-jobbing, must eventually be abandoned; 11 as indeed it was, though not soon enough to avert a long and disastrous war. It is also to his farsighted judgment and moral courage displayed in sending back the troops to New South Wales, 12 at a moment when the need of their service seemed extreme, that we owe the consistent support of our native allies, under Thomas Walker Nene, without which the Colony would long since have ceased to exist. Had he thought more of his own, and less of New Zealand interests, he would have escaped censure from the Home Government. But, finding himself in exceptional circumstances, he infringed the traditions of the Colonial Office so often, that he brought about his final condemnation. The handsome manner in which, even while smarting under mortification, he speaks of his successor, will not escape notice. But he was a loyal English gentleman, in whose mind a paltry jealousy could find no place. 13 He could not indeed have known that so much would be presently reported to his disadvantage; but yet even this, foreseen, would have made no change; for the old-fashioned spirit of chivalry was strong within him.
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Archdeacon Henry Williams to the Governor.
Paihia, October 7, 1845.
I must express my sincere regret at the information contained in your communication of the 2nd instant, of your being recalled from this Colony. A more difficult government, I am sure, does not exist under Her Majesty, and I am persuaded that an efficient man as your successor will not easily be found. While, therefore, we shall deeply regret your absence from the Government of this Colony, I cannot refrain from congratulating you upon your release from your weighty, perplexing, thankless duties, and upon your return to the land of your fathers. You will have much satisfaction in reflecting that no measures could have been devised more to the advantage of both Europeans and natives than those which have been devised by your Excellency. I feel fully assured that the settling of the first outbreak of Heke in the way it was by your Excellency, thereby preventing the first detachment of troops from proceeding to Kaikohe, was wise, though a measure which has met with great opposition. Had the troops advanced into the interior, I have no doubt that all would have been cut off. The want of wisdom shewn in recent resolutions of the Committee of the House of Commons respecting this country, shews how incorrect is the knowledge of the real state of New Zealand. These late transactions have arisen without the slightest reason on the part of the aborigines, there being no means in the country to preserve order.
You ask "my opinion as to the probable consequences of withdrawing the troops from the Waimate." Should the troops be withdrawn with an understanding that they shall not, under any circumstances, return thither, my opinion is that the Waimate will remain standing; but should it be considered as a military depot, and the war continue, I shall consider that the place and bridges may be destroyed at any time. We shall be happy to see our station free from the troops and the stores. 14
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Bishop Selwyn to Archdeacon Henry Williams.
Auckland, October 7, 1845.
I have received your note of September 23rd, and think that the state of ignorance and bad feeling in England on the subject of the natives, makes it necessary for us entirely to abstain from any negotiations between the two parties. In the House of Commons, a motion was announced,--"to address the Queen to fulfil the Treaty of Waitangi in all its integrity," or words to that effect; from which I gather that a strong party is working to set it aside. If they should prevail, you and the rest of the Missionaries, who are already compromised by your support of the treaty, might be still more involved, if you were now to speak of peace, when other powers are resolved that there shall be no peace. I see no safe line, but to remain perfectly passive for the present. The Government have interpreters enough at command, without having occasion to call upon us.
The recall of Captain FitzRoy has made this cautious policy absolutely necessary; as we cannot tell with what instructions his successor may come out.
Governor FitzRoy to Archdeacon Henry Williams.
November 11, 1845.
My dear Sir,--Allow me to thank you very cordially for your kind and valuable letter, I can appreciate the weight of your opinion, and I need not tell you how much it is valued by me.
Let me congratulate you on the result of three nights' sharp debate in the House of Commons, on New Zealand.
The Company were beaten by fifty-one; the integrity of the Treaty of Waitangi being thus secured against all their infamous endeavours, for that was the point at issue.
Governor Grey comes here. I know him personally, he is able and judicious, and is one of the very few who have taken real interest in the aborigines of New Holland. He has a school for them in Adelaide, maintained by him and his wife.
I am cheered by this news, notwithstanding the absurdities uttered in the House of Commons about this country.
I have written officially, but privately, to Colonel Despard, to ask for your assistance.
Believe me, my dear Sir,
Very faithfully yours,
Governor FitzRoy's good word was always ready for others: but that of others was not so for him.
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In November, Governor FitzRoy was superseded by Governor Grey.
Captain FitzRoy, too proud a man to "go home with a grievance," still gave more thought to the Colony and his friends than to himself. Though feeling that he had been hardly used, he breathes no word of complaint.
Auckland, February 11, 1846.
My dear Sir,--I intended to write to you at some length; but to express myself fully and clearly, would require much more time and care than I am able to give. While on my passage to England, I shall prepare a letter for Mr. Coates, in which the calumnies, so falsely and blindly circulated against yourself, will be noticed in a manner which, I trust, will be satisfactory to the Church Mission Society, as well as all your tried friends in this country. I shall not be too tender towards your calumniators, but openly state facts, and my own opinions. I will send you a copy of these letters to the Church Mission Society, and if I hear anything of consequence to yourself particularly, I will not fail to write to you, in duplicate. I shall be in regular correspondence with our mutual friend, Mr. Clarke, in whom, I need not tell you, I have the most implicit confidence. The more I have seen of him, the more I have had reason to respect and trust him.
I shall receive the newspaper regularly from Auckland. My whole time and thought will be devoted to New Zealand affairs, for the next two years at least. I am very anxious about the growing feelings among the natives, and shall watch events with intense anxiety. Farewell, my dear Sir. May the Almighty vouchsafe you His help.
P.S.--I shall not go home with a "grievance" but seek to inform everybody of the truth as to the country. I feel the sacredness of your cause, and that of the falsely accused, as well as that of the natives.
It being deemed expedient to recover the prestige of British arms, impaired at Ohaeawai, the insurgent natives were followed up to their new encampment, at Ruapekapeka [the Batsnest]. Here we were saved from a disaster similar to that of Ohaeawai, by Mohi Tawhai, 15 a chief of influence among our native allies. Colonel Despard
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expressed an intention of attacking the pa before a practicable breach had been effected. Tawhai remonstrated, seemingly in vain; at last
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he took his stand between Colonel Despard and the pa, in an attitude expressive of barring the way,--his arms stretched out and legs astride, saying, "you shall not pass; how many more men do you want to kill?" The assault did not take place; but the pa was at last taken, by accident. The garrison left it on Sunday morning; the soldiers say, to avoid the shot; the natives say, to hold service in the bush. William Walker Turau, brother to Walker Nene, prowling about, happened to discover that the pa was undefended. He reported to Captain Denny, and agreed to creep into the breach again. If all were right, his standing up was to be the signal for a rush. He was to be distinguished by a white cloth, through which a hole had been cut, to be passed over the head, poncho-wise. The pa was rushed; the garrison, from the outside, made a desperate attempt to regain it, but were beaten off with loss. The pa was burned, and the troops returned to quarters. 16
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The following extract from Mrs. Williams' journal is given, as containing Captain Graham's account of the capture of the pa. It will be observed that the several accounts do not exactly tally, though corresponding in the main.
January 12, 1846. Captain Graham returned to the "Castor," whence Mr. Clendon heard authentic news. Henry did not leave the "North Star." On Saturday they had fired all day long, making but a small breach. On Sunday morning the soldiers were all drawn up for parade, previous to divine service, when a sailor rambled up to the pa. Seeing no one, he went in. 17 Another and another followed; at length, as the party wandered about, they were perceived by the natives, who were outside in a stockade, and fired upon. The English poured in; an engagement took place; hard fighting for two hours, the natives followed into the wood, and dispersed. Seven of H.M.S. "Castor" killed, and one marine of the "North Star." Lieutenant Murray, of the "North Star," shot in the mouth. Altogether, twelve English killed, and thirty
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wounded. 18 Numbers of natives killed; Captain Graham counted twenty dead bodies after many had been carried away.
A deputation from Nelson to the Governor.
January 14. Henry left his card for the Governor, who sailed in the "Elphinstone," at noon. Mr. Curtis ("North Star") arrived in Henry's boat, to stay till to-morrow. All warmly congratulated him on his safe return from his campaign. The number of natives killed does not appear to be so great as was at first supposed; 19 I collected the names of only nine,--all rangatiras.
The taking of the pa while the natives were at church outside, 20 of course an advantage not to be refused, is a sore point with the natives, and has been cast in the teeth of the Mission ever since. Perhaps it might have been well to have made more explicit mention of this circumstance in the despatches. There is some difference between taking a pa by assault, and getting into an empty one.
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January 24. Native reports that Heke and Kawiti were at Pomare's pa, and now were willing to accede to the proposals offered by the Governor. The reason assigned for Kawiti's willingness for peace was, that one of his men who was slain in the engagement had been eaten by rats; a sign that, if they fought again, they would all be killed.
January 26. Peace made; a free pardon; no land taken; "Government Gazette" extraordinary.
In not stipulating for forfeiture of land, Governor Grey shewed a sound judgment. The shedding of blood is soon forgotten; it sinks into the earth, and is seen no more. But the grievance of confiscation endures. It endures in Ireland, to the present day, never, perhaps, to be effaced; it endures in New Zealand still, where, though we be nominally at peace, there is permanent alienation of those from whom forfeiture, after a later war, was exacted. So much of truth has Machiavelli's cynical dictum, that a son will more readily forgive the death of his father, than the loss of his inheritance. 21 On the other hand, it must be remembered that the Governor abandoned the sole point in dispute,-- the flag-staff, the emblem of sovereignty. Whether it would have been right to continue "war for the sake of an idea," must remain a question of opinion; but it is beyond dispute, that the enemy was thereby acknowledged as victorious. Governor FitzRoy could at any time have established a lasting peace, on the same terms. The flag-staff lay prostrate, until set up again by Marsh Brown Kawiti, in compliment to Governor Gore Browne.
The siege of Ruapekapeka has little direct bearing upon the subject of this Memoir. Not so, however, an episode connected with it, which demands especial notice.
A deputation from Nelson, one of the Company's settlements, had followed Governor Grey to the North. Now, whatever may have been the nature of the Governor's feelings, up to this time, towards the Mission, at least he never openly assailed them.
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It was patte de velours, at the worst. But a manifest change did follow the arrival of the deputation. The Company was then rising to the fulness of its power, with a following in the House of Commons strong enough to imperil the existence of a ministry. And the agents of the Company were imbued with bitter feeling towards the Mission.
A letter without date, (but written at a later period,) from the Police Magistrate to Archdeacon Williams, throws light upon the subject.
Mr. James Clendon to Archdeacon Henry Williams.
In overhauling my Memos. of sayings and doings, I find one that may amuse you. On Monday, January 12, 1846, the day after the Ruapekapeka was surprised, I was at the Kawakawa, the landing place of the expedition against that place, when three gentlemen, viz., Dr. Renwick, Mr. Bridge, (surveyor), Mr. Perry, (since drowned), who had come up from Nelson as a deputation to the Governor, returned to the Kawakawa from the troops at Ruapekapeka, bringing the following important piece of intelligence, "That the whole of the affair of the Rebellion was now found out as the old traitor's letters in correspondence with the rebels had been discovered in the pa, and now he must be had up; that the Governor had the letters, and was proceeding with them to Auckland." Lieutenant Johnson, of H.M.S. "North Star,"(now Captain Johnson) was present, and more disgusted than amused at the intelligence; he joined me in argument against such ridiculous assertions, when one of the gentlemen, I believe Mr. Bridge, turned to me and said, "Oh, perhaps you are a Protector." I replied, "Yes! a protector of the peace, not of the Aborigines." Lieutenant Johnson added, "Yes, Police Magistrate." He seemed rather taken aback.
To the enemies of the Mission, the discovery was a godsend. That letters had been found, was true. And the wish was father to the thought, that they were treasonable. Great were the rejoicings. The Archdeacon was soon informed that "the old traitor had been caught at last;" that he was to be arrested, and sent down for trial under military escort. But there was no such good fortune in store, for something worse befel him. Care was taken that the truth of these rumours should not be tested,--that the real nature of the letters should not transpire. Governor Grey
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issued a notification in the "Gazette," addressed to the native chiefs, who knew perfectly well that the persons accused were their own teachers; that letters had been brought to him, which he was informed were of a treasonable nature, and that he had burnt them without reading. How he could place himself in such a false position, by a proceeding so unjust both to the Colony to which he was appointed to govern, and to the accused, is strange. What right had he to smother evidence of treason,--to stay the course of law, and to pardon before trial? He said that he did not wish to know. But the country did wish, and had a right to know, by proof under their own hands, who were these traitors walking, at large in the midst of us.
But there is another aspect under which this letter-burning must be viewed. On the assumption that the letters contained nothing of what had been imputed, it was a destruction of the proofs of innocence, under the mask of magnanimity. Action was taken debarring the accused from trial; also, from acquittal. The original documents were made safe from bearing unwelcome testimony. They were put out of the way, like the grooms whom Macbeth slew, after accusing them of the murder of Duncan:--
Was not that nobly done? Ay, and wisely too;
For 'twould have angered any heart alive
To hear the men deny it.
The letters had, in fact, been read by many. Upon more accurate enquiry, it was found that only one of these documents could be turned to account,--a letter in which the Archdeacon had addressed a rebel chief as "friend." "Stay a moment," observed the writer, when informed of the specific charge, "was there not a little adjective before the word?" The gobe-mouche was compelled to admit that "my foolish friend," was the complete expression used.
The following is the letter itself, of which an attested copy had fortunately been preserved. For the Archdeacon, knowing
* See Appendix C. "Plain Facts." Also, for closer and more stringent comment on the whole transaction, see [Greek] METOIKOS, letter to the "Southern Cross" newspaper, concerning the Despatches, January 19, 1852.
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how he was beset, had fallen into the habit of retaining copies of every letter of importance that he wrote. At a later period, he restricted himself to preaching from written sermons only, notwithstanding the labour it involved; in order that his words, if questioned, might be produced.
By way of climax to the absurdity of the charge, it may now be stated that the letter was written at the request of Governor FitzRoy himself.
Paihia, September 23, 1845.
My foolish friend,--A word from the Governor has come hither, saying, there is no letter from Kawiti like that of John Heke. Is one leg to be healed and the ether leg to be unhealed? Be energetic (or brave) to save your person. Send your letter, that it may be clearly seen by the Europeans. Now let the horses be given (or) perhaps Waiomio will be lost (to you), as those places Mawhe and Ohaeawai are lost.
This is from me--your friend--your grandfather.
A correct translation.
GEORGE CLARKE, jun.
To this letter Kawiti replied on the following day:--
Ruapekapeka, September 24, 1845.
Friend Williams,--Good is your word, O friend, saluting you. Here am I having great regard for you. Sir, it is because you have said that peace should be made, that I consent. I will not continue to jump upon your word, (i.e., I will not run counter to your wishes); but then, if peace is made, it must be made with respect to the land also.
Friend Governor, saluting you. I am willing to make peace. Many Europeans have been killed, and many natives. 22 Inasmuch as you have said that I should make the first advance towards peace, I now do so, and hereby consent.
This is all mine. I finish here.
One expression needs attention: "if peace is made, it must be with respect to the land also." "The land" here means the country.
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The great grievance with the natives, as has been already shewn, was the whenua,--the mana, or proprietorship of which they were told by Americans and ill-disposed English, had passed from themselves to the Queen, by erection of the flag-staff. It will be observed that, with good diplomacy, Kawiti adopts Heke's pretext for war, knowing his own to be unsustainable.
Extract of a Letter from the Governor to Kawiti.
Kawiti,--Your letter of September 24 I received last night, September 30. It was addressed to myself and Mr. Williams, who, I can plainly see, has been giving you good advice; you have done well to hearken to him, and I trust your future conduct will shew that you are really sincere and desirous of peace.
From me--from the Governor,
Such was the nature of the destroyed correspondence. What real foundation there was for the report that the Archdeacon was to have been sent a prisoner to Auckland, I will not undertake to say, though believing it to be sufficient. But it is a fact, at all events, that certain of the natives had heard the rumour, and were prepared to resist the capture.
From Archdeacon Williams' journal.
January 15, 1846. Several reports flying about; the pakeha at the other end full of fume, hoping that multitudes may have fallen in the conflict. Had a conference with Mr. Clendon on a statement said to have come from the Governor, that he had been cautioned against receiving any report or information from Paihia; about which I remarked that, as caution was the order of the day, I must avail myself of the same order, and be much more cautious than I had yet been. That henceforth I desired that he did not make any enquiries of me respecting the natives, or enquire of my sons, as I should caution them to hold no communication on the subject. Much excitement in the settlement. Captain Hay called with the news that some troops were to be stationed at Victoria [Waitangi], and that H.M.S. "Racehorse" was to remain in the Bay.
January 17. Mr. Johnson, from the "North Star," to call. Heard to-day that letters of mine to Kawiti, of a treasonable character, had been found in the pa; that the Governor had proceeded in haste to summon the Council for the purpose of
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examining these same letters. Inference: to proceed against the "traitor," right or wrong.
January 18. Sunday. Defiance on every side. All the ships on the move; boats passing and repassing, landing soldiers and stores at Victoria; landing drays at this beach, and taking off bullocks. A furious commotion all around; our congregation strong. In the afternoon, Colonel Despard on shore.
We now take Mrs. Williams' journal, always fuller of detail, and telling more than her husband cared to say about himself.
January 18, 1846. Sunday. A beautiful day; all in the settlement like a peaceful Sabbath; but our eyes were pained by the whole armament floating past, boats conveying two hundred soldiers to Mr. Busby's place.
Sir Everard Home called to say good-bye. A good congregation of natives were assembled, and the bell sounded in great contrast to the passing scene which really oppressed us. Seven vessels in sight; we wished for wind to carry them off.
All the afternoon boats were taking cattle off from Horotutu to the "Slains Castle," which still remained opposite the settlement receiving them, after all the others had sailed except the "Racehorse." As our sons went to the native school, the Colonel [Despard] passed to Mrs. Bedggood's, and a soldier with him told her "they were to take Mr. Williams off, a prisoner to Auckland; that they had brought handcuffs with them in the boat; that the 'old fellow' would not get off this time, for his letters had been found in Kawiti's pa; that it was now discovered that he had been the cause of all, from the first cutting down of the flag-staff." Mrs. Bedggood went in a fright to tell Edward; Edward ran in and said the natives were full of it. We thought of Mr. Pritchard [Consul at Tahiti], and Henry put aside his papers with the late Governor's letters, that they should not be got hold of and destroyed. The natives were excited; old Ana cried; but four o'clock having passed, the boat went off, and Henry went to church. The vessel sailed, and we spent our Sabbath evening unwatched, in a peace which Sabbath-breakers know not.
There is no doubt, that could the shadow of a case have been raised, the Archdeacon would have been committed for trial. But, fearless as he was in his own sphere of action, his caution, in matters political, was extreme; never interfering save on authority, and that authority such as rendered compliance a duty.
January 25. After dinner Tamati Waka came to see Henry, to request that the great meeting of all the chiefs to make peace might
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be at Paihia. Mr. Williams declined, on account of the many false accusations against him.
January 28. Henry was called out to see Heke, who had arrived with about one hundred men. They danced, speechified, tangi-ed, and made a great stir . . . . Wiremu Hopihana, one of the peace-makers, came in, amusing all with his animation and gestures in relation to his conversation with Heke, who is by no means in the mind he is supposed or wished to be. Sir Everard, with his suite, was announced. At his suggestion, Henry fetched in Heke. Sir Everard took Heke on the sopha between himself and Mr. Curtis, and, Henry was interpreter. We were afraid that Heke would be impudent; but he became moderate, and then reasonable. He first called Sir Everard the King of Babylon, and said he was as big as a whale. The interpretation of this was skilfully avoided. Sir Everard and Heke held a long conversation.
February 12. Told that Kemara 23 [Campbell], though still a heathen, had said, in answer to the accusations against "Te Wiremu" that he had given flour to the rebels, and healed their wounds,-- "What of that text? 'if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, I give him drink.'" This is a lesson to christian women, who talked of putting poison in their wounds. It shews that Christianity meliorates, even where it does not convert.
During the lull that followed the taking of the pa, Archdeacon Henry Williams, to avoid misconstruction, refrained from any political interference with the natives; but addressed himself to the restoration of quiet, and the revival of that religious feeling among the natives, which it had taken so many years of patient labour to create. Round about Paihia he had kept them well in hand; but at the Kawakawa, where they had mixed with the soldiers, their state was lamentable. It was scarcely to be expected that they should resist the demoralisation of war better than ourselves.
In a letter to his brother-in-law, the Archdeacon moots the question of public enquiry into his conduct. This demand, insisted on by him for years, was as persistently refused by the accusers. How gladly would they have consented, had they entertained the faintest hope of making good one single count of the indictment.
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Archdeacon Williams to the Reverend E. G. Marsh.
Paihia, January 14, 1846.
On Saturday last, after a month of preparation, the British force of two thousand strong, including about seven hundred natives, commenced active operations by bombarding the pa [Ruapekapeka], continuing from eleven a.m. until sunset. Certain breaches were made; but all ceased for the day, except the sending for more shot, shell, &c, for the purpose of renewing their work on Monday, preserving the Sabbath in quietness. On Sunday morning, while the troops were preparing for service, some of the friendly natives and sailors found their way into the battered pa, the natives being at service outside. Firing soon commenced, and was kept up for about two hours, leaving the pa in the hands of the English. The loss of the British force was twelve killed and thirty wounded, besides one native killed and some others wounded of the friendly tribes. Of the enemies' loss nothing is known, as they fought in a wood . . . .
I perceive that Captain Grey, the new Governor, has been taught already to regard the Missionaries with suspicion. He mentioned yesterday this, with other things, to the Police Magistrate. I observed to this gentleman that I was content that his Excellency had thus expressed himself, as we should better understand our position; but that after twenty-two years of service in the country, and the public testimony borne to it by Governors Hobson and FitzRoy, my credit is not likely to be shaken by what might be said to-day; but as it appeared there was a question as to my veracity in the way of information, I forbad him to make any enquiries of me or of any one belonging to me upon any occasion. There appears to be a struggle at hand, not only between the natives and the Europeans, but between the Missionaries and the Europeans. You will say, I have had something to contend with amongst them. Indeed I have; but as I am relieved, though not very graciously, from these public unthankful duties, I shall be more at liberty to attend strictly to the natives. Had our vessels not been tight, they must have swamped in the cross and troubled seas we have had to pass through for a long period. You will doubtless hear many startling circumstances in your distant land. Those which may appear of an extraordinary nature, you may reject, as I am obliged to do daily, by putting my foot upon them. I endeavour to keep my mind as quiet as I can, and feel satisfied all will yet be right. I should be glad of a public enquiry, were it possible; we should then soon upset our adversaries. They shun enquiry, lest they should be defeated. With Governor FitzRoy I communicated freely; he willingly received my opinion respecting the natives, and more than once expressed his thanks, and requested the Com-
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manding Officer of the troops to communicate with me as to negotiations with the natives. My opinion was asked perpetually; now it is rejected as being that of a "traitor!" "unsafe!" "false!" I therefore withhold my opinion, and shall not allow it to escape my lips in future. The New Zealand Company must fall, crumble to pieces, as a South Sea scheme, numbers ruined by their deeds. With regard to the Waitangi treaty, I am satisfied the British Government can never allow its violation, though there may be, as there doubtless are, many individuals who may wish to overturn the whole island as relates to natives. Our ears are saluted frequently with expressions truly savage as to how these people ought to be served,--to be "poisoned," to be "flayed alive," to be "shot like dogs."
Our Mission is most seriously distracted. The loyal natives have suffered more from evil communication, than their enemies have from all the shot, shell, and rockets which have been discharged at them. The authorities appear disposed to carry matters with a high hand; could they trample me down, their work with the Mission would be complete. I regard them not, collectively or individually; yet, I fear his Excellency is a weak man.
On all sides, expressions of sympathy were pouring in. For reasons that will presently appear, the following is selected.
The Reverend Robert Maunsell to Archdeacon Henry Williams.
Waikato Heads, April 6, 1846.
You, I am sure, can give me credit for truth, when I tell you that the troubles of my district have so completely absorbed my thoughts and time during the past year, that I have had but little time and inclination to indulge myself in anything but necessary duties. Of you and your troubles I had heard often, and as often intended writing. A late communication, however, from Mr. Morgan, has induced me to send now this line of kind remembrance and sympathy. He tells me the Society have written to you for a justification of your proceedings at the northward in these late troubles. I am sure I know enough of our Society to feel persuaded that it is only with a view to stop the mouths of adversaries at home; and you will, I am satisfied, feel ready to supply them with the necessary information. Although I have heard much in being in the neighbourhood of Auckland, nothing has ever come with any appearance of proof, while all has too evidently borne the aspect of a clear desire to malign, whether good or bad. Your mind, I hope, enjoys peace,--not a peace resulting from a mere stubborn indifference to the feelings and opinions of the world, but a peace derived from the approbation of conscience, and from the remembrance that the Lord has much honored you in the eyes of
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your brethren, by making you not only a chief founder of a church, but a most effectual diffuser of the light, from Kaitaia to Port Nicholson. I remember well our first visit to this [the Manukau] district, and shall always thankfully acknowledge the good which you in that visit succeeded in effecting. I am sorry also to hear from Mr. Morgan that the Society have declined the services of your son Samuel. This I am sure, however, will only be for a time; Samuel is too valuable a man to be allowed to waste himself on merely secular duties. I hope however for good from this act of the committee, that it will serve to test his zeal, and teach him in the beginning of his career that the "patience" described by Paul (Rom. viii, 25) is a grace that he must, in limine, seek for in common with every faithful follower of the Lord Jesus.
A letter from the Bishop throws some light on his disagreement with the Church Mission Society.
Bishop Selwyn to Archdeacon Henry Williams.
Auckland, April 20, 1846.
I am much obliged to you for your letter, which gives on the whole quite as satisfactory an account of the state of the Northern district as I could have expected. May God be pleased to restore peace, and to enable his work again to advance.
By the favour of Divine Providence, I was allowed to complete all my arrangements, and reached home on the 7th April, having confirmed 2,200 persons, about one for every mile of my visitation by land and sea. Some of the districts are decidedly in a better state than at the time of my former visit; others are as evidently declining; but my general impression is, that with the addition of an efficient school system, and a few subdivisions of the larger districts, we shall be enabled, under God's blessing, to hold our ground.
A general sympathy with Heke seems to be a feeling overruling all intestine animosities of old times.
All my plans for ordinations and schools are at present in abeyance, by the late resolutions of the Society withdrawing its catechists from my list of candidates for holy orders, because I require them to promise to go wherever their services may be most required.
In my present position of misunderstanding with the Church Mission Society, I should be unwilling to accept any payment on behalf of the scholars at present under education in the Native College. Mr. Venn has distinctly declared, that it is not the wish of the Society to mix themselves up with my proceedings. I am quite contented with this arrangement, if they will only form and carry out better plans of their own. I care nothing who does the work; provided that the work is done.
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The Bishop wrote in full assurance of support from Archdeacon Williams, even in going counter to the views of the Church Mission Society. In a letter to Mr. Marsh, the Archdeacon expresses a plain opinion on the subject of difference.
Henry Williams to the Reverend E. G. Marsh.
Paihia, May 28, 1846.
Our weeks pass so rapidly along, that I am not aware of the great spaces between my letters to you. I will endeavour to be more punctual, as I feel our years are drawing to a period, when all communications must cease. Poor Captain FitzRoy must now be drawing near the termination of his homeward voyage, and will convey a large supply of intelligence to the Church Mission Society, for the satisfaction of all the friends of the Mission that he will be in England to stand our friend. We have a hard battle to fight to stand our ground; but, poor things, they consider not that "The Lord of Hosts is with us, and The God of Jacob is our refuge." They marvel greatly that we fall not before them; when they rave and fume, we reply not, but quietly pursue our course. The far-famed Waimate station has been sorely degraded in consequence of the military having been quartered there during the war. I have written to the Church Mission Society to ask if protection cannot be afforded to us against any future visitation of the like nature; for what concord can there be between missionaries and their proceedings with military men and their proceedings.
Governor Grey has reversed all the acts of Captain FitzRoy, and has set at nought the Missionaries for the satisfaction of the rabble and the New Zealand Company . . . . .
In the Bishop's last letter, he tells me that the Church Mission Society have withdrawn their catechists from his list of candidates for ordination, because he requires them to occupy positions which he considers to stand most in need. Now, this I am at a loss to understand, having thought that a Bishop was an overseer, to keep special watch over, and to reinforce the weaker points, as a General watches over the wants of his army. On the appointment of a Bishop, I rejoiced on this very account that, having a general view, he would see all over the bearings of one station with the others, and their comparative strength. Every movement hitherto made has met with general approbation of the Missionaries, though not universal. The Parent Committee can only obtain information from us, but too often has the opinion of the collective body been set aside by that of individuals; hence much hindrance to the public good.
We have much to endure in the form of scandalous reports of a very ingenious character; amusing the vile. While Captain Fitz-
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Roy was here they did not appear of much moment; but now, all appear against us, with few exceptions. The Governor is young, and does not trouble himself to enquire into matters which do not immediately concern him. After having had the benefit of our services, and now believing that they can do without for the present, they tell us insultingly, they never required them. We have not yet troubled them with any remarks upon their conduct, but have expressed some astonishment that they do not follow up their view, if they think they can establish a case. They have no case, therefore content themselves with an occasional growl. But we have much to be thankful for; the family has been preserved in health and quietness, amidst all this sad commotion.
Samuel, I believe, will be taken by the Bishop for the venerable S. P. G. [Society for the Propagation of the Gospel], having been rejected by ours [C M. S]. 24 His Lordship's intention is, to admit him to ordination in a few months, and to keep him close to himself; after which he may be united to his cousin Mary. Edward and his wife have a heavy charge in the school, to meet the prejudice of the parents, for we have these things to contend with here as in your part of the world.
With regard to peace, we have it of a certain kind; but, certainly, there does not appear any disposition to confiscate the land of those who have been engaged in this disturbance. Nor can it be said that the troops have yet obtained any advantage of them, in a military point of view. At Port Nicholson they can but stand their ground. A murder has been committed there; a man and his son killed by the natives upon the land which had been disputed, yet the murderers could not be taken. 25 The flag-staff in the Bay is still prostrate, and the natives here rule. These are humiliating facts to the proud Englishman, many of whom thought they could govern by a mere name.
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"While Captain FitzRoy was here," writes the Archdeacon, "the scandalous reports against us did not appear of much moment; but now, all appear against us, with few exceptions." The reason is not far to seek. In a young colony, the tone of the Governor affects that of the community. Captain FitzRoy went straight; had no personal ends to serve, and turned a deaf ear to gossip. The following letter, which, having been mislaid, did not appear in its place, shews that when recalled, his first thought was, not for himself, but for those who had so well served his government, henceforth to be exposed to buffet and jibe.
Auckland, October 2, 1845.
My dear Sir,--I thank you cordially for your zealous exertions. I can appreciate them, and I will not fail to do you full justice in England, as elsewhere.
My reply to Kawiti is enclosed, and I shall be much obliged to you to forward it by a trustworthy person. I send a copy of the English, for your own information. A copy of my letter to Heke (sent through Colonel Despard); it is in my letter to Kawiti. Be kind enough to keep my English letter to yourself; for I am as little understood, and as much misrepresented, by the ignorant, as you are.
I am very anxious to move the troops from the Waimate, and I would do so forthwith, demolishing the fortifications and putting things to rights, distinctly stating that I would not send them there again, if I could depend on the chapel and buildings being allowed to remain unmolested. Pray write me your opinion as to the probable consequences of withdrawing the troops thence, with such an understanding.
For your sake, for the sake of the Missionaries, the natives, and the settlers, I regret deeply that Lord Stanley has informed me I am recalled; and that my successor will shortly be in the colony.
I remain, my dear Sir,
Always faithfully yours,
The Archdeacon Henry Williams.
Henry Williams to the Reverend E. G. Marsh.
Paihia, June it, 1846.
We have yet lying and slanderous spirits still hovering about, breathing forth great abomination. You may perchance hear of
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some of them. I hope however you will not suffer yourself to be disturbed by them, should they fly your way. These evil ones keep out of our way, so that we really know but a small portion of what is going on. Our settlement I have compared to a city of refuge, where there hath been light and peace, though darkness has reigned around. This simple fact appears mysterious to those not of us, and the only interpretation these wise ones can give us is, that we "must have given encouragement to the natives to chop down the flag-staff;" yet no enquiry has been made by those in power.
About this time, the malicious allegation, that Lieutenant Williams had run away from his ship to avoid a court-martial, was revived, notwithstanding the retractation and apology that had been already exacted. The Archdeacon was in disgrace with the Governor. Disproof had been obtained from the Admiralty long since, and the Bishop took the matter in hand. He dissuaded the Archdeacon from legal proceedings, but compelled an apology from Mr. St. Aubyn, the holder of a Government appointment. The Bishop was in error in discouraging legal proceedings; but he did not yet know the colonies. The subject is distasteful, and is passed over with a reference to the Appendix to the first volume of this work, where the Admiralty papers and the several apologies are to be found.
Henry Williams to the Reverend Christopher Davies.
Auckland, August 5, 1846.
I hope to sail to-morrow for home, having now finished my business in this quarter, which has been rather tedious. You have heard of much evil speaking against the Mission; and those bad fellows of Hokianga, I was told by brother Hobbs, had been opening their mouths in good earnest. I immediately requested him to put it down in writing, which I forwarded to the Bishop. The purport of the slander was, that I had been turned out of the navy. The Bishop examined my papers, and brought the accuser to the charge, when he had nothing to say. I had intended to have prosecuted St. Aubyn, but was restrained by his Lordship, under the idea that he had nothing to lose. St. Aubyn soon saw his position, and on Monday last forwarded his apology, which I enclose. I add also a copy of the certificate given by the Bishop. It would appear that a conspiracy had been formed at Hokianga, now exploded.
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Henry Williams to the Reverend E. G. Marsh.
Paihia, August 21, 1846.
In your September letter you notice the charge of "Arch Traitor." This my friends have endeavoured to establish, by making me speak words I never uttered. I did write my version of the whole matter, by which I rebutted the charge, and sent my statement to the Bishop for his approval or suppression, or in fact, to alter as he might think proper; but it was his Lordship's opinion that we ought not to submit ourselves to the judgment of newspaper editors; it therefore did not appear in public. I shall, however, for your own satisfaction, enclose a copy. I suppose Captain FitzRoy has himself appeared in England, and has been heard in his own behalf. Before his departure I congratulated him on his recall. He will of course have called at the Church Mission House, and have relieved their minds in many particulars. I have in these few months learnt a lesson, and having been relieved by the proceedings of the present Governor from all public duties, except in my missionary work, I shall not in future permit myself to be again drawn in to attend to any of their work. I thank you for your opinion respecting our Church for Pakaraka.
As the land question is now settled, 26 the portion of land to be set apart as endowment can be immediately determined. This would be one step towards a settlement, upon which I shall be glad of your opinion. Next month we hope will add our son Samuel to the number of the ministers of the church in this country, when we shall have two members of our family who might possibly be nominated. The young people will, I presume, in course of time be establishing themselves away from us, and settling at Pakaraka and its neighbourhood. On this account, therefore, I wish to make preparation for a church while I have the opportunity.
Henry Williams to the Reverend E. G. Marsh.
Paihia, September 9, 1846.
I have just taken a copy of a letter for you which I had prepared for publication. My motive in thus troubling you with this document is to shew you what you did not appear to be aware of, that I altogether rebut the charge brought against me relative to Kororareka and its fall. But the handling of the subject is another question, and of that I should like to have your opinion. I am now forwarding to Mr. Coates a copy of a letter of mine to
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the rebel chief Kawiti, which many of my enemies have been endeavouring to brand as traitorous. 27 They tried to do so, but
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failed. There is no doubt that the Governor is as desirous to do so as any person. They may renew the attempt. I therefore send this copy, with some other letters in connection with it, whereby the committee may see the nature of this charge, and how pressed they are for some reason for a quarrel. One great reason they have discovered upon which to ground their ideas is witnessing as they have done the great regard which has been shewn to us throughout this disturbance. In one of your recent letters you enquire after Tamati Waka, "General Walker," the great champion in the British cause. "General Walker:" this man is the only one in this part of the island who could have been selected for so high an office. I have known him for more than twenty years, and always found him the same; well disposed, but resolute in opposing his enemies. He is carrying out his measures, though on the first excitement of the questions arising out of the flag-staff, he, and all the other chiefs without exception, had considerable doubts as to the designs of the Government. Waka has generally resided at Hokianga amongst the Wesleyans, and has been baptised by them. His elder brother (Patuone) was baptised by me; but the whole tribe has been backward and forward from Hokianga to the Bay. At the time of the general commotion, Waka was undetermined. The Treaty was the grand question,--whether or not the country was seized in consequence of the treaty. I was left alone in the Bay to combat this question, and had four hundred copies struck off that all might know its true nature, as so many persons were exciting the natives to believe that all was lost to them. By this Waka maintained his position. I must observe, without fear of egotism, that no one else took any trouble to explain to the natives the nature of the Treaty, and to allay their fears, but myself; therefore, when the war commenced, Waka was prepared, and immediately met Heke. It is remarkable that in every engagement he had the advantage. Waka, with his allies, were not only the preservation of the country as a British colony, but also the preservation of the troops, preceding them through the woods, by well scouring them to see that the enemy were not in possession: in every instance this has been the case. I see Waka frequently, and always find him the same,--a sober, sensible, quiet, unassuming, well conducted statesman and soldier, admitted by all the military to be an able field officer.
Auckland, September 17. I am now in the College, having come down to see the Bishop, and to be present at Samuel's ordination and wedding. Marianne and my girls are here. William and his tribe arrived on Thursday last, so that we have quite a family meeting at this place. To-morrow the mail is to be made up; Marianne is too tired after her voyage to conclude her epistle, and I am more than half asleep, owing to my recent
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disturbed nights. We are, however, all well, and the Bishop is determined to make us as comfortable as he can. This place appears in a very prosperous state. The College buildings are rearing their heads in an imposing manner, and we hope that ere long all will be brought into good order. I think of leaving Marianne here for at least a month, that she and Jane may finish their talk, for they may not again see each other for a long period. These voyages are not only very expensive, but attended with misery and danger, as the vessels are small and the coast bad. The Bishop is yet very sore upon the question between himself and the Society. He and William have had a long conversation; I also had when here last. We have many enemies, and it is important that as little hindrance as possible should be given. The interests of our Church here are on the wane, for want of union and strength.
In a letter to Mr. Marsh, the Archdeacon mentions the hanging of Martin Luther, a prisoner of war. This man had not signed the Treaty of Waitangi; and it may be argued that he was therefore no rebel. But this is not the place to raise the question, how far the act of those who did sign the treaty was binding upon those who did not. The execution was at all events most impolitic; holding very strong opinions, I fear to trust myself with saying more,--and led to the second war in the South, the Whanganui war; the Hutt war being the first.
Henry Williams to the Reverend E. G. Marsh.
Paihia, October 16, 1846.
By recent intelligence from Wellington we learn that one native concerned in the late disturbance has been hanged, and it is stated that several more are expected to share the same fate. Had the executive power been transposed, what might we not have expected before this to have taken place in this distant corner of the earth. We have just heard of the death of our very old friend Mr. Coates. He had many a conflict for the Church Mission Society, and was prepared for his rest. He appears to have been a laborious man, and his place will not be easily supplied.
The plot was now thickening; the Archdeacon began to find himself more closely beset, hemmed in on every side. The plan of attack was being covertly arranged. He felt the storm impending, but was for some while at a loss to find out from what quarter it
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was to blow. Of some who bore ill will he knew; but he did not yet know all.
From Archdeacon Williams' journal.
January 10, 1847. The steamer with the Governor. Morning service at Kororareka; congregation better than expected, owing to the raruraru [difficulty or perplexity of the time].
January 12. No personal communication between the Governor and Heke. 28 Mr. Busby called with the Surgeon of H.M.S.S. "Driver."
January 13. A note from Mr. Busby, stating his conversation with the Governor, who told him that the Church Mission Society natives were the rebels; those of the Wesleyans and Roman Catholics were friends. No personal communication between the Governor and Heke. Mr. Clendon [police magistrate] superseded by Major Patience; much discontent expressed by the natives.
January 15. Heke crossed over to the Ti; received a letter from him asking me to go and see him, as he was lame [from the effect of the wound received in conflict with Walker Nene's party]. Called upon him; long conversation, and saw the Governor's letter to him. Did not approve of it. Mr. Busby called upon the Governor. In the evening received a note from Mr. Busby, stating that the Governor declined entering upon the question [raised by him concerning the religious denominations of the rebel, and of the friendly natives].
January 26. Called on Mr. Busby relative to the Governor's conversation. I was sorry the Governor took the view he did, and do not recognise his right in so doing.
This matter, lightly touched upon in the journal, was taken up seriously by the Archdeacon, who felt the imputation deeply. It was an attack upon his discharge of professional duty,--a shot between wind and water. It was moreover in corroboration of the charge of treason. The Governor had probably been told that the rebels were Church of England natives, but that the Wesleyans and Roman Catholics were friendly, and, like Dr. Lang who suffered himself to be indoctrinated by "Jones the rat-catcher," was not fastidious as to the authority upon which desirable information was supplied. As usual, when pressed, he drew off, declining to substantiate or to retract.
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The Archdeacon disposed of the question in the most decisive manner,--by a nominal list of the chiefs engaged either for or against us, with the respective denominations from which they hailed. It is remarkable, as a fact, that nearly all the chiefs of rank who were killed on the rebel side, were either heathen or Roman Catholics.
We have now to shew how Henry Williams, already in disgrace with the Colonial Authorities, earned for himself the ill-will of the party then in power at the Colonial Office, by the resolute stand he made in defence of the Treaty of Waitangi, when an attempt was made to violate the rights conferred by it.
LORD GREY'S CHARTER AND INSTRUCTIONS.
In June, 1847, Auckland and the North were astounded by the receipt of Instructions 29 to the Governor from Lord Grey, Secretary of State for the Colonies, concerning native land, in direct contravention of the Treaty. Totally unexpected, they came like a thunder-clap, at the most inauspicious moment that could have been chosen,--just at the time when the excitement of the war was subsiding, when the belief of the natives that by the flag-staff their possessions had been forfeited to the Queen was shaken, and the suspicion, long seething in the native mind, that they were to be reduced, as a race, to serfdom on land that had been hitherto their own, was beginning to be allayed. These ideas had been sown broadcast by mischievous or disaffected Europeans; had been combated, not without effect, by the Mission; and now, to the utter dismay of the peace-makers, appeared what was, to the natives, authoritative corroboration of the dark rumours spread abroad.
To render the precise effect of the Instructions intelligible, it becomes necessary to enter briefly into the question of the relations of the Government towards the natives in regard to land.
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The nature of Maori proprietorship, in those days, (the word "tenure" is purposely avoided,) being now so generally known, may be passed over in few words. The whole country was partitioned among tribes, with more or less dispute about boundaries, but with definite claims to every acre. It is usually said that the tribal lands were held in common by the members of the tribe, and the expression may pass if an important limitation be imposed; namely, that a person cultivating a portion of the tribal possessions acquired an usufructuary right thereto, but without the power to alienate. Alienation, at least to a stranger, was a tribal affair. Living always in fear of aggression from without, their boundaries became involved with their system of defence. The land, was the leading idea in the Maori mind. The Maori knew, as well as an English proprietor, how much is implied by the possession of land; and they perfectly understood that, so long as they were proprietors, their social status in. the country was secure. Consequently, during the negotiation of a treaty for cession of sovereignty to the Queen, they troubled themselves not about abstruse points of international law, but kept steadily in view the one substantial consideration,--"How about the land, if we admit the Sovereignty? Does that remain to us as it did before?" They were assured, in the most express words that could be devised, that it was so; with one single reservation, namely, the cession of the right of pre-emption to the Crown. 30 The reservation, proposed by Captain Hobson, met with a ready assent from the Mission, and from the natives; for it was felt by them as a check upon the improvident alienation of their own lands.
But the objects of the incoming Government and of the Mission were not similar. The Government desired, by securing a monopoly of the land trade, to make a profit out of the natives; the Mission, to hinder the natives from voluntary impoverishment A little too much was taken for granted, namely, that the
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Government, having secured the monopoly, would tender a fair price to the sellers. 31 The result was very different. The Government, once in a position to buy at their own time, and at their own price, took advantage of that position to acquire, for a nominal consideration, large tracts of land, presently to be resold to the colonists at a great profit. This difference, which was called the Government brokerage, was not confined by law to native purposes, but used as freely as the proceeds of other taxation. It was, in fact, a heavy special tax, imposed on one race only of the Queen's subjects in the Colony. So shrewd a people were not slow to perceive the anomaly; and, to allay the discontent which ensued, Governor FitzRoy took upon himself to waive the right of pre-emption, permitting the colonists to give the market price for land to the owners, on payment of a trifling fee on the transaction to the Government. This was apparently in excess of his powers, and the privilege was revoked by Governor Grey; but much good had been effected meanwhile.
It is true, indeed, that the Treaty of Waitangi, by which possession of their land was guaranteed to the natives, absolutely and unconditionally, 32 had long been attacked with systematic hostility by the New Zealand Company, to whose land-trading operations it was a hindrance. But Lord Stanley entertained a different view of the respect due to obligations contracted by the Crown of England, 33 and the Company's utmost endeavour to overthrow
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the Treaty had failed. Unfortunately, Lord Stanley and Mr. Gladstone successively went out of the Colonial Office, and were succeeded by Lord Grey, better known to the Colonists as Lord Howick, chairman of that Select Committee of the House of Commons which voted the Treaty to be "one of a series of injudicious proceedings."
Lord Grey was well known as a favourer of the Company; and had now the power to carry his opinions into effect. He superseded the Charter of 1840 by one of his own, generally called the Charter of 1846, conceding representative institutions, with an educational franchise,--the one good point about it. The legislative machinery was too cumbrous, though that difficulty might not have been altogether insuperable; but the sting was in the tail. The Charter was accompanied by a Letter of Instructions, having the authority of law.
By the 13th chapter of these Instructions, native lands, excepting under conditions with which the owners could not comply, were declared Demesne lands, of the Crown. The device by which the Treaty was to be avoided, is ingenious. Registration of native lands was required, under penalty of confiscation. The substance of the encroachment, in the words of Chief Justice Martin, was simply this:--
"That to an officer appointed by the Government shall be entrusted and confided the Registration of the claims of the native people to their lands. The natives are to have no control or right of interference, in any way, in respect to the appointment of this officer, or of his conduct, when appointed; yet, if he shall fail to cause any claim to be registered, whether the fault arise from oversight, error, or any worse cause, the lands not registered shall be confiscated. And this confiscation is to be final, and without appeal." 34
But worse remains behind. No claim to land upon which labour for the sustentation of life had not been expended, was to be recognised; that is to say, all the virgin land of New Zealand was confiscated to the Crown.
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The English organs of the Company with which Lord Grey had so far identified himself, were in extacies. They were loud in applause of the decision that swept away "the Treaty of Waitangi nonsense;" "the humbug treaty;" "the Waitangi farce;" "the device to amuse savages," and "all the preliminary chapters of tragi-comic blundering."
But the Instructions met with a very different reception in the Colony. They came with a blast of ill omen upon the Northern province; every one knew that the attempt to enforce them would be certain war. Of Governor Grey's first impressions, or of the cause which led to a change of impression, I care not to speak, having no desire to revive old griefs. The colonists memorialised the Queen; the Bishop forwarded a solemn protest to Lord Grey; the Wesleyans addressed him on their own account; 35 the Chief Justice wrote a pamphlet, proving that the Instructions involved a violation of established law, as well as of the national faith. 36 The press laboured with a twofold object; to keep up the resistance of the settlers, by strenuously denouncing the breach of faith; and to allay the ferment among the natives by scoffing at the very idea of the Instructions being ever practically enforced. Its conductors even went so far as to suppress, for a while, the spoliation clauses, while giving publication to the remainder instructions, for the sake of keeping back from the natives direct and positive knowledge of what had been prepared against them. But sinister rumours spread; most dangerous excitation arose among the natives; and the turmoil was allayed only by the reiterated assurances of their teachers that the Queen, when proper representations should have been made, would never suffer the Instructions to be carried out.
The Governor stood alone on the other side. He had by this time resolved to maintain that no breach of treaty was
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contemplated by the Instructions. Lord Grey had informed him, in the despatch which covered the Charter and Instructions, that--
No apparent advantage could be suffered to weigh against the evil of acting in a manner either really, or even apparently, inconsistent with good faith;
while prescribing, elsewhere, the exact form in which faith was to be broken. Governor Grey took his stand upon the apophthegm, ignoring the positive order. 37 He discovered that his Lordship had been "entirely misunderstood;" that is to say, by the whole body of Settlers, by the Missionaries, by the Judges, by the Bishop, by the Press, within the Colony; and, in England, by the organs of the New Zealand Company, by the Society for the Protection of the Aborigines, in Doctors' Commons and the Inns of Court. When the excitement among the natives had become alarming, he was