urged to allay it, by declaring, publicly and officially, that no land whatever should be seized. This he refused to do, on the ground that such an assurance would be an admission, and be a reflection on Lord Grey. The Secretary of State was to be tenderly used, but the Colony forgotten.
Much angry correspondence ensued; the Governor firing despatches against everybody, the Bishop and the Chief Justice included, in defence of the Secretary of State, even going so far as to deny the existence of turmoil among the natives; an assertion which was rebutted by the Bishop in words that would have been designated by Touchstone as the "reproof valiant:"--"If, then," says the Bishop, "on that particular 7th July, on which your Excellency's two despatches and my protest were forwarded, there was no existing ground for apprehension, that day can only be looked upon as a happy interval of repose, preceded and followed by fears on the same subject, and in the same quarters;"--as ingenious a mode of offering a flat contradiction, without transgressing the bounds of courtesy, as could be well imagined. Lord Grey indited a waspish despatch against the Bishop, presently followed by an apology, in which, however, the main question was still avoided.
The Chief Justice did not come off scatheless; though not, as was predicted, removed from office. But the requisite impression had been made at the Colonial Office. They shrank from enforcing their own commands.
The general result was this: that a native outbreak against what Lord Grey was pleased to term "the mere expression of an opinion," was averted, though at one time imminent, by the joint efforts of the Bishop and the Missionaries, and their assurance that the Royal Instructions would not be acted on. The Governor, notwithstanding his declaration of their harmlessness, never attempted to bring them into force; they lay dormant, though still a disgrace to the New Zealand Statute Book, 1 until superseded by the Constitution
As usual, when trouble was impending, Archdeacon Henry's aid was sought. On receipt of the Instructions, Bishop Selwyn looked to the Archdeacon as his right hand man; and though he evidently felt that he was getting himself, together with all who might follow him, into political difficulty, he writes as a man who was satisfied that his coadjutor would not flinch.
Bishop Selwyn to Archdeacon Henry Williams.
St. John's College, June 30, 1847.
My dear Archdeacon,--A letter from Lord Grey to his Excellency Captain Grey, which has lately arrived, and which you have probably seen in the public newspapers, distinctly denies the right of the New Zealanders to their unoccupied lands,--in entire violation, as I conceive, of the Treaty of Waitangi.
As you were commissioned by Captain Hobson to interpret and explain the treaty to the natives, both in the North and the South, and were expressly directed by him in his official letter, not to allow any one to sign till he fully understood it, I hereby request you to inform me in writing what you explained to the natives, and how they understood it.
I cannot let the matter rest here; and that I am resolved to act with you and the other members of the Mission in defence of the treaty, you may gather from the following Petition which I have prepared, and shall place in the hands of a confidential friend in England, to be used whenever he shall find that I have been forced by my duty to the natives' interest into a position incompatible
with my tenure of salary from Government. Of course, you will consider the document private, and intended only to give you some encouragement in a matter which must distress you even more than me.
"To the Honourable the Commons House of Parliament.
"The Honourable Petition of George Augustus, by Divine Permission Bishop of New Zealand,
"That (reciting the date and terms of the treaty).
"That (reciting the repeated approbation of it by her Majesty's Government).
"That the following clergymen in this diocese, members of the Church Mission, the Revs. H. Williams, W. Williams, A. N. Brown, R. Maunsell, R. Taylor, were actively employed by Captain Hobson in interpreting and explaining to the native chiefs the principle and object of the treaty, which (in Captain Hobson's words to the Rev. H. Williams) 'they must clearly understand before you permit them to sign.'
"That, upon the literal construction of the words of the treaty above quoted, and the repeated declarations of her Majesty's Government at home and in New Zealand, and upon the uniform assurance of the clergymen employed as interpreters, I have felt it my duty to deny most positively and emphatically the accusations brought against the English Government in my nearing in all parts of New Zealand,----of a concealed intention to appropriate to itself, without satisfaction or payment, the whole of the unoccupied lands of the native people.
"That, having thus united myself with the clergy of the Church Mission in one distinct declaration, upon the truth or falsehood of which our credit and influence with the native people must stand or fall, and being unable to see any other just or intelligible construction of the Treaty of Waitangi than that which we have uniformly maintained; and being resolved, so help me God, to use all legal and constitutional measures, befitting my station, to uphold every right and privilege guaranteed to the natives of New Zealand by the Treaty of Waitangi, and belonging to them as British subjects.
"I hereby humbly request your Honourable House that if it shall be the pleasure of the Imperial Parliament to set aside the Treaty of Waitangi, or to carry into execution any other construction of it than that which we have uniformly explained to the native people, your Honourable House will be pleased to release me from my position as an Officer of the Colonial Government, by discontinuing the annual vote for the payment of my salary as Bishop of New Zealand."
You will conclude that I mean to act, and I have no doubt of the
co-operation of you and all the other members of the Mission. With kind remembrances to Mrs. Williams and all yours,
Your affectionate Friend and Brother,
G. A. NEW ZEALAND.
By the Archdeacon's reply, it will be seen that he was not blind to the risk incurred by taking a prominent part in the matter. He knew well that the Mission was followed by the deep enmity of the New Zealand Company; that Lord Grey was engaged in carrying out the Company's doctrines; and that the disfavour of a Secretary of State is likely to be productive of ill result; but he did not then know, what he subsequently learned to his cost, that Governor Grey would consider it his duty to stand up for his official chief. The Archdeacon's own duty was manifest,--to stand up for the treaty--that is to say, for the Colony, and he did so. It will presently be seen that when, in after times, he appealed to Lord Grey's sense of justice for an open enquiry into charges that had been brought against the Mission, he was refused, not in the language of official courtesy, but with pointed and sarcastic affront.
Archdeacon Henry Williams to the Bishop.
Paihia, July 12, 1847.
Your letter of the 30th June I have just received, and hasten to reply by the return of the "Albert." ,
Earl Grey's despatch to his Excellency the Governor I have seen, and am truly grieved to find that the Queen of Great Britain can be thus dishonoured. I have always maintained to the aborigines that her Majesty's word was sacred and inviolable. This treaty between her Majesty the Queen and the chiefs of this country was made in the presence of the whole world, and now, by the flourish of the pen of her Majesty's Minister, seems to be revoked and scattered to the winds. In like manner as Tahiti, so is New Zealand to fall a sacrifice to the avaricious designs of a company, whose views are said to be confirmed by royal mandate after a public and unexpected indignity towards her Majesty the Queen. I cannot be surprised at the very light estimate in which the Missionaries are held who took so prominent a part in the explanations of this treaty between her Majesty and the chiefs of New Zealand. That we should fall a sacrifice, may be desired, but there are further points for consideration: the extermination of the native race, with proportional numbers of British subjects, who must fall with the aborigines in their struggle for freedom. As I was satisfied
that I was discharging my duty as a loyal subject of her Majesty, and as a faithful Pastor of the aborigines, I executed the duty requested of me by her Majesty's representative. Captain Hobson, and am now prepared for consequences. As I did explain the nature of the treaty in 1840, I must continue to explain, in self-defence; for I must not be accessory to such deception, but continue to stand upon the treaty alone.
By what we have seen, we may infer what will be the extent of indignation of the most faithful of native allies, when they find they have been thus deluded, and made the dupes of such duplicity, after such repeated assurance made to them, in her Majesty's name, of her Majesty's determination to preserve faithfully the treaty entered into with those at Waitangi in 1840, strengthened by that shew of friendship towards some of the chiefs, which now they must read with a clearer understanding.
I feel thankful that your Lordship has noticed this most painful and humiliating subject. Of our support your Lordship may be fully assured.
My view of the Treaty of Waitangi is, as it ever was, that it was the Magna Charta of the aborigines of New Zealand.
Your Lordship has requested information in writing of what I explained to the natives, and how they understood it. I confined myself solely to the tenor of the treaty.
That the Queen had kind wishes towards the chiefs and people of New Zealand,
And was desirous to protect them in their rights as chiefs, and rights of property,
And that the Queen was desirous that a lasting peace and good understanding should be preserved with them.
That the Queen had thought it desirable to send a Chief as a regulator of affairs with the natives of New Zealand.
That the native chiefs should admit the Government of the Queen throughout the country, from the circumstance that numbers of her subjects are residing in the country, and are coming hither from Europe and New South Wales.
That the Queen is desirous to establish a settled government, to prevent evil occurring to the natives and Europeans who are now residing in New Zealand without law.
That the Queen therefore proposes to the chiefs these following articles:
Firstly,--The chiefs shall surrender to the Queen for ever the Government of the country, for the preservation of order and peace.
Secondly,--The Queen of England confirms and guarantees to the chiefs and tribes, and to each individual native, their full rights as chiefs, their rights of possession of their lands, and all their other property of every kind and degree.
The chiefs wishing to sell any portion of their lands shall give to the Queen the right of pre-emption of their lands.
Thirdly,--That the Queen, in consideration of the above, will protect the natives of New Zealand, and will impart to them all the rights and privileges of British subjects.
The Instruction of Captain Hobson was, "not to allow any one to sign the treaty till he fully understood it;" to which instruction I did most strictly attend. I explained the treaty clause by clause at the signing of the same, and again to all the natives in this part of the Island previously to the destruction of Kororareka, on March 11, 1845; I maintained the faith of the treaty and the integrity of the British Government, and that the word of her Majesty was sacred, and could not be violated.
That the natives to whom I explained the treaty understood the nature of the same, there can be no doubt; for by this explanation alone I was enabled to give considerable check to the proceedings of the natives in arms, and to suppress the irritation excited by unprincipled Europeans as to the intention of her Majesty's Government, who had spread the report that the country was seized in her Majesty's name. By this explanation many tribes remained neutral, and others acted with the troops as allies of the British military force. I do further state that, until the very minute explanation given by me at a large meeting of the Ngapuhi chiefs in Paroa, in January, 1845, Waka and other friendly chiefs were perfectly confounded as to the intention of the Government. My explanation relieved their mind, and preserved order.
I feel at a perfect loss how to act, having repeatedly promised to the chiefs that, should there be danger of their fears being realised, I would state the same to them. I have boldly and fearlessly pleaded the honour and integrity of her Majesty's Government; when that has evaporated, what is to be done? To allow the natives to continue in ignorance, appears to me he tino mea kohuru.
The active part taken in this matter by the Mission did not tend to diminish the dislike towards them which Lord Grey shared with the New Zealand Company. His opportunity came at last; and, as will presently be seen, he was not slow to seize it.
Sensitive to the extreme on questions affecting personal honour, Henry Williams was unable to rest under the imputations that were being heaped upon him. But here he was in difficulty. At this time his desire was to give way to the Bishop's opinion;
and the Bishop had an aversion to any appeal to the public press. But something had to be done. In conjunction with his brother, Archdeacon William Williams, he drew up a concise statement of the main points at issue, entituled "Plain Facts." The statement was printed, but not published. Half measures are always a mistake. The Archdeacon had better have followed his own judgment, which was unerring. Even the compiler of this Memoir, though a very mole for unearthing hidden facts from under ground, was surprised, years after, by parts of the statement, when allowed to peruse it. Though no longer required for the vindication of character, it is now published for the first time, at the end of this volume, as a contribution to the early history of the Colony. 2 The mildness of expression by which the statement is distinguished is attributable to the coadjutor in the work. But every line may defy dispute.
Archdeacon William Williams to Henry Williams.
Turanga, June 26, 1847.
I have been very busy of late writing out your papers, and now, I am thankful to say, I have come to an end. A duplicate copy is made out, which I send by Mr. Baker to Auckland, who is obliged to go there to take his sick wife for medical advice. You will perceive that I have availed myself of the licence you gave me to cut off and add on as I might think proper. I have therefore omitted certain smaller matters, which would rather hinder the general effect. You would not fire leaden bullets against a stone wall. In looking over the various documents which I brought with me, I have selected a few of importance, which you had not noticed; there is nothing in the production, as it now stands, of an offensive nature; it is purely defensive, but I think may perhaps vastly annoy those who find they have committed themselves. The three principal points are, I think, well supported, and if other people are of the same mind with myself, they will be convinced that the Missionaries have been grievously dealt with, but most particularly yourself. Your letter to Major Bridge is most strong upon the point of giving information to the Government; it is not inserted, but you can have it, if thought proper. I hope that you and Mr. Busby will well consider every point, and note anything that occurs in the way of improvement. Was not Huarahi killed? and was he pikopo or heathen? Also Tihurangi, what was he? Look
over the thick book of Parliamentary Papers for the schedule of land claimed by Missionaries. We have nothing to do, of course, with persons not now in the Mission. I think the London merchants in their petition, when they talked of 193,000 acres, must have taken names at random; certainly they have very much more than we know anything about. The Governor may talk of taking away the land, but I imagine he will have some difficulty to recover the award of the Commissioners, confirmed by the late Governor, the grants withal having been given into the hands of the claimants.
Now for the matter of publication. You say in a letter to Dr. Davies that these documents are to be sent home for publication by the Church Mission Society. This I must object to after such statements as the Governor is fond of making; we must have the matter met upon the spot. Besides which, the Society might act as they did with my letters, and who would be the wiser? How can a person lift up his head in Auckland, if he is to be pointed at as one of the authors of all the troubles which have befallen the country for the last three years? Our case is a good one, and let the world be made acquainted with it. You too have done the state some service, and I would let them know it.
Perhaps ------ may not choose to print it; but there are more printers than one. I think it likely the Bishop may propose some negotiation between himself and the Governor. I object to it. Will the Governor, though convinced, make any open retractation which you can use? Not he, indeed. He is not made of such material. If the Bishop makes any objection, I shall tell him (coolly though) that it is the only condition on which I will remain in the country, that we be allowed freely to meet the charges made. The only point on which I consent to receive his opinion is with reference to any thing which might be considered harsh, which I am sure there is not. Some of our own people will, perhaps, recommend a less public course, but we shall not ask their opinion.
I should like to be behind the scenes when the Governor gets hold of the document. He will be, I think, very whakatakariri [vexed].
THE ALLIANCE OF BISHOP AND GOVERNOR.
We have now to put forth upon troubled waters,--to narrate those proceedings which culminated in the dismissal of Henry Williams from the service of the Church Mission Society. Hitherto, his career had been one of unbroken prosperity; that is to say, of continuous success among perils and troubles that
weighed as nothing in the other scale, and were powerless to disturb the happiness of a life that courted them in the discharge of duty. Now, he had to contend with imputations the most galling that could be brought against an honourable man, of abusing his clerical influence with interested motives, of "extreme untruth," of covetousness and evil-speaking, of treachery to the "suffering and complaining natives," 3 and of treason to the Crown.
Not but that loose invective had been directed against him before, often enough and loudly enough; but never, till now, by any whose position commanded attention, compelling notice and reply. 4 Reply, not necessarily from himself; for the Bishop was the natural champion of the Mission, and was implicitly trusted. Behind his broad shield the Archdeacon could have rested, leaving the Governor to exhaust himself in fruitless attack. But suddenly, a new state of things arose. The Bishop, without warning, suddenly wheeled round upon the Mission, and assailed them himself. The effect upon the mind was, to borrow a comparison from Hallam, "that of coming on deck at sea, and finding that, the ship having put about, the whole line of coast is reversed to the eye."
Thoroughly to rip up the whole question, taking every point in detail, would be an easy task. But to say so much as is absolutely required, and no more, implies an exercise of judgment that the writer may be unable to attain. On the one side, there is a reluctance (felt not only by the author, but by those around him) to revive old griefs,--to give any annoyance that can be spared, even to wrong-doers; on the other side, the duty of making plain at least so much as will prove that Archdeacon Williams took the only course that lay open to him, consistently with rectitude and with honour. As it happens, however, the necessity of proving again what has been proved already, is not urgent. During the heat of the conflict, when less delicacy was observed,--for no reparation
had then been made, each several point at issue was examined with extreme severity, every machination brought to light. 5 I shall therefore not much encumber a settled question with repetition of argument, but merely notice the main counts of the indictment, stating the general results.
The plain fact is, that Henry Williams was sacrificed to a political combination, which included the New Zealand Company; Lord Grey, their patron; 6 Governor Grey, Bishop Selwyn, and the Church Mission Society. Against these odds, in a struggle for the character of the Mission, and for nothing else, he fought, and ultimately won. Put in this plain form, the proposition is startling; but every word shall be made good.
The fons et origo malorum was, the Company's profit upon land sales. These depended upon their being able to sell at £1 an acre in the South; and they feared being undersold by Government grantees, of whose acquisitions they had formed exaggerated ideas in the North. The question was, how to destroy the grants.
It must be admitted that, to a young man seeking advancement, the winning the support of so powerful a body was a temptation. And this much is certain, that Governor Grey did not display open hostility to the Mission until after receiving the deputation from the South. Moreover, at that early period of his New Zealand career, his knowledge of the colony was very imperfect. It suffices to say, that he was absorbed into the league.
How Bishop Selwyn, in the face of his repeated declaration that, as Bishop, he had no right to interfere with private property, came to join the league, must remain an open question, though little doubt need be entertained. It is understood by those best qualified to judge, that his desire was to get the young men of the mission families into his power, by hindering them from acquiring independence. For they were the cultivators, and the real
possessors of the land. As independent proprietors, they might-please themselves; having nothing, they would be compelled to enter the Church for a living. "Put me, I pray thee, into one of the priest's offices, that I may eat a piece of bread." In hope of attaining his own object, collaterally, he lent his powerful aid to others in the more general attainment of a political object,--the sacrifice of the whole body of grantees, lay and clerical together.
The Church Mission Society behaved well at first. 7 They had already defended the land purchases, ably and unanswerably. It had been not only their interest, but their duty, to relieve their funds from the expense of maintaining the mission families. So soon as an outcry was raised, they passed resolutions, concerning the disposition of these lands, which were thankfully agreed to by the Mission. But the outcry continued still, and the Church Mission Society lost heart. With full and ample knowledge of facts, lacking nothing but courage to make good what they had hitherto maintained, they sacrificed the Mission to the prejudices of a Secretary of State; and through him, to the political and material interests of the New Zealand Company. They passed a second set of resolutions, in direct contradiction to the first, requiring compliance with the Governor's behest, under penalty of dismissal.
Such were the forces arrayed. But why, it may be fairly asked, seeing that the Company's animosity had been to the whole body of grantees, was the attack so closely concentrated upon the Mission? The reason is simple:--because their calling made them specially assailable. Accusations which would have been laughed at by ordinary settlers could not be so treated by these. The Mission might therefore be terrified, by rancour of accusation, into unconditional surrender of the grants. After that, a breach
having been once made, the rest of the grantees might be dealt with at advantage.
In this, the assailants over-reached themselves. An overdose of poison may fail in effect, through causing immediate rejection.
It suffices for the present to state the fact, that heavy charges, involving not only derelictions of duty, but even loss of personal honour were raised against the Mission. But the very weight of those charges upset the scheme. The Mission were compelled to change front. Henceforward the question became, no longer of land, but of character. Archdeacon Williams undertook to abandon the land to the Government, on the one condition, that Governor Grey should either substantiate, or fully and honourably retract his charges against the Mission. From this position he never moved one inch.
To return to the opening of the attack. The first move in active operations was taken by the Governor. In an unlucky hour for himself, he indited a "secret and confidential" despatch 8 to the Secretary of State for the Colonies, Mr. Gladstone, in which he attributed the war in the North to Governor FitzRoy's grants, and charged the Mission with being accessory to the shedding of human blood for the possession of land.
When Lord Grey came into office, he made the despatch public, 9 transmitting it to the Church Mission Society, who sent it on to New Zealand, where it found its way into the public press. There it was subjected to extreme severity of comment.
The despatch was challenged forthwith by Archdeacon Henry Williams, as leader of the Mission. He addressed seven questions to the Governor, raising the several points at issue. These were treated with prudent disdain; not even acknowledgment of receipt was made.
The despatch was harmless in New Zealand, where the causes of the war were known; but its effect was, to unsettle the minds of
the Society. They passed what are commonly known as the "Conciliatory Resolutions," directing their Missionaries to accept the joint decision of the Bishop and the Governor, as to the amount of land to be retained for their own use and benefit, and leaving them at liberty to dispose of the remaining portion, if not disputed by the natives, at pleasure.
The grantees accepted cordially; they went further than was required, being willing to retain none "for their own use and benefit;" thus leaving no question for the arbitration of the Bishop and Governor. Even had they done otherwise, no award could have been made, for the Governor declined 10 to act as arbitrator with the Bishop.
The Society's resolutions did not suit either the Governor, or the Bishop. The one wanted the land; the other, to deprive the families. It now became evident that the abstract objection to the personal occupation of land by Missionaries was only a colourable plea for attack; otherwise the attack must have ceased with the cause of complaint.
The Mission had looked up to the Bishop as their champion; but they found him a willing ally to the Governor. They had placed too wide a meaning upon his abnegation of all right, "as Bishop," to interfere with private property; 11 not perceiving that the words left room for an important reservation; that they did not exclude his right to interfere as a citizen,--a [Greek]POLITIS; that is to say, politically. It must be admitted that the Mission were careless in this, though not culpably so; believing in the Bishop as they did, they cared not overnicely to scrutinise his words.
The Bishop and the Governor now took the matter into their own hands, superseding the Society's Resolutions. Archdeacon
Williams took his stand upon those resolutions. The Governor applied, formally, 12 to the Bishop for aid; the Bishop responded to the call. Taking the Mission by surprise, he also brought up grave charges, which he undertook to prove; "but earnestly desired to be spared the painful duty by their quiet acquiescence in the Governor's proposal."
Archdeacon Williams 13 was thus required to comply, under threat of exposure. The Bishop himself had thus rendered compliance impossible. But when the Archdeacon, taking the Bishop at his word, required him to prove, the Bishop refused to prove. Failing to intimidate, he became of opinion that the proper time for proof had not yet come. And, to this day, it never has come.
The grantees had taken their stand upon the Society's resolutions. The Bishop met them by suggesting another "reading" of the resolutions. He argued that the Society expected a "sacrifice to be made," and that the transfer to sons and daughters 14 was no sacrifice; assuming their material interests to be identical with those of the father, notwithstanding Mr. Williams' declaration that, "from the farm, he had never received one shilling." 15 The Bishop's change of tactics was on the hasty assumption that if the grantees could be driven from one standpoint, namely, the arrangement enjoined by
the Society and accepted by the grantees, there would be none other to retreat upon. It was forgotten that the question of "character" remained behind; that the surrender of a foot of land, unconditionally, was a surrender of honour.
Archdeacon Williams, bent upon his own condition,--"substantiation or retractation of the Governor's charges," treated the Bishop's "reading" as of little moment. He was willing to accept it, "however opposed to his own judgment," so soon as his own condition should be complied with. Urged to invert the terms, to suit convenience of the Bishop's engagements, and partly by the Bishop's pledge to institute the fullest enquiry, he consented to do so; accepting the Bishop's "reading," then and there, but expressly refusing to accept the Governor's terms until the Governor should have complied with the condition. 16 There are some who have unblushingly construed this into an "unconditional surrender;" and have thereupon accused the Archdeacon of violating a solemn pledge. No comment is required upon the fact that the Archdeacon's acceptance was presently quoted, without the condition attached to it.
The "new reading" had failed. The Bishop then sought to effect a compromise between the Archdeacon and the Governor. Here he was at a disadvantage. Having himself brought charges against the Mission, he could not press the Governor in earnest. He obtained from the Archdeacon four specific queries, for the Governor's answers, aye or no. These hit the points at issue, and therefore did not suit the Governor. The Bishop returned them, suggesting four pointless queries, plausibly drawn, but which the Governor could have signed. For neither did they substantiate or retract.
Upon the substitution of the pointless queries, the question may be said to turn. It became manifest that the Bishop's first object was, not to vindicate the Mission, but to shield the Governor. Trust had been destroyed, and all fell in.
The Bishop, not knowing his man, had made a false move. The Archdeacon considered himself betrayed, and retired; but was presently summoned by the Bishop, who, with much severity of language, insisted upon an unconditional surrender of the deeds. This demand, being a breach of all terms and engagements, put an end to mediation. From that time forward, the Bishop's interference was rejected. The Archdeacon met the demand by a point-blank refusal, and returned to his schooner, then at anchor in Auckland harbour.
But he did more than refuse to surrender the deeds. A statement having come down from the Bay that the Governor had been speaking with native converts, telling them that the Missionaries had tahae-d [stolen] their lands, with more to the same effect, he wrote from on board to the Bishop, requesting that the subject might never be mentioned to him again. His sentiments were changed; he would no longer even make a condition. He had no land; if the Bishop desired further negotiation, he must refer to the sons, who were of age, and could speak for themselves.
Baulked in negotiation by the question of "character," which barred the road across, the Governor resorted to the Courts of law, proceeding by writ of scire facias against Mr. Clarke. The defendant remained passive, instructing his solicitor merely to enter an appearance, out of respect for the Court, but on no account to urge the case. In fact, he declined litigation with the Government. The Court went into the question on its merits, and by judgment, given June 24, 1848, Mr. Clarke's title was declared valid. 17
The Governor had been beaten off; but the Bishop persevered, and the Church Mission Society, beguiled from the straight course, passed resolutions contradictory to those of 1847, requiring Archdeacon Williams' consent to the Bishop's proposal, 18 under pain of
dismissal. They manifestly had no power to depart from terms once offered and accepted; and, even setting that aside, they had no right to stand between any man and the vindication of his character. But they did; the Archdeacon refused to sacrifice that character, and was accordingly dismissed.
The question was not suffered thus to end. Certain of the laity took it up, in the public press, arguing the matter so long and so exhaustively,--making it so hot for all who had been concerned in the dismissal, that the Society, indisposed to retract, were at last driven to an attempt at substantiation. They composed a pamphlet, for private circulation; 19 as strange a mass of error as ever was penned. The descent from generalities to particulars was fatal to their case. Every charge was forthwith scattered to the winds; and tardy justice had at last to be done. The dismissal was revoked.
This outline statement, anticipating several years, is to be taken only as a clue to correspondence which will be given at greater length. Every point in it has been made good, long since, elsewhere. Those who still take personal interest in the question know where to look for details, lavishly supplied, 20 But vindication, point by point, is no longer a necessity.
We return to the Archdeacon's journal, for the purpose of connecting leading events by date.
July 16, 1847. The party from Hokianga arrived to go to Whanganui. Long conversation with one of the leading men as to Rauparaha's imprisonment. He could not give me the reason; 21 he did not know, neither did any of the Maories.
August 1. Heard from Auckland. Kawiti had been down there to learn whether there was any truth in what the pakeha had said of Lord Grey's letters.
August 3. The anniversary of our arrival in New Zealand, twenty-five years since; a period of many mercies, of many trials and perplexities, from our own countrymen, and some from the natives.
August 7. Lord Grey's letter generally known among the natives; many reports.
August 13. On my return home, received the public letter 22 from the Church Mission Society, exposing the conduct of his Excellency the Governor. Took the letter to Mr. Busby. Mr. Clarke from the Waimate; much conversation on the letter.
August 16. The Bishop had arrived from New Plymouth, and called upon us to accompany him to Auckland. Much conversation. 23
August 17. Mr. Clendon called; shewed the Blood and Treasure despatch to him: much startled.
August 18. Sailed with light wind.
August 19. Near the Poor Knights. After breakfast had long conversation with the Bishop on matters to bring before the Committee.
August 21. Landed at Taurarua [Sir William Martin's place].
It now becomes time to speak more particularly of the ill-fated alliance between the Bishop and the Governor. Up to this time, implicit reliance had been placed on the Bishop, as the natural champion of the Mission. Not a word had escaped him to shew what thoughts were maturing in his mind. To the astonishment of the Archdeacon, he shewed forth as an opponent. During the voyage he had been, if possible, more bland than ever; but was observed to be busily engaged in writing. Archdeacon Williams' admiration was, if possible, enhanced; not a moment of time lost from duty, even by a landsman subject to the disturbing influence of a rolling sea. Little was it dreamed what sort of writing he was busied about; but in due time--
-- verbosa et grandis epistola venit A Capreis.
At the College, an elaborate letter was put into the Archdeacon's
hand, of extreme severity, with demand for an immediate reply, 24 by which it appeared that the Bishop was about to support the Governor, in his charges against the Mission. It now appeared, that he had held opinions 25 throughout, concerning land, of which the Mission were altogether unaware. They had been hoarded up; it may be said of the Bishop, as of the jealousy of Virgil's Juno--
-- manet alia mente refiostum Vulnus.
Till now, the Bishop had kept his grief to himself; but confidence might have been retained, had he at an earlier period informed the Mission of his views. Whatever may have been the object of reticence, a grave mistake was made. It was the pouncing upon the Mission with the spring of the wild cat, that destroyed trust for evermore. Of course, the effect of a blow is doubled by surprise: his Lordship may have thought to astonish into submission; but he knew not yet with what stubborn John Bullism he had to deal.
The Bishop's interference was consequent,--formally at least, upon a letter 26 from the Governor, inviting it. Governor Grey took upon himself to affirm that the grants were illegal; and, to the best of his deliberately formed judgment, opposed to the rights of the natives. That he felt it his duty to take immediate measures for having these grants set aside by the Civil Courts;
but that by so doing, the cause of religion might be deeply injured. 27 He therefore sought the Bishop's aid towards inducing the grantees to return the surplus land to the original native owners. 28
The request was couched in the following words.
Your Lordship has often aided me in my difficult duties in this country, would you do so once more to this extent; that is, if you think the offer of the Government sufficiently liberal, and you see in the same light that I do the dangers which are likely to ensue to Christianity from the measures I must pursue if the Missionaries refuse to accept this offer. Would your Lordship interfere so far as to communicate the contents of this letter to them, and then recommend them to adopt the course I have pointed out, or some similar one.
The official "communication" of the Governor's letter will be noted, as bearing upon one of the reckless charges which were brought against the Archdeacon. His Excellency wound up with the following extraordinary words:--
They will all, I hope, bear in mind that I am not responsible for any remark which may result from the publication of my private despatch of 25th June, 1846. 29
directed by the public press, with unsparing severity, against the Governor himself; not against the Missionaries, as His Excellency, by disclaiming the responsibility, would intimate.
It has been seriously denied that the Governor's letter was a request for clerical influence towards the accomplishment of a political purpose. If there be any meaning in this, it means, that the Bishop's influence was not necessarily "clerical;" an argument which I leave to the neglect which it deserves.
But there are certain collateral matters connected with this letter, which cannot be passed without remark. The Governor's letter to the Bishop found its way into a newspaper. The Archdeacon's extreme sensitiveness as to personal honour was known, and here was a second chance for a hit that would be felt. An attempt, as will be shewn in due course, was made to designate him as the agent.
Now, in the first place, neither the Archdeacon, nor any other of the Mission, had anything whatever to do with that publication; in the second place, a more arrant piece of nonsence than the building up a charge upon the fact, was never conceived. The letter, concerning a political question, was on public service. And there is an end of the matter. But, were the assailants really unable to perceive that, even on the assumption of privacy, the stamp of privacy had been taken off? In the very letter itself, the Governor, unconditionally, without reserve, requests the Bishop to "communicate" its contents to the Missionaries. From the moment of such communication--which the Bishop had no choice but to make, or else return the letter to the writer with a request that he would communicate the same himself--it became their property; as fully as if addressed by the Colonial Secretary to the Missionaries themselves. It became "a broad letter," an open document; and to expect them to make any mystery about the matter was ridiculous. Published, said the Governor, "without the consent of either the Bishop or myself!" The Bishop had no right to make objections; and the Governor had already waived them.
The fact is, however, that a copy of the letter was supplied in consequence of the Governor, in Council, having refused to admit the existence of the letter. The particulars of this strange occurrence are given in a note, from which the reader is at liberty to form his own opinion. 30
Attention has been drawn,--i., to the Governor's secret and confidential despatch of June 25, 1846; ii., to the Governor's letter to the Bishop, inviting the Bishop's co-operation; and iii., to the Bishop's letter to the Missionary grantees, supporting the Governor, and virtually countersigning his charges. 31 Of this letter
further mention will be made. But notice must first be taken of the proceedings in New Zealand, also of the Church Mission Society, consequent upon Lord Grey's publication of the secret despatch. Archdeacon Williams immediately challenged the Governor to the proof of his allegations.
Considering that his Excellency's despatch does convey a charge of a very grave and serious nature against the Missionaries in "the North" of having been accessory to the shedding of human blood for the possession of land claimed by them and their children, so as to involve the propriety of their possessing even a single acre in this country, I am authorised to say that the Missionaries shrink with horror from such a charge, and are prepared to relinquish their claims altogether, 32 upon it being shewn that their claims would render the possibility of such an awful circumstance as the shedding of one drop of human blood.
To this seven stringent questions, arising out of the despatch, were appended, so framed as to preclude the possibility of evasion. The Governor did not refuse to answer, but took no notice of the questions, not even acknowledging receipt.
The Church Mission Society, staggered by the despatch, defended their Missionaries, but, on account of the political consequences alleged to be involved, directed the Missionary grantees to give way to the Government,--under certain conditions, clearly and explicitly laid down. These conditions were at once accepted by the grantees.
The following is an extract from the minute of the proceedings in Salisbury Square.
The attention of the Committee is now, however, called to a new aspect of the case, and to consider the prospective measures which it may be right to take, in consequence of apprehensions entertained by Governor Grey which have never been before brought under the notice of the Committee. These apprehensions are of a most painful kind, being no less than the apprehension of a large expenditure of British wealth and blood, if the land awarded to the Missionaries and various other parties is to be taken possession of; and an apprehension also lest British troops
should prove unwilling to serve in such a cause. In the despatch, June 25, 1846, the following statement occurs:--
"Her Majesty's Government may rest satisfied that these individuals cannot be put in possession of these tracts of land without large expenditure of British blood and money."
"It is my duty to warn Her Majesty's Government that if British troops are long exposed to the unexamplified fatigues and privations of a service which has already entailed so large a loss of life on our small force, disastrous consequences must be anticipated."
And in the conclusion of the despatch Governor Grey warns the Government, that if these land claims of the Missionaries and other parties be not satisfied, the Government must anticipate a violent and stormy opposition.
By way of taking decisive measures for cutting off all suspicion and reproach, the Society declared that--
No Missionary or Catechist of the Society can be allowed to continue his connexion with the Society, who shall retain for his own use and benefit large tracts of unoccupied land.
But they were most careful to declare what was meant by the words "own use and benefit," upon which so much turned in after times.
The Committee cannot go beyond this resolution, as they, have no power or desire to interfere with the private property of their Missionaries. They must leave to their own decision the mode of disposing of land, which those who continue in connexion with the Society may, under the operation of the foregoing resolution, be compelled to part with.
The question turned upon the alleged danger and difficulty of "putting into possession" men who had never been out of possession, and who are in undisturbed possession still. By formal resolution, of February 22, 1847, the Society declared, that no Missionary should retain, for his own use and benefit, a greater amount of land than should be determined upon as suitable by the Governor and the Bishop, jointly. But these two were not empowered to act severally, on behalf of the Society.
This resolution was covered by a letter, which is more explicit still. The letter stated--
1. That the Missionaries were to accept the joint decision of the
Bishop and the Governor, as to the amount of land to be retained for their own use and benefit.
2. That they were to abandon altogether such portions of their grants as might lead to disputes with the natives. 33
3. That they might dispose of such other portions as had already been virtually occupied or could peaceably be obtained possession of--
i. By sale; or
ii. By making over to their children; or
iii. By putting in trust for the benefit of the aborigines.
The Society's proposal was quite satisfactory to the grantees, 34 who went even further than was required of them. They determined to retain no land at all for their own use and benefit. No question was therefore left for the determination of the Bishop and Governor.
Archdeacon Henry Williams' reply shall be given in his own words.
I shall first express my grateful acknowledgment to the Committee for their very kind attention given to the subject of the communication made to them by Lord Grey. We sympathise very sincerely with the Committee in having their minds disturbed afresh by this repeated and vexatious question which we did consider had been set at rest, but again met by the Committee with an honourable, clear, and Christian feeling, both to the Committee and also to the Missionaries in New Zealand.
I see no difficulty in complying with the resolutions of the Committee, by conveying to the various members of my family that which I did purchase for their support, 35 and I shall also attend to the same, as soon as I can obtain legal advice upon this subject. My own views upon this subject appear to me similar to those of the Committee.
It is not my wish or intention to refer any question to the Governor or the Bishop, as to any portion of land for my "own use and benefit," never having entertained any desire for such possession.
August 13, 1847.
Thus did the question seem to be finally disposed of. But the Governor wanted to get hold of the land itself, for Government purposes. He went back from his original proposition,-- 36 namely, that the surplus land, i.e., the quantity in excess of two thousand five hundred and sixty acres in each grant, should be returned to the original native owners, and submitted fresh propositions; so worded as to imply an acknowledgement, if accepted by the grantees, that a portion at least of the land had been unjustly acquired. These were of course rejected; the grantees adhering to the course of action recommended by the Church Mission Society. The question now remained, for the Bishop and the Governor, how to supersede the Society's recommendation.
How the terms of the alliance were arranged, there are no means of learning. The first formal document relating to it, is the Governor's letter, 37 already mentioned, inviting the Bishop's co-operation. This was immediately followed by the Bishop's elaborate letter 38 to the grantees, the accumulation of charges in which caused such bewilderment among them. A strange composition; one upon which much labour had been evidently bestowed, yet replete in matters of detail with error that mere carelessness is insufficient to account for. Setting aside for the present its general tenor, damaging to Missionary influence as it could well be made, it contains statements which I must treat as blunders, to avoid the use of a harsher term. Venturing into law, he confuses the Land Sales Act with the Land Claims Ordinance; he finds himself in direct opposition, and wrongly so, to Governor FitzRoy upon a simple matter of fact, charging the grantees with
having applied to the Government for an extension of their grants; he speaks of "augmented grants," which had no existence; 39 he confuses the Governor's separate and inconsistent proposals; and speaks of grants "issued by Governor FitzRoy," which in reality were issued by Governor Grey himself: 40 he perverts the Society's resolution, granting £50 to each son and £40 to each daughter from the Society's funds for the purchase of land, into an expression of opinion that a Missionary ought not to purchase more than two hundred acres with his own private funds.
But these may be deemed comparatively trifling errors--
quas aut incuria fudit, Aut humana parum cavit natura:
the most serious part is, the acknowledgement that he, the Bishop, had been in secret communication with the Society upon the subject of land as far back as 1843; his defence of the "Blood and Treasure" despatch, not committing himself to particulars, but labouring to shew that the Society deemed it neither "unjust or harsh;" winding up with direct charges brought by himself.
"All this," writes the Bishop, "I will undertake to prove if it should ever be necessary, but I earnestly desire to be spared the painful duty by your quiet acquiescence in the Governor's proposal."
The Bishop was accordingly challenged to prove: he permitted himself to make reply that,--"in undertaking to prove certain assertions in his letter, he reserved to himself the full right of
determining when that necessity might be considered to have arisen." How much might have been spared him, had he simply admitted error. But he followed the Governor throughout. 41
The Archdeacon took his stand. From the writer of the despatch, he demanded "substantiation or retractation." This was with him a fixed idea; the pole-star which guided through the maze, through the snares with which he was beset. In order to stamp the matter as "a question of character, and not of land," he offered to abandon the deeds of grant if either one or the other of the two several demands were complied with. It is important to observe that the Governor could have had the land for the taking.
To the Bishop, the Archdeacon declared his intention of abiding strictly by the Society's resolution, covered by their letter of March i, 1847.
Henry Williams to the Bishop.
September 7, 1847.
Having seen a communication from Archdeacon William Williams respecting his interview with your Lordship this morning, I beg to state, upon the subject of the lands purchased on account of my children, that it is my intention strictly to abide by the Society's resolution of February 22, 1847, covered by their letter of March 1, 1847, and that I did never purpose to retain any portion of the said purchases for my own private "use and benefit," of which your Lordship is fully aware.
In a communication with the Church Mission Society, several months since, I wrote the following words:--
"The first fruits of Pakaraka, the farm where my sons are at work, was my second son connecting himself with the Bishop, and in September last was admitted to Holy Orders, paying his own expenses. The same is open to the rest of my sons. The proceeds of the farm have all been returned upon the farm in improvements; and for myself, I have not received one shilling."
Before I close my present communication, I beg to remind your Lordship of an observation made to me by your Lordship within the first week of your landing at Paihia:--that previously to leaving England, your Lordship conferred with the Committee of
the Church Mission Society, and that you observed to them that you did not feel that you were at liberty to interfere in the land question, as Bishop, any more than a Bishop in England could interfere with any clergyman who might wish to purchase an estate within his diocese.
The Bishop admitted the correctness of the recollection; 42 but the Archdeacon had failed to observe that the Bishop's words, though precluding him from episcopal, did not preclude him from political interference.
It is only fair to state, that the Bishop himself strenuously denies "political" interference. But what other action was open to him, episcopal action precluded? Between the grantees and the Government to whom the grants were said to give embarrassment, the question was exclusively political. And the Bishop assisted the Government, not in his episcopal capacity, but as a citizen. Nor is it easy to see why he should not, unless it be maintained that Holy Orders debar the rights of citizenship. It is he himself who considers that his action needs defence. And the defence is, that he acted only as arbitrator on behalf of the Church Mission Society.
By this, he cuts the ground from under his own feet. Granting, for the sake of argument, that he did so act, still, if the Society thought fit to entangle themselves in a political question, and the Bishop acted under them, he acted politically, himself. But, indeed, the Bishop never did act as arbitrator. All that he did, was in excess of his commission. That commission was, to settle, jointly with the Governor, how much land the grantees were to retain "for their own use and benefit." The Governor refused to act, and the commission therefore lapsed. But more than this:
the grantees declared their willingness to retain none; therefore nothing was left to arbitrate upon.
Of the political interference, which indeed would be scarcely worth mention, were it not so angrily denied, more will presently appear.
Let us now return to the Archdeacon's reply, which seems conclusive.
But matters were not to end so simply. The Bishop disputed the resolutions themselves, by putting a new meaning on them. To persons of ordinary capacity, they seemed plain enough. But the Bishop had discovered an esoteric meaning, concealed within. The grantees had received express permission to transfer the land to their children; it was now argued that the Society had not intended to give permission. The argument, when developed by the Bishop, became a curious and instructive example of perverted ingenuity.
It is said that the celebrated phrase attributed to Francis the first, after the battle of Pavia--"tout est perdu, fors l'honneur" was never so used by him at all; but that the several words composing that phrase can be gathered from various parts of his letter announcing the disaster. So did the Bishop, by piecing together odds and ends of the Society's letter, by omitting inconvenient words, and by generalising where the Society had particularised, bring the Society's letter into apparent contrariety with the Society's resolutions. He argued that a sacrifice was required by the Society; that the transfer of the land to the children was no sacrifice; and thus obtained "a new reading" of the resolutions. The grantees referred the resolutions to two of the leading counsel in Auckland, who without hesitation, taking words as they were laid down, confirmed the original reading; but the Bishop was not to be convinced of the fallacy of his own argument. The difference of "reading" then became the pivot on which this, the second stage of the proceedings was to turn.
The argument was weak enough; but other pressure was brought to bear. In the words of Archdeacon William Williams,--"The
Bishop made use of a most powerful lever in order to accomplish his object. The members of the Central Committee had assembled from a great distance in order to attend the meeting, but the Bishop refused either to meet the members in Committee, unless they complied with his award, or to allow the whole body of members to meet for the transaction of business without him as President." In fact he had power to bring all to a standstill, and he used that power.
Some of Archdeacon Henry's brethren were overborne, and did their utmost to induce him to yield. But he was not to be lured away from his condition. The Governor must substantiate, or honourably retract. He would then be willing to accept the Bishop's new "reading." His own words must be quoted:--
Should these painful difficulties be removed, I shall then be ready to accede to any proposition, however opposed to my own judgment, as to the reading of the Societies' letter to the Missionaries of March, 1847.
The Bishop seemed to have gained a move, but was in reality no further advanced than before. The Archdeacon had never made any difficulty about the land, provided that he obtained satisfaction from the Governor; and, in the face of this, the Bishop's "reading" became immaterial. There lay the land, to be had for the taking, on fulfilment of an honourable condition; consequently it no longer mattered what the Society had, or had not intended to say.
It looked very like check-mate to the Bishop, but he displayed his usual fertility of resource in getting out of trouble. He could see clearly enough that the Archdeacon's supposed concession was no concession; for the Archdeacon had refused to hold any communication with the Governor until the one condition should have been complied with. Then, the Archdeacon would accept the Bishop's new reading; but "then" would never arrive, for the Governor would not comply.
The Bishop had engaged, in terms which at the time were satisfactory to the grantees, but which ought to have been more closely scrutinized, to obtain the required satisfaction from the
Governor. 43 He pleaded inability to comply just then. He had ordinations and other matters to attend to; he could not press the Governor till he had leisure. Would the Archdeacon consent to waive the order of events? The Archdeacon had required that the Governor's substantiation or retractation should precede any communication concerning the grants; but if he would accept the Bishop's "reading" at once, satisfaction should be obtained from the Governor, at leisure.
Archdeacon Williams, the clearer-headed man of the two, made no difficulty: he did invert the order of events. He agreed to accept the Bishop's "reading" at once, "however opposed to his own judgment," but declared his intention of holding on to the deeds until the required satisfaction should have been obtained. For the retention of the deeds was his only hold upon the Governor. The deeds once surrendered, he would have been as the fabled lion, who had submitted to having his claws pared, and his teeth drawn.
The Bishop thought, when he had secured the immediate acceptance of his "reading," that he had won the game. Never was general more mistaken in his strategy. The grantees had taken their first stand upon the plain meaning of the Society's resolutions; the Bishop had succeeded in substituting his own meaning, by way of concession to himself, and supposed that he had cut the ground from beneath their feet. He took for granted that they would obey the Society, having once acknowledged his own interpretation of the Society's orders. But, with strange imperception of the nature of the man he had to deal with, he failed to perceive that the question of character remained behind, and that the Archdeacon was absolutely debarred from yielding,
even to the behests of his own Society, until all imputations upon character should have been cleared away. And here do I take my own stand, in regard to the differences between Archdeacon Henry Williams and the Church Mission Society. The one grand point of all, from which there is no escape, is this:--what right had the Society to interfere between Henry Williams and the vindication of his character? All authority, real or assumed, vanishes into nothingness alongside of such a question as this. Duty to the English Society was manifestly superseded by duty to the aspersed and down-trodden Mission in New Zealand. And what other means had he, save in the retention of the much coveted deeds, of compelling the Governor to make good his words, or to retract them? The Bishop's error was in supposing that the grantees, if forced from one position, had none other to retreat upon; and the Society's error, presently to be developed, was in assuming that they could command that blind obedience which is exacted from the disciples of Loyola.
Such was the Archdeacon's pledge, which, after having been in its turn subjected to a "new reading,"--interpreted as an "unconditional surrender," he has been unblushingly accused of violating. And more than this,--the pledge was sent home to England in a mutilated form; the engagement, shorn of the condition attached. It is not safe to trust oneself with comment.
It may here be asked,--what right had the Archdeacon to enter into any engagement whatever, concerning that which had long since passed out of his own hands? He had no right; but this he knew, that his least word was law to his family; that his sons would make good their father's word, to the last acre of their property.
The Bishop had given a collateral pledge,--namely, to institute the fullest inquiry into the charges against the Mission. Was this pledge kept; or was it broken.
It will be remembered that the transposition of terms had been made to suit the Bishop's leisure and convenience. Accordingly, after having completed his own business, he did wait upon the
Governor in company with Archdeacons Brown and William Williams, in order to come to an understanding about the Mission. This was on the 27th of September. On the 28th the Bishop requested Archdeacon William Williams to obtain specific queries from his brother, so as at once to bring the whole question to issue. These were supplied, so framed that they could not be evaded. But the Governor had never intended to "substantiate or retract," and found the queries embarrassing. The Bishop had appeared, according to promise, in behalf of the Mission; but, having already committed himself, was unable to press the Governor home. This ought to have been foreseen; but it could not have been foreseen that he would go so far on the other side as to seek to shield the Governor at the expense of his own clients. After further conference with his Excellency, the Bishop proposed to substitute another set of queries, vague and pointless, which the Governor could have assented to without retracting anything, and which would have left the Mission under the same weight of imputation as before.
By whom were the pointless queries drawn? by the Bishop, or by the Governor himself? I cannot say; the knowledge is confined to themselves; but their exceeding subtlety betrays the master's hand. So framed as to seem to exculpate the Mission, within their Missionary sphere of action, though in reality every charge remained untouched; so guarded that there was every likelihood of their being unsuspiciously accepted, on the spur of the moment, without having been subjected to that close scrutiny through which alone their actual tenor could be revealed. They are a turning point in the controversy; a crucial test of the Bishop's real feelings in regard to the Mission, whose cause he had undertaken to uphold.
It happens that Henry Williams was not blinded; but the Bishop played the part, with less success, of Juno's owl, sent to flap about the face of Turnus, that he should not see to fight.
Hanc versa in faciem, Tumi se pest is ad ora Fertque refertque sonans, clypeumque everberat alis.
I am quite aware of the extreme gravity of what I have said, though in terms that ought not to be construed to offence. But the two sets of queries placed in juxtaposition tell the whole tale.
Those framed by Archdeacon Henry Williams, for the Governor's signature, are as follow:--
Firstly--Does his Excellency disclaim having intentionally cast any reflection, which may appear to have been expressed or implied "upon the past conduct of some of the Missionaries," during his Excellency's administration as Governor of New Zealand, save only in the question of these purchases of land; and will his Excellency admit that this is an open question, and one upon which there is a variety of opinions as to the propriety of the Missionaries making provision for their families.
Secondly--Does his Excellency admit that these lands, purchased by the Missionaries, were so purchased in strict integrity and honesty towards the aborigines, as reported upon by Her Majesty's Land Commissioners appointed for the examination of the same.
Thirdly --Does his Excellency admit that he is of opinion that the late military movements in the North were not in any respect connected with the Missionaries.
Fourthly--Will his Excellency further admit that he is not aware that the Missionaries, or their sons, were put out of possession of their lands by the aborigines, but that he believes they remained in quiet possession of their lands during the late wars in the North.
From these there was no escape: for that very reason, they were evaded. Even the rat, when driven into a corner, will fly at the aggressor; but the Governor would not. And the Bishop opened the broad gate--"the primrose way" to him who was resolute not to go in at the strait gate.
Now for the substitutes constructed by the Bishop, or by the Governor, as the case may be; probably, a joint composition.
Firstly--Whether his Excellency will have any objection to state, that he is not aware of any treasonable or disloyal practices, in which any Missionary, or child of a Missionary, has been engaged during his Excellency's administration as Governor of New Zealand.
Secondly--Whether the chief matters in which his Excellency may have expressed an opinion adverse to the Missionaries may not be connected with the political objections to the acts and counsels of the late Protector of Aborigines, and not to the Missionary body in general.
Thirdly--Whether his Excellency would feel at liberty to state that neither the report of Her Majesty's Land Commissioners, nor any other public enquiry, justifies the belief that the original purchases of the Missionaries were fraudulent or dishonest.
Fourthly--Whether his Excellency will state that no Missionary, or child of a Missionary, has ever applied for military protection, but that to the extent of his observation, they have remained in quiet possession of the land.
Are they not admirably framed? How many, without guidance, could perceive the essential differences? To us old settlers, familiar with the true history of the Colony, they are plain enough; but we are dying out, and it is expedient that the record should be left. Let the substituted queries be examined, one by one. 44
By the first, the relief from the Governor's charges, which were general, is now limited to events taking place during the period of Governor Grey's own administration. But the treasonable proceedings imputed were before his arrival in the Colony. Therefore the Governor could give a favourable reply without committing himself, or absolving the Mission.
By the second, the Governor's especial enmity to Mr. Clarke, the ex-protector, was subserved. 45 It is no longer Mr. Clarke's missionary conduct, but his political action, as a servant of the Government, that is impugned. The Missionaries were invited to relieve themselves at Mr. Clarke's expense; to drive their friend and associate a scape-goat into the wilderness, with the sins of the congregation on his head. The Bishop is of gentle blood: how he could have acquiesced in such a clause--for nothing will persuade me that it originated with him--is hard to understand.
By the third the question is restricted to relief from accusations based on some supposed "public" enquiry,--that very public enquiry which the Mission had challenged in vain, and which
the Governor was obstinate to refuse. No such accusation had been made. Moreover, the Governor was to acknowledge what could not be denied--that the report of Her Majesty's Hand Commissioners, long before made and published in the Blue Books, was favourable to the Mission; but the "secret and confidential" despatch was not to be brought into question.
By the fourth the Governor offered to defend the Mission from what they had never been accused of, by admitting that "no Missionary, or child of a Missionary, had ever applied for military protection." In point of fact, the obligation was on the other side. The young men did much for the troops that no other Europeans would have been permitted to do. He is also willing to certify that "to the extent of his observation"--no more, the sons of the Missionaries had "remained in quiet possession of the land;" omitting the Archdeacon's own words--"during the war in the North;" and, by this omission, suggesting that they had not been "put into possession" until after the defeat of the natives, by the expenditure of "British blood and money."
The intention of the alteration from the searching queries of Archdeacon Henry is plain enough, when once pointed out. So are the dark enigmas of Lycophron when solved by that most laborious of scholiasts, Johannes Tzetzes. But how many, without help, could decipher them.
The Bishop did not first submit the pointless queries to Archdeacon Henry, though he was close at hand, but took them to St. John's College, five miles away, for consideration by Archdeacon Brown and Archdeacon William Williams. The sacrifice of the ex-protector was objected to by the latter, and so the whole fell through. Into the other clauses he did not enquire too nicely; indeed we have his own subsequent admission to the Church Mission Society, that at the time he did not perceive the drift of them. Archdeacon Henry, when they were presented to him, at once rejected the whole.
It may be thought that over many words have been bestowed upon what might seem to be a mere controversial matter; but it
has been found necessary to shew, for once, distinctly and categorically, with what subtlety Henry Williams was beset. A man given to drawing nice distinctions, or to taking up fine points of argument might have been easily entrapped; 46 but to him there was one plain guiding mark, from which he never swerved in his onward course--the right of claiming open enquiry.
It has been also found necessary to shew the cardinal error in the Bishop's strategy. Say what he will, and argue as he may, he can never get over this:--why were the original queries not accepted by him? Why, if not to get the Governor out of a scrape, as the Governor himself had got Lord Grey out of a scrape? Plain speaking becomes a duty: Archdeacon Henry's questions were rejected because they hit the nail upon the head.
The rest of the three days' conference with the Governor may be dismissed with fewer words. On the second day, Archdeacon William Williams, satisfied that the discussion would end as it had begun, withdrew. On the third day, the 29th, no better progress was made; substantiation or retractation was still refused, and the Archdeacon embarked for home. At sunset he received an invitation to wait upon the Bishop, and was astonished by a peremptory demand for unconditional surrender of the deeds. In what capacity, save as the Governor's agent, the Bishop felt himself entitled to assert authority, is undiscoverable. Action in virtue of his episcopal office, he had abnegated throughout. As a private citizen, he had undoubtedly a right, like any other private citizen, to mediate, ne quid detrimenti respublica capiat; but whence came the right to make an authoritative demand? I believe the truth to have been that, waxing hot in the fray, he forgot the position
he had desired to assume. Determined not to be beaten, 47 though compelled to abandon successively every position he had taken up,--finding out too late that the Governor on whom he had relied for proof, was but a broken reed to run into his hand and pierce him,--driven into a corner himself, as a last resource he fell back upon intimidation to get himself out of it. An old man-of-war's man is not so easily scared; the Bishop was no judge of character, and subjected himself to a pointblank refusal. The Bishop had broken every condition, expressed or implied, and the rupture between himself and the staunchest of his allies was now complete.
The Archdeacon retired to take refuge on board ship. He never felt more secure than with a single plank between himself and the sea--
digitis a morte remotus Quatuor, aut septem, si sit latissima taeda.
But he left not without perturbation of mind. To get on board at night, he made for a canoe, anchored a little way out at sea. The mooring was primitive; a stone, and a harakeke line. He used to tell the story himself, in his best style,--how he lifted the stone, took up a paddle, paddled his hardest for a while, and at last awoke to the conviction that he was making no way; how he perceived at last that a second stone and line were out, which had escaped his notice.
We may now revert to his own journal of events. Meagre in the extreme, for he was impassible and ineffusive under circumstances of great excitement, it shews the restraint which he was in the habit of imposing upon himself. Yet he was wroth exceedingly,--galled to the quick by accusations that were dishonouring to a gentleman, but no less than infamy to a minister of the gospel; and disturbed by desertion of some on whom he had most relied for comfort and support. 48
From Archdeacon Henry Williams' journal.
August 13, 1847. On my return home received the public letter from the Church Mission Society, exposing the conduct of the Governor. Took these letters to Mr. Busby. Mr. Clarke from the Waimate.
August 16. Went to see Rewa: rough wind and sea. The Bishop had arrived from New Plymouth, and called for us to accompany him to Auckland. Much conversation.
August 17. Mr. Clendon called. Shewed the Blood and Treasure Despatch to him. Much startled.
August 18. Returned to the vessel, and sailed with light wind. Rounded Cape Brett at sunset.
August 19. The Bishop had long conversation upon matters to bring before the Committee.
August 21. Fine. After breakfast landed at Taurarua. The Bishop and Mrs. Selwyn here. Mr. and Mrs. Martin and Mrs. Smith. All very kind.
August 22. Shifted our quarters to Samuel's house [at St. John's College].
August 26. The Bishop met us preparatory to the meeting. Fond of a long talk. Made good progress, and good hopes of great advantage.
August 28. Met in sub-committee; the Bishop long-winded on some points. Mr. Carleton at the College; he called my attention to the despatch which had made its appearance.
August 30. Took up my abode at Mr. Blackett's [St. George's Bay], Much talk of the despatch.
August 31. Walked out to see Rauparaha [a prisoner], with whom I had a long conversation. Poor old man. News that Captain Richards was drowned, while passing the bar at Whanganui.
September 2. At 10, the Bishop at Committee. Afternoon, walked out to see the natives at Okahu. Much pleased.
These memoranda are not of much interest; but they serve to shew Archdeacon Henry's utter ignorance and unsuspicion of the attack that was being matured with such impenetrable secresy. Surprise was of course the object, and the chance of a false move in the first perturbation of surprise. Of the false move the assailants were disappointed.
Saturday, September 4. The Bishop had a long and secret communication with the two Archdeacons and Mr. Burrows, and afterwards brought a voluminous letter for the land owners, with a subtle and crafty letter from Captain Grey. Mr. Kissling came; had a long conversation with him on the subject; felt very indignant at the same, and a wish that I was again at home.
September 6. Writing to the Bishop; very low at the treatment shewn towards me. Bishop returned.
September 7. The Bishop in a fume. A Committee with the Archdeacons. A fling out. No business. Walked down to Kohimaramara. Wrote my letter.
September 8. No business. Messrs. Brown and Burrows to town, having given notice to quit. Mr. Maunsell arrived.
September 9. All talking: Archdeacon Brown, Messrs. Burrows and Maunsell arrived. Mr. Clendon arrived; all talking until late.
September 10. Much more talking; took leave for Kohimaramara and town; followed by a note to detain me. Tired and weary. In the evening Mr. Kissling returned and brought a letter from the Bishop to my brother, with a paper from Mr. Clarke on the land question. Mr. Ashwell returned from town.
In the paper referred to, Mr. Clarke, though against his own opinion, had accepted the Bishop's new "reading" of the Society's resolutions, and the proposition grounded thereon. His condition was, that the surplus land should be placed in trust for the natives; thus accepting the Governor's and the Bishop's original proposal. But the Governor had backed out of that proposal, and the Bishop followed him. The Bishop wrote to Archdeacon Henry, reciting Mr. Clarke's surrender of the land, but omitting the condition on which it was to be made; entreating the Archdeacon to give him a similar assurance to that contained in Mr. Clarke's paper, as quoted above49i.e., as incompletely quoted by himself.
But the Archdeacon could not be persuaded into conceding more than a transposition of the terms of his own proposition, already mentioned, to suit the Bishop's convenience; still holding on to his original condition,--substantiation or retractation by the Governor.
September 13. A letter from the Bishop; sent him a note.
September 15. Meeting at 11. Some tough questions. Symptoms of a flare. Returned home.
September 17. Meeting at 9. The Bishop afterwards spoke to me to present Mr. Hutton. I declined in consequence of the Governor's conduct and the general fermentation in Auckland. The Bishop observed,--he should institute an enquiry as to all the Governor had said, and require his observations in writing. I spoke freely: we shall see how he acts, but my fears of him are considerable; that a separation must inevitably take place between us. The Bishop and the Governor have been working together in secret.
September 20. Wrote to "The five brethren." The Bishop returned at a late hour, having been engaged with the Governor.
September 22. Gale through the night. A tough tohe [striving] with the Bishop. Letters from the Bay of the Governor's proceedings there.
September 25. Committee at 9. Much wandering in discussion. Near sunset when I wanted to return home. The Bishop introduced the subject of the Governor's charges, and treated the question in conjunction with Archdeacon Brown as advocates from the Governor. I left them at seven, taking leave of the College; not expecting to return there at any future period. To all appearance our connexion severed.
September 27. Took up abode with Mr. Blackett. Archdeacon Brown and the Bishop with the Governor.
September 28. The Bishop and the two Archdeacons with the Governor. Mr. Baker and Mr. Clarke called. The subject of terms under consideration. Framed some which were approved of.
September 29. The Bishop and Archdeacon Brown in town. Took breakfast at the Chief Justice's. Dined at Mr. Blacketts with Mr. Fitzgerald. After dinner went on board the "Undine" with my things. At sunset Mr. Cotton [bishop's chaplain] came
to say that the Bishop wished to see me at the Judge's house. Went on shore with some misgiving; a long discussion; left abruptly. Got off to a canoe and went on board.
Archdeacon Henry scarcely trusts himself to write, even in his own journal-book. The negociation with the Governor had fallen through; and the Bishop, supported by Archdeacon Brown, had demanded the absolute surrender of the deeds,--that is to say, of the last remaining means of defence.
September 30. A sleepless night; heard that the Bishop had gone out to the College, to return this morning. When will this matter end! Appearance of a gale from the North-east. William Williams and George Clarke came on board; gave them my opinion to quit the country. No one else came, nor did I land. Drew out the draft of a letter to the Bishop.
October 1, 1847. Gale from E.N.E. Sent my letter on the return of the boat. Received a letter from the Bishop to demand my deeds. Don't he wish he may get them! My correspondence on these subjects closed.
The Bishop's letter has been scrutinized in the "Page from the History of New Zealand," not much to its advantage. A reference must suffice. But why was it written at all? What purpose was it intended to serve? All question as to deeds had been brought to an end on the evening of the 30th, by the Bishop's authoritative demand of unconditional surrender, and by the Archdeacon's point-blank refusal. Apparently the Bishop wanted a record, to be transmitted to the Church Mission Society. He had demanded the deeds, orally, with greater severity of expression than would well have borne recital; the letter is bland, but so worded as to be of as much injury as possible to the recipient. The Archdeacon was urged to resign the deeds into the hands of some neutral party, the implication being manifest that he could not be relied on to give them up should his "condition" be complied with; and his pledge was quoted in a mutilated form.
The Archdeacon returned no answer to this letter: he considered it extremely affronting,--a reflection on his honesty. But before receipt of it, his own letter, mentioned in the journal, had been despatched. In this letter he went further than he had gone the night before, when he had simply refused unconditional surrender
of the deeds. He now prohibited all further mention of the subject to himself. His sons were of age, and could speak for themselves. "I am at a loss," he said, "to understand why this question should have been lately so severely cast upon me by your Lordship, as if it were a case of fraud or dishonest dealing. Nor can I admit of its repetition from any quarter." He will scarcely be blamed for refusing to subject himself to a repetition of indignity. But something else had taken place which he felt even more keenly than the affront to himself. He had been informed that, even while negociations with himself were going on, the Governor had been personally working upon the natives, destroying their confidence in the Mission, casting discredit upon the manner in which the lands had been acquired, 50 and promising to restore
them to the sellers. This was the main cause, he said, of his "change of sentiments concerning the waste and worthless acres." Before he was willing to treat with the Governor; now, he would have nothing more to do with him. Fides et fiducia sunt relativa; he would no longer trust him. "The safety of my family," said he, "humanly speaking, depends alone upon the respect shewn to me by the chiefs of the various tribes. This Captain Grey has endeavoured to set aside. I am sorry your Lordship should have been so much hindered in waiting upon the Governor this week: I hope you will be spared further trouble, as I now feel perfectly indifferent as to what his Excellency may either think, say, or do."
Undoubtedly, the Archdeacon's letter is very plain-spoken: some have thought it overmuch so. It is given at length, with comments, in "The Page." The gain-sayers, unable to find fault with the matter, fell back upon the manner. The Society objected to the "style and tone." It must be admitted that the Archdeacon did not take pattern from themselves in the courtly deference they paid to an angry Secretary of State. He did not feign a respect he could not feel. He wrote under a deep sense of injury, under a feeling of just resentment; and every word he wrote was true. I, for one, cannot understand restriction to mele-mouthed utterances where character is at stake.
The Bishop, by demand of unconditional surrender, had broken up the conference; and all hope of further negotiation had been destroyed by the Governor's foray into the Archdeacon's country. In effect it was harmless, no impression whatever having been made on the native converts; but the attempt was justly resented. Indefensible under any circumstances, the worst feature of it was the acting by surprise, during truce, in the Archdeacon's absence, while engaged in doing what he could to make terms which should lead to a definite arrangement. The Governor excused himself to the Secretary of State by declaring that when he left Auckland in the "Inflexible" he had no intention of proceeding to the Bay of Islands; leaving it to be inferred that, therefore, he did not act as had been alleged when he got there. The Archdeacon was compelled to see
that, in entertaining terms of adjustment, he was treading unsafe ground,
--per ignes Suppositos cineri doloso,
and withdrew to his own stronghold. The Bishop and the Governor had not known their man. Easy, almost to a fault when his kindly feelings were appealed to, he was immoveable when assailed, careless of intimidation, and roused at once to anger by anything unfair or underhand. Through being too clever, they had mismanaged the whole affair.
Henry Williams returned to his work, leaving the Governor, without hindrance, to carry out his threat of an appeal to the Courts of Law. But the question was now exciting great interest, not among Europeans alone, but also among the natives. Shortly after his arrival at Paihia, he received a letter from Walker Nene, the original of which is given below. 51
Sir,--Mr. Williams: Salutations. Let not your heart be dark, as if it were a saying of mine "that it is through the Missionaries the land is gone." We ourselves sold the land; let it not be said it was taken without payment. Hikitene sold his place Waikare. Tohitapu sold his place Whangai. Heke sold his place Puketona. Kaiteke sold his place Pouerua. Manu and Wharerahi sold Waimate. I also sold my place Otutae. There has been no place taken unpaid for, and so also there has been no chief of Ngapuhi who has not sold. Afterwards they exclaim, the land is gone, they having received the payment. Hautungia also sold Titirangi. Tamati sold Paihia and the Haumi. Kawiti and Pomare sold Okiato. There was no man who did not pay. Afterwards they exclaim, our land is gone, let us up and fight for our land is gone. They broke the flag-staff of the pakeha, they fight, and then say it is for the land; but it was not so, it was for Kotiro, because the payment was not given, the cask of tobacco, and the bag of shot. If they had fought for their lands I would not have fought against them, but their fighting was wrong. It was the saying of the pakeha, "slave [taurekareka], your right [mana] over the land is gone," and they said the sayings of the pakeha are true. Now I have heard the word of the Queen. "Those bad people fight them, but let not their lands be taken, because I have a love for those whom my fathers have left." Now, Sir, for whom was that word. Am I a man who goes to England that it should be said the saying was mine? The saying is Ngapuhi's own. In vain I asked what land is it which it is said must be fought for, seeing it was paid for by the Missionaries. Now there has been no land taken unpaid for either by Missionaries or settlers. No, the fault and folly was with the chiefs, themselves, of New Zealand. There was no fraud on the part of the pakeha, it was the ignorance of the Maori. If I had not seen the payment, I would have said it had been taken unpaid for by the pakeha, but it has been paid for; but how am I to know whether the payment was right or wrong. In my opinion it was a just payment. This is all I have to say.
TAMATI WAKA NENE.
To Mr. Williams.
When the natives complained that the "whenua" was gone, the grievance, real or supposed, was that the country was taken from them, by passing under the Queen's sovereignty; not that certain portions of land had been sold to Europeans. The Governor was
1 The expression is strong, and must therefore be justified. Article the second, of the Treaty of Waitangi, is as follows:--
"Her Majesty the Queen of England confirms and guarantees to the chiefs and tribes of New Zealand, and to the respective families and individuals thereof the full, exclusive, and undisturbed possession of their lands and estates, forests, fisheries, and other properties which they may collectively or individually possess, so long as it is their wish and desire to retain the same in their possession. But the chiefs of the united tribes, and the individual chiefs, yield to Her Majesty the exclusive right of pre-emption over such lands as the proprietors thereof may be disposed to alienate, at such prices as may be agreed upon between the respective proprietors thereof and persons appointed by her Majesty to treat with them on that behalf."
There can be no mistake about this: the guarantee is absolute. Now let us compare Lord Grey's Instructions. The following is extracted from an article written by the compiler of this Memoir for the Westminister Review, April, 1864, published on the eve of a New Zealand field-night in the House of Commons:--
"The question had often been asked in New Zealand, --'What are the demesne lands of the Crown?' There was no land in the country without an owner; the natives had been guaranteed possession of their own; the land acquired from them by the Government had been purchased with the money of the colonists; and there was none other left but the surplus land, i.e., the land confiscated from the estates of the original settlers. Lord Grey introduced a very short and effective mode of creating 'demesne lands of the Crown.' By clauses v. and vi., of the 13th chapter of the Instructions, it will be seen that, in the first place, an officer appointed at the pleasure of the Government is called upon to find out claims; to register provisionally, and within a limited period, the lands of the aborigines within his province: in default thereof--within a time not specified--all lands not claimed, or thus registered, are to be escheated to the Crown. But there is no guarantee to the natives that the officer will be able, or willing, or competent to fulfil the conditions of these clauses. The rights which had been secured to the natives by solemn treaty are now made to depend upon the fallibility, or even the wilful neglect of an individual.
Land Courts, whose decision was to be final, were also constituted, to which the natives were to be compelled to submit their claims.. The Court, appointed by the Crown, presided over by an officer of the Crown, and limited in its judgment of the validity of claims by rules laid down by a functionary of the Crown. The injustice of such an appeal is flagrant, and would never have been submitted to.
The rules laid down by this functionary, had he been left unrestricted, might have been fair, and so far not repugnant to the treaty. But the Instructions proceed, on the theory of labour alone constituting right of property in land, to define the rules by which the Land Court shall be guided in the adjudication of such claims as are referred to its arbitrary decision.
Clause IX. is as follows:--"No claim shall be admitted in the said Land Courts on behalf of the original inhabitants of New Zealand, to any lands situate within the said islands, unless it shall be established to the satisfaction of such Court, that either by some act of the Executive Government of New Zealand, as hitherto constituted, or by the adjudication of some Court of competent jurisdiction within New Zealand, the right of such aboriginal inhabitants to such lands has been acknowledged and ascertained; or that the claimants or their progenitors, or those from whom they derived title, have actually had the occupation of the lands so claimed, and have been accustomed to use and enjoy the same either as places of abode, or for tillage, or for the growth of crops, or for the depasturing of cattle, or otherwise for the convenience and sustentation of life by means of labour expended thereupon."
. . . . . . . . . . .
It is enough to observe that the treaty recognised the native title unconditionally, even guaranteeing the chieftainship over the land. The thirteenth chapter of the Instructions is simply a scheme of confiscation under colour of law.
The Governor could not be brought to admit that a breach of treaty was committed; but he seems to have stood alone in his view, at least in the North: for among the Company's settlers many held the Company's views. The receipt of the Instructions was followed by a period of extraordinary excitement, both among Maories and Europeans. Nothing hindered the natives from rising but the strenuous exertions of Bishop Selwyn and the Missionaries, by whose influence they were induced to give time for a reference to the Queen.
The judgment passed upon the Instructions by the Northern settlers was, we believe, unanimous. Public meetings were held; memorials drawn up; the local press laboured to the utmost, but, while protesting against chapter 13, refrained for a while from giving it publicity, in order that the natives should not learn precisely what was intended for them. The Chief Justice put forth a pamphlet, in which he proved, unanswerably, the breach of treaty; the Bishop addressed a protest to the Governor, which caused some very sharp correspondence, in which the two parties went so far as to come to issue about a matter of fact.
It may be added that a complete exposure of the nature of these Instructions was made by the Society for the Protection of Aborigines, through their Secretary, Louis Alexis Chamerovzou; London, J. C Newby, 1848.
3 An expression used by Governor Grey. The charge of "extreme untruth" was met by a searching examination of the Governor's own despatches.
4 The Wakefields, Langs, Dillons, Earls, and such like, might have been safely treated with neglect.
5 The matter was treated as a public and political question, affecting the welfare of the community; therefore in the plain-spoken style that is usual with the public press, it was official action that was thus condemned.
6 As Viscount Howick, Chairman to the memorable House of Commons Committee of 1844.
7 Yet, they might have behaved better. It was in courage that they were found wanting. One must not be over hard upon their courtly deference to a Secretary of State; but their best and boldest course would have been, to challenge enquiry,--to fetch out the whole truth at once, wherever it might lie. Failing this, however, no fault can be reasonably found with these--their earlier proceedings.
8 Appendix D. Followed up by a series, to similar effect. But the one is enough.
9 Whatever may have been the object, the Mission are bound to gratitude for the deed.
10 "In order that the Lord Bishop of New Zealand may clearly see the grounds which have induced me to decline co-operation with him on this matter, I will transmit to him a copy of this correspondence."
Governor Grey to the Church Mission Society, August 6, 1847.
11 The Bishop had told Mr. Williams that, previously to leaving England, he had conferred with the Committee of the Church Mission Society, and had observed to them that "he did not feel at liberty to interfere in the land question, any more than a Bishop in England could interfere with a clergyman who might wish to purchase an estate within his diocese."
12 There can be no doubt that terms had been already arranged, in private.
13 To save repetition of words, it may at once be mentioned that Archdeacon Williams acted throughout as the representative of that portion of the Mission which refused to surrender the Crown grants, until the question of character should have been first disposed of.
14 The Bishop's own word is, "children;" undoubtedly correct, in fact. But, unfortunately, it conveys the idea of childhood. Mr. Williams suggested that "grandchildren" might be meant.
A peculiar language is used throughout by the assailants, masters of the great art of seeming to assert without asserting. Men and women, fathers and mothers of families, separate in dwelling and in interest from the parents, are called "children." Crown grantees, are called "land claimants." Augmented awards, are called "augmented grants." A letter officially "communicated" to the missionaries, becomes a letter "shewn" to them, as if in confidence. A confidential despatch, is described as a "private letter." A stipulation becomes a "suggestion." Passive endurance of legal proceedings, is "contention for land claims."
The ingenuity displayed, ad augendum odium, is worthy of a better cause.
15 He had made a point of paying his sons the market price for all supplies.
16 See "A Page from the History of New Zealand;" where the documents are given in full.
17 The Governor appealed to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. The case was heard but only ex parte; Mr. Clarke still refusing to defend. The judgment of the Court below was reversed. But the reversal was in its turn overruled by a subsequent decision of the Privy Council, in a defended case.
18 Their own wording is followed. The proposal was the Governor's.
19 As usual, unwilling to face the light. From the Governor's "secret and confidential" despatch, to the Society's pamphlet "for private circulation," underground work.
21 There was no cause; though possibly there may have been reason. Rauparaha had done nothing, but was supposed by the Government to be dangerous. The capture was cleverly effected by Captain Stanley, of H.M.S. "Calliope." It was a measure of precaution: how far justifiable, I do not pretend to say.
22 Transmitting the "secret and confidential" despatch to Mr. Gladstone, commonly called "Blood and Treasure."
23 In which, however, nothing transpired of what was impending from the Bishop.
24 The Archdeacon was a strict observer of the Lord's day, invariably preparing for it on the Saturday afternoon. This disturbance was especially repugnant to him. The following words are extracted from a letter to the Bishop:--
"Your Lordship held secret conference with some of my brethren, though not a word was offered to me until your Lordship presented the letter in question on the fourth, the eve of the Sabbath, and on the sixth demanded an answer."
26 As to any very serious objection to holding land, (the expression is so qualified, because, subsequently, in his famous Bull, which might have been fulminated by Hildebrand himself, he mentions an objection), I must take the liberty, out of respect for himself, to doubt it. For his Lordship could never have deemed himself justified, during the seemingly open and unreserved communication which he had been so long holding with Mr. Williams, in concealing that thought.
He had himself declared that the land question was one foreign to his episcopal office; and, indeed, he was always most careful to explain that his ecclesiastical relations with the Archdeacon remained unimpaired. His political relations, of course, remained untouched by this declaration; but that was not at the time perceived.
27 "Possibly, even I might injure deeply our common faith."
28 Such procedure would have been contrary to the law of the colony. All land over which the native title had been extinguished was deemed to be waste land of the Crown; and waste land of the Crown could be dealt with only in certain ways, of which this was not one. Accordingly, when the proposal was accepted by Mr. Clarke, the Governor would not abide by it.
29 The "secret and confidential" despatch to Mr. Gladstone found its way into the newspapers, though not through missionary agency, direct or indirect. Governor Grey subsequently called it "a private letter from himself to Lord Grey!" and accused Archdeacon Williams of having published it.
"He [Archdeacon Henry Williams] also contrived to get published in the same newspaper, a private letter of mine to your Lordship." Governor Grey to Lord Grey, House of Commons' Blue Book, July, 1849, p. 72.
Much nonsence was talked at the time by persons unacquainted with the conventional rules which are in use concerning letters. The publication of the despatch was perfectly in order, the Secretary of State having himself removed the privacy,--a procedure of common occurrence when the public service requires it. It is true, indeed, that even to this day, Governor Grey has never recovered from the effect of that publication; but, as a matter of fact, the person who supplied the despatch to the press, was not even a member of the Church of England.
Sir George Grey's own counsel to Colonel McDonnell, which so nearly involved the loss of the Colonel's commission (re the Brissenden letter, Session of 1875), suffices to shew how vague are his own ideas as to the difference between right and wrong in such matters. Vide the decision of Governor the Marquis of Normanby.
Colonel McDonnell had won his promotion at the sword's point, but having been brought up in an out-district of the Colony, was inexperienced in social conventions. He had been employed by the Government, in conjunction with Mr. Brissenden, an American, as land purchaser from the natives, and the two had not altogether agreed. Colonel McDonnell received, enclosed to himself by an unknown correspondent, a letter belonging to Mr. Brissenden. Instead of instantly returning the letter, on reading the first line, to the owner, he committed the grave error of applying to a third party,--Sir George Grey himself, for advice. Upon this advice I offer no comment. The result shall be told by a press agency communication to the Southern Cross newspaper.
COLONEL MCDONNELL'S CASE. DECISION OF THE GOVERNOR.
Wellington, Tuesday, December 2, 1875.
His Excellency's decision in Colonel McDonnell's case has been communicated. The evidence taken before the Court of Inquiry is very voluminous. The three principal witnesses were Sir George Grey, Mr. Sheehan, and Mr. Brissenden. The latter brought no proof to show that the letter sent to him by Colonel McDonnell was one of those said to have been missed from the Club; on the contrary, it was proved to have been delivered to Colonel McDonnell at his lodgings, by some person unknown. Mr. Sheehan, who had spoken to Colonel McDonnell on two or three occasions during the three days Mr. Brissenden's letter was in Colonel McDonnell's possession, advised him on the third day to send the letter at once to Mr. Brissenden. Sir George Grey, to whom Colonel McDonnell went a few minutes after he had received the letter, read the whole or a portion of it, then recommended him to take legal advice, and suggested his speaking to Mr. Sheehan. From the evidence, Sir George Grey appears to have been the only person who recommended the retention of Mr Brissenden's letter by Colonel McDonnell; and when, asked by the Court for his reasons for recommending Colonel McDonnell to take legal advice rather than return the letter addressed to Mr. Brissenden at once to its owner, said he thought something very wrong had been done by somebody, and the delay would give time for inquiry. The finding of the Court is to this effect: That after receiving the letter at his lodgings Colonel McDonnell read a portion of it before he ascertained it was addressed to Mr. Brissenden; but that on seeing it was so addressed, he was guilty of highly improper conduct in not sending it at once to Mr. Brissenden, with a note of apology and explanation. The Court at the same time considered that the great anxiety of mind under which Colonel McDonnell was labouring about that time, on account of imputations as to his veracity before the Tairua Committee, together with the injudicious advice he had received, were the causes of his improperly retaining Mr. Brissenden's letter, taking a copy, and shewing it to others; such conduct being reprehensible and unjustifiable. The Court conclude by referring to Colonel McDonnell's high testimonials of distinguished service and character. The Governor entirely concurs in the opinion of the Court, but as there is no evidence in any way connecting Colonel McDonnell with the abstraction of the letter, and taking into consideration his anxiety of mind at the time, moreover believing his conduct was greatly guided by advice he unfortunately received from others, the Governor is unwilling, for the above reasons, and in consequence, of his previous distinguished services, to cancel his commission. His Excellency must, however, express a strong reprobation of his conduct, and adjudge him to be reprimanded by the Defence Minister.
30 The grantees were charged with having supplied a copy of the letter to Mr. Brown, a member of the Legislative Council. It happens that none of them did so; but this matters not, for any one of them had a perfect right to do so. It was supplied by one nearer to the Bishop, as I believe his Lordship knows right well. I myself also had a copy of the letter: it happens that I did not make public use of it; but I should have had no scruple in doing so had I thought fit.
As the charge was evidently made in the desire to affix the stigma of an ungentlemanly act upon the grantees, a brief outline of what took place must be supplied, abstracted from the report of proceedings in Council.
"On September 14, 1847, Mr. Brown gave notice, in Council, to move for "the copy of a despatch recently addressed to the Lord Bishop of New Zealand by the Governor, in which his Excellency had requested his Lordship to use his influence with the Church Missionaries to induce them to relinquish their lands."
The Governor said that "he had written several letters to his Lordship, but had no recollection of making any request such as had been referred to. He would say again that he did not know by what rule such correspondence could be demanded, yet, if the particular letter was specified, he would have no hesitation in producing a copy of it; the honourable member would perhaps remember its date, &c., and be prepared with his notice when the proper time for giving notices of motion arrived."
Mr. Brown, who at that time had only hearsay information about the letter, withdrew the notice of motion.
On September 18, the Governor himself re-introduced the question.
He said that "he was aware that he had written several letters to his Lordship, and since the last meeting of Council, but he could find no terms in any of them that bore the least resemblance to what had been alleged as grounds for the motion. [The actual words, taken down at the time by myself were, "no terms that could fairly bear the construction sought to be put upon them." The difference is immaterial, but I am a stickler for absolute precision.] He entertained so high an opinion of that Right Reverend prelate, that he could never have thought of making such request of his Lordship; and he must say, that it was neither fair nor just towards him, for any member to endeavour to impress on the Council, by bringing forward such a vague and groundless charge, that he had made any request of the kind of the Bishop."
On September 21, Mr. Brown, who had by this time received a copy of the letter to the Bishop, moved formally for its production, "contending that the parties interested had good reason to seek the production of it, because it sought by means of the influence, interest, or the position of the Bishop with the Missionaries, to urge then to give up their lands, by means which were neither legal or authorised."
This time, the existence of such a letter was not denied, the Governor only asking Mr. Brown's authority. "Can the honourable member," said the Governor, "give any authority for the grave charge he has thus preferred? Can he make good his assertions, and prove that the Governor has ever made such an attempt to procure the Bishop's influence for such a purpose?"
Proof was easy, for the honourable member had a copy of the letter in his pocket. But he refrained, for the time, from pressing his advantage.
After further discussion, Mr. Brown said that "he had taken the only open and honourable course to enable the Government to explain the matter by moving for a copy of the despatch, but the Government had not ventured to bring it forward. He had no desire to continue the subject further, as he saw it would do no good."
The report of proceedings in Council was made by Mr. Williamson, proprietor of the New Zealander newspaper. Compared with the notes taken by myself, it tallied exactly, save in the one instance already pointed out. Until the third day of the debate, by which time I had myself received a copy of the letter, I had received the Governor's statements with implicit credence, being convinced that the honourable member, Mr. Brown, had "found a mare's nest."
The copy of the letter had been supplied by one who, like the rest of us, had understood the denials to be absolute, and therefore resolved upon bringing the truth to light. If any other construction can be placed upon them, let the Governor have the advantage of it.
Mr. Brown published the letter, in self-defence. This was the subject of much correspondence, to be found in the Blue Books, with the Secretary of State for the Colonies. Governor Grey said that he had denied having "written a letter to the Bishop, requesting him to use his clerical influence to enable him [the Governor] to accomplish what was described as an unjust political object." The denial turns upon an interpolated word. The word "unjust," though it might have been used with truth, was not used; nor was it likely to have been used, in Council.
The Governor also charged Mr. Brown with having garbled the letter, in publication, by the suppression of certain words. Mr. Brown applied to the Bishop for a copy of the original, which was readily supplied, with the observation that "no secrecy was desired." The printed letter was found to tally, word for word, with the written letter. The Governor excused himself by alleging that the words which he had charged Mr. Brown with suppressing, had been contained in the original rough draft of his letter.
Mr. Brown, who had now unquestionably the upper hand, insisted upon an apology, not from the Governor, but from Lord Grey, who, under false impressions, had committed himself to exceeding stringency of comment. Lord Grey went out of office before the conclusion of the correspondence, and his successor declined to interfere. All papers on the subject were laid on the table of the New Zealand House of Representatives, and ordered to be printed.
It is with unwillingness that an old grief is revived; but the attempt to raise suspicion of improper dealing with a letter, has to be rebutted, without respect to persons.
This affair is mentioned with reluctance; but I am "retained for the defence," and must do my duty. There is no charge more offensive than that of tampering with private letters, and none that has been more recklessly made, against the grantees, and friends of the grantees.
31 A copy of this letter, being on a political question, was communicated to the Governor. With this no fault can reasonably be found. But the grantees, to whom it was addressed, ought to have been informed accordingly; not left to find it out for themselves, at a subsequent period.
32 This was the first offer; namely, to give way if the Governor could substantiate his charges. Subsequently the Archdeacon went farther still; offering to give way if the Governor would either substantiate or retract.
33 That is, if any such portions could be found. But they were not found.
34 Once for all, to avoid repetition, it may be stated that by "the grantees" is meant those grantees who refused to surrender their deeds of grant to the Government.
35 That is to say, formally, by legal conveyance. But the land had none the less belonged to the young people throughout. When the land was handed over to them, there were no lawyers in New Zealand; the good faith of the transaction was therefore its only measure. To those who argue that a transfer, depending merely on good faith, is not a transfer, I shall merely observe, that they and I have been trained in two opposite schools of thought.
36 The Bishop, after urging that the surplus land should be restored to the original native owners, followed the Governor in backing out.
39 The use of the word "awards," which would have been correct, would have betrayed the inconvenient fact, that the original awards had been diminished, before being augmented; all these changes being in compliance with the vacillations of New Zealand law. Law, moreover, that was void for repugnancy, and finally had to be confirmed by Act of the British Parliament in 1864. I readily accept his Lordship's judgment in Theology; but not yet in law.
40 The Mission grants were made by Governor FitzRoy, but issued, nearly all at least, by Governor Grey. But the issue was made before the arrival of the deputation from a New Zealand Company's settlement. I have nowhere seen any mention made by the Governor of the somewhat awkward fact that the grants upon which he bestowed so much invective were issued by himself. The dates of issue are upon the deeds.
41 For the Bishop's letter, with full comments thereon, the reader is referred to "A Page from the History of New Zealand."
42 "You are perfectly correct in your recollection of my conversation with you at Paihia; and I have already stated in my letter to Mr. Clarke, that I have abstained from offering any remarks on the question, till I was called upon by the Society."
That is to say, in 1847. I am unable to reconcile this with the admission that so far as 1843 the Bishop was in confidential communication on the question with the Church Mission Society, or with the fact that he urged Governor FitzRoy not to make the grants. That he kept back his "remarks" from the Mission is true; but if he meant that, he should have said it.
43The Bishop to Henry Williams.
September 13, 1847.
I will then pledge myself to institute the fullest enquiry into those accusations to which you refer, as soon as the approaching ordination and the meeting of the Central Committee shall have taken place; but I am not at liberty to wait upon the Governor, nor do I think he would be at liberty now to enter into the question, as the Legislative Council is still sitting.
The Bishop's pledge was accepted: we shall presently see in what manner it was kept.
45 "I believe that Mr. Clarke is in no small degree responsible for the dreadful occurrences which took place," New Zealand Blue Book (House of Commons), 1847, p. 17. It will be remembered that Governor Grey abolished the Protectorate, to get rid of the Protector. His Excellency was a frequent imitator of great things, in small. Kildare was in disgrace at Court for having burned down the Cathedral at Cashel. But he assured the King, upon his honour, that he would not have done so, had he not believed that the Archbishop was inside.
46 Mr. Cotton, the Bishop's private chaplain, who was at times inconveniently outspoken, and never could resist the utterance of a smart word, broke out at St. John's College before many assembled, with an exclamation in his own peculiar style,--"Mr. Archdeacon, you remind me of a great blowfly." "Mr. Cotton, Mr. Cotton!" interposed one of the ladies present, afraid of affront being taken. "Yes," said the chaplain; "while the small flies are caught in the spider's web, you burst right through." None but those who are conversant with details of what it is no longer worth while to narrate, can understand the peculiar aptitude of the comparison.
47 It has been already observed that in the judgment of those best qualified to form an opinion, the Bishop's object in pressing surrender of the crown grants, was to reduce the sons of the grantees to a state of dependence, that they should be more willing to enter the Church. But even this was sacrificed to a greater object,--that of bringing every possible means of pressure to bear upon the grantees, in hope of avoiding the mortification of defeat.
Samuel Williams to Archdeacon Henry Williams.
December 28, 1847. "In course of conversation with the Bishop previous to my leaving Auckland, he told me of his determination not to receive any member of the Missionary families holding more than 2,560 acres as candidates for Holy Orders unless the subject be entirely set at rest. This I give you in writing, as it may be important for you to know."
Two of the most promising could be named--perhaps three, who were thus excluded.
48 At a later period, after learning that enquiry had been definitely refused even by the Parent Society, he wrote as follows to the Bishop:--
We are evidently betrayed, and my duty now is clearly that I must personally defend our cause, which I will do by God's grace, rejecting the aid of man.
49 "These three words, so transiently introduced, would naturally escape the notice of an unsuspicious man; and they did escape the Archdeacon's notice until very long after his first perusal of the letter. Mr. Clarke's surrender, made to appear unconditional, was followed in fact by this important condition, 'Provided always, that all land over and above that proposed, be transferred to the Church of England, to be held in trust for the education of the native population.'"
See 'Page from the History of New Zealand.'
50 A detailed account of these proceedings was given in the Southern Cross of September 25, 1847. Enquiry was subsequently made into the evidence, some of which has been preserved. The statement in the Cross came, through one remove, from Thomas Walker Nene himself.
The following are from two well-known merchants at the Bay.
My Dear Sir,--The subject contained in the Southern Cross of the 25th September, 1847, respecting the conversation which took place between the Governor and the natives was communicated to me by Tamati Waka, the day after the return of his Excellency the Governor from the Kerikeri. The circumstance appeared to create surprise amongst the natives of the Bay, as coming from the Governor.
I remain, yours truly,
H. E. HANLEY.
The Venerable Archdeacon Henry Wiliams,
My Dear Sir,--In reference to the conversation we had to-day respecting the statement made by Waka to me in the store, I have only to repeat that Waka said "the Governor was at war with the Missionaries, not with the musket, but with the pen; and that he intended to take away their land and return it to the natives."
The Venerable Archdeacon Henry Williams.
One of the expressions used, if correctly reported by the natives, was of a peculiarly offensive nature; that the Missionaries had tahae-d [stolen] their land. A promise to restore the land to the sellers, enabling them sell it over again, would be a likely means of exciting cupidity, and therefore discontent; but it was not kept. The surplus land actually taken from the original purchases was not returned, but applied to Government purposes. For instance, some of the sons bought from the Government and paid for a portion of the 2,000 acres, severed by the Commissioner, before issue of the grants, from the original purchase. Part of the surplus land was given to the enrolled pensioners, and other parts sold.
E kara e te Wiremu, tena ra ko koe, aua ra e pouritia e to ngakau, e meinga ana naku tena kupu, e-na nga Mihinare i riro ai te Whenua, na matou ano i hoko te whenua, aua e meinga he mea tango noa. Hoko ana ano a Hikitene i tona kainga i Waikare. Hoko ana ano a Tohitapu i tona kainga i Whangai. Hoko ana ano a Heke i tona kainga i Puketona. Hoko ana ano a Kaiteke i tona kainga i Pouerua. Hoko ana ano a Manu, a Te Wharerahi i te Waimate. Hoko ana ano ahau i toku kainga i Otutae. Kahore he kainga i tangohia noatia, waihoki kahore he rangatira o Ngapuhi kahore i hoko. Muri ake ka mea ratou, e, ka riro te whenua. Hoko ana ano a Hautungia i Titirangi. Hoko ana ano a Tamati i Paihia, i te Haumi. Hoko ana ano a Kawiti, a Pomare i Okiato. Kahore he tangata kahore i utua. Muri ake ka mea ratou ka riro to tatou whenua, tatou kia whawhaitia, ka riro hoki to tatou whenua, whatiia ana te kara a te Pakeha, na ka whawai, ka meinga e ratou mo te whenua. Kahore, mo Kotiro, mo te mea kahore i hoatu nga utu te kaho tupeka, te peke hota. Mehemea i whawhai ratou mo te whenua ekore ahau e whawhai kia ratou. Tena i he ta ratou whawhai. Ko nga kupu a te Pakeha, taurekareka kua riro te mana o to koutou whenua, mea rawa ratou he pono aua kupu a aua Pakeha. Na kua rongo ahau ki te kupu a te Kuini, ko ratou ko te hunga kino me whawai, ko o ratou whenua aua e tangohia ta te mea e aroha ana ahau ki nga tangata i waiho e aku matua. Na e kara mo wai ianei tenei kupu? he tangata haere ianei ahau ki Ingarani i meinga naku tena kupu? na Ngapuhi ano ra tana kupu. mea noa ahau, e, mo tehea whenua ranei e meinga nei kia whawhaitia, he mea hoko nei ano hoki na nga Mihinare, na, kahore ra he whenua i tangohia noatea e nga Mihinare, e nga Pakeha-maori, kahore, no nga rangatira ano o Nutireni te he, te kuare, kahore he tahae o nga Pakeha, no nga tangata maori te kuare, mehemea kahore ahau i kite i nga utu, e mea ahau he mea tango na nga Pakeha, tena he mea utu nei ano, ko wai hoki au e matau he utu tika ranei he utu he ranei, ki au ia he utu pono. Heoi ano taku korero kia koe.