Instead of this, he waited for their extreme exigency, and then tendered his assistance,-- at a price.
I will undertake to say that, had he acted in the free spirit of generosity, there would have been no question--not for one hour--about the "waste and worthless acres." The grantees and their children would have rejoiced at possessing them, for the sake of being able to cede them. His unconditional support would have been remembered to him, and would have been repaid fourfold. All would now have been increasing love and honour, instead of cold civility and mutual distrust.
But the Bishop had over-rated the force at his own disposal; he had under-rated the men with whom he had to deal, and had become so far compromised before the error was made manifest, that he could no longer bring himself to giving way. Instead of gathering his mantle gracefully around him, he struggled to the last.
I hope, most anxiously, that I have not wronged the man. Able, unselfish, enthusiastic, and devoted, we shall not readily meet with his like again. I find no fault with his lust of power, nor with any man's lust of power, where power is only sought for the sake of advancing a benevolent or a holy cause; but, while tolerating downright force, even to the verge of tyranny, I do most steadfastly repudiate every form of manoeuvre, every deviation from the straight and narrow path; and it is now too plainly manifest that the Bishop has not always refrained from sacrificing means to ends.
Let us hope that his Lordship will yet come forward to undo, so far as in him lies, the injury that his interference with the rights of private property has caused to the infant Church in New Zealand; to repair his error by doing justice at last to men whom he has attacked and ruined in their calling; to heal the wound that he has himself inflicted.
Cosi od' io che soleva la lancia D'Achille e del suo padre esser cagione Prima di trista e poi di buona mancia.
It is not yet too late: there is no vindictive feeling among those whom he has wronged; I believe, but little acrimony. It has been a question only of character with the grantees throughout: his Lordship has but to lend his help in restoring that character-- which will most assuredly be fully recovered in the end, with or without his help--for the reconciliation to be complete.
I conclude by quoting a passage from "Gibbon's Decline and Fall," which I long since applied to Governor Grey's proceedings against the Missionaries, little thinking at the time how closely applicable it was to the Bishop also.
The Emperor Valentinian had slain his General AEtius, the main support of a tottering throne. He was thus answered by another Roman, whose advice he had not disdained to solicit:--"I am ignorant, Sir, of your motives and provocations; I only know that you have acted like a man who cuts off his right hand with his left."
From the date of the Archdeacon's Hegira--his flight from Paihia to Pakaraka, a new era in his life begins. By his sons he was received with acclamation. "Now Pakaraka will go ahead," was the cry. Such was his prestige of success, that they felt that nothing he touched could fail. The natives flocked around. Haratua, 1 who had fled to Mangakahia because of the war, his pa having been burned by the troops, returned. Puketutu's people cut a road from the Kawakawa, to gain readier access. 2 New life seemed infused into the place, where Henry Williams at once found himself supreme. But he was reproached by the people of Paihia, who seemed scarcely to realise the fact that Mr. Williams had acquired that place, not for himself, but for the Church Mission Society.
Among the many letters, full of sympathy and support, which were received, I select one from Mr. FitzGerald, the Commissioner who had made the award upon which Governor FitzRoy's grant was based.
Sydney, August 10, 1850.
The arrival of Mrs. FitzGerald and family in good health has put me in possession of your two letters of June 5th and 26th, which gave me both pain and pleasure; pain to see that they were not dated at Paihia, the great and prominent scene of your labours in the cause of Christianity, although the entire Northern Island testifies to your unwearied exertions in the furtherance of the objects of the Society; but of Paihia you might be considered the Patriarch, preeminent above all others in your sacred calling. I deeply deplore what I cannot but consider the hasty legislation of
the Society; even their pure minds are not exempt from fear; they appear to have sacrificed a tried servant of twenty-six years standing, without giving him the opportunity to prove the sincerity of his intentions. Had they simply confined their objection to your holding 9,000 acres of land, and left it to your own option how to dispose of it; or had they offered to purchase the surplus quantity for church purposes, no blame could be attached to them; but when they attempted to coerce you into a degradation of your character, by a forced relinquishment of your land, as if you had acquired it illegally or unworthily, I must repeat that I think they have acted hastily, and, I will add, in a manner unbecoming their high position. God will support you, my friend, in your old age; a good conscience is the most precious treasure on earth, and, next to it, is the respect of worthy men; both of these blessings you enjoy, and I do not doubt that even the Church Mission Society will yet reconsider your case, and renew that intercourse so honourable to both for a long series of years, so beneficial to the great cause, and so endearing to all christian minds.
One of the Archdeacon's first considerations was, how to gather round him a congregation, without unduly obtruding himself on the Church Mission Society. His carefulness in the latter respect is shewn by the reply to a well-meant invitation from Mr. Davis.
Henry Williams to the Reverend Richard Davis.
September 19, 1850.
After mature reflection upon the unjust and oppresive treatment I have received at the hands of the Committee of the Church Mission Society and others, against which I have not offered a remonstrance, nor do I intend, I have been considering the propriety of my again visiting Kaikohe, Mangakahia, and Kaitaia, as heretofore. I believe the All-wise Disposer of human events has permitted these mysterious proceedings for some wise purpose, yet unknown: I am content to wait His time to make more plain my path of duty than at present it appears to be. Should it be His will that I take any active duty under existing circumstances it will be made clear to me, but I feel that my attempting to meet your wish as expressed to me, and that also of Mr. Mathews and Mr. Puckey, would be regarded by the Church Mission Society as a trespass; and, as I never have intruded myself upon the duties of others, much less would it be my desire to appear to do so at this time. I must request, therefore, that you will not look to me to assist in the duties at Kaikohe or Mangakahia; I have duties yet within my reach, with which none can interfere. I purpose going in a short time to see poor old Mr. King, who seriously feels the treatment he has received.
The following 3 is in the nature of a circular to natives who might properly come within the sphere of his own administration.
Pouerua, June 5, 1850.
Friend,--Here am I residing at Pakaraka. Paihia is left; the place where I have lived ever since my first landing on this Island. Paihia was not my own place; and now I retire from the rage of the sea, and the foam of the waves, lest I should be overwhelmed. I am now residing in the country; there are no waves here, the sea is smooth, but a gentle breeze, causing a slight ripple upon the surface of the water. The top of Pouerua is to be my residence, where I can see before and behind me; no one will come here but my children: I love my children. Come, my child, and see me. I am getting old, but my heart is still alive to speak of the things of God and of Heaven. Write to me. Keep near to God: His word alone is true; the word of man is false. Seek first the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness, and all things else shall be added unto you.
This is from me,
From your father,
This leads to consideration of a contingency which the Bishop had not provided for, and seemingly had not foreseen, when he drove the Archdeacon to extremities. Of what nature was his ministration now to be? He had no longer a cure, and was unwilling to intrude. The Bishop could not take his gown away, 4 nor could he deprive him of his influence.
It has been held (I offer no opinion on a point of law) that there was no established church in New Zealand,--certainly no church government, in any reasonable sense of the term; there was nothing to hinder the Archdeacon from taking his own free course. Not that the thought of mutiny ever arose, for a moment; in mundane thought, he was the naval officer to the last; but, while still loyal to the Bishop and his authority, he considered that he was under higher authority. "Woe is me," said he, "if I preach not the gospel." It was determined that a church, for the endowment of which one tenth of the whole estate had been long since set apart, should be built for his use. The endowments were placed in trust, leaving the Bishop no voice in their employment. Too late the Bishop found that Henry Williams, to use a phrase of common parlance, had slipped out of his hand. He had let go his hold of the strong man; and he found, before long, that he could not even venture to neglect. 5
Archdeacon William Williams had made up his mind to go home, in the hope, by personal explanation, of disabusing the minds of the Society's Committee. A hazardous experiment for himself, for by returning home without leave, he risked serious displeasure. But he had two objects in view; the one, to vindicate the Mission from the Governor's charges; the other, to obtain a reversal of the judgment against his brother. Should he fail in the first of these, he had resolved to abandon the connexion between himself and the Society.
You will have heard of the intention of William and Jane to visit England, in consequence of late proceedings. I wish you, however, to understand that it is at no suggestion of mine, nor do I ask him to say one word on my behalf, or to explain anything in which I may be concerned. I have not only lost all confidence in the Church Mission Society, but all respect for those concerned. It is my intention to avail myself of all the scripture consolation, laid down for those who have been falsely accused, and suffering under persecution. It has been my great comfort to know, not merely that nothing has been established against me, but that nothing has been attempted to be established. As William will be on the spot, and has seen and known all that has passed, I shall not enter further upon any questions. Your protest, I think, is clear, and one which upright men could not have desired to set aside. I much regret that, at your age, your quietness should have been disturbed by such questions. Had the Committee of the Church Mission Society acted with christian fairness, and grappled with the question fearlessly, without respect of persons, there would have been no confusion. I am now advanced in years, becoming infirm, and left to live or die, as I am able, by the decree of the committee of men, to whom the world readily gives credit for acting with the most scrupulous observance of their own instructions. Mysterious affair! It had been my purpose to resign my journeyings when I should have completed my sixtieth year. I am inclined to believe that God may in mercy have prepared my present retreat, and that the conduct of my foes will yet be exposed. They have shunned investigation; I have invited investigation. But I have said more than I intended. Should the committee be inclined to hear what William has to say on other subjects, they will have much to occupy their attention, much that may be of service to them. His time may be occupied with superintending the Prayer Book through the press, besides attending to other things of importance.
The inhabitants of Kororareka, who obstinately refused to believe that the Archdeacon, by treasonable proceedings, had caused the destruction of their town, had subscribed for the purchase of a testimonial, which is now a valued heirloom in the family. Its presentation, gratefully acknowledged, afforded an opportunity of making clear the political nature of the sentence which had been passed by the Society.
Reverend and dear Sir,--After a long but unavoidable delay in our anticipated pleasure, we are anxious to request you will allow us to place on your study table the accompanying token of unabated and affectionate esteem.
May you long be spared to make use of it, to gladden the hearts of your absent friends. We know that you will kindly value it, not so much for itself as for the sake of those whose sincere regard accompanied you in your retirement, and who will ever take the most lively interest in your welfare. We rejoice to hear that you prosper and are in health. That such may happily continue to be the case is, Reverend and dear Sir, the earnest desire of your sincere and grateful friends in the Bay of Islands.
SAMUEL HAYWARD FORD.
Archdeacon Henry Williams,
To this a very plain-spoken answer was returned.
The Retreat, Pakaraka, January 28, 1851.
Gentlemen,--The kindness you have shewn throughout the late trying period, calls for the warmest expression of my thanks. I must repeat what I have before said, that you have indeed acted the part of the Good Samaritan. You have poured oil into those wounds which have been inflicted. With these feelings your presentation of this Testimonial is deeply gratifying; I do most highly value it, and it will be preserved in my family as a lasting remembrance of the kindly feeling of all in connexion therewith. To Samuel Stephenson, Esq., Samuel Hayward Ford, Esq., and my other friends in the Bay of Islands, I offer my grateful acknowledgment.
I feel called upon by the lively interest you have evinced to add a few remarks. You are aware that the resolutions of the Committee of the Church Mission Society, passed on November 30, 1849, purporting to set forth a reason for my disconnexion from them, have been published by authority in one of the Auckland newspapers, with an invitation to any, so disposed, to examine certain documents relative to the question at issue. 6 I consider, therefore, that you are fully entitled to examine any papers I may possess upon this subject, and I shall further be most willing to answer any questions you may be desirous to put to me, to enable you to arrive at a correct conclusion on this case. Since I last met you I have analyzed those resolutions, the 2nd
and 4th particularly objectionable, taking them clause by clause, and pronounce them to be untenable on every point.
The dilemma in which the Committee of the Church Mission Society was placed, I can fully enter into. I can sympathise with them. They have been seriously imposed upon. I have before shewn the cause of that dilemma to have arisen from the despatches of his Excellency Governor Grey, presented to them by the Secretary of State. Those despatches are published in the Blue Book for 1849, in which I am charged by his Excellency with having made "mis-statements and mis-representations so extremely untrue." And this same despatch, of March 22, 1848, closes with these words:--
"I cannot doubt that the dissemination of such opinions amongst the natives, by a person in Archdeacon H. Williams' position, will certainly obtain for the Government the hatred of the native population, and will probably lay the groundwork for further disaster, which will then probably be attributed to the Government, instead of to the proper cause."
And in his Excellency's despatch of February 10, 1849, appear these closing remarks.
"I cannot conclude this despatch without recalling to your Lordship's mind that I have before represented that if Archdeacon H. Williams continues to excite discontent and dissatisfaction amongst the natives, by calling upon them for statements 7 of what myself, or those representing the Government, are supposed to have said in passing through the country, the result must be renewed disturbance, and I submit that this system of espionage is not creditable or proper."
These grave charges I shall forbear to notice. They are known to every person in New Zealand to be fiction, as far as they relate to myself. They are mere inventions of Sir George Grey, to answer a certain end. No wonder, therefore, with such documents before them, the Committee of the Church Mission Society were misled and greatly embarrassed, as so expressed by themselves.
Since the appearance of the sanguinary despatch of June 25, 1846, and others of like character, I have solicited his Excellency in vain to establish any one of his numerous imputations. Finally I craved the protection of the Secretary of State, and that a scrutiny might be instituted upon these allegations brought by Governor Grey. The following reply to my appeal is given by his Lordship, as appears in the Blue Book for 1850, page 232, number 8, in a despatch to Governor Grey, dated October 5, 1849.
"With respect to the enquiry for which he (Archdeacon H. Williams) asks into the correctness of the reports made by Her Majesty's representative in the Colony, I feel it to be entirely unnecessary, and consider that such an investigation would be inconsistant with the respect due to the officer by whom that station is filled, and in whom Her Majesty's Government feel perfect confidence."
Thus is judgment given by the Secretary of State, though no enquiry permitted. I was prepared to learn that his Lordship would suppress my appeal, but that these serious imputations, brought forward by his Excellency, of sedition and falsehood, should be also suppressed, appears to imply his Lordship's persuasion of their real character,--that they could not be established. Therefore an "enquiry" is deemed inconvenient, "entirely unnecessary." From all these connecting circumstances, I think it must be apparent that these proceedings against me have been decidedly political.
You are aware that I have stood single-handed against a powerful phalanx. All is not yet explained, but an opportunity may be given to do so. I have the great satisfaction of knowing that no one statement made by me has been called in question. Truth must stand, and shall ultimately prevail.
Your sympathy for the position into which I have been brought has called forth these remarks. It is with thankfulness, I assure you, that through these past four years of painful excitement, I have yet found that as my day, so hath been my support; resting on the promises of God, which have been my shield and buckler.
I again most sincerely thank you for the kindness I have received from all who have presented this gratifying testimonial. My only desire now is, that you all, while passing through this vale of tears, in every trial to which you are liable, may experience that peace which the world can never give, the world can never take away.
I remain, Gentlemen,
Yours most faithfully,
In this letter the Archdeacon mentions the Bishop's "invitation to any, so disposed, to examine certain documents relative to the question at issue."
This invitation was in the following words:--
To the Editor of the New Zealander.
June 25, 1850.
Sir,--My attention has been directed to the publication in your paper (15th June, 1850) of a single resolution of the Church
Mission Society, detached from the series of six to which it belongs. I enclose a copy of the whole series, for those who may be interested in the question; and I have further to add, that I shall be ready to allow any person to read the whole of the correspondence on the same subject which has passed through my hands.
I remain, Sir,
Your obedient Servant,
G. A. New Zealand.
The writer of this Memoir, who had watched the proceedings of the Bishop and the Governor from the first, with much attention, applied accordingly for permission to read. A manuscript volume, which did not contain "the whole of the correspondence," was supplied without remark. This omission of important documents from the Bishop's collection, together with a serious mis-statement which then, for the first time, met the writer's eye, was the cause of the work entituled "A Page from the History of New Zealand" being undertaken. When "The Page" appeared, no one attempted to controvert any statement contained therein; but it was assiduously put about that Mr. Carleton, when he received permission to inspect the papers, had pledged his honour to make no use of them. Whence the poisoned arrow was shot, I cannot say, and care not to know. The statement bears its own refutation on the face of it. The public offer to give access had been unconditional; and was answered by a claim to read. No condition whatever could be demanded.
What has become of the St. John's College book? It is no longer in its place. Yet it is in the nature of a public record, and has been officially so referred to. Desiring lately to examine it, for the purposes of this Memoir, I made application in the proper quarter. No difficulty was made; but the book, seemingly no longer in the Colony, could not be found. Let it rest, together with its imperfections.
Mention has been made of Archdeacon William Williams' 8 resolve to proceed to England, to plead the cause of the Mission in person.
He did so, and was well received, notwithstanding his having left his cure without waiting till formal permission could be obtained. But he had himself made up his mind to renounce connexion with the Society, unless he should be allowed the opportunity of disproving the charges against the Mission,--such disproof to be acknowledged by the Church Mission Committee. This was the primary object, on the attainment of which depended his own tenure of office. Another object, made subordinate to the first, was reversal of the sentence pronounced against his brother. This being a matter of more personal nature, he did not think himself justified in pressing it under proffer of resignation. His duty was not to man alone.
He was well received, and urged to speak at the Society's annual meeting, but was found immoveable in his resolve not to act as a New Zealand Missionary, until the first of his two objects should have been attained. He was then offered the first meeting of the "Corresponding Committee." There he succeeded in fully relieving the Mission from aspersion, and in obtaining from the Committee a declaration to that effect,--ample enough so far, but marred somewhat by an implied disclaimer of having themselves countersigned the charges that were at last disproved.
I had intended to relegate the Archdeacon's speech to the appendix, not only because of its length, but because some of the evidence adduced by him has been already produced in the foregoing pages. But it is so interesting in itself,--so useful in preserving authentic records of the early history of the Colony, that even at the risk of repetition, place must be found for it in the text.
ARCHDEACON WILLIAM WILLIAMS' STATEMENT BEFORE THE COMMITTEE OF THE CHURCH MISSION SOCIETY, MAY 20, 1851.
I have not yet made any statement to the Secretary respecting the particular business which I have first to lay before you; I have only intimated in general terms that there was something upon my mind which would prevent me from complying with the request most kindly made, not only by our Secretary, but by our noble President also, that I would bear my testimony to the great work which God has wrought amongst the New Zealanders.
You will naturally conclude that I at least have viewed my position as one of some difficulty; and I confess too that I have regarded with apprehension the occasion when I should appear before this Committee. But I can now say, with much thankfulness, that the unbounded kindness with which I have been received by the official members and by many friends of this Society has removed those apprehensions, and I feel confident that every point which I have to place before you will meet with the most candid, patient consideration.
This Committee cannot be at all aware of the degree of feeling which has been excited in the minds of several of our Missionaries in New Zealand by statements published in this country affecting their moral character and not refuted, but in some instances almost adopted by this Committee. In my present visit indeed to my native country, I am entrusted by my brethren with other business of great importance to the general objects of the Mission; but I will freely confess that my principal view in undertaking the voyage has been to remove these injurious aspersions, and to procure from the Committee an authentic vindication; for I must honestly feel that, unless such a vindication be obtained, I cannot think that we are in a situation to continue in the service of the Society.
The offensive reflections to which I allude are the following passages from a despatch of Governor Grey to the Colonial office of June 25, 1846.
"Her Majesty's Government may also rest satisfied that these individuals cannot be put in possession of these tracts of land without a large expenditure of British blood and money." Again, "It is my duty to warn Her Majesty's Government that, if British troops are long exposed to the almost unexampled 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."
Upon these two extracts I have to remark, that if the first expresses mere apprehension with reference to the future, the latter clearly implies "that the large loss of life entailed on our small force, together with the almost unexampled fatigues and privations" had been already incurred in the above-named service.
The next reflection upon the conduct of the Missionaries occurs in a conversation with Mr. Busby, in January, 1847, when his Excellency expresses a wish to know,--Why it should be that all the natives against us should be the people of the Church Mission, while all our friends are the Wesleyans and Roman Catholics?
This was followed by another despatch from Governor Grey to Lord Grey, on August 2, 1847 (Blue Book, 1848, p. 110), in which he says that, "During the continuance of the war it was stated by
the very highest authority, published at the seat of war, and in the principal locality of these large land claims, that they were the cause and origin of the war; and that one of the principal Missionaries of the Society was present when this statement was made, in the presence of the principal Northern Chiefs, who all acquiesced in it."
The Governor adds, "This fact can be shewn by the following speech made to me by Walker Nene, at Kororareka, on, I believe, November 28, 1846, during the continuance of the war, in the presence of a large number of naval and military officers. The interpretation speech was made by the interpreter of Colonel Despard, the officer commanding the forces, and was forwarded to me by Colonel Despard. It was published also in all the local newspapers at the time:--
"Friends, my idea is to shew the division of the land. There are no lands lying without owners. This portion has its chief, that portion has its chief. This is the custom of our Island up and down; when the Europeans came this chief rose and parted out his lot, and that chief rose and parted out his lot; there was no place left that was not gone to the Europeans afterwards. Evil was seen; this is where the strife is." In adverting to these various facts I am desirous not to do injustice to the character and conduct of Governor Grey. Indeed, I am free to admit that there are certain good qualities in Sir George Grey which are calculated to draw forth the approbation of those who may differ widely from him upon other matters. He has shewn himself a warm friend and patron of the native race, and has encouraged, by Government support, the establishment of schools to the utmost extent of the means placed at his disposal. But these considerations do not diminish, they rather increase the effect of injurious charges preferred by such a man, occupying so important a station; and they are felt the more keenly in consequence of the subtle and insidious manner in which some of them are made, and of the apparent acquiescence and assent, if not approbation, with which they are noticed in some of your public documents.
As an illustration of the subtle manner in which these charges have been made, I will state that, while the first which I have noticed were made in June, 1846, they were not even whispered in New Zealand for many months. That when it might be supposed they had reached England, but long before the report could return back to New Zealand, there were other complaints made in a letter to the Rev. H. Venn, of April 7, 1847, evidently with the intention of adding strength to the first charge; and that immediately on the receipt of information in New Zealand by the Governor that his first statements had reached England,
i.e., twelve months after, he wrote again to Lord Grey a more full and circumstantial account, on August 2, 1847, containing in it the appearance of evidence; thus forestalling any statement which might be made by your Missionaries in the way of reply or disavowal of the charges. The consequences have been that a first impression made upon your minds upon the receipt of the Governor's despatch, which you evidently hoped might not be true, was soon followed up by a succession of statements, made at intervals, that so the evil complained of might have the appearance of growing in magnitude during every successive month. The effect has been that these impressions have become deep-rooted, and that, too, before a word could be received from us in reply. Bold assertions, however unfounded and unjust, are believed, because they are boldly made, and heard without refutation.
The insinuation that "the natives connected with the Church Mission were hostile, and those connected with the Wesleyans and Roman Catholics friendly to the British Government," I pass by unnoticed. It is so plainly contrary to truth, and even to probability, that I am persuaded no one here has even given the least credit to it. I confine myself to the charge that the land purchases of the Church Missionaries were the cause of the war, or, indeed, that they have anything whatever to do with the late disturbance.
That these insinuations are utterly groundless may be easily shewn. Firstly, the Governor himself has disowned them. 9 On September 28, 1847, I accompanied the Bishop and Archdeacon Brown to an interview with the Governor upon this very subject. His Excellency observed that he had brought no charge against the Missionaries in his despatch; that in fact in writing it he had been influenced by circumstances which had taken place in the valley of the Hutt, near Wellington, when he had been called upon to interfere, by the employment of the military, to dislodge the natives there from land sold to the New Zealand Company; and that it was under feelings that he had taken a false step, that he wrote the despatch in question. This declaration on the part of the Governor will not lose any part of its weight with the Committee, although the Governor had two months before made the charge in a letter which he here disclaims, namely, that the Missionaries were the cause and ground of the war in the North.
It is fortunate for me, in the course I have undertaken, that there is a mass of documents published by the authority of Parliament which give a detailed account of the disturbances which occurred in the Northern part of New Zealand. From them may be
gathered the testimony of persons who had the opportunity of seeing, and of feeling too, the evils which were experienced at that period; for they lost the whole of their property.
There is the testimony too of that Governor who watched the outbreak from its commencement, and followed it through its progress up to the very point of its termination, and who, by his position, would obtain information from a variety of sources not accessible to the community at large. There is also the testimony of others in independent situations, but all agreeing in this particular that the disturbances referred to have no connexion with your Missionaries.
I might refer to a large chain of evidences relating to the period preceding the outbreak, to shew that there was a probability that some such event would take place, and indeed, that it was expected. But it will not be necessary; I shall merely refer you to Governor Hobson's statement about suspicion on the minds of the natives at the time the Treaty of Waitangi was signed (Blue Book, 1841, p. 11, 11); to the Governor's proclamation restricting the natives from cutting the kauri timber growing upon their own land, and the excitement it occasioned in 1841, and to a letter from Governor Hobson to the Rev. Henry Williams, of January, 1842, in which he says:--
"I ought not to let this opportunity slip of returning you my most grateful thanks for your zealous advocacy of the cause of Her Majesty in refuting the wanton and unworthy insinuations that were circulated amongst the natives to create rebellion."
When the outbreak commenced, by Heke cutting down the flagstaff, the first account bearing upon this subject is a letter from Mr. Hector, a solicitor, at Kororareka, to Governor FitzRoy. His feeling towards the Missionaries is evidently shewn in these two passages. (Blue Book, 1845, p. 91.)
"Mr. Kemp, the Protector, who had returned to Paihia in search of Archdeacon William Williams, landed with that gentleman and Mr. Maunsell, at Russell. The two, in company with the Police Magistrate, proceeded to the natives, who still occupied Lord's house, and entered it, excluding the Europeans. Towards the afternoon the natives and the above gentlemen held a meeting outside the house, when Heke related the grievances of the natives, from the death of Marion to the present time; and, particularly, the manner the chiefs had been entrapped into signing the Treaty of Waitangi.
Ultimately Archdeacon Williams gave them a bag of rice and some sugar, and the natives, passing up the beach, pointing to the things, jeered us. On Monday morning the natives proceeded in marching order to the point of the beach, and performed prayers with arms in their hands; and, at the conclusion, a party
were sent off towards the flag-staff to cut it down. 10 Mr. Potter and I followed the natives to the flag-staff and asked them why they wished to cut it down. Some said, there had been no payment given for the land; others, that it prevented the ships coming in. On our arrival there the natives proceeded to work, and I saw the honour of my country laid low, without any attempt to prevent it. Mr. Maunsell arrived at this time, and began a tirade, when I told him the folly of such proceedings, and said that it was useless to enrage them, seeing that we were without arms, and the destruction completed."
It was natural then that the natives should, at this time, have stated to Mr. Hector the true ground of their grievance, and if there were any idea that the Missionaries were the cause of the war, he was the man to publish it.
Governor FitzRoy, in his despatch to Lord Stanley, (Blue Book, 1845, p. 140), states:--
"Certain parties excited the natives to resist authority, telling them that while our flag waved in New Zealand they would be oppressed; that we now prevented them from trading with ships as they pleased, and as they used to trade formerly; and prevented them from disposing of their own property, their lands, as they wished; a proof, say they, that they are not treated as British subjects. 11A . . . (Mayhew) of some consequence at the Bay of Islands, a . . . who acted as . . . till his departure three months ago for . . . (America), openly and repeatedly asserted to natives as well as to settlers, that the British flag would be their ruin."
Also an enclosure in the same letter gives an account from the Southern Cross newspaper of the Governor's interview at Waimate with the natives, and their statement of the cause of Heke's movement (Blue Book, 1845, p. 150).
"The cause of the discontent, they plainly and forcibly stated to be their present extreme poverty and depression, because of the restrictions on the sale of their lands, and more especially the injury which they had sustained since whaling ships and other traders had ceased to revisit their ports, in consequence of which they were now unable either to dispose of their produce, or obtain those articles of European trade and manufacture to which they had been accustomed, and had so easily and cheaply procured before the establishment of the Government. Independent of this apparent and real cause of discontent, it was also
quite evident that a systematic opposition to the Government had been set up by the means of some designing and evil-disposed persons, especially , who represented the ulterior views of the Government to be that of eventually enslaving the aborigines and becoming possessed of their lands. So far had this feeling operated on the minds of the natives, that they were actually deceived into the belief that, if they again erected their own flag and destroyed that of the Government, the . . . would assist them in obtaining and maintaining their independence."
Next follows an account of the conflict at Kororareka, which ended in the destruction of the town. In a despatch from Sir G. Gipps to Lord Stanley is enclosed,--
1st. A letter from Mr. Beckham, Police Magistrate, to Governor FitzRoy, January 10, 1855, on occasion of the flag-staff being cut down the second time (Blue Book, 1845, p. 4), in which he states, --"It is with deep regret I have the honour to inform your Excellency that, much to my surprise, John Heke and his tribe cut down the flag-staff soon after daylight this morning, but without doing any violence to the Europeans or even entering the town. The reason for his again offering this insult seems to be a general dislike to the British Government." 2nd. A minute of the Executive Council, New South Wales, bearing upon the report of the Select Committee of the House of Commons (Blue Book, 1845, p. 5)
But the present application from Governor FitzRoy was not founded, like the former, on a single act of violence, but on the general state of the Colony, and his Excellency could not but fear that the want of troops, to keep in check the natives and to prescribe peace between the two races, would be more extensively felt in proportion as the late Report of the Select Committee of the House of Commons, which sat on the affairs of New Zealand in July last, should become generally known in the Colony. In a despatch from Governor FitzRoy to Lord Stanley, in enclosure 22 (Blue Book, 1845, p. 15), the Governor states to Sir G. Gipps that it had been found necessary to evacuate Kororareka (Blue Book, 1845, p. 15), one hundred and fifty persons being placed on board the "St. Louis," and thirty-nine on board H.M.S. "Hazard," and, including those embarked on board two other vessels, there were in all four hundred persons. These all suffered severely in their property. It may be presumed that they would not have lost this opportunity of accusing the Missionaries if they felt that they had suffered on their account.
The war continued, and with it occasional allusions are made to the cause of it. The Governor writes to Lord Stanley, August 30,
1845 (Blue Book, 1846, p. 121), informing him of a wish on the part of the natives to throw off authority:--
"Ever since the establishment of British authority at the Bay of Islands, in 1840, there has been on the part of many natives a growing wish, sedulously fostered by designing white men, to disclaim the Queen's sovereignty. From year to year the feeling grew, and the malcontents became more bold, till in July, 1844, the Chief Heke openly defied the authority of Her Majesty, and cut down the flag-staff."
This outbreak was temporarily quelled, and, apparently, peace restored. But it was evident to the Government that the secret agency of white men was still actively at work, endeavouring to stimulate the natives to more decided insurrection. However, in the Northern as well as in the Southern districts of the Colony, the unceasing exertions of the Government and of the religious bodies were successful, under Providence, in preventing any further outbreak or collision, and the year ended in peace. In a letter from the Governor to Lord Stanley, of October 25, 1845 (Blue Book, 1846, p. 138), is the following short allusion:--
"So much has been said by the insurgent natives against the Treaty of Waitangi and the British Flag, that distinct assurance on both subjects are indispensable." In a letter of the same date from Governor FitzRoy to Lord Stanley (Blue Book, 1846, p. 148, October 25, 1845). "With reference to my despatch dated this day, No. 68, I beg to observe that the general feeling of all the natives towards the British Government and Her Majesty is in a most unsettled state, because they have heard that a Governor is coming who will attempt to take away their land. This idea has been spread through the Island by those designing Europeans who wish to see natives at war with the Government, in hopes of profiting themselves by anarchy, by those men who hope to see the Government expelled and themselves again the influential persons amongst the independent chiefs, as in former years, before 1840. I cannot believe that those most dangerous resolutions of the Committee of the House of Commons, in 1844, respecting unoccupied land, can be adopted by Her Majesty's Government; but if such should be the fatal case, the native population will unite against the settlers, and the destruction of the Colony, as a field of emigration, must be the result."
Captain FitzRoy on his return to England, after he had had time to consider calmly all past events, published a small pamphlet on New Zealand, in which he repeated some of those opinions which he had before expressed in his official communication:--
"When Heke was agitating the Northern natives by his arguments against the Government, he took great pains to shew them that
the British flag being hoisted on any territory was a sign that the land belonged to the Sovereign of Great Britain, and that the people of that land were become slaves.
To meet these arguments, Archdeacon Henry Williams circulated printed copies of the Treaty of Waitangi, and himself discussed the question of the flag at every meeting of the natives in his neighbourhood. They were not only treated with less caution and less kindness than previously, but they were threatened even on trifling occasions with the punishment of English law; they were told by ill-disposed or unreflecting white men that their country was taken from them, that they were now Queen Victoria's slaves, and that they could not even sell their own property, their land, as they pleased. These taunts were felt deeply."
When a statement had been subsequently made by Governor Grey, directly at variance with all that had been heard before, ascribing the war in New Zealand and its consequences to the Missionaries, Lord Grey availed himself of the presence of Captain FitzRoy in this country to obtain his opinion upon some of Governor Grey's despatches; and the remarks of Captain FitzRoy were subsequently printed in the Blue Book of 1847. Captain FitzRoy states to Lord Grey his opinion of the influence of foreigners, and refers to enclosures in former letters, which have not been published (Blue Book, 1847, p. 73): "I should be glad to discover that any unfavourable impression existing in my own mind with respect to the conduct and influence of certain French persons residing in New Zealand, was unfounded. My opinions, however, having been gradually formed from personal intercourse with many of those Frenchmen, from their own hand-writing and acts, from the testimony of many credible natives, and from the statements officially recorded as well as verbal of British officers, including the former Governor, Hobson, Colonel Despard and Hulme, and Sir Everard Home, are not the least shaken by the conclusions so speedily arrived at by my successor."
At p. 74, Captain FitzRoy states his opinion that "Missionary land claims will not give rise to disturbance."
At p. 76, that the Missionaries and their children have been in undisturbed possession.
At p. 78, that physical force has not been required to put any settler into possession of land in the Northern part of New Zealand.
Governor Grey, having stated in his first despatch of June, 1846, that disastrous consequences are to be anticipated in regard to the troops exposed to the unexampled fatigues and privations of a service said, by insinuation, to be connected with the Missionaries, I will refer to the only evidence I have been able to meet with resting upon naval and military authority.
A short notice of Sir Everard Home to Admiral Sir J. Cockrane, March 23, 1845 (Blue Book, 1845, p. 25).
Since my return to this country, I have examined the United Service Journal for 1845 and 1846; in which is given a detailed account of the military operations in the neighbourhood of the Bay of Islands. It is, I believe, drawn out by Colonel Despard, who is cited by Governor Grey as authority for what is said in his letter of August 2, 1847. But Colonel Despard, unfortunately for the statements of Governor Grey, agrees with Captain FitzRoy in every particular which relates to the origin of the war.
I next refer to a letter of Judge Martin's, whose testimony has the weight not only of an upright Judge, but of a man guided by the highest Christian principles and a most lively sympathy for the welfare of the natives. In this letter, written to the Governor, October 20, 1848, the Judge speaks of the distrust of the natives (Blue Book, 1849, p. 55).
"Soon after my arrival in this Colony I was invited by Governor Hobson to accompany him on his visit to Waikato. I was an eye-witness of the welcome which the representative of the Queen there received. I know also what assurances were given then, and at other times, by Governor Hobson in the name of Her Majesty. Since then circumstances have led me to many parts of the country. The natives have often questioned me on the subject of their lands; it was natural for them to do so, knowing the office I bore. I can assert that I never raised the question; on the contrary, I always sought to avoid it, as I was aware of the suspicion prevalent on that point. Again and again have questions been put to me to this effect:-- Will the words of the first Governor be fulfilled by all the Governors that shall come hereafter? or do you intend to seize our lands as you seized those of Australia? I have always given one answer:--The words of the first Governor were the words of the Queen; they will never be broken."
The Bishop of New Zealand, in a letter published by the Secretary of the Society for the Propagation of Christian Knowledge, p. 165, writes:--"The first indication of disaffection to the British Government which I observed, was in March, 1843. Being engaged in taking a census, I went to Kaikohe, asked the names of Heke and several other chiefs; upon which they all rose and left me sitting by myself. 12 I found they suspected
me of an intention of sending their names to the Queen. My residence at Waimate was supposed to have some connexion with the general scheme for taking forcible possession of the country. Their suspicions were studiously favoured by travelling dealers, who abused their knowledge of the natives' language to misrepresent the Government and slander the Missionaries.
About the middle of the year 1844 the flag-staff, on the hill above Kororareka, began to be talked of as the sign of the assumption of New Zealand by the British Government. The decline of the prices of native produce, which had taken place since the removal of Governor Hobson to Auckland, was attributed to signals made on the staff to keep vessels of other nations from entering the port. The Queen's flag flying upon it was considered a proof that the sovereignty of the native chiefs was at an end."
And again, in a letter to Governor Grey, August, 1848, written upon the same subject with that of Judge Martin, he gives:--
1st. A general view of the excitement existing from the establishment of the Government down to the year 1847. (Blue Book, 1849, p. 36).
"I appeal to the despatches of all the Governors of New Zealand to confirm my own observations, made in all parts of the country, that fears and suspicions have always existed in the minds of the natives as to the intentions of Government. "In June, 1842, Captain Hobson reported to the Secretary of State that the natives of Kaipara were in a state of considerable excitement, in consequence of reports that Her Majesty's Government intended to seize upon their lands; that the property of the natives would not be respected, and that the Treaty was a mere farce. Your Excellency found suspicions of similar kind prevailing in the Bay of Islands in November, 1845, and quieted them by the same explanation of the Treaty of Waitangi which has always been given by the Missionaries and myself. On May 3, 1847, your Excellency expressed your fears that the natives would be drawn into a hostile combination if their pride were insulted and their feelings irritated by their being placed in an inferior position as a race."
And, 2nd, the Bishop, in another passage, speaks of the commencement of the outbreak in July, 1844, of which his Lordship and myself were eye-witnesses (Blue Book, 1849, p. 37).
"It may be possible in England to be satisfied of the unsubstantial nature of the grievance with which the natives are threatened; but we who have seen the English flag contemptuously cut down, and a town sacked in consequence of these suspicions, are forced to believe that, if the grievances are not substantial in themselves, at least they have a real existence in the minds of those who believe themselves to be aggrieved. They know of
our dealings with other native races, and would ask at once, in their own figurative language, whether it be the shadow or the substance of a grievance which depeopled Van Diemans Land and Australia?"
The evidence I have now laid before you has been carried out to some length. I have only to add to it the testimony of two natives whose statements are of great importance.
Heke, while the conflict was still raging, sent several letters to the Governor. One of these is dated May 21, 1845 (Blue Book, 1849, p. 8). He says:--
"We are taunted with this language by the white people, by the people of Te Wahapu and of Otuihu; they made the statement, --"Your land will be taken by the Governor, and after that you will be killed. Look at Port Jackson, at China, and at all the Islands; after that manner will this land be treated. The flag takes possession of the land. The English first, after that the French, and then the Americans made this statement: then I assented to these statements. They did this for four years. On the fifth year we assented to these often repeated statements of the white people made to us; then first we touched the flag-staff. It was chopped that it might fall; after that it was put up again. We then said,--It is true, for they urge the point, and we said we would die upon the land."
The second letter was dated July 15, 1845 (Blue Book, 1846, p. 148):-
"Mr. Governor, this is my good message to you. Let my faults be examined by you. Was the commencement made by you or by me? I think it was by you, by the white men. I was in ignorance. The white people said to me, 'John Heke, your land is taken by the Governor.' I replied, ' by what means is it taken?' The white people answered, 'by the flag-staff which stands at Maiki.' I said, 'what is to be done?' They replied, 'Cut down the flag-staff.' I touched the flag-staff; it was chopped down; the tree fell. I said, 'what meaning is there in the flagstaff?' The white people told me, 'the power of the Queen is in the flag; there are three nations in it.' I said, 'God made the land for us and our children."
The second native is Tamati Waka Nene, the steadfast ally of the English. In a letter to Archdeacon Henry Williams of October 12, 1847 (Blue Book, 1849, p. 8), he writes:--
"If they, Heke and Kawiti, had fought for their land, I would not have fought against them; but their fighting was wrong. It was the saying of the Pakeha,--'Taurekareka, you are slaves. Your power, your influence and land, is gone.' And they (Heke and Kawiti) said, 'The sayings of the Pakehas are true.'"
I have yet one other point to notice respecting the Chief Tamati Waka, which relates to the evidence which Governor Grey adduces to prove that the Missionary land purchases were the cause and origin of the war, in his letter to Earl Grey, of August 2, 1847. This statement being mentioned to Tamati Waka, it drew from him this emphatic exclamation, "Katahi ano te iwi tekateka, he pakeha":--" The foreigners are a most lying people." (Blue Book, 1849, p. 10.)
A short extract from a letter I received from the Rev. Robert Burrows at the same period, on returning from Auckland to the Bay of Islands, confirms the above remark. "All is quiet here, but the natives are very inquisitive. I saw Waka, at Kororareka. He told me he was waiting for your brother to tell him all he heard. He says he understands that the Governor has written to the Queen, and said that he (Waka) had told him (the Governor) that the Missionaries had 'tahae-ed' their lands. He (Waka) is anxious to tell your brother that he has never told the Governor anything of the kind. How could I? he said; i 'Na matou i tohe, na ratou i hoko;' meaning that they (the natives) urged the white people to buy their lands."
It will not be necessary that I should add much to this mass of evidence. From the time the Treaty of Waitangi was signed, suspicions were uttered by the natives, and on many occasions subsequently they were renewed. And if the natives' own statements are to be received, they all arose from an idea that the intentions of the Government towards them were of a doubtful character.
When collision at length took place, our own countrymen became sufferers to a fearful extent. Many of them were acquainted with the native language, and were on terms of familiar intercourse with the natives. But they never breathed such an opinion as that which Governor Grey has ventured to advance, because they never heard of it.
There was again a large naval and military force engaged which was subjected to a long and harrassing warfare; but with the small exception of a story ascribed to the chief Tamati Waka, which he positively denies, they all give the same account.
Her Majesty's representative, Governor FitzRoy, who from his position was better able than any other person to acquire a variety of information, gives a uniform and consistent account of the whole conflict to the very verge of its termination; for though Governor Grey had the credit of bringing the war to a conclusion, he had only to put the finishing stroke to a work already prepared to his hand.
Captain FitzRoy is supported in his statement by the Bishop and
the Chief Justice, men whose high position gives authority to their opinions.
But last of all, the conduct of the natives towards the Missionaries, and their frequent declarations, ought to set this question at rest, even if there had been no other evidence.
Here was a body of men just emerging from barbarism; having, it is said, a ground of hostility against a few Missionaries living among them, beyond the reach of military protection, and therefore entirely at their mercy, to do with them and with their property according to their utmost wishes. There was again, another body of foreigners, living apart from the natives, associating together in a town, and said to number 400 souls; protected by a ship of war, and a body of British soldiers, towards whom it has been attempted to shew that these savages had no feeling of disaffection. Can it be supposed that these savages should be so mistaken in the object of their vengeance, that, in forming their plans of attack, which occupied them many days, they should leave the unprotected abodes of the Missionaries in their rear, cross over to the town of Kororareka on the opposite shore of the Bay of Islands, and there expend their indignation in a hostile attack upon Her Majesty's troops and flag-staff, which was finished by the destruction of the town? Is it further possible that, with these feelings uppermost in their minds, these hostile natives should behave towards these obnoxious Missionaries with uniform respect and kindness? The account, moreover, given by the natives was always of one character. At a meeting held at Waimate, the natives who assembled to meet Governor FitzRoy were principally those who either espoused the cause of the Government or remained neuter. Their declaration to the Governor, it has been shewn, was precisely the same as that made by Heke, in his two letters.
It may be urged by this Committee that your Missionaries had been already defended by you, particularly in the proceedings of your special meeting of February 22, 1847; and that you have expressed your desire to defend them from unfair aspersions, as recorded in the appendix to Report 1844-1845, referring to some former charges which have not to do with the present question;-- that with respect to a quarrel between the Governor and your Missionaries, arising out of land purchases, it cannot be expected from you that you should go to a greater length than you have done. This reasoning might be correct if the Committee had stopped at this point. But I believe I am correct in stating that you have gone beyond the bounds of neutrality, and that the charges of Sir George Grey have received from you--unintentionally I believe--your countersignature. In your meeting of February 22, 1847, you express your conviction that no Missionary would
endure the idea of sacrificing British blood in order to obtain possession of land; but you take as the ground-work of your proceedings the apprehensions entertained by Governor Grey, which you thus express:--"These apprehensions are of a most painful kind, being no less than apprehensions of a large expenditure of British wealth and blood, if the land awarded to the Missionaries is to be taken possession of; and an apprehension also lest British troops should prove unwilling to serve in such service."
I first met with this account at Tauranga, when on my way to attend the first weekly meeting of the Central Committee. Immediately wrote a letter to the Secretary, dated August 23, 1847, in which I called your attention to the statement, and shewed that the war in the North of New Zealand had not the most remote connexion with the land claims.
This letter, I believe, was not noticed in any of your communications to New Zealand. 13 Your Report of 1846-47 was the next which we received, and I was grieved to find that the extract noticed above from Governor Grey's letter, containing his professed apprehensions, was contained in it. From this passage, taken in connexion with the resolutions passed in February, 1847, the Christian public would be bound to infer that you gave credit to the Governor's statements. I was sorry that the publication was not suspended until your Missionaries should have had an opportunity to reply; but I felt that you had been carried away by the statement which you had reason to believe had been made in all honesty; and I felt sure that, in due time, as soon as you should receive our replies, our character would have full vindication at your hands.
On May 6, 1848,1 wrote to our Secretary, the Rev. Henry Venn:-- "There are seasons when we are exposed to many depressing circumstances within and without. With respect to the clamour from without, I am growing callous about it; and indeed it is of late much modified, as far as this country is concerned, because peoples' eyes are opened, and we are looked upon as a body who have been unjustly dealt with. Had we not the mens conscia recti we should long ago have been sunk into the earth. Such a paragraph, for instance, as that contained in the last Annual Report, referring to the Governor's insinuation,--were there one particle of ground for the apprehensions there expressed, I could not venture to lift up my head. But by this time you will have obtained sufficient information to clear up these points. The "Plain Facts," 14 with such further illustrations as you will obtain from Captain FitzRoy, will satisfy any unbiassed mind, and will
even remove the prejudices of many who have been disposed to judge hardly. I hope too, that in a future Report you will do us the justice to give a counter statement of things as they are."
I naturally concluded that this suggestion, though made in a letter marked private, would have received due attention.
On June 26, 1849, I wrote to this Committee as follows:--"Looking over the Missionary Register for 1848, which has just reached this place, I felt much grieved to see the statements given in the survey of the New Zealand Mission. The only piece of information, in addition to a bare summary of names, being a passage extracted from your former Report about Sir George Grey's imputations against your Missionaries. It is a paragraph which, standing alone without explanation or refutation, could lead your subscribers only to one conclusion respecting the body of labourers you support in New Zealand, and many must wonder that you have not summarily dissolved connexion with persons lying under such imputations.
I felt at the moment disposed to write fully upon this subject; but I abstained from taking this step, because I know you have already been furnished with ample materials for the refutation of all that has been said. I content myself with the following brief observations:--
1st. Sir George Grey was pressed to prove the charges made in his despatch to Mr. Gladstone, and in other communications laid before the Secretary which led to your Special Meeting of February 22, 1847. This the Governor had declined.
2nd. Lord Grey has been requested to allow a public investigation of these matters.
3rd. No attempt even has been made to bring home this charge in any single instance.
4th. The Missionaries have put forth documentary evidence in a publication entitled "Plain Facts," which no one has attempted to gainsay.
5th. The statement of the late Governor, Captain FitzRoy, as printed in the Blue Book, gives an opinion directly at variance with the charges of Governor Grey.
6th. At an interview I had with the Governor, in company with the Bishop and Archdeacon Brown, he stated that, in writing that despatch, he had no intention of making any charge against the Missionaries, that he wrote it at Wellington just after he had directed the military to interfere at the River Hutt, in order to drive the natives from the lands there which had been purchased by the New Zealand Company; and that it was under the feeling that he had taken a false step that he wrote that despatch.
7th. The Bishop had all along stated that he did not read the despatch as bringing any charge against the Missionaries, and it
was in vain to point to passages in your letters which made it clear that you had understood it otherwise. On my late visit to Auckland, the Bishop shewed me a letter from Mr. Venn, in which it was stated that the Society had been precluded from taking the steps which the Wesleyan Society had taken, of giving the weight of their remonstrance to the Bishop's protest, in consequence of the charges made by the Governor against their Missionaries. I called the Bishop's attention to this, as expressive of your views on the subject. He simply observed that you had misunderstood the Governor's intention in writing that despatch.
With these facts before you I doubt not you will see reason to give a public disclaimer to the statement printed in your Report for 1846-47. It is not necessary for me to tell this Committee that up to the present time no step has been taken.
I think, then, that I am borne out in stating, that, in the absence of any disclaimer, it may be assumed that the Committee has given its sanction to the charge which has been put forth. The Governor of New Zealand is mentioned in successive Reports as the warmest friend of this Society, while your Missionaries are overwhelmed with unmerited reproach and shame.
I am aware that, when this subject may have been before you on former occasions, you have seen it encumbered by a variety of difficulties which you would not know how to dispose of. There were facts enough to meet the case, but it required a local knowledge to put these facts together.
It is just possible that you may think that I have bestowed unnecessary pains, and occupied the time of this Committee to little purpose, because none of you are seriously persuaded that any of your Missionaries can be justly accused as being in any measure the occasion of New Zealand warfare; and that you have only received the statements of Governor Grey upon a question which you were neither called upon to decide nor to examine. But your Missionaries have a different feeling, and I myself, though not personally attacked, yet, as a purchaser of land to a limited extent for the benefit of my children, cannot but feel that I bear my proportion, in common with others of my brethren, of any obloquy which has been cast upon the Missionary body by reason of the purchase of land.
If, then, I have succeeded in establishing the point I have undertaken, that there is no ground for believing that your Missionaries were in any degree the cause of the late disturbance in the Northern part of New Zealand, I renew my request for a vindication of our character at the hands of this Committee; and I believe I shall not ask too much when I propose that a declaration be made to this effect, that after a careful examination of all documents connected with those transactions, you have been led
to the conclusion that your Missionaries were not in any degree the cause of those disturbances, and that you do not conceive it possible that any proceedings of theirs can have engendered in the minds of the natives any other feelings than those of affection and respect.
After some discussion, a resolution was agreed to, completely exonerating the Mission. The Committee, which had virtually countersigned the charges, made a faint attempt to exonerate themselves, but did not venture further than saying that there had been "no intention whatever on the part of the Committee to give the slightest colour or countenance to the charges complained of." I am unable to answer for intention; but know what they did.
On the 27th of the same month, Archdeacon William Williams again addressed the Committee on the particular case of Archdeacon Henry. It is needless to reproduce the speech, our readers being already familiar with every argument contained in it. 15 The Committee were shewn conclusively, that the Archdeacon had been dismissed for following out a course proposed and sanctioned by themselves; that the condition attached to the Archdeacon's pledge had been rejected; that the Bishop had never attempted to keep his own pledge, but on the contrary had done his utmost to hinder enquiry by the substitution of the pointless queries. But
this time, the Committee were resolute not to acknowledge error in themselves. They were of opinion that no new matter had been brought up, seemingly not perceiving that the business of Archdeacon William Williams had been to impugn the old. They found that "no sufficient grounds had been shewn for rescinding." But they committed the grave error of proposing a compromise, by offer of a pension. 16 I wish not to be hard; it may have been from a sudden ebulition of kindly feeling; but if so, it only shews how incapable they were of rising to the level of the occasion. They exposed themselves to a well-merited rebuff. Archdeacon William Williams stood up and said: --"I am prepared to declare that Archdeacon Henry Williams will not accept of any pecuniary compensation from the Committee, so long as their resolution shall leave him under the charge of being unfit to remain in connexion with the Society. It is not a matter of salary, but of character."
Mrs. Williams to Mrs. Heathcote.
Pakaraka, June 17, 1851.
By this time I trust you have seen dear William and Jane, and are able to rejoice that your dear brother Henry, though he has been tried as gold in the fire, has stood the ordeal, and shines brighter in the shade in which he is now placed. I have written so fully to Jane during the last six months that you will, I trust, be in full information of all our proceedings, and it is an inexpressible pleasure to think you would feel as lively an interest as ever in us and ours. We like to imagine your meeting, and Leonard's surprise on hearing from his father that he had determined to go to England; and more, that his mother and James and Maria would accompany him.
I wonder more and more how Jane was given strength for such an undertaking. I trust that He who moved them to rise up and depart will lead them, and go before them in the "land of their fathers." It was not from any wish or suggestion of Henry's that William determined to go, for Henry feels convinced the Church Mission Society do not wish to hear the truth; it would only
embarass them. "The Committee have committed themselves;" but though they shut their eyes in Henry's case, they may be enlightened on the general state of the Mission. They have much to learn, and much good may result. Jane will place us before you in this pleasant retreat, where God has evidently blessed us and ours. She will tell you of the meetings of our children; of our children's children; of the affection shewn to Henry by the natives, who gather round him, and come to him from a distance for instruction, and as candidates for baptism; of the kindness of friends; of their presentation testimonial by a deputation from Kororareka; and of the collection at the opening of the church erected by our sons at Pakaraka. "Trinity Church" it is called, as Trinity Sunday was the day on which Henry was ordained by the Bishop of London, and Trinity Sunday the last we spent at Paihia. We hope it will in time be the chancel of a large church in this wilderness. The window is acknowledged as beautiful.
It now becomes necessary to pass more rapidly onwards. More space than had been intended has been allotted to the most troubled period of the Archdeacon's life; and more again would have been needed to do justice to the subject. What remains to be told must be proportionally condensed.
April 23, 1851. Trinity Church, Pakaraka, was opened for service; the whole country side--Pakeha and Maori--in attendance. Great rejoicings.
Brief and dry, as usual: a most undemonstrative man. Yet the whole thing was to him of the intensest interest. For a few details we must fall back upon the diary kept by the wife.
April 20, 1851. The last Sunday for service in the barn, where we have held it for the last eleven months. Henry's cough was very severe, causing him to speak with difficulty. He stayed away from school and afternoon service, leaving these to his son Henry. Caroline and Lydia asked to have the girls' school to themselves, and not feeling strong, I left it to them. I read to my husband in Robinson's Scripture characters--"The Resurrection of our Lord."
April 23, Wednesday, at 11 o'clock, Hiria ran in to tell me "the Pakehas were coming; it was like Te Wiremu Hunia's and Mihi Wiremu's wedding." I saw a large party of horsemen winding amongst the trees in the entrance, and it was indeed quite a picturesque and lively sight. The Waimate and Bay party met at the bottom of the paddocks and rode up together; the front verandah was a lively busy scene as they all came on. We had so
many to receive, so many to shake hand with at the steps of the verandah, that it was some time before we found out who had and who had not come. The day was lively and bright; the ride had been pleasant. All was delightful. Our visitors took chairs and sofas outside, making it quite a drawing-room under the sky. At noon we went to church by the new road,--quite a beautiful walk, so much have the trees grown. The church was filled, though not allowed to be crammed, and about forty natives remained outside, not able to find seats inside. The temporary pulpit put up yesterday quite surprised us, it was so neat; an octagon with three front panels up,--raised three steps. The sight of my husband in his surplice and scarf, the cloths as of old on the pulpit and communion-table, the sound of the old organ, altogether was quite moving. The Psalms selected were the 84th, 87th, and 122nd; the Lessons read were 1 Kings viii., the opening of the Temple of Jerusalem by Solomon; and the first verses of Matt, v., ending with "Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad, for great is your reward in heaven; for so persecuted they the Prophets which were before you." The collection amounted to within a trifle of £30.
This was of course followed by the inevitable feast to the Maories, on a somewhat grandiose scale, for in New Zealand we reckon,-- at least in the bush,--not by sirloins, but by bullocks.
July 31, 1851. The war medal received. General admiration was bestowed, which it well deserved. There were two bars on the medal, and the names of two engagements; there would have been three, but Henry had not seen the list of engagements for which medals were awarded when he wrote, and did not mention "Boat engagement, Christian 7th."
The receipt of a war medal was in itself a sufficient reply to the atrocious slander that Henry Williams had been dismissed the navy; even without the Admiralty papers, printed in the first volume of this Memoir, accounting for the stoppage of half pay to naval officers who had taken holy orders. 17
John Marsh has taken it up very warmly. Talking over the business with Mr. Disney, the clergyman at Newark, the latter had intimated on a previous occasion that there appeared to be serious complaints proved on the part of the Society, and that it was a bad case. John sent him this pamphlet, 18 and I saw his reply. He was turned round to the other side, because he had heard, for the first time, the rights of the case, and he wrote off at once to Major Straith, expressing a hope that the case would be again considered, and that a favourable result would follow. Major Straith requested him to suspend his judgment; saying that the Committee had directed that a counter-statement should be prepared, which he had no doubt would prove satisfactory, and justify the course which had been taken by the Society. Mr. Disney forwarded this to John Marsh, and said he did not anticipate that it would be in the power of the Committee to give a satisfactory reply to the pamphlet.
In the foregoing extract is the first mention of the Reverend James Disney, then of Newark, who subsequently took so prominent a part in vindication of Henry Williams. Himself a member of the Church Mission Society, he had at first, like so many others, gone with the stream, confiding in the Committee, as the Committee, in their turn, seem to have confided in their Secretary, Mr. Venn. But the reaction, when he came to close enquiry on his own behalf, was only the more strong. He did not stand alone; but was one of the most prominent of those English clergymen who boldly impugned the proceedings, when once the question of fact was raised; causing much perturbation in the minds of the Committee, who had thought to deal with New Zealand only, and going far to shake the expressed determination not to rescind the judgment. But they did more than this:--they provoked the Committee into committing themselves at last to particulars. In self-defence, the Committee published a reply. But it swarmed with error, which, when once put into substantial form, was forthwith scattered to the winds.
Henry Williams to the Reverend E. G. Marsh.
The Retreat, Pakaraka, November 3, 1851.
Your letters of May 29 and June 12, 1851, have just come to hand, with others from William and Jane. Yours I shall now
proceed to notice; I shall not write to William, as we are told he may leave England in December. All these letters are full of interest, and I feel thankful you are at length in possession of the facts of the case, and I trust that all reflection cast upon the Missionaries of having being in any respect the cause of the war may be removed. The Committee have the means within their reach, and it is their duty to avail themselves of it. We have all felt your trying position, and trust you may yet have the satisfaction of knowing that your unwearied labour and painful anxiety has not been in vain. I should have been glad to have seen a copy of the Resolutions passed by the Committee, exonerating the Missionaries from any participation in the war. I am sorry that a mere "sentence" is considered sufficient to appear to adjust so grave an imputation, which must have tingled in the ears of friends of Missions. This is a tender mode of meeting so serious a case, after the weighty and erroneous expressions of the views of the Committee in their public documents, unless it were a sentence unusually clear and fully expressed. I trust we may find it so, as it has passed your united approbation. So far as the case has been entered into as appears in these letters before me, I think much judgment is shewn, though I should have met Mr. Venn's question for new matter by an upset of the old, as set forth in his second resolution, terminating my connexion with the Society, no one clause of which can be justified. I should have taken that Resolution as my text. I gave William a paper on that Resolution --my comment on the same, which you may have seen. You observe "The Committee were painfully impressed with the fact that your land is entirely made over to your sons and daughters, and that you have therefore no property in New Zealand which you can call your own." The view the Committee was pleased to take respecting the transfer of the land to my sons and daughters, in accordance with their own instructions, is strange, and one from which I cannot excuse them. What is the legal meaning of a transfer? It is "the act of conveying from one party to another." Had I "a life interest" in the land, what is the power of a transfer? The terms are contradictory, and their view of the case does not speak much for the legal knowledge or charitable feeling of the Committee. The expression used in their letter of March 1, 1847, p. 9, is, "they will be at liberty to make them (the lands) over to their children." Is not this a transfer? In my letter to Mr. Coates on the receipt of their letter of March 1, 1847, I wrote, "I see no difficulty in complying with these requisitions, as I had no wish, and never intended to retain any land for my own use and benefit." "The proceeds of the farm have all been returned upon the farm in improvements, and for myself I have not received one shilling." This same was repeated to the bishop in my letter of September 7, 1847. I mention this
merely to shew that I adopted their own expressed desire in their instructions on this question, and that in this there was nothing new. Their instructions perfectly met my desire, and had been virtually carried out from the commencement. Of these facts Mr. Venn was not ignorant. Your opinion respecting an allowance from the Society is fully in accordance with my feeling. The receiving it, until all imputations were removed, would be a tacit admission of them. Individually, I am perfectly indifferent as to the termination of this extraordinary affair, in a pecuniary point of view. I should never have suggested either to yourself or to William, to have offered a word on the subject after it was once closed . . . . You express surprise that the natives do not adopt our mode of living in all respects, as they adopt our garb. William may have given you some insight to the native law, which allows any person, for an injury, real or imaginary, to demand compensation for the same, not necessarily of the accused, but of the tribe, or of any best able to pay. Hence no protection to property; therefore, no encouragement to build houses, plant vineyards or fields. Since I left Kororareka, the Europeans residing there have learnt an important lesson from the natives of the place, who on the Sunday always held service twice and school once. The ringing of their bell spoke reproachfully to these English christians, and inflicted a painful feeling not before experienced. This led to a general meeting, when it was agreed that they, as well as Maories, should hold their services. Since then this has been fully carried out. This is not the first important lesson read by Maories to Europeans, nor will it be the last.
Mrs. Williams to Mrs. Marsh.
Pakaraka, November 6, 1851.
Henry has missionary work sent him by his Heavenly Master, who owns and employs him. His flocks follow him into the wilderness, and he has had visits from parties of enquirers and old communicants from every part of his late district, occasionally meeting large assemblies of them at Kororareka and the Kawakawa, where he has administered the Lord's Supper and baptism as well as here. Within twelve months the number he baptised was one hundred and sixty-three, some of whom have been long preparing. Our congregation is a scattered one; some come from a distance of eight miles, but near to us are large heathen tribes who never attended the means of grace. Sometimes I think Henry was purposely sent to deliver his message to them. There is a "shaking amongst the dry bones." The old warrior, Kawiti, has great influence with them, and they were with him during the war. He also was till lately an obstinate heathen, though having a nephew who is one of the principal teachers. About ten days since Kawiti
went from Waimio, beyond the Kawakawa, to meet Henry at the Kawakawa. For the first time in his life he attended the services, and on the Monday morning before he left he made a public speech, declaring himself a believer; that he had found that the greatness of the white people was their goodness; that all their goodness came from the Bible, and that he should now whakapono [believe] and go about amongst the people to urge them to attend church and seek to know the truth. Yesterday we heard he was coming here to hold a visitation with these tribes, intending "to plant in the neighbourhood," to see that they attended church. Haratua, who was with Kawiti at the defence of the Pa of Ruapekapeka, has long lived near us and is a candidate for baptism, his son having been one of the first adults baptised at Trinity Church. Is not this a contradiction to Governor Grey's prognostications and fabrications? Heke's body was brought with great state last summer to Pakaraka, and his tomb is in these woods, in a native reserve.
The Archdeacon was now gladdened by a message from an old friend, who stood by him all the more stoutly for his troubles; who knew indeed, of his own knowledge, their cause, and was well acquainted with the chief actors in the proceedings.
Sir Everard Home to Archdeacon Henry Williams.
H.M.S. "Calliope," December 7, 1851.
My dear Mr. Williams,--I have waited until there was a chance of sending to you to say that I am here, and how glad I am to be here again. I am very sorry however not to find you at Paihia, and I wish I could walk to Pakaraka. I am not however going to leave this part of the world immediately, and I trust I shall often see you again. Pray remember me to all your family most kindly, and believe me to be,
My dear Mr. Williams,
Sir Everard was better than his word. Though a man of heavy frame, ill-adapted to New Zealand travelling, he made his way across country, with six or eight midshipmen at his heels, to Waimate, and again to Pakaraka, where he was received with the welcome he deserved.
The following letter, if taken in reference to "public opinion," declared by the Bishop to have been "outraged," is a weighty
testimony. The writer was leader of the Bar; at one time Attorney-General, and, finally, Speaker of the Legislative Council. A man, moreover, imbued with every instinct of the gentleman,-- who carried chivalry of feeling almost to the verge of Quixotism. If any man had a right to represent the educated opinion of the Colony, it was he.
Thomas Houghton Bartley to Henry Williams.
Auckland, February 17, 1852.
My dear Mr. Archdeacon,--Allow me to offer my most hearty congratulations upon the progress of events, upon the elucidations of [Greek] METOIKOS, and upon the publication of your letters. Believe me I do not flatter when I state that I consider the latter as doing you infinite credit and service. I cannot tell you how often I have read them, and always with increased admiration. I always knew that you would never yield without a reason; or, as we lawyers say, without cause being shewn why. They are startling John Bull productions, not seeking contest, but boldly maintaining it when forced upon you. The public feeling is, I am sure, strongly with you, but after what you have written upon the head of "public opinion," I shall let that subject drop. In Mr. Carleton I need not state how indefatigable and judicious an advocate you possess, or advert to his short pointed way of stating facts, facts fearfully telling in themselves, but deriving very increased effect from the mode in which they are put. I am afraid to trust myself with expression of my opinion of the parties to the "holy alliance," or as some have most disrespectfully termed them, "conspirators." But let the galled jade wince; your withers are unwrung. You at least are scathless. What result this "history" may produce I know not; but I think I can form a just opinion of what it ought to produce. If the Church Mission Society do not see the error of their ways, it is not because there is any lack of opportunity. But perhaps there will be some reply. We shall see; we will leave it for the present as it is, firmly believing that you have every reason to be satisfied with the publication. I would not answer for the comfortable feelings of others. To tell my mind freely, I, myself, a spectator, am pained at the exposition; but you had no alternative. How much evil might have been spared if truth alone had been regarded?
Oh! What a tangled net we weave,
When once we practice to deceive.
T. H. BARTLEY.
METOIKOS, of whom Mr. Bartley writes, had now taken up the question in earnest. He had already reviewed the Governor's
despatches, taking them all round, collating, and subjecting them to searching criticism. It suffices to say that no supporter of the Governor (all colonial governors do find supporters) accepted the challenge to enter the lists against him. Yet, could an error have been detected, they would all have been jubilant; the cry of ab uno disce omnia would have been shouted and re-echoed.
A careful analysis of the whole question was made, given piecemeal, in the first instance, in the columns of a newspaper, in order that ample time for detecting accidental error might be afforded to any who were conversant with the subject, and also to afford opportunity for retractation or amendment should need arise. 19 It is right to add that this was done, not at the request of the Archdeacon,-- for the writer's acquaintance with him had not at that time reached the point of intimacy, but mero motu, for upholding of the colony; in like manner as others, leading men, including the Governor's own colleague, Lieutenant Governor Eyre, had been defended from imputations cast upon them in those despatches.
The fate of Captain Allen Gardiner, starved to death, with his Missionary associates, on the coast of Tierra del Fuego, is known wherever English is spoken. He also had been an officer in the King's service, and had distinguished himself in action. He has here to be mentioned as a connexion of the family, having married Elizabeth, daughter of Canon Marsh, and niece to Henry Williams.
The Reverend E. G. Marsh to Archdeacon Henry Williams,
Aylesford, January 3, 1852.
We are all here in great alarm at present about the fate of Captain Gardiner. He left this country about fourteen months ago, with six companions, for Picton Island, one of the Fuegian Group, in hope of opening the way there for a Christian Mission. We have received intelligence of his safe arrival, but have not heard of him since till a few days ago, when a report reached us from
a vessel, which had gone in search of him, and discovered the bodies of three of his companions, but no trace of him, or of the others. One of those, who died, was a surgeon, who gave up his profession to follow Captain Gardiner. His diary was found, and it expressed the happiness of his mind, and his unwillingness to exchange his position for that of any living being. He and one of the others died from scurvy, brought on apparently by want and hardships. A vessel charged with provisions was sent out to them in March, but did not set sail till June. In the mean time they met with severe calamities. Their food was spent, their powder, which was to kill animals for their use, had been left on board the ship which brought them; they had no fish; one of their boats was wrecked; a house which they had set up on shore was burnt, and the natives were hostile. Under these circumstances it was to be hoped that they would at once set sail in a small vessel they had with them, to the Falkland Islands. But they seem to have postponed this measure too long, till failure of strength and health rendered it difficult. Still we hope that the four survivors had found their way thither, while search was made for them on Picton Island and its neighbouring shores; and in that case we may hear tidings of them speedily, and even see them again in England. But our fears preponderate. Other vessels have gone in quest of them. There is the provision vessel; another specially despatched to Montevideo; a Government ship, which had orders to enquire for them and to assist them; and the "Ocean Queen," which took them out, and then proceeded to California, but was to look in upon them upon its return. Elizabeth is with us, I am happy to say, and so are Emily and Allen; all in great distress, but clinging to the slender hopes which we are permitted to cherish.
Two of the following extracts, bearing on the same subject, are brought back from the order of date.
Henry Williams to the Reverend E. G. Marsh.
The Retreat, Pakaraka, September, 1852.
The intelligence by your recent letters, with the particulars of the death of your son Tom and of Captain Gardiner and his party, are of a melancholy character, and tend to remind us all of the necessity of being prepared to meet our God. We very sincerely sympathise with you. The loss of your second son is indeed a remarkable providence beyond our conception. As yet I have not been called to so severe a trial, though some have been nigh unto death. I trust his work and conversation was such as to give you abundant consolation, and that your loss may have been his eternal gain. I have frequently felt, when relatives have been removed in whom there was a well-grounded hope, that they are taken from much evil, and being safe in the Kingdom of Glory,
the thoughts of the living are more necessarily directed thither. We are glad that William and Jane were with you at the mournful period; they would administer to your comfort in the trying hour. As you observed, it might have been in the order of an all-wise God that William should have been present to have performed the last office for you, rather than for your son; but God's ways are not our ways. Nevertheless, we must consider our days as numbered. You are somewhat in advance of me, but each of us have proceeded to a lengthened period, and the gracious dealings of our Heavenly Father have been very manifest to us both. We have all felt much for Elizabeth, 20 but are satisfied that her mind was well prepared to meet her trial. We read the distressing account; in the Record, and it has since appeared in one of the local papers. However varied opinions maybe as to the commencement of Captain Gardiner's mission, he died in his Master's work.
Henry Williams to the Reverend E. G. Marsh.
Pakaraka, December 1, 1853.
The question of the Patagonian Mission I have brought before the natives more immediately connected with myself. My first application was well met. When I was asked what I thought would be acceptable, I proposed £2. My second congregation, having had some demands on them for repairs of their chapel, proposed the Sunday collection. This I thankfully received, which was £1 16s. At two other places £2 each was paid down; more was offered, but I declined to take more. From Kaitaia and Kaikohe, two Mission stations, I have not yet heard in reply to my application. I expect to hear and receive from Opotiki.
Henry Williams to the Reverend E. G. Marsh.
The Retreat, Pakaraka, May 6, 1854.
After waiting for a longer period than I had expected before I could obtain a set of bills for the collection on behalf Of the Patagonian Mission, I could not communicate earlier on that important subject. I now have the pleasure to forward £24 13s. from the following places and persons:--The Kawakawa, £2 ; the Karetu, £2 ; Kororareka, £2 ; Waikari, £2 ; Kaitaia, £13 13s.; the Revs. Messrs. Davis, of Kaikohe, and J. Matthews, of Kaitaia, and myself, each £1 ; total, £24 13s. I hope the collection from Turanga and Otaki will make up the sum of £100. I have not ventured to call upon the congregation of the Waimate, six miles from hence, as some of the Missionaries have considered that the Church Missionary Society had the first demand upon them.
With two more extracts we must bring to a close the proceedings of Archdeacon William Williams in England. It is quoted to shew how light was breaking in upon the non-official members of the Church Mission Society, who had hitherto been content to accept as conclusive the dicta of the Committee and of Secretary Venn.
Archdeacon William Williams to Henry Williams.
York, January 23, 1852.
I have this morning had an interview with Rev. C Hodgson, one of the Association Secretaries. A very excellent man, and a great friend of Kate's; 21 but one who has always sided with the Committee, and has told Kate from the beginning that the case was a very unfortunate one. He had been present at Salisbury Square at the discussions upon my letter, and was therefore primed; but I poured a little water into the touchhole, and his gun would not go off. I soon convinced him that Mr. Venn's assertion was wrong; and when I said, in addition to other evidence, that I was writing to Captain FitzRoy to express his view upon the fact, he said,--"What necessity is there; what you say is quite enough?" But I told him I meant to make sure doubly sure. I then gave him a word upon the pledge, shewing him your four questions, and then the four proposed by the Bishop, following upon the Bishop's pledge,--"I, for my part, pledge myself to institute the fullest inquiry into the accusations of which you complain." He exclaimed,--"Most certainly; your brother was fully justified in withdrawing his promise. 22 And why did you not put all this into your letter?" I said I did not wish to come more into collision with the Bishop than necessary; that I had a black score against me large enough already. He told me, moreover, that Mr. Venn said in Committee that he should be most glad to find that the Committee was wrong and that I was right. Perhaps we shall know all about it before this letter goes off.
February 9. Brentwood. I came this way on the 2nd, and had an interview of three hours with Lord Chichester on the 3rd. I found his Lordship very friendly, and I believe he earnestly desires to see a favourable termination to this business. He is satisfied upon the error into which the Committee had fallen, but he said he apprehended a difficulty in persuading the Committee to reverse the resolutions of June, 1848; that the Committee passed them upon grounds which are not affected by the error they
have made; that those Resolutions are only the explanation of those passed in February, 1847. He asked me what I could suggest as the best means of bringing about the end. I told him I must leave that in his hands. He said among other things that the Committee had been greatly annoyed by the multitude of letters they have received from the country, from various clergymen who have seen my letter and have taken up the question in your favour. From the Mission-house I went to Captain FitzRoy, and have received from him a most decisive letter, bearing upon those points in which he was concerned. The next day I went to the Mission-house late in the afternoon, to look at some old Blue Books, and found that Mr. Venn was in the act of conning them over. I obtained, however, what I wanted, namely, Sir G. Gipps' and Captain Hobson's proclamations, which say that purchases made after 30th January, 1840, would be null and void. The next day I sent, according to promise, some additional matter to the Earl, including Captain FitzRoy's letter, and I also drew a comparison between the Resolutions of February, 1847, and of June, 1848, and shewed that the latter cannot be taken as an explanation of the former, because they are opposed the one to the other. I understand the Committee sits to-day, but whether I shall hear anything about their conclusions is doubtful. Of this I am satisfied, that if there is a disposition on their part to conciliate, they have now the opportunity of bringing this litigated question to a favourable issue, and that too without serious compromise on their part; simply upon the ground of new matter, which had not previously been before them.
Archdeacon William Williams to Henry Williams.
Southwell, May 8, 1852.
I saw yesterday a letter from Mr. Johnson, one of the Association Secretaries, to the clergyman of this place. He was for a long time strenuous in upholding the Committee, until he saw my letter. He said in the letter to which I refer,--"I have written to Mr. Venn to recommend that Archdeacon Williams should be reinstated; but Mr. Venn replied, we cannot do it. The Committee intend to publish the case and leave the Christian public to judge." "But," added Mr, Johnson, "unless the Committee can make a better case than they have done in the Reply they will fail to convince the public." I shall be glad if they do take this step, because we shall then be in a position to publish also; and, as Mr. Disney said some time ago in a letter to Mr. Venn,--"If Archdeacon Williams were the servant of any other body than a Missionary Society, there is nothing I should wish more than a publication of the whole case, so confident do we feel that his cause is a good one. It is only out of regard to the injury which might be done to the Society that we deprecate this step." If we publish, I shall have
many strong points which will stagger the good people. In my letter to Lord Chichester I did not say half what I might have done. It was well I did not, because we have now a large amount of facts in reserve. I am persuaded the Committee cannot stand their ground. Mr. Disney is a most strenuous advocate.
Enough upon a question long since disposed of. Turning to another subject, a few words from the Archdeacon hit the nail upon the head, in shewing that security for property is the first step upwards in civilization. To many this may seem a truism; yet there are some who believe that the culminating point of civilization is to destroy that security. La propriete, c'est un vol, is the rallying phrase of the extreme liberals. They advocate common rights. As usual, extremes meet. Such doctrines can obtain a hearing only in countries already enjoying the benefits of civilization. We who live--or did live among savages, who are compelled to acquire practical knowledge of civilization, are aware that savagery can be restrained only by destruction of communism, and by the fostering of respect for the rights of property.
Henry Williams to the Reverend E. G. Marsh.
Pakaraka, March 22, 1852.
You notice the indolence of the natives and their low state in temporal matters. This is much to be lamented; but there are various points to be taken into consideration. According to their law each may do and does what is good in his own sight, and his tribe is bound to bear him out in so doing, however they may disapprove of his act and deed. Hence property of every kind is perfectly uncertain; therefore they possess nothing. If a man takes a wife, or an accident befalls him, or death occurs, a visitation ensues, when plantations and property are stripped. An indiscreet expression of a child may subject the parent and all living in his party to pay the penalty; and they, therefore, may lose all they possess, even to their working tools. The Bishop is expected in the Bay to attend Confirmation. Of his intention I have not received any intimation, therefore shall not appear.
In 1853, the protracted struggle with Paganism may be said to have come to an end. The last blow was dealt when the old heathen chief, Kawiti, came in to ask admission to the Christian fold. He had been the main upholder of ancient superstitions in the North; and his influence was so large, that the accession of
his followers, were not immediate, for sooner or later became a certainty. On the twentieth of February, 1853, Kawiti was baptized by Henry Williams into the Church of Christ.
Mrs. Williams to Mrs. C. P. Davies.
February 23, 1853.
Last Sunday Kawiti was baptized at Pakaraka by the name of Te Ruku; he having chosen the name of Captain Duke as one that no other native had taken. Great respect was paid to the old chief by Christian chiefs and teachers from Karetu, Kawakawa, and Mangakahia; also by heathen chiefs in attendance. Our neighbours, Haki and Kanawa, with their followers, were really in the church; the crowd was very great, the encampment near us, and the natives were about us for three days, as in times of old. Your father has missionary work to his heart's content. I wished I could have sketched the scene in the church. The old chief, for the first time in his life I should suppose, was dressed in a handsome full suit of black cloth, with frock coat. He sat on a seat close to the pulpit; close behind him many respectably dressed chiefs and teachers. David Taiwhanga came from Kaikohe for the purpose. Young Pomare, Haratua, and some from Hokianga. The church, after it was full, was packed and repacked, as more and more squeezed in. I trust the honourable old warrior has in sincerity and truth become a soldier of Christ.
Mention is made of this by the Archdeacon in a letter to the Bishop. It has to be noted that by this time ecclesiastical relations, the interruption of which was never admitted by the Bishop, had become completely re-established; the Archdeacon having consented to take charge again of districts specially indicated by his Lordship.
Henry Williams to the Bishop.
April 4, 1853.
It is with pleasure I report to your Lordship the progress of my Mission. I have continued my periodical visits to Kororareka, Te Kawakawa, Waikare and Te Karetu, at which place I have much encouragement. The late Pomare, the chief of Te Karetu, was always a formidable opponent to the progress of the Gospel, until a year before his death, when he became a changed man, encouraging the due observance of the Sabbath, which had a salutary effect upon the tribe. He died suddenly about a year and a half since. I did not see him in his last illness, owing to the rapidity of his decease. His brother, a man who had always appeared so perverse that I never could hold converse with him, has since come
forward with Pomare's whole family; they have been admitted to baptism. The family appear to be a superior class of persons, and I was surprised and gratified at their answers given on the several examinations under which they were brought. They have erected a chapel and house for me after the Maori order.
When at the Kawakawa, near two years since, the old chief Kawiti came forward and made a long and impressive speech, for which I was not prepared. He told the assembly that he was satisfied that he and they had been wrong, and that wisdom was with the Pakeha; that he should hold out no longer; that he should cast aside his Maori ritenga and enter the church; that he should now proceed to Wangaruru, Ngunguru, Whangarei, Mangakahia, and to the Urikapana, and call upon all to join with him. This visit he immediately undertook. It is now more than a year since he removed his place of abode to this neighbourhood to cultivate, in order to be near us for the benefits of instruction; spending generally every second Sunday here. On Sunday, February 20, I admitted the old man to baptism at Pakaraka, not approving of further delay, owing to his age and infirmities. He was with us on Saturday last, and has returned to-day. It is, nevertheless, with regret I have to state that we have around us a large number of heathen natives, who are hard as iron and brass, tied and bound with the chain of their iniquities, who reject every overture made to them. Yet are they civil and kind. Our collections at the communion at the various places form a respectable fund for the sick and other purposes. I regret we cannot obtain any catechisms for the use of the people.
Henry Williams to the Reverend E. G. Marsh.
Pakaraka, July 19, 1853.
We have had the pleasure of the company of William and Jane. From them we have learned very many particulars which we could not otherwise have obtained, and were to a certain degree carried back to old England . . . . The account of your severe trials was painfully interesting; the removal of your son Thomas, the illness of your daughter Jane, and the death of Captain Gardiner. Elizabeth appears to bear her affliction with Christian fortitude. We have thought much of the failure of the Patagonian Mission, and lament its want of support. There is no doubt the design was good, though the strength was not adequate to the undertaking; but the faith and patience of the sufferers clearly shews their Christian character to have been of a generous kind. They were true men, and though dead yet loudly speak in behalf of that benighted people. We are glad to learn that the Mission is not allowed to become extinct, and that your son John is a warm advocate in its behalf; but I trust advantage will be taken of past distressing experience. To commence a Mission under the
circumstances of a Patagonian Mission will require great caution to gain the confidence of the people; this can only be done by communication. All throughout the human race are jealous, and that jealousy can only be allayed by intercourse. The commencement of all Missions is the day of small things; thus it was in New Zealand. Yet our difficulties were not to be compared with those of Patagonia. Many of the New Zealand natives had been in New South Wales; and these were the means of making known our ideas. The climate was delightful, but the people were savage; for many years we were liable unknowingly to trespass upon their sacred rights and had to pay the penalty. When they saw that we did not intentionally violate their feelings, their anger was appeased.
Henry Williams to the Reverend E. G. Marsh.
Pakaraka, July 25, 1853.
William is now in Auckland, and as I have taken a copy of the proceedings as conducted by him before the Committee and his correspondence with Lord Chichester and others, and also Mr. Disney's noble effort on the New Zealand question, I now turn to that subject. You both have faithfully discharged your office in defence of this much injured Mission, and I trust you will yet have your reward. Mr. Disney has nobly acted his part in this drama; he has shewn himself a faithful friend in time of need to the great cause of Missions, in his wish to rectify great abuses of power. 23 . . . From the way in which you express your desire that I should write, I infer that you received as authentic Mr. Venn's remarks on page 20 of his Reply. Have you not noticed his prevarication respecting my not making a return concerning the land purchased? Yet to William, in his letter of February 20, 1852, he states that "my return was not received until 1843," i. e. that it was received nine years before his declaration to the contrary, himself producing the proof that I had complied with their desire not three weeks prior to that statement of Lord Chichester on the point (P. p. 8); Mr. Venn being present, and allowing the error into which his Lordship had fallen, through his means, to pass unnoticed.
Henry Williams to the Reverend E. G. Marsh.
Pakaraka, February 20, 1854.
Mr. Stock, Leonard's fellow passenger, accompanied him to this place, and took up his abode with me. He and Leonard had previously on the voyage entered upon "The question," and when here he re-opened the subject. He informed me that he had been on one Committee on my case, and, from the information furnished
by Mr. Venn to the Committee, it was impossible they could have come to any other decision than they did; that he now saw he had been in perfect ignorance of the case, and that the Committee were equally ignorant with himself. An honest confession this, truly, for a member of Committee to determine a great and difficult question. Mr. Stock remained with us about a month; we formed a high opinion of him. He is doubtless of good stock, and will faithfully discharge his duty. He has been appointed to Otaki, where my son-in-law Hadfield is. They met in Auckland, and each formed a favourable opinion of the other . . . .
My own infirmities I feel to be gathering upon me, weakness of body evidently shewing itself, and my sight failing, though my health is generally good. I am thankful to be able yet to move about and take my periodical rounds, without seeking aid from any one. Our Retreat is a delightful spot, and I have the opportunity of engaging in as much work as my strength will admit of, though I am sorry to say that since the introduction of civilization, the people have greatly fallen away from that Christian simplicity they once possessed. The love of gold has corrupted very many and changed their desires. A spirit of infidelity has possessed very many, and they will tell us to look at our own countrymen, who regard not even the external observance of the Sabbath.
Even in retirement, the Archdeacon was not to be let alone. His name was again dragged forth, as an abettor of sedition. Blame that was due to the Government was shifted, as usual, on to him. A few words must be allowed to a question which was for a time of most serious import.
Kororareka--now the township of Russell, had been the scene of a great fight in 1830. At the peace-making, it was ceded, as blood-payment, by Pomare to Ngapuhi. 24 From Ngapuhi it had been purchased, and until now that purchase had never been disputed. But the cupidity of the sellers had been excited by certain proceedings of the Government, which caused them to make an armed demand for a second payment. 25
The Government, objecting to the acquisitions of land made before the annexation of the country in 1840, had taken steps
to dispossess the buyers of the greater portion. The main object was, to obtain for the Government the monopoly of land sales to immigrants; for it was assumed that new settlers would be able to make purchases from the old settlers, if the latter were left in undisturbed possession. At a later period, an additional plea was introduced--namely, that of justice to "the suffering and complaining natives," who had been deluded into parting with vast tracts of land for a mere nominal consideration. The natural conclusion would be, that the land unjustly acquired should be restored to the native sellers. But the Government wanted the land in question for themselves, and, to get it, argued in this wise:-- "the original purchase by an European was illegal [an error]; therefore he cannot retain the land; the native owners, by the fact of sale, had divested themselves of all right, and therefore the land, belonging to nobody, escheats to the Crown." But, to prove the extinction of native title, it was necessary to gain possession of the deeds of sale. These were obtained by promising to the purchasers Crown grants for a portion of the lands, on the condition of their placing the deeds in the hands of certain Commissioners. Now Mr. Busby, the owner of a very valuable tract of land at Whangarei, had reason to believe that the whole estate would be confiscated as soon as the Government should get the original deeds into possession, to make the nucleus of a new settlement. Consequently he resolved upon holding on by the native title, and refused to deliver up the deeds. Without these the Government could not enter into possession, for proof of the extinction of native title was wanting. But the Government was not without a resource. They persuaded the native sellers to accept a second payment for the land, and thus obtained a colourable pretext for alleging that they had themselves extinguished the native title. 26
The immediate result was, that the news spread like wild-fire among the natives that they were to be paid a second time for their lands. To their honour be it said, the greater number acknowledged the sufficiency of the original bargains. But the cupidity of some was awakened, and hence, the claim for second payment on account of Kororareka.
Mrs. Williams to Mrs. Heathcote.
July 25, 1854.
Since Kawiti's death, his tribe have been disposed to be troublesome. Their leaders pretend that they have the sanction of Kawiti's (Te Ruku's) dying words, which we do not believe, to ask £4,000 for a second payment for the land upon which stands the town of Kororareka; grounding their claim upon the Governor having given;£ 1,000, they say, at Whangarei to the natives for land which they had formerly sold to Mr. Busby. The natives now talk of claiming everywhere "a second payment for the land;" but they are not generally supported. The majority oppose it, and though sixteen canoes, with about three hundred natives, did actually go to Kororareka and make the demand, we hope it will come to nothing.
The public press was not slow in ascertaining the real cause of disturbance, commenting upon it severely. The usual reply was made, that it was all Archdeacon Williams' doing. As if, indeed, he were likely, by fostering demands for second payment, to jeopardise the possessions of his own family. His share in the proceedings was confined to writing to Mr. Bateman, at Kororareka, advising him of the approaching danger; recommending the inhabitants to pay nothing; and to explaining to the natives the preposterous nature of their claim.
The report that Archdeacon Henry had instigated the disturbance was challenged, of course. An attempt was made to support it by citing certain words, alleged to have been used by Wikiriwhi [Wickliffe]. When questioned, he wrote back to say that he had never used those words. As a last resource, it was stated that the letter of denial had been written under the immediate influence of the Archdeacon.
Archdeacon Henry Williams to Hugh Carleton.
December 5, 1854.
I forward the correspondence between Wikiriwhi and myself, which, taken in connexion with the paper delivered to me by Mr.
Clendon, September 11 last, exhibits the corrupt state of our magisterial proceedings from the chief downwards, commencing with ------; one series of fictions to contrive a case to answer a political purpose; mischievous in the extreme.
The statement given by Mr. Clendon as to Wickliffe's evidence is clear, relating to the disturbance respecting the demand for a second payment for Kororareka. "It was not his doing; it was the Europeans."
When Mr. Clendon gave me this extract from his letter to the Government, I enquired of him if he had demanded of Wickliffe the names of the Europeans? He replied, "he had not." I observed to him that I considered he had not discharged his duty to the Government and the community in so important and serious a subject.
In the first paper, which appeared in the Southern Cross from "our own correspondent," 27 Hori Kingi [George King] is reported to have said,--"he was sorry to hear the present police were to be removed, &c, &c.," 28 confirmed by "two other chiefs, who made similar remarks." I enquired of the party if this expression had been used. Wikiriwhi and the others laughed. They said that the words had been used, but that the meaning was, that if any of their party got intoxicated they would be put in the lock-up, if a new set of police were appointed; and that many troubles, quarrels, and disputes might occur between both races through their inefficiency.
By a letter from Mr. Bateman, June 26, 1854, he states, "I heard the other day on the beach that you had said -- 'it serves the Pakehas right to make them give a second payment for Kororareka.'" Upon the above Mr. Clendon, September 11, remarks, "I never heard Archdeacon Williams make use of the above words, nor have I made use of them."
But Mr. Clendon gives the following as the conversation which took place between us, on June 11:--
Mr. Clendon:--Kawiti [the son] has been here to demand a second payment for Kororareka.
Archdeacon Williams:--It serves you all right; but it is Sunday: I will not enter into the subject.
The difference between these two statements I am at a loss to define; yet the first Mr. Clendon denies to have been said. What then of the second? In my remark to Mr. Clendon, I had no reference to any one at Kororareka; but to the acts of Governor Grey and certain Government officers, in having from the first endeavoured to excite the cupidity of the natives, of which this is the fruit.
No demand was made upon any of the inhabitants of Kororareka for payment; but upon the Government.
Mr. Clendon to Mr. --------- when up to enquire into the cause of the disturbance stated that Kawiti had gone from Pakaraka to Kororareka with his demand, connecting the circumstance thereby with myself. Kawiti went from the Kawakawa. The first I heard of the affair was from Mr. Clendon.
You will notice Hori Kingi's statement as to the origin of the war, given by Mr. Clendon to me, September 11:-- "It was in consequence of a second payment having been given for Whangarei."
I would suggest the following observations to be made to Mr. McLeod. 29
It will be requisite for the public safety that the names of the Europeans who are said to have caused this late excitement be produced by you; as the Editor of the Cross has been called upon to produce their names, having published your correspondence of August 4, in which you state:--
"Even the Europeans who were the primary instigators of the temporary excitement seem to feel that they have made a false and unsuccessful move; it is not now a mere conjecture that they were the real originators, for the natives themselves candidly admit it."
Should you (Mr. McLeod) decline to produce the names of those Europeans, the Editor of the Cross must state the same to the public, and leave the public to judge for themselves.
Putting this and that together I think it must be admitted that the whole is a foul conspiracy, after the order of . . . .
It is almost needless to say that the Archdeacon's challenge was not responded to. To blacken by whisper and insinuation was more prudent strategy.
Pouerua, Hune 5, 1850.
E hoa e,--Tenei ahau kei Pakaraka e noho ana, kua mahue Paihia te kainga i noho ai ahau, o toku oroko taenga mai ano ki tenei motu, Ehara Paihia i toku wahi ake, tenei hoki au ka wakataha mai i te riri o te moana, i te pua o te ngaru, kei taupokina iho au, kei te tuawhenua tenei ahau e noho ana, kahore o konei ngaru, marino tonu te moana, he hau komurimuri kau te pa ana e whakakarekare iti ana i te mata o te tai, ko te tihi o Pouerua he kainga moku, kia marama ai te titiro ki mua ki muri, kahore he tangata e ahu mai ki tenei wahi, ko aku tamariki anake. Haere mai ra e taku tamaiti kia kite i au, ka koroheketia ahau, otiia matatau tonu ano taku ngakau ki te korero i nga mea o te Atua, i nga mea o te Rangi. Tuhituhi mai ra ki au, kia piri tonu ki te Atua nana anake te kupu pono, he kupu teka noa to te tangata, matua rapu i te Rangtiratanga o te Atua, me tona tikanga, a ka hoatu hoki ki a koutou ara atu mea katoa.
Na to Matua,
NA TE WIREMU.
4 I guard myself against being supposed to imply that the thought of un-frocking had ever crossed the Bishop's mind. But many believed that he could; and some said that he had done so. The survey of Pakaraka is a case in point. When the plan was finished, the surveyor wrote on it--"For Henry Williams, Esq." When asked why he had departed from the usual designation, the answer was, that "he always liked to call people by their right names; Mr. Williams was no longer a clergyman." "If you were no longer a government surveyor," said Mr. Williams' son Henry in reply, "would you then be no longer a surveyor?" An argument which Mr. Elliot was fain to accept as conclusive. The wish was perhaps father to the though; but the active malignity with which an unfounded report was circulated by some who were in the interest of the Government, shews what the grantees had to contend with.
At Otaki, advantage was taken of this report by a Roman Catholic priest, who said to the natives, "you had better come over to us, for your father has sinned [kua hara], and can preach no more."
5 For instance, there was an occasion when his Lordship, without acquainting the Archdeacon, signified his intention to hold a confirmation. When the time came, no candidates, from Kororareka, Paihia, or Kawakawa were in attendance. The Archdeacon had not interfered, but his summons was awaited. The experiment was not repeated.
6 This invitation became pregnant with consequence.
7 It happens that the "statements" were brought; not "called for." But the absurdity--or rather niaiserie, of assuming that the Missionaries had no right to enquire what was being said to their detriment, needs no comment.
9Pace viri tanti, I am unable to perceive that he has disowned them. His words are an evasion, but not a disavowal of the repeated aspersion.
10 This is Mr. Hector's account, quoted from a Blue Book. It differs in trifling particulars from that already given by ourselves, supra, pages 31 and 32. The latter is the more accurate.
11 I find these asterisks, and keep them. Not but that I think the delicacy superfluous.
12 I may be in error, but incline to believe that the cause of leaving was the Bishop's breach of Maori etiquette, in asking names. A chief assumes that he is universally known; that from common persons only can enquiry be needed. Moreover, in asking a name, some evil purpose is supposed to be implied. If any answer be vouchsafed, it might be,--"do you wish to makutu [bewitch] me, that you ask my name?"
13 Why was it not noticed? The reason is not far to seek.
15 One extract shall be given, because of the terseness with which a complicated question is put. It relates to the Governor's going back from his own original proposal, that the surplus land should be restored to the native owners; the futility of which was by this time manifest to all alike.
"I have also to observe further, as a justification of our unwillingness to consent to the Bishop's proposal, that it was not only at variance with the conditions imposed by the Society, which had from the beginning had our hearty concurrence; but that it was objectionable on another ground also, from the proposition contained in it. To restore the surplus lands to the original owners, besides being a practical reflection upon the honesty of the original purchase, is simply preposterous, it being impossible it should be executed without prejudice or favour; and therefore we cannot imagine that it was seriously contemplated. We believe Governor Grey's intention to have been of a different kind,--namely, under colour of restoring the land to the original owners, which would have been found impracticable, to assign it over to the Enrolled Pensioners, as was done with Mr. Fairburn's land. Indeed the Governor mentioned this idea at our interview with him on September 28. This measure would have been offensive to the natives; and the project of entrapping the Missionaries into an apparent consent to it would have implicated them, if it had been carried out, in a measure which was prejudicial to their interests, and contrary to the wishes of the native population. This alone was a sufficient reason for their dissent."
16 Resolved--That the Committee have learnt with pain that, while providing for his children's maintenance by the transfer to them of his land, Archdeacon Henry Williams has divested himself and his wife of all means of support.
That, taking' into consideration Archdeacon Henry Williams' long and important services, the yearly allowance of £150 be made to Archdeacon Henry Williams till any change in his circumstances shall render such a provision unnecessary.
21 Mrs. Heathcote, of Southwell, sister to the Archdeacon.
22 The expression is not quite correct, though intended to be so. The promise became null,--fell to the ground when the counterpledge was broken, and compliance with the one persistent condition was refused.
25 For details, see an article, acknowledged by the present writer, entituled "New Zealand," in the "Westminster Review," April, 1864. Also reports of debates in the House of Representatives, upon the Busby Arbitration Bill.
26 Upon the strength of a title, so patched up, the Government disposed of the land, by sale and otherwise. The wrong was ultimately redressed by the General Assembly of New Zealand, who passed an Act, under which Mr. Busby was awarded, by way of compensation, thirty-six thousand pounds worth of land-scrip,--that is to say, scrip which could be tendered in lieu of money at Government land sales. This, by arrangement, was commuted for £23,000 cash.
27 The correspondent's letter was printed, but discredited by the editor.
28 The expression was cited as implying confidence in the Government.
29 The writer of a letter to the Southern Cross. It may here be mentioned that although correspondence in the interest of the Government was impartially admitted, the Archdeacon received from that journal unflinching support.
30 Pakaraka, Hepetema 15, 1854.
Kua kite a hau i a Te Kerenana e mea ana ia i ki atu koe ki a ia i to koutou hui ki Kororareka ki te tohe utu mo taua kainga, e pouri ana koe mo te raruraru o taua tikanga, a i mea ano koe ki a ia, e hara i a koutou na te Pakeha ano. He patai atu tenei naku ki a koe, ko wai koia te Pakeha te putake o taua tikanga i mea atu na koe ki a Te Kerenana?
NA TE WIREMU.
Ki a Wikiriwhi, kei te Kawakawa.