1961 - The Richmond-Atkinson Papers Vol II - Chapter 9, The Hungry Eighties, 1883-90, p 517-566

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  1961 - The Richmond-Atkinson Papers Vol II - Chapter 9, The Hungry Eighties, 1883-90, p 517-566
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Chapter 9, The Hungry Eighties, 1883-90

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Chapter 9

The Hungry Eighties


One of the first acts of Lieut-general Sir William Francis Drummond Jervois, who took office as governor early in 1883, was to proclaim an amnesty to Maori political offenders (13 Feb 1883).

Atkinson became Prime Minister on the resignation of Whitaker (25 Sep 1883) 1 and a month or two later they attended together the Australasian conference at Sydney. 2 The general election of 1884 was followed by trials of party strength. After a Stout-Vogel combination had held office for 12 days Atkinson returned to the treasury benches with a rather weak team. 3 Within a week they were defeated and Stout again took office, to retain it till the end of the parliament in 1887. His Native Minister was John Ballance, a veteran of the wars of the sixties and a colleague in 1878 of Sir George Grey.

The Conservative party regained power at the election of 1887, Atkinson bringing in Whitaker as Attorney-General and E. C. J. Stevens as a member of the executive. 4 The country was suffering a severe depression, with unemployment, hunger and discontent which the government was unable to alleviate. The responsibility of office at such a time clearly imposed too great a strain on Atkinson's health. Early in 1887 Stout urged him to attend the Colonial Conference in London but his health and that of Mrs Atkinson made this inadvisable. All he desired was to remain close to his farm in Taranaki. In view of the approaching dissolution of parliament he begged Sir John Hall to stand for election and resume the leadership of the party. Atkinson's premiership was not uneventful. In 1888 he was knighted. In 1889 he paid a health visit to Tasmania. Parliament passed a bill

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to provide for additional naval forces on the Australasian station at the joint charge of the Imperial and colonial governments. The annexation of the Kermadec islands was proclaimed in 1887 and the protectorate over the Cook islands in the following year. In May 1889 the Earl of Onslow assumed office as governor and at the end of the year the New Zealand and South Seas Exhibition was opened at Dunedin.

In 1890 the Premier was unfit to face another session of parliament, but Cabinet persuaded him to meet the House and to deliver his financial statement before retiring. Atkinson's last months in office were clouded by the extension to New Zealand of the Australian maritime strike. On 1 September as Minister of Marine he received a large private deputation (the minutes of which are preserved in the collection). 5 The premier was so obviously distressed by the strike that the Governor to shield him from irritation, conferred with his brother-in-law, Mr Justice Richmond, on the course of events.

On 5 Dec. 1890 the general election, the first in New Zealand on the principle of one-man-one-vote - returned Atkinson to the House with only 24 followers. The Liberals numbered 38, and there were 12 independents. The significance of this result was clear, and John Ballance was called upon to form a government.

In 1883 J. C. Richmond was called to the Legislative Council, in which he made carefully prepared speeches, occasionally putting on record events in his early public life. In 1884 he introduced a married women's property bill. This he first attempted in 1870, at the instigation of his wife, who shared his indignation at the prevalence of wife desertion during the flush of the goldfields. The Hon George McLean hinted in this debate that as things were going there would before long be women in the Council. 6 In 1888 Richmond made a considered reply to the accusations of G. W. Rusden (in his History of New Zealand) against the conduct of the war in the sixties. 7

The artistic yearnings of Dorothy Richmond (in 1885) drew her back to England, her father and sister (Ann Elizabeth) following. On

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this visit J. C. Richmond conferred with university leaders in selecting principals for the Nelson colleges.

In C. W. Richmond's letters there is still evident the open mind and tolerant judgment of the unitarian. In 1883, after publishing his address on materialism, the Victoria Institute in London offered to elect him a member. To this he pleaded the reservations of the free thinker: "I cannot unreservedly accept the position of the Society in relation to the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, in investigating questions of philosophy and science, and more especially those bearing upon the truths revealed in Holy Scriptures."

Arthur S. Atkinson, though now mainly absorbed in political developments, revives occasionally his early interest in philology and Maori lore. In 1886 and 1887 he had several encounters, in the Philosophical Society, with Edward Tregear and in 1887 he tried to interest W. B. D. Mantell in his early project of a Maori dictionary: "Would it be possible to find two or three of consular rank whether in the domain of Maori learning or as having had charge of Maori affairs, to take the matter up?" Atkinson's son, Arthur Richmond Atkinson, visited New Zealand in 1883 and after a brilliant career at Oxford returned eventually to become associate to his uncle, Mr Justice Richmond.

Henry R. Richmond died on 7 Dec 1890, aged 61.

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M. W. Richmond to J. C. Richmond - - - Wellington, 8 Jan 1883

. . . We had a very pleasant passage over [from Nelson]. . . . We had Archibald Forbes on board with us and he took his seat very close to me on the opposite side of the table at tea, so that I had an opportunity of becoming personally acquainted, which I made use of. He told us a good many things about his travels, and he and Captain Jekyll and I stopt at the table talking for some time after the others had left. He seemed a man of much sense who had lost no opportunities of picking up knowledge. He was very much down on the colonial labourers for refusing to work for more than 8 hours a day ... In the end I rather got him into a corner, and he was compelled to admit that the labourers were quite right from their own point of view in seeking to limit the hours of labour. His chief objection seemed to be that the arrangements of society ought to be such, that if he wanted 'to get something done', he could . . .

I think this a very beautiful place. The situation of the town is exceedingly picturesque.

. . . On Friday Mary Allie Alf and I went to a dance at an enormous house filled with young ladies of great wealth and beauty. I had to screw myself up to the sticking point and for the first half hour felt very uncomfortable, but recovered and enjoyed myself very much. The name of the host and hostess is Williams and the dance was held in a fine large hall into which the drawing room and supper room and a lot of other rooms opened. In the ceiling of the lower hall is a large oval opening, surrounded with a ballustrade, leading into the upper hall. You go up an enormous staircase to get into the upper hall. There you can lean over the ballustrade and see the brilliant sight below. Mrs Cotterell sung a good many of the waltzes while some one else played. They had the piano up in the upper hall and the singing sounded splendid down below. . . .


Dorothy K. Richmond to Ann Shaen - - - Nelson, 20 Mar 1883

... I have been appointed to teach drawing at the Girls' College which has just been opened here, I shall give my first lesson in about three weeks, at first I shall have the girls in our own studio because the room at the College will not be finished, & the £50 worth of casts & photographs which I have sent for will not have arrived from England ... I am to be paid according to the number of my pupils . . .

Father is going for a month's sketching with Mr Gully (the 'Turner of N.Z.' & a very nice man), they will start in about a week & go across the bay beyond Totaranui to a place called Takaka in the mountains by the sea ... I have been painting & drawing a little but very little, just now I have not much time as either Alla or I have always to be with Aunt Helen now she is so weak. . . .

Father has become a lord, that is to say a member of the legislative Council of N.Z. 8 He will really like it I think but at first it is an effort to think of leaving his

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studio for the session next winter just when he will have some new sketches for pictures. However Wellington always does him good & he has several things he wishes to say.

Goodbye with love from Deccy Richmond whom age is gradually reviving to a sense that life is pleasant in spite of everything.


C. W. Richmond to Capt. F. W. H. Petrie (Hon. secy. Victoria Institute) - - - Wellington, 24 Mar 1883


... In reply I have to ask that you will be good enough to express to the Council of the Institute my thanks for the expression of approval with which they have been pleased to honour my essay. As regards the invitation which you convey to me to join the Society I find on reading the statement of objects that I cannot unreservedly accept the position of the Society there indicated in relation to the Scriptures of the Old & New Testaments. That being so, I feel that I should be out of place amongst its members ... 9

v 7, p 42

Ann Elizabeth Richmond to Ann Shaen - - - Nelson, 6 Sep 1883

. . . We are just recovering from the shock of Artie's having missed his passage in the British King - he is . . . waiting for the steamer which leaves at the end of the week with this San Francisco mail . . .

In a few minutes I have to go to our Girls' College to teach German. My German class is a very pleasant one, the girls are the best of the College and there are not too many of them - only 12 - with them I do not have to be on the qui vive for sillinesses and tricks, as I must with a few of my 23 French girls - those few make me unable to enjoy teaching the good ones. However I am getting less self-conscious so there's hope that they may be suppressed. We are expecting Father home again after all these months this week - the parliamentary session ends to-day, but Father will perhaps visit a run at a place called Wairarapa near Wellington, as he wants to find a place for Dick to study farming on a larger scale than at Motueka . . .

We have a nice girl from Wellington, Isabel Blackett staying with us - she draws and paints and has come to be with Dolla for a few months - the two spend all the morning in the studio and the early part of the afternoon. The photographs (chiefly from the Sistine Chapel M-Angelos) ordered for the Girls' College by Dolla are here now, and Issie & she are delighting in them - the casts too have come though they are not yet unpacked - the room has not been arranged for them -

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Sep 7. Yesterday afternoon Maurice had a telegram to say he is through his law exam, which is a great comfort ... so now he is full fledged. There is a talk of his being Uncle William's secretary for a time . . .


H. A. Atkinson to A. S. Atkinson - - - Wellington, 21 Oct 1883

... I think I shall run up to Auckland next week. The question of the Auckland man for the Cabinet is rather a difficult one. Old Whitaker is a great loss. There is not one man in Auckland who can anything like fill his place. I think Peacock will be the man, and he may perhaps be stronger than he seems. 10 There are many rocks ahead. I wish there was a really good opposition, I should feel less anxiety for the future. I have written this on the Hinemoa waiting for the Governor. . .

v 7, p 44

Dorothy K. Richmond to J. C. Richmond - - - Nelson, 18 Jun 1884

. . . Issie [Isabel Blackett] & I went to see Mr Gully's sketches of the Kaikoras, two of them are splendid, I would much rather have one of the sketches than the big picture if I were the bishop of Nelson.

I am not sending my totara tree this time because I want to make another foreground. I have been going on with my painting of Annie Hill, it is rather stern still but I go on hoping for it. Issie is with us now, she has sent two things to the exhibition, you will see them. Why did you let those people buy your beautiful Takaka bush picture for such a little money? you ought to have had 60 or 100 guineas at the very least. I want to buy your other Takaka with the water in front of the bush as I see you only charge 15 guineas for it, perhaps it is a misprint for 150. . . .


H. A. Atkinson to H. D. Atkinson - - - Wellington, 22 Jun 1884

I have been too poorly and busy to write you before this, but am nearly right now and shall soon be up 11 .. . Katie has been most kind and attentive to me, seeing after all I want just as much as if she had been my own borne daughter, you are a fortunate boy in having secured the affection of so good and loving a nature. I can't tell you how I feel indebted to her. I hope you have thought to have written to Mother, she felt the wrench of leaving us all very much but I felt that she must go to get advice from Dr Kidd.


H. A. Atkinson to H. D. Atkinson - - - Hawera, 20 Jul 1884

... I had a splendid meeting here last night. J. Bayly is coming up to look after the Omata electors for me ... I shall have a big majority here. Bayly has worked

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very hard here and is very much put out at what W.B. has done. J. Hirst is coming in from Midhirst to vote for me and Trimble, he goes to the Taranaki Hotel and will want driving out to Omata. ... I shall go on to Foxton on Tuesday. I speak and sleep at Patea tomorrow night. I will arrange to have you wired the result directly it is known here 12 . . .


M. W. Richmond to J. C. Richmond - - - Wellington, 24 Jul 1884

. . . We were very anxious about Richmond Hursthouse when we saw that he was only 11 ahead and that there was one return to come in. Just fancy if Jack Kerr had been elected! ! . I had the honour of going with Margie to Mrs Rolleston's to dinner on Tuesday night to wait for a telegram from Geraldine. We had all the telegrams from all the polling places in the colony sent up to us from the Press Association, and we worked very hard sorting and finding out the final results, but the telegrams with the final results always came up before we had finished adding . . .


H. A. Atkinson to A. S. Atkinson - - - Wellington, 27 Jul 1884

. . . You put the case very clearly. We shall resign directly the House meets and I suppose advise Vogel being sent for . . . Vogel I think is very much disappointed at not getting a stronger party and now talks of a coalition. I am strongly of opinion that we should have nothing to do with him if it can be avoided, which I hope it may be. Our side would do more good outside, carefully watching him, than if I joined him. He has raised hopes which cannot be realised ... It will require a great deal of pressure from our side to induce me to have anything to do with a Vogel Govt, after the hopes he has raised and the promises he has made. Why not come over . . . and have a finger in the pie? It is not often such a complication is to be met with . . .

Vogel's party is at least ten less than mine but about 2/3 of the House does not approve of the Govt, as at present constituted and would vote to turn us out - and after that no one can tell what will follow. But I am clear that a new set of men should be got if possible. Mind you come -

v 7, p 46

S. Stuart, honorary secretary N.Z.A.S.A. to J. C. Richmond - - - Auckland, 2 Aug 1884

I send you with this a few circulars of our forthcoming Exhibition . . . Your pictures sent to the Soc. of Arts' Exn. were greatly admired, especially the 'Takaka Lagoon', and I was surprised they did not find a ready sale, but some awful

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rubbish went off at a higher price (so much for people's taste). Have written to Mr Gully to keep a look out for any Maori curios for our Exhibition, as we want to get up a collection of them; and should be glad if you would favour us by doing the same . . .


H. A. Atkinson to H. D. Atkinson - - - Wellington, 14 Aug 1884

I agree with your suggestions as to sowing and fencing but I would not do anything in the way of expenditure that will not be of some good to us if we keep on the farm. I will sell for £2000. Half the money might remain on mortgage at anything not under five per cent that you could get . . . but I would not sell on terms to any but a good man as we might have to take the place back ruined ... If you can find a really respectable purchaser the terms will not part us. I should be glad to meet him in any reasonable way . . .

Stout is very angry with us for resigning without a no-confidence vote. He says he can't in consequence get his men together. Of course that was our reason for resigning, a large number of men who are really on our side would have had to vote against us, and so get entangled with the opposition which would have placed them in a difficulty so far as future action is concerned. My party and Grey's are now a majority and we shall very likely turn the new men out on the address in reply. There is a very strong feeling against them because they have joined together without one principle in common ... I should be much better out of office for some time, both on political grounds and on a/c of my health but I may have to take office again before the end of the session. 13

If I don't go in again this session I am not sure what I shall do. Of course if we sell Hurworth matters will be simplified otherwise I think I shall spend the summer there. I am all most inclined to think it might be best for you to buy a place north of Auckland and go in for orange and lemon culture . . .


H. A. Atkinson to A. S. Atkinson - - - Wellington, 25 Aug 1884

I sent you a telegram to say Grey had been sent for and that it now seemed almost certain it would fall to my lot to again form a Govnt. Grey saw me first and wanted my help. He said he was willing to be either in or out of any Govnt. wh. might be formed. He proposed to do all the work by large committees. I told him I did not see my way to help as at least half my party would on no account accept him as the head of a Govnt. or as the former of a ministry. He said he should have to consult all the leaders first and then the several sections of parties.

The Governor has given him till Tuesday, at 10 to make up his mind as to whether he will undertake the formation of a Govnt. or not. It is impossible to say what he will

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do. Stout "and that lot will have nothing to do with him. He cannot get more than about 18 men to support him under any circumstances so that if he undertakes to or forms a Govnt. it will be only so much time wasted, except so far as it shows his true position and this is perhaps quite worth a week or ten days to make it clear to the public. I shall be sent for next without much doubt and then will come our great difficulty about Vogel as, although no doubt our party has increased in strength we are not strong enough to form a strong Govnt. from our own ranks alone. Both sides now seem inclined to have me as premier. But a large section of our party say they will not have Vogel in any coalition on any terms, and I fear the Stout-Vogel lot will not agree to a coalition on any other terms than Vogel as treasurer. This is now our difficulty. We are trying to see if we can get a good majority by some combination excluding Vogel but I don't [?doubt] it although it is just possible . . .

If we can't come to terms Vogel or Grey will have the right of dissolution.

v 7, p 46

H. A. Atkinson to H. D. Atkinson - - - Wellington, 14 Sep 1884

... If we could get a decent tenant who has say a capital about a £1000 I should be quite willing to let the place on fair terms, say about 6/8 an acre for the felled land, the bush being thrown in - with the right to fell all that might be agreed upon. Making a certain allowance per acre, or, what would be better not charging anything more for the felled land for so many years after felling ... It is possible we might be able to get a tenant on a 14 years lease. . . .


Dorothy K. Richmond to J. C. Richmond - - - Nelson, 16 Sep 1884

... I had a good many books given me on my 30th birthday, 7 volumes in all. Uncle Arthur gave me a 2 vol. life of Turner by Walter Thornbury. Uncle doesn't know if it is any good, do you? . . .

The other day Aunt Helen, Anna Flora & I drove to Richmond to fetch Annie home from the Barnicoats, it was a very cloudy day but the country looked beautiful, the hills all purple with great heavy clouds hanging low over them. . . .

Can't we go to England soon? These are all the same things I said in my last letter. I have no news, my mind is very vacant although I have been reading more than I usually do. . . . Miss Jervois is pretty well. I went out for a drive yesterday with her & Aunt Maria & Anna.


H. A. Atkinson to H. D. Atkinson - - - Wellington, 26 Sep 1884

. . . Besides the fowls and room paper I have sent you old Saunders book on Poultry. 14 If you are getting more eggs than you want it would be a good plan to preserve some in the way he suggests. I have sent the common pullets . . .


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H. A. Atkinson to H. D. Atkinson - - - Wellington, 26 Sep 1884

I have determined to come up to N.P. directly after the session and to spend the summer at any rate at Hurworth ... I quite agree with what you say about selling rather than letting if we can sell but if not I must do something with the place as you don't see your way to doing any good for yourself there . . .

I want you to see also that the oven is all right that is, that one can cook without smoking the dinner. The tank too should be looked to ... I have bought the force pump that was in the kitchen here very cheap and am going to bring it up with me so that we may keep the tank full and do away with that old leaden pump . . .

I send also the rest of the Houdan fowls. I want you to keep the dark cock and five or six of the best hens in the inner yard, save the eggs and set them all as soon as possible. They must be well fed - the fowls not the eggs ... If your hens are any of them better than the ones I send put them in instead of the ones I send up ... I want to get as many chickens as I can . . .

I got a telegram from Mother the other day. She is going on well but will not leave England till end of December. Mind you write to her.


W. Richmond to Emily E. Richmond - - - Wanganui, 1 Oct 1884

... I am in the midst of the 'great Libel case' which is a wretched squabble between the Editors of the two Palmerston papers - a regular Eastanswill affair . . . 15

Day before yesterday both mountains in sight - first time since we came - more rain. . . .


H. A. Atkinson to H. D. Atkinson - - - Wellington, 2 Oct 1884

I see by the papers that some men of a survey party have been charged with shooting cattle. I have always been uneasy about this wild cattle shooting by the surveyor's men. With the best intention a privately owned beast may be shot and then every one is at the mercy of the owner. I wish you to communicate with Alfie 16 as soon as possible and tell him that I wish him not to go shooting any more wild cattle or to permit his men to do so either. I feel very strongly upon this point, no amount of saving in the cost of living can compensate for the risk run. I have written to him direct . . . see that your letter will reach him as soon as possible . . .


Ann Elizabeth Richmond to Annie Shaen - - - Nelson, 4 Oct 1884

. . . Father has come back at last about 3 weeks ago & very glad we were. He has not been well since till quite lately ... He is painting an oil painting of Mount Egmont nearly the same as that belonging to the 'client' of Mr Shaen's, you know. It is to go

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to Melbourne, when finished . . . Maurice spends a great deal of time now at the public tennis-ground, as do Uncle Arthur, Tu, & Mr Fell, and we cannot get them home in time for tea, now that the daylight lasts so long. . . .

Father is talking a good deal of making use at last of our land in the North Island, south of Auckland, at the Waikato: there are hundreds of acres, which would be good for sheep as it is good grass ground, & Father I believe would like to get some one to set a farm etc going there & send the two boys to learn farming with this 'not impossible he', but at present this is only one of many plans for their future.

My time is very full, I have made it too full on purpose or I should mope for what I can't have ... Dolla & I are all right: we try to read a good deal & I have my beloved Greek ... if I do no Greek in the day I feel very sad. Dolla has painted flowers a good many; but the last few weeks not anything. She made an attempt at a portrait of Mabel, who however does not lend herself to such a thing, she is kind in not minding sitting, but she never tries to look anything but fish eyed during the operation; so this effort has been a failure. I sat one afternoon, but it takes so much time, as I may not sew or read of course at the same time. We are reading J. Macarthy's 'History of our own times'... To myself I am reading Wilhelm Meister too, and find it most curious & interesting . . . Ruth can hardly tear herself from gardening to do anything . . . She does not go out much, won't go to dances etc. which is rather a pity, as we want to not appear too horrid. . . .

Oct 7. Tomorrow evening I am at last going to hear a dear violin again decently played, for a new gentleman who plays has come to Nelson & he is going to the Fells tomorrow . . . The piano there - a new Steinway - is delicious, very sweet and full toned, I am very happy there is such a one in the family.


H. A. Atkinson to H. D. Atkinson - - - Wellington, 8 Oct 1884

. . . Send the dimensions of the oven so that I may get the right sized dishes (tin) for baking ... I fear it will be quite the end of the month before we shall finish here. Govt, have now taken 4 days a week so that we shall push through quickly I hope. Can't you find out any of the hens that eat their eggs and get rid of them at once? . . .


H. A. Atkinson to H. D. Atkinson - - - Wellington, 26 [Oct] 1884

I am sorry to say the work of the session still drags on and we can't finish now before a week or ten days. I have been very much upset by poor uncle Dessy's death my heart is sorely grieved for Aunt Marion and the boys. 17 Tudor is up with Ronie at Pahi, the place where the accident occurred, searching for the body which had not been found up to last night. . . .

It is possible that most of our luggage may have to go on to Auckland, it being landed after taking the members . . .


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Ann Elizabeth Richmond to Ann Shaen - - - Nelson, 28 Feb 1884

I am 'one great blob of emotion' . . . wouldn't you be, if Dorothy were your ewe lamb sister & you were sending her off to England in less than a fortnight from this moment? . . . She has had one of her attacks of illness again and the complete change is going to be the making of her. She is quite herself again, but we don't want the best part of her life to be wasted by these weakening attacks. She is not & has not been for a year or more in the least depressed or bored by life out here. She takes great interest in the prospects of this country & thinks it a good thing to live here, but it has always been understood that she should go home to have more teaching in painting & now seems the best time. Only don't think please that she has not struggled & succeeded in making herself feel & realize that life out here is not only possible, but interesting & even exciting in a good sense. She has been talking about this a great deal lately, because some people can't see that her illness is entirely physical. In London she must see some thoroughly good doctor & she will follow his advice, for she is very reasonable now & wants to be quite strong.

What our plan is - is this - that in a year or less Father & I should follow & ourselves spend a year in England & abroad, so giving Dorothy two years to study. We are sending her so suddenly . . . chiefly because she will have in the Rimutaka as companions her great friend Isabel Blackett (who is going to London to live with an Aunt & go to the Slade), Miss Lysaght, a lady whom we all like very much, and Miss Alice Jervois, the Governor's second daughter, a very nice girl, whom we know quite well ... I am very glad she will have you to go to always . . .


Emily E. Richmond to C. W. Richmond - - - Dunedin, 23 Apr 1885

Fred George's wife's town section has been sold for 21,000 twenty one thousand pounds - Edward says our quarter acre in Castle St is worth £625 - this is a grand place; how the people have brought themselves into great depression is curious. The place has 42,000 people, and any place more beautiful and fertile no one could wish ... I went yesterday to see our old house. The place is lovely, the house excellent, well considered, handsome and as strong and good as the day it was built, according to Mrs John Jones every part of the place is in perfect order . . . John Jones refused £9000 down in cash for the place. Mr Higginson gave £2000 for a half acre strip from Queen St through to Union or Heriott Row taking the carriage drive and part of the orchard.


M. W. Richmond to Ann E. Richmond - - - Wellington, 5 Jun 1885

Since I last wrote I have argued before three judges in the court of appeal. I was very ill for two days before it, but recovered shortly after getting on my legs and felt as if I had been doing the same sort of thing regularly for the last twenty

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five years - though I can well fancy that I did not produce the same impression upon the court. I spoke for forty minutes following on Harry Bell my leader . . . Now Bell has gone away and left us to conduct a partition suit in the same matter by ourselves. I have also had a junior brief in the compensation court . . .

. . . We have got Edward Wakefield here now as part proprietor and editor of the Evening Press, a paper which was started a short time ago. He makes it very lively and the voice of reason is now at some times heard in the place.

Some time ago I was elected a member of a small club called Te Korero consisting of W. H. Levin, Randall Johnson, W. Fitzgerald, R. H. Govett, Dr Robertson, F. W. Pennefather, - Gibbs, Kenneth Wilson, C. O'Connor and me, which meets once a month to talk for the first part of the evening about everything and then about some particular subject arranged beforehand. I must say I thoroughly enjoy it. We had a meeting last night and the subject was 'Female Education'. I don't know who composed this title - it is not a good piece of style is it? But it must not be taken as an indication of the current phraseology of the Korero, the style of which is usually pure. The meetings are held at the houses of the different members in rotation, if they have any houses. Next time I am going to open a discussion on 'Larrikinism' and am going to advocate that the education vote should be indefinitely increased, that all the best men and women in the country should be induced ... to become schoolmasters and mistresses . . . and that what the children are to be taught is to be chiefly how to behave themselves or the art of living well etc etc. Of course all the other people who have nothing to do with schools will have been so well educated that they will be thoroughly satisfied to give nearly all their earnings in taxes to maintain the schools. I rather fancy I am on the right track here.


Ann E. Richmond to Ann Shaen - - - Nelson, 30 Jun 1885

Thank you up to the sky for your dear letter about Dolla, it sent me into a state of temporary insanity but that was to be expected . . . We have spent so much money in a non paying coal mine that I doubted very much whether Father and I could at all easily start off to Dolla at a moment's notice . . . the idea of her wanting someone to take her to Algiers or even to the English sea-side and not having anyone was distracting. I felt as if life were worse than anything for a few hours, then I said, 'Idiot, take the letter to somebody, say Aunt Maria . . . and see what a calmer more resourceful mind will evolve'. Of course this was the right thing. Aunt Maria shortly after reading the letter said, 'if Uncle Arthur thinks it a good plan, I see no reason why I should not go and be with Dolla wherever she had best be until Father has rounded the corner financially, then you and he will both be earning still and can join her later on'. Immediately ten or a dozen tons burden rolled off my soul, and I felt I could stand upright again. We must make Dolla well . . .


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Dorothy K. Richmond to Ann Shaen - - - Dieppe, 11 Jul 1885

There are no trees here fit to hold a candle to the English trees but the country is beautiful with corn fields and streams and sea and lanes bordered by slim beeches four or five deep on either side making a green light like water . . . We drive for two or three hours every day and there are beautiful old castles and manor houses and churches to be seen and we are doing the country systematically.


Dorothy K. Richmond to Ann Shaen - - - Dieppe, 29 Jul 1885

I am waiting for further letters from Alla and Father before I decide whether to go to Italy or N.Z. before the winter. I think Father is in much his usual health and that if he could make up his mind to take a voyage it would do him good and not harm. He never stays long at home without getting into low health and of course low spirits as well, because he won't take any exercise for days together and then he will work like a great strong labourer and nearly kill himself. . . When Father sent me he meant me to work at painting for about a year in Europe, but I think I would rather be with him without the painting than with the painting and without him. As I used to tell the Blackheathens long ago, if Father were going to hell I would certainly prefer that to heaven ... I am in no need of looking after and am rather too eager to return to N.Z. than desirous of staying in Europe for a spree. I am getting better all the time but somehow I don't ieelyet as if I could go on with my teaching work in Nelson.


J. Cully to J. C. Richmond - - - Nelson, 9 Aug 1885

I like the way you began your letter as it is evident that you are getting better. I have suffered a good deal from bruised bone or rather the lining of the shin bone. It has been a tedious business and I have not walked further than the gate for about ten weeks, but the place is healing up and I hope in a week or two to see the great show . . .

P.S. Mrs Gully is quite well, John not so well ... I have got some jobs from the ecclesiastical parties both Anglican and Roman. I could have got the doing of the Virgin Mary only she is not in my line. I want you to paint a good thing for the Indian and Colonial Exbn. and I will try to do the same.


Ann E. Richmond to Dorothy K. Richmond - - - Nelson, 28 Aug 1885

Your Dieppe letter came a few days ago and made us laugh very much about the bathing. I should never dare to walk out in my bathing dress - I hope my womanly dignity would not desert me even after years of residence in a country of savages. Still I can't help hoping you overcame any scruples you had at first . . .

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I was coming home from college the other day when Judge Broad overtook me to ask me what particular piece of wickedness I had been perpetrating lately. I was a little surprised and said I could not remember being worse than usual at any time lately, and asked why he enquired. Then he told me that twice lately he had come upon Colonel Walcott kneeling outside our red gate praying for me. Isn't it horrible? . . . I am so afraid of Cl. Walcott in a mood of religious frenzy killing me, so as to rid other weak brethren of my bad example 18 ... I believe all the teachers are going to resign soon - not from any ill feeling but from a desire for freedom. Miss Edger wants to go to England.


Dorothy K. Richmond to Ann Shaen - - - Ziegelhaus, 9 Sep 1885

Aunt Margie and Mr Whittle think I had better stay in Europe at anyrate till next spring. I suppose I ought to make up my mind by now but I don't seem able to ... It seems to me that to go out now would be to throw up my original idea in coming to Europe, i.e. the idea of learning some more painting. But of course that is nothing if Father is ill.


Dorothy K. Richmond to Annie Atkinson - - - Firenze, 21 Oct 1885

It is delicious here and although I ought to be lonely somehow I am not, perhaps if the weather were not so lovely or the servants were less ideal or I had committed a crime I should feel bad . . . Even as it is I am quite happy, disgustingly so. It is warm here and there are still lots of flowers. The town is looking as fresh as a new born babe; all the streets and the sky have been washed by heavy rain and tonight I see the stars are brilliant.


Jane Maria Atkinson to Ann E. Richmond - - - Nelson, 4 Dec [1885]

The College is in the thick of exams and all the mistresses except Miss Edger 19 who revels in work are nearly dead of it as there is no outside examiner or help this Xmas except Dr Johansen in French and German. Mabel has been going the whole morning all this week to help as overseer, which enables three ladies to be out of the school room overlooking papers or marking questions. Miss Milne leaves on the 11th ... It is not merely for her own pleasure she goes, but because her parents are failing and can't bear her not to be present . . . Miss Harrison goes to her mother . . . very much regretted by the whole school and all who know her ... I think Miss Watson will continue living in the Col. under the changed system . . .

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This week dissipation is the order of the day, or rather night, the gay hours being 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., as the Olde English Fayre is in full bloom. It is really quite picturesque and much more amusing than I imagined it could be. From 3 to 6 p.m. the ordinary business of fancy bazaars goes on, only the ladies have their goods displayed in the semblance of old English shops and they are attired in the costume of some distant period of history varying from Henry VII to Sir J. Reynolds . . . The most becoming are the Lady J. Grey dresses . . . Mrs Andrew Richmond and the Miss Campbells look quite queenly, Beattie Macdonald and Annie Pitt very pretty, Totsey Levien handsome . . . Everyone looks better than in the dress of this period. Why can't women always pick out something becoming or picturesque for themselves, and avoid the cruel monotony of ugliness to which the modern world seems doomed . . . The children's costumes are as varied as those of the ladies or more so including pages of Henry VIIIth's time down to small curly headed plough boys. A little Ambrose Moore is admirably got up as the latter, and a still smaller sister is inimatable as his grandmother . . . There are a good many Kate Greenaway dresses, Gertie and Maudia Heaps and Audrey Webb looking especially well in theirs. . . . Mrs A. Scaife is gorgeous in an old gold Tudor costume . . .

The provision store is an immense pecuniary success tho' very large articles have to be raffled. Fancy Mr Gully winning a very large goose and having to get it home in triumph to Mrs G. (who disapproves of raffles) as well as a fowl he had bought for John . . .

Poor John Gully is now gradually recovering, but the doctors look grave and doubt his pulling thro' another attack. I am sure he has been trying too much of late, taking on a good many of your pupils and continuing his studies for matriculation . . .

There is some amusement felt at the apparent intention of the Col. Govs, to leave the Boys' College to the care of Miss Bell and Mr Bennett, who looks little more than a big school boy 20 and has no authority at all with the boarders. I hope there is some sweeping change in store for the future, as C.Y.F.[ell] applied to me for Dr Bright's address and I imagine was commissioned to write to him and Dr Percival about finding a new principal . . . what this College so much needs, a man with a conscience and high principles. Mr Littlejohn, it appears, had leave to reside outside the College on his approaching marriage. The Girls' Col. is likely to get another M.A. as Miss Searle 21 from the Wellington G's H. School has applied for one of the vacancies . . . She has almost the highest testimonials C.Y.F. says of any applicants past or present . . . Mrs Macartney is working away in all directions energetically. I wish I liked her music better for I do admire her and her gt. industry and desire for improvement.


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H. A. Atkinson to H. D. and Kate Atkinson - - - Hurworth, 21 Dec 1885

My chickens are doing very well. I have now 105, some very promising birds. I got ten Langshans from the hen with red on her leg . . . We are wanting rain very much. It has been as dry this year as it was wet last.


R. H. Richmond to J. C. Richmond - - - Castlerock, Elbow [Otago], 28 Jan 1886

Wils of course will give you a full account of all his yacht races and victories and how they have won £81 this season and how they cheated by towing a bucket behind them because they got so far ahead of the other yachts that they were afraid they might be handicapped out of the next race.

Today another man and I have been turning out ferrets. We turned out 83 . . . I think the ferrets must have enjoyed themselves immensely. About a month ago we turned out 65. It was a very hot day and three of them got smothered but today was cold and we kept shaking them up so that they were all quite happy comparatively . . .

We have had a good many visitors lately. Four bachelors stopped two nights here and then went on to Manipori. In February an immense party of Holmeses and others are coming here . . . Everything here is dried up, we have only had one or two small showers in the last two months and more . . . The river here, the Oreti, is swarming with trout. One man in a day and a half caught 33 fish weighing from 3 to 7 pounds each . . .


H. A. Atkinson to H. D. Atkinson - - - Hurworth, 31 Jan 1886

We have at last had two days beautiful and much needed rain. I have never known so dry a season. The well and springs are as dry as we ever get them in March after a very dry summer. The country round Hawera is burnt up. Livingston tells me springs are now dry upon his land which he has never known dry before . . .

A. Saunders has written a book called Our Horses of which he has sent me a copy. It seems a sensible book. Have you his book on poultry? . . . The more I read it the better I like it ... I have had all the ground by the pigs styes and wood heap dug up and put into potatoes . . . How are your tomatoes getting on? Mine are looking very well.


J. C. Richmond to Ann Shaen - - - Oxford, 4 Feb 1886

I am getting on with my business here. The two great Dons take it up very kindly and I think I shall through them and others find a really good man for our College. Arthur has coached me about all day and I have enjoyed several hours among the Raffaelles, A. Durers, Turners etc. at the Taylorian Museum. I go on to Bristol tomorrow and shall call in on my return to learn what progress Dr Percival and Dr Bright have made.


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W. J. Ford 22 to J. C. Richmond The College, Marlborough, 20 Mar 1886

I should much like to have an interview with you, if possible, if there is any chance of your being in London ... I fear there may be a little difficulty in getting out by the 1st of July, but I feel bound to postpone everything to the wishes of the governors.


Dorothy K. Richmond to Ann Shaen - - - Rome, 30 Mar 1886

Father would like to travel about staying in the smaller towns for a few weeks but Alla is having music lessons from Szambati here and we all want her to have a few more so that we shall be here another fortnight probably. Aunt Margie is giving Alla 12 lessons and she is enjoying them tremendously; she practises 4 hours a day. Maggie Cobden is still with us . . .


Ann E. Richmond to Ann Shaen - - - Edinburgh, 1 Jun 1886

If the weather will allow us Cara Rainy and I are going this afternoon to call on Elsa Froebel. I think those two are kindred spirits - Cara is so very musical and plays with the greatest feeling - no, that sounds cold compared to her music. Yes I am enjoying my visit very much in spite of almost continuous East wind and consequent smokiness and fogs.

The debate in the Free Church assembly on disestablishment opened by Principal Rainy 23 was very lively and kept me interested and excited for - eight hours! There were several excellent speakers and so very much humour amongst them all we were roaring with laughter half the time. Dr Rainy is very delightful, full of character and mind and always looking at the humourous side of things . . .


- - - - - - Clapham Common Gardens, 14 Jun 1886

The Wood Gatherers thank the Hon J. Richmond for his kind patronage and donation.

The Wood Gatherers Society


To supply to the overworked, necessitous, and deserving poor, clothing which they themselves would be unable to obtain.

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To teach the younger members to care for children less fortunate than themselves. To show how much can be done with a very small outlay.


M. W. Richmond to A. S. Atkinson - - - Wellington, 29 Jun 1886

... I still feel that I must make a fresh start of some kind. Journalism is what I look to in the first instance. As you say the position of a journalist varies from what is financially desirable and spiritually of the highest attraction to what is in every way intolerable to both body and mind, and the question is what chance is there of a position in N.Z. approaching the first of these. There is at present some chance of it, and I am waiting for it to develope itself. It is the same thing as was under consideration some two years ago, when I wanted to go in, but Father stopped me. He was right then, no doubt, but I have grown a good deal more than two years older since then, comparing my growth with the rate of development of many of my acquaintance. I am much fitter for the work than I was then, and it has an even greater attraction for me; also the work upon which I am now engaged, to which I was then indifferent, is now grown somewhat repulsive. This is no doubt because I have started under very unfavourable conditions. I can imagine myself beginning again 'de novo' at the law either by myself, or with others of a temperament suitable to my own .. . even perhaps giving satisfaction to clients and earning a little money . . . The journalistic notion is more attractive than that of a new legal career . . .

Meanwhile I have been elected President of 'the Union' over here and I and my committee are introducing radical reforms with the view of giving a new lease of life to the institution ... I want to get hold of a copy of the rules we prepared for the 'Winter Evening Debating Society' . . . Perhaps your articled clerk D. Macdonald is a member and could get a copy for me . . . We expect to have a very full and lively meeting. There is a strong and active Irish element in the Society . . . Feeling runs very high in the family on the Irish question, Uncle William and Aunt Emily are violently opposed to Gladstone, Uncle Harry approves of what he is doing. As you will see by our Order paper Kit takes after his father and mother, I on the other hand throw the weight of my authority in with Gladstone, though I have not cabled him to that effect.


T. Smith Osler to J. C. Richmond - - - Hampstead, 2 Jul 1886

I do not know whether my name will remind you of the time when we often used to meet at my brother in law's R. H. Hutton's chambers in Brick Court, but I presume upon the old acquaintanceship to trouble you with an inquiry.

I have a son settled about 80 miles from Auckland to whom your connections at Wellington were very kind some years ago ... He sends home to me advertisements

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containing advantageous offers of land on the estate of a Mr J. C. Firth 24 of Matamata. I should be greatly obliged to you if you could tell me whether this Mr Firth is respected in the Colony and to be relied on as a safe counsellor and successful man. Also whether he has connections in this country. I am told he is a Yorkshire man so is very likely related to the Firths of Sheffield.


E. M. Cobden Sickert 25 to J. C. Richmond South Hampstead, 9 Jul 1886

Miss Morgan was here yesterday and we talked over her departure. She could not possibly be ready for the end of this month, but she could start at the end of August if you approve. I am so very pleased that she has the appointment.


H. A. Atkinson to Kate and Dunstan Atkinson - - - Hurworth, 5 Sep 1886

I ought to have written you long ago, but poor Mother's illness and the work of the session were too much for me, disliking letter writing as I do, and since my return I have not been very well or lively but I am now gradually coming round . . .

I have too been busy since my return in reading essays on Thrift - having been asked by the National Mutual Assn. of Australia to award the prize for the best essay upon that subject. I did not quite take in what I was undertaking. I have read over 90, taking me on the average over an hour each, and have still left about 20. I shall be very glad when this job is done . . .


J. C. Richmond to H. D. Atkinson - - - Nelson, 8 Oct 1886

We arrived . . . nearly a month ago and are pretty well and beginning to feel at home again. Dorothy does not look strong, but she is cheerful and her doctors - of very different styles - agree that she has no disease that may not by care and patience be got rid of. She is said to be weakly framed in the spine and to need abundant rest as well as a good deal of exercise.


H. D. Atkinson to J. C. Richmond - - - Parua Bay, Whangarei Heads, 15 Oct 1886

Re Fred Dunn, I don't think you can do much better than to place him with us ... We will take him if he will pay ten shillings per week for maintenance for say six months, after that time if he is any good at all he should be worth his board and lodging ... If we had been in a better worldly position I should have offered and been very pleased to have taken in Fred gratis, but in our present position I should not be justified in making that offer . . .

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Another thing about Fred's labor, what is a man's labor worth? I consider a man's labor is worth what an employer can afford to pay him and in the present depressed state of the colony wages are very low, in fact many old and experienced hands are at the present time glad to work for their board and lodging and many of them cannot get employment even on those terms . . .


Ann E. Richmond to Ann Shaen - - - Nelson, 31 Oct 1886

I think Dolla feels a good deal better than when she left New Zealand, but she finds it very difficult not to over-do herself . . . Gardening is Dolla's great temptation. We have come back to a wilderness almost, there are three acres you know, and these swarm with rank grass and with fruit trees - but still more so with snails and slugs - so that you cannot sow seeds for flowers in the borders . . . without watching night and day . . . Also gardening occupies the mind, so she says - even when she is in bed at night she plans out the lives of each seed she has sown . . . Then followed the conclusion that she was no use in the world and could do nothing. This was sternly combatted by me - but not without my losing the little fund of cheerfulness I had unconsciously been storing up - so that before long I was ten times more melancholy than Dolla . . . My gloom became so deep that there was something ridiculous in it and we all burst out laughing. After that we quickly finished tea, Dolla stretched herself on the sofa, I got some towels to hem, Father made up the fire in some scientific way, which he alone understands (or appreciates I regret to have to add) and began to read Rob Roy aloud to us - so we ended the day more cheerfully than might have been expected. But we have begun Dr Kidd's douche for Dolla. In the middle of the day she has to have her spine hosed with the garden hose and rose, and though she keeps up a succession of piercing shrieks during the five minutes operation she enjoys it and says it makes her feel very vigorous. Directly after it she lies down for an hour, and Ruth, when her other duties let her, comes over to read The Malay Archipelago to her.


H. R. Richmond to J. C. Richmond - - - New Plymouth, 2 Nov 1886

... I have to mention the condition of the Hurworth land, as the clearings are rapidly passing into heavy furze brakes and the road frontage has in any case to be cleared and grubbed . . . The best thing probably to be done at this season is to grub sporadic plants and just cut down the heavy brakes, as the seed is too forward to make much grubbing advisable and where the furze is thick and heavy the stumps often rot and die when well covered with cut stuff . . . You will perhaps have heard of the attempt made to get another 60,000 to carry on the breakwater, which was foiled by Col. Trimble and Richmond Hursthouse. Not being able to get this, and finding it absolutely necessary to have a wharf inside the breakwater ... it was

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decided to use about £24,000 of accumulated interest . . . which had been paid into the sinking fund account, and we were going ahead cheerfully preparing to add another 200 feet to the mole and build a wooden piece inside, when a few days ago the B.N.Z's solicitors warned the sinking fund commissioners that they considered their withdrawal of this money illegal, and that they would be held personally accountable if it were ruled so. Consequently the men had to be paid off until this matter is settled . . .

We have had several calls from the Wakatipu on her way to Sydney and feel very near being established as the last port for that line, which as N.S. Wales takes large quantities of our butter and can take a great quantity of fat cattle at paying prices during the cool part of the year, we look on as a most important thing to secure . . . Poor New Plymouth has had so many years of hopes deferred that we have got rather impatient and want to see a little of the prosperity in our time.


H. A. Atkinson to A. S. Atkinson - - - Hurworth, 6 Dec 1886

... I am glad to say Annie is keeping up very well but we shall be very glad when the operation is over. . . . After I wrote you my ankle became very bad, the foot breaking out all over in a most unsatisfactory way, being both painful and very vexing on Annie's account. My eyelids also have been much swollen and other parts as well. Altogether I have been rather wretched and seedy. I am now coming round nicely and hope to be all right ... so as to enable Annie to have the operation . . .

v 7, p 47

H. A. Atkinson to J. C. Richmond - - - Hurworth, 4 Jan 1887

Yes what a state of things in Europe. I fear the only way which will be found out of the complication will be a terrible war. Our own affairs in N.Z. are not in a very satisfactory state although I hope the deficit will not be so large as is expected ... I am sorry to say it is with us a bad fruit year, we shall have very few apples. Our gooseberries are very good but very few.

I have been trying to get Hall out for the Heathcoate seat, but he has determined to wait for the general election. I am sorry as he would have been useful in the House this session.


A. S. Atkinson to W. B. D. Mantell - - - Nelson, 22 Jan 1887

I wish you would look at the last 3 pages suggesting some organised effort to get and preserve the large unrecorded remnant of the Maori language and lore . . . Would it be possible to find two or three of 'consular rank' (whether in the domain of Maori learning or as having had charge of Maori affairs) to take the matter up?

Mantell papers in Alexander Turnbull Library

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H. A. Atkinson to A. S. Atkinson - - - Hurworth, 25 Jan 1887


Stout has asked me to go to England with him to attend London conference. There are difficulties about the meeting of Parliament and I am corresponding with him, Hall, Whitaker, &c &c . . . I am inclined to go if satisfactory arrangements can be made about Parliament. Please keep this strickly confidential . . . Stout is very anxious it should not be known yet.

. . . We have nearly made up our minds to let Hurworth and come and live in Nelson for a few years, but if I go to England it would be impossible for me to see to our moving before leaving . . .

v 7, p 47

H. A. Atkinson to W. Rolleston - - - New Plymouth, 11 Feb 1887

I have been greatly troubled since you heard from me. The following is shortly what has occurred since I wired you: After hearing from you, Hall & Whitaker and seeing Bryce I found there was practically no difference of opinion between us. I therefore wired Stout that I could only go on the understanding that Parliament should not be called until the first week in June, by which time we should have returned. He replied after consulting his colleagues that they considered it unfair that they should be bound and that therefore he could give no guarantee. I then telegraphed declining his invitation. Before he got my telegram I received a long one from Oliver . . . urging me not to make any difficulties about the meeting of Parliament . . .

Just as I received Oliver's first telegram we discovered symptons in Mrs Atkinson's case which . . . might render it impossible for me to go in any case. So after some consideration I determined to go to Wellington, consult the Drs. and see Stout. Stout was very friendly and anxious for me to go with him . . .

The Drs . . . were of opinion that an immediate operation was necessary but that in all probability Mrs Atkinson would soon get over it and would then be comparatively well for a considerable time at all events . . .

Late on Tuesday last I got a wire from Stout saying Cabinet had agreed not to call Parliament till the first week in May. I answered declining with regret. Stout replied saying he was very sorry but that Parliament must meet by the first week in May and so the matter is ended, which is a great comfort to me just now.

Mrs Atkinson was operated upon on Wednesday . . . Dr Leatham was very well satisfied with her state yesterday . . .

v 7, p 48

Jane Maria Atkinson to Emily E. Richmond - - - Nelson, 17 Feb [1887}

I have such extreme views on the subject of the criminal population that not only I would not let my descendants intermarry with them, but I would make the laws of the land such that they could not marry or propagate their species at all, but

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then I do not hold that all convicts or violators of the law are necessarily abandoned criminals. W----- T-----'s case was widely different from that of a professional forger and swindler, and quite possibly his religious principles are untouched, and even his conscience may act where self esteem and self interest have not blinded his judgment ... I have seen some that I know you would respect as of unblemished honesty take the first steps on the path that ends where W. T----- is, quite unconsciously. Arthur says indolence and over sanguineness often end in dishonesty. In the case of any convict I should choose to judge of the individual, the family and the circumstances before treating him or her as a pariah. But where a certain number of convictions followed by relapse into crime occur, I would have the criminals imprisoned for life, tho' their existence should be made as endurable as was consistent with preventing escape and making them earn an honest living.

This plan seems to me to offer the best chance of stamping out hereditary criminality, and if society has the right of doing away with, or rendering noxious individuals harmless why should it not proceed in the same way with classes?. Of course there might be gt. difficulty and expense in starting the plan but in the end it would be most merciful and cheapest. The crop of children existing would have to be trained or transplanted as Dr Bernado [Barnardo] is doing hundreds now every year . . .

18 Feb. We were celebrating Kit's wedding here by opening the new cathedral on Wednesday at 11 a.m. It did not seem possible at 6 p.m. on Monday that the building could be ready it looked such a chaos inside and not a seat was visible. However by sitting up best part of two nights and using superhuman exertion all was in order and the electric light ready for the evening service. We had 3 Bishops and no end of Archdeacons and clergymen to say nothing of his Excellency's representative Mr Pennefather (who was put into orders for the occasion by the Evening Mail), the Chancellor of the Diocese and the Registrar of the Synod in their wigs and gowns. Half the town was present yet the building was airy.


P. Skerrett 26 to C. W. Richmond - - - Waipawa, 28 Mar 1887

I beg most respectfully to acknowledge the receipt of the book Anson on Contracts which Your Honour was so kind as to send me. I beg to return my most sincere thanks and to assure Your Honour that the book will always be highly prized and valued by me.

Mrs Skerrett unites with me in returning thanks to Your Honour and Mrs Richmond for the very many kindnesses we have received at your hands.


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A. S. Atkinson to Emily E. Richmond - - - Nelson, 7 Jun 1887

I happen to have a Samoan dictionary (Pratt's 2nd Ed.) and also Dr Codringtons' Melanesian Languages - if I had say ten others like it, life wd. be better worth living ... What I have:

Hawaiian Dictionary and Grammar
Tahitian Dictionary and Grammar
Samoan Dictionary and Grammar
Tongan Dictionary and Grammar
Fijian Dictionary and Grammar
Aneiteum Dictionary and Grammar
Motuau (New Guinea)
Melanesian Languages Dr Codrington
Malagasy Grammar (short)

What I want:

Any dictionary or grammar of any other Polynesian or Melanesian language - or of any related language, or generally any information about any language spoken in any island included in the following: A line drawn from Madagascar thro' the straits of Malacca round the Philippines, Sandwich Islands, Easter Island, N.Z. and so round by the north of Australia to Madagascar again.

Quaere, has any vocabulary been published of the language of Mota, or of the Marquesas, or Paumotu Islands or Rarotonga?


H. A. Atkinson to H. D. Atkinson - - - New Plymouth, 6 Sep 1887

... I am just off to Hawera by the 4 o'clock train to begin my fight. I shall have rather hard work as the stupid Harbour Board have put on a rate and are now collecting it so there is a grand row and someone must be kicked. However I think it is all right . . .


Jane Maria Atkinson to Emily E. Richmond - - - Nelson, 23 Sep [1887]

Every year I feel more interested in both my own circle and the whole world, but I am certainly conscious of becoming a far less interesting object, or subject myself, and therefore having no quid pro quo in correspondence . . .

You don't say what the Wellington views of the coming election are. Every bit of news that reaches us is filtered through a strong Stout-Vogel medium and the triumph of their party confidently prophesied. When Harry left he seemed just as sure of victory for the opposition . . . There appears a good sprinkling of independent candidates, so perhaps till the House meets it may not be clear which side has the majority. The only interest we have in the election is the wish to see Richmond defeat the loathsome Jack Kerr, more for the credit of humanity than from any party feeling . . .

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I am trying to get up a Free Trade speech not for the hustings but for our L.D.C. next week. By reading I make myself a much stronger Free Trader but I doubt whether I can convince the hazy minds of female opponents. N.B. I am not at all sure they are as hazy as many of our male politicians on the question . . .

I am very glad the new High School [in Wellington] is opened, besides the healthiness and convenience of the big lofty rooms, it must be such a comfort for the girls and for you all that they have not to spend such a time going to and fro.


H. A. Atkinson to Sir John Hall - - - Wellington, 1 Oct 1887

Memo confidential.

Governor sent for me. Am to see him again on Friday next when he will give me any reasonable time to say if I will undertake formation of government. Have told him two things distinctly, first that I will be no party to a coalition with Vogel upon any terms, second that I shall not undertake formation government unless I see my way to its standing. Our difficulty is a premier there are great objections to every possible man. Grey says he will give any government I form his hearty support now that he knows we decline to favour a coalition with Vogel ... I propose wire all members opposed to present government asking them to be present at opening Parliament to consider action to be taken. Do you approve this? . . .

Atkinson papers in Turnbull library

A. S. Atkinson to Emily E. Richmond - - - Nelson, 21 Jan 1888

I am interested to know what line Mr Tregear takes. He can easily show that I don't know much about anything, but it will be harder to prove his own thesis that twice two make five.


J. C. Richmond to Lady [Annie] Atkinson - - - Nelson, 2 Feb 1888

. . . Hal's title of honor is rather a thing that it would have been wrong if it had been longer delayed ... If titles of honor are to be used it would be absurd that Hal should not have been offered one & accepted it. Not one of our knights has a list of services comparable to his, and there are almost none outside the number who could stand side by side with him for long, varied, able and faithful service. As far as New Zealand is concerned it would be a reproach on the Order that he should not be on its roll. Still I regret the disappearance of the old name of Major. It has grown homely and it recorded what I think the most signal of his services. It reminds us of Waireka and the Bush rangers - of the courage and confidence which his courage energy and military instinct spread around him throughout every part of the Colony where the blundering & pusillanimity of the regulars had created dismay . . .

v 7, p 50

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Sir H. Atkinson to Sir J. Fergusson - - - Wellington, 9 Feb 1888

Premier's Office, Wellington, 9 Feb 1888 (Strictly private and confidential)

You will no doubt be surprised to hear from me, but I am so impressed with the gravity of the situation and of the necessity of the greatest prudence, nerve and forbearance, on the part of those who can influence our affairs, especially in London, that I feel it my duty in the interests of the Colony to write you by this mail knowing as I do the interest that you have for years taken in the affairs of the Colony, and looking at the fact, that you are a London director of the B.N.Z . . .

In view of the relations between the Government and the Bank you will not feel surprised that I should expect to be treated with a measure of confidence by Mr Murray, their inspector, and in charge during the absence of Mr Murdoch.

Mr Murray tells me that one of the difficulties he has to contend with, is the dissatisfaction of yourself and other members of the London Board, which leads you to contemplate resignation. He explains how it is impracticable to at once give in a reliable manner the information you most reasonably require, further than it may be afforded by Mr Murdoch. But that the matter will be fully gone into at the next half-yearly meeting of the Bank. I know, and indeed it is no secret, that even if the London Board did not insist upon this there are Colonial shareholders who will.

I think the resignation of prominent members of the London Board in the meantime, would be a step much to be deprecated; it would be made use of by the enemies of the Colony and of the Bank to the serious detriment of both, and might prove very disastrous.

I am aware that the administration of the Bank has been, and is, peculiar - I might say anomalous and most unsatisfactory, and if I may do so I would suggest to you to receive with considerable reserve the representations made to you through the accustomed channels. I know that the position here is now being grasped in a competent manner, which inspires confidence in the Colony, and am satisfied that the best possible will be made of the position. And so important do I consider anything affecting the stability of the B.N.Z. to the Colony that I am prepared to recommend to my colleagues Government intervention, and if necessary to ask the legislature to grant ample powers to deal with the case.

Under all the circumstances I have no hesitation in saying that if you would consent to postpone the question of your resignation till the ensuing half yearly meeting of the Bank you will make it possible to avert a great disaster to the Colony and render a most important service to the Colony and to the general body of shareholders of the Bank. It would also be conferring a still further service if you would use your influence with Mr Mundella also to postpone the idea of resignation until after the next meeting in April.

In conclusion I particularly request that you will not let it be known that I have written to you for this there are reasons with which I will not now trouble you.

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I am writing to you in entire confidence in what seems to me the public interest for which from my position I am bound to care. I have no personal interest in the Bank except the interests of a Colonist in one of the great institutions of his colony.

I have no doubt that so far as the finances of the Colony are concerned we shall pull through all right but things will be hard with us for some time.

Atkinson papers in Turnbull Library

C. W. Richmond to Emily E. Richmond - - - Blenheim, 26 Apr 1888

I went to Church on Sunday . . . The church service is intoned. Mr Kempthorne does everything decently and in order - but it is a step backwards from rational and spiritual worship. In the congregation the females are as 5 to 1 - excluding the choir ...

I am getting on slowly with Martineau's second volume. James and Uncle Arthur I find as usual entirely of the same mind with me with respect to the New Philosophy. What the young people think I can't make out. They are modestly silent in the presence of their elders but I rather think they dissent from them, or are uninterested in such topics. Dolla said one day when I was touching the subject of the opinions of the rising generation . . . that in a world where there was so much still to be learnt it seemed too much to be troubling ourselves about a future of which we could know nothing. The real answer to this is that the present generation appear to people of our way of thinking ... to be overlooking the most momentous facts of our present existence. The Divine Government of the World and the possibility of communion betn. Man and God are matters of present concern. And as to the distinction between present and future that may be the mere human way of looking at things - though it is of course the only conceivable way to us of looking at them. But we may depend upon it the sun is darkened only by a passing cloud of misconception and will beam out again . . .

Last night... I slept very badly, partly through asthma, partly through the noise of the annual meeting of the Irish National Society held in the Ewart Hall... Through the thin walls you can hear everything. The meeting was a mild one it seems, and wound up with God Save the Queen. But the frequent applause by stamping of feet was rather annoying. After the meeting broke up at 11 there was drinking till midnight.


R. H. Richmond to J. C. Richmond - - - Stoke, 24 Jun 1888

... I made my debut the other evening at a Stoke concert, not on the banjo but singing. I sang Annie Laurie, it was not a success owing a good deal to a 'hidden chorus'! which was forced on me by Miss Libbie Martin and Mr Naylor, the schoolmaster here. The effect was dismal in the extreme. The first verse I sang the refrain with the hidden people, but finding that they came in chains behind me I let them have their own way in the last two verses . . . The whole concert was very dreadful. . .

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Owing to bad weather we have only been able to plant about 4000 strawberry plants, we have got 10,000 laid by the heels now waiting for the ground to get less muddy. We calculate we shall want 28,000 plants altogether for the two acres, planting 3 ft x 1 ft. The swamp hollow near the house we have got a ditch through ... we propose putting in melons and others of the gourd family in this hollow as it is beautifully sheltered from the wind and also the soil is good, 'fine fat soil' Mr Marsden calls it; wormy and rich is my definition. Down by the creek we have got nearly a chain of ground trenched for raspberries . . . We have got a 20 x 10 greenhouse close to the bank of the hollow for convenience of drainage . . .

I think the life suits us all . . . Just now at strawberry time we have reduced cooking on work days to a minimum, if we want anything attractive we have to cook it on Sundays.


C. W. Richmond to Emily E. Richmond - - - Nelson, ig Aug 1888

He [Arthur R. Atkinson] appears to keep thoroughly posted up in politics and recent Literature and Philosophy. He has just handed me the first volume of a very remarkable work published in 1886 but of which I had not heard, entitled Phantasms of the Living by Gurney, Myers and Podmore - representatives of the Society for Psychical Research. They give the evidence collected on the subjects of 'Thought reading', (or 'Thought transference' as they prefer to call it,) 'Spontaneous Telepathy' - as in the apparitions of friends at the moment of their death etc. and similar spiritualistic experiences. They appear thus to be seeking in physical science a basis for metaphysical belief, and I see that Myers in . . . the 19th Century . . . appears to look to researches of this nature as the only remedy for the present wretched condition of Frenchmen in regard to religious belief . . .

Last night we had a conversation on the Extirpation of the Egoists. Arthur appears disposed to go along with Frankland, and was rather stern with Maria, who expressed her sense of some practical difficulties . . .


C. W. Richmond to Emily E. Richmond - - - Blenheim, 22 Aug 1888

I have just got yours of Sunday 19th with the news of Dr Menzies death. It is impossible not to feel strongly affected by the now frequent departures of one's contemporaries. It is strange that an 'eggshell' like me should outlast a powerful Highlander like Menzies. Then there is dear old Gully dying (I fear too certainly) of cancer of the liver, or something of the kind . . . Cases of this sort are amongst the severest trials of faith . . .

We enjoyed our visit to Fairfield. Yesterday Ted and I went a good way up towards the summit of Flaxmoor - high enough to see the strawberry farm five miles

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off . . . Arfie's walls are covered with hideous caricatures of Balfour, Salisbury and Chamberlain . . . They are no better than the Primrose League caricatures of Gladstone . . .


Jane Maria Atkinson to Emily E. Richmond - - - Fairfield, 15 Sep 1888

I am not sure that I feel internally any older than I did six and thirty years ago, tho' I am conscious that only six years remain of my allotted span. Unless things happen to make me very miserable within that time, I shall not be at all willing to depart, for life seems to get fuller and fuller of interest each year and I want to see the children's children develop . . .

17 Sep. ... It is difficult to believe times are very bad in Nelson as every kind of amusement seems to flourish and money is found to start new ones. A very trim exquisitely smooth bowling green is just finished . . . The cricket ground in Trafalgar Park ... is in a forward state. Two rinks are driving a good trade and a third far bigger than the first two is to be opened in a few days! Tennis has begun and the boating season is to begin on Oct the 1st. Where all the money and people to support such varied amusements come from I can't imagine . . . Miss Morgan is getting up tableaux for the Girls College at Michelmas and Ruth and many others are enlisted to help . . .

There is only gradual change for the worse in poor Mr Gully's case. It is a long wearing trial for Mrs G. but she bears up bravely . . .

Poor Miss Bell ... is not at all pleased at the delay till Easter of the Ford's departure as she considers the College quite demoralized since his marriage and resignation . . .


C. W. Richmond to Emily E. Richmond - - - Wellington, 21 Oct 1888

I have just (at Emmy's urgent request!) been reading them a small piece of Piers Ploughman, as she is hearing about it in her Literature class, and is anxious to get some actual acquaintance. We have come on the passage in Dame Studie's speech

'Grammer for girles
'I garte first to write,
'And bette hem with a baleys*
'But if thei wolde lerne.'

*a baleys is a broom, i.e. birch, girles means children - but this need not be said . . .

The Walter Johnston's governess, Miss Deane, who sleeps it seems at Mrs Swainson's has taken typhoid fever. Mrs S. wd not send her to hospital, and has had to send away all her boarders. Fortunately the neighbours have helped . . . the school is to be carried on at Mrs Williams.


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H. A. Atkinson to R. Stout - - - Wellington, 28 Oct 1888

. . . Caesar's wife should be above suspicion, but unfortunately ... is not. It is clear that thinking as we do we are bound to try and find someone better qualified for the position [of a puisne judge] than Ward. Here then comes the question, can you help us in the matter?

We all think that if you could see your way to accepting the appointment the whole difficulty would be solved. Will you accept the appointment if offered to you? If so I will write at once and make you the offer. You will of course be sacrificing a good deal, but I fear if you decline . . . will have to be appointed . . .

I dare say a cry would be got up against me that I had made you the offer to get a political opponent out of the way, but you and I both know there would be no truth in the cry and should not care about it, nor would it be believed by those whose opinion one cares about. I know you will consider the matter most carefully and I most sincerely trust you will see your way to do what the Cabinet unanimously wish.

Stout Papers in Alexander Turnbull Library

Jane Maria Atkinson to Emily E. Richmond - - - [Nelson], 4 Nov 1888

We are enjoying some heavy rain which is wanted to insure a good crop of strawberries at Stoke. By the bye if your idea and the Blacketts is correct, and a living is not to be made out of the soil of N.Z. even with a little capital and gt. industry, the sooner all the young men pack their portmanteaux and move on the better, for there cannot be work in offices, banks and towns for long if the country is to be left depopulated and unproductive. Dick decided long ago against towns and indoor work, and the notion at 25 of entering an office where by exceptionally good luck he might in 5 or 6 years be making £150 per an, can hardly be tempting to an engaged man! If the line he has chosen does not prove more profitable than such a course he will have to resign himself to being a bachelor I am afraid. But neither he nor Willie are at all downhearted and when their Abyssinian well is made the dry weather will not make them anxious as it has done occasionally. How all the young lawyers are to find bread, to say nothing of butter or cheese, is what puzzles me, but perhaps this is because I feel so much less inclined myself to spend money on going to law than on strawberries, tomatoes and other tempting fruits such as R. and A. of Stoke will shortly be offering . . .


Jane Maria Atkinson to Emily E. Richmond - - - Fairfield, 13 Nov 1888

I don't see why he [Arthur R. Atkinson] should not make himself of use to the High School if he can as an interlude. But both Arthur and I wish him to stick to the law as it is impossible for him to be of use as a politician, his real vocation, if he takes to pedagogy, besides which that line would involve a long training in England (lasting probably to the end of my lease of life) and possibly his ultimate settlement there ... If the country were only ready for it, or he had independent means, I should

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say journalism would suit his taste and powers, but as in Maurice's case he cannot yet afford the luxury of being an editor! I believe if he could get into Mr M. Chapman's office, or any other as suitable, for six months, he would get more interested in the profession and the colony than his quiet year here has made him. There is no call in such a small place for energy and he must feel his growing rusty for want of use.


Jane Maria Atkinson to Emily E. Richmond - - - Fairfield, 27 Nov [1888]

I agree with you that it would suit Arf [Arthur R. Atkinson] better to begin in one of the larger towns, and if as I fear is the case, he has no motive for making money beyond earning his own bread and butter, he could afford to wait. Arthur is quite confident of his success wherever he begins, provided that he sets his mind and will to succeeding. But there's the rub, it seems almost as tho' like Maurice he had just gone into the law without any outward pressure, because he imagined it was expected that he should. Arthur feels this a good deal as he was most careful to repeatedly beg him to consider his future, and not decide hastily on any career that he felt unsuited for. I have no doubt that he will do well in the law if he chooses, and that it offers a good opening for political life when he has earned enough to enter it, but whether he will be able to stick to it if the beginnings are really irksome to him, without Maurice's fixed wish and determination to become a family man to anchor him to it may be doubtful.

I do wish if William has time now the Appeal Crt is over to talk to Arf about his future and the law that he would. It seems to me that sons cannot confide their real feelings and wishes to their parents, or else we are exceptionally unsympathetic in spite of our having no motive or desire in dealing with ours but that he should become a useful and happy man. Of course it would be a trial to see him renouncing the Colony but both as mother and colonist I should feel bound to kill it rather than see him living on like a fish out of water and made incapable of putting either energy or interest into the life here by distaste for his surroundings. My hope has been that in a larger and more stirring place he might grow acclimatized, hence my desire to bustle him off to Wellington months ago and my doing so at last in face of Arthur's opposition, whose idea it was that he should make up his mind here what he meant to do ... I do want someone to bring Arf more to a point than we can and find out whether law and NZ are altogether too hateful for him to be tied to them . . . Men are so inarticulate and shrink from coming to a point unless you drive them into a corner . . .

It is curious how few young men seem to make up their minds soon enough on this point [to become family men] unless they get suddenly in love and engaged and that is how they are caught all behind hand as to income.


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R. A. Hould to J. C. Richmond - - - Auckland, 23 Feb 1889

re Auckland Anti-Poverty Society

I beg to enclose a cutting from the Auckland Star of 20th inst: and venture to solicit your influence in support of the resolution therein set forth. It has been forwarded to the Hon. Geo. Fisher (he being a member of this Socy.) and he has been asked to bring it under the notice of the Government . . . Knowing the interest you take in Social questions I thought I might ask you to assist us in our efforts to solve the problem of poverty, and to find 'the reason why some men go short of dinner' (vide Hist: Illust: etc Nelson Septr/71) . . .

[Enclosed is first annual report of Auckland Anti-Poverty Society, and a ms. paper advocating a land tax, which was the chief aim of the society.]


The clippings referred to were reports of the Anti-Poverty Soc. from the Evening Star (Auck.)

17 Oct 1888 (paper by R. A Hould on 'The Struggle for Existence'.)

21 Nov 1888 (lecture by the Rev E. H. Gulliver M. A. on 'Progress and Afterwards', Sir George Grey in chair).

16 Feb 1889 (report of annual meeting, Mr Gulliver elected president, R. A. Hould vice-president).

18 Feb 1889 (lecture at St Paul's church by Mr Gulliver on Religion and Science, 'The Combatants').

20 Feb 1889 (monthly meeting and annual report (Mr Gulliver's lecture on 'Forms of Industrial Life').

25 Feb 1889, (lecture, 'Fallen Outposts').

5 Mar 1889, (lecture at St Paul's).

22 Feb 1889, (leading article, 'We are all Socialists').

R. A. Hould to J. C. Richmond - - - Auckland, 25 Feb 1889

At the risk of appearing egotistical, I send a press copy of what I said in moving the resolution re 'organised self-help' to put you au courant of the thought that led up to it. As you may perhaps have forgotten me I may mention that I was for many years clerk at E. Buxton and Co and once had some conversation with you re a correspondence I had with the Bishop.

I wish much that you could know Mr Gulliver; since I first heard him I have never missed one of his sermons ... I never heard one word of 'dogma' from him or one word that was not according to reason and knowledge. He was formerly Principal of the Training College here but was 'retrenched' - and being vehemently suspected of heterodoxy! the Bishop will not employ him. He is, I am told, applying for the headmastership ... of the High School, Timaru . . . Mr Henry W. Harper is chairman

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of the board of governors . . . and if you can in any way assist Mr G. you would really be helping a man who ought not to be lost to N.Z. . . . The remarkable thing is that such a sermon should be preached in an English Church and that the Revd. W. Hooper D. D. should stand on an anti-poverty platform and advocate Henry George's idea without reserve. 'It moves'?


Lord Onslow (Governor-designate) to Sir H. Atkinson - - - Government House, Sydney, [1889]

... I made all my plans in England under the advice of Sir F. Bell who told me that Ld Normanby landed at Auckland that... I should do well to follow his example and land at Auckland, proceeding thence overland to Napier & Wellington, but when I met Sir W. Jervois he suggested the route by Onehunga & Taranaki in the Hinemoa. Since then a gentleman whom I met in Sydney told me that the Premier was a very bad sailor & never went in the Hinemoa if he could help it! !

With this bond of sympathy established I resolved to telegraph asking you defer the despatch of the Hinemoa till the arrival of Mr Walrond & till after he could explain the position to you & have your advice telegraphed to me at Auckland ... If I decided to come by either of the former routes I can get out of the train before I get to Wellington at say the Hutt & you could I daresay send a launch there so that I could land at the pier, which might perhaps simplify the arrangements for my reception.

I would venture to suggest that it would be perhaps as convenient that I should be sworn in on the steps of the Govt Buildings instead of in the grounds of Govt House as heretofore . . .

Atkinson papers in Turnbull Library

E. F. W. [Cooke] 27 to Dorothy K. Richmond - - - Girls College, Nelson, 16 May 1889

Miss Morgan's private view is today - if you call it a private view to which nearly all Nelson elite is invited. She has a good many of Issie's studies on view - there is a youth in a goatskin drawing a bow and an old woman's face that I like particularly. Nellie Rochfort's nearly back view of the Venus of Milo is marked excellent, and Ella Catley's basket of vegetables is highly commended . . . The exhibition is to be open for a week.


R. H. Richmond to J. C. and Dorothy K. Richmond - - - Stoke, 8 Aug 1889

. . . We have . . . finished our strawberry planting, 2 ac, also 1 ac. rasps, 2. trees and we have 1 1/2 ac. currants to plant . . . Our glass house looks very swell, it was finished the day before yesterday and will be planted in a fortnight . . .

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Lady Onslow and Lord Cranley came over here about a fortnight ago and Lord Cranley got typhoid fever and poor little beggar is very ill indeed. Dr Hudson says it is a very virulent type of typhoid and as he was suffering from jaundice a few days before he will be not so fit to stand a long illness. Capt Saville, one of the A.D.C's. in Wellington has also got typhoid and is not likely to recover . . . They seem to be agitating about drainage over in Wellington so I hope they will stop the thing spreading.


C. W. Richmond to Emily E. Richmond - - - Nelson, 25 A ug 1889

The little lord [Cranley] seems to have a good deal of character. When Ruth first came he thought she was the new housemaid and treated her accordingly. Finding out his mistake he was very repentent and makes frequent apologies to Ruth. Ruth says . . . once he understood that a milk diet was essential to his recovery he submitted without a murmur . . . The Onslows are thinking of taking Mrs Andrew Richmond's house . . .

I hear Mr Jellicoe has withdrawn his objection to me as judge in Bell's action against him. I should be well pleased to get rid of the job. I have no idea what the little man means about what I said in chambers. I had to decide against him - nothing more.


Jane Maria Atkinson to Dorothy K. Richmond - - - Nelson, 4 Sep [1889]

When I wrote last Ruthie had begun to nurse little Lord Cranley in turns with Miss Harrison, Mrs Suter's niece. It was an anxious hard time for his life was hanging by a thread for a week and the closest watching was required. Luckily Dr Collins came over and lived in Warwick House during the crisis, and both Lord and Lady O. appear to have complete confidence in his skill. At the end of three weeks . . . Ruth found she could be spared, so she and Lily . . . went ... on a visit to the Hanna's . . . Arf seems quite jolly as Judge's Sec. and more on the way to liking the law than he has yet appeared to be. From what he has said to Aunt Marion she thinks that the hope of one day 'taking it out of Jellicoe' lends some interest to the profession in A's eyes! They all seem to have been having an amusing week at Blenheim, where litigious and libellous characters abound and make the Sup. Crt. sessions livlier than here . . .

Alla must be having a good time with the Rainys, in Wellington. Mabel writes that she has been three times to hear him and admires him grtly . . .

Did I tell you that Lord Onslow has shown gt. appreciation of the nurses, writing to your Uncle Harry that 'your niece is the comfort of our lives', (this when Lord C. was very bad) and later to Mr Oliver that 'under Providence they felt that Miss Atkinson and her friend saved Lord C's life by their good nursing'. Next week the O's hope to move to the Cliffs which they have taken till the end of October . . .

We are longing for the dock labourers to win the day, but the last telegram looks gloomy for them.


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Lord Onslow to Sir H. Atkinson - - - Government House, Wellington, Monday [29 Sep 1889]

. . . With reference to the two appointments which you propose to make to the Cabinet, I am not of course in a position to speak as to Capt Russell, further that so far as I can see the press of all shades in the Colony seem to consider his accession to the Cabinet would greatly strengthen the Government.

I read with sincere pleasure your proposal to offer a seat in the Cabinet once more to Mr Hislop. He has been very severely dealt with for that which in itself was at the worst an error of judgement though it may have involved a principle of considerable importance: he recognised at once the import of the censure which he received and treated it in a most honorable manner as a political blow such as that should be met. If his constituents hold a similar opinion I doubt not but that they will re-elect him & that the Governor may place confidence where the electorate does. I hope your offer may be accepted by him . . 28

Atkinson papers in Turnbull Library

B. A. Ferard to J. C. Richmond - - - St Leonards on Sea, 14 Oct 1889

I think I once sent you a little poem I admired the 'Sermon of Ugo Bassi' published in America: I afterwards discovered that the book from which it was extracted, The Disciples, was by an English lady, the wife of H. S. King the publisher and on a new edition coming out bought a copy to send you, as well as one for myself, - you to my mind rather representing New Zealand, but I must have had it about a year without sending it out ... I find the sermon was about the best of the book. The Disciples glorified are the disciples of Mazzini.

Two of my nephews are going out to India at the end of this month . . . one back to his work as a Civil servant, the other, who has just taken his degree at Oxford, to see something of India and Australia before settling to work. I don't know whether he will go to New Zealand . . .

Mr Church has resigned the professorship of Latin at University College and he and his family are now at Bexhill . . . His eldest son Alfred has just been taken into partnership in Seeleys, the publishers. The letters of his two sons Herbert and Dick who went to Canada have been published under the title of 'Making a Start in Canada' and have achieved great success. Another son who is to join them is at the Colonial College at Hollesley . . .


H. R. Richmond to Jane Maria Atkinson - - - Wellington, 21 Oct 1889

My eyes, though taking in thank God plenty of light and defining clearly still give a very perverted report of what they ought to see and writing is much more of an effort than it was before my unlucky expedition to Mokau . . .

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My own impression was strong that something had gone wrong owing to the over strain put on my nervous force by a long walk nearly in the dark from Pukearuhe to Urenui . . . The fact that I could run up the Lower Ranges without the slightest discomfort made me go on behaving as if I was a young man with perfectly trustworthy machinery . . .

I hope the calling of the ocean steamers for frozen meat at Waitara will make land more saleable and help me to realise on what I have in the district and although my interest in the Mokau mine may yet yield us nothing I have strong reason to hope that it will turn out of considerable value.


H. R. Richmond to Jane Maria Atkinson - - - Wellington, 26 Oct [1889]

There is no change in my curious symptoms . . . Very likely F. King will make a special scientific study of the case as it seems new to all here, including Mackenzie, who . . . very much wishes me to see [H. Lindo] Ferguson. I do not think there is any sign at all of progressive change for the worse or better . . .

Harry is said to be unfit for hard mental work, but better than he has been . . .

The petroleum borers and their apparatus are expected at New Plymouth any day, and the first ocean steamer is to call there for frozen meat in November. The meat will be frozen by means of coal. Perhaps Arthur would like to make a tour of the Mokau and Waikato districts to get the Mokau Coal Company's lease completed . . . if that kind of thing has not lost all its attractions.

Alfred and Isabel Reed collection, Dunedin Public Library

E. Mitchelson to Sir H. Atkinson (in Tasmania) - - - Wellington, 13 Dec 1889

... I was afraid that the sea trip would weaken you very much, knowing what a very bad sailor you are but I do trust that ere this reaches you you will have recovered your strength and be well on the road to recovery. We shall all be proud and happy to see you return to us with renewed health and strength . . .

I have not forgotten the question of a dissolution but as yet I have not found any supporters of such a course excepting Sir John Hall and Fergus ... I am not going to worry you with business and will only do so upon some very important and very urgent matter which I trust will not turn up until you are here again in your proper place ... I wired to Sir Frederick [Whitaker] as you desired but have not received any reply which did surprise me at first but after having heard of his very severe illness and having received his verbal message through Elliott which was that we were not to communicate with him upon any subject as the doctors told him that nothing short of a complete rest away from all letters and communications would save him.

Atkinson Papers in Tumbull Library

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J. C. Richmond to Dorothy K. Richmond - - - Nelson, Jan 1890

I have got the studio into fair order and have begun several drawings from the scribbles we made in Italy and the Channel. I cannot tell where to find your Channel and Thames sheet. I have scarcely been outside our gate for I am still very weak in the knees, but I hope to see Mrs Gully and Aunt Helen today . . .

I wish I were coming to you but there cannot be any room for me and I dare not try to live in my sketching tents.


H. A. Atkinson to A. S. Atkinson - - - Wellington, 10 Mar 1890

I am quite ashamed at not having replied to your kind notes before, but I have felt a stronger dislike than ever to letter writing . . . Kemp seems quite clear that I am not at all fit to face another session or a General election or that if I do it will be at the expense of a general break down for good and all. He says if I take things really easily for the next two or three years I may fairly expect to get comparatively strong again. My condition is this, that the whole arterial system is wrong. I forget the technical word, but the inner coats, I think, of the arteries have lost the proper power of contraction and in consequence more work is thrown upon the heart and the arteries are so weaken[ed] that with any strong excitements or over mental strain one of them may give way. This may be very serious or may be slight such as I had in going to Tasmania. He says that attack was the result of a small artery at the base of the brain breaking - the effect of that is now practically over - that is, the blood is absorbed. If I am not careful either another, and it may be a larger one, may burst at any time, or the kidneys will be affected and Bright's disease set in. There is nothing organically wrong yet, but he has no doubt at all now as to the meaning of all the symptoms. I am riding an hour or so every day and enjoy it much. I have a very nice friendly little horse.

I am not going South, Kemp does not like my going out of reach for a bit longer yet so I am going up to N.P by very easy stages, starting tomorrow. I still feel very much better in myself but very weak physically and unable to do more than an hour or so's work. I am following Kemp's directions and not over doing myself in any way. I am afraid I shall have to resign. I may possibly go home as Agent General which can be arranged but all this is strictly private and I am most anxious that it should not get about . . .

v 7, p 53

Jane Maria Atkinson to Emily E. Richmond - - - Fairfield, 21 May [1890]

We have just read Morley's Voltaire and are going on to Rousseau. What an extraordinary mixed being Voltaire was, repulsive except for his persevering advocacy of the oppressed which meant so much more in those days than now and ought to cover a multitude of sins . . . Have you read Mrs Oliphant's Life of Ed Irving} I am

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just in the middle of it and find it very interesting but painful. There seems to have been such energy and power in the man misdirected and wasted according to my ideas.

I wish the editor of the Monthly Review would incorporate it with Zealandia 29 which seems to be advertised and pushed in a businesslike manner, but would probably be the better for the literary assistance of the M.R. writers. The latter's existence continues to be such a profound secret that its failure commercially seems assured, even if the contributors were more numerous ... I did grudge Ar's £5 towards it because no watering can keep it alive if it throws out no roots, and I greatly want the money for charity . . .

I wish Maurice would take Arf in hand and give him an interest in law and N.Z. I quite hoped the move to Wellington would give him such interests as would reconcile him to his native land, but settling at Crofton seems to me a mistake. I am afraid he will never find an opening for himself in the law because he does not care enough for it, and taking to pedagogy means giving him up for ever, as he would not care for it in N.Z. and once back in England he would be as good as lost to us. Moral, never leave a son educating for 8 yrs in England, especially when you only have one.


H. A. Atkinson to A. S. Atkinson - - - 23 May 1890

After very careful consideration of the political circumstances and of the state of my health the Cabinet has come to the conclusion that it will be better for me in the interest of the party to meet the House and deliver the financial statement before resigning. We have come to this conclusion so as to be enabled to consult the party as to what they would like done.

Some of our friends are in favour of my getting leave and retaining the premiership and so holding on at least over the general election. Kemp is still quite clear that if I subject myself to any over pressure or continued worry I shall break down permanently. I am going to see Collins and Fell in a few days. I am certainly much better than I was, but it has only come about by my doing no work and resting regularly. However, I hope we shall be able to talk the matter over together soon after I have seen C & F.

I am at work for an hour or two a day at my statement and hope to have it all in print in the rough by the end of next week ready for your inspection and help. Can you come over then? If so I shall be very glad as I want to get it all done before the session begins so as not to be worried . . .

I do not think that Stout's proposal of my getting leave and being elected in my absence will answer or meet the approval of our friends, when it comes to be thought out . . .

v 7, p 53

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C. W. Richmond to Emily E. Richmond - - - Hot Springs Hotel, Te Aroha, 5 Jun 1890

A great many new buildings have been put up since we lived in Auckland - substantial buildings of brick or brick and cement and some of stone. I suppose the B.N.Z. must have furnished funds for most of them. There is a spacious and convenient railway sta. of red brick . . . Beside it towers a colossal roller flour-mill built by Firth . . . The . . . whole of the sloppy muddy reclaimed land is now laid out in roads and in the railway station and its lines of rail . . .

I left a card at Campbell's office and he came up the same afternoon and we had a long talk. He says he lost £63,000 in realizing on his Wairoa Kaipara sawmills, and has to find £7000 a year interest! He speaks very temperately and philosophically of all these things. Mrs Campbell is in Auckland - pretty well he says.

You reach this place by traversing 20 miles of plain - for the most part terribly barren. A good deal of it is as scabby and useless to all appearance as that plain on the road to the Dark Tower. It is really grievous. This is the Piako country that was to be such a splendid agricultural district. In places the land is better and is carrying sheep, but for miles and miles it is as poor a piece of country as could be found - mossy, peaty and wretched - not a head of stock of any kind to be seen upon it.

Close to Te Aroha the land is better. This place is certainly pretty. The great bush covered ranges rises abruptly from the river to over 3,000 feet . . . The Public Domain with the springs adjoins the hotel. It is prettily laid out on the slope of the mountain with paths leading up into the forest . . . The principal springs are covered in. Some of the baths (No 3) are private separate baths - most of them are public plunge baths - nice square pools with a wooden grating at the bottom through which the water bubbles up, and boxes round for dressing ... At most of the baths there are certain hours for ladies. The Natives have a bath house for themselves.


C. W. Richmond, verse in his hand on letter E. T. Richmond to C. W. Richmond - - - Wellington, 10 Jun 1890

O wrong are you, O wrong am I
O wrong are all of us
We all are sold, there is no gold,
The claim's not worth a cuss.*
We came O why? It's all my eye. **
So sing O Wai-o-rongo-mai
Here comes the blooming *** bus
Let's all get in, it is a sin
The claim's not worth a cuss.
Singing O Wai-orongo-mai
O wrong are all of us

* This expression may appear vulgar but only to the illiterate. Cuss is equivalent to kerse. A worthless thing is said to be 'not worth a kerse, i.e. a water cress - Vision of Piers Plowman - soepe.
** From the Latin prayer to St Martin - O mihi beate Martine 'AH my eye and Betty Martin'.
*** No harm in blooming.

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On Boy Fell's Fall

Fell fate! Boy fell! Ah, well-a-day!
As he was getting down the hay.
Sad that poor Boy should fall so far
Whilst he was helping his papa!
Who fell? What boy? Boy Fell I say
As he was getting down the hay
Who was it boiled the poor green frog?
Ah, what a horrid shame!
I'll give your memory a jog
Miss Emily I'll name.
Her's was the cruel, cruel hand
Which the hot water poured
And drove poor Froggie from the land
Where he was once adored.
But now they say he's back again
With a fine fresh green skin
Recovered fm his grief and pain
And bright as a new pin.
And I do hope that cruel girl
Will never never more
Scold him and make him crisp and curl
As once he did before.

Alfred and Isabel Reed collection, Dunedin Public Library

Lord Onslow to Sir H. Atkinson - - - Wellington, iy Jun 1890

I shall be glad if you will let me know whether there is any truth in the rumour that in the event of your resignation of the office of Premier, a meeting of the party will be called to elect your successor!

Atkinson papers in Turnbull Library.

C. W. Richmond to Emily E. Richmond - - - Te Aroha, 22 Jun 1890

Herr Schmidt is a Hanoverian . . . and is quite a familiar in this house. He is a gentlemanly man with very natural manners and a good deal of fun in him. His English is very imperfect but he understands very well. We can't make out what his walk in life has been - probably commercial. He says he came out from Germany for health and relaxation. He often taps at my door with the paper (Auckland) in the evening and makes some remark about the cession to Germany of Heligoland, which seems to be creating excitement at home . . . The . . . Company which has been working quartz reefs at Waiorongomai (3 miles off) is said to be about to cease operations. Altogether things do not look very bright in an industrial way.

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A good many homesteads are scattered over the moorland which stretches for miles and miles north, south and west of this place . . . There are a good many cattle grazing and some sheep. The lower hills have been in many cases planted with the lugubrious pine and pinaster, and there are long rows of the same trees round the homesteads. A few beautiful patches of native bush remain standing by the river and the lovely mountain behind us is still bush covered to the summit. It looks glorious in the setting sun.


C. W. Richmond to E. T. Richmond (son) - - - Te Aroha, 23 Jun 1890

There is not much shipping news in this Port. Our direct Auckland steamer is the Kotuku ... A section of the railway bridge on this bank (the right) swings on a turn-table, so that the whole navigation of the river is open to the largest class of steam ships that can get into it.

It is here 30 to 50 yards wide, 5 or 6 feet deep I suppose and a current of say 1 1/2 knots an hour. The banks are bare with the exception of a few small patches of kahikatea and ti palm - the land resembling a moorland with swamps in places. The bad quality of the land in this plain of the Thames and Piako has been a sad disappointment to the Aucklanders some of whom it has ruined. Sir George Grey used to make a great fuss about the Piako Swamp Co., or the Thames Valley Land Co., but the land has turned out so bad that they are not to be envied its possession. Grass on it, where it will grow, is said to want renewing every three years. It is a sad pity. With fertile land this would have been a glorious country. Perhaps when the Mokau lime is accessible it may be improved . . .


C. W. Richmond to Emily E. Richmond - - - Te Aroha, 27 Jun 1890

Harry's state is another heavy cloud. I was grieved to see that he was unable to deliver his Financial Statement himself. . . The Herald praises it as a very able and complete exposition of the financial position.


C. W. Richmond to Emily E. Richmond - - - Te Aroha, 11 Jun 1890

The news from London as to strikes is grave ... There can be no doubt that society is in a state of ferment. Fortunately in a free country there are safety valves - constitutional methods in which popular opinion can express itself - and our people having been trained to freedom will not act like emancipated slaves. Although I hold state socialism to be a dream, yet I am not in love with the existing economical order

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of things, and the present movement, blind as it is, seems a presage of something better.

It seems the Union Company's boats are not to be laid up just yet - so we may hope to get home in one of them.


C. W. Richmond to Emily E. Richmond - - - Rotorua, 3 Aug 1890

As to the strikes - the workmen will undoubtedly learn 1. that they are not only producers but consumers. A strike in a given trade inflicts loss on all other trades . . . It is the poor who would suffer most severely - the rich are impoverished but the poor are starved. This is what must limit strikes. 2. As producers if the workmen demand too high a price for what they have to sell (i.e. their labour) they will limit demand. They will sell less and get no more, or it may be less, money on the whole.


Deputation to the Honble the Premier 30
1st September 1890

A deputation of representatives of the Trades and Labor Unions waited on the Hon the Premier at the Government Buildings at 3 p.m. on Monday 1st September. There were about 25 Unionists present. At the request of the deputation it was decided not to admit the 'Press'.

Mr D. P. Fisher said - The object of the deputation was with reference to the undermanning or improperly manning of the U.S.S. Coys, boats at the present time, and in order to bring this before the Premier the deputation had been appointed.

As far as he, Mr Fisher was personally concerned, he had no positive information that 'The Merchants and Shipping Acts' had in any way been violated. All they wished to ask was that he would kindly see that this Act was properly carried out. They did not ask him to take any further steps than that. They only wished the Act to be observed impartially.

Capt Highman said - The prevailing impression abroad now was, that, though before the strike arose the ships and steamers were thoroughly manned and equipped, there are now some points to show that since the struggle commenced, many of the U.S.S. Coy's boats have put to sea without a proper complement of men, and many of the men lately taken on were quite inefficient. He would point out that the Shipping Act of 1877 says that seamen must have been 4 years at sea in order to qualify as able seamen. Among the crew that sailed in the Wairarapa from Lyttelton there were only three qualified seamen on the ship, whereas the full complement is fifteen.

The Premier asked the deputation if they wished him to understand as a fact that the law had been broken.

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Capt Highman replied that they had no direct proof, but it was known that the persons who were supplying the places of the seamen who were called out, were unquestionably not seamen, and in allowing them to go to sea in that way, a vessel is obviously placed in great danger.

The Premier asked if they thought the ship-owners had not properly carried out the Act, and wished to understand if any charge was made, and in what direction?

Capt Highman said he did not desire to bring any charge against the officers at all, but thought that some inquiries should be instituted, and if it were found that incompetent men were being sent to sea, steps should be taken to prevent it.

The Premier - Then you think the law has been broken?

Capt Highman - We think so.

The Premier - Then the substance of what you ask is that the law shall be enforced? The deputation replied that that was so.

The Premier could assure those present that it was the intention of the Government to enforce the law impartially against both sides.

It was said by several members of the deputation that telegrams had been received by them stating that in some cases boats were being manned by persons who had never been to sea before. A wire had been received for instance, from the Secretary to the Wharf Laborers' Union to the effect that the Takapuna had left on Saturday night with only 4 able seamen on board. The Takapuna's proper crew should be 10 . . .

The Premier did not think it would be to the interest of the Coy. to send boats to sea improperly manned.

Capt Highman would draw the attention of the Government to the fact that the U.S.S. Coy were interested on the other side and there was a determination to quash Unionism.

The Premier pointed out that as the most simple way to do this the Coy would just lay up their boats and he could not think they were prepared to do that.

Capt Highman said that they had already put this forth as their manifesto or fiat.

The Premier presumed that what they had put forward was, that the Coy must be the masters and not the crews. At anyrate if he found that the Coy were acting illegally he would do his best to prevent it and enforce the law, but it was scarcely likely that the Coy would send out valuable boats, like that, as they could not gain anything by it, and had everything to lose.

Capt Highman pointed out that it was not the action of the Union Coy individually they had to fear, but they were associated with Companies in Australasia who were doing their utmost to extend their power and quash Unionism.

The Premier said - Of course he had not seen anything of the kind himself, and he could scarcely think that they would say such a thing as that. Were the Coy also present as a deputation they might be prepared to say that the Unions were determined that there should be no Companies.

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Mr Fisher said - the deputation did not ask the Government to interfere with the business of the U.S.S. Coy at all, but they looked for protection to lives and property irrespective of what this crises brought about. They simply wished that the Coy should be prevented from going outside the Shipping Act.

The Premier replied that there was nothing unreasonable in that, he felt bound to take steps to see that the law was not violated, but he should want the assistance of all moderate men on both sides to help him to carry that out.

The deputation quoted instances of damage having already been done to several of the Coy's vessels in consequence of the incompetence of their crews, and asked what might not have been the consequences to the passengers on board, or the liability of the masters had anything like rough weather been encountered.

The Premier said he remembered cases where competently manned vessels had encountered more serious accidents, though he did not wish to say that these boats were properly manned, and this would not of course justify the employment of incompetent men.

The case of the Kanieri was then instanced. This steamer came from Blenheim the other day having on board only one fireman, and that man certainly did not know his business. Had the engineer become over-fatigued and gone to sleep the ship would have been left entirely in the hands of this incompetent fireman and the vessel would thus have been placed in very great danger.

The Premier thought this was rather a competent engineer who neglected his duty.

On the Waihora it was stated, there was not a competent man among the lot.

The Premier said he would be very happy to consider any proposition that they might be inclined to submit to him in writing in the direction of ensuring that vessels should not be allowed to sail with crews of incompetent men. There was however no act at present in the Colony to compel a master to take qualified men to sea, he need only satisfy himself that the men were able to work. Masters and mates should certainly be examined, but there was no Act at present to enforce the examination of seamen. The Act of 1877 providing that a term of 4 years at sea shall qualify a man as an A.B., relates only to sailing ships. He would first require to find out what had been done in other countries. He was not there to defend either the Companies or the Unionists, he was simply there to hold the scales evenly and see that the law was properly administered, and in this he looked to them for their earnest assistance, he was sorry to say that he had received news of scenes down south which looked very bad.

The members of the deputation generally, assured the Premier that they had heard nothing of it and they did not think these disturbances were caused by Unionists, but might rather be put down to larrikinism. In Wellington the different bodies had been instrumental in quelling any riot and in protecting the public from anything of the sort. In fact what the Unions themselves had got to fear was disorderly people.

[Image of page 562]

The Premier agreed that this was so and said that in such cases the decent men would get the blame with the disorderly.

Capt Highman said it had been currently reported that as a member of one of the bodies of Labor organization, he had told an officer of the Crown on Saturday last that he would lose his billet. What really did occur was this, - he asked the officer if he was aware that there were only 3 men on board the Wairarapa as A.B's? He replied in language scarcely becoming to an officer of the Crown, and shook him (Capt Highman) off giving him no satisfaction. He merely wished to make this explanation of his conduct on that occasion. He also would like to ask if it was not consistent for a representative of a particular section of the Labor organization to assist an officer of the Crown in seeing that competent men were shipped.

The Premier thought not, of course any proposition they liked to submit to him in writing he would be very happy to consider but as far as he could see, a labor organization could scarcely be permitted to see that an officer of the Crown did his duty.

Mr Meyers spoke at some length explaining the objects of Unionism and stated that it was only a spirit of loyalty that had induced them to follow the action of the unions of Australia. For his part he had no quarrel with his employers; he was never so well off in his life and if unionism were broken up tomorrow he would have nothing to lose.

The deputation now came to the principal object of their interview. It was recognized that these strikes were assuming serious dimensions, and more serious consequences were likely to ensue; they therefore stated their willingness to come to a fair settlement or receive any reasonable suggestions or compromise with honor to both sides. There were other people to be considered besides themselves, the middle parties and the women and children for instance, and they now asked the Premier to act as a mediator on the present crisis.

The Premier replied that he was very happy to hear their views, and asked in what respect they wished him to act as a mediator; he also would like to know what authority they represented. Mr Fisher stated that it was merely a local authority, and that the deputation represented the unions in Wellington, but for his part as the president of the Trades and Labor Council, he was quite willing to come to a fair settlement of the present difficulty.

Capt Highman quite concurred in Mr Fisher's views that they should come to some terms so long as they could do so with honor.

Mr Fisher could say as one of the principal officers of the Maritime Council that he was desirous that some settlement should be come to. He assured the Premier that the Council in Wellington had been instrumental in maintaining order. There were pickets on duty, day and night, reliable men of their own, who were engaged overlooking the conduct of the men.

It was here stated by one of the deputation that some exception had been taken to the forces of the Colony being called out when there was really no necessity for it.

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It was quite possible that if any little disturbance occurred through larrikinism or anything of that sort, the press would have immediately circulated a report all over the world that the Unions were rioting and that the military had to be called out. Capt Highman thought that the newspaper press had done a great deal of harm in circulating false or exaggerated reports in this way.

The Premier reminded them that they had just declared in favor of law and order, and here was the very symbol of it - it was never known what difficulty might not arise, and it was always well to be prepared.

Mr Seymour said there was another thing he would point out, where the law although strictly complied with in the letter could be evaded in the spirit. It was quite possible for an officer to go on board one vessel and after clearing her to come on shore again and clear another vessel. There is nothing against an officer missing a boat. The Customs closed at 4 o'clock on Saturday afternoon, but so long as there were officers and men there to clear the next ship, a Customs officer could stay behind and benefit the Company without breaking the law.

The Premier thought the Act provided for such cases and he had no doubt that the Act was being carried out by the Customs officers.

The deputation wished to express regret that all this had come about in New Zealand but the cause of it undoubtedly was that there had been a threat on the part of the ship owners that they would endeavour to crush unions.

The Premier reminded them that it took two to make a quarrel, and he had no doubt that there were faults on both sides, and he hoped both sides would go as far as possible to make amends, or what amends they could. As they had just stated, there was no doubt that they would not have gone out at all but for this spirit of loyalty on their part, with which he himself could sympathize. There was now every possibility of a settlement being come to and he would do his best to meet with their wishes if he found the time was ripe for mediation, but above all, law and order must be maintained.

On behalf of the deputation Mr Fisher said that if it were found that the disturbances in Dunedin were caused by unionists, which he however did not think likely, they would at once disown them and would do their best to bring them to justice.

Mr Meyers would suggest that officers in command of vessels, in cases of difficulty with their men, should, before taking any extreme measures confer with the leaders of the Labor organization and ask for their support, then if they refused it, of course all the power at their command could be brought to bear to suppress anything of the sort. He thought also, that it would go a long way to produce good feeling between masters and men, if the men were treated with more consideration by the masters, instead of being put off with short, rough answers as at present in cases of difficulty. A master should give his men the benefit of his brains and education and help to put the matter straight if possible. In acting as mediator, he trusted the Premier would not lose sight of the fact that organization must be recognized, further than that the

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deputation would not presume to suggest in what way mediation should be carried on.

The Premier again promised to deal with the matter impartially, and if he found the time was ripe, would endeavour to bring about an equitable settlement.

The interview which lasted about an hour then terminated and the deputation having thanked the Premier withdrew.


Jane Maria Atkinson to Emily E. Richmond - - - Nelson, 16 Sep [1890]

There is to be a continuation of the meeting to discuss the labour question at the Bp's school room tonight and as it is clearing up I hope to go. The last was very interesting tho' I can't say the bottom of the difficulty was reached by any means. I wonder what the elections will be like and whether the working men will try to send up representatives to forward their interests. I pity them if they pin their faith on such poor creatures as Sir R. Stout. He really is too weak and shallow!


Lord Onslow to C. W. Richmond - - - Government House, Wellington [1890] 31


Since seeing you I have seen Mr McLean, Mr W. Reeves & Mr Mitchelson.

Mr McLean will, I think, insist on three conditions - the U.S. Co to continue a member of the Shipowner's association, the Officers to dissociate themselves from the Seamens Union, that some guarantee shall be obtained that the strike shall not be repeated at the busy time next summer.

The men are, I think, ready to retreat on any decent pretext their champions in the House will advise them to do so.

If I might venture a suggestion it would be that you should try & see Sir Harry & communicate to him the substance of our conversation today. I am led by Mr Reeves to believe that he is more favourably inclined to some mediation than others are.

I do not like to trouble him in his present state of health to come up here but you can see him at his own house.

v 7, p 54

C. W. Richmond to Alice Richmond - - - Wellington, 11 Nov 1890

Mrs Leonard Harper has lent us Lux Mundi - Walter Harper's copy I fancy. It is important as a pronuntiamento of High Church teachers and really means that they are coming over to Dean Stanley's position in regard to scripture criticism. I am glad of the book because it shows that Church of England divines are giving up the impossible position, recommended by Liddon, of turning a deaf ear to all suggestions of learned and honest criticism. There are a few references to Martineau's Study of Religion in a good spirit. But they don't understand the position taken by him and by J. J. Taylor and Thorn.

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12th. Our dinner party went off very well, but was, your mother thinks, very dull. Uncle Harry seemed too poorly to talk much. The Captain [Stopford, H.M.S. Curacoa] is very pleasant company - perhaps 55, grey, very quiet and unassuming, ready either to listen or to speak. He is grandson not son of the Admiral, and told us his father took the despatches with news of the success of the attack on St Jean d'Acre (in 1840) to England and delivered them in the night to Lord Palmerston, who danced with joy in his night-gown.


Lord Onslow to C. W. Richmond - - - Government House, Wellington, 17 Dec [1890]


The following is the point which I asked you last night & which you were good enough to say you would think over - I shall be very glad if you will say whether any thing has occurred to you to make you think differently from what you did last night viz: that 'there is nothing in it.'

There has been a general election at which the Ministerial party is supposed to be weakened, after which the Opposition leader claims that Government is in a minority and upon which Ministers advise the immediate summoning of Parliament-Ministers advise the Governor to do an act which seriously alters, in their favour, one of the branches of the Legislature.

The Governor asks them whether in their opinion they still possess the confidence of the Country and are prepared to meet Parliament, conduct business, & resist adverse votes in the usual way. The questions are:

1. Does such a request divest the Governor of his right to dismiss Ministers at any time, before Parliament meets.

2. If it does, is he parting with a right which as Representative of the Crown he has no power to divest himself.

v 7, p 55

C. W. Richmond to Lord Onslow - - - Brougham Street, 17 Dec 1890

I have no hesitation in answering the first of the questions put in your note of this morning in the Negative.

The mere question put by the Governor to Ministers - 'Whether in their opinion they still possess the confidence of the country and are prepared to meet Parliament, conduct business & resist adverse votes, ?' - however answered - can clearly divest the Governor of no right which he may have previously had to dismiss Ministers before Parliament meets.

A negative answer to your Lordship's first question makes it needless to answer the second.

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At the same time it seems to me that in your Lordship's resume of what you asked me last night something has dropped out, and that I should not be really answering your inquiry, whether anything has occurred to make me think differently from what I did last night if I simply gave a categorical answer to your present question.

Last night's question, was, as I understood it, more complicated.

It was supposed (1) that advice had been tendered which the Governor thought it his duty to refuse (2) that ministers had thereupon tendered their resignations, withdrawing their advice to summon the Assembly for the despatch of business (3) that the Governor instead of immediately accepting their resignations, had called upon them to retain office, for administrative purposes only, until the meeting of Parliament. - On these suppositions, would the Governor be at full liberty to dismiss the ministry before the meeting of Parliament if he thought fit? - Mr Bryce had, as I understood, suggested that the Governor would, if not in strict law, yet by a tacit understanding, have parted with his power to dismiss them at an earlier time. I thought otherwise, and I still think otherwise; and that the objection raised by Mr Bryce is not a real difficulty.

There may be, and I think there is, another difficulty in the way of such a course on the part of the Governor - namely - that he would, on his own responsibility, be summoning Parliament, and acting in the meantime without the advice of a Responsible Ministry - The question whether such a course is the proper one under the circumstances seems to me one of great delicacy & difficulty - on which I do not understand Your Lordship to have asked my opinion - and on which, I may add, I feel little competent to form an opinion. I only mention the matter to make it clear that no opinion upon it is involved in my answer to Mr Bryce's suggestion. P.S. In any case Mr Bryce's difficulty could be met by requesting Ministers simply to hold office until their successors were appointed -

v 7, p 56

1   Warrants of appointment 1883/5-6.
2   Warrant of appointment 1883/7. For report of conference P.P. 1884 A3, 3a.
3   'Warrants of appointment 1884/7-8.
4   Warrants of appointment 1887/9-10.
5   These documents (1890/9, 9a) are the official typescripts of the interview, which does not appear to have been reported elsewhere.
6   The first woman member of Parliament, Elizabeth McCombs, elected in 1933. The first appointments of women to the Legislative Council were in 1946.
7   Richmond's notes for this speech (on 21 Aug 1888) are in v 7, p 52. The report is in P.D. v 63, p 223.
8   The appointment was dated 14 May 1883.
9   The Victoria Institute, or Philosophical Society of Great Britian, was founded in 1865 to bring together men of science & others engaged in investigating questions of philosophy & science 'more especially those bearing upon the truths revealed in Holy Scripture.' Its organ, the Journal, was founded in 1867.
10   Edwin Mitchelson joined Atkinson's ministry on 23 Nov 1883.
11   The session ended on 24 Jun and parliament was dissolved three days later.
12   At the election (22 Jul 1884) Atkinson was returned for Egmont and Robert Trimble for Taranaki.
13   The Stout-Vogel government, sworn in on 16 Aug 1884, resigned a fortnight later. Atkinson's administration, which followed lasted less than a week.
14   Probably Our Domestic Birds, by Alfred Saunders (1820-1905), MHR and historian.
15   Russell v McMinn. The jury awarded plaintiff £10 damages.
16   Alfred Charles Atkinson (1863-1941), son of H. A. Atkinson, was in charge of a survey party.
17   Decimus Atkinson (1836-84) at the time of his death was engaged in a cement business at Whangarei.
18   Colonel Wallcott is an English colonel now captain of the Salvation Army. [A note to this letter by D.K.R.].
19   Kate Milligan Edger (1857-1935) came to New Zealand with her father (an Albertland settler) in 1862. She graduated B.A. in 1877 (the first woman in the Empire to take that degree), M.A. in 1881 and in 1883 was first principal of Nelson Girls' College. She married in 1890 the Rev. W. A. Evans (D.N.Z.B.).
20   A. P. Bennett, B.A., C.M.G., was on the Staff of Nelson College (1883-88). He then graduated at Cambridge, entered the diplomatic service and became British Minister to Venezuela.
21   Edith Howitt Searle (1863-10,31) better known as E. S. Grossman, a distinguished scholar and author. She did not go to Nelson. D.N.Z.B.
22   William Justin Ford, educated at Repton and Cambridge (B.A. 1876, M.A. 1878), taught in the Royal Grammar School at Lancaster and for nine years at Marlborough College. He was principal of Nelson College (1886-89) and returned to England as headmaster of Leamington College. Ford came of a strong cricketing family and he wrote much on the game for periodicals and encyclopedias.
23   Robert Rainy (1826-1906), Presbyterian divine, was caught up in the fervour of the Disruption movement. In 1862 he was appointed professor of church history in the Theological Seminary, New College, and in 1874 he became principal of the College. He championed the liberal party in the Union controversy within the Free Church, of which he became the leader in 1875. He bought to a successful issue the union of the Free and United Churches and was the first Moderator of the General Assembly of the United Free Church. His health broke down after the dispute with the Wee Frees in 1904-5 and he died in Melbourne. His daughter Cara Rainy visited Nelson in the early eighties when she formed a close friendship with the family of J. C. Richmond.
24   Josiah Clifton Firth (1826-97) was a prominent public man and member of Parliament. He took up a large area of land in the Thames valley which he developed for some years on progressive lines, making much use of machinery
25   Mrs Cobden-Sickert, a daughter of Richard Cobden, was the first wife of Walter Richard Sickert (1860-1942), painter and etcher. His marriage in 1885 enabled him to follow his own bent, and under the influence of Degas, he began to paint from drawings instead of from nature. A.R.A. 1924; president of the Royal Society of British Artists 1928.
26   Peter Perrin Skerrett (father of Sir Charles Skerrett, C.J.). After reading law he was admitted to the bar with his son.
27   Cooke was on the staff of Nelson College (1888 -1901). He resigned to enter the Lands Department and was later in the New Plymouth public library. Miss Morgan, whom he married, was appointed in 1886 as art teacher at Nelson Girl's College. She was a certificated teacher of the South Kensington School of Art and studied under Signor Ludovici.
28   T. W. Hislop on 5 Sep 1889 resigned his portfolio as Minister of Education and his seat in parliament, to which he was immediately re-elected. The incident which led to his resignation is recorded in PP 1889 H.20 and L.C. no 3.
29   The Monthly Review, established by Lyon and Blair (Wellington) in 1879, was still appearing in 1890. Zealandia, a Dunedin monthly started in 1889, survived only 12 issues.
30   This document is typewritten. Following it, in manuscript, is a draft (or seperate report) of the proceedings (1890/92).
31   A conference convened by the Government between delegates from the labour organisations and the Hon. G. McLean (chairman of the Union Steam Ship Co.) opened in Wellington on 2 Oct. On the following day terms of settlement proposed by the delegates were rejected. This letter would appear to have been written between the adjournment of the conference (7 Oct) and the collapse of the strike (31 Oct). For report see P.P. 1891 H 1.

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