1974 - Williams, W. The Turanga Journals - [Front matter] p 1-18

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  1974 - Williams, W. The Turanga Journals - [Front matter] p 1-18
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From a lithograph by Charles Baugniet in the Alexander Turnbull Library

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Letters and Journals of William and Jane Williams Missionaries to Poverty Bay


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Book House Boulcott Street
Post Office, box 2919
Wellington New Zealand

Private Bag
Wellington, New Zealand

[Copyright] The Williams Family, 1974

First published 1974

SBN 5077 03720

Printed by Wright and Carman Limited and bound by L. D. Hanratty Limited Trentham


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Dedicated to

Canon Nigel Williams

In the perilous time he is not confounded
He has inherited the mana of his ancestor
The faithful servant
The man of strength and of quietness

Ki a Canon Nigel Williams
E kore raua e whakama i te wa o te he
Kei a ia te mana me te ihi o tona tupuna
Pononga piri-pono
Tangata tu tama tane o te rongomau me te humarire

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Preface . . . . . 9

Illustrations . . . . . .14

The families . . . . .15


1 William and Jane ...... 19

2 The nature of the pre-1840 Christian conversion . . . 40

3 Pre-1840 C.M.S. visits to the East Coast . . . 54


4 1840 Letters and Journals . . . . 71

...Turanga mission stations . . . 144

...Land buying . . . . .145

...Missionaries . . . . .152

5 1841 Letters and Journals . . . . 158

..The position of catechists in the C.M.S. . 192

...Missionaries . . . . .193

6 1842 Letters and Journals . . . .195

...The introduction of Bishop Selwyn . .237 Missionaries . . . . .241

7 1843 Letters and Journals .... 247

8 1844 Letters and Journals .... 270

...The Translation Syndicate . . . 314

9 1845 Letters and Journals .... 320

...A conflict of interests,1 . . 366

10 1846 Letters and Journals .... 370

...Selwyn and the 'Declaration' . . . 411

11 1847 Letters and Journals V . . .414

...A conflict of interests, 2 . . 465

...Selwyn, Grey and the C.M.S. versus the northern missionaries . . . . 468

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12 1848 Letters and Journals . . . 472

13 1849 Letters and Journals . . . 518

14 1850 Letters and Journals . . . 556

...Reinstatement of Henry Williams . . . 575

...Thomas Grace . . . 576


15 Return to Turanga . . . 581

16 War . . . 591

17 Retreat to Napier . . . 599

Sources Used. . . 615

Index . . . . . 627


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WILLIAM WILLIAMS' missionary life falls into four distinct periods. The first, 1826 to the end of 1839, covers his time at the Bay of Islands; the second, 1840 to 1850, is his first Turanga mission at Poverty Bay. Then there is an interval during which he visited England. He was back at Poverty Bay in August 1853, and his third period ends on 31 March 1865 with the evacuation of the Waerenga-a-hika station because of the Hauhau threat. Another interval follows in which Williams returned briefly to the Bay of Islands. The fourth period begins with his move to Napier in June 1867 and ends with his death on 9 February 1878. The letters and journals in this volume deal with the 1840 to 1850 period of the first Turanga mission. There are already several published journals about pre-1840 Bay of Islands, and one of them is The Early Journals of Henry Williams 1826-1840, edited by L. M. Rogers. Henry Williams arrived at Paihia in August 1823 and William not till two and a half years later, but from then on the two brothers and the two sisters-in-law, Marianne and Jane, worked closely together and saw eye to eye on mission matters. It seemed more profitable therefore to concentrate on another period of William Williams' life, particularly as the Turanga mission and the diocese of Waiapu were 'special' to William as was Paihia and the Bay of Islands to Henry. In the biographical sections which begin and end the book--Preparation and Aftermath--I have attempted to cover and comment on the significant events in the other periods of his life.

Williams kept a journal from which at approximately three monthly intervals he sent off a record of his proceedings to his employers in London, the Church Missionary Society. It is this journal which forms the basis and the chronological setting for the major part of the book. His opinions, however, were more adequately and freely expressed in his letters to the Society, to his brother Henry, to his colleague, Alfred Brown of the Tauranga C.M.S. station, and to his relatives in England. I have also included Jane Williams' letters and journals. In England this was the age of the Bronte sisters, of George Eliot, and a little bit earlier, of Jane Austen. In New Zealand it was the age of Jane and Marianne Williams, of Sarah Selwyn, Mary Martin, and later of Jane Atkinson and Charlotte Godley. This is not a fanciful comparison, there is a style and a flair in these women's letters not often captured by their husbands. While conversions and backslidings, confrontations with heathen, with Roman Catholic missionaries or with Bishop

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Selwyn may now seem like 'battles long ago', interest in the domestic minutiae remains: in how a woman coped with pregnancies with lack of privacy, with her children's illnesses, with 'natives constantly underfoot', with the management of her household, with the teaching of Maori girls and women, and, while her husband was away on mission journeys, with fatigue and loneliness and fear. Unfortunately the C.M.S. Parent Committee in London which was a safe repository for missionary correspondence, did not expect to hear from missionary wives. But such letters and journals of Jane that do survive have been used to flesh out her husband's more austere account.

At the high point (statistically) of the Christian conversion in the mid 1840's, there were five European missionary organisations operating in New Zealand. The three principal ones were Church Missionary Society (Anglican), Wesleyan Missionary Society and the {French Marist Mission (Roman Catholic). Even among the Protestant societies there were differences in emphasis and approach. William Williams for example thought the Wesleyans lax about accepting candidates for baptism, 'so that the natives have called our church te hahi pakeke (the church hard to be entered), and the Wesleyans, te hahi ngawari (the church easily entered)'. 1 Between the Roman Catholic and the Protestant missions there was a wide gulf: Bishop Pompallier considered the Protestant missionaries as heretics spreading heresy when they were not providing in secular fashion for their large families; to William Williams, Pompallier was Antichrist and his converts doubly benighted heathen. In Part 2 of Preparation I have examined Williams' attitude towards conversion and looked at some of the factors which he saw as significant aids to this conversion phenomenon which had its genesis at the Bay of Islands. The sources I have used in this section are mainly Williams' own writings, but his attitude was generally held throughout the C.M.S. mission. Part 3 of Preparation deals with the pre-1840 C.M.S. visits to the East Coast and Poverty Bay from the Bay of Islands.

The notes at the end of some of the years provide background information about important topics on which Williams frequently commented. Two major topics of dissension run as an undercurrent through the letters of this period: trouble associated with land purchase, and later in the '40's, trouble with Bishop Selwyn. Selwyn naturally had his own view. Notes on missionaries are designed to give brief details of their lives during this 1840-50 period and some idea of how they regarded and were regarded by their colleagues. I have not provided notes on the more well known ones such as William Colenso or Octavius Hadfield as they are frequently mentioned in the text. Occasionally on his journeys Williams was accompanied by other missionaries and I have used their accounts to supplement Williams' observations. Where other missionary letters and journals refer to Williams' activities I have also used them in the footnotes. Missionaries were touchy but forthright people, their comments are worth preserving. William and Jane did not

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simply live 'at Poverty'. Through their letters and through William's missionary journeys they were closely in touch with the busy, gossipy, complicated Maori-missionary-Goverament-settler scene of the whole colony. By use of other contemporary material in the footnotes and year notes I have sought to bring the present day reader into that scene.

The main sources for the 1840-1850 letters and journals are Williams' journal to the C.M.S. and letters to the C.M.S. which have been taken from the microfilmed Church Missionary Society Archives relating to the Australian and New Zealand Missions 1808-1884. As these make up the bulk of the 1840-1850 material I have not acknowledged each separate entry. The call sign for them is C.N./096 and in the Sources Used at the end of this volume there is an inventory of the main groupings. There are several manuscript collections of Williams' letters either in private hands or in libraries and these are also cited in the Sources. A number of letters, mostly from William, occasionally from Jane, are in the microfilmed A. N. Brown Papers. The letters in this collection provide a fascinating and intimate portrayal of missionary relationships which is not found in the more formal correspondence with the London C.M.S. The Alexander Turnbull Library also possesses William Williams' manuscript journals 1825 to 1876, but the volumes for 1840 to 1844 are missing. As Williams made daily entries in these notebooks, I have used them from 1845 to 1850 to fill gaps in his Journal to the C.M.S. To avoid confusion I have called these notebook journals William Williams' Diary. Williams was a conscientious missionary and he conscientiously kept records and wrote letters. There is, even in limiting the intensive period to eleven years, a great deal of material. Much of his Journal to the C.M.S. is repetitive; he was methodical, his classes at Turanga came to him in rotation, he 'catechized' and he 'conversed'--these two words occur again and again. This has all been valuable in establishing the sort of missionary he was, but it could now seem unnecessarily tedious to the general reader. As this primary source is available in the major New Zealand research libraries, I have omitted after 1840 all purely routine entries, the pattern of which has already been established. When his regular shorter journeys after 1840 give no additional information, they also have been pruned. In all cases the omission is clearly indicated and, if it covers more than a day or two, the time span has been noted. Not all the available William Williams' letters have been used as in many cases they simply repeat the journal entries. The letters naturally have formal beginnings and endings which I have omitted. In letters to England I have trimmed down the family detail which has no direct bearing on the New Zealand scene. The letters and journals bear the characteristics of early nineteenth century orthography. There is a haphazard use of capitals; spelling and punctuation are not always consistent; Williams was a most erratic user of the apostrophe s--this has all been followed. I have, however, solely for the purpose of making the material easier to read, taken the following liberties with the text. In the letters sentences sometimes run

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on and the meaning is difficult to follow. When this happens I have silently inserted a full stop or semi-colon. I have occasionally paragraphed a letter. In the Journal to the C.M.S., on the other hand, commas appear like burrs and some have been removed. I have standardized the date headings. Maori spelling has been followed throughout although prior to 1844 this was not always consistent. After the meeting of the 1844 'translation syndicate', the wh aspirate replaced the letter w; thus Wakato became Whakato, Werowero became Wherowhero, Wakawitira became Whakawhitira, etc.

I am indebted to Mrs Nancy Taylor, Canon Nigel Williams and Professor F. L. W. Wood for their patient reading of much typescript and for their suggestions; and to Mr Ormond Wilson for his stimulating advice. Miss Sheila Williams has helped prepare the volume for publication. Mrs Heni Sunderland and the late Mr Rongo Halbert of Gisborne gave information about the location of the mission stations Kaupapa and Whakato, and about the nearby pas Orakaiapu and Umukapua. Through the courtesy of the Historical Publications Branch of the Department of Internal Affairs, Rongo Halbert's detailed maps of Poverty Bay and East Coast early pa sites and tribal areas have also been consulted. The Auckland Institute and Museum Library provided photo copies of the relevant letters in their Williams Family Collection. The Gisborne Art Gallery and Museum allowed me to use letters in their Williams Collection. I have spent much of the last three years in the reading room of the Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, and have greatly appreciated the courtesy and helpfulness of the staff. The members of the Williams' family who have been particularly concerned with the publication of The Turanga Journals have at all times allowed me the utmost freedom and given me every assistance. In May of this year the family celebrated the 150th anniversary of Henry and Marianne's landing at the Bay of Islands. The following impression of that hui is appended as a record.

Paihia May 1973

The walk along the beach between Waitangi and Paihia hasn't changed very much in 150 years; the curve of the beach and the rocks that divide the Horotutu end from Paihia are still there as Henry drew them. It is possible to imagine the neat mission settlement, the mission ladies nodding to each other if they accidentally met; propinquity did not obscure propriety, niceties were observed, standards, one might say, were maintained. In the early morning mist that clings to the high land at the Bay's entrance, Tikitiki Island is evocative of ships; of the Endeavour and the Astrolabe intent upon exploring and extending knowledge; of the Active and the Herald intent upon salvation; of 'Thirty to five and Thirty Sail of Whalers' with 400 to 500 sailors intent upon Kororareka. In the morning air earlier voices echo through, earlier footprints still seem to be wet on the sand.

The 150th anniversary of Henry's landing brought approximately 750 to the Bay of Islands. Pink cards for Henry and Marianne's, blue for

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William and Jane's, white for those who had married into the family, but the pink or blue picked up again by their children. The family tree branched down the corridors of the Waitangi Hotel, a veritable forest of names; Henry would have lost count of both children and acres alike. There was also as the Bishop of Aotearoa pointed out, another line of descent: the children of the first Maori priests and deacons could look to Henry and William as their spiritual fathers. Descendants of Renata Tangata, Rota Waitoa, Raniera Kawhia, Hare Tawhaa, Watene Moeke, Hemi Huata could claim an equal ancestry with the Williams, Ludbrooks, Hadfields, Nelsons, Macleans, Davies: from hapu added to hapu an iwi. Possibly the most significant words spoken at the hui were from Tawhai Tamepo, elder of Ngati Porou, who had collected from East Coast Maoris an envelope of money 'to help those Williams pay for the Te Wiremu bell'. Independent Ngati Porou, they were too much for James Stack but William Williams counted two of their chiefs, Ouenuku and Rukuata as his first East Coast friends.

Each day began with Holy Communion and ended with Evensong-- surely no other Waitangi convention has ever spent so much time in church--and in this regular rhythm of devotion with Maori singing voices breathing through, one could feel the quiet steady pulse of the Anglican church. It was well the pulse was steady; it was well that there was this two-fold line of descent because challenges were still to be met. There was the challenge at Waitangi marae, courteously given and received, although the sight of three bishops clustered together was too tempting for the taniwha who responded with a downpour. There was the challenge at the marquee when Maori clergy, also descendants of Taumata a kura, spoke fiercely of the needs of new fields, of Mangare, Ponsonby, Newtown--communities of strangers estranged from their ancestors. There was finally the biblical challenge of that last Evensong to a people whose lot has fallen 'in a fair ground', who have 'a goodly heritage'--'See, I have set before thee this day life and death and good and evil . . . But if thine heart turn away, and thou wilt not hear but shall be drawn away and worship other gods and serve them ... ye shall surely perish.'

Apostasy and uncertainty may have washed like an oncoming tide over a way of thinking which was at once too simplistic, too rigid to survive; but the missionary qualities--faith, courage, a sense of duty, an overwhelming desire under the purpose of God to transform society-- are still there for the taking, are still stars to steer by. At the edge of this sand Maori and Pakeha met; at the edge of the city Polynesian and European meet; it is still very much a missionary situation.


Wellington, June 1973


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Frontispiece WILLIAM WILLIAMS 1852

Between page 336 and page 337:















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Henry Williams 1792-1867 married Marianne Coldham 1793-1879


Edward Marsh 1818-1909 [married] Jane Davis
Marianne 1820-1919 [married] Christopher Pearson Davies
Samuel 1822-1907 [married] Mary Williams (daughter of Jane & William)
Henry 1823-1907 [married] Jane Elizabeth Williams (daughter of Jane & William)
Thomas Coldham 1825-1912 [married] Annie Beetham
John William 1827-1904 [married] Sarah Busby
Sarah 1829-1866 [married] Thomas Biddulph Hutton
Catherine 1832-1916 [married] Octavius Hadfield
Caroline Elizabeth 1832-1916 [married] Samuel Blomfield Ludbrook
Lydia Jane 1834-1891 [married] Hugh Francis Carleton
Joseph Marsden 1837-1892

William Williams 1800-1878 married Jane Nelson 1801-1896


Mary 1826-1900 [married] Samuel Williams (son of Henry & Marianne)
Jane Elizabeth 1827-1902 [married] Henry Williams (son of Henry & Marianne)
William Leonard 1829-1916 [married] Sarah Wanklyn
Thomas Sydney 1831-1847
James Nelson 1827-1915 [married] Mary Beetham
Anna Maria 1839-1929
Lydia Catherine (Kate) 1841-1931
Marianne 1843-1932
Emma Caroline 1846-1924 [married] William Nelson

(The italicized name was the one by which they were generally known.)

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1   W. Williams to C.M.S. 30 November 1838, C.N./096.

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