1980 - Sewell, Henry. The Journal of Henry Sewell, 1853-7. Volume I - INTRODUCTION, p 21-116

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  1980 - Sewell, Henry. The Journal of Henry Sewell, 1853-7. Volume I - INTRODUCTION, p 21-116
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THE HISTORY of colonisation has often been portrayed in romantic, even heroic terms. The idea of the 'frontier' has had as deep an impact on some historians as it has on film-makers. Yet the successful transplantation of branches of European civilisation in the Americas, the Antipodes and elsewhere should not blind us to the harshness and drabness of the pioneering life. We need to remember that the history of colonisation is the story of obscure men and women, a few of whom were sometimes called to fulfil unexpectedly exalted roles. It is also often the story of men who regarded themselves as failures. Few successful, contented, established men would emigrate--that was for the discontented, the discredited and the failures. While countless emigrants became reconciled to exile--found fulfilment undreamt of in their homelands--there were many who always aspired to metropolitan celebrity, who hoped to end their days in the land of their birth. The emigrants' dilemma was that success, comfort and respect could be found only in a distant colony, while ambition, aspiration and identity were focused on 'Home'.

Henry Sewell was a man who faced this dilemma. A solicitor from the Isle of Wight who seemed a failure at home, beset by family financial embarrassments, he made something of a mark in New Zealand, where he was also able by modest land dealings to recoup his finances. Yet he and his wife were never reconciled to colonial life and, like so many early New Zealand leaders, he finally returned to England to end his days.

Between his forty-sixth and sixty-ninth years Sewell spent seventeen and a half years in New Zealand in three periods of residence, 1853-6, 1859-66 and 1870-76. For eleven of those years he sat in the General Assembly of the colony--over four years as a member of the House of Representatives for Christchurch and, briefly, for New Plymouth, and for seven years in the Legislative Council, the nominated upper house. For most of his parliamentary career he was also a member of the government. He sat in eight different ministries. These were the short-lived 'mixed-ministry' of 1854; his own even briefer period as the first Premier under responsible government in 1856; Stafford's long 1856-61 govern-

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ment and his short one in 1872; in Fox's governments, 1861-2 and 1869-72, and also the Domett and Weld governments, 1862-3 and 1864-5, during the Anglo-Maori wars.

As well as these intermittent periods of ministerial office in the colony, Sewell was briefly legal adviser to the first Canterbury Provincial Executive in 1853 and represented Lyttelton in the Provincial Council for one session, 1855-6. He was the first ministerial representative of the colony to attempt loan and shipping negotiations in Australia and Britain in 1857-8, and became the first Registrar-General of Lands of New Zealand in 1860.

On the face of it, Sewell had a rather distinguished, if disjointed New Zealand career. In two matters he made a lasting impact on the country's history. First, in winding up the affairs of the Canterbury Association in the mid-1850s he ensured that certain land investments were taken over intact by the Church Property Trustees of the Anglican diocese, thus laying the basis of what is now a $6 million capital endowment. He also arranged for the Province of Canterbury to take over the liabilities of the Association in return for assets such as the public roads, buildings and lands--including what became Hagley Park, the Botanic Gardens and the city squares in Christchurch. Secondly, he fulfilled, in part, a personal ambition by helping to reform the colony's land transfer arrangements, by the introduction of the land registry system. As Registrar-General he created the first new Land Registry District in Auckland Province in 1863. 1 He also took part in the debates in 1870, which preceded the introduction of the Torrens-type system of land registration generally in the colony. 2

Sewell, then, was a not-inconsiderable figure in mid-Victorian New Zealand. Yet there are many indications from his personal records, his migrations back and forth, and the comments of contemporaries that, but for one matter, Sewell felt he was not a success. That exception was his contribution to Canterbury. Between 1850 and 1852, as deputy-chairman of the Canterbury Association's committee of management in London, and between 1853 and 1856 on his mission in New Zealand as agent to wind up the Association, Sewell had solid, if controversial, achievements to his credit. Lord Lyttelton, the key figure in England, once wrote to Godley, the first leader of Canterbury, that Sewell had 'done far more than anyone else except yourself. At least I am sure that some day it will be admitted that it would not have been desirable that the whole affair of the Assoc[iatio]n sh[oul]d have gone to utter smash

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in August 1850, or at any moment since, which they undoubtedly would but for him.' 3 Sir Walter James, a prominent Association member, felt Sewell had 'certainly done more than any single individual here, with the exception of Lord Lyttelton and Wakefield, to keep the Colony on its legs'. 4 On the eve of the sailing of Canterbury's first four ships Edward Gibbon Wakefield wrote to Sewell: '. . all must have gone--to pot, without you....' 5


Since Sewell came to New Zealand because of his connections with Canterbury, and became involved with Canterbury because of family connections and circumstances, we must look first of all at his origins and upbringing. His father was a solicitor; his mother, the daughter of a clergyman. This parentage pointed to two main themes of his career--the law and the Church of England.

His Sewell ancestors had lived in Cumberland. 6 It was his grandfather, William Sewell, who forged the links with the legal profession and the Church of England. The eldest son of a yeoman farmer, William Sewell went to Queen's College, Oxford, and after ordination and a curacy at Godshill, Isle of Wight, between 1755 and 1763, he became rector at Headley, Hampshire, in 1765. Here he remained a scholarly parson (who neglected his flock) for thirty-five years. In 1766 he married Francis, daughter of Robert Clarke, the leading solicitor of Newport, Isle of Wight, who bore him seven children. Thomas Sewell, Henry's father, born in 1775, was the third son; he returned to settle in Newport and join one of his Clarke uncles in the largest law practice in the island, known as Clarke and Sewell. He married the daughter of the curate of Newport--thus cementing (in reverse) the legal-ecclesiastical links with the Isle of Wight begun by his father.

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Thomas Sewell, a rather austere man, spent most of his life in Newport. He became recorder, was twice mayor (in 1838 and 1840) and also held the offices of steward, deputy-governor and deputy-sheriff of the Isle of Wight. He was related to Sir Richard Worsley, the big landowner of the island, and was later agent to the Earl of Yarborough, his successor. His wife, Jane Edwards, the daughter of a naval chaplain, was a warmer-hearted soul. Henry was the fifth child of their family of twelve--seven boys and five girls. One daughter died as an infant; one of the sons lived only ten years, and another until he was twenty. But several of Thomas Sewell's large brood went on to distinguished careers in the literary, scholastic and clerical worlds. Henry's oldest brother, Richard Clarke Sewell, was a scholar at Magdalen College, Oxford, and ended his days between 1857 and 1864 as reader in law at the University of Melbourne. The Rev. William Sewell was the best-known son. He went on from being senior prefect at Winchester to become a notable Oxford don, a well known associate of the Tractarians and an educational pioneer. A fellow of Exeter College, White's Professor of Moral Philosophy 1836-41, he helped to found two Anglican public schools, St Columba's College, near Dublin, and St Peter's, Radley, where he was warden (virtually proprietor) from 1852 to 1861. 7 Between them Henry's two elder brothers wrote eighty-three books and pamphlets. Of his younger brothers, Robert Burleigh Sewell married a parson's daughter in the Isle of Wight, joined the family law firm in Newport and was later treasurer of Radley College. James Edwards Sewell was another Winchester scholar who went on to Oxford, where he presided as warden of New College for forty-three years and served as vice-chancellor between 1874 and 1878.

Two of the sisters, Ellen Mary and Elizabeth Missing, founded St Boniface's, a preparatory school for girls near Ventnor. Elizabeth Missing Sewell almost matched the literary output of her brothers by writing fifty-seven books, mainly novels and history, which have been described as 'wholesome literature for girls of the upper and middle classes'. 8 Another sister, Emma Francis, lived with them at Ventnor and assisted at the school, while Jane went to Oxford to keep house for James at New College. 9 One cannot but suspect that some of the literary pretensions of Henry's Journal stemmed from a

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striving to emulate some of the better-educated, more prolific and more famous of the family authors.

Henry Sewell was born on 14 September 1807. He was sent to Hyde Abbey, then a fashionable upper-class school in Winchester. After serving articles to qualify as a solicitor (probably with his father), he joined the practice about 1826. In 1834, when he was twenty-six, he married Lucinda Marianne Nedham, a schoolgirl companion of his sister Elizabeth and the daughter of a retired general. Lucy bore him six children in less than ten years. At first

Fig. 1. Map of the Isle of Wight

they lived in Newport, and later moved to Pidford. Then, when he was in his thirties, crisis and tragedy struck the family in the space of four years.

In 1840 his father lost over £3000 in the failure of a Newport bank (probably that of his cousin, Robert Clarke). When he died of long-standing gout two years later, the Sewell estate was encumbered with large debts. Rather than admit insolvency, the family resolved to pay the creditors--a task which took them thirty years. For the immediate future, Henry's mother and her younger children went to live with him and Lucy at Pidford and, after a year, they all moved to a larger house, 'Elm Grove', at Ventnor. Then, on

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28 July 1844, Lucy, whose health had been failing (and whose two youngest children did not live long), died at the age of thirty-one.

These personal and financial crises, coming when he was thirty-six, led Sewell away from the Isle of Wight. While his mother and sisters moved to a larger house, 'Sea View' (later renamed 'Ashcliff') at nearby Bonchurch, and his own children were entrusted to the care of his sisters, Henry moved to London, where he lodged in Grey's Inn Square and Bloomsbury Square. He and his brother Robert sold half of the family practice to recoup some of the capital losses. The firm became Sewell, Harris and Estcourt, and Henry, being, as he said, 'the older and perhaps the stronger of the two', went to London to assume an agency business for the Isle of Wight firm, using his connections. This was not a success. His expenses in London and lack of business led to a reduction rather than an increase in income and so Sewell had to think again. He was debating whether to go for the bar or return to the Isle of Wight when the founding of the Canterbury Association in 1848 opened a new possibility. He was inclining toward the bar when, as he later wrote, 'sundry accidental circumstances... brought me into connection with the Association and my mind turned toward Canterbury partly biased by my personal connection and intimacy with some of the parties concerned with the scheme'. 10 John Simeon, the member of Parliament for the Isle of Wight, was one of the original members of the Association and seems to have been Sewell's main connection. His brother, the Rev. William Sewell, who had already embarked on his college-founding career, was also connected with a number of the Anglican sponsors of Canterbury.

Sewell's ideas in joining the Canterbury scheme were 'never those of a mere settler'. 11 For several years he had been riding a particular professional hobby-horse--the idea of reforming and simplifying the English system of land transfer by the adoption of a system of registration of titles under the supervision of legally-qualified registrars. Such a system was used in Belgium and some German states. In 1846 Sewell had published a pamphlet advocating such a system. 12 Thus when he learnt about the plan for a Church of England settlement in New Zealand he conceived the idea, as he later wrote, of 'making Canterbury the ground of my Registration

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Scheme, for which it presented a most admirable opportunity and if I could have had my own way I doubt not I should have succeeded in establishing a fact of infinite value to the Colony as well as of great service experimentally to the general question of Law Reform'. 13 He envisaged himself as 'a judicial Registrar that is a kind of Judge in such matters' with a salary of £600 a year. 14

By 1850 the idea of a new start by emigration acquired added urgency. Sewell married again and seems to have decided on going to Canterbury. On 23 January 1850--soon after the first land applications for the settlement began--Henry, now forty-two, was married to the thirty-year-old Elizabeth Kittoe, daughter of a widowed friend of his mother's. When some of the first body of intending settlers met, on 25 April 1850, to form the Society of Canterbury Colonists under the chairmanship of William Guise Brittan, the first land applicant, it was Sewell who moved the motion constituting the body. He was a founder-member of its committee. On 28 June 1850 (just before the first list closed) he became the forty-eighth applicant for land and paid his £75 deposit on a 50-acre rural lot. 15

It appears, then, that Sewell planned to sail with the first body of colonists. But as the first set of applications were opened on 1 July 1850 the Canterbury Association was faced with one of the crises which dogged its existence. The New Zealand Company, with which the Association had made the arrangement to reserve Canterbury's land, ceased operations. All dealings now would have to be with the Crown through the Colonial Office. The leaders of the Association, ill served by their permanent staff, decided that a salaried deputy-chairman should be appointed to the committee of management. Sewell, who had attracted their attention in the colonists' society, was known to be a lawyer with ideas--also someone in need of money! Gibbon Wakefield sounded him informally on 9 July 1850, suggesting that he should 'stop for six months, and take the part of Deputy Chairman of [the] Committee of Management'. 16 Wakefield identified Sewell as 'a brother of William of Exeter College; a conscientious and able man of business, of high character, with his heart in the thing as an intending colonist, and with no defect that I know of unless his Puseyite name should prove hurtful'. 17 Sewell was duly elected to

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the Canterbury Association on 16 July 1850. He became a member of the committee of management and its deputy-chairman at a salary of £200 for six months. 18 Wakefield also hinted that he 'might work this thing into so prosperous a state, as to make it desirable for the Association to retain your services permanently...'. 19

As it turned out, Sewell's 'stop' for six months extended to over two years. In the interval, between 17 July 1850 and 28 September 1852, he attended 184 committee meetings (of which he chaired 110). He missed only eleven. He kept up an almost daily correspondence with the chairman, Lord Lyttelton of Hagley Hall, Worcestershire, as well as corresponding with the Colonial Office, the New Zealand Company, well placed supporters of the Association like the Duke of Newcastle and W. E. Gladstone, and drafting many of the dispatches sent to Godley, the Association's agent in New Zealand. During these critical years of the founding of Canterbury it is no exaggeration to say that Henry Sewell was very much the Association's chief executive officer in London. We must, therefore, now inquire what sort of a man he was.

Sewell at first won some golden opinions for his conduct of the Association's business. Within a few weeks of his appointment John Simeon reported growing confidence in the business of the office. 20 Lord Lyttelton, who became, as it were, Sewell's patron, said, 'No words can exaggerate the value of Sewell's services. The whole plan would undoubtedly have smashed long ago but for him.' 21 He was a tireless and conscientious committee man and correspondent; skilful and ingenious in his handling of the finances, in the manner of a lawyer experienced in trustee business, and an able drafter of everything from parliamentary bills to educational and ecclesiastical deeds and constitutions. In other words, he brought a real professionalism to the Association's affairs, combined with a sense of duty, which kept him hard at it even if it meant personal inconvenience.

However, there were disadvantages apparent in his character which were, no doubt, exacerbated by his circumstances. Through many of his acts one notices a sense of insecurity. He was, as we have seen, hard up--on the lookout for his future. He planned to emigrate and hoped to get an appointment in some purported land registry or the attorney-generalship of a future Province of

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Canterbury. By the end of his first six months as deputy-chairman his friends had to warn Lyttelton that Sewell could not make ends meet in London on his salary. 22 Eventually he poured out all his financial problems and future aspirations to Lord Lyttelton. In January 1851 his appointment was confirmed for a further six months and his salary was increased to an annual rate of £600 plus expenses. 23 Another source of insecurity was his professional status. His experience was as a country solicitor. He was not a barrister. For many years he and his brothers were concerned that he should be called to the bar. And while he was later able to practise at the New Zealand bar, he feared that his status as a solicitor would debar him from a judicial appointment. One senses, too, that he may have been conscious of his comparative lack of formal education beside his Oxonian brothers. Certainly in his Journal and conversation he deployed the resources of his conventional classical schooling in incessant Latin tags. He went on to gain a reputation in the colony as a lettered wit. His Journal is laced with latin puns and with poetic allusions, usually from Virgil and Horace. 24 He also kept up with Dickens.

Undoubtedly his most striking personality trait was a curious indecisiveness. Sewell was forever changing his mind. He suffered from the occupational disease of lawyers--the ability to argue a case for a client rather than to make a policy of his own. He could see too many sides to a question. Perhaps he was overscrupulous; maybe also a coward. In his opinions of personalities and events in the Journal he could blow hot and cold almost as he turned a page. His very migrations, from England to New Zealand and back three times, suggest that he never made up his mind where he belonged. He dithered for over a year, through 1851-2, as to whether to go to New Zealand at all. 25 When he returned for the third time, in 1870, a perceptive observer wrote: '... it seems sheer restlessness that carries him round and round the globe every few years'. 26 Wakefield suggested that he had a gentleness of disposition which prevented

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him from divulging unwelcome news. He loathed personal controversy and was usually a compromiser. While his relations with his master, Lyttelton, were always happily warm (and on his side deferential), he seemed to fear Wakefield, Godley and FitzGerald.

These defects of disposition, combined with his undoubted skills in the details of legal work and finance, robbed Sewell, who was nearly forty-three when he joined the Association, of the sweets of popularity. Wakefield probably summed him up shrewdly when he wrote:

... he is himself conscious that his own refinements of policy to avoid collisions, together with irresolution of purpose, expose him to the suspicion of double-dealing. I have known more than one man who was thoroughly upright but whose acuteness combined with the incapacity for saying and doing disagreeable things, got him a character for craft and crooked policy--just as the stupidity and courage of many a designing man have got him a character for honesty. 27

By the time Sewell reached New Zealand in 1853 his management of the Association's affairs had been so sinuous that it was hardly surprising that the colonists were suspicious of him. When they encountered a combination of legal skill, dislike of open controversy and apparent deviousness, they made the early days of his mission so unpleasant that he longed for home. A colonist (who came to like him) found Sewell 'a very well meaning man but he wants decision and energy and is rather too fond of doing things in a dodgy lawyer like way'. 28 However, his task in New Zealand, as we shall see, brought out new qualities and forced him to overcome some of his indecisiveness. If anything, he gained a reputation for doggedness and obstinancy in Canterbury.

Although Sewell's five-year service with the Canterbury Association was divided into the two distinct phases--his deputy-chairmanship in London, 1850-52, and his mission in the colony, 1853-6--it had throughout the character of a salvage operation. In assessing his work it is important to remember (as a one-time opponent conceded) that most of the controversial events Sewell was associated with stemmed from decisions made by the Association before he joined the committee of management. 29 It is, therefore, necessary to turn back and consider, briefly, the situation

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which Sewell faced when he set up office in Adelphi Terrace, London, in July 1850.


The Canterbury Association was launched in 1848, the 'year of revolutions' in Europe, only a month after the Communist Manifesto was published. It was to be the last, and best, attempt to put into practice the idea of 'systematic colonisation' conceived by Robert Wilmot Horton, Robert Gouger and Charles Tennant and publicised by Edward Gibbon Wakefield.

As an idea systematic colonisation was undoubtedly one of the great ideas of the nineteenth century. The notion that land, labour and capital could be brought into fruitful relation by the simple device of charging the right price for land--the 'sufficient price'--was one of the most beautiful propositions in the history of economic thought. Instead of dispersion of settlement, leading to a rough, uncivilised society and a lack of labour for the employment of capital (which were the by-products of cheap land), there would be concentration of settlement, civilisation, attraction of capital, availability of labour and a constant supply of land. Bentham called it the 'Vicinity-maximising or Dispersion-preventing principle'. 30 But more important than the aim of curing the supposed evils of colonial society, systematic colonisation was designed to solve the problems of England at the peak of its industrial primacy.

The propagandists played upon the fears of the 'uneasy classes'--those upset by the tensions which attended rapid social change brought on by industrialisation. Like Kari Marx, Wakefield pictured a class war. But if their analysis was often similar, their goals were different. Marx predicted a revolt of the proletariat. Wakefield believed explosion could be avoided by the founding of new societies. Colonisation would be a safety valve and also permit the regeneration of the better aspects of traditional English agrarian society. The object was 'to transplant English society with its various gradations in due proportion, carrying out our laws, customs, associations, habits, manners, feelings--everything of England, in short, but the soil'. 31 It was, therefore, hardly surprising that Marx should later denounce the 'Wakefield system'.

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In his great work Capital he suggested that colonies were exceptional societies. With abundant land and dispersion of settlement, that initial accumulation of capital which compelled the majority to be wage labourers could not take place. Systematic colonisation would spoil all this simply by an artifical device designed to restore the old relation of capital and labour.

In the widest context, then, the Canterbury plan came at a critical moment in English and European history, and, as the most successful experiment in systematic colonisation, it has an interesting niche in the history of economic thought. That is not to say that it in any way vindicated the idea of the sufficient price. Economic theory was soon tempered by colonial realities. All the early 'Wakefield colonies'--South Australia, Wellington, Nelson, New Plymouth and Otago--suffered from hasty planning, speculation, absenteeism and, above all, unsuitable soil and location for imitations of rural England. Such success as they achieved came primarily from sheep farming, and this required that very dispersion and cheap access to land which was the antithesis of systematic colonisation. But Wakefield did not give up, even though South Australia sold land cheaply and the New Zealand Company approached the verge of bankruptcy. The social tensions which provided the basis for his propaganda were all too evident in 1848. The idea of a church colony, already tried for Otago, contributed a new dimension, and in 1847 Wakefield met the ambitious young Irishman, John Robert Godley, who had been pressing the idea of solving Ireland's chronic problems by large-scale colonisation in Canada. Together they planned another colony in New Zealand.

Canterbury was to be Wakefield's last effort at systematic colonisation. At £3 per acre the price of land would be the highest of all his schemes. But as a Church of England settlement, with illustrious ecclesiastical and aristocratic sponsors, Canterbury would offer, above all, the advantages of proper church and educational establishments. As the outline plan of 1848 explained,

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... to provide funds for carrying out the objects of the Association, every purchaser of land will be required to contribute a sum proportioned to the extent of his purchase.... Ten shillings per acre will be charged for the rural land; and every purchaser of land will contribute to the purposes above mentioned in the following proportion: £1 per acre to the Religious and Educational Fund; £1 per acre to the Immigration Fund; 10s per acre to the Fund for Miscellaneous Purposes, such as surveys, roads, bridges, &c. 32

Arrangements would be made to acquire a million acres (about the extent of the County of Norfolk), which, when sold, would give £l million for ecclesiastical and educational purposes, £1 million to pay for emigration, half a million for miscellaneous expenses. Later the New Zealand Company undertook to reserve 2 1/2 million acres, so in theory the sum available for ecclesiastical and educational purposes could eventually reach £2 1/2 million. Coming down to more immediate plans, the Association anticipated selling 200,000 acres in the first few years, giving it £600,000 to found the colony--£200,000 for ecclesiastical and education purposes, £200,000 for emigration, £100,000 for miscellaneous expenses and £100,000 for the land. With such ample sums it hoped to dispatch 15,000 settlers. The distinctive feature would be the churches and schools. The sum available for these purposes was to be used in two ways: £41,000 for building no fewer than twenty churches and parsonages, twenty schools, a college and residences for a bishop, archdeacon and the college principal, the balance of £159,000 to be invested for providing an annual income of over £7000 for payment of stipends.

Here, then, was systematic colonisation at its most beautiful. By the simple payment of £3 an acre for his land the new Canterbury Pilgrim would find a settlement in which 'from the first, all the elements, including the very highest, of a good and right state of Society, shall find their proper place and their active operations'. 33 Churches and schools and an episcopal establishment would be part of the scheme from the start. And in the capital city, Christchurch (after the Oxford College of many of the founders), would be built the 'Christchurch College', which was to be 'the educational crown of the whole edifice'. 34 It was to be a combined English public school and university college. A lower department for boys between seven and seventeen, referred to as the 'Public School Department',

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was to be 'established on the plan of the great Grammar Schools of England', and to resemble as near as possibly Westminster, Eton, Winchester and Harrow. The 'collegiate', or upper department for young men over seventeen, was to be modelled on the colleges at Oxford and Cambridge, and was to have theological, classical, mathematical (including civil engineering) and agricultural divisions. Although founded for Canterbury's sons, it was expected to attract pupils from the rest of New Zealand and Australia and India.

As we shall see from his actions in England and New Zealand, Sewell undoubtedly believed in these ecclesiastical and educational aims. In so far as he salvaged anything of the Association's dreams it was for the benefit of this special aspect of Canterbury. But long before Sewell became involved severely utilitarian considerations had obtained. With £25,000 35 advanced by the New Zealand Company, Captain Joseph Thomas had been sent in 1848 to select and survey a site. This loan was to be repaid at the rate of 5s from each acre of land sold, chargeable to the miscellaneous fund. Godley agreed to go out as agent ahead of the settlers. Meanwhile a royal charter was obtained on 13 November 1849 and an agreement signed with the Company for the reservation of 2 1/2 million acres for ten years, with the condition (on pain of forfeiture) that the Association would sell land to the value of £100,000 (33,000 acres) by 30 April 1850 and to the value of £50,000 in each subsequent year. On this basis the Association's terms of purchase were approved on 3 January 1850 and land applications began ten days later.

The minimum size of a rural section was to be fifty acres (costing £150). Half-acre lots in the capital would cost £24 and quarter-acre lots in other towns, £12, but for every 50-acre rural lot members of the first body of purchasers would also receive a land order for a half-acre town section. Unsold lands within the Canterbury block were to be available for pasture under a system of annual licences at a rental of £1 per 100 acres. Here again the first body were given the privilege of a reduced rental of 16s 8d per 100 acres and the right to select five acres of pasture for every rural acre purchased. Thus, in addition to the visionary scheme of 'instant civilisation' by religious and educational provision, quite generous bait was offered to early purchasers, and, compared with the original goal of 2 1/2 million acres, reasonably modest initial targets were set.

Within a couple of months, however, it was evident that the whole scheme was in jeopardy. Land applications were slow to come in. Uncertainty about meeting the target was seen as a deterrent. As the April deadline approached sales stood well short of

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the 33,000-acre target. But the Association was reluctant to draw back. It made a series of critical decisions in April and May 1850 and committed itself to colonisation.

First, Lord Lyttelton, a former parliamentary Under-Secretary for colonies, was persuaded to take over the chairmanship. Secondly, the New Zealand Company was asked to extend the deadline until the end of the year. In return the Association accepted more stringent conditions. Instead of sales to the total of £100,000 by the end of April, it undertook to sell £50,000 worth by 31 December 1850 and £50,000 worth in subsequent years. But to ensure that the Company recovered its entitlement, four individuals made personal guarantees to a total of £l5,000 that they would make up any unpaid part of the amount due from £100,000 worth of sales not realised on 31 December 1851. Lord Lyttelton, Richard Cavendish, John Simeon and Edward Gibbon Wakefield put their signatures to promises of £3750 each for this purpose. 36 The third move was a series of announcements about going ahead with the plan--the first body of colonists would sail in September; revised terms of purchase entitled the first purchasers to a pre-emptive right over their pastures; plans for the Christchurch College were published, and a prospective bishop was nominated in the person of the Rev. Thomas Jackson, former principal of the Battersea Training College. This demonstration of the Association's active commitment had some effect. Land selling resumed, and plans for chartering ships went ahead.

Soon new shadows darkened Canterbury's prospects. The New Zealand Company had long been gravely embarrassed and gave up its charter on 5 July 1850. This meant that unsold lands reverted to the Crown. Henceforth one-sixth of the sale money (10s per acre) became due to the Crown, but 5s per acre was still due to the Company to pay off the initial advance for surveys. Much more serious was the revelation, when the land applications were opened, that they fell so far short of the anticipated 33,000 acres as to provide only a quarter of the expected revenue. In all only 8650 acres had been purchased, yielding £25,950--no more, in fact, than the Company's advances. For emigration £8650 was available, plus passage money paid by colonists. For ecclesiastical and educational purposes there was £8650, plus certain donations. By the time Sewell became deputy-chairman in July 1850 he was confronted with the challenge of fulfilling the vision of the new Canterbury with inadequate funds and an uncertain political future.

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Sewell's years as deputy-chairman were dominated by three major problems: finance, the political future of Canterbury, and relations with Godley, the agent on the spot.

His immediate task was the drafting of the Canterbury Settlement Lands Act. This gave the Association power to sell and lease land under revised terms of purchase, on the condition that one-sixth of the revenue was paid to the Crown and that, from 1 March 1850, land to the value of not less than £50,000 was sold annually. The Act received the royal assent on 14 August 1850. 37 There was a farewell banquet to the settlers, at which Lord Lyttelton proposed the royal toast and Sewell's brother, William, replied. Then, as the first body of settlers sailed in early September 1850, instructions for Godley's guidance had to be provided. These instructions, dated 7 September 1850, began an estrangement between Godley and the Association which embarrassed Sewell and greatly affected his attitude to the Association.

Godley had reported, after his arrival in New Zealand, that Captain Thomas had built a jetty, boat sheds, office, agent's house and immigrants' accommodation at Lyttelton; had completed half the initial survey but only 4 1/2 miles of the road to connect port with Plains. Since he had already overdrawn on the sums allowed, Godley had suspended work. The Association's instructions, at the time of the sailing of the first four ships, were in part a reply to this report, and they became only the first in a series of dispatches which gave offence to Godley, caused him to inveigh against 'distant government' and eventually to resign.

Expressing satisfaction with the works at Lyttelton, the Association regretted that no churches or schools had been built. Godley was told to remedy this 'instantly'. The road to the Plains was to be completed and for this purpose £10,000 credit (guaranteed this time by Lord Lyttelton, John Simeon and Thomas Somers Cocks) was made available through the Union Bank of Australia. The new terms of purchase (including pre-emption rights to their pasture for first-body purchasers) were enclosed, but Godley was enjoined to enforce the general pasturage regulations very strictly, with 'no deviation', and to 'enforce the law' against unlicensed squatters in the Canterbury block. He was warned about the disappointing land sales, and the fact that up to August 1850 £39,450 had been received. He was also told of Jackson's appointment as

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bishop-designate and that the ecclesiastical portion of the revenue from sales, together with £1000 received in collections and £300 borrowed from the emigration fund, had enabled the Association to lodge £10,000 with the colonial bishopric fund as a permanent endowment to provide a £600 annual stipend. However, there would be delay in the formation of a diocese because of the legal problem of splitting the existing diocese of New Zealand. In secular affairs it was expected that a separate province would be proclaimed when the population reached about three or four thousand. These instructions 38 were not intended to fetter Godley's discretion, but they did amount to a formidable list.

With the colonists on their way, followed soon by the Rev. Thomas Jackson (who agreed to visit the colony before his consecration), Sewell turned his attention to the Association's financial predicament. An unexpected irritant had appeared in the discovery that Jackson was incompetent, if not untrustworthy, with money. He left a large, dishonoured cheque in London. Sewell feared it might be 'impossible to avoid scandal' and he later told Lyttelton he trembled at the thought of a Jackson episcopate, which would be 'ruinous' to the Canterbury plan. 39 But the real problem was shortage of revenue.

Over the next two years Sewell tried three different ways to overcome the shortage of cash. First, he sought temporary forbearance from the Colonial Office in respect of the 10s per acre due to the Crown, and from the New Zealand Company in respect of the 5s per acre payable towards the reduction of its advances. His ground for this request was that the money was needed urgently for public works--notably the completion of the road from Lyttelton to the Plains. Secondly, he sought Government authority (possibly a guarantee) for a large loan to discharge all obligations to the Crown and Company, and to be paid off by a quarter of the proceeds of future land sales. Thirdly, he sought ways of boosting land sales--the only real way of injecting revenue--either by 'borrowing' the bishopric and educational endowments, or by pressing land purchases upon members of the Association. The first of these approaches led to nothing but a lengthy correspondence and, eventually, to threats of legal proceedings from both the Company and the Crown. The second led to the near possibility of a loan in 1851 but on unacceptable conditions. The third way proved to be the salvation of the Canterbury plan, but brought Sewell misunderstanding and unpopularity.

Sewell first sought forbearance in an interview with Earl Grey,

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the Secretary of State, on 20 August 1850. 40 It was for a sum of £4325 due on sales up to the point when the Company ceased operations in July 1850. The request was declined because a concession would amount to an unauthorised advance from public funds. The Crown had become liable for the New Zealand Company's debts. Parliament had not voted any funds to meet them, therefore Canterbury's sixth portion of sales would have to be used for this purpose. 41 The Association paid the £4325 in December 1850, paying at the same time the Company's 5s per acre. Sewell tried again for forbearance a year later for the sum of £6500 due on sales between July 1850 and July 1851. He now argued that for the Crown to take the money merely to hand it over to the New Zealand Company was 'a derogation of the rights of the Colony', which could use it better on surveys and emigration. 42 He received another rebuff, so once again the Association paid up to the Crown and Company in November 1851, even though it had to borrow to do so. It made a further payment of £1679 14s 2d to the Crown, in December, for sales between 5 July and 5 October 1851. However, by the time the next tranche from sales between July 1851 and March 1852 was called for (a sum of £4215 3s O 1/2d), the Association was in the midst of a bitter dispute with the Company and was on the verge of winding itself up. Now Sewell sought forbearance from the Crown until a dispute with the Company (to be discussed shortly) was settled. 43 But the Colonial Office refused. 44 Indeed, it threatened to suspend the Association's land-selling powers. On this occasion the Association argued on for nearly two years, but Sewell's own role in the battle ended with his departure for New Zealand in October 1852. All in all, the attempt to get forbearance from the Government led up a blind alley, even though the delays which went with it may have helped the short-term cash situation.

Much the most important, and successful, of Sewell's financial expedients was his idea of using the bishopric endowment 'more productively'. Authorised by the committee of management on 12 December 1850 to look into the possibilities, Sewell was soon advocating a highly ingenious scheme. 45 Put simply, it was to convert the endowment investments into cash and buy land in the

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colony on behalf of the ecclesiastical and educational fund. This would serve several ends at once; it would give a permanent endowment in the colony; it would boost the land sales necessary to meet the conditions of the Association's Act; and it would also provide additional cash for distribution to the emigration, ecclesiastical and miscellaneous funds. Sewell explained his scheme to Lyttelton in January 1851. At that point the emigration fund was overdrawn by £1500, while the ecclesiastical and educational fund had £4100 unspent, yet the one could not be applied to the other. His solution was to arrange a type of indirect cross-subsidy. If, say, £6000 were spent on buying 2000 acres for the church and the college, £2000 would immediately accrue to the ecclesiastical and educational fund (which already had £4100 in hand), and £2000 would accrue to the emigration fund and so remove its overdraft. 46 In May 1851 1000 acres were purchased in the name of the Ecclesiastical Committee for the church and college. 47 In the event, this had not been needed to float the Association past its statutory target for 1850-1, as the total stood at £52,350 by the end of February.

This provided small satisfaction in the face of the New Zealand Company's pressure to recover its advances (which they now, with interest, put at £32,000). Sewell found reasons for stalling the Company and he made several attempts at compromise by way of a major loan. But this idea did not meet government approval. The revised Act of Parliament, which was secured in August 1851, gave the Association power to appropriate land to themselves for public purposes and to vest it in trusts, but authority for the loan was not included. 48 A sum of £4271 17s 0d was spent on 1307 acres of land as reserves for public building and open spaces and £918 6s 0d for 55 acres for churches, parsonages and cemeteries. But without authority for borrowing on a large scale Sewell had to find another way out of the financial crisis.

He never gave up the idea of securing a loan, but he now mooted the idea of 'forced land sales' and appeals to members to buy land. There was even an idea of opening land agencies in Bombay and Calcutta to attract retiring East India Company servants. He feared that if the annual sales for 1851-2 did not meet the statutory target, the government would cancel the Association's powers and all would be lost. As the loan proposals came to nothing, Sewell suggested that all balances in the ecclesiastical and educational fund

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and certain other sums offered for the college should be used to make permanent land investments in the colony. He suggested that the bishopric endowment could be 'borrowed' on the security of the Association's public lands. 49 On 26 September 1851 he conferred with Lyttelton in Birmingham to elaborate his plan. As well as reinvesting the £10,000 bishopric endowment he needed to provide security for £17,000 worth of liabilities. 50 For this he proposed they should borrow and persuade members to buy land.

Sewell's somewhat controversial proposal for the use of the bishopric money was approved on 9 October 1851 by the committee of management. It resolved that the £10,000 could be invested upon mortgage of the reserves and property of the Association, which would pay 6 per cent interest to the ecclesiastical fund. But more cash was urgently needed for immediate liabilities. The Colonial Office was insisting on the £6500 due on the 1850-1 sales and the Company was pressing under the guarantee. Sewell advised that the Association would have to borrow. On promissory notes signed again by the four guarantors £12,000 was made available (£7000 from Herries, Farquhar and Company, the Association's bankers, and £5000 from Barnett, Hoare and Company), and it was agreed on 8 November that the £10,000 borrowed from the bishopric fund could be laid out in land purchases and made available for the liquidation of most of this loan. 51 In the middle of these negotiations came news of Godley's resignation as agent, and for much of November and December 1851 Sewell was involved in discussion as to whether he should go to the colony as replacement. 52 But the financial spectre now hovered in even more ominous form. Sewell had to tell the committee of management on 8 January 1852 that the New Zealand Company was threatening to proceed against the four guarantors because of the non-payment of the balance of its initial advance.

Clearly the most important of Sewell's financial devices was that implemented in February 1852, when the committee of management decided to invest all its available church and college funds in Canterbury land. The matter was urgent because land sales still fell short of the 1851-2 statutory target and there was a fear that the Secretary of State would enforce forfeiture on 1 March 1852. This in turn might prevent the transfer of these funds to the Canterbury settlement and the repayment of the faithful guarantors.

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The committee of management agreed on 17 February 1852 that the guarantors of the £12,000 bankers' loan should be indemnified by colonial land and be recorded land purchasers for that amount, but that eventually the land would be used as endowment for the bishopric and for the church and education. Thus on 19 February 4000 acres (80 fifty-acre lots) were entered in the names of Lyttelton, Cavendish, Simeon and Gibbon Wakefield. But since £4000 (representing one-third of this) immediately accrued to the ecclesiastical and educational fund which had £2550 in hand, this meant that £6550 became available for further purchases. If this sum was invested in land, another third portion was made available, which in turn could be so invested. The committee acted accordingly in the following sequence: 53

On 19 Feb. 2300 acres were entered for £6900, giving the EEF £2300; on 23 Feb. 750 acres were entered for £2250, giving the EEF £750; on 24 Feb. 250 acres were entered for £750, giving the EEF £250; on 25 Feb. 100 acres were entered for £300, giving the EEF £100.

Thus for £6900 a further 3400 acres (or £10,200 worth of land) was acquired, giving, by the whole transaction, an additional 7400 acres of sales. In all these selections Godley was authorised to use his discretion to buy town land rather than rural land at the fixed rate for purchases. This substantial boost to the sales served to carry the Association past its statutory target of sales to the value of £100,000 since 1 March 1850. But it was a narrow scrape and, realising that it could not repeat the performance, the Association began arranging to wind itself up.

This 'recycling' of the Association's funds and land sale boost by the ecclesiastical and educational fund purchases was perhaps Sewell's greatest contribution to Canterbury, but soon he encountered opposition to his tactics on the home front. Henry Selfe Selfe, who had reluctantly agreed to the boosted land sales in February, objected to Sewell's continuing attempts to evade payments to the Crown and the New Zealand Company. The Association had only £5512 in hand in March 1852, which was less than its debts to shipowners, let alone the debts to Crown and Company, who were at this point entitled to roughly £4000 and £2000 respectively on the basis of the 10s and 5s charges per acre. Sewell wanted to pay the shipowners but appealed again for forbearance from the Colonial Office, on the grounds that it had an interest in the future development of New Zealand. Selfe wanted to

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pay the £6000 or more due to the Crown and the Company and expected the colonists to pay the shipowners. The argument became sensitive for Sewell because Selfe also wanted to economise in the office, but Lyttelton was not prepared to sack Sewell, who had not yet decided whether to go to New Zealand. 54 For some months at this point Sewell's salary went unpaid. Finally, after another abortive attempt at a loan to cover outstanding debts, the committee of management appealed to members for advances on 8 June 1852. Sewell presented liabilities for £20,965 14s 6d, of which the debts to shipowners and tradesmen were treated as most urgent. 55 Eventually over half of these debts were paid from members' loan contributions. 56

On 15 July 1852 Sewell was commissioned to go out to Canterbury to wind up the Association's affairs. On the same day he had to report the latest developments in an unpleasant chain of events which must have clouded his final days in London: a notice that the New Zealand Company had started legal proceedings against Lord Lyttelton and the guarantors. 57 It had become all too evident that the Association's relations with the New Zealand Company were getting even more complex and bitter than its relations with the Government.

They were complex because of the guarantee of May 1850, in which Lyttelton, Cavendish, Simeon and Wakefield had pledged themselves to make up any deficiency owing to the Company for its advances and its entitlement from land sales (up to a figure of £15,000) at the end of 1851. But in July 1850 the Company had ceased operations. Its sixth portion of land sales had become due to the Crown (which then paid it to the Company), but the obligation of a twelfth portion of sales towards repayment of the Company's advances was not affected. Relations were bitter because Sewell virtually accused the Company of fraud. After failing to get

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forbearance and failing to secure a big loan to clear the debt, the Association had stalled the Company. It then became evident that the four guarantors would be held to their liability at the end of 1851. Sewell was called on to exercise all his legal skills to try to ward off the Company.

On 1 January 1852 the Company duly applied to Lyttelton and his three associates for £6240 still owing on the Company's entitlement from £100,000 worth of land sales. 58 Sewell counterattacked with two weapons. First, he challenged the 1850 guarantee, arguing that it was unenforceable in law because the Company, having ceased operations, could not fulfil its side of the arrangements. 59 Secondly, having combed through the Company's accounts, he came to the conclusion that the guarantee had been signed under false pretences. He discovered that in 1846 and 1847 the Company had received loans authorised by Parliament totalling £236,000, and that the first of these sums (£100,000 in 1846) had included provision for the expenses of founding a Church of England settlement in New Zealand. Thus, while the four guarantors made their arrangement on the assumption that the advance for the Canterbury settlement came from the Company's private funds, it was really public money. On top of this Sewell had discovered that the Company's published accounts showed the payment of back fees to directors totalling £8277 7s 2d and land purchases for the Company's private estate for £8106 2s 10d. It appeared that £16,383 10s of parliamentary loan money had been misapplied. Thus, as well as challenging the guarantee in law, Sewell accused the Company of the misuse of public funds and suggested that, as it still had sums available which could be used for Canterbury expenses, further payments by the Association would be unjust. 60 These charges were later passed on to the Colonial Office and were used as new grounds for requesting forbearance. 61 Neither the Crown nor the Company relented. Fearing that concession would imply an admission of the charges, the Company decided to take the matter to court. Its solicitor served process on the guarantors in June 1852. It also filed a bill in chancery for

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£24,416 17s which was still owing on the Company's original advance. 62 The Colonial Office demanded its payments in October--on pain of forfeiture of the Association's power to sell land. 63 At this point Sewell--who remained unrepentant in his advocacy of non-payment--left for New Zealand.

It was left for Henry Selfe Selfe to make what terms he could with the Company. Through November and December 1852 there was intense negotiation and frequent conferences between the Company's and the Association's solicitors. A meeting was held with the judge, who struck out sixteen of the Company's twenty-eight charges. 64 Finally, on 23 and 24 December 1852, Selfe for the Association and John Buckle, counsel for the Company, made a compromise. Having been advised that a recent payment passed on to the Company by the Colonial Office (£4215 3s 0 1/2d) could be set against its entitlement from land sales by the Association, the Company agreed to drop its suit against the guarantors, and the bill in chancery for the recovery of the advances, in return for a balance of £2080 19s 8d to be paid by 20 January 1853. 65 After this compromise the guarantee was surrendered and the Company dropped its charges. It never fully recovered its advance.

The Government was less accommodating. It pressed relentlessly for its final sixth from land sales and cancelled the Association's land-selling powers in December 1852 when the sum was not forthcoming. It threatened legal proceedings against the guarantors in July 1853. 66 In the end members of the Association contributed £6118 2s 5 1/2d towards the Crown debt. 67

By this time, of course, Sewell was in New Zealand and was thoroughly resentful of the Crown's action, which, he feared, would depreciate the value of the Association's assets and prejudice his negotiations for their transfer. That he finally went to Canterbury on a mission to wind up the Association's affairs stemmed not only from the dismal financial tale just unfolded, but

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from the problem of the Association's relations with Godley and the question of the political future of the settlement--problems which must now be outlined.

Sewell had provided a series of instructions for Godley to apply with discretion. These had been sent with the first four ships 68 and duly reached the colony, with the colonists, in December 1850. Godley regretted 'exceedingly' certain aspects of the instructions and said so emphatically in a reply on 17 January 1851. This reached the Association in London early in June 1851, by which time Godley, thoroughly irritated by further instructions which caused him to open each dispatch 'with fear and trembling', had offered his resignation. Written on 3 June 1851, this dispatch reached home on 24 October 1851 and led, in turn, to prolonged agonising as to whether Sewell should replace him. This whole sequence illustrates vividly a point which must be remembered in any assessment of Sewell's relations with Godley--the problems of time and distance. Mail between England and New Zealand took anything from three to five months, so an exchange of correspondence could well take the best part of a year. Since dispatches could be both misinterpreted and overtaken by events at the opposite end of the world, it is hardly surprising that irritation occurred.

With regard to the political question, this sort of time-lag became particularly galling for Godley, who had written a pamphlet before leaving England which gave an extreme statement of the case for colonial self-government. He had asserted the principle, radical for his day, that 'we cannot govern, or even occupy, a distant colony permanently without the consent of its population'. Colonists simply would not endure being 'governed from Downing Street'. They must have self-government, and Godley meant 'by local self-government, the right and power to do... without check, control, or intervention of any kind, everything that the supreme Government of this country can do within the limits of the British Isles'--with only one exception, foreign affairs. 69 Hence his frequent and extreme irritation on receiving detailed orders from London--'That the state of affairs at Canterbury should continue to exemplify the evils of distant government would be felt by me as peculiarly humiliating.' 70

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In general Sewell sympathised. While he could always find answers to Godley's strictures, 71 he confessed to Lyttelton, early on in the exchanges, 'I fear we shall become a Downing Street in the eyes of the Colony.' He saw clearly that the settlement would have a life of its own. 'The Colonial feeling is too evidently springing up, to hope for permanent sympathy between them and us.' It depressed him somewhat, but the colony would survive. 'It is a strong healthy progeny, but I suspect will (like other Colonies) prove a wilful and wayward child.' Yet for all his realism, Sewell was not prepared to give way to all of Godley's eloquent, if headstrong, complaints. He felt that Godley, for all that he was the man-on-the-spot, wrote 'with a little too much viciousness against any suggestions from home'. 72 While in one important respect Sewell came to agree with Godley, in others, particularly in constitutional and procedural matters, he clearly had a view of his own.

The issue in which he came to side with Godley was the economic model for Canterbury. Godley had rapidly accepted that Australian pastoral experience would be the only thing to bring prosperity to Canterbury; that a price of £3 an acre, and £1 rental for 100 acres of pasture, even combined with a pre-emptive right for first-body colonists, would prove unattractive to stockholders, when land outside the block could be leased much more cheaply under the Colonial Government's land regulations. 73 Misinterpreting the instructions of 7 September 1850, he regretted 'exceedingly' the new terms of purchase because he imagined they restricted pasturage licences to land purchasers, and, if he was to enforce the law against squatters, he might have to turn out the pre-Association settlers, the Deans and Rhodes brothers, of Riccarton and Purau, who were feeding the new colony. 74 Actually (as Sewell anticipated) Godley soon realised on rereading the instructions that pastoral licences need not be limited to purchasers and that it was unlicensed squatting that he was to prevent. However, he still objected to the rental of £l per 100 acres.

It took months for these forthright and oft-repeated views to reach London, but early in the exchanges Sewell was disposed to agree with Godley. He accepted responsibility for the ambiguity of the regulations and prepared drafts for new ones and sought an

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amended Act of Parliament. In June 1851 Godley was reminded that the current regulations were those laid down in the Canterbury Act; that he would have to be guided by his own judgement until a new Act could be secured. 75 By the new Act of 7 August 1851 powers of disposal of unsold lands were confirmed and Godley was furnished with new instructions. These kept to the principle that there must always be some land available for purchasers, since they supplied the revenue for the emigration and ecclesiastical funds and their rights would be jeopardised in a colony abandoned to squatters. The rental of £l per 100 acres was to be retained for those who had pre-emptive rights. Godley was given authority to reduce the rental for other pastoralists. 76

Godley had not waited for this. As Australian stockholders and others were taking up licences outside the block the issue became 'pressing'. An Australian, John Christie Aitken, had already purchased £800 worth of town land, so Godley (who was determined to resign now) allowed him 20,000 acres of pasture on more favourable terms in June 1851. By October 1851 he was granting seven-year licences in anticipation of the new Act. And Sewell, in London, realised quite clearly what was happening. 'It is very plain that the squatting interest will give the real character to the Settlement and I fear it is in essentials at variance with the early visions of the Association--but we must do the best we can.' 77 Finally, in February 1852 Godley brought in his famous three-class system of pastoral leases: (1) annual licences with pre-emption rights under the first-body terms, (2) annual licences without pre-emption over 250 acres at £1 per 100 acres, and (3) seven-year licences for runs between 5000 and 20,000 acres with deferred payments. 78 This news reached London on 7 August 1852 shortly before Sewell left for New Zealand.

On the subject of the constitutional position of the settlement and its future government, Sewell was less inclined to give way to Godley. He adhered fairly consistently to the general policy published by the committee of management on 24 May 1850. The first principle governing relations between the Association and the colonists was the 'fullest power of local self-government in their internal affairs'. Three stages in this process were outlined: 1st, before the colonists left, when the Association would retain responsibility, but would try to act in deference to the colonists'

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wishes; 2nd, in the period between settlement and the creation of a province, when the colonists would have no corporate existence and the Association would work through the agent and the bishop; and 3rd, after the proclamation of a province, when the Association would 'wholly disclaim any interference with the enactment of the local and municipal laws of the Settlement'. But it would reserve power to apply revenues to the various funds because of its responsibility to repay individual guarantors and to maintain emigration. For Godley this procedure was too slow. As soon as the first four ships arrived he agreed to consult the council of the Society of Land Purchasers and to give them access to documents and accounts. 79 Commenting on the minute of 24 May 1850, he said he was trying to administer the settlement, as far as possible, within the sphere of the council's 'responsibility and control'. It was 'fatal' for the Association to send out detailed instructions. 'Its mission was to found the settlement not to Govern it; to constitute sources of revenue, but not to administer or distribute this revenue.' The Association should give up its charter to the colony, and the church in Canterbury should also get a 'charter of ecclesiastical liberties'. 80

This tirade reached London when Sewell was beset by the financial troubles. But the new Act had been passed. Sewell, therefore, replied to Godley that the Association had always intended to transfer its powers to the colony as soon as possible, but they wanted advice as to how this should be done. They could hardly make a transfer to the Crown colony regime of New Munster, nor to the unrepresentative council of the Society of Land Purchasers. The new Act authorised a committee of management in the settlement, but it had to include members of the Association by name. What did Godley suggest? 81 This was followed by a rebuke signed by Lord Lyttelton himself regretting Godley's quarrelsomeness and reminding him that the Association was bound by its charter and by Acts of Parliament; that it would transfer its powers under the long-expected new constitution for New Zealand which, regrettably, would not come in the current parliamentary session. 82

Godley remained unrepentant. He was at a loss to understand any delay in 'the immediate localisation' of the Canterbury Association. 83 Distant government meant misunderstood government--

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'every year, every month, every day of distant Government adds to the number of those who will oppose . . . that Government'. He expected that Parliament would have enacted a new constitution and provided for a Canterbury Provincial Council; if he could not have this, he still wanted a local association. He stood by the principle that 'those who manage the affairs of a Country ought to reside in that Country, and we do not believe that any advantages possessed by a distant governing body can compensate for the disadvantage of distance'. 84 In short, Godley boldly proclaimed the principle of self-government. The Association accepted the principle, but was concerned about due process in the transfer of power. Sewell later put it succinctly--'the mode was the only difficulty'. 85 As it turned out, Sewell's diplomacy became the 'mode', so we need, now, to trace the tortuous story of the origins of his mission to New Zealand.

We have seen how Sewell became a land purchaser with the idea of going to New Zealand to experiment with his land registry scheme. However, he called off his plan to emigrate three times between 1850 and 1852.

The first diversion followed his appointment as salaried deputy-chairman for six months on 16 July 1850. He gave up his legal practice to devote himself to Association business, which meant that by the end of the year his weekly expenses in London were exceeding his income. Charles Simeon alerted Lyttelton and suggested that as Sewell had become less keen on emigrating he would probably continue with the Association if it could be made worth while. 86 The appointment was renewed at a higher salary for a further six months, during which time he realised that his land registry scheme was premature, that a judicial post in Canterbury was not in the offing, and he confessed to Lyttelton that he was in a 'state of unsettlement'. 87 His appointment was again extended for six months on 14 July 1851 and he appears to have given up his plan of going to New Zealand.

Then, on 28 August 1851, the committee of management asked him to go to the colony as soon as possible. This request arose from the recent passage of the Canterbury Amendment Act which gave the Association power to constitute a managing committee in the settlement and to delegate authority to it. 88 Committee members

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had to be Association members and so Sewell was appointed legal adviser to be associated with Godley in the conduct of affairs in Canterbury. 89 Sewell gave up his London house and prepared to leave.

Now the second diversion took place. News of Godley's resignation arrived at the end of October and, after a talk with Wakefield at Reigate on 2 November 1851, Sewell once again abandoned his plan of emigration. It is far from clear what happened in this discussion. Wakefield certainly offended Sewell, but defended himself by saying that he believed Sewell did not want to go. Sewell pleaded that he was not the man to replace Godley; as agent with undefined powers he would be vulnerable to the colonists' hostility. He maintained that someone ought to be sent on a special mission to represent the Association and suggested William Fox, a barrister recently returned to England after acting as New Zealand Company agent in Nelson. 90 Wakefield added the information that Robert Sewell, the solicitor, felt that his brother Henry should not undertake such a mission 'unless he had the company of a trusted friend, upon whose firmness of character he might rely as a support, not in public, but to his own mind, in contending with inevitable differences in his dealings with persons'. 91 Even though the committee of management rejected Fox and resolved that Sewell should become resident agent if Godley went ahead and resigned, Sewell continued to dither. On the day after the committee's decision he admitted that he was thinking of an alternative career; perhaps he thought of helping William at Radley. Unless Lyttelton and the committee persisted, Sewell asked to be relieved of the mission. 92 In a long account of his personal and professional predicament he explained to Lyttelton that he thought it would be best to sever his connection with the Canterbury Association. Godley's return would be embarrassing for all concerned if he remained in office, so he was seeking other opportunities. 93 Sewell's analysis of the situation was accepted by the committee of management, which, on 2 December 1851, appointed Captain Charles Simeon as agent to replace Godley.

Within a week Sewell began to change his mind yet again! He was

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told by the family doctor that his sixteen-year-old eldest child, Mary Ellen, was threatened by tuberculosis--the disease which had carried off his first wife. The doctor suggested that taking her to New Zealand might be best for her. Sewell now thought of taking his family to New Zealand in the following Northern Hemisphere summer, August 1852. 94 Meanwhile he battled on as deputy-chairman, pressing ahead with his financial proposals and looking into the problems of the transfer of power from the Association to the settlement. He was still uncertain about emigrating and thought of starting a Parliamentary Agency. In June 1852 Lyttelton reported that for the third time Sewell had decided against emigrating to New Zealand. Perhaps his daughter's health had improved. Lyttelton felt that the Association should respect Sewell's wishes. 95

A month later Sewell decided 'irrevocably in favour of going to New Zealand'! Wakefield, who reported this latest volte-face, gave the reason as Sewell's sense of duty about ensuring a suitable transfer of power. For his own part Wakefield conceded that 'Unless he do it--for I know of nobody else who could do it properly--the whole thing will be in a mess.' 96 On the condition that he was given a paid and 'definite mission for a given object' Sewell finally decided to sail for New Zealand. 97

This last retreat from indecision may well be attributable to the passage of the New Zealand Constitution Act through Parliament in June 1852. It now became clear that a separate Province of Canterbury would be established and it is consistent with Sewell's strong sense of duty that he would wish to ensure a proper transfer of the Association's assets and powers to the new province. His ambition for judicial office in the colony may have reawakened. Sewell may also have felt some commitment to and curiosity about the outcome of an experiment in colonial self-government with which he had been indirectly associated.

Several Canterbury promoters had been active in advocating a new constitution for New Zealand. It is now generally accepted that the chief influence behind the 1852 Constitution Act (which remains the basis of the New Zealand parliamentary system) was Governor Sir George Grey. But Wakefield, Sewell and others had been pressing for self-government, on a provincial basis, as an integral part of the Canterbury strategy. They had even, in 1851, prepared their own outlines for a constitution and sent a draft bill to the

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Colonial Office. Some historians have thought that this formed the basis of the 1852 constitution and that Sir Charles Adderley or Wakefield had concocted it during a party at Hams Hall, Adderley's country seat near Birmingham. 98 But clearly the 'Hams Hall draft' has excited more speculation than its importance warrants, since its main proposal was the extremely radical one that the New Zealand Legislative Council should be made elective and form a constituent assembly for the revision of the constitution. 99 Sewell's role in all this, however, has hitherto been neglected. In reporting the meeting at Hams to Lyttelton he said that they had outlined a constitution for New Zealand and produced a sketch bill 'which I put together rudely'. While the draft, vague as it was, smacked of Wakefield, it seems likely that Sewell, the experienced legal draftsman, was really the one who drew up the 'Hams Hall Bill'. 100 The 1852 Act was presented to Parliament by Sir John Pakington, and Sewell had interviews with him and with Gladstone on the subject during its passage. Shortly before it received the royal assent Sewell wrote to Godley with a peace overture: 'As this measure terminates all matters of controversy between us it is not worth while to fight our battles over again.' 101

With the province authorised and Godley due home, Sewell could feel more free to undertake the mission to New Zealand. On 15 July 1852 the committee of management resolved: 'That Mr Sewell be commissioned to proceed to the Canterbury Settlement as Agent for the Association to arrange in concert with the Provincial Legislature the terms of Transfer to the Colonists of the powers and liabilities of the Association.' 102 As we might expect, he had insisted on specific terms: he retained his salary until the mission was completed and was granted expenses for his outfit and passage. These were to be added to the Association's financial liabilities, the assumption of

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which by the province was to be the condition for the transfer of property and power. He was given a deed poll authorising the transfer and power of attorney to effect it. These conditions and authority were confirmed at a special general meeting of the Association on 16 September. 103 Sewell attended his last committee meeting on 28 September 1852. Two days later the Association ceased operations and on 12 October 1852 Sewell sailed in the Minerva in the company of Gibbon Wakefield, who had also decided to see the colony for himself.


Sewell sailed into Lyttelton harbour on 2 February 1853. His first impression was of 'the laziness and stagnation of the place', of 'newness and unfinishedness'. 104 But after attending worship at Lyttelton and Christchurch on his first Sunday he thought the progress was 'wonderful considering that all this is only 2 years' work'. 105 Canterbury, with its population of about 3000 and rapidly growing stock of sheep, gave a remarkably healthy impression for so young a settlement. But Sewell was faced immediately with unwelcome news and was soon plunged into bitter controversy.

He had come to Canterbury to transfer the powers and property which had been bestowed on the Association by Parliament to properly constituted bodies in the colony. Ecclesiastical and educational endowments were to be passed to Church of England trustees, secular powers and property to the new province. In return, he was to ensure that the province should take over outstanding liabilities of the Association and repay the individual guarantors and donors, notably Lord Lyttelton, for their advances. Implicit, too, in his own view of his mission was an endeavour to salvage something of the original vision of the Anglican church and educational scheme. As it turned out, Sewell put rather more emphasis on this aspect of his mission than did some members of the Association.

In fulfilling these aims he found himself engaged in a three-cornered battle--with the Canterbury churchmen, with the settlement's rising politicians and with the colonial governor, Sir

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George Grey. It was a measure of his growth in stature that Sewell managed to complete his task successfully, and win over at least two of these adversaries. Of the three, Grey proved the most obdurate, and satisfactory relations with the colonial government were not established until after Grey departed at the end of 1853. Of his two sets of Canterbury opponents, the clergy, characteristically, proved the most troublesome, though this is somewhat ironical in view of Sewell's own conscientious churchmanship and his firm commitment to the ecclesiastical plan. On his first day in New Zealand he noted that in church matters he had 'fallen into a pretty kettle of hot water'. 106

The really disturbing news which greeted Sewell when he arrived was, first, that Godley had already left the colony, and secondly, that Sir George Grey had proposed new government land regulations. These would permit sales at 10s an acre (or 5s for non-agricultural land) and would further cheapen the land outside the Canterbury block. Thirdly, Sewell was made very much aware of the Association's unpopularity with the settlers, many of whom felt they had somehow been cheated. This feeling had general and specific sources. The basic feeling was one of disappointment that the ecclesiastical and educational plans--which were to have given Canterbury its superior character--had not been fulfilled. When the settlers arrived in 1850 there had been no signs of the promised cathedral and college, of the twenty churches and schools. The abortive bishop-designate had spent only six weeks in the settlement and there seemed little chance of a replacement for some time. The specific charges which Sewell encountered were that the clergymen and schoolmasters, who had come out in the Association's ships, had been warned by the agent that their stipends would cease in March, and that the Association, which was known to have borrowed the bishopric endowment and invested it in colonial land, was deliberately suppressing its accounts.

Against this unhappy background Sewell was projected prematurely into public controversy by Gibbon Wakefield, who published a letter in the Lyttelton Times announcing that Sewell was the man to answer queries and quieten complaints. As an active participant in the campaign for the 1852 Act, Sewell could clarify constitutional matters, and he would also answer any 'erroneous notions' which were abroad respecting the Association. 107 Sewell had not been consulted about this letter and was furious. He wanted to avoid controversy. However, his response to Wakefield's sally

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had quite the opposite effect and precipitated the first salvo in the battle for transfer. 108

Addressing William Guise Brittan, chairman of the now moribund Society of Land Purchasers (as the only body which the committee of management recognised), Sewell pointed out that there was already sufficient income from the land investments and pasturage licences to pay the clergy stipends, but that the Association could not afford to keep up the secular establishments. The Land Office, with its maps, deed books and survey equipment, ought to keep functioning, but it could not become a drain on the guarantors. Sewell decided that he should try to persuade the Governor to take over the responsibility. As for the accounts, there was no question of suppression. Godley and the Association had had different views on some points and Sewell did not have the accounts to hand because they had not closed when he left. They were due shortly and would be presented to the Provincial Council as soon as it came into being. These were fair replies. But by adding that Godley's departure would delay the transfer and also criticising Godley's submission of local accounts to the Society of Land Purchasers, Sewell drew a storm of protest. His letter became 'the chief topic of conversation'. It generated some passionate defence for Godley from James Edward FitzGerald, who wrote publicly that it would take 'more than insinuation to persuade the public that Godley contemplated illegal use of funds'. 109 Privately he and others made bitter attacks on Sewell's character and qualifications. 110

Sewell, meanwhile, had sailed away from one storm zone to another by going to Wellington to meet Governor Grey. He had an interview with Grey and the Colonial Secretary of New Munster, Alfred Domett, when (according to Sewell's own record) the Governor agreed in principle that the Land Office in Christchurch should stay open at government expense and that the Canterbury Association should be relieved of its liabilities in return for its properties. 111 But Sewell hardly endeared himself to the Governor by going on to secure an injunction in the Supreme Court against the new colonial land regulations.112 Although Sewell did not hesitate to challenge the Governor in this way, thereby earning a bouquet

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from the Lyttelton Times, he was upset by FitzGerald's attack and the mistrust he encountered in Canterbury. From Wellington he wrote hoping FitzGerald would defend him as zealously as he did his predecessor. He denied any personal reflection upon Godley and repeated his assurance that the accounts were on their way. Sewell warned FitzGerald not to cause 'counter irritation' and he declared that 'no terms of censure or reproach as to the part I have taken . . . can be half so painful as sullen and silent distrust'. 113

Back at Canterbury, after a month and a half's absence, Sewell found FitzGerald disinclined at first to let the matter drop, but he went ahead with plans to transfer the church property. While Sewell was away in Wellington a joint committee of clergy and laymen had advertised church meetings to authorise the Committee on Church Matters to negotiate with Sewell. 114 Meetings were held in Christchurch on 25 April and at Lyttelton on the following day. 115Sewell learnt what was brewing and formulated his plans. At the same time, and as a result of studying the agent's dispatches, he came to the conclusion that Godley had concentrated on achieving economic viability and self-government to the neglect of the church aspects of the Canterbury plan. On 6 May 1853 Sewell was invited to attend the church committee, where he explained why there was delay in the arrival of a bishop, gave an outline of the ecclesiastical and education fund, and explained how he hoped to transfer the church properties to a trust. He explained that he could not do so immediately, since there was no Provincial Council to authorise it, but he was prepared to place the income from the church lands under a local management committee. 116

Sewell had, indeed, come to the conclusion that the settlers' complaints about the failure of the Association's church plans had some justification. In a long letter to Lord Lyttelton he made a frank admission of the problem:

As the case stands, the world points at our large promises in the early stage of our undertaking, and contrasts them with our actual performances. We have not completed the foundation of our bishopric; we have not planted even the beginning of a college; we have not built a single church; we have not supplied residences for the clergy; nor built or endowed sufficient schools; we have done nothing effectually towards organising a local management of the Church temporalities placed under our control; whilst

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our clergy and schoolmasters have been lately threatened with absolute suspension of their employments and incomes. I refer to these as painful and undeniable facts . . . 117

Disappointing as this record appeared, the plan was not a complete failure. The Association had the endowment for a bishopric; it had sent seven clergymen and twelve schoolmasters to the settlement; the settlers had subscribed for churches (with some Association help) at Lyttelton, Papanui and Akaroa; two parsonages were built, at Heathcote and Christchurch, and at the latter place a schoolroom was used for worship. The settlement also had a number of schools. There was even a pale reflection of the college plan in the Collegiate Grammar School, opened at Lyttelton in January 1851 and moved to the enlarged parsonage at Christchurch in April 1852. Over a dozen grammar school pupils had soon been under instruction, and the Rev. Henry Jacobs (who had briefly been the first headmaster of Lancing College) also had five seniors, who (so it was reported) were receiving 'all elements of an English university education'. There were church commercial schools at Lyttelton, Christchurch and Akaroa, infants' schools at Lyttelton and Gebbie's Station and there had been a short-lived Maori school at Kaiapoi. 118

Above all, there were the land endowments (bought in 1852) already yielding £400 in rent, which could be expected to reach £1000 in seven years. Some of this land, together with certain special gifts, would go to the college. New churches were wanted at Riccarton, Kaiapoi and Governors Bay. Residences were needed for the bishop and the minister at Lyttelton, where a permanent church building was also needed. By selling some land, Sewell could make £2500 available for these purposes. In fact, he saw his way to fulfilling a good deal of the Church of England vision for Canterbury. When next he met the church committee on 18 May 1853, he read them his letter to Lyttelton and, although he had to admit that the accounts still had not come, he gave an outline of the Association's finances. 119

In a private letter to Lyttelton after this meeting Sewell suggested that things were 'beginning to brighten'. He was assured that the future Provincial Council could be expected to take over the Association's obligations. Defending his proposed new expenditure of £2500, he admitted to be led by a 'feeling of mere policy'. He wanted to overcome some of the hostility of the settlers. While he

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remained generous in his praise of Godley's perception about pastoralism, he was 'pained' by his predecessor's treatment of the ecclesiastical and educational vision. 'I write very bitterly about this--for I feel very strongly.' 120

Sewell's optimism about the church committee proved to be premature. Before he met it again, the members began demanding documents such as the bishopric fund mortgage deed. They published a resolution condemning the Association's church land purchases and then (with little consistency) criticised Sewell for selling some. They also petitioned the Queen, the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Secretary of State on the question of a bishop. 121 Much more serious was a challenge to the Association's title to its property, led by the Rev. Octavius Mathias, a worldly ex-naval chaplain who emerged as Sewell's chief enemy among the clergy. Mathias did this by applying to W. G. Brittan, the Commissioner for Crown Land, on 11 July 1853, for the purchase of two acres at Lyttelton on which stood the Association's 'Emigration Barracks'. Sewell claimed this property as part of the Association's reserves for public purposes-part of the property from which it received some of the rents which paid the interest on the mortgaged bishopric fund. A challenge to the title therefore raised the whole question of the security of the church endowment. 122

Sewell decided to have a showdown with the committee. On 26 July 1853, when he met them to explain his proposals for the local management of the church property, he read out a minute of protest about the publication of petitions and protests by the committee. He challenged the accuracy of many of their statements, defended the Association's expenditures, Bishop Jackson's abortive mission, the land investments and, above all, condemned their publication of controversial matters without consulting him. He requested that his protest be entered in the minutes. The chairman, Mathias, demurred, but when it was put to the vote, Sewell won. 123 He then proposed a local committee of management of three clergy and three laity (the bishop's commissaries and one other clergyman, the Superintendent of the Province and two other laymen). The basic condition of transfer was that the individual advances and

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Association's liabilities would be met, and that committee members would agree to help persuade the Provincial Council to accept the settlement. Sewell put his proposal for a Church Property Trust in writing and the Committee on Church Matters appointed the inevitable subcommittee to negotiate with him. 124

By July 1853, therefore, the ecclesiastical and educational plans were at last beginning to take shape in Canterbury and Sewell (who in England had always had Lord Lyttelton to turn to) had emerged as a tough negotiator. He did not hesitate to upbraid Canterbury's querulous pioneer clergy. It was testimony to the growing respect in which he was held that as the provincial and colonial political institutions (with which he had had some connection in England) came into being in Canterbury, Sewell had a surprisingly large role. The first elections for the superintendency and the Provincial Council were completed successfully. Since the provincial legislature was the body which would decide the outcome of his mission, Sewell naturally followed its progress with interest and his vivid commentary has interested historians. 125 When the first Provincial Executive Council met on 3 September 1853, Sewell was invited to attend. He was asked by his erstwhile antagonist, FitzGerald, now Superintendent of the Province, to draft standing orders for the Provincial Council. He was also asked to become Provincial Solicitor, an office which he declined. 126 The Provincial Council opened, with parliamentary ceremonies, on 27 September 1853. However, Sewell was then visiting Wellington and could not attend.

Elections had also been held for the first colonial General Assembly under the 1852 Constitutional Act and Sewell had decided to stand as a candidate for Christchurch on the ground that there were no other suitable persons available. Charles Fooks, the candidate of the pro-Mathias, anti-Association faction, polled 34 votes against Sewell's 6l. 127 Rather pleased at becoming 'a kind of small imitation of a Member of Parliament', 128 he was also made part of a delegation appointed by the Provincial Council to secure the control of lands to the province. In six months, then, Sewell had established himself as one of Canterbury's leaders, though his task of arranging a church settlement always took priority. 129 At a public

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dinner to mark the arrival of the first commercial steamer at Lyttelton it was Sewell who was called on to reply to the toast to Members of the General Assembly. 130 FitzGerald also referred to him appreciatively in the inaugural address at the opening of the Provincial Council, and used him as interim legal adviser to the Executive.

Yet it would seem that his growing stature in the community did little to diminish Sewell's sense of insecurity and the changeability of his opinions. While he could enthuse in a letter to his brother Robert that Canterbury was the 'finest Colony I really believe in the world and the Association's scheme is a perfect success', 131 a second trip to Wellington in October 1853, in an abortive attempt to see Grey about selling survey equipment to the government, found him confessing to Lyttelton, 'I would I could say that I had found one friend in the Colony to give me the smallest help.' 132

Back in Canterbury at the end of November 1853, Sewell turned to the secular side of his mission and prepared for the settlement with the province. He sought a conference with the Executive Council, but FitzGerald preferred a definite proposal in writing. Sewell asked for a fair examination of the account books and for the province to make provision for the Association's liabilities in return for its properties, other than those set aside for ecclesiastical and educational purposes. Yet he had to admit to two continuing embarrassments: the Governor had instructed Brittan to seize the Association's property because of the challenge to its title, and the accounts were still not available. 133 The latter problem was remedied, to Sewell's great relief, on 12 January 1854 when the accounts finally arrived. (They had been taken back to England by mistake.) 134 Thus on 4 February 1854--just a year after his arrival--Sewell was able to deposit his sole authentic copy of the Association's accounts in the provincial auditor's office for reference purposes. 135 As the second session of the Provincial Council opened on 15 February 1854 FitzGerald announced that the question of the Association's liabilities would be one of the great questions to be settled. 136

Sewell still encountered serious difficulties with the local

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representatives of church and state. There was also unavoidable delay in 1854 as both he and FitzGerald had to be away in Auckland for the first session of the colonial Parliament. However, Sewell was more distressed because the church settlement was bedevilled by the squabbles of Canterbury's cantankerous clergymen.

Sewell drafted a provincial ordinance authorising a body of Church Property Trustees to manage the church properties. This bill passed the Provincial Council on 8 March 1854 and received the Superintendent's assent on 16 March. 137 The trustees were to be the bishop, the officiating clergy and twelve laymen. Even before the ordinance had been signed a special general meeting of provincial trustees was advertised for 4 April 1854 and from this came a demand that Sewell should give them full details of the properties the following week. 138 Sewell refused. He could not supply this information at such short notice. He promised a summary before leaving for Auckland, but said he would not make the transfer until the Governor had allowed the ordinance and elected trustees had taken office. 139 The trustees found this 'unsatisfactory' and adjourned their meeting. On 17 April 1854 Sewell was able to outline the various classes of trusts, the amounts of income and expenditure, including stipends and an overdraft of £2020 9s 3d. 140That the trustees continued to complain and publish their views in the Lyttelton Times put Sewell in a boiling rage'. 141 In a public letter he regretted that the work of the trustees should have begun 'under such unfavourable circumstances' and, at this point, even the Lyttelton Times rebuked the Church Property Trustees for starting off in such an 'inconsiderate and unpractical' way. 142 Sewell hoped that the controversy would not destroy his good relations with Jacobs, the headmaster, but Mathias continued his vendetta. Bitter about his own stipend, Sewell's management of the church lands and the delay in handing-over to the trustees, he also upbraided Sewell for sticking to the Association's educational ideals:

. . . instead of attempting to effect anything for the good of the Church, or to promote education, [you] amused yourself and disgusted all with the old Utopian ideas of a University and a Cathedral and pointed out how a

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visionary College was to figure vis-a-vis to an imaginary Cathedral with an ornamental cast iron bridge over the Avon to promote intercourse between them: but in no instance have you acted upon the advice or carried into effect the wishes of the Committee as to feasible objects and objects absolutely necessary for the requirements of the Colony. . . . 143

This was grossly unfair. So far from neglecting the church in Canterbury, Sewell was about to incur the wrath of the Association in England. His promised use of Association money to help rebuild the Lyttelton church, which had become unsafe after a nor'wester in March 1854, and to assist church building in Christchurch and Kaiapoi went beyond the letter of his brief, and led to a 'round robin' letter of censure from some of the Association's prominent members. 144

Sewell, in fact, seems to have finally developed a thickish hide in his dealings with the Canterbury clergy, and was winning over the Canterbury politicians. Charles Bowen, the Inspector of Police and later Provincial Treasurer, who did not always agree with Sewell's policies, nevertheless supported him against 'needlessly rabid' opponents like Mathias. Bowen--a devoted Godleyite--was even beginning to like Sewell:

. . . he is a strange compound of qualities, good and bad ... I don't think . . . [he] is dishonest in intention. But after arguing with him on a question that seems to you a simple one of the right and wrong you are astonished to find how completely he bamboozles himself. He is an example of what an honest man may come to by being a solicitor. Besides all this he is always in a diluted state. He leaves on my mind the general impression of a clever old woman. I should recommend him to take tonics, eschew long letter writing, and to fight a man of his own weight every morning before breakfast just to give him a little decision. ... I rather like Mr Sewell personally and always stick up for him when I hear of these absurd [Christchurch] people raving about what they don't understand. 145

Cautious support turned into warm approval after Sewell's work in the first General Assembly. He then moved, with growing confidence, to clear up the transfer of the church property. The Church Property Trustees had duly elected their lay trustees (except the Lyttelton church which objected to its representation) and Sewell prepared to discharge the mortgage on the bishopric fund. 146He gave the trustees the option of provincial debentures (to be

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exchanged for the Association's non-church reserves) or the land bought in the name of Lyttelton and the other guarantors. The trustees were advised that both in capital value and current income the land made a better investment. 147 The transfer of the ecclesiastical funds bore fruit in a parish rearrangement at the end of 1855 when Bishop Selwyn attended a synod in Christchurch and made arrangements for the expansion of the Anglican ministry in Canterbury. 148 The first bishop, the Rev. Henry Harper, did not arrive until 1856, after Sewell had left New Zealand.

Perhaps the crowning achievement of Sewell's ecclesiastical settlement was the founding of the college. He felt it was 'the one thing needed to redeem our character'. 149 In February 1855 he warned the chairman of the Provincial Council committee which was investigating the Association's accounts that they should not delay over the college, otherwise a small endowment from Mrs Maria Somes would lapse in July. 150 Even before the provincial settlement was made, preparations for the college were pressed ahead. The Church Property Trustees appointed the inevitable committee to negotiate with Sewell, who prepared the transfer of endowments and drafted a provincial bill. The Provincial Council also appointed a select committee. 151 There had been some disagreement about the site. Sewell suggested one near the Heathcote Ferry; the Rev. R. B. Paul preferred Cathedral Square; but eventually it was agreed that a site in the Government Domain was appropriate (the site of the present Canterbury Museum). Catching some of the school-founding vision of his famous brother, William of Radley, Sewell noted that the Avon was clear and 'deep enough for boating'; already in his mind's eye he saw the frontage (modern Rolleston Avenue) as a 'regular promenade' for Christchurch. 152 But somehow in the course of discussion a critical change of name occurred. Instead of the 'Christchurch College' envisaged in the Canterbury plan (after Godley's Alma Mater), the bill approved by the Provincial Council in July 1855 authorised the foundation of 'Christ's College, Canterbury', after FitzGerald's college in Cambridge. As a symbolic gesture it rescued Canterbury from merely Oxonian links. The future bishop was to be warden, ex

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officio, and Henry Jacobs, head of the collegiate school, was to be the first sub-warden. 153

The Christ's College Ordinance was followed soon after by the Canterbury Association Ordinance which represented the keystone of Sewell's rather complex triple transfer of power. Since the assumption of the Association's liabilities, private and public, was the major condition for the transfer of its assets, the discharge of the bishopric mortgage and the security of the church and college endowments all depended on this settlement with the province.

The matter had been delayed because of the unexpected challenge to the Association's title to its properties. It was further delayed because of Governor Grey's seizure of the Land Office in Christchurch. The Association's accounts (which arrived in February 1854) presented further problems and engaged Provincial Council committees for many months. In fact, no progress could be made while the legal validity of the Association's land holdings was under question and the accounts were disputed.

For the Land Office Sewell was prepared to go to court; he began proceedings which proved unsuccessful. On the wider question of the Association's title to its reserves, Sewell and FitzGerald took the opportunity of their presence in Auckland for the Assembly to appeal to the acting-Governor for a settlement. 154 They returned to Canterbury with assurances from Colonel Robert Wynyard, the acting-Governor, that he would assent to a provincial ordinance authorising a settlement of the Association's liabilities and to deeds conveying the Association's property to the province. 155 It remained, then, for Sewell to persuade the province to accept the Association's liabilities--a task which was complicated by three different interpretations of the accounts. First, Sewell had presented a summary of accounts made up to the end of 1852. 156 Secondly, Henry Selfe Selfe had (almost simultaneously, in London) published a slightly different version, which was republished in the Lyttelton Times in October 1854. The Provincial Council appointed a committee, which sat between October 1854 and February 1855, to examine the accounts. Most of the work was done by Packer, its chairman, and John Hall, the head of the Provincial Executive. Sewell attended some meetings or submitted written evidence. After two months the services of an accountant were called for and John Marshman was appointed. He produced a third version of the

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accounts. On the vital question of the deficit all three differed. Sewell put it at £18,417 16s 11d, Selfe at £17,519 13s 11 1/2 d, while Marshman lowered it to £16,279 6s 6d, partly because he included revenues from the first six months of 1853 and also because he used different sums for the money advanced by the government for works.

The Provincial Council's committee did not approve some of the Association's expenditures--such as commissions paid to shipping and emigration agents. Sewell expected the province to delete about £3000-£4000 and was prepared to settle for 15s in the pound. 157 Just before the Provincial Council met he agreed to drop the legal proceedings for getting occupation of the Land Office on the understanding that the Provincial Government would persuade the Colonial Government not to dispute the Association's title. 158Sewell also reminded the Provincial Government that advances from individuals to aid the Association totalled £21,440 16s 8d and that his own salary would have to be added. 159

When the council met and promptly set up yet another select committee to examine the accounts, Hall (who had just resigned as head of the executive over the council's land policy) objected to a further reworking of a problem on which he had already spent many months. But Sewell insisted that the £4000 difference between his and Marshman's totals for liabilities should be examined. 160 The report of the new committee was finally debated on 19 June 1855, when Joseph Brittan, the new head of the Provincial Executive, made a 'very good speech' 161 in moving a series of resolutions in favour of a settlement. The powers and properties of the Association were to be assumed by the province, which would make provision for the debts incurred by the Association in founding the colony. The sum would be raised by debentures bearing an interest of six per cent. It remained only to decide on the sum. Brittan outlined the chief liabilities, which came to £30,959 10s 7d. Of this, £2994 11s 9d should have been charged to the ecclesiastical fund and £500 represented expenditure on a quarantine area, which the select committee did not accept. That left a total of £27,464 18s 10d and, although the committee had taken exception to some other items, Brittan declared that after the interval of time they should not be 'ungenerous'. The province should recognise that in two years the

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Association had brought out about 4000 settlers, and supplies costing £85,000, and it had spent £67,000 on public works. If the province accepted the liabilities of about £27,000, it would receive in return properties bringing in an annual rental of £900 and town reserves, including Hagley Park and the Government Domain, valued at £25,000, as well as chattels valued at £6000-8000. It was more than enough to cover the debts.

Brittan sat down amid applause after reminding the council of the zeal of the Association's members, the accusations of fraud they had been subjected to, and said that he, for one, had 'never hesitated and never shall hesitate to avow a sense of obligation and gratitude to these gentlemen'. 162 In committee discussion focused on those sums which had been objected to and some members still hoped to delete. Sewell put up a staunch defence of some of these items. Packer said that the settlement became a matter of expediency and it was better to take the magnanimous view. William Thomson moved a figure of £28,939 10s 7d and the council (with Sewell abstaining) accepted the bill by 10 votes to 3. 163 The Lyttelton Times expressed satisfaction and concluded: 'And, now with unfeigned thanks for past services, and in all kindliness of feeling, the Province of Canterbury bids farewell to the Canterbury Association.' 164 In his speech proroguing the fourth session of the council on 10 July 1855, the day he assented to the ordinance, FitzGerald referred to the 'entirely unselfish and disinterested labours' of the Association's supporters. He then pronounced on the past five years of controversy with one of the elegant statements for which he was renowned:

That complaints sometimes of real, sometimes of imaginary or unavoidable mismanagement have found expression amongst us, in language not unfrequently embittered by individual disappointment, is not to be denied. It may be readily admitted that such complaints have not been wholly groundless. It may well be doubted whether, in such an undertaking, it would have been within human possibility to have avoided eliciting some, and sometimes even just complaints. But the conclusion of our relations with the Canterbury Association will always prove that the Colonists, as a body, have risen above the narrow feelings of temporary disappointment and partial dissatisfaction, to take a wider and juster view of the great work, as a whole, which has been done by the Association, and to give them the honor which is their due. 165

FitzGerald signed the transfer deeds at a 'theatrical little scene'

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after his speech, when Sewell was heard to say, sotto voce, he 'felt like Christian at the foot of the Cross when the load of sin rolled off his back'. 166 He noted, laconically, in his Journal that 'time has soothed down bad feeling'. 167

When the news reached England, the members who had censured him in 1854 circulated another round robin congratulating him on the happy conclusion of his mission. They asked Lord Lyttelton to pass on their gratitude and hoped that 'nothing which has passed will be considered as in any way implying a diminution of our personal regard for Mr Sewell, or any want of sympathy with him in the difficult circumstances in which he has been placed'. 168

Thus Sewell's mission to Canterbury had been crowned with success--but what of his future? His Association salary would now end. He and his wife did not really like New Zealand. He had often talked of returning to England. In August and September 1855 he went north again to Auckland to attend the second General Assembly. After that, back to Canterbury to await a ship to England.

Then, as so often before, he changed his mind. His brother Robert (who was about to be the subject of accusations of financial scandal at Radley) urged him to give up the idea of returning to England. 169 The electors of Christchurch persuaded him to stand again at the elections, in December 1855, and since responsible government was now certain and the chance of office was likely, Sewell consulted Lord Lyttelton about staying. 170 Unfettered now by his mission on behalf of the Canterbury Association, he seemed poised to make another bid for a colonial parliamentary career. We must therefore turn to consider Sewell's contributions to New Zealand affairs outside Canterbury.


Winding up the Canterbury Association remained Sewell's primary concern until the settlements of 1855. But his need for a job and his original ambition about the land registry must not be forgotten. He also had a close association with the agitation at home for

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self-government. He was active behind the scenes in the months before the passing of the 1852 Constitution Act; he was an associate of Gibbon Wakefield and believed in responsible government. Although, after a week in the colony, he avowed that his policy was 'to take no part in general politics--at all events for the present', 171he could not abstain for long once he had been to Wellington, the centre of constitutionalist agitation. In the end Sewell played a leading, though largely forgotten, role in the struggle for responsible government in New Zealand.

This is not to say that he was a particularly successful politician. Those defects of character, especially that peculiar inclination to vacillation familiar to his Association colleagues, did not always make for effectiveness in politics. Uncertainty about his future movements rendered him less credible as a colonial leader than the better-established provincial figures. But his presence in the colonial Parliament greatly adds to the importance of his Journal. Interwoven with his record of Canterbury affairs are reflections of the discontent of many leading colonists with Sir George Grey, the Governor, and a growing dissatisfaction about delay in the meeting of the General Assembly as well as Grey's interim financial arrangements for the provinces. 172 Sewell emerges from the record as an obstinate, irascible constitutionalist who kept his finger in a number of pies, but one who had an amazing capacity for legislative and financial details and who undoubtedly helped to advance the cause of self-government in New Zealand.

On his first visit to Wellington, after only a month in the colony, when he went to consult Governor Grey about the future of the Canterbury Land Office, Sewell struck his first blow for self-government. It happened that he reached Wellington a few days before the publication of Grey's cheap land proclamation of 4 March 1853 reducing the price of land (excluding the Canterbury and Otago blocks) to 10s or 5s per acre. As land policy was one of the matters handed over to the control of the General Assembly by the 1852 Constitution Act, and he could find no royal instruction authorising the proclamation, Sewell questioned its legality. On 11 March 1853 he sent off a letter of protest to the Duke of Newcastle,

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one of the Canterbury Association's prominent Whig politicians, and on 12 April another to Sir John Pakington, the Tory Secretary of State. He also secured an injunction in the Supreme Court against the operation of the new land regulations. 173 These gestures had little effect, as Grey felt he could ignore the injunction, but they contributed to the resignation of Wakefield's brother, Daniel Wakefield, from the Attorney-Generalship of New Munster--an event which was hailed, somewhat eccentrically, by the Lyttelton Times as 'the beginning of responsible government'. 174

In the real beginning of responsible government in New Zealand--in Canterbury and Wellington Provinces--Sewell was spectator rather than participant. Canterbury (as in so many things) proved to be the pioneer, but although he attended the first Provincial Executive Council on 5 September 1853 and agreed to help the Superintendent in drawing up standing orders for the Provincial Council and drafting bills, Sewell was not present when the Provincial Council was opened on 27 September 1853. Here FitzGerald announced that he would adopt a form of responsible government. The Provincial Executive would have members sitting in the legislature to conduct the Superintendent's business and the Superintendent would carry on the government in consultation with leading councillors. These latter would not be responsible ministers, in the sense of heads of department, but the responsibility of the executive to the legislature was intended. Indeed FitzGerald promised that if his advisers failed to get a majority in the Provincial Council he would call other advisers, who would possess 'a larger amount' of its confidence. 175 The system was embodied in an Executive Government Bill, and John Hall (a future colonial premier) felt it represented 'a bona, fide attempt to devise a system of responsible Government adapted to our peculiar circumstances'. 176

While Canterbury was discussing its executive, Sewell was in Wellington witnessing the opening of the Wellington Provincial

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Council. There he heard Dr Isaac Featherston, the Superintendent, announce that

Holding, as I do, the opinion that no representative Legislature can ever work satisfactorily with an irresponsible Executive ... I at once declare my intention to carry on the administration of the Government of this Province, as far as practicable, by means of a responsible Executive. I shall therefore in accordance with the practices of the British Constitution, select my chief Executive Officers from amongst the members of this Council, who shall hold office, only so long as their general administration of affairs shall meet with your approval and support. 177

A further dimension was added here by Gibbon Wakefield, who had been elected a member of the Wellington Provincial Council, and who demanded they should observe 'all the Constitutional rules practised in England for securing responsible Government'--including the resignation and re-election of ministers on appointment to office. 178 These rather pretentious provincial beginnings were but a foretaste of the move for responsible government at the centre once the General Assembly met.

When it came to issues--as opposed to constitutional practice--Sewell had already dubbed the 'great political question' one of 'Centralism or Provincialism'. He recalled that the colonial reformers in England had been agreed that the provinces 'should be in a certain degree independent; but with a strong central power on general questions'. 179 He was therefore shocked to find that Governor Grey, after inaugurating the provincial governments before calling a General Assembly, also sent circulars, in August 1853, to the superintendents making provisional financial arrangements which seemed biased in a provincialist direction. Of the two main sources of revenue--land sales and customs receipts--Grey had decreed that the land fund (the life-blood of a systematic colony like Canterbury) would be used to pay obligations to the New Zealand Company, administration costs and land purchases from the Maoris. Of the surplus, a half would be used by the General Government for immigration and a half be retained by the provinces. Customs would be divided: one-third to pay for the expenses of the General Government and two-thirds to be handed to the provinces. 180 Thus financially as well as politically the provinces were well launched before a new system of government

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could be worked out at the colonial level. As Fox put it, Grey 'set it up wrong end foremost'. 181 Sewell regarded Grey's arrangement as an illegal usurpation of the General Assembly's powers. He found Edward Stafford (the Nelson Superintendent) agreed with him; but Featherston of Wellington approved of Grey's arrangements and seemed determined to establish 'the nearest possible approach to republican independence in the Province'. 182 Logically such a trend would lead, Sewell felt, to provincial separation and the break-up of the colony, and he decided to warn colonial leaders and the Colonial Office of this possibility.

He made another incursion into general politics by addressing a letter to Hugh Carleton, an old-Etonian, Auckland anti-Greyite politician, whom Sewell had met in Wellington previously, giving warning of the implications of Grey's action, which, he said, was 'the inevitable precursor of disruption'. He sent some printed copies of his letter to 'three or four' others--including Stafford, FitzGerald, Tancred and Hamilton, and also Frederick Weld of Nelson--in which he stressed the need for an early meeting of the General Assembly. Meanwhile he suggested they should accept Grey's financial arrangements under protest and force the Government to seek a Bill of Indemnity when the Assembly met. He addressed Carleton because Auckland Province would provide the largest group of members of the House of Representatives and was already inclining to secession. He also alluded to three other matters which he would consistently press over the next three years: the need for 'one important Colony, instead of detached Provinces, or rather feeble republics'; the need to establish the colonial capital at some more central spot; and the need to settle financial and political questions as a prelude to borrowing for development. 183 In all it represented a perceptive programme.

His letter to the Duke of Newcastle, on 15 October 1853 (which ran to a six-page Wellington Independent supplement), was presented in the guise of an innocent complaint by a member of the General Assembly who was a newcomer to New Zealand and 'still habituated to the forms and principles of British Institutions'. Grey's policies were said to contravene the intentions of the Constitution Act, which Sewell described (erroneously) as 'Responsible Government, perfect and complete in all its parts, general

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and provincial'. Every aspect of Grey's rule was indicted -- inadequate South Island representation in the Assembly; failure to change the Executive Council; the cheap land regulations; the financial arrangements; Maori affairs; faulty land registration and lack of surveys; poor postal services -- all of which hindered the colony's ability to borrow. 184 It reads as an ambitious, if rather wrong-headed, manifesto.


The twelve weeks of the first session of the New Zealand Parliament, which began in May 1854, provided Sewell with the most exciting copy he ever had for his Journal. He may have tended to overdramatise events, but the situation was perhaps made for drama. Under the 1852 Constitution Act a House of Representatives of thirty-seven members, elected on a broad franchise, and a Legislative Council of sixteen nominated members, were summoned to meet at the seat of government in Auckland by Colonel Wynyard, the senior military officer, administering the government in place of Grey, who left New Zealand for leave on the last day of 1853. Relations between this representative Assembly and the old Crown Colony executive, created originally in 1840, had not been defined in the Constitution Act. In letters patent and royal instructions of 13 September 1853 Wynyard was simply ordered to govern with advice of his Executive Council. 185 This consisted of the Colonial Secretary, Dr Andrew Sinclair, the Treasurer, Alexander Shepherd, the Attorney-General, William Swainson, and the senior military officer (himself); the Governor was also empowered to add new members. Sewell believed that these 'old officials', two of whom were Crown appointees, had been assuming that they would continue in office right up to the eve of the General Assembly. At this point Dr Charles Knight, the Auditor-General, had returned from a tour of the southern provinces with reports about their expectations of responsible government. If the officials

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were put in a quandary, Sewell sympathised, remembering having 'just that kind of feeling' when the first Reform Bill passed and the windows of his father's house were smashed. 186 But the old officials were not the only uncertain ones; among the new politicians all was 'chaos'. The only person who seemed, to Sewell, to know where he was going was Gibbon Wakefield, now M.H.R. for Hutt, whose 'powerful mind goes about like a Stockman driving in wild cattle . . . He is the informing principle and mainspring of the whole'. 187

In this state of expectancy the new Parliament met on 24 May 1854. Swainson, the Attorney-General, an able lawyer who had drafted most of the colony's laws for over a decade, was appointed Speaker of the Upper House and next day Charles Clifford of Wellington was elected Speaker of the House of Representatives. Once the formalities were over the members had their first debate. It might have been taken as a portent for New Zealand politics -- it was on a sectarian issue. An Otago Presbyterian, James Macandrew, wished to recognise the Divine Being by opening with prayers. An Aucklander, Dr Walter Lee, disagreed, and moved that the House 'be not converted into a conventicle'. Other members feared that prayers offered by clergy of one church would excite jealousy from others, that it might even imply that New Zealand had a state church. A young Roman Catholic from Nelson (Frederick Weld) made his political debut by moving an amendment that the House should do nothing which might 'tend to subvert that perfect religious equality' recognised by the constitution. Sewell helped to defeat this amendment and supported a formula favouring daily prayers and the equality of all denominations, which was produced by an Auckland Congregationalist -- the linen draper, Thomas Forsaith. 188

The formal opening of Parliament took place on Saturday, 27 May 1854, with the Governor's speech to both houses. Alluding obliquely to the question of provincial and central powers, he said it was up to the Assembly to determine whether New Zealand would become 'one great nation exercising a commanding influence in the Southern Seas or a collection of insignificant, divided and powerless petty States'. 189 He did not mention either responsible government or the possibility of changing his official advisers. Over the weekend, therefore, the members gathered under the leadership of

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Gibbon Wakefield, who had once been a member of the Canadian Assembly. They decided that FitzGerald (as the only superintendent present in the House) would move the Address in Reply and that Wakefield would give notice of a resolution calling for responsible government.

The 'real business' began in the second week. FitzGerald, in his speech on the reply on 1 June, charged the acting-Governor and his advisers with failing to understand constitutional government, for to introduce representative institutions and not 'recognise all those consequences which conditionally flowed from it' was to create a system set for collision. A system of ministerial responsibility would require no new legislation. This was the issue which Wakefield expounded in the famous three-day debate, which opened on 2 June when he moved the resolution:

That, amongst the objects which this House desires to see accomplished without delay, both as an essential means whereby the General Government may rightly exercise a due control over the Provincial Governments and as a no less indispensable means of obtaining for the General Government the confidence and attachment of the people, the most important is the establishment of Ministerial responsibility in the conduct of legislative and executive proceedings by the Governor. 190

In a long lecture Wakefield gave an A.B.C. of the British system of Cabinet government and ministerial responsibility. Sewell found it 'a capital speech'. But Wakefield actually said that as an interim measure he personally would be 'content with a small reality'; the Governor might select one or two members of the House to explain the government's measures and to conduct business when the session was over. All the speakers in the debate supported the resolution, except for Thomas Forsaith, who regarded it as premature and moved for a select committee, which Sewell seconded pro forma.

When Sewell spoke he supported Wakefield's resolution and gave what he regarded as the legal arguments for responsible government: put briefly, he maintained there was nothing in the 1852 Act or in the constitution of the old executive offices to prevent it. Parliament's control over the executive depended on its control over public expenditure; the only statutory appropriations were in the civil list -- the Governor's and judges' salaries and £7000 reserved for Maori purposes. 'It was clear from this that the Constitution Act intended to place the establishment of the General Government under the control of the General Assembly.' This did not necessarily imply immediate removal of the old officials, since all members of

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British governments did not sit in Parliament. But if the officials 'stood aloof, insisting on their vested rights, that might compel another course'. 191

As an interpretation of the text of the 1852 Act (as distinct from the intentions of its authors) this was a reasonable argument in the political context. When he tried to explain the basis of the executive, however, he was found to be on less secure ground. The original appointments under an 1840 Act had, he argued, been superseded under the 1846 Constitution Act when executive councils for two provinces were authorised. These provisions had not been nullified by the Suspending Act of 1848, but were superseded by the 1852 Act. 192 'Parliament was in the dark', he said, as to how the existing executive officers were constituted, but the 1852 Act provided for a single colonial civil list, and this could not be met until the General Assembly voted funds.

Sewell thought he had scotched some 'law hares', but when the debate resumed, on Monday, 5 June, Forsaith (who had once been part of the old executive as a Protector of Aborigines) pointed out an important defect in Sewell's exposition. The executive of 1840 had been outlined in the Governor's instructions, which were revived when the 1846 Act was suspended; moreover, the letters patent accompanying the 1852 Act declared that the executive should remain on the same basis. Forsaith, the draper, had put Sewell, the lawyer, to rights. FitzGerald, who had just been made aware of new royal instructions, wondered if the commissions of the executive officials should be examined by the House. 193

In spite of this clarification of the position of the old officials Forsaith's amendment in favour of a select committee on responsible government received only his own vote, so the House turned to disposing of Wakefield's resolution. On 6 June Wakefield moved an Address to the Governor conveying the House's wishes. Now it was the turn of Loughlin O'Brien (an Auckland lawyer who still favoured responsible government) to take up the question of the old officials. As there were reasonable doubts as to whether the acting-Governor was permitted to change his executive officers without sanction from home, he felt the House ought to address the

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request for ministerial responsibility to the Crown and, in the meantime, do as Wakefield suggested and ask for two members of the House to be added to the Executive Council as a 'means of communication' between legislature and executive. 194 Forsaith seconded this proposal and Sewell had to admit that he had not been aware, until the previous day, of the instructions of 13 September 1852, which he recognised were clearly 'part of the law of the colony'. Yet he did not abandon his basic argument. He pointed out that the new instructions did allow the Governor to add members to the Executive Council. He still doubted the legal basis of the existing public offices. Under the 1846 Act the officials were to be paid under provincial civil lists and by the 1852 Act the old provinces had ceased to exist. 'As to what took place thereafter, as regarded the reconstitution of the Executive Government for the whole colony, they knew nothing precisely.' There would have been no time to issue new warrants and the new civil list could not take effect until the Assembly voted funds: '. . . one of the first Acts which the Assembly might have to pass might be one for the proper constitution by law of an Executive Government'. But O'Brien turned Sewell's strict interpretation of the Constitution Act against him--if there was no power to alter the Executive Council granted in the Act, none existed. In spite of these doubts the resolution of the House requesting ministerial responsibility was duly sent to the acting-Governor.

What was Colonel Wynyard to do? These were days of suspense for officials and politicians alike. With the legislature virtually unaminous, the Attorney-General found that 'the situation of the Executive was sufficiently embarrassing'. 195 As the debate progressed Sewell picked up rumours that the officials would go; that they would stay; that Wynyard would keep them in office; that he would concede responsible government as he had been willing to do in Auckland Province. On 2 June, the day the debate began, Swainson, the Attorney-General and the most experienced of the officials, told Clifford, the Speaker, that responsible government would be conceded. Clifford passed this news to Frederick Weld and Gibbon Wakefield and that evening the three of them discussed possible ministers who might be recommended to the Governor. Next day Wakefield decided he would not be party to secret talks. But when he told Clifford that he would not communicate with the executive unless in an 'open way', he was told that Swainson would not agree to such open discussions nor to the possibility of

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Wakefield's taking office. This annoyed Wakefield, who ridiculed the idea that anybody could stop him 'taking an influential part in the government of this colony'. 196 In an atmosphere of uncertainty jealousies surfaced. The question on everyone's lips was: Who would be sent for? The names of FitzGerald, Dr David Monro or Weld (from Nelson), Major Greenwood (of the Auckland pensioner settlements), Wakefield, even Sewell himself, were mentioned. 197

Wynyard was a stolid, unimaginative, army officer and a stickler for form. He was cast in a tricky situation for which he was ill-equipped by experience. He naturally sought the advice of the Attorney-General, who in a written opinion on 5 June outlined the constitutional position with greater accuracy than Sewell had done. The cardinal point was that the 1852 Act made no provision for responsible government. By the letters patent of 13 September 1852 the Governor was instructed to rule with the advice of his Executive Council and by new royal instructions of the same date the council was to consist of the senior military officer, the Colonial Secretary, the Attorney-General, the Treasurer and 'such other persons as the Governor shall deem qualified' subject to confirmation of the Secretary of State. The Governor and Executive Council were responsible to the Crown. So there clearly was no power to change the executive and grant responsible government without reference to the Colonial Office. Nor was there any provision for the representation of the executive in the legislature, which, Swainson said, was a 'defect' of the 1852 Act. The simplest remedy would be to choose men who had the confidence of the Assembly and appoint them to the public offices. However, the present incumbents were permanent appointments. The Governor did have power to increase his Executive Council, so two or three new members 'might be appointed provisionally ... to form the recognised organ of communication between the Executive and the Legislature'. They could not be given specific offices but should become 'legislative members of the Government' and be changed if they lost the confidence of the Assembly. At least one should be a lawyer. Meanwhile, for the rest of the session at least, it would be convenient to retain the present officers.

Swainson's main conclusion was that, without specific authority from home, the acting-Governor could not put ministerial responsibility into 'full effect'. On 6 June, while the Assembly completed its resolutions requesting responsible government, the

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Executive Council agreed to adopt this interim policy of linking executive and legislature. The old officials declared themselves in writing ready to retire on pension if necessary. 198

Wynyard, who wanted to do his best by the settlers, summoned FitzGerald and Monro (mover and seconder of the Address in Reply) to see if they could fill the new role as 'unofficials' on the council. When the House met on 7 June FitzGerald (after a brief whisper to Wakefield) announced that he and Monro had been called and he sought a week's adjournment. Sewell found it all interesting and exciting--'we were all like the Spectators at a Theatre before the curtain rises'. 199

Next day Sewell became more than a spectator. FitzGerald needed a lawyer. Frederick Whitaker (an Auckland MLC), who was recommended, was associated with the old officials and excited the opposition of the Auckland Progress Party members. FitzGerald asked Sewell if he would become Solicitor-General. Sewell wanted to consult Gibbon Wakefield, but FitzGerald swore him to secrecy until Weld had been consulted. 200 Sewell was willing to help FitzGerald inaugurate the government but insisted he would have to return to Canterbury to finish his Association business. Monro found he could not agree on policy, so FitzGerald tried to construct a 'ministry' alone. Sewell and Weld persuaded him that Wakefield would have to be consulted. Wakefield (when visited by Sewell and Weld) would not be party to any move 'without general knowledge and consent', but on Friday, 9 June, they persuaded Wakefield, who was in a 'very sour mood' about not being included, to explain what was being arranged to a caucus of members. 201 The plan, as Sewell recorded it, was for

FitzGerald to be pro tem Premier, without office. Weld and I to go into the Executive Council with Office in due time, he as Colonial Secretary, I as Solicitor General. Somebody else--blank--to be Colonial Treasurer, to be an Auckland man--Somebody else, blank, also an Auckland man to be Secretary for Native Affairs. Swainson and the other Officials Colonial Secretary and Colonial Treasurer, to resign upon pensions--Swainson to

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come back as Attorney General under the new regime-the other two to go.

Sewell realised that to Aucklanders it all would seem like a southern take-over, but he found it hard to fill in the blanks with suitable Aucklanders because of the extremely bitter political polarisation which found a vent during the province's first superintendency election in 1853. The choice for Treasurer had been Dr J. Logan Campbell, but Campbell attached a condition which implied making Wynyard ineligible for the superintendency. 202 They proceeded without an Aucklander. Wakefield seemed to have persuaded a stormy meeting of twenty-nine members in King's boardinghouse to accept the interim arrangement, so on Saturday, 10 June, 'Ministerial life' could begin.

The 'Cabinet', of FitzGerald, Sewell and Weld, was given space in the Survey Office. It 'sat down together to make a Government' with 'a promise of absolute confidence from the Governor'. 203 But Wynyard, explaining his actions for the Secretary of State in London, wrote: *. . . time has been solicited to ascertain if they are likely to carry on with the confidence of the House'. 204 Sewell was less cautious. Writing up his Journal on the Sunday he declared: 'The Revolution is accomplished. Responsible Government is un fait accompli. FitzGerald is Prime Minister . . .' 205

Unfortunately Sewell was guilty of sharing that impetuosity he so often, in Canterbury, attributed to FitzGerald. Wynyard and FitzGerald, who completed their 'arrangements' on 10 June, misunderstood each other. Either, or both, failed to clarify their full intentions. FitzGerald expected that the scheme would be provisional and that the old officials would retire with pensions after an Executive Government Bill was passed. Wynyard, who was, of course, only the acting Governor, had been advised by the Attorney-General that he did not have authority to permit this. He was not a man to exceed his authority. In letters exchanged at the time FitzGerald noted that he, Sewell and Weld were joining the Executive Council 'on the understanding' that an Executive Government Bill would be immediately introduced authorising pensions for the old officials, who would then retire 'as soon as the convenience of the public service shall require it'. Wynyard explained the provisional nature of the arrangement differently. He

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replied to FitzGerald that he could not disturb the present office holders 'at all events till I am honoured with the views of Her Majesty's Home Government on the steps I have already taken'. He also enclosed letters from the three officials indicating their willingness to retire with suitable pensions. 206 From this exchange, which was not laid before the Assembly at the time (and one wonders if FitzGerald actually showed it to Sewell and Weld), the politicians believed that the main offices of state would become available once the pensions had been voted, but Wynyard clearly intended that such a move would depend on approval from Britain.

The new 'Cabinet' assumed that once the officials had secured their pensions they would make way for full ministerial responsibility, though they hoped Swainson would stay on as Attorney-General. But the officials regarded FitzGerald rather as a New Commonwealth governor would a 'Leader of Government Business'. At best the new scheme was a system of 'dyarchy', with the officials responsible through the Governor to the Crown, and the 'ministers' responsible to the legislature. As Fox (reading newspaper reports in Wellington) put it, 'FitzGerald and Co. were foolish enough to undertake to act as a responsible complement to the Executive, in the nominal capacity of Premier, quasi Treasurer and Solicitor General.' 207 Quite oblivious of (or ignoring) this vital qualification, they prepared to meet the House; many members of the Assembly were equally under the illusion that full responsible government was imminent. 208

Sewell's euphoria was short-lived. He started the week in a 'bouncy mood'--'Cabinet work all day'. Going for lunch at the Masonic Hotel in Princes Street, he felt like a British Cabinet member going into the Carlton or the Reform during a political crisis. But on Tuesday, 13 June, Wakefield, the great exponent of responsible government, who had been left out of the new

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arrangements, came 'fretful, dissatisfied . . . affronted'. Sewell sensed a storm was brewing. He acknowledged the 'painfulness' of Wakefield's position, but felt he excited too much suspicion to be allowed to take the formal leadership. Wakefield might stand out 'first and biggest and almost the only distinct object in the political foreground', but he and Sewell were now on different sides and in good faith to FitzGerald Sewell felt he should keep himself 'aloof from one whom we all feel as dangerous'. 209 It gave Sewell a sleepless night. It made him realise how important it was to win over Swainson, the most important of the officials, to the government. Next day, therefore, Sewell visited the Chief Justice, William Martin, who had been Swainson's colleague for ten years. Martin agreed about the Attorney-General's importance, but warned Sewell that Swainson would not join the new government. Already, then, shadows were cast over Sewell's elation from two directions, by Wakefield and Swainson.

The three ministers were sworn in as members of the Executive Council on 14 June and FitzGerald outlined his policy proposals. Next day Swainson explained the new mixed executive to the upper house and gave them most of the text of his memorandum on the constitutional position. FitzGerald made a ministerial statement in the House of Representatives. He claimed the full confidence of the Governor. He would conduct business as an 'unofficial member of the Executive Council' and would resign if he lost the House's support. 210 He personally would not accept permanent office, but the old officials would retire when the House voted pensions. As for policy, he announced bills for reshaping the executive departments, arranging division of revenue between Provincial and General Governments, laying out the policy on land purchases from Maoris and resale to settlers, and organising the postal system and the law courts. He promised a bill of indemnity for money expended since September 1853 and announced a first constitutional reform-the promise of an elective upper house. The principle which would govern his approach to General-Provincial relations was an intention

... to consolidate the governmental administration throughout the colony, in many cases extending the powers of the provinces, at the same time enlarging the controlling power of the General Government, putting an end to conflicting authorities of the Government in the provinces, and as far as possible incorporating the Provincial Governments into the General Government.

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For land purchase from the Maoris, Crown pre-emption would remain, and to purchase 12 million acres over the next 5 or 6 years six loans of up to £500,000 might be sought. But land sales and land management would be handed over to the provinces by General Executive regulations. Land revenue would remain with the provinces, but customs collected by the provinces would be listed under general revenue to ensure full audits. 211 Sewell followed FitzGerald with a personal statement about being willing to help launch the system even though he was not a permanent resident in New Zealand. He ended his first week in office still abundantly confident that 'Government by Downing Street' was at an end in New Zealand. 212

Act two in the drama came in his second week of office. The first Executive Council under 'dyarchy' met on Tuesday, 20 June, with both 'responsible ministers' and old officials together as advisers of the Governor. The council approved three of FitzGerald's draft bills, including an Executive Government Bill designed to give the Governor power 'by warrant under his hand' to make appointments to the offices of Colonial Secretary, Attorney-General, Treasurer, Solicitor-General and Secretary for Native Affairs. 213 Swainson was aloof, civil, 'decently communicative' but sat like an 'Epicurean Jupiter'. Sewell wondered about him. In the House, however, Wakefield, of all people, began making public criticisms. He complained that the House had little positive to show for a month's sitting. It had had too little opportunity to discuss policy. He did not like the new system of a mixed ministry (which followed, of course, his own suggestion): 'Instead of one homogeneous Government, we have two Governments in one--the old and new systems bound together in an unnatural alliance.' 214 As for Sewell's position, Wakefield complained he might not stay in New Zealand. He and Sewell had worked closely in the Canterbury Association; their views coincided on many matters--in fact he regarded Sewell as his alter ego in the ministry--but Wakefield announced he would retain his independence. He also criticised the ministry's minimum land price of 5s per acre. He had pledged himself (in spite of all his past preaching) to the lowest possible minimum price in the interests of working-class settlers. He was rebuked by his fellow Wellingtonian, Robert Hart, and less severely by Sewell, who denied being Wakefield's alter ego.

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In fact Sewell found the exchange 'rather an important incident as marking the relative positions of parties in the House'. There was more 'skirmishing' with Wakefield as the ministry went ahead with its legislative programme. Another 'apple of discord' was thrown down on Thursday, 29 June, when Wakefield insisted that Auckland Province (where he was now bidding for support) should be exempt from paying a share of the colony's debt to the New Zealand Company. His son Edward Jerningham Wakefield, a Canterbury member, complained of lack of consultation between ministers and the House. But on a motion that the Assembly had 'mainly the character of a constituent Parliament' and the introduction of bills involving major changes should be preceded by full information to members, Wakefield's opposition faction lost on a 10 : 13 division. 215

By the end of the seventh week of the Parliament Sewell sensed there were 'a hundred dangers ahead', that the growing political division would not be healed, and that Wakefield was intent on breaking the ministry. It was true that potential allies from the south reached Auckland on 1 July in the shape of Isaac Featherston (the Wellington Superintendent) and Edward Stafford (the Nelson Superintendent), but the latter did not have a seat. Sewell also alerted the House to the way Wakefield was using their primitive system of parliamentary reporting to doctor his speeches for propaganda purposes. 216 He also had the rather ironical satisfaction of shepherding the House's first Act through all three stages at one sitting-the 'Bellamy's bill' to authorise the sale of liquor to members on the premises of Parliament. 217 But he expected a crisis on Tuesday, 11 July, the day when the government's Waste Lands Bill would be put to the test.

Wakefield concentrated his fire on this measure since it concerned the two great issues affecting New Zealand's future--the nature of colonisation and relations between the General and Provincial Governments. Over the weekend before this vital division Stafford and Clifford both warned Sewell that Wakefield would try to topple the ministry and would get the support of the Auckland members as well as a few others, including his son. In a 'Council of War', on Sunday, 9 July, at FitzGerald's lodging, where he had been confined most of the week by illness, the ministers decided that if they were

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beaten they would 'dissolve and go to the Colony for a new Assembly to be held at Wellington'. 218

The argument centred on the price of land and control of land policy. FitzGerald believed that the majority of colonists favoured handing over control of land to the provinces. Sewell, too, had made this his policy when he stood for election in Christchurch. The 1852 Act conferred the authority on the General Assembly. Any formal concession of power could not be given up to the provinces, yet FitzGerald was convinced that the management of waste land 'must be localised'. 219 The ministry's solution was for a province to draft its own land regulations but for the Governor to issue them as colonial regulations applicable to that province. Thus the constitutional authority of the General Assembly would be preserved in theory, while provincial control was ensured in practice. As for the price of land, the minimum was set at 5s per acre, but provinces could fix their own price; this would protect the high-price southern colonies. When it came to the debate on Tuesday, 11 July, the Auckland members, who supported Wakefield, criticised the bill on constitutional grounds. Forsaith professed surprise and wondered, sarcastically, how 'a great constitutional lawyer' like Sewell could draft such a document; Carleton warned they might 'Canterburise the whole colony'. 220 The most notable feature of the debate was a confrontation between Weld and Wakefield. Weld had been one of the reformers who, in 1851, with Wakefield, Sewell, Fox and others, had produced the Hams Hall draft for a constitution. In an hour-long speech Weld told the House that in those days Wakefield had supported handing over land to the provinces. Wakefield cried, 'No, No!' Sewell called 'Yes'. Weld remembered clearly, for he had himself inclined to differ at that time. Weld's real challenge was made on the 'sufficient price'. Wakefield was known as an expert on colonisation: Weld believed that on his speech that day Wakefield's 'character as a colonial politician will, in great measure, rest in the minds of many'. Wakefield had apparently pledged himself to his constituents to support the lowest possible price of land, but in the Art of Colonisation (which Weld flourished in the House) Wakefield had said the highest price yet charged in New Zealand at that time was 'insufficient'. How did he reconcile these views? Would he tell the House what was the 'sufficient price'; if not, his silence would vindicate the critics of the so-called Wakefield system. 221

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Wakefield claimed the challenge as unfair. They were not debating the sufficient price but colonial-provincial relations. As to handing over the management of land to provincial management, why not to district management? He then moved on to general criticisms of the ministry and declared that if there was to be a crisis, let it come now rather than later. Sewell had been hurt by many of Wakefield's remarks. When he spoke he said he had listened to Wakefield with great pain. He and his colleagues had been assured of support when they joined the Executive Council; now on the first major measure Wakefield had broken his promise. For himself, he had always supported provincial management of land and he reminded the House that the bill before them did not give provincial councils the power to legislate, only to initiate regulations which the General Government would authorise. On the division the ministers won again by 20 votes to 10. Members told Sewell he had 'demolished' Wakefield. He felt it was the end of Wakefield's influence in politics and marked the 'final split' between them personally. 222 Wakefield made a last bid against the Waste Lands Bill in committee by proposing an alternative policy. He attempted to add an amendment for setting aside at least one-third of the land for grants to working-class settlers with a system of deferred payments. He was defeated again. Thus, on its policies, the ministry prevailed politically.

It seemed that the FitzGerald 'ministry' was safe, so Sewell turned to other aspects of the legislative programme and also to the question of leadership after the session. FitzGerald was going back to Canterbury. Of the other two potential leaders whom Sewell had his eye on--Stafford was willing to come forward if the government moved to Wellington; Fox (who was also without a seat) remained an uncertain quantity. Sewell worried about the future of the executive. The parliamentary session could not go on indefinitely. Financial estimates would have to be presented, supply voted and the long-term government finalised. 'The House begins to ask, where is the Government? It is not contented with the mere makebelieve of us three, without Office; whilst the three old Officials are in full swing of the Departments.' 223 There were hints to Sewell and Weld that supply would not be voted while they remained compromised in the mixed ministry. FitzGerald wanted to return south, so it was agreed that Sewell, Weld and Bartley would hold the fort in Auckland. They assumed that when the pensions for the old officials were voted (in the Executive

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Government Bill), the main offices would become available to ministers. Full responsible government could at last be inaugurated.

They were soon disillusioned. Privately Wynyard gave FitzGerald the impression he would acquiesce, but on Saturday, 29 July, he made it clear that he would not dismiss the old officials until he received authority from home. 'We tell him that that will not do--the House will not vote supplies.' 224 The misunderstanding of 10 June now became apparent. A week of 'ministerial crisis' followed.

At the Executive Council on Tuesday, 1 August, the ministers formally tendered their advice in writing. They had understood the arrangement of the mixed ministry was 'a provisional one'. Their legislative programme had gone through the Assembly but a parliamentary opposition had developed. This meant that the holders of'unofficial seats in the Executive Council' would be doing the Governor and the people a disservice if they carried on with an arrangement which could only lead to collision between executive and legislature. There were three courses open: first, the unofficials could resign and a new mixed ministry be formed; second, they could revert to the old system; or, third, the officials could resign and the government be 'reconstituted on the ordinary Responsible basis'. 225 The ministers naturally advised the last course.

Wynyard, as might be expected, consulted the officials. Sinclair, the Colonial Secretary, formally tendered his resignation so that his position would 'impose no difficulty in the way of the establishment of Ministerial responsibility'. Swainson said that if it would speed business he would allow the 'legislative members' to tell the Assembly that he had sent his resignation to the Colonial Office, and that 'even pending the acceptance by the Secretary of State' he would be prepared to retire whenever the head of the government relieved him. Shepherd stood by his earlier offer. When Wynyard declared that he would accept Sinclair's resignation but not those of the Crown appointees, FitzGerald said his ministers could not carry on unless all the offices became available.

Before closing the matter they decided to meet again next day. At this council Wynyard received written resignations from Sewell, Weld and Bartley. He indicated that he was willing to fill the office of Colonial Secretary with an MHR, but to 'require the Holders of Office to resign their posts till I am favoured with the views of the Crown on the late steps I have taken would not only be at variance with the original undertaking and beyond what I conceive my

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powers to be, but a want of proper respect on my part to the Home Authorities'. 226 FitzGerald briefly toyed with the idea of staying on but even he resigned. Wynyard sent for Wakefield, who had led the opposition in the House.

That afternoon FitzGerald informed the House of Representatives that he had advised the Governor to permit full responsible government, that it had been refused and the ministry had resigned. Wakefield went over to FitzGerald and told him that he had been called by the Governor. According to British parliamentary practice it was to be expected that a Wakefield ministry might now be attempted.

This did not happen. Instead, the fall of the mixed ministry was attended by a bitter post-mortem. There were two reasons for this. First, the ministers had to admit that they had joined the council without precise enough conditions. The terms in which this explanation was offered sought to stress their own uncalculating good faith, even to the point of admitting naivety. FitzGerald now revealed to the House his correspondence with the Governor of 10 June. Sewell and Weld both affirmed that they, too, had expected the officials to retire with pensions. Weld declared that never again could they 'consent to a compromise'. Sewell even said they had been 'entirely deceived' by the officials. 227 In his Journal at the weekend, however, he was more judicious: 'In all such cases there is of course some blame to those who allow themselves to be duped. We ought to have known better and to have had recorded in writing and in express terms, what has been left to vague understandings and oral pledges. The blame to us is, that we were too credulous.' 228

The chief reason for all the bitterness stemmed from Wakefield's own peculiar conduct. After FitzGerald made the ministerial explanation in the House on 3 August, a vote of thanks and confidence in the ministers was moved by Conway Rose of Canterbury. At this point Wakefield announced that he had been charged to read a statement from the Governor. He said the Governor had sought his advice about trying to avert a failure of responsible government and a possible wasted session. Wakefield told the House that he would try to devise a solution but would not take office. He then read out Wynyard's version of the demise of the mixed ministry, in a statement which Wakefield had probably drafted himself: I am now called upon to form an entirely new form

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Fig. 2. Map of the original six Provinces of New Zealand, showing relation of the Canterbury Block

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of government, without even a reference to my Sovereign; thus throwing on me, during my temporary administration of the Government, a grave responsibility, which I am not prepared or disposed to bear.' 229

This did not deter the House from passing the vote of confidence in the ex-ministry or from addressing the Governor again on their desire for responsible government. What worried members, and contributed to their anger, was that Wakefield, the chief exponent of responsible government, appeared in the role of adviser to the Governor, but would not take office and become responsible in the Assembly. Wakefield pictured himself as a mediator--an informal adviser in the sense that FitzGerald and Monro had been initially. Politically he had blundered. In the circumstances he 'had a game to play' but he muffed his chance--made a 'miserably fake move'. 230 The majority of the House opposed him.

On Saturday, 5 August, a formal message from the Governor was read in both blouses. It suggested that the ex-ministers had changed their minds about the 10 June arrangement and were demanding by threats more than had been agreed. It declared that the correct procedure would be for the House to pass a bill favouring responsible government, which would be sent to England for the royal assent. It also referred to the action of the Governor-General of Canada, Sir Charles Metcalfe, who, when most of his executive council resigned in 1843 because he refused to consult them over patronage, communicated with the assembly by way of messages. He did not say that Metcalfe had also sought informal advice of his supporters in the Canadian Assembly--including Gibbon Wakefield. 231 Yet it was obvious who supplied the analogy. FitzGerald insisted that the message did not represent Wynyard's words--it came from his advisers, 'be they who they may', and he felt it was 'dastardly cowardice' for them to shelter behind the Governor's name. FitzGerald and Sewell both made it clear that they regarded Wakefield as the author of the Governor's message. For Sewell the moment had come for a public break with Wakefield. He closed the debate on the Governor's message by referring to Wakefield as the 'father of Ministerial responsibility in New Zealand' who had turned his back on it and had come to the House 'as an irresponsible adviser to His Excellency'. Sewell then did what he always did in a tight corner--he read a written statement declaring that when he took office he believed that the old officials

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would retire once their pensions had been provided. 'I solemnly declare that I never undertook that the completion of such resignation would be made dependent on such a condition as approval from England.' That there 'may have been misunderstanding' he (somewhat inconsistently) admitted. 232

Over the weekend Sewell mused over the personal breach and the constitutional predicament. Wakefield had been called in to try to end the deadlock between Governor and ministers, but he was only prepared to act as an unofficial adviser not as a responsible minister. Sewell suspected that he was using the old officials to create a crisis and secure a dissolution, so that he could appeal to the electorate on a policy of land grants for working settlers coupled with constitutional reform, and then be asked to form a Wakefield ministry. Sewell felt 'pity and shame' for his old colleague; yet he could not but admire his 'strongly misapplied power'. He felt that enough members dreaded the prospect of a Wakefield government for them to organise against it. About two-thirds of the members met regularly as a caucus at King's boardinghouse. FitzGerald was their nominal leader but, as he fulsomely conceded afterwards, 'the real leader was Sewell'. 233 In fact, they decided to ask the Governor to go back to the advice of the old officials, not Wakefield.

It was a tactic designed to highlight Wakefield's unconstitutional actions and to warn the Governor. Dr Monro of Nelson--'the very type of moderation'--was chosen to do it, and when he gave notice of motion on Tuesday, 8 August, Wakefield was 'taken aback'. 234 In the debate on the Address to the Governor next day Monro professed alarm that the Governor should convey messages to the House by a 'non member of the Executive Council', that a member of the House should be acting as 'sole adviser'. To whom was he responsible? 'The affairs of the colony were virtually managed by a dictator: Still worse, he was not an open and avowed dictator.' 235Wakefield counter-attacked by suggesting that the ex-ministers simply wanted to get their hands on the government places and referred to Metcalfe's action when his executive councillors resigned in similar circumstances. The motion passed 13 to 12, leaving Wakefield 'sadly disappointed'.

The next step was a long Address to the Governor regretting the misunderstanding over the mixed ministry and appealing to him to apply the principles 'fully admitted by the Imperial Government as

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applicable to colonies in which popular Legislatures have been established on the basis of complete representation'. This led to more bitter debate. Forsaith did his best to temper the barb by proposing an amendment simply regretting what had occurred and hoping that relations could be restored between executive and legislature. He realised that the crux of the whole matter went back to the formation of the mixed ministry: 'Did His Excellency, or did he not, make those honourable members distinctly acquainted with his opinion?' He did not accuse FitzGerald of misrepresentation--only of over optimism about the Governor's intentions. William Travers, who seconded the amendment, made some sport at the expense of the 'mighty politicians' like Sewell, who had once been so 'radiant with happiness and smiles'. He declared that the ex-ministers' actions had been characterised 'by haste, by anger, by imprudence, by indiscretion, and by a menacing attitude towards the head of the Government'. Wakefield denied that he had acted as 'sole adviser'--he had merely visited the Governor 'alone'. He contradicted Sewell's claim that the 1852 Act had provided for responsible government. Sewell insisted that they had no intention of blocking supply. On his role in the ministerial debacle he concluded that as a lawyer 'he was ashamed of himself, but he had considered himself'a gentleman dealing with gentlemen'. Forsaith's amendment was lost and the Address to the Governor approved. An end to the wrangling came on 17 August after the frustrations of the House erupted into a disorderly scene.

After prayers at noon the Speaker read the Governor's reply to their address of the previous day. As the collision between executive and legislature seemed irreconcilable and no legislation had been passed, the Governor had decided that the session should end. He had contemplated proroguing the Assembly indefinitely to await the Secretary of State's reply to the request for ministerial responsibility. Instead of this he decided to prorogue for a short period and see if he could add other suitable members to the Executive Council to represent all major provincial interests.

Sewell rose to speak on this message, but at that very moment the private secretary (who had been listening at the door) entered with another message from the Governor. Realising that this was probably the prorogation, Sewell suggested that they should depart from normal procedure (which was to hear a message immediately) and debate the first one before opening the second. FitzGerald moved the suspension of standing orders to allow for this, but opposition members who objected fled the chamber or clambered into the gallery. When a vote was taken a quorum was no longer present. Then some missing members came in, a new vote was called

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and standing orders were suspended. Thus the first message, warning of prorogation, was discussed and Sewell proposed a series of resolutions condemning a prorogation or dissolution without supply; requesting the Governor to remove Wakefield 'from his Council'; reiterating the petition in favour of responsible government; and calling upon the Executive Council to govern in the interim according to provincial wishes. There was even talk of impeachment or petition to the Crown, and Wakefield's criminal past was referred to. As the House went into committee some Wakefieldites came in to break up the sitting. James Mackay of Nelson marched in with his hat on, defied the chairman, flung a Gazette on the table and declared that the session was over. In the uproar which followed Sewell and another member tried to push him out. Sewell's resolutions were then formally adopted, after which the Governor's new message was read. It prorogued the General Assembly for two weeks until 31 August. 236

A fortnight of suspense followed. One point was soon cleared up. By Saturday, 19 August, Wakefield had resigned as temporary adviser. He met Wynyard the day after the prorogation, a day when Wynyard also met Lord Alfred Churchill, a former English MP who was visiting the colony. Sewell believed that Churchill urged the Governor to get rid of Wakefield; Captain Drury of HMS Pandora was also cited as an influence on Wynyard. 237 Certainly Wakefield was sufficiently worried to visit Swainson early on 19 August and try to pump him (over breakfast) as to the Governor's plans. He spoke against the idea of an indefinite prorogation, but gathered that Swainson was torn between returning to the old official executive or surrendering to the majority. Wakefield hinted to the Attorney-General that their two complementary talents--'his conservatism, and my democratic turn'--were the qualities which,

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if they agreed on policy, might enable them, 'acting like one person, to counsel his Excellency in the present emergency, and to serve the Colony afterwards, for some little time at any rate, better than any other two men in New Zealand'. 238 But Swainson, who was an indecisive man, gave nothing away. Possibly, since he was in poor health and due for leave, he did not know what to advise and had little idea what Wynyard would do. Later that day Wakefield sent his resignation to Wynyard. He later jokingly referred to himself as a 'discharged Cabinet maker'. 239

In the week after the prorogation Wynyard and the officials on the one side, and the politicians on the other, searched for a way out. The Governor consulted two Aucklanders, Frederick Whitaker (an MLC) and Forsaith, and two southerners, Featherston (Wellington) and Monro (Nelson). Featherston insisted that the General Assembly must meet again and that the majority would be willing to vote supply and pass useful bills. Sewell took the same view. But his fears that the old officials would insist on an indefinite prorogation were proved groundless, for Wynyard made a second attempt at a mixed ministry.

Forsaith was suddenly summoned from his shop on Tuesday, 29 August, to try to form a new mixed ministry from the old opposition faction. Representing Auckland himself, he chose Edward Jerningham Wakefield (Canterbury), Travers (Nelson) and Macandrew (Otago) as representatives of the provinces. They had, of course, all been Wakefield men, opponents of the FitzGerald ministry. Sewell called it a 'round-robin Cabinet without a Head (Wakefield himself being a sub-auditor, not ostensibly one of them) joints of a tail, the head itself invisible'. 240 He saw it as a case of Wakefield 'back again into Council in disguise'. It lasted two days.

The second session of the Assembly opened on Thursday, 31 August, with a Governor's speech which shocked Sewell. Expecting a 'mean-nothing speech', he listened instead to the full Wakefieldian programme--the working settlers' scheme, an elective upper chamber. He dubbed it 'clap-trap', designed to lead up to defeat in the House, dissolution, a popular appeal on the hustings and class war. The ex-ministers saw it as an insult to the House and they took counsel that evening.

Sewell now stood forward as virtual leader of the House. He counselled 'moderation and a crafty wariness'. 241 Using moderates

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as front-men, he drafted a suitable address to confound the new mixed ministry. When the House met next day to debate Forsaith's Address in Reply, Monro moved Sewell's amendment that there was not enough time to discuss the controversial programme included in the Governor's speech and that the new ministry was not supported. During the debate Wakefield referred critically to the old mixed ministry, but FitzGerald suggested to the House that they knew who really headed the new one. 'What sucklings were afraid to utter their political mother had stated in their behalf.' 242When it came to a division, the new ministry was defeated 22 votes to 10. Next day, Saturday, 2 September, Stuart-Wortley moved Sewell's Address to the Queen requesting full ministerial responsibility. That evening Forsaith's ministry resigned. Members of the House went to Wynyard in a body and assured him that now Wakefield's influence was out of the way they would cooperate in voting supply and general legislation.

The first Parliament then reverted to being an old-fashioned representative assembly. Until a reply on ministerial responsibility was received from London the old executive officers would continue. Swainson later recorded it as a vindication of his interpretation of the Constitution Act: '. . . the majority, Mr Wakefield and the minority, each in turn had now made the attempt; and it had been experimentally demonstrated, by a kind of exhaustive process, that, consistently with the powers of the Acting-Governor, no better form of Government could at present be established than that which was in existence when the Assembly first met'. 243

The Governor sent down a financial statement on Monday, 4 September, and for the next two weeks the House of Representatives worked long hours in committee on supply and in passing a number of necessary bills. Sewell now emerged as an effective parliamentarian-his 'powers of work were literally amazing'. 244Sitting from noon till midnight--sometimes until 1 or 2 a.m.-the House concentrated on business, with a minimum of diversions from Wakefield. One of these was on a motion in favour of a members' allowance of £1 per day for expenses which Sewell unsuccessfully tried to get reduced to ten shillings. A number of constructive measures (the law bills drafted by Sewell) were passed and he presented the Appropriation Bill on Friday, 15 September. His final effort was the moving of a series of resolutions designed to provide principles for the distribution of revenue and expenditure

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among the provinces. 245 On Saturday, 16 September, the Assembly was prorogued until July 1855. After all the excitement, heartbreak and embarrassment of the first session, Sewell had the satisfaction of doing constructive work in the second. Essentially a non-political figure, Sewell got his real opportunity when the House became virtually a non-political body through exhaustion.

Before he left Auckland Sewell had two promising encounters on the personal front. The first was with Wakefield. FitzGerald had never approved of Wakefield. He and Weld decided to 'cut' Wakefield, but Sewell felt he should not part with 'personal unkindness of feeling'. He met Wakefield on Sunday, 17 September, and they spent several hours together. They shook hands, though Sewell realised they would have to stay as political opponents. He saw Wakefield raising a 'class cry'--'democracy' against the 'squattocracy', the town mob against the runholders. The old Canterbury collaborators 'parted in a friendly way', but Sewell had decided that between them 'there never could be cooperation again'. Charitable as ever, he felt 'Pity that so much natural benevolence, and so much intellectual power should be wasted, or indeed turned to evil.' 246

The other hopeful sign was Wynyard's willingness to support anything which the Canterbury Association and the province could arrange about the transfer of property. This, for Sewell, was 'perhaps the most satisfactory thing of all' about his Auckland trip. He had hoped that the Colonial Government would waive the Crown's claims on Canterbury and relinquish its seizure of the Land Office. FitzGerald had also approached the Colonial Government, and before they left Auckland the Colonial Secretary assured FitzGerald that the Governor would assent to a provincial ordinance settling the Canterbury Association's affairs. 247

Sewell could return to Canterbury, then, with some personal satisfaction after the fiasco of the mixed ministry. He had certainly played a major role in the first General Assembly. Although he was a less colourful (or destructive) figure than the major antagonists, FitzGerald and Wakefield, and he did not have the potential importance of the superintendents, Stafford and Featherston, he emerged in the second session as the leading 'man of business'. He redeemed those somewhat wrong-headed and naive contributions

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of the first session. The Southern Cross farewelled him with an unexpected Auckland tribute: 'By far the greater portion of the work of two Sessions has fallen upon him; in fact, he has been the mainstay of the Assembly. It is our firm conviction that without the member for Christchurch, the ruin would have been"complete.' 248


Sewell's performance in Auckland strengthened his hand in the Canterbury Association negotiations. His constituents seemed to approve of his actions. He was even persuaded to stand for Lyttelton in the 1855 Provincial Council elections, and, as a member, he had the satisfaction of seeing the Canterbury Association Ordinance passed on 19 June 1855. 'Here then the immediate object of my mission ends--all beyond will be merely supplementary, collateral or accidental matter.' In the latter category he put the most notable as 'General politics'. 249

Yet about the political future he was uncertain. The General Assembly had been prorogued until 5 July 1855, but as there seemed no indications of a meeting on time and the name of a new governor had been announced, Sewell assumed that Wynyard would simply go on spending revenue, without appropriation, trusting to the Assembly to authorise it later. If a session was called by August 1855, Sewell was prepared to attend, before returning to England. This would mean ending his New Zealand mission about September 1855. He could not make up his mind until the session was announced and it would depend on the Secretary of State's decision about responsible government.

Sewell and his colleagues were so convinced that the 1852 Constitution Act permitted responsible government that they cannot have anticipated any trouble from the Colonial Office. They might, however, have been surprised at the somewhat casual response which their request for responsible government received, for the Colonial Office mulled the matter over for a leisurely two months, then made a sudden decision.

When the Colonial Office had first received news, in mid-October 1854, of the meeting of the General Assembly, of the House's resolution calling for ministerial responsibility and the creation of the first mixed ministry, Herman Merivale, the Permanent Under-secretary, was out of town. T. F. Elliot, the Assistant

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Under-Secretary, felt Wynyard had shown 'more than ordinary boldness'. But the Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Frederick Peel, who knew some of the background of the 1852 Constitution Act, went to the heart of the matter and pointed out that when the Act was passed 'it was clearly not contemplated that a seat in the Executive Council should depend on the votes of the House of Representatives'. The Secretary of State was disposed to approve Wynyard's actions, but on 11 November 1854 Merivale intervened: I think the conduct of Col. Wynyard much to be regretted. No one, I suppose, objects to the establishment of responsible government in New Zealand: I certainly think it very desirable, but this is not the way of doing it.' 250 A governor would normally refer such matters to the Colonial Office and he feared that the officials would be put at the mercy of the legislature for their pensions. Thus the reply (which was drafted on 20 November 1854) approved Wynyard's actions but politely rebuked him for not consulting the Colonial Office first. 251

This reply was never sent. On 5 December 1854 came a copy of Wynyard's message proroguing the Assembly and news of his consultation with Wakefield. Now Merivale treated the matter with great urgency. Realising immediately that the breach between Governor and the 'Ministry' was irreconcilable and that responsible government was 'quashed for the present', he assumed that personality differences lay behind the crisis. This left 'the ground clear for making the necessary arrangements'. As the draft reply of 20 November had not yet been sent, Merivale suggested it should be cancelled. Since Wynyard seemed at last to be showing firmness, the censure should be omitted and a dispatch prepared for a mail due to leave on 8 December-two days hence.

I presume consent will be given to the establishment of responsible government, and the retirement on sufficient pension of such officers as the Governor may think ought to retire. As to legislation, it might be said that HMs Govt, will certainly not oppose obstacles to any legislation which may be deemed by the colonial Legislature indispensable: but that they cannot but point out that, the whole revenue of the island being at the disposal of the assembly, there is no compact between the colony and home government, to be ratified: that 'responsible government' in this country rests on no law, but simply on recognised usage: that it [is] not established by any law, formally speaking, in the Nth Amn. colonies, where it is best understood: and that the danger of legislation on such subjects is, that

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necessary arrangements and modifications on a subject which must often require them are thus rendered difficult. 252

These views were embodied in the famous dispatch of 8 December 1854 in which the Secretary of State declared that Her Majesty's Government had 'no objection whatever' to the establishment of responsible government in New Zealand. This dispatch reached Auckland at the end of March 1855. Wynyard read it to his next Executive Council on 17 April and published it in the Gazette on 1 June, together with a circular summoning members to the second session of the General Assembly, which had been prorogued until 5 July. 253

At this point an unfortunate delay occurred. Sewell, in Canterbury, did not get his copy of the circular, dated 25 May, until 9 July--four days after the session was due to begin. Both the delay and the circular's contents reinforced Sewell's inclination to stay away. Wynyard wanted a short session to do two things only (establish responsible government and pass an appropriation bill) and then he would dissolve the Assembly. It was to be responsible government at last. But Sewell was indignant! It meant putting 'the cart before the horse'; how could a responsible ministry be formed before the new elections produced the new Assembly? 254 Indeed, the Wellington members called for a boycott of the session. Sewell was inclined to agree, but after his usual period of dithering he changed his mind and made the tedious series of voyages to Wellington, Nelson, New Plymouth and Auckland again. Bowen pictured him 'wandering from Province to Province with his snuff box in his hand his hair dishevelled as usual--like a mild Peter the Hermit'. 255

There were three reasons for this familiar Sewellian about-face. First, one of principle. Combination, he thought, was a 'bad thing'; it smelt of 'faction' and would bring the southern members no credit. Here again we see Sewell the essentially 'non-political' figure. Secondly, he did some sums. Fifteen made a quorum in the House. Auckland would return twelve members. Hart of Wellington and Travers and Mackay of Nelson were going. Clifford, as Speaker of the House, would have to go, and probably some Taranaki men would attend. A quorum would exist and a pension bill for the old executive officers might be slipped through.

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Thirdly, the Canterbury Association Ordinance was up for assent and Sewell felt he could not risk an accident. Then while he was travelling north he discovered a fourth good reason. When he landed at New Plymouth for a night, he sensed some of the alarm caused in the settlement by the Puketapu feuds. There was Maori fighting on the outskirts of New Plymouth; it all seemed to Sewell to be 'the beginning of a general Native war'. 256

Twenty members of the House turned up for the session; the quorum was reached, although sittings were not possible on some days because of poor turnout. The third session opened with the Governor's speech on Wednesday, 8 August. Wynyard alluded to three main issues--imperial approval of responsible government, his decision to send troops to Taranaki to protect the 'neutrality' of the settlers in the local Maori disputes, and a scheme for an intercolonial steamship service. He proposed two measures only--the establishment of responsible government and an appropriation bill. Then he would dissolve the parliament. 257 Sewell found that members were annoyed at being denied details of finance or any real appreciation of Taranaki's insecurity. So the members 'took counsel together' as before, and they asked Sewell to be leader.

For the whole session Sewell was, in effect, Leader of the House. 258 Moving the Address in Reply, he criticised the tardy calling of the Assembly and Wynyard's intention of bringing in a pension bill for the old executive officers and establishing responsible government before the election of the new Assembly. A responsible ministry could not be formed which did not have the confidence of the House and no one would know the composition of the new House until after the elections. A pension bill would be premature. 'That was the price the colony had to pay for the boon of Responsible Government; and, as in buying goods, it was usual for the article to be delivered before paying for it was required.' When the Governor sent down the pension bill it was defeated on the first reading, 13 to 1, and 'slept in peace'. 259 Sewell was much more interested in getting a select committee into finance and in considering funds for land purchase. Other members were eager to raise the question of a possible war in Taranaki. After three weeks of desultory discussion, Sewell led them into committee on supply, urging members not to linger on trifles. Before they reached the

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appropriation bill the new Governor, Colonel Thomas Gore Browne, reached Auckland on 6 September.

The General Assembly broke off from its business to receive an address from the new Governor and correspondence from the Colonial Office about constitutional change. 260 After a levee on Saturday, 8 September, Sewell found himself quite impressed by Governor and Mrs Browne. The new Governor was not going to be rushed into responsible government. Once the appropriation bill was through, the House passed another set of Sewellian resolutions relating to the conduct of finance, and on 15 September 1855 Browne dissolved New Zealand's first Parliament. 261

Sewell was satisfied. Convinced that Browne would go ahead with responsible government as soon as possible after the elections, he had a feeling the Governor was sick of the old officials. It seemed ironical that 'instead of the Colony now demanding Responsible Government; Government is obliged to seek refuge in it as the only way of escape from its difficulties'. 262 Continuing that hand-to-mouth approach to New Zealand affairs which typified his career, Sewell concluded his Journal on the session: 'We are dissolved and so ends my political career in New Zealand at all events for the present.' 263 He now intended to go home to England, even though he had no prospects of a job.

In many ways Sewell's uncertainty of movement during 1855-6 was reminiscent of his mood in 1851-2. Then he had served the Association diligently while going through his private agony of decision about going to New Zealand. Now he vacillated about returning to England, while continuing to take a leading role in New Zealand politics. Possibly his very lack of emotional involvement contributed to his mediating role in politics. He despaired that the rival factions could unite to grasp ministerial responsibility; he made plans to sail home via Valparaiso, Chile.

By December 1855 he had changed his mind. The Christchurch electors called upon him to stand for re-election in mid-November and he accepted. This meant postponing his departure until July or August 1856. He appealed to Lord Lyttelton (in another frank exposure of his personal finances) to permit him to receive his Association salary as if he would reach England in April 1856. After that his parliamentary expense allowance would see him through to

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the end of the session. His brother in England was not optimistic about Sewell getting suitable employment at home, but Sewell knew the colony would have to seek loans in London and was fairly confident that if he went to the Assembly he would be given some paid employment on behalf of New Zealand in England. 264

He was re-elected for Christchurch in the 1855 election, about which he wrote his usual colourful account. 265 Before sailing north he gave serious thought to the future of responsible government. He saw clearly that the crucial issue to be settled before the parliamentary system could work satisfactorily was a financial settlement between the General and Provincial Governments. His experience of two sessions confirmed his view that two contrary interpretations of the constitution had emerged. The 'Wellington Party', as he called them (Featherston, Fox and Fitzherbert), wanted 'Republican independence' for the provinces. They were 'ultra-Provincialists'; Fox a professed federalist. 266 Sewell and the supporters of the old mixed ministry wanted a gradual curtailment of the Provincial Governments, which was more in keeping with the Colonial Office's intentions than Governor Grey's practice. Governor Browne, who visited Canterbury in January 1856, told Sewell he feared provincialism would prevail.

Sewell wanted, as far as possible, to separate General and Provincial finances. He felt three principles should prevail. First, he wanted the customs revenues as an exclusive General revenue and the provinces to be relieved of General Government charges such as the Supreme Court, registrars and resident magistrates. Second, Provincial expenditure should, as far as possible, be met from Provincial revenues, especially the land fund, which ought to be available in each province for financing public works and immigration. Thirdly, the provinces, generally, should be relieved of the New Zealand Company debt and the purchase of Maori land. For a time he believed the General Government would have to subsidise the provinces, but eventually it ought to be relieved because the General Government needed a healthy surplus to permit borrowing overseas. 'lean see through all this', he wrote, 'a distinct policy which would settle in a general measure the question of Centralism and Provincialism. But will the Colony accept this Policy? I think not. My belief is that it is too central, as they will choose to call it.' 267 As ever, then, he was pessimistic, although in

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his outline can be seen the seeds of the famous 'Compact' which was negotiated six months later.

Sewell filled in the period before the second Parliament by a trip to South Canterbury. He closed his final Canterbury Journal on Easter Sunday, 23 March 1856, as marking the end of his 'Canterbury mission'. 268


Sewell reached Auckland for the second Assembly on Sunday, 13 April 1856, joining Wellington, Nelson and Taranaki members en route. He could not, as yet, see a way through the interprovincial rivalries. The Wellingtonians remained ' ultra-Provincialist'; Nelson was out to gain the seat of government and Auckland was determined to keep it; Canterbury was determined to hold on to its land fund. The 'Southrons' held a caucus on Monday, 14 April. While Sewell was addressing them a messenger arrived summoning him to the Governor, who asked him to form a ministry in lieu of the leader of the original mixed ministry, FitzGerald, who had suffered several heart attacks and had not yet reached Auckland. Sewell, still uncommitted to New Zealand, suggested Stafford as premier, so on the following morning, before the opening of Parliament, Sewell and Stafford visited Browne together.

At this point the Governor read a minute outlining how he would operate responsible government. In matters where the Constitution Act provided for control by the General Assembly he would act on the advice of ministers, whether he agreed or not. In matters affecting the royal prerogative and 'Imperial interests generally' he would listen to advice but if he differed he would adhere to his own view and refer the matter to the Secretary of State. Among Imperial interests he included Maori affairs and land purchase, since as Governor he was responsible for the peace and security of the colony. However, as the General Assembly would have to vote funds for these purposes in addition to the fixed £7000 in the civil list, he would listen to advice.

In a private letter to the Permanent Under-Secretary for Colonies, Browne was rather franker about the reason for his control of Maori affairs. Although he had not been instructed to reserve Maori affairs, he had already hinted in dispatches that the Maoris looked to the Governor for protection. He explained the reservation in these words:

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There are but very few persons in New Zealand who will be able to forego their personal occupations in order to accept office in any province except the one in which they reside. This limits the choice of public men but has not the same effect on the opposition, the members of which are only required to be occasionally absent from home.

Judging by what I now see, the difficulty will be not to turn men out of office but to keep them in it: my advisers will be subject to pressure from an opposition agitated by violent party feelings and restrained by no fear of the consequences. If my view of the case is correct they will not find it easy to control those who cast longing eyes on native lands, nor will the fear of war have that effect, for many would profit by it largely in the way of trade and to the unscrupulous it holds out hope of acquiring the lands they want. If therefore the Governor is obliged to consult with his executive council in questions affecting the natives, he will be liable to their throwing up office and being supported in so doing by the assembly whenever they take or are forced to take a one sided view of native affairs. 269

Sewell realised it was a 'ticklish' matter, but was inclined to accept Browne's reservation. 270

Stafford refused to form a ministry and Fox (the other man Sewell admired) was too much of a Provincialist for Sewell's liking, so he felt he should try to form a government himself. When the House met that afternoon he announced that the Governor had called him. Afterwards one of the Auckland members (Carleton) told him privately to expect 'war to the knife'. 271 When he introduced his ministers to the House on Thursday, 17 April 1856, he explained that he had been chosen as the only member present from the old mixed ministry. He acknowledged that one of the superintendents, FitzGerald, Stafford or Featherston, would have been more suitable as leader. He had also tried unsuccessfully to persuade Alfred Domett, ex-Colonial Secretary of New Munster, to join him as Treasurer. He announced that the first responsible ministry would consist of himself as Colonial Secretary, Dillon Bell as Treasurer, Whitaker as Attorney-General and Henry Tancred (from Canterbury) as unofficial Executive Councillor from the upper house. He completed his arrangements with the Governor that evening and on Friday, 18 April, asked for a week's adjournment. Writing up his

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Journal on Sunday, 20 April, Sewell declared responsible government to be in practice, 'And I am Prime Minister.' 272

Sewell's premiership--the first under full responsible government--lasted less than three weeks. During this period a fairly clear-cut faction system emerged. Based partly on issues, partly on personalities and partly on regions, it spelt defeat for Sewell. The ministry's policy followed closely that already outlined in his Canterbury Journal. He wanted to settle General-Provincial relations and undo, as far as possible, the Provincial bias to the constitution as inaugurated by Grey. He realised that 'organic change' in the constitution would be inappropriate. He wanted to make the Provincial Governments the local agents of the General Government--'to be sub-administrations under General Government will lower them from their high estate'. To soften the blow he would give them local patronage in the general departments and control of their land revenues. 'The real issue to be tried is between [Fox and Featherston] and Ultra Provincialism and us and moderate Centralism. There can be no junction between such opposites.' 273 Sewell outlined his policies to an attentive House on Friday, 25 April, sitting as committee on supply for the pensions bill, which remained the basic condition for receiving responsible government.

His three-hour-long exposition covered four main areas. First, he dealt with the ministry's relations with the Governor. These had been laid down in Browne's minute, and Sewell explained the reservation of Maori affairs to the House. It could be charged, he admitted, that he was again getting mixed up with irresponsible officials in a new form of dyarchy, but he accepted the necessity for it. Secondly, he would treat the future of the colonial capital as an 'open question'. But he pointed out that in a House of 37 members, Auckland had 12 seats, New Plymouth 3, and there were 22 for the southern provinces. As Auckland had one-third of the seats he thought it not unreasonable that it should be host of every third session of the Assembly, and of alternative venues he, personally, supported Nelson. Thirdly, on relations between General and Provincial Governments he wanted to steer between the extremes of federalism on the one hand, or reducing the provinces to municipal functions. T would neither curtail in any formal way the powers of the Provincial Councils, nor would I limit those of the General Assembly.' 274 He regarded the Provincial Governments as single

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bodies with 'two souls'--as both municipalities and subordinate branches of the General Government. There were three aspects to this policy. To ensure uniformity of legislation he would instruct superintendents to reserve all bills which were not strictly municipal. He would circulate them to the other superintendents and then arrange the enactment of uniform general legislation. He would delegate general executive powers over post offices, registrars, resident magistrates and customs to superintendents and hand over control of land policy. Finally, Sewell looked to the day when the provinces would be self-sufficient on the strength of municipal taxes. He would hand the land fund to the provinces and he planned to relieve them of the New Zealand Company's debt and Maori land purchases by raising overseas loans. Here, then, was the ministry's policy, but Sewell first called on the House to approve pensions for the old officials.

A week of wrangling over the pension bill followed. Sewell supported the Governor's request for pensions of two-thirds of their salaries. After a great deal of 'disagreeable talk' the majority pressed for a smaller proportion but the Governor got his way through Sewell's persistence. Once this matter was completed Sewell moved his Address in Reply on Friday, 2 May, at which point he realised his policy was on trial. During the week there had been a great deal of 'caballing' and Sewell calculated that he would not get a majority. He faced two factions in opposition. The 'Wellington Party', led by Fox (a federalist in theory), numbered four members, plus the Speaker. The Auckland Progress Party was led by Dr Logan Campbell, now also the Superintendent, who deplored the choice of Whitaker as Attorney-General, for Whitaker had been his Constitutionalist opponent in the 1855 Auckland superintendency election. This group might support Fox if he tempered his extreme Provincialism. Otago's three members (who were won over by Fox's attitude to the land fund), John Hall (from Canterbury) and Charles Brown (the Taranaki Superintendent) all intended to defeat Sewell, who put the likely division at 17 to 16. 'We . . . were quite prepared for it.' 275

His prediction was correct. After Sewell's speech on the Address in Reply, Campbell (with whom Sewell was on good terms personally) moved an amendment to delete the paragraph relating to the colonial-provincial relations and Brown seconded it. Yet no one seemed disposed to outline an alternative--'Provincialist'--policy. The Speaker was about to put the motion, without major debate, when Sewell rose again. 'What? All Silent? Was the House going to

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divide without a word?' 276 He suggested this indicated that the opposition was a combination without principle and he challenged Featherston, at least, to speak out. Featherston followed with a critical debating speech, referring especially to relations with the executive and the reservation of Maori affairs. Next day, Saturday, 3 May, Fox declared that Sewell's challenge was unfair. Sewell's policy was on trial, not the opposition. Centralism v. Provincialism was the matter at issue. He charged Sewell with seeking to subordinate the Provincial Governments to the executive and to turn the General Executive into a legislative body. For his part, Fox said he would confine the central power to foreign affairs and to adjusting minor disputes; he would keep it from intruding into provincial affairs. 277 Cargill (the Otago Superintendent) did not think Sewell's ministry would work, but Stafford (the Nelson Superintendent) declared his support for the ministry even though he did not agree with all of its policies. The voting on the amendment was 17 to 15 against the government. Sewell immediately moved to have the deleted paragraph reinstated as a procedural tactic to gain a right of reply. In this he accepted the House's verdict but felt it was a vote the meaning of which he was 'unable to fathom ... a combination of parties whose bond of union I cannot comprehend'. 278

He thought that the two opposition factions who had defeated him were trying to compel him to unite with one or the other to make a majority. But Sewell preferred to resign. He advised the Governor on 4 May to summon Campbell, mover of the amendment, or Featherston. Campbell saw the Governor next day but turned down the offer and suggested Brown (Superintendent of Taranaki). Featherston had a try and begged Sewell to join him, but, although he admired the Wellington superintendent, Sewell knew that if he joined what was really a Foxite faction he would betray his own supporters. Featherston also found an Auckland antipathy to Fox, who was a former New Zealand Company officer and had cast aspersions on Auckland in his book, The Six Colonies of New Zealand, in 1851. By 7 May Featherston had failed. Sewell found himself back in the saddle. He explained the circumstances of his resignation and his rivals' failure to form a government. He took office as Colonial Secretary and pressed ahead with business.

He realised his enemies were merely lying low. New opposition groupings were forming by compromises on issues. Aucklanders agreed to support Fox if he abandoned federalism. Otago men were

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attracted by Fox's promises about land revenue. There were also individual switches of allegiance. Cuff (of Akaroa)--'a vendible commodity'--went over to Fox. More important, Campbell, disgusted by the factionalism of his own party, went over to Sewell. Like Sewell, Campbell had an essentially non-partisan approach to politics. They both respected education and breeding and had a sense of detachment about New Zealand affairs as they both planned to leave the colony. Campbell's stature in Auckland made him an important ally for Sewell.

But Fox was not to be deterred. Once he was 'in a position of assault' he moved five resolutions concerning General-Provincial relations, which were offered as an alternative policy, on Wednesday, 14 May. He would give two-thirds of the customs revenue to the provinces, and only 2s 6d per acre of the land revenue to the General Government. The legislative powers of the General Assembly and the Governor's veto were not to be extended, and the General Assembly was to define the scope of the thirteen subjects debarred the provinces by the constitution. Relations between the superintendents and the General Government and their electors would be as in the constitution. 279

This was put forward as a real alternative to the 'centralising' policies of Sewell, but Sewell felt the differences were minimal. It seemed a 'shameless' abandoning of Fox's 'provincialist' principles. Sewell could not, in fact, bring himself to oppose the resolutions because he felt they were almost another version of his own policy. He did move to have the matter postponed until after his own budget, but he lost by 15 to 17. He told Fox he would not vote against the resolutions, that the best procedure would be for him to move a no-confidence motion. Fox did this on Thursday, 15 May, but Sewell stopped the discussion short by announcing that he had resigned and had recommended the Governor to summon Stafford. Stafford failed to create a ministry, so the Governor, at last, called for Fox. This somewhat convoluted sequence was explained by Stafford on Saturday, 17 May. Of the three factions, Sewell had commanded the largest support but not an absolute majority. Stafford tried to persuade two Aucklanders to join, but he failed. Logan Campbell had decided that the only way to deal with Fox's pretensions was to let him try to form a ministry. The way was now open for a Fox government.

For Sewell this involved a poignant moment of choice. After all the 'series of movements, very tortuous, and discreditable, the final result which we all of us dreaded came about. Fox and the Wellington party are in power.' He found even his Sabbath

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disturbed by attempts at a coalition and then, on Monday, 19 May, Fox made a personal appeal for Sewell to join forces with him. It was a gesture based on personal friendship which Sewell appreciated, but he could be an obstinate man and refused. 280 Fox announced his ministry in the House on 20 May. A 'sorry affair' thought Sewell: Fox was Attorney-General, John Hall, Colonial Secretary, Charles Brown, Treasurer, and William Daldy, a 'bit of dumb show' as an unofficial in the Executive Council without office, representing Auckland. Dr Richardson of Nelson (whose wife was sister to Sewell's brother's wife) joined the ministry from the upper house. Sewell resigned later that day and Fox was sworn in-all 'done in perfect order, and with good temper'. Fox then outlined a policy based on the five resolutions with which he had ousted the Sewell government.

Fox lasted just over a week. Sewell's forces were strengthened when the steamer, on Saturday, 24 May, brought in some more Nelson members and gave him the prospect of a majority of one. He gave Fox until Tuesday. He 'commenced attack' on Monday, 26 May, by raising the question of the colonial capital. Many members were willing to leave the seat of government in Auckland if the General Assembly could meet in a more central place. One by one provincial delegates tried motions favouring Wellington, Nelson, Auckland, until Sewell successfully moved a compromise motion leaving it to the Governor to select 'a more convenient central place'. 281 On Tuesday, 27 May, came the day of reckoning. Fox was grilled on finance until 2 a.m. but he would not resign unless he lost a motion of confidence--Stafford moved such a motion next day. After more 'sharp firing', in which Fox damned Sewell's policy for 'its centralising tendency', and the House sat again till 2 a.m., the motion was passed by 18 to 17. Fox resigned and Stafford was again summoned to form a government. The Auckland-Wellington alliance was broken, and, as Stafford moved in to hold Auckland support, Sewell felt 'the neck of the Opposition is broken'. 282 By Monday, 2 June, Sewell himself was back in the government.

Stafford's ministry, sworn in on Tuesday, 2 June, consisted of Christopher Richmond (Taranaki) as Colonial Secretary, Frederick Whitaker (Auckland) as Attorney-General and Sewell as Treasurer. Stafford said he would lead the House himself. Logan Campbell was

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persuaded to become an unofficial member of the Executive Council, but Sewell was to continue as channel of communication with the Governor. As Sewell recorded it, he retained 'a sort of understood leadership' but Stafford was 'ostensible Head' to make the ministry seem different from his old one. 283 He claimed as the 'distinctive feature' of the new government a determination to make a permanent settlement of the public debts and financial arrangements. Realising that the Wellingtonians would be sore at being excluded, he hoped he could re-establish personal relations with Featherston and Fox, whom he admired.

Sewell's big moment came on Tuesday, 10 June, when he presented his celebrated financial statement which became known as the 'Compact of 1856'. It began with fourteen proposals which followed closely the principles he had laid down a year before. Liabilities were to be paid in order to establish the colony's credit. The colony could then resort to borrowing, but the servicing of loans would be divided equitably among the provinces according to their needs and abilities. To meet liabilities to the Union Bank of Australia, the New Zealand Company and the provinces, and to pay for purchases of Maori land, the colony would seek loans of up to £500,000. Land policy and land revenue was handed over to the provinces to be used for public works and immigration. Customs would be the main source of General Government revenue. Repayment of the New Zealand Company debt of £268,370 15s would be shared equally by the three South Island provinces, but repayment of the loan for purchases of land from the Maoris would be by the North Island provinces, with some special concessions for New Plymouth. Settlement of the New Zealand Company debt was the price (a bargain one) which the South Island had to pay to get release from the burden of buying Maori land in the North Island. 284

One by one the superintendents rose to support this scheme, except for Featherston, who moved an amendment which Stafford made a matter of confidence and successfully defeated by 24 to 10 on 21 June. During the following week and a half Sewell's resolutions were taken in turn. Even FitzGerald participated in the debate on 2 July at the cost of another heart attack! Once the resolutions, with some additions, were through, the House moved on to supply and Sewell spent three weeks working full time on the colony's finances.

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The estimates were finally approved on Friday, 8 August, and the session was prorogued next day, with a parting decision by the Governor on the venue of the next General Assembly. The House had continued to squabble over this issue. Stafford had plumped for Picton, on the ground that Queen Charlotte Sound had been 'intended by Nature' for the purpose. Better still, Akaroa was proposed by the ex-publican John Cuff--'a mere animal', who stood for the district so he could give his wife a trip to Auckland. 285Sewell now supported Wellington, preference of his rival Fox. Dr Lee made a try for Nelson. Governor Browne settled for Auckland after he found the Executive Council divided. 286

Sewell's last parliamentary act was his resignation as member for Christchurch. He remained in the Executive Council and was to continue as Treasurer until he left for England, where he would be virtually a minister plenipotentiary for the purpose of the loan negotiations. When the House was told of this, Fox made a 'bantering attack', which Sewell took good naturedly: 'It was due to the country to know in what part of the globe their Responsible Ministers would be . . . whether in London, or rambling in some circumnavigating steamer', said Fox; it made a 'mockery of Responsible Government' to have a minister thousands of miles away and not even a member of the House. 287 But Sewell was only the forerunner of a distinguished and controversial line of New Zealand cabinet ministers (from Vogel and Reeves to Watt and Carter) who would represent New Zealand in London as Agent-General or High Commissioner. It was arranged that when Sewell went to England, Stafford would return to Auckland to resume the leadership. Meanwhile, for two months, Sewell ran the government as a virtual deputy-premier. 288

It was perhaps a fitting end to his parliamentary debut and (for all he knew or cared at that point) to his New Zealand career. He reached his forty-ninth birthday during this interlude of administrative primacy and Fox, masquerading as a reporter in the parliamentary gallery, gave this description of Sewell the politician:

There's Sewell; he was the first Prime Minister of the Session, so we will give him the first place in our tableau. You have seen him before, with his

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broad square head, his good-natured practical face, his little legs, and the suit of solemn black with which he disguises himself into the exact resemblance of a Portugal street attorney--not that I would insinuate any other similitude between the two. He snuffs like a Scotchman, and not unfrequently he will break off in the middle of a speech, and on finding the three boxes before him all empty, will cross the House to where sits Dr [Walter] Lee [Northern Division, Auckland], to borrow his box for the rest of the day. He is a pleasant level persuasive speaker, but apt to be too diffuse--his three hours speech might have been condensed with advantage into an hour--and when not warmed up he has a knack of hesitating and repeating his words which it is painful to listen to. He has a good deal of pugnacity, can hit hard, and can take punishment with good humour--a sure sign of pluck, and one which is sadly wanting in his present colleague Stafford. He is very adroit in debate--and quick at reply--though not always honest in stating the arguments of an opponent--indeed no member was oftener stopped for misrepresentation in this way than he was. The great defect of his mind seems to be an incapacity to adopt a decided course--always endeavouring to split the difference, as [William] Fitzherbert said of him 'he seems to have been born a bankruptcy lawyer, whose business is to induce men to accept ten shillings in the pound'. Serious as such a mental defect is in discussion, it must be far worse in practice. . . .

At the beginning of the Session it was understood that Sewell would take no office but the highest, subsequently he consented to play the second fiddle to Stafford, who is every way, and infinitely, his inferior. Indeed there is no doubt that Sewell is out and out the best man of the party, far superior even to Whitaker, though the latter seems to have thrown the lasso over his head, and pulled the wool over his eyes, pretty effectually in many respects, particularly on the question of native management. . . , 289

It was a not uncomplimentary portrait. While highlighting Sewell's paradoxical faults of indecisiveness mixed with dogmatism, and his lack of sparkle as a parliamentarian or flair as a politician, it recognised his solid worth as a man of business, an effective performer in affairs of procedure and debate, and gave him due credit as one of the inner circle which achieved responsible government for New Zealand. As to the sting in the tail--the critical reference to Maori affairs--Sewell used his period as deputy-leader to complete some unfinished business.

In the first mixed ministry they had planned for a responsible Secretary of Native Affairs, but when Browne reserved control over Maori affairs in April 1856, Sewell acquiesced. There was a growing restiveness, as Merivale had expected. The colonial politicians

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accepted that Imperial responsibility for internal security implied an element of control, but they were concerned that the responsible ministers should be able to advise the Governor on Maori affairs as on all matters. A resolution to this effect had been passed during the last week of the session, and was indeed discussed on the final day. 290 As soon as the parliament ended Sewell found himself in a potentially serious dispute with the Governor.

The issue was essentially one of administrative practice, although an important principle was also at stake. Browne, in reserving Maori affairs, said he would listen to ministerial advice and submit it to the Secretary of State if he disagreed, and he accepted the General Assembly's right to control appropriations apart from £7000 for Maori purposes included in the civil list. In practice, however, the ministers found that the Chief Land Purchase Commissioner, Donald McLean, and the acting Native Secretary, Francis Fenton, 'set up a little Ministry of their own'. They took the implied dyarchy literally and regarded themselves as responsible only to the Governor, while the ministers insisted that 'the system of a separate empire will not do, and if we are to be Responsible Ministers we mean to have a word to say to Native Affairs, as well as the rest'. 291

Sewell had a 'solemn talk' with the Governor two days after the session ended, but seemed to get nowhere. Possibly this was because Browne had not yet had all the replies to a circular he had addressed to forty-five people (mainly missionaries and former colonial officials) on 31 July 1856 asking whether they thought Maori affairs should be placed under his responsible ministers. 292 He also felt ministers were adequately informed through a weekly journal of important events affecting Maoris which he showed them. But Sewell and his colleagues were not satisfied. After three days of argument the Ministry was in a mood for delivering an ultimatum: they would state their view and appeal to London. On 21 August 1856 Sewell and Whitaker, the Attorney-General, had 'a kind of last interview' with Browne, who asked for their views in writing. 293Accordingly on 22 August Sewell, Whitaker, Richmond and Logan

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Campbell sent a long minute to the Governor outlining three possible approaches to the question of the control of Maori affairs. They could be placed under the personal control of the Governor and be quite independent of the Ministry. This would cut ministers off from vital information and lead to conflicts of interest and jurisdiction. They could be placed under full ministerial responsibility, but as Browne had ruled this out the ministers would not press for it. Thirdly, there was a 'middle course', which would permit the Ministry to exercise the supervision necessary for harmonious inter-departmental relations without removing the Governor's ultimate discretionary power. Thus the ministers suggested that the business of the Native Secretary's Department should be conducted by a branch of one of the main departments, but that the Native Secretary should remain a permanent official, like the old Colonial Secretary. They also requested that the Land Purchase Department be given the same status. 294

After a week Browne proposed a compromise which the ministers accepted. Partly because of rivalries among the officials, and partly to avoid causing confusion for Maoris, Browne decided to amalgamate the Native Secretary's and Land Purchase Departments and place these aspects of government under the general oversight of a minister. 295 McLean, the Chief Land Purchase Commissioner, also became Native Secretary and his correspondence was to be submitted to the 'member of the Government with whom he is placed in relation'. 296 Final decisions would rest with the Governor; financial limits with the General Assembly. If the Governor did not accept ministerial advice on an issue of Maori affairs, it should not be a reason for the resignation of the government.

Sewell and the Colonial Secretary, Christopher Richmond, who was the minister chosen to fill the new role (the title Native Minister was not used until 1858) replied to Browne with hints of further change. They accepted the compromise but suggested that a major difference could, on occasion, lead to the resignation of ministers, and that in future years, as racial 'amalgamation' progressed and British troops became less necessary, the Imperial voice might be

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reduced. 297 It was hardly the 'battle' for control pictured by one historian, nor the system of April 1856 unchanged as suggested by another. 298 It was another working 'compact' known on both sides to be provisional. For their part the ministers began to give thought to the sort of permanent arrangement which they would work for. 299

The dispute did not impair Sewell's relations with the Governor during his last month in the colony. The Sewells dined privately with the Brownes on two occasions; they looked into improving accommodation for the Governor and the administration. But Sewell was weary of it all.

He left New Zealand on 21 October 1856. That morning he had resigned as Treasurer and was sworn in as Unofficial Member of the Executive Council. In the reshuffle which this occasioned Governor Browne effected his new arrangement for Maori affairs. Stafford took the Colonial Secretaryship, Richmond became Treasurer. McLean became Native Secretary, and the Department of Native Affairs was placed 'under the charge of the Colonial Treasurer'. 300 By the time it was gazetted Sewell was on his way home. He had closed the nine hundred and eleventh manuscript page about his life in New Zealand on a typically sour note: 'We shall leave it without regret, but not without interest. There are few people whom we leave behind who will either care to think of us, or we of them.' 301

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Fig. 3. Christchurch--church and college town sections

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Fig. 4. Rural sections purchased under the Association's ecclesiastical and educational fund (352 acres around Akaroa Harbour not shown)
1   Memo by Sewell, 9 Jun 1863, and enclosures. Justice Dept In-letters, 63/519. National Archives, Wellington.
2   New Zealand Parliamentary Debates [NZPD], 8, p. 92. In Legislative Council, 27 Jul 1870.
3   Lyttelton to Godley, 7 Nov 1851. Typescript in Canterbury University Library, p. 195.
4   James to Godley, 9 Sep 1851. Godley MS, LXVIII, in Canterbury Museum Library, Christchurch [CML].
5   Wakefield to Sewell, 7 Sep 1850, printed in The Founders of Canterbury, E. J. Wakefield, ed. (Christchurch: Stevens, 1868; reprinted London: Dawsons, 1973), p. 323.
6   Information on the Sewell family is from Montague Charles Owen, The Sewells of the Isle of Wight. With Some Accounts of some of the Families connected with them by marriage (Manchester: printed privately, n. d. Accessioned by British Museum, 1906); The Autobiography of Elizabeth Missing Sewell (London: Longmans, 1908); A. K. Boyd, The History of Radley College 1847-1947 (Oxford: Blackwells, 1948); Lionel James, A Forgotten Genius. Sewell of St Columba's and Radley (London: Faber, 1945); C. M. L. Bouch and C. R. Hudleston, 'William Sewell of Radley', Transactions of the Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society, 1956, 55: 293-300; and personal communications from Mr John Matthews, solicitor, Carisbrooke, Isle of Wight.
7   Boyd, History of Radley College, chs 1-2, 5-7.
8   Owen, Sewells of the Isle of Wight, p. 33.
9   As if to seal the clerical and scholastic links of the family in a later generation, Ellen Mary (one of Henry Sewell's own daughters) was married in Merton College, Oxford, by her uncle Rev. William to Sidney James Owen, then a history master at Radley, later professor at Elphinstone College, Bombay, and eventually the first reader in Indian history at Oxford.
10   Sewell to Lyttelton, 13 Jun 1851. Lyttelton MSS (CML).
11   Ibid, Sewell to Lyttelton, 15 Nov 1851.
12   H. Sewell, A Letter to the Earl of Yarborough on the Burthens Affecting Real Property Arising from the Present State of the Law, with Reasons in favour of a General Registry of Titles (London: Butterworth, 1846, 2nd edition 1850); William Fox later said that Sewell was the first person to draw attention to this idea in Britain. NZPD, 9, 23 Aug 1870, p. 197; The Six Colonies of New Zealand (London: Parker, 1851; Dunedin: Hocken Library, 1971), pp. 167-8.
13   Sewell to Lyttelton, 15 Nov 1851. Lyttelton MSS.
14   Ibid, Sewell to Lyttelton, 21 Nov 1851.
15   At the same time the Rev. Edward Kittoe (his brother-in-law) made a similar application.
16   Founders of Canterbury, p. 296.
17   Ibid, p. 293.
18   Minute Books of the Canterbury Association, 16 Jul 1850. Church House MSS (Diocesan Archives, Christchurch).
19   Founders of Canterbury, p. 298.
20   J. Simeon to Lyttelton, 5 Aug 1850. Lyttelton MSS.
21   Lyttelton to Godley, 24 Nov 1850, quoted in A History of Canterbury, vol. I, ed. James Hight and C. R. Straubel (Christchurch: Whitcombe and Tombs, 1957), p. 165.
22   Charles Simeon to Lyttelton, 11 Dec 1850. Lyttelton MSS.
23   Canterbury Association Minute Books, 24 Jan 1851. Church House MSS.
24   Professor Douglas Kidd of Canterbury University, who has kindly identified these allusions, suggests that they tend to be the 'obvious ones' mainly from Virgil and Horace. An example of Sewell's punning was recorded in Alfred Cox, Recollections (Christchurch: Whitcombe and Tombs, 1884), p. 258. A boy named Richard had become sick by eating tutu berries. Said Sewell, 'Ah well, if the little chap had died, there was an epitaph all ready for him: "Deus et tutamen"--Dick has ate toot. Amen.'
25   See below, pp. 49-53.
26   Jane Maria Atkinson to Margaret Taylor, 23 Mar 1870. The Richmond-Atkinson Papers, ed. Guy H. Scholefield (Wellington: Government Printer, 1960), vol. II, p. 300.
27   Wakefield to Lyttelton, 3 Nov 1851. Lyttelton MSS.
28   Bowen to Godley, 22 Mar 1851. Godley MSS.
29   Henry Selfe Selfe, The Accounts of the Canterbury Association: With Explanatory Remarks, in a Letter to Lord Lyttelton (London: Parker & Son, 1854), pp. 40-1; also serialised in the Lyttelton Times, 4-25 Oct 1854.
30   Quoted in Douglas Pike, Paradise of Dissent, South Australia 1829-1857 (Carleton: Melbourne University Press, 1957), p. 57.
31   New Zealand Company advertisement quoted in Speeches and Documents on New Zealand History, eds. W. D. McIntyre and W. J. Gardner (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1971), p. 21. See also, for the theory and practice of systematic colonisation, The Collected Works of Edward Gibbon Wakefield, ed. M. F. Lloyd Pritchard (Auckland: Collins, 1969); Douglas H. Pike, Paradise of Dissent. South Australia 1829-1857 (Carleton, Viet.: Melbourne University Press, 1957); June Philipp, A Great View of Things: Edward Gibbon Wakefield (Melbourne: Nelson, 1971); J. S. Marais, The Colonisation of New Zealand (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1927, reprinted London: Dawsons, 1968); Michael Turnbull, The New Zealand Bubble: The Wakefield Theory in Practice (Wellington: Price Milburn, 1959); Ruth Allen, Nelson: A History of Early Settlement (Wellington: A. H. & A. W. Reed, 1965); L. C. Webb, 'The Canterbury Association and Its Settlement', in A History of Canterbury, vol. I, eds. Hight and Straubel (Christchurch: Whitcombe and Tombs, 1957); Charles E. Carrington, John Robert Godley of Canterbury (Christchurch: Whitcombe and Tombs, 1950). For comparison with Marx, see Capital, vol. 1 (London: Allen and Unwin, 1957 ed.) ch. 33 and H. O. Pappe, 'Wakefield and Marx', Economic History Review, 2nd series, 1951 4 (1): 88-97.
32   Association's first plan, Mar 1848, republished in Canterbury Papers (London: Parker, 1850, occasionally), p. 7.
33   Ibid, p. 6.
34   William James Gardner, et al, A History of the University of Canterbury 1873-1973 (Christchurch: University of Canterbury, 1973), p. 17.
35   William Fox, the New Zealand Company agent, added a further £4000, bringing the total to £29,000.
36   Guarantee, dated 24 May 1850, in Lyttelton MSS.
37   Great Britain, Public and General Statutes, 13 & 14 Viet., c. 70.
38   Alston to Godley, 7 Sep 1850. Dispatches to the Colony, vol. I. Church House MSS.
39   Sewell to Lyttelton, 11 Oct 1851. Lyttelton MSS.
40   Minutes of meeting, 20 Aug 1850, in Lyttelton MSS.
41   Hawes to Alston, 27 Aug, 16 Sept, 18 Dec 1850. Great Britain, Parliamentary Papers, 1852-3, vol. 56, p. 327; 'Correspondence between the Colonial Office and the Canterbury Association, since the date of its Charter of Incorporation' [206], pp. 14, 18, 36.
42   Ibid, pp. 48-9. Alston to Merivale, 5 Sep 1851.
43   Ibid, pp. 70-3. Alston to Desart, 2 Apr 1852.
44   Ibid, p. 86. Desart to Alston, 19 Apr 1852.
45   Canterbury Association Minute Books, 12 Dec 1850. Church House MSS.
46   Sewell to Lyttelton, 21 Jan 1851. Lyttelton MSS.
47   Selfe, Accounts, p. 27.
48   Great Britain, Public and General Statutes, 14 & 15 Vict., c. 84. A preliminary draft is in Colonial Office: Secretary of State's Original Correspondence, in Public Record Office, London, CO 209/159, pp. 303-9, and includes Sewell's Land Registry scheme.
49   Sewell to Lyttelton, 22 Sep 1851. Lyttelton MSS.
50   Ibid, Sewell to Lyttelton, 27 Sep 1851.
51   Ibid, Sewell to Lyttelton, 23 Oct 1851; Canterbury Association Minute Books, 8 Nov 1851. Church House MSS.
52   See below, pp. 49-52.
53   Canterbury Association Minute Books, 19-25 Feb 1852. Church House MSS; Assn Land Sale Book, 19 Feb 1852 (CML).
54   The exchanges are in Selfe to Lyttelton, 18 Mar 1852; Lyttelton to Selfe, 19 Mar; Sewell to Lyttelton, 20 Mar; Lyttelton to Selfe, 23 Mar; Sewell to Selfe, 23 Mar; Sewell to Lyttelton, 25 Mar; and Selfe to Sewell, 30 Mar 1852. Lyttelton MSS.
55   Shipowners, freight and tradesmen £8000 0 0, The Bishop's outfit £750 0 0, Crown--in respect of 10s per acre for sales £4365 3 0, The N. Z. Co. in respect of 5s per acre for sales £2182 11 6, Union Bank of Aust. for advances in N. Z. £5668 0 0, [Total] £20,965 14 6
Canterbury Association Minute Books, 12 Jun 1852. Church House MSS.
56   In 1852-3 the committee of management and seven other members contributed the sum of £8374 19s 6d.
57   Canterbury Association Minute Books, 15 Jul 1852. Church House MSS.
58   Acknowledged in Alston to Harrington, 2 Jan 1852, and Lyttelton to Harrington, 2 Jan 1852. Canterbury Association Letters Books, 1851-3, nos. 3263 and 3267. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington [ATL].
59   Ibid, Lyttelton to Mangles, 23 Jan 1852, no. 3308, and Sewell to Mangles, 24 Jan 1852, no. 3310. The substance of his case is explained in Sewell to Cavendish, 19 Jun 1852, no. 3526.
60   Ibid, Sewell to Harrington, 26 Jan 1852, no. 3312; Alston to Grey, 26 Jan 1852. 'Colonial Office-Canterbury Association correspondence', pp. 57-8.
61   Ibid., pp. 60-1. Alston to Grey, 31 Jan 1852; Alston to Grey, 2 Apr 1852, enclosing report of Association's subcommittee on the N. Z. Company accounts, pp. 73-83.
62   Sewell to Few, 17 Jun 1852, no. 3524. Canterbury Association Letter Books, 1851-3 (ATL); Twenty-ninth Report of the Court of Directors of the New Zealand Company, 1852, p. 8. Hocken Library, Dunedin.
63   Merivale to Alston, 4 Oct 1852; Pakington to Committee of Management, 30 Oct 1852. 'Colonial Office--Canterbury Association correspondence', p. 126.
64   Report to Directors by Few, 11 Nov 1852. N. Z. Company: Court of Directors' minutes, 1852-8. National Archives, NZC 31/7.
65   Ibid, details of compromise in Court of Directors' meetings, 30 Dec 1852 and 20 Jan 1853.
66   Committee of Management, 22 Jul 1853. Canterbury Association's Minute Books, vol. 3. Hocken Library 93. Circular to members from Lyttelton, 28 Jul 1853; Lyttelton MSS.
67   Forty-two members raised £5341. Selfe, Accounts, p. 75.
68   Charlotte Jane, Randolph, Sir George Seymour and Cressy.
69   'Mr Godley's Letter to Mr Gladstone, on the Government of Colonies', 12 Dec 1849, reprinted in Canterbury Papers, pp. 83, 87, 88.
70   Godley to Secretary, 18 Mar 1851. Canterbury Association Copy Dispatches, I. Church House MSS. Also reproduced in A Selection from the Writings and Speeches of John Robert Godley, collected and edited by James Edward FitzGerald (Christchurch: Press Office, 1863), p. 193.
71   When he re-read Godley's dispatches in Lyttelton two years later, Sewell filled many margins with pencilled debating points. See Canterbury Association Copy Dispatches, 2 vols. Church House MSS.
72   Sewell to Lyttelton, 6 Jun 1851, referring to Godley's 17 Jan 1851. Lyttelton MSS.
73   Godley to Secretary, from Wellington, 19 Nov 1850. Canterbury Association Copy Dispatches, I. Church House MSS.
74   Ibid, Godley to Secretary, 17 Jan 1851.
75   Dispatches of 10 Jun and 18 Jun. Dispatches to the Colony, I. Church House MSS.
76   Ibid, Alston to Godley, 10 Sep 1851.
77   Sewell to Lyttelton, [n.d.] 1851. Lyttelton MSS.
78   Published in Lyttelton Times, 13 Mar 1852; Godley to Secretary, 18 Mar 1852. Canterbury Association Copy Dispatches, II. Church House MSS.
79   Ibid, vol. I. Godley to Stuart Wortley, 17 Dec 1850, enclosed in Godley to Secretary, 6 Jan 1851.
80   Ibid, Godley to Secretary, 18 Mar 1851.
81   Alston to Godley, 14 Aug 1851. Dispatches to the Colony, I. Church House MSS.
82   Ibid, Lyttelton to Godley, 10 Sep 1851.
83   Godley to Secretary, 23 Dec 1851. Canterbury Association Copy Dispatches, II. Church House MSS.
84   Ibid, Godley to Secretary, 23 Jan 1852.
85   Ibid, vol. I. Marginal comment on Godley's 18 Mar 1851.
86   Charles Simeon to Lyttelton, 11 Dec and 15 Dec 1850. Lyttelton MSS.
87   Ibid, Sewell to Lyttelton, 13 Jun 1851.
88   Great Britain, Public and General Statutes, 13 & 14 Viet., c. 85, s. 7.
89   Canterbury Association Minute Books, 28 Aug 1851. Church House MSS.
90   Sewell to Lyttelton, 3 Nov 1851. Lyttelton MSS. For Fox's early career, see Basil J. Poff, 'William Fox: early colonial years, 1842-48' (unpublished M.A. thesis, Canterbury University, 1969).
91   Wakefield to Lyttelton, 3 Nov 1851. Lyttelton MSS. See also James to Godley, 14 Nov 1851, who suggests Sewell 'is better as an adviser than as a man in authority'. Godley MS, LXIX.
92   Sewell to Lyttelton, 12 Nov 1851. Lyttelton MSS.
93   Ibid, Sewell to Lyttelton, 15 Nov 1851.
94   Ibid, Sewell to Lyttelton, 9 and 10 Dec 1851.
95   Ibid, Lyttelton to Selfe, 3 Jun 1851.
96   Ibid, Wakefield to Lyttelton, 6 Jul 1852.
97   Ibid, Lyttelton to Selfe, 12 Jul 1852.
98   This evidence is assessed critically by Angus Ross, 'The New Zealand Constitution Act of 1852: Its Authorship', Historical and Political Studies, Otago, 1969, 1: 61-6.
99   William Parker Morrell, The Provincial System in New Zealand 1852-76 (reprinted Christchurch: Whitcombe and Tombs, 1964), pp. 48-9. The draft itself, 'Heads of a Bill to settle the Constitution of The Colony of New Zealand and the several Settlements therein', is in CO 209/159, pp. 250-73.
100   Sewell to Lyttelton, 21 Nov 1851. Lyttelton MSS. Further evidence for this can be found from the period of the first New Zealand General Assembly, which met at Auckland in 1854. Wakefield asked Sewell if he had a copy of the Hams Hall Bill. Sewell replied: '. . . to the best of my knowledge the measure we agreed on at Hams and which I put into the form of a Bill was of this kind . . .' and he supplied a summary from memory. Sewell to Wakefield, 16 Jul 1854. Henry Sewell's Letter Books, I (CML).
101   Sewell to Godley, 22 Jun 1852. Typescript in Canterbury University Library, p. 226.
102   Canterbury Association Minute Books, 15 Jul 1852. Church House MSS. 'It is a kind of salvage that is to be done.'--Sewell to Lyttelton, 9 Jul 1852. Lyttelton (Hagley) MSS.
103   In the original minute books, now in the Hocken Library, Dunedin, Lyttelton wrote that he had entered the conditions in his own hand when he discovered there was no record of the terms under which Sewell had undertaken the mission.
104   Journal, below p. 122.
105   Ibid, p. 127.
106   Ibid, p. 124.
107   Wakefield to Godley and Mathias, 15 Feb 1853. Lyttelton Times, 19 Feb 1853, p. 8.
108   Ibid, 26 Feb 1853, pp. 6-7. Sewell to Brittan, 24 Feb 1853.
109   Ibid, 12 Mar 1853. FitzGerald to Editor, 28 Feb 1853.
110   FitzGerald to Lyttelton, 10 Apr 1853. Lyttelton MSS.
111   Minute of the meeting, 7 Mar 1853, enclosed in Doc. 5 in Papers laid before the Provincial Council [PC Papers], Session II, No. 6. MS in CML.
112   The incident is described by Peter Stuart, Edward Gibbon Wakefield in New Zealand. His Political Career 1853H (Wellington: Price Milburn, 1971), ch. 3, and below, pp. 213-16,222, 227-8, 231-2, 235-6.
113   SeweIl to FitzGerald, 24 Mar 1853. Lyttelton Times, 23 Apr 1853, pp. 8-9.
114   Minute of meeting, 12 Apr 1853. Box of Papers relating to Trusts, 1849-61. Church House MSS.
115   Lyttelton Times, 30 Apr 1853, p. 1.
116   Committee on Church Matters, minutes, 6 May 1853. Papers relating to Trusts, 1849-61. Church House MSS.
117   Ibid, Sewell to Lyttelton, 10 May 1853 (drafts); published a year later in Lyttelton Times, 6 May 1854, pp. 8-9, and 13 May 1854, pp. 8-10.
118   A full analysis of the Association's educational provision is in L. E. L. Watson, 'Education in Canterbury 1851-57' (unpublished M.A. thesis, Canterbury University, 1961).
119   'Minutes of Committee on Church Matters, Church House MSS,Journal, below, p. 283.
120   Sewell to Lyttelton, 20 May 1853. Lyttelton MSS.
121   Committee on Church Matters, 1 Jul 1853. Church House MSS; Lyttelton Times, 16 Jul 1853, p. 4.
122   Mathias to Brittan, 11 Jul 1853; Brittan to Mathias, 14 Jul; Brittan to Col. Sec., 15 Jul; Governor to Newcastle, 5 Oct. Copies in Lyttelton MSS.
123   Committee on Church Matters, 26 Jul 1853. Church House MSS; Journal, below, pp. 351-4.
124   Minutes of Committee on Church Matters, 1 Aug 1853. Church House MSS; Journal, below, pp. 351-3.
125   Journal, below, pp. 344-7.
126   Minutes of Exec. Council of Province of Canterbury, 1853-7 (CML).
127   Lyttelton Times, 13 Aug 1853, p. 5.
128   Journal, below, p. 362.
129   Ibid, p. 409. 'My wish is to preserve as much as I can of those plans which we formed in England with so much care . . .'
130   Lyttelton Times, 24 Sep 1853, p. 7.
131   Sewell to Robert Sewell, 7 Sep 1853. Lyttelton MSS.
132   Ibid, Sewell to Lyttelton, 6 Nov 1853.
133   Sewell to Superintendent, 8 Dec 1853; Superintendent to Sewell, 10 Dec. Letters 3 and 4 in PC Papers, Session II, No. 6.
134   Journal, below, p. 430.
135   Sewell to Superintendent, 4 Feb 1854. No. 16 in PC Papers, Session II.
136   Lyttelton Times, 18 Feb 1854, p. 8.
137   Church Property Trustees Ordinance. Ordinances of the Province of Canterbury, New Zealand [OPC], Session II, 1854, No. 3, pp. 27-34.
138   Jacobs to Sewell, 4 Apr 1854. Lyttelton Times, 22 Apr 1854, p. 8.
139   Ibid, Sewell to Jacobs, 6 Apr 1854, p. 8.
140   Ibid, pp. 8-9. Sewell to Jacobs, 17 Apr 1854. Originals in Papers relating to Trusts, 1849-61. Church House MSS.
141   Journal, below, p. 497.
142   Editorial in Lyttelton Times, 29 Apr 1854, p. 7.
143   Mathias to Sewell, 8 May 1854. Copy in Lyttelton MSS.
144   Ibid, Adderley to Lyttelton, 16 Sep 1854; Lyttelton replied to the round robin signatories (Oct 1854), suggesting that Sewell should be credited with some common sense.
145   Bowen to Godley, 8 May 1854. Godley MS, XXXV.
146   Sewell to Jacobs, 26 Jun 1855. Henry Sewell's Letter Books, I.
147   Thomson to Jacobs, 16 Aug 1855. Papers relating to Trusts, 1849-61. Church House MSS.
148   Ibid, meeting of 10 Nov 1855. Church Minute Book of Lyttelton, 1851-61.
149   Journal, below, p. 368.
150   Sewell to Hall, 7 Feb 1855. Henry Sewell's Letter Books, I.
151   Journal of the Proceedings of the Provincial Council of Canterbury [JPC], Session IV, p. 125.
152   Journal, below, p. 307.
153   Christ's College Ordinance. OPC, Session IV, 1855, No. 4, p. 6l.
154   Sewell to Col. Sec., 26 Aug 1854. Henry Sewell's Letter Books I; FitzGerald to Officer-administering-the-Government, 28 Aug 1854. PC Papers, Session III, No. 4.
155   Ibid, Sinclair to Superintendent, 14 Sep 1854.
156   Ibid, Paper 14 in Sewell to Superintendent, 24 Jan 1854.
157   Journal. Vol. II, p. 139.
158   Sewell to Hall, 2 Apr 1855. Henry Sewell's Letter Books, I.
159   Ibid, letter of same date.
160   JPC, Session IV, p. 103.
161   Journal, II, p. 148.
162   Resolutions are in JPC, Session IV; debate reported in Lyttelton Times, 23 Jun 1855, p. 4.
163   The Canterbury Association Ordinance passed the third reading on 5 July 1855 and received the Superintendent's assent on 10 Jul. OPC, Session IV, 1855, No. 6.
164   Lyttelton Times, editorial, 30 Jun 1855, p. 4.
165   JPC, I, p. 147.
166   Bowen to Godley, 27 Jul 1855. Godley MS, XLI.
167   Journal, II, p. 152.
168   Round robin letter, Dec 1855. Lyttelton MSS. 'Bravo! Canterbury! Bravo! Sewell!'-Selfe to Lyttelton, 1 Dec 1855. Lyttelton (Hagley) MSS.
169   Ibid, Robert Sewell to Lyttelton, 21 Mar 1855. For Robert's and William's troubles at Radley, see Boyd, Radley College 1847-1947, pp. 130-40.
170   Sewell to Lyttelton, 4 Dec 1855. Henry Sewell's Letter Books, I.
171   Journal, below, p. 137.
172   Grey's explanations, which satisfied the Colonial Office, are discussed carefully by David G. Herron in 'The Circumstances and Effects of Sir George Grey's Delay in Summoning the First New Zealand General Assembly', Historical Studies Australia and New Zealand, 1959, 8 (32), pp. 364-82. The inference of James Rutherford (Sir George Grey K.C.B., 1812-1898. A Study in Colonial Government (London: Cassell, 1961), p. 226) that 'Instead of concentrating on the business in hand [Canterbury Association affairs], Sewell followed the unfortunate example of Fox and Godley and at once identified himself with the opposition party' is not a fair comment on Sewell's attitude to his primary task.
173   The Case of Dorset v Bell is referred to in Journal, below, pp. 211-12, 213-15, 216-22, 227-8, 231-2, 235-6. See the account in Stuart, Wakefield in New Zealand, pp. 34-40. Sewell's letter to Pakington, 12 Apr 1853, was published in the Lyttelton Times, 30 Apr 1853, p. 9. Ironically, on 13 Apr he heard the news that Newcastle had become Secretary of State (below, p. 234). The letter reached the Colonial Office on 21 Nov 1853 and Newcastle initialled it on 7 Jan 1854 (CO 209/115, pp. 114-15). Wakefield's letter to Newcastle, reminding him of Sewell's to Pakington, dated 21 May 1853, led Herman Merivale, the Permanent Under-Secretary for Colonies, to make the prophetic comment: 'This gentleman will make the governing of the colony no easy task for anyone who will not take him as his unavowed prime minister' (CO 209/212, p. 374).
174   Lyttelton Times, 23 Apr 1853, p. 6.
175   Ibid, 10 Oct 1853, p. 8.
176   Ibid, 29 Oct 1853, p. 9, reporting speech on second reading, 25 Oct 1853.
177   Speech on 28 Oct 1853. Acts and Proceedings of the Provincial Council of Wellington, 1853-4, Session I, p. 12
178   Journal, below, p. 393.
179   Ibid, p. 382.
180   Morrell, Provincial System, p. 74; Civil Sec. to Supt, 8 Aug 1853, Circular 53--copy in Godley MSS, miscellaneous papers.
181   Fox to Godley, 8 Mar 1854. Godley MS, CXXXVIII.
182   Journal, below, p. 387.
183   Ibid, p. 388; printed copy of the letter, dated 4 Oct 1853, in Godley MSS. Bowen to Godley, 20 Oct 1853 (ibid, XXXI), lists Stafford, FitzGerald, Tancred and Hamilton as recipients. Evidence of Weld's having received it is in Weld to Stafford, 20 Oct 1853. Stafford Letters, vol. 2, p. 29 (ATL). Stuart, Wakefield in New Zealand, p. 106, calls it a 'wily letter'.
184   Sewell to Newcastle, 15 Oct 1853 (in the form of sixty-three columns of newsprint), enclosed in Sewell to Newcastle, 13 Nov 1853, CO 209/121, pp. 299-332. The letter was published as a supplement to the Wellington Independent, 12 Nov 1853. The official copy is in Grey to Newcastle, 13 Dec 1853, CO 209/118, pp. 31-64. Stuart (p. 104) calls it 'almost pure Wakefield in sentiment and policy', but the land registration part would certainly be Sewell's. Sewell in fact wrote to FitzGerald denying Wakefield's influence--a disclaimer viewed with scepticism in Canterbury. Bowen to Godley, 20 Oct 1853. Godley MSS, XXXI.
185   Instructions under the Royal Sign Manual and Signet, 13 Sep 1852, enclosed in Pakington to Grey, 16 Sep 1852. MS in Gl/33, National Archives, Wellington. These instructions appear not to have been published when the dispatch was, but the part relating to the Executive Council appeared in the New-Zealander, 26 Aug 1854.
186   Journal, II, p. 21.
187   Ibid, p. 22.
188   Ibid, pp. 29-30. New Zealand Parliamentary Debates, First Parliament, 1854 and 1855, compiled by Maurice FitzGerald (Wellington: Government Printer, 1885) [NZPD 1854-5], pp. 4-6.
189   Ibid, p. 8.
190   Ibid, pp. 27-32.
191   Ibid, p. 46.
192   Sewell had, while in Wellington, borrowed a copy of The Ordinances of New Zealand passed in the first ten sessions of the General Legislative Council AD 1841 to AD 1849 [compiled by A. Domett] (Wellington: Government Printer, 1850), and he had noted the anomaly that, while the charter of 23 Dec 1846 (Sect 11, p. 30) had authorised the Governor to summon executive councils for each province according to instructions (pp. 40-64), and provided for civil lists of £6000 for each province, the Suspending Act of 1848 applied only to the legislative clauses (p. 85).
193   NZPD 1854-5, pp. 67-8.
194   Ibid, p. 75.
195   William Swainson, New Zealand and its Colonization (London: Smith, Elder, 1859), p. 222.
196   Exchange of letters between Wakefield and Clifford in Collected Works of Edward Gibbon Wakefield, pp. 77-8; the originals are in the Godley MSS (CML).
197   Journal, II, p. 33.
198   Swainson's advice was accepted at the Executive Council on 6 Jun. Executive Council minutes. National Archives, EC 1/1. Text of his memo was given in the Legislative Council, 15 Jun 1854. NZPD 18S4-5, pp. 81-3.
199   Journal, II, p. 34.
200   Jeanine Williams (quoting FitzGerald's account of 23 Apr 1855) says FitzGerald approached Weld before Sewell. 'Frederick Weld: A Political Biography' (unpublished Ph.D. thesis, University of Auckland, 1973), p. 95.
201   Journal, II, p. 35. Weld's Journal (MS in National Archives, Wellington) recorded, 18 Jun 1854: 'Wakefield whom out of compliment we asked to consult with us refused to come.' Wakefield seems to have made it clear that he would not take office; probably he hoped to be the confidant of ministers.
202   Journal, II, p. 36. Logan Campbell, 'Reminiscences', pp. 370-1.
203   Joumal, II, p. 37.
204   Wynyard to Newcastle, 9 Jun 1854. CO 209/123, p. 26.
205   Journal, II, p. 28. Weld reported these events to friends in similar, semi-intoxicated phrases. Williams, Weld, pp. 96-9.
206   The texts of these documents were discussed in the Executive Council on 12 June (EC 1/1) but they were not made available to the House until 3 Aug 1854 (NZPD 1854-5, pp. 255-6). There were slight differences in the letters indicating willingness to retire from each official. Swainson and Shepherd stated specifically that they were Crown appointees and Swainson that he was responsible to the Crown. Sinclair, the Colonial Secretary, who had been appointed by Governor FitzRoy, not by royal warrant, was, it seems, quite keen to retire and did not make these reservations.
207   Fox to Godley, 16 Aug 1854. Godley MS, CXL.
208   There was no Auckland representative in the mixed ministry partly because of the difficulty in choosing one, and also because Wynyard said he could appoint only three unofficials to the Executive Council. But when the Upper House complained that it was excluded from the new arrangement he consented to Dillon Bell (a Legislative Councillor from Wellington) joining the Executive Council. Early in July Bell had to return to Wellington for personal reasons, so Thomas Bartley (who represented the City of Auckland) resigned from the House of Representatives, was nominated to the Legislative Council and then joined the Executive Council.
209   Journal, II, pp. 39-40.
210   NZPD 1854-5, p. 86.
211   Ibid, pp. 87-92.
212   Journal, II, p. 42.
213   NZPD 1854-5, p. 256; Executive Council minutes, 20 June 1854. EC 1/1
214   NZPD 1854-5, p. 99.
215   Ibid, p. 164.
216   Ibid, p. 179. Sewell (Journal, II, p. 54) described the arrangements for parliamentary reporting, by which members were able to fill out notes of their speeches for the newspapers which carried reports, sometimes in special supplements.
217   The Licensing Amendment Act, 14 Sep 1854. 18 Vict., No. 5. New Zealand Statutes 1854-60, p. 10\NZPD 1854-5, p. 181. Another portent!
218   Journal, II, p. 57.
219   On the second reading, 30 June 1854. NZPD 18S4-S, p. 169.
220   Ibid, p. 195.
221   Ibid, pp. 197-201, for Weld's speech. Williams, Weld, p. 108, calls it his 'best speech of the Session'.
222   Journal, II, p. 58. FitzGerald regarded the speech as 'triumphant'. FitzGerald to Godley, 23 Apr 1855. Godley MS, LXXXVIII.
223   Journal, II, p. 6l.
224   Ibid, p. 62.
225   NZPD 1854-5, p. 255.
226   Mins of Executive Council, 1 Aug and 2 Aug 1854. EC 1/1.
227   NZPD 1834-5, pp. 262, 265. FitzGerald, Weld and Sewell, in their accounts after the event, all claimed they had had an understanding with Wynyard that the officials would retire when the Pension Bill passed.
228   Journal, II, p. 63.
229   NZPD 1854-5, p. 260.
230   FitzGerald to Godley, 23 Apr 1855. Godley MS, LXXXVIII.
231   See J. M. S. Careless, The Union of the Canadas. The Growth of Canadian Institutions 1841-1857 (Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1968), pp. 83-5.
232   NZPD 1854-5, pp. 273, 279, 281.
233   FitzGerald to Godley, 23 Apr 1855. Godley MS, LXXXVIII.
234   Journal, II, p. 66.
235   NZPD 1854-5, quotations from pp. 284, 302, 306, 316, 333.
236   Ibid, pp. 334-41, for formal record. See also Journal, II, pp. 70-3; Weld, Journal, 17 Aug 1854; Arthur S. Thomson, The Story of New Zealand Past and Present--Savage and Civilized (London: John Murray, 1859, Christchurch: Capper Press, 1974), II, pp. 219-20, says Sewell locked the Chamber door to retain a quorum and 'punched' Mackay in the ribs. Sewell did not mention the key episode in the journal, but did report (II, pp. 97-8) that a rumour had reached Wellington that he had 'broken poor Mackay's ribs'; Swainson, New Zealand, pp. 337-40, gives an impersonal account; James Hight and H. D. Bamford, The Constitutional History and Law of New Zealand (Christchurch: Whitcombe and Tombs, 1914), pp. 280-2, suggest Sewell's resolutions were 'in unconscious imitation of Sir John Eliot in the strangely similar turmoil in the English Commons in 1628', but the Journal (II, p. 7l) makes it clear that Sewell was not unconscious of history ('Cromwellian days back again'). Harrop, England and New Zealand, p. 291, has a slightly garbled excerpt from the Journal.
237   'Journal, II, p. 75; Weld, Journal, 24 Aug 1854, also records Churchill's support and his favourable comment on the General Assembly as compared with the New South Wales and Victorian legislatures; Weld to Godley, 4 Sep 1854 (Godley MS, LXlv) also mentions Churchill and Drury.
238   Wakefield's memorandum of the meeting, 19 Aug 1854, printed in Swainson, New Zealand, p. 247.
239   NZPD 1854-5, p. 404.
240   Journal, II, p. 79.
241   Ibid, p. 80.
242   242 NZPD 18S4-S, p. 355.
243   Swainson, New Zealand, p. 351 (emphasis added).
244   FitzGerald to Godley, 23 Apr 1855. Godley MS, LXXXVIII.
245   NZPD 1854-5, pp. 449-50.
246   Journal, II, pp. 86-8. Wakefield defended the 'Forsaith ministry' and its policy in almost Chartist terms in a long speech to the Hutt electors on 4 Dec 1854. NZ Spectator, 9 Dec 1854, pp. 3-4.
247   Journal, II, pp. 86-7; Henry Sewell's LetterBooks I; and Col. Sec. to Superintendent, 14 Sep 1854. PC Papers, Session III, No. 4.
248   Southern Cross, 22 Sep 1854, p. 2. See also Weld to Stafford, 17 Sep 1854. Stafford letters, vol. 2, p. 65: 'Sewell . . . has raised himself much in the opinion of everybody.'
249   Journal, II, p. 149.
250   Minutes by Elliot (17 Oct 1854), Peel (28 Oct), Grey (2 Nov) and Merivale (11 Nov) on Wynyard to Grey, 9 Jun 1854 (received 14 Oct). CO 209/123, pp. 32-4. The best account of the Colonial Office's policy is in W. P. Morrell, British Colonial Policy in the Mid-Victorian Age, South Africa, New Zealand, West Indies (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1969), pp. 207-14.
251   Cancelled draft of 20 Nov 1854. CO 209/124, pp. 121-4.
252   Minute by Merivale, 6 Dec 1854, on Wynyard to Grey, 10 Aug 1854 (received 5 Dec). CO 209/124, pp. 117-18.
253   Actions described in Wynyard to Grey, 31 May 1855. CO 209/129, pp. 239-44.
254   Journal, II, p. 153.
255   Bowen to Godley, 24 Aug 1855. Godley MS, XLII.
256   Journal, II, p. 159.
257   NZPD 1854-5, pp. 459-61.
258   Journal, II, p. 166.
259   Ibid, p. 166 ;NZPD 1854-5, p. 469. The Executive Council on 17 Aug 1855 'deferred' the question. EC 1/2.
260   NZPD 1854-5, pp. 528-9.
261   Ibid, pp. 555-7.
262   Journal, II, p. 176. Swainson, it should be pointed out, had gone on leave before the 1855 Session and was still absent. He was replaced on 10 Mar, as acting Attorney-General, by Frederick Whitaker of Auckland.
263   Ibid, p. 174.
264   Sewell to Lyttelton, 4 Dec 1855; Henry Sewell's Letter Books, I;Journal, II, p. 194.
265   Ibid, pp. 195-8.
266   Fox, Six Colonies of New Zealand, p. 161.
267   Journal, II, p. 207.
268   Ibid, p. 226.
269   Browne to Merivale (private), 29 Apr 1856. CO 209/135, pp. 391-4. His official explanation is in Browne to Labouchere, 30 Apr 1856. CO 209/135, pp. 411-14. His minute of 15 Apr and explanatory memoranda of 18 Apr 1856 were read to the House of Representatives by Sewell on 25 Apr (NZPD 18)6-8, pp. 14-15). Merivale's reaction in London (in a minute of 21 Aug 1856, CO 209/135, p. 395) was prophetic: 'It seems plain from Mr Sewell's speech that for the present his chief responsible adviser has given in to the Govs. view to some extent. But I doubt its tenability.' See also Morrell, Colonial Policy in the Mid-Victorian Age, pp. 216-19.
270   Journal, II, p. 230.
271   Ibid, p. 231.
272   Ibid, p. 227. The new Executive Councillors were sworn in on 18 April. Whitaker, who had been Attorney-General since Swainson went on leave in 1855, was already a member.
273   Sewell to Hamilton, 23 Apr 1856. Godley MS, LIX(A).
274   NZPD 1856-8, p. 18.
275   Journal, II, p. 235.
276   NZPD 1856-8, p. 47.
277   Ibid, pp. 55-6.
278   Ibid, p. 69.
279   Ibid, pp. 80-2; Journal, II, p. 237.
280   Ibid, p. 242. Sewell had, however, written to a Canterbury friend: 'It is everybody's duty to make the machine work and if Fox and the Wellington party should break down, what I think not unlikely--I will then heartily support any Government even theirs in preference to a total breakdown.' Sewell to Hamilton, 23 Apr 1856. Godley MS, LIX(A).
281   NZPD 1856-8, pp. 99-100.
282   Journal, II, p. 246.
283   Ibid, p. 246, NZPD 1856-8, p. 125.
284   NZPD 1856-8, pp. 136-44. The Wellington journalist Richard Wakelin dubbed the Compact 'one of the most gigantic swindles in modern history'--History and Politics (Wellington: Lyon & Blair, 1877; Dunedin: Hocken Library, 1973), p. 54. Morrell (Provincial System, p. 100) admits the North Island provinces 'made a surprisingly bad bargain'.
285   ournal, II, pp. 198-9.
286   Debate, 3 Jul 1856, NZPD 1856-8, pp. 252-4; Browne's ruling, 16 Aug 1856, p. 366. Exec Council mins, 15 Aug 1856. EC 1/2.
287   NZPD 1856-8, p. 367.
288   Stafford returned to Nelson to resign the superintendency and Richmond went back briefly to New Plymouth to settle his affairs. Whitaker and Campbell were Aucklanders and available, but Sewell noted: '. . . the whole office work falls on me, occupying my whole time' (Journal, II, p. 270).
289   'Stranger in the Gallery', in a letter to Wellington Independent. Extract in Lyttelton Times, 10 Sep 1856, p. 3. The Southern Cross, 19 Sep 1856, p. 3, identified the 'Stranger' as a member--only the author's party lost the game. This pointed to Fox as author.
290   NZPD 1856-8, pp. 350-2, 366.
291   Journal, II, pp. 262-3.
292   Copy of Circular, 31 Jul 1856, enclosed in Wynyard to Labouchere, 21 Sep 1856 (CO 209/137, pp. 336-7). Archdeacon Hadfield, one of the two respondents who supported handing over Maori affairs to responsible ministers, made a condition that Imperial troops were not to be used for internal police duties, but he did not reply until 27 August. Merivale minuted on 16 Feb 1857 (pp. 331-3): 'Shall the temporary arrangement sketched in the Governor's minute of 28th Aug and assented to by his Council, be approved? or will it be better to wait for Mr Sewell's visit here, the date of which seems somewhat uncertain? No one appears to anticipate that this arrangement can be final.'
293   Journal, II, p. 263.
294   Minute by Whitaker, Sewell, Richmond and Campbell, 22 Aug 1856. CO 209/137, pp. 461-7.
295   Sewell (Journal, II, p. 263) said McLean 'kicks and rebels. He does not like being put into harness'. See also Keith Sinclair, The Origins of the Maori Wars (Wellington: New Zealand University Press, 1961), pp. 88-9: Brian J. Dalton, War and Politics in New Zealand 1855-1870 (Sydney: University Press, 1967), pp. 34-45, which is the fullest discussion of the reservation issue. See also minute by Whitaker, 23 May 1861, recalling the amalgamation of the offices. MS Paper for the General Assembly, 1/1861/232, no. 23. National Archives.
296   Minute by Browne, 28 Aug 1856. CO 209/137, pp. 464-71.
297   Ibid, pp. 473-7. Minute by Sewell and Richmond, 2 Sep 1856. The exchange of minutes was published in Appendix to the Journals of the House of Representatives [AJHR], 1858, E-5.
298   Sinclair, Origins of the Maori Wars, p. 85; Dalton, War and Politics, p. 38.
299   Journal, II, p. 269.
300   Exec. Council mins, 21 Oct 1856. EC 1/2; NZ Govt Gaz, 11 Nov 1856.
301   Journal, II, p. 272.

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