Letter 32 coda

coda. Mary Mountjoy Paddon to unknown recipient. Aisholt, Watford Heath, Hereford, 24 Dec 1922

Details. As far as I can remember re Harris, Mrs Harris was a sister of my mother, daughters of Mr Hill of Plymouth Devon. He, Mr H I believe was an artist but went out to N.Z. for some Company, and as the letters state landed in New Plymouth. I had scores & scores of letters from the family which were addressed to a sister of Mrs Harris, Miss Emma Jane Hill, Liskeard, Cornwall, England. After her death they were sent to my mother Mrs Paddon, 10 Horbury Crescent, Notting Hill, London but when our house was given up shortly before my mother’s death, I had to destroy all superfluous papers etc. and for a time I corresponded with one of the daughters, I think Emily, the eldest.

Mr & Mrs Harris had 6 daughters & one son Corbyn & had a pretty house at New Plymouth, I had a small painting of it, but it has gone the way of many other treasures, & I believe were quite comfortable on the land, I suppose a grant, until the Maori war broke out when their cattle were destroyed, house burned & their son Corbyn who was an officer I believe was killed by the Natives, I think the family then go to Nelson & after many hardships I think Mr Harris opened a school & the daughters I have heard were musical & were harpists, some married, but not having kept the later letters I forget the names of the husbands. We had a large painting of Mrs Harris, I think painted by her husband, which when I heard of Mrs Harris’ death I cut from frame & sent to the daughters.

I was born in 1849 so am about the age of their younger daughters who are if living my first cousins.

It is very kind of Miss Dempsey to take so much trouble – of course I feel interested & Miss Pullen & Mrs J. Fabling are such old friends that we look on each other as almost belonging to same family.

I must add that when or after Corbyn Harris was killed a very special sermon was preached, about him, printed & copies sent to England & I think I recollect that a tombstone was erected, whether in New Plymouth or Nelson I do not remember, but I think the stone was sent from England.

Mary Mountjoy Paddon
Watford Heath Hereford, England

24 / 12 / 22

MS account of Sarah Harris letters and family connections. Written at Aisholt, Watford Heath, Hereford, England, 24 Dec 1922. Accompanied by Sarah Harris TS letters and Steddy family tree. Turnbull. MS-Papers-3761.


Details. As far as I can remember re Harris
Mary Mountjoy Paddon (1849-1925) appears to be writing an explanation to accompany typescripts of Sarah Harris letters being given or sent to her friends Miss Mary Gertrude Pullen and Mrs Beatrice Marguerite (Daisy) Fabling. Pullen and Fabling were cousins who emigrated to NZ and took an interest in Mary Paddon’s family connections here. When Miss Pullen died in 1975, Mrs Fabling donated four typescript letters and this page of Miss Paddon’s letter to the Turnbull Library. The typings were made on Invicta bond foolscap and probably came to NZ in the 1920s. One of them reproduces Sarah Harris’s letter of 20 Apr 1841, indicating that the original MS (#3) was still in England.

After her death they were sent to my mother Mrs Paddon, 10 Horbury Crescent Notting Hill London
The connection between the Paddons and Pullens seems to originate with Ann Mountjoy Paddon. In 1851 she and her son Frank aged 13 and daughter Mary aged 2 were lodging in the household of John Maslyn, Fore street, Saltash, Cornwall. In 1861 she was married and the keeper of a boarding house in Lambeth St Mary, Kennington, and head of a household of three boarders. In 1871 she was widowed and living at 10 Horbury Crescent, Kensington with her daughter Mary aged 22 and godson Frank aged 1. Mary Gertrude Pullen (1880-1975), daughter of William Richard Pullen and Lucy Lake, was born 19 July 1880 and baptised 10 September 1880 at St Stephen, Paddington. The Pullens’ home address is given as 10 Horbury Crescent, perhaps indicating that they were lodgers with Ann and Mary Mountjoy Paddon. By 1881 William and Lucy Pullen and their 8-month-old daughter were living at Flat 10, Wellington Mansions, Marylebone.

I think Mr Harris opened a school
Edwin Harris advertised for pupils in Nelson papers 1860 and 1864 before accepting a position as drawing master at the Bishop’s School which he held until 1889. The advertisements offered a range of lessons:

Mr. Edwin Harris, Engineering Surveyor and Draughtsman (pupil of, and many years assistant to, the late celebrated James M. Rendel, Esq., Civil Engineer, President of the Society of Engineers, F.R.S., &c., &c.), will be happy, during his stay in Nelson, to give LESSONS in Land Surveying, Levelling, and Architectural, Mechanical, Landscape, and other DRAWING.

Address, Mr. A. Moore’s Waimea-road, near the College, or the Examiner Office.
December, 1860
(Nelson Examiner 22 Dec 1860: 2. Repeated 29 Dec 1860)

Mr. Edwin Harris’s SCHOOL OF DESIGN, Nile-Street East, Trafalgar Square
(Nelson Examiner 30 Aug 1864: 2. Repeated 13, 20, 22 and 27 Sept 1864)

we had a large painting of Mrs Harris, I think painted by her husband
Roseanne Cranstone, great-great-grand-daughter of Edwin and Sarah Harris, is the present owner of the painting, which hung for many years in the Briant homestead at Bonny Glen, Marton. It is unsigned, measures 580 by 480mm and the canvas shows evidence of having been removed from a previous frame.

Miss Pullen & Mrs J. Fabling are such old friends
Beatrice Marguerite (Daisy) Hyatt (1882-c1984) served as a VAD nurse with 1NZEF 1918-19. She married NZ soldier James Fabling (1892-1943) in Chertsey, Surrey in 1919 and returned with him to Wellington that year. The Fablings lived at 34 Rodrigo Rd in Miramar, where Daisy’s cousin Mary Gertrude Pullen also lived 1935-75. Mary Pullen came to NZ in 1922 and again in 1927 and was a teacher at Chilton St James, a private girls’ day school in Lower Hutt, from the late 1920s. UK passenger records show her travelling from England to NZ in 1922 and 1927. She made later visits to England in 1949 and 1954,, staying each time with members of the Paddon family. Daisy Fabling also visited England in 1947 and 1951.

after Corbyn Harris was killed a very special sermon was preached
Nelson Examiner 8 Sept 1860: ‘Advertisements. On Sale, at the Examiner Office, A Funeral Sermon, delivered at St Mary’s Church, New Plymouth, Taranaki, on the death of Hugh Corbyn Harris. By the Reverend H.N. Wollaston. The proceeds of the Sale to be given to the sisters of the deceased.’ No copy of the sermon has been recovered.
Reverend Henry Newton Wollaston (1822-1907) was a controversial figure in the Taranaki Anglican ministry during the 1850s. ‘The Revd H.N. Wollaston (also spelt Woollaston) assisted at Bell Block, arriving as a deacon about 1855. Unconventional, he was popular with the settlers […] but the Bishop refused to ordain him as a priest, ostensibly because he objected to training himself for work among the Maoris. His habit of writing his own sermons, which as a deacon he was not permitted to do, may have also contributed to his “downfall.”’ (Alington 96).