Writing Lines 2

Letter to mother Sarah Harris in Nelson, 5 December 1860

New Plymouth
Dec 5th 1860
My dear Mamma

I have just returned from spending the evening at the Standishes with papa who has been paying a farewell visit, he expects the Airedale in tomorrow. I hope not, I should like to have him one day longer. I think I shall be very desolate when he has gone, the last link of the family chain so roughly severed, but do not think I am giving way or repining. I am more likely to take the other extreme and effect a gaiety I do not feel or drown care in dissipation, for Mrs Des Voeux has been very gay lately and as I am like the active verb to be and to do, I am too necessary an appendage to be left out. About three weeks ago Mrs R, Mrs K, Mrs Des V., Alice Reynolds and myself went to Glenavon to pick gooseberries. Mr Des Voeux wanted to bring in some cattle so it was a good opportunity as there were several mounted men and fifty friendly Natives scattered over the place.

We were seated in the cart with the exception of Mrs King who kept us waiting half an hour in the street with our guard of Officers. Meanwhile a gentleman came with rumours of Waikatoes [Waikato] having arrived and tried to dissuade us from going, but in vain, we were longing to get out into the country, it seemed so fresh and green after the hot suffocating town. But I must now say something about the gentlemen; they were strangers to me Capt. Stoney and Capt. Miller. The latter you will remember so bravely tried to rescue poor young Wakefield from drowning and nearly lost his own life in the attempt, the former I had never heard of until a few days before when Mr D. V. brought two books written by him, one on Tasmania the other on Melbourne. They were beautifully bound in blue and gold, nicely illustrated and very interesting, so I was quite prepared to see a clever man but I am sure I never [met] with any one so agreeable besides being very handsome.

When we got as far as the Henui church we were told that firing had been heard and we had better turn back but we still went on trusting to our advance guard for intimation of danger.

All seemed so quiet and peaceful, except a few houses burnt and a pa at the Waiwaikea [Waiwhakaiho] bridge the country appeared unchanged. Glenavon did [not] look so desolate as I anticipated though the windows were broken, the paper torn down and the garden overrun with weeds. We very soon began to gather flowers, strawberries & gooseberries. I detest picking gooseberries in general but with two or three officers to help I rather enjoy it. We did not stay very long and returned in safety, laden with flowers. The next day some of the rebel Maoris [Māori] took up their abode there and ever since no one has been able to venture out.

The next day Mr Des Voeux gave a dinner party. Among the guests was Capt. Buck, Mrs Govett’s brother-in-law and Col. Wyatt, the queerest man I ever met, all action and grimace. The story goes that when he was in Paris he was arrested as a spy, the French people said it was impossible for him to be an Englishman.

The next evening Mrs King persuaded Mrs Des Voeux to give a little dance. It was such a sudden thought that you can imagine how busy I was all day and I could not come into the room until late, but that I was glad of. As soon as I came in Mrs Des Voeux gave me a most beautiful bouquet that Capt Stoney had presented her, she was unusually kind and polite so of course the gentlemen were very attentive. I fancy they take their tone from her. As I was obliged to be there it was satisfactory, I do not like to be taken for a sort of housekeeper or nursemaid. But Capt. Stoney can understand my position for he told me that his own wife had suffered from paralysis for ten years and that now she had regained the use of her hand. He said she was more like an angel than a human being and had borne her sufferings without a murmur, showing how afflictions brought out people’s real character, proving many to be possessed of far better qualities than they were ever supposed to have. He thought it must have had that effect upon Mrs Des Voeux, her unfortunate disease only tending to make her more & more amiable. Such is the result of a lively manner upon strangers for of course I did not undeceive him.

A few days after Capt. Stoney gave a party at his own house, the stone cottage on the beach.

He asked Mrs Des Voeux to be the lady of the house and bring me. I wrote to papa and also to Mrs Standish to know what to do. She was very much distressed at the idea but said I was so situated that I must go if Mrs D.V. wished it, the worst advice she could [have given] for even after I had persuaded Mrs Richardson to take my place and do all that was required Mrs Des Voeux said decidedly you shall go and laughed at the idea of taking Mrs R. instead of a young girl, but another time I mean to outwit her. But all these things must be very distressing to you now I should not have mentioned them only that I thought it right.

Mrs Standish has been very unwell she has been in bed for several days but she is better now. One day when I called to see her Mrs Leech was there so I took the opportunity of asking her for a few flowers for the grave, she said she was glad I asked and that as long as she had any I should have some once a week, she desired me to remember her to you.

We have not yet removed to Skinner’s house, poor Mr Richardson has been getting worse this last week, I fear he will not survive this summer. I think he would not wish to recover but would gladly be relieved from the trials of this world. It is a great satisfaction to me now that I have never spoken ill of him and have always taken his part when others have done so.

I went with papa last week to spend the evening with Mr and Mrs Gardner, they have made up their minds at last to go to England for a year or two, they intend going next month. The Newlands have got into a very comfortable house outside the trenches, Mr Ronalds & Mr Diamond board with them.

Give my love to Frances tell her not to forget to write to me next time as well as Augusta & Ellen. I have not been able to get the ferns for Miss Mayling yet as it is unsafe to go far outside the lines. I have just seen a cart go by with the harp & I don’t know to go & see papa as Freddy is ill in bed with influenza.

Love to Kate, &c – – –

MS copy of letter to mother Sarah Harris, Nelson.  Written in New Plymouth, 5 Dec 1860. Copying date unknown. Puke Ariki. ARC2002-190. Fascicle 2, pp.1-6.

My dear Mamma
Sarah Harris (1806-1879) was born in Plymouth, England, and buried in Wakapuaka Cemetery, Nelson, NZ. She was a teacher and the author of a notebook memoir (1871) and letters (1841-1853) to her family in England describing the voyage to NZ and subsequent experience of settlement in New Plymouth. Sarah Harris was the daughter of William Hill and Elizabeth Dyer of Plymouth, Devon. She married Edwin Harris in the Parish of St Andrew, Plymouth, 4 Nov1833 and the couple had eight children, one of whom died five days after birth on the voyage to NZ. Emily’s letter of 5 Dec 1860 contains the first of three accounts of a visit to Glenavon on the outskirts of the New Plymouth settlement.

I have just returned from spending the evening at the Standishes with papa
Edwin Harris (1806-1895) was born in Plymouth, England and buried in Wakapuaka Cemetery, Nelson, NZ. He was a draughtsman, surveyor, civil engineer, artist, musician, farmer and teacher.

Nelson Evening Mail 25 May 1895: 2. We have to announce the death of Mr Edwin Harris, which took place this morning in his ninetieth year. He was one of the pioneer settlers, and landed in New Plymouth in 1841. He brought special recommendations to Governor Hobson, but before he could reach Auckland Captain Hobson had died. He then entered the service of the New Zealand Company, and for many years was engaged in surveying its newly-acquired blocks of land, but finding the hardships attending this work more than his constitution could stand, he bought land and began bush-farming.

At the time of the Maori war he had to come into town with his family. After serving in the militia for some months he came to Nelson, where he soon became known as an artist of considerable ability. He was born in Plymouth in 1805 and after finishing his education he devoted some time to the study of painting, and then entered the office of his brother-in-law, the late eminent engineer, Mr J. M. Rendel, F.R.S., with whom he remained six years.

Mr Harris was an accomplished musician, and was for many years a member of the Nelson Harmonic Society.

He leaves three daughters, Mrs A.W. Moore, Mrs Weyergang of New Plymouth, and Miss Harris of Nelson, also several distinguished nephews, among whom may be mentioned Lord Rendel and William Austin Dobson. His only son, a fine young man, a member of the Taranaki Rifle Volunteers, was killed by the Maoris at the beginning of the war.

The Standishes were family friends. Thomas and Mary Standish and their three sons arrived in New Plymouth from Pontefract, Yorkshire, in 1843. Thomas Standish (1805-1863) was a solicitor and magistrate’s clerk in the 1840s. He was appointed Crown Prosecutor for Taranaki (NZ Gazette 27 Dec 1860). Mary Standish (1812-1878 is buried with her husband in Te Henui Cemetery.

he expects the Airedale in tomorrow
RMS Airedale (286 tons) was a vessel of the NZ and Australian Inter-Colonial Royal Mail Steam Packet Company, established in 1859. She was built in England in 1857, saw service in the Crimea, and arrived in Nelson in August 1859. She was in service under various companies until February 1871 when she wrecked on a reef north of the Waitara river mouth, now known as Airedale Reef. The Airedale was commandeered for military transportation during the conflicts of the 1860s. See ‘Airedale Exposed by Low Tides.’

for Mrs Des Voeux has been very gay lately
Katharina (Catherine) Sara Angelica Des Voeux (1829-1895) was the daughter of Thomas Watkin Richardson and Mary Anne Whittington. She was born in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, and arrived in New Plymouth in 1852 with her mother and younger sister Eliza Mary on the barque Lord William Bentick. Also on board was Charles Champagne Des Voeux (listed as Charles Devereux), who may have accompanied the Richardson ladies from England. TW Richardson and his family settled at Glenavon, Waiwhakaiho. Catherine married Charles Champagne Des Voeux in 1853 in New Plymouth and the couple lived in Whanganui, where Des Voeux held a Government position. The Des Voeux had two children, Charlotte Mary (born 1855 in Whanganui) and Frederick Henry Arthur (born 1857 in New Plymouth). See ‘Des Voeux Chronology.’

Mrs R, Mrs K, Mrs Des V., Alice Reynolds and myself went to Glenavon
Mrs Richardson, Mrs King, Mrs Des Voeux, Miss Alice Reynolds. Glenavon, a farm on the eastern bank of the Waiwhakaiho River, was established by Captain Lleyson Hopkin Davy, who arrived in New Plymouth on the Amelia Thompson in Sept 1841. See lithograph entitled ‘Glanavon. A farm of Capt. Davy’s.’ (Puke Ariki. A63.769) Davy’s son Edwin sold Glenavon to TW Richardson. Newland 14 Sept 1850: ‘Mr Edwin Davy sold his property for the sum of £1500, situated at the Waiwaikio  – 200 acres.’ Charles Des Voeux seems to have been managing Glenavon for his father-in-law in 1860.

Mary Anne Richardson nee Whittington (c.1801-1882) was born in Bath, Somerset, England. She married Thomas Watkin Richardson (c.1800-1861) in 1827 and the couple moved to Germany later the same year. The Richardsons had three children, all born in Germany (Thomas Friedrich, Katharina Sara Angelica and Eliza Mary). By 1850 the family had returned to England and TW Richardson sailed for NZ, leaving his wife and daughters to follow in 1852. Mary Ann Richardson was widowed in January 1861 in New Plymouth and went to Hobart with her daughter and son in law Charles and Catherine Des Voeux. She died in Brighton, Sussex, England in 1882. (England Probate Calendar)

Eliza Mary King (1831-1911), known as Mrs EM King, was a radical feminist, lecturer and author. She was born in Offenbach, Germany, and arrived in Taranaki with her mother Mary Anne Richardson and older sister Katharina (Catherine) on the barque Lord William Bentick in 1852. Eliza Mary Richardson married William Cutfield King in 1855 in New Plymouth and the couple had two daughters (Alice Mary, later Des Voeux and Turton, and Constance Ada, later Roop and Mullens). See photograph of William, Eliza and Alice King. (Puke Ariki. PHO2014-0047)

Mrs EM King was widowed 8 Feb 1861 and went to Hobart with her daughters, mother, sister, niece, nephew, and brother in law Charles Des Voeux. She returned to New Plymouth with her daughters in 1862 and wrote Truth. Love. Joy. Or, The Garden of Eden and its Fruits, a feminist critique of the Old Testament and the gospel of St Paul that was published in 1864 in Melbourne and London. The book drew hostile reviews in the colonial and international press. After 1870 Mrs EM King lived in England and the United States, promoting radical causes including advocacy for prostitutes and dress reform. She returned to New Plymouth in 1907, lived with her daughters and died at Omata. She was buried with her father and husband in St Mary’s Churchyard, New Plymouth. See Ian Leader-Elliott, ‘Mrs EM King 1831-1911: Brief Notes On Her Life.’

Miss Alice Ann Reynolds died 1912 in New Plymouth, aged 75. She is buried in Te Henui Cemetery with John Cullen Reynolds, died 1889 aged 48, and James Reynolds, died 1920 aged 77.

Mr Des Voeux wanted to bring in some cattle
Charles Champagne Des Voeux, Esq. (1826-1914) was the second son of Rev Henry William Des Voeux and Frances Dalrymple. He was baptised in the Parish of Norwell and Carlton On Trent, Nottingham, and lived in Germany until the death of his mother in 1838, after which the family returned to England. Charles was at school in Wanstead, Essex in 1841, aged 14, but details of his later education or professional training (perhaps undertaken in Europe) have not been recovered. In 1852 after arriving in New Plymouth with the Richardsons, Des Voeux travelled on to Wellington, where he obtained a position as clerk to the Bench with a salary of 140 pounds per annum. By 1853 he was Sub-collector of customs and Postmaster in Whanganui. Charles and Catherine Des Voeux were married at St Mary’s in New Plymouth and lived in Whanganui, later moving to New Plymouth and leaving their children to travel to England 1857-58. They arrived home early in 1859 and lived at Glenavon with Catherine’s parents until the outbreak of war. Des Voeux was captain of the Taranaki volunteer mounted escort March 1860-February 1861. The family lived in Hobart from 1861 until 1874, when they returned permanently to England. Charlotte Des Voeux married Samuel Ewing in London, 1879. Frederick married Hylda Henrietta Brooke in France, 1899. Catherine died on Portsea Island, Hampshire in 1895. Charles died in London and is buried in Brompton Cemetery.

Charles Des Voeux inherited a family title in 1894 after the death of his brother Henry and became sixth baronet of Indiaville. In 1914 the baronetcy passed to his son Frederick. The title went to a different part of the family on Frederick’s death in 1937 and was extinguished in 1944 on the death of the ninth baronet at the Battle of Arnhem. See ‘Des Voeux Chronology.’

they were strangers to me Capt. Stoney and Capt. Miller.
Captain Henry Butler Stoney (1816-1894), Paymaster, 40th regiment, arrived in Taranaki 24 July 1860 with Lieutenant Colonel Leslie and 40th Regiment reinforcements from Melbourne. The two books he loaned Charles Des Voeux were A Residence in Tasmania: With a Descriptive Tour through the Island and Victoria: with a Description of its Principal Cities, Melbourne and Geelong (London, 1856). Stoney’s military career had taken him to Ireland, Malta, Cythera, the West Indies and Canada. In 1853 he arrived in Hobart as Paymaster of the 99th Regiment of Foot and was elected a member of the Royal Society of Tasmania. Marshall: ‘He remained an active member of the Society for the remainder of his time in the colony and through to 1858, donating items to its museum and copies of his own books to its library, and presenting a paper in October 1855 which proposed the development of a series of telegraph stations between Circular Head via Round Head to Launceston.’ (29) In 1856 Stoney’s regiment was recalled to England and he transferred in that year to the 40th Regiment, which was to be based in Melbourne. His posting to Taranaki in 1860 was the beginning of a 34-year sojourn in NZ. After retiring from the army in 1864 with the honorary rank of Major, he moved with his family to the district now known as Silverdale, north of Auckland, where he immersed himself in largely unsuccessful business enterprises and public affairs. Later he relocated to Kawakawa in the Bay of Islands and contributed regularly to Auckland newspapers until his death at Scoria Flat (Moerewa) in 1894. See ‘Death of Major Stoney’ and Tony Marshall, ‘Henry Butler Stoney: Author, Soldier, Settler.’

Stoney’s experience of the war and its effects on the civilian population of New Plymouth led him to write Taranaki: A Tale of the War (Auckland, 1861), a hybrid work of romance and reportage often identified as the first novel to be published in NZ. The book is also a thinly disguised roman à clef concerning the Des Voeux and Richardson families of Glenavon.

Captain Thomas E Miller arrived in Taranaki 16 April 1860 from Sydney commanding a detachment of 12th Regiment reinforcements. On 4 June he was almost drowned in attempting to save the son of William King Wakefield near the mouth of the flooded Huatoki stream. Miller was slightly wounded 23 Jan 1861 during an attack on No. 3 Redoubt at Huirangi. See Taranaki Herald 26 Jan 1861: 2.

Harriet Halse 4 June 1860: ‘Monday 4th  A most melancholy accident occurred this morning. Mrs. Wakefields eldest of 2 sons was on horseback near the Huatoki River when the horse took fright and galloped into the river. The boy fell off and (the river surf being very high) he was immediately carried out to sea. Capt. Miller of the 12th seeing the accident plunged into the sea to try and save the boys life. Being a good swimmer he struggled against the surf for some time. It showed how little he knew of our surf to jump into it without a moments consideration. He was rescued and carried to Mr. Wollastons in the pa close to the beach in a dying state. It was some hours before the means used for his recovery were effectual [sic]; However he was sufficiently recovered in the evening to be carried on a litter to his quarters. We are all very sorry to hear the body of the poor boy has not washed on the shore.’

Taranaki Herald 9 June 1860: 2. Died. Drowned in the Huatoki river, 4th June, William Beaumont, aged 13, the eldest son of Mr William King Wakefield, Omata.

Taranaki Herald 9 June 1860: 3. Continuation of Journal of Events. Monday. — A melancholy and fatal accident happened this morning to a son of Mr Wakefield, who, whilst fording the Huatoki stream near the beach on horseback, lost his seat and was washed out to sea and drowned. Capt. Miller, of the 12th, who happened to witness the accident, gallantly plunged into the sea to save the boy, which noble act nearly cost him his life. Capt. Miller got amongst the breakers and was carried into the mouth of the river where he had to struggle against the swollen waters of the Huatoki as they discharged themselves into the sea. Being a powerful swimmer, after repeated attempts, and after being exhausted by the heavy surf that repeatedly broke over him, he succeeded in getting across the stream, and the surf assisted in washing him up towards the beach, when he was rescued and carried into the Kawau pa in apparently a dying state. Mr Hoby, junior, with great courage went into the sea on horseback, and by his beckoning announced to the people on shore that Capt. Miller was in peril. G. Hoby’s horse carried him without shrinking into the surf and swam about in the breakers in his rider’s efforts to get close to Captain Miller. Nothing seen of the body of the unfortunate boy. Vigorous means were at once used to restore animation, and during the evening Captain Miller was sufficiently recovered to be removed to his quarters on a litter. A large number of people were on the beach during the time the captain was in the breakers, who had not the slightest conception he was struggling for his life, but, on the contrary, thought he was swimming about still seeking for the body of the boy.

Among the guests was Capt. Buck, Mrs Govett’s brother-in-law and Col. Wyatt,
Captain George Buck (1832-1868) arrived in New Plymouth from Auckland on the Wonga Wonga 6 November 1860. He left Waitara for Manukau on HMSS Niger 29 April 1861. See ‘Officers of the 65th in New Zealand.’

Reverend Henry Govett (1819-1903) was appointed vicar of St Mary’s Church after the death of his cousin William Bolland in 1847. Govett became Archdeacon of Taranaki in 1860 and was principal Anglican minister for the district until 1898.

Lieutenant Colonel Alfred Francis William Wyatt (1810-1869) arrived in Taranaki 12 Oct 1860 to take command of the 65th Regiment after the retirement of Major General Gold. (Taranaki Herald 29 Sept 1860: 2) See ‘Officers of the 65th in New Zealand.’

But Capt. Stoney can understand my position for he told me that his own wife had suffered from paralysis
Catherine Des Voeux was injured in the Wairarapa earthquake of 23 Jan 1855 while the Des Voeux were living in Whanganui. Emily refers to Catherine’s lame right arm and leg (see #9) and her situation with the family seems to have been that of lady companion to Catherine and care-giver of three-year-old Freddy. Charles and Catherine Des Voeux’s voyage to England in 1857 may have been to seek medical help for Catherine. See ‘Des Vouex Chronology.’ A memoir written almost 50 years after the Wairarapa earthquake by ‘Old Settler’ (JG Woon) of Whanganui gives an account of Catherine’s accident: ‘In 1855, and in December of that year, Mr. Des Voeux brought his wife to Wanganui for a visit, riding down the coast from Taranaki. They were the guests of Mr. Adams, the commissariat officer in charge of that department here then. This was the year of the great earthquakes, and the month.  Mr. Adams lived, in a neat cottage just where the Bank of New South Wales now stands. Mrs. Des Voeux was standing near the fireplace when the shock came, and the chimney fell on her, causing injuries from which the unfortunate lady never fully recovered. […] Mrs. Des Voeux was the only person seriously injured here during those great shocks, compared with which the heaviest since experienced have been as mere reminders of what might happen again.’ (Wanganui Chronicle 13 Nov 1902: 7)

Woon also claims in his pamphlet Wanganui Old Settlers (Feb 1902) that Charles Des Voeux’s background included service with the Austrian army: ‘Mr. Lett died in 1854, at the early age of 37. He was succeeded as Postmaster by Mr. Charles C. Des Vœux—an aristocrat of the “first water,” and at one time an officer in the Austrian Army.’

The stone cottage on the beach
Beach Cottage was built in 1853 for William and Emily Richmond on the seafront near the present Richmond Estate apartments. For many years it was the property of the Richmond and Atkinson families. During the 1860-61 conflict the families removed to Auckland and Nelson and the cottage became officers’ quarters. In 1961 the cottage was moved to its current position near Puke Ariki (then the Taranaki Museum), renamed Richmond Cottage and refurbished as a colonial museum. See ‘Piecing Together the Richmond Story.’

I took the opportunity of asking her for a few flowers for the grave
Emily refers to the grave of her brother Corbyn in St Mary’s Churchyard. A stone erected in later years reads: ‘Sacred to the memory of Hugh Corbyn Harris aged 25 years who was cruelly murdered by the rebel Maoris at Waitera [sic] on the 28th July 1860. “Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord even so saith the spirit for they rest from their labours.” Also Frances Emma Harris born Feb. 1842 died Sept. 1892.’ (Alington 161)

Hugh Corbyn Harris (1835-1860) was buried at St Mary’s 31 July 1860 with full military honours. An account of his death and funeral appeared in local newspapers.

Taranaki Herald 4 Aug 1860: 2. Continuation of Journal of Events. Sunday— We have sad intelligence from Waitara to-day, brought up by Archdeacon Govett. Mr. Hugh Corbyn Harris, attached to the camp, while carting driftwood from the beach yesterday was shot dead by a party of rebels in ambush. We have received from Waitara the following particulars relating to this brutal murder. “You will be sorry to hear that a poor fellow named Harris, a carter, and most respectable young man, was shot dead from the bush near the beach about 1300 yards south of the blockhouse, only yesterday. He had gone for wood, accompanied by a private of the 40th, neither of them armed, and although the beach close to the Waitara point is one mass of timber, he wished, it appears, to find some which was better suited for culinary purposes, and as no Maoris, excepting the friendly ones had ever been seen in that direction he apprehended no danger. Five or six shots were fired — and one ball passed through poor Harris’ head, killing him instantaneously. No attempt to plunder his body was made, and his cart and bullocks remained uninjured. The man of the 40th states that he was under the impression that the Maoris were some belonging to the Waitara pa when first he saw them coming towards the beach, but on seeing them nearer he called to Harris, who was 70 or 80 yards from him, without Harris apparently hearing him.” Corbyn Harris is the only son of an old settler, and was a most exemplary young man, and the main support of a family of sisters.


The afflicted Parents of the late Hugh Corbyn Harris desire to offer their warmest thanks to the Volunteer Rifles, Militia, and other numerous friends, who manifested their respect and esteem for their departed Son, by following his remains to their last resting place. As they are not able to make their acknowledgments in person, they take this opportunity of gratefully assuring them that their voluntary demonstration of kindness and sympathy has afforded much comfort and consolation to his surviving relatives, who mourn the loss of an only and affectionate Son and Brother, but who do NOT “Sorrow as those who have no hope”. New Plymouth, 31st July, 1860.

We have not yet removed to Skinner’s house
Thomas Kingwell Skinner and Prudence Veale were the parents of William Henry Skinner (1857-1946), noted Taranaki surveyor and ethnologist, and the founder of the Taranaki Museum to which the Harris family began donating art works in 1919. In 1860 the Skinner home was located on the banks of New Plymouth’s Mangaotuku Stream near the present site of Puke Ariki Museum.

poor Mr Richardson
Thomas Watkin Richardson, Esq. (1800-1861), was a Cambridge-educated lawyer who married Mary Anne Whittington in 1827. Alington: ‘T.W.Richardson, father of Eliza Mary King, was a Justice of the Peace who arrived on the Poictiers in 1850 and farmed in Smart Road at Waiwhakaiho. Henry Halse described him in 1850 as “an elderly gentleman, fond of private life, even to solitude, which has made him rather unpopular with those who came out with him; well read, and seen a great deal of the world. He is said to be a man of property.”’ (161) The John Kinder Theological Library holds correspondence between Richardson, Govett and Bishop George Selwyn 1857-61 concerning Richardson’s wish to become a candidate for Holy Orders. (Selwyn ANG 90-14-26, 45, 46, 48, 51, 52, 91) Richardson was buried in St Mary’s Churchyard, New Plymouth with son in law William Cutfield King and daughter Eliza Mary King.

to spend the evening with Mr and Mrs Gardner
Christopher Hatton Gardner was described as a New Plymouth settler in February 1860. (‘List of persons’) Harriet Halse nee Wood (c.1838-1913) mentions the Gardners several times in the journal she kept of events in New Plymouth March-September 1860: ‘As I was walking in the garden with baby I saw Mr. Gardner on guard at the Military Hospital.’ (11 Mar) ‘This afternoon Mr. & Mrs. Gardner called & Mrs. G- begged me to let her come & sleep every other night when Mr. G- would be away. I told her I was so full that she could only have a bed on the parlour floor and as soon as she could get a room I should be glad.’ (21 Mar) ‘An attack is expected on the town by the Ngataruanui’s [sic]. This evening I went with the Miss Upjohns to Pitts to buy a boy toy for George as tomorrow is his birthday. When I came home Mrs. Gardner was here and as Mr. Lawson was here and we were in rather a confused state. She slept with me.’ (22 Mar) ‘Mr. and Mrs. Gardner spent this evening. here.’ (27 July)

The Newlands have got into a very comfortable house
John and Frances Newland and their children arrived 1841 on the Amelia Thompson. The children were: Frances (Leatham), John, Susan (Brind), William, Henry, George, and Helen (Douglas). John Newland was born in 1796 and died on 2 August 1887 and is buried at Te Henui Cemetery. When he died John Newland was the oldest Mason in New Zealand, having joined the Masonic body in 1822. John Newland was appointed gaoler shortly after his arrival in New Plymouth and was the settlement’s first policeman. He kept a diary from 6 Mar. 1841 to 20 Jan 1872. (Taranaki Biography files).

Mr Ronalds & Mr Diamond board with them
Frank Ronalds, clerk, and John Caspar Dymond, merchant, were resident in New Plymouth in February 1860. (‘List of persons’)

Give my love to Frances
Frances Emma Harris (1842-1892) was born in New Plymouth, NZ, and buried in St Mary’s Churchyard, New Plymouth. She was an artist and teacher. Frances figures prominently in Emily’s diaries of 1885-86 and 1889-91. She contributed to several family exhibitions in Nelson and New Plymouth and taught at the school established by the Harris sisters in their Nelson home at 34 Nile St. Frances died in New Plymouth while staying with married sister Mary Weyergang and is buried at St Mary’s with her brother Corbyn.

Taranaki Herald 19 Sept 1892: 2. Death. HARRIS.— On September 17th, at the residence of her sister, Mrs Weyergang, New Plymouth, Frances Emma Harris, fourth daughter of Edwin Harris, Esq Nile Street East.

as well as Augusta & Ellen
Augusta Harris (1848-1870) was born in New Plymouth, NZ and buried in Wakapuaka Cemetery, Nelson.

Nelson Evening Mail 1 September 1870: 2. Death. Harris. — August 31, Augusta, fifth daughter of Edwin Harris, Esq., late of Taranaki, aged 22 years.

Ellen Harris (1851-1895) was born in New Plymouth, NZ, and buried in Wakapuaka Cemetery, Nelson. She was an artist and teacher. Ellen Harris contributed to family exhibitions but her subjects seem less distinct than those of Edwin, Emily and Frances, and she is usually described last in newspaper reviews. Like her sister Frances, Ellen figures prominently in Emily’s diaries of 1885-86 and 1889-91. She was often an invalid during these years and struggled to continue teaching in the Harris sisters’ school.

Nelson Evening Mail 30 Mar 1895: 2. Deaths. Harris.— March 29, at the residence of her father, Nile-street East, Ellen, the youngest and beloved daughter of Edwin Harris. (Wellington papers please copy.) The Funeral will leave the house on Sunday afternoon, at two o’clock.

I have not been able to get the ferns for Miss Mayling
Ferning was a popular pastime and mention of ferning expeditions recurs in Emily Harris’s diaries 1885- 86 and 188-91. Sarah Harris contributed pressed ferns for local exhibitions in Nelson.

Nelson Examiner 3 Mar 1866: 2. Nelson Institute Exhibition. Miscellaneous Articles […] Mrs. E. Harris. Collection of Fern Leaves in a book.

I have just seen a cart go by with the harp
Edwin Harris owned a full-size concert harp. See also Emily’s vignette of family life in Nelson 24 Dec 1861: ‘I wish I was with you now as I suppose that you are all at home tonight, perhaps you are having a nice little supper now or papa is playing the harp.’ (#10)

Love to Kate, &c
Catherine Harris (1839-1913) was born in Dulverton, Somerset, England, and buried in Te Henui Cemetery, New Plymouth, NZ. Catherine taught in her mother’s schools in the Hurdon district during the 1850s and married Taranaki farmer Alfred William Moore 4 Mar 1863 in Nelson. The Moores returned to New Plymouth permanently in 1863.

Children of Alfred and Catherine Moore:
Alfred Henry (1864-19??)
Constance Catherine (1866-1942)
Reginald Townsend (1867-??)
Mary Frances (1869-1896)
Hugh Harris (1870-1905)
Ruth (1872-1964)
Frank Edwin (1874-1963), married Minnie Hill Moon in 1902.
Ella Grace (1878-1964), married George Samuel Hobbs in 1904.

Nelson Evening Mail 29 Aug 1912: 4. Personal. The death occurred at New Plymouth on Saturday at the age of 79, of Mr Alfred William Moore, a very old resident of New Plymouth. The late Mr Moore came to New Zealand in 1856 from Lancashire. He worked on a farm at Westown till the war broke out, when he left for Nelson. There he resided for several years until the cessation of hostilities, and married Miss Catherine Harris, the eldest daughter of a very old Taranaki settler who, with his family, had gone to Nelson for refuge. He returned to New Plymouth at the end of 1863, and had resided there ever since.