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DEATH OF AN OLD IDENTITY, JOHN MARMON.

First Landed in New Zealand 1807.

Within the last month three persons have been removed by the hand of death, who in their several ways had been associated with the early history of New ZealandMr Cowell, of Awhitu, Mr King, of Waiuku, and now John Marmon, of Hokianga—and whose knowledge of its affairs ex*.ended over half a century. Marmon, the news of whose death we have just received, originally hailed from New South Wales, and came down here for the third time in 1819, on board a Government vessel from Sydney, in which he was serving as a sailor. He was then about nineteen years of age, and having an instinctive desire for a roving, wild life from early associations, he managed to get clear of the ship, and cast in his lot with the Maoris. As an interpreter and trader he became very useful to the natives, bartering their produce for them with the whalers and others for general merchandise, firearms, and grog. Tho natives threw over Marmon the shield of their protection, and refused to surrender him when Captain Kent, of the brig Macquarrie, called in at Hokianga, in 1823. Marmon thoroughly identified himself with the natives, and became a member of tho tribe with which he had taken up his abode. He married Ihipera, the daughter of a

« Ngapuhi chief named Baumata, but whose bajtfsmal name when he seceded from heathenism became Hone King., by whom he had no family, though he had ft daughter l, v a previous alliance with a n-.tive woman; It was during Marmon s residence with tha Ngapuhi that that tribe made their famous expeditions to the South under Hongi, when they desolated lamnnki, Hanrnki, aud Wmkato. At that time the Ngapuhi, through their constant intercourse with traders, had good supplies of firearms, which as yet the other tribes were without. In some of these expeditions Marmon accompanied his native allies, and took part, it is alleged, in proceedings which thenceforth associated his name with cannibalism. Marmon was even known by the horrible name of "Cannibal Jack," and distinct statements were made by old settlers as to his having taken part in the great feasts when slam enemies were eaten. Let us hope that all stories were foul slanders. A ror fercnce to this peculiar charge appear* in •" Thompson's Story of New Zealand, in connection with tho Treaty of Waitangi. At the native meeting held at Waitangi to consider the treaty, twenty chiefs spoke in favor of the treaty and six against it. The objectors spoke so forcibly that an unfavorable termination was anticipated, whon Tamati Waka Nene rose, and m_ an _. eloquent speech turned the tide of tribal feeling. Governor Hobson,_ in his despatches to the Home authorities announcing tho completion of the treaty, insinuated that the opposition of the party was got ** up by French missionaries and evil-dis-posed white men, and that " the former employed for this purpose a cannibal European called Marmon." Whatever might be the opinion of the Governor, the Maoris prized Mormon's ■ services highly, and gave him a fine block of land at the junction of the Waihou creek with the Hokianga river. Marmon was a noted character also with the European colonists, and rigorously enforced any line of policy he had adopted. So much was this the case, that he and captain Beckham, then acting as Police Magistrate in the North, had a passage of arms, which ended in the former being bound over to keep the peace. Of late years Marmon lias been very feeble, and he died on Thursday last, at Hokianga, in the 81st year of his age. It has been known for some time back that a biographical sketch of this old identity has been in course of preparation for the Press, but it is not known whether or not it will be published. — Neio Zealand Herald, 11th September, 1880.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/AMBPA18810826.2.12

Bibliographic details

DEATH OF AN OLD IDENTITY, JOHN MARMON., Akaroa Mail and Banks Peninsula Advertiser, Volume VI, Issue 534, 26 August 1881

Word Count
655

DEATH OF AN OLD IDENTITY, JOHN MARMON. Akaroa Mail and Banks Peninsula Advertiser, Volume VI, Issue 534, 26 August 1881

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