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AN ADVENTUROUS CAREER.

I The career of Richard Wells, who died suddenly at Otaki on the 28th ultimo, was rather a romantic one. He arrived in the colony about fifty years ago, having come over with a whaleboat's crew from Victoria, and was for many jears engaged in whaling in tho vicinity of Kapiti, Waikanae, and Otaki. He is said to have been the first I white man who crossed the Wanganui bar I and sailed up the river. This he did with the assistance of a Maori woman, to whom he was afterwardß married, and he succeeded in establishing friendly lelations with the Natives on the banks of the river. When the Maori war broke out Wells was oaptured by the Maoris, but was saved from torture and death by the wife of a Maori chief, who "tapued" him. He was kept a prisoner for a considerable time, during which he became quite an expert Maori linguist, and was eventually released on the payment of a ransom by the New Zealand Company, consisting of tobacco, blankets, etc. Wells then went mates with a man named Smith in a sawyering business, and cut the timber for the old Commercial Hotel at Wanganui. In 1852 he went into the pig trade, curing some and driving some to Wellington, a remarkable feat in those days. He was for some time skipper of a small vessel trading between Wanganui and Wellington, and is said to have procured the acquittal of a gentleman now occupying a good position in Wanganui. He was taking him to Wellington for triil on a charge of pointing a loaded gun at another, with intent to do grievous bodily harm, and on the voyage Wells got hold of the gun and took the spring out, so that when the trial camo on the gun was proved to be a harmless weapon. In 1868 he went to Wakamarina diggings, and from thence to Wairarapa, working on Hume's station. About ten years ago he came to this district, first settling with his mate near Bunnythorpe, but eventually coming to Palmerston, where the two parted. Wells baa left his money to his mate, and inquiries are now being made as to his whereabouts. One of the jury at the inquest on Wells proved to liavo been one of the crew of the whaler to which deceased bolongod. Wells was on his way to see Wellington after an absence of thirty years, when ho was taken ill near the aceno of his old whaling exploits.—'Post.'

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ESD18890813.2.9

Bibliographic details

AN ADVENTUROUS CAREER., Evening Star, Issue 7984, 13 August 1889

Word Count
422

AN ADVENTUROUS CAREER. Evening Star, Issue 7984, 13 August 1889

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