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DEATH OF THE HON. CONSTANTINE AUGUSTUS DILLON.

(From the "Nelson Examiner.";

The circumstances which attended the lamented gentleman's death are as follows;—Mr. Dillon, accompanied by his son (a lad about 10 years of age), N. G. Morse, Esq., and a young gentleman named Pasley*, reached the Wairau river, opposite the Manuka Island, on Saturday at Sundown, on their way to Nelson, the three gentlemen on horseback, and master Dillon on a small Timor pony. In order to enable the child to cross the river safely, Mr. Dillon placed his son on his own horse, and sent him across in company with Mr. Morse, and determined to ford the river on foot and lead the pony, but taking the precaution however of laying hold of Mr. Pasley's left stirrupiron. ;To this arrangement Mr. Morse objected, and offered to return with Mr. Dillon's horse after taking over the boy (as he had done before at the Branch river), but Mr. Dillon insisted on crossing as we have described, saying that he had a change of clothes, and did not mind getting wet. After entering the river and walking a short distance, Mr. Dillon requested Mr. Pasley to stop while he put the bridle over the pony's neck to let him follow of his own accord, and then, on proceeding a little further, Mr. Dillon asked Mr. Pasley whether his horse was swimming, saying at the same time that he was " off his legs." On this the deceased seized the stirrup leather higher up, and attempted to rise himself, which caused thehorse to become fidgetty, and as they had by this time incautiously approached the edge of the fall, and Mr. Pasley having slackened his rein in endeavouring to render Mr. Dillon assistance, the horse and both gentlemen were rolled over the fall together into deep water. Mr. Pasley rose above the horse in the stream, and tried to reach the bank by swimming, but not succeeding, he was carried down to the horse, which he laid hold of, and was brought on shore by it. Mr. Dillon's arm was seen, raised only once by Mr. Morse, who saw nothing of what was occurring until the unfortunate gentlemen were being precipitated over the fall, and although he ran down the bank of the river, such was the force of the stream that he could render no assistance, nor even see the slightest trace of the body. Mr. Pasley was very severely bruised. The body of Mr. Dillon was found by G. Duppa, Esq., thrown on the shingle, nearly two miles from where the accident occurred.

The body was conveyed to the Waimea, where an inquest was held upon it. On examining the body, it was found that the deceased had received a blow on the temple, and it is conjectured that he was struck by the horse and stunned when the animal first rolled over, for Mr. Dillon had improperly taken the river on the upper side of the horse.

By the death of this gentleman we have sustained no ordinary loss. Mr. Dillon was one of the band of enterprising men who risked their fortunes and their lives in founding this settlement ; and embarking in it as he did with considerable means, so ha& been the proportionate interest which he has always taken in its welfare. A man of a highly benevolent nature, during the struggle which the settlement underwent on the breaking up of the New Zealand Company, his hand was always open to relieve the distressed, and when, in better times, any object was proposed which had in view the welfare of Nelson and the development of its resources, he was always found among its principal and foremost supporters. To sum np his excellencies in a few words—he was a real settler, and the gloom which has prevailed since the melancholy tidings of his death reached us, and the sympathy which is felt for his distressed family, tell more forcibly than any words of ours how sincerely he is mourned, and how severely his loss will be experienced.

The deceased gentleman was the fourth son of the late, and the brother of the present Viscount Dillon, and had served her Majesty both in the Navy and Army. The Navy was his first profession, which he abandoned for the Army, and held his first commission in the 16th Lancers. Subsequently, while serving in the 7th Dragoons, Mr. Dillon acted as the aide-de-camp to Lord Durham, in Canada, and to Lord Ebrington, when .Lord-Lieut, of Ireland. In this colony he had filled the office of Civil Secretary to the Government, and at the time of his death was Land Commissioner of this province.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/LT18530521.2.18

Bibliographic details

DEATH OF THE HON. CONSTANTINE AUGUSTUS DILLON., Lyttelton Times, Volume III, Issue 124, 21 May 1853

Word Count
781

DEATH OF THE HON. CONSTANTINE AUGUSTUS DILLON. Lyttelton Times, Volume III, Issue 124, 21 May 1853

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