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UNKNOWN

[by xaumatda]. I arrived in Auckland with my parents in June, 1841. The town was still largely composed of tents or raupo huts, We remained on the vessel, which was my father's, until a house or store could be built, which was principally done by the carpenter and ship's crew, most of the materials having been brought with us. A MARRIAGE. Shortly after our arrival a ball and supper was given at Government House, on the 24th of Juno, to celebrate the marriage of Mr. James C'oate3 and Miss Bendal. We received invitations to attend, and the ladies were anxious to bo present, having known Miss Bendal in Sydney. Ib being very web at the time the large boat was covered with tarpaulin, and a Sedan chair being extemporised and covered with oilcloth, a start was made at about eight. We landed at about highwater, somewhere near whore the Admiralty House now stands. At that time there were no roads— a steep track up the hill by Captain Rough's house. The four sailors, after a hard struggle, got to the top with one of the ladies, the gentlemen with lanterns leading the way. After two trips all gob safe to Government House, and the sailors were well taken care of in the kitchen till ib was time to return. Getting back was more difficult, as the tide had gone out, and there was a long mudflat, so that they had to go on to what was then called Soldiers' Point.

At last the vessel was reached about four a.m., and all had enjoyed this first ball in Auckland. Out of all that attended that night I think only three or four survive, Captain 1). Rough in England, Mr. J. P. Du Moulin, and Dr. J. L. Campbell; there might be others that I do not remember. A supper was do light matter in those days. Fowls 12s per pair, eggs 6s a dozen. THE first STONE building, The first stone building in Auckland was the barracks which was built on Point Britomart. The entire labour was performed by the soldiers themselves, for Which extra' duty they received an' addition to their pay. •' The men were under - the direction of 'Mr.; George Graham, still ' alive 1 in : England. In i the first building there was room for fifty men,

and the walls wore loop-holed. There was a deep ditch and high bank across the point, with strong gates and guard-house, notwithstanding which the men found a way to set out at night, down what was called Jacob's Ladder. 'The point was perpendicular, bub at one place there was a pohutukawa tree, the roots of which went nearly down to the beach, and by that way they gob out. LANDING GOODS.

At the opposite Bide of the bay was 1 anothor point called Smale's Point. Captain D. Smale had arrived in the ship 1 Chclydra, of which he was part owner, 1 and built a house and store on top, about 1 where Albert-street now ends. There was deep water there at high water. He erected a derrick and winch to hoist the goods out of the boats. His wife- was taken up by the same means in a chair, as there was no good road to get there. The landing of goods was by no means easy, and 1 it was done mostly by the ships' boats or punts. But soon fine boats wore built of 1 about 10 tons burden, very flat on the Door, ■ with mainsail and one large jib, decked over as far as the mast. They were very handy, and answered well. They ran oil the beach when the tide was in, and as soon it left them carts backed to and discharged the (jargo. This would hardly do at the present day. One of the first to start these boats was Charley Robinson, well known in Auckland, nob long since dead. Ho did so well that a few years later he had the well-known cutter Henry built by Mr. H. Niccol, a boat that is hard to beat at the present day, although nearly 40 years old. Being a good hand with cattle ho was principally employed in shipping to the islands of .the gulf and to the Thames. Many a pleasant trip I havo had with him, and enjoyed the steak cooked over the usual nail-can firo. ST. tadl's CIIORCU. A meeting was held at Government House on April 14, 1841, to take steps for the erection of a church. By an Act of Council, £300 had to be subscribed before tho aid of Her Majesty's Government could be applied for. By September 11, 1841, £460 had been subscribed, and the building was commenced, Mr. W. Mason being the architect. Funds must have run short, as it was not plastered inside nor tho tower finished for some time after, and a number of the congregation found their own seats. When the walls were halfway up, it was a favourite amusement of my companions and myself, after the workmen had left, to tun races round on top, jumping over the spaces left for windows, to the great risk of our own necks and damage to the work. At that time Mr. Mason's son was found drowned in a hole that had been made to catch the rain water to use in the wot'ks. A man, afterwards hung for another murder, confessed to having thrown him in out of revenge for being found fault with. I saw the foundation stone laid, with the bottle of coins and papers put under it. When tho old church was pulled down I bolieve tho bottle was found broken and the coins gone; the stone must have been lifted after it was first laid and the money taken. During tho Heke war in 1845, when tho Maoris were expected to attack Auckland the windows wore partly blocked up with hoavy timber and loopholed; the doors were mado of strong plank, bullet-proof. Before the church was built service was performed in a raupo house, about where the Museum now stands. a NATIVE scare. Towards tho end of 1841 there was a scare from the natives. I think the trouble arose out of a Maori stealing a cloth cap out of a shop. He was arrested; next day, a large body of natives landed on the beach in front of Mr, W. S. Graham's store in Fort, the water then came right up to tho road. They danced the war dance, making the ground shako as they all jumped up and came down together. Armed with muskets and tomahawks, with little on but a feather in the hair and a cartridge box, with eyes tnrned up and tongue hanging out, they wore not) a pleasant sight, as anyone that has seen a real war dance in the good flld stylo must know. Thero wore few troips in Auckland then, only about 40 of the 80th Regiment. Special constables were sworn in, and the town was in a ferment, If I remember right, they marched up to the Courthouse and took tho man away. It was afterwards settled by a payment to the storekeeper.

COURTHOUSE AND GAOL, The Courthouse and gaol were then at the junction of Victoria and Queen-street, on the west side; the hill in front was all fern and scrub. Willie Hobson, tho Governor'') son, and mysolf often went down and gob Mr. McElwain, the gaoler, to let us in to see Maketu, a young Maori, who was convicted of murdering his wife and her two children at the Bay. Ho had amused himself by covering the walls of the cell with drawings of canoes, men, and horses. He was the first man hanged in Auckland, and buried in the gaol yard. In front of the Courthouse there were a pair of stocks. 16 was a common sight to see one or two men sitting with their feet in them. The aeab was about a foob from the ground, and the stocks rather higher, and as there was no back to the seat the position was not comfortable. It was a trick of some to inveigle unsuspicious persons, "just to try ib'you know," then close the top beam and leave the victim. As not many people went that far up it might he some time before he got release. Just fancy stocks in that place now! GOVERNOR HOBSON. The sudden death of Governor Hobson in his 49th year is ono of the events I particularly remember. Although ho had boen unwell for some time the end was not thought to be so near. A wrong medicine having been administered in lieu of what he bad been accustomed to take, bis constitution received a shock from which it never recovered. Ha was greatly respected, and all that could attended the interment, and every person in the town of Auckland appeared in the deepest mourning. The Maoris attended in large numbers, every man with a musket, the women with wreaths of clematis in their hair. The remains were buried in a brick vault, by the Rev. J. F. Gburton. At that time the cemetery grounds were quite in the country at the top of what was called the white road, now Symonds-streeb. The coffin, covered by the Union Jack, with the cocked hat and sword on it, was carried by the sailors of the Government brig Victoria. There was a small party ot the 80th Regiment commanded by Captain Best, and also a band. It was the first military funeral in Auckland. The chief mourner was William Hobson, only son of the Governor, who afterwards distinguished himself when a lieutenant in the navy. He was in command of a boat party in the search for Sir John Franklin. I think he is now dead. The Maoris brought up the rear of the procession, and after the military saluto had sheen fired their demonstrations were rather noisy, firing off their muskets ana howling in chorus. POSTAL BUSINESS. The postal arrangements at) this time were none of the best. The business was carried on in a small box four feot square, often with the confusion of the police office in the adjoiaingroom. Auckland was thought to havo made a great advance when a mail cart was started to Onehunga for the conveyance of letters and passengers. It left once a week from Wood's Royal Hotel, white tho Northern Club now stands. It

was timed so as to arrive at) Onehunga ab high water to join the farry-boab that plied to Karangahape, feho Man ukao Company's settlement. This conveyance was started in November, 1841.

THE FIRST RACES, The first horse races took place at Epsom in the second week of November, 1841. First race, Handicap Steeplechase, 2sovs each; second, Auckland Cup, all ages, 2yra 7st, 3yra lOat, 2aova entrance, half forfeit; third, Ladies' Purse, with osovs added from race fund, one mile heats. The late Mr. William Young, then collector of Customs, was one of the most active in getting up.the races. >

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/NZH18971224.2.55.4

Bibliographic details

UNKNOWN, New Zealand Herald, Volume XXXIV, Issue 10634, 24 December 1897, Supplement

Word Count
1,847

UNKNOWN New Zealand Herald, Volume XXXIV, Issue 10634, 24 December 1897, Supplement

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