Object #1000036 from MS-Papers-0032-0311

4 pages written 3 Aug 1850 by Henry Halse in Ngamotu to Sir Donald McLean

From: Inward letters - Henry Halse, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0311 (35 digitised items). 36 letters and memos written from Wanganui, Wellington and Auckland (some in Maori)

A transcription/translation of this document (by ATL) appears below.

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Page 1 of 4. View high-resolution image

English (ATL)

PRIVATE. Ngamotu

August 3rd. 1850.



Dear Sir,

Yesterday's wreck, and loss of life, found us ample employment; the occasion of which I am unable to give a satisfactory account. The unfortunate woman had been recently married to Daniel Bishop's eldest son, during his stay in Auckland. Her maiden name was Elisa Cook.

There was no wind to drive the vessel ashore; and I cannot but think that she was culpably allowed to drift, where she has since left her bones, as well as those of the unfortunate woman - the only person who might have thrown some light upon the occasion of this sad disaster.

I am at a loss to describe the horrid, out-of-the-way place, where the vessel was wrecked. You may perhaps know that at the foot of the Paritutu, facing the sea, there is a long, low cavern, called Kaukiroa, guarded by two wings, or rather two projections of rock, forming part of Paritutu, the sides of which are perpendicular. Through this passage, and into the cave, the sea rushes in with great force, and is the cause of that rumbling, thundering, underland noise, so frequently heard. The vessel was in this

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English (ATL)

cave, demasted, of course, in entering. The only way to approach the scene, was by creeping round Paritutu, and then descending by a rope, into the passage leading to the cave. William volunteered, and was accordingly let down yesterday and to-day; and deserves much credit for his exertions. The place itself, is a natural curiosity; and what with the suspended man over the rolling surf, the vain attempts made, as it were, by the confined remnants of the wreck in the cavern to escape, the irrestible pertinacity by which these attempts were met, together with a mass of heads peeping over the cliff, the anxious scrutinising gaze of Europeans and natives on the adjacent rocks, ready to snatch any property thrown within their reach, formed a spectacle well worth seeing, and far beyond my powers of description.

After the day's work I was glad to receive your letters, for which I thank you, and will attempt to give the information you require:-

Mr. Percival is young and well connected, and supposed to be Miss Gates' intended husband.

Mr. Greenwood is uncle to the above lady, and appears to be a quiet, inoffensive man, and intends to farm.

Mr. Worsley, a young gentleman, has taken Mr.

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English (ATL)

Faithful's land at Moturoa, with Mr. Adams, a fine strapping young man.

Mr. Dampier has gone to Auckland to the Bishop's college Mr. Richardson, 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.

Mr. Broughton, a smart, gentlemanly man, living with John Smith, for the purpose of learning farming.

Mr. Bishop, a young man, fond of riding, and now living with Mr. Cutfield at his cattle station.

I believe that is all; and when the next vessel arrives, I hope to send even better news.

What am I to do with your potatoes at Haera's place? Since he refuses to bring them here, am I to incur the expense of cartage?

I think I have received two Glasgow papers for you, since your absence.

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English (ATL)

Do you wish them to be forwarded? I ask the question because hitherto my orders have been to keep them here. Mr. Gudgeon generally calls for them, and hands them on to Captain Campbell.

I do not know of anything else just now. By the way, your place is gotten into good hands, and begins to look well. It is high time the old settlers should be doing well; and I am glad to see your property being improved.

I cannot say so much for the old house. Neither do I think Miss Wickstead is likely to do much with it. That, however, is her affair.

The Horns are living in the house next the Parsonage, and I am not aware of an acknowledged suitor for either of the girls.


I remain Sir, very sincerely yours (Signed)
H. Halse.
To:- D. McLean Esq.

English (ATL)

PRIVATE. Ngamotu

August 3rd. 1850.



Dear Sir,

Yesterday's wreck, and loss of life, found us ample employment; the occasion of which I am unable to give a satisfactory account. The unfortunate woman had been recently married to Daniel Bishop's eldest son, during his stay in Auckland. Her maiden name was Elisa Cook.

There was no wind to drive the vessel ashore; and I cannot but think that she was culpably allowed to drift, where she has since left her bones, as well as those of the unfortunate woman - the only person who might have thrown some light upon the occasion of this sad disaster.

I am at a loss to describe the horrid, out-of-the-way place, where the vessel was wrecked. You may perhaps know that at the foot of the Paritutu, facing the sea, there is a long, low cavern, called Kaukiroa, guarded by two wings, or rather two projections of rock, forming part of Paritutu, the sides of which are perpendicular. Through this passage, and into the cave, the sea rushes in with great force, and is the cause of that rumbling, thundering, underland noise, so frequently heard. The vessel was in this cave, demasted, of course, in entering. The only way to approach the scene, was by creeping round Paritutu, and then descending by a rope, into the passage leading to the cave. William volunteered, and was accordingly let down yesterday and to-day; and deserves much credit for his exertions. The place itself, is a natural curiosity; and what with the suspended man over the rolling surf, the vain attempts made, as it were, by the confined remnants of the wreck in the cavern to escape, the irrestible pertinacity by which these attempts were met, together with a mass of heads peeping over the cliff, the anxious scrutinising gaze of Europeans and natives on the adjacent rocks, ready to snatch any property thrown within their reach, formed a spectacle well worth seeing, and far beyond my powers of description.

After the day's work I was glad to receive your letters, for which I thank you, and will attempt to give the information you require:-

Mr. Percival is young and well connected, and supposed to be Miss Gates' intended husband.

Mr. Greenwood is uncle to the above lady, and appears to be a quiet, inoffensive man, and intends to farm.

Mr. Worsley, a young gentleman, has taken Mr. Faithful's land at Moturoa, with Mr. Adams, a fine strapping young man.

Mr. Dampier has gone to Auckland to the Bishop's college Mr. Richardson, 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.

Mr. Broughton, a smart, gentlemanly man, living with John Smith, for the purpose of learning farming.

Mr. Bishop, a young man, fond of riding, and now living with Mr. Cutfield at his cattle station.

I believe that is all; and when the next vessel arrives, I hope to send even better news.

What am I to do with your potatoes at Haera's place? Since he refuses to bring them here, am I to incur the expense of cartage?

I think I have received two Glasgow papers for you, since your absence. Do you wish them to be forwarded? I ask the question because hitherto my orders have been to keep them here. Mr. Gudgeon generally calls for them, and hands them on to Captain Campbell.

I do not know of anything else just now. By the way, your place is gotten into good hands, and begins to look well. It is high time the old settlers should be doing well; and I am glad to see your property being improved.

I cannot say so much for the old house. Neither do I think Miss Wickstead is likely to do much with it. That, however, is her affair.

The Horns are living in the house next the Parsonage, and I am not aware of an acknowledged suitor for either of the girls.


I remain Sir, very sincerely yours (Signed)
H. Halse.
To:- D. McLean Esq.

Part of:
Inward letters - Henry Halse, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0311 (35 digitised items)
Series 1 Inward letters (English), Reference Number Series 1 Inward letters (English) (14501 digitised items)
McLean Papers, Reference Number MS-Group-1551 (30238 digitised items)

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