Object #1001385 from MS-Papers-0032-0565

6 pages written 28 May 1858 by William Nicholas Searancke in Masterton to Sir Donald McLean in Auckland Region

From: Inward letters - W N Searancke, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0565 (58 digitised items). 60 letters written from Waiuku, Ahuriri, Waipa, Auckland, Awhitu, Wellington, Masterton, Wairarapa, Otaki, Manawatu, Tuaranganui, Te Purupuru, Greytown, Rangitikei, Waikato, Whangarei, Ngaruawhaia. Includes piece-level inventory (1969 accessions not added). Contains letters from Searancke to McLean with regard to the purchase of Maori land in the lower North Island in the 1850s and 1860s, in Wairarapa, Horowhenua and Manawatu; the letters also contain information about disputes that arose from the sales among Maori and between Maori and the Government; there is also information about the disposition of Maori, and their attitudes towards the King Movement, in these areas during the New Zealand wars of the early 1860s There are also some letters about Searancke's work in the Waikato district as a resident magistrate, with information about his observations of the Kingitanga

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

Download alow-resolution PDF or high-resolution PDF

English (ATL)


28th. May 1858.

Dear Sir,

A more unmitigated set of Scoundrels than your Wairarapa Pets it never was my fortune or misfortune to meet what with disputed boundaries of blocks and of reserves and claims for payment over again of Lands sold and settled years ago I am almost crazy the fact is this they are fearfully hard up and are now trying it on with me to raise the wind by any means I wish to ask you about the Moroa or Tauherenikau Block which in the Blue book is put down showing a balance of £400 dne to the Natives, this ballance the Manihera some time back spoke to me about and I then consented to pay it to him and the other owners. I accordingly obtained the Money from the sub Treasury and when I brought it up to Papawai he Te Manihera very coolly tells me that he did not mean Moroa but Taratahi on this block. Of course I decidedly refuse to pay him anything, he then said Moroa is all settled and implied that he had settled it with you, will you oblige me by letting me know if there is any verbal understanding on this balance as I can find no written receipts for it --- he is also dunning me every day that he sees me for the bal. of Taratahi, shall I give him the £200 or not. I am of opinion that he is not entitled to it, so shall await your answer on this subject, you will also oblige me by writing to him on the subject he also states that you promised him some Sheep and 2 cows and is asking me for them, oblige me also by informing me on this head. Also on the 5 per cents on blocks sold by him, am I to pay him or other natives anything on this account, I have not got any receipts for 5 per cents and therefore am shy of commencing a payment on that head, the more also that he also demands as promised him by Sir G. Grey that a Chapel be built for him and his people in fact his demands are daily increasing and I not being able to meet them am of course a most wretched commissioner etc. etc.

I am however happy to say that there are so many Summonses and judgements out against him that unless when compelled to go to Papawai am pretty safe personally from his not very flattering remarks. I shall give him a wide berth untill I hear from you, in fact I may tell you that not being able to give them what they the Natives so much need (i.e. money) I am very fast getting as unpopular as any man could reasonably wish to be. I have this day paid the Natives at Akura the bal. due on Kuhangawariwari even on this I almost thought they would at one time have had a fight, thank God however that trouble is over and G. Smith is now setting out the Reserves etc.

I have had a Survey of the Boundaries of the Manaia Block adjoining to Masterton made by St. Hill who I have employed paying him as a superior labourer purposing if I was satisfied with his work recommending him for permanent employment but his having obtained a commission in the 65th. Regt. saves me the trouble, Ngatuere who is the principal owner very coolly asks me for the 4000 acres only £2500, I have not yet offerred him anything as we only commenced the talk about it this evening. Te Retimana and te Ropiha are also offerring all the Land round about Te ore ore for sale i.e. Rangitumau ete.

I cannot possibly comply with my instructions, respecting the Land being surveyed bfore purchase it will be endless trouble and work with after all only the chance of the purchase being made. I think myself the better plan will be to walk round the Boundaries making a guess at the contents and when the purchase is completed make a survey. I have been detained on the Road between the Hutt and Wairarapa for ten days (from the 8th. to 18th. inst.) by the heavy floods, constant rain and some heavy landslips on the Rimutaka range which latter put it out of my power to move onwards.

I have detained Grindell here to translate and copy deeds and receipts of money paid to Natives and will forward them as soon as completed, that is next week. I fear that I have done wrong in not forwarding them previously but really have not had time to get them done myself.

I certainly must say that I never had such a hot time of it. I purpose myself accompanied by Mr. Grindell going up (so soon as I can escape from these civilised Savages of the Wairarapa) into the 40 mile Bush and spending a month or two making a complete Sketch of the whole of the Bush so that it may be known what is bought and what is under negociation because at the present time I believe that the Blocks on which advances have been made very considerably overlap and are also very much overestimated both in extent and in quality.

I am Dr. Sir,
Yours obedy. in haste,
Will. N. Searancke.
Donald McLean Esq., Auckland.

Part of:
Inward letters - W N Searancke, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0565 (58 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)

Usage: You can search, browse, print and download items from this website for research and personal study. You are welcome to reproduce the above image(s) on your blog or another website, but please maintain the integrity of the image (i.e. don't crop, recolour or overprint it), reproduce the image's caption information and link back to here (http://mp.natlib.govt.nz/detail/?id=1001385). If you would like to use the above image(s) in a different way (e.g. in a print publication), or use the transcription or translation, permission must be obtained. More information about copyright and usage can be found on the Copyright and Usage page of the NLNZ web site.

External Links:
View Full Descriptive Record in TAPUHI

Leave a comment

This function is coming soon.

Latest comments