Object #1009185 from MS-Papers-0032-0158

8 pages written 17 Mar 1863 by Sir Francis Dillon Bell in Taranaki Region to Sir Donald McLean

From: Inward letters - Francis Dillon Bell, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0158 (46 digitised items). Contains correspondence between McLean and F D Bell, and Bell and William Fox; the correspondence covers the purchase of Maori land (especially at Wairarapa), fighting in the New Zealand Wars, politics (including information about the formation of Governments in the 1870s), and personal matters. 47 letters written from Taranaki, Wellington, London, Shag Valley, Wanganui, Dunedin, Melbourne, 1847-1853

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

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Page 1 of 8. View high-resolution image

English (ATL)

F.D. Bell. Taranaki
17 March /63


My dear McLean,

I got your letters by the Wonga Wonga, but she only staid a few hours and I was quite unable to write to you. Your official letter to Domett resigning Genl. Government pay & allowances has not come down to him: but it's of course all right and just as I anticipated. There will I imagine be no possible legal difficulty arise now about your Seat. Your re-election would finally settle anything, and as no action under the Disqualification Act would lie (your not receiving

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English (ATL)

General Government money) it aint worth while bothering any more about that part of the subject.

I hope Hunter Brown will do better than you anticipate. The fact is it was not I who employed him. He went direct to Sir George, who urged his qualifications (probably on the very grounds of Missionary &c sympathies which you object to) and in fact all but required his appointment. When he came back from a preliminary visit to Kaipara, however, he so annoyed Grey by what he said that I had nothing

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English (ATL)

for it but to send him away. However, the end of it is this: if he does well, let him stay: if he gets into mischief I shant be bothered about removing him: for I mean as you know to back Whitmore & you in anything I can.

With regard to the police force, I cannot yet obtain a decision from Domett. You quite mistake if you think I oppose your having the £5000 for Hawkes Bay; on the contrary, I am desirous you should. The difficulty is not one about Hawkes Bay: it is about Taranaki. You are aware that by the Colonial Defence Force the

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English (ATL)

cost may be charged both on the Taranaki Reinstatement Fund and the Native Purposes Fund: and my understanding of course was that the Taranaki portion of the force should be so charged at once on the Reinstatement Fund, leaving my funds free for other parts. Instead of this there has always been a row between the Taranaki people, Domett, & me about the Reinatatement Fund, and the matter is not yet settled. It is quite impossible to hear both charges of Taranaki & Hawkes Bay Sections of the Force on Native Purposes: it isn't a question of

Page 5 of 8. View high-resolution image

English (ATL)

will, but of money: it can't be done. Therefore till Domett says the Taranaki Section of the Force now being organised is to be charged on the Reinstatement, I can't say that there is money free for the other. I write in the expectation that before the Airedale heaves in sight I may get an answer; but blessed are they who expect nothing, as Scripture says.

You will be glad to hear we have made Move No. 1 here in peace & success. Immediately we landed I went round all the Waitara settlements, saw the Mataitawa people &c &c. They all asked after you & expressed great disgust at your turning

Page 6 of 8. View high-resolution image

English (ATL)

into a Superintendent. Then when I had got things straight there I started South, where the scoundrels wouldn't see me. So we went out with the 57th to Okurukuru & put up a fine redoubt, without interruption from anybody. Parenga Kingi & Aperahama Reke sent a messenger to deliver the mind of Taranaki & Ngatiruanui, & I needn't tell you all the bosh & bounce that he uttered - but the Governor put him down very quietly & told him there was to be no mistake, and we should be at Tataraimaka at the day we pleased,

Page 7 of 8. View high-resolution image

English (ATL)

just as we had come to Poutoko when we pleased. The end of it was that all the Ngamahanga & most of the Patukai returned quietly to their own settlements, and William Matakatea sent up to say that he would come & see the Governor, and if he were stopped at the gate "ko te pu tonu".

The people here are creeping out of the torpidity of the last three years, fencing going up everywhere & many signs of a new life. But there is a party here (I need not name them to you) who are determined that the settlement cant be restored without

Page 8 of 8. View high-resolution image

English (ATL)

hammering the natives - and I have hard uphill work of it. I wish you were with me; I believe we could together put things straight here before long - and if they are to be put straight I should like to see you have a share in doing it. Nothing can be better than the present feeling of the Mataitawa lot - they have however tried all they knew to seduce Mahau over to their side without success - and I need not say that if there should be hostilities we should find the Kingites unite again as before.

Goodbye dear McLean & good luck to you as Shuper. Don't make a Scotch Province of it. Love to Whitmore.


Yours very truly
F.D. BELL.

English (ATL)

F.D. Bell. Taranaki
17 March /63


My dear McLean,

I got your letters by the Wonga Wonga, but she only staid a few hours and I was quite unable to write to you. Your official letter to Domett resigning Genl. Government pay & allowances has not come down to him: but it's of course all right and just as I anticipated. There will I imagine be no possible legal difficulty arise now about your Seat. Your re-election would finally settle anything, and as no action under the Disqualification Act would lie (your not receiving General Government money) it aint worth while bothering any more about that part of the subject.

I hope Hunter Brown will do better than you anticipate. The fact is it was not I who employed him. He went direct to Sir George, who urged his qualifications (probably on the very grounds of Missionary &c sympathies which you object to) and in fact all but required his appointment. When he came back from a preliminary visit to Kaipara, however, he so annoyed Grey by what he said that I had nothing for it but to send him away. However, the end of it is this: if he does well, let him stay: if he gets into mischief I shant be bothered about removing him: for I mean as you know to back Whitmore & you in anything I can.

With regard to the police force, I cannot yet obtain a decision from Domett. You quite mistake if you think I oppose your having the £5000 for Hawkes Bay; on the contrary, I am desirous you should. The difficulty is not one about Hawkes Bay: it is about Taranaki. You are aware that by the Colonial Defence Force the cost may be charged both on the Taranaki Reinstatement Fund and the Native Purposes Fund: and my understanding of course was that the Taranaki portion of the force should be so charged at once on the Reinstatement Fund, leaving my funds free for other parts. Instead of this there has always been a row between the Taranaki people, Domett, & me about the Reinatatement Fund, and the matter is not yet settled. It is quite impossible to hear both charges of Taranaki & Hawkes Bay Sections of the Force on Native Purposes: it isn't a question of will, but of money: it can't be done. Therefore till Domett says the Taranaki Section of the Force now being organised is to be charged on the Reinstatement, I can't say that there is money free for the other. I write in the expectation that before the Airedale heaves in sight I may get an answer; but blessed are they who expect nothing, as Scripture says.

You will be glad to hear we have made Move No. 1 here in peace & success. Immediately we landed I went round all the Waitara settlements, saw the Mataitawa people &c &c. They all asked after you & expressed great disgust at your turning into a Superintendent. Then when I had got things straight there I started South, where the scoundrels wouldn't see me. So we went out with the 57th to Okurukuru & put up a fine redoubt, without interruption from anybody. Parenga Kingi & Aperahama Reke sent a messenger to deliver the mind of Taranaki & Ngatiruanui, & I needn't tell you all the bosh & bounce that he uttered - but the Governor put him down very quietly & told him there was to be no mistake, and we should be at Tataraimaka at the day we pleased, just as we had come to Poutoko when we pleased. The end of it was that all the Ngamahanga & most of the Patukai returned quietly to their own settlements, and William Matakatea sent up to say that he would come & see the Governor, and if he were stopped at the gate "ko te pu tonu".

The people here are creeping out of the torpidity of the last three years, fencing going up everywhere & many signs of a new life. But there is a party here (I need not name them to you) who are determined that the settlement cant be restored without hammering the natives - and I have hard uphill work of it. I wish you were with me; I believe we could together put things straight here before long - and if they are to be put straight I should like to see you have a share in doing it. Nothing can be better than the present feeling of the Mataitawa lot - they have however tried all they knew to seduce Mahau over to their side without success - and I need not say that if there should be hostilities we should find the Kingites unite again as before.

Goodbye dear McLean & good luck to you as Shuper. Don't make a Scotch Province of it. Love to Whitmore.


Yours very truly
F.D. BELL.

Part of:
Inward letters - Francis Dillon Bell, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0158 (46 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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