Diary and notebook
Reference Number: MS-1196. Object #1010863
Scattered through this diary are sketches by the missionary Richard Taylor.The diary entries describe his travels as Sub-Protector of Aborigines for the Taranaki area, mainly covering a long journey that included Waimate, Patea, and other settlements on the way to Wanganui, where he met up with Taylor and proceeded with him to Taupo and Rotorua, and back through Waikato territory to the west coast. It is a detailed account with descriptions of the many Maori settlements visited, the chiefs met and discussions had. Much of it has been written in ink over the top of an earlier pencil draft of the same entries. At the other end of volume McLean has recorded notes about Maori traditions, and lists of names.
128 pages to Sir Donald McLean.
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Monday 20th. October 1845.
Started from New Plymouth about half past twelve for Wanganui and Taupo. Slept the first night at Hauranga; the weather disagreeable and raining. Wind W.N.W.
Tuesday 21st. October 1845.
In the morning parted with Mr. Webster, who came with me to Hauranga, and pursued my journey in wet, heavy weather, meeting with the several natives at their places as I came along, making enquiries as to the new doctrines that had just sprung up amongst some of them, of seeing the Almighty and His angels. Some even stated that they were God, and were able to baptize with the Holy Spirit, and were
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the true Bishops and Disciples of Christ. My replies were short as I did not wish to be involved in any religious party dissension, though I regretted the state in which I found the natives, and advised them to lose no time in enquiring from their clergymen, both Mr. Bollard and Turton, as to what they had seen, with a full confession to them of their feelings. Slept at Wairua, a beautiful place, perhaps the sweetest spot to be met with on the way to Wanganui; and there is a little grove of trees, - angi-angi and Karaka, with a streamlet of water on each side of them. Several portions of land along here are
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now being occupied by the natives, that have been lying waste for years; but I regret to find that they are all under fears of the Taupo tribes, and are fortifying their Pahs when they ought to be employed planting and sowing, but cannot be divested of the fears they are under.
Wednesday 22nd. October 1845.
Got from Wairua at half past eight in the morning, dined at Umuroa; find all the natives greatly taken up with the new tikanga, several of them asserting that they had seen the Almighty; and others of them that disbelieved this folly, wished very much to see Mr. Taylor and Bollard on the subject. Wrote from Otumatua to the latter gentleman, where I slept that night; and had a long conversation with Hori Kiwi and Tamari the chief.
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Thursday 23rd. October 1845.
Left Otumatua at nine o'clock, the boys having gone about 8 a.m. On the bank leading from the Pah, I followed a path that took me a considerable way of my road, and got lost in the bush for two hours, climbing and scrambling about, the proper line of road being no distance from the Pah, where you turn down the bank to the right along the beach. Got to Kaupukunui about mid-day, and had food cooked for the natives. Met a European there who is married to a native woman, and had several children by her. He lives about two miles inland, cultivates about six acres of land, rears pigs, and is likely to live comfortably. I wished him to call on me for some clothing for his children, and recommended him to try and give them some education, and instruct them himself.
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Got to Waimate, the station of the deceased Mr. Skevington about 7 p.m. His afflicted and desolate widow was in a better state of health and spirits than I anticipated; her child, a fine, healthy young girl about a year and a half old. Having condoled with her for a time, and hoped that she would not feel the severity of the late stroke beyond bearing, that she had every reason to thank God for His having called him away from her as his time was come, at such a place and under such favourable circumstances, amidst his friends and in the House of God, that these were all favourable aspects for her to reflect on, not only now, but in after days. From this I changed our conversation to the passing events, and alluded to all that might
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change the subject of the death of her husband, to others more cheerful. I was the first acquaintance of his who visited the station after his death; and certainly it presented a gloomy and sad appearance. I read the evening service, and felt how unable I was to perform such a serious duty in the absence to his long home of poor Mr. Skevington, whose family prayers and services at his own house were the most impressive and pleasing part of his ministerial performances of devotion. Mr. Arbute Brown prayed, and bidding all good-night, I slept in my tent.
Friday 24th. October 1845.
Spent this day at Waimate, and got another native to join me, that I had previously sent to carry letters to Mr. Brown of Messrs. Whitely and Turton's, informing
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him of the death of Mr. Skevington. Whilst
here I wrote to Mr. Clarke for instruction respecting land purchases from the natives, and what part I was to take in them.
Remained at Waimate till 7 in the evening, and started 5 miles on my journey. At Waingongoro I met the old chief Pakeke, who, with his followerd, appeared exceedingly friendly, requesting me to pass the night at his place. My natives having gone before me, I could not remain. He enquired what all the guns were landed at New Plymouth for, - if they were to destroy the natives, as that was the current report? After leaving his place it was so dark
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that it was with difficulty that I made the next station, where I spent the night.
Saturday 25th. October 1845.
At 7 in the morning started from -----, called at Irangahoi, where I was very much grieved to find the sad state of religious fanaticism prevailing amongst the natives, originating from a false impression of the doctrine of repentance. One young girl I saw in a state of madness, going round every two minutes to shake hands with her friends, saying she was influenced by the Holy Spirit in doing so. The shaking of hands generally was of a most unusual kind, nearly pulling your arm off every time they shook hands with you; and several of the people, even their teacher, had an appearance of langour, and as if he were
Diary and notebook, Reference Number MS-1196 (1 digitised items)
Series 5 Diaries and notebooks, Reference Number Series 5 Diaries and notebooks (100 digitised items)
McLean Papers, Reference Number MS-Group-1551 (30238 digitised items)
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