Object #1013980 from MS-Papers-0032-0539

6 pages written 12 Nov 1866 by F Robinson in Manawatu District to Sir Donald McLean

From: Inward letters - Surnames, Rob - Roc, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0539 (20 digitised items). Correspondents:John Robertson & Co, Auckland, 1863 (1 letter); J M Roberts, Opepe & Auckland, 1870-1876 & undated (5 letters); C A Robertson, Auckland, 1874 (1 letter); Thomas Robertson, Port Chalmers, 1843 & 1863 (3 letters); F Robinson, Manawatu, 1857-1866 (4 letters); T Robinson & Co, Dunedin, 1873 (1 letter); J M Rochfort, Auckland, 1876 (1 letter); Singleton Rochfort, Napier, 1871-1872 (2 letters).

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

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Page 2 of 6. View high-resolution image

English (ATL)

Left after the Wairau Massacre. Returned in August 1845 and leased certain lands from the Natives - with the sanction of Colonel Wakefield - have been in possession ever since.

"The Native Land Purchase Ordinance prohibiting purchase or lease of land from Natives was not passed until Novr. 1846 or fifteen months after the date of my lease.

"Pray that if not permitted to retain my Runn (?) I may be allowed presumptive rights to such portions as may seem just."

My memorial was thrown out in the most contemptuous manner with an agreement among members that the discussion should not be reported.

I wish you would briefly state what you considered my position to be at the time you affected the purchase. I think you told me at the time that you considered I was entitled to have my Lease respected. I have had numberless promises but have been dealt with ever since I cam here, as some deep scheming person whose right to the Runn it would be dangerous

Page 3 of 6. View high-resolution image

English (ATL)

to acknowledge and the consequence has been that my Runn has been open to every person who chose to come and buy or rent a small bit of land (even though such land was under lease to me) and Runn any amount of stock without my having power to prevent him or say nay. This has been done both in a large and small way.

Now, all the land between my Fence and Marapupuko, the round Bush is land off in long narrow strips varying from 580 to 150 acres and has been offered for sale at £1 upset. You know the character of this sand and swamp,

Page 4 of 6. View high-resolution image

English (ATL)

I thought no one would bid for it, and that I should be safe for a time - but the 580 acres next the Lake was bid for and as it would entirely cut me off from the Water in the Summer time I was obliged to purchase for £623. It will no doubt all be purchased and I shall be driven out, as I cannot afford to pay £1 an acre f sand swamp. All my men and others who came, even, after the purchase, have had very high protection put upon Land quite sufficient to ensure their purchase. The only protection I have been allowed in any way is about £300 for boundary

Page 5 of 6. View high-resolution image

English (ATL)

fences on narrow slips of Land already enclosed in my Paddocks; nothing for clearing and grassing, in fact making the whole Runn fit for cattle and sheep. Our friend Mr. Duncan comes between me and the Township and has a fine property too in the very centre of the Town. Do not imagine I envy their good fortune as the former has been a valued friend and neighbour whom I would gladly serve and the latter also is a good hard working friend and settler who although we have had differences years ago about my lease etc. I feel that few would have behaved better considering that my lease was not acknowledged by Govt. or in a Court of law as in my opinion it should have been.

I have written to you as being the purchaser of the Land and knowing my position here for some years previous. If you think I am overstating my claim or that I ought to let the whole business drop I should take it as a great favor if you would tell me so, so that I may not be laughed at for making unreasonable demands. We often take strange views of our own grievances.

With kind regards,
Believe me yours sincerely,
F. Robinson.

Page 6 of 6. View high-resolution image

English (ATL)


P.S. We wish our larger Township to be named "Manawatu" not Foxton - please address your letter so, if you favor me with an answer.

English (ATL)

Manawatu
Novr. 12th. 1866.


My dear McLean,

You must know my aversion to notoriety or making a noise in the world and will give me credit for not unnecessarily giving you trouble except under some pressure, at least in my own opinion of the matter, I will proceed at once without further preface. I sent in a short memorial to the last Provincial Council to the following purport.

"That in 1843 I put up a house at Manawatu. Left after the Wairau Massacre. Returned in August 1845 and leased certain lands from the Natives - with the sanction of Colonel Wakefield - have been in possession ever since.

"The Native Land Purchase Ordinance prohibiting purchase or lease of land from Natives was not passed until Novr. 1846 or fifteen months after the date of my lease.

"Pray that if not permitted to retain my Runn (?) I may be allowed presumptive rights to such portions as may seem just."

My memorial was thrown out in the most contemptuous manner with an agreement among members that the discussion should not be reported.

I wish you would briefly state what you considered my position to be at the time you affected the purchase. I think you told me at the time that you considered I was entitled to have my Lease respected. I have had numberless promises but have been dealt with ever since I cam here, as some deep scheming person whose right to the Runn it would be dangerous to acknowledge and the consequence has been that my Runn has been open to every person who chose to come and buy or rent a small bit of land (even though such land was under lease to me) and Runn any amount of stock without my having power to prevent him or say nay. This has been done both in a large and small way.

Now, all the land between my Fence and Marapupuko, the round Bush is land off in long narrow strips varying from 580 to 150 acres and has been offered for sale at £1 upset. You know the character of this sand and swamp, I thought no one would bid for it, and that I should be safe for a time - but the 580 acres next the Lake was bid for and as it would entirely cut me off from the Water in the Summer time I was obliged to purchase for £623. It will no doubt all be purchased and I shall be driven out, as I cannot afford to pay £1 an acre f sand swamp. All my men and others who came, even, after the purchase, have had very high protection put upon Land quite sufficient to ensure their purchase. The only protection I have been allowed in any way is about £300 for boundary fences on narrow slips of Land already enclosed in my Paddocks; nothing for clearing and grassing, in fact making the whole Runn fit for cattle and sheep. Our friend Mr. Duncan comes between me and the Township and has a fine property too in the very centre of the Town. Do not imagine I envy their good fortune as the former has been a valued friend and neighbour whom I would gladly serve and the latter also is a good hard working friend and settler who although we have had differences years ago about my lease etc. I feel that few would have behaved better considering that my lease was not acknowledged by Govt. or in a Court of law as in my opinion it should have been.

I have written to you as being the purchaser of the Land and knowing my position here for some years previous. If you think I am overstating my claim or that I ought to let the whole business drop I should take it as a great favor if you would tell me so, so that I may not be laughed at for making unreasonable demands. We often take strange views of our own grievances.

With kind regards,
Believe me yours sincerely,
F. Robinson.

P.S. We wish our larger Township to be named "Manawatu" not Foxton - please address your letter so, if you favor me with an answer.

Part of:
Inward letters - Surnames, Rob - Roc, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0539 (20 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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