Object #1017235 from MS-Papers-0032-0535

7 pages written 4 Feb 1856 by Major Mathew Richmond in Nelson Region to Sir Donald McLean

From: Inward letters - Mathew Richmond, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0535 (44 digitised items). 42 letters written from Wellington, Wanganui, Christchurch and Nelson, 1845-1876, & undated

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

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English (ATL)

are forwarded to me for Hearing when a day and place for the investigation will be fixed by me and I have accordingly applied to the Colonial Secretary to have the Claims referred --- will you have the goodness to let me know where the best place will be for holding the Court, I cannot however help thinking that it would be much better, if it can be done, to include these, as Mr. Brunner tells me the number of Claimants are few not above three or four and the quantity of land insignificant, in the same list as Michael Aldridge as I have authority to let him and others similarly circumstanced have the right of preemption at 10/- per acre for the land on which their houses stand or upon which they have made

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English (ATL)

improvements. You might sound the first named description of Claimants if they would be willing to give 10/- an acre in the event of such a measure being allowed for the land they have improved it would be much cheaper than having their claims investigated by a Comr. as there is a charge of £5 to bring the case on, then a charge for every witness and another charge for every 100 lines above the first 100, this unless the Block of land was large will bring it to more than the 10/- an acre --- Of course I cannot promise that this will be carried out but it appears to me the best and cheapest plan of arranging these few outstanding claims and

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English (ATL)

to facilitate the matter perhaps as you go along you will find out if the Natives admit that their claims are just, it appears to me a pity to go on with any investigation by a Comr. when the whole of the land is alienated by the natives and it is resolved into a question merely between the Govt. and the Claimants and the least the Government can do after delaying the invesitgation so long is to give the right of preemption to those who have been living many years on the land and whose claims are admitted by the natives give me your opinion on the matter ---

I enclose the authority for Michael Aldridge and the Class of Claimants similarly circumstanced being allowed to purchase the land on

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English (ATL)

which they have effected improvements as 10/- per acre ---

The Governor says he cannot tell us to go on with the purchase of D'Urvilles Island but will bring the matter before the House of Representatives --- in the mean time it would be well to sound if the Chiefs are willing to sell and at what price --- it may greatly facilitate business hereafter and it is very desirable to secure it for the Province.

The Governor is rather anxious about the state of affairs at Auckland but thinks if there was anything serious you would have heard of it, he wishes you to complete your work here as soon as you can and then join

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English (ATL)

him by the first opportunity afterwards. I enclose a note from him. I am delighted to find you are really at work and I have no doubt with your usual success in these matters that you will settle the question well and amicably --- Tinline was not successful at Massacre Bay but he has left a very clear report that will enable you to settle matters with the natives when you arrive as they look up to your judgment in all that relates to land as final, I have sent the Natives away some time since but have promised faithfully to let them know when to come

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from Massacre Bay to meet you --- Can you therefore give me any idea when you will be here as I am pledged to them, give as correct a date as you can as it is very expensive work feeding them if they are long on hand. May every success attend you is the sincere wish of


Yours very truly
M. Richmond

English (ATL)

Nelson
4th Feby. 1856


My dear McLean,

The Governor having been delayed here by contrary winds for a day or two enabled me to place your letters before him and to receive his Insturctions --- I shall therefore commence with the official letter respecting the Europeans who have made purchases from the Natives previous to the Proclamation of Sir G. Gipps but whose claims have not been heard by a Commissioner, as I am a Comr. under the Land Claims Ord. the Governor has requested me to go down but on reference to the Ord. I find I cannot commence any investigation until the Claims are forwarded to me for Hearing when a day and place for the investigation will be fixed by me and I have accordingly applied to the Colonial Secretary to have the Claims referred --- will you have the goodness to let me know where the best place will be for holding the Court, I cannot however help thinking that it would be much better, if it can be done, to include these, as Mr. Brunner tells me the number of Claimants are few not above three or four and the quantity of land insignificant, in the same list as Michael Aldridge as I have authority to let him and others similarly circumstanced have the right of preemption at 10/- per acre for the land on which their houses stand or upon which they have made improvements. You might sound the first named description of Claimants if they would be willing to give 10/- an acre in the event of such a measure being allowed for the land they have improved it would be much cheaper than having their claims investigated by a Comr. as there is a charge of £5 to bring the case on, then a charge for every witness and another charge for every 100 lines above the first 100, this unless the Block of land was large will bring it to more than the 10/- an acre --- Of course I cannot promise that this will be carried out but it appears to me the best and cheapest plan of arranging these few outstanding claims and to facilitate the matter perhaps as you go along you will find out if the Natives admit that their claims are just, it appears to me a pity to go on with any investigation by a Comr. when the whole of the land is alienated by the natives and it is resolved into a question merely between the Govt. and the Claimants and the least the Government can do after delaying the invesitgation so long is to give the right of preemption to those who have been living many years on the land and whose claims are admitted by the natives give me your opinion on the matter ---

I enclose the authority for Michael Aldridge and the Class of Claimants similarly circumstanced being allowed to purchase the land on which they have effected improvements as 10/- per acre ---

The Governor says he cannot tell us to go on with the purchase of D'Urvilles Island but will bring the matter before the House of Representatives --- in the mean time it would be well to sound if the Chiefs are willing to sell and at what price --- it may greatly facilitate business hereafter and it is very desirable to secure it for the Province.

The Governor is rather anxious about the state of affairs at Auckland but thinks if there was anything serious you would have heard of it, he wishes you to complete your work here as soon as you can and then join him by the first opportunity afterwards. I enclose a note from him. I am delighted to find you are really at work and I have no doubt with your usual success in these matters that you will settle the question well and amicably --- Tinline was not successful at Massacre Bay but he has left a very clear report that will enable you to settle matters with the natives when you arrive as they look up to your judgment in all that relates to land as final, I have sent the Natives away some time since but have promised faithfully to let them know when to come from Massacre Bay to meet you --- Can you therefore give me any idea when you will be here as I am pledged to them, give as correct a date as you can as it is very expensive work feeding them if they are long on hand. May every success attend you is the sincere wish of


Yours very truly
M. Richmond

Part of:
Inward letters - Mathew Richmond, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0535 (44 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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