Object #1021238 from MS-Papers-0032-0183

12 pages written 25 May 1860 by Sir Thomas Robert Gore Browne to Sir Donald McLean

From: Inward letters - Sir Thomas Gore Browne (Governor), Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0183 (75 digitised items). 70 letters, 1855-1860

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English (ATL)

Letter from T.G.B. to Donald McLean Esq, dated 25th, May (no year date.)

COPY Wednesday night May 25th. 1860


My dear McLean,

Jimmy has Just brought your letters, and says he must return to-morrow morning. What you say about the Waikato tribes is not encouraging; but we are in for it now, and must fight out of it, if necessary, in the best way we can.

I doubt not that your views are quite correct about Taranaki, and I will act upon them as far as I can. This, however, will be a very short way. Your desire that the murdering

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English (ATL)

tribes should be severely punished, and so do I. But the question is how to do it?

Gold went out without knowing where he was going, or what he was likely to meet. He was crippled by a ----- (?) of baggage to such a degree that he would hardly have escaped with life if he had been attacked. He went within two miles of a fortified pah, occupied and then returned, his rear guard being followed by the enemy's scouts!

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English (ATL)

Now I do not blame him for not attacking the pah. He would have had his head broken if he had done so; but I do blame him for meandering about with a crippled carcase, not knowing what he was going to do, or where he was going.

How can I expect that he will be able to put salt on the tails of the murderers? He will never get within miles of them, unless they are in places in which he cannot get at them.

I should also say that Troops cannot go

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English (ATL)

more than one day out and one day in, without Commiss--ariat; and a Commissariat entails carts; carts entail a guard; and a guard breaks up a small force. I still believe our plan was the proper one; and Cracrost Join--ed me in saying it might have been accomplished. The whole distance from Taranaki being 45 miles, the Troops might have marched from both ends; united, and returned at night.

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English (ATL)

It is, however. of no use to talk, and still less use to send instructions which cannot be carried into effect.

Pray send Turton down if he is with you, as late as possible, so that he may arrive here certain--ly on Saturdaynight, the 26 May. I fix this day because a Sydney steamer will sail on Monday the 28th; and I should like to send the last news I can, to the Secretary of State. I shall not send the

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English (ATL)

"Victoria" to Taranaki yet, for I have nothing to say. I told Gold to attack the murderers if he saw any way of getting them; and not to attack W. King unless he commenced hostilities. If he commenced hostilities I recommended him to offer a free exit to any Waikatos who might choose to go back, and then to do his utmost to make an example. The pelorus Officers speak very slightingly of our people, I am sorry to say.

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English (ATL)


The news from Wellington is not satisfactory; and Cooper writes from Wanganui that the tribes are getting very unsettled there.

Taylor writes that the meeting here is a great ''coup'', and expects much from it. I propose to hold it at the Station, which the Bishop has built for the Melanesian boys, near old Porter's, on the sea shore. That is, if the Bishop will lend it. It is an excellent place with good Cook-house, and sleeping-place. If you see him, sound the Bishop on the subject.

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English (ATL)


Fox goes in for opposition to Teira's claim, and the Whanganui people have broken out upon him in a way he did not expect. Rose writes a good letter, and the newspaper writes against its own father, Fox. The Independent is moderate. The ''Spectator'', as usual, Says the King Movement is due to my inertness.

From Napier, Russell writes me that the Europeans and natives had two meetings to try who could aggravate each other

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English (ATL)

most !! He does not think the natives there much dissatisfied, but I hear they are out and out King--ites.

You will have heard before this that the men be-longing to the murdering tribes, who went down from Wai--kato to Taranaki, and for whom Takeri induced me to give him a pass, intended to murder Parris. His life was saved by the Waikatos who accompanied them. Pray get the pass I gave to Takeri back

Page 10 of 12. View high-resolution image

English (ATL)

again if you can; and tell him what sort of fellows he induced me to give a pass for. The Waikatos, however, behaved grandly. If Jenning were not going so early, I would send you Parris's letter, which is an excellent one.

Nepia Taratoa was Hadfield's chief tool, and uses exactly his language. Wi Tako took a flag down to Otaki, and the people there are divided about hoisting it. Hadfield having landed

English (ATL)

Letter from T.G.B. to Donald McLean Esq, dated 25th, May (no year date.)

COPY Wednesday night May 25th. 1860


My dear McLean,

Jimmy has Just brought your letters, and says he must return to-morrow morning. What you say about the Waikato tribes is not encouraging; but we are in for it now, and must fight out of it, if necessary, in the best way we can.

I doubt not that your views are quite correct about Taranaki, and I will act upon them as far as I can. This, however, will be a very short way. Your desire that the murdering tribes should be severely punished, and so do I. But the question is how to do it?

Gold went out without knowing where he was going, or what he was likely to meet. He was crippled by a ----- (?) of baggage to such a degree that he would hardly have escaped with life if he had been attacked. He went within two miles of a fortified pah, occupied and then returned, his rear guard being followed by the enemy's scouts! Now I do not blame him for not attacking the pah. He would have had his head broken if he had done so; but I do blame him for meandering about with a crippled carcase, not knowing what he was going to do, or where he was going.

How can I expect that he will be able to put salt on the tails of the murderers? He will never get within miles of them, unless they are in places in which he cannot get at them.

I should also say that Troops cannot go more than one day out and one day in, without Commiss--ariat; and a Commissariat entails carts; carts entail a guard; and a guard breaks up a small force. I still believe our plan was the proper one; and Cracrost Join--ed me in saying it might have been accomplished. The whole distance from Taranaki being 45 miles, the Troops might have marched from both ends; united, and returned at night. It is, however. of no use to talk, and still less use to send instructions which cannot be carried into effect.

Pray send Turton down if he is with you, as late as possible, so that he may arrive here certain--ly on Saturdaynight, the 26 May. I fix this day because a Sydney steamer will sail on Monday the 28th; and I should like to send the last news I can, to the Secretary of State. I shall not send the "Victoria" to Taranaki yet, for I have nothing to say. I told Gold to attack the murderers if he saw any way of getting them; and not to attack W. King unless he commenced hostilities. If he commenced hostilities I recommended him to offer a free exit to any Waikatos who might choose to go back, and then to do his utmost to make an example. The pelorus Officers speak very slightingly of our people, I am sorry to say.

The news from Wellington is not satisfactory; and Cooper writes from Wanganui that the tribes are getting very unsettled there.

Taylor writes that the meeting here is a great ''coup'', and expects much from it. I propose to hold it at the Station, which the Bishop has built for the Melanesian boys, near old Porter's, on the sea shore. That is, if the Bishop will lend it. It is an excellent place with good Cook-house, and sleeping-place. If you see him, sound the Bishop on the subject.

Fox goes in for opposition to Teira's claim, and the Whanganui people have broken out upon him in a way he did not expect. Rose writes a good letter, and the newspaper writes against its own father, Fox. The Independent is moderate. The ''Spectator'', as usual, Says the King Movement is due to my inertness.

From Napier, Russell writes me that the Europeans and natives had two meetings to try who could aggravate each other most !! He does not think the natives there much dissatisfied, but I hear they are out and out King--ites.

You will have heard before this that the men be-longing to the murdering tribes, who went down from Wai--kato to Taranaki, and for whom Takeri induced me to give him a pass, intended to murder Parris. His life was saved by the Waikatos who accompanied them. Pray get the pass I gave to Takeri back again if you can; and tell him what sort of fellows he induced me to give a pass for. The Waikatos, however, behaved grandly. If Jenning were not going so early, I would send you Parris's letter, which is an excellent one.

Nepia Taratoa was Hadfield's chief tool, and uses exactly his language. Wi Tako took a flag down to Otaki, and the people there are divided about hoisting it. Hadfield having landed himself, retired in disgust. Rau--pahara and natives held out manfully, and they threaten--ed to shoot the former, who defied them. The flag is not yet up, but is to be hoisted in June.

I hear but doubtful accounts, also, of the Wairarapa. Ludlam (?) writes very truthfully, and so does Weld.

Mean time we shall have a grand display of Militia and Volunteers to-morrow, and shall muster 1500 armed men.

The Taupo natives and some from Kaipara and Rotorua have been here giving assurances of good will; and so has one Chief from Hokianga.

Waata Kukutai is said to be less well affected than I hoped. The authority is from a Hokianga Chief, through Manning.

And now farewell. I wish you had told me of your health. Pray do so in your next, and believe me,


Yours sincerely (Signed)
T.G.B.

P.S. The ''Caroline'' arrived safely. There was a great Meeting here last Saturday, at which Carleton shone, as he always does.

To:- Donald McLean Esq.

Part of:
Inward letters - Sir Thomas Gore Browne (Governor), Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0183 (75 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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